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Big men of American History

Luistxo Fernandez 2013/05/01 20:55
A couple of books about American history that I have recently read.

The Generals, by Thomas E. Ricks: American Military Command From World War II to Today. A very interesting read. I feel myself very very far from military ideals, and therefore I cannot sympathise with the subjects of the book, be they depicted in a negative or a positive light. Yet, it is an instructive history book, from a particular point of view, that lets us understand better things about the recent world history.

 

This is a very pro-American and pro-military book, of course, but it doesn't lack criticism about Vietnam or Iraq. I found it quite balanced. In one point, I found it partial, though: in the Vietnam chapters some pages are devoted to the Hue massacre by communist vietnamese forces. Well, that hapenned far from the US general's command, so I don't understand quite the point, particularly if, in the case of the Korea war, nothing is commented about the Bodo league massacres, crimes commited by the allies of the US military, under their noses so to speak. But well, it's worth reading.

The book ends before the latest events relating the highest US military posts: General David Petraeus's marital scandal. So, the author's opinion about that affair in his blog can be like an epilogue to the book.

The other book: Thomas Jefferson - The Art of Power. A biography by Jon Meacham about one of the founding fathers of the United States.

 

I haven't found this book (and the subject) as interesting as a Benjamin Franklin biography that I also read recently. Jefferson doesn't seem to me such a great man as Franklin. And the way he made a teenage slave a concubine, well, looks much like institutiozanalized rape. Franklin was also a slave owner, but there was nothing in his life like that.

***

Well, from now on, I will write more about books and cultural items that I have read/watched in English. I maintained for some months a Tumblr to cover that, but I decided to end it after 15 months of reviews. Now it is the turn of The English Cemetery again.

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LUISTXO FERNANDEZ

Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses

 

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My cultural consumption in English: 2012/13 | Television | Movies | Books

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