The History Book Club discussion

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ARCHIVE > ARCHIVE ONE: PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF ~

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason (JasonCT) | 54 comments Greetings everyone!
Well, my name is Jason and I live in CT.
I am 30, and work in corp. accounting.
I have a degree in music performance, and am currently looking at graduate programs.
I love reading all things nonfiction.
For hobbies I am a pilot, love to travel, the arts, and well just reading with the cat.
I look forward to chatting with you all, and look forward to reading with you all on the next book.
Feel free to say hello anytime.
~Jason




message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hello Jason,

Glad to have you with us.

Bentley


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
All,

Please welcome the newest member of the History Book Club, Celticmaiden (Rona). Please tell us a little bit about yourself when you get an opportunity.

Bentley


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Welcome Rona, we are glad to have you. I have a dog myself; what kind of dogs do you have. It is great having you join us from Ireland. For our small group, we still have a few folks who are in a variety of locations globally. This makes it very interesting hearing everyone's perspectives.

Regards,

Bentley


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
All,

Please welcome the newest member of the History Book Club (Kristen). Kristen, please tell us a little bit about yourself when you get an opportunity.

Bentley


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois hello. i am horribly bad at talking about myself. i'm really terribly insecure about it. there are many churchill quotes that i enjoy. for instance, i have both a plaque and a refrigerator magnet that say 'never never never give up.' i also often mention the quote 'success is going from failure to another without a loss of enthusiasm.'

hmm...i just googled that quote and it seems as if there are many versions of it...i wonder which is accurate.

anyway, i also like to say 'history shall be kind to me, for i intend to write it.' if i say it, i suppose i've got to get better at writing about myself.

i have a refrigerator magnet collecton. today i did nothing at all but clean the bathroom (partially) and play zelda: a link to the past on my wii (in addition to tons of books i have all three gaming systems). oh, i also got in a fight with my mom about sending my little sister to boarding school. i realize the above paragraph makes me sound very young, but i am actually 34, though very immature (obviously).

so that's me. in totality.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 15, 2009 08:32PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Erica, I think you did just fine. I also have a refrigerator magnet collection and wherever I travel I bring one back. Additionally, I have bits and pieces of poetry on my fridge as well; and I mix the pieces up and have my own saying for each day; in fact any family member can mix and match too. I had a friend who found that gaming was too addictive and took too much of her time for her to get anything done; It sounds like you are very much into it if you have all three gaming systems. Why does your mom want to send your little sister to boarding school; does she think that she would do better in a different environment or that they might have more structure. I do not know if you have ever visited The Churchill Centre but it is a pretty good resource for everything Churchill..you might enjoy it.

Here is the link:

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/p...

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/p...

I also love Churchill quotes; a great book which you might also pick up is Churchill's My Early Life where he writes about his young life in school and his early adventures (a delightful book).

Glad to have you here; and thank you for sharing.

Bentley


My Early Life 1874-1904 by Winston S. Churchill Winston S. Churchill


message 8: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois actually, i am not even all that into the video games (today being the exception). all of the systems were bought for me - my brother bought me an xbox and a playstation. i'm not complaining.

i've always wanted to read my early life.

i actually have the erotic magnetic poetry set on my frig. it's a little naughty, but i'm single!

don't ask me about the boarding school. apparently my lil sis wants to go - guess she wants to get away from the parents!


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hi Erica,

That is good; interesting that all of your family thought that these were great gifts for you. My Early Life is a great read. We are glad to have you with us.

Bentley


message 10: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois i want to hear the stories from your 'misspent youth'! i think i have one of those myself.


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hello Kristen,

The next book starts on January 19th; we will read 50 pages a week. Week One is the first 50 pages. A syllabus will be posted.

We are happy to have you with us. You may be able to get Volume One of The Second World War (The Gathering Storm) from the library.

