Books, wonderful books

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Books, wonderful books

Hello all, from talking with riverrun in the chat room. I decided to start a thread about books. What I have read recently and what I have thought about them to be exact, I hope people will chime in with any book recommendations of their own or comments on what others have read. I’m providing amazon links for now, I think the RRS site has similar links that if you buy through them, sapient will get money. So I’ll change when I find it.

I’ll stop at 4 books, I have read plenty more and would like to start discussion about new ones in latter threads.

To start with, Sam Harris, the end of faith.

An excellent book imo, the introduction for end of faith really captured the fight between reason and faith and why I think the world would be better off with religion gone from the world.

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks

and if you want to watch it online

I hesitated on buying books about the 2nd Iraq war, simply because I felt that it was too early and a bit of time and distance would give a better overall picture. Using a lot of anonymous sources, i.e. guys still in the military or government service who don’t want to get arrested. Ricks manages to paint an interesting picture of exactly how America went to war in Iraq.

Imperial Grunts: On the Ground with the American Military, from Mongolia to the Philippines to Iraq and Beyond by Robert J Kaplan

And an interview on booktv yet again. J

I found this book quite interesting because he travels around the world, hanging out with the grunts, not the guys in the pentagon. He gives a ground level view of what the American military is doing around the world and how they are doing it. It falls down tying everything into a cohesive picture and doesn’t provide any opposing viewpoints. However, I didn’t really read it for that, I was more curious about the people being interviewed, half my family in America serves in various branches of the military.

The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas P.M. Barnett

and once again

This is a book by a pentagon insider, someone who has worked there for most of his professional life. This book is different because instead of complaining or preaching, he presents a very optimistic view of how he feels the future will turn out and what should be done in order that it can be achieved. A strong proponent of globalization, he sees the world as economically integrated via globalization on one hand, and on the other, corrupt 3rd world governments. I can`t say I agree with his worldview, too neo-con for me. But I do like to see how high level pentagon types see the world.