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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment?

 
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/2/2017 5:00:55 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Re-reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.



Never heard of it. Whatsit 'bout?

It is a historical novel, and one of the best books I ever read. The story is set during 12th century England. The main characters are bound together by the building, or creation, of a cathedral, during a time of unrest. A civil war rages on in the background.

This book is huge (some 1000 pages) and is a stand alone novel. But after 10 years or so a follow up novel was made. And after 10 more years yet another follow up novel was made and that one was recently released. And that one I am going to get myself for Christmas. And I will reread the first two novels before tackling the last one.

The first two books has been made into two separate miniseries.


Here is the trailer for the miniseries.

*WARNING* Contains *SPOILERS*

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH - Official Series Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd4e1dF_CkM

*WARNING* Contains *SPOILERS*


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pillars_of_the_Earth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pillars_of_the_Earth_(miniseries)


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/3/2017 9:04:56 AM   
ToressFedd

 

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Well at the moment The Association of Small Bombs - By Karan Mahajan. Wonderful!

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/8/2017 4:25:08 PM   
warspite1


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Having been energised by visiting Berlin recently, I have just finished Bergen to Buckingham Palace (Oppenheimer) and have moved onto The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting (Roseman). End of Chapter 1 "This is a book trying to paint a picture of how, on 20 January 1942, fifteen educated men met to talk about genocide".

Two excellent reads.

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22nd November 1944 - The British Pacific Fleet is born (temporary avatar changes to commemorate the ships and aircraft). HM Ships Formidable, Illustrious, Victorious



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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/13/2017 9:00:26 PM   
warspite1


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Away from war for the moment, I've just ordered the Pochettino book. Might be interesting, and something can read as and when while still concentrating on the books at hand .

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/13/2017 9:03:28 PM   
Orm


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Has Pochettino written the book or is it about Pochettino?

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Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb -- they're often students, for heaven's sake. - Terry Pratchett

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/13/2017 9:05:53 PM   
warspite1


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Here's some blurb about the book

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/mauricio-pochettino-new-book-tottenham-hotspur-news-brave-new-world-review-guillem-balague-a8031006.html

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/13/2017 9:14:33 PM   
ncc1701e


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Gothic serpent from Osprey publishing. I like those small books series.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/14/2017 9:26:55 PM   
Perturabo


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Asne Seierstad - One of Us - The Story of A Massacre and its Aftermath


Jokela School Shooting Official Report


Randy Stair - Journal

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/15/2017 9:22:50 PM   
warspite1


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I finished The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting (Roseman).

A very good read - albeit not the one I was quite expecting. As one historian wrote "the most remarkable thing about the Wannsee Conference is that we do not know why it took place". The Wannsee Protocol (minutes) that survived are just a summary of the meeting rather than a proper record of what was said and by whom. My understanding has always been that this was the conference that decided the fate of the Jews of Europe and set in motion the Final Solution. But the truth is, that is almost certainly not the case. For one thing, as is argued by Roseman, the people present at the meeting were too junior in rank to agree such a thing.

Whilst not detracting from the quality of the book, the story is ultimately unsatisfying - not only for the obvious reason of the most terrible outcome - but because we will probably never now know exactly who ordered what and when.

By the time of Wannsee, Jews had been gassed at Chelmno since early December 1941, the Extermination camp at Belzec was already under construction, individuals were seemingly taking matters into their own hands (in the Balkans for example) and the Einsatzkommando in the Soviet Union were liberally murdering Jews and had been for months. Even after the conference, and as soon as the military situation allowed for transportation, there was much involvement in individual train loads by Himmler - and through him, Adolf Hitler.

Many of the documents needed to identify what exactly happened have been either destroyed - particularly around Heydrich's involvement - or perhaps never existed (given Hitler's wish to distance himself from written evidence linking him with genocide). Even where documents exist there is much contradictory evidence, euphemism and Hitler’s vitriolic speeches that may or may not have always meant what he actually said. At Nuremburg (and later Eichmann in Israel) of course those at the meeting who were still alive had every reason to be economical with the truth of what happened and their own involvement. Trying to piece together the evidence is difficult and so we don’t get that neat tidying up of all the loose ends with specific orders on specific dates that confirm xxxx is when the Final Solution began.

I suppose that we should not be surprised. We take on face value – because all WWII histories about the Nazis confirm and reinforce the fact - that Hitler operated a divide and rule policy and liked to play off departments and people against each other. Given that, why should we think that genocide would be any different.

But Roseman at least tries to provide the various strands of evidence in the chapters – Mein Kampf to Mass Murder and Mass Murder to Genocide - and so set the importance of the conference against what happened before (and indeed in the year after) the events of 20 January 1942. If Wannsee was not the meeting where the ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question’ was actually finalised, its importance as a turning point in what came about is clear.

