Book recommendations and reviews

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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby lightstalker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:20 pm

My recommendations for history and politics:

Michael Ignatieff: The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience
Empire Lite: Nation Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan

David Stone: A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya

Arkadii Babchenko: One solider's war in Chechnya

Janusz Bardach: Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag

Chol-hwan Kang: The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

Ben Kiernan Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby RSnyder » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:02 am

Try reading "Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History" by Robert Kaplan. Having lived and traveled there, it covered everything you might want to know. Lots of dark history, good food, very bad bandits, and good people around. Keep money handy for bribes if the book compels you to visit.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby AztecDave » Thu May 26, 2011 11:25 am

Macintyre, Ben "The Man Who Would Be King: The First American In Afghanistan" The story of Josiah Harlan, a Quaker from Pennsylvania.
Truely shows that the more thnigs change, the more they stay the same.

Richard Zacks "The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805." Story of Army CPT William Eaton who led the Marines to Tripoli. And more.
The real Army, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That's the army in which I should like to fight.”
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby JohnnyFishfinger » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:52 pm

I haven't started reading them yet but I would recommend any book by Niall Ferguson.

I recently watched some of his documentaries and he reminded me of how much I used to love History when I was in my mid-teens. I'd say right now he's the world's most pre-eminent intellectual, in the old meaning of it (ie erudite).
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby ocelot » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:26 pm

Niall Ferguson of the "killer apps" "the world's most pre-eminent intellectual"? LOL.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby flipflop » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:02 pm

He's smarter than you foible LOL

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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby Xaloc » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:22 pm

Currently reading Red Heat, conspiracy, murder and the cold war in the Caribbean by Alex von Tunzelmann. V accessible read about Dom Rep, Haiti and Cuba in 40's, 50's and 60's.

I've enjoyed all William Dalrymple's books. Especially White Mughals.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby Rhah » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:18 pm

Reading a good one right now. Brandenburg Division by Eric Lefevre. So far a good read on the German Brandenburg commando unit in WW2. Specially trained as infiltrators. They worked at first under the Abwehr, recruited from expat Germans. Cool so far.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby JohnnyFishfinger » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:53 pm

Rhah wrote:Reading a good one right now. Brandenburg Division by Eric Lefevre. So far a good read on the German Brandenburg commando unit in WW2. Specially trained as infiltrators. They worked at first under the Abwehr, recruited from expat Germans. Cool so far.


"Spoiler Alert"

didn't they all get executed when they dressed up as Americans during the Arden offensive?
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby Caliban » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:30 pm

JohnnyFishfinger wrote:
Rhah wrote:Reading a good one right now. Brandenburg Division by Eric Lefevre. So far a good read on the German Brandenburg commando unit in WW2. Specially trained as infiltrators. They worked at first under the Abwehr, recruited from expat Germans. Cool so far.


"Spoiler Alert"

didn't they all get executed when they dressed up as Americans during the Arden offensive?



No that wasn't the Brandenberg unit although you do hearincorrect reference to them. The unit you are thinking of is Otto Skozeny's Special Brigade 150. They were formed from volunteers from all services brought together in October 1944 "English speakers for a special mission". They were to manoeuvre ahead of the german troops using captured vehicles to capture strategic points and cause disruption
There were about 3000 men, a lot who had exaggerated their language abilities to get a cushy role. But about three hundred were gathered into what was called the Stielau unit. They were the troops that would be in small units in jeeps disrupting and misdirecting American units, while the bulk of Brigade 150 would fight in a more conventional role but using captured US and disguised german tanks to get an edge.
Of the Stielau unit, 44 men in three and four man units actually carried out the subversion you are talking about and only eight of the 44 were capturd or killed. At least four of them were executed by firing squad. Undoubtedly others of the bigger part of Brigde 150 were probably executed officially or summarily for their wearing of enemy uniform and there were many case of German soldiers killed wearing partial American kit captured and utilised purely because it was better than their own. Of course as well as the disruption they caused the stielau unit caused panic far beyond what they had actually carried out and many a German soldier wearing a US great coat** became classed as a saboteur and some paid the price....But hey, thats what you get !

** You may recall stills and footage of Kampf gruppe Hansen, popularly used in books and documentaries showing soldiers passing burning US vehicles. One carries a M1 Carbine and all are wearing US Raincoats,overcoats and capes over there still obvious German uniform.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby JohnnyFishfinger » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:01 pm

so it was the SS not Abwehr who did it..
I don't want to know who you use, as long as they're not complete muppets


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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby Rhah » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:53 pm

Beat me to it Caliban.

Didn't Otto Skorzeny claim that he was taken out prison by his men dressed as U.S. MPs? Also claiming that the U.S. had aided in his escape?
"I am content to die as are all our comrades. But I will not let myself be slaughtered like a sheep. I would rather face the blow. Strike straight at my face and watch carefully if I pale at all.”
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby nowonmai » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:19 pm

I'm alaways suspicious of ex coppers with an unhealthy interest in nazi history. Have you got your renactment gear yet? Must have the spare time for a few weekends in Thetford Forest toting a deac MG34. Nothing weird in doing that. Nothing at all.
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby Caliban » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:35 am

nowonmai wrote:I'm alaways suspicious of ex coppers with an unhealthy interest in nazi history. Have you got your renactment gear yet? Must have the spare time for a few weekends in Thetford Forest toting a deac MG34. Nothing weird in doing that. Nothing at all.


Oh yes there is ! !

No I have a serious but healthy interest in the later stages of WWII from D Day onwards. I could give you just as much and more detail about the south Lancs on Sword beach, 6th airborne at Ranville or 30 corps adventure along club route as I have about the above. Its all grist to the mill for two books I have in mind that I'll probably never write; and no , they are not about the Nazis but two British operations during the Normandy campaign.

Ive got the titles sorted though !
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Re: Book recommendations and reviews

Postby nowonmai » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:04 pm

Damn fine show that is rapidly leaving living memory. Tragic. Can't help but think we didn't really harvest the stories as well as we could have done. It was left to be done on an ad hoc shoe string. If we can give 0.7% of GDP to ungrateful terrorists and thrid world dictators then perhaps we could have coughed up a few hundred million to really capture it. But no, we just don't think that way, in any case most British front line politicians have a reading age of 15 when it comes to history - judging by the crass decisions they continue to take.
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