Privileged son, chronically sick body, war hero, award winning author, congressman, senator and president are some of the defining elements that built the leader Kennedy came to be. A ruthless politician and legendary womanizer as well. In spite of his shortcommings, Kennedy had a unique skillset that made him a key reason for the US ability to survive the cold war, survive standoffs with communism in our backyard of Cuba, as well as spread his ambitions and wings to inspire the country to reach for the moon. Matthew'ÂÂs book is a great read on a very inspiring leader with all the character flaws on full display as well
What a twisted tale of the topsy turvy world of espionage during WWII. Campbell at times appears to be the greatest American hero by spreading coded messages as an infiltrated Nazi propagandist. At others he is exalted by the Nazis for his beloved propaganda. Loved by both sides and hated as the devil by both as well he lives a life in the shadows. A very engrossing read by Vonnegut even if it isn't in the top two novels most often cited as his greatest novels.
This is a much different look at the life of Malcolm X as compared to that told by Alex Haley. The story of continual reinvention and standing up for what he believed in against all odds was very powerful. I do not see this work as a replacement for Haley’s book since that work gives insight of how Malcolm wanted to be seen but this is a good supplement text to read in addition to that work to get a deeper understanding of the events that made the man.
Worm is the story of the evolution of Worms and Viruses from glory seeking pranks to world threatening weapons of mass destruction and the white hats that have fought the good fight to keep them at bay. The white hats struggle to help the government entities to walk up to the threat and understand how real the total devastation could be. The story is not a happy story with a nice wrapped up ending since the confiker worm was never squashed and the ominous realization for the reader was that we will never know how this story will end until it could be to late.
The Mad Man is a beautiful short book of poems and parables that are thought provoking and nuanced. Gibran looks at the multiple fronts we display to the world versus the inner essence of which we are and how the mind struggles to deal with the ambiguities inherent in that existence. Favorite quote: “My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear-a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence.”
Not only is Endurance the ultimate story of survival against all odds but a great primer on leadership as well. The feats of what Shackleton and his men were able to accomplish against all odds was heroic. The lessons of keeping him men motivated were amazing. The part when he decided which men to take on the journey to get help when the bulk of the men would remain castaways where Shackleton not only worked on picking the best men for the success of the expedition but also focused on which men to not leave behind since he knew they would be detrimental to the moral of the castaways showed great foresight and great situational leadership.
Read years ago but after having Gibran show up in a couple of readings lately decided to read again. It is a very inspiring read for the soul. Favorite quote: "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far."
This does a good job of taking the heroes and villains from Ayn's The Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged to show real life examples from recent history of people like Bill Gates, Steve's Jobs and Milton Freeman who have exemplified the philosophy of objectivism to beat back the parasites destroying their work and the benefit to society.
A terrifying look at the ability of a charismatic leader to be able to brain wash the down and out misfits of society to do anything to please him. The cult fallowing has remained through the years even as society has evolved and Manson,his girls and Tex have rotted in prison. This book gives an interesting look into the twists and dead ends the prosecution fought through to ensure justice was served.
The Worst Hard times is a story of unbridled ambition such as that of the gold miners of 1849 but much more of a Promethean twist. People seeking their future form the East followed the promise of a better life as a sod buster on the plains. They came in droves, plowed up the ground removing critical native vegetation, and killed off rabbits and other critters they felt threatened them or their crops. The crops failed due to lack of water and lacking infrastructure they were promised leading to mass exoduses. The barren ground gave teeth to the common strong winds leading blinding and choking dust storms that were one of the largest man made tragedies of all time. The will to survive and dogged commitment to stick it out builds a tragic tell as people died from dust phenomena and then when some vegetation did start to grow, locust invasions due to the lack of predators that the sod busters killed off kept the vicious cycle going. A very eye opening cautionary read on how unbridled ambition can lead to tragedy for all.
Attempts to explain the dynamics of politics, religion, and the market via fresh perspectives counter to some other popular authors such as Friedman (The World Is Flat) and Surowiecki (The Wisdom of Crowds). He points out the good theories of both authors but attacks them head on as not representing the true un-flat world with its uneducated masses pulled down to the lowest level by a fear to stand out and buck against the majority. Interesting read.
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