And let’s face it, Martin van Creveld is damn near the top of the list of thinking writers these days. I think I may have posted this link before, but since Instapundit has a decent discussion going in the comments, I thought I’d post Ann Sterzinger’s review of Martin van Creveld’s EQUALITY: THE IMPOSSIBLE QUEST again in case anyone happened to miss it the first time:
Equality: The Impossible Quest is—by the by—one of a spate of solid but genuinely daring recent releases from Castalia House, a small press led by Vox Day.
If you haven’t spent all your money on my publisher, Nine-Banded Books, do yourself a favor and give Castalia House a look.
Day is, at the moment, my favorite fantasy novelist, despite the gulf between his version of theology—from reading his blog he seems pretty sure that in this reality there’s a single, just God up there—and mine, if you can call mine such.
Or likely my enjoyment grows from that gulf. Yeah, I know, you’ve blocked everybody you disagree with from your Facebubble, and the wrong cat meme triggers your cis-clawed stress syndrome. You poor, chicken-shit things; in fearing you might become what you detest, have you forgotten what a pleasure it is to escape the cage of your own brainham once in a while? Stretch your legs, fella!
(Cough.) Anyhow, Day’s work, both on his own writing and in co-curating Castalia House, is a beacon in the dull word blizzard. (I’ve written about Riding the Red Horse, a unique collection of military essays and military science fiction that Day and Kratman put out in December, but I can’t keep up. They’re killin’ it.)
And van Creveld’s Equality is one of Castalia’s most absorbing releases, if you’re interested in history anyway—past history, not the historical destiny of your marching-drum ideology—the sort of history that’s not only full of holes where the victors and the monks wrote over chunks of the evidence, but the sort of history that, as far as we can tell, indeed has been repeating itself rather drearily.
As van Creveld says in his preface, the histories of our other two unattainable ideals, liberty and justice, have been written before—or, rather, attempted; there’s too much to read on all three of these subjects for one guy to do it at a go. But van Creveld does his best to describe all our tragic, failed attempts at equality.