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)
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)
Really enjoyed this, was just perfect for me at the moment! I tend to like writing with lots of detail, more often than not, and this had that in a wa...moreReally enjoyed this, was just perfect for me at the moment! I tend to like writing with lots of detail, more often than not, and this had that in a way that totally fit for me. Also great characterizations, interesting plot, a current story and lots of historical context filled in slowly in a way that really worked for me. It's also very visual, and I really liked that. I liked the map, I was visualizing scenes much more distinctly than I usually do while reading. If this sort of content often works for you as well, I'd highly recommend it! -------- Layers are one of the main thing I love about this book. There are layers of snow falling over everything on the small island of San Piedro, just east of Washington State, where this story is set. And this story is nominally about a murder trial, but that is only the most superficial layer. It is actually about what is involved in being human and having experiences and being shaped by those experiences.
How much can a person resist the effects of what happens to them, and how much is the impact of life on each person out of our control?
Race identity and race consciousness are the main vehicle for exploration of these questions.
Set in 1954, this story includes information about two main sets of people on this island - the white population and the Japanese population. Through extensive narrative on the past - mainly through the eyes of Ishmael Chambers, the one-armed newspaper man - we see the macro life of the island move forward over the decades. And we see in particular detail the period around the bombing of Pearl Harbor - which prompted an amount of hysteria against the Japanese community. The result of that hysteria was the internment of that population - that entire population, from this island - for a period. Which is something I hadn’t known too much about, was great to learn more. And then this novel’s main storyline - about a purchase of property by a Japanese family from a white family which was nearly concluded at the time of internment - is a personal layer woven into that historical reality.
The murder trial going on is that of Kabuo Miyamoto, who was the son of the man buying the property in question. He is accused of killing Carl Heine, the son of the man about the complete the sale when the internment took place. Carl was found dead on his fishing boat, and evidence (and racism) quickly directed attention to Kabuo. Kabuo is married to Hatsue, a woman of striking beauty. Hatsue and Ishmael had been close childhood friends, and were just at the threshold of becoming sexual when the internment took place. Ishmael remained completely enraptured with Hatsue yet to the current time, and plays a pivotal role in the trial as an outcome of that love.
Betrayal, jealousy, passion, racism, and other human intensities are woven into this community’s life on this small island that is built on fishing and tightly-wound relationships. I adore the details at the various levels - from the actual battlefield experiences of Ishmael in Japan to the internment camp to the fishing boats to the trial to the minute effects of the huge snowstorm that hits the island during the trial to the intimate human interaction details. And great enveloping read! (less)
Just watched 'the Take,' awesome work on a really exciting set of happenings: the rebuilding of Argentina by the workers via 'recovered' factories, af...moreJust watched 'the Take,' awesome work on a really exciting set of happenings: the rebuilding of Argentina by the workers via 'recovered' factories, after its collapse due to globalization. Must read this! This is written by one of the guys on the crew for the film. They taped 200 hours worth of footage. Amazing. Must also truly actually read shock doctrine now. I didn't realize watching the film that it was Naomi Klein, that that was her throughout it all. So, that's that, now.(less)