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jimmackin
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Books read in History Book Club

[ Edited ]
September 2007 - "Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War" by Nathaniel Philbrick
October 2007 - "The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War" by David Halberstam
November 2007 - "Andrew Carnegie" by David Nasaw
January 2008 - "Boom! Voices of the Sixties" by Tom Brokaw

Message Edited by jimmackin on 10-30-2007 06:47 PM

Message Edited by jimmackin on 12-10-2007 08:00 AM
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gregorymark
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

I just signed-up for the book club. Nice to be here, and I look forward to participating.

I didn't see a post on this, so I'll ask: Are the next books up for discussion listed well in advance of the start of the discussion?

Thanks.
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

gregorymark - Generally, the books are selected one month in advance. This enables an early start on the upcoming book while allowing for the consideration of new book ideas. Hope you can join us.
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merryellis
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

I just joined the club, and as it is so late in the month I don't think I could really take part in the discussion, however I was wondering if the book for November had been decided upon as of yet, and if so where I could find where it's posted.
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bentley
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

[ Edited ]

merryellis wrote:
I just joined the club, and as it is so late in the month I don't think I could really take part in the discussion, however I was wondering if the book for November had been decided upon as of yet, and if so where I could find where it's posted.




Hope this helps you:

Book for November:

The History Book Club reads Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw

Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public -- a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism -- Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma.


Regards,

Bentley

PS: It is still not too late to join in The Coldest Winter discussion..the book is quite dense and is taking us all a little time; but it is quite a worthwhile tribute to the men who fought this valiant encounter who were very much forgotten until now.

Found every month in the Announcements page: with name of month and list of upcoming selections:

Here is the url for November's page:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=announcements&thread.id=111&jump=true

Message Edited by bentley on 10-17-2007 12:17 PM
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

merryellis - Hope you will join us. David Nasaw's "Andrew Carnegie" should be most enjoyable.
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cubbiegirlem
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

[ Edited ]
I just joined and am looking forward to the book club. I see that the History Club is taking a break in December. Any idea when the January book will be announced? I am a student and sadly don't have much time for leisure reading, but am hoping to chime in for the January book, as I can get a jump on my reading over the holidays.

Message Edited by cubbiegirlem on 11-25-2007 03:14 AM
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

cubbiegirlem - We hope to select a book in the next few weeks. Part of the idea of our "break" is to hear what members might suggest that we read. Do you have any particular interests?
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substitutor
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

I think it's great that you're looking for input from people as to what should be selected for the January Book of the Month, but how are we supposed to make a selection?

Could you clue us in as to what constitutes a good selection?

There are many books out there that can be considered history. But not all of them are actually good history. Or am I to expect that we will be reading Weem's "Life of Washington" any time soon?

Are these supposed to be new? If so, how new?

Are they supposed to be peer reviewed? (Hey I'm not apposed to reading the AHR or JAH or other journals to find a good book idea. But even then, they have their biases in terms of scope.)

I would love to dig into finding a good book, but some advice here would help.

Thanks!

Substitutor
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

substitutor - Thanks for your thoughts. I'll try to simplify what I think might work for us. The book will be selected by the moderator. The moderator makes the selection based on the input of ideas as to what history books people would like to read. Other than being a "history" book, good judgement should prevail. We're not limited to any particular realm of history, but the book should be of enough interest to facilitate discussion and it should be readily available. I hope this helps.

One idea that I have is Barnet Schecter's "The Battle for New York" about NYC in the American Revolution. But I would like to hear of anything regarding the War of 1812, William Gladstone (based on a curiousity from ANDREW CARNEGIE) and any medical-related history.
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substitutor
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

Thanks for the info.

Well, if I'm to be selfish, I would say that anything about Chicago's history from 1870-1920 would be interesting to me. Like I say, that would be selfish. I also have a taste for historical events between 1848 and 1864. This would include history anywhere in the world. I'm simply fascinated with that period of time where so many nations at once had significant changes. This includes Europe, England/Ireland, USA, Latin America, China, Japan, Africa, & the Indian Subcontinent. Um... Yep, the whole world. (ok, yes, I'll include Australia and leave out Antartica.) And my favorite historian is Johnathan Spence.

