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  1. #1
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Default Recommended Read

    Empire of democracy :
    the remaking of the West since the Cold War 1971-2017

    Reid-Henry, Simon, author.

    The first panoramic history of the Western world from the 1970s to the present day.
    Empire of Democracy is the story for those asking how we got to where we are. Half
    a century ago, at the height of the Cold War and amidst a world economic crisis,
    the Western democracies were forced to undergo a profound transformation. Against
    what some saw as a full-scale “crisis of democracy” with race riots, anti-Vietnam
    marches and a wave of worker discontent sowing crisis from one nation to the next,
    a new political-economic order was devised and the postwar social contract was torn
    up and written anew. In this epic narrative of the events that have shaped our own
    times, Simon Reid-Henry shows how liberal democracy, and western history with it,
    was profoundly reimagined when the postwar Golden Age ended. As the institutions
    of liberal rule were reinvented, a new generation of politicians emerged: Thatcher,
    Reagan, Mitterrand, Kohl. The late twentieth century heyday they oversaw carried
    the Western democracies triumphantly to victory in the Cold War and into the
    economic boom of the 1990s. But equally it led them into the fiasco of Iraq, to the
    high drama of the financial crisis in 2007/8, and ultimately to the anti-liberal
    surge of our own times. The present crisis of liberalism enjoins us to revisit
    these as yet unscripted decades. The era we have all been living through is closing
    out, democracy is turning on its axis once again. As this panoramic history
    poignantly reminds us, the choices we make going forward require us first to come
    to terms with where we have been.

    Hardback ISBN 978-1-47367-055-6
    PaperB ISBN 978-1-47367-056-3
    eBook ISBN 978-1-47367-058-7

    ************************************************** ***********************************
    Destined for war :
    can America and China escape Thucydides's trap?
    Allison, Graham T., author.

    "The reason is Thucydides's Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that
    results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old
    as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece,
    the historian Thucydides explained: "It was the rise of Athens and the fear
    that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable." Over the past 500
    years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve
    of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and
    both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries "great again,"
    the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its
    ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade
    conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.
    In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why
    Thucydides's Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in
    the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios,
    he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not
    inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the
    past -- and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid
    disaster today"-- Provided by publisher.

    ISBN 9781925322378 ANZ edition

    ************************************************** ************************************

    The Devil's chessboard:
    Allen Dulles, the CIA and the rise of America's secret government
    David Talbot: Author

    "Dulles's decades as the director of the CIA was a dark times in American politics.
    The spymaster saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting
    American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the
    wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients - colluding with Nazi-controlled
    cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders
    for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his
    political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home,
    culminating in the assassination of his political enemy, John F. Kennedy."--Back cover.

    ISBN 9780008162078

    ************************************************** ************************************
    Last edited by greater fool; 02-09-2019 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Excellent Reading

  2. #2
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Default More Reading

    Democracy betrayed
    : how superdelegates, redistricting, party insiders, and the Electoral College rigged the 2016 election

    Rosenfeld, Steven, 1959- author.

    "An impassioned takedown of the undemocratic features of American electoral politics and their role in
    the 2016 election. Americans are taught to cherish our democracy, especially our right to vote.
    But after the 2016 presidential election, we are confronted, yet again, with the reality that our
    system is neither free nor fair. Almost every step along the way is filled with intentional and
    unintentional pitfalls, barriers, and dysfunction. The results disadvantage, discourage, and
    ultimately disenfranchise, but a myth persists that our elections and democracy are exemplary.
    Our system is adept at pre-empting the very citizens whose participation would upend governing
    classes and economic elites. That's done by making voting more complicated, less accountable and
    resistant to reform. Whether we're talking about voter ID laws, superdelegates, convoluted state
    recount rules, or the archaic Electoral College, procedures have greater weight than democratic
    principles, or evidence-based determinations. Inside Job catalogs the long litany of ways our
    elections failed, and continue to fail, their billing as model democracy. It will look through
    the lens of impassioned skepticism, highlighting what went wrong and conveying why that need not
    be the case. More people registered to vote in 2016 than ever before, even if turnout was about
    the same as 2012. That shows people want a system they can believe in.
    This book will speak to them and show them how they can fight for a better democracy." --Publisher description.

