Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Ian Fleming, "Live and Let Die" (1954)

Novel finished, comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

Follow this link for my comments on Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Oleg Khlevniuk, "Stalin" (2014)

Book finished. Comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bret Easton Ellis, "Lunar Park" (2005)

Novel read, comments not posted yet.
Consider this a placeholder.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Sarah Hepola, "Blackout" (2015)

Subtitle: "Remembering All the Things I Drank to Forget."

Read, but comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

For a similar read, see my comments on Lauren Davis' The Empty Room.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Anton Lavey, "The Satanic Bible" (1969)

Book finished, but notes not written yet.
Consider this a placeholder.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Norman Spinrad, "The Iron Dream" (1972)

Novel read, but comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Frederick S. Lane III, "Obscene Profits" (1999)

Subtitle: "The Entrepreneurs Of Pornography In The Cyber Age."

Read, but comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

Friday, 25 September 2015

David McLaughlin, "Poisoned Chalice" (1994)

Subtitle: "The Last Campaign of the Progressive Conservative Party?"

McLaughlin wrote a fascinating insider's tale of how the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada firstly decided on Kim Campbell as the replacement for outgoing, highly controversial Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, making Campbell Canada's first female Prime Minister, and secondly, how the CPC and Campbell's soon-to-follow election campaign resulted in the utter and complete decimation of the party in the polls.

As most Canadians know, the rhetorical question used as the sub-title for McLaughlin's book was soon answered. Within a decade the Progressive Conservative Party had been essentially colonized and folded into it's former challenger, the Reform/Alliance party, and renamed as the Conservative Party of Canada. By the mid-2000s, the CPC would govern Canada for at least a decade. How things change.

As an insider to the events he narrates, McLaughlin includes fascinating snippets of the day-to-day strangeness out of which the Campbell leadership and election campaigns were built upon. Some of his stories smack of honesty that many of his peers might not have wanted aired publicly, particularly when the PCPC might still have harboured hope to survive into the late 1990s.

Along with providing insights into Campbell's personality, the book also provides useful insights into how federal politics operates in Canada (and how it a federal party can operate poorly). For those interested in Canadian politics, Poisoned Chalice also provides a useful set of crib notes on the emerging lights in Canada's then-'conservative' political community, from Hugh Segal to Jean Charest… figures who would in the 2000s be critical points of reference for Canada's political observers.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Stephen King, "11/22/63" (2011)

Novel read, comments yet to be posted.
Consider this a placeholder.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Karl Ove Knausgaard, "My Struggle, Book 1" (2009)

Novel read, comments not yet written.
Consider this a placeholder.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kevin Lippert, "War Plan Red" (2015)

Subtitle: "The United States' Secret Plan to Invade Canada and Canada's Secret Plan to Invade the United States."

More notes to follow soon.

Lippert's book is disappointingly brief for such a provocative concern. Essentially, he provides a fairly basic outline of Canadian-American relations since the early 1800s, highlighting armed conflicts ranging from all-out wars (War of 1812), to silly skirmishes over concerns such as ownership of a pig.

Much of Lippert's focus is on a rather fanciful Canadian plan for how it might invade the United States if circumstances ever compelled it. This feint - which hardly lives up to the promise of the book's title - was primarily intended as a delaying tactic by which Canada might dampen US enthusiasm for invasion, and destabilize US plans to assault Canada if Canada was ever able to safely and reasonably conclude it was about to be invaded by the United States. That Canada would attempt a pre-emptive invasion of the United States is a stretch of imagination, which is likely one of the reasons Lippert's book takes a rather light-hearted approach to the idea of war between the two countries.

His assessment of US plans to invade Canada are unnecessarily similarly light. Given the traditional dynamics between the two countries, that the US had plans to occupy Canada - from Manifest Destiny onwards - and that it had the capacity to do so (as if physical invasion was even really necessary after NAFTA) would seem reason to approach the idea with more circumspection.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Debra Weyermann, "Answer Them Nothing" (2011)

Subtitle: "Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs."

Comments to come soon.

If you are interested in this book, you might also be interested in reading my comments on:
Alex Beam, American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith (2014),
Matthew Bowman, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Religion (2012).


Prologue: The Raid
"...the worst fallout came from the ocean of depressing photographs epitomized by Life magazine’s September 14, 1953, pictorial essay of the raid and its aftermath. In the article entitled “The Lonely Men of Short Creek,” Life photographers flexed their renowned artistry with photo after photo of Short Creek’s remaining damaged yet stoic men, determined to do their level best to keep life normal for their motherless children."

"With a few notable exceptions, American media continue to fail the public comprehension of what, exactly, FLDS is by modeling its coverage of the sect on a half-century-old Life article."

2: Section 132
"The energy LDS has spent on polygamy seems almost tragic given the fact that the practice was not even part of the movement’s original theology. Even when the charming and dynamic prophet Joseph Smith wedged polygamy into his doctrine years after starting the church, most of his followers were aghast and repulsed."

"Only about 15 percent of Americans were card-carrying members in any denomination at the time…"

"As a young man, Smith, along with his father and other male family members, made a sideline of 'money digging.' A digger utilized magical “peep stones” to inform his client of the location of buried treasures."

"LDS goes apoplectic when Smith’s money-digging career is broached, even blindly denying Smith’s 1826 misdemeanor conviction as 'a disorderly person' after his only unsatisfied customer complained."

"Smith realized he could translate the reformed Egyptian with his money-digging peep stones. To accomplish the translation, Smith sometimes placed the stones in the bottom of a tall hat placed on a table upon which also rested the gold tablets, which were covered by a sheet. Burying his face in the hat, Smith’s peep stones would transform the reformed Egyptian into a form of English that sounded suspiciously like the King James version of the Bible. A 'scribe' physically separated from Smith by a sheet hung from the ceiling would then write down what Smith saw in the stones for what would become The Book of Mormon."

- Yale professor Harold Bloom - his book The American Religion

"Mormon polygamy came to widespread public attention in the 1840s…"

"Smith allowed publication of a polygamy-advocating pamphlet called The Peace Maker in 1842."

"Some historians speculate that Smith may have started 'marrying' outside women as early as 1831, telling a few intensely close associates at the time, but he told his mostly utterly horrified inner circle about God’s mandate for 'plural marriage' around 1841."

"In March 1832, when the Saints were headquartered in Ohio, Smith was dragged from his bed to be tarred, feathered, and beaten senseless by a mob led by the brother of a teenage girl Smith was suspected of seducing. Smith was not permanently injured, but only because the surgeon enlisted to castrate him lost his enthusiasm for the job."

"After Smith’s death, Emma and her sons eventually joined the Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which denied the church had ever sanctioned plural marriage."

- "groundbreaking biography of Joseph Smith, the late excommunicated-Mormon historian Fawn Brodie" (No Man Knows My History)

"Having made the historical case for polygamy, Smith was able to fuse it onto his original premise. There couldn’t be monogamy, he argued, because the kingdoms men would rule as Gods after their deaths were to be populated by that man’s children. The more children, the greater the riches of the world. Obviously, one woman could not produce enough children for a respectable kingdom. Anyone demanding monogamy was trying to trick you out of a decent afterlife."

"Joseph Smith had already concluded the Saints would have to set up their own country after Smith’s 1844 bid to become president of the United States failed in a big way."

"Young’s plans for an independent country hit another snag when the United States acquired all of the prophet’s target territories in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican American War."

"In 1856, a catastrophic drought and a series of crop-devastating grasshopper scourges pushed the Saints to the brink of starvation, and Young decided they all needed to recommit to the religion. The Mormon Reformation of 1856–58 was an unbridled festival of fire and brimstone, stoked by fanatical Smith devotees."

"Young also used the Reformation to push polygamy hard. Declaring that 'any man who denied plural marriage was damned'...”

"Young’s demonization of new settlers, combined with his zealous revivalism, culminated in the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, the execution-style murders of 120 men, women, and children on their way from Arkansas to California, traveling in the richest wagon train to ever pass through economically disadvantaged Salt Lake City…"

"Before the [U.S. Civil] war became a total distraction, the antipolygamy Morrill Act passed in 1862. After the war, the Edmonds Act again outlawing polygamy passed in 1882, followed by the merciless 1887 Edmonds-Tucker Act, a furious wrecking ball aimed directly at Brigham Young’s Mormons. Edmonds-Tucker allowed for the seizure of church property valued at more than $50,000 and disincorporated the LDS Church and its Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company critical for bringing thousands of European converts to Utah on the grounds that both entities promoted illegal polygamy."

"President James Buchanan had already removed Brigham Young as territorial governor in 1857…"

"In a landmark 1878 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religion did not trump U.S. law, period."

"...president James Buchanan dispatched 2,500 troops to bring the Mormons to heel as early as 1857. That effort fizzled, becoming something of a joke."

"Brigham Young might never have acknowledged it, but his death in 1877 left Mormon leaders free to realistically contemplate their chances…"

"May 1890 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. United States, upholding the Edmonds-Tucker provision allowing the government to seize LDS property."

"Just three months later, in August 1890, a besieged Wilford Woodruff delivered the Manifesto ending plural marriage."

