This is a fascinating book about a character I had never heard of. The story itself is so odd the while reading this book I felt like I was actually reading some strange fantasy novel instead of history. What made me realize that it was history was the fact that there were only villans in this story, there are no heroes here.
For those of us in the west who are taught nothing about this part of the world and little at all about this period of history it is truly eye opening. Palmer lays out a great deal of information to bring the background of this story to life. His own knowledge of the area helps to illuminate many parts of the book. His wit is the typically dry British style. He paints a vivid picture of Tibetan/Mongolian buddhism. His portrait is honest, painfully so with those of us only familiar with the Hollywood version.
The stories of brutality by all sides in this story is enough to make one’s hair stand on end. With the fall and the discrediting of communism it is now possible to air the truth about what happened in much of the world that suffered under its tyranny. The epilogue of the book, which covers the period of Mongolia after the communist takeover, shows the extreme brutality and cultural rape that accompanied that system.
The book is well written and the topic is fascinating. As a historian I regret that there is not more source material on this subject. This is not the fault of the author, rather it is the simple absence of much reliable original material on this subject. The only warning that I will give is that many types of brutality were committed by all sides and you will here about it.
Stefan Rudnicki does an excellent job of narrating the book. It was a lot of fun to listen to.
This excellent book by Benjamin Wiker should be given to every high school student in America. It gives an unflattering look at some books that have shaped our modern world. Granted many will be unhappy with Dr. Wiker's choices. After all he does give an honest view of several works that are sacred to the modern intellectual elite. After nearly two decades in higher education I understand the importance of this book.
The book is well written and the reader does a great job. I look forward to more audiobooks from this author.
In this book Roger Kimball describes in great detail how the "Cultural Revolution" was launched against the fabric of our nation. True there are those who upon listening to this will begin foaming at the mouth as Mr. Kimball attacks and demolishes their cultural icons.
Whether one agrees with Mr. Kimball's own values is a matter of personal choice. One can not deny that the material he presents here is true. A group of cultural elites waged war on the values and ideas of a nation. Their ideas were hardly new. I was born after the events in this book occcured. That means that I and my generation have a lot of work ahead to undo the intense damage that our parents generation have done to our nation. Thank you Mr. Kimball for showing us how we arrived at our present day crisis.
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