From time to time, you'll stumble over something worth remembering.
A wee bit biased but nonetheless a revealing portrait of Vladimir Putin. Good read.
"Gessen’s book does not attempt to weigh up Putin’s record but rather examines his biography, mind-set and methods. She portrays him as a thug loyal to the KGB and the empire it served who never had a clue about the Earth-shattering events that blew the Soviet Union apart.
"Once in power, Putin began to demolish the fragile democracy that was Yeltsin’s legacy. Gessen describes how Putin rolled back the popular election of governors, seized control of television news and forced the oligarchs to heel. She also covers the big events of the day: the murder of journalists, terrorist attacks and corruption cases.
"This kind of reporting in Russia is difficult and often leads to a dead end. When Gessen reaches a point where the facts aren’t clear, she often speculates. Events are described as 'probably' or 'presumably' or 'most likely' to have happened. It might have been wiser to just admit the unknown.
"Gessen’s verdict on Putin is dark, but there are other dimensions to his rule that demand more nuanced investigation. His tough talk was not always accompanied by action. He once pledged to eliminate the powerful oligarchs as a class. One of the tycoons, the oil magnate Mikhail Khordokovsky, was arrested and tried on trumped-up charges. Others fell in line or fled. But then Putin proceeded to replace them with his own cronies, many drawn from the security services. The players were changed, but the system survived. Also, Putin’s tough-guy approach was supposed to end the lawlessness of the previous decade, but after his long years in power, corruption has grown worse. Finally, while Putin did control the big television stations, new channels of information sprang to life, particularly on the Internet, beyond the Kremlin’s control. When young protestors finally took to the streets in frustration last fall, it was Facebook and Twitter that enabled them to swiftly organize rallies of tens of thousands."
I am sure this will appeal to only the purest of baseball history aficionados, but I enjoyed it, in large part because my own grandfather is featured in its pages. My grandfather played ball for the 1940 and 1941 Hot Springs Bathers, a semi-pro team based in Hot Springs, Arkansas and part of the Cotton States League.
Hot Springs was a baseball mecca in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when organized baseball was young. It was the original spring training venue for many teams, long before teams started spending spring in Florida and Arizona. A.G. Spalding, President of the Chicago White Stockings (forerunner of the Chicago Cubs) sent his crew down to the region in the spring of 1886. Spalding's splendid idea was to boil out the "alcoholic microbes" of the young men on his team. Spalding, who disapproved of drinking and gambling, realized that some of his players drank a little too much alcohol during the winter. Therefore, his desire was to have his team physically fit by taking the Hot Springs baths, climbing the mountain's, and playing baseball. The White Stockings won the 1886 National League championship.
Through the years, Hot Springs baseball fans gazed on many great players such as Cy Young, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Dizzy Dean, George Sisler, Bill Dickey, and many more. Major league teams such as the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, and many more trained at Hot Springs. Several Negro league teams including the Pittsburgh Crawfords also traveled to the area. In addition, several minor-league teams trained there.
Hot Springs itself sponsored a semi-pro team as early as 1887, perhaps due to the exposure of the White Stockings training in the city. It was a less sophisticated time in sports. In those early years, low salaries, small team budgets, wool uniforms, smaller rosters, unorganized scheduling, and poor equipment were all part of minor league baseball in the city.
Quick read and full of refreshing wisdom and insight.
Around the corner from the house I lived in during my most recent stint in Washington, D.C. is a quaint little coffee shop, Ebeneezers. I loved stopping by on cold evenings for a hot drink before heading home for the evening. Ebeneezers is owned and operated by the National Community Church, an interdenominational church that holds meetings throughout the city. NCC's mission is make the name of Jesus famous in our generation. Each NCC organization has a unique churchprint that reflects how they live out that calling.
Mark Batterson is NCC's lead pastor. He went to the University of Chicago on scholarship playing basketball and majoring in pre-law. After a prayer walk through a cow pasture (a great story by itself), he felt called to full time ministry and ended up at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. That's the short story. Mark also holds a Doctor of Ministry from Regent University. He is the author of a dozen books including his first published title, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and The Circle Maker, a New York Times bestseller.
