There's something very appealing about the experiences of sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially when you realize how important navies were to the imperial goals of European governments at the time.
Dennis D. McDonald’s BOOK REVIEWS
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Reading this book is essential to understanding Orwell since his experiences in the Spanish Civil War had such a profound effect on him. He saw with his own eyes how politicians in remote locations can cause death and destruction in the name of political ideals, ideals which Orwell points out are sometimes little more than an unapologetic quest for power in the name of high ideals.
If you read other reviews and the blurbs published with the book you must expect something truly exceptional. Is it? I don’t know enough about literature to answer that question. All I can do is recount my own, probably uninformed, reaction.
Not only are the topics interesting and historically relevant, but the process used by the author allows us to clearly understand opposing views and interpretations. When one is faced on a daily basis by media that spin political messages and truth, seeing a serious evidence based analysis of still-important historical issues is refreshing.
Another time and place: the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Midwestern entrepreneurs are intent on besting the recently completed Paris World Fair. Their goal: show that the U.S. takes second place to no one. Just as important: Chicago pride dictates that New York will be bested as well, despite Chicago’s 19th Century reputation as a rough, artless metropolis smelling of the Stockyards.
This debut novel is extemely well written, exciting, intriguing, brutal, densely plotted, and ultimately, disappointing. But the trip is fun and very much worth a read.
This is a popular history about three “giants” of electrification — Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla. Along the way we learn a lot about the commercialization of electricity in late 19th century America and the role that large corporations played in the spread of this technology. We also see how important patents — and patent protection — were in enabling a few powerful individuals to control the spread of the new technology.
I’m about half way through. Right now, the initial construction of the Chrysler Building is being described, as well as all the intrigues — business and architectural — surrounding the race to build “the highest building.”