You like to stay informed.
You like to think differently and you like to hear new ideas.
You’re not happy with the standard explanations for things, and you know that the world isn’t functioning as it should.
This bothers you but…what can you do?
I find educating myself is a good place to start.
That’s why I read a lot, and that’s why I think it’s time we discuss books a bit more on this site.
I’ll do that by profiling some books I’m reading or have read or want to read.
Maybe these will be periodic posts, whether there’s interest in ‘em or not.
I think it’s important, and when I think something’s important, you hear about it.
That said, I don’t buy books.
All the books profiled here are books I get from the library, often using inter-library loans.
So they come from the Flathead, the Bitterroot, even as far away as the Hi-Line on occasion.
So if I can get the books, you can too. That’s what libraries are for, and my, they’ve sure helped me out during my lifetime.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the books.
I’d like to start with a book I finished in late-August, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
It was written by John Perkins and I’m already looking forward to reading his 2016 follow-up.
The book came out in 2004 and profiles a select group of corporate raiders that go into third-world countries, inundate them with debts they can never pay off, then seize their assets.
Strong-men dictators are put in place and rewarded with money and benefits so they’ll tamp down on the local population and any uprisings that may occur.
For the most part, these atrocities are committed by private companies at the behest of the US government and the World Bank.
It’s a very good read and I highly recommend it. If you wonder about Panama, our support of Saudi Arabia, and even a bit on Iraq and Afghanistan, then this book is for you.
Next up is a book that really opens your eyes to how nefarious and downright evil JFK was.
It’s called The Dark Side of Camelot.
It was written in 1997 by Seymour Hersh and relies on tons of interviews with people that knew JFK and people that saw these accounts firsthand.
We’re mainly talking womanizing, and boy, the guy must have been sleeping with at least one different woman a day, if not more.
There’s a bit of drug use, but mostly sex. Besides that there’s lots of political wrangling when JFK’s affairs came out and blackmail and payoffs were resorted to.
We see a lot on why LBJ was chosen as VP, even though Kennedy didn’t really want him, same with Bobby Kennedy.
If you’re interested in Joe Kennedy or even the first Kennedy patriarch – John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald – you’ll get a lot of info.
I could have used a lot of this book in my sixth book of Montana history, and I probably should have.
I didn’t read it until I was done with the JFK sections, however, and by that time I’d pretty much wrapped it up.
For you, however…wow, you’re going to get some eye-opening stories!
A book I actually read about a year ago is one you might like.
It’s called George Washington on Leadership and was written by Richard Brookhiser in 2008.
This is a great book for those interested in politics, business, or leadership.
It goes with lessons on leadership for the most part, but does so in a generally biographical and chronological way.
There are lots of stories on the other Founding Fathers, and I really liked how you get stuff from Seneca and Aristotle and other Greeks. Those ancients all influenced these people, after all.
Some stuff that I remember and liked was the story of Washington having a big problem with smallpox in his army. I knew nothing of that.
It was also interesting to hear that John Madison wrote Washington's First Inaugural Address. As a member of the U.S. House, he also wrote the rebuttal. He then went ahead and wrote Washington's response to that rebuttal.
I think stuff like that is fun.
It’s fun learning about that, and makes you smile and snicker a bit.
I first read Brookhiser in 2000 when he put out his short book on Alexander Hamilton, and I like the guy’s writing. Perhaps I’ll have to read some more.
Until then, why not give him a look?
The last book that you might like is called A History of Histories and was written by John Burrow in 2008.
Actually, this might be more for those geared toward history…the historians.
It looks at historians through the ages, and there are lots of similarities to Collingwood’s The Idea of History from 1946.
I haven’t read too much of this book yet as I just got it from the library this past weekend.
So far I’m liking it, although it is a tad boring. I probably won't read the whole thing. Perhaps you’ll get some ideas from it in my blog posts from time to time.
Until then, happy reading…and get ready for more ‘book report’ posts in the future.