Hard to rate this one. The diary of a shallow person, but worth reading for the insights it gives into Hitler's psyche. She complains of being lonelyHard to rate this one. The diary of a shallow person, but worth reading for the insights it gives into Hitler's psyche. She complains of being lonely and wishes she had a puppy. ...more
These are the recollections of a Russian emigre in France, on a mission to heal the rift between the Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. A conveThese are the recollections of a Russian emigre in France, on a mission to heal the rift between the Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. A convert to the Catholic faith, she tries to reconcile her Orthodox friends by emphasizing their common roots and beliefs. She draws on the teachings of her philosopher friends Jacques Maritain, a Catholic, and Nicholas Berdiaeff, an Orthodox, both of whom had abandoned materialism and socialism in favor of spiritual values and Christian humanism. They all believed in personalism, the primacy of the person over the state. She calls for Christian humanism, citing the papal encyclicals of Leo XIII and Pius XI. She describes in detail the French religious and social movements in which she was involved, including youth groups such as Emmanuel Mounier’s “Esprit.”
Communism and Nazism were threatening France. The title of this book refers to the approaching “dusk of civilization” represented by those totalitarian forces. She condemns them both as materialistic and inimical to human freedom. Christians must be independent, not forced to choose between what Maritain called “the right complex” and “the left complex.” “France could be saved only by a complete renovation, not only economic, but moral and spiritual.” She calls for “a spiritual wall against totalitarian influences,” a genuine spiritual revolution. Three chapters describe the difficulties of living in France under German control, even in the so-called free zone. She fled to America in 1941 because she could not do her work under Nazi domination.
The author assumes that the reader knows something about events in France in those days, but she was a gifted writer and this is an easy read for anyone at all familiar with the subject matter. Recommended to readers interested in religion and spirituality, ecumenism, Christian humanism, and French history and philosophy during the 1930s.
A history of medicine that probes into pre-medical times and asks, how did people live and care for their sick before medicine? Speculating on the bioA history of medicine that probes into pre-medical times and asks, how did people live and care for their sick before medicine? Speculating on the biologic and physiologic needs of prehistoric people, it concludes that they did very well without doctors and medicines, before their “fatal breach with nature.”
Shelton denounces medicine, calling it voodoo, the practice of poisoning the sick. He denies all claims of medical “progress.” How can there be “progress” in a system based on untruth? Medicine is not a natural science. He discusses medical doctors from the distant past: Hippocrates, Galen, Paracelsus. Schools of “so-called healing” at Sumer, Crete, Egypt, Greece, etc.
He lashes out at superstition, sorcery, priestcraft, astrology, the idea that angry gods or evil spirits cause disease. “Medicinal herbs” are poisons. Homeopathy is “a system of drugging.”
He challenges “the Darwinian myth,” which says that only the fittest survive to evolve. Says Shelton, modern man is inferior in health and fitness to his prehistoric ancestors. Where others see evolution, Shelton sees devolution. He calls for a return to the primal instincts of the past and a rejection of the conditioned reflexes of domestication. He calls for a return to hygiene, to the body’s innate ability to heal itself, because healing comes from within, not from external forces acting upon the body. “There are no healing agents.”
A remarkable book, rich in erudition but wordy and repetitive at times. Could be better organized. Worth reading because of the importance of the issues it raises. I’d like to see an artfully-condensed version in a larger, more readable type.
The story of the so called Italo-Ethiopian war of 1935-1936 by a reporter on the ground. It was an invasion rather than a war, and uncannily similar tThe story of the so called Italo-Ethiopian war of 1935-1936 by a reporter on the ground. It was an invasion rather than a war, and uncannily similar to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. ...more
How do you stop a mad dog dictator? By shooting him and his followers? This pamphlet argues that violence has not solved the problem in the past. HasHow do you stop a mad dog dictator? By shooting him and his followers? This pamphlet argues that violence has not solved the problem in the past. Has in fact backfired against us.
Decent people are many and mad dogs are few. Then why do so many decent people follow mad dog dictators? Because of the “awful habit of obedience,” says Muste, who calls for civil disobedience on a grand scale. Nonviolent resistance along Gandhian lines.
This pamphlet is more about prevention than cure, but does mention Hitler and “the difficulties which the Nazis had with the Resistance, often mainly nonviolent, in France, the Low Countries, Denmark, Norway.” Muste suggests what pacifists might have done about Hitler, but does not guarantee results. Who could?
He discusses various provocations of the Western world that breed desperation and extremism in others: expansionism, economic imbalances, and the “defense complex.” And calls for global co-operation, humanitarian aid, “all out friendliness,” good will, wealth sharing.
Muste likes to reverse positions, to show that the perceived enemy is really not so very different from us. Suppose he did what we do? How would we like it? This pamphlet is an exhortation to think, not fight, our way out of our conflicts. To recognize the law of cause and effect. To have the courage to act unilaterally, in the expectation that the other guy will notice and respond in kind. Muste argues that our armaments are not protecting us, that they are increasing tensions and making things worse. That dismantling them would make us safer.
This pamphlet is a bit dated in its concern with Stalinism and the Cold War, but its principles still apply. It offers sane and sensible solutions that look a lot like the Golden Rule, but don’t expect to see them put into play any time soon. They would require courage, imagination, wisdom, selflessness, far beyond what we are accustomed to seeing in our decision makers, who would think Muste’s program impractical, even naïve. But if his program could somehow be implemented, peace just might break out. How practical would that be?
Notice that I am calling this a pamphlet. It is described as a 48 page book, but is in fact a 19 page pamphlet posing as a book.
