The Troubled Empire

  • Oct. 5th, 2017 at 11:09 PM
The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties by Timothy Brook

Another author in this series.
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The Age of Confucian Rule: The Song Transformation of China by Dieter Kuhn

The first book in this series to be written by a different author.

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At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

The Art of Nation Building: Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec's Tercentenary by H.V. Nelles

This book opens with a panoramic and exciting description of the events and celebrations around Quebec's Tercentenary summer in 1908. In prose both purple and exhilarating, Nelles recreates an image for the reader of the splendour of the celebration, the breathless enjoyment of the participants, spectators, and organizers, and the overwhelming nature of the events. This description is supplemented with a variety of images (of varying quality), giving the reader a better understanding of what those viewers would have seen in the celebration allegedly of the founding of Quebec, but actually of the attempts of Canada to build a nation in the naive Edwardian period. It's almost disappointing to realise how the vision of Governor General Earl Grey was ultimately dashed by the reality of Canadian society and the crush of history.
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Sweatshop Strife: Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Jewish Labour Movement of Toronto, 1900-1939 by Ruth A. Frager

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This history book focuses on the activities of Jewish people in the needle trade between 1900 and 1939. It includes an ethnic, gender, and class-based analysis of the labour movement in Toronto, with a particular focus on Communism's influence.

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