I have been reading a lot history books lately. Here is a list of some of the books I read this year:
- Practicing History: Selected Essays (by Barbara Tuchman) – Barbara Tuchman is one of my favorite historians to read. This book is a collection of essays, selected by the author, on many topics from how she goes about writing to examples of essays she wrote about Japan, the Middle East and the United States. I greatly enjoyed reading this book.
- The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War (1890 – 1914) (by Barbara Tuchman) – another gem by Barbara Tuchman. In this book she describes the state of the world leading up to the First World War. It was time a great progressive change, yet full of unrest and tribulations. The book is divide into chapters that concentrate on one country or one significant event. For example, a chapter covers how the Dreyfus Affair divided the French and another how music in Germany pushed the European culture into the modern age. At times it is amazing to see the similarities between that time and today. For instance, the era had its share of “anarchists” who wanted to provoke the masses to rise against the bourgeoisie by blowing people up or assassinating political figures. The book is long, but fascinating.
- The Wright Brothers (by David McCullough) – this was new biography of the brothers, published this year. I have read several other biographies of the Wright brothers, and this one filled in more details, especially about the early demonstration of the Wright Flyer in France and the USA. I never tire of reading about the invention of the airplane.
- The Heart of Everything That Is (by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin) – this book tells the story of Sioux Chief Red Cloud and his war against the United States. Red Cloud has the distinction of being the only American Indian Chief that won a war agaisnt the US government.
- The Forgotten Few: The Polish Air Force in the Second World War (by Adam Zamoyski) – I thought I had read all the books about the Polish pilots in WW II. Somehow I missed this one. This book covered some details of the after-the-war politics in the UK that I did not know before.