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Old 05-19-2009, 11:25 AM   #1
dwallbaum
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Free histories?

Gentlefolk;

Newbie here, so I am just feeling my way around... and have fallen hard for my Kindle2.

I appreciate what Jeffrey A. Carver is doing, and hope that the SciFi world really gravitates to the eBook realm. If Heinlein and Ellison become available...

However, my current interest is history, particulary military history, and I was wondering what sites there might be for free/cheap good military history? I do have "The Peloponsean War" by Thucydides, but frankly, I haven't tackled this yet, hoping to find something a bit more current....

Thank you!

Don
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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Blegh, I hated Thucydides. Try Caesar's "The Gallic Wars" (he was a military genius) or you could try Suetonius (for more general history).
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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Go to Fictionwise.com and select the category. Then sort by price, lowest to highest. They have quite a few free or nearly free history books.

EDIT: I don't know if anything will fit a K2 without a lot of reformatting.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
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I posted this website not long ago, perhaps you could use it to make yourself a few ebooks for your Kindle.

An online compendium detailing all of Britain's battles from the 18th Century to the end of the 19th Century.

-MJ
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwallbaum View Post
[SNIP]If Heinlein and Ellison become available...[SNIP]
Baen acquired rights to some of Heinlein's works. As they reprint, those books become available in bit at Baen's usual low price with no DRM. Go check it out at www.baen.com and www.webscription.net

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Old 05-19-2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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Look up Harold Lamb at archive.org, he wrote several, as well as some fine adventure stories.

About Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, The Crusaders, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_...al_biographies
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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If you are game for a historical novel to make reading military history a little more palatable, I recommend the Colleen McCullogh series: The First Man of Rome, The Grass Crown, Ceasar: A Novel.

She gets consistently high marks for historical accuracy and is an talented author known for producing an engaging novel (like her early work The Thorn Birds). I've read a good deal of military historical fiction genre works and I highly recommend her books.

Currently most of her novels are not available for the Kindle and I'm hesitant to press the link for "tell the Publisher I'd like to read this on a Kindle" since I don't own one. In fact this whole post might be a waste since I can't find a single version of the three novels I cited above in ANY ebook format. Regrettable that only the new stuff and really old stuff is available. I hope we don't end up relagating the quality works between 1923 and 2005 to the dustbin of literature because they didn't come along at the right time be made available in digital format.

Last edited by pking36330; 05-19-2009 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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Almost all of Ellison is available:
http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/Ha...isoneBooks.htm
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:30 PM   #9
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http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Wars_Bookshelf

The Civil War shelf is quite good. Amazon also has quite a few free war histories available but it takes some searching. Both Phil Sheridan's and W.T. Sherman's autobiographies are there (in SciFi oddly enough.)


(Edit; to combine your interests note that Andre Norton wrote a couple of Civil War/Westerns.)

Last edited by NormHart; 05-19-2009 at 01:32 PM. Reason: OBTW
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
Blegh, I hated Thucydides. .
I have to stick up for Thucydides here. His history of the Athens/Sparta war is an amazing story. Yes, it's a very long tale, because it was a very long war. He invented "military history" as a genuine discipline for goodness's sake, written by a general who was a participant, and yet who kept a very objective analytical perspective. Give the man some credit :-)
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DojoPat View Post
I have to stick up for Thucydides here. His history of the Athens/Sparta war is an amazing story. Yes, it's a very long tale, because it was a very long war. He invented "military history" as a genuine discipline for goodness's sake, written by a general who was a participant, and yet who kept a very objective analytical perspective. Give the man some credit :-)
Well, yeah, but when you hate Greek to begin with and you're translating it...it starts to burn. At least Xenophon was easy.

Plus Greeks bore me. Give me my crazy Romans
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:19 PM   #12
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Google Books has *lots* of everything - I'm researching slave narratives right now, and it's incredible being able to read books that were written *at the time*.

I don't know what period you might be interested in, but give Google Books a shot.

I'm reading the free epubs from the Sony Library, but Googe Book Search has even more in PDF format.

You can use Calibre to reformat the epubs. The PDFs, not so much.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Another good site for primary sources is the Internet Archive.

http://www.archive.org/details/texts
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:30 PM   #14
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And you may find it worthwhile to spend $9.99 at Amazon for some more recent military historians like Hastings (WWII: Armageddon, Retribution, and Overlord), Halberstam (Korea: Coldest Winter; Vietnam: Best and Brightest) and Atkinson (WWII).
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:20 AM   #15
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HI DojoPat;

Oh, I give Thucydides all the credit in the world!!! But I am still catching my breath from Kagen's "The Peloponessian War" - in which Kagen cheerfully pirates whole sections from Thucydides, unabashedly and with admiration.

Some books you pick up casually and get drawn into (the Hobbit trilogy or the Lensman series come to mind). Others you have to get psyched up for - Churchill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples" for example, in its eight-volume splendour.

I have Thucydides pulled down but haven't tackled him yet. I suspect that the brilliance of Thucydides has a lot to do with the brilliance of the translator.

Don


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Originally Posted by DojoPat View Post
I have to stick up for Thucydides here. His history of the Athens/Sparta war is an amazing story. Yes, it's a very long tale, because it was a very long war. He invented "military history" as a genuine discipline for goodness's sake, written by a general who was a participant, and yet who kept a very objective analytical perspective. Give the man some credit :-)
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