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markk

markk

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The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal
Robert Chiles

My summer 2018 reading assessment

It's Labor Day here in the States (take that international socialists and British English!), which is the popular end point of summer for us. It's an ideal point to look back on the reading goals I detailed back on May Day (or Labor Day for most of the rest of the world) and judge how well i did in achieving them.

 

1) Reading modern European history. As I indicated, I started by reading Richard Evans's The Pursuit of Power. Four months later, I'm still reading Evans's book, though I read a few others for reviewing and podcast purposes that fit the category, as well as the first volume of the Wilhelm bio that I've been working my way through in fits and starts. If I were grading myself, I would probably give myself a D+, maybe a C-.

 

2) The Chaco War. This one was an outright fail. I acquired the books, only to de-prioritize them to the point where I realized I wasn't going to get them anytime soon, so back to the library they went.

 

3) The Hornblower novels. I ended up not reading more of Forster's novels, either, though this was largely because my decision a few days later to reread the early Star Trek novels. For the original assignment, another F; for the substitute, after 24 novels read or re-read, I believe I earned a solid A.

So in the end I did achieve more of my reading goals, though admittedly the bar was pretty low to start. Still, I enjoyed immensely nearly all of what I read and isn't that the real goal?