When Verily Anderson titles her book "The de Veres of Castle Hedingham" one would assume there to be more than one within. There is... but Anderson isWhen Verily Anderson titles her book "The de Veres of Castle Hedingham" one would assume there to be more than one within. There is... but Anderson is primarily concerned with just one: the 17th Earl of Oxford. He takes up over 100 pages while the other 19 earls of Oxford are given a little over 150. This alone wouldn't necessarily be altogether bad if she could be bothered to simply write history. As it is she's not altogether interested in doing that either. Chapter 11 (pun intended), is where the mask drops. Nowhere is Anderson so in depth as to her belief in the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare's plays at which point Anderson presents her beliefs as fact. Supposedly Oxford used "Shake-spear" as his pseudonym until it was changed to "Shakespeare" which doesn't bother Verily Anderson but Will Shakespeare's handwriting and spelling does. Not to mention that Verily Anderson supplies no evidence for this assertion save "others can do a better job than I." This bears an analogy. Suppose you're accused of a crime. Representing yourself you state your innocence but your evidence is Verily Anderson's: "well, you know others could do a better job than me." I guaran-goddamn-tee you that you will not win that case. Hence my rating. ...more
I'll grant the date of publication as partly responsible but there are three issues I had with this book that prevented my bothering to finish it. FirI'll grant the date of publication as partly responsible but there are three issues I had with this book that prevented my bothering to finish it. First, Watt argues that Louis Malvy shares some responsibility for the collapse of the French army by Malvy's failure to arrest those 'political undesirables' compiled prior to the outbreak of war. That's a remarkably absurd judgment considering that he also acknowledges the Entente debacles at the Somme, Verdun, et al on the very same page. I'd argue that any acts by the individuals on the list were nothing compared to the gross incompetency of the entire French Army command. You can only throw men against heavily fortified positions in frontal assaults so many times before they themselves realize that they're being slaughtered for no gain it doesn't take any "rabble rousing" to see that reality. Second, Watt overplays the German army reservists. He is correct that the German army reserves were considered competent enough to be used in the initial campaign through Flanders. He does not mention that these reservists were trained on parade ground maneuvers only and were thus unceremoniously mowed down by the extremely well trained BEF. The apocryphal story has it that these units reported breaking before British machine guns when it was in actuality well concentrated rifle fire. The story's false, but the Germans were only able to advance by artillery bombardment. Finally Watt is quiet as for German casualties which rivaled France's. Verdun while sucking in the entire French Army in rotating shifts also cost Germany a half million casualties of its own. France was not after all the only nation willing to toss away its youth. ...more
Within the Shakespeare Authorship Debate (SAD) if you've read one book then you've read them all regardless of the supposed identity of the hidden autWithin the Shakespeare Authorship Debate (SAD) if you've read one book then you've read them all regardless of the supposed identity of the hidden author. Indeed with no effort at all you can merely substitute Bacon with Oxford with Marlowe and in this instance with Sir Henry Neville. If you think I'm being facetious the authors wholeheartedly agree with me. Look through the bibliography: Diana Price (Oxfordian), Charlton Ogburn (Oxfordian), Cockburn (Baconian), Michell (Oxfordian). Despite all this of course Brenda James and William Rubinstein are adamant that none bears merit quite like Neville despite their reliance on hidden codes, double meanings, and travel itineraries not to mention the exact same sources! Much of the book in fact is a very real struggle of the authors to separate themselves from their sources and still advance Neville's case as the true author using those same sources. Their only attempt at any documentary evidence for themselves is an attempt to connect a specific copy of Leycester's Commonwealth to Neville based upon underlines, and marginalia and then to connect Leycester's Commonwealth to the poisoning scene of Hamlet via the Wars of the Roses and the Nivelle family which is such a convoluted mess of book titles, "maybes," and "possible" secret keepers that makes this section not only pointless towards their initial thesis but unreadable. This above the fact that they didn't do a very good job in attributing even the ownership of this book to Neville in the first place. This is a book that would have made a forgettable blog, or a kindle-self-published work. Being published by Harper-Collins no less is a greater mystery to me than anything Brenda James and William Rubinstein have raised within.
'Surely,' state most political commentators 'there must be some common ground.' The pursuit of such a center occupied the Obama Administration for its'Surely,' state most political commentators 'there must be some common ground.' The pursuit of such a center occupied the Obama Administration for its entire eight years and while having not discovered that No Man's Land on Capitol Hill something far more sinister did rear its head. To the public it appeared as simple obstinacy. For registered Republicans it was "heroism." But in actuality it was a very public and disturbing announcement that no matter the electoral turnout; no matter "public opinion," the GOP regarded themselves as the only legitimate government. Such a mindset has only been reinforced as the Trump Presidency stumbles onward. Your garden variety conservative/libertarian/reactionary is thin-skinned, of dubious morality and authoritarian always fighting yesterday's outrage and never shy to create one where need be. The Quixotic exploits of Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopolus, Donald Trump all give credence to Corey Robin's identifying features. Accordingly I couldn't put it down. ...more
Jim Garrison had the unenviable distinction of being the first public official to jump head first into three webs: the anti-Castro terrorists lead byJim Garrison had the unenviable distinction of being the first public official to jump head first into three webs: the anti-Castro terrorists lead by the CIA; the Mafia-CIA partnership; and the CIA-press marriage. That Jim Garrison was a competent DA, and a clean politician (if a bit of a philanderer) is probably the only reason he made it out alive albeit maligned as a crank which as it turns out he wasn't. Garrison's hypothesis was that the Kennedy Assassination was born in the sweaty Gulf States amongst disaffected CIA agents and their far-right Cuban wards who hatched a plan to kill the president, pin it on an ostensible communist, and then use the ensuing public outrage to force an invasion of Cuba. But because Garrison had jumped head first he got his suspects: Ferrie, and Shaw but couldn't find precisely where they fit in. This is not an easy book to read in part because even with the release of relevant documents their positions although definitely CIA and involved with the assassination are still murky. To add to that Joan Mellon is also not the clearest or best of writers. There are passages that are well written, passages too overly polished, and passages that are so rough they clearly needed another round with an editor. She also doesn't blend her quotes in very well with her own writing. She's also partial to dropping strings of names of people that makes things extremely hard to follow and the general organization of the book while fine I think could have been worked on some more. Also frustrating was that even though all her sources are in the back it would have been better if she had numbered them within the text itself instead of just by page number. While I'm in full agreement that there was a conspiracy involving the CIA and its Cuban operatives Robert Kennedy was not in the know as Mellon has him. The CIA was running rogue at this point and neither President or Attorney General had any say over their actions and furthermore neither ordered the assassination or attempted assassinations of Castro. Mellon herself acknowledges this point very clearly in Chapter 11, but seemingly glosses over it as she does earlier exculpating Eisenhower even though Ike DID personally order the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. The afterward to the Second Edition is really in itself a whole new book. It expands the meaning of the assassination of President Kennedy to the present era in the War on Terror and a national security state that has completely absorbed the making of foreign policy. The downside are the critiques of Robert Kennedy and a closing quote from Ron Paul that just grates me. For one Ron Paul is a benefactor of the same military industrial empire that led to Kennedy's death, for another Paul is a John Bircher fanboy who would have confined to the ash heap if Kennedy had lived. ...more