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Thread: Recommended Historical Readings

  1. #31
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    Victor Davis Hanson has some controversial ideas but I've enjoyed The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle In Classical Greece; Carnage and Cultures; and Wars of the Ancient Greeks. I recently got his latest one A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War but haven't read it yet.

    Donald Kagan's On the Origins of War is interesting - comparisons between the Peloponnesian War and WWI, the Punic Wars and WWI, and a discussion of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He's also done a 4-volume work on the Peloponnesian War and more recently a condensed one-volume book on that war.

    Some ancient authors that haven' been mentioned are Caesar's War Commentaries and Xenophon's Anabasis.

    A good source for the French involvement in Vietnam is Bernard Fall, a French journalist who was killed there. I read his Hell in a Very Small Place about Dien Bien Phu many years ago. His Street Without Joy is supposed to be good but I haven't read it.
    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." - Emiliano Zapata

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    A Peace to End All Peace, The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, by David Fromkin
    This is the best work, IMO, to understand the current turmoil in the Middle east portion of the Muslim world.
    Especially the section dealing with the break up of the Usmania Empire (Ottoman to Occidentals) - with the caveat that it does not give the point of view of the local population, which is understandable since it is written by a non-local - still the fact remains.
    The difference is the same as my explaining Pashtun issues compared to Mr. Bergen explaining them or Nic Robertson explaining them, granted their pay scales are higher than mine, but the scale of their explanations are open to debate.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guinnessman View Post
    "The Last Valley - The French Defeat at Dien Bien Phu" by Martin Windrow. Excellent book, covers the Indo-China war in a fair bit of detail before taking a really in-depth look at Dien Bien Phu. Destroys a lot of the myths that have been built up about that battle as well.

    "The Fall of the Roman Empire" by Peter Heather is really good as well - he does a good job at arguing against the conclusions reached in Gibbons "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

    "1812 - Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow" by Adam Zamoyski is an excellent account of that campaign. Very wel written and researched.
    Fantastic book.

    I also enjoyed:

    The Hundred Year War I & II, Jonathan Sumption. (hopefully Vol III will about soon)

    The Command of The Ocean series, N.A.M Rodger.

    A Dream of Glory, John Sugden (Vol 1 on the life of Nelson)

    Castles of Steel, Robert K Massie (WW1 at sea)

    The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command, Andrew Gordon. Probably the best book on Jutland ever written. Fantastic.

  4. #34
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    "Ninja swords"

    If you haven't read much on the ninja, read on...

    The history of the Ninja is hard to trace as few records were kept during the time of their emergence. The art of stealth or "nonuse" was introduced to Japan only as a simple religion practiced by priests. Families fought with one another in an attempt to make or destroy empires, and the need for spies and stealthy assassins grew. As a result the ninja was born.
    These Ninja Swords or ninja-to as they were originally known, were the traditional weapon of this secret sect of ninja warrior priests.

  5. #35
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    Jenny

    Quote Originally Posted by JennyXoXo View Post
    "Ninja swords"

    If you haven't read much on the ninja, read on...

    The history of the Ninja is hard to trace as few records were kept during the time of their emergence. The art of stealth or "nonuse" was introduced to Japan only as a simple religion practiced by priests. Families fought with one another in an attempt to make or destroy empires, and the need for spies and stealthy assassins grew. As a result the ninja was born.
    These Ninja Swords or ninja-to as they were originally known, were the traditional weapon of this secret sect of ninja warrior priests.
    Looks like you are new here...Welcome.

    Recommend you go to the New Members Thread and introduce yourself (its kind of the way we liek to do business here!)
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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  6. #36
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    Thanks!

  7. #37
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    1. Churchill, a life: by Martin Gilbert. 2. Stalingrad, by Antony Beevor. 3. The Decline and fall of Communism, by Archie Brown. 4. India after Gandhi, by Ramachandra Guha. 5. The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, by John Toland. 6. The Last Mughal, by William Dalrymple. 7. A Writer at War, A Soviet Journalist with The Red Army, 1941-1945. by Vasily Grossman, Edited and translated by Antony Beevor, and Luba Vinogradova. 8. Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunters. by Clay Blair.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdityaMookerjee View Post
    1. Churchill, a life: by Martin Gilbert. 2. Stalingrad, by Antony Beevor. 3. The Decline and fall of Communism, by Archie Brown. 4. India after Gandhi, by Ramachandra Guha. 5. The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, by John Toland. 6. The Last Mughal, by William Dalrymple. 7. A Writer at War, A Soviet Journalist with The Red Army, 1941-1945. by Vasily Grossman, Edited and translated by Antony Beevor, and Luba Vinogradova. 8. Hitler's U-Boat War, The Hunters. by Clay Blair.
    2. Stalingrad, by Antony Beevor. 3. The Decline and fall of Communism, by Archie Brown. both are great books.
    An excellent complementary book would be Deathride by John Mousier. It is about the Eastern Front in World War II.

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