A long, slow read, but well worth the effort. I read this after finishing Richard J. Evans three volume history of the Third Reich. Basically, what IA long, slow read, but well worth the effort. I read this after finishing Richard J. Evans three volume history of the Third Reich. Basically, what I have learned from these two authors is that everything I thought I knew about Hitler was pretty much wrong. We live in a world where people seek simple solutions to complex problems, and there is nothing simple about the methods whereby Hitler rose to power. He and his minions maintained control over Germany for twelve years by being absolutely ruthless, by their willingness to lie to other governments, and by their callous unconcern for any and all people who came under their sway.
Hitler's crusade against the Jews began early on, and was the hallmark of his tyranny. Although there is no one point in time where we can say, "This is the day when Hitler began hating the Jews," his noxious attitude was rooted in his experiences in WWI, and probably in his childhood as well. Kershaw goes into great detail about how the idea of the Final Solution developed over time, and, interestingly, how Hitler sought to distance himself from the actual mechanics of the Holocaust.
Kershaw's biography is valuable for several reasons. He supplies the big picture, the historical panoramic sweep of events, while also bringing in the smallest details that add depth to a good biography. Without succumbing to mundane superficial analysis, he also speculates on Hitler's psychology in ways that leave the reader free to draw his or her own conclusions.
It also cannot be overemphasized that Hitler could have never succeeded in going to the extremes that he did on his own. Without Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and oh, so many others, the Third Reich would never have gotten off the ground.
I am going to be thinking about this book for a very long time. What better compliment can any author receive from a reader? Very highly recommended. ...more
For reasons unknown, I have been drawn to reading books about genocide and the Holocaust over the past few months. Discovering the work of historian RFor reasons unknown, I have been drawn to reading books about genocide and the Holocaust over the past few months. Discovering the work of historian Richard J. Evans has been a major revelation in this endeavor. Evans writes books about history and particularly about the Third Reich, which make these vast subjects comprehensible to the layperson, while exhibiting a refreshingly unbiased viewpoint.
I picked up this book to fill in the time while waiting for volume three of Evans' history of the Third Reich to be delivered. Much to my surprise, rather than concentrating on history itself, Lying About Hitler is much more about the professional historian's methodology, and the role that the individual historian's perspective plays in shaping the story that eventually reaches the public. Source materials are a major factor, and when the source materials are written in an older Germanic dialect as much of the Reich materials were, the historian's obligation to speak the truth as he sees it becomes even more burdensome.
Through the viewpoint of the Richard Irving slander trial against historian Deborah Lipshitz, whom Irving said slandered him by referring to him as a Holocaust denier, Evans shows the procedures he used to methodically prove that Irving indeed denied that Hitler had any responsibility for the Holocaust, and that the numbers Irving was willing to admit to as having been killed both in the concentration camps and at Dresden were total fabrications.
Evans' other writings on the Third Reich are thoroughly fascinating to read. I put this one in a different category, though, because it is a thorough examination of how history is written, and how easily it may be slanted to serve the aims of the ends of the historian. I believe in the work that Richard Evans does, and respect him even more after reading this book....more
Every question I had about how and why Hitler was able to rise to prominence and so swiftly overtake not just the political but also the cultural, eduEvery question I had about how and why Hitler was able to rise to prominence and so swiftly overtake not just the political but also the cultural, educational, and military institutions in Germany has been answered. Drawing upon documents that were only released after the downfall of the U.S.S.R. as well as other newly discovered source materials, Evans has written a new benchmark by which all other histories of the rise of Nazism will be measured.
Evans demonstrates an ability that every good historian must possess: to to navigate through myriad potential sidelines without giving in to the temptation to lose the thread of his assigned topic. From the Bismarckian Reich through the postwar Treaty of Versailles that laid Germany low after the 1914-18 War, to the disastrous period of the Weimar Republic, and on through to Hitler's rise to Reich Chancellor on January 30, 1933 and the ensuing six months when the Nazi Party consolidated its power and began the persecution of the Jews in earnest, it is possible for the lay reader to comprehend the almost staggering scope of events, philosophies, and ideas which this book encapsulates.
