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Posted: 10/4/2016 12:58:49 AM EDT
I like to read, and I have a BA in History.  When I check out books from the library, I am always looking for something that will increase my knowledge of prepper related subjects.  Often, only one or two chapters in a l-o-n-g book will have needed data.  It has occurred to me that listing these books with hidden gems of information might be helpful to another reader, so I will start to list these books here.  Hopefully, someone here will get something out of this.  More books will be added to this list as I have time.

*************

What to do When then Russians Come:  A Survivors Guide by Robert Conquest and Jon Manchip White

Copyright 1984, ISBN 0-8128-2985-9, 177 pages, hardbound, a library book.

A how-to manual for just what the topic says, prepping for a successful Soviet invasion.  Topics include "Immediate Dangers: Prison and Labor Camp", "Escape Abroad" and "The Quality of Life".

I was struck by how much of this book is still relevant, given that the Soviet Union no longer exists.  Stockpiling food, medicines, warm clothing and keeping a "grey man" profile are all discussed in detail.  Any book that recommends that Maoists, Trotskyites, and US military veterans all flee the USA or the Soviets will liquidate them provides a unique perspective.  

Conquest is also the author of The Harvest of Sorrow and The Great Terror, so he is very clear on the damage such a scenario would do to the average American.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 1:21:24 AM EDT
[#1]
The Day After World War III by Edward Zuckerman

Copyright 1984, ISBN 0-6702-5880-6, hardbound, 407 pages.

The USA had, and probably still has, a secret plan for the civilian population for after a nuclear exchange.  This plan is known as Federal Emergency Plan "D" and is very long and intricate.  This book lays out the parts of the plan that Zuckerman could find out about in the early Reagan era.  Some of this information might be obsolete by now, but it represents a clear plan for what may happen if the Worst Case Scenario comes about.

Federal Emergency Plan "D" has many provisions.  Some of these provisions are the "temporary" imposition of a 30% sales tax on all transactions nationwide (since various IRS centers may be destroyed, this would allow the federal government to stay in business), feeding displaced persons at fast food restaurants with vouchers, and the use of cash money printed in other colors (since the US Mint might also have been destroyed and the cash would be needed, it has already been printed up in other colors so no one could steal it before the war).  There are also plans to conscript all mortuary workers nationwide to meet the projected big demand caused by mass casualty events.

Nuclear war is now considered unlikely by many observers, so this book should be easy to find in a used book store.  Note that "unlikely" does not mean zero chance.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 8:06:03 AM EDT
[#2]
This will totally ruin the masturbatory fantasies that take place on survival boards


Thank you, I appreciate it!
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 9:18:09 AM EDT
[#3]
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales has a lot of useful information in it. Subject matter is the psychology that gets people into situations that go bad. (Mostly information about climbing but other types of accidents.)



His other books look useful. I have only read the one, but have read it several times and gotten more use out of it each time.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 9:52:24 AM EDT
[#4]
My degree is in Political Science, Criminal Justice and Sociology. I kinda did the Chucky Cheese approach and dumped all my credits out to see what I could get, lol. History has always been my passion and I also like to read non-fiction prepper stuff.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 2:21:35 PM EDT
[#5]
A 30% tax on all transactions?

They think this will raise cash? Where does the plan authors expect people to get money to buy things or pay tax?

It isn't like people would still be driving to work. How the hell would fast food places feed people if they have nothing to cook, all those places require electricity to operate.

Sound like a plan for wishful thinking.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 9:01:25 PM EDT
[#6]
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman

Copyright 1978, ISBN 0-3453-4957-1, 784 pages, paperback, bought at a used book store

This book is a history of 14th Century France, a biography of Enguerrand de Coucy VII, the Sire of Coucy and the last of the Enguerrands.  For preppers, it is important as a history of social disintegration resulting from what was known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality, and was later called the Black Death when it returned over and over again.  The chapter that is directly on the plague years of 1347-1352 is probably the best written historical description of the death of between one-third and one-half of the European population.  The social consequences included wages rising due to a massive labor shortage, the Peasant's Revolt of 1381 (due to the elite's attempts to freeze wages and prices at their pre-plague levels), and a general rejection of the Catholic religious dogma that was clearly not saving any lives.

Tuchman said she wrote this book due to the possible similarities between the effects of the Black Death and the social effects of a nuclear war.

This book won the 1980 National Book Award in History, so you should be able to find it in your local library.

Link Posted: 10/4/2016 9:11:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#7]
Under the Bombs: The German Home Front 1942-1945 by Earl R. Beck

Copyright 1986, ISBN 0-8131-1567-1, hardbound, 252 pages

What life was like for civilians in Germany after the war turned bad. Rationing, escaped prisoners, shortages, Nazis watching for "traitors", rounding up Jews, being bombed--and then, after all that, losing the war. Another library book.