    ISBN 9781510729452 (hardback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ******

    The convenient terrorist :
    two whistleblowers' stories of torture, terror, secret wars, and CIA lies
    Joseph Hickman & John Kiriakou: Authors

    "A startling spotlight on the darkest corners of America's War on Terror, where nothing is
    quite what it seems. The Convenient Terrorist is the definitive inside account of the capture,
    torture, and detention of Abu Zubaydah, the first high-value target captured by the CIA after
    9/11. But was Abu Zubaydah, who is still being indefinitely held by the United States under
    shadowy circumstances, the blue-ribbon capture that the Bush White House claimed he was?
    Authors John Kiriakou, who led the capture of Zubaydah, and Joseph Hickman, who took
    custody of him at Guantanamo, draw a far more complex and intriguing portrait of the al-Qaeda
    mastermind who became a symbol of torture and the dark side of US security. From a one-time
    American collaborator to a poster boy for waterboarding, Abu Zubaydah became a convenient
    terrorist; a way for US authorities to sell their War on Terror to the American people."
    -- Provided by publisher.

    ISBN 9781510711624 (hardcover)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ******

    Seeds of resistance : the fight to save our food supply
    Schapiro, Mark, 1955- author.

    "Ten thousand years after humans figured out how to stop wandering and plant crops, veteran
    investigative journalist Mark Schapiro plunges into the struggle already underway for control
    of seeds, the ground-zero ingredient for our food. Three quarters of the seed varieties on
    Earth in 1900 had become extinct by 2015. In Seeds of Resistance, Schapiro takes us onto the
    frontlines of a struggle over the seeds that remain, one that will determine the long-term
    security of our food supply in the face of unprecedented climate volatility. Schapiro reveals
    how more than half of all commercially-traded seeds have fallen under the control of just
    three multinational agri-chemical companies. At just the time when scientists tell us we need
    a spectrum of options to respond to climatic changes, thousands of seed varieties are being
    taken off the market and replaced by the companies' genetically engineered or crack-baby seeds,
    addicted to chemical pesticides and herbicides from the day they are planted. Schapiro dives
    deep into the rapidly growing movement in the United States and around the world to defy
    these trends and assert autonomy over locally-bred seeds--seeds which are showing high levels
    of resilience to the onrushing and accelerating impacts of climate change."--Publisher's description.

    ISBN 9781510705760 (paperback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ******
    American Nuremberg
    : the US officials who should stand trial for post-9/11 war crimes
    Gordon, Rebecca, author.

    No subject is more hotly debated than the extreme measures that our government
    has taken after 9/11 inthe name of national security. Torture, extraordinary
    rendition, drone assassinations, secret detention centers (or black sites ),
    massive surveillance of citizens.But while the press occasionally exposes the
    dark side of the war on terror and congressional investigators sometimes raise
    alarms about the abuses committed by U.S. intelligence agencies and armed forces,
    no high U.S. official has been prosecuted for these violations which many legal
    observers around the world consider war crimes. The United States helped
    establish the international principles guiding the prosecution of war crimes
    starting with the Nurembergtribunal following World War II, when Nazi officials
    were held accountable for their crimes against humanity.
    But the American government and legal system have consistently refused to apply
    these same principles to our own officials. Now Rebecca Gordon takes on the
    explosive task of indicting the officials who in a just society should be put
    on trial for war crimes. Some might dismiss this as a symbolic exercise.
    But what is at stake here is the very soul of the nation.
    --Publisher's description.

