I understand that this is excellent and all that, but I don't like graphic novels much, I don't like things with mice, and of course the Shoah (HolocaI understand that this is excellent and all that, but I don't like graphic novels much, I don't like things with mice, and of course the Shoah (Holocaust) is always very hard to read about. Still, maybe one of these days.....more
She was on Oprah etc.. I think I've heard of her. One of those I might try and read sometime, as I'm sure her name will be shorthand for overcoming-obShe was on Oprah etc.. I think I've heard of her. One of those I might try and read sometime, as I'm sure her name will be shorthand for overcoming-obstacles etc.. for years to come. ...more
Looks like a pretty good introduction to the Shoah (Holocaust) and the life of Elie Wiesel for a child, of use for a report or something. It covers (iLooks like a pretty good introduction to the Shoah (Holocaust) and the life of Elie Wiesel for a child, of use for a report or something. It covers (in a very basic form) the hateful ideology of the Nazis, that their genocidal actions were kept secret to a great extent for a long time.
How one Jewish man who'd been taken away from Elie's village came back, describing how he'd pretended to be dead after everyone had been shot. Elie's Jewish community refused to believe him, calling him a madman. (Elie was 13 or 14 at that point).
Then not long after, they also were taken to Auschwitz. It mentions how someone whispered to Elie and his father to lie about their age - to remain within the viable age range. It mentions Dr. Joseph Mengele, 'a cruel man who did inhuman experiments'.
It mentioned babies being thrown into the air to be used for target practice by the Nazis, and at Auschwitz that all the children and babies were thrown alive into a burning ditch to burn to death. (So, some limiting factors of this book to consider for any given child).
It mentions that tattoo'ing of prisoners - Elie's number was A-7713. It describes in simplest terms the High Holidays, and how Elie's father told the prisoners they couldn't give up even a shred of bread for Yom Kippur, as that could cause their death (as close as they always were to starvation).
Elie had to have an operation on his foot in 1944 - no pain medication, luckily he fainted finally after an hour. Soon after, before his foot had healed at all, the prisoners were taken on to the death march. He wrapped his foot in rags and walked/ran through the snow like all the other survivors. They ran for over 40 miles - it says Elie thinks he actually slept while running for a short time due to extreme exhaustion and pain.
20,000 prisoners left on the death march, less than 6,000 were still alive at the end of it ten days later, in Buchenwald. Elie's father died shortly after that point.
It mentions also that, as the war was ending in April, 1945, the Germans were determined to kill every Jew possible while they still could. They stopped feeding the prisoners on April 6, Elie and others ate nothing but grass and food from the garbage till the American troops arrived. (The Germans were also taking groups of prisoners out and shooting them during that period, and were making their way to the barracks where Elie was when the troops arrived.)
There is a picture of troops leading surviving prisoners (children, broadly defined) out of the camp, with an arrow pointing to Elie.
This book finishes by describing how Elie started writing, how he married and created a family and a life.
And Elie Wiesel's overall belief about the Shoah, which is that it was a uniquely Jewish experience, yet it contained lessons that were universal. Some situations that Elie tried to help with as a result including South Africa and Cambodia.
When Elie received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he spoke about the fact that the world did know about the concentration camps to an extent, and that he had promised himself to never be silent about human suffering and humiliation.
At the dedication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC in 1993, Elie made some comments about how to possibly understand the inhumanity of human beings, and that goodness exists still in individuals even in such times. '"What have we learned?" he asked. And he answered, "We have learned that we are all responsible, and indifference is a sin. We have learned that when people suffer we can not remain indifferent."'
There are dramatic photos - one with Hitler in all his rabid intensity - looks like he's about to bite someone. Also of a beautifully illustrated Torah page. One of Jews loaded into a train car (P.S. 'Paperclips' is an excellent film). Another picture is of the portal into Auschwitz, the the words above 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work Makes You Free).
