Sunday, August 7, 2011

Avoiding the Issue

It was my birthday last wednesday (while I was on vacation...so perfect), and my girlfriend decided to get me a bunch of books as gifts. All of them look so intriguing...but I just don't know where to start, especially since I already had a few other books on the go! This is where you guys come in; I want your opinions to help me decide which book to read. I will probably be posting more about what I'm reading, so I figure I might as well get some input from my readers right? Here's the books, with some descriptions(with links, if you want more):

Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan - My boss actually lent me this one, and has pretty much explained it as so: The author takes a look at the Paris Peace Conferences (after World War 1), and calls out the allied leaders on their failures, and debunks that the reparations imposed on Germany were largely responsible for World War 2.

The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss - (Here's the description from the back of the book)
Mark DeMoss defines wisdom as "skill in living", and the unconventional wisdom he offers in this book has been gleaned from people, famous and not, from whom he learned life lessons. In 25 short chapters devoted to both professional and personal life, [this book] presents simple but inspiring principles you can follow to "get wise" and become skillful in living your life as richly, spiritually and happily as possible

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave - I've already started this book...but I might have to start it again. Frederick Douglass was a slave in Virginia, and had some pretty intense stories about what he saw and went through as a slave, from childhood until his escape. He doesn't leave out any detail, regardless of how gruesome it may have been. As I was reading this earlier, it really hit me hard, as some of my ancestors were slaves in the United States, and luckily escaped through the Underground Railroad into Canada. From what I've read of this so far, I really recommend it for all you history nuts!

30 Second Politics by Steven L Taylor - This seems like more of a coffee table book, but it still seems super interesting. Basically, it has a bunch of political terms (for example: oligarchy, patrimonialism, unitary state, realism, neo-conservatism...) and describes them in one page. Also on that page, it will give a "3 Second Soundbite" as a quick descrition, as well as a "3 Minute Manifesto", Related Theories and "3 Second Biographies" on people who fall into those categories. Its quite cool.

Dark History of the Popes; Vice, Murder and Corruption in the Vatican by Brenda Ralph Lewis - I've done a quick glance over this book as well, and once again, its more of a coffee table ting, but looks like a nice little history off the Papacy and how corrupt some of them were and I think tries to make a point about how some Popes were trying to be really good guys...but didn't have the control they thought they would. It goes all the way up until the present times though; that could be interesting.

Deathride - Hitler vs Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945 by John Mosier - (Description via Amazon)
The German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, began a war that lasted nearly four years and created by far the bloodiest theater in World War II. In the conventional narrative of this war, Hitler was defeated by Stalin because, like Napoleon, he underestimated the size and resources of his enemy. In fact, says historian John Mosier, Hitler came very close to winning and lost only because of the intervention of the western Allies. Stalin’s great triumph was not winning the war, but establishing the prevailing interpretation of the war. The Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia, would eventually prove fatal, setting in motion events that would culminate in the collapse of the Soviet Union.Deathride argues that the Soviet losses in World War II were unsustainable and would eventually have led to defeat. The Soviet Union had only twice the population of Germany at the time, but it was suffering a casualty rate more than two and a half times the German rate. Because Stalin had a notorious habit of imprisoning or killing anyone who brought him bad news (and often their families as well), Soviet battlefield reports were fantasies, and the battle plans Soviet generals developed seldom responded to actual circumstances. In this respect the Soviets waged war as they did everything else: through propaganda rather than actual achievement. What saved Stalin was the Allied decision to open the Mediterranean theater. Once the Allies threatened Italy, Hitler was forced to withdraw his best troops from the eastern front and redeploy them. In addition, the Allies provided heavy vehicles that the Soviets desperately needed and were unable to manufacture themselves. It was not the resources of the Soviet Union that defeated Hitler but the resources of the West. In this provocative revisionist analysis of the war between Hitler and Stalin, Mosier provides a dramatic, vigorous narrative of events as he shows how most previous histories accepted Stalin’s lies and distortions to produce a false sense of Soviet triumph. Deathride is the real story of the Eastern Front, fresh and different from what we thought we knew.


So there you have it folks, theres all the books I've got to go through. Please help a brother out in deciding where to start! Oh, and listen to this song while you're at it :)

12 comments:

  1. I havent read any, but i would sure like to read the Hitler vs Stalin book. Anything WWII related amazes me.

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  2. As an Assassin's Creed Head, it's gotta be Dark History of the Popes; Vice, Murder and Corruption in the Vatican. Sounds sick!

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  3. Dark History of the Popes sounds good

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  4. I really like WW2 stuff so I'll check out the last book on Amazon. :D

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  5. you have an interesting taste in books. i personally dont like reading but id go with the frederick douglass one because i recognize the name but dont know anything about him.

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  6. I would read Dark History of the Popes just because I'm interested in that subject.

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  7. i d go with the dark history of the popes as well because it seems the most intriguing! great blog btw, +followed

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  8. Read the book on wisdom and then use said newfound wisdom to make a decision on which book to read next!

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  9. "The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss" sounds like a good read and it'll make you pick wisely what book to read next.

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  10. oh ffs - Kryan beat me to the witty comment haha!

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