This was a fantastic book. She was very honest about her life, and everything that happened to her, and through her (many times unpopular) opinions.
IThis was a fantastic book. She was very honest about her life, and everything that happened to her, and through her (many times unpopular) opinions.
I especially liked reading her voice some thoughts that I have had many times, such as what people from Africa must think the first time they come to a Western country, thoughts on women in Islam, and the Islamic religion all together. It's a little biased, since she is now an athiest, but she brings up many good points, and did not come to her conclusions easily.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn a little more about Somali culture, immigration, Islam, and extremism. Or, if you just want to read a very interesting autobiography about a Somali girl turned Dutch politician....more
I read this for school. I really enjoyed Samuel Huntington's entire essay. It brought up some really good points, although I don't ultimately agree wiI read this for school. I really enjoyed Samuel Huntington's entire essay. It brought up some really good points, although I don't ultimately agree with his thesis. Very good essay though. The debate essays brought up some very good points, and it was nice to see the other side of the issues from other scholars, though I wish they were a bit longer....more
Great essay. I think it's a little alarmist, but I'm not well read enough on the issues to know for sure. It's very thought provoking and will definitGreat essay. I think it's a little alarmist, but I'm not well read enough on the issues to know for sure. It's very thought provoking and will definitely spur some research into the issues on my part, which is always a good sign for an essay in my book....more
I really enjoyed this book. It was well organized, well thought out, and very interesting.
I'm not sure it's really about a "post AmerAudio book again.
I really enjoyed this book. It was well organized, well thought out, and very interesting.
I'm not sure it's really about a "post American world" though, and more about how a post American world could happen, but much more about why it's not happening so quickly, and how it could be avoided. The author spends exhaustive amounts of time talking about the rise of China, which I found interesting, and the rise of India, which I didn't find quite so interesting. He also spent a lot of time comparing the American empire with that of Britain, and the demise of Britain in the early part of last century. It was a nice contrast to the ever present comparisons to Rome, which nary a mention comes up in this book.
I found the book quite optimistic (perhaps unrealistically so at times), but seems a good salve to the American fear of falling behind in the world, with the constant reassurances that it's not happening that quickly and it won't be so bad when it does. The author obviously loves America, but in a realistic way.
It reminded me a lot of why I really like international relations, and reminded me of a lot of the things I studied in my undergrad, which was a good reminder.
The book was published in 2008, and a lot has changed since then, so I wonder how different the opinions and thoughts of the author would be now, 4 years down the road, when some things he talked about have changed drastically.
But, I still really really enjoyed it, and recommend it for a very interesting point of view on American foreign relations, economics, politics, and the rise of the rest of the world....more
This one brought back a lot of memories for me of the summers I spent in Chicago working in the housing projects on different development projects. IThis one brought back a lot of memories for me of the summers I spent in Chicago working in the housing projects on different development projects. I worked in Cabrini-Green, not Henry Horner, but I was familiar enough with the geography of Horner to appreciate the descriptions in the book. Many of the events and feelings described were familiar to what I experienced in Cabrini too.
This book was written over 20 years ago, before the Chicago Housing Authority made the decision to tear down all of the housing projects. I would even dare to say that it took place at the height of the violence and other terrible conditions of the housing projects in Chicago. It's a depressing, but realistic, look at what life is like in extreme poverty and violence. It's a foreign world to many.It is hard to really understand what it must be like for the people depicted in the book, but the author does a very good job at writing so that you really can understand what their lives are like.
It's a depressing book, and for good reason. The cycle of poverty and violence is so hard to escape. You want to cheer for the kids and other people in the book, but it seems that good intentions always seem to fail. I read an update on the family written in 2011, and I had hoped so hard the the kids found their way out of poverty and out of the life of violence and drugs. They didn't. They both went to prison, and got involved in the lifestyle they vowed as children to avoid. I was sad to hear that, and, cynically, not surprised. Though I wish it could have been different.
The historical aspects of the book, along with the statistics and other factual information was my favorite aspect - as it usually is in books like this. I am fascinated by the rise and fall of urban housing developments, especially in Chicago.
I highly recommend this one. It's really great....more
This book was really great. I loved all of the detail the author went into regarding what happened in Rwanda, and he didn't stop there. He covered theThis book was really great. I loved all of the detail the author went into regarding what happened in Rwanda, and he didn't stop there. He covered the fall out from the genocide and what happened in the DRC (then Zaire) as a result and implications for the entire region.
I absolutely loved the interviews he did with Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni - in fact those were some of the most fascinating sections. Hearing about African politics from actual African politicians was interesting, eepecially since Kagame was not yet President.
