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Non-Fiction Books

 
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Mr. Write



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:26 am    Post subject: Non-Fiction Books Reply with quote

Spend Winter Break Reading These Best Nonfiction Books
An FBI cat-and-mouse game, a poignant family memoir, and the history of Vietnam's disastrous turning point top the year's best titles.
BY The Daily Beast

From con artists and musical greats to Vietnam battles, Silicon Valley sexism, and Ulysses S. Grant, these nonfiction books enlightened and entertained us in 2017:

Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Ellen Ullman
Writing about the tech world from the point of view of a woman instantly sets Ullman apart. But while she has some very funny things to say about the boys’ club tilt in tech’s backshop, where she has labored since the ’70s, this is only one of this essay collection’s many attractions. Her essays are sharp enough to earn the respect of her peers while plainspoken enough to intrigue the rest of us, as she dissects issues as intractable as sexism and portentous as AI. Best riff: her use of the computer screen’s interface as a virtual blackboard to diagram why programmers think you, the user, are dumb as they come. This is one of the smartest yet most humane books ever written about the tech world we all now have to navigate.

Henry David Thoreau: A Life (Chicago) by Laura Dassow Walls
Readers of this extraordinary biography will be torn between a desire to stay with Walls’ story or go off and read more Thoreau. That’s a compliment to Walls, who, without ever fawning, makes you admire her subject—and especially his writing—more and more with each page. Thoreau-bashing has been a favorite pastime of cynics for, well, since he was alive, but Walls is no cynic, and she makes a persuasive case that Thoreau doesn’t warrant such maligning. He was a naturalist and a moralist who practiced what he preached, and when it came to that, he didn’t preach all that much. In an age where heroes are hard to come by, we should treasure the man who almost singlehandedly invented the country’s environmental ethic. This book is an indispensable introduction to one of the very greatest Americans.

Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam (Atlantic) by Mark Bowden (*)

It is trendy to say that strategists, generals, and military historians have long placed too much emphasis on big battles in trying to win—or understand—the wars of which they are a part. Mark Bowden’s thoroughly researched and compelling account of the most controversial battle of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam might be taken as a kind of rejoinder to that notion. The author of the much-acclaimed Black Hawk Down treats Hue as a microcosm of the Vietnam War. His account limns many of the ambitions, delusions, and misconceptions on both sides that made the war such a vicious and destructive tragedy. The story of Hue, like the story of Vietnam, is awash in paradox, irony, and senseless destruction. The Communists took the city knowing they could not hold it, and the Americans virtually destroyed the place wresting it back. Bowden concludes that the “battle and the offensive of which it was a part … altered the strategic equation in Vietnam. Debate concerning the war in the United States was never again about winning, only about how to leave.” Without a doubt, Hue 1968 is one of the very best books to be written about Vietnam in the last decade.

The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon and Schuster) by Frances Fitzgerald
It’s been a long struggle, but, given that persecuted Christian minorities were among the first people to settle this country, not surprising—you could say that oppositional Christianity is part of our cultural heritage. At any rate, certainly since the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries, the evangelical movement has always mounted a conservative cultural counterforce, first against mainstream Christianity, and, lately, against the perceived liberality of American society generally. Fitzgerald, who won a Pulitzer for Fire in the Lake, her history of the Vietnam War, here again proves herself a fascinating storyteller: Her chapter on Billy Graham alone is worth the price of the book. By chronicling how evangelical movements have ebbed and flowed but inexorably edged closer toward the center of American life, she lays bare a fight for American identity that has been with us since the start and shows no signs of ever going away.i

More:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/spend-winter-break-reading-the-best-nonfiction-books-of-2017?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

(*) Didn't someone (may have been Murat) recommend this book about the Vietnam War?
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Kerowyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:19 am    Post subject: Huê 1968 Reply with quote

