Monday, January 2, 2012

December Books

**Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President by Pulitzer Prize winner, Ron Suskind, tells how Wall Street struggled to save itself while a young president with great gifts tries to master the world’s toughest job, and rescue the economy in the first real management job of his life. Suskind is critical of Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Tim Geithner, and Larry Summers, (especially Summers)—all of whom had too much confidence. His heroes are Paul Volker, Gary Gensler (CFTC), Jim Weinstein (CECS) and Pete Rouse. The ensemble cast ranges from the titans of high finance to a new generation of reformers, from petulant congressmen and acerbic lobbyists to a tight circle of White House advisers—and, ultimately, to the president himself, as you’ve never before seen him. Based on hundreds of interviews and filled with piercing insights and startling disclosures, Confidence Men brings into focus the collusion and conflict between the nation’s two capitals

*Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson captures s the intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries ( personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing). Jobs , warts and all, is still portrayed as a creative genius who realized the power of integrating design, creativity and technology. Isaacson’s masterful biography is “instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.”

The Lion in Winter by James Goldman originally opened on Broadway in 1966, was the basis of two successful movies and an excellent 2011 performance by Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theater Company. Set during Christmas 1183, the play opens with the arrival of Henry's wife , whom he has had imprisoned since 1173. The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, their three surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John, their guest, Phillip II of France. Historically creative, the script is beautifully written, and “explores themes of dysfunctional family, political maneuvering, war and peace, as well as aging, death, inheritance, and posterity.”

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