• 123

    Sabotage and asymmetrical warfare as part of regular war strategy

    Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton, Picador, US $28.00, Pp 368, February 2017, ISBN 978-1250119025

    In the spring of 1939, Churchill authorized the founding of a top secret organization to destroy Hitler’s war machine by using sabotage. It was directed by six extraordinary men who used and perfected the art of sabotage in the next few years. In Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, Giles Milton writes, “The organization known as Baker …

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  • AAA

    Understanding modern asymmetric war

    Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War (Transforming War) by Conrad C. Crane, Naval Institute Press, US $39.95, Pp 320, September 2016, ISBN 978-1682470077

    Conrad C. Crane has been recording reflections about the course of the long war launched after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These are based on many remarkable experiences: being the recorder for the 2002 Army after-action review on Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle, developing prewar Army plans to reconstruct Iraq, serving as lead author for the …

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  • 123

    The women who changed the world

    Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs, Quirk Books, US $16.99, Pp 240, October 2016, ISBN 978-1594749254

    Awesome, accomplished, successful women have existed since humans started painting on stones with their extremities. Women have performed miracles in history but they were rarely acknowledged. In Wonder Women, Sam Maggs says that history is full of lady engineers and spies and scientists. But history is also written by the victorious, and it may not surprise …

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  • AAA

    The queen who stirred the emancipation of women

    Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire by Julia Baird, Random House, US $35.00, PP 752, November 2016, ISBN  978-1400069880

    Queen Victoria remains buried under a mountain of myths, created by observers, sycophants, monarchists, republicans, and herself, and bolstered by the royal family ever since. Myths such as that when Albert died, she died too. That she loathed her children. That she was an impeccably constitutional, well-behaved queen. That she disliked power, lacked ambition, …

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  • 11111

    American food is the real weapon of mass destruction

    The Brain Warrior’s Way: Ignite Your Energy and Focus, Attack Illness and Aging, Transform Pain into Purpose by Daniel G. Amen, Tana Amen, Berkley/Nal, US $27.00, Pp 368, November 2016, ISBN  978-1101988473

    “You are in a war for your health. Nearly everywhere you go (schools, work, shopping malls, movie theatres, airports, ball parks, and so on), someone is trying to sell you food that will kill you early. The standard American diet is filled with pro-inflammatory foods that increase your …

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    The evolution of time travel as an idea

    Time Travel: A History by James Gleick, Pantheon, US $26.95, Pp 352, September 2016, ISBN 978-0307908797

    In Time Travel, James Gleick explores one of the most mysterious topics of all times, time travel, its subversive origins, its evolution in literature, and its influence on our understanding of time itself. In Time Travel, James Gleick says that the story began at the turn of the nineteenth century, with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale …

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  • 12

    His dream is to make young people live their own dreams

      My Turn: A Life of Total Football by Johan Cruyff, Nation Books, US $26.99, Pp 336,   November 2016, ISBN 978-1568585710

    Football has always been Johan Cruyff ‘s life from the beginning. His parents owned a greengrocer’s shop in Betondorp, a few hundred meters away from Ajax’s De Meer Stadium in Amsterdam, so it was inevitable. In My Turn, Johan Cruyff says his father never missed an Ajax game and, though he may not have inherited his talent from his …

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  • BOP

    Drugs, race, and music collide to produce American drug culture

     Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs by Martin Torgoff, Da Capo Lifelong Books,  US $25.99, Pp 448, January 2017, ISBN 978-0306824753

    American drug culture was born with herbal jazz cigarettes aka joints at the Savoy Ballroom and the Beats high on Benzedrine in Times Square. In Bop Apocalypse, Martin Torgoff tells the story of the rise of drug culture in America that encompasses the birth of jazz in New Orleans, Harry Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of …

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  • 111

    At the intersection of economics and politics

    An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by  Marc Levinson, Basic Books, US $27.99, Pp 336, November 2016, ISBN 978-0465061983

    Many economists view the third quarter of the 20th century, which followed World War II, as a golden age, followed by a quarter or so of gloom. The third quarter of the last century pointed to an era of global cooperation when a host of new international arrangements to assure …

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  • 1234

    How the myth of Rasputin was created, by whom, and why

    Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by Douglas Smith, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, US $35.00, PP 848, November 2016, ISBN 978-0374240844

    The life of Rasputin is one of the most remarkable in modern history. It reads like a dark fairy tale. An obscure, uneducated peasant from the wilds of Siberia receives a calling from God and sets out in search of the true faith, a journey that leads him across the vast expanses of Russia for many …

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