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Python is one of the few languages that survived "great programming language extinction period" that we currently experience and which corresponds with "downsizing" of IT in general. During this period several previously popular languages lost large part of their popularity and became niche languages.

Python is one of the few programming languages for which many books are still printed.  Like it or not, more and more system administrators use Python instead of Perl.  But out of this avalanche of books very few books are of high quality or are "enhanced" books (books with elaborate web site or video lectures). So far I have found only two such books

  1. Python for Everybody- Exploring Data in Python 3 - Severance, Dr. Charles Russell, Blumenberg, Sue, Hauser, Elliott, Andrion, Aimee, 245 pages
  2. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition- Practical Programming for Total Beginner  by Al Sweigart 592 pages  (November 12, 2019)

While Python presents itself as a simple language in no way it is simple. It is a very convoluted language with ridiculously complex type system. That's probably why Python has surprisingly few good general above beginner level Python programming books. That might be a difficultly of describing in concise form complex features of a large scripting language. In this sense Python shares its problems with Perl (but in many areas Perl paradoxically looks much simpler then Python). Perl also has very few really good "intermediate" and "advanced" books published.

As of specialized one devoted to modules Modular Programming with Python Erik Westra is really good. It takes the key concepts of Python (which in some sense was derivative of Modula 3 language) and explain how to use it in nine chapters, covering all bases. 

Some books at least try to be better by trying to help the reader and providing along with Web access to examples and electronic copy of the book in ePub format. One example of this trend is The Quick Python Book, Second Edition by Vern Ceder. (2nd edition, January 15, 2010). This 400 pages paperback from Manning cost you $0.73 (for a used copy).  Purchase of the print book comes with an offer of a free PDF, ePub, and Kindle eBook from Manning. I think most Manning books are distributed on those terms. Also available is all code from the book.  Manning also has a free Python book Manning - Exploring Python Basics January 2019 ISBN 9781617296581 181 pages

No Starch press offer free ebook edition with every print book purchased from nostarch.com.

As eBook can be converted to HTML and edited, you can instantly have your notes, which you can enhance and expand as you learn the language. that also allow you to correct errors and provide you own comments to some portions of the text. Try examples that are relevant to you and comment of them is  IMHO the best way to learn the language for people who already know similar language (and most Linux  sysadmin know Bash and Perl), some (usually older hands ;-) also know C and C++.  

This how those days any decent author of a programming language book should behave.

In this sense O'Reilly is now far below the curve and they actually moved back and no longer offer one free chapter for their new books. Here is one review of Vern Ceder book:

 Alexandros Gezerlis "Alex Gezerlis" (Seattle, WA)(REAL NAME)   - See all my reviews

Probably the best book on Python 3 currently available, July 10, 2010

"The Quick Python Book, Second Edition" is Vernon Ceder's reworking of the well-received volume "The Quick Python Book" by Daryl Harms and Kenneth McDonald. Ceder has removed a number of specialized chapters on COM, C & C++ extensions, JPython, HTMLgen & Zope and, more important, he has brought the text completely up to date, covering Python 3.1.

Most Python texts out there describe Python 2.x, so this book's main competition is: a) Mark Summerfield's "Programming in Python 3: A complete introduction to the Python Language, Second Edition", and b) Mark Pilgrim's "Dive into Python 3", while two other major books have incorporated material on Python 3, namely c) James Payne's "Beginning Python: Using Python 2.6 and Python 3.1" and d) Mark Lutz's "Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming, 4th Edition".

The Good: this book is nice and short. It assumes a certain level of competence/background, so it does not waste space introducing the language-independent basics of flow control, object orientation, exception handling, and so on. It is example-based, and unlike in Pilgrim's volume the first few examples are short and thus readable. Chapter 3 ("The Quick Python overview") can be used as a compact reference when you're done reading the book, and various tables throughout the book help it function as a reference. Unlike its competition, it doesn't spend chapter upon chapter on databases, networking, or web applications. Instead, such topics are covered in only one (short) chapter at the end of the book. Ceder offers useful advice on the interrelation between older and newer Python features, whether discussing how to be more idiomatic (e.g. in chapter 6 on the format method vs % formatting, and in chapter 14 when introducing the "with" statement) or how to migrate from Python 2 to Python 3 (he devotes chapter 22 to this topic). On the publisher's website you can find a list of errata as well as the complete source code for the book. There you will see a link to an "Author online" forum in which you can interact with Ceder; perhaps more important, everyone who buys a paper copy of the book may also download a free PDF version. It is to be hoped that other publishers will follow Manning's example.

The Bad: the author is very clear that the book is aimed at those with experience in another programming language.

Even so, in a few cases the assumptions are Python-specific (and hence unwarranted): one example is in chapter 5, where he lets us know that if x is a list then y=x[:] makes a copy of x, though this does not really explain why we cannot simply say y=x to accomplish the same goal.

Another example: in chapter 12 Ceder uses character ranges expressed with [], though these are introduced much later (in chapter 17). Similarly, chapter 3 is quite good if you've already come into contact with Python before (even fleetingly). If you haven't, it may be obfuscating (though you could always just skip it on the first read).

On a different note, this book does not contain exercises, though Summerfield's, Payne's, and Lutz's volumes do (along with answers). As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Ceder does not include too much extraneous stuff something which in my opinion is definitely a plus.

However, he does not say absolutely anything on threading while Summerfield has a chapter on the subject and Payne a section. Similarly, Ceder does not mention function annotations at all, while Summerfield and Lutz each have a section on them. Finally, Ceder keeps referring the reader to the Python documentation for more details, and this can get frustrating. On the other hand, I suppose it would have been impossible for the book to stay at its current 320 pages otherwise.

Ceder's writing is concise, but this does not imply that he covers only the bare minimum of material. To pick a relatively advanced topic as an example, Ceder spends 2 pages on metaclasses, Summerfield 4.5 pages, Pilgrim and Payne devote half a page each only in the context of the changes from Python 2 to 3, while Lutz, in keeping with the mammoth size of his book, spends more than 30 pages on the topic. This (arbitrarily chosen) example is in some ways indicative of the wider approaches taken by the various Python 3 book authors.

In a nutshell, the fact that this book is considerably shorter than its competitors does not mean that it is shallow. The compactness is due partly to the author's succinct style of writing (which is not opaque, however) and partly to the fact that it does not contain too much on database programming, web services, and so on. All in all, if you're looking for a solid book on Python 3 that you stand a reasonable chance of reading cover-to-cover, then this is the volume you should buy. Four and a half stars.

Alex Gezerlis

Two other relatively recent  intro Python books that also cover basics and version 3 are

Intermediate books

One book that might  deserve your attention is Fluent Python published in 2015.  for example this book  explains slices really well.  And they are more powerful than most people realize. this book is a good start from those who alreasy know similar scripting language, for example Perl, because for them inro books like above are rather boring and just create allergy to Python as in many cases it looks like Perl is iether more concise, or more powerful, or both.  Ramalho book shows the power of Python  constructs and as such really help to understand the language.  It also teaches your how to inspect Python bytecode. Inspecting Python bytecode is not too difficult, and is extremely helpful to see what is going on under the hood. Access to bytecode from interactive prompt  is actually one of the most interesting features of Python implementation.  Each chapter of the book contains Further Reading section which taken together alone worth the proce of the  books

www.amazon.com

Paperback: 770 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1491946008
ISBN-13: 978-1491946008
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 1.4 inches

Jascha Casadio on October 30, 2015

An excellent text covering very advanced Python features.

Among the books that are currently populating my Goodread's wishlist are no less than 20 titles dedicated to the Python language. They range from Django up to pandas, passing through Twisted and Test-Driver Development. Time is limited, so they often end up waiting in queue for months. But when I've seen Fluent Python on that shelf I had to make it mine immediately and put it in front of that queue. Getting through this book took me several months, not only because we are talking about some 700 hundreds good pages, but mostly due to the fact that it covers advanced topics that most of the Pythonists currently living on planet Earth never heard of in their life. Fluent Python is one of those books that you must taste little by little or you get devoured by those fierce topics and examples.

Released late this summer, Fluent Python is the latest work of Ramalho, a name that should sound familiar to those that have been already diving deeply into, allow me the term, Python's high-end features, powerful things, such as coroutines, that most developers never heard of in their life. Those that did probably hope never being tested on them during a job interview. And that's pretty much what the book is all about. Neither style nor the the basics of the language, but very advanced features. Quite a rare book indeed, since almost all of the Python books available introduce the readers to the language and don't get past Object Oriented Programming.

An excellent text overall, no doubts. Not for the faint of heart. Still, I am a bit puzzled by the fact that some chapters look extremely simple, others cover quirks and intricacies that you can probably live without, unless you dare touching the very core of the language ,and that get you to reach the end of a chapter with that what the hell expression on your face. The chapter covering abstract classes is an example of the former. Don't get me wrong, it's interesting and the examples well laid out. Still, it looks a basic concept that doesn't fit this kind of book.

A couple of words on the examples: they are throughout the whole book well done. The author often presents the same concepts in different flavors or does work on the same example and improves it as concepts are taken into the discussion. The code is intense but easy to follow. Key lines are extensively explained later on, so that the reader won't miss that specific features that makes it all possible. There are so many gems that you will probably end up writing most of that code down to make it yours. This is actually the best thing the reader can do. Try it, modify it, assimilate it, master it.

Among the many topics covered there are two that are worth mentioning: the first is chapter four, which covers strings, Unicode and bytes. Marvelous, simply marvelous. The examples, the explanations. So clear and to the point. You definitely get away from it with a deep understanding of how strings work in Python 2.7 and 3.

The second is that dedicated to futures. Actually it's the whole topic, which spans several chapters at the very end of the book. The authors shows how working with threads and subprocesses improve the efficiency of an application, and how easy it is to exploit them through the futures that are now available in the language. He does gives us a very interesting example in many different flavors, showing us how the code and performance change. Great.

Decorators and closures are also well described, even if not as good as the aforementioned topics. In that sense, the author does complement what we find about the subject in Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python, another must have for any serious Pythonist.

Overall, a great Python book. A must have for any Python developer interested in getting the most out of the language.

As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com . Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!

Python Cookbook

Python Cookbook, Third edition  by David Beazley, Brian K. Jones  is a really good  intermediate book which  acrutally teaches "by example" you how to program in Python.  It was published in 2013 and has over around 700 pages.

Here are some Amazon review

renaissance geek on June 23, 2013

The Python Domestic Science Textbook?

A few years ago now I was working in a job that required me to code in PERL. My PERL is passable but no better than that so when I found a copy of the PERL cookbook it was something of a life saver and constant companion. The PERL cookbook is deeply pragmatic and addresses real world problems with the language almost as an afterthought. (Which now I think about is actually a pretty good description of PERL anyway!) The Python cookbook is a very different beast and is much more an exercise in learning the intricacies and nuances of the language. I'm not sure cookbook is the right title - if the PERL Cookbook is a cookbook then the Python Cookbook is more of a domestic science textbook. A bit deeper, a bit dryer and not so focused on immediate problems. This is no way meant to imply that it's a bad book, on the contrary it's a very good book just not entirely what I was expecting.

The book itself is divided into fifteen large sections covering the likes of data structures and algorithms; functions; metaprogramming and concurrency with each section consisting of a number of problems. The problems are structured as a definition of the problem, a solution and a discussion of the solution and how it can be extended. Due to the nature of the Python language a large part of solving the problems lies in knowing which module(s) to include in your code so each problem is generally only a couple of pages, but that is certainly enough to give the solution and reasonably detailed discussion.

As with all books of this type there is going to be some complaints of why is X included and not Y and to be honest if you tried to cover all the possible problems a practicing python programmer is likely to run across the book would end up so large as to be unusable. That being said there was, for me at least, one glaring omission.

I do a lot of data processing with reasonably large data sets, and with the buzz around big data I'm sure I'm not the only one, and frequently find that I have to break down the data sets or I simply consume all the system resources and the program exits. I would have expected at least some treatment of working with very large data sets which seems to be entirely missing.

However this is an issue based on what I use Python for and may very well not matter to you. Even though there may not be exactly the solution you are looking for, there are 260 problems and solutions in the Python cookbook so if you don't learn something new you are probably a certified Python genius and beyond manuals anyway.

There are a couple of quick final points to make about the Python cookbook. Firstly it uses Python 3 and as many very useful third party modules haven't been ported from Python 2.X over to Python 3 yet Python 2.X is still probably still more widely used.

Secondly although this is a language learning book it's not aimed at the novice programmer, think of it more as language nuances and inflections for the experienced Pythonista rather than a how to learn Python book and you won't go far wrong.

Bluegeek on June 13, 2013
Review: "Python Cookbook" by David Beazley and Brian K. Jones; O'Reilly Media

The "Python Cookbook" is a book that brings the Python scripting language to O'Reilly's popular "Cookbook" format. Each Cookbook provides a series of "Recipes" that teach users common techniques that can be used to become productive quickly and as a reference to those who might've forgotten how to do something.

I reviewed this book in the Mobi e-book format. Reading it on Kindle for PC, the Table of Contents only shows the major sections rather than the individual recipes and this made it harder to find what I was looking for. This is apparently a limitation of Kindle for PC, since my Kindle 3 and Kindle for Android had no such issue.

When I use an O'Reilly "Cookbook", I judge it according to its' usefulness: Can I become productive quickly? Is it easy to find what I need? Does it provide helpful tips? Does it teach me where to find the answers to my questions?

This book is not targeted at new Python programmers, but that's where I'm at. The best way for me to learn a new scripting language is to dive right in and try to write something useful, and that was my goal for the "Python Cookbook". I also had "Learning Python" handy to cover any of the basics.

My first Python script was written to read in lists of subnets from two separate files and check that every subnet in list B was also in list A.

I used Recipe 13.3 to parse the command line options. Recipe 5.1 showed me how to read and write files. Recipe 2.11 taught me how to strip carriage returns out of my lines. Recipe 1.10, "Removing Duplicates from a Sequence while Maintaining Order", was very helpful and I was able to reuse the code in my own script. Recipe 2.14, "Combining and Concatenating Strings", helped me with my print statements. Considering this was the first Python script I ever wrote and that it ran, I consider both it and the "Python Cookbook" a success.

I had a bit more trouble with my second script. I was trying to write a script to find the subnet address given an interface address in CIDR notation. Recipe 11.4 introduced the ipaddress module, but this module refused to accept a string variable containing the interface in CIDR notation. I ended up installing another module (netaddr) I found via Google and things went better after that. I suspect the problem was that I was using ActivePython 2.7.2.5 [64 bit] and this book was written for Python 3.

As a DNS professional I was disappointed that there were no DNS-related recipes in the Network and Web Programming section, but Web-related topics were well-represented in the book.

The "Python Cookbook" doesn't seem to have quite the depth and organization of the "Perl Cookbook" but I'm sure I will rely on it heavily as I learn to use Python. It did allow me to be productive very quickly and it passes the "Cookbook" standard with flying colors. Any book that can get me to the point of writing a working, useful script in less than a day is worth using. I recommend this book to anyone who has a basic understanding of Python and wants to get past "Hello, World" and "Eat Spam" as fast as possible.

Reviewer's Note: I received a free copy of the "Python Cookbook" which was used to write this review.

William P Ross Enthusiast: Architecture on May 6, 2016
Treasure Trove of Python Recipes

Python Cookbook goes in depth on a variety of different Python topics. Each section is similar to a question that might be asked on Stack Overflow. The recipes range in difficulty from easy to advanced metaprogramming.

One particular recipe that I liked was 9.1 on how to time a function. When I am using Python I often need to time the code, and usually I need to look up how to do it. This example created a decorator function for timing. It makes it so that you can just put @timethis on top of a function and see how long it takes to execute. I appreciated how elegant this solution was as opposed to the way I was implementing it.

Most examples are self contained and all the code examples that I tried worked. Additionally, there is a GitHub that the authors created which provides all the code for the examples if you do not want type it yourself. The examples themselves were applied to real world problems; I could see how the recipe was used clearly. When the authors felt they could not provide an entire solution in the text, they point the correct place to visit online.

The range in topics was impressive. I found the most challenging chapters to be 9, 12, and 15 which were on metaprogramming, concurrency, and C Extensions. At the beginning of the book the recipes cover topics you would expect like data structures and algorithms, strings, and generators. I found myself surprised that I had not seen a lot of the techniques and solutions before. They were well crafted solutions, and I appreciated how much time and detail the authors must have spent to gather the information.

This is a great reference to have by your side when programming in Python.

Groundhog Day on June 30, 2015
Programming Pearls... Reloaded

Having read some humdrum works in the Cookbook series, my expectations were not very high. However, I soon discovered that this book is in a different league.

When he discusses a problem, Beazley gives you his favorite solution. He also presents alternatives, discusses pros and cons, and calls your attention to subtle details in the solution --- leaving you with a feeling of having learned something of value.

But that's only the beginning. It's hard to describe the pleasure of reading some of the solutions in the Iterators and Generators section, for instance. Actually, I take that back. The pleasure is the same kind as what you may have felt when you first came upon ideas in books such as Bentley's Programming Pearls, way back when.

I hadn't felt that excited about a programming book in a long time. This is one you can take along with you on a weekend just for the pleasure of sipping from it. Sad to say, but there are many O'Reilly books I feel like passing on soon after acquiring them. This one will have a special place on the shelves.

Devendra on September 1, 2013
Extensive tome of recipes for the Python 3 programmer

Python Cookbook is an extensive tome of recipes for the Python 3 programmer. It is a perfect companion book for those migrating Python 2 code to Python 3. If you are stuck with Python 2, you may still find the second edition of the book for sale, but the recipes may be dated as they cover Python 2.4. It is not a beginners book. If you are looking for a beginners book, I recommend Learning Python by Mark Lutz.

A quick chapter summary follows.

I've added this book to my list of references to look into, before heading to Google. Source code listings use syntax highlighting, a nice touch that makes the code easier, and less boring, to read.

I thank O'Reilly media for providing the book for review.

Dan on July 23, 2013
Wisdom - not just examples. Best viewed on a larger screen

The Active State repository of Python recipes includes many gems, but as the Authors observe in their preference: "most of these recipes are steeped in history and the past".

I'd add that the signal to noise ratio seems to be decreasing. The most prolific contributors (with the exception of Raymond Hettinger) have posted trivial examples rather than recipes. This book includes some simple examples too, but it's always in the context of a larger message. Excellent content and advice without the chaff.

I just bought this today. Unlike some early technical Kindle books I've purchased, the formatting is excellent. Kudos to the authors and publisher.

... ... ...

A. Zubarev on September 17, 2013
A book to read and come back again and again

I am tempted to state right away that this book is one of these rare "gems"! Absolutely worth every penny spent and perhaps even more in a way of getting more done in less time or even just can be used to advance professionally. So big thank you to Alex Martelli and David Ascher! I can't imagine how much time, energy, insight and effort the authors put into this book, but it is sure one of the longest professional books I have ever read.

Like I said, this book is very comprehensive at 608 pages long and touches most, if not all, aspects a typical IT pro would deal with in his or her professional life. It may appear though very dry, and in my opinion it should be, but it is the book to come back to again and again, time after time, year after year, so if you need a single specific recipe, you will not feel the book is very short thanks to the way it is structured.

I happen to actually use this book to cope with several assignments at work involving some medium to high complexity data processing for reporting purposes, thus more than a few recipes were used.

Namely, these were "Strings and Text" Ch. 2, "Numbers, Dates and Times" Ch. 3, "Files and I/O" Ch. 4, then hopped to "Functions" Ch. 7, which followed by "Parsing, Modifying and Rewriting XML" Ch. 6.6 and finally landed on "Integrating with a Relational Database" Ch. 6.8. I wish though chapter 7 "Functions" would precede most others because I think it belongs right after "Iterators and generators" which I needed to use as I expanded my program.

I must tell each did its magic, after all Python excels on processing text!

... ... ...

Books for Perl programmers

There is another intermediate book about Python specifically written for Perl programmers who wish to learn a new language.  Highly recommended.

Perl to Python Migration by Martin Brown

Nov 02, 2001 | Amazon.com

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (November 2, 2001)

Language: English
ISBN-10: 0201734885
ISBN-13: 978-0201734881
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

My conclusion

Python is an excellent language for my intended use. It is a good language for many of the applications that one would use Lisp as a rapid prototyping environment for. The three main drawbacks are (1) execution time is slow, (2) there is very little compile-time error analysis, even less than Lisp, and (3) Python isn't called "Java", which is a requirement in its own right for some of my audience. I need to determine if JPython is close enough for them.

Python can be seen as either a practical (better libraries) version of Scheme, or as a cleaned-up (no $@&%) version of Perl. While Perl's philosophy is TIMTOWTDI (there's more than one way to do it), Python tries to provide a minimal subset that people will tend to use in the same way. One of Python's controversial features, using indentation level rather than begin/end or {/}, was driven by this philosophy: since there are no braces, there are no style wars over where to put the braces. Interestingly, Lisp has exactly the same philosophy on this point: everyone uses emacs to indent their code. If you deleted the parens on control structure special forms, Lisp and Python programs would look quite similar.

Python has the philosophy of making sensible compromises that make the easy things very easy, and don't preclude too many hard things. In my opinion it does a very good job. The easy things are easy, the harder things are progressively harder, and you tend not to notice the inconsistencies.

Lisp has the philosophy of making fewer compromises: of providing a very powerful and totally consistent core. This can make Lisp harder to learn because you operate at a higher level of abstraction right from the start and because you need to understand what you're doing, rather than just relying on what feels or looks nice. But it also means that in Lisp it is easier to add levels of abstraction and complexity; Lisp makes the very hard things not too hard.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction
Python Overview
Python Execution
Components of a Python Program
Functions
Exceptions
Modules, Classes, and Object Orientation
Processing Information
Interfacing to the OS
File Manipulation
Data Management
Communicationing over a Network
Using Python for Web Development
Interface Building with Tk
Resource Guide - (in conjunction with material on the web) Preface

As a long time Perl and Python programmer, I'm constantly finding myself using Perl constructs in Python or Python constructs in Perl. Worse, I can suddenly find myself trying to use a feature or system in a Python program that just doesn't exist, or does and works differently. What I needed was some sort of cross reference.

After talking to other programmers and developers it became apparent that a number of people were "jumping ship" from Perl to Python. Some with varying levels of success. The reasons for using Python in preference to Perl were different for each person, but there were some common themes:

Python is object-oriented. Although Perl has object orientation facilities they are not integrated into the system. In Python everything is an object or class -- even the base data types are objects and have their own methods and attributes. This makes Python a great language to use in situations where you are working on applications that use object orientation as a core technology.

Python is easy to use. Python has a very clean and structured layout, and it's very easy to follow what's going on. Perl can frequently look like line noise, and particularly for new programmers this becomes a problem as they try to understand why their program works.

Python does what you tell it to. Perl suffers from a severe case of semi-intelligence. Statements and expressions in Perl have all sorts of rules, exceptions to those rules, and other artefacts that can make it difficult to follow what is going on. Just think about what happens when you call a function, was it called in list or scalar context?, what arguments did it have?, how do I get them back? These are regular questions when programming with Perl.

Python is cross-platform compatible. Perl is also cross-platform compatible, for certain values of compatible. Because of Perl's Unix roots -- it is very much a Unix language -- use Perl under Windows or MacOS and a large proportion of the built-in functions become obsolete. Python's functionality is supported by external modules, many of which use the correct version according to their platform whilst retaining the same API.

These aren't really hard and fast reasons for why you should make the jump to Python, but they are compelling reasons for why Python is at least worth a look.

In this book that's exactly what we try to do -- show you how you can make the move from Perl to Python. Many of the basics are the same, and despite a change of language, you're unlikely to need to change the algorithms you are already using.

For the more advanced programmer, or, like me, the programmer who has to use both languages most days, the book should also work as a handy cross reference to allow you to look up Perl and Python statements and functions, and find out what you should use in both languages.

Who is the book for?

Anybody who has used Perl and who wants or needs to learn Python will find this book useful. The book gives a full guide on the basics of programming in Python from the perspective of a Perl programmer. Right from the basics of line and program structure all the way up to object-orientation and using external modules.

