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The War Room Book Recommendation Thread

Discussion in 'History & Military Discussion' started by Cetashwayo, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Jean Danjou

    Jean Danjou The Invictus

    Agincourt by Juliet Barker goes into a lot of details of Henry's V French campaign, everything about it is discussed. How the men are hired, paid, how the levy works, equipments, etc.

    Also, making a recommendation about a non-war History book here. Last Call: The Rise and Fall of the Prohibition by Daniel Okrent. A fascinating insight of why such, specially in hindsight, stupid measure was taken. It's also an amazing insight into how the American Political world works, and little really changed. The Prohibition is basically referred as the time that the US went to full retarded and Gangsters, Al Capone and the Outfit, the Castellammarese War... The book is very well written, and I loved it.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
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  2. I'm not Space Oddity, but Christopher Allmand's Henry V is pretty definitive.
  3. Sounds interesting. I'll check it out.
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  4. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Across the Horizon

    Do you (or anyone else) have any secondary sources on classical Greece, particularly on Greek culture and society during the classical period? I'm having serious problems finding good secondary sources similar to the amazing survey done by Peter Green on the Hellenistic Period called Alexander to Actium.

    Most of it seems to be primary sources or pretty focused studies of wars like the Peloponnesian. There are also a lot of non-academic works, pop history type stuff.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
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  5. H. Weapons Guy

    H. Weapons Guy

    These are rather random additions, but I have a few good ones I've come to appreciate over the years:

    -When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics by Jon Jacobson: It's largely a diplomatic history though it deals with some political histories as well as that of the international situation in Interwar Europe. It deals mostly with the 1920's and 30's and the initial era of the Soviet Union getting involved in the international politics of the era. It's a very good read and unlike many Western histories of the Soviet Union doesn't seem to periodically go into Cold War hysterics about it.

    -No Other Way Out: States and Revolutions 1945-1991 by Jeff Goodwin: This is a more broad history than the above book (which is more useful to those who seek a specialized book on Soviet history), dealing with everywhere from El Salvador to the Philippines. It has an emphasis on decolonization conflicts, particularly those in Southeast Asia, and delves extensively into the Second World War and how the Japanese occupations of many parts of Asia proved to be vital to the emergence of new political movements in the era of decolonization. It presents compelling arguments and evidence and does a surprisingly good job of providing details despite its broad scope.
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  6. H. Weapons Guy

    H. Weapons Guy

    The following is kind of a borderline example since it's not what would traditionally be considered a history book since it is neither a scholarly account nor an official history, but I think it's important enough to warrant mentioning. It's a work of fiction, though all the characters are rooted in real situations and real politics, anyway, with that said, I'm putting it up here, take it as you will:

    The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al-Aswany: As the author's name might suggest, this is not a book originally published in the English language, and if any of you have the enviable language skill to read it in its original Arabic, then by all means proceed, but it also has a very well-written and approachable English-language translation that has proven to be quite popular in Western markets. I would consider The Yacoubian Building to be more or less required reading for those of you interested in the history of modern Egypt. The book takes place in pre-revolutionary Egypt during the Mubarak Era and tells the stories of the various residents of the titular Yacoubian Building and their various efforts in life. It's a very good treatment of Egyptian politics that condemns the corruption, stagnation, and mismanagement inherent to the Mubarak Era while offering a cast of realistic, interesting characters who are genuinely compelling and interesting. It also handles a lot of sensitive social issues, sensitive even moreso within the Arab world, and notably shatters a fairly longstanding taboo in modern Arab literature and society regarding the discussion and acknowledgement of homosexuality.

    As a fair warning, while most of the book does not contain any particularly offensive or difficult subject matter, there are some fairly intense scenes of violence and torture. Still, for the sake of historical realism, I feel we must acknowledge, however reluctantly, that these awful kinds of things do happen and that to tell a truly accurate story, we must acknowledge all parts of it, whether bad or good.
  7. FriedIce

    FriedIce The Authentic Fake

    I figure we should have a thread on this, given how much variability there is.

    I'm looking for a book on the spice trade, I've been considering Cities of Spice and Spice: A History of Temptation but the reviews I've read of both books have been mixed. So does anyone on SV have any recommendations? I'd prefer something historically accurate, not too dry and accessible to someone without a formal historical background. Preferably, not too expensive either, I'm a student after all.

