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 Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?

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PostSubject: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 1:12 pm

study Very Happy

We have two more weeks of "Collapse" (Jared Diamond) which I am enjoying greatly before we start a new Book Club book. Auditor General has kindly offered to set up a poll on a short list of ten books for us to choose from. I've looked through our threads and come up with this "long list".

There are a lot of really interesting suggestions here, thanks to everyone who has contributed. I think I'll be ordering more than one of them, that's for sure.

Please post any comments on what should go on the short list on this thread

Suggestions for next Book Club book:

905

Well, I've suggested Not Quite the Diplomat already, by Chris Patten; where he discusses the various geo-political issues of the time (2005). He goes on about the EU a lot and the constitution.
Atticus

Quote :
Chris Hitchen's anti-religion tract from the "pile" instead. Also there are Alex Ross' The Rest Is Noise, Tariq Ali's book of Saladiin and Jonathan Powell's N. Ireland book, among about 30 others. Agh! I keep buying books before getting through the last pile.
Atticus suggests Naomi Klein- TheShock Doctrine

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shock-Doctrine-Rise-Disaster-Capitalism/dp/0141024534/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211784650&sr=8-1

From the back cover -
Around the world in Britain, the United States, Asia and the Middle East, there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos; exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally remake the world in their image. They are the shock doctors.

Thrilling and revelatory, The Shock Doctrine cracks open the secret history of our era. Exposing these global profiteers, N Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors' beliefs now dominate our world - and how this domination has been achieved. Raking in billions out of the tsunami, plundering Russia, exploiting Iraq - this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed.


EvotingMachine, Ard Taoiseach and Atticus recommend The Craftsman – Richard Sennett:

Quote :
"I have a question Cactus, I want to read that book ArdT mentioned about Craft. It's on the I like thread. So can I read that for the May book club? I cant't read Collapse cos I'm already reading a book, and if I try to read two I'll go bonkers."
Robert B. Reich : "As Richard Sennett makes clear in this lucid and compelling book, craftsmanship once connected people to their work by conferring pride and meaning. The loss of craftsmanship-and of a society that values it-has impoverished us in ways we have long forgotten but Sennett helps us understand."-Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and author of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life

Zhou is reading Jacques Ellul on ethics and spirituality

I found this Ellul list:
Propaganda. (Translated by Konrad Kellen and Jean Lerner.) Vintage, 1973.
The Humiliation of the Word. (Translated by Joyce Main Hanks.) Eerdmans, 1985.
The Technological Society. (Translated by John Wilkinson.) Vintage, 1964.
Money and Power. (Translated by LaVonne Neff.) Inter-Varsity, 1984.

Youngdan

Quote :
The Long Emergency could be read after it for better effect. I am reading Mao at the moment and shows that power hungry people care nothing for their idealistic followers who get killed by the millions. I also finished I Hear You Paint Houses where the hit man Frank Sheerin says he shot his buddy Jimmy Hoffa in Detroit. He says he also shot Crazy Joe Gallo who Bob Dylan sings about. I am starting a book on the KGB where many examples of agent provocateur or false flags are given from the early days. Small scale stuff compared to the Reichstag false flag by the Germans but thought provoking. Most of my reading are on financial markets.
Brandubh

Quote :
Tariq Ali's book of Saladin ...Havn't read that one but have read his Clash of Fundamentalism which is interesting - esp for a non western centred view of 20th Century History - even though Ali has lived in London these 40 years or so and holds a British Passport!
It's certainly not an unbiased book mind - Tariq Ali was never one to hide his opinions when he thinks somebody or some 'ism' is wrong.

http://www.amazon.com/Clash-Fundamentalisms-Crusades-Jihads-Modernity/dp/1859846793

And by Atticus

Quote :
Book of Saladin is one of his Islam Quartet of novels, which i'm hoping to read over the summer. Have seen Ali speak a few times. Gave a beautiful reading of some Arabic poetry, he included the particular poem in either Clash of Fundamentalisms or Bush in Babylon, can't rem. which. I think the poem was called City of Salt.
Evoting Machine

Quote :
I'm reading this mad book at the moment, well almost finished
Very morbid, funny, and informative at the same time.

http://www.maryroach.net/stiff.html

Auditor

Salt – Mark Kurlansky

Quote :
This is my suggestion for the moment. If there are suggestions could they be put on this thread or should we open a new thread? This one would do wouldn't it? Let's try to get a rake of books or maybe even ten together and have a vote sure it'll be mighty craic altogether.

