John Grisham maintains his use of suspense in the narrative. the strongest lesson in my view is that we are obsessed with history of victimhood and fa...moreJohn Grisham maintains his use of suspense in the narrative. the strongest lesson in my view is that we are obsessed with history of victimhood and fail to see pour opportunities to be better and kinder to others. The big idea is that forgiveness is possible and perhaps imperative. Good preaching by the master of American legal narrative. Courts can formally solve disputes but there's the space for individuals to choose to repair relationships. (less)
To my mind, while it is an easy read, this book represents the most complex idea that Malcolm Gladwell has attempted to communicate. The first chapter...moreTo my mind, while it is an easy read, this book represents the most complex idea that Malcolm Gladwell has attempted to communicate. The first chapter is written well and it makes it look like it will always be easy to apply the David and Goliath metaphor throughout. It is not easy and that may explain the harsh judgement of critics. As usual, the author uses a deceptively simple metaphor to explain phenomena starting from war, crime, education attainment and social change. Few authors are capable of making such a tactical tour de force and in pushing such a wide circle, it is possible that some claims will be incredulous. Still, hard earned money well spent if you one chooses to read this book. (less)
A fascinating half-biography of Michael Moore's work. One appreciates the consistency in his approach to telling the story of underdogs and justice an...moreA fascinating half-biography of Michael Moore's work. One appreciates the consistency in his approach to telling the story of underdogs and justice and his pursuit of his understanding of the truth of every situation. The story of his professional life is not fully told as the book ends with the narration of the primiere of his first documentary. needless to mention, I appreciate his tenacity and firmness while he was attacked for telling a different version of the war in Iraq. It takes a strong man to go through the personal verbal and physical attacks to still have a sense of humour after it all. Like every person bearing a strong ideology, his views on the evils of businesses and attribution of villainy to all can be uncomfortable. Still, his efforts to lampoon racist and people bearing prejudice makes his efforts unique and worthy of study. I commend this book because it is necessary for maintaining a cool head when media and political interests converge to promote a jingoist reading of events and situations. May he be maintain the inspiration to write a follow-up which explains his thinking in the production of some of the most popular, if contentious, documentaries. (less)
This book gave me renewed respect for Johnnie Cochran by giving me a glimpse of his work and mind. I was most impressed with his candor that practice...moreThis book gave me renewed respect for Johnnie Cochran by giving me a glimpse of his work and mind. I was most impressed with his candor that practice of law afforded him a very comfortable lifestyle but also that he used the law as an instrument for achieving justice. I salute!(less)
I am not a tough grader of books because producing a sensible piece of work is very very difficult but found that the author here could have done bett...moreI am not a tough grader of books because producing a sensible piece of work is very very difficult but found that the author here could have done better with her categories. The title of the book is so far removed from its content because it concentrates on some of the real economic policies blunders of successive US administrations but to add examples from Uk once in a while does not constitute what is known as "The West". I have no doubt about the author's credentials at all but would be cautious when the solutions proposed involved protectionism and closing up into a north American alliance.
Also startling for me is the neo-Malthusian argument that the world is running out of energy, land and food on account of growing populations. Now, this is an argument that is not only set against the grain of history but also requires far more sophistication to pull off than merely stating that it requires 9 kilogrammes of grain to produce an equivalent weight of beef and therefore that the world is doomed. On the same path is the argument made without evidence that conflict around resources such as water will shortly be normal without evidence for it.
In conclusion, I agree that david Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage has been questioned several times but just because China is a "Volume Maximizer" is not evidence that comparative advantage is obsolete. As it is, the simple mathematics of comparative advantage show that no country could hold an absolute advantage in every product imaginable. More recently China's labour costs have been rising and this alone means that Ms Moyo may need to update her arguments. Similarly, the fact that the US is close to being self sufficient in energy undercuts the argument that reliance upon energy imports harms its economy.
Finally, I find that the book is a very good polemical work but ignores countries that have managed economies very well. In the entire publication, i am surprised that Canada was hardly mentioned except towards the end in the suggestion that the US should go into a North American alliance with its neighbor. In the end, the book puts up a lot of information on the misallocation of resources in the US but does not provide evidence to me that the US, leave alone the West, is really lost. (less)
This book was discussed by many more people than read it. Its clear that the author had a case to state, was livid and made some critical observations...moreThis book was discussed by many more people than read it. Its clear that the author had a case to state, was livid and made some critical observations about the structure of government in Kenya. It was confusing on occasion because it was not clear whether the author intended this to be a biography or a political tract justifying an ideology and how this has been offended by political actors that he trusted.
The book speaks for itself and mentions a lot of personal discussions that may cause discomfort to the confidantes of the author. To my mind, the author and his editors would have crated a far more readable and less strident book by better editing and advising the author to review some passages that were undeniably written while the author was too vexed that it raises a reader's question on objectivity of the narratives. In my reading, this is really two books because the first sections that covers the childhood and early professional life is masterfully done and unique but the second part is repetitive and too obsessed with displaying anger and name calling. This book could be improved in subsequent editions. (less)