Tag Archives: Books I’ve Read

Books I’ve Read: The Mafia – The Complete Story

Books I’ve Read:

The Mafia – The Complete Story

Italy’s most notorious export is the Mafia. As Sicilian immigrants arrived on Ellis Island, they brought their bad seeds with them, gangsters who would stop at nothing in pursuit of money. Soon they were rewriting the history of America in blood.

The deeds of ruthless hoods and criminal masterminds such as Al Capone, Tot� Riina, and John Gotti have since become legend. The Mafia gives you the inside track on the personalities, the brutal exploits, and the fascinating culture of the world’s most powerful criminal organization

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Books I’ve Read

Mafia : The Complete Story

by Al Cimino , Jo Durden Smith , M. A. Frasca

Reviews:

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Ex-Mob Boss Rates 13 Mafia Movie Scenes | How Real Is It?

Other Books I’ve read listed below

Books I’ve read: Vietnam – An Epic History of a Tragic War: Max Hastings

Vietnam: An Epic History of a Divisive War 1945-1975

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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

‘His masterpiece’ Antony Beevor, Spectator

‘A masterful performance’ Sunday Times

‘By far the best book on the Vietnam War’ Gerald Degroot, The Times, Book of the Year

My Thoughts ?

I’ve just finished reading this ( all 722 pages) and it sure is an Epic read and forensic analysis of the war , the history of the region and the American’s ill fated journey through the nightmare theatre of the tragedy that was the Vietnam War. Full of interesting and revealing background and personal stories from those on all side , including Johnson and Nixons involvement.

War by Proxy ?

Seemed that way to me, the Americans and their partners were so paranoid about the commie’s getting a foot in the door they were blind to the spiders web they had walked into. Not for the faint hearted, but if you like to get under the skin and know all the details this book is a great way to start!

Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh’s warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.

Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners’ victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.

No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings’ readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.

Read the Reviews : Amazon Reviews

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy by Sir Max Hastings

See : The Vietnam Execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém 1st February 1968

See : Fragging – The deliberate killing or attempted killing by a soldier of a fellow soldier

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The Girl Who Escaped ISIS – Farida Khalaf

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS 

 Farida Khalaf 

I have long followed with sympathy the plight of the Yazidi people of Iraq and I watched with horror and a heavy heart as the madmen  of Islamic  State turned its twisted , pitiless hatred on these gentle folk and the genocidal  destruction of their families , communities and very cultural.
 
Crimes against humanity were committed on an industrial scale  and the Yazidi people were easy targets for the bullies  and worthless  losers  of Islamic Sate or should that be
” Islamic Failed State”  .
Hundreds were killed , fathers and sons separated from their women and children  and slaughtered without  an ounce of mercy. Their wife’s and daughters  enslaved and bought , sold and resold within the slave markets of an Islamic  Hell on earth .
 
Farida Khalaf   survived this nightmare ordeal and against all the odds she escaped and was reunited with her mother and surviving brothers in an Iraqi refugee camp .
This is her incredible story

 Farida’s Story

 

Image result for farida khalaf the girl who escaped isis

In August 2014, Farida was, like any ordinary teenager, enjoying the last days of summer before her final year at school. However, her peaceful mountain village in northern Iraq was an ISIS target as their genocide against the Yazidi people began.

The Catastrophe

ISIS murdered the men and boys in the village, including Farida’s father and brother, and took the women hostage. Farida was one of them. She was held in a slave camp, in the homes of ISIS members and finally in a desert training camp. Continually she struggled, resisted and fought against her captors, showing unimaginable strength and bravery.

This is my Story

Eventually, Farida managed to plot her escape and fled into the desert with five young girls in her care, but defeating ISIS was just the first step in her journey. In this book she tells her remarkable and inspiring story.

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Farida Khalaf

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Farida Khalaf (born circa 1995) is a Yazidi woman who was abducted by ISIS in 2014 and sold into slavery. She escaped to a refugee camp, and in 2016 published a book about her experience, The Girl Who Beat ISIS.

Khalaf grew up in the village of Kocho in the mountains of Iraq. In 2014, when she was 18, ISIS invaded her village. The jihadists murdered all the men and boys of the village, including her father and brother. Single women and girls, including Farida and her friend Evin, were forced onto a bus at gunpoint and brought to Raqqa, where they were sold into sexual slavery.She was once beaten so badly by her captors that she lost sight in one eye, and could not walk for two months.

The young women managed to escape to a refugee camp in northern Iraq, and Khalaf was reunited with surviving family members. Among members of her community, however, she was seen as having brought dishonor to her family by having been raped. She subsequently moved to Germany, where she hopes to become a mathematics teacher.

 

Good Cop, Bad War – Books I’ve Read

Good Cop, Bad war

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 ‘The logic of the drugs war only leads one way: the police get smarter, so the criminals get nastier. Things can only ever go from bad to worse, from savagery to savagery…

Neil Woods takes you a on  a roller coaster ride as he tells the  frank and sometimes edge of seat frightening story of  his life as an undercover cop and his infiltration of some of the most violent and ruthless drugs gangs in the UK.

Starting out in the early 90s and making the rules up as he went, Neil was at the forefront of police surveillance. He quickly earned a name as the most successful operative of his time and his expertise was called upon by drugs squads around the country to tackle an ever growing problem.

For fourteen long, lonely years Neil donned the persona of a low life drug addict and the fact that he grew to respect and sympathise with those he would ultimately  need to betray – in order to gain access to the “main players”   speaks volumes about the man’s character.

But after years on the streets, spending time with these vulnerable users at the bottom of the chain, Neil began to question the seemingly futile war he was risking both his life and sanity for. What if the real enemy wasn’t who he thought?

The strain of living on the edge and facing constant dangers eventually takes a heavy toll on Neil’s personnel life , marriage and health and its hardly a surprise when he has a complete mental meltdown and finds himself in a dark lonely place.

Good Cop, Bad War is an intense account of the true effects of the War on drugs and a gripping insight into the high pressure world of British undercover policing.

 ” I challenge anyone to read this book and not be convinced by Neil’s conclusions. After all, when cops say ‘legalise drugs’, you can’t help but ask why.”

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