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This was an perfect book that showed the effects of the 'Cultural Revolution' from the perspective of individuals. The book does not cover the movements in an overall view but keeps with the viewpoint of the individual. I think it would support to have a primary understanding of Chinese history during this era, to fully appreciate what is going on in this more detailed and finer viewpoint. Liang learns of the contradictions in this "socialist" society. He does not demonize the Chinese people but shows how they struggled in creating a fresh society. There are a lot of strong photos of his private relationships. The main theme I picked up on was how misguided policies fostered a corrupt culture that was exploited on the ground level, often by people who thought that they were doing what was best for their country.
1848 was an necessary year in European history. It was the year when revolts of middle class thinkers joined with workers to threaten the stifling status quo of European monarchy. This historical survey of that momentous year looks at happenings in five principle empires:1. Austria-Franz Joseph takes the throne as rioting breaks out versus the government in Vienna. Austria wages a brutal battle versus the Italian states she governs. The year ends with the forces of conservativism and monarchy in charge. The Austro-Hungarian empire will collapse in Globe Battle I.2. Italy-This country is a patchwork of different duchys and monarchial regimes. Among the most strong are Piedmont, Tuscany and Lombardy. Efforts by separatist rebels in Sicily are crushed. This is the year in which the heroes of Italian independence began to play a role in Italian and Vatican affairs. Men like Mazzini and Garabaldi enter center stage. The Pope Pius IX is driven from Rome by the French army. Italy is a nation of not good crops and a huge illiterate population. Independence will not come until the 1860's when the yoke of Austria is removed Italy's neck.3. Prussia-A powerful militaristic state under Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm this is the most strong state in the Germanic ssia will eventually unite Germany in 1870 and conquer her chief rival France in the Franco-Prussian war. Efforts to unite the different German states are not successful during 1848.4. France is a nation rife with political turmoil. Louis Napoleon emerges from the fray to be crowned as Napoleon III. France is an economy in shambles with crop failures and peasant unrest.5. Russia is the most backward and autocratically ruled of the major nations in Europe. Czar Nicholas I clamps down on private freedoms and censors the press. Dissidents are executed or shipped to Siberia. The peasants are still living in serfdom and will not be freed until 1860. Dr. Rapport devotes a amazing of attention to the complex political and military chess moves involved in the politics of central European countries such as Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland. This material was fresh to me and will either interest or bore the American reader. The period saw the emergence of such luminaries as Karl Marx, Fredrick Engles, Bismarck, Garibalid, Mazzini, Louis Kossuth and Alexander Herzen. These leaders and thinkers are given attention by the author. While the effect of the quest for political and social freedom came a cropper in 1848 the seeds for future revolutionary movements in Europe were solidly planted to emerge in the Communist Revolution of 1917. Ethnic hatreds are also on evident display in these a lot of pages. These racial and ethnic phobias will also emerge into twentieth century conflicts. Racial hatred for the Jews is discussed which is a harbinger of the rise of Fascism and the Nazi party. Dr. Rapport has done a amazing job researching a complex topic. However, his writing style reads like a dry as dust textbook. The book would best be utilized in a class on nineteenth century European history.
There is so much going on that this is a hard year for historians to cover. The first chapter gets the reader into the action and the conclusion is a fine summation of what happened, but in between, the facts fly quick and furious and the book gets a bit tedious. I think Revolutions of 1848 by Priscilla Smith Robertson is superior since she is more selective about what she covers and more succinct in her coverage.
all around Europe, the winds of change crushed with gobernements, the old sistems of power claqsses are falling, in differents ways but all of them very inetresting, because are with or withor bloodsheet, increwasing onot nationalities, and tha author gives amazing amout of data , but very amuse indescriptions, toches of private sights. a grat book , for a complete view of a compelling years plant
I loved this book. I had to read it for one of my college classes and wasn't too excited first, but it ended up being one of my favorite memoirs I've ever read. It's very well written and had no problem keeping my attention throughout. I would definitely recommend this to read, as it will really begin your eyes to the true life of someone growing up under Mao.
This book was fascinating and I could hardly place it down. It certainly provided a broad picture of growing up in China during the cultural revolution and all that entailed. I am not a scholar but the book showed me how not good Communism really is. There is no individualism and the government even monitors your thinking if they can. I can't imagine living in a situation where I would have to watch every word I spoke and everything I did just in case someone turned me in. So sad to see how hard people like the farmers worked and yet they didn't have enough to eat as most everything had to go elsewhere. They were monitored for every small thing. This young man is truly heroic as he has survived. The pain he and his family experienced under this horrible system is unimagineable. Mr. Heng was endowed and is endowed with awesome character, especially given the fact that the people over him tried to tear it down on a everyday basis. I can't imagine having the strength of hero to survive in this climate. The Chinese are such hard workers. Turn them loose and they work hard and create a living. In this system they weren't allowed to work for themselves at all. Thankfully, this has changed. Let's hope the government eventually becomes more democratic along with the economic freedom that has been gained. Bless Mr. Heng and his wife Judith Shapiro. I look forward to another book.
The release of these images was perfectly timed, given the times we are living through. It was a true boost to my mood. :) What I particularly love about this book is that it contains images of cast members from all the different productions, so we obtain to see folks from the Chicago present and the Philip Tour, etc... not just the unbelievable actors from the original Broadway cast. Having seen, and loved, several various productions, that was a pleasant surprise for me.
A fast read with engaging, interesting characters and story elements, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is sure to be a fresh presentation: bisexual SC, SC, majority Black castContent Warnings: Parental death (off page - cancer related), underage drinking, minor drug use (vaping weed), bullying by an adult (off page - recalled in a story), racially toned police interactionWhat I EnjoyedThe book talking about a dozens of topics in an accessible way: parental expectations, like those that Birdie's mom had for her daughters and, further on, where the intensity of those expectations came from; Birdie's rebelling versus those expectations in to explore her own identity; Booker's history as it similar to his time in juvenile detention and how there was more to it than some people (like Birdie's mom) might have thought i.e. being bullied by a football coach & his mother's terminal illness; Birdie's aunt Carlene and her struggle with staying sober over the years after being in and out of rehab. There was a lot to unpack in The Revolution of Birdie Randolph and while one might think that these would be too a lot of things, Brandy Colbert handled them superbly.I was satisfied that therapy was talked about, even if it was looked at from two angles. Booker's Booker's dad is from the old school South side and it just isn't "him" to go to therapy, even if it would support his kid, but he gets support for his son because he knows it's going to support Booker. Birdie's mom on the other hand would never attend family sessions she'd be worried about what people would think about them, about giving off a less than excellent e narrative woven as Birdie figures out who is in relation to her mother, her aunt, in relation to the family she's a part of (even taking into acc the secrets buried in the past) was really engaging. I didn't wish to place this book down because Birdie, trying to figure out how to be a person, a growing teenager, and not just someone's daughter, pulled me in.What I Didn't EnjoyI was saddened by how small Birdie's mom seemed to listen to her, whether it was in regards to Birdie wanting to play soccer, something she enjoyed and allowed her to blow off steam from the immense pressure of academics, or in regards to her relationship with Mitchell, Birdie's ex at the time of the story. Even after it ended, Birdie's mom (who is mates with Mitchell's mom) acted like it was a matter of time before Birdie and he got back together. She didn't listen or attention to her daughter, it felt like, just thought about the best cast scenario in her mind, never mind what Birdie felt or Sum It UpThe Revolution of Birdie Randolph packs a punch of engaging characters, story lines that tackle different, relatable topics, and a story you just won't wish to place down.I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.
