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Posts from the ‘HIstory’ Category

8
Feb

#BlackHistoryMonth2022 All That She Carried

FEBRUARY

21. All That She Carried The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles by Tiya Miles Tiya Miles

Finish date: 08 February 2022
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: B-
Review:

Good news: Prologue and introduction Do NOT forget to read them. They are very well written.

 

Good news: There are a few revealing aspects of history that are missing in many books I’ve read about slavery. Examples Ms Miles gives are the conscious diminishing of slaves in the clothes give to them – shaving women’s head if the hair is too straight and beautiful – nicknames or pet names to belittle as child or domesticated animal: Hero, Cupid, Captain, Prince, Samson.

 

Good news The best part of the book for me was chapter 5 Auction Block (functioned like a department store window). The chapter was eye-opening, shocking and what I needed to learn about.
This is the raw truth about Charleston South Carolina, slave trade hub.
Workhouse: plantation owners could have slave whipped for a price…the owners don’t want to get their hands messy. There were also female salve holders: don’t hear much about them
…but Ms Miles enlightens us! Ms Miles describes a southern gothic horror made real….in Charleston.
Think about all this the next time you feel like a weekend in a B&B in South Carolina.

 

Personal: Regarding Ashley’s sack…many chapters are completely speculative.
There are a lot of “she would have’s, she may have’s, we can imagine and in all likelihood.”
That is not what I was looking for. All That She Carried is good…not great IMO.
A GREAT book is David Olusago’s Black and British: A Forgotten History. REVIEW
This book seems to be based more on facts than fiction.


Black and British A Forgotten History by David Olusoga by David Olusoga (no photo)

 

11
Nov

#NonficNov 2021 David Olusago

 

Quick scan:

  1. The historian English-Nigerian David Olusoga has written
  2. that slavery is often misremembered in the U.K.
  3. …as a uniquely American atrocity.
  4. He points out that British-owned slaves mostly lived and worked in the Caribbean.
  5. The goal of this book is to ensure that the British involvement with
  6. slavery NOT be largely airbrushed out of  the
  7. “standard, Dickensian image of Britain in the Victorian age…” (pg 234).
  8. It’s time to have a look at what the Brits….were up to!
  9. The book charts black British history from the first meeting
  10. between the people of Britain and the people of Africa
  11. during the Roman period, to the racism
  12. …Olusoga encountered during his own childhood.
  13. It is a story that some of Olusoga’s critics would prefer was forgotten.

 

Strong point:

  1. The book is filled with new discoveries
  2. about the British involvement in the slaver trade.
  3. Olusago supports these findings with the science behind it.
  4. “…skeletons excavated decades ago are suddenly able to tell their stories.” (pg 40)
  5. This process transforming history
  6. is radioisotope analysis. (article from Nat. Geographic)
  7. Where you grew up…what you ate…your bones record your life.

 

Some thoughts….

Ch 4: 

  1. Ch 4 is  about legal cases 1770s to ensure
  2. slavery does not become acceptable in England
  3. ...or the right of Brits to hold slaves in the American colonies.
  4. Yes, this is an important part of British/Black history
  5. …but it was not the MOST engaging section of the book.
  6. #PersonalPreference

Ch 5:

  1. Chapter 5 was more interesting….linking my thoughts to a book I
  2. had just read Bedlam in Botany Bay (James Dunk).
  3. It reveals the resettlement schemes of London’s black poor in
  4. 1780s to Sierra Leone and Botany Bay Australia.
  5. (pg 148) “There were those is London, on the committee,
  6. …who just wanted them (blacks) gone and
  7. …cared little about their long-term prospects.
  8. This is the history the British
  9. …would like to see airbrushed away!

Ch 6: 

  1. 22 May 1787 –> the birth of the Abolitionist Movement
  2. is very interesting.
  3. Trivia: Did you know that  trendy Canary Wharf London was built by
  4. slave trade  mogul  George Hibbert  1757-1837 (who?) as West Indies Docks’.
  5. This dock was used to import the sugar from West Indies plantations!

 

Ch 7:

  1. Frederic Douglass on his second speaking tour in late 1850s felt
  2. a decline in anti-slavery sentiment and the rise in racism.
  3. The turnig point
  4. American racism had started to seep into Britain.

