May 17

Book Assignment #1

Due Thursday by 10 p.m.  500 words minimum.  

Please include the title of your book in your response.  

a. Summarize your reading for that part; also, this might be the part to examine bias in the book w/ specific examples.

b. Connect a historical thinking skill to your book segment – contextualization, comparison, change and continuity over time, synthesis, cause and effects, periodization (including turning points).

c. Connect your reading to something we’ve studied in APUSH.

d. Make predictions as to where your story will go (in your last assignment, this needs to be an evaluation – Give the book a grade – A, B, C, D, F – and a recommendation to keep the book for next year or ditch it and why).  This would also be where you can examine your connection (or lack thereof) to the characters or events.


Posted May 17, 2017 by geoffwickersham in category Book reviews

27 thoughts on “Book Assignment #1

  1. Jackson Blau

    A.I am currently reading the book Argo, by Antonio Mendez. This book was also turned into a movie that was nominated for seven Academy Awards. I have read the first seventy-five pages of the book and so far, most of it has been about context. This book takes place in the 1970s. The main conflict of this book starts on November 4th, 1979 when Iranian militants overthrow the United States embassy and take sixty-six hostages. These militants did this because of they saw the Americans as spy’s trying to undermine the Islamic Revolution that was occurring in Iran at the time. Also, this happened because the United States had let the shah into the country for emergency medical procedures. This was a big deal because the country of Iran wanted to try the shah for all of the crimes he had committed but the United States refused to give him up. The main character of this book, at the time, was working as the chief of the CIA’s worldwide disguise operations in the Office of Technical Services. The embassy had been attacked once before, nine months earlier, right after the shah of the country had fled. During this time period, Iran was a complete mess. The Ayatollah had returned from exile to Paris and the shahs government quickly collapsed. Across the country there were small groups called “komitehs” which fought over control of different territories within the country. While all of this fighting between komiteh’s was going on, The Ayatollah had installed a provisional government to try to maintain the country while a new constitution was being made. Despite all of this chaos, the United States didn’t close the embassy and abandon Iran for multiple reasons. The biggest being that Iran was just too important for the United States to lose. The country of Iran had been supplying the United States with tons of oil and also was a buffer zone for the Soviet Union whom Iran shares a sixteen-hundred mile border with. Carter, due to the tensions brought on by the Hostage Crisis, Carter halted all shipments of military supplies and spare parts to Iran, froze all of their money in American banks, and most importantly cut off the importation of Iranian oil. He did this as part of a two-pronged strategy to up the diplomatic pressure on Iran to release the hostages.
    B.Not mentioned in the book, America’s economy was also hurt at this time. This was because prior to Carter cutting off the importation of oil, the price of oil had sky rocketed due to the Iranian revolution. Protests severely disrupted the Iranian oil sector, with production being greatly curtailed and exports suspended. In November 1978, a strike by 37,000 workers at Iran’s nationalized oil refineries initially reduced production from 6 million barrels of oil per day to 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. Also, foreign skilled workers in Iran fled the country also leading to less production. OPEC was founded in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, with other countries joining over the years, leading to its current twelve members. The enormous power it could wield internationally was first demonstrated in 1973. In resentment of Western support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC countries issued an oil embargo. This saw the price of oil jump from $17 a barrel to $55 in the space of a year. In this situation, OPEC had drastically hurt others by raising the price of oil. During this Energy Crisis of 1979, OPEC ramped up production to account for the drastic decline in production by Iran.
    C.In APUSH during the first trimester, we studied the 1970s. During this time period there was a huge womens rights movement. In this movement, Betty Friedan founded the National Organization of Women. They worked to get equal job and educational opportunities as men. In 1972, Title IX was passed by Congress which ensure equal opportunities for women in federally funded programs. The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress and sent to the states for approval in 1972. 35 of 38 states agreed to it before conservative backlash killed it. This would’ve outlawed any sexual discrimination. Also during this time period, Roe v. Wade happened. This case allowed for abortions in the first trimester. Also in 1972, Rachel Carson wrote the book Silent Spring, this book sparked an environmental movement. The Arab Oil Embargo had also just happened. This was when OPEC stopped selling oil to the United States. This causes us to start looking for alternate sources of energy.
    D. I think that the main character in my story will end up creating a unique plan to save the hostages in Iran. I believe this because the main character seems like a very bright person. He has constantly said in the story that this new task he was faced with was the most challenging he had ever had and it wasn’t going to be simple for him to solve it. Another prediction I have is that something bad will happen to the main characters family. I predict this because at the beginning, he talked about his family a decent amount. Now, he sort of overlooks them and doesn’t really make time for them. I think this means something bad will happen to them because it will really open his eyes and start making him care for his family more.

  2. Riley Montgomery

    The Devil In The White City, by Erik Larson
    a) Larson writes about two different men, one who led the design of the Chicago World Fair in 1893, and the other a serial killer. Larson describes Chicago during the Gilded Age as much of it having low morals and disgusting. It was very smelly and the stockyards were a major industry where millions of animals were slaughtered. Suburbs like the one where Holmes lived, Englewood, were built right outside the city but it the right wind direction so the odor did not travel there. It was mostly stockyard supervisors and other upper-middle class citizens.
    Holmes was a handsome young man who was used to using his charm to get his way. He began as a school teacher and later a principle. He married, but often left for long periods of time and one day did not return. He came to Chicago and bought a pharmacy from a widow. He later bought a the empty land across the street with the plans of building a large building to have shops on the first floor with apartments and hotel rooms on the second and third floors. The building would also have another purpose; it was to be built with a chute form the second floor to the basement, strange vaults and passages, and a human-size kiln. He was very fraudulent and deceptive while having his building built. He would hire workers, falsely claim their work was bad, and not pay them. He would buy furniture and not pay for it, using his charm to deceive sellers. He also tried to get on the good side of the police by being friendly with them and giving them free meals at his restaurant. The book is somewhat biased at first, in the sense that Holmes is portrayed as smart and charming. I don’t think the book highlights Holmes bad side enough.
    Meanwhile Chicago was running short on time to build a warfare. It was to compete with the world fair in Paris, was intended to be ⅓ bigger than that of the Paris fair, and to show that America was better. It was supposed to open by 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America, but the process was going slow and the economy was doing poor. A large British investments company was in trouble and there were other signs pointing to a recession, but still work for the fair continued. Architect partners Burnham and Root were chosen to lead the exposition. A major issue was choosing a site. There were two inland sites considered and several sites on the water. The final site chosen was Jackson Park. A landscape architect from New York, Olmsted, was hired, and so were 10 other architects from across the country to help design the various buildings that would be needed.

    b) The Devil in the White City takes place during the Gilded Age, a time of monopolistic robber barons ruling over a very poor, large working class. Labor Unions were forming and a large group of European immigrants desperate for jobs. Nativism arose in response and also the Chinese Exclusion Act was in place. Many railroads were being built. Edison invented the lightbulb and Tesla invented the AC motor. The government took a laissez-faire approach and the president at the time was a Republican, Benjamin Harrison. In 1889, Paris held

    c) This book relates to what we learned in class because a lot of it relates to what we learned about the Gilded Age. The bad smells and stockyards of Chicago are described more in depth in the Jungle, which we read in class and explores the terrible conditions of the workers of the stockyards. We also learned about the robber barons. One of them is mentioned in the book when it is said an architect was busy designing Vanderbilt’s manor. In class we learned mostly about the very rich and the very poor, but this book focuses more on the middle class.

    d) I think that next Holmes will continue his murder preparation and that construction for the fair will continue. I’m interested to see what kind of buildings will be designed and if they will complete the project in time.

  3. Gabe Abraam

    a. I am reading the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, which is about a man named Louis Zamperini’s life story. He starts out as a child who often misbehaved and doesn’t get the best grades in school. Although, once he gets to high school, his brother convinces him to run track. Louis ends up being a very talented runner and gets an athletic scholarship at USC. Here he continues to become faster and faster in his event which is the one mile run, and makes it to the Olympic qualifiers. Here, he competes very well and makes it to the real Olympics in Berlin, Germany, in the year 1936. There is even a part in the book prior to his race where he shakes the hand of Hitler himself while he is watching the games. As Louis continues his college career, the book gives some context as to what is going on regarding the start of WWII. It talks about how Hitler was a rising power and influence in Germany and was planning to conquer Europe. It also briefly talks about how Japan was laying the same type of groundwork at the time to become a more powerful nation. Japan was also undergoing a stage of imperialism to its Asian neighbors, seeing them as “inferior” and trying to seize the countries. Then, after being a couple college credits short to graduate in 1941, Louis joined the Army Air Corps to help America fight in the second world war. The book then goes into the history of some of the planes made during the war time era. Louis plane in particular, called Super man, a B-24 bomber plane. Louis job was to be the bombardier, which is the man who drops the bombs themselves out of the back hatches on the planes. The crew is then stationed in Hawaii and given their first assignment, to bomb a place called Wake in Japan. There are many American POW’s there, but despite this, they all survive the successful bombing made my Louis and his team. The planes at this time that were built for the war were not the safest or most reliable. Many people died from them breaking down and crashing mid flight which caused a higher death rate among the air men of the military at the time.
    b. The cause and effect of both Japan and Germany becoming radically imperial countries at this time caused many effects worldwide. As both nations got fired up about gaining more land, and both eventually doing so, Britain was the first to step in and try to halt mainly Germany since it was geographically closer. President Truman for the United States later stepped in after Britain had and went for the Japanese first. They would attack and bombard them to defend our ally China and Indochina from being invaded more and more by the ever expanding Japan.
    c. The plot and time frame of the book most connect to our unit in APUSH regarding WWII. The book revolves around the main character and his crew being a part in fighting in WWII and also shows us what the US was like at the time too. It talks about the US economy and how they were making more war products for themselves and their allies, including planes, ships, and guns for war. This was also talked about in APUSH during our WWII unit and also discussed both in class and in the book, it talks about the start of the war. It talks about Germany and Japan having the same imperial ideas and how their quest for power turned parts of the world against each other to protect one another.
    d. I think that the story will eventually see Louis and his crew crashing, but I’m not sure how or where. I know this because of the previews for the movie Unbroken I had seen before. From here I think that it will revolve around their journey to become rescued and saved from nature. So far, I would rate the book an A because of the WWII context, which is very interesting to me. I also like track a lot and run it myself, and Louis story is quite exciting and motivating to read about.

  4. Emily Brown

    Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Chapters 1-8

    A) Fever 1793 is told through the eyes of Matilda “Mattie” Cook. Matilda is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives with her mom, grandfather, and a few pets. above her family’s coffee house in Philadelphia. The novel opens on a humid morning in August 1793. Matilda’s mother yells for her to get up and get to work quickly since the serving girl, Polly, is running late. Mosquitos fly around annoying Matilda. Matilda dozes off once more before getting up and changing into her clothing that is much too small. Next, we meet Eliza, a free black woman who is the restaurant’s cook. Matilda’s mother runs the coffee house, a place for merchants, politicians, and townspeople to discuss and eat. While watering plants (which actually turn out to be weeds), Matilda’s mother returns and tells Matilda that Polly is not late; she is dead. Matilda is shocked and upset that her friend is dead. It is explained that Polly had just gotten a fever and died in bed. Also, the man across the alleyway is sick as well. Eliza wants Matilda to take food to Polly’s family, but Matilda’s mom won’t let her go and get exposed to the sickness. This same thing happens when Matilda tries to go the funeral. By noon that same day, men begin to talk about a horrible stench coming from the docks and how they’ve heard stories of a fever breaking out down by Ball’s Wharf. A doctor sets all the rumors straight when he says that the fever is called yellow fever and may become an epidemic so people need to take precautions. After a week, yellow fever has claimed sixty-four lives. People avoid the wharf so the coffeehouse gets busier by the day. Matilda runs to the market and runs into her crush, Nathaniel Benson. Just as they start to chat, the church bell rings which means another person has died from yellow fever. At the end of August 1793, Matilda and her mother are invited to the Ogilvie’s for tea. Matilda’s mom is excited because the boy, Edward, is a possible match for Matilda (but Matilda doesn’t like him since he isn’t Nathaniel). While at the Ogilvie’s house, Matilda notices one of the Ogilvie girls, Colette, is looking greenish and complaining about the heat frequently. Matilda is unsettled by this. Mrs. Cook asks lots about the Ogilvie boys and the other daughter, Jeannine, insults the cook family. Matilda yells at Jeannine, but before things get too heated, Colette collapses. Her mother feels her forehead and says that Colette has the yellow fever. In the beginning of September, mosquitos are swarming in Philadelphia and more and more people are dead. Eliza goes off to the Free African Society. At the end of the chapter, grandfather takes Matilda to the print shop. Her grandfather and Mr. Carris discuss the fever and the government’s plan to control it. While walking home Matilda wonders when the frost will come because frost kills fever. As they get home, a man is pushing a wheelbarrow with someone in it and dumps the body on the ground. It is Matilda’s mother. A bias in this section is the feeling of many of the townspeople disliking the refugees. They blame them for the start of yellow fever and most of the problems in the town.

    B) The time period after the American Revolution was one full of struggle and triumph. The Americans, full of nationalist emotions defeat the British and begin their own nation. Triumphs occur in the government having George Washington as president and declaring how we want to run our democracy. In the Treaty of Paris (1783) we get recognized as a nation and gain full rights to our territory. We replaced the weak Articles of confederation with the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The Northwest Ordinances decided how states would be created. In 1794, Pennsylvania farmers opposed the tax on whiskey and rebelled. Washington exerted his power and shut down the Whiskey Rebellion. John Jay was sent to France to reach a compromise with Britain and France, but was unable. In 1797, the XYZ affair occurred where French agents tried to bribe U.S. diplomats. In 1803, the U.S. acquired the Louisiana Purchase and established judiciary review through the Marbury v. Madison case. Overall, I believe the U.S., a new nation, struggled in its foreign policy and affairs after the revolution and leading up to the War of 1812. We succeeded most in our policy at home and increased our nationalist feeling and solidified the U.S to soon be a world power.

    C) The book Fever 1793 connects to something we studied very early on this year. Eliza, a free black chef, in the book tells the reader that she was a slave, but her husband bought her freedom before he died. The narrator, Matilda, says that Pennsylvania is open to blacks and they can live freely there. In the beginning of first trimester, we learned about Pennsylvania and William Penn. Penn was the founder of Pennsylvania which actually means “Penn’s Woodland”. Penn used advertisement pamphlets to attract people to the colony. The Quakers are a group based out of PA. The Quakers promoted peace and religious tolerance to all. They didn’t even have a military in Pennsylvania. The Quakers believed in harmony between religions and were open to anyone in their colony.

    D) I believe that Matilda’s mom had yellow fever and will die from it. I know that this is an upsetting prediction, but it is likely because she had tea with the Ogilvie family in which there was the fever. I believe that Matilda will either stay at the coffeehouse and run it with Eliza or she will move away from the fever with her grandfather. I give this book an A because I enjoy reading it. It is easy to read and it is very entertaining. We all sort of connect to the characters/events because they have the yellow fever epidemic/outbreak. We had the Ebola scare which is similar, but did not kill many in the U.S. so it isn’t a huge connection.

  5. Jay Stansberry

    A. I am reading Argo by Antonio Mendez. I read the first 85 pages of the book which were mostly context. The pages I read described the main character, Tony, and his involvement in the CIA. The book also described the begging of the Iranian hostage crisis. The book goes into detail on how the Iranian militants stormed the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran on November 4, 1979, during the Iranian revolution. Most of the workers in the embassy thought that the protestors would go away like they did on Valentine’s day, but they didn’t and took all the Americans they could find, 52. Six Americans working in the consulate were able to escape, when one left to join her Iranian husband, the group eventually sought refuge with the British. Tony works for the CIA as the chief of disguise and tries to figure out a way to rescue the captured Americans when traditional diplomacy is impossible and a military operation is unlikely.