After reading Evans' third and final book on the history of the Third Reich, I understand how Hitler was able to exert such a complete command over thAfter reading Evans' third and final book on the history of the Third Reich, I understand how Hitler was able to exert such a complete command over the Reichland and its denizens, and I also have a much better idea of the duties of the historian. Evans presents the atrocities of the Nazis matter-of-factly, which makes them even more chilling in a way. It took me six weeks to read this book, because I often had to put it down after a few pages, unable to fully assimilate the magnitude of what I was reading.
I think the best tribute to this series of books is to reproduce the final paragraph:
Not only historical knowledge about the Third Reich, but also public consciousness of what it did, has increased with distance in time from the Nazi regime; yet that regime has not lost any of its power to excite moral debate, rather, if anything, the reverse. Not long after the Second World War was over, the English historian Alan Bullock ended his great biography of Hitler by quoting the words inscribed on the tomb of the architect Sir Christopher Wren in the church he built in London, St. Paul's Cathedral: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice - 'If you need a memorial, look around.' In 1952, when Bullock published his book, the destruction wrought by the war was still to be seen in almost every part of Europe. More than a half a century later, this is no longer the case. Bomb-sites have been cleared, battlefields leveled out, divisions healed, peace and prosperity restored to Europe. Most of those who lived through the Third Reich and fought in its wars are no longer with us. Within a few decades there will be no one left who remembers it at first hand. And yet its legacy is still alive in myriad ways. History does not repeat itself: there will be no Fourth Reich. Neo-Nazism still finds its supporters, but nowhere has it shown any signs of even coming close to achieving real political power. The legacy of the Third Reich is much wider. It extends far beyond Germany and Europe. The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authoritarianism. It shows what can happen if some people are treated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another in our lives, of conformity or resistance, action or inaction in the particular situations with which we are confronted. That is why the Third Reich will not go away, but continues to command the attention of thinking people throughout the world long after it has passed into history.
With Evans, I concur. All three books are very highly recommended....more
The second book in a trilogy has a hard job to fulfill: it delineates most of the "meat and bones" of its subject matter, without either the newness aThe second book in a trilogy has a hard job to fulfill: it delineates most of the "meat and bones" of its subject matter, without either the newness and excitement of the introductory volume, or the anticipation of a satisfactory conclusion, waiting to be experienced in the third. That being said, this book is indispensable to understanding how in six and a half short years, Hitler and his associates were able to transform Germany from an economically ravaged, morally, emotionally and physically depleted country to a mostly revitalized economy capable of invading Saarland, Malme, Austria and Czechoslovakia before the French and the British took any substantive action.
I found this book to be mind-blowing for a number reasons: first, it lays out in detail that even before the Reichstag fire in 1933, Hitler, along with Goring, Goebbels and a handful of others, had a plan for world domination that was driven by Hitler's absolute certainty that he was invincible. While this certainly was not the case, there was virtually no opposition to his quest for power in the early days. In part, this was because within Germany's borders opposition was met with vicious physical force. Also, while other countries sought to rebuild their economies based upon an assumption of peace, Hitler immediately made Germany's rearmament his number one priority upon gaining the Chancellorship.
Equally disturbing is the lengths the Third Reich went to to insinuate itself into every single facet of German life. Not satisfied with mere politics, it invaded the community clubs and organizations that were central to German society. It also took over not just the newspapers, but all forms of media, including art, music, architecture, film, and probably most important, radio. A great deal of emphasis was attached to the children of the Reich: from the earliest age onward, they were conditioned to be obedient to Hitler. Their and their parents' free time was organized, their teachers had to teach the Nazi curriculum, the textbooks were "Aryanized", and critical thought was punished all the way through university. As Hitler took a tighter and tighter hold over the reins, churches in general and the Catholic Church in particular caved in to Nazi demands. The Catholic Church literally made a deal with the devil.