You don't need to be an expert Perl programmer , you just need to be able to understand the basics. I've tried to make the text as easy to read and follow as possible. However, on occasion things get technical, and to get the best out of the book you should at least know how to use and create your own functions, extension modules and classes and objects.

Without trying to give you the plot before you've read the book, if you know how to work with references, classes and objects in Perl, then your migration to Python is already 50% there!

How to use this book

The book is split into three main sections. The first section gives you an introduction to Python, including information on the basic mechanics of the language and information on who and where it is used.

Section 2 concentrates on the fundamentals of the language from the basics of expressions and statements through to comparing Python's object types with Perl variables. We'll also look at creating functions, error handling, and extending Python with modules and classes.

The last section concentrates on applying Python in real situations compared to the equivalent Perl process, function or module. For example, Chapter 8 looks at Python's built-in functions and their Perl equivalents, whilst Chapter 10 looks at manipulating data and regular expressions.

There are also two appendices at the back of the book. Appendix A provides a handy guide to getting more information about Python, including other books, websites, newsgroups, mailing lists and details on how to get the Python documentation to help you with your programming. Appendix B is a quick reference -- it lists every Perl token, variable or function and provides you with the Python alternative. Where possible, it will also direct you straight to the page elsewhere in the book where you can find more information on the Python alternative.

If you are completely new to Python but know Perl then read Sections 1 and 2 first. If you've played with Python but never used it in anger, then start with Section 2. Finally if you know Python and just want quick reference information then use Appendix B to look up the Perl fragment you are looking for, or go straight to the suitable chapters in sections 2 and 3.

If you don't know Perl, then this book will not be a lot of help. Try reading Perl: The Complete Reference 2nd Edition (Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2001) or Learning Perl, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 1997).

Chapter breakdown

There are fourteen chapters and two appendices in the book. Throughout the book examples of a Perl expression or statement are given, along with the equivalent Python version and information on why the changes and modifications are required. The rough content of each chapter is as follows:

Conventions Used in This Book

All Perl keywords are highlighted in bold, but functions are listed without parentheses. This is because the C functions on which the Perl versions may be based are shown like this().

Examples and code are displayed using a fixed-width font.

Function descriptions are formatted using the same fixed-width font.

Note: notes are formatted like this and include additional information about a particular topic. You'll also find similarly formatted "Warnings," which highlight possible dangerous tools or tricks to watch out for when programming.

Contacting the Author

I always welcome comments and suggestions on my work. The best way to contact me is via e-mail. You can use either books@mcwords.com. Alternatively, visit my website, http://www.mcwords.com, which contains resources and updated information about the scripts and contents of this book. You can find the homepage for this book at http://www.mcwords.com/projects/books/p2py/. A Customer on January 5, 2002

Very good language cross reference

I'm an avid Perl programmer who's wanted to do more with Python, but never seem to have the time to actually _do_ something in Python because I run out of time and end up doing it in Perl. This book has helped me get over that hurdle by providing a useful cross reference, so if you want to do X in Perl (with a perl code example that looks very typical), do Y in Python (with a plausible code fragment).

I would have rated this book 5 stars, as it very clearly achieves its stated goal. Unfortunately it is absolutely riddled with minor typo's. Perhaps that will be fixed in a future edition, but for now it makes life a bit more difficult since you have to pay very close attention to what is in the book vs. what you might already know and correct the book where it is wrong.

A Customer on April 26, 2002
Useful book, despite its errors

If you happen to be a Perl Hacker who wants to get into Python, this book is just what you're looking for. It's written from the perspective of a Perl programmer who has made the switch to Python. It introduces Python while explaining the relevant differences to Perl as it goes. There are also lots of code snippets showing Perl code along with its Python equivalents.

This book does have some problems however. It has more typos in it than any other programming book I've ever read. That applies to both the text itself as well as some of the code samples. There are also some places in which it explains things assuming knowledge of something else that isn't described until further on in.

That said, I still found the book useful, and for me it was probably worth the purchase price. I would just recommend that readers be very wary of the typos as you go along.

 

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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jun 21, 2019] The War on Normal People The Truth About America s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future Andrew Yang

Looks like this guys somewhat understands the problems with neoliberalism, but still is captured by neoliberal ideology.
Notable quotes:
"... That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent. ..."
"... Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent. ..."
"... Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick. ..."
"... Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.amazon.com

The logic of the meritocracy is leading us to ruin, because we arc collectively primed to ignore the voices of the millions getting pushed into economic distress by the grinding wheels of automation and innovation. We figure they're complaining or suffering because they're losers.

We need to break free of this logic of the marketplace before it's too late.

[Neoliberalism] had decimated the economies and cultures of these regions and were set to do the same to many others.

In response, American lives and families are falling apart. Ram- pant financial stress is the new normal. We are in the third or fourth inning of the greatest economic shift in the history of mankind, and no one seems to be talking about it or doing anything in response.

The Great Displacement didn't arrive overnight. It has been building for decades as the economy and labor market changed in response to improving technology, financialization, changing corporate norms, and globalization. In the 1970s, when my parents worked at GE and Blue Cross Blue Shield in upstate New York, their companies provided generous pensions and expected them to stay for decades. Community banks were boring businesses that lent money to local companies for a modest return. Over 20 percent of workers were unionized. Some economic problems existed -- growth was uneven and infla- tion periodically high. But income inequality was low, jobs provided benefits, and Main Street businesses were the drivers of the economy. There were only three television networks, and in my house we watched them on a TV with an antenna that we fiddled with to make the picture clearer.

That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent.

Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent.

Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick.

Hostile takeovers, shareholder lawsuits, and later activist hedge funds served as prompts to ensure that managers were committed to profitability at all costs. On the flip side, CF.Os were granted stock options for the first time that wedded their individual gain to the company's share price. The ratio of CF.O to worker pay rose from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 271 to 1 in 2016. Benefits were streamlined and reduced and the relationship between company and employee weakened to become more transactional.

Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007.

Nolia Nessa , April 5, 2018

profound and urgent work of social criticism

It's hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of "oh crap"

I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)

He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it's suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn't work and college is failing us. We don't invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.

Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.

[Jun 14, 2019] The Twilight of Equality Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan

Notable quotes:
"... For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues. ..."
"... Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

S. Baker 5.0 out of 5 stars Summary/Review of Twilight of Equality November 27, 2007

Duggan articulately connects social and economic issues to each other, arguing that neoliberal politics have divided the two when in actuality, they cannot be separated from one another.

In the introduction, Duggan argues that politics have become neoliberal - while politics operate under the guise of promoting social change or social stability, in reality, she argues, politicians have failed to make the connection between economic and social/cultural issues. She uses historical background to prove the claim that economic and social issues can be separated from each other is false.

For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues.

After the introduction, Duggan focuses on a specific topic in each chapter: downsizing democracy, the incredible shrinking public, equality, and love and money. In the first chapter (downsizing democracy), she argues that through violent imperial assertion in the Middle East, budget cuts in social services, and disillusionments in political divides, "capitalists could actually bring down capitalism" (p. 2).

Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. Duggan provides historical background that help the reader connect early nineteenth century U.S. legislation (regarding voting rights and slavery) to perpetuated institutional prejudices.

[Jun 14, 2019] Mean Girl Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan

Notable quotes:
"... From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated—the reign of brutal capitalism—intensified. Though Ayn Rand’s popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and ’70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.) ..."
"... During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. ..."
"... We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition — but we don’t yet know which way we’re headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand. ..."
"... The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand’s influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture — including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.’’ ..."
"... Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is “the gateway drug” to right-wing politics in the United States — although her influence extends well beyond the right wing ..."
"... The resulting Randian sense of life might be called “optimistic cruelty.” Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed. ..."
"... The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue. ..."
"... It is not an accident that the novels’ fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes." ..."
"... Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you. ..."
"... As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read! ..."
"... Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs. ..."
"... In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

From the Introduction

... ... ...

Mean Girls, which was based on interviews with high school girls conducted by Rosalind Wiseman for her 2002 book Queen Bees and War/tubes, reflects the emotional atmosphere of the age of the Plastics (as the most popular girls at Actional North Shore High are called), as well as the era of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko, whose motto is “Greed is Good.”1 The culture of greed is the hallmark of the neoliberal era, the period beginning in the 1970s when the protections of the U.S. and European welfare states, and the autonomy of postcolonial states around the world, came under attack. Advocates of neoliberalism worked to reshape global capitalism by freeing transnational corporations from restrictive forms of state regulation, stripping away government efforts to redistribute wealth and provide public services, and emphasizing individual responsibility over social concern.

From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated—the reign of brutal capitalism—intensified. Though Ayn Rand’s popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and ’70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.)

During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. But neoliberal capitalism has always been contested, and competing and conflicting political ideas and organizations proliferated and intensified after 2008 as well.

Protest politics blossomed on the left with Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in the United States, and with the Arab Spring, and other mobilizations around the world. Anti-neoliberal electoral efforts, like the Bernie Sanders campaign for the U.S. presidency, generated excitement as well.

But protest and organizing also expanded on the political right, with reactionary populist, racial nationalist, and protofascist gains in such countries as India, the Philippines, Russia, Hungary, and the United States rapidly proliferating. Between these far-right formations on the one side and persistent zombie neoliberalism on the other, operating sometimes at odds and sometimes in cahoots, the Season of Mean is truly upon us.

We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition — but we don’t yet know which way we’re headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand.

Rand’s ideas are not the key to her influence. Her writing does support the corrosive capitalism at the heart of neoliberalism, though few movers and shakers actually read any of her nonfiction. Her two blockbuster novels, 'The Fountainpen and Atlas Shrugged, are at the heart of her incalculable impact. Many politicians and government officials going back decades have cited Rand as a formative influence—particularly finance guru and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who was a member of Rand's inner circle, and Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president most identified with the national embrace of neoliberal policies.

Major figures in business and finance are or have been Rand fans: Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Peter Thiel (Paypal), Steve Jobs (Apple), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Mark Cuban (NBA), John Allison (BB&T Banking Corporation), Travis Kalanik (Uber), Jelf Bezos (Amazon), ad infinitum.

There are also large clusters of enthusiasts for Rand’s novels in the entertainment industry, from the 1940s to the present—from Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, and Raquel Welch to Jerry Lewis, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Rob Lowe, Jim Carrey, Sandra Bullock, Sharon Stone, Ashley Judd, Eva Mendes, and many more.

The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand’s influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture — including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.’’

But beyond the famous or powerful fans, the novels have had a wide popular impact as bestsellers since publication. Along with Rand’s nonfiction, they form the core texts for a political/ philosophical movement: Objectivism. There are several U.S.- based Objectivist organizations and innumerable clubs, reading groups, and social circles. A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that only the Bible had influenced readers more than Atlas Shrugged, while a 1998 Modern Library poll listed The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as the two most revered novels in English.

Atlas Shrugged in particular skyrocketed in popularity in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. The U.S. Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, featured numerous Ayn Rand—based signs and slogans, especially the opening line of Atlas Shrugged: “Who is John Galt?” Republican pundit David Frum claimed that the Tea Party was reinventing the GOP as “the party of Ayn Rand.” During 2009 as well, sales of Atlas Shrugged tripled, and GQ_magazine called Rand the year’s most influential author. A 2010 Zogby poll found that 29 percent of respondents had read Atlas Shrugged, and half of those readers said it had affected their political and ethical thinking.

In 2018, a business school teacher writing in Forbes magazine recommended repeat readings: “Recent events — the bizarro circus that is the 2016 election, the disintegration of Venezuela, and so on make me wonder if a lot of this could have been avoided bad we taken Atlas Shrugged's message to heart. It is a book that is worth re-reading every few years.”3

Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is “the gateway drug” to right-wing politics in the United States — although her influence extends well beyond the right wing.4

But how can the work of this one novelist (also an essayist, playwright, and philosopher), however influential, be a significant source of insight into the rise of a culture of greed? In a word: sex. Ayn Rand made acquisitive capitalists sexy. She launched thousands of teenage libidos into the world of reactionary politics on a wave of quivering excitement. This sexiness extends beyond romance to infuse the creative aspirations, inventiveness, and determination of her heroes with erotic energy, embedded in what Rand called her “sense of life.” Analogous to what Raymond Williams has called a “structure of feeling,” Rand’s sense of life combines the libido-infused desire for heroic individual achievement with contempt for social inferiors and indifference to their plight.5

Lauren Berlant has called the structure of feeling, or emotional situation, of those who struggle for a good life under neoliberal conditions “cruel optimism”—the complex of feelings necessary to keep plugging away hopefully despite setbacks and losses.'’ Rand's contrasting sense of life applies to those whose fantasies of success and domination include no doubt or guilt. The feelings of aspiration and glee that enliven Rand’s novels combine with contempt for and indifference to others. The resulting Randian sense of life might be called “optimistic cruelty.” Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed.

Ayn Rand’s optimistic cruelty appeals broadly and deeply through its circulation of familiar narratives: the story of “civilizational” progress, die belief in American exceptionalism, and a commitment to capitalist freedom.

Her novels engage fantasies of European imperial domination conceived as technological and cultural advancement, rather than as violent conquest. America is imagined as a clean slate for pure capitalist freedom, with no indigenous people, no slaves, no exploited immigrants or workers in sight. The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue.

Their logic also depends on a hierarchy of value based on radicalized beauty and physical capacity — perceived ugliness or disability' are equated with pronounced worthlessness and incompetence.

Through the forms of romance and melodrama, Rand novels extrapolate the story of racial capitalism as a story of righteous passion and noble virtue. They retell The Birth of a Ntation through the lens of industrial capitalism (see chapter 2). They solicit positive identification with winners, with dominant historical forces. It is not an accident that the novels’ fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes."


aslan , June 1, 2019

devastating account of the ethos that shapes contemporary America

Ayn Rand is a singular influence on American political thought, and this book brilliantly unfolds how Rand gave voice to the ethos that shapes contemporary conservatism. Duggan -- whose equally insightful earlier book Twilight of Equality offered an analysis of neoliberalism and showed how it is both a distortion and continuation of classical liberalism -- here extends the analysis of American market mania by showing how an anti-welfare state ethos took root as a "structure of feeling" in American culture, elevating the individual over the collective and promoting a culture of inequality as itself a moral virtue.

Although reviled by the right-wing press (she should wear this as a badge of honor), Duggan is the most astute guide one could hope for through this devastating history of our recent past, and the book helps explain how we ended up where we are, where far-right, racist nationalism colludes (paradoxically) with libertarianism, an ideology of extreme individualism and (unlikely bed fellows, one might have thought) Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.

This short, accessible book is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the contemporary United States.

Wreck2 , June 1, 2019
contemporary cruelty

Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you.

Writing with wit, rigor, and vigor, Lisa Duggan explains how Ayn Rand, the "mean girl," has captured the minds and snatched the bodies of so very many, and has rendered them immune to feelings of shared humanity with those whose fortunes are not as rosy as their own. An indispensable work, a short read that leaves a long memory.

kerwynk , June 2, 2019
Valuable and insightful commentary on Rand and Rand's influence on today's world

Mean Girl offers not only a biographical account of Rand (including the fact that she modeled one of her key heroes on a serial killer), but describes Rand's influence on neoliberal thinking more generally.

As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read!

Sister, June 3, 2019

Superb poitical and cultural exploration of Rand's influence

Lisa Duggan's concise but substantive look at the political and cultural influence of Ayn Rand is stunning. I feel like I've been waiting most of a lifetime for a book that is as wonderfully readable as it is insightful. Many who write about Rand reduce her to a caricature hero or demon without taking her, and the history and choices that produced her seriously as a subject of cultural inquiry. I am one of those people who first encountered Rand's books - novels, but also some nonfiction and her play, "The Night of January 16th," in which audience members were selected as jurors – as a teenager.

Under the thrall of some right-wing locals, I was so drawn to Rand's larger-than-life themes, the crude polarization of "individualism" and "conformity," the admonition to selfishness as a moral virtue, her reductive dismissal of the public good as "collectivism."

Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs.

But over those many years, the coterie of Rand true believers has kept the faith and expanded. One of the things I value about Duggan's compelling account is her willingness to take seriously the far reach of Rand's indifference to human suffering even as she strips away the veneer that suggests Rand's beliefs were deep.

In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies.

I learned that the hard way, but I learned it. Now I am recommending Duggan's wise book to others who seek to understand today's cultural and political moment in the United States and the rise of an ethic of indifference to anybody but the already affluent. Duggan is comfortable with complexity; most Randian champions or detractors are not.

[Jun 11, 2019] How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Notable quotes:
"... No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope. ..."
"... Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is. ..."
"... This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better. ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.amazon.com
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews Reviews

Jose I. Fuste, February 25, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet highly readable. A necessary and highly useful update.

I'm a professor at the University of California San Diego and I'm assigning this for a graduate class.

No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope.

I could not disagree more with the person who gave this book one star. Take it from me: I've taught hundreds of college students who graduate among the best in their high school classes and they know close to nothing about the history of US settler colonialism, overseas imperialism, or US interventionism around the world. If you give University of California college students a quiz on where the US' overseas territories are, most who take it will fail (trust me, I've done it). And this is not their fault. Instead, it's a product of the US education system that fails to give students a nuanced and geographically comprehensive understanding of the oversized effect that their country has around our planet.

Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is.

A case in point is Puerto Rico's current fiscal and economic crisis. The island's political class share part of the blame for Puerto Rico's present rut. A lot of it is also due to unnatural (i.e. "natural" but human-exacerbated) disasters such as Hurricane María. However, there is no denying that the evolution of Puerto Rico's territorial status has generated a host of adverse economic conditions that US states (including an island state such as Hawaii) do not have to contend with. An association with the US has undoubtedly raised the floor of material conditions in these places, but it has also imposed an unjust glass ceiling that most people around the US either do not know about or continue to ignore.

To add to those unfair economic limitations, there are political injustices regarding the lack of representation in Congress, and in the case of Am. Samoa, their lack of US citizenship. The fact that the populations in the overseas territories can't make up their mind about what status they prefer is: a) understandable given the way they have been mistreated by the US government, and b) irrelevant because what really matters is what Congress decides to do with the US' far-flung colonies, and there is no indication that Congress wants to either fully annex them or let them go because neither would be convenient to the 50 states and the political parties that run them. Instead, the status quo of modern colonial indeterminacy is what works best for the most potent political and economic groups in the US mainland. Would

This book is about much more than that though. It's also a history of how and why the United States got to control so much of what happens around the world without creating additional formal colonies like the "territories" that exist in this legal limbo. Part of its goal is to show how precisely how US imperialism has been made to be more cost-effective and also more invisible.

Read Immerwhar's book, and don't listen to the apologists of US imperialism which is still an active force that contradicts the US' professed values and that needs to be actively dismantled. Their attempts at discrediting this important reflect a denialism of the US' imperial realities that has endured throughout the history that this book summarizes.

"How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" is a great starting point for making the US public aware of the US' contradictions as an "empire of liberty" (a phrase once used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the US as it expanded westward beyond the original 13 colonies). It is also a necessary update to other books on this topic that are already out there, and it is likely to hold the reader's attention more given its crafty narrative prose and structure Read less 194 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

David Robson, February 26, 2019
Why So Sensitive?

5.0 out of 5 stars Why So Sensitive?

This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better.

The author of this compelling book reveals a history unknown to many readers, and does so with first-hand accounts and deep historical analyses. You might ask why we can't put such things behind us. The simple answer: we've never fully grappled with these events before in an honest and open way. This book does the nation a service by peering behind the curtain and facing the sobering truth of how we came to be what we are.

Thomas W. Moloney, April 9, 2019
This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

This is a stunning book, not to be missed. If you finished Sapiens with the feeling your world view had greatly enlarged, you're likely to have the same experience of your view of the US from reading this engaging work. And like Sapiens, it's an entirely enjoyable read, full of delightful surprises, future dinner party gems.

The further you get into the book the more interesting and unexpected it becomes. You'll look at the US in ways you likely never considered before. This is not a 'political' book with an ax to grind or a single-party agenda. It's refreshingly insightful, beautifully written, fun to read.

This is a gift I'll give to many a good friend, I've just started with my wife. I rarely write reviews and have never met the author (now my only regret). 3 people found this helpful

P , May 17, 2019
Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

4.0 out of 5 stars Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

This book is an absolutely powerhouse, a must-read, and should be a part of every student's curriculum in this God forsaken country.

Strictly speaking, this brilliant read is focused on America's relationship with Empire. But like with nearly everything America, one cannot discuss it without discussing race and injustice.

If you read this book, you will learn a lot of new things about subjects that you thought you knew everything about. You will have your eyes opened. You will be exposed to the dark underbelly of racism, corruption, greed and exploitation that undergird American ambition.

I don't know exactly what else to say other than to say you MUST READ THIS BOOK. This isn't a partisan statement -- it's not like Democrats are any better than Republicans in this book.

This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I am a voracious reader. The content is A+. It never gets boring. It never gets tedious. It never lingers on narratives. It's extremely well written. It is, in short, perfect. And as such, 10/10.

Sunny May 11, 2019
Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

I heard an interview of Daniel Immerwahr on NPR news / WDET radio regarding this book.

I'm am quite conservative and only listen to NPR news when it doesn't lean too far to the left.

However, the interview piqued my interest. I am so glad I purchased this ebook. What a phenomenal and informative read!!! WOW!! It's a "I never knew that" kind of read. Certainly not anything I was taught in school. This is thoughtful, well written and an easy read. Highly recommend!!

[Jun 11, 2019] Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

The author is a very fuzzy way comes to the idea that neoliberalism is in essence a Trotskyism for the rich and that neoliberals want to use strong state to enforce the type of markets they want from above. That included free movement of capital goods and people across national borders. All this talk about "small government" is just a smoke screen for naive fools.
Similar to 1930th contemporary right-wing populism in Germany and Austria emerged from within neoliberalism, not in opposition to it. They essentially convert neoliberalism in "national liberalism": Yes to free trade by only on bilateral basis with a strict control of trade deficits. No to free migration, multilateralism
Notable quotes:
"... The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state. ..."
"... Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy. ..."
"... One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such. ..."
"... I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople. ..."
"... They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world. ..."
"... The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place. ..."
"... The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 16, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674979524
ISBN-13: 978-0674979529

From introduction

...The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state.

There is truth to both of these explanations. Both presuppose a kind of materialist explanation of history with which I have no problem. In my book, though, I take another approach. What I found is that we could not understand the inner logic of something like the WTO without considering the whole history of the twentieth century. What I also discovered is that some of the members of the neoliberal movement from the 1930s onward, including Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, did not use either of the explanations I just mentioned. They actually didn't say that economic growth excuses everything. One of the peculiar things about Hayek, in particular, is that he didn't believe in using aggregates like GDP -- the very measurements that we need to even say what growth is.

What I found is that neoliberalism as a philosophy is less a doctrine of economics than a doctrine of ordering -- of creating the institutions that provide for the reproduction of the totality [of financial elite control of the state]. At the core of the strain I describe is not the idea that we can quantify, count, price, buy and sell every last aspect of human existence. Actually, here it gets quite mystical. The Austrian and German School of neoliberals in particular believe in a kind of invisible world economy that cannot be captured in numbers and figures but always escapes human comprehension.

After all, if you can see something, you can plan it. Because of the very limits to our knowledge, we have to default to ironclad rules and not try to pursue something as radical as social justice, redistribution, or collective transformation. In a globalized world, we must give ourselves over to the forces of the market, or the whole thing will stop working.

So this is quite a different version of neoliberal thought than the one we usually have, premised on the abstract of individual liberty or the freedom to choose. Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market.

One of the core arguments of my book is that we can only understand the internal coherence of neoliberalism if we see it as a doctrine as concerned with the whole as the individual. Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy.

To me, the metaphor of encasement makes much more sense than the usual idea of markets set free, liberated or unfettered. How can it be that in an era of proliferating third party arbitration courts, international investment law, trade treaties and regulation that we talk about "unfettered markets"? One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such.

What I explore in Globalists is how we can think of the WTO as the latest in a long series of institutional fixes proposed for the problem of emergent nationalism and what neoliberals see as the confusion between sovereignty -- ruling a country -- and ownership -- owning the property within it.

