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Poland: A History
Poland: A History
by Adam Zamoyski
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.95
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Introduction To Poland, June 13, 2013
This review is from: Poland: A History (Paperback)
Dr. Adam Zamoyski has written a truly superb beginning history of Poland. He begins his story with the end of the Polish isolation in the tenth century and the concurrent Christianization of Poland. Then he discuses the rise of the Piast dynasty and the beginnings of the Polish kingdom.

The Polish from the beginning shared a common language that was Slavic. This language differed slightly from the language spoken by Czechs in Bohemia to the south and that of the eastern Slavs or Rus.

Dr. Zamoyski writes very readable book that describes the rise and fall of the Polish commonwealth from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries, the downfall of the polish commonwealth in the eighteenth century, the three power occupation of Poland during the nineteenth century, the restoration of Poland after World War I, the interwar Polish Republic, the trauma of World War II and Russian domination in the cold war, and the post 1989 rebirth of Polish liberty.

Of particular importance is that Dr. Zamoyski overviews and discusses the literature of Poland from the Middle Ages on to the present day. This discussion helps the reader understand both Polish history and Polish culture. Prior to the fifteenth century books in Poland were most often written in Latin. The literature of the Polish people really developed when the printing press came into use and books were written and printed in Polish.

Of course Dr. Zamoyski examines historical issues from the Polish perspective. This is the way it should be. The book is an introduction to Polish history.

Of great interest is the influence of Renaissance Italy on Polish culture. There was a vast exchange of scholars and information between the two areas. Many Polish students came to Italy to study. And Italian scholars and scientists came to Poland.

In all this book is an invaluable read for anyone interested in an introduction to Polish history.


The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania
The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania
by Steve Goreham
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.58
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13 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Discussion of The Global Warming Hoax, May 9, 2013
Steve Goreham has written a very comprehensive, thorough description of the global warming hoax in all its aspects. His book, the Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, besides being vastly informative is very readable and quite fun to read a times. The sides boxes contain information that adds spice to the reading of this very valuable work.

Basically the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory is that carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere trap heat waves of certain infrared frequencies coming from earth and reradiate this heat back to earth. Thus carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the climate to warm. Mr. Goreham points out that increasing the amount of carbon dioxide has the filter effect. This means each additional unit of carbon dioxide has a fraction of the effect on the warming of the atmosphere as a unit of carbon dioxide placed in the atmosphere before it. Eventually additional carbon dioxide has minimal effect on the heating and temperature of the earth.

Proponents of the AGW theory have claimed that the extra carbon dioxide has a positive feedback on the earth's climate by increasing the amount of water vapor, the most numerous heat trapping gas in the atmosphere. Mr. Goreham points out this contention is wrong. With increasing water vapor appearing as the amount of carbon dioxide increases, the troposphere atmospheric level at the equator would become much warmer. But this has not happened. The temperature of the troposphere over the equator has remained essentially unchanged according to satellite and weather balloon temperature readings.

Moreover positive feedback is inherently unstable. If the earth's climate changes uncontrollably due to the small amount of human produced carbon dioxide it follows that the much greater amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the past geological ages would cause runaway climate warming that would end life on earth.

Mr. Goreham discusses much more about the deficiencies of the AGW theory. Global temperatures have been flat for ten years. Dozens of peer reviewed studies demonstrate that the Medieval Warm Period circa 1000 AD was warmer than today. And that te earth is recovering at present from a Little Ice Age circa 1680 AD. Climate feedbacks are low to negative. Moreover cosmic rays, whose quantity is inversely proportional to the solar magnetic field, cause and impact cloud formation, thus causing cooler temperatures on earth.

Mr. Goreham also exposes the fakery and bias of the AGW supposedly scientific proponents. He demonstrates that the notorious hockey stick purporting to demonstrate rapidly rising recent earth temperatures was faked. He exposes IPCC bias. And he exposes the climate gate emails from the supposed researchers at the Climate Research Unit in England that demonstrate falsification of data, muzzling of opponents, withholding pertinent experimental information and other serious breaches of objective scientific research.

