So I learned some interesting facts about pirates and piracy and gained a new appreciation for the era and the pirates place in it.
For anyone who is interested in other cultures... or interacts with other cultures... or wonders why other cultures do what they do.... this book is for you. I've been interacting with French culture for over 30 years and I STILL learned things that explained reactions that I never understood before.
If that's not enough, it reinforced my intuitive understanding of American culture and explained aspects of our culture in ways I'd never thought of before.
I was hoping for a comparison between the latest "golden age of TV" and its cultural and political causes and ramification as compared to the previous "golden ages", whose ramifications are in the history books.... alas, I was disappointed. This book quickly degenerated into Hollywood gossip and became a tell-all about the writers/show-runners who, it seems, are the same old narcissistic, ego maniacs of yesteryear, albeit with new names. Apparently some things, i.e., Hollywood, never change.
If you're looking for a behind the camera tell-all, you will love this book.
OK, so I wasn't expecting too much from this book. I thought it would be like other self-serving criminal biographies with minimal details.
I was so wrong. This is a compelling read. There were moments when I cringed at the horror of this man's deeds. There were moments when I felt sorry for him.
In many ways he never had a chance. That's not to say his life wasn't his fault, but his early life and genes made it very difficult for him to act otherwise. He clearly inherited his sociopath genes from his father and his mother wasn't aware enough, or smart enough, to counteract that damage.
Bottom line? I couldn't stop listening and stayed up all night.
Afghanistan was lost early on due to a lack of clear objectives and cloudy rules of engagement. Lack of coordination between the Army and the Marine Corps (really? is that STILL happening?) didn't help either. It also doesn't help that we keep trying to postage stamp democracy onto countries and cultures that are not ready... Whatever. Let's hope history will acknowledge at our motives were pure (about the nation building) and that we've learned some lessons about inter service support (as opposed to ass covering).
If you are interested in SEAL teams, or the raid in Abbottabad, this is the first book you should read, and maybe the only one you'll need to read.
The first half is about other SEAL operations focusing on the rescue of the Captain taken hostage by Somali pirates.
The second half is all about bin Laden in Abbottabad and this version, in my opinion, rings truest. The narrator is terrific and that helps too.
A West Point graduate becomes a Rhodes Scholar becomes an Army Ranger becomes an Infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan. Interesting look at life at West Point (spoiler alert: not the usual college experience) and the Rhodes Scholar experience (spoiler alert: reading history at Oxford is more fun than West Point).
God knows we need more really smart, highly educated people in the upper ranks of the military but I have the feeling that those people will not become Head of the Joint Chiefs anytime soon, alas.
I highly recommend this "thinking man's" look at the Army, modern warfare and casualties.
This is a recap of drone attacks focusing on the drone attack that killed the US citizen in Yemen, who was a fervent Muslim but no more fervent, and less proactive, than a Tea Party evangelical Christian who bombs abortion clinics.
Without due process, he was declared a terrorist. even though there is no proof that he ever killed anyone and his big crime was a cheer-leading blog. Our drones have killed more children than terrorists and the whole sordid JSOP program will probably join Japanese internment camps, segregation and Indian tribe relocation on the list of things we shouldn't have done.
If Churchill was right and 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself' then we are certainly in trouble because we are dis-proportionally afraid relative to the threat. We should be more afraid of cars and handguns than terrorists.
A sometimes interesting exploration of privacy, or the lack thereof, in the digital age and possible solutions to the problems created and acknowledgment of some benefits received.
Basically, my take away is that the future will either be intuitively convenient or "1984" redux. But we still have a lot of control over what we chose to share with the world and we should think carefully before we share.
I've owned many different breeds of large dogs, and I thought I knew about training them, but this book was an eye opener on the abilities of dogs and how they're trained to go to war. Great read and I learned a lot.
Daniker makes a good case for ET's having visited us.... don't know what I think.... read it and decide for yourself.
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