This book made me cry at the end and any book that makes me cry is worth reading!! I have little knowledge on Jewish life in the Mediterranean, but thThis book made me cry at the end and any book that makes me cry is worth reading!! I have little knowledge on Jewish life in the Mediterranean, but this story really helped intrigue me to learn more about Jewish history and the various types of Jews that lived in port cities in Egypt, Lebanon, Italy, and Greece. Definitely felt a connection with the author and her love for Leon, her beloved father....more
Italy had not been unified since the Romans and this transition of old elites (leopards) who exploited the poor with dignity were being replaced by thItaly had not been unified since the Romans and this transition of old elites (leopards) who exploited the poor with dignity were being replaced by the new elites who exploited the poor like scavengers or "hyenas." This is a romantic re-telling of the aristocracy in Italy losing its function and the middle class instinct to rise in its place, sadly lacking productive ethos. Unlike the other Great European Powers, Italy believed prestige came with colonization and imperialism and their nobles declined in politics and in entering commerce or industry unlike the Germans (who probably became way to powerful). The middle class destroyed and took victory over the feudal landlords with capitalism as its successor!! Eventually, fascism would hit this country hard. ...more
The Harlem Renaissance became a widely known cultural phenomenon and a real way out for African Americans to express themselves without shame and instThe Harlem Renaissance became a widely known cultural phenomenon and a real way out for African Americans to express themselves without shame and instead with dignity and self-respect, breaking color lines and stereotypes. The optimistic atmosphere and industrial boom between 1923 and 1928 had given many African Americans a glimpse at a better life and confirmed W. E. B. Du Bois’s prediction that migration would aid advancement in civil justice and progress. Even though the Harlem Renaissance helped progress modernity, there were extreme repercussions that brought about nativism and xenophobia, the KKK, and prohibition and with the Great Depression all efforts of progress were halted. Still, the period became a moment of hope and institution building. Some notary literary figures brought about inspiration, such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, & Countee Cullin who really encouraged other blacks to get involved in their cultural heritage and show the whites that they were just as capable of making the same beautiful culture, literature, music, art, and any other creative outburst. ...more
The war left the United States as a stronger industrial nation, with increased wages, and an improvement in our standing throughout the world. Wilson’The war left the United States as a stronger industrial nation, with increased wages, and an improvement in our standing throughout the world. Wilson’s hypocritical administration would not have gained my support during the war due to the racist turmoil in the country and the true winners being huge corporations and capitalist “big business” men. The scare tactics and charges against anyone who professed their “disloyalty” and the dishonesty of propaganda do not impress me. ...more
I had no idea how extremely important the French Revolution was in shaping modern European politics. This event brought the Enlightenment ideals of RoI had no idea how extremely important the French Revolution was in shaping modern European politics. This event brought the Enlightenment ideals of Rousseau's dream to reality and would become a model for the Russian Revolution and the Bolsheviks overthrowing the Tsar's. Absolute monarchy was finished. It is now the time for national sovereignty of the people!! Important figures like Robespierre and Marat would lead the way towards the Great Terror and establish the "humane" way of dying by guillotine that would end the life of Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and even Robespierre who fell victim to his very own system. Napoleon would help contradict the revolutionary cause by crowning himself emperor in 1804, but we all know success never last; the Bourbons and Bonapartes would be struggling to win the title of figurehead while the aristocrats & royals would lose their privileges and despotism would be no more... right??...more
The 1920's demonstrated an era of Americans living on borrowed time and artificial hype that wasn't going to last. President Harding's "normalcy" provThe 1920's demonstrated an era of Americans living on borrowed time and artificial hype that wasn't going to last. President Harding's "normalcy" provided opportunity for a temporary boom in the U.S. standard of living, giving off the false pretense that would later collapse. Labor movements by the mid-decade had become almost insignificant and in the absence of unions, workers had no outlet to increase wages or share in the huge productivity gains being made and the Great Depression revealed the weaknesses of this system as income distribution presented 1 percent of the population controlling approximately 30 percent of the nation' wealth, the same problem today. Although this period showed the positive spirit of the working class and Americans, the boom would be followed by the crash of 1929 and the recession that led to the depression....more
Wow... so I have to write a 10 page paper on General Butler and this book was just filled to the max about why war is a racket. War is about profit. WWow... so I have to write a 10 page paper on General Butler and this book was just filled to the max about why war is a racket. War is about profit. War requires money, men, and supplies. So why did we enter World War I? It was the Europeans war over imperialism and ultimate power trips. Why did the US get involved when we had declared neutrality? Wilson's slogan "he kept us out of the war" enabled him to get elected, but 5 months later, he declared war on Germany. In order to the get the majority of Americans on board, he literally created a board for war propaganda that fed on our emotions stated this was the war to end all wars, or this war was for the safety of democracy! Those "huns" will kill our women and children, and so instead we sent our men to kill their women and children. So why did we enter the war???? They say if we hadn't, Hitler or any European powers for that