Ch 14:

  1. Wow…just wow!
  2. This book may exhaust you but keep on reading
  3. …because Olusago really “lets loose” in ch 14-15!!
  4. I never knew the extent of racism in Britain….shocking!

 

 

Conclusion:

  1. David Olusago, in the last chapter, bookends his
  2. history with the “Windrush Myth”.
  3. The post-war wave of migration from the Caribbean.
  4. In the book’s introduction we read about
  5. Enoch Powell’s 1961 speech “Rivers of Blood”.
  6. Powell’s persistent themes of national sovereignty,
  7. purity of citizenship and a
  8. determination to keep out undesirable immigrants still  echoes
  9. in the European politics of far-right politicians.

 

  1. Historian Olusago has shown me that
  2. this idea of “purity of citizenship” is also a myth.
  3. I’ve read about 
  4. the presence of African peoples in Roman Britain
  5. and Black Tudors, Stuarts, Edwardians, Victorians and Georgians.
  6. If history was properly discussed as Olusago shows us
  7. the British could  awaken us from their colonial dreamtimes when…

 

  1. ” Rule Britannia! rules the waves!
  2. “Britons never will be slaves.”
  3. …but they will eagerly take part in the slave
  4. trade from  1560 Queen Elizabeth I –> Charles II
  5. –> the abolition of slave trade 1833 King William IV.

 

  1. People hold on to the belief that the UK was a “white country”.
  2. David Olusago challenges this concept in this book.
  3. Olusoga was confident about having two identities.
  4. despite the prejudice he had encountered.
  5. He was proud of being a black Nigerian of Yoruba heritage and
  6. being part of his mother’s white working-class geordie tradition.
  7. But he has always had a third identity:
  8. I’m also black British – and that had no history, no recognition
  9. Best quote:  D. Olusago
    1. “My job is to be a historian.
    2. It’s not to make people feel good”.

 

Last Thoughts:

  1. There is a lot of “new history” for me  in this book!
  2. Weak point: Sometimes Olusago can go into numbing details (ch 4, ch 7)
  3. but other times he left me scratching my head with the
  4. thought: “Why have I never heard about this?”
  5. That could be due to not having read enough history in depth.
  6. Thank goodness David Olussago is helping me.
  7. Loved to read the royal connections…
  8. by Queen Elizabeth I and Charles II…I never knew!
  9. They understood the profitability of the English slave trade.
  10. Be prepared for some long reading days…(639 pg)…but of
  11. course with books like these some skimming is unavoidable!
  12. This reader was very tired  after 13 chapters…still 2 ch  to go
  13. …but oh, they were well worth reading!
  14. This is an excellent, readable book
  15. …but very long
  16. #HistoryBuffs don’t miss this one!
3
Dec

#Non-fiction The Anarchy: East India Company

 

Conclusion:

  1. Enjoyed parts of the book but found it crushingly detailed.
  2. If you don’t know much about India or its history…
  3. you will be buried under a pile of names and
  4. places that will mean nothing to you.
  5. After 25% …I just skimmed the book, excruciatingly boring.
  6. It was a soulless history an 200 pages too long.
  7. Doesn’t anyone have a red pen at Bloomsbury Publishing?
  8. You can dislike a book for any variety of reasons,
  9. but in the end it comes down to a matter of opinion,
  10. and opinions can differ from person to person.
  11. So, if you are interested in history 
  12. …read the book and perhaps you might like it.
  13. I did not.

15
Jan

#Non-fiction From Russia With Blood

 

Finished: 15.01.2020
Genre: non-fiction
Rating: D-
#ReadNonFictionYear

 


Conclusion:
If you want REAL investigative journalism
read Luke Harding
A Very Expensive Poison

If you want to read a REAL Putin scholar
read Dr. Fiona Hill
Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin


Last thoughts:
Honest opinion? This book was a waste of time.
“old news” …if you have been reading the newspapers
since 2000!
I can’t imagine this as a page turner, except when I was turning
a dozen pages at a time hoping it would get better.

