Books Of Interest: December 12, 2013

I have not read any of these but they all looked interesting and I need to put them on my pile.

My Promised Land: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Israel     Ari Shavit

The author describes himself as a left-wing journalist and uses interviews, historical documents and other sources to tell the story of Israel including the conflicts with Iran as well as the successes such as in technology startups.

The Deserters: A Hidden History Of World War II     Charles Glass

The author tells a story of the 150,000 men that deserted from the World War II theater by using army archives, self-published memoirs, court-martial records and personal diaries to uncover a side of the war in which we have not been privy to previously.

The Beast: Riding The Rails And Dodging Narcos On The Migrant Trail     Oscar Martinez

I had previously mentioned this book back on October 30th of this year but I’ve not moved on it yet. The author accompanied migrants on eight trips from Central America into the United States and tells a descriptive story of courage as well as violence.

How Asia Works: Success And Failure In the World’s Most Dynamic Region     Joe Studwell

Mr. Studwel argues that the success of some countries in Asia as compared to others comes down to three factors: land policies that support small farmers, manufacturing policies that subsidize domestic industries as well as financial policies that support the above while resisting deregulation. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have done this while Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have not.

Coolidge     Amity Shlaes

Shlaes tells the story of our thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge and states that he has been very misunderstood. I have read Coolidge: An American Enigma by Robert Sobel and I must state that Coolidge is much more interesting than history has given him credit.

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft And The Golden Age Of Journalism     Doris Kearns Goodwin

Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to install a press room in the White House enabling journalists to increase their importance in being able to report on political life. The author shows this increased tensions in the Republican party and increase the power of journalism.

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For The Better     Clive Thompson

The author is an editor of Wired Magazine and tells the optimistic story of how technology affects the way in which we learn and think as well as use the Internet for our own self-interest.

Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence and Emperor Penguins     Gavin Francis

The author was the doctor at the British Antarctica Survey for fourteen months and tells the story of Antarctica, its blankness and its silence, the fourteen people stationed at Halley, as well as the 60,000 emperor penguins.

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