This book shines a spotlight on the fierce and largely uncovered twenty-first century genocide of Christians around the globe.
From Iraq and Egypt to Sudan and Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Indian subcontinent, Christians are now the world's most persecuted religious group. According to the secular International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of violations of religious freedom in the world today are directed against Christians. In effect, our era is witnessing the rise of a new generation of martyrs. Underlying the global war on Christians is the demographic reality that more than two-thirds of the world's 2.3 billion Christians now live outside the West, often as a beleaguered minority up against a hostile majority-- whether it's Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, Hindu radicalism in India, or state-imposed atheism in China and North Korea. John L. Allen exposes the deadly threats and offers investigative insight into what is and can be done to stop these atrocities.
“This book is about the most dramatic religion story of the early twenty-first century, yet one that most people in the West have little idea is even happening: The global war on Christians,” writes John Allen. “We’re not talking about a metaphorical ‘war on religion’ in Europe and the United States, fought on symbolic terrain such as whether it’s okay to erect a nativity set on the courthouse steps, but a rising tide of legal oppression, social harassment and direct physical violence, with Christians as its leading victims. However counter-intuitive it may seem in light of popular stereotypes of Christianity as a powerful and sometimes oppressive social force, Christians today indisputably form the most persecuted religious body on the planet, and too often its new martyrs suffer in silence.”
For further reading, check out Ronald Lauder's New York Times op-ed piece Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?
Technorati Tags: Christianity, John L. Allen, Jr., rabid reader blog, rick e. hansen, rickehansen, Ronald Lauder, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, the rabid reader, Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?
Since Joseph Smith walked out of a grove of trees in upstate New York in the Spring of 1820 to declare that he had been visited by God and his Son Jesus Christ, and his founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1830, he and fifteen of his successors have presided over the Church and guided its affairs and rapid, worldwide growth. Dynamic Disciples contains excerpts and inspring stories from Francis M. Gibbons' full-length biographies of each of these men.
Technorati Tags: Brigham Young, David O. McKay, Deseret Book, Dynamic Disciples, Francis M. Gibbons, George Albert Smith, Gordon B. Hinckley, Harold B. Lee, Heber J. Grant, Joseph F. Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Joseph Smith, Lorenzo Snow, rabid reader blog, rick e. Hansen, rickehansen, Spencer W. Kimball, the rabid reader, Thomas S. Monson
Interesting, but not nearly as good as Forsyth's The Etymologicon.
Technorati Tags: Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language, Mark Forsyth, rabid reader blog, rick e. Hansen, rickehansen, The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, the inky fool, the rabid reader
A pearl of great price. Filled with wisdom and insight.
Knowledge is important -- but it is only part of the equation in our spiritual development. Our happiness in mortality and our progress throughout eternity depend on our learning to "act in doctrine," to live as we know we should live. In this book, David A. Bednar shares key insights to help close the gap between what we know and how we act. "The essential first step in reducing the disparity between gospel knowledge and righteous behavior is learning about and emulating the character of Christ," he writes.
As we turn from self to the Savior, we become better able to understand and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Obedience becomes "the sweet fruit of honoring covenant responsibilities -- not merely a chore or an option to be performed based upon circumstances were convenience." This book, with its variety of learning resources, is an invitation to all of us to learn, ponder, and act in doctrine.
Elder David A. Bednar was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as the president of Brigham Young University -- Idaho. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas.
Fascinating read and a cautionary tale for our day about the often strident discourse over environmental policy and global warming.
In the 1960s, overpopulation instilled fear in people’s hearts. Stanford biology professor Paul Ehrlich shaped this concern with his 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb. He argued that millions were “going to starve to death.” Ehrlich was an articulate spokesperson for mass devastation. His many public appearances, including a visit to The Tonight Show in1970, helped catalyze the emerging environmental movement. Many found Ehrlich’s warnings compelling; others were not convinced.
