What We Are Reading Today: Breaking and Entering

Updated 19 January 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Breaking and Entering

Author: Jeremy N. Smith

In Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called Alien, Jeremy N. Smith tells a tale of computer intrigue, but not through the eyes of the black hats whose misdeeds have dominated recent political news.
Instead, Smith wants readers to meet the people behind the help desk — the tech gurus and security consultants standing between us and digital carnage.
This true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker — a woman known only as Alien.
Reviewing the book for New York Times, Matt Apuzzo said: “If there’s one lesson to be learned from Alien’s story, it is this: As Russian hackers challenge democracies and criminal attacks turn our personaldata into commodities, we cannot turn to technology to save us. Security is only as strong as the employee who tapes his passwords to his cubicle, the overworked guard at the front desk and, yes, the person on the other end of the line when you call the help desk.”


What We Are Reading Today: Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

Updated 07 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

  • It said the book “chronicles the wars of the US from the war of 1812 to the Vietnam War

Author Michael Beschloss has spent nearly 10 years in preparing Presidents of War for publication by reviewing diaries and declassified documents, which is quite apparent in the historical sweep and scope of the book. 

This historical narrative begins in 1807 with the assault on the USS Chesapeake and the measures taken by former President Thomas Jefferson to avoid war through the Bush administration and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

“This was a magnificent book that captured, not only history, but the humanity and struggles of our war presidents,” said a review in goodreads.com.

Presidents of War “is an extraordinary work, so extraordinary that it should be required reading for anyone seeking the presidency, vice presidency, a Senate seat, a congressional seat or any Cabinet positions in the US government,” said the review.

It said the book “chronicles the wars of the US from the war of 1812 to the Vietnam War. The author explores the reasons for the wars and often what the leaders did to circumvent Congress to enter the war without congressional approval.”