Reading is Love

A blog about the love of reading and books.

Archive for the tag “history”

Ravensbruck

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Title: Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm

Category: Nonfiction, History, World War II, Concentration Camps

Review: I had been wanting to read this for a long time when I purchased this. I saw it at a Barnes and Noble shop and jumped on it. Ravensbruck did not disappoint me in any way. It is a very well written book. The author did a lot of digging and interviews of a lot of women to make this book possible. We know a lot about the main camps, such as Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Birkenau, etc… However, Ravensbruck is one that has been lost to us. This book tells the story of the women of Ravensbruck and what they were put through. Originally Ravensbruck was supposed to be a prisoner of war camp, but as the war carried on things changed. Experiments were carried out on the women. Women were made to work for companies and didn’t get any compensation at all. The camp was designed for a certain size, but was overloaded. The book tells a tale of how the women of several nationalities were treated in Ravensbruck. How some survived and how some even were able to help the cause by getting messages to the allies. However, it is a tale of sadness and horror and degradation because the women were treated no better than animals. It is an amazing read and an amazing story that should be read by everyone.

Rating: *****

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Operation Paperclip

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Title: Operation Paperclip, The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists To America by Annie Jacobsen

Category: Nonfiction, History, World War II, Post-War World II, Cold War, Science, Government

Review: From the start, I think this was a very interesting read. When we think about Germany and War World II, we typically think about Hitler and his generals. We don’t think about the men behind all the evil in the concentration camps or working to create the rockets. This book starts at the end of the war and tells us how Operation Paperclip began. It basically was a rouse to use the intelligence of many of the Nazi doctors and scientists and bring them back to the United States. They were in competition, because after the end of WW II, the Soviets basically cut off ties with us and became our enemies. What this book tells us about is how the program started and why it started. They found gas, rockets, etc… that they needed to bring back to the U.S. and they needed the Germans to help them. So even though the German doctors or scientists were Nazis they could get a free pass to a certain extent. There were challenges, as the book discusses, and the program does come to an end due to the fact that the information does end up becoming declassified. The book reveals information that I had not even known before about experiments on people during that time. Such as freezing experiments and saltwater experiments. It is an enlightening book. Even though some of the the German scientists and doctors did some good over here in the U.S. they still were Nazis. It still makes you ask, ‘was it worth a free pass?’ If you are interested in the War World II period, definitely take a look at this book.

Rating: *****

Hitler’s Henchmen

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Title: Hitler’s Henchmen by Guido Knopp

Category: Nonfiction, History, World War II, Hitler

Review: I loved this book, though it took me forever to get through it due to health issues. This book is basically an in depth look at six of Hitler’s most import deputies (or henchmen). Who are the six? Well I’m sure you are all going to know the most famous: Goebbels, Goring, Himmler, Hess, Speer, and Donitz. I think the last three though don’t get as much talk as the first though. This book definitely does a good job and there is an unequal section on any of them. Meaning that the author has paid very good attention to giving information to each man and relaying a fair amount in each section. I found this book to be very informative, like I have been saying, and have found things that I did not know before. I would recommend this for anyone who loves history and particularly World War II. If you don’t want to buy it, seek it out in your library. I was impressed.

Rating: *****

Auschwitz: A New History

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Title: Auschwitz, A New History by Laurence Rees

Category: Nonfiction, History, War World II

Review: This was a very well written book. When we think about Auschwitz, we think about the gas chambers, the many of Jews and political prisoners who were executed, and the concentration camp. The author gives us a complete and updated history on Auschwitz. There are six chapters that start from the conception of Auschwitz to it’s closing. The chapters cover the years 1938-1945. The author included a lot of stories from not only Jewish prisoners, but political prisoners. What made me enjoy this book was the fact that it was well researched. The Holocaust is denied often and this book is just another validation that there were concentration camps and that Auschwitz was real. If you are a particularly interested in concentration camps and the history of Auschwitz, then this is the book for you. It is a complete history. You will find this book a wonderful addition to your library. I know I do.

Rating: *****

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

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Title: The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey with Rob Broomby

Category: Nonfiction, History, World War II

Review: I loved this book and it was hard putting it down. This was an absolute eye-opening book and I think everyone should read it. This book is by a man named Denis Avey who was a British POW. The book is told through his eyes. It is as if he is there speaking to you directly. It starts in the years when he joins the army and goes to Africa to fight. It then goes on to tell how he ends up as a British POW in a German camp. He explains how and why he gets into the Auschwitz camp. He describes what he has to do to escape from the Germans and to get home. However, he doesn’t just stop at the war years. He also goes on to tell you about the pain of after the war. This is when the soldiers had PTSD and nobody knew about it. It is just such a revealing book about a soldier’s life and I really think that everyone should read it. It is well-written and once you turn the first page you will get sucked into the story.