We are living in a time of amazing change, and although the Imagination within this present is not reality, it is so fun looking at history through this scope. Especially because all the images were taken through a Petzval lens which was made not long after the people portrayed in the present were alive. It dropped me right into the time period of the true Alexander Hamilton, but turned on it’s ear with a modern refreshing sense of diversity. As an actor, i loved all the inside knowledge of how some of the cast members made the characters they had to play. As for the photographer, the fact that he was able to capture movement and genuine smiles with a camera that takes FOREVER to capture an photo is monumental. For anyone studying photography, this is a amazing book to study the use of a very old camera. Josh Lehrer went miles beyond what i thought was capable of a camera like this. The book is Brilliant and a super fun read. Buy one! You won’t be disappointed!
I recently subscribed to a book-of-the-month club whose selections are YA novels by and about black and indigenous people of color. The one thing I worried about was the fact that I read 99.999% of my books electronically now. But it turned out I was more than satisfied to obtain myself the Kindle edition of this book so that I could [email protected]#$%! while out and about, and now I'll obtain to give the other copy to a library or someone who might like it as much as I did. It's worth having a copy to give away as well as one to hold -- it's that lbert does a brilliant job rooting us in the life of a teenager named Dove, who also goes by the nickname "Birdie". Dove's life is challenging -- her parents expect, and get, excellence in all categories, but that's led to a lot of overprotective rules, things that leave Birdie uncertain that her parents will accept her choices of hobbies, activities, and the boy she likes. Her boyfriend Booker has a shadow in his past, but is the kind of male romantic partner that we should all hope our children bring home: respectful, thoughtful, clever, and kind, he's treating Dove like a queen, and we obtain to see their relationship blossom as they learn how to be together the method teenagers do.When Birdie's aunt, Carlene, moves in with them after a stint in rehab, Birdie finds a fresh confidante and friend, and starts to step out from the strict rules her parents have place in put for her. Growing up isn't easy, no matter what circumstances you live in, and Birdie's life is about to obtain even more complicated, but it's a life filled with love and acceptance, and inhabiting Birdie's globe felt like a bonus from begin to finish. This was a attractive book, one I will definitely read again, and one I'll be recommending to mates and reviewing for my library. I really enjoyed reading it.
With an older sister in college, a father in sports medicine and a mother that own and runs a hair salon, Birdie Randloph is trying hard to meet her mother's expectations in school. But she falls for a boy with a past that her parents would not like and her aunt Carlene drops in unexpectedly to live with her family, Those two catalysts plunge Birdie in a put where she suddenly is overwhelmed with decisions. Her life goes from easy to complex quickly and she has to create her own decisions .There are secrets that have been hidden all her life and she has to with them. The author handles some very dark situations and makes Birdie seem like a girl that you know. Birdie has to come to terms with the secrets that her parents kept. It is simple to know what she is feeling and why.I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults and look forward to reading more by this author.
I finished this a few days ago and the more I think about this book, the more I appreciate all of the things the author managed to do with the story. At first it seems like a fairly easy story but in reality there's a lot going on xteen-year-old Dove "Birdie" Randolph has always tried to live up to her parents' expectations. She studies hard and gets amazing grades and follows the rules they have set in put for her. Well kinda. Even though her parents insist they meet any boy she wants to date, Birdie so far has been keeping quiet about her fresh boyfriend, Booker. She knows her parents won't approve of his troubled rdie's estranged aunt, Carlene, is staying with the family after just getting out of rehab. Even though there is some tension among Carlene and Birdie's parents, Birdie has been developing a close relationship with her aunt. Birdie wants to be in control of her life rather than her parents, and begins testing the waters and making choices she knows her parents won't approve of. But then a long held secret comes to light that is going to rock her world.I don't read YA fiction all that often when compared to other genres but I found the book cover for this so visually stunning, I knew I just had to create time for this one. And I'm so glad I did because it's a amazing reminder that stories about teenagers can be just as compelling and interesting as those about adults. This was a fast read and I wouldn't say the writing is overly descriptive, but it's well worth reading because it's a book with substance. I don't wish to elaborate much further than that because I don't like giving spoilers in my reviews. Just trust me when I say the author did a amazing job exploring a lot of problems that are relevant to not just teenagers but adults as well. And what I liked is there was a amazing combination of topics explored in depth and some that were just briefly touched upon. It didn't feel like the author was trying to cram in so much items that it overwhelmed the ere's a diverse cast of characters and even though Birdie is the star of the show, I thought her family and mates had depth and were intriguing characters as well. If the author ever wanted to do a spin off book featuring any of the teenage characters or Birdie's older sister, I would definitely be interested in reading finitely recommend especially if you love YA fiction.
Josh Lehrer's fresh book is filled with stunning portraits of the most necessary musical of our lifetime. Each image is remarkable not only for its beauty but for its movement, light, and grace. A MUST for Hamilton fans, and really, for everyone.
Unless we are die-hard history buffs, the American Revolution is apt to blend into a blur at the back of our minds. We may vaguely recall the milestones—the Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Yorktown—from grade school, but the info and the human faces obtain lost in a haze. This is where THE MEN OF THE REVOLUTION splendidly steps in. The book was produced by the venerable magazine American Heritage, which has long served as the common man's tutorial to U.S. history. The twenty-three hero sketches take us on a tour of the revolutionary era by method of its principal players, both on the British and American side. Written by eminent historians associated with the magazine, the chapters are elegantly proportioned and combine erudition with humanity and humor. Instead of dealing in abstract political and economic forces, the authors tell us what people did—how they grew up, what happenings ignited their careers and their passion for revolution, and how they interacted with the other leaders of the cause. A lot of chapters zero in on a single key 's an approach that returns history to the realm of story. The career of Scottish-born naval commander John Paul Jones has all the excitement of a swashbuckling romance in Tag Halliday's account. David McCullough's chapter on John Adams centers on the Bostonian's treacherous sea crossing, with his ten-year-old son, to France in to convince that country to aid America in the war. Also brought to life are Adams' colleague Benjamin Franklin—whose plainspoken Quaker ways created him the darling of Parisian society—and his firebrand cousin Samuel Adams.We also meet fascinating lesser-known figures like Bernardo de Galvez, the governor of Spanish Louisiana who supported the American revolutionary cause with arms (Galveston, Texas is named after him); and the eccentric Friedrich von Steuben, America's own “Prussian general” who turned the revolutionary troops into a disciplined fighting force via a groundbreaking military manual. We are created particularly aware of the degree to which America relied on foreign support in her quest for e writing is notably even-handed, giving as much attention to the British side as to the American. Even with a topic like General Cornwallis, we are treated to a fair-minded assessment of a military leader's strengths and weaknesses. And when it comes to the notorious Benedict Arnold, the factors that may have led him to turn traitor to his country are thoughtfully weighed. It is interesting that several of the men's lives trace a trajectory of glory to downfall caused by hubris, recklessness, or (in the case of financier Robert Morris) unwise plaints are blessedly few. The battlefield play-by-plays in some chapters are dense and challenging to follow; but this reflects the strengths of this reader more than the skill of the authors. THE MEN OF THE REVOLUTION is the excellent primer—or refresher course—on this exciting period and a reminder that people are the real movers of history.
