Reckless Endangerment-Excellent Reporting-Pulitzer Worthy

Gretchen Morgenson has again distinguished herself as the finest reporter of financial matters in the  American free press.  The added research of Joshua Rosner raises the new book RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT to an even higher level of excellence and credibility. Recognition of the full title of this work is essential. RECKLESS-ENDANGERMENT, HOW OUTSIZED AMBITION, GREED, AND CORRUPTION LED TO ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON.

Morgenson’s  and Rosner’s  investigative reporting and writing ( an appropriate description) ) not only tells this nearly unbelievable story but it is a statement about the importance of newspapers and journalists who are committed to upholding the tenants of a free press in a democracy.

The following paragraphs from  RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT  preview the depth to which the book travels to tell the story leading up to the  economic meltdown of 2008 and more disturbingly raises the prospect that at this very moment it may well be happening all over again.

“Just as drug lords know that their products pose hazards to their customers, the Wall Street firms packaging and selling mortgage pools to investors knew well before their customers did that the loans inside the securities had begun to go bad. But with the mortgage mania raging and profits still flowing the investment bankers had no interest in coming clean.”

“The Incident was the first of many times that the heads of organizations accused of improper conduct were not held accountable for the damage they did to shareholders and , later, to taxpayers.”

“Will a debacle like the credit crisis of 2008 ever happen again? Most certainly, because Congress decided against fixing the problem of too-big-to-fail institutions when it had the chance.”

Page by page with incredibly impressive detail , facts and substantiation, Morgenson and Rosner describe  the lead-up to the carnage to the American economy and citizenry, and to the financial crisis that the government is still facing.

There are pages in this book that you simply will not want to believe. However, you will! All of the economic meltdown characters are there with the ironic twist that nearly all of them are still controlling the levers of economic power. The list of key players in the meltdown who are still  on stage  spans pages 305-308!

 

Tom Clancy Back to Back After Ten Years/ Prescient!

Just caught up with Tom Clancy’s fourteenth novel, Dead or Alive.  Published just last year after a ten-year hiatus Clancy has yet another new book just out, Against All Fears ( 2011written with Peter Telep. 

Dead of Alive written in conjunction with Clint Blackwood brings back Jack Ryan, Jack Jr. and many of the familiar Clancy players in the search for the “Emir”  a thinly veiled  hunt for Osama Bin Laden. As always, even though it was written  a year before Bin Laden was shot and killed by Navy Seals, Clancy’s novel in great part nailed the scenario including  ” Hiding in plain sight!”  Every Clancy fan will love the book, thick as always, filled with detail and action.

Of course Tom Clancy novels are most enjoyable if you have had the privilege of reading them in sequence, and I have been that fortunate. Starting with Hunt for Red October  and just finishing Dead or Alive I have read them all and now have Against All Fears in the queue. I would find it difficult to choose one favorite so I will name three of the fourteen! The Cardinal of the Kremlin ( 1988), Clear and Present Danger( 1989),  and Without Remorse ( 1991).

If you have not  read Tom Clancy you have missed the master of intrigue who ties his books to reality and world events in an incredibly prescient manner.

Here is the list in order of publication : The Hunt for Red October( 1984), Red Storm Rising(1986), Patriot Games (1987), The Cardinal of the Kremlin(1988), Clear and Present Danger(1989), The Sum of All Fears(1991), Without Remorse(1993), Debt of Honor(1994), Executive Orders( 1996), Rainbow Six( 1998), The Bear and the Dragon( 2000), Red Rabbit( 2001), The Teeth of the Tiger( 2003), Dead or Alive( 2010), Against All Enemies(2011)  Enjoy! Yes, many are frightenly prescient!

THE HELP , NOW THE MOVIE, BUT READ THE BOOK FIRST!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett has been on the New York Times Best Seller List since its publication in 2009! The Help has enjoyed its incredible success despite an unfavorable initial review by the Times Janet Maslin.

This August, Dream Works releases the movie The Help starring Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone.   Just as I suggested for Water for Elephants,  if you are not one of the millions who have already read the book, do so before seeing the movie !  This may not be an easy screen play. There is no  traditional love story as in Water for Elephants but the book is filled with villains, heroes, secrets, relationships, compassion drama and of course the underlying theme of race relations.  Considerable material  for the big screen.

I read The Help when the ink was barely dry and Stockett told her story with incredible insight!  The Help and their struggles within an imposed social structure are vividly reflected in what in reality is a memoir.  As in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, there is redemption! 

Read the book and then see the movie. We will  have answers in August! I am hoping for a blockbuster!

DUSTING OFF FOUR SINCLAIR LEWIS CLASSICS

Browsing the  “Classics” section in the local library can be truly rewarding and it is a very private place!  I promise, you will have a  “I always wanted to  read that” moment! Move along the shelf to the “L” section and pull four of the very best from Sinclair Lewis.  Main Street,  Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth, and Babbitt.  The stories  are timeless.

Babbitt,  a man in “mid-life crisis” before anyone had coined the term!  Dodsworth, the least likely expatriate,  an adoring  husband following  his adventurous wife into a The Sun Also Rises escapade in Europe.  Elmer Gantry invents and reinvents himself listening to his own voice stepping into the world of traveling tent evangelism.  Main Street, back to  small town America and Minnesota roots with a dash of Prairie Home Companion, long before Garrison Keillor was born.

We all look to the New York Times Best Seller List but obviously so many of the great ones have already been written.  Visit or re-visit Sinclair Lewis and you will quickly forget that these books were published in the 1920s.  They are equally if not more relevant today and the beauty of the writing is nourishing to the mind and soul.