Why IcelandA plethora of books have appeared the past few years seeking to explain the economic crisis that shook the industrialized world in 2008, but few have dealt extensively with the impact of that crisis that emerged even earlier — in 2006 — in the tiny nation of Iceland. For those who have only a passing familiarity with the development of the 2008 collapse, this might not seem to be all that much of a shortcoming: To state the matter crassly, why worry about a nation with a population of a mere 300,000 citizens, when 300 million Americans were wrapped up in their own financial worries?

michael savage bookAs I was listening to Michael Savage’s radio show no more than a year ago, I heard something that might have caused his faithful listeners to scurry for the anti-depressants. (That is, if the host weren’t so steadfast in counseling against their use.) Dejected over his unfair inclusion on a list of individuals banned from travel to Britain, Savage expressed an intention to leave the airwaves in the not-too-distant future. Since then, however, certain events have changed his mind. Not the least of these, I believe, is his desire to fight the good fight against the statist advance under the Obama administration. And the result of this patriotic motivation is his latest book Trickle Up Poverty (TUP).

The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul (with Jack Hunter), Center Street/Hachette Book Group: New York, NY, 2011, 254 pages, hardbound, $21.99. (Available at Amazon.com.)

Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, has jumped on the literary bandwagon earlier this month with the publication and release of his memoirs, Known and Unknown, titled after one of his many abstruse statements and quotes given to the press during one of his infamous press conferences on the “global war on terror”: "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know."

In an age that glorifies specialization, and often threatens to narrow the interests and achievements of individuals to subfields sterilely reduced to less than an intellectual handbreadth, a person who is truly multifaceted and who offers contributions to a broad array of fields is to be received as a treasure. The recent “manifesto” produced by Jaron Lanier — one of the giants of “virtual reality” research — continues to demonstrate that its author is one such individual.