Saturday, July 25, 2020

Riot Round-Up The Best Books We Read in May

Riot Round-Up The Best Books We Read in May We asked our contributors to share the best book they read this month. We’ve got fiction, nonfiction, YA, and much, much more- there are book recommendations for everyone here! Some are old, some are new, and some aren’t even out yet. Enjoy and tell us about the highlight of your reading month in the comments. Above Us Only Sky  by Michele Young-Stone History. Heartwarming. Families separated by oceans, wars, and generations. These are words that would typically make me think “Nope! Not for me!” as I much prefer my fiction placed firmly in the present, and filled with numerous psychological horrors. But this story about a girl born with wings, and the generations that came before her, mesmerized me with its mix of magical realism, storytelling, and survival. Love love love.   Steph Auteri American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis Since I work from home and have caregiving responsibilities for my family, I feel in some ways a kinship to the American housewives in Helen Ellis’ short story collection. Ellis is a gifted writer and somehow manages to unify the diverse experiences of women who stay at home. Her collection is at once hysterical as it is bittersweet. And at under 190 pages in a petite size, American Housewife is a satisfying single-sitting read. File this one away for your next readathon. Sarah S. Davis Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany I picked up the Babel-17 audiobook because I thought it was a recent release. And as I listened to it, I had no other reason to think otherwise for the first few chapters: The hero â€" poet and space captain Rydra Wong â€" is on the autism spectrum. Her friends are in polyamorous, non-binary relationships, and are very much into body modification. Coding is a part of the plot. Then I heard some dated language and looked the book up: it was published (and won the Nebula) in 1966. I don’t want to tell you any more than that for fear of spoiling you, so check it out for a space adventure set in a very cool universe (I wish this were a series so I could get more Rydra) and an excellent meditation on the power of language. A.J. O’Connell Bloodline by Claudia Gray As a huge Leia fan, I had basically been counting down the days to this one and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. Bloodline is set years prior to the events of The Force Awakens during the dissolution of the New Republic as Leia undertakes a dangerous final Senatorial mission. It’s told through the point of view of Leia, as well as her Senatorial staff, allies, and enemies. I loved getting a window into the political manoeuvrings happening in the background of all the action and friendship of the Star Wars films, and I especially loved actually getting to see Leia be the brave, savvy, compassionate, and all-around-badass political operator we know she is. And without giving too much away, I was also impressed with the extent to which Bloodline inserted women into the New Republic and the rise of the First Order. I’d recommend for even casual Star Wars fans. Maddie Rodriguez Booked by Kwame Alexander Again, Kwame Alexander delivers a stunning middle grade book in verse following his Newbery winner, The Crossover. In Booked, twelve-year-old Nick navigates girls, soccer, and a family falling apart. He finds peace in poetry, words, and the advice from a rapping school librarian who steals the show with his rhymes and his “I Like Big Books” t-shirts. No word is wasted in this gorgeous book of verse; it’s a must read for every middle grader and beyond. Karina Glaser Confessions by Kanae Minato What happens when a middle school teacher’s daughter is murdered by two of her students? What about if she chooses to get revenge upon them and let everyone in the class know that’s how she’s handling the crime? This is a horrifying (and sometimes horrifyingly funny), weird, dark, noir-y book that keeps you turning pages as you flip through the perspectives of the teacher who is mourning the death of her daughter and the two young boys accused of the murder. It’s twisty and turny and unexpected in every possible way, and the ending is totally unexpected and terribly satisfying in ways that leave you as a reader questioning your own humanity. It’s a Japanese crime read in the Iyamisu subgenre, and fans of Natsuo Kirino will love this, as should those who enjoyed The Vegetarian. Kelly Jensen Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan Holy crap, this book. It was 1) so fun, 2) such a good audiobook, 3) addictive, I could not stop listening. Even though the book was populated by a ton of unlikable characters, Kwan did an amazing job making sure that they were juuust evil enough that they didn’t actually make the book unbearable to read; the good characters, on the other hand, were people that you definitely wanted to root for. Lynn Chen’s narration was superb. Every character (and there were so many, with many different accents) had a different voice without being, you know, hokey. I stayed up late into the night with headphones on for this book. Susie Rodarme Dragonfish by Vu Tran Neo-noir is one of my favorite genres, but it’s hard to find books that really get it right and harder to find books that do something different with it. Robert is a cop who is still obsessed with his ex-wife Suzy, a secretive Vietnamese immigrant who left him years ago. His obsession sends him to Suzy’s new husband, Sonny, a Vietnamese gangster in Las Vegas and from there things go about as well as you’d expect. It’s a dark and sometimes violent book, but Tran sometimes interrupts Robert’s story to tell you Suzy’s and you realize that absolutely nothing is as it seems. Jessica Woodbury Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld Modern Jane Austen reboots are my weakness and Cincinnati (where this book is set) is my hometown. Those facts alone combine to ensure that this book would be my favorite for the month. The Bennet family is modernized into yogis, Crossfit enthusiasts, and online shopping addiction sufferers in this modern twist on Austen’s classic. Although you think you know the basic trajectory of Pride and Prejudice, this book manages to create a fresh take that still has a few surprises in store. Amanda Kay Oaks The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope Poor Lizzie Eustace! Widowed at a young age, she’s now being asked to give up the valuable diamonds that her late husband gave her to be her very ownor so she says. Lizzie’s lies and other hijinks in her effort to keep “her” diamonds while finding her next husband make this a highly entertaining and humorous read. Although Lizzie gets the most attention, the book contains a large cast of characters, and the women are especially well-written. There’s Lucy Morris, a governess who longs to marry Frank Greystock, a lawyer who is also being wooed by Lizzie. And Lucinda Roanoke, an American, becomes engaged but then realizes she can’t bear the idea of marriage and appears to go mad. This book is the third in Trollope’s Palliser series, although it can stand on its own. A few characters from previous Palliser books appear, but they remain mostly on the sidelines. Teresa Preston Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng What a freakin’ gut punch. Or, rather, a series of gut punches. The Lee family silently struggles with being mixed