Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer who planned to cross the Antarctic from sea-to-sea, and instead he and his crew of 28 men became trapped in pack ice. I just finished listening to Endurance by Alfred Lansing and read by Tim Pigott-Smith. This author retells the story of the incredible voyage of these men through extreme weather conditions over a period of 21 months during which none perished.
For the last few weeks I have been listening religiously to the Fall of Civilizations Podcast which I discovered also has this same podcast in a YouTube video version. I’m likely to go back and watch all these videos when I have a chance, because the story Paul Cooper (@PaulMMCooper) tells is clear, detailed and illustrated with relevant pictures of artifacts, and readings from the period and from the people who discovered the ruins. I explain here why this is such a great podcast.
A brief review of my perceptions from reading this book about one man’s experience of the Vietnam War.
This is a list of the books that I read or listened to this year along with my choice of three of these books of most importance to me.
I just finished listening to the Audible version of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan. The author gave me much more than simply another world history. He provided a perspective of world history that considers Central Asia at the center rather than the usual focus on Western Europe. This blog mentions some of my insights as a result of reading this book.
This is a short and honest review of The Florios of Sicily: A Novel by Stefania Auci. It explains both the shortcomings and what I learned from this book, including that a Florio family, an entrepreneurial dynasty actually exists in Sicily.
After reading On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, I have a clear picture of the magnitude of this work, and the challenge it must have been to make this argument when so many explained the existence of so many species on Earth as part of a ‘plan of creation’. It’s well worth reading if you have any interest in biology.
After reading The Black Calhouns I wanted to list all the violations of Constitutional rights that have been brought upon blacks since the end of the Civil War. My list ends around the approval of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, but blacks continue to experience racist behavior, lynchings, police killings, etc. I want to communicate why we must act to make amends and give restitution.
This is a review of a lecture about Rousseau by Jonathan Steinberg from his Great Courses Series ‘European History and European Lives: 1715-1914, Rousseau was a key figure in the expression of the modern enlightened man, who influenced both the American and French Revolutions and other key thinkers of the Enlightenment.
I thought it would be interesting to learn a little about the history of the land of my paternal ancestors, Sicily. For my first reading I picked a book called Sicily: The History and Legacy of the Mediterranean’s Most Famous Island by Charles River Editors. In this blog I write about the various important points in Sicilian history from 3.3 million years ago through early settlement to Ancient Greek and Roman times, and through changes from Arab to Norman to German to Spaniard to Angevin to Bourbon to Italian unification and finally to the development of the mafia. Showing the connection to migration that occurred mostly in the late 19th century.