Tag Archives: debacle

Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama

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Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama by Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb
English | 2011-05-26 | ISBN: 0815721315 | PDF | 355 pages | 3,6 MB

Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama
The United States had never lost a war-that is, until 1975, when it was forced to flee Saigon in humiliation after losing to what Lyndon Johnson called a "raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country." The legacy of this first defeat has haunted every president since, especially on the decision of whether to put "boots on the ground" and commit troops to war.
In Haunting Legacy, the father-daughter journalist team of Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb presents a compelling, accessible, and hugely important history of presidential decisionmaking on one crucial issue: in light of the Vietnam debacle, under what circumstances should the United States go to war?

The sobering lesson of Vietnam is that the United States is not invincible-it can lose a war-and thus it must be more discriminating about the use of American power. Every president has faced the ghosts of Vietnam in his own way, though each has been wary of being sucked into another unpopular war. Ford (during the Mayaguez crisis) and both Bushes (Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan) deployed massive force, as if to say, "Vietnam, be damned." On the other hand, Carter, Clinton, and Reagan (to the surprise of many) acted with extreme caution, mindful of the Vietnam experience. Obama has also wrestled with the Vietnam legacy, using doses of American firepower in Libya while still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The authors spent five years interviewing hundreds of officials from every postwar administration and conducting extensive research in presidential libraries and archives, and they've produced insight and information never before published. Equal parts taut history, revealing biography, and cautionary tale, Haunting Legacy is must reading for anyone trying to understand the power of the past to influence war-and-peace decisions of the present, and of the future.
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Party of One

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Party of One by Michael Harris
English | 2014 | ISBN: 0670067016 | 466 pages | EPUB | 1,2 MB

Party of One
In , investigative journalist Michael Harris closely examines the majority government of a prime minister essentially unchecked by the opposition and empowered by the general election victory of May 2011. Harris looks at Harper's policies, instincts, and the often breathtaking gap between his stated political principles and his practices.

Harris argues that Harper is more than a master of controlling information: he is a profoundly anti-democratic figure. In the F-35 debacle, the government's sin wasn't only keeping the facts from Canadians, it was in inventing them. Harper himself provided the key confabulations, and they are irrefutably (and unapologetically) on the public record from the last election. This is no longer a matter of partisan debate, but a fact Canadians must interpret for what it may signify.

Harris illustrates how Harper has made war on every independent source of information in Canada since coming to power. is about a man with a well-defined and growing enemies list of those not wanted on the voyage: union members, scientists, diplomats, environmentalists, First Nations peoples, and journalists.

Against the backdrop of a Conservative commitment to transparency and accountability, Harris exposes the ultra-secrecy, non-compliance, and dismissiveness of this prime minister. And with the Conservative majority in Parliament, the law is simple: what one man, the PM, says, goes.
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Party of One

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Party of One by Michael Harris
English | 2014 | ISBN: 0670067016 | 466 pages | EPUB | 1,2 MB

Party of One
In , investigative journalist Michael Harris closely examines the majority government of a prime minister essentially unchecked by the opposition and empowered by the general election victory of May 2011. Harris looks at Harper's policies, instincts, and the often breathtaking gap between his stated political principles and his practices.

Harris argues that Harper is more than a master of controlling information: he is a profoundly anti-democratic figure. In the F-35 debacle, the government's sin wasn't only keeping the facts from Canadians, it was in inventing them. Harper himself provided the key confabulations, and they are irrefutably (and unapologetically) on the public record from the last election. This is no longer a matter of partisan debate, but a fact Canadians must interpret for what it may signify.

Harris illustrates how Harper has made war on every independent source of information in Canada since coming to power. is about a man with a well-defined and growing enemies list of those not wanted on the voyage: union members, scientists, diplomats, environmentalists, First Nations peoples, and journalists.

Against the backdrop of a Conservative commitment to transparency and accountability, Harris exposes the ultra-secrecy, non-compliance, and dismissiveness of this prime minister. And with the Conservative majority in Parliament, the law is simple: what one man, the PM, says, goes.
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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)

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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles) By Karen Armstrong
2002 | 272 Pages | ISBN: 081296618X | EPUB + MOBI | 3 MB + 2 MB

Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
The picture of Islam as a violent, backward, and insular tradition should be laid to rest, says Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Muhammad and A History of God. Delving deep into Islamic history, Armstrong sketches the arc of a story that begins with the stirring of revelation in an Arab businessman named Muhammad. His concern with the poor who were being left behind in the blush of his society's new prosperity sets the tone for the tale of a culture that values community as a manifestation of God. Muhammad's ideas catch fire, quickly blossoming into a political empire. As the empire expands and the once fractured Arabs subdue and overtake the vast Persian domain, the story of a community becomes a panoramic drama. With great dexterity, Armstrong narrates the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persian influence, the clashes with Western crusaders and Mongolian conquerors, and the spiritual explorations that traced the route to God. Armstrong brings us through the debacle of European colonialism right up to the present day, putting Islamic fundamentalism into context as part of a worldwide phenomenon. Islam: A Short History, like Bruce Lawrence's Shattering the Myth and Mark Huband's Warriors of the Prophet, introduces us to a faith that beckons like a minaret to those who dare to venture beyond the headlines.
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England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton


England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams

Ballantine | 2013 | ISBN: 0345461940 | 432 pages | EPUB | 3 MB

A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, England’s Mistress traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London’s underworlds of sex for sale to become England’s first media superstar. Nothing could stand in the way of her dreams- except her self-destructive desires.
In this absorbing, well-crafted biography, British historian, lecturer and TV consultant Williams charts the rise of 18th-century England’s most celebrated sex symbol, best known as Admiral Nelson’s mistress. Setting the rags-to-riches story of Emma Hamilton (1765-1815) in social and historical context, Williams vividly evokes her impoverished childhood and struggle to survive in London as a servant, theater maid and dancer. Williams details the debacle of Emma’s life as a high-class courtesan, rescued while pregnant at age 16 by a calculating young aristocrat, Charles Greville, who transformed Emma into a trendsetting star by commissioning a fashionable artist to produce ravishing portraits of her. Creating a convincing psychological portrait of a seductive, ambitious Emma, Williams entertains with an intimate portrayal of her subject’s marriage to William Hamilton, British envoy to Naples (and Greville’s much older uncle), who shocked high society by making her his wife. Describing Emma’s stage-managed seduction of Nelson, and the pair’s passionate affair (which was famously tolerated by William Hamilton), culminating in a love child and a shared residence, Williams conveys the fickle nature of Emma’s acceptance by high society. Williams’s biography is well paced and pitch perfect, as competent in its storytelling as it is in its authoritative analysis of 18th-century class distinctions.
With a novelist’s flair and an historian’s eye for detail, Williams conjures up the world that Emma Hamilton conquered by the sheer force of her charisma. All but inventing the art of publicity, Emma turned herself into a kind of flesh-and-blood goddess-celebrated by wits and artists, adored by thousands, and, for a time, very rich. Yet Emma was willing to throw it all away for the man she adored.
After four years of archival research and making use of hundreds of previously undiscovered letters and documents, Kate Williams sets the record straight on one of the most fascinating and ravishing women in history. England’s Mistress captures the relentless drive, the innovative style, and the burning passion of a true heroine.

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