Empire of Borders: The Expansion of the U.S. Border Around the World by Todd Miller

  This book is timely as the U.S. continues to expand its military might to the level of the closest ten other countries in the world. Excellent investigative journalism reveals how the United States is outsourcing its border patrol abroad and essentially expanding its borders in the process. Also, our President’s highly publicized focus on the “Wall” between the U.S. and Mexico is missing the bigger picture of strengthening border enforcement around the world. These borders have expanded thousands of miles outside our territory to encompass not only American land but Washington’s interests. Resources, training and agents from the U.S. […]

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Book Review-Non Fiction; The Road Not Taken

This book is not only a biography of a pivotal, yet interestingly unknown figure but a work of history with diplomatic, political, and military implications which force us to rethink our understanding of recent American history. With the endless wars continuing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, this seemed like a good time to read a book which puts the Vietnamese war into a new perspective. A war which, according to the author, 2.7 million American troops had passed through, (500,000 troops by 1967), the conflict claimed the lives of 58,000 Americans and 3.6 million Vietnamese and when we left, it […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give

BOOK REVIEW OF, With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give By Ken Stern Reviewed by Mark D. Walker Former NPR CEO analyses the not for profit sector he knows so well. At the very beginning he states, “This book is not my story. This is a story about how the charitable sector lost its way.” The scope of the charitable sector the author critiques is immense and very complex–1.1 million organizations, 10% of the national workforce, and $1.5 trillion in annual revenues. The sector continues to grow and yet as the author contends, […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: WINNERS TAKE ALL: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

WINNERS TAKE ALL: The Elite Charade of Changing the World By Anand Giridharadas Reviewed by Mark D. Walker Based on a growing awareness of the increased income inequality in the U.S. and around the world, this insider’s investigation on how global elites promote “global change” at least partially has resulted in it being one of the most read books in the country at this time. The author also tells how this group ends up preserving the status quo and obscures the role these same “experts” play, causing some of the same problems they seek to solve. This former New York […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: The Line Becomes a River

The Line Becomes a River By Francisco Cantu Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I met the author at the “NONFICTIONNOW” conference late last year where over 400 non-fiction writers, teachers, and readers from around the world gathered to explore the past, present and future of nonfiction. Cantu was the keynote speaker and was interviewed at the iconic Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix. Listening to Cantú, it became obvious that the border was in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age

The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan Reviewed by Mark D. Walker This book provides an inside look at the secret world of elite philanthropists whose wealth has increased over the years and how they’re wielding increased power to influence American life in ways both positive and negative. My friend, Peter Nagle, the President of Carlton & Company where I’ve been a V.P. and Senior Counsel for many years, sent me the book because it “has a lot to tell us about major gifts, what is going on in the present day and […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History”by Siddhartha Mukherjee Reviewed by Mark D. Walker Interest in the power of the gene has heightened by the popularity of the numerous ancestry testing sites, like 23 & Me, which is the one I used to find out that I was 99% “Northwestern” European, which included Britain and Ireland (this would also include Scotland, which wasn’t a surprise) but the “Irish” ancestry was. The book provides a comprehensive history of the most intimate science of our time—the fundamentals of heredity. What better person to tell this story than the author of The Laws of Medicine […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: The Age of Inequality: Corporate America’s War on Working People

The Age of Inequality: Corporate America’s War on Working People Edited by Jeremy Gantz Reviewed by Mark D. Walker A culmination of forty years of reporting by investigative reporters and progressive thinkers focuses on one of the key issues of our time, a steady movement towards an oligarchy in which ever more resources are being concentrated in an every smaller segment of our population. The richest 1 percent of Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 90%, while the country’s median household income is less today than it was in 1989. The great struggles of U.S. history, from the […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind By Yuval Noah Harari Reviewed by Mark D. Walker The author takes us on a sweeping trek through the history of our species. His encyclopedic approach covers most of the great turning points of mankind, the agricultural revolution, scientific revolution and what unifies mankind. The author’s all-encompassing perspective is summarized as, “One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. This opens some very interesting questions, which the author deals with, like how did our species succeed and become dominant. Why did […]

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Book Review – Non-fiction: Restoring the Soil: How to use green manure/cover crops to fertilize the soil and overcome droughts

Book Review of “Restoring the Soil: How to use green manure/cover crops to fertilize the soil and overcome droughts” By Roland Bunch Reviewed by Mark D. Walker As the UN meets to discuss climate change and young people demonstrate around the globe for leaders to take action, this provides the perfect backdrop for the second edition of this book. Small landed farmers around the world face some of the harshest growing conditions globally, yet they produce the majority of the world’s food. Soils in these areas often lack nutrients and water holding capacities, due to erosion or poor soil structure. […]

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