Book Reviews

From iGeek
Jump to: navigation, search


City of Lies

CityOfLies.jpeg

“City of Lies” by Ramita Navai. Ramita is a bit of a Social Justice Warrior, traveling the world and telling you what's wrong with it. Tehran, Iran was seen through that lens. Still, very interesting vignettes that point out a lot of the hypocrisy and contradictions, as any outside culture would look to "outsiders". Definitely worth the read, if you like cultural travel books.

Main article: City of Lies

Countdown to Zero Day

Countdown.jpeg

My knowledge runs deep into security, but I loved the book: through I wanted it a bit more technical in some areas and a bit tighter overall. Definitely a good book for futurists who want to think about what the future might look like as these hacks and attacks become more common.

Main article: Countdown to Zero Day

Liberation Trilogy

RickA.png

Rick Atkinson won the Pulitzer with his personalized view of WWII in Europe. From the invasion of North Africa, to the conquest of Italy (the forgotten war), through to the taking of Berlin, he enjoys quoting letters and telling stories from various men (many of which are destined to die). He loves the color and the humanizing of events, talking about the interpersonal politics of what was going on, all from a very western-centric view. But it gives his books a readability and different perspective than most others on the topic.

Main article: Liberation Trilogy

Lies the Government told you

Lies.jpg

Judge Napolitano offers a refresher (for political history buffs) of the 17th Amendment and some of the unintended consequences of progressivism: like the scope creep of the federal government once we removed the checks and balances that was the 17th.

Predictably Irrational

PredictiblyIrrational.png

Fun book into what the author coins as Behavioral Economics -- which amusingly blurs psychological behavior (and human irrationality) with economics, and looks at how people behave. (Which isn't really economics, but amusing none-the-less).

Russian Spies in the McCarthy Era

Spy.png
Here are just a few of the folks either being operatives for the Russian government, or at least belonging to groups affiliated and helping them. Tydings 9, Amerasia, Rosenberg spy ring, Army Signal Corps Intelligence Agency (SCIA), and more. Instead of this being an invention of McCarthy's imagination, it turns out virtually all of the people on his lists were put on them by professional intelligence agents, and were suspected for very valid reasons. If not of being spies, of certainly being friends to many people who were later exposed as spies: Dorothy Kenyon, Esther Brunauer, Haldore Hanson, Harlow Shapley, Frederick Schuman, John Stewart Service, Owen Lattimore, Philip Jessup, T.A. Bisson, Solomon Adler, Nathan Gregory Silvermaster (and his wife Hellen/Elizabeth), Lauchlin Currie, Harry Dexter White, Harold Glasser, V. Frank Coe, David Karr, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Annie Lee Moss, Aaron Coleman, Barry Bernstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Leonard Mins, Cedric Belfrage, Mary Jane Keeney, Franz Neumann, Theodore Geiger, William Marx Mandel, Alger Hiss.

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story

SevenNamesGirl.jpg

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story, is a really good book about a spoiled girl (with 2 more names than I have), from North Korea, who selfishly and irresponsibly escapes from North Korea, and gets astonishingly lucky in the whole process. Then creates a better life for herself, convinces her family to leave, and burns down any opportunity for them to stay or go back to the oppressive regime.

While it is a bit of a narcissists tale of suffering, we were all narcissists at her age. And despite her being brash (not thinking ahead) and suffering consequences for her recklessness (including to those around her), it is still wonderfully eye opening to see North Korea, Korean culture, and the world through the eyes of a teenage girl, who slowly learns how lucky she has been (though the bigger hardships of those around her). And where would the world be, if there were at least some silly/brash kids risking everything to have a better life?

The Jungle

TheJungleSinclair.jpg

A relatively unknown and failing author and Socialist by the name of Upton Sinclair wanted to write a political propaganda book, so he went under cover in 1904 in Chicago meat packing plants, and by 1906 he completed his semi-fictional hit piece called, "The Jungle". While it was completely debunked at the time, it's still taught in schools today.

Main article: The Jungle

The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy

BlacklistedByHistory.jpg
The full title is like reading the back cover. Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His fight Against America's Enemies by M. Stanton Evans. But it's fascinating, well researched, vivisection of the myths and propaganda that altered what happened and why, in the public's mind. It turns out McCarthy's name should remain synonymous with libelous witch hunts, not because he was the perpetrator of them, but the victim of it.

Think like a Freak

Think-like-a-freak.jpg

A relatively unknown and failing author and Socialist by the name of Upton Sinclair wanted to write a political propaganda book, so he went under cover in 1904 in Chicago meat packing plants, and by 1906 he completed his semi-fictional hit piece called, "The Jungle". While it was completely debunked at the time, it's still taught in schools today.

Main article: Think like a Freak

Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez

Capital.jpeg
Thomas Piketty is a French Economist (and woman-beater?), who used Emmanuel Saez's discredited research as the basis for his new socialist manifesto called Capital in the 21st Century (a play on Marx’s Das Kapital).

Economically, it was crap: politically, it was gold. It told the left leaning and media (but I repeat myself), what they wanted to hear. So it made the NYT best seller list in Fan Fiction, and everyone talked about it. It was peer reviewed and debunked in spades, but not before the gullible gobbled it up as a tasty plate of confirmation bias. Nom nom.

Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter

WinBigly.jpg

"Win Bigly" is hit or miss. It's very interesting/enlightening on analyzing how persuasion of the public (or individuals) works: a fairly cynical analysis of humans willingness to gobble down confirmation bias. (From a mile high view). And he touches on negotiations. Scott had predicted Trump would win early (based on his powers of persuasion) and he explains why. He's not necessarily a fan of Trump... (he voted left in most prior elections)... but this book is filled with where he thinks Trump is dead on-target with some of his distractions and persuasion efforts, and that can be a hard read for some (even if the point is about persuasion, not likability/morality/positions).