Does the truth not matter any longer? Has the perception of reality become more important than the reality itself? Post Truth examines these strange times when ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ are terms that are in use on a daily basis, a major political party claims that climate change is a hoax, the President negates solid evidence to claim he is right, including on his inauguration attracting the largest number of people, and the media is so partisan that you don’t know who to believe anymore. The book raises these important questions and offers a few solutions, the most important being calling out a lie when you see it. The style of the book is academic (references, quotes from other books), that takes a bit of the joy out of the reading.
Coates offers advice to his son on the race politics in the United States. On what does it mean to be a black person in this country. The fear of a father of his son getting hurt by a police force that is hopelessly prejudiced, the streets where one wrong move can mean end of life, the ghettoing of an entire race – Coates writes with a visceral lucidity that brings these to life. It makes you think and take a look at the continuous divide that is not going away anytime soon. Sadly, Coates doesn’t offer a solution. Even though his anger at decades of slavery and his bitterness with who he calls ‘the dreamers’ is justified, you are left looking for answers in the end.
Read, for a quick introduction to race relations in the US.
An interesting book on how six drinks – beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca Cola have contributed in shaping the world history. It is an interesting premise and the narration convincing. The accident birth of beer and then wine in grape-growing areas – and its contribution to Greek and Roman cultures, the discovery of science of distillation in Arab world and birth of hard liquor, Arab world’s response of coffee to intoxicating drinks not allowed in Islam and coffee houses serving as social settings of like minded people – businessmen, artists and scientists. The politics of tea, its popularity in Britain and the opium wars (that could easily have been called tea wars) with China and identification of Coca Cola with American values. The book is an easy read, full of fun facts and anecdotes, and tells a captivating story.