Current Reading: August 2021

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Current Reading: August 2021

1ulmannc
Edited: Aug 1, 2021, 8:33pm

I finished reading The National Park Service A Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Album.

// It's amazing what you stumble over when wandering through ones shelves. I keep getting surprises. Why? I was trying to locate all my Charlie Russell items and sometimes cannot tell if he is involved with a book or not. In this particular case he wasn't. . . but then I'm interested in them anyway so that's probably why this book ended up in the collection. Remember Charlie Russell spent almost 20 summers at Glacier National Park. Actually he started visiting there in 1907 and the park wasn't officially created until 1910. There, your piece of trivia for the day! //

2Shrike58
Aug 2, 2021, 8:18am

Finished Monsters and Myths yesterday, an art catalogue that examines how the Surrealists responded to the threat of a new general war in Europe.

3Shrike58
Aug 5, 2021, 7:25pm

Finished Building Washington: Engineering and Construction of the New Federal City, 1790−1840, an accounting of the travails involved in the whole endeavor by a long-time historian of American civil engineering and a senior staffer of the National Park Service's Register of Historic Buildings.

4jztemple
Aug 7, 2021, 11:26pm

Completed a fascinating (especially if you like technical details) The Iron Ship: The History and Significance of Brunel's Great Britain by Ewan Corlett.

5Shrike58
Aug 10, 2021, 7:36am

Wrapped up "Faster" yesterday, a fine account by Neal Bascomb of Grand Prix racing in the 1930s.

6Shrike58
Aug 10, 2021, 7:40am

I also set aside The Anarchy, mostly due to the author's snarky attitude leading me to wonder whether I could trust his narrative; it's not even though I have a lot of love for the East India Company.

7ulmannc
Aug 10, 2021, 8:26am

I finished A woman's way West : in and around Glacier National Park from 1925 to 1990 last week. It was an enjoyable read especially if you like Glacier and the areas around it in Montana. Only been there once but I would love to go again!

8scunliffe
Aug 10, 2021, 8:23pm

Finished embracing Defeat by John Dower. Interesting to see how Japan so quickly recovered from WWII, because of or in spite of heavy handed American direction, and prepared itself for rapid economic growth in a surprisingly short period of time. The book won a National Book Award, presumably for content rather than writing style.

9Tess_W
Aug 11, 2021, 5:54pm

Read Narrative of the Texan Santa Fé Expedition: Comprising a Tour Through Texas, and Capture of the Texans by George Kendall It was a non-fiction read that was a result of doing some research on my current reading (Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico). I go down so many rabbit holes! This book was a reproduction, thankfully, through Kindle. When I was looking around for a tree book (which I usually want for historical purposes), it seems this book is a collector's item and the originals at Abe's Books were in the $1000-2000 dollar range; just a bit out of my budget!;)

This was a great narrative of an expedition written by Kendall who was a soldier and a war correspondent. Kendall traveled to the Republic of Texas in 1841 to join up with and report on Gov. Lamar's attempt to take Santa Fe from the Mexicans and secure New Mexico for the Americans. This expedition met with disaster and Kendall and others were marched 2000 miles and put into a Mexican prison--a leper colony, where Kendall caught smallpox. Surprisingly he survived. While in prison he wrote letters which were posted daily. He spent about a year imprisoned before he was released upon payment by influential friends. One of my favorite parts of the book was his detailed description of Mexican food and customs. The military maneuvers were very dry and I oftentimes skimmed these. 878 pages, 4.5*

10jztemple
Aug 11, 2021, 6:47pm

>9 Tess_W: Sounds like an interesting book, I'll have to look for the Kindle version as well.

In the meantime, I read part of but gave up on Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift by Thomas E. Chavez. It had promise, being the history of how Spain contributed to the success of the American Revolution by undermining the British early on and then later through supporting the rebels and actual military actions against British outposts. However, it was rather ponderous and the first part was so much focused on the personalities of this minister and that governor. And then it was correspondence and talks and I finally just decided life is too short to grind through it. It's not a bad book, but I just don't want to spend hours and hours on who said what to whom and when.

