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posted ago by happybillmoney ago by happybillmoney +96 / -2

Hello fellow consumers,

As always thank you to everyone that participated in the last weekly and remember you are Operation MONKE!

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NOTE: Excellent discussions everyone.


This Weeks Discussion Theme: Consume Memoir

Do not underestimate the value and entertainment of reading. Do give it a chance even if you think it’s not for you. Anyway, this will be a great weekly for the bookworms among us.

Discussion ideas:

  • What was the last memoir you read? Explain what it was about and why someone should read it.
  • Memoir recommendations.
  • Discuss or recommend non-fictional literature.

Weekly Polls:


Previous Weeklies:

Comments (49)
sorted by:
14
Mentok_The_Mindtaker 14 points ago +14 / -0

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig

It's the story of a 17-day journey that Pirsig made on a motorcycle from Minnesota to Northern California along with his son Chris.

It's a modern classic and too special in many ways to spoil. It's not a long book and it's not difficult to read but it is deep and you'll never forget it.

NEVER allow anyone to spoil the story for you. Don't research it and don't Google it and don't Wikipedia it... just experience it.

Read it and then you'll understand.

You can thank me later.

1
KarenKarenKaren 1 point ago +1 / -0

I read that book when I was really young

10
GeneralStorm 10 points ago +10 / -0

Read:

George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia. 4/5. A memoir of young antifascist Orwell, who joins the Anarchists and goes to fight in the Spanish Civil War. A great account of how he got disillusioned with the Communists. Interesting in two aspects: 1) the account of the war itself 2) the account of how Commies betray their own people.

Dalia Grinkevičiūtė - A Stolen Youth, a Stolen Homeland. 3/5. A memoir of a girl in her early 20s, who got deported to Siberia in 1941. It’s short, describes the hardships, horrors and everyday life in the camp well. Talks about feelings a lot. Might be too soft for men, but you should recommend it to your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, daughters. Might be a gateway to The Gulag Archipelago.

Juozas Daumantas - Fighters for Freedom. 3/5. A memoir of an anti-Soviet partisan. Certainly not a literary masterpiece, but rather a narration of various events and facts. Perfect for understanding the historical context and life in the Baltics in the 1940s.

Ralph Barger - Hell's Angel. 2/5. A memoir by a founding member of the Hell's Angels. Captivating and well-written, an easy read. Gets a lower rating from me, because it’s a mildly interesting normie-tier book about a bunch of degenerates. It’s decent but doesn’t provide you with any insights or knowledge. Suitable for a quick read on the beach or a plane.

Karl Marlantes - What It Is Like to Go to War. 5/5. Not so much a memoir, but rather reflections of a Vietnam war veteran about the human condition and psychology of a man in war, based on his own experience. It’s short, very introspective and gives important perspective on how to work on your own mindset. I would recommend it to every man, doesn’t matter a soldier or not.

Francis Galton - The Art of Travel. 5/5. Not a memoir, rather a travel book / survival manual from the colonial times on how to travel in Africa. Galton was a genius polymath, who traveled in Africa extensively. From a historical perspective, this will be interesting to the survivalists and outdoorsy people. Others on this board will enjoy chapters like “Management of Savages”, that provides instructions on how to deal with Africans 😊

Currently reading:

Apsley Cherry-Garrard - The Worst Journey in the World. A memoir of the youngest member of the failed Scott’s expedition to Antarctica in 1910-1913. So far, an amazing book about all the hardships and human condition in one of the worst situations imaginable. Puts your own life into perspective. Didn’t finish yet but already can recommend.

Henry David Thoreau – Walden. Less a memoir, more like a book of observations and reflections. Thoreau wrote it after living more than two years alone in the woods. He talks about simple living, self-reliance, and solitude. I thought this should be right up my alley, but, since I only started it, I don't have an opinion yet.

To read:

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - The Gulag Archipelago. Haven’t read it yet. But I live in Eastern Europe, so I pretty much know from my parents / grandparents about all the stuff he’s writing about.

Erwin Rommel – Attacks. Rommel was one of the most decorated German generals and strategists. “Attacks” is his memoir about WWI. Since Rommel was respected not only by his own people, but also his enemies, I expect this to be good.

David Goggins - Can't Hurt Me. Both a memoir and a self-help book. Should be a normie-tier book by a mixed-race American ex- Navy SEAL and an ultramarathoner. I’m interested to see what he has to say regarding health and fitness.

Eric Greitens - The Warrior's Heart. I expect this to be pretty much the same as Goggins’s book. Half a memoir, half motivational stuff.

