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Superfreakonomics
Superfreakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.19
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Healthy bit of out of the Box Thinking, Nov. 28 2009
This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Hardcover)
These authors are doing what economic thinkers do best: relaxing the constraints of everyday politics and morality and allowing the laws of economics to roam freely. When the constraints of politics and morality are relaxed, a whole new world of thought and perception opens up that goes well beyond the conventional wisdom and thinking, and well beyond much of the old and ossified thinking on many of our common everyday problems. Allowing free reign of their thinking to apply to everyday problems, is what this book is all about.

The author's claim (rather convincingly in my view) that the old ossified thinking about global warming, as sexy as it is to support such thinking, makes little sense when viewed purely in terms of economics. At the very least the old carbon mitigation arguments are deficient, if not entirely flawed. This is not to say that they should be scraped, but only to say that alternative solution needs to be explored, and rather urgently.

The crux of their argument put forth in the last chapter of the book (also surely to be the most controversial one) is that the much touted carbon mitigation approaches won't work because they are too little, too late and much too expensive even if it they were to prove plausible. The authors imply that we have already passed the point of no return when it comes to the efficacy of carbon mitigation techniques.

Why then has no one noticed this and pointed it out to the international community? How is it that we have been wedded to an alternative that cannot work, and which, even if it could, would be too expensive to pay for?

Were we not all following the herd instinct of the conventional wisdom, the debate on this issue would long ago have been opened up to a wider set of perhaps more interesting, and possibly, better alternative ideas. And in this regard, the authors allow their imagination to reign freely. They throw out several 'trial ideas' in the area of geo-engineering that, while at this point must remain in the tentative thinking stage, were they to prove viable, would at least have the potential to mitigate the problem of global warming within reasonable economic bounds. So far, something carbon mitigation approaches cannot do. In fact, reading between the lines, these authors suggest that the carbon mitigation approaches even fail the laugh test when it comes to either the possibility of achieving the goals designed for them, or the goal of being economically reasonable or viable.

But more importantly, these authors larger message is philosophical. It to point out that viewing this (and other) problems from a purely economic vantage point, even if in only a theoretical sense, rather than from a purely moral and political point of view, forces us to redefine what our goals and preferences are and how we are to go about achieving them within clear (but always existing) economic constraints. They thus try to change the way we think about the difference between 'evaluating political and moral scenarios' and 'embracing the moral and political preferences and implications or the outcomes that such scenarios might suggest. It is okay to study or 'play out' various scenarios in theory, of which our own preferences may not be a part. That is what economists do everyday, and must be allowed to do even when the constraints of politics and morality seem overwhelming and stifling, and even when our own preference sets are not a part of the analysis.

Their study of prostitution in America's black inner city ghettos serves as a case in point. For some women, making 2-3 thousand dollars per night for a few months in order to finance their way through an expensive college or graduate school is a rational way to achieve this goal. Simply because it does not fit our own moral preference set, does not mean that the economics of prostitution should not be studied, or that it does not make perfectly good sense to someone with a difference morality and set of preferences than our own.

In short, this book is 'out of the box thinking' at its level best. It is the kind of thinking that we Americans used to be the recognize global leaders in. However, these authors seem to be suggesting that we are losing this edge by too easily giving over to our socially adjusted moral and ideological gods, who give us a warm fuzzy feeling but whose solutions often prove to be economic dead-ends, or worse. It is a timely and sobering message that is strong on economic philosophy but weak on analysis. Still it is worth three stars for bravery and good imagination.

