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Customer Reviews: 67
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T. E. Leonard "A late baby bloomer" RSS Feed (Berea, Kentucky)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better grasp of Europe, May 6, 2012
Gay and Webb unravel a complex and key continent's modern past---from the Renaissance to the end of WWII--in a most engaging ananconceptual manner. It breaths life into the personalities that shaped our modern sense of politics, culture, war, and religion. Unlike all too many sweeping histories, it is far from just another collection of disconnected dates.

German History, 1770-1866 (Oxford History of Modern Europe)
German History, 1770-1866 (Oxford History of Modern Europe)
by James J. Sheehan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $52.20
47 used & new from $12.75

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!, December 24, 2011
A compelling narrative for those who want to better understand the German people, from the egalitarian fervor unleashed by the French Revolution to the Franco Prussian War. Indeed it was an era which saw the birth pangs of the modern German nation state, with Bismarck as its less than democratic mistro.

N by E
N by E
by Rockwell Kent
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.28
80 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the marraige of art and prose, November 1, 2010
This review is from: N by E (Paperback)
An amazing saga of a man facing the harshest elements of sea and land, with pictures outdueling prose...but only barely!

by Eduardo ZAMACOIS
Edition: Hardcover
3 used & new from $8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars only two of his works translated into English. Come on translators... let's get to work!!!, October 23, 2010
This review is from: Roots (Hardcover)
Zamacois is a fine example of the richness of post-WWI literature!

With the backdrop of a stark and unforgiving Castillian landscape, two brothers, Manuel and Leandro, like modern-day Cains and Abels, lay bare the mounting hatreds and recriminations which was the character of the pre-Spanish Civil War world.

Role over Ibanez!!

The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages
by Morris Bishop
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.25
94 used & new from $2.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major connecting of the dots!, June 16, 2010
This review is from: The Middle Ages (Paperback)
The work is far more than just an interesting primer to what is normally viewed as merely an esoteric dark period of the West's past. Bishop creatively lulled me into an imaginery world inhabited by knights, nobles, and village priests---warts and all! And in the process I came to realize---from the way people worked, worshiped amd relaxed---how my cultural values and the way I look at the world have been shaped by this thousand year epoch. The hardcover's impressive value to collectors must find its source in its simple, poignant, and funny prose, but most of all in the vast number of general readers who through it found a bridge to a remarkable age!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2012 4:34 PM PDT

Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830
Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830
by John Huxtable Elliott
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.84
95 used & new from $8.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If and only if, that is the question, June 6, 2010
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Elliot covers the colonial adventures and misadventures of the two dominant European powers in the western hemisphere, England and Spain, in the three hundred years following Columbus' landing. Upon her arrival, Spain's western possessions were populated by vast pools of indigenous peoples, where intermingling between the new arrivals and domestic peoples became commonplace, resulting, as it did, in a growing number of Creoles (individuals of mixed Indian/Spanish blood). Conversely New Englanders, for the most part, remained congregated in their Protestant clusters, ideologically and socially segregated from their native cousins.

At first blush, economic fortunes seemingly shone well on Spain, where a mother load of Peruvian silver, which, in spite of strict mercantile controls by the mother country, fueled a cultural colonial renaissance and resultant growth in universities, cathedrals, and regal cities far larger and exquisite than anything in Massachusetts or Maryland. Silver's blessing, however, also created a false-sense of Spanish invincibility; and it didn't take long for the conquerors to find themselves hard pressed scraping together the necessary resources to police such a vast and increasingly threatened empire. The English, in achieving supremacy over the seas, provided the American colonialists a cushion from outside interference which allowed them the sort of freedom to explore and develop hitherto unknown pluralistic political associations; yet while the English melting pot provided the experimental grounds to reconcile Euro-American inter-cultural and religious conflagrations, it was far less altruistic and tolerant and respectful toward its indigenous neighbors. Ironic as it sounds, one can easily make the case that the more regimented and Spanish regal/clerical hierarchy did far more than its European rival in giving voice to her native peoples.

It is interesting to see how the French, both directly and indirectly, thwarted both Spanish and English hegemony. In the case of the Brits, it was the costs of underwriting the French and Indian War and the mother country's subsequent attempt to have the their colonies pay for that war which provided a key stimulus to the American Revolution. Spain's demise arrived more slowly and subtly; Napoleon's Iberian Peninsula adventures in the the early 1800s estranged Spain from her American colonies, creating in the process political independence in the form of Simone Bolivar.

