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ARCHIVE > JEROME'S 50 BOOKS IN 2015

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Jerome, here is your new thread in 2015. Happy reading in the new year.

Our Required Format:

JANUARY

1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill
Finish date: March 2008
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.


message 2: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jan 16, 2015 09:43PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
JANUARY

1. Russia Against Napoleon The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace by Dominic Lieven by Dominic Lieven (no photo)
Finish date: January 15, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: A superb book on Russia during the Napoleonic era. I have only ever read one book on these wars, but I think this would be perfect for anyone regardless of their background in this era. Military operations, internal politics, and diplomacy are all given excellent treatment.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 15, 2015 10:04AM) (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
I was just thinking of you. Great choice. Format pitch perfect.


message 4: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments I am going to add this one to my list. Thanks!


message 5: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I'm glad you are doing this, Jerome, you pick great books. Thanks.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Great to hear from Jerome more with this thread and his thoughts about some of these books.


message 7: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jan 20, 2015 01:06PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
2. Lincoln's Hundred Days The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union by Louis P. Masur by Louis P. Masur (no photo)
Finish date: January 17, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: A through, academic/scholarly study of Lincoln's emancipation proclamation. Masur provides all of the necessary detail on Lincoln's thinking, reservations, and motives regarding the preliminary and final proclamations (there were 100 days between them, hence the title). Masur thoroughly covers all of the relevant issues, such as the border states, the role of the public and the media, and Lincoln's awareness of the limits of his own "war powers" (a concept he had invented).


message 8: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Might add that to my TBR pile, Jerome, awesome.


message 9: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jan 28, 2015 04:11PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
3. The Burning of Washington The British Invasion of 1814 by Anthony S. Pitch by Anthony S. Pitch (no photo)
Finish date: January 22, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: Although this isn't the first book I've read on the Washington-Baltimore campaign, Pitch's book is great for a lot of reasons: good pacing, gripping writing, solid research, and of course, the sheer drama of the events described. I have yet to read a book on the subject that I find dull, and can definitely recommend it.


message 10: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks, Jerome. I have the book and it is now moving up on my TBR list.


message 11: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig It is a great book, I highly recommend it, too.


message 12: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
4. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation The End of Slavery in America by Allen C. Guelzo by Allen C. Guelzo (no photo)
Finish date: January 23, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: Another good book on the Emancipation Proclamation. Guelzo thoroughly covers all of the issues related to this event: the courts, the border states, Lincoln's colonization proposal, etc. Like all historians writing on the issue, Guelzo debunks the many myths perpetrated by both the Proclamation's supporters and critics. A great book on the subject, if only one of many.


message 13: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
5. The Ultimates, Vol. 1 Super-Human by Mark Millar by Mark Millar Mark Millar
Finish date: January 30, 2015
Genre: Graphic novel
Rating: A+
Review: This is the first volume of The Ultimates, which puts the classic Avengers into a grittier modern setting. Some of the classic Marvel elements remain: Captain America being frozen in ice in World War Two and waking up in the 21st century, for example, and Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk (as a result of attempting to replicate the super-soldier serum that made Steve Rogers Captain America). Great artwork, a solid story, and hilarious dialogue make this one a winner. If you enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially Joss Whedon's movie The Avengers, this is a must read.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Good progress Jerome


message 15: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
FEBRUARY

6. 1861 The Civil War Awakening by Adam Goodheart by Adam Goodheart (no photo)
Finish date: February 12, 2015
Genre: History
Reating: A+
Review: An informative and insightful history of 1861, covering all of the dramatic events of this pivotal year, and based around a compelling cast of historical figures. Goodheart's writing is clear and the narrative is smooth and dramatic.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Good add Jerome


message 17: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 13, 2015 01:23PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
7. The Ultimates, Vol. 2 Homeland Security by Mark Millar by Mark Millar Mark Millar
Finish date: February 13, 2015
Genre: Graphic novel
Rating: A-
Review: Another good Ultimates volume, with a great if somewhat cheesy plot. Characterization is good, dialogue is witty, and Hitch's artwork is still great. The only negative is that the Chitauri plotline is just too cheesy, but, in all, the story is great.