Irish history emerges from misty legends. This book sifts for facts among the fables. Invaders and powerful kings make up much of the early narrative,Irish history emerges from misty legends. This book sifts for facts among the fables. Invaders and powerful kings make up much of the early narrative, as it was they who left historical footprints. Tribal Ireland needed powerful kings to form a united front against foreign invaders. Indeed, Ireland was invaded and colonized so many times from so many directions that it is hard to say for sure who the Irish are. It is a story marked by wars, famines, persecutions, and widespread suffering. Saints and scholars enter the narrative, followed by freedom fighters and Fenians. At times this book becomes a litany of atrocities committed against the Irish, but that's the way it was.
This is the Irish experience to about 1920. Did you know that the Irish invaded England? That Christianity was established in Ireland before St. Patrick arrived? That the Renaissance began in Ireland? That Irish monks were in North America centuries before Columbus? That wearing a moustache was punishable by death under the English penal laws? That the Irish were more fluent in Latin than in English? That it was unchivalrous to wage war before the enemy was ready?
This is a big book, not a quick or easy read, but it can be read piecemeal. It covers a lot of ground, from Irish customs and costumes to arts and crafts, poetry, trade and manufacture, politics, laws, education, religion, monasticism, the status of women, etc. It could benefit from artful condensation and better organization. It may be too detailed for some readers. Bias? Yes, but it does not obscure the facts … or the fables. ...more
The premise of this book is that history can be fun, when viewed through the lives of the jokers who made it. Sure it can be boring in the abstract, wThe premise of this book is that history can be fun, when viewed through the lives of the jokers who made it. Sure it can be boring in the abstract, when seen in terms of political factions or economic systems, of territorial boundaries or dates or battles; but on the human level, the up-close and personal level, it becomes a cavalcade of psychological case histories. Because historical personages were real people, as nutty as the rest of us. To understand them is to understand the world they created. Is there a more entertaining way to learn history? This is nonfiction, fact-based satire. Based on real facts, it is real history. These personages took part in real historical events: the Renaissance, the French Revolution, the Petticoat War, the Dreadful Decade, the porkless Thursdays of World War I. Lots of history here, between the laughs. As Edgar Johnson said, "Satire is enjoyable compensation for being forced to think."
Printed in easy-to-read 12 pt. type for your reading pleasure. More than fifty illustrations. With footnotes that are admittedly unnecessary, but how could we do without them? Guaranteed free of those annoying split infinitives, misplaced modifiers, and dangling participles. No cheap puns. Well, OK, a few, but hardly any. Released in an updated third edition in April 2012. Recommended to readers who think history is boring. It doesn't have to be! Not recommended to grumps and grouches who have no sense of humor.
Table of Contents
I. Part One: Religious Wackos 1. The Borgias 2. The Spanish Inquisition 3. Oliver Cromwell 4. Anthony Comstock
II. Part Two: Damyanks 1. Andrew Jackson 2. U. S. Grant 3. Woodrow Wilson 4. William Randolph Hearst
III. Part Three: Bloodsuckers 1. Ivan the Terrible 2. Pirates 3. Boss Tweed 4. John D. Rockefeller
IV. Part Four: Jacks and Queens 1. Sir Walter Ralegh 2. Marie Antoinette 3. Bismarck 4. Queen Victoria
V. Part Five: Imperialist Warmongers 1. Hernan Cortes 2. Robert Clive 3. Napoleon Bonaparte 4. Cecil Rhodes
VI. Part Six: Popular Hate Figures 1. Kaiser Wilhelm II 2. Benito Mussolini 3. Adolf Hitler 4. Francisco Franco
VII. Part Seven: Weirdos and Worse 1. Gilles de Rais 2. Casanova 3. Hetty Green 4. Rasputin
When the New World was discovered by Europeans in the late fifteenth century, Spain claimed it, tolerating no interlopers. The pope made it official.When the New World was discovered by Europeans in the late fifteenth century, Spain claimed it, tolerating no interlopers. The pope made it official. This book is about the English response. Denied peaceful trade with the Spanish Indies, the English took to plundering Spanish settlements and treasure ships, and to worldwide exploration to find places open to English settlement. Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe in his search for plunder and financial prospects. Later Thomas Cavendish did the same. Also covered are Welsh and Cornish pirates who preyed on ships in the English and Bristol channels, and early trading companies, such as the East India Company.
There is bias in this book, English pride in the "daring and enterprise" that transformed "England into the foremost maritime power." English crimes are acknowledged, but the author concludes that the sea dogs “wrote a glorious chapter in England’s history.”
This book is too detailed to interest a general audience, but is recommended to anyone interested in piracy, in early exploration, in Elizabethan England, or in the origins of the British Empire. It draws on Spanish archival records, narratives from the Hakluyt Society, Admiralty records in London, and other primary sources. Illustrated and indexed, with bibliography. Some illustrations are in full color. ...more
An intimate portrait of Rhodes by one who knew him well, but very biased in his favor. Jourdan idolized Rhodes. He blames the Boers for the Boer war aAn intimate portrait of Rhodes by one who knew him well, but very biased in his favor. Jourdan idolized Rhodes. He blames the Boers for the Boer war and refers to black natives as "boys". He acknowledges that Rhodes was an imperialist, but thought that was a good thing. "We are all proud to call ourselves imperialists." The British Empire trumped all.
Jourdan knew Rhodes for only about seven years but, as his private secretary, gives unique insights into his life during that time. Interesting inside view of the siege of Kimberley. This book is not a biography of Rhodes, but a slice of his life.
The 1911 edition, by John Lane Company, is indexed and illustrated with more than a dozen photographs of Rhodes and his associates. ...more