I don't know how academically rigorous the book is - although the methodological notes were almost as interesting as the actual story, I think she shoI don't know how academically rigorous the book is - although the methodological notes were almost as interesting as the actual story, I think she should put it the beginning of the book to give the stories more background. I don't know how typical the experiences of the 6th Street Boys are compared with the rest of the typical inner city population - although, given the incarceration rate of black men and the sheer number of them processed in the criminal justice system, I can't imagine that it's too far off. It's a fascinating look at life in the inner city, the failure of the War on Drugs, and its disastrous effects on the community, sort of like the movie City of God set in urban Philadelphia. It made me much more sympathetic to the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson and the Eric Garner choking death in New York City, but it made resigned to the fact that in both cases, they didn't return an indictment. ...more
I'm glad I read the book, it really highlighted some of the things that need to be done for women to succeed and gave some inspirational stories of woI'm glad I read the book, it really highlighted some of the things that need to be done for women to succeed and gave some inspirational stories of women who achieved great things. That being said, the reality of what these women are going through - rape, prostitution, honor killings, lack of basic health care and education - just made me sad and depressed :(...more
An in-depth look at how the CIA and DEA knowingly allowed the contras in Nicaragua to sell drugs to fund the their fight against the Sadinistas in theAn in-depth look at how the CIA and DEA knowingly allowed the contras in Nicaragua to sell drugs to fund the their fight against the Sadinistas in the 80s, leading to the crack cocaine epidemic. Makes me really interested in seeing the movie Kill the Messenger now. It's really sad that the author's career was basically ruined because of his reporting and he end up committing suicide by shooting himself in the head (twice!). As a total digression, it really bugs me that current Republicans consider Ronald Reagan to be their ideal (and there are so many great Republican presidents to choose from, I really admire Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower), after reading this, I think the GOP really ought to consider finding a new role model....more
In the forward to the book I'm currently reading now, The Last Full Measure, the author Jeff Shaara describes his works of historical fiction by sayinIn the forward to the book I'm currently reading now, The Last Full Measure, the author Jeff Shaara describes his works of historical fiction by saying, "it is the job of the historian to tell us what happened, to provide the dates and places and numbers, all the necessary ingredients of textbooks. It is the job of the storyteller to bring out the thoughts, the words, the souls of these fascinating characters, to tell us why they should be remembered and even enjoyed." What makes this book, and of his entire Liberation Trilogy, so sublime is that the books not only do a masterful job of providing a detailed account of the order of battle, of dates and units and battles, but reveals the thoughts of the individuals fighting the war, from Eisenhower and the high command all the way down to the lowly private in the front lines. Atkinson provides historical information of locations to place the conflict into a historical context and compare it to the epic wars and campaigns of history, and adds letters and anecdotes to put a human face on the conflict, to show that conflicts are fought by individuals, that behind every number in a casualty list is a soldier with a story, and in the case of those killed, one whose story has ended fighting this great struggle.
"Everybody shares the same universals-hope, love, humor, faith," Private First Class Richard E. Cowan of the 2nd Infantry Division had written his family in Kansas on December 5, his twenty-second birthday. Two weeks later, he was dead killed near Krinkelt after holding off German attackers with a machine gun long enough to cover his comrades' escape. "It is such a bitter dose to take," his mother confessed after hearing the news, "and I am not a bit brave about it." Cowan would be awarded the Medal of Honor, one of thirty-two recognizing heroics in the Bulge. Like so many thousands of others, he would be interred in one of those two-by-five-by-six-and-a-half-foot graves, along with his last full measure of hope, love, humor, and faith. The marching world marched on.
Affixed to a wall in Montgomery's caravan, amid the photos of Rommel and Rundstedt and the field Marshall himself, was a copy of Sir Francis Drake's meditation before his attack on Cadiz in 1587. "There must be a beginning of any great matter," Drake had written, "but the continuing unto the end until it is thoroughly finished yields the true glory." So too in this great matter, this struggle for civilization itself. The moment had come to seize the glory.
It's hard to not compare it with his other books, especially The Remains of the Day, since they both rely on memory and reflection so much to move theIt's hard to not compare it with his other books, especially The Remains of the Day, since they both rely on memory and reflection so much to move the story. Since the book focuses on the recollections of Ono, it's hard to tell what "really" happened, he would mention something to one of his daughters and she would not recall the event, and he sometimes comes as a humble artist doing his patriotic duty, and then tells stories where he is influential to people high up in the imperial government. Sometimes it's hard to reconcile everything going on, and I feel the clearest indication was when Ono visited Matsuda and discussed what they did during the war:
Matsuda: "But there’s no need to blame ourselves unduly. We at least acted on what we believed and did our utmost. It’s just that in the end we turned out to be ordinary men. Ordinary men with no special gifts of insight. It was simply our misfortune to have been ordinary men during such times.” pp 199-200
It was a good read, but I just think that The Remains of the Day was so much better. ...more