"Smith, and certainly Young, had inexorably established polygamy as a requirement—not an option—for admittance to the celestial kingdom, which was the whole point of being Mormon. From the instant the Manifesto left Woodruff’s lips, Mormon polygamists argued the explanation was an insultingly transparent political capitulation to a secular entity with no authority to override God’s laws."

"LDS officials are squeamishly evasive about the multistory, fifteen-barrel silo outside Salt Lake City stuffed with four hundred thousand pounds of grain, the food is there to sustain Mormons during the worldwide chaos that will precede the Second Coming…"

"Despite two manifestos from separate prophets who were also talking to God, LDS has not removed the plural marriage revelation. To the contrary, LDS has not restored Smith’s 1835 revelation condemning polygamy — a revelation LDS deleted from the Doctrines and Covenants in 1876 because it conflicted with the revelation ordering polygamy."

"The visit was singed with controversy when it came to light that LDS had baptized Obama’s late mother into the church with its dubious practice of using proxies to stand in for the dead at the ceremony without alerting the deceased’s living family members. Mormon leaders were obliged to walk back the Obama baptism quietly, but outraged Jewish leaders forced a public retraction of LDS postmortem baptisms of Jews murdered in the Holocaust."

"LDS published a training manual in 1998 that portrayed Brigham Young as a monogamous husband. Polygamy is mentioned nowhere in the manual. Among the work’s significant omissions is Mormon doctrine holding that God is himself a polygamist, as is Jesus Christ, whose wives included Mary Magdalene. When questioned by reporters, LDS officials Ronald L. Knighton and Craig Manscill staunchly defended the omissions, saying the manual was not intended as a historical document, only a broad introduction to the Mormon faith. The officials insisted the failure to mention polygamy was legitimate because the practice had been stopped in 1890."

"American Indians, called Lamanites, also carry the blood of ancient Israel but, like many Gentiles who have not yet been converted, don’t realize it. The Book of Mormon teaches that ancient Hebrews traveled to the New World around 600 B.C. in a submarine-like boat, creating an advanced civilization with a number of nineteenth-century amenities. This population eventually split into the “good” tribe of Nephites and the “bad” tribe of Lamanites, who became embroiled in a centuries-long war. After Christ’s crucifixion, he visited the New World and was able to remind the Lamanites of their roots, but they soon forgot and eventually wiped out the Nephites. God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin for their wickedness, but Mormon prophets taught they would again become a 'white and delightsome' people when their memories were restored after the apocalypse."

"Smith’s career as a money digger is fairly well known, but in his book Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn discusses at good length the Smith family’s dabbling in other areas of magic and the occult, including necromancy, in which spirits of the dead are conjured up to reveal the future."

"Only the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod equivocates its position on whether Mormonism is a Christian faith. All other major Christian denominations, including Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and so on, have position statements advising that, among other things, the Mormon belief that there are many gods, that God was a man, that men may become gods, that God and Jesus Christ were polygamists (a detail Smith added after he’d introduced polygamy years later), and that God and Jesus Christ are separate entities, not part of the holy trinity, are inconsistent with Christianity."

"Until 1978, only white males could attain the end goal of deification."

"Explaining that the 1835 revelation was inconsistent with church dogma, LDS leaders removed it from the Doctrines and Covenants in 1876. Despite the fact that it would now appear to be consistent with church dogma, it has not been reinstated..."

3: Bill Walker and the First Case
"...a dogma true for both LDS and FLDS to this day. Only men have the power to elevate their wives into heaven."

"...children are literally considered FLDS priesthood property. Once born, mothers are understood to have no further claim on their babies, and indeed, Warren Jeffs would soon take up the habit of reassigning children willy-nilly to families of his selection, informing the biological mothers that they would never see their kids again."

4: Judge Shumate
"Certain that LDS was now irredeemably apostated, disgusted polygamists began filtering into what is called the Arizona strip some fifty miles east of St. George, founding a community called The Work. It would evolve into FLDS."

5: The New Sheriff
"Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet…"

"In both LDS and FLDS, worldly events must be recorded in this life in order to be acknowledged in the next. Joseph Smith urged all his converts to keep punctilious personal journals…"

"...another of Mormonism’s founding tenets: the condemnation of African Americans as actively evil, unsaveable souls whose black skin was the mark of Cain, a curse of God. Black men could not be admitted to the Mormon priesthood."

"Mormon universities and colleges were excluded from national competitions, including sporting competitions. LDS resisted the pressures until 1978, when the prohibition of blacks from holding the priesthood was reversed…"

"...fundamentalist Mormon groups practicing polygamy do not accept the 1978 change. Groups like FLDS still actively portray dark-skinned people as evil and call African Americans 'niggers'…"

6: Dan Fischer and the Lost Boys
"...the land of refuge, where the ten thousand or so FLDS people would soon be tasked with killing every human being on earth."

9: Warren Jeffs
"Fundamentalists marry for 'time' or for 'time and eternity.' Marrying for 'time' is strictly temporal and not such a big deal. Marrying for “time and eternity” means the woman belongs to her husband in perpetuity by God’s iron will…"

"On October 7, 2002, just a month after Rulon [Jeff]’s death, Warren secretly married his first batch of seven of Rulon’s widows. After taking them all upstairs for a little dancing and nuptials, the women were promptly sequestered in rooms lacking the compound’s intercoms to prevent their blabbing about the marriages to anyone else. Warren knew that marrying his father’s women was going to be a community shocker…"

"The number of wives held by Warren Jeffs remains a matter of speculation, but the estimates of ninety-one are certainly low. Myriad ex-FLDS bloggers put the number between two and three hundred. In his dictations, Warren indicates he had almost eighty wives by the end of 2002, and he was just getting started."

"When a young girl was mauled by a stray dog, Warren ordered all the dogs in Short Creek, a community of nearly ten thousand dog owners, to be killed. No selling them or giving them away."

"The spectacularly scenic Canadian lands, with an estimated value of $300 million, were part of the FLDS United Effort Plan trust."

"...the FLDS community in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada, was in full revolt under the leadership of Winston Blackmore. Warren had excommunicated Blackmore after he forgave a young girl fleeing Short Creek with the boy she wanted to marry, allowing the couple to settle in Canada as husband and wife."

"Warren’s breathless Canadian spy, Jim Oler, told an infuriated Warren many of the thousand FLDS members in the Canadian branch didn’t accept his prophet claims."

"in 2003, Warren Jeffs declared himself prophet."

10: Texas at Bat
"March 25, 2004, with the headline “Corporate Retreat or Prophet’s Refuge?” Mankin published the first of hundreds of scrupulously researched stories about FLDS…"

"In mid-April, FLDS resurrected the elusive David Allred to make the rounds in Schleicher County [Texas], insisting to incredulous town leaders that no matter what it looked like, the property was indeed a corporate retreat hunting lodge."

"It still took a week after this little PR disaster for FLDS attorney Rod Parker to confirm that the property recorded as owned by YFZ Land LLC, was not, in fact, a hunting lodge but “clearly connected” to FLDS."

"Educated about the 'lying for the Lord' and 'bleeding the beast' FLDS mantras, Mankin learned that when Allred said two hundred folks would be coming, he meant two hundred men. Because these were Warren Jeffs’s favored men, all would have at least three, and some more than twenty, wives kept continuously pregnant. Depending on the number of men Warren Jeffs eventually intended to favor, the actual number of FLDS members Texas could expect to receive over time might number well into the thousands."

11: Arizona at Bat, Again
"March 2003, New Times declared war on the sect and the current Secretary of Homeland Security with a seventeen-thousand-word opus, the result of a five-month investigation into FLDS in Colorado City headlined: 'Bound by Fear: Polygamy in Arizona. For Decades the State Has Let a Feudal Colony of Fundamentalist Mormons Force Underage Girls into Illegal Polygamous Marriages.'

"The tiny Colorado City Fire Department received the third largest Homeland Security grant in the state to stave off terrorists—$350,000. Before the Salt Lake Tribune began defending FLDS, it printed an exposé titled “Polygamy on the Dole,” revealing that Colorado City raked in $1.8 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to pave streets (Hildale got $94,000) and $2.8 million to build an airport used only by the Jeffs, ostensibly to promote tourism in a community that believes outsiders are trying to kill them…"

"More than 80 percent of FLDS members were on some kind of welfare."

"Short Creek raked in approximately $33 million tax dollars a year for around seven thousand residents, including an estimated $15 million to run the combined Short Creek city governments."

"Republican Arizona state representative Sylvia Allen, arguing in favor of “getting the money” by allowing radioactive uranium mining in the state in 2009, enlightened her apprehensive colleagues with the observation that 'the earth has been here for six thousand years, long before anyone had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.'"

"In 1877, Young dispatched Daniel Webster Jones from St. George to Arizona’s center, founding the town of Mesa, which today boasts more LDS members than Salt Lake City, some 470,000 Saints, all of them reliable voters."

"Napolitano admitted that, in varying degrees, FLDS met or exceeded all standardized law enforcement criteria to categorize it as a potentially violent cult along the lines of the Branch Davidians at Waco or the militia types at Ruby Ridge."

"Napolitano said she didn’t send investigators into Short Creek to look into child abuse and underage sex charges because she feared for their safety. She added that she didn’t send uniformed police because she feared for their safety, too, and she also feared their presence might ignite unsightly, casualty-producing gun battles."

