Jim Manis on Most Anything

Jim Manis can formulate an opinion about a good many things, including those about which he has little knowledge. (And some guy named "Lazlo.") Visit The MagicFactory. Alan's Conservation News Stanley Douglas delivers "News of the Great Re-Depression".

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth CenturyOn Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This little book is an extremely important read. A great book for high school seniors and college freshmen.

Twenty highly articulated steps towards moving away from fascism and teleology.



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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Voices from the Rust BeltVoices from the Rust Belt by Anne Trubek

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A group of essays written by well educated, mostly professional writers living in a number of cities located in the region frequently referred to as "The Rustbelt." Mostly slice of life works, reflecting on what life is like for those who have chosen to remain, as opposed to those who have abandoned the region. They are well written, but not quite what I expected.



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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

JailbirdJailbird by Kurt Vonnegut

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A fun read

Not Vonnegut's best by any means, but a fun enough novel, with his typical sense of humor. The story of a man who is the unwitting bag man for illicit campaigns funds in the Nixon White House. For Vonnegut, the world is always dystopian. You don't have to make this up.



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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

An obsession with books:

A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating BooksA Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A collection of fun to read pieces about collecting books, including the odd nature of the collector. Also the importance of being a reader.



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Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: A Short History of World War I by James L. Stokesbury

A Short History of World War IA Short History of World War I by James L. Stokesbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have enjoyed reading popular histories since I was a boy in junior high. As an adult, my career precluded much time to indulge in this pleasure, but when I retired, I began to do so again. Sokesbury's book on WWI help to fill a gap in my education regarding the era surrounding that period. The book is an easy read, and sometimes humorous, which helps. The Great War was an incalculably import series of events, resulting in the Second World War, with difficult to understand causes, not one of which seems sufficient to have brought about the results.



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Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth GapThe Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Bankers steal billions of dollars, and the tax payer pays their fines for them. In the meantime, millions of poor people, mostly non-whites and sometimes completely innocent of the crimes they've been charged with, go to jail. America has more people in jail than any country in the world.

Matt Taibbi isn't much for statistics, but he can tell a good story. If you're not outraged and ashamed of your country before you read this book, something is definitely wrong with you if you are not by the time you finish it.

Taibbi doesn't spare either political party with his anger and accusations.



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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Substance Of CivilizationThe Substance Of Civilization by Stephen L. Sass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Informative. Best for the educated lay person, although the book is a bit dated, published some 18 years ago.



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