Impossible Victories: Ten Unlikely Battlefield Successes [EPUB]
01 February 2017, 14:31
2015 | EPUB | 4.78MB
Victory on the battlefield is sometimes achieved against the odds – victory snatched from the jaws of apparently inevitable defeat. A daring counter attack, an unexpected manoeuvre, a stubborn refusal to be beaten and the impossible victory is won. In the ten dramatic episodes in this book, military historian Bryan Perrett revisits battles from the Peninsula War of 1811 to Vietnam in 1967, via colonial action in two world wars.
The Art of Cloning: Creative Production During China's Cultural Revolution [EPUB]
01 February 2017, 14:05
2017 | EPUB | 3.13MB
Cultural production under Mao, and how artists and thinkers found autonomy in a culture of conformity
In the 1950s, a French journalist joked that the Chinese were “blue ants under the red flag,” dressing identically and even moving in concert like robots. When the Cultural Revolution officially began, this uniformity seemed to extend to the mind. From the outside, China had become a monotonous world, a place of endless repetition and imitation, but a closer look reveals a range of cultural experiences, which also provided individuals with an obscure sense of freedom.
In The Art of Cloning, Pang Laikwan examines this period in Chinese history when ordinary citizens read widely, traveled extensively through the country, and engaged in a range of cultural and artistic activities. The freedom they experienced, argues Pang, differs from the freedom, under Western capitalism, to express individuality through a range of consumer products. But it was far from boring and was possessed of its own kind of diversity.
The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration? [EPUB]
01 February 2017, 07:46
2016 | EPUB | 0.7MB
On May 25, 2012, President Obama announced that the United States would spend the next thirteen years – through November 11, 2025 – commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and the American soldiers, “more than 58,000 patriots,” who died in Vietnam. The fact that at least 2.1 million Vietnamese – soldiers, parents, grandparents, children – also died in that war will be largely unknown and entirely uncommemorated. And U.S. history barely stops to record the millions of Vietnamese who lived on after being displaced, tortured, maimed, raped, or born with birth defects, the result of devastating chemicals wreaked on the land by the U.S. military. The reason for this appalling disconnect of consciousness lies in an unremitting public relations campaign waged by top American politicians, military leaders, business people, and scholars who have spent the last sixty years justifying the U.S. presence in Vietnam. It is a campaign of patriotic conceit superbly chronicled by John Marciano in The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration?.
A devastating follow-up to Marciano’s 1979 classic Teaching the Vietnam War (written with William L. Griffen), Marciano’s book seeks not to commemorate the Vietnam War, but to stop the ongoing U.S. war on actual history. Marciano reveals the grandiose flag-waving that stems from the “Noble Cause principle,” the notion that America is “chosen by God” to bring democracy to the world. Marciano writes of the Noble Cause being invoked unsparingly by presidents – from Jimmy Carter, in his observation that, regarding Vietnam, “the destruction was mutual,” to Barack Obama, who continues the flow of romantic media propaganda: “The United States of America … will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”
The result is critical writing and teaching at its best. This book will find a home in classrooms where teachers seek to do more than repeat the trite glorifications of U.S. empire. It will provide students everywhere with insights that can prepare them to change the world.