Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Bully Pulpit”

As a presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin is at the top of the list. Her works have that magical quality of readability and substance.

BullyPulpit.jpg“The Bully Pulpit” is of a different age, but much of the substance is of today. The book looks at Teddy Roosevelt and his leadership of the progressive movement and party.

Until a rancorous split, there was William Howard Taft at Roosevelt’s side. Both sought to address big business’s domination over individuals and the need for equality of income. Sound familiar?

Goodwin has also brought to this history the role of the press, which at the time saw publications and journalists who advanced the progressive movement.

Ironically, Roosevelt, Taft and the press all came to blows as the era wore on and that is a story within this story.

Importantly, the progressive movement left a lasting mark on our political system. How that came to be is what this work is about.

You get to decide the pros and cons of the movement and its impact through today.

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” ― Thomas Jefferson

What an honor for Baltimore when the former director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library last week became the head of the Library of Congress. In the past she submitted her own reading recommendation to “Hitting the Books” and her staff has been part of our work since Day One. This from the New York Times:

“For Dr. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in on Wednesday as the 14th librarian of Congress, the unrest (the death of Freddie Gray) was the test that clarified her values: Libraries are about far more than books.

“‘The people of that neighborhood protected that library,’ Dr. Hayden said during a recent interview in her new office overlooking Capitol Hill. ‘There were young men who stood outside. It was such a symbol.’

“At 64, Dr. Hayden is the first African-American and the first woman to lead the 216-year-old library, one of the world’s largest, and the nation’s leading repository of knowledge and culture. ‘To be the head of an institution that’s associated with knowledge and reading and scholarship when slaves were forbidden to learn how to read on punishment of losing limbs, that’s kind of something,’ she said.”

All of our best wishes go with her.

Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2016 season is his 10th with the club and 31st covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.

* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2016 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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