#SoDisappointed

 

13
Jan

#Non-Fiction The Churchill Factor

 

Finished: 13.01.2020
Genre: non-fiction
Rating: A+++++
#ReadNonFictionYear

 

Introduction:

  1. I started this book before the UK’s general election.
  2. It is fascinating to see how Boris Johnson
  3. emulates his hero, Churchill!
  4. Winston Churchill tipped the scales of destiny in 1940.
  5. We should all be thankful for his courage, pluck and
  6. famous message June 1940 to the British people:

 

“We shall go on to the end.
We shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.
We shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender…”

 

 

Conclusion:

  1. This book was a delight to read!
  2. Not stuffy or dry
  3. …but filled with insights and humor as
  4. Johnson weaves the narrative between war,
  5. politics and Churchill’s personal life.
  6. Boris Johnson is a savvy politician
  7. ….but also an excellent writer!
  8. #MustRead
  9. PS: John Lithgow is wonderful as Winston Churchill
  10. in Netflix series The Crown...
  11. #MustSee
25
Aug

#Non-Fiction America’s War

 

Structure: 480 pages
Part 1 – The Preliminaries ch 1-7
Part 2 – Entr’acte (“between the acts”) ch 8 – 11
Part 3 – Main Card ch 12-18

 

My Notes:

 

USA fights wars:

…1776 for independence
…1861 for slavery
…1980 US embarks upon a war for oil

 

Central irony:  

  1. For America’s War for the Greater Middle East
  2. US’s tendency to focus on solving one problem,
  3. to exacerbate a second and plant the seeds of a third.”
  4. See: Wikipedia ‘Operation Cyclone”

 

Trivia:

  1. I noticed in chapter 1
  2. sound bites used in 1980s that
  3. …are now used by Trump!
  4. US didn’t want a distressed angel (Carter)
  5. ….passing judgement on their failings.
  6. The US wanted a president who would fix things!  (MAGA)
  7. Carter viewed himself as “an agent of the Lord’
  8. Trump referred to himself as ‘the chosen one’
  9. …while speaking
  10. on his role in the ongoing trade war
  11. between the US and China. (21 Aug 2019)

 

Note: Ch 6:

  1. Especially interesting was the conscious
  2. effort by the US in 1982
  3. ….to open a secret channel
  4. ….to provide Baghdad with sensitive intel,
  5. satellite images, PC’s  hell’s  and heavy trucks etc.

 

What was USA’s plan….long term?

  1. US needed Saddam…..
  2. ….and with this non-military help
  3. it enabled Iraq to avoid outright defeat in Iraq-Iran war.
  4. But why?  
  5. “…US had a compelling interest in positioning Iraq as a
  6. counterweight to a dangerous Islamic Republic.”

 

Note: Ch 7:

  1. The book comes alive for me with the
  2. US to hunkering down in Saudi Arabia and
  3. preparing to remove Saddam from Kuwait.
  4. My favorite no nonsense General
  5. “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf jr.
  6. He planned and led Operation Desert Storm—
  7. which defeated the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait
  8. Pg 117 this would be:
  9. “…Vietnam done right,
  10. …with a decisive victory the result.
  11. No shilly-shallying allowed.”

 

Conclusion:

  1. Don’t worry about memorizing all the names, dates, etc
  2. focus on the big picture…the important stuff will stick.
  3. This book is a wonderful re-cap of
  4. the history of the War for the Greater Middle East.
  5. Strong point: Bacevich makes non-fiction read like a novel!
  6. Great read…for history buffs!
  7. I was very impressed with Bacevich
  8. …his writing is crisp insight and info that is not in news articles.
  9. I enjoyed his comments about Gaddafi
  10. “…erratic buffoon less a serious
  11. …menace than a perennial pain in the behind!”
  12. …and I learned whatgunboat diplomacy is’.
  13. Part 3…you could probably easily skim this
  14. picking nuggets of info but most has
  15. been recently in the news (Obama, Osama Bin Laden).
  16. Loved to see names popping up who were in headlines
  17. …and now have faded away.
  18. Remember L. Paul Bremer, diplomat
  19. running the show in The Green Zone Baghdad?
  20. ….he earns extra cash now as a ski-instructor!
  21. Huh?

 

Last Thoughts:

  1. What was the MOST important thing I learned?
  2. …the 4 reasons why USA is still waging the
  3. War for the Greater Middle East.
  4. War has the seal of approval of Republicans and Democrats
  5. Aspiring Presidential candidates find it expedient to ‘support the troops’ (war)
  6. Individuals/institutions benefit from a long conflict (military industrial complex)
  7. MOST importantly…
  8. Americans appear oblivious to what is occurring.
  9. All the more reason
  10. ….to read this book!