White Men Challenging Racism-P
White Men Challenging Racism-P
by Cooper Thompson
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 2.35

4.0 out of 5 stars More Missing American History, July 17 2004
There are some truths too difficult to tell in a world of such diminished humanity, as is the case with American society. Yet, these men in their own inimical lonely way-with warts, flaws, inconsistencies and all--tell them anyway.
Yes, this is the rewriting of American history through the self-validating juxtaposition of selective cases. Yet it is no less American history--a kind of "missing American history," like so many other missing parts to American history. And in this sense, it is either a great deal more, or a lot less, than meets the eye.
What we do see here amidst raw, unvarnished, unalloyed truths is "living history" told by a handful of lost souls "paddling against a strong social current" in a veritable sea of orthodox evil called American culture. Theirs is an attempt to remain relevant by establishing "in place" a "counter hero system"-one in which the loss humanity of an entire nation can in some way be restored to a new level recognizable as normal by the rest of humanity. [These lonely white men then of course become super heroes in a much larger and more human system.]
What these "lost souls"--choosing to "opt" out of the much-flawed "white male American hero system" show--if only in relief--is their own futility and the utter futility of trying to "buck in place" an evil and corruptly based system.
Each man discovers in his own lonely but inevitable way that it can't be done; yet they persist as the sacrificial lambs they know themselves to be--because along the way there are truths to be told-and boy do they tell them:
--To be human, something has to feed the soul.
--Whiteness is an oppressive and expensive fiction that gives unearned privileges to some but does so at a very, very high price: by falsifying a much more complicated social reality and by robbing the society of its humanity.
--Racism is above being personal; it is deeply social.
--America is one big training camp for bigots.
--Racism, sexism, and homophobia do not a culture make.
--Poor white men are wounded, needy, powerless, and need to have their identities validated too. If they don't get it, they know how to act--even when they do not know how to "be".
--The world over, young disenfranchised men are the catalysts for raising hell because being male means knowing how to be raise hell.
These are just a just a few nuggets of a virtual book of undeniable but often, unseen truths. Yet there is so much more tragedy than hope in these little gems of this very heady tome:
--You cannot withdraw from a bankrupt, corrupt "evil system" even if you try, because it is in fact a "system" and therein lies the rub: within it there is no other platform on which to stand and counter the evil it propagates. You either become a part of the system or you become irrelevant.
--No one exits (or even coexists) within an evil system (even in one's own mind) without paying an unacceptable price-that is without being irreparable affected by its inconsistencies, its inhumanity and its corruption-in short without being consumed by it.
--In the end reality is just consensual perceptions--a very low standard upon which to build a life-affirming humanity.
Is the thought that we can get outside such a system mere denial at a much deeper (higher) level? Is it flawed thinking to imagine that a more human (less evil) "hero system" can be built "in place" inside an evil and already corrupt hero system? Is it just wishful thinking, to image that one's humanity can be restored by "pumping up" what remains of it in a bankrupt system? Do these 35 brave testimonies, by those who elect to live outside American social orthodoxy, have any meaning at all within it? Or is it like telling a Baptist why it is evil to be baptized? Or is this volume just more "liberal mind-massaging equally racist denial" cloaked in the perennial package of "doing good" for the community?
Read the book and draw your own conclusions. No matter what conclusions you draw, your conscience will be shaken. Four stars.

The Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End Of Black Politics
The Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End Of Black Politics
by Norman Kelley
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.64
15 used & new from CDN$ 2.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Where Does America Go From Here?, July 6 2004
This an awesomely clear and well written book. I give it six stars.
In his effort to shed some light on a difficult problem, the so-called "black problem," Mr. Kelley has used his well-honed craft as a journalist, deftly. He deserves credit for shinning the spotlight in many of the dark places in black culture (and on some of its most sacred of "sacred cows") where it is sorely needed-especially on the moribund black church, lack of an overall cultural strategy, and by picking holes in all of the past half-baked tactics. He correctly demonstrates that even when blacks win, they eventually lose.
However, importantly, he fails to give us the answer to the most perplexing question of all, why this is always the case?
By exposing the nakedness of the HNIC, the last Emperor of an otherwise dying black culture, he all but puts the last nail in a coffin that surely appears to need being shut forever. Instead of nearing the finish line of the last mile of freedom, Kelly demonstrates (whether he intended to or not) that black cultural chaos and self-destruction is all that there is as far out into the future as the eye can see.
There is a minor problem however with Mr. Kelly's astutely crafted analysis. How is it that while walking very slowly down the path to their last mile of freedom, the great minds of black intellectual culture have all made the same wrong turn in the fork in the road? Why have they all turned down the well-lighted path of collective cultural self-destruction?
Mr. Kelly's analysis does not ask or answer this question.
How easy it is to beat a dead (black) horse, which is also what Mr. Kelly, accuses the "Black Conservatives" of doing. How easy it is to fall back into one's own comfort zone of orthodoxy (and become a part of HNIC royalty oneself)-which is what he accuses the black liberals of doing. How easy it is to see all of the flaws when cultural sausage is being made without a recipe...
It seems that Mr. Kelly's analysis itself has committed the same error that he has accused the other great minds of having committed: He has failed to recognize when a paradigm shift is needed.