Evans is particularly good at placing events in context: in 1933 or 1934, for example, the lengths that Hitler was willing to go to to fulfill his so-called destiny would not have been clear. His public statements emphasized peace, while behind the scenes he instructed his subordinates to raise hell. Nowhere is the clearer than in the lead up to the Olympic Games in 1936, where anti-Jewish signs were taken down, and The Stormer, the most extreme Nazi newspaper, suspended publication until the tourists left. As soon the Olympics departed, Hitler unleashed his forces against the Jews, beginning with Kristallnacht, or The Night of Broken Glass, when Jewish homes and storefronts were destroyed, looted, and set on fire by the Brownshirts and their confederates, and thousands of Jews were arrested and many were ultimately sent to concentration camps. Every synagogue in Germany was destroyed. Although there had been many actions against the Jews before this, Kristallnacht was a turning point and marked the moment in time when the Third Reich laid bare its plan for their eradication. Many Jews tried to emigrate to other countries, but due to bureaucratic red tape or insufficient funds, many were unable to leave. Adolph Eichmann began his rise to prominence when he streamlined the emigration procedures in Austria, using the suggestions of a Jewish prisoner who was also an attorney.
Even with all of this, the onset of WWII was not welcomed whole-heartedly by the German people. Hitler had the machinery in place to proceed with his plan for world domination, but he also had massive challenges to overcome. Evans lays out this panoramic history in an accessible way. While never losing sight of the bigger picture, Evans uses everything from diary entries of a German schoolgirl to William Shirer's firsthand reporting within sight of Hitler, and enormous amounts of research and documentation to support the most unbiased and comprehensive history of the Third Reich ever written. It is the only one you ever need to read.
One of the great benefits of working in an esoteric bookstore for a time was the opportunity to run across oddly beautiful volumes. Although it was neOne of the great benefits of working in an esoteric bookstore for a time was the opportunity to run across oddly beautiful volumes. Although it was never a best seller, this is a fascinating book. It is abridged from the original one thousand pages to a mere 467, with reproductions of over four hundred original woodcuts. Concentrating on Christian symbolism, it manages to make this topic more than the domain of the pedant. It is a beautiful and intriguing book....more
College students in the late sixties and seventies were practically issued this book along with their student IDs. It is a reference work on psychedelCollege students in the late sixties and seventies were practically issued this book along with their student IDs. It is a reference work on psychedelic drugs. A number of authors contributed short articles, including Alan Watts' classic, "Psychedelics and Religious Experience." The bibliography is quite extensive. All in all, this tome is an even-handed overview of the research into psychedelics for its time....more
For anyone wishing to learn Tarot divination, Eden Gray makes a superb introduction. Although Ms. Gray may not be as lyrical or spooky as some other wFor anyone wishing to learn Tarot divination, Eden Gray makes a superb introduction. Although Ms. Gray may not be as lyrical or spooky as some other writers on the Tarot, she uses the Rider-Waite deck to fully illustrate basic meanings for each card. Her explanations are thorough and easy to understand. This book has stood the test of time because of its utility and ease of use....more
This was my first nature guide. I bought it to use to get a Brownie badge, and I still have my copy. With illustrations as bright as those in a childrThis was my first nature guide. I bought it to use to get a Brownie badge, and I still have my copy. With illustrations as bright as those in a children's book, Trees presents the various trees within its pages by leaf and branching pattern, shape of seed, and shape of the tree. At the bottom of the page, a colored map shows the regions where that particular tree grows. Along with the jam-packed tree description pages, there are sections on identifying different types of acorns, pinecones, magnolias, and other topics. The last two pages have rulers imprinted on the edges of the pages, so that the naturalist can measure leaves or other parts of the tree in an aid to identification. I have never bought another tree identification book, because I have never needed one. This book still works just fine....more
This is, hands down, the most complete reference on English grammar and composition that I have ever seen. I have used it since high school, and bothThis is, hands down, the most complete reference on English grammar and composition that I have ever seen. I have used it since high school, and both of my daughters used it when they were in high school. One of its most useful features is the section on diagramming sentences, a lost art. There are new frontiers that anyone writing a bibliography these days needs to know in terms of citing internet resources, but for everything else, this is the one of the best references I have found....more
The debate over which books should be included in the Bible raged on for over fifteen hundred years, with various religious traditions including diffeThe debate over which books should be included in the Bible raged on for over fifteen hundred years, with various religious traditions including different texts. In The Lost Books of the Bible, many of the disputed texts which were not included in any version of the Bible are presented.
