I am silent. What can I say? Here I have been, for the last year or two, searching for books on WW1. I have read fiction and non-fiction and biographiI am silent. What can I say? Here I have been, for the last year or two, searching for books on WW1. I have read fiction and non-fiction and biographies. This thin little book has more of an impact than any other I have read.
This is a book to be read many times.
Not only is it profound in message, but the author writes beautifully.
Can humor be incorporated in a book with such a serious message? Yes, Remarque pulls this off too.
This thin book perfectly captures
- war in the trenches - mustard gas - being home on leave - medical care on the front - the strength of comradeship - rational and irrational fear - our innate will to live
not only with factual content, but more importantly with the emotional impact on the individual in the war. Also the impact on those not there in the trenches, not doing the fighting, but in heart out there with the combatants.
This book points an incriminatory finger at all of us who let wars continue.
Stunning narration by Tom Lawrence. Listen to THIS audiobook version of Remarque's masterpiece.
P.S. This book doesn't throw in other issues, such as politics or romance, as so many other contemporary books do. Such topics are totally superfluous given the gravity and intensity of the central theme so well drawn with Remarque's eloquence. I will definitely be reading more by Remarque....more
Phew, this was a difficult book to digest in the audiobook format. Neither is it easy to digest in a paper book format. It is dense. It is detailed. NPhew, this was a difficult book to digest in the audiobook format. Neither is it easy to digest in a paper book format. It is dense. It is detailed. Names and places and battles are thrown at you in rapid succession. You have to remember who is who, which corps is fighting where and its number, the title of each commander and more. You do not have time to stop and think and recall what was told to you minutes/pages or even hours/chapters before. You need more than a detailed map because you don’t have much time to spend looking at that map. What you need most of all is a good memory, a good knowledge of history and geographic knowledge before you even pick up the book. OR you can read this book to begin learning and accept that there will be parts that go over your head. That is what I did, and I enjoyed much of it, but I also spent time exasperated since there were sentences I had to think about and ponder before I understood their implications. I had to rewind and write notes and search on the internet.
Does this mean I regret reading it? My response is emphatically no.
Much of the book is set in Belgium and France. (It also covers the Eastern Prussian Front.) I have been to many of the towns, cities, citadels, squares, forests and rivers named. Knowing the history of what happened where I have walked is special to me. I am a bit unsure if it would mean as much to one who has not been there. If you have been in the Ardennes you immediately understand the difficulty of moving artillery around there. Having walked in Leuven, Dinant, Mons, Charleroi and Namur, to name a smattering, when you hear of the burning and sacking and murder of hostages, you more intimately understand. I believe my own experiences, rather than the writing made the events real.
It is important to know that this book is focused primarily on the military battles of the first month of the war. Why? Because what happened then set the course for the four years that followed. You might as well be told that the primary focus is military because that will not appeal to all. The start of World War One is all about the idiosyncrasies of generals. It is about a lack of communication. It is about men who have decided on a plan and from that they will not budge.
The narration by John Lee was fine, but he does not speak slowly and that might have made things a bit easier. Some say he speaks with a Scottish dialect. That is fine by me!
I will tell you why I liked this book. I now have the basics for how the war started. I appreciate knowing what has happened to the people living around me here in Belgium; I understand them better. I understand why they so quickly capitulated in the Second World War. Today there is so much squabbling going on between the Flemish and the French people of Belgium. It was wonderful to see how in the First World War they fought united, as one people, for their independence and very existence. I needed to learn of this. ...more
I thoroughly loved this book. I finished listening to it and was desperate for more. I re-listened to the last chapters. Then I thought,On completion:
I thoroughly loved this book. I finished listening to it and was desperate for more. I re-listened to the last chapters. Then I thought, I simply cannot leave this book! I searched to see what other books Sebastian Barry has written. This is the first of a trilogy followed by first Annie Dunne and then On Canaan's Side. I read what these books were about. The central theme of these books diverge; they are not about WW1. And this is the topic that I want more of. So I checked out The Absolutist and even listened to the narration at Audible. Again I felt let down. John Cormack's narration of "A Long, Long Way" had been superb, The snippet of "The Absolutist" just could not compare. Was it the narrator that I had fallen in love with? I listened to other books narrated by Cormack........but they were not what I wanted to listen to either.