The paradigm shift that is needed has to do with the inadvertent missing link in Mr. Kelly's analysis. It turns out to be the only controlling variable that remains unaccounted for: It is called white racism. Yes, I know one has to be careful in using this variable. Black orthodoxy dictates that overuse makes one either an irrelevant cultural nationalist rebel or an impotent excuse-maker or rationalizer. Under-use, on the other hand, makes one either a "soft," or a "hard" Uncle Tom, an appeaser, a compromiser with evil.
But correct use makes for sound analysis.
In the face of all evidence to the contrary, Mr. Kelly would have us believe that by treating only one half of America's race problem (the black half), the "elusive effective most efficacious black strategy" does in fact exist and will in fact be found. His candidate is the old familiar composite-better organizational and programmatic planning, more strategic thinking--and by all means and without further delay more black forays into economic independence and internal self-development.
Mr. Kelly's book proves simply that at times even great minds can become fuzzy when they refuse to look at the simple truths facing them head on. Following Mr. Kelly's well-worn paradigm to black success, one would think that with Oprah, professional basketball, the Johnson publishing and Jackson music and BET broadcasting empires, the black economy would be well on its way to democratic and racial acceptance and thus to victory. That is, that the last mile of freedom should already have been accomplished. QED, amen.
Here is a mind game that Mr. Kelly evidently did not think to play. It is the same mind game that Howard Griffin played in his famous book "Black Like Me." Supposed Bill Gates, and Andrew Carnegie were black (or pick your own rich white tycoons, young or old, dead or live)? What difference would it have on the black masses?
Almost none is the correct, but not the exact answer. The exact answer is not only would it have little or no no effect on black culture as a whole, but the lives of these men would themselves be unalterably changed.
That is the exact answer.
The effects of white racism are global, systemic. There is no way to hide from it--no safe haven from it; it cannot be finessed or seduced-either analytically or existentially. Attempts to do so, just makes the analyst a part of the problem-that is a part of white collective denial about the collection of closed white superiority myths.
We cannot solve the problem of black culture without including America's own existential crisis with the issue of race in the analysis. Race is not an exogenous variable it is an endogenous one--an American problem. White racism is an American problem that blacks must help solve just as black self-development is a black problem that whites must help solve. We must stop running from the obvious and began to work within our American family and help our white brothers help themselves and in turn they will help us. There is no other solution, analytically or existentially.
Surely the author does not supposed for a moment that a well-educated, economically vibrant, culturally coherent black race is going to be welcomed with open arms into the larger economically competitive racist American family, does he? Anyone who thinks that has missed the real lessons of Nazi Germany, Apartheid South Africa and American Southern Reconstruction. These are the blacks who will be the most threatening to a weak white self-concept. As in Nazi Germany, the successful ones will be the ones most detested. We cannot forget, that white fantasy no matter how powerful and dominant is still not reality.
Just as there was no "Jewish problem" in Nazi Germany there is no "black problem" in America. There is only a white problem. Once that problem is solved, we will all be free.
The snake in America's bosom-white racism--must be confronted and slain, otherwise nothing that is not blonde and blue-eyed is safe. White racism is the gravity that holds a flawed white identity together; it is the glue that holds together a dying and corrupt system; it cannot be appeased by either good or bad black strategies because it remains unaffected by them. It must be confronted, and then confronted some more. Amen.
This book deserves six stars! It is awesome.

