Book Review

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what a book! This should be a required read in schools. This changes my entire outlook on the Holocaust. Not only were innocent individuals slaughtered during the second world war, but they were murdered before and after the war. Stalin and Hitler both had twisted justifications for what they did. It really hit home when Snyder reminds us that these people need to be remembered for more than just a victim or a number. Each and every one of them had a life and a story– they were humans.

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Blog Hiatus

Hello to my loyal followers. Sorry that my blog has been inactive for about 5 months now. It’s been a busy year for me, and I guess I just took a little break from the blog. I am back now, and I plan to be writing more often.

Although my blog posts may have been put on hold, I haven’t put my passion for history on hold. I’ve been doing historical work with the Winnebago County Historical & Archaeological Society, City of Oshkosh, and I have been actively reading all summer. I am also in the process of getting some more projects lined up, so I am staying plenty busy!

I thought a good way to resume my blogging would be to talk about the last two books I have read. This May marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. I’ve always known of the Lusitania, but I guess I never really looked into the events leading up to her sinking. I was determined to learn more about this magnificent ocean liner’s tragic end. I recently read two books about the subject: Lusitania: Triumph, Tragedy, and the End of the Edwardian Age, by Greg King and Penny Wilson, and Dead Wake, by Erik Larson.















Most of us probably were taught in school that the Lusitania was an unarmed passenger liner torpedoed without warning by a German U-boat killing over one thousand innocent men, women, and children (128 Americans) and pulled United States into the Great War with the rest of Europe. There is much more to the story that these books reveal.

King ad Wilson’s book was my first read. In my opinion, this book focuses primarily on people rich passengers aboard the doomed liner. It does offer the background of the events of the voyage and circumstances that made the liner a target. The book is fact heavy, which can make is a tedious read at times. I liked learning about the people on the ship, but it seemed like more detail went into their lives. Nonetheless, I did enjoy reading their work about a subject I knew little about.

Erik Larson is becoming one of my favorite authors. He has a way of taking a historical topic and making it exciting. I was on the edge of my seat the duration of the book, and I found it extremely difficult to put this book down once I started. The book is very readable and has enough information to tell the story but not bore the reader. Larson’s chapters bounce from the perspective of the predator (U-Boat 20) and the prey (Lusitania), as well as a few other important characters.  If a major motion is ever made about the Lusitania it should be based on Erik Larson’s book.

Book Review

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I am going to try to pick up the pace as fall sets in. I thought I would write a short review on a book I just finished.  John Gurda is one of my favorite historians. He has some spectacular history books about Milwaukee. I borrowed the book Cream City Chronicles from the local library for some summer reading. This book is a compilation of smaller stories that Gurda posted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

The book is broken into topics, and each chapter covers a story of the topic. For example, a topic in the book is about celebrations. The chapters in that sections cover stories about Christmas, festivals, and holiday traditions. I enjoyed how he begins each chapter with a present view of the topic and transitions into the historical aspect. Gurda also gives his view or memory of the topic he is writing about. If you’re looking for some fun history about Wisconsin’s metropolis, check out this book for a weekend read.

Book Review

I finally bought my copy of The Labor Movement in Wisconsin: A History last summer. I have always wanted to get this book, but I had a hard time finding a book store that stocked it.  I got my hands on it when I visited a small bookstore in Princeton,Wisconsin.

I really enjoyed the book and learned a good deal of state labor history that I did not know. I liked how Robert Ozanne broke the book up into sections, which helped build up to each stage of labor history.  Gathering information from memoirs, union documents and newspapers, just to name a few, Ozanne gives his readers a look at the triumphs  and tribulations of the labor movement in Wisconsin. This is a good book for those interested in a broad scope of labor history in Wisconsin.