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)
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)
THE Frankenstein by THE Mary Shelley! There, another gap filled in within my Read-before-I-die list. Need to learn more about this particular wild wom...moreTHE Frankenstein by THE Mary Shelley! There, another gap filled in within my Read-before-I-die list. Need to learn more about this particular wild woman - originally ignored, later recognized, hopefully more so yet as time goes on.(less)
I read this in college, and am really interested in reading it again (and kept my copy, so all's good) because of my since-then-still conclusion from...moreI read this in college, and am really interested in reading it again (and kept my copy, so all's good) because of my since-then-still conclusion from it: that having different selves is fine and in fact a good way to cope with life. The criteria is that they all need to know about each other and play together well. I'm interested to see what all he says about that, as my life has continued to require a multi-faceted approach, to say the least. Additional tools always of interest!(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.
Who I would recommend this to: --- Anyone joining the US, or thinking about it (for historical context); --- Anyone for whom 'America' is on a pedesta...moreWho I would recommend this to: --- Anyone joining the US, or thinking about it (for historical context); --- Anyone for whom 'America' is on a pedestal; esp in relation to other nations. ---Anyone interested in US history ---Anyone interested in how people construct their definition of 'the other'
One additional thing I *have* to say: Annie Proulx has THE most interesting way of describing people's faces I have ever read. Honestly. Someone could publish the collected works of Faces by Annie Proulx, and it would be riveting.
p. 366: So, am reading engrossedly, a scene with two drunk guys driving at night, comparing dangers past and present, wondering if this will be an instance of something really horrible happening that maims the characters for life, or simply a wildly flavorful instance. .. on the bus. The number 16, in fact, a bus guaranteed to provide stories of its own regularly. But Saturday morning? Chances one would think would be low. Despite that, my attention from the riveting words on the page was torn by riveting words being spoken. These words were being spoken by a black man in the seat in front of me, head wrapped in white cloth in an urban manner, t-shirt, a young-old guy; who was speaking in an almost rap style, his comments directed toward a black woman at the front of the bus (5 rows or so away) who was standing, clad entirely in a burkha. The burka clearly bothered him. I didn't catch his whole soliliquoy (sp), as my attention had in fact been priorly riveted. But he was saying something about Jesus Christ and tyranny and the burka and freedom and sitting down. The woman's expression was a mixture of hostility-receiving, listening, seemed to turn then into awareness that he was in his own way on her side, in fact. Seemed there was some gentle amusement.. then she and her female companion (similiarly clothed) got off the bus, but just before that part 2 started; which was this white guy in the seat across the aisle from the black guy, who is - I don't know - something; who starts loudly asking the Soliliquoy(sp) guy: how did you get on this bus!?!?? I mean it, how did you get on? (and first the guy says - 'disability', I think thinking the guy was asking about his fare, not sure); then the guy continues - I mean, you were there, at the bus stop with us. You were smoking a cigarette. You were right there, and all of a sudden, you're here! It's like you just appeared in front of me! Seriously, how did you GET here?!?!! Then the black guy goes off the bus, and the stunned white guy starts talking about the temperature outside, how warm it is, and how warm he is. And this women a row ahead and across the aisle assures him that his temperature is nothing to worry about. and they discuss that for a few minutes. (His normal temperature is 97 degrees, everyone's varies).
It's like Proulx-uation (like sitation) just spilled from the book into real life. Must be vigilant!
So now, the last segments, present day: I'm so glad she included the Mackinac Bridge terror: my daughter's dad had to drive over that regularly during college, and many in his life. They'd always stop for a drink before, not the best. A yugo actually was blown off! Or so they say. .. And the radon gas leaking into basements thing, and use of the term 'scrabbling', perfect. Weird, from hearing what she says about the past, imagining it into reality; to seeing aspects of my own life in this book. Really is a panorama.
I love how Ivar - thought to be a tramp, basically - goes on doing his own thing, becomes wealthy.
And then the current voices, speaking against the current immigrants, saying they're not good, nice people like our ancestors were. The ringing echo of the book, explicitly sounded. Our ancestors said the same thing, about the folks who were slightly less new, and/or from a region 50 miles away in the homeland. It's been a constant refrain, never true.
There is no 'them' and 'us' of any validity in any of it, we all have our specificity and we're all good and bad. Of course, often those with an excess of unchecked power are even worse, but the human condition is imperfection and intertwined good/bad.
This book lays bare that complex nature of the US which is always covered in pretend images; and fights against the hard-core American impulse to ignore the past and look forward with the message that there *is* a context to the present debates that should be included.
The reality of the US of A: messy and contorted and more intricate and meaner and escalated and broken and mended stronger than its pretend imagery - would bear useful gifts if we would let it be known; all about the magnitude, richness and power of diversity and dreams and hopes and pain and suffering and gutting it out; and how that became where we are today.
Liked the ending. Would have more if I'd read it all I'm sure, but instead this book joins the ranks of the multiple-try, where some of my favorites live.(less)
Hmm.. I remember his name from something, but can't remember what.. Something to do with Germany etc.. Maybe we read a piece of his in a German langua...moreHmm.. I remember his name from something, but can't remember what.. Something to do with Germany etc.. Maybe we read a piece of his in a German language class or something. (less)