How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
by Karen Brodkin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.26
14 used & new from CDN$ 21.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Seductive ... but..., Feb. 6 2004
Resubmitted on 2/5/3
Dr. Brodkins' book is a fair synthesis of post -War racial scholarship and theorizing. Her personal approach is entertaining and seductive but far from being a compelling story -even though there are many aspects of the book for one to like.
As well, one can hardly disagree with her main theme that racism and racial identity is the single most important basis of a healthy self-concept in the contemporary American way of life.

Moreover, one must take careful note of what she has to say about Jewish industriousness as being a critical parameter in the route to group success against all forms of chauvinism--including anti-Semitism, sexism and racism--although it was difficult to avoid the fact that she did jump over rather quickly the issues of race and anti-Semitism to get to her main menu item, gender.

All that said however, it was painful watching her finesse the issue of Jewish racism against blacks, both before and after the events directed against European Jews; and both before and after the "gender revolution."

One reason the war against racism (and sexism) cannot be won in the way the author suggests is that once a group is admitted to the club of "being white," or being allowed, in the case of sexism, to use "the flawed white male model," it already has learned all too well how to play the role of being superior to those still remaining outside those exclusive clubs. The real problem is that the illicit rewards, both tangible and intangible, in a racist and/or sexist society are so enormous that there is hardly any incentive to do otherwise.
That passive-aggressive racism and passive-aggressive sexism are at least as dangerous as their more overt and active counterparts is hardly a secret anymore. Yet, the fact that this book splits hairs between sexism and racism, emphasizing one at the expense of the other, marks its clear position on the racist-sexism evolutionary chart.
One must continue to be surprised and disappointed when those who have experienced racism on such a massively inhuman scale, as has been the case with European Jews, Native Americans and American Blacks, nevertheless lend their voices to the same worldview and tactics used to invent ideologies that can lead to such atrocities.
The attitude that "racism is okay so long as it does not affect me or my group" guarantees we will be a long time bringing the practice in America to a final end.
Although this is not the book I would have written if I were a Jewish woman, it is nevertheless a worthy and interesting effort. Four Stars!

How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
by Karen Brodkin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.26
14 used & new from CDN$ 21.26

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book, but not the one I would have written, Feb. 5 2004
Dr. Brodkins' book is a fair synthesis of post -War racial scholarship and theorizing. Her personal approach is entertaining and seductive but far from being a compelling story -even though there are many aspect of the book for one to like.
Moreover, one can hardly disagree with her main theme that racism and racial identity is the single most important basis of a healthy self-concept in the contemporary American way of life.
As well, one must take careful note of what she has to say about Jewish industriousness as being a critical parameter in the route to group success against all forms of chauvinism--including anti-Semitism and racism--although it was difficult to avoid the fact that she jumped quickly over the issue of race to get to her main menu item, gender.
All that said however, it was painful watching her finesse the issue of Jewish racism against blacks and other non-whites, both before and after the events directed against European Jews; and both before and after the "gender revolution."
One reason the war against racism (and sexism) cannot be won in the way the author suggests is that once a group is admitted to the club of "being white," or being allowed to use "the flawed white male model", in the case of sexism, it already has learned all too well how to play the game of being an oppressor against those still remaining outside that club. In a racist and sexist society there is hardly any incentive to do otherwise.
That passive-aggressive racism and passive-aggressive sexism are at least as dangerous as their more overt and active counterparts is hardly a secret anymore. Yet, the fact that this book splits these two hairs, emphasizing one at the expense of the other clearly marks its position on the racist-sexism evolutionary spectrum.
One must continue to be surprised and disappointed when those who have experienced racism on such a massively inhuman scale, as has been the case with Jews, Native Americans and American Blacks, nevertheless lend their voices to the same worldview and tactics used to invent ideologies that led to such atrocities.
The attitude that "racism is okay so long as it does not affect me or my group" guarantees we will never bring the practice in America to a final end.
Although this is not the book I would have written if I were a Jewish woman, it is nevertheless a worthy and interesting effort. Four Stars!