    B. This book takes place in 1979, during the Cold War. Part of the Cold War leading up to this was the Vietnam, which just ended in a US failure. It is also important to note that Iran’s importance stems from the Cold War as it borders the Soviet Union and the US wanted to keep it stable and Western, rather than communist. This is why we supported the Shah, which the Iranians hated as he was a dictator. Earlier in the decade, the OPEC oil embargo occurred which significantly increased the price of oil in America and hurt our economy. Though the oil Embargo was just one part of the larger energy crisis that persisted throughout the decade. Early on in the decade, the Watergate scandal resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the unelected Gerald Ford becoming president. As is seen, the Iran Hostage crisis capped off a tumultuous decade.

    C. This book connects to the Cold War. We have studied the Cold War and even though this wasn’t an act by the Russians, it is kind of like a proxy war. Both the US had made Iran allies after WWII, but Russia was supporting the communist party in Iran and trying to get them to ally with Russia. This battle over Iran is an example how the Cold War is shown in the book. The Cold War can also be seen through the CIA. The book mentions how the CIA has become more important during the Cold War and how both countries were using spies and becoming even better during the war. This can relate to the movie, Bridge of Spies, that we watched in class that showed the spy efforts of both the Soviet Union and the United States. It also briefly touches upon one of the reasons the Soviet Union fell when it describes how the CIA had an advantage over the KGB because it outsourced its production. The KGB ran on state run industries, and these state run industries led not enough money in the Soviet Union, resulting in it’s collapse.

    D. I predict that Tony is going to come up with a unique and creative plan to rescue the five Americans that escaped. His plan for saving all the hostages was shot down by the president, so I don’t think that the book will take that storyline and it seems that this group of escapees is going to be important to the story. I also believe that the other American, Lee Shatz will join with the consulate workers.

  6. Rachel Stansberry

    A.) The book, The Presidents and UFOs A Secret History From FDR to Obama, by Larry Holcombe is a book describing these exterrestrial ships and creatures that people often don’t hear about. The first part of the book introduces the readers to what the book will discuss about. Holcombe during this first part mentions people like Keyhoe. Keyhoe was a man who was a skeptic of exterrestrial ships at first. After he was assigned a job in researching these things, he became a firm believer. An idea shared and also shown throughout the book was that our government was and is trying to keep the majority of this information hidden from it’s citizens. Other people like Keyhoe were also assigned in doing major projects on UFOs including documentaries. These men (mentioned a man named Emenegger) would often discuss in the Pentagon or other areas. Holcombe also denies the idea of Area 51 being an area for keeping exterrestrial life and ships. Past the introduction of the book (which seemed like a report), the book describes some major, hidden events that happened during Roosevelt’s and Truman’s presidency. For example, it describes how even during Roosevelt’s years, there were missions to shoot out large UFOs (or scavenge fallen ones of Cape Girardeau) to keep away from public eye. Though Holcombe tries to stay on that time period during those chapters, he does skip or fast forward time a lot. Holcombe makes it clear in his writing that he is a believer of this exterrestrial situations, and those who do not are wrong.  As seen on page 23, Holcombe creates a list of things to set in your mind as you begin reading. When stating that “UFOs exist: The accumulation of evidence is so great that no reasonable person can any longer deny their existence” ( Holcombe, 23) shows where he stands on if aliens are real or not. Of course with this mindset, Holcombe isn’t going to be describing ways it doesn’t exist.

    B.) I think there has been a good amount of change in how people think UFOs. Back in Roosevelt’s time, UFOs weren’t thought of as much as they are today. Today we have more sci fi on aliens and these ideas, making these situations more problematic and worrisome. We can see great continuity in the government keeping stuff away from the citizens. So far I have read parts during the Roosevelt and Truman presidencies. This covered the time in which world war 2 occurred and is leading up to the Cold War. Mentioned in the book, atomic bombs were becoming a major thing and even at first were kept away from the citizens by government.

    C.) This book brings up many different events from APUSH. A good example would be watergate.  Of course, watergate as we’ve learned was one of the biggest scandals and could easily been seen as a big distraction. Holcombe mentions that watergate had distracted America from several things, including a large amount of exterrestrial evidence. With ideas like this, people can question how much stuff we were distracted by when events like watergate occurred.

    D.) I would so far give the book  a C rating. The book is indeed interesting, but the style isn’t the best. It doesn’t follow one particular person, or stay in one moment of time. The book jumps around a lot as well as written like a research report. Because of those reasons, I would not recommend it for next year. Also because it is written in a report style, it is difficult to make predictions. I know for sure that it will keep bringing up more facts on aliens, UFOs, and how the government is hiding it from us. However I cannot make predictions as it is based on scattered facts I have no clue about.

  7. Jordan Shefman

    The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation – Volume 1: The Pox Party is split up into four different parts. In the first of these parts, we are introduced to the main characters, a boy named Octavian and his mother, Cassiopeia. They live in a house in Boston during America’s struggle for freedom from Britain. The house, referred to as the Novanglian College of Lucidity by those who stay in it, is only a full-time home to a few, however, provides part-time shelter to many. Everyone who is provided residence in the college is extremely successful, whether they are philosophers, painters, singers, and so on. The one rule that Octavian has in the house is to not open a specific door, so naturally, one day, he opens it. He has been told all his life that his mom was an African Princess, however, discovers she was bought by the head of the house, Mr. Gitney as a slave, when she was pregnant with Octavian when he opens the door. Even though he sees it with his own eyes, he refuses to believe it. Upon arriving, all residents are given a number, based on the generation they come from and their importance in the house. So the first ruler of the house (the King of Great Britain) would be known as 01-01. 01-02 was the queen and 01-03 was the Prince of Wales. The second ruler of the house, 02-01, or the Earl of Cheldthorpe, who is a major patron to the house. When he dies, his nephew, the new Earl takes over and visits the house. He is immediately seduced by Cassiopeia and invites her and Octavian on his expedition through the woods to Lake Champlain in order to witness the Transit of Venus, a period of 5 hours where Venus comes into view from Earth. On the trip, Lord Cheldthorpe and Cassiopeia develop a relationship, and even Octavian, who was at first skeptical, grows to like him. Upon their return to the college, Lord Cheldthorpe asks Cassiopeia to come back to England with her, which she politely declines, to which he tells her she doesn’t really have a choice and begins to beat her. Before things get out of hand, Octavian bursts in yelling, “murder! Murder!” Both Octavian and Cassiopeia get whipped for the first time, and Lord Cheldthorpe leaves, taking all his money with him.

    The story takes place in Boston during America’s struggle for freedom from Great Britain. Octavian hears many people using the phrase, “No taxation without representation.” This was said by people in the 1750s-60s to express their beliefs that they should have a say in Parliment. They were being constantly taxed, yet had no representatives to voice their opinions. One of these taxes was the Sugar Act, taxing molasses, sugar, wines, and coffee. The tax caused the almost immediate decline in the rum industry in the colonies. Another one was the Stamp Act, a tax on paper, angered the colonists because they were already in massive debt from the 7 Years War, and now had to pay this tax on top of that. The book also makes reference to pre-revolution slavery, which made up 20% of the population. It’s not a big part of the plot, but definitely exists in the storyline.

    As described above, this story takes place in pre-revolution America, when we were disagreeing with Britain over freedom. Octavian is told not to leave the house, as it is a dangerous place in the real world, and is warned that if he does, he may never come back. It is said that British soldiers roam the streets, looking for people to attack. From this, we can tell that the story takes place after both the Boston Massacre (based on the people’s attitudes about the soldiers) and the Quartering Act (based on the soldiers that roam the streets). Both of these things were things that we studied in APUSH.

    I predict that later in the book, the Revolutionary War is going to play into the story. I also think that since the college houses some of the most well-known people of it’s time, some familiar people might show up (i.e. Ben Franklin, John Hancock etc.). It is hard to connect to Octavian because his life is so much different than mine. He lives in the 18th century, which makes a difference by itself, but is also a slave that receives a remarkable education. I have never experienced any of that in any way, therefore, I cannot relate.

