This is a complex book for me. The perspective of the author on his father is historically invaluable and at times this book even lives up to expectatThis is a complex book for me. The perspective of the author on his father is historically invaluable and at times this book even lives up to expectation. George H. Bush led an interesting life and George W. Bush has a perspective that you will not get anywhere else. But the book has some notable flaws. First, George W. Bush was better at politics than writing. While this book is mostly about George H. Bush, at times the author would wander off the topic to discuss his own life or perspective to such a degree you would forget that this is a book about George H. Bush and not an autobiography of George W. Bush. Another problem with this book is that it would go from high quality content about George H. Bush’s life and then weave into what can only be described as what seems like snippets of Wikipedia content. The author doesn’t appear to have figured out whether he and his father came from privilege or not. Early on he denies a life of privilege. Later in the book, he admits they lived a privileged life. Toward the end he states that, “I haven’t driven a car on any road since 1995.” Let me clear this up for him, if you are chauffeured around for the bulk of your life, you live a privileged life.
I really wanted this book to be about a son, reflecting on the life of his father. Some of that comes through, but not nearly as well as I would have hoped. I am giving this a 4 star review, but it is closer to a 3 1/2 star book. What I am getting at, is don’t expect too much and you will enjoy the book.
Despite these flaws I think to read this historically significant book is imperative for, if nothing else, the depth and insight it provides into the U.S. presidency....more
Having been one of the Reconnaissance Marines that manned OP-4, I found that, while heavy on a factual accounting of events, this book lacked capturinHaving been one of the Reconnaissance Marines that manned OP-4, I found that, while heavy on a factual accounting of events, this book lacked capturing the emotion of things and the human cost. The author appears to have had some access to a number of the principle individuals involved, yet the account reads like a college term paper.
I do admit that my view of things is obviously tainted by my closeness to the event.
It did serve to refresh my memory of the events and enlighten me on some of the action that took place nearby that I was not directly involved in.
If you want the bare bones facts, this is a reasonably good accounting. If you are looking for something that captures the emotion, the intensity, and confusion - the fog of war, then this book does not accomplish that task....more
Incredible account of the rise of Saudi Arabia and a very revealing look at the Kingdom that might dispel the biases of most westerners. The parting tIncredible account of the rise of Saudi Arabia and a very revealing look at the Kingdom that might dispel the biases of most westerners. The parting two or three pages is probably the best ending I have read, fantastic way to wrap up such a big story. I would love to see this book updated since it ends in the 1980's....more
The Fourth Star, for the most part, follows the careers of four of the most influential Army generals of the modern era. It takes you on a journey froThe Fourth Star, for the most part, follows the careers of four of the most influential Army generals of the modern era. It takes you on a journey from their formative years on up to the war in Iraq. The book does a good job of documenting the generals careers, highlighting both their strengths and, in some cases, their weaknesses.
As the book moves on, it begins to use the generals careers as a device to explore the failed policies of the US government in Iraq. While this was great, it left out a lot of information about the generals careers outside of Iraq. This is further compounded by the early publication of this book leaves out the eventual disintegration of the Iraq strategies these men promulgated as well as some of the controversies late in some of their careers.
It is a book trying to be one thing and at the same time trying to be another.
Despite this it was a very interesting read about some very important men in US military history....more
This book is an incredible journey through the interaction of sitting presidents to their predecessors. It is very insightful and well researched, spaThis book is an incredible journey through the interaction of sitting presidents to their predecessors. It is very insightful and well researched, spanning Truman and Hoover through Obama. If I had to make a minor criticism that prevents me from giving the book five stars is that, at times, it delves into some presidential history that didn't really have to do with how a president interacted with his predecessors. While interesting, it could have been edited out to keep the book more tightly coupled to the main theme.
If you are interested in presidential history or just want to see evidence that it is possible for individuals from competing parties to work together in bipartisan ways, this book is well worth the read....more
The Age of Context is a great premier into the contextual revolution. This book is a surface look at the age of context and tends to overly emphasizeThe Age of Context is a great premier into the contextual revolution. This book is a surface look at the age of context and tends to overly emphasize Google Glass and contextual use cases tend to be of the public transit, travel, and hotel variety which are becoming a bit overused and impact a relatively small number of average people.
Despite this, if you are looking for an introductory read into the contextual age this is a good place to start....more
This is more than an introduction to HTML5 Boilerplate. It is more like documentation of what has been learned over the past decade of web developmentThis is more than an introduction to HTML5 Boilerplate. It is more like documentation of what has been learned over the past decade of web development. Every item the author discusses includes links to the blog posts and supporting articles that go in to more depth as to why things are done the way they are.
I have to admit that there are a number of inconsistencies in the way things are discussed that should have been caught by a good copy editor, but these are only minor annoyances and do no detract from the great information contained in this book.
If you are just starting out or have been working in web development for a long time and just want to brush up on the fundamentals, this book is a great place to start....more