Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On my reading table

This is what I've been up to in terms of reading:

No Less Than Victory: A Novel of World War II I recently finished the final book in Jeff Shaara's World War II trilogy: No Less Than Victory: A Novel of World War II. I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first two (The Rising Tide and The Steel Wave). This one had a very different tone however. While the others seemed almost to reflect an Allied mentality of being on a mission or crusade, in this one the main non-officer characters seemed more, I don't know, human maybe, or perhaps a little darker. They definitely expressed their fears and their loathing for the German atrocities, and to me they were perhaps a bit less sympathetic, albeit maybe more honest. I guess the basic reality is that some fought out of a sense of duty and righteousness, some simply out of a desire to survive the conflict, and others out of a need to punish those who perpetrated one of the greatest evils in history.



The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453 After that I read Desmond Seward's The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453. Very quick read, general overview of the conflict. Seward paints the picture of the war in broad brush strokes, but stops when he gets to pivotal moments (Crecy, Agincourt, Poitiers) to give more detail. All in all a very good introduction to the political and military causes and realities of the war.



Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart Right now, I am currently reading a biography of Confederate cavalry hero J.E.B. Stuart by Jeffry D. Wert: Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart. I have not gotten into the Civil War years yet, but I've read about his childhood, his years at West Point and on the Western frontier as a cavalry officer. The author does a good job of blending Stuart's personal and professional lives. So far, though, Stuart's character has not yet been fully developed. I am looking forward to more as we get to the crucial years of his life.



Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain Up next is a total change of pace: Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain. I grew up in New York, a Yankees fan in the 70s, and Thurman was my childhood hero. He was larger than life to me, and I remember clearly the day that he died. My mom called me in to break the news and it was like losing a member of the family. I am very eager to read Appel's take on Munson's life and career.


FYI, in the interest of full disclosure, the hyperlinks and images for the books will take you to the Amazon.com website entry for that particular title, where you can find additional information. Also, if you decide to buy the book, and do it through that link, I get a small kickback from Amazon.

'Til next time.
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