Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I have been reading two hefty volumes in tandem (apart from boring EU and Parliamentary material and variable detective stories). One is Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain, a highly informative account of the bloody aftermath of World War II in Eastern Europe and the equally bloody Soviet and Communist attempt to turn those countries into totalitarian states. The other one is Thomas Penn's Winter King, an equally informative account of how after a century of bloody civil war the first Tudor King attempted in a bloody fashion to impose the nearest to a totalitarian structure he could create given the technology of the period on England. Methinks there is a pattern here. Perhaps I should get out more.
Labels: books, communism, English history
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I sometimes think that Mr Putin's position is not unlike that of Henry vIi.ReplyDelete
He has to keep a firm hand on a shaky polity, recovering from events as shattering as The Wars of the Roses. He certainly has plenty of over-mighty barons in the form of oligarchs and has a rough way with them too, if they step out of line. If I remember my O & A levels rightly "livery and maintenance" ( the keeping of private armies of retainers) was something Henry VII put down with a heavy hand. There would be only one large armed gang in the country - his.
The heart of man doesn't change (if I dare use that generic term today) and one thing he refuses to do is learn the lessons of history, so I feel we are doomed to repeat those lessons.ReplyDelete
If you want to "know" the mind of King Henry VII you need to look closely at his mother, Margaret Beaufort. Then take a step back to Lionel, Lord Welles, her stepfather and the Hoo connections.ReplyDelete
Anne Applebaum's Between East and West was a waste of time though her journalism is good.ReplyDelete