race, but no one talks about it. Ever. Until Lydia, the perfect daughter, is dead. What follows is an attempt to untangle the mess and history of the family’s past and present. The writing is gorgeous and the story is winding and complicated and heart-breaking and so many things all wrapped up in one. This one will stick with you for a while. Ashley Holstrom The Girls by Emma Cline (Random House, June 2016) Emma Cline’s prose has the feel of a deftly-handled chef’s knife in its attention to diction and syntax. She has total control of each sentence and it is an enviable quality. The story, told much from the perspective of a teenage girl who joins a Manson Family style cult, takes that same knife and dulls it, sullies it with onion juice and meat gristle, buries it in the dirt to rust, and unearths it years later. It becomes more beautiful that way, mesmerizing and attractive, an object to be tucked in your belt and carried around. Keep it by your side: in jealousy, in lust, in fear, in awe. It’s a pretty fucking brilliant debut, one worthy of its ravenous hype. I was entranced, to say the least. Aram Mrjoian Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn (DAW, July 2016) I LOVED this book. Asian lady superheroes are my jam, and every page of Sarah Kuhn’s novel delighted me immensely. Evie Tanaka is best friends with and the much-beleaguered personal assistant to superheroine Aveda Jupiter, who destroys demons tearing up San Francisco. Their friendship is a bit uneven, with Evie catering to Aveda’s whims and caprices, even as she deals with her own emerging superpowers. Seeing the way both women deal with those hard moments in both constructive and selfish ways was a welcome surprise, because women don’t often get to be both things and grow. Kuhn’s writing is bouncy and engaging, and Evie is very clearly spun into a captivating character. I also have to give Kuhn props for balancing romance and humour and L drama, and making me wish that Heroine Complex would go on just a little bit longer. Angel Cruz Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf, June 7th) This multi-generational novel has been getting all the positive buzz by other Book Rioters so I knew I had to pick it up myself and give it a try. The story begins with two half sisters and follows the family tree down those branches across around 100 pages through Ghana and (eventually) the United States. Each chapter follows a different member in the family line, alternating between different sides of the family. Despite the fact that you are only seeing snippets of each person’s life, Yaa Gyasi is still able to create a connection between the reader and these characters. Each chapter is filled with so much emotion and depth and tackles so many different topics. Even though so much of this book was so emotional, I didn’t want to put it down. Rincey Abraham Little Labors by Rivka Galchen This book is part memoir, part essay, part literary criticism, part sociology, part who knows what, and I loved it. Galchen writes in what feels like a newly-forming tradition of books about motherhood and parenting that don’t fit neatly into any genre, a tradition that includes Maggie Nelson, Heidi Julavits, and Sarah Manguso. It’s exciting writing, fresh, surprising, and vital. Like other books in this style, Little Labors is made up of short sections that move between personal experience and the larger world in ways that consistently illuminate what it means and has meant to be a woman and a mother. Rebecca Hussey Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders(Random House, Feb. 14, 2017) Saunders has released several story collections, and a novella, but this is officially his first novel. And what an amazing, magical thing it is! He has destroyed any notions of the novel as we know it and rebuilt it to suit his beautiful mind. Lincoln in the Bardo is a weird, mesmerizing story about the death of Willie Lincoln, his interment in a borrowed crypt, and the stories of his neighbors in the cemetery, who are perplexed that as a child, he has not already moved on to the next spiritual plane. Its an absolute work of genius! But lets be honest no one expected anything less from George Saunders. Liberty Hardy Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones The bestthe  best werewolf novel I have ever read. Its a coming-of-age story of a young boy whose family lives on the fringes of society for several reasons: theyre brown, theyre poor, oh oh and also theyre werewolves constantly on the run from the law. Come for the heartbreak, the desperation, the superglue holding this family together; stay for the tidbits about lycanthrope daily life (like why they can never, ever wear pantyhose). Amanda Nelson The Mothers by Brit Bennett (Riverhead, October 11, 2016) This book is something special: sage and sad and spectacular. Focused on a church that acts as both center and centrifuge for a black Southern California community,  The Mothers  follows a trio of young people as they make decisions about their future and live in the aftermath of those choices. The structure and plotting are genius, letting you dive deep into a particular character at some points and slide between them, in fragments and fractures, at others. The book is narrated by the church mothers, elderly women who see all (and have seen it all, as their periodic reports from their century of black womanhood make clear), a conceit that works so well it hurts. When I wrote  a recent post on books about finding your place in the world, I hadn’t read  The Mothers. If I had, it would have featured grandly among those other fantastic titles. This is a book about how the choices you make, and those made for you, shape the lovely, hopeful tragedy of your life. * Derek Attig The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Morgenstern’s book should come with a disclaimer: may lead to bookish existential crises. I’d picked it up as therapy, thinking it’d fill the Harry Potter void, but I ended up with a bucket of feels and another hole in my heart. The Night Circus is all kinds of beautiful, and combines a heart-wrenching love story with gorgeous fantasy. The story of two apprentices trained to battle each other with their magical powers, it’ll leave you dazed. I still cannot decide if I want more of the same genre, or want to swear off books completely because everything else will likely be a disappointment now (I kid, I kid; I’ve ordered more books since then) Deepali Agarwal The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette I have this thing about people describing things as “Orwellian” when, usually, they’re not. In this case, though, the description is spot on. Much like the opening chapters of 1984, you’re led to believe that you’re reading a boring story about bureaucracy. But there’s something decidedly chilling about this queue and what happens in the lives of the people who find themselves waiting there for months on end. They are counting on the Gate to open and to give them the approvals they need to continue with their normal lives. Meanwhile, people are dying. Lives are crumbling. And they are being watched. It’s a crazy ride one where you feel like you’ve jumped on in the middle and where you get pushed off before it comes to a full stop. It’s awesome. Cassandra Neace Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink, April 8, 2016) DC had 19 days of cool, gray, soul-crushing rain this May. So, instead of reading books to