Monday, December 7, 2009



Any thoughts on what to read next?

25 comments:

  1. Avrds, are you reading Ghost Wars? I may be reading it soon. Have it in hardcover from whenever that edition came out! Last week I read Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman's odyssey . . . really was impressed with this and it has led me to read The Bin Ladens by Steve Coll, which I purchased months ago for my kindle. So now I'm reading that. Krakauer recommended Ghost Wars highly within the text of his book.

    Krakauer's book is titled "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman". I bought the hardback for one of my brothers for Christmas.

    I read The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright a couple of years ago. It's a good companion book to Ghost Wars, I think.

    One day I will get back to Mary Lincoln with Jean Baker's biography.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm reading Ghost Wars in bits and starts, Marti, but I think NY is reading -- or just recently read it.

    I'm up for discussing that here if Gintaras is interested. A little depressing for the holidays but I guess these are the times we live in.

    I turned in my first writings on taxidermy -- who would have ever thought I'd end up working on that? -- so am relatively free for awhile. Have a lot of books in my stack, including some Robert Whelan books on the founders, so not sure where to start suggesting other ideas.....

    Maybe a novel? Maybe some Twain?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or bits and pieces, fits and starts...

    Trippler, are you ready to move on to another book?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ugh! I still have another 100 pages to go in Schlesinger. I'll skip them so as not to hold the group back.

    Someone please summarize the last few chapters and tell us Schlesinger's views on the start of the FDR White House years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would keep reading Trippler. It's so good!

    It always takes us awhile to settle on another book. There are so many to choose from!

    ReplyDelete
  6. No hurry. I just hadn't seen any comments in Schlesinger for awhile so thought persons might be interested in another book. Taking suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm still not quite at the end of "Ghost Wars" but determined to finish because the rewards keep on coming. I also read "The Bin Ladens" and am willing to join in any discussion others are up for.

    Last night I saw a couple of BBC programs on PBS with Simon Schama with a title something like the American Future, A History, the first about water issues and the traced US wars, including contrasting Teddy Roosevelt and Twain (a god of mine since adolescence) re Spanish-Amer. war. The photography for both was very interestingly done--I kept trying to figure out what color process made it so. Hope someone else here sees it and comments.

    I'm still trying to make up my mind about Schama, who often irritates me but never enough to make me stop watching whatever he's commenting on.

    Oh wait, here's a link to the show: http://www.press.bbcamerica.com/press/programoverview.jsp?program_id=80

    ReplyDelete
  8. A wicked stomach virus put me on the shelf for a few days or I would have finished Schlesinger by now. Got about 85 more pages to go.

    Indeed, it's a very good book.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Was it Bob Whelan who recommended at one time that we read Howard Zinn's ''History of the People of the USA''? I forgot the precise title and believe it was revived in 2005.

    Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's "A People's History of the United States: 1492 to the Present" and here's the amazon entry: http://www.amazon.com/Peoples-History-United-States-Present/dp/0060838655/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260323558&sr=8-1

    I'm happy to say my daughter's AP U.S. History course includes selections from it for a lefty perspective. I've never read it all, but would like to.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aha! Thanx for the link --- it's a large 700+ page tome which may be a bit too much especially now during the Holiday season. I saw a note where certain right wingers don't like the book and that makes it all the more interesting to me.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. The book is available online,

    www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeoplehistory.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. The book has acquired a lot of weight over the years. At first it was pretty much treated as a left-wing screed. He pretty much approaches history from the point of view of labor, not much unlike Eric Foner. The nice part about this version is that it has an updated version of the book which includes Zinn's thoughts on "the war on terror."

    We could just take chapters from the book for discussion, as he approaches his topics thematically.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I looked at google books where some of this is also online and it says that he didn't use footnotes -- I'm assuming to keep in the spirit of a history for the people. He also said he tried to make it clear where direct quotes came from in the text itself.

    Howard Zinn is an accomplished historian and an accomplished polemicist (with whom I'm sure I agree 95% of the time). I think you can question his interpretation but not his facts.

    I've never read his history, but think I have it somewhere. What would be fun is to supplement whatever other book we're reading with a link to his chapter on that subject. I think he will always make for good reading and an alternative point of view.

    Right now I'm reading my very first full Henry James novel (the American) -- the only paperback I could find on my way out the door to bring on my trip -- and enjoying it immensely. Like Melville, I think you have to be of a certain age to read James. May even try Proust next.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Not sure where to put this. It's a thoughtful take on the recent Swiss decision regarding minarets:

    http://chronicle.com/article/Of-MinaretsMassacres/49393/

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't know how thoughtful the vote was. I think it was a bit of an overreaction given that there are only a handful of minarets in all of Switzerland. Seems zoning laws would have been simple enough and not attracted so much international attention, if this was really a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think he meant the article was thoughtful. Unfortunately, it only opens for subscribers.

    I like your idea about zoning but in most of the small towns in Montana I've lived in there are churches in just about every neighborhood and, in Butte, lots of Catholic churches towering over the town and even a couple synagogues. If you ever saw the movie A River Runs through It, the church in that movie was a block from my old house -- and there was a different church across from that one.

    Some churches have closed over the years but they do seem to be deeply embedded in the community. If you are going to respect freedom of religion seems like you have to respect the freedom to build churches -- or whatever you want to call them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I forgot that you wouldn't be able to access that Chronicle.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is the Danish Islamic caricature controversy all over again. You would think the Swiss would understand how something like this would play in the international press but they chose to go through this referendum anyway.

    Here are some of the numbers along with pictures of the controversial minarets,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Switzerland

    At roughly 5% of the population, I guess the Swiss felt the Muslims didn't represent much of a threat in a nationwide referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  20. We are still open to reading group ideas. Av and I are currently reading Henry Adams and the Making of America, but that does preclude discussion of another book others might find more interesting. We can start fresh at the beginning of the New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sounds good to me. In the meantime, enjoying Wills.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Or, we could always read some Dude studies:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/books/30lebowski.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Loved the "Dude Studies" article, which I sent along to my Dude fan son-in-law. Thanks much.

    Very happy 2010, all, but remember, it's not the end of the aughts (oughts?)decade yet!

    ReplyDelete
  24. True. Still a year away from the end of the decade, but twenty-ten has a nice ring to it.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'll see if I can pick up a copy of Zinn -- or I may even have one here somewhere. I think NY and maybe Marti also expressed an interest.

    ReplyDelete