I learned a lot reading this text, and often found Maddow's arguments persuasive. However, her assumption that the reader was invariably pro-military...moreI learned a lot reading this text, and often found Maddow's arguments persuasive. However, her assumption that the reader was invariably pro-military is ill-advised. I for one would like to see the military as an extremely low-priority in this country. Lethality is not admirable. "The enemy" is doublespeak for "the nationality of the people we won't be arrested for killing today." The book is indeed non-partisan at least as far as it's not leaning one way or the other regarding Democrats and Republicans. So I guess my main criticism is not that it's not progressive enough, but that it assumes a certain definition of what an U.S. citizen is.
That said, the book is highly informative, lively, well-researched and put-together, and recommended. I lived through the history represented in the bulk of the book, but I was too young or too focused on other things to understand what was going on. The book, mingling with my more-developed brain (I was in my late teens during Iran-Contra revelations), has helped me get a better grip on these matters. Moreover, I feel inspired to read more texts and perhaps even take a political science course or two just to go even deeper into military-related political policy.
Now if only Maddow would cover the Bradley Manning story in some capacity...(less)
A short book, but more thorough than one might expect. While the focus is B. Manning and WikiLeaks, author Chase Madar paints the landscape for us, th...moreA short book, but more thorough than one might expect. While the focus is B. Manning and WikiLeaks, author Chase Madar paints the landscape for us, the landscape of how laws and secrecy and politics and justice all pretty much fail to work in a consistent way, and how we live in a perverse world of double standards. The deck is stacked against us all. Here's a quote from the book itself, which I think could serve as a thesis for the author's main point.
"If Bradley Manning had launched a war that slaughtered hundreds of thousands; if he had shot dead Iraqi civilians: if he were a lawyer, justifying all of the above, or some general or cabinet-level official whispering state secrets to Bob Woodward over a martini - he'd emerge unscathed."
I can only hope for the best for this young man, as I agree with Madar that Manning is a real hero.
PS: I know that Manning may be transgendered, but I haven't heard anything officially to confirm this. No offense is intended by use of male-specific words in this review.(less)
A bit scattered, sure, which can be attributed to the oddity of publishing a series of interviews which have been heavily expanded after-the-fact. How...moreA bit scattered, sure, which can be attributed to the oddity of publishing a series of interviews which have been heavily expanded after-the-fact. However, lots of good information here distilled in a short book. Unlike what some detractors have said in other reviews, Chomsky is not a ranter. He has some stories he uses as examples more than once, but these are in no way rants. Anyone who has heard him speak or watched his speeches on videos or listened to radio interviews knows this. He's calm, thoughtful, and yes, opinionated, but usually more intelligent than those who use ad-hominem attacks against him. He even states somewhere in this book that he simply ignores insults. (less)
Are we really in the twilight? Maybe. I hope so. Christopher Hayes is one smart cookie, and this is a well-reasoned argument. I had trouble following...moreAre we really in the twilight? Maybe. I hope so. Christopher Hayes is one smart cookie, and this is a well-reasoned argument. I had trouble following all of the economic analysis, but he doesn't stay with the ultra-complex financial discussion long enough for economically-blocked individuals like myself to get completely lost. Frankly, I don't see this country's system working in the future. Changes, more radical than those Hayes seems to desire, will be necessary, and I don't know if our collective U.S. ego will allow for egalitarianism to truly flourish. Hayes' hope gives ME hope, though, hope that he is right that it's not too late.(less)
Well-researched, yet feels very incomplete. I enjoyed the read, and learned a lot, and was convinced by his central premise, that the north and south...moreWell-researched, yet feels very incomplete. I enjoyed the read, and learned a lot, and was convinced by his central premise, that the north and south are pretty much dragging each other down due to complete incompatibility problems. I live in New Mexico, which for some reason gets zero credit from Thompson for being a pretty non-southern state (in terms of the qualities he describes as being problematically southern) in spite of being on the border.
Unconvincing: the north keeping Texas.
Unnecessary: the entire chapter about the SEC. I skimmed it and found it disposable, though perhaps independently interesting to someone who's a college football fan (God knows why anybody would be).
Disappointing: Chapter 6, which rushed through the treaties and solutions to problematic aspects of cutting the U.S. into two separate countries. This should have been the second full half of the book.
More disappointing: Thompson's extremely over-the-top attack on overweight people using some of the foulest descriptions I've ever read.
Conclusion: Lots of work went into this book, and it's a fun(ny) read that never reaches its full potential. Worth reading but not definitive, not even close.(less)