And here I sit, feeling desolate and sad, because I want more of the same. I want Cormack's narration and Barry's prose. I don't want to leave the camaraderie of the troops in the trenches of Belgium, near Ypres. Isn't it utterly strange that I do not want to leave the battlefields of WW1?! That is the truth of the matter, strange as it may seem.
None of the other books I have read about WW12 have moved me as this has. I believe I understand what that warfare was like. It was horrible. When the war ended, it didn't really end. All who lived through it would never be the same. To understand the war itself you must look further than the blood and bombs and gas and grime and lice and all the physical horror of it. There is still more. There was also what the soldiers shared with each other. This is something very hard to comprehend to those of us who have not fought in wars. This book shows you how the soldiers intimately depended, needed and relied on each other.
I am so shaken by the ending that I don't know what to say. I have no complaints. There is nothing I would change about this book.
How do I sum up my feelings? This book has beautiful lines, and they are lines filled with meaning, imparting a poignant message. This is a book about WW1 and a book about Ireland's place in that war. Excellent writing by Barry. Excellent narration by Cormack!
This is excellent. The writing is superb! For me how an author chooses and lines up his words is very important. The Irish dialect and dialogs are spot-on. And I love how horrid stuff is mixed with beauty and camaraderie and humor. All of it seems genuine. The narration, audiobook by John Cormack, has such "oh-so-perfect" Irish!!!! This narrator has to be added to my favorites list, at least for Irish literature.
Through part one:
I have yet to read a text that so brilliantly describes mustard gas. The first time the yellow fog crept along the ground the soldiers had no idea what it was. Their fear and their instinctive horror engulfs the reader. Then imagine their fear when they know its consequences and it's used again and again and again. This is frightening to read.
To the end of part one: Imagine fighting a war for country and family, only to discover that at home your efforts are not appreciated! Originally the Irish went off to war in the belief that Home Rule would follow at the conclusion of the war. But then there broke off a splinter group that opposed any fighting done for the King, the oppressor, he who stood in the way of Home Rule. They wanted guarantees of Home Rule before they would do any fighting for the English king! In Dublin, Irishmen were fighting and killing Irishmen. It became a civil battle between the Irishmen themselves. Those, such as Willie Dunn, fighting and dying in Flanders, were despised. Try and imagine how this would feel! As if the war itself wasn't enough! Barry adds this to the horrors of the trench warfare in Belgium. Yes, we are fighting, but for what?
ETA: To understand this history I had to listen to one part over and over again. This is the only portion of the book where the dialect caused me some confusion. I am not sure if the language was cryptic, if I was being obtuse or if quite simply I was was obstinately demanding a thorough explanation of the historical events all summed up in one short dialog. I have this need to thoroughly understand the historical facts. I am satisfied. The historical context is made a bit confusing because Willie is terribly confused and cannot comprehend why the Irish are fighting the Irish when he goes to Dublin on furlough.
In chapter eight: Two things I would like to praise. Again, Barry highl Irish conflict in the war. The Irish rarely were given high positions in the army. They were judged on another scale. He showed the English disdain for the Irish men when Willie is sent to headquarters with a message from his captain after a gas attack. The dialog really ripped me apart and made me want to punch some of those English, particularly Major "Stoker". (I am guessing at the spelling!)
Again I must explain how much I like the writing style, particularly the brogue of the men in the trenches and the total lack of melodrama. There is a level tone, a distance to how the events are related. This lack of melodrama makes the horror of the war seem even worse because you realize these are the true events with not a smidgen of exaggeration. There is a tinge of irony, disgust of human folly. Yes, Willie admitted, when the officers said that the little Irishman stunk,indeed he had soiled his trousers. Due to fright.... This could be admitted. Anyone who had been in the trenches during the gas attack must acknowledge the blatant truth.
Through chapter fourteen and part two: Chapter fourteen is moving, grim and a very difficult portion to read. This is trench warfare with all its gore and horror. Tell me, Barbara and Dawn, how you react to this chapter?
Willie wished, as he marches forward under the exploding bombs of both enemy and friendly fire, that he were provided with blinkers as a horse on the road. The sights and smells and cacophony were so overpowering. Here follows a short quote:
How easily men were dismembered. How quickly their parts were un-stitched. What this war needed were men made of steel.....
