Of Rogues and Roads

While I'm sitting in the nice, air conditioned room trying to cool off,
I figured why not post a brief reading update on the site. I have
nothing better to do. Plus it's much more enjoyable than cleaning the
house like I should be doing.
    First up is Rogue Nations from the Opposing Viewpoints Series.
Edited by Louise Gerdes, the collection of short essays covers the
length of the political spectrum, from former UN  Ambassador John
Bolton to left-leaning political theorist Edward S. Herman. The
collection's various authors weigh in on the perceived threats, (if
any) to the US and global security in general by such "rogue" nations
such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan. Other essays debate what
measures, if any the US and the global community should take to counter
such threats: preemptive military strikes, missile defense shields or
other means.
    This was a very straightforward, no frills look
at the ongoing debate regarding rougue nations. Since it was written
for a high school or college audience, it had an obvious academic feel.
Fortunately, it was not super dry and uninteresting. While I liked the
variety of opinions, I suspect those essays representing the far left
part of the political spectrum, (and pretty much all taken from
self-published websites and not peer reviewed journals or mainstream
publications) probably represented minority or perhaps even fringe
viewpoints. But overall, an interesting collection of essays.
    Next up would be Cormac McCarthy's Pullitzer Prize winning novel The Road. Inspired by Book Junkie's recent review l


grabbed McCarthy's novel from my towering stack of
unread books and started reading it. Oh man, what a book. Besides being
the darkest novel I have read in a long time, it is also one of the
best novels I have read in several years. McCarthy, in Hemingway-esque
style, tells the story of a man and his young son traveling on foot
through a bleak, depopulated, nuclear winter-ravaged landscape roughly
ten years after an unnamed holocaust has destroyed civilization. What
few survivors they do encounter are mere shells of their former human
selves. Primitive tribalism and murderous cannibalism stalk the land,
begging the question could a person's humanity survive in such an
environment and would it be entirely unfair if it didn't ?

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Filed under Area Studies/International Relations, Fiction

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