Birdie has always been a amazing daughter. She works hard in school, she's responsible. She listens to her parents even when it's hard like when she had to give up soccer to focus on her classes and college prep.But it's hard to balance being a amazing daughter with dating Booker--the fresh boy in her life. Birdie's parents would never approve of Booker with his poor reputation and his juvenile record. Rather than upset her parents Birdie does what seems like the best thing for everyone: she decides to hold Booker a secret for as long as en there's her estranged aunt Carlene who is back in Chicago, and Birdie's life, after years of struggling with substance abuse. Birdie barely remembers her aunt but she's eager to reconnect now--especially when Carlene seems willing to listen to Birdie in a method her mother hasn't for years. As Birdie grows closer to Carlene and to Booker, the secrets mount. When Birdie finds out that she isn't the only one who's been keeping secrets everything she thought she knew about her family will be thrown into question in The Revolution of Birdie Randolph (2019) by Brandy lbert's recent standalone is an introspective novel about family, secrets, and what it means to be real to yourself. Birdie is an begin and honest narrator struggling with how to balance what she wants with what her parents expect of her. Her story unfolds across a vibrantly described Chicago that is immediately evocative.Typical stressors of school and college prep are amplified as Birdie finds herself keeping more and more secrets as she tries to spend time with Booker. Their sweet and fresh romance is tempered by the knowledge that they'll soon have to figure out how far their relationship can go--if it can go anywhere at all, in fact--while contending with disapproving parents on both sides. Birdie faces a related push and pull with her aunt who soon becomes a confidant despite the strain it causes with her a lot of ways, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is a story about decisions. The course of Birdie's life up to this point has been shaped by decisions her parents, and even her aunt, have made. As Birdie begins to understand the ramifications of those choices, she has to decide for herself how to move forward. But luckily for her, and readers, she has a lot of help along the e Revolution of Birdie Randolph is a smart, nuanced story about learning to be real to yourself--even when the truth about your past might not be what you expect. Come for the swoony romance, stay for the authentic intersectional identities, complex relationships, and memorable characters. Highly recommended.Possible Pairings: Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, Past Excellent Life by Elizabeth Eulberg, I Am Not Your Excellent Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez, Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, How to Save a Life by Sarah Zarr
4.5 stars!I finished this book latest night and I’m still a bit stunned! The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is such a quietly attractive and strong story, written with a level of finesse and nuance that is frankly quite enviable for those of us with writing rdie is an interesting, relatable character! She’s the kind of person you can see yourself as — or that you’d wish to be mates with. And this is HER story. The title has it exactly right - this story is about a revolution, but it’s one that takes put internally. This is a story of identity, of teenage struggles, of family. It’s the story of a black girl in Chicago learning who she is, what she wants, and who she wants to ere’s something refreshing about picking up a story like this — one that’s narrowly focused on one hero and the people in her life. I zipped through it! I found myself so invested in Birdie - far more than I usually am in any character, and I wanted so badly for everything to go right for her. Her frustrations became mine and she felt so true to me that it’s still a bit hard to believe Birdie and everyone she knows exist only between the pages of a book!My only word of caution would be to anyone expecting the plot to blow them away. I enjoyed every moment of the story (there were no slow points) and I think the simpler plot fits the story wonderfully, but it wasn’t earth-shattering.I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone interested in diverse read with quiet intensity, own voices YA lit, character-driven stories that create you think, and second advanced copy provided by TheNOVL in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Josh Lehrer's passion and integrity as a visionary photographer is palpable in every photo and aspect of this attractive book. I have had the pleasure of viewing other bodies of portraiture he has made prior to these Hamilton images, across the board he deeply connects to his topics and makes visible the depths of their humanity. Be it actors embodying historical characters or documentary photos of the phenomenal Broadway masterpiece- this book is engaging and enlightening for an expanded audience. Awesome bonus to yourself and for others, a huge HIT!
Actual Rating 4.5The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert is a attractive and wonderfully affecting coming of age novel that absolutely touched my heart. I really love the emotional depth in this book and the characters are just so charming, likable and is story follows Dove “Birdie” Randolph as she with family secrets and drama, frustration over trying to please her overprotective parents, a fresh romantic relationship with a boy who’s had a difficult past, and her desire to forge her own path and explore what she truly wants in life.I really love stories that are relatable and realistic that I could easily picture myself as one of the characters. When I picked up this book, I was expecting a fun, addictive, and engaging YA contemporary story with a swoony romance. This novel definitely has all of that, but I got something even better. If this is how Colbert writes her stories – with purpose, sincerity, and an empowering voice, then I can’t wait to read her other e premise is nothing fresh and a bit predictable at times, but this novel grabbed me from the begin and never allow go. The storyline is fraught with tension, angst, conflict and some very harrowing and true emotions that really affected me. There’s a plot twist… and I can’t obtain into it but WOW… just you have to read it to know. I really enjoyed this book and the FEELS are just outstanding. Oh and the diversity representation is just exceptional and I think Colbert has made an awesome story that a lot of readers will be able to relate to.I think the characters are fascinating and realistic. I really like Birdie. She’s a unbelievable heroine and teenage me definitely similar with her a lot. I like Birdie’s aunt Carlene even though she’s far from being excellent and has so a lot of issues. I adore Booker. He’s charming, sweet, and makes Birdie happy. I think they’re really amazing and so swoony together. The other supporting characters are complex and interesting too, and I think Colbert does such a terrific job making all her characters come off the page.With a fast-paced and touching storyline, flawed, but realistic characters, and relatable family drama and life issues, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert is an emotionally packed and thought-provoking coming-of-age narrative that had me glued to the pages. I really enjoyed so much of this book and I think it’s is utterly timely and riveting. I’d definitely recommend this book and thinkI received an advance copy of this book from NOVL and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is my first time reading a full length novel by Brandy Colbert and I am truly impressed with her writing. I have read short stories in anthologies by this author which I enjoyed but this book was next level. We are introduced to Dove aka Birdie who is struggling with being the excellent daughter but also wants to have fun being a teen. While reading I would think back on my teenage days. How you wish to please your parents and do as they say but you also wish to do things your own method and create mistakes along the way. Throughout this story there are some twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting and it created my jaw drop. At the end of the day we all create mistakes and no one is perfect. This was a well written coming of age story about discovering yourself, carving your own path, redemption and forgiveness. I loved the diversity of the characters as well. I want I had books like these when I was growing up. I will be making it my business to read Colbert’s backlog and see what I have been missing all these years!
