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Michael Griswold "Michael Griswold" RSS Feed (Rockford, USA)
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Understanding Nonviolence
Understanding Nonviolence
by Maia Carter Hallward
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.33
44 used & new from $17.34

4.0 out of 5 stars The Textbook Example of Non-Violence, July 10, 2015
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Non-Violent Action is on the rise, but how much do we really know about the non-violence? Hallward and Norman have edited together this volume which contains chapters from some of the most noted contemporary scholars of non-violence. As someone who spent many years in an academic setting as a student, I am certainly used to many of these debates including how do we define what something is and is not, questions of tactics, the benefits and limits of media, among other topics.

While the information is good and written in a readable format, if one is not accustomed to the way of academic debate, they may find themselves struggling throughout this book to gain much of a foothold. This was a book clearly written for academic types that spend hours pondering these things either for undergraduate/graduate courses or perhaps their own research. While the general public could probably mine out the basic points, your average person probably would not have the energy to sift through all of these nuanced debates.

It might make a terrific introduction to the topic for an undergraduate/graduate course in the topic.


Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements (Cultural Sociology)
Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements (Cultural Sociology)
by James M. Jasper
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.51
48 used & new from $15.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Social Movements are Complicated, July 10, 2015
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James Jasper is a well-known sociologist who has focused his research on social movements. In Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements, he attempts the rather huge task of explaining the basics of why social movements come into being, why people join social movements, and why they may succeed or fail all within a relatively compact two hundred pages. Thusly, no one who is really into the topic will be satisfied in full with this book, but for the beginner in social movements, it may be a great start.

What Jasper ultimately grasps at is that explanations that vie against each other such as emotions vs. strategic thinking, feelings vs. cognition, structure vs. agency are the wrong debates. Rather we should be considering all these factors plus how these same resources are experienced by other interested parties such as governments, military, police, and the media. Once all these factors are considered as part of a giant chessboard of social movements, one ultimately comes to the conclusion that social movements are these huge complex and often times difficult to understand.

This book is probably most useful for undergraduate polisci and sociology students who tend to attach rather simplistic explanations to the complex events of the world.


Nature Valley Soft Baked Protein Granola Bites, Blueberry Almond, 8.4 Ounce
Nature Valley Soft Baked Protein Granola Bites, Blueberry Almond, 8.4 Ounce
Price: $17.90
4 used & new from $17.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Snack That Stirs My Youth, June 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Nature Valley Soft Baked Protein Granola Bites, Blueberry Almond have a certain familiarity to them as though they were something that your grandmother would bake for you, if you went over to her house on a weekend. As I bit into these things that looked like a slightly darker and more textured Mini Muffin, I thought that they tasted familiar. It took a full serving size of three and the other member of my household eating one to come to the conclusion: They taste like oatmeal cookies.

Moving beyond pure nostalgia, while I liked the taste and the flavor of the product and I could definitely taste the almond and the granola component, but the blueberry part was definitely lacking. It could just have been the granola and almonds overpowering the blueberries. If one is considering this product for a grand blueberry experience, you may want to reconsider, but if you’re in the market for a flashback to having cookies with your family, this is a can’t miss.


China's Coming War with Asia
China's Coming War with Asia
by Jonathan Holslag
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.36
47 used & new from $13.23

4.0 out of 5 stars No Peace With China?, June 29, 2015
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Jonathan Holslag in his book China’s Coming War with Asia argues that although China wants to rise peacefully and not come to conflict with their neighbors, conflict in Asia is inevitable. While China does not endeavor to become a militaristic power that military enslaves Asia, China has a great deal more resources than their neighbors, which will in turn lead to these neighbors feeling insecure. This combined with the fact that China has maintained getting back disputed territory as a goal seems to indicate that it could be a bumpy ride in Asia.

While I personally might be able to buy the story that Holslag articulates, violent conflict may not be as likely as he thinks. Most countries in Asia could not mount much of a military challenge in a dispute with China one on one or even two-three on one. This means they would need outside help, probably in the form of the United States. As we sit here today, the American appetite for a fight in Asia or anywhere else.

While the US may be obligated to jump in, if the survival of one of our Asian friends is on the line would the US really jump into the fight for a group of islands? I just don’t see it, but tomorrow can make a liar of us all.


Inside the Brotherhood
Inside the Brotherhood
by Hazem Kandil
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.47
49 used & new from $11.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Closer to the Muslim Brotherhood Than I want to be, June 28, 2015
This review is from: Inside the Brotherhood (Hardcover)
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Hazem Kandil takes the reader inside the world of the Muslim Brotherhood who have played a significant role in Egyptian politics of the last few years since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. One learns about the process of becoming a member of the Brotherhood, the indoctrination that occurs, and the general beliefs of the organization. Then Kandil goes deeper and discusses how these topics either helped or hurt the Muslim Brotherhood during the governing crisis that occurred several years ago, which ended with President Morsi in jail.

