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Old October 17th, 2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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For interesting and intelligent narrative, Isaac Deutscher - though of course a lot of the relevant documentation wasn't available when he was writing.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #12

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Gotta throw Deutscher in the ring if only for his Trotsky bio. Along the same vein I'd go Tariq Ali (ex-Trotskyist) whose written some absorbing histories of Pakistan (The Duel), India (The Nehrus & the Gandhis) and, more recently, Latin America (Pirates of the Caribbean) along with his epic Clash of Fundamentalisms. Also within the Marxist tradition E. P. Thomson (Making of the English Working Classes) not to mention his good wife Dorothy for several excellent works on the Chartists. Christopher Hill too, it's impossible to sympathise with Charles I having read him.

C.V. Wedgwood I find compulsive reading - apart from her Life of Charles and the Thirty Years War she was a dab hand at short bios, Richelieu and William the Silent spring to mind. Her general take on the Reformation (familiar British and North American bias) is countered by some interesting revisionist work by Henry Kamen, particularly on Phillip II and the Inquisition. Hugh Thomas whose excellent on Spanish sources I'm reading a lot of lately; African Slave Trade, Rivers of Gold, Conquest of Mexico - will get to his Cuba once I've finished Richard Gott's work.

John Keay I'll always be indebted to for making some 3,000 years of both Chinese and Indian history comprehensible & Eduardo Galeano for a rivetting account of Latin American history (Open Veins). On the other end of the spectrum, certainly from Galeano, Paul Johnson is always a cracking read.

For Africa, it has to be Basil Davidson (too many works to mention) and also Adam Hochschild who followed up his brilliant Leopold's Ghost with a well worthwhile read of the slave trade, Bury the Chains. For a one volume history of the continent since independence I'd plump for Guy Arnold's Africa: A Modern History, Martin Meredith is too monotone for my liking. For more recent events Gerard Prunier is your man; Africa's World War is one of the best accounts of a(any) conflict your likely to read (Congolese Civil War). Ludo de Witte's Assassination of Lumumba is probably the most serious history book your likely to find; fastidious attention to detail & perfect case for the prosecution - example to us all of how it can be done, but of course, rarely is.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #13

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltis View Post
To add a personal favorite or two:

John Buchanan for the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution

The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas: John Buchanan: 9780471327165: Amazon.com: Books

For other historians, I really enjoyed:

Edward Cashin
Robert Bass
Samuel Cole Williams

but there are so many?

Wow I need that
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Old October 17th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #14

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In no particular order:

David Abulafia
Jonathan Phillips
Thomas Asbridge
Hans Baron
Ferdinand Schevill
Anne Curry
John Gillingham
Adrian Goldsworthy
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #15

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I just err apparently Joseph Ellis lied about being in Vietnam?
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:57 AM   #16
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I like Macaulay--hopefully, there's still room for the personal in history--or I should say the openly so. I think he's one of the greatest prose writers to write history--reading so many of the admittedly fine historians of our day is like slogging through a bog compared to wadding through a clear, fast running stream when you read Macaulay.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I like Macaulay--hopefully, there's still room for the personal in history--or I should say the openly so. I think he's one of the greatest prose writers to write history--reading so many of the admittedly fine historians of our day is like slogging through a bog compared to wadding through a clear, fast running stream when you read Macaulay.
More stream than solidity perhaps?
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Old October 26th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #18

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Although I know of plenty of professors in my city, even Ian Kershaw has visited a tenant in my apartment, it would have to be my own fantasy as a historian in European colonialism and the future I wish to have as. Then again I can always include John Ferling and even my European history Professor Julius Soroko
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Old October 26th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #19
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More stream than solidity perhaps?

I don't feel that way--his forms of analysis certainly don't fit the contemporary "sift the facts" mode--which I believe will seem very dated, hopefully one day soon.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #20

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Joshua Fogel is probably my favourite historian, for his tireless work on the history of Sino-Japanese relations, including many translation projects. I'm also very partial to David A. Graff, John Whitney Hall and Bruce L. Batten.
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