Alright Amateur Historians...Whatcha Reading in March

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Alright Amateur Historians...Whatcha Reading in March

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Redigeret: feb 29, 2008, 5:41 pm

I'm currently reading "Ledyard: In Search of the First American Explorer" by Bill Gifford. And after that it will be "Andele, the Mexican-Kiowa Captive: A Story of Real Life Among the Indians".

Ledyard in his time was as well known as Columbus is now. He traveled with Cook on his third voyage, and throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, and the untrampled American Northwest. Rather an amazing figure. He left very little in the way of records but the author is doing a fair job of working around that.

Andele was a boy captured in 1866 by the Apache, who traded him to a Kiowa family who adopted and raised him.

Alas, I don't know what's going on with the touchstones.

Redigeret: mar 1, 2008, 7:59 am

All the king's Men and The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. One is for an English class and the other a History class but you get a good feel of the 1930's from Robert Penn Warren.

In my search for all things Sinclair Lewis I learned of a pamphlet titled "Learn History from Sinclair Lewis" by a historian who's name escapes me at the moment. Over spring break I am going to get from the school library a book by him on the same topic.

mar 1, 2008, 1:19 pm

Good afternoon TLC.

I'd be interested in your opinion of the "Great Arizona Orphan Adbduction". Reading some Amazon reviews it seems like she didn't have a great deal of material to draw upon and I'm curious as to how she dealt with this problem and how much of an 'axe' she might have been grinding.

mar 10, 2008, 7:53 am

Just starting: "The laws of Spain in their application to the American Indians" by John Gregory Bourke, 3rd Cavalry.

It's a short tract written in 1894.

mar 10, 2008, 3:11 pm

I'm still in Grad school, admittedly - though as a Librarian, rather than a historian. So this month I have veritable piles of secondary sources on Christianity in China, namely Barbarians and Mandarins, Handbook of Christianity in China, Christians in China: A.d. 600 to 2000, and another hoard by my bookcase. It's going to be a busy few days.

After I'm done these next two weeks, I think I'll start on Keegan's The First World War, which I picked up half a year ago without having the luxury of time to read it.

mar 11, 2008, 6:27 am

That sounds interesting, Parelle.

I just ordered "Mission to Asia" by Christopher Dawson from ILL. It's a collection of primary sources beginning with John of Plano Carpini's 'History of the Mongols'.

(We'll have to see if the touchstones work later on. Not working now)

mar 11, 2008, 1:10 pm

Hmm, I think I've that one on my pile too - I'll have to take a closer look at it.

mar 12, 2008, 9:07 am

#3 ThePam

When I started reading The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction I thought that the author was trying to gain sainthood for the Nuns of the New York Foundling Home and the Mexican families that offered to adopt children. Then I got the same feeling about the Angelo women that lead to mob that stole the children from the adoptive families. When I got half way through it was obvious that she was looking for the best motives for every groups actions. She also looked at their worse motives. Overall I think the book was very even handed and that every party involved was treated fairly.

There was very little primary documentation about the actual events that the book is titled for and Gordon points that out several times. She had the court transcripts and newspaper accounts and very few other documents to work with. She mentioned that most newspapers were very partisan in their coverage and the headlines sh sites were very inflammatory on both sides. There was a document from the WPA oral history project that was more local legend than fact that she included to demonstrate how in just one generation details can get badly distorted. Because of the lack of documentation this was not a history like Cornelius Ryan used to write, no minute by minute details of who said and did what. Instead most of the book dealt with the events that got society to where it was during these events in 1904 and, to some extent, what changed because of them. Personally I was most interested in the strikes against the copper companies and the labor history she discussed.

Now I am starting The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap for the same history class and I have two books set aside to read over Spring Break.

mar 12, 2008, 12:22 pm

#8 TL Crawford

I love your intelligent commentary. Particularly as you obviously understand the issues of sources. And given your description I think I'm going to have to heft this title up on top of my teetering TBR.