Bacevich is a West Point graduate. He holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998

1
Feb

#Classic: The Twelve Caesars (Suetonius)

 

Quickscan:      List of Roman Emperors

 

Notes:

  1. This is not a book that I would choose to snuggle up with
  2. on a cold winter day. Thus I decided to listen to the audio book.
  3. I could keep doing my chores….etc and still absorb the
  4. tidbits of history that I did not know!
  5. 50 % of the book is about the first 3 Caesars:
  6. Julius, Augustus, Tiberius  chapters 1-18
  7. Audio book 40 chapters (20 min per chapter)
  8. Roman emperor was a risky job:  only 3 died of natural causes
  9. …the rest were assassinated or committed suicide!

 

Julius Caesar  (reigned 5 years)

  1. He wore laurel crowns as often as possible.
  2. The wreath suited Caesar especially well with
  3. the green leaves hiding his balding head.
  4. It was good to be reminded that Servilia (b.104 BC, d. 42 BC)
  5. was just a wicked as Livia was
  6. during her relationship with Augustus Caesar.
  7. Livia remains in my memory in TV series I, Claudius.
  8. Servilla came be seen in TV series Rome.
  9. The series I, Claudius NEVER showed
  10. …the audience the sadistic cruelty of Tiberius!
  11. You have to read about it to believe it!

 

Augustus Caesar (reigned 40 years)

  1. Father: Gaius Otavius (politician) but he died when AC was 4 years old.
  2. Adopted father: Julius Caesar.
  3. Wives: each of these marriages lasted 2 yr Clodia, Scribonia
  4. Livia was here to stay.
  5. She was a shrewd woman,  23 yr marriage, no children, 1 miscarriage.
  6. Augustus also divided city regions and districts,
  7. …appointed nightly watch against fires (sort of fire brigade).
  8. Calendar: Augustus was  born in September named 8th month August
  9. because in this month he received his first council ship.
  10. Lists: These pages about Augustus Caesar is a long list of achievements:
  11. circus games, gladiators, laws, allocating corn
  12. exhibiting curiosities: rhino, tiger and extremely long snake!
  13. Lists: of omens Augustus Caesar believed to foreshadow trouble (2 crows attack an eagle!)
  14. As soon as Livia comes on the scene
  15. ….the narrative becomes more interesting.
  16. After watching the TV series I, Claudius
  17. I could apply a face (actor, actress) to many names!
  18. Julia: Daughter is banished for 5 years for her lewd behavior.
  19. Strong point: personal habits were described
  20. …negligent in dress, took afternoon naps with his shoes always on!
  21. Augustus  slept in the same chamber on Palatine Hill for 40 years.
  22. His private room where he was NOT to be
  23. disturbed (top floor Palatine Hill home) called “Syracuse”.

 

Tiberius pg 104 (reigned 22 years)

  1. He was emperor Augustus Caesar’s successor.
  2. Augustus  adopted Tiberius (his mother was Livia AC’s 2nd wife)
  3. Tiberius was a reluctant emperor!
  4. Livia (mother) demanded equal share of power.
  5. Mother and son parted on bad terms.
  6. When she died Tiberius annulled her will and did not grieve his loss!
  7. Daughter-in-law Agrippina the Elder
  8. claimed Tiberius had her husband Germanicus murdered.
  9. Germanicus was Tiberius’ nephew AND adopted son.
  10. Tiberius banished her to the island of Pandateria.
  11. …and ordered a centurion to beat out one of her eyes!
  12. Tiberius was not finished yet….
  13. He starved his 2 (adoptive) grandsons to death.
  14. Tiberius was sadist…deriving pleasure from cruelty.
  15. In one day 20 people (men, women and boys) were killed flung down
  16. the Gemonian Stairs (steps located in the ancient city of Rome)
  17. …and then dragged into the Tiber River.
  18. He put a centurion to death for stealing a peacock out of his orchard!
  19. #Ouch

 

 

Conclusion:

  1. I took notes about the first 3 Caesars.
  2. You can discover the other rulers yourself!
  3. This was an excellent overview of these emperors
  4. The book solidified my understanding of the
  5. Julio-Claudian (27 BC-68 AD)
  6. Flavian dynasties (68-96 AD)
  7. Audio book narrator:  Charles Griffin (excellent).
  8. The writing is clear, simple and easy to understand.
  9. Strong point:
  10. Insights into the social and political order of the times
  11. …and the psychology of these powerful yet flawed individuals.
  12. I loved the music played between chapters….imperial!

