as interpreted by Paul V. Hartman
Best of Contemporary Reading

                       Society and Culture
"The Alphabet Versus the Goddess"      Leonard Shlain
     Remarkable insights into how television is driving a return to an image (right
brain) culture while a literate (left brain) culture spirals into decline. Also, the
author's remarkably absurd conclusion that this is a GOOD thing.

"God in the Dock"                       C.S. Lewis
     48 brief, cogent essays, which illuminate the Christian religion, by one of 
its most gifted spokesmen. 

"Paved With Good Intentions"            Jared Taylor
     How the civil rights efforts have resulted in unfortunate consequences.

"China - Alive in a Bitter Sea"         Fox Butterworth
     A journalist's insights into a still little examined mass culture.

"The Bell Curve"                        Herrnstein and Murray
     The truth about intelligence and culture in the modern world.

"Free To Choose"                        Milton Friedman
     Why unfettered capitalism is the best of all economic systems.

"Alien Nation"                          Peter Brimelow
     How current immigration policies are destroying the fabric of American society.

"Hollywood vs. America"                 Michael Medved
     How Tinsel Town has declared war on traditional values.

"A Nation of Victims"                   Charles Sykes
     America's obsession with victimhood, and how anyone can claim it for political

"The End of the World"                  Otto Friedrich
     At many points in history, people have thought they were truely in the End Times;
things could not get worse. This is that history.
"In Patagonia"                          Bruce Chatwin
    A delightful travel book, this one of the southern tip of South America.

"The Incredible Eskimo"                 Raymond de Coccola
    Everyone should have some knowledge of the culture of the oldest New World 

"The Rituals of Dinner"                  Margaret Visser
    A history of human habits when dining with others.
"The Tragedy of American Compassion"     Marvin Olasky
    America was steadily improving the lot of the common man for 200 years until the 
modern American Liberal took over 40 years ago.

"Paradigms Lost"                         John Simon
    Reflections on Literacy, and its decline.

                       Science and Related
"Grammatical Man"                       Jeremy Campbell
     The presence of Entropy in everything from language to DNA.

"The Control of Nature"                 John McPhee
     The curious habit of stubborn humanity contesting nature's most powerful forces.

"The Ascent of Man"                     J. Bronowski
     The companion volume to the acclaimed tv series of the same name on the 
development of science.

"Higher Superstition"                   Gross and Levitt
     How the Looney Left attacks the scientific process for being insufficiently 
Politically Correct.

"The Journey From Eden"                 Brian Fagan
     How the New World came to be populated following the last Ice Age.

"Chaos"                                 James Gleich
     Interesting notions on what seems to be random and chaotic in natural 
processes. (But isn't, really.)

"Wonderful Life"                        Steven Jay Gould
     A gifted scientific story-teller takes on the Burgess Shale and the nature of 

"Science Under Siege"                   Michael Fumento
     How environmental wackos twist myth into kooky "science".

"Bones of Contention"                   Roger Lewin
     A penetrating account of the controversies which have swirled among 
paleoanthropologists on the origins of man.

"The Case For Mars"                     Robert Zubrin
     A compelling account as to why we should be planning now for a manned expedition 
to Mars, for the purpose of colonization.

                American Education and Its Decay
"The Closing of the American Mind"      Allan Bloom
     How higher education is failing democracy.

"Inside American Education"             Thomas Sowell
     What has gone wrong, and how politics are driving it.

"Illiberal Education"                   Dinesh D'Souza
     The politics of race and sex on campus.

                    History and Civilization
"At Dawn We Slept"                       Gordon Prange
     A thoroughly captivating account of the events before, during, and after the 
attack on Pearl Harbor.   

"The Rise of the Greeks"                 Michael Grant
     They didn't get their ideas from Egypt.

"A World Lit Only by Fire"               William Manchester
     Europe's journey from the darkness of the Middle Ages to the brightness of the 

"The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers"   Paul Kennedy
     A history of economic change and military conflict from 1500 to the present.

"The World of the Crusaders"             Joshua Prawer
     We only won the first one.

"The Borgias"                            Clemente Fusero
      A history of the family name that is synonymous with intrigue and betrayal. 
(Translated by Peter Green.)
"The Rising Sun"                         John Toland
     The birth of Imperial Japan and the events in the Pacific in World War 2. 
(Tip: make a chart of the names of the main Japanese characters as you read the 
early chapters.)

"Son of the Morning Star"                Evan Connell
     Custer at the Little Big Horn, told with great human detail in this well 
researched account.
"Undaunted Courage"                      Stephen Ambrose
     The remarkable story of Meriwether Lewis who (with William Clark) opened the 
American West to discovery and settlement during the administration of Thomas 

                      People and Biography
"Racing Through Paradise"               William F. Buckley
     The third volume of Buckley's sailing trilogy: witty, amusing, and opinionated.

"The Moon's A Balloon"                   David Niven
"Bring On The Empty Horses"
     Two easy-reading books about Hollywood at it's greatest: the 30's to 50's.

"Will"                                  G. Gordon Liddy
     They don't make 'em like this any more.
"A Canticle for Liebowitz"               Walter Miller
     Centuries after the Flame Deluge scoured the earth, there were those who kept 
alive the Ancient Knowledge...

"Camp of the Saints"                     Jean Raspail
     What does France do when 800,000 poor and starving, disease-infested Indians 
who have hijacked 100 ships invade its sunny Mediterranean beaches? This 1973 
politically incorrect book could not be published today.
"Cold Mountain"                          Charles Frazier
     A slice of Civil War era culture through the eyes of a man who walks away from 
the conflict. Pure poetry.

The Aubrey/Maturin Novels                Patrick O'Brian
     This popular series reached 21 volumes, portraying Captain Jack Aubrey 
(British Royal Navy), and Steven Maturin (physician, naturalist, and intelligence 
officer). The series focuses on the naval events surrounding the Napoleonic Wars and 
the War of 1812. Vivid historical color and great characterizations.