The iPINIONS Journal

2020 in Real Time

Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
471 Pages
Reviewed on 03/29/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The iPINIONS Journal: 2020 in Real Time by Anthony Livingston Hall takes readers through the tumultuous events of one of the most painful years in modern history. This book offers incisive and compelling, often thought-provoking, commentaries on issues and events that occurred throughout the year, including Trump’s foreign policy in Africa and the Middle East, his betrayal of the Venezuelans, the events in Asia like social unrest, China’s continuous reach for Hong Kong, the Brexit Deal and its implications for European politics, and the migration crisis in Europe. Most of the book focuses on events in the United States, especially the Presidential Elections and the damaging rhetoric to overturn election results. The book features commentaries on the Black Lives Matter Movement, the murder of George Floyd, and other sensitive topics that are characteristic of 2020.

Anthony Livingston Hall is one of the finest critics and commentators of contemporary social and political events, writing in a style that is fluid and a voice that is strong and opinionated. He is well-read and comes across as an expert in his field. The book compels readers to confront some of the controversial players of the year. His take on Covid-19 and its political implications is thought-provoking. This book opened my eyes to the sophistication of the political game, and it will be interesting for readers to see how politicians take advantage of social events and how they twist narratives to suit their political agendas, manipulating the public. The iPINIONS Journal: 2020 in Real Time features a profusion of excerpts from notable newspapers, including the New York Times, The Associated Press, Axios, and many others. While this is an informative and thought-provoking book, it is equally engaging and hugely entertaining.

Romuald Dzemo

The iPINIONS Journal: 2020 in Real Time by Anthony Livingston Hall begins with a catchy phrase in the introduction: “The year 2020 will live in infamy… also the year President Trump compounded losing his bid for re-election by inciting an insurrection to turn American democracy into a Trumpian autocracy.” This book takes a sweeping look at what 2020 was like and reflects on some of the significant events that punctuated the year. This book should be read as a political and social commentary of the year that witnessed so much pain and controversy, from the Covid-19 pandemic to Black Lives Matter protests, from Trump’s foreign policy to the assassination of Iran’s military leader, from the killing of George Floyd to the migration of Africans to Europe under very dangerous conditions, and a lot more. The author shares an opinion on almost every significant event that happened in the course of 2020, and he does so in an inimitable style, often bringing fresh perspectives on the way most readers and pundits have viewed the events of the year.

The book explores a lot of topics, including the US social and political climates. Hall comments on the Hindu-Muslim violence in India, the Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian violence in Israel, and China’s continuous challenge to Britain as it reclaims Hong Kong. He comments on the Harry & Meghan controversy, reflects on the social issues in the US, including the observance of MLK Day, the social crisis following the murder of George Floyd, the turmoil that accompanied the presidential elections — with the role played by characters such as Rudy Giuliani— and examines the global effects of the pandemic and climate change, and a lot more. The iPINIONS Journal: 2020 in Real Time offers a panoramic view of the year that will remain indelibly etched in history as one of the most difficult years humanity has survived. Anthony Livingston Hall not only provides cutting-edge commentaries on contemporary events but maintains a record of history with media references and observations that will remind anyone of what the year was like. He is one of the best contemporary critics of our time, very objective in his opinions, and exceptionally good in writing. His voice is clear and irresistible and, most often, laced with humor.

Vincent Dublado

Anthony Livingston Hall once again demonstrates his persuasiveness that forces you to interpret, evaluate, and even act. His new anthology of commentary, The iPINIONS Journal: 2020 in Real Time, unfolds like a collection of magazine pieces that take on the events of 2020 up to February of 2021 that shaped not only America but the whole world. But he does not limit himself to poking at the significant. Hall is your proverbial John the Baptist who similarly publishes commentaries on other less popular but no less important events. From Trump’s pyrrhic assassination of an Iranian spymaster to paying tribute to personalities who passed away, this compilation is a profound personal observation where anything that strikes Hall’s interest is fair game and there are no sacred cows.

I can only wonder how Anthony Livingston Hall understands it from the inside out, but one thing is for sure: He has developed his own identity for political, social, and cultural communication in his no-nonsense disciplinary approach in the area of inquiry. In calling Trump a pathological liar and presenting proof in such a statement, he is an involved citizen talking without distance and neutrality. That is how he likes it: raw and unadulterated. This is further demonstrated by his preference to keep his writings in their original form as published on his weblog and defying editorial entities to polish them up. Few writers are comfortable sharing their political opinions and stepping over the boundaries between the professional and personal, but all things being considered, Hall is confident and well-informed that there is no commentary malpractice in this thought-provoking read.