    ISBN 9781510703339 (hbk.)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** **************
    Hunting the Caliphate
    : America's war on ISIS and the dawn of the strike cell
    Dana J.H. Pittard and Wes J. Bryant

    In this vivid first-person narrative, a Special Operations Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) and his commanding general
    give fascinating and detailed accounts of America's fight against one of the most barbaric insurgencies the world has ever seen.
    In the summer of 2014, three years after America's full troop withdrawal from the Iraq War, President Barack Obama authorized
    a small task force to push back into Baghdad. Their mission: Protect the Iraqi capital and U.S. embassy from a rapidly emerging
    terrorist threat. A plague of brutality, that would come to be known as ISIS, had created a foothold in northwest Iraq and northeast
    Syria. It had declared itself a Caliphate-an independent nation-state administered by an extreme and cruel form of Islamic law-and
    was spreading like a newly evolved virus. Soon, a massive and devastating U.S. military response had unfolded. Hear the ground
    truth on the senior military and political interactions that shaped America's war against ISIS, a war unprecedented in both its
    methodology and its application of modern military technology.

    ISBN 9781642930559 (hardback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** *****

    They will have to die now
    : Mosul and the fall of the caliphate
    James Verini. Author

    A searing narrative of the Battle of Mosul, described by the Pentagon as "the most significant urban combat since World War II." In this
    masterpiece of war journalism based on months of frontline reporting, National Magazine Award winner James Verini describes the
    climactic battle in the struggle against the Islamic State. Focusing on two brothers from Mosul and their families, a charismatic Iraqi
    major who marched north from Baghdad to seize the city with his troops, rowdy Kurdish militiamen, and a hard- bitten American
    sergeant, Verini describes a war for the soul of a country, a war over and for history. Seeing the battle in a larger, centuries- long sweep,
    he connects the bloody-minded philosophy of the Islamic State with the ancient Assyrians who founded Mosul. He also confronts
    the ways that the American invasion of Iraq not only deformed that country, but also changed America like no conflict since Vietnam.
    -Publisher Notes

    ISBN 9780393652475 (hardback)
    Last edited by greater fool; 20-12-2019 at 10:19 AM. Reason: More Isis stories

  3. #3
    Ignorant. Just ignorant.
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    How come it takes so long to get to court?

  4. #4
    Advanced Member
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    May 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by GTM 3442 View Post
    How come it takes so long to get to court?
    Umm...because there are 51 murder charges to prove and sundry attempted murder and wounding charges.

  5. #5
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011


    The future is Asian
    : global order in the twenty-first century
    Khanna, Parag, author.

    Leading global strategist Parag Khanna explains how Asia is reshaping
    the entire planet and setting a new template for our collective future.
    Five billion people, two-thirds of the world's mega-cities, one-third
    of the global economy, two-thirds of global economic growth, thirty of
    the Fortune 100, six of the ten largest banks, eight of the ten largest
    armies, five nuclear powers, massive technological innovation, the
    newest crop of top-ranked universities. Asia is also the world's most
    ethnically, linguistically and culturally diverse region of the planet,
    eluding any remotely meaningful generalization beyond the geographic
    label itself. Even for Asians, Asia is dizzying to navigate. Whether
    you gauge by demography, geography, economy or any other metric,
    Asia is already the present and it is certainly the future. It is for
    this reason that we cannot afford to continue to get Asia so wrong.
    The Future Is Asian accurately shows Asia from the inside-out, telling
    the story of how this mega-region is coming together and reshaping
    the entire planet in the process. Publisher back cover notes.

    ISBN 9781474610674 (paperback)
    ISBN ebook 978-1-4746-1069-8
    Last edited by greater fool; 13-11-2019 at 01:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2011


    The end of the myth
    : from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America
    Greg Grandin Author

    From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early
    westward expansion to Trump's border wall. Ever since this nation's inception, the idea of an open and
    ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise,
    it was the foundation of the United States' belief in itself as an exceptional nation--democratic, individualistic,
    forward-looking. Today, though, America has a new symbol: the border wall. In The End of the Myth,
    acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of
    U.S. history--from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016.
    For centuries, he shows, America's constant expansion--fighting wars and opening markets--served
    as a "gate of escape," helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this
    deflection meant that the country's problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly.
    And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the
    Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed
    elsewhere back home. It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary
    populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the
    presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an
    allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.

