Fall of Giants---Ken Follet

by ldrnomo 16 Replies latest social current

  • ldrnomo

    One of the most freeing things I've been able to do since fading from the Watchtower's tendril like grasp is, "read what I want to" I particularly enjoy historial novels because they entertain and inform all at the same time. I'm just finishing the first of a trilogy "Fall of Giants" and there was a paragraph that made me think of the great influence of propaganda machines (probably because I was so influenced by the Watchtower) I am hugely aware of it's power to lead people all over the place like the waves of the sea I suppose.

    Here is the paragraph:

    Maud knew the proprietor of the Mail, Lord Northcliffe. Like all great press men, he really believed the drivel he published. His talent was to express his readers’ most stupid and ignorant prejudices as if they made sense, so that the shameful seemed respectable. That was why they bought the paper.

    Follett, Ken (2011-08-30). Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy (p. 754). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

    At the time in the book that this paragraph was written, WW1 had just ended and now there was a jockying of political structure not only in Eastern Europe and Germany but even in Western Europe and England the war of people was now clearly in the hands of the smooth talkers, the one who could "express his readers' most stupid and ignorant prejudices as if they made sense".

    Is this still being done today? Of course it is. Now we have every way imaginable to communicate to just about everyone in the world these ignorant prejudices. But wait there is more. We don't just have one or two magazines or newpapers to read nor do we have one or two radio stations or television channels or libraries. Now anybody who is a smooth talker can rise to the ocasion with blog's forum's yada yada yada.

    So where does mankind go from here? Is it all just a cycle? Is history still continuing to repeat itself? Will it always be this way?

    What are your thoughts? Do you think life is a cycle that can't be changed? Or do we somehow have an impact in some way? Will governments continue to become more opressive or will there be a move to an Anarchical Society.

    These are questions I continue to ponder because, NOW I CAN.

    Because for 28 years I felt guilty for thinking anything else.

  • botchtowersociety

    I've read his Pillars of Creation. It was OK.

  • Dagney

    I think the human condition and motivation is the same as has always been and will continue. However, the internet provides a type of "check and balance" for everybody. There still is a lot of BS on the internet, but somewhere in the massive amount of information is a bit of truth. Then I guess it lies on the reader to determine what is stupid and ignorant. That fight is as emotional and violent as ever.

    I guess it will always be this way until the "paradise" comes.

  • ldrnomo


    Yes of course I forgot about that. So then, I guess there's no need for further concern.

  • ziddina


  • zeb

    cycle or no there is one new never before player on the block. The Web.

    By this modern miracle the ignorant will remain so (cant use that its satanic or i could never use a computer etc) and the curious and the scholars will be rewarded with garbage and with profound truths.

    the new game is to use your brain and personal sense of decency to do the sorting.

  • BluePill2

    I love reading. Always read everything, no matter how it was seen by the Borg. Got lots and lots of problems with my ex-wife and family (remember one summer reading Browns Da Vinci Code with a group of family members - around 20 people - on the beach and getting hammered because of reading "Satans books"). Nevermind. Love Ken Follet novels, have read them all - with exception of Fall of Giants. I want to read the two sets "in one go" but have limited time now.

    As for your interesting thinking process.

    Human activities always circle around the same issues - going on for millenia: survival, reproduction and fullfiling some other biological needs. In this sense you can see a "never ending circle" of the same - lust for power, for possessions, for dominance, etc. The same feelings that a Egyptian Pharao had are present in a modern day Fortune 500 CEO.


    At the same time we have this evolving-adaptive mind system and eventually we change. Some things of the past are not repeated, we learn that burning red haired woman at a stake is not practical to the other more important survival needs. If only for selfish reasons we drop some things and adopt new ones. This is good and gives Life a surprise effect and mystery.

    You have media that is releasing dumb, stupid stuff to the masses, but now we also have something like a worldwide, common thinking. "Hive mind" or "Collective consciousness" which is a modern, new phenomenon and changed humanity FOREVER. THIS will bring new variations into the development of humanity - to the good or the bad - we don't know, but humans and biological beings ALWAYS strive for self-preservance and survival FIRST. Sometimes in history this has lead to killing others and sometimes we have avoided wars and mass destruction because our selfish-survival oriented mind knows that it is detrimental to survival and self-replicating.

    I don't think "history repeats itself".

  • flipper

    LDRNOMO- Interesting thread, thanks for posting it. I do believe from what I've read in history ( I'm a voracious reader too ) that yes, history will always repeat itself as long as smooth talkers and con men offer glimmers of false hopes to the masses of mankind be it through religion or politics. Throughout history these are main avenues that con men have tried to be the " opium " to the masses offering them an " answer " to all their problems. Of course, it's NEVER been a solution or answer- it just furthers the problems even more !

    I do think individually we can make a change in people's lives within our own aquaintances either here on the board, our own family , or our own circle of close friends in showing caring, humane interest, and proactive concern in our own little geographic community. As some mentioned here the Internet has made it possible for us to gain access to MUCH more information than we ever had in pre-Internet time. So we can all be more informed to make a difference and have an impact as much as possible within certain parameters of our life. That being said- there are some things that will never change - powerful corrupt governments, corporations, or religions who dominate weak willed humans who NEED to have someone do their thinking for them - that will remain unfortunately - if there is someone who wants to control others , there is always someone who will let them control them so they don't have to think and use their minds, kind of a mental laziness or checking out in some people.

    So in my opinion, yes, there are some things we can help effect changes in for good , and in the bigger picture there are some things on the big world scene that may never change. Just look at the Native Americans who once dominated this continent only 250 years ago - they are locked on reservations now and Europeans live here. Totalitarian massacres are what gained the alleged " freedom " that Americans " enjoy " here on this continent. If this nations founding fathers approved the wiping out of Native Americans then, the same government could easily become totalitarian again towards it's own citizens if it felt it's power or control slipping away over Americans.

    But we can only control so much personally, in my opinion we need to concentrate on who we CAN help in a positive way in our power , not who we can't help. We drive ourselves nuts trying to save the entire world. But we can help save little segments of it and enrich our lives day to day helping who we can. O.k. That's about all I have to share. LOL ! Hope you're doin' well friend. My wife says " Hi ". Say hi to yours as well ! Have a great weekend ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Glander

    I found the book a big disapointment. The background historical facts presented were accurate but the fictional story made the book a boring repetitive soap. I bought it because I have read all of Folletts books and found him to be a pretty good story teller. For history I prefer non-fiction history books.

    As to the bigger question I have to agree with Dagney's comments above.

    PS If anyone wants my copy I will send it to them as a Xmas present at my expense. It is like new, no boogers.

    PM me. first come, first served.

  • Cadellin

    I like Follett, though I find some of his work a bit too violent for me (weak stomach). But, yeah, that quote resonates. If that isn't what the WT does, I don't know what is!

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