So this is going to count for the horror square on bingo because that whole bear was freaky.
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
I have to admit, I almost didn’t request this title from Netgalley. It wasn’t that the topic, a study of works by dictators, didn’t sound interesting. It did, but there also seemed a possibility for dryness, and I really wasn’t in the mood. But I requested it anyway.
I am very happy I did. Mr. Kalder, I am sorry for thinking it would be dry.
Honesty, you know you are in good hands when the book starts, “This is a book about dictator literature – that is to say, it is a book about the canon of works written or attributed to dictators. As such, it is a book about some of the worst books ever written, and so was excruciatingly painful to research.”
Kalder took one for the team, and quite frankly, we should repay him by reading this book.
The book isn’t so much literary criticism; though Kalder does not shy away from calling a bad book a bad book. For instance, on The Green Book, “it is not merely boring, or banal, or repetitive, or nonsensical, although it is certainly all those things. It is quite simply, stupid . . . “.
And he is fair, for Kalder notes of Mussolini’s bodice ripper (which isn’t really one apparently) that it is readable.
His survey of literature starts with the Russian revolution and includes present day dictators. Kalder is also as funny as, well, Monty Python.
What Kalder does is look at not only what the writings reveal about the dictators, but also why people didn’t take the books seriously as warnings of things to come. He points out that some people should have known better. He also connects it to the thinking and control process, showing how the works did reflect the personality of each man (and they are all men). He also addresses the weird beliefs that make their way into the books – Hussain had strange ideas about bears.
The book is an entertaining journey into some really strange minds that produced some really bad literature. Luckily for the reader, Kalder read it for us.
This year we are studying the Civil War. We are looking at what led to the Civil War and the Battles. While I sat at the library waiting for my girls, I spied this book (and about 6 others) sitting near where I was and grabbed them up to see if they would be good for the lessons.
I started the one yesterday and finished it this morning. It is a fast read and very good information on the Forts that were battled over and why they were battled over and how the fight for it took place.
The front before the forts lists dates and the order that the battles took place. The first shot of the Civil War, by whom and where. First person to die in the Civil War and how that happened (an accident during a celebration).
The author also talks about how the different generals and officers knew each other and their connections and their feelings about this war.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and the information it contained. Definitely, recommend this book to others who homeschool or just want more information. This was found in the "Teen" Room at the library.