Backing up a Bit…

churchill

(He does look possessed!)

I’m almost finished with Pat Buchanan’s “The Unnecessary War”; it’s an in-depth commentary on the World Wars from the perspective of someone who blames Churchill and Chamberlain for both as well as the subsequent downfall of the modern west.

I’m fond of his commentary, but he makes out like Churchill was demon possessed.  Fair or not, it’s hard to see the secretary of state (and later Prime Minister) in a good light.  Every time the chance arose to preserve Europe, he worked to block it; he strove for war.  Perhaps WWII wouldn’t have taken place at all had Chamberlain and Churchill not backed Polish petulance?  But that’s neither here nor there.  Western Civilization has marched on down the road of history and there’s no stopping it.

I’ll be going back in time a bit for my next book. I think it’s time I give Tolstoy’s masterpiece “War and Peace” a chance.

I told my mom I was about to read it and she asked… “Why??”

Well, it’ll make me feel better about the quality of my liberal self-education if I do. And who knows, maybe it’ll touch me? There’s got to be some reason it’s a famous part of the Western canon. It’ll be nice to get a Russian perspective of the Napoleonic wars.

Anyone read it before?

Any suggestions about what to expect or how to slog through?

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5 Responses to Backing up a Bit…

  1. Fr. John+ says:

    There is a great edition of W&P I got on my e-Reader. “Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude with Bonus material from ‘Give W&P a Chance by Andrew D. Kaufman.’

    I would suggest that, first. It’s far less bulky (if you have an iPad/e-reader, that is) than the tome by Tolstoy. It’s cheaper, and as to reading it…. well, just like Augustine’s “City of God” it is one of those books any ‘civilized’ man MUST read. Does a White Man need any more self-justification than that?

    Blessed Christmas. Try reading some Patrick Leigh Fermor, to see Europe as it once was, as well.

  2. civil rights apostate says:

    Churchill worked after the war to keep Indians out of Britain. I think he tried to do what he thought was right.

  3. Peter Blood says:

    War and Peace is a good story, but long. There’s some interesting autobiographical stuff in there.

    Tolstoy often inserts his historical theory, which is a glorification of the Russian peasant, contra the “Great Man” theory of history as exemplified by Napoleon. He goes on and on with that, those sections you have to slog through, because they’re tiresome.

    • Fr. John+ says:

      And you have to acknowledge that the Rus, as a different ethnos (but still Adamic) see the concept of the ‘suffering slave/servant’ as an integral part of their culture. Tolstoy was not immune from that, though he was wacko in his theology.

      http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/11/30/on-tolstoy-centenary-russian-orthodox-wont-lift-excommunication/

      • Peter Blood says:

        I haven’t looked at in a long time but Paul Johnson has a chapter on Tolstoy in his “Intellectuals”. Dostoyevsky is far superior, anyway, and is justifiably a Russian national treasure.

        But it still gets tedious to hear Tolstoy’s theory in several longish sections. He’s basically inserting sermons, instead of using his story to “preach the sermon”. It’s strange because the story doesn’t match up with the sermons, War and Peace isn’t about the peasantry.

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