VWF Book Club?

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VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 15 Oct 2009 02:58

On occasion, the VWF staff have discussed ways in which we can encourage more "academic" discussions. At times the research requests and other identification topics can dominate the forum. That is not to say that type of discussion is bad--it is certainly part of why we exist. :) However, we all agree that the forum and its membership would benefit from a few good academic discussions every now and then.

We felt that one way to enrich the VWF experience is to start something like a Victorian Wars Forum Book Club. Basically we would select a book and members could opt to read it and participate in a moderated discussion to take place in a dedicated sub-forum. Each book discussion would be moderated by a member who, in addition to reading the book, would be responsible for moderating the discussion. This would include coming up with discussion points, questions, and generally moving the discussion along. Given life's other priorities we felt that one book per month (as is traditional in many book clubs) might be a bit of a strain on time for readers and moderators. Therefore we thought the book club discussions would be held quarterly.

Does this sound like a realistic undertaking and one we might enjoy? Any members who are sincerely interested in participating in and/or leading book club activities and discussions, please reply in this topic. Once we have gauged interest we can move forward with more specific planning.

Thank you for your feedback!

Jonathan
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Mark » 16 Oct 2009 08:40

Anyone fancy suggesting the first book to read?

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby SWB » 22 Oct 2009 13:27

Jonathan,

An interesting idea. Can I suggest the VWF host an area for people to record their views on contemporary military history books and autobiographies?

For instance I have just read (selectively) Bindon Blood's autobiography Four Score Years and Ten and found it fairly useless given his considerable campaign service. His chapter on his experiences in South Africa in 1901 was too broad to be of much use. Most of his time in India was apparently spent killing animals and his descriptions of this are far more detailed and better than of his campaigning on the North-West Frontier and Zululand.

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 22 Oct 2009 13:47

Meurig,
Please feel free to share your thoughts on any period or contemporary histories in the Reference Books & Other Materials sub-forum. I encourage all members to use that section to review and discuss books.

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Mark » 22 Oct 2009 15:15

Come on guys - any interest here?

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 22 Oct 2009 15:29

This does not have to be quite so rigid as I may have made it sound. The discussion moderator would really just be responsible for getting the discussion going. After that, its just talking about a book. :) It is meant to be a fun way to promote discussion, so please don't be intimidated!
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Sabreur » 23 Oct 2009 03:22

It sounds interesting, but might be made more intriguing with some suggestions on titles. Fiction or non-fiction? General or specific to a campaign/battle? Something original from the period or modern? Whatever it is should be reasonably accessible.

So suggestions ? :?:
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 23 Oct 2009 03:44

I think we we focus on non-fiction, at least at first. Maybe a bit of Flashman would be in order later. :D Otherwise I think the field is pretty wide open. I think we should stick to books that are in print, and in paperback editions when possible. So are you saying you're up for it? :) If you have any books in mind feel free to make a suggestion. Right now I am just trying to gauge the level of interest in participating in a book club. Thank you for your response!

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Mark » 23 Oct 2009 11:18

To kick things off I would go with something currently in print for ease of obtaining the book.

Since there seems to be a lot of interest on the forum in the Second Afghan War how about the following title:

The Road to Kabul: The Second Afghan War 1878-1881 by Brian Robson.

This is just a suggestion and I am open to any others members might have.

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby SWB » 23 Oct 2009 18:33

Done.

Thanks & regards
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 26 Oct 2009 15:29

Now that it is back in print I think that is a great suggestion, Mark. Are there any other suggestions? Are any members interested in reading Road to Kabul and discussing it in a few months? Are any members interested in leading this first book discussion?
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby kaiser » 29 Oct 2009 01:18

Two book i'd would like to plug :D :D both are by Saul David:

The Indian Mutiny, and Zulu

Both are great reads, and really need to added to your bookshelf
Mon General, if by you action the British Army is annihilated, England will never pardon France, and France will not be able to pardon you! Always looking for medals to the Irish Regiments: 18th, 27th, 83rd, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th,
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby SWB » 31 Oct 2009 19:56

Without wishing to stir an Anglo-Zulu War argument - there are enough forums dedicated to that, Saul David's Zulu War was roundly panned by critics, ones you trust such as Ian Knight. The book contains a huge number of factual errors and errors of judgement - http://www.azwrs.com/view.php?book=24. I read a number of reviews before receiving a copy of the book. When I read the introduction where Saul David admits he wrote the book in 12 months, I stopped reading.

How can a supposedly serious historian write a book on a subject like the Anglo-Zulu War that has been so well researched and debated to the nth degree in just 12 months with no previous knowledge of the subject. It would take 12 months to read and digest everything that has been written and revisit orginal sources, let alone begin to formulate an opinion. In my opinion Saul David was jumping on a bandwagon, and fell off.

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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Mark » 03 Nov 2009 09:44

Any other suggestions anyone?

Mark :)
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Re: VWF Book Club?

Postby Jonathan » 16 Dec 2009 17:02

Feel free to respond here if you are interested in participating. However, I think this idea will need to be put on hold until more people indicate interest in participating.
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