If ye could could ye try to sell the book by putting your own pre-review (expectation) or link to Amazon or somewhere, s'il vous plaít?
Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod and The Basque History of the World, here turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Kurlansky's kaleidoscopic history is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.

Cactus Flower

http://www.amazon.com/Cod-Biography-Fish-Changed-World/dp/0140275010/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

Mark Kurlansky's Cod-a Biography - the Fish that Changed the World sounds like a great read too.

You probably enjoy eating codfish, but reading about them? Mark Kurlansky has written a fabulous book--well worth your time--about a fish that probably has mattered more in human history than any other. The cod helped inspire the discovery and exploration of North America. It had a profound impact upon the economic development of New England and eastern Canada from the earliest times. Today, however, overfishing is a constant threat. Kurlansky sprinkles his well-written and occasionally humorous history with interesting asides on the possible origin of the word codpiece and dozens of fish recipes. Sometimes a book on an offbeat or neglected subject really makes the grade. This is one of them.

I haven't read either of the next two, but feel the need to see what people are saying about the major shift in economic power going on in the world.

The Post-American World Fareed Zakaria

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
After the Iraq war, Fareed Zakaria argued in his Newsweek column that the world's new organizing principle was pro- or anti-Americanism. But as the Iraq muddle drags on and China rises, the larger story of the post-Cold War era has come into sharp relief: We are not the center of the universe. It matters less that particular countries are pro- or anti-American than that the world is increasingly non-American. We need to get over ourselves.
Zakaria's The Post-American World is about the "rise of the rest," a catchy phrase from one of the most widely cited writers on foreign affairs. His prism is correct: We should focus more on the "rest," even if America is still the premier superpower. But within this broad approach, Zakaria leaves policy-makers to figure out how to rank challenges and restore U.S. legitimacy.
Zakaria zooms in on Asia, especially India and China, which he uses as proxies for "the rest." The first third of the book sets out his thesis -- "For the first time ever, we are witnessing genuinely global growth" -- and the next third describes how China's economy has doubled every eight years and how India may have the world's third largest economy by 2040.


The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order
by Parag Khanna (Author)

Grand explanations of how to understand the complex twenty-first-century world have all fallen short–until now. In The Second World, the brilliant young scholar Parag Khanna takes readers on a thrilling global tour, one that shows how America’s dominant moment has been suddenly replaced by a geopolitical marketplace wherein the European Union and China compete with the United States to shape world order on their own terms.

This contest is hottest and most decisive in the Second World: pivotal regions in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia. Khanna explores the evolution of geopolitics through the recent histories of such underreported, fascinating, and complicated countries as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Libya, Vietnam, and Malaysia–nations whose resources will ultimately determine the fate of the three superpowers, but whose futures are perennially uncertain as they struggle to rise into the first world or avoid falling into the third.

Oh yes - what about Samantha Power's book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide ?

Power, a former journalist for U.S. News and World Report and the Economist and now the executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights, offers an uncompromising and disturbing examination of 20th-century acts of genocide and U.S responses to them. In clean, unadorned prose, Power revisits the Turkish genocide directed at Armenians in 1915-1916, the Holocaust, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, Iraqi attacks on Kurdish populations, Rwanda, and Bosnian "ethnic cleansing," and in doing so, argues that U.S. intervention has been shamefully inadequate. The emotional force of Power's argument is carried by moving, sometimes almost unbearable stories of the victims and survivors of such brutality. Her analysis of U.S. politics what she casts as the State Department's unwritten rule that nonaction is better than action with a PR backlash; the Pentagon's unwillingness to see a moral imperative; an isolationist right; a suspicious left and a population unconcerned with distant nations aims to show how ingrained inertia is, even as she argues that the U.S. must reevaluate the principles it applies to foreign policy choices... This is a well-researched and powerful study that is both a history and a call to action. Photos.

