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Legacy of Ashes

  by Tim Weiner


(about 727 pages)
181,697
total words
of all the books in our library
24.04%
vividness
of all the books in our library
5.71%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
1.86%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.80%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.06%
non-ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
in May 1952. “After all, we have had a hundred thousand casualties in Korea,” he said, according to a transcript declassified in 2003. “If we have been willing to accept those casualties, I wouldn’t worry if there were a few casualties or a few martyrs behind the iron curtain… I don’t think you can wait until you have all your troops and are sure you are going to win. You have got to start and go ahead. “You have got to have a few martyrs,” Dulles said. “Some people have to get killed.” 7. “A VAST FIELD OF ILLUSION” Allen Dulles asked his colleagues at the Princeton Inn to consider how best to destroy Stalin’s ability to control his satellite states. He believed that communism could be undone by covert action. The CIA was ready to roll back Russia to its old borders. “If we are going to move in and take the offensive, Eastern Europe presents the best place to start,” he said. “I don’t want a bloody battle,” he said, “but I would like to see things started.” Chip Bohlen spoke up. Soon to be named the American ambassador to Moscow, Bohlen had been in on the game from the start. The seeds of the CIA’s political-warfare program were first planted at the Sunday night suppers he had attended five years before. “Are we waging political warfare?” he asked Dulles rhetorically. “We have been waging it since 1946. A lot has been going on. Whether it has been were impervious to the logic of reason but highly sensitive to “the logic of force.” In short order, Kennan would gain fame as the greatest Kremlinologist in the American government. “We had accustomed ourselves, through our wartime experience, to having a great enemy before us,” Kennan reflected many years later. “The enemy must always be a center. He must be totally evil.” Bedell Smith called Kennan “the best possible tutor a newly arrived chief of mission could have had.” On a cold, starry night in April 1946, Bedell Smith rode a limousine flying the American flag into the fortress of the Kremlin. At the gates, Soviet intelligence officers checked his identity. His car passed the ancient Russian cathedrals and the huge broken bell at the foot of a tall tower within the Kremlin’s walls. Saluting soldiers in high black leather boots and red-striped breeches ushered him inside. He had come alone. They took him down a long corridor, through tall double doors padded with dark green quilted leather. Finally, in a high-ceilinged conference room, the general met the generalissimo. Bedell Smith had a double-barreled question for Stalin: “What does the Soviet Union want, and how far is Russia going to go?” Stalin stared into the distance, puffing on a cigarette and doodling lopsided hearts and question marks with a red pencil. He denied designs on any other nation. He denounced Winston Churchill’s warning, delivered in a speech a few weeks earlier in Missouri, about the iron curtain that had fallen

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 3633.94 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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