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Book Summary: Introduction : prosperity lost -- Coming up short -- The great divide -- The trouble with markets -- How America got rich -- "An established and useful reality" -- American amnesia -- We're not in Camelot anymore -- This is not your father's party -- The modern robber barons -- A crisis of authority -- Conclusion : the positive-sum society.
Book Summary: “A remarkable book, from its title and subtitle to its last words . . . A stirring indictment of American sentimentality about war.” —Robert G. Kaiser, The Washington Post In Looking for the Good War, Elizabeth D. Samet reexamines the literature, art, and culture that emerged after World War II, bringing her expertise as a professor of English at West Point to bear on the complexity of the postwar period in national life. She exposes the confusion about American identity that was expressed during and immediately after the war, and the deep national ambivalence toward war, violence, and veterans—all of which were suppressed in subsequent decades by a dangerously sentimental attitude toward the United States’ “exceptional” history and destiny. Samet finds the war's ambivalent legacy in some of its most heavily mythologized figures: the war correspondent epitomized by Ernie Pyle, the character of the erstwhile G.I. turned either cop or criminal in the pulp fiction and feature films of the late 1940s, the disaffected Civil War veteran who looms so large on the screen in the Cold War Western, and the resurgent military hero of the post-Vietnam period. Taken together, these figures reveal key elements of postwar attitudes toward violence, liberty, and nation—attitudes that have shaped domestic and foreign policy and that respond in various ways to various assumptions about national identity and purpose established or affirmed by World War II. As the United States reassesses its roles in Afghanistan and the Middle East, the time has come to rethink our national mythology: the way that World War II shaped our sense of national destiny, our beliefs about the use of American military force throughout the world, and our inability to accept the realities of the twenty-first century’s decades of devastating conflict.
Book Summary: Do you feel that your progressive views are being warped by conservative media? Are you worried that your liberal opinions are being stifled, and that you are alone in your political beliefs? You're not alone, and Joe Conason serves as a powerful democratic voice to stand up for his progressive politics, commenting on everything from religion and politics to the environment and climate change. This is a collection of the best of his columns from 2014.
Book Summary: People are who they are because of what they have been through, where they came from, who they learned from, and all the things that have happened to them. The same is true not just for individuals, but also for families, communities, and nations. America, too, has its own unique character, also formed by its memories, history, things it has been through, and what it has learned. If people, communities, or even nations lose their memory, they lose their character. That is why cultures throughout the world work at maintaining their identity and passing traditions along to future generations. But what if a nation purposely decides it no longer wants to remember its history? What if a country imposes amnesia on itself? Helen Krieble argues persuasively that this is precisely what has happened to America. It has lost the memory of its own founding principles, and the sacrifices made over the past 250 years to preserve them. The nation is losing its character. She writes that America cannot be preserved as “the last best hope of Earth” if its own people no longer understand why that is true and are no longer willing to do what it takes to preserve it. “The duties of citizenship are vitally important,” Krieble writes, “but they are not complicated. It is our duty, as the owners, to defend our freedom against all threats, and to pass it along to future generations undiminished.” Americans are failing in that duty, but Krieble says there is still time to cure our national amnesia. It begins with rebuilding our understanding of, and commitment to, those founding principles, regaining our national memory.
Book Summary: Far-right movements, parties, and governments are changing the language and logic of international order. Zero-sum geopolitics - from Donald Trump to Brexit - and the rhetoric of putting the national interest "first" are back, and along with them come a deep fascination with the values of patriarchy, masculinity, and strength. Putting these dramatic shifts in contemporary American and European foreign policy into wider historical and intellectual context, Geopolitical Amnesia explores the liberal crisis beneath the resurgence of far-right ideas. Drawing on memory studies, it addresses the ways in which the new geopolitics intersects and interplays with an exhausted and amnesiatic liberalism. Scholars with expertise on national and regional ideological traditions look at contemporary memory wars - competing revisionist histories - from Washington to Warsaw, and from the Anglosphere to Southern, Western, and Eastern Europe. They address the changing conditions of memory and nostalgia and discuss how and why it matters that the new geopolitics takes place in an age of accelerated, fragmented, and digitalized global media. Timely and ambitious, this accessible collection reveals the far-right ideas behind the return of geopolitics and the crisis of liberalism that paved its way.
Book Summary: January 27th, 1973: the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong sign the Paris Peace Accords, guaranteeing the right of self-determination to the South Vietnamese people. April 30th, 1975: President Duong Van Minh of South Vietnam announces the nation's unconditional surrender to the North, ending the decade-long conflict and enabling the merger of both countries into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. What happened in two short years to cause such a dramatic reversal? In An American Amnesia, respected political commentator Bruce Herschensohn re-examines the incredible actions taken by the 94th Congress and by many American citizens which forced South Vietnam's surrender, an event that brought about immense tragedy for Southeast Asians and haunts our political landscape to this day. Drawing on notes, speeches, and writings from his own experiences in Southeast Asia, as well as in the United States Information Agency and in the White House, Herschensohn fills in important facts in that period of history and warns against the danger of succumbing to a similar voluntary amnesia in the future.
Book Summary: From the two-time Booker Prize winner: a masterful, exceedingly timely new novel--at once dark, suspenseful and seriously funny--that takes us on a journey to the place where the cyber underworld of radicals and hackers collides with international power politics. When an internet virus throws open the gates at thousands of American prisons, the hacker turns out to be an unlikely young Australian woman. Has she declared cyber war on the United States or was her "Angel Worm" intended only to free the victims of Australia's immigration policies? Is she innocent? Can she be saved? The answers are up to journalist Felix Moore, a.k.a. Felix Moore-or-less-correct. His career is tanking when he gets this chance to write a biography that will vindicate the young woman. Funding is to be provided by an old friend--an outrageous millionaire property developer--and further impetus by an old flame: the young woman's actress mother whom Felix worshipped when they were at university together. And it will be our great good fortune to see the world through Felix's comic, cowardly, angry, yet fundamentally humane eyes as he attempts to save the young woman--and redeem himself in the bargain.