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Although there is nothing inherently wrong with abridgements, books like this, and this book in particular, should never be abridged. I have read the 3 volume paperback ver and it is worth the time...and some effort.I'm writing this review so people will know they are buying the abridged ver and not as an attempt to trash this masterwork. This is a amazing book! Because of this it should be read in its so, as an eBook there is no reason all 3 books could not be sold as one...after all, there is no weight to them.Happy Reading.
This book is a true page turner - I couldn't place it down. I think it's really necessary that people begin educating themselves about the former soviet union and the true atrocities that occurred. There's been a lack of education in the US. I went to public schools and they basically told us a small bit about WWII and Nazi germany and left the soviet union entirely out of the conversation. The book smelled a small funny when it arrived but was brand fresh so I'm guessing just musty from storage.
Wonderful stories from one of the most murderous times in history. We know a lot about the atrocities of the second globe battle but very small of this history is known to young people around the eksandr Solzhenitsyn is a master with words. The book takes time to read because you're constantly thinking about what you've just read. The content will leave you dumbfounded! This should be a set book in schools. If this info were well known to our younger generations, perhaps the globe would be a various put and our future more ere is so much that can be learned from reading this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes that we can learn from history.
This book helped me understand the underlying causes for human misery. We all play a part in the destructive patterns in this world. Our job is to do our best to create the globe better at all times. In order for evil to succeed it needs partners at all levels (leaders and followers). If we stop following and supporting we can then create it much harder for evil people to lead.
Bestseller. If somebody believe that book is a picture of history which is over surely is wrong. Communism is still alive because is amazing for poor guys and they are multiply like worms. People cannot make system amazing for everybody. It is a amazing lesson for dreamers.
I was near certain I had ordered an unabridged ver and almost dinged a star, but even abridged, this is a hefty book. I realize now that I probably would not have wanted the full version, which might well reach 2000 pages or more. I search reading Russian translations slow to read - a amazing intellectual challenge, but there is a point where it could be too much. In the introduction, it mentions many, a lot of people have in fact started this book, but precious few have ever finished it! I usually hate the concept of abridged versions, but in this case I think it is a amazing idea.
Unless one in the West intentionally exposes himself or herself to a book like this, they will think our life here in the West is normal and universal, but it's not. Solzhenitsyn writes with journalistic prose to expose the true nature of humankind, of power, of communism, and all connected to these things. This sobering work took me through an emotional rollercoaster, leaving me gripped in contemplation and inward reflection, knowing that I too have the potential within me for amazing and evil alike. And, as he makes clear, we all have a choice and none of us are victims. The power is in our hands to bring light or darkness, love or hate, amazing or evil. Truly, I want every American and European would read this book and really give it time to sink into their minds and hearts.
Excelent,very informative and very detailed accounts of human suffering in comunist prisons. Hard to beleive what human beings will do to their own race!The Gulag Archipelago Val. l,2,and 3 should be mandatory reading to all our students in our American Schools.
Just bought volume 1 and 2 today after hearing a lot of volume 1 on a book on tape. Crucial info even now. This and 1984, which is fiction, present why we must be informed before we vote or throw away vital rights and enable unaccountable Governments. It is all quite terrifying. Jordan Peterson emphasized the importance of this awesome work of history. They should create high schoolers read this.
Addictive game. Easy concept but very tactical. AI gets really nasty later on, very hard to beat. Campaigns are nearly impossible! Don't be fooled by the easy idea... you have to plan your actions and hasty moves are quickly punished... 1.30am... just one more game... could do with a mute option on the begin screen rather than buried in the menu.
Love this game, cannot place it down despite completing the ranks, I begin over and over. Increasing rank doesnt seem to increase difficulty. The android game unfortunately is too simple which is why I gave only 4 stars. More islands would be amazing as some levels there are only about 7 so the level is beautiful much over in 10-15 seconds. overall very amazing game, few tweaks could create this a strategic masterpiece.
This is not an simple book to read, and I’m sure it was much harder to write in such a method that the reader would read it. It is also not a mere listing of the number who died or concise descriptions of the tortures employed for whatever purpose, although those matters are discussed if you are so is an overview of the ‘staat in staat’ of the Gulag; once you ‘entered’ the organization, Soviet public law (such as it was) became irrelevant. You were no longer a Soviet citizen; you were a denizen of the Gulag. And under Stalin, your arrest was a purely arbitrary matter; you might have as easily been hit by lightning, and for the same ‘reason’.But before a reader gets to the exploration of the subject, the author makes the introduction interesting on its own; Ms. Applebaum examines the asymmetry of Western response to Hitler, a universally despised mass murderer, compared to Stalin, who, by direct order, starved more Ukrainians to death than the number of [email protected]#$%!ler managed to slay in his ‘industrialized’ murder machines. Even now, people in the EU and the US who would never tip of a defense of Hitler will dismiss Stalin’s crimes as trivial, and often claim his present trials as, well, maybe justified. Those need to read Judt in “Post War”, (certainly no ‘capitalist tool’), who, examining all of the evidence, has to admit that ‘central planning leads to centralized murder’. But there remain in the West those who still, in spite of all evidence continue to hope otherwise.Specifically, she mentions Heidegger, whose early flirtation with the Nazis ruined his reputation, while Sarte was given a pass for taking an ‘omelets and broken eggs’ position, as was Camus, not to mention that pathetic excuse for a journalist William Durante, who originated that despicable e excuses that asymmetry in a method which seems far too kind; simply assuming the Western left was forgivably stupid. We continue to live with that stupidity, and I do not see it as forgivable; “Useful idiots” seems more than appropriate gardless, we are led through the Gulag from arrest to, sometimes, release. Yes, a lot of were released, quite a few near death to die shortly after to avoid another death stat on the camp’s record. And then quite often those released were released at the camp entrance with no resources to return to their homes, nor ‘clean’ papers. Some few who were released were given official ‘forgiveness’ and, if they could search their method ‘home’, might return to a normal life. Suffice to say, the system is revealed as it was: Slave labor, under horrible conditions, and with scant possibility of return to t surprisingly, it seems the cruelty was (largely) not directed from Moscow, but was simply a product of the same dystopian Soviet system which produced thousands of shoes, all of the same size; there was no incentive for the workers to do other than the least they could. Ms. Applebaum quotes Solzhenitsyn pointing out that the zeks went thirsty not by design, but because the guards would have to fetch the water and carry it back to the zeks; they’d rather take the time for a smoke. Indeed, the banality of ere is far more in the detailed examination of the cultures within the camps (and prisons) zeks, trustys, guards, administrators, and finally an accounting of the delayed release of the political prisoners; it is all worth reading as it clearly defines the Soviet leadership’s dismissal of the matter; the Gulag was part and parcel of the evil of r those still trying to place lipstick on the commie pig, I’m sure you’ll search info to dispute. For the rest of us, it is far beyond worthy of reading.
