Three books that I would like to read (but haven’t been written)
February 4, 2009
- An “expanded 20th anniversary edition” of Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. The book was an instant classic when it came out in 1989. It remains an entertaining story of 1980’s Wall Street. The book has recently taken on additional significance as it tells the story of collateralized mortgage obligations. Also, some interesting stuff has happened to a couple of the figures in the book. John Meriwether was the head of the infamous Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund and Lew Ranieri went on to found a bank that failed in 2008. Also, the book was the start of a great writing career for Lewis. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see this book as Panic (a collection edited by Lewis) covers some/most of this ground.
- A continuation of The Nightingale’s Song by Michael Timberg. This book is a story of how Vietnam shaped five graduates of the Naval Academy. The people in question being John Poindexter, John McCain, Bud McFarlane, Oliver North, and Jim Webb. As the book was written in the mid-90’s, it comes to an end after Oliver North’s failed Senate run in 1994. 12 years later, Jim Webb would run for and win the very same seat. John McCain has had an eventful few years as well.
- A story of the collective Navy Individual Augmentee experience. Thousands of sailors have been integrated into Army or joint units serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. (In 2007 the Chief of Naval Operations noted that there were more sailors on the ground in the Middle East than at sea). Stories like that of hurricane forecaster Stacy Stewart need to be told. I could see this taking the form of a prefatory essay followed by anecdotes of sailors broken down by various parts of the experience (Reservists receiving their mobilization orders, going through Army training, experiencing combat, coming home, etc.) It’s a unique part of Navy history that needs to be recorded for posterity.