Current Reading

Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?
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Reviews, recommendations, books to avoid. What have you been reading?

Re: Current Reading

Postby Pondero » August 22nd, 2017, 10:57 pm

I took that book back to the library yesterday after finishing reading it.What upset Sheila Blair most, I think was that powerful men in government agencies ( and she named one of them) were more interested in protecting their salaries and bonuses, than in doing their job. And the big banks.
I took out a book from the library yesterday by Paul Krugman, 'End this Recession Now!'
More on this later on.
Also, I had a Christmas gift certificate from Indigo ,a large chain of bookstores for $25.
Now, this afternoon I drove to Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke and purchased 'The Great Divorce,' by C.S.Lewis for $18.95 plus tax.
Indigo bookstore is next to Starbucks coffee shop and close to the Keg where we dined the other day.
They are busy selling back to school supplies now and you take the elevator upstairs to to the larger book sections. It is a marvelous building and obviously to spend that much money on a new building must mean someone has faith in a book reading public. I am not so confident and I hope they succeed in business.
Last edited by Pondero on August 31st, 2017, 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
According to one study, the average adult has a shorter attention span (eight seconds) than a goldfish (nine seconds).
This is not surprising in today's wired , or wified world.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Pondero » August 31st, 2017, 1:27 am

I didn't finish reading Paul Krugman's book "End This Recession Now", as circumstances in my life made we take it back to the library, together with a book on Math.
In that book he was an unapologetic Keynsian economist. He also said that when Economics were first taught in the USA, the book used was one by Samuelson.( I had that book by Samuelson when I took first year Economics.) It was at practically every university as the first year text. There was a better book on Keynsian economics by a Canadian, Lorie Tarshes which was ( according to Krugman) effectively black-balled by right-wing opposition including an organized campaign that successfully induced many universities to drop the book. In William F.Buckley's book, "God and Man at Yale" he complained that it was wrong to allow Keynsian economics to be taught. Again, Robert Lucas in 1980 opposed the teaching of Keynsian economics - he was in my view - dead wrong, and in the view of Paul Krugman*.

*Paul Krugman was the 2008 Nobel Prize winner. And he explains how America screwed up in the last ten years or so! due to a lack of faith in Keynsian economic theory which ought to have been applied more forcefully by Obama, although he did try.
According to one study, the average adult has a shorter attention span (eight seconds) than a goldfish (nine seconds).
This is not surprising in today's wired , or wified world.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Sprocket » September 3rd, 2017, 6:16 pm

Yesterday, I visited St Albans Oxfam bookshop, and picked up Churchill's 'History of the English-Speaking Peoples' in four beautiful hard-back volumes dating from the 50s and early 60s, dustcovers present and undamaged, except for a small tear at the top of the spine of volume 3. I've started reading it straight away. Wikipedia quotes various historians questioning its accuracy in various respects, but all agree that it was a literary tour de force.
Last edited by Sprocket on September 3rd, 2017, 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Lyn » September 3rd, 2017, 6:22 pm

Wow!
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Re: Current Reading

Postby GregB » September 3rd, 2017, 6:37 pm

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 so his literary talents were clearly recognised. I've often meant to read his history of the Second World War, much of it from his own perspective as one of the leading participants. The titles of the six volumes have a stirringly dramatic aura of their own: The Gathering Storm, Their Finest Hour, The Grand Alliance, The Hinge of Fate, Closing the Ring, Triumph and Tragedy.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Lyn » September 3rd, 2017, 7:17 pm

We had one of those as a set book when I was at school, I'm trying to remember which one. I think it was The Grand Alliance.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Sprocket » September 23rd, 2017, 9:58 am

I've just bought Churchill's 'Second World War' from the local Lions Club bookshop, for £25: all first editions, 1948-54 (presumably they were published one by one), reasonable condition, dust-jackets present with no serious damage. I'll get round to reading them some day, though I've got to finish his 'History of the English Speaking Peoples' first. According to his preface to volume one, he also wrote a three-volume history of the First World War, though that is less well known - at any rate, I'd never heard of it before. Never one for false modesty, he also boasts that he was probably the only man alive at that time who had been through both world wars in high political office.
Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Sir John Harington (1561-1620)
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Pondero » September 25th, 2017, 11:55 am

I did not understand why Churchill was rejected by the people in favour of Attlee at the end of the second World War, and I was 12 years old in my second year of Grammar School.
Later I came to understand that the working class wanted a fresh start with someone new.
According to one study, the average adult has a shorter attention span (eight seconds) than a goldfish (nine seconds).
This is not surprising in today's wired , or wified world.
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Re: Current Reading

Postby GregB » September 25th, 2017, 12:36 pm

I think Churchill was perceived as an effective wartime leader, but not one suited to peacetime matters. He had a lifelong thunder of war drums resounding in his ears and when they fell silent mid-wars, he was reduced to painting and bricks, though admirably persisting as a voice in the wilderness in his 1930's warnings of the rise of Nazi Germany, a clarion call unheeded until it was almost too late. After 1951, he was simply a shadow of his former self.

Clement Attlee was perhaps the greatest leader of the Labour Party, especially in its flourishing mid-century years, and had played a great role in the wartime coalition government, something many Churchillians overlook, and the post-war years when the great Labour foreign secretary, Ernie Bevin, could stand up against communist aggression defending true working class interests in a free society.
"The wiles of dissembling fate afford us the illusion of freedom, yet in the end always lead us into the same trap."
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Re: Current Reading

Postby Sprocket » September 25th, 2017, 1:05 pm

Two points: firstly, the only people who were able to vote for Churchill himself in 1945 were his constituents. I dare say that, in his constituency, he managed to hold back the swing to Labour. Secondly, though Churchill was a Conservative, during the war he was head of a coalition government, not a Conservative one. Many senior minsters were Labour. Therefore, I don't think that the Labour landslide was a rejection of Churchill himself.
Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
Sir John Harington (1561-1620)
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