Book Review: Comrade Koba by Robert Littell
4 Stars , Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / September 9, 2020

It is unclear what role Koba plays in Stalin’s government, except that he is a very high, and admired advisor. Koba, like Stalin, also came from Georgia and, like Stalin, excuses the crimes which the regime commits as a path to a greater “worker’s paradise”. It is a very interesting exercise to explain such concepts to an audience, especially if they’re ten year olds. Koba, at points, seem to be trying to convince himself of the deeds he is a part of, instead of convincing Leon

Book Review: Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 18, 2013

About: Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva is the eighth in the Gabriel Allon series. Even though there are numerous references to the previous books, I thought this novel was still a good read and could be read independently. 352 pages Publisher: Signet Language: English ISBN-10: 0451227387 My rating for Moscow Rules – 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* Thoughts: Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva (web­site) is another solid, well-written and dependable adventure in the Gabriel Allon chronicles. After reading the 8th book in the series it is obvious that Silva has created a character that is strong, subtle and conflicted with an interesting background story and engaging future. At this point in his life, Allon and the readers aren’t really sure what he is. Allon is too old to be the James Bond style agent, too young to retire, too cynical to take a desk job but he is a patriot in every bone in his body and is still able to contribute. Silva realize that he can’t keep his spy young forever and basically ruined his spying career in several books prior by having his face splashed across newspapers and European agencies not allowing him entry…

Thoughts on: War & Peace: Book 3 Part 3
Fiction , Historical Fiction , Latest Posts / December 29, 2012

About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat* More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: Tolstoy has some interesting observations in this part of the book. The author compares time to math, when we look at small units we really don’t understand what we’re seeing, but when we put all the small movements together (and within context) is when are small brains can process change. Historical events are the same, only when you have an understanding of World War I can you understand what brought about World War II and an attempt to simplify the causes (for example: the rise of the Nazi party) does not work. The most outstanding part of this book, I thought, was the point of view of the wounded Andrei, seeing his world through the fog of war and the haze of wounds. As omnipotent readers, we know the circumstances and the story,…

Thoughts on: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Book 1 Part 1
Classics , Latest Posts / January 25, 2012

  About: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is a fictional book first published in 1869. The work is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature.  The copy I read was translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. 1350 pages Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New edition ISBN: 0199232768 Great price on this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Leo Tolstoy Thoughts: I started reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in small increments. To be honest, this first part was a bit too slow and operatic for my taste. However, I understand and appreciate the need for character introduction especially in a complex story such as this. The complex relationship between war and peace is being established almost immediately. Even during peace time, at a fancy soirée the hawks are having their say. The hostess, Anna Palvona, runs the party like a military commander, knowing when to attack and even more importantly, when to withdraw. Tolstoy also sneaks in a few stabs at Russian aristocracy and their hierarchy which resembles that of the military. True to form, Tolstoy doesn’t hold back his thoughts about aristocrats. Marya Dmitrievna describes a…

Book Review: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / May 10, 2011

I got this book for free. Article first published as Book Review: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe on Blogcritics. My rating for Belin 1961  – 4 About: “Berlin 1961” by Frederick Kempe (website) is a non-fiction book which follows the political turmoil in 1961, a defining year in US-Soviet relationship. Nikita Khrushchev called Berlin “the most dangerous place on earth”, reading this book I found out why. 608 pages Publisher: Putnam Adult ISBN: 0399157298 Buy & Save on“Berlin 1961″ through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Berlin 1961” by Frederick Kempe  follows the events that shaped the course of the Cold War. The author juxtaposed between four of the major players – Nikita Khrushchev, John F. Kennedy, East Berlin mayor Walter Ulbricht and West Berlin mayor Konrad Adenauer. Kennedy and Khrushchev were, to me, the most interesting view points of the book. Khrushchev’s bullying the young President while faking diplomacy should probably be studied in all political science courses. Reading how Nikita Khrushchev danced in diplomatic circles around the inexperienced Kennedy, who was just learning his job at the time was facinating. Kennedy breaking his diplomatic chops on a very serious matter is…

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