Rating: *****

Breach of Faith

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Title: Breach of Faith by Theodore H. White

Category: Nonfiction, History, Politics, Presidents

Review: This book was written in 1975, so it is a very old book. It is a well-written book, however, if you read it, the author talks as if certain events happened recently. At the time it did, but since it has been over 40 years, it does not apply anymore. The author, Theodore White, was a reporter and wrote this book. This book is on the particulars of how Nixon and his cabinet handled the Watergate affair. It does not just dive into the Watergate affair. It leads up to it. The author takes us through the whole scandal and how it happened. We learn how and why Nixon and his cabinet did what they did. We come to understand why the government had to impeach him or were going to before he resigned and Nixon’s trust issues. It’s a very revealing book by a talented reporter of that time. I didn’t read it in one setting though. It took me a few days to read because of its size. However, if you like to read about the Watergate scandal or are interested in it, you might want to check it out at your local library. It would be hard to find it new since it was printed in 1975.

Rating: ***

The Hitler Book

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Title: The Hitler Book Edited by Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl

Category: Nonfiction, History, War World II, Biography

Review: This book, first off, comes from secret documents that were obtained from the Russians. The Russians had taken two men, known as Heinz Linge (his personal valet) and Otto Gunsche (his personal adjutant), and interrogated them. Linge and Gunsche were two of the closest men to Hitler. This is basically the ‘book’ that was presented to Stalin. This book is not a collection of documents as you would think it might be. It tells a story through a timeline. It also tells the story through both Linge and Gunsche’s eyes. One of the most revealing moments to me in the book, is at the end it reveals that not all of the Reich members are as devoted as they have seemed to be. Many deserted Hitler in his last hour and that is sad, despite the fact. He was still a horrible man, but I can’t imagine being deserted by people that you had placed your trust in. I think by reading this book you will definitely have a new view of Hitler and of his history. I hope you get to read it. Check it out at your local library!

Rating: ****

Killing Lincoln

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Title: Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Category: Nonfiction, History, Civil War

Review: I’ve never read or watched much of Bill O’Reilly, but I absolutely loved reading this book. The only time I had to put this down was when I was starting to get sleepy (not by the book). This book is one of those that will catch your attention from the moment you start reading it. It starts a few days before the surrender of the South then progresses from there. It is almost like reading a fiction story. The authors take you through the minds of mostly Lincoln and Booth. However, there are other figures that he features like Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant and many more throughout the book that I didn’t know about. He progresses to the moment that Lincoln was shot by Booth and afterwards until Booth was shot. During all this its as if you see the thoughts and emotions of the two men. The chapters were short and there were various pictures scattered throughout the book. I think in part that was what kept me interested. The before, during, and afterwards of what happened. I definitely recommend that you read this book. You’ll love it. Even if you are not a fan of the Civil War era, which I am not in particular, I think you will change your mind once you read this book.

Rating: *****

The Devil Is Here in These Hills

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Title: The Devil Is Here in These Hills by James Green

Category: Nonfiction, History, West Virginia History

Review: I picked up this book because I am a West Virginian and I grew up, for the most part, in West Virginia. I wanted to learn more about the history of West Virginia. James Green, the author, did a really good job writing this book. There is a lot of things we don’t know about coal mining and the hard work that the miners had to go through. This book relays the gravity of the situations that the miners went through.

Mr. Green talks about the two major mine wars that occurred in West Virginia. He tells the reader about how the miners were treated by the coal companies. For instance, if they joined a union, the miner and their families could be thrown out of their house. He also tells us of the corruption of the companies. Like how the companies made the miners sign contracts to not join unions in order to have a job.

We don’t know a lot about miners and their work, especially in the past. This book goes in depth about the dangerous situations they had to face to finally get the freedoms that the miners of today have. It is an eye-opening book and I definitely recommend it. It is well written and I think that Mr. Green did a great job with his research. Read this book if you get a chance.

Rating: *****

Semper Fi Vietnam

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Title: Semper Fi Vietnam by Edward F. Murphy

Category: Nonfiction, History, Vietnam War

Review: Well everyone, I finally got finished with Semper Fi Vietnam and I can tell you that I was not really impressed with this book. It’s not that the author didn’t do his research or have great information. I believe it was the tone of the book. I just had such trouble picking up the book and wanting to keep reading it.

This book covers ten years of the Vietnam War. It starts in 1965 and ends in 1975. The chapters are divided by years and for the most part this is a story about the Marines and their journey in Vietnam.

The author noted several occasions of bravery by different men and different operations that occurred during each year, but for some reason, I just couldn’t keep interested with the book. Even though it is a relatively small book, it took me a few months to read it because I kept losing interest in it.

However, if you are interested in a review of the Vietnam War, especially from the side of the Marines, this is a good book for you. Definitely give it a shot. However, don’t buy it if you are just looking for a read. It might take you a long time to read.

Rating: **

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