    ISBN 9781250179821 (hardback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ****

    The best people : Trump's cabinet and the siege on Washington
    Author: Alexander Nazaryan

    An engrossing look at the Trump cabinet: the scandals, the incompetence, the assault on the federal government,
    the bungled attempts to impose order on an administration lost in a chaos of its own making. Donald Trump promised
    a return to national greatness, but each day of his presidency seems to bring a new crisis, a deepening sense of
    national unease. Why, and how, has he failed his supporters? And how has he, on occasion, bested his detractors?
    [This book] takes complete measure of the Trump administration in order to clarify the president's intentions,
    and how those intentions are being carried out--or subverted--by the people he has hired. Alexander Nazaryan argues
    that the 'deconstruction of the administrative state' promised by Steve Bannon in early 2017 never materialized.
    What the American people got instead was Wilbur Ross hauling his tennis pro to confirmation hearing preparations;
    Scott Pruitt running away from rattlesnakes; Reince Priebus enduring insults from junior White House staffers.
    And yet, bungling as Trump's cabinet members have been, they have managed to either damage or arrest many of the
    gears that make government run. They have given away public lands to oil companies and allowed corporate lobbyists
    to make decisions about what is best for the American people, and have done it all while flying on private jets
    and dining at the finest restaurants, at taxpayers' expense. Meticulously reported and enthrallingly told,
    The Best People takes readers inside the federal government under Trump's control, a government assailed by the
    very people charged to lead it, a government awash in confusion and corruption.

    ISBN 9780316421430 (hardback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** **************************************
    Kissinger's shadow : the long reach of America's most controversial statesman
    Author: Greg Grandin

    A new account of America's most controversial diplomat that moves beyond praise or condemnation to reveal Kissinger as
    the architect of America's current imperial stance. In his fascinating new book, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin
    argues that to understand the crisis of contemporary America --its never-ending wars abroad and political polarization
    at home-- we have to understand Henry Kissinger. Examining Kissinger's own writings, as well as a wealth of newly
    declassified documents, Grandin reveals how Richard Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, even as he was presiding over
    defeat in Vietnam and a disastrous, secret, and illegal war in Cambodia, was helping to revive a militarized version
    of American exceptionalism centered on an imperial presidency. Believing that reality could be bent to his will,
    insisting that intuition is more important in determining policy than hard facts, and vowing that past mistakes should
    never hinder future bold action, Kissinger anticipated, even enabled, the ascendance of the neoconservative idealists
    who took America into crippling wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Going beyond accounts focusing either on Kissinger's
    crimes or accomplishments, Grandin offers a compelling new interpretation of the diplomat's continuing influence on
    how the United States views its role in the world. -Publisher Notes

    ISBN 9781627794497 (hardcover)
    Last edited by greater fool; 24-01-2020 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Add: Kissinger -war crim & human rights abuser extraordinaire

  7. #7
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Cool Written by an Economist, who quotes plenty of other Economists. Still readable!

    The great reversal : how America gave up on free markets
    Philippon, Thomas, author.

    Part one. The rise of market power in the U.S.: Why economists like competition...and why you should too --
    Bad concentration, good concentration -- The rise in market power -- The decline of investment and productivity
    -- The failure of free entry --
    Part two. The European experience: Meanwhile, in Europe -- Are US prices too high? -- How European markets became free --
    Part three. Political economy: Lobbying -- Money and politics --
    Part four.
    In depth look at some industries: Why are bankers paid so much? -- American health care: a self-made disaster
    -- Looking at the stars: are the top firms really different? -- To regulate or not to regulate, that is the question --
    Monopsony power and inequality

    Why are cell-phone plans so much more expensive in the United States than in Europe? It seems a simple question.
    But the search for an answer took Thomas Philippon on an unexpected journey through some of the most complex and
    hotly debated issues in modern economics. Ultimately he reached his surprising conclusion: American markets,
    once a model for the world, are giving up on healthy competition. Sector after economic sector is more concentrated
    than it was twenty years ago, dominated by fewer and bigger players who lobby politicians aggressively to protect
    and expand their profit margins. Across the country, this drives up prices while driving down investment,
    productivity, growth, and wages, resulting in more inequality. Meanwhile, Europe-long dismissed for competitive
    sclerosis and weak antitrust-is beating America at its own game. Philippon, one of the world's leading economists,
    did not expect these conclusions in the age of Silicon Valley start-ups and millennial millionaires. But the data
    from his cutting-edge research proved undeniable. In this compelling tale of economic detective work, we follow
    him as he works out the basic facts and consequences of industry concentration in the U.S. and Europe, shows how
    lobbying and campaign contributions have defanged antitrust regulators, and considers what all this means for
    free trade, technology, and innovation. For the sake of ordinary Americans, he concludes, government needs to
    return to what it once did best: keeping the playing field level for competition.
    It's time to make American markets great and free again.

