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review 2018-04-05 19:00
A flawed but useful survey of the French army in the First World War
Paths of Glory: The French Army 1914-18 - Anthony Clayton

Most English-language memoirs and histories of the First World War typically focus on and reflect the experiences of the British “Tommies” on the Western Front.  Such an approach often marginalizes the far more critical experience of the French army, which as Anthony Clayton argues diminishes their contribution to Allied victory in the conflict.  Clayton’s book is an attempt to rectify this.  In a succession of chapters he intersperses a operational narrative of the French army on the Western Front with descriptions of its commanders and their strategies, the soldiers and their equipment, and the challenges they faced in the four years of trench warfare.


All of this serves as an informative summary of the French military experience in the First World War, one that is enjoyably written and generally accessible for the interested reader.  Yet the book is not without its flaws.  Foremost is its predominant focus on the French military experience in northeastern France.  While understandable, Clayton takes this too far by reducing his examination of the army’s involvement on other fronts to a single chapter and generally ignoring the broader context of French politics and society.  Civilians are typically addressed only in terms of their direct interactions with the troops, while the heavily politicized world in which the French high command operated is treated often as background noise.  Such a narrow approach deprives his analysis of critical elements necessary for understanding the forces at work in the French army during this period.


Also problematic is Clayton’s handling of non-European troops fighting in the French ranks.  While acknowledging the presence of thousands of North African, Senegalese, and Indochinese soldiers, the author never gives them the attention he grants to conscripts from France itself, often offering little more than stereotyping claims of questionable veracity.  These beg for a reference to Clayton’s source, yet there are no footnotes or endnotes, only a bibliography of the sources used.  Such an omission minimizes the utility of the book, one that in the end leaves it to serve as a useful survey of the French army in the First World War and little more.

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text 2018-02-25 15:53
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Source: www.pakistaneo.com/pakistan-army
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review 2017-12-31 13:41
Fun crossover!
Army of Darkness Vs. Hack / Slash - Tim Seeley

Boy, was this a lot of fun.   Cassie Hack, the daughter of a serial killer, kills serial killer.   More specifically, she kills the things that go bump in the night - and yeah, they're pretty much always serial killers.   Or she did, until she settled down with her girlfriend and their adopted daughter.


Ash is trying to destroy the Book of Flesh, the book of the dead, the Necromonicon.  When someone starts selling pages from the book, and gives him Cassie's address, they end up uniting to stop whoever's selling the pages. 


It ties into both Ash's mythology and what I understand of Cassie's perfectly.  I haven't read much Hack/Slash, but boy do I want to now!   I liked Ash better than I did in most comics here, maybe because Cassie kicked his ass if he got too fresh. 


This is also about what happens after Cassie's partner, Vlad, dies, which is a huge part of why she retired.   Although Vlad isn't a part of this as a character, he's very much present, and I'm intrigued by the relationship Cassie and Vlad had - nothing romantic, but they love each other nonetheless.   


This is most successful in that it made me want to read more Hack/Slash.  


Knocked one star off because I quite frankly enjoy Tim Seeley's artwork more than the artist they chose for this miniseries. 

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review 2017-12-31 00:53
Army of Darkness: Ongoing Vol. 2: The King Is Dead Long Live the Queen (Army of Darkness Vol. 3) - Elliott Serrano,Edu Menna,Jose Malaga,Randy Valiente

And even when you see how things fit together, the storylines don't really come together until too far into this for me to feel this was anything but disjointed again. 


Again, love how this author gets these characters, love the spin with the revelation of newer and newer Ashes, and love the art and humor.   But it was the feeling that it was so separate that knocked it down one star.

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review 2017-12-31 00:50
Army of Darkness: Ongoing Vol. 1: Hail To the Queen, Baby! (Army of Darkness Vol. 3) - Elliott Serrano,Marat Mychaels,Dietrich Smith

This was more fun than some of the other volumes: with the addition of a competent, female version of Ash, it adds a twist.   It wasn't overly Ash - in the way he treats women, etc - so I didn't feel as grossed out when reading him in this. 


What I didn't like was how disjointed this felt.   I loved the art, I loved the story, I loved the humor, so really other than being frustrated at not seeing how the story fit together until far, far into this, I loved everything.   Disjointed knocks down one half star.

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