The History Book Club discussion

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Andrea | 129 comments Welcome, Rick. Your own books look very interesting as well as the ones by other authors you have mentioned.


message 252: by Larche (last edited Oct 13, 2009 06:01AM) (new)

Larche Osborne-simmons (AuBricker) | 4 comments My name is Larche Osborne-Simmons, and I am interested in American, Classical, WWII, and US legal history. I became hooked by history when, while serving in the Middle East, I was able to visits the ruins of an European fortress. I attended the University of New Orleans where I learned under the famous historian Stephan Ambrose and the Loyola University Chicago where I received my undergraduate degree in history. I received my JD from Loyola Law School Chicago.
I sometimes discuss books on my blog, but I will list and discuss them here now.


message 253: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Hello Larche,

Welcome to the History Book Club. Your background will fit in nicely with the group's interest areas.

It must have been very interesting for you when you served in the Middle East to be so close to some of the world's most famous antiquities and locations.

How exciting to have been taught by Stephen Ambrose; you certainly should be proud of your credentials. There are a few here with a legal background; and we do appreciate your bringing your discussion about non fiction and other historical books to this group's threads.

Do you live in New Orleans or in the Chicago area or have you since transported yourself to another US location?

All best,

Bentley




message 254: by Larche (last edited Oct 20, 2009 04:41PM) (new)

Larche Osborne-simmons (AuBricker) | 4 comments Hi Bentley,

Thanks for your kind interest. I now live in Chicago.

Steven Ambrose was an exciting teacher. He never gave a dull lecture, and he always invigorated class with special visitors. He once arranged for me and nine other students to have lunch with Hans von Luck, the German panzer commander, and John Howard, the British officer who led the assault on Pegasus Bridge. We were scheduled to dine with John Keegan but then the first Iraq war began, and Keegan was called away by some English news service -- bad luck :(

As of late, I've been reading about the history of Christianity, specifically the early history. I soon plan to turn my attention to scientific history. I must buy and read a book about the history of Syrian Jews first, but I will then tackle one or more of Richard Dawkins' books. I really admire his "out campaign."

Hope to see you around and, again, thanks.

Larche


message 255: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments It sounds like you had some wonderful experiences...thanks to Ambrose as well. Too bad about Keegan.

You are quite ambitious with your reading...you can also make some recommendations that we can add to our prospective group reading list to discuss as a group. Just send me a PM with your recommendations and I will add them to the list. I will then poll the group to see which ones they are most interested in.

Look forward to your posts.

Bentley


Larche Osborne-simmons (AuBricker) | 4 comments I'm sorry for troubling you once more, but, not being particularly computer savvy, I can't figure out how to send PMs on this site. How is it done?




message 257: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments OK....no problem...do you see where the inbox is in the upper right hand corner..right beside where it says hi and your name. You click on that and then you can see everyone who has sent you a note and then you can reply. I will send you a note first, I will add you as a friend which makes sending a note easier. Otherwise, you have to click on the person's profile; look under the profile heading itself and click send a message. Hope this helps.


message 258: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Oct 14, 2009 06:54AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 10673 comments Hello everyone:

Glad to be aboard. I loved history since I was a kid; my dad brought home a U.S. Civil War book and I was hooked ever since. I hold a graduate degree in it and have the pleasure to make my living doing history research and book reviews. I enjoy world history, but especially British and American.

I look forward to reading and posting in this group! Thanks!


message 259: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Hello Bryan,

Welcome to the History Book Club. Happy to have you.

What kind of history research are you involved in? You have joined at an optimal time; we are just beginning No Ordinary Time, The Federalist Papers and A. Lincoln.

Bentley


message 260: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 10673 comments Hi Bentley:

I work at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson where I work on the online resource, the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. I also work at TJ's University of Virginia where I work on the Edward Kennedy Oral History project, and hope to jump onto the George W. Bush Oral History Project if we get the contract. So, you can tell I like many periods in history.

The three books look great!


message 261: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Bryan,

Sounds like you work virtually...and what great subjects to research. Yes, you run the gamut. Good luck with the additional contract.

It just happens that our spotlighted thread is another Presidential read. Jump right in when you get a chance.

