Don’s Latest Book Haul


As part of my annual vacation schedule I take three days off in July whether I need to or not. Last Friday my bride and I were out and about with my son, who took the Illinois bar exam last week. Among other stops, we went to too Half Price book outlets and purchased the following books (I omit the books my bride and son purchased):



  1. Rome on the Euphrates by Freya Stark (1966). The late Miss Stark, who died at 100 in 1993, was, in her prime, one of the foremost experts on the Middle East. She engaged in extensive travel in the Middle East, especially in Arabia, at a time when few Western women did so. During World War II she helped write British propaganda aimed at keeping the Arabs neutral. Frontier studies are all the rage now, and her Rome on the Euphrates was a pioneering look at the frontier of the Roman Empire in the east. She writes with verve, not eschewing sweeping purple passages, and her scholarship is as wide as her knowledge of the areas she writes about. The book is mercifully free of the jargon and cant that now so frequently disfigures what currently passes for historical scholarship. The work has become semi-legendary in its reputation and I had not come across a copy of the original edition till now. An intellectual and literary feast.
  2. History: A Very Short Introduction by John Arnold (2000)-The Very Short Introduction series on all topics under the sun by Oxford University Press are very much a mixed bag. However they are cheap, short and can be devoured quickly, even by a plodding reader like me.
  3. Feudalism in Japan by Peter Duus (1969)-A brief look at an extremely complicated topic.
  4. Cromwell and Communism by Eduard Bernstein (1930)-An examination of the radical fringe, Leveller movement in the English Civil War. The Levellers would have been aghast at being associated with the atheist Communists of the last century.
  5. The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick (1964)-The late Mr. Dick was a paranoid, drug using left wing loon. But how he could write science fiction!
  6. Bootcamp 3000, edited by Charles G. Waugh and Martin Greenberg (1992)-An anthology of military science fiction.
  7. Batman: The Golden Age by Les Daniels (2000)-A look at the Golden Age Batman from 1939-1954. Batman and Superman began as creations of the Thirties and are now still being published in the second decade of the twenty-first century. They have become fascinating tools to look at America over eight decades.
  8. DC:New Frontier by Dawyn Cooke and Dave Stewart (2005)- DC Silver Age Superheroes reimagined as if they had really lived during the late 50’s and the early 60’s of the last century.
  9. Team-Ups of the Brave and the Bold by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz-An anthology of team-ups between Batman and other DC superheroes.
  10. After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires 1400-2000 by John Darwin (2005)-I am always a sucker for world history on the grand scale.
  11. Laughing Space, edited by Isaac Asimov and J.O. Jeppson (1982)-The best science fiction is often humorous science fiction.
  12. 1916 A Global History by Keith Jeffery (2015)-Part of the recent fad to pick out a year and take a look at the events around the globe during that year.
  13. Rome’s Revolution by Richard Alston (2015)-A military look at the fall of the Roman Republic.
  14. Medieval and Renaissance Studies by Theodor Mommsen (1959)-A collection of articles by American historian, he fled Nazi Germany in 1935,Theodor Mommsen, the grandson and namesake of the great German historian of Republican Rome, released the year after his death.
  15. Essays on Freedom and Power by Lord Acton (1948)-Acton was always going to produce a great work on the history of freedom and never got around to it. The moving force behind the Cambridge Modern History series, Acton spent his life in politics, academia and literary pursuits, specializing in essays and reviews rather than books. A fervent Catholic he was a critic of the proclamation of infallibility at Vatican I, Acton always being concerned with unrestrained power. He died in 1902. I would love to read his analysis of the current pontificate.
  16. A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age by J. Wight Duff (1927)-A comprehensive look at Roman literature from Tiberius to Hadrian.
  17. Saint Peter Bishop of Rome by Father T. Livius (1888)-The find of this book buying expedition, this tome, dedicated to Cardinal Newman, is a 545 page defense of Saint Peter being the first Pope with an extensive look at the patristic literature on the subject. A true gem.
Published in: on July 31, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Don’s Latest Book Haul  
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