Although the book does have its interesting moments -- some factual, some gossipy -- it more reminded me of my law school days (now more than 25 years ago) of listening to a student "briefing a case" to the professor and class. That was uninteresting. What's more, the book makes an argument that a pervasive right wing conspiracy is afoot in the the selection of Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other cases of perceived judicial activism. That could be, but I felt the arguments as presented were either weak, unsupported, or did not add up. I thought Woodward's "The Brethren" was far better. This book was quite underwhelming.
I eagerly anticipated that this book would be as insightful as the author's most recent book, The World is Flat (which was a wonderful book). Unfortunately, my expectations were not met.
The basic premise for Friedman's argument -- that America's current fossil-fuel infrastructure mandates drastic change because CO2 by-products cause "weather-weirding" or global warming -- is based on razor thin credible evidence. I realize that this is a controversial subject and that reasonable minds can differ; however, the author presents virtually no alternative viewpoints on whether global warming exists and whether it is man-made.
I did appreciate some of Friedman's prescient political and social forecasting. I also liked some of the history of how we ended up where we are. Nevertheless, I think the debate over global warming is based on political faith and not on scientific fact.
Despite all of this, I concur with Friedman's goal of changing our energy infrastructure NOT because of global warming, but because it will further our national interests of less dependency on foreign oil, reduce the influence of "oil dictators," and create a cleaner environment.
This book is just "ok." It is not earth shattering, however, and I don't buy into its alarmist tones without a further factual basis.
This is a masterpiece. The history is excellent. The writing style is great. The narration is fantastic. Rarely do I give such high marks, but this book has it all. Even if you have no interest in history, you will still be interested in this book. A friend of mine, who I recommended this book, called me up nearly in tears after listening to the passage of FDR's death. In a word, "riveting."
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