MAP Book Club - Rigged (1 Viewer)

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RobF

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The poll is done, and our first book is:

Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference by David Shimer.

Thanks for the suggestion to @MT15! The goodreads link above has links to sellers.

Please post below if you're joining in for this book, and update when you've got your copy, so we know when everyone who's reading this one is ready to go and we can get stuck in. (No rush, I think I suggested originally giving everyone a week or so to get hold of a copy).

We'll use this thread for discussion as well. This book is split into two parts (part one, The Hidden History, part two, 2016), with eight chapters in part one and five in part two, so we can try and loosely structure the pace and discussion around those, depending on who's in and how fast we all want to go.

Discussing: Chapter One (Enter Lenin) and Two (The CIA in Italy) starting Thursday 25th.
 
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insidejob

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Has everyone gotten the book who's gonna participate in this go round?

Last night would have been my first chance to start it, but I was spent after a long work day and wanted to do anything but focus.

What we can do for discussion is something like this.

Create individual posts for sections of the book before hand. Use the spoiler function for your thoughts when posting so that people don't accidentally ruin something for themselves.

Have the post title be

RIGGED - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 3

blah blah blah

_______________________________________________________________________

******************************************************************


Then all replies to that section of the book will see that section being discussed at the top of all the replies and it will remain an easy way for the thread to keep up with/stay the pace of us actually reading and discussing the book.

ETA: I'm mostly a weekend reader and a weekday poster. That's what made me think of using this kind of structure for the conversations in this thread/club. If someone reads what would be considered two sections over the weekend while most everyone else had been at the spot he just got to much earlier, we should keep it easy for those parts to be discussed/re-hashed but with a way to attempt to minimize posting spoilers when going back to discuss early sections of the book.
 
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RobF

RobF

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Has everyone gotten the book who's gonna participate in this go round?

Last night would have been my first chance to start it, but I was spent after a long work day and wanted to do anything but focus.

What we can do for discussion is something like this.

Create individual posts for sections of the book before hand. Use the spoiler function for your thoughts when posting so that people don't accidentally ruin something for themselves.

Have the post title be

RIGGED - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 3

blah blah blah

_______________________________________________________________________

******************************************************************


Then all replies to that section of the book will see that section being discussed at the top of all the replies and it will remain an easy way for the thread to keep up with/stay the pace of us actually reading and discussing the book.

ETA: I'm mostly a weekend reader and a weekday poster. That's what made me think of using this kind of structure for the conversations in this thread/club. If someone reads what would be considered two sections over the weekend while most everyone else had been at the spot he just got to much earlier, we should keep it easy for those parts to be discussed/re-hashed but with a way to attempt to minimize posting spoilers when going back to discuss early sections of the book.
I think everyone who said they're in for this one has said they've got a copy now. (Do shout out if you're reading this and you haven't though!).

Individual posts for each section did occur to me, but the reason I didn't suggest it is that's a lot of posts. I can see how people not involved may find that annoying. Although it could work well if we ended up with a subforum for the book club at some point?

I thought about spoilers, it's a case of trying to strike a balance between allowing people further ahead to post thoughts without spoiling it for other people, with not wanting to have too many posts hidden behind spoilers. So if you think about how a thread like the WandaVision one works over on SR.com, it's one thread for the whole series, with spoilers for a few days after each episode has dropped, then open posting for the rest of the week until the next episode, which strikes a balance between giving people a chance to see the episode, and not having to use spoilers all the time.

Here, because we can read ahead and see what's coming up, the sections we've put as 'discussing' in the header would be the ones we discuss without spoilers, and anyone wanting to comment on anything ahead of that would be expected to use a spoiler. Although if too many people did that, the conversation could get pretty fragmented. In theory it should be fairly straightforward for anyone who's behind a bit to avoid spoilers for the plain posts; they just read the thread up until the post saying "Now discussing <section they're not onto yet>" and stop there until they've caught up.
 

insidejob

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PROLOGUE
Here, because we can read ahead and see what's coming up, the sections we've put as 'discussing' in the header would be the ones we discuss without spoilers, and anyone wanting to comment on anything ahead of that would be expected to use a spoiler. Although if too many people did that, the conversation could get pretty fragmented. In theory it should be fairly straightforward for anyone who's behind a bit to avoid spoilers for the plain posts; they just read the thread up until the post saying "Now discussing <section they're not onto yet>" and stop there until they've caught up.
I think this way would work well. I'm super ready to start reading it tonight. I meant to bring it to the office because I just felt it was going to be a slow day...but I left it sitting by the front door.
 
