The Great Divergence by Timothy Noah

the great divergenceThe Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It is a thorough discussion of economics (ugh hated it in school) that is actually readable if a bit difficult to grasp because I think what the author is saying is that economists make up shit and then persuade politicians to implement their “theories” without grasping consequences — or giving a damn — and the Chicago School cabal led by the lethal charisma of Milton Friedman and his devoted follower, Donald Rumsfeld, Ronald Reagan (Reaganomics is the same brutal theory), and republicans ever since.

This book was due back at the library before I had a chance to grab some quotes for this post, so I will have to get it back to do so. I have kind of developed a better method of reading and quoting simultaneously now though so I won’t have to go back and/or find my notebooks of extensive quotes and comments. On paper. Yeah, I know, what was I thinking!


The Making of the American Conservative Mind

The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and its Times, by Jeffrey Hart, 2005, published by the Intercollegiate  Studies Institute (ISI Books)

From the jacket copy:

“National Review has been the leading conservative national magazine since it was founded in 1955, and in that capacity it has played a decisive role in shaping the conservative movement in the United States….Jeffrey Hart provides an authoritative and high-spirited history of how the magazine has come to define and defend conservatism for the past fifty years. He also gives a first-hand account of the thought and sometimes colorful personalities–including James Burnham, Willmoore Kendall, Russell Kirk, Frank Meyer, William Rusher, Priscilla Buckley, Wittaker Chambers, and, of course, the magazines founder, William F. Buckley, Jr.–who contributed to National Review’s life and wide influence.”

Not entirely biased based on the chapter titled George W. Bush: Transformative President. Though he doesn’t explain why he considered W to be transformative per se, other than disastrous Iraq war which cites W as having told a staffer in January 2001 that he planned to wage that war. He mentions the evangelicalism taking effect with prayer groups forming in the White House immediately. And to his credit, he ponders how conservative and evangelical really work, together or not.

Time Bomb

1986 style book jacketTime Bomb: The race between two geniuses to create the one weapon that will decide World War II, by Malcolm C. MacPherson, 1986

Enrico Fermi and Werner Heisenberg, proteges of Nils Bohr, both won Noble Prizes in physics when young men. Fermi fled to USA, Heisenberg stayed in Nazi Germany.

Really good book. Reads like a suspense story. Available used on Amazon.

American Fascists by Chris Hedges

book cover figure of Jesus wrapped in the flagAmerican Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

Really excellent!

“Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age–he was then close to 80–we would all be fighting the ‘Christian Fascists.’ The warning, given to me nearly 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality  of the leaders in the Christian Right who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”

Against All Enemies by Richard Clark

Againsbook cover showing W, Cheney, and Rumsfeldt All Enemies” by Richard Clark.

The shock an horror from reading this book has not faded. Things were worse than I ever knew back during Bush the First and subsequently. This is a MUST READ BOOK.

The [Bush] administration has squandered the opportunity to eliminate al Qaeda….A new al Qaeda has emerged and is growing stronger, in part because of our own actions and inactions. It is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that threat. (from Goodreads and I think jacket text)

book cover of GW Bush and CheneyOn Goodreads another excellent book popped up in the recommendations that I read that I will have to add in this blog (have to recheck out from library) : Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush by John Dean (yes that John Dean of Nixon fame)