Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
I’ve actually had Man of the People: The Maverick Life and Career of John McCain by Paul Alexander for a couple of weeks now, but am just getting around to posting it.
“Among the many legends who have made America great stands John McCain. Man of the People, Revised and Updated lyrically tells his quintessentially American story: a seemingly ordinary man doing extraordinarily heroic and selfless things–out of a pure devotion to his country. This dynamic biography shows why it’s easy to imagine him among the ranks of Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan, who led America with such daring and wisdom. McCain’s life is so organically American, so true to the legacies of the leaders who preceded him, that the greatest chapter of his story is still to be written.”
–Monica Crowley, panelist, The McLaughlin Group; host, The Monica Crowley Show
“John McCain is a real man. By that I mean he has faults and weaknesses like anybody else. But he has supplemented those with a ferocious courage and intensity. Paul Alexander brings McCain’s life to life in a way the reader will never forget.”
–Bill O’Reilly, anchor, The O’Reilly Factor
“Man of the People, Revised and Updated is nothing short of the definitive text on what makes John McCain tick. The complexity of this man is not well understood–unless you read this book. Alexander’s must-read chapter on the infamous 2000 South Carolina primary–’The Dirtiest Race I’ve Ever Seen’–is the most comprehensive telling to date of that sad moment in our politics.”
–Craig Crawford, Washington journalist, cqpolitics.com
“If I were looking for a politician to clean the corporate pigsty, it would be John McCain. In Man of the People, Paul Alexander artfully captures the drive, the integrity, and the tenacity that make John McCain such a one-of-a-kind politician.”
– Arianna Huffington, cofounder and Editor in Chief, The Huffington Post
You gotta love that last one.
A new edition revised for the 2008 races, published by Wiley.
Recently received 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas E. Woods Jr.:
Guess what? The Indians didn’t save the Pilgrims from starvation by teaching them to grow corn. Thomas Jefferson thought states’ rights–an idea reviled today–were even more important than the Constitution’s checks and balances. The –Wild” West was more peaceful and a lot safer than most modern cities. And the biggest scandal of the Clinton years didn’t involve an intern in a blue dress.
Surprised? Don’t be. In America, where history is riddled with misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and flat-out lies about the people and events that have shaped the nation, there’s the history you know and then there’s the truth.
In 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, Thomas E. Woods Jr., the New York Times bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, sets the record straight with a provocative look at the hidden truths about our nation’s history–the ones that have been buried because they’re too politically incorrect to discuss. Woods draws on real scholarship–as opposed to the myths, platitudes, and slogans so many other –history” books are based on–to ask and answer tough questions about American history, including:
- Did the Founding Fathers support immigration?
- Was the Civil War all about slavery?
- Did the Framers really look to the American Indians as the model for the U.S. political system?
- Was the U.S. Constitution meant to be a –living, breathing” document–and does it grant the federal government wide latitude to operate as it pleases?
- Did Bill Clinton actually stop a genocide, as we’re told?
You’d never know it from the history that’s been handed down to us, but the answer to all those questions is no.
Looks interesting. Other good questions include “How does Social Security really work?”, “How Antiwar have antiwar Liberals been over the years?”, and “What do foreign aid programs have to show for themselves?”
Many thanks to Crown Forum Publishing for the look-see at 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask
Out this month from Crown Forum: The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington by Robert D. Novak.
Long before Robert Novak became the center of a political firestorm in the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal, he had established himself as one of the finest–and most controversial–political reporters in America. Now, in this sweeping, monumental memoir, Novak offers the first full account of his involvement in that affair, while also revealing the fascinating story of his remarkable life and career. This is a singular journey through a half century of stories, scandals, and personal encounters with Washington’s most powerful and colorful people.
Novak has been a Washington insider since the days when the place was a sleepy southern town and journalism was built on shoe leather and the ability to cultivate and keep sources (not to mention the ability to hold one’s liquor). He has covered every president since Truman, known (personally and professionally) virtually all the big movers and shakers in D.C., and broken a number of the biggest stories–the Plame story, we see here, being far from the most important. In this book, he puts it all into perspective. He also reveals the extraordinary transformations that have fundamentally remade Washington, politics, and journalism–and his own role in those transformations.
The book will be available next week.
XT 130 LED Tactical Light
XT-130 POLYMER K2 TACTICAL TORCH
+130 Lumens Luxeon K2 LED 1500mA working current
+Polymer Body – Tough, Heat-Resistant
+Electroplated Aluminum Reflector
+Tactical Switch – Momentary or Constant-ON with Safety Lockout to prevent accidental activation
+ON > OFF – Press for Momentary-ON or Twist clockwise for Constant-ON, Twist further for Safety Lockout
eGear, a great supplier of outdoors and survival lighting, continues to make headway into the tactical market with an excellent LED tactical light. This thing is danger bright and the price (which includes two CR123A batteries) is definitely right.
Murdoc checked out some of eGear’s, um, gear, at the SHOT Show each of the past two years. They’ve got a nice line up and it’s growing.
