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-   -   Pit Recommended Reading List (http://www.genmay.com/showthread.php?t=347242)

Nano 05-02-2004 09:42 AM

I figure this will be nice to allow some of us to experience good books for and against our frame of reference. It should be in a similar format to this:

Postwar America 1945-1971; Howard Zinn; Liberal take on history after WW2.

( Title, Author, Subject ).

I'll be taking the posts in this thread, pulling out the books and such, and then deleting the posts so it will be in one list, I will credit whoever suggests a book though.

=) I'll add my 20 or so books later on.

Current list:

Nav Man:
Catch-22; Joseph Heller; WW-2

Sk33:
The Case For Israel; Alan Dershowitz; trial-like defense, taking apart 'common arguments' made against Israel in the int'l community
Amusing Ourselves to Death; Neil Postman; the degrading quality TV has on American society

Arthur Pendragon:
The Fire That Consumes; Edward Fudge; None given
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation; JOSEPH J. ELLIS; None given
A brief history of time; Stephen Hawking; None given

Zang/e!s:
A Brave New World; Aldous Huxley; Fiction, government takeover

Rolling Thunder:
What Evolution Is; Ernst Mayr; a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader
The Character of Physical Law; Richard Feynman; The book is a really good non-specialist's introduction to some of the basic ideas and attitudes of modern physics

Ieyeasu
The Fountainhead; Ayn Rand; None given
Atlas Shrugged; Ayn Rand; None given
The New Testament; Various; None given
The Old Testament; Various; None given
The Communist Manifesto; Marx/Engels; None given
Animal Farm; Orwell; None given
1984; Orwell; None given
A History of the English Speaking Peoples--Winston Churchill
Guns, Germs, and Steel--Jeremy Diamond

Snakelrye:
Culture Jam; Kalle Lasn; None given
Everything You Know is Wrong; Russ Kick; None given
Killing Monsters; Gerard Jones, Lynn Ponton; None given
The Culture of Fear - Barry Glassner
The Scapegoat Generation - Mike A. Males


Mobius:

Nonfiction:
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid -- Douglas Hofstadter: AI and meta-thought
Tao Te Ching -- Lao Tzu, transl. Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English: Taoism
Tao of Jeet Kune Do -- Bruce Lee: martial arts & exercise
Autobiography of Malcolm X -- Alex Haley
Men of Mathematics -- E.T. Bell: the history book about math
Leap of Faith -- Queen Noor: American-born Jordan royalty's take on Middle East politics
The World's Religions -- Huston Smith
I'm Just Here for the Food -- Alton Brown: cooking

Fiction:
Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things -- Berke Breathed: best cartoons ever
Ender's Game -- Orson Scott Card
The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea
Cities of the Red Night trilogy -- William Burroughs
A Prayer for Owen Meany -- John Irving
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series -- Douglas Adams (find mp3s of the BBC radio show!)
Neuromancer--William Gibson; inspiration for Shadowrunner / cyberpunk

Classic short fiction:
Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
To Kill a Mockingbird

Screthate:

The Republic by Plato
Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche

Delta:
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything

holden7:

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Zenmonkey:

Why People Believe Weird Things, Micheal Shermer, Pseudoscience

Vendetta:

American Empire : The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy
by Andrew J. Bacevich

xagent:

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
Basic Economics: A Citizens Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell
Virtues of Prosperity by Dinesh D'Souza
The Virtue of Selfishness and The Ayn Rand Reader by Ayn Rand
Power to Tax by James Buchanan
Free Trade Today by Jagdish Bhagwati
Mugged By the State - Randall Fitzgerald
The Bias Against Guns by John R. Lott, Jr.
The Poverty of Welfare by Michael Tanner

Whatsisname/Tracerbullet:

Night by Elie Wiessel - a story written by a halocaust survivor. Not as exaggerated as the usual high school class teaching of the nazi camps.

Zang:

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein - Fascism that works (Don't watch the movie)

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein - satire of humans and our moral/proper/ethical/religious/education code.

The Metamorphis - Franza Kafka - (short story) the conceited activities of human beings. How we judge others based on outward appearances and how we imagine our betterment at the worsening of others.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip Dick - Questions what defines humanity, with comedy and a cool sci-fi story. Maybe more entertainment than philosophy.

Tracerbullet:

Arthur James Balfour - Theism and Humanism; critical analysis of naturalism (I haven't actually read this, but I have read "Foundations of Belief," the book before it. They're both about the same thing, but "Foundations" is out of print, so I have to recommend this instead.)

C.S. Lewis - The Four Loves; examination of the four types of human love, as described by the Greeks -- "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual/romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love/love of God). He argues that all the other loves depend on agape love to reach their full potential.

Grumpy:

Stephen Ambrose: To America
Victor Davis Hanson: Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power
Ted Gup: The Book of Honor

e!s:

"The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles (Existential and psychological fiction set against the North African desert.)

Spoonie:

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; Judith Butler; Gay/Lesbian/Queer studies, feminism, identity theory, sexual politics.
The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity; Slavoj Zizek; Christianity and Marxism.
America; Jean Baudrillard; theoretically driven "travel writing" on America.
Torture Garden; Octave Mirabeau; French novel about sexual decadence and nihlism.
American Psycho; Bret Easton Ellis; novel, yuppies in the Reagan era, insanity and hypercapitalism
The Last Temptation; Nikos Kazantzakis; novel, emphasising Jesus Christ's humanity.
The Non-Existence of God; Nicholas Everitt; Philosophy of Religion
Interpretation and Overinterpretation; Umberto Eco; Literary theory, what counts as an "overinterpretation" of something?
Philosophical Investigations; Ludwig Wittgenstein; Philosophy of Language, mainly.
Science In Action; Bruno Latour; a sociological, realistic portrayal of how science is really done.
Madness; Roy Porter; History of Psychiatry
East and West; Chris Patten; memoir of the last governor of Hong Kong, brilliant insight into Chinese politics.
Civilisation and Its Discontents; Sigmund Freud; the highly influential psychoanalytic critique of modernity.
Against Method; Paul Feyerabend; an impossible mix of anarchism and philosophy of science.
History of Sexuality, 3 volumes; Michel Foucault; breathtaking.
The Golem; Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch; how science is really done.
Evolution as a Religion; Mary Midgley; clear, rigourous, warning against the pitfalls of evolution
Orientalism; Edward Said; East/West, Us/Other.
Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia; Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

The Morlock:

The Humanoids - Jack Williamson - Science fiction dealing with the issue of a powerfull nanny state. Thought provoking
Shockwave Rider - John Brunner - Science fiction A dystopia (not as bad as orwells) and it's overthrow. Entertaining
The Learning Tree - Gordon Parks
Hardwired -Walter jon Williams pub. 1986 more cyberpunk
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein, Robert A.
Lunar Penal Colony

Canadian Pyro:

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy; Greg Palast; Criticisms of, well, everything, but without the dumbed down popularized Michael Moore shit.
No Logo; Naomi Klein; Critique on popular culture.

Tracerbullet:

God? - William Lane Craig, William Sinnott-Armstrong; correspondence debate between two highly educated men, one Christian (Craig) and one Atheist (Sinnott-Armstrong). Highly informative (for both sides) without being dull or polemic. Consider it an Oxford edition of nearly every religious Pit thread ever created.

cgbeowulf

The Art of War - Sun-tzu

Enygma:

The Marx-Engels Reader, Edited by Robert C. Tucker; excellent compendium of Marx and Engels' works. Just reading the Communist Manifesto is insufficient.
On Liberty, J.S. Mill; pretty self explanatory
The First and Second Discourses, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Making Democracy Work, Robert Putnam; Putnam examines the nature of Democracies and why some succeed while others falter, positing that social capital is the primary explanatory factor.
Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam; Putnam continues with his theories regarding the value of social capital in a democratic state, while this time applying it to America and lamenting a perceived loss of social capital.
The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu

miasman1

The Coming White Minority - Dale Maharidge

Hobbes:

America, Russia, and the Cold War, Walter Lafeber
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson
"The winds of War" by Herman Wouk

Snarkfish

Richard Dawkins - The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

Kruzen:

Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe - A Biochemical challenge to evolution.
A Divine Revelation Of Death & Hell - Heaven or hell? Over a period of forty days, God gave Mary K. Baxter visions of hell and commissioned her to tell all to choose life. Here is an account of the place and beings of hell contrasted with the glories of heaven (believe what you will)
Creator and the Cosmos - Hugh Ross - Scientific Breakdown Of Creation Theory for the universe. Not Earth focused, but the universe rather.
The Elegant Universe. - Brian Greene - Superstring theory.

g0rg0n:

On The Road - Jack Kerouac, a documentation of youthful discovery
Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs, stunning social comentary and satire
Junkie - William S. Burroughs, a paridigm shifting novel
Pecked to Death by Ducks - Tim Cahill, a journalistic recount of un published adventures, of note are the desert storm stories
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson, a great novel outlining the spread of information
How The Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill, a history of the transition from the Roman Empire to the Dark Ages and how the Irish through thier isolation and temperment preserved the ancient civilized world when it was being detroyed everywhere else in europe.
The Fall Of The Dynasties - Edmond Taylor, a history of the downfalls of great civilizations.
The Leader As Martial Artist - Arnold Mindell PH.D., techniques and strategies for resolving conflict and creating community.
Sitting In The Fire - Arnold Mindell PH.D., large group transformation using conflict and diversity
The Power Of Myth - Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, a documentation of mythological influences on social structure.
The Advent Of The Algorithm - David Berlinski, how philosophical modal logic developed into the computer.
Batteling The Hosts Of Hell - Win Worley, diary of an exorcist

be0wulfe

George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire Series
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast of Crows (forthcoming)

omfgw00tbbq

From Science - Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability: Energy for a Greenhouse Planet
[url]http://fire.pppl.gov/science_adv_energy_103102.pdf[/url]
good summary of next gen technologies that are being researched to be used as alternative energy sources

Foreverlurk:

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler - Hitlers life during WWI, his stay in prison, the german political reality of the time
The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Good wisdom for anyone trying to combat things in life, whether they be physical wars, mental wars, social wars, cultural wars etc. Often quoted, rarely heeded.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein - A futuristic book which fleshes out a workable fascist state that makes sense. Intended to "discredit" fascism, but instead makes it seem preferrable to the soulless modern model of capitalism used in the US and various other dying countries.
The Holy Bible by various - Need I say more?
The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements by Dr. Kevin MacDonald - Explores jewish involvement in various genocidal political movements. everything from leninist bolshevism to bloody south african communism.

feebnam:

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
Many Lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss - about a psychiatrist, who begins to believe in reincarnation through a patient of his. Who he is trying to help with some serious disorders through hypnosis and she starts recalling strange things. He was pretty much an athiest prior to this patient. It's a very eye opening read.

pudgygiant:

Everything by Robert Ludlum (not a title, literally everything)
Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

walkingcarpet:

Guns, Germs, and Steel; Jared Diamond; discusses geological, ecological, and sociological factors that shaped the course of human history and led to dominant civilizations such as the Europeans

Myself:

Sixteen Strategies of Zhuge Liang by Wang Xuan Ming
Mastering the Art of War by Zhuge Liang ( a brilliant chinese strategists views on the art of war, there are a few translations available that vary in skew ).
The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi - a newish (17th century) art of war style book written by the legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi.
Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa
The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Chogyam Trungpa
The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi by Ramana Maharshi
Wen-Tzu by Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
The Book of Lieh-Tzu by Lieh-Tzu
The Book of Chuang Tzu by Chuang-Tzu
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Zhong zang jing - Hua Tuo - A medical journal written by the most famous chinese doctor of history, based around holistic healing mixed with herbal cures.
Mozi (Translations from the Asian Classics) by Di Mo, Burton Watson, Geoffrey Charles Evans
Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian
I Ching: The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth by Hua-Ching Ni
The Book of Songs by Arthur Waley (Translator), Joseph R. Allen (Editor)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - Luo Guanzhong - Excellent historical representation of the three kingdoms era of chinese history...very fascinating reading.

The Case Against God By George H Smith
Postwar America 1945-1971; Howard Zinn; Liberal take on history after WW2.
The Prydain Chronicles ( 5 books ) -- Lloyd Alexander
Sword of Truth series - Terry goodkind
Hegira, Darwin's Radio, Darwin's Children, Anvil of Stars, Beyond Heaven's River, The Infinity Concerto, The Serpent Mage ( last two can be found together as "Songs of Earth and Power ), by Greg Bear. Assorted Science fiction


Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist by Walter A. Kaufmann
Beyond Good and Evil -- by Friedrich Nietzsche
Thus Spake Zarathustra - Friedrich Nietzsche
When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel of Obsession by Irvin D. Yalom
The Anti-Christ by H. L. Mencken (Introduction), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Nietzsche: Human, All Too Human : A Book for Free Spirits by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Gay Science : With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
by Walter Kaufmann (Translator), Friedrich Nietzsche (Author)
The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
On the Use and Abuse of History for Life by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Joyful Wisdom by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The will to power: by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I think thats enough for now...

