Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 592311 times)

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Offline PeaceFlower

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5130 on: July 30, 2020, 10:56:38 PM »
Finished "Nuremberg Diary" which is a psychologist's account of interviews he conducted during the trials of Nazi leaders.

The biggest howler was this unforgettable quote by the defendant Julius Streicher, who claimed religious profiling could be achieved merely by
gazing at someone's ass....

=================================
More significant than Jewish eyes, however, was the Jewish behind, he had discovered. I asked him what was characteristic about the Jewish behind. "Oh, the Jewish behind is not like a Gentile behind," he smirked wisely, apparently rather serious and superior about this. "The Jewish behind is so feminine—so soft and feminine," he said, glowering and virtually drooling as he shaped the Jewish behind in the air with lascivious hands, indicating its softness and
femininity. "—And you can tell from the way it wobbles when they walk.—When I was at Mondorf, I was interrogated by four Jews—I could always tell by their behinds when they left the room, even though the others could not recognize it.
================================

Offline airboy

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5131 on: August 08, 2020, 11:50:05 AM »
I finished "The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942 by Klingaman.

This is a superb book examining US Civilian life just prior to Pearl Harbor to the North Africa invasion (Torch) about a year later.  The Federal Government came close to nationalizing all industry and labor in the USA to fight the war.  There were few civilian goods produced and people had lots of money with full employment and war plant hiring.

There was massive censorship of any news, including all weather reports in the USA.  Cities were terrified of Japanese or German bombing.  Civilians thought everything was going wrong, in part because even big victories like Midway were not reported to the public.

Due to gross mismanagement and anger at being kept in the dark about what was going on in the war, the Democrats in control of the entire federal government lost big in the Fall, 1942 election coming close to losing the House.

This book is extremely well documented from historic newspaper and radio reports.  It also provides the big picture economic numbers.  A full third of the book is a reference list.

It is difficult to imagine today how much the US public was kept totally in the dark during the first year of the war.  Some of this censorship was idiotic (the Japanese Navy knew they lost 4 carriers at Midway), and pure distances and logistics made any sort of bombing attack on the US mainland next to impossible.  Some reviewers complain that the author makes President Roosevelt look bad - but the general public at that time was not happy and this was reflected during the 1942 election.

Other criticisms of the book are that certain topics (rationing for example) are repeated.  However, the author could either go by straight time chronology or organize by topic.  The author chose a little of both which makes for an easy read - but some topics do get revisited multiple times.

As someone who reads a lot of history, it is amazing how much the American Public was kept in the dark during the first year of the war.  What the public was panicking about made little sense in some places (bombing), but was horrible oversights in others (lack of blackouts on the East Coast backlighting merchant ships for German sub attacks).  The government did not treat topics honestly.  There was an east coast gasoline shortage due to no pipelines and tankers being sunk.  But the reason behind national gas rationing was the rubber shortage and that synthetic rubber had not gotten off the ground.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5132 on: August 08, 2020, 06:55:31 PM »
Currently reading on my Nook app (the only title I have on it) Japanese Secret Projects: Experimental Aircraft of the IJA and IJN 1939-1945 Edwin Dyer III.
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5133 on: August 09, 2020, 07:38:29 AM »
I finished "The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942 by Klingaman.

This is a superb book examining US Civilian life just prior to Pearl Harbor to the North Africa invasion (Torch) about a year later.  The Federal Government came close to nationalizing all industry and labor in the USA to fight the war.  There were few civilian goods produced and people had lots of money with full employment and war plant hiring.

There was massive censorship of any news, including all weather reports in the USA.  Cities were terrified of Japanese or German bombing.  Civilians thought everything was going wrong, in part because even big victories like Midway were not reported to the public.

Due to gross mismanagement and anger at being kept in the dark about what was going on in the war, the Democrats in control of the entire federal government lost big in the Fall, 1942 election coming close to losing the House.

This book is extremely well documented from historic newspaper and radio reports.  It also provides the big picture economic numbers.  A full third of the book is a reference list.

It is difficult to imagine today how much the US public was kept totally in the dark during the first year of the war.  Some of this censorship was idiotic (the Japanese Navy knew they lost 4 carriers at Midway), and pure distances and logistics made any sort of bombing attack on the US mainland next to impossible.  Some reviewers complain that the author makes President Roosevelt look bad - but the general public at that time was not happy and this was reflected during the 1942 election.

Other criticisms of the book are that certain topics (rationing for example) are repeated.  However, the author could either go by straight time chronology or organize by topic.  The author chose a little of both which makes for an easy read - but some topics do get revisited multiple times.

As someone who reads a lot of history, it is amazing how much the American Public was kept in the dark during the first year of the war.  What the public was panicking about made little sense in some places (bombing), but was horrible oversights in others (lack of blackouts on the East Coast backlighting merchant ships for German sub attacks).  The government did not treat topics honestly.  There was an east coast gasoline shortage due to no pipelines and tankers being sunk.  But the reason behind national gas rationing was the rubber shortage and that synthetic rubber had not gotten off the ground.

Sounds like a book for me.  I will put in the queue.

