Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What is A. J. Langguth reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: A. J. Langguth, author of Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War.

His entry begins:
At the urging of friends in England, I made a point of seeing La Bete last month when it reached New York. I was overwhelmed by Mark Rylance's long opening monologue, one of the most impressive bits of acting I'd seen in some sixty years of going to plays. It was the more astounding because in London the previous March I had marveled over Rylance's performance in a entirely different sort of part in Jerusalem.

I was not surprised then that the critics agreed he had brought genius to the role of Valere. What I couldn't understand, was a widely held disdain for the play in which he was so magnificent.

I sent off for a copy of La Bete, by David Hirson, and now...[read on]
Among the early praise for Driven West:
"A. J. Langguth's "Driven West" is American history at its absolute finest. The sad legacy of Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal policy is expertly re-examined with literary verve and deep scholarship. Langguth is a master of the narrative history. Highly recommended!"
--Douglas Brinkley, author of "The Wilderness Warrior"

"Jack Langguth has adopted a distinctive and hugely satisfying approach in recounting the fate of the Cherokee Indians, crushed by the exuberance of Manifest Destiny in the three decades from Jackson to Lincoln. In weaving the Cherokee story into the broader tapestry of American politics of that time, he renders a dramatic pictorial filled with powerful and sad figures, the clash of cultural impulse, and the force of human tragedy. The story is heart-breaking, as history so often is."
--Robert Merry, author of "A Country of Vast Designs"
A. J. Langguth is professor emeritus of journalism in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. His books include Union: 1812, Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, and Our Vietnam: The War, 1954-1975.

Visit A.J. Langguth's website.

Writers Read: A. J. Langguth.

--Marshal Zeringue