Customer Review

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A 200+ page Facebook Post, January 8, 2011
This review is from: Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist (Paperback)
I just completed reading Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist by Buzzy Jackson (Touchstone, New York, 2010). I picked it up on the recommendation of others, but the title alone was enough to grab me.

I must say that I don't find it the least bit ironic that written in an era dominated by online social networking, that I thought the book read like a 200+ page post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. It is in fact sort of two books interwoven. On one hand you have the almost ego-driven story of Buzzy herself as she goes about learning and practicing family research. She tells us her opinion on practically everything -- guns, gays, cruises, cruise ship participants, the south, southerners, the use of the Confederate Flag, religion, the religious, the D.A.R., elites, and on and on. And perhaps most of all -- her undying support for Barack Obama. What does any of this have to do with family history, genealogy, or the search for it? Nothing. Yet that makes up at least half the book.

Contrast that to the other half, that which is relevant to her quest. And I do mean "contrast," for it is engaging and engrossing; Masterfully written. If you are a true genealogist, I dare you to put down the chapter on her trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City! But those genuinely golden nuggets are few and far between, and the reader must put up with yet another liberal rant about this or that to find them.

I am politically and socially conservative, Buzzy is clearly from the other end of the political spectrum. So I found all the political opinion irritating and irrelevant. I suspect that those who agree with her politically will find it lesser so.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 22, 2012 5:56:10 PM PST
Thank you for your comments. I'm your political and social, opposite, most likely, but there are enough other ways to get someone's political opinions than through a publication listed under genealogy. You helped make my decision not to purchase this one.

Posted on Apr 29, 2013 2:48:20 PM PDT
2Perno says:
I completely agree with the opinions expressed by this reviewer. There is very little in this book that will help to get you on your way to researching your family tree. The few good tips are the ones she reports on from a genealogy cruise and that came from her note taking and interviews. They came from giants in genealogy such as Elizabeth Shown Mills. I thought that she would take us on a journey giving us insightful tips. But even her visit to FHL didn't provide any useful information on what she found there and how. After suffering through her extreme left wing political views and her degradation of the South, you then find out that she really didn't trace her Jackson history. It was all handed to her by a distant cousin who lived in Texas. I wondered what she thought when she found out that her relatives from Alabama fought for the Confederacy and owned slaves? Strangely she was very silent on this point. From her expressed political views and just from a moral standpoint, I thought she should have offered some outrage about her ancestors, but she just breezed right over these points.
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