God Has A Tiger By The Tail, Reading List

Here are three recent books, any one of which might give you nightmares. They’re a follow-up on my first post of 2016, “God Has A Tiger By The Tail.”

  • “Flash Points: The Emerging Crisis in Europe,” by George Friedman, published 2015.
  • “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath,” by Ted Koppel, published 2015.
  • “This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate,” by Naomi Klein, which was included in the New York Times Book Review list of 100 Notable Books of 2014.

The subtitles above are self-explanatory. The authors need no introduction.

I haven’t started “This Changes Everything.” With a little luck, we have a century or two before climate catastrophe. But we have precious little time to avert it.

I’m about one-third into Ted Koppel’s “Lights Out,” which explores and explains the vulnerability of the American electric grid(s) to cyberattack.  We won’t have to wait a century for this scenario to play out. We could wake up in the middle of the night, any night, and discover that the light switch simply doesn’t work anymore.

I’m well past the halfway mark in “Flash Points,” which recounts the bloody history of modern Europe and examines the scary implications going forward.

It’s embarrassing how little I know about European history in general, and about European geography east of Germany and Italy.

Friedman’s book provides a crash course on European history and culture before 1914. I already knew a little about the WWI and WWII years, but it’s important to be reminded over and over about the horrors of those 31 years. And now, thanks to Friedman, I’m learning for the first time about “flash points” on the new map of Europe that emerged following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

So take your pick. War in Europe. Life without electricity. An overheated climate.

Sleep well.

— John Hayden


5 thoughts on “God Has A Tiger By The Tail, Reading List

    • I’ll have to look for “The Coming Plague.” Epidemic or pandemic along the lines of the 1918 influenza pandemic is a scary scenario. Recently there’s been a lot in the news about a virus that seems to be spreading from Brazil. In addition to viruses, we now have drug-resistant infections. If it ever gets to the point that antibiotics are rendered ineffective because of resistance, we could be back to a pre-penicillan situation where even minor infections could become more serious and result in death. Before antibiotics, pneumonia used to kill more people than it does now, for instance.

      I recently read a dystopian novel titled “Station Eleven” that started with an extremely infectious and deadly virus. I’ll try to write a post about that book.


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