new learning about old things

July 29, 2011

Leslie and I have been on a kick taking in books and films about history.  She’s watched a documentary about the Weather Underground and she’s wrapped up in the miniseries on the Kennedys right now.

While watching World War 2 in Color, I learned that the top American fighter pilot shot down 40 enemy planes. Then I learned that the top German fighter pilot downed 357 planes, and that the next 100 pilots on the list were also German.  My interest piqued, I started a biography of the top scoring ace in the history of air combat, Erich Hartmann.  Not only did he wreck shop on the eastern front, but he did it in only 2 1/2 years.  He surrendered at the end of the war, but choose to stay with his men and ended up convicted in a kangaroo Russian court and sent to the Gulags for 10 years. Turns out that killing all of those Russians made him not so popular in Russia.  He survived and went on to lead the new West German airforce.  Pretty interesting guy, thought the book is hard slogging because the writers are also pilots.

Next book on deck will be a biography of J. Edgar Hoover.  I was dumbfounded when I realized that he was the one who created the FBI in 1924 and ran it until 1972.  Almost 50 years! sick.

more adult learning yet to come.

tell me what you have always wanted to learn about.



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