O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2015

Mentira tem perna curta? Assim parece... Essa Pasadena que nao passa...

Do site Inteligência Estratégica, de Jorge Hori:
http://iejorgehori.blogspot.com.br/2015/11/omissao-orientada.html

segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2015

Omissão orientada

Para os que conhecem a pessoa de Dilma Vana Rousseff , a sua personalidade e seu estilo, sabem que a atitude dela de aprovar uma decisão de compra de uma refinaria sem ter antes estudado é absolutamente improvável e quase impossível. Ela sempre foi "cdf", meticulosa e não ia a qualquer reunião sem pedir informações prévias e estudá-las, deixando mesmo de dormir para isso. Ela jamais iria aprovar uma medida, dentro do Conselho de Administração da Petrobras, sem tê-la analisada detalhadamente.

Desde a apresentação ao público da versão da "decisão com base numa relatório falho e incompleto" , coloquei aqui a única opção possível desse "ponto fora da curva". Ela foi orientada a "ficar fora disso". "Aprove conforme for apresentado" porque é de interesse maior: da Petrobras, do país e, principalmente, do PT". 

E quem teria essa autoridade sobre ela? Quem poderia orientá-la a "não se meter nisso".

O ex-advogado da Petrobras, agora afirmou que, ao analisar a operação, foi orientado a aceitar a minuta apresentada pela Astra e não propor redação alternativa. Ao se recusar, foi afastado e o parecer que ficou no processo não foi o dele

Quem o orientou? E de quem  o diretor que o orientou foi orientado a aprovar, conforme montado pela outra parte?

A prisão do Senador Delcídio do Amaral, pela tentativa de evitar que, na delação premiada, Cerveró contasse a verdade ou uma versão plausível da participação de Dilma na decisão e a reação do Planalto, indica que só restou a esse uma alternativa. Negar e torcer para que Delcídio não opte pela delação premiada. 

A probabilidade do impeachment de Dilma, que havia caído  voltou a subir.   Ela vai conseguir passar as festas de 2015/16 no Alvorada, mas sem comemorar. Ou comemorar como as grandes e últimas.

Douglass North: mais artigos em sua homenagem (ABPHE)

Recebi, da Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores em História Econômica e de Empresas, da qual sou membro, estas referências que completam as que eu já tinha colocado neste mesmo espaço, neste link:
http://diplomatizzando.blogspot.com.br/2015/11/uma-lagrima-para-douglass-north-o.html
Eis as novas:
 Conjunto de textos em homenagem a Douglass North (1920-2015)

https://afinetheorem.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/douglass-north-an-economists-historian/

http://truthonthemarket.com/2015/11/24/douglass-c-north-1920-2015/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/business/economy/douglass-c-north-nobel-laureate-economist-dies-at-95.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

http://crookedtimber.org/2015/11/24/doug-north-has-died/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/artcarden/2015/11/24/he-helped-us-understand-the-process-of-economic-change-douglass-c-north-1920-2015/

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/11/big-questions

http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2015/11/25/john-nye-remembers-doug-north/

https://reason.com/archives/2015/11/25/douglass-cecil-north

http://www.voxeu.org/article/ideas-douglass-north

http://www.voxeu.org/article/douglass-north-economist-s-historian

Tenham bom proveito.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 1/12/2015

Paraguai: o quase-golpe de 1996 na versao do ABC Color (artigo de Marcio Dias)

O mais famoso jornal paraguaio faz um editing à sua maneira no artigo original do Embaixador brasileiro Marcio de Oliveira Dias, o homem que impediu o golpe de Oviedo contra Wasmosy.
A versão original pode ser conferida aqui:
http://diplomatizzando.blogspot.com.br/2015/11/o-quase-golpe-no-paraguai-e-origem-da.html
A versão em espanhol, editada pelo jornal paraguaio, o mais virulentamente antibrasileiro (o que parece ser um esporte nacional), pode ser conferida aqui:
http://www.abc.com.py/nacionales/diplomacia-brasilena-ayudo-a-evitar-golpe-1431429.html

Divirtam-se.

