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Thursday, February 28, 2008

More really good books

There are just sooo many good books out there, not to mention magazines and newspapers. Anyway, here are two that I heartily recommend:

Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish by G. Bruce Knecht
This book reads like an adventure story. Knecht recounts the true story of an Australian Fisheries patrol boat chase of a pirate fishing vessel that had been taking Patagonian toothfish (commercially known as Chilean Sea Bass - how the name change occurred is also part of this story) illegally off Heard Island. The chase went on for weeks through incredibly bad weather and under the most difficult legal conditions. The ship was finally boarded with the help of the South African Navy and then sailed to Australia where the crew was put on trial. I won't spoil the ending for you by revealing the outcome.

Unfortunately, the ultimate message is not optimistic. Short of a worldwide effort to stop illegal fishing in order to prevent the total destruction of a species, I doubt that anything can be done (although the example of porpoise-safe tuna fishing might be one way.) I had difficulty putting this book down.

Another very different book is The Offering : A generation offered their lives to America in Vietnam -- One soldiers Story by Tom Cathart. Carhart is also the author of West Point Warriors: Profiles of Duty, Honor, and Country in Battle, also excellent.

Carhart, a West Point graduate writes of his year in Vietnam. It's the most realistic and honest portrayal I have read -- and I've read a lot of literature out of Vietnam. I recommend it most highly.
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