Churchill - The Prophetic Statesman by James C. Humes, Regnery History '12, $27.95, 241 pages, ASIN #1596987758. Index, notes, no bibliography or illustrations.
Few doubt the signal accomplishments of Winston Churchill as a statesman, orator and politician, But little has been written about his uncanny ability to predict future events and phenomena. In his new book, Churchill biographer James C. Humes discusses some of the Prime Minister's noteworthy predictions:
"*In 1911, as Home Secretary, Churchill wrote a memorandm outlining his prediction for Germany's Attack Plan three years before WWI.
"*In 1921, Churchill delivered a speech to the House of Commons that predicted a terrorist threat posed by a fanatical sect of Islam that eerily resembled the very situation President George W. Bush faced in Iraq.
"*In 1946, one year after the end of WWII, Churchill delivered a speech in Zurich predicting the EU, saying 'We must build a kind of United States of Europe' as a key to a peaceful postwar Europe."
"*In 1957, Churchill delivered a speech in London, concluding that the UN's inherent flaws guaranteed its failure."
So how did Churchill manage to pull this off? "Some of it was simply inexplicable prescience," writes the author. "As Richard Nixon said, Churchill was the only 'political leader in history who had his own crystal ball.'" But further, Hume writes, "Churchill's intense study of history allowed him to predict the future, and...his experience as an historian and as a statesman helped him to understand the course of circumstances and events."
Author James C. Humes was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Dwight Eisenhower. He has served as a communications advisor to major U.S. corporations, including IBM and DuPont. He lives in Colorado.
A Jew Among Romans -- The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus by Frederic Raphael, Pantheon '13, $28.95, 336 pages, ASIN #0307378160. Index, select bibliography, notes, unillstrated.
From the book jacket:
"From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Flavius Josephus (37-c. 100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.
"Joseph ben Mattathias's transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant culture they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar's rigor, a historian's perspective, and a novelist's imagination to this prjoect.
"He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus's life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael's insightful portraits of Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so elequently lays out."
Author Frederic Raphael has written more than 20 novels, five volumes of short stories, biographies of Byron and W. Somerset Maugham, and five volumes of his personal notebooks and journals.
I'm Your Man -- The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons, Ecco '12, $27.99, 570 pages, ASIN #0061994987. Index, notes, no bibliography, grouping of b&w glossy images.
From the dust jacket:
"The legend behind such songs as 'Suzanne,' 'Bird on the Wire,' and "Hallelujah" and the poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life -- sex, religion, power, meaning, love.
"Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies' man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan -- 'ordinary silence' -- is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been any thing but ordinary."
Sylvie Simmons is a leading music journalist. She has written both fiction and nonfiction books, has lived at various times in England, America, and France and currently lives in San Francisco, where she writes for MOJO magazine and plays the ukelele.
A Short History of Las Vegas by Barbara Land and Myrick Land, foreword by Guy Louis Rocha, Second Edition, Nevada UPress '04 paperback, 266 pages, ASIN #087417564X. Index, select bibliography, in-text notes, b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the back cover:
"Today's Las Vegas welcomes 35 million visitors a year and reigns as the world's premier gaming mecca. But it is much more than a gambling paradise. In A Short History of Las Vegas, Barbara and Myrick Land reveal a fascinating history beyond the mobsters, casinos, and showgirls. The Lands present a complete story, beginning with southern Nevada's indigenous peoples and the earliest explorers to the first pioneers to settle in the area, from the importance of the railroad and the construction of Hoover Dam to the arrival of the Mob after World War II, from the first isolated resorts to appear in the dusty desert to the upscale, extravagant theme resorts of today. Las Vegas -- and its history -- is full of surprises.
"The second edition of this lively history includes details of the latest developments and describes the growing anticipation surrounding the Las Vegas centennial celebration in 2005. New chapters focus on the recent implosions of famous old structures, and the construction of glamorous new developments, headline-making mergers and multibillion-dollar deals involving famous Strip properties, and a concluding look at what life is like for the nearly 2 million residents who call Las Vegas home."
Journalists Barbara and Myrick Land have collaborated on six books, including a Short History of Reno. Additionally, Barbara Land has written six more books. Myrick Land, an editor of LOOK magazine, mystery writer, and college professor, died in 1998.