Profile for History Geek > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by History Geek
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,690
Helpful Votes: 161

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
History Geek

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-14
pixel
Soccernomics
Soccernomics
Price: 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 95% interesting - and I have the figures to prove it, 19 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Soccernomics (Kindle Edition)
This is certainly an interesting approach to football writing. The authors have taken the increasing amount of statistics available on football and see what they can do with them. Some chapters are particularly interesting – I enjoyed the first few chapters on player analysis and how clubs are increasingly taking a Moneyball-style approach to judging their sides. Some chapters are a little less convincing – the attempt to rank national sides on achievement seemed a little more arbitrary to me. Still, for taking a minor, niche interest and making a mainstream book out of it, the authors should be commended.


The White Princess (Cousins' War)
The White Princess (Cousins' War)
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Wars of the Roses through another set of eyes, 12 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We’ve heard from Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Anne Neville. Now it’s the turn of Elizabeth of York to put forward her perspective of the Wars of the Roses. This series has been phenomenally successful and Philippa Gregory has done well to get into the heads of her historical characters while introducing just the right amount of dramatic license. However, I do wonder whether the Cousins’ War saga is beginning to run out of steam. Whereas The White Queen and The Red Queen followed women who were real players in the political manoeuvring, in The White Princess Elizabeth is more of an onlooker. Henry VII lurches from crisis to similar crisis; Elizabeth claims to know nothing, continually aware of how vulnerable she is straddling the York and Tudor dynasties. A solid addition to the series, but not the best.


Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty
Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty
by Catherine Bailey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A real-life Downton Abbey, 29 July 2014
A landed aristocratic family in Yorkshire struggles to come to terms with the upheaval of the twentieth century. No, this isn't Downton Abbey, it's the real life saga of the Fitzwilliam family at Wentworth House near Barnsley. Julian Fellowes must have taken some inspiration from here. The family implodes over the course of four decades or so: arguments over legitimacy, marriage and class, divorce. One of the Earls dies in a plane crash with his mistress - who happens to be a sister of John F Kennedy - one dies in war, one drinks himself to death. To be honest, if Fellowes had included this in Downton Abbey, he'd be criticised for being unrealistic! Brilliantly written by Catherine Bailey - a real page-turner of a history book.


George Raynor: The Untold Story of English Football's Forgotten Giant
George Raynor: The Untold Story of English Football's Forgotten Giant
Price: 1.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Prior to getting this, I’d never heard of George Raynor... a football manager and coach in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Raynor took his sides to World Cups and Olympic Games. However, we Brits have mostly never heard of him because he primarily managed in Sweden and Italy, never finding a great deal of recognition in his home country. It’s an intriguing and interesting story and this book has made me want to know more about the man. You won’t get the full story here – this is a slim book, but at a cheap price it’s worth dipping into as an introduction and overview of a fascinating and overlooked aspect of football history.


Only Gold Matters: Cecil Griffiths, the Exiled Olympic Champion
Only Gold Matters: Cecil Griffiths, the Exiled Olympic Champion
by John Hanna
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The unknown Chariots of Fire, 15 July 2014
Most people have heard of Chariots of Fire and the legend of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell in the 1924 Olympics. This is the story of an athlete who was denied his chance to run alongside them. Cecil Griffiths was a gold medal winner in the 4x400 metres at the 1920 Olympics and was on course to replicate that success four years later, but he was subsequently banned from competition for accepting money earlier in his career. John Hanna explores Cecil’s life in this biography, but he also explains the tensions in 1920s athletics between professional and amateur, working class and upper class, South Wales and Oxbridge – tensions that Griffiths was a victim of. This is well-researched, and considering that Hanna is writing about a member of his own family, includes impressively impartial analysis of a sad case.


Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World
Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World
by James Hamilton-Paterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Britannia rules the skies, 1 July 2014
In the 1950s and 1960s, “Britain’s aircraft ruled the world” – at least, they did according to this book’s subtitle. That’s a very questionable statement – both USA and USSR would have had something to say about that – but there’s no doubt that British aircraft were among some of the best, and Hamilton-Paterson describes the history of this period. It starts very strongly, with a description of the accident at the 1952 Farnborough Air Show where a prototype DH110 crashed, killing two crew and sixty or so spectators. However, in a move symbolic of the entire aircraft industry at the time, the show went on and another prototype aircraft was sent up to display. Accidents were certainly common . British planes flew on the edge of technological expertise, which inevitably led to crashes. They also occurred, as Hamilton-Paterson explains, because of slapdash construction and managerial incompetence – but the failures were accepted in the pursuit of progress. This book is a personal history and does not include the factual depth or detail that an aircraft enthusiast might expect, but for a general reader, it’s an accessible history of the subject.


Bloody Crimes
Bloody Crimes
Price: 8.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Manhunt, but still enjoyable, 24 Jun 2014
This review is from: Bloody Crimes (Kindle Edition)
I came to this book having previously enjoyed Manhunt, James Swanson’s book about the chase of John Wilkes Booth after assassinating Lincoln. That was a great tale, with Booth being tracked down over twelve days and eventually killed in a firefight. There’s some overlap with this book and Swanson tries to replicate the drama, but the facts he has to work with here are much drier. Jefferson Davis did go on the run after the fall of the Confederacy, but he was quickly and limply captured – Swanson quashes the one bit of scandal, the rumour that Davis was caught trying to disguise himself as a woman. Running alongside the narrative of Davis’ escape is a description of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train carrying his body from Washington to Springfield, but here Swanson repeats much of the contemporary newspaper coverage and the descriptions of each stop get a tad repetitive. It’s still an interesting read and Swanson is clearly an expert in American history immediately after Lincoln’s assassination. However, in comparison to Manhunt, this is not as gripping a narrative.


Truman
Truman
by David McCullough
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars John Adams in the twentieth century, 10 Jun 2014
This review is from: Truman (Paperback)
This is a magisterial work dealing with one of the twentieth century's most overlooked Presidents. Truman found himself catapulted into key events in American and world history: the end of the Second World War, the decision to use atomic weapons, the Korean War, the beginnings of McCarthyism, the first stirrings of the Civil Rights movement. In this book, David McCullough pens a positive portrait of Truman as a well-meaning, down-to-earth Midwesterner who coped with each crisis as best he could. If you've read McCullough's John Adams - another biography of an overlooked President - you'll get much of the same here. It's a weighty and detailed tome, but if I have one complaint, it's that I'd have liked a little more depth on the decision to drop the atom bomb. It must rank as one of history's most important decisions, but McCullough glosses over it in comparison to some of his other subjects. However, this is still a fine biography.


Len Goodmans Lost London
Len Goodmans Lost London
by Len Goodman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Reminisces and photographs, 3 Jun 2014
Chirpy chappy Len Goodman tells the story of his home city in this book that will suit many-a-Londoner’s coffee table. It’s a pretty weighty hardback of nearly 250 pages, but it won’t take too long to read – there are lots of photographs of London over the past century or so, interspersed with some of Len’s memories of the city. Expect many pictures of Len grinning at you too!


Fighters Up
Fighters Up
Price: 2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple WW2 fighter action, 27 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fighters Up (Kindle Edition)
This is a Second World War action thriller, setting fighter pilots against both their German enemies and themselves. The dialogue is a little clunky, the characterisation isn’t particularly subtle, and there’s no real surprises in the plot, but otherwise this is an easy, enjoyable read. If you’re expecting Patrick Bishop, this isn’t for you. If you want Bernard Cornwell as a fighter pilot, this is for you.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-14