Brigham Young (1801-1877), was born in Whitingham, VT on June 1, 1801. He took over leadership of the Mormon Church upon the murder of Joseph Smith and was largely responsible for the successful settlement of Salt Lake City, UT. He also lead the successful defense of the Mormon Settlements when President James Buchanan sent US Troops against them. Read about this low point in American history in the excellent novel Powderkeg
by Leo V. Gordon & Richard Vetterli
Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Mortenson) (1926-62) was born in Los Angeles, CA on June 1, 1926. Her greatest role was as Sugar Kane in Billy Wilder's Some Like it Hot (1959).
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was born near Dorchester, ENG on June 2, 1840. Read Orrin's review of The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)(Thomas Hardy 1840-1928) (Grade: B)
Cornel West (1953-) was born in Tulsa, OK on June 2, 1953. Read Orrin's review of Race Matters (1993).
Larry McMurtry (1936-) was born in Wichita Falls, TX on June 3, 1936. Brothers Judd recommends Lonesome
Dove (1986), Streets of Laredo (1993) & Dead
Man's Walk (1995).
It's the Anniversary of Tiananmen Square and the Beinjing Massacre, very few moments leave one ashamed to be an American, but standing by while these students were slaughtered sat poorly with all of us--we should have juked it out then before Bill Clinton, Ron Brown, Sandy Berger & Al Gore handed them every secret in our nuclear arsenal in exchange for campaign dollars. Read Orrin's review of Betrayal: How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security (1999)(Bill Gertz) (Grade: C)
Adam Smith (1723-1790) was baptized in Kikcaldy, Scotland on June 5, 1723. His Wealth of Nations (1776) is one of the pivotal texts in the history of the species and should be read by every thinking being.
Margaret Drabble (1939-) was born in Sheffield, England on June 5, 1939. She is the younger half-sister of A.S. Byatt. Brothers Judd recommends her fine novel The Ice Age.
Ken Follett (1949-) was born in Cardiff, Wales on June 5, 1949. The best of his many thrillers is The Eye of the Needle.
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) was born in Lübeck, GER on June 6, 1875. Read Orrin's review of Death in Venice (1913) (Grade: C)
June 6, 1944 was D-Day, as over one million Allied soldiers established a beachhead at Normandy and began the invasion of Europe.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was born in Paris, FR on June 7, 1848. Read Orrin's review of The Moon and Sixpence (1919)(William Somerset Maugham 1874-1965) (Grade: C+)
Prince was born on June 7, 1958. His Hits package confirms his position as one of the only really significant pop music talents of the past two decades.
Happy Birthday to Zachary Barnett (June 7)
Frank Lloyd Wright(1867-1959) was born in Richland, WI on June 8, 1867. Read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead for a fictional account of a Wrightlike genius.
Mohammed (circa 570 to 632), the Prophet of Islam, was born on June 8, 570.
Peter the Great (1682-1725) was born on June 9, 1682. Read Robert Massie's excellent Pulitzer Prize winning biography.
Cole Porter (1891-1964) was born in Peru, IN on June 9, 1891.
James Salter (1925-) was born in New York, NY on June 10, 1925. Read Orrin's review of The Hunters (1956) (Grade: A)
Saul Bellow (1915-) was born in Chicago, IL on June 10, 1915. Read Orrin's reviews of Henderson the Rain King (1959)
and The Adventures of Augie March (1953) Saul Bellow (1915-)
Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) was born in Osaka, JPN on June 11, 1899. Read Orrin's review of Thousand Cranes (1949)(Grade: D)
President George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-) was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, MA. In one of the Republics low points, he lost his reelection bid in 1992, but current polls give his presidency a 70+% approval rating. The Brothers Judd recommend What It Takes, Richard Ben Cramer's extraordinary account of the 1988 presidential contenders.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was born in Dublin, IR on June 13, 1865. His poem The Second Coming seemingly predicted the course of the pre-Reagan 20th Century.
Jerzy Kosinski (1933-91) was born in Lodz, POL on June 14, 1933. Read Orrin's review of The Painted Bird (1965)
The Magna Carta was signed on June 15, 1215 by King John of England the agreement between John and several dozen English Barons that took away the King's total authority, and granted basic rights and liberties such as freedom of the church, no imprisonment without a jury trial, and the proper execution of the laws of the land.
June 16th is Bloomsday. Joyce fans all over the world commemorate the mindnumbing meanderings of Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin in 1904 (read Orrin's review of Ulysses, Grade: F x Googleplex) But save yourself the trouble & read Ulysses for Dummies.
