Dr. John C. Hitt
President, University of Central Florida
My Favorite Books
The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad by
History has much to teach us, and I am an eager student of historical fiction and non-fiction. Two of my favorite books deal with events experienced by the ďgreatest generationĒ during World War II. 1491 describes pre-Columbian civilizations with details recently discovered that are still unknown to most non-historians. Finally, Wolf Hall (winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize) is a brilliantly written account of Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, and their struggle for power.
D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by
Charles C. Mann
Alan Furstís espionage novels, beginning with Night Soldiers
John Sanfordís detective novels, beginning with Rules of Prey (1989).
Caesar: Life of a Colossus (2006), Adrian Goldsworthy.
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall
of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American
History (2011), S. C. Gwynne.
My preference for history is also evident in this list. Alan Furstís novels are rooted in pre-World War II Eastern Europe, and they are all a good read. So are the volumes in John Sandfordís Prey series. The biography of Caesar captures the spirit of the man and his time that has much to teach us today. Empire, on the other hand, plots the demise of the great Comanche nation as American manifest destiny rolls westward.