History

 
 

This subject can include the whole world, and I am afraid that I have done little to narrow the scope of the matter. I am particularly interested in three classes of history: models of history (theories that explain how history is supposed to work), world history (with particular relevance to international politics), and national histories, especially those of America and China. This just about covers everything.

 

2011

Envisioning Eternal Empire
(Yuri Pines describes the origins in the Warring States of the Chinese imperial model.)    

How Rome Fell
(Adrian Goldsworthy gets the decline of Rome right. Finally.)

2010

Destiny Disrupted
(Tamim Ansary tells a history of the world through Muslim eyes.)    

Rubicon
(Tom Holland on the last years of the Roman Republic.)  

The War of the World
(In the 20th century, says Niall Ferguson, we were our own Martians.)

2009

Marcus Aurelius: A Life
(Frank McLynn describes the life and philosophy of the Emperor at the Edge.)    

The Fall of the Roman Empire (The Huns did it, says Peter Heather.)    

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire 1781-1997 (Piers Brendon on the passing of all the pomp of yesterday.)

2008

Churchill, Hitler, and the "Unnecessary War"
(Patrick J. Buchanan explains how Hitler was provoked.)

Lucifer's Court
(Otto Rahn's Grail Journal: maybe all you need to know about the Third Reich and the occult.)    

The Making of the President 1960
(Theodore H. White's contemporary account of the Kennedy -- Nixon election. The review focuses on press bias.)    

God and Gold
(Walter Russell Mead on Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World.)

2007

The Third Reich in Power
(Richard J. Evans shows that the Third Reich was about Art and Health.)    

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited
(After 25 years, two Councils of the Wise revisit Dame Frances Yates's thesis (see link below).)

The Master Plan
(Heather Pringle's sober account of the Ahnenerbe, the Nazi bureau for the investigation of rejected knowledge.) 

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment
(Frances Yates explains that there was more to the origin of modern science than we have been led to believe.)    

The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
(Erich Gruen's ingenious but wrong-headed revisionist history.)    

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900 (Andrew Roberts writes a sequel to Winston Churchill's work of similar name.)

On The Wealth of Nations
(P.J. O'Rourke reads Adam Smith's big book so we don't have to.)    

Crusade against the Grail
(Otto Rahn and the search for the Holy Grail.)

2006

Woodrow Wilson
(A biography by August Heckscher)    

Himmler's Crusade
(Christopher Hale's reasonably sober account
of the SS expedition to Tibet of 1938-1939.)    

In the Wake of the Plague
(Norman Cantor's thoroughly unreliable account of the effect of the Black Death on European history)

2005

Populism and the Mirror of Democracy
(An anthology of studies of populist movements around the world, edited by Francisco Panizza. The review appeared in the journal Democratization (2005))  

2004

The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief
(Richard Barber's essential survery of the origins and history of the Grail stories.)    

The Holy Roman Empire
(Friedrich Heer's illustrated prose poem on the thousand-year empire.)    

Hitler's Second Book
(Adolf Hitler explains what is worth fighting for.)

Art: A New History
(Paul Johnson tells us what he likes and why he likes it.)    

Napoleon: A Political Life
(Steven Englund explains how Bonaparte went from useful to uppity.)

2003

The Making of Late Antiquity
(Peter Brown's account of why Christianity truimphed in the Roman Empire.)    

The Flame Is Green
(R. A. Lafferty explains the revolutionary tradition.)    

Holy Madness
[Adam Zamoyski's fascinating prose poem on "Romantics, Patriots, and Revolutionaries,1776-1871."]

Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power
[Niall Ferguson explains why we live in one of the better possible worlds.]    

A History of the Crusades
[Sir Steven Runciman's classic three-volume account.]    

The Coming Caesars
[Amaury de Riencourt gives America the full Spenglerian treatment.]

2002

After the Third Age: Eschatological Elements of Postwar International Fascism
[This paper was delivered to the Seventh Annual Conference of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, November 2-4, 2002.]    

Revolt Against the Modern World
[Baron Evola explains world history, real and imagimary.]    

Men Among the Ruins
[An attempt by the wicked Baron Julius Evola to apply the esoteric Tradition after World War II.]

Black Sun
[Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke keeps us up to date on "Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity."]    

Dreamer of the Day
[Kevin Coogan's account of the life and times of the neofascist, Francis Parker Yockey.]    

Erik Jan Hanussen
[Mel Gordon's biography of Hitler's Jewish clairvoyant.]