  8. Joey Shapero

    a.) I am reading The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T Anderson. So far in the book I have learned of 2 major characters, Octavian and his mother Cassiopeia who are both slaves at a college in Boston back during the time of the taxation on colonists in America from the British. The two are treated very well, and Octavian is treated like a prince, there are treated this way so that the leader of this college who goes by 03-01 can prove that African Americans can be as smart as white people. Throughout this first part of the book we see Octavian go around through his classes at the college as he enjoys it very much. Some of the things Octavian does in his classes are outrageous, such as killing a dog in an experiment with chemicals. Octavian also explains to us how his mother used to be a queen in Africa, but was brought to Boston at the age of 13, pregnant with him. Octavian didn’t realize he was a slave until Bono (a slave at the college) explains it to him, and this get Octavian thinking in a different perspective about slavery. There is a room at the college where Octavian is told he can not go, one day he decides to sneak in and finds information about him and his mom, a picture of his mom with no clothes on, and a chart describing differences of animals and humans. He is found in the room and punished, his punishment is to carry 2 books for a very long time. Octavian is also portrayed throughout the section as a very talented violin player, who entertains guests of 03-10. Octavian and one of his professors see a man being tarred and feathered because he is a Customs Inspector during the time of great tension between England and the colonies over taxation without representation. A major donor of the college passes away and his son comes to the college to follow, this man, Lord Cheldthrope is very attracted to Cassiopeia and she is told to “treat him well” so that he will keep funding the university, Octavian is not very happy about this. Cheldthrope asked is he could take Cassiopeia and Octavian back to England with him, Cassiopeia and Cheldthrope got in a fight about her not wanting to go, Octavian intervened and tried to help his mom. The 2 were beaten and Cheldthrope left the college, leaving them with no more funding, and in a horrible state.
    b.) In this reading cause and effect is shown in one very obvious way. It is shown through the effects of Octavian finding out that he is indeed a slave. This makes him much wearier of other slaves and makes him think different about himself and his mother. Instead of living the enjoyable life of a so called prince at the college, he comes to realize he is only there for an experiment done by the college and he is hurt by this. He is not like any other slave, him and his mom are called by names instead of numbers, and they do not serve anyone as the other slaves would. Another cause and effect in this section is when Cheldthorpe begins to flirt with Cassiopeia and they look to be starting a personal relationship. Octavian despises this and we see his ideas through his actions of denial and hatred towards Cheldthorpe, Octavian even stands up for his mom and tries to fight Chelthrope to protect her.
    c.) This part if the book that I read connects to APUSH class through mainly the denial of English taxation upon Boston colonists. In class we saw the colonists protest the taxation without representation in many forms, such as strikes, the tea party, and also shown in the book the tar and feathering of an inspector. This is a huge aspect to colonist life back when they were ruled by the parliament and were unfairly taxed. We also see comments about manifest destiny in the book and the ignorance towards Native Americans as colonists just stormed in and unfairly took their land.
    d.) It is hard to predict what will come of this story in the upcoming events but one thing I think may happen is the shutting down of the college and selling of Octavian and his mom. I predict this because in the end of the section we hear of the major financial troubles the college is going through, and selling 2 slaves may be a way for the college to get some money back or it may shut down. I really can’t connect to Octavian as his life is so much different than mine other then the fact that he takes classes throughout the dy. His classes though, are much different than the ones I am in and the things that he does in these classes are outrageous.

  9. Andrew

    The book begins introducing some of the character like the main one, Louie, and his brother Pete. The narrator explains how Louie is a troublemaker and how he looks up to his big mature brother Pete. Pete encourages Louie to try running track since he is such a troublemaker that does nothing. Louie doesn’t really want to at first, but he eventually decides to give it a shot and finds out that he is decently good at it. He then becomes really good at it and breaks some school records. Louie begins to really like running track and finds out that he is a running prodigy. He broke many high school records nationally and has dreams of the Olympic games. His worry though is that he won’t be good enough and won’t make the cut so he starts to doubt himself for a small period of time. He enters a race in Compton and ends up winning, and because of that he gets an invite to the Olympic trials. He trains in the blistering heat of New York and competes in the trials. Despite not finishing in first place Louie manages to get a spot of the Olympic team. Louie sets out on a huge boat to the 1936 Olympics and eats so much on the boat that he gains 12 pounds. He comes in 7th place for his event, but breaks the record for the fastest last lap of the race. He gets the honor of meeting Hitler. Louie sets back home from his long fun journey and sets on training for the 1940 Olympic games in Tokyo.

    During this time period, the Nazi empire was on the rise and German nationalism was at its biggest peak of their time. Hitler was in complete control, and he was building their empire to be the biggest international threat. The year of this time period in the book in 1936 because that was the year of the Berlin Olympic games. The US was not involved in the war nor had Hitler even invaded Poland at this point. But in history, this was the time period where Hitler was building his empire larger and larger and Nazism was growing within the nation, of Germany. Hitler had not made any moves, but he was building a magnificent military and he was getting a lot of attention. The United States was also in the middle of the Great Depression with FDR as the president.

    This portion of the reading really connects to when we talked about the 1936 Olympics. This was Hitler’s Olympics and he was going to run the show. We talked in class about all the things he wanted for his Olympics and we also touched on the colossal stadium that he planned to build for the track and field events. We also talked about the racial discrimination and just racism throughout the German nation and how some of the athletes handled it. We discussed Louie Zamperini as well as Jesse Owens.

    My predictions to where the story will go is that Louie will end up being drafted into the Second World War. This is primarily because I’ve heard the story about Louie Zamperini and many Americans have, and I know for a fact that he will get drafted into the war. I do not know how he handles being drafted with his family though and if he is extremely sad about not being able to compete in the 1940 Olympics. I predict that he will take a combat job in the military and perhaps somewhat like serving for his country a little. I also predict that he will meet many new friends while he serves for America in the war. My connection with Louie Zamperini is his sports. I was encouraged to play hockey by my father like Pete encouraged Louie and I found out that I was pretty decent at the sport. Louie loves track and I love hockey. I would give this book a B so far just for he fact that the book rushes through the Olympic games and doesn’t focus too much on that time in Louie’s life. I know the moral of the story and main part of the story is his time in Japan at the POW camp but I wish the author went more in detail about the Olympics Games. It was a very short description in my opinion. I would recommend to keep this book next year so far because I’m sure it will get really good once he goes to war and the reviews for this book were through the roof. I am excited to read the rest and so far it seems to be a pretty decent and interesting book.


