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Historical Book Recomendation Thread

Discussion in 'World History' started by Babbler, Nov 28, 2008.

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  1. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    According to the NYT Book Review it's mostly seminal in its unfounded generalizations. As the reviewer remarked, it falls very short of substantiating its broad, sweeping claims. But then, it's not the work of a historian, is it.
     
  2. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    A surprising look at the (start of) the US Civil War:

    MADNESS RULES THE HOUR
    Charleston, 1860 and the Mania for War
    By Paul Starobin

    Or, as the review puts it:
    But this was not the first time this had happened:

    From: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/...&nl_art=&nlid=61820453&ref=headline&te=1&_r=3
     
  3. Gen.Mannerheim

    Gen.Mannerheim Grand Moff

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    In the immortal words of James L. Petigru, "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Finally got around to cracking open The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution. I'm about 50 pages in and would already recommend it.
     
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  5. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    How much of a doorstop is it? I've had a passing interest in the English Civil War and Cromwell making himself Definitely-Not-King since playing an excellent mod about it on Medieval2 but I have enough doorstops sitting on my shelves.
     
  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    @Ajidica It's only ~400 pages, my paperback version is quite thin.
     
  7. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I've been wanting to get into some of the history about the ancient Persian empire (Achaemenid dynasty). So far I've read "Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BCE" by Matt Waters which was dissapointing. It was little more than a detailed timeline of who the kings where and what they did, but almost nothing on the culture/inventions/art/life/etc... of the persians. Are there any recommendations for that?

    While I'm at it, similar recommendations about the Carthaginians and Celts would be very welcome. I'm trying to diversify my classical history beyond the greeks and romans.
     
  8. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    On the Carthaginians, try Carthage Must be Destroyed by Richard Miles. On the Celts, specifically in Britain, try Britain BC by Francis Pryor, or the relevant chapters in his The Making of the British Landscape. I have heard good things about Pagan Britain by Ronald Hutton (specifically for pre-Roman religion) but have yet to read it. On the Persians I'm afraid I can't be of much help.
     
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  9. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    For Persia, Persian Fire by Tom Holland is pretty good. It's not super academically-rigorous, I suppose, but it is entertaining and presents several interesting viewpoints, like referring to the Athenian sack of Sardis as the classical antiquity version of 9/11.
     
  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    I'm finally reading Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West. Any good follow-ups?
     
  11. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    My understanding of CFC World History is that, once you finish Barbarian Migrations, you surrender your material form and become a being of pure energy.
     
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  12. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Peter Heather The Goths gives a slightly different perspective on the role of the Goths in the "fall of the Roman Empire" and includes some really interesting information on Roman ethnography and archaeology in pre-writing Outer Europe. It also highlights a lot of the weaknesses in using archaeological sources which is always interesting given how heavily Halsall relies on archaeology to supplement his narrative.
    It is also a bit of a shame because it shows Heather can be an excellent writer and scholar; and then he wrote his Fall of the Roman Empire book where he literally says "immigrants caused the collapse of the Roman Empire".
     
  13. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Thanks, I'll look at both of them.
     
  14. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Another good one on the Goths is Michael Kulikowski, Rome's Gothic Wars, which has a lot of interesting discussion of how archaeology and conventional history go together, and how Gothic identity became something that people understood. Very much up Halsall's street. I would definitely echo that caution on the rest of Peter Heather's stuff, though I haven't actually read The Goths in full.
     
  15. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Mouthwash, I wouldn't recommend Heather's The Fall of the Roman Empire if you have read Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West. Heather approaches it from a "pop-history" perspective and ends his history at 476 on the nose. Which, given he previous wrote The Goths, he must know is absolute rubbish for any serious evaluation of the period. The only area where Heather comes out ahead of Halsall on a "general history of the fall of the Roman Empire" is he is more readable.

    Flying Pig, from what I have read (and from Dachs) is that Heather's scholarly work is still well regarded and despite being 20 years old The Goths has held up very well. That Heather did such good job in The Goths of covering various Romano-Gothic kingdoms makes his absolute lack of coverage of them in The Fall of the Roman Empire all the more perplexing.
     
  16. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    "De rafelranden van Europa" from the Dutch historian and political analyst Ivo van de Wijdeven.

    The big surprise of this book are the digital maps over time of Europe, the 2nd Holy Empire, the Ottoman Empire and some more.
    These digital YouTube maps are in English.
    The book describes the risks on war/terrorist separation movements of contested areas that in the course of history swapped between owners/nations.
    Like Kurds<-> Turks, Macedonia <-> Greek, etc.
    Ivo van de Wijdeven makes a case in his book that the existence of the EU is beneficial in minimising the risks on war within Europe.
    (I agree with him. The cost of keeping the EU up and running, as "insurance" fee, is for me as Dutch citizen 280 Euro per year. (Net cost EU for NL divided by number of inhabitants). Much cheaper than keeping up a big military :))

    I add here one map as example.




    Here the link to the site where the book is discussed (in Dutch), containing other digital maps used.
    http://historiek.net/rafelranden-van-europa-vaak-eeuwenoud/65211/
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  17. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton How much Parmesan to put on your umbrella?

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    Hello, I recall some interesting discussion on the historic origins of capitalism on this forum and am now looking for a or perhaps the good book which explores those themes.

    The discussion was about how exactly it occurred and proceeded that the European middle age economies moved towards capitalism. (I remember colonization playing some significant role.)

    That means that I am not that interested in the Industrial Revolution, rather I want to know how the European countries got there and how and why they already became more and more capitalistic in the process of getting there.

    Thanks for any help :)
     
  18. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Information on...?
     
  19. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Just finished peter green's biography of alexander the great. Anyone know of a good one that's more recent?
     
  20. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    You could read about Franjo the great Ustase

     

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