August 16, 2005

Hoosierboy on History

Acidman has several posts over the last few days about slavery and history in general. In my archives (you hunt it, I am too lazy) I had a several posts about the Civil war and Lincoln. I am a historian by education and avocation. I love to study history and I often get lost in research, on the internet and at the library. I own hundreds of volumes of non-fiction covering many periods of history. As an example, here is what you would find if you look at the bookshelf closest to my desk:

La Provencia di Torrino (coffee table book from my boss)
Apache Wars by E. Lisle Reedstrom
Brave Men's Blood by Ian Knight(Zulu Wars)
Uncle Sam's Little Wars (Span-Am, Philippines, Boxer Rebellion)by John Langellior
Napoleon on Napoleon (duh)
To the Bitter End by Emanoel Lee (Zulu Wars)
Chickamauga 1863 ed by Military Book Club
World Almanac and Book of Facts
The Waterloo Campaign by Albert Nofi
Fearful Hard Times by Ian castle and Ian Knight (Zulu Wars)
Last Stand famous battles against the odds by Bryan Perrett
Decisive factors in 20 Great Battles by William Seymour
D-Day by Stephen Ambrose
Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose
1812 - Napoleon's Russian Campaign by Richard Riehn
By the Dim and Flaring Lamps the Civil War Diary of Samuel McIlvane
No Better Place to Die by Peter Cozzens (Battle of Stone's River)
The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris (Zulu Wars)
Dictionary of Military Biography Wordsworth reference
Queen Victoria's Little Wars
Mr. Kipling's Army all three by Byron Farwell
Eminent Victorian Soldiers
At Dawn We Slept by Gordon Prange
The Great Sioux War 1876-77 by Paul Hedren
Diary of a Deadman by Ira Pettit (Andersonville)
To Win the Winter Sky by Danny Parker (air war in the Ardennes 1944-45)
When the Odds Were Even by Keith Bonn (Vosges Campaign 1944-45)
The Philippine war 1899-1902 by Brian Linn

This is a tiny sampling of my collection and readings. The point -- I would guess I have studied History more than most. I don't know shit. I do know that we can never predict the future from History. We can only study history to learn the lessons from the past. For instance, we can learn that appeasement does not work. It did not work for the French against the Prussians. It did not work with Hitler. Yet, here we go appeasing terrorist shit turds in Gaza, and there are some who think appeasement will work against the terrorist in Iraq. Maybe we should study what happened when cities paid the massive tribute to Gengis Khan (Temujin). He took the money then slaughtered the inhabitants of the cities anyway!

History does have a way of repeating. We can take nearly any situation in today's world and we can find a similar event in History. Sadly, man will likely make the same mistakes the second and third time around.

7 comments:

GUYK said...

I went back to school after I retired in 1983 and added a history BA to my Ply Sci degree. I had the intentions of going tolaw school but when they found out that my parents were legally married I was disqualified.

I do get a kick out of any writer that writes "History Proves----" becasue history does not prove anything except that somebody wrote something about it. But I do enjoy history and argued for hours with a couple of neo historian professors, especially about Vietnam-I had been there and they had not and I had the upper hand. Did tend to piss them off.

Joe said...

You are correct. History proves nothing. It is more useful than "psychology" in determining the complete irrational basis of human behavior. Read the ancient historians Homer, Thucydides, Livy you will see not much has changed in the world over the past 20 -30 centuries.

Anonymous said...

History is just a study of the cycles of human behavior. Peace/ignorance of threat, realization of threat, war, peace/ignorance of threat.... and so on. Almost every conflict is boiled down to that. Mongolians to 9/11. The more things change the more they really stay the same.

Good list BTW.

GUYK said...

I got into a pretty strong pissing contest with a European history professor one time over the renaissance. He was a PHD from Georgetown and was teaching that it was driven by religion. I one who believes that economics has driven the course of human events rather than religion. For ever argument he could present I gave another. Only B I got in my major and it was because I refused to accept garbage in-garbage out. Of course all it hurt was my pride and grade average and my pride soon healed.

Alli said...

You could argue that though Guy that economics drives the course of events, because you could encourage the faithful to do something for economic gain. I haven't thought this out all the way yet though so I could be wrong.... :)

Joe said...

One of my main history professors in College did his grad work at Berkley in 1968-1969. As you can imagine, he was as hippy as you can get. I avoided US history for that reason. I have learned so much more on my own since. As you can see from the above list (That is just one shelf) that I have taken time to look at several differnt sources. I also have an eclectic interest. I get on a subject and study it at length (Zulu Wars, Boer War, Civil War, WWII, etc.

Like Alli, I am going to have to think on economics as a root cause for historical change. I think Guy just may be correct. That will be a post later maybe. thinking....

GUYK said...

Start from the evolution from hunting and gathering to the reasons for being in a village and go from there-

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