Katharine Graham (1917-2001) was born in New York, NY on June 16, 1917. Read Orrin's review of Personal History (1997) (Katharine Graham 1917-2001)
John Wesley (1703-91), founder of the Methodist Church, was born in Epworth, England on June 17, 1703. He and his band of friends were derided at Oxford for their "methodism", methodical study of the Bible. After a conversion experience in 1738, he preached a message of salvation through faith in Christ alone.
John Hersey (1914-93) was born in China on June 17, 1914. Read Orrin's reviews of A Bell for Adano (1944)(Grade: B+) and Hiroshima (1946) (Grade: B)
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938), who wrote the Black National Anthem--Lift Every Voice and Sing, was born in Jacksonville, FL on June 17, 1871. Read Orrin's review of The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) (Grade: B+)
At 2:30am on the morning of June 17, 1972, five men were caught breaking in to Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate Building. Read Orrin's reviews of Silent Coup: The Removal of a President (1991)(Len Colodny, Robert Gettlin) (Grade: C+) and Leon Jaworski's
The Right and the Power (Grade: C), but also try G. Gordon Liddy's Will and All the President's Men
Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig (1903-1941) was born on June 19, 1903.
Tobias Wolff (1945-) was born in Birmingham, AL on June 19, 1945. His excellent memoir, This Boy's Life (1989), describes growing up in Washington State with a brutal step-father.
Annette Curtis Klause (1953-) was born in Bristol, ENG on June 20, 1953. Read Orrin's review of Blood and Chocolate (1997)(Grade: A to F)
Dom Casmurro (1899)(Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis 1839-1908)
was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 21, 1839
Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was born in Osnabruck, GER on June 22, 1898. Read Orrin's review of All Quiet on the Western Front (1928) (Grade: C)
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was born in Norfolk, England on June 22, 1856. His book King Solomon's Mine (1885) is one of the great adventure classics of all time.
Billy Wilder (1906-) was born in Sucha, Austria on June 22, 1906. Among his classic films are The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Stalag 17, Five Graves to Cairo and Sunset Boulevard
Octavia Butler (1947-) was born in Pasadena, CA on June 22, 1947. Read Orrin's review of Kindred (1979) (Grade: A)
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) was born on June 24, 1842 in Meigs, OH. Read Orrin's review of Civil War Stories (Grade: B)
George (Eric Arthur Blair) Orwell (1903-1950) was born in Motohari, India on June 25, 1903. Read Orrin's reviews of Homage to Catalonia (1938) (Grade: A), Animal Farm (1946) (Grade: A+), 1984 (1949) (Grade: A+)
Nicholas Mosley (1923-) was born in London, ENG on June 25, 1923. Son of Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Fascists in the 1930's, he became an outstanding novelist. Read Orrin's review of his Whitbred Prize winning Hopeful Monsters (1990) (Grade: A)
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), who won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Hillsboro, WV on June 26, 1892. We all read her Pulitzer Prize winner The Good Earth in school.
Bob Keeshan (1927-) was born in Lynbrook, NY on June 27, 1927. After creating & playing Clarabell on the Howdy Doody Show (1947-52), he went out on his own and created the beloved Captain Kangaroo (CBS, 1958-85).
McDermott (1953-) was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 27, 1953. Read Orrin's review of Charming Billy (1998)(Grade: C-)
Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was born in Agrigento, Sicily on June 28, 1867. Read Orrin's review of Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921)(Grade: C+)
Mark Helprin (1947-) one of our greatest current novelists was born on June 28, 1947. In addition to his recommended novels Winter's
Tale (1983), A
Soldier of the Great War (1991) and Memoir from Antproof Case (1995), he wrote Bob Dole's elegant Senate resignation speech in 1996 and is a regular columnist for Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.
Eric Ambler (1909-1998), who helped create the Modern spy novel, was born in London on June 28, 1909. Among his many recommended books are Background to Danger, and A Coffin for Dimitrios (1939)
Henry VIII (1491-1547), king of England (1509-47) and one of the key, albeit unintentional, figures in the rise of Western democracy, was born on June 28, 1509. We recommend the novel The Autobiography of Henry VIII : With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944) was born in Lyon, France on June 29, 1900. Read Orrin's review of The Little Prince (1943)(Grade: A-)
John Toland (1912-) was born in LaCrosse, WI on June 29, 1912. In addition to his Pulitzer Prize winning The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, Brothers Judd recommends his novel
The Gods of War.
John Gay (1685-1732) was born in Devon, ENG on June 30, 1685. Read Orrin's review of The Beggar's Opera (1728) (Grade: A)