Tag Archives: Adam Hochschild
@@@@@ (5 out of 5)
A few weeks ago I read and reviewed Richard Rhodes’ Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World It Made, which was published last year. More recently, Adam Hochschild, a Berkeley resident and lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, tackled the same material in a book published this year. It’s the book that Rhodes tried and failed to write. It’s called Spain in Our Hearts. I found it to be an outstanding and deeply moving tale of an event that has received far too little attention by historians. (Amazon lists just 334 history books involving the civil war as compared with 114,985 for World War II.)
To write this important new book, Hochschild pored through the letters, diaries and newspaper dispatches written by Americans who served in the war. These men (and a few women) served as either soldiers in what came to be called the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, as doctors or nurses serving them and other soldiers of the embattled Republic, or as reporters who fed the American press with on-the-scene accounts of the fighting. … Continue reading »
If you’re old enough, think back to the 1960s, that decade of endless turmoil and revelation. Though the CIA had been established in 1947, it wasn’t until 1962 that the agency came to the attention of most Americans, as a result of its disastrous handling of the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Five years later, another CIA scandal broke: a carefully researched article in Ramparts magazine revealed that the agency had been funding the US National Student Association (NSA) for many years and turning many of its leaders into spies.
Now, nearly half a century after the Ramparts article, Karen Paget has written a blockbuster expose, “Patriotic Betrayal,” detailing the full history behind that story, stretching back to the origins of both organizations in the 1940s. “Patriotic Betrayal” is a sordid tale of deception, manipulation, and systematic lying by officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, who turned the student organization into a Cold War weapon. The book was 15 years in the making and is based on Paget’s personal experience in the NSA plus extensive archival research and more than 150 interviews with former officials of both the NSA and the CIA. … Continue reading »
NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT It seems appropriate that during after such a contested and divisive election The Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley is performing Richard III, the classic Shakespeare tale of “the lust for power gone berserk.” The king won’t let anyone stand in the way of his desire for the crown of England. Richard III, directed by Sharon Huff Robinson, is the Actor’s Ensemble’s final production for its 55th season. It runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Nov 17 at Live Oak Theater.
BOOKS OF ALL STRIPES, GALORE Every book lover in town knows that the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library’s annual book sale is a great place to pick up tomes at a discount. All books, CDs, DVDs, and records are only 50 cents apiece. This year the Friends have added new categories such as sexuality, humor, and vintage. The sale takes place on Saturday Nov. 10 on the third floor of the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge Street and runs from 10 to 4 pm. Lines can be long, so arrive early. … Continue reading »
The denizens of other cities can snicker all they like, but Berkeley historian Adam Hochschild has no problem with Berkeley’s foreign policy.
“If the citizens of Berkeley were in charge, our country would be better off,” he said when Berkeleyside reached him by phone to discuss his highly acclaimed book To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.
Alongside telling excerpts from the diary of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, and vivid descriptions of what life was like for men in the trenches, To End All Wars presents the story of a one-woman diplomatic mission to Berlin in 1916 by British citizen Emily Hobhouse. Almost in the same breath, Hochschild described Hobhouse’s trip into the heart of enemy territory during wartime as “totally foolish” and “an extraordinarily noble thing.” In Berlin, Hobhouse met with the German Foreign Minister and other high-ranking officials. While failing to bring about the peace she hoped for, she came up with an idea for a civilian prisoner exchange that the two countries subsequently put into effect. … Continue reading »
The East Bay Literary scene is heating up. Never before in the 31-year history of the Northern California Book Awards have the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, plus ten nominations for book awards, all been given to East Bay writers.
The authors who have been nominated represent a wide range of disciplines, expertise, and artistic talent. They include: Barry Eichengreen, Adam Hochschild, Andrea Lingenfelter, Mary Mackey, Edie Meidav, Sandra Gilbert, David Meltzer, Michael Pollan (Fred Cody Award Winner), Amy Reed, and Katherine Silver.
Each week, from now until the June 10 Awards Ceremony, Berkeleyside will spotlight one of these writers. … Continue reading »