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Bluelist - non fiction

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Craze_b0i View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 01:45
A list of the best history books you have read...
 
J Mcpherson, Battle Cry of Freedom
 
D Brown, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee
 
A Beevor, Stalingrad
 
B Diaz, The Conquest of New Spain
 
K R Andrews, Elizabethan Privateering
 
G Parker, The Military Revolution
 
C W Hollister, Medieval Europe: A Short History
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Knights View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 02:02
Great idea for a topic, Craze_boi! Here's a few off the top of my head:

S Runciman, History of the Crusades Part I - The First Crusade

A Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

J J Norwich, The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean

A Everitt, Cicero: Life and Times
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Praetor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 02:25
I second that Craze_b01, unfortunately this list of mine has transformed itself perhaps into the majority of history books I've ever read, well at least the more reputable onesEmbarrassed. Mind some of them were picked more for their literary style and subject matter than their scholarly vigour.

W. Treadgold, A history of the Byzantine state and society

A. Goldsworthy, CAESAR

A. Goldsworthy, in the name of Rome

J. Norwich, A short history of Byzantium

S. Montefiore, Young Stalin

W. Rosen, Justinian's flea

P, Heather, The fall of the Roman empire

oh and S Runciman's trilogy on the crusades is proving itself a riveting read (a little past halfway through the second volume at present) too Knights, how could it not with its awesome folio socity covers's........(and yes I Know about the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" But I couldn't help it!).

Regards, Praetor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 03:15
I read Runcimans first two volumes last year - probably among the best history books I've ever read.

M. Hopkinson, 'Green against Green'

J.A. Froude, 'The English in Ireland' (3 vols)

G.M. Trevelyans trilogy on Garibaldi.

F. Heer, 'The Medieval World'

P. Geogheagan, 'The Rise of Daniel O' Connel'

F.S. Lyons 'Ireland since the Famine'

J. Prendergast, 'The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland'

AJP Taylor, 'Origins of the Second World War'

Tom Garvin, '1922: The birth of Irish democracy'

A rather Irish biased list...
http://xkcd.com/15/



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Knights View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 04:28
Seems Runciman is really getting top ratings in this thread! I completely agree with you Parnell and Praetor - his work is brilliant stuff.
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Windemere View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 08:01
You're right, Steven Runciman's books are both informative, and also really interesting to read. I haven't seen his 'History of the Crusades', but I read his book 'The Fall of Constantinople:1453' (1965) way back in 1971, and used it in the bibliography of a term-paper I had to write. It was well-written, objective, and exciting to read. About a year ago I read his book 'The Great Church in Captivity' (1968). That one was a bit more academic, dealing with some complicated political and religious issues, but his writing style made it interesting as well.
 
Runciman ( not sure, but I think he had the title of 'Viscount' ) was evidently quite an interesting character in his own right as well. He passed away in 2000, I think he was about 97 years old.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 08:03
'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'  by Dee Brown, I read in the 1970's, and it's also a great book for anyone interested in North American Indian history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 08:20
Karl Friday, 'Early Feudal Japan' (or a similar title, can't remember exactly)
David Vseviov, 'Bütsantsi keisrid' (Byzantine Emperors, a really good overview on them from the first to the last)
Lord Montgomery, 'A Concise History of Warfare'
John Keegan, 'A History of Warfare'
And then several books by some Russian authors which I can't really remember at the moment (one about the Incas and another on Etruscans).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 11:17
Originally posted by Windemere Windemere wrote:

You're right, Steven Runciman's books are both informative, and also really interesting to read. I haven't seen his 'History of the Crusades', but I read his book 'The Fall of Constantinople:1453' (1965) way back in 1971, and used it in the bibliography of a term-paper I had to write. It was well-written, objective, and exciting to read. About a year ago I read his book 'The Great Church in Captivity' (1968). That one was a bit more academic, dealing with some complicated political and religious issues, but his writing style made it interesting as well.
 
Runciman ( not sure, but I think he had the title of 'Viscount' ) was evidently quite an interesting character in his own right as well. He passed away in 2000, I think he was about 97 years old.


Yes I found his books to be very informative, and written in such a manner that provides a brilliant, well-conveyed introduction to the general public, but also a great deal of information for more experienced historians. History of the Crusades is a notable example of his pure writing skills.

And as you mentioned - quite the interesting chap indeed. Playing piano with the last Qing Emperor, for instance, and he was always curious about strange and odd phenomenon. No quarrels with a dose of eccentricity though! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2009 at 19:57
Runciman always came across as an 1800s style historian in the vein of Macauly or Carlyle.

Big, lucid and bold narratives in a easy to read style with lots of bold value judgements thrown in for good measure. They don't make them like that any more :)
http://xkcd.com/15/



Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2009 at 22:37

Helmer  Linderholm: Nya Sveriges historia (the History of New Sweden). A good and excellent written account of the Swedish colonial adventure in North America in the 17th century.

 

Adrianne Mayor: The first Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times. Fascinating about the tales and knowledge about, and the research in, Fossils in Greek and Roman times.

 

Louise Levathes: When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne. Interesting and fascinating about Ming China and the amazing voyages of Zheng He

 

Basil Davidson: Africa in History. A good overview about the history of Africa, without some of the strange prejudice that sometimes haunts westerners narratives on Africa and African history.

 

Mats G Larsson: Ett oedesdigert vikingatag (A Fatal Viking Raid). An exiting reconstruction of the last major Viking expedition eastwards, the expedition of Ingvar the Far Travelled 1036-1041.



Edited by Carcharodon - 27 Jul 2009 at 22:38
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