Between the Lines Book Club: All Charles Lindbergh

between the lines book club logoIn One Summer: 1927, Bill Bryson writes about Charles Lindbergh, the first person to cross the Atlantic in a solo flight. We will be talking about the book at Arden Dimick Library on February 27, 2017 at 10:30AM.

There is a lot of footage of Lindbergh on YouTube. Biography.com  has a full length documentary about Lindbergh and several shorter clips. You can find his infamous speech to the America First Committee on YouTube.If you want to learn more about the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, YouTube also has a full length PBS documentary.

The most famous biography of Lindbergh is titled Lindbergh as was written by A. Scott Berg, published in 1998. It won a Pultizer Prize. PBS Newshour did an interview with Berg that you can find online. Here’s a quote about Lindbergh’s antisemitism:

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: You include many quotes in your book from Lindbergh that leave little doubt that he was, it seems to me, anti-Semitic. He talks about a “western wall of race and arms–” speaks of inferior blood. He refers to Jews as — American Jews — as having interests different from “ours.” Did you end up with the belief that he was anti-Semitic?

A. SCOTT BERG: Well, I do believe he was anti-Semitic in ways that even he didn’t realize he was anti-Semitic. I ask a lot of Jewish friends and a lot of my own family what their definition of an anti-Semite is, and some of them just very readily say “Somebody who hates Jews.” And I say “if that’s your definition, I don’t believe Charles Lindbergh was an anti-Semite.” I don’t believe he hated Jews. Indeed, he did help some Jews get out of Nazi Germany, and indeed he did have some Jewish friends. At the same time, I think he was guilty of that other, more genteel kind of anti-Semitism, which is in some ways more insidious, because it is covert. And Lindbergh really was one of those who didn’t realize he was anti-Semitic, but he did believe they were different from the rest of Americans. He believed they controlled the media and the government in this country. He believed they had their own agenda that was different from the American agenda. And that’s just — that’s just anti-Semitism, neat and clean.

Berg did not know about Lindbergh’s secret families abroad – that information came to light after the biography was published. For a light-hearted interview that touches on the issue of Lindbergh’s many families, The New York Times has an interview with Lindbergh’s daughter, Reeve, who indicates that life as a Lindbergh is never dull!

“The siblings!” Ms. Lindbergh, now 62, calls them. “Bless their hearts! With us, every 20 years or so there is something that comes out that you don’t expect. Of course, now things seem to be happening more frequently.”

She ticked off the highlights: “There’s the flight, the kidnapping, the war, the speeches,” she said, referring to her father’s anti-interventionist speeches during World War II, “and now, aye yi yi, polygamy!”

Between the Book Club: Interviews with Bill Bryson

between the lines book club logoWelcome back to Book Club, where we are reading One Summer: 1927 by Bill Bryson. This nonfiction book tackles American history by looking at a fairly short window of time in which a remarkable number of things happened. Here’s Bill Bryson talking about that crazy summer:

 

and here he is talking about why he decided to write the book:

 

If you live in the Sacramento area, please join us at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on Feb 25, 2017!

Between the Lines Book Club: One Summer by Bill Bryson

between the lines book club logoCongrats, book clubbers, we made it through Hamilton! Our book for this month is another non-fiction, but much shorter and lighter. We’ll be reading One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson. Ready for transatlantic flights, baseball, anarchy, and the mob?

Book commences right here in the comments, but you can also meet us in person at Arden Dimick Library. Our next meeting is on February 25, 10:30AM. See you there!

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Between the Lines Book Club: Hamilton

between the lines book club logoThis month in Between the Lines Book Club we are reading Hamilton, the biography by Ron Chernow. We will be meeting in person at Arden-Dimick Library, Sacramento California, on January 28th at 10:30 AM to discuss the book.

Hamilton is the rare biography that makes meetings about finance interesting. Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean under circumstances straight out of Dickens, and he wrote his way out of poverty and into power. Once in power, he vacillated between brilliance and self-destruction and died in a duel at the age of 47.

Writer Lin-Manuel Miranda recognized this as a story that was reminiscent of the rappers who wrote their way out of poverty but often died young. Here’s a couple of some great articles and interviews that help explain the link between Chernow’s book and Manuel’s musical:

“All About The Hamilton’s,” by Rebecca Mead for The New Yorker

“Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda” by Jeff MacGregor, for Smithsonian

You can hear most of the musical online for free but there aren’t very many posted videos. Here’s a couple from the Tony Awards, live! How lucky we are to be alive right now!

 

Between The Lines Book Club: Winter Break!

between the lines book club logoFirst of all, the in-person Between the Lines Book Club will be meeting tomorrow, at 10:30AM, at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento, California. See you there! If you aren’t in the area, feel free to leave comments about the book below.

We will be taking a break during the month of December (which means a blogging break for me!) You might want to start reading early though, because our January book, Alexander Hamilton, is a long one.

Here’s our schedule for January 2017 – March 2017:

January 21: Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow

February 18: One Summer: America 1927, by Bill Bryson

March 18: Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline

See you all in January!

 

Between the Lines Book Club: The Boys in the Boat

 

between the lines book club logoThis month we have a quick turnaround book-wise. We’ll be meeting to discuss The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, on 11/19/16 at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM.

The Boys in the Boat tells the story of the University of Washington’s efforts to win a gold in rowing at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The story focuses on Hitler’s efforts to convince the world that Germany was a benign power, and on the efforts of American Joe Rantz to survive the Depression and parental abandonment, finish college, and succeed in keeping his place on the crew team.

In this book trailer, at minute 1:10, you can see video of the incredible 1936 Olympic race:

 

If you have an hour, you can view the PBS documentary: The Boys of ’36, about the crew.

 

I hope you all enjoy this amazing story!