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Old 07-07-2016, 02:29 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,395 posts, read 1,978,082 times
Reputation: 4263

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An army at dawn : the war in North Africa, 1942-1943/ Rick Atkinson, c2002, Henry Hold & Co., 940.542 Atki



SubjectsSeriesLength
  • xv, 681 pages, [32] pages of plates : index, maps
Won the Pulitzer prize, detailing the US military in N. Africa in WWII. Lots of detail on planning, logistics, training, transportation, shaking down peacetime units to fight a war. Also the UK-US alliance, its ups & downs.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:08 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,395 posts, read 1,978,082 times
Reputation: 4263
Default Alternate military history, WWII - Allied failure

Finished

If the Allies had fallen : sixty alternate scenarios of World War II / edited by Dennis Showalter and Harold Deutsch ; foreword by William R. Forstchen, c2010, Skyhorse Publishing, 940.53 IF




Subjects]Notes
  • Dress rehearsal crisis 1938 / by Harold C. Deutsch -- August-September 1939 / by John K. Munholland -- Phony and hot war 1939-1940 / by Dennis E. Showalter -- Hitler's attack on Russia -- Germany versus the Soviet Union / by David M. Glantz -- Pearl Harbor -- The Pacific war / by D. Clayton James and Anne Wells -- The Mediterranean -- The June 1944 invasion -- 20 July 1944 / by Peter Hoffmann -- The final stage of the war in Europe / by David M. Glantz -- The Ultra Secret / by Harold C. Deutsch -- Hitler's role / by Gerhard L. Weinberg -- The conclusion of the Pacific war / by Paul Schratz -- The war at sea / by Robert M. Love -- The air war -- What if Hitler had won the war? / by Harold C. Deutsch and Dennis E. Showalter.
Summary
  • Leading historians suggest what might have been if key events during World War II had the war gone differently.
Length
  • xv, 287 pages : maps, notes, no index, brief biographies of contributors.
Very interesting, covers most of the likely scenarios in the war. Very handy for the what-if crowd discussing Japan & Hawaii in WWII, Hitler not invading the USSR, & so on. This is a ground-breaking book - articles by actual historians, speculating in an informed way.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:55 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,395 posts, read 1,978,082 times
Reputation: 4263
Default Some are more equal than others?

Finished:

Surrender : appeasing Islam, sacrificing freedom / Bruce Bawer, 1956- , c2009, Doubleday, 305.697 Bawe



SubjectsNotes
  • I. A NEW BRAND OF JIHAD. "Send him to hell" -- From mill to multiculturalism -- The dialectical scam -- "Who the hell are we to point fingers?" -- Fortuyn -- Van Gogh -- The cartoons -- The Magazinet case -- II. CENSORS AND SELF-CENSORS. The ripple effect -- The media in the driver's seat -- The "American Imam" -- Redefining moderation -- Carrying Islamists' water -- The European media -- "Sowing pain" -- Profiles in courage -- Burma -- "Angry white men" -- "An Islamic superstar" -- "A caricature of sweetness and light" -- Apologists aplenty -- "Secular fundamentalists" -- III. A WAR ON MANY FRONTS. Jihad on campus -- Selling out toe Sodomites -- Docile provocateurs -- Our fearless leaders -- Cops, courts, civil service -- "I'm not Spartacus!"
Summary
  • "Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept sounded the alarm about the dire impact of Muslim immigration on Europe. Now, in Surrender, he reveals that a combination of fear and political correctness has led politicians, intellectuals, religious leaders, and the media--both in the United States and abroad--to appease radical Islam at the cost of our most cherished values: freedom of speech and freedom of the press"--Publisher's blurb.
Length xi, 321 pages ; index, chapter notes


Good reading, talks about the European & US gov. & media refusal to call things by their name, in relation to Islamic problems in adapting to the West. For whatever reason, the European cultural & governmental & media & religious leadership refuses to confront entrenched Islamic problems head-on, insofar as larger numbers of Islamics are arriving in Europe. This is undermining European efforts to integrate Islamic immigrants/refugees, & causing a crisis in voting, government & the European struggle to maintain their own culture in the face of Islamic pressure. Good background for several of the conversations/threads here on Islam in the West.
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Old 08-06-2016, 08:31 AM
 
12,270 posts, read 10,014,533 times
Reputation: 8048
I'm reading a fantastic book right now by Angela Duckworth called:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

My favorite quote so far - “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”

Highly recommended, especially if you have a child you want to motivate or you need a picker-upper for yourself.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,395 posts, read 1,978,082 times
Reputation: 4263
Default Just in time for the anniversaries

Finished

Five days in August : how World War II became a nuclear war /Michael D. Gordin, c2007, Princeton U. Press, 940.5425 Gord.