Several years back I read, and liked, Alistair Cooke's travelogue, The American Home Front, 1941–1942 that he wrote while traveling across the US during this same period. He was a correspondent for the BBC and had access to a car, fuel and rubber tires. So Klingaman's book sounds like a good structured follow-up read. 
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Offline airboy

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5134 on: August 09, 2020, 08:07:55 AM »
Klingaman quotes from Cooke's book several times.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5135 on: August 10, 2020, 07:08:21 PM »
About to begin From Mahan to Pearl Harbor - The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States by Sadao Asada.
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5136 on: August 10, 2020, 08:01:10 PM »
About to begin From Mahan to Pearl Harbor - The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States by Sadao Asada.

Curious to hear what you think of it once you finish.
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Shortstop: Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917
Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5137 on: August 10, 2020, 08:57:48 PM »
^Ok, will post some info once I do.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5138 on: August 11, 2020, 07:45:50 AM »
Finished the first chapter of From Mahan to Pearl Harbor and I can tell already I will love this title. Asada's writing reminds me of the work of Paul Kennedy in one of my favorite books of all time, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. References have already been made to how Mahan saw a coming conflict between Imperial Japan and the U.S. as a 'race war.' 1890s troubles in Hawaii are detailed, which I knew little about. And Mahan had a close professional relationship with Theodore Roosevelt and also trained many of the up and coming IJN officers at Annapolis throughout the 1890s. Also learned that Mahan was named after Sylvanus Thayer (Alfred Thayer Mahan) 'Father of West Point' - the name Thayer is still as common around here where I live as Smith is.

And all this from the first 15 pages! Needless to say, if you have any interest in naval history, military history, American or Japanese history, getting From Mahan to Pearl Harbor is a no-brainer.
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5139 on: August 11, 2020, 12:11:00 PM »
I finished Churchill's "Aftermath" volume of The World Crisis last weekend (I mean beyond this past weekend), and while his WW2 semi-autobiography is queued up ready to go, I'm taking a break for (possibly) the rest of the year and focusing on light entertainment reading instead.

....


.......{calculating}

...um, about 19,500 pages of light entertainment reading. Partly things I've read before, but mostly not.

We'll see how it goes.

(To be clear, the "mostly not" pages are paperback-sized small and have relatively large font, so the wordcount is less than would be expected from a typical page count.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5140 on: August 11, 2020, 12:17:08 PM »
Oh, and I'm studying the rules for High Frontier version 3, with all the expansions.

As a break from my light reading.   :coolsmiley:

I feel like I'm getting a grip on them by now.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5141 on: August 11, 2020, 12:36:44 PM »
19,500 pages of light reading??
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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Offline Millipede

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5142 on: August 11, 2020, 12:43:39 PM »
I recently finished 3 books about The Night Witches... "Night Witches" - Lasky, "Daughters of the Night Sky" - Runyan & "Tonight We Fly" - Hagan. The 1st two are fiction and the last is, wait for it, non-fiction.

It became apparent that "The Night Witches" was written for a younger audience and I suppose introducing that audience to history is a good thing but I didn't find it very rewarding. The author knows diddly about WW2 aircraft in that she seems to think that a Stuka was an interceptor that could turn & burn with any Soviet fighter of the day. Anyway, I could go on but the bottom line is that I found it annoying and hardly worth my time.

"Daughters of the Night Sky" was much better written and a good yarn. Obviously, the characters were all fictitious but several of them were made up of different historical individuals and various events that occurred during the war. A few times I did find myself scanning a page or two and skipping ahead but all and all it was a good read.

"Tonight We Fly" is the gem of the three! It tells the story of the 3 female air regiments (1 fighter, 1 day bomber & 1 night bomber) that the Soviets formed during the war but is most focused on the 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment which the Germans labeled Nachthexen (Night Witches) and which ended up as the most decorated Soviet air unit of the war regardless of gender. The fighter and day bomber regiments did eventually include some men but the 588th command staff, aircrew, groundcrew, cooks etc. remained exclusively women except for late in the war, when they started to get radios, one guy joined them briefly to help set the equipment up. They were at their best during the winter because the nights are longer and they could fly more missions. They moved constantly and were always close to the front so that they could take off on the 1st sortie as soon as it was dark, hit the target, rtb, sit in the plane while the mechanics and armorers got them ready to go again (usually 5 - 15 minutes), head for the next target... rinse and repeat. I can't remember exactly but the record was, at least, 13 sorties in one night (found it, 18 missions in one night). As you are all aware, Russian winters are a bit taxing. Try and imagine enduring -35 degrees in an ancient open cockpit biplane (Po-2) when touching anything with bare skin resulted in torn flesh and then think about the mechanics and armorers who, not uncommonly, had to remove gloves and mittens to perform some intricate tasks. Incredible warriors and I stand in awe! Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 12:22:44 PM by Millipede »

Offline Anguille

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5143 on: August 14, 2020, 05:34:02 AM »
Reading again (after what? 30 years?) the official (and true) sequel to Star Wars by Timothy Zahn...am in the middle of the first book: Heir to the Empire....
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 07:05:17 AM by Anguille »

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5144 on: August 14, 2020, 06:49:25 AM »
^I've got that on my to-read sci fi shelf. How is it?
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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