I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople.

They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world.

Perhaps the lasting image of globalization that the book leaves is that world capitalism has produced a doubled world -- a world of imperium (the world of states) and a world of dominium (the world of property). The best way to understand neoliberal globalism as a project is that it sees its task as the never-ending maintenance of this division. The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Röpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place.

The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. The book acts as a kind of field guide to these institutions and, in the process, hopefully recasts the 20th century that produced them.


Mark bennett

One half of a decent book

3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a decent book May 14, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase This is a rather interesting look at the political and economic ideas of a circle of important economists, including Hayek and von Mises, over the course of the last century. He shows rather convincingly that conventional narratives concerning their idea are wrong. That they didn't believe in a weak state, didn't believe in the laissez-faire capitalism or believe in the power of the market. That they saw mass democracy as a threat to vested economic interests.

The core beliefs of these people was in a world where money, labor and products could flow across borders without any limit. Their vision was to remove these subjects (tariffs, immigration and controls on the movement of money) from the control of the democracy-based nation-state and instead vesting them in international organizations. International organizations which were by their nature undemocratic and beyond the influence of democracy. That rather than rejecting government power, what they rejected was national government power. They wanted weak national governments but at the same time strong undemocratic international organizations which would gain the powers taken from the state.

The other thing that characterized many of these people was a rather general rejection of economics. While some of them are (at least in theory) economists, they rejected the basic ideas of economic analysis and economic policy. The economy, to them, was a mystical thing beyond any human understanding or ability to influence in a positive way. Their only real belief was in "bigness". The larger the market for labor and goods, the more economically prosperous everyone would become. A unregulated "global" market with specialization across borders and free migration of labor being the ultimate system.

The author shows how, over a period extending from the 1920s to the 1990s, these ideas evolved from marginal academic ideas to being dominant ideas internationally. Ideas that are reflected today in the structure of the European Union, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the policies of most national governments. These ideas, which the author calls "neoliberalism", have today become almost assumptions beyond challenge. And even more strangely, the dominating ideas of the political left in most of the west.

The author makes the point, though in a weak way, that the "fathers" of neoliberalism saw themselves as "restoring" a lost golden age. That golden age being (roughly) the age of the original industrial revolution (the second half of the 1800s). And to the extent that they have been successful they have done that. But at the same time, they have brought back all the political and economic questions of that era as well.

In reading it, I started to wonder about the differences between modern neoliberalism and the liberal political movement during the industrial revolution. I really began to wonder about the actual motives of "reform" liberals in that era. Were they genuinely interested in reforms during that era or were all the reforms just cynical politics designed to enhance business power at the expense of other vested interests. Was, in particular, the liberal interest in political reform and franchise expansion a genuine move toward political democracy or simply a temporary ploy to increase their political power. If one assumes that the true principles of classic liberalism were always free trade, free migration of labor and removing the power to governments to impact business, perhaps its collapse around the time of the first world war is easier to understand.

He also makes a good point about the EEC and the organizations that came before the EU. Those organizations were as much about protecting trade between Europe and former European colonial possessions as they were anything to do with trade within Europe.

To me at least, the analysis of the author was rather original. In particular, he did an excellent job of showing how the ideas of Hayek and von Mises have been distorted and misunderstood in the mainstream. He was able to show what their ideas were and how they relate to contemporary problems of government and democracy.

But there are some strong negatives in the book. The author offers up a complete virtue signaling chapter to prove how the neoliberals are racists. He brings up things, like the John Birch Society, that have nothing to do with the book. He unleashes a whole lot of venom directed at American conservatives and republicans mostly set against a 1960s backdrop. He does all this in a bad purpose: to claim that the Kennedy Administration was somehow a continuation of the new deal rather than a step toward neoliberalism. His blindness and modern political partisanship extended backward into history does substantial damage to his argument in the book. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the political issues of South Africa which also adds nothing to the argument of the book. His whole chapter on racism is an elaborate strawman all held together by Ropke. He also spends a large amount of time grinding some sort of Ax with regard to the National Review and William F. Buckley.

He keeps resorting to the simple formula of finding something racist said or written by Ropke....and then inferring that anyone who quoted or had anything to do with Ropke shared his ideas and was also a racist. The whole point of the exercise seems to be to avoid any analysis of how the democratic party (and the political left) drifted over the decades from the politics of the New Deal to neoliberal Clintonism.

Then after that, he diverts further off the path by spending many pages on the greatness of the "global south", the G77 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO) promoted by the UN in the 1970s. And whatever many faults of neoliberalism, Quinn Slobodian ends up standing for a worse set of ideas: International Price controls, economic "reparations", nationalization, international trade subsidies and a five-year plan for the world (socialist style economic planning at a global level). In attaching himself to these particular ideas, he kills his own book. The premise of the book and his argument was very strong at first. But by around p. 220, its become a throwback political tract in favor of the garbage economic and political ideas of the so-called third world circa 1974 complete with 70's style extensive quotations from "Senegalese jurists"

Once the political agenda comes out, he just can't help himself. He opens the conclusion to the book taking another cheap shot for no clear reason at William F. Buckley. He spends alot of time on the Seattle anti-WTO protests from the 1990s. But he has NOTHING to say about BIll Clinton or Tony Blair or EU expansion or Obama or even the 2008 economic crisis for that matter. Inexplicably for a book written in 2018, the content of the book seems to end in the year 2000.

I'm giving it three stars for the first 150 pages which was decent work. The second half rates zero stars. Though it could have been far better if he had written his history of neoliberalism in the context of the counter-narrative of Keynesian economics and its decline. It would have been better yet if the author had the courage to talk about the transformation of the parties of the left and their complicity in the rise of neoliberalism. The author also tends to waste lots of pages repeating himself or worse telling you what he is going to say next. One would have expected a better standard of editing by the Harvard Press. Read less 69 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

Jesper Doepping
A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence

5.0 out of 5 stars A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence November 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase Anybody interested in global trade, business, human rights or democracy today should read this book.

The book follow the Austrians from the beginning in the Habsburgischer empire to the beginning rebellion against the WTO. However, most importantly it follows the thinking and the thoughts behind the building of a global empire of capitalism with free trade, capital and rights. All the way to the new "human right" to trade. It narrows down what neoliberal thought really consist of and indirectly make a differentiation to the neoclassical economic tradition.

What I found most interesting is the turn from economics to law - and the conceptual distinctions between the genes, tradition, reason, which are translated into a quest for a rational and reason based protection of dominium (the rule of property) against the overreach of imperium (the rule of states/people). This distinction speaks directly to the issues that EU is currently facing.

Jackal
A historian with an agenda

3.0 out of 5 stars A historian with an agenda October 22, 2018 Format: Hardcover Author is covering Mises, Hayek, Machlup in Vienna. How to produce order once the Habsburg empire had been broken after 1918? They pioneered data gathering about the economy. However, such data came to be used by the left as well. This forced the people mentioned to become intellectual thinkers as opposed to something else(??). I like how the author is situating the people in a specific era, but he is reading history backwards. The book moves on, but stays in Central Europe. Ordocapitalism followed after Hitler. It was a German attempt to have a both strong state and strong by market, which given Europe's fragmentation required international treaties. This was seen as a way to avoid another Hitler. Later, international organisations like IMF and TWO became the new institutions that embedded the global markets. The book ends in the 90s. So in reading history backwards, the author finds quotations of Mises and Hayek that "prove" that they were aiming to create intellectual cover for the global financial elite of the 2010s.

Nevertheless, the book is interesting if you like the history of ideas. He frames the questions intelligently in the historical context at the time. However a huge question-mark for objectivity. The book is full of lefty dog whistles: the war making state, regulation of capitalism, reproducing the power of elites, the problem [singular] of capitalism. In a podcast the author states point blank "I wanted the left to see what the enemy was up too". I find it pathetic that authors are so blatantly partisan. How can we know whether he is objective when he doesn't even try? He dismissively claims that the neoliberal thinkers gave cover to what has become the globalist world order. So why should we not consider the current book as intellectual cover for some "new left" that is about to materialise? Maybe the book is just intellectual cover for the globalist elite being educated in left-wing private colleges.

[Jun 11, 2019] American Exceptionalism and American Innocence A People's History of Fake News_From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror

Jun 11, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Did the U.S. really "save the world" in World War II? Should black athletes stop protesting and show more gratitude for what America has done for them? Are wars fought to spread freedom and democracy? Or is this all fake news?

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence examines the stories we're told that lead us to think that the U.S. is a force for good in the world, regardless of slavery, the genocide of indigenous people, and the more than a century's worth of imperialist war that the U.S. has wrought on the planet.

Sirvent and Haiphong detail just what Captain America's shield tells us about the pretensions of U.S. foreign policy, how Angelina Jolie and Bill Gates engage in humanitarian imperialism, and why the Broadway musical Hamilton is a monument to white supremacy.

====

Like a thunderbolt that penetrates the dark fog of ideological confusion, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News -- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror , illuminates the hidden spaces of the official story of the territory that came to be known as the United States of America.

Meticulously researched, American Exceptionalism and American Innocence utilizes a de-colonial lens that debunks the distorted, mythological liberal framework that rationalized the U.S. settler-colonial project. The de-colonized frame allows them to critically root their analysis in the psychosocial history, culture, political economy, and evolving institutions of the United States of America without falling prey to the unrecognized and unacknowledged liberalism and national chauvinism that seeps through so much of what is advanced as radical analysis today.

That is what makes this work so "exceptional" and so valuable at this moment of institutional and ideological crisis in the U.S. This crisis is indeed more severe and potentially more transformative than at any other moment in this nation's history.

With unflinching clarity, Sirvent and Haiphong go right to the heart of the current social, political, economic, and ideological crisis. They strip away the obscurantist nonsense pushed by liberal and state propagandists that the Trump phenomenon represents a fundamental departure from traditional "American values" by demonstrating that "Trumpism" is no departure at all, but only the unfiltered contemporary and particular expression of the core values that the nation was "founded" on.

What Sirvent and Haiphong expose in their work is that American exceptionalism and its corollary American innocence are the interconnected frames that not only explain why the crude white nationalism of a Donald Trump is consistent with the violence and white supremacy of the American experience, but also why that violence has been largely supported by large sections of the U.S. population repeatedly.

As the exceptional nation, the indispensable nation, the term President Obama liked to evoke to give humanitarian cover to the multiple interventions,

destabilization campaigns, and unilateral global policing operations on behalf of U.S. and international capital, it is expected and largely accepted by the citizens of the U.S. that their nation-state has a right and, actually, a moral duty to do whatever it deems appropriate to uphold the international order. It can do that because this cause is noble and righteous. Lest we forget the words of Theodore Roosevelt, considered a great architect of American progressiveness, "If given the choice between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness."

In a succinct and penetrating observation, Sirvent and Haiphong point out:

American exceptionalism has always presumed national innocence despite imposing centuries of war and plunder. The American nation-state has been at war for over ninety percent of its existence. These wars have all been justified as necessary ventures meant to defend or expand America's so-called founding values and beliefs. A consequence of centuries of endless war has been the historical tendency of the U.S. to erase from consciousness the realities that surround American domestic and international policy, not to mention the system of imperialism that governs both.

But the acceptance of state violence in the form of economic sanctions and direct and indirect military interventions is not the only consequence of the cultural conditioning process informed by the arrogance of white privilege, white rights, and the protection of white Western civilization. The racist xenophobia, impunity for killer-cops, mass incarceration, ICE raids and checkpoints, left-right ideological convergence to erase "blackness," are all part of the racial management process that still enjoys majoritarian support in the U.S.

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence 's focus on the insidious and corrosive impact of white supremacy throughout the book is a necessary and valuable corrective to the growing tendency toward marginalizing the issue of race, even among left forces under the guise of being opposed to so-called identity politics.

Centering the role of white supremacist ideologies and its connection to American exceptionalism and innocence, Sirvent and Haiphong argue that "communities and activists will be better positioned to dismantle them." American exceptionalism and notions of U.S. innocence not only provide

ideological rationalizations for colonialism, capitalism, empire, and white supremacy, but also a normalized theoretical framework for how the world is and should be structured that inevitably makes criminals out of the people opposing U.S. dominance, within the nation and abroad.

Paul Krugman, a leading liberal within the context of the U.S. articulates this normalized framework that is shared across the ideological spectrum from liberal to conservative and even among some left forces. I have previously referred to this view of the world as representative of the psychopathology of white supremacy:

"We emerged from World War II with a level of both economic and military dominance not seen since the heyday of ancient Rome. But our role in the world was always about more than money and guns. It was also about ideals: America stood for something larger than itself -- for freedom, human rights and the rule of law as universal principles . . . By the end of World War II, we and our British allies had in effect conquered a large part of the world. We could have become permanent occupiers, and/or installed subservient puppet governments, the way the Soviet Union did in Eastern Europe. And yes, we did do that in some developing countries; our history with, say, Iran is not at all pretty. But what we mainly did instead was help defeated enemies get back on their feet, establishing democratic regimes that shared our core values and became allies in protecting those values. The Pax Americana was a sort of empire; certainly America was for a long time very much first among equals. But it was by historical standards a remarkably benign empire, held together by soft power and respect rather than force." 1

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence refutes this pathological view of the U.S. and demonstrates that this view is a luxury that the colonized peoples of the world cannot afford.

The bullet and the bomb -- the American military occupation and the police occupation -- are the bonds that link the condition of Black Americans to oppressed nations around the world. This is the urgency in which the authors approached their task. The physical and ideological war being waged against the victims of the colonial/capitalist white supremacist patriarchy is resulting in real suffering. Authentic solidarity with the oppressed requires a

rejection of obfuscation. The state intends to secure itself and the ruling elite by legal or illegal means, by manipulating or completely jettisoning human freedom and democratic rights. Sirvent and Haiphong know that time is running out. They demonstrate the intricate collaboration between the state and the corporate and financial elite to create the conditions in which ideological and political opposition would be rendered criminal as the state grapples with the legitimacy crisis it finds itself in. They know that Trump's "make America great again" is the Republican version of Obama's heralding of U.S. exceptionalism, and that both are laying the ideological foundation for a cross-class white neofascist solution to the crisis of neoliberal capitalism.

The U.S. is well on its way toward a new form of totalitarianism that is more widespread than the forms of neofascist rule that was the norm in the Southern states of the U.S. from 1878 to 1965. Chris Hedges refers to it as "corporate totalitarianism." And unlike the sheer social terror experienced by the African American population as a result of the corporatist alignment of the new Democratic party and national and regional capital in the South, this "new" form of totalitarianism is more benign but perhaps even more insidious because the control rests on the ability to control thought. And here lies the challenge. Marxist thinker Fredrick Jamison shares a very simple lesson, "The lesson is this, and it is a lesson about system: one cannot change anything without changing everything." This simple theory of system change argues that when you change one part of a system you by necessity must change all parts of the system, because all parts are interrelated.

The failure of the Western left in general and the U.S. left in particular to understand the inextricable, structural connection between empire, colonization, capitalism, and white supremacy -- and that all elements of that oppressive structure must be confronted, dismantled, and defeated -- continues to give lifeblood to a system that is ready to sweep into the dustbins of history. This is why American Exceptionalism and American Innocence is nothing more than an abject subversion. It destabilizes the hegemonic assumptions and imposed conceptual frameworks of bourgeois liberalism and points the reader toward the inevitable conclusion that U.S. society in its present form poses an existential threat to global humanity.

Challenging the reader to rethink the history of the U.S. and to imagine a future, decolonial nation in whatever form it might take, Sirvent and Haiphong include a quote from Indigenous rights supporter Andrea Smith

that captures both the subversive and optimistic character of their book. Smith is quoted saying:

Rather than a pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness that depends on the deaths of others . . . we can imagine new forms of governance based on the principles of mutuality, interdependence, and equality. When we do not presume that the United States should or will continue to exist, we can begin to imagine more than a kinder, gentler settler state founded on genocide and slavery.

American Exceptionalism and American Innocence gives us a weapon to reimagine a transformed U.S. nation, but it also surfaces the ideological minefields that we must avoid if we are to realize a new possibility and a new people.

<img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> John , May 26, 2019

Great Reading, But Some Omissions

I thought the book was great. However, key events were not discussed. One of the first deployed American expeditionary forces to bless the world was the establishment of treaty ports in China. These new American foreign beachheads in the Middle Kingdom came about as a result of Western ambitions to take them over as new colonial owners and led to one of the most ruinous periods in world history. Europe and the U.S. saturated the country with opium, leaving many Chinese stoned. This resulted in the destabilization of China, invasion of the brutal Japanese and the rise of Mao. Result- millions upon millions of people died because of American exceptionalism. It has taken China the last thirty years to recover from the disasters. Naturally, Trump & Co are not aware of this history or are unconcerned. However, the Chinese have not forgotten and routinely warn Team Trump they will not be bullied by foreigners again. Washington elites are ignorant at everyone's peril who want peace. Footnote - American exceptionalists Roosevelt, Kerry, Forbes, etc., got their wealth the old fashion way - by becoming drug kingpins to China.

The other big omission was World War I and especially its aftermath. Lauded by the French and saving European imperialism, returning African-American soldiers found themselves being singled out for extra harsh Jim Crow treatment -- they were too uppity & refused to follow old social norms. Several Black vets were tortured and hung while in uniform because they were bringing back a new message from European trenches - equal treatment. They were also exemplary in defending other Black citizens from White mob ambushes.

Had the authors covered the WWI aftermath, they would have also had to critique in greater detail the media. What they would have had to expose the media was never a friend to African-Americans, which holds to this day. The media was and is consistent with aligning with white elite interests. When Blacks rose up against bad treatment, the media always presented the white point of view. In fact, every white institution was engaged in this biased practice.

The Espionage Act also put a chill on labor organizing post WWI. Indeed, elites were quick to call any Black unrest as seditious and labelled some leaders such as W.E.B Dubois, Bolshevik inspired and should have been brought up on charges. This was the beginning of the linking of Black activism to the Kremlin, long before McCarthyism, COINTELPRO and Black Identity Extremist government labels.

[Jun 05, 2019] End of Discussion How the Left s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)

Notable quotes:
"... This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin ..."
"... Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning. ..."
"... A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas. ..."
"... A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Q Garcia , August 9, 2017

1984 is Here - Everybody's Brother is Watching

This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin .

Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning.

.0 out of 5 stars A Professor's Review of the Outrage Circus (and the first non-Vine review :-)
Brumble Buffin , August 18, 2015
Tolerance gone astray

I became interested in this book after watching Megyn Kelly's interview with Benson (Google it), where he gave his thoughts on the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. He made a heartfelt and reasoned plea for tolerance and grace on BOTH sides. He hit it out of the park with this and set himself apart from some of his gay peers who are determined that tolerance is NOT a two-way street.

We are seeing a vindictive campaign of lawsuits and intimidation against Christian business people who choose not to provide flowers and cakes for same-sex weddings. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thumbing your nose at this core American freedom should alarm us all. Personally, I'm for traditional marriage and I think the better solution would be to give civil unions the same legal rights and obligations as marriage, but that's another discussion.

So what about the book? It exceeded my expectations. Ham and Benson are smart and articulate. Their ideas are clearly presented, supported by hard evidence and they are fair and balanced. The book is a pleasure to read - - unless you are a die-hard Lefty. In that case, it may anger you, but anger can be the first step to enlightenment.

Steve Bicker , August 1, 2015
A Well Documented Death of Debate

A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas.

A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them.

The Left lays claim to being the "party of tolerance", unless you happen to "think outside THEIR box", which, to the Left is INtolerable and must not only be silenced, but exterminated... A great book!

[May 13, 2019] Big Israel How Israel's Lobby Moves America by Grant F. Smith

Jewish lobby does not represent the views of the US Jewish population. They represent a small number of rich donors (concentration is just staggering) and of course Israeli government. Those organization are non-representative authoritarian bodies with a lot of functionaries serving for life or extremly long tenures.
Notable quotes:
"... One stunning example of this influence occurred recently. At one time during the nominating process for the Republican candidate for President in the current election, every single aspirant to the nomination made a pilgrimage to Las Vegas to kiss the money ring of Sheldon Adelson, whose only declared interests are Israel and online gambling. This is the same super-patriot Sheldon Adelson who wanted Mitt Romney to pardon Jonathan Pollard, should Romney become President with Adelson's financial backing. ..."
Feb 05, 2016 | www.amazon.com

The latest in the powerful series of titles written by Grant Smith. Highly recommended factual, documented and accessible data that should
be required reading for high school students as well as their parents.!

James Robinson , July 26, 2016

Would have been a tedious read for someone well acquainted with Israeli machinations

Superb compilation of organizations that receive tax exempt status in the US that work exclusively on behave of a foreign nation, Israel,often to the pronounced determent of the US interests and policies. Would have been a tedious read for someone well acquainted with Israeli machinations, but for someone new to the subject the anger that the revelations produce makes the reading of this book a disquietening breeze. Read more

Ronald Johnson , April 11, 2016
non-systematic conjecture about Zionism's amazing insider access to

Book Review of Big Israel, by Grant F. Smith

This is an important book, the latest from Grant F. Smith in the line of his previous investigations into what was referred to as, the "Zionist Occupied Government", an earlier, intuitive, non-systematic conjecture about Zionism's amazing insider access to, and influence of, U.S. foreign policy. It is interesting that Wikipedia describes the "ZOG" exclusively as an anti-semitic conspiracy theory attributed to a list of unsavory persons and racist organizations.

On the one hand, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee puts on a very public celebration every spring, the "policy conference", that is a pep rally of mandatory attendance by national Administration and Congressional people to celebrate Zionism. That event is public. But on the other hand, as Grant Smith analyzes, the "Israel Affinity Organizations" of the United States are a different archipelago.

As to what extent these organizations are legitimate lobbies, versus being mis-identified agents of a foreign power, I won't attempt to summarize, or, "give away" the content of the book; it is for people to read for themselves, to be informed, and to think for themselves.

Grant Smith presents numbers, names, and dates, to be reviewed and challenged by anyone who wants to. There is precedent for that. The USS Liberty attack by Israel was defended as a tragic mistake by author A. Jay Cristol, in his book, "The Liberty Incident". The Wiesenthal Center commissioned the author, Harold Brackman, to write, "Ministry of Lies, the Truth Behind the 'Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews' ". That referenced book was by the Nation of Islam. With facts in hand, the Electorate is empowered to make informed decisions about the US national interest, relative to Zionism.

Another good book is by Alison Weir on essentially the same subject, "Against Our Better Judgement, the Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel". The Amazon servers, for that book review are loaded with discussions, which can be seen under that title. The Amazon book reviews are a valuable national resource that can be a place to survey public opinion, even with the factor that positives have less motivation than negatives to inspire writing an essay.

D L Neal , May 28, 2018
at least at this time- Wonderful, informative and important book

It is obvious why there is no middle ground in the reviews here, at least at this time- Wonderful, informative and important book. Read more One person found this helpful

Luther , May 15, 2016
"America. . . you can move very easily. . .." Netanyahu

No matter what your values -- Christian, Enlightenment, social justice, international law, natural law, the Kantian imperative, crimes against humanity, Judaism's own values (Israel "a light unto the nations" Isaiah 49:6) -- what Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinians is morally wrong.
Sure. People have done bad things to other people forever, but this evil is orchestrated by a large Zionist organization from all over the world. And the US is being made complicit in this immoral undertaking in the numerous ways Grant Smith explores in his book.

Exposing America's unfortunate entanglement is why he wrote this excellent book: 300 pages and 483 footnotes of support for the claims he makes.
The American democratic process is being corrupted at every level in the interests of Israel, and Smith gives chapter and verse on how this is being done.

One stunning example of this influence occurred recently. At one time during the nominating process for the Republican candidate for President in the current election, every single aspirant to the nomination made a pilgrimage to Las Vegas to kiss the money ring of Sheldon Adelson, whose only declared interests are Israel and online gambling. This is the same super-patriot Sheldon Adelson who wanted Mitt Romney to pardon Jonathan Pollard, should Romney become President with Adelson's financial backing.