Living during a war, with bad food and an all but adversarial and dictatorial government--necessary reading to prepare for the Worst Case Scenario.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 9:32:34 PM EDT
[#8]
The Path To Power - The Years Of Lyndon Johnson, Volume I, by Robert A. Caro

Copyright 1982, ISBN 0-6797-2945-3, hardcover, 960 pages with an extensive bibliography

Why would a biography of LBJ warrant reading by a prepper?  Because of the chapter titled "The Sad Irons", which is the story of how rural people lived in the Hill Country of Texas (near Austin) without electricity.  Electrical power was not available to most rural homes or businesses before the Roosevelt Administration decided to start the Rural Electrification Administration during the Great Depression.  REA subsidized the laying of power lines to homes in the late 1930s with tax dollars, homes that would have never been able to afford to have their local power company provide this service.  This lifestyle involved carrying water from the nearest stream in buckets, cooking and cleaning and bathing without running water, and what the arrival of "the lights" meant for the common man and woman .  "The Sad Irons" of the chapter title refers to the need to iron all of the laundry with an iron heated on a wood burning stove, which tended to overheat the entire house and made this weekly chore almost unbearable.  Recommended for everyone that believes living without electricity for more than a few days will be easy.  

It meant so much to the Hill Country people that, when they finally got "the lights" they started naming their sons Lyndon.

My take from this chapter is that, without government money it would be almost impossible to have rural electrification.  If in the future there is some sort of financial catastrophe involving the federal government and this money should no longer be available, those lights would start slowly going out and would not be replaced without a major local effort that might not be possible.

If you want to read about how LBJ got his nickname "Landslide Lyndon" by stealing the Senate election of 1948 (and exactly how he did it), try Volume II, Means of Ascent.

This book has also won many awards and should be available in most libraries.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 10:07:54 PM EDT
[#9]
My undergrad is in History-Politics. One of the books I read for my German history survey course was The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town 1922 - 1945, by William Sheridan Allen.




William Sheridan Allen's research provides an intimate, comprehensive study of the mechanics of revolution and an analysis of the Nazi Party's subversion of democracy. Beginning at the end of the Weimar Republic, Allen examines the entire period of the Nazi Revolution within a single locality.




Tackling one of the 20th century's greatest dilemmas, Allen demonstrates how this dictatorship subtly surmounted democracy and how the Nazi seizure of power encroached from below. Relying upon legal records and interviews with primary sources, Allen dissects Northeim, Germany with microscopic precision to depict the transformation of a sleepy town to a Nazi stronghold. In this cogent analysis, Allen argues that Hitler rose to power primarily through democratic tactics that incited localized support rather than through violent means.




Allen's detailed, analysis has indisputably become a classic. Revised on the basis of newly discovered Nazi documents, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town, 1922-1945 continues to significantly contribute to the understanding of this prominent political and moral dispute of the 1900s.




I highly recommend this book, not just to better understand what happened in Germany, but because it is relevant to today.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 10:30:03 PM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dave_Markowitz:
My undergrad is in History-Politics. One of the books I read for my German history survey course was The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town 1922 - 1945, by William Sheridan Allen.

William Sheridan Allen's research provides an intimate, comprehensive study of the mechanics of revolution and an analysis of the Nazi Party's subversion of democracy. Beginning at the end of the Weimar Republic, Allen examines the entire period of the Nazi Revolution within a single locality.


Tackling one of the 20th century's greatest dilemmas, Allen demonstrates how this dictatorship subtly surmounted democracy and how the Nazi seizure of power encroached from below. Relying upon legal records and interviews with primary sources, Allen dissects Northeim, Germany with microscopic precision to depict the transformation of a sleepy town to a Nazi stronghold. In this cogent analysis, Allen argues that Hitler rose to power primarily through democratic tactics that incited localized support rather than through violent means.


Allen's detailed, analysis has indisputably become a classic. Revised on the basis of newly discovered Nazi documents, The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town, 1922-1945 continues to significantly contribute to the understanding of this prominent political and moral dispute of the 1900s.



I highly recommend this book, not just to better understand what happened in Germany, but because it is relevant to today.
View Quote


Looks interesting, thank you, I have ordered this from my local library.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 10:46:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#11]
From the Ruins of the Reich by Douglas Botting

Copyright 1985, ISBN 0-5175-5865-3, hardcover, 341 pages, another library book

What happens after your side loses a war?  Germany found out the hard way, and this book explores the situation that existed there between 1945 and 1949 in the Western Zones of Occupation.  A lack of most law and order, shortages of food and fuel, the hunt for war criminals, the exclusion of former Nazi Party members from the post-war administration and what effects that had on rebuilding, and how the average person lived through a traumatic period.