"Mormonism addresses this kind of dating and matters like the fossil record by saying that God mashed and rolled the earth together from pieces of other, much older planets, meaning the fossil record is the remains of extraterrestrials."

14: The End Begins
Brigham Young, Deseret News, 6 Aug. 1862: "this MONOGAMIC ORDER OF MARRIAGE so esteemed by modern Christians as a HOLY SACRAMENT and DIVINE INSTITUTION is nothing but a system established by a SET OF ROBBERS."

15: Fun on the Run
Warren Jeffs, 29 July, 2005: "The Lord directed that I go to the sun tanning salon and get sun tanned more evenly on their sun tanning beds that have lights, so Naomie and I went and did that in the afternoon."

"Jeffs explained that the Lord had “commanded” the couple “to go mingle with the rich where there was a live band.” The Lord also commanded that the evening be topped off with “some dancing bars, lounges, and the saloons.”

16: Cops and Taxes
"...1992, when the Arizona Law Enforcement Officer Advisory Council (ALEOAC) moved to decertify Colorado City deputy marshal Sam Barlow, who’d already been denied peace officer status in Utah because the FLDS member had three wives. Incredibly, Barlow had been an Arizona cop for twenty years before ALEOAC noticed the little illegal polygamy problem…"

"Barlow pursued his religious persecution case for five years before Arizona, in an astonishing display of gutlessness, dismissed its complaint against him…"

17: Satan’s Accountant
"...the Bountiful Elementary-Secondary School Society (BESS) received $650,000 a year from the Canadian government…"
NOTE: Given that education is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada, perhaps Weyermann means the British Columbia government.

18: Nailed
Record of President Warren Jeffs, 22 Apr. 2005: "This afternoon, I wrote Paula Jeffs, my wife, a note of correction, teaching her that she needs to be more fervent in seeking the Lord’s will, and not just judging what she thinks will beautify the Lord’s house, as the Lord has rejected the materials for the upstairs sheers and drapes. I told her the Lord will accept the drapes out of the present materials temporarily, but after the dedication of the temple, we will replace the drapes made out of materials that do not have a grain in it or a pattern in the material…"

21: The Courts
"...the FLDS lawsuits had a few audacious themes in common…"

" embraced a number of troubling themes that would be standard in all the FLDS suits to follow…"

"As FLDS leaders spit and clawed to regain their kingdom, nobody had seen nothin’ yet."

26: The Lives of Others
In 1859, U.S. Army troops erected a monument to the the more than 120 Arkansas men, women, and children killed in the September 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, a battle between incoming settlers and Utah Mormons. About 1860, Brigham Young's associates dismantled the monument. "...the U.S. Calvary rebuilt the destroyed monument and kept stubbornly rebuilding it over the next seventy years of continued vandalism. In 1932, a monument was left standing."

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Butler Schaffer, "A Libertarian Critique of Intellectual Property" (2014)

This is an extended essay published by the libertarian-slanted (Ludwig von) Mises Institute, located in Alabama. Schaffer is an Associate Professor at the Southwestern University School of Law. In 2013, the Institute awarded Schaffer $10,000 for his "lifetime defence of liberty."

Schaffer's argument is not as radical as it might sound. He is not an anarchist. His criticism of intellectual property laws is that they provide incorporated bodies ('artificial' persons recognized by law) with the power to limit, control, and profit from ideas that would better benefit society as part of the creative, communicative commons. He does not suggest that property should be abolished, but that ownership of property should be limited to 'natural' persons, for information that they choose not to send forth into the community. He does raise the prospect, though, that in reality no ideas are built truly independently of the knowledge of others, thus implying that intellectual property laws should be rendered null and void.

QUOTATIONS, AND NOTES by Gregory Klages:
"...only human beings—“persons”—should be respected as property owners; that treating corporations, political institutions, and other abstractions as artificial “persons” represents a source of conflict we ought to reject."

"...the state becomes seen for what it is: an organizational tool of violence that is able to accomplish its purposes only through the willingness of its victims to accord it legitimacy. Such a practice allows lifeless fictions to transcend — and thus demean — the importance of individual human beings."

"...the essence of ownership is found in the capacity to control some resource in furtherance of one’s purposes, such a claim is lost once a product has been released to the public. The situation is similar to that of a person owning oxygen that is contained in a tank, but loses a claim to any quantity that might be released — by a leaky valve — into the air."

"True to their coercive and looting nature, governments have gone so far as to take from the 'public domain' words that belong to no one, and conferred a monopoly copyright upon various institutional interests. The word 'Olympics,' for instance, has been in common usage since at least the eighth century B.C. By political fiat, the International Olympic Committee now enjoys ownership of that word as a state-protected trademark."

"Is the creative process encouraged or hindered by this system of state-conferred monopolies? Creativity—like learning in general — is fostered by cross-fertilization and synthesis."

"The proposition that knowledge and ideas can be made the exclusive property of one who discovers or expresses what was previously unknown, is contrary to the nature of the intelligent mind, whose content is assembled from a mixture of the experiences of others and oneself. Even the language with which one formulates and communicates his or her understanding to others, has been provided by predecessors."

"If we truly believe that the creative process requires the state to grant to inventors and discoverers an immunity from having their works adopted by others, will we insist that modern producers either compensate the descendants of earlier creators for their preliminary work or, in the alternative, abandon their claims to rewards for their “originality”?"

"...the patenting process, as with government regulation generally, is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking that tends to increase industrial concentration."

"The current political mantra, “too big to fail,” is a product of the dysfunctional nature of size when an organization faces energized competition to which it must adapt if it is to survive."

"The state’s creation of patent and copyright interests doesn’t, by itself, prevent innovation by others, but it does erect hurdles that often discourage research…"

Friday, 3 July 2015

Timothy Appleby, "A New Kind of Monster" (2011)

Subtitle: "The Secret Life and Chilling Crimes of Colonel Russell Williams."

This 'true crime' book documents the many crimes committed by a well-respected, high-ranking member of Canada's military. It is a relatively easy, although certainly disturbing, read. Appleby refrains from wading into 'pop psychology' to explain Williams' behaviour, concentrating instead on narration.

Here's a link to the publisher's webpages for the book.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Stephen Williams, "Karla: A Pact with the Devil" (2003)

It's hard to offer any new insights on the sordid and tragic tale of sexual assaults and murders conducted by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. In 2003, when this book was written, Williams was able to provide some new insights into the case, as well as Karla's state of mind in prison. Although he is evasive in the book, Williams apparently opened a mail conversation with her, while also seeking out interviews with a multitude of other people involved in the case.

The book plots out the legal prosecution of Karla Homolka, and explains the development of the plea bargain that would result in her serving much shorter jail time than she might otherwise face in exchange for testifying against her husband. Williams seems to want to tell the valid, but hard to integrate story of bureaucratic bungling in prosecuting Homolka (and Bernardo), along with a sympathetic telling of Homolka's suffering at the hands of a penal and justice system that approached her in a harsher fashion than other inmates guilty of similar crimes. In short, Williams seems to want to tell us that Karla is a criminal that deserved a worse sentence, but having reached a plea bargain, deserved to relish the terms she had been given by the state.

Williams lives in the region from which I grew up, and I wanted to enjoy this book, despite the story it tells. The tale he tells has all the hallmarks of a great work: internationally noteworthy crime, nationally much-discussed and controversial plea bargain, and suggestions of investigative and prosecutorial shortcomings. I found myself distracted by Williams rather awkward story-telling, and the poor editing of the book. Williams seems to fancy himself a cross between Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thomson. He blends comments on his own adventures, the food he's dining on and the company he keeps, with specious psychological analysis of the people he writes about. He makes an unfortunately showy love of vocabulary that I suspect serves to distance most readers, rather than impress them. I can only explain his strategy as a product of fearing his topic pandered to the stereotypical 'true crime' reader, and so sought to elevate his authorial persona with language he felt might better reflect his elevated intelligence. I found it more pompous and off-putting than appealing.

Quotations, and Gregory Klages' notes:

Chapter 7 - Cancer

" stress disorder and its symptoms were fully extrapolated in a book by Arthur Kardiner, first published in 1941, called The Neuroses of War."

Chapter 9 - The Wedding Planner
"…[Karla] had seen a television program about how Italian men frequently live with their mothers until they are in their fifties. That might have explained it — Paul Bernardo was of Italian descent — but in the television program all the men really loved their mothers and Paul hated his and he wasn’t just saying it either and Karla could understand why."
NOTE: This sort of run-on sentence helps to establish a certain 'voice' for Karla. If it reflects her actual voice in the letters, wouldn't it have been more useful to actually use her words? I suppose this is part of the challenge of writing a textual conversation: if the author doesn't intervene, they become irrelevant. With too much intervention, the text becomes more about them than it does about the topic.

Chapter 22 - Deciphering Code
"Not to mention the anti-psychiatry, such as the idea that Karla was a malingering, histrionic hybristophiliac, developed for Bernardo’s defense team by Dr. Graham Clancy."
NOTE: If the average reader needs to check a dictionary more than once in a sentence, particularly when reading a pulp 'true crime' story, it should be a sign for concern.