In addition, Haim Saban of the Brookings Institution plays a similar role in the Democratic party. He has said: "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel." He has promised to contribute as much money as needed to elect Hillary Clinton, someone who believes that Israel has a right to exist as a "Jewish state," with Jerusalem (an international city for millenia) as its capital (something no country in the world approves of, not even the USA).

  1. Is this the American democratic process in action?
  2. Is this what the Constitution intends?
  3. Is this our America?

Grant discusses in supported detail the areas of dual citizenship and dual loyalties (American citizens in the Israeli Defense Force); espionage (industrial and military); yearly billions to Israel with no benefit to the US; media control (no debating the facts of history; no Palestinians allowed to articulate and disseminate their narrative); tax exemption for money which goes to Jewish interests as well as the illegal settlements in Israel; perversion of education (forced Holocaust information but no discussion; anti-assimilation); foreign policy (the war with Iraq for the benefit of Israel; the demonization of Iran; no condemnation of Israel's nuclear capability in spite of the Non-Proliferation Treaty; use of the veto in the UN in Israel's interests; Middle East "regime change" wars); Israeli and Jewish influence in Congress (money, intense lobbying by AIPAC and free trips to Israel), and financial contributions only to candidates who are unequivocally pro-Israel, in some cases very large sums of money.

The point is that all of this is being done in spite of the wishes and best interests of the American people and even of Israel. It's not as though the American people voted to do bad things to the Palestinians: kill them, starve them, imprison them, steal from them, and control them. Quite the opposite: as Grant Smith explains, unbiased polls indicate that most Americans show no such support for Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians and believe that if both sides would abide by international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the UN resolutions relating to Palestine, peace could be achieved between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

But Zionism has a different agenda, an agenda that will use any means legal and illegal to promote its interests by getting the United States to back it up.
And that agenda is the problem because it is built on non-negotiable beliefs.

What can you say to someone who believes that the Bible mandates the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine to the exclusion of the indigenous inhabitants?

Or, as Rabbi Ovaida Yosef said in 2010, that "The Goyim [non-Jews] are born only in order to serve us. Besides this, they have no place on earth -- only to serve the people Israel."

Not surprisingly, the never-ending "peace process" goes on and on, with no peace in sight.

The US, in spite of itself, continues to support this cruel charade against its own interests and at the expense of neighbors, friends, allies and innocent parties in Palestine and elsewhere in the world.

Grant Smith's excellent book is an attempt to raise America's awareness to the point that something might be done.

[May 13, 2019] America The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges

Sep 05, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Chapter 1 - DECAY                                                1
Chapter 2 - HEROIN______________________________________________59
Chapter 3 - WORK________________________________________________83
Chapter 4 - SADISM_____________________________________________112
Chapter 5 - HATE_______________________________________________150
Chapter 6 - GAMВIING___________________________________________203
Chapter 7 - KKh KDOM___________________________________________230
Acknowledgments________________________________________________311
Notes----------------------------------------------------------315
Bibliography___________________________________________________351
Index----------------------------------------------------------359

I walked down a long service road into the remains of an abandoned lace factory. The road was pocked with holes Pilled with fetid water. There were saplings and weeds poking up from the cracks in the asphalt. Wooden crates, rusty machinery, broken glass, hulks of old Piling cabinets, and trash covered the grounds. The derelict complex, 288,000 square feet, consisted of two huge brick buildings connected by overhead, enclosed walkways.

The towering walls of the two buildings, with the service road running between them, were covered with ivy. The window panes were empty or had frames jagged with shards of glass. The thick wooden doors to the old loading docks stood agape. I entered the crumbling complex through a set of double wooden doors into a cavernous hall.

The wreckage of industrial America lay before me, home to flocks of pigeons that, startled by my footsteps over the pieces of glass and rotting floorboards, swiftly left their perches in the rafters and air ducts high above my head. They swooped, bleating and clucking, over the abandoned looms.

The Scranton Lace Company was America. It employed more than 1,200 workers on its imported looms, some of the largest ever built.

Gary Moreau, Author TOP 500 REVIEWER, September 5, 2018

Washington is fiddling but it is the capitalist collective that is setting the fires

Throughout history, all great civilizations have ultimately decayed. And America will not be an exception, according to former journalist and war correspondent, Chris Hedges. And while Hedges doesn't offer a date, he maintains we are in the final throes of implosion -- and it won't be pretty.

The book is thoroughly researched and the author knows his history. And despite some of the reviews it is not so much a political treatise as it is an exploration of the American underbelly -- drugs, suicide, sadism, hate, gambling, etc. And it's pretty dark; although he supports the picture he paints with ample statistics and first person accounts.

There is politics, but the politics provides the context for the decay. And it's not as one-dimensional as other reviewers seemed to perceive. Yes, he is no fan of Trump or the Republican leadership. But he is no fan of the Democratic shift to identity politics, or antifa, either.

One reviewer thought he was undermining Christianity but I didn't get that. He does not support "prosperity gospel" theology, but I didn't see any attempt to undermine fundamental religious doctrine. He is, after all, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and an ordained Presbyterian minister.

He puts the bulk of the blame for the current state of decay, in fact, where few other writers do -- squarely on the back of capitalist America and the super-companies who now dominate nearly every industry. The social and political division we are now witnessing, in other words, has been orchestrated by the capital class; the class of investors, banks, and hedge fund managers who don't create value so much as they transfer it to themselves from others with less power. And I think he's spot on right.

We have seen a complete merger of corporate and political America. Politicians on both sides of the aisle serve at the pleasure of the capitalist elite because they need their money to stay in power. Corporations enjoy all the rights of citizenship save voting, but who needs to actually cast a ballot when you can buy the election.

And what the corpocracy, as I call it, is doing with all that power is continuing to reshuffle the deck of economic opportunity to insure that wealth and income continue to polarize. It's a process they undertake in the name of tax cuts for the middle class (which aren't), deregulation (which hurts society as a whole), and the outright transfer of wealth and property (including millions of acres of taxpayer-owned land) from taxpayers to shareholders (the 1%).

I know because I was part of it. As a former CEO and member of four corporate boards I had a front row seat from the 1970s on. The simplest analogy is that the gamblers rose up and took control of the casinos and the government had their backs in a kind of quid pro quo, all having to do with money.

They made it stick because they turned corporate management into the ultimate capitalists. The people who used to manage companies and employees are now laser focused on managing the companies' stock price and enhancing their own wealth. Corporate executives, in a word, became capitalists, not businessmen and women, giving the foxes unfettered control of the hen house.

They got to that position through a combination of greed -- both corporate management's and that of shareholder activists -- but were enabled and empowered by Washington. Beginning in the 1970s the Justice Department antitrust division, the Labor Department, the EPA, and other institutions assigned the responsibility to avoid the concentration of power that Adam Smith warned us about, and to protect labor and the environment, were all gutted and stripped of power.

They blamed it on globalism, but that was the result, not the cause. Gone are the days of any corporate sense of responsibility to the employees, the collective good, or the communities in which they operate and whose many services they enjoy. It is the corporate and financial elite, and they are now one and the same, who have defined the "me" world in which we now live.

And the process continues: "The ruling corporate kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies, the courts, the White House, and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good." And he's right. And Trump is carrying those cans.

Ironically, Trump's base, who have been most marginalized by the corpocracy, are the ones who put him there to continue the gutting. But Hedges has an explanation for that. "In short, when you are marginalized and rejected by society, life often has little meaning. There arises a yearning among the disempowered to become as omnipotent as the gods. The impossibility of omnipotence leads to its dark alternative -- destroying like the gods." (Reference to Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death.)

The economic history and understanding of economic theory here is rich and detailed. Capitalism, as Marx and others pointed out, creates great wealth in the beginning but is doomed to failure due to its inability to continue to find sources of growth and to manage inequities in wealth creation. And you don't have to be a socialist to see that this is true. Capitalism must be managed. And our government is currently making no attempt to do so. It is, in fact, dynamiting the institutions responsible for doing so.

All told, this is a very good book. If you don't like reading about underbellies (I found the chapter devoted to sadism personally unsettling, being the father of two daughters.) you will find some of it pretty dark. Having said that, however, the writing is very good and Hedges never wallows in the darkness. He's clearly not selling the underbelly; he's trying to give it definition.

I did think that some of the chapters might have been broken down into different sub-chapters and there is a lack of continuity in some places. All told, however, I do recommend the book. There is no denying the fundamental thesis.

The problem is, however, we're all blaming it on the proverbial 'other guy.' Perhaps this book will help us to understand the real culprit -- the capitalist collective. "The merging of the self with the capitalist collective has robbed us of our agency, creativity, capacity for self-reflection, and moral autonomy." True, indeed.


S. Ferguson , September 1, 2018

"Justice is a manifestation of Love..."

The inimitable Hedges is not only a saint with a penetrating intelligence, but also a man of superior eloquence with the power to pull you into his descriptions of the collapse of western civilization. Hedges says that the new American Capitalism no longer produces products -- rather America produces escapist fantasies. I found this paragraph [page 233] particularly relevant. The act of being dedicated to the 'greater good' has in itself become dangerous.

Chris Hedges: "We do not become autonomous and free human beings by building pathetic, tiny monuments to ourselves. It is through self-sacrifice and humility that we affirm the sanctity of others and the sanctity of ourselves. Those who fight against cultural malice have discovered that life is measured by infinitesimal and often unacknowledged acts of solidarity and kindness. These acts of kindness spin outward to connect our atomized and alienated souls to others. The good draws to it the good. This belief -- held although we may never see empirical proof -- is profoundly transformative. But know this: when these acts are carried out on behalf of the oppressed and the demonized, when compassion defines the core of our lives, when we understand that justice is a manifestation of love, we are marginalized and condemned by our sociopathic elites."

Amazon Customer , September 7, 2018
Great (Recycled) Hedges Rants

If you've never read Hedges - get it now. If you've read him before - there's nothing new here.

Chris Hedges is a writer who has a knack for seeing the big picture and connecting the dots. A chronic pessimist in the best sense, a bitter prophet warning us of the last days of the decaying empire, his page-turning prose carving through the morass of today's mania and derangement. For that, he's in the company somewhere between Cornel West and Morris Berman (the later, whose book Why America Failed, is better than this. If you're familiar with Hedges, but not Morris Berman, go find Berman instead).

I give this three stars only because there isn't much new here if you're familiar with his material. I felt this book to be an update of Empire of Illusion, punched up by old articles from his weekly column at Truthdig. Aside from the introductory chapter, he revisits themes of sadism, the decline of literacy, of labor, of democratic institutions, and so on, which are too familiar. The pages and pages detailing the BDSM craze I felt were excessive in their prurient voyeurism which journalistic approaches can fall into. Not saying he's wrong at all, but this tone could put off some readers, erring on excessive preacherly seminarian virtue signaling as he points out the sins of the world and shouts - "Look! Look at what we've done!"

swisher , August 21, 2018
I'd give a million stars if possible

Heartbreaking to read but so true. In our "truth is not truth" era Mr. Hedges once again writes the sad and shocking obituary for American Democracy and sounds the prophetic alarm to those revelers while Rome burns. All empires come and go but I never thought I'd be a witness to one. Something sick and traitorous has infected the soul of America and I fear it's going to be some demented combination of the worst elements in 1984 and Brave Bew World. The most important work currently published but will anyone listen? Will anything change?

ChrisD , September 5, 2018
Well worth reading - an important perspective

The author is honest and intelligent. When you take a detailed look at reality it can seem harsh.

Don't shoot the messenger who has brought bad news. We need to know the truth. Read, listen, learn. Engage in positive actions to improve the situation.
Chris has given us a wake-up call.

[May 11, 2019] A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study In Illegitimate Power

May 31, 2003 | www.amazon.com

Kurt Harding

A Devastating Diatribe, May 31, 2003

It would be an understatement to say that author Haley does not like Lyndon Baines Johnson. And despite the fact that his book is an unrelenting tirade against all things Lyndon, it provides a useful service in reminding the reader of how Johnson trampled and double-crossed friend and foe alike in his single-minded lust for power.

I am fairly conservative politically, but I am open-minded enough to recognize and oppose corruption whether practiced by liberals or conservatives. In my lifetime, Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton have been shining examples of the worst impulses in American presidential politics in which greed and lust for either power or money ended up overshadowing any of their real achievements.

Haley shows that Johnson was a man of few real principles, neither liberal nor conservative, but rather a man who usually always wanted to know which way the wind was blowing before taking a stand on any important issue. Johnson was a man who used all his powers of persuasion and veiled threats to get what he wanted and woe unto anyone who stood in his way.

He was a man who knew and used the old adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" to Machiavellian extremes.

But he was also a man of sometimes great political courage who would rarely give an inch once he took a stand. He hated those who opposed him, nursed resentments, and wreaked revenge on those who crossed him in the least as most of his enemies and many of his friends learned to their sorrow. From the earliest days, he was involved with corrupt Texas politicians from the local to the state level and swam in the seas of corporate corruption with the likes of the infamous swindler Billy Sol Estes and others of his stripe.

Admittedly, the conservatism of the author is the conservatism of a bygone age and the reader will recognize that the book is meant to be a partisan attack on Johnson. Some of the attacks on Johnson are made solely for political reasons as Johnson was clever enough to outmaneuver Haley's ideological brothers and sisters. But Johnson surrounded himself with enough scummy characters and got involved in so many underhanded political AND business deals that he deserves the rough treatment given him in Haley's devastating diatribe.

No matter your political leanings, your eyes will be opened when you read A Texan Looks At Lyndon. The book is well-written and often riveting in its allegations and revelations, but it loses one star for occasional hysteria. If US or Texas politics interests you, then I highly recommend this.

Randall Ivey

You have been warned, July 31, 2000

Haley wrote this book (and published it himself) in 1964 basically as a campaign tract for Barry Goldwater. In the intervening years it has become a classic of its kind, a philippic, to use M.E. Bradford's term, tracing the illegitimate rise to power of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

If you're politically naive, this book will grown hair on your chest. It's an unblinking, fearless portrait of Johnson's wheeling dealing and underhanded methods to achieve the power, prestige, and money he craved all his life.

Haley names all the names and lays out facts and figures for the reader to make up his mind. And the reader winds up shaking his head in utter astonishment. The best part of the book is that detailing Johnson's eventual election to the U.S. Senate in a contest with former Gov. Coke Stevenson.

The election was clearly Stevenson's, but through the machinations of George Parr, the notorious Duke of Duval County, the results were turned around in LBJ's favor. Investigators later found that among those voting in the primary were people who didn't live in the county anymore and people who weren't alive at all. But the results stood.

(An interesting and amusing aside: when Haley ran for Texas governor in 1956, he approached Parr and said, "I'm Evetts Haley. I'm running for governor, and if I win, it will be my privilege to put you in jail."

Parr's reply: "I believe you will." Parr, the Artful Dodger of Texas politics for years, eventually killed himself.)

At times the book grows tiresome, especially in the Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes scandals, where Haley turns a virtual torrent of names and numbers on the reader as to be sometimes confusing.

[Apr 23, 2019] The Secret Team The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World by L. Fletcher Prouty

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA is the center of a vast mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations ... or as Allen Dulles used to call it, "Peacetime Operations." ..."
"... the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level Secret Team, or High Cabal, that usually includes representatives of the CIA and other instrumentalities of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subjects of this book. ..."
"... vast intergovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The Secret Team has very close affiliations with elements of power in more than three-score foreign countries and is able when it chooses to topple governments, to create governments, and to influence governments almost anywhere in the world. ..."
"... the power of the Team is enhanced by the "cult of the gun" and by its sometimes brutal and always arbitrary anti-Communist flag waving, even when real Communism had nothing to do with the matter at hand. ..."
"... To be a member, you don't question, you don't ask; it's "Get on the Team" or else. One of its most powerful weapons in the most political and powerful capitals of the world is that of exclusion. To be denied the "need to know" status, like being a member of the Team, even though one may have all the necessary clearances, is to be totally blackballed and eliminated from further participation. Politically, if you are cut from the Team and from its insider's knowledge, you are dead. In many ways and by many criteria the Secret Team is the inner sanctum of a new religious order. ..."
"... At the heart of the Team, of course, arc a handful of top executives of the CIA and of the National Security Council (NSC), most notably the chief White House adviser to the President on foreign policy affairs. ..."
"... It is often quite difficult to tell exactly who many of these men really are, because some may wear a uniform and the rank of general and really be with the CIA and others may be as inconspicuous as the executive assistant to some Cabinet officer's chief deputy. ..."
"... even more damaging to the coherent conduct of foreign and military affairs, it is a bewildering collection of semi-permanent or temporarily assembled action committees and networks that respond pretty much ad hoc to specific troubles and to flash-intelligence data inputs from various parts of the world, sometimes in ways that duplicate the activities of regular American missions, sometimes in ways that undermine those activities, and very often in ways that interfere with and muddle them. ..."
"... This report is a prime example of how the Secret Team, which has gained so much control over the vital foreign and political activities of this government, functions. ..."
"... Although even in his time he had seen the beginning of the move of the CIA into covert activities, there can be little doubt that the "diversion" to which he made reference was not one that he would have attributed to himself or to any other President. Rather, the fact that the CIA had gone into clandestine operations and had been "injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations," and "has been so much removed from its intended role" was more properly attributable to the growing and secret pressures of some other power source. As he said, the CIA had become "a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue." ..."
Apr 23, 2019 | www.amazon.com

I was the first author to point out that the CIA's most important "Cover Story" is that of an "Intelligence" agency. Of course the CIA does make use of "intelligence" and "intelligence gathering," but that is largely a front for its primary interest, "Fun and Games." The CIA is the center of a vast mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations ... or as Allen Dulles used to call it, "Peacetime Operations."

In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level Secret Team, or High Cabal, that usually includes representatives of the CIA and other instrumentalities of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subjects of this book.

It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the "operator," i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The Covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground ... including the U.S.A. Today, early 1990, the most important events of this century are taking place with the ending of the "Cold War" era, and the beginning of the new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their lawyers, rather than the threat of military power. This scenario for change has been brought about by a series of Secret Team operations skillfully orchestrated while the contrived hostilities of the Cold War were at their zenith.

... ... ...

We may wish to note that in a book "Gentleman Spy, the Life of Allen Dulles" the author, Peter Grose cites Allen Dulles response to an invitation to the luncheon table from Hoover's Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson. Allen Dulles assured his partners in the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, "Let it be known quietly that I am a lawyer and not a diplomat." He could not have made a more characteristic and truthful statement about himself. He always made it clear that he did not "plan" his work, he was always the "lawyer" who carried out the orders of his client whether the President of the United States, or the President of the local bank.

The Secret Team (ST) being described herein consists of securitycleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data, when it seems appropriate to them, wide paramilitary plans and activities, e.g. training and "advising" -- a not exactly impenetrable euphemism for such things as leading into battle and actual combat -- Laotian tribal troops, Tibetan rebel horsemen, or Jordanian elite Palace Guards.

Membership on the Team, granted on a "need-to-know" basis, varies with the nature and location of the problems that come to its attention, and its origins derive from that sometimes elite band of men who served with the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the father of them all, General "Wild Bill" William J. Donovan, and in the old CIA.

The power of the team derives from its vast intergovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The Secret Team has very close affiliations with elements of power in more than three-score foreign countries and is able when it chooses to topple governments, to create governments, and to influence governments almost anywhere in the world.

Whether or not the Secret Team had anything whatsoever to do with the deaths of Rafael Trujillo, Ngo Dinh Diem, Ngo Dinh Nhu, Dag Hammarskjold, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and others may never be revealed, but what is known is that the power of the Team is enhanced by the "cult of the gun" and by its sometimes brutal and always arbitrary anti-Communist flag waving, even when real Communism had nothing to do with the matter at hand.

The Secret Team docs not like criticism, investigation, or his- tory and is always prone to see the world as divided into but two camps -- "Them" and "Us." Sometimes the distinction may be as little as one dot, as in "So. Viets" and "Soviets," the So. Viets being our friends in Indochina, and the Soviets being the enemy of that period. To be a member, you don't question, you don't ask; it's "Get on the Team" or else. One of its most powerful weapons in the most political and powerful capitals of the world is that of exclusion. To be denied the "need to know" status, like being a member of the Team, even though one may have all the necessary clearances, is to be totally blackballed and eliminated from further participation. Politically, if you are cut from the Team and from its insider's knowledge, you are dead. In many ways and by many criteria the Secret Team is the inner sanctum of a new religious order.

At the heart of the Team, of course, arc a handful of top executives of the CIA and of the National Security Council (NSC), most notably the chief White House adviser to the President on foreign policy affairs. Around them revolves a sort of inner ring of Presidential officials, civilians, and military men from the Pentagon, and career professionals of the intelligence community. It is often quite difficult to tell exactly who many of these men really are, because some may wear a uniform and the rank of general and really be with the CIA and others may be as inconspicuous as the executive assistant to some Cabinet officer's chief deputy.

Out beyond this ring is an extensive and intricate network of government officials with responsibility for, or expertise in, some specific field that touches on national security or foreign affairs: "Think Tank" analysts, businessmen who travel a lot or whose businesses (e.g., import-export or cargo airline operations) are useful, academic experts in this or that technical subject or geographic region, and quite importantly, alumni of the intelligence community -- a service from which there are no unconditional resignations. All true members of the Team remain in the power center whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.

Thus, the Secret Team is not a clandestine super-planning-board or super-general-staff. But even more damaging to the coherent conduct of foreign and military affairs, it is a bewildering collection of semi-permanent or temporarily assembled action committees and networks that respond pretty much ad hoc to specific troubles and to flash-intelligence data inputs from various parts of the world, sometimes in ways that duplicate the activities of regular American missions, sometimes in ways that undermine those activities, and very often in ways that interfere with and muddle them. At no time did the powerful and deft hand of the Secret Team evidence more catalytic influence than in the events of those final ninety days of 1963, which the "Pentagon Papers" were supposed to have exposed. The New York Times shocked the world on Sunday, June 13,1971, with the publication of the first elements of the Pentagon Papers.

The first document the Times selected to print was a trip report on the situation in Saigon, credited to the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, and dated December 21,1963. This was the first such report on the situation in Indochina to be submitted to President Lyndon B. Johnson. It came less than thirty days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and less than sixty days after the assassinations of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and his brother and counselor Ngo Dinh Nhu.

Whether from some inner wisdom or real prescience or merely simple random selection, the Times chose to publish first from among the three thousand pages of analysis and tour thousand pages of official documents that had come into its hands that report which may stand out in history as one of the key documents affecting national policy in the past quarter-century -- not so much for what it said as for what it signified. This report is a prime example of how the Secret Team, which has gained so much control over the vital foreign and political activities of this government, functions.

... ... ...

...President Harry S. Truman, observing the turn of events since the death of President Kennedy, and pondering developments since his Administration, wrote for the Washington Post a column also datelined December 21, 1963:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations.

Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced arc in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

Truman was disturbed by the events of the past ninety days, those ominous days of October, November, and December 1963. Men all over the world were disturbed by those events. Few men, however could have judged them with more wisdom and experience than Harry S. Truman, for it was he who, in late 1947, had signed unto law the National Security Act. This Act, in addition to establishing the Department of Defense (DOD) with a single Secretary at its head and with three equal and independent services -- the Army, Navy, and Air Force -- also provided for a National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. And during those historic and sometimes tragic sixteen years since the Act had become law, he had witnessed changes that disturbed him, as he saw that the CIA "had been diverted" from the original assignment that he and the legislators who drafted the Act had so carefully planned.

Although even in his time he had seen the beginning of the move of the CIA into covert activities, there can be little doubt that the "diversion" to which he made reference was not one that he would have attributed to himself or to any other President. Rather, the fact that the CIA had gone into clandestine operations and had been "injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations," and "has been so much removed from its intended role" was more properly attributable to the growing and secret pressures of some other power source. As he said, the CIA had become "a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue."


