Author Matthew Hennessey Discusses his new book Zero Hour For GEN X

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Bookmonger: John J. Miller interviews Matthew Hennessey to discuss his book, Zero Hour for Gen X.

This podcast appears on National Review Aug. 20, 2018. Duration: 14 min.


In Zero Hour for Gen X, Matthew Hennessey calls on his generation, Generation X, to take a stand against tech-obsessed millennials, apathetic baby boomers, utopian Silicon Valley “visionaries,” and the menace to top them all: the soft totalitarian conspiracy known as the Internet of Things. Soon Gen Xers will be the only cohort of Americans who remember life as it was lived before the arrival of the Internet. They are, as Hennessey dubs them, “the last adult generation,” the sole remaining link to a time when childhood was still a bit dangerous but produced adults who were naturally resilient.

More than a decade into the social media revolution, the American public is waking up to the idea that the tech sector’s intentions might not be as pure as advertised. The mountains of money being made off our browsing habits and purchase histories are used to fund ever-more extravagant and utopian projects that, by their very natures, will corrode the foundations of free society, leaving us all helpless and digitally enslaved to an elite crew of ultra-sophisticated tech geniuses. But it’s not too late to turn the tide. There’s still time for Gen X to write its own future.

A spirited defense of free speech, eye contact, and the virtues of patience, Zero Hour for Gen X is a cultural history of the last 35 years, an analysis of the current social and historical moment, and a generational call to arms.


Amazon | Goodreads



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Matthew Hennessey is an associate op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal and the author of “Zero Hour for Gen X” (Encounter Books, 2018). He is a graduate of Hunter College (CUNY) and Fordham University. He lives in the New York City area with his wife and their five children.



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Owning Your Story — Interview with Grace Kennan Warnecke

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Gabriela Pereira Interviews Grace Kennan Warnecke on the DIY MFA Podcast Episode 207


Owning Your Story — Interview with Grace Kennan Warnecke

  This podcast originally appears on July 4, 2018 Duration: 45 min.



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Grace Kennan Warnecke’s memoir is about a life lived on the edge of history. Daughter of one of the most influential diplomats of the twentieth century, wife of the scion of a newspaper dynasty and mother of the youngest owner of a major league baseball team, Grace eventually found her way out from under the shadows of others to forge a dynamic career of her own.

Born in Latvia, Grace lived in seven countries and spoke five languages before the age of eleven. As a child, she witnessed Hitler’s march into Prague, attended a Soviet school during World War II, and sailed the seas with her father. In a multi-faceted career, she worked as a professional photographer, television producer, and book editor and critic. Eventually, like her father, she became a Russian specialist, but of a very different kind. She accompanied Ted Kennedy and his family to Russia, escorted Joan Baez to Moscow to meet with dissident Andrei Sakharov, and hosted Josef Stalin’s daughter on the family farm after Svetlana defected to the United States. While running her own consulting company in Russia, she witnessed the breakup of the Soviet Union, and later became director of a women’s economic empowerment project in a newly independent Ukraine.

Daughter of the Cold War is a tale of all these adventures and so much more. This compelling and evocative memoir allows readers to follow Grace’s amazing path through life – a whirlwind journey of survival, risk, and self-discovery through a kaleidoscope of many countries, historic events, and fascinating people.


Amazon | Goodreads



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Grace Kennan Warnecke’s memoir, Daughter of the Cold War describes her unique and extraordinary upbringing as the daughter of famed U.S. diplomat George Kennan. Grace’s life has been an incredible and at times difficult and dangerous journey through history. Her father became the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and was the architect of the U.S. policy on containment of Russian expansion during the Cold War. Born in Latvia, Grace lived in seven countries and spoke five languages before the age of twelve. As a child, she witnessed Hitler’s march into Prague, and attended public school in Moscow during World War II.

Grace forged her own brand of citizen diplomacy at a time when few women held prominent positions with the U.S. Foreign Service. Grace ultimately became a Russia specialist proving that when governments fail to communicate, it’s up to their citizens to keep talking.

Grace escorted Joan Baez to Moscow to meet with dissident Andrei Sakharov, served as Ted Kennedy’s interpreter when the Senator travelled to Russia to meet with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and harbored Josef Stalin’s daughter on the Kennan family farm in East Berlin, Pennsylvania after Svetlana defected to the United States.