The hopelessness of it all struck him with force:
No one man had done anything but piss his trousers in terror.
I admire the privates and their captain who must lead these men forward. Barry even throws in the absurdity of all the papers these captains must fill in. He has captured so many aspects of warfare. The filth, the food, the camaraderie, the desolation, fear and even bureaucracy! These are my thoughts as I read this chapter. ...more
ETA: I have to add something about the humor in this book...... Both the disgusting antics of the parent and the moral depravity of the era is expressETA: I have to add something about the humor in this book...... Both the disgusting antics of the parent and the moral depravity of the era is expressed through innuendos, irony and sarcasm. So yes there is humor in the lines; we can either laugh or cry.
This book is primarily about Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796 – 1817). She was the only child of George, Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV. Her mother was Caroline of Brunswick. Had she not died in childbirth at the age of 21, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom. The book is about her troubled youth, her estranged mother and father and how she came to be married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the first king of Belgium.
Charlotte's parents were constantly bickering, having affairs and using their daughter as a means of hurting each other. Her parents were hated by the English people. She was loved. One thing this book clearly demonstrates is the extent to which adulterous behavior, scandals and gossip infused royalty and the beginning of the 1800s. Had Charlotte not died, Queen Victoria would never have become Queen. The change in tone that Queen Victoria ushered in can only be understood if one is aware of what came before.
The book gives a good feel of those times and of who Charlotte was. Why she was who she was, and what she had to put up with!
The book zips through all the other members of the family and how Queen Victoria came to power. Zip is the word I want to emphasize. You get rapid summaries of the family tree and events. This is not in-depth and for my taste was way to superficial, but then this book is short and is primarily about Charlotte. I did love learning about her.
The narration by Jilly Bond was NOT to my liking. Charlotte sounds like a baby. All the voices were too exaggerated. Please, just read the text; I don't need all the dramatics! The speed with which the lines are read is rapid. ...more
I am impressed. I never thought this book would be as lovely as Girl with a Pearl Earring: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...! First let me justI am impressed. I never thought this book would be as lovely as Girl with a Pearl Earring: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...! First let me just explain that this is a book of historical fiction. In the Museé National du Moyen-Age we can today see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. They are six tapestries, each representing one of our five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, taste and the sixth, that one is known as Á Mon Seul Désir, for these words are found woven there. In English the translation would be: my one, sole desire. Think about those words in conjunction with the theme of the other tapestries and imagine what they might mean. In any case, the tapestries and this book must be about seduction. Or is it about forgoing sensual pleasures? One cannot see if the women is putting in or taking out the jewels.
Little is known of these wool and silk tapestries except that they were woven at the end of the 1400s, probably in Flanders. They were commissioned by the Le Visté family, since the banner is visible in all six of the tapestries. Tracy Chevalier weaves a credible story about these tapestries: Jean Le Visté, a fifteenth-century nobleman, close to the French King Charles VII, commissions Nicolas des Innocents, a talented miniaturist, tantalized by the charms of several beautiful women - maids, ladies-in-waiting and even Jean Le Visté’s daughter and wife, too. The tapestries are woven in Brussels by the renown weaver Georges de la Chapelle. The story captures the lives and times of noblemen and the guilds’ craftsmen living in Brussels and Paris at the end of the 1400s.
Tracy Chevalier, the author, has done her homework. She knows these cities, the craftsmen and these times – down to the smallest details. She knows that in Brussels it is the early summer sun that shines the hottest:
I sat back on my heels and raised my face to the sun. Early summer is good for sun, as it is directly overhead for longer during the day. I have always loved heat, though not from the fire. Fires scare me. I have singed my skirts too often by the fire.
‘Will you pick me a strawberry, Mademoiselle?’ Nicolas asked. ‘I have a thirst.’
