I think this book is really useful, and I appreciate the authors attempt to be "balanced." I decided to read it straight threw, which I wouldn't recomI think this book is really useful, and I appreciate the authors attempt to be "balanced." I decided to read it straight threw, which I wouldn't recommend. Also because he uses chemical names and brand names, it is hard for me to relate what I read to practice. I think the book would be most useful as a reference, a book to refer to as you try to decide what products to use or not use....more
OK, I didn't really read this I listened to it as a book on tape. I thought it was annoying in that it used this sort of "great men" approach to creatOK, I didn't really read this I listened to it as a book on tape. I thought it was annoying in that it used this sort of "great men" approach to creating a narrative out of a complicated social, economic, technical, and cultural history. Still, I thought it was really very interesting. It made me want to learn more about many things: the development of share cropping, various ways that the civil war effected technology, what set the stage for a new deal style response to the great depression, etc. While I don't feel like the author did the best job ever writing about race, the was that race was examined as it related to the story of the great flood was really interesting. If you don't mind a bunch of technical engineering stuff about flood control, I think it is worth a read....more
It probably isn't a bad idea to read a book about global warming this year, and I guess it might as well be this one.
I heard about this book, becauseIt probably isn't a bad idea to read a book about global warming this year, and I guess it might as well be this one.
I heard about this book, because the author was being interviewed on one of the public radio stations in Baltimore. The thing that really caught my attention was that Tidwell had spent time along the Gulf Coast before Katrina/Rita and had interesting anecdotes about why Gulf Coast residents were sure a storm like either Katrina or Rita was coming. He has a whole book about that called Bayou Farewell.
My sweetheart actually read this book for a study group at her work, and came away with some criticisms that I agree with. One of the things that really bothered her is Tidwell devotes a lot of space to tooting his own horn about what a great consumer he is and how he has totally changed his lifestyle. While he does point out a couple of times in the book that the folks who will suffer the worst consequences of global warming are poor people around the world, he ignores that most of his consumer driven solutions just are out of reach for most people. And while he seems to think it is bad that poor people will be the worst effected by climate change, he doesn't seem to worried about inequity in general. Climate change is the problem, not racism or capitalism. Tracie's other big complaint is that, even though Tidwell claims that we need a grassroots rebellion about climate change, aside from encouraging readers to buy things that will have a smaller carbon foot print, he provides no outline for how people might effectively organize politically to address the issue.
In addition to the criticisms above, there was another thing that made me uncomfortable with the book. While I believe that Tidwell is sincere in his frustration and horror at all the awful ways that people were impacted by Katrina/Rita, I ended up feeling like he was pimping the hurricane/government neglect ravaged Gulf Coast, to push his book and his concerns about climate change. Some of the comparisons he draws between what happened on the Gulf Coast and what could happen every where are useful, but it seems like he is using Katrina/Rita as an example primarily because of their infamous celebrity status. This is not really a book about Katrina or Rita, or about hurricane survivors, or about Gulf Coast recovery, it is about Climate Change and Katrina is just Tidwell's attempt to get your attention....more
Like Guns and Germs and Steel, I wanted to give this book fewer stars, but the fact is I find myself thinking about it a lot and talking with others aLike Guns and Germs and Steel, I wanted to give this book fewer stars, but the fact is I find myself thinking about it a lot and talking with others about it a lot. Frankly I think it is worth a read, if nothing else because of the sweeping perspective it gives about how quickly a very successful robust society can fall apart.
I recently read In the Time of Butterflies and had to go back to reread Diamond's chapter about Haiti and the Dominican Republic and ended up feeling like his treatment of Dominican dictator Trujillo, while probably not as condemning as I would have liked, was none the less very interesting.
I liked that this book not only retold these stories of economic collapse but also tried to analyze the relationship of political structures within these societies to their success or failure. ...more