Wednesday, January 21, 2009

War and Decision or The Seventeen Traditions

War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

Author: Douglas J Feith

Of all the players in the planning and evolution of the Bush Administration's war on terrorism, few were more integral -- or more controversial -- than Douglas Feith, the chief strategist on Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon policy team. A highly influential international policy analyst for more than a quarter century before joining the Bush Administration in 2001, Feith worked closely with Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush in defining the U.S. response to the attacks of 9/11 -- from the successful war on Afghanistan to the more challenging invasion of Iraq and its aftermath.

Now, in this candid and revealing memoir, Feith -- a founding member of the "neoconservative" movement and an architect of the administration's preventive strategy in the war on terrorism -- offers the most in-depth and authoritative account yet of the Pentagon's evolving stance during one of the most controversial eras of American history. Drawing upon a unique trove of documents and records, this extraordinary chronicle will put the reader in the room for scores of previously unreported senior-level meetings, showing how hundreds of critical decisions were made in defense of American interests during and after the crisis of 9/11 -- decisions both successful and controversial. Where journalists like Bob Woodward could only speculate, Feith is the first inside player to reveal the inner workings of the Pentagon, at a time when history hung in the balance.

As the political battles over Iraq and the Bush administration surge onward, one thing has been missing: A fair and accurate assessment of how the battles were joined, from inside the team that planned them. With this exceptional work of history, Douglas Feith contributes the only thing that can change the course of the debate: the truth.

New interesting book: The Hormone of Desire or Bra Talk

The Seventeen Traditions

Author: Ralph Nader

By the legendary activist and humanitarian: A surprising and moving look back at a small-town family and the traditions that shaped a childhood.

Ralph Nader is known for his lifetime of progressive activism and fearless critique of corruption in American politics and society. Yet in this fresh and inspiring new book, Nader takes a look backward - at a serene and enriching childhood spent in bucolic Winsted, Connecticut, and at the traditions he absorbed within his family. From listening to learning, from patriotism to argument, from work to simple enjoyment, Nader revisits seventeen traditions he learned from his parents, his siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today's society. Blending memoir and thoughtful inspiration, Nader offers readers a chance to look back on a time in American history when the family and the natural world were central in a child's understanding of how to be a conscientious adult.

Among the seventeen traditions he celebrates:

* The Tradition of Listening
* The Tradition of Charity
* The Tradition of Civics
* The Tradition of Work
* The Tradition of Patriotism
* The Tradition of Simple Enjoyment

In his warmest and most personal writing to date, Nader fondly describes his father's restaurant business and how it taught him about work, community and how to share in the spirits of others; the value of his mother's ethnic cooking and how it defined his relationship with his heritage, and the hours he spent as a child wondering through the undeveloped forests of Connecticut where he learned the value of solitude. In doing so, he reawakens our own memories of the blessings of a simpler time-and of the enduring values of family, community, and love that gave him the courage to lead a meaningful life.

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