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RobF

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Now discussing introduction, Chapter 1 (Enter Lenin) and Chapter 2 (The CIA in Italy).

If reading ahead and commenting on anything after this, use spoiler tags as appropriate.
 
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RobF

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There's definitely a lot packed into this book. From a UK perspective, I can confirm that the association with Communism with parties on the left is something that has definitely lingered, with accusations of being 'Communist' and 'Marxist' still being routinely flung around, pretty much regardless of substantiation.

The main question which comes to my mind from the CIA's activities in Italy: was it a 'moral act' to interfere as William Colby asserted? Is interference justified if countering opposing interference? Or if it's being used to a nominally moral end?
 

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To my surprise, I found myself absolutely condoning election interference in Italy to defeat the Communist party. I was quite taken aback at how okay I was with it. Having hindsight and knowing how countries fared under Stalin could be part of that, I suppose.

When I thought about it, I decided that the overt yet distant efforts - the letter writing campaign, the announcement that Washington favored the centrist party - was morally okay. Had they actually changed votes, or discarded ballots, or used vote suppression and voter intimidation, I would have been less likely to condone it, I suppose.

Had you asked me before I read the book, I would have said “no” interference is justified. But the reality of the situation is much more nuanced. Especially knowing that the communist party was using every type of interference on their own behalf.

I did find the book really interesting so far, and had to make myself stop after the Italy chapter.
 

insidejob

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I have plans to read a good bit this weekend and from the little I've read (in this thread) about parts I haven't gotten to yet, it sounds like I am really going to enjoy the rest of the book. I've been super-impressed so far. Not only is the content good but this writer's style is awesome. IDK what it is about it, but I keep finding myself reading "...just one more page..." and then read like ten pages.

I'm only in the middle of the Italy chapter right now because I don't read much during the week but find myself a little surprised with myself in the same way @MT15 did. Talk about some really nuanced (can't think of a better word, but there has to be one) situations that could have changed life on this planet for eternity.

Looking forward to good weather this weekend so I can take my dog and go find a spot in the park for a few hours.
 

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I haven’t had an opportunity to get to this book yet. Started ew job,-and I am in the middle of the Brothers Karamazov. Sorry. I know each of you was waiting with bated breath for my takes on this book.
 

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I haven’t had an opportunity to get to this book yet. Started ew job,-and I am in the middle of the Brothers Karamazov. Sorry. I know each of you was waiting with bated breath for my takes on this book.
We are just going to have to cancel the MAP Book Club now. Way to go. Hope having a new job is worth it!
 
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RobF

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To my surprise, I found myself absolutely condoning election interference in Italy to defeat the Communist party. I was quite taken aback at how okay I was with it. Having hindsight and knowing how countries fared under Stalin could be part of that, I suppose.

When I thought about it, I decided that the overt yet distant efforts - the letter writing campaign, the announcement that Washington favored the centrist party - was morally okay. Had they actually changed votes, or discarded ballots, or used vote suppression and voter intimidation, I would have been less likely to condone it, I suppose.

Had you asked me before I read the book, I would have said “no” interference is justified. But the reality of the situation is much more nuanced. Especially knowing that the communist party was using every type of interference on their own behalf.

I did find the book really interesting so far, and had to make myself stop after the Italy chapter.
That's exactly where I was. There was something of a case for it there, which I wouldn't have thought there would be initially (from an admittedly uninformed position).

Having said that, I wasn't able to get much reading done last week, but I read the next couple of chapters (The Explosion and The Stasi Changes History) over the weekend, and, well, it's certainly eye-opening. I wasn't familiar with a lot of this history, and it's already becoming increasingly apparent how it informs present day politics.

How's everyone else getting on with the book?
 

MT15

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I’ve been waiting to move on, and admittedly have had personal reasons (birth of twin granddaughters, serious complications for their mom, their being 4 week’s premature) but things are all fine now and I will start reading again this week as I can.
 