Paulo Roberto de Almeida  


ABC Color, 30 de Noviembre de 2015 12:11

 Brasil “ayudó a evitar golpe” de Lino Oviedo
Casi 20 años después, un exembajador brasileño en Asunción cuenta entretelones de cómo Brasil -mediante su diplomacia- ayudó a que en 1996 no ocurriera un golpe de Estado militar encabezado por el desaparecido general Lino César Oviedo.
Brasil, mediante su diplomacia, ayudó a Paraguay a evitar un golpe de Estado militar encabezado por el fallecido general Lino César Oviedo contra el entonces presidente Juan Carlos Wasmosy. Es lo que relata el exembajador de Brasil en Asunción, Marcio De Oliveira Dias, quien publicó un extenso relato en una columna del diario O Globo.
Según dijo, revela detalles del importante episodio para demostrar la gran capacidad de quien considera fue “uno de los grandes diplomáticos brasileños”: Sebastián Do Rego Barros Netto, conocido por su entorno cercano como “Bambino”. “Si Bambino no estuviese al frente de Itamaraty, tal vez Paraguay hubiese sufrido un golpe de Estado militar que desmoralizaría al Mercosur”.
Era 1996. Barros Neto era secretario general en Itamaraty (Palacio-sede del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Brasil) y De Oliveira Dias, embajador en Asunción. Juan Carlos Wasmosy, presidente electo democráticamente, se desempeñaba bajo la permanente amenaza del entonces comandante general del Ejército Lino César Oviedo, quien “poco o nada hacía para disimular sus pretensiones presidenciales”, relata el exembajador.
Instruido por el área política de Itamaraty, De Oliveira Dias prestó especial atención a los movimientos de Oviedo. Wasmosy le contó al embajador de sus intenciones de destituir a Oviedo y el diplomático, quien ya había discutido el asunto con la cúpula de Itamaraty, le aseguró al presidente paraguayo el apoyo del gobierno brasileño, encabezado entonces por el presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Como el embajador observaba a Oviedo, este seguía de cerca los movimientos de Wasmosy, por lo que una ida del presidente a Brasil precipitaría la acción golpista, sigue narrando. He ahí el surgimiento de un plan que permitió a Wasmosy salir sigilosamente de Paraguay al vecino país. “Aproveché la cercanía de mi cumpleaños y transformé la cena que sería para el personal de la embajada en una gran recepción, a la cual invité a la cúspide del mundo político paraguayo, incluso a Oviedo”, recuerda y agrega que Wasmosy fue advertido sobre la presencia del general.
“Con las cúpulas política y militar de Paraguay, bebiendo, comiendo y bailando en la residencia del embajador de Brasil, Wasmosy despegó tranquilamente desde su estancia en el interior y llegó hasta el aeropuerto militar de Brasilia”, cuenta. Wasmosy fue discretamente recibido por “Bambino”, quien a esa hora, las 21:30 de un sábado, estaba ya libre del ojo de la prensa. Todo el plan se coordinó a través de teléfonos satelitales, para evitar que Oviedo monitoree lo que estaba ocurriendo.
El lunes siguiente, con la seguridad del apoyo del Brasil, Wasmosy llamó a Oviedo a exigirle su renuncia. Oviedo pidió tiempo y al mediodía Wasmosy insistió, le dijo que si quería responder con un golpe, que lo hiciese pero que él no ordenaría que las fuerzas que lo apoyaban reaccionasen, a fin de que cualquier derramamiento de sangre quede exclusivamente bajo responsabilidad de Oviedo.
El general guardaba silencio. La embajada norteamericana emitió entonces un comunicado en el que condenaba la resistencia de Oviedo y reafirmaba su apoyo al presidente constitucional. Los embajadores de Estados Unidos, Argentina y Brasil, a pedido de Wasmosy intentaron hablar con Oviedo pero no tuvieron éxito.
Ya entrada la noche, De Oliveira Dias sugirió a Bambino que promueva un contacto entre Oviedo y el ministro general del Ejército Zenildo Lucena, -a quien Oviedo respetaba porque fue su instructor en Asunción. Bambino comentó a De Oliveira, que Oviedo le pareció bastante sereno y garantizó que no se levantaría en armas, pero que se ocuparía de que se haga con Wasmosy lo que Brasil hizo con Collor (presidente Fernando Collor de Melo, quien fue enjuiciado penalmente por el Congreso por hechos de corrupción).
Wasmosy y dos de sus hijos entretanto se refugiaban en la embajada americana. “El presidente terminaba de escribir a mano un documento con su renuncia, exigida por Oviedo bajo amenaza de bombardear la casa presidencial”, cuenta. Con la renuncia de Wasmosy, Oviedo se encargaría personalmente del vicepresidente y haría que el presidente del Congreso asuma la presidencia. El plazo para la renuncia de Wasmosy era las 2 de la madrugada. Hugo Aranda, empresario ligado a Wasmosy y antes a Oviedo, sería el portador del documento; su casa sería el punto de encuentro entre los mensajeros de Oviedo y Wasmosy.
“Pedí a Wasmosy que no enviase el documento hasta que yo me comunicara con mi gobierno, con la debida delicadeza, tomé el papel. Con la renuncia segura conmigo, desperté a Bambino a las 02:40 y le expuse la situación. Coincidimos en que la prisa de Oviedo se debía a la dificultad que tendría para implementar el 'golpe blanco' cuando estén abiertas las cancillerías del continente y en pleno funcionamiento de sus gobiernos. Por la imposibilidad de tomar cualquier medida a aquella hora, acordamos intentar ganar tiempo para alcanzar la mañana del martes 23, sin que ninguna acción de fuerza ocurriese”, recuerda.
