Very good book. I have to admit that I was waiting for Shipler’s own left of center biases to shine through, but he does an outstanding job of rising above the fray.
Typically when someone on the left takes up this subject they point out violations on the part of Republicans in a very personal manner as in, Nixon was evil, or George Bush was this or that, and then Roosevelt, Obama, et al have their sins mixed in with the faults of America at large so as to minimize their personal stake in the matter.
Not so with this book. Shipler points out the loss of freedoms under the Bush administration, but - and this is refreshing - actually blames the shock and uncertainty of the moment instead of assigning their actions to some nefarious plan by Dick Cheney and his crew of devilish imps. Likewise, he makes due note of Obama’s continuation of the Bush administration’s policies, and in fact - though this is only implied, and not even purposely - Obama looks much worse since he is not dealing with the war on terror in the initial crises mode that Bush had to face, but is simply holding the ship steady on its course for stripping the citizenry of even more freedoms.
And even that subject, Bush or Obama, Left or Right, takes a backseat to the stated goal of his book; that of our rights. The author spends much more time talking about our rights as they are violated on a day to day basis, and not just at the 30,000 foot view of biased punditry.
Extremely interesting. I'm a middle manager for a large corporation in the manufacturing sector so this is something I think about quite a bit.
The author does a great job of telling us a story that he actually experienced instead of rehearsing an editorial constructed from that experience.
It's very easy to feel the frustration of the American importers when they're getting jerked around by corrupt Chinese manufacturers but then you remember the American importer's astonishment that anyone could produce their goods so cheaply. Even before the American learns just how defective their shampoo really is, when asked if he personally ever uses his own product his reaction was incredulity. Of course he wouldn't use such an inferior product.
Being in the manufacturing business and being able to relate to these scenarios, I feel that it is clearly not a "Chinese" problem but simply one of a developing country with 1st world capacity. In my opinion, the only thing that will ever bring the Chinese industrial sector up to developed world standards is when they have enough of a domestic market for their own products. This is the only thing I can see that will provide enough internal accountability.
Just a really good book. I was wishing he would have had exposed more the negative effects of government involvement in farm policy, but all in all it was a very good book.
Too much conjecture and speculation laid out as fact. Of course this is the nature of evolutionary science so that much is to be expected, but this goes beyond the norm.
It may be too that I expected too much from this book. This is of course a very well known book of great critical acclaim, but it just doesn't measure up to the reputation.
I'm still scratching my head as to how this book came to be so highly regarded. I made it through the first half but I was just getting so little out of this I had to try and salvage my time and just push stop.
What's to say? By this point you either love or hate Taleb, though I have yet to read or hear of any good refutations to his points.
For those who hate him, all I seem to hear is that they don't care for his personality. Oh well. I obviously think very highly of his writing even though I wouldn't agree with every opinion or view. Overall though he's a breath of fresh air in a world otherwise given over to bread and circuses.
I too am concerned with what the industrial food system is doing to our health, our society and my own individual ability to choose exactly what I want to eat. This author however is more agenda driven then objectively driven.
One of the more interesting aspects of the real-food community is its overlap between people of differing ideologies. Go to a raw milk pick-up point and you'll meet old hippies and homeschooling Christian families all chatting and sharing in their passion for the natural, healthy way of life.
This author wouldn't enjoy such a crowd. He's subjective, dogmatic and terribly wrong on many details. It's still a readable book because he is taking on the Monsantos and Walmarts of the world, but I cringe to think of anyone that might accidentally pick this book up as their introduction to the subject as a whole.
For the newcomer to this larger subject I would suggest the obvious "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and of course Wendell Berry and Joel Salatin both. Really, read both, not just one of them.
If you're interested in where your food comes from but not in a lot of preachy, unsolicited advice on how you should behave yourself, this is a fantastic read.
I'm pretty well versed on the whole food subject, but I was not aware of how bad the slavery issues in Florida had gotten.
All in all a very good read.
Great read. I only gave it 3 stars but the overall subject is still good, and it can serve as an eye opener for the uninitiated or just an interesting read for those already schooled on the "food" movement.
Taubes has made quite a stir with this and its more technical predecessor "Good Calories, Bad Calories" but he's not going away. Instead his arguments and logic only get stronger.
This book is perfectly accessible as it lacks the excruciating detail of "Good Calories" but still contains the meat of the information (no pun intended).
It is not a diet book, and Taubes is not selling a diet plan. And he's not a research scientist or a doctor with some academic dog in the fight. He's a renowned science writer with a history of credibility. He presents the history of how we came to the place where we're at now - an epidemic of obesity compounded by some very, very bad advice from the highest ranks of the medical community.
Anyone wanting an objective view on how the current economic crises came about - minus the political biases of course - this is a great book to start with. It's not an exhaustive study, but a good primer that will lead the curious truth seeker to other good research as well.
It's a long book, but it doesn't wander or get lost in its own prose. You get the history of the political machinations that existed in the background, the history of Brooklyn, New York, and all things relevant that made the bridge not just a fantastic feat of engineering for the day, but quite an accomplishment for all of the difficult people and circumstances involved.
Boss Tweed, world renowned engineers, the Gilded Age, etc. The story is very broad but easy to read.
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