The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Annual Admiral Of The Ocean Sea Appreciation Post

Posted on | October 12, 2020 | Comments Off on Annual Admiral Of The Ocean Sea Appreciation Post

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Today President Trump proclaimed Columbus Day, taking a swing at “radical activists” trying to undermine the legacy of the great explorer. Well, the best defense against these leftist ninnies is the truth, and what better way to find the truth than by reading Samuel Eliot Morison’s classic Admiral of the Ocean Sea, a “vivid and definitive” biography buttressed by Morison’s 1939 expedition to retrace the route taken by Columbus on his way to the New World. As for the radical activists, Conquistador-chan has a few words:*

Defending Western Civilization, even if only on the Internet, gets tiresome, and while admiring pretty girls is good, settling down with a good book is also good. I’d like to recommend Larry Correia’s latest novel, Destroyer of Worlds, the third in his “Saga Of The Forgotten Warrior” series. Former Protector Ashok Vadal has survived his battle against the assassins’ guild, and now leads an army of untouchables to what they all hope is safety, but his former brothers are on his trail, eager to bring him down and end the rebellion. Correia has done an excellent job of depicting a society based on the Indian caste system, as well as creating a cast of characters suited to the epic tale he’s telling.

While at the Emergency Holographic Convention in Clarksville last month, I picked up a copy of Michael Z. Williamson’s Tide of Battle, which is half short stories and half humor along the lines of his Hugo-nominated collection Wisdom From My Internet. The short stories are a mix of tales from the Freehold universe and elsewhere; there’s science fiction and fantasy, including the chilling “Soft Casualties” and the amusing zombie apocalypse tale “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Grandpa?” Very much worth your time.

I also reread the original There Will Be War anthology, edited by the late Jerry Pournelle & John F. Carr; this is a treasure trove of outstanding short SF including the original version of Orson Scott Card’s legendary “Ender’s Game”, and also includes some important historical documents on the roots of what became the Strategic Defense Initiative.

I was fortunate enough to find a hardback copy of Alistair Horne’s The Fall Of Paris: The Siege And The Commune in a local used bookstore, which means I now have his complete Franco-Prussian Wars trilogy…anyhow, Horne is unsparing in his criticism of the inept Second Empire and the feckless Communards who took over Paris mere months after the city was surrendered to the Imperial German Army, which itself had only recently been assembled from the armies of the several German states by the legendary “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck. One can’t stop there, though, for the surrender of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany in the treaty that ended the war bred a thirst for revenge even as the French Army learned all the wrong lessons from its humiliations in 1870. This sets the stage for The Price Of Glory, which is mainly about the horrific Battle of Verdun, but by necessity also provides a precis of the First World War on all three fronts (four if you want to include the U-boat campaign) by way of illustrating the political and military pressures that drove the Germans and the Allies on the Western Front. Which brings us around to Morison again; Admiral Morison was forthright in his belief that history should be written in a manner both authoritative and popular (i.e readable by the average fellow), and Horne’s books are both.

*Yes, this pertains more to the Aztecs than the rest of the Native American tribes, but it applies to the ones that weren’t cannibals, too.

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