Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hooked on Biographies

We just finished Robert Massie's Catherine the Great, some 600 pages of fascinating history and personal stories. What an incredible woman she was, despite all her faults and failures. She was a friend of Voltaire and many other notable figures of her age---was liberal minded in many ways, though was never willing to go so far as to liberate the serfs from their absolutely miserable lives. The entire book has shed light on what is going on today with Putin threatening to annex the Ukraine as he recently did Crimea. John read every morning and evening and it still took us several weeks to plow through. We're now reading a biography of Henry Ward Beecher, 19th-century American preacher and abolitionist, who is known for the biggest sex scandals of the era.