book reviews

A Reading list

A friend and comrade of mine has been urging me to put together a bibliography of some of the books I have in my “library”. Here it is. I have put in bold those I have found most important for me. Some books are double listed if they fit two categories. Also, please forgive the spacing of some of this. I tried to use a dictating app and it doesn’t work perfectly. I would add this note: Many people are very fond of reading “theory”, which usually boils down to abstract philosophizing. Real theory, though is really just compressed history, so in my opinion the best way to read and understand real theory is by starting with reading history – the material conditions, the concrete developments which the theorist is referring to and which gave rise to their ideas. That’s why this list is a lot heavier on history than on theory. Where I have published a book review, there is a link to it.  With that in mind, I hope people find this list helpful.

Books on the United States
Beard, James: An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (This is an absolutely priceless history which shows how and why the US Constitution was written by the slave owners and the capitalists as a conscious means of defending their class interests.)

Brock, David: Blinded by the Right. (Brock was a functionary of the far right of the Republican Party for years. He also is a gay man and ultimately the contradiction became too much to bear.)

Brecher, Jeremy: Strike (I disagree with the interpretation of this history as it is written from an extreme anarchist point of view but it shows the violence with which the US class struggle was fought.)

Bernstein and Woodward: All the Presidents Men,
Braverman, Harry: Labor and Monopoly Capital
Cannon, James: First 10 Years of American Communism (This documentary history gives a good view of those ten years.)
Christie, Robert:
Empire in Wood (This is the classic history of the Carpenters Union in the US.)
Clawson, Dan: Bureaucracy and the Labor Process (Clawson’s thesis is that the way factory work was organized, starting with the weavers in Britain, was more for the capitalists to control the labor process, including the pace of work, than it was for labor efficiency. I have given this book to several skilled workers who found it very useful. A fascinating book.)

De Bruyne: Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee

Debs: Eugene Debs speaks (Shows the depths of thinking of this great socialist pioneer)

Dobbs, Farrell: Teamster Rebellion, Teamster Politics, Teamster Bureaucracy (For those who aren’t familiar with this trilogy, it really gives a great history of the early years of the Teamsters Union. The first in this series – Teamster Rebellion – is the best book on labor history for somebody who is just getting into that subject.)

Draper, Theodore: The Roots of American Communism, American Communism and Soviet Russia (Especially the first in this series is a great supplement to Cannon’s book. Really gives a sense of the thinking and activity of the founders of the Communist Party in the US.)

Fine, Sydney: Sit Down (A history of the sit down strikes of the 1930s. Worth reading.)

Foner, Philip: Organized Labor and the Black Worker (An exhaustive history of this topic. It really shows the complex and contradictory relationship between black workers and the labor movement. One warning: Foner is a Stalinist and, therefore, doesn’t see the connection between the day-to-day struggles and socialism. He makes some mistaken interpretations as a result, in my opinion.)

Glaberman, Martin: Wartime Strikes (There were dozens if not hundreds of quickie strikes during WW II. This is a description of some of them.)

Halberstam, David: The Best and the Brightest (A look at the administration of JFK. It gives a sense of a time when the US capitalist class believed in its mission in the world.)

Haywood, Harry: Black Bolshevik

Josephson, Matthew, Hillman, Sidney: The Robber Barons (A great history of the rise of the great capitalists of the late 19 and early 20th centuries – Gould, Rockefeller, Mellon, etc. Really shows the utter depravity and corruption of these types.)

Jackson, George: Blood in my Eye

Johnson, Clyde: Millman 550; Organize or Die (Disclaimer: Clyde was something of my mentor when I was first getting active in the Carpenters Union. These two self-published books describe something of his struggles as a business representative in Millmen’s Local 550.)

Kazin, Michael: Barons of Labor (A good history of the building trades as labor’s aristocracy)

Levitt, Martin J: Confessions of a Union Buster (An expose of how the professional labor “consultants” operate)

Martin, William: With God on Our Side (A history of evangelicism in the US.)

Preis, Art: Labor’s Giant Step (The classic history of the founding of the CIO, up through its merger with the AFL in the 1950s. It really shows the role of the union bureaucracy as well as of the Communist Party. I first read this book when I was just starting to get active in my union and I felt that it really explained how the unions had gotten to where they were. On rereading it, I feel it’s a bit repetitive, but still an invaluable book for understanding the US labor movement.)

