“VESSELS OF RAGE ENGINES OF POWER” is a book written by James Graham about the damage caused by alcoholism: human behavior at its ugliest and most frightening. In its pages parents rage at frightened defenseless children. World famous literary lions use their writing talent to malign their innocent parents. Trusted intelligence officers betray their country's secrets and a powerful spy-catcher willfully and wrongly accuses his loyal colleagues of treachery. Political scoundrels malign exemplarity public servants. Modern serial killers entice victims into lethal traps. Ancient tyrants torture and slaughter thousands of their subjects.
Based on decades of research, Graham takes the reader on an eye-popping tour of human history and shows that every one of these horrific characters (and many others) was an alcoholic. He also convinces the reader that, contrary to orthodox interpretation, their addiction to alcohol actually caused the diabolical behavior. Here are some of Graham's subjects: Ancient tyrants Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible, and Henry VIII. Murderers Ted Bundy, Richard Speck, and John Wilkes Booth. Traitors Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean. Political scoundrels Joseph McCarthy, Huey Long, and Andrew Johnson. Writers Eugene O'Neill, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In what is surely his most provocative chapter, Graham solves the twentieth century's most baffling mystery: Why did Joseph Stalin murder twenty-five million loyal citizens? His claim that Stalin's alcoholism is backed by overwhelming evidence, some of it provided by famous eye-witnesses Nikita Krushechev, Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill.
"I found VESSELS OF RAGE easy to read and it proved to be an entertaining and informative description of alcoholism and the personality characteristics of well-known individuals who James Graham is convinced suffered from alcohol dependency. His argument for the presence of alcoholism in many historical figures is convincing, and the reader will acquire a good understanding of the symptoms of this disorder and how they influenced the lives of such notables as Joseph Stalin, Alexander the Great, Henry Ford, John Wayne Gacy and other serial killers, and many other well-known, and not so well-known, sufferers from alcoholism.
"The thrust of Graham's argument is that the personality traits frequently found in alcoholics produce individuals who have a tremendous need for ego satisfaction, and therefore not only seek power, but also abuse it. Quite correctly, in my opinion, he emphasizes that when alcoholics stop drinking, many of their symptoms persist including, in many, the pathological need for power. Until significant changes are made in the personality, particularly the ego, many alcoholics remain severely problematic. He makes this point extremely well and illustrates it be his references to writers, artists, movie stars and selected other individuals.
"Reversing the usual question -- Why do so many authors have alcohol problems? -- he argues that writing (has) particular appeal for self-centered alcoholics... traitors, serial killers, business executives and politicians draw similar attention.
"Graham uses dozens of case histories to illustrate the enormous influence of alcoholism has had on society -- one far greater than previously suspected or admitted. When an individual of no particular consequence or ability suffers from the disease, it's bad enough; they affect themselves, their family, friends, co-workers, pets and whomever else they may encounter. But when someone of intelligence and ability, and with access to power (whether it be as a writer, a corporation executive, a politician, etc.) the damage they can cause is much worse and every bit as likely. This book grabs readers' attention from page one and compels them to see alcohol and the world in an entirely different way."
"Graham's examples are legion and arresting- Alexander the Great, Henry VIII, Ivan the Terrible, the composer Beethoven, writers from Poe to Wolfe, President Grant, Admiral Byrd, Senators McCarthy and Tower, the English traitors Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt, Ty Cobb, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, even astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin. He devotes an entire chapter to the case of Joseph Stalin who, he remarks, began his bloody purges only after he was securely in power, and did nothing for eight successive days after Hitler's blitzkrieg began- because, Graham argues, he was on a bender. "... his insight is arresting and provocative."
James Graham welcomes inquiries or comments. Snail mail: Mr. James Graham, P.O. Box 142, Lexington VA, 24450, USA.
He argues that the emergence of complex animals from simpler multicellular ancestors must have involved a mechanism that was exclusive to complex animals, something that would account for the great precision required to construct the complex organ systems found in only in the bilateria.
He postulates that cancer killed uncountable numbers of immature animals and concludes that the resulting accumulation of defenses against the disease enabled the emergence of complexity. In all evolving animal lineages selection favored utmost precision in the construction of all cells in order to avoid death of the organism resulting from imprecision in a single cell. This imperative of exactness at the level of individual somatic cells permitted the emergence of complex tissue, organs and organisms.
Without meticulous construction of individual cells complex organs could not exist. Without cancer selection multicellular life would not have evolved beyond the level of plants and jellyfish, organisms which, according to Graham's theory, never experienced lethal cancer.
This was a book review that I did not write. There’s a link at the start of my blog for more information on the book and how to get it. Graham wrote a wonderful, insightful book and it’s a great read for people wanting to look into the secret of alcoholism and the wheels of thought that turn into rage and power. Power that can be destructible!
I have not finished this book yet but I am reading it and it’s quite amazing! I think his correlation with alcohol and rage is so revealing! I have had a few alcoholics in my family and I can tell you first hand that when they quit using alcohol they still like their power trips and have a tendency to rage. One of them has had cancer a few times now besides. I pray for her.
I broke a tooth last week so yes I’ve been offline a lot recently. OMG even with insurance it’s costing me at least a thousand dollars on my side. Jeeze, I trust it will be more before we are done. I thought I’d show you what I’m getting done with the broken tooth. Cool, huh? Feb. 7th my “crown” will be done and put on. It better be made of gold for that amount! Then you’ll have to call me “Queen Bekkie Of Wonderland!” Tee hee!