Book Reviews – Historical

Book Review – The Black Military Experience in the American West

  This is one of those wonderful books that I have only as a consequence of my friendship with Jim and his wife who run the Alla Book Store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is really quite a treasure as it was printed in a limited edition of only 100 copies. There are several […]

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Book Review – Memoirs of a Slave Trader, Theodore Canot

I have not a clue where I found this book but it’s just the kind of book I love to read –  real life by a real person with all the real details, unpalatable as that might be, associated with life. No ugly detail left out….and this one has a lot of ugly details.   That book […]

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Book Review – Sexuality & Marriage in Colonial Latin America

  Well, if I needed another book to provide additional evidence of the terrible treatment of women over the centuries, this fit the bill. BTW – Colonial Latin America covers the time period well after the “conquest” and stops well before the liberation movements in the 1800’s….so about 200 years or so. A couple of […]

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Book Review – When Books Went To Ear, Molly Guptill Manning

This was a gift from my daughter as a Christmas present. Did not make any notes as I read it. A quite interesting book that tells a story related to World War 2 that I was completely unaware of. Tells how the librarians and book publishers and the keepers of morale combined to get millions […]

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Book Review – Gisli Sursson’s Sage & The Saga of the People of Eyri, Anonymous

This is one of those old stories from the past whose author is unknown and likely is a composite of a large variety of stories told for decades before being written down. I like these enormously. From the back page: “Based on oral tales that originated in historical events in tenth-century Iceland, these two sagas […]

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Book Review – Alger Hiss – Why He Chose Treason, Christina Shelton

  I have been fascinated by the Alger Hiss case since I was a teenager. Reading Whittaker Chambers’ book “Witness” was one of the formative events of my early life and has stood out as a key event in modern history for me ever since. As this book shows quite well, it is a wonderful […]

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Book Review – Mediterranean World in Ancient Times

The Mediterranean World in Ancient Times by Eva Matthews Sanford This was a stiff read but well worth it. There is more than a small amount of wisdom imbedded in the history that reflects on our times. While the comparison is limited due to the differences in condition and environment, the consequences of too much […]

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Book Review – The Folk Culture of Yucatan, Robert Redfield

Once again, a wonderful addition recommended by the folks at the Alla bookstore in Santa Fe. Read 10/2010 during the period I worked at the AOC on Congressional Moves. Some notes: P 104 – An interesting mixing up of Christianity and the local spiritual systems. A story of the Lord traveling to Glory and lighting […]

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Book Review – The Mapmakers Wife, Robert Whitaker

“A true tale of love, murder and survival in the Amazon” Another recommendation from the folks at the Alla Bookstore in Santa Fe…they always seem to find the right reading for me. From the back cover: The year is 1735. A decade-long expedition to South America is launched by a team of French scientists racing […]

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Book Review – 1491, Charles C. Mann

“New revelations of the Americas before Columbus”. A most, most excellent book, full of interesting and little appreciated facts. It does an excellent job of presenting all the sides of the various controversies related to the history of the Americas and allows room for one to decide on their own. Perhaps the biggest surprise in […]

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Book Review – In Quest of the Great White Gods, Robert F. Marx

The thrust of the book is simple: The “New World” was visited by many folk long before the voyages of Columbus. This includes the Phoenicians, Romans and others. The evidence is found in the monuments and artifacts that have been uncovered but which are ignored by the standard historians. The authors case is well presented […]

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Book Review – The Homeless Transient in the Great Depression

New York State 1929-1941 This is the kind of book that I really dig….and puts 99.9% of the population to sleep…LOL Lots of nitty-gritty details and statistics and stories related to a slice of history that is little understood or appreciated but which gives a unique insight into a troubled time. I think one learns […]

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Book Review – The Day The World Came To Town, 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland, Jim Defede

This is a truly marvelous book and one that brought tears to my eyes several times. The back of the book tells it better than I can: “When thirty-eight jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, on September 11, 2001, due to the closing of United States airspace, the […]

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Book Review – Uttermost Part of the Earth, E Lucas Bridges

Indians of Tierra del Fuego I’m cheating…looking for a synopsis so I did not have to compose one myself…lazy right now and this is a heck of a book to write about as it is written about such a strange and unusual story. Read 08/2008 From another’s review on Amazon: When the author was born […]

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Book Review – Steel Drivin’ Man – Scott Reynolds Nelson

I picked this up somewhere just because it demanded that I read it. I took no notes while reading it so I stole the following from the web…just because I wanted it included here…. From:  http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryAmerican/AfricanAmerican/?view=usa&ci=9780195300109 Steel Drivin’ Man John Henry: the Untold Story of an American Legend Scott Reynolds Nelson The ballad “John Henry” […]

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Book Review – Richard Berber, “The Devil’s Crown”

A History of Henry II and His Sons Henry II (1133 – 1189) married to Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1204) with 8 children: William (1153 – 1156) Henry (1155 – 1183) Matilda (1156 – 1189) Richard (The Lion Hearted) (1157 – 1199) Geoffrey (1158 – 1186) Eleanor (1162 – 1214) Joan (1165 – 1199) […]

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Book Review – Navajo, “Our Fathers, Our Grandfathers, Our Heroes”

A photographic exhibit related to the Navajo Code Talkers. This was the second book I purchased from the Code Talkers in Albuquerque. It is signed by 10 of them on the inside cover and by several others inside by their pictures. This book provides a good history of the Code Talkers and their involvement in […]

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Book Review – Kenji Kawano, “Warriors, Navajo Code Talkers”

A book with photographs and captions. Signed by one of the Code Talkers. When we were in Albuquerque, a group of the surviving Code Talkers were signing books and asking a small donation for the benefit of the youth of their tribe. I met and talked to 3 of them. My book is signed by […]

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Book Review – Wolfram Von Eschenbach, “Parzival”

A Romance of the Middle Ages. Written about 1200 AD, this is a part of what is referred to as “The Literature of the Holy Grail” as it relates events associated with the Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur and so forth. I’ve read other versions, but this translation by Helen Mustard and Charles […]

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Book Review – B. Hurmence, “My Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk About Slavery”

A short book of reminisces from ex-Slaves in North Carolina During the Great Depression, a program was implemented to give starving writers some work. The program was titled “The Federal Writers Project”. One of its projects sent dozens of writers into the South to interview ex-slaves. A set of questions was developed and asked of […]

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Book Review – Frederick Katz, “The Life & Times of Pancho Villa”

The definitive..984 pages worth…biography of Pancho Villa For reasons unknown…I never know why, I just follow my instincts…when I visited the Alla Bookstore in July, I told the owner Jim that I wanted a biography of Pancho. Maybe it was just the unanswered questions from a song done by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. The […]

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Book Review – Tony Horwitz, “A Voyage Long And Strange”

My copy was signed by the author at the Alla Bookstore in Santa Fe 5/30/2008. Basically a kind of travelogue written by an historian who woke up one day and realized that he knew nothing of history in the Western hemisphere between Columbus (1492) and the Pilgrims (1620). Recommended to me by the proprietor (Jim) […]

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Book Review – Indian Women of Early Mexico

A compilation by a number of authors of writings related to Women in early Mexico. One of the books I picked up in Santa Fe at the Alla Book Store and recommended by the owner Jim. From the dust cover: “…is the first comprehensive collection of substantive essays about indigenous women in prehispanic and colonial […]

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