(member since Aug 15, 2011)
With the Eurozone teetering on what seems like the brink of perpetual collapse I went ahead and got:
by Michael Lewis
...It's an incredibly fast and entertaining read, and does a great job of capturing the unique political and social structures of each nation that have lead to the current crisis. I laughed out loud at least three or four times, and learned a ton.
Just found this article on Reddit about the recent uprisings in the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia, it argues that Iran is trying to destabilize the region all the oil sits on as a proxy attack on American interests:http://tremblethedevil.com/?p=2257
"I can see both sides of this: a country who has neighbors who hate them and will do anything to set off a powderkeg in the region including rocket launching and/or killing innocent Israeli citizens and the neighbors who get killed in retaliation or in trying to protect the Israeli people from future attacks. It is a vicious cycle. One does not warrant the other - yet the cycle continues."
Agreed completely, so long as generation after generation is raised hating the other side the cycle of violence is never going to end.
There have been a bunch of reports recently about the IDF actually arming settlers to deal with the protests they think will come in September as Palestine tries to get statehood from the UN.
Really starting to look like this is going to be an extremely messy fall in the Middle East.
Not sure if this is the right place since the book spans the entire world, but I'd say the bulk of it is focused in Europe. Just found it cleaning out the trunk of my car, it's a strangely compelling read given how dry (no pun... okay yes it was) the style is, but it's absolutely fascinating to read about how a rock we now take so for granted used to quite literally be worth its weight in gold.
Explains the role salt had in basically all of the pre-industrial conflict in Europe, and explains a facet of human life from that epoch that I'd taken totally for granted and never even thought about - how food was stored, preserved, and transported and how vital being able to do that was to... pretty much every element of society.
Not thrilling or mind-blowing... just really curiosity-satisfying. Plus you'll find out where we got the term "red herring" from, among other cool little facts.
In what a story that could either dissipate entirely by tomorrow morning or become a watershed symbolic event in the Middle East, a protestor just climbed the Israeli Embassy's flagpole in Cairo and tore the flag down:http://bikyamasr.com/40072/egypts-fla...
The protestors who'd gathered there because of Israeli's recent actions against Gaza went nuts, they'd spend the past few hours trying to lit the flag on fire using fireworks.
Tension has only been ramping up between Israel and Gaza, but at this point it's hard to imagine Egypt's new government standing idly by if Israel really starts setting it off in the Occupied Territories.
#flagman is now one of the top trending topics on Twitter... could end up being nothing, or the start or something truly terrible in the region.
Considering that Hezbollah is now very much an official part of the Lebanese government, and with how their neighbor Syria seems to be in the middle of a revolution, this could be potentially be a pretty big spark:http://english.aljazeera.net/news/mid...
...the UN Tribunal in Hariri's assassination named four men in their indictment, and all of them are members of Hezbollah. But Hezbollah's leader says he won't be handing the men over to face trial.
I have a hard time finding history books, especially about this period, that aren't really dry and academic, so if you're looking for an engaging read that challenges some of the traditionally held beliefs:
by Jim Lacey
Sorry again, I'm trying to go back through my comments now and do that, sorry to be a pain in the rear!!
Oops shoot, I need to go back and do that a bunch - sorry!!
I suppose this is more the role of religion in current events, but The Daily Beast just carried a really interesting article about the fundamentalist sect that Bachmann and Perry allegedly have strong ties to:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles...
by Ken Follett
Great book about an apocryphal SAS agent who infiltrates Iraq in the '90s to prevent Saddam from building... The Fist of God.
Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East
by Jared Cohen
This is a really interesting modern take on what the youth in the region are like, it predates the recent Arab Spring and is written by a Rhodes Scholar who travels around the region and just chills with kids in different settings from different nations in the region.
If we're allowed to recommend websites in this thread, with all the economic shenanigans going on I think www.ZeroHedge.com
is solid source that brings a much different perspective than the mainstream media.
Anyone got any good books about the advent of the War on Drugs in America? Not any conspiracy-type stuff about CIA involvement, just about how the laws were implemented here.
I've read these books but am looking for something more policy focused:
by Michelle Alexander
edited by Tara Herivel
by Alan Elsner [not in the data base]
This book's a fantastic history of the OSS, the group that basically turned into the CIA. It's really readable and has a ton of fun anecdotes, not CIA exactly but along the same lines.
I finished this book a few weeks ago and with everything that just went on in the UK it's probably more salient than ever. The UK has neither our history of slavery nor anything close to our prison system, and much stricter gun laws, it's hard to imagine our black community not getting more restless than just those flash mobs in Philly before too long.
The book basically traces out how the War on Drugs is a natural descendent of Jim Crow laws, which were set up to perpetuate slavery.
Slavery explicitly talked about race and oppression, Jim Crow laws talked about race but tried to pretend there was no impression, and the War on drugs pretends to neither be about race nor oppression - but it's really very much about both.
Hey guys, new to Good Reads and just looking for some new history books to read that aren't written with too heavily an academic tone!! "The First Clash," is the best example of that from what I've recently read, and not sure if this is the place for historical fiction too but "Gates of Fire" is one of my all-time favs.