How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says about Race in America
by Karen Brodkin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.26
14 used & new from CDN$ 21.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Racism or Sexism? You Chose, Feb. 3 2004
I judge Dr. Brodkins´¿ book to be a better than fair synthesis of post ´¿World War II racial scholarship--and racial theorizing in general. Her personal experiences and approach is certainly entertaining and even seductive at times, but in my humble opinion, the book is far from being compelling. Even though I did like it immensely, I must admit that some aspects did make me squirm . And, that is as it should be with any good book.
On the positive side, one can hardly disagree with her main theme that racism and racial identity is the single most important basis of a healthy self-concept in the capitalist racist American way of life.
As well, everyone, especially blacks, would do well to take careful note of what she has to say about Jewish industriousness being a critical parameter in the route to group success against racism´¿-although it must be added that it was difficult to avoid noting the urgency with which she moved from discussions of race to her "pet" subject, gender. Although I certainly got the obvious rawness of the issues between Jewish women and Jewish men, I am not sure I got their full import.
On the negative side,it was painful watching this superb scholar try to finesse her way around Jewish racism against blacks, both before and after the events against European Jews during WW-II; and both before and after the so-called ´¿gender revolution.´¿ It is easy to see how having been white and nevertheless dispised by other whites could lead to ambivalence and hesitency towards non-white groups once accepted into the "white only" club. (But isn't there some moral obligation to tear down this house once inside it?)
All that said however, one reason the war against racism (and sexism) cannot be won in the way the author suggests is that just as has been the case with American Jews, once a group is finally admitted to the club of ´¿being white,´¿ or being allowed to use ´¿the flawed white male model´¿ (in the case of sex) to advance its own group interests, it already has learned all too well how to become a racist in its own right. Oddly this appears to make it easier rather than more difficult to be recruited into the "white racist family." The anti-morality conditioning is total and immediate: all of the cute tricks of how to defend (just beneath consciousness) the collective racist orthodoxy is all but self-evident.
Dr. Brodkin must know as well as anyone that "pervasive passive-aggressive" racism and "pervasive passive-aggressive sexism"--the latest mutants of the formerly good old fashion racism and sexism--are at least as evil and dangerous as their more overt and virulently active counterparts. The author must know as well, that the ability to avoid having to split hairs between them marks a clear dividing line along the "racism-sexism-awareness spectrum." The effects of passive-aggressive racism (sexism) cannot be good simply and only because the effects of overt active racism (sexism) are perceived to be so much worse?
One can never cease to remain surprised and disappointed when those who have experienced racism on such a massively inhuman scale, as has been the case with Jews, Native Americans and Blacks, nevertheless are found mimicking the same chauvinistic habits and adopting the same worldview and tactics as those who have forged the ideologies that led to such atrocities in the first place.
Rather than the author's suggestions, it is precisely this ´¿racism is bad only when it affects me (or my group´¿) attitude that guarantees that we will never bring the normalized practices of racism in America to a final end.
Although this is not the book I would have written had I been a Jewish woman, it is nevertheless a worthy and interesting effort. Four Stars!

Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880
Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880
by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 20.97

5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Work on the Reconstruction Era, Jan. 29 2004
Given the way race relations have unfolded since the book was written, WEB DuBois' tome is THE essential work on the most pivotal and one of the most grossly underrated periods of American history.
Since it is told from the vantage point of a Black American, it stands as one of the essential missing voices in an otherwise neatly politicized and racially sanitized periods of American history and areas of American historical scholarship.
DuBois, writing with an impressive flair, is not bashful about giving credit where it is due, whether to noble and humane slave owners or to the vastly underrated and seldom reported contributions of Negroes during this period. This emphasis alone is a display of courage unlikely to be found except in very rare instances in other books on this subject.
Despite its flair, the book is still dense with details that only a first rate historian could uncover and organize so well. And although the book has been criticized for being too much of a Marxist economic analysis, it is nevertheless accurate, has the full ring of truth and remains relatively non-polemical. And for one partial to non-Marxist economic analyses, I find rather strangely that DuBois' Marxist analysis seems the appropriate tool uniquely suited for analyzing the circumstances of this particular era of American history.