The texts are organized as are books of the Bible: by book, chapter and verse. This makes them easier to read, since they are placed in a familiar context.
Many of the stories are alternative versions of ones in the Bible. For instance, in book entitled "Infancy", Mary gives the wise men one of Jesus' swaddling clothes, which they present to the emperor. When the cloth is laid in a fire, it does not burn. The magi take the cloth and lay it among their treasures. In the gospel of Nicodemus, Pontius Pilate is portrayed as not wanting to order Jesus' execution he becomes afraid, though, when the Roman standards bow to Jesus when he enters the room.
I recommend this as a companion text to Elaine Pagel's book, The Gnostic Gospels for the solid historical background she provides in alternate early Christian scripture. ...more
In over six hundred pages, one hundred years of the Vilmorin-Andrieux family's encyclopedic knowledge of just about every vegetable, seasoning herb, aIn over six hundred pages, one hundred years of the Vilmorin-Andrieux family's encyclopedic knowledge of just about every vegetable, seasoning herb, and melon known to man is reproduced in its staggering totality. Replete with hundreds of engravings, this book contains varieties of veggies grown today, as well as many, many heirloom varieties.
Each entry begins with an overview of the category of vegetable, including its botanical name, history, cultivation method, and general characteristics. This is followed by the specific varieties which are described in detail and given meticulous instructions for planting and cultivation. The engravings are fine enough to enable the reader to differentiate an Early Dark Erfurt Cabbage from a Large Red Dutch, or Marbled Burgundy Drumhead, even though the pictures are in black and white.
TenSpeed Press wisely chose to make a facsimile edition of the 1885 printing available. For gardening enthusiasts, it is an essential reference work....more
I am a big, big fan of this book. In my varied career as a gardener, I have tilled soil everywhere from rooftop boxes in Canada, to an herb garden atI am a big, big fan of this book. In my varied career as a gardener, I have tilled soil everywhere from rooftop boxes in Canada, to an herb garden at a historic house in Georgia, to a market garden in West Virginia. I have found this book to be absolutely indispensible. It describes growing using the bio-intensive method, first championed by British gardening genius Alan Chadwick, and further developed in California by John Jeavons and the folks at Ecology Action.
One distinguishing aspect of bio-intensive gardening is soil preparation. The beds are deeply dug, using the "double dug" method. While this method is very labor intensive, preparing garden beds so that the soil is loosened two feet down gives the plant roots room to expand, and the plants to thrive. Another characteristic of bio-intensive gardening is that the plantings are not laid out in straight lines. Instead, the seeds or seedlings are laid out in a pattern where each plant has an amount of space between it and the surrounding plants in a grid pattern. Since the double dug beds are higher than the surrounding land, it is possible to even plant on the sides of the mounded earth. This results in a much more efficient use of the land.
Also included are very comprehensive charts for vegetables and garden crops; grain, protein and vegetable oil crops. and cover, organic matter, and fodder crops. Using the information in this book, anyone can grow a flourishing garden organically. For more information on growing bio-intensively, go to http://www.growbiointensive.org/...more
Coleman is the kind of innovative gardener that I aspire to become. Many of the techniques in were not in use elsewhere when this book was first writtColeman is the kind of innovative gardener that I aspire to become. Many of the techniques in were not in use elsewhere when this book was first written. I particularly like his development of soil cubes for starting seeds, instead of using plastic containers. These little compacted cubes of a special soil mixture relieve the gardener of the need for those bothersome plastic trays where the roots end up growing out of the bottoms. With his technique, simply plop the seedling and soil cube into the prepared space, and that's it! Some of his other recommendations, like the collinear hoe he designed that cuts off weed roots just under the soil, are simply brilliant.