NAV man 05-02-2004 09:48 AM

Catch-22, Joseph Heller, WW-2

I'm serious, that's where I get my inspiration from.

sk33 05-02-2004 09:58 AM

The Case For Israel; Alan Dershowitz; trial-like defense, taking apart 'common arguments' made against Israel in the int'l community
Amusing Ourselves to Death; Neil Postman; the degrading quality TV has on American society

btw: nice idea, Nano.

arthur pendragon 05-02-2004 10:05 AM

The Fire That Consumes -- Edward Fudge
Founding Brothers :The Revolutionary Generation -- JOSEPH J. ELLIS
A brief history of time -- Stephen Hawking

Zangmonkey 05-02-2004 10:13 AM

A Brave New World - Audeus Huxley : Fiction, government takeover

deltabourne 05-02-2004 10:14 AM

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0446532231/qid=1083518021/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-4722556-1424741?v=glance&s=books[/url]


haha just kidding, nobody should be forced to read that hunk of crap

Rolling_Thunder9 05-02-2004 10:45 AM

[U]What Evolution Is[/U], Ernst Mayr, a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader

[U]The Character of Physical Law[/U], Richard Feynman, The book is a really good non-specialist's introduction to some of the basic ideas and attitudes of modern physics

[U]
Why People Believe Weird Things[/U], Michael Shermer, debunks nonsensical psuedoscientific claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing

electric!sheep 05-02-2004 11:18 AM

[QUOTE=Zangmonkey]A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley : Fiction, government takeover[/QUOTE]

Fixed. Ditto on this. It's less about government takeover than it is about the dictatorship of hedonism. Perversely, the inhabitants of this state are perfectly free, since anything they could possibly want will be granted. When you consider our growing knowledge of brain chemistry, and the tendency to medicalize all forms of mental discomfort, it seems that the world of Soma is not so far away at all. If happiness is the final standard of what is good, then nothing could be better. :eek:

ieyeasu 05-02-2004 11:52 AM

Hmm...Great thread.

The Fountainhead---Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged--Ayn Rand
The New Testament--Various
The Old Testament--Various
The Communist Manifesto--Marx/Engels
Animal Farm--Orwell
1984--Orwell

My list of books you should read to know what others think. More later, for this list and another.

SnakeIRye 05-02-2004 12:10 PM

Culture Jam--Kalle Lasn
Everything You Know is Wrong--Russ Kick
Killing Monsters--Gerard Jones, Lynn Ponton

Nano 05-02-2004 12:37 PM

Any book with "none given" at the end lacks a description, if anyone wants to give one, let me know.

Grumpy 05-02-2004 01:11 PM

Stephen Ambrose: To America
Victor Davis Hanson: Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power
Ted Gup: The Book of Honor

tracerbullet 05-02-2004 01:23 PM

Arthur James Balfour - Theism and Humanism; critical analysis of naturalism (I haven't actually read this, but I have read "Foundations of Belief," the book before it. They're both about the same thing, but "Foundations" is out of print, so I have to recommend this instead.)

C.S. Lewis - The Four Loves; examination of the four types of human love, as described by the Greeks -- "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual/romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love/love of God). He argues that all the other loves depend on agape love to reach their full potential.

arthur pendragon 05-02-2004 01:35 PM

[QUOTE=tracerbullet]Arthur James Balfour - Theism and Humanism; critical analysis of naturalism (I haven't actually read this, but I have read "Foundations of Belief," the book before it. They're both about the same thing, but "Foundations" is out of print, so I have to recommend this instead.)

C.S. Lewis - The Four Loves; examination of the four types of human love, as described by the Greeks -- "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual/romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love/love of God). He argues that all the other loves depend on agape love to reach their full potential.[/QUOTE]

You should ass "The Screwtape letters" to that C.S. Lewis selection

Zangmonkey 05-02-2004 03:54 PM

[QUOTE=electric!sheep]Fixed. Ditto on this. It's less about government takeover than it is about the dictatorship of hedonism. Perversely, the inhabitants of this state are perfectly free, since anything they could possibly want will be granted. When you consider our growing knowledge of brain chemistry, and the tendency to medicalize all forms of mental discomfort, it seems that the world of Soma is not so far away at all. If happiness is the final standard of what is good, then nothing could be better. :eek:[/QUOTE]

:)
I think this is an infinitely better example of futuristic dictatorship than 1984.

EDIT: And while we're at it
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip Dick - Questions what defines humanity, with comedy and a cool sci-fi story. Maybe more entertainment than philosophy.

Zangmonkey 05-02-2004 04:15 PM

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein - Fascism that works (Don't watch the movie)

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein - satire of humans and our moral/proper/ethical/religious/education code.

The Metamorphis - Franza Kafka - (short story) the conceited activities of human beings. How we judge others based on outward appearances and how we imagine our betterment at the worsening of others.

sk33 05-02-2004 05:17 PM

[QUOTE=electric!sheep]Fixed. Ditto on this. It's less about government takeover than it is about the dictatorship of hedonism. Perversely, the inhabitants of this state are perfectly free, since anything they could possibly want will be granted. When you consider our growing knowledge of brain chemistry, and the tendency to medicalize all forms of mental discomfort, it seems that the world of Soma is not so far away at all. If happiness is the final standard of what is good, then nothing could be better. :eek:[/QUOTE]
"Amusing Ourselves to Death" is an additional book in this line of thought, but in my opinion more entertaining than huxley. he takes huxley's main points and makes it more 'relevant'.. it's nice.

Zangmonkey 05-02-2004 05:27 PM

^^^ :lol: @ the smilie replacement.

tracerbullet 05-02-2004 05:57 PM

I also have MP3 versions of both "The Four Loves" and "The Screwtape Letters" if anyone feels too lazy to actually read them. They're both really good. C.S. Lewis reads "Loves" and sounds like a deeper Sean Connery. And John Cleese's reading of "Letters" is just genius. PM me if you're interested.

arthur pendragon 05-02-2004 10:16 PM

[QUOTE=Zangmonkey]:)
I think this is an infinitely better example of futuristic dictatorship than 1984.

EDIT: And while we're at it
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip Dick - Questions what defines humanity, with comedy and a cool sci-fi story. Maybe more entertainment than philosophy.[/QUOTE]


Do Androids Dream is great... :) You probably enjoyed Asimov's the caves of steel eh?

Whatsisname 05-02-2004 11:18 PM

Night by Elie Wiessel - a story written by a halocaust survivor. Not as exaggerated as the usual high school class teaching of the nazi camps.

tracerbullet 05-02-2004 11:20 PM

[QUOTE=Whatsisname]Night by Elie Wiessel - a story written by a halocaust survivor. Not as exaggerated as the usual high school class teaching of the nazi camps.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I read that in 9th grade. Good book. I can still remember some of the images, like the cattle cars on the way there and the death march through the snow. It sticks with you like the best books should.

xagent 05-03-2004 12:31 AM

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
Basic Economics: A Citizens Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell
Virtues of Prosperity by Dinesh D'Souza
The Virtue of Selfishness and The Ayn Rand Reader by Ayn Rand
Power to Tax by James Buchanan
Free Trade Today by Jagdish Bhagwati
Mugged By the State - Randall Fitzgerald
The Bias Against Guns by John R. Lott, Jr.
The Poverty of Welfare by Michael Tanner


Hm, read those non-fiction books and you're pretty much set to becoming a radical right-wing capitalist like me :D

Those are all the on-fiction books I've read entirely, or parts of... I have a few others but they're mostly works of conservative media figures, nothing really intelligent/research

Vendetta 05-03-2004 07:39 AM

American Empire : The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy
by Andrew J. Bacevich

ZenMonkey 05-03-2004 07:54 AM

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805070893/qid=1083596047/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-9201601-7145668?v=glance&s=books[/url]

Why People Believe Weird Things, Micheal Shermer, Pseudoscience

Zangmonkey 05-03-2004 09:26 PM

[QUOTE=ZenMonkey]_[/QUOTE]

weird....

holden7 05-03-2004 09:28 PM

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

deltabourne 05-04-2004 07:21 AM

The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, basic fucking economics for you communist :heart:ers

ScretHate 05-04-2004 04:08 PM

The Republic by Plato
Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche

ScretHate 05-04-2004 04:12 PM

[QUOTE=ieyeasu]Hmm...Great thread.

The Fountainhead---Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged--Ayn Rand
The New Testament--Various
The Old Testament--Various
The Communist Manifesto--Marx/Engels
Animal Farm--Orwell
1984--Orwell

My list of books you should read to know what others think. More later, for this list and another.[/QUOTE]
Why would you waste your time reading those Ayn Rand books? Just read the communist manifesto and invert it. Ayn Rand is for asocial, underdeveloped, teenagers.

möbiustrip 05-04-2004 05:36 PM

Nonfiction:
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid -- Douglas Hofstadter: AI and meta-thought
Tao Te Ching -- Lao Tzu, transl. Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English: Taoism
Tao of Jeet Kune Do -- Bruce Lee: martial arts & exercise
Autobiography of Malcolm X -- Alex Haley
Men of Mathematics -- E.T. Bell: [u]the[/u] history book about math
Leap of Faith -- Queen Noor: American-born Jordan royalty's take on Middle East politics
The World's Religions -- Huston Smith
I'm Just Here for the Food -- Alton Brown: cooking

Fiction:
Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things -- Berke Breathed: best cartoons ever
Ender's Game -- Orson Scott Card
The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea
Cities of the Red Night trilogy -- William Burroughs
A Prayer for Owen Meany -- John Irving
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series -- Douglas Adams (find mp3s of the BBC radio show!)

Classic short fiction:
Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
To Kill a Mockingbird

electric!sheep 05-04-2004 08:09 PM

My quick recommendation right now is "The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles (Existential and psychological fiction set against the North African desert.)

It's an awesomee work that chronicles the journey of three Americans through post-war Northern Africa, and, more importantly, a voyage into the desert's blinding light that reveals the shadows within each of them. The desolate environment amplifies their alienation, and their individual personalities magnify tenfold without the social fabric which once kept them connected to reality. Camus and Conrad have nothing on Bowles; he explores existential issues twice as deeply, without ever forgetting the role of individual or his human context. The relationship between Kit and Port bears as much meaning in the book as anything else. Bowles' characters aren't depressed nobodies, but very distinct people forced to come to terms with who and what they are.

Spoonie 05-05-2004 05:49 PM

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; Judith Butler; Gay/Lesbian/Queer studies, feminism, identity theory, sexual politics.

The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity; Slavoj Zizek; Christianity and Marxism.

America; Jean Baudrillard; theoretically driven "travel writing" on America.

Torture Garden; Octave Mirabeau; French novel about sexual decadence and nihlism.

American Psycho; Bret Easton Ellis; novel, yuppies in the Reagan era, insanity and hypercapitalism

The Last Temptation; Nikos Kazantzakis; novel, emphasising Jesus Christ's humanity.

The Non-Existence of God; Nicholas Everitt; Philosophy of Religion

Interpretation and Overinterpretation; Umberto Eco; Literary theory, what counts as an "overinterpretation" of something?

Philosophical Investigations; Ludwig Wittgenstein; Philosophy of Language, mainly.

Science In Action; Bruno Latour; a sociological, realistic portrayal of how science is really done.

Madness; Roy Porter; History of Psychiatry

East and West; Chris Patten; memoir of the last governor of Hong Kong, brilliant insight into Chinese politics.

Civilisation and Its Discontents; Sigmund Freud; the highly influential psychoanalytic critique of modernity.

Against Method; Paul Feyerabend; an impossible mix of anarchism and philosophy of science.

History of Sexuality, 3 volumes; Michel Foucault; breathtaking.

The Golem; Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch; how science is really done.

Evolution as a Religion; Mary Midgley; clear, rigourous, warning against the pitfalls of evolution

Orientalism; Edward Said; East/West, Us/Other.

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia; Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

TheMorlock 05-08-2004 01:21 AM

The Humanoids
Jack Williamson
Science fiction dealing with the issue of a powerfull nanny state. Thought provoking


Shockwave Rider
John Brunner
[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345467175/qid=1084004522/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-6314397-7403830?v=glance&s=books#product-details[/url]

Science fiction A dystopia (not as bad as orwells) and it's overthrow. Entertaining

The Learning Tree
Gordon Parks
[url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0449215040/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-6314397-7403830#reader-link[/url]

möbiustrip 05-08-2004 01:27 AM

add to fiction:
Neuromancer--William Gibson; inspiration for Shadowrunner / cyberpunk

TheMorlock 05-08-2004 01:49 AM

Ad to fiction
Hardwired
Walter jon Williams pub. 1986 more cyberpunk


The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Heinlein, Robert A.
Lunar Penal Colony

electric!sheep 05-08-2004 09:47 AM

[QUOTE=TheMorlock]The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Heinlein, Robert A.
Lunar Penal Colony[/QUOTE]

Meh, a quasi-utopian spiel for Libertarianism. :p

I recommend "The Evolution of Cooperation" by Robert Axelrod for an accessible game-theory treatment of how laissez-faire situations can produce cooperative or seemingly altruistic behavior.

ieyeasu 05-08-2004 02:41 PM

More:

A History of the English Speaking Peoples--Winston Churchill
Guns, Germs, and Steel--Jeremy Diamond

CaNaDiAn PyRo 05-09-2004 10:29 PM

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy; Greg Palast; Criticisms of, well, everything, but without the dumbed down popularized Michael Moore shit.
No Logo; Naomi Klein; Critique on popular culture.

tracerbullet 05-09-2004 11:45 PM

God? - William Lane Craig, William Sinnott-Armstrong; correspondence debate between two highly educated men, one Christian (Craig) and one Atheist (Sinnott-Armstrong). Highly informative (for both sides) without being dull or polemic. Consider it an Oxford edition of nearly every religious Pit thread ever created.

EDIT: I haven't read that cooking book, but I really like Alton Brown's show; I bet the book is just as funny.

cgbeowulf 05-11-2004 08:31 PM

The Art of War - Sun-tzu

SnakeIRye 05-11-2004 08:54 PM

The Culture of Fear - Barry Glassner
The Scapegoat Generation - Mike A. Males

Enygma 05-13-2004 02:12 PM

The Marx-Engels Reader, Edited by Robert C. Tucker; excellent compendium of Marx and Engels' works. Just reading the Communist Manifesto is insufficient.