After I’ve played with this thing a bit I’ll have more to say. (The rep told me to try and break it, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to risk this nice piece of equipment…)
After thirty years spent scratching together a middle-class life out of a –dirt-poor” childhood, Joe Bageant moved back to his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, where he realized that his family and neighbors were the very people who carried George W. Bush to victory. That was ironic, because Winchester, like countless American small towns, is fast becoming the bedrock of a permanent underclass. Two in five of the people in his old neighborhood do not have high school diplomas. Nearly everyone over fifty has serious health problems, and many have no health care. Credit ratings are low or nonexistent, and alcohol, overeating, and Jesus are the preferred avenues of escape.
A raucous mix of storytelling and political commentary, Deer Hunting with Jesus is Bageant’s report on what he learned by coming home. He writes of his childhood friends who work at factory jobs that are constantly on the verge of being outsourced; the mortgage and credit card rackets that saddle the working poor with debt, i.e., –white trashonomics”; the ubiquitous gun culture–and why the left doesn’t get it; Scots Irish culture and how it played out in the young life of Lynddie England; and the blinkered –magical thinking” of the Christian right. (Bageant’s brother is a Baptist pastor who casts out demons.) What it adds up to, he asserts, is an unacknowledged class war. By turns brutal, tender, incendiary, and seriously funny, this book is a call to arms for fellow progressives with little real understanding of –the great beery, NASCAR-loving, church-going, gun-owning America that has never set foot in a Starbucks.”
If that ain’t enough, it got a glowing endorsement from Howard Zinn.
I’m not quite sure how much of the book (and even the title) is a sarcastic, point-making effort and how much of it is meant to be serious, but there’s no doubt a lot of potential for comedy when you compare the stereotypical redneck, gun-toting Conservative with the stereotypical hippie, Starbucks-drinking Liberal.
Just received Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior by Dick Couch. Looks good, and here’s the blurb:
In combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. We are fighting guerrilla wars, against insurgents hidden in remote regions, often deep among the local population. In battles such as these, squadrons of billion-dollar bombers and naval fleets mean much less than on-the-ground intelligence and the ability to organize local forces. That’s why, more than ever before, we need men like those of the Army Special Forces–the legendary Green Berets.
In Chosen Soldier, Dick Couch–a former Navy SEAL widely admired for his books about SEAL training and operations–offers an unprecedented view of the training of the Army Special Forces warrior. Each year, several thousand enlisted men and several hundred officers volunteer for Special Forces training; less than a quarter of those who apply will complete the course. Chosen Soldier spells out in fascinating detail the arduous regimen these men undergo–the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well they gather operational intelligence to their skills at negotiating with volatile, often hostile, local leaders.
Just received a copy of On the Hunt: How to Wake Up Washington and Win the War on Terror by Colonel David Hunt. Here’s the blurb:
“We can fix our mistakes and finally put this war on the right track. The thing will be to change our mind-set almost completely. Forget risk avoidance and covering our butts. We need to focus on survival.”
So says Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt in a book that cuts like a buzz saw through the half-measures and half-truths, the dangerous timidity, and the outright stupidity that–if left unchecked–will lead America to lose the War on Terror.
In the hard-hitting On the Hunt, Colonel Hunt draws on his twenty-nine years of active military service and his high-level military and intelligence contacts to give an inside perspective on this global struggle, setting him far apart from the usual pundits and talking heads. Here he presents fifty pages of previously unpublished documents that reveal the chillingly detailed plans of the terrorists and insurgents who target Americans, as well as U.S. tactics to stop our enemies.
From the Department of Homeland Security (–Get rid of it. Scrap it.”) to military leaders who have almost zero combat experience to risk-averse, politically correct strategic decision-making, Colonel Hunt pinpoints dire problems that need to be fixed before it’s too late (which it nearly is). Offering real solutions that most politicians and pundits are too timid to talk about, On the Hunt lays out specific steps to:
+ Win the war in Iraq by changing the way we fight–by taking the gloves off and, in doing so, honoring the sacrifices our soldiers are making
+ Deal with Iran, North Korea, and other dangerous threats
+ Solve the illegal immigration crisis and keep America’s enemies from breaching our borders (both of them)
+ Make our towns and cities more secure–not by looking to the federal bureaucracy but by taking responsibility ourselves
+ Protect the liberties of American citizens at home
+ Ensure that our soldiers are trained and equipped to fight today’s and tomorrow’s wars
As Colonel Hunt’s millions of viewers on Fox News and all the readers of his bestselling book They Just Don’t Get It will expect, he pulls no punches while incisively analyzing a war unlike any other. In On the Hunt, Colonel Hunt reveals exactly how high the stakes really are in the War on Terror. He condemns failed policies and the people who made them (and, yes, he names names). And most important, he clearly identifies the strategies, tactics, and qualities of leadership that we must bring to bear to ensure the survival of the proud and free nation we love.
Just published by Crown Publishing Group.
Scholarships Around the US has an excellent page with information and links about Scholarships from Military Sources. The site is a wealth of general information about getting scholarships, and it’s organized by subject in plain language format. The military page begins:
Each branch of the United States military – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard – is slightly different and offers its own rules regarding educational tuition. In all of these branches, the Montgomery G.I. Bill is in effect and assists service men and women with tuition assistance. While it is not a regular scholarship, this option should be explored and taken into consideration when applying for scholarships.
Though no one should be joining the military “just for the education”, the education benefits are an important perk and the GI Bill, along with the scholarships listed on the site, should be considered when deciding whether a few years (or a career) in the military is right for you.
Read the rest of this entry »