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Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-11-2010-05-2008

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0385529953 : Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
ISBN: 0385529953

 
Author: Matt Taibbi

The dramatic story behind the most audacious power grab in American history
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The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn?t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class?made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding?has been growing in power for a generation, transferring wealth upward through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and political maneuvers. The crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they?ve hijacked America?s political and economic life.

Rolling Stone?s Matt Taibbi here unravels the whole fiendish story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters. He traces the movement?s origins to the cult of Ayn Rand and her most influential?and possibly weirdest?acolyte, Alan Greenspan, and offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals that decided the winners and losers in the government bailouts. He uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world, and he shows how finance dominates politics, from the story of investment bankers auctioning off America?s infrastructure to an inside account of the high-stakes battle for health-care reform?a battle the true reformers lost. Finally, he tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the ?vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.?

Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing, and scathingly funny account yet written of the ongoing political and financial crisis in America. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of politics and finance in this country, and the profound consequences for us all.

Pages: 272
 
Binding: Hardcover
 
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau Year: 2010

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Colonel Roosevelt

Posted by admin | Posted in Biographies-Memoirs-Books | Posted on 26-11-2010-05-2008

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0375504877 : Colonel Roosevelt
ISBN: 0375504877

 
Author: Edmund Morris

Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. When he toured Europe in 1910 as plain ?Colonel Roosevelt,? he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their palaces. ?If I see another king,? he joked, ?I think I shall bite him.?

Had TR won his historic ?Bull Moose? campaign in 1912 (when he outpolled the sitting president, William Howard Taft), he might have averted World War I, so great was his international influence. Had he not died in 1919, at the early age of sixty, he would unquestionably have been reelected to a third term in the White House and completed the work he began in 1901 of establishing the United States as a model democracy, militarily strong and socially just.

This biography by Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award?winning author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex, is itself the completion of a trilogy sure to stand as definitive. Packed with more adventure, variety, drama, humor, and tragedy than a big novel, yet documented down to the smallest fact, it recounts the last decade of perhaps the most amazing life in American history. What other president has written forty books, hunted lions, founded a third political party, survived an assassin?s bullet, and explored an unknown river longer than the Rhine?

Colonel Roosevelt begins with a prologue recounting what TR called his ?journey into the Pleistocene??a yearlong safari through East Africa, collecting specimens for the Smithsonian. Some readers will be repulsed by TR?s bloodlust, which this book does not prettify, yet there can be no denying that the Colonel passionately loved and understood every living thing that came his way: The text is rich in quotations from his marvelous nature writing.

Although TR intended to remain out of politics when he returned home in 1910, a fateful decision that spring drew him back into public life. By the end of the summer, in his famous ?New Nationalism? speech, he was the guiding spirit of the Progressive movement, which inspired much of the social agenda of the future New Deal. (TR?s fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt acknowledged that debt, adding that the Colonel ?was the greatest man I ever knew.?)

Then follows a detailed account of TR?s reluctant yet almost successful campaign for the White House in 1912. But unlike other biographers, Edmund Morris does not treat TR mainly as a politician. This volume gives as much consideration to TR?s literary achievements and epic expedition to Brazil in 1913?1914 as to his fatherhood of six astonishingly different children, his spiritual and aesthetic beliefs, and his eager embrace of other cultures?from Arab and Magyar to German and American Indian. It is impossible to read Colonel Roosevelt and not be awed by the man?s universality. The Colonel himself remarked, ?I have enjoyed life as much as any nine men I know.?

Morris does not hesitate, however, to show how pathologically TR turned upon those who inherited the power he craved?the hapless Taft, the adroit Woodrow Wilson. When Wilson declined to bring the United States into World War I in 1915 and 1916, the Colonel blasted him with some of the worst abuse ever uttered by a former chief executive. Yet even Wilson had to admit that behind the Rooseveltian will to rule lay a winning idealism and decency. ?He is just like a big boy?there is a sweetness about him that you can?t resist.? That makes the story of TR?s last year, when the ?boy? in him died, all the sadder in the telling: the conclusion of a life of Aristotelian grandeur.

Pages: 784
 
Binding: Hardcover
 
Publisher: Random House Year: 2010

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