Chapter 23 - The Man with Whom the Buck Stops
"And as Murray Segal said in this February 1995 letter to George Walker, they would continue to do exactly."
NOTE: End of sentence?… where are you?

Chapter 26 - A Propensity to Lie
"He was arraigned the next day, and held without bail for months even though Inspector Bevan’s charges on the murder charges had been thrown out."
NOTE: Editor? Did you disappear with the end of the sentence above?

Chapter 27 - The Fine Art of Adjudication
"What is now abundantly clear is that Michael Code’s ultimate decision not to charge Karla with respect to the repeated heinous attacks on Jane Doe, and the subsequent grant of blanket immunity, whereby, theoretically, he reinforced her “credibility” as an “accomplice witness,” has done nothing to maintain the public confidence in the administration of Justice — quite the opposite — but that consideration was clearly not the most important on Michael Code’s list. Although there are many facts and arguments to the contrary, which I tried to press on him time and again, he stubbornly asseverated that any prosecution of Karla Homolka would have put the successful prosecution of Paul Bernardo for first-degree murder at great risk. To him, Karla was by far the lesser of two evils, and was not then and is not now a danger to society."
NOTE: The quotation above is a fine example of all of the primary problems with this book.

"We did, however, agree on two other things. Karla should have been released on her statutory date, and that the prison officials far exceeded their mandate and their role when they detained her."

Chapter 30 - Macabre Cynicism
"On the surface, it seems lucid and logical but its observations and remarks are repetitive and pleonastic, as though they were uncomfortable with their subject matter, their decision and the basis on which it was made."

Chapter 31 - Back to the Future
"...doing time does something to one’s sense of time. You pass through it as though it is a vast mucilaginous bubble, emerging three months later none the wiser, feeling as though only three or four days have gone by."
NOTE: Hmmmm… is this Williams speculating, speaking from experience, or sharing Homolka's confidences? We'll never know.

"Understandably, this pecuniary redemption would ameliorate behavior and provide relief from stress and deliver some good old-fashioned middle-class stability."

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Albert Jay Nock, "The Myth of a Guilty Nation" (1922)

Comments to follow soon.
Do note, in the interim, that Nock is writing about the First World War.

I used the digital edition produced and distributed by the (Ludwig von) Mises Institute of Alabama.


Chapter I
"…the Governments of Europe are confronted with the inescapable…: they can either tear up the [Versailles] treaty and replace it by an understanding based on justice, or they can stick to the treaty and by so doing protract indefinitely the dismal succession of wars, revolutions, bankruptcies and commercial dislocations that the treaty inaugurated. That is the situation; and it is a situation in which the people of the United States have an interest to preserve—the primary interest of a creditor, and also the interest of a trader who needs a large and stable market. It is idle to suppose that American business can prosper so long as Europe remains in a condition of instability and insolvency."

Chapter II
"Germany, so the official story ran, not only plotted in secret, but she sprung her plot upon a Europe that was wholly unprepared and unsuspecting…"

Chapter III
"The fact is that Europe was as thoroughly organized for war as it could possibly be. The point to which that organization was carried by England, France and Russia, as compared with Germany and Austria, may to some extent be indicated by statistics. In 1913, Russia carried a military establishment (on a peace footing) of 1,284,000 men; France, by an addition of 183,000 men, proposed to raise her peace-establishment to a total of 741,572. Germany, by an addition of 174,373 men, proposed to raise her total to 821,964; and Austria, by additions of 58,505 already made, brought her total up to 473,643. These are the figures of the British War Office, as furnished to the House of Commons in 1913."

"England’s superiority in battleships alone was 112 per cent in 1901, and her superiority rose to nearly 200 per cent in 1904; in which year England spent £42,431,000 on her navy, and Germany £11,659,000. Taking the comparative statistics of naval expenditure from 1900, in which year England spent £32,055,000 on her navy, and Germany spent £7,472,000, down to 1914 it is absolutely impossible to make the figures show that Germany enforced upon the other nations of Europe an unwilling competition in naval armament."

"England’s army-expenditure for 1914 (pre-war figures) was £28 million; £4 million more than Austria’s. Nor was this a sudden emergency-outlay. Going back as far as 1905, we find that she laid out in that year the same amount, £28 million. In that year, Germany and Austria together spent £48 million on their armies; England, France and Russia together spent £94 million on theirs…"

Chapter IV
"France and Russia had been bound by a military convention ever since 17 August, 1892; England and France had been bound since January, 1906, by a similar pact; and this was subsequently extended to include Belgium."

Chapter VI
"Mr. Lloyd George, for example, is one of the cleverest of politicians. We have already considered his two statements; first, that of 4 August, 1917: What are we fighting for? To defeat the most dangerous conspiracy ever plotted against the liberty of nations; carefully, skilfully, insidiously, clandestinely planned in every detail with ruthless, cynical determination. —and then that of 3 March, 1921: For the Allies, German responsibility for the war is fundamental. It is the basis upon which the structure of the treaty of Versailles has been erected, and if that acknowledgment is repudiated or abandoned, the treaty is destroyed....German responsibility for the war must be treated by the Allies as a chose jugée. A little over two months before Mr. George made this latter utterance, on 23 December, 1920, he said this: The more one reads memoirs and books written in the various countries of what happened before the first of August, 1914, the more one realizes that no one at the head of affairs quite meant war at that stage. It was something into which they glided, or rather staggered and stumbled, perhaps through folly; and a discussion, I have no doubt, would have averted it."

"IF the theory upon which the treaty of Versailles is based, the theory of a single guilty nation, were true, there would be no trouble about saying what the war was fought for. The Allied belligerents would have a simple, straight story to tell; they could describe their aims and intentions clearly in a few words that any one could understand, and their story would be reasonably consistent and not vary greatly from year to year. It would be practically the same story in 1918 as in 1915 or at any time between. In America, indeed, the story did not greatly vary up to the spring of 1917, for the reason that this country was pretty much in the dark about European international relations."

"In Europe and in England, however, the case was different. International relations were better understood by those who were closer to them than we were; more questions were raised and more demands made."

"...the Allies, they were confronted with the politician’s traditional difficulty. They had to say something plausible and satisfactory, which yet must be something that effectively hid the truth of the situation."

"...the official and semi-official statements of the causes of the war and of the war-aims of the Allies are a most curious hotchpotch…"

Chapter VIII
"It was on the eastern frontier, we perceive, therefore—not on the western, where Belgium might have been invaded by France—that all the available Belgian military force was concentrated. Hence, to pretend any longer that the Belgian Government was surprised by the action of Germany, or unprepared to meet it; to picture Germany and Belgium as cat and mouse, to understand the position of Belgium otherwise than that she was one of four solid allies under definite agreement worked out in complete practical detail, is sheer absurdity."

Chapter XVII
"Lloyd George is right in saying that no one really wanted war. What every one wanted, and what every one was trying with might and main to do, was to cook the omelette of economic imperialism without breaking any eggs."

Chapter XVIII
"10 March of the following year [1914], Mr. Asquith, replying to a question in the Commons from Lord Hugh Cecil, denied that England was under an “obligation arising owing to an assurance given by the Ministry in the course of diplomatic negotiations, to send a very large armed force out of this country to operate in Europe.” On 24 March, he made similar denials in reply to questions from Sir W. Byles and Mr. King. On 14 April, Mr. Runciman, in a speech at Birkenhead, denied “in the most categorical way” the existence of a secret understanding with any foreign Power! On 3 May, the Secretary for the Colonies, Mr. Harcourt, declared publicly that he “could conceive no circumstances in which Continental operations would not be a crime against the people of this country.” On 28 June, the under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Acland, declared publicly that “in no European question were we concerned to interfere with a big army.” On 1 July, Lord Loreburn, Lord Chancellor from 1906 to 1912, said “that any British Government would be so guilty towards our country as to take up arms in a foreign quarrel is more than I can believe.” On 28 April, 1914, and again on 11 June, Sir E. Grey confirmed, in the House of Commons, Mr. Asquith's assertion, made 10 and 24 March, 1913, of British freedom from engagements with Continental Powers."

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Joan Didion, "The Year of Magical Thinking" (2006)

Didion explores a critical year in her life in its immediate aftermath. Her daughter experiences a near-fatal medical condition. Her husband dies at home in front of her. In short, her world stops, lets her off, and then proceeds to drive over a cliff. She is left standing at the top, watching, and wondering what the hell happened.

Grief is a funny thing, perhaps like addiction. It's difficult to explain to those who haven't been there, and to them, any description makes the experience seem silly and indulgent. Any description seems incomplete, though, inadequate to the strength of the emotions felt and not felt.

Didion's book is both frustrating and touching. I chalk this up to the idea that it was written less for her audience than for herself. It is almost like a diary… like having a coffee with someone who is grieving, and who is thinking out loud. Her writing is compelling. Her thinking is circular, repetitive, and obsessive. She second-guesses her decision, plays scenarios (important and innocuous) over and over through her thoughts, and members and re-members her memories, attempting to construct a clear, linear, comprehensible narrative that explains what she is feeling.

Jim Murdoch offers a very insightful review.