Mientras Wasmosy insistía en obedecer para evitar derramamiento de sangre, De Oliveira Dias le dictó un pedido de permiso provisorio en términos que difícilmente serían aceptados por el Congreso. El diplomático le pidió permiso entonces para romper la renuncia que había escrito la noche anterior. Wasmosy tuvo el instinto político de guardar los pedazos de aquella renuncia escrito de puño y letra. “Y una imagen que nunca olvidará es la expresión del embajador norteamericano cuando rompí la renuncia y dicté al presidente los términos del papel con el cual podíamos obtener el tiempo necesario para neutralizar la maniobra de Oviedo”, dice.
Oliveira Dias acompañó a Aranda y se encontró con el emisario de Oviedo y el presidente del Congreso, a quien instó a que asumiera solamente si “la renuncia fuese inapelablemente explícita y legalmente incontestable. Lo que sabía no podía ser porque ‘saltaba’ al vicepresidente”. Oviedo recibió el papel y preguntó al presidente del Senado si podría asumir en la mañana siguiente, pero este contestó no podía hacerlo dentro de la ley y que mínimamente tendría que someterlo al pleno, enfureciendo a Oviedo, quien mandó a buscar en los archivos la renuncia de Stroessner para que se redacte en los mismos términos y Wasmosy lo firme.
El presidente paraguayo estaba dispuesto a firmar por miedo a que Oviedo cumpla las amenazas, dice el exembajador en su relato. Agrega que persuadió a Wasmosy de que no firme, porque creía que Oviedo no iría a bombardear la residencia presidencial, ya que estaba desocupada así como el centro de la ciudad, era simplemente un juego para forzarlo. A la mañana siguiente, a pedido de Domingo Laíno, De Oliveira Dias, Laíno y Guillermo Caballero Vargas (de la oposición) se reunieron. El diplomático sugirió a los opositores emitir una resolución por la cual rechazaban siquiera analizar cualquier pedido de renuncia del presidente o del vice. Y lo que mucho me pidió fue: “¿Embajador, puedo decir que la idea fue mía?”.
En el Palacio de López estaban embajadores acreditados, la gran mayoría de diputados y senadores, resueltos a no aceptar el análisis de una renuncia, estaban líderes de partidos, empresarios, “un gran festival cívico-democrático”, pero del otro lado de la ciudad estaba Oviedo con los cañones. Ya sin salida, dice el exembajador, porque el golpe fracasó por la decida reacción internacional y bloqueado por el Senado, pero Wasmosy temía una acción desesperada del militar.
A esas alturas, Bambino y el ministro general del Ejército Zenildo Lucena volvieron a hablar. Oviedo pidió una salida decorosa. El presidente, sus pocos ministros de confianza y los embajadores, sugirieron dos alternativas: darle la embajada en Bonn (ciudad de Alemania) o el Ministerio de Defensa, que a pesar del “pomposo nombre está fuera de la línea de mando”, y cualquier ministerio exigía el pase previo a reserva, lo que disminuiría el apoyo de los generales a Oviedo. El ministro del Interior llevó la oferta y Oviedo aceptó el Ministerio.
Los cancilleres del Mercosur llegaron a Asunción, ya que el propio Bambino los buscó en su avión y todos aprobaron el acuerdo como la mejor solución posible. A la mañana siguiente, Oviedo transfirió el comando y se fijó su asunción en el Ministerio de Defensa para el siguiente día. Cuando se conoció la oferta del Ministerio de Oviedo, comenzaron las críticas a Wasmosy y se empezó a pensar en un juicio político.
Por otra parte, al traspasar el mando a Oviedo surgen quiebres en la unidad de apoyo del general, a quien piden declinar del cargo, mientras Wasmosy y el nuevo canciller que convenza a Oviedo de seguir. “Tuvimos una larga y áspera conversación, dos horas”, recuerda. Oviedo dio las primeras señales de “aflojar”, mientras Wasmosy seguía temeroso de una reacción del militar, por lo que Bambino pidió al presidente brasileño que 'encoraje' a su par de Paraguay a suspender el nombramiento. “Con la llamada del presidente brasileño, Wasmosy cobró aliento definitivo”, describe. El presidente se preparó para un discurso y se dirigió al Palacio de López, donde ya estaba llegando Oviedo para asumir.
Después del pronunciamiento del presidente, sin apoyo comenzó una carrera política. “No es que no haya tenido éxito, y después de una serie de hechos, incluso una detención, terminó muriendo en un accidente”, dice. “El caso es sin dudas un evento impar en la historia diplomática brasileña, deshacer un golpe militar en un país amigo por medio de la acción diplomática”, califica. El canciller Lampreia, que estaba de permiso en ese entonces, calificó el hecho como “la acción más intervencionista que Brasil ya realizó en este siglo”, pero el presidente Cardoso cuenta en su libreo “Diarios de la Presidencia” que esta acción fue hecha en nombre del Mercosur, mediante De Oliveira Dias y Barros Netto.

