Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What I'm Reading: November/December, 2018

November was a very busy month with travels, Thanksgiving and kicking off the December holiday season.  But busy or not, I still read.  Some food for thought for Thanksgiving and Christmas -

 Mayflower:  A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

  • Although he disregards the difference between the Pilgrims and the Puritans who colonized New England, Philbrick presents a nuanced history of the complicated relationships between Native Americans and the first English settlers in New England.  That complicated relationship resulted in King Philip's War (1675-1678) which is considered by many to be the greatest calamity to occur in 17th-century New England.  The economies of the Plymouth and Rhodes Island colonies were ruined, and both the English and Native American populations were decimated - with captive Native Americans shipped to the Caribbean as slaves.

The Man Who Invented Christmas:  How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford

  • Last year's film "The Man Who Invented Christmas" was enjoyable and worth seeing - but this book is a much more serious biography of Charles Dickens and - part history, part literary analysis - is very different from the film.  Standiford explains Dickens's rise to fame and his declining popularity before A Christmas Carol while giving insights into the 19th century publishing industry.

Counting Down to The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire

My lecture series on slavery, White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan - The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire  - starts in just abou...