Market gardeners will find this book particularly useful, because it contains many ideas for time and labor-saving strategies. It covers all of the basics of organic gardening, includes plenty of the type of charts dear to garden planners' hearts, and has a pleasing layout. Overall, it is a very well done book....more
Mel Bartholomew lays out the strategy for more efficient use of garden space in a very entertaining manner. His basic plan is to lay out the garden inMel Bartholomew lays out the strategy for more efficient use of garden space in a very entertaining manner. His basic plan is to lay out the garden in four foot by four foot blocks, with seed or seedlings laid out according to their need for space. By growing on a grid, plants have all the room they need to grow, but the area used can be kept to a manageable size. Trailing, vine-y plants are grown vertically on trellises to further reduce garden space. This was the first gardening book I ever bought, and even though I now rely almost exclusively on How to Grow More Vegetables, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this book because it opened my eyes to looking beyond planting in straight rows....more
After a short explanation of what companion planting is and how it works, the rest of the book is an alphabetical listing devoted to plants. Each entrAfter a short explanation of what companion planting is and how it works, the rest of the book is an alphabetical listing devoted to plants. Each entry includes not only what to plant with a particular fruit, vegetable, or flower, but also what not to plant nearby. The organization of the book makes it very easy for a garden planner to look up various combinations in a minimal amount of time. This book has stood the test of time, and deserves a place on any gardener's bookshelf....more
This book is not as comprehensive as Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care, but it is a good basic overview of first aid strategies and techniques. ItThis book is not as comprehensive as Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care, but it is a good basic overview of first aid strategies and techniques. It is filled with diagrams and illustrations that are particularly helpful after the end of the course, to refresh the first aider's memory. Highly recommended....more
I don't think the Red Cross uses this book anymore, at least not in my area. That's too bad, because within its pages is pretty much everything you neI don't think the Red Cross uses this book anymore, at least not in my area. That's too bad, because within its pages is pretty much everything you need to know about first aid. From chapters on sprains and strains to those on poisons and advanced splinting techniques, it is all here. Every chapter has many diagrams, to assist the reader in learning the proper techniques. I have used the information from this book to do everything from immobilizing the neck and spine of a man who was thrown from a truck, to making slings out of triangular bandages and recognizing the symptoms of heat exhaustion quickly enough to keep it from developing into heat stroke. First aid and CPR are life skills everyone needs to know . The best way to start down that road is to take a class from the Red Cross. As an additional reference, I highly recommend this book...more
I first started using homeopathic remedies when my daughters got their first earaches. They both took antibiotics one time, and reacted badly to them.I first started using homeopathic remedies when my daughters got their first earaches. They both took antibiotics one time, and reacted badly to them. A nurse friend suggested going to the homeopathic pharmacy in Baltimore and stocking up on remedies. The next time one of my daughters got an earache, I stayed up with her all night, giving her Belladonna every half hour. The night was hell, but by the next morning, the earache was gone. I went through the same thing with my other daughter. Neither of them has ever had another earache.
That sold me on the value of homeopathic remedies. At the pharmacy in Baltimore, they recommended this book as a standard reference work. My copy is now dog-eared, and missing its front cover. This is a comprehensive overview of the most common homeopathic remedies, and the conditions that they may be used to treat. Anyone interested in homeopathy will find this book a valuable addition to their library....more
This is a handy little book, explaining as it does what all those symbols mean. My limited ability to parse out musical phrases comes from reading thiThis is a handy little book, explaining as it does what all those symbols mean. My limited ability to parse out musical phrases comes from reading this book. It is filled with exercises to help the reader understand not just note values, but also tempo, dynamics, and other concepts. Through the use of familiar songs like "Jingle Bells" and "The Doxology," the author assists the student in learning to read music....more
Anyone who is interested in doing dreamwork needs to own a copy of this book. We have no idea how the symbols that we see every impact upon our subconAnyone who is interested in doing dreamwork needs to own a copy of this book. We have no idea how the symbols that we see every impact upon our subconscious - at least not until our dreams choose to reveal them to us. I read this book a long time ago, but it formed the basis for an interest in dream symbology that continues to this day. Extremely thought-provoking, the entire book should be read, and not just the chapters written by Jung....more
Impeccably researched and replete with many of the most revealing photographs you have never seen, Hollywood Babylon is part picture book and part comImpeccably researched and replete with many of the most revealing photographs you have never seen, Hollywood Babylon is part picture book and part compendium of low-down dirt on some of the most infamous Hollywood scandals from its beginnings to the 1960s. All of the big names are here, including Fatty Arbuckle, Clara Bow, Frances Farmer, and Marilyn Monroe. Chapter titles like, "The Clutching Hand," "Saturn Over Sunset," and "Peep Show Peccadilloes" titillate the reader, and their contents do not fail to satisfy.