Chapter 10, titled "Vice", may be of interest here. The first part of the chapter is about the black market and how many items that would normally be very expensive were for sale at extremely cheap prices compared to their former value.  American and British soldiers took full advantage of the situation.  The second half of the chapter is about how German women were just another item available on the black market and were also very cheap and desperate, as in available for sex for a sandwich....literally.  Again, American and British soldiers took full advantage of the situation.  So many men on this forum have posted about having a "soccer mom harem", maybe some of you should read this chapter to see what it would be like in reality.  Some of the stories related here show the absolute poverty West Germany pulled themselves through to rebuild their nation.
Link Posted: 10/4/2016 11:33:59 PM EDT
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RR_Broccoli:
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
View Quote


Came here to lost that one. First thing I thought of, need to run through the Kindle once I get home. I know I've got a couple other NF ones I like.  

Deep Survival isn't a technical book 'how to' book rather it's a book that examines mindset and decision chains (think tolerance stack) that either leads to good or bad outcomes.
Link Posted: 10/5/2016 6:21:50 AM EDT
[#13]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mach:


A 30% tax on all transactions?



They think this will raise cash? Where does the plan authors expect people to get money to buy things or pay tax?



It isn't like people would still be driving to work. How the hell would fast food places feed people if they have nothing to cook, all those places require electricity to operate.



Sound like a plan for wishful thinking.
View Quote
Would simply create an underground economy, and net them zilch.



 
Link Posted: 10/5/2016 9:38:59 AM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dr_Dickie:
Would simply create an underground economy, and net them zilch.
 
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dr_Dickie:
Originally Posted By Mach:
A 30% tax on all transactions?

They think this will raise cash? Where does the plan authors expect people to get money to buy things or pay tax?

It isn't like people would still be driving to work. How the hell would fast food places feed people if they have nothing to cook, all those places require electricity to operate.

Sound like a plan for wishful thinking.
Would simply create an underground economy, and net them zilch.
 


That was my thinking.

But I didn't realize this thread was about survival books, not really about discussing what is in them.
Link Posted: 10/5/2016 2:51:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: AmericanPatriot1776] [#15]
I have posted these before:

DROUGHTS AND DREAMS

October 1929 marked the beginning of a 10-year slide into an economic abyss America nearly didn’t recover from. Years-long drought coupled with relentless dust storms wreaked havoc on the Great Plains region and forced the American people to dig deep within in order to persevere and survive. Droughts & Dreams contains intimate family stories from that generation. Many are first-hand accounts of people who not only survived, but who also did it well. Tucked inside these pages, you’ll find timeless survival lessons, tips and even favorite from-scratch recipes. The memoirs in this book are not dreary recollections of the disgruntled. Rather, they are honest tales of families rediscovering how to live simply, be self-reliant and appreciate what they had. Perhaps 80-year old Jack Bolkovak stated it best when he said, “The Depression was a tough time. But it was a great beginning to life. It taught us that life is not easy and to appreciate all that we have. We had food, clothing, shelter and a loving family. That was all we needed.” “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”-Edmund Burke

THE WORST HARD TIME

The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived—those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave—Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.

WE HAD EVERYTHING BUY MONEY

Personal accounts and anecdotes offer insight into life during the Great Depression, describing such events as the closing of the banks, looking for a job, braving the ""Dust Bowl,"" and discovering homemade fun. (MORE OF A PICTURE BOOK)


EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SURVIVAL GUIDE

Want to learn how to take care of yourself and your family in an emergency? If so, you'll want this 296-page anthology of articles that address the various aspects of preparedness and survival. The articles have been gleaned from previous issues of Backwoods Home Magazine, but have been edited, sometimes extensively, to bring them up to date. Most are not contained in any of our previously issued print anthologies. Covered topics include food, water, energy, health, transportation, firearms, and more. Articles include: Canning your meats and vegetables Disaster preparation Emergency power for $950 How do you live without electricity? Long-term food storage Medical kits for self-reliant families Sensible gun choices after September 11th Seven mistakes of food storage Stay warm in emergencies, at home, outdoors, & in your car Storing water for an emergency What to do when there's no doctor and many more!

****If you wanted to give a basic book on prepping to friends or family members, this is the one I would recommend (ABOVE). It covers everything simply and clearly.****

THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND

Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magicians' secrets are unveiled. We get a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money. A dry and boring subject? Just wait! You'll be hooked in five minutes. Reads like a detective story - which it really is. But it's all true. This book is about the most blatant scam of all history. It's all here: the cause of wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity. Creature from Jekyll Island is a "must read." Your world view will definitely change. You'll never trust a politician again - or a banker.

Don't forget our own FERFAL

THE MODERN SURVIVAL MANUAL

The Modern Survival Manual is based on first hand experience of the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina. In it you will find a variety of subjects that the author considers essential if a person wants to be prepared for tougher times: -How to prepare your family, yourself, your home and your vehicle -How to prepare your finances so that you don't suffer what millions in my country went through -How to prepare your supplies for food shortages and power failures -How to correctly fight with a chair, gun, knife, pen or choke with your bare hands if required -Most important, how to reach a good awareness level so that you can avoid having to do all that These are just a few examples of what you will find in this book. It's about Attitude, and being a more capable person and get the politically correct wimp out of your system completely.

