Books?

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moomin
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Books?

Post by moomin » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:53 pm

I have rediscovered quite quickly why I put it down ten years ago and have only now picked it back up. Determined to get through it and curious to see if they have diaries of when or if he discovered that Hitler was to carry out similar atrocities as he mentions being sad they no longer have a Kaiser but prefers Hitler. Throughout he is horrified at the murderous Japanese soldiers and the visible lack of humanity seeing the Chinese as subhuman, much like is described elsewhere as how the Nazi's saw the Jews. I think if you were to come through all of that having helped and supported a perceived lesser race while concentrating on the thoughts this is isolated to this one place and then discover it went world wide would be equally foundation changing. They do work through saying the advancing army had been starved and unpaid then left unchecked, whilst you would be thinking your own army would be organised and show morality and self restraint whilst fighting for a righteous cause, would then be hard to take when you realise actually war is just as horrific, brutal and bestial whichever guise you put it under. That order and self restraint is quick to disappear when you are forced to become brutal in order to destroy an others life.

Most media outlets concentrate on what they perceive to be most important to cover. It isn't just American news or American schools which leave out Eastern conflicts or histories. We are in the Western World therefore Western conflicts or histories are more relevant to us. Its not just the East which is left out but Africa as well, if you read up on the Bronzes of Benin, for example, for years after they were bought to the West it was considered they could not have been crafted by the perceived savages of the tribes because the histories of Africa weren't really considered to be important. If you look at them now you realise how important they are in the history of the humanity.
How many of us would turn the news over if we were hearing about a Chinese man in China? Its so far away from us and a completely alien Country in terms of politics and law. I am sure they would do the same about an Englishman in England.

sarahg
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:01 am

Re: Books?

Post by sarahg » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:50 pm

moomin wrote:I have rediscovered quite quickly why I put it down ten years ago and have only now picked it back up. Determined to get through it and curious to see if they have diaries of when or if he discovered that Hitler was to carry out similar atrocities as he mentions being sad they no longer have a Kaiser but prefers Hitler. Throughout he is horrified at the murderous Japanese soldiers and the visible lack of humanity seeing the Chinese as subhuman, much like is described elsewhere as how the Nazi's saw the Jews. I think if you were to come through all of that having helped and supported a perceived lesser race while concentrating on the thoughts this is isolated to this one place and then discover it went world wide would be equally foundation changing. They do work through saying the advancing army had been starved and unpaid then left unchecked, whilst you would be thinking your own army would be organised and show morality and self restraint whilst fighting for a righteous cause, would then be hard to take when you realise actually war is just as horrific, brutal and bestial whichever guise you put it under. That order and self restraint is quick to disappear when you are forced to become brutal in order to destroy an others life.

Most media outlets concentrate on what they perceive to be most important to cover. It isn't just American news or American schools which leave out Eastern conflicts or histories. We are in the Western World therefore Western conflicts or histories are more relevant to us. Its not just the East which is left out but Africa as well, if you read up on the Bronzes of Benin, for example, for years after they were bought to the West it was considered they could not have been crafted by the perceived savages of the tribes because the histories of Africa weren't really considered to be important. If you look at them now you realise how important they are in the history of the humanity.
How many of us would turn the news over if we were hearing about a Chinese man in China? Its so far away from us and a completely alien Country in terms of politics and law. I am sure they would do the same about an Englishman in England.
Really fascinating arguments, I agree that we need to understand the history of mankind as a whole, all countries I would wager gloss over, avoid or wipe from their historical discourse their own atrocities. Plus history is written by the victor. Look at us British we have been utter c u next Tuesdays! One of my ancestors was a translator in Peking back in the late 1800s, he became the diplomat there, things were very horrible then too, he wrote a graphic diary all the time he was there, it is really eye opening.

sarahg
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:01 am

Re: Books?

Post by sarahg » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:55 pm

agirlnamedfred wrote:
sarahg wrote:
moomin wrote:have moved on to The Diaries of John Rabe, the good German of Nanking. Not an easy read as it covers this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre
Thankfully I have Tennessee Williams to help me lighten the mood, find it hard to just read one book now.
I literally feel sick.
What is it in the nature of a human being that allows such cruelty?
I feel sick that I've never heard of this. American media outlets so rarely cover international news and in particular Asian events, never mind what's learned in school. I hated history while in school and I think it's because it was so focused on dates and names and not focused on WHY things happened. Now I'm interested in history and in particular politics and civics and it's so hard to start over.
Yup definitely not just US schools, I studied 20th century history as a senior and these atrocities never came up. But on a lighter note my darling Dad had a passion for learning and he never stopped reading history books, and he passed away this year at the grand age of 88!! So do not despair!

moomin
Posts: 493
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Re: Books?