On Liberty, J.S. Mill; pretty self explanatory

The First and Second Discourses, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Making Democracy Work, Robert Putnam; Putnam examines the nature of Democracies and why some succeed while others falter, positing that social capital is the primary explanatory factor.

Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam; Putnam continues with his theories regarding the value of social capital in a democratic state, while this time applying it to America and lamenting a perceived loss of social capital.

The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu

i'll probably think of more later...

TheDude 05-18-2004 09:01 AM

Great thread, I can't add any, but Ive read about 10 of those books listed. Great stuff too

The Jungle - Upton Sinclair is pretty good.

miasman1 05-18-2004 11:15 PM

The Coming White Minority - Dale Maharidge

i dunno if this qualifies as a recommended book...

Hobbes 05-20-2004 05:47 PM

America, Russia, and the Cold War, Walter Lafeber
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson

SnarkFish 05-20-2004 09:32 PM

Richard Dawkins - [i]The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design[/i]

Kruzen 05-24-2004 10:48 PM

Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe - A Biochemical challenge to evolution.
A Divine Revelation Of Death & Hell - Heaven or hell? Over a period of forty days, God gave Mary K. Baxter visions of hell and commissioned her to tell all to choose life. Here is an account of the place and beings of hell contrasted with the glories of heaven (believe what you will)
Creator and the Cosmos - Hugh Ross - Scientific Breakdown Of Creation Theory for the universe. Not Earth focused, but the universe rather.
The Elegant Universe. - Brian Greene - Superstring theory.

deltabourne 05-24-2004 11:46 PM

I'm reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything atm.. great fucking book, add that to the list.

g0rg0n 05-26-2004 01:10 AM

On The Road - Jack Kerouac, a documentation of youthful discovery

Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs, stunning social comentary and satire

Junkie - William S. Burroughs, a paridigm shifting novel

Pecked to Death by Ducks - Tim Cahill, a journalistic recount of un published adventures, of note are the desert storm stories

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson, a great novel outlining the spread of information

How The Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill, a history of the transition from the Roman Empire to the Dark Ages and how the Irish through thier isolation and temperment preserved the ancient civilized world when it was being detroyed everywhere else in europe.

The Fall Of The Dynasties - Edmond Taylor, a history of the downfalls of great civilizations.

The Leader As Martial Artist - Arnold Mindell PH.D., techniques and strategies for resolving conflict and creating community.

Sitting In The Fire - Arnold Mindell PH.D., large group transformation using conflict and diversity

The Power Of Myth - Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, a documentation of mythological influences on social structure.

The Advent Of The Algorithm - David Berlinski, how philosophical modal logic developed into the computer.

Batteling The Hosts Of Hell - Win Worley, diary of an exorcist

be0wulfe 05-29-2004 04:26 PM

George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire Series
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast of Crows (forthcoming)

CaNaDiAn PyRo 05-29-2004 04:30 PM

[QUOTE=be0wulfe]George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice & Fire Series
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast of Crows (forthcoming)[/QUOTE]
He doen't write fast enough damn it! :mad:

omfgw00tbbq 05-30-2004 03:23 PM

what about science research articles
From Science (one of the best research journals)
Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability: Energy for a Greenhouse Planet

[url]http://fire.pppl.gov/science_adv_energy_103102.pdf[/url]
good summary of next gen technologies that are being researched to be used as alternative energy sources

ForeverLurk-MK2 05-30-2004 04:54 PM

My Suggested Reading List:

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler - Hitlers life during WWI, his stay in prison, the german political reality of the time

The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Good wisdom for anyone trying to combat things in life, whether they be physical wars, mental wars, social wars, cultural wars etc. Often quoted, rarely heeded.

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein - A futuristic book which fleshes out a workable fascist state that makes sense. Intended to "discredit" fascism, but instead makes it seem preferrable to the soulless modern model of capitalism used in the US and various other dying countries.

The Holy Bible by various - Need I say more?

The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements by Dr. Kevin MacDonald - Explores jewish involvement in various genocidal political movements. everything from leninist bolshevism to bloody south african communism.

feebnam 06-03-2004 08:30 PM

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan- The series has become rather drawn out but the first few books are very good and the last 2 have been very good as well. Be prepared for a lot of reading if you want to read the whole series. Each book is roughly 800 pages and there's 10 books I believe, maybe 11 I don't remember which. First book is "The Eye of The World".

As for non-fiction, "Many Lives Many Masters" by Dr. Brian Weiss is very good. It's about a psychiatrist, who begins to believe in reincarnation through a patient of his. Who he is trying to help with some serious disorders through hypnosis and she starts recalling strange things. He was pretty much an athiest prior to this patient. It's a very eye opening read.

tracerbullet 06-09-2004 01:03 AM

Update the first post, man! :mad: :cool: :rolleyes:

Pudgygiant 06-09-2004 07:36 AM

Everything by Robert Ludlum (not a title, literally everything), and Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

walkingcarpet 06-09-2004 11:46 AM

[QUOTE=ieyeasu]More:

A History of the English Speaking Peoples--Winston Churchill
Guns, Germs, and Steel--Jeremy Diamond[/QUOTE]

I just wanted to second the
Guns, Germs, and Steel; [b]Jared[/b] Diamond; Development of human societies and geographic factors that led the certain dominant civilizations.

ieyeasu 06-09-2004 11:53 AM

Ah, damnit. Well, I got the "J" right.

NAV man 06-09-2004 01:04 PM

I'm still waiting for nano's booklist. :(

Nano 06-09-2004 01:22 PM

Sorry, was typing it up and updating the rest... enjoy..

ieyeasu 06-09-2004 03:38 PM

Another few:

Myth of Nations--PJ Geary
This one takes some explaining:
"Gearys work on the recent origins of ethnic nationalism sheds much-needed light on the subjects of ethnogenesis and national identity. His principal thesis is the difference between ethnic and constitutional peoples, between static and dynamic views of the social and political entities around us. He gives a quick overview of Enlightenment era scholarship on nationhood and national history to outline how ethnicities have become more defined, however artificially, from the 18th to 20th centuries. He then moves on to a rather detailed account of early Medieval Europe, the complex interactions between the barbarian tribes and the deteriorating Roman Empire, and finally the rise of the kingdoms of the Franks, Anglo-Saxons and other amorphously defined groups of people. He ends with a quick comparison between Zulu and European examples of ethnogenesis to hint at the universality of his argument, which is based primarily on West European history."
[url]http://www.socialsciencesweb.com/The_Myth_of_Nations__The_Medieval_Origins_of_Europe_0691114811.html[/url]

War and Peace--Tolstoy

Any Tom Clancy for a good, trashy spy novel with unambigous "morality".

NAV man 06-09-2004 05:44 PM

Good fiction authors:
Dan Brown
Tom Clancy
John Grisham
Michael Crichton
Isaac Asimov

The Double Helix; James Watson; Account of Watsons discovery of the structure of DNA
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy through a maze of Computer Espionage; Cliff Stoll
George Washington's Rules of Civility; Lewis Glaser

walkingcarpet 06-11-2004 05:10 PM

[QUOTE=walkingcarpet]I just wanted to second the
Guns, Germs, and Steel; [b]Jared[/b] Diamond; Development of human societies and geographic factors that led the certain dominant civilizations.[/QUOTE]

Can you change that to "Discusses geological, ecological, and sociological factors that shaped the course of human history and led to dominant civilizations such as the Europeans."

I just read what I originally wrote and I don't know what I was thinking, it makes no sense.

Hobbes 06-11-2004 05:43 PM

Please don't kill me for posting twice in this thread, but I've just finished reading "The winds of War" by Herman Wouk. This book is awsome, one of the best, if not the best, that I've ever read

Nuntius 06-13-2004 10:20 PM

Hmmm, I don't normally keep a list of what's good, but here's some titles off of the top of my head

How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff, Irving Geis
CEO of the Sofa (Hell, anything by P.J. O'Rourke)
The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers by Robert L. Heilbroner

Hmm, that's all I can think of. Might edit it later to include more titles.
Oh, and I have a copy of the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy BBC Radio mp3s, if anyone wants em.

Wolley CAB 06-14-2004 01:38 PM

Well, lets see:
All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque, A. W. Wheen (Translator), WW1
Great War series and American Empire series, Harry Turtledove, Alternate History (How WW1 and the aftermath would be like if the Confederate States Of America won the War of Secession (The Civil War for you Yanks)
Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, Howard K. Bloom
Richest Man In Babylon, George S. Clason
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Ralph Parker (Translator), Life in a Soviet gulag
Black Like Me,John Howard Griffin
Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose, Lewis and Clark expedition across the Louisiana Purchase

There are more books that I absolutly love but they gave already been posted, sorry if one of these is a re.post

Aziraphale 06-16-2004 07:41 PM

American Gods - Neil Gaiman (Description: Fiction, Theological and Ideologica tour through the American Heartland, as the main protagonists meets the gods of the old country and America. Excellent, excellent book ... like everybody by Neil Gaiman).

Good Omens - Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchet (Description: Fiction, A very comical take on the end of times. The angels of the apocalypse actually like living on earth, the anti-christ is a quite regular 11 year old boy who was switched at birth, and Hound of Hell is a small terrier-mut... All prophecized by authentic Witch, Agnes Nutter. It's excellently written... the humor of Pratchett, the dry wit of Gaiman).

Hammett 06-16-2004 07:47 PM

Jennifer Government by: Max Barry

blinky 06-17-2004 01:09 PM

[QUOTE=walkingcarpet]I just wanted to second the
Guns, Germs, and Steel; [b]Jared[/b] Diamond; Development of human societies and geographic factors that led the certain dominant civilizations.[/QUOTE]i third this im reading it right now and its fascinating.

my aditions:

D-Day by Stephen Ambrose
Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
Collective Works by Carl Jung
Memories, Dreams, Refelections by Carl Jung
The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick
Dao De Jhing (sp?) by Lao Tzu

Incubus2305 06-20-2004 01:14 AM

[QUOTE=Pudgygiant]Everything by Robert Ludlum (not a title, literally everything), and Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut[/QUOTE]
his son is my doctor.
and now on-topic.

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - A pessimistic view of the future of society. Very similar to Brave New World.

vect0rburn 06-22-2004 03:04 PM

lord of the flies - william golding - a graphical depiction of human nature in a blank society

asdsad 06-27-2004 05:28 PM

[i]Weapons and Hope[/i], Freeman Dyson; describes and proposes compromise solutions to the full spectrum of politics and controversy surrounding strategic weapons development, but could also apply to any other large defense projects.

[i]Skunk Works[/i], Ben Rich & Leo Janos; history of the legendary Lockheed Martin division responsible for the U-2 and SR-71 spyplanes among other aircaft. useful for gaining at least some understanding of how a large, engineering-focused defense corporation actually works (learn before you crticize). fascinating thriller if you're really into aviation like me...

[i]The Man Who Was Thursday[/i], G.K. Chesterton

[i]World Peace Through World Law[/i], Grenville Clark

[i][URL=http://www.panix.com/~clays/Una/]Industrial Society And Its Future[/URL][/i], Theodore Kaczynski ([URL=http://www.rpi.edu/~bulloj/tjk/tjk.html]more of his works[/URL])

kbs 07-01-2004 04:30 PM

Nonfiction

[i]A Concise History of Mathematics[/i] by Dirk Jan Struik - the better of many math history books.

[i]Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem[/i] by Simon Singh - one of the most entertaining books on number theory ever.

Fiction

[i]Shogun[/i] by James Clavell - I have read this over and over so many times it's becoming ridiculous. All the other books in this series aren't bad, but [i]Shogun[/i] is the one to get.

tracerbullet 07-01-2004 10:19 PM

Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov; what [i]isn't[/i] in this book? An examination of God, religious faith, morality, human existence, and the meaning of life by one of the world's greatest authors, all wrapped up in the story of three brothers and the murder of their father. The chapter entitled "The Grand Inquisitor" alone is worth the cover price. There's quite a few translations out there...I'm reading the McDuff translation, and I hear the Pehear/Volokhonsky version is very good, too.

jubjub 07-02-2004 07:00 PM

The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli - the primer on bare knuckles politics

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand - Rand sticks it up the ass of the psuedo-intellectual socialist effete snobs that infest our society and pollute this board - do yourselves a favor , shut off your computer and set aside a weekend to read this. might just change your outlook on things.

The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956 - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn - tough read. if you stick with it you will mosy definatly snap you out of your "socialist workers' paradise"delusions

The Bible - God - the TRUTH.

The Koran (or Qu'ran or Queer'an or howeverthefuck you choose to spell it) - Muhammed - a bastardized and and twisted version of the TRUTH as set forth in the Bible , written by a psychopathic camel humper with delusions of granduer.

möbiustrip 07-02-2004 07:46 PM

[QUOTE=jubjub]The Koran (or Qu'ran or Queer'an or howeverthefuck you choose to spell it) - Muhammed - a bastardized and and twisted version of the TRUTH as set forth in the Bible , written by a psychopathic camel humper with delusions of granduer.[/QUOTE]
The Bible never says Jesus is the son of God. Much of the New Testament and the whole of modern Christian thought were written by an ambiguously orthodox Jew who used to beat the mess out of Christians for a living until he had a vision on a road years after Jesus died.

tracerbullet 07-02-2004 09:06 PM

[QUOTE=möbiustrip]The Bible never says Jesus is the son of God. Much of the New Testament and the whole of modern Christian thought were written by an ambiguously orthodox Jew who used to beat the mess out of Christians for a living until he had a vision on a road years after Jesus died.[/QUOTE]

BUT JESUS NEVER EXISTED!!!!1111oneearldoherty

Nano 07-03-2004 01:23 AM

[QUOTE=jubjub]The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli - the primer on bare knuckles politics

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand - Rand sticks it up the ass of the psuedo-intellectual socialist effete snobs that infest our society and pollute this board - do yourselves a favor , shut off your computer and set aside a weekend to read this. might just change your outlook on things.

