Review: Tremble the Devil

6 Star Top 10%, America (Founders, Current Situation), Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Civil Society, Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Diplomacy, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page

Anonymous [US counterterrorism analyst]

NOTE:  Free Online, Table of Contents

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Five Stars–Epic, Poetic, Startling, Reasoned, June 11, 2011

I have been totally absorbed with this book, and I HATE electronic books. At the age of 58, if I can’t hold it and flip back and forth and quickly check the index, and so on, it’s just not a book. This is why I have encouraged the author, whom I know and respect enormously, to offer this book as an Amazon CreateSpace soft-cover hard-copy. It should certainly be translated into Arabic, Chinese, and other languages. This book goes into my top ten percent “6 Stars and Beyond.” See the others at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, under Reviews (middle column).

Right up front, let me give the author and this book my highest praise: both have INTEGRITY. Integrity is not just about honor, it’s about doing the right thing instead of the wrong thing righter, it’s about being holistic, open-minded, appreciating diversity, respecting the “other.” There is more integrity in this book than in the last thousand top secret intelligence reports on Afghanistan, all full of lies and misrepresentations.

Continue reading “Review: Tremble the Devil”

Review: Grand Strategies — Literature, Statecraft, and World Order

6 Star Top 10%, Civil Society, Culture, Research, Democracy, Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Strategy, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page

Charles Hill

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond 5 Stars–Can Frustrate, But Righteously Broad, June 9, 2011

I am sympathetic to those who are critical of the author, as I myself was frustrated at many points and also I confess feeling very ignorant about many of the literary works that were mentioned. However, and despite a rotten index and the lack of a syntopicon or annex with literature and politics and economics at least, side by side, this is for me beyond 5 stars, a category where no more than 10% of my reviewed works can be found (at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog).

It is true the book is not so much about grand strategy in the classical political science or military sense, but for that I recommend Colin Gray’s Modern Strategy. The book also does not address the impoverished nature of the nation-state system or how to build civilizations. There I recommend Philip Allott’s The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State and Richard Spady’s The Leadership of Civilization Building: Administrative and civilization theory, Symbolic Dialogue, and Citizen Skills for the 21st Century.

Read to the bitter end this magnificent book is both an indictment of the nation-state system, and an ode to the role of literature as a foundation for understanding and enhancing civilization and relations among peoples rather than nations.

Continue reading “Review: Grand Strategies — Literature, Statecraft, and World Order”

Review: The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack

4 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Congress (Failure, Reform), Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Country/Regional, Culture, Research, Diplomacy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Impeachment & Treason, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page

James Petras

4.0 out of 5 stars TImely, Deep Historical Insights, Some Gaps & Biases, May 29, 2011

I would normally wait but in the absence of any reviews want to just praise this book as timely, with deep historical insights, and a few gaps and biases as well as no index, the latter almost always causes me to remove a star. The book has been rushed into print and suffers from that rush, but I fully anticipate that a second edition will be fleshed out, add an index, and be a full five star contribution. This is a print on demand book (Amazon’s superb CreateSpace offering) and only 78 pages, it is properly priced and that I find especially commendable.

The author is nothing less than a superior analyst with very high integrity, and his historical knowledge, as well as his historical contributions to non-fiction literature, cannot be denied.

Among the core findings that I appreciate are the author’s early focus on the complete ignorance of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [and of course also the Departments of State and Defense] with respect to both the opposition leaders (all of them, not just the normal suspects] and the underlying preconditions of revolution across all dimensions.

Continue reading “Review: The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack”

Review: Reality Is Broken–Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

6 Star Top 10%, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Best Practices in Management, Budget Process & Politics, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Culture, Research, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Diplomacy, Economics, Education (General), Education (Universities), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page

Jane McGonigal

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star for Concept–Ignores Past Pioneers–Energizes Us All

February 28, 2011

I took the time to read all of the reviews to date, and was reminded again of the chasm between those who understand technology and its possibilities, and those who do not. Being among the latter, in part because I am a veteran of 30 years of watching the US Government waste trillions over that period on too much badly designed technology (government specifications, cost plus) for the wrong reasons and generally without a positive outcome [the Internet being an exception], I must respect–as the author respects with her obviously counter-ripostive editorial interview here at Amazon–both the importance of getting a grip on reality, and the importance of being more respectful of past pioneers, such Buckminster Fuller (RIP) and Medard Gabel (co-creator with Fuller of the analog World Game, creator of the architecture for the digital EarthGame(TM), and recent contributing editor to Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond (Volume 1), and Russell Ackoff [e.g. Redesigning Society (Stanford Business Books) as well as John N. Warfield [e.g Societal Systems: Planning, Policy and Complexity (Wiley Series on Systems Engineering & Analysis). And then there are the 55 authors in Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, including Ms. Jan Watkins, Doug Englebart, Mark Tovey. In short, the WORST thing one can say about this book is that the author has had an immaculate conception to her great credit, but one that could have been vastly better grounded had she done her homework and a multi-disciplinary literature review, something her PhD committee evidently did not consider necessary.

Having said that, this book is without question a 6+, a ranking achieved by the top 10% of the non-fiction books and DVDs I have reviewed here at Amazon (1692 not counting this one). This is a world-changing book, and while the author has benefited from a fabulous personality and personal presence, and first rate representation and promotion, when read carefully and completely and placed in the context of all that is about us today, the originality, relevance, and imminent potential of this book and the ideas in this book cannot be denied. The author does not do what Medard Gabel has done–provide the architectural underpinings for the digital EarthGame(TM) and global to local holistic “dashboards” that integrate the ten high-level threats to humanity, the twelve core policies, the true costs of every good and service–she is still at the “one of” level rather than the meta level–but if she can reach out to Medard Gabel and others and actually harness not just the cognitive surplus of the crowds, but the contextual pioneering of those who have spent decades before her thinking and doing in this arena, then she will be the righteous public face of what I am starting to call “Open Everything: from Autonomous Internet to Global Panarchy.”


Continue reading “Review: Reality Is Broken–Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World”

Review: Simple Government

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Budget Process & Politics, Complexity & Resilience, Congress (Failure, Reform), Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Diplomacy, Economics, Education (General), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), Future, Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Terrorism & Jihad, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page

Mike Huckabee

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mind and Heart, Too Simple, Good Start

February 26, 2011

Right up front, and in part because this is going to be a “tough love” commentary, I want to say that of all those of any persuasion who are known presidential contenders, Mike Huckabee is the only one I genuinely like, trust, and would support. Mitch Daniels surprised me with his gifted presentation at the conservative caucus, and Donald Trump has his own gifts, but for me, Huckabee is a natural. I review his book in the third part of this review, the first two sections are short tough love stage setters.

That said, he is not attracting the big money, he needs a broader advisory base, and he needs to inspire ALL Americans.

Book in a nutshell: Family, Local, Money, Taxes, Health, Education, Environment, Immigration, Terrorism, Military, Enemies, Faith
Continue reading “Review: Simple Government”