Archive for The Book Bum

Perspectives–Fascism Lite: The “Ur-fascism of Donald J. Trump and Company

Perspectives: Fascism Lite: The ‘Ur-fascism’ of Donald J. Trump and Company  Things to read: “On Message” by Lewis H. Lapham: From Age of Folly: America Abandons its Democracy (Verso, London/New York, 2016). “Containing Trump” by Jonathan Rauch: From ‘The Atlantic’, March 2017. “How to Build…

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Political Lynching and the Popular Mob: Donald J. Trump Against the Central Park Five

Perspectives: Political Lynching and the Popular Mob: Donald J. Trump Against the Central Park Five  Reading and Viewing:  “New York: Sentimental Journeys” by Joan Didion, The New York Review of Books, January 17, 1991. The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding by…

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South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion

South and West: From a Notebook by Joan Didion (Alfred A. Knopf, New York 2017) “California Notes” began as an assignment from ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Didion never wrote the piece, but she collected a large number of notes,…

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Perspectives: Sorrows of the Digital Age: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain by Eric Kandel

Perspectives: Sorrows of the Digital Age or, Communication absent Faces, Hands and Bodies—the Un-Social Network. One can only ponder the scene: The family gathered at the dinner table, each of the five, or six, or seven, staring down at a screen. One, maybe, involved with…

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The Coming Anarchy/Earning the Rockies: Two by Robert Kaplan

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War by Robert Kaplan (Random House, New York, 2000) Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World by Robert Kaplan (Random House, New York, 2017) In the February 1994 issue of The…

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Vegas: Memoir of a Dark Season by John Gregory Dunne

Vegas: A Memoir of a Dark Season by John Gregory Dunne (Random House, 1974) One day John Gregory Dunne woke up to the realization that he was terribly unhappy. Married to the brilliant writer Joan Didion, they lived in Los Angeles, wrote for the movies,…

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Second Look Books: One-Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society by Herbert Marcuse (Beacon Press Edition, Boston, org. published 1964 pb.)  I read One-Dimensional Man as a philosophy student at the University of Kansas during the mid-1960s. As a reader of Hegel, Marx and Freud,…

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Am I Alone Here? by Peter Orner

Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner (Catapault, New York, 2016, $16.95) Peter Orner is the author of two novels, two story collections, and a number of articles and essays in important journals and newspapers. He…

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Sorrows of the Digital World: The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a Technological World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen, MIT Press, Cambridge/London, 2016. “And the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will. No one…

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The Book Bum: Don’t Think of an Elephant! : Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff

Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction,Vermont., 2014 (pb.). George Lakoff is a widely respected neuroscientist and political analyst whose books like “Moral Politics” and “Whose Freedoms?” have recently begun to…

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