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Author Topic: books: what are you currently reading?  (Read 311675 times)
Caleb
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« Reply #1520 on: August 19, 2013, 03:28:33 AM »

Reading The Hank Snow Story (autobio) by Hank Snow.  I've become absolutely fascinated with this man of late.  Thick book, over 500 pages. Serious memoir.  Great so far.
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Danny
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« Reply #1521 on: August 27, 2013, 01:39:52 PM »

   Rereading PARACHUTE INFANTRY by DAVID WEBSTER again. He was in the band of brothers 506th E company. Many things in the movie Band of Brothers are not factual regarding Webster. He died in the 60's, but wrote this memoir after the war, so it is a very good factual base of reference to what really happened in some of the "Hollywoodized" scenes from the series.
   Webster is an excellent, intelligent writer giving the dogface, at times sad sack point of view to the chickenshit a soldier had to put up with from some of the poor leaders over them. He also had great admiration for the fair and strong leaders, who led by example.
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« Reply #1522 on: August 27, 2013, 05:55:29 PM »

Currently reading Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book ... trying the various recipes in my new Cuisinart ice cream maker, and, avoiding the bathroom scale. 

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Caleb
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« Reply #1523 on: August 27, 2013, 06:54:08 PM »

  Rereading PARACHUTE INFANTRY by DAVID WEBSTER again. He was in the band of brothers 506th E company. Many things in the movie Band of Brothers are not factual regarding Webster. He died in the 60's, but wrote this memoir after the war, so it is a very good factual base of reference to what really happened in some of the "Hollywoodized" scenes from the series.
   Webster is an excellent, intelligent writer giving the dogface, at times sad sack point of view to the chickenshit a soldier had to put up with from some of the poor leaders over them. He also had great admiration for the fair and strong leaders, who led by example.
Is Band of Brothers that project that Clint Eastwood produced, both from the US and Japanese perspective?  I remember hearing about something like that a number of years ago that seemed interesting.
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Danny
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« Reply #1524 on: August 27, 2013, 07:03:37 PM »

Is Band of Brothers that project that Clint Eastwood produced, both from the US and Japanese perspective?  I remember hearing about something like that a number of years ago that seemed interesting.
No, Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg produced this as a series for HBO. It is the best series ever made like this. Worth the money for the boxed dvd set. The errors are really minor when wieghed against what they got right. They did this after Saving private Ryan. It follows Easy company from it's begining to the defeat of Germany. Lots of details and added interviews with the men of easy company who were alive at the time of filming.
    It preserved a part of history that had been allowed to be forgotten.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1525 on: August 27, 2013, 07:24:30 PM »

No, Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg produced this as a series for HBO. It is the best series ever made like this. Worth the money for the boxed dvd set. The errors are really minor when wieghed against what they got right. They did this after Saving private Ryan. It follows Easy company from it's begining to the defeat of Germany. Lots of details and added interviews with the men of easy company who were alive at the time of filming.
    It preserved a part of history that had been allowed to be forgotten.
Thank you. All the talk of it here has me interested.   Have you heard of that Clint Eastwood project I referred to?  I remember seeing it in Blockbuster once but never checked it out.   No more Blockbusters in my neck of the woods now. 
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« Reply #1526 on: August 27, 2013, 07:27:27 PM »

Thank you. All the talk of it here has me interested.   Have you heard of that Clint Eastwood project I referred to?  I remember seeing it in Blockbuster once but never checked it out.   No more Blockbusters in my neck of the woods now. 
Flags of our Fathers and Letters from home. Or something like that.They are decent movies, but not as good as Band Of Brothers.
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« Reply #1527 on: August 27, 2013, 07:33:17 PM »

Flags of our Fathers and Letters from home. Or something like that.They are decent movies, but not as good as Band Of Brothers.
Thanks again.  You may have already done so in this (huge!) thread at some point, but can you recommend a good "for dummies" book on WWII?  Something to introduce a young person to it with a good overview and enough detail to want to learn more?
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« Reply #1528 on: August 27, 2013, 07:45:27 PM »

Thanks again.  You may have already done so in this (huge!) thread at some point, but can you recommend a good "for dummies" book on WWII?  Something to introduce a young person to it with a good overview and enough detail to want to learn more?
 Stephen E. Ambrose wrote many books on WWII   "Citizen Soldiers" is extensive regarding the war in Europe and gives a detailed study of the Army from the top to the bottom, Normandy to the surrender of Germany.

    He also wrote "Band of Brothers" which is the basis for the HBO series.  
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Danny
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« Reply #1529 on: August 27, 2013, 07:56:33 PM »

  From the PACIFIC side of things. ROBERT LECKIE served as a Marine and wrote some very good books on The U.S. against Japan. STRONG MEN ARMED is a large book, another one is CHALLENGE FOR THE PACIFIC regarding GUADALCANAL: THE TURNING POINT OF THE WAR.

     And my favorite, as well a a favorite of Tom Hanks  HELMET FOR A PILLOW. Leckie's writings were used to make the follow up series on HBO to Band of Brothers called THE PACIFIC. They used Eugene B. Sledge's writings as well which include WITH THE OLD BREED, another favorite of mine.

