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 Post subject: Most influential book you have read in the past year or so?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:15 pm 
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I would nominate "Confessions of an Economic Hitman."

With 598 reviews at Amazon, it has stirred plenty of controversy. It shows how the 'world often works' in the 21st century. And why the powers want 'useful idiots' both running and voting.

"100 years McCain" cough...cough

Hillary's recent comeback came on the heels of stating that we should 'develop Africa.' I called her an economic hitwoman.

The IMF has not one single success in making a successful country. Much ruination however.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:58 pm 
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The IMF and the World Bank are both evil as hell. Economic Hitman was one of the first books I read at the beginning of my political "awakening"...I bought it the day I heard and interview with the author on Air America.

There are a ton of great books though. I'm in the middle of Imperial Hubris (which is a few years old=2004=but extremely interesting) It makes the actions of Muslims much more clear, by explaining how we are perceived by others, rather than how we perceive ourselves.

Hm...I'll think of some more.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:51 pm 
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House of War by James Carroll-- basically its a history of the military Industrial Complex written by the son of the first head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. It turns Millitary Industiral Complex from an abstraction to concrete and intelligible reality. Shows how real power works.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Thanks Nate. I just bought the book.

Pentagon started on 9/11/1944. Interesting coincidence.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:22 pm 
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An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves and the Creation of America by Henry Wiencek.

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The book follows Washington from a difficult childhood (his father's early death would prefigure his own) to a marriage that brought him great privilege and responsibility. "He came of age, and learned to be a master, on a racial borderland where the definitions and boundaries of race were dangerously fluid," Mr. Wiencek writes. This book offers many glimpses into the ways in which intertwined black and white family histories revealed the monstrousness of slavery-sustaining laws.

By nature, Washington was sufficiently prim to have copied out a document entitled "Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation." (Among these rules: "Talk not with Meat in your Mouth" and "Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &cc in the Sight of Others"). He also kept a record entitled "Where & How My Time is Spent." For a man of this temperament, any slaves' reluctance to hold themselves to similar standards was infuriating. As a younger man, Washington could complain about matters like "the deception with respect to the Potatoes." He could also be party to a slave raffle, documented by Mr. Wiencek, in which children could be won as prizes.

The breaking up of slave families for reasons of profit was, by Mr. Wiencek's account, the first outrage to penetrate Washington's self-interest. He traces Washington's first awareness of this to time he spent in Williamsburg, Va., witnessing slave auctions held in response to an owner's embezzling. "In modern terms, it was as if the collapse of a Wall Street brokerage, due to the malfeasance of its officers, had led to the sale of the children of the cleaning staff to pay the debts of corporate vice presidents," Mr. Wiencek writes.


This book kept me captivated for several days. It revealed much I did not know about Washington's character, including the great influence his wife had on him which is not often mentioned in other books about Washington I had previously read.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 8:32 pm 
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Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

This book is a work of art.

Even better that Confessions of an Economic Hitman

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