Friday, June 11, 2010

Stuart Reid of Foreign Affairs Reviews KABOOM by Matt Gallagher in The New Republic

In his review titled "The Boots-Eye View," Reid writes:

...a vivid and introspective chronicle...

...Gallagher gives the book’s characters—there is a Smitty, a Bulldog, and a Doc (but no Tex) much more than the name-rank-hometown exposition that too often flattens soldiers in print.

...appreciate his evocative prose, convincing dialogue, and, especially, telling vignettes of life as an American soldier in Iraq—“the suck,” as he calls the experience.

...If the surge’s creed was counterinsurgency, the army field manual was scripture and Petraeus, its lead author, was the apostle. Gallagher, then, was something of a young disciple. He has trained under a pupil of Petraeus, he carries T. E. Lawrence, he teaches Iraqi history to his platoon, and he quotes the counterinsurgency manual in the field.

...Kaboom suggests that if the American military is to keep soldiers such as Gallagher in the ranks, it will have to learn, as he did, to embrace the suck of counterinsurgency.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Check out Rachel Botsman's talk on Collaborative Consumption at TEDx

Rachel Botsman on Collaborative Consumption

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in The Huffington Post: "Buddhist Insights for Accepting and Respecting Our Emotions"

The author of the forthcoming REBEL BUDDHA: On the Road to Freedom (Shambhala, November 2010) offers a preview of things to come in this insightful piece about our "emotional signature."  Here's an excerpt:

Why don't we pay more attention to understanding our own patterns? We may have a solid financial plan worked out that will buy us a house and pay for our kids' college and our retirement, but we don't give much thought to getting the most benefit out of one of the most precious resources for happiness -- our emotions. Often, we just leave it to chance.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Terracotta Typewriter: A Cultural Revolution of Literature Interviews Peter Hessler

"Terracotta Typewriter is a literary journal with Chinese characteristics," and has an interview with Peter Hessler in the latest issue, which can be downloaded here.