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One of the most famous stories to come out of World War I is that of the “Christmas Truce” of 1914, in which German and British forces engaged in a spontaneous and unofficial ceasefire and spent the holiday fraternizing with each other. In the popular imagination, the Christmas Truce was a time in which enemies put aside their differences to sing carols, exchange gifts, and even play soccer, and represented a sentimental flowering of peace and goodwill.

How much of the popular legend around the Christmas Truce is true, and how much is myth? My guest will unpack that for us. His name is Peter Hart and he served as Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum for 40 years and is the author of several books on military history, including The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War. Today on the show, Peter gives us some background on the start of WWI, what led up to the Christmas Truce, and what life was like for soldiers in the trenches. We then discuss how the Christmas Truce began, and what happened during it (including whether the soldiers really played soccer together), what the leaders of the participating militaries thought of this unofficial ceasefire, how long the truce lasted, and how it ended. Peter explains that while the truce was certainly motivated partly by sentiment, it was primarily done for more practical and even strategic reasons. We end our conversation with why, even though the real Christmas Truce is a less romantic event than commonly conceived, it’s still a wonderful story about our shared humanity.

Resources Related to the Podcast

Peter’s books on Amazon, including Fire and MovementPeter’s Podcast: Pete and Gary’s Military HistoryDocumentary on the Christmas Truce featuring Peter Hart and Taff GillinghamVideo from the Imperial War Museum on the Christmas TrucePhotos of the Christmas TruceThe Race to the Sea

Connect With Peter Hart

Peter on Twitter

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The post Podcast #766: The Real (Decidedly-Less-Sentimental-Yet-Still-Wonderful) Story of WWI’s Christmas Truce appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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Skill of the Week: Throw a Boomerang

A man’s ability to adapt to any situation is an important part of his masculinity. We’re republishing an illustrated guide from our archive every Sunday so that you can improve your manly knowledge week by week.

The process usually goes like this: You buy a boomerang in a toy shop because it sounds interesting. You can throw it in an open field. Throw it half a dozen times, only to hear it crash to the ground about 20 feet from where you are standing. Place the boomerang at the back of the closet and forget about it.

It’s easy to understand why boomerangs frustrate. It’s not intuitive like throwing a football or baseball. The key to a successful throw is the correct grip, throwing motion and evaluation of your circumstances. Make sure you are using a “returning” boomerang. Many of them are only for decoration and fly around as well as snow globes.

Ted Slampyak, Illustration

The Art of Manliness first published the Skill of the week: Throwing a Boomerang.

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Sunday Firesides: Protect the Sanctum Sanctorum of Selfhood

The innermost chamber of the temple of the ancient Israelites was known as the Holy of Holies – the sanctum Sanctorum. Here, according to legend, heaven and earth met. The curtain that separated this sanctuary was only opened by the High Priest, and when he walked out, it was said his face would glow.

Soren Kierkegaard, the philosopher, believed that everyone should have their own sanctum sacrum – a private sanctuary in his mind/heart/spirit which offered a haven to his “private persona” and barred all interlopers from entering.

We live our lives for, by, and with others in almost every aspect of our life. We are motivated either by the literal or imaginary gaze of an audience. We act to avoid embarrassment and gain affirmation. We take in opinions from all corners of the cultural landscape. Peers influence us long after we leave adolescence.

This social structure can bring about a lot of good.

There must be a place in your self where you can stop being so porous. You can use this space to house your unwavering convictions, sacred values, and creative visions that you want to remain untainted by all that’s stupid, degrading and profane.

It is important to have a special place in your soul, one that is not based on other people’s frameworks. This sanctuary should be where you can retreat and chant the incantations of your choice.

Stop converting people into brands and their lives into content.

You cynics need to get out.

You need to get out of this room with your attempts to call good good and evil evil.

You must have a place in your innermost self that you can close the curtains behind you to commune with the most sacred thing on earth, unadulterated personality.

The Art of Manliness published the article Sunday Firesides: The Sanctum sanctorum of Selfhood first.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/a-guide-to-shrinking-levis-501-shrink-to-fit-jeans/

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A Guide to Shrinking Levi’s 501 Shrink-to-Fit Jeans

I would not call myself a denim head, but I appreciate a good pair of jeans.

Raw denim jeans are a type of jeans I have experimented with before.

What is raw denim?

The majority of denim jeans that you purchase today have undergone a pre-washing and treatment process known as “sanforization”. This is done to soften the fabric, prevent shrinkage and stop indigo from rubbing off. Raw denim jeans (also called “dry” denim jeans) are jeans that haven’t been pre-washed and treated.

Raw denim jeans are a great choice because they begin as a blank slate that can be customized to your liking. Raw denim jeans are different from mass-produced jeans, which have faux distressing and fading that is identical for each pair. The distressing and fading of raw denim is determined by the body type you wear and the way you wear it. Raw denim is also tailored to fit your body. Each pair is unique, and has a custom-made look.

Levi’s 501 STF jeans are the best way to get raw denim jeans at a reasonable price. This is not a sponsored or affiliated post. It’s an American classic. Your grandpa likely owned a pair. They only cost $50 and will last a lifetime.

501 Shrink to Fit jeans are not pre-washed so you will need to undergo a special shrinking and sizing process to get the perfect fit.

Levi’s offers some guidelines to help you with this. They were mixed in results.

Here are the results and tips that I learned from my experiment to shrink Levi’s jeans 501 STF.

Levi’s 501 Jeans Shrink to Fit: How to size them

Understanding the Levi’s 501 Shrink to Fit jeans sizing process is key to getting a perfect fit. Your choice of size will be determined by the shrinking method you intend to use. Levi’s offers the following options-dependent guidelines.

Wear them in the tub and keep them on to dry. For those who wish to wash and dry their jeans in a machine, we recommend ordering a size up. Increase your waist by 1″ for sizes 27″-36″, 2″ for 38’’-48’’, and 3” for sizes 50″. For your inseam you can increase it by 3′” for sizes 27’’-34’’, and 4’’ for 36’’. They should be bought true to size.

To determine which method of sizing/shrinking produced the best results, i tried all three. Here are the results.

The old-school shrink-to-fit method

The traditional shrink-to fit method calls for you to purchase 501s in your true size at the waist, but two sizes larger in the length. Then, you wear them in the bath and let them dry.

This method requires me to buy 501s in 33×34. I normally wear 33×32 jeans.

I chose a more complex process I saw on other menswear websites that claimed to produce the same results without the need to wear wet jeans or drip indigo around the house. Here’s the step-by-step:

Step 1: Soak Jeans

Fill up your bath with hot water. To minimize the loss of indigo during soaking, turn the jeans inside-out. Place the jeans into the tub and make sure the water is hot enough to cover them. Allow the jeans to soak in hot water for 45 to 60 minutes.

https://mansbrand.com/odds-ends-march-1-2023/

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