EA October 2012

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"The Second World War," By Antony Beevor, Little, Brown and Company, 895 pages.

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Nearly 70 years since it ended, the Second World War still produces a vast volume of books, movies, documentaries and even what this author and historian calls a "remembrance industry."  So why another book at this time?

Since Antony Beevor is the historian producing this nearly 900-page tome, The Second World War, (and the first I have read on a machine, a lot easier to handle on a plane trip but a bit harder to mark)   Beevor provides his own answers to the question, why?

First, that it was the "greatest man-made disaster in history," the number 60-70 million dead beyond comprehension and the sheer size of the numbers "dangerously numbing."

He goes on: "Some people complain the Second World War still exerts a dominating influence nearly seven decades after its end....This phenomenon should hardly be surprising,  if only because the nature of evil seems to produce an endless fascination. Moral choice is the fundamental element in human drama, because it lies at the very heart of humanity itself.

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Perspectives: BEST INVESTMENTS BY GOVERNMENT—EVER

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michael r. nelson

In the first Presidential debate former governor Romney raised the issue of government investment in technology when he criticized the Obama administration for putting "$90 billion into green jobs" and went on to say the government usually “picks losers.”

The truth is many of the best investments governments in the U.S. and Europe have ever made have been in technology, particularly information technologies.  But to judge the benefits it is essential to look at the long-term, to look at the broad impacts of the technologies fostered by government funding, and to recognize that not all technology investments are the same.

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