Book Picks

1. Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him: Humberto Fontova

  • By the end of the preface, he’s pinned 14,000 executions on Guevera and credited positive portrayals to the public relations work of Castro and the laziness of biographers.
  • Presenting a failed physician, an inept guerrilla and a hapless sycophant, Fontova adds insult to injury by claiming Che was “deathly afraid to drive a motorcycle.”
  • He was a violent Communist who thought nothing of firing a gun into the stomach of a woman six months pregnant whose only crime was that her family opposed him.
  • And he was a hypocrite who lusted after material luxuries while cultivating his image as a man of the people.

2. Young Stalin: Simon Sebag Montefiore

A mastermind of bank robbery, protection rackets, arson, piracy and murder, he was equal parts terrorist, intellectual and brigand.

3. The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life): Rich Gold, John Maeda

Gold, a scientist, inventor and artist who worked at times for the toy company Mattel and the legendary Xerox PARC research labs

4. Evocative Objects: Things We Think With: Sherry Turkle

  • These essays reveal objects as emotional and intellectual companions that anchor memory, sustain relationships, and provoke new ideas.
  • the simplest of objects–an apple, a datebook, a laptop computer–are shown to bring philosophy down to earth.
  • The notion of evocative objects goes further: objects carry both ideas and passions. In our relations to things, thought and feeling are inseparable.
  • the role of objects in design and play, discipline and desire, history and exchange, mourning and memory, transition and passage, meditation and new vision.
  • Turkle pairs each autobiographical essay with a text from philosophy, history, literature, or theory, creating juxtapositions at once playful and profound.

Table of Contents and Sample Chapters

5. Still Life With Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy: Mark Doty (The Austin Chronicle: Books: Review)

6. Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance: Joshua Glenn, Carol Hayes

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