In sum the AWG is an elitist attempt to control the world driven lust for power, drive for profits, and striving for academic sinecures. Mr. Goreham's book is a must read for everyone.


Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir
Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir
by Amanda Knox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.97
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43 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous, May 1, 2013
Ms. Knox has written a stupendous work, very powerful, informative, well written, honest, true, and pertinent. The book concerns the unjust prosecution and the unjust conviction and later conviction reversal of Ms. Knox and Mr. Raffaele Sollecito of the murder of exchange student Meredith Kercher in Italy. The writing is excellent. This book is a real page turner that keeps and absorbs the attention and the mind of the reader.

There are several important strands in this work. One is the completely demonstrable innocence of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito of the rape robbery murder of Meredith Kercher. The book presents many of the impelling reasons for the innocence of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito. Some of these are:

Fact One: All the evidence from the locked Meredith Kercher bedroom - the DNA, the shoe prints, the finger prints, the palm prints, and the other evidence - points to one and only one depraved man as the killer, namely sociopathic burglar Rudy Guede. No genuine physical evidences puts Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox in the bedroom where Ms. Kercher was attacked and slain. The prosecution conjured strands of psuedo evidence have been discredited a panel of neutral Italian experts as well as numbers of international forensic experts.

Fact Two: Ms. Knox barely knew of the existence of Rudy Guede. Mr. Sollecito did not know him at all. They traveled in different circles and obviously had different interests. The idea that these three people could come together for a sex orgy and murder boggles the imagination.

Fact Three: Neither Ms. Knox nor Mr. Sollecito have a history of violence. Nor do they have a history of sociopathy. Ms. Knox had numerous friends in Seattle as did Mr. Sollecito in Bari, Italy.

Fact Four: Mignini devotees chant over and over again "Amanda lied" at the police interrogation of November 5 2007, Yet reknown psychiatrtist and expert on false confessions Dr. Saul Kassin has declared the confession of Ms. Knox to be false. So has the Supreme Court of Italy.

Knox only confessed to being at the murder scene and supposedly accusing an innocent man after being grilled for 43 hours by the Perugia police over a period of a few days, including the interrogation on the night of November 5, 2007. Prior to the night of November 5 Ms. Knox was overwrought and got very little sleep, perhaps three hours from November 2 to the night of November 5. The police questioned her for hours during these days. During the interrogation on the night of November 5 Ms. Knox was yelled at, hit, and verbally abused by several teams of detectives from 10 PM to 5:30 AM. Several teams of police interrogated Ms. Knox that night. Each team arrived at the interrogation fresh while Ms. Knox was increasingly exhausted and confused after more hours of interrogation. Eventually Ms. Knox cracked and imagined what the police demanded she imagine. After this interrogation Ms. Knox immediately repudiated this so called confession. Otherwise her story is consistent. She was at Raffaele's apartment the night of the murder.

Fact Five: The break in was not staged. The rock was thrown from outside the window. Shards of window glass were removed. This is know despite being overlooked by the police. And Rudy Guede has been know to climb in windows in his prior burglaries including a window higher above the ground than that of flat mate Filomena's bedroom.

Fact Six: Ms. Kercher had her last meal at 6 PM. It takes two to four hours to digest a meal. When she died the food had not yet passed into the small intestine of Ms. Kercher. This leaves the time of death of Ms. Kercher between 9 and 9:30 PM. In the Sollectio apartment Mr. Sollectio's computer had its last human interaction at 9:15 PM. At 8:40 PM Mr. Sollecito and Ms. Knox had a visitor for a brief moment.

