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Publisher Description

In this hour, great leaders inspire myths, but the truth is often an even better story. The real Cleopatra was a brilliant woman who spoke nine languages and controlled an empire that made Rome look like a backwater. Stacy Schiff's new book Cleopatra: A Life describes the Egyptian queen as a shrewd political strategist and a brilliant leader. She tells Anne Strainchamps about the real and the imaginary Cleopatra.

Next, Ron Chernow's recently published George Washington: A Life logs in at 900 pages, one of the most acclaimed historical biographies of the past year. Chernow says the Washington handed down through the ages is a wooden icon, washed clean of his passions and insecurities. But he tells Jim Fleming Washington was complicated and flawed, and an extraordinary political leader.

Then, Edmund Morris has written three books about Teddy Roosevelt. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt started things off in 1980, winning the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Theodore Rex followed, taking the Los Angeles Time Book Prize in 2002. The past year saw the third and final volume burst on the scene. Colonel Roosevelt picks up the story after TR left the White House. Morris tells Steve Paulson Roosevelt was a mass of contradictions.

And finally, while the presidency so far has appeared to be a man's game, there is now question that women have shaped the job and the men from the very beginning. In his book First Family: Abigail and John Adams, Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Ellis tells their story. He tells Jim Fleming it's just not possible to understand John without Abigail. [Broadcast Date: January 11, 2011]

Arts & Entertainment
Jim Fleming
hr min
May 27
Wisconsin Public Radio (To the Best of Our Knowledge)

Customer Reviews

Georgia Educator ,


Hyper liberal bs that ignores glaring facts to craft a revisionist narrative through a 21st century century hipster lens. Are y'all so blind in Wisconsin that you can't understand how a woman would be a little promiscuous but also brilliant? Maybe you're the sexist. And TR can't hunt AND live animals??? I hunt deer because A) it's fun and challenging and B) the deer population way overpopulated in my area. Have you big thinkers ever heard of carrying capacity? I'm not even conservative, but as someone with two social science degrees, a masters, and an advanced degree, I found this summary deeply fallacious.