still reading this book. the author has a unique way of jumping from one family member to another, and this can be a bit frustrating if you're incline...morestill reading this book. the author has a unique way of jumping from one family member to another, and this can be a bit frustrating if you're inclined to follow a more traditional linear narrative. this family, however, has a lot of interesting personalities that the author has no problem sorting through, although a scorecard would be nice at times.
UPDATE: the book has picked up quite a bit as the author moves the House of Wittgenstein into WW2. the family's dealings with the Nazis, as they learn that they are to be classified as Jewish, makes good and somewhat exciting reading. the various attempts to change that status, as well as to leave Austria, are captivating. the author also does a great job of setting up the political atmosphere in Austria prior to the Anchluss. only about 25 pages to go.
UPDATE2: having finished the book, i can only rate it 3 stars. ultimately, although the author does a good job of covering a large family, it really dies out around the time of WW2. unless the Wittgenstein family all of a sudden became uninteresting, the lack of detail during and after the war is curious, after the meticulous accounts in the first 3/4 of the book. it ends rather suddenly, with almost a cursory summation of what happened to the various family members in their last years. that was rather disappointing.
still, i recommend the book because Waugh has great attention to detail most of the time, and because this family lived through some interesting times. only occasionally does the reader get bogged down, and then usually because of the multitude of characters. (less)
Interesting book that more appropriately should have been titled "Nixon's Pathological Obsession with All Things Kennedy."
Beginning with the friendshi...moreInteresting book that more appropriately should have been titled "Nixon's Pathological Obsession with All Things Kennedy."
Beginning with the friendship, and then the rivalry, between Nixon and JFK, the second half of the book details Nixon's fears of a restored Camelot: first through Bobby, then through Teddy, the fear of the latter driving Nixon into the debacle of Watergate.
It's all rather unpersuasive, but author Mathews drives this point repeatedly (and I do mean repeatedly). It's a rather trite motive for a very complex individual, but Matthews has a trenchant for such schemes, so it's not surprising.
Still, this book has a lot of detail and research. There are many fascinating nuggets, such as the revelation that Joseph Kennedy gave financial support to Nixon during one of his campaigns, and even promised to support Nixon for president if Jack didn't win the nomination. The relationship between Nixon and Jacqueline was rather warm, and allowed his more tender and human side to manifest itself.
A good read, but also pick up Stephen Ambrose's bio of Nixon to get a complete portrait of the man.(less)
the history part of the book was interesting, but the second half, focusing on Palamas's theology, was dense and suited mostly for those of an academi...morethe history part of the book was interesting, but the second half, focusing on Palamas's theology, was dense and suited mostly for those of an academic bent. if that's your thing, by all means, read it. just not layman friendly.(less)
this was a good account of the rise of the hacker movement that spawned WikiLeaks and Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Greenberg makes the case that Julian As...morethis was a good account of the rise of the hacker movement that spawned WikiLeaks and Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Greenberg makes the case that Julian Assange is something of an ass. Well sourced, convincingly written.
the best part of the book came in addressing the Obama administration's crackdown on whistleblowers. One whistleblower who was targeted by the DoJ offered the following explanation of why the Obama the President differed from Obama the candidate: "He had never had that kind of access to secrets before. IT was a lot of power. He was enamored with it. And it changed him."(less)