Another strand is the story and ordeal of Ms. Knox, an innocent, decent, intelligent if somewhat naïve student in a foreign country thousands of miles from home unjustly prosecuted for murder, imprisoned for four years on the basis of false evidence, and demonized by the tabloid media as orchestrated by the deranged prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Not only was Ms. Knox unjustly imprisoned in a frigid in winter and steamy in summer uncomfortable prison, but she was threatened by the prosecution with life imprisonment for a crime she did not commit. She was kept in ignorance for months and years concerning the falsity of the DNA evidence against her. Only after years in prison did Ms. Knox learn the explicitly coercive nature of her police interrogations in the days after the Kercher murder.

The book in a very readable manner details the inner resources and family support Ms. Knox used to survive her ordeal as well her experiences, both good and horrific, in the Capanne prison. The relations between Ms. Knox and her family and their mutual support and love are most touching. Any decent American can only say "Welcome Home Amanda"

This absolutely riveting book is a must read for every decent American and everyone who believes in justice. This book is in one word stupendous.
Comment Comments (48) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2013 10:02 PM PDT


Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State
Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State
by T. D. Allman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.99
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readable But Extremely Biased, April 2, 2013
Mr. T.D. Allman has written a quite interesting, very well written, and very readable book on the history of Florida. In fact the book is so readable that it is a real page turner. And Mr. Allman presents many interesting facts on the history of Florida.

Unfortunately Mr. Allman's egregious bias overwhelms the discerning reader. He neatly divides historical figures into the good guys and the malignant monsters. Mr. Allman does not pay hardly any attention to the reasoning and the vantage points of the historical figures he writes about. The reader never learns about the opposing views of the issues that faced the Florida officials and entrepreneurs.

Toward the end of the book Mr. Allman's bias develops into a scattershot of tendentious judgments, very questionable analogies and biased opinionating on a lot of the leading figures in modern Florida.

I do not have enough knowledge on Florida to agree or diagree with many of Mr. Allman's historical judgments. But I can provide several examples where the bias becomes stupendous and overwhelming.

1. Mr. Allman presents general and President Andrew Jackson as a totally malignant monster. Yes, Andrew Jackson had his blind spots, particularly in light of present day ethics and knowledge. But Andrew Jackson insured the triumph of the common American and common man in a time of rampant aristocracy and elitism. Andrew Jackson's empowerment of the common man was a necessary precursor to the development of democracy and freedom in American and the world.

2. Mr. Allman devotes pages to proving how an unholy conspiracy of the rich was preventing the common white man from voting thru property requirements in the wake of Florida statehood. For a part of the book it is the big story. But then, Puff, the 1845 first Florida state constitution somehow came to prohibit property qualifications for voting.

3. Mr. Allman proclaims Maryland Dr. Samuel Mudd to be guilty of plotting to kidnap/assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. His evidence is that Dr. Mudd was Catholic (oh, how he must be guilty), pro Confederate, knew Booth, tended Booth's leg after Booth escaped from the assassination, and lied at first when confronted by the military authorities. This very circumstantial evidence proves nothing. Both Booth and Dr. Mudd lived in Charles County Maryland, a very pro-Confederate area in Maryland. Lincoln only got a handful of votes in this county. It was easy for Booth and Dr. Mudd to know each other. And why would Booth go to Dr. Mudd to set his leg after the assassination if Dr. Mudd knew the details of the assassination plot? Would Booth risk having them revealed to the military authorities once these authorities found out about where he was? I do not think so.

Then there is the denial of Dr. Mudd of knowing John Booth. Yes, it was a mistake, but one only to natural for Dr. Mudd to make in the frenzied, prosecutional atmosphere after the Lincoln assassination. I would not want Mr. Allman for a police detective or profiler.

4. Mr. Allman deems the movie "Rosewood" to be a travesty. In fact the makers of the movie took a horrendous episode of racial/ethnic cleansing and turned into a very interesting story rather than a dry documentary. This well acted, well produced movie might not display pinpoint historical accuracy but demonstrates in a very effective manner the Rosewood racial cleansing.

