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November 01, 2012

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Currently Reading

Recent Reading

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    Fred Hoyle: A for Andromeda
    (4/13/2014) I read this through in a single sitting, ending at 3:30 in the morning, so I obviously enjoyed it very much, but there seemed to be a few holes – not just loose threads – at the end. Hmm …. (****)

  • Kai Bird: American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

    Kai Bird: American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
    (4/7/2014) The authors' left-wing political biases are remarkably naked here (although I'm not sure that they know that), and I was frequently forced to wonder if the ‘facts’ presented, e.g., that someone or other ‘lied’ about or ‘covered-up’ this or that detail or motivation. The authors' efforts to argue away the clear evidence that Oppenheimer was, in the late 1930s, a member (however ‘deviationist’ he could be) of the CPUSA, is particularly remarkable. In the end, I'm not entirely sure what I learned about that detail of Oppenheimer's life and what was just BS, so I'm glad that I read the book, and very glad that I am finished. Sigh. (***)

  • Michael Norman: Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath

    Michael Norman: Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
    (3/26/2014) By the way, MacArthur, the tender-egoed, preening jackass, was significantly responsible for the starved condition of the soldiers at Bataan before they were defeated. But on the plus side, he was a brilliant self-promoter! (*****)

  • Winston Churchill: The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy
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    Peter Boghossian: A Manual for Creating Atheists
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    H.G. Wells: The Invisible Man
    (1/31/2014) I laughed in a couple places, but for the most part – Meh. (***)

  • Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man

    Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man
    (1/30/2014) In a black university, he is just a means to an end. To psychiatrists, just a casual experiment, quickly disposable when the experiment goes wrong. To the ‘Brotherhood’ (Communist agitators in Manhattan), just a hired spokesman who must say what they want him to say and tell them what they want to hear, but never think or advise. To his white lover, just a symbol of drunken rebellion. To the police, just another ‘negro’. Never a person, never a man, never the dignity of individuality. (****)

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  • James M. McPherson: War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 (Littlefield History of the Civil War Era)

    James M. McPherson: War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 (Littlefield History of the Civil War Era)
    (1/10/2014) Damn the torpedoes, but watch out for white flags on Reb boats!  ‘Southern gentlemen’, my pasty Northern ass! (*****)

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    David R. Montgomery: The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood
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    But no, the Grand Canyon is not an example of diluvian geology, and all one needs to do is to look a the rocks and think (e.g., the strata are cut nearly vertically, which mud does not do) to know it. (****)

  • Richard Reeves: Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of The Berlin Airlift-June 1948-May 1949

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    I was surprised by the quality of Lying, which was brilliant, and was thus lulled into buying another. Silly me. (***)