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Recommended reading / viewing / listening

July 4, 2011

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. The Greatest Mysteries of the Moon
By Adam Hadhazy | Space.com | July 1
“Although it is the closest celestial body to us, the moon still harbors secrets aplenty. … The great gray and white orb in our sky never veers much nearer than 225,000 miles … and getting there is no easy feat, especially in the case of manned missions. No human has left boot prints in the lunar regolith since 1972.”

2. The Haiti secrets from WikiLeaks uncovered
The Nation and Haiti Liberte | June 1
“The cables from US Embassies around the world cover an almost seven-year period, from April 17, 2003 — ten months before the February 29, 2004, coup d’état that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide — to February 28, 2010, just after the January 12 earthquake that devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding cities.”

3. The Housemaid | Death and Delight
By David D. Robbins Jr. | The Fade Out | July 2
“It says something tragic too, that fifty years later, a remake of “The Housemaid” opens and closes with meticulously choreographed suicide pieces: the cynicism of the past carrying over into the present.”

4. Diplomacy 2.0 and the expanding world order
By Mathieu Labreche | Toronto Review of International Affairs | June 30
Carne Ross: “My experience in diplomacy is that it is far too secret — the worst decisions are made in secret, often by very small and under-informed groups of people. Above all, officials and governments should be held accountable for what they do.”

5. The Obama Doctrine Defined
By Douglas J. Feith & Seth Cropsey | Commentary Magazine | July 2011
“The United States under Barack Obama is less assertive, less dominant, less power-minded, less focused on the American people’s particular interests, and less concerned about preserving U.S. freedom of action.”

6. Marlon Brando’s Lost Musical Innovation
By Felix Contreras | NPR | July 3
“The Oscar-winning actor was also an amateur drummer and an inventor with four patents to his credit. “

7. Who Was George G. Meade?
By Allen Guelzo | Civil War Times | July 2
“George Gordon Meade won fame as the victor of the Battle of Gettysburg, but not lasting fame. Unlike the commanders of other great battles (Wellington at Waterloo, Eisenhower at D-Day), Meade has always stood in the shadow of the man who lost the battle, Robert E. Lee.”

8. Civil War Shipwrecks: What Remarkable, New 3-D Images Reveal
Associated Press | June 30
“Federal researchers are practically giddy about the ability of sonar technology to show what long-sunken Civil War ships look like under water.”

9. How Tom Cruise Beat Charlie Sheen for ‘Born on the Fourth’ of July Role
By Tim Appelo | The Hollywood Reporter | June 29
“Sheen thought he was a shoo-in for the career-making part, because his previous Vietnam film for [Oliver] Stone, ‘Platoon’ (1986), had grossed $138 million domestically and won Stone his first directing Oscar.”

10. The Italian occupation of Libya
By Jeb Sharp | How We Got Here :: PRI’s The World | March 16, 2011
“The World’s Marco Werman interviews historian Ronald Bruce St John about the Italian occupation of Libya in the first half of the 20th century and its ramifications today.”

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