Quote:
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam (Atlantic) by Mark Bowden (*)
It is trendy to say that strategists, generals, and military historians have long placed too much emphasis on big battles in trying to win—or understand—the wars of which they are a part. Mark Bowden’s thoroughly researched and compelling account of the most controversial battle of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam might be taken as a kind of rejoinder to that notion. The author of the much-acclaimed Black Hawk Down treats Hue as a microcosm of the Vietnam War. His account limns many of the ambitions, delusions, and misconceptions on both sides that made the war such a vicious and destructive tragedy. The story of Hue, like the story of Vietnam, is awash in paradox, irony, and senseless destruction. The Communists took the city knowing they could not hold it, and the Americans virtually destroyed the place wresting it back. Bowden concludes that the “battle and the offensive of which it was a part … altered the strategic equation in Vietnam. Debate concerning the war in the United States was never again about winning, only about how to leave.” Without a doubt, Hue 1968 is one of the very best books to be written about Vietnam in the last decade.

(*) Didn't someone (may have been Murat) recommend this book about the Vietnam War?

Yes, someone did, and yes, it was Murat - I did a Search and the system has it in its memory, but it's invisible coz it's one of the threads that disappeared when we were hacked and crashed. very upset
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murat



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:50 am    Post subject: Re: Huê 1968 Reply with quote

Kerowyn wrote:
Quote:
(*) Didn't someone (may have been Murat) recommend this book about the Vietnam War?

Yes, someone did, and yes, it was Murat - I did a Search and the system has it in its memory, but it's invisible coz it's one of the threads that disappeared when we were hacked and crashed. very upset

I kept this one too. Here's a copy of my post:

I got the book " Hue 1968 " de Mark Bowden today at the NYP Library , they had 3 copies . He also wrote ' Black Hawk Down "

Here are some facts.

From the perspective of nearly half a century , the battle of Hue and the entire Vietnam War seem a tragic and meaningless waste .So much heroism and slaughter for a cause that now seems dated and nearly irrelevant. the all painful experience ought to have ( but has not ) taught Americans to cultivate deep regional knowledge in the practice of foreign policy ,and to avoid being led by ideology instead of understanding . The United States should interact with other nations realistically ,first , not on the basis of domestic political priorities , Very often the problem in distant lands have little or nothing to do with America's ideological preoccupations . Beware of men with theories that explains everything . Trust those who approach the world with humility and cautious insight . The United states went to war in Vietnam in the name of freedom ,to stop the supposed monolithic threat of Communism from spreading across the globe like a dark stain - I remember seeing these cartoons as a child . There were experts , people who knew better the languages and history of Southeast Asia , who had lived and worked there , who tried to tell Presidents Eisenhower ,Kennedy , Johnson ,and Nixon that the conflict in Vietnam was peculiar to that place. They were systematically ignored and pushed aside . David Halberstam's classic The best and the brightest documented this process convincingly . America had every right to choose sides in the struggle between Hanoi and Saigon , even to try to influence the outcome, but lacking a legitimate or even marginally capable ally its military effort was misguided and doomed .At the very least ,Vietnam should stand as a permanent caution against going to war for any but the most immediate ,direct ,and vital national interest , or to prevent genocide or wider conflict , and then only in concert with others countries.

Mark Bowden , Hue 1968 , A turning point of the war in Vietnam. excerpt from the epilogue

By January 1968, despite an influx of half a million American troops and more bombs than had been dropped over Europe in all of the world War II. The fighting in Vietnam seem to be at a stalemate...Yet General Westmoreland, commander of American forces, announced new phase of the war in which " the end begins to come into view " . The North Vietnamese had different ideas.

Overview
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden
“An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color.”—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal

The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam.

In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam’s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front’s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.

With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:38 pm    Post subject: Why it's time for women to rewrite the story Reply with quote

Pushing back: why it's time for women to rewrite the story

Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture
in which the credibility of women is undermined. It's time to put a stop
to the gaslighting, writes Sarah Churchwell

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/17/pushing-back-why-its-time-for-women-to-rewrite-the-story
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