Genghis Khan and the making of the modern world

I wasn't sure how much new material I will find in this book so I started it hesitantly. At the end, I was left with both amazement and a bit of disbelief. I definitely saw Genghis Khan, and specially the Mongol culture, as being far more prominent in our lives now 750 years after than I previously understood. However, some of the progressive ideas attributed to the Khan in the book either seemed misplaced (like was he "tolerant" towards other religious or simply didn't consider them important enough to bother with them) or really need to be attributed to his descendants, specially to Kublai Khan, who really comes across as the administrative kind. 

However, it is clear that his image has all been tarnished out of history by the Europeans and his recent resurgence as the most amazing military general and a conquerer of unparalleled success only seem to set the record straight. 

I recommend this book. While definitely not the best written book or the most convincing, it is definitely aimed at dissemination of the right kind of information. 

By Jack Weatherford
In twenty-five years, the Mongol army subjugated more lands and people than the Romans had conquered in four hundred years. Genghis Khan, together with his sons and grandsons, conquered the most densely populated civilizations of the thirteenth century. Whether measured by the total number of people defeated, the sum of the countries annexed, or by the total area occupied, Genghis Khan conquered more than twice as much as any other man in history.

American Made - believable only because its real

This is one of those stories that pass the reasonability test only because they are real. Tom Cruise's "American Made" is the unbelievable but true story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who becomes  embroiled in all sorts of international crime and espionage. This is such a great crime-caper, the kinds we so rarely get these days. It is just so much fun to just sit back and watch as layers and layers of insanity get piled on top of each other and you must suspend your disbelief because you know this (or something really close to this) actually happened. Reminded me to Charlie Wilson's War - another Great American intelligence film where the consequences of seemingly simple actions are so profound. 

The haunting drama of Wind River

Maybe its something about the brutality of snow in the paradoxical claustrophobia of wide wilderness of snow-capped mountains that makes something about winter so haunting and self-reflecting. "Wind River" was easily one of the best films I saw this year. It is a haunting story of a brutal death/murder in the strange, melancholic back country of Wyoming. 

The film is sad and beautiful. Jeremy Renner has grown so much as an actor. Elizabeth Olsen is easily the top Olsen sister.