Sunday, January 23, 2005

Read to Learn...Write to Think

Reading is a wonderful way to learn. I make it a point each year to develop a reading list and then try to fit these "elective" readings around my routine diet of newspapers, magazines, journals, periodicals, websites and research papers. This year I adopted the Barrons best 25 reads of 2004. I only ordered about half of the names on the list since I also wanted to devote more time in 05 to "thinking". I completed George Freidman's America's Secret War, Inside The Hidden Worldwide Struggle Between America and Its Enemies. George is the Founder and Chairman of Stratfor and writes on intelligence and global relations and politics.

This book provides incredible insight into the history and global relationships that brought us to 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. It is one of those stories that is so full of material and insight that you can easily and enthusiastically re-read it to develop additional appreciation for the complexities that drive our history. The book, as a quick read, is very interesting but will require some concentration if you want to synthesis and internalize all that is in it. If you are interested in obtaining a deeper appreciation for how we got ourselves into Iraq, I would highly recommend you read this one.

Also have read several profiles in They Made Amercia by Harold Evans. According to the New York Times Book Reveiw this weekend:
  • "This is a rich, wide-ranging work, with 50 or so substantial profiles, numerous smaller portraits and anecdotes, an ''Innovators Gallery'' that nods to a hundred other important figures and lots of photographs and drawings. You can feel the Sir Harold History Factory working overtime to crank the thing out (Gail Buckland and David Lefer get a ''with'' credit on the cover), yet the presentation is of the reader-friendly, bite-size variety that encourages you to pick at the book as you would an hors d'oeuvre tray."

This is a great coffee table books that provides inspiring and invigorating stories that fit neatly into those 15 minutes after dinner/before bedtime slots where something lighter than the Journal of Portfolio Management is the right play.


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