Category: Books

“Into That Darkness”

The first book I read this year was Gitta Sereny’s ‘Into That Darkness’ which tells the tale of Franz Stangl, one of only 4 men who commanded Nazi Extermination camps, Sobibor and Treblinka in his case. Gitta Sereny conducted a series of interviews with him while he was incarcerated in a Dusseldorf prison in 1971. She suffuses her narrative with… Read more →

Remember… and do not forget

About nine years ago, I picked up a copy of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ while visiting the United States. For over twenty years I have been fascinated by the Second World War, and have read about and studied that period extensively, focusing mainly on Nazi Germany. My maternal grandparents lived through that period in the Netherlands and experienced German occupation… Read more →

“The Fine Art of Baloney Detection”

One of the more (if not most) known part of Carl Sagan’s book ‘The Demon-Haunted World’ is undoubtedly his so called ‘Baloney Detection Kit’. The entire book is great, and well worth the read, but this part stood out to me, as it offers some real practical tools. What’s in the kit? Tools for skeptical thinking. What skeptical thinking boils… Read more →

‘Lawrence in Arabia’

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson My rating: 5 of 5 stars T.E. Lawrence remains an illusive figure to most people. Most people (including myself) have first learned of him through the 1962 movie by David Lean. This book is certainly about T.E. Lawrence, but will cover far… Read more →

Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’

Common Sense by Thomas Paine My rating: 4 of 5 stars There isn’t a single (good) book about the American Revolution in existence, that doesn’t mention Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ in some way or another. And rightfully so, as the effects of this pamphlet were great. Historian John Ferling, in his book ‘Almost a Miracle’ wrote the following: “His [Thomas… Read more →

Book review: ‘Becoming Eichmann’

Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a “Desk Murderer” by David Cesarani My rating: 5 of 5 stars Excellent book about what moved Adolf Eichmann to act like he did. The author starts with the story of Eichmann’s life and rise within the Nazi party and SS and SD organizations, and his role therein. At the end… Read more →