Sounds interesting.. read a great review (including carefully segmented-away spoiler), so probably know more than I *should*, but I do like to spend m...moreSounds interesting.. read a great review (including carefully segmented-away spoiler), so probably know more than I *should*, but I do like to spend my time carefully, so am fine with that. Will have to keep my eyes out for this next time am browsing somewhere..(less)
(warning - graphic violence in photo at the top of the browser window on this link)
Sounds like just the sort of thing that I'll be all caught up to, after Dark Valley. Lots of the worst things going on in the world, caught up in to one neat volume. But synthesis is useful..
Oh, wait, actually reading the review, sounds like it kinds of focuses a bit much on the physical atrocities vs. their meaning in the societal context; and it lays out other weaknesses of the book as well.(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)
Almost was thinking to read this now, because I just watched Aamir Khan in 'Earth' again today, an excellent telling of these events. But.. the tone d...moreAlmost was thinking to read this now, because I just watched Aamir Khan in 'Earth' again today, an excellent telling of these events. But.. the tone doesn't fit for me right now. And also just picked up a book from my daughter's history curriculum that will be my main book for a while, this doesn't work as a secondary book I don't think. So, will wait a bit longer..(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)
Clearly this is one of those areas where written material exists mainly in left-wing newspapers and magazines and websites etc.. more than books yet....moreClearly this is one of those areas where written material exists mainly in left-wing newspapers and magazines and websites etc.. more than books yet. Books are much easier to store though. Hence, this in case is of use. (less)