I loved The Revolution of Birdie Randolph. I loved Birdie from the beginning and I love how this was a summer book about finding your voice and yourself separate from the expectations of your family. Birdie's life was very structured and she was expected to behave. All that seems to go out the window when she meets Booker and her aunt, Carlene. She started to question the method her life was and what she should and shouldn't be able to do. I loved seeing her grow into someone who spoke up for herself but still knew how to forgive when something wrong was done to her. I have to say that the huge revelation in this book was obvious to me. I guessed it from the beginning and that's the only reason this is a four and not a five-star review. I really loved that this was a book about a young black girl and her black family. I also liked that so a lot of various types of black people were portrayed along with and queer folks as well. Brandy Colbert explored all aspects of race and sexuality in this one along with family bonds and what long-held secrets could do to a family. Birdie found out what it was she wanted and was able to respectfully present it and voice it to her parents. This was such a well written coming of age tale and so poignant. I cannot wait to test something else by this author!
First of all, allow me say: This book is stunning and a must-have for any die-hard Hamilton fan. However, I don't know if it was rushed to publication or what, but I noticed several surprising typos throughout the book. Also, I was shocked that the book did not include any portraits of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton! Yes, his photo graces the cover, but nowhere inside the book is there a portrait of him. I was so surprised when I got to the end of the book that I assumed I'd missed it and went back to check, but no. That being said, there are a lot of gorgeous portraits of the other original cast members and those from the Broadway ensemble, Chicago & London companies, as well as the tours. It's a gorgeous book and I'm glad I bought it. I just think maybe a small more care could have been taken before publication. But despite these flaws, it's a attractive collection and a definite must for hardcore fans.
Two things stand out for me about this book: 1) The author was so clueless at a young age and later that it was frightening, and 2) The reader gets no true feeling for what it was like to be in the countries visited during this time period.I found the cluelessness to be ultimately boring and bewildering, and since I didn't learn anything about Nicaragua or anywhere else she went in this slim and frivolous book, I can't recommend it.When I noticed that the author is now teaching at Wesleyan, my first thought was, "My God, this person is now teaching our children?" Hopefully she has learned a lot in the intervening years.
Picture yourself 18 years old, a freshman in college and on your own for the first time in your life. With your first taste of freedom, you fall for the wrong boy and run off to South America because he thinks it is a amazing idea. Deb Olin Unferth does exactly this. I kept asking myself, why would anyone do this? Well, Deb answers like a typical unsure 18 year old with this memoir. There are some seriously funny moments in this book, but I was a bit frustrates in a couple of stories where they just kind of ending with "I forget" or "can't remember", but then I realized I couldn't remember anything from my time as an 18 year old except that I thought I knew everything.Her revolutionary period didn't involve fighting but lots of short stints of being domestic support since some one needs to support the children displaced by war. Her recounting of helping in an orphanage is truly inspired. She decides that she will support the children learn to speak English and farm. All noble ideals except the she doesn't know enough Spanish to teach them English and the children know more than her about gardening. She buys flower seeds instead of vegetables. This is a very unbelievable read for anyone who wished they ran away to rebel, but didn't have the guts. I received this book from the publisher at no expense in exchange for my honest review.
Although I agree with the criticism some have given this book, I also think that's what makes this memoir so fascinating. Unferth and her boyfriend had no idea what they were getting themselves into!I totally relate to this book and had related ideas of my own to go join the Revolution. My boyfriend (who later became my husband, then my ex) was Salvadoran so he knew it was no joking matter to go join a guerrilla group or any other group during the civil battles in Central and South America.We even had some mates who were in a punk rock band that went to Nicaragua after the Revolution. The more I heard, the more I wanted to go. I finally did go to El Salvador, but my boyfriend's family created sure I didn't obtain into any really poor 's interesting that of all the people I met who had been to Nicaragua, not one of them told me the raw truth that Unferth tells here. I had no idea that it would have been so difficult! Yes, I knew there were very young soldiers who were indoctrinated to believe anyone who cared about the people were Communists (this was how it was in El Salvador). I knew that the Sandinistas were mostly young idealists who knew what hunger and violence was like (El Salvador too, that's how both sides were able to recruit so a lot of teens). But I never knew about the day to day difficulties of lack of food, and jobs, and the abundance of diseases that could KILL you!Unferth bares her soul like few have done, especially as it relates to Central America, idealists and trying to understand another of my favorite facts that Unferth brings up is that the locals didn't call us American and European idealists "Internationalistas," but instead referred to us (or them, since I didn't go) as "Sandalistas" because of the fact that almost all of them wore some kind of sandals! They may have arrived in Birkenstocks, but eventually had to wear whatever some local shoemaker with no resources could create for them.I must admit that the novel created me very glad that my headstrong Salvadoran boyfriend never gave in to the silly whims of an American girl who, at that time, romanticized the entire idea of helping not good people create a better life for themselves. It truly was NO JOKE. Knowing me, I might not have created it back alive!Sherrie Miranda is the author of "Secrets & Lies in El Salvador: Shelly's Journey"P.S. I should note that the book I read had a various (more appropriate) cover. I don't know if there were a lot of changes created to this edition.
I read this memoir in one day. I remember the Sandinistas and Father Romero and and all the South American Turmoil in the 80s. Deb has artfully woven the political and social upheaval in South America and tells her own private tale of love, youthful ideals and rebellion. This memoir makes a statement about revolution on the political and private level and Deb spins a thoughtful, literary testament to a time and put in her life painted versus a modern revolution. I highly recommend this memoir. I saw Deb discuss her book and read. She is a diminutive woman in stature but not in talent. Amazing Writing!
I've always liked Deb Olin Unferth's fiction, and her memoir, Revolution, should interest old fans and fresh readers alike. Revolution recounts the year Unferth fled her conventional college life and embarked on a haphazard journey to South America with her boyfriend, hoping to join a revolution. Unferth has a singular, quietly potent voice and dry wit--some sections are laugh-out-loud funny--and her story is poignant without being sentimental. I loved this book, and can't wait to see what this immensely talented writer does next.
Is it easier to tell the truth in fiction or nonfiction? Deb Olin Unferth, author of the short-story collection Minor Robberies and the novel Vacation, has opted for nonfiction this time around. In her memoir Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, a clueless girl and her Christian boyfriend wish to go to Cuba but "don't know how to obtain there," so they head south instead, toward a Central America caught up in the Cold 's 1987, two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas have deposed the Somoza family but struggle to feed their people and keep back the Contras. The bloody civil battle in El Salvador is approaching its crisis. Honduran and Guatemalan death teams routinely gun down campesinos in the mountains, insisting they are insurgents. Manuel Noriega is el presidente of Panama--for a small while longer."Dear Mom and Dad," Debbie writes from Nogales, Texas. "I'm sorry to tell you in this way, but I've left school and am going to support foment the revolution. I am a Christian now and I have been called by God. Due to the layout of the land, we are taking the bus."Please read the rest of this review at [...]
