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Old January 13th, 2013, 07:58 AM   #101

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Originally Posted by The Wandering Poet View Post
As for what I am reading. I am currently enjoying John Julius Norwich's Byzantium Pt 1. Probably the best over-view of the East Roman Empire I have read so far, and opens up other areas of interest to research further...

Byzantium: The Early Centuries: The Early Centuries v. 1: Amazon.co.uk: John Julius Norwich: Books
Run! Run! It's a travesty! It's good reading, but Norwich clearly has never read any scholarship and falls for whatever lies and fabrications the sources feed him.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:15 AM   #104
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"Le Morte D'Arthur" by Thomas Malory, and "What is this thing called science?" by Alan Chalmers.

The former prompted by a discussion of Malory's life on "In Our Time", the latter by a thread on this site.
I read Le Morte d'Arthur myself many years ago (reread it fairly recently in fact) and found it hilarious that a knight errant, any knight errant, couldn't come moseying on up to the tiniest, most isolated trickle of a stream in the middle of nowhere without being challenged by another knight to mortal combat for no other reason than...well, apparently absolutely no reason whatsoever, come to think of it. Now don't get me wrong; though monotonous at times with knights forever coming out of the woodwork charging and attempting to "unass" anyone on horseback wearing armor, or if and when both combatants wound up on the ground duelling with swords (on more than a few occasions literally from dawn to dusk; I s*** you not) and trying like hell to take the other's head off, I really did enjoy the book. Some today might judge the antiquated chivalric code, along with its comcomitant cornball courtly romances, to be downright comical if not ridiculous (as did Cervantes), but still, it's highly entertaining stuff. Hell, I read it twice...didn't I?

If you haven't read Don Quixote but plan on doing so sometime down the road, do yourself a big favor and read Arthur first; you're that more apt to see where both Cervantes and his book's lovelorn -- and borderline-lunatic -- hero were coming from.

Last edited by augustus; January 15th, 2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #105
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For anyone interested in U.S. Constitution or Early Republic, I recommend Stuart Leiberger's Founding Friendship, George Washington, James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic.
Interesting thesis, Leibiger maintains that the the Washington / Madison collaboration, often times overlooked, made the Constitution possible.

Also if your into some heavy reading: To Secure the Blessing of Liberty, the Selected Writings of Gouverneur Morris. Morris was is a somewhat "Forgotten Framer", but many of his writing are quite informative and interesting.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #106

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Originally Posted by augustus View Post
I read Le Morte d'Arthur myself many years ago (reread it fairly recently in fact) and found it hilarious that a knight errant, any knight errant, couldn't come moseying on up to the tiniest, most isolated trickle of a stream in the middle of nowhere without being challenged by another knight to mortal combat for no other reason than...well, apparently absolutely no reason whatsoever, come to think of it. Now don't get me wrong; though monotonous at times with knights forever coming out of the woodwork charging and attempting to "unass" anyone on horseback wearing armor, or if and when both combatants wound up on the ground duelling with swords (on more than a few occasions literally from dawn to dusk; I s*** you not) and trying like hell to take the other's head off, I really did enjoy the book. Some today might judge the antiquated chivalric code, along with its comcomitant cornball courtly romances, to be downright comical if not ridiculous (as did Cervantes), but still, it's highly entertaining stuff. Hell, I read it twice...didn't I?

If you haven't read Don Quixote but plan on doing so sometime down the road, do yourself a big favor and read Arthur first; you're that more apt to see where both Cervantes and his book's lovelorn -- and borderline-lunatic -- hero were coming from.
Thanks for that, yes I'll read Quixote then after Arthur. In my turn I'd certainly recommend the In Our Time discussion of you can get it where you are, it does a very good job of putting Arthur in context re Malory's life and the times he lived in.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #107

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I started this but it's bias to say the least.

The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State: Weiwei Zhang: 9781938134012: Amazon.com: Books
The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State: Weiwei Zhang: 9781938134012: Amazon.com: Books

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Old January 17th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #110

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Certainly not the best-structured text, and not for me the most retainable in terms of terms, etc. given I'm no China scholar, but it shall prove interesting, I suspect. The cover is amusingly childlike - at first I thought I'd purchased the wrong copy. Returning to read it after a brief hiatus elsewhere:

The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914: Amazon.co.uk: Robert Bickers: Books
The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914: Amazon.co.uk: Robert Bickers: Books

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