Blogging the Bookshelf

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Entries Tagged as 'etymology'

Demagogue – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

September 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Demagogue – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams · Campaigning, Political Communication, Politics

Those who apply the label of demagogue to Huey or to other politicians hardly ever trouble to invest the term with any precise definition. It was coined by the ancient Greeks, who were sorely afflicted by rabble rousing orators and who described them scornfully. The demagogue, said Euripides, was ‘base-born’, ‘a man of loose tongue, […]

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The Young Turks – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Young Turks – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Politics

While still a young officer, Kemal (Ataturk) became a clandestine operative for a subversive group founded in the 1890s and known as the Committee of Union and Progress; the world called its members Young Turks. In 1913 the committee managed to seize key posts in the Ottoman regime, but war broke out before its work […]

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The Young Turks and Ataturk – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Young Turks and Ataturk – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · History, Politics

The Young Turks were members of insurgent groups that defied the absolutism of Ottoman rule during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These groups built a rich tradition of dissent that shaped the intellectual and political life of the late Ottoman period and laid the foundation for Atatürk’s revolution. Their principles were admirable, but most […]

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Ming – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ming – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · History, Politics

Menzies was often referred to as ‘Ming’ after a comic-book character, Ming the Merciless, an evil Chinaman dressed in robes and with long fingernails. (Another explanation was that ‘Mingees’ was the Scottish pronunciation of Menzies.)

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A-Okay – “The Right Stuff” – Tom Wolfe

July 24th, 2011 · Comments Off on A-Okay – “The Right Stuff” – Tom Wolfe · Culture

Even Shorty Powers became famous. “The voice of Mercury Control,” he was called; that, and “the eighth astronaut.” Powers was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, a onetime bomber pilot, and all during Shepard’s flight he had come on the air from the flight control center at the Cape saying, “This is Mercury Control…” […]

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Pushing the Envelope – “The Right Stuff” – Tom Wolfe

July 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Pushing the Envelope – “The Right Stuff” – Tom Wolfe · Civilisation, Culture, Quotes

One of the phrases that kept running through the conversation was “pushing the outside of the envelope.” The “envelope” was a flight-test term referring to the limits of a particular aircraft’s performance, how tight a turn it could make at such-and-such a speed, and so on. “Pushing the outside,” probing the outer limits, of the […]

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Double Cross – “D-Day” – Antony Beevor

April 15th, 2011 · Comments Off on Double Cross – “D-Day” – Antony Beevor · History, WW2

Fortunately, the British security service had captured all German agents in Britain. Most of them had been ‘turned’ to send back misleading information to their controllers. This ‘Double Cross’ system, supervised by the XX Committee, was designed to produce a great deal of confusing ‘noise’ as a key part of Plan Fortitude.

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“The Man Who Loved China” – Simon Winchester

March 27th, 2011 · Comments Off on “The Man Who Loved China” – Simon Winchester · China, History, Uncategorized

An organization known as Indusco, or the Chinese Industrial Cooperative (CIC), was formally set up. By happenstance the first two characters of this new organization’s Chinese name were gung ho—and though there was no linguistic connection, the two words were very soon afterward adopted as a motto by a friend of Alley’s in the U.S. […]

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