Some books that I’ve just finished up:
- Witnesses of War, by Nicholas StarGardt
About children’s lives under the Nazis before, during, and slightly after WWII. Appalling, moving, engrossing.
- In Search of Stones, by M. Scott Peck
Peck’s tale of a trip he and his wife took to the UK in search of dolmen and menhirs … which he intertwines with frank discussion of himself, his life, what he’s learned, and his mistakes. One important thing to remember from this book: the concept of “overdetermination,” the idea that most things have more than one cause … they are “overdetermined.” We like to have one cause, and one effect, but that’s simplistic.
- Ashes of Glory, by Ernest B Furgurson
The story of Richmond, Virginia, the “other capital” of the US … at least during the civil war. A little tedious and narrowly-focused, but interesting. Most memorable anecdote: Abraham Lincoln comes to Richmond shortly after the city is taken. Black men and women surround him. One aged black man doffs his cap and offers a short bow. Lincoln doffs his cap and bows in return. That must have been a big deal to those just-recently-slaves. Wonderful!
- A Perfect Hell, by John Nadler
The story of the Canadian-American commando unit “First Special Service Force,” composed somewhat of misfits, which fought like heroes and died by the hundreds in multiple campaigns throughout WWII. All that you need to know about them to know something of them is that the Germans called them “Schwartzer Teurel,” or Black Devils.