Some friends of mine, the Burnhams, used to live in that area; one of them was a teacher. It sounds like you are putting yourself on the right track now by attending Eastern Michigan University; hopefully with our relaxed reading schedule (only 50 pages a week); you can tackle some more substantial books. The fact that you are reading The Histories certainly shows that you are headed in the right direction.

Glad to have you here and hope you enjoy some of the readings and discussions.

Bentley


message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason (JasonCT) | 54 comments Greetings fellow newbies!
Kristen I am right with you on being 30 (31 this year)
Look forward to hearing about that mispent youth too :P



message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 15, 2009 09:03PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Great Kristen,

Remember we are only doing Volume One of the multivolume set. Each one of these volumes can stand alone.

The books we are reading are substantially longer but we take our time. You certainly have piqued everybody's interest. (smile)

Bentley

PS: Kristen, I am adding the books you mentioned with their links; helpful for others to see them and take a look. You can do that too but simply clicking on add book/author while you are typing your post and you can add the cover or the url.


A History Of The Arab Peoples by Albert HouraniAlbert Hourani


A Peace to End All Peace The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David FromkinDavid Fromkin


[image error]Benny Morris


message 14: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois you can get that gathering storm for 4 bucks on the kindle...does anyone else own a kindle? again, another gift - i have every electronic gadget, 'cept for an iphone...still wondering if i should get one of those.


message 15: by Jason (last edited Jan 08, 2009 03:10AM) (new)

Jason (JasonCT) | 54 comments Erica I want a Kindle so badly but they are always out of stock.
How do you like it?
The only downside I see is that I like to mark my books with notes and underline things etc. I guess I could get a note book.
Sorry for the off topic posts. Just wondering how she likes her Kindle.
J



message 16: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois it's pretty cool. to be honest, i've only read two books on it. i have so many books and i have a book-buying compulsion. i really should read books on the kindle, because they are cheaper and at this point i really have no room in my house for more books.

the kindle actually has a function for you to add in notes at any time, at any place in a book. of course, it is not the same as creating decorative marginalia in a physical book. i myself have this weird thing about 'defacing' a book - that's the feeling i get when i write in a book, although i know it is best for posterity to do so.

i will read gathering storm on the kindle and see how i like it. the ink technology, whatever it is, really does look like a page.


message 17: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois oh, i forgot to say the awesomest thing about the kindle - trying a sample! basically, you can get the first chapter of any book available on the kindle. it's so great for checking out books that you might want to buy, either on the kindle or at the bookstore. i used it when i first got the kindle to check out all the bestsellers people were talking about - and then you can secretly check out crap you wouldn't be caught dead buying, like the davinci code or whatever.


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Erica wrote: "you can get that gathering storm for 4 bucks on the kindle...does anyone else own a kindle? again, another gift - i have every electronic gadget, 'cept for an iphone...still wondering if i should ..."

Erica, I have had a Kindle for awhile; great for travel.



message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "Erica I want a Kindle so badly but they are always out of stock.
How do you like it?
The only downside I see is that I like to mark my books with notes and underline things etc. I guess I could..."



Jason with the Kindle you can do all of that. Highlighting, putting in notes and then you can print them all out if you like.



message 20: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois is bentley actually a dog? i feel so odd when he speaks.


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Woof


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2009 03:58PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Erica,

In the Herodotus archive, is an introduction thread where you can also find out a little bit about all of the rest of the group. All members have done some kind of intro. Folks can pretty much reveal whatever they are comfortable in stating. Here is a copy of mine from the Herodotus's discussion which was the first book we completed in this venue in addition to My Early Life:

I am Bentley, a frequent contributor, live in the Metro New York City area, originally from New England, have a Boston accent (yes it is true); love Maine and visit it often, love England and visit that often too (many friends and relatives there), have a wonderful dog and family (you noticed who I named first - although I adore my family); my beloved GSP, love skiing (waterski and Alpine; not so much a Nordic person - like more excitement), love hiking, walking events, reading and travel. Oldesq and I kept things going on My Early Life and I guess we will be championing the next selection here on goodreads if all goes as planned. Glad to see old friends again and look forward to successfully completing this next great book and what is called the "first book of history".