Link Posted: 10/5/2016 10:06:04 PM EDT
[#16]
I like the Great Courses as I think history tends to repeat itself.
Listening to the Vikings right now.
Lessons Learned.
Don't be on heavily traveled or easily traveled roads or waterways.
Don't be a serf.
Don't be in a city.

Link Posted: 10/5/2016 11:15:12 PM EDT
[#17]
The Failure of Civility.
Link Posted: 10/6/2016 11:45:39 PM EDT
[#18]
The Little Ice Age:  How Climate Made History 1300-1850 by Brian Fagen

Copyright 2000, ISBN 0-465-02271-5, 246 pages, hardbound, another library book

"Climate change" is in the news every day.  Before climate change, it was "global warming", and before that is was "the next ice age" that climate scientists were writing about.  It appears that the world is warming, but dependable numbers are hard to come by.  Fagan's book provides some historical perspective for those that want to know.  Briefly, the Little Ice Age was a multi-century cold spell that ended the Medieval Warm Period and apparently caused famines, wars, disease outbreaks and a long list of Other Bad Things to happen.  

Two things jumped out at me from reading this book.  First, while warming up the Earth is not something we should be trying to do, it is much better than having the Earth cool down.  Warming is inconvenient, but cooling leads to crop failures and famines.  Second, it is clear that the Earth is NOT as warm as it was during the Medieval Warm Period, since grain crops were being raised in the Norse colonies in Greenland and grapes were being grown for wine in England.  Neither of those things are happening now, the climate is still too cold for that.  So we probably have quite some time before climate change is going to cause direct changes to our lifestyles.

This book also suggests that our modern prosperity in part stems from the gradual warming that has happened since the mid-19th Century.  When that warming finally becomes too extreme to deal with in our "normal" ways, we will pay a heavy price.
Link Posted: 10/7/2016 8:24:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Waldo] [#19]
Topic Moved
Link Posted: 10/14/2016 11:41:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#20]
When Money Dies:  The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany by Adam Fergusson





Copyright 1975, ISBN 978-1-58648-994-6, paperback, 269 pages, another library book





After World War I, Germany was saddled with what was called "war guilt" by the Versailles Peace Treaty, and also with an extreme amount of debt due to the reparations the treaty required them to pay.  The "solution" the Weimar government came up with was to print as much money as they needed to pay the debt, and also to print as much money as they needed for governmental operations.  It didn't work out very well, and in fact was one of the main things that caused the collapse of the government and the rise of Hitler.





Inflation and deficit spending are already a part of life in the US and have been for many years now.  Hyperinflation has not as of yet occurred here, but sooner of later, with the added costs of Obamacare and the next war, and the one after that...it will eventually arrive.  It is easier to run the printing presses for a little while longer that it is to tell someone no, there isn't enough money for their project.





When hyperinflation finally comes here, you would have been well advised to have read this book.  As for a quick and dirty list of what to do and not do:





--spend cash as soon as you get it on something of real value, like food or tools or houses


--do NOT get any sort of loan with an adjustable rate ever, the banks will adjust the rate upwards as inflation grows and you will owe them more money


--OTOH, it is easy to use inflated money to pay off a debt that isn't inflating, so pay off the loan on your house or car with inflated paper money


--it is easy for the government to inflate paper money, next to impossible to inflate silver or gold, easier for the government to attempt confiscation


--wages would NOT keep up with inflation and both working adults and those on fixed incomes were horribly damaged


--a farmer that produces a steady supply of food can feed his family, swap produce with other farmers, and trade the remainder of his crop for items of real value


--any income in another currency that isn't inflating, even a small income, is a real blessing in this type of crisis, so try to have some Euros, Yen, Yuan, Canadian dollars, etc.


--political unrest is all but certain
 
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:00:07 AM EDT
[#21]
The Long Emergency:  Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century by James Howard Kunstler

Copyright 2003, ISBN 0-87113-883-3, 307 pages, hardbound, another library book

What happens if the Peak Oil Hypothesis and the Global Warming Climate Change Hypothesis are both correct at the same time?  Kunstler calls this The Long Emergency, and he does not paint a pretty picture of the situation.  A drastic fuel shortage would be just the first step, followed by a collapse in American foreign policy positions around the world (everything is propped up by excessive energy expenditures), an economic collapse, famine, disease, mass migration due to the changing climate, flooding of the coastal cities...on and on and on.

Unlike most authors of such books, Kunstler has actually changed his own lifestyle in preparation for The Long Emergency.  He has relocated to upstate New York, started a large garden for home food production and now writes a blog detailing what he believes is coming in the near future.  He has appeared in several videos available on both TED Talks and YouTube.  He doesn't just have a theory, but actually has practical advice for preppers.

