Monday, March 09, 2015

Our Book and Movie Recommendations

I'm in the process of re-formatting the book and movie recommendations at the left.  Specifically, I've separated them into Fiction and Non-Fiction categories. 

These are books I've read and movies I've watched as part of my 8+ year research into the topic of Communism.  They are not all.  Only the books and movies I feel compelled to recommend to like-minded comrades who don't want to waste their time.

In addition to these changes, I've added two documentaries I recently watched to the Ushanka Cinema section.

The Soyuz Conspiracy is a short documentary of the Soviet manned space program, narrated by Elliot Gould.  I have an interest in this topic after reading Starman, a great primer to the topic as well as a revealing look into how desperate things had become in the Soviet Union way back in the 1960's.  Both present the death of Gargarin's close friend, Cosmonaut Komarov, and Gagarin's depression and disillusionment with the Soviet Union.  This movie, however, presents new information.  Specifically, that Gagarin was not the first Soviet in space.  Instead, it suggests that either a) Gagarin was not the first into space, but the first to return to Earth alive, or b) Gagarin never went into space.

These alternatives suggest this could be an Oliver Stone presentation, but it never felt that way.  They do a great job at explaining the Soviet media realities - the controls over information, the timelines for stories, and the weaknesses of factual information in a closed, top-down dictatorship. 

Worse Than War, a two-hour documentary filmed by the author of the book with the same title.  I have this book but have yet to read it.  I'm not sure that I will. 

Ushanka has been an 8+ year study of communism and tyranny.  This documentary is strictly about genocide, with no connection to political ideologies.  For me, this was frustrating.  For others, it could be a non-issue.  Another frustration was that his calls for military intervention do no require a national security reason  And like all calls for military action by the global powers, it always boils down to US military action.  Again, a sole focus on genocide is admirable, but calls for remedies that do not address political and military components and challenges is just noise.

This documentary is full of excellent footage and interviews.  The author is determined to connect genocide to the decision-makers, and is on a quest to find a way to eliminate genocide from a leader's options.  The author is a liberal, and his US interviews are all with Democrats.  He is, however, objective.  And I appreciated his disagreement with Clinton's failed Secretary of State, Madeline Albright re: Rwanda.  

Surprisingly, the author's solution was very close to mine.

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