Archive for The Book Bum

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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The Great Acceleration: How the World is Getting Faster, Faster by Robert Colvile

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…

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Listen, Liberal, Or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

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…

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Second Look Books: A Hole in the Sky by William Kittredge

 Second Look Books: Hole in the Sky by William Kittrege (Alfred A. Knopf, $20) Review first published Sunday, August 30, 1992.   It seems impossible, but there is a place in America that is so empty, so terrifyingly beautiful, that one, on seeing it for the…

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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Francopan

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2016 (645pp. illus., $30). At the height of its splendor in the era A.D. 650-800, Baghdad was a magnificent city, its parks, gardens, schools, hospitals, charitable foundations, mosques and bathhouses “lavishly…

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