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View Poll Results: What Non-Fiction Book Should We Discuss in July?
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden 12 29.27%
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer 9 21.95%
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 6 14.63%
A Night to Remember by Walter Lord 15 36.59%
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England by Daniel Pool 7 17.07%
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark 10 24.39%
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch 9 21.95%
Gulp by Mary Roach 12 29.27%
Faust in Copenhagen by Gino Segrè 6 14.63%
Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna 15 36.59%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-25-2013, 06:02 AM   #46
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This article from a while back might be interesting to you and others.

Did the Titanic Sink Because of an Optical Illusion?
Fascinating! I've not run across that before. It does seem to explain a number of things--though the light seen by Mrs Astor and pointed out by Captain Smith would seem to indicate a smaller ship of the type (apparently) seen by the Californian.

Still--an interesting and thought provoking theory . . . . Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #47
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I think that prior to war is more relevant than after the war.
Here's a link on Franco-Prussian War after which in 1871 France was forced to sign humiliating treaty with Germany loosing Alsace-Lorraine...This was before the humiliation of Germany that followed much later in Versailles in which France got Alsace-Lorraine back...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War
As I recall Hitler had fought in WWI and in fact was in hospital having been temporarily blinded by gas when he learned that Germany had lost the war. I can imagine that helped fuel his resentment on a personal level. Here he'd fought and was suffering as a result and it had come to naught. Doesn't excuse his later actions of course but I imagine it was a personal sore spot.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #48
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Doesn't excuse his later actions of course but I imagine it was a personal sore spot.
It was. He quite deliberately signed the 1940 armistice with France in the same railway carriage that the 1919 armistice was signed, then had the carriage removed to Germany and the rest of the site demolished.

Last edited by avantman42; 06-25-2013 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Edited for clarity
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #49
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The causes, apart from re-balancing the international order, were many and deep, and they do go far back from the year 1914. But trying to put the guilt for the war on Serbia and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand for me is not only rewriting and recreating the history which more than obviously shows this was only the casus belli, it is an insult to a thinking mind...If you consider all the great powers involved, the preparations which were happening on a military level for a long time prior to 1914, and then check the map and see where and how big Serbia was at the time, I guess you might feel something similar.
Anyway, the ebook edition is brilliantly formatted and I really did my best to read it despite the advise of my friends and colleagues who told me that there is no point in it. I had to drop it after first part of the book and leave the second and third part unread...
But, I am sure for many readers it will be a brilliant read, especially for ones who so far have not had deeper interest in the Great War. And I am writing this for them, hoping they will not take this book as an ultimate history account but as just one (and not very much facts based) "modern treatment" of the past.
I'll respond as more length later, but for now I'd like to quote Niall
Ferguson on The Sleepwalkers.

Quote:
Christopher Clark has written the most readable account of the origins of the First World War since Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August. The difference is that The Sleepwalkers is a lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship. It is hard to believe we will ever see a better narrative of what was perhaps the bigggest collective blunder in the history of international relations.
I haven't read this yet, but I have a hard time believing that a prize-winning professor of history at Cambridge has managed to write a highly praised book that somehow manages to ignore or obfuscate the facts. I understand you disagree with his interpretation of them; just the same, I have to impute some validity to his theories. And in passing, I've read literally hundreds of books about the First World War.

I do think some revisionist theories are nuts: that Haig was a master strategist, for example. But I'm not prepared to throw out what Clark has to say. It would be great if this book were picked, so we could all have at it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:24 AM   #50
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I've already downloaded it from Amazon and intend to read it soon regardless of the winning choice. I've already read the preface and it seems a very polished, well-researched, and interesting study.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 06-25-2013 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #51
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It is a shame that The Sleepwalkers looks like it will not be selected. I can see that it could provoke a spirited discussion, and about events now far enough back in history that movement to the P&R forum would not be necessary.

I've not read the book, but if the conclusion is that the assassination of of Archduke Franz Ferdinand caused that war I would certainly question it. What I have always read suggests that there were a great number of contributing factors, some going as far back as Congress of Vienna in 1815. What I have always read in the past is the assassination was the the prick in the highly pressurized vessel that led it to explode.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:55 PM   #52
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I'll respond as more length later, but for now I'd like to quote Niall
Ferguson on The Sleepwalkers.

I haven't read this yet, but I have a hard time believing that a prize-winning professor of history at Cambridge has managed to write a highly praised book that somehow manages to ignore or obfuscate the facts. I understand you disagree with his interpretation of them; just the same, I have to impute some validity to his theories. And in passing, I've read literally hundreds of books about the First World War.

I do think some revisionist theories are nuts: that Haig was a master strategist, for example. But I'm not prepared to throw out what Clark has to say. It would be great if this book were picked, so we could all have at it.

Niall Ferguson? The homo atlanticus redux himself? The West and the Rest
If you have time, check this out
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n21/pankaj-...watch-this-man
I am sure there are better reviewers than him...
Forgot - should you by any chance have Ferguson's West and the Rest, check out how many times he quotes the very Clark

Last edited by jmilica; 06-25-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #53
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It is a shame that The Sleepwalkers looks like it will not be selected. I can see that it could provoke a spirited discussion, and about events now far enough back in history that movement to the P&R forum would not be necessary.

I've not read the book, but if the conclusion is that the assassination of of Archduke Franz Ferdinand caused that war I would certainly question it. What I have always read suggests that there were a great number of contributing factors, some going as far back as Congress of Vienna in 1815. What I have always read in the past is the assassination was the the prick in the highly pressurized vessel that led it to explode.
From what I understand there were indeed a number of reasons why WWI broke out. One even more interesting fact is one of the reasons why it ended when it did. Our old friend the Flu made its initial appearance in the human population at that time and it was a lot more dangerous than it is now days. The laws against spitting on the sidewalk came about at that time as they were trying to control its spread. Basically there were too many people sick with the flu to keep the fighting going. Or so I understand.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:28 PM   #54
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I've already downloaded it from Amazon and intend to read it soon regardless of the winning choice. I've already read the preface and it seems a very polished, well-researched, and interesting study.
I have downloaded two of this month's nominations: The Sleepwalkers, as I like a well researched book and Camp 14which is an eye- witness account of the life in a North Korean camp. And both books are very interesting.

In the meanwhile( cheering from the side): go Fanny and Stella
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #55
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It seems obvious at this point that The True Believer and What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew don't stand much of a chance, but I still have hope that Gulp by Mary Roach will make it in under the wire. It's been steadily rising in the poll.

Come on, Gulp!
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #56
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Yeah, I'd like to read Gulp, too.

C'mon on guys. Say Yes to Gulp.

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Old 06-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #57
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Gulp just needs three more votes with nothing else getting voted on for it to win. Please help Gulp win. It's the best of the top vote getters. In fact, Gulp is the best of the nominated books.

So please do yourself a favor and vote for Gulp. Mary Roach is a very entertaining author and she writes on current subjects and makes then very entertaining and educational and you'll be glad you read Gulp.

Trust me, WT Sharpe knows Mary Roach is the best author in the list.

By voting for Gulp, you'll be helping us out by not allowing a book to win that's on a topic that's just been done to death (over and over and boring and more boring).
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:14 AM   #58
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Come on Titanic just one vote to break the tie.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:18 AM   #59
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Vote for "A Night to Remember" - you won't regret it!
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:20 AM   #60
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Na, we all know how it ended. It sinks.

But here something is born, something great is discovered. Show up all you lovers of physics and the history of science! Let's turn the tables and overtake all the other books in a Faustian finish!
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