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Member Showcase: December 2015


Barbara N. McLennan

Author of

The Wealth of Virginia


Tune in to XTRA 99.1FM to hear the Author interviewed by Neal Steele on CBW's Second Monday monthly broadcast, December 14th at about 8:05AM. If you miss the live broadcast, play the podcast here.




About the Book


The Wealth of Virginia which carries our Virginians through the next decade (1699-1710) following The Wealth of Jamestown,  is now available! The book has already received the following review from Kirkus:

Sarah Harrison Blair is the sort of historical figure who demands fictional interpretation. Married to one of the founders of the College of William & Mary, the (as characterized in McLennan’s novel) loathsome James Blair, Sarah has the business acumen and independent streak to rival any of Colonial America’s male adventurers. She is neither shy with a pistol nor afraid to work alongside the laborers in her family’s tobacco fields, if that’s what will get the job done. (“Darlin’, welcome to Virginia justice,” she tells one man. “If you keep still, I won’t blow your head off.”)

The Colonial Virginia world in which Sarah operates needs people like her. It’s something of a free-for-all, with ineffectual governors coming and going, uncertainty about where to establish the colony’s capital (Williamsburg is being considered), and perpetual tensions and threats of fighting. Yet it’s also a place where democratic values are coalescing, a development made all the more evident in contrast to London, which Sarah and James visit. There, they encounter poverty and abuse all but directly caused by the old system. They also come across some truly rip-roaring excitement, complete with duels and romance.

McLennan writes astutely about the political anxieties of the era-the novel spans the years 1699 to 1710-and depicts a lively world of pirates and paramours. Some observations are made repetitiously. For instance, American Colonial women are more financially savvy than privileged British women, and aristocrats are profligate. And the good guys are exceedingly good, the bad exceedingly bad; several villains…

This novel will particularly appeal to readers interested in the early planning of Williamsburg.

About the Author

Barbara McLennan has published six books and numerous magazine and journal articles on various political, economic, and historical subjects. For two years she contributed columns and articles on local customs and local history to, a local on line newspaper serving the Rappahannock region of Virginia. For several years she served as docent at Jamestown Settlement, the living history museum that commemorates the founding of the first permanent English settlement in North America. There she provided lectures and information to visitors.

Currently, Dr. McLennan is assisting the history department at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in preparing historical exhibits for the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, to be opened in about two years. She is also on the Board of the Chesapeake Writers Organization.

Holding both Ph. D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and J.D. (Georgetown) degrees, Barbara McLennan is a former professor, association executive and high level official in the United States Departments of Commerce and Treasury. She is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

While a professor Dr. McLennan published four books and numerous academic articles and research studies. Her books include a text book on comparative political systems, a major contribution to the teaching literature which was used in university courses for over ten years. This book received favorable reviews, described by the publisher as “a break-through book, cohesive yet wide-ranging in nature and, in general, a superb synthesis with original conclusions of the best in contemporary comparative politics research.” It was published in two separate editions, Comparative Politics and Public Policy, (Duxbury Press, 1980) and Comparative Political Systems: Developed and Developing Nations, (Duxbury Press, 1975). As editor and contributor she also published two books of readings, Political Opposition and Dissent (The Dunellen Company, 1973), and Crime in Urban Society (The Dunellen Company, 1970).

In 2009, Dr. McLennan published a memoir, Reagan’s Mandate: Anecdotes from Inside Washington’s Iron Triangle, where she recounted her time during the 1970s and 1980s and explained how the combination of Congress, lobbies, and Administration changed our national government 30 years ago.

McLennan’s detailed memoir is a unique account of the Reagan administration because she was the only Congressional staff member to work on both Reagan’s first budget in the House and his first tax bill in the Senate. Readers will better understand how our federal government made decisions some 30 years ago when the President set the agenda, Congress passed the laws, and elected political majorities were small and dominated by newly arrived young people.

Email the Author <-> Visit her Website <-> Buy her Books at Amazon

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