Non Civil War Books and Movies

Matt McKeon

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"Zona" by Geoff Dyer

This is an analysis, in an informal tone, of a 1970s movie called "Stalker" made by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky.

I actually saw Stalker 2 years ago. We had parents' night at school, and rather than spend 90 minutes doubling my commute I watched it by myself in my classroom. Tarkovsky is perhaps better known for his version of "Solaris."

The plot is three men sneak into a forbidden zone that has been sealed off by the military, the site of a meteor crash, or some other unspecified event. It's lush and green, with ominous wreckage of tanks and jeeps that had tried to invade the Zone. It is full of booby traps and snares, that are constantly shifting: the rules of time and distance don't apply. But somewhere in the zone is a Room, a room that grants the innermost desire of who ever enters it.

The question is: what is your innermost desire? Not what you think you want, or what you should want, but what do you actually want.

Written in an informal, talky style, quite readable. More readable than the movie is watchable.
Watch the figures move through the abandoned landscape its hard not to think of Chernobyl, still a decade in the future.
 

5fish

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I have not read this but I thought some of you might like to read it...

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Here is a true story from WW2 era Los Angeles... spies and murder plots...

The chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles, and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it.

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city's Jews and to sabotage the nation's military installations: plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Goldwyn; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.

U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention--preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis--and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles," ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazi's disturbing plans for death and destruction.


This book has a video promo...

 

Matt McKeon

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Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister
A companion book to the recent TV miniseries. Anne Lister was a Tory landowner in Yorkshire who kept an enormous, highly detailed diary of everything she did, over five million words. The book concerns itself with 1832/

Highly active, she traveled in Europe, studied medicine, climbed mountains, always in a hurry. She managed her estate and various business ventures, remodeled the grounds, working sixteen hours a day, covering miles hiking over her lands, studying and scribbling in her diary. She was politically conservative and a committed Anglican. She also understood from a young age she was a lesbian and pursued young women. The book recounts her courtship with a neighboring heiress, Ann Walker. Lister woos her with the objective of physical gratification, access to Walker's wealth and a desire to settle down in a committed relationship. She achieves these goals, and the two commit themselves to each other and live as a married couple.

Listers' diaries are utterly frank. She disguised the more personal details in code.
 

5fish

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I have not read this but I thought some of you might like to read it...

View attachment 5571

Here is a true story from WW2 era Los Angeles... spies and murder plots...

The chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles, and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it.

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city's Jews and to sabotage the nation's military installations: plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Goldwyn; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.

U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention--preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis--and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles," ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazi's disturbing plans for death and destruction.


This book has a video promo...

Here is a Smithsonian article about Leon Lewis spy ring...

 

Wehrkraftzersetzer

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In search for a short satirical SciFi story written when the term SciFi didn't exist

Maybe a from a newspaper, and I think from Mark Twain
I read it when I was kid (translated) and I'm in search for it, since.

The plot is an American is accused of a capital crime, but innocent what some spooke new device like TV or so clearly does proof.

However there is a French precedent where the French executed a man who was innocent.

The American gets executed for that precedent and America goes to war with them beastly French

The translation might have been shortened, I guess the original is something lik 1-3 paperback pages.

It smells Mark Twain all over.

Does it ring a bell?
 

5fish

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In search for a short satirical SciFi story written when the term SciFi didn't exist

Maybe a from a newspaper, and I think from Mark Twain
I read it when I was kid (translated) and I'm in search for it, since.

The plot is an American is accused of a capital crime, but innocent what some spooke new device like TV or so clearly does proof.

However there is a French precedent where the French executed a man who was innocent.

The American gets executed for that precedent and America goes to war with them beastly French

The translation might have been shortened, I guess the original is something lik 1-3 paperback pages.

It smells Mark Twain all over.

Does it ring a bell?
I think it's this one... Minus America blowing thing up... Jules Verne

 

Matt McKeon

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All the Horrors of War
Bernice Lerner recounts a double story of two dissimilar figures moving to a fateful meeting at the liberation of Bergen Belsen.
One is Lerner's mother, a fourteen year old Hungarian Jew who is scooped up in the massive deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in 1944. She and her sister(the other members of her family are murdered) are marched to work at Grosse Rosen, then as the Third Reich collapses to Bergen Belsen.

The other is Brigadier Hugh Llewellyn Glyn Hughes, the medical director for the British Second Army, moving east from the beaches at Normandy. Hughes, confronted by the humanitarian crisis of the Bergen Belsen camp, snaps into action, marshals medical and military resources and saves the lives of tens of thousands, while thousands of others die before help can arrive.
 

Matt McKeon

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All the Horrors of War
Bernice Lerner recounts a double story of two dissimilar figures moving to a fateful meeting at the liberation of Bergen Belsen.
One is Lerner's mother, a fourteen year old Hungarian Jew who is scooped up in the massive deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in 1944. She and her sister(the other members of her family are murdered) are marched to work at Grosse Rosen, then as the Third Reich collapses to Bergen Belsen.

The other is Brigadier Hugh Llewellyn Glyn Hughes, the medical director for the British Second Army, moving east from the beaches at Normandy. Hughes, confronted by the humanitarian crisis of the Bergen Belsen camp, snaps into action, marshals medical and military resources and saves the lives of tens of thousands, while thousands of others die before help can arrive.
Its not a great book. Lerner choses to frequently cut between her mother's struggle to survive with a potted military history of the British advance to the Rhine. The surreal brutality of Belsen "Its like another planet" says one observer, as the Germans indifferently let the camp collapse. Then a couple of pages of artillery barrages and advancing tanks. She also moves back and forward in time awkwardly. It doesn't quite work.

Hughes heraculean efforts at Belsen, are sketched in, but not closely described, its like a highlight reel. It would have benefited from a more detailed and better organized description.

Her mother, 15 years old, eighty pounds, infected with TB emigrates to Sweden, which generously opened its borders.
 

Matt McKeon

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Its not a great book. Lerner choses to frequently cut between her mother's struggle to survive with a potted military history of the British advance to the Rhine. The surreal brutality of Belsen "Its like another planet" says one observer, as the Germans indifferently let the camp collapse. Then a couple of pages of artillery barrages and advancing tanks. She also moves back and forward in time awkwardly. It doesn't quite work.

Hughes heraculean efforts at Belsen, are sketched in, but not closely described, its like a highlight reel. It would have benefited from a more detailed and better organized description.

Her mother, 15 years old, eighty pounds, infected with TB emigrates to Sweden, which generously opened its borders.
She has no one, doesn't speak anything but Hungarian and broken German, she isn't educated or have any job skills. Except for her sister, her family and community has been wiped out. Slowly she begins to came back to life. Its a quiet, yet beautiful part of the book.
 

Jim Klag

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In search for a short satirical SciFi story written when the term SciFi didn't exist

Maybe a from a newspaper, and I think from Mark Twain
I read it when I was kid (translated) and I'm in search for it, since.

The plot is an American is accused of a capital crime, but innocent what some spooke new device like TV or so clearly does proof.

However there is a French precedent where the French executed a man who was innocent.

The American gets executed for that precedent and America goes to war with them beastly French

The translation might have been shortened, I guess the original is something lik 1-3 paperback pages.

It smells Mark Twain all over.

Does it ring a bell?
Herr @Wehrkraftzersetzer , here is a site. The story you are lookin for is From The London Times In 1904.

 

Mike12

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So he saved her, right? Anybody like "Land of Hope and Glory"? Look here it is. I like this one.
 

Mike12

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I thought I was slightly funny about the above story. Whats this about?
 
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