Three Links: Three Books

(1) Given the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, which brought to brilliant light an issue too many for too long chose to ignore, one of the more timely paperback releases last week was Radley Balko's provocative book Rise of the Warrior Cop. Glenn Greenwald's endorsement graces the cover of this edition, and he goes considerably further in this piece at his new news site, The Intercept:

"Balko, who has devoted his career to documenting and battling the worst abuses of the U.S. criminal justice system, traces the history and underlying mentality that has given rise to all of this: the 'law-and-order' obsessions that grew out of the social instability of the 1960s, the War on Drugs that has made law enforcement agencies view Americans as an enemy population, the Reagan-era 'War on Poverty' (which was more aptly described as a war on America’s poor), the aggressive Clinton-era expansions of domestic policing, all topped off by the massively funded, rights-destroying, post-9/11 security state of the Bush and Obama years. All of this, he documents, has infused America’s police forces with “a creeping battlefield mentality.”


(2) Peter Mendelsund's new book What We See When We Read is delightfully puzzling -- the sort of thing you're unsure about until the very moment you realize you haven't set it down for nearly an hour. Because it is about what our mind's eye is serving up to us as we read, it's naturally enough hard to fit a description of the book itself purely into words. Thanks to the folks over at the Paris Review for serving up an excerpt-sized taster. Do check it out.  







(3) In his prime and well-beyond, Orson Welles could be one of Hollywood's most ornery visionaries and talents. As demonstrated in the recently transcribed lunch conversations he had with (and that were recorded by) his friend Henry Jaglom, My Lunches With Orson, Welles was as accustomed to holding court off-screen as he was on. Such was the lesson learned (and also recorded) by the producers of this commercial for frozen peas.