Public Sphere/Journamalism: Some Fairly Recent Must- and Should-Reads

Comment of the Day: Graydon: Post-WWII Western Europe: "Y'all have seen the pictures?...

...The Great War was localized; the continuous front happened from the North Sea to Switzerland, but it didn't move very much. Chunks of France and Belgium get devastated, but not all that much else. Hitler's War/The Great Patriotic War killed an awful lot of people, and an awful lot of them were civilians. The machinery of civilization was destroyed where the now-mechanised and mobile continuous front had passed. (It took twenty years for people to start saying things like "conflicted volume", but that time was the beginning of these things; what's the front when the air war spreads over a couple thousand kilometers?)

People starved in the aftermath simply because it was impossible for food to reach them. (There were real food shortages, but also real logistical collapse.) "Rebuilt Cathedral" might make a decent band name, but there are a lot more of them than there were. And there are yet those now living who remember. (Merkel's remark on this and the lessons of history is important.)

Europe was relatively peaceful for a hundred years after the Treaty of Vienna; the memory of the memory had to fade. And Napoleon was more or less nothing in comparison to the Great Patriotic War. Doesn't mean the memory of the memory isn't fading, or that the US' role as the counterweight wasn't dependent on the degree to which the US could avoid being capitalist, or the whole thing wasn't predicated on presumptions about the possibility of economic stability which have been destroyed...