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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Been researching the fighting around Monschau and Höfen, Germany - during the German Ardennes 1944 offensive.

Infantry Soldier, by George Neill - gives the American enlisted man's viewpoint on the fighting at Höfen where troops of the US 99th Infantry Division held the northern fringe of the Bulge against units of the German 6th (SS) Panzer Army. Well written...

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Die 326. Volks-Grenadier-Division in der Ardennenoffensive 1944/45 by Timm Haasler - more academic leaning description of the 326. Vgren-Div during the Bulge fighting. Haasler, a former Bundeswehr officer (artillery), offers a book full of day to day details on troop and equipment strengths of the 326th responsible for opening a breach in the American line near Monschau and Höfen...

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:18 am 
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Haven't read it, just got Danial Pipes email review, thought it was interesting enough for a shout out, why didn't the American Jews support it?
http://www.danielpipes.org/18267/racing-against-history
Quote:
https://www.amazon.com/Racing-Against-H ... 148&sr=1-1

Racing Against History is the stunning story of three powerful personalities who sought in 1940 to turn the tide of history. David Ben-Gurion, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and Chaim Weizmann—the leaders of the left, right, and center of Zionism—undertook separate missions that year to America, then frozen in isolationism, to seek support for a Jewish army to fight Hitler.

Their efforts were at once heroic and tragic. The book presents a portrait of three historic figures and the American Jewish community—at the beginning of the most consequential decade in modern Jewish history—and a cautionary tale about divisions within the Jewish community at a time of American isolationism.

Based on previously unpublished materials, the book sheds new light on Zionism in America and the history of World War II, and it aims to stimulate discussion about the evolving relationship between Israel and American Jews, as the Jewish State approaches its 70th anniversary under the continuing threat of annihilation.

A book for general readers, history buffs and academics alike, it includes 75 pages of End Notes that enable readers to pursue the stunning story in further depth.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Just finished 'Bedlam Boyz'

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4 out of 5 stars Good story, excellent intro to Urban Fantasy and Urban Elves... but proofreading or computer errors got in the way.
June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I admit, I'm not familiar with Urban Fantasy. I'm far more accustomed to the "knights in shining armor" style "high" fantasy set in medieval times--or the story's analog to them, and I tend to stay away from big city stuff for more personal reasons.

That being the case, I can officially consider this story my introduction to the genre... this in spite of having bought two other books in the set years ago (The "Bedlam Bard" omnibus and the "Chrome Borne" omnibus, both by a favorite author and both unopened).
(continued)
https://www.amazon.com/Bedlam-Boys-Elle ... B002EBZ940
Interesting, an urban fantasy set in 90's LA. A 15 year old run away gal discovers she's got special talents when shop lifting in a convenience store then a nut case starts killing everybody in sight. A Latin gang decides she's the answer to their problems and kidnap her. The problems start piling up, with Elfs supplying gangs with drugs.

Not great, but different and not bad. Over all rating 4/5, my rating 3/5.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:49 am 
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The Outlet
Andy Adams
Andy Adams (1859-1935) is best known for his trail drive novel, The Log of a Cowboy (1903). The manager of the bookstore in Valentine, Nebraska, who sold me a copy of that book, said it was the original Lonesome Dove. If you put the two books side by side, you can see the similarity. [Photos of the open range today are from the Library of Congress. As usual, click to make larger.]

Adams had been a cowpuncher on trail drives and wrote from firsthand experience. He intended with his fiction to correct the romanticized view of the West being created by Owen Wister and others. He lost that battle, but as a recorder of the West that was, he left us a real goldmine of information and impressions.

The Outlet (1905) is another trail drive novel, and a sequel to The Log of a Cowboy. The narrator, Tom Quirk, is a young cowboy in his twenties who gets his first job as a trail boss. He’s in charge of one of three herds being driven in the summer of 1884 from west Texas to Fort Buford on the Missouri River, in Dakota Territory.

The year 1884, as Adams points out in the preface, came at the peak of the cattle drive era. According to Adams, nearly 800,000 cattle in 300 herds left Texas for points north in that year. Many herds went to cattle ranchers on the northern prairies. Many were sold to the government to supply beef for the frontier Army posts and the reservation Indians now that the buffalo were gone.

This enterprise, he says, required the labor of 4,000 drovers and the use of 30,000 horses. Meanwhile, the combined worth of all this beef on the hoof was in the millions.