There is more. There always is.

Currently I'm reading a very generous review of Thomas Bender's "A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History."
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Oldesq
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Re: Books read in History Book Club


substitutor wrote:
Thanks for the info.

Well, if I'm to be selfish, I would say that anything about Chicago's history from 1870-1920 would be interesting to me. Like I say, that would be selfish. I also have a taste for historical events between 1848 and 1864. This would include history anywhere in the world. I'm simply fascinated with that period of time where so many nations at once had significant changes. This includes Europe, England/Ireland, USA, Latin America, China, Japan, Africa, & the Indian Subcontinent. Um... Yep, the whole world. (ok, yes, I'll include Australia and leave out Antartica.) And my favorite historian is Johnathan Spence.

There is more. There always is.

Currently I'm reading a very generous review of Thomas Bender's "A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History."




Substitutor,

Please do be selfish . . . unlike you my undergrad was in Bio/Chem- I discovered my love for history rather recently and am anxious for any suggestions. I found the write-up of Spence's "Return to Dragon Mountain, Memories of a Late Ming Man" to be very interesting and it is a featured book in the B&N holiday catalog. I also thought Robb's "The Discovery of France, from the Revolution to the First World War" also looked like something for the stack on the nightstand. However, this overlaps quite a bit with the Carnegie time period - so others may want a real change.

Oldesq
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substitutor
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

[ Edited ]

jimmackin wrote:
substitutor - Thanks for your thoughts. I'll try to simplify what I think might work for us. The book will be selected by the moderator. The moderator makes the selection based on the input of ideas as to what history books people would like to read. Other than being a "history" book, good judgement should prevail. We're not limited to any particular realm of history, but the book should be of enough interest to facilitate discussion and it should be readily available. I hope this helps.



Here's a thought. I was just browsing through some of the threads to get a feel for how the discussions have gone. What if we had a book where the writing was dominated with primary documents? That way it would leave the interpretation to us to decide. Obviously every book doesn't have to be like this, but when I saw My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams, I thought that we could do that or some other collection or whatnot.

For instance, I read this civil war book in college about the Minnesota First. The book was written by an author but it quoted at significant length letters and newspaper articles from these soldiers. Classes ALWAYS were more interesting with this kind of reading material because the class was there for building the consensus. An author can, at times, be too good for this kind of group. (I think.)

-Substitutor.

(edited for readabuility)

Message Edited by substitutor on 11-27-2007 10:57 PM
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

Great idea. Especially since we don't usually get to primary documents.
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Margeit
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Re: Books read in History Book Club



substitutor wrote:
Thanks for the info.

Well, if I'm to be selfish, I would say that anything about Chicago's history from 1870-1920 would be interesting to me. Like I say, that would be selfish. I also have a taste for historical events between 1848 and 1864. This would include history anywhere in the world. I'm simply fascinated with that period of time where so many nations at once had significant changes. This includes Europe, England/Ireland, USA, Latin America, China, Japan, Africa, & the Indian Subcontinent. Um... Yep, the whole world. (ok, yes, I'll include Australia and leave out Antartica.) And my favorite historian is Johnathan Spence.

There is more. There always is.

Currently I'm reading a very generous review of Thomas Bender's "A Nation Among Nations: America's Place in World History."


On a lighter note I am reading a book about the Second City's red light district, two sisters, madams of the finest resort in Chicago. Covers late 1800's early 1900's.
"Sin in the second City: Madams, ministers,Playboys, and the battle for America's Sole" written by Karen Abbott. I'm not sure it's book club matrerial, but thought if you haven't heard about, it kinda covers your interests.
Margret
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substitutor
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

[ Edited ]

Margeit wrote:

On a lighter note I am reading a book about the Second City's red light district, two sisters, madams of the finest resort in Chicago. Covers late 1800's early 1900's.
"Sin in the second City: Madams, ministers,Playboys, and the battle for America's Sole" written by Karen Abbott. I'm not sure it's book club matrerial, but thought if you haven't heard about, it kinda covers your interests.




