Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

My recent discovery of the Brontë sisters through their poetry made me want to discover more.  Before I read their novels, however, I wanted to learn who they were that I might better appreciate their work, as is my modus operandi when dealing with most authors before my own time, and especially for those whose works … Continue reading Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian by Stephen E. Ambrose

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower No one can ever truly be unbiased.  It goes against everything that makes us human.  But objectivity is a skill that can be learned and applied.  It's one of the best assets in the toolbox of … Continue reading To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian by Stephen E. Ambrose

The Song of the Battle of Hastings (Carmen de Hastingae Proelio) by Guy of Amiens, retold and illustrated by Mike Oliver

I'm on vacation, visiting family, and my Dad starts talking up a bluestreak about all things Middle Ages that he doesn't know in an effort to sound impressive.  To know my father is to know that history for him begins in 1776, so it's amusing and sometimes frustrating when he tries to enlighten me about … Continue reading The Song of the Battle of Hastings (Carmen de Hastingae Proelio) by Guy of Amiens, retold and illustrated by Mike Oliver

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

"It's nothing personal; it's just business." How often have you heard someone say something like that to justify something questionable -- or outright immoral -- in the name of making a profit? Right now, the nation stands divided, and racism is often right at or very near the top of the maelstrom that tears us … Continue reading The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

The Orthodox Christian Church: History, Beliefs, and Practices by Prof. Peter Bouteneff

While not part of The Great Courses series, this is a lecture series very much in that tradition.  Professor Peter Bouteneff is an instructor at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.  His lectures are, as the title suggests, designed as an introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of the Orthodox Church. From time to time, … Continue reading The Orthodox Christian Church: History, Beliefs, and Practices by Prof. Peter Bouteneff

The Story of Civilization, Vol. V: The Renaissance by Will Durant

"Don't be so gloomy. After all, it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and … Continue reading The Story of Civilization, Vol. V: The Renaissance by Will Durant