Sponsored Content

Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

Sunday Morning Open Thread | Main | Great White Buffalo Returns
July 03, 2011

Sunday Book Thread

I did a lot of reading last month while on vacation (the Kindle once again proved invaluable). Most of the stuff I read was just light escapist junk: thrillers, pulp sci-fi stuff, stuff like that. However, I did bring along some slightly deeper reading as well.

I read Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. In spite of the rather hysterical title, the book actually fills a hole in previous reporting on the mortgage crisis of 2008 and the events leading up to it -- particularly the role played by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There was plenty of stupidity and heedlessness to be found on Wall Street, no doubt, but much reportage has downplayed or even ignored the ruinous role played by the quasi-governmental agencies. This book does a good job of showing how these agencies spent years building a political machine that would be impervious to regulation -- either by co-opting the regulators themselves, or through a formidable lobbying arm that would tar opponents as being against the "American dream" of home-ownership. The book is far more serious and well-researched than the hysterical title indicates, and I recommend it to people who want a better picture of what caused the mortgage meltdown. (Phil Angelides would have done well to research this topic before issuing his biased report that shunted all blame on Wall Street while nearly completely ignoring the huge rule played by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the fiasco.)

In a book thread some time back we discussed Eric Chaisson's The Hubble Wars, which in my opinion is one of the best technical histories you can find. But that reminded me of another great book about a big telescope: Ronald Florence's The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope. Florence does a wonderful job of telling the story of how George Ellery Hale pushed the project through to completion despite many obstacles: monetary, technical, and even mental. (My favorite story from this book is that of Milton Humason, who started out on the project as a mule-driver and ended by becoming an astronomer on the big telescope he helped to build.)

I did a little stargazing of my own while on vacation, by the way, and I once again found Terence Dickinson's The Backyard Astronomer's Guide to be an invaluable map to the celestial highways.

What has everyone else been reading?

digg this
posted by Monty at 08:20 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Bleh: "[i]Funding MS research and providing support for M ..."

Steven Seagal Has Personality and Charm of a Rapist: "203 Wait. Steven Seagal is the Steven Seagal of ac ..."

Commissar Hrothgar (hOUT3) ~ [b]This[/b] year in Corsicana - [i]again[/i]! ~ [/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]213 210 >>> Here's a pic: http://tinyurl.com ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: " Kali wasn't such a bad place. Today it's a nightm ..."

boynsea: "Uhh, I have been wrong for a long time. Roswell, ..."

Mr Aspirin Factory, red heifer owner: "John Denver was born in Roswell, NM. ..."

jim (in Kalifornia) [/b] [/s] [/i] [/u]: "210 >>> Here's a pic: http://tinyurl.com/yhv8n4 ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "in service of our mission" [i] Posted by: Moron ..."

jim (in Kalifornia) [/b] [/s] [/i] [/u]: "208 "CO is the most depressing red-to-blue story t ..."

Braenyard: ">>> Here's a pic: http://tinyurl.com/yhv8n4sk ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "(dude was a New Yorker, not a Coloradoan). [i]P ..."

boynsea: ""CO is the most depressing red-to-blue story there ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64