Current Reading: May 2023

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Current Reading: May 2023

toukokuu 3, 4:06 pm

New calendar month!
Re-read: A Traveler's History of Croatia by Benjamin Curtis
I bought the latest edition of this book, copyright 2020. (I have the 2014 edition) The final chapter had additional content about recent events in Croatia.
If another edition is published, it'll need to include Croatia's change from the kuna to the euro back in January 2023.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 25, 6:39 am

Finished up Bag Man, an amusing accounting of a situation that was anything but amusing at the time (I was on the verge of going to high school when Nixon fell).

toukokuu 8, 7:46 am

Finished Outposts on the Frontier, which, as the subtitle promises, delivers a comprehensive history of the rise and fall of the manned space station.

toukokuu 8, 10:25 pm

Currently going very slowly through Fighters Over the Fleet: Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War by Norman Friedman. This is a bit different than the usual Friedman book that concentrates on hardware; this book gives equal time to theory, doctrine, procedures and practices. But it is very much a Friedman book in that the Kindle version (which I got on deep sale, happily) is almost 1400 pages. It's slow going but I'm really learning quite a lot.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 13, 2:23 am

>4 jztemple: I may actually take a crack at that book in the near future.

toukokuu 12, 8:56 am

Finished Övergivna platser finalen yesterday. Beautiful photography of abandoned buildings - ruin porn if you will - accompanied by fairly superficial economic explanations why they were abandoned.

toukokuu 15, 5:57 pm

Finished up Culture in Nazi Germany, a pretty good accounting of how the Nazis managed to destroy the vibrant cultural scene of the Weimar Republic, but turned out to have little to offer to fill the gap that would generate social elan and cohesion (shock of shocks). I get the impression that this book was meant to be a magisterial summing up of a career by the author, but, by the time he was done, his heart really wasn't in it.

toukokuu 16, 10:22 pm

I've started Roman Britain, from the Oxford History of England series. The writing style is surprisingly engaging and a breeze to read---it's going by much faster than I'd anticipated.

toukokuu 17, 3:44 pm

>8 mirryi: I have that book but haven't read it yet. I'd be interested in your opinions when you finish it.

toukokuu 18, 5:52 pm

Just completed Viking: The Norse Warrior's {Unofficial} Manual by John Haywood. Although on the surface it might seem a flip, shallow book, there is a lot of detail here written by a Viking scholar. It is a nice enjoyable book and a good summer read. Excellent illustrations with several color plates.

toukokuu 19, 8:04 am

Finished The Other Modern Movement, basically a collection of capsule biographies of notable architects who aren't quite household names, by a notable historian of the profession.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 21, 7:42 am

Wrapped up Musical Revolutions, a popular history of "serious" music, meaning the classical and jazz traditions. It seems good for what it is, but not tackling the Western folk tradition, or the relationship between "popular" and "serious" music is a bit of a limitation, and the author apologizes for this right at the start.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 24, 11:12 pm

Finished from the library: Flora Macdonald: the Pretty Young Rebel by Flora Fraser (US edition)
There's more to Flora's life than helping Bonnie Prince Charlie!

toukokuu 26, 2:39 am

Just finished Warren Treadgold, The Early Byzantine Historians. Plenty of interest, though all the minor historians named "John" are hard to keep straight!

toukokuu 27, 9:20 am

Finished In the Forest of No Joy, the story of how the French built a boondoggle of a railroad in Africa at the cost of 20k lives in the 1920s; some "civilizing mission."

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 31, 10:36 am

Finished The War for Jenkins' Ear. Mentioning it here because much of the book is devoted to the political and economic aspects that were the foundation of the war.

toukokuu 31, 4:50 pm

Completed Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Scandalous Secretary of War by Paul Kahan. Very well done and even-handed bio of Cameron, who we might remember as Lincoln's first Secretary of War, but was a far more important person in the middle and last part of the century. He's also a very interesting character to read about. About the only weaknesses I could raise are the vast number of names mentioned, requiring careful reading to keep everyone straight, and the tendency by the author to be a little careless in moving back and forth in time without giving the reader fair warning. However, these are minor quibbles and otherwise the book was a joy to read, if you in the mood for mid-19th century American politics!

kesäkuu 1, 8:26 am

>17 jztemple: I've read this book and also liked it. Cameron might be the first person you can refer to as "Mr. Republican." He also seems like he was the prototype of a Gilded Age politician, besides being a good example of how a Northern Democrat could become disillusioned with the Jacksonian faith.