Economist Julian Simon regarded Ehrlich’s claims as overblown fear mongering. Simon felt Ehrlich misunderstood the way that economic adaptation and technological advances solve problems, including many of the issue Ehrlich cited in his dire warnings. Simon offered informed alternatives to Ehrlich’s prophecies. The two experts symbolized the “two poles” of the 1970s debate over the environment and humanity’s future. These clashing views played out in the politics of that period, enjoyed a high media profile and continue to shape public debate today.
At the heart of The Bet is just that, a bet. Ehrlich’s and Simon’s arguing culminated with Simon’s challenge to bet on their respective positions. The bet boiled their disagreement down to predictions about the prices of five commodities – chromium, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten – over the next 10 years. If Ehrlich was right, humanity was running out of resources and costs would rise. If Simon was right, technology and the market would solve the problems of resource scarcity and prices would fall.
In October 1990, Ehrlich sent Simon a check for $567. Simon had won the bet. This victory “became a symbolic weapon” for those who opposed regulation or supported free market solutions. The New York Times Magazine’s coverage of the bet described Ehrlich as the most recent in a long line of failed prophets, stretching back to Malthus. Ehrlich said his mistake with the bet had been the timeline – that 10 years was too short. Conservative critics ignored the specifics and cared only about victory. While technological innovation played a part, other factors, like a recession, were more significant. If the two men had chosen most other combinations of commodities, Simon would have lost. Later simulations found “Ehrlich would have won the bet 63% of the time.”
The simplicity of the bet, and how people interpreted it, marked the intense political divisions over environmental issues in the 1990s. The two main US political parties became more distinct and ideological. Politicians once could take independent positions on the environment based on their evaluation of the issue. Now political stances sprang from a set of beliefs and allegiances.
Technorati Tags: 427 Laws, and Attacks by Inanimate Objects, and Axioms to Help You Cope with Crises, Bad Luck, Deadlines, murphy's law, Paul Dickson, Principles, rabid reader blog, Red Tape, rick e. Hansen, rickehansen, Rude Behavior, the murphy center, The Official Rules: 5, the rabid reader
The name "Toots Shor" calls to mind the smiling, rubicund face of New York City's most famous saloon keeper and bum.
Toots Shor, born in Philadelphia, had the good sense to migrate almost immediately to New York's bright lights. In the legendary speakeasy era he became a legend himself, as bouncer, guardian, and manager. He opened his own joint in 1940, and the rest is history. The greats of sports, stage and film frequented his saloon and delighted in his food while trying (usually in vain) to match his prowess as imbiber and raconteur.
Toots emerges, intact and unique, in this loving and unmistakably authentic portrait by Bob Considine, a fellow bum of long stanging. Rich in names, humor, and good stories.
I you have a heart, this story will break it. This is a vivid reminder of the power and legacy of hate and discrimination.
In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who would be framed for the crime. By day's end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys."
Into this deadly fray came Thurgood Marshall, the man known as "Mr. Civil Rights," and the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the "Florida Terror" at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement. But Marshall would not shrink from the fight--not after the Klan had murdered one of his NAACP associates involved with the case and Marshall had endured continual threats that he would be next.
When justice was finally done--in a case U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson decried as "one of the best examples of one of the worst menaces to American justice" it was snatched away in a fit of vengeance and murder.
Gilbert King won numerous awards for this book. Very well written.
Prussia's last king and Germany's last Kaiser was born in Potsdam on January 27, 1859, the son of Prince Frederick of Prussia and Princess Vicky, Queen Victoria's eldest child. William was born with a withered arm and suffered from cerebral palsy; many historians have sought in this a clue to his behavior later in life. He was believed mad by some, eccentric by others. Possessed of a ferocious temper, he was prone to reactionary statements, often contradicted by his next action or utterance. He was rumored to have sired numerous illegitimate children and yet was by all appearances a prig. A severe Calvinist tutor brought him up, but his entourage spoiled him, allowing him to win at games an maneuvers to compensate for his deformities. This gave him a sense of inherent invincibility.
