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Beneath a Ruthless Sun by Gilbert King
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Place: northern Florida. Time: mid-1950s. Culture: racial segregation. Law: an entanglement of shady shenanigans and political power. Crime: multiple rapes. Here enters an intrepid weekly newspaper reporter seeking the truth. The first entrapment is ...more
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The Third Bank of the River by Chris Feliciano Arnold
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Having lived in the Rio area in Brazil for six months of my life, though not continuously, I find things Brazil perk my interest. Here is a somewhat depressing read. Rain forest demise. Isolated native tribes ravaged. Law and order absent. I like aut ...more
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West Like Lightning by Jim DeFelice
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This highly readable popular history of the legendary Pony Express is a piece-together from many sources, both solid and, as DeFelice admits, dubious. Since the mail service lasted only a little over a year, it probably would be only a footnote in hi ...more
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War on Peace by Ronan Farrow
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How did being "nice" to an Afghanistan warlord turn into a femur sticking out of the dirt? How is trying to deal with Pakistan like walking barefoot on glass shards? From my readings, I suspected that U.S. diplomacy was on a downhill trend. This book ...more
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The Return of Marco Polo's World by Robert D. Kaplan
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This book's many cogent thought gems overwhelm me. Here are a few: Western civilization is on its way to becoming diluted [p6]; Religion and culture are weakened by globalization, giving rise to offshoots [p7]; The world is moving toward tolerance an ...more
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The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple
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Presidents before Ike didn't have a chief of staff. But Ike, being a military man, set up the military model. He named Sherman Adams his chief of staff, with the job of "funneling information, framing decisions and acting as a broker among quarreling ...more
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Mountain Lines by Jonathan Arlan
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I like "walking" travel stories (Levison Wood's Walking the Nile, Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible and Rory Stewart's Old Silk Road come to mind). Those and others are observational adventure; this one is, the first part at least, more a stream of co ...more
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Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser
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Before reading this biography I was only vaguely familiar, from TV, with author Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Kansas "little house on the prairie. " Located near Independence, I'd noted. Turns out, though, that most of Wilder's pioneer recollections a ...more
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Energy by Richard Rhodes
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Theme of this book is how the cost of energy is diminished and efficiency is increased with new discoveries and or inventions. We go from horses, to steam, to electricity, to gasoline, to wind, to solar, to nuclear. Shortcomings and positive aspects ...more
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