Book recommendation request thread

kel

Pelican
I asked for a book recommendation in another thread not seeing a dedicated thread (several kinda close, but not really), but I think a dedicated thread could be nice.

If you have a rough subject - the history of the Song dynasty, a futuristic cyberpunk novel for someone who enjoyed _____, a review of multivariate calculus - make a post here asking for book recommendations. Sure, we can all look at reviews on Goodreads and such, but p2p recommendations are preferred for my part. In fact, I'm trying to go out of my way to get recommendations for everything in my life from real people, rather than trusting whatever I get from a search.

For my part, "book" could also include a series of blog posts, a PDF article, maybe even a podcast or video series if it's of good quality.
 

kel

Pelican
I'll start the thread repeating my request for a somewhat critical look at the French Revolution, it's connection to the Enlightenment, and the fallout from the liberal democracy the French Revolution (eventually) introduced to the world (more than the American revolution or others, IMO).

François Furet has written numerous books that have a reputation for being more nuanced than what you normally read, and I can even read French so the lack of translation isn't a problem for me, but I think his two-volume work might be a bit dense for what I'm looking for now. I'd like something more of an overview, with few assumptions of a priori knowledge, and just a willingness to deviate from the narrative.

Counter Currents, who publish great stuff themselves, have a good write up of Organizing the Revolutions: Selections from Augustin Cochin, so maybe I'll check that out but I'm open to further suggestions.
 

kel

Pelican
Also looking for a book on Peronism. Preferably focusing on the political ideology moreso than Juan Peron as a man or Argentine history and politics at the time, though obviously those will be elements of the analysis. Open, as well, to a bigger picture book that includes an analysis of Peronism vis a vis other political systems.
 
I usually can find whatever I desire, via an Amazon search, or simply using a quality search engine. It's when I am searching for a good work of fiction, that sometimes I have to really investigate and take a chance.
 
I'm looking for a history of Christian emperors and kings. Having trouble finding anything concise and focused on that topic. Any suggestions?
 
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Enigma

Hummingbird
Gold Member
I'm looking for a history of Christian emperors and kings. Having trouble finding anything concise and focused on that topic. Any suggestions?
It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but I came across this book recently, "Pious Kings and Right-Believing Queens".


It's a sort of "lives of the saints" that focuses on Orthodox emperors and kings across history and nations. There's a PDF sample on that site I think.

I've actually taken an interest in Christian rulers and generals recently, but there's not a ton that I've found in English that focuses on them as a whole. Even simply finding a decent, comprehensive list of royal and imperial saints is tough. You usually have to settle for individual biographies or histories of specific civilizations.
 
Just found out that Father Josiah Trenham has an entire lecture series on this topic, called "God's Statesmen." Bought it tonight and can't wait to get started.
 

PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I just finished classic apologetics by R.C. Sproll now I want to read something about orthodoxy. What are the best beginner Orthodox books?
 

DanielH

Woodpecker
I just finished classic apologetics by R.C. Sproll now I want to read something about orthodoxy. What are the best beginner Orthodox books?
I really enjoyed Becoming Orthodox by Father Peter E. Gillquist when I was a catechumen. It's a story of an evangelical pastor studying history and leading himself and hundreds of others to the conclusion that they should convert to Orthodoxy. This one would be good to listen to on audiobook.

For an absolute beginner who is just confused, I recommend Welcome to the Orthodox Church by Frederica Mathewes-Green. This explains all the uniqueness of the church building and goes over some of the essentials for Orthodoxy.

My priest gave me Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life by Anthony M Coniaris for my catechism. This is essentially a catechism, it explains all the theological basics.
 

kel

Pelican
I'm looking for a good book about the Yugoslav wars. Any ideas?
I follow this guy online and have not read this book, and I suspect it's probably more anecdotal, rather than a political history book which I'm guessing is what you're looking for, but a guy who lived through Bosnia in the 90s wrote (among others) this book which I'm willing to bet is good https://www.amazon.com/SHTF-Surviva...&keywords=Selco+Begovic&qid=1596408018&sr=8-1

I looked at his blog to see if he recommended any Yugolav war history/politics books and didn't see any, but if you email him you might get a suggestion.
 

SwordfishTrombonist

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I follow this guy online and have not read this book, and I suspect it's probably more anecdotal, rather than a political history book which I'm guessing is what you're looking for, but a guy who lived through Bosnia in the 90s wrote (among others) this book which I'm willing to bet is good https://www.amazon.com/SHTF-Surviva...&keywords=Selco+Begovic&qid=1596408018&sr=8-1

I looked at his blog to see if he recommended any Yugolav war history/politics books and didn't see any, but if you email him you might get a suggestion.
Very cool looking, just ordered. Thanks! When reading history I find anecdotal stuff very valuable in putting concrete examples to the big picture stuff. Very good for cementing things in memory.

That being said, books more focused on a broader look at politics and social stuff still very welcome if anyone knows any.
 

semilla

Pigeon
Does anyone know of a good Spanish Civil War book?
I just finished Robert Goldston’s The Civil War in Spain. It was on the shorter size, so I read most of it while traveling over the weekend. It is several decades old (written in the 60s I believe), so it may not be in print any longer.

There does seem to be a slight leftist bend, or more so of a palpable disdain for Franco and his tactics by the author. However, the concise book is able to establish a base understanding of the developments that lead to the war, in addition to how the war was fought.

