I'm not a technophobe or a "gadget geek" as I call a friend of mine. I use technology when it suits my needs, but don't feel the need to run out and gI'm not a technophobe or a "gadget geek" as I call a friend of mine. I use technology when it suits my needs, but don't feel the need to run out and get the latest, sexiest new device. That may explain why I've always been a PC gal, but the people I know who have Apple products love them.
Steve Jobs was a genius at combining technology with artistry, which was one of his goals along with building a great company. This is also a somewhat simplistic statement. Jobs' goals, along with the man himself, were complex. From his feelings about being adopted to his abandonment of his own daughter, from his refusal to work with anything less than "A players" to his "reality distortion field", Isaacson does a superb job of walking us through the complexities of the life and accomplishments of the man behind Apple and Pixar.
I am old enough to have taken Fortran IV and used keypunch cards to submit my programs, so I remember when Apple computers were first introduced and the fierce debates between PC and Apple fans over the years. However, I have not followed the career of Jobs, so much of the book was new to me. If you follow technology news closely, I suggest that you read a number of reviews before buying the book. If you are looking for a rundown of events, or a history of Jobs' companies and the technology, you might be disappointed. If you read biographies for a look inside the person, to try to understand what makes them tick, their admirable and non-so-admirable traits, and what contributed to their success, I don't think you will be disappointed. I wasn't.
Emma Williams' memoir of her time living in Israel is an important book to read if you want to understand the nuances of the current Israeli-PalestiniEmma Williams' memoir of her time living in Israel is an important book to read if you want to understand the nuances of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Williams and her family moved to Israel just prior to the beginning of the second Intifada in August, 2000. Her husband works for the UN; she is a doctor who tries to work and provide some normalcy for her 3 children and a 4th born in Bethlehem. They live in Jerusalem in a village with one Jewish family and an extended Palestinian family.
Throughout the book Williams weaves personal stories and events with the bigger picture of the struggle between Jews and Palestinians. She is in a unique position to develop friends and colleagues on both sides of the issue and tries to convey the fears, desires, and attempts to maintain daily life on both sides. She is also open about her own attempts to understand and how difficult it is at times to face the reality. She quotes frequently from conversations with journalists, soldiers, politicians, and ordinary people. Keeping close and frequent communications with friends and family in the US and Britain, she is also able to compare what appears in the press in those countries with what is happening in the country. We definitely don't see the entire picture here.
The Williams lived in Israel until 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, when her husband was transferred to another country. She continued to visit frequently through 2006 when the book was first published in Britain. The edition I read was an updated edition published in the United States in 2010.
It isn't necessarily an easy book to read. It's beautifully written, but the reality is harsh. As with any emotion packed issue, there are people on both sides of the issue who have extreme views, but also people on both sides who above all else want peace. I get the feeling that this is a situation that is almost impossible to understand unless you've lived with it. For that reason, this is an important book to read, especially if you think that you understand the issues you owe it to yourself to read this. It might give you a different perspective or at least a more in depth understanding of the situation. ...more
First off let me say, there have been 2 versions of this book released. I just bought it for my Kindle last week, so I have the latest edition. I didFirst off let me say, there have been 2 versions of this book released. I just bought it for my Kindle last week, so I have the latest edition. I did not find the writing as objectionable as some reviewers have. I'm sure as in most books there are areas where it could be improved, but it was not a distraction to me at all.
There are many extraordinary men and women in this world and this book is the story of one of them. Although Malalai Joya is a young woman, she has an important story to tell. Born into war-torn Afghanistan, she was fortunate to have a father who was educated and wanted his children to be educated as well - an estimated 80% of Afghan women are illiterate. Her father also instilled in her a love of democracy.
Malalai Joya is not her real name, but it is the name she goes by in most areas of her life in order to protect her family. Born in 1978, she has never known a time when her country was not at war. In A Woman Among Warlords, Joya describes her life in rural Afghanistan, refugee camps in both Iran and Pakistan, teaching in underground schools for girls, and finally being elected to the new Parliament only to be ejected for speaking out. Her life is constantly in danger, and although she has traveled outside of Afghanistan to speak and carry her message, she won't consider staying out of the country. Love for the real Afghanistan, the people, comes through on every page.
The book gives a brief history of Afghanistan to fill in background for the current struggle. She speaks knowledgeably about the roles other governments have played in this history and credits the research team who helped her gather this information. I have read several other books about Afghanistan and the facts are consistent with what I've read.
Although the book carries a message of hope, it is not a feel good book. She conveys a picture of the horrors that the Afghan people have had to endure and is critical of the people who have brought it about. This includes both Afghans such as the warlords and the president Hamid Karzai, but also the former Soviet Union and the current US/NATO occupation. However, just as she is able to distinguish between the Afghan government and the people of Afghanistan, she distinguishes between the people of western countries and their governments. Joya is thankful for being able to carry her message to Europe and the US, and for the help she has received from some western organizations.
The message could sound hopeless, but she doesn't see it that way. In the last chapter Joya gives suggestions to people who want to help. As an American, I have often wondered how we could leave Afghanistan with so many problems, many of which we caused, knowing that there are so many warring factions. Joya is insistent that, if democracy is to be attained in Afghanistan, it will be because the people secure it for themselves. The message I get from this book is that yes they would like our help, but from a distance. ...more