Tag: History

Aug 15 2020

The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen

The Comanche Empire

Pekka Hämäläinen gets right to the point: “This book is about an American empire that, according to conventional histories, did not exist. It tells the familiar tale of expansion, resistance, conquest, and loss, but with a reversal of the usual historical roles: it is a story in which Indians expand, dictate, and prosper, and European …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/08/15/the-comanche-empire-by-pekka-hamalainen/

May 24 2020

The Fourth Crusade by Jonathan Phillips

The Fourth Crusade

Where Jonathan Riley-Smith provided an overview of crusading as a movement over many centuries, Jonathan Phillips looks closely at one particular crusade, with an eye toward answering the question of why an expedition intended to take Jerusalem and other sites in the Holy Land wound up instead besieging, conquering and sacking Constantinople. Apparently this was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/24/the-fourth-crusade-by-jonathan-phillips/

May 16 2020

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

The Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith

How could I resist a book that took my alma mater‘s motto as its epigraph? Of course I couldn’t, all the more so because I wanted to read something about knights and journeys and castles, and none of the fantasy that was close at hand was as immediately appealing. The version of Riley-Smith’s book that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/05/16/the-crusades-by-jonathan-riley-smith/

Apr 15 2020

D-Day Through German Eyes by Holger Eckhertz

D-Day Through German Eyes

Holger Eckhertz’s grandfather, Dieter Eckhertz, was a wartime correspondent for German army publications such as Signal and Die Wehrmacht (The Army). Shortly before the Allied landings in Normandy, he visited that sector and interviewed quite a number of soldiers while preparing articles for the army’s magazines. After the war, he left journalism, but ten years …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/15/d-day-through-german-eyes-by-holger-eckhertz/

Jan 26 2020

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson has all of the receipts. Setting out to understand the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South and into other regions of the country, she drew on scholarship, she drew on hundreds of interview, she drew on the archives of dozens of organizations, and she arrived with a great work of synthesis, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/01/26/the-warmth-of-other-suns-by-isabel-wilkerson/

Dec 30 2019

Molotov’s Magic Lantern by Rachel Polonsky

Molotov's Magic Lantern

Early on in Molotov’s Magic Lantern Rachel Polonsky quotes Osip Mandelstam as saying “Ask me for my biography, and I will tell you the books I have read.” (p. 6) From that perspective, Polonsky braids three biographies. One is Vyacheslav Molotov, erstwhile foreign minister of the Soviet Union whose former apartment a banker friend of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/30/molotovs-magic-lantern-by-rachel-polonsky/

Dec 20 2019

Nobody Leaves by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Nobody Leaves

Before he became a famous foreign correspondent, Ryszard Kapuściński wrote a series of astonishing dispatches for the weekly newspaper Polityka from Poland’s small towns and backwaters. Poland in 1959 still bore many visible scars of the war that had ravaged it a decade and a half previous. With Stalin’s death in 1953 the worst excesses …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/20/nobody-leaves-by-ryszard-kapuscinski/

Dec 03 2019

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky

1968 by Mark Kurlansky

Ok, boomer.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/03/1968-the-year-that-rocked-the-world-by-mark-kurlansky/

Nov 26 2019

More Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming Us,” the second part of Michelle Obama’s memoir tells how two very different people, two nearly polar opposite people in fact, came not only to love and cherish one another but to build a life and a partnership that would work from Chicago to the whole world. One of their first social functions together, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/26/more-becoming-by-michelle-obama/

Nov 17 2019

Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner

Legacy of Ashes

If Legacy of Ashes were a record album, Tim Weiner would surely have titled it The CIA’s Greatest Shits. As it is, the subtitle is The History of the CIA, which is a misnomer right off the bat because it’s a history and not the history, and as a history it’s mostly a litany of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/17/legacy-of-ashes-by-tim-weiner/