Also, this non fiction book is the foundation for a series of four later novels Kunstler has written about The Long Emergency named World Made by Hand, set ten years after the collapse in the same area of upstate New York where he now lives.  The novels are pretty good and I might write a separate set of reviews on them at a later point.
Link Posted: 11/18/2016 1:12:31 AM EDT
[#22]
Deep Green Resistance by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen

Copyright 2011, ISBN 978-1-58322-929-3, 556 pages, paperback, another library book

This book is the most radical book I have ever read.  It is a sort of Communist Manifesto for Greens.  The stated goals of the authors are the end of industrial civilization, the end of agriculture, the destruction of every last dam ever built, the end of all fossil fuel usage...on and on and on.  There are many, many scare statements that are not clearly supported by factual analysis.  The authors clearly believe in the Peak Oil Hypothesis and the Climate Change Hypothesis, as well as resource depletion and the Sixth Extinction.

This is not a book for reasonable people, but a primer for radicals.  It has a long section on how their enemies are liberals that won't move farther to the Left, and another section on how to organize an underground movement to carry out "monkey wrenching" (sabotage), assassinations, and Decisive Ecological Warfare in the name of the coho salmon and the polar bear.  These authors want nothing less than the destruction of the current world power structure and its replacement with an ecologically minded dictatorship.  They want to limit births to reduce the population, end industrial agriculture worldwide, and "depriving the rich of their ability to steal from the poor".

For preppers, reading this book should be a wake up call.  It is one thing to prepare for a power failure, it is quite another for there to be regular power failures because these activists are out destroying the power plants, or setting the petroleum refineries on fire, or murdering key employees in industries that are considered "too damaging".  If there is trouble, these people will be out there trying to make things worse for ideological reasons.

Link Posted: 11/24/2016 12:45:55 AM EDT
[#23]
1177 B.C.  The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline

Copyright 2014, ISBN 978-0-691-14089-6, 237 pages, hardback, another library book.

Most people have heard of the Dark Ages, which are generally thought to have began with the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.  Historians know that there was at least one other Dark Age before that one.  1177 BC is just a convenient date for this author to use, and the book makes it clear that the collapses of many different societies around the Mediterranean around the beginning of the 12th Century BC were interlinked in ways that we are not quite sure of over 3000 years later.  

For several decades the chief culprit has been the Sea Peoples, a group that little is directly known about and that apparently invaded Egypt, Crete, Cyprus, Babylon, the Hittite Empire, and Canaan all within a few short years.  Newer research has shown that, in addition to the Sea Peoples, there were famines, earthquakes, internal rebellion, and a collapse of international trade.  Also, this is the very end of the Late Bronze Age and it is fairly likely that both the Sea Peoples and the internal rebels were armed with new weapons made of iron as well as new tactics that help to overturn the established order of the known world.  This book tries to explain each of these factors, and comes to the conclusion that we really don't know for sure just what happened.

The results are clear.  The only empire to survive this collapse was Egypt, and they were pushed back to within their own borders  and were no longer the imperial power that they had once been.  In many places around the Mediterranean, reading and writing all but ceased and there is a lack of written records to explain the situation.  The human population crashed to numbers that were much lower than they had been even three centuries before.

Why should a prepper care what happened to all of these people?  Look at Europe and the massive influx of refugees from the Middle East and then compare the situation to the arrival of the Sea Peoples.   The other factors mentioned above (famine, earthquakes, internal rebellion, collapse of international trade) could all happen again.  As for new weapons that could overturn the established order, try reading a newspaper to see what may be next.  I wonder how long it would take our surviving descendants to learn again to read and write?
Link Posted: 11/26/2016 2:01:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#24]
Salt:  A World History by Mark Kurlansky





Copyright 2002, ISBN 978-0-14-200161-5, paperback, 484 pages, another library book.





Salt is a subject that comes up regularly in the Survival Discussions forum, as in "how much salt do I need to live" and "what are all the things I can use salt for as a prepper".  There is a new thread on  these and other related subjects ever couple of months or so.  This book is only partially about the how and the what and more about the when and the why regarding salt.    After reading this book I became convinced that, if there ever is a general failure of modernity and a return to doing things The Way They Used To Be Done, it would be necessary to have a stockpile of salt that is huge and best measured in at least hundred pound sacks and better still in tons.  Salt is now so incredibly cheap and available everywhere to the point that most people consume more than they need or should have.  After a major disaster, things would be different very quickly.  Buy it cheap and stack it deep applies here, and it has been that way for thousands of years with only a short amount of recent history where things were different.
 
