Ali gives a fascinating look at the inner life of 3rd World Islam. Through the tragic lives of her relatives, she shows how the culture's extreme misogyny warps the healthy development of both girls and boys.
Really good narration & interesting details that support a very timely thesis. It's like David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest but covering more history.
This is a pretty banal history of Lincoln during the Civil War. I was interested in it because Hillary Clinton and President Obama are both reported to have both read and liked it. (And there are some really interesting parallels between Lincoln/Seward and Obama/Clinton.)
But there is apparently not enough history out there about the relationships in Lincoln's cabinet to flesh out Goodwin's theme. "Team of Rivals" is really a new marketing angle for the same old stuff.
Much of the book is about the author's side of the story for scuffles with NASA, Bush admin, and climate deniers. Tiresome.
I love the obervation that the more the national security bureacracy screws up, the more money it gets -- 9/11, Iraq, etc. That virtually insures more screw ups.
One the really interesting observations in this book is that the debate over Israel's conduct is much more open in Israel itself than it is in the U.S., where detractors are immediately intimated with accusations of anti-Semitism (never mind that Arabs are Semites as well)
Half self-celebration, half nuggets folk wisdom for his kids.
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