For many people, a diet with an "inverted pyramid" focused on vegetables, fruits and whole grains is de rigueur. I'm not sure this book will push these people far from that "inverted pyramid". However, for certain classes of these healthy eaters, this book seems to have some well-documented items to think about. High triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol are one class of people the author singles out as potentially having to make dietary changes. Sugar is named as the driving factor behind the triglycerides. The key for the author is the inflammatory effects of weight and sugar on the body. The author cites multiple studies that describe high triglycerides and low HDL as a dangerous condition. His recipe is cut the sugar and preprocessed foods, monitor progress with a number of specific tests, and consider the potential of specific supplements. The author considers this condition more dangerous than high LDL cholesterol yet many doctors would view this type of patient with ambivalence all else being equal. If this describes you and your doctor is not concerned, you may want to read the book and consider making some changes. Another group of folks are folks who consume an imbalance of Omega 6s versus Omega 3 fats. Lots of folks with an under control LDL have some degree of ambivalence with regard to fats. This book tells those folks to pay more attention to the type of fats they consume and considers Omega6 versus Omega 3 to be pretty highly inflammatory. Again this class of person should read the book, read the citations, and think about taking action (which is spelled out in dietary recommendations, tests, and potential supplements).
For healthy eaters who try to manage their health by understanding the impact of diet on the body this book is highly recommended. This book will challenge many preconceptions you might have about the importance of cholesterol and will challenge you to think more deeply about the impact of sugar and inflammation on health. It will also recommend that you study different types of cholesterol than is customary right now. It will give you a list of specific tests that will help you gauge inflammation in your body. It will also recommend a list of supplements that may be effective depending upon your particular situation.
For unhealthy eaters, this book is also highly recommended as it puts a focus on sugar (and processed foods) not so much on fats and cholesterol. While the book is somewhat controversial in that it worries far less on the impact of cholesterol on health, for most folks I know who have unhealthy diets... sugar is their real problem. I believe a focus on sugar... reducing the dependence that many have on sugar is a surer first step to a healthy life than a focus on cholesterol reduction. Not a doctor, not an unhealthy eater... but I believe this book is a must read for these folks.
It is perhaps the worst of all human frailties that we judge people based on the shallowest criteria. Whether it is appearance, demeanor, or the moral misgivings we have about them. Hamilton won. Madison and Jefferson lost. Yet we revere Jefferson and have forgotten Hamilton. This strange conundrum of American history is not the author's focus, but was one of the reasons I had for wanting to read the book.
I had no idea what a wonderful writer Chernow is.
I had no idea how talented and industrious Hamilton was.
I also had very little insight into how great a leader Washington was. Washington surrounded himself with diverse viewpoints as represented by the Hamilton and Jefferson / Madison camps. It was almost painful to see how Hamilton's logic won the day time after time over the Madison and Jefferson camps.
Why do we remember the infidelity of Hamilton but not the potentially more treacherous activities of Jefferson? We want small decentralized government, but likely both camps would reject out of hand our current scope and form of government. Perhaps like the rugged outdoorsman motif, we attach our affection to Jefferson because he is emblematic of an unachievable aspiration (smaller govt)?
Or is it something about the uber prepared that as weak human beings we reject out of hand?
It is so strange that someone so foundational remains so unappreciated. Madison/Jefferson and Hamilton were probably the two most influential founding fathers.
Chernow does a remarkable job of weaving a very interesting narrative around the life of Hamilton. I was incredibly impressed by the competence and the industriousness of the man. Only in America can such an upstart rise to become so influential. For whatever reason, I still don't know why, but it is just very difficult to like Hamilton.
If you've not learned much about Hamilton during your education this book is highly recommended. He is one of if not the most influential founding fathers. Horrifying to me that we have so forgotten the man.
If you haven't read much about Washington from the underling perspective, this book will provide unbelievable insight into the life and times of Washington.
If you're a student of human nature, you'll get to ponder why, despite a fantastic (and honest) effort by Chernow, America's most talented founder is also its most forgotten.
If you're the type of person who is interested in the role oil has played and continues to play in society, this book is highly recommended. Having read the Prize and its update I would put this book right after those in a must reading list for oil.
