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Posted by on Feb 28, 2021 in Blog, Book Reviews, Personal, Politics | 6 comments

What Book Had the Most Significant Impact on Your Life?



Name the book that has the most significant impact on your life and explain why.  This is the latest Facebook discussion I’ve posted on Facebook, part of my “An Unconventional Convention” series.


The 150th edition of “An Unconventional Convention” calls for something special. So today, I’m going to do something special.


Better yet, POST A PHOTO of the book (easy to cut and paste from Google) and then TELL US WHY the book meant so much to you.  NOTE:  Go to my FACEBOOK PAGE to participate in the discussion.

This should be a great thread. I’m expecting some real insight and lots of interesting ideas. Best of all, there are no wrong answers.

I’ll go first:

This is an impossible question because so many books have influenced me and shaped my thinking. But this book is the perfect intersection — can’t-put-it-down entertaining, educational, influential, and even transformative.

My answer is “THE PATH TO POWER” by Robert Caro, which is the first of five massive biographical works on Lyndon B. Johnson. This book was the follow-up to THE POWER BROKER, the 1975 Pulitzer Prize winner, which also makes my Top 10 list of greatest political/historical books ever written. A few reasons why this was so influential (for me):

growing up in Texas, I identified with the setting and learned much about the history of the state

— it’s a great book on how American life changed in the early 20th century

— meticulously researched (it took Caro 7 years to write), the attention to detail is breathtaking

— it showed me what the art and joy of great writing can be when done right

— the book helped to change my opinion and philosophy, particularly on government

— the book reinforced the reality that almost all people have virtues and flaws and have the potential to mature and change, and even achieve greatness.

— it took me to a different time and place and made me feel I was there in every scene.

— this first (of five) volumes made me recognize that there’s a time for idealism and also a time for pragmatism. Being right as to when to be firm vs. bend to the circumstances is arguably the biggest determinant in success or failure.

— the book moved me emotionally, educated me, influenced me, and transformed me.

Now, it’s your turn. Let’s have fun and learn.

This is the ONE-HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH edition of A.U.C. I think it’s one of the best Facebook ideas and threads I’ve seen. But I may be partial. Thanks to all of you for participating.

TAG: An Unconventional Convention
TAG: Robert Caro books
TAG:  Nolan Dalla writings
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Posted by on Feb 11, 2021 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews | 1 comment

Yesterday and Today: The Beatles at Washington Coliseum


Washington Coliseum aka Uline Arena

57 years ago today, the Beatles played their first live concert in America.  On the night of February 11, 1964 music and popular culture changed forever.  Some 20 years after that historic event, I made a pilgrimage to the site of that first concert, and 50 years later (in 2014) I wrote about this realization that time never stands still.  Here’s my remembrance of Washington Coliseum, within walking distance of Union Station.

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