matter would cause trouble and invade our lands... Well Butler, from his own 33 years of experience stated that it was IMPOSSIBLE for anybody to invade our lands PERIOD. No nation has the man power to continuously supply armies, no nation has the MONEY to successfully stay in war with us, no nation can safety place their ships onto our ports. What? You think we will just let them dock at NYC? And even if Hitler did come across the Atlantic, the Russians and French would take advantage and and move in on Germany while he was out. So why did we enter the European's war??? MONEY. This is the pure answer to why the government quickly changed its mind about the war. The US stated we would remain neutral, but how can you stay neutral when you are profiting from another mans war? We are supplying their weapons! Butler made a great analogy: suppose you were walking down a strange street and you came a cross a fight, you have NO INTEREST and suddenly the opponent states "HE BELIEVES IN DEMOCRACY, COME AND GET IN WE BELIEVE IN THE SAME THINGS OR YOULL BE NEXT!" You replay, no thanks, I'm neutral. He responds well you can gather up all the stones and clubs you can get a hold of and sell them to me! Do you think if we started to sell ammunition to this Democratic friend, we wouldn't get involved? So who profits from this war? The sinister agents lurking in the background while your family or friend is out in battle. These huge corporations, steel, engine, metal, and any manufacturing company! Who pays the bills? WE DO through taxation. We pay the bankers who also collect the profits. WHO PAYS THE MOST THOUGH? The soldiers & their families. We made men feel ashamed if they didn't join the army. We made men positively hunger for enamored decorations and medal of honors. After stuffing patriotism down their throats and providing them with a minimum salary, we have them leave their jobs and loved ones to lie in "swampy trenches, eat canned willy, and KILL and KILL and KILL and BE KILLED."
Butler says the only military/militia the US needs is to defend our country, not to ever enter into another mans war. Butlers says we need to take the profit out of war. Butler states we must limit our military forces to home defense purposes. Butlers says we must permit the youth of the land to decide whether or not there should be a war. Why let the people who profit from the war decide???
It's common belief that life in the communist East Germany was terrible compared to the capitalist and "imperialist" West. Hensel's goal when writingIt's common belief that life in the communist East Germany was terrible compared to the capitalist and "imperialist" West. Hensel's goal when writing this novel was show people that life growing up in the GDR wasn't all that bad and even criticizes the FDG and the westerners for being so narrow minded. When the Berlin Wall fell the west absorbed the east and all the GDR citizens had to conform to a new capitalist society that they were never accustomed to. Hensel mentions growing up in a classless proletariat society and how she thought it was odd that th west cared so much about family "background" and their jobs which represented prestige or embarrassment for them. In the east no one had to worry about such things because everyone lived in the same circumstances. She also mentions how her parents generation had a hard time adapting to the new capitalist world; they weren't use to going to the market and finding 100 types of pickles to chose from because the east markets provided only one kind. They certainly weren't use to buying extravagant things; they would pick quantity over quality. Although this book gave another point of view for people living in the misconception of the socialist Marxist-Lenin state, I still thought the things Hensel described was the sheeple of the east not knowing what they could have in a capitalist world, and just conforming to their government terrorism to stay out of trouble or prison. It's always hard in history to really find who is the evil of any two, and this book proved evil's ambiguity in the two Germany's. ...more
An interestingly written history book for sure... Friedrich is able to provide a good narrative of the in-between years of WWI and WWII in Germany witAn interestingly written history book for sure... Friedrich is able to provide a good narrative of the in-between years of WWI and WWII in Germany with interviews from many various types of individuals (such as Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, terrorist groups, youthful crazy asses, etc.) to fill in the blanks of how Berlin life was and the cultural innovations of that time, as well as the economic struggles and hard life for many Germans. Also introduces how Hitler was GIVEN power, that's right he did not SEIZE power, it was freakin' legally and democratically given to him by some idiot conservatives who were blinded by their own ambitions and thought the Nazi's were a party that could be easily tamed and controlled by the elites... little did they know! A great message to never underestimate those radical right-wingers!!!...more
Supposedly, the Tale of Heike is the most notorious of stories in Ancient Japan... for me, it was a long read with dreary, confusing, and tedious JapaSupposedly, the Tale of Heike is the most notorious of stories in Ancient Japan... for me, it was a long read with dreary, confusing, and tedious Japanese names!! I enjoyed the Tale of Genji way more, even if its not as famous. This was written by one of the first female writers to take over literacy in a male world, but it definitely feels like a man wrote it -- props to her. I loved the intruding poems that randomly appeared... thought those were very beautiful and demonstrated the Buddhist morals that influenced the awesome Heian period....more
A very detailed, historical view of the craziness that can happen in a small Prussian town reaching the German Empire demonstrates the early anti-SemiA very detailed, historical view of the craziness that can happen in a small Prussian town reaching the German Empire demonstrates the early anti-Semitic feeling of the East. Although it occurred prior to the Holocaust, it is evident that the local Christians, working together with the media and newspapers believed violent acts against the Jews were necessary and the continuous theme of having a minority group as a scapegoat is a reoccurring theme in the world even today. When will people realize that history doesn't always have to repeat itself!?!...more