5. Mr. Allman trashes Walt Disney for obtaining sweetheart deals in building his theme park in Orlando. In fact it is common for the lawyers of any major corporation to look for the best deal for their clients when creating a new establishment in a new area. Mr. Allman never provides a cost benefit analysis of what Disney enterprises did in Orlando. He does not discuss the enormous benefits in employment and income the Disney theme park provided Orlando. Instead he sulks in negativity.

Mr. Allman also bemoans the presumed lack of democracy when Disney incorporated two new towns encompassing his theme park. Yet I wonder if the bulk of Orlando's populace in their busy lives would want to be involved in the detailed day to day decisions of the theme park. Would it not be more likely that what was kept out of the theme park was not democratic control but the invasive trouble making and political black mail from political trouble makers.

6. Mr. Allman deplores the handling of the 2000 election that gave the electoral votes of Florida to George Bush. He claims that the prevention of ex felon voting and a few other glitches prevented an Al Gore victory. Yet he neglects that many servicemen and servicewomen were prevented from voting for Bush because of the unrealistic time allotted to file absentee ballots. He neglects the attempt to some Democratic county voting officials to continually dredge up newly qualified "votes" after the election. And he ignores the decision of the networks to call Florida for Gore before the pro Bush panhandle area polls had closed. This discouraged many pro Bush voters from voting in this area.

7. Mr. Allman revisits the old clichés about how George Bush avoided military service. In fact George Bush spent several years developing expertise on the F102 interceptor jet. He was regarded as a competent pilot. However as the Vietnam War was ending there were pilots galore. Partly because of this George Bush got an early discharge. This statement does not indicate total support for the Bush Presidential policies. But it does indicate the totally prevailing saints versus demons bias that pervades Mr. Allman's book.

In sum, Mr. Allman's book can be an interesting read, but an objective work of history suitable for high school/college class reading it is definitively not.


Law & Disorder:: The Legendary FBI Profiler's Relentless Pursuit of Justice
Law & Disorder:: The Legendary FBI Profiler's Relentless Pursuit of Justice
by John E. Douglas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.30
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, Knowlegeable, And Expert, March 3, 2013
Messrs. John Douglas and Mark Olshaker have written a very knowledgeable, honest, and well written account of the problems of American law enforcement. Mr. Douglas is one of the top criminal profilers in the world. He was one of the founders of the profiling technique and science of identifying criminals from their behavior. Mr. Douglas relates his information from years of experience and research.

In this book Mr. Douglas in major part examines the problem of wrongful criminal convictions. That this is a major problem should be apparent to all informer, rational Americans. An adequate and competent search of the Internet should reveal to any person interested numerous other wrongful convictions.

Mr. Douglas in particular examines the wrongful convictions of the Memphis Three ( Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley) for the murder of three young boys in West Memphis, Tennessee in 1993 and those of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the robbery and murder of Meredith Kircher in Perugia, Italy in 2007. In both these cases the police used faulty inferences to deem the defendants guilty before really beginning to gather evidence. From then on it was a case of tunnel vision in which the prosecutors only sought and used whatever strands of evidence they could find to justify their misconceptions. These injustices were aided and abetted by biased judges who limited the evidence the lawyers for the defense were able to provide and made irrational decisions.

All of the wrongfully charged defendants in the two cases above have been released. However there are many wrongfully convicted defendants still in prison. These include Kirstin Blaise Lobato in Nevada, Ryan Ferguson in Missouri, Ryan Holle in Florida, Jamie Snow from Bloomington Illinois, Debra Milke in Arizona, Darlene Routier in Texas, Christy Phillips from Realto, California, and Schapelle Corby in Bali, Indonesia. These cases should inspire stern and vigorous action by informed decent people.

