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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten


Truman - ROY JENKINS An interesting, though not terribly well written book. Truman often comes across as naive, clumsy, impulsive and, at times, downright stupid. It's all the more surprising at the end to find Churchill saying he thought that no one during the postwar period did more to protect the world from the danger posed by Soviet Russia - and Jenkins apparently agrees with this. It makes you wonder whether intelligence isn't somewhat overrated.

The part I found most memorable concerned Truman's relationship with Kansas City machine boss Tom Pendergast, an unsavoury character who dominated Truman's early political career. When Truman met Stalin for the first time, his initial impression was positive. "I like Joe Stalin," he apparently said. "He reminds me of Pendergast."