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Old 27th January 2012, 22:04
edwest edwest is offline
Alter Hase
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Ethnic minorities and Foreigners in Hitler's Army [off topic]

Please note, I have not read this book and am only going by the comments posted about it.

Usual disclaimer,
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Old 1st February 2012, 03:36
edwest edwest is offline
Alter Hase
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Re: Ethnic minorities and Foreigners in Hitler's Army [off topic]

I received a Private Message claiming the author of this book is biased and has Pro-Hitler, Pro-Nazi sympathies. Unfortunately, due to the nature of self-publishing and the internet itself, it's difficult to verify such information. I thought this would be a good time to share a few of my observations with the people here.

We want the truth or as much as can be told with some references to actual documents. As a professional in the book publishing business, three things concern me.

1) Can we trust the source? If there is solid footnoting with checkable references, the odds are good. However, in this particular case, the author was accused of not using her actual name, along with being a Nazi sympathizer. Or was this message just a hatchet job to discredit well-referenced material that some might find alarming?

Major publishers in our field, and writers, have spent years, and in some cases, decades of their time to bring us what information they could. The line of trust includes:

The reputation of the publisher.
The reputation of the author.
The weight of the documents and related references.

2) I bought a book written by the wife of a now deceased member of the OSS. It was published through a vanity press and was riddled with typographical errors, and, from what she could tell, there were only a few clues as to how some OSS missions were actually carried out. Of course, one could check official records to see if her husband had actually served with the OSS. In any case, I have little to recommend about this book and am avoiding self-published efforts for the most part in some areas.

3) Anyone can say anything about any book on the internet with no accountability and full anonymity. has adopted a wise policy in the US. No matter the subject, if you have not bought a book from them then you have no opportunity to comment. And, in the past, in some subject areas, people who had clearly not read the book would write lengthy diatribes against it, often based on uninformed nonsense or pure ideological bias. In other words, no actual book review occurred, just two sides feuding over who was right and implying, without the benefit of actual, proven facts, that they were right and the other side was wrong.

I have seen a few books an amazon where what Americans call "ballot stuffing" has occurred, and this includes historical nonfiction. I purchased one of the highly praised (non-World War II related) books and found its conclusions highly dubious, if not unbelievable. A visit to the author's web site revealed a totally incredible conspiracy theory, with a few bits of factual information to make it seem a little more palatable to the uninformed.

Thank you for reading,
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Old 1st February 2012, 07:01
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Ethnic minorities and Foreigners in Hitler's Army [off topic]

This is a comment on the author’s perspective of interpretation of data, rather than her ability to research the data. I followed the link to Amazon out of curiosity. The Amazon site enables you to read a random sample of pages. The particular page that was presented involved some discussion on the relative racial merits of various Allied leaders, and their names were listed (I am typing from memory, so am not repeating the list verbatim, and any spelling mistakes are my own)...Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Ze-Dong, Kai-Shek.....
Now whereas the author’s research skills might be top-rated, an author who is setting out to write a book on cultural/racial sensitivities, but isn’t culturally aware enough to know that Mao Ze-Dong’s surname is Mao and Chiang Kai-Shek’s surname is Chiang – or for that matter is not historically aware enough to have encountered these surnames in previous reading – has to have her credentials queried.
This is just an observation. I haven’t fully read the book – nor am I likely to have time to do so in the near future, so I am not in a position to comment fully on the accuracy of contents or the author’s possible point of view.
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