A Very Stressful Dichotomy

Reader’s Diary

…I enjoyed it, but at the risk of sounding politically correct, have qualms about a novel that seems to want to find a positive element in the Nazi war machine….

A fine point is raised by this reviewer which I respond to in depth. Rather than post my thoughts here, I’ll direct you to look there for them.

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

One thought on “A Very Stressful Dichotomy”

  1. I read the review and the response. I don’t think the reviewer “risks” sounding politically correct, he is in fact succumbing to that “sin”. Circumstances in Hitler’s Germany were what they were, and no amount of wishing otherwise changes that basic fact. Such things as a “resistance” movement are a fiction, so insignificant as to be practically nonexistent. At best, ordinary Germans muddled along, surviving as best they could under circumstances we cannot fathom. To argue there were no stories from that period with an honest German point of view with any validity is incredibly parochial and narrow minded. It argues that all writing on WWII Germany must be viewed through our modern moral lens, or its somehow wrong. This is dishonest, and the hallmark of political correctness. To impose our morality on a character who existed under his own contemporary moral circumstances is phony and robs us of the full spectrum of experiences which played out in the war. This misguided demand is what usually turns me off from reading historical military fiction. “An Honorable German” admirably threaded the needle, giving us a sympathetic Grman character who had a complex personality and life experiences which shaped him. The interest in the book was his journey — his struggle — to reconcile his love of country, anger at his enemy and evolving disgust with the regime ruling his country. It was honest and interesting at the same time, a sadly uncommon combination in modern genre fiction.

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