Saturday, April 23, 2005

Illusion of Victory


This was a fantastic read. His coverage of the war, as a set of battles, etc., was just about non-existent, which makes it radically different than most books I read on the topic. Instead, the focus was on the press and politics taking place in America during the war. While I did know certain facts, the IWW (Wobblies) suppression, conflicts between TR & Wilson, punishing reparations, etc., the detail around how those things came about and the ripple effects from them is amazing stuff. People sometimes ask why I read history, books like this are the reason. I should say a couple of critical things about the book. The one that comes to mind immediately is that the writer seems to evidence a very anti-military stance. Yes he's got the obligatory "support the troops" mentality, but he denigrates the military frequently in the book and, with the exception of some entries in the summary chapter, plays down our military successes. This doesn't seriously detract from the overall magnificent writing and tone of the book. The geekwife, whom I've forced to listen to excerpts, and I are still chuckling over "May Edith Galt Wilson burn in hell" from Tumulty that the author found written in the margins of memo's stored in the National Archives.

Next up Geoffrey Wawro's (which all good WWI geeks know was one of the contributing factors to the war). Still working on Soul of Battle. Since I've had this virus off & on for the last three weeks I've gotten more reading done, but fewer workouts. Brain expands, but muscles shrink. Must reestablish balance.

1 comment:

Nylarthotep said...

I had to dig a little, but I do have this on the pile already. I think it's in line just behind a book on the Crimean war.