Book recommendation: The Great Siege, Malta 1565

Sadly topical, let me recommend The Great Siege, Malta 1565 by Ernie Bradford. For Americans softened by 150+ years without war on our soil, this is a sobering reminder of the nature of war and life in a besieged city. For those who are concerned about the fighting abilities of the innumerate 79-year-old whom Americans elected as our Commander in Chief, the book may provide some comfort. Suleiman the Magnificent, who ordered the siege, was nearly 71 years old at the time. Dragut, “The Drawn Sword of Islam”, who proved to be Suleiman’s best military leader, was 80 years old. Jean Parisot de Valette, who led the defense and gave his name to Malta’s capital, was 70.

Trigger Warning: the book’s author died in 1986, when Science was but poorly understood, and thus the book lacks coverage of how the 2SLGBTQQIA+ and BIPOC communities experienced the siege.


2 thoughts on “Book recommendation: The Great Siege, Malta 1565

  1. Another good book on the same subject: Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World
    I spent a month in Malta a few years ago, very impressive fortifications.
    Another recommendation a bit closer in time and space to current topical events: Mathematician for All Seasons
    Recollections and Notes Vol. 1 (1887-1945)
    by Hugo Steinhaus
    (it’s free)
    The author was a professor at a university in Lwow, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) before WWII. Lwow was occupied by the Soviets in 1939, later by the Germans. Harrowing times, especially if you were Jewish like the author. It’s memoir, not a math book.

  2. 79-year-old elected as Commander in Chief is satisfactory for squinting at a teleprompter and reading. I would be much less sanguine about the same commander in chief either leading or defending a 1565 era seige by the “The Drawn Sword of Islam”.

    With the western economies real world divorcing russia for behaving badly ( severe anger management problems and domestic V ) the court of public opinion appears to be awarding the plaintiff asset division, alimony and child support payments.

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