  10. Brett

    a.) The book starts in June 1982, where President Reagan speaks about the heroics and motivation behind the D-Day invasion and what those men fought for. Two years later, he gives a famous speech at Pointe du Hoc on June 6, 1984, where he commemorates the 225 men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion who 40 years prior scaled the cliffs to seize the German guns that threatened the landing zones below; it is said that this speech helped revived Americans’ interest in WWII and created newfound respect for American WWII veterans. The book then covers the meaning of the term “ranger” throughout US history, the term originating from the men who scouted the wilderness outside of Jamestown in 1607, and the many elite units conceived during many American wars of the past such as Morgan’s Riflemen during the Revolutionary War and the Texas Rangers during the Texan War for Independence and the Mexican-American War. In 1942, Col. William Darby gets permission from Gen. George Marshall to assemble a unit of elite fighting men modeled after the British commandos, and forms the 1st Ranger Battalion of several hundred men. After months of extensive training, the battalion is sent to Africa in late 1942 and Sicily in 1943 where the men establish themselves as a very effective fighting force. The battalion’s success allows Darby to form a second battalion, composed of new recruits trained by members of the 1st Battalion and led by Major James Rudder. Months of intensive training in amphibious warfare and small team tactics, along with brutal physical training, build the unit into a tight-knit band of brothers. 2nd Ranger Battalion is sent to England in late 1943 where D, E, and F Company (with 75 men each) are given the task of assaulting Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. The 225 men spend the months before the invasion practicing the attack, familiarizing themselves with their landing craft and newly employed secret weapons to help them scale the cliffs such as the grappling hook.
    b.) Change and continuity is present in this segment of the book. Prior to the creation of the Army Rangers in WWII, General Dwight Eisenhower and General George C. Marshall had been focused on the expansion of the US Army into a conventional modern fighting force numbering millions of men and thousands of trucks, armored vehicles, and other weapons of war, and had no intention of creating an unconventional force that could carry out operations such as raids or prisoner rescues. Despite giving permission to Col. Lucian Truscott to form the 1st Ranger Battalion, Eisenhower still had his concerns, believing that such an elite force would steal the best men and material that the ever-expanding Army needed more than anyone else. In addition, Eisenhower simply did not see a place for special forces in conventional warfare. After the battalion’s successes in combat, Eisenhower had a change of heart, and granted the creation of two more Ranger battalions. Even after the expansion of the Rangers, Eisenhower and Marshall still generally placed the Army ahead of the Rangers in conventional warfare, though the Rangers would get more and more “special” missions.
    c.) This book segment connects to APUSH in that it explores many of the noteworthy elite infantry formations that existed in times of conflict, such as Morgan’s Riflemen of the Revolutionary War and the later War of 1812, the Texas Rangers of the Mexican American War and the Texan War for Independence, Mosby’s Rangers of the Civil War, and other groups, and how their actions made them famous and legendary. This book also connects to the importance of WWII in US history, as the war was a turning point in the US’ role in the world and marked the beginning of the Cold War, which would define the next 45 years of our nation’s history.
    d.) I predict the men assigned to Pointe du Hoc will face heavy resistance from the Germans guarding the guns and will take fire from the guns themselves. I also think the men will encounter some unanticipated obstacle that will hinder their progress and result them taking heavier losses.


  11. geoffwickersham (Post author)

    My book is “His Excellency George Washington,” a biography by Joseph J. Ellis. The book is divided into three portions-one describing Washington’s service in the Royal Army during the French and Indian War, one describing his generalship in the Revolutionary War, and one summarizing his two terms of president.

    Currently, I am still reading the first part. Asides from covering what we learned in class about Washington’s unfortunate encounter with French emissaries and the Half Kind, I also learned a lot about Washington’s personal life. For example, I learned that Washington married Martha for the estate she inherited, while he was actually in love with Sally Fairfax, the wife of his best friend. I also learned that Washington was sterile, and as Ellis cleverly puts it, “the Father of Our Country who was incapable of biologically producing children.” I also learned about the Virginia Regiment- an elite group of blue-coat Virginia sharpshooters who were trained in guerrilla warfare, created by Washington after the disastrous Braddock campaign. Their uniforms and tactics would serve as inspiration for the Continental Army, despite the fact that high ranking British generals (including Braddock) dismissed the Virginia Regiment as cowardly and un-British. Ellis also went in depth about Washington’s shrewd financial management-he fell victim to the allure of fancy British goods and spent himself into crippling debt. Unlike many farmers of the day (including fellow Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson), Washington caught on to the scam, fought his creditors both in the courts and in the markets, and managed to free himself from the grip of his bankers-his conflict with British industry would fuel his passions in the Revolutionary War.

    One of the reasons why Washington’s debt grew out of proportion was because his creditors charged him rates and prices up to 20% higher simply because he was a colonial. After the passage of the Stamp Act and a colonial outcry, many Britons began to see the colonies as an uncivilized, degenerate rabble. The context of growing tensions between colonists and Britain is seen in Washington’s financial plight.

    This connects to the French-Indian war. Like the movie we saw in class, the book goes in depth when it describes how Washington watched and did nothing as the Half King’s warriors scalped the entire French diplomatic mission, and then how French officers tricked Washington into admitting complete responsibility by having sign a document in French that Washington couldn’t read. The book also told how Washington was “hit” by four musket balls-fortunately for him, three of them simply tore through his coat without actually colliding with skin. The last one left a minor scratch, and Washington would go on to write that his battles near Fort Duquesne were far more terrifying than anything he had ever experience during the Revolution.

    Washington, for unknown reasons, cut off relations with his father around the age of eleven. He turned to his half-brother Lawrence as a father figure, and Lawrence provided. He taught Washington the principles of gentry and finance, and took him on a trip to the Caribbean to search for a remedy to Lawrence’s tuberculosis.

    I can’t really make any predictions, as it is a biography. I know for a fact that Washington pulls himself out of debt and goes on to lead the Continental Army and become President, but I guess that qualifies as a spoiler.


  12. Caitlyn

    a. Within this portion of the novel Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, it first explains the circumstances of a teenage girl Matilda Cook’s life. She lives above a coffeehouse that her family, her mother, and her grandfather own. Her father died while on top of a ladder two months after the coffeehouse was opened. Within the coffeehouse alongside the cook family works Eliza, a free black woman who’s an excellent cook and one of Matilda’s best friends. Within the first chapter of the book Mattie’s being forced awake by her mother Lucille because today not only does she have her own chores to do, but also her servant girl Polly’s whose strangely late. As Mattie goes about her chores serving the coffee house customers and tending to the garden her mother goes to fetch Polly. When her mother returns they soon find out that Polly had suddenly died from what they think is simply miasma from the immigrants near the water. As the novel progresses they later find that there’s an epidemic going around of yellow fever. Her mother wants to send Mattie away to the country where the air is clean, but her grandfather refuses to believe it. Everyone is forced to reality when her mother catches it; now she and her grandfather are forced to set for the country while the doctor and Eliza tend to her mother.

    b. During this period of American History women were more aware of their morality and how they dressed and behaved themselves. Women in this era were constantly aware of any skin showing especially ankles and forearms which Mattie mentioned. These places were deemed as promiscuous and unladylike so no matter the weather women kept them covered. There was also a way to conduct themselves in front of men such as curtsying and proper language which Mattie continued to think about and remind herself of when she was in the presence of Nathaniel Benson.

    c. We’ve studied about the uncleanness of American cities and how the community’s hygiene was horrific. When Mattie discussed how she would wash in December and it was August it showed her lack of awareness of hygiene and cleanliness. Mattie also talked about throwing a rat into the street while people were walking which shows how their society was, since rats were so normal for them to have, even though they ran a coffee house.

    d. I predict that Mattie and her grandfather will move to the country until winter comes which breaks the fever. I also predict that her mother will survive, but someone else close to them such as Eliza or Nathanial Benson will die as a victim to the fever just to show how deadly and terrible the epidemic was and how many families lost their loved ones; Mattie’s being an example of that. I connect with this book in the way that my mother and I don’t get along well much like Mattie and her mother don’t. I often feel the same about my mother as Mattie does, she’s bitter and mean for no reason and when my father isn’t home is when she turns this way. However when my father is home or in Mattie’s case, when he was alive, her mother is sweet and gentle and happy. This is what I related to the most because it seems the older I get the more my mother and I differ.

  13. Eric Ajluni

    The book I am reading currently is “How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America” by Harold Holzer.
    a. The first quarter of the book has 2 distinct parts, it begins with going over the state of the government and Lincoln in the months leading up to his death, and then makes a time jump backwards to his upbringings as a young boy into the start of his political career. In the first section Lincoln is working tirelessly to make sure slavery meets its end. He goes day after day arranging meetings, debates, and campaigning for his second term in office. He won this campaign, but as he was ready to begin his second term he was preoccupied with the heated topic of the 13th Amendment and what Congress would do about it. It would take a lot of effort to change America forever by taking out a staple aspect of American society up to that point, but Lincoln’s efforts are described as he got little sleep or free time. On February 1st 1865 he gave his speech going over the success of change, and described it as a “great moral victory.” However Lincoln had to deal with backlash from Congress, but despite this Illinois went on to approve the Amendment and the other states followed. Lincoln died before the required number of states ratified it, but his name was in history forever attached to this change. The story then flashes back to Lincoln’s early years. He was known as a strong kid who worked jobs to support his poor family, his father Thomas Lincoln, was a farmer. But as he grew and moved around with his family, his opinion of slavery continued to grow negative. When he was a young man he went down to New Orleans with friends and there they saw slave auctions as they happened. Lincoln was disgusted by this, and upon reading more texts about Washington and the saying “all men are created equal”, he knew slavery was wrong. He did not have much of an education but read constantly with the help of his stepmother and eventually taught himself to be a lawyer. It was this that led him down the path to deciding to be a politician rather than do physical labor for a living after moving away from his family.

