October 07, 2015

If Al Mohler Had a Fall Reading List ...

. . . the following books would almost certainly not be on it:

  • Base Nation: How U. S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World by David Vine
As David Vine demonstrates, the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy towards the United States. . . . For many decades, the need for overseas bases has been a quasi-religious dictum of U.S. foreign policy. But in recent years, a bipartisan coalition has finally started to question this conventional wisdom. With the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan and ending thirteen years of war, there is no better time to re-examine the tenets of our military strategy. Base Nation is an essential contribution to that debate.
  • Battlefield America: The War on the American People by John Whitehead
In Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the follow-up to his award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead paints a terrifying portrait of a nation at war with itself and which is on the verge of undermining the basic freedoms guaranteed to the citizenry in the Constitution. Indeed, police have been transformed into extensions of the military, towns and cities have become battlefields, and the American people have been turned into enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.
  • The Clinton's War on Women by Roger Stone and Robert Morrow
In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author Roger Stone and researcher and alternative historian Robert Morrow map the arc of Bill and Hillary’s crimes and cover-ups. They reveal details about their actions in Arkansas, during Bill Clinton’s time in the White House, about who really ordered the deadly attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state, about their time at the Clinton Foundation, and during Hillary’s current campaign for president.
  • Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathanial Popper
An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement’s colorful central characters, including an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin’s elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already, Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some, and prison terms for others.
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.
  • Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years by Russ Baker
How did the deeply flawed George W. Bush ascend to the highest office in the nation, what forces abetted his rise, and--perhaps most important--have those forces really been vanquished by Obama's election? Award-winning investigative journalist Russ Baker gives us the answers in Family of Secrets, a compelling and startling new take on the Bush dynasty and the shadowy elite that has quietly steered the American republic for the past half century and more. Baker shows how this network of figures in intelligence, the military, oil, and finance enabled--and in turn benefited handsomely from--the Bushes' perch at the highest levels of government. As Baker reveals, this deeply entrenched elite remains in power regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.
  • Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success by Michael D'antonio
In the summer of 2015, as he vaulted to the lead among the many GOP candidates for president, Donald Trump was the only one dogged by questions about his true intentions. This most famous American businessman had played the role of provocateur so often that pundits, reporters, and voters struggled to believe that he was a serious contender. Trump stirred so much controversy that his candidacy puzzled anyone who applied ordinary political logic to the race. But as Michael D'Antonio shows in Never Enough, Trump has rarely been ordinary in his pursuit of success and his trademark method is based on a logic that begins with his firm belief that he is a singular and superior human being.
  • The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen
No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.

This is
the book on DARPA--a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.
  • Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
This is a story about an accidental activist. Bill Browder started out his adult life as the Wall Street maverick whose instincts led him to Russia just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, where he made his fortune.
Along the way he exposed corruption, and when he did, he barely escaped with his life. His Russian lawyer wasn’t so lucky: he ended up in jail, where he was tortured to death. That changed Browder forever. He saw the murderous heart of the Putin regime and has spent the last half decade on a campaign to expose it. Because of that, he became Putin’s number one enemy, especially after Browder succeeded in having a law passed in the United States that punishes a list of Russians implicated in the lawyer’s murder. Putin famously retaliated with a law that bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans.
  • Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty by Daniel Schulman
Like the Rockefellers and the Kennedys, the Kochs are one of the most influential dynasties of the modern age, but they have never been the subject of a major biography... until now.

Not long after the death of his father, Charles Koch, then in his early 30s, discovered a letter the family patriarch had written to his sons. "You will receive what now seems to be a large sum of money," Fred Koch cautioned. "It may either be a blessing or a curse."

Fred's legacy would become a blessing and a curse to his four sons-Frederick, Charles, and fraternal twins David and Bill-who in the ensuing decades fought bitterly over their birthright, the oil and cattle-ranching empire their father left behind in 1967. Against a backdrop of scorched-earth legal skirmishes, Charles and David built Koch Industries into one of the largest private corporations in the world-bigger than Boeing and Disney-and they rose to become two of the wealthiest men on the planet.

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