This is a book that paints a picture of how, on 20 January 1942, fifteen well-educated men (two thirds had a university degree and over half had the title doctor, mainly in law) came together to meet and, speaking to one another with great politeness, sipping their cognac, they cleared the way for genocide.

Chilling.



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/15/2017 9:44:54 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/15/2017 10:05:21 PM   
loki100


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agree about the problem of the finding a causal chain. One thing I suspect was there were many and they intersected at some points.

Overy in the The Bombing War has an almost throw away argument. Basically when the Allies first started to really damage the Ruhr, the Nazi authorities evicted the Jews (who were not allowed to work) so that 'German' workers could continue to live near the factories. The displaced Jews were put into holding camps and barracks. As the bombing did more damage, that accommodation in turn was used for German workers ... you can guess the rest. But in effect, it was a totally accidental by product of an earlier decision.

Another odd strand was that the Nazis first used gas to kill Germans with mental and physical health issues. The Catholic bishops in the Rhineland kicked up such a fuss that was this stopped. So all of a sudden they had a group of 'experts' with nothing to do. Can't find it back but think that was from Fritz's Ostkrieg.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/16/2017 6:39:52 AM   
warspite1


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Ostkrieg was a good book - lengthy and very dry - but an interesting read nonetheless.

One of the interesting things about The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting is identifying many of the things that appeared in the excellent drama Conspiracy. As per above, because of the lack of minutes etc no one knows exactly what was said at the meeting.

However, I was able to identify many instances where the scriptwriters have obviously sourced their interpretations of the characters behaviour at the conference. For example Stuckhart was seen as doing a volte-face at Wannsee. Eichmann specifically mentioned this at his trial as it made a big impression on him. In Conspiracy Stuckart does a volte-face and the reason (maybe real or maybe just artistic licence) is that Heydrich 'has a little word in his shell-like". Something to the effect that "you wouldn't want the SS to start taking a special interest in you...."

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/16/2017 6:40:55 AM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/16/2017 8:54:40 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Ostkrieg was a good book - lengthy and very dry - but an interesting read nonetheless.

...


aye, it probably is the best I have read for tieing together the strands of Nazi political theory, the holocaust and the conduct of military actions. Its weakness is in the final third.

Its very clear he is a specialist in German history not Soviet (not even sure he can actually read Russian). So his coverage of the Soviet victories from 43-45 is pretty superficial. The old trope about the Soviets driving their tanks into an anti-tank ditch at Kursk gets an airing [1], and it all comes down to them having more men/guns than the Germans not that they had actually worked out a military doctrine that fitted well with their training, organisation and style of military equipment.

[1] For what its worth, I think it is possible that some Soviet tanks went into a ditch. Rotmistrov's counter-attack involved attacking down a narrow valley, swinging around a hill to engage the Germans. Due to the space, his brigades went in in echelon and provided easy targets. Its clear it was chaotic and formations fell apart as they tried to find a way through and so on.

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Others at AGEOD
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/16/2017 5:01:03 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Ostkrieg was a good book - lengthy and very dry - but an interesting read nonetheless.

...


aye, it probably is the best I have read for tieing together the strands of Nazi political theory, the holocaust and the conduct of military actions. Its weakness is in the final third.

Its very clear he is a specialist in German history not Soviet (not even sure he can actually read Russian). So his coverage of the Soviet victories from 43-45 is pretty superficial. The old trope about the Soviets driving their tanks into an anti-tank ditch at Kursk gets an airing [1], and it all comes down to them having more men/guns than the Germans not that they had actually worked out a military doctrine that fitted well with their training, organisation and style of military equipment.

[1] For what its worth, I think it is possible that some Soviet tanks went into a ditch. Rotmistrov's counter-attack involved attacking down a narrow valley, swinging around a hill to engage the Germans. Due to the space, his brigades went in in echelon and provided easy targets. Its clear it was chaotic and formations fell apart as they tried to find a way through and so on.
warspite1

I think it's fair to say your knowledge of the Soviet Front is probably greater than most here - and certainly mine


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/17/2017 2:35:05 AM   
warspite1


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Next book to be read is The SS Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945 (Reitlinger). This was written in 1956 but is recommended by Martin Gilbert who did the forward when it was re-printed in the early 80's.

I continue to read the monster The Right of the Line but this is too big a tome to carry in my bag to work so save for weekend reading!

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 11/17/2017 3:03:11 PM   
Rodwonder

 

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Grant- Ron Chernow I'm 80 pages in and so far so good.

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