My Daily Read:
- The New York Times;
- The Wall Street Journal;
- Times of London;
- Anything dlknowles tweets (gives me insight into the UK center and left);
- Anything OwenJones84 tweets (gives me insight into the UK left);
- The Dish (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/); and
- BBC – keeps me in touch with non-web video news.
- James Madison Rules America, William F. Connelly, Jr.;
- Tom Segev’s The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust; and
Highly Recommended Recent Reading:
- The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965, William Manchester & Paul Reid. I enjoyed the final volume. The breezy short approach to 1945 to 1965 made it much more twilight than gloom. A significant achievement over prior Churchill books. Unbelievable quote at end from Churchill’s physician, Lord Moran: And at Bladon, in a country churchyard, in the stillness of a winter evening, in the presence of his family and a few friends, Winston Churchill was committed to the English earth, which in his finest hour, he had held inviolate.
- Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens – Hitchens was fearless in writing and living. Some people condemned water-boarding. Hitch underwent it, then wrote about it. A fearless leader of thought. The streets of Oxford will never be the same without him.
- Charles R. Cawthon’s Other Clay (make sure you have tissue and nothing to do until you finish it);
- Peter Beinart’s The Icarus Syndrome;
- John Carlin’s Invictus (much better than the movie);
- George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons (latest of the Song of Ice and Fire books) – the TV production is as good as the books.
- Eric Larrabee’s “Commander in Chief: Franklin Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War”. The BEST book on leadership I have read in a long time – see my October 14th blog post.
- Jon Meacham’s Franklin and Winston. At this point it is hard to add to FDR or Churchill, but from a careful personal analysis of both men and a focus on the personal relationship Meacham makes a meaningful addition to the literature.
- Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London. A great expose on the public lives and private foibles of Americans living in London during the Blitz and the following war years. Averell Harriman, Edward R. Murrow, and Ambassador John Gilbert Winant are but three fascinating characters connected to Churchill by policy and the affairs of his daughter and daughter-in-law.
- Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage. To understand Lewis & Clark and their desire to float and walk across the unexplored West is to understand a forgotten America. An America which pushed westward not through the efforts of armies, but through ingenuity of individuals in harsh weather and under threat from man-eaters and hostile Native Americans. I had a hard time putting this book down.
- Moneyball - for a turnaround guy this is the ultimate movie about thinking outside the box.
- The Girl with Dragon Tattoo – see my December post reviewing the movie – fantastic.
- For the record I have been watching more movies, but nothing was that great.
Brilliant Political Entertainment:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gm9q8uabTs & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFXSj5WofYA&feature=related - Why Cannot American Politicians Just Go Ahead And Say What They Really Believe With a Little Passion? Nigel Farage may represent a minority, but he does it with passion.
- Churchill, Paul Johnson – just seemed sloppy. An author taking a victory lap for the money.
- Iron Lady – what is the value in reviewing Thatcher through the metaphor of an elderly lady hallucinating about her husband to trigger a flashback to a pivotal event? Why not just tell the story? What does the metaphor add?