      Both Leckie and Sledge are depicted in the series PACIFIC, which I consider another high quality preservation of history on dvd. Not quite as good as Band of Brothers, but still it "puts you in the foxhole and on the beach under fire"
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« Reply #1530 on: August 27, 2013, 08:14:02 PM »

I just finished another WWII book - "Unbroken" by Laura Hillebrand. What struck me most is how our POWs in the European Theater were generally treated humanely, while our guys captured in the Pacific were often tortured and degraded beyond humanity. At the risk of generalizations based only on reading history of both sides of the war (and Korea, and 'Nam) - I would postulate that the common backgrounds between us and the Germans made for more humane treatment as they were "much like us". The European commanders had to guard their troops against fraternization during the occupation, as the troops quickly found common ground with their former enemies. While the eastern nations have different views of the nature of the individual human and their relationship to the whole of society.

Race isn't the issue - I think religious/philosophical underpinnings of the societies are so radically different.

Anyway - I don't want a political/religious banning to happen on account of a book review. "Unbroken" was a good read for me.

On the John Stott's commentary on Romans....
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« Reply #1531 on: August 27, 2013, 08:17:00 PM »

  Except we didn't exterminate 16 million "sub humans" and they did. A fact we should never allow the world to forget.
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« Reply #1532 on: August 27, 2013, 08:34:10 PM »

Danny, thanks for the book recommendations. 
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« Reply #1533 on: August 27, 2013, 08:52:32 PM »

  Except we didn't exterminate 16 million "sub humans" and they did. A fact we should never allow the world to forget.


No argument there at all. The first thing they did was to determine they were "sub human". That made it "legit". How the general populace went along with that insanity I will never understand. I love the German people (being of German descent myself - both parents) and lived there for 8 years as a soldier.... I cannot fathom that level of "don't want to know".

The Japanese did similar genocide actions in Korea and China....

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
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« Reply #1534 on: August 27, 2013, 09:03:04 PM »

No argument there at all. The first thing they did was to determine they were "sub human". That made it "legit". How the general populace went along with that insanity I will never understand. I love the German people (being of German descent myself - both parents) and lived there for 8 years as a soldier.... I cannot fathom that level of "don't want to know".

The Japanese did similar genocide actions in Korea and China....

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
 David Webster loved Holland and it's people most, but he highly respected the character of the German people, while at the same time despising the Nazis, the SS and the forced labor, concentration camps etc.  The German Alps and Austria was his favorite part of Europe, but he repeatedly stated the atrocities he had seen to balance any good thing refereed to.
     It was not until he saw the concentration camps and forced slave labor in Germany that he really knew why he was fighting.

    This is all from the book I just read PARACHUTE INFANTRY.

Danny, thanks for the book recommendations. 
  You are welcome.
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« Reply #1535 on: August 27, 2013, 09:15:43 PM »

I remember Webster's observations from Band of Brothers along the same lines.... It boggles the mind. As a good Calvinist, I don't have to look far to see the T of TULIP.
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Danny
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« Reply #1536 on: August 28, 2013, 03:19:32 PM »

   After speed/skip reading through the last few chapters on a book about JIMMY STEWART "BOMBER PILOT", now I'm going to change to the Pacific side of WWII.

               CHALLENGE FOR THE PACIFIC by Robert Lecke, who is an excellent writer and served on Guadalcanal and other Marine campaigns through the Solomon islands. I have read some of his other writings and so far this one does draw me in and keep my attention engaged.
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Danny
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« Reply #1537 on: September 06, 2013, 09:23:14 PM »

  Just finished   "Challenge for the Pacific" by Robert Leckie.

"Leckie is a writer who can put you in the circumstance, and since he was a marine at Guadalcanal etc. his perspective is really part of American history."  That is something I said years ago in this thread. Rereading this book was possibly better than the first time I read it. I have grown to appreciate the style and quality of Robert Leckie's writings as a historian.

         Guadalcanal was the first time in history that Japan had to evacuate it's defeated army and the turning point of the Pacific war.
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« Reply #1538 on: September 07, 2013, 04:50:53 AM »

Just finished "An Armenian Sketchbook".  My review is on Goodreads.  Now that I've finished this short gem, I put Vasily Grossman's "Life and Fate", which my understanding is that it's a 900+ page monster.  But if it's filled with the poignant observations like this quick read, I will enjoy the journey I'm sure.
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« Reply #1539 on: September 17, 2013, 05:34:53 PM »

    Just finished a thick book about the life of medal of honor recipient Gregory "PAPPY" Boyington. Marine WWII ace and DRUNK.


Here is a quote about the book:
    "Black Sheep One is the first biography of legendary warrior and World War II hero Gregory Boyington. In 1936, Boyington became an aviation cadet and earned the “wings of gold” of a naval aviator. After only a short period on active duty, however, he was “encouraged” to resign from the Marine Corps due to his unconventional behavior. Remarkably, this inauspicious beginning was just the prologue to a heroic career as an American fighter pilot and innovative combat leader. With the onset of World War II, when skilled pilots were in demand, he became the commander of an ad hoc squadron of flying leathernecks. Led by Medal of Honor winner Boyington, the legendary Black Sheep set a blistering pace of aerial victories against the enemy.

Though many have observed that when the shooting stops, combat heroes typically just fade away, nothing could be further from the truth for Boyington. Blessed with inveterate luck, the stubbornly independent Boyington lived a life that went beyond what even the most imaginative might expect. Exhaustively researched and richly detailed, here is the complete story of this American original."

            He was drunk almost all the time including when he was flying, amazing fact seeing he shot down over 20 enemy planes.
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