I was at Borders a few nights ago and I picked up 'Warhammer 40,000: The Killing Ground', 'The Art of Clint Langley: Dark Visions from the grim Worlds of Warhammer', 'The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road: 1567-1659' by Geoffrey Parker, 'Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire' by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper and 'The grand Strategy of Philip II' by Geoffrey Parker.

I finished 'The Lover' by Marguerite Duras a few days back. I have just started on 'Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen 1618-1635'. I am also in the midst of a few other books including 'God is not great: How religion poisons the world' by Christopher Hitchens.

What you are guys reading?

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The Swarm was an eco-disaster novel. It was dreadful - not becuase of too much science but its anti-military bias and cardboard characters. When you can't get rank correct and the way the military works which was central to the story - then other premises are too easily questioned.
Premises like that have always frustrated me. I recall that many movies in the late seventies and the early eighties were of this slant for some reason. I suppose they were cultural remnants from the sixties?
I'd love to see someone do a doctoral dissertation on that subject. In the fifties, American science fiction movies made the military, and others in the government for that matter, into heroes. A lot of observers note that it was Cold War imagery, in which the military represented the forces of patriotism, and aliens/monsters represented Communism and all bad things.

You're right about the sixties holdovers, as that was when it all started changing. And it's not gone back toward the middle yet.

There as a remake of The Andromeda Files on the A&E Network a few months back, and I really looked forward to it. But whereas the book and the movie were a straight science fiction story, with lots of science and character development, the cable TV re-imagining expanding it to include an environmentalist message largely missing from the original, to the point that critical elements of Michael Crighton's story became decidedly secondary. Then there was a new, uncompelling conspiracy theory, and a fresh anti-military element.

I think the director got too much joy out of seeing American soldiers go crazy and shoot each other.
I just finished The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction by Robert J. McMahon. It was recommended to me as a textbook for the Cold War-centered modern US history course I'm teaching this semester at La Roche College.

This is going to be interesting because after reading it, and being old enough to remember the events in the book, I can assure my students that the author is dead wrong about a lot. According to him, Ronald Reagan was a brain dead boob with no domestic support, and who deserves no credit for wining the conflict. He also denies that the Soviet Union was ever all that aggressive. Oh pleeeeeeeeease...

We are going to have some interesting classroom discussions, including on the subject of "Don't believe everything that you read."

Imagine when your students meet a real life old soldier....
That is going to be a highlight of the La Roche calendar!
I found a book half-read in my pile the other night, so I am back into "Partisans of Europe in the Second World War". It never ceased to amaze me how much I don't know.

And since I finally finished Antony Beevor's "Battle for Spain", I have moved on to "The Ebro 1938" for a more detailed look at that particular battle.
Battle for Spain is SUPERB, and one that I highly recommend to anyone.
I agree. As I knew NOTHING about the topic when I started the book, it took me a chapter or two to sort out all the major players. After I got my head around that chunk of info, the rest was great reading and very informative. I like how Beevor gives the whole picture - politics, military, civilian, the interplay of politics and religion, international responses, everything! - and really lays out how things got to where they were.
Plus, I like the fact that he's got a relatively even-handed view of the players. You don't get a lot of "All Republicans - Good and All Nationalists -Very Very Bad" in his work. There are damned few good guys on any of the sides.
I just got a copy off of e-bay of a new book on Operation Anvil-Dragoon entitled "Day of the Panzer". I know it sounds like a serial melodrama, but Amazon seems to suggest people like it and its a campaign I don't know a hell of a lot about.

Anyone recommend a good book on post-Civil War Reconstruction? I've been getting into that after reading some articles in "North and South", watching some documentaries on History Channell, and reading about the Draft riots in New York. I already read Eric Foner's book on the topic some years ago.
I'll ask some of my Civil War guru's at CMH....


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