Slawomir Rawicz - The Long Walk. A true (although disputed by some people) account by a person, who managed to escape a Siberian gulag and walked on foot through the Siberian wilderness, Gobi Desert and Himalayan mountains to freedom. I don’t know if it’s any good, but I saw the movie based on this book - The Way Back - and quite liked it.

3
BigBeef 3 points ago +3 / -0

I definitely want to check out The Worst Journey in the World, and that Long Walk sounds really good. Thanks for this recommendation King. God bless you.

3
KarenKarenKaren 3 points ago +3 / -0

The Long walk is great. He encountered a couple Yeti on his trek through the Himalayas

8
BigBeef 8 points ago +8 / -0

I would not necessarily call it a memoir but I’m just about finished with the Storm of Steel and I loved it. I figure it might be pretty well-known on this forum but if you don’t know, it is written by a German soldier during WWI. It was very interesting at every point, and contains some great recounts of events and even some pretty funny stories.

Edit: I have just finished the book. I would tell you once more that this is an excellent book. Honestly I say that the Storm of Steel is a must read for nationalists, and the plus side is that it won’t get you put on a watchlist. Just make sure you get the 1929 translation. Thank you to whichever King recommended it to me a long while ago on this forum.

2
Blursed2021 2 points ago +2 / -0

It's literally a memoir, so it belongs here.

1
BigBeef 1 point ago +1 / -0

Maybe I was off on my definition of memoir. Yeah, I’d say it probably is one.

7
RighteousFury12 7 points ago +8 / -1

Hmmm,

I know he was Zogged but I read Reagan’s memoir back in 2014 (ahhhh to be ignorant of the world again) and it was a great read. I’m looking to get into memoirs of our founding fathers and maybe even third Reich leaders if that’s even possible nowadays. I welcome suggestions

7
SmashJewishSupremacy 7 points ago +7 / -0

I’m looking to get into memoirs of our founding fathers

Ben Franklin's autobiography is pretty good.

1
drjillsusedscrunchie 1 point ago +1 / -0

Similarly, I recently acquired the memoirs of Richard Nixon and Albert Speer. I'll let you know if they're any good.

1
zzbg 1 point ago +2 / -1

Speers book is FASCINATING

5
SmashJewishSupremacy 5 points ago +6 / -1

I think David Duke's Jewish Supremacism and My Awakening are technically memoirs as they both document parts of his life and the evolution of his political and social thinking.

A less political work would be Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl (1948). He travelled across the Pacific on a raft. Which is pretty insane to think about.

5
Blursed2021 5 points ago +5 / -0

I like reading memoirs because it gives an insight of the kind of life successful people lived and how they did it. It's also telling what they left out.

The first I read as an adult was probably Honorable Men by William Colby. A William Colby today would probably work in finance and we'd never hear of him. William Colby instead helped subvert Italian communists and he created Gladio. He helped create the phoenix program in Vietnam. The dissident right needs men like William Colby and instead we get dorks running niche think tanks, people like Greg Johnson who think they'd have been a philosopher 100 years ago instead of doing whatever their great grandfather did then.

I also read most of one by the CIA guy who got burnt up in a plane crash and was nursed to health by pygmies; they played a lot of tennis in the 70s.

Military memoirs are another decent source, Tommy Franks sticks out in my mind. Self serving of course but it's interesting to see how someone from very common stock wound up planning an invasion.

We were soldiers is probably the best military memoir, although strictly speaking it isn't one. Hal Moore today would have retired at 30 as a full bird Col., the man would never have been promoted to general.

5
IraqVeteran8888 5 points ago +5 / -0

I never quite liked memoirs. Augustines confessions is probably the last one I read .

3
drjillsusedscrunchie 3 points ago +3 / -0

I'm a little surprised Mein Kampf hasn't been mentioned yet...

3
PepesCovfefe 3 points ago +3 / -0

I don’t know if it’s a memoir, but Meditations by Marcus Aerelius is a must read.

3
drjillsusedscrunchie 3 points ago +3 / -0

Excellent recommendation. I'd like to piggyback on this by recommending Plutarch's Lives. It's technically a collection of biographies, but its up there with Meditations and the Stoic's writings.

2
DrNilesCrane___ 2 points ago +2 / -0

This is a great subject. Thanks everyone who has been posting. Adding these to my library list!

2
Crockett 2 points ago +2 / -0

Hey, I think I'm the one who added this suggestion to the poll. I'm glad it got traction.

This year is the first time my eyes have been opened to memoirs. Like most of us, I've become disenfranchised with fiction. It's too fake. Fiction is always a representation of how people want people to be or imagine them to be. It's a rare and beautiful thing when fiction actually represents reality.

Memoirs aren't perfect either. You're obviously getting one side of the story. People have the means, motive, and opportunity to lie about themselves. But even learning what people say about their lives reveals a lot about them. You could make the same argument about fiction, but basically I don't care about comprehending the mindset of some author who is known for writing such and such fiction book, as much as I care about comprehending the mindset of a truly consequential figure.