get me excited for summer (which will apparently never arrive) I dove into this mystery set in a Scottish bookstore. This cozy book follows a library cataloguer trying to outrun her past, the bookstore’s owner as he makes sense of his family’s history, and a young woman searching for her place in the word. It’s got everything I love: unreliable narrators, family secrets, old graveyards, rich descriptions of bookstores, and eccentrics. To solve the mystery, the group must make sense of a notes in a dead man’s books. If you’re a fan of books, bookstores, or libraries (and you are because you’re reading this site) you’ll enjoy this mystery. Ashley Bowen-Murphy Reclaim Your Brain: How to Calm Your Thoughts, Heal Your Mind, and Bring Your Life Back Under Control by Joseph A. Annibali, M.D. I sort of randomly decided to give this book a try after discovering it on the Volumes app and was a bit skeptical about it given the preponderance of mediocre medical self-help titles pouring out of the publishing gates these days. I’m really glad I gave it a chance. Annibali is a psychiatrist from northern Virginia who treats a lot of the common psychoneurological plagues of the twenty-first centuryâ€"ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, OCD, and PTSD. He’s also pioneered the use of brain SPECT imaging to observe patterns common to these conditions, such as reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex and overactivity in other parts of brain. In Reclaim Your Brain, he details the biological processes behind these conditions and outlines coping techniques and DIY therapies that patients with mild to moderate cases can benefit from with or without the oversight of a medical practitioner. I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from one of the aforementioned conditions, or has a friend or family member who does. Kate Scott The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson I picked this up in hopes that reading it would mean I could sell more of the stacks of Eva Ibbotson we have at the bookstore, and now I know why so many people rushed out to buy her books in the first place. I listened to the audiobook, and the word that I can’t avoid while thinking about this book is “charming.” The plot is not particularly surprising, but the characters are vivid and the setting (Vienna in the early 1900s) is beautifully described. I also found the humor worked really well even (especially?) as an adult reader. I’m already eying up Journey To the River Sea as a future read. Danika Ellis Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (HarperTeen, September 20) Three queen triplets born, raised apart, taught that upon their sixteenth year whoever kills the other two gets to keep the queen title. Yeah, you read that right and there’s more. SO MUCH MORE. The queens each have powers they need to master, and while it seems they’re not doing such a great job of that the people around them are making up for it by plotting and scheming. If this book were a meal it would be the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink ingredients meal and everyone would be raving about its deliciousness. There are poisoners, poison eaters, animal tamers, controllers of the elements, suitors and seducers, betrayalâ€"of course!â€"and a hell of an ending… Jamie Canaves Still Life by Louise Penny If cozy mysteries are your jam, you need to read Louise Penny. Set in a small, remote town in Quebec, this book is SO charming, despite the tragic events that drive the plot. The main characters are lovably quirky and ridiculously clever, the sort of people you immediately wish you could hang out with. Penny’s writing style is full of wisdom and humor, of the “make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn” variety. It was so smart and delightful there were times I felt like I was reading something by J.K. Rowlingâ€"in fact, Still Life is everything I’d hoped Casual Vacancy would be. Plus, props to Penny for writing a book where art actually plays a crucial and believable role in the story. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to dive into this series. Definitely a must read! Tasha Brandstatter The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Squirrel Meets World  by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Marvel/Hyperion, February 2017) This was the only ARC I was concerned about nabbing from BEA, and my focus and dedication paid. Off. Squirrel Meets World is everything you love about the Squirrel Girl comics (you do read the Squirrel Girl comics, right? RIGHT?) but in a funny, sweet YA novel. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl tackles bullying, babysitting, and all sorts of high school drama, including what it’s like to be a 14-year-old girl with a bushy tail. If you love superhero origin stories, smart girls solving problems, and the secret underworld of New York rodents, this is the book for you. Jesse Doogan Unashamed by Lecrae I didn’t know much about hip-hop artist Lecrae before I read this memoir… I knew a few of his songs, and I saw him on Jimmy Fallon last year, that’s about it. But I’d heard that he had a really interesting story, so when I spotted his book at BEA I snatched it up. I started it right away and I couldn’t put it down he DOES have a really interesting story, and he tells it with transparency and grace. I really loved it. Christy Childers Uprooted by Naomi Novik I randomly picked up this book at an indie bookstore while on vacation and it was so engrossing I barely paused to refill my wine glass while reading. I loved the fierce but flawed main character and the grouchy wizard, but what makes it a favorite is the seriously creepy sentient forest that serves as the evil force in this fairy tale fantasy. Plus, major bonus points for a complicated female friendship and just the right dose of romantic tension that doesn’t overwhelm the main plot. Molly Wetta The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel (Grove Press) The shelf-talker I promised my local indie I would write about this will need to be the size of a billboard to be able to contain all feels I have for this book. Family secrets, immigration issues, and ultimate redemption… I am here for all of it. Engel’s voice is raw and emotional, and she writes a dark family dynamic with a brutal honesty that is at once both refreshing and painful. But through it all, love remains the constant thread in Reina Castillo’s story. And that love helps her to discover who she is both within and without her broken family. Elizabeth Allen *Edited to fix a formatting glitch.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Biography of Curtis LeMay, U.S. Air Force General