‘They’re not ripe yet,’ I snapped. I had meant to sound pleasant but he made me feel strange. And he was talking too loudly. People often do when they discover I am blind….. (pages 110-111: a short interchange of words between Nicolas and Aliénor de la Chapelle, the pretty, but blind daughter of Geroges de la Chapelle)
Already we know by 100 pages that Nicolas has impregnated a maid in Paris, been under a table doing naughty things with fourteen-year-old Claude, the daughter of Jean Le Visté, and flirted with her mother, Geneviève de Nanterre. What more mischief and indeed with whom will we find Nicolas? Each character has a clear identity. There is rivalry between mother and daughter; there is jealousy and love too. Each of the women came alive. There is Aliénor the blind girl. There is Christine du Sablon, the wife of Georges and mother of Aliénor. Each of the women and also the men relate the events. Different chapters relate different characters’ thoughts. Each of the individuals has a different perspective. Each has their own problems, personality and standing and thus they cannot have the same view. I loved the blind girl’s thoughts. I also appreciated the two different mother daughter relationships. For me, there was a lot to consider. I love the playful seduction scenes. I love the authenticity of the descriptions. I know Brussels and the author describes the city perfectly. The details are interwoven into the tale of families. There is a wife that has given birth to only three daughters, and that is quite a failing when it is a son that is needed to carry on the family name. This novel is about not only the tapestries but also about women, several very different women. So while we learn history about these tapestries and times we also delve into familiar family relationships. The book is about rivalry between mothers and daughters, lost love between a husband and wife and about the life of women as they age. What makes it wonderful to read is the author’s ability to evoke different places and characters convincingly. ...more
ETA: No, I cannot do it. I cannot give a book two stars if it is so bad I cannot finish it!
I tried to read this bookETA: No, I cannot do it. I cannot give a book two stars if it is so bad I cannot finish it!
I tried to read this book once before, and I gave up. Now several friends are reading this and so I thought it might be worth another try. I failed again. This time I read through 12 chapters.
What is wrong? What didn’t I like?
There are so many people; I have difficulty keeping them all straight. Sure I get the main gist of what is happening, but the details are too complicated, too confusing. I don't find the writing clear. I don't get excited when I should get excited. I realized when an (view spoiler)[avalanche occurred, and I didn't even care who would survive, (hide spoiler)] that something was seriously wrong! I couldn't care less about any of the characters. I don't find the central character to be a believable figure. His antics are beginning to bore me. "Oh, not again!" is what goes through my mind. The history is, I assume, correct, but it is difficult to follow. During the middle of the 15th Century, did they really transport goods over the Alps in the middle of the winter? For me the story just goes on and on and on. What I do like is how the author draws places - Bruges and Geneva were fun to "see". Interesting historical tidbits and the descriptions of places save this from being a one star book, but this isn't enough to motivate me to continue.
I listened to the audiobok narrated by Gordon Griffin. Yeah, it was OK, but not special.
I have given the book two tries. This time I read a fourth of the entire book, a book having 470 pages. Isn't that a fair try?! Dorothy Dunnett is not for me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This short collection of vignettes, written by an American nurse, is based on her service at field hospitals in Belgium during WW1. It speaks volumes about the reality of that war and about the absurdity of all wars. This book should be read by all who want to know what that war really was like.
Ellen Newbold La Motte was deeply moved by her experiences. What you read is deeply cynical. This cynicism is absolutely appropriate. Her message rings loud and clear. ...more
So you are interested in reading about World War One. Which book to choose? That is the question. What are you looking for? Do you want a complete non-fiction compendium explaining the cause of the war and the battles, then try A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. I have heard it is very good. Do you want it clothed in fiction in a more palatable form? I have read both Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War and A Long Long Way. In fact I gave both of these two five stars, but I realize now that the scenes they draw are lacking. They don’t quite ring true.
If you want the real thing, the nitty-gritty of trench warfare as it was around Ypres, Belgium, you have here found the right book. Unadulterated truth, the filth, the vermin, the drudgery, the fatigue and the slaughter, in fact none of it is over-dramatized.
