Reading List – November 2021

I read a lot of history books in my preferred era, but there’s always something missing. When I read about the Jacksonian Era without reading about the Revolutionary Era, it would be like a future historian reading about today without understanding the Vietnam War or who Reagan was. This month, I’m reading a variety of “prequel” books to my preferred era.

1776 – David McCullough

David McCullough is what one would call a “super famous” pop historian. 1776 is one of his more famous works, and I know it’s alright because I read it before (long ago, albeit). The focus of the book is on, of course, the year 1776 (which, for you non-Americans, is well known as the year history began).

From this book, I hope to glean information about the Revolution, including what average people thought and how infighting between tory and rebel contributed to the coming political age. If I remember correctly, though, it may just be a military history, which is interesting in and of itself.

Union 1812 – AJ Languth

The War of 1812 is a war easily forgotten in American classrooms. Even I, who really cared about my American history class, noticed that this important event was only briefly spoken about. Perhaps it’s because the capitol was burned, or perhaps it’s because the treaty of Ghent pretty much gained Americans nothing, but people just don’t know that much about the war unless they go looking.

Me? Oh, you know me. I’ve read up on this baby, but I admit my knowledge is quite stacked. I’m familiar with the Southern Theater and the associated Creek War, but I know little to nothing about the Northern Theater. I want to read this book with the intention to draw more information regarding that less-successful-theater, as well as look into the roles of the Madisons, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams.

You Never Forget Your First – Alexis Coe

The quirky title and a CNN article praising Coe’s You Never Forget Your First got me interested enough to rent this one from the library for a little perusal. This is actually a biography of George Washington, which I thought would go along well with 1776 up there.

Washington is one of the more interesting founding fathers (if only because he’s not Jefferson who, regardless of your opinion on him, I find incredibly dull to read about), so I’m excited to see what Coe has dug up. The articles I’ve read praising the book indicate she brings a new vision and interpretation of the historical documents, so perhaps I should have boned up on the more typical works first! 😉

Hint, however: I have already read this book as of posting, and I did read another George Washington biography in the meantime. I have a brief aside comparing the two, but you’ll have to read the review when it comes out to discover my thoughts!

Cherokee Mythology – James Mooney

I believe, wholeheartedly, that the history of Indians has been so woefully overlooked that it’s a sin. As a North Carolinian who grew up in the western part of the state, I’ve always been at least a little interested in the Cherokee. I even wrote about Sequoyah, an important Cherokee inventor, on the Carrot Ranch. Though it’s not terribly difficult to find information on the Cherokee post-colonization, I was looking for something more foundational and old. I wanted to see what pre-columbian history and thoughts are available to us.

This book contains a pretty in-depth history of the Cherokee people as well as a pretty large collection of myths. It was sanctioned by the government, and most of the information comes from primary source documents. There’s a companion, The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee, that may be of interest to me later. Both are free on Project Gutenberg as they are now in the public domain.

8 thoughts on “Reading List – November 2021

  1. robertawrites235681907 says:

    Hi H, these all look good and very interesting. I am very far down a US history hole right now but I am researching America’s involvement in WW1, the suffrage and women’s rights to contraception movement and civilian life in the USA during WW1. Oh, and the prohibition era will also make it in. I hope you are well.

      • robertawrites235681907 says:

        I read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction as part of my research. The fiction is get the feel for the time period and the detail of how people spoke and lived. I have read A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque, To the Last Man by Jeff Shaara, Regeneration by Pat Barker, and Catch 22 by Heller which are all fiction. I have To the Last Man by Bratten and From Maine to France and somehow back again which are non-fiction plus Guttenberg and many other on-line sources.

      • H.R.R. Gorman says:

        All Quiet on the Western Front is great. So chilling, and the way he uses natural symbolism against the backdrop of mechanized war is amazing. I’ll look into the Hemingway at some point, probably!

  2. Peter Martuneac says:

    I think you’d really like “The Founding Brothers” by Joseph J. Ellis. I like it because I feel like calling them ‘brothers’ more accurately describes the emotions and politics of the time. Rather than a bunch of sagacious old men calmly discussing differences, we have fiery debates, friendships ended, and political backstabbing.

  3. D. Wallace Peach says:

    It looks like you’re diving into your love of history again, HRR. Fascinating choices. I agree with you that the history of America’s first nations is woefully overlooked. I look forward to your reviews.

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