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Nominations for our January & February 2004 book poll! 
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Post Nominations for our January & February 2004 book poll!
Please start posting your nominations for our January and February 2004 book poll. The poll needs to go up next weekend - around Saturday the 6th or Sunday the 7th.

I nominate...


1. Bill O'Reilleys "No Spin Zone"
2. Richard Dawkins "A Devil's Chaplain"
3. Something by Gore Vidal
4. Something by Noam Chomsky

Please contribute ideas so that this truly is a democratic process. Thanks! ;)

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our January & February 2004 book pol
Here's a list of ideas in no particular order. You can find all these books on Amazon.

1. Ripples of Battle: How Wars Fought Long Ago Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think by Victor Davis Hanson.

2. What Went Wrong? by Bernard Lewis.

3. Public Intellectuals : A Study of Decline, With a New Preface and Epilogue by Richard A. Posner

4. A Splendor of Letters : The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World by Nicholas A. Basbanes

5. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity by Philip Jenkins

6. Barbarism and Religion 2 Volume Paperback Set by J. G. A. Pocock

7. Surrender or Starve : Travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea by Robert D. Kaplan

8. The Founders and the Classics: Greece, Rome, and the American Enlightenment by Carl J. Richard

9. Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Franca by Alexander Star

10. Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple

11. Further Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke, Daniel E. Ritchie (Editor)

12. Battle of the Books by James Atlas

13. GREAT BOOKS by David Denby

14. A Middle East Mosaic by Bernard Lewis (Editor)

15. Almost History by Roger Bruns

16. Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing by Lewis A. Coser, Charles Kadushin, Walter W. Powell (Photographer)

17. The Crisis of Islam by Bernard Lewis

18. Athens on Trial by Jennifer Tolbert Roberts

19. Lies We Live by: The Art of Self-Deception by Eduardo Giannetti, John Gledson (Translator)

20. Athens After the Peloponnesian War by Barry S. Strauss

21. The Western Way of War by Victor Davis Hanson, John Keegan

22. From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun

23. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency by John C. Waugh

Edited by: pctacitus at: 12/1/03 12:16 am



Mon Dec 01, 2003 12:14 am
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Post Suggestion

Why Nations go to War
by John G. Stoessinger
www.amazon.com/exec/obido...ct-details
If you're a lazy one (and aren't we all) who won't click the link, heres a rather useful review of the book.

''This very readable book depicts the leadership dimension of modern warfare. It argues, contrary to the dominant view in International Relations, that individual leaders rather than impersonal objective factors are the main cause that determines whether nations will go to war and whether they will continue to fight it to an irrationally prolonged and destructive extent.

The case studies are interesting. And I discovered a number of new and important facts, despite my Ph.D. in Poltical Science. The case of the former Yugoslavia is particularly well-presented and easy for any non-specialist to understand. As a narrative about events and personalities, the book is indeed outstanding.
At the same time I have to voice certain reservations. Although the book is well-reserched and portrays historical events accurately and vividly, it cannot "prove" its thesis, because... well, it is unprovable. History is not a lab experiment to be conducted at will. We cannot test would would happen without this or that particular leader, all other conditions being the same.

It seems to me (just as it seemed to Voltaire) that it is preposterous that everything in the universe should obey physical laws, while a five-foot-tall creature living on the surface of one tiny planet manipulates history through his perceptions and misperceptions. In fact, Stoessinger's book has a goal that is independent of facts and arguments pertaining to the subject matter--to reassert a moral world-order in international politics and, by extension, in politics in general. My seventh edition has seven case studies; Saddam Hussein is called "the war lover"; both Saddam Hussein and Hitler are "absolutely evil," while Stalin is NOT (ostensibly because Stalin "had a few decent traits, and he did not love war for its own sake," but in reality, because Stalin fought against and defeated Hitler, whose concentration camps Stoessinger had barely escaped). The book ends by emphasizing the importance of "moral courage," especially in "dark times" when "absolute evil" must be confronted. But it seems to me this outlook is precisely what has led the warring parties to misunderstand and dehumanize each other throughout history and to launch wars, whose objective was total annihilation of the enemy. If the other side represents the "absolute evil" to be confronted, there can be no talk of empathy and eagerness for accomodation. Only one thing follows: struggle by any means, victory at any cost. I am not sure that Stoessinger has come to terms with the implications of his own conclusion--in so far as people think about politics in unconditional moral terms, they will always define themselves as "good" and the opposing party as "evil." This is the way it has always been. I don't know if mankind will ever be able to rid itself of war, but as long as the solution is sought in the concepts "good," "evil," and "moral courage" ther will be no progress in internatinal politics, nor in the field of study called International Relations.''




Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:37 am
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Post Re: Nominations for our January & February 2004 book pol
Damasio, Descarte's Error. Antonio Damasio has written two more books about brains, emotions, and feelings since Descarte. The latest



Mon Dec 01, 2003 8:41 am
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Post Re: Nominations for our January & February 2004 book pol
Chris,

If we were to tackle something by Chomsky, I would recommend two books:

Hegemony or Survival
America's Quest for Global Dominance


or

UNDERSTANDING POWER THE INDISPENSABLE CHOMSKY
Edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel.

'Hegemony...' is his most recent and, as I see it, his most accessable to date.

'Understanding...' is not written by Chomsky, but is an assortment of many informal seminar discussions and conversations transcripts.

Of the two, I would chooseUNDERSTANDING POWER THE INDISPENSABLE CHOMSKY because of its less formal, highly readable, and universal scope of concerns and issues.

Power, politics, wealth, science, education, knowledge, war, peace, justice, ecological sanity, fundamentalism, international diplomacy...all are exposed to Chomsky's logic and wit, in very user-friendly formats.

There's something for everybody to love and hate in this book, and plenty of reasons for taking it seriously...especially if you disagree with it.

Shannon




Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:37 am
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