I knew nothing about USSR/SOVIET UNION/RUSSIAN history until I read a book about the German Invasion, "LENINGRAD-THE EPIC SIEGE 1941-1944", by Anna Reid. A tremendous book, which was the beginning of my obsession with life under Josef Stalin, a most brutal Dictator, right up next to Mao and Hitler, in the 20th Century. I required to know more, and I can tell you that this is, by far, one of the greatest books I've Ever read, regardless of the genre. I'm no fancy critic, but if you really wish to know what tortures and torments Josef Stalin and his "henchmen", for lack of a better word, perpetrated on his own people, and the people of other, surrounding countries, you must read this book. I was particularly interested in reading about the GULAG, a word that literally struck terror into me while I was growing up. Which shows just how much a word such as GULAG, or Siberia, could scare a girl who was 10yrs old in 1975. Author Anne Applebaum has written a very detailed, yet human book about the Concentration Camps, Forced Labor Camps, Prison Camps, and all the regular prisons, too. All I can really say is how profoundly this book has affected my life. There are so a lot of stories, right out of survivors mouths, that I would have to re-read a page, here and there, just to create sure I had read it correctly. Also, a lot of archives became available for people to research, and Ms. Applebaum does a magnificent job of taking these records of the atrocities, inflicted on at least 20 million people, and writing about them in such a method you are literally hooked from page one. It is worth every single moment of your time to read it. Incomprehensible and shocking sound like compliments when trying to describe this awesome literary feat. Ms. Applebaum received a Pulitzer Prize for this masterpiece, and deservedly so. Every school should be using this as a classroom text. It simply must be read!Absolutely 5 stars; I give it infinite stars!Thank you,connie markarian
My wife and I have been surveying Russian history, and we came across this excellent, deep, thoughtful, and comprehensive book. This is an perfect book to read before reading Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, because Applebaum presents the history of the Gulag's development and implementation in a method that amplifies Solzhenitsyn.We would be very interested in Applebaum's opinions on Kotkin's latest book on Stalin, which also covers the period of the creation and implementation of the baum's writing reminded us of another perfect writer from our college days, Jessica Tuchman. This was an perfect and engrossing book.
I ordered this book at the same time as the author’s Red Famine, a look at Stalin’s largely manufactured famine centered in the Ukraine. I didn’t much have fun Red Famine and wasn’t holding out much hope for this work. The author’s writing style in Red Famine was not reader friendly and I found it a chore to obtain through. However, for some reason, I tolerated this work much better. Perhaps it was the topic matter, which seemed to let for more interesting the title suggests, this work deals with the history of the Soviet gulag system of penal camps and relocation centers from the 1920s to their discontinuance in the 1950s. Unlike Red Famine, this book includes numerous private stories and observations by those that survived the camps. As a result, it was easier to read and far more captivating than Red Famine. I can recommend this work for anyone interested in the topic matter, or Soviet history in general.
Your knowledge of 20th century Russia isn't complete unless you understand the put that the Gulag had in the Soviet Union. This depressing story is created accessible by virtue of Ms. Applebaum's clear prose, and her organization by subject of the material. This is a amazing book for those of us who found Solzhenitsyn's long novels impossible to read, and a amazing companion for those intrepid souls who were able to create it through Solzhenitsyn.
I savored this book, slowly and thoughtfully. The author had access to newly released Russian documents from the Stalin era, and, along with direct interviews with survivors of the slave labor prison camp system which was rife during Stalin's time, she weaves a well written and thorough acc of all aspects of the gulag system. And of course we Westerners knew very small about it. Because the gulag was using intelligentsia as well as an enormous physical work force, there was major impact on manufacturing as well as transportation infrastructure building and other industries. The gulag fed the economy even with all its inefficiencies and wasted lives. The death tolls were astronomical. Really horrifying conditions the prisoners had to suffer. The worst part, I felt, was the quotas of required manpower, innocent or not, for individual regions. People were snatched with small or no provocation and mass processed with no legal rights. Russia's history has always been filled with not good stories of inhumanity and cruelty but the history of the gulag system really takes the cake!
A chilling reminder of who the Soviet Communists were. It is a stunning work and is a testament to human endurance, human suffering and human evil. As an American of the relatively peaceful late 2oth and early 21st century we have forgotten the barbarity of Communism. I have bought and looking forward to reading Anne Applebaum's latest, just out on Kindle, about the Ukrainian Famine imposed by the Communists. Anyone who has any illusions about Communism will have them dispelled by this book.
