Monday, June 04, 2012

Historians on their books

A cynic might conclude that - far from being one of humanity's greatest achievements - the Internet is in fact a seething mass of banality, pornography and contemptible dribble. There is something to be said for this view but occasionally you come across a site that redeems the entire project. One such is 'New Books in History' - a podcast series which interviews historians and talks to them about their latest work.

Highlights include Adrian Goldsworthy on the fall of the Roman Empire, Robert Gellately on Lenin, Stalin and Hitler, Norman Stone on World War One, Brett Whalen on Christendom and the apocalypse in the Middle Ages and  Mark Mazower on Hitler's Empire. Probably the most engaging speaker is the chain smoking, Scottish Tory Norman Stone, whose pupils over the years have included  Niall Ferguson, Andrew Roberts, Richard Overy and Orlando Figes. You can find another one of his lectures here, this time on Turkey (where he is now based).

There's also Jay Rubenstien's 'Armies of God - The first Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse' which is very good & highly readable. Hopefully I will get around to posting a review of it shortly.

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