Post by moomin » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:47 pm

sarahg wrote:
moomin wrote: Most media outlets concentrate on what they perceive to be most important to cover. It isn't just American news or American schools which leave out Eastern conflicts or histories. We are in the Western World therefore Western conflicts or histories are more relevant to us. Its not just the East which is left out but Africa as well, if you read up on the Bronzes of Benin, for example, for years after they were bought to the West it was considered they could not have been crafted by the perceived savages of the tribes because the histories of Africa weren't really considered to be important. If you look at them now you realise how important they are in the history of the humanity.
How many of us would turn the news over if we were hearing about a Chinese man in China? Its so far away from us and a completely alien Country in terms of politics and law. I am sure they would do the same about an Englishman in England.
Really fascinating arguments, I agree that we need to understand the history of mankind as a whole, all countries I would wager gloss over, avoid or wipe from their historical discourse their own atrocities. Plus history is written by the victor. Look at us British we have been utter c u next Tuesdays! One of my ancestors was a translator in Peking back in the late 1800s, he became the diplomat there, things were very horrible then too, he wrote a graphic diary all the time he was there, it is really eye opening.
And what usually survives are the victors stories because the others are wiped out through the destruction by the victor. I guess similar to what is happening in Egypt right now with looting of the museums, schools and churches.
I don't think guilt for the past is helpful.
In Berlin the scars of war are still visible, but there felt like a guilt had been taken on by the modern city for the past, a heaviness in the parade of the wall and sentry boxes. Bombed lots still standing empty next to impressive bright modern architecture. I love Berlin for its vibrancy but felt awkward at the shame that was held there. I would love to see us move on from that shame and put that energy into celebrating diversity of cultures. I do think if you keep highlighting differences that is all you will see, but then when we do compare we seem to be quick to compare the brutality and not the heroic.

sarahg
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:01 am

Re: Books?

Post by sarahg » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:56 pm

moomin wrote:
sarahg wrote:
moomin wrote: Most media outlets concentrate on what they perceive to be most important to cover. It isn't just American news or American schools which leave out Eastern conflicts or histories. We are in the Western World therefore Western conflicts or histories are more relevant to us. Its not just the East which is left out but Africa as well, if you read up on the Bronzes of Benin, for example, for years after they were bought to the West it was considered they could not have been crafted by the perceived savages of the tribes because the histories of Africa weren't really considered to be important. If you look at them now you realise how important they are in the history of the humanity.
How many of us would turn the news over if we were hearing about a Chinese man in China? Its so far away from us and a completely alien Country in terms of politics and law. I am sure they would do the same about an Englishman in England.
Really fascinating arguments, I agree that we need to understand the history of mankind as a whole, all countries I would wager gloss over, avoid or wipe from their historical discourse their own atrocities. Plus history is written by the victor. Look at us British we have been utter c u next Tuesdays! One of my ancestors was a translator in Peking back in the late 1800s, he became the diplomat there, things were very horrible then too, he wrote a graphic diary all the time he was there, it is really eye opening.
And what usually survives are the victors stories because the others are wiped out through the destruction by the victor. I guess similar to what is happening in Egypt right now with looting of the museums, schools and churches.
I don't think guilt for the past is helpful.
In Berlin the scars of war are still visible, but there felt like a guilt had been taken on by the modern city for the past, a heaviness in the parade of the wall and sentry boxes. Bombed lots still standing empty next to impressive bright modern architecture. I love Berlin for its vibrancy but felt awkward at the shame that was held there. I would love to see us move on from that shame and put that energy into celebrating diversity of cultures. I do think if you keep highlighting differences that is all you will see, but then when we do compare we seem to be quick to compare the brutality and not the heroic.[/quote

I totally agree, guilt is unproductive. I love Germany, especially the way they embrace their traditions, but I have only experienced Bavaria. Feeling downtrodden and harshly dealt with enabled Hitler to charm the masses with his rhetoric did it not!

moomin
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Books?