Bentley


message 262: by Joe (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Bryan wrote: "Hi Bentley:

I work at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson where I work on the online resource, the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. I also work at TJ's University of Virginia where I work on the E..."


WOW, so would you be able to give us a private tour of Monticello? I should quit my IT job and try to participate in helping the Lincoln papers project, or maybe work for Mount Vernon or something like that. Awesome.




message 263: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 10673 comments Actually, Joe, a lot of the documentary papers are going online these days and might need IT help, so you never know...




message 264: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Don't quit the day job yet Joe (smile)!


message 265: by Joe (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Yeah, I know! LOL.
I wish I majored in history in college.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) I'm Susanna, and I'm a stroke survivor.

I majored in history and did most of an M.A. in it before having the stroke.


message 267: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Hello Susanna....welcome; we are happy to have you join us. As group moderator, I looked up your profile when you joined; I frequently send out greetings to all new members. It is great that your health has improved and you must have been very shocked being so young to have experienced such a serious health event.

We are glad that you connected with this group and we look forward to your posts.

Bentley


Jason (JasonCT) | 56 comments Andrea wrote: "Jason wrote: "Greetings everyone!
Well, my name is Jason and I live in CT.
I am 30, and work in corp. accounting.
I have a degree in music performance, and am currently looking at graduate pr..."


Sorry for the late reply (thanks Bentley)
I was an organ and piano performance major with a concentration in historical performance practice.
I love must and all arts actually - to me the arts enhance life, be it writing, art, music, theatre, you name it.

Classical guitar is beautiful, I bough a handmade acoustic guitar that was made in spain with the intention of learning but all the years of keyboard playing I find the guitar wreaks havoc on my hands.

Thanks for the note, and I look forward to chatting with you.




Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Jason,

Welcome! What is "historical performance practice"? Sounds interesting. I have a great love for organ and piano performance. My grandfather was a well-known professional organist and always felt my father should have gone professional on the piano. I am mostly self-taught on the piano, so I'm no virtuoso. But I love the music. I like how you say the arts enhance life. In many ways the arts are what makes life beautiful.

I hope you enjoy discussing history with us all.


Jason (JasonCT) | 56 comments Elizabeth S wrote: "Jason,

Welcome! What is "historical performance practice"? Sounds interesting. I have a great love for organ and piano performance. My grandfather was a well-known professional organist and al..."


Historical performance practice refers to playing music as intended or as close to intended. So for organ, for example, playing the pieces with registrations that were available when Bach wrote the piece even though new organs are far more advanced then his of the 15-1700's.
Employ the use of fingerings that were common at the time, avoid the use of heals when playing pedals, or even play in your stocking feet as would have been done in the time.
The idea is to emulate the piece as closely as possible to the original.



message 271: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Jason wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Jason wrote: "Greetings everyone!
Well, my name is Jason and I live in CT.
I am 30, and work in corp. accounting.
I have a degree in music performance, and am currently looking at..."


Hey Jason..I am glad that Andrea posted that question..we now learned some things in the process; thank you for that wonderful response.

Bentley




Andrea | 129 comments Thanks for the explanations, Jason. I've found that there's often some kind of magnetic repulsion or something between born piano players and the guitar and vice versa (just my weird observation, I'm not much good at either). I'm not a music expert, but I always think the more I know about the performance history of a piece, the more I can appreciate what the performer is choosing to do.

And welcome to Susanna, with whom I've had such interesting discussions in other groups. Glad to have you join us!


James | 34 comments I am a space scientist working for NASA with a love for history in addition to planetary science. I enjoy Civil War history in particular. I am interested in joining due to your upcoming reading of A. Lincoln.


Andrea | 129 comments Welcome James! Space science and the Civil War, what an interesting combination.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Space and planetary science sounds great! Plus history! Can't have too many loves. Welcome!


message 276: by Joe (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Thanks for joining us James! We are all interested in reading your comments in the up and coming Presidential read, A. Lincoln.


