Last week I got all inspired (ah, yes, do you hear the warning bells?) and wrote two of my book reading friends, Craig and Roger, to ask their recommendations on the best presidential biographies. Both wrote back with great information and started me off on my latest Quest: To Read A Biography of Each President.
Why read bios of the presidents?
1. My history education is lacking. This is partly my fault for not paying attention, and partly the fault of the educational institutions I attended. Using textbooks is not the way to get me to understand or be interested in history. Usually it was only after my dad would explain a historical event that I would understand it. This is because he would remind me to fit it into the timeline of events and tell it in a story fashion. When you begin understanding that people are people and you understand the stories behind the people, then it makes sense.
2. In my opinion, you need to approach any subject in the same way: first, find out all you can about said subject. This is done by reading and memorizing facts. Secondly, start enunciating what it is you know about it. Thirdly, only now should you spout out opinions about the subject. (This is based on the “trivium” approach to education: grammar, rhetoric and logic; applied by our friends, the Ancient Greeks.)
Unfortunately, in today’s society the majority of the people chatting away are spewing uneducated opinions and not taking the time to first study the subject and the history of the subject.
Okay, back to the subject at hand; The Prez List. As I go along the path of MLQ, I will let you know the good, the bad, and the ugly. So when you get hit up with a sudden obsession to read about the goings on of our Great Nation, you’ll have a starting place.