Hannibal and Me – A book Review

Tuesday, 20 March, 2012

 Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” from Rudyard Kipling‘s poem “If –“, first read in “Hannibal and Me

Andreas Kluth is The Economist‘s US West Coast correspondent and author of a new book “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“. I’ve been reading Andrea’s blog for some time, so I knew I would like his book but I ended up loving Hannibal and Me!

The following is my review of the book, video interview clips, plus some additional bonus materials about characters trimmed from the book.

*** Book Review ***

I love biographies in general and reading Hannibal and Me to me was like reading the crucial slices of lives of many interesting people’s stories of “successes“, “failures“, and sometimes “impostors” (successes that actually lead to failures, or failures that become foundation of future successes) all in one book woven into many cohesive lessons.

To give you an idea of the “who’s who” in the book, take a look of this partial list of characters featured in the book: HannibalAndreas (the author himself), Barack ObamaEleanor RooseveltSteve JobsAmy TanMeriwether Lewis (and Thomas JeffersonWilliam Clark), Douglas MacArthur and Harry TrumanLudwig ErhardPablo PicassoPaul CézanneTiger WoodsCleopatraLance ArmstrongLiu Shaoqi (and Mao Zedong), plus Albert Einstein.

In Andreas’ throughly researched and eloquently written Hannibal and Me, the lives of modern day people like Steve JobsTiger WoodsAmy TanEleanor Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman were woven into the spectacular venture tale of Hannibal, bring every characters to live.

Don’t let words like “history“, “military strategist“, “Hannibal” in the title deter you from reading the book. I had to study history for six years and pretty much hated every minute of it. Andreas’ Hannibal and Me managed to bring all these characters to life to teach me, Kempton, teach us, readers of the book, important life-changing lessons. I originally thought I would have to skip a few pages so I can get to the interesting/fascinating modern real life stories sooner. To my pleasant surprise, I ended up reading every page over a few days. I find the lives, decisions and actions of the charters in the book absolutely fascinating and illuminating.

Ultimately, each reader will learn different lessons from the book depending on our own life experiences and life stages. Hannibal and Me is one of the best books I have read for years. To me, the book crystallized some of the life decisions I have made over the last few years and will be making in the future. I know I will be re-reading Hannibal and Me again and again over time as I grow older and gain more experiences. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did.

*** Video interviews with Andreas ***

Here is the main video interview clip. (My previous post about my multiple interview video clips with Andreas.)

Andreas on Eleanor Roosevelt Read the rest of this entry »


Obama confirms death of Osama bin Laden

Sunday, 1 May, 2011

Obama confirms death of Osama bin Laden

Tonight, President Barack Obama confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden. [via WH and these tweets] Update: Also see WH full transcript.

For the families and friends of the dead on 9/11 and the many deaths in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the death of bin Laden hopefully will bring them some closure. And I am thinking about the soliders (especially Canadian soliders) who have died or still fighting the war in Afghanistan.

Reports of this news (most with videos) from CBC, CTVCNN, ABCBBC, Guardian, MW.

Current (9:56pm MST) LIVE coverage: CBS.


May 4th, 2011 Update: CBS News, “Obama: I won’t release bin Laden death photos

May 2nd, 2011 Update: Check out this set of White House May 1st, 2011 Flickr photos.

2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner Videos

Sunday, 1 May, 2011

Have fun and enjoy.

Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech [via WaPo]

“President Barack Obama made jokes about his birth, teleprompters and Donald Trump during his remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech. (The Associated Press)”

Here is Obama’s speech on YouTube [via C-SPAN]

Seth Meyers mocks Trump, Biden at press dinner

“During his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers took several digs at Donald Trump, who was seated in the audience. (The Associated Press)”

Here are some sample jokes about President Obama.

Here are some sample jokes about Trump.

Chicago Sun-Times, “Obama Trumps Trump at White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

WaPo, “White House correspondents’ dinner sees a less-serious Obama”

Egypt – Al Jazeera English LIVE

Tuesday, 1 February, 2011

YouTube is carrying Al Jazeera English and informing citizens from around the world of what is happening in Egypt LIVE. I wish the Egyptians well and a peaceful and orderly transition.

* Guardian UK, “Egypt protests – live updates

* CBC News (with video), “Egyptians unite in ‘march of a million’

* CBC NahlahAyed, “Live blog: Uprising in Egypt

* BBC News, “Huge protests fan Egypt unrest

P.S. Here is a lesser known Canadian connection. I started paying attention more to Al Jazeera English in 2008 after Tony Burman, former CBC News editor in chief, joining it to become its managing director. (newswire release, info from Al Jazeera) Here is a link to a Feb 2010 YouTube video of Tony speaking about Al Jazeera’s digital approach.

Obama’s Arizona Speech: Transcript, Video

Wednesday, 12 January, 2011

Here is a link to the transcript and video of President Obama’s Arizona speech (via The Atlantic) (or via CNN). Here is a link to the full speech via C-Span,

I am very touched by Obama’s speech, in particular the following excerpt from the speech (emphasis added).

“I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Olympic hockey beer bet between Stephen Harper & Barack Obama

Saturday, 20 March, 2010

CBC News “Harper collects on beer bet with Obama“,

Prime Minister Stephen Harper collected on his sudsy Olympic hockey bet with President Barack Obama on Friday.

U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson delivered two cases of beer to the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.

Owing to Canada’s 3-2 overtime victory over the United States in the gold-medal match in men’s hockey, the U.S. ambassador brought Harper 24 bottles of Molson Canadian.

“To show there’s no hard feelings, the president also threw in a case of Yuengling on top of the Molsons,” Jacobson said.

We’ve won some nice bragging rights here. :)

Family Photo

Thursday, 1 October, 2009

P091009CK-0040.jpg by The Official White House Photostream.

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