Sunday, August 02, 2009

Penguin Alert

I realize this is all over the web, and anyone who's on Facebook with me has seen it, but nonetheless:

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#54 -- "Overthrow" by Stephen Kinzer

#55 -- "Brighton Rock" by Graham Greene

I need to read Stephen Ambrose or something now -- two Kinzer books in quick succession have me feeling not-so-great about American actions. He's the specialist in uncovering the grimy truth about American invasions and (sponsored) coups over the past century plus, and here he takes on all of them in quick succession. It's the best-written of any of his books that I've read and really informative -- it provides a lot of context and filling-in-the-blanks to many half-known stories. Highly recommended.

Greene is ostensibly one of my favorite novelists but it's been years now since I've read anything of his, I think. I'd put this off because I was under the impression that while it's one of his better-known books, it was also one of his weaker efforts -- not so. Sad and brutal in a depressing vacation community, there's lots of anguished Catholicism, sexual hysteria, and psychosis -- everything a Greene fan could want.

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