Mmmm, I'm learning more and more that all of these sorts of practices are very common, at all levels of scale. But nonetheless, each particular instan...moreMmmm, I'm learning more and more that all of these sorts of practices are very common, at all levels of scale. But nonetheless, each particular instance is upsetting and demoralizing. I'm a quarter Irish, always pulling for my favorite Island to come out ahead. Was happy when things were going well, very sad to hear when it turned. This sounds fascinating, in that bleakest way possible. (less)
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)
My daughter will be assigned readings from this in her history class this year. Sounds fascinating! Oddly (or not so), the teacher mentioned the kids...moreMy daughter will be assigned readings from this in her history class this year. Sounds fascinating! Oddly (or not so), the teacher mentioned the kids often don't like it much. Yet they'll know it's there as they get older and wiser, and they can return and appreciate it later (certainly most do). (perhaps).
The especially interesting thing about this is that it approaches these events and this period from an epistemological perspective. That is, it's all about what people thought they knew, why they thought they knew, what the differences were people the truth and what people thought they knew, the processes controlling the misinformation, etc.. And, in a nutshell, Brendon says in the intro that this period (the 30's) was marked in the vast disinformation spread and consumed, in the lack of truth actually possessed by most people, etc..
Relevance to today with the tactics in use still by many is profound.
On Hitler, speaking, early on in his quest for power (1922-1923 or so): "As Otto Strasser said, 'His words go like an arrow to their target, he touches each private wound on the raw, liberating the unconscious, exposing its innermost aspirations, telling it what it most wants to hear.'"
By the way: Marx really said 'Peasants are like potatoes in a sack.'?????
I finished it!! I finished it!! I finished it!! Woo-hooooo!!!! Yes, this is one of *those* books, when turning the last page is immensely satisfying. And also among the least satisfying, because there was so much there that I didn't get. So many words I'd honestly never heard of before, and references to things that I was oblivious to. Since I don't know what all the references were to, I can't be sure, but it seems one would need to be familiar with European & East Asian history from about 1850 forward, plus all the literature of those regions in that period as well. And then a smattering of ancient greek and roman times wouldn't hurt either. Despite that though, it was very informative. I especially liked towards the end when Piers would describe what this or that person believed, and then how totally, profoundly wrong they were. The primary example being Stalin, when he signed the pact with Hitler. Both this book and my companion text 'Concise Atlas of World History' stress that Russia lost more in resources and people than any other country. There is definitely a psychological thread that runs through this - specific cases of people knowing something, and maintaining denial of it enthusiastically, wishful thinking, manipulation, constructions of reality, etc.. Six weeks is all the time it took Hitler to take over France? Wow, no Verdun that time .. I've totally to read up on WWII itself again. The weirdest thing for me about this- hardly any mention of the Jewish people. Sure, there were brief descriptions of a few of the main points. But amazingly little, considering. And from my personal interest in India, I paid attention to all mentions of it. There were more than enough to be indexed, seems to me (but India wasn't), and unfortunately all did speak to a certain English chauvinism which I guess shouldn't surprise me. Highly recommend! (less)
Having seen multiple films lately about the WTO Seattle event, and remembering the 00 election - so affected by Nader - and then of course living thro...moreHaving seen multiple films lately about the WTO Seattle event, and remembering the 00 election - so affected by Nader - and then of course living through everything since as well, I'm really interested in learning what those who have been fully involved in these efforts throughout this time are thinking since the Iraq occupation and everything else.. Seems like the whole context has changed hugely now atleast 3 times since Seattle (9/11, Iraq, Global Recession) and so am wondering what the progression has been like for those much more involved that I.(less)
Kim was one of those really really hard books I tried to read as a teenager, and unlike 'Zen and the Art of MM', I never succeeded. It was simply too...moreKim was one of those really really hard books I tried to read as a teenager, and unlike 'Zen and the Art of MM', I never succeeded. It was simply too densely packed and had too much unknown vocabulary, and a whole flavor and set of contexts I was unfamiliar with. Now I know a bit more about India, and tried to recently skim it a little, and am instead (and/or again) annoyed by his attitude, the way I perceive it anyway.
This book looks like it could be the perfect thing for me! Someone saying, ok Claire, in this Chapter, he's talking about this part of India, and this or that happening, and this is what he's referring to here. Sounds excellent!
With this I would read it once, then read it again with Kim (probably in short bits), just to gain that awareness (even though lots of it bothers me). And go on with my life accordingly..(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)