5 Books For The American History Fanatic

By August 23, 2017Culture, Literature

For many people history is compelling and fascinating, as well as utterly horrifying. In the UK and the US in particular we are not always told the whole truth of our history, often for shameful reasons, and for fear of losing patriotism.

It is important to understand what our nations did, and how we became the powerful countries we are today. The sacrifices made by our ancestors, as well as the now-abhorrent action taken in the name of progress cannot and should not be ignored.

To truly understand why certain people feel certain ways, and why others are treated the way they are to this day is related directly to our past. We start with American history- land of the free and home of the brave- But how did they get to that point?

These American history books are a fascinating look into how America became the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual powerhouse she is today.




“In Lies Across America, James W. Loewen continues his mission, begun in the award-winning Lies My Teacher Told Me, of overturning the myths and misinformation that too often pass for American history. This is a one-of-a-kind examination of sites all over the country where history is literally written on the landscape, including historical markers, monuments, historic houses, forts, and ships.”

“In this collection of essays, Blight examines the meanings embedded in the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War, the nature of changing approaches to African American history, and the significance of race in the ways Americans, North and South, black and white, developed historical memories of the nation’s most divisive event. The book as a whole demonstrates several ways to probe the history of memory, to understand how and why groups of Americans have constructed versions of the past in the service of contemporary social needs.”

“Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was won, and lost. It tells a story that should not be forgotten, and so must be retold from time to time.”

“As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country’s greatest battles–the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women’s rights, racial equality–were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus’s arrival through President Clinton’s first term, A People’s History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.”

This offering may seem a little left-field but for those of you who appreciate and understand satire, and enjoy boundless humour wrapped up in historically accurate pictures of tragic events- Flashman novels are for you. The language used is not for the sensitive heart, but George MacDonald Fraser creates a truly down-and-dirty account of historical settings, using Harry Flashman to propel a story into the ridiculous and sublime.




The Private Lives of Authors: Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German speaking Jewish novelist born in Prague to a middle class family. His childhood was lonely despite being the eldest of six children; his two brothers unfortunately died in their infancy and the remaining children were mainly raised by governesses. Both parents worked hard in the family business and were consequently absent for much of the working week, leaving the household in the care of servants.

Kafka was a shy and introverted character, and an avid reader. He considered writers such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Heinrich Von Kleist to be “true blood brothers”. Kafka’s father expected him to take over the family goods business, however, after completing a degree in Law he worked for insurance companies, and started an asbestos factory with an acquaintance. He claimed to despise working just to pay bills and would much rather have spent his time writing. Illness plagued him through his adult life, with complications arising from tuberculosis keeping him from joining the military.

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10 Literary Gifts For Him

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This list is for anyone with a well-read boyfriend, literary uncle, bookish father, or cultured grandfather. If the man in your life enjoys a brilliant work of fiction, or disappearing into a favourite famous face’s biography, then this may just be the place you find the perfect gift for them!

The men in my family are notoriously difficult to buy for but thankfully they are all avid readers so taking them as inspiration we bring you- 10 Literary Gifts For Him. We hope to cover all the bases here, from the classy intellectual to the nerdy and humorous, you will find what you need.

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Christopher Tolkien Steps down as Director of the Tolkien Estate

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Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien has for many years worked as the director for the Tolkien estate, managing the literary giant that is the world of Middle-Earth. Christopher has edited and published many of his father’s unfinished works and has continued to tend to the world his father built. However, as theonering.net reports, at the age of 93, Christopher has announced that he is stepping down from his role. Read More

Amazon Reveals the Most Read Kindle Books of All Time

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To celebrate the Kindle’s 10th birthday, Amazon has released new information from the Amazon charts which shows off which books, both fiction and non-fiction, are the top 10 best-selling Kindle books of all time. Many of the fiction entries won’t surprise you, but some of the non-fiction top sellers show Kindle readers have a wide variety of interests, from autobiographies to historic reads. Read More

100 Nasty Women of History Set to be Festive Bestseller

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When Donald Trump stood on the podium during the 2016 presidential campaign and called Hillary Clinton a ‘nasty woman’ he could never imagine that it would become not only one of his most quoted lines, but the line that women all over the world took up and wore like a crown.

Since the off hand remark was made, writers and journalists have shown that through history the women who rocked the boat were the women who got things done, and the phrase has inspired lots of positive action. Read More

Non-Fiction Books Are Setting Bookshops Alight This Christmas

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Last year’s seasonal hit was Norwegian Wood- a guide to chopping, stacking, and drying wood- and this year it looks like we are finally able to burn the stuff.

The hottest non-fiction books this Christmas are titles about bushcraft, firelighting, and wilderness survival. It seems people are looking to nature more and more, and getting ready to connect with the natural world around them.

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The Private Lives of Authors: Ayn Rand

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Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum was born in St Petersburg on February the 2nd, 1905. She was the eldest of three daughters born to a bourgeois family, the head of which was their pharmacist father. Rand reportedly found school very dull and not at all challenging, and began writing at the age of 8.

Despite being one of many ‘bourgeois’ students who were initially expelled from university, Rand graduated Petrograd State University in October, 1924. After studying at State Technicum for Screen Arts in Leningrad, Rand decided to change her name to the one she is now know best for- Ayn Rand. She took influence for her forename either from Aino, a Finnish name, or from the Hebrew word ayin, which means “eye”.

As a child of 10 years old Ayn Rand collected stamps, stopped during her adult life, and took it back up as a hobby during her late middle age. Stamp collecting is not the first thing to come to mind when discussing Rand but it did become a major passion of hers.

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