Book Reviews

Suffice to say, I did not wake up in time to go diving on Wednesday either.  I went with Danarathna to a used book store, that had more German books then English ones.  I had finished the two books I had brought: ‘The Triumph of Politics,’ by David Stockman; and ‘The World is Flat,’ by Thomas Friedman.

David Stockman was Regan’s budget adviser, and according to him, probably the only person who understood trickle down economics in the Regan Cabinet.  Generally speaking, he had a very low opinion of just about everyone else in the cabinet except for James Baker.  The book is largely about how he tried and failed to cut the federal budget by an amount that would have made Regan’s 25% tax cut fiscally responsible.  While this book didn’t really cover much history, like the backdrop of the Cold War, I feel it did fill me in on how we got where we are as a nation today.  One thing that I found somewhat hilarious was that Regan’s military budgetary increases were accidentally doubled by an accounting fluke, and that fluke potentially won us the Cold War.  Another thing I found funny was that Stockman thought we needed health care reform.  Specifically his solution would have even to make an exchange so the insurance industry would have to compete with each other, however he never believed that this would happen–little did he know.  It was a little weird reading a book that mentioned a young Alan Greenspan, or Trent Lott, or Newt Gingritch.

The World is Flat picked up somewhat after, covering how business changed with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Internet, and the rise of Free Trade.  Generally speaking I am familiar with the topics since my industry is the internet.  I would say the other book was better.  A this point I’d be interested in reading a book about what Bill Clinton did to curb the national deficit, as I suspect he fulfilled Stockman’s budgetary dreams.

At the second hand book store I picked up ‘A Quantum Murder,’ by Peter Hamilton.  It was very good–so good I pretty much finished it at the beach later that day.  I didn’t realize when I got it, but I had previously read a book by this author called ‘Mindstar,’ which had the same characters in it.  He writes a fairly distinctive post-global warming cyberpunk style.

After I went to Mambo’s where I met an Iraqi.  Seeing as I have never met an Iraqi before, I figured I should just double check that Sadom wasn’t a good leader, just in case the media had been lying to me all these years.  He said that Sadam tortured his father, so I guess those things they say are true.

That night I was supposed to go to my cousin Chandiny’s house for dinner, but her father-in-law passed away, and she had to go to Kandi for the funeral.  This brought the death count of my trip up to 3.

January 27, 2010 • Tags:  • Posted in: Vacation

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