World War II

Foyle’s War

March 31, 2014

History buff-ery can lead you to unexpected places. Recently it’s led My Own True Love and I to our living room in front of the television, where we are totally absorbed in the BBC television series Foyle’s War.* It’s a police procedural set during World War II in the town of Hastings** on the southeast […]

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Blood Royal: A Medieval CSI Team In Action

March 15, 2014

In Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris, medievalist Eric Jager returns to the world of medieval true crime stories that he popularized in The Last Duel. On a cold night in November, 1407, a band of masked men assassinated Louis of Orleans, the powerful and unpopular brother of the […]

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Plane Spotting

December 4, 2013

Like anyone who has spent time hanging around the British or American homefronts of World War II, I am familiar with the concept of plane spotting.* Plane spotters were trained to look at planes on the horizon and  ask “How many?” “Where are they headed?” “Are they ours or the enemy’s?” It never dawned on […]

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On War, Part 2

November 26, 2013

After last Friday’s post about the Pritzker Military Library’s symposium, On War, I got a challenging e-mail from a reader, asking me for the titles of definitive histories for World War I, World War II and Vietnam.* My first response was “danged if I know.” My second response was doubt that there is a definitive […]

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On War: An Opinionated Report

November 23, 2013

Last week My Own True Love and I attended On War: Exploring 20th Century Conflict, a military history seminar at Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library. I promised to report back. The short version? Wow! Four wars, four sessions. (1) I came away with pages of notes and two major takeaways: • I know nothing about the […]

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The Nazi and the Psychiatrist

September 17, 2013

I’ve been looking forward to reading Jack El-Hai’s The Nazi and the Psychiatrist ever since I heard him talk about it at a conference in April. Now that I’ve seen the book trailer, I’m even more excited about it. Take a peek: http:// [If you subscribe to History in the Margins by e-mail, you probably […]

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Home Front Girl

December 27, 2012

A couple of weekends ago–in between baking ham, slicing sweet potatoes, chopping cranberries and rolling out biscuit dough– I gave myself the treat of reading Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature and Growing Up in Wartime America. And a treat it was. Born in 1922, Joan Wehlen, later Joan Wehlen Morrison, grew up […]

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Road Trip Through History: Portsmouth

December 11, 2012

My Own True Love and I went to Portsmouth primarily to visit the Historic Dockyards. Restored historic ships, the story of the Tudor warship the Mary Rose, the history of the dockyards themselves–it sounded right up our alley. And in fact it was. The quality of the exhibits ranged from the fabulous to the dated […]

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Road Trip Through History: Dover

October 30, 2012

Image courtesy of Webzoloo via Creative Commons Dover is the reason My Own True Love and I headed to England. I had questions related to one of my personal writing projects that could only be answered on the ground. We weren’t expecting much. The guidebooks all say something along the lines of “this workaday town […]

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Antony Beevor’s The Second World War

June 29, 2012

When Antony Beevor’s The Second World War arrived in the mail*, I was intimidated. I read and write about war-related topics a lot, but I wasn’t sure I was up to almost 800 pages of pure military history. I didn’t need to worry. Beevor begins his broad-sweeping history with the story of a single Korean […]

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