OK Amateur Historians, What are You Reading in the 2nd Quarter of '08 (Apr, May, June)
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Well somehow I've got too many books going on. Still reading one on medieval travellers to the Khan's court. Also, "Founding Faith" by Steven Waldman and a book that's proving to be a real slog about the Chouteaus': Before Lewis and Clark: The story of the Chouteaus.
But to prove I'm a glutton for punishment, I'll ask what you'all are reading as I never say no to my TBR :)
Can't remember if I listed the first one of these or not. (Too lazy to go look)
"The Laws of Spain in Their Application to the American Indians"
"Notes on the Cosmogony and Theogony of the Mojave Indians of the Rio Colorado, Arizona"
Both are articles by John Gregory Bourke, circa 1888-1892.
Two books about the Greek War of Independence. At this moment I am reading The Greek Adventure by David Howarth. The other one is a reread: William St. Clair’s That Greece might still be free. St. Clair is about the philhellenes and more in-depth, but Howarth’s is a very good story. Absorbing.
Just finished Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence and am now on to Alexander Hamilton.
"The Moquis of Arizona" by J. Bourke, written in 1880s.
The touchstone may bring up the wrong reference. This is a short paper available at Archive.org.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
I've been meaning to read this one and finally got around to getting it from the library. It's sorta history ;
My book on the German occupation of the Channel Islands, War on the Margins: A Novel is FINALLY out in paperback. I hope someone enjoys it.
I spent an hour digging through the history section at a local library book sale Saturday and one book I found has moved to the top of my TBR list Nuts and bolts of the past: A history of American technology, 1776-1860 by David F. Hawke. The sub-title describes what it is about, there was a lot more than just the cotton gin being developed in those years. It was the only book I found that had anything even remotely to do with American labor, my main area of interest.
I picked up a few other titles that piqued my interest but I will mention those when I have a chance to read them. That might be soon, this is finals week and I am taking a lighter class load over the summer.
I'm in a civil war phase. I am reading a four volume set that begins with The Battle of the Wilderness and goes throughCold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June3, 1864. The books set forth moment by moment narration of the battles, the bloodiest of the war. The author also provides good analysis of the strategy and tactics of the Generals. In the Battle of the Wilderness Grant was defeated worse than Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville. I read the short section in Grant's memoirs on the battle and he didn't consider it a defeat at all. Also he did not retreat like Hooker did.
It is a very good series but the detailed violence and carnage does wear on me at times. Reading about men charging over the dead bodies from yesterday is very graphic. I have to pick up something else to give me a break. So far I am 100 pages into the third volume.
At this moment I am reading Minotaur by J. A. Macgillavry. A biography, and a critical assessment of Evans' work at Knossos by someone with his own expertise in the archaeology of Crete.
The backcover tells me that the author shows that Evans anticipated what he found, having decided before he began his excavations at Knossos what his discoveries would mean (his Minoans were perfect Victorians).
As I have spent many happy hours reading about the Minoans as well as Victorians, I am very curious about Macgillvray's story
According to the Kathimerini (3-4-2008) Minoan civilization was built by people from Anatolia – and not from Africa, as maintained by Martin Bernal. (This is the conclusion of a new study resulting from a DNA analysis. “The DNA analysis indicates that the arrival of Neolithic man in Greece from Anatolia coincided with the social and cultural upsurge that led to the birth of Minoan civilization. ‘Until now we only had the archaeological evidence – now we have the genetic data too and we can date the DNA’'' one of the researchers states.).
Just finished reading:
"Of Agues and Fevers: Malaria in the Early Chesapeake" by Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman
Very interesting article on malaria and it's possible consequences in the new world.
How is that? I've read Washington's Crossing and have been considering getting Fischer's other books.
I like it a lot. He really got into the details of how the word was spread when the British started their move on Concord and how quickly, and how far it spread. I'm just at the point where the militia is starting to gather. He's a really good writer.
Just started reading:
"Heavy Shadows and Black Night": Disease and Depopulation in Colonial Spanish America"
W. George Lovell is actually a pretty amusing author thus far. Definitely going to see if he's written other articles.
Just finished The Souls of Black Folk. Except for the last few chapters I had trouble remembering that it was written over a hundred years ago.
Just started Death in the Haymarket by James Green. So far it is interesting and an easy read. If not for summer classes I think I could get through in a few days.
"Co. Aytch" by Sam Watkins.
It's a CW memoir by a private. Absolutely wonderful primary source. Learned more about the war from this book than any textbook I've read.
I just finished Death in the Haymarket by James Green. He covers the events leading up to the Haymarket event and the results and reactions up to the present time. It reads like a novel but is well documented, often quoting from the archives of the Chicago Tribune. I was amazed at the impact the events had worldwide. This is another bit of US history that has been, let’s say ignored, because of the deplorable actions of government officials. Can anyone recommend a biography of Albert and Lucy Parsons? I thought they were the most fascinating people involved in the entire event.
I am just starting Chronology of Labor in the United States by Russell Wright a short book, only 105 pages not counting the appendixes, bibliography, and index. Hopefully I will have better luck pulling myself away from it to study for class than I did with Haymarket. I was a good student up until the middle of that book then I really spent too much time with it.
not having any luck with the Touchstones
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