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A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War
A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law during the Great War
by Isabel V. Hull
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $38.65
34 used & new from $32.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Law In History, Law As History, October 19, 2014
War is often viewed as a state that respects no law but that of might. That is not the state depicted in A Scrap of Paper. It is a study of the role international law played in the Great War and the role the War played in the development of that law. It examines the issues that arose, the theories of law that competed and the men who framed them. The Great War is portrayed as a time when scraps of paper called warriors to the field of battle, swayed international opinion and fueled propaganda duels.

British and, to some extent French, intervention in World War I was driven by The Treaty of 1839 which established an independent Belgium with its neutrality guaranteed by Great Britain, Austria, France, Prussia and Russia. This solemn obligation to the British and a “scrap of paper” to the Germans is still debated by historians. Did it obligate its signers or was it an irrelevant anachronism that could have easily been avoided?

With Europe plunged into War the legal disputes turned to balancing the rights and obligations of conquerors and conquered. It distinguishes between a levee en masse, a civilian resistance against advancing enemies, which was generally legal, and an insurrection against an occupying power, which was usually unlawful. This work probes the obligations of the occupier to provide for and govern the occupied territories and the circumstance under which it could impose work requirements and extract taxes. The use that could be made of POWs and the level of subsistence to which they are entitled were not issues that arose along the River Kwai. Military necessity was often invoked to justify actions that were otherwise illegitimate.

The circumstances and the extent that a blockade was permissible were hotly debated by the competing sides. Could food be interdicted even if it caused starvation? How effective must a blockade be to be lawful? Could it be enforced against neutral ports bearing goods to belligerents? Could neutral shipping be stopped or sunk? Would humanitarian aid, such as the food for Belgium raised by American Herbert Hoover be exempt from blockade, even if it did relieve Germany of its obligation to feed its captives? Was it justified as economic warfare? All of these questions were debated by each side.

New weapons called for new laws. Airplanes and zeppelins permitted bombings of enemy cities. Could they be employed against civilian targets? Was a German bombing of London any more illegal or inhumane than British interdiction of supplies directed toward Germany? Could submarines be expected to halt and inspect merchant shipping and make provisions for its crew and passengers before sinking it?

A Scrap of Paper is a study of law in the context of history. The influence of the violations of International Law influenced neutrals differently. German atrocities in Belgium and the rights of neutrals on the high seas were of paramount importance to the United States, while the Netherlands, caught as it was in the middle, and the Scandinavians with their German sympathies, saw things differently. It provides insights into the propaganda campaigns of both sides.

This work is of interest to any student of World War I or International law. Some of the changes in law occasioned by the new conditions of the war were codified during the subsequent peace. A reader possessing a broad familiarity with history will recognize questions that arose during of other wars, both before and after the Great War. The studies of military necessity shine light on Lincoln’s justification for the Emancipation Proclamation. Examination of the legality of sinkings and bombings presaged the much immensely greater scale of indiscriminate destruction of World War II. When I first picked up this book I was of the opinion that the law of war was largely what could be justified by the victor. By its end I realized that there have been efforts to civilize the most uncivil of human activity.

A Scrap of Paper is for determined readers. Author Isabel V. Hull has done an impressive job in her research and writing. For a student of the law of war it is magnificent. A reader will pick up some aspects of the general history but it takes a lot of reading for a few slivers of information. This is a book for experienced and deep students of the Great War, but causal readers should start elsewhere.

I did receive a free copy of this book for review.


DII 100% Polyester, Damask, Machine Washable, Holiday Tablecloth, 60 x 104", Wine, Seats 8 to 10 People
DII 100% Polyester, Damask, Machine Washable, Holiday Tablecloth, 60 x 104", Wine, Seats 8 to 10 People
Price: $16.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, Burgundy Swirling Pattern, October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The swirling pattern in this rich burgundy, tablecloth looks elegant on a dining room table, especially during autumn. Of 100% polyester cloth it should be machined washed with cold water on gentle cycle. This table cloth has a place in our home décor.


DII Oeanique Machine Washable 100% Cotton Ribbed Woven Luxury Spa Bath Rug, 17 x 24", Cream
DII Oeanique Machine Washable 100% Cotton Ribbed Woven Luxury Spa Bath Rug, 17 x 24", Cream

5.0 out of 5 stars Soft, Absorbent And Looks Good Too!, October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bath rug is soft on your feet, absorbent and looks good too. It is truly a rug rather than the more towel like bath mat with which we are familiar. The wool like texture is sewn into a sturdy backing. This will have a place next to our shower for some time to come.


Bolse® 3-Port (25W / 5A) High Output USB Car Charger Provides Maximum Power For 3 Devices At Once With SmartIC Technology Charging Station for Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Galaxy Note 3; LG G2; Motorola and HTC; Touch Screen Tablet; GPS (Build-in Micro USB Cable)
Bolse® 3-Port (25W / 5A) High Output USB Car Charger Provides Maximum Power For 3 Devices At Once With SmartIC Technology Charging Station for Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Galaxy Note 3; LG G2; Motorola and HTC; Touch Screen Tablet; GPS (Build-in Micro USB Cable)
3 used & new from $13.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Charge, October 12, 2014
This recharger has three outlets, one with a built-in cord for new model phones and 2 USB ports for other devices. I tested it on an iPhone 4s and found it to make a fast charge. It looks clean and white. I am very pleased with this charger.

I did receive a free sample for testing.


