Currently Reading - March 2021

TalkHistory Fans

Join LibraryThing to post.

Currently Reading - March 2021

Mar 1, 2021, 5:42pm

Completed an excellent The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto.

Mar 4, 2021, 7:43am

Knocked off The Tango War yesterday evening. For the general reader it's probably a fine book, though the portions dealing with the extension of the American system of "internment" to Central & South America made my blood boil.

Mar 5, 2021, 12:25am

Read A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times by Donald Hill. Not bad but really more of a survey of subjects.

Mar 5, 2021, 11:24pm

Currently reading The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway by Doug Most. It is a pretty well written book, moves along nicely and has a good narrative feel to it. I do have my suspicions that the author might be a bit weak on the facts, since I'll already come across a couple of eye-brow raisers. First, the author notes "On January 9, 1863, nine days after Lincoln ended slavery by signing the Emancipation Proclamation...". Of course the Proclamation was signed back the previous September and it didn't end slavery. In another, he notes that the marriage of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom is "the only wedding that has even been held at the White House". Thirty seconds on the internet will show that there have been eighteen documented weddings held at the White House. It makes one wonder what other facts might be iffy. There are copious end notes so perhaps the author was winging it only on items not directly related to the subject.

Mar 6, 2021, 7:30pm

I finished They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. This interesting and extremely valuable history, recently published, explores the role of women in the slave system and economy of the southern U.S. during the centuries before the Civil War. Jones-Rogers uses extensive research in contemporary newspaper accounts, WPA History Project testimony of formerly enslaved people and court records as well to show that many women in the South owned slaves of their own and were simply subservient to their husbands when it came to slave owning and economic considerations of all sorts. Women were often "left" slaves in their parents' wills and were also given slaves as "gifts" by their parents when they married. Furthermore, many couples signed what we'd now called pre-nuptual agreements stipulating that wives would retain complete control of their own slaves and all other financial interests. Jones-Rogers tours the multi-faceted world of slave owning and shows that women were often mens' equals when it came to wheeling and dealing for profit, and also for savagery in their treatment of their enslaved workers. The work is important particularly, I think, in that it is an detailed treatment of the pervasive nature of the slave system in the American south: all whites took part, not just men, in all facets of the system.

Mar 15, 2021, 10:25am

Finished Miles M.52: Britain's Top Secret Supersonic Research Aircraft yesterday evening. A quite technical account of the little airplane that didn't get the chance to show what it could do.

Mar 20, 2021, 12:48am

Just completed Minuteman: A Technical History of the Missile That Defined American Nuclear Warfare by David Stumpf. This is a very detailed look at the Minuteman program from a technical standpoint with an amazing amount of information. Quite a number of photos and illustrations included. Only recommended for the truly involved enthusiast.

Mar 20, 2021, 7:37am

Finished up Berlin 1936 yesterday evening, a pretty good effort to try and recapture the atmosphere of the Nazi Olympics.

Mar 21, 2021, 7:12pm

I finished Intermountain Railroads Standard and Narrow Gauge. I didn't know there was any narrow gauge that far north. . .it didn't last long. It become part of the Oregon Short Line.

Mar 22, 2021, 7:57am

Finished up Emperor: A New Life of Charles V yesterday evening: or at least as much as I'm going to do right now!

Edited: Mar 25, 2021, 10:14pm

Hi, I'm princessgarnet, and I was a member on the original History Fans group. I'm glad it's back and have rejoined!

Finished Empress Alexandra: the Special Relationship Between Russia's Last Tsarina and Queen Victoria by Melanie Clegg
Growing up, young Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt was a special favorite grandchild of Queen Victoria. This book details their relationship.

Mar 25, 2021, 10:26pm

>13 princessgarnet: Glad to have you back!

Edited: Apr 2, 2021, 7:09am

Finished up Lincoln's Informer, a life of Charles Dana, a man who had a fascinating career as a newspaperman and field operative of Secretary of War Edwin Staunton, before becoming a great example of how there's no deeper cynic than a man who has lost their ideals, as editor and publisher of the New York "Sun."

Mar 26, 2021, 3:21pm

>16 Shrike58: A very interesting sounding book! Thanks for posting, I've added it to my wishlists. I like books about less known but still important figures of history, I find they add a new outlook on events. I'm currently reading Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father by Stephen Fried which gives a different view of the Revolution that the usual biographies. I'm also looking for a good biography of Frank J. Sprague. In the trolley book I just finished (two posts up) there was a good deal about Sprague, who probably should be as well known as Edison or Tesla but wasn't as interested in self promotion.

Mar 26, 2021, 3:45pm

I’ve gotten started on Lawson’s The Battle of Hastings 1066. Background and source criticism this far - seems promising.

Mar 31, 2021, 1:48pm

I completed The Allegheny, part of the Rivers of America series. I did create a short review on it.