Below are a 3 titles recently obtained by the library that have received many good reviews and much publicity.
Spanish Civil War History
“Spain in our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939” by Adam Hochschild.
A history of the Spanish Civil War as told through the eyes of a dozen or so unforgettable characters. In the mid 1930’s, as the Spanish Civil War dominated the headlines in America and abroad, volunteers flooded Spain to assist the democratically elected government fight off a right wing coup led by Spanish General Francisco Franco. Today much of what has been remembered about the Spanish Civil War has been told thru a few classic accounts, Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and George Orwell’s memoirs. But in this telling we see the experience of lesser known individuals. Interestingly, one of the more surprising accounts uncovered is that Franco received almost all his oil at reduced prices and on credit from a Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies.
American Civil War History
“The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero” by Timothy Egan.
After leading a failed uprising against British rule in Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840’s, Thomas Francis Meagher was banished to an Australian prison colony in Tasmania. Only six months later did he escape and make it to New York City hailed as a hero. Having arrived at the dawn of the great Irish Immigration to America, Meagher commanded the newly formed Irish Brigade that would go on to fight so valiantly in the American Civil War. Consequently, the Irish Brigade was involved in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War – Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Interestingly, Meagher’s last act was to serve as territorial governor of Montana.
World War I History
“1916: A Global History” by Keith Jeffery.
Much of the literature on WWI covers the trench warfare of the Western Front. However, by focusing on a sequence of events across many continents during 1916, this work illustrates that WWI was truly a global conflict . The book starts off with the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign and then moves to the massive struggle for Verdun. Then it’s off to the Easter Rising in Ireland and then back to the Eastern Front with the dramatic events in Russia with the death of Rasputin. In November Woodrow Wilson was elected President on a platform of keeping the United States out of the war, a position he would reverse five months later.