Sharlet, Jeff: The Family (An expose of one of the most powerful K Street religious lobbying groups.)

Johnson, Spencer: Who moved My Cheese (This stupid, simplistic self-help book is pushed by the president of the Carpenters Union, Doug McCarron. It’s only worth reading as an expose of the stupidity of McCarron, himself.)

Garrow, David: The FBI and Martin Luther King Jr. (Really shows how MLK turned to the class struggle in the last year of his life.)

Ashbaugh, Caroline: Lucy Parsons America American Revolutionary

Kipnis, Ira: The American Socialist Movement 1897 to 1912

Marks and Engels: Collected works on the United States (Marx’s writings on US slavery and the Civil War and a few of Engels’ letters on the rise of a working class party make this book really worthwhile.)

Phillips, Kevin: American Theocracy, Bad Money, American Dynasty, Boiling Point (Phillips was a top man in the Nixon administration and the originator of Nixon’s Southern Strategy. He later saw how that was so destabilizing to capitalist rule in the US. In my view, he is one of the most serious capitalist commentators on US history and politics around.)

Raines, Harold: My Soul is Rested (A collection of interviews and recollections of and by participants in the Civil rights movement. One of the very best, also a great book to give a young person who is interested in US history and/or racism in the US. An excellent, excellent book!)

Branch, Taylor: Parting the Waters – America in the King Years, 1954-1963; Pillars of fire (These are the first two of a three part series on the US civil rights movement. It is a thorough and very serious study and anybody who wants to understand that period in US history really should read these.)

Greider, William: Secrets of the Temple (This is the classic history of the Federal Reserve Bank. It’s not written by a socialist but it gives excellent historical background.)

Munoz, Michael: Change from Within (Munoz was the head of organizing for the Northern California Carpenters. In this self-published book he describes some of the issues the carpenters union leadership confronted. It is not entirely accurate but I enjoyed reading it, partly because I know and worked both with and opposed to the author.)

Parish, Bernie: They Call it a Game (I don’t remember how I came upon this book, but Parrish was a top defensive back in the NFL decades ago. He also was a union organizer. In this book, he details his struggles for worker rights in pro football and the contradictory situation in which the players found themselves.)

Radosh, Ronald: American Labor and United States Foreign Policy, (Gives an excellent history of the AFL-CIO’s collaboration with the State Department and the CIA during the Cold War. I understand that Radosh has since sold out to the union bureaucracy, but that doesn’t diminish the value of this book.)

Reuther. Victor: The Brothers Reuther (This biography of the Reuther brothers is uncritical of their role, but it gives a good feel for life among auto workers at that time.)

Seale Bobby: Seize the Time

Wasserman, Miriam: The School Fix (In the 1960s, there was a series of books written explaining why the school system was failing black kids. “The School Fix” is the best one, in my opinion, because it explains the issue as one that isn’t one of educational practice, but of power politics. The book covers the (in)famous 1968 school strike in New York City and I think well documents the fact that it was essentially a racist strike. Full disclosure: Miriam Wasserman was my mother and I actually helped doing some of the “research” for the book. In my article on my mother, I summarize this book.)

Weinstein, James: The Decline of Socialism in America 1912 to 1925

Williams, Robert F: Negroes With Guns (Williams was a Korean War vet who organized for the NAACP in Monroe NC in the late 1950s. But he didn’t recruit through the churches; he recruited in the pool halls. And one more thing: He preached and practiced armed self defense and he carried a pistol wherever he went. I read this book when it first came out and I wa a teenager. The book broke me from the illusions I had in non-violence.)

Zinn, Howard: A People’s History of United States

Racism & Revolt of Black People in the US

Alexander, Michelle: The New Jim Crow

Branch, Taylor: Parting the Waters – America in the King Years, 1954-1963; Pillars of fire (These are the first two of a three part series on the US civil rights movement. It is a thorough and very serious study and anybody who wants to understand that period in US history really should read these.)

