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Getting to Know You :: December 2018 Edition

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7 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

I loved the HBO series like Rome and Band of Brothers, these are good examples of a fictonial or edited story in a historical setting.

As a book I would recommend Shogun.

 

Edited by Glitterwolf
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10 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

I don't really have strong feelings either way.  Like @Glitterwolf though, I enjoyed Rome.

Edited by VitM
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5 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

Good historical fiction gives you a identifiable snapshot of where and when the action happened.

 

I discovered I liked the genre after reading James Clavell's Shogun, and later Gai-Jin.

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27 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

Not my first choice when reading but like it when well done. One of my favourite books is Walking Drum by Louis Lamour about a young man from Brittany that travels across all of Europe to avenge his father in the early middle ages (can't remember exact dates). Wish he had written the continuation. I like Bernard Cornwell too.

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58 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

Put me in column B.  

I did enjoy Killer Angles - but that civil war book did win a Pulitzer. 

other than that I can't remember one I liked enough to finish. 

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

USS Detroit (the 4th of 6?) Dec. 7th 1941

 

So here’s why that ship that day. First the ship: when I did a little digging preparing for the question I learned several things I never knew. Detroit was one of the unsung, Little known ships present that day, it was part of a class of ships, they were an obsolete design, built to the latest newest concepts in warship design from World War One. As @Corsair noted Detroit escaped to sea, one of the few ships that did. She survived the war no less. The navy needed every hull. But being an obsolete design she got sent to distant places and given odd tasks. One mission involved moving several tons of gold and silver to safety in the Continental US. 

 

I picked the photo of this ship because it has a current namesake operating today, because it’s an unusual design for WW2, it is little known, and because it has the distinction of being one of just two US Warships that were present at Pearl Harbor and the formal surrender in Tokyo Bay.

 

The other ship was USS West Virginia.

 

 

The Pearl Harbor Raid — The Surrender Ceremony Tokyo Bay

 

I am not sure why they didn’t include all the surviving battleships from Pearl Harbor. All but two were repaired and operational at the end of the war. Most of them were serving with the Pacific fleet. But there were only two ships that saw both events West Virginia and Detroit

 

None of the Japanese ships involved in the raid made it to the end of the war; every last one was hunted down and sunk. 

 

And so why The Day? Because it needs remembering. Not just because of lives lost, and a losing battle bravely fought, or even a daring air raid well executed. It needs remembering because it changed the world. (And, no not even thinking carrier warfare here...)

 

The world that might have resulted if there had been no Pearl Harbor Raid would have involved two vast, powerful, militaristic Empires with red and white flags. Each Empire would own one end of the Eurasian land mass. The Empire on the West end could have had Italy, Spain, and Vichy France as fascist minion states. Switzerland, Malta, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden as subservient neutrals and everything else subjugated under its red/white (and black) flag. 

 

On the East end of Eurasia that Empire would own every seaport on the Eastern Asian coastline. It was to be centered on the Japanese home islands, anchored by vast chunks of territory on the Asian mainland (Manchuria, Korea, China, Indochina) and out to sea on the Pacific side protected by chains of Island Fortress-Airfields. The Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere is what they called it. About the same as the other Empire, Except a proper Emperor instead of a Chancellor and just Red and White on the flag, no black bars-stripes. 

 

That is ^ 1946, without the Pearl Harbor Raid

 

Odd-Funny thing is: that is exactly what Japan thought would happen because of the Raid. But the universe loves to take a well-crafted plan and turn it on its head

 

 

Nice ^ phrase.  Dec. 7th was a “point of fate” that killed two Empires and changed a pacifist, isolationist, country into a Superpower. 

 

Last week we contemplated one example of a tiny event (rescue one waterlogged pilot) plus one example of a huge event (sink a fleet)  and both events made a huge difference. 

 

The takeaways from last week are: maybe the world has turned out alright?

 

And, remember those moments that changed things. 

 

All interesting points, TGP, and thank you for sharing your research  with us.

 

Deep breath...

 

BUT. Would USA really have stayed out of WW2 without Pearl Harbour? FDR had (with sensible caution) been gradually been moving towards a war footing with Germany. US navy and coastguard vessels were taking part in convoy duties and I think I'm right in saying that at least one USN vessel had already been sunk.

 

And of course Pearl Harbour only causes FDR to declare war on the Japanese. Almost incredibly (in hindsight) it is the Germans who then declare war on the USA. 

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45 minutes ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

Some of my favorite reads are from this genre. 

 

The Sebastian St Cyr Mysteries by Harris.  Main characters are British, it's the early 1800's, murder and political skulduggery is afoot. 

 

The Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis.  Set in Republican Rome in the 70's, just as things are falling apart, again murder and political skulduggery.  A number of the characters and events portrayed were real.

 

Ashley Gardner writes a series about a Captain Lacey, former soldier of the Napoleonic War. Murder and treachery, in a slightly less refined setting than Harris' stories.

 

Charles Finch writes a nice Victorian era, slower paced murder mystery series with political overtones.  I've also read some novels set in the early 20th century, but they don't hold my interest  as much.

 

And I read some books with words  like seduction, courtesan and scandalous in the title.  They can be fun little time wasters.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

The Flashman Papers - nothing else comes close for humour, historical accuracy and a genuine understanding of how people from another era thought and acted.

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

I haven't read any historical novels in a very long time, but I LOVED  the Hornblower series, The Gun, & just about everything else that C.S. Forester wrote.

F. Van Wyck Mason was another favorite from my misspent youth.

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

Well-researched is great stuff. Cornwall's Sharpe's series and Clive Cussler's Isaac Bell books are excellent examples. And Losis Lamour's Walking Drum as mentioned above is phenomenal, gotts dig it out and re-read it!  Zink, thanks for reminding me.

Edited by Corsair
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My father always maintained the treaty signing at the end of World War 2 should have been on the USS Enterprise, one of the few US carriers to survive the war.

 

1 hour ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

I don't have a strong preference one way or the other.  I was a fan of the Hornblower books growing up but I haven't read them for years.

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33 minutes ago, Inarah said:

 

Some of my favorite reads are from this genre. 

 

The Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis.  Set in Republican Rome in the 70's, just as things are falling apart, again murder and political skulduggery.  A number of the characters and events portrayed were real.

Can't help but to think of "That '70s Show" references. Bunch of young Romans, lounging around the atrium.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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2 hours ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

 

I've been on a nonfiction kick for a long time now, but I read World Chase Me Down by Andrew Hilleman this last summer and loved it. It's based on a real event, the first successful kidnapping for ransom in American history.  Most of the stuff in the story actually happened, but it's told from the perspective of one of the kidnappers who was a wild storyteller in real life and is most likely embellished.  The writing is excellent and story itself is fascinating. 

 

My little brother asked for some historical fiction books for Christmas this year, and I'm getting him The Last Days Of Night by Graham Moore.  It sounds super interesting and I'll probably read it myself after I'm done with my current book.

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2 hours ago, TGP said:

Question Dec. 10th: Historical Fiction, can you recommend one -or- do you detest-ignore the whole genre?

It's not a genera I focus on, but certainly don't ignore it.

The Cadfael books are good, as is the already mentioned Hornblower series.

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