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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
The iPINIONS Journal: Commentaries on the Global Events of 2019 is exactly what the title suggests; a collection of opinion blogs written and published (in real time) on author Anthony Livingston Hall’s weblog. This collection, one of many over the years, highlights the tumultuous events - political, cultural, sporting, and more - worldwide of 2019 and contains many controversial topics but also many which readers will not have come across in other political or even current affairs blogs. Hall, a Bahamian American, doesn’t just focus on the United States’ events but casts his current affairs net far and wide to look much more at the global perspective than the narrowly focused U.S. political perspective as many bloggers are wont to do. You will find considerable sections here devoted to such disparate events as riots in Egypt, Sudan, Venezuela, and elsewhere, through to Remembrance Day and the reasons we display poppies on our clothes on November 11th; from the great orange joke that is Trumpism through to why women’s basketball gets such lousy treatment from broadcasters. What are Putin’s and Xi’s motivations and why do we care? Hall seems to have an opinion on it all. I think it is fair to say that if it happened in 2019 and it was newsworthy (and sometimes even if it wasn’t) you’ll find it here and Hall’s often insightful but always interesting opinions on it.
As a collection of personal opinions, The iPINIONS Journal is always going to be just one man’s personal opinion but that is the beauty of these blogs. You may not always agree with author Anthony Livingston Hall’s personal opinion on a topic but I guarantee it will make you think and, more importantly, make you try to justify your own opinion within your own mind (well, that’s if you’re a rational, thinking, human being, it will, anyway). Sadly, and Hall is quick to point this out in numerous commentaries, many of us have become conditioned to accepting one paradigm and one only, usually that espoused by our preferred media source, be that CNN (Liberal) or Fox News (Conservative). We believe what they say, hook, line, and sinker, and often refuse point-blank to consider alternatives. What I liked most about Hall’s commentaries was although he is clearly a liberal and perhaps even a democratic socialist in his ideals, he doesn’t allow partisanship to deter him from calling out what he sees as folly on both sides of the political divide. He is just as likely to go after stupid decisions of, say, Obama as he is to criticize the buffoonery of Trump and his acolytes. To be fair, Trump gives us many more opportunities to ridicule him than Obama ever did to criticize him. I loved his comment; yes, the world is laughing at the U.S. and Trump but the jokes on us, folks, coz, we’re the bozos that elected him (paraphrased).
His comments on the failure of African leadership and the irony of African countries now seeking protection from their former colonial masters were both enlightening and incredibly sad. A review is way too short to possibly summarize the message in this excellent book. I, therefore, urge everyone to buy the book and sign up for this blog, as I now have, and get some variety and challenging opinion into your sanitized news diet. What an excellent read this truly was.