The History Book Club discussion


Comments Showing 1-50 of 242 (242 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4 5

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 09, 2015 02:40PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
In this folder we will discuss the countries and separate entities that make up Europe - either continental Europe, the United Kingdom, any part of the British Isles, the free Republics like Ireland, the Crown Dependencies, any other delineation or category, and of course we will also discuss all aspects of European History.

First - in this folder - there will be a single thread dedicated to each country or separate status entity which somehow is considered Europe whether continental or one of the Isles or Islands.

Other threads will be added as participation dictates.

Second, this folder will be developed to include all topics which focus on and of these entities or any segment of European History. As everyone is aware, we have developed a folder on British History which is separate due to its expansiveness; but we felt that we wanted to clarify the folders further. We are placing all of the country threads here under Europe. The British History folders will remain focused on Great Britain (UK) and its heritage and history.

Here are some topics which we can discuss and explore in this folder for all countries/locations of Europe (whether they be part of Continental Europe, the UK, part of the British Isles, free Republics like Ireland, Crown Dependencies or some other category):

1. Intellectual and Cultural History

Changes in religious thought and institutions

Secularization of learning and culture

Scientific and technological developments and their consequences

Major trends in literature and the arts

Intellectual and cultural developments and their relationship to social values
and political events

Developments in social, economic, and political thought, including ideologies
characterized as “-isms,” such as socialism, liberalism, nationalism

Developments in literacy, education, and communication

The diffusion of new intellectual concepts among different social groups

Changes in elite and popular culture, such as the development of new attitudes
toward religion, the family, work, and ritual

Impact of global expansion on European culture

2. Political and Diplomatic History

The rise and functioning of the modern state in its various forms

Relations between Europe and other parts of the world: colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and global interdependence

The evolution of political elites and the development of political parties, ideologies,and other forms of mass politics

The extension and limitation of rights and liberties (personal, civic, economic, and political); majority and minority political persecutions

The growth and changing forms of nationalism

Forms of political protest, reform, and revolution

Relationship between domestic and foreign policies

Efforts to restrain conflict: treaties, balance-of-power diplomacy, and international organizations

War and civil conflict: origins, developments, technology, and their

3. Social and Economic History

The character of and changes in agricultural production and organization

The role of urbanization in transforming cultural values and social relationships

The shift in social structures from hierarchical orders to modern social classes:
the changing distribution of wealth and poverty

The influence of sanitation and health care practices on society; food supply,
diet, famine, disease, and their impact

The development of commercial practices, patterns of mass production and
consumption, and their economic and social impact

Changing definitions of and attitudes toward social groups, classes, races, and
ethnicities within and outside Europe

The origins, development, and consequences of industrialization

Changes in the demographic structure and reproductive patterns of Europeans:
causes and consequences

Gender roles and their influence on work, social structure, family structure, and
interest group formation

The growth of competition and interdependence in national and world markets

Private and state roles in economic activity

Source for all of 1, 2 and 3 above:

Here is a wikipedia article of The History of Europe:

On there is a history by country which we could explore:

The University of Washington has an excellent site on the subject matter which we could expand upon and explore:

Here is another link which may prove fascinating:

Here is an advanced placement European History site:

Here is wikibook:

Here is another European History web page worth exploring:

Here is the academicinfo site:

Here are Eurodocs - online sources for European History

Here are the Yale University Study Guides which are superb:

If you have suggestions for any additions to this folder, please drop me a line as a PM and I will add the specific thread which is of interest to you. We also have a suggestion thread where you can also post your interest areas.

message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a book that I have been meaning to read for some time covering many of the above aspects of European history; "The Pursuit of Glory" Europe 1648-1815" by Tim Blanning.

The Pursuit of Glory Europe 1648-1815 (Penguin History of Europe) by Tim Blanning by Tim Blanning
"In 1648 the Peace of Westphalia brought the Thirty Years’ War to an end. Although the Europeans didn’t know it, of course, this devastating conflict would prove to be the last of the Wars of Religion that had been tearing the continent apart since the start of the Reformation in 1517. Europe was entering a new age.

Despite the Renaissance, it was still a largely medieval world in its outlook, infrastructure and government in 1648. Europe was less wealthy and, in many ways, less economically advanced than other parts of the world, like Mughal India and China. By 1815, the year of the Battle of Waterloo, Europe was recognizably modern. It was also far in advance of the rest of the world economically, scientifically, technologically, politically and militarily.

So the period between these two dates is the very hinge of European history. It is no small accomplishment to cover so vast a subject adequately in a single volume. But Tim Blanning, a professor of modern history at Cambridge and a fellow of the British Academy, not only does so, he also triumphs at it. “The Pursuit of Glory,” at 708 pages, is not a short read, but it is so well written that for those who love history, it is a page turner.

Mr. Blanning accomplishes his task not by taking a strictly chronological approach but by dealing with various aspects of a rapidly changing Europe one by one. Consider communications. In 1648 the main roads in Europe were mostly the ones that the Romans had built 1,500 years earlier and that had been neglected ever since.

The pace of travel, therefore, was seldom more than the speed a man could make on his own two feet, which, indeed, is how most people traveled. What coaches there were were wretched and slow. In 1708 an envoy from Louis XIV to Madrid reported from Bayonne, in southwestern France, that he had been nine days on the road and expected that he would need another two weeks to reach the Spanish capital.

But by the end of the period, roads had much improved in Western Europe and with it the speed of travel. In France travel times were cut in half and the comfort of riding in coaches much improved by the better roads. In Britain matters were even better. The trip from Bath to London took 50 hours in 1700. By 1800 it took 16. These greatly improved roads allowed other improvements, like much more efficient and much less costly postal service.

