1. Dragonport
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    Dragonport Member

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    Memoirs in a historical time period, like Wild Swans?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Dragonport, Sep 20, 2013.

    I'm searching for books similar to Jung Chang's Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, which is a family autobiography in times of great social and political upheaval in China. Anne Frank's diary is on my reading list too, but I'm looking for more.

    I'm embarrassed to say I'm pretty clueless about most countries' histories and lot of history in general, so I'd like to research them. I also, judging from the few books I've read, love reading this subject matter!
    I'm interested in memoirs of a time period full of hardships or oppression (really any kind of social/political issue...sorry if that sounds vague) in any country. Or the holocaust, WWI, WWII, or any other wars. Something that also gives insight into the history and culture of that time period/country.

    What I loved about Wild Swans was the detail of movements like the Cultural Revolution, events like the long march, the explanations behind the politics, and how what the author wrote was an autobiography of China itself in the 20th century, and simultaneously told her own story plus that of her family.

    If that's too specific, perhaps any true stories involving the culture and history of any group of people. Does anyone have recommendations?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I know two Holocaust memoirs off the top of my head.

    Night by Elie Wiesel
    Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

    I'll think about some other books.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  3. Dragonport
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    Thanks, I'll check those out! Night seems interesting.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    One of my favorites that might fit your needs is E. M. Forster's A Passage to India which is an intriguing portrayal of the three-way clash of British, Hindu and Muslim cultures in colonial India. Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance are, together, probably the best historical fiction of World War II. For more of a common man's treatment (and a much shorter work), I would also recommend Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. If you are interested in portrayals of World War I that do not go into the geopolitical whys and wherefores but focus more on the man on the ground, I would recommend Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms or Erich Maria LeMarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.
     
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  5. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    Man eaters of kumaon by Jim Corbett is one of my favorites, it is set in British controlled India
    Three months in the southern states is a really interesting account of the American civil war by a British officer who was present at Gettysburg.
     
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