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Thread: What'cha Reading?

  1. #1891
    breaking out of my cocoon Array SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

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  2. #1892
    across the universe Array Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    The Invention of Tradition
    Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality

    both by Eric Hobsbawm
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  3. #1893
    across the universe Array Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    Also intend to read this one soon:

    https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=447

    Larry Wolff. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment.

    Mapping Space and Knowledge in Europe

    Larry Wolff's book is an excellent example of the genre of interdisciplinary writing being done by historians, anthropologists, economists, cartographers, and sociologists of knowledge in which politico-economic processes are linked with ideological constructions. "Eastern Europe" is not so much an existing geographical region as an intellectual invention of a cultural zone constructed during the Enlightenment through travel diaries and maps, imaginary travelogues, and armchair philosophizing. Thus the book itself is not so much about a place as it is about a process. It may be recommended not only for its information about descriptions of Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century (from the selective descriptions of actual travelers, such as William Coxe, to the vicarious travelogues of armchair philosophers such as Voltaire), but for its critical treatment of the ideas of Said, Wallerstein, Hobsbawm, and others concerned with the establishment of intellectual boundaries and the invention of tradition.

    Wolff introduces his discussion of "Eastern Europe" with the speech made by Winston Churchill in 1946 that described an iron curtain dividing the "Continent" into eastern and western parts (p. 1), and then argues that such a division dates to the Enlightenment. During the Enlightenment, the more prominent division of Europe into north and south (obvious to Mediterranean-encircling Romans, and reinvented during the Renaissance) was overlayed by an east/west axis that began to take on significance in the "north." Northern cities in Western Europe such as Paris, London, and Amsterdam had become economically and politically powerful, whereas northern lands in Eastern Europe (such as Poland and Russia) were places of potential conquest by the West. During the Enlightenment, Western Europe took on the connotations of "civilization" (previously reserved for the Italian Renaissance cities of the "south"), and Eastern Europe took on the characteristics of civilization's antithesis (previously associated with the barbarians of the "north").

    The term "map" in Wolff's title reflects the conception of maps not as positivistic descriptors but as social and ideological documents connoting political, economic, and cognitive ownership. Wolff does not quote J. B. Harley, but Harley's "cartographic philosophy" as developed in numerous essays between 1980 and his death in 1991 represents the cartographic equivalent of Michel Foucault's gaze conferring power (see, for example, Harley's essay, "Maps, Knowledge and Power," in The Iconography of Landscape edited by Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels [Cambridge, 1988]). Maps are of interest not only for what they represent but also for what they do not represent, the silences. In Wolff's book, the voices and visualizations of "Eastern Europe" are conveyed by travelers and philosophers in the West; local voices and visions are not heard or seen. The questions raised about the "paradoxes" of Eastern Europe (a place of elegance and debris, fire and ice, culture and nature) are imposed, not indigenous.

    The "mapping" of Eastern Europe should be seen as part of the mapping and colonization of the world associated with the expansion of Europe outside of Europe, and the expansion of Occidental Europe (those emerging powers along the Atlantic seaboard that combined trade with urban and industrial developments) into a more agricultural and Muslim-influenced Oriental Europe, Western Europe setting out in both cases to identify and make use of unknown or incompletely known lands. The "mapping" of these lands was an extension of the Enlightenment's powerful agenda of coordinating knowledge with control.

    ...
    Probably also this: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=1320

    Maria Todorova. Imagining the Balkans.

    It is difficult to imagine a person more qualified to write a book on how terms related to the concept "Balkan" have entered common usage and achieved a certain meaning than Maria Todorova. Professor Todorova was born and brought up in Bulgaria, received a Ph.D. from Sofia University, lived in Greece, studied extensively in Moscow, Leningrad, Paris, and Oxford, speaks fluent German, and presently lives in the United States, where she works in English. In her book she cites sources in English, German, French, Bulgarian, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish, and Russian, and perhaps some I missed. In other words, here is a person who has not only a good finger-tip feel for her native Balkans, but the training, linguistic ability, and intellectual firepower to provide a systematic and enlightening study of how the Balkans are imagined.