William became Kaiser at age twenty-nine. Two years later, he drove Bismarck out after the latter had blocked his social policy. He destabilized the Iron Chancellor's foreign policy by failing to renew the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia, a decision that opened the way for Russia's alliance with France in 1894. He denied that the fleet he built was targeted at Britain, but there is evidence that German domination of the seas was the aim of William's secretary of state, who was altogether less anxious to please the British than the grandson of Queen Victoria. William idolized the Queen. As soon as he heard she was dying, he rushed to Osbourne House to be at her bedside. his own daughter later said, "The Queen of England died in the arms of the German Kaiser."
William II is widely perceived as a warmonger who seemed to delight in power grabbing, blood-shed, and the belligerent aims of his staff, yet the image he carved out for himself and posterity was that of "emperor of peace." William has historically been blamed for World War I, although he made real efforts to prevent the conflict. he has been branded an anti-Semite, but ironically the Nazis wrote him off as a "Jew-lover."
I recently had the opportunity to listen to David Nasaw lecture on Joseph P. Kennedy--specifically Kennedy's time at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Nasaw's lecture was captivating. His writing is equally captivating. This is a wonderful biography of an extraordinarily complex man.
Nasaw—the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library—tracks Kennedy's passage from East Boston outsider to supreme Washington insider. Kennedy's seemingly limitless ambition drove his career to the pinnacles of success as a banker, World War I shipyard manager, Hollywood studio head, broker, Wall Street operator, New Deal presidential adviser, and founding chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His astounding fall from grace into ignominy did not come until the years leading up to and following America's entry into the Second World War, when the antiwar position he took as the first Irish American ambassador to London made him the subject of White House ire and popular distaste.
The Patriarch is a story not only of one of the twentieth century's wealthiest and most powerful Americans, but also of the family he raised and the children who completed the journey he had begun. Of the many roles Kennedy held, that of father was most dear to him. The tragedies that befell his family marked his final years with suffering.
Nasaw delves deep to answer the many questions about Kennedy's life, times, and legacy that have continued to haunt the historical record. Was Joseph P. Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist, an anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathizer, a stock swindler, a bootlegger, and a colleague of mobsters? What was the nature of his relationship with his wife, Rose? Why did he have his daughter Rosemary lobotomized? Why did he oppose the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, and American assistance to the French in Vietnam? What was his relationship to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI? Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him?
Kennedy's life, career, and legacy span the better part of the twentieth century. In studying his life, we relive much of American history during the same period.
Good companion for study of the Book of Psalms.
Says Reardon: "It is the profound Christian persuasion that Christ walks within the Psalms, and this is the reason the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament book is most often quoted in the New Testament. When [Christ] opened their eyes to the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, the risen Lord explained to His disciples the things concerning Himself 'in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms' (Luke 24:44)."
First written in 1886, John Ker, famous 19th century theologian, presents the Psalms alongside a discussion of their relevance and stories from "modern" history that serve to contextualize the teachings. The book does not include a discussion of every Psalm, it does however contain sections on more than 150 of the poems. The stories presented alongside the Psalms range greatly in origin, from tales of sinking ships in the 1800's to an account of a third century king reading the works while on his deathbed. The author shows what he terms the 'intense humanity' of the Psalms; how they have pervaded human life, asserted their power to comfort the soul in all times of tribulation, and give wisdom to all who look for divine guidance.
Gerald O'Collins draws on the best current scholarship available for an accessible, fresh introduction to the largest and oldest institution in the world. O'Collins explains clearly and concisely where the Catholic Church comes from, what it believes and practices, the sacraments and the Church's moral teaching, and where it is heading. The book also includes a timeline of events in the history of Catholicism and useful suggestions for further reading.
Between 1926 and 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott raped and killed at least 20 young boys at a remote chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His unwilling accomplice was his own nephew Sanford Clark, who was 13 when his wretch of a mother cast him off to stay with his Uncle. Northcott brutalized, tortured and raped Clark, sparing him only because he was family. Eventually, the cops caught up with Northcott, and he was hung after a sensational trial in which Sanford was the star witness.
