Review: Valley of the Shadow

5 Star, Fiction, History
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Ralph Peters

5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar!, May 10, 2015

I am a huge fan of Ralph Peters, who in addition to his civil war series under his own name and as Owen Parry, is a master strategist and intelligence professional who can find enemy special forces just by looking at a map and thinking. I am not sure he will ever match Cain at Gettysburg 1st (first) Edition by Peters, Ralph published by Forge Books (2012) Hardcover — that book set a new gold standard surpassing The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War (Civil War Trilogy) by six [and I hasten to add, I consider Michael Shaara gifted and only surpassed by Ralph] but I will say this: every book Ralph write surprises and delights, not just with how he delivers intimate details not found in other histories, but how he rights history — his books correct the less than accurate record and magnify what others have missed. His treatment of Early's last stand and Custer's best moment will stand for a very long time as yet another “first” for the author as historian.

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Review: 1381 – The Year of the Peasants’ Revolt

6 Star Top 10%, Consciousness & Social IQ, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Disease & Health, Economics, History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Public), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page (US)
Amazon Page (US)

Juliet Barker

5.0 out of 5 stars SIX STAR SPECTACULAR — COULD BE A CATALYST FOR REVOLUTION USA, October 27, 2014

This work is not being properly marketed in the USA. Harvard, the US publisher, is not doing all that it should which I find especially distressing because this could well be the single most important book any US citizen could read going into the farce of an election in 2014 and the travesty of 2016, when it appears that Jeb Bush will face off against Hillary Clinton, each so ably representing their side of the two-party tyranny that has sold out to Wall Street, barred the other parties (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, Socialist — and the Independents) from any possible access to political office, and sent two generations to elective wars mounted on the basis of greed and 935 lies.

Put as strongly as I can put it, this book could be a catalyst for revolution in the USA, and for that reason alone, I place it in my top ten percent, beyond five stars, this is a six star book.

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Review: Swimming with Warlords

4 Star, History, Military & Pentagon Power, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle
Amazon Page

Kevin Sites

4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read travelogue, some nuggets, some flaws, October 22, 2014

Previously I have reviewed, very favorably, two other books by this author, In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars and The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War. Both of those books were authentic works of genius and the true measure of the author.

This book is a quick-read double-spaced travelogue, some nuggets on corruption, suicide, humanity, but some severe flaws as well. Almost a three for lacking an index and getting some key facts wrong.

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Review (CD): Suffereignty

5 Star, Change & Innovation, Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Spiritual)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Sugah Daddy

5.0 out of 5 stars A Cry from the Heart — Bodes Well for Restoration of Hawaiian Sovereignty, October 7, 2014

Serious lyrics about Hawaiian sovereignty lost, repression, and prospects. I for one am certain that Hawaii will be a restored nation-state one day — I also tend to believe the US flag will stay at 50 as California divides in 3, making up for Vermont and Hawaii pulling out.

This is one of those musical offerings where the words really matter — I am reminded of John Lennon and the importance of his lyrics. Secession — self-determination — is the last resort of any people so abused by the powers that be that there is no other option.

12 songs, including “Office of Hawaiian Despair” and the title song, “Sufferreignty.

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Review: Death of a King – The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Biography & Memoirs, Censorship & Denial of Access, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), History, Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), True Cost & Toxicity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Tavis Smiley

5.0 out of 5 stars OK to Challenge Racism and Poverty — NOT OK to challenge militarism and the national security state, September 12, 2014

The publisher has done a rotten job of summarizing this book. Here, paraphrasing the author as he just spoke on the John Stewart show, is the bottom line:

The minute that Dr. King turned against militarism and denounced the USA as the greatest purveyor of violence upon the world, he was first marginalized and then assassinated. “The System” was fine with Dr. King focusing on racism, and even poverty, but it would not tolerate for one moment his questioning the military-industrial complex and the national security state.

The author — whom I found to be very inspiring, coherent, and concise — a brilliant articulator of the key points in the book — goes on to have a conversation with Jon Stewart about how the USA simply cannot handle truth-tellers in relation to “big money” matters such as elective wars (racism and poverty being “little money” matters, and deliberately so).

Dr. King was ultimately assassinated by a US Army sniper on detail to the FBI and under the personal direction of J. Edgar Hoover. The story is told in An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King and has also been documented and validated in a judgment by a federal court awarding the King family the single dollar in damages they requested.

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Review: STOP, THIEF! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Atrocities & Genocide, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), History, Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Justice (Failure, Reform), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Survival & Sustainment, True Cost & Toxicity, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized), War & Face of Battle, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Peter Linebaugh

5.0 out of 5 stars David Bollier's Review is Better, This Is My Attempt, April 21, 2014

I was very impressed by David Bollier's review of this book at his web site (look for < “Stop, Thief!” – Peter Linebaugh's New Collection of Essays > and am encouraging him to port that excellent review here to Amazon. Indeed, after working my way through the book myself, I consider myself unable to do proper justice to this deep work that integrates history, poetry, political economy, anthropology, and sociology among other disciplines. Hence I hope others will write substantive summary reviews and I again recommend Bollier's review above.

Three thoughts keep recurring as I went through this book of original current essays and presentations:

01 Holy Cow. This guy is DEEP and BROAD in terms of arcane as well as popular sources, delving down into little known poems, essays, public statements, etcetera. This book is the one book version of the Durant's Story of Civilization applied to one topic, the commons.

02 Holy Cow. This is what my top political science professor was trying to explain when I was in college in 1970-1974 – yes, a half century ago — and I was just not smart enough, patient enough, to appreciate it.

03 Holy Cow. This book is not just subversive, it does a magnificent job of head slapping every politician, economists, talking head, and other pretender who presumes to talk about public welfare without for one instant understanding that wages are a form of slavery and disconnection of humanity from everything else. Lionel Tiger makes related points in The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System but this book — if you focus and do not get lost in the poetry and minutia of exemplar citation — beats the commons versus capitalism drum along every possible note on the musical scale.

Among my high-level notes:

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Review (Guest): Governing the Commons – The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Economics, Environment (Solutions), History, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Elinor Ostrom

4.0 out of 5 stars Addressing the Collective Action Problem August 2, 2007

By Matthew P. Arsenault

Ostrom attempts to refute the belief that only through state and or market-centered controls can commonly pooled resources (CPRs) be effectively governed. Ostrom writes, “Communities of individuals have relied on institutions resembling neither the state nor the market to govern some resource systems with reasonable degrees of success over long periods of time” (p. 1). Governing the Commons sets out to discover why some groups are able to effectively govern and manage CPRs and other groups fail. She tries to identify both the internal and external factors “that can impede or enhance the capabilities of individuals to use and govern CPRs.”

The first section of the book examines both state-controlled and privatization property rights regimes, and illustrates failures in both regimes; namely, that central authorities often fail to have complete accuracy of information, have only limited monitoring capabilities, and possess a weak sanctioning reliability. As such, a centralized governing body may actually govern the commons inaccurately and make a bad situation worse. In the case of privatized property rights regimes, Ostrom illustrates two main points: 1) it assumes that property is homogenous and any division of property will be equitable; and 2) privatization will not work with non-stationary property (fisheries, for example).

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