Some noteworthy quotations:
- Chapter 5: "one more case of maintaining a fixed focus on the clear blue sky from which the plane fell…"
I just really like this image. It captures grief so well.

- Chapter 15: "John would wait until I came uptown at eleven or so to have dinner with me. We would walk to Coco Pazzo on those hot July nights and split an order of pasta and a salad at one of the little unreserved tables in the bar. I do not think we ever discussed the convention during these late dinners. On the Sunday afternoon before it began I had talked him into going uptown with me to a Louis Farrakhan event that never materialized, and between the improvisational nature of the scheduling and the walk back downtown from 125th Street his tolerance for the 1992 Democratic convention was pretty much exhausted. Still. He waited every night to eat with me. I thought about all this on the Tower C escalator and suddenly it occurred to me: I had spent a minute or two on this escalator thinking about the November night in 2003 before we flew to Paris and about those July nights in 1992 when we would eat late at Coco Pazzo and about the afternoon we had stood around 125th Street waiting for the Louis Farrakhan event that never happened."
This section reminds me of Gertrude Stein's 'Making of Americans'. There's something about the elliptical narrative, the fruitless repetition that is observed but unstoppable which resides somewhere between obsession and compulsion which is fascinating.

- Chapter 22: "if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead."
This suggestion resonates, but is difficult to reconcile with my interest in memorialization, public history, and myth-making.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Josh Miller, "A Zombie's History of the United States" (2010)

Subtitle: "From the Massacre at Plymouth Rock to the CIA's Secret War on the Undead."

On the whole, Miller's idea is intriguing. His realization left me somewhat disappointed. While the idea that the United States had a long-standing and difficult relationship with a zombie population, and that understanding this relationship was actually critical to understanding American history, the book was realized as pretty much light entertainment. It is funny in spots and tediously self-consciously attempting to be funny in others.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Peter Longerich, "Goebbels: A Biography" (2015)

Just finished. Comments to follow soon.

Two useful reviews:
- Nigel Jones, "Ménage-à-trois with Hitler: the Goebbels’ marriage was a bit crowded," Spectator (UK), 9 May 2015.
- James J. Sheehan, New York Times, 13 May 2015.

Some noteworthy excerpts:
In this historical biography, first and foremost concerned with the question of the part played by Goebbels in the leadership of the Third Reich, insights gained into the deficiencies of his personality can help to develop wider perspectives. A particular purpose of this biography is to open the way to an analysis of the construction and modus operandi of the Nazi propaganda apparatus.

The connections, often quite subtle, among his various responsibilities become apparent only through a description of his life.

“Faith Moves Mountains”: Political Beginnings in Berlin
He developed a friendship with the graphic artist Hans Herbert Schweitzer, who designed National Socialist posters under the pseudonym Mjölnir.

“Dare to Live Dangerously!”: Goebbels’s Radicalism and Hitler’s Policy of “Legality”
December 1930
After consulting “Hitler and a large number of experts,” Goebbels came up with a definition of socialism that immediately met with Hitler’s “enthusiastic” approval: “placing the concept of the people above that of the individual.”

A few weeks later it emerged, either as a result of police inquiries or of a leak by former Party employees, that the assassination attempt had clearly been faked by Goebbels himself—and quite crudely at that. The “explosives” consisted of some jumping jacks and a little gunpowder. That Goebbels wrote up the “assassination attempt” in his diary as a genuine threat shows his relationship to the truth: Having acted out a charade for public consumption, he then recorded it as a fact in his diary.

“Dare to Live Dangerously!”: Goebbels’s Radicalism and Hitler’s Policy of “Legality”
On March 13, he records in the diary, “someone tried to kill me with a bomb.”

“Dare to Live Dangerously!”: Goebbels’s Radicalism and Hitler’s Policy of “Legality”
In all these disputes it became clear how small Goebbels’s power base within the Party actually was during this phase of the NSDAP’s rapid expansion into a mass movement. In Berlin he had to appear as a radical hothead in order to keep the SA on board, but this in turn created tensions around his attitude to the “legal” course chosen by the Party leader, upon whose support he was so highly dependent.

Kurt Tucholsky poem of 1928: “Due to bad weather, the revolution will be held indoors.”

“We’re Here to Stay!”: Taking Power
...the head office of the fascist leisure organization Dopolavoro, which impressed Goebbels very much: “We must do something like that. The people at leisure. Sport…"

The great majority of the public had grown used to manifesting their support for the regime—as was expected of them—in their everyday behavior. This happened, for example, through the officially encouraged “Heil Hitler!” greeting; the wearing of uniforms by a large part of the population, or at least the wearing of insignia to signal their support for the regime; the public display of flags at home; attendance at Party events and mass rallies; donations to street collectors; listening en masse to broadcasts in public squares; the gradual exclusion of Jews, labeled enemies of the state, from normal daily life; and many other ways.

“Taking Firm Control of the Inner Discipline of a People”: Propaganda and Manipulation of the Public Sphere
...let journalists know what areas were out of bounds for critical, or even just independent, reporting. There should never, for example (stated Point 1 on the list of guidelines), be any broad-brush description of “official ceremonial occasions”: This took Goebbels back to one of his favorite themes, the avoidance of “pomp” in the Third Reich. Another rule was that any controversial discussion of proposed legislation was incompatible with the idea of a “Führer state.” Likewise, to discuss the form of government was “intolerable.” When reporting political trials it was undesirable to “discuss in detail false assertions that are the subject of the trial.” One of Goebbels’s guidelines stated succinctly: “Today, the church question has been settled.” With regard to ecclesiastical affairs, in order to avoid confusion as well as adverse reactions from foreign propaganda, only reports from the German News Service should be used. And as far as the much-lamented monotony of the German press was concerned, Goebbels forbade any discussion of press uniformity outright.

...he characterized the attitude now taken by German journalists toward the Nazi regime as “neue Sachlichkeit.”

Goebbels: "We have removed the journalist from his humiliating and demeaning dependence on parties and business interests, thereby placing him in a position of honorable and loyal dependence on the state. For we see the freedom of Germans not in the opportunity to do or not do what one wants, but in the opportunity to integrate freely and responsibly into the higher laws and higher moral commandments of a state.” his cultural address the dictator not only condemned the “vandals” of modern art but also spoke out against “backward-looking people” and their “old-world Teutonic art”—those of Rosenberg’s persuasion, in other words.

These examples show that in 1934–35 Goebbels was by no means the unconstrained sole master and expert helmsman of Germany’s culture and media he liked to claim he was: He had to share control and management
with others.

Goebbels called on the Gestapo to send six members of the cabaret casts who in the meantime had been arrested to a concentration camp for an initial stint of six weeks.

...the trial of five of the performers from the two theaters ended in October 1936 with an acquittal in all cases.

...directive prohibiting all authorities, organizations, and associations from giving the press any instructions or orders. Likewise, no one was entitled to exercise criticism of the press.

The law also introduced the classification of films by the state board of censors: The board was authorized to categorize films as “of political value to the state,” “artistic,” “educational,” or “culturally valuable,” thus exempting the films in question from the entertainment tax. Additionally, the Cinema Law provided for a “Reich film dramaturge” who—independently of the board of censors—was entitled to oversee all film projects at the planning and screenplay stages.

December 15, 1935, Goebbels gave another set-piece lecture at the Kroll Opera to “film creators.” Here he accepted in principle the justification for “entertainment films” but was critical of their “stupidity” and the “assembly- line production of those who followed the same formula.” Almost three years after the “seizure of power,” this was a fairly damning indictment of his own impact on filmmaking,

Among the amenities enjoyed there was a television set, installed in February 1935; the propaganda minister loved watching it with his family, although broadcasting was limited to a few hours and was still at the test stage.

“Never Tire!”: Foreign Policy Successes and Anti-Jewish Policies
In his capacity as head of propaganda for the Reich, Goebbels ordered that “between about 19 and 21 hours today, Tuesday, January 15, the population will spontaneously [sic] attend mass rallies to celebrate victory in the Saar.”

In his speech, broadcast to the nation, he described Christmas as a Christian festival but at the same time claimed it for National Socialism, which in the form of the “national community” had given the command to love your neighbor a “new and unexpected content” in the form of the national community.

“The Tougher the Better!”: The Olympic Year, 1936
It was not until the next day that Hitler and Göring informed him of the decision made the previous night, to which Goebbels pointedly attributed only minor significance in his diary entry: “So we’re getting a bit involved in Spain. Planes etc. Not obvious. Who knows what the point is.”

...placed a wreath on Horst Wessel’s grave

“The Most Important Factors in Our Modern Cultural Life”: Consolidating Nazi Cultural Policies
...lack of support for his “völkisch-Germanic” ambitions, Rosenberg’s mission to “spiritually educate” the whole Nazi movement carried little weight.

...on Goebbels’s initiative artists shown in the Munich “Decadence Exhibition” were branded as “degenerate” even though they were teaching at state art schools or were members of the Prussian Academy of Fine Art. 1937 the Reich Chamber of Fine Art still had 156 Jewish members, mostly art dealers and art publicists.

Even by May 1943, he found himself stating with consternation that “the Reich Culture Chamber is not yet as de-jewified as I intended”; “a whole lot of quarter-Jews, even a few half-Jews, and numbers of Jewish-related are hanging around there.”

