Books: their good and bad influence

November 1, 2007

“We should not depend on the bloody American military any longer”.

“Sir Arnold was watching the French general intently:  ‘Do you perhaps envision a time when we’d want to go to war with the United States?’ A hush spread around the room. while La Porte paced, his face in a sudden scowl, his ponderous body impressive for its agility. ‘We already are at war with the Americans, in every aspect of life and business except militarily. But militarily, we cannot be. We are too weak, too dependent on all their systems, hardware, and even the most modern weapons. We have soldiers and arms that we can’t properly equip, move or control, without Washington.’

—-

“We French do not have a ‘special relationship’ with the Americans, unlike you English…..”

—-

General Moore stared at La Porte a full thirty seconds more. Then he seemed to think of something else. He relaxed, smiled,and stood up. “I believe our business here is over. As for the fate and future of Europe, we in Britain consider it tied permanently to that of the United States, whether we like it or not.”

—-

These are excerpts from a novel by world-famous author Robert Ludlum, The Paris Option, in this case of a meeting held by generals of several countries belonging to NATO.  HarperCollinsPublishers, 77-85 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JB – www.fireandwater.com.

——————

 Another best-selling Welsh-born novelist, Ken Follett, also wrote a novel, a Corgi Book reprinted in 1987 in Great Britain by Hazell Watson & Viney Limited, Aylesbury, Bucks, which, in accordance with its preface “is a true story about a group of people who, accused of crimes they did not commit, decided to make their own justice”  and this is part of its Cast of Characters:

Dallas

Ross Perot, Chairman of the Board, Electronic Data Systems Corporation, Dallas, Texas.

Merv Stauffer, Perot’s right-hand man.

Five more executives of Electronic Data Systems and

Tom Luce, founder of the Dallas law firm Hughes & Hill

Tehran

Several EDS Corporation’s executives headed by Paul Chiaparoni, country Manager.

It deals with the evacuation from Iran of these American executives carried out by a team commanded by Colonel Arthur D. ‘Bull’ Simons.

The book includes real pictures of the named people and situations in Tehran’s street immediately after the ousting of the Shah.

———

I have included these two books here because they had been written by two very popular authors and my intention is to maky a summary of how popular authors and books can influence the opinions of ordinary people for or against any particular person or country, as is the case of the former in the latter book and the latter in the former transcriptions.

I realised this because I am now reading Ludlum’s novel and compare it with the present situation in the world, where there appear to be antagonisms between the populations of Europe and America and I have thought that perhaps these antagonisms have been provoked by the reading of novels like those under review.

The book by Follett exalts the personal qualities of Ross Perot, after the book was written a candidate to the Presidency of the US.

What do you think of this likely influence of best sellers in people’s attitudes and stances?

In my opinion readers should be very careful not to admit those books prima facie, and consider sensibly what the implications of their contents may mean for the coexistence among us.

8 Responses to “Books: their good and bad influence”

  1. earthpal said

    Interesting post Jose.

    Yes, fiction books do influence our thoughts . . . and to a certain extent our opinions.

    Sometimes, a novel is so written that the reader takes it to be literally true. Remember Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code? How many readers believed that much of what was written was actual fact? And then formed their views based on the belief that it was all true? I’d guess a great many people.

    And yes, political/war thrillers can be written in a similar style, with characters which include government officials, spies etc. and the story can influence the readers world view. Definitely.

    (Apologies if I’m going a bit off-topic here) And then there’s the press. The printed media influences our views. Many people believe every word they read of their preferred daily newpaper and accept it as the whole truth without it ever occurring to them that they don’t need to accept everything as ‘gospel’ because their newspaper said so.

    We should certainly be ready to question stuff before we form our views.

  2. anticant said

    Never believe anything you read in the newspapers.

    Or on blogs.

  3. Jose said

    That’s the problem, most of readers do believe and put themselves in the shoes of the characters in novels.

    As to the media, we all know how much they influence and whom they influence.

    Anticant, let me give you at least the benefit of the doubt. LOL.

  4. seachanges said

    It goes much further of course, because the visual media is just as if not more influential, and deceptive! Books are interesting in that many require people to imagine situations and take them at face value.
    But that is fun though, isn’t it? Who can live without stories! And if people, whoever they are, want to believe all our and everyone else’s stories, then so be it…

  5. seachanges said

    apologies Jose, again: I have memed you for ‘Cats and Dogs’, as one of my random choices to provide unusual facts about yourself, or even weird ones.. Anyway have a look and see if you want to spend a blog on it!

  6. Molly said

    all ya guys r right so dont fight

  7. Samiam said

    so what is better being influenced by people that you meet face to face or by the people you can’t see like books?

  8. Jose said

    What must always influence a person’s life is a good education.

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