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Thread: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

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    The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    What books allowed you to see history (especially war) through the eyes of someone not of your nation/side?

    1. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf

    2. Japanese Destroyer Captain by Tameichi Hara.

    3. Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan. The Japanese Navy's Story
    by Fuchida, Mitsuo, and Okumiya, Masatake
    Last edited by Fledermaus; 09-17-19 at 07:44 PM.
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    Shattered Sword
    Oba, The Last Samurai

    I will try to look up authors later. On phone not at home right now.

    Edit: Infantry Attacks by Rommel
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    The Battle of Kursk - Glantz and House

    Battle of the Bulge: The German View - Danny S. Parker

    Arabs at War - Kenneth M. Pollack

    The Rising Sun - John Toland

    Cross of Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German War Machine 1918-1945 - John Mosier

    Stumbling Colossus - David Glantz
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe
    by James Chambers
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    OK, home now, so further details:

    Shattered Sword by Parshall and Tully. The definitive telling of the battle of Midway. There has been lots and lots of misinformation in the past, in part due to Fuchida kinda fudging facts in his account(the book mentioned in the OP by him is still good, just not always factual). Scattered Sword breaks the battle down minute by minute, largely from the Japanese view, and is just fascinating. Plus some truly awesome photos and diagrams of the Japanese carriers.

    Oba, the Last Samurai by Jones. Oba was a Japanese officer during the battle of Saipan. Instead of making the suicide charge, he felt he served the emperor better by living and continuing to fight. He rounded up survivors, kept them hidden and active to the point a handful of people forced the US to reinforce the island. The book is written by one of the US soldiers there(he was an interpreter). He worked in post war Japan, and decided to look up Oba. Found him, became good friends, and wrote his story.

    Infantry Attacks(or just Attacks depending on what edition you have) by Rommel. One of the best war memoirs I have ever read. From being a brand new officer in WW1, riding a bike, getting lost, and in over his head to an experienced infantry officer doing everything he could to keep his men alive while accomplishing his orders. Truly brilliant.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham
    Ive always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals. - Lindsey Graham

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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jredbaron96 View Post
    The Battle of Kursk - Glantz and House

    Battle of the Bulge: The German View - Danny S. Parker

    Arabs at War - Kenneth M. Pollack

    The Rising Sun - John Toland

    Cross of Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German War Machine 1918-1945 - John Mosier

    Stumbling Colossus - David Glantz
    Everything by Glantz is worthwhile reading.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham
    Ive always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals. - Lindsey Graham

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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    Russia at War 1941 - 1945.... Alexander Worth

    The war through Russia's eyes.
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    TheFleet that had to Die. - Richard Hough

    The Russian fleet sent from the Baltic to meet the Japanese. It tells of slow and obsolete ships gathered up in a desperate attempt to save the remainder of the Pacific Fleet. The only weak spot in my eyes is the recounting of the battle at Tsu Shima... A fairly detailed description early on, but later it devolves to "not sure what happened from here, but Russians die".
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    Black Edelweiss by Johann Voss.

    The war time chronicles of a sniper in the 6th SS Division.

    I Rode With Stonewall by Henry Kyd Douglas

    The war time chronicles of a staff officer in the Stonewall Brigade.
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    Re: The best books to see history through the other guys eyes.

    Writings or speaking presentations by Chinese themselves about "Chinese Exceptionalism" are sparse and paltry to be sure. Chinese don't anyways go around globally using the term, "Chinese Exceptionalism" very much despite the fact the Chinese absolutely view their culture and civilization as exceptional to the rest of the world. That is, superior. This Chinese illusion includes of course vis a vis the USA which as we know has its own concept and practice of American Exceptionalism.

    So kindly find quotes below from a piece about the Chinese Exceptionalism that has existed in China for thousands of years. The quotes are from a piece written by Prof. Yuan-kang Wang of Western Michigan University who is expert on it. Prof. Wang writes as a guest in the Foreign Policy journal column of Steven Walt who is a professor of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.

    So because there's so little available popularly on Chinese Exceptionalism written by Chinese themselves I present quotes by a Chinese of ancestry that summary discuss what Chinese Exceptionalism is. The piece includes references to American Exceptionalism of course. There are scholarly and policy books on Chinese Exceptionalism written by Chinese that need either translation that doesn't get done -- the English language market for it is tiny -- or that have but a chapter on it.


    The myth of Chinese exceptionalism

    Steve (and others) have written about American exceptionalism. It won’t surprise you to learn that China has its own brand. Most Chinese people — be they the common man or the political, economic, and academic elite — think of historical China as a shining civilization in the center of All-under-Heaven, radiating a splendid and peace-loving culture. Because Confucianism cherishes harmony and abhors war, this version portrays a China that has not behaved aggressively nor been an expansionist power throughout its 5,000 years of glorious history. Instead, a benevolent, humane Chinese world order is juxtaposed against the malevolent, ruthless power politics in the West.

    The current government in Beijing has recruited Chinese exceptionalism into its notion of a "peaceful rise." The message is clear: China’s unique history, peaceful culture, and defensive mindset ensure a power that will rise peacefully. All nations tend to see their history as exceptional, and these beliefs usually continue a heavy dose of fiction. Here are the top three myths of contemporary Chinese exceptionalism. (See Linked Article)


    You’ve probably heard this before: China adheres to a "purely defensive" grand strategy. The Chinese built the Great Wall not to attack but to defend.

    Well, the first thing you need to remember about the Great Wall is that it has not always been there. The wall we see today was built by Ming China, and it was built only after a series of repeated Chinese attacks against the Mongols had failed. There was no wall-building in early Ming China, because at that time the country enjoyed a preponderance of power and had no need for additional defenses. At that point, the Chinese preferred to be on the offensive. Ming China built the Great Wall only after its relative power had declined.

    In essence, Confucian China did not behave much differently from other great powers in history, despite having different culture and domestic institutions. As realism suggests, the anarchic structure of the system compelled it to compete for power, overriding domestic and individual factors.

    Thus, Chinese history suggests that its foreign policy behavior is highly sensitive to its relative power. If its power continues to increase, China will try to expand its sphere of influence in East Asia. This policy will inevitably bring it into a security competition with the United States in the region and beyond. Washington is getting out of the distractions of Iraq and Afghanistan and "pivoting" toward Asia. As the Chinese saying goes, "One mountain cannot accommodate two tigers." Brace yourself. The game is on.


    The myth of Chinese exceptionalism – Foreign Policy


    Indeed, two big powers in a direct opposition of political and cultural values and that live by a nearly sacred code of Exceptionalism are not going to be able to paper that over forever. Many who keenly observe and analyze the rivalry between USA and the CCP-PRC have been referring over decades to Thucydides and his "Trap." That is, from the Peloponnesian War to the Anglo-German rivalry a rising power challenging an established power spells trouble. Serious trouble.
    Republicans + Conservatives + Libertarian Rightists = The Axis: Making America Russia and China Instead

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