Reads of the Week
- A long profile of now-former CIA director Leon Panetta, focusing mostly on the difficulties he faced from the lingering impact of Bush administration interrogation techniques. Panetta comes across as a pragmatic and committed character, both of which should come in handy as he takes on his new role as Defence Secretary for Obama. As a companion piece to that, Jane Mayer’s exposé of CIA interrogation techniques give more insight into the problems Panetta faced and the acts that took place under the Bush administration.
- I’m on a bit of a Woody Allen kick at the moment, though this Peter Biskind profile is perhaps a little too forgiving of Woody given some of the movies he’s made in the past decade. It did, though, raise a point about the sheer number of fantastic movies Woody has made in his career, enough to put him alongside the likes of Scorsese, Kubrick or Fellini in my mind. Just a sampling for the memory of movies I would consider genuinely classic: Annie Hall, Manhattan, Zelig, Hannah and Her Sisters, Husbands and Wives, Purple Rose of Cairo, Crimes and Misdemeanours, Love and Death, Broadway Danny Rose, Manhattan Murder Mystery. There’s lots of crap too, but that’s a pretty good number of superb films to be going on.
- George Packer’s outstanding recounting of the crimes and trial for Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon hedge fund, provides a pitch perfect example of the kind of greed and cynical regard for human nature that drives the kind of financial crime we have witnessed in the past few years.