Before reading this book I think I was like many Americans when it came to knowledge of Lincoln’s assassination. I knew Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater while attending a play. I knew Wilkes was eventually apprehended and shot. Beyond these basic facts, I really didn’t know much.
For those of you wondering what Manchuria has to do with Barack Obama, no, this book is not trying to prove Obama isn’t from Kenya.
A fact-filled history of WWII, but one that reads more like a literary masterpiece than a history text.
Alger Hiss. Whittaker Chambers. No longer household names, but in the decade following the conclusion of the Second World War, there may not have been two Americans more famous — or infamous — than they were.
On January 21, 1950, Alger Hiss, a senior State Department official, was convicted by a jury of two counts of perjury. The culmination of hundreds of hours of testimony before Congressional committees and two courts of law, Hiss’s conviction was also a public exoneration of Whittaker Chambers, the man who had exposed Hiss as a Communist agent….
The poet Robert Burns could have been predicting the plight of American prisoners of war in Japan when he penned the famous words “Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!” [ref]
And one POW who could take the stand as a leading witness for the prosecution in the case of man (Allied POWs) vs. man (Japanese prison guards) is Louis Zamperini, former Olympian and U.S. Air Corps bombardier.
“I have hated the words and I have loved them….”
But the words were made right.
I just finished reading The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. When you read it — and perhaps you already have — you’ll probably understand what my introductory words mean, and perhaps you’ll even feel the way I do, a mixture of anger and joy, sadness and hope.
Books like this are why for me reading is a cherished pastime, a form of enlightenment and entertainment that far excels the feeble, shallow attempts of most modern media.
Set in a small town in World War II Nazi Germany, The Book Thief is possibly the most unique book I have ever read. The story’s narrator is, to say the least, highly unusual — yet absolutely appropriate, and the narrator’s manner of speech is extraordinary.
“… like a slice of cold cement.”
“… the falling chunks of rain….”
“… the young man’s voice was scraped out and handed across the dark like it was all that remained of him.”
“Her words were quiet, close to motionless.”
“The rubble just climbed higher. Concrete hills with caps of red.”
But more moving than how the story was told, is the story that was told.
Continue reading “The Book Thief”
You’ve heard some or all of these arguments before: “Gun control works in other countries”, or “More guns mean more murder”, or “The Second Amendment is about muskets”, or “Mass shootings are becoming more common.”
The anti-gun crowd will say anything, ignore facts and stretch or totally disregard the truth in order to push their disarmament agenda. Unfortunately, the average American is ill-prepared to counter their rhetoric.