Calling Deb Olin Unferth's debut memoir by its short title alone will leave readers confused and hungry for something else--this book is, in fact, all about its subtitle: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War. What is most redeeming about Olin Unferth's literary journey is just this--her utter honesty, the narcissism of coming of age, even when one is eating only bread, preparing for a shortage of water, and fending off spiders in the shapes of plates. There is a attractive restlessness to it, especially to Olin Unferth's romance with fellow "Sandalista" George. She writes, at the beginning of the essay "Love" (the book is composed of very short "flash" memoirs, "We didn't use the word 'love' with each other. We prided ourselves on it. Not for the usual fairy-tale Communist reasons (love is a capitalist prison) (Communists are always so drearily romantic) but for our own fairy-tale reason: we wouldn't say it unless we knew our love would latest forever..." Here we are at a pivotal point in Central American history--the perpetual turning-over of governments, of revolutions, again and again, all across the map--and Olin Unferth writes of her easy human experience. It is refreshingly politically e book reads very quickly--the prose style is very minimalist--very fitting for the setting/scenes of the story. It didn't blow me out out of the water, but it seems to me the sort of thing you have to do at least once. Much like going off to join a revolution.
Several amazing descriptions of the milieu but ultimately unrepresentative of much beyond one woman's knack for self-absorption within a tumultous put and time. Having also lived and worked in Nicaragua in 1986-1987, I similar to the memory-button pushers like Comedor Sarah's, El Molonito, Hotel Intercon, high fevers, rationed water, and more. What I missed from her voice was a solid interest in and some memorable examples of the nitty gritty, carefully orchestrated efforts created by people right alongside her, Nicaraguans and non-Nicaraguans alike, who were actually successful at, among a lot of other projects, building little schools, daycare-with-food centers, healthcare models, and, of course, picking enormous quantities of coffee. I missed what could have been observed and recorded in put of too a lot of diarrhea stories. Olin Unferth's narrative is in the style (among a lot of styles) of a decent "one-woman show" where, in her case, the writer reveals lots of juicy secrets behind the would-be leftist paradise. However, much like her depiction of George, her ex-boyfriend, the story wasn't round enough and at moments bordered on condescending. I hope her book inspires more private narratives that better represent the complicated, multilayered Sandinista revolution as more than a failed paint-by-numbers operation.
In 1987 Deb and her boyfriend George decide that their main ambition was to support the revolution, they had wanted to go to Cuba but didn't know how to obtain there as it was didn't believe in paying bills, it was a principle with him, corporations were evil and rich, he didn't care about money, possessions, sleep or food....Deb found this beautiful and thought he was a genius....thus she followed him around South America even though she hated it - "I saw suddenly that this was all a android game for me. The Christianity, the running away, the marrying. I was going along with it, but I didn't mean it , and I didn't like it......in fact I hated it. I hated not eating enough, hated my dirty clothes, hated San Salvador, hated George in some method because he'd brought me here and because I knew he meant all of it."They wanted 'revolution jobs' but few people wanted to hire them. They travelled to El Salvador where they helped at (and got fired from) an orphanage - in Nicaragua their visas ran out and, as they weren't working for the revolution, they couldn't renew it - then on to Costa Rica and ey got sick and sicker, got robbed several times, ran out of money, and Deb and George gradually drifted is is a book of anecdotes, I found the writing easy and easy, though it was all over the put sometimes, with short was light-hearted in parts, sad in others, for me it wasn't a page-turner, it was interesting but not engrossing.
This is the kind of book I really like, in that it concerns a subject I knew nothing about and, after reading, I now know something. There's a sad note as well; Cox died before the book was published. It's not clear how much Middlekauf did, aside from introductory comments, but he is among the most prominent American historians (and one of the best writers).Most readers will have seen at some point an illustration of a Revolutionary Battle trio of fife, drum and flag, the drum usually featuring a drummer boy. That drummer boy did exist, but because drummers customarily wielded the whip when a soldier was punished, that very hard work usually needed an adult (in the British troops a sizable number of punishments were 1,000 strokes but in the American, 100, Cox says). There is a fascinating discussion of the drum, usually a snare drum, and its use in communicating commands--and it's worth remembering that the drum, and other aspects of military music, originated in European copying of Ottoman Turkish troops x explored an unusual resource: pension applications. In the 1830s, the Congress passed a bill authorizing pensions for surviving Revolutionary Battle veterans, and applications sometimes had info on service, and dates given on the app let knowing the age of the veteran at the time of service. Cox provides details, and also in each chapter a sort of fictionalized ver of one veteran's story, beginning "Perhaps it was like this." These sections are clearly identified, so the issue of identifying history and fiction does not arise, as it does in some contemporary "history" x some background on the rarity of boys in the military prior to the Revolution. A lot of soldiers' tasks needed adult strength: a longbow needed a 75 to 100 pound pull, swords and other edged weapons needed strength. Presumably there were boys among the camp followers of the era, which usually included families. Changes in weapons created boy's service more likely (I should mention that "boy" in the bookis defined as under 16), such as the reduction in weight of firearms. The introduction of the socket bayonet created pikes obsolete--pikes needed adult ys were not common in the Revolutionary forces, but were not rare, either. Chapters in the book consider boys' desires to enlist, the role of fathers in the process, and similar topics. Among the reason boys might test to enlist were escaping from domineering fathers, poverty (a boy's wages and enlistment would have gone to the family), or service with a father or other relative as a sort of servant. There's another reason, a fascinating subject in itself; while a sort of draft needed service, a man could hire a substitute. Cox says there was no moral judgment about hiring a substitute, and that a substitute would be by the man avoiding service, useful for some families. A young son also might go to substitute for a father, an ailing brother, or replace a sick or injured family member. Some boys saw combat, some were drummers, some experienced camp and small more.
Listen, I'm only 11 when I read this book, and I must say that I didn't obtain board at all throughout the story! It was action packed and took very very unexpected twists, all while educating you on the revolution. It's one of those books where you read something, close the book, and think. Just think. Then you might go over to the sink and obtain a glass of water or something. Then you think some more. Then you continue reading. We've all had those times. Ive had them particularly a lot. This is one of those books where it requires you to do so. Avi is an awesome author, I just hope he writes more of these types of stories. Very intriguing.
Sophiia"s Battle gives a various view point on the Revolutionary War. To often we concentrate only on the generals and the politicians - their actions and their reasoning. We forget that the imost necessary aspect of a battle is the affect that it has on the people involved - not only directly but indirectly (the families of the combants, their mates and associates). Until recently it was assumed that only men ever had any true direct involvent in battle - this book shows how it affected one individual and her response to it.
I thought this book was fairly simple to read. Text-to-speech enabled feature helped me read while working out and getting chores is book gave me a clearer, more informed knowledge base of the topic. It serves as a amazing starting point to start more in depth research. I feel it looks more towards the Castro-Cuban point of view. Definitely serves to pull me a small out of the estadounidense point of view.... I think I will definitely need to do more research, but now I feel more comfortable looking for resources.(student)
Andrea strikes the excellent balance between listing the facts and weaving in societal assumptions and opinions. She's unapologetic when it comes to showing us what is known, what isn't known and what are some wildly famous misconceptions. It's about time someone captures the history behind wellness and gives us optimism on what the future could look like for overall wellness if we had the right info available. It takes courage to tackle such a taboo subject and Andrea does it so well, not only in this book, but also in her talks. Highly recommend!