This sort of history can be deadly dull, an endless recitation of facts and statistics. In Mr. Blanning’s hands it is not, because he has a keen eye for the exactly apposite contemporary quotation. The people who lived through this transportation revolution regarded it with the same wonder that we regard, say, the global positioning systems that now keep us from getting lost. In 1754 a newspaper advertisement proclaimed, “However incredible it may appear, this coach will actually arrive in London four days after leaving Manchester.”

Mr. Blanning is also the master of the unexpected connection. The greatly improved roads, and thus greatly increased traffic, had an entirely unanticipated consequence: highwaymen. The reason that the 18th century saw these “gentlemen of the road” turn into figures of romance and legend is simply that the improved roads provided them with so many more people of whom they could demand that they “stand and deliver.”

Mr. Blanning uses this technique over and over, always with good effect. Why did France develop economically so much more slowly than Britain in the 18th century, with huge political consequences? One important reason was that Britain had an internal common market, but France was still riddled with internal tariffs and local taxes, causing no end of economic discontinuities.

An English traveler reported in 1786 that “a nobleman of Berry told me that on one side of a rivulet which flows by his chateau, salt is sold at 40 sols a bushel, and on the other ... at 40 times as much. In consequence of this, no less than two thousand troops of horse and foot were stationed on its banks to check smugglers.”

While everyone likely to read this book has heard of the scientific revolution, brought about by people like Isaac Newton, and the industrial revolution that began toward the end of the period (both well covered here), the agricultural revolution occurring at the same time was equally important. In 1648 European agriculture had not changed much since medieval times. But enclosure, manuring, crop rotation, new crops like turnips and clover, and improved breeding brought forth a large increase in food production.

One result was a golden age for the landed gentry, whose rent rolls increased sharply, and their conspicuous consumption along with them. (Robert Walpole employed 50 people just to weed his gardens.) Another result was the freeing of manpower to work in the factories that were beginning to spring up in the English countryside. The industrial revolution came about because of turnips as well as steam engines.

Mr. Blanning thoroughly covers the politics and endless wars of the era. These power shifts were not unconnected with the two great political trends in Europe in this period: the development of representative government in Britain and the Dutch Republic and the growth of royal absolutism in much of the rest of Europe. Change thus came about in manageable increments in Britain, allowing it both to modernize efficiently and to accommodate a potent new political force — public opinion, made possible by coffee houses and newspapers — while change was bottled up until it exploded in France.

Even here, Mr. Blanning presents the historical nuggets that bring this book to such vibrant life. When Louis XVI learned that he was to die on the guillotine the next morning, he sent a servant to fetch a copy of David Hume’s “History of England” to learn how Charles I had faced his own execution.

The Pursuit of Glory is history writing at its glorious best." - John Steele Gordon (author of An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power), The New York Times

message 3: by Tom (last edited Mar 19, 2011 08:54AM) (new)

Tom Some upcomming releases of authors that I like. Both books look like good reads.

The Greater Journey Americans in Paris, 1830-1900 by David McCullough by David McCullough David McCullough

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, 1830-1900

From Amazon
"The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.
After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture. None had any guarantee of success. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. As David McCullough writes, “Not all pioneers went west.” Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, who enrolled at the Sorbonne because of a burning desire to know more about everything. There he saw black students with the same ambition he had, and when he returned home, he would become the most powerful, unyielding voice for abolition in the U.S. Senate, almost at the cost of his life.

Two staunch friends, James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse, worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Cooper writing and Morse painting what would be his masterpiece. From something he saw in France, Morse would also bring home his momentous idea for the telegraph.

Pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk from New Orleans launched his spectacular career performing in Paris at age 15. George P. A. Healy, who had almost no money and little education, took the gamble of a lifetime and with no prospects whatsoever in Paris became one of the most celebrated portrait painters of the day. His subjects included Abraham Lincoln.

Medical student Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote home of his toil and the exhilaration in “being at the center of things” in what was then the medical capital of the world. From all they learned in Paris, Holmes and his fellow “medicals” were to exert lasting influence on the profession of medicine in the United States.

Writers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Henry James were all “discovering” Paris, marveling at the treasures in the Louvre, or out with the Sunday throngs strolling the city’s boulevards and gardens. “At last I have come into a dreamland,” wrote Harriet Beecher Stowe, seeking escape from the notoriety Uncle Tom’s Cabin had brought her. Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris and even more atrocious nightmare of the Commune. His vivid account in his diary of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris (drawn on here for the first time) is one readers will never forget. The genius of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the son of an immigrant shoemaker, and of painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, three of the greatest American artists ever, would flourish in Paris, inspired by the examples of brilliant French masters, and by Paris itself.

Nearly all of these Americans, whatever their troubles learning French, their spells of homesickness, and their suffering in the raw cold winters by the Seine, spent many of the happiest days and nights of their lives in Paris. McCullough tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint-Gaudens’s phrase, longed “to soar into the blue.” The Greater Journey is itself a masterpiece."

In the Garden of Beasts Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson by Erik Larson Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

from Amazon:
"The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror."

There seems to be kind of a theme going on here too - Americans in Europe.

message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Great discussion topic! Thanks. I look forward to great threads and discussion.

Last year I read several books about the history of Europe. One of the best was The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes.

The Age of Wonder How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes Richard Holmes by Richard Holmes.

Holmes is a biographer and the book is more like a biography, or several biographies, than a science book - as it should be.

Isaac Newton died in 1727 and Darwin didn’t make his voyage until 1831. Science was not dead between those years. Holmes uses those years to identify the years of what he calls the age of Romantic science - the Age of Wonder.

A few of the biggest names were Joseph Banks, William Herschel and Humphrey Davy. Banks explored and wrote about Tahiti, Herschel, with his sister Caroline, studied the stars and Davy was a chemist. These men of science were also men of the arts, Herschel being a musician and Davy a poet.