It is also a book for people interested in the politics of the middle east. To try and understand the history of the region without understanding who the true oil kings are is impossible. This book is not among the first five to understand middle east politics, but it is required reading.
The last aspect of the book that is incredibly interesting is in the machinations of the executive branch generally and the Nixon administration specifically, what they were almost able to pull off, and what that implies about the true balance of power among the branches.
You'll have to read the book ... its another one of these books that lend credence to the adage "you can't make this stuff up". History is indeed more interesting than fiction. Highly recommended book!
Liked the book as it is relatively light reading and gives an insight into how a hedge fund guy like Einhorn approaches his short positions. Really seems like alot of fundamental block and tackling to be sure. I would have guessed he is far more aggressive than it appears in the book and press reports.
Having worked in the commercial, state, and federal sectors, I thought I had gained enough perspective to understand the differences and critical insights across the sectors. This book showed me I don't have a clue as to the depth of problems that have been created across these sectors by our "well-intentioned" representatives.
Democrat, republican, independent, we've sent these people down to Washington and they've given us what we probably in retrospect should have expected. A bureaucracy beholden to none except those willing to buy political influence. A modern day PIIGS come to the new world. This book will show you how a wall streeter attempted to cajole push and gain insights into the role function and workings of the SBA, SEC, and DA's organizations. Ultimately it sounds as if nothing would have happened were it not for Homeland Security being concerned about SBA fraud being utilized to finance jihad against the US.
You can't make this stuff up. You can't help but be worried for our children when a mild mannered guy like Einhorn is in one of the leading proponents of capital markets efficiency.
Ultimately this book won't tax you mentally, but will probably spark deeper interest in various topics contained within the book. Would love to see Einhorn's next book describe how "well intentioned" legislation such as Reg FD, Dodd-Frank, etc, etc have changed the relationship that corporate management has with the media, wall-street, and shareholders. Most companies are reasonably well run, but there are some companies that appear to be relying upon the holes and lack of transparency and accountability this legislation has created. It would be interesting to read a book comparing and contrasting of the various mechanisms hedge funds use to find short ideas, propagate analysis, and ultimately effect change that brings more efficiency to the capital markets. Shorting is just mathematically such a nutty idea, but with the changes being brought into effect by legislation I have to imagine short hedge funds are likely to be a growth business in the years to come.
Much shorter than I would have liked, but in the two hours of audio, Hitchens brings to life the struggle of a man in the throws of a losing battle with stage 4 Esophogeal Cancer. This is a particularly nasty cancer that leaves little doubt as to outcome, just a question of how long. Hitchens brings his brand of insight and eloquence to a situation that is in some sense hopeless.
In the course of doing so we will all be able to better understand what thoughts, what emotions have gone through the minds of all those whom we love but have struggled with some form of a serious hopital stay. I don't know, but perhaps this would have shifted the tone and topics of conversation I had with loved ones who didn't make it through. It is incredibly difficult to put yourself in their shoes unless you've been there. Having been there recently and having read this viciously short, eloquent and insightful bit from Hitchens, I don't think I'll approach sickness and hospitals in the same way.
I do wish that there had been some more of self-indulgence and/or self-pity, but he didn't want to revel in those feelings, yet clearly it is something with which all in such situations suffer. A man with such eloquence and insight would have certainly shed new light on this aspect of serious / terminal disease.
Much has been made about the "fact" that Hitchens didn't change his world view when confronted with the end of his life. Unfortunately the brevity and scope of the book I don't believe would have allowed any of these issues to be addressed. There was talk at the end of the larger book he had still hoped to write. He at some point rails against the Randy Pausch approach to passing, but at the end perhaps the book I had hoped to read would have been Hitchens' version of that approach. I didn't want to hear more argument about or criticism of religion and how others choose to live, but I wanted to hear about the beauty and virtue of Hitchens' secular humanism.
Nonetheless, this book will touch you and change the way you empathize with terminal disease / serious hospital stay patients and for that reason alone it is highly recommended.
