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Historical Book Recomendation Thread

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

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  1. Paul in Saudi

    Paul in Saudi Emperor

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    I got the free sample for the Chamberlain biography. It was interesting, but too dense to really enjoy. Instead I got the novel about Chamberlain, Munich. I finished in two days and neglected my other projects. It was written by the same guy who wrote Fatherland. I recommend it.
     
  2. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I haven't read that one yet, but (almost) everything that Robert Harris writes is excellent. His non-fiction account of the Hitler Diaries (Selling Hitler) is amazing.
     
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Do you like the Cicero trilogy?
     
  4. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    The first two are great. I haven't read the third yet.
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Well that's as shameless a plug as I ever did see... :mischief:

    ;) Welcome back. :wavey:
     
  6. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Thanks... I haven't really gone anywhere, just been very very distracted!
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Writing something new and interesting?
     
  8. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    I wish! I don't have the time to write the stuff I have to for work - let alone anything interesting!
     
  9. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I feel like that statement contains two important truths about academia
     
  10. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    Hey, I'm looking for some recommended reading on the Chinese Revolution of 1911, its causes and aftermath, and the subsequent warlord period leading up to reunification. I'm talking big picture overview here...pretend like I know nothing of the era, which incidentally wouldn't be far from the truth.
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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  12. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Sorry, can't help you there. Can't think of any book on the subject I've read and none of the authors that appear when I google "books on Dunkirk" leap out at me.
    Now, if she wants to read about the fight to preserve white rule in Africa, I got her covered!
     
  13. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Darn
     
  14. Imaus

    Imaus Prince

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    I might be interested in this from a world-building point of view. Is this about Rhodesia or more expansive like the Rif, Mau-Mau, and the like?
     
  15. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    More about the Congo Crisis and Katanga. I have a bunch of books on my list relating to the Portuguese Colonial Wars on my list though.

    Katanga 1960-1963: Mercenaries, Spies, and the African Nation That Waged War on the World by Christopher Othen.
    Battleground Africa: Cold War in the Congo 1960-1965 by Lise Namikas.

    Namikas is a more scholarly book while Othen's is more focused on the memories and recollections of various participants involved in the secession of Katanga and the multiple UN operations to end the Katanga secession.

    But if you are looking at general Cold War Africa, I would recommend either The Global Cold War by Odd Arne Westad (certain chapters) or Martin Meredith's The Fate of Africa (or The State of Africa, one is a reprint of the other).
     
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  16. Rambo919

    Rambo919 Warlord

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    The problem there is making sure you find a book that differentiates between the often overlapping goals of "maintaining white rule" and "fighting communism" where it needs to.... which often especially these days easily get conflated with some even going as far as defending communism because it's main enemies in Africa were/are white. My rule of thumb tends to be seeing which books truthfully acknowledge white/black cooperation without the mandatory ideological frothing about how they were self-loathing traitors or some such nonsense. There are interestingly enough still a few blocks of black anti-marxist holdouts but large parts of Africa is currently some form of communist.

    Koevoet! by Jim Hooper is the only book about that I can remember atm, an American journalist was allowed to embed with a para-military policing unit in Namibia at a time where all foreign journalists were viewed with suspicion.... was an entertaining read if nothing else.
     
  17. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Wait, what? Where?
     
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  18. Rambo919

    Rambo919 Warlord

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    Almost all the black groups fighting the colonial powers during the so called de-colonisation of Africa were some form of Marxist/Communist. The non-marxist groups that won power were then in turn attacked by the Marxists and this pattern repeating across the continent is why Africa is permanently in "conflict". Basically the mentality is one of permanent violent revolution, it must also be stressed that most of these Marxists are not on the intellectual level of European or American Marxists. For them the big draw to the ideology was "power, forever", so almost none of the countries that went full-on communist when they finally stabilized. Instead the leadership usually degraded into crony capitalism. Basically they are not "communist" communist but mostly some corrupted form, similarly you will be hard pressed to find a fully capitalist African country.

    In SA for example atm the ruling party is attempting to establish a "communist utopia" by nationalizing almost all the farm land and hoping no one notices its intentions while it's opposition keeps agitating for a people's revolution to "get back the land" from the "thieving whites".... both groups having strong Marxist ideology and connections to the SACP which never died. The second group is also agitating for nationalizing the central bank.

    Another broad example is the tendency of "post-colonial" countries to be called "democratic republics" while being neither democratic nor republican.

    The one book on this I remember atm is "Government by Deception - Jan Lamprecht" written before the guy went off a obvious deep end, though I doubt you will be able to find a copy.
     
  19. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    So there are currently no communist African countries, but a bunch of ones which are dictatorships? That sounds more reasonable.
     
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  20. Rambo919

    Rambo919 Warlord

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    The caveat being that a lot of these dictators are ideologically loyal towards each other, the African Union was born partially to expel western political influence and partially to keep the clicke together. Communist lite is still communist partly because it's an ideology where capitalism (still the big enemy) is a economic system. The raw Marxist group-thinking is still strong with the aptly called dictators, Stalin & Mao were a dictators too mind you. A common fallacy is that "dictator" means right-wing even though most dictators in the last hundred years were left-wing....

    A funny example being the minor race riots a few years back in SA which were re-marketed as "regrettable xenophobic violence" where union leaders implored the natives to stop attacking foreign blacks because "it's the capitalists that are the real enemy", the non-SA blacks are in their (the union leaders) thinking comrades in arms in a struggle against capitalism that never ended... though as I said their version of communism is mostly a rather low-brow affair with a handful of intellectuals. In the mind of the "African Marxist" Africa is a potential communist superstate with the African Union being the pre-cursor... though for half of them that utopian promise too could just be blowing smoke up the behinds of their voting blocks while they materially entrench themselves. One such smoke blower was ousted from office in SA recently with the guy ousting him seeming to be a "true believer" so to speak.
     

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