Monetizing the West. Adams had a head for business, and what he brings to the trail drive novel is an understanding of how the cattle business worked in those years. While that business had boomed for ten years and some had made fortunes, the boom was about over. The market was beginning to weaken as demand became unable to keep up with the supply.

Cattle prices were dropping, and some sellers were having trouble finding buyers. Meanwhile, the scale of the cattle business had attracted get-rich-quick speculators who knew nothing about cattle. Among them were the unscrupulous and unprincipled. It was getting harder for an honest man to make a profit.

Corruption in American business was rife at the time, as we know from Teddy Roosevelt’s various efforts to clean it up. Cronyism, bribery, and misuse of public funds were common, and a central theme of this novel concerns the impact of shady business practices on the cattle industry.

It’s another twist on the East vs. West debate we find in other early western novels. Here, honest dealings among honest men of the West are being undermined by the greed and corrupt schemes of easterners and the federal government that serves their interests.

While the central character of the novel is the trail boss, Quirk, the real hero is Don Lovell, his employer. He is the one who buys the cattle in Texas to deliver at summer’s end in the north. He manages the whole enterprise, borrows the money to fund it, and makes the management decisions. He’s experienced and respected. While we stay on the trail drive with Quirk, Lovell appears at times along the way to check in.

Doesn’t sound too thrilling yet, but there’s a complication that turns into a real nail-biter. Turns out that Lovell has sub-contracted the order for delivery of the cattle, and the holders of the original contract have pulled a fast one on him. They’ve left a loophole that permits them to fill the contract themselves if it turns out to be to their advantage.

And it does. Cattle prices drop during the summer, which means they can buy them cheaper and then sell them at the higher contracted price – leaving them with a much bigger profit. (If you know about short trading on the stock market, it’s the same idea.)

The plot thickens. Suspense gradually builds as Lovell, with the help of his men, attempts to avoid getting screwed by this scheme. In Dodge City, they enlist the assistance of a detective, Charles Siringo. (The real Siringo hadn’t yet joined the Pinkertons in 1884, but it’s fun having him show up without fanfare like he does here.)

The crooks are in town shopping for herds they can deliver to the fort, and Charlie tricks them into buying two of Lovell’s. They have already hired a disgruntled former employee of Lovell’s to work as trail boss. But Lovell manages to leave town with both his cattle and the crooks’ money.

Trouble catches up with him in Ogallala as the crooks try to take possession of the herds. They have a hotshot lawyer and a lot of attitude, but it doesn’t wash in the court of a cattleman judge who throws out the case once he’s heard both sides.

From here on, it becomes a race to the fort as the crooks attempt to deliver cattle of their own. All they have to do is get there by the delivery date. By now they have a Congressman from Washington in tow, and support for a while from a contingent of cavalry.

Though his cattle are clearly superior, and the post commander says so, it’s pretty clear that Lovell is up against it. There are too many cards stacked against him. A special commissioner is sent out from the War Department to force the post commander to take the crooks’ cattle. And if you’re waiting for some sudden turn of fortune at the end, forget it. Lovell gets “kangarooed.”

After 357 pages, your heart sinks when this happens. But Adams has one chapter yet to go. And while the bad guys remain free to roam this crooked world, both Lovell and Quirk have better days. Lovell buys a ranch for the unsold cattle and makes Quirk foreman. Back home, a Texas jury awards Lovell recompense for his losses. In the next few years, both men thrive. But for the reader, this upbeat denouement does not remove the bitterness of their defeat.

I know, that’s a long synopsis, but Adams has such a different agenda as a western novelist. It’s worth giving some time to how it plays out. He portrays the western way of doing business as more honorable because it is grounded in the character of honest men who are also men of good will.
(Continued)
http://buddiesinthesaddle.blogspot.com/ ... utlet.html
It's at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1987

The Outlet, part 2 http://buddiesinthesaddle.blogspot.com/ ... art-2.html

The Outlet, part 3 http://buddiesinthesaddle.blogspot.com/ ... art-3.html

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:08 pm 
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This review is good, but like most of his reviews goes too far and almost tells the tale, if this opening perks your interest, read the book, then the complete review:
Quote:
Book: Chip of the Flying U
B. M. (Bertha Muzzy) Bower (1874-1940) is a pistol. Her first novel, Chip of the Flying U (1906) is craftily written, with one eye on her own authentic experience and the other on Owen Wister’s flights of romantic fantasy in The Virginian.