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I had to get a new teevee and got an awesome deal on a 55" Toshiba 4K Fire TV. So I got an Alexa too. In the Alexa app on my phone it showed what apps can be used through it and Audible was one. So I got Rigged as my trial book. Pretty cool to be able to read along with it and then when I feel like my eyes are tired, I can just listen to it for aas far as I planned on reading. Pretty convenient. I'm not really a fan of books on tape (what do they call them now?) but this is really nice.
 
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I’ve been waiting to move on, and admittedly have had personal reasons (birth of twin granddaughters, serious complications for their mom, their being 4 week’s premature) but things are all fine now and I will start reading again this week as I can.
Glad to hear things are fine now, and congratulations!

I get the impression there's a lot of real life going on for people right now and we're all reading at different paces, so I I think it makes sense to open up the book discussion for larger sections in wider intervals. So I suggest opening it up for all of Part One: The Hidden History now, and then adding in Part Two in a week or two.
 
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MT15

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I had to get a new teevee and got an awesome deal on a 55" Toshiba 4K Fire TV. So I got an Alexa too. In the Alexa app on my phone it showed what apps can be used through it and Audible was one. So I got Rigged as my trial book. Pretty cool to be able to read along with it and then when I feel like my eyes are tired, I can just listen to it for aas far as I planned on reading. Pretty convenient. I'm not really a fan of books on tape (what do they call them now?) but this is really nice.
you may really be 85, “books on tape” lol
 

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I had to get a new teevee and got an awesome deal on a 55" Toshiba 4K Fire TV. So I got an Alexa too. In the Alexa app on my phone it showed what apps can be used through it and Audible was one. So I got Rigged as my trial book. Pretty cool to be able to read along with it and then when I feel like my eyes are tired, I can just listen to it for aas far as I planned on reading. Pretty convenient. I'm not really a fan of books on tape (what do they call them now?) but this is really nice.
Audiobooks is the term now. They are great. I have a long commute, so it is nice to listen to a book to and from work. It is time better spent that listening to the "birthday scam" on the radio. It may take a couple of books to use to it. Sometimes you have to go back and re-listen because you realize that for the past 30 minutes you have been thinking about donuts--but I find myself getting to an end of a chapter of a book I am reading and realizing that none of it sunk it, so I have to re-read anyway.
 

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So, the 538 podcast interviewed the authors of Lucky, focusing on Biden's campaign for the presidency. A lot of good stuff revealed in that interview to make me want to pick it up. Listening to their reporting, you really have to wonder how Biden got so lucky this election cycle. Almost no one thought he had a chance to win, including Obama, who was secretly pushing for Beto or Warren to win the nomination. Makes me wonder what they all got wrong.

amazon.com/Lucky-Biden-Barely-Presidency-Random/dp/0593395581/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615940776&sr=8-2
 

DaveXA

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So, the 538 podcast interviewed the authors of Lucky, focusing on Biden's campaign for the presidency. A lot of good stuff revealed in that interview to make me want to pick it up. Listening to their reporting, you really have to wonder how Biden got so lucky this election cycle. Almost no one thought he had a chance to win, including Obama, who was secretly pushing for Beto or Warren to win the nomination. Makes me wonder what they all got wrong.

amazon.com/Lucky-Biden-Barely-Presidency-Random/dp/0593395581/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1615940776&sr=8-2
Tbh, I thought Biden had too much baggage. The usual stuff, too old, foot in mouth syndrome, boring, the list goes on. I had thought his window passed when he decided not to run in 2016.

That said, he was probably the right candidate to run against Trump because I feel like he had broader appeal to centrists and independents than his counterparts.

So while they (the doubters) got it wrong, I think their reasoning made some sense.
 

GrandAdmiral

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Tbh, I thought Biden had too much baggage. The usual stuff, too old, foot in mouth syndrome, boring, the list goes on. I had thought his window passed when he decided not to run in 2016.

That said, he was probably the right candidate to run against Trump because I feel like he had broader appeal to centrists and independents than his counterparts.

So while they (the doubters) got it wrong, I think their reasoning made some sense.
They pointed to two things that he kept a grasp of no matter what... moderates, as you stated, and the black vote. None of the other candidates could break his hold on them.

It was interesting heading all the behind-the-scene stories they uncovered.
 

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