September 18, 2007

Recently Read History Books\CDs

Okay, I'm a history geek. Here's three books I read recently:

1. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. I listened to this one on CDs. It combines anthropology, biology, geography, history, and the author's personal opinions on why some societies became wealthy and powerful while others just subsisted. The answers have nothing to do with talent or intelligence, but much to do with resources and the limitations of geography. Very interesting.

2. Holding Rugged Ground: The Civil War Along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike is an audiobook that combines narrative, diaries, letters, and mountain music to tell about the Civil War in West Virginia. We visited that area in May - see my Civil War Field Trip Photo Pages.

This is good CD to listen to while you drive through West Virginia. Those mountains were rugged places for an armies to march through. They even camped in the mountains over an entire winter. Heh, talk about a "cold mountain!"

3. Everything was wonderful: A pictorial history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Shenandoah National Park by Reed Engle. This is a slim paperbook back that I found in the library. I've heard about the CCC all my life; my parents explained to us kids how the CCC boys built the facilities that we enjoyed at Shenandoah National Park and other recreation areas. This book has recollections and photos of those young men building the park. For those of us who did not experience the great depression or the New Deal, this provides a glimpse of those times and a successful social program that still benefits us today.

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