If you are trying to understand how gypsies think, reason and behave this is one book I can recommend, but I learned that there are gypsies and then tIf you are trying to understand how gypsies think, reason and behave this is one book I can recommend, but I learned that there are gypsies and then there are gypsies. There are those that are scarcely nomadic any more - the Gitanos of Spain and France,the Sinti of Germany and the Rudari of Romania! The Rom that are dispersed around the world may be split up into four main tribes: the Lowara, the Tshurara, the Kalderasha and the Matchyaya. They differ in appearance, temperament, occupations, language and mode of living. Their customs and traditions differ. The Lowara and the Tshurara are predominantly horse dealers, while the Kalderasha, which are the most numerous, are coppersmiths and live in tents. The author, who was born in Antwerp, Belgium, left home at the age of twelve to live with Lowara Rom. It is the customs, traditions, beliefs and behavior of this group that one learns most about in this book. The author spent ten years living with the Lowara, during the 1930s. The dates are very unclear. There are few people who straddle both the Rom and the Gaje communities, as non-gypsies are called by the Rom. The book concludes with the treatment of the Rom during WW2.
The book covers the food, festivals, manner of comportment, clothing, marriage, birth of children and death among these people. The author was accepted as one of them, although he periodically left them and returned to his birth family. It is very strange to observe how his Belgian family reacted! He stayed predominantly with one "large family", living with them in a horse drawn wagon, several wagons making up the kumpania. A little time is spent with both Tshurara and Kalderasha Rom, allowing readers to learn about the tribal differences. My reaction to this was that there was little tolerance between the different groups. Intermarriage is rare.
Although I learned a lot from this book, I do not necessarily trust the validity of all the statements. The author is speaking as a Lowara speaks. He was not impartial. I questioned his credibility, particularly his judgments of gypsies from other tribes. He was very supportive of the Lowara beliefs and extremely critical of the Tshurara Rom. Here I am, trying desperately to "see" as the Rom do, to understand how they think, and I find they are so mistrustful and hateful towards each other and of course the Gaje too.
Trickery is central to their lifestyle. No denial of this is made in the book! I use the word trickery because I cannot drop my moral code and see their actions as they see them. They feel for example it is OK to steal chickens, because they need them for food, we are told they only take a little and only what is absolutely necessary. Do I believe that? How do you define what is "necessary"? I still cannot excuse or accept this behavior. They feel they may cheat non-gypsies because they are mistreated.
After reading this book I cannot forgive or even really understand their life choices. They are intolerant of non-gypsies and of each other! Although I have learned a lot, this book has not made me more forgiving or more tolerant of their misdemeanors. I have learned so many things about them that I do not like! I cannot think as they do. I thought this book would bring me closer rather than pushing me away from the Rom!...more
Three stars, but I certainly don't love the book! I recommend it to those curious about a Jewish Belgian family's experiences during WW2. It reads asThree stars, but I certainly don't love the book! I recommend it to those curious about a Jewish Belgian family's experiences during WW2. It reads as a book for young adults. It begins with the German occupation of Belgium, the initial bombing in Brussels and then it follows two families' flight to southern France. They are hidden by Huguenots in Languedoc, France. This is a novel, but is based on the author's family.
The book is interesting, filled with all sorts of diverse details. It is about life in rural southern France during the war years. Historical war facts are related, but the emphasis is on how these events played out in France. How the French people helped the refugees, how the villagers and the hidden Jews survived on a day to day basis, what they ate, how they were clothed, the harvesting of chestnuts, the French Resistance, all these topics are covered by following the two Belgian families. The main emphasis is the little things of daily life. I found it interesting because I currently live in Belgium and spend much time in France. I have visited the villages spoken of. I believe this has increased my appreciation; a person who has not visited the towns of southern France may be less enthused.Yes,there are diverse tidbits that are interesting, at least for me!
The writing is simplistic. It reads as YA literature. There are four children in the families. The children's perspectives are covered as well as the adults'.
The narration by David Baker wasn't fantastic. The story is simple to follow in the audio format, the characters remain constant. Each chapter has both a title and a date, one event following the next in chronological order. Nothing is confusing. Baker did add voice intonations for the different characters and even one had a lisp that you could always recognize. What was wrong was that some of the words were either incorrectly written or incorrectly pronounced. For example, the French word "merveilleux" was pronounced "marveilleux". Was it written wrong or incorrectly pronounced? Some words were just not correct!
Yeah, the book was interesting, but no big winner. Maybe more interesting to me since I live in Belgium and love France!...more
I am not going to provide many excerpts for this novel. The writing is neither bad, nor exceptionally good, a story is simply being toldNO SPOILERS!!!
