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Confidence

Henry James

Book Overview: 

This light and somewhat awkward comedy centers on artist Bernard Longueville, scientist Gordon Wright, and the sometimes inscrutable heroine, Angela Vivian. The plot rambles through various romantic entanglements before reaching an uncomplicated, but still believable happy ending. (wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ten; conversation formed indeed the chief entertainment of the quiet little circle of which he was a member. They sat on the terrace and talked in the mingled starlight and lamplight, and they strolled in the deep green forests and wound along the side of the gentle Baden hills, under the influence of colloquial tendencies. The Black Forest is a country of almost unbroken shade, and in the still days of midsummer the whole place was covered with a motionless canopy of verdure. Our friends were not extravagant or audacious people, and they looked at Baden life very much from the outside—they sat aloof from the brightly lighted drama of professional revelry. Among themselves as well, however, a little drama went forward in which each member of the company had a part to play. Bernard Longueville had been surprised at first at what he would have called Miss Vivian's approachableness—at the frequency with which he encountered opportunities for sitting near her and . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is both the first book I've read on the Obama presidency, and the first book I've read by Ron Suskind, and it has left me feeling slightly ambiguous about both. Confidence Men isn't just a book about the Obama phenomenon - it jumps repeatedly back and forth between Wall Street and Washington...more

My liberal friends have two views of President Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected President. The most cynical view is that Obama was always a “Trojan horse,” talking liberal talk while always basically aligned with the interests of corporate America and Wall Street. A more sym...more

First, it struck me as strange to be reading a book about a sitting president’s cabinet. It felt like a forced telescoping (microscoping?) of history. I still have mixed feelings about this. I have never read a book like this before (one about a sitting president’s cabinet). It felt lurid. I coul...more

Ron Suskind’s book provides two valuable services for readers. First is an excellent analysis of the roots of the current financial crisis and second an in-depth and behind-the-scenes description of how Washington reacted to the crisis. Suskind brings to the table an ability to synthesize the exp...more

This is a deeply perplexing book.

In the Woodward/Bernstein tradition of political journalism, this book offers a contemporary view of a political crisis, as it happens, using extensive interviews to provide an 'as-if-you-were-there' intimate perspective.

We see the financial crisis unfold, and it...more

Why did President Barack Obama fall so short of the expectations of the citizens who elected him? What happened to the change he promised? Where did the hope go? Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ron Suskind lays it out in excruciating detail. And for a reader like me (who supported, campaigned,...more

I loved this inside look at the Obama White House by Ron Suskind, whose recent current affairs efforts have been equally stunning. He says that Barack Obama was forced by crisis to change his course dramatically in key areas: the Bush tax cuts, health care, and Wall Street reform were all impacte...more

This has got to be one of the most infuriating books ever written. First, the author knows nothing, and I mean nothing, about the basic economics that underpins the whole debate the book is putatively about. He confuses bank assets with liabilities, the "multiplier effect" with consumption spendi...more

Some people have told me that they thought this book was a “hit piece” on the President. I can't agree; however, it is clearly not written from the perspective of blind love for him either. It seems to be a fair record of events during the first few years of the Obama administration. The story is...more

Four and a half stars.

While I thought this would be a political inside-the-mind-of-the-advisors type of book, there's quite a bit of The Big Short (Michael Lewis) in here too; an explanation of the Wall Street shenanigans that led to the near-collapse of the US economy. Suskind has to spend time...more

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