If you admire someone like Julius Caesar, then how can you do better than to read his own words? You can be one degree of communication away from one of the most significant men in history. It's a true honor.

With all that said, here are some memoirs I've read so far:

Julius Caesar: Commentaries

It doesn't cover everything. It's mostly a record of the Gallic wars, and the start of the Roman civil war. Lots of military tactics and diplomacy. You get to see a lot of what can be accomplished by someone who is confident, strong, fair, and merciless. Caesar, at least in his own words, is honorable and just, but he takes no shit and pulls no punches. It's quite refreshing.

Recommended? If you like Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.

The Corsican: The Diary of Napoleon Bonaparte

Very long and unfocused, because it's really a collection of as much writing as possible. It covers from the start of his military career to his death. Some of it is journal entries, some of it is communiques to other commanders, some are letter about the administration of state, and some are addresses given to soldiers. There's a lot of controversy about Napoleon. Was he a hero or a tyrant? I have my own opinions, but being able to form those opinions from Napoleon's own words is the real privilege.

Recommended? Sort of. There's a lot of good stuff to extract, and it would be hard to distill it all from an abbreviated version, but it's not a breezy read. I enjoyed listening to it on audiobook in the car. Someday, I'd like to re-collate it by category, for more effective perusal

George Patton: War as I Knew It

The best military educational book I've read. So much of what he talks about, and the way he talks about it, comes down to learning the proper administration of war. There were many fun parallels between his wisdom and that of Napoleon when it comes to how to run an army. The actual format is a chronological memoir of campaigns and events, starting from his time in North Africa at the start of the war until the end. Unfortunately, it does not go into his experiences during reconstruction. For all you racists out there, there's also some good unfiltered commentary on the qualities of different peoples. Mostly at the beginning, regarding the africans and arabs. But his commentary on Sicilians is the most unabashedly critical. It's special just to read such an unfiltered appraisal.

Recommended? If you're at all interested in military operations. Or, excerpts if you'd like to read some raw racial judgement.

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant (In Progress)

I'm only like a quarter of the way into this one, and it is LONG. What stands out is Grant's style. He has a unique charming way of weaving just enough humor into his writing, so that it never is as dry as it might be. He is a simple, honorable man. His everyman humility and good sense of humor about himself make him easy to like. But his mind doesn't seem particularly impressive otherwise. I was interested in his take on the cause of the South in the Civil War. It was part insight and part nonsense. One trend in these memoirs of generals is to go from one campaign or battle to the the next seemingly without end. It's not surprising, since their life experiences weren't written to fit neatly into a Hollywood screenplay, but it does mean that reading books like this is more of a long haul than a ride. I mention that now because there's so much more of this one I haven't read, and there's no sign of it letting up.

Recommended? Probably not. There's value in it, but unlike Napoleon's Diary, not enough to be worth the effort to distill from the huge mass of content. But I'm still not far into it. And I do very much like his style.

Rote Kampfliger (The Red Fighter Pilot) by Manfred von Richtofen (AKA The Red baron) (In Progress)

This one is a lighter, funner read. But it is still essentially a chronological succession of war stories. It's fun, but I don't really feel like I'm extracting much insight from it so far. This one is interesting because it was used as war propaganda. It's interesting to see what that looked like, and to wonder how much of it was his true experience and view, and how much was massaged into a more nationalist message. I already don't trust modern historians to properly do that interpretation for me, because they'll all say that that all the nationalist militarism is fake (because how could a young man ever actually be proud to fight). Plus I've seen them make the claim that he recanted his militarism later, despite the fact that he died fighting in that war less than a year after the book the came out. But I digress.

Recommended? Nah. It's a collection of good war stories, but it doesn't feel very edifying. Not in the first half that I've read so far, at least.

Other ones I want to get to soon:

*My Life on the Plains, by General Custer *There's one about Genghis Kahn, written by his nephew that was there or something. I don't even know if there's a good translation *Dang, I had more that I thought I made note of to do next, but I seem to have forgotten

As you can see, I like hearing from Generals. I think I need to branch out more. The writing style of Generals is consistently a pleasure to read. They are direct and clear. But their content tends to drag on, as they trace tale after tale from

2
GeorgeFentanylFloyd 2 points ago +2 / -0

Read many biographies but never a memoir before so maybe I should find one to read

2
KasierVonGoguryeo191 2 points ago +2 / -0

I can't think of one that I've read, happy to take recommendations though

2
Dahnald2020 2 points ago +2 / -0

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. I haven't read many memoirs.

