Category Archives: Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEWS: “Upstairs at the White House” and “Backstairs at the White House”

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West (1973), Warner Books
My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House by Lillian Rogers Parks (1961), Fleet Publishing
Reviewed by Gregory Hilton
Margaret (Maggie) Rogers could not afford a babysitter so she often took her daughter to work. She was a maid and her daughter Lillian would follow her from room to room as she did her daily cleaning. One afternoon she was told to turn down the bed in the master bedroom. As soon as Mrs. Rogers finished, she was summoned to help the lady of the house with a dress fitting. Lillian, 9, was told to stay behind in the bedroom. Continue reading

Social Security and Reflections on the Power Town by Gregory Hilton

"Bad Boy: The Life And Politics Of Lee Atwater" by John Brady, DeCapo Press, 352 pages.


Why is Reform So Difficult?
New York is the nation’s financial capital and Los Angeles has the entertainment industry, but Washington, D.C. is the Power Town. Over the past three decades I have been fortunate to know some of the key players. I admire all of them, and they are intelligent, hard working and have good intentions. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: The Oil Crisis of 1973-1974 by Karen R. Merrill, Ph.D., St. Martin’s (2007), 192 pages


Reviewed by Gregory Hilton
1973 was not a good year for America’s prestige and psyche. Problems involving Vietnam, Watergate and inflation were looming, but the most significant long term obstacle is described in The Oil Crisis of 1973-1974 by Karen R. Merrill. A key turning point occurred 37 years ago today when President Richard Nixon signed legislation which would dominate political debate for the next 8 years. Continue reading

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner: Their $267,000 First Date by Gregory Hilton

1949: The Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.


Movie actress Ava Gardner, one of the most beautiful women of the 1940’s and ’50s, was associated with many famous men. According to Time magazine, she was the most photographed woman in the world during the World War II era. She was 5′ 6″, a size zero, and had an 18 inch waist, 36-18-36. Gardner never won an Academy Award but the American Film Institute lists her as one of the top 25 greatest stars of all time.
Her best known films are Show Boat, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Barefoot Contessa, The Sun Also Rises, On The Beach, Seven Days in May, The Night of the Iguana and Mogambo, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Continue reading

“Decision Points” By George W. Bush


Former President George W. Bush’s memoir Decision Points will be released tomorrow, and for the first time in two years he is returning to the public arena. The verdict of history is already pointing toward his vindication, and he is now ahead of President Obama in several opinion polls. There is a disappointing conversation now being held at Politico on the topic “Will Bush’s Memoir Change Any Minds? http://www.politico.com/arena/ The radical left and libertarians are repeating their usual lies, and several conservatives are doing a poor job of defending the Bush legacy. This is what they should be saying. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “40 More Years: How Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation” by James Carville, Simon & Schuster, 209 pages


Review by Gregory Hilton
40 More Years: How Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation was published on May 4, 2009, and the author was the architect of Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory. James Carville never imagined that six months after publication Democrats would lose governorships in New Jersey and Virginia, and were on the way to turning over Ted Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Continue reading

The Path to Power: Two Young Authors Outline a GOP Comeback by Gregory Hilton

Young voters do deserve special thanks from the President. They gave him the margin he needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries and caucuses, and in the general election Generation Y gave him a staggering 66% to 32% margin. If McCain had won 52% of the youth vote he would be in the White House today. The President’s approval ratings have fallen significantly in all age groups, but the drop among young voters has been the sharpest for any age demographic.


BOOK REVIEWS: Generation Right: The Young Conservative in the Age of Obama (2010) by Dan Joseph, Xlibris, 186 pages; and Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation by Jason Mattera (2010), Threshold, 288 pages. Continue reading