Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My nursing education has necessitated more reading than I've ever had to do for a degree, including my Master's in Political Science. It's limited the amount of discretionary reading I can do. I'm able to get some done, but have another list: books to read when I'm done with nursing school.

I'm currently reading Thomas Ricks' book "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq." The title is pretty self-explanatory. I'm only about a quarter of the way through the book, and it's stunning. The evidence of the "WMD's" in Iraq was so flimsy, the drive to war so clear, the preconceptions, myopia and ambition of people like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Wolfowitz are very transparent. As this pack of idiots stampeded the nation into an ultimately disastrous war, intelligence that clearly contradicted their assumptions was summarily dismissed. The arrogance and denial of those involved to this day is infuriating. The thousands of American dead, the tens of thousands who are physically and psychically maimed, the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis-- this blood is on their hands.

I've checked a few other books out of the library to preview them for reading later. Here are some previews of them.

There is nothing like someone who has fallen from a faith to attack it. David Brock wrote the exscrable "The Real Anita Hill" and other right wing crap. He has since turned against the right, and has written a number of books against the American political right, including "The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy." In "Fiasco," Ricks points out that the media, including the supposedly liberal New York Times completely failed to question the headlong lurch into the Iraq war. Previewing "The Republican Noise Machine," it appears that Brock elaborates on how this has happened and how much of the media has failed in its duty to inform.

I've been previewing two books by Eliot Cohen; there was a reference to one of the books in "Fiasco," and the other book looked interesting.

In "Fiasco," Ricks alluded to one of the few congressmen who questioned the Iraq war, mentioning that he'd read Cohen's "Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen and Leadership In Wartime." It examines civilian leadership in the time of war, looking at Lincoln, Clemenceau, Churchill, David Ben-Gurion and Lyndon Johnson. I'm fascinated with how leaders deal with war when it's thrust upon them, and it looks to be a good read.

Looking up Eliot Cohen, I discovered that he had written a book with John Gooch titled "Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure In War." I've actually considered writing a book about military fiascoes, including the Dieppe Raid, the Mayaguez Incident, Operation Marketgarden and others. The working title is "Clusterfuck: Military Fiascoes." Cohen and Gooch's book looks like it will be a good background for this if I ever do write my book.

The last book I'm previewing is Stewart Lee Allen's "The Devil's Cup." I saw the author on the "Coffee" episode of "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel. I picked the book up at the library and it appears it will go on my future reading list. Reading the dust jacket, the author alone is intriguing-- he's clearly a dedicated bohemian. The book is an account of the author's travels to examine the history of coffee. It looks like a good one.

What's on your future reading list?


SkylersDad said...

I really wish I had time to read.

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent preview/reviews. Got to see the ground at Dieppe and "A Bridge Too Far." Must dig up an old paper on the Dieppe Raid. The French Canadians were sent in as cannon fodder by the British, and the Germans still had air power. It was bad.

Iraq -- what a blunder.

Churlita said...

My reading list is ridiculously long...And almost all fiction. I'm reading The Road next and then Ethan Canin's America America after that and Marilynne Robinson's Home and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. That ought to hold me for a while.

オテモヤン said...


sparker said...

David Brock created and runs the awesome website It's purpose is to point out lies that the right wing media try to pass along. As you can imagine, Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly show up daily.