Monday, December 20, 2010
2 1/2 out of 5 stars
With great detail, Judis and Teixeira clearly explain the deep cultural and demographic changes that are taking place in the U.S., and why they are leading to a Democratic majority. With a long-view of history, this work provides a fascinating description of the foundation that ultimately led to the election of President Obama.
4 out of 5 stars
A basic description of our protagonist Spider Jerusalem would go like this: imagine Hunter S. Thompson in the far future living in self-imposed exile in the mountains. After being threatened with a lawsuit by a book publisher, he returns to the city to restart his journalism career. Soon after arriving in the throbbing metropolis, he uses threats to land a reporting job, and then puts his drug-addled energy and schizoid mind to expose, among other things, the utter rot of religion and the brutality of a government crackdown on human-alien hybrids.
Sound interesting? It most certainly does. Does it deliver? Unfortunately not, for instead of an intriguing character, Spider turns out to be a boring collection of gonzo clichés and juvenile behaviour. In short, this is a disappointing story with spectucular drawings.
2 out of 5 stars
As I turned the pages, I was repeatedly awed by a slew of brilliant ideas. Among some of the more fascinating thoughts: Whether a cosmic computer made of black holes could result in conscious life; if other universes can be created – as many physicist believe – then is it possible that universes are born, die and evolve in a manner similar to Darwin’s theory of evolution; and is it possible to travel to the distant future, given what Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us about space and time.
This is a wonderful book that left me in a constant state of wonder, and which has inspired me to read further about astrophysics.
5 out of 5 stars
James Carville – the famed strategist who helped elect President Bill Clinton – is a card carrying member of the screaming punditocracy. As this book demonstrates, Carville is very good at insulting Republicans, but not that good at engaging his political opponents in order to find solutions for the problems facing the United States.
That being said, this book does contain some thoughtful analysis. After ploughing through more than 100 pages of insults, Carville provides a convincing argument for why Democrats are better managers of the economy than Republicans. He also has an interesting chapter on young voters, and how Barack Obama's ability to capture the youth vote in 2008 could translate into long-term electoral victories for the Democrats. Besides these hidden gems, however, this book is just another addition to the sad canon of political temper tantrums.
1 out of 5 stars