Archive for The Book Bum

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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A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin, Dutton Penguin Random House, New York, 2016 ($28) Daniel Levitin is dean of Social Sciences at Minerva Schools at KGI in San Francisco and is also on the faculty at…

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The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2016. $28.95) At a recent small college basketball game I was in the stands with perhaps twenty or thirty other fans, most, unlike me, parents of…

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Perspectives: Reality Hunger by David Shields

  Perspectives: Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, by David Shields, Alfred A. Knopf, New York (2010)   We must accept the premise, so important to David Shields, that our society and culture now is “unbearably manufactured”, riddled with spectacle, innuendo, falsehood, celebrity, misinformation and data smog….

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Second Look Books: The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy by Christopher Lasch

American Demagogue: The Why and How of Donald J. Trump Books discussed in this essay: The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy by Christopher Lasch, (W.W. Norton and Company, New York) (1995) Listen, Liberal or Whatever Happened to the Party of the…

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