CV Lattes: Pronto, a CIA, o FSB, o Mossad estão atrás de mim outra vez....

Não acredito: como é que o meu "top paper" pode ser apenas meu currículo acadêmico?
Isso só pode ser coisa dos serviços de informações...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 

Academia.edu
Your Analytics Snapshot
View Analytics
Upload Papers

20

profile views

373

document views

Your Recent Views
Graph of views

Highlights

google.com.br was your biggest source of traffic for the week, bringing you 109 visits.

1 visitor found your page by searching for "tratado de paz con el Brasil 27/08/1828."

Your most popular paper for the week was CV Paulo Roberto de Almeida - Lattes, which had 40 views.


To get more page views

Upload Your Papers

A seleção anual de livros de Delanceyplace, e minhas leituras...

Transcrevo abaixo a postagem desta segunda-feira 30/11/2015 do meu "recomendador" preferido de leituras, com transcrição de trechos e não exatamente lançamentos.
Conheço vários, já li alguns (Tooze, Kwarteng) e vou reter outros para comprar ou para ler...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 
Here they are -- our favorite books for 2015. As always, it's books we read (or, for some of the lengthier tomes, finished reading) this year, but not necessarily books that were published this year. They are listed below, but not in any order of preference. If you wish to read an excerpt from any of the books mentioned click on the link.
 
We hope you find this list to be helpful!

 
 How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise
Author: Chris Taylor
Publisher: Basic Books

Well ... the seventh Star Wars film will soon be released. And I'm a Star Wars fan. So I must commend this book as an indulgence for any of you who are also Star Wars fans.
 
And here's just one tidbit -- the original Star Wars plot was influenced in part by Lucas's objection to the heavy-handed U.S. presence in Vietnam. In other words -- at least in some measure -- the Empire was modeled on the United States and the rebels were inspired by the resistance of the North Vietnamese.
 
In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise's death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. In no small part, this book is a biography of George Lucas himself.


