Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past
This is a very interesting book that is equally interesting for the
specific popular falsehoods that it addresses, as well as for the
understanding of how history is made and how such falsehoods become
not only widely believed, but institutionalized and taught in
schools. The books deals mainly wiith myths surrounding the creation
of the United States of America and the Revolutionary War.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
This is a highly acclaimed book that I highly recommend and which
goes a log way to explain differences in civilizations around the
world, and the rise of the dominance of Western Civilization,
without appeals to either divinity or racial superiority.
Ten days that Shook the World by Reed and Taylor (1917)
This book is pretty much required reading for any student of the
The Russians by Hedrick Smith (1976)
This is one of the best books I've ever read and was widely hailed in
it's day as one of the best books of the time. You can pick this book up
for almost nothing and it is by far the best few dollars you will ever
spend. Even today this is considered one of the best books on what life
was really like in the Soviet Union during the height of the Communist
Lusitania by Diane Preston
This is a good narrative style book about the sinking of the Lusitania
and the events of that period.
Farewell to the Party of Lincoln by Nancy J. Weiss
Excellent and unique book that addresses a very important political
shift in American politics, when Black Americans began to desert the
Republican Party and move to the Democratic Party.
The Uses of Haiti by Paul Farmer
This book is written in the style of books by Noam Chomsky and
addresses similar issues. It's a very good book for people looking to
understand the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the role
that world powers, including the United States, have had in making it that
Hearst Over Hollywood by Louis Pizzitola
This book discuses a variety of aspects of the life and influences of
William Randolph Hearst, of note to me was his role in anti-Communist
IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black
This was a breakthrough book on the subject of the involvement of some
of America's largest institutions in the Holocaust, detailing how and
why IBM and other companies aided the Nazis.
Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict by Edwin Black
I participated in the writing of this book as a research assistant. This
book takes on familiar themes in the writings of Edwin Black, and does a
good job of covering the huge span of Iraqi history. This is an
excellent book if you want to get an overview of Iraqi history from
thousands of years ago up to today, and to see how that history
is relevant to today.
Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives by Edwin Black
This book follows general themes in Edwin's writings, and much of this
initial work came out of the research that was done for Banking on Baghdad.
The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich by Max Wallace
This is one of the leading books on the involvement of Henry Ford,
Charles Lindberg, and other Americans in supporting the Nazi regime
and helping them to build their war machine.
Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History by Hans Schmidt
One of the few biographies on perhaps one of most under appreciated and
fascinating people in American history.
Ho Chi Minh: A Life by William J Duiker
This is probably the leading biography on the fascinating life of Ho Chi
Minh, and is pretty balanced overall, coming to the same basic
conclusion that I have come to about Ho Chi Minh, which is that Ho Chi
Minh was primarily a nationalist and wanted to work with the United
States to obtain Vietnamese independence, not against us.
American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll by Orvin Larson
Biography of another of America's other unsung heroes which also sheds
light on a fascinating time in American history, the late 19th century,
when the Freethought movement and other social movements were in fully
swing and people were really exploring new ideas.
The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times by Adrienne Mayor
This is a groundbreaking and detailed expose on the use of fossils in
ancient Greece and their role in inspiring Greek mythology and
naturalistic understandings of the world. Highly recommended for anyone
interested in paleontology or ancient cultures or mythology.
Fossil Legends of the First Americans by Adrienne Mayor
This work follows up the similar book on the Greeks and discusses the
large extent to which Native Americans made use of fossils in their
culture, and how Native Americans helped get paleontology off the ground
in early America (for which they did not receive credit).
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
This is a silent film that portrays the KKK as saviors of American
culture. This is the largest grossing silent film of all time and was
highly popular when it came out. This is a must watch film for any
serious student of American race relations. Ironically, it is also a
must watch for any student of special effects history, as this was the
groundbreaking special effects film of its day.
Triumph of the Will (Special Edition) (1934)
Birth of a Nation, this was a groundbreaking cinematic
film of its time, but it was also a major piece of propaganda. This was
the premier propaganda film for the Nazis during Hitler's reign and
should be watched by any student of Nazi Germany. Be sure to get this
Special Edition version, since it has subtitles and a voice-over that
explains the film as well. Be sure to watch it more than once, one time
with the voice over and one time without it, but with subtitles instead
to see first hand what they are saying.
Frank Capra's WWII: Why We Fight - American Propaganda Films of WWII
A very interesting series of American propaganda films from the World War
II era. Most fascinating for me were the ones on Russia and China. There
is a lot of pro-Stalin propaganda in the one about Russia because we
were allies at the time.
The Atomic Cafe (1982) (DVD)
A great history lesson for younger generations who have no idea what the
Cold War was like or about. Of course this is concentrated viewing,
it's not like people were bombarded with these messages every day, but
this shows many of the government films about nuclear war that were
shown on TV and in schools during the height of the Cold War.
The Fog of War - Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2004)
This is an excellent film about Vietnam that is basically just an
interview with Robert McNamara and his discussion of the mistakes he
the lessons he learned.
Going Upriver - The Long War of John Kerry (2004)
This film is worth seeing even if you are not a John Kerry fan just for
the Vietnam War era footage, both in Vietnam and of the protests in