Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for June 14–20

Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for June 14–20
Dustin Bass
Jeff Minick
Barbara Danza
This week, we feature an exciting epic on an Earth-orbiting lab and an analysis of the youth of one of World War II’s most decorated American leaders.


By Ben Evans

When Spacelab officially started in 1973, it was the first international space partnership. It led to the consolidation of existing European space programs into the European Space Agency. Between 1983 and 1998, Spacelab gave NASA and the world an orbiting science laboratory. This comprehensive one-volume history tells the Spacelab story from its beginning to its end: It covers every mission, explores the politics involved, and presents the program’s legacy.

Springer, 2024, 455 pages


By C.S. Lewis

Screwtape is a senior demon in Hell. His nephew Wormwood is entering the family business as a junior tempter. Wormwood’s first assignment is securing a British man’s damnation. The book consists of 31 letters that Screwtape sends counseling his nephew on the methods to do so. A sly satire, it defends Christianity by inverting values. Screwtape presents virtue as bad and sin as good. Deftly skewering modern secularism, it remains as relevant today as when it was originally published in 1942.

HarperOne, 2001, 224 pages


By Josiah Bunting III

In this biography of George C. Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State, creator of the Marshall Plan, and Nobel Prize winner; Mr. Bunting focuses on this extraordinary man’s formative years. From his education at the Virginia Military Institute to his brilliant performance as aide-de-camp to Gen. John Pershing in World War I, Marshall always put the job to be done ahead of his ambition. It’s an excellent study about the maturation of a great American leader.

Knopf, 2024, 272 pages


By Niall Ferguson

History has witnessed great empires: the Assyrian, Persian, Alexandrian, Roman, and even the very brief Napoleonic Empire. But none compare to the vast holdings on both land and sea of the British Empire. Niall Ferguson, whom Andrew Roberts considers “the most brilliant British historian of his generation,” presents how this island kingdom spread its economics, literature, religion, and language throughout the globe, touching every continent. Truly a brilliant historical presentation.

Penguin Group, 2004, 422 pages


Edited by Paul Negri

Here are 30 “quick reads by great writers,” stories averaging six pages in length. Mr. Negri has collected fiction from the 17th to the 20th centuries, aiming to acquaint the busy reader with some of the world’s best and most entertaining literary minds as quickly as possible. Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” Willa Cather’s “The Enchanted Bluff,” and Guy De Maupassant’s “A Piece of String” are just a few of the tersely told tales meriting our attention.

Dover Publications, 2005, 208 pages

For Kids

By Elsa Beskow

Popular Swedish children’s book author Elsa Beskow tells the lovely story of a kind village man named Peter. He has many skills, talents, and is always willing to lend a helping hand. When he’s told by a bureaucrat that his tattered house might have to be torn down, the village community he’s given so much to lends helping hands of their own. Originally published in 1949, this new edition is a classic for the next generation.

Floris Books, 2021, 28 pages
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Dustin Bass is an author and co-host of The Sons of History podcast. He also writes two weekly series for The Epoch Times: Profiles in History and This Week in History.