Crawford touches on a number of deeply interesting topics. If you’ve given them any thought before then this book will be an instant favorite. If you’ve never given any of these topics any deeper thought, you’ll think the book is pointless and repetitive. It’s not a meandering philosophy book like “Zen and the Art of Motorcycling Maintenance” but if you liked that book, you’ll love this one too. It is not a light-minded biker trope either so if OC Choppers is what you’re looking for, this isn’t it.
Essentially the book is about how dependent the modern consumer society is without being preachy or self-righteous. The details of this dependency are how disconnected we are from the products we use, how the concentration of power causes this disconnectedness regardless of whether that power is concentrated in government or corporations, and the role of a college education in training us to be dependent and easily led.
He contrasts how early motorcycles required extensive hands on operation such as manual oiling, kick starts, and the like whereas a modern Mercedes doesn’t even have a dipstick. Our alienation from the products we use every day and the sense that we don’t completely own our “own stuff” anymore since we are dependent on the dealership to diagnose the onboard computer. This, as opposed to being able to open the hood, and readily see the engine and its various components just a few years ago.
All of this and he manages to not get overtly political or to bore us with possible policy changes to “correct” the wrongs he cites. But he does deal with some larger ideas that most people are ignorant of so it is probably a better book for an engineer or maybe the shop owner than the guy who’s interest in the world doesn’t extend beyond the fender wells.
It's a great book and a very necessary addition to anyone's library who is sincerely interested in liberty and the path that America is currently on.
If one is sincerely concerned about the size of our government, then it stands to reason that they should be equally concerned about the militarization of that government's arm of enforcement. Likewise, if one is genuinely worried about expanding the rights of every citizen and every lifestyle, shouldn't they be just as worried about a militarized police force that is already being used to subjectively oppress those rights.
This book is not about Left wing or Right wing, but about what is already happening to America and the individual rights that our freedom rests upon.
Just a great book. Enough details of the main characters; Shelby, Ferarri, Ford, and so on without becoming a mini-biography on any one person.
A lot of interesting figures from that time so it's a feat to include everyone and not get carried away.
Great writing, but the story is dark and none of the main characters are likable.
Not that this is always a necessary ingredient, but Bondurant's fine writing draws the reader into the individual lives very well. But when you get there it's an uncomfortable place to be. Like a 1930 version of meth complete with the dealers, and the addicts, and you wind up thinking the whole cast needs to wipe each other out like some classic Tarantino movie.
I don't know where else to find a clever Mossad agent taking on the bad guys, but Allon's story line has become too predictable.
Also, I've read and enjoyed every one of these books except the newest one, and do enjoy them overall, but the hero really is a little too super-duper. It reached silly proportions when he was required to shoot a pistol at a firing range to obtain some kind of official permit. No big deal there, but he refused eye and ear protection with some gritty, Clint Eastwood-esque kind of comment. Great, now his ears are immune to the damaging effects of gunfire. Really, the guy should have on blue tights and a red cape or something. That was just silly.
My only complaint is that it wasn't longer.
Anyone that has seriously given thought to the modern problem of bread and circuses needs to listen to this. If the other cited authors are not familiar, then this book can serve as a primer and some of those other books can be read as a follow up.
Very good presentation of facts without a lot of subjective measures sprinkled in as is so often the case with books in this genre.
This would work well as a second book to read after some primer such as Pollan's "Omnivore" or most anything by Salatin or Berry.
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.
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