Book review: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Issacson – Great portrayal of a genius yet troubled mind

Steve Jobs was a complex person. Mr. Issacson has done an admirable job of presenting a balanced portrayal that delves into the creative as well as destructive side of Steve Jobs. The narrative is smooth and engaging. Details drawn from hours of personal time with Mr. Jobs and meticulous interviews with people in his life are reflected in the richness of the text. I listened to the audio version and the narrator did justice to the long yet compelling book. The epilogue in the authors own voice just adds to the depth – highly recommended!


Book Review “Game Change” : Detailed and through analysis of critical events in the Obama journey to the white house


“Game change” is a really good book. The authors successfully provide a very detailed and thorough analysis all the events surrounding the 2008 presidential election. I thought it was particularly interesting the way the book highlighted the selection of Sarah Palin and how the McCain camp had Joe Lieberman as their candidate right up to a couple of days before the announcement and how that dynamic changed at the last minute. Detailed account of how the McCain team had to bring in Sarah Palin without a lot of background checks. It was also very interesting to learn about Obama and his rise and the way Bill and Hillary and and their camp reacted to his rise.

It’s very interesting to follow because all the figures are those we saw during the campaigns. We see their public faces and can guess what was going on behind-the-scenes. This book in some cases validates those feelings and other points provides insight into the key decisions and decision-makers that shape a presidential campaign.

I think any political junkie will enjoy this narrative a lot!

Book review – Red Heat: Conspiracy, Murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean by Alex von Tunzelmann


Epic, sweeping & meticulously researched saga

Epic, sweeping & meticulously researched saga of the tumultuous 20th century history of the Caribbean islands. Alex puts in lot of hard work in writing the history for her readers. And it shows. Also I love the fact that she is able to bring out the human nature of the historical figures, instead of just making them dry caricatures. We are all human and sometimes it best to understand history within the context of the frailties and pitfalls of human nature. The sequence describing the tantrum thrown by Papa Doc when his daughter went off with her disgraced husband is an excellent example of this type of historical narrative.

My only grudge is that this is really 3 books combined in one – History of Cuba, that of Haiti & of the Dominican Republic. Although intertwined, each would have made a compelling narrative on its own. I felt towards the end not enough justice was done to telling the story of Castro & to some extent Che. At one point I got on Netflix and watched a documentary on Castro which gave me lot more information.

That doesn’t take away at all from the compelling nature of this book. It should be required reading for any student of Caribbean history. And a pleasurable, informative and fascinating read for any history buff.

The audible narrative is also pleasant and the reader captures the spirit of the book well, along with her emphasis on French pronunciations which makes it even more interesting.

Thanks Alex for another wonderful historical read (following Indian summer)

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