Hitler was “extremely” pleased with some photos showing Helga on the Obersalzberg: “Says that if Helga was 20 years older and he was 20 years younger, she would be the wife for him.”

“Don’t Look Around, Keep Marching On!”: The Firebrand as Peacemaker
...the appearance of the three million — a majority of Berlin’s population — was not exactly a display of spontaneous popular enthusiasm. On September 26, for example, there was an article in the Völkischer Beobachter peremptorily commanding “the working Berlin population” to attend the rally en masse. The guarantee of “en masse” participation was achieved—to mention only one detail of the nearly perfect planning for this event—by the German Labor Front. After work ended early, they made the staff fall in and marched them en masse to their allocated sector of the approach roads. It was not easy to escape: If you felt ill, for example, you had to request special permission to leave from the works organizer.

Goebbels: "If I don’t do everything myself, I’m pleased when things go wrong.”

Hitler’s interest in this conversation was far-reaching, as he confided to Goebbels: “We need a prince of the church if we want to break away from Rome. And we must do so. There must be no authority outside Germany
able to give orders to Germans.”

Goebbels: "What I’m doing is trying to incite you. Against any kind of sentimentality. The watchword is not the law but harassment. The Jews have got to get out of Berlin.”

“Maturity Is Only Achieved Through Suffering!”: Preparations for War—from the Munich Agreement to the Attack on Poland
Goebbels arranged with the War Ministry in 1937 that, should war break out, units from his ministry would be put in uniform and “embedded” with the Wehrmacht.

“Our Banners Lead Us On to Victory!”: Between the War in the West and the War in the East
...the dictator made it quite clear to his propaganda minister: “No invasion planned,” although propaganda should encourage fears of invasion by dropping hints “in order to confuse the enemy.”

Goebbels, who after his conversations with Hitler always conscientiously recorded all the Führer’s comments about his foreign policy and military plans, does not report anything in his 1940 diaries about concrete plans for an attack on the Soviet Union. Rather, Goebbels’s entries in his diary for August 1940 show that Hitler intentionally left him in the dark about his war plans.

“Our Banners Lead Us On to Victory!”: Between the War in the West and the War in the East
Some prominent films produced under the Nazis - The Rothschilds, Jud Süss, The Eternal Jew, Bismarck, Ohm Krüger (on which Goebbels himself worked), and Carl Peters, Goodbye, Franziska and Request Concert, I Accuse, Stukas, U-Boat Going Westwards, and The Lützow Squadron

“A Great, a Wonderful Time, in Which a New Reich Will Be Born”: The Attack on the Soviet Union
On August 14 an inter-ministerial conference took place in the Propaganda Ministry at which, among other things, this plan to visibly identify the Jews was discussed.

Rühmann film The Gasman
Meine Frau Theresa

March 6 Goebbels read a “detailed memorandum prepared by the SD and the police about the final solution of the Jewish question.

Der große König

“We Can See in Our Mind’s Eye a Happy People”: Offensives and Setbacks
Goebbels: "I have no desire to have a 22-year-old eastern Jew—the saboteurs of the anti-Soviet exhibition included types like that—putting a bullet in my guts. I prefer ten Jews in a concentration camp or under the earth than having one in freedom.”

His continuing attempts to eliminate any remnant of the German people’s admiration and respect for Russia and Soviet communism can also be seen as an obsessive attempt to kill off the last germ of this dangerous sickness in himself.

Hitler’s increasing physical frailty was a growing problem in terms of the deployment of the Führer for propaganda purposes. Thus Goebbels was obliged to note that Hitler “is very unwilling to appear in the weekly newsreels” and kept removing clips in which he was shown

In December 1942 a growing number of reports about the mass murder of Jews in German-occupied Europe began to appear in the international media. On December 17 the Allies published a statement about the systematic murder of the Jews by the Nazi regime;

For the Führer state to be maintained in the absence of the Führer was going to require extraordinary efforts.

Hitler’s public silence had created a vacuum, which the propaganda minister was now entering with a vengeance.

During the evening many people were saying that this meeting represented a sort of quiet coup. [...] Total war is now no longer a matter for a few perceptive men; it’s now supported by the whole nation.

...both were agreed on “what would threaten us all if we became weak in this war”; they had committed themselves so far in the “Jewish question” that “there is no possible chance of escape. And that’s a good thing.” For “experience shows that a movement and a nation which has burned its bridges fights with far fewer reservations than one that still has the possibility of withdrawal.”

“The Masses Have Become Somewhat Skeptical or...Are in the Grip of a Permanent State of Hopelessness”: Crisis as a Permanent State
When they devised the plan for the total destruction of the German people, they were signing their own death warrant.

Horthy’s soft attitude had strengthened Hitler in his view that “the junk of small states which still exists in Europe must be liquidated as quickly as possible.”

The deep depression among the population that Goebbels detected at the end of May had to a significant extent been caused by the excessive use of anti-Semitism.

“I Have No Idea What the Führer’s Going to Do in the End”: The Search for a Way Out
During 1944, apart from his addresses on January 30 and after the July 20 assassination attempt, Hitler made no speeches that were broadcast and did not speak at any major events.

Goebbels’s summary of Hitler’s comments. “Anyone who says A must say B, and now that the Hungarians have begun implementing our Jewish policy they can no longer back out of it. After a certain point the Jewis

While hitherto German propaganda had put forward the thesis that “the Jews,” either as plutocrats or as communists, were the “glue” holding the enemy coalition together (an assertion that Goebbels frequently made both in public and in private), now, in view of the threat of military defeat, it was necessary to emphasize the contradictions within the enemy camp.

...actual instances of vigilantism committed against pilots, he hoped to make an impact in the enemy countries.

“Virtually a Wartime Dictatorship on the Home Front”: Between an Apocalyptic Mood and Total War
There were further trials in the People’s Court lasting until April 1945 with more than 150 people accused of participating in the conspiracy, of whom over a hundred were sentenced to death and hanged.

“But When Will There Be Some Action?”: Downfall
He was also unsuccessful in gaining acceptance for his idea of a Military Auxiliaries Law subjecting all women under thirty to military conscription and thereby recruiting two hundred thousand women as “military auxiliaries.” It was blocked by Bormann and Himmler.

...while the propaganda that was now preparing the German population for a confrontation with Poland justified the use of military means, it also led to this war, which allegedly had been forced on Germany, being seen as an exceptional situation. The result was that after its rapid conclusion the vast majority of the population wanted to return to peacetime conditions.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Bettina Stangneth, "Eichmann Before Jerusalem" (2014)

Subtitle: "The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer."

Stangneth offers a close, meticulous, and exhaustive analysis of texts produced by Adolf Eichmann between the end of World War II and the early 1960s, when he was captured in Argentina and taken to Israel to stand trial for war crimes. Her book is not for the casual reader. For those with some knowledge of the period, of World War II, of the Holocaust, or of the post-war hunt for Nazis, Stangneth has produced a wealth of knowledge.

Eichmann before Jerusalem holds several critical aspects. Firstly, Stangneth unearths the murky history of documents produced by Eichmann and some of his acquaintances in Argentina. Often referred to as the Sassen papers, these transcripts of audio recordings shed light on Eichmann's post-war thinking, his perceptions of the Nazi era, world politics during the 1950s, and his own culpability in what most would view as horrific crimes. In itself, her explorations of these texts and their history could serve as a single book.

The second value of this text is its exposure of how little Eichmann and other (former?) Nazis did to try to hide themselves. Given the gravity of their crimes, the thin veneer of changed identity these men engaged in, and that many of their friends and family were aware of, is shocking.

Finally, with the abundance of textual resources Stangneth has marshalled, she offers a fascinating psychological profile of Eichmann, revealing how his ideas change over time, how he represented them differently depending on his audience, and particularly how his testimony at his war crimes trial did not correspond with testimony he had recorded previously from in hiding.

I had produced digital extensive notes from the book, and tragically the file was lost. I may someday try to revisit the book and recreate some of these notes. Until then, I can say that this book is very fine history writing, although it is likely a bit of a laborious read for even those interested in the topic. The closest comparison I can make is Adam Tooze's Wages of Destruction, which I commented on in 2010.

The NY Times ran a fair review of the book, written by Steven Aschheim.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale" (1953)

On a lark, I acquired the entirety of Fleming's James Bond novels. I have never read any of these, and have watched only a few of the movies. Nonetheless, I really like the 2002-2003 Penguin release retro covers designed by Richie Fahey. Looking for something light and distracting for bedtime reading at the end of a busy term led me to Bond (James Bond).

This earliest Bond novel surprised me in several ways:
1) Fleming's regular references to Bond's service in the Second World War were a revelation to me. Perhaps it's the cinematic lens (har har) that I was viewing Bond through previously, but I associate him with a more recent type of Cold War modernity than a somewhat grim, post-war emerging hostility between Communism and the West. Casino Royale is definitely set in the latter.

2) I was taken aback by Bond's rather virulent misogyny. Casino Royale's Bond is not the Hefner-esque international playboy heartily enjoying the pleasures of the sexual revolution. He is a lonely, isolated, insecure, suspicious and bitter misogynist. The cinematic Bond is often a suave character who at his core seems generally likeable, if a bit of a hound.