    ISBN 9780674237544 (hardback)

  8. #8
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011

    Default Lockdown

    With library and stores closed during lock down, dipped into the accumulation of books 'waiting to be read'.
    In reading order.........

    The Spies of Warsaw
    Alan Furst ISBN 978-0-7538-2564-5

    Corelli's Mandolin
    Louis de Bernieres ISBN 0-679-43644-8

    Traitors Kiss
    Gerald Seymour Corgi Book 0 552 1552 15043 6

    The Luminaries
    Eleanor Catton ISBN 978-0-86473-895-0

    Night Soldiers
    Alan Furst ISBN 978-0-7538-2635-5

    Hidden Secrets
    David Owen ISBN 1-85605-833-6

    The Walking Dead
    Gerald Seymour Corgi Book 9780552155182

    The Polish Officer
    Alan Furst ISBN 0 00 649356 4

    In Defence of America
    Bronwen Maddox ISBN 978 0 7156 3792 0

    Rat Run
    Gerald Seymour ISBN 9780552153423

    Wine-Tasters Logic
    Pat Simon ISBN 0-571-20287-X
    Last edited by greater fool; 31-05-2020 at 01:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2011

    Default Post covid lockdown reading starts...

    With all due respect : defending America with grit and grace
    Author Nikki R. Haley

    A revealing, dramatic, deeply personal book about the most significant events of our time, written by the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley who is widely admired for her forthright manner ("With all due respect, I don't get confused"), her sensitive approach to tragic events, and her confident representation of America's interests as our Ambassador to the United Nations during times of crisis and consequence. In this book, Haley offers a first-hand perspective on major national and international matters, as well as a behind-the-scenes account of her tenure in the Trump administration. This book reveals a woman who can hold her own--and better--in domestic and international power politics, a diplomat who is unafraid to take a principled stand even when it is unpopular, and a leader who seeks to bring Americans together in divisive times. Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781250266552 (hardback)
    Last edited by greater fool; 04-06-2020 at 12:35 PM.

  10. #10
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
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    Dec 2011


    Dark money : the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right
    Jane Mayer - Author


    A popular uprising against "big government" led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But Mayer shows
    that a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally
    alter the American political system. Their core beliefs-- that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an
    assault on freedom-- are sincerely held. The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch. Mayer traces the trail of the
    billions of dollars spent by their network, and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy. -Publisher Notes

    ISBN 9780385535595 (hardcover)

  11. #11
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    Dec 2011

    Cool Books on China.

    Contest for the Indo-Pacific : why China won't map the future
    Rory Medcalf -Author

    The Indo-Pacific is both a place and an idea. It is the region central to global prosperity and security.
    It is also a metaphor for collective action. If diplomacy fails, it will be the theatre of the first
    general war since 1945. But if its future can be secured, the Indo-Pacific will flourish as a shared space,
    the centre of gravity in a connected world. What we call different parts of the world - Asia, Europe,
    the Middle East, seems innocuous. But the name of a region is totemic, a mental map that guides the
    decisions of leaders and the story of international order, war and peace. In recent years, the label
    'Indo-Pacific' has gained wide use, including among the leaders of the United States, India, Japan,
    Australia, Indonesia and France. But what does it really mean? Written by a recognised expert and
    regional policy insider, Contest for the Indo-Pacific is the definitive guide to tensions in the region.
    It deftly weaves together history, geopolitics, cartography, military strategy, economics, games and
    propaganda to address a vital question, how can China's dominance be prevented without war?
    -Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781760641573 (paperback)

    ************************************************** ********************************************
    China reconnects : joining a deep-rooted past to a new world order
    Author: Wang Gungwu

