What I’ve been reading
I’ve been too busy to keep up this supposedly regular feature, but I have been reading lots of interesting stuff in the last few months. Over the fold, I’ll list some of them and try to write a sentence or so about each. (I’ll probably keep updating this for a couple of days as I get time). I plan to review some of these, so your suggested priorities would be of interest.
Australia Fair by Hugh Stretton. A renewed statement of the case for social democracy from one of the Grand Old Men among Australian public intellectuals.
Fascinating essays on some of the founders of the US – Hamilton & Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams and Madison
This is looking pretty forlorn now, with US soft power at its lowest ebb since the Vietnam era. In the foreword to the new edition, Nye is pretty unhappy about this.
The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks, available in Brisbane from Pulp Fiction. A very enjoyable collection of his early short stories
Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks, available in Brisbane from Pulp Fiction. Only just got this one. Initially I’m finding it something of a disappointment compared to the Culture novels. But I’ll persevere.
Barons to Bloggers More on bloggers and the media with contributions from Lance Knobel, Jay Rosen, Eric Beecher, Guy Rundle, Margo Kingston and Andrew Clark.
This airport bestseller makes a good pair with James Suriowecka on The Wisdom of Crowds
I agreed with it just on the basis of the negative reviews, and I agree even more now that I’ve read it. More on this, I expect.
Greatly over-rated is Keegan’s view, and mine also
The best thing I’ve read on the motivation behind the Crusades and their continuing resonance