Jonathan Dull's book on the French navy's involvement in winning the American War of Independence is an excellent book for examining the relationship between military operations and diplomacy, both on and off the battlefield, and the context of France in the American Revolution.
A titanic work and an excellent reference source for the ships of the French royal navy, "French Warships in the Age of Sail 1626-1786" could have used some additional detail for ship characteristics. It is a specialized tome, which is largely unnecessary for most readers.
This review will explain how this book is a brilliantly descriptive, detailed, and well written exposé on the disastrous French 1746 New Brunswick Expedition, which provides an irreplaceable view on operations and leadership of the French Navy.
A brilliantly expansive and questing perspective of Russia's cultural life from the highs to the lows over the past three centuries, humanizing in its personal attachments and sweeping in its breadth.
Extremely analytical and with a highly detailed, day-by-day, blow-by-blow recounting of the track of events leading to Mers El-Kébir, the Road to Oran is a highly authoritative work on the battle of Mers El-Kébir and Anglo-French naval war coordination, but lacks much interpretation.
Jonathan R. Dull's book on the French navy is mistitled and is really more about the Seven Years' War written around the objectives and needs of the French Navy—much different than what it advertises, but it is very well done.
Despite lacking in detail on Anglo-French naval operations themselves and their proposed military plans, From Versailels to Mers El-Kebir is an excellent source on Franco-British naval diplomacy and provides a strongly outspoken view on the Mers el-Kebir attack.
The Russian Empire and the World is a geopolitics work which is impressive for its breadth and time scale, but which feels more like the author's opinion of Russian expansion than writing a history of Russian foreign policy and growth.
An impressively complete work which looks at the French galleys of Louis XIV from economic, military, and social perspectives and links them to the evolving nature of French prisons and the policy of the Sun King, Fighting Ships and Prisons is a first rate work on the French navy.
An excellent look into the material factors underlying the French navy, the quest for supplies and the effect on combat operations, and the development of forest management in France, Forests and French Seapower is a necessary book to fully understand the French navy.
Although extremely short, French Battleships 1914-1945 gives a good account of the French battle fleet, its ships, strengths, and principal engagements: it makes a decent introductory book into the French Navy.
The Crisis of French Seapower is an excellent and unique look into the French navy during the Nine Year's War, which brilliantly marshals both an effective operational and strategic analysis of maritime combat and how shifting French strategy impacted France's social structure.
Jean Martin's "L'Empire Renaissant: 1789–1871" is the first book in a series on French colonialism. It provides a narrowly territorial and political look at French expansion that serves, in a somewhat fragmented way, to cover the scattered points of the colonial expansion of the new French empire.
Gaping holes, insufficient photographs, lack of production numbers or often reference to employment, ammunition, and the ability to find essentially all content on Wikipedia makes Artillery of World War II a thoroughly useless reference book
Olivier J. Dinius has written an excellent historical work showing the development of the Brazilian steel industry in Volta Redonda, including its origins, motivations, objectives, labor history, and broader impact upon the development of Brazil and Brazilian history.
Despite being only 200 pages long, Kyung Moon Hwang's A History of Korea is a refreshingly interesting and well written book which does an excellent job of connecting Korea's history to the present and demonstrating how it continues to be important to Koreans.
Stalin's Couch promises much in its description but turns out to be an exhausting read with poorly connected story plots that do little to match together,oppressive, cold, and impersonal.
French Industrialization in the Age of Revolution is an excellent work for understanding why the French economy developed in different ways than the British experience, particularly in regards to labor militancy
Reston's book is easy reading and exciting but fails to give a broader scope to events, applies modern perspectives to historical individuals and times, and engages in a west-centric history.
A very good work which really tries to understand the French catastrophe in 1940, The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940 is an excellent general summary and history of the Battle of France in how it relates to broader themes of French history and how it has shaped the world since
Few books rival Case Red: The Collapse of France in providing a cohesive and understandable narrative of the Battle of France and in giving such convincing and well reasoned reasons for why it happened.
StarBridge by Ann Crispin is a dynamic and dramatic science fiction novel, one which despite the deficiencies in the science part of it, is a great read and imaginative recounting of humanity's first encounter with alien civilizations.
A History of the Czech Lands is impressively thick and official looking, but (or perhaps unsurprisingly) terribly dry, and worse has major elisions, grammar errors, and a shallow approach to Czech history.
You can read Bonfire of the Vanities and draw one conclusion from it, then look at it again and come up with an utterly different result. Its a fascinating, quick-paced, gritty book, one open to boundless interpretation.
The World in a Grain does an impressive tour du monde in describing the grandeur and tragedy of our civilization's addiction to sand, but appears curiously limited and compromised when it comes to suggesting fixes.
