Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Book Review - Capitol Limited
About the Book
LONG BEFORE THEY famously debated each other during the 1960 presidential campaign John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon debated the merits of the new Taft-Hartley labor law in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in April 1947. But their minds were clearly on bigger things.
As fate would have it, Kennedy and Nixon shared a Pullman compartment on a famous train called The Capitol Limited, the pride of the B&O line, for an overnight trip back to Washington. They stayed awake all night talking about their lives, hopes, and visions for a better world. CAPITOL LIMITED is based on a very true story. Bestselling author David R. Stokes imagines how the conversation might have unfolded that long-ago night.
Based on extensive research, and complete with a lengthy and unusual-for-a-novel bibliography, CAPITOL LIMITED gives readers the chance to eavesdrop as two men have an animated conversation about history, world leaders, and the brewing geopolitical issues they would one day face as leaders of the free world. It was the dawn of the Cold War, and these two former Naval officers were developing a vision for the world, one that would be "tempered by a hard and bitter peace." And years later, the political torch would be passed to John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, who represented "a new generation of Americans." They would become America's premier Cold Warriors. For the author, a brief mention of this encounter lit a fire in his imagination and led to research for the novel.
“It was Chris Matthews of ‘Hardball’ who mentioned the train trip – Jack Kennedy in the top bunk and Richard Nixon in the bunk below – in his book about the two future presidents,” says Stokes. “The men discussing the coming threat in Europe – how Matthews thought it was just about the greatest political poster story of all time, these two leaders discussing these issues as the train sped on to Washington.”
Continuing: “I have re-created that conversation between two men who couldn’t have been more different, but I did so by reading everything I could about their opinions, their attitudes and their feelings. It wasn’t about putting words into their mouths – instead, I wanted to make the reader feel as if they were right there, a fly on the wall, a witness to history.”
My Take on the Book
I love reading about our Presidents and learning more about them. This book was well researched and explored a very unique journey that the two past Presidents went on together. The book is engaging and really brings forward facts that I was completely unaware of. I enjoyed how the author shares this and found myself reading on and on wanting to know more. While some of the book is definitely speculation, the author does shed some new light on these two men and makes your mind really fire and allows you to think deeply about what really happened on this journey is still veiled. All-in-all, this was a a fun read and one that really captivated me!
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