In short, the book is not just another oblique harangue against the American system of racism as it was practiced during the reconstruction era--or as it has been practiced during any era for that matter.
Along side Eric Froner's book, "Reconstruction," this is another tour de force. For essential reading on one of the most important periods in American history, one is unlikely to find in print a better book on this subject. Amen.

Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture: A Social History
Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture: A Social History
by Stephan Talty
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from CDN$ 20.62

5.0 out of 5 stars The Song of America sung in a Strange New Future Key, Jan. 23 2004
Mr. Talty has written an intelligent, wonderfully lyrical book (like a 1950s riff in two-four time). If six stars were allowed I would give it to this book.
This romp through history teems with the optimistic sounds, rhythms, smells and tastes of all we have come to understand as the proverbial American "melting pot." It is a profoundly uplifting and optimistic read. It is an essential side of the untold-American story, but not the only one. Unfortunately it is as clear to us (the reader)-as it is to Mr. Talty that he has sampled only the best of America-the mélange that is, to our collective dismay, but the fringe on top.
Thus, it is so very easy to be seduced by this book. It is so well written. It reflects so much of the author's passion and love for this country. It is so intelligently thought-out. In short, it is wishful thinking at its delicious best. I love the place in the heart and soul from which this book sprung. At some point in our lives, most of us share that wonderfully optimistic out look on America. We want the best for our country and we also want only to think the best about it. We all yearn for this 400-year old experiment to succeed.
So it is easy to be seduced by Mr. Talty's book. Indeed we want to be seduced by it. And he wants to seduce us. But if one is not careful, he may be completely taken in by it and begin to think for instance that had Dennis Rodman and Madonna had kids their Mulattos off-springs too would have inherited the earth. We might forget that the hiphoppers are also rebelling against Louis Armstrong's grinning teeth. We might think that Elvis and Little Richard were some kind of ambassador for race-mixing. But alas it is not so! It is all a self-fulfilling mirage. There is a deeper realty underlying rock-and-roll, Jazz, hip-hop and black ghetto pimps.
It is the reality of that side of America born with D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation"-which the author curiously failed to include in his very selective romp through American history.No one is more aware than the author that his romp--however lyrical and well stated it may be--is but the fringe sitting atop a burgeoning "rotten egg." One that seems always just one step away from bursting at the seam. One that after 400 years still has ("soft") white superiority--an epithet that remains the unwritten subtext of his book--written all over it. But the author cannot be blamed for that any more than a fish can be blamed for swimming in polluted waters.
Of course, for cosmetic reasons (reasons of collective denial) America's ideology of racism is no longer called that any more. There are any numbers of other euphemisms, recycled, as times require, that serve that purpose-such as: multiculturalism, color blind society, paper equality, "mulatto America," etc., ad infinitum.
The one in vogue today is "Social Darwinism," a generic name for "Republican and Democratic Conservatism." Social Darwinism is a "stand in" for snow white's famous "mirror, mirror on the wall kind of whiteness." The kind that says if America is to remain a white nation (as surely it must, at all cost) it must become a "Zero-Sum Society," a "Winner-Take-All Society," the "Cheating Society," the "Cynical Society," and the "Unconscious Civilization."
If not, the mirror on the wall is likely to answer: You are still the fairest in the land... but they (those Mulattoes, and reds, and browns, and blacks, and especially those yellows) are gaining on you fast.
Why is it that one half of the contribution to our national-race-mixing salsa--that part made by whites themselves--never quites gets discussed openly until its too late? [Like Strom Thursmond's mulatto daughter? Why leave discussing whiteness to the David Dukes of the world and to the "Turner Diaries, etc.?] Why is it that "Whiteness" is either the only conceptual reality, the only subjectivity, the only worldview or it has to remain a phantom in the background--the invisible substrate, the neutral background that pulls all the strings but cannot be seen except just beyond the shadows?
There is another problem with Mr. Talty's book. It is a technical one. Compared to England, or Germany, or almost any other advanced Western society, THERE IS NO "Mulatto America." Fifty per cent of Brits are intermarried with their non-white minorities. In America, even in 2004, it is still less that 5%. And although 25% of whites have some black blood and 50% of blacks and Indians with some white blood, it is all as a result of white male-on-black female rape during slavery and the later "passing for white" that was required by these Mulatto off-springs--not as a result of contemporary race mixing-which incidentally is so minimal compared to other Western nations that it has raised concerns among sociologists.
So, where is this mulatto America that Mr. Talty speaks of?
While all this is more a critique of the context of the book, than the book itself, it reflects how deeply this book can affect one's thinking, and how much it reflects America's yearning, no matter the color.
In sum, this is a heroic effort no matter how the book affects you. Please buy it. You won't be disappointed. I guarantee it.
As a parting shot, may I suggest that we need Mr. Talty's mind, passion and superb writing skills-working behind the screen of racism as well as in front of it--if we are to ever prick the poison in the rotten egg that lies beneath. Hopefully his next book will be about what lies beneath the fringe-for that too-perhaps even more profoundly and certainly more frightfully--is also America.
When humpty-dumpty is finally toppled from the wall, only then will we be able to sing a new song of America in a truly Mulatto key.

Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.
Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.
by Barr McClellan
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 5.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Too Little and Too Late, Jan. 18 2004
An insider's belated account of how the hidden hand of LBJ's Texas functionaries actually worked--behind the shield of the lawyer-client privilege. The book's validity hangs in large part on the slender thread of a partial fingerprint discovered on the sixth floor of the Texas school book depositary building where there appears to have been convincing proof that the print belongs to Malcolm "Mack" Wallace, a convicted murderer and acknowledged LBJ hit man--rather than to Lee Harvey Oswald.
As McClelland tells it, that fingerprint, coupled with a number of other scandals about to converge on the Vice President and end his political career if not land him in jail, gave sufficient impetus to him and his evil home-grown Texas mafia--to commit the murder of the century.
Beyond that, the reader is given what the author calls "factions" which is (as I understand it) his fiction elaborated and interpolated between a paucity of facts, innuendoes and insiders bragging about how the assassination of JFK was actually carried out. In other words, "factions" is McClelland's fiction loosely disguised as facts.
Except for the fingerprint, impending scandals that would have landed LBJ in jail, and after-the-fact hearsay, the narrative that McClelland unravels is very much like what we have come to expect of the lunatic fringe of the JFK assassination conspiracy crowd.
There are differences however that make the book worth reading. McClelland confirms that a party attended by a host of bigwigs was held on 21 November at oil magnate Clint Murcheson's home. The book also admits that the fatal shot came from the right front by someone he refers to as "Junior." Any book that does not at least acknowledge that the fatal shot was a front head shot has absolutely no credibility with the majority of Americans.
Although McClelland remains mum on who attended the assassination eve party, the Garrison investigation, and on who "Junior" is (was), Barr does indeed seem to know more than he is letting on to.
Maybe his next book will be a real mindblower. Anyway, this book takes a fresh book at the Texas connections, and for that reason alone gets three stars and demands being read.

The Social Animal
The Social Animal
by Aronson
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 28.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Where Psychology meets Culture, Aug. 18 2003
This review is from: The Social Animal (Paperback)
Aronson's emminently readable volume is packed with useful--if not always profound--insights and information that go a long way towards explaining many of the abnomal "normalities" of our own society. Although Aronson's volume is far from being preachy, it is difficult not to make certain connections within our own society that have the character of being drawn directly from Aronson's experiments.
Racism, for instance can now be explained entirely in social psychological terms. Both white and non-white behaviror--actions and interactions--follow the models of Aronson's experiments precisely. Alienation within our society and the attendant lost of a sense of community is another example of one of the secondary effects of social psychological processes made so profoundly clear from this book.
Aronson leaves us with a lot to digest and think about, and this in my view is what books of this sort should do. This is a real tour de force. I highly recommend it.

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