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The History Reader – A History Blog from St. Martins Press

The History Reader - A History Blog From St. Martins Press

by James S. Forrester, M.D.

Chapter 2 What Man Meant for Evil, God Meant for Good

In June 1944 at the D-Day beach landings, Dwight Harken was brought a dying soldier with a gaping injury to his sternum and ribs. The heart s right ventricle lies directly behind the sternum, Nature s impenetrable bony shield. Ancients saw Nature s logic. The word sternum descends from the Greek word sternon, meaning a soldier s breastplate. As his assistants used retractors to widen Harken s field of view within the chest cavity, he saw shrapnel had penetrated the right ventricle. Read more [1][2]

The History Reader - A History Blog From St. Martins Press

by Susan Ronald

When I stepped into a large, Swiss bank vault in 1998 in my previous life as an investment banker, I had no idea that I would see a tiny portion of one of the greatest private looted art hoards of World War II. Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of Hitler s four horsemen of the art apocalypse wrought on Europe s museums and citizenry, had magically gone unnoticed by the world at large. Yet he succeeded in running rings round the Monuments Men and Hitler alike. It seems odd to me now that I knew some fifteen years before the news broke that Gurlitt had squirreled away tens of thousands of works of looted art into Swiss vaults and other hiding places. It was only in the writing of the book that I discovered he not only hid his own ill-gotten gains but also those of the Nazi elite. Read more [3]

The History Reader - A History Blog From St. Martins Press

by Nancy Marie Brown

1. Take off your shirt.

Berserk comes from an Old Norse word meaning bare-shirt or, maybe, bear-shirt. Snorri Sturluson, the 13th-century Icelander who is our main source of Viking lore, isn t clear (maybe on purpose). In his Edda, Snorri defines berserks as warriors dedicated to the Norse god Odin. Immune to fire and iron, berserks wore no armor. Read more [4][5]

The History Reader - A History Blog From St. Martins Press

by Judith Flanders

In 1857, the 250th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, were announced to have been held exactly on the spot where the first log-cabin was built . In reality, Jamestown s earliest permanent houses were made of strong boards that is, sawn timber, and the first use of the term log-cabin can be traced back only to 1750. Log cabin history isn t always as it seems. Read more [6][7]

The History Reader - A History Blog From St. Martins Press

by Ian Plenderleith

Everyone knows that the New York Cosmos was the baddest, sexiest team in the old North American Soccer League, right? They had Pel , Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer. They were owned by Warner Communications, hung out in Studio 54 with Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol and Muhammed Ali, and flew to games in a private jet. They filled the Meadowlands in New Jersey an NFL stadium to capacity. They scored a ton of goals, and they won the most championships. Who could dispute that they were the NASL s flagship team, the franchise that propelled the league to global notoriety, and whose excesses catalysed its early demise? Read more [8][9]


  1. ^ Dwight Harken (
  2. ^ Read more (
  3. ^ Read more (
  4. ^ maybe on purpose (
  5. ^ Read more (
  6. ^ Jamestown (
  7. ^ Read more (
  8. ^ old North American Soccer League (
  9. ^ Read more (

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