Equality. Brotherhood. Soviet slave labor. For profit? Downfall. These are the words that describe the progression from liberal idealism to the imprisonment and deportation of over 28 million Soviet citizens and foreigners to what were called the Gulags, labor camps spread out across much of the now defunct Soviet Union that held those deemed "criminals" and "politicals." Not until 1962 when Aleksandr's Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was published did the rest of the globe recognize that the Soviet vision of a worker's paradise was nothing more than barbed wire and ch overwhelming numbers should create anyone pause for a moment and question why people were willing to tolerate such abuse. While there may not be an simple respond to this question, author Anne Applebaum poses an even more daring question: Why has the globe paid so small attention to a system of oppression that destroyed the lives of millions of people? In her introduction, for example, Applebaum makes a compelling argument when she describes American and West European tourists purchasing t-shirts and memorabilia from the Stalinist Soviet era. Would those same tourists in their right mind be caught wearing a Nazi armband or a t-shirt with Hitler's photo on it? We know that Hitler and the Nazis stood for racial superiority and Social Darwinism, but are the Communist crimes versus humanity less tragic because their stated goal of a classless society was somehow nobler?This question Applebaum poses is worth the price and time a reader will spend examining the history, the life, and the downfall of the Gulag in the former Soviet Union. In Part One: The Origins of the Gulag, 1917-1939 Applebaum briefly contrasts prison camps under the Czars to that of the Bolsheviks, where Lenin deemed those who were "class enemies" were to be sent to the camps initially to live in separate quarters from the criminals. There is the Amazing Turning Point of 1929 when Maxim Gorky, an author initially critical of Bolshevik power, visited and then wrote a glowing review of Solovetsky prison, even though the happening was clearly staged. This was also the year that Joseph Stalin took a private interest in the Gulag so that he could generate profits for the country's industrialization plan. His inane love affair with constructing the White Sea Canal using Gulag laborers would lead to the deaths of over 25,000 prisoners, a pyric win considering that it was built so poorly that no ships have sailed on it since its completion. When I read that Stalin was using slavery as a means of generating wealth, the globe should have recognized that Communism was not that various from Fascism.What starts out as a macro analysis of a bygone prison system quickly becomes private in Part Two: Life and Work in the Camps. There are a lot of interesting chapters in this section, but two that stand out are the chapters on arrests and the prisoners. The decision to arrest people can at best be described as "nonsensical" and at its worst deliberate. Those who were deemed kulaks or "prosperous" peasants, those who somehow had contact with foreigners or were labeled foreigners, and those pegged as "socially risky elements" found themselves quickly arrested and either deported, shot, or sentenced to a prison camp, whose severity depended on their actions versus the state. Of particular interest is the culture of the Gulag in terms of those deemed criminals or politicals. Those who were considered politically subversive were reviled more than criminals who had committed heinous crimes such as rape and ly, there is the apex and rapid downfall of the Gulag, where Applebaum provides more statistics on life inside during Globe Battle II. In 1941, for example, over 352,000 prisoners died, and by the end of the battle more than two million would perish. Near the end and right after the war, she also lists the thousands of foreign nationals and Soviet minorities who were deported or were arrested. Of particular interest are the thousands of ethnic Muslims such as Chechens and Tartars who were forced from their lands and were not allowed to return. Applebaum does not explicitly state this, but one can surmise that much of the terrorism we encounter today can be traced back to the decisions of Joseph Stalin. Surprisingly, in 1953, right after Stalin's death, there were close to 2.5 million prisoners in a Gulag, the highest at any point. While the Gulag officially ended after Stalin's death, there were still political dissidents in prison camps well into the 1980s under Gorbachev.What is particularly wonderful about Applebaum's book is her ability to capture the sentiments of former Soviet citizens during and after the era of the Gulag. In her travels in the former Soviet Union, Applebaum describes people's mostly distained reactions when they discovered her interest in the Gulag. Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent and current president of Russia, reflects this unwillingness to own up to the past other than to mention that he sees no reason to dwell upon it. Right after Globe Battle II, West Germans underwent "de-Nazification" so that they could regain their humanity. Based on Applebaum's book, shouldn't the globe expect the same from Russians? Latest time I checked, actions speak louder than even the right words.
Devastation. Depression. Continual sadness. This factual acc is truly heartbreaking to learn of Russia's history. As a child, my parents forewarned me about "the Gulag" but I never knew what they meant, they never explained. It was too painful. Now I know. I forced myslef to read it cover-to-cover. Although redundant, the applied research is remarkable. It took courage to write this book.
Purchased and read this book in 2003, but only now writing a well deserved review in the light of the tyrant's demise. Apparently those confused, or perhaps just waxing revisionist, about Fidel Castro, (like the Prime Minister of Canada, no less) have never read "Against All Hope". My daughter has also read this book and I encourage anyone confused about the truth of Castro to read it. It is an unflinching record of unspeakable brutality administered in response to even the most minor of dissents inside Castro's island prison. Armando Valladares explains what it is like to be alternately beaten, starved and isolated for 22 years by this embodiment of evil that is now apparently remembered with a measure of respect, if not fondness, by more than a few on the left. "He provided universal healthcare and education", they will report, without even a tip of irony or embarrassment at their justifications. I read about another popular dictator once who created the trains run on time.
I loathe communism and I have no respect for those who do. I also have no respect for those who like and romanticize Castro. This was an extremely difficult read. The author refused to help Castro and because of that, he was a prisoner under dreadfully harsh and gruesome conditions. Reading about what those prisoners went through was heartbreaking to say the least. Their strong, unshakeable religious faith was incredible.“I was utterly exhausted. The lack of sleep and the tension were seriously affecting me. I sought God then. My conversations with Him brought me a spiritual strength that gave me fresh energy. I never asked Him to obtain me out of there; I didn’t think that God should be used for that kind of request. I only asked that He let me to resist, that He give me the faith and spiritual strength to bear up under these conditions without sickening with hatred. I only prayed for Him to accompany me. And His presence, which I felt, created my faith an indestructible shield.”As a effect of his wife’s efforts and human rights organizations, he was finally released after 20 years.
No one of amazing faith who reads this memoir will remain unchanged. The record of atrocities, misery and suffering inflicted on political prisoners in Cuba deserves to be read in every generation as a reminder of the horrors inevitably accompanying totalitarian Communist regimes, of the silence with which they were received by the UN, governments and organizations that should have opposed them, and of the hideously cynical efforts by so-called journalists, academics, and intellectuals to deny, denounce, and deflect the prisoners’ accounts of their plight solely because of their sympathies for the dictator’s politics and hostility to the United States. There are still political and religious prisoners in Cuba, Venezuela, China, Russia, North Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and a lot of other countries. Search out about their stories and tell others, demand and take action, and pray for their deliverance.
