Thursday, May 1, 2008

A New Look at How World War II Happened (Thomas DiLorenzo)

Thomas DiLorenzo on an apparently excellent new book that chronicles the actions of those mass murderers Churchill, FDR, Stalin, and their ilk leading up to World War II:

Nicholson Baker’s new book Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, is one of the most unique nonfiction books you’ll ever read. Based on voluminous research of newspaper and magazine articles, radio speeches, memoirs, diaries, and biographies, Baker’s 566-page book gives the reader an extraordinary look into the mindsets of all the major actors in the lead-up to the war.

Each paragraph of the book is written like a press release of an important event on a particular day, and is not necessarily related to the previous or succeeding paragraph. At first I thought this would be an extremely boring read, kind of like looking through old newspapers. But the information in the book is so interesting (and sometimes astounding) that I read it in one sitting (admittedly a forced "sitting" on a 9-hour flight from Vienna to Washington, D.C.).

Many of the icons of "the greatest generation" are portrayed not quite as heroically as they are by their hagiographers and government-school textbook writers.

Read the rest

[UPDATE] Also: David Gordon's excellent review of the book.

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