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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lookin For A Leader

I am quite fascinated with Neil Young's new album. Analogue to the folk singers of the 20s, 30s or 40s he has published songs that really only are relevant for a very short amount of time. During this one for example he is searching for new leader in 2008, 'it might be a woman or even a black man'. References to the mistakes of Colin Powell which he might be able to correct or Barrack Obama's chances make one wonder if people in 10 years only will actually still understand what this is all about. Songs as something akin to a newspaper columnist. Fascinating and appealing I believe.

Neil Young - Lookin For A Leader

I am really busy right now as my exams are approaching and I am continuously looking for a place to stay in Paris, so posts are quite infrequent right now. Sorry about that.

The most recent book I have managed to finish was Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. It is a detailed account of Gettysburg to many the turning point in the War of the Secession. Shaara writes out of the point of view of varying commanders including Lee, Longstreet, Buford and Chamberlain. While the book is plainly fictional, Shaara claims - and fulfills that promise - to give an accurate portray of that momentous battle and its commanders. Supposedly his characterization relies to a large extent on letters written by these historical figures. He does make a good job of keeping himself out of the picture and keeping his description fact-based. All in all the book definitely is recommendable, especially - or maybe under the condition that - you are interested in the Civil War and its protagonists.

Interesting is especially the glorification of Robert E. Lee which persists until this day and completely ignores tactical blunders committed by him during this battle between the Army of the Potomac and the Northern Virginian Army. What also is extremely fascinating is the role these people played before or after the war though. One cavalry general, J.E.B. Stuart, becoming one of the creators of the myth of the 'Lost Southern Cause', others like Longstreet, the second in command behind Lee, switching sides and working under Ulysseus Grant. I definitely am a little too interested in history (especially American history actually) sometimes, still, definitely a worthy book.

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