Worth reading, but not the best war history book I’ve read.
 

Renzy

Kingfisher
Does anyone know of a good Spanish Civil War book?
Mine Were of Trouble: A Nationalist Account of the Spanish Civil War
by Peter Kemp


The book is unique in that it is written by an Englishmen who joined the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Most books covering that war are written from the Republican (communist) perspective. I'm only half way through the book but so far it's been very interesting to read about how their civil war played out, especially given the political events we are seeing in the US right now. It's hard not to notice the potential parallels.

In their civil war, they had coalitions of paramilitary organizations on both sides - as in, there was not a clear 1-vs-1 in the fight so much as groups on both sides who shared enough interests to declare the other side a common enemy. On the Nationalist side you had the Carlists/Requetés and Fascist Falange, and on the Republican side they had various paramilitary organizations such as the Anarchist F.A.I, Trotskyist P.U.U.M, etc. provided by various workers Unions as well as International Brigades. Apart from their common enemy, these groups were often vying with each other for political power.

To draw an American comparison, it would be like a coalition of Antifa, BLM, minorities, LGBT groups, moderate Democrats, etc. on side versus Proud Boys & Patriot Prayer, the Alt-right, whites, normie Republicans, conservative Christians, etc on the other. Do all those groups agree on political issues? No. After one side came out victorious would there be political infighting as to whose "vision" for America was implemented? Yes. But still, you could easily see which groups would likely coalesce on both sides.

Another point highlighted in the book, which IMO doesn't get enough attention when speculating about a potential civil war in the US, is the amount of foreign influence that both sides received - Germany and Italy in support of fascism on the Nationalist side and Russia on the Republican communist side. Conservatives are often fond of pointing out how they "have all the guns". I've always found it naiive to assume that the rest of the world would simply sit back and watch from the sidelines were our country to go to war with itself. Our foreign adversaries might be more than happy to supply the Left with weapons.

At any rate, the book shows that both sides received support in the form of money, training, munitions, and soldiers. Of course all of that support came with strings attached. If a foreign power is supporting you, they're also going to have opinions about how you fight your war, your political staffing and how your government will be structured should your side win. You either go along with them, even if they don't align with your political movement's stated goals, or watch the money spigot for your side get turned off.

It sounds like from the book, many Spaniards were very upset about the foreign influence and as the book shows both sides were harder on prisoners who were not Spaniards. At one point in the book, the author becomes upset when ordered to shoot a prisoner. He's told:

"Look here, Peter," he went on with sudden vehemence, "it's all very well and good for you to talk about International Law and the rights of prisoners! You're not a Spaniard. You haven't seen our country devastated, your family and friends murdered in civil war that would have ended eighteen months ago but for the intervention of foreigners. I know we have help now from the Germans and Italians. But you know as well as I do that this war would have been over by the end of 1936, when we were at the gates of Madrid, but for the International Brigades. At that time we had no foreign help. What is it to us if they do have their ideals? Whether they know it or not, they are simply tools of the Communists and they have come to Spain to destroy our country! What do they care about the ruin they have made here? Why then should we bother about their lives when we catch them... Another thing.... I mean no offense to you personally, Peter, but I believe that all Spaniards — even those fighting us — wish that this war could have been settled one way or another by Spaniards alone. We never wanted our country to become a battleground for foreign powers. What do you think would happen to you if you were taken prisoner by the Reds? You'd be lucky if they only shot you."

At the beginning of the book he also talks about the division within the military that took place when the war broke out. It sounds like there were deep political divisions between the enlisted and officer ranks and while the enlisted generally went over to the Nationalist (conservative) side he states in the book that "every Army officer who was free to do so joined the Rebels [Communists]." These divided sympathies within the military had implications in terms of lack of leadership initially for the Nationalists and logistically that the planes, ships, munitions of their country's military got divided. In essence, both sides got a portion of the military. Many conservatives automatically assume that the US military would would be in their corner. If you look at the military as whole however, I think you'd find that the officer class vs the enlisted may hold much more divergent views and sympathies than most people realize.

Looking over my post, I see that this review ended up much longer than I originally intended. However, I gather from some of your posts that you are former military. I think given your background you'll find the book an interesting read.
 
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RFV

Newbie
I asked for a book recommendation in another thread not seeing a dedicated thread (several kinda close, but not really), but I think a dedicated thread could be nice.

If you have a rough subject - the history of the Song dynasty, a futuristic cyberpunk novel for someone who enjoyed _____, a review of multivariate calculus - make a post here asking for book recommendations. Sure, we can all look at reviews on Goodreads and such, but p2p recommendations are preferred for my part. In fact, I'm trying to go out of my way to get recommendations for everything in my life from real people, rather than trusting whatever I get from a search.

For my part, "book" could also include a series of blog posts, a PDF article, maybe even a podcast or video series if it's of good quality.
Check it out:https://isidore.co/calibre/#library_id=CalibreLibrary&panel=book_list
 
Does anybody know of any honest American Civil War books? I just finished reading "The Real Lincoln," by Thomas Dilorenzo and it is the first book that I have read that actually criticizes Lincoln and the Union. I've been trying to find more resources on this topic that aren't incredibly biased towards Lincoln and it has actually been pretty hard. If anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears.
 
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