No Good Men Among the Living [EPUB]
25 September 2014, 08:17
2014 | EPUB | 923.06KB
Told through the lives of three Afghans, the stunning tale of how the United States had triumph in sight in Afghanistan—and then brought the Taliban back from the dead
In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America’s war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality.
Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the US invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist—yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.
With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal’s thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America’s longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.
Pot Planet: Adventures in Global Marijuana Culture [EPUB]
25 September 2014, 07:16
2007 | EPUB | 727.43KB
It's called "weed" for a reason--marijuana grows practically anywhere, and it has infiltrated deeply into societies around the globe. In Pot Planet, journalist Brian Preston scores big, compiling reports from Thailand, Amsterdam, Australia, his home in Vancouver, B.C., and other hotbeds of the high life. Part travelogue, part buyer's guide, the book is largely experiential reporting--where Preston went, whom he met, how high he got--but never strays far from its strong anti-prohibition message. The rules concerning growing, sales, and use are different nearly everywhere he goes, but there are always rules, and by the end of his travels he finds his paranoia strongly taxed.
Preston has a knack for describing the unique qualities of his surroundings, whether natural or cultural; temples in Nepal and muggings in London are as real for the reader as they were for the author. Interviews with growers of all scales, street consumers, and occasional users from Tangier to Kathmandu keep the reader thinking globally, while the closing "pot polemic" encourages Americans to act locally. While Pot Planet won't turn on those who aren't already interested in the herb, statistics suggest that such readers are in the minority.
The Pious Ones: The World of Hasidim and Their Battles with America [EPUB]
24 September 2014, 04:38
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.4/0.6MB
As the population of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the United States increases to astonishing proportions, veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger takes us inside the notoriously insular world of the Hasidim to explore their origins, beliefs, and struggles—and the social and political implications of their expanding presence in America.
Though the Hasidic way of life was nearly extinguished in the Holocaust, today the Hasidim—“the pious ones”—have become one of the most prominent religious subcultures in America. In The Pious Ones, New York Times journalist Joseph Berger traces their origins in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, illuminating their dynamics and core beliefs that remain so enigmatic to outsiders. He analyzes the Hasidim’s codified lifestyle, revealing its fascinating secrets, complexities, and paradoxes, and provides a nuanced and insightful portrayal of how their all-encompassing faith dictates nearly every aspect of life—including work, education, food, sex, clothing, and social relations—sustaining a sense of connection and purpose in a changing world.
From the intense sectarian politics to the conflicts that arise over housing, transportation, schooling, and gender roles, The Pious Ones also chronicles the ways in which the fabric of Hasidic daily life is threatened by exposure to the wider world and also by internal fissures within its growing population.