Margeit, let's just say that I've been considering that book with as a kind of guilty pleasure. I have a specific focus for my beloved city which this book kinda rides the edge. But, I have to admit, if it followed the Chicago Manual for sourcing, I'd probably have jumped at it more quickly. But it is tempting. Thanks for bringing it up, though! :smileyhappy:

Editting to add that I think that if there was a book written about a sensitive topic like red light districts or sex or more wholisticly about relationships from a historical perspective that was subject to peer review of historians, I don't see anything wrong with it being part of the reading list once in a while. After all, these most personal of relationships are one of the most important of motivators in man kind. We are adults here and hopefully we can be responsible with responsible material. It would probably need a lot of discussion before adding it to the list, though.

Message Edited by substitutor on 11-28-2007 07:10 PM
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Margeit
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Re: Books read in History Book Club



substitutor wrote:

Margeit wrote:

On a lighter note I am reading a book about the Second City's red light district, two sisters, madams of the finest resort in Chicago. Covers late 1800's early 1900's.
"Sin in the second City: Madams, ministers,Playboys, and the battle for America's Sole" written by Karen Abbott. I'm not sure it's book club matrerial, but thought if you haven't heard about, it kinda covers your interests.




Margeit, let's just say that I've been considering that book with as a kind of guilty pleasure. I have a specific focus for my beloved city which this book kinda rides the edge. But, I have to admit, if it followed the Chicago Manual for sourcing, I'd probably have jumped at it more quickly. But it is tempting. Thanks for bringing it up, though! :smileyhappy:

Editting to add that I think that if there was a book written about a sensitive topic like red light districts or sex or more wholisticly about relationships from a historical perspective that was subject to peer review of historians, I don't see anything wrong with it being part of the reading list once in a while. After all, these most personal of relationships are one of the most important of motivators in man kind. We are adults here and hopefully we can be responsible with responsible material. It would probably need a lot of discussion before adding it to the list, though.

Message Edited by substitutor on 11-28-2007 07:10 PM


substitutor - you might want to consider getting it from the Library like I did, I found the book in the the new material on Library web site.. It reads like fiction. The author put quotes around info from actual researsh. The district was called the Levee and it has information on the police and politicans. I haven't finished it yet but it has all sources listed in the back with notes.
Margret
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Oldesq
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

substitutor- Of course I assume you have read "The Devil in the White City" which matches both your love of Chicago and the appropriate time period. I haven't read it yet but own a copy and keep meaning to dive in.

jimmackin- As far as a book that relies heavily on primary sources (substitutor's good suggestion)- Megan Marshall's "The Peabody Sisters- Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism" might fit the bill. Margeit's title sounds likt a delicious indulgence as well.
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jimmackin
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

Now were cooking with gas. I read "Devil in the White City" and would highly recommend it. "Sin in the Second City" is of particular interest since "City of Eros" (Guilfoyle) was recommended to me by a historian friend who did his doctoral work on prostitution in NYC in the mid-nineteenth century. But I'm also intrigued by "The Peabody Sisters" since I'll be taking a course in February on the great art collections of NYC.
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cubbiegirlem
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Re: Books read in History Book Club

As you can gather from my screen name, I am also a Chicagoan (at heart, not living there at the current moment, but I will be moving back when done with school). I loved Devil in the White City and will have to check out some of the other Chicago books you all have suggested.

As far as ideas for books to read in the future, I notice that all of the books read so far have been American history. I think it would be great to read some history of the rest of the world. I really enjoy politics, and like reading about some of the lesser-known wars and political struggles that have gone on throughout the world. I enjoy American History as well. Again, I'm always interested in learning about any interesting political turmoils or time periods. My love for history is very recently-discovered however, so I'm game for learning about new things! I got into it because half of my fellow law students were history majors, and I sometimes felt a little lost having never taken a history class in college. That's why I've learned read more books about politics , but I'm definitely up for trying new topics.

I don't really have much in the way of specific books--at least not recent ones. A few years ago I introduced my book club to "First They Killed My Father" by Loung Ung. It's an autobiography by a woman whose entire family (or almost) was killed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. It tells the story of her struggle, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone interested in that topic. It reads like fiction, but is non-fiction.