Curtis LeMay (November 15, 1906NOctober 1, 1990) was a U.S. Air Force general who became famous for leading a bombing campaign in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he served as the leader of the Strategic Air Command, the U.S. military division responsible for most of the countrys nuclear weapons. LeMay later ran as George Wallaces running mate in the 1968 presidential election. Fast Facts: Curtis LeMay Known For: LeMay was an important U.S. Army Air Corps leader during World War II and led the Strategic Air Command during the early years of the Cold War.Born: November 15, 1906 in Columbus, OhioParents: Erving and Arizona LeMayDied: October 1, 1990 at March Air Force Base, CaliforniaEducation: Ohio State University (B.S. in Civil Engineering)Awards and Honors: U.S. Distinguished Service Cross, French Legion of Honour, British Distinguished Flying CrossSpouse: Helen Estelle Maitland (m. 1934–1992)Children: Patricia Jane LeMay Lodge Early Life Curtis Emerson LeMay was born on November 15, 1906, in Colombus, Ohio, to Erving and Arizona LeMay. Raised in his hometown, LeMay later attended Ohio State University, where he studied civil engineering and was a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles. In 1928, after graduating, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a flying cadet and was sent to Kelly Field, Texas, for flight training. The following year, LeMay received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the regular army in 1930. Military Career First assigned to the 27th Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Michigan, LeMay spent the next seven years in fighter assignments until he was transferred to bombers in 1937. While serving with the 2nd Bomb Group, LeMay participated in the first mass flight of B-17s to South America, which won the group the Mackay Trophy for outstanding aerial achievement. He also worked to pioneer air routes to Africa and Europe. A relentless trainer, LeMay subjected his aircrews to constant drills, believing this was the best way to save lives in the air. His approach earned him the nickname Iron Ass. World War II Following the outbreak of World War II, LeMay, then a lieutenant colonel, set about training the 305th Bombardment Group and led them as they deployed to England in October 1942 as part of the Eighth Air Force. While leading the 305th in battle, LeMay helped develop key defensive formations such as the combat box, which was used by B-17s during missions over occupied Europe. Given command of the 4th Bombardment Wing, he was promoted to brigadier general in September 1943 and oversaw the units transformation into the 3rd Bomb Division. Known for his bravery in combat, LeMay personally led several missions including the Regensburg section of the August 17, 1943 Schweinfurt-Regensburg raid. LeMay led 146 B-17s from England to their target in Germany and then onto bases in Africa. As the bombers were operating beyond the range of escorts, the formation suffered heavy casualties, with 24 aircraft lost. Due to his success in Europe, LeMay was transferred to the China-Burma-India theater in August 1944 to command the new XX Bomber Command. Based in China, the XX Bomber Command oversaw B-29 raids on Japan. After the capture of the Marianas Islands, LeMay was transferred to the XXI Bomber Command in January 1945. Operating from bases on Guam, Tinian, and Saipan, LeMays B-29s routinely struck targets in Japanese cities. After assessing the results of his early raids from China and the Marianas, LeMay found that high-altitude bombing was proving ineffective over Japan, largely due to poor weather. As Japanese air defenses precluded low- and medium-altitude daylight bombing, LeMay ordered his bombers to strike at night using incendiary bombs. Following tactics pioneered by the British over Germany, LeMays bombers began firebombing Japanese cities. As the predominant building material in Japan was wood, the incendiary weapons proved very effective, frequently creating firestorms that reduced entire neighborhoods. The raids struck 64 cities between March and August 1945 and killed around 330,000 people. Although they were brutal, LeMays tactics were endorsed by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman as a method for destroying the war industry and preventing the need to invade Japan. Berlin Airlift After the war, LeMay served in administrative positions before being assigned to command U.S. Air Forces in Europe in October 1947. The following June, LeMay organized air operations for the Berlin Airlift after the Soviets blocked all ground access to the city. With the airlift up and running, LeMay was brought back to the U.S. to head up the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Upon taking command, LeMay found SAC in poor condition and consisting of only a few undermanned B-29 groups. LeMay set about transforming SAC into the USAFs premier offensive weapon. Strategic Air Command Over the next nine years, LeMay oversaw the acquisition of a fleet of all-jet bombers and the creation of a new command and control system that allowed for an unprecedented level of readiness. When he was promoted to full general in 1951, LeMay became the youngest to attain the rank since Ulysses S. Grant. As the United States principal means of delivering nuclear weapons, SAC built numerous new airfields and developed an elaborate system of midair refueling to enable their aircraft to strike at the Soviet Union. While leading SAC, LeMay began the process of adding intercontinental ballistic missiles to SACs inventory and incorporating them as a vital element of the nations nuclear arsenal. Chief of Staff for the US Air Force After leaving SAC in 1957, LeMay was appointed Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Air Force. Four years later, he was promoted to chief of staff. In this role, LeMay made policy his belief that strategic air campaigns should take precedence over tactical strikes and ground support. As a result, the Air Force began procuring aircraft suited for this type of approach. During his tenure, LeMay repeatedly clashed with his superiors, including Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Maxwell Taylor. In the early 1960s, LeMay successfully defended the Air Forces budgets and began to utilize satellite technology. Sometimes a controversial figure, LeMay was seen as a warmonger during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when he loudly argued with President John F. Kennedy and Secretary McNamara regarding air strikes against Soviet positions on the island. LeMay opposed Kennedys naval blockade and favored invading Cuba even after the Soviets withdrew. In the years after Kennedys death, LeMay began to voice his displeasure with President Lyndon Johnsons policies in Vietnam. In the early days of the Vietnam War, LeMay had called for a widespread strategic bombing campaign directed against North Vietnams industrial plants and infrastructure. Unwilling to expand the conflict, Johnson limited American air strikes to interdictive and tactical missions, for which U.S. aircraft were poorly suited. In February 1965, after dealing with intense criticism, Johnson and McNamara forced LeMay into retirement. Later Life After moving to California, LeMay was approached to challenge incumbent Senator Thomas Kuchel in the 1968 Republican primary. He declined and elected instead to run for the vice presidency under George Wallace on the American Independent Party ticket. Though he had originally supported Richard Nixon, LeMay had become concerned that Nixon would accept nuclear parity with the Soviets and would take a conciliatory approach to Vietnam. LeMays association with Wallace was controversial, as the latter was known for his strong support of segregation. After the two were defeated at the polls, LeMay retired from public life and declined further calls to run for office. Death LeMay died on October 1, 1990, after a long retirement. He was buried at the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Legacy LeMay is best remembered as a military hero who played a major role in the modernization of the U.S. Air Force. For his service and achievements he was awarded numerous medals by the U.S. and other governments, including those of Britain, France, Belgium, and Sweden. LeMay was also inducted into the International Air Space Hall of Fame.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Brave New World Introduction - 2236 Words