The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac
The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac
by John Hildebrand
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.57
38 used & new from $14.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musings On Midwestern Life, October 11, 2014
“The Heart of Things” is a delightful collection of musings on Midwestern (Wisconsin) living. Originally published as newspaper columns, these essays take the reader through the months, the seasons, and the days of life. Author John Hildebrand entertains the reader with reminiscences of church suppers and compost piles, possums and weasels, deer and turtles, fishing and hunting, urban architecture and rural solitude.

This is a book you can pick-up and read straight through, keep by your chair to peruse when the game is slow or, being organized by months, take just about a section a week throughout the year. The writing style is easy to ponder and enjoy. There are many quotes that hit home but I will just mention one. In the piece entitled “Church Supper” Hildebrand verbalizes the unassailable logic that “Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can go to an elementary school cafeteria and eat wholesome, no-frills food?” Not me. I have gone to those suppers and will appreciate the next one a little bit more. Now excuse me, I think I will reread this month’s entries.

I did receive a copy of this book for review.


Mega Bloks First Builders Fast Tracks Rescue Team
Mega Bloks First Builders Fast Tracks Rescue Team
Offered by STL PRO, Inc.
Price: $29.99
8 used & new from $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Small Hands!, October 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mega Bloks First Builders is a good set for youngsters, particularly those about three years old. The large colorful blocks are perfect for small hands. The faces on the cars and trucks will attract the child’s attention. Using the blocks to build promotes problem solving skills. This is a good choice.


Outdoor Tech OT1600 Kodiak 6000mAh 2.1amp Ruggedized Portable Charger/External Battery (Black)
Outdoor Tech OT1600 Kodiak 6000mAh 2.1amp Ruggedized Portable Charger/External Battery (Black)
Price: $43.06
2 used & new from $33.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rugged, Powerful Recharger, October 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have tested several chargers/external batteries but this one is unique. Whereas others emphasize their small size and light weight, this one promotes its durability and ruggedness. While I did not test its durability I can believe that it will stand up to abuse. It is covered by thick rubber so I imagine that it could take a licking.

I did test its performance and it passed with flying colors. It recharges easily and has a gauge that tells how much juice it has left. I was most impressed by how quickly it recharged my iPhone. It did not take long to get it back to 100%. This is not a recharger for genteel use but is the choice for a rugged, powerful and reliable power pack.


Louise Loves Art
Louise Loves Art
by Kelly Light
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.03
63 used & new from $9.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preschoolers Rate It As "Great"!, October 4, 2014
This review is from: Louise Loves Art (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Louise Love Art" is an entertaining picture book for children in which Louise, a budding artist, overcomes her frustrations and finds that she also loves her brother, Art. The story is cute and the pictures are expressive and funny. Don't just take my word for it. This was tested by 12, 4-5 year olds and all 12 thought that it was great. You can't beat that!


The Planets
The Planets
by DK Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.17
35 used & new from $14.96

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enchanting Introduction To Our Solar System, October 1, 2014
This review is from: The Planets (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
“The Planets” is an enchanting introduction to our Solar System in words and pictures. It covers the system from beginning to its most outer reaches. It starts with its formation, a study of the sun, moves on to the rocky planets and the gas giants and concludes with the outer limits, the asteroids, the Kuiper belt and comets. Each planet begins with an overall look, followed by an explanation of its structure, up close discoveries and maps, a timeline of human awareness of it and manned missions to the body.

The written material puts it all in perspective and facilitates an understanding that is difficult to grasp otherwise. The pictures are magnificent. The diagrams of the structure show each layer from the molten core to the gaseous atmosphere. The photos from telescopes and probes bring you right to the surface.

“The Planets” is an excellent resource from which to gain a sense of our solar system and one to keep handy to check any questions that might arise from time to time. It is up to date and incorporates recent discoveries. This is one I will look at again and again.


Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan
Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan
by Kevin J. Miyazaki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.47
36 used & new from $16.20

5.0 out of 5 stars The Lake And Its Faces, September 29, 2014
I have often vacationed along the shores of Lake Michigan so I was drawn to “Perimeter” and am glad that I followed. Author/photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki circumnavigated the Lake taking pictures. The organization is four pages of with pictures of people found along the lakeshore or three pages of pictures with one page containing quotes from the object of the photo on the opposite page. After those four you get a double page lakescape.

The photos focus on the people who are presented before a black background. These are the people who work and play, and live and love alongside this great inland sea. They are a diverse lot, an elderly woman with her daughters, the policeman and park ranger, the longshoremen and tattooed skateboarder, the ferry captain and fisherman, the swimmer and the lifeguard, the painting and sailing students, the re-enactors and the tourists, well you get the idea. These are the people bring the Lake to life and draw their life spirit from it. As I studied the portraits I kept thinking, “Have I seen him?’ or “I know where she lives, works or plays”.

These are the faces of the people of the Lake. There are the faces of the Lake itself. In the lakescapes the colors change from brown to green to blue, the sunlight sparkles and the fog covers, storms threaten and whitecaps play, and the skies are blue and cloudy and reflect the setting (or rising) sun.

This book has few words, but much reading. We read the faces and outfits, tools and toys but mostly we read the Lake: The Lake that is beautiful and powerful, living and life giving. “Perimeter” is a book to peruse and ponder. Keep it where you can find it when you need something to lift your spirits. Don’t be selfish. Leave it where your guests can find it and share this treasure.

I did receive a free copy of this book for review.


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