Many Thanks.

btw-are you getting a history degree now that you're back in college?

mar 12, 2008, 2:48 pm

#9 ThePam

That's right, I am majoring in history. My wife is pushing me to go straight through to get a Masters. It is not a bad idea since I am not getting any younger and I don't have anything in particular planed to do with the degree. That's not entirely true. There are things I would like to do with a degree but I am not going to tempt fate by talking about it.

mar 13, 2008, 10:16 am

#10 TLCrawford,

If I can be so bold... skip the MS and go straight for the PhD! You can do it!!!

**dons cheerleader outfit**

**cheers for TL**

mar 25, 2008, 9:52 pm

Hi everyone, I thought I'd send my thoughts. I just joined LibraryThing and am a definite fan of history. I'm currently reading "The Yorkist Age" by Paul Murray Kendall. Is anyone else out there a British historian?

mar 25, 2008, 10:06 pm

I'm reading Sacred History of Britain at the moment. Palmer is more of a religion writer, so it isn't super in-depth history, but it is definitely an interesting perspective to look at British history.

mar 25, 2008, 11:53 pm

History Upside Down: The Roots of Palestinian Fascism and the Myth of Israeli Agression by David Meir-Levi. Looking at the Contents page after my book arrived I was disappointed, thinking the book was going to go one way (a way I would not agree with), but now that I'm 18 pages into it, it seems it's going another way (one I think is more historical, more accurate), so at this point I can't tell if it's going to be a good book or not, even where it's coming from or going. I should have it finished by tomorrow, and as with most books, I'll give it a rating on LT, and if anyone wants more detail then they can message me.

mar 27, 2008, 9:48 am

Just started "Founding Faith" by Steven Waldman.

It's one of the best books I've read so far in 2008.

mar 27, 2008, 2:08 pm


That looks like an interesting read. I heard an interview of the author and he seems to have gotten the facts straight and not from a 2000 AD era fundamentalist play book. I wonder how the rank and file of the religious right would react to finding out that Jefferson edited out the parts of the Bible that he did not think Jesus really said? That's what I call a good Unitarian.

Class was canceled yesterday and I wasted a little time at the Half-Price Books near work. I picked up Every Man a King and A Question of Loyalty: Gen. Billy Mitchell. I am not sure how soon I will get to read them though.

Thanks for cheering me on earlier. My wife works at Miami University and she agreed with you. As she pointed out if I can get the BA and get into the Masters program I should be able to work for the University and take classes and get a stipend that will just about be as much as I make now. Plus I won't be spending 40 dollars a week commuting.

mar 28, 2008, 10:07 am


Yes I heard that interview on NPR too while I was waiting on the kids to get out of school. Went right from the drive-thru line to the library. It's a good read, and I love Jefferson's ballsy approach.

mar 31, 2008, 8:15 am

I just finished The Battle of the Wilderness and am reading The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern. This is a four volume series on the first battles between Grant and Lee. So far this year one-half of the books I have read have been on the civil war. I have become fascinated with the topic and there is no end to the books on the topic.

I am also reading The Landmark Herodotus to give me a change of pace. It is a very good edition of the first real history and has a map every three pages. About 75% of my reading is history. All of the stories of everything that has happened. I cannot imagine a more interesting subject. The postings here show the variety that is available.

mar 31, 2008, 10:33 am

I am reading The Zookeeper's Wife about some members of the Underground resistance movement in Poland during WWII. It is quite good, the writing reminds me a bit of Devil in the White City, but the passages explaining surrounding people, events, and culture are better connected to the story.

apr 3, 2008, 5:11 pm

I am reading little bits of Utopia and the Ideal Society, a Study of English Utopian Writing 1516-1700 in preparation for a book I want to write about a short-lived Dutch colony in New Netherlands. I am being distracted by the big Amazon POD flap, because I am in the middle of self-publishing my historical novel about the German occupation of the Channel Islands, War on the Margins, on BookSurge. BookSurge, the POD arm of Amazon, wants to be able to print ALL POD books listed on Amazon, even if they're from another company. It's getting ugly.

apr 3, 2008, 5:16 pm

My Early Reviewer book was Franklin and Lucy, although it seems to be more about Eleanor. Very, very readable, though.