The books are long when taken together but sufficiently detailed that my kids can get interested in reading about the history without getting bored. They really don't get a balanced education these days with the liberal bias they get from almost everything taught in public school. Essentially reading IMHO to give your kids a better balance and context to interpret todays events.
Also like the optimism embedded in the narrative, though with today's narratives surrounding democracy the world over I hope it is still appropriate. Ultimately after reading this book(s) I hope my kids begin to build a foundation enabling them to understand issues such as democracy being just one of many natural rights and not necessarily essential to a well functioning government. Only one thing certain in life is change and a solid foundational underpinning will help them understand what importance to attach to unfolding events. This book will help them build their foundation IMHO.
Got a little tired of the story after a while printing printing printing. But the author really gives you the sense of what it was like to be a German at that time. Totally bewildered in a country that didn't seem to have a sense of what was going wrong. Its hard to fathom, but clearly the German people were "softened up" by this spectacular event. Is the author correct in his assertions toward the end that reparations were not responsible? Dunno that I trust the author given there wasn't much theory in this book. However, the author sticks to his guns and that is clearly very interesting. Also interesting in that most history books blame reparations but few clearly spell out that reparations were due in gold notes. Most modern day economists would say printing is not a way to get out of gold payments. And that might be true, but the author seems pretty convincing that the Germans weren't attempting that folly.
Had the author introduced a much higher degree of economic analysis, I feel that the emotional impact would have been far less. Its kind of like reading Dickens and then complaining you didn't get any Malthus in the text. This book if you really stay with it can really bring home the emotional impact of what it was like to be a German pre-Hitler. Had the author delved into how Hitler comes to power and/or the economic theories behind the printing of money and the gold based reparations payments, the emotional impact would have been lost.
I give it five stars... to stay disciplined with such a subject... to write what had to be written knowing full well you would only be a part piece of the puzzle... thats a thing we don't get from authors very much these days. Thanks to the authors. If the author is correct about the last part (I just don't know that much about the history of those times)... wow... just wow... very illuminating. He doesn't really provide alot of justification for the claims at the end just sort of lays them out there. To understand all of that and not change the scope is a gift to the reader. So my long winded advice is to appreciate the narrow scope, appreciate the seemingly endless monetary printing, and let wash over you what it means to sing "Deutschland Uber-alles" pre-Hitler. Getting transported back in time is priceless.
Had a difficult time following the first part of this book as I wasn't familiar with the characters / players / history of the patchwork of states that have emerged since the fall of communism. Perhaps I missed it or perhaps its just impossible to tell the outrageous stories contained in The Prize about powerful people still living. There is probably alot to fear from those people. I would bet my last gold deutsche mark the stories that will one day be told will make this period of time very interesting indeed. Unfortunately I didn't find the first half that interesting, though I really need to sit down with a map and some additional history books to gain a better appreciation. Certainly the role of Russia and its satellites in the world today is vastly underrated. The discussion of Putin and Europe alone is worthwhile enough to justify reading the first 40% of the book.
Really hit stride when discussing the US energy markets and the competing energy alternatives. The book is ambitious and perhaps has too much ground to cover. I know something about these markets so I looked forward to hearing what Daniel Yergin had to say. I have to say I am really impressed by the author. Did he persuade anyone with this book? Probably not as the book is really a quick synopsis of key items and drivers for the energy industry in the recent past and foreseeable future. All as seen and interpreted by Daniel Yergin. I really trust his judgement, but clearly readers who disagree with the fundamental view of the author may not enjoy this book as much. Personally I think if you disagree with Yergin you should benefit from his perspective as he may give you new facts and/or a different perspective. I'm sure certain groups of readers such as peak oilers will disagree however. Highly recommended. Not as easy a read as the Prize... so I used a little p in my headline... still worthy of 5 stars however.
Book will engage you, make you think, challenge your preconceptions with a data driven analysis of sociological changes in America over the last 40-50 years. The author is optimistic that the American character can rise to the occasion. I hope he is correct.
I think I need to reevaluate the papers I read or how I read them.
Must totally revamp my investment review / strategy sessions.
Had no idea this stuff was going on and as I look at the data to validate the story it all seems to fit.
Wow... awesomely eye opening.
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