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Old 02-02-2013, 05:37 PM
Status: "83" (set 6 days ago)
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Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
It was the truth not criticism. Too bad for you if you cannot see the difference.

Ironic that I do post actual book references when responding to historical questions here. Not wikipedia or unvetted Internet sources.

Civil War thread has no bearing on this thread.

There have been similar threads in the book section over the previous few years. I respond there.
Newly Released Book?
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:39 PM
Location: Miami, FL
8,087 posts, read 9,358,016 times
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Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
Newly Released Book?
I wrote similar threads or do you have a reading comprehension issue?

The newly released books I read in the previous months will not appeal to anyone in this forum. Too specialist. Which is why I did not respond.

Last edited by Felix C; 02-02-2013 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:25 AM
Location: North Carolina
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So that's a 'no' on getting back to the original topic and not allowing this to degrade into some pedantic bickering then?
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:46 PM
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One of the benefits of owning an e-reader is how easy it is to access books that you wouldn't ordinarily look for in a library or a bookstore. Yes, I do have to purchase books that are of recent vintage, but there are worse things upon which I could spend my money.

I'm currently reading through The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution by Thomas P Slaughter, Oxford University Press, published 1988. However, this book doesn't really meet the qualifications of the thread, as it was originally published 25 years ago. I have read two other history books that were published within the past 10 years:

David Hackett Fischer, Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer (Oxford University Press, 2003).

This is a recounting of the New York and New Jersey campaign of the American Revolution. The author describes in detail the Battle of Long Island, the capture of New York, the retreat across New Jersey to the relative safety of Pennsylvania across the Delaware River, the planning and execution of Washington's counter-attack, and the subsequent forage war that both armies wages in New Jersey during the winter of 1777. The book was awarded a Pulitzer Prize

The author provides excellent detail about the events of the book, comparing and contrasting the British and American leaders, their planning, their actions and their personalities. Fischer describes the authoritarian top-down leadership of General Cornwallis and contrasts it to General Washington's leadership by consensus, a methodology that developed during the campaign.

Fischer also details the lives and backgrounds of the ordinary soldiers: American, British and Hessian. The American soldiers were a mixed lot of state volunteers, were of different backgrounds and beliefs, and required a deft hand to motivate and to coordinate. The British soldiers were hard-core army lifers, well drilled and disciplined. I had not before encountered an in depth description of the Hessian soldiery during the American Revolution; they are depicted by Fischer as professional mercenaries in the worst tradition of European armies of 1400-1800, basically land-pirates for hire.

I found the book to be a good and entertaining read, with the right amount of detail. However, since this is a book authored by David Hackett Fischer, be prepared for a constant reference to Fischer's American Folkways theory.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:29 AM
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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For those with an interest in World War II, these four books published just last year may be of interest. They are:

"The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy and King - The Five Star Admirals Who Won The War At Sea" by Walter Borneman

Only four men in American history have been promoted to the five-star rank of Fleet Admiral: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William F. Halsey. They were the best and the brightest Annapolis produced, and together they led the U.S. Navy to victory in World War II, establishing the United States as the world's greatest sea power. In The Admirals, award-winning historian Walter R. Borneman tells their combined story in full and dramatic detail for the first time.

Divided into three sections, The Admirals takes us from the end of the nineteenth century through the end of World War II. Part One, “Sailors, 1897-1918”, profiles the admirals’ early years and their rise through the naval ranks. Part Two, “Ships, 1918-1941”, chronicles the myriad commands each officer held on a variety of vessels—battleships, submarines, aircraft carriers—and how the development of each type of vessel influenced the course of naval warfare. While battleships had reigned as the queens of the seas, their supremacy was soon challenged by the advent of the carrier. Leahy—the oldest of the four—clung to his view of the battleship’s power. Nimitz was an advocate of the submarine as an effective weapon. Halsey was a devotee of the destroyer but eventually came to understand the fearsome potential of naval aviation, as did King.

Part Three, “Admirals”, begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After the initial panic had subsided, President Roosevelt began placing his top naval commanders. King was appointed Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet. Nimitz replaced Husband E. Kimmel as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. Halsey took his flagship carrier, USS Enterprise, into the Pacific to engage the Japanese, leading hit and run raids in the Gilbert and Marshall islands and conducting the Doolittle raid. And Leahy was appointed Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army and Navy, the President of the United States. From Pearl Harbor to the U.S. defeat at Wake Island, the first days of the war were desperate, indeed—but eventually, the Navy began to see great successes, including the Battle of the Coral Sea—the first clash in which aircraft carriers engaged each other—the Solomon Islands Campaign, and the turning point in the Pacific, the Battle of Midway. The combined talents and experience of the Navy’s top admirals—along with the new technologies they had championed—ensured that, from that point on, the United States would enjoy supremacy in the Pacific.