    EDIT: How the hell did I miss this thread? Its even stickied.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  8. Tasha Kalina

    Tasha Kalina Society for Active Misunderstanding

    NRW, Germany
    General recommendation, since I don't have anything for @FriedIce: Archaic Bookkeeping: Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East.
    It's not an introductory text, you'll need to be familiar with the early history of Mesopotamia in its broad strokes at least. If you are, it's fascinating: it examines in detail the appearance and usage of the first examples of writing and proto-writing. Since those appear to be almost entirely bookkeeping, it also sheds some light on what we know of the economic organisation of some of humanity's earliest cities.
  9. NonSequtur

    NonSequtur Inaccessible Executive On Leave

    The Stratosphere
  10. Skyllian Blitz

    Skyllian Blitz Shadow Cabal Member Moderator

    Official Staff Communication Threeeaaaad Meeeeerrrrrggge
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  11. Sabertooth


    "The End: Defiance and Destruction of Nazi Germany 1944-1945." By Ian Kershaw. Covers the reason as to why Germany, against all logic and sense, continued fighting until the very end.
  12. Would anybody recommend Swordsmen of the British Empire? It looks reasonable and I was thinking about getting it
  13. I haven't read it myself, but Matt Easton of Scholagladiatoria apparently thinks quite well of it given that he wrote a foreword for it (possibly where you heard of it?), as does the assistant-instructor of my HEMA club, who has a copy.

    To the best of my knowledge, it's nothing but a series of period accounts of swordsmanship getting utilised in war (and perhaps some duels?). If that's what you're interested in, I can't see how you'd go wrong with it.
  14. A guy I know also does HEMA, and he mentioned something similar about one of his instructors, I was having a look at reviews of it online and what drew me to it was the continuity of swordsmanship that seemed unique in it. Lots of people have written about sabre fencing, or longsword, but as far as I know no one has written about swordsmanship in general over a period of time. But as you say, it seemed more descriptive than analytical.
  15. Hi,

    I am looking for interesting,good and entertaining historical fiction, ideally with a focus on war/politics. It doesn't have to slavishly follow history but it would be nice if the culture/behaviour fits the time and is believable. Complete AU's are also welcome, in fact I would prefer them.
  16. Hykal94

    Hykal94 The Kitteh Knight of Islam

    Anything by Christian Cameron. We even have a thread.
  17. Exactly what I am looking for but also something I already read ;)
  18. Hykal94

    Hykal94 The Kitteh Knight of Islam

    How about Robert Howard's (of Conan fame) historical stuff? Orientalism aside, he really does a good chunk of his historical fiction justice.
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  19. The Reich Trilogy by Richard Evans (The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939 and The Third Reich at War) are really good at providing a comprehensive overview of Nazi Germany. They are up to date and are very good at making the topic accessible for those who haven't read more specialised literature already, and can provide a useful jumping off point if you want to look further in while still standing on their own merits.

    The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942 - Christopher Browning. If you read one book about the origins of the Final Solution, read this one.

    Edit whoops I forget the other two

    Never Had It So Good: Britain from Suez to the Beatles by Dominic Sandbrook. Covering mainly 1956-62, as far as I'm concerned this is the book on that period of British domestic history. It deals with the rise of consumerism in Britain and more complex political matters (like the aforementioned Suez Crisis) with equal accessibility. Easily the best one volume book on the topic I've found.

    The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe - Brian P. Levack. This is the seminal work on the European Witch-hunts - which is why it's in it's fourth edition and still used as an introductory text. Providing important background and context, don't try and seriously talk about the Witch-Hunts without it.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  20. Would this be the place to ask for recommendations for books on America in the 1920s? Both general overview books, and also specific topic books (Jazz Age, race relations, agricultural history, women's history, etc, etc).

    Entertainment is important, of course, but accuracy even more so, since I might potentially use them as part of background research for a story. Maybe, we'll see.
  21. the atom

    the atom SV's Resident Bad Boy

    Comfortably numb
    Does anybody know of any good books on the Suez Crisis?
  22. ctulhuslp


    Warfare in Antiquity: History of the Art of War, Volume I by Hans Delbruk - good book on historical development of warfare. For some reason, it's split in volumes on Amazon, so linked is the first volume. Not a historian, but I liked its detail, logic and references to sources. It was written in...the beginning of the XX century, I think, so it might be a bit outdated, but it is still good as far as I know.
    I particularly enjoyed his analysis of specifics of medieval european warfare (his outlook on it is a bit outdated, AFAIK, but is still interesting) and transitions between, uh, eras(?) in warfare.

    Also, what is default font size on this forum? 4 is too small, 5 - too large...
  23. Bullmoose

    Bullmoose A True Aristocrat

    Hey, can anyone direct me to any good secondary sources on either the US Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, or any post war reforms the corps implemented in response to challenges they faced in the war?
  24. MobiusOneDT

    MobiusOneDT Red Tail Leader

    Columbus, Georgia
    A Rumor of War by Phillip Caputo is a decent one I think. Caputo is a Rifle Platoon Leader that is commissioned just before the war and his unit is among the first Marine forces deployed to Vietnam.

    Essentially it describes his experiences and the experiences of the rest of the platoon, company, and battalion in the first months of the war. Caputo goes into a lot of the reasons Marine joined in the period before the war, quoting President Kennedy's famous quote about serving your country.
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  25. DonBosco

    DonBosco Dread Lord of the Luddites

Sufficient Velocity Internal Ad System Staff