PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN VENUE. As those who attended the February meeting know, Barnes and Noble Metro Center is renovating the store and will be getting rid of the community table. We will be trying out the Barnes and Noble Scottsdale location. We will be meeting either at the tables at the front of the store, or at a table they have at the back of the store. I know it is further north, but please try to attend. Also, if time allows, we will be choosing book selections for our May through July meetings, so come prepared with new and exciting ideas!
In March we will be reading three selections that fit the theme “War, Intelligence, and the Illusion of Safety”: Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by, Eric Schlosser, Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War, edited by, Roy Scranton and Matt Gallagher, and Red Badge of Courage by, Stephen Crane.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by, Eric Schlosser
Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved--and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.
Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War, edited by, Roy Scranton and Matt Gallagher
Consider these lines from the preface to Fire And Forget, a collection of short stories by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
On the one hand, we want to remind you ... of what happened ... and insist you recollect those men and women who fought, bled, and died in dangerous and far-away places. On the other hand, there's nothing most of us would rather do than leave these wars behind. No matter what we do next, the soft tension of the trigger pull is something we'll carry with us forever.
Veterans Roy Scranton and Jacob Siegel edited the collection, and each has a story in it.
Scranton served in the Army from 2002 to 2006 and was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He's currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Princeton University English Department. Siegel is a captain in the New York National Guard, which he joined not long after Sept. 11. He served in Iraq from 2006 to 2007 and in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He edits The Daily Beast's Hero Project blog, which showcases the writing of veterans and covers issues pertaining to vets. Siegel and Scranton first met through the NYU Veterans Writing Workshop.
The Red Badge of Courage by, Stephen Crane
Bored with farm life, and anxious for some excitement, Henry Fleming sets off to join the Union troops fighting the Civil War. An inexperienced fighter, he is anxious to get into battle to prove his patriotism and courage. He swaggers to keep up his spirits waiting for battle, but when suddenly thrust into the slaughter he is overcome with blind fear and runs from the field of battle.
He is ashamed when he joins the wounded, for he has not earned their "red badge of courage" and becomes enraged when he witnesses the death of his terribly maimed friend. In a confused struggle with his own army's retreating soldiers, he is wounded but not by enemy gunfire. In an effort to redeem himself in his own eyes, he begins to fight frantically
The unnamed battle in the novel has been identified as that as Chancellorsville. While considered one of the most compelling stories of warfare of all time, Stephen Crane had never seen a battle when he wrote The Red Badge of Courage in 1895.
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Reminder: We usually choose 2-3 books per month. You're welcome at our meeting whether you read all or none of the books. We read fiction, nonfiction, and plays, and usually try to cover 1 piece of classic literature monthly. We read books reviewed or mentioned on NPR, and try to mirror NPR's tone at our meetings: thoughtful, polite discussion & commentary, with no arguing or posturing, and no sacred cows or unmentioned elephants in the room.
Suggested Donation: $1, at the meeting. If you are able to make a $1 donation at the meeting, this is appreciated as it helps defray the monthly charge that Meetup.com applies to the group Organizer.