 

Last thoughts:

  1. Roman emperors are not known as being compassionate
  2. …but Emperor Vespasian was the exception!
  3. If you like historial fiction perhaps you would like Lindsey Davis’
  4. The Course of Honour.
  5. The love story of Vespasian and his mistress
  6. …the freed slave woman Antonia Caenis.
  7. This book recreates Ancient Rome’s most turbulent period.

 

4
Jan

#Non-fiction: The Age of Eisenhower

 

Did you know?

  1. Eisenhower agreed to give 400 million dollar
  2. to France to keep them fighting in Indo-China 1956.

 

  1. Eisenhower did not trust Nixon. Ike tried to ‘push’ off the ticket election
  2. 1956 by dangling a cabinet post in front of ‘Tricky Dick’.
  3. Nixon did not take the bait.

 

  1. Eisenhower suffered from a blood clot in his heart September 1956.
  2. What did Nixon do? He slipped out of his house through the back door
  3. to avoid the press.
  4. Nixon was scared to death ….he might have to lead the country!

 

Conclusion:

  1. These are some of the items that I did not know.
  2. This book reflected a man who remained
  3. a social conservative who was anxious about
  4. clashes b/t federal courts and local customs (civil rights movement).
  5. Eisenhower was not used to change
  6. ….wary of challenging hierarchy.
  7. Yet Eisenhower did manage
  8. to surpass his limitations  and supported
  9. The Civil Rights act 1957 and enforced court ordered
  10. …for desegragation in Little Rock Arkansas.
  11. which makes him a worthy president in my opinion.

 

Last thoughts:

  1. I thought America in the 1950’s would electrify me.
  2. Unfortunately, it was …to be the  fractious 1960’s
  3. with Nixon, Kennedy, LBJ  these were presidents that
  4. interested me more than  “I like IKE’.
  5. The book was interesting and informative.
  6. Eisenhower made many good calls in the White House
  7. …an ran a fundamentally honest administration.
  8. Ike was and remained a #GoodSoldier.
8
Dec

#Classic: Eusebius

 

Who was Eusebius (260-340), Bishop of Caesarea?

  1. Eusebius lived and wrote in one of Rome’s provincial capitals,
  2. Caesarea (aka Sharon on the coastal plain of Israel.)
  3. He lived under direct Roman imperial power.
  4. He witnessed the persecution of Christians in Caesarea
  5. …under the governors Flavianus, Urbanus, and Firmilianus.
  6. Eusebius figures prominently in all
  7. …histories of late-ancient theology and philosophy

 

Why is Eusebius important?

  1. Eusebius worked at the library in Caesarea Palestina
  2. founded by the scholar Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254)
  3. He had access to numerous works of antiquity which have not survived.

 

Structure:

  1. Books 1-7  – the reign of Herod and birth of Jesus (book 1)
  2. then we read the events before Diocletian’s persecutions (14-311 AD)
  3. Books 8-9  – narration of recent persecutions (253-305 AD)
  4. Book 10 – reign of Emperor Constantine (306 – 312)

 

Genre: Greek-Roman history writing…with a whiff of an apology
Edition: Eusebius Penguin Classic ISBN 9780140445350
Theme: was celebration of the success of Christianity in the Roman world.
Significance of Eusebius: important source for historians, classicists and theologians
POV: Eusebius, a orthodox Christian
Intended audience: with a knowledge of Christian texts and accepts their sacred status

 

Title: History of the Church: Eusebius describes a group of bishops, martyrs,
and scholars. Eusebius excludes heretics as outsiders to the church.
Setting: Eusebius uses the Roman Empire as the borders of the Christian Church
Narrative: gives the readers a past about the church. It profiles of key individuals
that carry across several chapters Apostle John, Irenaeus, Origen, and Dionysius of Alexandria
Style: Eusebius has a roller-coaster reputation for both veracity and style.

 

What does Eusebius NOT do?

  1. He does not discuss of doctrine because he assumes reader knows it
  2. …and has a positive opinion of Christianity.

 

Strong point:

  1. After reading this book I feel I’m better prepared to
  2. participate in Jeopardy or University Challenge shows!
  3. I learned more about some heresies of the times.
  4. After reading this book it will be easier to read another classic (TBR)
  5. The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius!

