Saturday, December 11, 2010


Introducing a brand new way to tell your friends about Our History Project. To make it easier to find us by finding us by what we do and provide "History Podcast". Podcasting history has been a great tool for us to reach not only the historical community but also the classroom. We have had a vast number of educators bring our History Podcast to their classroom and because of it we have been invited to speak in 4 States so far.

We will continue to bring you quality content and stories of Our America. If you know a history lover send them to or now to  .

Any of the links and names will find us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY" by William C. Hammond

In this second novel in the Cutler Family Chronicles, Bill Hammond paints for us a well-rounded, colorful portrait of life in early America.  He also profiles for us a loving and close-knit family that lives on both sides of the Atlantic and in Barbados, a family that becomes caught up in world events that affect not only the family's business fortunes, but also the very lives of several of its members.

What struck me most in For Love of Country was how historical figures became three-dimensional in the blink of the eye. One example is the meeting between Richard Cutler with Thomas Jefferson, America's consul in Paris in 1789.  Within three paragraphs I felt as though I knew Jefferaon personally. I was there to see his reactions, facial expressions, his humor, his intellect, his political views.  Just as in an actuall meeting, I drew a mental picture that allowed me to judge the person I was meeting for myself.

For Love of Country profiles the growing pains of a post-revolution America that struggles to find its roots and its place on the world stage.  We learn of the Barbary pirates and the complex role they played during this time in history.  Later we see France in turmoil as the leaders of the budding United States make bold and far-reaching decisions that will define what kind of country the United States is going to be. We come away with the understanding of what was and continues to be the driving force of our economy, the concept of free trade, and we understand what our enemies and out"fair weather friends" did in collusion to try to block our commercial growth. Importantly, we also learn what it took to finally convince our newly-formed government to authorize the construction of a navy to protect our sailors and merchant fleets.

Bill Hammond is a superb researcher and student of history.  His knowledge of American history is broad and deep enough to bring to  a radio show called the “Relic Roundup” a cogent discussion of the artifacts of that time period, and to suggest what a collector today might look for as relics of our nautical history.
For Love of Country is an engrossing novel and an important book.  I highly recommend it.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Road to Iwo Jima by Tom McGraham

The Road to Iwo Jima
Tom McGraham
River Road Press, 2010
157 pages

The Road to Iwo Jima is a unique book in today’s publishing market, easy to read, to the point(s) and very enjoyable. I stated that this is a unique book so let me explain: The Road to Iwo Jima is not quite a memoir and it is not quite a novel. Our History Project had the chance to interview Mr. McGraham at a Military Writers Society of America conference about his experience and this book. He described that his story was meant to be for his family, a memory to be passed down, but was encouraged by many after reading his accounts to publish this piece, which he did through River Road Press.

When you read this book it is more in the flavor of a Grandparents Book. It did cover his career, combat and experiences; also it spoke of friends, hopes, dreams and accomplishments. It brought those who read it into not the story but his life, simply…he tells his story. The book like Mr. Tom is full of energy, humor, wit and the unmistakable free spirit of being young and just letting yourself be blown with the wind; “making the best you can with what you’ve got”. It does also describe the horrors of war and the price one pays to witness it, but it is done the empathy of the fallen and not lingered on. I think it will make it to the AR (Accelerated Reader) List that is popular or required in schools today.

Most people and even some historians forget that as we view, research and study our “History”, that the key phrase should be “His” or “Her”-Story. That is exactly what Tom McGraham gave us here: his-story and I am grateful to him for sharing it. It is a quick and interesting read for adults and children age 8 and up. You will not be disappointed in this one.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

Monday, July 19, 2010

NEW DAWN, The Battles for Fallujah by Richard Lowry

New Dawn, The Battles for Fallujah
Richard S. Lowry
Savas Beatie Publishing 2010
352 pages including index

I have heard of Richard Lowry, however before "New Dawn" had not the chance to pickup one of his books. After reading this one, I believe it was a huge mistake on my part and I will actively seek out his other works. This book and the stories contained within are amazing. Honestly while reading I could not put this into a definite category - it is the Non-Fiction which reads like a Fiction.