5.0 out of 5 stars XXX

The New Corporate (non-State acting) Privatized One World Order December 4, 2012

While we sit stunned into complete disbelief and silence trying to make sense of, understand, and decode the strongly suspected connections between the most curious political and military events of our times, this author, Colonel, L. Fletcher Prouty, in this book, "The Secret Team," has already decoded everything for us. From the JFK assassination, Watergate, the Iran-Contra Affair, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, repeated bank bust-outs (like BCCI and Silverado), the cocaine connection from Mena Arkansas to Nicaragua, the "crack" cocaine explosion in America's inner cities, the recent housing crash, and the general Wall Street sponsored financial meltdown, and now even from the wildest recesses of our collective imagination (dare I say it, maybe even 911?), Colonel Prouty, the fabled Mr. "X" in the movie "JFK," has the bureaucratic structure of all the answers here.

What Colonel Prouty tells us is that right before our own eyes, we are experiencing a paradigm shift in international relations and world affairs, one that has quietly moved us from the "old order" where the sovereign nation and its armies and national ideologies once sat at the center of world events and predominated, into a new "One World business run corporate, privatized global order," in which "the corporate powers that be" sit on the throne in the clock tower; and where, as a result of their machinations, true national sovereignty has seeped away to the point that we say safely say, it no longer exists.

The good Colonel tells us that the most important events of this century are taking place right before our eyes, as the Cold War era has already given way to a new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their hired guns, their lawyers -- rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. In this new, completely "privatized world order," big business, big lawyers, big bankers, big politicians, big lobbyists, and even bigger money-men, run and rule the entire world from behind a national security screen inaccessible to the average citizen. It is this paradigm shift, and the wall of secrecy that has brought us the "Secret Team" and the series of strange inexplicable events that it has skillfully orchestrated, and that keep recurring from time to time both within the U.S. and throughout the world.

This new bureaucratic entity is called a "Secret Team" for good reasons: because like any team, it does not create its own game plan, its own rules, or its own reality. The team plays for a coach and an owner. It is the coach and the owner that writes the scripts, creates and "calls" the plays. The drama of reality that we see on the international screen is a creation of the "Power elite, as it is executed by the "secret Team." The power of the team comes from its vast intergovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with private industries, the military, mutual funds, and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The beauty of the "Secret team," is that it is not a clandestine super-planning-board, or super-general staff like as is frequently attributed to the Bilderburg Group, or the Trilateral Commission, but is a bewildering collection of ad hoc and semi-permanent action committees and networks that can come into being and then dissolve as specific needs troubles and flash-points dictate. It can create, influence or topple governments around the globe at the behest and on the whim of its coaches, "the Power Elite."

As the Sociologist C. Wright Mills told us nearly a half century ago, the members of the "Power Elite," operate beyond national borders, beyond the reach of the public, and have no national loyalties -- or even return addresses. They operate in the shadows and run the world by remote control and by making us completely dependent upon them and their hidden machinations. Invisibly, they maneuver and jockey to control every aspect of our lives and the infrastructure and markets upon which we depend for our survival: The most important and essential among them being our ability to produce and distribute our own food, water, and energy. As a result of this dependency, and despite mythology to the contrary, Colonel Prouty tells us that we are becoming the most dependent society that has ever lived. And the future viability of an infrastructure that is not controlled and manipulated by this "global power Elite," is diminishing to the point of non-existence.

With climate changes and terrorism already causing serious disruptions in the normal flow of our lives, governments are becoming less and less able to serve as the people's protector of last resort. Already, one of the politicians who ran for President of the United States in its most recent election, Governor Mitt Romney, suggested that FEMA be turned over to a private run firm? And all of the agencies of government that he did not suggest be privatized (or that have not already been privatized), except for the military, he suggested be abolished. As well, we also see the concomitant rise of the Backwaters' of the world, a private firm that has already begun to take over a lion's share of the responsibilities of our volunteer military. Likewise, our prisons, healthcare system and schools are also being privatized, and everything else is being "outsourced" to the lowest bidder on the global labor market. The book however is not just about international politics or international economics, per se, but is also about the primary bureaucratic instrumentality through which the "Power Elite" operates. This instrumentality, as noted above, is called "the Secret Team."

How does Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty know about the "Secret Team:" because he used to be one of its Pentagon operational managers. I believe then that out of prudence, when the man who oversaw management of and liaised with "the Secret team" for nine years as a Pentagon as an Air Force Colonel, (and who incidentally was also sent on a wild goose chase to Antarctica in order to get him out of the country, days before the JFK assassination), tells us that something is wrong in Denmark, I believe it is high time to listen up. In a chilling narrative, Colonel Prouty relates to us how he found out about the assassination of JFK. It was during a stopover in New Zealand on his return from the wild goose chase his superiors had sent him on to get him out of the way. Hours BEFORE the assassination had even occurred, somehow the New Zealand press already had the pre-planned talking points on Lee Harvey Oswald. Somehow they mistakenly deployed them prematurely, reporting well in advance of the assassination itself, that Oswald was JFK's lone assassin? How could such a thing happen unless there was a very high level conspiracy?

The Secret team, according to Prouty consists of a bunch of renegade CIA intelligence operatives that are signed up for life and operate under the full protection and pay of the "Power Elite," itself a cabal of wealthy men with interlocking interests beholden only to their own hunger for power, profit and greed. The "Power Elite" relies upon this covert team of highly trained specialists to get things done without questions being asked and without moral squeamishness.

Operating outside the normal parameters of political authorization, morality, direction, and law, and hiding behind a wall shielded by national security secrecy, very much like the mafia, the "Secret Team" always gets the job done. They are allowed to ply their immoral trade with both impunity and with legal immunity. In short, in the modern era, in the new "One WorldCorporate Order," they have proven again and again that, at worse they are lawless, and at best, they are a law unto themselves. The members of the "Secret Team" have become the new Jack-booted foot soldiers we see trampling over our dying democracy. As we move deeper and deeper into the uncharted realms of the new Corporate run "One World Order," "we the people" have a lot of questions we must ask ourselves if the democracy we once knew is to endure.

The climax of the book appears here in chapter 22 ( entitled "Camelot.") It is a beautifully crafted object lesson for the future of what remains of our democracy. It is a narrative summary of how JFK tried but failed to deal with the emerging paradigm shift in power from the Executive branch of the UGS, to the CIA and the "Secret Team," that is to say, from a system of duly elected Representatives to one dictated by the whims of the "Power Elite" through their "Secret Team." JFK's assassination is just the most dramatic consequence of how our then young President failed to save the USG from usurpation of its power by a cabal of anonymous evil men intent on ruling the world. Colonel Prouty's story ends somewhat as follows.

The Bay of Pigs operation was the seminal event in the clandestine transfer of power from the "normal government" to the CIA's Secret Team." It was done primarily via the thinly transparent interface of the military -- playing a dual role as both military officers reporting to their Commander in Chief, and at the same time as undercover "clandestine operatives" reporting (behind the President's back) to the CIA (and of course through it, to the "Power Elite."). In the book, there is little question where their split loyalties lay.

The key ruse that provided the glue that made this high level "grifter-like scam" (with the U.S. President, as its "mark)" work to perfection, was the words "anti-Communist counterinsurgency." Put to skilful use in hands of trained Specialists, these words had a powerful and purposeful dual meaning. They meant one thing to "clandestine insider members of the "Secret Team," and quite another to "no need to know outsiders" like the American public (and in this case the whole USG, including the Commander in Chief, the President of the U.S. JFK himself). This willful ambiguity in terminology and the duality in the roles of those involved does most of the heavy lifting in the drama played out by the "insiders" and that resulted in the usurpation and the shift of power from the Presidency to the CIA.

The "Bay of Pigs operation"proved to be the defining, the seminal and pivotal case in point. It began as a small clandestine "anti-Communist counterinsurgency" operation run by the CIA (as also was the case with Iran, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Granada, Angola, and Santo Domingo), ostensibly under the oversight of the "USG," but in fact ended up as a huge CIA-run military failure, one minus the requisite oversight from the US President. The devil of how this happened lies in the slimy details that went on behind the scenes and that are skillfully unveiled in this book. They are details that the reader can also get from a careful reading between the lines of "The Pentagon Papers."

As the Bay of Pigs Operation slowly morphed from a small-scale USG run operation "with oversight," into a huge, expensive and poorly run CIA operation without any oversight whatsoever, the rules of the game also changed. They changed from being about U.S. security, to being about the greed, power and profits of the "Power Elite, as those objectives were implemented through the "Secret Team." The key to the "Power Elite" getting what they wanted was always accomplished by stoking the ideological fires up to an international boiling point, so that more and more military hardware could be produced, bought and sold.

Likewise, the roles of the primary players also morphed and changed -- from "clandestine operators" in military uniforms, to "military operators" reporting to their CIA handlers, and thus to the "Power Elite." The executive branch (the ostensible oversight body of the government) was none the wiser, since it was not yet aware that it was "being played" by the CIA and thus did not yet know it was being treated in the same way the public is normally treated: as an "excluded outsider" lacking the required "need to know."

Through this bureaucratic sleigh of hand, the partial control and power the USG normally exercised in its oversight role had been covertly usurped, as the military operators (and even members of the Presidents own staff proved to be "insiders," i.e., members of the "Secret Team," "playing" the President like a bass fiddle as he and his team became the "marks" in an insider's "con game" in which power and control of the USG was at stake.

When JFK finally "wised up," it was too late. By then the train had already left the station, with the CIA firmly in the driver's seat. Since JFK era, U.S. foreign policy has become a clear case of the CIA tail wagging the USG dog. And the best proof of the evil intentions of the "Secret Team" calling the shots within the CIA is that no sooner than the Bay of Pigs literally blew up in a spectacular and embarrassing failure did the CIA then put the wheels back in motion to duplicate, expand and even generalize this failed bureaucratic formulate in Vietnam.

But this time JFK was ready for them and issued NSM-55 and NSM-57, both of which were decision directives designed to put the brakes on the CIA and return the usurped power back to the military where the President was the Commander in Chief. But the CIA was already two steps ahead of JFK. His own staff had been so compromised that he had nowhere to turn? He was penetrated and thus effectively checkmated by an agency of his own government? The more he fought back, the more he lost ground, and the more his back was up against the wall. By the time November, 22, 1963 came around, JFK literally had no bureaucratic friends and nowhere to turn?

I only regret that an earlier edition of this book had been lying around unread in my library for more than a decade. Five Stars.

Stephen Courts , August 7, 2012

Secret Team (CIA) By Colonel Fletcher Prouty

Though this book is now over 40 years old, I found the information very relevant and 100% trustworthy from one of America's true Patriots. Colonel Prouty served his country for decades as a pilot and as an integral part of the Department of Defense and CIA. Though for nine years Colonel Prouty was the liason between the Air Force and the CIA's clandestine affairs, he is able to reveal confidential information that would typically be classified "Top Secret", because Colonel Prouty did not work for the CIA and therefore did not have to sign a confidentiality agreement with the nefarious CIA.

What is fascinating about Colonel Prouty is that he was everywhere throughout his career. He watched world affairs as they unfolded, meeting the most influencial leaders of his time. From FDR, Stalin, Churchill, Ike and every general and admiral in our military. For the nine years from 1954 to 1963, he was involved as the go to guy for the military leaders and the president, including both Ike and JFK. In other words, Colonel Prouty writes from personal and direct experience.

Now the meat of the book is about the creation and abuses of the 1947 created CIA. From the end of World War Two until the mid 1970's, the CIA abused its primary responsibility of intelligence gathering to literally unchecked clandestine and covert upheavels in every part of the world. The CIA, particularly under Allen Dulles, created one coup d'etat after another. The reader will realize that from 1945 until the Marines reached the shores of Viet Nam in 1965, every piece of skulldruggery in Viet Nam was done by the CIA. The CIA had infiltrated the entire government, from the Department of Defense to the Department of State. Many people would be shocked to know that what passed as Defense activity was acually generals and admirals, wearing their uniforms and working for the CIA. Whether it was advising the President, subverting Ambassadors or lying to Congress, the CIA ruled and few knew what they were really doing. Colonel Prouty tells the stories accurately of every subversive, nefarious act the CIA was involved in. One example in particular stands out. It was Ike's goal at the end of his 2nd term as president to have a peace conference with the USSR, one to sign a peace treaty and end the cold war. In direct violation of the presidents specific instructions not to fly U-2 flights prior to the conference in June of 1960, the CIA flew the ill fated Gary Powers flight that guaranteed that the conference would go forth. This was a most important conference that could have brought nuclear peace accords decades before they were eventually signed. Dulles and his henchmen deliberately insured that Gary Powers not only violated the order not to fly these observations flights, they insured that it would be downed by sabotaging the flight and thus force Ike to either admit he knew or fire the bastards who embarrassed him. Ike chose to take responsibility and thus the peace talks were cancelled. There was also another flight in 1958 that was downed in the Soviet Union.

Most Americans would be shocked to know the CIA has their own private air lines, Air America. This is no small air lines. Had Colonel Prouty written this book later, he could connect the CIA with the massive drug smuggling that has devastated American cities. They use the proceeds of this smuggling to finance their illicit involvement of other sovereign countries.

Bottom line is this is an important book as is his 1993 JFK & Viet Nam. Colonel Prouty was a significant advisor to Oliver Stone and his masterpiece, JFK. I am currently finishing the rereading of said book. If you want to know who has controled our foreign policy (against the charter that created this monstrosity) since the mid 1940's, this is an excellent book to begin with. It is my personal opinion, having read many books on the CIA, that their main function is to serve the multi-national corportations and the bankers that exploit the less developed countries around the world and to insure that there will never be peace. There will not be a World War Three, because nuclear weapons would most likely be used and earth as we know it will cease to exist. Therefore, limited, no win conflicts will continually persist. Beginning with Korea, to Viet Nam, to Iraq to Afganistan. The irony is we are wasting our human resources and our treasury to bankrupt our country while both Russia and China sit back and spend zero (USSR & Afganistan is the exception) and develope the kind of infrastruture and consumer goods as well as education that we should be doing.

Finally, the record of the CIA leaves a lot to be desired. There were many failures despite billions of dollars spent and the infiltration into every branch of our society, from education to media to think tanks to the military. Read this book and you will also discover the misadventure in Viet Nam that cost 58,000 plus American casualities, millions of Viet Namese, millions of service men who would never be the same after this debacle. Colonel Prouty explains this better than anyone I have yet to read. He predicted another debacle (Iraq & Afganistan) after the Viet Nam debacle. I believe Cononel Prouty passed away last decade, but he would not have been shocked by the rediculous misadventures in both of the above foremetioned countries. Think of the trillions of dollars and the bloodshed lost on a military misadventure that has no way of producing a positive outcome for the United States.

Stephen Courts
August 7, 2012

<img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/11bV+h26SGL._CR0,0,115,115_SX48_.jpg"> Jeff Marzano , December 17, 2014
An American Hero Reveals The Shocking Truth

This book provides a rare glimpse into the secret history and evil machinations of the CIA as it mutated from its original form between 1946 up until the time the book was published in 1973 when it had become a cancerous blight within the government.

It should not be surprising that most people never really understood the so called Vietnam War and they still don't. Even people in the American government like the Secretary Of Defense were completely confused and manipulated by the Agency as it's called.

President Kennedy was somewhat inexperienced when he first entered office. JFK thought he could handle problems in the government in the same way he handled problems during his presidential campaign. He had an informal style at first where he would just ask a friend to take care of it. This caused JFK to disregard important checks and balances which had been set up to hopefully prevent the CIA from crossing the line from being just an intelligence agency into the realm of initiating clandestine military operations.

The National Security Counsel was supposed to give direction to the CIA and then the Operations Coordination Board was supposed to verify that the CIA had done what they were told and only what they were told. But even before JFK got into office the Agency had taken many determined steps to undermine those controls.

JFK's informal style opened the door even wider for the Agency to circumvent whatever controls may have still been effective to put some sort of limits on their 'fun and games'. Having an informal style with them was dangerous because they were experts at getting around all sorts of rules and laws.

The Agency double crossed JFK during the Bay Of Pigs debacle. Publicly JFK took the blame for what happened but according to Fletcher it was the CIA who cancelled the air support that would have destroyed Fidel Castro's planes on the ground. As a result JFK's only options were to accept the blame or admit to the world that things were being done by the American military establishment that he wasn't even aware of. John Kennedy was a fast learner however and he stated that he would break the CIA up into a thousand tiny pieces. JFK was fed up with all of the Agency's fun and games.

Something similar happened with the Gary Powers U2 spy plane that had to land in the Soviet Union. The evil Secret Team sabotaged the U2 to derail President Eisenhower's lifelong dream of holding a worldwide peace summit. Like JFK Ike accepted the blame publicly.

Ike's only other option would have been to admit that the U2 flight was unauthorized and then fire Allan Dulles and the other leaders of the evil Secret Team. But Fletcher says Ike couldn't do this for various reasons even though Nikita Khrushchev probably realized that Eisenhower did not break his word and authorize the U2 mission.

Ike's comments about the Military Industrial Complex which he made during his farewell address turned out to be very prophetic indeed.

These examples provide the picture of an Agency that had become a law unto itself which reinterpreted whatever orders it was given to make those orders conform to their evil schemes. Fletcher provides many details in the book about how the Agency was able to circumvent laws and regulations and manipulate anyone and everyone in the government starting with the president. They did this mainly by abusing their control of secrecy but they used many other methods as well.

Secret Team leader Allan Dulles wrote a book called 'The Craft of Intelligence'. The title of this book sort of indicates the very problem Fletcher Prouty explains in his book. Dulles viewed himself as a sort of artist or craftsman who could distort information and make it appear in any form he wanted. Strangely Fletcher refers to his close personal friendship with Allan Dulles in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book but then spends the rest of the book portraying Dulles as a sort of Joseph Goebbels figure.

Fletcher spends over 300 pages describing the metamorphosis which occurred with the CIA as it veered very far afield from what president Truman had intended when he created the Agency. Then towards the end of the book Fletcher finally reveals his shocking conclusions about what this massive abuse of power lead to.

Fletcher felt that the assassination of president Kennedy was the single most pivotal event in modern American history as far as the changes that the assassination caused.

Sadly as Fletcher points out the Vietnam War never really had any military objective. The theory was that if South Vietnam fell this would cause a domino effect and the dreaded communism monster would start gobbling up the entire world. Then when South Vietnam did fall with no domino effect the Secret Team published a group of documents called the Pentagon Papers. These documents deflected blame away from the CIA and said nobody listened to the CIA when they warned that the Vietnam situation was not winnable.

But it wouldn't matter if anyone listened to the Secret Team anyway because they always lie.

This book presents an American government in chaos during the Vietnam era. It was a government that had been high jacked by the evil Secret Team.

After the Bay Of Pigs incident Fidel Castro apparently got fed up with the CIA and America in general. Castro turned to the Soviet Union instead. This lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was only in the last 10 years or so that people realized just how close the world came to an all out nuclear exchange at that time.

This was a very dangerous game master craftsman Allan Dulles and his other liars were playing. They were like kids starting fires all over the place in a big field and then just sitting back and seeing which of those fires would become an inferno as Vietnam did.

Also in recent years people have implicated Lyndon Johnson as being part of the conspiracy to assassination JFK. So LBJ was on the team also.

I'm not sure if Fletcher ever really spells out what the true motivations of the Secret Team were but he hints at it. Probably the three main reasons that people engage in criminal activity are sex, money, and revenge. Usually when crimes are committed there's a money trail somewhere. And in the case of government military spending that's a very long trail.

This is a serious book which contains many details about an approximately 25 year period that began after World War II. It is not light reading.

Watch this documentary series on the internet. The hypocrites have pulled it off the market:

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

The Men Who Killed Kennedy DVD Series - Episode List

1. "The Coup D'Etat" (25 October 1988)
2. "The Forces Of Darkness" (25 October 1988)
3. "The Cover-Up" (20 November 1991)
4. "The Patsy" (21 November 1991)
5. "The Witnesses" (21 November 1991)
6. "The Truth Shall Set You Free" (1995)

The Final Chapter episodes (internet only):

7. "The Smoking Guns" (2003)
8. "The Love Affair" (2003)
9. "The Guilty Men" (2003)

Herman , February 4, 2017
Extensive analysis of the CIA from its inception to the 1970's

The fact that this book all but disappeared when it was distributed in the 1970's tells all that the CIA did not want any of its "dirty laundry" aired in public. Prouty does an excellent (almost over the top) job of describing the rise and strategies and evolution of the CIA up through the 70's. That the Vietnam War was still controlled by the CIA at the writing of the original book also shows JFK had not gained control of the military-industrial complex. For those who are wanting to fill in more pieces of the puzzle this is an excellent source from a man who found himself in the thick of things for many years. The one shot-coming comes in the last chapter in his description of Nixon and especially LBJ not being able to control the military industrial complex either.

Consequent independent research over many years seems to show LBJ who was about to go to jail and be dropped from the 1964 ticket, knew about and helped cover up the JFK assassination and is known to have remarked: "Just get me elected and you can have your damn war".

There is also evidence Nixon and company undermined the 1968 peace talks as LBJ was trying to end the war and LBJ actually called Nixon and asked him to back off. ( Kinda like the Oct 1980 surprise by Reagan). Consequently we know from Judyth Vary Baker that Lee Oswald was the the assassin of JFK and he in fact was on the payroll of the FBI and CIA.

James E Files has confessed to being one of the shooters and E. Howard Hunt told his son, he was involved and he was CIA at the time. But no One man can possibly know everything. Given the pervasive infiltration of government, military and probably many civil institutions by the CIA, one wonders who comprises the shadow government in reality?

Boyce Hart , July 22, 2010
The Critical Sinews btw CIA and other Gov. Agencies

What does it mean when we say " the CIA did such and such an action"? Just what is the CIA, a whole or a part? Given its emphasis on compartmentalization, is it accurate to say "the CIA was heavily involved in the JFK assassination" or would it be more accurate to say parts of the CIA were? Moreover, who is the CIA, and what are the powers behind it? Also, perhaps most importantly, what were the relations between the CIA and other parts of government, and how and when did these relationships change and evolve. Were these changes done democratically or secretly. These last two questions are the essence of this book. Yes, it is true as one reviewer noted, this book could have used an editor. Some times it has the feel of a collection of speeches, but not always. So why the five instead of 4. The subject matter-- in particular the last two questions typed above-- are just too rarely mentioned and discussed. This book really helps us understand the curiously evolving nervous system of the CIA btw 1947 and 1963, as very very few other books do. It sees the inception of the CIA in 1947 as just the first step, and makes it clear that later developments were neither willed nor pre-ordained by many of the elected officials who wrote the National Security Act of 1947.

The only other book that really addresses this BETWEEN WORLD--i.e. between CIA and other government agencies is one of the Three most important books published in the last 50 years IMO. Thy Will Be Done: Nelson Rockefeller, Evangelism, and the Conquest of the Amazon In the Age of OIl by Colby and Dennett. Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil

Still there is one book I recommend even more than that one. This is not the current Gold Standard merely for all current JFK research. It is far more than that; it is the Gold Standard for all US Cold War History Research. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass. This book is so important because it is not merely who done it but why done it. It is a book that mixes how and why of JFK and those crucial-because-contestable Cold War years 1960-63 like no other. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters

Luc REYNAERT , November 30, 2008
A symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue (H. Truman)

This is an extremely important book. The proof of it is that even the official copy in the Library of Congress disappeared (!). Moreover, even after his death, the author continues to be the object of a smear campaign (see internet).

His book is not less than a frontal attack on US intelligence and concomitantly on those who control it.
Its portrait of Allen Dulles, a longtime intelligence director, says it all: `I am a lawyer'; in other words, a servant. But of whom?
This book unveils the existence of a secret cabal, a Power Elite (G. William Domhoff), a `deep State' (P.D. Scott) within the US and its government as well as in about 40 host countries.
This Power Elite uses the Secret Team of top intelligence and military commanders as its long arm and protects it. Together they stand above the law and the democratic process. They get things done, whether they have the political authorization or not.
They dispose of a vast undercover political, military, intelligence, business, media and academic infrastructure, in the US as well as worldwide. They don't respect the nation State and are able to create, to influence and to topple governments in the hemisphere controlled by them.