Scientists (and that word was not used yet) in these days were often described as loners who had moments of “aha!” The book shows this is not totally the case, there was much collaboration going on. And what with the advent of electricity and a free press, the common man was interested and often involved.

Holmes, who is a biographer by trade, has written an account which reads like a novel -or maybe several novels. The narrative is told like an adventure story (which much of it is) with a bit of foreshadowing, tension, character analysis and so on.

The chapters include the stories of Joseph Banks’ adventures in Tahiti, William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, the one-mistake sport of balloonists and what they learned, Mongo Park in Africa, Humphrey Davy’s chemical experiments and Mary Shelley’s indictment of science (Frankenstein).

The point here is that these are scientists who also created art - Herschell was a musician, Day was a poet and Banks was a huge supporter of them all. And they were artists who found their inspiration from the science of the day.

The stories are told in a pretty straightforward manner although two of them, the chapters on ballooning and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein are respectively funny and chilling. I'd be really hard pressed to say which of the sections I enjoyed most - they’re all delicious. And the graphics, paintings, photography included only adds to the "wonder."

My only criticism of the book might be the length - were all those poems by Davy necessary?

message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a recent release offering an interesting history of Italy; "The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples" by David Gilmour.

The Pursuit of Italy A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples by David Gilmour by David Gilmour
Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: '"You know, Davide," he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if nervously uttering a heresy, "Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. If he had not invaded Sicily and Naples, we in the north would have the richest and most civilized state in Europe." After looking round the room at the other guests, he added in an even lower voice, "Of course to the south we would have a neighbour like Egypt."' These words stayed in the author's mind for a long time. The dream of a unified Italy, how and why it has never been more than a dream, became the subject of a book he has been thinking about and writing for the last twenty years. Was the elderly Italian right? "The Pursuit of Italy" traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula since the Romans in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Machiavelli and the Medici, Garibaldi and Cavour, and the rather less inspiring political figures of the 20th century. Gilmour gives a clear-eyed view of the Risorgimento, the pivotal event in modern Italian history, debunking the many absurd and influential myths which have grown up around it but including a particularly sympathetic portrait of Giuseppe Verdi, one of many cultural figures he treats. Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive civic cultures, cuisine, art and identities. Similarly, most of the people of the peninsula have thought of themselves first as Tuscans, Venetians, Romans, Neapolitans or Sicilians and as Italians second, if at all. This, he argues, is where the strength of Italy lies rather than in misconceived ideas of unity. This wise and enormously engaging book explains the course of Italian history in a manner and with a coherence which no one with any interest in the country could fail to enjoy.

message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Becky wrote: "Great discussion topic! Thanks. I look forward to great threads and discussion.

Last year I read several books about the history of Europe. One of the best was The Age of Wonder: How the Ro..."

Hi Becky, great post on the book "The Age of Wonder", thanks for the excellent information and I'm sure anyone interested in this period of history will appreciate your post.

The Age of Wonder How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes by Richard Holmes Richard Holmes

message 7: by Baseni (last edited Mar 22, 2011 04:14AM) (new)

Baseni | 75 comments Kaiser von Amerika Die große Flucht aus Galizien by Martin Pollack
Kaiser von Amerika: Die große Flucht aus Galizien

Here I would like to recommend a book in German. The author, he is from Austria, describes in is the wave of emigration from about 1880 until World War I. Galicia, part of the ancient Austria-Hungary, now part of Poland and Ukraine was visited by recruiters for emigration. Especially poor people have been addressed. They moved without the knowledge of America and without knowledge of the English language into an uncertain future. They were told, in America would be the money and the gold on the road. The main gathering point for the emigration was Auschwitz. This city was then, unfortunately, in the Third Reich through the holocaust famous. The German shipping companies expanded by the U.S. business with the emigrants, and were the largest in the world. The living conditions in America are portrayed in the book only briefly.

message 8: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Baseni, excellent information on a book not known to may of us, I'm sure many readers will appreciate the post. Dont forget to add the author's details when you add the book.

Kaiser von Amerika Die große Flucht aus Galizien by Martin Pollack by Martin Pollack

message 9: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I purchased a copy of this book today as I love reading about Paris: "Paris: The Secret History" by Andrew Hussey.

Paris The Secret History by Andrew Hussey by Andrew Hussey
Years ago, while strolling through a Parisian flower market, I was accosted by a man with a posy in his hands and a poem on his lips. “Here are some fruits, some flowers, some leaves and some branches,” he declaimed, quoting the poet Paul Verlaine, “And here is my heart, which beats only for you.” At which the stranger dropped his bouquet, unzipped his pants and presented me with an organ quite different from his heart. In Paris, I reflected as I hurried away, the boundary between lyricism and squalor is as fragile as a rosebud, and as permeable as a man’s fly.

With “Paris: The Secret History,” Andrew Hussey shows that it was ever thus, as he sifts through two millenniums of history to expose the dark side of the City of Light. Addictively readable and richly detailed, the book recounts “the story of Paris from the point of view of ... marginal and subversive elements in the city,” those “insurrectionists, vagabonds, immigrants, sexual outsiders, criminals ... whose experiences contradict and oppose official history.” For Hussey, a biographer of the Situationist thinker Guy Debord, these elements make up an essential part of the Parisian landscape. Following the poet Jean de Boschère, he emphasizes the “endless play of polarities — shadow and light, past and present” — that give the city not just its charm, but its edge.

Such an approach comes as a welcome corrective to the “cliché and commodity” that, Hussey rightly notes, mark most contemporary representations of Paris: “The Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, Notre-Dame are all part of a global visual culture, a Disneyfied baby language that distorts and destroys real meaning.” This book seeks to restore “real history” by replacing “the kitsch tourist version of the city” with far grittier imagery.

