Tag Archives: history

American Rifle

American Rifle: A Biography © 2008 Alexander Rose 512 pages The quintessential American firearm is the rifle,   which through centuries of colonization and growth,  has served in both myth and fact.  I use myth not in the modern disparaging sense, … Continue reading

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The Histories of Herodotus

One doesn’t study history for very long, at least in the West,  before running into Herodotus.  I’ve meant to read him for years,  given his reputation as one of the earliest, if not the earliest,  historian —  that is, someone … Continue reading

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The Sea Wolves

© 2014 Lars Brownsworth 300 pages “Deliver us, Lord, from the hands of the Northmen!”    While that exact prayer may be apocryphal,  the sentiment certainly resounded in communities from Ireland to Cordoba to Constantinople.  In two of the final centuries … Continue reading

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Of Romans, manly saints, and the beginning of the end

I spent much of August crawling through the first volume of Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  I was very careful, in making my list, that I specified “Volume I”: I  had little interest in trying … Continue reading

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Shutting Out the Sun

Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation © 2006 Michael Zielenziger 352 pages Shutting Out the Sun introduces itself with what readers will assume is its subject: the plight of an increasing number of young people who, … Continue reading

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More short rounds: hackers and silly vicars

Needing a quick break from all the classics,  I read The Hacker Crackdown, a bit of cybersecurity history.  Sterling first delivers the background of the telecommunications system in the United States, specifically the expansive growth of AT&T and its recent … Continue reading

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Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder and The Birth of the American Mafia

The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia © 2009 Mike Dash 416 pages Although Prohibition is generally blamed for the rapid growth of the Mafia,   First Family demonstrates that America’s  mob problem began … Continue reading

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