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Your book discoveries of 2020 :-)

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Novosedoff View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Jan 2021 at 20:41
What are the most interesting books that you've discovered in 2020? Smile
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world.
I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 05:41
I've read or re-read some Aristotle, Aeschylus, commentaries on Plato, Proverbs in the Bible (found out they refer to blowjobs in it), "she ate and she wiped", "As You Like it", "Merchant of Venice" (wanted to see how they portrayed the Jewish Shylock, not nicely).  Read Karen King's Gospel of Mary late 2019, from a codice found in the late 1800s in an Egyptian Bazaar, it is not exactly heretical because the ancient churches don't mention it in any context.  The ms. is in Coptic, and there have been two Greek fragments discovered elsewhere.

Read Islam and the Future of Tolerance, A Dialogue of Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz.  It is a cordail inquiry by the atheist Harris into Islam, and a learned and sophisticated defense by Nawaz.  Harris is author of "the End of Faith," and Nawaz is the author of "Radical"  Ben Affleck blasted Harris on Bill Maher for being "Islamophobic", which kind of shows how ignorant Affleck is.  That is before the publication of this book in 2015.  Harris is polite, but not "nice" (intentionally ignorant) in his questions.  Maajid does not dodge them either.  Maajid was a radical who grew out of it, (but not out of Islam).

One book I don't so much read as take a look at often is John Lukacs, "Democracy and Populism"  Lukacs grew up in Hungary during WWII, and wrote about Churchhill and Hitler.  He says that Woodrow Wilson made the world safe for democracy, whereas he should have made democracy safe for the world. 

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 12:15
Wow, francisco, I didn't know you were so much the adherent of the classical school with so many classical names and titles on your list. Feel really respectful.

I am myself more of a freestyle non-professional type of history lover with rather broad spectrum of interests covering the history of crime, history of slavery, science, finance, demographics "and religions too". Of the latest I recall Salo Baron's multi-volume book on the Jewish studies. Recently read the book has added to my understanding of the  timeline of professional transformation of the European Jews to providers of banking services and usury, which unexpectedly happened relatively late, around the 12th century.

There are a few names of the Russian writers on my list, which would be hardly known to English speakers, so I won't mention them. But I have finally read the Harari's book on the history of Sapiens and have to say that I really liked it.

Also I've read Lawrence James's history of the British empire and Tony Judt's postwar Europe, both of which I think were mentioned on the historum forum.
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world.
I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2021 at 09:42
I should be clear that my reading of Classics is pretty much limited to translations.  I occasionally read commentaries giving an English introduction, the Greek version, and then pick through the commentary on vocabulary and grammar.  It is interesting to see the difference between a Greek word and its "translation."  There is a saying in Italian, the English version is, "the translator is a traitor."  This is not to denounce translators but just to recognize the inadequacy of tried to convey the thoughts of one language into another.

I did start last year reading Homer's Iliad in the Loeb Library edition.  The Loebs have Greek or Latin texts with the original language on the left page, and English translation on the other.  These are fairly small (height and width) books, Homer's Iliad being two volumes.  It was fun reading the Greek and then looking at the translation.  The translations of course are rather dated, and I suspect if you tried using a Loeb to cheat on translation of a passage, you could get tripped up where the translation gets rather loose.

One thing I am getting interested in these days, is fairy tales.  Could it be that the miracle stories in the Bible have their origin in fairy (folk) tales?  The tale of Lot's wife is like the tale of Eurydice being lead out of Hades by Orpheus, which is mirrored by fairy tales collected by A.E. Waite.  The Pythagoreans say that "when you reach the border don't look back."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2021 at 19:28
The original topic is rather broad and not limiting our discussion to history only. So are there any other books outside history that you got hooked on, if you don't mind me asking? Smile

My personal views on the reading of classics is rather respectful, but at the same time I realize that very few people can afford such entertainment these days, mostly professional academicians I assume.  People try to be practical in their habits and mostly read in order to learn something new and grow professionally. So unless a person is professionally working in the field of historic research, I don't think he/she will be reading only history books.  
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world.
I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2021 at 15:50
Many of the history writers that I like are scientists, 2020 wasn't been a big year for books and most of what I read is occult these days. Some fav science/history authors
Colin Tudge, "Time Before History, Last Animals at the Zoo, Engineer In the Garden" you know this guy Novosedoff.
Morris Berman "Coming to Our Senses, Reenchantment of the World, Wandering God"
franciscosan introduced me to the academia.edu site, great papers on every topic imaginable, many are book length.


Edited by Vanuatu - 07 Jun 2021 at 23:13
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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