Monday, December 27, 2010

Books for Christmas

A nice thing about gift cards for Xmas is you don't have to wait for the stores to open ....

James J. Sheehan, German History 1770-1866. The exciting prequel to Gordon Craig's Germany 1866-1945!

Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire (AD 354-378). The last great (well, kinda) Roman historian, mostly on the reign of Julian.

Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire. Sorry, Ammianus, you can't copyright a title.

Cicero, On Obligations & The Nature of the Gods. Philosophers glean clues about earlier philosophy from Cicero's books while denigrating him as derivative, which seems ungrateful. But I'm as interested in these for his incidental remarks on his contemporaries as for the substance.


  1. Are you going to read "Decision Points" Anderson?It might let you know what the hell he was thinking.

  2. It might let you know what the hell he was thinking.

    I rather expect it will be another exemplication of Talleyrand's quip, "Language was given to man so that he might conceal his thoughts."

    But you can read it and report back ... ;)

  3. I read the second volume of William Manchester's Churchill biography, The Last Lion (Alone 1932-1940), almost in its entirety Christmas day. Got fussed at for not being social.

    20 years ago I read Vol. 1 and found it interesting but slow and dense reading. Vol. 2 was a breeze, perhaps because it was the run-up to WWII.

  4. Good books both, Reb, but I had the reverse experience; I enjoyed vol. I (esp. the long prologue), but vol. II covered so few years in so many pages, it was a bit much for me.

    Esp. b/c books about the run-up to WW1 or WW2 feel like horror movies to me, where you're yelling at the screen, "don't open the closet! don't go down those stairs! don't mobilize against both Germany *and* Austria! don't just sit there while he occupies the Rhineland!" etc. But the protagonist never listens.