BRAVE NEW WORLD Introduction This novel was written by Aldous Huxley in 1932. It is a fable about a world state in the 7th century A.F. (after Ford), where social stability is based on a scientific caste system. Human beings, graded from highest intellectuals to lowest manual workers, hatched from incubators and brought up in communal nurseries, learn by methodical conditioning to accept they social destiny. The action of the story develops round Bernard Marx, and an unorthodox and therefore unhappy alpha- plus ( something had presumably gone wrong with his antenatal treatment), who vivits a new Mexican Reservetion and brings a savage back to London. The savage is at first fascinated by the New World, but finally revolted, and†¦show more content†¦Here is the beginning of mass reproduction : men and women are standarized in uniform groups, workers of a same firm are borned from the same ovule in ordered to obtain an objective : Stability, Identity and a perfect community... An utopian society. At the very beginning Huxley give us, to the readers, a trail, through the description he does of a Center ´s room, of what we are going to imagine as a reality of a bad dream.. Brave New World is a benevolent dictatorship: static, efficient, totalitarian welfare-state. There is no war, poverty or crime. Society is stratified by genetically predestined-caste. Intellectually superior Alphas are the top-dogs. Servile, purposely, brain-damaged Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons toil away at the bottom. The lower orders are necessary in BNW because Alphas could allegedly never be happy doing menial jobs. It is not explained why doing menial work is inconsistent with a life pharmacological hedonism precoded wetware with invincible bliss. Notionolly, BNW is set in the year 632 AF (after Ford).Its biotechnology is highly advanced.Society does not have an historical basis because is banned by the controllers. 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I greatly appreciated the novel, Brave New World because of how differentRead MoreSuppression of Individuality in Huxleys Brave New World and Rands Anthem1686 Words   |  7 PagesFahrenheit 451, a Ray Bradbury book, possesses a stereotypical citizen named Guy Montag. Guy sees the world just the same as any other individual. No true happiness or emotion is ever evoked. In his society, Montag becomes aware that books and other censored items exist in the world, but their presence has no impact on him until a female character enters the story. Talking one afternoon, Montag becomes interest in this female’s opinions on society. He soon concludes that the government is repressingRead MoreBrave New World: Utopia?1430 Words   |  6 PagesII 26 April 2006 Brave New World: Utopia? When one envisions a utopian society, religion, the prevailing presence of social class segregation, and abusive drug use are not typically part of such a surreal picture. These attributes of society, which are generally the leading causes of discontent among its members, are more so the flaws an idealist would stray from in concocting such hypothesis for a more perfect world; not so for Aldous Huxley. In his novel, Brave New World, these ideals areRead MoreThematic Research Paper. In Aldous Huxley’S Novel, Brave1249 Words   |  5 PagesThematic Research Paper In Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, strict societal rules and class structures bear negative results for the World State, such as resentment, gender inequality, and rebellion. The citizens resent different classes and societies, caused by draconian societal structure. A society wholly reliant on medical technology to thrive creates gender imbalance as it erases motherhood and has a flawed familial structure. The World State ultimately becomes its own worst enemy, asRead MoreA Brave New World By Bernard Marx1682 Words   |  7 Pages A Brave New World contains numerous well-developed and complex characters, yet the most compelling one, by far, is Bernard Marx. While not likable, per say, Bernard’s characterization and development are very thought-provoking and intricate. From his introduction to the novel, Bernard stands out in the midst of the monotonous World State. Much like his namesake, Karl Marx, Bernard too finds himself at conflict with society, though the nature of his conflict shifts as the novel progresses. During

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Creative writing National Service Free Essays

I, David Vivian-Currie, had been used to the upper-class life until I was forced to join the war through National Service. I had received the dreaded letter on 29th May 1944, a week before it detailed me to leave. I was to help recapture France from the German’s. We will write a custom essay sample on Creative writing: National Service or any similar topic only for you Order Now Until I had received the letter, I felt that I had lived quite a pleasant life: I had attended Dunce Hall in North London and, at the age of thirteen, had moved onto Eton, where I became a school prefect in my final year. My father, John Vivian-Currie, was a well-established banker who had always tried to give me the best opportunities in life. After realising his success in banking, I decided to give it a try after I left Eton, and by the age of twenty-five, I had risen to the position of my father’s assistant. He had avoided National Service due to age reasons. I however, had not. Due to my schooling I entered the army as captain, so I was in a better position that most of the soldiers. However, I still knew that I had virtually no chance of surviving. Today, 5th June 1944, I was sitting in the tiny transport boat with the remainder of my platoon, preparing ourselves for the journey to France, that would decide the rest of our lives. There was not a cloud in the sky, however, it was still quite brisk, I was glad that I had decided to put an extra pair of breeches on, but it didn’t really matter, for I would probably be dead in less that twelve hours. At eleven o’clock the boat started to move, over the choppy English Channel, for some of us, this was the last time that we would ever see our homes. Overhead, it was possible to hear the jittering from the engines of the Spitfires and Lancaster’s, above us. The aim of these planes was to bombard the landing spots around the coast, destroying any gun emplacements, the success of this raid, would decide the success of this invasion. I decided to sleep for a while as tomorrow would be one of the most important days of my live. Was I to live or die! I woke at half past four by the sounds of the bombardment occurring a mere six miles away. I felt horribly ill. I wasn’t able to hold it back any more, I had to lean over the side of the transport vessel and vomit. I was so scared! There were a few other men in the boat that were suffering from the same problem as me: fear! Soon enough the boat started to smell of the putrefying stench of sick. Normally I would feel even worse at this sordid stink, but it wasn’t the time to worry about that. We were less than two miles from the French coast, about an hour before landing. I decided to make a final check of my equipment, machine gun, yes, grenades, yes, water