Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recent History Books

Snowed in?  Read one of these recent history books.

The Last Escaper
by Peter Tunstall
Peter Tunstall's unforgettable memoir of his days in the British Royal Air Force. As one of the most celebrated British POWs of World War II, he was Dubbed the "cooler king" on account of his long spells in solitary.  While in captivity he devised an ingenious method for smuggling coded messages back to London.  Tunstall recounts the hijinks of training to be a pilot, terrifying bombing raids, and elaborate escape attempts at once hilarious and also deadly serious.

The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944: J. M. Keynes and the Reshaping of the Global Economy
by Ed Conway
What everyone has always assumed to be a dry economic conference was in fact replete with drama. The delegates spent half the time at each others throats and the other half drinking in the hotel bar. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished accounts, diaries and oral histories, this brilliant book describes the conference in stunning color and clarity. Bringing to life the characters, events and economics and written with exceptional verve and narrative pace.

Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee -
The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged
by William C. Davis 
They met in person only four times, yet these two men-Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee determined the outcome of America's most divisive war and cast larger-than-life shadows over their reunited nation. William C. Davis, one of America's preeminent historians, uses substantial, newly discovered evidence on both men to find surprising similarities between them, as well as new insights and unique interpretations on how their lives prepared them for the war they fought and influenced how they fought it. Crucible of Command is both a gripping narrative of the final year of the war and a fresh, revealing portrait of these two great commanders.

American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity
by Christian G. Appy 
How did the Vietnam War change the way we think of ourselves as a people and a nation?  Christian G. Appy now examines the relationship between the war's realities and myths and its impact on our national identity, conscience, pride, shame, popular culture, and postwar foreign policy. Authoritative, insightful, sometimes surprising, and controversial, American Reckoning is a fascinating mix of political and cultural reporting that offers a completely fresh account of the meaning of the Vietnam War.


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