Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Holiday Reading

Richard J. Evans, Telling Lies About Hitler

Evans' account of his involvement as an expert witness in the High Court case which followed when David Irving sued for libel having been called an anti-Semite, a holocaust denier and a falsifier of history.

Somewhat technical in places. I skipped part of the chapter on the allied bombing of Germany.

Could be seen as a practical application of Evans' defence of objectivity in history.

Shows how Irving could take in the general reader and to some extent many professional historians who would sometimes claim, for example, that for all his faults he was unrivalled in his use of German manuscript sources. Unfortunately, Irving's editing and translation were often grossly biased so that his claims could never be trusted without referring back to the original source, which obviously virtually no one will do.

Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Highly readable, interesting, entertaining. A glimpse into a somewhat vanished time of class privilege, supposed honour and booze. Amazing that Philby could fool so many for so long and could even make something of a come-back after his treachery had been guessed at.

Le Carre's afterward evokes a particular voice captivatingly.

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