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Started by Jacob_Richter on Mar 22, 2011 2:56:26 PM
What History books are you reading?

History folder seems a little slow and this thread traditionally pulls some punters in, gets people talking and maybe other thread topics will arise from it.

It also incorporates 'What History books would you recommend?'

Jacob_Richter - 22 Mar 2011 15:00:34 (#1 of 2830)

For me, I have recently read Rodney Hilton's 'Bond Men Made Free' on the 1381 revolt which was excellent social history. I've just finished Lars T Lih's 'Lenin' in the Critical Lives series and I'd recommend Lih's book as a great antidote to the usual distortions of that topic.

Currently on Michel Vovelle's 'The Fall of the French Monarchy' but this will be dropped, as it was when Lih's book was published, when Domenico Losurdo's 'Liberalism. A Counter History' arrives.

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Lento_ - 23 Mar 2011 13:43:03 (#4 of 2830)

Rubicon, which is very readable so far.

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brooklyn - 23 Mar 2011 18:15:02 (#6 of 2830)

I'm re-reading one of my favorites: Fletcher's "The Quest for El Cid." it contains not only a discussion of the hero's life, but a beautiful written and crystal clear summary of the history of the peninsula from the Visigoths to the reconquest. this link contains lengthy excerpts.

feckless - 25 Mar 2011 01:26:07 (#7 of 2830)

I've just acquired Goldsworthy's Caesar [I know - it's not a new book] but not started it yet - any opinions on it?

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Lento_ - 25 Mar 2011 08:05:19 (#9 of 2830)

I read that Caesar book a while back, it's quite enjoyable. I hadn't realised before just how much stuff Caesar had done before the bit we all commonly hear about. Really that was just the very small end part of his career.

Marcus - 25 Mar 2011 08:08:04 (#10 of 2830)

I've just finished Tom Holland's Rubicon which was rather good (though I thought his Millenium was better ...). Now reading some fiction for a while.

lusmeri1 - 25 Mar 2011 08:17:53 (#11 of 2830)

I'm currently alternating between French Society in Revolution, by David Andress, and The Origins of the Modern European State System, by M S Anderson. The first one is part of a theme I'm trying, not very successfully to stick to at the moment. The second one has been on my bookshelf for sometime and was making me feel guilty for not reading it.

Jacob_Richter - 25 Mar 2011 10:46:59 (#12 of 2830)

I'm currently alternating between French Society in Revolution, by David Andress.

Not read any Andress. Amazon seems to have some of his books available at very cheap prices - which is no reflection on quality - so please let me know what you think, lus.

As I mentioned upthread, I am part way through Vovelle's 'The Fall of the French Monarchy' which is the first part of a trilogy which CUP produced on the French Revolution a few years back.

As I understand it Vovelle is one of, if not THE, premier historians of the revolutionary period in France and yet there are very, very few of his works available in English.

Ebadlun - 25 Mar 2011 10:55:31 (#13 of 2830)

Not exactly history, but the Oxford Introduction to the Proto-Indo-European world is a fun detective story for logophiles.

Jacob_Richter - 25 Mar 2011 12:07:44 (#14 of 2830)


Not trying to hurry you but any idea when you will have formulated your French Revolution question?

lusmeri1 - 28 Mar 2011 15:30:02 (#15 of 2830)

Jacob, I'm still pondering it. It's a bit to do with confidence; the more I read the more I feel I need to read before I dare express an opinion on such a very complex subject. There are some very knowledgeable and well-read historians on this site and I'm not sure I can measure up to them.

Jacob_Richter - 28 Mar 2011 18:52:28 (#16 of 2830)

I wouldn't worry. I mean, where do you stop reading? After mentioning Vovelle upthread, I did a quick search on Amazon to see if there was much else of his in English. There was a total of two books in English among page after page after page of his stuff in French.

WorldsForemostAuthority - 29 Mar 2011 00:57:43 (#17 of 2830)

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody," by Will Cuppy.

mmuskin - 29 Mar 2011 01:34:40 (#18 of 2830)

I've read Tuchman and some books by one of my own cousins. But I think I'll go back and re-read Dr Strangelove as it appears to be moving away from the genre of fiction and more into the genre of history (at least up until the last part as of yet).

A research missle launched from Sweden which strayed in the general direction of Moscow caused the Russian military to go to its equivalent of Defcon 2 and, once they realised it was merely an unarmed research missle gone astray and was not part of any US first-strike, they stood down from launching a full-scale retaliatory nuclear strike against the US only ten minutes prior to launch.

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Jacob_Richter - 01 Apr 2011 13:24:17 (#20 of 2830)

I've just finished The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans.

Ah, yes, that's a smashing book. I must get around to the other 2 in the series.

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