bottle, yes, pistol, yes, helmet, yes, bandages, yes. I thought that was everything, but then I realised that I had forgotten my radio. I had a problem. How was I going to keep in contact with the commanding officer? I looked up only to see the French coast and I started thinking, â€Å"Oh shit, here we go. † I managed to compose myself, I called my platoon around me. Instead of going out of the front and being slaughtered by German machine guns, I suggested that as soon as we reached the beach we should jump out of the side of the transport vessel, into the shallow water. This way we had a better chance of survival. Approximately five minutes after I finished debriefing my platoon, the boat driver shouted â€Å"two minutes,† we were close. All of a sudden we became under heavy machine gun fire, the night bombardment obviously hadn’t been very productive. I shouted the order to get out of the boat, oh no! Due to the lack of communication I had forgotten to tell the driver that I had chosen not to go out of the front, he opened the door and, almost instantaneously, nine men were dead. I had managed to climb over the side, as had ten others. We had been in France for less than two minutes and we had already suffered heavy casualties. With the rest of my men, I moved up the beach and found some cover behind a huge rock about 40 metres from the cliffs. We were safe for the moment, but soon we would have to move on. There was an abandoned trench about seven metres away, with a concrete wall in front of it that should provide some much needed cover. I shouted the order, and we sprinted up the beach to the trench. We had made it without suffering any more casualties. Now was the time to attack. I positioned Phil Wainsley, the sniper, in position; he had a clear view of a small machine gun emplacement, which was operated by two tall, bearded men. I watched the emplacement through a periscope that one of the privates had stolen from an Italian Colonel a week previously. After seeing that both men had dropped dead, I shouted that it was safe. We rushed up the beach to find the best position to lay down some covering fire for the rest of the army running up the beach. I looked along the coastline, to see bodies everywhere. It was horrible. The sea was red from the blood of those that had lost their lives, there were people searching for friends, relatives, and in some cases, lost limbs. I turned round to find that I was on my own platoon had moved up the side of the hill. I pursued them quickly, trying to dodge the oncoming bullets. I caught up with them at the bottom of a set of stairs leading up the side of the cliff to the main gun emplacement. We waited there for a moment and then ran up the stairs to the emplacement; there we threw two grenades into the building. We waited for the smoke to settle from the explosion, and then charged in killing any survivors. The battle had been won, we had taken control both of the gun emplacements, it was now safe for the Navy to come to the beach, they had been waiting a few miles of the coast. It was essential that they came. So that we could set up a camp, reducing the chances of loosing our position. It was half past twelve before all of the equipment had been unloaded from the large warships; however, it would take two hours to set up. I was now reunited with my senior officer, my regiment, The South Alberta Regiment, and armoured car regiment. I was just sitting quietly beside my armoured jeep, not believing that I had just survived that onslaught. I was in a new world, from being a banker to a Captain in the English army, I felt like a massive juxtaposition. I suddenly heard somebody shouting my name, it was the captain in the Royal Logistics Corps, informing me that I was to report to Colonel Radley, the highest ranked officer in the camp. When I reached his tent, I was flabbergasted, it was beautiful inside: along the left hand side of the room was situated a large bed, with the woodwork made from pine. Just past the bed, there was the most beautiful mahogany table. Along the opposite side of the room, was positioned a Cedar wardrobe and chest of drawers. I must say that I was very jealous of the Colonel, even though I was a captain, I still had to share a tent with my platoon: not the most comfortable of places. After gazing around the room, I was asked into the head office of the camp, this is where all of the senior ranking officers worked. I walked through the room, which was littered with communication appliances and typewriters. A Corporal led me through the room to the Colonel’s office. Once in the office I saluted my senior, and listened to what he had to say. He was saying that due to my bravery and superb leadership of my platoon, for leading the allies over the cliffs, and securing a position. I was being awarded the Victoria Cross, and promoted to the role of Major. I started to think that the army wasn’t so bad after all. A promotion, and being awarded the best medal possible, after spending less than forty-eight hours in the army. However, I was still feeling very weird, being away from home, not knowing if I would live long enough to see it again. The Colonel then informed me that I was to take three tanks and two jeeps to try and regain control of Dieppe, a small French town a short way along the coast. After hearing this I saluted and thanked the Colonel, and briskly marched towards my regimental base. There I selected fifteen other men to assist me with this assignment. We filled the vehicles with fuel and ammo, and set off. I started to feel a little queasy again. After reaching Dieppe, I could understand why regaining control of it was so important to the Allies. It had a well-established harbour, big enough and deep enough to contain an entire fleet. The coastline was very steep, making a coastal attack virtually impossible. Dieppe was also a link between Calais and Le Havre. When we reached the town square, which looked as if it had been deserted a long time ago, we became under heavy machine gun fire from the derelict church steeple. This however, didn’t really cause a problem for the tanks. There was rubbish everywhere, from buildings that had been destroyed. There were walls missing from certain houses, and others were just non-existent, just gaps in the street where they had previously been. After sorting out the problem in the town square, we stopped to gather our bearings after checking that there was no one else around. We sat down inside a small deserted cafi, which smelt a little like rotten pot-pourri, not a smell that I want to remember. How to cite Creative writing: National Service, Papers

Monday, April 27, 2020

Sociology and Education free essay sample