The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956 - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn - tough read. if you stick with it you will mosy definatly snap you out of your "socialist workers' paradise"delusions

The Bible - God - the TRUTH.

The Koran (or Qu'ran or Queer'an or howeverthefuck you choose to spell it) - Muhammed - a bastardized and and twisted version of the TRUTH as set forth in the Bible , written by a psychopathic camel humper with delusions of granduer.[/QUOTE]

Keep your descriptions without overages of opinion.

Spoonie 07-03-2004 04:53 AM

[QUOTE=jubjub]The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli - the primer on bare knuckles politics

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand - Rand sticks it up the ass of the psuedo-intellectual socialist effete snobs that infest our society and pollute this board - do yourselves a favor , shut off your computer and set aside a weekend to read this. might just change your outlook on things.

The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956 - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn - tough read. if you stick with it you will mosy definatly snap you out of your "socialist workers' paradise"delusions

The Bible - God - the TRUTH.

The Koran (or Qu'ran or Queer'an or howeverthefuck you choose to spell it) - Muhammed - a bastardized and and twisted version of the TRUTH as set forth in the Bible , written by a psychopathic camel humper with delusions of granduer.[/QUOTE]

:tard:

möbiustrip 07-03-2004 07:29 AM

[QUOTE=Nano]Keep your descriptions without overages of opinion.[/QUOTE]
You delete my post (which is factually accurate) and "psychopathic camel humper" stays?
:confused:

Algore 07-06-2004 07:12 AM

The Leviathan - Hobbes

This is a great book with some interesting insight into the nature of humans. It's the only one I would say everyone should read at least once (aside from The Elements by Euclid).

blinky 07-15-2004 06:48 PM

[QUOTE=jubjub]The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli - the primer on bare knuckles politics

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand - Rand sticks it up the ass of the psuedo-intellectual socialist effete snobs that infest our society and pollute this board - do yourselves a favor , shut off your computer and set aside a weekend to read this. might just change your outlook on things.

The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956 - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn - tough read. if you stick with it you will mosy definatly snap you out of your "socialist workers' paradise"delusions

The Bible - God - the TRUTH.

The Koran (or Qu'ran or Queer'an or howeverthefuck you choose to spell it) - Muhammed - a bastardized and and twisted version of the TRUTH as set forth in the Bible , written by a psychopathic camel humper with delusions of granduer.[/QUOTE]please keep this book thread free of racism, thats completely uncalled for


also, im finishing up Guns, Germs, and Steel, and it gets better and better :drool:

[H]eadup 07-18-2004 06:26 PM

just finished reading The Bear And The Dragon by Tom clancy

great geopolitical technothriller, its something that could really happen today

TheMorlock 07-18-2004 09:03 PM

Any basic description of the scientific method

JettaPA 07-19-2004 05:42 PM

Non-Fiction:
[I]Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty [/I] by James Bovard
[I]Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America[/I] by Phillip K Howard
[I]The Road to Serfdom[/I] by F. A. Hayek
[I]Empower the People: Overthrow the Conspiracy That is Stealing Your Money and Freedom [/I] by Tony Brown
[I]Capitalism and Freedom[/I] by Milton Friedman

Fiction:
[I]The Dark Tower Series [/I] by Steven King
[I]The Icewind Dale Trilogy [/I] by R. A. Salvatore
[I]The Dark Elf Trilogy[/I] by R. A. Salvatore
[I]The Thrawn Trilogy [/I] by Timothy Zahn (Starwars)
[I]The Hand of Thrawn Duology[/I] by Timothy Zahn (Starwars)
[I]The Eye of the Dragon [/I] by Steven King
[I]Black House [/I] by Steven King

CrazyCanuck 07-21-2004 03:27 PM

Can anyone recommend a comprehensive history of Israel? Hopefully a fairly non-biased one.

möbiustrip 07-21-2004 11:58 PM

[QUOTE=CrazyCanuck]Can anyone recommend a comprehensive history of Israel? Hopefully a fairly non-biased one.[/QUOTE]Assuming you mean modern and not ancient, there's no royal road. When you're talking politics everyone has a viewpoint. On this particular issue, anyone claiming it's entirely one side's fault has an agenda.

Try [i]Leap of Faith[/i] from my list.

CrazyCanuck 07-24-2004 10:18 AM

[QUOTE=möbiustrip]Assuming you mean modern and not ancient, there's no royal road. When you're talking politics everyone has a viewpoint. On this particular issue, anyone claiming it's entirely one side's fault has an agenda.

Try [i]Leap of Faith[/i] from my list.[/QUOTE]


Ya, modern. I'm looking for a simple, concise history of Israel. I saw a comprehensive history at Chapters yesterday, but at 1000 large pages of small print, and $50, it was too much to start off with.

deepblue 07-29-2004 06:46 AM

[QUOTE=sk33]The Case For Israel; Alan Dershowitz; trial-like defense, taking apart 'common arguments' made against Israel in the int'l community
Amusing Ourselves to Death; Neil Postman; the degrading quality TV has on American society

btw: nice idea, Nano.[/QUOTE]

A case for Isreal has been widely criticized for plagerism of another book and misquoting the comprehinesive history referenecd written by Moore (I think its Moore). So, take ACFI for face value.

deepblue 07-29-2004 06:49 AM

[QUOTE=kbs]
[i]Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem[/i] by Simon Singh - one of the most entertaining books on number theory ever.
[/QUOTE]

that's not an entertaining book on number theory. Its a small, journalistically styled history of the people involved with fermat's last theorm. Its a history book (and yes, its entertaining) not a math book.

deepblue 07-29-2004 07:00 AM

Biohazard by Ken Alibek : Supposedly written by the head scientist of Russia's biological weapons program during the 80s. I don't believe him though; I'm a scientist.

From the Shandows by Robert M Gates : Dr. Gates is the president of Texas A&M University and the former DCI (head of the CIA). He was the first DCI to have worked his way up through the CIA from an entry level position and has served every president from Ford to Clinton. He's good buddies with 41 (his presidential library is at A&M). the book is basicallly an insiders take on the day to day policy of the CIA throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s. If you want to read about what really happens behind the scenes with respect to foreign policy, read this. It also has alot of detail about spy activity abroad.

The Buffalo Creek Disaster - by I can't remember - Its written by a Harvard law trained trial lawyer who represented 600 clients that suffered from inumerable losses when a coal company's dam broke and flooded 16 communities with a 32 foot tidal wave. Its their story and is absolutely rivetting. Its true btw.

The Brethren by bob Woodward - This is an insiders view of the Supreme Court. It shows how the justices debate the issues, how politics get involved, how clerks play such an important role in writing the law and how all of the players interact. It really is a remarkable book. All supreme court clerks (who eventually become law professors, senators, supreme justices and the like) should read it as well as anyone interested in what the supremes have to say.

Spoonie 07-29-2004 07:06 AM

America Alone: The Neo-conservatives and the Global Order
Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke

Absolutely brilliant book on the Bush administration, neo-conservatism, globalisation, anti-americanism, anti-war movement, Iraq, UN, WMD -- everything that's been hitting the headlines around the world. Written by a very respected scholar from University of Cambridge.

walkingcarpet 08-08-2004 08:43 PM

Uh, add Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.

It should be required reading by schools, in my opinion. The man was a genius.

homer1300 08-13-2004 06:49 PM

The Prize; Daniel Yergin; the history of oil, and it's affect on world history

CrazyCanuck 08-13-2004 08:26 PM

The start of my List:

[i]The Hope[/i] and [i]The Glory[/i] by [b]Herman Wouk[/b]; historical fiction set in the first 40 years of Israel

[i]Calculating God[/i] by [b]Robert J. Sawyer[/b]; aliens come to Earth and prove God exists

[i]What If?: 1 and 2[/i]; two books of alternate history essays

debaser 08-19-2004 05:28 PM

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence, History of the Arab insurgency against the Turks in the First World War, a good primer on current Middle Eastern conflict.

The Face of Battle, John Keegan, Excellent look at the evolution of warfare seen through the lens of three major battles. All of Keegans books are top notch.

More to come (in about a year...)

ieyeasu 08-22-2004 07:06 PM

Dungeon Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades
John Jay Robinson

welcomerain 08-26-2004 10:58 AM

the soldier and the state; samuel p. huntington; military/civil polity a la clausewitz's [i]On War[/i].

very enlightening.

BBnet3000 09-02-2004 06:30 PM

We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History - John Lewis Gaddis

Accident Prone 09-08-2004 01:22 PM

Steve Martin - Pure Drivel
(having a sense of humor is priceless)

Inf 09-23-2004 07:03 AM

Berlin:The Downfall,1945 - Anthony Beevor

Lozinger 10-05-2004 09:38 AM

this is a great thread...Printed this off for my next trip to the bookshop.

Here are some I liked recently....

A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Life in the gulag)
Stalingrad - Antony Beevor (story of siege of Stalingrad - war is hell)
The Trail - Franz Kafka (Faceless, communist, alienation, repression vibe)
Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (the darkness of the soul)
At Swim Two Birds - Flann O'Brien (diet james joyce - stream of consc fun)
Borstal Boy - Brendan Behan (Young IRA man in British prison during war - surprisingly touching)
Any/every Len Deighton (slow burning spy intrigue and pithy, weary character portraits)
Three Men in A Boat - Jerome K Jerome (Three 19th century slackers take a boat trip up Thames - funny)

SnakeIRye 10-05-2004 05:58 PM

[QUOTE=Lozinger]this is a great thread...Printed this off for my next trip to the bookshop.

Here are some I liked recently....

A Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Life in the gulag)
Stalingrad - Antony Beevor (story of siege of Stalingrad - war is hell)
The Trail - Franz Kafka (Faceless, communist, alienation, repression vibe)
Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (the darkness of the soul)
At Swim Two Birds - Flann O'Brien (diet james joyce - stream of consc fun)
Borstal Boy - Brendan Behan (Young IRA man in British prison during war - surprisingly touching)
Any/every Len Deighton (slow burning spy intrigue and pithy, weary character portraits)
Three Men in A Boat - Jerome K Jerome (Three 19th century slackers take a boat trip up Thames - funny)[/QUOTE]

Although an excellent novel, The Trial by Franz Kafka has nothing to do with the outcome of communism.

Lozinger 10-06-2004 01:01 AM

"Although an excellent novel, The Trial by Franz Kafka has nothing to do with the outcome of communism."

Agreed. Pre-Communism but you might agree that his faceless struggle in the larger machine resonates throughout, and is somewhat symbolic of this era.

deltabourne 10-06-2004 07:18 AM

I've been touting these books lately.. but they're a worthy addition to the pit:

Any book by Sven Hassel

Deals with WWII.. but you get it from a German point of view (they're originally in German and everything). Great books.

BadassOfTheNorth 10-11-2004 04:56 PM

Any Chuck Palahniuk book
[B]God's Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams[/B]
Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson (has nothing to do with jesus)
The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way In The New Century by Paul Krugman

Prayell 10-12-2004 01:00 PM

[URL=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0618057072/qid=1077343563/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-5022548-2650504?v=glance&s=books]The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind[/URL] by Julian Jaynes. Philosophy/psychology.
[URL=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0394735307/102-5022548-2650504?v=glance]The Tale of Genji[/URL] Edward G. Seidensticker (Translator). Regarded as the world's first novel; superb story about the Japanese version of courtly love.
[URL=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385479565/qid=1085636168/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-5022548-2650504?v=glance&s=books&n=507846]The Hot Zone[/URL] by Richard Preston. True story of the ebola virus outbreak in a Washington, D.C. laboratory.

gaxx29538di 10-15-2004 10:12 PM

good list of reading, i have a couple things to add:

Kalachakra Tantra - Kay-drup-jay, trans. by Jeffery Hopkins
Hevajra Tantra - Shakyamuni, trans. by Jeffery Hopkins
Vajrapanjara Tantra - unknown author

vinnie 10-25-2004 08:42 PM

"On Killing : The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316330116/103-9326396-6550220?v=glance[/url]

Interesting book.

huxley 10-26-2004 11:09 PM

ugh...atlas shrugged the most painful 900 pages of my life

furious_wombat 10-27-2004 05:20 PM

The Dune series by Frank Herbert. Epic writing about power, humanity, and religion. It cannot be summarized here.

Nano 10-27-2004 10:50 PM

[QUOTE=furious_wombat]The Dune series by Frank Herbert. Epic writing about power, humanity, and religion. It cannot be summarized here.[/QUOTE]

The Dune Litany against Fear is one of my favorite pieces of literature.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

TheMorlock 10-27-2004 11:19 PM

Time considered as a helix of semiprecious stones"

Repute 10-31-2004 12:08 PM

The Godfather - Mario Puzo :: One of the greatest books ever
The Tesseract - Alex Garland :: Hard to summarise, but great read.
The Beach - Alex Garland (Movie Sucked) :: The perfect life, or is it?

