New history books (August-December 2012 edition)
Below are new books published in the second half of 2012 that seemed to me like really interesting reads in my favorite fields (ancient philosophy and military history). This is a condensed version of my typical monthly books post, but I hope to return to my usual reviews and previews again next month.
Churchill and Seapower. Christopher M. Bell. Churchill was a leading naval strategist in both the First and Second World War. This is the first systematic study of his role in naval affairs and should be an informative read.
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander
Operation KE: The Cactus Air Force and the Japanese Withdrawal from Guadalcanal by Roger Letourneau and Dennis Letourneau
The North African Air Campaign: U.S. Army Air Forces from El Alamein to Salerno by Christopher M. Rein
Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat by Dan Hampton
Blue Moon over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis by William B. Ecker and Kenneth V. Jack
Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece by Ian Worthington
The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity by Robert Louis Wilken
October & November
Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar. Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni. This book seems like a good reflection on the perils of holding on to uncompromising political ideals.
Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smith
Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden
Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America by Jennifer L. Anderson
The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam by Andrew Wiest
War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865. James McPherson. This work is a very good introduction by a renowned historian to the naval conflict during the Civil War. Man-for-man, the Union navy was arguably more effective in defeating the Confederacy than the army.
The Axial Age and Its Consequences by Robert N. Bellah and Hans Joas, eds.
From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia by Pankaj Mishra
Governing the World: The History of an Idea by Mark Mazower
Soviet Hurricane Aces of World War 2. Aleksander Rusinov. Although a short read, this edition by Osprey describes an entirely original topic (in English, at least): the units of the Soviet Air Force that flew British Hurricane aircraft sent to the eastern front during WWII through the Lend-Lease Program.
Soviet Women on the Frontline in the Second World War by R.D. Markwick and E.C. Cardona
The Wives: The Women Behind Russia’s Literary Giants by Alexandra Popoff
One Drop in a Sea of Blue: The Liberators of the Ninth Minnesota by John B. Lundstrom
The Silk Road: A New History by Valerie Hansen