message 18: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
8. The Berlin Wall A World Divided, 1961-1989 by Frederick Taylor by Frederick Taylor (no photo)
Finish date: February 15, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A great, well-paced history of the Berlin Wall from its construction to its collapse, with good coverage of all the related political and diplomatic issues. The narrative transitions smoothly from high-level maneuvering to the stories of ordinary people living near (or escaping through) the border between the two Germanys. The only drawback is the clumsy writing, but this is fairly good for the most part.


message 19: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 22, 2015 11:09AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
9. The Trojan War A New History by Barry S. Strauss by Barry S. Strauss (no photo)
Finish date: February 17, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: B+
Review: A readable and well-written history of the Trojan War. Strauss treats the Iliad as a work of history and proceeds accordingly. He does his best to separate fact from fiction, and explores the many possibilities of how the Trojan War might really have happened. The writing is a little breezy, and one weakness is the lack of real historical sources available, but Strauss does his best anyway.


message 20: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments It looks very interesting.


message 21: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 22, 2015 11:10AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
10. The Destructive War William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans by Charles Royster by Charles Royster (no photo)
Finish date: February 18, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: The stated aim of Royster's book is to examine how the Civil War transformed into a destructive conflict, and he argues that Sherman and Jackson best personify this transformation. In the end, however, this is basically just a dual biography of Sherman and Jackson. It's an interesting book, even if the writing is a little dull and the argument is ill-defined and sketchily presented.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Looks like another good one.


message 23: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I'm glad you are doing the 50 books this year. You got some good ones.


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Very good adds and I echo Bryan's sentiments.


message 25: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 22, 2015 11:11AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
11. Ulysses S. Grant Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865 by Brooks D. Simpson by Brooks D. Simpson (no photo)
Finish date: February 21, 2015
Genre: Biography
Rating: A-
Review: A readable, well-written and balanced biography of Ulysses Grant, covering Grant's life from 1822-1865 (this was supposed to have been the first of two volumes, but the second has yet to be published). Simpson fully captures Grant's character, complexity, and humanity. Although the writing is somewhat dull at times, this is still a great book on the subject.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Good


message 27: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 28, 2015 09:35AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
12. The Other War of 1812 The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida by James G. Cusick by James G. Cusick (no photo)
Finish date: February 23, 2015
Genre:History
Rating: A-
Review: A fine history of American intervention in the Spanish Floridas during the War of 1812, and the history recounted is actually quite interesting despite the dry, academic writing. Cusick thoroughly describes all of the relevant background, the war itself, and its consequences.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Good you might want to add that book to the War of 1812 thread if you have not done so already


message 29: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
13. Ring of Steel Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I by Alexander Watson by Alexander Watson (no photo)
Finish date: February 27, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: A comprehensive and well-written history of World War One from the perspective of Austria-Hungary and Germany. Watson smoothly moves from the perspective of the Central Powers' statesmen to its generals, soldiers, and civilians, while exploring many issues overlooked in other histories, such as how they administered conquered territory and how the population responded to inept leadership, among others. Highly recommended.


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Jerome, you might want to add this to the appropriate World War I thread as well.


message 31: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Oooh, that goes on my tbr list, Jerome.


message 32: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
It's a great book, Jill, I can definitely recommend it.


message 33: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Mar 21, 2015 11:27AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
MARCH

14. The Road to Verdun World War I's Most Momentous Battle and the Folly of Nationalism by Ian Ousby by Ian Ousby (no photo)
Finish date: March 17, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: B+
Review: A curious history of the Battle of Verdun, Ousby's book moves beyond a conventional military narrative and instead addresses a variety of issues related to sociology, questions of "why," the psychological state of the combatants, and the political and military background. At times, this can be interesting, at other times slow and dry, although he does a fine job illuminating a variety of issues that are often overlooked.