This is not pleasant reading, though Flacco tells the story well. Remarkably, it is a powerful story of redemption and becoming. When finally freed from his Uncle's grasp, Sanford Clark was able to put his life back together with the aid of a loving, devoted sister and a tender wife. Sadly, he was never quite free of the trauma and nightmares.
Terrific. Hal Eyring makes me want to be a better man.
Henry Bennion Eyring was born on May 31, 1933, in Princeton, New Jersey, bearing the first name of his father, who was fast building a reputation as a brilliant and famous scientist, and the family name of his mother, who didn't care for the name "Henry" and insisted that he be called Hal. In 1970, Hal received an impression to make a daily record of his activities. Years of journals form the backbone of this personal biography, a candid look at his walk through life.
"The journal shows how a good-but-imperfect man works each day to win divine approval," write the authors, and this window into Eyring's past provides unforgettable insights about the man. President Henry B. Eyring's professional, academic, and personal experiences have all combined to make him uniquely qualified for his responsibilities as a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His life story vividly demonstrates the power of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Very well done.
Juliet Macur is an award-winning sports reporter for The New York Times and a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism. She writes the Sports of the Times column and has written extensively about Lance Armstrong, cycling and doping. Her work has twice been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing.
Rarely does a biography cause me such repugnance towards its subject. Lance Armstrong got exactly what he deserved. He is a foul-mouthed, mean, unrepentant, if not pathological, liar and bully who won't think twice about sacrificing family, friends, and fellow cyclists on the altar of his own vanity. Of course his defenders claim he didn't do anything that other professional cyclists weren't doing. But that's not a defense; it is merely an effort to deflect responsibility and accountability and, moreover, a damning indictment of the integrity and credibility of the sport he personified.
William Shakespeare’s written vocabulary consisted of 17,245 words, including hundreds that were coined or popularized by him. Some of the words never went further than their appearance in his plays, but others—like bedazzled, hurry, critical, and anchovy—are essential parts of our standard vocabulary today.
Many other famous and lesser-known writers have contributed to the popular lexicon. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Sir Walter Scott ranks second to Shakespeare in first uses of words and giving a new and distinct meaning to already existing words (Free Lances for freelancers). John Milton minted such terms as earthshaking, lovelorn, by hook or crook, and all Hell broke loose, and was responsible for introducing some 630 words.
Lexicographer Paul Dickson deftly sorts through neologisms by Chaucer (a ha), Jane Austen (base ball), Louisa May Alcott (co-ed), Mark Twain (hard-boiled), Kurt Vonnegut (granfalloon), John le Carrè (mole), William Gibson (cyberspace), and many others. Presenting stories behind each word and phrase, Dickson enriches our appreciation of the English language in a book as entertaining as it is enlightening.
I grew up watching Rose on the field. No question he is among the very best that ever played. Sadly, Rose's true north was and continues to be money. In his case, truer words than these have never been spoken: "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil." (1st Timothy 6:10)
On the unavoidable question of his suitability for the Baseball Hall of Fame, my personal feeling is that by now he has paid the price for his crimes. I support his eligibility for induction provided the ban on his employment in baseball remains in force. What say you?
Tremendous. Very, very well done.
General Tomoyuki Yamashita was one of Japan’s most accomplished military commanders during World War II. He was tried, convicted, and hanged for war crimes that he never ordered or knew of during the Japanese defense of Manila in 1945.
The atrocities of 1944 and 1945 in the Philippines—rape, murder, torture, beheadings, and starvation, the victims often women and children—were horrific. They were committed by Japanese troops as General Douglas MacArthur’s army tried to recapture the islands. Yamashita commanded Japan’s dispersed and besieged Philippine forces in that final year of the war. But the prosecution conceded that he had neither ordered nor committed these crimes. MacArthur charged him, instead, with the crime—if it was one—of having “failed to control” his troops, and convened a military commission of five American generals, none of them trained in the law. It was the first prosecution in history of a military commander on such a charge.
In a turbulent and disturbing trial marked by disregard of the Army’s own rules, the generals delivered the verdict they knew MacArthur wanted. Yamashita’s lawyers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose controversial decision upheld the conviction over the passionate dissents of two justices who invoked, for the first time in U.S. legal history, the concept of international human rights.