Breitman, Porter and Smith: The Assassination of Malcolm X

Brightman, George: The Last year of Malcolm X

Foner, Philip: Organized Labor and the Black Worker (An exhaustive history of this topic. It really shows the complex and contradictory relationship between black workers and the labor movement. One warning: Foner is a Stalinist and, therefore, doesn’t see the connection between the day-to-day struggles and socialism. He makes some mistaken interpretations as a result, in my opinion.) Reviewed here

Franklin, John Hope: From Slavery to Freedom

Garrow, David: The FBI and Martin Luther King Jr.

Haywood, Harry: Black Bolshevik

Himes, Chester: A rage in Harlem

Jackson, George: Blood in my Eye

Needleman, Ruth: Black freedom fighters in steel, the Struggle for Democratic Unionism

Raines, Harold: My Soul is Rested (A collection of interviews and recollections of and by participants in the Civil rights movement. One of the very best, also a great book to give a young person who is interested in US history and/or racism in the US. An excellent, excellent book!)

Taylor, Keanga Yamata: From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

Williams, Robert F: Negroes With Guns (Williams was a Korean War vet who organized for the NAACP in Monroe NC in the late 1950s. But he didn’t recruit through the churches; he recruited in the pool halls. And one more thing: He preached and practiced armed self defense and he carried a pistol wherever he went. I read this book when it first came out and I wa a teenager. The book broke me from the illusions I had in non-violence.)

History of Socialist Movement

Cannon, James: First 10 Years of American Communism (This is a documentary history of the first ten years of the Communist Party of the United States.)

Deutscher, Isaac: the Prophet Armed, the Prophet Unarmed, the Prophet Outcast (This three volume biography of Trotsky is the best history of the Marxist movement in the late 19th and early 20th century that I know of.)

Draper, Theodore: The Roots of American Communism, American Communism and Soviet Russia (A good history of the origins of the Communist Party in the US. In large part it is based on Draper’s book, The First Ten Years of American Communism. I disagree with some of Draper’s conclusions, but the facts are there.)

Gruber, Harold: International Communism in the era of Lenin, Soviet Russia Masters the Comintern (A good documentary history. The introductions to each chapter does a good job of setting the documents in their context.)

Kipnis, Ira: The American Socialist Movement 1897 to 1912

Lewin, Mosh: Lenin‘s Last Struggle (Shows how Lenin was starting to move against the developing bureaucracy before he died.)

Riddell, John: Lenin’s struggle for a Revolutionary International – a documentary history

Rosmer, Alfred: Moscow under Lenin (A short description of the hard times in Moscow after the Russian Revolution. This is a good description of why the revolution degenerated.)

Weinstein, James: The Decline of Socialism in America 1912 to 1925 (For a time the Socialist Party was the only broad-based socialist organization in US history. Most histories of the SP argue that the Party started its decline during WW I due to repression coupled with an unpopular anti-war stance. Weinstein argues the opposite – that the SP actually gained in popularity during the War and it was only later that it declined.)

Revolutions & Counterrevolutions

Swezey and Magdoff: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Chile (A good short summary of how Pinochet came to power. Shows the class struggle within Chile rather than perpetrating the idea that the coup was purely a US organized event.)

Gilly, Adolfo: The Mexican Revolution (One of the classic books on a revolution.)

Isaacs, Harold: The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution (Harold Isaacs clearly shows how Stalin’s theory of popular front betrayed the Chinese revolution of 1927. An excellent book.)

Marshall, Phil: Revolution and Counter Revolution in Iran (An excellent short history of the revolution that overthrew the Shah and brought the Mullahs to power. It shows how the alternative – a working class based socialist outcome – would have been possible.)

James, C.L.R.: The Black Jacobins (Along with Gilly’s book, this is an absolute classic. The two show how the theory of permanent revolution played out in these two great revolutions.)

Morrow, Felix: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Spain (Along with Gilly and James, a great book about a famous revolution and counter revolution. Along the way, Morrow really shows the failure of the ideas of anarchism and the betrayals of the Stalinists.)

Orwell, George: Homage to Catalonia (More personal but similar to Morrow’s hsitory. Easier to read but Morrow’s is more thorough and politically clearer. Nevertheless, Orwell’s book is excellent.)

