Review: Transforming the Dream – Ecologism and the Shaping of an Alternative American Vision

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Charles Bednar

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Synthesis, Starting Point for Anyone Who Wishes to Think Holistically, July 4, 2015

The author taught me most of what I retain in the way of political science fundamentals during our time together at Muhlenberg College, where he was former Chair of the Department of Political Science and an Associate Dean. We had not kept in touch since I left Muhlenberg in 1974, but in 2014 I reached out to him and bought this book immediately upon learning of its existence.

Published in 2003 by the State University of New York Press, this book was evidently not marketed at all, and little noted. That is a sad commentary on our times, because I find that the author has distilled multiple literatures into one coherent presentation, augmented by an original model that tells a vital story beyond Ecological Economics into Ecological Political Economy (in essence, politics), into Ecological Ethics and Ecological Pedagogy, two topics rarely covered by others.

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Jul 5

Review: Killing Hope – US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II

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William Blum

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reference on the Toxicity of US Military at Direction of Political Criminals, July 3, 2015

This is the UPDATED edition bring this long-standing historical tour de force up from the last edition that ended in 2008, to 2014. This means that it includes the newest elective wars and the “swath of destruction” we have created from Central Asia down through the Middle East and North Africa to Western Africa, where we now lust for oil in Niger and Nigeria.

Over-all, this is a very precious book, and an essential reference on the history of US intervention, both military and clandestine or covert.

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Jul 4

Review: Bare Feet, Iron Will

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James G. Zumwalt

5.0 out of 5 stars Oral History at Its Best — Relevant to Future Strategy, Policy, Acquisition, Tactics, June 29, 2015

I received this book as a gift from the author, a fellow Marine retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, sometimes mistaken for his father, Admiral Zumwalt. I have gone through it twice. It is immediately in my top five books on Viet-Nam from an intelligence point of view, the other four books being:

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Jul 2

Review (Guest): The Utopia of Rules – on Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

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David Gaeber

A Fresh Take on Bureaucracy

By Peter Richardson on March 19, 2015

What intense pleasure this book gave me, despite the dull topic: bureaucracy. Anthropologist David Graeber is perhaps best known for Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011), which became required reading for the Occupy Wall Street movement. In that book, Graeber showed that the standard explanation for the origins of money, rehearsed in dozens of economics textbooks, was a fairy tale.

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Mar 23