T Nation

The PWI Required Reading List


Luckily you aren’t an Armagh descendant or it would have been pistols at dawn. Fun coincidence though, and we have a bitchin’ flag.

The red hand is Ulster symbology for a, maybe apocryphal, ancient king who had made a bet with his competitor that whoever touched their hand to Ulster first would be its high king.

Seeing his boat was behind, he chopped off his hand and threw it onto the shore, winning his bet. Our flag is literally a severed hand!

Edit: Derail probably over.


I will find some Ulster history books worth a read for you and the sprogs. The last Ulster rebellion was known as the flight of the earls.

Ulster under Hugh O’Neill had won some victories against British forces and was looking to strike a final blow against English forces. Our Spanish allies (aided by indescribably shitty maps and appalling weather) landed in Kinsale, 300 miles into enemy territory. In order to relieve them, they made a forced winter march and lost the battle to the well rested British troops.

Upon his loss, Hugh O’Neill fled Ireland saying ‘I will return!’

He never would, he died in Europe attempting to solicit support from Spain and the Pope. His life ended in drunkenness and failure and there would be no major rebellions for 170 years thereafter.

God above, Irish history reads like a dirge.


Lol, I just ordered The Silk Roads before catching up on this thread…


Thank you! Yes, if something comes to mind please let me know.

usmcc, I don’t remember if you’re a Kindle reader, but that one caught my eye, too. Erg… Kindle price for The Silk Roads is $17.99. Paperback $12.93. It’s not intuitive. Fortunately, I have a really fantastic local library. I’m trying to own fewer physical books, unless it’s something that I really want to pour over and ponder, or have as a reference.


Well, don’t tell anyone, but I get a lot of books for free (including this one)… :wink:


I’m actually the opposite. I used to love my Kindle and I still use it from time to time, but I much prefer a real book in my hand. Storage is an issue, though…


Not a book, but I wondered if any of you are watching the PBS Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War? It’s just stunning. I’ve learned so much about the history on both sides. A heartbreaker, but really, really excellent.

We’re instant streaming it right now with a PBS app on our TV. It’s 10 episodes, about 1.5 hours each. I believe it’s free this month. We have a PBS annual subscription/ membership, which is another way to go if you want the flexibility to watch it later. Worth it.



It’s definitely on my to watch list. (If I can keep from becoming too emotional, that is.)


With all the tragedy today, I thought I’d put up something really, really beautiful. Appropriate for PWI because there’s so much American experience, history in this short clip. Bo Bartlett growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.

Only 12 :48 minutes.

Anyway, so much to think about. His art, growing up in America during that time. Conflict both in his family, and reflected in our country with all the tumult. The dreams he has in his childhood home. The things that gave his life meaning and beauty. Relationships with his family. His relationship with his sister, what a gift.

Bartlett’s words at the end. Paraphrasing… the part about living honestly, without fear, to tell their own stories with an open heart and an open mind. Ultimately, though we must rise above our stories…


A very interesting book. Much more on the social conservative side. He rejects free market economics as a destructive force. Still a fascinating read.


My uncle was pretty upset with it. (A vet.) My father in law hasn’t commented if he watched it or not. I’ll get around to it eventually.

I’ll add two seemingly odd ball books and explain why if anyone cares:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Count of Monte Cristo


We’re always looking back with the benefit of hindsight. The series definitely paints a picture that it was a no win situation early on, and that a lot of people thought that we could not win, but we still failed to pull out, maybe for reasons of political expediency, or because we couldn’t admit that the a power like the US could fail. It’s hard to know how accurate that is, since humans tend to look back and think we saw things coming, or knew how it would go.


My favorite book, bar none.


Would be interested to hear your thoughts on it.


A bit of poetry for y’all. Chokes me up everytime even without being a yank.


Yeah, a lot of good life lesson themes within it.


Count of Monte Cristo, count me in.

Although I already love the book (and even enjoy one or two of the movie adaptations!) and have my own reasons, I would be glad to read @countingbeans reasoning why he included it here.


Your father was KIA in Vietnam, correct?


Correct. He was an Air Force fighter pilot. It was very early in the war (1964), so his squadron was heavily involved in training South Vietnamese pilots. He and a SV pilot were flying a nighttime mission supporting ground troops when they were struck by ground fire. He ordered the SV pilot to eject; he was recovered by friendly forces. Apparently, my father was trying to fly the wounded plane to the sea, but was forced to eject over land. He was captured by enemy forces and, per reports, beaten to death on the spot.


That’s tough and I hate that for you, ED - but proud to learn another story about another American hero. There are so many whose stories are worth knowing. Thanks for sharing.