Books

HARD PASSAGE By Pierre Beemans (Book Review)

 

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Pierre Beemans

Hard Passage, by Arthur Kroeger

University of Alberta Press, Edmonton, 2007. 269 pp.

 There are several good reasons to head down to the library (or the bookstore) to pick up a copy of this book, especially if you are a former civil servant in Ottawa. 

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WINTER IN FIRELAND By Nick Coghlan reviewed by Paul Durand

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A Patagonian sailing adventure

I first became a fan of Nick Coghlan’s writing when reading his dispatches from our embassy in Colombia in the late nineties. In these reports, he combined the two qualities that make “Winter in Fireland” a gripping read – an irrepressible spirit of adventure which took him into the most daunting situations, and an ability to describe his experiences in lucid prose. This book, following on his previous publications about Colombia and Sudan, places him solidly in the company of the best travel writers - those hardy souls who have explored the world’s nether regions and lived to tell the tale.

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A SEASON IN HELL By Robert Fowler reviewed by Paul Durand

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Paul Durand

 

Robert Fowler has written a unique account of what it is to be a captive of Al Queda. Unique, because Fowler is the highest-level representative of western governments ever to be taken by Al Queda. Also, because his background as a diplomat, senior government official and UN representative was precisely keyed to the menace of islamist terrorism; he knows his subject.

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COMMENTAIRE SUR LA CRITIQUE DE ROGER NORIEGA par Jean-Pierre Juneau

Jean-Pierre Juneau

J’ai été intéressé par les commentaires de Roger Noriega. Cet ancien responsable des affaires latino-américaines au Département d’État exprime certains points de vue avec lesquels je suis d’accord, mais pour ce qui concerne la Révolution cubaine, il faut bien avoir à l’esprit qu’en politique comme en physique, il n y a pas d’effets sans causes.

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THE RIGHTEOUS MIND BY JONATHAN HAIDT Reviewed by Pierre Beemans

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Pierre Beemans

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

Jonathan Haidt. Pantheon Books, NY, 2012, 420 pp.

In this highly readable and stimulating book Jonathan Haidt sets out and justifies his Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) and how it applies to the current socio-cultural and political environment in the USA. MFT postulates that humans in all societies are governed by six instinctive responses in their relations to their ‘moral environment’ and that these six responses are essential to a healthy balance both in the collective social order and in the individual’s engagement in society.

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KLASSEN ON BOOKS Dec 2014 By John Klassen (Reviews)

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John Klassen

LEO PERUTZ

Leo Perutz (1882-1957) was a Jewish Czech -Austrian writer. More Austrian than Czech; he moved from Prague at 7; lived in Vienna until the ? Anschluss when he moved to Palestine; returned to Austria occasionally in the 1950s; died visiting friends in Austria in 1957. Perutz is said to have been admired as a writer by Borges, Calvino, Ian Fleming, and Graham Greene.

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BACK CHANNEL TO CUBA - Critique de livre par Jean-Pierre Juneau

Jean-Pierre Juneau

''Back channel to Cuba.The hidden history of negotiations between Washington and Havana'' par William M. LeoGrande et Peter Kornbluh , The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Nous avons avec cet ouvrage rédigé par deux spécialistes de Cuba , un livre particulièrement intéressant qui relate l'histoire des hauts et des bas des nombreuses tentatives de rapprochement entre les Etats-Unis et Cuba depuis la rupture de leurs relations diplomatiques au début des années 60.

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Booklists by Klassen

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John Klassen

BOOK LISTS

I like book lists whether compiled as the “Top 100 of the Year”, or the “Top 100 Novels of All Time” or, more modestly, lists of favourites from authors, and the lists of the many individual annual literary prizes.  The lists are fun and may lead one to dis bycover new books; they certainly illustrate the breadth and depth of reading that can be done; and sometimes they are frustrating because they reinforce the knowledge that no matter how long you live, you will never read all of the books that you would like to.

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