Expanding the Antilibrary
Posts have been slow here lately because my real-life workload has temporarily increased. Irrationally, I’ve attempted to compensate for my lack of blogging by ordering yet more books; perhaps I should order more free time instead!
In any event, esteemed readers, @cjschaefer and @CampaignReboot have requested a full accounting of what is new and here it is:
Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism by Michael Burleigh
Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop by Antonio Giustiozzi
The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter
Street Without Joy by Bernard Fall
The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans
The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch
Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Energizes the Soul by Stuart Brown
Rewired by Larry D. Rosen
The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture by “Ishmael Jones“
Coupled with what was leftover from last year, my 2010 summer reading list is set.
May 19th, 2010 at 5:15 am
Ahh, "Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop" has been on my list for awhile. I actually very much want the whole Giustiozzi bibliography, but they are smaller imprints rather than mass market and are a little too expensive for me right now.
May 19th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Much appreciated! I actually just started "The Collapse of Complex Civilizations" – very interesting, I can understand why people have been touting it left and right.
May 19th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
I highly recommend Afghanistan: A Political and Cultural History by Tom Barfield. I pre-ordered via Amazon, on recommendation of Christian Bleuer, and recently got it. Barfield is one of the most knowledgeable guys on Afghanistan’s customary practices and most of what he’s written in terms of scholarly articles over the past 10 years is stuff that, when you read it, you ask yourself, "has anybody been listening to this guy? ANYONE?"
May 20th, 2010 at 1:26 am
"Blood and Rage" makes for exceptional reading. He skewers the useful idiots of the European Left with a dry wit so sadly missing from most writers and packs the different historical periods he tackles with a treasure trove of details and insights.
May 20th, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Good recommendations, although, I’m back to art these days. More pictures, less words. A picture book on Afghanistan would be nice, actually.
Really, we need to employ our best graphic artists in some sort of public educational endeavor regarding foreign affairs. Now, wouldn’t that be interesting. State Dept. plus DOD plus graphic-artist du jour = crazy interesting.
May 20th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Hey, there is a graphic novel about North Korea! A book store clerk told me about it some time back. She was very enthused about it, which is both cool and weird at the same time.
May 24th, 2010 at 9:09 pm
I read Richard Evan’s "The Coming of the 3rd Reich." It covers the rise of the Nazis and covers National Socialism up until the start of WWII. Could anyone recommend other books written on this period/subject? I’m particularly interested in the day to day activities of the SA and their battles for the streets. I think it was Evans who wrote about an incident when Hitler used a bull whip to encourage a Leftest speaker to get off a stage(followed by Hitler giving a speech). I’m wondering if there are more accounts of Hitler’s street politics? I’m pretty sure the best accounts of this period are in German? My German is not good enough to read complicated historical texts.
May 25th, 2010 at 12:47 am
The better books on early Nazi orgs are usually the academic monographs that historians include in their bibliographies of their larger, more popular, works. Or they are published only in German and not English because most American historians of the period can read German anyway .
The SA had a very transitory membership in the early to mid 20’s and it was not uncommon for Stormtroopers to also be members of other far right organizations ( Stahlhelm being the most prominent), dueling societies, Freikorps or switch back and forth to the Communist streetfighting organization depending on which way the wind was blowing in some urban neighborhoods. Some of these early joiners were simply rough customers, WWI vets and adrenalin addicts who liked to get drunk and brawl, not unlike biker gangs today.
That said, for some interesting details of the early period when the Nazis were just one part of the Volkisch far right, I’d recommend Charles Flood’s bio of Hitler, Konrad Heiden’s Der Fuhrer, Vol. 1 of Kershaw’s two-part bio, Hanfstaengel"s Hitler: The Missing Years
May 28th, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Thank you Mr. Pundit.
June 6th, 2010 at 10:17 pm
[…] in this corner of the blogosphere labor under the heavy shadow of Zenpundit’s prodigious reading. Adam Elkus has his own reading list but he rapidly switches between multiple reads instead of the […]