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06-04-2003, 21:53   #16
Dónall
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I suppose it is personal taste, yeah. But you can go too far to one extreme. I haven't read that Berlin book, but I've read about it - it seems like a neccesary contribution to literature about the war. A few years ago history books wouldn't have talked about that sort of thing so as not to offend people.

Conservatives in Britain have complained that History teaching there has moved too far away from the "1066 and all that" style of teaching, but I think it's good it has opened up to historical experience on every level.

Of course if all you're getting is young girls hiding and nothing else that's not good history either.
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06-04-2003, 22:44   #17
richindub2
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Without dragging the topic totally into a debate over one book - I still think that Berlin managed to strike a nice balance between Hitlers insane workings and the ordinary people's lives at the end of the war.

And dont listen to dave, Russian history is in fact very interesting. In the 20th century alone the country has gone from centuries old Romanov absolute monarchy -> revolution and civil war -> totalitarian communist state -> emerging capitalist state. :)
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07-04-2003, 09:21   #18
PHB
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The ending was indeed a nice one I agree.

The reason I dont like russian history is because while it went from old Romanov absolute monarchy -> revolution and civil war -> totalitarian communist state -> emerging capitalist state EVERYBODY DIES!!!!
No matter what period there is in Russian history, everybody just keeps dying, so its kinda depressing.
The reason they keep changing state is because everybody is dying so nobody is ever happy, hence why its interesting yet incredibly depressing
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07-04-2003, 16:06   #19
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I have recently bought Mein Kampf by Hitler
Has anyone else here read it? I am only 3 chapters into it, but i think this is a fascinating book and am looking forward to reading the rest of it. It is an interesting insight into his mind and way of thinking.
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04-05-2003, 06:14   #20
loveheartsandnicotine
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by PHB
The ending was indeed a nice one I agree.

The reason I dont like russian history is because while it went from old Romanov absolute monarchy -> revolution and civil war -> totalitarian communist state -> emerging capitalist state EVERYBODY DIES!!!!
No matter what period there is in Russian history, everybody just keeps dying, so its kinda depressing.
The reason they keep changing state is because everybody is dying so nobody is ever happy, hence why its interesting yet incredibly depressing
uhuh..whereas if u live in Ireland or anywhere else in the world? U dont die, or to add insult to injury KEEP dying!....simple really! huh PHB? lol sorry could resist
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18-05-2003, 21:25   #21
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I must say I loved Beevor's Berlin it made an interesting change from the more holistic treatments I'd read on WWII, having one large book devoted to one battle really allowed you to see the nitty gritty of battle and it's effect on the populus. Fascinating stuff.

Other recomendations:

Vietnam:

A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan. Hugely readable account of the hows and whys of the conflict in Vietnam wrapped up in the story of one of it's main protagonists John Paul Vann.

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. A helicopter pilot's memoirs of his time in Vietnam and it's effect on him. Funny and depressing.

World War Two:

Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire by John Toland. Not that easy to read but a wonderful book about WWII from the Japanese perspective and the reasons for their involvement.

General:

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. The story of India's independance and the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent. It's a little too starry eyed at the British and particularily Mountbatten but one of the finest books I've ever read nonetheless.

Isreal: A History by Martin Gilbert.

The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Packenham. Africa and colonialism.

The Beor War by Thomas Packenham

Historical Fiction:

The Covenant by James A. Michener. Fictional characters experiencing the history of South Africa.

Carribean by James A. Michener. Same as above but for the Carribean. With loads of pirates.

Shogun by James Clavell. English ship pilot washes up on the shore of fuedal Japan. A classic.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Well half of it anyway. Neal Stephenson's best and thats saying a lot.
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26-06-2003, 12:19   #22
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Wildes Last Stand by Phillip Hoare

Outlining Maude Allens unsuccessful attempt to clear her name in court for Lewd and Immoral Behaviour,made against her by Independant MP,Self Publicist and Newspaper Proprietor Noel Pemberton Billing.in 1918

The Previous Year,The Dancer Mata Hari had been shot by the french as a spy.This maybe helped ferment the anti-decadence sentiment that swept through europe and characterised the final years of the war and helped the rise of fascism both in Germany,Italy and the flegling British Union of Fascists headed by Mosley with their hatred of the Avant Garde in music,art and theatre.

Maude Allen unwittingly became the victim of Billings Conspiricy theory known as the "Cult Of Wilde" that accused 47,000 members of the establishment and armed forces of Treason,Sodomy and Lesbian Acts which jepodised Britains War Effort.