SubjectsSummary
  • Most Americans believe that the Second World War ended because the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan forced it to surrender. Five Days in August boldly presents a different interpretation: that the military did not clearly understand the atomic bomb's revolutionary strategic potential, that the Allies were almost as stunned by the surrender as the Japanese were by the attack, and that not only had experts planned and fully anticipated the need for a third bomb, they were skeptical about whether the atomic bomb would work at all. With these ideas, Michael Gordin reorients the historical and contemporary conversation about the A-bomb and World War II. - from publisher's description
Length xv, 209 pages : index, maps, photos, chapter notes


Very interesting, looks @ WWII, nuclear bombs, firebombing of Japan in context. Also looks @ operations on Tinian - where the bombs were assembled, armed, mated up to B-29s, & departed (the same base for the firebombing) to Japan. Discusses various myths that surround the nukes & Japan & WWII.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:53 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,395 posts, read 1,978,082 times
Reputation: 4263
Default Taking the long view

Just read:


Who rules the world? / Noam Chomsky, c2016, Metropolitan Books, 327.73 CHOM.


SubjectsNotes
  • The responsibility of intellectuals, redux -- Terrorists wanted the world over -- The torture memos and historical amnesia -- The invisible hand of power -- American decline : causes and consequences -- Is America over? -- Magna Carta, its fate, and ours -- The week the world stood still -- The Oslo Accords : their context, their consequences -- The eve of destruction -- Israel-Palestine : the real options -- "Nothing for other people" : class war in the United States -- Whose security? How Washington protects itself and the corporate sector -- Outrage -- How many minutes to midnight? -- Cease-fires in which violations never cease -- The U.S. is a leading terrorist state -- Obama's historic move -- "Two ways about it" -- One day in the life of a reader of the New York Times -- "The Iranian threat" : who is the gravest danger to world peace? -- The doomsday clock -- Masters of mankind.

Summary
  • "The world's leading intellectual offers a probing examination of the waning American Century, the nature of U.S. policies post-9/11, and the perils of valuing power above democracy and human rights In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe and wrecking the global commons. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the expanding drone assassination program to the threat of nuclear warfare, as well as the flashpoints of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine, he offers unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. In the process, Chomsky provides a brilliant anatomy of just how U.S. elites have grown ever more insulated from any democratic constraints on their power. While the broader population is lulled into apathy--diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable--the corporations and the rich have increasingly been allowed to do as they please. Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central conflicts and dangers of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky"-- Provided by publisher.

Length viii, 307 pages ; index, chapter notes


It's a pleasure to read incisive writing. & Chomsky doesn't care about MSM nor Left nor Right. He simply reports on what he's studied.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:41 PM
 
4,526 posts, read 3,648,993 times
Reputation: 13782
Any or all of Studs Terkel's books, he was a prolific author and had a sense of the profound depth of human experiences and how people he interviewed, went on to tell their story to Studs. He could urge the teller to expound on the emotions those experiences raised, but Terkel was a rarity among story tellers in that he allowed his "subjects" to tell their own story, in their own words.

Jeremy Rifkin's book on the third industrial revolution is a great bore of a read, until you realize he's really on to something that traditional economists completely ignored, the "capital" of natural resources, and their role in power constructs across the globe. His better work lies in the 1994 book titled, The End Of Work, in that book he lays out the inevitable path of techno-labor supplanting the human effort in most of the modern world.

Joe Bageant, author of the book, Deer Hunting With Jesus was a really humorous writer of non fiction stuff that addressed the big picture of American culture--and often, the lack of it. He died a few years back but his blog stuff on the web is still a good read.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
17,600 posts, read 6,012,518 times
Reputation: 14228
Whoever recommended the Carrot Quinn book earlier in this thread - thanks. I finished it a few weeks ago and enjoyed it.


Two more from me


Oh Waiter, One Order of Crow by Jeff Greenfield (recapped the crazy 2000 election)


Billy Martin's biography by Bill Pennington. (Billy Martin was a crazy dude, entertaining read)
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,768 posts, read 35,557,787 times
Reputation: 54913
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston: For a book about Level 4 viruses, reads like a thriller. Every time I hear "Reston, Virginia" I get scared.

