Book Review: The Insurgents by Fred Kaplan
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / December 17, 2014

The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan is a thought provoking book which tells a good story and asks some hard hitting questions. The book is divided into three parts: the post-Vietnam era and introduction of counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare line of thinking into the US military, the history of COIN in Afghanistan and Iraq (with input from Washington politicians), and a third part which analyzes what was accomplished and the value of this strategy.

Book Review: The Talmud: A Biography by Harry Freedman
5 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / October 30, 2014

t’s amazing to read about the history of the Talmud paralleled that of the Jewish people. During the pogroms and ages which anti-Semitism was a societal and politically accepted, those who seek to destroy the Jews tried also to destroy the Talmud, mainly because they didn’t understand what it was about (ridiculously bringing about the blood-libel scenarios over and over).

Book Review: It Doesn’t Take a Hero by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

The start of the buildup of the Gulf War (1990) is where the book takes off to relevancy not only when published, but today also since we are still facing some of those issues, as well as many others. General Schwarzkopf was assigned to Central Command not long before Iraq invaded Kuwait, in this book the General states that he prepared his troops for war in the Middle East since, to his estimation, a war in Europe is unlikely. As Bush 41 made it clear that Iraqi aggression will not go unnoticed, General Schwarzkopf realized that he might be at the center of fight.

Book Review: Fragments From Iraq by Zsolt T. Stockinger, M.D.
4 Stars , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / August 2, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Fragments from Iraq by Zsolt T. Stockinger on Blogcritics. “[W]hen Allah created hell, it wasn’t terrible enough, so he made Iraq – and added flies.” Old Arab saying (page 81). About: Fragments from Iraq: Diary of a Navy Trauma Surgeon by Zsolt T. Stockinger is a non-fiction book which recounts the daily life of a trauma surgeon on the front line. The book is in diary format written by the doctor which seems as if he was talking to his wife. 255 pages Publisher: Mcfarland (May 3, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 078646951X My rating for Fragments From Iraq – 4 Buy this book in paper format Thoughts: Fragments from Iraq: Diary of a Navy Trauma Surgeon by Zsolt T. Stockinger relates the daily activities this front line trauma surgeon encountered in his base in Iraq. From the boring daily routine, to the military’s “hurry up and wait” mentality and to the serious injuries, whether from an IED, to local babies, self inflicted wounds and more. The diary is written in an informal style, but it seemed to me that it was edited and maybe sanitized to make it more palatable to a larger audience. Personally I see…

Thoughts on: Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts , Non-Fiction / February 22, 2012

About: Late for Tea at the Deer Palace : The Lost Dreams of My Iraqi Family by Tamara Chalabi is a book which was hard to classify. Part history, part cultural, part fictional and non-fictional family saga and all about a bygone era. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— enter at the end of the post. 448 pages Publisher: Harper (January 18, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0061240397 My rating for Late for Tea at the Deer Palace – 5 Great price on this book in paper format through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More books by Tamara Chalabi Thoughts: I believe that Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi is the first book I read because I have heard of the author’s father. I recognize Ahmad Chalabi’s name from years of living in the Middle East as well as his temporary high profile during The Gulf War where he was accused of many things, including being a triple agent giving faulty intelligence. However, the story of Ahmad Chalabis rise and fall is the least interesting part in this fascinating book. The first feeling that struck me while reading this book is jealousy. If ever I’d write a…

Thoughts on: Pandora’s Grave by Stephen England
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 9, 2011

About: “Pandora’s Grave” by Stephen England is a fictional book set mostly in the US and Middle East. The novel is the first of a series and I, for one, am looking forward to see what’s next. Mr. England was kind enough to give three (3) eCopies for a giveaway. This is an international contest. My rating for Pandora’s Grave – 5 Buy & Save on “Pandora’s Grave” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Kin­dle |Smashwords Thoughts: “Pandora’s Grave” by Stephen England (website) is an exciting thrill ride which starts fast and continues until the last page. This book is the kind of spy thrillers we rarely see anymore, maybe because the Cold War has supplied so many great stories and its end demised them. The book reminded me of the TV show “24”, it is devised into small sections which tell the reader what happens in different places at the same time. The story is rich, thrilling with plenty of action in the tradition of the good ol’ Cold War thrillers but with twists. The main character, Harry Nichols, is well written as well as the rest of the cast. I was actually surprised to find how well the…

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