Since the book was written by a journalist it's written in an engaging fashion and keeps moving forward through historical and technical items that could turn academic.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read more about the genocide in Rwanda. Is it the most authoritative book? No. But it brings the average reader into the crisis in a way that an academic book likely would not. Read it!...more
This book gives a more optimistic view of Chinese involvement in Africa than is typically found in the West. Brautigam thinks that, for the many faultThis book gives a more optimistic view of Chinese involvement in Africa than is typically found in the West. Brautigam thinks that, for the many faults, the Chinese progam of economic investment in Africa is good - and likely even better than what the West is doing there.
I used this book for my capstone paper at school and found it very helpful.
I recommend it for a different view of China and Africa!...more
I read this one aloud to Jun, so it took a very long time to get through. We read off and on for about 8 months. So, the review may be changed by theI read this one aloud to Jun, so it took a very long time to get through. We read off and on for about 8 months. So, the review may be changed by the long gaps we took in between chapters. Perhaps the overall impact of the book is greater if you read it all the way through in a shorter period of time.
This was quite a good book, and of course very shocking. Some of the corruption and nastiness in the food industry (especially fast food and meat, as covered in-depth in the book) is amazing. We like to think that the U.S. doesn't have the corruption that exists in other nations, but we do - it just tends to be hidden from the public better.
Very eye opening, and thoroughly enjoyable. It covers a lot of the same ground as many other food books in the past decade, but since it was written 12 years ago it's got to be one of the first to make the intricacies of fast food accessible to the public. This version also had the updated afterword written recently, which was very interesting to read.
I definitely recommend this one. It's still hard to say no to fast food sometimes, though, even though a lot of the stuff in this book will make you want to never step foot in a fast food restaurant - or sometimes any restaurant - ever again....more
I decided to write a paper on social and political dysfunction before, during, and after natural disasters. This was a perfect book to help me in my rI decided to write a paper on social and political dysfunction before, during, and after natural disasters. This was a perfect book to help me in my research, so I used the 1995 heat wave as my case study for my paper.
This book was very interesting, and it shed light on the dysfunction that is rampant in urban America that leads to tragedies like the Chicago heat wave, or Katrina. The poor, the elderly, and the isolated are forgotten about in society which directly contributes to their demise during a disaster. Plus, the modern forms of governance are not built in a way that can support those who do not actively seek services - which the most vulnerable people often do not.
It's a heavy read, but not too dense. I really recommend it if you want to look at urban dysfunction in the face of a tragedy because this book lays it all on the line. You can see where certain aspects are found in cities across America, and not just specific to Chicago. Definitely a must read for anyone who is in to social justice, governance, or disaster planning....more
I love reading all of Peter Godwin's books and this one was no different. However, I will say that I really would like to read some good books about ZI love reading all of Peter Godwin's books and this one was no different. However, I will say that I really would like to read some good books about Zimbabwe by writers who are not white. I feel like the narrative of Zimbabwe, while interesting from a white perspective, would be very different from a black perspective - particularly since 2000 and the decline of Mugabe's regime. It seems like most of the readily available biographical books about Zimbabwe are written by whites.
Anyway, this book is different from his other books because while it is still a bit biographical, it's more about other people and politics. You can tell the author supports MDC and not ZANU-PF as it is very obvious, particularly in the way he chooses to only tell the one side of things. However, I think that is warranted in this case. I think some of the nitty gritty of the MDC/ZANU-PF clash needs to be told to a Western audience that likely knows little about it. Of course, I always like a balanced book that tells both sides. But, telling both sides here might take away from a story that relies largely on interviews and first hand accounts of the terrible aftermath of the 2008 elections.
This one was good. It took me a while to get through, even though it isn't particularly long. I recommend it for a good look at the horror of the post election violence in Zimbabwe. (and some history to boot!)...more
This is an excellent overview of the conflict in eastern DRC in the ‘90s and early ‘00s. It’s very readable and outlines some of the major combatants,This is an excellent overview of the conflict in eastern DRC in the ‘90s and early ‘00s. It’s very readable and outlines some of the major combatants, drivers, and underlying reasons for the ongoing conflict. This book, as the author admits, does not focus on the loss of life or other humanitarian aspects of the war (there is a ton of writing that can bring you down that depressing trail to be sure) but rather on the combatants and what they were going for with the unending cycle of conflict, including the militias, the DRC government, and the proxy fighters.
The DRC war is incredibly complex, and Stearns definitely knows how to write a readable text on the subject that helps you understand (or at least begin to understand) the conflict, and some of the background to why things are still a mess there today. As an aside, he also writes a great blog on the DRC congosiasa. ...more