Link Posted: 11/29/2016 8:16:03 AM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
Deep Green Resistance by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen

Copyright 2011, ISBN 978-1-58322-929-3, 556 pages, paperback, another library book

This book is the most radical book I have ever read.  It is a sort of Communist Manifesto for Greens.  The stated goals of the authors are the end of industrial civilization, the end of agriculture, the destruction of every last dam ever built, the end of all fossil fuel usage...on and on and on.  There are many, many scare statements that are not clearly supported by factual analysis.  The authors clearly believe in the Peak Oil Hypothesis and the Climate Change Hypothesis, as well as resource depletion and the Sixth Extinction.

This is not a book for reasonable people, but a primer for radicals.  It has a long section on how their enemies are liberals that won't move farther to the Left, and another section on how to organize an underground movement to carry out "monkey wrenching" (sabotage), assassinations, and Decisive Ecological Warfare in the name of the coho salmon and the polar bear.  These authors want nothing less than the destruction of the current world power structure and its replacement with an ecologically minded dictatorship.  They want to limit births to reduce the population, end industrial agriculture worldwide, and "depriving the rich of their ability to steal from the poor".

For preppers, reading this book should be a wake up call.  It is one thing to prepare for a power failure, it is quite another for there to be regular power failures because these activists are out destroying the power plants, or setting the petroleum refineries on fire, or murdering key employees in industries that are considered "too damaging".  If there is trouble, these people will be out there trying to make things worse for ideological reasons.

View Quote
Man, the reviewers on that one on Amazon are in la la land.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 1:48:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#26]
Collapse:  Why Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

Copyright 2005, ISBN 0-670-03337-5, 575 pages, hardbound, another library book

Diamond is also the author of Guns Germs and Steel which was a very popular and influential book.  In Collapse he is apparently trying to sound the alarm about environmental damage and how it has been indirectly linked to the failures and disappearances of societies as diverse as Easter Island, the Anasazi, the Maya, the Norse in Greenland, as well as the Rwandan Genocide and the destruction of habitat in Haiti, Australia, Iceland, and China.

Diamond holds up the reforestation of Japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate in the early 17th century as a success story, as well as very ancient farming methods used in the New Guinea highlands that have apparently enriched the soil over several thousand years.  He portrays social collapse as the result of ecological mismanagement and poor decision making, and has a chapter on farming and ranching in Montana that is meant to show the reader that this sort of thing is happening here and now.  

This book is written for the average reader and is not technical, it is apparently meant as a beginning primer for those that fear the direction the world is heading.  In the end, the book advocates more government control over the economy and the environment and tries to scare the reader with "predictions" of impending disaster if these recommendations are not followed (like most Green books).
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 2:21:33 AM EDT
[#27]
Overshoot:  The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William R. Catton, Jr.

Copyright 1980, ISBN 0-252-00988-6, 298 pages, paperback, yet another library book

If you read any of the Green/Peak Oil/Climate Change books, this book will almost certainly be mentioned in the bibliography and footnotes.  The term "overshoot" means "growth beyond an area's carrying capacity" and the author is certain that this is the situation that faces the entire planet.  It was written while Carter was still president and praises his attempt to move America away from imported oil and towards energy independence.  It shows the Earth as heavily overpopulated with humans and that time is running out before Mother Nature decides to reduce that population with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  I doubt the author would have accepted the fact that this population reduction has not taken place 36 years later, and may not take place anytime in the next few years either.  Only in the last few pages of the book does Catton call for population reductions and social simplification to prevent ecological catastrophe, and presents the possible extinction of the human race as a real possibility if his recommendations are not followed.

If you really want to know what the Greens are thinking, begin by reading this book.
Link Posted: 1/7/2017 2:28:30 AM EDT
[#28]
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember:  How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz

Copyright 2013, ISBN 978-0-385-53591-5, 306 pages, hardbound, another library book

Part I of this book is about pre-historic extinctions, such as the Great Dying of the Permian-Triassic period and the end of the dinosaurs.  

Part II has chapters about the Toba Bottleneck Hypothesis, the extinction of Neanderthal Man, and various plagues throughout history.

Part III is the part that the "scatter, adapt, and remember" title comes from by focusing on the Jewish Diaspora.  At least three major attempts to end the Jewish peoples have been made in history (the Babylonian Captivity, the Roman destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of the Jews from Israel, and the Holocaust) and the Jews have survived them all by scattering to foreign lands, adapting to new cultural norms while remembering what was distinctive about their own culture and religion.

Part IV is about making a city harder to destroy in various ways, such as locating part of it underground, growing food on every urban surface possible, and preventing disease outbreaks through epidemiology.  

Part V is all but science fiction, about how humans might avoid extinction in the future by moving off Earth (possibly by building a space elevator) and perhaps terra forming Titan (a moon of Saturn).

The part on scatter, adapt, and remember is important, and there are tidbits throughout the book in odd places about different survival strategies that have worked.  This book is uneven but has some good information for preppers scattered all through it.
Link Posted: 2/15/2017 2:10:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: stevem1a] [#29]
The Taste of War:  World War II and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham

Copyright 2012, ISBN 978-1-59420-329-9, 634 pages, hardbound.

