I want to begin by saying that I can't wait to read the first volume of three. Having read The Last Lion 3 first, 2 deals with the years leading up toI want to begin by saying that I can't wait to read the first volume of three. Having read The Last Lion 3 first, 2 deals with the years leading up to WWII. "Alone" is a very apt sub-title as Winston faces political isolation while being steadfast in his unpopular vision of a renewed, more menacing threat from Germany. On one hand it is easy to understand the antecedents for England's pacifism, but on the other: the signs were all there. What I found utterly amazing is the great lengths Neville Chamberlain went to appease Hitler and his band of thugs. William Manchester's impeccable research and narrative makes it clear that this point can't be misunderstood or be taken out of context. An example of the absurdity of Chamberlain's appeasement is the handing over of Czechoslovakia through the Munich Agreement. It is only magnified as Chamberlain is personally bullied by visiting Hitler. France, who had signed agreement to protect Czechoslovakia stood passively by. Throughout Europe, appeasement was the norm of the times. As Manchester notes both the genius of Hitler and Churchill, we come to realize Winston's ability to anticipate Hitler as the classic embodiment of good versus evil.
I agree with many of the reviews from fellow readers who state Manchester's brilliant series as important for understanding the 20th century. Not only are these biography, but sweeping in their scoop of history. In comparing this second volume to the third, my only critique that affected my rating, was some of the redundancy of reinstating key points. It tired a bit on me the reader, but I clearly understand the strong ground Manchester held on his viewpoints as an historian.
The recent Ebola outbreak here in Dallas bares testament to David Marx's observation of a society steeped in a blame and punish mentality. I heard manThe recent Ebola outbreak here in Dallas bares testament to David Marx's observation of a society steeped in a blame and punish mentality. I heard many a commentary, public and personal, demanding that heads roll. Much of this outcry was directed at local healthcare providers. The media in their mad rush for the "breaking story", headlined several premature absurdities. I do not know much about "Just Culture" as a school of thought, but from what I picked up, we are a society that could use a strong dose. We live in a world that demands and expects perfection. Just like the carnival game Whack-a-Mole, we strike when someone errs. Marx reminds us that nobody is perfect, not even the cream of society. We should all know this, and he even provides statistics to remind us. As a systems designer for high risk industries he understands that we must always factor human error. In our quest for perfection and zero tolerance for error, we stifle feedback, therefore stifling improvement of a system. Humans will err and we must deal with it realistically. It makes sense as he demonstrates the difference between unintended error, high risk behavior and reckless behavior. It is all really common sense. With our fast paced high tech world we easily lose perspective. It was easy for me to make application with the notion of Just Culture that Marx prescribes. When there is a crisis such as the recent Ebola scare, I just feel that it is a time for people to cooperate and support our medical establishment. For me, this was a timely and reflective read....more
Living in Texas it clarifies much of our local history. It also enables the reader to make correlations to some of the current prevailing attitudes foLiving in Texas it clarifies much of our local history. It also enables the reader to make correlations to some of the current prevailing attitudes for the love of weaponry and disdain of Federal Government. S.C. Gwynne's well researched account of Comanche history is thought provoking as it makes the reader consider the significant influence of the tribe in the shaping of America. Quanah Parker and the fate of his mother Cynthia Ann Parker are forever etched in the American psyche. ...more