Monday, September 09, 2013
After reading David McCullough's Path Between the Seas, I decided to tackle a classic that had stumped me when I first received it as a gift about 10 years ago. With only about 5 pages in, William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury wasn't the read I was looking for. 10 years later here we are. With my girl partying it up in Miami Fourth of July weekend, I blazed through the first baffling chapter of the book, told through the perspective of a mentally disable man with a thick southern dialect coupled with the author's seemingly random time changes. It was a beast. The rest came together, and I can see how it was a classic then. But I won't lie, I didn't exactly enjoy myself. It was like going to the gym.
Sticking with the southern theme but needing something much lighter, Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War hit the spot. An informative, fun read that covered my historical-nerd impulses while entertaining was just what I needed after Faulker's exercise. Writing essays from every state in the Confederacy, Horwitz encounters hilarious hardcore reenactors, teenage recklessness co-opted into Confederate pride and Japanese tourists searching for Gone With the Wind. I consciously picked this to follow the southern world built in Faulkner's but didn't see the connections of southern pride and setting suns so much until I was done.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
I really loved this book. The personalities that moved mountains (literally) and country's (France and the U.S.) fortunes are vividly recreated in a time when recent strides in science and engineering made the triumph of Man's designs over Nature within reach. Truly an epic tale of one of the greatest engineering feats of modern times.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Initially used during the First World War, its intent was to misguide enemy submarines by distorting the ships position, direction and speed. The monotone white-to-black color schemes were thought to break up the ships silhouette, not concealing but confusing would-be predators. Was it a success? Studies gauging shipping losses before and after it's use were found to be inconclusive, but it didn't keep it from being used, albeit sparingly, into the Second World War.
Read more here.
Read more here.