I suck at summarising. :(

huxley 11-10-2004 11:50 PM

Reading King Leopolds Ghost right now...umm its about the congo and killing black people

[ Mr.Burn ] 11-15-2004 06:41 AM

the Hyperion quartet from Dan Simmons.
Sakharov, Morale, Science et Politique from Charles Rhéaume, don't know if this book is out in english, but it is a good book on a physicist.
I should read the whole thread to see which book hasn't been named yet. :lol:
Of Liberty from John Stuart Mill
Anything from Rousseau
Anything from Descartes
Anything from Voltaire
Anything from Montesquieu
Anything from Nietzsche
Anything from Kant
Anything from Hegel
Anything from Heidegger
Anything from Kierkegaard
Si c'est un homme - Primo Levi
L'archipel du Goulag - Sol Jenstyne
Le grand voyage - Jorge Semprun
Rhinocéros - Eugène Ionesco
etc...
etc...
Foundation quartet and plus ;)
The Gunslinger from Stephen King
more to be added :P

pornstar420 11-19-2004 01:26 AM

I have to second The Godfather. It sums up everything one really needs to know about government in a gripping story. I literally could not put that book down until I was finished.

gaxx29538di 11-23-2004 01:18 PM

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Spoonie 12-02-2004 03:09 PM

[QUOTE=Lozinger]"Although an excellent novel, The Trial by Franz Kafka has nothing to do with the outcome of communism."

Agreed. Pre-Communism but you might agree that his faceless struggle in the larger machine resonates throughout, and is somewhat symbolic of this era.[/QUOTE]

From my reading Kafka was not particularly bothered about politics. His struggle was against what the later existentialists would call the "absurdity" of being; his alienation was psychic and internal, as opposed to political and external.

harmless 12-10-2004 08:59 AM

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomposon. Read everything else by him while you're at it.

gaxx29538di 12-20-2004 03:45 PM

[URL=http://www.genmay.net/showthread.php?t=479484]PopeKevin is a bitch[/URL]

ViriiK 12-28-2004 12:18 PM

Dreadnought : The Coming of the Great War

Gouda2 02-12-2005 12:32 AM

[QUOTE=huxley]ugh...atlas shrugged the most painful 900 pages of my life[/QUOTE]

I think the book has a good story to tell, but yeah, it drags on waaay longer then it needs to.

jaydotess@hotmail.com 02-17-2005 06:54 PM

starwars

De7|ro|i7 02-23-2005 03:52 PM

Chuchill's War by David Irving

Deadside Legion 02-25-2005 12:41 AM

I'm not reading every last post so you may see duplicates.

Any Hunter S Thompson stuff from the 60s-70s

"Fatherland" by Robert Harris. set in 1964, afetr the Germans won WWII. An SS officer learns the truth of the Holocaust and that the "Jewish relocation" was a lie to cover up the death camps. Betrays and exposes Hitler at the end(now for ForeverVirgin to come in and say the Holocaust never happened, among other Nazi lies).

Given that the upcoming Doom movie sounds to be done by the same brainless turds who did the Darkstalkers cartoon, pick up the 4 Doom novels, if you can find them.

Catch 22

anything by Robert Bloch

Ten Little Indians

arthur pendragon 02-25-2005 07:52 AM

[QUOTE=Nano]The Dune Litany against Fear is one of my favorite pieces of literature.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.[/QUOTE]

Heh heh I always liked the mentat oath better..... :D :D :D

It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts aquire speed. The lips aquire stain, the stain becomes a warning, it is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Rage2132 03-13-2005 10:07 AM

[b][u]INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS:[/u][/b]

International Relations 6th Edition - Joshua Goldstein

- Text Book: Explains current theories of international relationships with regards to past, present, and future conflicts and social traditions.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321209486/qid=1110737145/sr=8-3/ref=pd_csp_3/102-0196610-9222552?v=glance&s=books&n=507846[/url]




[u][b]US SECURITY POLICIES FROM WWI -> POST 9/11[/u][/b]

Suprise, Security, and the American Experience - John Lewis Gaddis

- Reader: Mostly about how american experience has created a lack of internal security and how the current government is changing the american experience and security

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0674011740/qid=1110737185/sr=2-1/102-0196610-9222552?v=glance&s=books[/url]





[u][b]INTERVENTION / WAR[/b][/u]

The Purpose of Intervention: Changing beliefs about the use of force - Martha Finnemore

- Reader: Discusses why realism theory failes and the varying uses of intervention since Napoleanic wars to Iraq.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801489598/qid=1110737251/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-0196610-9222552[/url]

irate_vermin 04-05-2005 10:50 PM

Voices of a Peoples History of the United States - Howard Zinn. A collection of primary source documents from American history.

SchrodingersCat 04-21-2005 05:41 PM

Anything by Orson Scott Card (I'm slightly obsessed)
The entire Ender's series -- Shadow series too
Women of Genesis Series
Alvin Maker Series
Lovelock - written with Kathryn Kidd
The Lost Boys
Songmaster
Wyrms
Worthing Saga

Body Farm - Patricia Cornwell

The Misbegotten Son: A Serial Killer and His Victims: The True Story of Arthur J. Shawcross - Jack Olsen

*LANGAN* 04-21-2005 06:12 PM

The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby:
this is the most intresting book i have ever read, once you start you cant put it down... i highly suggest reading it. This book includes out-there theroys about the human mind, the universe, and halucinigenic drug use to learn more about these things, it also includes documenting from halucinigenic trips on many drugs that were aquired from Jeremy Narby while he was visiting some rainforrest tribes where he learned many intresting things. It explains how nature and universe are connected... i cant really begin to explain it.. but reading this book will really get you thinking and i HIGHLY suggest reading it.

yolo 06-08-2005 02:32 PM

Vendetta's choice was interesting to see. My dad has worked in the military for 40 years, served 2 terms in Vietnam, and he calls Bush the modern day Caesar.

IvanTheTerrible 06-14-2005 07:34 PM

asdfasdfasfas

Dyno 07-04-2005 01:13 PM

I finished reading a book called: 'SALT: A WORLD HISTORY' by Mark Kurlansky. It's a fascinating around-the-world history of salt, one of the most important elements for the development and expansion of human civilization. Salting food has fallen into obscurity only one hundred years ago but prior to that it was a commodity worth billions. Whole countries set their fortunes to salt. Indeed some countries came to be because of salt. This was one of the best books I've read all year.

Now I'm reading 'THE ORIGIN OF SATAN' by Elaine Pagels. While only half way though I'm finding it very informative. This is a social history of the devil as found in the bible and apocryphic writing through the ages. It's interesting to see how religious fiction has been revised through the centuries and how societies organise into holy and unholy, US and THEM, in order to survive their respective trials.

Usually I read science fiction and fantasy, but recently I'm on an information kick.

Spoonie 07-10-2005 11:37 AM

"The Non-Existence of God" by Nicholas Everitt. Great piece of philosophical writing.

tenk_immortals 07-14-2005 08:41 PM

[QUOTE=NAV man]Catch-22, Joseph Heller, WW-2

I'm serious, that's where I get my inspiration from.[/QUOTE]

It's an amazing book. But, all these books should be required reading for everyone.

TheIlluminatedOne 07-19-2005 04:51 PM

Mystery of the Ages by Herbert W. Armstrong

Squisher 07-23-2005 12:40 PM

[QUOTE=vect0rburn]lord of the flies - william golding - a graphical depiction of human nature in a blank society[/QUOTE]

More like an analysis of the creation of a power vacuum since most people agree that these kids were not true blank slates. They grew up in the regimented, authoritarian world of civilization


[I]Everything for Sale[/I] by Robert Kuttner - Kuttner uses data and analysis to show that mixed markets are generally superior to unregulated ones.
[I]How the Mind Works[/I] by Stephen Pinker - Pinker describes the "computational theory of the mind" and the evolutionary explanations for human behavior.
[I]Wealth and Democracy[/I] by Kevin Phillips - Philips traces the fates of America's richest families from the time of the revolution to the present. He also explores the great sources of american wealth inequality.

ieyeasu 07-23-2005 01:47 PM

[QUOTE=ViriiK]Dreadnought : The Coming of the Great War[/QUOTE]
]
QFMFT

BelgianSandwich 08-04-2005 10:30 PM

I've been having trouble in finding Marx's Communist Manifesto.

Its not in my public library's database or the university's database.

Can someone help me out?

Colonel Mustard 08-10-2005 06:00 PM

[QUOTE=ManSandwichMayo]I've been having trouble in finding Marx's Communist Manifesto.

Its not in my public library's database or the university's database.

Can someone help me out?[/QUOTE]

most (shorter) philosophical primary texts are widely available online.

[url]http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html[/url]

if you want to delve a little bit deeper into marx, it would probably be a good idea to find a copy of the marx-engels reader or a similiar compilation of works.

Spoonie 08-11-2005 06:10 AM

[QUOTE=ManSandwichMayo]I've been having trouble in finding Marx's Communist Manifesto.

Its not in my public library's database or the university's database.

Can someone help me out?[/QUOTE]

waffles

Are you kidding? Seems like "Communist Manifesto" has been banned from your university and your local library. Brilliant.

Spoonie 08-11-2005 06:13 AM

[QUOTE=Colonel Mustard]if you want to delve a little bit deeper into marx, it would probably be a good idea to find a copy of the marx-engels reader or a similiar compilation of works.[/QUOTE]

Incidentally, Engels is a vastly better writer than Marx. So you might want to read: [i]The Condition of the Working Class in England[/i] and [i]Socialism: Utopian and Scientific[/i].

A good "Cliff Notes" is Terrell Carver's [i]Engels[/i], published by Oxford University Press.

Mulan 08-15-2005 01:54 AM

[QUOTE=ScretHate]Why would you waste your time reading those Ayn Rand books? Just read the communist manifesto and invert it. Ayn Rand is for asocial, underdeveloped, teenagers.[/QUOTE]

Ah randroids. God I hate those kids.

Nano, even though Romance (or "Epic" since it is a more apt description) of the Three Kingdoms is a great book, it is by NO means a great historical record of ancient Chinese history. It's a convoluted and contrived account of historical events and downplays the actual moral turpitude of the characters.

Regardless, :heart: Guan gong/di (Guan yi). We have a big bronze figure of him in our house and I want to learn to use the guan dow (that kickass weapon he carries) one day.

Spoonie 08-15-2005 02:05 AM

[QUOTE=Mulan]Nano, even though Romance (or "Epic" since it is a more apt description) of the Three Kingdoms is a great book, it is by NO means a great historical record of ancient Chinese history. It's a convoluted and contrived and downplays the actual moral turpitude of the characters.[/quote]

It doesn't "downplay" the "moral turpitude" of the characters. You just need to open your eyes and use your brain. Anyone who isn't a twelve year old is going to be able to work out that Liu Bei was not "the good guy". In fact, Lo Kuanchung probably [i]deliberately[/i] wrote the book in such a "contrived", unsubtle and morally binary way to tease/confuse the readers (or to get past censors).

[QUOTE=Mulan]Regardless, :heart: Guan gong/di (Guan yi). We have a big bronze figure of him in our house and I want to learn to use the guan dow (that kickass weapon he carries) one day.[/QUOTE]

You then go on to say that you have a figure of Guan Yu (it's "Guan Yu", not "Guan Yi"). Why? He was not particularly "moral" or "heroic". It is always fascinating to see how deification is based on ignorance, and then tradition perpetuates it.

Nano 08-15-2005 06:10 AM

[QUOTE=Spoonie]It doesn't "downplay" the "moral turpitude" of the characters. You just need to open your eyes and use your brain. Anyone who isn't a twelve year old is going to be able to work out that Liu Bei was not "the good guy". In fact, Lo Kuanchung probably [i]deliberately[/i] wrote the book in such a "contrived", unsubtle and morally binary way to tease/confuse the readers (or to get past censors).[/quote]

Yea, it's definitely a shu-ified book, and is to be taken as an editorial more than history, but its historically based.


[quote]
You then go on to say that you have a figure of Guan Yu (it's "Guan Yu", not "Guan Yi"). Why? He was not particularly "moral" or "heroic". It is always fascinating to see how deification is based on ignorance, and then tradition perpetuates it.[/QUOTE]

He's revered there as the god of war, whatchu expect? :P

Good old lord lovely beard.

Nano 08-15-2005 06:15 AM

[QUOTE=Mulan]Nano, even though Romance (or "Epic" since it is a more apt description) of the Three Kingdoms is a great book, it is by NO means a great historical record of ancient Chinese history. It's a convoluted and contrived account of historical events and downplays the actual moral turpitude of the characters.[/quote]

Yea, I know. Thats why I used representation, since its more of an editorial. I still adore the story. :)

[quote]
Regardless, :heart: Guan gong/di (Guan yi). We have a big bronze figure of him in our house and I want to learn to use the guan dow (that kickass weapon he carries) one day.[/QUOTE]

Yknow..if the sun clan hadn't killed him... I daresay china may have had a different history. And if Zhao Yun hadn't saved his idiot son.

Spoonie 08-15-2005 12:23 PM

[QUOTE=Nano]Yknow..if the sun clan hadn't killed him... I daresay china may have had a different history. And if Zhao Yun hadn't saved his idiot son.[/QUOTE]

There would be interesting "counterfactual history". What if Guan Yu didn't get pwned? Probably wouldn't matter much because Liu's young son was to get the throne and he would still be utterly useless regardless of Guan's presence. Any alliance with the Wu to counter the Chao's might be difficult to form. In the end, Shu would probably be isolated as ever, and with their best generals getting old (Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong) and the new ones really rather shitty (Ma Xu, for example), Zhuge Lian would still be fighting a losing battle, overrun by the massive Chao's troops.