Drawing upon journals, ship logs, and other primary sources, Borneman brings an incredible historical moment to life, showing us how four extraordinary men helped ensure victory in World War II, and revolutionized naval warfare forever.

"Soldaten: The Secret WW II Transcripts of German POWs" by Sonke Neitzel & Harald Welzer

In 2001, spurred by a nagging curiosity over a transcript of a secretly recorded conversation he had come across in his research on the German U-boat wars, historian Sönke Neitzel paid a visit to the British national archives. He had heard of the existence of recorded interrogations of German POWs, but never about covert recordings taken within the confines of the holding cells, bedrooms, and camps that housed the prisoners. What Neitzel discovered, to his amazement, were reams of untouched, recently declassified transcripts totaling nearly eight hundred pages. Later, Neitzel would find another trove of protocols twice as extensive at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Though initially recorded by British intelligence with the intention of gaining information that might be useful for the Allied war effort, the matters discussed in these conversations ultimately proved to be limited in that regard. But for Neitzel and his collaborator, renowned social psychologist Harald Welzer, they would supply a unique and profoundly important window into the mentality of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the German navy, and the military in general, almost all of whom had insisted on their own honorable behavior during the war. It is a myth these transcripts unequivocally debunk.

Soldaten closely examines these conversations, and the casual, pitiless brutality omnipresent in them, from a historical and psychological perspective. What factors led to the degradation of the soldiers’ sense of awareness and morality? How much did their social environments affect their interpretation of the war and their actions during combat? By reconstructing the frameworks and situations behind these conversations, and the context in which they were spoken, a powerful, unflinching narrative of wartime experience emerges. The details of what these soldiers did, after all, are not filtered the way they might be in letters to family, or girlfriends and wives, or during interrogations by the enemy. In Soldaten, Sönke Neitzel and Harald Welzer offer an unmitigated window into the mind-set of the German fighting man, potentially changing our view of World War II.

"The Unknown Eastern Front: The Wehrmacht and Hitler's Foreign Soldiers" by Rolf-Dieter Muller

When Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa with his attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Wehrmacht deployed 600,000 troops to the Eastern Front. Their numbers were later swelled by a range of foreign volunteers so that, at the height of World War II, astonishingly one in three men fighting for the Germans in the East was not a native German. Hitler's declaration of the "struggle against Bolshevism" reverberated throughout all of Europe - among convinced fascists as well as among non-Russian eastern Europeans seeking to regain their independence from the USSR. Many of these volunteers subsequently became involved in the atrocities of the Wehrmacht and the SS. Vilified by Hitler for their supposed failures, condemned and forgotten by their homelands for treason and collaboration, their involvement in the war has been largely ignored or swept aside by historians. Rolf-Dieter Müller here offers a fascinating new perspective on a little-known aspect of World War II.

"Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II" by Keith Lowe

The Second World War might have officially ended in May 1945, but in reality it rumbled on for another ten years...

The end of the Second World War in Europe is one of the twentieth century’s most iconic moments. It is fondly remembered as a time when cheering crowds filled the streets, danced, drank and made love until the small hours. These images of victory and celebration are so strong in our minds that the period of anarchy and civil war that followed has been forgotten. Across Europe, landscapes had been ravaged, entire cities razed and more than thirty million people had been killed in the war. The institutions that we now take for granted - such as the police, the media, transport, local and national government - were either entirely absent or hopelessly compromised. Crime rates were soaring, economies collapsing, and the European population was hovering on the brink of starvation. In Savage Continent, Keith Lowe describes a continent still racked by violence, where large sections of the population had yet to accept that the war was over. Individuals, communities and sometimes whole nations sought vengeance for the wrongs that had been done to them during the war. Germans and collaborators everywhere were rounded up, tormented and summarily executed. Concentration camps were reopened and filled with new victims who were tortured and starved. Violent anti-Semitism was reborn, sparking murders and new pogroms across Europe. Massacres were an integral part of the chaos and in some places – particularly Greece, Yugoslavia and Poland, as well as parts of Italy and France – they led to brutal civil wars. In some of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing the world has ever seen, tens of millions were expelled from their ancestral homelands, often with the implicit blessing of the Allied authorities. Savage Continent is the story of post WWII Europe, in all its ugly detail, from the end of the war right up until the establishment of an uneasy stability across Europe towards the end of the 1940s. Based principally on primary sources from a dozen countries, Savage Continent is a frightening and thrilling chronicle of a world gone mad, the standard history of post WWII Europe for years to come.
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