Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book notes

I heard Timothy Snyder give a talk on his book Bloodlands in New York this past weekend. The lecture was so good that I almost feel I don't have to read the book. That would be fine, in a way, because I've got a list of books I'd like to get to (or, in one case, finish).

What's on my list? Among others:

* Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. I'm about halfway through this elegantly written collection of short stories set in Pakistan.

* Geoffrey Dyer, Otherwise Known As The Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews. I've taken this out from the library but so far have only read bits of it. The pieces collected here are mostly short. Those at the end are autobiographical, including one in which Dyer remarks on his decision to avoid specialization and "the supreme pointlessness of a Ph.D." (Nice phrase, whether one agrees or not.)

* Francis Wheen, Marx's Das Kapital: A Biography. Brief (unlike its subject).

* Michael Latham, The Right Kind of Revolution: Modernization, Development, and U.S. Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present.

Geoffrey Parker, Success Is Never Final: Empire, War, and Faith in Early Modern Europe. Especially the piece "The Etiquette of Atrocity: The Laws of War in Early Modern Europe."

* Daniel Sherman, French Primitivism and the Ends of Empire, 1945-1975. To be published this month (Univ. of Chicago Press).

* Joshua Goldstein, Winning the War on War. Mentioned earlier; now bought (via Powells).

Will I get to all these? We'll see. What's on your list? (Feel free to say in comments. Note: Ads from publishers or self-publishers may be deleted at my discretion.)

P.s. The authors mentioned above are all male. That is a coincidence, not discrimination (just in case anyone was wondering).


hank_F_M said...


Dreadnaught Robert K Massie
I read the chapter on the ship which is excellent

Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers, 1240-1570 Eamon Duffy. Glorious photographs of Mideival books, a coffee table book with intelligent text. A follow up on aspects of his ground breaking “Striping of the Altars“. I reviwed the related “Voices of Moorbath here

The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God)N.T. Wright. A major reappraisal.

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 David McCullough

Hell In A Very Small Place: The Siege Of Dien Bien Phu Bernard B Fall. I’m sure I read it back when it was much more topical But I don’t have a copy, and it is a classic.

Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power
Niall Ferguson.

The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the Ancient WorldMostly war and politics.

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny William Strauss, Neil Howe. Popular social science, take with a grain of salt. But the predictions made the 1990’seem unexpectedly accurate.

I’m thinking I will reread the Horatio Hornblower and Richard Sharpe series front to back and then donate them to the charity resale center.

Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

LFC said...

I own a paperback copy of The Fourth Turning -- I bought it a few years ago after seeing Strauss and Howe frequently referenced by David Kaiser at his blog -- and have dipped into it. I take it with a huge grain of salt.
I don't have a copy of the Bernard Fall and haven't read it. (Not by any means the only classic I haven't read, alas.)

LFC said...

P.s. A friend mentioned Sylvia Nasar's recent Grand Pursuit. It's being widely reviewed (e.g. I saw a link to a review by R. Solow) but I haven't read the reviews.