Please post any more recommendations on which books should be short listed in the top ten here.
Very Happy study Very Happy


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon May 26, 2008 1:25 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : To put in my real choice)
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 1:42 pm

905 Today at 10:50 am

Hmm, the Shock Doctrine. It's certainly interesting and it's in my list of read books that have to be read again. I was drawn to it by it's imposing bulk and reasonable price. Don't be daunted; I found it very accessable.

I wasn't crazy about some of her conclusions though; unlike Diamond there's no self-doubt no hint that maybe I'm wrong on this. I always find such a position to be suspect.

Reviews were mixed, based on the politics of the critic. Tom Clonan wrote a glowing review in the Irish Times (on the strength of which I bought it), I generally find him very reliable.
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/weekend/2007/0929/1190938505497.html
Last Saturday's IT gave a mini review:

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism
Naomi Klein
Penguin, £8.99
No Logo author Naomi Klein's latest book is nothing less than a one-volume Truth Commission on neoliberal economics. Klein relates how the right-wing economist Milton Friedman, along with his "Chicago School" disciples, debauched the intellectual and moral currency of their profession by inflicting upon country after country a sociopathic programme of "planned misery" - all in the name of the "free" market. She also draws up a pretty damning rap sheet against Bono's guru, Jeffrey Sachs, for his role in administering "shock therapy" to Bolivia, Poland and Russia in the 1980s and 1990s. Klein's apparent unawareness that Karl Marx spotted the "disaster logic" of capitalism a long, long time ago will cause some on the left to twitch, while no self-respecting laissez-faire devotee will fail to chuckle at her bleeding-heart assumption that the collateral agonies of the poor - and their children - actually, well, matter. Daragh Downes

I would disagree with one point in this review, I think she does acknowledge the Marx's 'disaster logic' and gives the Bolshevik revolution as an early example.

I'd still prefer Patten's book, it's not as long and polarising.
905
Tool-Master's Apprentice Stage I

LAUNCH OF THE MACHINE NATION BOOK CLUB
by EvotingMachine0197 Today at 10:59 am


I'll be finished Stiff in a few days, so I wouldn't mind giving Klein a read. The Patten one would be too political for me I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 1:43 pm

Also - The Last Oil Shock by David Strahan.

Recommended by David on this thread - http://machinenation.forumakers.com/energy-f51/the-hydrogen-challenge-t106.htm#1355
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 1:52 pm

I had to change you opening thread cactus flower; you thought I wanted us to read Michael Collins! I picked it up some time ago and I can't stand it now.

My other choice which I pmed to you ages ago was 'Iran Awakening' by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi; an account of the Iranian revolutuion from the viewpoint of a womn judge under the Shah. Very interesting in a kind of antidote to Ayaan Hirsi Ali way.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 1:59 pm

Oh thanks very much for reminding me of those 905 and EVM. This is going to be a really difficult choice to make as so many of the books look really interesting.

We seem to have a very good selection of history, economics and world politics so far, but not so much on Ireland. Any suggestions there ?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 2:02 pm

I am actually reading the Technological Society by Jacques Ellul. It is brilliant stuff and a very important book but is too dense for a book club selection. I am having to dip in and out of Trollope to ease the swelling in my head caused by Ellul's brilliance.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 2:34 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I am actually reading the Technological Society by Jacques Ellul. It is brilliant stuff and a very important book but is too dense for a book club selection. I am having to dip in and out of Trollope to ease the swelling in my head caused by Ellul's brilliance.

I try to avoid cerebral edema these days, so maybe you are right Zhou. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 3:45 pm

How about Dahr Jamail's 'Beyond the Green Zone' - an incredible story from an every day guy who took himself off to Iraq to see what the war was really like. He's just won the Marth Gelhorn prize for this reporting from Iraq.

If not that, I'd like to vote for Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine'.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 4:07 pm

I think at the moment Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is in poll position, with The Craftsmen close behind.

Tariq Ali's Clash of Fundamentalism[/i] and Mark Kurlansky's [i]Salt and Cod ( I think they had better be paired) also figure with more than one mention each.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 4:15 pm

There was a book on the history of the potato out recently too, if you want to continue your food theme. Review here:
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/weekend/2008/0419/1208468781602.html
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 7:12 pm

If we do go with The Shock Doctrine, people might find this 6-part video of a speech by Klein useful/interesting:

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka3Pb_StJn4&feature=related
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 7:33 pm

I suggest "Making Globalization Work" by Joseph Stiglitz as a contender.

