First published in 1902 and written by Kentucky journalist George Horace Lorimer, this is a series of fictional letters from the 'self-made' owner ofFirst published in 1902 and written by Kentucky journalist George Horace Lorimer, this is a series of fictional letters from the 'self-made' owner of a meat-packing business (John Graham) to his son (Pierrepont). The letters, which start at the point that Pierrepont goes off to university, dispense fatherly advice as his studies and (later) career in the family firm steadily progress.
This is only 76 pages long, yet is packed with quotable lines that could have been lifted from any number of self-help books written in 2018, let alone 1902. “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.” “The easiest way in the world to make enemies is to hire friends.” “I remember reading once that some fellows use language to conceal thought; but it's been my experience that a good many more use it instead of thought.” “What was the use of being a nob if a fellow wasn’t the nobbiest sort of a nob?”
The gender politics is very uncomfortably 1902 - "I like a woman’s ways too much at home to care very much for them at the office. Instead of hiring women, I try to hire their husbands." - as is the casual racism - "Business is a good deal like a nigger’s wool—it doesn’t look very deep, but there are a heap of kinks and curves in it." - but otherwise, it's astonishing how little good advice has changed in the last century.
I really enjoyed this, and suspect I'll return to it again in future....more
Another brilliant brick of political gossip and insight from Tim Shipman: picking up where All Out War finished, Fall Out dissects the 2017 General ElAnother brilliant brick of political gossip and insight from Tim Shipman: picking up where All Out War finished, Fall Out dissects the 2017 General Election. This didn't quite have the same sense of occasion as the EU referendum book, and seemed to spend much more time on the Tory campaign than the Labour campaign, but it was grippingly eye-opening nonetheless.
Having recently read the Wolff book about Trump, it was interesting to get a brief alternative view of White House affairs here. It was somewhat jarring to see Trump described as being impressively well-informed across many briefs within days of taking office, despite his public appearance - a completely different impression to that given by Wolff. It's interesting to ponder where the truth lies.
The mood music was good as Trump showed his serious side in the closed meeting. A Downing Street source said, "He was on top of any number of quite complex briefs and he'd only been president for a week. That impressed Theresa [May] because she's a details girl."
This is a gossipy book about the machinations of the Trump White House. This is the sort of book that elides names ("Jarvanka" for Ivanka Trump and JaThis is a gossipy book about the machinations of the Trump White House. This is the sort of book that elides names ("Jarvanka" for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner) and focuses on arguments and personalities. It's also quite sloppily written, which probably reflects the rush to publication. It's effectively an unauthorised celebrity biography (with about the level of reliability that genre carries), the gist of which is that Trump and senior White House staff are incompetent, impulsive and petulant.
This book doesn't make any attempt to analyse. There are no historical comparisons drawn upon, no attempt to examine the wider effects (can the US system of Government function with a dysfunctional Head of State?), and no attempt to address any constitutional issues or lessons for nation builders.
This book is what it is, clearly fills a gap in the market, and has provided entertainment to a lot of people. Personally, had I known how thin the content was before I started, I wouldn't have bothered with this....more
An enjoyable set of brief stories about the varied impact of inventions on economies. The book sometimes felt a bit superficial, but I suppose the "50An enjoyable set of brief stories about the varied impact of inventions on economies. The book sometimes felt a bit superficial, but I suppose the "50 Things" format will always suffer from that. Many of the stories are well known and familiar, but the breadth of stuff covered is very impressive, and Harford occasionally takes the discussion of an invention in an unexpectedly illuminating direction. I particularly enjoyed the Epilogue's description of the decreasing cost of artificial light over the last few centuries which, as Harford says, is such a huge change that it goes beyond intuition....more
I've enjoyed the Millennium series so far, but this volume felt a bit "off the boil". It weaves together lots of threads of plot and jumps about in tiI've enjoyed the Millennium series so far, but this volume felt a bit "off the boil". It weaves together lots of threads of plot and jumps about in time in a way that just seems unnecessarily confusing, and there is disappointingly little character development for any of the central characters in the series (despite leading more about Salander's childhood in particular). It all felt a bit flat to me (but that won't stop me picking up the next installment)....more