Archive for the ‘Amber’ Category

A Carnival of Revolution

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

A Carnival of Revolution

By Padraic Kenney

 

            In most of the books that we have read this semester we are given an analysis of revolutions, uprisings, tear-downs and revolts that have focused on those in charge and those with supposed power. The leaders and their governments are usually key players, each book tends to highlight the big names and the big events. Such is not the case with Carnival of Revolution By Padraic Kenney. This book focuses on smaller unpronounced groups and on some occasion’s individuals. Padraic Kenney seeks to look at the nonconformist groups and their sometimes unconventional means of revolution. (more…)

Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation

By Laura Silber and Allan Little

“We wrote this book to shed light on the decisions which led to the horror and destruction. It is an attempt to identify, clinically and dispassionately, the crucial events, the secret meetings, in both the lead up to war and in its progress once the fighting had started.” [1] Such begins the introduction to Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation by Laura Silber and Allan Little. This books sets out to offer to the reader a detailed description of how the breakdown of Yugoslavia came about and a explanation of the war in Bosnia. The books tries to go year to year, from event to event, allowing us to draw comprehension and also to be able to focus on parallels and patterns. (more…)

The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

The Walls Came Tumbling Down

By Gale Stokes

The books “The Walls Came Tumbling Down” seems to be summed up for me in a quote in the introduction. The author Gale Stokes states that “The Desire for a new start, for a real change, for something different from the tired solutions of the 1930’s…was strong in Eastern Europe after the war.”[1] This shows us that the need for change was something that was prevalent in the societies of Eastern Europe as early as the 1930’s, and that this movement towards change culminated in the revolutions of 1989-1991. (more…)

Neighbors

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Neighbors By Jan T. Gross

 

            Neighbors By Jan Gross is a fantastic story about a slice of the Holocaust.  I have spent a lot of time in my education career studying the Holocaust, as before I switched to the field I have chosen to focus on I had wanted to make that my focus.  I thought I had read most of the narratives and most books I could get my hands on, but this book was one that I had never had a chance to read so I was excited to undertake it.  Right off the bat a quote struck me. In the sources section of the book the author states that “ Since it appeared impossible to save the Jewish people who were being methodically annihilated by the Nazi- organized killing process, a sense of obligation grew among Jewish record-keeps that they must at least preserve the evidence of the very process of destruction.”[1] We here it time and again about the banding together of Jewish people in the hopes that they might be able to record the things that happened to them so that the rest of the world could learn and ensure that such things never happen again. (more…)

Exile and Identity: Polish women in the Soviet Union During World War 2

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Exile and Identity: Polish women in the Soviet Union During World War 2

By Katherine Jolluck

“Womens experiences of major historical events have long suffered neglect.”(Jolluck xiii) So states Katherine Julluck in her introduction to “Exile and Identity: Polish women in the Soviet Union During World War 2”. The author believes that women, and their involvement in historically important events seem to be overlooked and not a point of focus for many in the historical community. She states that “with the spotlight trained on battles and treaties, on politicians, on diplomats and fighters, the involvement of women falls into the shadows, for they are not typically the decision makers or the armed combatants.”(Jolluck xiii) The author uses her sources, which are fantastic, to give us a descriptive look at the lives of women during World War 2.

(more…)

Staging the Past

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Staging the Past

Staging the past by Maria Bucur and Nancy Wingfield is a book comprised of essays aimed at discussing the use of commemorative ceremonies, celebrations, statues and cemeteries. These manifestations of national pride were a means that the Hapsburg Monarchy used to try and create fervor for a new nationalism. These were intended to show the people that the monarchy still had value and that it was not illegitimate. Throughout the essays the authors discuss the differences of national level commemoratives vs. local level commemoratives. It seems to be a theme that the local level commemoratives proved to be better received by the people, as they bonded together communities on a local level by pointing out a common and shared past. This makes sense when you look at the idea of commemoratives as a means of creating collective memories, and in turn creating a sense of common nationality and nationalism.

(more…)

Gary Cohen “Education and Middle Class Society in Imperial Austria

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Gary Cohen’s Book entitled ‘Education and Middle Class Society in Imperial Austria” focuses on the development of Austrian Society, namely educational practices, during the nineteenth century. The author states that “In Austria, as in much of Germany, slower economic and political development than in Western Europe caused the Middle classes to develop more gradually and achieve less social and political power before 1914.”[1]  He goes on to state that “Austria’s middle classes during the late nineteenth century were unable, in the standard view to sweep away all the survivals of the pre-industrial social hierarchy or to consolidate their own political and social order.”[2] Cohen takes a close look at Austria’s educational system, which he feels is a large success on the part of the Hapsburg Monarchy during their declining years. (more…)

Nationalism Reframed

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Nationalism Reframed

In Nationalism Reframed Rogers Brubaker sets out to discuss the ways in which the term “nationalism” is defined and in the long run understood. The author wants us to look at not how much nationalism there is, but rather what kinds of nationalism there are, and how we should define these kinds of nationalism.

He sets up for us in the book his triad of nationalism. He will focus on the nationalizing state, the national minority population and the national homeland. Within this triad he hopes to dissect how these differing types of nationalism work together while in the long term feed off of, and interact with each other. The author uses different historical examples throughout the text in the hope of fully proving to us that nationalism is a term that we should look more closely at in our quest to understand society. One ‘nation’ that he focuses on is that of Polish state between the World Wars. He focuses on the way Poland dealt with the national minority populations within its borders. These minorities belonged nationally to Poland, but ethnically to their native groups, or their external national homelands. He looks at how these two differing ideas of nationalism interact within this specific collection of people. (more…)