Category Archives: history

1913: A Year of Gossip

I reviewed this title on goodreads, I described it as “People magazine for prewar Germany & Austria, with Louis Armstrong and a stray Frenchman thrown in for good measure.” There’s no traditional narrative, more a long series of vignettes that … Continue reading

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Silent Night: The Christmas Truce

Silent Night: The Remarkable Story of the Christmas Truce¬© 2002 Stanley Weintraub240 pages One of the most extraordinary stories to come out of the Great War is that of the Christmas Truce, a spontaneous outbreak of caritas in which English, … Continue reading

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Drowning in books

This is something of a catch-up post. I’ve been slowly reading The Dictator’s Handbook, an impressively cynical analysis of political science, and had hoped to finish it by Election Day so I could post an amusingly-timed review. Between the hurricane … Continue reading

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Napoleon: Life and Legacy

Napoleon: Life and Legacy¬© 2011 Alan Forrest403 pages Napoleon is an unavoidable figure of European history, and enjoys no shortage of admirers even today. For years he dominated a continent, using native talents given abundant opportunities opened by the revolution … Continue reading

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COVID Reviews #6 Cleaning Up with gangsters, Navajo, politicians, and so many Germans

Back in September and early October when I was under quarantine, I didn’t have computer access, so I couldn’t take many notes or write reviews when things were fresh on my mind. I tried to post comments intermittently, but some … Continue reading

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COVID Reviews #4: Persians, Nukes, and Bugs

On Wednesday I will have my COVID retest, annnnd I hope to have an answer by Thursday or Friday if I am fit for public consumption. I hope so: being in quarantine is a bit like being in a nursing … Continue reading

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COVID Reviews #3: Romans, Dogs, and Saudis

I don’t know if anyone misses my usual chatty, sometimes florid reviews, but they’re impossible to do on a phone. More mini-reviews it is! Continuing my onslaught of the TBR pile, I finished Lives of Famous Romans, by Olivia Coolridge. … Continue reading

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COVID Reviews #2: Afghans and Turks and Austrians, oh my!

Khaled Hosseini’s third book is also his most unusual. His previous two books followed friendships which which were forged, broken, and tested over the years as Afghanistan reeled from one chaotic event to another. And the Mountains Echoed is more … Continue reading

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Of WW2 and alternate schools

Early last week I accidentally bought a ‘book’ called One Man Air Force, by Don S. Gentle. I say “book” because it’s only 50 pages, and I would have returned it (I was browsing WW2 books and hit the ‘buy … Continue reading

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Wisdom Wednesday: The Great Tradition

This week features a quote from Will Durant, whose epic Story of Civilization, partially co-written with his wife, was a masterful review of western history — surveying literature, politics, philosophy, etc — from Mesopotamia to Napoleon. This particular quote comes … Continue reading

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