Susan Brewer, “Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq” (Oxford UP, 2009)
Like it or not, governments need to mobilize their populations in times of crisis and one of the ways they do it is to disseminate propaganda. Now this is uncomplicated if you are, say, Stalin and claim to know what’s best for everyone and control the media (and most everything... Read More
Giles MacDonogh, “After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation” (Basic Books, 2007)
Many years ago I had the opportunity to spend a summer in Germany, more specifically in a tiny town on the Rhine near Koblenz. The family I stayed with looked for all the world like typical Rhinelanders. They even had their own small Weingut where they made a nice Riesling.... Read More
Benjamin Carp, “Rebels Rising: Cities in the American Revolution” (Oxford UP, 2007)
When I was in college about a million years ago, we used to sit in bars and talk about the Revolution. Actually, it was this bar and something like this “Revolution.” Clearly nothing ever came of our planning (or drinking). But it wasn’t always so, as you can learn in... Read More
Norman Stone, “World War One: A Short History” (Basic Books, 2009)
When I was in high school, I really didn’t go in for reading. Until, that is, I somehow encountered Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. I remember hiding in the back of all my classes reading it while my teachers talked about something I know not what.... Read More
Yuma Totani, “The Tokyo War Crimes Trials: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II” (Harvard UP, 2008)
Most everyone has heard of the Nuremberg Trials. Popular books have been written about them. Hollywood made movies about them. Some of us can even name a few of the convicted (Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, etc.). But fewer of us know about what might be called “Nuremberg East,” that is,... Read More