Sunday, August 22, 2004

EyeWitness to - History through the eyes of those who lived it

Quite a few years ago, I bought a history book that was a collection of simple accounts of historical events written by those who had observed them. The book was edited by John Carey and the dust jacket claimed that the book was composed on unvarnished accounts that were "vivid, immediate, [and] firsthand." I've always enjoyed the contrast this book's vignettes provided for the stale reportage of most volumes of history and whenever I need a short break from my other readings, I will pick the book up and read a single chapter for the pleasure it provides.

The account of the Murder of Archduke Ferdinand, for instance, is written by one of the conspirators. His firsthand story of the event colors the sometimes dull fact that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand precipitated World War I. The book shines light and interest where, for me, very little exists. I am delighted to see that Ibis Communications has developed a website that delivers the same material and more from a website that anyone can read and enjoy. - History through the eyes of those who lived it


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