I gave this book 4 stars mainly because it was not a book I enjoyed reading. The constant privations and injustices seemed unending. It revealed the brutality of Castro's totalitarian regime and the cruel nature of some individuals when place in charge of others. I guess I do not have as powerful a will as Armando and would not have picked some of the wars he chose to pick, such as what uniform to wear. But I admire his indomitable power of will, and am grateful he lived to tell the story. It highlighted for me the pampered life we live on the other end of the spectrum in America.
This probably one of the most strong books i’ve ever read. The things that men and women like Armando Valladares went through in the Cuban prison systems is nothing short of horryfying. The media has created Fidel Castro out to be somewhat of a hero. There is nothing further from the truth. Armando Valladares is a real character and deserves all the amazing life has to offer for his willingingnes resist and never accept communism no matter the cost. Even if it meant his death. During my time reading this book, I found it very difficult to complain about how my days went. Every time I got home and picked up this book, I knew, I knew that whatever complaint I had about my “rough day” paled in comparison to what Armando and his fellow prisoners went through. I thank God daily for blessing me with the comforts and luxuries I that I take for granted daily after reading this book.
This autobiographical testimony to life under the Castro regime in Cuba is inspiring and disgusting: inspiring in the view it provides of courageous men and women standing for truth versus a vile dictatorship--often men and women inspired by faith in Jesus Christ; disgusting in what it reveals of the Castro regime's disregard for the rights of any enemy and its fear of Christianity. The truth is, all would-be gods like Fidel have cause to fear Jesus....The story of the death of the Man of Faith in this book is one of the most inspiring examples of faith I've read. Armando Valladares, who is still alive at the time I write this review, is a man of immense courage, and his story should be taught right alongside those of Che and Fidel whenever the history of Cuba is recounted.
"Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it." Today, in 2016 the romance of Cuba is in full display. Hollywood actors wearing Che shirts while taking vacations in Cuba, demonstrate the willful ignorance of castro's evil. The ignorance is not limited to hollywood's elite. President Obama's failure to discuss imprisoned dissents and a lot of human rights violations during his trip is further proof of that deeply ingrained ignorance. The truth is found in these pages.
A must read for anyone who has a doubt about Castro and his utopian socialist society. Castro/Che Guevara/Chavez supporters in the US would not dare read this book because it conflicts with their blinkered view of these socialist heros. A mate in Ann Arbor recently bloviated that in his view "Castro should be President of the World." Another, an admitted "Trotskyite", told me not to believe the negative press about Hugo Chavez who in fact is doing wonders for the oppressed of Venezuela. Being " in denial" is understatement for these fools. In the end they would not object to Gulags in the US, and if they are true "true believers" they would not object to being imprisoned themselves if it would support advance their vision of social justice. I have read a lot of gulag books and this is one of the best. Everything Valladares describes about his imprisonment in Cuba is consistent with Stalinist methods, and for amazing reason, all Stalinist-influenced leaders copied his methods even though they were outrageously cruel and inhumane. What I will never understand is why socialist "true believers" will shun the truth if it conflicts with their faith-based adherence to socialism. One reviewer on this website dismisses the work with one star based on the claim that the author has no credibility because he allegedly faked paralysis to obtain freed from prison. This reviewer obviously did not read the book because it makes clear that Castro had the author physically rehabilitated before releasing him to the world. What this review does reveal is that she is a "true believer" willing to lie to discredit anyone standing in the method of the socialist cause and its leaders. It is because of people like her that gulag systems exist. Reading this book will support you understand that the war for individual freedom is never over. Highly recommended.
The book documents conditions within Cuba's gulags directly after the Castro takeover. It is a translation and simply a documentary of the utterly inhumane existence political prisoners suffer(ed) inside - no more, no less. There is no attractive imagery, symbolic references, or "literary brilliance." The story and info ARE a gulag; and effective for what he is read is an attack on the soul of the reader that is very difficult to finish; and I mean NO disrespect to the author, for I could NEVER imagine surviving what he did. For us that have known nothing other than freedom, this is almost unimaginable. I thank the author for my better understanding and appreciation of the freedoms I have fun and take for munist, etc., sympathizers should be REQUIRED to read this book. For those "enlightened ones" who do NOT think, this book will penetrate. And for those who DO, there is no escape from the barbarism of their arrogance.And for Castro (and others..), I search it disappointing that he still walks this planet. No language exists to describe people(?) of this sort. All I can muster is evil.What is truly awesome is that the author seems to harbor small ill yourself and those around you by enduring this man's story. Read and learn.
Armando Valladares was place to the test. Imprisoned on trumped up charges by the brutal and paranoid Castro regime, he spent twenty-two years in the Cuban gulag, suffering unspeakable physical and psychological torture. Despite the inhuman deprivations inflicted upon him and his fellow political prisoners, he refused to buckle under to his sadistic captors. Through his unshakeable faith in God and an iron will, he resisted to the last; in the end, he gained freedom for himself and his family, dealt a massive political blow to the Castro regime, and helped save other prisoners from a worse fate by bringing globe attention to the horrible inhumanity of the Cuban prison could say it is like "The Diary of Anne Frank" with a satisfied ending, except that thousands of political prisoners, guilty of nothing more than the desire for freedom, continue to languish in Cuban prisons. It is questionable whether they are better off than the thousands more who have been executed, starved to death, beaten to death, or slowly exterminated by the ravages of illness. Valladares gives us far more than an impassioned narrative with characters of wonderful courage and others of wonderful cruelty. He gives us an irresistible call to action: wherever and however freedom is attacked, we must resist. No matter how hopeless it seems, the strength of a single person can be more strong than the tanks and guns of an entire army.
