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Old 09-18-2012, 11:30 PM   #76
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Re: Favorite History Books

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Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe Jonathan W. Jordan



Just finished this and I found it to be terrific! Very interesting and informative look at the big 3 US Generals of WWII in the European theater. Shows how they worked together and all of the many ebbs and flows of their relationships with each other. They often disagreed as well as supported each other. The one thing they had in total agreement was a dislike of Montgomery.

If you have even remote interest in the US involvement in the European theater of WWII I would highly recommend this book. It is a very engaging read on some very interesting American historical figures.
Interesting. Always interesting to see ''inner armies rivalries'' And damn yes montgomery was universally hated. Speaking of world war 2, my first ever real history book - i read this at the tender age of 15, creating quite a scandal at school as ''the kid who read books from nazis''



Rommel memoirs from africa. Like so many, i made my beginnings in history with world war 2 and i got ''star struck'' by rommel. The battle of france is a bit confusing(considering rommel obtained the world record for biggest advance in a single day for an attacking army, things go blazingly fast). The desert campaign however is very well detailed but as a certain style that i rarely find in military authors(napoleon,caesar and manstein come to mind as much more ''dry'' authors. Good editing from Liddel helps clarifying points that can be confusing.
Book can be read from free on a PDF via archives.org
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:54 PM   #77
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Re: Favorite History Books

The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea Walter R. Borneman



Just finished this and it was outstanding. I'm a big fan of US Naval history, especially WWII and I am an old Navy man myself.

Loved the way this book was put together. It starts on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack showing where each of these 4 guys were at the time. Then it goes back and tells how the 4 of them got there. Thats about the first third of the book giving us a mini biography of each man. Then it gets into each seperate but intertwined story as the war progresses and they all earn their stars so to speak. They are all different but exceptional in their own ways. It also gives an excellent history of the US Navy from 1900ish through WWII.

Going in Leahy was the one I knew least about and Nimitz the most. I had previously read 2 different Nimitz biographies as well this one earlier this year.



Nimitz is probably my all-time favorite US Military leader but I gained lots of respect for the others as well whom my main knowledge of was from my previous readings on Nimitz.

If you are interested US Naval history I would say The Admirals is a must read. It was much different from How They Won the War in the Pacific: Nimitz and his Admirals (which is also excellent) as that book deals primarily with its title and we get to learn about the vast pool of talent that Nimitz himself commanded while The Admirals focuses on the 4 5 stars and the view from the very top. The book also has a good dose of wartime FDR as well as Generals Marshall and MacArthur and the top Brits.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #78
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Re: Favorite History Books

1920 The War with Mexico, 2 vols. by Justin H. Smith (Macmillan)

Tough to read, if I remember it right. I think this is the book I read. But, blown away at the quality.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #79
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Re: Favorite History Books

Warlords: by
Simon Berthon , Joanna Potts
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:16 PM   #80
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Re: Favorite History Books

Every year The Economist has a list of books in a variety of categories that the editors recommend. It is a worthwhile list. Include are five books on History. I have not read any of these but I doubt the editors of the Economist would recommend something that would be a waste of your time. I myself may purchase a few of these.

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956; by Anne Applebaum.
Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962; by Yang Jisheng
Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain; by John Darwin
The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War; by Halik Kochanski


The last book, about Poland during WW II looks especially intriguing. As most know here, or at least should know, Poland took it the face and in the ass in WW II, and when broken down totally was stomped into the muck by both the Germans and the Russians. Few countries had it worse. Or had the ugliness forced on them by outside powers in an undeserved way- Should not be forgotten.

Perhaps more could be said about this in the WW II thread.

The book on the Chinese famine, inflicted on his very own people by the imbecilities of Emperor Mao, also looks very interesting and should not be forgotten.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:48 AM   #81
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Re: Favorite History Books

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1776
I enjoyed this quite a bit, and have gone off on a bit of a David McCullough tangent now. Read The Great Bridge (story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge) over the last couple of weeks, and now I'm working on Truman. Found I pretty much flew through The Great Bridge, and so far I am with Truman as well - McCullough does a good job of making potentially dry subjects very interesting IMO.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:55 PM   #82
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Re: Favorite History Books

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I enjoyed this quite a bit, and have gone off on a bit of a David McCullough tangent now. Read The Great Bridge (story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge) over the last couple of weeks, and now I'm working on Truman. Found I pretty much flew through The Great Bridge, and so far I am with Truman as well - McCullough does a good job of making potentially dry subjects very interesting IMO.
McCullough is the best. Read everything he wrote. He can make anything compelling and interesting.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:12 AM   #83
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Re: Favorite History Books

Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert Sherwood

Harry Hopkins ran the Depression era WPA for Roosevelt and acted like a shadow Secretary of State/personal Roosevelt emissary during WWII.