The author gives a remarkable insight into the inner workings, the logistics, the strategies and the tactics of the intelligence agency. Its creation and history show that President H. Truman never intended to create an autonomous operational agency in the clandestine field. L.F. Prouty also gives valuable information about the U2- G. Powers incident (apparently to torpedo the US/USSR peace talks) and the Pentagon papers (an intelligence whitewash).

At the end, the author poses the all important question: `Can any President ever be strong enough really to rule?'

This book is a must read for all those interested in US history and for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

For more information on the Power Elite, I recommend the works of O. Tunander, D. Estulin, Peter Dale Scott, Carroll Quigley, Gary Allen and G. W. Domhoff.

anarchteacher , April 30, 2008
An Insider's Candid Expose' of the National Security State

As in the case of the brilliant Jules Archer volume, The Plot To Seize The White House, it is terrific to have this masterful study of the inner workings of the early CIA back in print after so many years of unavailability.

Skyhorse Publishing is to be commended in seeing to it that both of these crucial works are again available to the attentive reading public who want to know the truth concerning our dark hidden history that the government has so actively strived to keep buried.

The late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty served as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for covert activities of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In Oliver Stone's highly acclaimed film on the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, JFK, the mysterious character "X" portrayed by Donald Sutherland was in fact Colonel Prouty, who assisted director Stone in the production and scripting of this historical epic. Prouty had relayed the shocking information detailed in the movie to the actual New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, played by Kevin Cosner, in a series of communiques.

The Secret Team was first published in 1973 during the Watergate scandal, when many Americans were first learning about the dark side of covert government, an outlaw executive branch headed by a renegade chief of state. Richard Nixon would not be the last of this foul breed.

This was years before Frank Church's Senate Committee's damning revelations of CIA misdeeds and assassination plots against foreign leaders rocked the nation.

In each chapter in his book, Prouty speaks frankly with an insiders knowledge of what he describes as the inner workings of "the Secret Team."

This prudential judgment and keen assessment of the National Security Establishment was gained from years as a behind-the-scenes seasoned professional in military intelligence working intimately with those of the highest rank in policy making and implimentation.

The important story Prouty boldly tells should be read by every reflective American.

SER , December 6, 2001
Best Book On CIA Misdeeds

The author was the liason officer between the CIA and the military during the 50's and 60's. As an air force officer (Colonel), he was excempt from taking the CIA oath of secrecy and therefore was in a position to write the book in 1973. Apparently, shortly after the book's publication, almost all copies disappeared, probably bought up by the CIA. I was lucky to find a copy, published in Taiwan (Imperial Books & Records), in a used bookstore several years ago. The author details not only how the CIA conducts its operations, but more importantly, how it manages to keep most or all of its deeds from the eyes of congress, the population and even the President, if necessary. This is the best book I've read on the secret workings of the CIA and its misdeeds during the 50' and early 60's. Not to belittle them, but The Secret Team is a far more informative book than Marchetti and Marks' The CIA And The Cult Of Intelligence....

added, Jan09:

Actually, practically ever since I posted the review, I've been wanting to write a more detailed one, but since it's now been some 20 years since I read the book, I can't remember enough details to do it justice. If I ever reread it, I'll be sure to post a better review. I frankly think my present "review" isn't much of one - and it was cut short after my reference to the Marchetti/Marks book, the linking to which was not allowed at the time.

For example, one item of considerable current interest which I remember from the book is the author's detailing of Operation Northwoods, from the early 1960's - the plan by the intelligence agencies to conduct a false flag attack against American interests and blame it on Cuba, in order to justify a war against that country.
There was a big deal made about this (deservedly, in my opinion), only four or five years ago, when the National Security Archive (an apparently independent non-governmental research institute at George Washington University) discovered the details of this proposed operation, supposedly for the first time, in declassified documents. (This was in light of the ongoing conspiratorial controversies surrounding the 9-11 events.)
Yet, author Prouty detailed Operation Northwoods in his The Secret Team, first published long ago in 1973.
This is but one detail that indicates a much-needed elaborate review of this book.

I'd like to also add (since it is now apparently allowed) that The Secret Team, among other items, is available on CD from the L. Fletcher Prouty Reference Site: http://www.prouty.org/

Finally, for readers still obsessed with the JFK assassination, I would like to recommend Final Judgment - The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, by Michael Collins Piper, a book which lives up to it's title. My use of the word "obsessed" is not meant derogatorily, as I have my own bookshelf-full as testament to that particular subject, but as an inducement to read the book, which will make the big picture very clear indeed. Do yourselves the favor.

Last edit: Jan09

Michael Tozer , July 7, 2006
Great!

Colonel Prouty's book on the Secret Team should be required reading for all concerned Americans. Herein, the author, a retired Air Force Colonel and CIA insider, reveals for all to see the machinations of the Secret Team and their impact on US history in the post World War II era. This is terribly important information.

I was particularly impressed with Prouty's depiction of Eisenhower's peace initiative and how it was sabatoged by the Secret Team. Ike was preparing for his peace summit with Kruschev when Gary Powers was sent off on his fool's errand on April 30th, 1960, a date with significant occult emblematics. The capture of Powers by the Soviets effectively scuttled the Eisenhower peace plan, which would have ruined the plans of the Secret Team, for continued Cold War tension, and treasure for the merchants of venom.

The essential truths in this important book are still relevant today. Of course, the ineffectual George Walker Bush is not entirely in charge of American foreign policy in this critical time. He is certainly still being manipulated by the sucessors of the Secret Team depicted in this excellent and well written book. Any serious student of American foreign policy in the post World War II era ought to read this important book.

D. E. Tench , May 24, 2013
Conspiracy History - not Theory!

The Colonel's book contains valuable and legitimate insider information about how factions within our government have been dishonest, selfish, and ruthlessly brutal for a very long time now. He shows the reader more than one vivid picture of how our American Presidents are routinely hoodwinked and manipulated by CIA moles - covert operators who often work within the D.C. Beltway.

I only wish he had expanded on the following statement (from page 15 of the 1973 edition): "There were and are many men who are not in government who are prime movers of Secret Team activity." Perhaps he knew enough to mention their connection to and influence over the Agency, but not enough to elaborate upon it. Or perhaps he knew better than to push that topic too far if he wanted to get published. In 1973 there were no on-demand self-publishing formats like what we have available to us today.

Prouty also mentions the non-governmental elements of secrecy in Chapter 23, but it's closer to a defining of terms than an elaboration. He ends the book with a view of the Secret Team as an evolved and faceless mechanism serving the cause of anti-Communism. Today, the enemy du jour is anti-terrorism. However, I argue that secret teams are never faceless, but made up of individuals.

The Secret Team that Col. Prouty revealed was part of a larger Secret Team. My book: "Know Your Enemy: Exposing Satan's Human Army" discusses the spiritual state of secretive operators and some of what scripture reveals on the topic.

[Apr 04, 2019] Fascism A Warning by Madeleine Albright

Junk author, junk book of the butcher of Yugoslavia who would be hanged with Bill clinton by Nuremberg Tribunal for crimes against peace. Albright is not bright at all. she a female bully and that shows.
Mostly projection. And this arrogant warmonger like to exercise in Russophobia (which was the main part of the USSR which saved the world fro fascism, sacrificing around 20 million people) This book is book of denial of genocide against Iraqis and Serbian population where bombing with uranium enriched bombs doubled cancer cases.If you can pass over those facts that this book is for you.
Like Robert Kagan and other neocons Albright is waiving authoritarism dead chicken again and again. that's silly and disingenuous. authoritarism is a method of Governance used in military. It is not an ideology. Fascism is an ideology, a flavor of far right nationalism. Kind of "enhanced" by some socialist ideas far right nationalism.
The view of fascism without economic circumstances that create fascism, and first of immiseration of middle and working class and high level of unemployment is a primitive ahistorical view. Fascism is the ultimate capitalist statism acting simultaneously as the civil religion for the population also enforced by the power of the state. It has a lot of common with neoliberalism, that's why neoliberalism is sometimes called "inverted totalitarism".
In reality fascism while remaining the dictatorship of capitalists for capitalist and the national part of financial oligarchy, it like neoliberalism directed against working class fascism comes to power on the populist slogans of righting wrong by previous regime and kicking foreign capitalists and national compradors (which in Germany turned to be mostly Jewish) out.
It comes to power under the slogans of stopping the distribution of wealth up and elimination of the class of reinters -- all citizens should earn income, not get it from bond and other investments (often in reality doing completely the opposite).
While intrinsically connected and financed by a sizable part of national elite which often consist of far right military leadership, a part of financial oligarchy and large part of lower middle class (small properties) is is a protest movement which want to revenge for the humiliation and prefer military style organization of the society to democracy as more potent weapon to achieve this goal.
Like any far right movement the rise of fascism and neo-fascism is a sign of internal problem within a given society, often a threat to the state or social order.
Apr 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Still another noted that Fascism is often linked to people who are part of a distinct ethnic or racial group, who are under economic stress, and who feel that they are being denied rewards to which they are entitled. "It's not so much what people have." she said, "but what they think they should have -- and what they fear." Fear is why Fascism's emotional reach can extend to all levels of society. No political movement can flourish without popular support, but Fascism is as dependent on the wealthy and powerful as it is on the man or woman in the street -- on those who have much to lose and those who have nothing at all.

This insight made us think that Fascism should perhaps be viewed less as a political ideology than as a means for seizing and holding power. For example, Italy in the 1920s included self-described Fascists of the left (who advocated a dictatorship of the dispossessed), of the right (who argued for an authoritarian corporatist state), and of the center (who sought a return to absolute monarchy). The German National Socialist Party (the

Nazis) originally came together ar ound a list of demands that ca- tered to anti-Semites, anti-immigrants, and anti-capitalists but also advocated for higher old-age pensions, more educational op- portunities for the poor, an end to child labor, and improved ma- ternal health care. The Nazis were racists and, in their own minds, reformers at the same time.

If Fascism concerns itself less with specific policies than with finding a pathway to power, what about the tactics of lead- ership? My students remarked that the Fascist chiefs we remem- ber best were charismatic. Through one method or another, each established an emotional link to the crowd and, like the central figure in a cult, brought deep and often ugly feelings to the sur- face. This is how the tentacles of Fascism spread inside a democ- racy. Unlike a monarchy or a military dictatorship imposed on society from above. Fascism draws energy from men and women who are upset because of a lost war, a lost job, a memory of hu- miliation, or a sense that their country is in steep decline. The more painful the grounds for resentment, the easier it is for a Fascist leader to gam followers by dangling the prospect of re- newal or by vowing to take back what has been stolen.

Like the mobilizers of more benign movements, these secular evangelists exploit the near-universal human desire to be part of a meaningful quest. The more gifted among them have an apti- tude for spectacle -- for orchestrating mass gatherings complete with martial music, incendiary rhetoric, loud cheers, and arm-

lifting salutes. To loyalists, they offer the prize of membership in a club from which others, often the objects of ridicule, are kept out. To build fervor, Fascists tend to be aggressive, militaristic, and -- when circumstances allow -- expansionist. To secure the future, they turn schools into seminaries for true believers, striv- ing to produce "new men" and "new women" who will obey without question or pause. And, as one of my students observed, "a Fascist who launches his career by being voted into office will have a claim to legitimacy that others do not."

After climbing into a position of power, what comes next: How does a Fascist consolidate authority? Here several students piped up: "By controlling information." Added another, "And that's one reason we have so much cause to worry today." Most of us have thought of the technological revolution primarily as a means for people from different walks of life to connect with one another, trade ideas, and develop a keener understanding of why men and women act as they do -- in other words, to sharpen our perceptions of truth. That's still the case, but now we are not so sure. There is a troubling "Big Brother" angle because of the mountain of personal data being uploaded into social media. If an advertiser can use that information to home in on a consumer because of his or her individual interests, what's to stop a Fascist government from doing the same? "Suppose I go to a demonstra- tion like the Women's March," said a student, "and post a photo

on social media. My name gets added to a list and that list can end up anywhere. How do we protect ourselves against that?"

Even more disturbing is the ability shown by rogue regimes and their agents to spread lies on phony websites and Facebook. Further, technology has made it possible for extremist organiza- tions to construct echo chambers of support for conspiracy theo- ries, false narratives, and ignorant views on religion and race. This is the first rule of deception: repeated often enough, almost any statement, story, or smear can start to sound plausible. The Internet should be an ally of freedom and a gateway to knowledge; in some cases, it is neither.

Historian Robert Paxton begins one of his books by assert- ing: "Fascism was the major political innovation of the twentieth century, and the source of much of its pain." Over the years, he and other scholars have developed lists of the many moving parts that Fascism entails. Toward the end of our discussion, my class sought to articulate a comparable list.

Fascism, most of the students agreed, is an extreme form of authoritarian rule. Citizens are required to do exactly what lead- ers say they must do, nothing more, nothing less. The doctrine is linked to rabid nationalism. It also turns the traditional social contract upside down. Instead of citizens giving power to the state in exchange for the protection of their rights, power begins with the leader, and the people have no rights. Under Fascism,

the mission of citizens is to serve; the government's job is to rule.

When one talks about this subject, confusion often arises about the difference between Fascism and such related concepts as totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, tyranny, autocracy, and so on. As an academic, I might be tempted to wander into that thicket, but as a former diplomat, I am primarily concerned with actions, not labels. To my mind, a Fascist is someone who identifies strongly with and claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use whatever means are necessary -- including violence -- to achieve his or her goals. In that conception, a Fascist will likely be a tyrant, but a tyrant need not be a Fascist.

Often the difference can be seen in who is trusted with the guns. In seventeenth-century Europe, when Catholic aristocrats did battle with Protestant aristocrats, they fought over scripture but agreed not to distribute weapons to their peasants, thinking it safer to wage war with mercenary armies. Modern dictators also tend to be wary of their citizens, which is why they create royal guards and other elite security units to ensure their personal safe- ty. A Fascist, however, expects the crowd to have his back. Where kings try to settle people down, Fascists stir them up so that when the fighting begins, their foot soldiers have the will and the firepower to strike first.


petarsimic , October 21, 2018

Madeleine Albright on million Iraqis dead: "We think the price is worth It"

Hypocrisy at its worst from a lady who advocated hawkish foreign policy which included the most sustained bombing campaign since Vietnam, when, in 1998, Clinton began almost daily attacks on Iraq in the so-called no-fly zones, and made so-called regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy.

In May of 1996, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Madeleine Albright, who at the time was Clinton's U.N. ambassador. Correspondent Leslie Stahl said to Albright, in connection with the Clinton administration presiding over the most devastating regime of sanctions in history that the U.N. estimated took the lives of as many as a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them children. , "We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and, you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeleine Albright replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it.

<img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> P. Bierre , June 11, 2018
Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it?

While I found much of the story-telling in "Fascism" engaging, I come away expecting much more of one of our nation's pre-eminent senior diplomats . In a nutshell, she has devoted a whole volume to describing the ascent of intolerant fascism and its many faces, but punted on the question "How should we thwart fascism going forward?"

Even that question leaves me a bit unsatisfied, since it is couched in double-negative syntax. The thing there is an appetite for, among the readers of this book who are looking for more than hand-wringing about neofascism, is a unifying title or phrase which captures in single-positive syntax that which Albright prefers over fascism. What would that be? And, how do we pursue it, nurture it, spread it and secure it going forward? What is it?

I think Albright would perhaps be willing to rally around "Good Government" as the theme her book skirts tangentially from the dark periphery of fascistic government. "Virtuous Government"? "Effective Government"? "Responsive Government"?

People concerned about neofascism want to know what we should be doing right now to avoid getting sidetracked into a dark alley of future history comparable to the Nazi brown shirt or Mussolini black shirt epochs. Does Albright present a comprehensive enough understanding of fascism to instruct on how best to avoid it? Or, is this just another hand-wringing exercise, a la "you'll know it when you see it", with a proactive superficiality stuck at the level of pejorative labelling of current styles of government and national leaders? If all you can say is what you don't want, then the challenge of threading the political future of the US is left unruddered. To make an analogy to driving a car, if you don't know your destination, and only can get navigational prompts such as "don't turn here" or "don't go down that street", then what are the chances of arriving at a purposive destination?

The other part of this book I find off-putting is that Albright, though having served as Secretary of State, never talks about the heavy burden of responsibility that falls on a head of state. She doesn't seem to empathize at all with the challenge of top leadership. Her perspective is that of the detached critic. For instance, in discussing President Duterte of the Philippines, she fails to paint the dire situation under which he rose to national leadership responsibility: Islamic separatists having violently taken over the entire city of Marawi, nor the ubiquitous spread of drug cartel power to the level where control over law enforcement was already ceded to the gangs in many places...entire islands and city neighborhoods run by mafia organizations. It's easy to sit back and criticize Duterte's unleashing of vigilante justice -- What was Mrs. Albright's better alternative to regain ground from vicious, well-armed criminal organizations? The distancing from leadership responsibility makes Albright's treatment of the Philippines twin crises of gang-rule and Islamist revolutionaries seem like so much academic navel-gazing....OK for an undergrad course at Georgetown maybe, but unworthy of someone who served in a position of high responsibility. Duterte is liked in the Philippines. What he did snapped back the power of the cartels, and returned a deserved sense of security to average Philippinos (at least those not involved with narcotics). Is that not good government, given the horrendous circumstances Duterte came up to deal with? What lack of responsibility in former Philippine leadership allowed things to get so out of control? Is it possible that Democrats and liberals are afraid to be tough, when toughness is what is needed? I'd much rather read an account from an average Philippino about the positive impacts of the vigilante campaign, than listen of Madame Secretary sermonizing out of context about Duterte. OK, he's not your idea of a nice guy. Would you rather sit back, prattle on about the rule of law and due process while Islamic terrorists wrest control over where you live? Would you prefer the leadership of a drug cartel boss to Duterte?

My critique is offered in a constructive manner. I would certainly encourage Albright (or anyone!) to write a book in a positive voice about what it's going to take to have good national government in the US going forward, and to help spread such abundance globally. I would define "good" as the capability to make consistently good policy decisions, ones that continue to look good in hindsight, 10, 20 or 30 years later. What does that take?

I would submit that the essential "preserving democracy" process component is having a population that is adequately prepared for collaborative problem-solving. Some understanding of history is helpful, but it's simply not enough. Much more essential is for every young person to experience team problem-solving, in both its cooperative and competitive aspects. Every young person needs to experience a team leadership role, and to appreciate what it takes from leaders to forge constructive design from competing ideas and champions. Only after serving as a referee will a young person understand the limits to "passion" that individual contributors should bring to the party. Only after moderating and herding cats will a young person know how to interact productively with leaders and other contributors. Much of the skill is counter-instinctual. It's knowing how to express ideas...how to field criticism....how to nudge people along in the desired direction...and how to avoid ad-hominem attacks, exaggerations, accusations and speculative grievances. It's learning how to manage conflict productively toward excellence. Way too few of our young people are learning these skills, and way too few of our journalists know how to play a constructive role in managing communications toward successful complex problem-solving. Albright's claim that a journalist's job is primarily to "hold leaders accountable" really betrays an absolving of responsibility for the media as a partner in good government -- it doesn't say whether the media are active players on the problem-solving team (which they have to be for success), or mere spectators with no responsibility for the outcome. If the latter, then journalism becomes an irritant, picking at the scabs over and over, but without any forward progress. When the media takes up a stance as an "opponent" of leadership, you end up with poor problem-solving results....the system is fighting itself instead of making forward progress.

"Fascism" doesn't do nearly enough to promote the teaching of practical civics 101 skills, not just to the kids going into public administration, but to everyone. For, it is in the norms of civility, their ability to be practiced, and their defense against excesses, that fascism (e.g., Antifa) is kept at bay.
Everyone in a democracy has to know the basics:
• when entering a disagreement, don't personalize it
• never demonize an opponent
• keep a focus on the goal of agreement and moving forward
• never tell another person what they think, but ask (non-rhetorically) what they think then be prepared to listen and absorb
• do not speak untruths or exaggerate to make an argument
• do not speculate grievance
• understand truth gathering as a process; detect when certainty is being bluffed; question sources
• recognize impasse and unproductive argumentation and STOP IT
• know how to introduce a referee or moderator to regain productive collaboration
• avoid ad hominem attacks
• don't take things personally that wrankle you;
• give the benefit of the doubt in an ambiguous situation
• don't jump to conclusions
• don't reward theatrical manipulation

These basics of collaborative problem-solving are the guts of a "liberal democracy" that can face down the most complex challenges and dilemmas.

I gave the book 3 stars for the great story-telling, and Albright has been part of a great story of late 20th century history. If she would have told us how to prevent fascism going forward, and how to roll it back in "hard case" countries like North Korea and Sudan, I would have given her a 5. I'm not that interested in picking apart the failure cases of history...they teach mostly negative exemplars. Much rather I would like to read about positive exemplars of great national government -- "great" defined by popular acclaim, by the actual ones governed. Where are we seeing that today? Canada? Australia? Interestingly, both of these positive exemplars have strict immigration policies.

Is it possible that Albright is just unable, by virtue of her narrow escape from Communist Czechoslovakia and acceptance in NYC as a transplant, to see that an optimum immigration policy in the US, something like Canada's or Australia's, is not the looming face of fascism, but rather a move to keep it safely in its corner in coming decades? At least, she admits to her being biased by her life story.

That suggests her views on refugees and illegal immigrants as deserving of unlimited rights to migrate into the US might be the kind of cloaked extremism that she is warning us about.

Anat Hadad , January 19, 2019
"Fascism is not an exception to humanity, but part of it."

Albright's book is a comprehensive look at recent history regarding the rise and fall of fascist leaders; as well as detailing leaders in nations that are starting to mimic fascist ideals. Instead of a neat definition, she uses examples to bolster her thesis of what are essential aspects of fascism. Albright dedicates each section of the book to a leader or regime that enforces fascist values and conveys this to the reader through historical events and exposition while also peppering in details of her time as Secretary of State. The climax (and 'warning'), comes at the end, where Albright applies what she has been discussing to the current state of affairs in the US and abroad.

Overall, I would characterize this as an enjoyable and relatively easy read. I think the biggest strength of this book is how Albright uses history, previous examples of leaders and regimes, to demonstrate what fascism looks like and contributing factors on a national and individual level. I appreciated that she lets these examples speak for themselves of the dangers and subtleties of a fascist society, which made the book more fascinating and less of a textbook. Her brief descriptions of her time as Secretary of State were intriguing and made me more interested in her first book, 'Madame Secretary'. The book does seem a bit slow as it is not until the end that Albright blatantly reveals the relevance of all of the history relayed in the first couple hundred pages. The last few chapters are dedicated to the reveal: the Trump administration and how it has affected global politics. Although, she never outright calls Trump a fascist, instead letting the reader decide based on his decisions and what you have read in the book leading up to this point, her stance is quite clear by the end. I was surprised at what I shared politically with Albright, mainly in immigration and a belief of empathy and understanding for others. However, I got a slight sense of anti-secularism in the form of a disdain for those who do not subscribe to an Abrahamic religion and she seemed to hint at this being partly an opening to fascism.

I also could have done without the both-sides-ism she would occasionally push, which seems to be a tactic used to encourage people to 'unite against Trump'. These are small annoyances I had with the book, my main critique is the view Albright takes on democracy. If anything, the book should have been called "Democracy: the Answer" because that is the most consistent stance Albright takes throughout. She seems to overlook many of the atrocities the US and other nations have committed in the name of democracy and the negative consequences of capitalism, instead, justifying negative actions with the excuse of 'it is for democracy and everyone wants that' and criticizing those who criticize capitalism.

She does not do a good job of conveying the difference between a communist country like Russia and a socialist country like those found in Scandinavia and seems okay with the idea of the reader lumping them all together in a poor light. That being said, I would still recommend this book for anyone's TBR as the message is essential for today, that the current world of political affairs is, at least somewhat, teetering on a precipice and we are in need of as many strong leaders as possible who are willing to uphold democratic ideals on the world stage and mindful constituents who will vote them in.

Matthew T , May 29, 2018
An easy read, but incredibly ignorant and one eyed in far too many instances

The book is very well written, easy to read, and follows a pretty standard formula making it accessible to the average reader. However, it suffers immensely from, what I suspect are, deeply ingrained political biases from the author.