Interesting bit from Wikipedia, BTW
[quote]Luo Guanzhong's re-telling of this story also give us a window into the politics of his time. The contemporary Ming Emperor Wanli had officially elevated Guan Yu to the position of a god, Lord Guan, to emphasize Guan Yu's characteristics of bravery and extreme fidelity (characteristics the emperor no doubt wanted to promote in his subjects). Luo Guanzhong, however, gives us a more subtle Guan Yu who dies a shattered idol, deserving pity because of his overconfidence. This dissonance was overlooked in traditional commentaries on the text but recent research finds in Luo Guanzhong's Guan Yu a fascinating reflection of Chinese culture under Ming rule, the author complying with the program of imperial propaganda while also subtly subverting it.[/quote]

Nano 08-15-2005 08:31 PM

[QUOTE=Spoonie]There would be interesting "counterfactual history". What if Guan Yu didn't get pwned? Probably wouldn't matter much because Liu's young son was to get the throne and he would still be utterly useless regardless of Guan's presence. Any alliance with the Wu to counter the Chao's might be difficult to form. In the end, Shu would probably be isolated as ever, and with their best generals getting old (Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong) and the new ones really rather shitty (Ma Xu, for example), Zhuge Lian would still be fighting a losing battle, overrun by the massive Chao's troops.


Interesting bit from Wikipedia, BTW[/QUOTE]

Yea, Guan Yu underestimated pang de, lu meng and lu xun. all three strong generals. Oh.. and do you mean Cao?

HHunt 09-02-2005 03:55 PM

I somewhat recently read [url=http://www.accelerando.org/]Accelerando[/url], which is 1) hard (classic-ish) science fiction, and 2) [url=http://www.accelerando.org/_static/accelerando.html]freely available[/url].
The first chapters are a bit chaotic, much like the things they describe, but it pans out a bit after that.

(It's always interesting to find something quite readable and new available online. :D )

mcovey 11-08-2005 03:44 PM

American Exceptionalism and Human Rights
Edited by Michael Ignatieff

[url]http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/8080.html[/url]

möbiustrip 02-19-2006 02:27 PM

The New York Times

February 19, 2006
After Neoconservatism
By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA

As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran. There are clear benefits to the Iraqi people from the removal of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and perhaps some positive spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. But it is very hard to see how these developments in themselves justify the blood and treasure that the United States has spent on the project to this point.

The so-called Bush Doctrine that set the framework for the administration's first term is now in shambles. The doctrine (elaborated, among other places, in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States) argued that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, America would have to launch periodic preventive wars to defend itself against rogue states and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; that it would do this alone, if necessary; and that it would work to democratize the greater Middle East as a long-term solution to the terrorist problem. But successful pre-emption depends on the ability to predict the future accurately and on good intelligence, which was not forthcoming, while America's perceived unilateralism has isolated it as never before. It is not surprising that in its second term, the administration has been distancing itself from these policies and is in the process of rewriting the National Security Strategy document.

But it is the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad that may suffer the greatest setback. Perceived failure in Iraq has restored the authority of foreign policy "realists" in the tradition of Henry Kissinger. Already there is a host of books and articles decrying America's naïve Wilsonianism and attacking the notion of trying to democratize the world. The administration's second-term efforts to push for greater Middle Eastern democracy, introduced with the soaring rhetoric of Bush's second Inaugural Address, have borne very problematic fruits. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood made a strong showing in Egypt's parliamentary elections in November and December. While the holding of elections in Iraq this past December was an achievement in itself, the vote led to the ascendance of a Shiite bloc with close ties to Iran (following on the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran in June). But the clincher was the decisive Hamas victory in the Palestinian election last month, which brought to power a movement overtly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In his second inaugural, Bush said that "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one," but the charge will be made with increasing frequency that the Bush administration made a big mistake when it stirred the pot, and that the United States would have done better to stick by its traditional authoritarian friends in the Middle East. Indeed, the effort to promote democracy around the world has been attacked as an illegitimate activity both by people on the left like Jeffrey Sachs and by traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan.

The reaction against democracy promotion and an activist foreign policy may not end there. Those whom Walter Russell Mead labels Jacksonian conservatives — red-state Americans whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in the Middle East — supported the Iraq war because they believed that their children were fighting to defend the United States against nuclear terrorism, not to promote democracy. They don't want to abandon the president in the middle of a vicious war, but down the road the perceived failure of the Iraq intervention may push them to favor a more isolationist foreign policy, which is a more natural political position for them. A recent Pew poll indicates a swing in public opinion toward isolationism; the percentage of Americans saying that the United States "should mind its own business" has never been higher since the end of the Vietnam War.

More than any other group, it was the neoconservatives both inside and outside the Bush administration who pushed for democratizing Iraq and the broader Middle East. They are widely credited (or blamed) for being the decisive voices promoting regime change in Iraq, and yet it is their idealistic agenda that in the coming months and years will be the most directly threatened. Were the United States to retreat from the world stage, following a drawdown in Iraq, it would in my view be a huge tragedy, because American power and influence have been critical to the maintenance of an open and increasingly democratic order around the world. The problem with neoconservatism's agenda lies not in its ends, which are as American as apple pie, but rather in the overmilitarized means by which it has sought to accomplish them. What American foreign policy needs is not a return to a narrow and cynical realism, but rather the formulation of a "realistic Wilsonianism" that better matches means to ends.

[I]The Neoconservative Legacy[/I]

How did the neoconservatives end up overreaching to such an extent that they risk undermining their own goals? The Bush administration's first-term foreign policy did not flow ineluctably from the views of earlier generations of people who considered themselves neoconservatives, since those views were themselves complex and subject to differing interpretations. Four common principles or threads ran through much of this thought up through the end of the cold war: a concern with democracy, human rights and, more generally, the internal politics of states; a belief that American power can be used for moral purposes; a skepticism about the ability of international law and institutions to solve serious security problems; and finally, a view that ambitious social engineering often leads to unexpected consequences and thereby undermines its own ends.

The problem was that two of these principles were in potential collision. The skeptical stance toward ambitious social engineering — which in earlier years had been applied mostly to domestic policies like affirmative action, busing and welfare — suggested a cautious approach toward remaking the world and an awareness that ambitious initiatives always have unanticipated consequences. The belief in the potential moral uses of American power, on the other hand, implied that American activism could reshape the structure of global politics. By the time of the Iraq war, the belief in the transformational uses of power had prevailed over the doubts about social engineering.

In retrospect, things did not have to develop this way. The roots of neoconservatism lie in a remarkable group of largely Jewish intellectuals who attended City College of New York (C.C.N.Y.) in the mid- to late 1930's and early 1940's, a group that included Irving Kristol, Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, Nathan Glazer and, a bit later, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The story of this group has been told in a number of places, most notably in a documentary film by Joseph Dorman called "Arguing the World." The most important inheritance from the C.C.N.Y. group was an idealistic belief in social progress and the universality of rights, coupled with intense anti-Communism.

It is not an accident that many in the C.C.N.Y. group started out as Trotskyites. Leon Trotsky was, of course, himself a Communist, but his supporters came to understand better than most people the utter cynicism and brutality of the Stalinist regime. The anti-Communist left, in contrast to the traditional American right, sympathized with the social and economic aims of Communism, but in the course of the 1930's and 1940's came to realize that "real existing socialism" had become a monstrosity of unintended consequences that completely undermined the idealistic goals it espoused. While not all of the C.C.N.Y. thinkers became neoconservatives, the danger of good intentions carried to extremes was a theme that would underlie the life work of many members of this group.

If there was a single overarching theme to the domestic social policy critiques issued by those who wrote for the neoconservative journal The Public Interest, founded by Irving Kristol, Nathan Glazer and Daniel Bell in 1965, it was the limits of social engineering. Writers like Glazer, Moynihan and, later, Glenn Loury argued that ambitious efforts to seek social justice often left societies worse off than before because they either required massive state intervention that disrupted pre-existing social relations (for example, forced busing) or else produced unanticipated consequences (like an increase in single-parent families as a result of welfare). A major theme running through James Q. Wilson's extensive writings on crime was the idea that you could not lower crime rates by trying to solve deep underlying problems like poverty and racism; effective policies needed to focus on shorter-term measures that went after symptoms of social distress (like subway graffiti or panhandling) rather than root causes.

How, then, did a group with such a pedigree come to decide that the "root cause" of terrorism lay in the Middle East's lack of democracy, that the United States had both the wisdom and the ability to fix this problem and that democracy would come quickly and painlessly to Iraq? Neoconservatives would not have taken this turn but for the peculiar way that the cold war ended.

Ronald Reagan was ridiculed by sophisticated people on the American left and in Europe for labeling the Soviet Union and its allies an "evil empire" and for challenging Mikhail Gorbachev not just to reform his system but also to "tear down this wall." His assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, Richard Perle, was denounced as the "prince of darkness" for this uncompromising, hard-line position; his proposal for a double-zero in the intermediate-range nuclear arms negotiations (that is, the complete elimination of medium-range missiles) was attacked as hopelessly out of touch by the bien-pensant centrist foreign-policy experts at places like the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department. That community felt that the Reaganites were dangerously utopian in their hopes for actually winning, as opposed to managing, the cold war.

And yet total victory in the cold war is exactly what happened in 1989-91. Gorbachev accepted not only the double zero but also deep cuts in conventional forces, and then failed to stop the Polish, Hungarian and East German defections from the empire. Communism collapsed within a couple of years because of its internal moral weaknesses and contradictions, and with regime change in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact threat to the West evaporated.

The way the cold war ended shaped the thinking of supporters of the Iraq war, including younger neoconservatives like William Kristol and Robert Kagan, in two ways. First, it seems to have created an expectation that all totalitarian regimes were hollow at the core and would crumble with a small push from outside. The model for this was Romania under the Ceausescus: once the wicked witch was dead, the munchkins would rise up and start singing joyously about their liberation. As Kristol and Kagan put it in their 2000 book "Present Dangers": "To many the idea of America using its power to promote changes of regime in nations ruled by dictators rings of utopianism. But in fact, it is eminently realistic. There is something perverse in declaring the impossibility of promoting democratic change abroad in light of the record of the past three decades."

This overoptimism about postwar transitions to democracy helps explain the Bush administration's incomprehensible failure to plan adequately for the insurgency that subsequently emerged in Iraq. The war's supporters seemed to think that democracy was a kind of default condition to which societies reverted once the heavy lifting of coercive regime change occurred, rather than a long-term process of institution-building and reform. While they now assert that they knew all along that the democratic transformation of Iraq would be long and hard, they were clearly taken by surprise. According to George Packer's recent book on Iraq, "The Assassins' Gate," the Pentagon planned a drawdown of American forces to some 25,000 troops by the end of the summer following the invasion.

By the 1990's, neoconservatism had been fed by several other intellectual streams. One came from the students of the German Jewish political theorist Leo Strauss, who, contrary to much of the nonsense written about him by people like Anne Norton and Shadia Drury, was a serious reader of philosophical texts who did not express opinions on contemporary politics or policy issues. Rather, he was concerned with the "crisis of modernity" brought on by the relativism of Nietzsche and Heidegger, as well as the fact that neither the claims of religion nor deeply-held opinions about the nature of the good life could be banished from politics, as the thinkers of the European Enlightenment had hoped. Another stream came from Albert Wohlstetter, a Rand Corporation strategist who was the teacher of Richard Perle, Zalmay Khalilzad (the current American ambassador to Iraq) and Paul Wolfowitz (the former deputy secretary of defense), among other people. Wohlstetter was intensely concerned with the problem of nuclear proliferation and the way that the 1968 Nonproliferation Treaty left loopholes, in its support for "peaceful" nuclear energy, large enough for countries like Iraq and Iran to walk through.

I have numerous affiliations with the different strands of the neoconservative movement. I was a student of Strauss's protégé Allan Bloom, who wrote the bestseller "The Closing of the American Mind"; worked at Rand and with Wohlstetter on Persian Gulf issues; and worked also on two occasions for Wolfowitz. Many people have also interpreted my book "The End of History and the Last Man" (1992) as a neoconservative tract, one that argued in favor of the view that there is a universal hunger for liberty in all people that will inevitably lead them to liberal democracy, and that we are living in the midst of an accelerating, transnational movement in favor of that liberal democracy. This is a misreading of the argument. "The End of History" is in the end an argument about modernization. What is initially universal is not the desire for liberal democracy but rather the desire to live in a modern — that is, technologically advanced and prosperous — society, which, if satisfied, tends to drive demands for political participation. Liberal democracy is one of the byproducts of this modernization process, something that becomes a universal aspiration only in the course of historical time.

"The End of History," in other words, presented a kind of Marxist argument for the existence of a long-term process of social evolution, but one that terminates in liberal democracy rather than communism. In the formulation of the scholar Ken Jowitt, the neoconservative position articulated by people like Kristol and Kagan was, by contrast, Leninist; they believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practiced by the United States. Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support.

[I]The Failure of Benevolent Hegemony[/I]

The Bush administration and its neoconservative supporters did not simply underestimate the difficulty of bringing about congenial political outcomes in places like Iraq; they also misunderstood the way the world would react to the use of American power. Of course, the cold war was replete with instances of what the foreign policy analyst Stephen Sestanovich calls American maximalism, wherein Washington acted first and sought legitimacy and support from its allies only after the fact. But in the post-cold-war period, the structural situation of world politics changed in ways that made this kind of exercise of power much more problematic in the eyes of even close allies. After the fall of the Soviet Union, various neoconservative authors like Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol and Robert Kagan suggested that the United States would use its margin of power to exert a kind of "benevolent hegemony" over the rest of the world, fixing problems like rogue states with W.M.D., human rights abuses and terrorist threats as they came up. Writing before the Iraq war, Kristol and Kagan considered whether this posture would provoke resistance from the rest of the world, and concluded, "It is precisely because American foreign policy is infused with an unusually high degree of morality that other nations find they have less to fear from its otherwise daunting power." (Italics added.)

