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willemite

willemite

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Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
War, Evil and the End of History - Bernard-Henri Levy There are several sections to this book. The primary division is between field and reflection. Levy offers you-are-there descriptions from five of the darkest places on the planet, Angola, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Colombia, South Sudan. These are chilling descriptions of places where one may indeed wonder if history has ended. It could also call into question the existence of God for those of a religious persuasion. Not only does he show what conditions are in such places, but offers interviews with leaders who might under other circumstances have had to content themselves with the criminal existences of other sociopaths. How is it possible, in the 21st Century (for although these reports were made in the 20th, conditions described there persist) such darkness can exist? One can go in many different directions from this base. Levy wanders about in several of his own. The second gross part of the book is Reflections, and as the name suggests, it comprises Levy’s intellectual questioning of what he has seen. There are times when his thoughts are indeed very cogent, human, accessible. There are others when he is lost in a forest of philosophical undergrowth too obscure for those of who lack Phds in philosophy. The latter section also includes items from Levy’s personal history. Overall I would say that this is a compelling read for the front section. The field reports should be required reading for anyone interested in international affairs. The reflective sections are intermittent. I found that I navigated them best when I read at my usual pace until I became frustrated, then skimmed until I came to another cogent point. That way I did not throw it all down in disgust. Stick with it, skip over what does not clarify, the reward is there to be had. Most of all read his field reports.