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Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing

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Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield.It might seem weird to recommend a book of fiction on this list, but smarter people than I — and many actual soldiers — have all raved about the accuracy and poignancy of this book. It is perhaps the clearest and best book written on the 300 Spartans who fought the Persians (and sacrificed themselves) at Thermopylae. A good mix of the specific timeline of digital publishing histories as well as interesting tidbits about the history of printing, orality and overall written communication What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes.Read this book if you’re ready to have myths of war destroyed for you. A Yale and Oxford grad is dropped into Vietnam. There he is awarded two Purple Hearts and multiple other medals for bravery and leadership. In this book, you can actually watch as he struggles with the very human impulses to rationalize, glamorize, and justify what he was forced to do in those jungles. Yet he doesn’t — he is honest and introspective and gives us one of the most unique documents of combat and the mind of war ever written. (The essay Why Men Love War— also about Vietnam — is worth reading for similar reasons.)

This is a post about the canon of books about war. Each book is about a different civilization, a different set of tactics, a different cause. But timeless themes always emerge. The lessons are always there. They do not — despite what the History Channel and school teachers try to make you think — pertain to flanking movements, or dates, or locations. I don’t really know those things. What’s the point? What matters is what we can take from them and apply to our own lives and society. BookWars veers stylistically from straight or journalistic documentaries through its use of creative devices. Slow motion is often employed, the narration is non-standard, the movie follows a distinct narrative structure, and dream sequences are utilized. Often, the subjects of the documentary take over as camera operators and record themselves and their surroundings at will.

I am not a soldier. I have no plans to become one. But I’ve studied war for a long time. I am not alone in this. Insightful and interesting and definitely researched well. Makes me think, I should ditch my kindles but I love ARC of books from Netgalley. But I also love reading an actual book and using a book mark, plus I don't have to worry about my battery dying. Ebooks have definitely changed the world of print and the publishing world in general.

A bit repetitive; this is sort of necessary within research and I realize that but there was over-summarization that I think could have been filtered out of the book version and perhaps left for an academic paper or unabridged version for those who want the full deep dive War is unquestionably mankind at his worst. Yet, paradoxically, it is in war that men — individual men — often show the very best of themselves. War is often the result of greed, stupidity, or depravity. But in it, men are often brave, loyal, and selfless. Greek Tragedy by Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles.There is no better reminder of the horrors of war than the work of these playwrights. From Euripides’ Trojan Women, which shows what happened to the innocent citizens of Troy after the Greeks pierced the city gates with their Trojan Horse, to Aeschylus’ Seven at Thebes (the battle between the sons of Oedipus, which reads like a video game), and The Persians, which tells of the massive defeat at Marathon and Salamis from the perspective of Xerxes, these are stunning works of art. People also forget that Aeschylus, known to us mostly as a great writer, actually thought of himself as a soldier. In fact, his epitaph makes no mention of his plays — which are now considered some of the best ever written — and instead highlight his bravery in battle against the Persians.

While ebooks were at the heart of many of these conflicts, Thompson argues that the most fundamental consequences lie elsewhere. The print-on-paper book has proven to be a remarkably resilient cultural form, but the digital revolution has transformed the industry in other ways, spawning new players which now wield unprecedented power and giving rise to an array of new publishing forms. Most important of all, it has transformed the broader information and communication environment, creating new challenges and new opportunities for publishers as they seek to redefine their role in the digital age.

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