Serge, Victor: Witness to the German Revolution, Memoirs of a Revolutionary (I’m not sure exactly how to classify these books. Serge developed as an anarchist but was won over to Bolshevism for a time. He lived in the Soviet Union for several years shortly after the revolution. His description of what happened there both confirm Trotsky’s analysis of why the revolution degenerated but at the same time present a serious criticism. I think they show that the leadership was theoretically unprepared for the situation in which they found themselves and tended to see the only danger as being counterrevolution, rather than internal degeneration, until it was too late. I think they made some mistakes as a result. We have to learn from those mistakes, but they would not have changed the outcome.)

Smirnow, Gabriel: The Revolution Disarmed Chile 1970 to 1973 (A great explanation of the coup of 1973. In a way it is similar to Marshall’s book on the Iranian revolution.)

Trotsky, Leon: The Russian Revolution (In my opinion, one of the greatest history books ever written because it was written by one who was intimately involved in this great event. It is an exhaustive demonstration of the theory of permanent revolution, among other things.)

Yasin Kassab and Leila Alshami: Burning Country (And excellent history of Syria, especially the Assad regime and the revolution against it. Really gives a feel for what the Syrian masses were experiencing and doing. Part of the reason I have put this book in bold is its relevance to today. I reviewed this book here.)

Classic Marxist leaders

Engels, Frederick: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (includes the Part Played by Labor in the Evolution from Ape to Man), Anti-Duhring, Dialectics of Nature (Origin of the Family is a great piece of anthropology. Some recent discoveries have shown parts of what Engels wrote to be inaccurate, but still overall his explanation has been shown to be correct. As for “the Part Played by Labor…”: This brilliant essay shows how it was labor and the first means of production – the human hand – that created homo sapiens. What is so amazing is that for many decades anthropologists thought that it was human intelligence that enabled humans to “work” rather than the other way around. Engels figured it out and subsequent discoveries proved him right. This beautiful piece is almost written as poetry.)

Marks and Engels: Collected works on the United States

Marx, Karl: Value Price and Profit; Wage Labor and Capital, the 14th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Capital (I found Value, Price and Profit and Wage Labor and Capital to actually be the most helpful of all of these. I used capital almost like an encyclopedia: Wen I wanted to understand debt, for example, I’d find Marx’s writings in Capital on the issue.)

Lenin: State and Revolution; Left-Wing Communism, – An Infantile Disorder, What is to be Done

Lenin, The emancipation of women

Luxemburg, Rosa: The Russian Revolution – Leninism or Marxism?, Selected Writings

Marx: wage labor and capital, value price and profit (I have listed these two separately because I, personally, find these two short pieces to be especially useful.)

Trotsky, Leon: Stalin, The permanent Revolution, Third international after Lenin, History of the Russian Revolution, the Struggle against Fascism in Germany, My life, their Morals and Ours, the First five years of the Communist international, On literature and Art (The first writing of Trotsky that I read was the collection of his work entitled “The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany”. In it, he gives a great explanation of what the united front is. I was a union activist at that time, and for some reason those essays really spoke to me and my experiences.)

Books about trump:

Comey, James: A Higher Loyalty (Gives a view of how a loyal servant to the US capitalist class thinks, but not that serious.)

McCallion , Kenneth Foard Treason and Betrayal (Makes a convincing case that Trump was as much a representative of a rival capitalist power as anything else. Definitely worthwhile reading. Second only to Unger’s book. Reviewed here.)

Rucker and Leonig: A Very Stable Genius

Stelter, Brian: Hoax (Shows the link between Trump and Fox, but not worth the time or money unless you are writing a paper on Fox News.)

Trump, Mary: Too Much and Never Enough (An interesting description of Trump’s psychology, but not much more. Update: Since this bibliography was published, Trump has clearly gone off the rails. This book is really helpful in explaining his psychology.)

Unger, Craig: House of Trump House of Putin (If you are going to read one book on Trump, this is it. Unger describes the parallel rise of Trump and Putin. Along the way, he explains the rise of mafia capitalism in Russia and how the Russian mafia entered the US. He also documents Trump’s money laundering past. Reviewed here.)

Woodward, Bob: Rage (Woodward is overrated.)

Science (including Sociology)

Caldicott, Helen: Nuclear Power is Not the Answer (Caldicott is probably the most prominent critic of nuclear power.)