To begin, The Maldives are a group of over 400 islands (many uninhabited) that can be found in the Indian Ocean south-west of the Indian continent. These are the 'paradise' islands - idyllic bleached sand, green lagoons and blue ocean. The sun is virtually guaranteed 365 days a year (though trade winds can support lower the temperature from time to time). Most islands can be circumnavigated on foot in less than ten minutes, so I would advise anyone thinking of visiting The Maldives to do so only if they wish a holiday with nothing to see and nowhere to go, OR wish to spend their holiday clutching the bar stool and watching the waves caress the beach, OR love water sports. It's as quiet as that, and scuba, snorkeling and water-skiing are about as active as you'll get. If you fit into the third category, you'll adore these islands and their friendly peoples. You'll undoubtedly appreciate the diving which, in my view, ranks with the very best in the globe (and I've dived a lot of places). Tim Godfrey has spent a considerable amount of time and effort putting together 'Dive Maldives'. When you consider, for a start, that the islands cover an zone of ocean as huge as Texas, you'll understand the scale of the task. And for readers who have attempted underwater photography, you'll appreciate that it can take several dives just to obtain one amazing picture. This book includes 191 superb images taken throughout the atolls that create up The Maldives. Also included are 114 computer-generated maps with descriptions of over 270 dive websites based on the author's private research over 12 years. Included in this comprehensive book is info on uninhabited islands, reefs, Protected Marine Areas, heliports, channel names, and some of the better-known dive website locations. The dive website maps present the topography and scale of the reefs, using symbols for features such as caves, overhangs, saddles and canyons, as well as commonly seen fish and marine life. Here divers can obtain a pre-dive glimpse of what they can expect to see during the dive. EXCELLENT stuff, thoroughly researched and exquisitely photographed. For visitors to The Maldives, who have diving in mind, this book is an absolute MUST HAVE.
With this book the tally of books about North Korea I've read must be nearing a dozen and I have a lot of more in my TBR stack. What keeps me reading is the near disbelief that a country in the 21st century can be so paranoid beyond belief and that the people of North Korea live with a complete disregard for human rights that are violated on a everyday basis. They are poor, often sick and malnourished. That the Communist regime under which they live keeps everyone under surveillance must create for a life of uneasiness. The author of The Aquariums of Pyongyang spent 10 years in a prison camp before escaping with a mate to China and then on to South Korea. Without rampant bribery with goods and money he would have found it much harder to create it out. Whether the Dear Leader, at the time Kim Jung-Il, liked it or not, if money was available it could buy goods on the black market.Kang Chol-hwan and his family were sent to a prison camp by association with his grandfather who disappeared and was place in a camp for making statements versus the regime. The rest of the family had done nothing wrong but they were sent to a camp after enjoying a wealthy life in Japan. They moved to North Korea at the grandmother's urging because she was a huge believer in Communism, and at first they were moved into luxurious housing in Pyongyang. When they were in the camp it is hard to believe that any of them survived. I couldn't support but think about those people and especially Kang Chol-hwan when I went out this evening. It was 29 degrees F and I recall reading that the kids worked outside as long as the temperature didn't go below -13 degrees is book will begin eyes to the strangest country and the most isolated country in the world, but it is inevitably going to crack one day and hopefully the people can join the rest of the globe who will hopefully have compassion for them.
A vivid depiction of the lives of ordinary North Korean citizens; always hungry, always being monitored by snitches, living in fear of being sent to the camps over minor infractions of a relative. Also a thrilling acc of an attempt to escape
Beautifully written acc of the horrors of a North Korean concentration camp. Not only do you learn of the private trials of this young man, but the book includes a summary of how North Korea became North Korea. This is the type of acc that needs to come out to expose such a reclusive country and their insane human rights is acc is from a man who did not begin out in the North Korean concentration camps, but rather was sent there when he was a young boy. If you're interested in his account, I would also recommend reading "Escape from Camp 14", which is an acc from a man born in a North Korean camp.
This is a very necessary autobiography. The author was in a North Korean prison camp for ten years with members of his family. He explains clearly how this camp was run, why people were there, and how the government chose who would go there and how they were treated. His family had been in Japan, came back to North Korea and were very well-to-do until a issue came up that got them all sent to prison camps. He eventually was set free and escaped to China (he described that part of his journey in some detail) and to South Korea. The author gives a perspective on the various stages of the North Korean dictatorship, which he suffered under during the 1970s-1980s. He notes some of the things that changed over the e book is very clearly written, with the support of a co-author, and hard to place down.
Very well-written acc (as memoirs go) of a man's life in North Korea---and life as a prisoner in a concentration camp, from the age of 9 yrs-old to 19 yrs-old. I've read a few other books about North Korea ("This is Paradise!" and "Nothing to Envy"), and this was probably my favorite (although the others---especially "Nothing to Envy", are amazing too). It's not just a true-life survival, but also includes valuable insights and perceptions. I think everyone, from time to time, should read such accounts, in order to be reminded of the horrors of unconstrained, limitless government. It could happen anywhere where the citizens allow down their guard and place too much trust and power in the Ruling Class.
This story comes off as being quite authentic. The author tells the majority of the story from the first person point of view. There are obvious things which he didn't witness such as his family's history prior to their move from Japan to North Korea, but these are only for background information. Everything about this book reveals how desensitized Kang became due to his upbringing, at least while he was in the camp. He explains how he was able to adapt and overcome. He pointed out how undevoted to the cause the security agents in the camp were, the soldiers, and other different officials in the North Korea government. Regardless, all people lived in fear of either their superiors, their mates who were often snitches, and their minders. Kang also displays the complete and total breakdown of the North's distribution and rationing system, the birth of an illicit shop economy and the rampant corruption in the Stalinist-type system. When Kang speaks as a witness of camp 15, and says there are certainly much worse camps, it is terrifying to know that people at this very moment are still enduring what he and his family endured. Kang must feel some ambivalence towards his decision to flee the country after being released, as his family and particularly his sister have allegedly been sent back. It is very possible that his sister was condemned to the section of the prison for the un-redeemables, in other words, those who are sentenced to work to death on secret government programs. The worst part about the entire system is that guilt by association (which really was the reason his family was place away in the first place), is the norm. His entire family was place away for their grandfather's alleged political crimes. Nobody knows what happened to him. Hopefully Kang's story will have an result for the good, and Kim Jong-un will be able to create much required shop reforms. Even if NK reaches the point of China, things will have improved one hundred fold.