Kenneth Anger heard many of these stories as he was growing up in Hollywood, and in compiling them into this luscious book, he constructed a paean to the darker side of the movie business. Nick Lowe wrote a great song about one of these stories, with a chorus that goes, "She was a winner/ who became a doggie's dinner/ She never meant that much to me/ Ohhhh, poor Marie." That pretty much sums up the sorts of tragic and shocking ingredients composing Anger's classic dish. ...more
This is the ultimate dictionary. It is especially recommended for keeping in the kitchen, for those times when you have to wait for the water to boil,This is the ultimate dictionary. It is especially recommended for keeping in the kitchen, for those times when you have to wait for the water to boil, and turn to a page, then look, using the reading glass from the little drawer above the two volumes, and see....
Dumbledore. A humble-bee or a bumble bee or a dial. cockchafer.
Which leads to:
Cockchafer. A colcopterous insect or beetle, well known in England and Europe.
Of course, these are only bits of the definitions, but every time I touch either volume of this book, something wonderful happens. No matter how much the English language changes, going back and seeing where words came from is valuable activity. ...more
This is a very useful book. Artists and creative types of people are not always blessed with a gift for mathematical calculation. Rhodes addresses thiThis is a very useful book. Artists and creative types of people are not always blessed with a gift for mathematical calculation. Rhodes addresses this issue, by doing all the work and leaving it to the potter to make the beautiful glazes come to life. I will never forget the first time I made a piece of raku pottery, using a "recipe" from this book to mix my own glaze. When I pulled the piece from the fire, plunged it into the water, and saw the iridescence of the glaze emerge on the rough, blackened surface of the pot, I felt like an astronaut seeing the beauty of the earth from space. The universe was right there in my hand....more
This is the version of the Bible that I now use, and of the Bibles I have owned, it is the most useful. There areWhat did I NOT learn from this book?
This is the version of the Bible that I now use, and of the Bibles I have owned, it is the most useful. There are a number of essays at the beginning and end of the book, color maps, timelines, and all sorts of other information. Each chapter of the Bible is preceded by an introduction, placing the writing in a historical context. There are extensive footnotes on every page, explaining unfamiliar words and concepts, citing other scriptures where the ideas in the current verse appear, and commenting upon the scripture itself. It is also handy to have the Apocrypha. I do a good bit of teaching, and, trust me, I am no Bible scholar. I simply don't think I could get up in front of a group of people and intelligently discuss the Bible if I did not have this book....more
I wore a copy of this book out. Oh, sure, Strunk and White are a couple of dinosaurs, but they are dinosaurs who know a whole lot about writing well.I wore a copy of this book out. Oh, sure, Strunk and White are a couple of dinosaurs, but they are dinosaurs who know a whole lot about writing well. In a world where people no longer know how to diagram sentences or parse verbs (to their detriment) it may be that this book is no longer considered useful. Perhaps, but when I look at the overwhelming amount of abstruse verbiage that I encounter on any given day, I long for the return of The Little Book....more
Everyone should own a copy of this book. It is impossible to understand the roots of Western civilization without taking the mythology of the Greeks aEveryone should own a copy of this book. It is impossible to understand the roots of Western civilization without taking the mythology of the Greeks and Romans into account. These archetypes are buried so deeply within our psyches, they almost feel primeval. I have returned to Edith Hamilton again and again, because her account of the stories is straightforward and easily understandable. This is an essential book that should be in every library....more
Lynne Truss is a thoroughly engaging writer with a passion for punctuation. After reading this little book, I will never look at a semi-colon, an elipLynne Truss is a thoroughly engaging writer with a passion for punctuation. After reading this little book, I will never look at a semi-colon, an elipsis, or a parenthesis the same way again. See the last comma in the last sentence (the final comma in the list before the or)? That's an Oxford comma! Bet you didn't know that. Truss presents the basic rule of punctuation, mainly aimed at a British audience, with style and flair. Highly recommended....more