Review: Intelligence, Political Inequality, and Public Policy

1 Star, Information Operations, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Politics

Intelligence PolicyImportant Topic, Grotesque Pricing, April 3, 2008

Elliott White

This book joins my list of books I will never buy, read, nor recommend, because the publisher is charging three times what the book is worth. As a publisher myself, I am happy to inform prospective buyers that this book cost a penny a page to print. You do the math. Authors get 15%, Amazon gets 40%, the rest after actual cost deducation is pure profit.

This publisher is part of the problem, not part of the solution. This book should not cost more than $35. I would buy it at that price and probably find it quite valuable.

Authors are encouraged to demand in advance, in writing, a commitment on affordable pricing. The alternative is to post your book on the Internet as a PDF with a Creative Commons non-commercial license, which is what I do for all the books that I publish (at the same time that they are offered on Amazon at affordable prices to cover costs.

Better values:
Intelligence Power in Peace and War
Seven Sins of American Foreign Policy
Informing Statecraft
Best Truth: Intelligence in the Information Age
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
None So Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam
Who the Hell Are We Fighting?: The Story of Sam Adams and the Vietnam Intelligence Wars
On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World
The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political–Citizen’s Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Review: Religion Gone Bad–The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right

5 Star, Religion & Politics of Religion

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Twin to Reverend Lynn’s “Piety & Politics”,

October 26, 2006
Mel White
I like to read in twos or threes, and in this case the two books I read on the religious right were Reverend Barry Lynn’s “Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freeedom,” and this one. Lynn’s comes in first by a nose, but they are both excellent primers on everything going wrong both within the extreme right, and between the church and the state.

The author is a gay Christian minister who was uniquely privileged as a ghost writer for the heavy hitters on the extreme right from Jerry Falwell to Pat Robertson, work done prior to his realizing he was gay.

The author provides a useful distinction, one I often forget, between fundamentalists who are driven by fear and focused on imposing their strict version of faith on others, and evangelicals who are more reasonable and tolerant.

This book is richer in historical content than Lynns, and for that reason alone should be considered a “must read” along with Lynns’ book. In addition to history the author describes a broad concern over two Americas emergent, one fundamentalist and one normal. The author takes care to discuss how Bible-based fear and loathing come from the fundamentalists, themselves, not from the Bible.

The author ends the book compassionately and intelligently. I am beginning to see a convergence between the literature on Collective Intelligence, and the literature on non-violent resistance as well as secession from the Union. I see a real possibility of the USA breaking up into at least four pieces (see my review of Joel Garreau’s The Nine Nations of North America; Tom Atlee’s The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All; and Thomas Naylor’s The Vermont Manifesto.

See also (with reviews):
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America
Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction
The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (Plus)
Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom
Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21stCentury

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