What We're Reading: Part I
Historical Trips are very lucky in that we have a fantastic range of Guide Lecturers, all experts in their field and all able to convey their knowledge and passion for their subject when on tour. In addition to this, nearly all have committed their thoughts to paper and have written some of the best books available in their chosen areas. Over the next two e-shots, I will list ten of my favourites.
So, without further ado, here are the first five:
Nigel Jones – The War Walk
This was Nigel Jones’ first book and, in many ways, it is still my favourite of the many he has written. As a young man, the Historical Trips co-founder walked the length of the Western Front, committing his thoughts to paper. Part travel writing, part history, it has withstood the test of time very well, as well as benefitting from an excellent introduction by the great historian, Sir Alastair Horne.
Travel with Nigel on our The War Walk tour
Roger Moorhouse - The Devils’ Alliance
In his most recent book, Historical Trips co-founder Roger Moorhouse, seeks to explain the intricacies of the Nazi Soviet Pact – the alliance concluded by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the run-up to the Second World War. It was a grisly treaty with ‘secret protocols’ in which the two regimes agreed to carve up Eastern Europe between them. The book is not popular in Vladimir Putin’s Russia as it contains some uncomfortable truths, and perhaps that is a recommendation in its own right!
Travel with Roger on our Life and Death in Occupied Poland tour
Jason Elliot - Mirrors of the Unseen
Travel writer Jason Elliot wrote two extraordinary books in a short space of time. His book about Afghanistan, ‘An Unexpected Light’ won multiple awards and was closely followed by his book on Iran, ‘Mirrors of the Unseen.’ Jason’s love of Iran, its people, and its history leap from every page and, as a fluent Farsi speaker, he is able to convey rich details about the country he loves so much. Sadly, Jason cannot take you to Afghanistan, but he can take you to Iran…
Travel with Jason on our Mirrors of the Unseen tour
Dr Neil Faulkner – Lawrence of Arabia’s War
Friends of Neil Faulkner will tell you about his knowledge of, and passion for, a diverse range of subjects. Among his many books, however, I think his recent study of T. E. Lawrence really stands out and is a must-read for all Lawrence aficionados. Both a biography and an in-depth history of the region, Neil paints an intricate portrait of the man he has studied for ten years, drawing on his first hand experience as the excavator and preserver of Lawrence’s desert camps in Jordan.
Travel with Neil on our Romans, Crusaders & Lawrence of Arabia tour
Prof Gary Sheffield – The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army
Many of you will know that Douglas Haig is the man blamed for the unnecessary deaths of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers in the First World War. Pilloried in satires like ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ and ‘Blackadder’, he has become the scapegoat for the suffering and sacrifice in that conflict. In this book, Gary Sheffield paints a more nuanced picture. He explains that Haig was not alone in struggling to overcome the complexities of modern warfare, embraced technology when it became available, and ultimately won the War in the ‘Hundred Days’ campaign of 1918; described by many as the greatest feat of arms in the British army’s history.
Travel with Gary on our Battlefields of the First World War tour