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Missive #281 Published 20 May 2024

An investigation of the back-and-forth between advocates of a strong dollar and those of a weak one.… An engaging outing for financial policy wonks that should also serve as a warning to economic policymakers. — Kirkus Reviews

This book has some good historical information but I knew most of it without reading the book. If you have been paying attention to what has been going on for any length of time this book is probably not for you.

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Missive #277 Published 13 May 2024

This book reads like dystopia science fiction but it is nonfiction. The author does provide a few lighter moments but generally speaking it is "Dark". I suggest that you read it to get a prediction for the Future™.

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Missive #274 Published 6 May 2024

This is an excellent murder mystery that keeps you guessing right through the end. It has a publication date that precedes the first book of Rickstad's that I read but goodreads.com has it listed as the second book in the series. I'm reading the series in that order and have one book remaining in the trilogy. He has written other books that I'll also read, all in good time. A good author!

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Missive #272 Published 3 May 2024


This is an interesting book that opened my mind to the possible future. It could be read as science fiction although the authors did not write it with that in mind. They are serious that this is the direction the economy will take. I have doubts.

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Missive #271 Published 2 May 2024

If this had been a text for American History, more people would have loved history! Bruce Lancaster brings the people and events to life, and I found myself reading it as though it were a novel. Not only was it history, it was well written history! Henry Knox, Dan Morgan, Francis Marion, von Steuben--all the men who have been just names became living, breathing people. — edited Customer Review @ Amazon

This is an excellent history of the American Revolution. What made it even better, the author was a writer and a novelist that wrote it to be read by the plebs not academic elites. He was also able to write the entire book without using a single footnote. Highly recommended. So far all the books I have read in the Mainstream of America Series are recommended.

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Missive #266 Published 22 April 2024

The third novel [and last] in a World War I alternate history series [Black Chamber] where America's greatest weapon against Germany is Black Chamber secret agent Luz O'Malley and technical genius Ciara Whelan. Only they can protect America's best hope of winning the war.

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Missive #264 Published 19 April 2024


Slot machines, revamped by evermore compelling digital and video technology, have unseated traditional casino games as the gambling industry's revenue mainstay. Drawing on fifteen years of field research in Las Vegas, anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll explores the dark side of machine gambling—a solitary, rapid, continuous form of play that has less to do with the competitive thrill of winning than with the pull of "the machine zone," as gamblers call the trancelike state they enter. 

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Missive #263 Published 18 April 2024

Most of Pollan's books are about food and eating but this one about architecture was very interesting. I enjoy the way he ties the main subject of a book to side issues that relate to that subject. If you expect this book to be a 'how to' build a hut then you will be disappointed but if you want to read a well written book then give this a try. I'll be reading more of his plants, cooking and eating books as time permits.

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Missive #262 Published 15 April 2024

Great book. Not a great novel. But rather a highly thought provoking Socratic dialogue with an agenda to introduce the reader to evidence based, experimentally derived public policy creation and the behavioral engineering world view.
It's important to remember, the book was first published in 1948. So yes, much of it is dated. But it's brash, atheistic, rational, highly pragmatic, dialectical approach would be ahead of its time if it were written in 2019.
Skinner is perhaps the most misunderstood and wrongly maligned Psychologist ever. But in the age of internet based, algorithmic behavioral tracking, behavioral forecasting and behavioral modification, ignore Skinner at your own peril.

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Missive #259 Published 11 April 2024

In the Money is a sequel to White Mule, and the second volume in Dr. Williams's "Stecher Trilogy," but it also stands alone as a novel complete in itself. White Mule is a study of childhood—of the baby Flossie Stecher and her sister Lottie, and their parents, Joe and Gurlie Stecher, of German and Norwegian origin, living in New York before the first World War. In the Money is Joe Stecher's success story—the tale of his fight against graft and injustice to found his own business and get "into the money."

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