    Contrary to what someone who had not read her previous work on the subject might initially expect, Todorova argues that Balkanism is not another form of Orientalism, as Milica Bakic-Hayden has proposed.[1] Her reasons are that 1) the Balkans are concrete, whereas the notion of "the Orient" is vague and intangible; 2) Orientalism is a refuge from the alienation of industrialization, a metaphor for the forbidden--feminine, sensual, even sexual. Balkanism, on the other hand, is not forbidden or sensual. It is male, primitive, crude, and disheveled; 3) Balkanism is a transitional concept, something not quite non-European, not a final dichotomy; 4) the self-perception of Balkan peoples is not colonial; 5) Orientalism posits Islam as the other, whereas Balkanism deals with Christian peoples; 6) Orientalism is fundamentally racist, categorizing non-white people, whereas Balkanism deals with whites; and 7) Balkan self-identity is itself created against an oriental other.

    Having solidly made this point, Todorova goes on to chronicle the emergence of the idea of Balkan, both as a concept of outsiders and as a self-perception of insiders. Her chapters progress in a logical and orderly fashion from the discovery of the Balkans in the early modern period, through varied patterns of perception in the nineteenth century, to the twentieth century invention of "Balkan" and "Balkanization" as negative categories, schimpfwoerter, as she calls them. Along the way she provides numerous insights into the construction of categories. For example, she proposes that the discovery of the Balkan Slavs as an oppressed people in the mid to late nineteenth century by British travelers was related to the Victorian discovery of the poor. This suggestive observation is related to two broad patterns of perception she observes during the nineteenth century, the aristocratic and the bourgeois. The former, held early in the nineteenth century, particularly by British travelers, sympathized with the Ottoman ruling class and the power they represented. The bourgeois view tended to sympathize with the Balkan peoples, who were understood to be perhaps backwards, but having the potential, at least, of entering onto the linear highway of progress.

    ...

  4. #1894
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    What MBTI types would you say the characters in the wind up bird are??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sultan of Beans View Post
    I read P.J. Geary's The Myth of Nations. Highly recommended reading.

    Geary, P.J.: The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe. (Paperback)



    I also read Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities. A must-read for anyone interested in nationalism.

    Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

    I'm going to grab the first one right now but they both sound great.

    Currently I'm reading - The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government. Allen Dulles was a pig of a human, make no mistake but if you want to how how the US went from the OSS to the current ghost wars, NSA and any other covert sinister-ness - he either initiated it or played an enormous role.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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    breaking out of my cocoon Array SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    I'm going to grab the first one right now but they both sound great.

    Currently I'm reading - The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government. Allen Dulles was a pig of a human, make no mistake but if you want to how how the US went from the OSS to the current ghost wars, NSA and any other covert sinister-ness - he either initiated it or played an enormous role.
    And acted for personal gain and family gain, no less...
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so

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    Senior Member Array ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SearchingforPeace View Post
    And acted for personal gain and family gain, no less...
    Yeah but he and his brother were Wall St. lawyers, I would expect no less. I'm talking later on, after the war. By then he had grown so powerful he couldn't be eliminated, which was the only option.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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    breaking out of my cocoon Array SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Yeah but he and his brother were Wall St. lawyers, I would expect no less. I'm talking later on, after the war. By then he had grown so powerful he couldn't be eliminated, which was the only option.
    I was referencing the expanding Cold War, foreign entanglements designed to support investments, reshaping US foreign policy to be more interventionist, etc. Guatemala in 1954 is a fine example, but at least that was in the traditional US sphere of influence. Others were not. And it shaped all other interventions during the Cold War.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......

    -------------------

    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

    9w8 6w5 4w5 sx/so

  9. #1899
    Senior Member Array cm81's Avatar
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    Profession of Conscience- Robert Sprinkle
    "The true genius shudders at incompleteness, preferring silence to everything that it should be." Edgar Allen Poe

    "There's a magic inside,
    Just waiting to burst out.
    There world is a goldmine-
    That will melt tomorrow."M83

  10. #1900
    Dope& diamonds. Array Dyslexxie's Avatar
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