The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts by Ruth Goodman Every age and social strata has its bad eggs, rule-breakers, and nose-thumbers. As acclaimed popular historian and author of How…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War Against America. By Fred Burton. On April 18th, 1983, a van rigged with 2,000 pounds of heavy explosives broke through the security perimeter of the American embassy in…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 1360 – Treaty of Brétigny Ratified The Treaty of Brétigny marks the end of the early phase of the…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership. Are…

The Month Ahead: New History Books On The Way

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library soon Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Riches in the American West  by Gregory Crouch Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who came of age in New York City, went to California during…

The Month Ahead: New History Books Coming In June

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library in June The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke by Andrew Lawler A sweeping account of a four-hundred-year-old mystery, the archeologists racing to unearth the answer, and what the Lost Colony reveals about America–from…

The Month Ahead: New History Books Coming in April

A small sample of the many new history book titles arriving at the library in April Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers. “Nearly three years ago, journalist Lauren Hilgers received an unexpected call. Hello, Lauren! a man shouted in halting Mandarin. We might be seeing you in New York again soon! The voice belonged to…

The Month Ahead: February New History Titles

Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece by Robin Waterfield In his latest book, independent scholar and translator Waterfield (Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece, 2014, etc.) sets a daunting task: to cover in one compact volume roughly 750 years of history, in an area from Sicily to Syria, through three eras:…

Today In History Reading List

In our Today In History Reading List feature, we take the events of a particular day in history and try to give you a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction relating to those events. 1788 Sydney Australia Established by Arthur Phillip The British First Fleet under Governor Arthur Phillip arrived at Port Jackson…

Jim Reviews: America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union – Fergus M. Bordewich

I know what you are all thinking, “Why hasn’t anyone written a history of the Compromise of 1850?” Well, your heart’s desire has been granted. Fergus Bordewich’s America’s Great Debate is just such a book. For those of you who are not US history teachers or 19th century political history junkies, the Compromise of 1850…

Jim’s Bedside Table

Once again my bedside table has gotten so full of books that my eyeglasses case and alarm clock are threatening to move to some other bedside table. Lets see what’s on there. 1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffery When I picked up this book originally I thought, “oh goodie, another World War I book,”…

Jim Reviews: Liberty’s Exiles – Maya Jasanoff

What do you think when you think of American’s who remain loyal to England during the American Revolution – aka Tories or Loyalists? If you are like me some common images come to mind: white, wealthy, church of England, maybe arrogant.That is the image we get of Tories before and during the revolution from movies,…

New Irish History | Reading List

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed an uptick in books being published about Irish history. It only occurred to me last week that the reason for this uptick was probably the up coming hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising (April 24-29). Given the holiday I thought it appropriate to give you a list…

Hamilton The Musical: A Reading List

Perhaps you’ve seen Hamilton: An American Musical? Or read Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, the biographical seed of inspiration that grew into the musical? Or perhaps the buzz has simply piqued your interest? From biographies of people like Burr, Lafayette, Jefferson and Hamilton himself to stories of the creation of the United States of America, we’ve got…

Jim Reviews: The Edge of the World – Michael Pye

By Jim When I first saw Michael Pye’s The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe I though “huh I don’t really know anything about life around the medieval North Sea.” And that’s kind of Pye’s point. You ask “what is the historical significance of the…

Jim Reviews: Fire and Movement – Peter Hart

By Jim Now that we are through the first year of the hundred year anniversary of World War 1 I thought it would be interesting to read a history of that first year of the war. So I picked up Peter Hart’s Fire and Movement: The British Expeditionary Force and the Campaign of 1914. Hart’s…

Jim Reviews: Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler’s Army – Georg Rauch

The obvious hook of Georg Rauch’s memoir Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler’s Army is how did a Jew end up in the German army in World War II? Until I read this book I would have thought it was impossible but apparently it was a thing (see Bryan Mark Rigg’s Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers). In Rauch’s case he grew up in a intellectual Austrian family in Vienna. He himself was christian but his Grandmother was Jewish so by Nazi doctrine he and his family were, although not destined for a concentration camp, considered 2nd class citizens.

Reading List: Wolf Hall

If you are like most fans of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series you’ve been climbing the walls waiting for PBS to release the BBC miniseries (which they’ve been watching in England for months the lucky devils). But there’s a problem you can only watch one episode a week and you’ve already reread Wolf Hall and…

Jim Reviews: The Great Arc – John Keay

I read a lot of history; I review a lot of history books; I read a lot of history book reviews; and I read a lot of book catalogs selling history books so not a lot slips by me. However this is a case of that happening, and I am simultaneously embarrassed (for missing it…

Jim Reviews: The Man Who Was George Smiley – Michael Jago

Recently there has been a resurgence in interest in the character of George Smiley with the reboot of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Although Gary Oldman does a credible George Smiley for me he’ll always look like Alec Guinness from the BBC Mini-Series that follows the John le Carre novel very closely. I was thrilled to see Michael Jago’s The Man Who Was George Smiley: The Life of John Bingham

Jim Reviews: Revolutionary Russia 1891-1991 – Orlando Figes

How about a little Russian Revolution on Christmas Eve? Ok maybe not every ones first choice for the night before Christmas but at some point you should really check this one out (briefly tried to do a Russian Revolution themed lyrics to Night Before Christmas but it did not work). Books on the Revolution can be a little dense but if you want to read one that isn’t check out Figes’ Revolutionary Russia.

Jim Reviews: Open Cockpit – Arthur Lee

You might remember this title from my post Jim’s Bedside Table. Well it isn’t on the table any more. I read it over the holiday and really enjoyed it. Open Cockpit by Arthur Gould Lee (Sadly we don’t own a copy of the book. However I’m working to fix that) is the memoir of a World War I pilot.

Jim Reviews: Japanese Destroyer Captain – Tameichi Hara

I picked this book up simply because it was the only time I had seen a history of World War II told from the perspective of the Japanese. What I hadn’t realized is Hara’s Japanese Destroyer Captain was actually a much older book. It was originally published in the 1960s as Hara tried to help a younger generation of Japanese understand the war. The book I picked up was a 2011 reprint.

Jim Reviews: A Great and Glorious Adventure – Gordon Corrigan

Like many people, I first read about the Hundred Years War in Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (which I got totally by accident because I mixed the title up with A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America which I was supposed to read for a college class), a hefty tome that takes you through all the four horsemen of the apocalypse as they ride across 14th century Europe.