Books. Thoughts. Reviews.


book reviews

Oscar Martinez’s “History of Violence” – A Very Graphic Picture of Political Anarchy

I can’t say I enjoyed this book on current Central American life, mainly because it seemed to fixate on the violence end of things. According to Martinez, there are several serious Narco states in this region that are so consumed… Continue Reading →

The Great Uncertainties of Outcomes

I am just finishing off Cyril Connolly’s “Enemies of Promise” and finding his grand view of life, looking back, both useful and unsettling. In his short study on the brevity of life, “The Unquiet Grave”, Connolly, ever the skilled art… Continue Reading →

“Knock on the Door” – Honoring the Truth

I recently read the abridged version of the “Truth and Reconciliation Report” on the tragic circumstances surrounding the Residential School era in the 19th and 20th centuries. This handy guide highlights some of the anecdotal evidence given by First Nations… Continue Reading →

Robert Paxton’s “Anatomy of Fascism” – A Study of Unpacking a Complex Term

Like a lot of things in life first takes or impressions can always be dangerous if one does not take time to examine its origins and implications. Paxton, in this study on one of the political bugbears of history –… Continue Reading →

The Truth is Found in a More Complete Story

I used to listen to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” with relish. The tales he told were loaded with little known details that were intriguing and sometimes scintilatting. ┬áHe had such a delightful way of winkling out and… Continue Reading →

Andrew Lownie’s “Stalin’s Englishman” – Charm the Very Pants Off You

Talk about being a natural charmer in a world that was fast growing dull from its lack of charm. No wonder dozens of influential toffs of the day, in high circles, took a shine to Guy Burgess, just another Cambridge… Continue Reading →

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Deadeye Dick” – A Satire on a Society Seriously Run Amok

Anyone who reads Vonnegut regularly must know that black or gallows humor is his specialty. Nothing sacred or off-limits in this novel. As satires go, Vonnegut can deliver some very wicked blows against the cultural bastions of society when it… Continue Reading →

Ferguson on Kissinger

Henry Kissinger has always been one of those enigmatic people in modern times who defies being categorized as this or that or anything in between. What many of us tend to do when we don’t understand the chameleon features of… Continue Reading →

Andrew Cohen’s “Two Days in June” – A Serious Change in Direction?

Until now, I have struggled to make sense of the all-too-brief Kennedy administration of the early sixties. Cohen does a credible job in getting me focused in divining where President Kennedy was possibly heading in setting his legacy. As one… Continue Reading →

H. W. Brands’ “Reagan: the Life” – A Big Picture Idea of Freedom

If ever an American president came close to being all things to all people, Ronald Reagan was it. Brands’ extensive biography of the 41st president is a very impressive review of what drove or motivated this man to do what… Continue Reading →

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