All best and we hope you enjoy the next Churchill discussion.

Bentley




message 23: by Jason (new)

Jason (JasonCT) | 54 comments Antoine wrote: "Hi Erika, Kristen and Jason,
Erika I am so jealous about you all possessing Kindles! We haven't them yet over here - in Switzerland, in Europe I mean.
Looking forward to your views on the Churchill..."


Salut Antoine! Tu parle francais?



message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Adam (The Antiquary) to the group. He is just joining us for the Churchill discussion.

Glad to have you Adam.

Bentley


message 25: by The Antiquary (new)

The Antiquary | 9 comments Hello there, thanks for letting me in.

I live in Nottingham in England. I’m 35 and have a 16 year old cairn terrier and a fair bit of garden I need to put in order.

I’ve done tai chi for 5 years, it’s often hard to explain to people why last year I got a minorly fractured skull out of it, but essentially it’s the original self-defence incarnation of tai chi that I practice.

Somehow I got selected by Amazon to be sent free stuff to review, I have a lot of interests though generally I prefer my books, films and music to be old.

I can’t find a diary to suit me so I print my own (not a proper binding or anything) which also has the quote: 'Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.' Not on there, but another good Churchill one is ‘I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me’. Or the completely random ‘There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies’.

My reading has become unfocused and I’m looking forward to putting that right, partly with the help of being part of this group.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Glad to have you. There are a lot of us who like classic films, music, etc. Hope we can help focus some of your reading through our discussions and be careful with your tai chi (smile).

Bentley


message 27: by Sid (new)

Sid (SidThomson) | 26 comments Antiquary - Hopefully the group will help you become more focused as you wish. Hasn't really worked for me yet. The Churchill book wasn't available in the local library, and I haven't bought it yet (not really sure why). Instead I have just read, "The First World War" by John Keegan and "Churchill & Ghandi: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged our Age" by Arhur Herman. Just seem to be picking at the edges rather than jumping into the fray.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 15, 2009 10:15PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hey Sid, jump into the fray; this is really a good work; maybe you just wanted to get some background information. Sid, it is also available on line. Amazon can get it to you in two days and interlibrary loan should have it. I am surprised that your local library does not have it because it is such a classic. But you can start it for nothing on line. Thought I would note that in case you need some incentive to get started. No book club can make you read a particular book; you have to make that decision yourself or not. These books were not chosen by the moderators but by the reading group at the time and were voted on in 2008. If you have any other books that you would like to add to the book reading list, please just drop me a note at any time and I will add them. When we complete this book and just have the FDR book to go, there will be another chance to vote for the next four books. Churchill seemed to be a popular choice by those who voted. I did not vote for this particular selection myself but am enjoying it a great deal.

I am also going to put the links of the books you mentioned on this thread:

The First World War by John KeeganJohn Keegan


Gandhi & Churchill The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age by Arthur HermanArthur Herman


message 29: by Sid (new)

Sid (SidThomson) | 26 comments Don't misunderstand - I am happy with the choice of book. Just haven't started yet, that's all.
(I live in a small town SW in CT, so don't be too surprised the Library didn't have it.)



message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hi Sid, np just pointing out that it is on line free if you were trying to get it at no charge. Some folks have issues with purchasing books during this economy and was just pointing out a less expensive alternative; it is also available on Kindle; understand that some smaller libraries may not have the book readily available but wanted to give others the idea that interlibrary loan usually works in those circumstances as well. Whenever you get the inclination to start, we will still be here and getting through the reading; so nobody is ever too late to begin.

It is good to hear from you.

Bentley


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Welcome Phil; glad to have you join the group.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Alka welcome; we look forward to your being a member of the group and hearing from you.