    The book shows how the Chinese are now confident of their capacity to learn all they
    need from the developed world and are keen to know which parts of the past they would
    need to build a modern Chinese civilization. They are very conscious of the challenges
    coming from the United States, and are looking for ways and means to respond to a
    superpower that wants to preserve its dominant position in the international status quo.
    The book seeks to explain what China is doing and what its immediate and long-term
    interests are. It is not to defend or judge China. It does not employ theoretical
    frameworks that are not appropriate for describing Chinese conditions. It calls for
    understanding why history is particularly relevant to the Chinese state and most of
    its people. That way, we also see how the present and hopes for the future changes
    our perspectives of the past. - Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9789811203602 (paperback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** **

    Hidden hand : exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the world.
    Authors: Clive Hamilton, Mareike Ohlberg

    Here, Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg expose the Chinese Communist Party's global program of influence and subversion,
    and the threat it poses to democracy. With its enormous economic power, China is now a global political and military force
    engaged in an ideological struggle with the West. Combining a mass of evidence with unique insights, Hamilton and Ohlberg
    lay bare the nature and extent of the Chinese Communist Party's influence operations across the Western world - in politics,
    business, universities, think tanks and international institutions such as the UN. This new authoritarian power is using
    democracy to undermine democracy in pursuit of its global ambitions. Combining meticulous research with compelling prose,
    Hamilton and Ohlberg bring to light the Chinese Communist Party's threats to democratic freedoms and national sovereignty
    across Europe and North America - and show how we might push back against its autocratic influence. -- Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781743795576 (paperback)
    Last edited by greater fool; 10-08-2020 at 01:22 PM.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2011


    Secret : the making of Australia's security state
    Author: Brian Toohey

    Australia is less secure than it has ever been and the greatest threat comes from our elected government.
    Political leaders increasingly promote secrecy, ignorance and fear to introduce new laws that undermine
    individual liberties and safety. It is a criminal offence to receive or publish a wide range of information
    unrelated to national security. Our defence weapons are so dependent on US technical support that Australia
    couldn't defend itself without US involvement. And comprehensive databases on citizens' digital fingerprints
    and facial recognition characteristics are being amassed by the Commonwealth. Conspiracy? Paranoia?
    Read Secret- The Making of Australia's Security State and you decide. Fresh archival material and revealing
    details of conversations between former CIA, US State Department and Australian officials will make you
    reconsider the world around you. - Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9780522872804 (paperback)

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ***********************
    There where supposed to be two books on Australian 'National Security'.
    I ordered this book in February, pre-lockdown.

    Peter Cronau reveals Australia’s role in the War on Terror (The Base, June, ABC)

    ISBN: 9780733340055
    ISBN 10: 0733340059
    Imprint: ABC Books - AU
    On Sale: 18/05/2020
    Pages: 320
    List Price: 34.99 AUD


    Post lock down the book has 'disappeared'. The ordered copy was deleted. No trace.
    I suspect the book has been banned by Australian Security/ Government.
    The book was written following this 2017 ABC Four Corners programme;
    Last edited by greater fool; 29-06-2020 at 12:22 PM. Reason: spelling <sigh>

  13. #13
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    Dec 2011


    The Commanders
    Bob Woodward: Author.

    Using his unmatched investigative skills Bob Woodward tells the behind the scenes
    story of how President Bush and his military high command made their decisions.
    The Commanders is an extraordinary work of contempory history, based on more than
    two years of exhaustive reporting on the inner workings of the Bush administration.

    ISBN 0-671-41367-8

  14. #14
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    Dec 2011

    Default Scary stuff. Compelling Read.

    Spillover : animal infections and the next human pandemic
    David Quammen: Author

    "The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse.
    In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of ebola,
    SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia - but those
    reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that
    transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans
    by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world. He recounts
    adventures in the field - netting bats in China, trapping monkeys in Bangladesh, stalking
    gorillas in the Congo - with the world’s leading disease scientists. In Spillover Quammen
    takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these
    diseases emerge, and he asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?"
    --Publisher's description.

    ISBN 9780393066807 (hbk.)