The strangest and hardest thing to grasp I found, was at the end of the book, I had to remind myself that this was real. Real men and women, who lived through these larger than life events. I was caught up in the movie I was watching and the novel I was reading. I was there; it bears repeating, I was there; with these units on some extraordinary journeys. I got caught up in the moment and the events, cheering, praying, hoping and wishing for the "characters" of this story.

Chapters one (1) one through (6) six brings you the background of the war in Iraq and sets the stage for the players, units and politics, going on in the region at the time, building the foundation to take you the rest of the way. This part is pretty much what I expected of the book and looking at the war from a historical point of view. Then it happened...and to this day I still do not know where, even after several readings; somewhere in chapter (7) seven this story took on a life of its own. It sucked me in, held on tight and brought me home. What a book!

Over 135 interviews were made for this book and several of these stories are in the documentary film "Perfect Valor". In this read you will not only get the personal accounts of the men and women on the ground but you will also see why the American Military is considered the Best in the World. The passion, dedication and strength are all there for you to see and feel. One of the greatest aspects of hearing these events is that most of these brave souls are still with us. They may not share their story with you, but thanks to Richard we have been fortunate to have them documented for all time.

It was truly an honor for Our History Project, to interview Richard about his book "New Dawn" and you will not be disappointed in the read either. I can whole heartedly recommend that you put this one on your reading list. Richard has several interviews available online including a video presentations on Book TV. Grab the book, listen to an interview or watch the presentation. Anyway you can get

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

Monday, June 7, 2010


THE BUCKSTOPS HERE by Thomas Craughwell and Edwin Kiester, Jr.
Fair Winds Press 2010
288 pages including index

The byline of this book is “The 28 toughest Presidential decisions and how they changed the world”, which drew me to this book in the first place. I was intrigued to read what the authors declared the stories to be in the top 28, and why they made it into the book. The first chapter on the Whisky Rebellion was quite good and covered the story very well.

Ok, it’s a sale...I bought one and brought it home.

Now I must say at the beginning of this review, I love chapter books like this. It is fast paced and allows you to take 10 minutes or a whole day for a read; it’s literally up to you.

The book goes chapter by chapter building a case for their pick of top stories, telling you the beginning, middle and end of each story and how it transpired to bring about a change, not only in America but how the decisions were felt around the world. The only one to me personally that did not fit as self evident was the Whiskey Rebellion. It really does fit, but there are pains and a prehistory that must be known to put this story into one of this books byline category. In defense of my statement; or rather, in the defense of the authors (you pick); the authors did do exactly that with the introduction to the book, explaining the scenario.

The book was well researched and documented; over seventy five (75) sources; and brought the reader into the fray of the events that were happening at the time. I liked that it gave you a feel of the everyday person who had little or no knowledge of what was going on, to the turmoil and stress that the Executive Office of the President was facing, both from inside and outside the political wrangling of our country as well as the pressures outside our borders.

I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Craughwell for an interview for Our History Project and he was a most delightful guest (released on 6-12-10). We covered two (2) chapters of this book in detail; Chapter 1 - “George Washington puts down the Whiskey Rebellion and dooms the Federalist Party” and Chapter 14 “Woodrow Wilson claims an American place at the table of the world”. His knowledge expands so much beyond this book that I look forward to more writings and projects from him.

Pick up “The Buck Stops Here”, you will not be disappointed, it is written in an quick and easy flow for the reader, while maintaining the primary and secondary sources that regardless of your level you will enjoy the read. If you looking to give this as a gift, I would recommend age 10 and up.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

Friday, March 12, 2010

DAVID CROCKETT IN CONGRESS - The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man’s Friend

“David Crockett in Congress”, The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man’s Friend
By James R. Boylston and Allen J. Wiener
Bright Sky Press
336 pages including index

As a reviewer for Our History Project I have the opportunity to read a lot of historical based books, and conduct interviews with the authors of those I like. Every couple of month or so, I get my hands on a stellar book that stands out from the crowd and it means just a little more than the rest. “David Crockett in Congress” is one of those books.

