Paul Wiseman

Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (4 of 4)
Location: Virginia


Top Reviewer Ranking: 420,266 - Total Helpful Votes: 4 of 4
Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and W&hellip by Dan Gardner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pundits who make sweeping predictions about the future are almost sure to be wrong, Gardner reports in this fascinating book. But you can't really blame them. Their brains are hard-wired to exaggerate threats, extend current trends in a straight line into the indefinite future and reject information that contradicts their existing beliefs. Perhaps even worse, we -- the pundits' audience -- are programmed to demand certainty where there is none. We forget old predictions that were proven wrong and glom onto new ones with the eagerness of children. We believe forecasters who make the boldest and most confident predictions even though they're the least reliable guides to the future. So what… Read more
Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 191&hellip by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman
This book's triumph begins with a brilliant idea: Barbara Tuchman's decision to combine a biography of Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell with a history of China's failed republican revolution. To an amazing degree, Stilwell showed up as history was happening in China after the collapse of Qing Dynasty in 1911. During the Second World War, he played a leading - and doomed - role in United States' relationship with the incompetent, corrupt regime of Chiang Kai-shek. As a result, Stilwell is a perfect vehicle through which to explore the United States' tragic relationship with China for most of the last century. Stilwell is fascinating - tough, smart, curious about the world around him, disdainful… Read more
Japan in War and Peace : Selected Essays by John W. Dower
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, March 3 2004
John Dower's Embracing Defeat is one of the best history books I've ever read. This earlier essay collection, which covers some of the same territory, is a disappointment by contrast. Dower is always an insightful guide to modern Japanese culture and politics. Among other things, he makes an interesting comparison here between U.S. and Japanese wartime cinema; offers a moving assessment of Japan's Atomic Bomb art; and inveighs repeatedly and passionately against what he fears is a resurgence of racism in America and ultra-nationalism in Japan. The book feels dated, though. Dower wrote most of these essays at a time when Japan appeared to be overtaking the United States economically, fueling… Read more