Sunday, June 15, 2008

Legacy of Ashes

I now understand why my wife chooses romance novels and books with happy endings when she reads for pleasure.

I just finished reading Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner, 2007. It was a depressing look inside the agency with its history of directors and their relationships with presidents, bad intelligence, morale problems, high turnover among employees, and often improper involvement in other countries' affairs. I always held the CIA in high esteem. If one can believe this book, my high regard for this agency is unwarranted

Not long ago I read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, 2007. Again, a disturbing history of extreme Laissez Faire philosophy of managing societies and the impact on people and culture.

Several years ago I read Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History by B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, 1998. This book is about myths surrounding Vietnam veterans and fake heroes. There are thousands of people who wear medals and claim war experience that are lies. Some people in high positions of authority presented themselves as decorated veterans and later were discovered as fake. The problem is so widespread that Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act which makes it a crime to falsely present oneself as a war veteran.

My point here is that too much reading can bring insight that is disturbing about mankind and his organizations.

My next book to read promises to be uplifting. The title is Quiet Strength a Memoir Tony Dungy.  It was given to me by a family member as a gift for Fathers Day.

Have a good week!



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