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 Anonymous
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Has anyone read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich?  If so, is it good?  What are some other good books similar to that (maybe a little less comprehensive) that you would would recommend?


   
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Phidippides
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I have not read it.

Right now I'm going through a video lecture series on comparisons between capitalism and socialism, though, so if you want to talk about the history of China, West/East Germany, or the USSR, then I'd be game.


   
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Donald Baker
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I think we might need to bone up on Soviet Zamzidat literature...like Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago or a book called The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov.  

Even if Trump were to be revealed as the Dark Lord of the Sith, he's still better than the last four presidents we've had.


   
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Phidippides
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Posted by: @donaldbaker

I think we might need to bone up on Soviet Zamzidat literature...like Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago or a book called The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov.  

One of the things I learned in the lecture series that I did not know what that Khrushchev was actually a reformer of sorts, allowing Solzhenitsyn to publish "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", as well as exposing Stalin's crimes.

Before this, I had always thought of Khrushchev as a hard-liner.


   
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 Anonymous
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I ordered the book, so we'll see what it's like. I hope it's more than military history. I'm very interested to know what the media was like in 1930's Germany and the workings of Goebbels's propaganda.  How did they brainwash a whole nation?  Was their media complicit like ours is?  Also been wondering if Hitler was more of a puppet than we commonly think.

The Bolshevik Revolution is something of interest as well. But one thing at a time.  

Seem's like the US is repeating both histories right now.  😯 


   
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Phidippides
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If you are interested in that, I would highly recommend watching the series, "Hitler's Circle of Evil".  It focuses on the main figures of the rise of the Third Reich, so you really get to understand all the major players and how they operated before and during their rise to power.  It's available on Netflix.


   
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Phidippides
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By the way, Ken, I don't know how much TV you watch, but periodically I subscribe to The Great Courses Plus, which allows you to stream their courses.  I have been watching these for 15-20 years now (some on DVD, some streaming) and they're awesome.  They're basically college lectures presented on certain topics in clear, organized fashion, by top professors. 

I love these courses.  They range in topics from history to art to economics...heck, I completed one a few months back on tree and shrub gardening.  I got partly through a lecture series on the Celts and want to pick back up on it this Spring.  I'm currently watching a 24-episode series called "Capitalism vs. Socialism".  Just last night started a new lecture series called "Utopia and Terror" which discusses terror regimes in the twentieth century.  In the first lecture, the professor mentioned there were about 40 million people killed in wars in the 1900s, but about 170 million killed through other means (genocide, oppression, etc.).  In lecture two he's beginning to trace twentieth century terror regimes by starting with ideas beginning in both the American and French Revolutions in the late eighteenth century.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this out there.  I have found that this is the easiest way to quickly "master" academic topics from the ground up.  I frequently use ideas I learn in these Great Courses lectures in my own teaching. 


   
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 Anonymous
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Well I bought the book a couple of weeks ago.  Read about the first 100 pages so far.  (only reading it at work  lunch breaks).   I did not know it wasn't written by a historian, but by a reporter who was embedded in Germany at the time of the fall of the Republic.  It's quite interesting and he cites a few references.  I want to find Goebbels's diary. 


   
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Ken
 Ken
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Haven't finished it yet, but almost done.  I could never fathom how ruthlessly evil they were until now.  Yes, they murdered 6 million Jews, but they also had more than that of the nations they conquered who were forced into brutal slave labor.  Some of the things they did...I'm just like WOW.  

BTW, I highly recommend this book.  It's not dry at all.  The author Shirer was a journalist but definitely not what passes as journalism today.  Very well sourced. I got some reading ahead of me. 😀 


   
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Phidippides
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Posted by: @skiguy

Haven't finished it yet, but almost done.  I could never fathom how ruthlessly evil they were until now.  Yes, they murdered 6 million Jews, but they also had more than that of the nations they conquered who were forced into brutal slave labor.  Some of the things they did...I'm just like WOW.  

BTW, I highly recommend this book.  It's not dry at all.  The author Shirer was a journalist but definitely not what passes as journalism today.  Very well sourced. I got some reading ahead of me. 😀 

And to think that they might not have been the most brutal regime to exist....

 


   
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Donald Baker
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Not to be an amoral Devil's Advocate Jerk or anything, but it can be argued that the periodic appearances of brutal regimes throughout history, have contributed significantly to the evolution of mankind...both technologically and morally.  The problem with this thesis is, technology has always outpaced our advances in morality.  When technology offers new ways to make war and commit atrocities, we humans have rarely missed the opportunity to exploit it.  We do regret our misdeeds, but only until the next new technological wonder comes along for us to play with.

Even if Trump were to be revealed as the Dark Lord of the Sith, he's still better than the last four presidents we've had.


   
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Phidippides
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That's an interesting thesis, but it seems to presuppose that mankind has evolved morally.  I think that's a debatable premise.  I mentioned somewhere else, in another thread, that there were something like 160 million non-combatants killed in the twentieth century.  That kind of death toll is staggering (and it doesn't even include aborted babies), so I think we in the contemporary world like to think we are "enlightened" and "morally better" than our savage ancestors, but I'm not sure that that's actually true.  Sure, we may have fewer net wars, but these have been replaced by more intense episodes when they do break out.


   
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Ken
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Donnie, that is interesting and I think there are many examples in history of what you said.  However, I don't think this applies to the Nazis.  Most (all??) of them were extremely depraved individuals.   And that's aside from the antisemitism.  Even their science experiments had nothing or very little to do with science.

I know some cultures placed severed heads on stakes for whatever reasons or practiced cannibalism, but has there ever been any other that made jewelry and soaps out of dead bodies and gave them to their wives as gifts?


   
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Donald Baker
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No the Nazis didn't contribute to our moral evolution, but they forced us to see just how ugly and evil mankind can stoop.  In response, the Allies showed us that humanity can and will rise to defeat such grotesque savageness when necessary.

The problem, though, is our memories are short-lived and we will inevitably have to experience it again in some newer more horrible way.

 

 

 

Even if Trump were to be revealed as the Dark Lord of the Sith, he's still better than the last four presidents we've had.


   
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