Conner, Clifford: A People’s history of Science (Connor shows that the development of science was not the work of one or two “geniuses” but was based on the collective experience of working class people – women and men – and crafts workers.)

Davis, Devra: Disconnect (Presents the evidence of how cell phones can damage health. Reviewed here.)

Diamond, Jared: Collapse, Guns Germs and Steel (Many socialists condemn Diamond because he doesn’t adequately expose the role of capitalism, but I think his writings are very useful. “Guns….” is an attempt to give a materialist explanation to why industrialization developed where and when it did. “Collapse” documents the collapse of various societies due to what was in effect environmental stress. Along the way, Diamond unintentionally shows that it was the refusal of the ruling class to adapt that was really the cause.)

Scheidel, Walter: The Great Leveler (I guess this would be anthropology. Scheidel shows how the only things that decreased wealth inequality were wars and revolutions.)

Wallace, Rob: Big Farms Make Big Flu, Dead Epidemiologists (An evolutionary epidemiologist, Wallaces’ work linking up factory farming and habitat destruction with new zoonotic diseases are an absolute “must read” for anybody who wants to understand these diseases. I have reviewed both his books on my blog. I think they are absolutely essential reading for understanding the crisis we face today.)

Oreskes, Naomi and Conway, Eric: Merchants of Doubt (A history of how “scientists” used lack of absolute proof or a definitive explanation to claim that there was “controversy” over such issues as whether smoking causes lung cancer.)

Pollan, Michael: Omnivore’s Dilemma (An excellent critique of industrial farming and an explanation of the alternative – regenerative farming. More important than ever in the era of Covid 19 and other new zoonotic diseases. Reviewed here.)

Federici, Sylvia: Caliban and the Witch (This is the classic history of the European witch hunts. Along the way, Federici really explains the rise of oppression of women in general.)

Heyerdahl, Thor: The Ra Expeditions, Con Tiki (Heyerdahl had a theory that Northern Africans came to America on reed boats way before Columbus. So he made a reed boat like what they made back then, gathered an international crew, and sailed across the Atlantic. I think his theory is not generally accepted, but he gives some serious evidence. An interesting read.)

Keltner, Marsh, et al: The Compassionate Instinct (Are humans naturally selfish and greedy? That is what capitalists argue, and if it’s true then socialism would not work. The authors argue that compassion is a basic survival instinct and they produce the evidence for this claim. Well worth reading. I reviewed the book here.)

Tudge, Colin: So Shall We Reap; Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers – how agriculture really began

Colborn, Theo: Our Stolen Future (Colborn is a toxicologist and this book is about how new chemicals affect even future generations. This book is every bit as important as Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”. Reviewed and summarized here.)

Gould, Stephen J: An Urchin in the Storm, Ever Since Darwin (Gould kind of popularized science, especially reading about evolution, without cheapening it. Reading his essays, it’s easy to see why.

Monbiot, George: Heat (Monbiot explains the threat of global warming and put forward a program to end it. Nothing of what he proposed was taken up by the capitalists, but it’s worth reading his book.)

Picard, John: Behind the Myths (Picard gives a Marxist analysis of the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He clearly shows the class forces involved, but it is so packed with historic details that sometimes it’s a little hard to see the forest for the trees.)

Ryan and Jetha: Sex at Dawn (Advances the theory that homo sapiens are naturally polyandrous.)

Davis, William MD: Wheat Belly (A history of how wheat has been cultivated in such a way as to become nearly a genetically modified crop. Discusses how gluten damages health.)

Kautsky, Karl: Foundations of Christianity (The classic Marxist explanation for how Christianity arose in relation to the contending classes. Some other Marxist authors, for example Pickard, disagree with Kautsky’s belief that Christ actually lived.)

Woolfson, Charles: The Labor Theory of Culture

General History

Golinger, Eva: Confidante of “Tyrants” (Golinger was a confidante of Hugo Chavez and she traveled the world with him. Eventually she became disillusioned with his regime. She is widely seen as an opportunist by revolutionaries in Venezuela, but her book is worth reading. Some of the material Golinger presents is included in this article on Venezuela and the theory of permanent revolution.)

Mason, Paul: Live Working or Die Fighting (Draws a parallel between the early strikes in the US and similar struggles of workers in China.)

