Sunday, March 25, 2012

Racing Madness

The biggest body of water I've every raced on was the Chesapeake.  Racing around the British Isles or around the world solo is another mater.   Sport quickly becomes a fight for life.  Two stories of that here.  

1.  Fastnet Force 10, John Rousmaniere (1979),  Force 10 is a mariner's scale to say a violent storm at sea.  In 1979, a force 10 storm ripped though a storm in the Irish Sea during the Fastnet race.  Forty foot waves damaged over half of the 300 boats.  Rousmaniere who was in the race, assembled the stories into a single riveting narrative.  Bought used at the State Department book store with a book plate from "Jane Murdoch."

2.  Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World's Most Dangerous Waters, Derek Lundy (1999).  The world's most dangerous race is the Globe Vendee, a single-handed sailor around the world with no stops.  During the 1996 race, sailor Derek Lundy, a contender for the lead, turned his boat around and sailed hundreds of miles to rescue a fellow racer whose boat was broken and sinking.  Bought new.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Think Globally

Books on globalization aren't new.  There is just more of them.  Here's a few:

1.  The Clash of Civilizations: Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington (1996).  Huntington analyzes the world through 9 civilizations. Bought new. 

2.  The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Friedman (2005).  Friedman's examination of how technology is connecting the world.  Bought used somewhere.

3.  The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, Ian Bremmer (2006). Bremmer presents a helpful theory to understand how nations transition from totalitarian states to democracies.  Received from book signing.

4.  America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark Steyn (2006).   Steyn sees Europe in decline from its falling birth rate and welfare state, and America still able to survive through its ideas but just barely. Bought new.

 5.  Democratic Ideals and Reality, Halford Mackinder (1919, reissued 1942).    Mackinder was an eminent British geographer who suggested that the control of Eastern Europe was vital to control of the world. He formulated his hypothesis as:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland
Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island
Who rules the World-Island commands the world

Influenced the Germans, Russians and Allies leading up to WWII.  Bought used

6.  East and West, C. Northcote Parkinson (1963).   Parkinson, (another English historian--who coined the phrase, "work expands to fill the amount of time you have to fulfill it") examines the back and forth of different civilizations and the reliance of one country on another for defense.  Bought used at the State Department Bookstore.