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Today in History (January)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Francis Bond Head, 6th Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Barry Goldwater, former US Senator

1776 – George Washington hoists Continental Union Flag

1861 – Abraham Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful

1863 – Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation

1976 – John Diefenbaker appointed a Companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth

1992 – George H. W. Bush becomes first US President to address Australian Parliament

2005 – Shirley Chisholm passes away


1908 – Lord Grey strikes Canada’s first domestically struck coin

1935 – Richard Bennett outlines his “new deal” programme

1960 – John Kennedy announces candidacy for US Presidency

1974 – Richard Nixon imposes 55 MPH speed limit

1983 – Joe Clark announces a leadership convention after receiving 2/3 support among PC Party delegates

1983 – Pierre Trudeau begins 18 day tour of Asia

1988 – Brian Mulroney signs free trade agreement with US President

1988 – Ronald Reagan signs free trade agreement with Canadian Prime Minister


1777 – George Washington defeats British at Battle of Princeton

1919 – Herbert Hoover placed in charge of war relief in Europe

1946 – Thomas Dewey commutes Lucky Luciano’s sentence

1947 – William Lyon Mackenzie King receives Canadian Citizenship certificate 0001

1993 – George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign Start II arms reduction treaty


1965 – Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” state of the Union address

1974 – Richard Nixon refuses to hand over tapes to Watergate Committee

1975 – Gerald Ford issues executive order on CIA activities in the US


HAPPY BIRTHDAY John Crosbie, 80th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd US President

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sterling Lyon, 17th Premier of Manitoba

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dick Cheney, 46th US Vice President

1839 – Lord Durham completes his Report on the Affairs of British North America

1946 – The first issue of the Franklin Roosevelt dime

1957 – Congress accepts the “Eisenhower Doctrine”

1961 – John Kennedy asks for an Alliance for Progress and Peace Corps

1976 – George H. W. Bush becomes CIA Director

1989 – Brian Mulroney shuffles cabinet

1989 – Lucien Bouchard sworn in as Minister of the Environment

1990 – Michael Wilson gets GST through first reading


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Richard Gephardt, US House Minority Leader

1839 – Lord Durham hands in his Report on the Affairs in British North America

1884 – Sir John A. Macdonald passes Railway Relief Bill providing further loans to CPR

1934 – Franklin Roosevelt devalues US dollar relative to gold to $35

1950 – Harry Truman announces support for development of hydrogen bomb

1982 – Pierre Trudeau urges end to martial law on Polish TV

1995 – Bill Clinton authorizes $20 billion loan to Mexico

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A Conservative History of the American Left by Daniel J. Flynn

Flynn, Daniel J.  A Conservative History of the American Left.  2008, 1st Edition, 456 pages, Dust Jacket, Crown Forum.  Signed by the author.

The title of the book is the classic example of “what you see is what you get”.  This is exactly what Mr. Flynn does with his work.  He’s clearly a conservative, and this is his history of the American left. Mr. Flynn presents snippets of US history.  He starts his work before the Declaration of Independence, with the period around the pilgrims.  He ends it in the post 9/11 world (which he refers to as the “9/12 left”).

He begins his tale by taking us through a series of experiments in the US where individuals set up communities or communes.  In each instance, he points out that the lack of incentive is what led to its failure.

This part takes up a good third of the book. He moves, from there, into the suffragist movement and the anti-slavery movement.  He highlights the conflict and contradictions within the two movements.

He moves into the evolution of socialist and communist parties.  Within this context, he also discusses the evolution of the New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt (to see Franklin Roosevelt items CLICK HERE).  He points out the national security risks created by the left, and that were allowed to be created by the left within the context of these parties within the cold war.

From there, he discusses the anti-war movement, and the various protest/revolutionary groups that popped up at that time, including the Black Panthers and the Weathermen.

He shifts, at this point, to morality, addressing issues such as abortion and the environment.  He used these issues as an overall attack on the left and their use of the courts to do things that cannot, in his opinion, do through legislation.

Finally, he addresses the new left in the post 9/11 climate.  He views that new left as taking on an anti-American stance, justifying actions taken against the US in this context.

So…should you go out and read this book?  He does an excellent job of picking examples of where he feels the left has failed throughout the history of the United States (of course, it’s all a matter of perspective).  He’s very selective in the areas that he looks at.  It appears that he began with a title and then looked for examples to prove his thesis.  Regardless of your ideological leanings, he does present some interesting elements of US history.  If you read it with a discerning idea and remember his bias before you start, it can be an enjoyable read.  If you’re a conservative looking for ammunition to bolster your own arguments, it will be an enjoyable read.  If you’re a supporter of the left, if you’re looking for a positive, in theory, in can provide a guide of what not to do (and, in some instances, what to do).  I would not call this a fair history.  Having said that, as I said in the beginning, the author states his bias right in the title.  This is A Conservative History of the American Left.

To find the book on Amazon CLICK HERE

To find the book on ebay CLICK HERE

To see other books that I’ve got available CLICK HERE