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Official Poll - Oct. & Nov. 2008 Non-Fiction Book 
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Post Official Poll - Oct. & Nov. 2008 Non-Fiction Book
[align=center]Official Poll[/align]

This poll will run from September 25th through October 5th.

This is the official poll to select our October & November 2008 non-fiction book. The poll is going up a bit late so we might run this discussion an extra month to give everyone time to order and read the winning book. In other words, if the discussion is active and interesting we'll make the discussion period October, November and December 2008.

To start with I'll explain how I narrowed the choices down from over a dozen to the 3 books appearing on this poll. First of all I didn't include any of my own suggestions since nobody else expressed an interest in them.

Next, the few suggestions from brand new members with less than 25 total posts were not included. From experience these people have the lowest probability of actually participating in the book discussion. Also, none of the books suggested by these newer members received any additional comments from other members, so even if these newer members had 25+ posts on the forums their book suggestions still wouldn't be included on the poll. Please don't interpret this community rule of requiring 25+ posts as anti-newbie. We all started out as newbies. You prove your sincerity and intentions by being loyal and active on the forums.

How to vote...

Only active members with 25 or more posts on our forums are permitted to vote in book polls. And please think before you vote. Votes influence the direction and future of our community. If you don't see yourself ordering the book you are voting for, reading that book, and making posts about that book on the forums don't vote. Book polls are not for sharing your opinion on what you consider to be a good book. They are exclusively for selecting a book that we can and will all read and discuss as a group. Your vote matters.

You can cast 3 votes. Distribute your 3 votes however you see fit. Maybe you really like 1 of the 3 choices and don't like the other 2 choices at all. In this case you can assign all 3 of your votes to your favorite book.

Or maybe you like two books with one of them being your top choice. The 3rd choice is not attractive at all. So you would want to assign 2 votes to your top choice and 1 vote for your 2nd choice. Assign no points to the 3rd choice.

Are you catching on? Yes, you can assign 1 vote to each of the 3 books. And please do vote even if you think you will be happy with any of the 3 books winning. The reason why your vote matters, in such an example, is because casting 1 vote per book shows other members that you will be participating in the discussion. Other people base their votes on how other people have voted, so please vote!

To vote simply make a post in this thread stating how you assign your 3 votes.

Example:

2 votes for Book Title 1
1 vote for Book Title 2

The 3 choices are as follows...



Last edited by Chris OConnor on Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:09 pm
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Book #1: The Cry for Myth - by Rollo May

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039333 ... 0393331776

From Library Journal
Since his introduction of modern philosophy to American psychiatric practice in the United States ( Existence , 1958), May has provided readers with accessible texts on many psychological issues (including Freedom and Destiny, LJ 10/1/81). In his newest book he directs our attention to the psychology of our culture by providing a distinctly American portrait of the place--and displacements--of myth in our society. As is customary for this author, the text weaves case studies and considerable literary exegesis into his cogent analyses. May demonstrates his thesis--that "Each myth in human history is interpreted according to the needs of the society which it reflects"--and keeps good his promise to provide an American audience currently interested in the mythic realms of other cultures (witness the popularity of Joseph Campbell's works) with insight on our own mythology. Recommended for public and academic libraries.

Product Description
Rollo May, respected therapist and bestselling author of Love and Will, discusses the relationships between myths and the subconscious, showing how myths can provide meaning and structure for those who seek direction in a confused world. Here are case studies in which myths have helped Dr. May's patients make sense out of an often senseless world.



Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:15 pm
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Book #2: Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet - by Ian F. McNeely & Lisa Wolverton

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039306 ... 0393065065

Product Description
A dazzling intellectual history of the West served up with verve and insight by two brilliant young historians.

Here is an intellectual entertainment, a sweeping history of the key institutions that have organized knowledge in the West from the classical period onward. With elegance and wit, this exhilarating history alights at the pivotal points of cultural transformation. The motivating question throughout: How does history help us understand the vast changes we are now experiencing in the landscape of knowledge?

Beginning in Alexandria and its great center of Hellenistic learning and imperial power, we then see the monastery in the wilderness of a collapsed civilization, the rambunctious universities of the late medieval cities, and the thick social networks of the Enlightenment republic of letters. The development of science and the laboratory as a dominant knowledge institution brings us to the present, seeking patterns in the new digital networks of knowledge.

Full of memorable characters, this fresh history succeeds in restoring the strangeness and the significance of the past.

About the Authors
Ian F. McNeely and Lisa Wolverton teach at the University of Oregon and live in Eugene.



Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:18 pm
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Book #3: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism - by Andrew Bacevich

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080508 ... 0805088156

From Publishers Weekly
In this caustic critique of the growing American penchant for empire and sense of entitlement, Bacevich (The New American Militarism) examines the citizenry's complicity in the current economic, political, and military crisis. A retired army colonel, the author efficiently pillories the recent performance of the armed forces, decrying it as an expression of domestic dysfunction, with leaders and misguided strategies ushering the nation into a global war of no exits and no deadlines. Arguing that the tendency to blame solely the military or the Bush administration is as illogical as blaming Herbert Hoover for the Great Depression, Bacevich demonstrates how the civilian population is ultimately culpable; in citizens' appetite for unfettered access to resources, they have tacitly condoned the change of military service from a civic function into an economic enterprise. Crisp prose, sweeping historical analysis and searing observations on the roots of American decadence elevate this book from mere scolding to an urgent call for rational thinking and measured action, for citizens to wise up and put their house in order.

Product Description
From an acclaimed conservative historian and former military officer, a bracing call for a pragmatic confrontation with the nation's problems

The Limits of Power identifies a profound triple crisis facing America: the economy, in remarkable disarray, can no longer be fixed by relying on expansion abroad; the government, transformed by an imperial presidency, is a democracy in form only; U.S. involvement in endless wars, driven by a deep infatuation with military power, has been a catastrophe for the body politic. These pressing problems threaten all of us, Republicans and Democrats. If the nation is to solve its predicament, it will need the revival of a distinctly American approach: the neglected tradition of realism.

Andrew J. Bacevich, uniquely respected across the political spectrum, offers a historical perspective on the illusions that have governed American policy since 1945. The realism he proposes includes respect for power and its limits; sensitivity to unintended consequences; aversion to claims of exceptionalism; skepticism of easy solutions, especially those involving force; and a conviction that the books will have to balance. Only a return to such principles, Bacevich argues, can provide common ground for fixing America's urgent problems before the damage becomes irreparable.

About the Author
Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of colonel. He is the author of The New American Militarism, among other books. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the recipient of a Lannan award and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:21 pm
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Put me down for 3 votes for book 3.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:50 am
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Have I really already done enough posts to vote in this? (I got an invitation in my email). All these books look wonderful and valuable. I just want to say I'm sorry if I have been too pushy and rough in my argumentative play here, Chris. I want you to know that I respect and value you for making free discourse possible. I'm sure it's harder than it looks. I will do my best to contribute fruitfully to discussion of any of these books. I love myths, but I should probably think about American Exceptionalism at this point in history. I need to be more politically responsible.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:59 am
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Put me down for:

2 votes The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism - by Andrew Bacevich

1 vote Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet - by Ian F. McNeely & Lisa Wolverton

Bacevich is laser sharp in his critique, which challenges our political institutions, military abuses, media industries, as well as our personal lifestyle choices...should be perfect grist for the upcoming election season.

I think the May book would be a very enjoyable read, but I'm not sure if his psychology of the American population is something that will translate well into our contemporary setting...in other words, it may be painfully dated.

Reinventing Knowledge looks like a treat, and I may read it whether its voted for or not.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:23 am
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GentleReader9 wrote:
Have I really already done enough posts to vote in this? (I got an invitation in my email). All these books look wonderful and valuable. I just want to say I'm sorry if I have been too pushy and rough in my argumentative play here, Chris. I want you to know that I respect and value you for making free discourse possible. I'm sure it's harder than it looks. I will do my best to contribute fruitfully to discussion of any of these books. I love myths, but I should probably think about American Exceptionalism at this point in history. I need to be more politically responsible.


I am sure you have not been that bad...this IS coming from the Booktalk Pit-Bull! lol I have calmed down too lately.

I cannot promise to read any of these...my reading time is all but nil! So I will not be voting. I like the Myth & the Exceptionalism titles though and if picked, would take a stab, time permitting.

Mr. P.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:58 am
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3 for book 3 thank you.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:38 pm
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2 votes for Reinventing Knowledge
1 vote for Limits of Power

I already own Reinventing Knowledge and, after hearing the author speak about the subject matter, plan to read it. Here's a video of the hour-long talk. My one concern is that the book is mainly a historical account and won't leave much room for discussion.

Limits of Power sounds like an important topic and would give us plenty to talk about. However, our Noam Chomsky book discussion was pretty flat, which isn't a good sign. Hopefully Bacevich would appeal to more people than Chomsky did.



Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:58 pm
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3 votes for Limits of Power.



Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:29 am
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Post my votes...
ok, from now on, i'm only voting for short(er) books, i just don't have the time to intelligently read them in the time allotted (ok, i'm whining, but it's true)

given the shipping weight of book 1 is 4.8 lbs, it's a non starter.

1 vote for book 2, 2 votes for book 3. I'm in the mood to read some politics.


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ROFL

So ginof, you're basing your decision on how much the book weighs. Lovely. :laugh:

Who would like to volunteer to tally all these votes?



Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:24 am
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3 votes for book 1, The Cry for Myth.


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Last edited by Ophelia on Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:17 am
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Chris OConnor wrote:
ROFL

So ginof, you're basing your decision on how much the book weighs. Lovely. :laugh:

Who would like to volunteer to tally all these votes?


I thought we liked Weighty discussions here?



Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:53 am
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