"The Music of Dolphins" is a story of a girl having grown up among dolphins who is brought to humanity to be taught how to be a human: it is a charmingly beautiful and innocent yet surprisingly deep story of the human condition that goes far beyond being just a simple children's book.
Lengthy and extremely detailed, "Les Africains et la Grande Guerre" is perhaps the penultimate history of West Africa in WWI and the capstone of a historian's interest in the region. That said, it is barely accessible for even a French-speaking reader.
"France 1940: Defending the Republic" is a short introduction to the fall of the French Republic in 1940. Quite simple but well written, this volume serves as a good debut for any neophytes in French history.
A mediocre summary of the post-WW1 peace treaties, the French book "Ils Ont Fait la Paix: La Traité de Versailles vu de France et d'ailleurs'" makes for an acceptable introduction but has too many omissions to be considered a good book - while lacking much energy or elan to make it interesting.
Vibrant, energetic, sweeping, energetic, and mesmerizing, Tournament of Shadows is an incredible look into the Great Game from the ground level, and a book which is well recommended for anybody interested in the region.
Lincoln's memory is something which changes as our own times change, and Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream is both a valuable piece of historical study in of itself but also a look into a particular era's perspective on the Great Emancipator.
Lina del Castillo's Crafting a Republic for the World provides a history of Colombia which delves into analysis of post-colonial construction of memory and a revisionist history of Colombia's 19th century history, in a sometimes byzantine but incisive and sophisticated book.
"The Fall of the Ottomans" is a very readable military history of Ottoman participation in the First World War, which gives a human feeling to the conflict from the plight of the Armenians to the common soldiers and makes for a good introductory history into the war.
In the conclusion to Lisle A. Rose's Power at Sea trilogy, A Violent Peace 1946-2006 provides for a good, if American-centric, naval history which avoids some of the flaws of his previous works and gives a good understanding of the mentality and operations of the American fleet.
A very good overview of the naval fleets of the Great Powers of WWI and their capabilities, doctrine, makeup, forces, and objectives, "To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War" is an invaluable addition to any library on naval history.
"The Night Circus" could have been a great fantasy book but, but it fell short in its hackneyed depiction of its rather flat main characters and stereotypical view of the Victorian Era.
The Breaking Storm 1919-1945 is a reasonably decent naval history of the Second World War, plagued by some over-enthusiasm and gaps but a much better volume than the first book in Rose's series.
A very specialist history devoted to the political evolution and foundation of the Eastern European communist states, and then their fall after failed attempts at economic reform, Eastern Europe Since 1945 is good for those fascinated by communists politics but is definitely not a general history.
Rather uninspiring and lacking much panache, A History of the Low Countries is a decent but unexciting overview of the story of Belgium and the Netherlands.
"Under Osman's Tree" provides a unique perspective on Egypt in a time of transition through an intriguing history of a radical change in the Egyptian ecological and political economy in the late 18th century.
Despite a remarkably uninteresting and terminology-laden introduction, the Sources of Military Doctrine is a very good general look at the strategy and armed forces of Britain, France, and Germany in the Interwar.
A swashbuckling adventure story in the Otto Prohaska series, the Emperor's Coloured Coat lacks some of the impressive depth of other books, but it is still a thrilling, exciting, funny, and moving novel.
Although in appearance a rather impressive and lengthy book, huge numbers of flaws and exceptions combine to make Power at Sea a mediocre naval history book which is best avoided.
A good look at the tactical level of engagements in the Mediterranean in WW2, Struggle for the Middle Sea doesn't give a holistic overview of the conflict.
The excellent Roots of Blitzkrieg convincingly shows that it was the German army in the 1920s, not its 1930s successors, who laid the groundwork for the ideas and doctrine that would lead Germany to conquer most of Europe in the 1940s.
Although Across South America may not be very useful to look at South America itself, it makes for an excellent lens upon the Americans who wrote it.
Chock full of plentiful details and with plentiful material about the diplomacy leading up to the Second World War, France and the Coming of the Second World War's narrowness of scope is made up for by the depth of its information.
A fascinating book which looks into the strategy, organization, doctrine, and history of Communist's Vietnam's army, winner of wars against so many enemies, which provides a great deal of information even if it may sometimes overdo its points.
A brilliant book which explores the propaganda war waged by the French and Japanese in Indochina for the minds of the Indochinese and of each other, with an incredible collection of sources drawn from no fewer than 4 languages.
A vast and far-reaching history of the Great War and the Interwar era, this book is a monumental project that recasts the rise of the United States in the early 20th century in an entirely different light, and which indefatigably examines the geopolitical context of the era.
An excellent book about the doctrinal development of the French army in the Interwar period by the renowned military historian Robert A. Doughty. This book is concise, efficient, convincing, and well supported.