The Big Sort: Why The Clustering of Like Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart - Bill Bishop: How Americans have been actively sorting themselves into polarized and ideologically inbred homogeneous communities so much so that they don't understand people who only live a few miles away. Both righties and lefties in my book group liked this one.

While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer: Bruce Bawer is gay but this is not really a book about being gay. Bawer wrote a previous book about religious intolerance in America and then went to live in Europe with his Norwegian partner and suddenly America didn't look that bad. In Europe he found the threat of radical Islam, festering and supported by the deliberate blind eye of the America-bashing, liberal, multiculturalist European establishment, threatening and frightening. Written in 2006. Good insight on how things got the way they are today.

King of Cons by Aaron Tonken: The author is a mess of a person but after you read these disgusting accounts of celebrities and politicians participating in charitable events and political fundraisers from the sad sack loser who courted them (their demands and their excesses) and organized the events, you're never going to want to give a dime to any celebrity backed charity again. You'll certainly be disgusted with the ones mentioned in this book and the author does name names.

Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell: This is not about intellectuals in their chosen field of study. The author has no grievance with them. "This is about intellectuals throughout history who have put forth ideas for society that have been "grossly and disastrously" wrong and how little their views changed in response to empirical evidence of the disasters entailed by those views."

The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II: The Japanese weren't the only ones interned. Focuses on a German family and a Japanese family as well as life in the camp. The prisoner exchange may surprise you. I didn't learn that in school.

Without Reservation by Jeff Benedict: The origins of the fake Indians running Foxwoods in Connecticut. This is not really about the casino operation itself but more about how the dubious tribe came to be and how they swallowed up the land with incompetent government officials and politicians, as well as crooked lawyers, bending over backwards to help them.

Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and The Story of The New China by John Pomfret: American goes to college in China when they first opened it up to foreigners and then goes back to see what happened to his classmates in the new China - He tells their very interesting life stories.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali: An amazing life, from childhood to adulthood, that deals with domestic violence for Muslim women and ends with ridiculous lax immigration policies in the Netherlands.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick: The book follows the everyday lives (falling in love, family, work and ambitions) of six ordinary North Koreans over fifteen years that includes the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of Kim Jong-il and a famine that killed many in the North Korean population.

Firehouse by David Halberstam (the NYC firehouse that lost so many men on September 11, 2001)

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

The President's Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy:Ex-presidents relinquish power but not influence. Bound together by experience, ambition and scars, and a desire to remain relevant, they have discovered, along with sitting presidents who draw on their expertise, that they can accomplish more together than apart. Beginning with Hoover and Truman and ending with Obama and his club of ex-presidents, the book explores the consultations, collaborative efforts, rivalries and dustups between sitting presidents and the men who once held the oval office and how those ex-Presidents worked with and got along (and didn't get along with) with each other.

Damn Yankee: The Billy Martin Story by Maury Allen: Perhaps, I'm prejudiced on this one. The title character is my favorite person in sports history.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:14 PM
 
14,790 posts, read 14,838,631 times
Reputation: 20556
Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
Finished

Five days in August : how World War II became a nuclear war /Michael D. Gordin, c2007, Princeton U. Press, 940.5425 Gord.

SubjectsSummary
  • Most Americans believe that the Second World War ended because the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan forced it to surrender. Five Days in August boldly presents a different interpretation: that the military did not clearly understand the atomic bomb's revolutionary strategic potential, that the Allies were almost as stunned by the surrender as the Japanese were by the attack, and that not only had experts planned and fully anticipated the need for a third bomb, they were skeptical about whether the atomic bomb would work at all. With these ideas, Michael Gordin reorients the historical and contemporary conversation about the A-bomb and World War II. - from publisher's description
Length xv, 209 pages : index, maps, photos, chapter notes


Very interesting, looks @ WWII, nuclear bombs, firebombing of Japan in context. Also looks @ operations on Tinian - where the bombs were assembled, armed, mated up to B-29s, & departed (the same base for the firebombing) to Japan. Discusses various myths that surround the nukes & Japan & WWII.
^ This looks interesting, thanks.

I have just finished : https://www.amazon.com/At-War-Gothic.../dp/1250065178

an interesting account of fighting in Italy, its very well written, vivid and tells an important part of WWII that is often neglected.
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