I have to say that Stiglitz's book "Globalization and its Discontents" is the best political/economic book I have read. If you want quality then who better to go to other than a nobel prize winner.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 7:37 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I suggest "Making Globalization Work" by Joseph Stiglitz as a contender.

I have to say that Stiglitz's book "Globalization and its Discontents" is the best political/economic book I have read. If you want quality then who better to go to other than a nobel prize winner.
Way to economical. And more of a complimenter than a contender to Klein's book.
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PostSubject: Book Club   Mon May 26, 2008 8:30 pm

Samantha Power's Book "a problem from hell - america and the age of genocide" is an excellent choice.

Al Gore comes out very well in it.

Anohter interesting one is "Al Jazerra" - just started it and then mislaid it so the author's name escapes me.


Then there's Jihad - The politics of Islam by Giles (brain is shot - Keppel maybe) A fascinating study of the various attempts to rule socities according to the book - and ultimately how the extremists like all psychopaths end up destroying their systems from within.
The curious thing about most of the lslamic fundamentalists is that their societies have gone from donkeys to computers without an industrial revolution. And, as with the Khmer Rouge, the majority are students of technical subjects. Anyhow, the book speals for itself.

A lighter but equally tragic read is "Blood River" about a Telegraph journo going across the Congo in Stanley's footsteps.

All for now. Over and out.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 8:42 pm

905 wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I suggest "Making Globalization Work" by Joseph Stiglitz as a contender.

I have to say that Stiglitz's book "Globalization and its Discontents" is the best political/economic book I have read. If you want quality then who better to go to other than a nobel prize winner.
Way to economical. And more of a complimenter than a contender to Klein's book.
I could read economics if you meant to say 'way too economical' ..

If we are going with two related books then there could be two (or more) combinations of doubles - Klein and Stilglitz in one group and Klein and xyz in another group. It might work...
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 9:35 pm

Klein's book looks like a monster. Is it readable? Stiglitz's previous book was very readable. I flew through it and I am not a student of economics.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 9:54 pm

My personal choice would be Rubicon by Tom Holland. It is a scintillating tome setting out the late Republican and Early Imperial period of Roman History.

Holland begins in the second century BC, bringing us through the political gyrations of the Gracchi, Marius, Sulla to the two triumvirates and Augustus' ultimate ascension to the throne as Rome's first Emperor.

As we read, a whole cast emerges, from the constitutional stickler Cato to the rabble-rousing patrician Clodius.

It is a great book and I reccommend it for our next book of the month in the strongest terms.

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 9:59 pm

I'd throw in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It's quite long but I am hooked and there are a myriad political and social issues for y'all to discuss along the way.

(I have Rubicon on my bookshelf for the last year or so, I must get around to it)
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 10:01 pm

cookiemonster wrote:


(I have Rubicon on my bookshelf for the last year or so, I must get around to it)

Good! Then you can get around to it while being able to chat about it over good stuff to eat and drink every Sunday here in the Machine Nation.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 10:04 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:


(I have Rubicon on my bookshelf for the last year or so, I must get around to it)

Good! Then you can get around to it while being able to chat about it over good stuff to eat and drink every Sunday here in the Machine Nation.

I'm half way through Atlas at the moment (I've been half way through it for a week now) so I won't have time to add abother MASSIVE book to the list. I hardly have time to scratch my arse as it is!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Mon May 26, 2008 10:10 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:


(I have Rubicon on my bookshelf for the last year or so, I must get around to it)

Good! Then you can get around to it while being able to chat about it over good stuff to eat and drink every Sunday here in the Machine Nation.

I'm half way through Atlas at the moment (I've been half way through it for a week now) so I won't have time to add abother MASSIVE book to the list. I hardly have time to scratch my arse as it is!

Ah, but you could take a little sos from Ayn Rand's tome to get a good going on Rubicon!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 7:34 pm

Any of ye nerds interested in reading a Physics book?

The Trouble with Physics
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 7:36 pm

Not if I have to stand on my head.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 7:43 pm

That won't help as you can see.

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 9:13 pm

ooooh that's very smrt.
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