In war, while the battles are the thing most historians focus on, it is the aftermath of the war that ends up having equal or greater importance to history, and most historians completely neglect that aspect of the story. This book is the story of the rebuilding of Japan after World War II. (Contrary to popular opinion, it is a story in which General Douglas MacArthur plays only a small role.)  
 
Did you know (I didn't) that the mindset that led to the Vietnam war was more about preserving non-communist trading partners for Japan after World War II than any concern that communism would arrive, a la the domino theory, on America's shores. It turns out Japan's post-war economy was anemic, and all efforts to boost it were failing. There was a nascent communist movement within Japan, and the largest and most natural trading partners for Japan were China and the Soviet Union. Therefore, U.S. policymakers believed they had to preserve non-communist trading partners for Japan or it would inevitably fall under the sway of Communist China and thus all of Asia would be communist. The best and perhaps only logical candidate for this non-communist trading bloc was Indochina, which thus became of paramount strategic importance to the U.S.  The irony here is the thing that finally pulled Japan out of its economic slump was America's Korean War, to which Japan became a major supplier.


Until the advent of refrigeration, which only came about during the last century or so, mankind was utterly dependent on salt as a food preservative. Therefore, cities and societies hovered around areas that contained salt mines -- e.g., Salzburg in Austria and the many English cities whose name ends in "wich" (salt) -- such as Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich and Leftwich. Salt shaped civilization -- and was so valuable it served as currency, influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions.  So in an important respect, this book serves to illuminate conventional history.
 
However, this book is also culinary history, given salt's role in food. So it also provides a procession of facts about food from caviar to ketchup, and much more in between.


 
Written by the chief historian at HISTORY, this is a chronicle of the evolution of American cuisine and culture, from before Columbus's arrival to today.

Did you know that the first graham crackers were designed to reduce sexual desire? Or that Americans have tried fad diets for almost two hundred years? Why do we say things like "buck" for a dollar and "living high on the hog"? How has economics, technology, and social movements changed our tastes? Uncover these and other aspects of American food traditions in The American Plate.
 
Peppered throughout with recipes, photos, and tidbits on dozens of foods, from the surprising origins of Hershey Bars to the strange delicacies our ancestors enjoyed, such as roast turtle and grilled beaver tail.


For years, we have believed that the genetics were directly determinate of our traits. Yet scientists have determined that the expression of the similar genetics can vary widely, and can be heavily influenced by the three "layers" of trillions of cells that sit atop these genetics -- our epigenetics, our microbiome, and our virome. Further, our genetics and these three "layers" can be significantly altered by our environment (for example the notoriously poor eating habits of recent generations) and by direct and intentional manipulation, such as through gene-editing. This brings futurist Enriquez and the Harvard-trained Gullans to proclaim "We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands."
 
Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? How will gene-editing technologies like CRISPR steer the course of human evolution? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species -- or several? The authors conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution -- sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.
 
(In the science category, two additional books deserving recognition are To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science First Edition, a masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, and The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin.

 
In The Deluge, Tooze carefully examines the aftermath of World War I and the years leading up to World War II, and concludes that much of what happened during that period was the result of European countries attempting to adjust to the ascendance and dominance of the United States.
 
In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. The heart of the financial system shifted from London to New York. The insatiable demands of war for men and matériel reached into countries far from the front. The strain of the war-ravaged all economic and political assumptions, bringing unheard-of changes in the social and industrial order.
 
Tooze revisits this seismic moment in history, challenging the existing narrative of the war, its peace, and its aftereffects. From the day the United States enters the war in 1917 to the precipice of global financial ruin, Tooze delineates the world remade by American economic and military power. 

 
The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning addition to the series, historian Howe covers the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent.
 
This book portrays the revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information. These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture. Howe examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs -- advocates of public education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans -- were the true prophets of America's future. In addition, Howe reveals the power of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion culminates in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico to gain California and Texas for the United States. 

 
For me, every year's reading includes a healthy dose of books on economics, and the best among this year's economic crop was Kwarteng's expose of the pattern of war-waging and financial debt -- bedmates that go back hundreds of years, from the French Revolution to the emergence of modern-day China.
 