I am not going to provide many excerpts for this novel. The writing is neither bad, nor exceptionally good, a story is simply being told, a story about some Belgian characters during WWI and a clandestine newspaper. Perhaps if one is more religiously oriented than I am, this book would appeal to you more than it appeals to me. Here follows an example of the religious thoughts so frequently expressed in this book:
"We'll face the consequences, whatever they may be." Genny drew her close again. "But remember this, my little Isa: whatever happens, God is with us." (page 313)
Many chapters begin with a few lines from the newspaper La Libre Belgique. The lines are translated into English. Although it is interesting to that such documentation is included in this novel of historical fiction, I felt the connection between these lines and the following chapter was frequently thin. I kept wondering why is that quote put at the beginning of this chapter?! The author's note at the novel's end in fact states that the majority of these lines are fictional.
And there are some humorous lines, such as this describing German soldiers posted in front and behind a house:
But through the window she saw guards posted in the yard. No doubt they came as a matching set, one for the front as well. (page 308)
Overall, what I appreciate most with this novel of historical fiction is not the story, but the references to places ( squares and prisons and parks and town halls) in Brussels that I know. This is fun; I know exactly where the characters are moving and what the surroundings look like there and there and there. References to historical people, such as Father Clemenceau, Brand Whitlock and Edith Cavell, are also entertaining because there are squares and hospitals and streets in Brussels names after them! I hadn't known that Brand Whitlock was the American ambassador to Belgium during WWI.
Nevertheless, this is a very light novel, more about a woman and a man and their romantic feelings for each other – flirtations, misunderstandings and the overall development of their relationship commencing from an early childhood friendship.
Do you enjoy cinematic endings? If you do, add some more bonus points if you are trying to determine if the book is for you. I can only give it one star. I would have to be much more religiously inclined to give it more. ...more
I have read 160 pages of 414. I am giving this book up. It is not to my taste. Just as as in the last book I read, Far to Go, this is abNO SPOILERS!!!
I have read 160 pages of 414. I am giving this book up. It is not to my taste. Just as as in the last book I read, Far to Go, this is about those children who escaped Nazi cpntrolled countries through Kindertransport during WW2. In both books the child was transported away from Czechoslovakia. Both children were about 5-6 years of age. Both books are about those children who never again are united with thêir parents, about children who only at an adult age realize they were born in other countries, to parents they never knew and a religious background they never knew about. Both books are about the need to know our origins, to uncover truths and to face the facts of history. Both books strangely enough focus on trains! That is where the comparison ends. These two books are very differently written. This book is pure fiction, while the other was perhaps the true story of the author's grandparents.
The primary diofference is in the style of writing. I will now explain how "Austerlitz" is written. There are no chapter, no paragraphs, little punctuation. I was not aware of this before I bought the book. My fault! The story is told in the first person narrative alternating between Austerlitz, the man who left Czechoslovakia, and another man who became first his acquaintance and then a friend. They met the first few times simply by coincidence. They met in different Belgian cities, then later in other countries. The book is about how Austerlitz discovers his past and about his need to know his past.
Not only does the story lack normal grammatical techniques of writing, it focuses on one theme for lany pages and then shifts to another for many, many pages. For my taste, too many pages! Themes are architecture, moths, artists, colors, battles. The writing is erudite. I believe the more you know of the sciences and history and different fields of knowledge, the more you will be sucked into the book. I liked the information about the Palais de Justice in Brussels, but how many ohers will appreciate this? I was bored when the historic battles were the theme. I was bored way to much of the time. The writing was detailed and about many different topics. Usually before the topic changed it turned reflective and philosophical. I did not find the philosophical ideas enlightening.
What is very well done is the placement of photos throughout the book. You honestly believe you are getting a true story. One thingt I disliked about the last book was the lack of interesting side information. It was too cleaned up. This book has the opposite problem. I guess I am never satisfied.
Let me be clear; if you are very knowledgeable about all sorts of subjects, you might just eat this book up! My knowledge is insufficient. The book is not badly written, but it does not fit me. I do not have the energy to continue, although I would probably learn quite a lot.
Obligatory reading for all. We must wake up and start learning from history. At least read the book and try to understand what happened. Determining hObligatory reading for all. We must wake up and start learning from history. At least read the book and try to understand what happened. Determining how many stars to give is impossible - I certainly did not "really like" the book!...more