David Plain (daviddplain) Hi! My name is David and I'm an author from Canada. I am also an aboriginal and historian. I've published two books both non-fiction. One is on Ojibwa History and has much on Michigan, Ohio and Ontario historical events, but from a native perspective (sort of "the other side of the story". The other book is more general and is on Ojibwa culture. I live on an "Indian Reservation" on the Michigan/Ontario border and have a master degree from Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada. My third book is due out by the end of the year. I look forward to interacting with the group, especially on discussions involving European/Native American relations. I also have a great interest in Church History as this was one of my majors at seminary. Thanks for listenting to me ramble on!


message 278: by Joe (last edited Oct 20, 2009 05:55AM) (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Thanks for joining us, David. It's such a pleasure to see so many different backgrounds represented here. I look forward to reading your comments.




message 279: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Hello David,

What an interesting background. We are happy to have you with us.

Bentley


message 280: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments James wrote: "I am a space scientist working for NASA with a love for history in addition to planetary science. I enjoy Civil War history in particular. I am interested in joining due to your upcoming reading of..."

Welcome James...you should recommend some books on Civil War history that we can put on the potential reading list. Look forward to your posts when we begin A. Lincoln.

Bentley




Andrea | 129 comments Hi David,
I'm interested in Native American history too. I actually live in Michigan now, but haven't studied the native history of this area too much, as I grew up in Iowa, so know more about the "Western" U.S. I've spent some time travelling in the Black Hills, and "summitted" Bear Butte for the third time this year (okay I'm not much of an athlete). I'll read more about your books.


James | 34 comments Thank you all for the welcome... There are indeed a large number of tremendous Civil War books... Once i get a feeling for what you all might like, I would be happy to recommend some books. I have been reading about the Civil War for a good 20 years.


message 283: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments James,

We are of course glad to have you with us.

Please by all means send me a list. I will add you as a friend which might make it easier to send me book recommendations. I am going to put together a military history folder and the civil war will of course be part of that; all selections will be on the military history bookshelf and/or a shelf devoted to the Civil War.

There are some books which are more conducive to a group book discussion while others (though great books) might be better for independent research; for the group reads I have found it better for participation to be selecting the former rather than the latter...but make both kinds of reading material available to the members as an additional option that they might be interested in.

Bentley


Larche Osborne-simmons (AuBricker) | 4 comments James,

I envy you your profession. If I could live my life over, I would have studied science rather than history. Alas, I am damned to a life of regret ... .

Larche




message 285: by Joe (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments And I have regretted not studing history... go figure.


message 286: by Don (new)

Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments Hello!

I am 59, from Missouri, and have a degree in History and Pol Sci. I have been reading mostly about the Founding Fathers for the last year or so. I am looking forward to the group. I have been looking for a history discussion group.


Andrea | 129 comments Welcome Dhenning,
It looks like we might be doing a Jefferson book in the near future. A lot of people here are interested in American history.


message 288: by Don (new)

Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments Andrea wrote: "Welcome Dhenning,
It looks like we might be doing a Jefferson book in the near future. A lot of people here are interested in American history."


Excellent. I've read a couple Jefferson bios recently and have another on my list to read.


message 289: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 24, 2009 08:07PM) (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Dhenning1950 wrote: "Hello!

I am 59, from Missouri, and have a degree in History and Pol Sci. I have been reading mostly about the Founding Fathers for the last year or so. I am looking forward to the group. I have be..."


Happy to have you join us. I am currently on vacation and traveling in
Scotland....have not been on as much due to traveling issues; just completed going around the top of Scotland and through the Highlands and Ullapool; then headed over to the Isle of Skye. been quite a trip thus far.

I will reach out to you more Dhenning when I get back to England in a couple of days. You are correct...we will be reading a Jefferson book; most likely followed by a Teddy Roosevelt book for the Presidential series; we read other genres for the spotlighted selections.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Bentley


message 290: by [deleted user] (new)

Intro myself -a lapsed historian having done nothing in the field since graduating at Manchester. Occasionally stumble across a book by (or at least mentioning) former tutors which keeps the flame sputtering, just. Travelled quite a bit - Africa, Indonesia, China: next stop the US!


message 291: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Welcome Sitatunga...believe that the other moderator has some connection to the University of Manchester as well. Traveling is great; it really enlarges one's perspective on life as well as the world.

When you get to the US..you will be in my neck of the woods...metro NYC area. Right now I am spending some time in Great Britain on vacation..with some travel to continental Europe soon and then back home.

