I've been moderately busy with other things and pretty lazy to post much recently but that doesn't mean I don't think about things to blog about. Really, in my head this is a great a blog but not so much in the real world. Anyway, I'm about 3/4 of the way through Army of Davids and have a rough outline of a post I would write about it in my head. I was actually going to work on that tonight but then I read Jim Geraghty's review this morning and decided anything I'd write would be redundant because Geraghty says pretty much what I would have.
So “Army of Davids” is not just a good book; it’s better than I expected because it does, perhaps inadvertently, help explain why Glenn has earned the title of “Blogfather” and why “Instalanche” has become a verb.
In 268 pages – a meaty thought-provoking read that goes by quickly – Glenn explores, just deep enough, his experiences with home-brewing his own beer and how microbreweries changed the field’s biggest companies, the change from an industrial economy to a knowledge-based one, the eroding of the Dilbert-style corporate world, how panhandlers and hassles from folks in public spaces helped facilitate the growth of privately-owned “third place” meeting spaces like malls and Starbucks, how Internet distribution is completely changing the way musicians bring their art to listeners and customers, how smart, quick-responding citizens acting as ‘a pack, not a herd’ are a powerful, underutilized tool in the war on terror, what blogs do better than the mainstream media and what they don’t, what makes good blogging, how Americans saw the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit as illegitimate social engineering, the upside of Internet porn and violent video games, nanotechnology, lengthening the human lifespan, private sector space exploration, and, in perhaps the most speculative chapter, he discusses “the approaching singularity.”
This is a jaw-dropping breadth of knowledge and thought. And it helps suggest why Glenn has become the de facto News Editor of the Blogosphere – he’s got a stunningly wide range of interests, knows enough about enough topics to sniff out spin and bad information, and is enthusiastic about bringing this information to readers. He’s also fair, acknowledges the downsides and costs of phenomenon that he likes, and writes as if he’s smiling.
I think there are a lot of bloggers who look with envy at Glenn’s traffic, his awesome power to launch a book to near the top of the Amazon list (Dear Glenn, please remember to do this for my book later in the year!), and his unofficial title as the MSM’s designated spokesman for the blogosphere. Well, Glenn’s earned his spot up there in the Blogospheric Penthouse; to get up there, you/we need to develop his breadth and depth of knowledge, as well as his curiosity about seemingly everything, and his ability to persuade without histrionics or pounding the table. Perhaps someday some other blogger will come along and do that, but for now, it’s Instapundit’s blogosphere; we just live in it.
That was going to be my point. Not so much a book review as just an admiration for Prof. Reynolds as a guy whose judgment I've come to trust over the years. Aside from his own commentary and the probably thousands of links from Instapundit to other sources that I've read by clicking through, I can name about a dozen books I've read recently on Glenn's recommendation. There are probably another dozen he's mentioned that I'm likely to read soon too.