He fought and beheaded three Turkish adversaries in duels. He was sold into slavery and then murdered his master to escape. He was captured by pirates--twice--and marched to the gallows to be hanged, only to be reprieved seconds before the noose dropped over his head. And all this happened before he was thirty years old. This is Captain John Smith's life.
George Friedman has forecasted the coming trends (politics, technology, population, and culture) of the next century in The Next 100 Years, and focused his predictions on the coming ten years in The Next Decade. Now, in Flashpoints, Friedman zooms in on the region that has, for 500 years, been the cultural hotbed of the world - Europe - and examines the most basic and fascinating building block of the region: culture.
In When the Facts Change, Tony Judt's widow and fellow historian Jennifer Homans has assembled an essential collection of the most important and influential pieces written in the last 15 years of Judt's life, the years in which he found his voice in the public sphere. Included are seminal essays on the full range of Judt's concerns, including Europe as an idea and in reality, before 1989 and thereafter; Israel, the Holocaust and the Jews; American hyperpower and the world after 9/11.
How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions--discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens--affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers' organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers...
A lot of people have misguided views on the hemp plant. These misguided views deal with people associating the hemp plant with its sister plant, which is known to get people high. The hemp plant is unable to get a person high and has what seems to be an infinite amount of uses. Yes, hemp could even fuel a diesel engine. Burning plants to fuel our cars without any toxic footprint? Yes, please.
As Moscow assumes an aggressive new posture toward NATO, Blackwell argues, Washington must keep tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Blechman replies.
Far from being a "First World problem", mental illness is a global scourge that affects people of all incomes and backgrounds. By 2030, mental disorders will cost the global economy around $6 trillion a year - more than heart disease.
Immediate Action is a no-holds-barred account of an extraordinary life, from the day Andy McNab was found in a carrier bag on the steps of Guy's Hospital to the day he went to fight in the Gulf War. As a delinquent youth he kicked against society. As a young soldier he waged war against the IRA in the streets and fields of South Armagh. As a member of 22 SAS Regiment he was at the centre of covert operations for nine years - on five continents.
Special Forces training may one of the most brutal training routines that I can think of. They push people beyond their comfort zone to mentally and physically prepare for future tasks at hand. There are a few problems with Special Forces training doesn't fit well with the knowledge and education learned during my personal training certification school. Listen to this critique and simple fix on how Special Forces training can be that much more efficient at training candidates to be the best they can be.
There has come to exist in the United States, as a result of the Cold War, a body of specialists accustomed to dealing with issues of war and peace, which may be described as a war-peace establishment. It is clear that there are important divisions of viewpoint in the United States, especially among those who have concerned themselves most with it, on the question of what to do about the threat of thermonuclear war. To some, risks must not be run; to others, great risks must be taken; and to still others, we have reached the point of absurdity either way.
"Political views of War and Peace"
Adolf Hitler and hundreds of high ranking Nazis escaped to South America at the end of World War II. New evidence suggests that the Allied governments knew he was still alive and helped conceal the truth that he was living in Argentina with his wife, Eva Braun Hitler. Based on the best-selling book, Hitler in Argentina by Harry Cooper, a renowned WWII expert and researcher who uncovered little known information on the escape of not only Adolf and Eva, but also Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann, Klaus Barbie, the notorious "Butcher of Lyon", and others.
In her new book, Cathy Glass, the number one best-selling author of Damaged, tells the story of the Alice, a young and vulnerable girl who is desperate to return home to her mother. Alice, aged four, is snatched by her mother the day she is due to arrive at Cathy's house. Drug-dependent and mentally ill, but desperate to keep hold of her daughter, Alice's mother snatches her from her parents' house and disappears.
Today, orphanages are common in many parts of the world. But a look at young people who spent their childhoods in institutions in Romania reveals just how developmentally damaging such places can be.
In a 40-year career as an oil and gas investment analyst and as an investment banker and strategic adviser on petroleum-sector mergers, acquisitions, and financings, Thomas A. Petrie has witnessed dramatic changes in the business. In Following Oil, he shares useful lessons he has learned about domestic and global trends in population and economic growth, a maturing resource base, variable national energy policies, and dynamic changes in geopolitical forces.
CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Director Richard Betts, RAND Senior Political Scientist Rick Brennan, Georgetown Professor Daniel Byman and Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shaprio, and former U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Peter Tomsen debate the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and 20th centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstance.
The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.
In July 2012 Thomas Harding's fourteen-year-old son Kadian was killed in an accident. Shortly afterwards Thomas began to write. Beginning on the day of Kadian's death, and continuing to the one-year anniversary, Kadian Journal is a record of grief, and of a mind in shock. Interspersed within the journal are fragments of memory: jewel-bright everyday moments that slowly combine to form a biography of a lost son.
Jackie Moggridge was just nineteen when World War Two broke out. Determined to do her bit, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary. Ferrying aircraft from factory to frontline was dangerous work, but there was also fun, friendship and even love in the air. At last the world was opening up to women... or at least it seemed to be.
In this masterful account of the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Zaire, Garrett, now the Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, shows how superstition and fear, compounded by a lack of resources, education, and clearheaded government planning have plagued our response to Ebola. In an extensive new introduction, Garrett forcefully argues that learning from past outbreaks is the key to solving the Ebola crisis of 2014.
"It was a great read"
This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
"Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.
"Like you were there !"
"Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder."
