"The Coldest Winter" shows how age can bring wisdom and perspective, and an excellent journalist can bring it out. The book may begin on June 25, 1950, but it winds its way back to the roots of the conflict and explains, finally, to me, how the Army could have been so stupid, so beguiled. MacAuthur is exposed -- again, if one saw Ken Burns' epic about WWII -- as an egocentric maniac surrounded by brainless "leaders" who cannot lead. Thank God for O.P. Smith, the Marine leader who refused to betray his men in a meglamaniac scheme to "race" to the Yalu. The book draws all the characters from each sector of the conflict -- Russian, Chinese, N. Korean, S. Korean, the U.S. and to some extent Japan -- into an intertwined story that shows the war from each perspective.
The inclusion of so many first person stories makes the book come alive. Being in combat is not the same as being in Japan or Wash. D.C., hearing about it. Getting a sense of the conditions on the ground fleshed the story out well.
The book is in no small part a "can't put it down" because the narration is incredible. The flawless pronunciation is accompanied by the emotion the moment demands, from the fawning, yawning acts of Almond to the overwhelming anger of Walker and Smith. The book just flows.
The book is going to be a classic and may attract some attention to a forgotten war and the men who fought it.
I really like how this is done. Unlike other audio downloads, a separate voice announces each new section. Carlson is a very good speaker and his diction is very clear. The concept behind the book is to learn how to not sweat the small stuff in numerous different settings, and it is well done. By the time I finished the book, I had calmed immensely. Well worth the money and time.
George Tenet was at the center of the storm for seven years. He explains how an executive order did not allow U.S. forces to kill OBL before 9/11, how the CIA knew a major terrorist act was coming soon, but did not know where, and how quickly U.S. intelligence agencies used information gained in the 9/11 attacks to stop further attacks. His most strident comments, though, are reserved for the Bush sycophants working under Cheney and Rumsfeld who began planning the invasion of Iraq and Iran even before taking office, the mindless conduct of the war and the stupid policy decisions implemented afterwards. It's pretty clear he disagrees with the decision to invade Iraq to some degree and disagrees with how the "peace" is conducted to a greater degree.
The book is long and is well narrated by a professional speaker. It is, however, a difficult read because it covers seven years of history and politics. Plan to read it over a considerable period of time.
I can't disagree this is a book written by a good man who was duped by machinistic politics played out by Bush's team. Scott lays out his seven years of ultra-devotion to Bush, showing how Bush was a centrist and uniter as a Governor and a hard line rightist as a President. He speaks with total disdain about the "perpetual campaign" (from a book published in 2000) and explained how Bush went from trying to create consensus to manipulating public opinion to support his ideals, and that bothers Scott. It's also clear that part of Scott's reason for writing the book was to clear his name after being lied to by Rove and Libby.
Having said all that, it's clear Scott doesn't get it, either. He stated that Bush "didn't lie" when Bush said the reason for the Iraq war was WMDs because "there was some evidence" of yellow cake somewhere. But, in the same breath, Scott admits that Bush's real reason for going into Iraq was to create a democratic government, something Bush's media manipulators knew would not "sell" the war. Most people with a strong moral center, which Scott claims to have, would recognize that Bush lied and manipulated the American people.
On the positive side, Scott's narration adds to the personal mea culpa / I was a good guy attraction of the book. He also provides excellent detail about the unfolding events that dogged the white house during his seven years with Bush.
On the negative side, it's clear he wrote this book with an attorney standing over his shoulder: He can't even make negative comments about Rove and Libby. Everyone is his friend and an incredible person. The presentation sometimes comes across like cotton candy.
In the end, I doubt this book will convince anyone that Bush was not a manipulator and created an unnecessary war in Iraq.
Where did this guy come from? He has a grasp of what Jesus meant, far better than I have ever heard before, and he has a clear understanding that Jesus came to unite us with the Creator. His sense of our relationship to the Creator -- or "the universe" as it is called in "the secret"-- is profound. There is no way a person can do what he says and not end up a better person for it. I know, because I am. Eleanor, it's not always "deep." Sometimes, it's as simple as the nose on your face. Joel says it as well or better than Deprak or Dyer, both of whom I admire very much.
Dr. Dyer's smooth presentation on television does not come through on the dictation. Perhaps its the length of the material, but the dictation is hurried and almost a monotone, so I find myself spacing out. This is the first audio book I have not been able to enjoy.
Mr. Losier's work is actually more of a text method to apply the law of attraction, so the reading would come across a little emotionless. He credits the Hicks for teaching him the theory and there is also "the Secret" to give a person the thrill of the concept. His book is more of a guide to plan how to implement and maintain the law of attraction. To that end, it probably would be better in paperback form because there is a lot of repetition of lists and form language. It is worth reading / using to implement the law of attraction.
In my short 58 years on earth, I have never read / listened to a book that so captured both my attention and my imagination. An extremely entertaining book about an otherwise mundane subject, Bryson has managed to make science a whole lot more interesting. He brings historic characters to life, adds humor to humorless subjects, uses irony to great advantage, and finds exactly the right comparison from everyday life to explain the most incredible concepts. It's the one book that everyone who wants to know anything about life as we (don't) know it should read.
If one wishes to learn about Barry (won 1st tournament at 12, gives generously to charities, worked at -- not founded -- Symantics) this is the book for you. He includes much of his life story, his philosophies about poker as a profession (and about, curiously, horse betting), and speaks clearly about ethics in poker. One has to get to chapter 21 or so, however, to learn much about how to play poker. That Doyle Brunson would make the incredible statement that he, Doyle, learned from this book is silly. The book reads well, but it is not a handbook on how to play poker.
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