The author duly strips even the city’s best-loved monuments of their “Disneyfied” patina. Notre-Dame, he writes, stands on “a place of Druidic sacrifices and pagan worship,” and “long into the 16th century” was the site of “an orgiastic, four-day saturnalia ... often ending in murder and group sex.” The Sacré-Coeur basilica, built by the French government in 1873 on the very spot where it had brutally suppressed a workers’ uprising three years before, “represents the grim victory of the forces of social order over the oppressed.” In 1889, Parisians saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower as “almost certainly a bad omen,” and compared the structure to a “suppository.” The Place Dauphine — the deserted triangular square alongside the Pont-Neuf that Henri IV named for his son in the early 17th century — has since been known as “the clitoris of Paris.” With tidbits like this, readers will never look at Paris the same way again.

At its best, Hussey’s offbeat, irreverent approach also challenges received wisdom about French history. When tracing the larger political developments that shaped the city, he offers up many hair-raising, hilarious details. In 613, an early Frankish queen was “found guilty ... on the charge of the murder of 10 kings. Her punishment was to be tied to a camel for three days, and to be beaten and raped by anyone passing by.” Why a camel? I have no idea, and Hussey offers no hypotheses. The factoid, though, amusingly illustrates the otherwise banal truism that “the Franks excelled at terror.” In much the same way, the author enlivens his remarks on the succession crisis of 1137 by noting that Louis VI’s heir “had been killed in an accident with one of the wild pigs which roamed the streets of Paris.” Who knew? Hussey did, and he is unstinting with his unforgettable trivia.

His care with basic historical facts, however, is not always so impressive. Writing about the Reign of Terror, Hussey refers — more than once — to the new regime’s quasi-executive organ, the Committee of Public Safety, in the plural, but there was only one such committee. Less trivially, he says that this body “quickly became a law unto” itself after its inception in the spring of 1793. While it was extremely powerful, it coexisted uneasily with the Committee of General Security and the Paris Commune, both of which also wielded considerable power. And Thomas Carlyle, one of the 19th century’s best-known chroniclers of the Revolution, was not “an Englishman” but a Scot.

Other missteps are also jarring. Notwithstanding his desire “to make my own maps of the city,” Hussey would have done well to stick to the grammatically correct names of the landmarks he catalogs, like the Palais du Luxembourg, which he calls “the Palais de Luxembourg.” When committed by a tourist asking for directions, this is exactly the sort of gaffe that inspires Parisians to claim they’ve never heard of the place.

Further, the author’s meditation on the sordid underbelly of classical-age Paris would have benefited from a mention of Michel Foucault’s “Madness and Civilization,” which famously showed that by 1656 one in a hundred of the city’s inhabitants languished in mental asylums. Similarly, when Hussey notes that in 18th-century Paris underground booksellers fed the public’s “appetite for politics and porn,” one misses a reference to Robert Darnton, who wrote three influential books on the subject. These works are all indispensable guides to the city’s “secret history,” and their absence is palpable here.

Still, Hussey makes an invaluable contribution by debunking the myth that Paris’s history is “a repository of all that is finest and most magnificent in the human spirit.” For this city is far more than the sum of its grand boulevards, quaint side streets and picturesque structures rising high above the Seine. It is a place where one medieval power broker “hung his enemies up by their penises”; where during the religious massacres of the late 16th century and the revolutionary purges of the late 18th, the streets ran red with blood; where the Second Empire’s most gifted poet, Charles Baudelaire, ordered his steak “as tender as the brain of a little child”; where the populace, during sieges both foreign and domestic, subsisted on rats, dogs and dead men’s bones; where “80,000 Jews, from all over France, had passed through” en route to the Nazi death camps; and where, as recently as the fall of 2005, suburban riots disrupted the country. Hussey does not comment on this last episode, but he includes a photograph of three agitators — all young men of African descent — facing off with invisible authorities against a backdrop of burning wreckage. Far crueler and more complicated than its picture postcards imply, Paris has always played host to outsiders and outlaws. In this respect its past, as rewritten by Hussey, may well hold a key to its future. - Sunday Book Review (The New York Times)

message 10: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here are two books covering Europe and its history, the first one is a standard history, the second a history and travelogue combined:

Europe A History by Norman Davies by Norman Davies
From the Ice Age to the Cold War, from Reykjavik to the Volga, from Minos to Margaret Thatcher, Norman Davies here tells the entire story of Europe in a single volume. Chosen ten times as Book of the Year, it is the most ambitious history of the continent ever undertaken.

In Europe Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak by Geert Mak
Geert Mak spent the year 1999 criss-crossing the continent, tracing the history of Europe from Verdun to Berlin, St Petersburg to Auschwitz, Kiev to Srebrenica. He set off in search of evidence and witnesses, looking to define the condition of Europe at the verge of a new millennium.

The result is mesmerising: Mak’s rare double talent as a sharp-eyed journalist and a hugely imaginative historian makes In Europe a dazzling account of that journey, full of diaries, newspaper reports and memoirs, and the voices of prominent figures and unknown players; from the grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Adriana Warno in Poland, with her holiday job at the gates of the camp at Birkenau.

But Mak is above all an observer. He describes what he sees at places that have become Europe’s well-springs of memory, where history is written into the landscape. At Ypres he hears the blast of munitions from the Great War that are still detonated twice a day. In Warsaw he finds the point where the tram rails that led to the Jewish ghetto come to a dead end in a city park. And in an abandoned crèche near Chernobyl, where tiny pairs of shoes still stand in neat rows, he is transported back to the moment time stood still in the dying days of the Soviet Union.

