Captain Ahab,Moby Dick, and Ishamael are three of the most well known characters in American literature. One of the things I most liked about this takCaptain Ahab,Moby Dick, and Ishamael are three of the most well known characters in American literature. One of the things I most liked about this take on the tale was the way several real life people were included in Una Ahab's telling of the story. Four of these names were instantly recognizable to me. Three of them are writers who are required reading I'm many schools; i.e. Henry James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. But there were three characters who whose names I didn't actually recognize, all three were close friends of Una; and there was just something about the passion in which the author described them that made we wonder. So I googled them, and it turns out yes, they were actual historical figures. Margaret Fuller the first full time American female book reviewer and strong women's rights. Maria Mitchell the first person to discover a comment using a telescope. And Phebe Folger Coleman an acclaimed poet and artist. I think it says a lot about history is taught in our schools. For far to long women have not been getting the recognition they deserve for the accomplishments they have made. I said earlier there were four names I recognized instantly. The fourth was Frederick Douglass. He had only a minor role in this novel but the accolades the author bestowed upon him make it clear of the vital and very influential role Douglass played in the fight against slavery. So how is it that the President of this nation does not know of the importance of Frederick Douglas ? Answer, he lived his entire life in that ivory tower and is totally out of touch with the People. We The People deserve better that that !...more
Last year I read Mao The Untold Story by June Chang and could tell tight from the start it was a hatchet job. She was angry at the atrocities he commiLast year I read Mao The Untold Story by June Chang and could tell tight from the start it was a hatchet job. She was angry at the atrocities he committed and was out to condemn him right from the start. So what made reading Wild Swans such a surprising and fascinating read was that both Jung Chang and most of her family were actually high ranking officials in the Red Guard and devout followers of Mao. Watching them come to realisation that their idol was actually a sadistic monster gave this work a much more personal and compelling feel. I read this book on my iPad and Highlighted many troubling passages. I'll end with the one that frightened me the most
"But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilise them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the things undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide."