Portuguese explorer rounds the southern tip of Africa, and Portugal abandons the idea of reaching Asia by crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus, who made a living in the Portuguese slave trade, takes his plan to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Castile, which the experts thought was an impossible plan because the distance to Asia would be too great. Columbus had badly miscalculated Earth’s circumference. His early attempts to convince the Castilian court fail.
Part of the voluminous U.S. Army counterpart of Morison's Navy history. Not nearly as readable, but generally much more detailed and complete.
The Frenchman Voltaire spent his first stint behind bars in 1717 for his satirical writings, and his work came to epitomize an era known as the Enlightenment, which was well established by 1750. France was its heart, and philosophers across Western Europe, in Great Britain most particularly, embraced the movement. Paradoxically, as imperial rivals batted across the globe for supremacy, their Enlightenment theorists argued for the inherent equality of all people. Today’s scholars legitimately wonder just how influential the European experience in the New World was to its Enlightenment philosophers, where truly egalitarian societies were witnessed, which was far removed from the European experience.
In 1688, England had its Glorious Revolution, which permanently limited English royalty's power. In 1689, the English Parliament passed its Bill of Rights and Tolerance Act, which promoted religious tolerance. Both English legal acts of 1689 directly influenced the USA's Bill of Rights.
The collision of Great Britain's and France’s rivalry, the Enlightenment, and the ambition of British colonists led to the American Revolution and the birth of a new kind of empire. The profits of slavery helped fuel British efforts, both the chattel slavery in North America and the Caribbean, as well as the imperial exploitation that Great Britain imposed on India. The most prominent British colonists in America were often slaveholders. Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin (and even “Give-me-liberty-or-give-me-death” Patrick Henry) were affluent slaveholders. was probably the richest man in America when he became president.
A harrowing account of the Bataan Death March and the subsequent experiences of the American prisoners of war who survived it. Focuses particularly on an Air Corps ground crewman, Ben Stiles, whose artwork illustrates the book throughout. I think I like it better than , though it is far less comprehensive.
“discovers” the Californian coast. Hernando de Soto dies on banks of Mississippi River after his . Spanish expedition asserts Spain’s claims to the . Bartolomé de Las Casas's efforts persuade Emperor Charles V to sign laws .
An online article describing the armor protection of the German battleships in great detail and with much expert authority. Though not directly bearing on the Pacific War, the general principles discussed are of great interest.
Discusses the history of the destroyer from its origins in the 19th century through the Cold War. Has some good material on the impact of technological developments and some influential designs. Not an in-depth operational history.
Discusses the fate of the Japanese Merchant Marine in the Pacific War, with a number of valuable tables and graphs. Also contains one of the best collections of photographs and diagrams of Japanese merchant ships around.
Argues the case that the bombing of Hiroshima was military and morally justified. Particularly interesting in that the author is clearly no advocate of the postwar nuclear weapons complex.
A one-volume encyclopedia of the Second World War, with the lack of depth one might expect. Useful as a quick reference, and with the occasional tidbit not found elsewhere.
A recent reexamination of the Battle of Midway from the Japanese perspective. Likely to become the definitive work on the Japanese side of Midway.
From the proceedings of a conference on the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. With its publication, we finally have a detailed, critical, English-language account of the history of the war in China. Indispensable for that reason.
A hagiography of the U.S. Army during the war, with particular praise for George C. Marshall. Gives much insight into the character of the generals who fought the war, including the incompetent ones. The chapter on the Graves Services is particularly moving.