Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas Ricks
I’m a few chapters into this and am already hooked. It is the story of how these two men, so different from each other, found a common cause in the defeat of tyranny. The author also demonstrates the power of ideas when they are clearly and compellingly spoken and written.
The Holocaust: A New History by Laurence Rees
I’ve read the first chapter. Already the author is exploring the origins of the antisemitism which fueled the Holocaust. What is emerging is the troubling portrait of a sophisticated and resilient people who allowed themselves to accept or ignore unimaginable evil.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King
My plan is to begin digging into this by July.
The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power by Robert Caro
I began reading this in early May. It is the first of Caro’s three-volume masterpiece on the life of Lyndon Johnson. If you are wondering whether Johnson’s life is all that interesting, I understand. I had the same suspicions. But interesting would be an understatement. This is a thick, dense and utterly readable book. I look forward to each night that I am able to open this one up. It is shaping up to be one of the most pleasurable reading experiences I have had in a long time.
In Search of Churchill by Martin Gilbert
I have never attempted to trek through Gilbert’s massive 13 volume biography of Churchill (yes, 13 volumes). In this book Gilbert recounts his thirty year trek to understand his subject. Along the way Gilbert provides a look at Churchill through the eyes of fellow statesmen, soldiers, correspondents, and close associates.