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Controversial book

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  • Member since
    October 2011
Controversial book
Posted by modeler_zack on Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:19 AM

Since a child, I have always had a fascination with world war II. I know the basics and a majority of the major battles of the war, with more interest on the European front. Now that my curiosity has been re-sparked recently, I have picked up a few books including one that was not a mentally, perhaps socially easy book to buy.  I ordered Mein Kampf.

This is where I would like some thought from fellow modelers. Even before opening the book, just having in my hands, i could feel the air turn dark and heavy along with the presence around me. That is something I have never experienced with a book before. The reason I picked this up is to get more of a full understanding on what inspired such a unmanageable crime on the human race. I have never known such a hate existed until I started reading this book. To keep it short, reading what I did lead to me having vividly violent dreams that night.

On a lighter note for a recent book I picked up was the third in the liberation trilogy, The Guns at Last Light, hardcover for 10 at Barnes and Noble. While browsing, there are for sure 2 more I would like to add being The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and I forget the title, but it talkes about the folly of Gearmany when they started printing money and caused hyper inflation. I think it was printed by Penguin books. Any thoughts on good staple WWII history books to add?

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:04 AM

Masters of the Air by Donald Miller

Flyboys by James Bradley-a very difficult read but also very insightful

Any of the Steven Ambrose books-

bob

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:15 AM

The one thing that struck me about reading Mein kampf was how much of a struggle it was to read. The first time I read it, took me 11 months, and I have read books that size in just a couple of weeks before. But apparently it can depend on who's translation you have and the one I have is not the best choice.

As someone interested in Armoured warfare in WW2, especially from the German side, I found Acthung Panzer a must read.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:20 AM

Interesting, I've thought about trying to read it but never got around to it. Just wondering is it actually readable or the ravings of a lunatic? I guess Hitler didn't really start to lose it till near the end of the war but he seemed to be all that more dangerous at the beginning where he was half stable and half nuts.

Guess the closest thing I've read to controversial was Iris Chang's 'The Rape of Nanking'. Interesting and horrifying book about the occupation of the then Chinese capital of Nanking or Nanjing by the Japanese and the week and a half orgy of murder, rape, and looting where they killed more civilians than either atomic bomb.  On a happier note she goes into British and American missionaries who smuggled thousands of Chinese at great personal risk to safety. And the German engineer Jean Rabe, who though an ardent National Socialist saved hundreds of Chinese women and children since as a Japanese ally the soldiers were afraid to cross a German like Rabe.      

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2011
Posted by modeler_zack on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:26 AM

I would like to make a note that by no means am I a skin head or a Nazi. This is more of wanting a deeper understanding of the core of the Nazi belief and their blue print.

Bish, I heard the ford translation is a bit easier to read. The one I ordered is the Manheim Translation.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:28 AM

Gamera

Interesting, I've thought about trying to read it but never got around to it. Just wondering is it actually readable or the ravings of a lunatic? I guess Hitler didn't really start to lose it till near the end of the war but he seemed to be all that more dangerous at the beginning where he was half stable and half nuts.

I found it to be both. There are periods when he has some easy to follow discussion and even makes some good points, and then he will go off on an anti Jewish rant for page after page. Its been a few years since I read it, but I am planning on getting a different translation and trying again at some point.

I found when I was reading it, I was constantly going back over paragraphs to re read them. After a couple of pages I was worn out and had to put it down.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:30 AM

zack, ye, I heard the Ford translation is the better one and I have the Manheim as well. I am planning on getting the Ford one.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:51 AM

Thanks Bish, I was just wondering. I think I'll just opt for the Cliff Notes. Stick out tongue

Zack: Just because you're trying to understand something better certainly doesn't mean you agree with it! I'd think the more you learn about National Socialism the more reprehensible it is.  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2011
Posted by modeler_zack on Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:07 PM

www.amazon.com/.../ref=sr_1_2

Found it! This is the book I could not remember the title or author.

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Barrie, Ontario
Posted by Cdn Colin on Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:16 PM

Hitler's grammar was atrocious in German, and a good translator will transfer the poor grammar over, making for a difficult read.

I build 1/48 scale WW2 fighters.

Have fun.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:25 PM

Gamera

Thanks Bish, I was just wondering. I think I'll just opt for the Cliff Notes. Stick out tongue

Zack: Just because you're trying to understand something better certainly doesn't mean you agree with it! I'd think the more you learn about National Socialism the more reprehensible it is.  

My primary interest is the study of military history, mainly the Third Reich, Classical Greece and Ancient Rome. But as an ex soldier, I know that its not all about battles and nice shiny uniforms. Soldiers are a tool of the society they represent. As such,  I have tried to study as much about those 3 society's as possible, whether it be the politics, religion, social makeup or anything else, as well as studying the battles and weapons.