  15. #15
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    The wandering vine : wine, the Romans and me
    Nina Caplan - Author

    "Nina Caplan, award-winning wine and travel writer, goes in search of the founding myths
    of our oenophilic civilization. Her journey takes her from a very personal case of her
    father's champagne arriving at her doorstep in 2003, through Northern France, Champagne,
    the Rhone, into Northern Spain, Andalucia and on into Sicily, and finally to Rome where
    it all began- when the Romans cultivated the first vines, eventually brought to England
    by their Celtic adversaries, the Gauls. Following the Roman Empire she sets out from
    England to Burgundy, home of the Aedui tribe; on to the French medieval monasteries where
    the monks' need for wine for the Eucharist led to a profound knowledge of viticulture;
    through Avignon, home for many years to wine-loving popes in exile; Bordeaux, where
    English tastes were fed by French vines; Barcelona and Granada where one of the oldest
    parts of the Alhambra still contains the Puerta del Vino or Wine Gate. Finally Nina
    arrives in Rome, seat of wine-loving Emperors and birthplace of an Empire that conquered
    half the known world. A heady blend of history, culture, food, and drink, this is
    narrative travel writing at its absolute best."-- Provided by publisher.

    ISBN 9781472938442 (hardcover)

  16. #16
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Base nation : how U.S. military bases abroad harm America and the world
    Author David Vine

    "American military bases encircle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, the U.S.
    still stations troops atsome eight hundred locations in foreign lands. These bases are usually taken for
    granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagon's vast operations. But ... [this
    book] shows how this global base network causes an array of ills - and undermines nation security in the
    process ... the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy towards the
    United States. They undermine American democratic ideals ... Their financial cost is staggering ...
    Vine's accounting proves that the bill approaches $100 billion per year ... For decades, the need for
    overseas bases has been a quasi-religious dictum of U.S. foreign policy. Recently, however, a bipartisan
    coalition has finally started questioning this conventional wisdom. With U.S. forces still in Afghanistan,
    the Middle East and beyond, ... [this] shows why we must re-examine the tenets of our military strategy,
    the way we engage with the world, and the base nation America has become"--Publisher's description.

    ISBN 9781627791694 (hardcover)

  17. #17
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default War Stories

    False flags : disguised German raiders of World War II
    Author: Stephen Robinson

    False Flags tells the epic untold story of German raider voyages to the South Seas during the early years of World War II. In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin, and Kormoran left Germany and waged a "pirate war" in the South Seas as part of Germany's strategy to attack the British Empire's maritime trade on a global scale. Their extraordinary voyages spanned the globe and are maritime sagas in the finest tradition of seafaring. The four raiders voyaged across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Arctic and Antarctic. They sank or captured 62 ships in a forgotten naval war that is now being told in its entirety for the first time. The Orion and Komet terrorised the South Pacific and New Zealand waters before Pearl Harbor when the war was supposed to be far away. The Pinguin sank numerous Allied merchant ships in the Indian Ocean before mining the approaches to Australian ports and capturing the Norwegian whaling fleet in Antarctica. The Kormoran raided the Atlantic but will always be remembered for sinking the Australian cruiser Sydney off Western Australia, killing all 645 sailors on board in tragic circumstances. False Flags is also the story of the Allied sailors who encountered these raiders and fought suicidal battles against a superior foe as well as the men, women and children who endured captivity on board the raiders as prisoners of the Third Reich. False Flags is an engrossing tale. -Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781925335156 (hbk.)

    ************************************************** ****************************************

    Harrier 809 : Britain's legendary jump jet and the untold story of the Falklands War
    Author: Rowland White

    April 1982. Argentina invades the Falkland Islands. In response, Britain despatches a naval Task Force. Eight thousand miles from home, its fate hinges on just twenty Sea Harriers against the two hundred-strong might of the Argentine Air Force. The odds against them are overwhelming. The MoD's own estimates suggest that half the Harriers will be lost within a week. Against this background, 809 Naval Air Squadron is reformed, trained and sent south to fight. Not since WWII had so much been expected of such a small band of pilots. Combining groundbreaking research with the pace of a thriller, Rowland White reveals the full story of the fleet's knife-edge fight for survival for the first time, and shows how the little jump jet went from airshow novelty to sealing its reputation as an icon of British aviation, alongside the Spitfire and the Hurricane.
    -Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781787631595 (paperback)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Zealand.