I only found this book at the library by accident, I had never heard of it before I saw it on the shelf.  I'm glad I spotted it.  

This book is a retelling of the history of WWII from the point of view of food, eating, and nutrition.  Food was much more central to to the planning and operation of the war than is generally supposed.  Collingham shows that the Hunger Plan (also known as the Backe Plan) to starve 30 million Eastern Europeans to death was drawn up before the first shot was fired and was thought necessary due to the widespread food shortages Germany had during WWI.  Japan decided to settle one million Japanese in Manchuria at the start of WWII due to projected food shortages.   Great Britain was in food trouble almost from the very first day of the war, while USA was all but drowning in food surplus that other nations could only dream of.

Every combatant power instituted rationing of food, as well as petroleum and many manufactured goods.  Almost every nation encouraged its citizens to grow grains and potatoes, and to cut back on production of livestock and dairy products.  This produced more calories, but cut back on some nutrients and vitamins.  In some parts of the world, millions of people starved as foreign armies seized the civilian food stockpiles.  20% of the Greek populace starved during the winter of 1941-42 thanks to the Germans.  On some of the Pacific islands, Japanese soldiers arrived with very little of their own food and orders to live off the land, which meant disaster for the locals.   Great Britain demanded food be shipped to Britain from the Empire, which was translated into a famine in India that killed 2 million people.  In fact, slightly more people died during WWII from starvation, malnutrition, and related diseases than did due to combat.  There were many places around the world where the fighting was no where near, but civilians had to struggle every day with getting not just a balanced meal but any food at all.

For preppers, this book should be mandatory reading.  If we ever have a crisis that just goes on and on and on (like, say, World War III) we can count on rationing and central planning of food supplies.  Our government will go back to pushing farmers into planting grains fence row to fence row, registering livestock, public campaigns insisting people grow and eat more potatoes, and a general substitution of vitamin tablets for natural foods.  Most preppers store at most a year or two of grains and beans for their family.  Using this book as a guide, it appears that may not be enough of a stockpile.  Great Britain had some types of food rationing all the way until 1954, nine years after the war had ended.
Link Posted: 3/1/2017 1:16:36 AM EDT
[#30]
The Unfree French:  Life Under the Occupation by Richard Vinen

Copyright 2006, ISBN 0-300-12132-6, 477 pages, hardbound, another library book

The Germans occupied France from May 1940 until May 1945, when the last holdouts surrendered.  Military occupation, identity papers, rationing, no civilian sales of gasoline, a naval blockade by the British, everyone on bicycles, 80% of both beef and champagne seized and taken back to Germany, yellow stars for Jews which led to deportation straight to Auschwitz, underground attacks and reprisals, bombing and invasion by the Allies, followed by liberation, all told from the French point of view.

Two chapters stand out for preppers.  Chapter 5, "Frenchwomen and the Germans", tells the tale of how women lived through this period.  Almost 2 million French men were held captive in POW and labor camps until after the war, and the women on the home front had to handle all of those German soldiers without them.  French women had to step up and run the businesses their male relatives could not run, while having to stand in line for hours every day to receive limited supplies of rationed goods.  Many women were forced by circumstances to work for the Germans as cooks and cleaners, which apparently meant that they were sexually available to the Germans.  While many Germans were "correct" in  their behavior towards the French, a woman from a higher social/economic station in life received much better treatment.  Many other women became lovers and wives of the occupiers, and there is an estimate of about 200,000 babies born to French women and German men during this period.  

Chapter 7, "Survival", is about food, rationing, the black market, food shortages, how rural people did much better under the Occupation than did people in cities, and an epidemic of "false police" with fake IDs that robbed people who couldn't go to either the French or German authorities.
Link Posted: 6/2/2017 12:36:14 AM EDT
[#31]
Able Archer 83:  The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War, edited by Nate Jones

Copyright 2016, ISBN 97816-2097-618, hardbound, 338 pages, another library book

Before prepping there was survivalism, and survivalism was focused on surviving a nuclear war with the USSR.  There were at least two occasions during the Cold War when nuclear forces were placed on alert status, namely the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Yom Kippur War.  Able Archer 83 was a third and somewhat lesser crisis, in which USA under Reagan was not fully aware of the depth of fear that was present in USSR.  The Soviets apparently did believe there was a real chance that Reagan would order an attack on their country, using the exercise Able Archer 1983 as a cover.

This book is a collection of documents and not one consistent story.  There is an introduction that is 60 pages long which sets the stage for the rest of the book, telling a story of the early 1980s that shows Reagan as boisterous and demanding of the Soviets, and showing the Soviets as all but scared out of their minds by the Cowboy in the White House.  At one point, the Soviets were tasking their intelligence services with determining whether or not USA was preparing for an immediate assault on USSR, and at the same time Reagan asking the CIA if the Soviets were really scared we would attack or whether it was just propaganda.  This book makes it appear that Reagan was more than just a little out of touch with just how his rhetoric was received in Moscow.