So I think a study of Mein Kampf is just as important as a study of the works of Caesar or the writings of Thucydides or anything else if one wants to at least try and understand the what went to create these states and their military might.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by DURR on Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:00 PM

i think most here will agree,    reading ANY book  even if it were written by a mad terrorist we read it for

1 just to read

2 perhaps for insight into life through a madmans eyes

3 this group would read it witha grain of salt and yet an open mind

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:06 PM

Bish

Gamera

Thanks Bish, I was just wondering. I think I'll just opt for the Cliff Notes. Stick out tongue

Zack: Just because you're trying to understand something better certainly doesn't mean you agree with it! I'd think the more you learn about National Socialism the more reprehensible it is.  

My primary interest is the study of military history, mainly the Third Reich, Classical Greece and Ancient Rome. But as an ex soldier, I know that its not all about battles and nice shiny uniforms. Soldiers are a tool of the society they represent. As such,  I have tried to study as much about those 3 society's as possible, whether it be the politics, religion, social makeup or anything else, as well as studying the battles and weapons.

So I think a study of Mein Kampf is just as important as a study of the works of Caesar or the writings of Thucydides or anything else if one wants to at least try and understand the what went to create these states and their military might.

Bish, makes a lot of sense. Everything I've read on the Third Reich is from second-hand or later sources- there's something to be said for taking it right from the horse's mouth so to speak. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:28 PM

Gamera

Bish

Gamera

Thanks Bish, I was just wondering. I think I'll just opt for the Cliff Notes. Stick out tongue

Zack: Just because you're trying to understand something better certainly doesn't mean you agree with it! I'd think the more you learn about National Socialism the more reprehensible it is.  

My primary interest is the study of military history, mainly the Third Reich, Classical Greece and Ancient Rome. But as an ex soldier, I know that its not all about battles and nice shiny uniforms. Soldiers are a tool of the society they represent. As such,  I have tried to study as much about those 3 society's as possible, whether it be the politics, religion, social makeup or anything else, as well as studying the battles and weapons.

So I think a study of Mein Kampf is just as important as a study of the works of Caesar or the writings of Thucydides or anything else if one wants to at least try and understand the what went to create these states and their military might.

Bish, makes a lot of sense. Everything I've read on the Third Reich is from second-hand or later sources- there's something to be said for taking it right from the horse's mouth so to speak. 

I do think its important to get an all round view. Historians have the advantage of hindsight plus access to material those pr4esent may not have had plus the ability to look at the wider picture.

Those on the scene or involved in the events will often have a narrow view of things, especially when it comes to battles. Also, those in power, will often be pushing their own agenda. It can gives us a good insight into how these people thought, but their accounts should always be treated with caution.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:16 PM

A friend gave me "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich"($1.65) a very long time ago. I tried to read it at least a dozen times over the years and never got past around page 100 of the 1599 pages. I started reading it again about two weeks ago and I'm up to page 120. Maybe I'll have enough time left to get to read it all this time. "Mein Kampf" has been mentioned in it quite a few times already and I started thinking that maybe I'd read it after I finish this one. A lot of names, dates, and other info for this old timer to soak up and try to remember.

Jim Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Goffstown, NH
Posted by New Hampshire on Thursday, June 19, 2014 5:46 PM

I too have thought about reading it over the years.  Like the "Diary of Anne Frank" it is one of those things I want to read so I can try and see the whole picture.  But I have yet to get around to it for one reason or another.  Mostly because, as like Bish seems to indicate, I keep hearing it can be a bear to get through.  Shirer indicated that Adolph had problems staying coherent long enough without going off on strange tangents, so thus the tough read.

But Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is indeed a good read.  I have read it twice and it does help to make the full picture on the National Socialist aspect, though it is a bit dated and Shirer does show a little bias at times.  

And it is funny you mention The Guns at Last Light.....I am about 250 pages into it right now. Big Smile

For a good "Rise and Fall..." type book on Imperialist Japan check out Rising Sun by John Toland. Cool

Brian

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: Denver, Colorado
Posted by waynec on Friday, June 20, 2014 6:04 PM

Bish

Gamera

Thanks Bish, I was just wondering. I think I'll just opt for the Cliff Notes. Stick out tongue

Zack: Just because you're trying to understand something better certainly doesn't mean you agree with it! I'd think the more you learn about National Socialism the more reprehensible it is.  

My primary interest is the study of military history, mainly the Third Reich, Classical Greece and Ancient Rome. But as an ex soldier, I know that its not all about battles and nice shiny uniforms. Soldiers are a tool of the society they represent. As such,  I have tried to study as much about those 3 society's as possible, whether it be the politics, religion, social makeup or anything else, as well as studying the battles and weapons.

So I think a study of Mein Kampf is just as important as a study of the works of Caesar or the writings of Thucydides or anything else if one wants to at least try and understand the what went to create these states and their military might.

i have had this happen to me twice. when i was stationed in germany in the '70s i got interested in the american civil war. go figure. read 1 book for names dates places than a couple of trilogies. from there it was individual battles which led to the mexican war of '46 as many generals were LTs and CPTs and knew each other. then to texas independence and the republic and overall mexican history.

the second time was when WAR IN THE PACIFIC wargame came out, played it all the time and started reading why the japanese made so many stupid decisions. this took me to china and NOMANHAN, ww1, russo-japanese war, sino-japanese war, and the meiji reformatioon.

and now i am doing the same thing with ww1 which i find fascinating, especially the other theaters like salonica, middle east, italian front, africa and the eastern front. gave a presentation on the opening moves GOEBEN to my ship club and will give it again to my denver club in august.

