Bloomberg editors have noticed that the world is on fire. There are demonstrations and unrest in Lebanon, Chile, Spain, Iraq, Sudan, Russia, Uganda, Peru, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and others. That “other” is Iran, where the Internet has been shut down and rampaging protesters are burning down the Central Bank.
Hong Kong at least deserves a separate mention. It is really the bellwether for the fate of China. The Chinese government may be edging toward their Tienanmen moment in the former British colony. Bloomberg’s survey of the global world disorder omitted the two biggest trouble spots: Britain’s Brexit crisis — of which no more need be said for now — and the simmering political conflict in the United States.
Attorney General Bill Barr enunciated the anti-liberal manifesto at a speech before the Federalist Society. Barr offers an ideological explanation for the rebellion against the establishment in a way Trump, being Trump, never could. As such it is the first genuinely post-Trump political development in conservative ranks. The Barr declaration means the attempt to isolate the causes of the 2016 rebellion to one man has decisively failed. It is now a cause of its own, bigger than Trump.
The media are missing the biggest story since the fall of the Soviet Union. Something strange is upending the world and it’s almost as if they’ve made up their minds to be the last to know.
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Appeasement: Chamberlain, Hitler, Churchill, and the Road to War, by Tim Bouverie. Drawing on deep archival research and sources not previously seen by historians, this groundbreaking history chronicles the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Hitler’s domination of Europe.
Revolutionary: George Washington at War, by Robert E. O’Connell. An introduction to Washington before he was Washington. This book from an acclaimed military historian is a bold reappraisal of young George Washington, an ambitious if reckless soldier destined to become the legendary general who took on the British and, through his leadership, defined the American character.
God: A Human History, by Reza Aslan. “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.” This innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition, according to Aslan. In this book, not only does he take us on a history of our understanding of God but tries to get to the root of this humanizing impulse.
The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, by Martin Gurri. This book tells the story of how insurgencies, enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere, have mobilized millions of ordinary people around the world. It also ponders whether the current elite class can bring about a reformation of the democratic process, and whether new organizing principles, adapted to a digital world, can emerge from the present political turbulence.
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Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with your friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
Open Curtains by George Spix and Richard Fernandez. Technology represents both unlimited promise and menace. Which transpires depends on whether people can claim ownership over their knowledge or whether human informational capital continues to suffer the Tragedy of the Commons.
The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea, how China is restarting history in the Pacific.