Now in his 30th season of hosting The Price Is Right, Bob Barker has won 14 Emmy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Barker also heads the DJ&T Foundation, which gives grants to clinics providing low-cost or free spaying and neutering of animals. For more information, go to djtfoundation.org. Here he chooses some of his recent favorite books on history:
New Age Now Begins by Page Smith (Viking Penguin, $27). This is a two-volume history of the American Revolution, beginning with the first settlements on the East Coast, but concentrating on the years between 1765 and York Town. It’s a stirring account of our forebears’ bitter struggle for independence.
Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis (Knopf, $16). The “brothers” about whom Joseph Ellis chose to write are certainly among the most intriguing figures of their time. I felt as if I were a spectator at the Hamilton-Burr duel, and eavesdropping at the politically charged dinner where the guests included Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton.
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The Battle of New Orleans by Robert V. Remini (Penguin, $13). This battle was far more significant than most of us realize. When the Americans destroyed the elite British troops who had defeated Napoleon, they earned for our country a worldwide respect that we had not previously enjoyed. The battle of New Orleans made Andrew Jackson a national hero, and launched him on the path to the White House.
Ulysses S. Grant by Brooks D. Simpson (Houghton Mifflin, $28). This account of Grant’s life, from the time of his birth to the end of the Civil War, is a riveting portrait of a remarkable man who, in less than three years, went from being a hapless store clerk to commander of the Union Army. Though not a great strategist like Napoleon, Grant correctly assessed and leveraged the Union’s advantages in manpower and manufacturing to bring the war to an end.
Coldest War by James Brady (St. Martin’s Press, $20). This memoir of the author’s years as a Marine in Korea makes for unforgettable reading. More than 54,246 Americans died in this undeclared war in only 37 months. I liked the book so much that I went out and bought his novel, The Marines of Autumn (St. Martin’s Press, $14).
A Flame of Pure Fire by Roger Kahn (Harcourt, $28). This is Jack Dempsey’s story from childhood to the end of his life. It focuses particularly on his greatest years in the ring, during the Roaring ’20s, and paints a vivid picture of this exciting and colorful decade.
The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity by Jill Lepore (Random House, $15). King Philip was the leader of the Wampanoag Indians at a time when tensions between colonialists and Native Americans erupted into conflict in 17th-century New England. Lepore tells the story in gruesome detail and makes some thought-provoking comments on war in general.
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