A major problem in America is that way too often the appellate courts, even after the prosecution's case has demonstrated to be without merit due to new evidence, blithely rubber stamp the original conviction. Thus these appellate judges in a demented trance continue the tunnel vision of the original investigators. A case in point is the upholding of Ryan Ferguson's conviction in Missouri by Judge Daniel Green in spite of the recantations of the two witnesses against Mr. Ferguson and the absence of any physical evidence or motive linking Mr. Ferguson to the crime. Another problem is cowardly politicians holding the position of State Governor refuse to use their pardoning power to correct grave injustices, instead deferring to deficient judicial systems.

Yet Mr. Douglas believes in some cases the permanent death penalty is appropriate, that is when there is overwhelming evidence pointing to one defendant as the perpetrator of a gastly and vicious crime. Mr. Douglas describes such a case as that of Sedley Alley who brutally murdered Suzanne Collins in Tennessee. Mr. Douglas thoughtfully provides some suggested reforms that would help insure the death and other major penalties are only given to the truly guilty. These reforms should definitely be looked into by all responsible parties.

Again this book is a very well written page turner narrated by an author with a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and experience that should be read by all Americans.


The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People
The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People
by Jerome R. Corsi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.00
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12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, November 27, 2012
Dr. Corsi' book contains a wealth of information about the availability and production of oil. A major argument of Dr. Corsi is that oil does not derive from rotting plant life and dinosaur carcases from millions of years ago but is produced by the heat and pressure found inside the earth. He therefore supports the abiotic oil theory of Thomas Gold in his book The Deep Hot Biosphere : The Myth of Fossil Fuels. Thus the quantity of oil is not constrained by the amount of plants that rotted back in the earlier geological ages. Dr. Corsi marshalls a vast amount of information in support of the abiotic oil theory in his book.

The supporting evidence for the abiotic oil theory includes the German developed Fischer Tropsch process which is a process for producing synthetic gasoline and diesel fuel from coal. The United States government at the end of World War II obtained the documentation of this process, but the emphasis of this period became the utilization of the available below ground hydrocarbon resources. Thousands of pages of the proces remain untranslated in archives.

Dr. Corsi also provides information on the scientific experiments and other evidence confirming the abiotic oil theory. He discusses the evidence of Thomas Gold. But yet this evidence has been most often ignored. Instead the public has been bombarded with peak oil theories foretelling the exhaustion of oil supplies because the rotted early plant life is obviously finite. Yet over time these theories have turned out to be untrue. Dr. Corsi details how deep oil drilling and other innovations are producing more oil than ever.

Dr. Corsi then demonstrates the great superiority of drilling an producing hydrocarbon fuels over alternative energy wind and solar projects. He correctly rejects the global warming hoax of Al Gore and James Hansen.

Dr. Corsi writes well and clearly. He also provides extensive footnotes. However there are some valid criticisms of this work. There is no index which would be very useful in a work like this one. The work would greatly benefit from an appendix explaining much more thoroughly the Fischer Tropsch equations and process. A bibliography would also have been nice.

However, despite its deficiencies, this book is invaluable. The book is a great introduction and guide to the basics of hydrocarbon fuel production, and thus to worldwide peace and prosperity.


Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox
Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox
by Andrew Gumbel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.98
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49 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Riveting, September 20, 2012
The book by Raffaelle Sollecito is a really excellent book - very well written, informative, and truthful by a heroic young man. The book is on the notorious frame up by Mignini and his minions in the tabloid press and elsewhere of Mr. Sollecito and Amanda Knox for the murder of Ms. Meredith Kercher in Perugia Italy on November 1, 2007.

The book is two books in one. One book is about the evidence in the Meredith Kercher murder. The book describes how it is impossible for Raffaelle Sollecito and Amanda Knox to have committed the murder. Among multitudinous other evidence are the tapes of the house in which Kercher and Knox lived that demonstrate neither Mr. Sollecito nor Ms. Knox where at the house on the night of November 1, 2007. Nor could Ms. Knox have stepped outside Mr. Sollecito's apartment alone. She did not have a key to the building in which the Sollecito apartment existed and could not get back in without someone letting her in. Mr. Sollecito also refutes the lies and mendacity propounded by prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and his minions in Italy, Great Britain, and the United States. Obviously Robespierre's mob of derelicts and dregs was resuscitated by Mignini.