Whilst I don't dispute the criteria the author applies in defining fascism, or the targets she cites as examples, the first bias creeps in here when one realises the examples chosen are traditional easy targets for the US (with the exception of Turkey). The same criteria would define a country like Singapore perfectly as fascist, yet the country (or Malaysia) does not receive a mention in the book.

Further, it grossly glosses over what Ms. Albright terms facist traits from the US governments of the past. If the author is to be believed, the CIA is holier than thou, never intervened anywhere or did anything that wasn't with the best interests of democracy at heart, and American foreign policy has always existed to build friendships and help out their buddies. To someone ingrained in this rhetoric for years I am sure this is an easy pill to swallow, but to the rest of the world it makes a number of assertions in the book come across as incredibly naive. out of 5 stars Trite and opaque

Avid reader , December 20, 2018
Biast much? Still a good start into the problem

We went with my husband to the presentation of this book at UPenn with Albright before it came out and Madeleine's spunk, wit and just glorious brightness almost blinded me. This is a 2.5 star book, because 81 year old author does not really tell you all there is to tell when she opens up on a subject in any particular chapter, especially if it concerns current US interest.

Lets start from the beginning of the book. What really stood out, the missing 3rd Germany ally, Japan and its emperor. Hirohito (1901-1989) was emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. He took over at a time of rising democratic sentiment, but his country soon turned toward ultra-nationalism and militarism. During World War II (1939-45), Japan attacked nearly all of its Asian neighbors, allied itself with Nazi Germany and launched a surprise assault on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, forcing US to enter the war in 1941. Hirohito was never indicted as a war criminal! does he deserve at least a chapter in her book?

Oh and by the way, did author mention anything about sanctions against Germany for invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Poland? Up until the Pearl Harbor USA and Germany still traded, although in March 1939, FDR slapped a 25% tariff on all German goods. Like Trump is doing right now to some of US trading partners.

Next monster that deserves a chapter on Genocide in cosmic proportions post WW2 is communist leader of China Mao Zedung. Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants compares to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the total worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.

We learn that Argentina has given sanctuary to Nazi war criminals, but she forgets to mention that 88 Nazi scientists arrived in the United States in 1945 and were promptly put to work. For example, Wernher von Braun was the brains behind the V-2 rocket program, but had intimate knowledge of what was going on in the concentration camps. Von Braun himself hand-picked people from horrific places, including Buchenwald concentration camp. Tsk-Tsk Madeline.

What else? Oh, lets just say that like Madelaine Albright my husband is Jewish and lost extensive family to Holocoust. Ukrainian nationalists executed his great grandfather on gistapo orders, his great grandmother disappeared in concentration camp, grandfather was conscripted in june 1940 and decommissioned september 1945 and went through war as infantryman through 3 fronts earning several medals. his grandmother, an ukrainian born jew was a doctor in a military hospital in Saint Petersburg survived famine and saved several children during blockade. So unlike Maideline who was raised as a Roman Catholic, my husband grew up in a quiet jewish family in that territory that Stalin grabbed from Poland in 1939, in a polish turn ukrainian city called Lvov(Lemberg). His family also had to ask for an asylum, only they had to escape their home in Ukraine in 1991. He was told then "You are a nice little Zid (Jew), we will kill you last" If you think things in ukraine changed, think again, few weeks ago in Kiev Roma gypsies were killed and injured during pogroms, and nobody despite witnesses went to jail. Also during demonstrations openly on the streets C14 unit is waving swastikas and Heils. Why is is not mentioned anywhere in the book? is is because Hunter Biden sits on the board of one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies called Burisma since May 14, 2014, and Ukraine has an estimated 127.9 trillion cubic feet of unproved technically recoverable shale gas resources? ( according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).1 The most promising shale reserves appear to be in the Carpathian Foreland Basin (also called the Lviv-Volyn Basin), which extends across Western Ukraine from Poland into Romania, and the Dnieper-Donets Basin in the East (which borders Russia).
Wow, i bet you did not know that. how ugly are politics, even this book that could have been so much greater if the author told the whole ugly story. And how scary that there are countries where you can go and openly be fascist.

&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/0e64e0cb-01e4-4e58-bcae-bba690344095._CR0,0.0,333,333_SX48_.jpg"&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; NJ , February 3, 2019
Interesting...yes. Useful...hmmm

To me, Fascism fails for the single reason that no two fascist leaders are alike. Learning about one or a few, in a highly cursory fashion like in this book or in great detail, is unlikely to provide one with any answers on how to prevent the rise of another or fend against some such. And, as much as we are witnessing the rise of numerous democratic or quasi-democratic "strongmen" around the world in global politics, it is difficult to brand any of them as fascist in the orthodox sense.

As the author writes at the outset, it is difficult to separate a fascist from a tyrant or a dictator. A fascist is a majoritarian who rouses a large group under some national, racial or similar flag with rallying cries demanding suppression or exculcation of those excluded from this group. A typical fascist leader loves her yes-men and hates those who disagree: she does not mind using violence to suppress dissidents. A fascist has no qualms using propaganda to popularize the agreeable "facts" and theories while debunking the inconvenient as lies. What is not discussed explicitly in the book are perhaps some positive traits that separate fascists from other types of tyrants: fascists are rarely lazy, stupid or prone to doing things for only personal gains. They differ from the benevolent dictators for their record of using heavy oppression against their dissidents. Fascists, like all dictators, change rules to suit themselves, take control of state organizations to exercise total control and use "our class is the greatest" and "kick others" to fuel their programs.

Despite such a detailed list, each fascist is different from each other. There is little that even Ms Albright's fascists - from Mussolini and Hitler to Stalin to the Kims to Chavez or Erdogan - have in common. In fact, most of the opponents of some of these dictators/leaders would calll them by many other choice words but not fascists. The circumstances that gave rise to these leaders were highly different and so were their rules, methods and achievements.

The point, once again, is that none of the strongmen leaders around the world could be easily categorized as fascists. Or even if they do, assigning them with such a tag and learning about some other such leaders is unlikely to help. The history discussed in the book is interesting but disjointed, perfunctory and simplistic. Ms Albright's selection is also debatable.

Strong leaders who suppress those they deem as opponents have wreaked immense harms and are a threat to all civil societies. They come in more shades and colours than terms we have in our vocabulary (dictators, tyrants, fascists, despots, autocrats etc). A study of such tyrant is needed for anyone with an interest in history, politics, or societal well-being. Despite Ms Albright's phenomenal knowledge, experience, credentials, personal history and intentions, this book is perhaps not the best place to objectively learn much about the risks from the type of things some current leaders are doing or deeming as right.

Gderf , February 15, 2019
Wrong warning

Each time I get concerned about Trump's rhetoric or past actions I read idiotic opinions, like those of our second worst ever Secretary of State, and come to appreciate him more. Pejorative terms like fascism or populism have no place in a rational policy discussion. Both are blatant attempts to apply a pejorative to any disagreeing opinion. More than half of the book is fluffed with background of Albright, Hitler and Mussolini. Wikipedia is more informative. The rest has snippets of more modern dictators, many of whom are either socialists or attained power through a reaction to failed socialism, as did Hitler. She squirms mightily to liken Trump to Hitler. It's much easier to see that Sanders is like Maduro. The USA is following a path more like Venezuela than Germany.

Her history misses that Mussolini was a socialist before he was a fascist, and Nazism in Germany was a reaction to Wiemar socialism. The danger of fascism in the US is far greater from the left than from the right. America is far left of where the USSR ever was. Remember than Marx observed that Russia was not ready for a proletarian revolution. The USA with ready made capitalism for reform fits Marx's pattern much better. Progressives deny that Sanders and Warren are socialists. If not they are what Lenin called "useful idiots."
Albright says that she is proud of the speech where she called the USA the 'Indispensable Nation.' She should be ashamed. Obama followed in his inaugural address, saying that we are "the indispensable nation, responsible for world security." That turned into a policy of human rights interventions leading to open ended wars (Syria, Yemen), nations in chaos (Libya), and distrust of the USA (Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, NK). Trump now has to make nice with dictators to allay their fears that we are out to replace them.
She admires the good intentions of human rights intervention, ignoring the results. She says Obama had some success without citing a single instance. He has apologized for Libya, but needs many more apologies. She says Obama foreign policy has had some success, with no mention of a single instance. Like many progressives, she confuses good intentions with performance. Democracy spreading by well intentioned humanitarian intervention has resulted in a succession of open ended war or anarchy.

The shorter histories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Venezuela are much more informative, although more a warning against socialism than right wing fascism. Viktor Orban in Hungary is another reaction to socialism.

Albright ends the book with a forlorn hope that we need a Lincoln or Mandela, exactly what our two party dictatorship will not generate as it yields ever worse and worse candidates for our democracy to vote upon, even as our great society utopia generates ever more power for weak presidents to spend our money and continue wrong headed foreign policy.

The greatest danger to the USA is not fascism, but of excessively poor leadership continuing our slow slide to the bottom.

[Apr 02, 2019] Mr Cohen and I Live on Different Planets

Apr 02, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Looks like the reviewer is a typical neocon. Typical neocon think tanks talking points that reflect the "Full Spectrum Dominance" agenda.

As for Ukraine yes, of course, Victoria Nuland did not interfere with the event, did not push for the deposing Yanukovich to spoil agreement reached between him and the EU diplomats ("F**k EU" as this high level US diplomat eloquently expressed herself) and to appoint the US stooge Yatsenyuk. The transcript of Nuland's phone call actually introduced many Americans to the previously obscure Yatsenyuk.

And the large amount of cash confiscated in the Kiev office of Yulia Timostchenko Batkivshchina party (the main opposition party at the time run by Yatsenyuk, as Timoshenko was in jail) was just a hallucination. It has nothing to do with ";bombing with dollars"; -- yet another typical color revolution trick.

BTW "government snipers of rooftops" also is a standard false flag operation used to instill uprising at the critical moment of the color revolution. Ukraine was not the first and is not the last. One participant recently confessed. The key person in this false flag operation was the opposition leader Andriy Parubiy -- who was responsible for the security of the opposition camp. Google "Parubiy and snipergate" for more information.

His view on DNC hack (which most probably was a leak) also does not withstand close scrutiny. William Binney, a former National Security Agency high level official who co-authored an analysis of a group of former intelligence professionals thinks that this was a transfer to the local USB drive as the speed of downloads was too high for the Internet connection. In this light the death of Seth Rich looks very suspicious indeed.

As for Russiagate, he now needs to print his review and the portrait of Grand Wizard of Russiagate Rachel Maddow, shed both of them and eat with Borscht ;-)

[Apr 01, 2019] Amazon.com War with Russia From Putin Ukraine to Trump Russiagate (9781510745810) Stephen F. Cohen Books

Highly recommended!
Important book. Kindle sample
Notable quotes:
"... Washington has made many policies strongly influenced by' the demonizing of Putin -- a personal vilification far exceeding any ever applied to Soviet Russia's latter-day Communist leaders. ..."
"... As with all institutions, the demonization of Putin has its own history'. When he first appeared on the world scene as Boris Yeltsin's anointed successor, in 1999-2000, Putin was welcomed by' leading representatives of the US political-media establishment. The New York Times ' chief Moscow correspondent and other verifiers reported that Russia's new leader had an "emotional commitment to building a strong democracy." Two years later, President George W. Bush lauded his summit with Putin and "the beginning of a very' constructive relationship."' ..."
"... But the Putin-friendly narrative soon gave away to unrelenting Putin-bashing. In 2004, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof inadvertently explained why, at least partially. Kristof complained bitterly' of having been "suckered by' Mr. Putin. He is not a sober version of Boris Yeltsin." By 2006, a Wall Street Journal editor, expressing the establishment's revised opinion, declared it "time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States." 10 , 11 The rest, as they' say, is history'. ..."
"... In America and elsewhere in the West, however, only purported "minuses" reckon in the extreme vilifying, or anti-cult, of Putin. Many are substantially uninformed, based on highly selective or unverified sources, and motivated by political grievances, including those of several Yeltsin-era oligarchs and their agents in the West. ..."
"... Putin is not the man who, after coming to power in 2000, "de-democratized" a Russian democracy established by President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s and restored a system akin to Soviet "totalitarianism." ..."
"... Nor did Putim then make himself a tsar or Soviet-like autocrat, which means a despot with absolute power to turn his will into policy, the last Kremlin leader with that kind of power was Stalin, who died in 1953, and with him his 20-year mass terror. ..."
"... Putin is not a Kremlin leader who "reveres Stalin" and whose "Russia is a gangster shadow of Stalin's Soviet Union." 13 , 14 These assertions are so far-fetched and uninfoimed about Stalin's terror-ridden regime, Putin, and Russia today, they barely warrant comment. ..."
"... Nor did Putin create post-Soviet Russia's "kleptocratic economic system," with its oligarchic and other widespread corruption. This too took shape under Yeltsin during the Kremlin's shock-therapy "privatization" schemes of the 1990s, when the "swindlers and thieves" still denounced by today's opposition actually emerged. ..."
"... Which brings us to the most sinister allegation against him: Putin, trained as "a KGB thug," regularly orders the killing of inconvenient journalists and personal enemies, like a "mafia state boss." ..."
"... More recently, there is yet another allegation: Putin is a fascist and white supremacist. The accusation is made mostly, it seems, by people wishing to deflect attention from the role being played by neo-Nazis in US-backed Ukraine. ..."
"... Finally, at least for now. there is the ramifying demonization allegation that, as a foreign-policy leader. Putin has been exceedingly "aggressive" abroad and his behavior has been the sole cause of the new cold war. ..."
"... Embedded in the "aggressive Putin" axiom are two others. One is that Putin is a neo-Soviet leader who seeks to restore the Soviet Union at the expense of Russia's neighbors. Fie is obsessively misquoted as having said, in 2005, "The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," apparently ranking it above two World Wars. What he actually said was "a major geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," as it was for most Russians. ..."
"... The other fallacious sub-axiom is that Putin has always been "anti-Western," specifically "anti-American," has "always viewed the United States" with "smoldering suspicions." -- so much that eventually he set into motion a "Plot Against America." ..."
"... Or, until he finally concluded that Russia would never be treated as an equal and that NATO had encroached too close, Putin was a full partner in the US-European clubs of major world leaders? Indeed, as late as May 2018, contrary to Russiagate allegations, he still hoped, as he had from the beginning, to rebuild Russia partly through economic partnerships with the West: "To attract capital from friendly companies and countries, we need good relations with Europe and with the whole world, including the United States." 3 " ..."
"... A few years earlier, Putin remarkably admitted that initially he had "illusions" about foreign policy, without specifying which. Perhaps he meant this, spoken at the end of 2017: "Our most serious mistake in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much. And your mistake is that you took that trust as weakness and abused it." 34 ..."
"... <img src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/amazon-avatars-global/default._CR0,0,1024,1024_SX48_.png"> P. Philips ..."
"... "In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" ..."
"... Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation. ..."
"... If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris. ..."
Apr 01, 2019 | www.amazon.com

THE SPECTER OF AN EVIL-DOING VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS loomed over and undermined US thinking about Russia for at least a decade. Inescapably, it is therefore a theme that runs through this book. Henry' Kissinger deserves credit for having warned, perhaps alone among prominent American political figures, against this badly distorted image of Russia's leader since 2000: "The demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy. It is an alibi for not having one." 4

But Kissinger was also wrong. Washington has made many policies strongly influenced by' the demonizing of Putin -- a personal vilification far exceeding any ever applied to Soviet Russia's latter-day Communist leaders. Those policies spread from growing complaints in the early 2000s to US- Russian proxy wars in Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, and eventually even at home, in Russiagate allegations. Indeed, policy-makers adopted an earlier formulation by the late Senator .Tolm McCain as an integral part of a new and more dangerous Cold War: "Putin [is] an unreconstructed Russian imperialist and K.G.B. apparatchik.... His world is a brutish, cynical place.... We must prevent the darkness of Mr. Putin's world from befalling more of humanity'." 3

Mainstream media outlets have play'ed a major prosecutorial role in the demonization. Far from aty'pically', the Washington Post's editorial page editor wrote, "Putin likes to make the bodies bounce.... The rule-by-fear is Soviet, but this time there is no ideology -- only a noxious mixture of personal aggrandizement, xenophobia, homophobia and primitive anti-Americanism." 6 Esteemed publications and writers now routinely degrade themselves by competing to denigrate "the flabbily muscled form" of the "small gray ghoul named Vladimir Putin." 7 , 8 There are hundreds of such examples, if not more, over many years. Vilifying Russia's leader has become a canon in the orthodox US narrative of the new Cold War.

As with all institutions, the demonization of Putin has its own history'. When he first appeared on the world scene as Boris Yeltsin's anointed successor, in 1999-2000, Putin was welcomed by' leading representatives of the US political-media establishment. The New York Times ' chief Moscow correspondent and other verifiers reported that Russia's new leader had an "emotional commitment to building a strong democracy." Two years later, President George W. Bush lauded his summit with Putin and "the beginning of a very' constructive relationship."'

But the Putin-friendly narrative soon gave away to unrelenting Putin-bashing. In 2004, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof inadvertently explained why, at least partially. Kristof complained bitterly' of having been "suckered by' Mr. Putin. He is not a sober version of Boris Yeltsin." By 2006, a Wall Street Journal editor, expressing the establishment's revised opinion, declared it "time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States." 10 , 11 The rest, as they' say, is history'.

Who has Putin really been during his many years in power? We may' have to leave this large, complex question to future historians, when materials for full biographical study -- memoirs, archive documents, and others -- are available. Even so, it may surprise readers to know that Russia's own historians, policy intellectuals, and journalists already argue publicly and differ considerably as to the "pluses and minuses" of Putin's leadership. (My own evaluation is somewhere in the middle.)

In America and elsewhere in the West, however, only purported "minuses" reckon in the extreme vilifying, or anti-cult, of Putin. Many are substantially uninformed, based on highly selective or unverified sources, and motivated by political grievances, including those of several Yeltsin-era oligarchs and their agents in the West.

By identifying and examining, however briefly, the primary "minuses" that underpin the demonization of Putin, we can understand at least who he is not:

Embedded in the "aggressive Putin" axiom are two others. One is that Putin is a neo-Soviet leader who seeks to restore the Soviet Union at the expense of Russia's neighbors. Fie is obsessively misquoted as having said, in 2005, "The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," apparently ranking it above two World Wars. What he actually said was "a major geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century," as it was for most Russians.

Though often critical of the Soviet system and its two formative leaders, Lenin and Stalin, Putin, like most of his generation, naturally remains in part a Soviet person. But what he said in 2010 reflects his real perspective and that of very many other Russians: "Anyone who does not regret the break-up of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants its rebirth in its previous form has no head." 28 , 29

The other fallacious sub-axiom is that Putin has always been "anti-Western," specifically "anti-American," has "always viewed the United States" with "smoldering suspicions." -- so much that eventually he set into motion a "Plot Against America." 30 , 31 A simple reading of his years in power tells us otherwise. A Westernized Russian, Putin came to the presidency in 2000 in the still prevailing tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin -- in hope of a "strategic friendship and partnership" with the United States.

How else to explain Putin's abundant assistant to US forces fighting in Afghanistan after 9/1 1 and continued facilitation of supplying American and NATO troops there? Or his backing of harsh sanctions against Iran's nuclear ambitions and refusal to sell Tehran a highly effective air-defense system? Or the information his intelligence services shared with Washington that if heeded could have prevented the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2012?

Or, until he finally concluded that Russia would never be treated as an equal and that NATO had encroached too close, Putin was a full partner in the US-European clubs of major world leaders? Indeed, as late as May 2018, contrary to Russiagate allegations, he still hoped, as he had from the beginning, to rebuild Russia partly through economic partnerships with the West: "To attract capital from friendly companies and countries, we need good relations with Europe and with the whole world, including the United States." 3 "

Given all that has happened during the past nearly two decades -- particularly what Putin and other Russian leaders perceive to have happened -- it would be remarkable if his views of the W^est, especially America, had not changed. As he remarked in 2018, "We all change." 33

A few years earlier, Putin remarkably admitted that initially he had "illusions" about foreign policy, without specifying which. Perhaps he meant this, spoken at the end of 2017: "Our most serious mistake in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much. And your mistake is that you took that trust as weakness and abused it." 34


P. Philips , December 6, 2018

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act"

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" is a well known quotation (but probably not of George Orwell). And in telling the truth about Russia and that the current "war of nerves" is not in the interests of either the American People or national security, Professor Cohen in this book has in fact done a revolutionary act.

Like a denizen of Plato's cave, or being in the film the Matrix, most people have no idea what the truth is. And the questions raised by Professor Cohen are a great service in the cause of the truth. As Professor Cohen writes in his introduction To His Readers:

"My scholarly work -- my biography of Nikolai Bukharin and essays collected in Rethinking the Soviet Experience and Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, for example -- has always been controversial because it has been what scholars term "revisionist" -- reconsiderations, based on new research and perspectives, of prevailing interpretations of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history. But the "controversy" surrounding me since 2014, mostly in reaction to the contents of this book, has been different -- inspired by usually vacuous, defamatory assaults on me as "Putin's No. 1 American Apologist," "Best Friend," and the like. I never respond specifically to these slurs because they offer no truly substantive criticism of my arguments, only ad hominem attacks. Instead, I argue, as readers will see in the first section, that I am a patriot of American national security, that the orthodox policies my assailants promote are gravely endangering our security, and that therefore we -- I and others they assail -- are patriotic heretics. Here too readers can judge."

Cohen, Stephen F.. War with Russia (Kindle Locations 131-139). Hot Books. Kindle Edition.

Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation.

Indeed, with the hysteria on "climate change" isn't it odd that other than Professor Cohen's voice, there are no prominent figures warning of the devastation that nuclear war would bring?

If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris.

I cannot recommend Professor Cohen's work with sufficient superlatives; his arguments are erudite, clearly stated, supported by the facts and ultimately irrefutable. If enough people find Professor Cohen's work and raise their voices to their oblivious politicians and profiteers from war to stop further confrontation between Russia and America, then this book has served a noble purpose.

If nothing else, educate yourself by reading this work to discover what the *truth* is. And the truth is something sacred.

America and the world owe Professor Cohen a great debt. "Blessed are the peace makers..."

[Mar 31, 2019] George Nader (an adviser to the crown prince of Abu Dhab): Nobody would even waste a cup of coffee on him if it wasn't for who he was married to

Notable quotes:
"... She suggests, "Kushner was increasingly caught up in his own mythology. He was the president's son-in-law, so he apparently thought he was untouchable." (Pg. 114) She notes, "allowing Kushner to work in the administration broke with historical precedent, overruling a string of Justice Department memos that concluded it was illegal for presidents to appoint relatives as White House staff." (Pg. 119) ..."
"... She observes, "Those first few days were chaotic for almost everyone in the new administration. A frantic Reince Priebus would quickly discover that it was impossible to impose any kind of order in this White House, in large part because Trump didn't like order. What Trump liked was having people fight in front of him and then he'd make a decision, just like he'd made snap decisions when his children presented licensing deals for the Trump Organization. This kind of dysfunction enabled a 'floater' like Kushner, whose job was undefined, to weigh in on any topic in front of Trump and have far more influence than he would have had in a top-down hierarchy." (Pg. 125) ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Steven H Propp TOP 50 REVIEWER 5.0 out of 5 stars March 27, 2019

AN INFORMATIVE BOOK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER AND SON-IN-LAW

Author Vicky Ward wrote in the Prologue to this 2019 book, "Donald Trump was celebrating being sworn in as president And the whole world knew that his daughter and son-in-law were his most trusted advisers, ambassadors, and coconspirators. They were an attractive couple---extremely wealthy and, now, extraordinarily powerful. Ivanka looked like Cinderella Ivanka and her husband swept onto the stage, deftly deflecting attention from Donald Trump's clumsy moves, as she had done do often over the past twenty years. The crowd roared in approval They were now America's prince and princess."