I am a science teacher and am using this book to teach a summer genetics class. I haven’t wanted to place it down since I got it a few days ago! It’s written in a story format rather than a textbook format, and James Watson describes the story in such an elegant yet simple to understad way. If you are interested in genetics, this is the book to read!
This book gives the history of the decoding of DNA beginning with Mendel and ending at the show day. Watson goes over all the historical figures, the races to win, the greed of some, the heartbreak. That is just the first half. The second half of the book Watson addresses a lot of practical problems such as hereditary diseases, agriculture and methods we may be able to use to fix disease including cancer and heart disease in the near future. This section is like science fiction but we are entering a brave fresh globe and the next generation will benefit.
Jim Watson s "Double helix" booklet, smugged in from West Germany, gave me in East Germany during the Cold Battle the inspiration to be a future molecular biologist. Now, I am Full Professor of Biotech at the No 1 University of Asia in Hong Kong... THANKS, JIM!You and Andrew Berry did a unbelievable job, all the excitement of DNA is in the book!
I first read this book in the early/mid 1980s when I was a Navy electronic tech. One shipmate had the Texas Instruments computer, another had the Atari 800XL. I got my 800XL shortly after. We were playing android games from the companies detailed in this book. It was amazing reading of the authors of our games, putting info to the names. Learning how the whole "PC Revolution began, and the earlier history of the MIT whizkids and the TMRC. I was just really getting into it in 1984 when the bottom dropped out of the electronic/computer android game industry, nearly ending it. Luckily it created a comeback. The android games got better as the machines were upgraded and improved. Being on the fringe of hacking myself, I could see the very various approaches of Commodore and Atari management, exactly as detailed in the book. Actually living through this while reading Levi's book mde it much more "real" and appropos to me. I can understand people much later being less impressed, as they don't have the context of these happenings actually playing out.I look forward to rereading it, and seeing what fresh information is presented. This book played a large part in my going into a 24 year IT career after leaving the Navy. But programming now has become a heartless industry compared to how it was twenty-plus years ago. Want I'd been born earlier, in time to take part in the earlier history of hacking and programming.
The book is funny, informative and impossible to place down! Having grown up through the infancy of private computers, including nearly a one-year stint as a TRS-80 salesman, I laughed often out loud as I followed the adventures of Greenblatt, Gosper and tons of others in Levy's tales. No other book I have read gives the genealogy of both hardware and in their embryonic periods so well as this tome. "Hackers" now has a much friendlier connotation for me than it once did now that I appreciate the openness and positive nature of the Hacker Ethic. The news media have created the hackers out as scum/criminals/bandits/general poor guys - Levy casts them in a much various e book is amazing for its humor and history in the 96th percentile of each category! Buy it and be prepared to laugh and learn!
This is a fascinating examination of the tech culture that brought us the PC, Web, and eventually the intelligent phone. Took some time to slog through, but this tome is filled with engaging stories of the hackers who created our tech-world happen. I will be returning to this a lot of times to mine the stories of innovation and creativity.
Not a work of art but several valuable first hand accounts of how women participated in the Mexican revolutionary struggle. Shocking insight into the real nature of Pancho Villa as well as the widespread brutality of the "revolution" in northern Mexico.
Elena Poniatowska's "Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution" (Cinco Puntos Press, $12.95 paperback) demonstrates the riveting, almost hypnotic power of photographs.Poniatowska's text (translated from Spanish by David Dorado Romo) is wisely limited to about two dozen pages and acts as a frame for the remarkable black-and-white photos of the brave women who fought on either side of the Mexican e term "soldadera" comes from "soldada," or salary. Poniatowska explains that "during all battles and invasions, soldiers used their 'soldada' (a word of Aragonese origin) to hire a female servant. The woman would go to the barracks to charge her salary, i.e., soldada." Thus, the term "soldadera" was e photographs are culled from the enormous Casasola Collection in the Fototeca Nacional of the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico. The publisher tells us that the collection is based on the work of Agustín Casasola (1874-1938), one of the first photojournalists in Mexico and founder of the image agency that carries his is difficult not to mull over these photographs of Mexican and indigenous women from the early part of the latest century as they pose with their pistols, horses, kids or husbands. These are women who played various roles, sometimes as brave soldiers, other times as helpmates (or even prostitutes without much choice) to the male warriors.Poniatowska anecdotes to support us know these women, sometimes using their own words. Pancho Villa does not fair well here, nor do other men who took brutal advantage of -- or even murdered -- these women."Las Soldaderas" perfectly weds words with photographs as a poignant tribute to the brave women who were active participants in the Mexican Revolution.[The full review first appeared in the El Paso Times.]
Six individuals whose lives intersected during the formation of the fresh American nation are examined in REVOLUTION SONG, underscoring the primary principles that provoked a battle and made a fresh kind of governance that attracted people from all over the world --- and still Russell Shorto (THE ISLAND AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD) has painstakingly chronicled the American Revolution from the viewpoint of six people who would have necessarily perceived it differently. Most popular among the six is George Washington, whose private will to succeed thrust him on the national and globe stages in perpetuity as not only the general who led the units who beat the British, but the politician and statesman who would aid in deciding how the victorious rebels would govern themselves. Abraham Yates was a self-made man who rose from shoemaker to lawyer to political mover in the state of Fresh York. Lord Sackville, later Germain, was England’s spokesperson in the obstreperous colonies, forced to bring home the cataclysmic news of his country’s conquer in o men whose lives are less known but no less fascinating also had a stake in the rebellion’s outcome. A slave named Venture Smith bought his freedom by dint of hard work and real grit, and became a Connecticut landowner who in later years dictated his autobiography. He had never forgotten witnessing the violent, merciless murder of his father in Africa. His father’s refusal to divulge the zone of his property inculcated the boy with an understanding that ownership is a precious boon; it would be available to him, despite his origins, in the fresh world. The Seneca Indian chief known as Cornplanter parlayed with the light-skinned newcomers but then allied with the British, resulting in the devastation of his people by Washington's e woman among the six was Margaret Moncrieffe Coghlan, daughter of a British officer stationed in the colonies. He forced her to marry a man she loathed when still in her teens. Escaping from that match, she was found and consigned to a nunnery, and escaping that confinement she was then disowned by the same patriarch, proving that women at the time had no rights whatsoever. Her recourse was a life of abandonment to lust and lawlessness back in Europe.Weaving these stories together in a sometimes loose, sometimes almost hour-by-hour timeline takes skill and a genuine interest in his characters, and Shorto exhibits both. A lot of problems ebbed and flowed in the timeframe, with Yates, for example, standing versus the tide in his belief that the fresh US Constitution was drafted for the elite and would not protect ordinary citizens. The book serves as a reminder that our revolution strategists had no compunction about drafting African slaves to war (Venture Smith’s son was among these draftees) without the slightest thought to eliminating the pernicious practice of human bondage.An epilogue focusing on the later lives and passing of the six protagonists reminds us that George Washington, whose ideas and actions touched all of the participants in this drama, had no children, but would become known as the “father of his country.”Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Disruption is something entrepreneurs always talk about but hardly ever do they obtain the possibility to lead the charge -- until now. Andrea does a stellar job at not only exposes the taboos that have held back wellness but it's also a masters class in finding an unmet need and filling it with kind, compassionate, uplifting, and informed products. It's a must-read for anyone that wants to understand what it takes to innovate in under-served markets as well as understand how wellness will be the next Mindfulness.
