Whilst at time dry due to the author quoting (important) numbers and statistics, this book is an unparalleled look at the entire second world war fromWhilst at time dry due to the author quoting (important) numbers and statistics, this book is an unparalleled look at the entire second world war from a previously unexplored point of view - that of Thomas J. Watson and his company, IBM.
Watson wore many hats over the course of the war - Industrialist, Peace Activist, War-monger, Decorated Nazi hero, American Patriot and, potentially, un-charged war criminal. His company, under his careful and precise micro management, provided the technology, training and resources to orchestrate not only the holocaust itself, but the entire war and occupation efforts. Whilst the Nazi's certainly would have oppressed, tortured and killed without his help, it soon becomes obvious that without IBM technology, genocide on such a scale as Hitler wished would never have been possible.
This was a terrifying and deplorable tale of greed and capitalism taken to its logical conclusion; raking in enormous profits over the bodies of the dead, whilst beating whatever drum the public wanted to hear to keep themselves separate and apart from the many other companies who eventually had to stand trial for the crimes they committed. ...more
A well researched look at the fascinating history of the "other" Norman conquest, from the initial influx of the Normans as mercenaries, through the rA well researched look at the fascinating history of the "other" Norman conquest, from the initial influx of the Normans as mercenaries, through the rise of the de Hautvilles, to the eventual founding of the Kingdom of Sicily.
Some of the periods covered are not well documented in history, and certainly not very well known, and few of the primary or even secondary sources covering the period have never been translated into English. This work by the eminent historian John Julius Norwich is an excellent work for anyone interested in the remarkable, if not always particularly likeable, people who made South Italy their home and forged it into something great....more
An excellent, and concise at only 96 pages, summary of the second Punic war from it's initial encounters through to the titular battle of Cannae, theAn excellent, and concise at only 96 pages, summary of the second Punic war from it's initial encounters through to the titular battle of Cannae, the height of Hannibal's power at 216. Very little is said of the following years leading to Hannibal's recall to Africa and his defeat at the hands of Scipio Africanus, but this shouldn't be surprising given the tight focus of the book itself.
The coverage of the early war and it's major battles and personages is brief, but succinct and usable, and the comments on the personal situations of the primary source writers of this era make for illuminating reading (Livy and Polybius mainly). The battle of Cannae itself is very well described, with full colour diagrams displaying the troop formations at various stages of the battle, an in depth discussion of the likely troop makeup and size of each army (Hannibal was outnumbered by 2:1 or more) and the tactics being employed on both sides that led to Hannibal's most famous victory.
Highly recommended to any fans of ancient or military history, particularly anyone with an interest in the Republican Rome period, as the battles with Hannibal in Italy resulted in a significant shift in the Roman mindset and was a major milestone in a lot of ways on the transition from citizen republic to Roman Empire....more
An excellent, succinct summary of the three Punic wars and the context in which they took place; accompanied by a reasonably sized reading list for anAn excellent, succinct summary of the three Punic wars and the context in which they took place; accompanied by a reasonably sized reading list for anyone who wants to learn more. Good for anyone who wants a big picture viewed how the strategic and operational objectives and situations led to the defeat of Carthage and the extinction of their entire race....more
If you have even the slightest interest in roleplaying games, and particularly the history - what games have there been, what companies, and how theyIf you have even the slightest interest in roleplaying games, and particularly the history - what games have there been, what companies, and how they affected the development of the hobby that is beloved world wide - then you owe it to yourself to look into this series.
A recent kickstarter success, this is the first volume in the expansion of Appelcine's definitive history to a full four volume set - each volume focused on a decade in the history of roleplaying games, and the companies that were founded during that decade.
This first volume, focusing on the 70's and the initial birth of roleplaying games, is worth the price of admission alone. Included in this volume are companies and individuals that are well known to all fans of early roleplaying - TSR, GDW, Judge's Guild, Chaosium, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Marc Miller. The facts are meticulously well researched and supported by primary sources collected and contacted over years, and the stories inside are a fascinating look at the games that redefined popular culture for generations of imaginative gamers.