message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Good progress


message 35: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Mar 26, 2015 09:32AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
15. The First Clash The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization by Jim Lacey by Jim Lacey (no photo)
Finish date: March 19, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: B+
Review: A lively and well-paced history of the Battle of Marathon, Lacey does great job describing the battle's context and the history of Greco-Persian enmity. His description of the battle is vivid and his command of the subject matter and source material is easy and authoritative, even if his argument is somewhat incoherent and not always well-supported.


message 36: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Mar 26, 2015 09:32AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
16. The Somme The Darkest Hour on the Western Front by Peter Hart by Peter Hart Peter Hart
Finish date: March 20, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A well-written and insightful history of the Battle of the Somme, Hart's book does a fine job putting the battle into its proper context. He largely eschews what he calls the "crude sentimental approach" adopted by many historians and poets of the war, arguing that the way the battle was fought was due more to the new technology of war and its steep learning curve rather than the stupidity of Douglas Haig (although Hart is still critical of Haig in other respects).


message 37: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments Sounds interesting. Another book for my list. Thanks!


message 38: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jul 25, 2015 02:36AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
17. (no image) Rehearsal for Conflict: The War with Mexico, 1846-1848 by Alfred Hoyt Bill (no photo)
Finish date: March 25, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: B+
Review: Although quite dated at this point, Bill's history of the Mexican war is for the most part well-written, with solid, vivid portraits of the participants and events. The book is readable, even if the typos are annoying and his arguments are not always well supported. One of the book's biggest problems is the lack of citations (even though it has a bibliography), but the narrative of the war seems consistent with other studies for the most part. A fine book on the war, but not essential.


message 39: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jul 24, 2015 01:29PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
18. The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers by Ray W. Irwin by Ray W. Irwin (no photo)
Finish date: March 28, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A brief history of America’s relations with the Barbary States from 1776 (actually more like 1786) to 1815. Irwin describes the various incidents and crises of the time period, and he does a fine job bringing all of this history together; most books on the subject deal with only certain phases such as the war with Tripoli under Jefferson or the war with Algiers in 1815. The book is well-written and the author has a good grasp of the subject matter and the source material (although US Navy records and diplomatic correspondence from other nations are curiously absent).

Well-written and informative, with a smooth, clear narrative.


message 40: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
APRIL

19. A Gallant Little Army The Mexico City Campaign by Timothy D. Johnson by Timothy D. Johnson (no photo)
Finish date: April 2, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: An excellent, analytical study of Winfield Scott’s campaign for Mexico City during the US-Mexican War. Johnson’s book is well written and dramatic. He gives us vivid portraits of Winfield Scott and his officers (such as Lee and Grant), making good use of primary source material. Johnson provides a good, balanced portrait of Scott, and does a good job showing how Scott dealt with matters ranging from logistics to planning to how to deal with the local population. Johnson’s analysis is pretty thorough. Unfortunately, Johnson makes little effort to cover the campaign from Mexico’s perspective, which leaves the reader puzzled as to how Scott’s numerically inferior force managed to win so many victories. Also, the maps are too small and poorly produced. Still, the book deserves kudos for its strong narrative, thorough analysis, and attention to detail.


message 41: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Apr 21, 2015 09:33AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
20. Three Victories and a Defeat The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783 by Brendan Simms by Brendan Simms (no photo)
Finish date: April 14, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A solid, well-written history of what Simms calls the "first" British empire. Simms describes in detail British foreign and colonial policy during the years 1714-1783, with the main events being the Wars of the Spanish and Austrian Secessions, the Seven Years' War, and the American Revolutionary War. Of these, the first two were the most unfamiliar to me, but Simms does a fine job covering these in the right amount of detail for both the layman and the enthusiast. One of Simms' main arguments is that Europe was the most important object of British strategy at the time, rather than North America and the colonies, and while interesting, this can get a little tiresome since Simms gets quite repetitive on this point and doesn't always support it well. But, still, a very enjoyable and interesting history.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44126 comments Mod
Great progress Jerome