This acc of a kid taken away to a hard labor camp when he was only 10 years old (or 9 if you count in the Korean way) is quite extraordinary. The depth to which a person will sink in order to survive as well as the barbarism of the North Korean soldiers is something I will not soon forget. After all that we in the U.S. have read about political prisoners in China and human rights abuses there, a stark reality of North Korean under Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and now, his son is drawn when the author of this book escapes to China and feels all this awesome freedom of speech, freedom of information, and freedom to go to clubs, etc. I still cannot obtain out of my head that things like salamanders and worms were eaten for nourishment, not to mention rats being a major source of meat. In any case, this is a book that every South Korean and American should read. It certainly opened my eyes and convinced me that we really need to bring far more pressure on the North Korean regime because hundreds of thousands of people are dying as a effect of the barbaric communist regime there. The closest parallels that I can imagine for the portrait drawn in this book are the Soviet Union under Stalin and Germany under Hitler. Ironically, the author had started out in North Korea in a fairly comfortable fashion with his grandparents being connected to the North Korean communist party and his grandfather tied into a position that enabled his family to have more of everything than others around them, not to mention the original wealth of his grandfather.
My reading of human-rights literature is a small slender, but THE AQUARIUMS OF PYONGYANG ranks as one of the best I've thus far e symbolism of the title is one of the only true literary devices on display here (and it is both apt and effectively used); otherwise this very straightforward acc of a family and a childhood turned inside out by the absolute moral corruption of the North Korean regime is a dry, devastating and informative read. Kang's writing successfully balances between the matter-of-fact and a conversational informality that manages do almost accomplish the impossible: to have not experienced the politics and controls of North Korea, I don't think any of us could truly see the globe through his eyes, but he does manage to obtain close enough to create this a scary piece of literature, and an enraging one for anyone who cares about the state of human rights, which would hopefully be all of roughout, I was reminded specifically of the late Dr. Haing Ngor's A CAMBODIAN ODYSSEY. Dr. Ngor survived the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia, only to subsequently gain fame in the west through the movie "The Killing Fields;" a strong movie greatly overshadowed by the grim detail of his own autobiographical account. THE AQUARIUMS OF PYONGYANG is very related - both in the undeniability of Ngor and Kang's repective insistence upon levels of human dignity that most of us take for granted, and in the parallels between the two nations. The current state of affairs in North Korea inspires very small hope; this updated edition of this book provides a link to the www service of the NGO organized by Kang, and this resource is valuable - this must-read book is only the beginning, in a lot of ways.I will state that I am a cynic and a skeptic about just about everything that I read and hear; and I came away from this book firmly convinced that it's author is one of today's more heroic figures, and that this book is absolutely essential.-David Alston
Unfortunately his story is not unique. I’ve read several accounts from North Korean escapees and they are all terrible. One from a teenager who had been born and lived his whole short life in a North Korean prison camp before he escaped. This eloquent author has devoted his life to bettering the fate of his former countryman. He is very unique in that method and I am humbled by his courage, his generosity, his Christianity and his urgent call for freedom for his people from a hell on earth of human making.
North Korea has always fascinated me as a subject, probably due to its cultivated air of secrecy. This is an interesting portrayal of everyday life in the hermit kingdom and their notorious work camps. It's and simple read and just the description of life outside the camps was worth the price of admission. There were honestly parts of this books that seemed so far fetch they sounded like something out of 1984 or animal farm, its unimaginable that this was inflicted upon true people. Definitely worth checking out if this is a topic that interests you.
Review -Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya"Mau Mau: The Kenyan Emergency" by Peter Baxter is a very clean, very nice and respectable report on the official actions of the British governmental officials during the years 1950 - 1060. The detail of the official actions of the government are well laid out. The names and personalities of the Kenyan governors and others in power are nicely laid out. Peter Baxter was born in Kenya, now lives in the US, and writes extensively of African history, especially the battles of liberation 1950 - 1980.But, reading this at the same time as reading "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya" by Caroline Elkins, a Harvard Graduate Student, the difference in the sides of the story told is amazing. Baxter briefly mentions brutality and mental illness, and how the majority of the deaths were in his acc black on black. Baxter mentions the pipeline of detainees and forced labor but does not delve into the horrors of these camps like Elkins does. Baxter makes brief reference to the racism and immorality of the white settlers. Elkins remarks on a Nairobi social club frequently visited by the settlers in which on entrance the members were obliged by their own rules to switch partners and rooms were provided for "entertainment." The screenings of all blacks in Nairobi for Mau Mau sympathy and aid, Operation Anvil, is mentioned in both books. Baxter merely states the men and a lot of women were taken to detainee camps outside the city. Elkins talks of beatings, torture, castration, starvation, exposure to elements and other mistreatment of the blacks taken off the road on the merest whiff of evidence, suspicion, or retaliation that occurred in those detention camps.I also have read Peter Hewitt's private memoirs "Kenya Cowboy" of his time in the Kenyan Police Force during this same period. Hewitt's acc is a retelling of his private experiences and not of the other issues about in Kenyan at that time. But Baxter quotes Hewitt at length in help of his outlining of the official government actions. Hewitt's acc also testifies to the physical state of the Mau Mau after 1955, which was horrible. Hewitt's acc is very private as to his actions and experiences. Hewitt entered Kenya a few short months after the Ruck Massacre, and about the same time as the Lari Massacre. Hewitt does not go into the pipeline or other aspects of the e legends in history classes that adhere to the Mau Mau "emergency" are of vague "horrible deeds" done by 1) the Mau Mau, 2) the British officials and troops and 3) the loyalists Kikuyu. While Elkins writes with all the indignation of a person who finds her heroes have clay feet, Baxter writes to justify and minimize the episodes of the actual history. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. Both Baxter and Elkins mention the plethora of books on the battles of African Liberation and how they vary in content. Thus one has to consider the violence and virulence of the period and how both sides and the later researchers are all still pushing their points of view. Baxter's book is a amazing outline of the official actions of the British. Elkins book is researched among the Kikuyu people and well reflects their recollections and oral traditions. Aside from the similarity of the names of people and locations and dates, one would not think one was reading of the same people, put and period.
