“Blackwater” Jeremy Scahill With Erik Prince’s recent op-ed in the NYT arguing in favor of largely turning the US presence in Afghanistan over to private military contractors, now seems like a good time to review Jeremy Scahill’s “Blackwater,” a detailed expose of Blackwater’s (now merged with Triple Canopy and known as Academi) actions during the […]Read more "“Blackwater” by Jeremy Scahill"
Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden How much good can you do with the point of a gun? This is the question that, at its heart, “Black Hawk Down” asks–and answers. The answer? Only so much. “Black Hawk Down” covers, with moment-by-moment thoroughness, the 1993 battle of Mogadishu, when a small group of US Rangers […]Read more "“Black Hawk Down” by Mark Bowden"
In this collection of tales, in turns lyrical and brutal, Oleg Ermakov, probably Russia’s foremost writer on the Soviet war in Afghanistan, depicts the war from multiple points of view: a boy on a date a couple of days before he heads off to basic training, a raw recruit forced to commit an act he […]Read more "“Afghan Tales” by Oleg Yermakov"
In “City Folk and Country Folk,” not-particularly-rich minor gentry Erast Sergeyevich Ovcharov has returned to his home village to take a rest cure and drink whey. His own estate is not inhabitable, so he ends up renting a bathhouse from his neighbor, Nastasya Ivanovna Chulkova. This draws the both of them into a summer of […]Read more "“City Folk and Country Folk” by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya"
What if, instead of dying, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra had gotten married and produced magical children? That is the premise of “Ave, Caesarion,” a prequel to the Edda-Earth saga, in which we find out how, instead of falling, Rome continued to rule for another two thousand years. If you enjoyed the Edda-Earth books, then “Ave, […]Read more "“Ave, Caesarion” by Deborah Davitt"
“For once,” Dan Mills says about the news that his battalion was being sent to Iraq, “we were going somewhere interesting.” A professional soldier in his 30s and the head of his battalion’s sniper group, Mills had been bored stiff by a series of tours in tedious places like Northern Ireland and Bosnia. But finally, […]Read more "“Sniper One” by Dan Mills"
Hiro Hattori has a problem: he needs to find the murderer of an important guest ASAP. But the suspects are all people he doesn’t want to give up. Like his mother. Or his ex-lover. As time runs out, what is he going to do? “Betrayal at Iga” is set in 16th-century Japan, and is full […]Read more "“Betrayal at Iga” by Susan Spann"
In this eye-witness account of the events in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, Richard Engel, NBC correspondent for the Middle East, repeatedly asks the question that others should have been asking a lot earlier and a lot louder: namely, what the heck was the US doing there? This is a personal account of Engel’s experiences […]Read more "“War Journal” by Richard Engel"
A tragic car accident changes Lisa’s life forever. Just not in the way she thinks. She believes it has left her scarred, infertile, and doomed to be childless and alone. But she keeps crossing paths with the green-eyed boy who pulled her from the wreck. Is it fate? Meanwhile, James’s dream of being a surgeon […]Read more "“Lives Collide” by Kristina Beck"
Higher education has been in a parlous state for some time now, and the higher you go up the food chain, degree-wise, the more parlous it is. Although Loren Mayshark’s experience is unusually bad, it is symptomatic of the kinds of problems that grad students can expect to face, and is a cautionary tale for […]Read more "“Academic Betrayal” by Loren Mayshark"