Lately, I've been taking Percy on our rides too. The workers at the drive through window at McD's have begun to recognize me. No doubt they think I'm an eccentric lady with her bird and pig. Let them.
I took Hercule with me to Florida and he rode on my shoulder everywhere we walked around. I find that he is a friend magnet. No child could resist him. Many children now have photographs taken by their parents with a little green parrot on their shoulder.
I'm brushing up on Hindemith's Flute Sonata. I'll be performing it with a flutist at the University where I work. She's just joined the faculty and a pleasure to work with. Hope you enjoy it!
The Crimean War: A History by Orlando Figes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Orlando Figes' book, The Crimean War is an excellent account of a little known war. It took place in 1855-57, and it is a war that did not involve the United States for a change, since the States' impeding war between the north and the south kept that country's citizens otherwise occupied.
Russia wanted a warm water port so it decided to invade Turkey. This threatened the British and France so they came to Turkey's defense. Each country had mixed motives.
One, they did not want Russia or each other to get a bigger chunk of the middle east than they had. Napolian III (nephew of the first Napoleon) wanted a glorious war. It was his turn. England, spurred on by the prejudices of their Turkish ambassador were lashed into a feverish Russophobia, aided by the Times London paper. Sounds familiar. Has there ever been a time when the media did not try to form rather than inform the masses?
Russia did not last long in Turkey. They soon, after a massive slaughter, retreated to the Crimea. The British and French were not satisfied with that. They had not come so far for a quick war. They followed the Russians into the Crimea and for the next two years took turns trying to eliminate each other.
The death toll was horrific. Most soldiers of every side died due to illness, disease, starvation and the elements. The British officers saw no need to provide winter clothes or blankets for their soldiers. The Russian ones saw no need to feed their soldiers.
In the end, the Crimean should never have happened, but good results were produced.
For one, attention was given to the plight of the common soldier. Laws were passed to demand the humane treatment of them. Buying officer positions was abolished and the military system became based on meritocracy. Flogging was abolished. Instead of heroism focused on military leaders, greater focus centered around the bravery and courage of the fighting soldier.
For anyone interested in the religious, political, and personal motives of this little known war this is a great source of information.
Orlando Figes writes in a beautiful and fluid style that makes his book not only informative but also a literary treat.
View all my reviews