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Content by Sarah Armstrong
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Helpful Votes: 22

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Sarah Armstrong

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Crumpler TUSH-004 Turkish Shower Backpack - Cedar / Blood Red
Crumpler TUSH-004 Turkish Shower Backpack - Cedar / Blood Red

4.0 out of 5 stars Good bag, maybe a bit tight for some people, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very stylish and streamlined, hugs your back nicely. The camera compartment zip is a little tricky to access under the somewhat rigid material but is certainly passable. The main compartment isn't huge, but I was surprised at what I could fit in there. And the 17" laptop compartment has a bit of extra space as well. For three bags in one –†this does an amazing job. Absolutely perfect for using as cabin-baggage or for half day/full day hikes –†I squeezed a 2L flask into the laptop compartment.


Crumpler Banana Hammock M - Espresso/Orange Camera Bag For SLR cameras
Crumpler Banana Hammock M - Espresso/Orange Camera Bag For SLR cameras

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as good as expected, with room for a chunky lens, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good quality, easy to put on and take off. Has a small carabiner so you can attach the case to the camera strap, so that if you need to whip out your camera in a hurry, you don't need to find somewhere to put the case –†it just hangs freely from the camera strap. It's not heavy either so it doesn't impede your photo-taking.

The storage compartment on the back is more generous than I expected. I'm used to Crumpler's pockets and pouches being REALLY tight, but this one is fine.

The Banana Hammock fits my Canon 650D with a medium zoom very easily. There's room for a really chunky lens in there, like a canon L lens or the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 or something. There's plenty of room for the body as well, you'd get a full-frame camera in there no problem.

Very happy, good job Crumpler. 5 stars.


Stasiland
Stasiland
by Anna Funder
Edition: Paperback

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed feelings, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Stasiland (Paperback)
I am one of very few westerners who lived and worked in the GDR (for two years from 1979) and I read this book in a spirit of curiosity: how on earth could an Australian arrive at any understanding of the place, especially since she is approaching it retrospectively, after the GDR ceased to exist? No doubt this book is a creditable piece of investigative journalism but there are problems.

Her agenda is to tell the stories of people who resisted the regime and suffered at the hands of the state security. This she does with sensitivity and in great detail and I do not doubt what she relates. But the impression created is that it was not possible to live in the GDR without experiencing this stress and hardship. This is where I regret very much that she had not herself lived there and experienced the good and ordinary things which could provide a counterbalance to the stories of pain she reports: those long tracts of life that consist simply of normality, of outings, get-togethers with family and friends, afternoons of leisure and idleness, playing sport, making music, the tedium of uninspiring workdays, the small but real everyday freedoms of a society without the pressures of the drive to make profits. To tell a story of unbroken oppression is to play to a western prejudice. In this I feel for my friends, former citizens of the GDR, who are constantly patronised by western attitudes which hold that, in a state where the Stasi was so active, people can have had no life worth living. Funder's book compounds this offence.

I found that living on the eastern side of the Wall threw into relief the ideological differences between the two systems which it divided. It was no longer possible to assume one's own thinking, as a product of the West, was in any sense unbiassed or neutral. Again Funder could have benefitted from this experience of relativity: her unspoken assumption is that the Federal Republic/the West has somehow 'got it right' and offers a viable measure against which the failures of the GDR can be assessed. This is to neglect the widespread idealism which helped to motivate the foundation and development of the GDR, an account of which would require much more historical analysis than Funder provides, her nods towards historical context being all too perfunctory and, perhaps, a little misleading: she conveys a sense that the Federal Republic did more to denazify than the GDR whereas in fact the opposite was the case.

It troubles me that responses to this book indicate that readers think they are being given 'the full story' or 'the truth' about the GDR when in fact what they are reading is a highly selective piece of journalism which concentrates on only the negative aspects.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2014 6:50 AM BST


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