I received the following challenge:
List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t over think it. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just books that have impacted you in some way.
So, here goes, in no particular order:
1. The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. This was the one that started it all for me. Bruce Catton’s wonderful prose and THE coolest maps ever made.
2. William Manchester’s marvelous The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968. My master’s thesis was a direct result of having read this book.
3. Carlo D’Este, Patton: A Genius for War. Simply put, THE finest military biography that I have ever read.
4. Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Lieutenants: A Study in Command. An epic study that not only taught me a lot about the Confederate side of the Civil War, it also introduced me to the Lost Cause.
5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Yep, I’m a nerd. This proves it.
6. Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge too Far. This epic study of the wretched, miserable failure that was Operation Market Garden is one of the finest campaign studies ever written.
7. Alan T. Nolan, Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History. This groundbreaking book directly led to the publication of one of my books.
8. Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels. Full of factual errors but one of the finest pieces of historical fiction ever written, this book was the introduction to the Civil War for many a person.
9. John Hennessy, Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas. This is THE best Civil War campaign study I have ever read, and I aspire to doing as well some day.
10. Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Moses was the most powerful man in New York, but his ego and downfall brought about the bankruptcy of New York in the 1970’s. This epic biography taught me the art of biography.
There are, of course, many, many other worthy candidates for inclusion on such a list–in fact, limiting the list to ten entries really unreasonably limits things. But these are the ten that come to mind without overthinking it, and I think that this list is a worthy one.
Feel free to leave your own lists here in the comments. It should make for some interesting discussion.Scridb filter