Maude Allens reputation was ruined by unsubstantiated rumours of a lesbian relationsip with Wife of former primeminister Asquith made during the trial and the whole of her action was overshadowed by questions over the Morality of Oscar Wilde whose play salome she was appearing in,thus the deliniation between Actress and Character became blurred to the point of indistinction.So much so that the infamous "Bosie" Lord Alfred Douglas,Wildes former Lover and instrument of his downfall was called to testify about Wildes morality or alleged lack of it and the alledged nature of the play and its authors intent.


A good read and a fascinating snapshot of voxpop wartime britain
which has echoes in todays modern society with its own preoccupations with Decadence,immorality,the influence of Homosexuals in government (aka Tabloid "Gay Mafia" accusations) and Prohibitions on openly gay members of the Military.


Brief Synopsis of Allen V Billing
reviews

Last edited by Clintons Cat; 26-06-2003 at 15:21.
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30-06-2003, 00:05   #23
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The Minister and the Massacres.By Nickoli Tolstoy

Follow up to N.Tolstoys critically acclaimed "the Victims Of Yalta" which specifically details the tragic history of the 40.000 Don Cossacks that fled into exile , after fighting for the White Russians during the Civil War. They were handed over to Stalin as part of the yalta agreement which formalised the return of all soviet citizens,though the cossacks had never been citizens,having fled before the creation of the soviet state

Their fate was to die in stalins Gulags and workcamps,among the 2 million other P.O.W,exiles and refugees forcibly repatriated by the allies at the end of the 2nd world war.

A brief precis by the author can be found on this sitehere

Last edited by Clintons Cat; 30-06-2003 at 17:01.
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31-07-2003, 16:57   #24
deadcat
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my reccomendations would be ....

A Collection of Essays & the road to wigan pier by orwell for a good introduction to socialism/anarchism and ww2

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer
Inside the Third Reich, Albert Speer -> ww2

Politics Among Nations , Hans Morgenthau -> international political theory

also http://www.crimesofwar.org/thebook/book.html is quite essential.

Someone previously mentioned Hobsbawm, personally I find his unding attachemnt to stalin and soviet expirement to be a little off putting

In general terms The wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Das Kapital by Marx, and On War by
Von Clausewitz (if you can struggle through it good www stie at
http://www.clausewitz.com/CWZHOME/CWZBASE.htm) are good as a background to current thinking
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05-08-2003, 15:26   #25
DUX
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I advise to read "Mussolini" written by R.J.B. Bosworth

Next thing you will do once you have finished reading it, is going to the shop and buy "Risk" (a well know war boardgame)
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05-08-2003, 15:47   #26
DUX
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I advise to read "Mussolini" written by R.J.B. Bosworth

Next thing you will do once you have finished reading it, is going to the shop and buy "Risk" (a well know war boardgame)
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04-11-2003, 10:55   #27
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Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War

Plutarch's Fall of the Roman Republic (useless for history value but absolutely chock full of scandalous material on affairs and so on)

Michael Nicholson's International Relations.

I add my vote to Beevor's Stalingrad and Berlin but I disliked his Spanish Civil War.

Hobbes' Leviathan

J.K. Davies Classical Democracy

Last and to me, most important of all is de St. Croix's Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War - the most definitive and masterful account of that era in Greek History.

If your looking for something related to modern society, Sir M.I. Finley's Greece and Modern Society is excellent.

For reading I suppose it really begs the question, what are you after?
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04-11-2003, 10:56   #28
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And I agree with deadcat on Hans Morgenthau - very interesting introduction to structuralism / structural realism / thematic realism.
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21-11-2003, 22:44   #29
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Some books that I like:

On Northern Ireland:

The IRA, Loyalists, Brits - by Peter Taylor

The Troubles, The IRA - by Tim Pat Coogan


On WW2:

Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day - Cornelius Ryan

(For easy WW2 reading) - Anything by Stephan Ambrose

Enemy At The Gates (nice alternative to Beevors Stalingrad) - William Craig


On WW1

History Of WW1 - Liddell Hart


On Napoleon

Rise And Fall Of NB - Robert Asprey

Napoleon - David Chandler


Roman Emperors

Lives Of The 12 Caesars - Suetonius (An absolute classic)
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21-11-2003, 22:53   #30
Éomer of Rohan
 
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Suetonius is very dry and boring except regarding Julius Caesar where his approach is of incredible historical importance in comparison with the information in Plutarch's Life of Caesar. IMO.
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