The Bond of Casino Royale oscillates between calling his female counterpart (Vesper Lynd) a 'bitch', then wanting to ask her to marry, and then by the end of the book, returning to his original position even though she had confessed her love for him. Although he admitted a physical attraction to Lynd, he initiates a sexual relationship with her largely to test whether the torture he'd experienced had left him impotent.

3) While concerned with 'products' - quality and exceptional pleasure - the Bond of Casino Royale is not the brand-conscious clothes and technology advertisement of the film franchise. His consumption is more oriented towards 'types' than 'brands' - a particular mix of drink, a style of food, a sort of clothing… not a particular manufacturer or label.

4) I was somewhat shocked by how short the novel was. Perhaps I am unfairly comparing the book to the academic writing I normally read, but this book flashed by in about three nights' reading. It was nice, but left me feeling like there was a lot of depth missing from the story.

Quotations will be posted eventually.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Christopher Nuttall, "The Invasion of 1950" (2013)

Just finished this self-published alt-history (allohistorical) work...

I heartily enjoyed it; worth the time, although it could use some editing. I did approach it, however, as pure escapist entertainment and not alternative history grounded in plausible variation of historical facts. More comments soon.

In the interim, travel over to the author's blog for more info.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Jarrid Wilson, "Jesus Swagger" (2014)

Wilson offers similar advice to that of many evangelists before him: live a more rigourous Christian faith, grounded in the Bible as the word of God. So… what makes his work unique, more effective, more compelling? Firstly, of course, he represents the 'new wave' of youthful Christian thinkers that embrace an appearance and demeanour that does not smack of one's "Sunday best". It should be noted, however, that many of these youthful evangelists also carry themselves with a youthful idealism and absolutism that can be off-putting and alienating for those of us who are a (little) older and a little more tired or jaded with the world.

Secondly, Wilson takes several trends within contemporary, 'new' Christianity to task. He chides many of his peers for not approaching their faith, or more accurately - their God - with more reverence. So, for instance, he critiques the idea of popularizing slogans such as 'Jesus is my homeboy' as diminishing awe and respect for a God that both loves and rules. This is a position that is not without problems (see the Klopping review linked below).

Thirdly, Wilson also chides some components within the evangelical movement who exhibit hateful, intolerant, aggressive means of attacking those whose actions and beliefs they oppose. Here I am thinking about groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church (although I don't recall that Wilson actually mentions the church by name, he does refer to persons who picket the funerals of gay persons, which Westboro is well-known for). He advocates instead that Christians who live their faith must strive to offer the same kind of Christ-like loving grace described in the Bible, and to find means to open lines of communication with non-Christians as a more effective means of leading by example rather than by proselytizing through fear.

Amanda Pettit Klopping offers some astute criticism of the book, over at her blog A Large Cup of Tea.

Some notes from the book:
1. Poser Christianity
James 2:19–20 states, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”

5. Jesus Isn’t Hiring Part-Time Disciples
Galatians 2:20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (NASB). There is vital truth to what this verse states. It is no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives in you. Meaning, it’s no longer about your agenda, your desires, and your needs. If you call yourself a Christian, your agenda is now filled with an all-consuming calling from Christ himself.

Don’t let culture be what changes your relationship with God. Do feel free to let your relationship with God help you change and contribute positively to culture.

6. Be the Change
...remember, God is with you through all. The right time to do the right thing is right now. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

7. I Got 99 Problems But the Holy Spirit Ain’t One

...why do so many ignore him? I think people are afraid. We are afraid of what might happen if we allow his power into our lives—we’re afraid of what might have to change, or what we might lose, not thinking of what we might gain. Many of us put our fear of the unknown in front of the power and potential of the Holy Spirit. It’s sad to think that we could be turning from the Spirit’s prompting due to a wall of fear. Fear is a liar, and the Spirit brings us the truth (John 16:13).

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Roy Porter, "Madness: A Brief History" (2002)

This short but pithy and informative book is an excellent read.

This similarly short and to-the-point review from Medical History will suffice to whet your appetite.

Comments and references that caught my attention:
- 32/33: “John Locke wrote to insist upon The Reasonableness of Christianity (1694): even religion now had to be rational. This pathologization of religious madness led Enlightenment free-thinkers to pathologize religiosity at large. In effect, this was also, much later, Freud’s position. God was an illusion, faith ‘wish-fulfilment’, and belief, though all too real, was a mental projection satisfying neurotic needs, to be explained in terms of the sublimation of suppressed sexuality or of the death wish. In reducing religion to psychopathology, Freud was echoing the more biting of the philosophes, like Voltaire and Diderot, who adjudged Christian beliefs the morbid secretion of sick brains. These days, while the Churches continue to accept, in principle, the reality of visions, spirit possession, and exorcism, they are profoundly suspicious of credulity and deception. The Roman Catholic or Anglican who claims to be assailed by the Devil has become an embarrassment. His priest may try to persuade him that such doctrines are merely metaphorical; and, if he persists, he may be urged to see a psychotherapist.”

- 89: “Foucault claimed that the great confinement essentially involved the sequestration of the mad poor by supporters of the bourgeois work ethic, and in his Madmen and the Bourgeoisie: A Social History of Insanity and Psychiatry (1981) Klaus Doerner followed suit. But there is little trace of organized labour in early asylums—indeed, critics accused them of being dens of idleness. And enterprising madhouse proprietors naturally sought rich and genteel patients, who would not be expected to work.”

- 93/94: “The decades around 1800 brought surging faith in the efficacy of personal treatment in sheltered asylum environments. In England, such doctors as Thomas Arnold, Joseph Mason Cox, and Francis Willis (called in to treat George III in 1788) followed Battie’s watchword that ‘management did more than medicine’ and pioneered a ‘moral management’ through which the experienced therapist would outwit the deluded psyche of his patient.”

- 94: “Shortly afterwards, the York Retreat developed ‘moral therapy’, with its emphasis upon community life in a domestic environment designed to recondition behaviour. The York Asylum, a charitable institution, had become bemired in scandal. By way of a counterinitiative, the local Quaker community, led by a tea merchant, William Tuke, established an alternative, the Retreat, opened in 1796. It was modelled on the ideal of bourgeois family life, and restraint was minimized. Patients and staff lived, worked, and dined together in an environment where recovery was encouraged through praise and blame, rewards and punishment, the goal being the restoration of self-control.”

- 98/99: “Criticism thus led not to the abolition of the madhouse, but to its rebirth, and institutionalization was transformed from a hand-to-mouth expedient into a positive ideal. In France the reforms of Pinel and the new legal requirements of the Napoleonic Code were further codified in the key statute of 1838. This formally required each departement either to establish public asylums, or to ensure the provision of adequate facilities. It guarded against improper confinement by establishing rules for the certification of lunatics by medical officers—though for paupers a prefect’s signature remained sufficient. Prefects were also given powers to inspect. Similar legislation was passed in Belgium twelve years later.
A comparable reform programme was put through in England, despite opposition from vested medical interests. Scandals revealing the improper confinement of the sane had already led to the Madhouses Act of 1774. Under its provisions, private madhouses had to be licensed annually by magistrates; a maximum size for each asylum was established; renewal of licences would depend upon satisfactory maintenance of admissions registers. Magistrates were empowered to carry out visitations (in London the inspecting body was a committee of the Royal College of Physicians). Most importantly, certification was instituted. Henceforth, although paupers could continue to be confined by magistrates, for all others a letter from a medical practitioner would be required to make confinement lawful. Further reforms followed. The 1774 legislation was strengthened in a series of Acts passed from 1828, above all establishing the Commissioners in Lunacy, first for the metropolis and then for the whole country. The Commissioners constituted a permanent body of inspectors (made up of doctors and lawyers) empowered to prosecute unlawful practices and to deny renewal of licences. They also took it upon themselves to improve and standardize care and treatment. The Commission ensured eradication of the worst abuses, for example, by requiring that all cases of the use of restraint should be documented. Safeguards against improper confinement were extended. Under an influential consolidating Act of 1890, two medical certificates were required for the detention of all patients.”

- 100: “Similar developments occurred in the United States, where the asylum arrived in the nineteenth century. The success of the York Retreat was the impulse behind the Frankford Asylum in Pennsylvania (1817), the Friends’ Asylum near Philadelphia (1817), the McClean Hospital in Boston (1818), the Bloomingdale Asylum in New York (1821), and the Hartford Retreat in Hartford, Connecticut, founded in 1824. Most early American asylums combined private (paying) and public (charity) patients. As in France, the early asylum era in America was spearheaded by physicians specializing in mental disorders, notably Samuel B. Woodward at the Worcester State Hospital and Pliny Earle of the Bloomingdale Asylum in New York, both of whom integrated medical and moral therapies in a climate of Pinelian therapeutic optimism. They were among the thirteen originators of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, established in 1844—it later became the American Psychiatric Association.”