Education is the process by which knowledge is imparted, skills developed and abilities trained. It is used to prepare citizens for various roles demanded by social institutions, such as family, government and economy ( Schaeffer, 2001). A society’s survival depends on the ability of its members to maintain and pass on the culture to succeeding generations (Preston Smith, ) Education is an ongoing process that takes place in all locations, such as while watching television, attending religious services or visiting places of interest. Education happens everywhere and is a lifelong process ( Arends, 1998) In agrarian societies, children were educated by imitating adults. While imitative learning and informal training fit the needs of small societies, they are ineffective for larger technological societies where there are advanced economic and culturally diversed population. Highly specialized occupations have arisen and new forms of technology have been created which demand a higher level of human judgement and knowledge ( Giddens, 1990). We will write a custom essay sample on Sociology and Education or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page As a result, skills needed in today’s society cannot be left to chance, thus the process of education has become informal and learning is now organized into a curriculum and taught for a specified number of years in institutions such as schools and colleges. Formal education is provided by teachers, lectures and professors. This essay examined and critiqued Durkheim’s functionalist perspective and the Marxian’s perspective to education. The views of a random sample of primary school teachers to Durkheim’s functionalist perspective were examined to determine the implications of their views to educational reform in Barbados. were analysed. The functionalist view was selected because their educational reform created structures, plans and curriculum that were technically advanced , rationale and promoted social unity ( Balantine Spade, ) To adequately accomplish this task, a few terms were defined. Socialization is the process by which we acquire our social characteristics and learn ways of thinking and behaving that are acceptable by society (Giddens,). A value is a belief that an idea or behaviour is good and  desirable whereas a norm determines what is acceptable or unacceptable in a given culture or situation. A society is an independent grouping of people who participate in a common culture. A culture is the way of life to the people of a society; it is also the collection of ideas and habits that they learn, share and transmit from generation to generation. The hidden curriculum refers to the principles or behaviours that are considered proper by society and taught subtly by the school(Kendal, ). Meritocracy refers to the structured inequality in which there is equal opportunity to compete for inequal rewards and power (Giddens, ). To Durkheim, education performed the following functions: enforced discipline, preserved the society, encourage value concensus, used the division of labour to maintain the status quo (Blackledge Hunte, ). There is a relationship between society and its institutions, changes in society is reflected in education (Soltis Freiberg, ). Schaeffer concurred by stating that education is an agent of change. To Durkheim, education is ‘the influence exercised by future generations on those not yet ready for social life ( Blackledge Hunte, year ,p.13 ). It is the spreading of society’s norms and values needed for group life( Haralambos, ). Durkheim emphasized cultural and social reproduction which was the maintenance of social order needed for the preservation of society. Through education students were socialized with basic norms, thoughts and similarities of their culture to ensure homogeneity ( Blackledge Hunte, ). Children were confronted with codes and practices which governed their behaviour. They learnt how to relate to teachers and fellow students and how to live in a group which assisted them in gaining skills in cooperation and collaboration ( O’ Donnell, ). They were also socialized into core values of honesty, discipline, politeness , fairplay (Schaeffer, ) and good citizenship (Preston Smith, ). This would result in students developing national patriotism ( O’Donnell, ) and thus achieving education’s political purpose. Although Parson concurred with Durkheim however he stated that the values enforced by the school were universalistic values in which students were prepared for their r ole as citizens and workers. This value judged everyone on the same merit, the values were equality of opportunity and achievement which were based on meritocratic principles. The  educational system sought to react to the economic needs of society( Maciaonis, ), This was achieved when individuals were selected according to ability to fill positions in society. To achieve cultural reproduction, education was used to develop capacities and abilities for the wider society . It was important to develop children who had physical and mental states so that they would not be lacking( Blackledge Hunte, ). Schools served an intellectual purpose in which students were aided in the development of higher order thinking skills( Balantine Spade, ) and the transmission of knowledge needed for individuals to gain their place in the hierarchy (O’Donnel, ). By preparing young people for participation in social institutions, education was seen as providing a link between society and the family( Schaeffer, ). To Durkheim, the diversity in the division of labour was important since without cooperation, life would be impossible. However by doing so, conditions were c reated for society to perpetuate itself or to continue with the status quo (Blackledge Hunte, ). Specialized subjects such as Religious Education and Science were taught to students for them to forge a link between the past and present in order to give them a sense of belonging to the social group ( Blackledge Hunte, ). To Durkheim, discipline was an essential component which acted as a link between the family and society. By being subjected to rules, children learnt that rules should be respected and obeyed. In this way they developed self discipline and realised that their desires were less important than the class, or society. Durkheim felt that punishment should be fair, however corporal punishment was demoralizing and counterproductive (Blackledge Hunte, ). To Marx, the economic base or economic system dictated the activities, values and belief systems of the superstructure and consequently, the society. The superstructure referred to the institutions such as the family patterns, political organisations, educational systems and religious beliefs. To Marx, the superstructure supported and maintained the divisions of labour between the elites and masses and this lead to exploitation and oppression(Hass, Markson Stein,1993). Best et al concur with Marx that the superstructure maintains and reflected the infrastructure which sustained the status quo. Marx saw the social order referred to by Durkheim as problematic because it was based on exploitation and conflict. To Bowles and Gintis, education could not be understood independently of society. Education was linked to society’s basic economic and social institutions where the ruling class benefitted at the expense of the subject class which contributed to massive inequality (Best, Griffith Hope, 2001) The society was perceived as capitalist which was exploitative and oppressive. Education served a reproductive purpose by reproducing the class structure and maintaining the capitalist economic system (Blackledge Hunte, 1993). Chapman concurred by stating that the minority capitalist class continued to dominate the working class (Chapman,2001) Gintis Bowles (Giddens, ) argued that the educational system reflected the organization of production in the capitalist society. Knowledge was fragmented just as work was fragmented. Students had little control over what was learnt and how it was learnt just like workers. Students needed motivation to work by being rewarded since work was intrinsically boring. For the working class, docility, obedience and rule