Candide As A Book For Our Own Time:
Actually the Black Death would have been a good example why people from the late Middle Ages would NEVER visit London and perhaps for a while after that. Sanitation conditions were such that it was better NOT to visit at all. Ditto with the Great Plague, although I am not sure what it was. The same with the Great Fire. Cities were not set up for fire prevention in the old days. It was better NOT to be there. Obviously it would have been crazy to visit London during the Blitz. These are all conditions that mankind has to learn to prevent over time. You are giving ammunition to my argument. If you compare Salisbury with the Black Death, the town ought to be evacuated until such time as mankind comes to understand chemical weapons better and can control them and the conditions they cause. And right now, Gary reports, donations to Salisbury Cathedral are down 40%.
“Fear and hysteria” have nothing to do with it. It is more like being smart. It is called commonsense. You stay away from something that is obviously dangerous. You didn’t comment on what I said about the shore excursions. But Cunard is showing no common sense in having tourists visit places like Guatemala and El Salvador. The US State Department even agrees with me. They could actually be sued.
Taken to its philosophic height this sort of logic culminates in Voltaire’s character, Candide. The young man wanders around Europe witnessing this disaster and that including the Lisbon Earthquake. At the end he concludes that the sane man does not venture outside his own well-cultivated garden. It is not safe. Have you ever heard of Candide? Would you say that there were so many fears and anxieties In Candide‘s life and in Voltaire’s that you could not imagine how they coped?
I have found an intriguing version of Candide on Amazon called the Norton Critical Edition. I will be getting it myself to reacquaint myself with the work which I have not read in its entirety since I was in high school. You should read it too. Candide is after all the great optimist who was taught by his tutor named Pangloss that this is the “best of all possible worlds”. But adventure after adventure sadly proves otherwise. In the end Candide must remind Pangloss that the sum of wisdom is to stay in your own garden and cultivate that.
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Edward Ware Thrillers at War in History:
Edward Ware Thrillers at War discusses themes of British and German history. I don’t think England ever had anything like the Thirty Years War in Germany, the big bad religious war between Catholics and Protestants that according to Gary made WW1 and WW2 look like a picnic by comparison. The Thirty Years War left more people dead than the Black Death. It was the worst war in German history by far. Henry VIII was pretty bad but he wasn’t as bad as the Thirty Years War with all his monastery burning, etc. In fact England has been pretty dominant in Europe since the days of the Tudors, certainly since the days of the Glorious Revolution. And England was where the Industrial Revolution started in the 18th century. England obviously had more colonies than anybody else and a much bigger Empire, too. Even at the beginning of WW1 there were articles in American newspapers about the British Navy off the coast of North America PROTECTING US. People in the US felt safe with Great Britain there.
Then came WW1 and WW2, and we know the story. Since that takes us to the present era, we can’t say what will be the next chapter for England. But it has the strange and unusual advantage of having its language be the dominant one in the world. Also the US speaks English. Britain is allowed all sorts of special advantages in Europe because of its relationship with the US. The Germans will go only so far because of this. But in a sense I think it is the Germans, not the Russians, who are still the real opposition to the US and to England despite the fact that they have almost no armed forces.
Germany was the home of both Communism and Facism. I think East Germany was propping up the whole Soviet Union somehow. Hitler and Stalin were playing at dividing up Eastern Europe. More recently Merkel and Putin came up with some natural gas or oil or both agreement which is what Poland doesn’t like because it remembers the days of Stalin and Hitler. Putin speaks German. He feels comfortable in Germany and the Netherlands. So did Peter the Great of Russia who tried to model St. Petersburg on Amsterdam. Germany has been a big influence in Russia for a long time. Catherine the Great came from Germany and was originally Lutheran. There is something going on between Russia and Germany that has been percolating for centuries. Just remember the extreme leftist riots that greeted Trump a few weeks ago in Hamburg.
Also Germany since the mid 19th century has been expanding and trying to create an empire. My mother had a book from college called Germany Will Try It Again about a theme of modern German history. That is why I say they are the real enemy.
These are the themes that controlled the race to find the Lawrence maps, key to world domination, that are featured in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Will it be the Germans under the Kaiser or Hitler? Or will it be the British and Americans under Churchill and Roosevelt? The battle continues to the present day.
Turn the page and find out what happens next.
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