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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Books 74 and 75

Book 74 The Third Reich in History and Memory by Richard J. Evans was a very thick book all about the Third Reich. It actually turned out to be a series of independently written essays by the author, who tended to verge into pedantry. The book was not particularly aimed at a lay audience but I managed to follow most of it. It was vaguely in chronological order although it tended to jump about a bit. The most interesting parts were predictably about Hitler and the insanity of WW2. There are of course parallels with our own times and the 1930s which saw a rise in populist leaders. Let's hope we don't end up with a similar outcome!

Book 75 Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate by Abdel Bari Atwan tries to untangle the mess that is ISIS and how it grew out of the conflicts in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. The situation on the ground is unbelievably complicated, it's a total mess with no solution, as we have seen in Western foreign polcy and attempted intervention in  the region over the last 15 years. I don't pretend to understand it all, but it's certainly one of the stories of the times we find ourselves and therefor well worth reading about. The author does seem to have a lid on it all and does not appear to sit in any one camp, at least to me.

There is one remaining bookcase to read in History, and I have chosen a book on 9/11.

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