It is hard to read these lines without irony in the wake of the global reaction to the Iraq war, which succeeded in uniting much of the world in a frenzy of anti-Americanism. The idea that the United States is a hegemon more benevolent than most is not an absurd one, but there were warning signs that things had changed in America's relationship to the world long before the start of the Iraq war. The structural imbalance in global power had grown enormous. America surpassed the rest of the world in every dimension of power by an unprecedented margin, with its defense spending nearly equal to that of the rest of the world combined. Already during the Clinton years, American economic hegemony had generated enormous hostility to an American-dominated process of globalization, frequently on the part of close democratic allies who thought the United States was seeking to impose its antistatist social model on them.

There were other reasons as well why the world did not accept American benevolent hegemony. In the first place, it was premised on American exceptionalism, the idea that America could use its power in instances where others could not because it was more virtuous than other countries. The doctrine of pre-emption against terrorist threats contained in the 2002 National Security Strategy was one that could not safely be generalized through the international system; America would be the first country to object if Russia, China, India or France declared a similar right of unilateral action. The United States was seeking to pass judgment on others while being unwilling to have its own conduct questioned in places like the International Criminal Court.

Another problem with benevolent hegemony was domestic. There are sharp limits to the American people's attention to foreign affairs and willingness to finance projects overseas that do not have clear benefits to American interests. Sept. 11 changed that calculus in many ways, providing popular support for two wars in the Middle East and large increases in defense spending. But the durability of the support is uncertain: although most Americans want to do what is necessary to make the project of rebuilding Iraq succeed, the aftermath of the invasion did not increase the public appetite for further costly interventions. Americans are not, at heart, an imperial people. Even benevolent hegemons sometimes have to act ruthlessly, and they need a staying power that does not come easily to people who are reasonably content with their own lives and society.

Finally, benevolent hegemony presumed that the hegemon was not only well intentioned but competent as well. Much of the criticism of the Iraq intervention from Europeans and others was not based on a normative case that the United States was not getting authorization from the United Nations Security Council, but rather on the belief that it had not made an adequate case for invading Iraq in the first place and didn't know what it was doing in trying to democratize Iraq. In this, the critics were unfortunately quite prescient.

The most basic misjudgment was an overestimation of the threat facing the United States from radical Islamism. Although the new and ominous possibility of undeterrable terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction did indeed present itself, advocates of the war wrongly conflated this with the threat presented by Iraq and with the rogue state/proliferation problem more generally. The misjudgment was based in part on the massive failure of the American intelligence community to correctly assess the state of Iraq's W.M.D. programs before the war. But the intelligence community never took nearly as alarmist a view of the terrorist/W.M.D. threat as the war's supporters did. Overestimation of this threat was then used to justify the elevation of preventive war to the centerpiece of a new security strategy, as well as a whole series of measures that infringed on civil liberties, from detention policy to domestic eavesdropping.

[I]What to Do[/I]

Now that the neoconservative moment appears to have passed, the United States needs to reconceptualize its foreign policy in several fundamental ways. In the first instance, we need to demilitarize what we have been calling the global war on terrorism and shift to other types of policy instruments. We are fighting hot counterinsurgency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and against the international jihadist movement, wars in which we need to prevail. But "war" is the wrong metaphor for the broader struggle, since wars are fought at full intensity and have clear beginnings and endings. Meeting the jihadist challenge is more of a "long, twilight struggle" whose core is not a military campaign but a political contest for the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims around the world. As recent events in France and Denmark suggest, Europe will be a central battleground in this fight.

The United States needs to come up with something better than "coalitions of the willing" to legitimate its dealings with other countries. The world today lacks effective international institutions that can confer legitimacy on collective action; creating new organizations that will better balance the dual requirements of legitimacy and effectiveness will be the primary task for the coming generation. As a result of more than 200 years of political evolution, we have a relatively good understanding of how to create institutions that are rulebound, accountable and reasonably effective in the vertical silos we call states. What we do not have are adequate mechanisms of horizontal accountability among states.

The conservative critique of the United Nations is all too cogent: while useful for certain peacekeeping and nation-building operations, the United Nations lacks both democratic legitimacy and effectiveness in dealing with serious security issues. The solution is not to strengthen a single global body, but rather to promote what has been emerging in any event, a "multi-multilateral world" of overlapping and occasionally competing international institutions that are organized on regional or functional lines. Kosovo in 1999 was a model: when the Russian veto prevented the Security Council from acting, the United States and its NATO allies simply shifted the venue to NATO, where the Russians could not block action.

The final area that needs rethinking, and the one that will be the most contested in the coming months and years, is the place of democracy promotion in American foreign policy. The worst legacy that could come from the Iraq war would be an anti-neoconservative backlash that coupled a sharp turn toward isolation with a cynical realist policy aligning the United States with friendly authoritarians. Good governance, which involves not just democracy but also the rule of law and economic development, is critical to a host of outcomes we desire, from alleviating poverty to dealing with pandemics to controlling violent conflicts. A Wilsonian policy that pays attention to how rulers treat their citizens is therefore right, but it needs to be informed by a certain realism that was missing from the thinking of the Bush administration in its first term and of its neoconservative allies.

We need in the first instance to understand that promoting democracy and modernization in the Middle East is not a solution to the problem of jihadist terrorism; in all likelihood it will make the short-term problem worse, as we have seen in the case of the Palestinian election bringing Hamas to power. Radical Islamism is a byproduct of modernization itself, arising from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. It is no accident that so many recent terrorists, from Sept. 11's Mohamed Atta to the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to the London subway bombers, were radicalized in democratic Europe and intimately familiar with all of democracy's blessings. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalization and — yes, unfortunately — terrorism.

But greater political participation by Islamist groups is very likely to occur whatever we do, and it will be the only way that the poison of radical Islamism can ultimately work its way through the body politic of Muslim communities around the world. The age is long since gone when friendly authoritarians could rule over passive populations and produce stability indefinitely. New social actors are mobilizing everywhere, from Bolivia and Venezuela to South Africa and the Persian Gulf. A durable Israeli-Palestinian peace could not be built upon a corrupt, illegitimate Fatah that constantly had to worry about Hamas challenging its authority. Peace might emerge, sometime down the road, from a Palestine run by a formerly radical terrorist group that had been forced to deal with the realities of governing.

If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper financing of those institutions of the United States government that actually promote democracy, development and the rule of law around the world, organizations like the State Department, U.S.A.I.D., the National Endowment for Democracy and the like. The United States has played an often decisive role in helping along many recent democratic transitions, including in the Philippines in 1986; South Korea and Taiwan in 1987; Chile in 1988; Poland and Hungary in 1989; Serbia in 2000; Georgia in 2003; and Ukraine in 2004-5. But the overarching lesson that emerges from these cases is that the United States does not get to decide when and where democracy comes about. By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic. Democracy promotion is therefore a long-term and opportunistic process that has to await the gradual ripening of political and economic conditions to be effective.

The Bush administration has been walking — indeed, sprinting — away from the legacy of its first term, as evidenced by the cautious multilateral approach it has taken toward the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. Condoleezza Rice gave a serious speech in January about "transformational diplomacy" and has begun an effort to reorganize the nonmilitary side of the foreign-policy establishment, and the National Security Strategy document is being rewritten. All of these are welcome changes, but the legacy of the Bush first-term foreign policy and its neoconservative supporters has been so polarizing that it is going to be hard to have a reasoned debate about how to appropriately balance American ideals and interests in the coming years. The reaction against a flawed policy can be as damaging as the policy itself, and such a reaction is an indulgence we cannot afford, given the critical moment we have arrived at in global politics.

Neoconservatism, whatever its complex roots, has become indelibly associated with concepts like coercive regime change, unilateralism and American hegemony. What is needed now are new ideas, neither neoconservative nor realist, for how America is to relate to the rest of the world — ideas that retain the neoconservative belief in the universality of human rights, but without its illusions about the efficacy of American power and hegemony to bring these ends about.

Francis Fukuyama teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. This essay is adapted from his book "America at the Crossroads," which will be published this month by Yale University Press.

electric!sheep 04-09-2006 06:33 PM

Good post mobius. Some key paragraphs:

[quote]"The End of History," in other words, presented a kind of Marxist argument for the existence of a long-term process of social evolution, but one that terminates in liberal democracy rather than communism. In the formulation of the scholar Ken Jowitt, [i]the neoconservative position articulated by people like Kristol and Kagan was, by contrast, Leninist; they believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practiced by the United States.[/i] Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support.[/quote]

[quote]Radical Islamism is a byproduct of modernization itself, arising from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. It is no accident that so many recent terrorists, from Sept. 11's Mohamed Atta to the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to the London subway bombers, were radicalized in democratic Europe and intimately familiar with all of democracy's blessings. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalization and — yes, unfortunately — terrorism.

But greater political participation by Islamist groups is very likely to occur whatever we do, and it will be the only way that the poison of radical Islamism can ultimately work its way through the body politic of Muslim communities around the world. ... Peace might emerge, sometime down the road, from a Palestine run by a formerly radical terrorist group that had been forced to deal with the realities of governing.[/quote]

Jonny 2x4 06-16-2006 03:47 PM

[u]The Elements of Journalism[/u] by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel

Very good book. It tells you a great deal about what journalism was, is, and what it should become. Very detailed.

[u]How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World: A History of Modern Delusions[/u] by Francis Wheen

Just very informative. Very slanted, but a lot of truth within.

Clubber Lang 08-20-2006 01:29 PM

[QUOTE=Jonny 2x4]

[u]How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World: A History of Modern Delusions[/u] by Francis Wheen
[/QUOTE]
^yup, a good read.




For anyone interested in psycology i'd recommend David Smail's series of books beginning with

[u]Illusion and Reality : The Nature of Anxiety[/u]

Iomi 08-23-2006 08:13 AM

[u]The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order[/u]
Samuel P. Huntington
1996

A Harvard professor and a political scientist's view on the post-Cold War world and warns of cultural clashes between "the West and the rest". Considering when it was published (and his original article, on which the book is based, was published as early as in 1993), many of his views are scaringly accurate.

CRasch 09-18-2006 12:01 AM

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Asimov's Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark - Carl Sagan
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence - Carl Sagan
Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living - Bruce Lee and John Little
The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee - John R. Little
The Human Brain: Its Capacities and Functions; Revised and Expanded Edition- Isaac Asimov and Anthony RavielliIsaac
Isaac Asimov's Robot City Series (including Robot and Aliens)
Failed States: The Abuse of Power and The Assault on Democracy - Noam Chomsky
Chomsky on Anarchism - Noam Chomsky and Barry Pateman
Open Society and Its Enemies - Karl Popper
Quotations of Thomas Jefferson
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century - Oliver Van
Doyal Brunson's Super System
Shogun - James Clavell

Zangmonkey 10-12-2006 03:29 PM

I've got a film to reccomend:

The Battle of Algiers

möbiustrip 12-10-2006 01:42 PM

I just picked up Sagan's [i]Demon-Haunted World[/i]. It's well-done for the "science > superstition" genre, if a bit long-winded regarding alien abductions (he casts them as the latest cultural facade for the age-old cop-out of mysticism over skepticism). Anybody that watches "Penn & Teller Bullshit!" will enjoy it.

I had no idea Clive Barker's fantasy was any good. [i]Weaveworld[/i] is goddamned wonderful.

PopeKevinI 12-20-2006 03:21 PM

I really wish we had a conspiracy theory thread of some sort going right now just so I could post this. But we don't, so I stick it here in hope that when I need it I'll remember where it is.

[img]http://x008.uploaderx.net/x/RT_Comic_Ep52_Bah2.jpg[/img]

i touch your children 01-19-2007 12:01 PM

Of Paradise and Power by Robert Kagan
Assassins Gate (cant remember author)
Life in the Emerald City by Chandrasekarian

riffraff 02-12-2007 07:32 PM

The count of monte cristo - Alexander Dumas
Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
The perks of being a wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Farenheight 451 - Ray Bradbury
The martian chronicles - Ray Bradbury

mr viagra 02-25-2007 01:59 PM

ACHILLES IN VIETNAM : Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character by Jonathan Shay

[url]http://www.amazon.com/ACHILLES-VIETNAM-Combat-Undoing-Character/dp/0684813211/sr=8-1/qid=1172440484/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-6429613-0351301?ie=UTF8&s=books[/url]

An interesting book studying the parallels between Achilles and his experiences in war with those of GI's in Vietnam. I never really understood PTSD before I read this book. Gives you a new respect for what our soldiers go through.

möbiustrip 02-25-2007 04:19 PM

[i]The Games People Play: the Psychology of Human Relationships / Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis[/i], Eric Berne

A bit outmoded and stylistically annoying, but fucking fascinating. The premise is that we engage in social activity to structure our time and seek 'stroking.' Conversational modes are categorized as parental, adult, or childlike. Archetypal interactions called 'rituals, pastimes and games' are easily recognizable. He explains social blunders and destructive relationships as failing to adopt the correct modes and establish valued roles throughout the flow of a conversation while offering the correct level of 'intimacy' for the situation.

It's a deeper explanation for what the seduction community terms "vibing" and "setting frames." If you find that stuff interesting, you like social psych. This collection of perspective and examples will be invaluable for maintaining relationships (friendship, business, etc.) "after the lay."

[quote]“An important book . . . a brilliant, amusing, and clear catalogue of the psychological theatricals that human beings play over and over again.”
–KURT VONNEGUT
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Games-People-Play-transactional-analysis/dp/0345410033[/url]
[/quote]
A torrent is available.

Soulfly 03-04-2007 08:35 AM

The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon, an analysis of race and national identity in post-colonial society.

Vertigo13 05-04-2007 06:28 PM

1984 - George Orwell
Art of War - Sun Tzu

möbiustrip 05-09-2007 07:06 AM

[QUOTE=PopeKevinI;20180540]I really wish we had a conspiracy theory thread of some sort going right now just so I could post this. But we don't, so I stick it here in hope that when I need it I'll remember where it is.