At the End of an Age
[John Lukacs explains the end of the Modern Age, and maybe the of the world.]    

The Coming Collapse of China
(Gordon G. Chang provides a cultural and economic account of the end of the People's Republic.)    

Warriors of God
(James Reston's delightful if tendentious popular history of Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade.)

2001

Prophet of Decline
(John Farrenkopf gives us the latest in Spengler Studies, including the thesis that Oswald Spengler’s late thought went beyond historical cyclicity.)    

Tragedy and Hope
(Carroll Quigley’s “History of the World in Our Time,” meaning to about 1966. Only now can the hidden truth be revealed.)

Tribe and Empire
("An Essay on the Social Contract," by Patrick E. Kennon, that argues why the Nation must give way to Empire.)    

From Dawn to Decadence
(Jacques Barzun explains Western cultural history since 1500. Yes, it is a big book.)

2000

Inventing the Middle Ages
(Norman. Cantor's wonderfully gossipy study of the lives, works, and ideas of the great medievalists of the twentieth century.)    

Black Hawk Down
(Mark Bowden's indispensable account of the Battle of Mogadishu of 1993.)

Twentieth Century
(J.M. Roberts' history of the world, 1901 to 2000.)    

Werwolf! 
(Perry Biddiscombe's history of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement.)

1999

Imperium
(A long review of Francis Parker Yockey's ghastly Neo-Nazi treatise on the philosophy of history.)    

The Life of Thomas More
(The man for all seasons.)

The Pity of War
(A review of Niall Ferguson's wrong-headed but fascinatng study of the First World War and the possible historical alternatives.)    

Macrohistory and Macrohistorians
(The book is edited by Johan Galtung and Sohail Inayatullah. This is one of the most negative reviews I have ever written.)

1998

Staring into Chaos
(B.G. Brander's useful summary of the ideas of the great "pessimist" metahistorians of the 20th century.)        

A History of the American People
(Paul Johnson explains it all, at amazing length. This is no one's idea of a textbook, but it is a notable personal view.)

A History of Europe
(J. M. Roberts does a reasonable job of summing it all up. He is particularly interested in the historical significance of contacts between Europe and other centers of civilization. The book is a useful refresher.)    

T.R.: The Last Romantic
(Some people say that Theodore Roosevelt should be a model for presidents in the future. We should be so lucky, but this biography of him by H. W. Brands is vastly entertaining.)

1997

Fascism: A History
(Roger Eatwell gives us not just a history but a theory.)    

The Last Crusade
(A history of the Spanish Civil War from a Carlist perspective.)    

The Last Division: A History of Berlin 1945-1989
(Ann Tusa did the near-impossible by writing a readable account of Cold War Berlin. The emphasis is on the 1950s.)

The Next American Nation
(Michael Lind's class analysis explains why the Overclass are going to get their comeuppance. Lind is wrong in many interesting ways.)    

Hitler's Willing Executioners
(The author, Daniel Goldhagen, is wrong in thinking that something peculiar to German culture led to the Holocaust, but his examination of the mechanics of atrocity is worth reading.)    

Spymaster
(This book tells the story of Markus Wolf, the East German spymaster, and of the espionage agency he headed. It makes the Cold War look just as grubby as it actually was.)

Hitler's Thirty Days to Power: January 1933
(This book emphasizes the role that chance played in the advent of the Nazi regime. It is particularly interesting for its discussion of alternative routes that history might have taken.)    

The Demoralization of Society
(In this book, Gertrude Himmelfarb explains how the Victorians made society more civilized, and how 20th century society has been going the other way.)



1996

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
(This review of G. Edward White's biography of the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice shows Holmes's resemblance to Faust.)    

Terrible Honesty
(This is a review of Ann Douglas's weirdly uncritical history of Manhattan in the 1920s.)    

Fighting for Liberty and Virtue
(This is a book review of Marvin Olasky's study of the role of religion in the American Revolution. The author claims it was decisive. The thesis of the book has become a commonplace among cultural conservatives.)

Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years
(This is a book review of Felipe Fernández-Armesto's tour of the millennium now ending. It is particularly interesting for his views about China.)    

Spengler's Future
(This is my first published book. [You can find out about the other one here.] It began as a computer exercise. I was teaching myself BASIC, and I decided to try to write a program to predict the future, so I used Oswald Spengler's cyclical theory of history. Here is the whole thing online. Hardcopy books are also available for those who wish to treasure it always.)