I think I purchased this due to a mention by Josh Marshall on his talkingpointsmemo website a few years ago. He's a history buff, and I believe he lisI think I purchased this due to a mention by Josh Marshall on his talkingpointsmemo website a few years ago. He's a history buff, and I believe he listed this as just a really great covering of the subject, which is the Islamic presence in Spain from 711 forward the next thousand years. I'm interested in it today due to my still-profound ignorance of much of Islamic history, plus of course my recent reading of 'People of the Book'. ...more
My Mom liked this a lot, and she and I are both into non-patriarchal religions, so that's a start. I can see the point of some reviewers, that her jouMy Mom liked this a lot, and she and I are both into non-patriarchal religions, so that's a start. I can see the point of some reviewers, that her journey in particular might not be relevant to various of us. Armed with that, I'll start off seeing it in a historical light rather than something personally relevant, and see where that takes me....more
This book describes and illustrates comprehensively yet pithily the major facets of Reconstructionist Judaism. It is written by Rebecca Alpert, a RabbThis book describes and illustrates comprehensively yet pithily the major facets of Reconstructionist Judaism. It is written by Rebecca Alpert, a Rabbi who was formerly Dean of Students and current member of the faculty at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and currently also Director of the Women's Studies Program at Temple University. And its co-author is Jacob Staub, Dean and Director of Medieval Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. This book is short (88 pages) and simply written, but contains a wealth of information about this crucial Jewish voice in our global community. I've only browsed it myself, but am aware of its contents through membership in a reconstructionist shul, attendance at services etc.. plus within my 'Introduction to Judaism'/conversion class in 2000 and my participation in a program for new converts which was a contrast-and-compare involving all the local synagogue options. Highly recommended for anyone interested, including anyone who thinks that the Jewish community is monolithic. It's not, any more than any other community....more
I've had this for a long time, put off reading it for a long time, now I think it's getting to be time to face it. Partly because of the change in theI've had this for a long time, put off reading it for a long time, now I think it's getting to be time to face it. Partly because of the change in the US at this moment, I feel we have stopped our march toward a reality too-similar to that of this book. I feel I can breath a bit more now, but also am curious to read this for comparison to here and to elsewheres that also may be closer to this book's contents than any of us would like to realize....more
From Comprehensive, Annotated Bibliography on Mahatma Gandhi By Ananda M. Pandiri:
"This book is a critical study of the Hindu-Muslim problem in tFrom Comprehensive, Annotated Bibliography on Mahatma Gandhi By Ananda M. Pandiri:
"This book is a critical study of the Hindu-Muslim problem in the context of Indian politics. The author notes that the Gandhian approach of intermingling religion with politics was an impediment to the growth of secular nationalism, which ultimately led to the partition of India. Using many primary and secondary sources, the author argues her point in a scholarly manner. The index could have been more elaborate for a scholarly publication like the one here. ...more
Ok, I've fully digested 'A Fine Balance' now, and teeter-tottered back and forth regarding the truth vs. NRI-sourced etc.. issues raised by it accordiOk, I've fully digested 'A Fine Balance' now, and teeter-tottered back and forth regarding the truth vs. NRI-sourced etc.. issues raised by it accordingly. And I'm ready to go back and this time start with his first novel. Perhaps this will lead finally to Midnight's Children even?
Really great. Will try and write review soon.....more
This review may contain spoilers, I didn’t check that box because it isn’t really that kind of book. However if you’re a readLove and Marriage: Review
This review may contain spoilers, I didn’t check that box because it isn’t really that kind of book. However if you’re a reader who likes to know things only via the author, and beforehand to know only what’s on the book covers, you probably don’t want to read this.
This novel of a family tapestry woven with many threads including those of terrorism will impact you not due to the intensely sensational nature but instead due to it’s quiet intensity. The aspects of terrorism are some of the most intensely quiet moments of this book, certainly by conscious design.
The book is very tightly structured, reminiscent of a vise - or a straight-jacket; the tone is flat and dry which forms a smooth surface for the wildly dramatic and turbulent content. I will try and keep my review free of excess emotion/words etc.. in response.
