Ever wonder what kind of books other people are interested in? In this feature, we take a look at what some local residents are reading.
Mattie Wright, writer, former kindergarten teacher.
"One book I'm reading is Kennedy, by Theodore C. Sorensen (Harper and Rowe, $14). It's a biography of President Kennedy. I admire him and his wife, Jacqueline, so much. The book told what a strong person she is, and about the things that her husband did. She did so well covering up for him. You know the Kennedy family was so infatuated with women.
"I looked at how strong she seemed to be, how she stood by and took all of this. I read the book because I was looking for something to make me a stronger person. The language (swearing) sometimes wasn't good, but it made me look at it and say: This is real. Here is a woman who is that strong, and I can be strong, too. I found the book fascinating."
Oscar Blasingame, attorney and president of the Society for the Advancement of Poynter Library, USF St. Petersburg.
"I'm reading several books having to do with intellectuals who became Marxists and fellow travelers in the '30s, '40s and '50s. One is The Committee and Its Critics, A Calm Review of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, editor William F. Buckley Jr., (G. P. Putnam, 1962). It's a collection of essays.
"It's an attempt to rebut the critics and the attacks on the House Committee. The premise of the book is that although the committee is subject to criticism, much of the criticism has been based on ignorance of the facts, either intentional or negligent ignorance, and that much of the criticism has been published or written by totally biased persons, either communists or fellow travelers. A study of the history and the rules of the committee and a review of the transcripts of the hearings reveal an entirely different story.
"I think it an excellent book _ fair. Some of the contributors are civil libertarians from the ACLU, as well as conservative and liberal scholars. It gives me a new outlook on the committee."
Barry Swift, employee, Books 'N Stuff, Largo Mall.
"I've been reading Turning Point, by Jimmy Carter (Time, $12). It's very informative on Georgia politics. It's about his Senate race. It amazed me that there was so much humor in the book. We don't usually associate Jimmy Carter with humor. It's very readable and very honest. He's been accused of being naive and he's far from naive.
"It told how Georgia women (in one area) were allowed to vote for their deceased husbands because everybody in the neighborhood knew how these guys were going to vote anyway. Carter didn't like that and contested the election on that basis. He said, humorously, that he could understand it once, but when it got to be two or three elections, "I'd be able to sway them over to my side by that time!'
"It was well written and didn't bog down. Brisk and readable, but not compromising, not pandering."
_ Niela M. Eliason
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