Robert Peterson’s Only the Ball was White is a must read for anyone interested in baseball and the negro leagues.
Benjamin Carter Hett’s The Nazi Menace: Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin and the road to war paints interesting pictures of what was happening in all four nations in the years leading ups to World War II.
Benjamin Carter Hett’s The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic isn’t the first book I have read trying to explain how Hitler came to power, but it’s the best. Reading it as too many Americans pretend that Biden’s victory saved American democracy was particularly sobering.
Jack Kelly’s The Edge of Anarchy: the Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America tell the story of the Pullman strike of 1894. This is another of those books that shows exactly how little progress has been made in America over the last 127 years. Reading it in the context of the wealth gap increasing during a pandemic also struck a cord. Still,Kelly did a great job telling a critical story.
If you like history and/or you want to learn more about the real America, The Edge of Anarchy will not disappoint. It will upset you though.
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the best book I have read about American history. While it’s not perfect, I love the way Zinn acknowledges his own biases and attempts to explain a much accurate version of American history than is almost ever shared.
More than a decade ago, a good friend recommended The Quiet Game by Greg Iles. She informed me I would enjoy the history and characters in the story.
A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a new fiction series to begin as a break from politics. I saw The Quiet Game on a list and was reminded of my friend’s long-forgotten recommendation. Realizing The Quiet Game had become the Penn Cage series, I gave it a shot.
Less than two weeks later, I’m in the middle of the fourth book in the series.
Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia is reported to describe the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s Brazilian rubber plantation. In reality, Fordlandia is another striking example of the destruction and exploitation brought by capitalism.
Thomas Frank’s The People No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism was an easy, entertaining read.
The Price of Peace is Zachary Carter’s look at the life and ideas of economist John Maynard Keynes. While economics can often be a boring subject, I found The Price of Peace to be an important, educational read.
On January 6, 1941, FDR gave his Four Freedoms speech. While the speech would ultimately serve as the basis for the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, the speech’s historical context tells pieces of the story regularly not discussed.