04 August 2009

New Book Titles Added to The Social Poets Store

From Denny: Don't you just love Twitter sometimes? While looking for something else I stumbled upon some great book tweets and decided to place them in the blog store for your perusal. They are listed under the category of Literay and then News and Politics or you can just click on the links below. Wish I had more time to read as these blogs are taking up all my time these days. If anyone has read these, please feel free to offer a review and opinion!

Considering how many death threats President Obama is getting these days what these books talk about is timely. Bush had only 3,000 threats a year. Obama's threat level increased by 400%. One plot by an idiot white supremacist group was to rob a gun store, kill 88 black people, decapitate another 14 black people and then assassinate the first African-American President in American history. The Secret Service foiled this one among many. (The CIA does similar throughout its history. Not everything they do is odious.)

Most reasons we never hear about these attempts is because the Secret Service and CIA are concerned about unoriginal types who will play copycat if the storyline is provided easily to them. What they lack in imagination they make up for in brutal stupidity and rash decisions.

During Obama's inauguration did you count the number of counter-sniper teams and other security detail along the parade route like I did? I was pleased to see such a high security presence and this book discusses just how much organization it takes to thwart the destructive elements of society. It also exposes how much the Bush administration ruined the Secret Service by placing it under Homeland Security and denying enough agents to carry out their mission properly. (Read that as they cut the budget.)

With the rise in Middle East terrorism affecting the rest of the globe this book on colonialism and its mentality is useful to understand today's politics. Americans are always hearing about the third world's anger toward the imperialists. This book offers up explanations and new insight.

Then there is a new book out of President John F. Kennedy, always an interesting person to read about even though his tenure at the White House was brief.

The write-ups that follow the book titles were quoted from Amazon.com.

In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect By Ronald Kessler: Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time.

Secret Service agents, acting as human surveillance cameras, observe everything that goes on behind the scenes in the president’s inner circle. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides.

Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions–from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents’ lives.

In this headline-grabbing book, Kessler discloses assassination attempts that have never before been revealed. He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. Truman, the devastating day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot.

While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking the assassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. Given the lax standards, “It’s a miracle we have not had a successful assassination,” a current agent says.

Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service–nor is any other subject as tantalizing as the inner sanctum of the White House. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust.

Cover of "An Unfinished Life: John F. Ken...Cover via Amazon

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 By Robert Dallek: An Unfinished Life is the first major, single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Drawing upon previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives to tell Kennedy's story. We learn for the first time just how sick Kennedy was, what medications he took and concealed from all but a few, and how severely his medical condition affected his actions as President. We learn for the first time the real story of how Bobby was selected as Attorney General. Dallek reveals exactly what Jack's father did to help his election to the presidency, and he follows previously unknown evidence to show what path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived.

Dallek (LIFTS) JFK out of the gossips and back onto the world stage, showing that while he was the son of privilege, he faced great obstacles and fought on with remarkable courage. Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.

Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History By Frederick Cooper : In this closely integrated collection of essays on colonialism in world history, Frederick Cooper raises crucial questions about concepts relevant to a wide range of issues in the social sciences and humanities, including identity, globalization, and modernity. Rather than portray the past two centuries as the inevitable movement from empire to nation-state, Cooper places nationalism within a much wider range of imperial and diasporic imaginations, of rulers and ruled alike, well into the twentieth century. He addresses both the insights and the blind spots of colonial studies in an effort to get beyond the tendency in the field to focus on a generic colonialism located sometime between 1492 and the 1960s and somewhere in the "West." Broad-ranging, cogently argued, and with a historical focus that moves from Africa to South Asia to Europe, these essays, most published here for the first time, propose a fuller engagement in the give-and-take of history, not least in the ways in which concepts usually attributed to Western universalism--including citizenship and equality--were defined and reconfigured by political mobilizations in colonial contexts.

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