'State Boys Rebellion'
Finished Mark Bowden's 'Guests of the Ayatollah.'
I'd give it a thumbs-up review. But it didn't meet my initially high and excited
expectations. I wanted to know a lot more about Iran and its history. But that wasn't Bowden's goal. I did come away with many useful pieces of knowledge. Among them: A.) Anyone who thinks there's a great Westernized undercurrent in Iran that can be manipulated to our advantage ought to be very careful. There is such an undercurrent. But the same thing was said about Iraq before Saddam's fall -- and look what happened. Ayatollah Khomeini and Muqtada al-Sadr didn't spring from nowhere. B.) Bowden convinced me that, for the most part, Jimmy Carter handled the hostage crisis with great dignity and determination. ...
... Now for my next book: Michael D'Antoni's 'The State Boys Rebellion.'
I'm only a few chapters into it and already in a state of shock how the mentally ill, and those who were thought to be mentally ill, were brutally treated. It begins to explain a bit why it was so difficult to act on the warning signs of the Virgina Tech killer. The mental health system here and elsewhere was so dominated by quackery for decades that there's now an understandable hesitancy to do anything that even remotely smacks of forced commitments to mental institutions. But I'd still argue
that past abuses -- as portrayed in other books, including 'One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest'
-- forced the pendulum to swing too far to the overly cautious we-can't-do-anything side. ...