Никто не Забыт. Ничто не Забыт

"No one is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten."

 

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
Posted by castelnuovo on Monday, June 23, 2014 11:47 PM

Wayne, any book recommendation about WWII in the Pacific?

Thanks...

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:08 AM

Is this along the same lines as sun ztus art of war? Incediblele reference stuff,how else do you learn from from the past?

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Northern Virginia
Posted by ygmodeler4 on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:38 AM

I'll second "The Rising Sun" by Toland, great book...I certainly learned a lot from it. I read it during winter break a couple years ago and then read "Eagle Against the Sun"during last summer for a book about the pacific from the american point of view. Both have gotten great reviews and I enjoyed both....word of caution, if you get Eagle against the sun....make sure towards the end of the book all the pages are printed, my copy had about 30 pages blank so I had to check on out from a library to bridge the gap so to speak.

Back to the topic at hand...I have not read Mein kampf but would like to when I get the chance. This coming fall I'm taking a politics of war class for my senior year and we have to read "On War" so this summer I have my hands full of reading already...however I read a sort of...biography...of On War so I could hopefully understand it better. Apparently some of Clausewitz's earlier manifestos were cited by Hitler...did not know that before. Anyways, as a poll sci major with my interest in being in the international relations/ security sector, I do believe it is important to understand why things are the way they are. I do plan on reading it in the future and do not think you are crazy for reading it. I'm glad I found this thread though, didn't know anything about the translations.

-Josiah

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:54 AM

I read a very sobering book a couple of years ago,a subject not talked about too much,but the scars run very deep."The Spanish Holocost" by Paul Preston,dealing with the Spanish Civil War.

I mean everyone was murdering and massacring eveyone else.Right vs Left,Religious vs Secular,Rich vs Poor,everyone had blood on their hands.It was a fascinating read.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 6:23 AM

Raualduke

Is this along the same lines as sun ztus art of war? Incediblele reference stuff,how else do you learn from from the past?

I don't think the Art of war could be called controversial. I did find it an interesting read.

 

Josiah, I did make a start of On War, but for some reason didn't complete it, I must try that one again. From memory, Hitler does mention Clausewitz, but it's been a few years since I read it. Toland's Biography of Hitler is a very good book.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:43 AM

If I may toss in my 2 cents, there are several good books concerning the Pacific during WWII.  Shattered Sword covers the Japanese side of the battle of Midway.  Lundstrom's First Team books cover the air war from Pearl Harbor to the end of the Guadalcanal campaign.  Neptune's Inferno covers the naval warfare off of Guadalcanal.  Fire in the Sky covers the air war in the South Pacific.  Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors covers the events of Taffee 3.  I am sure there are dozens of others, but this should get you started.  Enjoy!

John

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:22 AM

Hi ;

 I don't know about now , but when I was in eighth grade the books we were Required to read were as follows .Uncle Toms Cabin , Mein Kampf and the history of Japan . This type of reading requirement continued in high school . We were taught at an early age to read , disseminate and understand the world around us and why it was the way it was .

   Turns out the Mein Kampf and another were supplied to me by my grandparents .They didn't like the library edition . Grandpa said the translation was very bad . The other was a small book usually known to German born people . Remember , I wasn't born Here . It was a small memoir by Erwin Rommel before he was murdered . By the *** .They feared him and for good reason ! Nuff said . Even at an early age , he was nuttier than a bad fruitcake !

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Goffstown, NH
Posted by New Hampshire on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:44 PM

Bish

Josiah, I did make a start of On War, but for some reason didn't complete it, I must try that one again.

That is funny because I too had started On War but never finished either.  To be fair it was a bit heavy reading at the time I bought the book (I think I was 15, and I am 35 now, so it has been a while.)  I think I still have my copy somewhere around here.  I may have to give it another go. Big Smile

And to go with what waynec mentioned about how things sort of snowball, interest-wise, when it comes to reading preferences.....I am eyeballing a full set of "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."  I read Ancient Rome by Simon Baker some time ago, but after reading Rick Atkinsons's second book of the Liberation Trilogy (and to some extent in his other two books) he is always referencing events and history from the Roman Empire, and that is what got me interested again in wanting to learn more of that long storied period of history.

Brian

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 5:48 PM

I think I found it a bit heavy as well, must have been about 15 or so years ago.

''I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so''

On the bench: Revell 1/72nd Type VIIc U-Boat

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:08 AM

bobbaily

Flyboys by James Bradley-a very difficult read but also very insightful

I read that one as well Bob.  Great book,  but quite graphic.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

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