Category Archives: History

The Bicentennial Of Charles Dickens’ Birth

On the 7th of February in 1812, 200 years ago, a boy was born to Mrs. Dickens in a village 80 miles outside of London. The boy was named Charles and would grow up to be an eminent author in the … Continue reading

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Iraq: A Haiku War?

The Iraq war is winding down; I hope that there is light at the end of that tunnel. Wars seem to never end. Thoughts of the Iraq war are affecting 73-year-old Richard Elster who is the main character in the … Continue reading

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A Bluejacket Remembers the Battleship Arizona

The USS Rochester steamed into Pearl Harbor with me aboard as a teen-aged electronics technician fresh out of boot camp in San Diego and Navy Electronic School in Treasure Island—It was December 1954, and, as I remember it, the sky … Continue reading

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Clinton in Myanmar—Look Out, Hillary!

The US Secretary of State descends from her jumbo-jet in Nay Pyi Daw, the new capital of Myanmar. She is in Myanmar for meetings with Myanmar President Thein Sein and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Clinton is the … Continue reading

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The Bible: Gutenberg’s Printing Shop, Year 1439

Books have a special appeal to me–I like the look and touch of a good book. A few years ago, when presented an opportunity to spend several evenings inside the Stanford Green Library rare books room, I leapt at the … Continue reading

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WWII Resistance: Soldiers Without Uniforms

Khristo’s story begins in a town on the banks of the Danube River: “On a muddy street in the river town of Vidin, Khristo Stoianev saw his brother kicked to death by fascist militia.” In the brutal opening scene of … Continue reading

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Historians Foil Dracula Plot

If your father told you Dracula stories when you were young it might set your life on an unusual path. Elizabeth Kostova’s introductory novel, The Historians, is based on Dracula stories heard in her youth and on her meticulous research … Continue reading

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Beautiful Books are Exciting

Reviewing the books in my library as part of this downsizing project has reacquainted me with several of my books that I had not picked up in quite a while. I am looking now at three hardbound volumes by historian Barbara … Continue reading

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Scholars, Spain and the Americas

Once, while studying the expansion of Spain’s empire and the conquest of the Americas, I accumulated a hodgepodge of books that included several scholarly tomes about Spain and Latin America. These books, in general, seemed to be written to satisfy … Continue reading

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The Impenetrable Umberto Eco

In general I’m all for a novel that presents difficulty for a reader, but the novels of Umberto Eco seem to raise obscurity to a new level. I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy complex novels by García Marqués (A Thousand … Continue reading

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