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Stockpiling books for winter

in What do you like to write? What do you like to read? Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:00 am
by collaborativewriter • 85 Posts

This is the series I'm reading these days... historical murder mysteries are my favorite genre.

I can highly recommend the Ian Rutledge series. Most historical murder mysteries are entirely anachronistic and are therefore unreadable. I won't even take them out of the store, let alone buy them. But this series is very good, about Scotland Yard Inspector Rutledge, who is recovering his sanity after surviving World War I.

The "author" of the series is a mother and son team. I'm not sure how they make this collaboration work, but the rate of their output is a testimony to the fact that collaboration inspires writers to get a lot of writing done.

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RE: Stockpiling books for winter

in What do you like to write? What do you like to read? Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:13 pm
by Capucine • 14 Posts

I have found a certain return to contemplation of the meaning of the Great War recently. It just keeps coming up. I just hope that there will be no revival of Dornford Yates. I re-read a couple of his books last year, only to be very disappointed by their superficiality. I used to
love them in the fifties when I was still trying to imagine taking life back to before the war.

Recently, though, the emphasis has been very different. Now we are seeing the measures that the war demanded as being destructive to our society. In that war we learned to suppress radicalism and to develop the worst traits of tribalism. Unfortunately none of these undesirable behaviors were abandoned after the war ceased but rather were pushed ever deeper into our moral norms through a strict reading of Kant, and particularly through his offshoot of Marxism. Self-sacrifice now became the sole basis of morality, but one which reduced the capacity of the individual to resist authority.

First I came across Chris Hedge's book "The Death of the Liberal Class" which described the progression of the thinking of liberals from 'listeners to radicals' to 'hand maidens of corporatists'. Today's society would be great if we had a credible enemy to sacrifice ourselves in his defeat. The snuffing out of any non-mainstream thought is now thoroughly established.

Then I found a very interesting book by Adam Hochschild "To End All Wars". He described the Great War but mainly from the point of view of those who opposed it in England. This is an angle that I have never focused on before. I knew of their existence but not of their suffering and dedication. Many reverted after the war to mainstream. Ramsey MacDonald is, of course, the most prominent example.

Now you come up with a series of murder mysteries from that period. These at the least give us a picture of the thinking of ordinary people at that time. I have started to read a Bess Crawford story which I downloaded to my iPad. It seems to be a long story, so I will enjoy it for some time.

The question is whether this revival portents a fight against the evil created by the War or an embracing of it. I fear that the current authorities are determined to suppress any initiatives other than their own. In other words the death of democracy is next.


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