Current Reading: June 2021

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Current Reading: June 2021

kesäkuu 8, 2021, 11:20 pm

Finished The Pound: A Biography by David Sinclair. Very readable for such an esoteric subject.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 9, 2021, 4:02 pm

Finished Burning Down the House, a political life of Newt Gringrich, with his coup against Speaker of the House Jim Wright being the centerpiece. This was a trip down memory lane, as I was nearing the end of my involvement in GOP boiler-room operations at the time of that fight. I often joked in the past that the main reason I wasn't a Republican was having worked for Newt. Zelizer's characterization of Gingrich is spot-on from my experience of the man.

kesäkuu 13, 2021, 3:01 pm

I finished The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. This classic set of essays, first published in 1903 during the full savagery of Jim Crow America, is W.E.B Du Bois' heartfelt and detailed description of race relations, particularly in the South, and the plight of African Americans trying to attain some level of dignity and prosperity in the face harsh and determined resistance from white America. Du Bois refers to racism as the Veil behind which African Americans must live, a veil which serves to hide the true nature of Black culture and aspirations from the racist white America. The essays cover history and cultural, religious and economic conditions and the nature source of racism itself. Du Bois also provides two essays that sketch the lives of individuals whose talents and potential are crushed under the weight of mindless Jim Crow hatred. Du Bois was a wonderful writer, and although my previous reading had already revealed to me most of the conditions and history he describes, reading Du Bois' heartfelt explanations and accounts, written from the heart from the midst of those particular dark days (which is not to say that the dark days have relented even today) was a moving experience for me. These essays were not written as history, of course, but they serve as important historical touchstones now.

kesäkuu 15, 2021, 2:30 pm

Finished an uninspiring Henry Bradley Plant: Gilded Age Dreams for Florida and a New South by Canter Brown Jr.. An interesting subject but let down by less than captivating writing.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 17, 2021, 10:38 am

>4 jztemple: Sounds like why I drop kicked The Bonanza King after only a few pages, followed by a quick skim to see if there was enough reason to change my mind; the answer being no.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 22, 2021, 8:52 am

As for a book I did like a lot, there's The Europeans. Come for the "interesting" personal relationships, stay for the rise of culture as a business endeavor.

kesäkuu 17, 2021, 7:43 am

I'm back at China Marches West, which I stalled on sometime in spring.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 21, 2021, 6:55 am

>8 ulmannc: Where did you gain access to this work? It actually might be relevant to my job.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 21, 2021, 6:58 am

Finished Four Lost Cities over the weekend. Interesting subjects and snappy writing, but feels a little less than the sum of the parts; I gather that it was cobbled together from a series of stories published in "Ars Technica."

kesäkuu 21, 2021, 3:20 pm

Finished audio of Paris 1919. Like being there for every detail of the Versailles Treaty. Lots of spiteful evaluations of the players by the players. Lots of obstinate nationalism. Lots of pathos (the Albanians). Lots of tragedy (Woodrow Wilson). Lots and lots of lots and lots -- maybe too much

kesäkuu 21, 2021, 10:33 pm

Completed Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket 1958-2002 by Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles. This is a NASA History Series publication and focuses a lot on the people and politics of the program. Sadly (for me), there was very little technical information.

kesäkuu 24, 2021, 2:19 am

I am about halfway through Marc Morris's The Anglo-Saxons A History of the Beginnings of England which is a very good narrative history of England from the arrival of the Germanic invaders up to the Norman Conquest.

I have previously read his book The Norman Conquest


kesäkuu 24, 2021, 8:25 pm

I completed reading Old Spanish Trail Santa Fe to Los Angeles by Hafen. This is the first book I have read by him and it kept me interested. It's the first of fifteen volumes of The Far West and the Rockies Historical Series published by The Arthur H. Clark Company

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 18, 2021, 7:29 pm

As the week goes on I wrapped up Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front, an examination of the whole, mostly misguided, effort to use Soviet air bases by the USAAF. Call this an examination of the reality that states have no eternal friends, only eternal interests.

kesäkuu 27, 2021, 8:59 pm

Finished The Right Wrong Man this evening, an analytic history of the whole sorry John Demjanjuk Affair, and how a self-proclaimed "little" man could become such a big deal. If you can overlook some prolix writing I thought that this was a very informative work.

kesäkuu 30, 2021, 12:07 pm

Completed a short Wellington Bomber by Edward Bishop, which is part of Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II and Ballantine's Illustrated History of the Violent Century.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 18, 2021, 1:47 pm

Moved "An Empire of Silver" to July Reading