Books I Recommend

  • Paul M. Johnson: Modern Times  Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties

    Paul M. Johnson: Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties
    A sober and sobering review of the 20th Century and the monsters it created.

  • P. G. Wodehouse: The Code of the Woosters

    P. G. Wodehouse: The Code of the Woosters

  • Evelyn Waugh: Brideshead Revisited

    Evelyn Waugh: Brideshead Revisited
    Everything started going wrong and this world became a world of midgets. Still, redemption may be around the corner.

  • Conor Cruise O'Brien: The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism

    Conor Cruise O'Brien: The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism
    One of the most comprehensive, fair-minded, and illuminating histories of Israel and the Zionist movement that created it.

  • Bruce Catton: A Stillness at Appomattox

    Bruce Catton: A Stillness at Appomattox
    A taste: "The men of this army left books and letters behind them, and in these there is remarkable testimony that the men who marched away from winter quarters that morning took a last look back and saw a golden haze which, even at the moment of looking, they knew they would never see again. They tell how the birds were singing, and how the warm scented air came rolling up the river valley, and how they noticed things like wildflowers and the young green leaves, and they speak of the moving pageant which they saw and of which they themselves were part. "Everything," wrote a youth from Maine, "was bright and blowing." It would never be like this again, and young soldiers in a land that would honor them and then tolerate them and finally forget them, would look back on this one morning and see in it something that came from beyond the rim of the world."


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'The builders did not know the uses to which their work would descend; they made a new house with the stones of the old castle; year by year, generation after generation, they enriched and extended it; year by year the great harvest of timber in the park grew to ripeness; until, in sudden frost, came the Age of Hooper; the place was desolate and the work all brought to nothing; Quomodo sedet sola civitas. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

"And yet," I thought, stepping out more briskly ...'

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

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"Hooper had no illusions about the Army - or rather no special illusions from the general, enveloping fog from which he observed the universe. He had come to it reluctantly, under compulsion, after he had made every feeble effort in his power to obtain deferment. He accepted it, he said 'like the measles'. Hooper was no romantic. He had not as a child ridden with Rupert's horse or sat among the camp fires at Xanthus-side; at the age when my eyes were dry to all save poetry - that stoic, redskin interlude which our schools introduce between the fast-flowing tears of the child and the man - Hooper had wept often, but never for Henry's speech on St Crispin's day, nor for the epitaph at Thermopylae. The history they taught him had few battles in it but, instead, a profusion of detail about humane legislation and recent industrial change. Gallipoli, Balaclava, Quebec, Lepanto, Bannockburn, Roncevales, and Marathon - these, and the Battle in the West where Arthur fell, and a hundred such names whose trumpet-notes, even now in my sere and lawless state, called to me irresistibly across the intervening years with all the clarity and strength of boyhood, sounded in vain to Hooper." Ibid.