Book Review: The Strange Career of Jim Crow “Historical Bible of the Civil Rights Movement”

During the tumultuous times of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s a work emerged that challenged and eventually helped transform the historical narrative on interracial relations in the South. C. Vann Woodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow was born of the author’s concern that at the time the current national discussion regarding race relations and segregation laws in the American South was “being conducted against a background of faulty or inadequate historical information.” With that in mind, in 1955 Woodward published what had begun as… Read More Book Review: The Strange Career of Jim Crow “Historical Bible of the Civil Rights Movement”

Book Review: Ostkrieg

In the words of Stephen Fritz, the author of Ostkrieg: Hitler’s War of Extermination in the East, his work is “a synthesis, an integrated narrative based primarily on exhaustive research by German, British, and American historians over the past two or three decades.”[1] I found this to be case as Fritz drew heavily from the work of well-established World War II historians such as Antony Beevor, Robert Citino, Adam Tooze, Karl-Heinz Frieser, and David Glantz (whose work the author referenced 191 times, mainly Barbarossa). The aim of the author, again in his own words, was to “provide a deeper understanding of the complexity and immensity of the Ostkrieg by… Read More Book Review: Ostkrieg

Book Review: East of Chosin

In the bleak North Korean winter of 1950, the under strength U.S. Army 31st Regimental Combat Team was sent to the eastern side of the frozen Chosin reservoir, ostensibly to screen the right flank of the U.S. 1st Marine Division in its advance northward. Shortly after the Army regiment moved into position, Chinese Communist Forces in far superior strength launched a surprise attack that surrounded and ultimately led to its annihilation as a fighting force. The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir and miraculous evacuation from the port of Hungnam has gone down in Marine Corps lore as a great feat of arms. Until the publishing of this book however, the events that unfolded on the eastern shore of the Chosin during that cataclysmic series of events were largely lost to the fog of war. … Read More Book Review: East of Chosin

Book Review: Stumbling Colossus

In the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union a treasure trove of previously inaccessible information became available from state archives. Examination of this information led some historians to question the traditional narrative of the Great Patriotic War (what Russians call WWII). The new data gave birth to various new theories that attempt to justify the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941 and which portray the Red Army as a powerful military force that was planning preemptive war against Germany. In his 1998 work Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War historian David Glantz set out to determine whether or not, and to what extent these new theories are correct. In response to his own questions Glantz suggests that based on the evidence it is “totally unfounded” to suppose that the Red Army was ready for, and capable of waging offensive war against Nazi Germany in 1941. In this work Glantz makes a powerful, factual, black and white examination of a trove of sources which speak for themself.… Read More Book Review: Stumbling Colossus