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The best books of 2004

By Steven Martinovich
web posted January 3, 2005

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the ArcticA journey to the end of the world: In 1921 a small party ventured into the remote Arctic in search of adventure with tragic results. Jennifer Niven tells their story in Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic and Steve Martinovich found it compelling

The war for our survival: Steve Martinovich believes that Civilization and its Enemies: The Next Stage of History ranks as one of the most important books written in the post-September 11 era

Many shades of folly: Sen. Zell Miller, to employ understatement, is a plain spoken man. Roger Banks says that's what makes A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat such a valuable read, especially for Democrats

The six that changed the world: Steve Martinovich found The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet to be a fabulous history of the major personalities guiding the Bush administration's foreign policy

Atkinson's In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat in IraqHow the war was won: Outside of some minor quibbles about his editorializing, Steve Martinovich thought Rick Atkinson's In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat in Iraq is the standard by which future books about the war against Saddam Hussein will be judged

The days that saved the United States: It wasn't perfect but Steve Martinovich thinks David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing, the story of the early days of the American Revolution, is an impressive bit of scholarship and writing

How neoconservatives are ruining the world: Steve Martinovich doesn't agree with a lot of what the authors of Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk had to say but he's willing to allow they do make some interesting points

A vision for the future: Steve Martinovich found Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century to be an engaging and remarkable call for a new grand vision for the United States

The American king: The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan tells the absolutely true story of a 19th century American who decided to become a king in Afghanistan and Steve Martinovich thought it was a thrilling story

The legend of Dresden: Dr. John W. Nelson finds Frederick Taylor's Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945, a look at the devastation brought on that city by Allied bombers, to be a first-rate piece of work

From Head to Toe: An Anatomical AnthologyMark Steyn's beautiful body: Nothing makes Steve Martinovich happier than a new book by Mark Steyn and with From Head to Toe: An Anatomical Anthology he's very happy

The new face of warfare: Steven Martinovich came away very impressed by Evan Wright's Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American War, a story of the men who fought the Iraq war

The imperfect democracy: The democratic revolution that opened up Mexico just four years ago passed by largely unnoticed by the world. Steve Martinovich says Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy rectifies that

Surviving the most dangerous game: What does it feel like to be hunted for simply being who you are? Steve Martinovich says you gain an appreciation of the answer in Hiding in Plain Sight: The Incredible True Story of a German-Jewish Teenager's Struggle to Survive in Nazi-Occupied Poland

Reviving Roosevelt's agenda: Steve Martinovich wasn't convinced by Cass Sunstein's The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever but he thought it was interesting nevertheless

America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take PowerConservatives and their wily use of alternative media: Carol Devine-Molin has nothing but praise for America's Right Turn: How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power, the story of how the New Right came to power using technology to spread the word

The man behind the legend: The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great could have been a simple hack and slash novel but Steve Martinovich says that Steven Pressfield instead outdid himself

A battle that changed the world: Barry Strauss argues in The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization that a naval battle in 480BC saved Western civilization. Steve Martinovich isn't sold on that notion but he thinks the book is still a rousing success

The story of America's First Couple: It had some problems, noticably in what it didn't cover but Bob Colacello's Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House -- 1911 to 1980 was still interesting, Steve Martinovich says

Truth that's better than fiction: Steve Martinovich says that Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know About Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine is a fascinating look at the real history behind the early Christian church

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

  • The Best Books of 2003 by Steven Martinovich (December 22, 2003)
    Book editor Steve Martinovich announces his picks for the best books of 2003
  • The Best Books of 2002 by Steven Martinovich (January 6, 2003)
    Steve Martinovich picks the books he thought were the best of 2002


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