Drawing from the tribunal’s transcripts, Ryan vividly chronicles this tragic tale and its personalities. His trenchant analysis of the case’s lingering question—should a commander be held accountable for the crimes of his troops, even if he has no knowledge of them—has profound implications for all military commanders.
Allan A. Ryan clerked for Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White, was a U.S. Marine Corps judge advocate, and was Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. As director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, he was the chief prosecutor of Nazi war criminals who had escaped to America. He teaches the law of war at Boston College Law School and Harvard University and is author of Quiet Neighbors: Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals in America.
Remarkable book. Profound, yet practical.
Knowledge is important—but it is only part of the equation in our spiritual development. Our happiness in mortality and our progress throughout eternity depend on our learning to "act in doctrine," to live as we know we should live.
In Act in Doctrine, David A. Bednar shares key insights to help close the gap between what we know and how we act. "The essential first step in reducing the disparity between gospel knowledge and righteous behavior is learning about and emulating the character of Christ," he writes.
As we turn from self to to the Savior, we become better able to understand respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Obedience becomes "the sweet fruit of honoring covenant responsibilities—not merely a chore or an option to be performed based upon circumstances or convenience." This is a stirring invitation to all of us to learn, ponder, and Act in Doctrine.
From Gilbert Taylor at Booklist:
Kershaw’s two-volume biography of Hitler, volume one subtitled 1889–1936: Hubris (1999) and volume two 1936–1945: Nemesis (2000), ranks among the most significant of its kind; only biographies by Joachim Fest and Alan Bullock are in Kershaw’s league. For this abridgment of his opus, Kershaw stripped out its scholarly apparatus, reduced verbatim quotations from primary sources, and added an essay of reflections on his approach to the study of his infamous subject. With these changes, the abridgment retains two themes of Kershaw’s full-scale original: analyzing the political support the demagogue mustered from the populace and key institutional centers of Germany on his ascent to and exercise of power; and the decisive personal role of Hitler in instigating World War II and genocide. The narrative Kershaw constructs on this foundation is a superb organization and expression of Hitler’s chronological arc that plummeted the world into catastrophe and moral trauma, a trajectory informed by Kershaw’s attention to rationalizations by which people in and outside Germany, whether leaders or led, buried doubts about Hitler until his power was unrestrained, impossible to stop but by war or assassination. Manifestly, Kershaw constitutes core-collection material.
I was looking for a good overview of the hedge fund industry but this missed the mark. A bit dated too.
Hedge Hunters is a collection of interviews with the leading lights of the hedge fund industry (at least as of 2007). The book is focused primarily on how the industry’s top performers got to the top, what strategies they employ, how they learn from their mistakes and what characteristics they find necessary to succeed in this very competitive environment. Profiled here are: Mark Yusko, Michael Steinhardt, John Armitage, Marc Lasry, Craig Effron, Lee Ainslie, Bernay Box, Boone Pickens, Brian Bradshaw, David Meaney, Michael Ross, Alex Szewczyk, Josh Friedman, Mitch Julis, Jeffrey Schachter, Burton Weinstein, Dwight Anderson, Roberto Mignone, Bruce Ritter, Julian Robertson, Jim Chanos, Richard Perry and Daniel Loeb. While Burton provides a rare glimpse inside the world of these hedge fund managers, her interviews are too brief for those searching for inside knowledge about hedge funds. Those seeking in-depth discussions of investment techniques and trading strategies may wish that she had dug a little more deeply.
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Superb. A classic.
In this, the middle volume of William Manchester’s critically acclaimed trilogy, Winston Churchill wages his defining campaign: not against Hitler’s war machine but against his own reluctant countrymen. Manchester contends that even more than his leadership in combat, Churchill’s finest hour was the uphill battle against appeasement. As Parliament received with jeers and scorn his warnings against the growing Nazi threat, Churchill stood alone—only to be vindicated by history as a beacon of hope amid the gathering storm.
A somewhat odd and improbable story but quite engaging. Guterson' sprose is soothing. It helped that I was familiar with and have fond memories of many of the locales mentioned in the book.
