Good books?

Discussion created by anadyr on Mar 15, 2013
Latest reply on Apr 21, 2013 by mish916

Well I like to read and nonfiction is my favorite kind of book.  My wife, on the other hand, likes novels (wonder why?) and we occasionally trade off, one kind for the other. 

This got me to thinking that many of us read while on the road too, and perhaps we could start a thread about good books that we've enjoyed. We could call it Anadyr's Book Club or something? Ahem, but I digress.

I am nearly finished with a new book called Blackett's War, by historian Stephen Budiansky.  It's a fascinating, well-researched book about the scientists who were involved with the Allied war effort before and during World War II to make sense of both Axis weaponry (U Boats being the most talked about in the book) and their own need for countermeasures.

I have always been intrigued by the incredible intelligence (in all sense of that word) that went into breaking the Enigma machine that the Germans used, first at Bletchley Park in the UK and later in the US.  Having been to the National Cryptologic Museum a number of times and involved with the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, a Navy ship to shore listening post on Cape Cod largely responsible for spotting most U Boats in the war, I keep looking for new evidence of the brilliant men and women who toiled to defeat the Axis in the war.

Budiansky details the perseverance of the scientists, many of whom had to overcome both bureaucratic inertia and other embedded interests who were seen as more credible than they.  One adviser to Winston Churchill came up with far-fetched schemes to thwart the Nazi's U-Boats, wasting time and effort in the process. Patrick Blackett and others needed to give good scientific advice while circumscribing this adviser.

All in all, a good read, plenty of archival primary source research, and filled with wonder of that time and place when the world was nearly overrun by the Fascists.