This was one of the hardest book that I ever read, even though it was well written and interesting. I persisted since I was going to lead Healing from Battle and Genocide workshops in Nigeria and Kenya in May 2017 for Black Africans from about 17 various countries. The book provided me with very valuable info about the history of e history was very disturbing to read. After all this happened after the Nazi genocide of the Jews of Europe and was committed by the British government with the knowledge and collusion of the leaders of the Conservative party. The stories of murder, rape, and torture, and forced evacuation of their homes and villages, were confirmed when I listened to the stories of about a dozen elders [men and women ages 80 to 106] while I was in Kenya.I do have one complaint about the book. Professor Elkins only uses the word "genocide" once to describe the British actions in Kenya. I wrote to her asking why, but did not keep an answer. From my perspective what Elkins describes fits the definition of genocide from the U.N.: killing members of the group; causing them serious bodily or mental harm; deliberately inflicting on them conditions calculated to bring about the group’s physical destruction; imposing measures to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring kids of the group to another group. (adapted from the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1948).Read the book and you can decide.
The book will give a climpse into the workings of the british empire in kenya and the books does a amazing job of telling the truth about the terriable things the british were doing to the people of kenya. They were not so civil and yes definately not Christian in deed and actions . The birth of the modern day kenya was marked but alot of brutality from the british towards kenyans if you wish an accurate look into colonial kenya from an impartial source i would recommend you begin with this author.
I grew up in Kenya in Kikuyu and I always heard stories from my grandmother and amazing grandmother how horrible the British were, but I was young and had no idea how poor it was for our grandparents who survived the colonial period. I wept for my grandparents when I read this book, its unimaginable how cruel and sadistic the British colonial masters were. What's even more sad is that some of the same cruel colonialists still live in Kenya today since not all the settlers moved away after independence. The majority of settlers moved to Rhodesia and South Africa after independence but a huge number of them remained and still occupy vast tracts of prime land in a free, independent and democratic Kenya to this date. There is no statute of limitations for murder and I hope that in the near future we will be able to track down any settler still living in Kenya who is guilty of murder and torture of Africans and create them pay for their past sins. I for one don't think they should be living a life of luxury in Kenya when they have the blood of so a lot of on their hands. I intend to use my meager resources to search them, expose them and hope that one day they face justice.
The book, while highlighting a tragic chapter in the history of the Kenyan people as well as the horrific consequences of a paternalistic British colonialism, feels long. This book presents fact after fact connected to the brutal colonial policy of the British in Kenya. I can't think of one example of "benevolent colonialism" and how the British ruled in Kenya will create you sick. How the British could on one hand demonize the Nazi camps in WW2 yet turn around and brutally treat the Kenyan people is mind boggling. While the Mau Mau movement certainly acted in brutal ways at times, it's hard to know what really came first... Mau Mau brutality or British at said, the book feels a bit long. Imagine trying to keep your breath underwater for a long period of time. At some point you have to come up to breathe. When fact after fact of brutality is recollected it seems like it has no end. At a lot of points I had to place the book down because it was just too much. The research done seems top notch but the point was created by chapter 3 or 4.I read this book in preparation for a trip to Kenya this summer. It does give me some modern day historical background that will support in relating to the Kenyan people.
This is an awesome book, that should be a recommended reading in every high school. The story of the mau-mau was something I did not know a lot about, and this book was an eye-opener. Caroline Elkins has done a amazing job in thoroughly researching what a lot of wanted buried forever, and bringing out all the sadism and savagery in vivid detail. One of the best books I have read, ever.
This was an perfect book. It goes to present that what we were fed in the news media at the time was mostly rubbish. That none of these people were held to acc is terrible. The British went there, kicked the local people off their land and took it over. The cruelty inflicted on the locals is appalling. I know British people who were there at the time. I will certainly look at them with a various attitude. And then there were the religious missionaries who said nothing. What would you expect.
Allow me just say that this is a depressing and compelling book. Not a decade after the end of WWII Britain instituted its own system of brutal prison camps in Kenya that violated every human rights accord Britain had signed in the wake of one of the greatest atrocities in history. The purpose of this was to suppress a rebellion of the anti-colonial Mau Mau in Kenya. The British portrayed themselves as trying to bring civilization to the backwards ignorant Africans but the facts present that this was not the case at all. Using a combination of 1st person interviews and archival research, Caroline Elkins proves that the British suppression of the Mau Mau was far from civilizing and as the title states was much more akin to a Soviet prison camp than the rehabilitation centers they were said to be. The level of detail that Elkins gives taken from accounts of prisoners and expose's done by government investigators create for hard reading and the level of detail can obtain repetitive at times creating a numbing result for the reader. I believe the reason for this is to refute British denials of wrong doing and Elkins does accomplish this. This is a amazing book that exposes the real brutality behind colonization and the nature of the "civilization" that was imposed
Kenya in the "Emergency" of the Mau-Mau rebellion by the Kikuyu people filled the 1950s up to the early 1960s British decision to relinquish "colonial" control and let independence. They are the years flowing into my life as a (not Peace Corps) resident teacher at then remote websites at Homa Bay and Ikuu near Chuka high on the slopes of Mount Kenya. The most disturbing portions included learning how close I was to some of the worst (not the absolute worst) abuses were committed by British authority and its surrogate white settler authority on the ground in Kenya. I was reminded of when I showed a photograph of American citizens being loaded on trucks and buses to be taken away to detention camps out in the deserts of California and Arizona. They rn in America with Japanese ancestry, causing their homes and other property to be taken away. The picture was a park only a block away from where we lived in California. I was less than 3 years old at the time so I could safely say, "I didn't know" as my mother did. So much we seem to not know. it was what a lot of Germans said when confronted by Nazi death camps after Globe Battle II. The book offers extensive documation of horrors reminiscent of Holocaust atrocities. Documents were severely limited because unlike the Germans. British authorities had opportunity to destroy most materials during what became a warm and friendly turnover of power to Kenya's first Kikuyu President Jomo Kenyatta. I did have fun comments on the Luo possible president Tom Mboya who was three times in my house in my Homa Bay home. Unfortunately he was assassinated on the road of Nairobi. The other Luo mentioned is Oginga Odinga. His son Raila has twice run for the Presidency, first in 2007. Since President Obama's father was born and raised near Homa Bay, Luos in Western Kenya exclaimed, "only in America can a Luo be elected President. Somehow we in this nation should take a measure of pride. My worry is it seems most Kenyans, like most British, somehow have forgotten (as we have of American-Japanese internment and "ethnic cleansing" of native Americans) these atrocities that became so simple for too a lot of to commit.
