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ARC Review: The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier by April White April White’s The Divorce Colony is set during the Gilded Age, in the America of the late 1800s. It revolves around the lax divorce rules then to be found in South Dakota.  Today, getting divorced is almost easier than getting married. But in the Gilded Age, divorces were not so easy to obtain. Divorce was viewed as a moral concern for the state, and was denounced from the pulpit for threatening the sanctity of marriage. Even President Theodore Roosevelt spoke out against it.  Laws around divorce tended to be most lax on the frontiers of the United States. By the 1880s the territory of Dakota gained the dubious honor of posting the largest rise in divorces in the country. At the turn of the century one city - Sioux Falls, South Dakota - gained a reputation for having the laxest divorce laws of all, and required only a three month residency in order to take advantage of them

Review: Forty-Four American Boys: Short Histories of Presidential Childhoods

Forty-Four American Boys: Short Histories of Presidential Childhoods
by William Walsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short snippets taken from many different sources combine to form stories on the boyhoods of the forty-five men who have been American Presidents (yes, it includes a chapter on the current occupant of the White House, #45, despite the title). Since this is really a collection of short stories, I decided to read a chapter or two at a time, followed by some research/reading on the subsequent life and presidencies of those profiled before moving on to the next chapter or two. A good way to dive into the American Presidency as a reflection of the personalities that have occupied it, rather than through a lens of policy or politics. A good book for what it is (and what it is is somewhat unique). Picked this up at the gift shop at the Truman Presidential Library when we visited in November 2018.