- 101/102: “Throughout Europe, it was the nineteenth century which brought a skyrocketing in the number and scale of mental hospitals. In England, patient numbers climbed from perhaps 10,000 in 1800 to ten times that number in 1900. The jump in numbers was especially marked in new nation states. In Italy, no more than 8,000 had been confined as late as 1881; by 1907 that had soared to 40,000. Such increases are not hard to explain. Positivistic, bureaucratic, utilitarian, and professional mentalities vested great faith in institutional solutions in general— indeed quite literally in bricks and mortar. Schools, workhouses, prisons, hospitals, and asylums—would these not contain and solve the social problems spawned by demographic change, urbanization, and industrialization?”

- 103/104: “In England ‘non-restraint’ was introduced in the 1830s, by Robert Gardiner Hill at the Lincoln Asylum and independently John Conolly at the new Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum at Hanwell on London’s western outskirts. Taking moral therapy to its logical conclusion, Hill and Conolly renounced all forms of mechanical coercion whatsoever: not just irons and manacles but fabric cuffs and straitjackets too. These would be replaced by surveillance under ample trained attendants and a regime of labour, which would stimulate the mind and discipline the body.”

- 105: “…absolute non-restraint was seen by Continental reformers as a quixotically English idée fixe, a foible of doctrinaire liberalism, and it was little imitated. But French and German reformers made resourceful use of the asylum environment in their own ways. Work therapy was widely favoured. Planted in the countryside, the asylum typically became a self-sufficient colony, with its own farms, laundries, and workshops, partly for reasons of economy, partly to implement cures through labour. In France balneological treatments became a key feature of ‘asylum science’ (police intérieure). In Germany, C. F. W. Roller spelt out detailed directives for such matters as non-slip, smell-proof flooring, good drains, apparel, diet, and exercise at the influential Illenau asylum in Baden, where music and movement therapies were also pioneered. Everywhere, the care and cure of the mad became the subjects of the new ‘science’ of asylum management, spread by professional organs such as the significantly named Asylum Journal.”

- 139: “To some extent, psychiatrists were victims of their own propaganda. They had insisted that many of the aberrant and antisocial behaviours traditionally labelled vice, sin, and crime were actually mental disorders in need of the doctor and the asylum. As a result, magistrates deflected difficult cases from the workhouse or jail, but superintendents then discovered to their dismay and cost that rehabilitation posed more problems than anticipated. Furthermore, the senile and the demented, along with epileptics, paralytics, sufferers from tertiary syphilis (GPI), and other degenerative neurological disorders were increasingly shepherded through the asylum gates. For all such conditions, the prognosis was gloomy, and the asylum became a dustbin for hopeless cases.”

- 156: “Pinel’s favourite follower was Jean-Etienne Dominique Esquirol (1772-1840), whose Mental Maladies (1838) was the outstanding psychiatric text of his age. While asserting the ultimately organic nature of psychiatric disorders, Esquirol concentrated, like his mentor, on their psycho-social triggers. The diagnosis of ‘monomania’ was developed to describe a partial insanity identified with affective disorders, especially those involving paranoia, and he further delineated such conditions as kleptomania, nymphomania, and pyro-mania, detectable in advance only to the trained eye. A champion of the asylum as a therapeutic instrument, he became an authority on its design, and planned the National Asylum at Charenton, a suburb of Paris, of which he was appointed director. (It briefly housed the ageing Marquis de Sade.)”

- 156/7: “…the condition known as general paresis of the insane (one manifestation of tertiary syphilis) was elucidated in 1822 by Antoine Laurent Bayle. Although the micro-organism which causes syphilis had not yet been discovered—the bacteriological era lay ahead— the neurological and psychological features of GPI (notably euphoria and expansiveness), combined with the organic changes revealed by autopsy, supported Esquirol’s conviction that psychiatric disorders could be revealed using the techniques championed by such great French pathological anatomists as Laennec who had investigated tuberculosis and other internal conditions. Closely related to GPI, tabes dorsalis was another disorder, prevalent in the nineteenth century, which became the focus of neuro-pathological research. It was the subject of a masterly clinical study published in 1858 by Guillaume Duchenne, which established its syphilitic origin: so definitive was his account that it was soon named ‘Duchenne’s disease’. He was also at the forefront in describing many other neurological disorders involving personality degeneration, including progressive muscular atrophy and locomotor ataxia (lack of coordination in movement).”

- 177: “in the new world, where George M. Beard (1839-83) popularized the concept of ‘neurasthenia’, nervous breakdown produced by the frantic pressures of advanced civilization, which drained the individual’s reserves of ‘nerve force’. ‘American nervousness is the product of American civilization’ , he pronounced with mingled pride and regret. Neurasthenia’s prevalence in the modern era was no mystery, held Beard: the telegraph, railroad, press, and the market-driven rat race of Wall Street had rendered life insupportably hectic, intense, and stressful. Civilization made demands on nervous systems that nature had never anticipated. As with the eighteenth-century ‘English malady’, neurasthenia struck the elite and flagged up civilization and its discontents. Beard’s ideas were given a practical twist by Silas Weir Mitchell, who introduced the ‘Weir Mitchell treatment’—bed rest, strict isolation, fattening up with milk puddings, and passive massage—to counter such fatiguing tendencies amongst the neurasthenic.”

- 181: “The insanity plea became controversial in Britain when the trial in 1843 of Daniel M’Naghten for the murder of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel’s private secretary was stopped on the grounds of insanity. The resulting furore led to new guidelines being drawn up, by the House of Lords, to clarify the legal basis for criminal insanity. The M’Naghten Rules (1844) grounded the insanity defence in the defendant’s inability to distinguish right from wrong. This pre-empted the claim advanced by post-Esquirolian psychiatrists that the grounds should be ‘irresistible impulse’, that is, disorders of emotion and volition, independently of delusions of the understanding. In France by contrast, ‘irresistible impulse’ and partial and temporary insanity figured large in the plea of insanity and crime passionelle. Disputes over the insanity defence (who was bad? who was mad?) highlighted conflicts between legal and psychiatric models of the person, and left the public standing of psychiatry dubious.”

- 182: “Mental illness, Hunter and Macalpine believed, was not psychogenic. Hence the utterances of the insane were but cries of distress—and not necessarily even good clues to its nature. You don’t crack mental illness by decoding what the mad say: for, they held, mental disease had a biological base. Powerful psychiatric currents have furthered such tendencies to silence the insane, especially in institutional environments.”

- 183: “…did not the methods of the natural sciences prescribe observation and objectivity, not interaction and interpretation? The noisiest patients were shunted off into the back wards, and all too often those who were shut up were, indeed, ‘shut up’—or at least nobody attended to what they were uttering, there being less communication than excommunication.”

- 215: “The course of psychiatric illness, he insisted, offered the best clue to its nature, rather than, as in common practice, the raft of symptoms the patient showed at a particular moment. On this basis, Kraepelin wrought a great innovation in disease concepts and classification. Amalgamating Morel’s demence precoce with the notion of hebephrenia (psychosis in the young, marked by regressive behaviour) developed by Karl Kahlbaum and his pupil Ewald Hecker, he launched the model of a degenerative condition which he named dementia praecox, to be decisively distinguished from manic-depressive psychoses (Falret’s ‘circular insanity’). The archetypal dementia praecox sufferer as pictured by Kraepelin on the basis of meticulous clinical experience might be astute and clever, but he seemed to have forsaken his humanity, abandoned all desire to participate in society, and withdrawn into a solipsistic world of his own, perhaps mute, violent, and paranoid. Kraepelin routinely used phrases like ‘atrophy of the emotions’ and ‘vitiation of the will’ to convey the sense that they were moral perverts, psychopaths, almost a species apart. As the precursor to schizophrenia, Kraepelin’s dementia praecox has left an indelible mark on modern psychiatry.”

- 242: “Invasive treatments equally reflect the powerlessness of patients in the face of arrogant and reckless doctors, and the ease with which they became experimental fodder. In a now notorious experiment, hundreds of black mental patients at the Tuskeegee Asylum in Alabama were guinea pigs without their knowledge or consent in an experiment to test longterm responses to syphilis, a minor echo of the atrocities committed by Nazi psychiatrists.”

- 272: “The growing centrality of women to psychiatry over the last couple of centuries is superbly handled in Elaine Showalter’s The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980 (New York: Pantheon Press, 1986)…”

- 272: “Andrew Scull, Museums of Madness: The Social Organization of Insanity in Nineteenth-Century England (London: Allen Lane, 1979)—this has appeared in revised form as The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700—1900 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993)”

- 276: “Leonard D. Smith, Cure, Comfort and Safe Custody: Public Lunatic Asylums in Early Nineteenth-Century England (London: Cassell, 1999)”

- 279: “Extracts from nineteenth-century English psychiatric texts may be found in Vieda Skultans, Madness and Morals: Ideas on Insanity in the Nineteenth Century (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975).”

- 279: “Autobiographical writings of ‘mad’ people have been anthologized and surveyed in Dale Peterson (ed.), A Mad People’s History of Madness (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982); Michael Glenn (ed.), Voices from the Asylum (New York: Harper & Row, 1974); Allan Ingram, Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets, 16831796 (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1997) and Roy Porter (ed.), The Faber Book of Madness (London: Faber, 1991; paperback 1993). Some attempt at reproducing their ‘view’ is offered in Roy Porter, A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987).”