Mak combines the larger story of twentieth-century Europe with details that suddenly give it a face, a taste and a smell. His unique approach makes the reader an eyewitness to his own half-forgotten past, full of unknown peculiarities, sudden insights and touching encounters. In Europe is a masterpiece; it reads like the epic novel of the continent’s most extraordinary century.

“…an enthralling and original book.” - History Today

“…an original and engaging approach to 20th-century European history... the result is history becoming alive in an almost physical way.” - Sunday Telegraph

“…a magnificent survey of the state of Europe. This is no mere collection of columns but instead a uniquely enthralling travelogue, historical investigation and personal journey... A rich, sensitive and rewarding compendium.” - The Daily Herald

“Mak's writing evokes smells, tastes, and sights; this is European history through the eyes of a born observer.” - The Good Book Guide

message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Terrific adds Aussie Rick.

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) My pleasure :)

message 13: by 3535 (new)

3535 Becky wrote: "Great discussion topic! Thanks. I look forward to great threads and discussion.

Last year I read several books about the history of Europe. One of the best was The Age of Wonder: How the Ro..."

I too read and loved this book last year, Becky. I particularly enjoyed it because it provided me with a different perspective on the Romantic era, in whose literature and thought I am very interested.

To those interested in the history of science: I was inspired to read Holmes' book after enjoying the following on the seventeenth-century 'scientific revolution':

Ingenious Pursuits by Lisa Jardine by Lisa Jardine

Holmes seemed a natural progression after that. And as I then realised how fascinating the history of science is, I then read:

Science: A History 1543-2001 by John R. Gribbin John R. Gribbin (no cover image available)

This covered a much longer period and a wider array of scientists, and seems a good introduction to the topic, even though I was rather lost towards the end (which dealt with twentieth-century developments).

Any other recommendations from you boffins out there on the history of science? I am particularly interested in astronomers of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Also, could you recommend to me a good scholarly, recent biography of Charles Darwin. I know loads of stuff appeared on him last year, but lots of it seems superficial and too general. I am particularly interested in a work which places him in the context of Victorian Britain and the various intellectual debates of the day.

And (since I am begging) anything on Alexander von Humboldt?

message 14: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Not a subject that I have read on but I have heard good things about this book; "Alexander von Humboldt: A Metabiography" by Nicolaas Rupke.

Alexander von Humboldt A Metabiography by Nicolaas Rupke by Nicolaas Rupke
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is one of the most celebrated figures of late-modern science, famous for his work in physical geography, botanical geography, and climatology, and his role as one of the first great popularizers of the sciences. His momentous accomplishments have intrigued German biographers from the Prussian era to the fall of the Berlin wall, all of whom configured and reconfigured Humboldt's life according to the sensibilities of the day.This volume, the first metabiography of the great scientist, traces Humboldt's biographical identities through Germany's collective past to shed light on the historical instability of our scientific heroes.

"Rupke's study... will doubtless become a standard reference for the Humboldt industry and for writers of scientific metabiographies to come." - Isis

"Engaging.... Rupke's meticulous analysis is fascinating on many scores." - Times Higher Education Supplement

"A study born of considerable scholarship and one with important methodological implications for historians of geography." - Charles W. J. Withers, (Progress in Human Geography)

"Rupke is right to draw attention to the fact that shifting biographical traditions make one person have many lives, and his metabiography helps us to appreciate the historical instability of any scientific life, not just one as complex as Humboldt's.... Rupke has given us a Humboldt just right for our own less certain and more self-conscious times - fractured, multiple and unstable." - Steven Shapin, (Nature)

message 15: by 3535 (last edited May 01, 2011 01:22AM) (new)

3535 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Not a subject that I have read on but I have heard good things about this book; "Alexander von Humboldt: A Metabiography" by Nicolaas Rupke.

Thanks a lot for this, Aussie Rick! I've ordered the book for me at once (I've never come across the term 'metabiography' -- it seems to be a study of how his life has been represented, i.e. a biography of biographies -- most interesting!). Many years ago I read a biography of von Humboldt of which I can recall neither author nor title, but do recall that I thought it quite disappointing for such a great subject. More recently I've read this historical novel which tells von Humboldt's story alongside that of his contemporary, the mathematician Gauss who -- like von Humboldt -- made great scientific discoveries, but without ever leaving his province.

Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann by Daniel Kehlmann Daniel Kehlmann

message 16: by Becky (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I just finished this book today - it's really excellent if you have any interest in the subject at all - brilliant, imo.

Apollo's Angels A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans Jennifer Homans Jennifer Homans


"It has never been done, what Jennifer Homans has done in “Apollo’s Angels.” She has written the only truly definitive history of the most impossibly fantastic art form, ballet, this most refined, most exquisite art of “aristocratic etiquette,” this “science of behavior toward others,” as a 17th-century ballet master put it, in which lovely young women perch upon their 10 little toe tips (actually, it is really just the two big toes that alternately support the entire body’s weight: think about it) and waft about where the air is thinner — but heaven is closer. She has taken this world where wilis, virgins, sylphs, sleeping princesses, the “women in white” embody the eternal — the eternally unattainable — and set it into the fabric of world history, and we see, miraculously, their pale tulle and satin pointes peeking out from the crevices of war, of revolutions, of political machinations, and on the stages of the monarchies and empires of the kings and czars who gave birth to this improbable art."
New York Times
November 26, 2010