Then Raffaelle Sollecito tells his own story. He relates about his growing up in Italy as a son of a doctor, his schools, his interest in computer programming and manga books, his meeting with Amanda Knox, and their short and tragic love affair. He also describes the his interrogations with the police, his at first naïve, trusting attitude, and how the Perugia police very temporarily broke down both himself and Amanda into making some false statements without actually confessing to the Kercher murder. He also describes the often appalling conditions of his four year imprisonment, the six months of solitary confinement at first, his later incarceration in protected section of the Terni prison with some of the worst criminals in the prison, his job in the prison library, and his final release. It is truly a mesmerizing story. He also describes the pressure to testify against or at least sever his case from Ms. Knox and his conscientious refusal to do so.

In short the Sollecito book is a real page turner - a true story crime book by an honest writer who saw and lived it. Good luck and best wishes Amanda and Raffaelle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2012 7:38 PM PDT


SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future (Macmillan Science)
SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future (Macmillan Science)
by Richard Martin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.23
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid With Some Defects, September 13, 2012
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In a way my mind rebels against giving this book by Richard Martin a four star rating. This book has some solid strengths. It is pretty well written and understandable for the general reader. And the book does provide a good introduction to Thorium nuclear power. Neutrons from nuclear reactions can turn Thorium into the Uranium 233 isotope which can easily be used in chain nuclear reactions to produce heat for electricity generation and the desalinization of water. Mr. Martin discusses the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor and how this device can produce a steady supply of energy safely. He provides a description of this reactor and how it works. He also is very good in his presentation of the history of nuclear energy including the backgrounds and personalities of such lead developers as Hyman Rickover and Alvin Weinberg. Mr. Martin demonstrates that the uranium reactors, or reactors not using thorium, were given priority in development mainly because they could be easily used to propel nuclear submarines.

Thorium is an element that is much more prevalent on the earth's surface than uranium. I most definitely agree thorium nuclear power should be developed. And good books on thorium power should be written.

However there are some deficiencies. Mr. Martin uncritically assumes the truth of the global warming hoax. I will not go into the details of this fallacy here except to recommend Ian Wishart's book Air Con, the Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming. Then Mr. Martin also claims that uranium reactors are basically too unsafe to develop. I have to disagree. There are many designs of uranium reactors. Obviously a few designs are inherently unsafe like the water cooled graphite moderated Chernobyl reactor. But uranium reactors have worked quite well in many countries for decades. And Fukushima should not be considered a counter argument. Fukushima was devastated by a tsunami or natural disaster. And at the reactors there were only four deaths, none of which was due to nuclear radiation. Considering the radiation levels surrounding the area the Japanese government overreacted by evacuated the population. And there are now super safe uranium reactor models that have been designed.

I also believe I have read nuclear energy books with somewhat better descriptions and pictorial illustrations of the reactor operations.

I recommend this book with reservations.


Germany Under Direct Controls: Economic Aspects of Industrial Disarmament, 1945-1948
Germany Under Direct Controls: Economic Aspects of Industrial Disarmament, 1945-1948
by Nicholas Balabkins
Edition: Hardcover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, September 13, 2012
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Mr. Balabkins book, Germany Under Direct Controls, is an excellent book, discussing the post World War II German economy (1945 to 1948). On one hand it is a very good description of what happens when market mechanisms are replaced by administrative edict in directing an economy. On the other hand the book is an excellent description of Morgenthau style racism in practice.

After World War II, the western allies wanted to destroy any German ability to wage another war. Thus from 1945 to 1948 western Germany was administered according to the basic ideas of racist Henry Morgenthau. Germany was to become and agricultural state without much heavy industry. Thus U.S.-British-French administrators controlled the production and use of steel, coal, and other basics industries.

