History Book Recommendations

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

  1. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Howard Zinn - People's History of the US
    Dee Brown - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
    Wallace Stegner - Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (bio)
    Studs Terkel - The Good War
    Edward Countryman - The American Revolution

    more later when I get home to refresh my memory on some authors.


  2. Zenit

    Zenit Moderator Staff Member

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    A qucik spin through the best I've read, in English.

    900 Days - Harrison Salisbury
    Lenin's Tomb & Resurrection - David Remnick
    Rasputin File, Stalin & The Last Tsar - Edvard Radzinsky
    Lenin - Robert Service
    The Red Orchestra - Gilles Perrault
    East of the Sun - Benson Bobrick
    Body of Secrets - James Bamford
    Anything by Barbara Tuchman, but especially The First Salute & A Distant Mirror
  3. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Zenit - I just finished Peter the Great, by Robert Massie. Always wondered how a Russian would find this book, since it was written by a yank. I loved it...all 880 pages!

    Others:
    John Keegan - The Face of Battle
    Norman Davies - Europe, A History
    Richard Rhodes - Making of the Atomic Bomb

    all of them must reads..if you've got the time!
  4. DynamoKiev_USA

    DynamoKiev_USA New Member

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    You've got to go with Will Durant.

    Heroes of History
    History of Philosophy
    Greates Minds and Ideas of All Times.


  5. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    I've decided I will only post one at a time. So to start--The Making of the English Working Class, EP Thompson
  6. Karl K

    Karl K Member

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    Leftist claptrap.

    Required reading, in that it is so influential, but in the end, anti-capitalist, hate-America claptrap.

    Whenever someone holds up Zinn as an icon, I always go to the 11th grade essay written by Pamela Weintraub, and published a review on Amazon. If this 11th grader can skewer Zinn, what does that tell you?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cu...te&n=283155&s=books&customer-reviews.start=41

  7. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Hey man..did I say he was an icon? hell no. I said it was a good book, for what its trying to do. Of course its leftist. But it ain't claptrap if you read it with open eyes. The guy is telling stories about people who don't get their stories told..women in factories in Lynn MA working 75 hour weeks and being fired when they're an hour late...hardscrabble farmers losing everything to the banks...black tenant farmers losing ground at the end of the 19th century...vicious union busting in Flint MI. Its not pretty. Yeah, Zinn tries too hard to paint a leftist portrait of capitalism. But along the way he did open my eyes to some painful stories that are worth hearing.
    guignol repped this.
  8. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator Staff Member

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    Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  9. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    What about Story of Civilization? Just looking at Amazon...it looks amazing. I'd never heard of the guy thanks!

    repped
  10. DynamoKiev_USA

    DynamoKiev_USA New Member

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    He is really really smart, and really really ideology-free.

    If you're into audio-books, Durant's audio-books are extremely well narrated.
  11. DynamoKiev_USA

    DynamoKiev_USA New Member

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    Howard Zinn's is a fascinating book, and certainly extremely informative. It MUST be required reading, because Zinn is right -- the side of the oppressed is not represented in traditional histories. He says outright in the introduction, that the book is biased, and he intentionally takes the point of view of minority groups because it is a point of view that is not heard enough. It's pretty dumb to use Zinn's book as your sole source of information about US history, but I think that it certainly does provide a very well formulated "second opinion". There's no need to hide from the ugly parts of history.
    guignol repped this.
  12. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

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    The President of the University of Chicago submits:

  13. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

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    Joseph Rykwert - The Seduction of Place.

    This was in that same vein, and as a non-specialist, I really got a lot out of it. I'll have to get my hands on the two you mention, cautious as I am about Mumford. (I know he's tremendously influential and all, I'm just more touched by Jane Jacobs.)
  14. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

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    A Different Mirror: A Multicultural History of America - Ronald Takaki
    Where Zinn focused on class struggle, Takaki focuses on ethnicity. He's probably the father of Ethnic Studies, and this is a classic.

    John Adams - David McCullough
    Compelling and informative, particularly in how his relationship with Jefferson emerges.

    The Great War and Modern Memory - Paul Fussell
    Mandatory reading for anyone interested in how the 20th century turned into the age of irony.

    The Veil and the Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam - Fatima Mernissi
    Much more engaging (and grounded in brilliant historical analysis) than the title lets on. Mernissi convincingly calls into questions some basic hadiths used to justify much of Islam's current misogyny.
  15. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

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    Liberalism and Empire: A Study in Nineteenth-Century British Liberal Thought
    by Uday Singh Mehta

    Learn to love, or at least respect, Burke.

    Recommended to Dr. Wankler a few months ago, recommended to you all now, though it is a bit academic.
  16. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Very cool...I'll look into these. I have been interested in the counter-hypothesis too, the effect of the natural environment on cultures, especially the America West. Marc Reisner's book Cadillac Desert, while biased, is a great example of that type of comparison.
  17. Toon³

    Toon³ Member

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    My favourite book of all time. He is one of the best WW2 writers out there.

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    Not as good as Stalingrad but still an excellent book

    [​IMG]

    This has several stories about life under the Stasi Secret Police in East Germany. They are told by the people that experianced it and some of them are unbelieveable. Some of the best parts of the book are about the author trying to track down ex-stasi members.
  18. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History by John Lewis Gaddis

    some triumphalism, but still a good book
  19. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    Confirmed and seconded. Damn fine book.
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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    And I will also second The Making of the English Working Class, and add E.P. Thompson's companion volume, Customs in Common (While not directly history, Thompson's attack on French post-structuralist marxist Louis Althusser in The Poverty of Theory is also excellent.

    Paul Fussell's Great War and Modern Memory is, as Dr. Jones said, excellent. His later work on WWII, Wartime isn't quite as good, but it's worth reading.

    Also in the military history vein, John Keegan's The Face of Battle: Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme is a compelling look at military history from the perspective of the soldiers fighting the battles, not the commanders executing the war.
  21. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    The standard by which all other "ground level" military history books are measured.
  22. needs

    needs New Member

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    Gordon Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Should be required reading before anyone can opine on the intent of the founders.

    This book is a great example of the adage "The past is a foreign country, people are different there." It's also a great summation of a generation of scholarship dedicated to the idea that the United States is not only a product of classical liberalism but also of classical republicanism, and that the latter was far more influential on the thinking of the Revolutionary generation.
  23. Sine Pari

    Sine Pari Member

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    Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall
  24. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    So Wood is saying that Mills, Locke, and Rousseau were eclipsed by whom?
  25. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

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    Ex-president, actually, if you're referring to Don Michael Randel. He's stepping down.

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