"In the chapters that follow, Ms. Homans proves adept at guiding the converging aspects of history into powerful punctuations. "The idea that dance could tell a story better than words, that it could express some essential human truth with a moral force that words simply could not convey: this was an idea that came directly out of the French Enlightenment. And it was this idea that changed ballet from a decorative ornament to the independent narrative art form that we think of today as the story ballet." She makes clear the genesis of the new form's conventions and metaphors. Why, for example, the corps de ballet is invariably dressed in white. During the French Revolution, Ms. Homans explains, women who wore "simple white tunics became powerful symbols of a nation cleansed of corruption and greed. . . . The corps de ballet as a group of women (never men) in white thus took its cue from the Revolution: they represented the claims of the community (and the nation) over those of the individual." She continually shows us that, while ballet may be wordless, it is an art that carries meanings and subtexts, which can be explicated and analyzed. It is just as serious as painting, sculpture and music, and in some ways more so, because it is born of all three."
Wall Street Journal
October 30, 2010


"Starred Review. In an important and original work of cultural history, New Republic dance critic Homans places ballet--an art often viewed as hermetic and esoteric--in the larger context of the times and societies in which it evolved, flourished, and flagged, only to be revitalized by an infusion of fresh ideas. That revitalization could come from a ballet master like Jean-Georges Noverre, presented by Homans as an important Enlightenment figure whose ideas on reforming ballet were consonant with those of Diderot on reforming theater. Renewal came from the genius of dancers like Marie Taglioni, the incarnation of romanticism, whose originality, Homans indisputably shows, reached far beyond dancing up on her tippy-toes. But in a closing section that will be hotly debated, this exhilarating account sounds a despairing note: "ballet is dying," she declares. Not only is the creative well running dry and performances dull, but more crucially, Homans sees today's values as inimical to those of ballet ("We are all dancers now," she writes, evoking what she sees as a misguided egalitarianism that denies an art rooted in discipline and virtuosity). Her cultural critique, as well as her expansive and penetrating view of ballet's history, recommend this book to all readers who care about the history of the arts as well as their present and possible future."

message 17: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Becky, that sounds like a very interesting book and something different, thanks for the post and the reviews, I'm sure many readers will find it interesting as well.

Apollo's Angels A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans by Jennifer Homans

message 18: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (queenravenclaw) | 329 comments seeing that I love Ballet I had bit of a fascination with it in highschool since i was at an art school so thanks for that. @ Aussie Rick does it mention anything about the catacombs of paris in your book. I just remembered them while reading the series that Im currently reading.

message 19: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Krystal wrote: "seeing that I love Ballet I had bit of a fascination with it in highschool since i was at an art school so thanks for that. @ Aussie Rick does it mention anything about the catacombs of paris in yo..."

Hi Krystal,

I've just checked the index of the book and it doesn't mention the catacombs (which I've visited - very interesting). If I get a chance to read the book soon and I come across any information I'll let you know. They are mentioned in these two books:

Parisians An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb by Graham Robb

Metro Stop Paris An Underground History of the City of Light by Gregor Dallas by Gregor Dallas

message 20: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (queenravenclaw) | 329 comments they way it is described in the books that im reading its very interesting. and during the 18th century i heard that Paris had a lot of cemetaries and so many people were dying because of the stink from it so they moved the bodies into the catacombs.

message 21: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I like this book, it is a textbook, but it gives a great overall picture:

Europe, 1815-1914 by Gordon Alexander Craig by Gordon Alexander Craig

message 22: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Here is a book that covers the ruling houses of Europe and how each was eclipsed by the Great War. What makes it so interesting is that the author not only wrote about the major dynasties but included Montenegro, Serbia and the smaller royal houses. Well researched and written in a very readable style.

Royal Sunset The European Dynasties and the Great War by Gordon Brook-Shepherd by Gordon Brook-Shepherd (no photo).

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you once again Jill.

message 24: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I enjoy sharing my good reads with others. :o)

message 25: by Max (new)

Max Here are some brief histories of individual European powers I've come across:

This one I can't wait to read, considering Zamoyski's other brilliant books, such as Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March...

Poland A History by Adam Zamoyski by Adam Zamoyski

A substantially revised and updated edition of the author's classic 1987 book, 'The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and their Culture', which has been out of print since 2001.

The Will to Survive A History of Hungary by Bryan Cartledge by Bryan Cartledge

A history of Hungary from 1000 to the present day by the former British Ambassador to Hungary.

The History of Bulgaria (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations) by Frederick B. Chary by Frederick B. Chary

Now an Eastern European leader in the fields of science and technology, a nation with impressive renewable energy production capabilities and an extensive communication infrastructure, as well as a top exporter of minerals and metals, Bulgaria has grown both economically and politically over the past two decades.

The History of Bulgaria examines the country's development, describing its cultural, political, and social history and development over 13 centuries. The modern era is particularly emphasized, including Bulgaria's role in World War II, the long tenure of Communist leader Todor Zhivkov, the role of Aleksandur Stamboliiski and the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, and the myriad changes in Bulgaria's post-Communist period. The author also highlights significant individuals in Bulgarian history, such as Dimitur Peshev, the Deputy Speaker whose actions saved 50,000 Jews from the Holocaust.

Holy Roman Empire by Friedrich Heer by Friedrich Heer

The Holy Roman Empire survived for over 1,000 years--and its institutions, ideas, and political divisions haunt Europe still. Starting with Charlemagne's coronation on Christmas day 800, and ending with the illegal suspension of the Empire by Francis II in 1806, this ambitious and comprehensive history examines the status of the Emperor, meaning of kingship and leadership, the Empire's structure, internal conflicts, and shifting centers of power, and ever present ideal of a united Europe.

Byzantium The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin by Judith Herrin

Byzantium. The name evokes grandeur and exoticism--gold, cunning, and complexity. In this unique book, Judith Herrin unveils the riches of a quite different civilization. Avoiding a standard chronological account of the Byzantine Empire's millennium--long history, she identifies the fundamental questions about Byzantium--what it was, and what special significance it holds for us today.