After discovering the Americas, and under pressure to defend their vast dominion, the Habsburgs of Spain promoted gold and silver exploration in the New World with ruthless urgency. But, the great influx of wealth brought home by plundering conquistadors couldn't compensate for the Spanish government's extraordinary military spending, which would eventually bankrupt the country multiple times over and lead to the demise of the great empire.
 
Gold eventually became synonymous with financial dependability, and following the devastating chaos of World War I, the gold standard came to express the order of the free market system. Warfare in pursuit of wealth required borrowing -- a quickly compulsive dependency for many governments. And when people lost confidence in the promissory notes and paper currencies issued during wartime, governments again turned to gold.

 
So I am newly married to a spectacular woman who was born and grew up in Italy, and then, in her high school years, moved to Panama. For college, she moved to the U.S., where she has lived ever since. So, as you might imagine, I am now busily trying to brush up on my knowledge of both Italy and Panama.
 
For Panama, I found David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas, which tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. The bonus here is that it also tells the story of the Suez Canal, a necessary precedent to understanding the effort in Panama.
 
For my foray in the history of Italy, I read David Gilmour's The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples. It's an eye-opening book which I gladly endorse -- and presumably the first of many more books on Italy which I will be reading. 

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

With the continued rise of terrorism, the need for mutual understanding between cultures has never been more urgent. Religious differences are seen as fuel for violence and warfare. In these pages, one of the greatest writers on religion, Karen Armstrong, amasses a sweeping history of humankind to explore the perceived connection between war and the world's great creeds -- and to issue a passionate defense of the peaceful nature of faith.  
 
With unprecedented scope, Armstrong looks at the whole history of each tradition -- not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism. Religions, in their earliest days, endowed every aspect of life with meaning, and warfare became bound up with observances of the sacred. Modernity has ushered in an epoch of spectacular violence, although, as Armstrong shows, little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions came to absorb modern belligerence -- and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different faiths in our time.

 
"In politics, the man who takes the highest spot after a landslide is not standing on solid ground."
 
In 1964, Lyndon Johnson was elected president in the greatest popular-vote landslide in American history, seemingly bringing with it a long-term era of liberal politics. However, by the 1966 midterms, when Reagan burst forth onto the national stage, the conservative counter-revolution was in full force in a country suddenly riven by riots and protests.
 
The two towering personalities of this era were Johnson, who grows obsessed with dark forces he believes are out to destroy him even as he publicly revels in his triumphs, and, Ronald Reagan, a fading actor years removed from his Hollywood glory who gradually turns toward a new career in California politics. Just as we watch Johnson's crowning moments, we also watch Reagan waiting for Johnson's majestic promises to prove empty before he steps back into the spotlight, on his long journey toward the presidency.

 
Historians tend to minimize the latter half of the 1800s in America -- "The Gilded Age," to use Mark Twain's famed designation for the period. However, far from a footnote, this period deserves consideration as the most robust and important in U.S. history, particularly when it comes to the economy. Immediately after the Civil War, the U.S. became the world's largest economy, and in the ensuing decades went from merely the largest to a nation whose economy was overwhelmingly dominant. In fact, by the dawn of the twentieth century, the U.S. had become almost as large economically as England, Germany and France combined. But this success had its dark side, and that darkness was chiefly the chasm of inequality that arose. In some respects, our present age has echoes of this Gilded Age -- the rise of an extraordinarily wealthy class, global economic dominance, and the accompanying uneasiness of rising inequality.
 
This book covers that period. On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a Chicago labor rally, wounding dozens of policemen, seven of whom eventually died. A wave of mass hysteria swept the country, leading to a sensational trial that culminated in four controversial executions, and dealt a blow to the labor movement from which it would take decades to recover. Historian James Green recounts the rise of the first great labor movement in the wake of the Civil War and brings to life an epic twenty-year struggle for the eight-hour workday. (Incredibly, when the eight-hour day was first successfully introduced as law at the state level in Illinois, the major employers of that time simply ignored it.) Death in the Haymarket is an important addition to the history of American capitalism and the class tensions at the heart of Gilded Age America.

A few more books we commend from the world of popular culture:
 






We hope this list helps -- and we thank you as always for your interest in delanceyplace.com!  Thanks!!

All delanceyplace profits are donated to charity and support children's literacy projects.
About Us

Delanceyplace.com is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.