What are you doing now..have you settled in the Manchester area or have you traveled further afield?

By all means jump into any conversation that interests you and we look forward to reading your posts.

Bentley



Andrea | 129 comments Welcome, Sitatunga. I see that you and I have several books in common on our to read lists. Bentley has suggested that we might consider a book of African history at some point in our reading, but I haven't thought out what might be interesting for a group read. Perhaps something by Martin Meredith? Maybe you also have some suggestions.


message 293: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Andrea
I've lost touch somewhat - that's why I left the Goodreads Africa book club (or whatever it's called) -of course, you can check my list for what I liked reading then ....
Right now as you will see I am into this enormous tome on the history of Christianity; written by an 'outsider' i.e. with a historian's eye not a religious one and it's excellent. What you get is basically a history of western European civilization plus some Eastern into the bargain, such is the sweep - thoroughly recommended


message 294: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Bentley - no I left grotty Manchester years ago - now I live nr a place called Milton Keynes, i.e. an hour out of London and work at Cranfield University. Yes, we'll be in NY for this trip of a lifetime in Sept 2010.
As far as history is concerend I'm a bit of a grasshopper: colonial Africa, medieval European, WW2,the Victorians, the Reformation, you name it. Generally ignorant of US so I need to gen up on that!


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Sitatunga, Wow, what an interesting mixture of history periods to be interested in! Sounds appropriate to name yourself a "grasshopper."

Some interesting African history sounds like fun sometime. It would be great if those who've already read a lot in that area, like Andrea and Sitatunga, can pick something good to suggest for us all.


message 296: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 27, 2009 05:51PM) (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Have to agree with Elizabeth...maybe Andrea and Sitatunga can put their heads together and come up with some suggestions.

That is great that finally you are planning a trip to the US...hope you have a great time and see the sights. Welcome to the group.

Bentley


André (AndrH) | 2341 comments Hi Everybody, my Amazon friend Bentley invited me into this group.
Although I'm still working as a photographer I am also hard at work on several manuscripts, two of which take place in Roman times. One in 69 AD and the next about 150 years later.
I don't like to put words into the mouths of people we basically don't know too much about (I am very skeptical when I read character descriptions of generals and emperors). Most historians have to base their non fiction tales on what we have left of what was once written. But most of that was paid for by one side or the other so I believe it is too difficult to create a real setting based on facts. The so-called facts are almost all tainted.
One example of false interpretation of the so-called facts is the neverending tale about the Varus disaster and the German chest beating following it. Germans always believed they had forever ended Roman involvement into Germany above the Rhine. Well, anybody familiar with Rome's desire for expansion would have doubted that - to say the least. As you probably know a few years back a battlefield has been discovered close to Hannover. From what we can tell the Roman legion slaughtered the Barbarians. What can I say?
Therefore my stories involve only fictional characters but their actions fit in into what we think we know happened back in the days. I want my readers to think about the ordinary people who lived before us, breathed, loved and died and then were forgotten. I hope the more we think about those normal folks and the way we resemble them, the easier it will be for us to accept the others around us today.
Apart from Rome, other periods of interest are: the Etruscans, city states of ancient Greece, early to mid Middle Ages in France, D-Day, the Ardennes campaign (not just the battle of the Bulge but anything leading up to it), Napoleon, and the Afghan campaign that is taking place right now - which of course doesn't make it historical.
On top of that I'm of course open to anything I don't know too much about yet.
All best,
André


Pedro (PedroGeoLopes) | 2 comments Hello everyone, I'm Pedro from Brazil. I am a lawyer and a big history buff, mostly WWII and Roman times. I've read all Ambrose's books on the subject. I'd like recommendations of other authors.


message 299: by Don (new)

Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments Welcome Sitaunga. I'm a newbie,too and I'm looking forward to discussing history books soon.


André (AndrH) | 2341 comments Hi Pedro, although fiction I highly recommend Steven Pressfield's Killing Rommel (read the blurbs and you'll see why) and as to non fiction An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson, of course The Longest Day, D-Day by Antony Beevor (and some of his others), Alamo in the Ardennes by John C. McManus.
All best, A




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