Bringing the latest scholarship to a general audience in accessible prose, Herrin focuses each short chapter around a representative theme, event, monument, or historical figure, and examines it within the full sweep of Byzantine history--from the foundation of Constantinople, the magnificent capital city built by Constantine the Great, to its capture by the Ottoman Turks.

She argues that Byzantium's crucial role as the eastern defender of Christendom against Muslim expansion during the early Middle Ages made Europe--and the modern Western world--possible. Herrin captivates us with her discussions of all facets of Byzantine culture and society. She walks us through the complex ceremonies of the imperial court. She describes the transcendent beauty and power of the church of Hagia Sophia, as well as chariot races, monastic spirituality, diplomacy, and literature. She reveals the fascinating worlds of military usurpers and ascetics, eunuchs and courtesans, and artisans who fashioned the silks, icons, ivories, and mosaics so readily associated with Byzantine art.

An innovative history written by one of our foremost scholars, Byzantium reveals this great civilization's rise to military and cultural supremacy, its spectacular destruction by the Fourth Crusade, and its revival and final conquest in 1453.

This is brilliant:

Venice Pure City by Peter Ackroyd by Peter Ackroyd

In this sumptuous vision of Venice, Peter Ackroyd turns his unparalleled skill for evoking a sense of place from London and the River Thames to Venice, the city of myth, mystery and beauty, set like a jewel in its glistening lagoon.

Ackroyd’s Venice is at once romantic and packed with detail, conjuring up the atmosphere of the canals, bridges and sunlit squares, the churches and the markets, the fiestas and the flowers. He leads us through the fascinating, story-filled history of the city, from the first refugees arriving in the mists of the lagoon in the fourth century, to the rise of a great mercantile state and trading empire, the wars against Napoleon and the tourist invasions of today.

Everything is here: the merchants on the Rialto and the Jews in the ghetto; the mosaics of St. Marks’ and the glass blowers of Murano; the carnival masks and the sad colonies of lepers; the doges and the destitute. And of course, the artists — Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, with their passion for colour and form. There are wars and sieges, scandals and seductions, fountains playing in deserted squares and crowds thronging the markets. And there is a dark undertone too, of shadowy corners and dead ends, prisons and punishment.

We could have no better guide to Venice than Peter Ackroyd whose book is, itself, a glorious journey and the perfect holiday.

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

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Great add Max, thank you.

message 27: by Max (new)

Max Thank you Bentley. You're welcome.

message 28: by Terrence (last edited Aug 20, 2011 07:14PM) (new)

Terrence | 17 comments Salt A World History by Mark Kurlansky by Mark Kurlansky Mark Kurlansky

Not sure if this is the right place since the book spans the entire world, but I'd say the bulk of it is focused in Europe. Just found it cleaning out the trunk of my car, it's a strangely compelling read given how dry (no pun... okay yes it was) the style is, but it's absolutely fascinating to read about how a rock we now take so for granted used to quite literally be worth its weight in gold.

Explains the role salt had in basically all of the pre-industrial conflict in Europe, and explains a facet of human life from that epoch that I'd taken totally for granted and never even thought about - how food was stored, preserved, and transported and how vital being able to do that was to... pretty much every element of society.

Not thrilling or mind-blowing... just really curiosity-satisfying. Plus you'll find out where we got the term "red herring" from, among other cool little facts.

message 29: by Alisa (last edited Aug 20, 2011 07:47PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Terrence that is a great suggestion. I read it last year and also found it strangely compelling, as you so aptly describe. The evolution of salt processing was surprisingly interesting. Much of the geography it covers is Europe, and for that reason makes an interesting addition to this list. I liked it.

Salt A World History by Mark Kurlansky by Mark Kurlansky Mark Kurlansky

message 30: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The Great Mortality An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time (P.S.) by John Kelly by John Kelly(no photo).

This vivid history of the plague and its effects on Europe is chilling. Although the plague actually reached Greenland (which I did not know until I read this book), it was centered on the Continent. The author devotes the last chapter to a discussion of the actual nature of the Black Death....was is pneumonic plague, bubonic plague, or a disease that is unfamiliar to the modern world? His findings leave that question unanswered. A very sobering book.

message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom new book that looks interesting:

The Golden Empire Spain, Charles V, and the Creation of America by Hugh S. Thomas by Hugh S. Thomas Hugh S. Thomas

Description from publisher:
From a master chronicler of Spanish history comes a magnificent work about the pivotal years from 1522 to 1566, when Spain was the greatest European power. Hugh Thomas has written a rich and riveting narrative of exploration, progress, and plunder. At its center is the unforgettable ruler who fought the French and expanded the Spanish empire, and the bold conquistadors who were his agents. Thomas brings to life King Charles V—first as a gangly and easygoing youth, then as a liberal statesman who exceeded all his predecessors in his ambitions for conquest (while making sure to maintain the humanity of his new subjects in the Americas), and finally as a besieged Catholic leader obsessed with Protestant heresy and interested only in profiting from those he presided over.

The Golden Empire also presents the legendary men whom King Charles V sent on perilous and unprecedented expeditions: Hernán Cortés, who ruled the “New Spain” of Mexico as an absolute monarch—and whose rebuilding of its capital, Tenochtitlan, was Spain’s greatest achievement in the sixteenth century; Francisco Pizarro, who set out with fewer than two hundred men for Peru, infamously executed the last independent Inca ruler, Atahualpa, and was finally murdered amid intrigue; and Hernando de Soto, whose glittering journey to settle land between Rio de la Palmas in Mexico and the southernmost keys of Florida ended in disappointment and death. Hugh Thomas reveals as never before their torturous journeys through jungles, their brutal sea voyages amid appalling storms and pirate attacks, and how a cash-hungry Charles backed them with loans—and bribes—obtained from his German banking friends.