    b. Cause and Effect is one of the main ways Lincoln’s story is told so far in the book. It goes over two time periods, the very end and very start of Lincoln’s life, and makes correlations about what caused Lincoln to be the way he was and do what he did. The story starts by describing several moments where Lincoln condemned slavery and described it as purely wrong, even saying “ if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong”. He expresses how this was a victory for morality itself, and how all people deserve to be free. It then flashes back to Lincoln’s childhood, where they go over experiences he had that made him think this way for the rest of his life. Lincoln’s first home area in Kentucky did not have an abundance of slavery, but it still featured it, and his father’s religious views that slavery was wrong had an early impression on him. He would read books going over all men being equal, and even had a real experience when he had to defend a helpless Indian from being attacked by his fellow townsfolk. Most notably, he was disgusted by slave auctions in New Orleans at the sight of children being beaten and separated from their families. All these early influences were major causes for Lincoln’s want to end slavery forever in America.

    c. This reading connects to APUSH as it gives fleshed out stories about the life of Abraham Lincoln, one of the most important figures in American history. Lincoln ended slavery, one of the major topics of APUSH, and was partly responsible for the Civil War, one of the major events in APUSH. Both these topics and of course the man himself are the focus of this book, as it fleshes them out and explains what triggered Lincoln to be the man he was.

    d. My predictions for the novel is that it will go a lot more in depth about a middle aged Lincoln and the experiences he went through as a professional, as well as the dynamics of his personal/love life. I also predict this will lead into how he started his family. The connection to these events we would have to current day is that these experiences and influences on a young man in the 1800s would change the way our country and the world would be shaped all the way up to now and the future. Lincoln grew up in a very different America than what we have today and that is described in the novel, so we can compare that to now and see where prejudice was present nearly 200 years ago. But we also see how these experiences shaped the man who helped shaped the America we know today.

  14. Hassan Dabliz

    The book that I am reading is called revolver, it is about a family living during the Alaskan gold rush of the late 1890s. The year is much later after they moved in 1910, a boy sig who is 15 had just found his father dead after skiing over a weak part of the river and partially falling into a lake, he is able to get himself out but he was not able to make it home before he died. Sig brings his father home while his older sister and step mother go out and look for help in town. While they are out an older and creepy man comes and asks for Sig’s father while he is alone at home. He is fazed because the man is intimidated and he doesn’t know how to handle the situation, he tells the man that his father will be home soon expecting that the man will just leave but then he says he’ll stay and then asks if Sig is home alone to which he stupidly responds yes.
    This connects to U.S history because sig and his family had moved there in the late 1890s during the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. He was living there while his father was an assayer (he measures and evaluates people’s gold). The gold rush is said to have attracted 100,000 people only 30,000 are said to have made it. The gold rush or the Yukon gold rush took about a year to reach because many came from the Seattle or San Francisco area. Many died or turned back and were just unable to survive the harsh conditions.
    I can connect to the book a little because the main character is 15 like me and I live in Michigan were it gets very cold sometimes, although not comparable to the weather conditions in the arctic circle, actually near it about 100 miles away. But other than that I can’t really connect. I am lucky to have both my parents, all he has left is a 25 year old step mom and a 20 year old sister. I still go to school and he doesn’t. I live about 100 years after him. Overall I would say that the book is a B+ and I would defiantly recommend that you keep the book for next year. It starts off with very little introduction and it dives right into the story without a slow start and that is very entertaining.

  15. Michael Wainer

    I am reading Founding Brothers written by Joseph J. Ellis. This novel is the nonfiction description of the events of the political lives of seven of our founding fathers (and one founding mother). This book revolves around John and Abigail Adams, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and James Madison. The first part that I read gave a general overview of what the stories will be about. It is trying to find a balance between the idolizing of the founding fathers that many people do now and the complete criticism of them. The second part of the novel that I read was titled “The Duel”. It told the story of the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The Interview at Weehawken is the name used to disguise the duel in which Alexander Hamilton was shot and killed by Aaron Burr. It also covers the different theories on how the duel went down. This includes the theory that Hamilton shot his bullet only because of recoil of being shot by Burr. The Burr theory says that Hamilton first fired at Burr, and then in turn Burr fired at Hamilton the only difference being that Burr’s shot hit. The most likely theory is however that Hamilton shot and intentionally missed Burr, but Burr did not know this so he shot and killed Hamilton.
    This book shows how much the American political leadership has changed over time. The author states that today a duel would not have been necessary for Hamilton and Burr. It is only because the country was so new as a Republic that they needed great leaders. In this time of need both Hamilton and Burr considered themselves to be great leaders. It was necessary for Burr to prove this because Hamilton had made remarks attacking his character. It was necessary for Hamilton because he felt that he could not have honestly refuted Burr’s claims. Had this been today when we know the Democracy would go on it would be possible for this rivalry to have been kept as simply a rivalry, but back at the beginning of American democracy, nobody wanted to be the American Catiline.
    In APUSH we learned about Thomas Jefferson’s presidency following the defeat of Aaron Burr in the 1800 presidential election. Regarding this election the novel does not discuss Jefferson versus Burr as much as it discusses Hamilton vs Burr. Part of what lead to the intense rivalry between Burr and Hamilton, and the eventual duel was Hamilton’s involvement in the 1800 election. Because of a flaw that lead to the 12th amendment, a problem in the electoral college lead to the Presidency being sent to the House. In the House, Hamilton lobbied for Jefferson which was a major part of Jefferson’s eventual victory.
    Since this is a novel of individual tales it is hard to tell the direction in which it is heading. I am sure that it will tell of the presidencies of Washington and Adams and Madison as well as the great political power of the other founding fathers. The next chapter is called the dinner. It seems to be focused on the disagreement of financial plans among the Founding Fathers, especially Jefferson and Hamilton. I infer that a large part of this chapter will focus on the decision to have or not to have a Federal Bank.

  16. Tania Miller

    a. The murder of the century takes place during the Gilded Age. So far what has happened is that there were these young boys playing by the pier when they saw a package. This book is really focussing on social class and goes into detail as to what people look like, where they came from, and their needs. This boy for example was described as a 13 year old kid who was working when he and his friends saw this package floating. He immediately jumped in and swam towards it because he thought it could be something valuable like cloth or food that would be worth selling or keeping. The book goes on to talk about the hundreds of people that when to the coroner/morgue and how they weren’t well taken care of. The bodies were quickly disposed of if they had no owner and were often burned. Then a father and his two kids discover another package. While the first was just a chest and arms, this package was his torso to just below his hips. This man was a jigsaw puzzle and a man named Carey was determined to solve it. But he wasn’t the only one, he also had to compete with reporters – men who would do anything and exaggerate information as long as he got paid. This was a time when hello journalism was very popular and it was seen more than actual news. These people would write about anything and everything to try and strike peoples attention.
    b. The yellow journalism is continuity because it had been going on for 20 years prior. It was used to influence the opinions of others and to truly get it across appropriately. A turning point in this book will be when they find all the body parts and have to decide where to go from there. During this time big monopolists like Carnegie and J.P Morgan were making a lot of money during the Industrial Revolution. This was a very exciting while difficult time. We were advancing and became the top producing country in the world while our workers were suffering greatly from poor working conditions.
    c. We learned a lot about Yellow Journalism and how influential it was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It swayed the publics opinion by stating lies and making up stories. Yellow journalism played a key role into us fighting in a war against Cuba and the Philippines. Earlier on in the book the narrator points out how there was no real news just stacks and stacks of fake news. People loved it, it put these ideas in their heads and rallied them up.
    d. I think this story will continue on to inform the reader as to when, where, and by whom the rest of this jigsaw was discovered. The ultimate goal is to discover the body and who it belongs to. This was during a time when there were not many advanced technologies to help with evidence and stats. So the book will continue to go into detail as to how discoveries are made. Casey will be fighting a constant battle to figure out what happened to this man while trying to receive the respect he deserves.

