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pre-1980 books -better?

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by bronk7, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....maybe it's just me being nostalgic, but I find the pre-1980 WW2 books more enjoyable and easier to read
    ....do you think there were more ''authentic'' authors back then?
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    If you think about it...Historians are "made" every year...but history unfolds just a year at a time...that leaves a lot of historians with very little to write about that hasn't already been written...so what do they do? They pick apart previous histories and try to find something that may have been glossed over for them to expand upon...or worse, try to re-write history using semi-convincing arguments, a "what-if" type mentality.
    In some cases "history is written by the victors" so in fact is biased and not completely true in terms of a full and unbiased account of what occurred (this can sometimes happen because the other side/s haven't kept the records or destroyed them.)
    So, using WW2 as an example, one could say that the old accounts are likely to be more correct than todays because the people, the records, the memories are still there and intact. However, in some cases the old accounts may be biased and politicised to the point of being inaccurate, and a "new" look and angle to the history can create "new" information or information that can be un-earthed, thus changing the view we should have on the history.

    But back to my initial point of new historians...Like say archaeoligists, they have to be employed first and maybe build a career second...if "its all been covered" is respected then they have very little to do...So in order to make a name for themselves, sell books, secure grants etc they must "re-invent" what has already been covered. These people and their information need to be treated carefully and a close inspection of their information sources needs to be conducted before any weight is given to their "new information"

    On balance, i'd say the old stuff is still the most reliable.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't check the date on a book until after I've read it.
     
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  4. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    sounds logical
    ...I remember reading V-2 1954 by Dornberger himself and To the Bitter End by Gisevious 1947 --very good..I couldn't put them down..so they are first person accounts with first person insights
    ...I agree that the ''old'' accounts might be put in a way to make the author/etc look ''not as bad'' or ''better than good''
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I get most of mine at the library and the county library doesn't have many old ones...the city library does
    ...I remember a book called something like Guys on Ice/Guys in Ice about some small unit up near the arctic...a very old book about nothing really exciting--not much action at all--but very enjoyable to read
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Ultra papers were only unlocked (pretty vaguely) in the 70s, and surviving people involved (remarkably) only started talking about it & much of the intelligence effort in the 90s. That's one massive historiographical reason to check the dates of books on certain subjects.
    There have always been some that write well & some that don't.
     
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  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    But won't we spot material that has been left out? Morison's history of the USN in WWII has no Magic, no Ultra, that I remember. That factor was taken into consideration. I don't fault an author for not including material they can't include.
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Neither do I, but it is something to consider when placing a book in the context of publication date.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I'm
    ....I'm mostly referring to the readability/style/etc of the book ..I was thinking maybe the pre-'''1980''' books were written by ''old world''/''true'' authors--like old buildings were built with style/etc compared to new buildings ....just my opinion
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    They were written in the language of the time...things change and evolve, the facts shouldn't...many old buildings were rubbish, even the existing ones need work on the electrics and plumbing, heating etc...take those rose coloured glasses off young man.
     
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  11. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I agree with Von Poop and CAC. In my life, split between academia and practice, it finally occurred to me that there were good and bad examples of everything in every era and most things were inbetween. Buildings that stand the test of time are like good writing. I know first hand a number of historians still researching and writing. A friend of mine, a woman from Arkansas teaching in Alabama and is a first-rate French Historian. She spends most summers in France in Provencial areas during original research in ancient manuscripts in Latin and French verifying and correlating information before she writes. One of her discoveries was that first-hand information from one source is often the view of one person which may not be factual or may be. Good writers do not change facts but verify them or discover new ones.

    Many correlate old as good. Old is old and it may be good or not.. Now writing and speaking styles certainly change and I think most people are more comfortable with what they grew accustomed too. I certainly am. But having spent 37 years largely around roughly 18 to 25-year olds one learned evolving language styles as well. Ultra is a fine example of new information changing our understanding. Many eye witness accounts are later proven incorrect so researchers look for collaboration. Many participants, not trying to be duplicitous at all, often subconsciously enhance their roles in events and some do it deliberately.

    Best solution I have found is to look at lots of different views and "try" to make some sense of it.
     
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  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Some of my "employers" wanted me to demolish certain books. I agreed to give them an honest review. They were uncertain as to whether or not that was what they had asked for.
     
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  13. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I see that. There is certainly a change in literary style. One I do agree is sometimes to the detriment of what's being described.
    Though some of the stylistically most dull books I've read have also been superb for content, and I can point you at some older books that are as dry as dust to struggle through. (Carver! Being a field Marshal does not automatically make a great writer. See also von Manstein.,,)

    Max Hastings is one still writing in the old school.
    His history might often be controversial (if often, I think, controversy generated by an old Newpaperman), but his writing style is superb, making even things that irritate historically still a pleasure to read.

    There's still good & bad whatever published period.
    If you enjoy first hand accounts more, that could maybe colour perceptions a tad, them getting thinner on the ground as decades turn.
     
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  14. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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  15. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...seems like I have ''trouble'' reading modern, first hand accounts vs those old books I mentioned
    maybe I'm just ''psycho''/etc
    just my opinion, so I really don't know
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I'm pretty sure I read that also ..a great subject in that this was 1942, before we had a lot of ships/supplies/wins/etc and they won with just ''barely enough''/without advanced tooling-refueling/etc
    ..that's a Bantam War Book? I used to love the pocket books ...I have read and have some Ballantine War Books....one is With Rommel In the Desert by HW Schmidt-Rommel's aide-de-camp..first published 1951..first printing 1967= what does this mean?
    mostly a generalized account of his time with Rommel..easy to read
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  20. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    the good old artwork on the covers--these 2 I remember reading in the mid 70s:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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