I found the book dry, jumbled, and lacking in important details. It was a chore to wade through, and I don't feel that Goldstone brought the characterI found the book dry, jumbled, and lacking in important details. It was a chore to wade through, and I don't feel that Goldstone brought the characters or the era to life. There are much better books about this period....more
What do you get when a extremely narcissistic inventor, the rise of the internet, herd mentality, and greed come together? Answer: The Beanie Baby craWhat do you get when a extremely narcissistic inventor, the rise of the internet, herd mentality, and greed come together? Answer: The Beanie Baby craze. This book is extremely well researched and delivers a thorough analysis of the Beanie Baby bubble, and of other financial bubbles. The author's writing style is engaging and he brings the characters and era to life. The book is a cautionary tale for anyone who finds him/herself getting caught up in a "sure thing." Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, bubbles will no doubt continue to occur....more
While Jacobsen rightly points out the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and cyborg soldiers, I found it difficult to have faith in herWhile Jacobsen rightly points out the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and cyborg soldiers, I found it difficult to have faith in her conclusions since she makes so many errors throughout the book. Other reviewers have pointed out her math errors, but there are numerous other errors that seriously lessened my trust in her research. For example, in one chapter alone (Chapter 25): Page 421: She states that TBI occurs when "an object, such as a bullet or piece or mortar or shrapnel from an IED, pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue." This is not the definition of TBI. According to the Mayo Clinic: "Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object penetrating the skull, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury." Page 431: She states that only sentient beings (she is referring to primates) "acquire knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses." This drastically expands the accepted definition of which beings are sentient since most animals acquire knowledge and understanding of their environment through thought (of some sort), experience, and senses. Otherwise they would not survive. Page 432: She states that "Columbus was an explorer looking for a new land." Columbus was looking for a new way to an old land, i.e., India.
I also found her writing style off-putting. She has a tendency to wander off on tangents that have little to do with the thesis of the book, and her sentence structure is often awkward. ...more
The book tracks the development of the Cultural Support Team program in the U.S. Military. The CSTs were all female and were attached to the military'The book tracks the development of the Cultural Support Team program in the U.S. Military. The CSTs were all female and were attached to the military's special forces (Rangers, Green Berets, etc.). The women were drawn from female military members and had to pass extremely intense and grueling physical tests, almost identical to the men's training. The CST program was set up when military leaders finally realized that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq required a more holistic approach. They realized that Afghan women were an untapped source of intelligence and that only other women could gain access to that knowledge. Also, using American women to calm and question Afghan women and children would build cultural bridges between the Afghans and Americans.
Lemmon does a good job detailing the development of the program and the excruciating testing and training the women completed. I was immensely impressed by the women who became CSTs and have great admiration for their patriotism, dedication, and bravery. I am also surprised that these women have gotten so little public recognition. I hope this book goes a long way to correct this.
However, I found the writing a bit "squee." That is, Lemmon always describes the women in the most glowing terms and does not delve into their personalities. As a result, they come across as superficial portraits and not fully formed human beings. In addition, most of the book is spent on the program's development and the women's training; very little is devoted to the actual missions. I don't know if this is because the missions were still classified, but the result was a let down....more
The author states that Lt. Leon Crane never talked in detail about his ordeal; therefore, he had to piece together the few pieces of information he coThe author states that Lt. Leon Crane never talked in detail about his ordeal; therefore, he had to piece together the few pieces of information he could find. Unfortunately, this resulted in a book that is 20% about Crane's ordeal and 80% filler, and while some of the filler was pertinent to Crane's story, a great deal was not. However, the 20% that dealt with Crane's physical and psychological struggles was very interesting; thus, the three star rating....more
I applaud the author's desire to draw together numerous strands of research to reveal a comprehensive view of how Europe became populated; however, shI applaud the author's desire to draw together numerous strands of research to reveal a comprehensive view of how Europe became populated; however, she is not up to the task. I found quite a few errors in her "facts." For example: 1) recent research has shown that humans most likely left Africa via the northern route, that is, through Egypt, and not the southern route through southern Arabia as she indicates; 2) Roman galleys were not powered by slaves, but were oared by paid Roman Marines; and, 3) Rome's lead pipes did not poison its people and facilitate the fall of the Empire. In fact, archeological evidence points to safe levels of lead in Rome's water. Archeologists have also explored the idea that the widespread use of "defrutum" to flavor wine and food, and the use of white lead in cosmetics may have affected Roman health and reproductivity. However, even here there is no evidence of any widespread deleterious effect. Such poor scholarship casts doubt on the entire book and calls into question all of her assertions. ...more