Lately, I have been on a non-fiction reading binge in an effort to understand what the heck has really been going on in the world, especially over the last 10 years and with respect to the global economic financial meltdown that started in 2008. Among the books I would recommend are:
|1. Blackwater Jeremy Scahill
This book chronicles the rise of the world’s largest mercenary army/ies who are basically answerable to no one.
|2. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and Liar’s Poker
by Michael Lewis
Thanks to these books I now understand what Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) and Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) really are, and how they brought the financial system to the brink.
|3. Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin
This book outlines all the secret alliances and backroom deal making that went on to ostensibly save the world economy from collapse.
|4. The Life and Death of Democracy
by John Keane
This book explores the origins, meaning and contemporary significance of democracy.
|5. Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime
by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
This book helped me understand what went on in the lead up to and during the 2008 US Presidential election in both the Democratic and Republican camps.
|6. American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us
by Jesse Ventura
One of my favorite reads. It’s described as an “explosive account of wrongful acts and ensuing cover-ups” and it deconstructs and provides tons of little-reported, but nonetheless true, facts about several major events of our lifetimes (all well researched and footnoted with sources). While much of what he had to share made me gasp, it also made a lot of sense. These are not capricious allegations he’s making, and he cites many credible sources who have spent years trying to get facts put before the public that we need to know in order to better hold governments and businesses accountable.
Ventura’s “voice” is so distinct in this book – it feels like he is having a plain old heart-to-heart chat with you. And, to his potential detractors (and I am sure there are many who want to shout him down) he points out he is simply asking tough questions that need to be asked and answered. The issues he’s raising have been pursued many times over many years and the answers, as he stresses, have never been adequate.