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Old 07-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Leon Uris' "Armegeddon: A Novel of Berlin"

A novel about events leading to the Berlin Airlift. Apparently, the world has sort of forgotten this event. I know I rarely think about it. The world could have taken a very different course not just once but several times in the course of about 4 years after WW2.

There is some danger in assuming that any novel is historically accurate, but considering Leon Uris' background and generation, and the generation of people he was writing for, I feel it is close enough at least in the 'big strokes'.

What I found surprising was just how resentful the Americans were at being forced to 'run things' after the war. They were unprepared and unwilling, and they and everyone else knew it. And as a result, they sort of drug their feet at doing what seems obvious now, and obvious to many back then. But at the time no one but the Russians seemed willing or able to offer any alternative, and no one but the Soviets seemed to like that idea anyway!

I was surprised to read that there was a sizable group of people in the US and Britain, who seemed willing to let the Soviet Union just HAVE Europe. The world came very close to being a much meaner place I think in the late 1940's.

I found the ending somewhat unsatisfying though. Important characters being killed off, other characters never meeting by chance. I like my happy endings too much I guess. And the ending just sort of tapered off.

Even though it was published in the early 1960's, as a novel it holds up quite well and is very readable. It doesn't 'feel' like an old novel.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 07-26-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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This looks pretty good. I picked it up yesterday and tossed it onto my TBR pile.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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It's worth a look. . .
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:49 AM   #4
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I've been very entertained by Uris, however, I remember reading that the first President of Israel said that Exodus was nonsense. If that is true, then his other works are suspect.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:02 AM   #5
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I picked up Armagedon a little while ago when it was in the Amazon 3.99 list of titles. My mother was born and raised in Berlin, married my Dad in around 49 or 50' after the war when he was stationed there. So I had a keen interest in reading the story. Mom never talked that much about the war, and talked about the post WWII timeframe even less. I now have a better appreciation of why she didn't talk about it. I do remember as a small child she would playfully call me a 'gooney bird'. Until I just read Uris I had never known the context of that term. She also on every meal cleaned her plate completely, there was never a crumb left, feeling it was a crime to throw anything away. If we didn't finish our plates she would admonish us saying, 'finish your plate, you don't know what its like not having...'

My most vivid memory was going to berlin in 62 or 63 as a small child of around 7. We stood on a platform sort of like a gallows platform to look our over the Berlin Wall at checkpoint charlie. I remember tears welling up and streaming down my mother's face looking out over the wall at East Berlin. She had no love for the russians. In 93 at my grandmother's funeral we went into East Berlin to Alexander Platz. She got into an argument with some east German communist at King Fredricks Summer palace. (The cheap wool suits were always a dead give away.) Apparently we couldn't go inside just walk the gardens. One worker said there is nothing inside the Russians took it all. There were in the process of restoring the inside. At the cemetary my Grandmother was buried at she did tell me that they had to replace bones in family crypts. She said the Russians even took gold from teeth in the cemetery.

Reading the book and remembering some of my mother's behavior and actions along with what she did talk about , I'd say it was a fairly accurate representation of what it was like to live in Berlin post WWII. I almost wish I hadn't read it.

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