Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'History'

A Little Coordinate of the Universe Permanently Charged – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

October 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on A Little Coordinate of the Universe Permanently Charged – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen · Prose, Writing

No mark was left on the wall there, and yet the spot remained clear and distinct forever after. It was a little coordinate of the universe permanently charged and altered by its history. It became, that spot, a quiet third presence in the room with her and Walter on the weekends they later spent alone […]

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Beliefs About The Past – “Burr” – Gore Vidal

September 21st, 2012 · Comments Off on Beliefs About The Past – “Burr” – Gore Vidal · History

I am afraid that as people grow old there is a tendency for them to believe that what the past ought to have been it was.

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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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We Didn’t Even Have a Horse – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

September 3rd, 2012 · Comments Off on We Didn’t Even Have a Horse – “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams · Campaigning, Political Communication, Political Fiction, Politics, US Politics

The story seems too good to be true – but people who should know swear that it is true. The first time that Huey P. Long campaigned in rural, Latin, Catholic south Louisiana, the local boss who had him in charge said at the beginning of the tour: “Huey, you ought to remember one thing […]

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Ataturk and Change – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 30th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ataturk and Change – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Ideology, Policy, Politics

“I am leaving no sermon, no dogma, nor am I leaving as my legacy any commandment that is frozen in time or cast in stone,” (Ataturk) said shortly before his death. “Concepts of well-being for countries, for peoples and for individuals are changing. In such a world, to argue for rules that never change would […]

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Ataturk and Gallipoli – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ataturk and Gallipoli – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Anzac, Culture, History, War, WW1

Turkey’s experience as an ally of Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany was disastrous, with one shining exception. To the astonishment of Europe and the world, in 1915 a Turkish force managed to resist and then repel British-led invaders whose battle plan had been drawn up by no less a personage than First Lord of the Admiralty Winston […]

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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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Ataturk and Modernisation – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ataturk and Modernisation – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Culture, History

During postings in Istanbul, Tripoli, Cairo, Damascus and Sofia, and in trips to Germany and Austria, Kemal (Ataturk) became aware of the wider world and the currents that were surging through it. He learned French and devoured the works of Voltaire and Rousseau, together with translations of Thomas Hobbes and John Stuart Mill. They helped […]

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Ataturk’s Birthplace – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer

August 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Ataturk’s Birthplace – “Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds”, Stephen Kinzer · Culture, History

This titanic figure (Ataturk) was born in 1880 or 1881 to a humble family in Salonika, now the Greek city of Thessaloniki, a thriving port on the outer edge of the crumbling Ottoman Empire.

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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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