Despite not having even come near to finishing my last order from Amazon, I have received a new batch of books. I combined an order that I needed to make for my ETA presentation with an order of political books I had wanted/have a want for. Leaving aside the books that have to do with the conference paper I am presenting (graphic novels being the topic), I have the following books (sans one, which is noted):
- A Journey: My Political Life, by Tony Blair
- The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, by Lawrence James
- The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society and Culture in Britain, by Bernard Porter
- Obama’s Wars, by Bob Woodward (only released this week in the US)
- Decision Points, by George W. Bush (released November 9)
I was keen to get Blair’s book when it first came out, but interest eventually waned for it and I blew it off on occasion. However, on the return flight from Vietnam I saw The Special Relationship – the story about Tony Blair and Bill Clinton’s ‘relationship’ through the years they were both in power through the prism of some key events. And, once again, my interest in Tony was back.
I had to buy Bush’s book. He is such an important figure for the first decade of this century and will prove to be a figure for history in that his decisions and actions will have more consequences that I fear we expect. Therefore, anything that explains – from the horse’s mouth – why some of those decision were made is a good start to understand the recent period in history. Similarly, I expect it to be a book that has a serious skew towards Bush and Co. being in the right (much like Palin’s book has) that it will make for a laughable read at points.
The two imperialism books are the final two books I had on my list of ‘must buys’ in order to complete my British imperialism collection. Additionally, Bernard Porter is the same university lecturer that I had years ago for a course that inspired me to make imperialism my unofficial major for my Arts subjects. I have all his books now. I quite like him, obviously.
And Woodward’s book is new and provides a great insight into the decisions surrounding the Afghanistan War – which will prove to be an international problem for us all for a long, long time. I’d like to get my head around it now that I have some free space up there.