 

Weak point:

  1. There are small items that consume reading time
  2. skimming may be necessary!
  3. How Appolonius suffered Martyrdom at Rome
  4. …Roman senator who stuck to his beliefs.
  5. Blastus On Schism   Who?
  6. Many lists of bishops of Jerusalem and Rome (skim)
  7. Date of Easter…lots of commotion!
  8. The Elegant Works of Irenæus
  9. …this is a whole other study…skim Wikipedia page Irenaeus!
  10. Heresy of Artemon
  11. …it seems Eusebius is the only historian who mentions this!.

 

Conclusion:

  1. There are just too many heretics,
  2. ..martyrs, saints, theologians to mention.
  3. This book is readable but I needed to extend my reading to
  4. Wikipedia and follow the footnotes closely
  5. …if I wanted to make heads or tails of Eusebius.
  6. This is a classic…I can say I read it.
  7. But…I’m not sure if it will be on many reading lists!
  8. This is definitely a book
  9. …for a dedicated reader of the classics!

 

Last thoughts: 

  1. Glossary….This is very handy!
  2. Excellent “Who’s Who in Eusebius” + Latin terms  (pg 339-427)
  3. Quick scan of emperors of Rome and
  4. bishops in Antioch – Jerusalem – Alexandria  (pg 428-434)
  5. Tip: I did some extra ‘skimming’ of the Wikepedia page
  6. …of the emperor mentioned
  7. This gave me a bit more historical background.
  8. It made the reading of Eusebius much easier knowing more
  9. about the politics/rulers.
  10. #Classic or the die hards!

 

19
Nov

#NonFicNov week 4 Reads Like Fiction

  • Author: Carlo Levi (1902-1975)
  • Title: Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
  • Published: 1945   (275 pg)
  • Genre: memoir
  • Trivia: Matera (setting book)
  • Some of the scenes from Mel Gibson’s
  • …Passion of the Christ were filmed here.
  • List of Challenges 2018
  • Monthly plan
  • Non-Fiction Reading List
  • #NonFicNov

 

Week 4: (Nov. 19 to 23) – Reads Like Fiction (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction): Nonfiction books often get praised for how they stack up to fiction. Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques?

 

  • I have selected Christ Stopped at Eboli
  • …which is rarely seen on reading lists.
  • What gives this book it that fiction-like feeling?
  • Top-notch writing….absolutely breathtaking!

 

Introduction:

  1. Every Italian schooled in Italy has read
  2. …Carlo Levi’s book Christ Stopped at Eboli.
  3. Eboli is a town just south of Salerno in Southern Italy.
  4. Once you go south past Amalfi, you enter the REAL Italy.
  5. Carlo Levi was a doctor, a writer and painter who originally
  6. …lived in Turin in the northern province of Piedmont.
  7. He was an outspoken opponent to the creeping Fascism.
  8. Because he was not quiet about his beliefs,
  9. Levi was sent into exile for two years to a tiny southern Italian hill town
  10. …in the southern province of Lucania called Aliano.

 

Why was this book so important in 1940s?

  1. Levi’s writings went on to shed light on what was later called the Shame of Italy.
  2. The Shame of Italy was the fact that the
  3. …people of the nearby hill town of Matera lived in abject squalor.
  4. Levi’s book caused an uproar
  5. The people of Matera were moved out and into government built houses.
  6. They were provided food and medicine.

 

What does the title mean?

  1. Locals told Levi that Cristo si e Fermata A Eboli”.
  2. Christ stopped at Eboli, north of them and
  3. ….not even Christ himself had cared to come this far south.

 

Conclusion:

  1. This is an account of anti-fascist Carlo Levi’s exile
  2. 1935-1936 in the peasant village of Aliano.
  3. In the book the name is changed to Gagliano.
  4. Strong point: Top-notch quality writing.
  5. For example Carlo Levi describes Gagliano:
  6. “…I had a feeling of disgust for the clinging contact
  7. of the ridiculous spider web of their daily life
  8. …dust-covered skein of self-interest.”
  9. But at the end of the book Carlo Levi had difficulty leaving Gagliano.
  10. This book is a gem
  11. …but it has fallen between the cracks!
  12. It is on my list of  TOP-10 books of 2018!
  13. #MustRead….you will not be disappointed!

 

Carlo Levi