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Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War by Jeffrey B Lilley
Bill Getz - 2011
A German pilot is shot down over the English Channel and rescued by the British. It is discovered that he is a high ranking ace, and one of several royal princes flying for the Luftwaffe. His capture also opens a whole new avenue for British and American intelligence to determine the effectiveness of their counterintelligence activities to deceive Adolf Hitler as to Allied intentions for an invasion of Europe. Operation Gemini is launched and is one of the most successful spy operations of the war. Although this is a work of fiction, many of the characters were real and worked in the positions portrayed in the story. The main characters are fictitious. Wars are replete with secrets, deceptions and lies, prompting Winston Churchill to have famously said, and oft-quoted, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” This tale could be one such lie. Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu said, All warfare is based upon deception. So are novels. 575 Pages.
The Useful Idiot: A Chilling New Thriller set in Stalin's Soviet Union
John Sweeney - 2020
a gem of a novel' Robert Dinsdale Moscow, 1932. Gareth Jones, a young Welsh reporter, arrives in the Soviet Union excited to see for himself how Josef Stalin is forging a new civilisation. He meets American and British journalists who acclaim Stalin’s great experiment – but when Jones witnesses people starving to death in Ukraine, his belief in the Soviet revolution is shattered. He must decide whether to report the truth or become just another useful idiot, saying only what the Communist secret police allow and smothering the evidence of his own eyes. In this special kind of hell, anyone could be an informer, and Jones knows his life will be at risk if he is even thought to be defying Stalin. And when the woman he loves falls under the suspicion of the secret police, everything Jones values is in danger. Can he reveal the terrible truth about the Ukrainian famine to the world, or will he be silenced forever? THE USEFUL IDIOT is the secret history of the first great Soviet lie – wrapped up in an electrifying novel perfect for readers of Robert Harris, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, John le Carré and Kate Atkinson. As Vladimir Putin rewrites the Nazi-Soviet pact and with the horrors of Chernobyl and the Cold War so recent, this thriller of fake news in 1932 is real storytelling of enormous significance. *** John Sweeney is an award-winning journalist and a former long-serving BBC reporter. He is the author of eleven books, including three novels: the 200,000-copy bestseller ELEPHANT MOON, another historical thriller based on true events, two modern-day political thrillers, COLD and ROAD, an investigation into the Church of Scientology, THE CHURCH OF FEAR, an account of his time spent undercover in North Korea, NORTH KOREA UNDERCOVER. He tweets from @johnsweeneyroar.
Restless Valley: Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia
Philip Shishkin - 2013
. . or heroes . . . or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, firsthand account of Central Asia’s unfolding history from 2005 to the present.Philip Shishkin, a prize-winning journalist with extensive on-the-ground experience in the tumultuous region above Afghanistan’s northern border, focuses mainly on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Both nations have struggled with the enormous challenges of post-Soviet independent statehood; both became entangled in America’s Afghan campaign when U.S. military bases were established within their borders. At the same time, the region was developing into a key smuggling hub for Afghanistan’s booming heroin trade. Through the eyes of local participants—the powerful and the powerless—Shishkin reconstructs how Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have ricocheted between extreme repression and democratic strivings, how alliances with the United States and Russia have brought mixed blessings, and how Stalin’s legacy of ethnic gerrymandering incites conflict even now.
The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years
Chingiz Aitmatov - 1980
Set in the vast windswept Central Asian steppes and the infinite reaches of galactic space, this powerful novel offers a vivid view of the culture and values of the Soviet Union's Central Asian peoples.
The Mountain and the Wall
Alisa Ganieva - 2012
Schmid, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Germany)This remarkable debut novel by a unique young Russian voice portrays the influence of political intolerance and religious violence in the lives of people forced to choose between evils.The Mountain and the Wall focuses on Shamil, a young local reporter in Makhachkala, and his reactions, or lack thereof, to rumors that the Russian government is building a wall to cut off the Muslim provinces of the Caucasus from the rest of Russia. As unrest spreads and the tension builds, Shamil's life is turned upside down, and he can no longer afford to ignore the violence surrounding him.With a fine sense for mounting catastrophe, Alisa Ganieva tells the story of the decline of a society torn apart by its inherent extremes.Alisa Ganieva, born in 1985, grew up in Makhachkala, Dagestan. Her literary debut, the novella Salaam, Dalgat!, won the prestigious Debut Prize in 2009. Shortlisted for all of Russia's major literary awards, The Mountain and the Wall is her first novel, and has already been translated into several languages. Ganieva lives in Moscow, where she works as a journalist and literary critic.Carol Apollonio, PhD, is a professor of Slavic and Eurasian studies at Duke University. Her most recent translations include German Sadulaev's The Maya Pill (Dalkey Archive, 2014) and new versions of Anton Chekhov stories.
Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?
Ted Rall - 2006
Combines articles with comics chapters relating his experiences retracing the old legendary Silk Road starting with the sublime history of China and ending in the absurdity of the petty dictatorships of the “The ‘Stans” where Rall had the temerity -or was it blustery stupidity?- to go back, including once with a group of listeners to his radio show, on a dare. It’s exotic adventure, satire and a fun way to find out more about a part of the world that looms in importance with its immense reserves of oil...
The Pornographer Diaries
Danny King - 2004
He talks to the models, he reads hundreds of filthy readers' letters, he organises the photoshoots and even gets to direct the action. He has, according to his non-porn friends, "the best job in the world". But Godfrey Bishop has a problem. Godfrey Bishop is going through the sex drought to end all sex droughts. He hasn't been with a woman in over a year and this knee-twisting frustration is magnified a hundred times by his daily grind. He feels like Billy Bunter put in charge of the cake shop, only to have the Atkins diet forced upon him at gun point. Chuck into the mix a twelve girl orgy, a stable of alcoholic co-workers, an angry argumentative feminist, a naked run from justice and an obsessive nutty reader who thinks Godfrey is trying to scupper his chances of marrying the magazine's centre-spread girl and you have Danny King's filthiest and funniest novel yet – according to the back of the book. Godfrey Bishop has "the best job in the world" – and it's doing his f*cking head in.
Shadow of the Silk Road
Colin Thubron - 2007
Out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran and into Kurdish Turkey, Colin Thubron covers some seven thousand miles in eight months. Making his way by local bus, truck, car, donkey cart and camel, he travels from the tomb of the Yellow Emperor, the mythic progenitor of the Chinese people, to the ancient port of Antioch—in perhaps the most difficult and ambitious journey he has undertaken in forty years of travel.The Silk Road is a huge network of arteries splitting and converging across the breadth of Asia. To travel it is to trace the passage not only of trade and armies but also of ideas, religions and inventions. But alongside this rich and astonishing past, Shadow of the Silk Road is also about Asia today: a continent of upheaval.One of the trademarks of Colin Thubron's travel writing is the beauty of his prose; another is his gift for talking to people and getting them to talk to him. Shadow of the Silk Road encounters Islamic countries in many forms. It is about changes in China, transformed since the Cultural Revolution. It is about false nationalisms and the world's discontented margins, where the true boundaries are not political borders but the frontiers of tribe, ethnicity, language and religion. It is a magnificent and important account of an ancient world in modern ferment.
The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them
Elif Batuman - 2010
“Babel in California” told the true story of various human destinies intersecting at Stanford University during a conference about the enigmatic writer Isaac Babel. Over the course of several pages, Batuman managed to misplace Babel’s last living relatives at the San Francisco airport, uncover Babel’s secret influence on the making of King Kong, and introduce her readers to a new voice that was unpredictable, comic, humane, ironic, charming, poignant, and completely, unpretentiously full of love for literature. Batuman’s subsequent pieces—for The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and the London Review of Books— have made her one of the most sought-after and admired writers of her generation, and its best traveling companion. In The Possessed we watch her investigate a possible murder at Tolstoy’s ancestral estate. We go with her to Stanford, Switzerland, and St. Petersburg; retrace Pushkin’s wanderings in the Caucasus; learn why Old Uzbek has one hundred different words for crying; and see an eighteenth-century ice palace reconstructed on the Neva. Love and the novel, the individual in history, the existential plight of the graduate student: all find their place in The Possessed. Literally and metaphorically following the footsteps of her favorite authors, Batuman searches for the answers to the big questions in the details of lived experience, combining fresh readings of the great Russians, from Pushkin to Platonov, with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence—including her own.