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Currently reading

The History of the British Coal Industry Volume 1 Before 1700
John Hatcher
Progress: 59/656 pages
The Draining of the Fens: Projectors, Popular Politics, and State Building in Early Modern England (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
Eric H. Ash
Progress: 264/416 pages
Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521
Martin Brecht
Progress: 236/543 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 433 pages.

Herbert Hoover: A Public Life - David Burner

One of the things I realized as I read this chapter was that Herbert Hoover was the first president who spent a major portion of his childhood growing up in the far West. America had presidents before him who came from the "West," of course (Jackson and Lincoln are the ones that come most readily to mind), but Hoover was the first who came of age west of the Continental Divide. I find it interesting not just because of the curiosity factor, but of how much the nation had developed by then. What makes it especially interesting is the transition point we're at in American history, as the frontier experience of Hoover's childhood -- one that we've read about in biographies of several of Hoover's predecessors as president -- is less commonplace by this point; in fact, Hoover may be the last president we have who experienced such an upbringing.