She notes, "Jared Kushner learned about the company [his father's] he would later run. Jared was the firm's most sheltered trainee. On his summer vacations, he'd go to work at Kushner Companies construction sites, maybe painting a few walls, more often sitting and listening to music No one dared tell him this probably would not give him a deep understanding of the construction process. But Charlie [Jared's father] doggedly groomed his eldest son for greatness, seeing himself as a Jewish version of Joseph Kennedy " (Pg. 17-18)

She states, "Ivanka had to fight for her father's attention and her ultimate role as the chief heir in his real estate empire When Donald Trump divorced her mother, Ivana she would go out of her way to see more of her father, not less she'd call him during the day and to her delight, he'd always take her call. (Trump's relationship with the two sons he had with Ivana, Don Jr. and Eric, was not nearly so close for years.) 'She was always Daddy's little girl,' said a family friend." (Pg. 32-33) She adds, "As Ivanka matured, physically and emotionally, her father talked openly about how impressed he was with her appearance---a habit he has maintained to this day." (Pg. 35)

She recounts, "at a networking lunch thrown by a diamond heir Jared was introduced to Ivanka Jared and Ivanka quickly became an intriguing gossip column item. They seemed perfectly matched But after a year of dating, they split in part because Jared's parents were dismayed at the idea of their son marrying outside the faith Soon after, Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism Trump was said to be discombobulated by the enormity of what his daughter had done. Trump, a Presbyterian, who strikes no one as particularly religious, was baffled by his daughter's conversion 'Why should my daughter convert to marry anyone?'" (Pg. 51-53)

She observes, "Ivanka Trump was critical in promoting her husband as the smoother, softer counterpart to his father's volatility.. they could both work a room, ask after people's children, talk without notes, occasionally fake a sense of humor And unlike her husband, she seemed to have a ready command of figures and a detail, working knowledge of all the properties she was involved in Ivanka seemed to control the marital relationship, but she also played the part of devoted, traditional Orthodox wife." (Pg. 70-71)

Of 2016, she states, "No one thought Kushner or Ivanka believed in Trump's populist platform. 'The two of them see this as a networking opportunity,' said a close associate. Because Kushner and Ivanka only fully immersed themselves in Trump's campaign once he became the presumptive Republican nominee they had to push to assert themselves with the campaign staff Kushner quickly got control of the campaign's budget, but he did not have as much authority as he would have liked." (Pg. 74-75) She adds, "Ivanka appeared thrilled by her husband's rising prominence in her father's campaign. It was a huge change from the days when Trump had made belittling jokes about him. If Don Jr. and Eric were irked by the new favorite in Trump's court, they did not show it publicly." (Pg. 85)

She points out, "Trump tweeted an image [Hillary with a backdrop of money and a Star of David] widely viewed as anti-Semitic an 'Observer' writer, criticized Kushner in his own newspaper for standing 'silent and smiling in the background' while Trump made 'repeated accidental winks' to white supremacists Kushner wrote a response [that] insisted that Trump was neither anti-Semitic nor a racist Not all of Kushner's relatives appreciated his efforts to cover Trump's pandering to white supremacists." (Pg. 86-87) Later, she adds, "U.S.-Israel relations was the one political issue anyone in the campaign ever saw Kushner get worked up about." (Pg. 96)

On election night, "Kushner was shocked that Trump never mentioned him in his speech and would later tell people he felt slighted. He was going to find a way to get Trump to notice him more. Ivanka would help him the couple would become known as a single, powerful entity: 'Javanka.'" (Pg. 101) She suggests, "Kushner was increasingly caught up in his own mythology. He was the president's son-in-law, so he apparently thought he was untouchable." (Pg. 114) She notes, "allowing Kushner to work in the administration broke with historical precedent, overruling a string of Justice Department memos that concluded it was illegal for presidents to appoint relatives as White House staff." (Pg. 119)

She observes, "Those first few days were chaotic for almost everyone in the new administration. A frantic Reince Priebus would quickly discover that it was impossible to impose any kind of order in this White House, in large part because Trump didn't like order. What Trump liked was having people fight in front of him and then he'd make a decision, just like he'd made snap decisions when his children presented licensing deals for the Trump Organization. This kind of dysfunction enabled a 'floater' like Kushner, whose job was undefined, to weigh in on any topic in front of Trump and have far more influence than he would have had in a top-down hierarchy." (Pg. 125)

She recounts, "Another epic [Steve] Bannon/Ivanka fight came when bannon was in the Oval Office dining room while Trump was watching TV and eating his lunch Ivanka marched in, claiming Bannon had leaked H.R. McMaster's war plan [Bannon said] 'No, that was leaked by McMaster ' Trump [told her], 'Hey, baby, I think Steve's right on this one ' Bannon thought he would be fired on the spot. But he'd learned something important: much as Trump loved his daughter and hated saying no to her, he was not always controlled by her." (Pg. 138-139)

She notes, "[Ivanka] also found a way to be near Trump when he received phone calls from foreign dignitaries -- while she still owned her business. While Ivanka's behavior was irritating, Kushner was playing a game on a whole different level: he was playing for serious money at the time of the Qatari blockade Kushner's family had been courting the Qataris for financial help and had been turned town. When that story broke the blockade and the Trump administration's response to it suddenly all made sense." (Pg. 156)

Arguing that "Kushner was behind the decision to fire [FBI Director James] Comey" (Pg. 163-164), "Quickly, Trump realized he'd made an error, and blamed Kushner. It seemed clear to Trump's advisers, and not for the first time, that he wished Kushner were not in the White House. He said to Kushner in front of senior staff, 'Just go back to New York, man '" (Pg. 167) She adds, "[Ivanka's] reluctance to speak frankly to her father was the antithesis of the story she had been pushing in the media Ivanka had told Gayle King 'Where I disagree with my father, he knows it. And I express myself with total candor.'" (Pg. 170)

She states, "at the Group of 20 summit in Germany she briefly took her father's seat when he had to step out The gesture seemed to send the message that the U.S. government was now run on nepotism." (Pg. 182)

E-mails from George Nader [an adviser to Shiekh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi] "made it clear that Kushner's friends in the Gulf mocked him behind his back Nader wrote 'Nobody would even waste a cup of coffee on him if it wasn't for who he was married to.'" (Pg. 206)

She points out, "since October 2017, hundreds of children had been taken from their parents while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and detained separately news shows everywhere showed heartbreaking images of young children being detained. The next month, Ivanka posted on Instagram a photograph of herself holding her youngest child in his pajamas. Not for the first time, her tone-deaf social media post was slammed as being isolated in her elitist, insulated wealthy world On June 20, Trump signed an executive order that apparently ended the border separations. Minutes later, Ivanka finally spoke publicly on the issue Her tactic here was tell the public you care about an issue; watch silently while your father does the exact opposite; and when he moves a little, take all the credit." (Pg. 225)

She asserts, "Kushner's friendship with a Saudi crown prince was now under widespread scrutiny [because] Rather than expressing moral outrage over the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man [Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi], Kushner did what he always does in a crisis: he went quiet." (Pg. 232)

She concludes, "Ivanka Trump has made no secret of the fact that she wants to be the most powerful woman in the world. Her father's reign in Washington, D.C., is, she believes, the beginning of a great American dynasty Ivanka has been carefully positioning herself as [Trump's] political heir " (Pg. 236)

While not as "scandalous" as the book's subtitle might suggest, this is a very interesting book that will be of great interest to those wanting information about these crucial members of the Trump family and presidency.

[Mar 28, 2019] Was MAGA is con job ?

Notable quotes:
"... Until the Crash of the Great Recession, after which we entered a "Punitive" stage, blaming "Those Others" for buying into faulty housing deals, for wanting a safety net of health care insurance, for resurgent terrorism beyond our borders, and, as the article above indicates, for having an equal citizen's voice in the electoral process. ..."
"... What needs to be restored is the purpose that "the economy works for the PEOPLE of the nation", not the other way around, as we've witnessed for the last four decades. ..."
Feb 26, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Kindle Customer, December 8, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars How and Why the MAGA-myth Consumed Itself

Just finished reading this excellent book on how corporatist NeoLiberalism and the Xristianists merged their ideologies to form the Conservative Coalition in the 1970s, and to then hijack the RepubliCAN party of Abe, Teddy, Ike (and Poppy Bush).

The author describes three phases of the RepugliCONs' zero-sum game:

The "Combative" stage of Reagan sought to restore "family values" (aka patriarchal hierarchy) to the moral depravity of Sixties youth and the uppity claims to equal rights by blacks and feminists.

In the "Normative" stage of Gingrich and W Bush, the NeoConservatives claimed victory over Godless Communism and the NeoLibs took credit for an expanding economy (due mostly by technology, not to Fed policy). They were happy to say "Aren't you happy now?" with sole ownership of the Free World and its markets, yet ignoring various Black Swan events and global trends they actually had no control over.

Until the Crash of the Great Recession, after which we entered a "Punitive" stage, blaming "Those Others" for buying into faulty housing deals, for wanting a safety net of health care insurance, for resurgent terrorism beyond our borders, and, as the article above indicates, for having an equal citizen's voice in the electoral process.

What was unexpected was that the libertarian mutiny by the TeaParty would become so nasty and vicious, leading to the Pirate Trump to scavenge what little was left of American Democracy for his own treasure.

What needs to be restored is the purpose that "the economy works for the PEOPLE of the nation", not the other way around, as we've witnessed for the last four decades.

[Jan 14, 2019] Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Elections are just for show like many trials in the old USSR. The in power Party is the power NOT the individual voting citizens. In the end this book is about exposing the pernicious activities of those who would place themselves above the voting citizens of America. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Johnny G 5.0 out of 5 stars The Complex Made Easy! October 9, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Regardless of your politics this is a must read book. The authors do a wonderful job of peeling back the layered onion that is being referred to as "Spy Gate." The book reads like an imaginative spy thriller. Except it is as real a fist in the stomach or the death of your best friend. In this case it is our Constitution that is victimized by individuals entrusted with "protecting and defending it from all enemies DOMESTIC and foreign."

Tis is in many ways a sad tail of ambition, weak men, political operatives & hubris ridden bureaucrats. The end result IF this type of activity is not punished and roundly condemned by ALL Americans could be a descent into Solzhenitsyn's GULAG type of Deep State government run by unaccountable political appointees and bureaucrats.

Elections are just for show like many trials in the old USSR. The in power Party is the power NOT the individual voting citizens. In the end this book is about exposing the pernicious activities of those who would place themselves above the voting citizens of America. ALL Americans should be aware of those forces seen and unseen that seek to injure our Constitutional Republic. This book is footnoted extensively lest anyone believes it is a polemic political offering.

JAK 5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts and that's the truth October 11, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This book has content that you will not see or find anywhere else. while the topic itself is covered elsewhere in large mainstream media Outlets the truth of what is actually happening is rarely ever exposed.

If there was a six-star recommendation or anything higher because the truth is all that matters, he would receive it.

This book is put together with so many far-left (CNN, BLOOMBERG, DLSTE, YAHOO ECT) leading news stories as being able to support the fact of what happened, it's possible to say oh well that just didn't happen but it was reported by the left and when you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together it is painfully obvious to see what happened......

If these people involved don't go to jail the death of our Republic has already happened

[Oct 06, 2011] Text Processing in Python (a book)

A couple of you make donations each month (out of about a thousand of you reading the text each week). Tragedy of the commons and all that... but if some more of you would donate a few bucks, that would be great support of the author.

In a community spirit (and with permission of my publisher), I am making my book available to the Python community. Minor corrections can be made to later printings, and at the least errata noted on this website. Email me at <mertz@gnosis.cx> .

A few caveats:

(1) This stuff is copyrighted by AW (except the code samples which are released to the public domain). Feel free to use this material personally; but no permission is given for further distribution beyond your personal use.

(2) The book is provided in "smart ASCII" format. This is converted to print (and maybe to fancier electronic formats) by automated scripts (txt->LaTeX->PDF for the printed version).

As a highly sophisticated "digital rights management" system, those scripts are not themselves made readily available. :-)

acknowledgments.txt FOLKS WHO HAVE MADE THIS BOOK BETTER
intro.txt INTRODUCTION
chap1.txt PYTHON BASICS
chap2.txt BASIC STRING OPERATIONS
chap3.txt REGULAR EXPRESSIONS
chap4.txt PARSERS AND STATE-MACHINES
chap5.txt INTERNET TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
appendix_a.txt A SELECTIVE AND IMPRESSIONISTIC SHORT REVIEW OF PYTHON
appendix_b.txt A DATA COMPRESSION PRIMER
appendix_c.txt UNDERSTANDING UNICODE
appendix_d.txt A STATE-MACHINE FOR ADDING MARKUP TO TEXT
glossary.txt GLOSSARY TERMS

[Aug 18, 2009] THE NEXT SNAKE BY RAINER GRIMM

What do Python 2.x programmers need to know about Python 3?

With the latest major Python release, creator Guido van Rossum saw the opportunity to tidy up his famous scripting language. What is different about Python 3.0? In this article, I offer some highlights for Python programmers who are thinking about making the switch to 3.x.

Read full article as PDF "

[Jun 20, 2009] A Python Client/Server Tutorial by Phillip Watts

June 16, 2009

There can be many reasons why you might need a client/server application. For a simple example, purchasing for a small retail chain might need up to the minute stock levels on a central server. The point-of-sale application in the stores would then need to post inventory transactions to the central server in real-time.

This application can easily be coded in Python with performance levels of thousands of transactions per second on a desktop PC. Simple sample programs for the server and client sides are listed below, with discussions following.

[Sept 20, 2006] Python 101 cheat sheet

[01 Feb 2000] Python columnist Evelyn Mitchell brings you a quick reference and learning tools for newbies who want to get to know the language. Print it, keep it close at hand, and get down to programming!

[Jun 2, 2003] Python and the Programmer

Python and the Programmer
A Conversation with Bruce Eckel, Part I
by Bill Venners
Jun 2, 2003
Summary
Bruce Eckel talks with Bill Venners about why he feels Python is "about him," how minimizing clutter improves productivity, and the relationship between backwards compatibility and programmer pain.

Bruce Eckel wrote the best-selling books Thinking in C++ and Thinking in Java, but for the past several years he's preferred to think in Python. Two years ago, Eckel gave a keynote address at the 9th International Python Conference entitled "Why I love Python." He presented ten reasons he loves programming in Python in "top ten list" style, starting with ten and ending with one.

In this interview, which is being published in weekly installments, I ask Bruce Eckel about each of these ten points. In this installment, Bruce Eckel explains why he feels Python is "about him," how minimizing clutter improves productivity, and the relationship between backwards compatibility and programmer pain.

Bill Venners: In the introduction to your "Why I Love Python" keynote, you said what you love the most is "Python is about you." How is Python about you?

Bruce Eckel: With every other language I've had to deal with, it's always felt like the designers were saying, "Yes, we're trying to make your life easier with this language, but these other things are more important." With Python, it has always felt like the designers were saying, "We're trying to make your life easier, and that's it. Making your life easier is the thing that we're not compromising on."

For example, the designers of C++ certainly attempted to make the programmer's life easier, but always made compromises for performance and backwards compatibility. If you ever had a complaint about the way C++ worked, the answer was performance and backwards compatibility.

Bill Venners: What compromises do you see in Java? James Gosling did try to make programmers more productive by eliminating memory bugs.

Bruce Eckel: Sure. I also think that Java's consistency of error handling helped programmer productivity. C++ introduced exception handling, but that was just one of many ways to handle errors in C++. At one time, I thought that Java's checked exceptions were helpful, but I've modified my view on that. (See Resources.)

It seems the compromise in Java is marketing. They had to rush Java out to market. If they had taken a little more time and implemented design by contract, or even just assertions, or any number of other features, it would have been better for the programmer. If they had done design and code reviews, they would have found all sorts of silliness. And I suppose the way Java is marketed is probably what rubs me the wrong way about it. We can say, "Oh, but we don't like this feature," and the answer is, "Yes, but, marketing dictates that it be this way."

Maybe the compromises in C++ were for marketing reasons too. Although choosing to be efficient and backwards compatible with C was done to sell C++ to techies, it was still to sell it to somebody.

I feel Python was designed for the person who is actually doing the programming, to maximize their productivity. And that just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. I feel nobody is going to be telling me, "Oh yeah, you have to jump through all these hoops for one reason or another." When you have the experience of really being able to be as productive as possible, then you start to get pissed off at other languages. You think, "Gee, I've been wasting my time with these other languages."

Number 10: Reduced Clutter

Bill Venners: In your keynote, you gave ten reasons you love Python. Number ten was reduced clutter. What did you mean by reduced clutter?

Bruce Eckel: They say you can hold seven plus or minus two pieces of information in your mind. I can't remember how to open files in Java. I've written chapters on it. I've done it a bunch of times, but it's too many steps. And when I actually analyze it, I realize these are just silly design decisions that they made. Even if they insisted on using the Decorator pattern in java.io, they should have had a convenience constructor for opening files simply. Because we open files all the time, but nobody can remember how. It is too much information to hold in your mind.

The other issue is the effect of an interruption. If you are really deep into doing something and you have an interruption, it's quite a number of minutes before you can get back into that deeply focused state. With programming, imagine you're flowing along. You're thinking, "I know this, and I know this, and I know this," and you are putting things together. And then all of a sudden you run into something like, "I have to open a file and read in the lines." All the clutter in the code you have to write to do that in Java can interrupt the flow of your work.

Another number that used to be bandied about is that programmers can produce an average of ten working lines of code per day. Say I open up a file and read in all the lines. In Java, I've probably already used up my ten working lines of code for that day. In Python, I can do it in one line. I can say, "for line in file('filename').readlines():," and then I'm ready to process the lines. And I can remember that one liner off the top of my head, so I can just really flow with that.

Python's minimal clutter also helps when I'm reading somebody else's code. I'm not tripping over verbose syntax and idioms. "Oh I see. Opening the file. Reading the lines." I can grok it. It's very similar to the design patterns in that you have a much denser form of communication. Also, because blocks are denoted by indentation in Python, indentation is uniform in Python programs. And indentation is meaningful to us as readers. So because we have consistent code formatting, I can read somebody else's code and I'm not constantly tripping over, "Oh, I see. They're putting their curly braces here or there." I don't have to think about that.

Number 9: Not Backwards Compatible in Exchange for Pain

Bill Venners: In your keynote, your ninth reason for loving Python was, "Not backwards compatible in exchange for pain." Could you speak a bit about that?

Bruce Eckel: That's primarily directed at C++. To some degree you could say it refers to Java because Java was derived primarily from C++. But C++ in particular was backwards compatible with C, and that justified lots of language issues. On one hand, that backwards compatibility was a great benefit, because C programmers could easily migrate to C++. It was a comfortable place for C programmers to go. But on the other hand, all the features that were compromised for backwards compatibility was the great drawback of C++.

Python isn't backwards compatible with anything, except itself. But even so, the Python designers have actually modified some fundamental things in order to fix the language in places they decided were broken. I've always heard from Sun that backwards compatibility is job one. And so even though stuff is broken in Java, they're not going to fix it, because they don't want to risk breaking code. Not breaking code always sounds good, but it also means we're going to be in pain as programmers.

One fundamental change they made in Python, for example, was "type class unification." In earlier versions, some of Python's primitive types were not first class objects with first class characteristics. Numbers, for example, were special cases like they are in Java. But that's been modified so now I can inherit from integer if I want to. Or I can inherit from the modified dictionary class. That couldn't be done before. After a while it began to be clear that it was a mistake, so they fixed it.

Now in C++ or Java, they'd say, "Oh well, too bad." But in Python, they looked at two issues. One, they were not breaking anybody's existing world, because anyone could simply choose to not upgrade. I think that could be an attitude taken by Java as well. And two, it seemed relatively easy to fix the broken code, and the improvement seemed worth the code-fixing work. I find that attitude so refreshing, compared to the languages I'd used before where they said, "Oh, it's broken. We made a mistake, but you'll have to live with it. You'll have to live with our mistakes."

Next Week

Come back Monday, June 9 for Part I of a conversation with Java's creator James Gosling. I am now staggering the publication of several interviews at once, to give the reader variety. The next installment of this interview with Bruce Eckel will appear on Monday, June 23. If you'd like to receive a brief weekly email announcing new articles at Artima.com, please subscribe to the Artima Newsletter.

Talk Back!

Have an opinion about programmer productivity, backwards compatibility, or breaking code versus programmer pain. Discuss this article in the News & Ideas Forum topic, Python and the Programmer.

Resources

Bruce Eckel's Mindview, Inc.:
http://www.mindview.net/

Bruce Eckel's essay on checked exceptions: Does Java Need Checked Exceptions?:
http://www.mindview.net/Etc/Discussions/CheckedExceptions

Bruce Eckel's Public and In-House Seminars:
http://mindview.net/Seminars

Bruce Eckel's Weblog:
http://www.mindview.net/WebLog

Python.org, the Python Language Website:
http://www.python.org/

Introductory Material on Python:
http://www.python.org/doc/Intros.html

Python Tutorial:
http://www.python.org/doc/current/tut/tut.html

Python FAQ Wizard:
http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw.py

Python for Lisp Programmers

This is a brief introduction to Python for Lisp programmers. Basically, Python can be seen as a dialect of Lisp with "traditional" syntax (what Lisp people call "infix" or "m-lisp" syntax). One message on comp.lang.python said "I never understood why LISP was a good idea until I started playing with python." Python supports all of Lisp's essential features except macros, and you don't miss macros all that much because it does have eval, and operator overloading, so you can create custom languages that way. (Although it wasn't my intent, Python programmers have told me this page has helped them learn Lisp.)

I looked into Python because I was considering translating the code for the Russell & Norvig AI textbook from Lisp to Java so that I could have (1) portable GUI demos, (2) portable http/ftp/html libraries, (3) free development environments on all major platforms, and (4) a syntax for students and professors who are afraid of parentheses. But writing all that Java seemed much too daunting, and I think that students who used Java would suffer by not having access to an interactive environment to try things out. Then I discovered JPython, a version of Python that is neatly integrated into Java, giving us access to the Java GUIs. Of course, Python already has web libraries, so JPython can use either those or Java's.

Python creator: Perl users are moving to Python

searchEnterpriseLinux: Are there situations in which it's better to use Perl than Python, or vice versa?
van Rossum: They're both competing for the same niche, in some cases. If all you need to do is simple text processing, you might use Perl. Python, much more than Perl, encourages clean coding habits to make it easy for other people to follow what you are doing. I've seen a lot of people who were developing in Perl moving to Python because it's easier to use. Where Python wins is when you have users who are not very sophisticated but have to write some code. An example would be in educational settings, where you have students who have no prior programming experience.

Also, Python seems to work better when you have to write a large system, working together in a large group of developers, and when you want the lifetime of your program to be long.

searchEnterpriseLinux: In what situations would people use Java instead of Python?
van Rossum: Java and Python have quite different characteristics. Java is sophisticated language. It takes a longer time to learn Java than Python. With Java, you have to get used to the compile-edit-run cycle of software development. Python is a lighter-weight language. There is less to learn to get started. You can hit the ground running when you have only a few days of Python training under your belt. Python and Java can be used in the same project. Python would be used for higher level control of an application, and Java would be used for implementing the lower level that needs to run relatively efficiently. Another place where Python is used is an extension language. An example of that is Object Domain, a UML editing tool written in Java. It uses Python as an extension language.
searchEnterpriseLinux: Will use of Python in developing applications increase?
van Rossum: It's going to increase dramatically. There's a definite need for a language that's as easy to use as Python. Python is used to teach students how to program, so that is creating a base of people who know and like the language.
searchEnterpriseLinux: Are there technology developments that will benefit Linux developers?
van Rossum: Python developer tools are becoming available that work well in the Linux world. Until a year ago, the Python developer was stuck with using Emacs or VI to edit source code. Both of those editors have support for Python, but they're just editors. Now there are tools like Wing IDE, which is a development tool that is written in Python. Komodo is more ambitious and less finished at the moment, and it also supports program development with Perl.

There is a Swedish company called Secret Labs which have had Windows development tools for Python, but which is now focusing on the Linux market. As more development environments become available for Python, we'll see a lot more users on the Linux platform.

[Apr 02, 2000] Linux Gazette; Exploring parsing and virtual machines with Python

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