This book is a fascinating, if unsettling read because I’m not sure even political scientists can ever say they are comfortable with learning about processes of indoctrination that the brothers go through. However, it is fascinating because by understanding the groups’ motivations, we can then deal with them and not go in totally clueless.

When the front cover says Inside the Muslim Brotherhood, he means it.


Party and State in Post-Mao China (China Today)
Party and State in Post-Mao China (China Today)
by Teresa Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.80
34 used & new from $17.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Government by China, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Party and State in Post-Mao China (China Today) offers the reader the nuts and bolts of the government in China from the Mao era to present. While many things remain the same, the Chinese leadership post Mao have proven adept at reforming the system, but not so drastically that their own position in the ruling Communist party is threatened. How has this been accomplished? Teresa Wright explains how by synthesizing history and cutting analysis of how liberalism and communism have blended in China.

Overall, I thought it was a terrific overview of a country that has a lot of seeming contradictions in a relatively brief number of pages. The author is ultimately correct that China presents a number of challenges for what Western scholars take as political gospel concerning democracy and democratic theory. However, could we not also argue that China is a special case without compare in the world.

Minor point aside, an excellent overview of the Chinese government.


Boy Meets World: The Complete Seventh and Final Season
Boy Meets World: The Complete Seventh and Final Season
DVD ~ Ben Savage
Price: $9.92
47 used & new from $3.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Boy Meets World does a Victory Lap, June 28, 2015
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Season Seven of Boy Meets World definitely feels like an ending of a series and something different than the previous six years, but that isn’t a bad thing. In this season, we have Corey and Topanga struggling to be married and the gang seemingly splitting off in two different directions at the end as characters who were added from Season 5-7 went one way in life, while the core of Corey, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric went in another. While these final two-three episodes really got to me (possibly because I’m a sensitive little marshmallow), the life lessons that made Boy Meets World what many people love, are missing in action.

While I understand that the group was growing up, it really seems like the adults were pushed in the background and the main characters were told to figure it out. It just kind of gave the sense that the show was ending and that no one had anything to teach the kids anymore. With that said, the episodes will still satisfy BMW junkies like me and millions of others. It just wasn’t the same show that I grew up loving.

With that said, parting is in fact, such sweet sorrow.


Fiber One Snacks Bar Cheesecake, Strawberry, 5 Count (Pack of 12)
Fiber One Snacks Bar Cheesecake, Strawberry, 5 Count (Pack of 12)
Price: $39.08

3.0 out of 5 stars The Not Exactly Cheesecake Experience, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While there is nothing particularly bad about these bars, I personally did not find anything inspiring enough about them to make me want to invest in an entire case. It reminded me a little bit of the taste & texture of Fruit and Grain breakfast bars mixed with some of the decorative features of a Toasters Strudel, if one can picture that at all. It's not a bad product and tastes decent, but there was very little here that reminded me of strawberry cheesecake. It actually reminded me more of my breakfasts as a pre-teen. It would seem to me that there are better ways to get your fiber than these Fiber One bars.


Nature Valley Simple Roasted Peanut Nut Bar, Honey, 4 Count (Pack of 12)
Nature Valley Simple Roasted Peanut Nut Bar, Honey, 4 Count (Pack of 12)
Offered by D&L eTail
Price: $74.99
2 used & new from $74.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Snack to Meditate On, June 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Well if your fan of nuts, Nature Valley Simple Roasted Peanut Nut Bar just might be for you. Although the product does contain honey as a sort of bonding agent/sweetener, I hardly really tasted any of the honey. This could be explained two ways. A. The majority of the honey stuck to the paper or the crunchy nut texture of the peanuts, almonds, possibly some granola among other nuts, overpowered the effect of the honey. Moving beyond matters of honey, one should expect a deep nutty taste, but the upshot of these bars is that Nature Valley has found a way to blend them together so that it doesn't taste like your eating a sweat sock. It does however take several minutes to chew, so it is probably the perfect take a break from your stressful day snack.


Boy Meets World: Season 6
Boy Meets World: Season 6
DVD ~ Ben Savage
Offered by Knowbodybeatsdawiz
Price: $9.21
39 used & new from $5.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Boy Meets World Goes to College, June 21, 2015
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This review is from: Boy Meets World: Season 6 (DVD)
Many Boy Meets World fans see a stark divide between the high school and college years, with the high school years being more about life lessons while the college years are more a little more crazy. While this viewpoint has some validity, one really has to remember that BMW was always kind of silly—I Once Was A Teenage Spy among a number of high school episodes. While the tenor of this show seemed to change with the college years, I think the argument itself is a little overblown.

This season had such terrific life lessons episodes such as Better Than Average Cory where Cory struggles with the idea that he’s not special that I connected with on a personal level. Other standouts include Shawn dealing with his father’s death, and the rather famous Everybody Loves Stuart where Corey hits the new popular teacher after he hits on Topanga and Mr. Feeny learns that he can’t protect them from the world anymore. From this perspective, the life lessons many people love are still here, one just has to dig deeper to find them.


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