Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review — End of the Cold War

Nothing is as simple as it first appears.  That’s my frustration with history — so much gets left out of the textbooks. I’ve just finished reading The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991 by Robert Service.  It’s a very detailed, and heavily documented, account of the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin

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Book Review — Against All Enemies

I’m just finishing Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror by Richard A. Clarke (Free Press, 2004).  Richard Clarke spent almost 30 years in government under seven presidents.  He was appointed the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism (aka the Terrorism Czar, a term he hated) by President Bill Clinton, and

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Just Who Was Frankenstein?

I have always seen pictures of the Frankenstein monster, and film clips from various productions, but that was the extent of my exposure.  Lately I’ve gotten interested in classic literature (see my earlier piece on The Phantom of the Opera), and decided to read the original novel,  Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft

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Some Thoughts on The Hunger Games

Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The Hunger Games never sounded like my kind of literature.  Yet I couldn’t help noticing the popularity of the books and movies, and the more I thought about it, the more the story’s premise became so repulsive it became intriguing.  How to write something like this?  Someday I would have to

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Savage Wars of Peace

A major nation’s use of power is always an interesting topic, and seems especially relevant in this day and age.  That’s why I found the book The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power fascinating.   The book begins with the wars against the Barbary pirates in 1801 and continues

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The Rapper and the Supreme Court Justice

You may have heard of the rapper Notorious B.I.G. Biggie or Biggie Smalls. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Notorious_B.I.G.)  Despite having died in 1997 at the age of 24, a victim of a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, he’s still considered one of the greatest and most influential  rappers of all time.  This was quite an accomplishment for someone with

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