The last nonfiction book I read was Last Mission to Tokyo. It's about the Doolittle Raiders and the subsequent war crimes trial after they were captured. It is interesting if you know nothing about the Pacific theater of WWII, but if you've been educated already, I'd skip it.

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deleted 2 points ago +2 / -0
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TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

Growi g Up

Russell Baker

https://en.id1lib.org/book/1210441/2c25f2

Famous newspaper humorist tells the story of his early life, growingup in the Depression. Nicely observed and told. Not mawkish.

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

"SOG: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam"

John L. Plaster

The personal account of the author's involvement with what was "code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most secret elite U.S. military unit to serve in the Vietnam War-its very existence denied by the government. Composed entirely of volunteers from such ace fighting units as the Army Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos, and Navy SEALs, SOG took on the most dangerous covert assignments, in the deadliest and most forbidding theaters of operation."

An interesting story.

https://id1lib.org/book/3685219/525fa6?dsource=recommend

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deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0
2
DrNilesCrane___ 2 points ago +2 / -0

I read his autobiography too. I really enjoyed the early stuff about growing up in Austria, moving to the US, early days of bodybuilding, etc. I stopped reading when it got into politics and huge movie stardom

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

Confessions of a Yakuza: A Life In Japan's Underworld

https://en.id1lib.org/book/1304851/87787d

Not blood and guts. He joined the Yakuza in 1920-ish, so this provides a rare glimpse of a bygone era.

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

I am cheating here as not really a memoir, but in its as-told-to style it reads like a memoir

FourWar Boer: The Century and Life of Pieter Arnoldis Krueler

https://en.id1lib.org/book/5687309/2826b8

Krueler fought and commanded in the Boer War, WW1 in Africa, in the Spanish 1930s war and in Rhodesia. A remarkable life.

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

Paris Under The Commune

John Leighton

https://en.id1lib.org/book/11602525/344fce

The author was an Englishman who stayed in Paris throughout the Commune of 1871 and through the German occupation.

He provides a fascinating anecdotal view of what the Commune - precursor to and model for the Russian revolution - meant in terms of daily life and practical politics in the French capital.

1
YurtsForTrump 1 point ago +1 / -0

I won’t lie, I don’t remember ever reading any memoirs. Fortunately I’ve taken up reading more, currently speeding through a retarded anti-racist thriller novel for school.

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

I love memoirs. One of my favorite literary forms.

"Assignment in Utopia"

Eugene Lyons

American socialist become correspondent in Soviet Russia, 1928-1936. Eyes open.

https://en.id1lib.org/book/11557038/1e5b17

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

Controversy: Life as an Evolutionary Psychologist

Phillippe J. Rushton

https://en.id1lib.org/book/5404136/714f31

A life in science with some unpopular opinions.

1
deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0
1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

"19 With A Bullet"

Autobiography of a life growing up in Africa. Mainly experience as a paratrooper in Angola.

https://en.id1lib.org/book/3990380/1b2a35

1
TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

"Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire"

Alex Lochrie

https://id1lib.org/book/2282908/afd54f

If you like this kind of book, this is the kind of book you will like. I liked it very much.

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deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0
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TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

My Commando Operations: The Memoirs of Hitler's Most Daring Commando

Otto Skorzeny

https://en.id1lib.org/book/2543454/53347d

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deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0
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TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

"Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War"

Svetlana Alexievich

https://id1lib.org/book/2611173/c2b0c1

Cheating again. Not really a memoir. But close in its personal perspectives and focus on individual, anecdotal experiences.

Takeaway? Never join the Russian military.

"From 1979 to 1989 a million Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed 50,000 casualties―and the youth and humanity of many tens of thousands more. Creating controversy and outrage when it was first published in the USSR―it was called by reviewers there a “slanderous piece of fantasy” and part of a “hysterical chorus of malign attacks”―Zinky Boys presents the candid and affecting testimony of the officers and grunts, nurses and prostitutes, mothers, sons, and daughters who describe the war and its lasting effects."

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deleted 1 point ago +1 / -0
1
Captain_Raamsley 1 point ago +1 / -0

I read the memoir of that guy who wrote Willy Wonka as a child. Forgot his name but it was pretty based from memory. Guy was in the RAF and witnessed some nigger moments.

1
DrNilesCrane___ 1 point ago +1 / -0

Roald Dahl

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TheWestYearZero 1 point ago +1 / -0

Was an agent for the Allies. ZOG collabrator.

1
KarenKarenKaren 1 point ago +1 / -0

War as I knew it - Patton The Gallic Wars - Julius Caesar Thee Jewish War - Josephus (the sacking of Jerusalem 70AD)

0
zzbg 0 points ago +1 / -1

Adolf Galland's First and the Last

Its a good book.