HITLER'S BUNKER: NOW A PARKING LOT
Qing Dynasty in U.S. Grant's America: Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization. by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller
"With its surging storyline, extraordinary events, and depth of character, this gripping tale of 120 Chinese boys sent to America…reads more like a novel than an obscure slice of history." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
In 1872, China―ravaged by poverty, population growth, and aggressive European armies―sent 120 boys to America to learn the secrets of Western innovation. They studied at New England’s finest schools and were driven by a desire for progress and reform. When anti-Chinese fervor forced them back home, the young men had to overcome a suspicious imperial court and a country deeply resistant to change in technology and culture. Fortunate Sons tells a remarkable story, weaving together the dramas of personal lives with the fascinating tale of a nation’s endeavor to become a world power.
The tragedy of outliving peace of mind: James Madison. by Richard Brookhiser.
James Madison led one of the most influential and prolific lives in American history, and his story—although all too often overshadowed by his more celebrated contemporaries—is integral to that of the nation. Madison helped to shape our country as perhaps no other Founder: collaborating on the Federalist Papers and the Bill of Rights, resisting government overreach by assembling one of the nation's first political parties (the Republicans, who became today's Democrats), and taking to the battlefield during the War of 1812, becoming the last president to lead troops in combat.
In this penetrating biography, eminent historian Richard Brookhiser presents a vivid portrait of the “Father of the Constitution,” an accomplished yet humble statesman who nourished Americans' fledgling liberty and vigorously defended the laws that have preserved it to this day.
Five years on: Why Margaret Thatcher (d. April 2013) was a victor. @DanHenninger
"With Margaret Thatcher's death, the West lost its last great leader in the four-decade-long war between communism and freedom called the Cold War. Ronald Reagan died in 2004, and John Paul II, the former Karol Wojtyla of Poland, a year later. Now Thatcher.
Mrs. Thatcher's passing requires a visit to the Cold War.
It is a safe bet that in schools here and in Europe the Cold War's history is covered in a half-day if at all. The memory hole is bottomless. This week alone, memory-erasing authorities in Berlin swept aside protesters to dismantle one of the last remaining parts of the Berlin Wall to make way for apartment buildings. How odd to live in luxury over a place where fellow Berliners were gunned down and left to bleed trying to flee communism....
When the Berlin Wall's checkpoints opened at 10:45 p.m., Nov. 9, 1989, and joyous Berliners began smashing the wall with hammers, picks and even ballpoint pens, many who had fought in the Cold War's trenches admitted they never expected to see that day. The Cold War seemed permanent.
But not to these three.
Reagan was the architect and armorer of the final battle. John Paul was its moral fiber. And Thatcher was . . . well, let's say that Maggie Thatcher was simply fiber—resilient, unbreakable, necessary. There is another good word for what Thatcher was: ally.
Allies are needed when there is opposition. The opposition to Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul was intense—in Moscow certainly but, incredible in retrospect, more so in the West. Intense doesn't begin to describe the battles in the U.S. and the capitals of Western Europe to thwart Reagan and Thatcher's foreign policy.
Why? Sleeping dogs aside, it mainly was because Ronald Reagan explicitly shifted U.S. foreign policy from a defensive accommodation with the Soviets to offensive resistance everywhere to what Reagan unapologetically called "the evil empire." That was the Reagan Doctrine, and Thatcher embraced it.
For fighting to finish this war, they received—and resisted—a decade of vilification, animosity and moral contempt. They were fought in Congress, Parliament, in mass marches, in the press, the arts and the universities...."
Political Tribes:PART 1 of 2: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. by Amy Chua.
The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home
When empires doubt themselves: 17th Century Spain and 21st Century America. Michael Vlahos.. @jhuworldcrisis.
Charles V continued to battle the French and the Protestant princes in Germany for much of his reign. After his son Philip married Queen Mary of England, it appeared that France would be completely surrounded by Habsburg domains, but this hope proved unfounded when the marriage produced no children. In 1555, Paul IV was elected pope and took the side of France, whereupon an exhausted Charles finally gave up his hopes of a world Christian empire. He abdicated and divided his territories between Philip and Ferdinand of Austria. The Peace of Augsburg ended the war in Germany and accepted the existence of the Protestant princes, although not Calvinism, Anabaptism, or Swiss Reformed.
Germany would enjoy relative peace for the next six decades. On the eastern front, the Turks continued to loom large as a threat, although war would mean further compromises with the Protestant princes, and so the Emperor sought to avoid it. In the west, the Rhineland increasingly fell under French influence. After the Dutch revolt against Spain erupted, the Dutch effectively ceased be a nominal part of the Holy Roman Empire, the culmination of a process of political divergence which had already begun in 1384.
After Ferdinand died in 1564, his son Maximilian II became Emperor, and like his father, accepted the existence of Protestantism and the need for occasional compromise with it. Maximilian was succeeded in 1576 by Rudolf II, a strange man who preferred classical Greek philosophy to Christianity and lived an isolated existence in Bohemia. He became afraid to act when the Catholic Church was forcibly reasserting control in Austria and Hungary, and the Protestant princes became upset over this. Imperial power sharply deteriorated by the time of Rudolf's death in 1612. When Bohemians rebelled against the Emperor, the immediate result was the series of conflicts known as the Thirty Years' War (1618–48), which devastated the Empire. Foreign powers, including France and Sweden, intervened in the conflict and strengthened those fighting Imperial power, but also seized considerable territory for themselves. The long conflict so bled the Empire that it never recovered its strength.
The actual end of the empire came in several steps. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War, gave the territories almost complete independence. The Swiss Confederation, which had already established quasi-independence in 1499, as well as the Northern Netherlands, left the Empire. The Habsburg Emperors focused on consolidating their own estates in Austria and elsewhere.
At the Battle of Vienna (1683), the Army of the Holy Roman Empire, led by the Polish King John III Sobieski, decisively defeated a large Turkish army, stopping the western Ottoman advance and leading to the eventual dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. The army was half forces of the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth, mostly cavalry, and half forces of the Holy Roman Empire (German/Austrian), mostly infantry.
Industry of Lies: Media, Academia, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict by Ben-Dror Yemini.
The Industry of Lies is one of the greatest frauds of recent decades - a fraud of historic, even epic, proportions. When almost half of all Europeans believe that Israel treats the Palestinians just like the Nazis treated the Jews, when leading politicians assert that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the central cause of violence in the world, and when prominent intellectuals argue that Israel is an apartheid state, the unfortunate reality is that the lies are winning.
As a result, Israel has become the devil incarnate in the eyes of many otherwise good and reasonable people - people who genuinely want to see peace but inadvertently contribute to the continuation of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The tragedy is that they are neither helping the Palestinians nor promoting agreement or reconciliation. Instead, they lend legitimacy to the most fallacious claims of the most extreme activists, empowering not moderates but the worst of the radicals who have no interest in attaining peace.
Israel is not free from flaws. However, this book draws a clear distinction between legitimate criticism and the industry of lies that has emerged from two unlikely sources - the media and academia - undermining their reputation as bastions of truth and knowledge. Ben-Dror Yemini presents an in-depth analysis of the many inaccurate and malicious accusations leveled against Israel and refutes them one by one in this thought-provoking and well-researched volume that invites us to rethink the causes and consequences of the Israeli-Arab conflict.