Sunday, June 25, 2006

Book Club Meeting – May 29th, 2006

• The meeting was held at the home of Willow Pearce and began at 6:05PM
• The club welcomed Ms. Martha Ferguson as a new member.
• The club was also fortunate to have the company of Anne a visiting friend of Laura’s.
• Members were advised that ‘East of Eden’ was in stock at the Bermuda Bookstore and would be discussed at the next meeting. Several members were already in possession of a copy.
• It was announced that the blog was finally up-to-date and all members were invited to read it and add their comments. In the future all minutes of the meeting, and any other necessary information, will be posted to the blog.
• Our last selection, ‘Alexander II’ by Edvard Radzinsky was discussed.
• Laura noted that she had enjoyed the book but questioned the author’s writing style. It was noted that this book was translated from the original Russian and this may have affected it.
• Craig commented that the book was disappointing in that it did not spend enough time delving into the life and character of Alexander II but devoted a significant number of pages to discussing the terrorists (who ultimately killed the Czar) and their motivations.
• Several members agreed with this assessment including Martha who noted that the book did digress from its stated topic. She felt that after reading this book she still had no understanding of the ‘man’.
• References to Rasputin were highlighted and discussed. Of particular interest to Martha was the comparison of Nechaev to Rasputin. Anne, an expert on Russian history, explained that much of Rasputin’s stature came from his mastery of medicine and his care of the Russian royal family.
• Lengthy discussion continued on the history, lifestyle and profile of the Russian serfs. Was their emancipation a benefit? Was their emancipation the beginning of the end for Alexander? Comparisons were made to the freeing of the slaves in the United States. The gulf of difference between the serf and ruling classes was also noted.
• Alexander’s personality was dissected. Was he a typical Russian ruler? It was agreed that he was more sensitive than his predecessors were and that this may have also contributed to his demise.
• Anne raised the issue of the effects of writers and the intelligentsia on Russian society.
• Finally, Bermudian society was discussed vis-à-vis Russian society.
• In the ‘Page Tirner/Page Burner’ portion of the meeting several books were offered by the members. St Clair recommended ‘ancient Times – a history of the early world’. He suggested that in the future a book on this topic might be something for the club to consider reading. Craig recommended ‘Putin’s Progress’ by Peter Truscott. He thought this was a valid biography of the current Russian ruler. Lastly, Willow introduced ‘Barbary Plague – Black death in Victorian San Francisco’ by Marilyn Chase.
• St Clair offered to select the next book to be read.
• The next meeting was scheduled for July 10th at Willow’s house.


At June 25, 2006 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intersting But Long Book


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