11ulmannc
Aug 12, 2021, 7:51pm

I read Electric Railways of Michigan which was one of the CERA annual bulletins. This one was published in 1959. CERA stands for Central Electric Railfans' Association. It's based in Chicago.

12Shrike58
Aug 16, 2021, 7:27am

Finished up The Dawn of Detroit yesterday evening, an exercise in trying to put the early city's history as a center of slavery (both "Indian" and African) into a wider context.

13Tess_W
Aug 16, 2021, 8:18pm

Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico by Susan Shelby Magoffin. This was a delightful account of a wagon caravan from Independence, Missouri, to Chihuahua, Mexico in 1846-1847 (during the Texas-Mexican War). The author was 18 year old, newly married, Susan Shelby Magoffin. It was obvious she was well educated and well-read. This was a very enjoyable read with copious footnotes, sometimes 3 pages in length, but added much to the explanation of the some of the personages mentioned within Ms. Magoffin's entries. 260 pages

14rocketjk
Aug 17, 2021, 2:28pm

I finished The Slave Ship: A Human History by Marcus Rediker, one of the most disturbing, depressing books I've read in a long time. This book is exactly what the title suggests, a history of the process of bringing slaves to the Americas from Africa. Rediker has created a comprehensive and very well written narrative. He tells of the cultures and kingdoms of Western Africa who took part in kidnapping members of other groups, marching them sometimes hundreds of miles to the coast and selling them to European slave traders. He uses first person accounts to describe what it was like to be one of those captured in that way. He finishes up by talking about the abolitionist movement and how the practice was finally brought to an end. But mostly Rediker describes the horror and despair the kidnapped experienced aboard the slave ships themselves. And, in addition, the violence, cruelty and high mortality rates experienced not just by the enslaved, but by crew members as well. The book, very well written, as I said above, is a detailed horror show from beginning to end. If you can put yourself through it, though, it is important reading, a crucial, fundamental part of the American and European story.

15jztemple
Aug 20, 2021, 12:21am

Finished a very enjoyable Pawnee Bill: A Biography of Major Gordon W. Lillie by Glenn Shirley. Pawnee Bill was in his times as famous as "Buffalo" Bill Cody. He was a cowboy, a friend to and White Chief of the Pawnee Indians, a leader of the Oklahoma Land Boomers, a noted showman with his own "Wild Wild and Great Far East" show, a businessman of some note and also lead the movement to preserve and protect the American Bison. The book is very readable and interesting.

16princessgarnet
Edited: Aug 26, 2021, 12:38pm

Finished: The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots by Kate Williams (US edition)
The story of the friendship and rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.

Current: The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England 400-1066 by Marc Morris
Newest release by best selling author and historian about a formative time in British history

17Shrike58
Aug 24, 2021, 7:57am

Finished up Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution, an examination of how the reciprocal interaction between rampant criminality and mob justice in Petrograd contributed to the failure of the Provisional Government, the rise of the Bolsheviks, and the Bolshevik turn to the hard coercion that characterized the Soviet state. Kind of a dry read but the author is honest enough to admit that he doesn't have any good answers to the questions he's asking himself.

18ulmannc
Aug 24, 2021, 11:59am

Let's try this again! I completed Back-Tracking in Memory the Life of Charles M. Russell Artist. Nancy worked on a book that wasn't completed about Charlie but it was enjoyable. Two of the most knowledgeable Russell experts worked on this. It was just published so you will not find it anyplace yet. I personally think it would be a good book for someone to read to understand more about Charlie's history and see some of his better creations.

// This is the 2nd time I wrote this due to my inability to push the post message after I look at the Preview. I'm not going to tell you how many times I have done this. //

19jztemple
Aug 26, 2021, 11:40am

I just got through The British Assault on Finland, 1854-1855: A Forgotten Naval War by Basil Greenhill. Not exactly a page turner due to a lot of Scandinavian names and some rather esoteric discussions of Finnish and Åland Islands history, but it was interesting never the less. I enjoy reading books about subjects I know very little about and this certainly qualified. It was well written and quite informative.