Robert Sherwood was speech writer for Roosevelt and also a playwright so the writing is superb. This work belongs in the same category as the best of Tuchman or Caro.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...lt-and-hopkins
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:55 AM   #84
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Re: Favorite History Books

Hmm...may have to add that one to my reading list, as that's right in my wheelhouse now. Currently reading Six Months in 1945 (Michael Dobbs), and No Ordinary Time (Doris Kearns Goodwin) is on deck. Was also considering Franklin and Winston and then a good Churchill biography or two.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:32 PM   #85
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Re: Favorite History Books

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Hmm...may have to add that one to my reading list, as that's right in my wheelhouse now. Currently reading Six Months in 1945 (Michael Dobbs), and No Ordinary Time (Doris Kearns Goodwin) is on deck. Was also considering Franklin and Winston and then a good Churchill biography or two.
I'm currently reading this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Lion-Chu.../dp/B0076DEPUK


It is excellent. The third of a three volume set. I started with the last one first. It is the American way to do things.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:17 PM   #86
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Re: Favorite History Books

A light read. But I was looking through my "library" recently and blew some dust off of it. You probably will not exactly learn anything new here, but its entertaining.



Probably good as a list of pointers to more detailed looks at various topics.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #87
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Re: Favorite History Books

Another light read, and a good list of pointers for more detailed investigation.

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Old 10-09-2016, 04:38 AM   #88
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Re: Favorite History Books

Simon Winchester - another author whom I try to pick up every book of his I come across. I've read The Meaning of Everything and...and...dammit, I'm sure I've read another one. I've got A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Man Who Loved China on my bookshelf, and he's written several others that interest me.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:24 AM   #89
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Re: Favorite History Books

Winchester, "Krakatoa" was also excellent.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:31 PM   #90
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Re: Favorite History Books

This is also a good read, by Winchester:

The Professor-Madman and Insanity-the making of the OED

Also read The Man Who Loved China and it was interesting and well done.

Only books by him that I've read but based on that the others should be very good also.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:30 AM   #91
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Re: Favorite History Books

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This is also a good read, by Winchester:

The Professor-Madman and Insanity-the making of the OED
That's the other one I read, and yes, it was very good.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:04 PM   #92
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Re: Favorite History Books

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Winchester, "Krakatoa" was also excellent.
Makes the Wallace Line a riveting subject.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:36 PM   #93
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Re: Favorite History Books

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay, the novels of Alexandre Dumas, the novels of Walter Scott, etc.

On a more serious note: "From Dawn to Decadence" by Jacques Barzun.

Also I agree with most of the others' favorites.

Last edited by tirtep; 12-24-2016 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:06 PM   #94
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Re: Favorite History Books

The "Story of Civilization" by Will and Ariel Durant . Comprehensive histories in 11 volumes from "Our Oriental Heritage" until the "Age of Napoleon" when at which time he and wife Ariel died.

The guiding motion was as follows:

The Conditions of Civilization
The Economic Elements of Civilization
The Political Elements of Civilization
The Moral Elements of Civilization
The Mental Elements of Civilization
The Prehistoric Beginnings of Civilization
“The moulders of the world’s myths were unsuccessful husbands, for they agreed that woman was the source of all evil.” (page 70)

In the preface of "Our Oriental Heritage ";

As Durant says in the preface to his first work, Our Oriental Heritage:
I wish to tell as much as I can, in as little space as I can, of the contributions that genius and labor have made to the cultural heritage of mankind – to chronicle and contemplate, in their causes, character and effects, the advances of invention, the varieties of economic organization, the experiments in government, the aspirations of religion, the mutations of morals and manners, the masterpieces of literature, the development of science, the wisdom of philosophy, and the achievements of art. I do not need to be told how absurd this enterprise is, nor how immodest is its very conception … Nevertheless I have dreamed that despite the many errors inevitable in this undertaking, it may be of some use to those upon whom the passion for philosophy has laid the compulsion to try to see things whole, to pursue perspective, unity and understanding through history in time, as well as to seek them through science in space. … Like philosophy, such a venture [as the creation of these 11 volumes] has no rational excuse, and is at best but a brave stupidity; but let us hope that, like philosophy, it will always lure some rash spirits into its fatal depths.
— Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, preface


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_Civilization
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:13 AM   #95
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Re: Favorite History Books

Thanks carlo. That's exactly in line with what I'm looking for.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:10 AM   #96
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Re: Favorite History Books

Robert Kershaw "War Without Garlands". A good book on the subject of war on the eastern front in 1941-1942.
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