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Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
July's People by Nadine Gordimer
July's People
by Nadine Gordimer
read in September, 2014
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Reading this book, it is clear how powerful of a writer Nadine Gordimer was. The evocative confusion she creates in this story is powerful. But that said, for some reason this book just didn't speak to me.
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Necessary Illusions by Noam Chomsky
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To me, reading Noam Chomsky is similar to reading Marxist criticism: You don't have to buy into the superstructure to appreciate that the analysis makes many valid points.

This book (published in 1989) is often repetitious, and many of its examples a...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Karl Radek, the Last Internationalist by Warren Lerner
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Karl Kautsky was a German Communist who was know in his day as the wit of the Central Committee. This book, published in 1970, doesn't make a strong case for why he is today a forgotten figure, and that's before Soviet Union collapsed. I'd recommend...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Trotsky by Robert Service
Trotsky: A Biography
by Robert Service
read in August, 2014
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Isaac Deutscher's three-volume account of Leon Trotsky's life is one of the best biographies ever written, in my opinion. This account, while obviously critical, is also good. Unfortunately, it is hindered by a few too many cheap shots against Trotsk...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Karl Kautsky, 1854-1938 by Gary P. Steenson
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Karl Kautsky was a leading German Marxist theoretician in the years before the Russian Revolution. With the advent of the Soviet Union, he became largely forgotten because he recoiled from the bloodletting that the Bolsheviks embraced. He's still lar...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Armed Robbers in Action by Richard T.  Wright
Armed Robbers in Action
by Richard T. Wright
read in August, 2014
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An interesting attempt to get into the mind of armed robbers by interviewing them on in the ghettos of St. Louis. To me, the method was easily as intriguing as their findings,

As the author's write:

"The physical dangers that we confronted in doing the...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Andrei Sakharov and Peace by Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Sakharov and Peace
by Andrei Sakharov
read in August, 2014
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Andrei Sakharov seems to be a largely forgotten figure today, given the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. This book, a collection of works about by him, gives a good sampling of his contribution.
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini (Goodreads Author)
read in July, 2014
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I found this book to be too melodramatic for my taste. Its release is an example of great timing though: when it came out in 2003, it is safe to say that America was interested in a tale of Afghanistan.
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
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Apparently it is tough being a king, his wife or his daughters. Much like with Marie Antoinette, I have trouble mourning the death of the Romanovs, but this book does a good job of showing how isolated the family was from the rest of the world, even...more
Riley rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman
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This book seemed a little slapped together to capture the fame of Paul Krugman's 2008 Nobel Prize. Nonetheless, I think it offered a lot of insight.

I was struck by the following passage, in which Krugman wrote about the decline of mainstream socialis...more
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