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What's on the Nightstand: Lee Cullum

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At Interabang Books we love to ask our customers what they’re reading. We share some of their answers in What’s on the Nightstand, a feature focused on what our friends in the community have been reading (or intend to).

Lee Cullum is a journalist who currently hosts CEO, a series of interviews with business leaders on KERA-TV and FM, the PBS and NPR affiliates in North Texas. At one time editor of the editorial page of The Dallas Times Herald, she has been a regular commentator on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (now the PBS NewsHour) and All Things Considered. Lee is a senior fellow at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies as well as the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture and serves on the board of the American Security Project and the David Boren School of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Once on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany, she is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the InterAmerican Dialogue.

Lee's Nightstand Picks are listed below:

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501107931
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 12th, 2017

This is an intriguing investigation of the omnipresence of energy in world affairs. Pivotal shifts that looked political at the time actually were triggered, at least in part, by the imperatives of oil and gas. The former Soviet Union fell, for example, not just because Gorbachev couldn’t keep up with Reagan’s spending on defense, as long believed, but because the price of oil plummeted to levels disastrously low for the Kremlin’s economy. Due out in paperback soon.

The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501102370
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 13th, 2018

A masterful storyteller, Steil brings to life an extraordinary moment in modern American history when the nation worked mightily to bring its enemies back from the ruination of war. To see in action giants like Harry Truman, George Marshall, and Arthur Vandenberg – an isolationist senator who changed his mind to rebuild Europe – is to recognize what true statesmanship can be.

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143111092
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Penguin Books - December 5th, 2017

This is a fascinating economic history of America from the Nixon era to the crash of September 2008, all seen through the prism of the second longest serving chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was a master of data well before data became the order of the hour. From deep analysis he could divine trends; prospects; dangers; and delirious, irrational exuberance, which he called out in 1996 but not ten or eleven years later when the housing crisis was about to boil over. He still was the man who knew, but he had no appetite for the battle that would be necessary to head off the catastrophe to come. Instead he told himself and others that such action also would be threatening to the economy. Interspersed with the subterranean drama of the Fed is the equally fascinating story of Greenspan’s high-flying social calendar, filled with the courtship of Barbara Walters (not sufficiently enthralled by music to capture him) and Andrea Mitchell, whom he finally married.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062464316
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 3 - 7 business days
Published: Harper - February 21st, 2017

First Yuval Noah Harari, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, astonished many, including Bill Gates and Barack Obama, with SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, which traces through the ages the triumph after triumph of human beings. They won out first over Neanderthals, who were bigger but not as adaptable. Now has come another tour de force. This one argues that humans are actually algorithms whose technological prowess will lead them, eventually, to obsolescence. Then they will vanish as another species takes over, better suited to the tools of the time. This is only a prediction, he stresses, not holy writ. But in HOMO DEUS Harari makes a compelling case that drew me in against my will. I don’t necessarily buy it. Nonetheless he’s too adept a writer and adroit a thinker to be ignored.