I wanted something to accompany 'Dark Valley', something to add a little bit of map-content or visual of some kind, or alternately a different telling...moreI wanted something to accompany 'Dark Valley', something to add a little bit of map-content or visual of some kind, or alternately a different telling of the same content (always nice to have atleast two versions of anything). I saw this - heaven!
Each two-page spread is about some transition, period of time, or other concrete situation; and it goes from prehistoria to current. Certainly there are many choices built-in, and someone could differ with how they laid things out. But it seems to tie in well with 'Dark Valley'.
For instance, in Dark Valley, there is a section on Stalin and 1928-1933, and there is a two-page spread on exactly that. With one map showing who it was who fought against the Red Army (the White Army's generals, as well as foreign groups), where they started from and where they reached before they were stopped. Another map shows where in Europe other Communist groups existed for a while. Then, there's a great map about the industrialization that occurred, where each different kind of enterprise was situated, where the rail lines were put in. Also on that one is the different boundaries in different years during that period. Accompanying those three maps is text of the period, laying out with broad brush strokes the salient facts of the period. This book kinds of provides the pithy version, while 'Dark Valley' is more colorful, anecdotal, story-telling. Also there are different emphasis, this book doesn't emphasize nearly as much that the reason for the famine was Stalin actually taking the food away from the farmers. This one makes it seem more like it was a failure of farming structures.
So, exactly what I was looking for! Highly recommend for anyone interested in history/related subjects.
And it is *trying* to be not patriarchal, not biased, not from the point of view that White Europe = civilization; via inputs from the rest of the universe. But, of course, doesn't achieve a perspective fully separate from that, there are still blinders and all. Like on India, paraphrased: 'Although England brought many benefits to India, debate still continues on the overall legacy..' with no mention of the partition. etc.. But really does try to approach human activity from the onset of it to today, from an even-handedly global perspective. A great first go at it, for sure! Completely waylaid me tonite, was looking at Italy being in Somalia, then had to see before then, then before then.. fascinating.
Lots of skimming, in concert with 'The Dark Valley', highly recommend!(less)
Looks like one of those to be taken with a Mountain of salt.. Before buying or reading, see comments on Amazon. Apparently this person (Jean Moulin) i...moreLooks like one of those to be taken with a Mountain of salt.. Before buying or reading, see comments on Amazon. Apparently this person (Jean Moulin) is a hero and anti-hero, depending on where on the political spectrum one is located. And, according to some, this book is completely non-objective and is written from a very partisan basis - with the goal of discrediting the entire French Resistance movement due to too great an alliance with the communists. Sigh.
So I'll likely only read it in conjunction with several others, preferably some of which are informative and objective, and some are skewed toward him being a hero. None of those books exist yet, so will have to wait a while.(less)
Sounds very useful! I think I have a thumbnail sketch of these events, but am not even sure about that. Would be great to be so grounded in these cruc...moreSounds very useful! I think I have a thumbnail sketch of these events, but am not even sure about that. Would be great to be so grounded in these crucial goings-on.
Was especially glad to hear that it starts back in the time of Bismark - some of our relatives atleast came over to avoid his conscription..
I'll be interested to see if any US involvement is mentioned along the way as well.(less)
Initially: I liked the way the protaganist was with women for the most part, a lot.
The ideas discussed in this novel are fascina...moreWill mull my review..
Initially: I liked the way the protaganist was with women for the most part, a lot.
The ideas discussed in this novel are fascinating and extremely timely. The merging of that discussion into the format of a spy novel caused me a bit of a stumble. Parts of it felt forced to me, or formulaic, or almost tv-movie-ish. There was something tv-movie-ish in general, I think the simple characterizations mainly. It so happens that a lot of what I've read lately is written from multiple characters' point-of-view, and/or has rich characterization and a lot of the internal workings of them all during the story. Coming from those experiences, I missed that in this one.
There were discontinuities that I couldn't bridge. Like the initial relationship between Jack and Toby; vs. the relationship between them during the 1953 events; vs. the way it apparently went between them after that (the book ends with Toby suggesting to Jack that they put aside their differences and work together, and apparently that's what happened?).
Also info about what Jack had done prior to the book starting, vs. what he was doing when it opened (tending bar); I don't know what was served by having that be so secret. Given that he had this great record, why was he not still involved in some way? Him being in the bar gives the impression that he had a problem with his past military involvement to a degree, but then that doesn't seem to be true. etc..
When toward the end Yari says that he was the realist and Jack the idealist, that threw me for a loop.
But most important, it's hard to grasp what the conclusion was intended to be regarding the US and the CIA: it is presented that such coups prevent war and provide stability and therefore are good; if that's not the intended message, I'm not seeing where it was countered in the book. There's some content around the role of the Muslim leaders, but it's pretty vague. And given that it was written today, with all that's gone on, more content about that would have been of interest.
So, as I said, I'll mull on an actual review..(less)
Minneapolis writer! Looks fascinating, might have to send a copy to our relatives in Germany after reading also! 'Boutique' printing - only 5000 copies...moreMinneapolis writer! Looks fascinating, might have to send a copy to our relatives in Germany after reading also! 'Boutique' printing - only 5000 copies! Yikes! Ok, that's way too many exclamation points..(less)
Looks like a pretty awful experience (reading this book). Plus, the whole idea that his sister not allowing their incestuous relationship to continue...moreLooks like a pretty awful experience (reading this book). Plus, the whole idea that his sister not allowing their incestuous relationship to continue into adulthood having caused him to seek out men with which to relive that relationship is a pretty huge problem, for me and -I'd imagine- others; on multiple levels.
Besides the reviews on this site, here's another someone listed:
The idea behind it (according to one GR review): capturing what it was like to be within the atrocities of the Third Reich - is an interesting premise. Also about comparisons between Communism and Nazism, and that period and others since. But really sounds like a whole bunch of other content was lathered on as well that makes it truly truly excruciating.
Améry's efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust focused on the terror and horror of the events in a phenomenological and philos...morefrom Wikipedia:
Améry's efforts to preserve the memory of the Holocaust focused on the terror and horror of the events in a phenomenological and philosophical way, with what he characterized as "a scant inclination to be conciliatory".[3:] His explorations of his experiences and the meaning and legacy of Nazi-era suffering were aimed not at resolving the events finally into "the cold storage of history",[4:] but rather keeping the subject alive so that it would not be lost to posterity, as an abstraction or mere text. As he wrote in his 1976 preface to Beyond Guilt and Atonement:
"I do not have [clarity:] today, and I hope that I never will. Clarification would amount to disposal, settlement of the case, which can then be placed in the files of history. My book is meant to prevent precisely this. For nothing is resolved, nothing is settled, no remembering has become mere memory."[4:] (less)
Not into comic books really, and two boys as protaganists doesn't necessarily guarantee to me a bond with the work.. But if I like his other stuff, we...moreNot into comic books really, and two boys as protaganists doesn't necessarily guarantee to me a bond with the work.. But if I like his other stuff, we'll see.(less)