While running her own consulting company SOVUS in Russia, Grace witnessed first-hand the breakup of the Soviet Union. She had a face-to-face business meeting with a young Vladimir Putin. Grace’s accomplishments include becoming director of a women’s economic empowerment project that created women-run small businesses in a newly independent Ukraine.

Ms. Warnecke was founding executive director of the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra and associate producer of the prize-winning PBS documentary The First Fifty Years: Reflections on U.S.-Soviet Relations. As a professional photographer she was senior editor of A Day in the Life of the Soviet Union. She has served as an election observer in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Grace is chairman of the board of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. She is a former fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a member of the advisory council of the Kennan Institute.

She lives in New York and Martha’s Vineyard.

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Write a Bestselling Memoir: The True Story that Became a New York Times Bestseller with Regina Calcaterra

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Regina Calcaterra


Regina Calcaterra’s memoir Etched in Sand, A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island (HarperCollins Publishing, 2013) is a #1 international best-seller and a New York Times best-seller.  As a result of Etched in Sand’s messages of resilience, optimism, the plight of foster children, that no child is a lost cause and how we can all positively impact the life of a child in need, it has been integrated into college and high school curricula throughout the U.S. and been selected for community reads. She is also co-author of Etched in Sand’s sequel which she wrote with her younger sister Rosie Maloney, Girl Unbroken, A Sister’s Harrowing Journey from the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho (HarperCollins Publishing, 2016). Girl Unbroken has also been integrated into college curricula alongside Etched in Sand.



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Podcast 179: Write a Bestselling Memoir: The True Story that Became a New York Times Bestseller with Regina Calcaterra

Originally appears on TCK Publishing Podcast Mar 9, 2018. Length 31 min.



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Etched in Sand


Amazon | Goodreads



Girl Unbroken Regina Calcaterra


Amazon | Goodreads



Regina Calcaterra Author photo


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Audiobook Review: Dark Territory the Secret History of Cyber War

Dark Territory





Book Blurb

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

Kaplan probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House to tell this never-before-told story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning – and, more often than people know, fighting – these wars for decades.

From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, Dark Territory chronicles, in fascinating detail, an unknown past that shines an unsettling light on our future.

©2016 Fred Kaplan (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.



Book Review

This was quite an interesting book. The Secret history of cyber war, behind the scenes with the NSA, military officials, and government bigwigs said a lot. The overall undertone I picked up from the author was that the government officials took somewhat of a passive role responding to the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure and realizing the threat of cyber warfare. Then again we did launch the first digital weapon against the Iranians with their nuclear devices. But that’s still different than protecting our countries computer networks, whether military or private sector, and still has proven to be a slippery topic.

They also talked about the difficulties measuring what would be an appropriate response to a cyber attack. Policies that would gauge what constitutes an act of war? Very challenging. Even coming to the new realization of a “cyber war” versus the traditional boots-on-the-ground war, has been slow. Not to mention detecting, tracking, pursuing a new type of enemy who’s​ virtually invisible and impossible to find. 

Fascinating topic and a great book. Hats off to Fred Kaplan.




microphone narrator







 Malcolm Hillgartner


  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Hillgartner does an excellent job taking the reins in this one. It’s not easy narrating nonfiction, or making it interesting in a way that doesn’t lose listeners. Hillgartner is a win in this category. 

  • Voice Switch Over: NA. There’s no purpose for voice switching in nonfiction. 


  • Pacing 8/10

The pace was even, steady throughout the book, but a tad fast for my taste. The subject matter had a lot do with this. It’s packed with information about the history of Cyber operations, government response, and military jargon. I also forgot you can change the pace digitally through the audible app.

  • Emphasis 10/10

Considering the subject matter, Hillgartner is spot on for emphasis. This was a big reason I enjoyed the audiobook. For me to spend 9 hours listening to dense nonfiction there better be a good reason for it. Hillgartner, here, again fits the bill. Heck, he even makes it seem easy!


  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

This is where I connect to the story, or in this case, subject matter, through the narrator. Hillgartner absolutely knocks this one out of the ballpark. I probably like the book even more because of him. 

Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher Blackstone Audio, Inc. They’re one of my favorite publishers on the planet because they produce quality work. Sound quality was premium. 

Overall Performance: 10/10

The entire production deserves a 10 from me. I’m even considering relistening to the whole thing again. 




Malcolm Hillgartner also narrates Dunkirk


Dunkirk Audible



See you soon!!

Benjamin Thomas


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