Ian Kershaw has given us a grand survey of what has come to be called “the long war,” or anyhow its opening years, 1914 to 1949. His particular interest is the Germany that gave rise to Adolf Hitler, as a result of its folly in the First World War, and that in turn was led by Hitler into the castastrophe of the Second. That Mr. Kershaw keeps going for four years after Hitler's suicide, as the Russian Red Army advanced toward his underground bunker, is a tribute to our increasing awareness that these wars were really two campaigns in a single conflict, and one that continued at least until 1993 and the implosion of the Soviet Union. He plans to deal with the Cold War in a second volume. Aside from it rather overheated title, To Hell and Back is a great start on a worthy project.
The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine is not everyone's idea of fun, but I am finding it fascinating. It's a romp through 2,500 years this much-abused land, from the first Greek settlement to Vladimir Putin's recent invasion. The names are mostly unfamiliar: "By far the best known of Ostrozky's Cossack chieftains was Severyn Nalyvaiko." (Who knew?). But I've learned enough to conclude that Mr Putin's view of history is seriously lacking. Funnily enough, it seems that the Ukrainians have the better argument: they came first! Perhaps Moscow should bow to Kiev, not the other way around.
My other book of the month was 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History. Well, yes, I suppose it did. But it deserved a more coherent biography than we get here. (More about all three books on What I'm Reading This Month.)
— Dan Ford
Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, grouped under these headings:
Plus these excellent places to look for more:
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted January 2016. Websites © 1997-2016 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.