When I first received the book from the publisher, I wondered how many books they had sent me because of the weight of the package. To my surprise it was just the one, I quickly turned the pages and resigned myself to the upcoming long task of starting this book that was filled from cover to cover with text dotted with a few photos. It truly looked like a reference book and it honestly took me a week to muster up the courage to start it. I finally opened it and began reading in earnest.

I must admit I have always been a Crockett fan and I was truly shocked when my wife told me it was time for bed. Wow, four hours had just flown by. I have now given you my thoughts before and during this review now let’s get to the meat of the book.

A study into the legend, the myth and the man of Davy Crockett was what I was expecting. To learn more about this giant figure of the past.... I did! However, that was only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much here that it would take a novel to recap the highlights. Let me just say you will get a personal look at Crockett and the inner workings of government at a time when we as a nation was really trying to find our way. You will see personal insights of most of the big names in our history such as Jackson, Polk, Clay and Van Buren just to name a small handful of the players here.

The great thing on a study like this is that you are not relying on the authors’ take, tale or opinion to draw a conclusion of the book in question. They are continually helped out by the man himself; in his own words. From the stump we see the humor; from the floor we see the strength, leverage, skill and determination. From the letters you will find the true Crockett, his compassion, his vision, his morals and his beliefs. In essence what you get is the legend that you thought you knew, firmly cemented in history as the real deal and a true felling that you knew Davy personally. This book will go down in all time as the best book on Crockett ever written or complied and I can honestly say that this book will be the reference for many future Crockett researchers for generations to come.

The only negative I can find in this book is the Title. I thought it strange reading “David” Crockett, because he has always been “Davy” during my life. Remember what I said in the last paragraph, I know him personally now and you can to, I’ll introduce you. So, you can call him by his given name if you want to; it is formally correct; but he will always be Davy to me.

Happy Reading

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior: A Personal Story of a Vietnam Veteran Who Lost His Legs but Found His Soul by Allen Clark

Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior: A Personal Story of a Vietnam Veteran Who Lost His Legs but Found His SoulBy ALLEN CLARK

Reviewed: Janet Morrison

Nonfiction (memoir), bibliography, index, 320 pp., 2007. Zenith Press, an imprint of MBI Publishing Company, Galtier Plaza, Suite 200, 380 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885, $24.95 plus shipping.

The title of this book attracted my attention. I had just finished reading a memoir of another Vietnam veteran and was ready to read a second one while still in that mood. Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior immediately drew me in as it opens at the defining moment in Allen Clark’s life – 4:30 a.m. on June 17, 1967, at the Special Forces camp at Dak To, Vietnam – when a North Vietnamese mortar attack resulted in the eventual loss of both of Clark’s legs.

Mr. Clark weaves the story of his life by smoothly moving from Vietnam back to his days as a West Point cadet, back to the war, and then returning to his life before Vietnam. Throughout the book he makes the connection between how his early life prepared (or did not prepare) him for his life-changing wounds in the war and how everything that has happened to him since June 17, 1967, can be tied back to his experiences on and shortly after that day.

One theme that surfaces numerous times in the book is the lifelong influence West Point has had on Mr. Clark’s life. There is a bond among the cadets and former cadets that never failed to give the author an emotional boost when it was most needed, or helped pave the way for a career move when that was desired. This bond goes far beyond actual classmates, but spreads throughout West Point alumni. Mr. Clark describes it as a bond like no other. It is a true caring about one another.

Without being “preachy,” Mr. Clark’s overriding purpose in writing this book is to share his spiritual journey since that fateful day in 1967. He admits putting God on the back burner while at West Point. It wasn’t until his second amputation that religion became of increased interest to him. He speaks of the power of prayer. His search for a close relationship with God led him to reflect on the decisions in his life such as volunteering for duty in Vietnam, such as transferring from the Army Corps of Engineers to military intelligence, and such as requesting to be attached to a Special Forces (Green Beret) unit.