Barrica's expertise is sextech, and she goes into fascinating detail about the industry and why it's so important, but what struck me the most was how it explains how tech funding actually works. Yes, wellness has a harder fight, and possibly greater rewards, but there's also much in here that explains how Silicon Valley works in clear language. I found it fascinating.
This book is magnificent. It tells the story of the revolution with an approach which is both general, and honing in on hyper specific stories within the revolution that really works to make a stunning narrative progress for the revolution. As far as general introductions to the topic go, this is almost unbeatable, and is an perfect book for the centeniery of the revolution.
The audience for this book is more people interested in politics, history, Russia, and Marxism rather than the average reader of Mieville's fiction (I personally fit in both boxes). It's a very well researched and told story of the revolution, and a particularly amazing telling for those people who do not already have detailed knowledge of the characters and events. Additionally, Mieville manages to subvert a lot of the common narratives of the revolution. Lenin appears throughout the book, but his agency here is (rightly) downplayed. Instead, the revolution appears to be the product of acts of circumstance and fortune, along with different soldiers' brigades who prove irrepressible. Indeed, one of the most interesting dynamics here is between the Bolsheviks and the soldiers they represent. Who is really leading who? Furthermore, we see how the Bolsheviks are internally fractured. This is not a one-man, or one-party show, but a messy complex of stly, the book is a slow burn and by necessity involves a lot of exposition (of characters, of groups, of committees). It really picks up midway, when Kornilov's troops threatens to destroy the revolution, and peaks in the final chapter when happenings poise on a knife's edge. The reader's persistence really pays off. Actually, I'm in awe of Mieville's ability to translate his research and the ungodly mess of characters and happenings into a highly readable book.
The underlying story is compelling and important. This telling scrrambles the happening and feels like the facts are subordinated to the author's narrative and desire to fashion a sense of movement and suspense. After reading 40% of the book, I place it down.
This book, from one of the leading revisionist historians of the French Revolution, has received high praise from a number of historians and newspapers, saying it’s the most authoritative and comprehensive history of the French Revolution. That it may be; however, the book has a number of opportunities for improvement in its next edition:1. A lot of passages and phrases are in French and beg immediate translation.2. The author has a tendency to expand upon interesting but less necessary facts to the detriment of flow.3. Characters are briefly introduced, then present up in snippets a lot of pages later, which, for full comprehension of the points made, either requires the reader to have a more than fairly amazing memory or frequently access the index. Thus, it’s often quite a challenge to connect the dots of info sprinkled throughout the book.4. Some characters are included in the index, only to have the briefest of descriptions. Eg, on page 422, this is the only info one finds about Mmm de Staël in a somewhat difficult to follow sentence: “Meanwhile, whereas at the highest level the closet [sic] influence of political wives like Mme Roland and Mme Talien, or Necker’s busybody daughter Mme de Staël, continued the well-established traditions of the old regime, the unprecedented atmosphere of early revolutionary Paris threw up fresh and unusual figures.”5. One finds a number of nonparallelisms throughout the book. Eg, most of the time there is no line separation between paragraphs; however, without apparent reason, this is not always the case. As well, a lot of paragraphs are quite lengthy. At random, I found one that goes on for four pages.6. While some topics keep amazing coverage, others, such as the Storming of the Bastille are very quickly glossed over. Eg, the suggestion is created that the Storming was part of a continued find for armaments. Actually, the crowd had already collected some 30,000 muskets. What they were hoping to get at the Bastille was gunpowder and ammunition.7. The book includes relatively few illustrations, with opportunities for “a picture is worth a thousand words” on a number of blank pages.8. The book includes no Bibliography. The combination of its mostly chronological listing of historians and it Notes section is a somewhat inadequate e book does contain, at least for me, a lot of “Wow, I didn’t know that’s!” Just one example: the Girondins went to guillotine singing the “Marseillaise.” As well, the author provides a fairly amazing listing of the factors as to end of the Terror with the Thermidorian Reaction. This listing contains external factors reducing the need for drastic measures (such as the guillotine) to suppress “traitors” to end the war: 1. On 1 June 1794, the British failure to prevent a major grain convey from arriving from America. 2. Also, in this same naval war [the Glorious First of June], the British sinking of the French ship Vengeur [du Peuple] was spun not as a total conquer but an example of heroic defense with its squad going down with the ship rather than surrender. Actually, the “kind” British were able to rescue only half the squad before it sank. 3. On 26 June 1794, more importantly, came the win at the War of Fleurus, which removed the latest Austrian threat and opened the method for a renewed invasion of tom-line, the book is an excellent, informative read, with opportunities for improvement in its next edition.“Character is Key for Liberty!” Check out how “Character, Culture, and Constitution” played “key” roles in the American and French Revolutions: George Washington's Liberty Key: Mount Vernon's Bastille Key – the Mystery and Magic of Its Body, Mind, and Soul, a best-seller at Mount Vernon.
Watson deserves the Pulitzer Prize for this book. He is one of the best science writers I have read, although we all know he is a biochemist who worked out the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule and won the Nobel Prize. The book is a detailed history of DNA from the 19th century through 2015. He was in the thick of all the developments after he worked out the double helix structure. He makes his writing amusing at times, personal, letting you know how scientists work, and knowing their fallibilities. He knows how the pharmaceutical industry developed to take advantage of his and others' innovations with DNA. And his story shows the competing nature of those companies and how most companies rise and fall again in a short time, leaving only a few to be the winners. I've not yet finished the book, but I expect the latest half will be as interesting and informative as the first. He has a knack for describing complex processes in a easy and interesting way, which is why I see him as a super science writer.
In a globe where geniuses have developed the weapons formass destruction, and STEM illiterate politicians continue toenable madmen access to them, how can humanity avoid self-annihilation? The app of techniques like recombinant DNA, rapidDNA sequencing, reading of the human genome, and othersused by genetic engineering, may a path for civillizationto avoid catastrophe.
