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Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: THEMES: War and Progress - SPOILERS : 'Societal gain'

[ Edited ]
I apologise. I did not mean to be impolite etc. I was just trying to explain that I wasn't just 'coming from nowhere' on this particular subject, since you had taken the trouble to go into so much detail and I had noted that you had listed your PhD in History in your Profile. I agree that being 'educated' does not necessarily mean anything, nor are academic qualifications necessarily relevant. As mine were taken some 35 years ago they are probably totally irrelevant in this day and age.

(PSE is Politics, Social Science and Economics and yes, LSE is the London School of Economics.)




Iulievich wrote:

Choisya wrote:
I am sorry you do not approve of the way that I, as an elderly Englishwoman and a lifelong student of both politics and British social history (MA in PSE at the LSE), answered the above questions posted by the Moderator. I nevertheless expressed views which are commonly held and taught over here.


I have always been taught that it is impolite, unwise, and irrelevant to cite one's academic credentials as evidence for the authority of one's statements. Impolite for obvious reasons, unwise because you risk understimating the credentials of the person to whom you cite them, and irrelevant because being "educated" does not mean that one has learned anything, only that he has been told something.

My own dissertation professor had his Ph.D. from a world-renowned university that will go nameless for now. He often told me that most of the fools he had known during his life had Ph.D.'s from that university. Perhaps it was just the company that he kept.:smileywink: I am confident that such is absolutely not the case for those who hold Master of Arts in (I am guessing) Political Science and Economics from (I am assuming) The London School of Economics. Although I must admit that one of the sloppiest professors of German history that I ever studied under had spent four years teaching at that particular LSE before coming to our institution.

As to the views "commonly held and taught:"
1. In this country "commonly held and taught" means, with distressing regularity, "dead wrong," particularly in the presence of any sort of political agenda. Not that there are not elements of truth in it. It has often been observed quite accurately that for a heresy to survive it must contain a significant element of truth. But, as an old Jewish saying would put it, "A half truth is still a whole lie."

2. I am terribly disillusioned to find the teaching of history in Great Britain to have sunk to levels similar to those "enjoyed" in this country.

I suppose that, in the end, we will indeed have to agree to disagree -- if onlly because ...
1. We have strayed too far from the subject at hand. We were discussing, I believe, a book of fiction.
2. It is really rather wearying.
Perhaps if I am back in London, we can meet and "make up" over a pint. There used to be a nice pub that served White Horse just next door (or very near) to the LSE bookstore.



Message Edited by Choisya on 01-15-2008 05:04 PM
Inspired Correspondent
Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THEMES: War and Progress



KxBurns wrote:
THEMES threads are for open discussion of themes throughout the entirety of the book. If you're worried about stumbling across spoilers, read no further!

Wars – World War I and II – act as a catalyst for change, both societal and personal, in The House at Riverton. How does war specifically impact the characters in this novel? Do you perceive a gender difference in how the war affects the lives of the characters?

Does the societal gain justify the collateral damage of war, in your opinion? Which characters do you think would agree/disagree with you?

In a greater historical context, how crucial are changing times and values to the course of this narrative?

Karen




My mother was Scottish and grew up during WW-II- her dad was at war for 6 years. When he got back, people were trying to get back to normal. The women left their jobs mostly and the men took them back. Many were damaged emotionally and/or physically and they had children they didn't know. I think overall the war may have improved women's positions in life, and their confidence in their own abilities.

But,the fact of them fighting and dying (Britain and it's allies) in itself, for people they didn't know being killed, tortured, imprisoned, shows (to me) that the changes were already coming about. The men who fought for victims, the women who went to work and ran a country, they were already "made" and strong inside from something.
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: THEMES: War and Progress



Bonnie824 wrote:


KxBurns wrote:
THEMES threads are for open discussion of themes throughout the entirety of the book. If you're worried about stumbling across spoilers, read no further!

Wars – World War I and II – act as a catalyst for change, both societal and personal, in The House at Riverton. How does war specifically impact the characters in this novel? Do you perceive a gender difference in how the war affects the lives of the characters?

Does the societal gain justify the collateral damage of war, in your opinion? Which characters do you think would agree/disagree with you?

In a greater historical context, how crucial are changing times and values to the course of this narrative?

Karen




My mother was Scottish and grew up during WW-II- her dad was at war for 6 years. When he got back, people were trying to get back to normal. The women left their jobs mostly and the men took them back. Many were damaged emotionally and/or physically and they had children they didn't know. I think overall the war may have improved women's positions in life, and their confidence in their own abilities.

But,the fact of them fighting and dying (Britain and it's allies) in itself, for people they didn't know being killed, tortured, imprisoned, shows (to me) that the changes were already coming about. The men who fought for victims, the women who went to work and ran a country, they were already "made" and strong inside from something.




I agree Bonnie; they were made of sterner stuff and I can say that all of us can be thankful that they were so gallant and they were definately as fine a generation that we have ever had and may ever see again. They really looked beyond themselves and their own interests.

Hats off to your parents and so many more like them.

Bentley
3M
Contributor
3M
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎12-13-2007
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Re: THEMES: War and Progress

In a greater historical context, how crucial are changing times and values to the course of this narrative?

They are everything! The effects of the war and the change it brought were monumental. There wouldn't have been this particular story without it.
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