Mr. Clark talks about some of the things he learned about the Vietnamese people. He talks about how isolated he felt as an intelligence officer in the tri-border area where South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos meet because there was no one with whom he could discuss his mission. He talks about the Montagnards and the assistance many of them gave the US troops. (Incidentally, did you know that there are 15 different groups/tribes that are Montagnards?)

The book includes the struggle many – if not all – American Vietnam veterans and their loved ones and survivors have had to come to grips with: Was my sacrifice worth it? Mr. Clark describes a turning point in his grappling with that question after a chance conversation with Bill Moyers.

Reading this book gave me a better appreciation for what amputees go through – the excruciating pain, the months that their injured limbs must in some cases be in traction to stretch the skin over their raw stumps, the months of painful rehabilitation, and transitions through increasingly useful prostheses.

One thing that I especially liked about this book was how Mr. Clark involved the other people in his life. By inviting family members, fellow soldiers, medics, and friends to write their memories of the various events in his life, Mr. Clark lets the reader see those events from several points of view.

Without giving away the amazing path Mr. Clark’s life has taken since his physical recovery, let me just say that his true character comes through as he chronicles the surprising and rewarding twists and turns of his career and some of the famous people with whom he has “rubbed elbows” as he has worked for the better care and treatment of our American veterans.

In his book, Mr. Clark talks about the various kinds of healing he has experienced since June 17, 1967, and some of the soul-searching questions he has wrestled with along his journey of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. His journey continues.

Janet Morrison
Our History Project Reviewer & Freelance writer

Saturday, January 9, 2010

OHP BOOK REVIEW: THE WORLDS BLOODIEST HISTORY: Massacre, Genocide and the scars they left on Civilization

THE WORLDS BLOODIEST HISTORY: Massacre, Genocide and the scars they left on Civilization
Fairwinds Press, 319 pages

It is hard to describe a book with this title or its subject matter as a great read, much less an enjoyable book. However that is what Joseph Cummins did…..I am talking 5 stars, straight through the uprights, 3 points and nothin’ but net.

Ok, let me explain from a Reviewer/Reader stand point. I receive a lot of books to review and sometimes I receive a book that is sound, has a good looking cover and it draws me in somehow. I read the first two chapters. If it holds my attention I keep going, if not it’s to the center of the book I go for a middle chapter or two then two the last couple of chapters. By then I have gauged the quality and the intent, and have a solid foundation to judge (in my personal opinion) that its good, bad or average.

As an Historian and Researcher, I am looking for the complete story. I am looking for primary and secondary sources to back up that story(s). I am looking for names, dates, events and witnesses that can tell the story. And, though it is hard I am looking for the mind set, or both sides of the story, kind of the story behind the story if you will.

The World’s Bloodiest History was one of those books I could not put down. I actually read it over and over and went on my own researching quest behind the stories after each chapter. Now, that is something that no other book in my history of reading has compelled me to do…None, Nada, Zip. Not after each chapter.

What does this book that I am raving about have in it? Why am I so engrossed within the pages? Well, as the title states it’s the world’s bloodiest history. It covers eighteen (18) events that truly impacted the world and thier countries for generations. It is a book about racial and secular superiority. It is a book about greed and hate. It is a book about intolerance. It is a book about so many things, feelings, thoughts and actions. However, it is a book about hope, knowledge and courage to stand up to say this will not happen again. We actually did our interview with Joseph Cummins a couple of months ago and it was aired on OHP in December. Guess what, I’m still reading it.

What I love about this book is that for each chapter, you may not know a thing about the events, lets take the “Colfax Massacre” for instance. This was one of the stories that I did not know. Written with in that chapter there are eighteen (18) pages that cover the event and tragedy. The unbelievable part is….when I finished those eighteen (18) pages, I actually knew the who, what, when, where, why and how of that story. Imagine, each chapter is like that. Yes, every one. From the Carthaginians in 146 BCE to the Massacre at Srebrenica, its there and you will have a grounded understanding of each event when your done.

If you are like me…. it just may be a book that never ends. Pick it up, borrow it, check it out, download it; however you can get it, this is a book that you will want to read…and never completely put down.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project