Phil, welcome once again and please post something about yourself.

Bentley


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Welcome Fabien; please let us know something about yourself. We are glad to have you here.

Bentley


message 34: by Fabien (new)

Fabien | 1 comments Hello everyone and thanks for the welcome!

I am Fabien, I am 26 years old. I am married, and since 2007 we are living in Mexico. Before we were living in Paris (I’m French) and for a while in Shanghai. I work in IT.

I am a history buff since I am a child. I always enjoyed the history course at school. I read a lot of science-fiction too. Books are scarce in Mexico, but since I got a Sony EBook Reader I was able to start reading a lot again :) My other hobbies include travel, swimming & movies.

I look forward to discuss about history and books with all of you!

Fabien



message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Glad to hear from you Fabien; you sound like you have traveled a great deal. I love France and I love Shanghai (having spent a lot of time there myself). And now you are living in Mexico.

The current selection can be obtained for free on line in case you have any problem getting it; also the Sony EBook Reader should be helpful.

Bentley


message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Alka to the group. Alka could you please introduce yourself to the group briefly. Thank you.

Phil...where are you? We need to hear from you too and we are glad to have you with us.

Bentley


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Thank you for voting Phil.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Dick to the group. Dick, we are very glad to have you with us. When you get an opportunity, please do not be shy; whatever you would like to share with us would be a great way for the group to get to know you.

Bentley


message 39: by Dick (new)

Dick Wells | 10 comments I've never been accused of being shy. I am a 60 years old (yikes. I just realized that this is the first time I've actually written that!), live in Arlington, Texas (between Dallas and Fort Worth), married to the same lovely woman for 37 years, father of one. I've owned my own business for almost 30 years. Prior to that I was a history major, both as an undergraduate and a graduate student. I have taught, briefly,both American and European history at the University level (UT Austin) and actually had an annotated bibliography published in a world history textbook:Western Civilizations Their History and Their Culture.This was probably the only time I ever got paid for being a prolific reader of history.

When I read Kristen's comment [message 22:] "I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with a penchant for questionable History books (specifically the titles that purport to explain 1000 or more years of history in less than 300 pages.)" I was reminded of a comment made about H.G. Wells' The Outline of History by someone like Churchill or Shaw: that it was full of mistakes and a liberal education.

So I tried to Google this particular quote, because I couldn't remember if it was Shaw or Churchill or some unknown person when I stumbled upon a most interesting document, Symposium of Opinions Upon the Outline of History. This is the link: http://books.google.com/books?id=7-mf.... It seems that there was a move afoot to adopt Wells' Outline as a standard history text. This led to a furor in many quarters where the Outline was seen as socialistic propaganda.In 1921 a symposium was held in which Wells' Outline was debated by professional historians for its "accuracy", its thesis, its moral failings, etc. It reminds me of today's controversy over evolution and creationism. Anyway, the document I've linked to is short, really incredible, interesting, and informative.

Sorry about that digression. I guess the last part of my historical biography is that our first dog was name Clio, after the muse of history.


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hello Dick, happy to have you with us and Clio too. As you can see; I like dogs too but named mine Bentley.

You have a wonderful background for this group and I hope we can gain a lot from your being with us during our discussions. Your HG Wells quote is quite funny and not only shows what Wells' view was on history but also his politics.

Again welcome and thank you for sharing a bit about yourself with the group.

Bentley


message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Ed to the group. Ed is a professional historian who I hope will tell us a little about himself when he has an opportunity.

Glad to have you with us Ed. Got to love your avatar.

Bentley


message 42: by Edward (new)

Edward Lengel (EdwardLengel) | 21 comments Hello everyone,

I love history. Somehow, it was born within me. Since toddler-hood (fake word, I know) I have read every history book I could get my hands on.

