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vyelkin
Jan 2, 2011

Jozy loves scoring like a fat kid loves eating cake.





el3m posted:

I liked People's tragedy on audible as a casual listener, but I don't know anything about the author. Aparrently he had some Amazon review controversy that was mentioned in Wikipedia, but is he discredited somehow? The book has won many awards, which is why I picked it up.

The anonymous Amazon reviews were bad enough, but there's a lot more to Figes being an unreliable weirdo than just that. This article is the best summary of his issues that I know of: https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/orlando-figes-and-stalins-victims/

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Jedi425
Dec 6, 2002

THOU ART THEE ART THOU STICK YOUR HAND IN THE TV DO IT DO IT DO IT



Perennial thread depression inducer King Leopold's Ghost is now $2.99. I have had this book for years and never been able to bring myself to read it.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I read Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu & Robinson a few years ago, and I remember hating it. Basically the idea is that more fragile countries have "extractive institutions" that enrich powerful elites, while more robust countries have "inclusive institutions". They don't really develop the theory in any more depth, making this book about as insightful as a high school history paper. The rest of the book is chiding countries with extractive institutions and praising countries with inclusive institutions. I figured there would be at least some discussion of how to tell how extractive or inclusive a given country's institutions are, but the authors don't bother. There's also almost no discussion of how to strengthen nations by making their institutions more inclusive.

Anyone else read this one? Was I being too harsh?

Minenfeld!
Aug 21, 2012





That's an interesting theory. But how do they determine why a country gets an extractive versus inclusive institution?

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Minenfeld! posted:

That's an interesting theory. But how do they determine why a country gets an extractive versus inclusive institution?

An interesting first cut is if your country was colonized by anyone other than the English, or by the English.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Minenfeld! posted:

That's an interesting theory. But how do they determine why a country gets an extractive versus inclusive institution?

To steelman the argument I guess we could say: Early modern France suffered a terrible revolution, but nothing nearly as catastrophic happened in Britain. One reason is that during the prior centuries the British nobility systematically limited their own arbitrary power (as with the Bill of Rights) and expanded participation in government decision making to a large number of Britons -- perhaps not that many could formally participate by 1789, but the foundations for representative government were certainly laid in the 1700s. On the other hand, the House of Bourbon took a merciless view toward anyone in the way of royal power and spent those centuries consolidating power and persecuting dissidents. By the late 1700s, both empires were badly in debt and their workers immiserated, but Britain weathered the storm better than anyone because their inclusive institutions strengthened social integration, while the vestigial Estates-General failed to mollify widespread anger with the regime.

Sounds like a fairy tale, unfortunately. Did the king and his ministers decide it was time to cede a bunch of power to the people, so they unilaterally extended civil rights to all Englishmen? I mean, there's a place for people like Lee Kuan Yew who have a long-term vision of how to shape their country and successfully make it so, but most visionaries who try to fundamentally alter the development of their country in some deliberate, planned way aren't that successful. I'm sure the Bill of Rights and other moves toward "inclusive institutions" are partly the result of thoughtful planning by leaders, but it sure seems like they had a lot more to do with related political events such as the Glorious Revolution.

I guess I really don't like this because it's a just-so story that tells us very little about how societies develop and change, or what we can do about it. Some of the reviews I saw criticized it for getting the causality backwards, and that seems like a serious problem with this methodology.

vyelkin
Jan 2, 2011

Jozy loves scoring like a fat kid loves eating cake.





Vivian Darkbloom posted:

To steelman the argument I guess we could say: Early modern France suffered a terrible revolution, but nothing nearly as catastrophic happened in Britain. One reason is that during the prior centuries the British nobility systematically limited their own arbitrary power (as with the Bill of Rights) and expanded participation in government decision making to a large number of Britons -- perhaps not that many could formally participate by 1789, but the foundations for representative government were certainly laid in the 1700s. On the other hand, the House of Bourbon took a merciless view toward anyone in the way of royal power and spent those centuries consolidating power and persecuting dissidents. By the late 1700s, both empires were badly in debt and their workers immiserated, but Britain weathered the storm better than anyone because their inclusive institutions strengthened social integration, while the vestigial Estates-General failed to mollify widespread anger with the regime.