"Excellent Story for people have traveled"
A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
"If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?
"Important themes, with blind spots"
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.
"An Antidote for Shantaram"
Delta Force—the US Army’s most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won’t hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action to reveal the never-before-told story of First Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).
"Informative & Entertaining Memoir >|< Myth"
The ISIS Solution takes a look at the current geopolitical situation, organizational structure of ISIS, and provides new thinking and strategies for dealing with the Islamic State in the Middle East. Its authors and contributors have over 50 years of combined experience in the intelligence, analyst, and Special Operations communities. Leadership and a new philosophical conversation of action is needed to eliminate violent terrorism. This book starts the conversation.
"Short, to the point, crammend full of information."
At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.
"Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!"
Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.
"The man who wants to be GOD"
A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.
Ninety-nine elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city. As night falls, they are surrounded by thousands of enemy gunmen. Their wounded are bleeding to death. Their ammunition and supplies are dwindling. This is the story of how they got there - and how they fought their way out. Black Hawk Down drops you into a crowded marketplace in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia with the U.S. Special Forces and puts you in the middle of the most intense firelight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam war.
"A Modern Classic"
A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future.
"Best nonfiction book of 2011"
North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.
"Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.
"Best Non-Fiction Book - Extremely Compelling!!!"
Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved - and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.
Cyberspace is the 21st century’s greatest engine of change. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more.
"Wow, this course was an eye opener!"
In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.
"A Must Read"
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, Enrique's Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.
"Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
In July 1995, San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb found the Big One - the blockbuster story every journalist secretly dreams about - without even looking for it. A simple phone call concerning an unexceptional pending drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
"Fascinating and complicated story"
Martin Meredith has revised this classic history to incorporate important recent developments, including the Darfur crisis in Sudan, Robert Mugabe’s continued destructive rule in Zimbabwe, controversies over Western aid and exploitation of Africa’s resources, the growing importance and influence of China, and the democratic movement roiling the North African countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.
"Africa: Land of Hope and Horror"
The Prime Ministers is the first and only insider account of Israeli politics from the founding of the Jewish State to the near-present day. It reveals stunning details of life-and-death decision-making, top-secret military operations and high level peace negotiations. The Prime Ministers brings listeners into the orbits of world figures, including Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
"Great and fascinating book, wrong narrator."
Paul Collier reveals that 50 failed states - home to the poorest one billion people on earth - pose the central challenge of the developing world in the 21st century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards.
"no easy fix"
In this eloquent challenge to the reigning wisdom on globalization, Dani Rodrik reminds us of the importance of the nation-state, arguing forcefully that when the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Combining history with insight, humor with good-natured critique, Rodrik’s case for a customizable globalization supported by a light frame of international rules shows the way to a balanced prosperity as we confront today’s global challenges in trade, finance, and labor markets.
Almost a third of your whole life is spent asleep. Night School uncovers the scientific truth about the sleeping brain - and gives powerful tips on how those hours of apparently ‘dead’ time in the dark can transform your waking life.
"One half of a very good book"
The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.
"A NOBY Nominee"
In the late 1980s Jon Ronson was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong. Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band. Frank is set for release in 2014, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
"The weakest of Ronson's works"
War-game simulation specialists James F. Dunnigan and Austin Bay have revised their highly regarded analyses, bringing up to date not only the many conventional conflicts around the world today but the new battlegrounds that have emerged since the previous edition was published more than a decade ago - the Global War on Terror, counterinsurgency struggles around the world and the latest frontier of modern combat: cyber war.
"adopts the bush administration narrative"
Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world’s most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials.
Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House.
In recent years our world has seen transformations of all kinds: intense climate change accompanied by significant weather extremes; deadly tsunamis caused by submarine earthquakes; unprecedented terrorist attacks; costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; a terrible and overlooked conflict in Equatorial Africa costing millions of lives; an economic crisis threatening the stability of the international system.
When journalist and traveler Kelsey Timmerman wanted to know where his clothes came from and who made them, he began a journey that would take him from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia to China and back again. Where Am I Wearing? intimately describes the connection between impoverished garment workers' standards of living and the all-American material lifestyle.
"A fantastic book!"
For over a quarter century, Iran has been one of America's chief nemeses. Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the relationship between the two nations has been antagonistic: revolutionary guards chanting against the Great Satan, Bush fulminating against the Axis of Evil, Iranian support for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S. for the world's ills.
"Verbose, topical, and without substance"
From Mark Bowden, internationally best-selling and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and the preeminent chronicler of the actions of our military and special forces writing today, comes an intensely gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. With unprecedented access to key sources and his great gift for storytelling, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
"Bowden is great as usual, but the narrator sucks"
The highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is at it again. A quarter century ago, in his international bestseller Red Horizons, Pacepa exposed the massive crimes and corruption of his former boss, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, giving the dictator a nervous breakdown and inspiring him to send assassination squads to the U.S. to find his former spy chief and kill him. They failed.
Kilcullen brings together his most salient writings on this vitally important topic. Here is a picture of modern warfare by someone who has had his boots on the ground in some of today's worst trouble spots - including Iraq and Afghanistan - and who has been studying counterinsurgency since 1985. Filled with down-to-earth, common-sense insights, this book is the definitive account of counterinsurgency, indispensable for all those interested in making sense of our world in an age of terror.
David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare. A senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, his vision of war dramatically influenced America's decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement "the surge."Now, in The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror.
"Excellent if advanced"