Steve Beckett is ’70 B.A. History grad and a ’73 J.D. (Law) grad.
I am just finishing Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas J. Fleming. It’s a fascinating book, that is not too long but basically tracks the romantic interests of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It is certainly a different perspective of American history’s great figures, and relies heavily on original letters as source materials. It has a solid review of the Jefferson – Hemmings controversy.
I went to China in May on behalf of the law school and delivered a couple of lectures on American criminal law and procedure and to promote the International Program at the College of Law. I picked up and read Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. It is a comprehensive biography that is quite lengthy but also an eye-opening read about recent Chinese history that puts the current relationship between China and the USA in proper context.
We Illinois History graduates need to keep reading history!