Sounds like a fairy tale, unfortunately. Did the king and his ministers decide it was time to cede a bunch of power to the people, so they unilaterally extended civil rights to all Englishmen? I mean, there's a place for people like Lee Kuan Yew who have a long-term vision of how to shape their country and successfully make it so, but most visionaries who try to fundamentally alter the development of their country in some deliberate, planned way aren't that successful. I'm sure the Bill of Rights and other moves toward "inclusive institutions" are partly the result of thoughtful planning by leaders, but it sure seems like they had a lot more to do with related political events such as the Glorious Revolution.

I guess I really don't like this because it's a just-so story that tells us very little about how societies develop and change, or what we can do about it. Some of the reviews I saw criticized it for getting the causality backwards, and that seems like a serious problem with this methodology.

Far more people died in the English Civil War and related conflicts than in the French Revolution (not counting the Revolutionary Wars here, obviously, but comparing internal struggles for power), so like you I'm unsure it's really accurate to say that the British nobility just systematically limited their own power and expanded participation all on their own. The British rose up and executed their own king and abolished the monarchy, and only acquiesced to a new king when he promised to limit his own powers and devolve some of them to Parliament, a change that was confirmed by the Glorious Revolution and Bill of Rights--but although those later events were pretty bloodless compared to 1789, they came after decades of chaos and violence over whether the monarchy or Parliament would be supreme.

A Dapper Walrus
Dec 28, 2011


Does anyone have any recommendations about the Exposition Universelle of 1867? It's such an interesting cross section that I would love to see an in-depth look or exploration of what went on there.

stealie72
Jan 10, 2007

Their eyes locked and suddenly there was the sound of breaking glass.


Since I'm already not sleeping and utterly terrified for America's future, are there any good books that explore popular support of fascism in America in the 1930s? I'm hoping I can take some solace from the process of ultimately choosing the right side in WWII (while letting IBM help with the holocaust and Coca Cola sell drinks to Nazis). Maybe I should just re-read The Plot Against America.

Porfiriato
Jan 4, 2016



Toilet Rascal

Itís not directly about it, but Hitler in Los Angeles was a good read about how a ring of basically amateur undercover agents, many of them Jewish, managed to keep tabs on and foil a lot of Nazi activity on the West Coast in the 1930s. As part of that it gets into the history of the pro-Nazi/fascist movement in America at the time and how it worked to generate popular support.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


The American support for the Nazi Party pre WWII has been vastly overstated due to various reasons over the past 70 years. If you want a more relevant and accurate portrayal of how much worse the US was in the past than it is now just read about the KKK in the 20s and how they could hold ticker tape sized parades in Washington DC.

stealie72
Jan 10, 2007

Their eyes locked and suddenly there was the sound of breaking glass.


Shimrra Jamaane posted:

just read about the KKK in the 20s and how they could hold ticker tape sized parades in Washington DC.
There's the entirety of American history to read re America is racist AF, that's not an issue. Though I'd also love to read about how support for fascist governments has been vastly overstated as well.

Porfiriato posted:

Itís not directly about it, but Hitler in Los Angeles was a good read about how a ring of basically amateur undercover agents, many of them Jewish, managed to keep tabs on and foil a lot of Nazi activity on the West Coast in the 1930s. As part of that it gets into the history of the pro-Nazi/fascist movement in America at the time and how it worked to generate popular support.
This just seems rad in general. Will add it to my library queue.

Minenfeld!
Aug 21, 2012





It'd be easier to answer that question if you provide a definition for "support of fascist governments" because the two examples you gave above are usually the overstatements.

Karenina
Jul 9, 2013



Good books on the history of prostitution/sex work in the US or France? Ideally focusing on the 19th century onward, if that helps narrow it down. It's a subject I'd like to learn more about, but I don't know where to start.

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


Shimrra Jamaane posted:

The American support for the Nazi Party pre WWII has been vastly overstated due to various reasons over the past 70 years. If you want a more relevant and accurate portrayal of how much worse the US was in the past than it is now just read about the KKK in the 20s and how they could hold ticker tape sized parades in Washington DC.

What is perhaps understated is how much Hitler looked to the United States as a German future, not just in the obvious living space = manifest destiny way, but also in his envy of American consumer culture.

Brendan Simms' presents a revisionist argument that suggests the Nazis looked as much to Western capitalism -- both with condemnation and envy -- as they feared Russian Bolshevism, in his 2019 Hitler biography. I'd recommend it if you haven't read it. It has a very good section on Nazi car culture that I really found interesting.