  17. Ny'dea Terrell

    a. The book I am reading is called “Annie’s Ghost”, by Steve Luxenburg, which entails a search through family history during the 1940’s-2000’s. The book setting is relatively in Detroit in the outskirts. There are Ford cars are still relatively popular. The book revolves around the narration of three characters. Which include, Beth (the mother), Sash (a step sister), and the main character who is the son. As a g;ance into the family history in the prologues the, the son mentions how his mother always reminded everyone she was an only child. But that seems to contradict it self when her children find out otherwise. The mother dies and leaves behind her children and stepchildren who are all adults. The son who was formerly a detective, now a journalist is determined to find out about his mysterious Aunt Annie, who they did not learn fully about until getting a notification from the cemetery. He starts by gaining as much information as possible from the cemetery as possible. One thing mentioned was a need for an amputation of her leg, when she was 17 years old. The information provided only leads to another source. An asylum that Annie stayed at for 32 years, split between two asylums. Still that information is leaving him with many questions. Within this part of the book, I realized that it was bias towards those who had family in hospitals during the 1970’s. Only focusing on those who had a physical or mental problem. “‘I get dozens of calls a month from people just like you,’ she replied… Who’s making all these calls calls I asked? ‘Family members,’ she said, “who have just discovered that they have a relative the never knew about.’”

    b. During the the time of 1940’s to 1980’s, Doctors recommended heavy doses of medicine or asylums for those who were abnormal. It wasn’t seen for a long time that those who have PTSD or Bipolar Disorder could be different and not require medicine. If you showed any signs of not behaving with the utmost graciousness, then you were treated with either solution, which continued thought through all of the “psychiatrist” of that time.

    C. As stated earlier about the amputation, as we learned in Apush in the wars, many soldiers would have limbs removed. Despite Annie might not being in the war, it shows resemblance that if you have any serious injuries on a limb in an era of limited medicines, that was the solution to avoid further infections in the body.

    D. In the beginning of the book the main narrator concluded that he doesn’t know much about his family tree; only which county descended from, but nothing ast his great-grandparents. I predict that through trying to find out more about his mysterious Aunt, he will learn more about his family history. Also that he will somehow come closer as to why his mother lied about being an only child. Not to mention he would find out that his Aunt could have had children that his family never knew about. Her children will clue him into what happened to Aunt. He might even come to the realization that one of his many siblings is his aunt’s child.

  18. Camille West

    Lafayette and the Somewhat United States
    A. The book begins by jumping around and giving a rough outline of Lafayette’s involvement in the US, then talking about 21st century elections, which I counted against the book because it was confusing and hard to follow. Then it outlines Lafayette’s childhood and the beginning of French involvement in the US revolution. There were a bunch of noble Frenchmen who were bored by the peace in Europe and wanted to fight, and almost with the logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” (talking about GB), the French wanted to back the colonists. The problem was they didn’t want a full war with Britain, so they had an elaborate plan involving a cross dressing spy and over dramatic playwright who pretended to be a Spanish merchant who brought the old military supplies from the French from the French and Indian war, and he was really just using the crowns money to buy the crowns supplies. Someone threatened to tell the English about their plot to her the Americans, so the foreign minister of France send word to say “don’t send the supplies” and the playwright got wind that the message was coming so he sent some of the ships before he was officially told not to. At first, the American’s weren’t doing to hot in battle, so the French didn’t want To officially back them and then be embarrassed that they backed the loser, but then the Americans won a battle and the French decided to invest more in them and send more ships with guns and gunpowder and soldiers.
    B. Context for this is the Seven Years War/ French and Indian War, because it was a recent conflict that France had with Britain, so they weren’t happy with each other. The French and Indian War also sort of triggered the Revolution in a way, because GB needed money to pay for the war, so they taxed the colonists to pay for their own protection, which made them angry. This also works for cause and effect, because the French and Indian War was the cause for taxes. A lot of cause and effect also went back and forth between America and France because is America did well (cause), and then the French would send them more guns and money and men (effect). If the French sent guns and money and people (cause), then the Americans would be able to do better in battle (effect).
    C. Well it isn’t a secret that Lafayette went on to help America win the Revolution and the hearts of everyone who met him. I think that the most interesting part of this is the how, so I’m predicting that since everyone loved him, he made friends with the Americans and found himself liking them too. It is really interesting to learn about Lafayette because he was sort of all over the place, in the way that he met everyone and knew everyone, for example, King Louis XV came to his wedding, and he danced with Marie Antoinette at a party, and he was introduced to King George III, and he was also really close with pretty much all of the founding fathers, and touching on so many different areas makes this a really interesting read.

  19. David Boarman

    A.) I am reading “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates for our APUSH independent books. The novel is written as a letter from Coates to his son about the world that they live in. So far in the novel, Coates has talked about the history of oppression in the United States against African Americans and the struggles that have resulted from such oppression. Coates references many times in American history in which the white men had oppressed minorities (i.e. the Great Migration). He also states that white America’s progress is based on the looting and violence of minorities, specifically African Americans. This may suggest a bias because Coates is an African American who has been living in a world that had discriminated against him.
    B.) One can see continuity in the time period of the novel in respect to the raising of awareness to discrimination towards African Americans. Coates discusses the modern-day oppression that African Americans are undergoing tin the United States, and we can see that this has continuity throughout the modern era because of the increase in technology exposing this. The LA riots in the 90s were because of an African American man being beaten and tased that was caught in video. Also, the riots in Ferguson, Missouri were as a result of a video taken that captured a black man being beaten by a white police officer. These two events and many others can show continuity throughout this modern era and is seen in Coates’ novel.
    C.) In APUSH, we have been learning about the struggles of African Americans throughout the year. This starts with slavery, then convict leasing and share cropping, racist governments, and continues on to the Civil Rights movement and beyond in American history. In Coates’ novel “Between the World and Me”, this very same discrimination and blatant racism is talked about by Coates in his letter to his son. Through this connection, we can see that APUSH knowledge is useful to have and helps the novel develop in one’s mind.
    D.) I predict that Coates will go on to further discuss the discrimination that occurs as well as the discrimination that he has encountered in his lifetime. I think that Coates will give his son advice on how to handle such discrimination as well as how to fight against it. By revisiting past times of oppression towards African Americans, I think that Coates will be able to give his son a good basis for him to grow off of and perhaps become and activist in the ongoing battle for total equality and the ending of racial discrimination. I do not have a connection to the character or events in this novel. This is because, frankly, I am a white, privileged boy who hasn’t come across and discrimination in my life. For that reason, this novel can at times be a bit hard to connect and get into, but I am still excited to read more of the novel and see where Coates’ goes in the rest of his letter to his son.

  20. Christian R

    For this assignment, I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. In this book we see a woman, black, living life as The Help, a house maid for white people. We see the book take place in the 1960’s. Throughout her years Aibileen, the main character, has risen seventeen children. Aibileen’s job is too cook, clean, and to take care of her employer’s children. Already, in the first chapter, we can already experience and feel the racism against people of color. When Miss Leefolt, her employer hosts a luncheon to play bridge for some of her lady friends, one of the women, gets up to use the restroom, but uses the restroom she knows, Aibileen doesn’t. At this time, there was segregation in Jackson, Mississippi where the book is taking place. Hilly Holbrook is a strong believer of segregation in the bathrooms, she believes that black people carry disease and she doesn’t want her white self to catch any. The book is also not mainly narrated by Aibileen, wee see in chapter three, that her friend, Minny narrates the chapter.

