Book & site list

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Book & site list

Postby Boreades » 5:37 pm

Are you buying your megalithic nearest and dearest any interesting books for Christmas?
Or, what would you recommend to others?

Here's one that caught my eye : Guns, Germs and Steel

Within just a few generations, the continents of the Americas were virtually emptied of their native inhabitants – some academics estimate that approximately 20 million people may have died in the years following the European invasion – up to 95% of the population of the Americas.

No medieval force, no matter how bloodthirsty, could have achieved such enormous levels of genocide. Instead, Europeans were aided by a deadly secret weapon they weren't even aware they were carrying: Smallpox.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby hvered » 9:40 am

Getting people books for Christmas is generally a good idea, it isn't so easy without knowing someone else's enthusiasms but I've just been recommended The Hare with Amber Eyes which is a family saga (East European Jewry and the ceramic art market) by Edmund de Waal which sounds interesting. While we're on family, I very much enjoyed Adam Nicholson's Arcadia, which might appeal to you as it's your neck of the downs.

On the subject of early American explorations I relished Andrea di Robilant's book Venetian Navigators: the Voyages of the Zen Brothers to the Far North.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby hvered » 10:35 am

Any book recommendations on Ancient Egypt might be apposite since a cousin who's been studying genetics suddenly announced my father's DNA is Ancient Egyptian. [Wouldn't surprise me to belong to a family of brickies, my dad and his brother being in the property business.]
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Re: Book & site list

Postby Boreades » 12:04 am

I've just found a fascinating book in my local Oxfam shop

[ur=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glencoe-Indians-James-Hunter/dp/1840180013/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352850366&sr=8-1l]Glencoe and the Indians[/url].

How Highlanders cleared from their clan lands in Scotland emigrated to Canada as traders and become part of the native American tribes.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby Jools » 12:27 am

James Hunter has a political slant or at least an ecological outlook which presumably must affect not only his choice of subject matter but the way he treats it.

Interestingly, the editor of History Today considers the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel worthy, though whether this laissez-faire attitude extends to all historical novels is not clear. He's quite right of course since history has always been story-telling.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby Rocky » 8:53 pm

Boreades wrote:No medieval force, no matter how bloodthirsty, could have achieved such enormous levels of genocide. Instead, Europeans were aided by a deadly secret weapon they weren't even aware they were carrying: Smallpox.

The victims got their own back. Syphilis spread via European ports to the whole of society from the sixteenth century onward though no-one really knows how many were affected. Some people claim the disease was around even in Biblical times, 'sins of the fathers' being literally rather than metaphorically apt.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby Donna » 5:46 pm

Jools wrote:Interestingly, the editor of History Today considers the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel worthy, though whether this laissez-faire attitude extends to all historical novels is not clear. He's quite right of course since history has always been story-telling.

That's very true so long as it's clearly fiction. Some books such as Holy Blood, Holy Grail purport to be history when they are simply using references to both historical and non-historical characters to spin a good yarn.
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Re: Book & site list

Postby hvered » 5:58 pm

Can't better David Aaronovitch's pithy description, viz. 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Holy Shit' (chapter six heading in his Voodoo Histories, which is hugely enjoyable... an 'alternative' Yuletide present perhaps)
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Re: Book & site list

Postby Mick Harper » 12:45 pm

I think Holy Blood Holy Grail is completely wonderful. Though not as completely wonderful as my own The History of Britain Revealed (aka The Secret History of the English Language) which should be ordered this Christmas by all members who feel guilty enjoying the fruits of this forum without paying anything towards it. Reading the book itself is not essential.
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