[ig]http://x008.uploaderx.net/x/RT_Comic_Ep52_Bah2.jpg[/img][/QUOTE]
speaking of conspiracies, the internet is officially too small.

I went looking for an FAQ and clicked "tips," not noticing it was from hardforum...

[img]http://x011.uploaderx.net/x/lost.JPG[/img]

guess whose post? :p

Blake 05-10-2007 08:50 PM

[QUOTE=Vertigo13;21006612]1984 - George Orwell
Art of War - Sun Tzu[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the recommendation. Never heard of those before! Just hope they aren't so obscure that my local bookstore has them!

Vertigo13 05-12-2007 01:35 PM

[QUOTE=Blake;21040758]Thanks for the recommendation. Never heard of those before! Just hope they aren't so obscure that my local bookstore has them![/QUOTE]

:lol: :lol: :lol:

möbiustrip 05-19-2007 11:35 PM

[QUOTE=TheMorlock;10469053]Any basic description of the scientific method[/QUOTE]
and equally important, the pseudoscientific method.

[url]http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/afterword_v1a/afterword_v1a_singlefile.html[/url]

The "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair]Sokal paper[/url]," [i]Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity[/i], was written by a physicist to piss on soft science. It was published, proving his point that people in these fields can (and do) string together meaningless, obfuscated bullshit. :D Feminism != physics.

A quote in the link, incidentally, is how Rand's writing got tagged "objectivist." AFAIK.

Mr. Marbles 05-31-2007 09:13 PM

[I]Les Chants de Maldoror[/I] by Comte de Lautreamont translated by Guy Wernham. Discovered this gem in college.

From the cover....

[QUOTE]"This macabre but beautiful work has achieved a considerable reputation as one of the earliest and most extraordinary examples of Surrealist writing."[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]"It is a long narrative prose poem which celebrates the principle of Evil in an elaborate style and with a passion akin to religious fanaticism."[/QUOTE]

Also "Against the Grain" by J.K. Huysmans

TheMorlock 05-31-2007 09:33 PM

[QUOTE=möbiustrip;21084949]and equally important, the pseudoscientific method.

[url]http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/afterword_v1a/afterword_v1a_singlefile.html[/url]

The "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair]Sokal paper[/url]," [i]Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity[/i], was written by a physicist to piss on soft science. It was published, proving his point that people in these fields can (and do) string together meaningless, obfuscated bullshit. :D Feminism != physics.

A quote in the link, incidentally, is how Rand's writing got tagged "objectivist." AFAIK.[/QUOTE]


sweet

Sleipnir 06-16-2007 11:24 AM

The Jungle - Upton Sinclair

This is one of the best novels i have ever read!!!! Also, it is a great book to read along with a U.S. Histroy class.

möbiustrip 10-11-2007 10:06 PM

Kenneth Minogue's essay [url=http://newcriterion.com:81/archive/19/apr01/minogue.htm#top]How Civilizations Fall[/url]. Feminism as the decline of Western civilization. :)

Ted Dalrymple's [url=http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a1.html]Don't Legalize Drugs[/url]. Rebuts the standard legalization arguments.

Neither's airtight, but they're in a sensible direction.

bayareacuzzo 10-22-2007 08:54 AM

I concur, Great thread Ieyeasu, fan of all of those.

Ieyeasu
The Fountainhead; Ayn Rand; None given
Atlas Shrugged; Ayn Rand; None given
The New Testament; Various; None given
The Old Testament; Various; None given
The Communist Manifesto; Marx/Engels; None given
Animal Farm; Orwell; None given
1984; Orwell; None given
A History of the English Speaking Peoples--Winston Churchill
Guns, Germs, and Steel--Jeremy Diamond

Mr Pickle Pants 12-25-2007 06:00 AM

Good Calories, Bad Calories - Gary Taubes - explains how we've been screwed regarding nutritional information. Fat is not bad for you, carbs are!

[IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41r0ry64BVL._AA240_.jpg[/IMG]

Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller - Semi-autobiographical novel. Banned in the US for several decades.

[IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21S3FQK6VGL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA198_SH20_.jpg[/IMG]

An Edge In My Voice - Harlan Ellison - Essays by a brilliant curmudgeon.

[IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JXh40DS-L._AA240_.jpg[/IMG]

Mr Pickle Pants 12-25-2007 06:09 AM

Radical Honesty - Brad Blanton - life changing, if you let it.

[IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JNPQ8NECL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg[/IMG]

Thomas Jefferson - The Jefferson Bible - seems to be closely aligned with how I view my faith.

[IMG]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TK3J8BKEL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg[/IMG]

Mr. Marbles 12-31-2007 10:01 PM

[QUOTE=Mr Pickle Pants;22036950]Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller - Semi-autobiographical novel. [/QUOTE]

:cool: I love Henry Miller

If you really like Miller I would recommend the trilogy [I]The Rosy Crucifixion[/I] (Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus)

Mr Pickle Pants 01-05-2008 11:40 AM

Yes, excellent work by him. The only Miller book I've yet to read (I think lol) is Sunday After the War.

PopeKevinI 01-05-2008 04:58 PM

Just released by the National Academies Press: Science, Evolution, and Creationism.

[quote]Science, Evolution, and Creationism explains the fundamental methods of science, documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes.[/quote]

[url]http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11876[/url]

I'm through the first half of it. I think it should be required reading for anyone before they start arguing about creationism and evolution in the classroom.

Spoonie 01-09-2008 04:05 PM

[QUOTE=Mr. Marbles;22062860]:cool: I love Henry Miller

If you really like Miller I would recommend the trilogy [I]The Rosy Crucifixion[/I] (Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus)[/QUOTE]

If you like Miller, read Anais Nin while you are at it, including the journals.
Then you begin to get a good insight in literary representations of sexuality in early C20.

Mr Pickle Pants 01-13-2008 05:58 AM

[QUOTE=Spoonie;22102440]If you like Miller, read Anais Nin while you are at it, including the journals.
Then you begin to get a good insight in literary representations of sexuality in early C20.[/QUOTE]

The book collecting the letters they sent to one another is good, also.

mypetmeatball 02-02-2008 07:22 AM

Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion"

deltabourne 02-02-2008 02:42 PM

[size=10000000]The Revolution: A Manifesto - Dr. Ron Paul[/size]

kbs 02-05-2008 09:09 AM

[QUOTE=mypetmeatball;22216719]Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion"[/QUOTE]

QFT

Definitely a great book.

Malakai 03-29-2008 03:56 AM

The Underground History of Education in America - John Taylor Gatto
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Underground-History-American-Education-Schoolteachers/dp/B000A4IX46[/url]

Just in case it hasn't been posted. I believe our education system (or lack thereof) is one of our biggest problems in America today. Just look at a recent macroeconomics textbook and then read something by Milton Friedman (among others) if you want proof that our education system is extremely one sided. Back during the first Iraq war I was in a private elementary school, and the fact that our overseas interventions might not be a good idea was never ever mentioned. We are the good guys, they are the bad guys, is what we teach our kids when it comes to any of our wars.

We need to teach kids to critically think and analyze and question everything they hear, not to believe whatever the papers and leaders say. Neoconservatism would never have caught on like it has if people really knew how to think critically IMO, and schooling is where thats supposed to be taught.

Also in college, foreign interventionism is rampantly taught and indoctrinated; while people leaning towards non interventionism can be ridiculed by their professors and school administrations, have their papers failed, even fail whole classes for sticking with the idea. I wouldn't have believed it myself without witnessing it firsthand and then learning it was not something isolated to my local university. I've heard the word "isolationist" so many times in class I want to puke.

zerowizard 07-03-2008 09:43 PM

A Man Without A Country; Kurt Vonnegut; A series of short essays by Vonnegut.(dealing with politics, technology, men and women, etc...)

möbiustrip 07-15-2008 05:33 PM

If you're nerdy -- and all of you are -- this guy has fantastically level-headed advice on life.

[url]http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science[/url]

[url]http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism/early-retirement/[/url]

[url]http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism/early-retirement/investing[/url]

[quote]Some folks read this and assume that the author is a bitter or disappointed scientist. I plead guilty to having majored in mathematics as a college undergraduate (I started college at age 14 and graduated at 18--how would you like to be held accountable for decisions that you made as a teenager?), but otherwise I have spent my life as a humble electrical and software engineer, not as a scientist (my PhD is in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; I started the program, without intending to finish, because I was curious to learn how my stereo system worked and because I was earning enough every month as a Lisp Machine programmer to pay my annual living expenses; I finished the program because I am a stubborn testosterone-poisoned guy). I do love science and enjoy talking to and learning from scientists. Starting in 2001, I've been doing a lot of flying in airplanes and helicopters, including several cross-continent trips in light aircraft, and this has sparked an interest in meteorology and geology. Taking advantage of my location in Cambridge, I have sat in on some classes at MIT in Atmospheric Physics, Biology, and Geology. I also teach a software engineering lab course at MIT every three or four semesters (textbook). But for me, the university has mostly been a source of entertainment; I have never looked to it as a source of income. In my guide to early retirement, I suggest that university towns are great places to live for a person of adequate means. [/quote]

Malakai 08-06-2008 12:48 AM

Missed my favorite of Ayn Rand, "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

My description: A passionate and thoroughly reasoned argument both morally and objectively for capitalism. The book is a collection of essays from Rand herself and others, including 2 or 3 from Alan Greenspan before he was chairman of the Fed; one of which is his fantastic and rather ironic argument for the gold standard and why the Federal Reserve themselves caused and prolonged the Great Depression. A must read for anyone serious about learning about real free market capitalism. Also has political and moral commentary on issues of the time (war, draft, expansion of state power, socialism in America) which still face us today in different forms and with different names.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Ideal-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451147952/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218008756&sr=8-1[/url]

Another I read recently if not already posted:

Peter Schiff "Crash Proof: How to Profit from the coming Economic Collapse"

My description: Don't let the title fool you, this isn't just a book on investing advise. The first half is a thoughtful and easy to understand explanation of the problems of the US Economy, their origins and propagation by government, and where we are headed. Considering publishing date, Schiff accurately predicts the current housing and credit crisis. He also debunks government CPI numbers and explains their obvious manipulation. After reading and learning more about the economy, it's hard to disagree with his conclusions about our future financial stability.

[url]http://www.amazon.com/Crash-Proof-Economic-Collapse-Sonberg/dp/0470043601/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218009454&sr=1-1[/url]

Additional Info:
Schiff is a frequent commentator on business news shows on Fox CBS and others. Every clip he has ever done is up on his website going back many years, so you can see how accurately he has predicted economic events using common sense free-market thinking. The site is [url]http://www.europac.net/[/url]. Schiff is the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, a successful investment firm specializing in foreign investments under the assumption the US economy/dollar is a train wreck waiting to happen. I'll note the iinvestments EuroPac specializes in like commodities (gold, oil) as well as foreign stock (gold related, oil related, food and farming related) have all done fantastically these last few years. I've never heard a negative review from a client, ever =) My boss just got into gold with them last year and is quite pleased with the results so far.

ZQ 08-06-2008 03:52 AM

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - Sci-fi story telling of possible future, internet evolution, nuclear dog tech, and one mean Pizza Driver.

TheMorlock 09-27-2008 11:20 PM

[QUOTE=ZQ;22963781]Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - Sci-fi story telling of possible future, internet evolution, nuclear dog tech, and one mean Pizza Driver.[/QUOTE]

snow crash sucked. Diamond Age was good.

möbiustrip 12-08-2008 12:51 PM

[url]http://mises.org/story/3232[/url]

1967 politics and economics. Rothbard pokes everyone in the eye.

ry_goody 08-16-2009 04:16 PM

Terence McKenna - True Hallucinations

topcat989 09-06-2009 02:23 AM

Honor Harrington series by David Webber, starting with "On Basilik Station". Subject is scifi, but it explores political/cultural systems in the background. Interesting reading, complex and detailed. Imagine Tom Clancy writing military scifi, and it would be like this. Series is 12 or so books long at the moment.

huiru 10-08-2010 12:12 AM

fsdf
 
- Official [M]ember of the theacoustician's badass fan club (member #4)
Post here to join: [url]http://genmay.com/showthread.php?t=370004[/url]

Finally posting again. It's been what, months [url=http://www.shoppanjewellery.com/]pandora[/url]? "This idea is quite reasonable. I also want to know this problem. Whether a meticulous again?

TheMorlock 02-06-2011 10:41 PM

Just read a novel by Walter Jon Williams

This is Not a Game


It's a VERY near future and is basically about us. not teh [M] in particular but the online world gaming and how the two get intertwined.

Guess Who? 03-16-2013 04:34 PM

"The Stranger", Albert Camus
"The Brothers Karamazov", Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Notes From Underground", Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Anna Karenina", Leo Tolstoy
"Ulysses", James Joyce
"A Clockwork Orange", Anthony Burgess
"Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man", Marquis de Sade
"The Sun Also Rises", Ernest Hemingway
"American Psycho", Bret Easton Ellis
"Less Than Zero", Bret Easton Ellis
"The God Delusion", Richard Dawkins

Hank Pereg 07-26-2013 04:59 AM

Guys, stay away from Nietzsche
Seriously, when I read his books I become a hateful jerk. Just as when I watch Von Trier's movies.

Hank Pereg 07-26-2013 05:01 AM

[QUOTE=deepblue;10674263]Biohazard by Ken Alibek : Supposedly written by the head scientist of Russia's biological weapons program during the 80s. I don't believe him though; I'm a scientist.[/QUOTE]

That's a good one, and it looks pretty legit to me. I'm not a scientist though so probably you're right


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