reading about the wars!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Feb 23, 2010.


  1. lets not make this a political thread or something and lets try to keep it educational and civil please?
    so the other day i really decided to read about the world wars and some other wars in the past like Vietnam and stuff about oil crisis and the current or recent wars going on etc etc. i want to start reading from the first world war and go up in the chronological order. i'd like to know what, why, how, where it happened and stuff. so i am reading wiki currently but we know how it is....
    so what would be credible sources of information to read about? am really not looking for biased views or anything but general knowledge in slight detail. where should i look onto in the internets? any suggestions!? oh btw, yes i am running searches myself too but i'd love it if some one can drop in some really educational and informative links

    also, i do not want to hurt anyone's sentiments or to discuss any wars or anything. i was just sitting through a college lecture one day and though heck! i should know more about it... so any help would be great
     
  2. for viet nam,michael mcclears "the 10000 day war " is a very even handed account,from the end of ww2 to the fall of saigon....it was made into a 10 part series by the cbc,and is still shown on cable as part of the "timelines" series......"the rise an fall of the third reich"....shirer, is a good but long read..... there is a ton of stuff on the subject out there
     
  3. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Wars are always highly polarized issues, depending on who's account your reading the Spanish American War might have been justified or a complete atrocity on the part of the United States in order to seize territory in the Philippines.

    Vietnam might be a war to preserve freedom against the "communist domino effect" or a chance for big business to profit off of the Vietnamese people at the expense of American and Vietnamese lives.

    People on one side will call the others distorters of truth, greedy, blind, ignorant, entitled...and people on the other side will call them, paranoid, lazy, idealist, soft, commies.

    If you want both sides, pick up a US history textbook for starters and read through that, then I'd read something like Howard Zinn's A Peoples History of the United States.

    It's also important not to just look at the wars themselves but also at the events that come before and after them, war isn't something that just happens, war sentiment builds up (or is cultivated) over the course of years, and to really get a perspective on a given war you need to know the events that lead up to it and the political "mood" of the countries involved.

    Then again you might be interested in the tactics of each war, technology used, strategic locations, R&D etc. and that's a whole nothing topic...I find the history channel to be good for this kinda stuff.
     
  4. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Inactive

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    Reading extremes from both sides is an absolutely horrible way to learn history.
     
  5. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    And the better way is? I mean I guess a pure source study is the best way to learn history, but personally I don't have a the time to spend the next four years in the library.

    Also I said "US History book" and you called it extreme, I find that too be pretty funny, if not scary. If you know the extremes at least you know that truth lies somewhere between those two points. History is about the perspective various sources offer of a common truth, if you can see more perspectives you can see more of the truth. The word "extreme" in and of it self is a matter of prospective.

    I'm also talking history here, fact, source based history not opinion. You need to see the facts across the board, soldier, protester, politician, foreign politician, general, lobbyist.
     
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    OH! Please do this! Then give us your insights as to the differences between what we're taught in the states and what you're taught in India. I think the differences would be very intriguing.

    My father was a Capt. in the US Army stationed in Germany back in the 40's. That is pretty much the width and breadth of what I know about his experience.
     
  7. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Inactive

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    My extreme comment came from your reference of Howard Zinn's book.

    Ignoring that point. The problem is exactly what you said, because you know the truth is between the two extremes, but you don't know what it is. You know for example that event abc wasn't fueled by a nation wide hatred of xyz group of people, but then you also know that event abc wasn't caused by "Group A" of people zyx were an culture that knew nothing other than violence, hatred, fear, blah blah blah. In both case you don't know what the truth is, but you know rather what the truth isn't.

    The best way to learn history is, like you said, direct source research. Barring that, the best way to learn history is to go about it slowly by reading a large volume of works by various respected historians who have no apparent political agenda. One of the hardest things to do is read a real history book, who, what, when, where, because those books are so God awful dry and stale it's not even funny, but that's where the largest amount of usable information will be found. You can also do this by checking out the works cited or bibliography pages of the particular book you're reading, and check those out as well.

    This notion that "Truth is what you make of it" or whatever is so poisonous to an accurate study of history. Truth is Truth is Truth.
     
  8. India was a British colony back then and Indian troops fought for the Brit's in both the world wars. i dont know where to spot the differences am just reading it through to find out who fought against whom and why more or less. but its all pretty intriguing though.
    i was a kid when the Kargil war between India and Pak took place and all i remember is collecting stuff and sending it to help the troops and the displaced civilians up in the mountains!
     
  9. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Look into the "Moros of Mindanao". Mindanao is an island in the Philippines. They put up a very tough fight.
     
  10. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Yeah I know that, I just saw a loop hole in your wording and decided to have a little fun.

    Even my high school US I text book opens with what is essentially a disclaimer about perspective, the search for truth, etc. Just because a view is 'extreme' does not make that view un-true. The word 'extreme' itself implies a perspective (-20F might be extremely cold for me but not for a polar bear).


    Regardless of any agendas (and nothing is going to be agenda free either, just like nothing can be without perspective) sources cited are still sources cited, as a reader you have to separate fact from opinion.

    As far as respected historians goes who decides what the definition of respected is, respected by who? Is being a history professor at a University not enough?

    Sure truth, is truth, is truth but many things are lost to us, just because an account is middle of the road does not make it truth either, you have to gather perspectives to get an idea of what the truth actually is, and still you must accept it to be but an idea that can change under the light of new evidence. Even the people living the events might not know the full truth.
     
  11. The trip to me is that all wars seem to be connected- WW-II was largely a result of WW-I, which was in turn somewhat a result of previous conflicts- and so on. I have always been fascinated w/military hardware & history, primarily WW-II era but my interests are expanding, mostly due to wanting to know *why*

    Edit: I am in no way an expert, and do NOT mean to lay blame for any war here or there; I'd love to see this one go on for awhile...
     
  12. well the funny thing is i just read WWI was known as the war to end all wars!
     
  13. sloasdaylight

    sloasdaylight Inactive

    Feb 4, 2009
    Tampa, Florida, US
    :spit:


    Regarding the rest of your post: I think there's enough potential in this thread for it to be really useful, so I'm not going to risk going any farther than saying that I disagree with the idea that studying extreme viewpoints of either side of a historical event is a good way to study history.
     
  14. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Every interaction between two or more entities sets the stage for the next interaction on whatever scale, nations, tribes, individual people, animals...So yeah plenty of wars are linked, how many times did England fight France?

    The "why" for me seems simple, in short I feel that war is just a human extension of Darwin's Survival of the fittest. We segregate ourselves/allow ourselves to be segregated then blow each other up, we carve artificial geological/genetic divides (borders) to partition humanity and then we compete to determine the strongest in mortal combat....like wolf packs competing over hunting grounds we compete over resources, fertile land, etc. rather than unify because nature seems to demand diversity and foster competition.
     
  15. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

  16. :eyebrow:
    so sorry
    :rollno:
     
  17. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I wanted to segway(sp?) the conversation and get to what I felt was the origin of all war, except I did it wrong and put that up after reading how stupid it sounded....I've now revised it though.
     
  18. I declare peace on you then. :)
     
  19. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    peace on both of you....:bag:
     
  20. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    Maine/Vermont
    As far as Vietnam goes, check out Dispatches by Michael Herr and A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan,.
     
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