I now realize a lot more about my country than I did before. I found this historical book very enlightening and can now realize a lot more of the issues in our world. Someone else started the issues and we are left to clean up. This is history.
Ms Patton surely has vast experience paddling the keys!!! The info is a amazing tutorial that will help in knowing and understanding the ins and outs of paddling all sides of the keys and similar considerations. I want there was more info on legal camping websites and locations! State parks seem to be the most viable options for through kayakers but availability and pricing need very careful scrutiny! Ms Pattons experince seems to be more aligned with driving from her residence, paddling a particular zone then heading back to her private outlook is to search a method to begin in the everglades and create my method down through the keys using my kayak . Ending in key west and maybe a day on the western island from there. Reasonable camping and or other low budget accomodations is what i am looking for in terms of amazing info! In all a unbelievable book with a private touch and very exacting info pertinent to ALL aspects with the exception of overnight accomodations.
If you, like me, are a deep lover of nature and someone who likes explore fresh adventures in the natural globe this book is a prize! It's prose excited me about the wonders waiting for me in the Keys, and it's info gave me the confidence to take those three free days I had in South Florida while on a business trip and rent a kayak, throw it on my rental car, and explore. Wow! What a trip. Thank you Kathleen Patton for your passion and attention to detail.
Nice book, engagingly written. Unfortunately, it lacks a amazing naturalist section, which is indispensable for answering those "ohmigod, what did I just see?!" questions. Bill Keogh's book has got all the trips, with better maps and precise GPS coordinates, plus a comprehensive "about the flora and fauna" section with fun animal facts and drawings that create it simple to identify your quarry.
The French Cultural Centre in Praia, Cape Verde has more than 800 hours of exclusive recordings of a amazing number of top quality artists from Cape Verde. A lot of of these have never created a recording on Cd, or they are only available on locally produced (and sold) is double CD is but a little sample of the treasures this centre possesses. It focuses on the roots, showing a bit of the surprisingly rich and diversified musical traditions in this little meone should obtain Ocora, Radio France's production company, to speed up! We wish more of this!
if listening to the melody that will grab your heart, bring tears of joy, and create you think of the melancoly that every day of our lifes brings to us is your thing then this is it. tiered of organized vacations. book your next trip to the archipelago of melody (no i'm not a travel agent).
An American. Margaret Werner journeys to Soviet Stalinist Russia in about 1940,s when her father was stAtioned there to work in the Ford Motor Corporation Co to see her father falsely taken away to never be seen again and this is where her sad adventure starts also years later taken into custody falsely accused also in various Gulags across Siberian Russia. We read about her oddysey and 10 years of her imprisonment, the mates she made, her faithful mother and finally escape to is an exciting adventure and hard book to place down.I recommend this book
I was disappointed in this book. My family members were survivors of GULAG. One of them was 16 year old girl a daughter of well known person in Russia. It was so horrendous for her she would not talk about her experiences with anybody but her mates from these camps. In this book it feels almost too easy.Karl Tobien doesn't give clear info about his mother's family citizenship. It most likely that at some point her parents choose to obtain Russian citizenship. Margaret was probably too young and it wasn't her choice. She couldn't work in Russia during WWII without Russian passport! There is the reason why American Embassy couldn't support them!About Gunter, Margaret's husband, If I am right, he was about 7-8 years younger his wife! He was left behind in hated cold Inta to work and help family then he was only one working in rmany. I can understand why he wasn't satisfied and in relationship usually both parties are guilty.
I was very excited to read this book, but only a few chapters in, I'm disappointed. The author (or narrator, not sure which or why this wasn't edited out!) is incredibly repetitive. We hear over and over how amazing she is at sports, how competitive she is, how boys like her, and most of all, how amazing her dad is. The chapters I read could have easily been condensed into a few pages, and they would have been interesting! Sometimes less is more, but I don't think the author (or narrator) knew that. :(
"Dancing Under the Red Star" is an wonderful story about Margaret Werner, an American woman who travelled to the Soviet Union with her parents in the early 1930's, where her father went to work in a newly built Ford Motor Co. factory. Her father, a German immigrant, had socialist sympathies and thought he was going to a worker's paradise, hoping to create a better life for himself and his family. Upon arrival in the city of Gorky, and shown their humble and sub-standard apartment, they immediately knew this venture was not what they envisioned. The job at the factory was not what Carl Werner expected either. Some Americans returned home soon, but Carl Werner elected to stay, though he was openly critical of conditions at the factory. Maybe that is what got him in trouble, maybe it was just the fact that he was an American in Stalin's Soviet Union. Regardless, the Soviet secret police came for him in 1938, hauled him away, never to be seen or heard from again. His wife and teenage daughter, left to fend for themselves, struggled ey moved to a smaller and even worse apartment, Margaret's mother found a humble job, and every day was a fresh struggle for survival. Margaret graduated high school, and having learned the Russian language, got a string of several amazing jobs. Then the Soviets came for her, on trumped up charges of espionage. Margaret spent ten years in Soviet prisons and labor camps, determined to survive, where so a lot of others gave up and allow themselves die. This book is written by Margaret's son Karl, though it is written in the first person, as if she is telling the story herself. While Karl is not a professional writer, he did a amazing job with the book, producing a very readable and compelling story. The Stalinist purges and Gulag prisons are not news, but reading a first-hand acc from the inside is both gripping and educational. Margaret Werner was an awesome woman, intelligent, talented, determined. Her story could be repeated by millions of the victims of the Stalin purges, but she is one of the few who survived to tell the tale. This book is hard to place down, and is well worth reading.
I enjoyed reading this book and learned some unknown history that Americans went to Russia to support set up factories. It was also news to me that a lot of American citizens were imprisioned in the Siberian camps. I was surprised to know that Karl’s mother turned to Christ and praises Him for her survival and escape. An uplifting story. I recommend it highly.