  19. #19
    l'Excuse greater fool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Back to Economics

    Not in narrow seas : the economic history of Aotearoa New Zealand
    Author: Brian Easton

    Not in Narrow Seas is a major contribution to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand. It covers everything from the traditional gift-based Maori economy to the Ardern government's attempt to deal with the economic challenges of global warming, and is the first economic history to underline the central role of the environment,
    beginning with the geological formation of these islands. Economist Brian Easton throws new light on some cherished national myths. He argues that Britain's entry
    into the EEC was not the major turning point that many assume; of much more lasting importance was the permanent collapse of wool prices in 1966. He asks how
    far it is true that New Zealand is an egalitarian country where 'Jack's as good as his master'. He offers the most extensive investigation yet of the Rogernomics
    revolution of the 1980s and early 1990s, and shows that governments of left and right are still grappling with its legacy. Easton deals with the major economic
    trends since the war - the movement of Maori into the cities, of women into paid work, and of Pasifika people to Aotearoa. He analyses the rise of the modern
    Maori economy and the increased political power of business, and includes vivid pen portraits of the important yet largely unremembered people who shaped
    our economy. This is also a profoundly political history, which focuses not only on governments but the share of votes won by the parties: it is our first MMP
    history. Dr Easton, a well-known commentator and author of numerous books, here offers his greatest work, the fruit of a lifetime of reflection and research.

    ISBN 9781776563043 (paperback)
    1776563042 (paperback)

    ************************************************** *********************************************

    The deficit myth : modern monetary theory and how to build a better economy
    Author: Stephanie Kelton

    The leading thinker and most visible public advocate of modern monetary theory, the freshest and
    most important idea about economics in decades, delivers a radically different, bold, new
    understanding for how to build a just and prosperous society. Any ambitious proposal, ranging
    from fixing crumbling infrastructure to Medicare for all or preventing the coming climate apocalypse,
    inevitably sparks questions: how can we afford it? How can we pay for it? Stephanie Kelton points
    out how misguided those questions really are by using the bold ideas of modern monetary theory (MMT),
    a fundamentally different approach to using our resources to maximize our potential as a society.
    We've been thinking about government spending in the wrong ways, Kelton argues-on both sides of
    the political aisle. Everything that both liberal/progressives and conservatives believe about
    deficits and the role of money and government spending in the economy is wrong, especially the
    fear that deficits will endanger long-term prosperity. Through illuminating insights about government
    debt, deficits, inflation, taxes, the financial system, and financial constraints on the federal budget,
    Kelton dramatically changes our understanding of how to best deal with important issues ranging from
    poverty and inequality to creating jobs and building infrastructure. Rather than asking the
    self-defeating question of how to pay for the crucial improvements our society needs, Kelton guides
    us to ask: which deficits actually matter? What is the best way to balance the risk of inflation
    against the benefits of a society that is more broadly prosperous, safer, cleaner, and secure?
    With its important new ways of understanding money, taxes, and the critical role of deficit
    spending, MMT busts myths that prevent us from taking action because we can't get beyond the question
    of how to pay for it. -Publisher Notes.

    ISBN 9781529352528 (hardback)
    Last edited by greater fool; 05-09-2020 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Added Deficit Myth
    "There is something wrong with a regime that requires a pyramid of corpses every few years." George Orwell.

  20. #20
    Veteran novice
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    , , .


    I liked this little story from a review of "Not in narrow seas" :

    Brezhnev was standing on the Lenin Mausoleum on May Day. First the mobile nuclear missile carriers rumbled past, then masses of tanks and goose-stepping soldiers. Overhead blasted masses of MiGs. After the soldiers came a gaggle of middle aged men in Cardigans with pocket protectors.

    Someone turns to Brezhnev and enquires what these men are doing in a military parade. Brezhnev responds, these are my economists, never underestimate the destructive power of an economist…


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