3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not quite as good as it could have been,
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This review is from: Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing and Dying: The Secret Second World War Tapes of German POWs (Paperback)
Social psychology is an interesting science, but when it draws too much from sociology, what you get is talk, talk, talk. The discussions and statements about what these fascinating transcripts contain, amounts to most of the book. The transcrips are few in numbers and seem to serve the discussions, more than the other way around. Yet the most interesting arguments, that could have been used by the reader to make up his or hers own mind about the texts, are not present.
Matter of fact statements about context, situations, length of interviews, etc. In many cases on part of the conversation in a British mole, trying to extract valuable intelligence from the prisoner. To what extent they understood this, we cannot know. To what extent the original translators took liberies with translations, or added parts ("It was great fun" appears after slaughters in a very repeated fashion), we cannot know. Source analysis simply is not present.
Indeed, the sociological theories put forth serve only at times to actually expain the human behavior vitnessed in these transcipts. Such explanations exist in psychology, and as many a good explanation, are not even too difficult to understand nor relate to. I cannot help but be left with the feeling that this book is more about the authors than the transcripts and the people behind the transcripts.