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Showing posts from March, 2014

Book 6 - Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

This is the first book in the Century Trilogy and begins in 1911 - right before World War I breaks out. When we start, the Crowned heads of Europe still exist; however after the war, only the British monarchy has survived. There are five families that the reader follows, from all economic classes - both rich and poor. There is a Welsh coal miner and his suffragist daughter, the local Earl that is their nemesis, two orphaned Russian brothers (one who is a scoundrel and the other a working class hero), star crossed lovers (one English, the other German), and an American diplomat. What I loved about this novel, and all Follett's novels really, is that he's able to utilize an amazing story to create a civics lesson - we learn about World War I and the Russian Revolution at the same time that we follow the stories of an amazingly interesting group of people. He is meticulous in creating the world and the politics of his characters in the hopes of teaching us a bit about the time pe…

Book 5- Hitler's Furies by Wendy Lowrer

During World War 2, the best employment opportunities for German women wasn't in the Gestapo or the Red Cross - it was actually in the German occupied lands to the East and in Russia. Those territories needed thousands of teachers and nurses and secretaries among other occupations. Wives often accompanied their husbands to the Eastern countries as well. This sort of migration allowed women to see other countries, get ahead in their professional careers and escape the drudgeries of everyday life in Germany, which was economically depressed before the war. These women also became accessories to genocide.In this book, Wendy Lowrer follows the stories of 13 seemingly ordinary women who ended up working in the East, whether by choice or because they were assigned there by their superiors. The first chapter essentially set the scene: it explained the role of women in Germany briskly and efficiently and in language that the average reader would √understand. We then are introduced to th…