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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by haolcatx, Mar 23, 2006.
Tell us about a book you read recently. Kinda give is a review.
I read "The Rise of the Vulcans" last week by James Mann. It is about the early careers of members of the GOP war cabinet. It was interesting to me because I traditionally vote democrat and don't know much about the GOP's early history. I found out that Condoleezza Rice is the daughter of a preacher and use to be a democrat but a large reason for her changer-over was her disagreement with the democratic platform on Russia during the cold war.
Richard Armitage, who is the deputy secretary of state, was a vietman vet who was in the brown water navy, a really dangerous job to have in those days. A lot of his philosophy, the author suggests was molded from his time in the brown water navy.
Cheney use to work under Rumpsfeld and the two have had a long and close professional relationship long before Bush jr became president. Rumsfeld was on the Nixon campaign but was in europe during watergate. He still supported Nixon's decisions and tatics after Nixon resigned due to watergate.
Powell, who I knew the most about, initially turned down the political offerings and instead originally wanted to be a career soldier.
The book, without making this post too long, tracks and Paul Wolfowitz's careers and tells how they got a beginning on politics up through their current positions in the GOP war cabinet.
A book every American should read:
Beyond Politics by Mitchell and Simmons
This book is a critical investigation of government and it's effect on the economy. They go through and explain the nature of markets and skim the surface of the philosophy behind the market system.
They then go through, unlike most other books, the failures of government when compared to the market. The book provides a look at why government and government organizations are ineffective, inefficient and wasteful.
This book is a must, it helps to dispell the myth of "If we let gov't handle it, it will be okay." Simmons and Mitchell basically say that the Government has no business doing alot of what it is doing and how private markets can not only maximize efficiency, but also satisfy a greater number of consumers to a better degree than gov't.
Sounds very libertarian. Are you by chance a libertarian? Sounds like an interesting book.
I'm a libertarian that is sympathetic to Anarcho-Capitalism. I hate Government, I think they're a bunch of bumbling morons with only the short term in mind. They face perverse incentives and their actions echo their incentives.
Ultimate Punishment by Scott Turow. Turow, a self-described "death-penalty agnostic" Turow was one of the lawyers on the panel in Chicago when than governer elect George Ryan issued a moratorium on the death penatly in the state of Illinois. He talks about the 14 member pattern, what they read, studied who they interviewed, which included a number of people both pro and con and his personal experiences as an ex prosecuter and crimminal defense attorney.
The book is a raw assesment of the system by someone who spent his adult lifetime, as a lawyer, knee-deep in the system. He by being, one the fence on the issue, is objective without being on a political soapbox pro or con.
The two links below are to the book's amazon site, an online review of the book, an article on the moratorium and governer Ryan's current efforts to stop the death penalty since leaving the governer position. An interesting footnote from the book. Ryan, according to Turow was pro-death penalty when he stepped into office.
All the books that everyone else has reviewed sound very serious so I'll tell about one that wasn't quite so serious!! I just got done reading Jodi Picoult's "The Tenth Circle." It's a story about a husband and wife, whose 15 year old daughter ends up getting raped by a guy on the school's hockey team and the troubles the family goes through as a result. (okay - so it's a serious topic but I meant that it's more fiction, for fun type of reading!)
The novel was very good and teaches you a lot about family relations and being able to deal with things as they come at you. I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing at Barnes & Noble the day after the book came out. She read several passages from the book and it was really neat hearing the actual author of the book provide some insight into the characters she created.
So if you ever get the chance, read "The Tenth Circle"!! And if you find you really enjoy Jodi Picoult's writing, her best book (in my opinion!) is "My Sister's Keeper", check that one out too!
Michel Shermer's "How We Believe." Shermer is the head of the skeptic's society and a self-described agnostic on the notion that the issue of God is unsoluable. In his book he presents theories on why man clings to religion and the idea of God in older and modern times and why many people chose sprituality even when it directly conflicts with reason. I think this was one of the most influential books I have ever read in my lifetime.
Here is Shermer's website:
And a list of his books:
I have also read "The science of good and evil" which uses secular reasoning drawing from genetics, biology and organic sciences in general to propositon a theory on why man is moral or has the i inclination towards morality.
A footnote essay by Shermer:
somebody esle gotta a book review?
If you want mindless, action adventure entertainment:
Matthew Reilly - I recommend starting with Ice Station
It's hard to put the books down.
I just started reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand on recommendation by someone who says that book changed his life. It's tough reading - has anyone read it before and can let me know if it's worth my time reading it?
Ayn Rand is brilliant .. a complete kook to be sure ... but brilliant. Personally I think her arguments in her works carry some major flaws and the ultimate logical upshots of her works are ... scary to say the least. But I would reccomend the works to anyone looking for an intellectually stimulating read.
Thanks, A1...I will continue trudging through it then. Usually when I read for fun rather than reading my textbooks, I don't like to use as much brain power to understand the book but I've heard nothing but good things about Ayn Rand so I guess I'll keep reading.