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History Book Recommendations

Discussion in 'History' started by KevTheGooner, Sep 29, 2005.

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  1. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I may have mentioned it earlier in this thread, but if you want a book that's a good overview of the Revolution, I'd recommend "Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution" by AJ Langguth.
     


  2. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    I read "Union 182: The Men Who Fought the Second War of Independence" by Langguth recently, and really enjoyed it.
     
  3. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

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    sources? we don't need no stinkin' sources :p
     
  4. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    As Yoss knows I've started reading Shelby Foote's "mega-trilogy" on the Civil War. So far it's great stuff...

    [​IMG]

    In researching the backstory of this massive project I came across this great Foote quote:

    "I've never known, at least a modern historical instance, where the truth wasn't superior to distortion in every way."
     


  5. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, it's decent. Read "Patriots..." though.....it's better if for no other reason than the characters who started the Revolution were more interesting, IMHO.
     
  6. ross from st paul

    ross from st paul New Member

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    I'm currently reading Beevor's book
    "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939"

    Yeah, he's a great writer.
     
  7. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    One of these days I'll return the favor and recommend a book to you that you end up loving (I still owe you for "The Radicalism of the American Revolution") but in the meantime I'll take your advice and, most likely, be even more indebted to you.
     
  8. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    No worries. I had forgotten that I had recommended Professor Wood.
     
  9. Dr. Foosball™

    Dr. Foosball™ New Member

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    I bought Berlin Journal 1989-1990 for 25¢ from a library sale at my college. It is an interesting read for someone who was too young to remember that time in recent history (I was born in '82).
     
  10. Mountainia

    Mountainia Member

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    "Undaunted Courage" and "John Adams" are both very good. The portrait of Adams (and actually there's a lot about Jefferson, too) are useful to combat against the deification of the founders of our country, thus make them more relevant and interesting.

    I've not read "Citizen Soldiers". I should take a look at it.

    I liked Peter Cozzen's trilogy covering the western armies during the Civil War, "No Better Place to Die", "This Terrible Sound", and "The Shipwreck of their Hopes." These cover the Battle of Stone's River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga, all less familiar battles than those of the east.
     
  11. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    John Julius Norwich's trilogy on the Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium (The Early Centuries) (The Apogee) (The Decline and Fall) is a well done history of the empire.
     
  12. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    Seconded. If you're looking for social history, look elsewhere--you're not going to get any "Everyday Life in Byzantium" type insights. But as a straightforward narrative of political and military history (briefly touching on high culture here and there) it's superbly written.

    The final chapters on the final decline and heroic last stand of the empire read like a novel. Beautiful stuff.
     
  13. NER_MCFC

    NER_MCFC Member

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    If you don't feel up to a fat trilogy, he has a single volume history that is condensed down from these three, and it's very good too.
     
  14. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    I meant to mention that. Also, I have read part of his History of Venice, and while I hesitate to recommend it since I had to return my copy and have not got around to finishing it, it seemed to be very similar to--and of equal quality to--his Byzantium trilogy.
     
  15. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

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    I've been meaning to get this book for awhile. If I was smart I would have bought for my father for x-mas so I can borrow it from him when he's done.
     
  16. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    It was interesting to read how heredity gradually took over Venetian politics and leadership ended up in the hands of two families. Thank goodness success in American politics is not dependent on your last name. :rolleyes:
     
  17. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

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    I read John Adams quite a while back. While I really did enjoy the book especially the Adams / Jefferson issues. I think the book was just a tad syrupy and should have been renamed "Saint John"

    Politics was just as dirty back then, even though we all picture these guys as paragons of virtue,
     
  18. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

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    Anyone looking to get a handle on British history could do worse than John O'Farrell's "An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge"

    Written by a comedy script-writer, it is more "Bryson-esque" than a weighty academic historical study, and probably all the more readable for it.
     
  19. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

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    I'll have to look it up, I need to extend the British history I learnt though Flashman and George McDonald Frasier
     
  20. Revolt

    Revolt Member+

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    Just finished this:

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0812968905/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link"][​IMG][/ame]

    Amazing book. Perhaps the best history book I've ever read (er, listened to).
     
  21. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    A year ago I had a class based on Zamoyski's Rites of Peace. Quite liked it, probably one of the best written history books I ever read. I just picked up 1812, as it was recommended to me. Has anybody else read it before?
     
  22. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

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    about to finish this one...

    [​IMG]

    and I highly recommend it
     
  23. elbp

    elbp Member

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    Halfway into this and it can only get better. At nearly 600 hundred pages, it may seem like one for the long ride but it turns out to be highly readable.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. peledre

    peledre Member

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    Apologies as there have probably been recommendations in the thread for it already but I don't have time to read through the thread right now. Can anyone (Nicephoras has a few ideas I'm sure) recommend a good book start reading about Roman History?
     
  25. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator Staff Member

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    If you want a good overview of the beginnings of the empire (as opposed to the Republic), I'll recommend the same book that Nice recommended to me...."The Twelve Caesars" by Michael Grant.
     
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