Yes! This was a better book than I expected. I listened to the audio version, Elizabeth Warren narrates and I think it added a lot to the book. She stYes! This was a better book than I expected. I listened to the audio version, Elizabeth Warren narrates and I think it added a lot to the book. She starts in the beginning, her childhood and background then carries forth to today as a Senator.
Perhaps I’m a little biased as I do like Elizabeth Warren. I first heard about her on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and those appearances are covered in the book too. We find out how nervous she was while waiting in the green room. I found her to be a refreshing change from most people in politics, but that’s because she wasn’t in it. Now that she is, happily, I’m hoping she won’t change her stance and after reading this book I get the sense that she won’t.
I liked how she included her foibles: getting lost, running into a light pole or something. As someone who also is a little klutzy I can really relate. And perhaps that is her point here, she is just like most average people. But she is also super smart and used her wits with working hard to get where she is today.
My only issue with the book was towards the end, when talking about the campaign leading up to her winning the Senate seat. It was a little too detailed and long. Yes, I understand this was a big deal and an incredible win, but I would have preferred to hear more about how she came to be a politician. All along she talked about not being a politician, not understanding how Washington works when she started working in those circles. And when she starts to run for a Senate seat, very little is discussed about the decision. But this is a minor point.
Warren's background is in bankruptcy law and finance and perhaps that is everything. Money too often is. Bottom line, her message is, that game is rigged in favor of the big banks and people with money and she is trying to change that -- to give the average American A Fighting Chance. Go Warren!
This book reads like a non-fiction book but disguised as fiction. It might seem like a compliment, but it's not. The more I read the more annoyed I beThis book reads like a non-fiction book but disguised as fiction. It might seem like a compliment, but it's not. The more I read the more annoyed I became. There wasn't the fictional pizazz in between all of the fake newspaper accounts from the early 20th century to really carry forth an exciting book. No, this was dull. I would rather have read the real truth than a convoluted fake half-truth. At least not in this form.
What I mean is, the book was too thin on plot. It seemed more concerned about checking all the boxes of cultural references and movements from the last few decades. It really needed more character development, than step by step what Jack did today. Sadly, I think the highlight of the book was a quote from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
On the other hand, I'm quite sympathetic to the topics discussed so at least there's that. I did rate the book better just for that aspect. You really don't see a lot of novels tackling old union activists or free speech fights as the main subject. In the end, it felt a little too much like preaching to the choir. I doubt the book will change anyone's political mind, the "big bosses" aren't suddenly going to become fierce union labor activists. I was hoping for something just a little more.
This is the first Philip Roth book I read and likely I will try one or two more, but overall I’m not very thrilled with his writing. Perhaps they arenThis is the first Philip Roth book I read and likely I will try one or two more, but overall I’m not very thrilled with his writing. Perhaps they aren’t like this one, which is a narration inside a narration and most of it filled with long and unending sentences. Almost everything about life is in this book, it is thick with ideas and such, but also mired by unrelenting passages. I hastily got through the book despite that and enjoyed many parts, but it is not an easy enjoyment by any stretch, and I do feel like I didn’t take enough time with the book. Apparently the book I started with is in the middle of the American Trilogy and book seven of nine in the Nathan Zuckerman series. Maybe not the best first Roth book, but it mostly stands on its own.
The story is about the life of Ira Ringold who is the communist named in the title. The narration shifts from Nathan to Ira's brother Murray who is telling Nathan about Ira's life story, which has moments of their lives being intertwined. If that sounds muddled, that's because sometimes it is. When the narration says “I” it sometimes is unclear if that's Murray or Nathan. Murray was Nathan’s high school English teacher and Nathan met Ira a few times, perhaps pivotal moments, while he was young.
The bulk of the life story is about Ira and his movie star wife Eve and her daughter Sylphid. The marriage is Ira’s undoing, but we find out about all sorts of other ways he is undone. Although the book is about so much more, one could easily say it is mainly about betrayal. The era most discussed is the 50’s, McCarthyism. When the marriage is finally over Eve publishes a book called “I Married a Communist” which put’s Ira on the FBI list. Really the political aspect in the book is downplayed, at one point one could say the book was about marrying the wrong woman for love.
Already getting outdated, but still very useful. Reich's documentary Inequality for All likely covers the same information, except updated and perhapsAlready getting outdated, but still very useful. Reich's documentary Inequality for All likely covers the same information, except updated and perhaps with more impact since it's visual. I haven't seen the movie, just interviews. The book is organized into three parts. The last being on solutions. He also lists out why the common lines told are lies, not facts. Such as you can't tax the upper income since they are "job creator's." History does not prove this to be the case. The economy ran much better when there was a higher tax rate on the upper income limits. The fix is in, and Reich has some ideas on how to improve and reverse the trend of richer getting richer and the the middle class becoming poor....more