I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This book should be read by anyone interested in the history of the CIA. I have rated this five stars, but this is not the perfect book, just a must read. The author clearly focuses only upon the failures of the CIA and glosses over any successes. Nevertheless, there is substantial value is focusing on failures (of course there is also value is focusing on successes, but that would be a different book). This book also does not seem to go out of its way to suggest tangible changes to improve the CIA.
The material is somewhat dry, and there is some jumping around. The narration is quite good, which helps keep the book interesting. This is not the best book about the CIA, but it is an indispensable viewpoint for anyone who wants to understand the agency.
I have read a bunch of books about the 2007 financial crash. By focusing on the people that made a lot of money from the crash, this book explains quite clearly the underlying causes of the crash. Unfortunately this book requires a bit of understanding of how markets and financial products work. If you have these basic understandings, this is the best of the bunch of books examining the 2007 crisis. Not only were the characters quite fun to read about, but the story helped explain the underlying causes of the crisis in an interesting and compelling way. I generally recommend this as a great place to start if you want to understand the mechanics of what happened in the financial crisis of 2007.
I was quite impressed with this book. I did not agree with everything single thing the author suggests, but the author seems to take great care to both give clear evidence for his position and (which is quite rare) presents and refutes non-straw man arguments against his positions. Krugman does a great job of explaining economic issues with clarity and energy. Having studied the issues I did not learn a lot from this book, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand the current economic crisis and what could be done about it. I only wish the book was longer and more detailed. This book, in combination with The Big Short, puts this downturn into a clear context regarding what happened and why recovery has been so slow to come.
I recommend looking at the available pdf carefully before listening and referring to the charts as necessary. The narration was excellent making the detailed material actually fun to listen to.
Cobra II is a comprehensive and elaborately detailed account of the planning, execution and aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Describing in detail meetings, teleconferences and phone calls between CENTCOM, The Pentagon and the White House, this book tells the story of how Donald Rumsfeld’s vision of a new type of warfare leads the war into the quagmire it is in today. The book is written from a military historians perspective and is replete with stories of soldiers bravado and courage. It is filled with interesting sources such as details about initial war planning meetings that were held in a trailer in the CENTCOM parking lot. The book explains the Bush Administration’s false expectations that there would be no need to engage in complex nation building and an extended conflict. After the invasion the Iraqi police, military and bureaucracy would remain intact. These false assumptions, based on bad intelligence, are the reason for the current situation in Iraq, according to the book. The narrator is clear and not dull but often adds a macho emphasis especially when describing weapons and attacks. This audio book is well worth the price.