2007 04 Bugle Review -- LONGITUDES and ATTITUDES & OFF CAMERA

Read for your Life!

by John Burgeson, www.burgy.50megs.com

"Books, after all, are extraordinary things: thoughts made visible, paper and ink sculptures of the mind, time and space made into words." Daniel Johnson.

Two books to review this month, each worth a recommendation.

LONGITUDES and ATTITUDES, The World in the age of terrorism, by Thomas L. Friedman. ISBN 1-4000-3125-7.

Thomas Friedman makes me think. That is why I can highly recommend this slim volume. Friedman received a Pulitzer Prize for his insightful reporting on terrorism, certainly one of the most important news stories (along with the oil crisis and global warming) of our decade. This is a book easily handled only in small chunks -- before bedtime reading is perhaps optimal.

Beginning before 9/11, on December 15, 2000, and extending past the Iraq invasion to April 20, 2003, this book contains Friedman's columns for the New York Times, along with excerpts from his personal diary written just after 9/11. He is an influential writer, and the book enables one to -- in a sense -- relive the events of the first days of the new millennium, and, at least partially, to understand the bewildering situation we now find ourselves in. Read it. Read it slowly. Cogitate. Enjoy.

OFF CAMERA, Private thoughts made public, by Ted Koppel. ISBN 0-375-41077-5

Ted Koppel is best known for hosting, over many years, the TV news show, Nightline, which unfortunately for many of us airs well after bedtime. I have seen it a few times; from those viewings I have come to respect Koppel for his capability to put on a television show that both entertains and informs.

This book is his private diary for the year 1999, and is a fun book to read (just a few pages) before going to bed. 1999 was the year of Clinton's impeachment, of the Kosovo war, and the mass hysteria over Y2K, one of the most famous "non-events" of our times. Koppel is always curious, sometimes opinionated, never dull. Good stuff.

John W. Burgeson, Mancos, Colorado, April, 2007

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