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WORLD EVENTS Book Reviews

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"  Gandhi

 

  Longitudes & Attitudes (Exploring the World after September 11) Thomas L. Friedman,  Publisher: Farrar, straus and Giroux: 2002

   Mr. Friedman is a foreign affairs columnist for The NY Times, and is expert on the middle east.  In this book he presents his thoughts and beliefs about life, religion and politics of that region.  He does this by offering the columns he wrote just before, and after 9/11. The third section is his diary as he traveled around Europe and the middle east searching for clues to explain the events that occurred on September 11, 2001.  I would venture to say that there are very few Americans who understand why we are hated by so many Muslims.  The author explains much of which he has learned about Islam and the teaching of the clerics.  This is an excellent account of the past, present and future of the middle east.  I found, in the end, that there is little hope for true peace between the Jews and the Muslims.  Secondly there are literally millions of Muslims who want to see not only Israel destroyed but also America.  They hate us much more than they love life.  Unfortunately this is not going to change without a major revolution within Islam.

Power Failure, Mimi Swartz & Sherron Watkins, Doubleday 2003

   This an account of how a few people become incredibility wealthy and the multitudes lost their shirts. an article in the Dow Jones Business News dated July 11, 2003, stated that Enron presently has debts totaling an estimated $67 billion and under the present reorganization plans creditors will receive between 14 cents and 18 cents on the dollar.  This surely isn't good, but it is much better than how the employees faired who had their life savings in company stock. Consider the fact that the stock was trading around $90 a share in early 2000 and today is worth about 5 cents.

   Sherron Watkins was the Enron accountant who first warned Ken Lay (Enron's CEO) that the company's accounting practices were going to cause the collapse of the company.  In "Power Failure" the authors take you through Sherron's years with Enron.  Beginning in 1993 and ending in the fall of 2001.  you are treated to how the rich and greedy lived.  This is a fascinating inside look at how at least one large corporation operated.  I recommend it to anyone that has a interest in today's financial world.

 

After (How America confronted the September 12 era), Steven Brill, Simon & Schuster, 2003

   Are we safer, as Americans, from terrorist attacks now than we were on September 10, 2001?  What has been done by our government to protect us from those extremists who want to do us harm?  Who were the volunteers and what did they do to assist the victims and their families to survive and heal from the terrible wounds that the terrorists inflicted on them?  If you have ever asked any of these questions or not, reading After will give a total understanding on how we as a country dealt with this horrible event.  In the 624 pages the author takes you through, almost day, by day the events following 9/11/2001.  What makes the book so readable is that along with everything that was going on at a macro level, he selected numerous individuals and chronicles their lives following 9/11. These include some quite famous people like Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, and Bernadine Healy, but also many ordinary people whose lives were profoundly affected by 9/11.  Find out how the lives of Salvatore Iacono, Mark Hall, Larry Cox and Elaine Lyons were impacted by the events of that infamous day and what followed. Just maybe the best book I have read in a long time.               

 

Deliver Us From Evil (Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism)

Sean Hannity, ReganBooks, 2004

   There are truly very evil people in this world.  Some would like to believe that they are mad men or just misdirected humans with whom one can  reason.  Mr. Hannity, in this book, makes the case that these truly evil people are not reasonable humans.  They are terrorists and are willing to die to steal our liberties and freedom. He begins with a history lesson and some very chilling facts about Hitler.  How the British believed that they could reason with and appease him.  How wrong they were.  The author then recounts how the evil terrorists killed 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11/2001.  He follows the history lesson with what he believes needs to be done to defeat the terrorists.  He makes the argument that liberalism significantly hampers our ability to effectively find and destroy the evil people of this world.  It is interesting reading and will make the liberals blood boil.  In actuality I think that is what Mr. Hannity desired.