    During the time this book took place, lots of things were occurring in America. At the time, the civil rights movement was taking place. Many people were fighting to end segregation throughout the country. This was a shaky moment in the History of the United States, because at this time as well, Cold War was technically still going on. Americans became more and more scares of communism and people were just generally becoming more aware of what was going on. In the book, we see a quite big deal of racism, and throughout the country, men and women of color were fighting for their rights left and right.
    In APUSH, we learned a great deal about the Civil Rights movement and the 60’s. We learned a lot about segregation. In the book we see an issue regarding bathroom segregation and whether or not the black maid is allowed to used the indoor bathroom of the white family’s home. This was just one problem within the nation’s countless number of problems regarding Civil Rights. Segregation at the time was technically still legal and very much real throughout the nation’s cities. But the book starts off in 1962, but segregation was soon to end in about two to three years with the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

    I predict that Skeeter has a good chance at getting a job at a publishing company and that she will also excel at her job. I also predict that, Aibileen will struggle or find it hard to be able to talk to Skeeter in their meetings about Constantine. I also predict, that with these meetings, Aibileen and Skeeters relationship will go further and grow. I give this book an B, because for me it starts of good and then starts to get a little slow. The book is very good actually, it is quite different from the movie. For people who might want to read this book for next year, I only recommend it to those who will actually invest their time into the book, because it is a quite large book and has some vocabulary here and there you might have to look up.

  21. geoffwickersham (Post author)

    You should have predictions for the book in Part 4, only on your last assignment should you give the book a grade and review.
    Also, you need to have a paragraph on a connection to historical thinking skills (part B).

  22. Joshua Salter

    In the first chapter of the book Unbroken, it’s basically gives off background information on the main character Louie and gives basic information on him, like he was born in New York. Also, it gives off information about his athletic career. Also in the chapter it starts off with Louie and two other crew members in a boat in the middle of the ocean with sharks surrounding them, which might be where they end up by the end of the story, it might be a flashback. In chapter 2 it talks about mostly athletics as one day he learns that every key has a one in fifty shot to open a door, so he put his house key into the school gym, and it worked so he used his house key to open up the gym and train. He also starts running and his older brother Pete starts pushing him to his limits. Towards the end of the chapter after multiple running accomplishments, he places first in the UCLA two mile race; he beat everybody by a quarter of a mile. In chapter 3, it also talks about Louie and his running, it talks about the records he broke again new ones, and he gets the nickname “Torrance Tornado”. He gets an offer from USC, and join a frat house with his brother Pete, but training there doesn’t do him enough to make the Olympic team for the 1500, but a an Elite Meet was coming up for the 5000 meter, and an Olympic lock was running in it, and during the race he keeps up with him the whole race, and barely loses, which basically revives his chances for the Olympics. In chapter four it describes the ship and how hard it is to train on the way to the Olympics, in 1936 he finished 8th in the Olympics. In chapter 5 World War 2 kicks in, he meets a Japanese spy but doesn’t know it, the draft kicks in and the 1940 Olympics are canceled because the stadium was blown up. The chapter ends with people hearing about Pearl Harbor. In chapter 6 it talks about the training of Pete and Louie, eventually Louie is deployed in the fall of 1942. In chapter 7, it goes through the process of Louie’s crew dropping the bombs in Japan. In chapter eight it talks about how Louie and his crew deal with deaths of their fellow crew members, Louie reads the bible or he drinks. In Chapter 9 it tells the story about what happened when Louie went over the Japanese island to take it out, and how he was engaged by Japanese forces firing at his plane, the plane barely makes it back their base, and Brooks is killed in the process getting back to the base.
    During Unbroken there has been a couple “causes and effects” during the book, one of them being that the Soviet Union dropped bombs on Japan, ruining the arenas canceling the 1940 Olympics, which made Louie very upset. Another cause and effect came with Pearl Harbor, when we were bombed by the Japanese; it caused the U.S. to join WW2 and inflicted the draft causing Pete and Louie to join the war. Another cause and effect happened when Louie flew over the Japanese island with his crew and was heavily fired at; this caused heavy damage to the plane and killed multiple crew members such as Brooks. These are some causes and effects that took place in chapters 1-9 of Unbroken.
    Some things that we learned in APUSH can connect to Unbroken. One thing I can connect it to is Pearl Harbor, in the book it describes holes in the ground and in the buildings around them, it describes the bases that were attacked, it also mentions that the only thing that was in somewhat good condition is the bathrooms. This connects to Apish because we learned about the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, and we talked about how it brought us into the war. Another thing I can connect the book Unbroken to, is the movie we just watched with the spies, (I don’t remember the title) I can connect these two things because of the Japanese spy that Louie meets and becomes friends with, it’s basically foreshadowing that he will get caught because it says that he is a spy in the book, and it relates to the Soviet spy that we imprisoned during the Cold War that we saw in the movie.
    In the upcoming chapters of Unbroken, I’m predicting that tragedy will strike either Louie or Pete that will completely change the story, I’m predicting that one of them will die, or will be arrested, that will affect the plot of the story. I’m also predicting that the Japanese spy will be taken out or arrested; I’m predicting this because of the foreshadowing the book gives off about the spy. These are a couple of predictions for the upcoming chapters of Unbroken.

  23. Claire Hornburg

    a. I am reading Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides, which is about the American army on the pacific front during World War II. The prologue begins by describing a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines, more specifically the day the Japanese officers in the camp were ordered to execute all the prisoners. The camp housed American and Filipino prisoners alike, and a few prisoners were able to escape, later describing their experiences of hiding from the Japanese, playing dead, swimming across miles of ocean, and other grueling tactics they used to escape. It then describes the U.S.’s reaction to these horrifying stories of Japanese POW camps, and how MacArthur and a number of other high-ranking military officials felt that a rescue mission was necessary. They appointed Colonel Henri Mucci to lead this mission, and he set about creating a group of soldiers who would carry out this mission. Chapter one begins by describing a failed military campaign by the U.S. to drive the Japanese out of the Philippines, and how it took the courage of one man—General Edward King—to admit to defeat and surrender to the Japanese, despite his orders from higher-ups to keep fighting and potential court-martialing if he didn’t obey orders, to save the lives of the many American soldiers dying from starvation, among other things, due to the siege by the Japanese. Chapter two focuses on the beginning of the Ranger’s campaign to get to the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp to rescue the American soldiers there. By this time, the tide of the war had turned, and the Japanese were retreating, but that didn’t make the mission any easier or less dangerous. The U.S. soldiers and Filipino guerillas on the mission had to stay completely silent, and walk through miles and miles of rice paddies to reach their various checkpoints on their way to the camp, all the while avoiding Japanese detection. I don’t see any bias in this book so far, as it is mostly a direct retelling of a true story, with actual quotes from people who were there.
    b. The context of this book is that it takes place during World War II, and the Americans were fighting against Imperialist Japan in the Philippines, a country that had previously been under U.S. control. The U.S. had won the Philippines from the Spanish during the Spanish-American war, and had asserted their dominance over the islands during the Philippine Insurrection. Although no colony under imperialist control was treated well at all (American imperialism is no exception), the U.S. at least tried to make a positive impact on the Philippines, by setting up schools and other public buildings, and funding internal improvements. The Japanese took control of the Islands during the years leading up to the war, however, and this book describes one part of the mission to drive the Japanese out.
    c. This book obviously relates to World War II, which we studied in APUSH. Our involvement in the war began with the Japanese, and their attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and we declared war on Japan and by association the other Axis powers. Because of Pearl Harbor, many Americans had extremely bitter feelings towards the Japanese. Douglass MacArthur’s strategy of Island hopping was what made the campaign in the Pacific so successful, and by the end of the war Japan had let go of all it’s imperial possessions in the Pacific. In the book, it describes the increasing desperation among Japanese troops as the war wears on, and how extreme their tactics became (i.e. Kamikaze pilots). One result of this attitude among the Japanese is that they refuse to surrender, even after victory is impossible for them, which is what necessitates the use of the first atomic bombs on America’s part.
    d. I don’t know if I can make many predictions at this point in the book, or about this book in general. I know that the U.S. troops are eventually successful in rescuing the prisoners. I predict that they will have some trouble getting the prisoners from the camp, but that the bulk of the problems will occur on the way back, as that seems to be the part that the troops are most concerned about, and the part that will be hardest to accomplish without Japanese detection.

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