Sunday, December 20, 2009

The scandalous Founders, the tyranny of e-mail, best books, and more in the book pages

"Those who think only prudes attended the Constitutional Convention should know that Independence Hall's closets were not free of skeletons," writes Justin Moyer in the Washington Post. It is December, a time when the minds of legal historians tend to wander from their grading, in search of something, anything....
And so we bring you the news that "George Washington coveted his neighbor's wife, Benjamin Franklin fathered a child out of wedlock and abandoned his wife to flirt with Parisian madames, and Alexander Hamilton's invention of the Federal Reserve did not distract contemporary critics from his adultery." More of this can be found in the book Moyer reviews: THE INTIMATE LIVES OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS by Thomas Fleming.

SWEET THUNDER: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson by Wil Haygood is taken up in the New York Times. Also reviewed are two Beatles books: JOHN LENNON: The Life by Philip Norman and PAUL McCARTNEY: A Life by Peter Ames Carlin.

Finally, if you are in need of a "12-step program to eliminate destructive electronic habits," check out the Boston Globe review of THE TYRANNY OF E-MAIL: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox by John Freeman.