Moreover, I have conquered two demons that very nearly killed my passion for the past. So I guess I qualify for this book group ;) To wit:

The first demon was called graduate school. Over seven years, professors force-fed me with irrelevant theoretical garbage; and yet I retained my love for the past and the wonderful men and women who populate it. Most of my fellow former graduate students rarely read history anymore. I alone perservere. Victoria! And I earned a Ph.D. in British history to boot.

The second demon is called trade publishing. I have written five history books, three with large trade publishers. Don't get me wrong, it's all hack work--with the exception of one (my magnum opus, such as it is). I'm not conceited, I know that all my stuff is fairly wretched--that's why I conceal my name! Even so, I recoil at the "history is entertainment" attitude that seems to prevail with so many readers, especially Americans--and especially publishers. To most, story seems to trump truthfulness--and I think that's a shame.

Instead of reaching out, and seeking edification, most readers seem to lean back, and seek entertainment.

I discovered Goodreads only recently, in the course of performing a vanity search on Google for references to my books. It did not take long to discover that it was an amazing site. For the first time, I could share my catalog of books read--which I have kept assiduously since 1995--and discuss them with others. I'm also excited to join a history book club, and share some element of my esoteric interests with others!

I look forward to some good old-fashioned history reading and discussion!

Ed


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Ed we are delighted to have you here. We just love reading history and having some discussions about it; many of us are professionals who work in areas that have nothing to do with history; we are amateurs who just love a good civil debate and exchange of ideas. We look forward to you just jumping into the discussion as you see fit and feel you are ready.

Bentley


message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Rick to the History Book Club. When you get an opportunity Rick, please post a little something about yourself.

We are glad to have you.

Bentley


message 45: by Dick (new)

Dick Wells | 10 comments Ed wrote: "Hello everyone,

I love history. Somehow, it was born within me. Since toddler-hood (fake word, I know) I have read every history book I could get my hands on.

Moreover, I have conquered two d..."

Welcome, Ed.
Wow, what a reading list. I'm envious, and also thankful, because you did the work on a lot of books I've read (I was able to copy your links). I am also very glad to know that there is someone else who likes Rex Stout, my all time favorite mystery writer. I saw Audie Murphy on your list. I have a brother who read that book at age 11 and was absolutely hooked. He retired as a full colonel from the Marine Corps about seven years ago and it all started with
To Hell and Back. He recently loaned me his copy of Eugene Sledge's With the Old Breed At Peleliu and Okinawa, which is the best memoir I've read of WWII.
Welcome to the group.
Dick


message 46: by Edward (new)

Edward Lengel (EdwardLengel) | 21 comments Hi Dick,

Glad my reading list proved of some interest. Rex Stout is truly superlative--not exactly my favorite, but one of my favorites!!!

Audie Murphy wrote a great memoir. But read some of the great memoirs of WWI! Americans, read Toward the Flame by Hervey Allen. But the best of all is There's A Devil in the Drum by John Lucy, one of the great neglected all-time classics!

Ed


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Hello Chris,

Welcome to the History Book Club. Where in Europe are you living now? We seem to have folks who are from many different places here in the US and abroad.

Glad to have you with us.

Bentley


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Aladdin to the group as a new member. Aladdin glad to have you with us. Please let us know a little something about you.

Bentley


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome our newest member Robert to the group. Robert when you have a chance please introduce yourself here.

Aladdin, please when you get a chance; don't be shy; please post a brief hello.

Glad to have you both.

Bentley


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Please welcome Pete to the group; Pete when you get a chance please tell us something about yourself.

Thanks and welcome,

Bentley


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Books mentioned in this topic

My Early Life, 1874-1904 (other topics)
1948: The First Arab-Israeli War (other topics)
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall Of The Ottoman Empire And The Creation Of The Modern Middle East (other topics)
A History of the Arab Peoples (other topics)
The First World War (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

David Halberstam (other topics)
Rick Atkinson (other topics)
Rick Beyer (other topics)
Theodore Roosevelt (other topics)
A.J. Langguth (other topics)
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