Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikawa. Kodansha International, 1995. Swordplay, true love, and a man climbing up the side of a cliff. It's not the Princess Bride; it's the story of Musashi, the most famous swordsman of Japan. This is a romanticized, historical Continue reading Review – Musashi
Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond. Norton, 2005. Why did Europe take over North America and not vice versa? Guns, germs, and steel certainly made the immediate difference. Europe didn't acquire those randomly, but rather from specific factors. The Continue reading Review: Guns, Germs, and Steel (Diamond)
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Simon & Schuster, 2006. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is coming up, so no doubt there will be plenty of books in this area. Lincoln Continue reading Review – Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, by James Reston. Faber and Faber, 2002. Saladin became the sultan of a mostly-united Muslim world (where Shia and Sunni were conflicting even then). The European side was Continue reading Review – Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond. Penguin, 2005.What makes a society fail? Diamond looks at a variety of societies, current and past, to explore this, with a framework of several factors, but especially focusing most Continue reading Review – Collapse, by Jared Diamond
I saw a note in the paper that Western Union has sent their last telegram, shutting down a 150-year-old business. Wish I’d known it was coming, I’d have sent "What hath God wrought?" to several people. (I know they just Continue reading The Last Telegram
The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage. Berkley Press, 1998.A history of the telegraph, from its creation on. The author relates the initial optimism about the telegraph to the similar hype about the Internet – as a tool for bringing about world Continue reading Review – The Victorian Internet
Computers, Ltd., David Harel. Oxford University Press, 2003.This is a brief explanation of the limits that computers face: non-computable and intractable problems. At the end of the book, the author spends a little time examining approaches that might get around Continue reading Review – Computers, Ltd.