Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Imperial Cruise - James Bradley NBC

This book was very disappointing.

One of my heroes has always been Teddy Roosevelt. When I learned about him in school, he was portrayed as a bluff, flamboyant, and dynamic political executive of some merit. He was responsible for creating a number of  National Parks. And didn't he send the "White Fleet" around the world to impress other nations of America's growing power?  And isn't that Teddy's face on Mt. Rushmore with a few other American heroes?

This book, from the first page to the last, viciously attacks everything Teddy ever did. It is unrelenting in it's criticism and absolutely boring to read. This is no "page-turner" but instead a mean spirited book intended to destroy a man's entire life and legacy. At the end the reader wants to throw Teddy to the wolves and the book in the trash.

Forget this book. It is utterly worthless.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fighting Terrorism - Benjamin Netanyahu

This little book was published in 1995 and it is as valid today as it was then. The author has been involved in Israeli politics for decades, and he is, I believe, currently the Israeli Prime Minister. The man speaks with the authority of on-the-scene experience. He defines terrorism, blames the guilty, and recommends a sound defense. He is at once a determined hard liner who believes in strength and action.

Let no attack go unpunished.

Netanyahu believes that a soft line of appeasement and bargaining away assets is totally not in ANY infidel's best interest with an MUSLIM adversary with no principles, morals, ethics, or sense of truthfullness.  He is certain that any discussion with radical Islamists -  is a complete waste of time. In his view there are no intelligent Muslim political leaders to negociate with, and you couldn't trust them if there was.

Mr. Netanyahu makes a convincing argument for his beliefs.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown NBC

Mixed review. Filled with facts and convincing descriptions. Unlike his DaVinci Code, this book tries much too hard. Mr. Brown provided his sequel with more of everything, and purposely lead the reader by means of a different  "Perils of Pauline tied to the railroad tracks as the Train thunders toward her" at the end of every page. This constant urging to turn the page is so clearly present that it becomes overwhelming - and ultimately boring. The author is obviously brilliant and a very resourceful writer. This book revolves around Freemasonry (thanks Dan) and is quite friendly to the craft. At the same time the author makes many fundamental errors of fact. Why would he do this? It is so obvious he must have done so on purpose. What purpose? In the end the book must be described as an "over-thriller-intelligent-twisty-multi-mystery" with flaws.

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien

Best rendition of a foot soldiers view of the war in Viet Nam. Mega-nasty. Brutal and Honest. Grim and fascinating. Well written. Powerful. Quick read.