Damned delightful and insightful. A meticulously researched work marred by a sometimes sensationalist and casual tone but no less a worthy contributioDamned delightful and insightful. A meticulously researched work marred by a sometimes sensationalist and casual tone but no less a worthy contribution on the whole. There is the myth of German "efficiency," which this does a fine job of showing to be exactly that - a myth, particularly the author's exploration of Goering's management of the Luftwaffe. For those that believe our own military sometimes wastes resources, read this sometime and count your blessings. Given the common usage of stimulants in all areas of modern life, the German popularization of amphetamines via the second world war crucible deserves at least as much interest and consideration as their work in rockets and jets.
The role of Hitler's physician, too, in his physical and mental decline cannot but bring to mind that of contemporary celebrities such as Michael Jackson, making it more contemporary than you might imagine, and certainly goes a long way to explaining the raging maniac of his later years. Nonetheless, the author never fails to emphasize, suffering from heavy drug use or not, the actions of Hitler and his criminal regime are not excused in the least. This work is important as much for this as for its exploration of Wehrmacht battle prowess and methamphetamine, primarily because portrayals of Hitler do not tend to emphasize his tremendous drug intake of cocaine and opioids during the later parts of the war, which, as anyone who has seen a Dave Chappelle sketch about the late Rick James, knows can result in tremendous deleterious impacts on not only the narcotic dependent, but upon all those connected to him or her.
In the case of the late German dictator, that would arguably be every man, woman, and child in the modern world, given that, despite it's current upheaval, this current global order arose from the ashes of one narcotic addled despot's ruinous pursuit of complete and total global domination.
A worthy time investment for anyone interested in World War II....more
Amazing art and excellent story; no matter what your appetite is, if you have any appreciation at all for Godzilla, you will love this. James Stokoe iAmazing art and excellent story; no matter what your appetite is, if you have any appreciation at all for Godzilla, you will love this. James Stokoe is an amazing artist who manages to write about a rather old property in ways that are sure to delight old fans while also being accessible to the new. I have let this text pass through the hands of the most erudite of friends as well as my students, and this is a pop culture masterpiece with tremendous appeal to myriad audiences....more
While I've not completed this weighty compendium I can say with authority that the "Voyage of the Beagle" provides great insight into formative observWhile I've not completed this weighty compendium I can say with authority that the "Voyage of the Beagle" provides great insight into formative observations that would lead Darwin to the theory of natural selection. Ironically, given that Darwin said he felt his dedication to science atrophied his appreciation of writing as art, his awe, coupled with his lucidly exact English, "Voyage of the Beagle" contains passages of lyrical beauty that few great authors would disavow - his passage of stones carried from the Andes down into the oceans over time remains particularly powerful, as do his experiences with the gauchos of Venezuela - Darwin wielding a bola on horseback, however inexpertly, remains an indelible image for this reader belying the supposed effeminacy of scientists and authors too often propagated in American culture. ...more
Excellent collation of research on Indian history that has sparked controversy not only in the discipline of history but sustainable ecology - it trenExcellent collation of research on Indian history that has sparked controversy not only in the discipline of history but sustainable ecology - it trenchantly organizes and presents evidence not completely unknown to myself, but not presented for collective impact on the knowledgeable generalist until now. Viewed as a whole, it cogently elaborates the controversies and agendas driving various parties, Indian and white, archaelologist and environmentalist, seeking to influence not only how people view the history of the Americas prior to 1491, but the future, too. Easily the most incendiary critique originates in his presentation of evidence suggesting that, contra to myths of primeval landscapes unblemished by man that originated in the wake of demographic collapse, all of the Americas, including the Amazon, swarmed with peoples that managed and altered the landscape to their desires. This conceit undermines the supposition that a human presence in environments like the Amazon can only prove deleterious - while the evidence suggests that the Amazon, along with other environments, were thrown out kilter in the massive die off of Indian populations that managed them for their own use. The populations encountered in later epochs of intense European settlement, relatively savage and few in number, should not be considered definitive iterations of Indian culture and accomplishment anymore than Rome's medieval squalor in wake of the Empire's collapse should be considered the sum total of Rome's achievement. Mann instead recontextualizes them as the indomitable but traumatized remnnants of cultures and peoples immolated by small pox, typhoid, and other diseases to the point that they could not sustain their former way of life, leading to ecologocal disruption across the Americas and altering a formerly human managed landscape into the "primeval continent of forest" encountered by British colonists so influential in shaping America's image not only of itself, but of its Indian peoples, even as the myth continues to exert influence on America's vigorous environmental movement. This book explores far more of interest than I could ever present, but hopefully this little salvo grants some intimation of what awaits the curious reader....more
I freely concede Neil Gaiman may be quite correct: The Book of the New Sun's five volumes constitute the finest science fiction novel written in the pI freely concede Neil Gaiman may be quite correct: The Book of the New Sun's five volumes constitute the finest science fiction novel written in the past century, hands down. He is an excellent stylist and his challenges to narrative conventions and deployment of paradox excite both confusion that does not dissuade and, as things fall into place, exhilaration that one rarely finds while reading. There are few books that I have read three times, let alone books that well over 1500 pages long, but I find it rewarding and challenging each time - it is well balanced to challenge more than enough, but not so challenging as to alienate the vast majority of readers. It is an exceedingly difficult tight rope Mr. Wolfe walks. Further, I rarely feel envy of what others have written, but I envy as well as admire the novel. It is the product of a brilliant and, more rare, weird mind not commonly found in any time or place, let alone our own. Some have declared Mr. Wolfe writes works as complex as any by Pynchon that are as beautifully written as those of Nabokov: Even if one does not agree with this assessment, all must admit it more than exceptional praise. To read the five Books of the New Sun virgin is an incredible journey that will not be quickly forgotten or dismissed....more