following were emphasised . Students were socialized through the hidden curriculum into habits and practices for future positions in the labour force. GIVE EXAMPLES OF BARBADOS Marx saw the hidden curriculum being used to teach students about obedience to authority and conformity which were necessary to shape individuals into their roles in the society (Haralambos, ) Education was perceived as fair by all, and this perception caused the inequality to be legitimized. The two perspectives had several similarities and differences. Both perspectives emphasized the relationship between education and other institutions. They both saw social institutions as more important than the individual ( Chapman, 2001) Both realized that by socializing youth through education to accept norms and values lead to the survival of society (Giddens, ). Blackledge and  Hunte concurred with Giddens and O’Donnell that education had the power to mould people’s lives and minds especially through formal and informal means. However, Marxist opposed the way in which youth were socialized to society. Marxist saw education as producing conformist students whereas functionalist saw education as producing ideal students. Durkhiem failed to consider the clash in values at home and school and assumed that socialization by schools would be successful ( Chapman, 2001). Blackledge and Hunte , (1993)concurred with Chapman on this lack of transfer of values. Durkheim like Parsons failed to consider that values to be transmitted were those of the ruling class ( Haralambos, ) To Marxist, functionalist such as Durkheim took conformity for granted and assumed that societies had shared cultures which were transmitted throughout the educational system(O’Donnell, ) . To Marxist, there was no common culture(Chapman, 2001) O’Donnell concurred with Chapman that the values of the educational system were not those of the entire society but the ruling class.(O’Donnell, ) To Marxist, education functioned in the interest of the dominant groups but to functionalist education functioned in the interest of the majority of citizens (Haralambos, ). Functionalist such as Parsons and Davis and Moore saw society as meritocratic in which individuals were placed in jobs where they made an efficient contribution to the capitalist society. The most and least talented contributed to the efficient functioning of society. However Marxist disagreed, they felt education functioned to maintain, legitimize and reproduce inequalities in wealth and power(Chapman, 2001). They felt that the pursuit of equality of opportunity and equality were seen as impossible since some students would be more successful than others. Bowles and Gintis also rejected the meritocracy because they believed that class background was important in attainment (Haralambos, ). Marxist believed that the existence of private schools and the selective intake of students undermined the concept of meritocracy (Haralambos, ) Marxist saw the source of inequality of educational opportunity in socio economic background differences (O’Donnell, ) and real change as only occurring in terms of major changes in the structure of the society. To short for a paragraph Both perspectives focused on the structure of education and not on  the content of the curriculum (Giddens, ) Neither considered the interaction between the teacher and pupils in the class room (O’Donnell, ). To Blackledge and Hunte, education could not be a force for social change when it promoted inequality since it did not promote equality and social justice (Blackledge Hunte, 1993)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Manipulation in 1984 Essay Example

Manipulation in 1984 Essay Example Manipulation in 1984 Essay Manipulation in 1984 Essay Essay Topic: 1984 Language is a very powerful tool and can easily be misused to benefit the person who uses it; harming the people who are subject to its effects. How one utilizes language to spread certain imaginings or viewpoints can greatly influence the way people think. One can use language to manipulate the minds of others and bring them under some form of suppression. In the novel 1984, author George Orwell uses Oceania’s Ministry of Thought’s Newspeak to demonstrate a simple manipulation. George Orwell uses a variation of different verbal methods to stimulate the opinion and principles, making the readers to determine and generate their own feelings about the appearance that occur in the novel 1984. George Orwell’s Newspeak is a massively strong and extreme party-political language which facilitates fraud and manipulation, and its purpose is to restrict the new people’s understanding of the physical world and challenge their ability for free thought. Newspeaks limits the amount of words used, removing and blurring words like â€Å"hot† because it is the contradictory of cold, which limits the mindfulness and information of those who use it, making them more likely to comply and more likely to do what they are told. George Orwells main intention for creating Newspeak was to display how the frequent abuse of language by the government and by media could be used to betray and manipulate people, which could eventually influence and lead to a society, culture and identity in which the people automatically follow their government and carelessly accept all propaganda as reality. In 1984, language is a dominant importance to behavior control. The major intention is that if control of language were centralized in a place, then the likelihood of rebellion or disobedience would be eliminated. Dont you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there w

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Europasaurus - Facts and Figures

Europasaurus - Facts and Figures Name: Europasaurus (Greek for European lizard); pronounced your-ROPE-ah-SORE-us Habitat: Plains of western Europe Historical Period: Late Jurassic (155-150 million years ago) Size and Weight: About 10 feet long and 1,000-2,000 pounds Diet: Plants Distinguishing Characteristics: Unusually small size for a sauropod; quadrupedal posture; ridge on snout About Europasaurus Just as not all sauropods had long necks (witness the short-necked Brachytrachelopan), not all sauropods were the size of houses, either. When its numerous fossils were unearthed in Germany a few years ago, paleontologists were astonished to learn that the late Jurassic Europasaurus wasnt much bigger than a large oxonly about 10 feet long and one ton, max. This may seem large compared to a 200-pound human, but its positively stunted compared to classic sauropods like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus, which weighed in the neighborhood of 25 to 50 tons and were almost as long as a football field. Why was Europasaurus so small? We may never know for sure, but an analysis of Europasaurus bones shows that this dinosaur grew more slowly than other sauropodswhich accounts for its small size, but also means that an unusually long-lived Europasaurus might have reached a respectable height (though it would still have seemed puny standing next to a full-grown Brachiosaurus). Since its clear that Europasaurus evolved from larger sauropod ancestors, the most likely explanation of its small size was an evolutionary adaptation to the limited resources of its ecosystemperhaps a remote island cut off from the European mainland. This type of insular dwarfism has been observed not only in other dinosaurs, but also extant mammals and birds.