You can tell that she knew ranching and cowpunchers from first-hand experience, living in Montana. The level of specifics is at least a couple degrees more closely observed than Clarence E. Mulford (Bar-20), who had to rely on the books he’d read and his imagination, writing at long distance from New York.

In an opening scene around the table where a half dozen cowboys are eating and talking, you know that Bower has seen and heard scenes like this maybe many times. How the men interact as they express their fears and prejudices about women is sketched in with broad strokes but accurately understood.

She has a great eye for details. When a man indulges his love of syrup poured over biscuits or pinches out the flame of a match after lighting a cigarette, her scenes leap to life. Likewise in the first pages, when a rider’s horse shies at the sight of a letter being waved in the air by another man.

And then there’s her description of the bunkhouse, from the misstep her heroine takes coming through the door to her realization that the men don’t sleep in bunks and do read magazines. These moments aren’t there to show off her writer’s credentials. They are almost throwaways, and you know there’s a whole lot more where they came from.

Later on, her main character Chip pitches a magazine across the room when the western story he’s reading gets the details wrong. “I’d put a bounty,” he says, “on all the darn fools that think they can write cowboy stories just because they rode past a round-up once, on a fast train” (pp. 198-199).

Unlike Mulford, whose cowboys are almost indistinguishable from each other, her men are drawn in clear profile. Yes, they are almost caricatures, but you realize that this is the way they see each other, as stereotypes. Bower understands that working men don’t care to know each other any more personally than that.

Sexual politics. Meanwhile, their stereotyping of women is also Bower’s way of raising the whole subject of sexual politics in the West. Della, the woman who arrives at the Flying U, is not a schoolmarm, a spinster, or a shrinking violet and “screamer” as the cowboys predict. She’s a trained physician, and she’s also a crack shot with a rifle, and not above shooting a coyote.

Bower also knows how to introduce sexual tension between two characters. Mulford keeps women at arm’s length in Bar-20. His is a man’s world, period. Wister’s clumsy courtship between the Virginian and Molly strikes sparks only when they’re having an argument. From time to time, there’s a certain amount of mooning back and forth, but you hardly sense that either of them raises each other’s temperature.

Bower starts stoking that fire from the beginning. There’s Della’s appreciation for Chip’s physical presence in the opening chapters as he meets her at the train and does his best to ignore her as he drives her back to the ranch. We learn through her eyes that he’s a handsome man, with more than enough sex appeal to pique her interest.

Then there’s this remarkable moment when he discovers her snooping around in the bunkhouse. There they are, suddenly alone together, where she’s not supposed to be, and she’s just found a sketch of her that he’s drawn. It’s a situation fraught with awkwardness. Then we are hit by the full emotional impact of the scene. He’s come to get his revolver, and she learns that he’s about to shoot his favorite horse because its leg has been broken.

What happens next is that she persuades him to let her doctor his horse, setting its leg and procuring a stall for it in the barn where it can recover. As they look together at the horse, she sees that Chip is all barely contained raw emotions. Meanwhile, we know that when she slipped his sketch of her into the front of the shirtwaist she’s wearing, he felt a surge of something any reader could tell him was libido.

How Bower layers all this together is nifty. You have to read it.

(Continued)
http://buddiesinthesaddle.blogspot.com/ ... ing-u.html


Who is this lady author:
Quote:
B.M. Bower (1871-1940), author of western fiction based in the American West wrote Chip of the Flying U (1906).
http://www.online-literature.com/bm-bower/
As one of the first women to make a career of crafting western stories, Bower's granddaughter Kate Baird Anderson has worked to keep her memory alive. Bertha Muzzy Sinclair was born 15 November 1871 in the state of Minnesota. The Bower family headed west to Montana in 1888 where Bertha became a teacher in Grand Falls. Her first husband's name was Clayton J. Bower, whom she married at the age of nineteen.

Around 1900 Bower started to pen short stories, but her novel Chip of the Flying U was her first commercial success and is still said to most representative of her work. "Bleak" Cabin, near Big Sandy in Montana is where she wrote it. In Flying U the Old Man's daughter, who just became a doctor, is coming to stay for the summer, and causes a lot of uproar among Chip and the rough and tumble cowhands who work on the range, the `badlands' at the edge of the Rocky Mountains in `BearPaw' country. Illustrations for many of her novels were done by Bower's friend Charles (Charley) Russell. On 12 August, 1905, Bertha married her second husband Bertrand W. Sinclair. They travelled to a number of different states, including New Mexico, California and Idaho.

