Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!!
Great book for World War II fans. It is very complete and unbiased with lots of little known facts. Much of the book is from the points of view of the Japanese - military, civilians, even the Emperor. Hirohito comes off as less of a blundering idiot here than a royalist burdened with the weight of hundreds of years of history, honor, and "face". I see now how impotent he was at the hands of his Shogun military advisors who wanted to fight until death, to the detriment of innocent civilians. I better understand the concept of seppuku or hara-kiri - an act that made absolutely no sense to me before, but my people were robbed of the Asians intense sense of country and honor to one's family and heritage.
As a black American, I was a bit disappointed that the only mention of our military men was when some inconsequential Japanese woman who had never seen a black person before was horrified by the sight of the "monsters", fainted, and was told later that her life had been saved by those black G.I.'s. But since most of our heroic battles were fought in the German theater against the Nazis, I will give John Toland a pass this time and still rate this amazing account a full 5-stars. Narrator Tom Weiner does a masterful job with a book that gets a bit dry at some points with its blow-by-blow reading of boring documents and military communiqueés. Well worth 40 hours of your life!
Reading and studying history has always been on of my hobbies and I would say that the Frist World War is one of my favorite subjects of study. I usually read and listen to any books or courses on the subject that I can find and generally while I learn one or two new items of interest from each book or course, I generally have never found anything that gave me a new persepctive. This course changed that. I found it to be excellent. Although he made a couple of minor factual errors in a few of his lectures, I found both Professor Ramsden's course to be very well organized and presented as the course focused not just on the war and its causes (which is the traditional material) but also its legacy to this day. Most interesting to me were the lectures on the war's impact on art and literature (first time I ever took a course that focused on this area) and the impact of the war on the post Second World War world (all the way down to 1987). I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in the subject matter as well as to anyone who has never read or studied the First World War and has had an interest to learn something about it. This course is a great addition to the Audible library