Friday, June 28, 2013

Pop sociology and other stuff

I said "unlikely" to be any posting until after July 4th but not "impossible." (Always leave an out.)

Anyway, a few things. A WaPo piece on "middle-class" protests in various parts of the world was ok until the authors decided to go all pop sociology, declaring:

If the 1960s were about breaking cultural norms and protesting foreign wars, and the 1990s about railing against globalization, then the 2010s are about a clamor for responsive government, as well as social and economic freedom.

Great, glad that's all cleared up and squared away.

Second thing: the excerpt in the current Foreign Affairs from Rick Atkinson's new book (the excerpt is about the run-up to D-Day). I haven't read Atkinson's work, but with several vols. on WW2 under his belt, he is clearly in his element here. Seems to be gated, unfortunately. Btw, DeLong has a book review in the same issue. That might be ungated; haven't checked.

Finally, the U.S. has revoked tariff preferences for Bangladesh across a range of items as a consequence of the garment factory collapses and fires; but I just heard a brief item on this a couple of days ago and haven't sought out the details.


Anonymous said...

I've read the first two Atkinsons in paperback (and will wait for the p-back on this one). He's got a good eye for the telling (or just neat) detail, while doing a good job with the narrative. I would be more excited about the books if they didn't focus so heavily on the American side of things.

Re: reviews, Max Hastings did one in the WSJ that was quite favorable, tho I think he considered Atkinson's indignation about Germans' shooting prisoners, etc. exaggerated in view of our side's often doing the same thing. Hastings's Overlord and Armageddon are a tall order for Atkinson to beat.

LFC said...

I haven't read Hastings. In fact the only WW2-related bk I've read in the past several yrs is Evans's The Third Reich at War (got about 45% of the way through and didn't finish it; not as well written, I think, as the reviews said, tho v well researched).

The excerpt from Atkinson has some nice descriptions and, as you suggest, shows an eye for detail. Don't really have time to put up a quote, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I'd imagine you probably have about 160 books more pressing than Yet Another Narrative of WW2.

If you were going to read one recent book about WW2, Tooze's "The Wages of Destruction" about the "Nazi economy" might be the one to look at. Interesting discussions of policy, and a provocative angle on the war. It's the only such book I can think of that arguably has some useful implications for the present day.

LFC said...

I shd probably put Tooze on the list.