Capitolism

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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder, Thinking the Twentieth Century

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After publishing Postwar in 2005, a tour de force of European history since World War II, winning the Arthur Ross Book Award for best book in international affairs and numerous other awards, Tony Judt prepared to write an ambitious intellectual and cultural history of Twentieth Century social thought. A professor of European History at New York University, founder and director of the Erich Maria Remarque Institute at NYU, frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and public intellectual, Judt’s plan for his next book mothballed, as personal history intervened in the form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. By late 2008, Judt no longer had use of his hands; two years later, he passed away. Read the rest of this entry »

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“The Comeback Kid”: Review of PBS’ Clinton

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PBS’ new installment of The American Experience: the Presidents, a biography of 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, feels more like a drama than history.  Clinton paints a picture of a highly improbable president, born famously into impoverished circumstances in Hope, Arkansas, with a father who died before his birth and an alcoholic stepfather who beat his mother in front of the children.  Consequently, Clinton threw all of his efforts into his studies, laboring to redeem and rescue his family, and substituting a broken home life for an ersatz, popular persona at school.  Such a stratagem recurs throughout Clinton’s life: when situations become tough, Clinton pretends as though they are not happening.

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Col. Littleton No. 9 Journal: The Near-Perfect Writing Companion

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Late in 2010, I began writing a journal every day, having abandoned the practice several years ago. Going full-time on Chiefist prompted  me to start again. As my friends know, I like, use and admire high quality products, preferring a nice fountain pen to a Bic any day. So I looked around for a nice journal, and found an outstanding one in the Col. Littleton No. 9 JournalRead the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

February 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Investing Illusions and Delusions

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The latest issue of my company’s newsletter, Chiefist Positions, went out today. In it, we examine “investing illusions and delusions,” through the lens of two powerful and outstanding books:

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Halo Effect, by Phil Rosenzweig

You can find Kahneman’s book on Amazon or in most bookstores. You can find Rosenzweig’s book in used bookstores, Amazon marketplace, Alibris.com, Abebooks.com or Bookfinder.com. With shipping, it will cost you about $6, which will be the best $6 you spend all year. Get them both, and read them.

Written by Russell S.

January 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Tide Triumphs

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For everyone who thinks the National Championship game was a snoozer last night, you’re only partially right. The game wasn’t competitive — although it remained closer than it should have because of Alabama’s inability to score touchdowns. But we witnessed one of the very best defensive performances in football — ever, period. LSU passed the 50-yard line once, and Alabama had one penalty, with three minute to go in the 4th quarter. Coach Nick Saban had his team supremely ready, and it showed. Stellar performance, and it made the game much more compelling than some might lead you to believe.

Written by Russell S.

January 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Internal Action of the Old West Revealed

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Always a source for excellent books, especially Westerns, my uncle gave me Heart of the Country, by Greg Matthews, for Christmas. Anticipating the receipt of a good book for the holiday, I uncharacteristically brought no books on my travel to Louisville, and began reading it immediately. From the start, I could not put it down. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

January 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

2011 Book List

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I enjoyed another fantastic year of reading. Friends and family members gave me some outstanding book suggestions, including Lonesome Dove, which became one of my all-time favorite books. Other highlight’s included: Chernow’s biography of George Washington, Four Steps to the Epiphany, my introduction to Pat Conroy, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, re-reading Thucydides, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, and Kahneman on thinking. See the complete list of my 2011 reading below: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Russell S.

January 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Education, Reviews