A sweeping, compulsively readable saga of kings and conquests, armies and armadas, dominance and power, The Golden Empire is a crowning achievement of the Spanish world’s foremost historian.

message 32: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Tom, good post. I have a copy of that book but I have to read the first volume yet; "Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan" by Hugh Thomas.

Rivers of Gold The Rise of the Spanish Empire from Columbus to Magellan by Hugh S. Thomas by Hugh S. Thomas Hugh S. Thomas

Golden Age by Hugh S. Thomas by Hugh S. Thomas Hugh S. Thomas

message 33: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book provides an in-depth look at how colonies held by European powers divorced themselves from those ruling states. It covers the time frame of 1945 until the present day and places the last days of Empire in the context of long term international development.

Decolonization Since 1945 The Collapse of European Overseas Empires (Studies in Contemporary History) by John Springhall by John Springhall (no photo)

message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Defenders of the Faith Charles V, Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe, 1520-1536 by James Reston Jr. by James Reston Jr. (no photo)

This book recounts 16 years of turmoil....the epic clash between Europe and the Ottoman Turks that ended the Renaissance and brought Islam to the gates of Vienna. It was propelled by two astonishing young sovereigns, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Turkish sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It is particularly relevant in today's world as Islam and Christianity continue to fight a war of contrasting beliefs.

message 35: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Good post Jill, reminded me that I have to get around to reading this book sooner than later!

message 36: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (queenravenclaw) | 329 comments There are too many great books in this section that I'll never catch up with everything. I've just picked up another book from my long TBR pile today called

Queens of England by Norah Lofts by Norah Lofts Norah Lofts

message 37: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) AR and Krystal......One book that I have that I have wanted to read forever has actually been on my TBR pile the longest.....I have no idea why I haven't started it....but like you, Krystal, others keep calling to me. And it is a classic:

Raj The Making and Unmaking of British India by Lawrence James by Lawrence James(no photo)

message 38: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (queenravenclaw) | 329 comments I know right there are just too many books that get our attention and then we never read the ones we mean too. As I was looking for the book i mentioned above i found so much that would of been interested to me but i couldn't take everything because i got two books for my mom this huge medical book with like over 1100pgs and different breeds of dogs cuz we are trying to figure out what kind we want maybe...maybe. i have so many on my TBR that im slowly getting to them. I think

message 39: by Geevee (new)

Geevee Jill wrote: "One book that I have that I have wanted to read forever has actually been on my TBR pile the longest.....I have no idea why I haven't started it....but like you, Krystal, others..."

Jill likewise I have had that volume Raj The Making and Unmaking of British India by Lawrence James by Lawrence James on my shelf for some years now but just haven't made the plunge.

I also these two by him on my TBR too

The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James and The Middle Class by Lawrence James by Lawrence James

message 40: by Jill (last edited Oct 16, 2011 12:22PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I don't feel so bad now, Geevee. I have read:
The Illustrated Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James by Lawrence James but will be adding the other book you cited to my TBR list. Thanks for the tip.

The Middle Class by Lawrence James by Lawrence James

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

I recommend Peter the Great, by Robert Massie. (It doesn't seem to be listed here at Goodreads. Maybe because it's older: 1986.) It's a fantastic narrative history about Peter the man and about the transformation or Russia.

message 42: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Peter the Great His Life and World by Robert K. Massie by Robert K. Massie (no photo)

You must have overlooked it, David. The citation is above.
I have read it and most of Massie's books......he is one of my favorites. An excellent recommendation.

message 43: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (queenravenclaw) | 329 comments I have a favourite author I don't know how many books she has written but I enjoyed her book.

The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell by Robin Maxwell Robin Maxwell

Signora Da Vinci by Robin Maxwell , To the Tower Born A Novel of the Lost Princes by Robin Maxwell , The Wild Irish A Novel of Elizabeth I and the Pirate O'Malley by Robin Maxwell and others. Robin Maxwell Robin Maxwell

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Jill wrote: "Peter the Great His Life and World by Robert K. Massie by Robert K. Massie (no photo)

You must have overlooked it, David. The citation is above.
I have read it and most of Massie's..."

More like I haven't figured out the system, yet. Thanks, Jill!

message 45: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) It takes a few tries to get used to the citations but you will get there!!!!

message 46: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) At the time that the Eiffel Tower was being built, large parts of France were still lands of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks and pre-Christian beliefs and Julius Caesar was still being quoted as a useful source of information. It seems hard to believe as we think of France as a cultured and progressive nation. This book shows how the modern nation came to be.

The Discovery of France A Historical Geography, from the Revolution to the First World War by Graham Robb by Graham Robb (no photo)

message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Bloodlands Europe Between Hitler and Stalin  by Timothy Snyder by Timothy Snyder Timothy Snyder

The Nazi and Soviet regimes, in a period of twelve years, deliberately murdered 14 million people unrelated to combat. This occurred in a zone of death between Berlin and Moscow. After the war these bloodlands fell out of sight behind the Iron Curtain. This book investigates the place and the times where and when this unfolded.

message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you for some great adds.

message 49: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Justinian's Flea The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire by William Rosen by William Rosen

In the middle of the 6th century, the world's smallest organism collided with the world's mightiest power. Twenty-five million corpses later, the Roman Empire under its last great emperor, Justinian, was decimated. A sobering look at the end of an empire and the birth of Europe.

message 50: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Something a little different is the life of the pirates of the Spanish Main. In 1674, for a short time, the major powers in Europe were at peace among themselves. But soon buccaneers seized the opportunity of material gain and Spain produced its own notorious pirates and the game was on. A look into the pirates' lives in the days of the buccaneers.

The Buccaneer's Realm Pirate Life on the Spanish Main, 1674-1688 by Benerson Little by Benerson Little

« previous 1 3 4 5
back to top