Category Archives: history

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of literature

My reading in the last week celebrated or at least observed the memory of, the American Revolution, though the books I picked this year proved to be a mildly disappointing lot. First up was The Return of George Washington, an … Continue reading

Posted in historical fiction, history, Reviews | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Victorian London

Victorian London: The Life of a City, 1840 – 1870© 2013 Liza Picard504 pages As far as immersive English social histories go, I would heretofore have called Ian Mortimer the champion standing, but if Victorian London is any example, Liza … Continue reading

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England

A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England© 2014 Sue Wilkes224 pages Fancy a visit with Jane? Sue Wilkes has created here a light introduction to Austen’s society, the landed gentry of the mid-Georgian period. Although its approach reminds one of … Continue reading

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Death and madness in China

The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History© 2016 Frank Dikotter433 pages In twenty-five years of reading history, I know of no man who has instigated more human suffering and death at a broader scale than Mao Tse-tung, the rebel turned architect … Continue reading

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Double play: Mobile & Latin America

This past week has seen a little progress on the ol’ TBR front, as I knocked out three books from the list, including The Network and those below. First up was E.O. Wilson’s Why We Are Here: Mobile and the … Continue reading

Posted in history, Reviews, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

The Network

The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age© 2015 Scottt Woolley280 pages Few things fascinate me as much as cities in the United States and Europe, circa 1880 – 1930: they were being remade … Continue reading

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Miracle of New Orleans

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans 2017 Brian Kilmeade256 pages I know precious little about the war of 1812, saved that it involved the United States invading Canada, D.C. being burned, and….something about New Orleans? That ….something is … Continue reading

Posted in history | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

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

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

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

Posted in history, Reviews | Tagged , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in General, history, science fiction | Tagged , , | 7 Comments