Before reading this book, I had known of Nat Turner’s rebellion, but only in the most general sense. In my American hisDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Before reading this book, I had known of Nat Turner’s rebellion, but only in the most general sense. In my American history classes, we spent time on it, a little more than we spent on John Brown, but the nitty-gritty and the areas of debate were largely left untouched. Therefore, when I saw Breen’s book up on Netgalley, I decided to read it.
Breen gives a detailed history of the rebellion but also of why those in the surrounding area did not join the rebellion. As much as he can, Breen gives biographic details of the slaves involved in the rebellion. He covers not only the rebellion but the trials as well as the after effects. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the comparison to Haiti. Breen considers the confessions of Turner, the statements he made prior to his hanging.
In all, it is a gripping read that shreds light on an event that every American should know more about....more
Grua’s book is one of those that every American should read, even if the prose can at times be a little dull. The bookDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Grua’s book is one of those that every American should read, even if the prose can at times be a little dull. The book isn’t so much about the actual massacre itself, though Grua does gives a run-down so an unfamiliar reader, will be clued in, but about the way that the events were portrayed by each “side”. I say “side” because it is hard to term women and children as a side. What this means is how the American media at first described what happened and then the battle for truth, if not justice. While the prose is not gripping, there is enough here to anger the most ardent expansist apologist. It is important reading for any American citizen. ...more
This little collection is of French poems about cats. Shapiro translates the poems, and then provides the originals in tDisclaimer: Arc via Netgalley
This little collection is of French poems about cats. Shapiro translates the poems, and then provides the originals in the back of the book, making this volume idea either for those who read both English and French, or for a class for either language. The poems themselves cover a range of writers and periods. Marie de France is here as is La Fontaine. There are also more modern authors, including the famous Colette. The poem types range from fables to legends, to song version to the cat being symbolic of someone else. Some of the poems are either prose-poems or translated into prose. One of the funniest poems is “The Child and the Cat” by Henri Richer. There is a the rather interesting “The Cat and his African Relatives” by Francois Jauffret. There is some love poetry that isn’t as sick as saying cat love poetry sounds. There is pretty of humor. It is a charming little collection of poetry about cats, but really about cats and not Disney ones. T.S. Eliot would approve. ...more
Faber seems to lost interest after the fall of the Czars, but who can blame him. It's also rather strange that he seems more concerned about Faberge'sFaber seems to lost interest after the fall of the Czars, but who can blame him. It's also rather strange that he seems more concerned about Faberge's sons reaction to their father's activities outside of marriage, and not so much interested in their mother's.
Still, it is a rather good book and does flesh out knowledge of the pieces....more
When PEN decided to award Charlie Hebo a freedom award, it led to some PEN members withdrew from the dinner and presentDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
When PEN decided to award Charlie Hebo a freedom award, it led to some PEN members withdrew from the dinner and presentations in protest. They saw the magazine/newspaper as racist. This led to a quasi public spat that included authors like Rushdie, whose point you can’t only defend that which you don’t object to is valid. But it also raises the question of you should know what you objecting to and who you are supporting.
In many ways, this is the point of Todd’s book. The title question is targeting those who marched in support of the paper, and the book itself isn’t about free speech rights as it is about France’s current political and social divisions.
This means that if you are reading the book for a blow by blow account of the attacks or a freedom of speech discussion, you are going to be disappointed. Todd’s analysis, however, does take into account the attack on the Jewish market as well, and it is also ties into the current refugee crisis.
It is this last bit, unintentional it must be, that in many ways seems the most important. Watching the news broadcasts, a viewer notices that some Europeans are welcoming and some are not. It is understandable, if only from an economic view, why some governments are hesitant about welcoming over 5,000 people in a single day. What is interesting is the view that is sometimes subtly transmitted that the refugees are poor and uneducated, terrorists in waiting. While the charge of poverty must be true for some of the refuges, one should wonder. For instance, how come it seems so easy to find those refugees who speak English? Doesn’t that imply education? If it costs a large sum of money to make the journey then doesn’t that mean that more middle or lower middle class groups? (Because the rich would have already left).
This is touched on in part in the book. Part of Todd’s point seems to be the question of assimilation, what the term actually means. Todd considers what it means to belong French society means. Does it mean adopting French values and beliefs that according to some of the data presented in this book aren’t even currently used by the real French. This value group is very vocal and votes. It keeps outsiders out. The press and politicians play to it.
SO it’s the tea party, I think.
It also enforces the status quo and keeps those who are different as second class citizens or dominated religions. This, in turn, leads to more division. It also leads to compliancy. And then it ties to the rise of Anti-Semitism because of this division. At least, I think that’s the point I could be reading it wrong. The translation could be off.
The point is also whether something or a group that is exclusive pretending to be inclusive. Which is also a good point. If anything Todd’s book is about knowledge. ...more
This is actually a pretty good, fast read. It details the plundering of Europe, but the focus is mainly on the plundering the Allies did, which makes This is actually a pretty good, fast read. It details the plundering of Europe, but the focus is mainly on the plundering the Allies did, which makes it stand out a bit more. The weakest chapter is the one about the horses – not so much that it is wrong, but it is rather simplistic in terms of the Lippizans. While the US did take some of the Lipizzans to the US, in most cases it wasn’t looting, but a thank you for the saving the stud. Still, nicely varied and told. Each chapter is a story. It is well done and nicely illustrated. ...more
After reading this, I want to travel back in time and smack people. What is done in this book is great. The loss of a couple, of a devoted couple, isAfter reading this, I want to travel back in time and smack people. What is done in this book is great. The loss of a couple, of a devoted couple, is highlighted, not as a spark that set off a war, but as a family loss. That gets over looked when talking about this killing.
You also feel so sorry for Sophie who it seems was a real lady in the true sense of that word.
I have to give a special shout out thank you to my GR friend Jalilah because if she had invited me to join the Middle Eastern reading group, I wouldn’I have to give a special shout out thank you to my GR friend Jalilah because if she had invited me to join the Middle Eastern reading group, I wouldn’t have read this wonderful book. The novel follows Reena who lives in what today is Bangladesh. When the book opens Reena has just lost her children to her in-laws, and then the book jumps a few years into the future where Reena and her children struggle though Bangladesh birth pains as the country gains its independence from Pakistan. While Reena herself is lukewarm on the question of independence, at least at first, her children are supportive, and Reena lives for her children. In many ways, Reena is an everywoman as she struggles to keep what remains of her family together and alive. Reena’s struggle is that of everywoman. She is not politically active, she is not a superwoman. She is what she is and that is it. And therein lays the charm of the story. And it is a powerful story, heavy with accuracy and allowing the reader to figure things out. There is subtleness about the writing, yet it is a gripping story. ...more