The Happy Family (1910) continues the family story introduced in Chip of the Flying U including Andy, Weary, Irish, Pink, Happy Jack and Big Medicine. Between 1906 and right up until Bower's death in 1940 she wrote a total of sixty-eight novels. They are all set in the American west, artfully capturing the frontier spirit of cowboys and ranching and their interactions with Sioux Indians, Sheriffs and outlaws, robbers and gold prospectors.

In Cabin Fever (1918) Bud Moore enters into a life of adventure and soul-searching when he partners with a prospector in the wilderness, sharing a tiny cabin only to have a child change both of their destinies. The Flying U Ranch (1914) continues the tales of the family introduced in Chip of the Flying U and in The Flying U's Last Stand (1915). In Jean of the Lazy A (1915), Jean becomes an actress and saves money in order to exonerate her father from a charge of murder. It caught the attention of film makers and was adapted for the screen in the movie "Ridin' Thunder" (1925), a silent western starring Jack Hoxie.
Gutenberg has many (25) of her tales, including 'Chip of the Flying U' http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/275

The 'Flying U' is a series that sounds like it's worth a read.

Will give it a try.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Completed 'Chip of the Flying U', good read, enjoyed.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Quote:
Reading 'Never Again' by R. J. Rummel

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
----Lord Acton

Power kills; absolute power kills absolutely.
----This Web Site


Introduction

It is true that democratic freedom is an engine of national and individual wealth and prosperity. Hardly known, however, is that freedom also saves millions of lives from famine, disease, war, collective violence, and democide (genocide and mass murder). That is, the more freedom, the greater the human security and the less the violence. Conversely, the more power governments have, the more human insecurity and violence. In short: to our realization that power impoverishes we must also add that power kills.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NA.SUPPLEMENT.PDF

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 4:04 am 
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https://www.fantasticfiction.com/s/irvi ... -dukes.htm

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March 08, 2007
What We Read in the Fifties: The Amboy Dukes

During my Erasmus Hall High School years, the hottest of all "hot" books was Irving Shulman's The Amboy Dukes. It was official doctrine that a single oblique glance at the inflammatory cover of this paperback could transform a well-behaved kid into a murderous, reefer-crazed, oversexed hooligan. Simply to read about the "juvenile delinquents" who populate The Amboy Dukes was to wander into a criminal twilight. A guy definitely did not want his mommy to know that he had heard of this book, let alone possessed a sticky contraband copy.

What was all the fuss about? Why was the book condemned all over America and even banned (for a while) in Canada?

Here's a paragraph that was much brooded upon in the local schoolyard. (I've since learned that some 1950s moralists condemned it as pornographic -- and perhaps they were right.)

"They pushed onto the bus, and Frank watched Black Kenny and Mike get a nice-looking broad between them and give her a rub. Mike and Kenny hemmed the girl between them, skillfully pocketing her to prevent her escape. In her eyes there was loathing and fear of the two hoodlums, who did not look at her but nevertheless pressed against her lasciviously, pinioning her against their rigid hot bodies. Mike pushed against the girl's buttocks, thighs, and legs, while Kenny pressed against her stomach and breasts. The girl wanted to scream, to cry out, but she was afraid...."

(Continued)
http://www.drmetablog.com/2007/03/what_we_read_in.html
IIRC A noval about the WW2 'Latch Key kids' and their gangs.

Wild stuff back then.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 3:47 pm 
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History Friday: The Most Incredible Round the World Air Journey
https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/57181.html
Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 11th, 2018 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)

OK, so it was linked on Insty, but this was an incredible read: of the Pan-Am commercial flight which got caught on the wrong side of the world after Pearl Harbor, and had to go around the long way to get home again, with pluck, luck and sheer stubborn inventiveness.
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Enjoy!
I particularly liked the part where they visited a public library, searching for relevant information.
Always a fan of Pan Am, know it's got a lot of bad press but in those days they were opening new frontiers.

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 Post subject: Re: Reading
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Just finished reading the 3 part ‘round the world flight by that Pan Am seaplane. What a remarkable story!

Thanks for posting it.

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