In the Queue; Reads and Such

November 6, 2007

Finally finished reading the lengthy historical tome, Mao, The Unknown Story, a few weeks ago and recommend it highly to all, even though the writing was pedestrian. vietnam-karnow.jpgMy latest read, Vietnam, A History, by Stanley Karnow dovetails nicely as a sort of continuation of the theme of 20th century Asian history. And Karnow’s book is better written; the improvement in reading flow comes as a relief, and as a result my page-turning speed has increased. I should be finished with this one quite soon, probably in half the time it took me to get through the Mao book, which quite frankly was a page turner mainly for containing a morbidly fascinating fresh Hell on every page. I’ve had the nearly 800-page Karnow/Vietnam book in my collection for at least 20 years, but always saw it as something daunting and taunting. Riding the bus for an hour in the morning and evening in the commute, though, lends itself nicely to tackling ambitious books like these. If I can thank GW Bush for one thing, it would be an increased interest on my part on how wars get started and how they’re waged. Reading the Vietnam book is like reading a book about Iraq. The reasons and the slogans for entering the conflicts are eerily the same. And I’m not even talking about America’s involvement, but the French colonial incursion into Indochina back in the 1800s. Politicians and warriors have not changed their rhetorical tactics one bit. The same thing keeps happening over and over. Next in the queue is Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco: The American Adventure in Iraq and Bob Woodward’s State of Denial: Bush at War Part III.

Next, a whole big list of films I’ve been into lately…