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The plight of the indigenous throughout it all makes the heart
want to cry out in protest. It certainly is a tragic history.
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You'll get a very clear picture of the Russian expantion to the East as well as the epiq stories of bold and daring people who made the first expeditions into this hostile and giant land. They were true heroes, although many of them became so much against their will and like so many other heroes, many of them never came back home.
This is not another story about the camps in Siberia. The camps are described and Bobrick does that very well, but the true value of this book is the time before World War 1. Further, it is very well written and you'll loose your nights sleep, once you get started!
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Thankfully, Bobrick knows how to write quite well. This is a fascinating (and highly readable) survey of stuttering in history. It should be on the shelf of everyone who works with stutterers.
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All the characters and events one would expect are here. I have two quibbles with the presentation: (1) It would have been nice to see more discussion of why the British gave up after Yorktown; and (2) (as with almost every book of this type published today) More maps are needed!
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As the struggle for an English Bible continued, the notion of challenging the Official Version of things spread from religious to governmental matters, and the push to reform the English Church led to the push to reform English government. That, in turn, led to the American push to end English control over the colonies. That insight alone makes the book well worth the price.
The variety of interests that sought to produce the definitive English translation was a varied group. There were Kings, Queens, Popes, and dozens of others that would eventually contribute to the final product. At one point The Catholic Church was so fragmented that it had no less than 3 Popes claiming St. Peter's Throne simultaneously. These same people in power either encouraged or caused the martyrdom of men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale. Henry VIII, Edward IV, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I, were just some of the memorable monarchs in the drama.
The greatest impact was the knowledge that was taken from the obscurity of languages known only be a few, who often would interpret the writings for their own agenda. No longer would The Bible be the hostage of Church Monopoly; it would finally be in the hands for which it was intended. While this event promoted the massive increase in books and printing, it also gave rise to individual interpretation that eventually leads to The Reformation. It will also bring to an end the Divine Right Of Kings, and other events of major Historical import.
Anyone who has looked at comparisons between the varieties of English Bibles can see how easily meaning can be changed, how entire concepts can be altered. The Author does a wonderful job of supplying enough examples of the issues the original translators faced without making the reading obscure. He demonstrates the importance of what text was to be used, Latin, Latin Vulgate, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. He makes clear that rarely would any two people make identical translations whether due to style or personal agenda. It forces readers to ponder just what would be read if the ancient texts were read as intended. Instead we read a book that has been revised and edited extensively.
One portion that I greatly enjoyed were the familiar passages that the Author highlighted as some of the great English Prose that has been written. Like Shakespeare's words they remain so familiar to the ear though written in the 14th Century.
This is a remarkable work that virtually anyone can enjoy.
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