East of the Mountains is the tale of a solitary, 73-year-old Seattle widower. A retired heart surgeon, Ben Givens is an old hand at turning isolation to his advantage, both professionally and personally: "When everything human was erased from existence except that narrow antiseptic window through which another's heart could be manipulated--few were as adroit as Dr. Givens."
Now, however, Ben has been dealt a problem entirely beyond his powers of manipulation: a diagnosis of terminal cancer. With just a few months to live, he sets out across the Cascades for a hunting trip, planning to take his own life once he reaches the high desert. A car crash en route puts an initial crimp in this suicide mission. But the ailing surgeon presses onward--and begins a simultaneous journey into the past. Between present-tense episodes, which demonstrate Ben's cranky commitment to his own extinction, we learn about his boyhood in Washington's apple country, his traumatic war experience in the Italian Alps, and the beginning of his vocation.
Outstanding! The best book I have read in a very long time. Incredible story, incredibly told. Brown's writing is masterful. His telling of the Olympic gold medal race is brilliant.
Brown tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.
Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times.
A beautiful book, full of Yousuf Karsh's most famous portraits.
In August and September of 1988, Karsh's long-time assistant, Jerry Fielder, sat down with the master photographer and taped over nine hours of recollections of the many portrait sessions he'd experienced in one of the greatest careers in history. Karsh spoke of his sitters and his rags-to-riches life, including much that had never before been revealed or recorded. Previously, Karsh had often paired his full-page portraits with stories of his encounters with famous sitters. However, as his oeuvre grew, the photographs soon eclipsed the commentary, and his essays were often edited down to captions.
Drawing from the newly rediscovered 1988 recordings, Karsh: Beyond the Camera reestablishes the original presentation of Karsh's work, pairing each photograph with the story of its making on the facing page. Published in an affordable small format paperback with flaps, Karsh's portraits are elucidated and complemented both by his own recollections and by the text of veteran curator David Travis. The resulting book, with its chronological rather than thematic arrangement of portraits, is a study of Karsh's artistic and stylistic development, offering the reader an unparalleled tour through the greatest images of the photographer's life work.
As much as Karsh wrote about his portrait sessions, he rarely revealed what he thought about himself. Travis constructs the compelling history of how a brilliant technician behind the camera was able to go beyond the studio trappings to plumb the psychological realm all great portrait photographers must navigate and master. Although Karsh had a deep understanding of the human psyche, he worked on an emotional level rather than an analytical one. Thus, his stories seldom addressed what he thought about his artistic experiences. This essential element of Karsh's work is what David Travis locates and fills in, drawing not only from the anecdotes themselves, but from the one thing that has been missing from all publications prior to this: the photographer's voice.
Social responsibility and sustainability are the new corporate watchwords. Its champions include Nestlé, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Walmart, GE and Nike. Sustainability calls for renewable energy and sustainable sourcing, and it advocates cutting waste, reducing deforestation and limiting the use of toxins. Dauvergne and Lister argue that today, many Fortune 500 firms set the bar for sustainability and governments and nongovernmental organizations follow their lead.
Dauvergne and Lister define "ecobusiness" as the transformation of sustainability into a mechanism for corporate growth and control. Ecobusiness seeks to advance business, reduce costs, increase profit margins, improve quality, boost sales, expand markets, and create and sustain a more competitive organization. Ecobusiness enables companies to manufacture products with "less resources, energy, and waste."
You have to see it to believe it. A remarkable 24-foot long hand drawn panorama of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in this amazing panorama: from General Douglas Haigland, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en massepage booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before.
Terrific and inspiring biography. Quick read. Well worth the time.
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. Radical Integrity is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.
A B+ work. Interesting but distracted. I was hoping for more from Loss' securities-related work and experiences in the lecture hall.
Loss has been described as the "intellectual father of securities law." He served as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Associate General Counsel and Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Legal Advisory Committee and taught for decades at Harvard Law School.
I hope the movie is better than the book. Not bad, but not particularly captivating. A little slow.