One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in NorwayOne of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Åsne Seierstad
on April 21st 2015
Pages: 544
Format: ebook
Genres: Journalism, Nationalism, Nonfiction, Politics & Social Sciences
See it @ Goodreads
four-half-stars


Synopsis


A harrowing and thorough account of the massacre that upended Norway, and the trial that helped put the country back together
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the island of Utøya, where he killed sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of Norway’s governing Labour Party. In One of Us, the journalist Åsne Seierstad tells the story of this terrible day and what led up to it. What made Breivik, a gifted child from an affluent neighborhood in Oslo, become a terrorist?
As in her bestseller The Bookseller of Kabul, Seierstad excels at the vivid portraiture of lives under stress. She delves deep into Breivik’s troubled childhood, showing how a hip-hop and graffiti aficionado became a right-wing activist and Internet game addict, and then an entrepreneur, Freemason, and self-styled master warrior who sought to “save Norway” from the threat of Islam and multiculturalism. She writes with equal intimacy about Breivik’s victims, tracing their political awakenings, aspirations to improve their country, and ill-fated journeys to the island. By the time Seierstad reaches Utøya, we know both the killer and those he will kill. We have also gotten to know an entire country—famously peaceful and prosperous, and utterly incapable of protecting its youth.

My thoughts on this book

Anders-Breivik.jpg
One of Us presents a detailed account of Anders Breivik life and how he came to massacre 79 people. From his sad childhood until his total break with reality Anders Breivik devised a terrible plot against his country because he opposed the immigration happening in Norway.  What struck me most about this story was how totally unprepared the Norwegian government was for this type of attack.

Was Anders Breivik a homegrown terrorist or raving manic? I think he was not working with a full deck.  With a growing concern in the United States about immigration, One of Us is a timely read.

MICHEL MARTIN, host: Now to an issue that’s been on many of our minds since that tragic attack in Norway last week. Anders Behring Breivik confessed to the attacks that left more than 70 people dead. He said that he believes Europe is at war with Islam and his actions were necessary. Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, spoke today at a press conference.

Additional reviews:
New York Times
Telegraph

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American RightStrangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
on September 6th 2016
Pages: 351
Format: hardback
Genres: Nonfiction, Politics & Social Sciences
See it @ Goodreads
four-half-stars


Synopsis


2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR NONFICTION
In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets—among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident—people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.
Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from “liberal” government intervention abhor the very idea?

My thoughts on this book

Gosh, reading this got me no further in understanding the conservative point of view than reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis or What’s the Matter with Kansas?
The most interesting part of the book is where Hochschild explains the “deep story” how the general consensus of the Tea Party she interviewed, over a five-year period, feels that “other people” are cutting to the front of the line to the American Dream. Affirmative action, immigrants, refugees, an overreaching federal government, job killing environmental regulations, cultural diversity, and taxes are standing in the way of reaching the American Dream.
The most horrifying part of the book was the environmental impact that the oil industry has had on Louisiana and the total acceptance of that devastation. Maintaining some ecological balance seems so important to me that the thought of selling or opening public lands to the private sector makes my heart palpitate.
This was a great book, I enjoyed reading about Louisiana, what a mess the state is. I don’t necessary agree with Hochschild’s “deep story”. I believe that the difference between a conservative and liberal is one of perception about world around us and where we fit as a species in it.

About Arlie Russell Hochschild

Arlie Russell Hochschild is one of the most influential sociologists of her generation. She is the author of nine books, including The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Managed Heart, The Outsourced Self, and Strangers in Their Own Land (The New Press). Three of her books have been named as New York Times Notable Books of the Year and her work appears in sixteen languages. The winner of the Ulysses Medal as well as Guggenheim and Mellon grants, she lives in Berkeley, California.

Hochschild was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ruth Alene (Libbey) and Francis Henry Russell, who was the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Ghana, and Tunisia.[2] Hochschild early became fascinated with the boundaries people draw between inner experience and outer appearance. As she writes in the preface to her book The Managed Heart: The Commercialization of Human Feeling,

"I found myself passing a dish of peanuts among many guests and looking up at their smiles; diplomatic smiles can look different when seen from below than when seen straight on. Afterwards I would listen to my mother and father interpret various gestures. The tight smile of the Bulgarian emissary, the averted glance of the Chinese consul . . . I learned, conveyed messages not simply from person to person but from Sofia to Washington, from Peking to Paris, and from Paris to Washington. Had I passed the peanuts to a person, I wondered, or to an actor? Where did the person end and the act begin? Just how is a person related to an act?"