Sunday, February 25, 2007

Celts Will Travel Vol. 1 750BC- 5 BC and Vol. 2: 5 BC - 664 AD by John Rea

Celts Will Travel Vol 1 750BC- 5 BC and Vol. 2: 5 BC - 664 AD by John Rea manages to cram a lot of history into two thin volumes. Using archaeological and primary source material the author describes the history of the Celtic people's from prehistory through 664 AD.

One interesting thing is the writing style he uses if the Celts build something is described as "we built a wall" when it's discovered is described as "you discover a wall in 1977". Naturally this takes some getting used to. But it is actually quite neat. There is a lot of citations included which is nice. There's an extensive endnotes and bibliography. Occasionally in the text there's even driving instructions about what roads to take when visiting the museums and archaeological sites. There are lots of illustrations and maps which complement the text.

A very neat presentation, highly recommended!

Is available through Abebooks the below banner will launch a search for both volumes. As of publishing this post there were more copies of volume 2. The two volumes can stand alone.

After Tet:The Bloodiest year in Vietnam by Ronald H. Spector

After Tet: The Bloodiest year in Vietnam by Ronald H. Spector describes well basically what the title says. We get material on everything from Washington to the experience of patrolling in the jungle. Unlike most history of Vietnam there are descriptions of various soldiers experiences. There's even a section on the military prisons in Vietnam and their race riots. There's a lot of research here. part of the book is taken up with the Battle of Khe Sanh. There's a very clear description of the rather confused operations around it.

It is highly readable with a bibliography and notes as well as several appendices and a further reading section.

Highly recommended!

Is available through Abebooks.

For more reviews take a look at My Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Partisan and Guerrilla Warfare bookshelf.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's too late now

There was a 48-hour time frame there were Baghdad was relatively quiet. If the administration had been smart they really should have declared victory and started the draw down. They didn't though so now they're in trouble because the security plan doesn't seem to have done much. The insurgents even attacked an US-based today.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic the British in their infinite wisdom are getting ready to send over Prince Harry. Amusingly he's already picked up a nickname the "bullet magnet". So how many virgins do you get if you take him out?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Saudi Arabia?

With all the worrying about Iraq's insurgency being supported by Iran this begs a question is Saudi Arabia getting a free pass? They've repeatedly said that if their side was losing they would go into the protect them. So are they doing that? Juan Cole points out the last five KIA appear to have been killed by Sunnis. Can anyone remember hearing any comments either officially or unofficial from the Americans worrying about Saudi Arabian support?

Flying furr

Oh dear here we go again Star Liberal's attack enrages ADQ Leader.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dennis Miller still not funny

Saw Dennis Miller last night on the Tonight Show. He still isn't funny. Although working for Fox News you can understand why. I don't mind conservative comedians most probably are or at least libertarian but he's just not funny now. Part of the problem is that it seems to be he's repeating the same material. How many times have we heard something compared to how long it's been since the Comet Hyakutake was in the solar system?

Apparently President Bush is a great leader because we haven't been attacked since September 11. Ge Dennis what about September 11 itself? To borrow a line from Bill Maher, yeah if Al Gore had won in 2000 we'd all be reading the Koran right now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Suspects by William J. Caunitz

Suspects by William J. Caunitz is a mystery about the investigation of a policeman murdered in a candy shop. Our hero who has a prosthetic limb must solve the case while dealing with the politics of those in the bureaucracy. At the same time he must confront his disability. The disability leads to a sexual dysfunction which was a little tasteless but it does make sense in the plot of the book. Caunitz's stuff is very atmospheric. The lingo and characters are so spot on its amazing. He did work as a New York cop. The book is rather violent with lots of sex gratuitously so but I don't mind that sort of thing. Everybody is corrupt to one extent or another. But people still do seem to have their own morals about things.

The plot is complex with multiple red herrings but he manages to make things easy-to-follow. A superb mystery.

Highly recommended!

Is available through Abebooks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Why Wikipedia sucks

Over on John Scalzi's blog he has an interesting piece up on Wikipedia's problems. The most interesting part is a comment from one of his readers JC.
I had always thought that it (Wikipedia) strove to be truthful. Nope. Apparently, it strives mainly to be verifiable.
Wikipedia has always irritated me for some reason that I could never really figure out why until I read this post and the comments. I guess it just shows the entire concept is flawed. It's even more fundamental then the ability to vandalize articles at will. Until of course somebody notices. See the Anna Nicole Smith fiasco.

While researching this post came across this interesting tidbit that they maybe running out of money. Since the hard-cores don't want advertising on the pages.

I'm back

Now I won't go as far as Mike & Mike in the Morning and say that I'm better than ever but I'm at leased back. Computer trouble mixed with thesis chaos and a head cold have slowed me down. Expect more reviews in the upcoming week.

Monday, February 05, 2007

"New government", old trap

Apparently Quebec is only going to receive around 30% of the Boeing contract for the economic development from the C-17s. Interesting analysis by Chantal Hébert in the Toronto Star. It does look a little like the F-18 fiasco. This may be very interesting.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Never been prompted for my analysis before.

Over on China Law blog I was called out for some analysis. Which I was happy to give made a comment. What can I say it feels good to be noticed.

Adler discovers a conspiracy...

I do enjoy Charles Adler occasionally. His most recent fit is about the apparent liberal secret plans for Alberta. Now are they secret if you discuss them on talk radio? I do expect the sort of exaggerated screaming from him. Note the whiny "media conspiracy" angle. Isn't the Corus Radio Network "mainstream media"? Maybe not I don't know.

Let's assume for a minute this is actually a controlled leak. Remember 40% for a majority it's a lot easier for the liberals to write off Alberta [like they were getting any votes there any way] that it would be to say right off Ontario. Run against "those rich bastards in Alberta stealing your workers.". Maybe that's the plan.

Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain during the Second World War by Robert Mackay

Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain during the Second World War by Robert Mackay attempts to cut a path between the mythical "stiff upper lip" and the revisionist view of British morale during the war. The author believes that the traditional view is closer to the reality.

The research for the book is made up of primary source material from the various government agencies which were set up to monitor the morale of the nation. There's an attempt to discuss areas outside of London as well which is nice.

The first half of the book lays out the high and low points of morale during the war. The second discusses different contributors such as propaganda, rationing and the Beveridge report.

The only minor criticism is that there is talk of the evacuations of children but no real mention of the groups that were sent to Canada and the other dominion's.

Highly recommended excellent well thought out analysis.

Available through Questia Online Library.

Or available through Abebooks.

For more WWII book reviews take a look at My World War II bookshelf.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Rather be called fat than a hypocrite

The ongoing whining about Stéphane Dion's fat joke continues. As far as the humor itself I tend to agree with calgarygrit that the problem is that the joke just wasn't that funny. Stephen Harper's tummy has been commented on repeatedly over the last couple of years. I do find it interesting that apparently the Conservative attack ads which basically call Dion a liar and a hypocrite are somehow not personal attacks.

Now I did find Adler's claims that the sky was falling (Liberal intentions for Alberta) very funny.

UPDATE: Charles Adler was actually the one to write the post so I corrected it.