Klein, Naomi: The Shock Doctrine (A great expose of neoliberalism and privatization, but Klein doesn’t understand capitalism in general. The facts and history she presents are excellent, though.)

Noah, TrevorBorn a Crime (Autobiography of the brilliant comedian Trevor Noah. He gives a living example of the oppressiveness and insanity of South Africa’s former apartheid system. Along the way, he has some real insights about life and human relationships in general. Sprinkled with the humor one would expect of him. I understand that his present-day politics are somewhat liberal, but that doesn’t detract from the book, which I bought for my grandchildren also.)

Pickard, John: Behind the Myths (Marxist John Pickard explains how the ideas of Judaism, Christianity and Islam arose out of the class relations in the regions of the origin of those religions. His book is extremely detailed and it’s possible to lose the forest for the trees somewhat, but it’s a valuable history nevertheless.)

Rodriguez, Simon: Why Chavismo Failed (This is actually an English translation of the title of Rodriguez’s book, which is in Spanish. It is an excellent history of the rise of Chavez and how he never was a working class leader but, rather, a left bonapartist. I reviewed/summarized the book on my blog site.)

Ross, Alexander Reid: Against the Fascist Creep (Details the rise of fascism today.)

Shekhovtsov, Anton: Russia and the Western Far Right (Explains how Putin is linked with and has helped the growth of the far right, including fascists, throughout the world, especially in Europe.)

Rodney, Walter:  How Europe underdeveloped Africa

Layton, Deborah: Seductive Poison – a Jonestown survivors story

Valtin, Jan: Out of the Night (Autobiography of a mid level functionary of the Comintern in the 1940s.)

Yergin, Daniel: The Prize (The classic history of the development of the oil industry.)

Elizalde, Rosa: Our Chavez

Jewish People and Zionism

Blatt, Thomas: From the Ashes of Sobibor

Brenner, Lenni: The Iron Wall Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinskyi to Shamir (An excellent history of the origins of Zionism. It really shows the reactionary nature of this trend. Along with “Comrades and Enemies”, it gives a great overview.)

Cohen, Rich: The Avengers a Jewish War Story

Edelman, Marek: The Ghetto Fights (An absolutely gripping history of one of the most heroic uprisings in history – the Warsaw ghetto uprising – written by one of the few survivors. Good for readers of all ages.)

Beckman, Morris: The 43 Group

Leon, Abram: The Jewish Question (Written by Leon when he was in his late ‘20s, this is an excellent and clear Marxist explanation of how the Jews developed as a “people/class”.)

Lockman, Zachary: Comrades and Enemies (And excellent history of the complex relationship between the Arab and Jewish working class in Palestine.)

Rashke, Richard: Escape from Sobibor (A history of the only successful mass escape from one of the Nazi’s death camps. Powerful.)

Rodin, Maxime: Israel a Colonial Settler State

North Africa/West Asia

Lockman, Zachary: Comrades and Enemies (And excellent history of the complex relationship between the Arab and Jewish working class in Palestine.)

Hiro, Dilip: Holy wars the Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism

Benjamin, Medea: Inside Iran (Benjamin is a left supporter of the Iranian dictatorship. Her book is only worth reading if you want to understand her better.)

Marshall, Phil: Revolution and Counter Revolution in Iran (Way better than Benjamin’s book.)

Mejia, Camilo: Road From Ramadi

Yasin Kassab and Leila Alshami: Burning Country (And excellent history of Syria, especially the Assad regime and the revolution against it. Really gives a feel for what the Syrian masses were experiencing and doing.)

Aboud, Samer: Syria (A good academic history, but “Burning Country” is better.)

Min Qi Li: The rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy

Fiction

Traven, B.: The Jungle Novels (This is a series of novels that details the rise of a proletariat – especially a rural proletariat – in Mexico and the Mexican Revolution. It really puts Mexican history into living technicolor. Traven also wrote several other novels and lots of short stories, almost all of which were set in Mexico. He, himself, was an interesting character and until relatively recently nobody really knew who he was.)

Follet, Kevin: The Pillars of the Earth (A fictional biography of a stone mason/engineer in medieval England who designed and built the great churches there. It really gives a sense of the engineering challenges of those constructions.)

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