Category Archive: Politics

Jun 16 2017

Postwar by Tony Judt

Two things stand out for me about Postwar, by Tony Judt. First, it is a stupendous historical synthesis that aims to tell a mostly political history of all of Europe — East and West, North and South — from 1945 through its publication in 2005. Second, I should have been writing reflections about it as I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/postwar-by-tony-judt/

Jun 16 2017

The Ottoman Endgame by Sean McMeekin

“So far from a sideshow to the First World War, the Ottoman theater was central to both the outbreak of European war in 1914 and the peace settlement that truly ended it.” (p. xviii) In The Ottoman Endgame, Sean McMeekin makes a strong argument that understanding the First World War without understanding the part of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/the-ottoman-endgame-by-sean-mcmeekin/

May 31 2017

Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale

I totally judged this book by its cover. First of all, the book is by Catherine Merridale. About a decade ago, I picked up a copy of Ivan’s War and was rewarded with one of the most amazing works of history that I have ever read. It’s a chronicle of the Great Patriotic War as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/31/lenin-on-the-train-by-catherine-merridale/

May 28 2017

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

As far as fantasy novels go, this has a great setting and characters (with one exception that I’ll get to in a minute) and above all atmosphere. Essentially an alternate world take on Weimar Berlin before the fascists’ rise to power, it depicts life lived on a razor’s age, hedonism in the maw of societal …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/28/amberlough-by-lara-elena-donnelly/

Feb 25 2017

Wallenstein II by Friedrich Schiller

“Schiller’s Wallenstein is so great that there is nothing else like it.” — Goethe How’s that for a blurb? Goethe didn’t just offer praise, he directed the premiere of all three parts of Schiller’s Wallenstein trilogy. The third, Wallenstein’s Death (published as Wallenstein II, as the two previous plays comprise the first volume), comes from …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/02/25/wallenstein-ii-by-friedrich-schiller/

Jan 03 2017

Landscapes of Communism by Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley places Landscapes of Communism at an intersection of several modes: serious but not academic architectural criticism; political and social history, as reflected in a region’s built environment; companion for both travellers and residents; and thoughts on living in cities shaped by different social systems. Hatherley writes early on that he uses the term …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/01/03/landscapes-of-communism-by-owen-hatherley/

Dec 21 2016

Wrapping Up

Both reading and writing have slowed significantly since November 8, and not only because of the election, though that has certainly played a major part in my slowdown. Time for some short takes, to clear the desk for the coming year. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I read this in the summer, and I’ve been searching …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/12/21/wrapping-up/

Nov 14 2016

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

I picked up this book hoping for a little comfort after the recent elections but found something else instead: stark truth served up as satire. The stark truth is rarely comforting but — and this is why the book merits four stars from me rather than three — in Paul Beatty’s hands, it is not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/11/14/the-sellout-by-paul-beatty/

Oct 05 2016

The Vanquished by Robert Gerwarth

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns fell silent, ending more than four years of terrible war in Europe. First as Armistice Day and later as Remembrance Day, European (and Commonwealth) countries even now commemorate the end of the First World War nearly a century after …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/10/05/the-vanquished-by-robert-gerwarth/

Aug 12 2016

Moscow in Movement by Samuel A. Greene

Moscow in Movement examines how citizens and state power interact in post-Soviet Russia. Samuel A. Greene, director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London, looks at the lived experiences of Russians and considers several case studies carefully to show how individual Russians, elements of Russian society, and representatives of the Russian state form their …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/08/12/moscow-in-movement-by-samuel-a-greene/

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