January 2013: A Bigass Stack of Goals

Innovation Patterns | January 2013

Too much to read. As problems go, a good one to have, and I've already started a few of these.

The Swerve and Secret Agenda have both been equally engrossing and the resonances are many & strange. Swerve is about the birth of modern English speaking culture and ten thousand fascinating threads of prior history, while Agenda is focused solely on the characters and background of the "Watergate" break-in and Nixon's subsequent removal from the White House. Both are ultimately reminders that even digging up huge tomes of journalism from the 1980's doesn't cut it for an education, and I need to dig back into far older sources.

Yeah...maybe in February, we'll see. Meanwhile, I have a whole bunch of parapolitics on tap. So far Thy Will Be Done is devastating because it is wicked artfully written, while also being a meticulously researched horror story. Grateful to have a good copy, it gets pretty dang expensive even used.

Katharine the Great is about Katharine Graham and her interesting methods for maintaining control and command of her inherited media empire. The woman has been involved peripherally in so much skullduggery I feel compelled to understand her better. I also implicitly trust Deborah Davis as an author, mostly because she is pretty and smart and I am lonely and dumb.

I'm re-reading the Dobbs book Six Months in 1945. As I've mentioned elsewhere, even if his breezy God's eye view account is a full fifty percent horseshit, it's still one the best books I've read lately. Great storytelling and a compelling Big Picture Theory. I am reviewing it with Wikipedia and Spartacus Educational and, you know, other books.

Spooks is also a Jim Hougan book and, on good advice, "probably his best." I have yet to crack it open because Secret Agenda has me hooked -- which bodes well for this one, right?

The final three are going to be slow reading for me, mostly because I have realized, the more I study up, that my memory is a storyteller at best and even on good days, still a liar. Many years of re-thinking are in order.

The Winston Scott biography was published academically and represents a huge constellation of connected dots I will not be able to fully process for many moons. (Many many type "many.") Subversives is a history of California's "war on student activists," a subject with obvious lessons for #Occupy. I am especially interested in the relationship between the FBI and the nascent Reagan machine.

Finally, I am shamefully late in picking up the McPhilemy book The Committee: Political Assassination in Northern Ireland. He has already lost and won lawsuits over the contents of this book, and it's a story that shapes my own family history so I'm definitely curious to get a journalistic take on it.

As always, thank you for the donations. I'm not kidding when I say it all goes to books.


  1. Yeah brother-in-law got me Tim Weiner's CIA Legacy of Ashes book. I hadn't read it before even though a coworker was prominently displaying it. I knew it was sorely lacking. To confirm this I just looked up the Jim Hougan angle on it from a Counterpunch review.

    Oh well here's another Watergate Weiner expose: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/09/getting-watergate-history-right/


    Check out the long list of Weiner's CIA omissions. Churns the stomach to think people read Weiner as some definitive history book.

  2. I had avoided it altogether just based on the author. Appreciate the extra details, though, this helps me build out an article I've been working on for years now.