After the introduction, there are 13 other documents reproduced here, all of which appear to have been classified as Secret or higher during the Cold War.  The most classified document is titled "The Soviet War Scare" and was "Top Secret UMBRA GAMMA WNINTEL NOFORN NOCONTRACT Orcon" from February 1990.  Other documents reproduced in the book come from Soviet files, the CIA, and the United Kingdom.  

Compelling reading about just how close we really were to a nuclear war.  I remember this period, and while I thought there was a possibility of a war I had no idea at all that the Soviets were really, really scared of Reagan.  Recommended for preppers who might think that Trump scares foreign powers as much as Reagan did.
Link Posted: 8/24/2020 12:57:37 PM EDT
[#32]
I started a thread here years ago about books by WW II veterans.  As children, they grew up during the Great Depression.  Sometimes their books offers insights into what it was like.   It can be valuable experience that will be useful in the days to come.

Brothers in Battle - Best of Friends by William "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron as told by Robyn Post is one such book.  It's about two men of Easy Company, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Link Posted: 8/27/2020 12:09:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: jvm] [#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman

Copyright 1978, ISBN 0-3453-4957-1, 784 pages, paperback, bought at a used book store

This book is a history of 14th Century France, a biography of Enguerrand de Coucy VII, the Sire of Coucy and the last of the Enguerrands.  For preppers, it is important as a history of social disintegration resulting from what was known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality, and was later called the Black Death when it returned over and over again.  The chapter that is directly on the plague years of 1347-1352 is probably the best written historical description of the death of between one-third and one-half of the European population.  The social consequences included wages rising due to a massive labor shortage, the Peasant's Revolt of 1381 (due to the elite's attempts to freeze wages and prices at their pre-plague levels), and a general rejection of the Catholic religious dogma that was clearly not saving any lives.

Tuchman said she wrote this book due to the possible similarities between the effects of the Black Death and the social effects of a nuclear war.

This book won the 1980 National Book Award in History, so you should be able to find it in your local library.

View Quote


I'm about half way through this one, muddled through her first part. She must have thought she was gettin a dollar a word. It gets better.  
Some governments took in their coinage, melted it down, restruck it in smaller weights, but kept the same value, some things never change
Link Posted: 8/27/2020 12:20:20 AM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
The Taste of War:  World War II and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham



Copyright 2012, ISBN 978-1-59420-329-9, 634 pages, hardbound.



I only found this book at the library by accident, I had never heard of it before I saw it on the shelf.  I'm glad I spotted it.  



This book is a retelling of the history of WWII from the point of view of food, eating, and nutrition.  Food was much more central to to the planning and operation of the war than is generally supposed.  Collingham shows that the Hunger Plan (also known as the Backe Plan) to starve 30 million Eastern Europeans to death was drawn up before the first shot was fired and was thought necessary due to the widespread food shortages Germany had during WWI.  Japan decided to settle one million Japanese in Manchuria at the start of WWII due to projected food shortages.   Great Britain was in food trouble almost from the very first day of the war, while USA was all but drowning in food surplus that other nations could only dream of.



Every combatant power instituted rationing of food, as well as petroleum and many manufactured goods.  Almost every nation encouraged its citizens to grow grains and potatoes, and to cut back on production of livestock and dairy products.  This produced more calories, but cut back on some nutrients and vitamins.  In some parts of the world, millions of people starved as foreign armies seized the civilian food stockpiles.  20% of the Greek populace starved during the winter of 1941-42 thanks to the Germans.  On some of the Pacific islands, Japanese soldiers arrived with very little of their own food and orders to live off the land, which meant disaster for the locals.   Great Britain demanded food be shipped to Britain from the Empire, which was translated into a famine in India that killed 2 million people.  In fact, slightly more people died during WWII from starvation, malnutrition, and related diseases than did due to combat.  There were many places around the world where the fighting was no where near, but civilians had to struggle every day with getting not just a balanced meal but any food at all.



For preppers, this book should be mandatory reading.  If we ever have a crisis that just goes on and on and on (like, say, World War III) we can count on rationing and central planning of food supplies.  Our government will go back to pushing farmers into planting grains fence row to fence row, registering livestock, public campaigns insisting people grow and eat more potatoes, and a general substitution of vitamin tablets for natural foods.  Most preppers store at most a year or two of grains and beans for their family.  Using this book as a guide, it appears that may not be enough of a stockpile.  Great Britain had some types of food rationing all the way until 1954, nine years after the war had ended.
View Quote


I have read this one as well, good read.  Most, if not all my history books have a common theme.

People starved, lots of people, let that sink in
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