Friday, October 14, 2011

While I’m Away: My Top Ten

I will not be posting for the next two weeks—resuming a normal schedule around the first of November. There are over 300 articles from the last 18 months. I am sure you might have missed one or two. In that case I have tabulated the ten I most enjoyed writing. If you missed any, check them out.

Born Fighting by Jim Webb

Are Webb’s beloved Scots-Irish the foundation for our nation, or merely those who would join the Tea Party?

Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

A review is provided of Gladwell’s insights into education.

The War of the World by Niall Ferguson

Ferguson’s perspective on the violence of the first half of the twentieth century is memorable. It will alter your view of humanity.

God, Man, Evolution, and the Burgess Shale

Putting mankind in perspective with regard to the evolution of the planet.

Words Matter: Misquoting Gods and Prophets

Thoughts are presented on the difficulties inherent in translating and understanding the written word, both ancient and modern.

The Bible Unearthed: Archeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman

The authors summarize what is known to have actually happened so long ago.

"The Good War:" Our Nuclear Shame—And It’s Not What You Think

The way we abused our own soldiers while testing the effects of nuclear weapons and then refused to admit what we had done is shameful.

Chemical Warfare: Vietnam and Agent Orange

The use of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese and on our own soldiers is the largest scale use of chemical warfare in history. Its effects continue to be felt today.

American Soldiers and Torture: Joshua E. S. Phillips

Phillips’ book provides a poignant view of the factors that contributed to the ease and the frequency with which soldiers could find themselves resorting to physical abuse in Afghanistan and Iran. He also discusses the effect such actions had on the soldiers themselves.

War and Remembrance: The Casualties of World War II

A discussion of how far humanity had descended in fighting a war with few, if any, moral limits.

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