Category: REVIEWS

3 Year Blog-A-Versary

3 YEAR BLOG

3 Years!! Doing this is so much fun. It has been a privilege getting to know you. I look forward to following your passions be they history, fiction, food, travel, collectibles, books, faith, art, cinema, sports, medicine, culture, automobiles, aviation, photography, music, poetry, home, family, humor, current affairs, or politics. You are fantastic. Thank you!!

Book Review: The American Spirit

The American Spirit

David McCullough, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2017).

Defining “The” American Spirit is a challenging proposition given America’s current division. History has been weaponized in support of political positions. Many in the academy have fostered social division to further a political philosophy. With little remnant of a common history remaining we stand at a critical juncture. Is there a common history in which we can rediscover “the” American spirit? If so, can that history heal our present fracture and nurture a promising future? A definition that brings us together, that drives us to our better nature. Few historians have the necessary cache to take on such a challenge. David McCullough is one of only a few historians with enough courage to take on that challenge. He is also one of a few with enough respect for his definition to garner serious consideration.

Book Review: Iron Curtain

Iron Curtain

Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956. (New York, NY: Doubleday, 2012).

Better works of history are crafted. They begin with a question. They are created through exhaustive research, editing, and organization. A better work of history answers the original question, creates new questions considers alternative interpretations, and provides overwhelming evidence in support of their answers. Doing so by creating a readable narrative. Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain is a better work of history. Applebaum’s original question: How did the Soviets and their allies transform well-meaning Eastern European social/ aid organizations created, or reconstituted, in the immediate aftermath of World War II into tools of oppression?1 In a chilling but necessary read Iron Curtain provides an answer.

Book Review: Journey to a Revolution

Journey to a Rev

 

Michael Korda, Journey to a Revolution: A Personal Memoir and History of The Hungarian Revolution of 1956. (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2006).

In this instance Korda’s subtitle accurately captures the appeal of this work. Journey to a Revolution is both a memoir and a history, blended in a way that makes the narrative live. In a mere two hundred and five pages Korda retells an adventure in which four young Brits (author included) ran headlong into the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Squeezed into a VW, the four friends traveled from England to Budapest to deliver medical supplies to a Budapest hospital and to bear witness to a great event.

Film Review: Operation Finale

OperationFinale

Figure 1 By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58401347

Operation Finale. Directed by Chris Weitz. Produced by Automatik Entertainment, 2018.

It is a rare occasion when I truly enjoy a movie. Considering the cost associated with having a complete movie experience (buying a ticket, popcorn, and a drink), the reward generally falls short of the investment. Even more so for films based on historical events. Frequently, historically based films require a creative license to produce a story that can understood in a limited time frame and that is commercially viable. However. creative license often challenges historical accuracy. Operation Finale proved to be a movie I enjoyed. Creative license was taken, and the film is not accurate to history, but I enjoyed it because it delivered a few things I rarely experience with modern movies.

Air Cafe Brno

This is a great blog. So many stories. Please, check it out.

 

Free Czechoslovak Air Force

For Czechoslovak RAF airmen relatives and enthusiasts, a key location to visit when in Brno is the Air Café.

Pro všechny příbuzné letců RAF a také jejich sympatizanty, kteří navštíví město Brno, je nemyslitelné, že by nenavštívili jejich kultovní místo – kavárnu Air Café.

Air Café origins go back to 1999 when brothers Albert and Adam Kronek began to develop their seemingly simple idea of combining the atmospheric environments of gastronomy and honouring the Czechoslovak airmen, who fought in the RAF during WW 2 in Great Britain in one establishment. The walls are decorated with numerous photographs of the airmen, posters, aviation artifacts and the glass display cabinets show many of their personal belongings which all have various connections to the four Czechoslovak RAF squadrons.

Vznik Air Café se váže k roku 1999, kdy bratři Albert a Adam Kronkovi spolu začali realizovat svoji zdánlivě prostou myšlenku – vytvořit gastronomický stánek…

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Book Review: History

History A Very

John H Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000).

As one of the “A Very Short Introduction” series of books, John H Arnold’s installment on History is very short indeed, just 123 pages. It is also, very informative. History does more than define history as those things belonging to the past. It describes the act of creating history, a work of history. Much attention is given to the importance of research. Searching for, collecting, and organizing small bits of evidence. Allowing the evidence to prove both insights to, and questions about, a given topic. History also discusses sources, primary and secondary. Most of all, History explores historiography, the way in which each of us view history.

Book Review: 1453

1453 Cover

Roger Crowley, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and The Clash of Islam and The West. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 2005).

There are events, history’s thunderclaps, that peal across time. Christian Europe’s resistance to Islam’s long campaign of expansion is punctuated by many significant events. Beginning with the Battle of Yarmouk in 636 to the Siege of Vienna in 1683, the forces of Islam proved nearly unstoppable as they wrested ever more territory, and people, from Christian realms. Perhaps the most significant event in this thousand-year drama, the Fall of Constantinople, occurred on May 29, 1453.

(7/20)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Hello folks, I know many of you already follow “Samurai Japan” (Ryoma Sakamoto) but if you do not, you should. This blog provides an excellent window into Japan; the people, the history, the culture. I hope you enjoy this piece and that you will follow “Samurai Japan.”

Samurai Japan

Ceramic Treasures – Bizen-yaki, Okayama Prefecture [1080p HD]

Today: Bizen-yaki, Okayama Prefecture. We will visit the potters from all over Japan and discover their ceramics heritage by introducing the culture and historical background.

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