The old Deutschmark currency had been overprinted. Only rigid Nazi economic price and wage controls had kept inflation in check. In the devastated ruins of postwar Germany the currency was essentially worthless. It could only be used to buy rationed food that was often at starvation levels. Housing was also inadequate and was rationed. Thus many people lived on starvation or semi starvation food rations in crowded squalid apartments and barracks.

Adding to the economic disaster was the force inflow of millions of refugees and expellees from the east.

In war direct controls are used to bring about the buildup and rapid utilization of heavy industry and resources for the war effort. In postwar Germany direct controls were to achieve the exact opposite, industrial disarmament. The valueless currency along with industrial controls were used to achieve the destruction of industry.

However problems made themselves evident. Agriculture could not be made productive without industry. Since fertilizers from ammonia were considered war material, they were in short supply. Limitation of steel supplies hindered production of agricultural machinery. These shortages and other shortages kept agricultural productivity low. Low food rations meant low labor productivity. A valueless currency and price controls turned businesses into hoarders of finished products and industrial supplies to await the expected currency revaluation. Workers and businesses were often paid in kind or by products saleable on the black market. Thus a barter economy formed that was an inefficient throwback to a bygone era. By 1947 Germany was becoming too economically regressed to produce allowed and necessary industrial commodities and a drag on the entire economy of Europe.

Then there was the rank racism. Patents of German firms were taken without compensation. In the early occupation excess food from the military bases was destroyed rather than provided to the starving population. Such nations as Turkey and Italy wanted to exchange their food for German industrial items but were refused by the Occupation authorities. German coal, needed at home, was instead the lead export, sold at prices well below those of other coal producing nations. Germany was turned from a manufactured goods exporter to an overcrowded raw material single export (coal) exporter. Occupation authorities continued the Nazi wartime practice of compulsory labor registration for males 14 to 65 and females from 16 to 45. All such persons who did not have a job or an exemption from work (new mothers) were conscripted to labor. In particular labor was conscripted for the coal mines. Pay in Deutschmarks only enabled workers to buy allowed rations of food that were often inadequate and a few other products. This is what racism looks like.

Morgenthauism is a type of racism.

The economic controls were gradually loosened. The ignoble episode finally ended with the currency reform of June 1948.

This book should be widely read.


Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines
Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines
by Vaclav Smil
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.06
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding History Of Technology, September 13, 2012
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Mr. Vaclav Smil has written a very interesting and useful book on the prime movers of our present global economy. Mr. Smil is one of the few general public authors to actually describe the basic inventions that produced the global economy. These inventions are the Diesel engine which enabled the cheap and efficient transport of goods all over the planet and the gas turbine engine that enabled fast and safe transportation via airplane around the world.

Mr. Smil describes the background of both inventions, the leading inventors and developers, the basics of the operation of these inventions, the changes over the decades, and how each of these inventions effect and aid the global economy. He even mentions some of the financial supporters of these inventions. And Mr. Smil writes quite well. His book is understandable to the general reader and very interesting.

The Diesel engine was developed by Rudolf Diesel, a German technician, engineer, and business owner. Diesel developed his engine from 1893 to 1895. This period was almost a decade after N.A. Otto, Karl Benz and others developed the Otto or internal combustion engine. Diesel engines became bigger, more efficient, and more reliable over the decades till now there are enormous such engines on the oil tankers. The use of Diesel engines on ships and railroad engines has increase steadily over time. Diesel engines do not have the limits on size that internal combustions engines have.

Frank Whittle, an British air force pilot and engineer, developed the gas turbine engine after many trials in the late 1930s. For a time Mr. Whittle had to do without much support from the British air force establishment. In Germany at the same time aircraft designer Hans-Joachim Pabst von Ohain also built a gas turbine engine. The subsequent development of gas turbine engines became the story of the advancement of airplane technology.

This book is invaluable. It is a must read for anyone interested in history and technological development.


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