Monday, July 27, 2015

Dead or Alive (Jack Ryan Jr.,#2) by Tom Clancy, Grant Blackwood (Goodreads Author), Lou Diamond Phillips (Narrator)

3 out of 5 stars  ***

Tom Clancy, God rest his soul, writes political and militarily feasible stories that are current for the time of their writing. One always enjoys the thrill ride he creates in Jack Ryan's adventures.Dead Or Alive includes Jack Ryan Jr., a testament to the volume of work the author shares with generations. 

The antagonists change in the span of Clancy's work, as well; this yarn dealing with radical Muslim terrorists. The Russians and Communists behind the Iron Curtain were the first villains in his initial books. Today, Russian adversaries could bring a Tom Clancy novel full circle as events unfold under Putin's aggressive advances to bring back the USSR. 

The major difference one encounters with this Clancy novel is the feeling one has for the characters. The protagonist's development over the years loses his naivete and innocence, even though he is always brilliant and fair. His sophistication seems to make him a member of the in-crowd with its own posturing language fit for a boys gym. It comes across as corny when this style of writing describes decision-making processes in the White House or other strategic headquarters. The writing is good but, at times, almost cliche with the military dialogue. The plot entertains but becomes predictable and lacks the riveting sensation one experiences with other Clancy novels. 

For these reasons, Dead Or Alive gets three out of five stars.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Foundations Of American Government by David Barton

5 of 5 stars  *****

This companion transcript for the video by the same name is a refreshing return to the truth in History; in particular, the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State.  These issues are in the scope of politics and social reform today.  It is important to return to the beginning, when the First Amendment becomes the introduction to the United States Bill of Rights, to learn the intentions of the founding fathers along with their desires to keep any one religion from ruling America.  This transcript also points out that there are those who wish to distort history to sway populations toward their own political  agendas.

David Barton's scholarly work employs his excellent collection of old and priceless books written by the hands of the remarkable men of their day.  The onus is upon each individual, today, to verify that which is taught in schools.  David Barton's collection of DVD's and books can be found on his website with this transcript and DVD set being a part of Building On The American Heritage Series.