My interpretation of the structure of this novel is that it mirrors the structure imposed on a family by those individuals who make certain life choices. Like when a person chooses a military career, or to be in the police forces, or to be a politician, or to an extent to be a doctor - the family of that person is affected. There is a discipline imposed, a set of actions that are prohibited, a set of actions that are required. There is a format that is imposed - these things happen repeatedly and always this way, those things never happen. The structure of this book - very short chapters, everything told, but told minimally so that what is told does the showing to an extent, voice that is not always clear who it belongs to - requires the reader to adapt in a way perhaps similar to how the family adapts to their life structure.
In this book, a question is asked: is the choice to become a terrorist similar in these ways to the choice to be on the police force or in the military? Can a choice to be a terrorist be valid, if made earnestly and with the best intentions? Of the answer to that were yes, would it still be yes over any range of actions? Or only over certain actions? What about the family of a terrorist - are they still a family? Do the same family-rules apply about love and loyalty and keeping secrets and following rules? How does forgiveness work at the end of such a life?
I feel like at this point I should include a disclaimer of some sort - I don’t agree with this idea, or I don’t feel that way. But I’m not, because this isn’t about me, it’s my review of the work of someone else. She has included in her text all that she wanted to in that vein, any of my own feelings are irrelevant. And would violate the discipline (my German talking, a different word is probably more true) and the rules that are bound in with this book.
This is a piece of fiction, a novel; presented as a memoir of a family from the point of view of a member of that family. That creates also a great deal more work for the reader, as information is presented in a order and a format that is not conducive to rational thought or analysis.. For instance, the struggle of the Tamil Tigers is at first presented as having been triggered by a certain event, then later on more is said about the beginning that might color a person’s perceptions differently. That choice of the author also could be a suggestion about life in such a family - that incomplete information is often all one receives. Reading this actually coincided for me with working in a place in which I never received all relevant information about anything. There, as in this family (or atleast as a reader) the choice is available to feel less in response - knowing that if you knew more, you might feel differently. So in order to feel incorrectly / come to an incorrect conclusion, better sometimes to remain in suspended animation, withhold closure, stay detached. Of course, that detached state makes it easier to do as one is asked without being conflicted also.
This book explores:
Love-Marriages and Arranged-Marriages, Proper Marriages and Improper Marriages, and love: the choices and securities and risks involved with each and whether or not there are other kinds. Human will and personality and self, constructions of paradigms of self. The Asian diaspora experience: living in North America with people who aren’t aware of your home country, being different (or being in an enclave and then the same), much more. Family relationships and emotions: in particular the complexities and power of them. The Asian residence-at-place-of-birth experience, village life and rituals and customs, discrimination and injustice as well as internal community workings in all their variety. Terrorism: both exhaustively and incompletely; due to it being voiced as a family member and the terrorist himself. That choice of voice allows for freedom to leave out aspects and go in depth particularly according to choice. A lot of challenging content, with particulars about Sri Lanka, the conflicts between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, formerly the Tamil New Tigers). Children and growing up: what effect do the parents’ choices have? What freedom does a person have regarding their opinions/feelings about family history, homeland history and struggles? What about a person who has a family member very involved in a struggle - do they have the same choices then about their opinions/actions? Do they have fewer choices? When are they ok? Always? Only if they obey? Only if they feel inside the correct way? Only if they accept/understand/confirm with their lives the choices/actions of their parents/other family members? Communities with injustice: What is the best response of the group suffering injustice? Does anything work? If a government is brutal, are they ‘bad’ in the same way that terrorists are ‘bad’? More bad? Less bad? Madness.
Many of these subjects are universal, one interesting counterpoint regarding that last set about a child and their choices comes to mind in Freedom Writers, the book and film. It’s very very different situation of course. But the core comparison is between parents who choose their actions/lifestyle vs. parents who didn’t; and what basis that gives the kid for their decision-making as they come into adulthood.
Anyway, this is a rich and complex book which I’m almost certainly not doing justice to. If the topics explored are of interest, I’d encourage you to try it! ...more