Doesn't that gorgeous cover by Edel Rodriguez create you long to read this? It's the excellent cover for this story. (I have a "thing" for silhouettes on book covers. I don't know why, but I feel compelled to a book with silhouettes on the cover.)If you have never read one of Avi's books, you really need to. He writes smart historical fiction for young people. He never dumbs down his books, and obviously works hard to be historically this complex, intelligent story Avi again tackles an aspect of the American Revolution. He did it once before in "The Fighting Ground", where the reader is swept along in thirteen-year-old Jonathon's passion to be part of the fighting, and then his rude awakening to the realities of being a soldier. But this story isn't just a feminine ver of "The Fighting Ground". It's a completely various aspect of the war, written in a various kind of narrative. The story is broken up into two various time frames. Roughly the first half takes put in 1776 when Sophia Calderwood is twelve years old. Sophia and her parents fled their home in Fresh York Town when the British invaded. Sophia's adored older brother William joined the American units fighting to hold the British out of the city. As the book opens in September of 1776, Sophia and her mother are returning on foot to Fresh York to test to reclaim what they can of their lives. (For safety, Mr. Calderwood must return in secret later.) In an apple orchard on the outskirts of Fresh York, they witness a young man of "dignified bearing" being led by British soldiers to a rope hanging from an apple tree, and Sophia watches in horror as the ladder is kicked away and the young man (who she later learns was Nathan Hale) is ill reeling from that shock, they return to their home to search it looted of all their most costly possessions. As they start the clean-up process, a little troop of British soldiers appears on their doorstep, looking for Mr. Calderwood and informing them they will be needed to billet a British Officer. What follows is a tense time of eking out a living while boarding a British officer and pretending to be Loyalists. Sophia develops a reluctant crush on John Andre (oh curse Blogger's lack of language accents!) the British officer boarding in their home, even as she firmly believes in the American cause. When she learns that her brother is a prisoner of the British and housed under appalling conditions, she pleads with Andre to help. What happens next firmly sets her on the course for later e second half of the book takes put three years later, in 1780, when Sophia is fifteen years old. Through her work with her father's publisher friend, she meets a man who recruits her as a spy in the household of General Sir Henry Clinton. As a housemaid, she would have access to info vital to the battle effort. She stumbles on to what appears to be a clandestine operation possibly involving the collaboration of the British and an American of high military rank, a man Sophia and other Americans idolized, a man who played a large part in early American victories versus the British. The implications are so shocking and suddenly Sophia is alone in her quest to bring this info to the author's note at the end of the book, Avi writes that the two story threads based on historical facts "are as historically accurate as I could write them." He goes on to say that "Sophia is as real an individual as I could hope to create, and her actions provide an explanation as to what really happened in 1780."And can I tell you how much I appreciated his striving for historical accuracy, even down to the language used. So often you read historical fiction, and obtain jerked out of the story by an author's use of modern words and terminology. In fact, there is a very helpful glossary in the back of the book to look up those unfamiliar words you come across. (A couple of years ago I read a Middle Grade novel by an author who shall remain nameless, about the Civil Battle era and the main hero talks about being "gaga" for a certain boy! Yes, that word was actually used. Having already overlooked other words that were very obviously not historically accurate, I threw the book down in disgust and never went back to it. So I really appreciated Avi's obviously meticulous research on this book.)Sophia provides the modern reader with an emotional barometer of the life of an average citizen during that time of conflict in American history. Avi shows Sophia's -I think natural- human conflictions that come with living in a war-torn country: how morals and actions change or become ambiguous based on phia, as a narrator, is very Self conscious: she narrates her story as someone aware of her audience and how they may be judging her. Her narrative never loses that awareness. There is a "buttoned up" quality to it: like she is recalling this period of time and reacting almost unwillingly to remembered emotions, and doesn't wish to come across as too emotional. She tries her best to be fair and balanced in her narrative, not defending her actions and emotions so much as explaining them. And yet, despite the distancing approach to the narrative, the reader is quickly caught up in her published in September 2012 by Beach Lane Books.I nominated this book for the CYBILS 2012 in the Middle Grade Fiction category.
Really enjoyed the book. Reviewed it in our bookclub. Amazing remarks all around. A retired teacher said it should be used in American History as it was well researched, all the characters are real, except Sophia, and all the happenings were real. It's a fast read and is enjoyable. It makes the reader wish to know more detail about the people and happenings that occurred.
This book is a really amazing introduction to the Cuban revolution. For those of you who have never read her, Aviva Chomsky is a amazing writer and I would highly recommend "The Cuba Reader," which she edited, if you are looking for extra in-depth info on Cuba. In this short book she looks at pre-revolutionary Cuba, the social conditions that brought about the amazing change, the battle itself, and finally the efforts of the Cuban government to make a fresh society. Chomsky touches on problems of gender and race, although there isn't much writing on sexuality. I feel she is very fair at analyzing the victories and shortcomings of the revolution.
I'm not a history person so my opinion may be biased but this book was a really hard read for me. It jumps all over the put in terms of chronology and it seems like forty percent of the book is quotations. Also, as someone who doesn't speak or read Spanish the constant references to Spanish organizations or phrases with occasional translations was quite annoying.
"The Roots of Resistance" is pure medicine for serious times! This book takes the reader on a quick flying carpet ride through the unified highs and burned out lows of modern day activism. Rivera skillfully weaves principles and historical examples of nonviolent activism throughout the book in an engaging and uplifting way. By the end, I realized with surprise that I had soaked up a whole psychological suitcase full of tools and quiet smiling notions on how to apply nonviolent techniques to the very real, very intense problems we face as a nation and global community. Although this book is a amazing sequel to "The Dandelion Insurrection", it has a shine and soul of its own, and can definitely stand alone as a spirited and timely read in its own right.
I think this book is a bit over-rated. It's a amazing read, and you will learn a a lot, but it left me feeling very unsympathetic towards the "hackers". I felt like it characterized the individuals more than it attempted to show them as they were. I was felt unsure whether the "hacker ethos", as Levy presents it, was real. It was obvious that there was some truth to it, but at the same time it sounded very much like the the view from 1968. He spent WAYYYY too much time on Lee Felsenstein in SF - communists and all. There was also far too about Ken Williams (almost half the book) - who he created very dislikeable. By contrast, he didn't seem as interested in Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates - but he did tell their stories. My favorite parts were the beginning with the model railroad club and "Space War", and the first computer convention. Both of these parts were vivid and exciting. It's been a while since I've read it, but flipping through now, it seems like Levy is much too focused on computer games. There wasn't anything that I can recall about HeathKit, not enough about homebrew computers, and very small about all of the children typing away BASIC on their Apples, Ataris, and Commodores. There was nothing or almost nothing about children learning BASIC at Dartmouth, or the geniuses who did really serious hacking inventing computers at Princeton or PARC, or the guys who built ARPANET in Boston. Of course, they don't fit his definition of hackers, and I think that's unfortunate. There was a lot about Frogger, though. I do think it's worth a read, but it left me feeling sorry for the "hackers", rather than admiring them.
The only thing that is missing in this unbelievable book is the UNIX era, which constitutes a story by itself. I was really disappointed to see that UNIX is mentioned in only one or two pages (and nothing is mentioned about UNIX and C hackers). Other than that, I think it paints a very vivid and humane picture of a very unique period of the history of computing.I would also recommend it to people who are not technical so that they can understand the mindset and psychology of hackers better. The distinction between the styles of serious business computing and passionate, obsessive, creative and innovative hacking pushing the boundaries is also created very clear in the book. That distinction still exists today, even though the flagship of modern hacking GNU/Linux is becoming more and more of a business commodity rather than a dangerous playground for trying out really groundbreaking ideas. I also recommend the book to programmers, hackers and technical managers so that they know more about the past of their field. The streets taken and the streets not takes.I must admit that I learned much more about the history of Homebrew Computer Club and android game hacking from this book, [email protected]#$%! contained more stories about Commodore, ZX Spectrum and grab some Chinese food, set up your hacking environment, place this book on your desk and give it a go! :)