Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some books and links to books...

1. Democracy in America: Perhaps one of the best travel books ever written. Alexis Tocqueville, a French historian and political scientist, looks hard at the strengths, impulses, contradictions and problems of the United States in 1835.

2. The Oregon Trail: Francis Parkman's 1840s' account of his travels through Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas, and of his three week stay with the Oglala Sioux.

3. Chach Nama or Tarikh i Hind Wa Sindh: The story of the Arab conquest of the Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of Sind in the seventh century, analyzed superbly by Naipaul in Among the Believers.

4. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1517-1521: Bernal Diaz del Castillo's eye-witness account of a different conquest at a different time and in a different part of the world. This account tells of the fall of the Aztec and their capital city of Tenochtitlan.