Blogroll

Book Review: Death of an Assassin by Ann Marie Ackerman

For the second time in a year, I’ve had book encounters with 19th century European assassins who eventually fled to the United States and began new lives under different names. The first was Sergei Degaev, who assassinated the chief of Tsar Nicholas’s security organization in 1883. Sixteen years later he would become a popular professor […]

Book Review: History of a Disappearance by Filip Stringer

We who live west of the Mississippi are familiar with ghost towns. Just in the northern Great Plains, hundreds of small towns were abandoned when a railroad line wasn’t built. More disappeared when highways and air travel led railroads to abandon lines to and through small communities. Farther west is a multitude of abandoned mining […]

Mein Kampf returning to Germany

Monday’s announcement that Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is going to be republished in Germany for the first time since the end of World War II brought a couple thoughts to mind.

I find it interesting that the State of Bavaria holds the copyright to the book. According to the news report, Bavaria took over the […]

Book Review: The Commandant by Rudolf Hoess, edited by Jürg Amann

War crimes trials are a 20th Century invention. Although a vehicle for punishment and, perhaps, the reestablishment of the rule of law, one has to wonder the extent to which individual defendants truly acknowledge any real guilt.

This is seen in the autobiography written by Auschwitz camp commander Rudolf Hoess while in prison following […]

Book Review: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

Early into reading Anna Funder’s Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall, I came across a passage that made me think, “That is truly Kafkaesque.” For some reason, that sent my mind on a digression into the difference between something being Kafkaesque and something being Orwellian. While I eventually sorted it out in my own […]