message 43: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Apr 16, 2015 12:43PM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
21. Small Wars, Faraway Places Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965 by Michael Burleigh by Michael Burleigh Michael Burleigh
Finish date: April 16, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A readable and interesting history of the various armed conflicts, big and small, that defined the postwar world from 1945 to 1965. Burleigh describes the various figures that defined this era, and is quite critical of all of them (Eisenhower comes off the lightest). While short on analysis, Burleigh describes the various wars that followed but does not dwell on those postwar examples of "de-colonization" that went relatively smoothly. While not always well-written or cohesive, Burleigh's book is certainly interesting and enjoyable, and should be fine introduction for those readers not well acquainted with some of these wars.


message 44: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Sounds like a good book, Jerome. You might like this one too....I thought it was especially good and written by one of my favorite historians.

Queen Victoria's Little Wars by Byron Farwell by Byron Farwell(no photo)


message 45: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
A very interesting topic, thanks, Jill.


message 46: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
22. Trailing Clouds of Glory Zachary Taylor's Mexican War Campaign and His Emerging Civil War Leaders by Felice Flanery Lewis by Felice Flanery Lewis (no photo)
Finish date: April 21, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: A thorough and interesting history of Taylor's campaigns in northern Mexico, notable for their success and for the role played by many future Civil War commanders. While many historians view the war as a "training ground" for these commanders, Lewis argues that this was not the case and that there are really no concrete examples of Civil War generals applying any "lessons learned" from their Mexican experience. Definitely a must read for anyone interested in the Mexican-American War.


message 47: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
MAY

23. Worthy Fights A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace by Leon Panetta by Leon Panetta (no photo)
Finish date: May 14, 2015
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B+
Review: Panetta's memoir is interesting enough, but rather short on insight. The book's organization is somewhat distracting, and reads like a collection of longer stories, with short discussions of the various events and controversies, not told in any sort of chronological or topical order. Panetta is somewhat evasive when it comes to controversy, although he does argue that the CIA's controversial use of torture has been distorted by both its proponents and its critics. At times the book is dull and unemotional, but most of the time it succeeds in holding your interest,although one ends up learning more about Panetta's colleagues than Panetta himself.


message 48: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
24. The Presidents' War Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them by Chris DeRose by Chris DeRose Chris DeRose
Finish date: May 16, 2015
Genre: History:
Rating: A-
Review: A dense but interesting book on a rather broad topic. DeRose does a fine job weaving the Civil War experiences of Lincoln and six ex-presidents into a fascinating story. DeRose’s narrative is interesting and the story is well-paced. However, the story can be little hard to read; the chapters are quite short and have the effect of making the story somewhat disjointed. There is also little discussion of these presidents’ postwar views or legacies. But, in all, a well-written, thorough, and engaging book.


message 49: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jun 06, 2015 10:24AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
25. All Canada in the Hands of the British General Jeffery Amherst and the 1760 Campaign to Conquer New France by Douglas R. Cubbison by Douglas R. Cubbison (no photo)
Finish date: May 17, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A+
Review: A readable history of Amherst’s campaign against Montreal. Cubbison is sympathetic to Amherst, and writes that his coordination of the campaign was a remarkable achievement for the time period, and even for today. He looks at the final offensives following Quebec, although mainly from the British perspective. Many previous histories have criticized Amherst for being too slow, but Cubbison argues that this has been exaggerated, and his portrait of Amherst is largely favorable.


message 50: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Jun 06, 2015 10:24AM) (new)

Jerome | 4248 comments Mod
26. Feet to the Fire CIA Covert Operations in Indonesia, 1957-1958 by Kenneth J. Conboy by Kenneth J. Conboy (no photo)
Finish date: May 18, 2015
Genre: History
Rating: A-
Review: A slim but interesting and well-researched history of the Agency’s operations against Sukarno. The story is not always easy to follow, mainly due to the geography of the region.The authors do a fine job presenting the history of the operation, although they never really critique the rationale behind the operation or its impact on later events.


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