Category: General

Jul 27 2014

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

It’s hard to say why I liked this book; nothing much happened in it, yet it was a delight to read. For a writer of horror, King has a real knack for getting inside the mind of a child; perhaps it was the childish imagination of a young girl lost in the woods that I …

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Jun 12 2014

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

This book was so long and so frustrating that for a long time I have wanted to review it just so I could pan it. But I don’t feel that way now. This story has some unusual properties, like a mysterious magical potion made out of seemingly unimpressive ingredients. Kvothe is a character like no …

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May 07 2014

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle

I am by now used to Aristotle’s inimitable dullness, but this is actually one of his more readable and engaging works. What constitutes the good life? Aristotle believes that a happy life is necessarily a virtuous life, something I myself have grave doubts about. Unlike most Americans, he believes virtue is best exercised in the …

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Mar 24 2014

The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson

This is a stirring account of the Western Allied invasion of Europe in World War II. It contains memorable quotes and character profiles, and riveting accounts of harrowing combat. But this book made me feel really bad. It was a stark reminder of what a hostile and dangerous place the world is, and also of …

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Mar 12 2014

Rage of a Demon King by Raymond Feist

The writing was pedestrian, the story uninspired, the plot ludicrous, the characters one-dimensional, and the series overall reads like a D&D adventure. But what can I say? I really enjoyed this book! It is refreshing these days to read a heroic fantasy in which the good guys are unambiguously good and the ending is unambiguously …

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Mar 03 2014

The Roman Revolution by Ronald Syme

This is an outstanding work of historical scholarship. I am by now quite familiar with the history of the late republic and the ensuing Augustan Principate, but Syme’s meticulous analysis goes beyond anything I could ever attempt. Syme sees the the overthrow of the republic and the path to monarchy as a necessary evil, an …

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Feb 26 2014

The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848 by Eric Hobsbawm

The French Revolution is only a secondary theme in this book; the primary theme is the social upheaval and unrest caused by the Industrial Revolution. As a Marxist, Hobsbawm sees this as THE major turning point in history, which unfortunately did not lead to the world-wide revolution that Marxists believed would materialize. Nevertheless, even the …

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Feb 01 2014

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

This is an outstanding book. Why do journalists invariably write history better than professional historians? Many treatments of Nazi Germany treat their subject with a sterile and bloodless lack of feeling; not this book. Shirer gives the criminals their due. Yet through it all there is the almost supernatural phenomenon of Hitler, this nobody from …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/02/01/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-third-reich-by-william-shirer/

Jan 14 2014

The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson

The Italian campaign has been neglected by most World War II historians; Rick Atkinson brings it vividly to life. It is a story of almost perpetual tactical and strategic blunders, in which the steady application of brute force rather than brilliant leadership or maneuvering decided the contest. The rivalry among generals was horrific, and there …

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Jan 03 2014

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden

EXCELLENT book, confirms my opinion that the best writers of history are non-historians. African history is mostly a depressing subject, but this book was so well written that I could not put it down. There is a good dose of white liberal guilt sprinkled throughout the narrative, as well as a typical tendency to blame …

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