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Archive for the ‘American History’ Category

I am reviewing this book for this weekend’s leisure reading review (because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!) which I also recommend if you are looking for a gift to purchase for someone who loves history.

 

Christian Di Spigna. Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero.  New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group, August 14th 2018. 336 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book exceeded my expectation.  At first I wasn’t sure who Joseph Warren was and why should I even read this book.  As the book stated many times it’s unfortunate that people haven’t understood the contribution of Joseph Warren with the independence of America.  His legacy has been overshadowed by other founding fathers such as George Washington, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin largely because of Joseph Warren’s early and untimely death at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Yet Warren was an important figure with the American independence more than most people today realized, even among those who are interested in things with the War of Independence since those that know something about Warren often know him only as a soldier who died in Bunker Hill (others who are even more knowledgeable will know he was the one who worked with Paul Revere during that famous “The Redcoats are coming!” event).  This book is rather overdue in narrating the contribution of Joseph Warren to America’s independence.  The author should be commended for doing a good job of maximizing the limited primary resources and also for using new primary sources to give us a better picture of the man Joseph Warren.  The challenges of finding primary sources is very real since Warren as a spy master destroyed many of his writings and also because when he passed away many of his belongings were broken or stolen.  So kudos to the author Christian Di Spigna for his research!

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As I mentioned earlier I’m on vacation.  Here’s a work I finished!

Arthur Herman. 1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder.  New York, NY: Harper, November 28th 2017. 448 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book is on both Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin.  At first one might think these men are diametrically different from one another but the author Arthur Herman successfully show reader how much the two of them are alike and how both men shaped what the twentieth century would be like.  A fascinating historical book even for those who know about both men since this work is still profitable for readers to see the comparison and contrast of the two men and also the timeline of both their lives.  I agree with the author’s thesis that these two men shaped much of the Twentieth Century.  I learned a lot from this book.

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A weekend nonfiction history book review…because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  I read this book as a result of a conversation on WordPress!

Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny.  New York, NY: Sentinel, October 24th 2017. 256 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

I have previously read a book by the two authors titled Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates which I enjoyed immensely.  While I was looking for something on Thomas Jefferson and the battle of New Orleans I was extremely delighted to find that the authors also wrote this book.

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In light of Memoral Day weekend, I thought this would be timely to post this review for this Friday Night’s Non-Fiction Review.

James L. Swanson. Bloody Crimes.  New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, September 28th 2010.  464 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book is a study of the President of the Union and the President of the Confederacy during the last days before Lincoln was killed and the days afterwards.  The side by side account of both these Presidents was a fascinating angle of the book and one which I appreciated.  There were many moments that I thought the juxtaposition was quite fascinating.

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Mark Lee Gardner.  Rough Riders. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, May 10th, 2016. 336 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This was quite a fun read.  The author Mark Gardner gives us a fast paced account of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous Army volunteer unit nicknamed the Rough Riders that fought during the Spanish American War.  The book was not just only about Teddy Roosevelt; it was also about the men who comprised the unit.

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Another weekend, another weekend leisure reading review.

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Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.  New York, NY: Sentinel, November 3rd 2015. 238 pp.

5 out of 5

I remember as a kid reading old books on Marine Corps history that talked about a conflict I rarely hear people talked about in which the Marines was at the tip of the spear waging a war against Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean and North Africa in the early part of the 1800s.  It sounded so exotic and I was fascinated with how the United States’ Navy and Marines as small as they were back then went about trying to execute their mission despite limited manpower and military capabilities.  It was during a time when the United States was still a new country and the leaders of the US was still trying to figure out what to do and how to do it.  So I am glad that over two decades later I came across this book on the United States response to the Tripoli pirates.

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This evening’s recommended Weekend Reading is timely in light of Memorial Day.

The Unsubstantial Air

Samuel Hynes. The Unsubstantial Air: American Fliers in the First World War.  New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books, October 21st, 2014. 336 pp.

This is the story of the young Americans who flew in World War one and is written by a former US pilot of World War Two.  I think the author’s background contributed to the insight of bringing out the experiences of the young Americans who ventured into military aviation.  At that time, aviation was a new area of military combat.  The book spent considerable time capturing the romanticism of various young Americans who wanted to be combat pilots.  As those familiar with World War One know, the United States didn’t enter the war until the last year.  Even before the US entrance into the war there were already a steady stream of Americans venturing overseas to seek the experience of war or helping out the Allies with the war.  Many went over to France seeking adventure as ambulance drivers, members of the Foreign Legion, etc.  However some Americans wanted more and some of these wanted to be military pilots for the French and British.  Much of the bulk of the book focuses on these Americans.  Actually much of the book focuses on trying to be a pilot, the training and only towards the second half of the book do we read of combat and missions in the front.

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