Post by moomin » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:48 pm

Well the book is now touching on the end of WWII and he has been on the receiving end of being an citizen in an invaded Country. Thankfully I am nearing the end of this book, its not one I will be revisiting.

I bought in Egypt as an example of a victor destroying history in a bid to re write but probably the better example would be Afghanistan.

Really looking forward to my other half read books now, anything but reading about rape rape and more rape would be a blessing

Gleena
Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:17 am
Location: London, via America and Australia

Re: Books?

Post by Gleena » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:43 pm

I am still working on the book Frank recommended - Revolution 1989 - which is a cracking good read, but my read-for-fun time is limited to the train in the morning. So it might take roughly forever. I can't read just one book at once, so I have my read-something-while-cooking book going, too.
Yank at large, hiding in London
https://twitter.com/Gleena
Shows: 32 in five countries and on the ocean.

DieselBenz
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:08 am
Location: Delaware, USA

Re: Books?

Post by DieselBenz » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:24 am

moomin wrote:have moved on to The Diaries of John Rabe, the good German of Nanking. Not an easy read as it covers this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre
Thankfully I have Tennessee Williams to help me lighten the mood, find it hard to just read one book now.
Which Tennessee Williams? The Glass Menagerie is one of my favorite pieces of literature, I revisit it often. I also love the essay at the end of it (at least in my edition), "The Catastrophe of Success."
Currently reading "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Richard Dawkins. Before that I just finished a biography of Jumbo (yeah, the elephant) that was pretty fascinating but a bit sad. I've been trying to branch out lately with my reading ... I kind of fell into a period where all I ever read was service manuals and the same handful of Tennyson poems over and over again (not that there's anything wrong with either of those).
2011: 8/26, 28, 11/4(x2); 2012: 2/21, 22, 23, 24, 3/9, 11, 12, 18, 9/8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 28, 29, 30; 2013: 6/5, 6, 7(x2), 8, 7/26, 31, 8/1, 2, 10/4, 5, 11/16, 19, 29(X2). 2014: 6/4. 2015: 3/8, 9(x2), 5/12, 13, 14, 15. 18

moomin
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Books?

Post by moomin » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:18 am

DieselBenz wrote:
moomin wrote:have moved on to The Diaries of John Rabe, the good German of Nanking. Not an easy read as it covers this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre
Thankfully I have Tennessee Williams to help me lighten the mood, find it hard to just read one book now.
Which Tennessee Williams? The Glass Menagerie is one of my favorite pieces of literature, I revisit it often. I also love the essay at the end of it (at least in my edition), "The Catastrophe of Success."
Currently reading "The Greatest Show On Earth" by Richard Dawkins. Before that I just finished a biography of Jumbo (yeah, the elephant) that was pretty fascinating but a bit sad. I've been trying to branch out lately with my reading ... I kind of fell into a period where all I ever read was service manuals and the same handful of Tennyson poems over and over again (not that there's anything wrong with either of those).
3 plays
Suddenly Last Summer
The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
Small Craft Warning

I picked it up because Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is probably my favourite movie ever, I love all the interactions between the characters, the spoken and the unspoken.
Biography of Jumbo? This sounds interesting

edit
Small Craft Warning was my favourite out of the three, thankfully finished Nanking last night. Working through A World Of Difference but in a more casual way.
The Long Player, Goodbye will be my next book, alongside Michael Palin's Sahara.

Gleena
Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:17 am
Location: London, via America and Australia

Re: Books?

Post by Gleena » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:31 pm

Hmm...I picked up a book of Philip Larkin poems today. It was a reward for finishing this fucking paper.

Very nice.

I now officially have no life and no spare time.
Yank at large, hiding in London
https://twitter.com/Gleena
Shows: 32 in five countries and on the ocean.

born2run2
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Re: Books?

Post by born2run2 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:35 am


Gleena
Posts: 355
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:17 am
Location: London, via America and Australia

Re: Books?

Post by Gleena » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:49 pm

I read Broken Homes (the fourth Rivers of London book by Ben Aaronovitch) last night when I was Not Sleeping.

So much awesome. It's an easy read series and one of the better examples of it's genre.
Yank at large, hiding in London
https://twitter.com/Gleena
Shows: 32 in five countries and on the ocean.

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