A History of Medieval Spain (Cornell Paperbacks)
A History of Medieval Spain (Cornell Paperbacks)
by Joseph F. O'Callaghan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.76
60 used & new from $12.76

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The foundations for modern Spain defined, May 18, 2010
O'Callaghan provides a highly approachable history that looks at the multiple invaders that helped define Spain's emerging national character in the post-Roman world. In the peninsula's south, the Andalusia cultural capital, Cordoba, rivaled Baghdad and laid claim to the foremost Muslim and Jewish scholars, who, amongst other things, safeguarded the works of the ancient Greeks; conversely in the north, the Castilian-Leon Roman Catholic kingdom, in broadening political franchise to include that of the emerging merchant class, developed one of the first representative governments in modern European history: the Cortes. In the end, Ferdinand and Isabella oversaw a societal transformation that cast aside a feudal past and set in motion a centralized empire and culture which soon came to dominate vast tracts of the world.

White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves
White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves
by Giles Milton
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $2.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars popular empiricist: A contradiction in terms?, May 5, 2010
Why is it that popular historians the likes of Giles are so darn fun to read, and the scholarly stuff frequently seem best marketed as a natural alternative to Ambien! I suppose the middle ground between empirical research and high drama is found in historical fiction. Yet with Giles you find yourself in the shoes of the swashbuckling adventurer, where life and death decisions and surreal characters are at every turn. Where else can you find a despot the likes of Morocco's Moulay Ismail, a man who would just as soon decapitate an underling as he would fondle one of the scores of cats scurrying about his unearthly abode. I suppose the lesson learned from Giles has less to to with scholarship than it does in attracting novices to the magic of history.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2013 12:15 PM CST

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
by Jonah Goldberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.71
333 used & new from $0.01

10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enough of the 'blue' and 'red' divide!, February 8, 2010
Goldberg's book first caught my attention in the midst of the hot-tempered polemics of the 2008 election campaign. Was it just another Glenn Beck like rant manufactured to besmirch anyone not a steadfast Republican trooper?

While Goldberg offers some compelling evidence linking a variance of socialist philosophy to the fascist creed, he provides little if any balance in his erudition, failing even to mention the role played by England's moderate egalitarian Fabian Socialists---indeed, the precursors to that country's Labour Party. Ultimately he comes across as someone with a Paul Bunyan sized axe to grind instead of having created a vetted historical piece of scholarship. The greatness of our democracy lies not in the ranks of political pundits who like robots jabber out their doctrinaire talking points, but rather in those who have the courage and innovative spirit to face the tough problems and work with people of opposing points of view to develop legislation and policies that meet the pressing demands of the people. The fight against totalitarianism is an excellent example of this, as was shown by the 'liberal' Roosevelt and the 'conservative' Churchill during WWII. Goldberg just strengthens the idiotic, ratings driven, red/blue divide!

I am no apologist for the excesses of the left, however, and I continue to fear the totalitarian state brought to life in the book '1984'. But could we not turn the Orwellian nightmare on its edge and find a strain of totalitarianism in the smiley faced corporate culture with mandated blood tests, state of the art psychological testing, and where the public discourse is held sway by influential and much quoted Sunday morning TV news talk underwritten by defense contractors? Now, from my recollections the 1960s was a rather anti-ideological era; the 'liberal left,' with the exception of a few who joined Hari Krishna cults or held to the Marxist line, was, if anything, a nebulous cultural rebellion against the conformity of the 1950's "corporate man in the grey flannel suit." It seems, therefore, that one could easily reconfigure the evidence to suggest that corporate conformity did more to deny individual freedom than any increasingly irrelevant liberal state? Let's look at Bill Clinton, the fellow who did away with much of our welfare system as we knew it; far from a New Deal liberal, President Clinton followed more in the ideological traditions of a Rockefeller, Nixon, or a Dewey; he simply outwitted Republicans at their own game! The essence of liberalism for me is found in the philosophical writings of John Stuart Mill, a pragmatist with a deep humanist bent--a far cry from the hateful diatribes of a Mussolini or a Hitler! Yet somehow a growing number of people have come to the conclusion that liberty is defined in doing away with all government, with the exception of the military, of course! Yet our most recent experiment with the old trusty invisible hand---Bernie Madoff style---resulted in pick pocketing Americans out of nearly 60 billion dollars.

Sorry for spoiling the 'tea party' folks, but the progressive movement's greatest regulatory legacy arrived in the passage of the Sherman and Clayton Anti-trust Laws: establishing a critically needed governmental authority which fueled the world's most dynamically competitive economy for nearly a century. And, after all, wasn't it ironically a form of corporate socialism which necessitated such interventionist 'liberal' legislation to begin with?

Jim Crow Moves North: The Battle over Northern School Segregation, 1865-1954 (Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society)
Jim Crow Moves North: The Battle over Northern School Segregation, 1865-1954 (Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society)
by Davison M. Douglas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $105.00
35 used & new from $50.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the North's star burned less bright, December 29, 2009
Rarely do I come across an author who can so unpretentiously weave primary and secondary sources into such an intriguingly learned and relevant social narrative.

Even in the enlightened antebellum North prejudice ignited the passions of Connecticut's tee totaling society in the form of Yale instructors and students railing against private colleges for blacks in their midst.

A must read for educators, historians, and caring people in general!

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