Dapper_Swindler
Feb 14, 2012

Shitposting 24/7 without regrets. my parents would be proud.



Vasukhani posted:

What is perhaps understated is how much Hitler looked to the United States as a German future, not just in the obvious living space = manifest destiny way, but also in his envy of American consumer culture.

Brendan Simms' presents a revisionist argument that suggests the Nazis looked as much to Western capitalism -- both with condemnation and envy -- as they feared Russian Bolshevism, in his 2019 Hitler biography. I'd recommend it if you haven't read it. It has a very good section on Nazi car culture that I really found interesting.

he also really really liked Native american and cowboy stuff. i believe he viewed various american tribes as "offshoots" of Aryans or some poo poo.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


Vasukhani posted:

What is perhaps understated is how much Hitler looked to the United States as a German future, not just in the obvious living space = manifest destiny way, but also in his envy of American consumer culture.

Brendan Simms' presents a revisionist argument that suggests the Nazis looked as much to Western capitalism -- both with condemnation and envy -- as they feared Russian Bolshevism, in his 2019 Hitler biography. I'd recommend it if you haven't read it. It has a very good section on Nazi car culture that I really found interesting.

Yeah unfortunately Brandon Simms is very problematic and more storied Nazi historians are not kind with his bio of Hitler for good reasons.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/27/hitler-only-the-world-was-enough-and-hitler-a-life-review

Money Quote: ďIn the end, Simms hasnít written a biography in any meaningful sense of the word, heís written a tract that instrumentalises the past for present-day political purposes. As such, his book can be safely ignored by serious students of the Nazi era.Ē

Someone who gave the bio a glowing review is Victor Davis Hanson who most recently wrote a book about how Trump is one of historyís greatest Presidents.

Shimrra Jamaane fucked around with this message at 01:23 on May 12, 2021

Chairman Capone
Dec 17, 2008



Karenina posted:

Good books on the history of prostitution/sex work in the US or France? Ideally focusing on the 19th century onward, if that helps narrow it down. It's a subject I'd like to learn more about, but I don't know where to start.

Sounds like you'd like "Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Paris" by Jill Harsin. Came out in the last few years so pretty recent scholarship.

Edit:

Vasukhani posted:

What is perhaps understated is how much Hitler looked to the United States as a German future, not just in the obvious living space = manifest destiny way, but also in his envy of American consumer culture.

James Whitman's "Hitlerís American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law" also from a few years ago looks how much the US legal system influenced Nazi jurisprudence.

Chairman Capone fucked around with this message at 01:22 on May 12, 2021

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Yeah unfortunately Brandon Simms is very problematic and more storied Nazi historians are not kind with his bio of Hitler for good reasons.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/27/hitler-only-the-world-was-enough-and-hitler-a-life-review

Money Quote: ďIn the end, Simms hasnít written a biography in any meaningful sense of the word, heís written a tract that instrumentalises the past for present-day political purposes. As such, his book can be safely ignored by serious students of the Nazi era.Ē

Someone who gave the bio a glowing review is Victor Davis Hanson who most recently wrote a book about how Trump is one of historyís greatest Presidents.

Hitler is probably a reasonable source for 1 thing -- the thoughts of Hitler, which is the subject of the book. I don't buy his argument that Hitler was anti-capitalist, but his stuff on America as German future is fairly interesting. I was extremely skeptical of this book, and wouldn't have paid money for it (why is another Hitler bio needed?) I agree with what Evans has said, but he has focused on the "Hitler believed in social welfare === socialism!" part. Many much better historians have focused on nazi social welfare, Gotz Aly immediately comes to mind. But he does compile a fairly large description of Hitler's thinking about the United States, which I think is ultimately worth considering.

Vasukhani fucked around with this message at 01:42 on May 12, 2021

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Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


Oh there is absolutely truth to the claims that during Hitlers period of formulating his world views during the early to mid 20s he had a long term concern that unless Germany became a giant self sufficient state with the power of a continent behind it that they would eventually lose the inevitable racial struggle to the mongrel United States. But itís a obviously a massive debate among historians on how much we should take away from Hitlers writings in the 20s to explain his actions in the late 30s that led to war. And Iím on the side that by the end of the 30s the United States was not a significant factor in his decision making.

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