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Category: Books

Unraveling WWI’s Start – The Sleepwalkers By Christopher Clark

Review of The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark This book covers in minute, but always interesting, details the events of June through early August, 1914 in Europe. The Sleepwalkers shows how World War I started, but also points out several cases where more resolute actions by leaders might have averted war. Several interesting arguments are made from Clark’s voluminous documentation not seen before: Leaders of Germany and Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas (first and second cousins, respectively of King George V of England), are not portrayed as absolute rulers who alone made the decisions...

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Review of D’Souza’s “America”

Book Review: America: Imagine a World without Her By Dinesh D’Souza I should emphasize that D’Souza does not mean a world where, literally, America never existed. Presumably, if that were his intention, it could mean that the colonies remained to this day under British rule, the British took over the Louisiana territory after Napoleon’s demise, Texas became an independent republic and Mexico retained control over California, Arizona and the Southwest (or similar scenarios). On an even stranger basis, if Canada and Mexico existed, but never the U.S., the territory in between those two nations could still be one inhabited...

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Girls Standing on Lawns Book Review

Book Review It is rare to find a book that can be enjoyed by both children and adults, but Girls Standing on Lawns is just such a masterpiece. It is simple and overwhelming with each turn of the page. It is rare that I am moved by books that might equally appeal to the younger human species, but this book touched me. Girls Standing on Lawns by Daniel Handler (Author), Maira Kalman (Illustrator) is a walk down memory lane with a look to the future. New York Times bestselling writer Daniel Handler, otherwise known as Lemony Snicket, sprinkles little...

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Elliott Erwitt’s Regarding Women

Elliott Erwitt’s Regarding Women is stunning. This collection of black and white images by photographic master Elliot Erwitt is an historical documentation of his work, as well as biographical look at his life. Drizzled amongst the images of celebrities like Maralyn Monroe, whose cover also adorns the book cover, readers will unknowingly view glimpses of his children, ex-wives and other major events in his personal life. The book spans several generations beginning in the late 1940s through today. The photos are not all consecutive in their layout. As you move from one page to the next, there is a...

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The End of Innocence

Luxe Beat Magazine has the exclusive sneak preview of Allegra Jordan’s book The End of Innocence. Prologue The wind bit into his neck. It burned his bruised ear, and the quick- falling snow piled around his boots. But the question repeated ceaselessly in his mind, like a record’s needle turning after the song is through, the machine’s energy not yet spent. It seemed like such a short time ago when one single death had brought his world to a halt. Mere months before, he’d been a student in America, at Harvard, when Max von Steiger, a fellow German classmate...

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Finding Lucas

by Samantha Stroh Bailey CHAPTER THREE “Leah? Katie? Rach?” I call after opening the front door that my trusting family never locks. Wait until their precious crystals and enema paraphernalia get swiped. “Jamie? Is that you?” Leah trills from upstairs. “Yeah, I’m home.” Leah glides downstairs with the same grace and elegance she’s always had. My mom is ethereal. There’s no other word more precise. Tall and willowy, her once blond hair is now silver and tied in a long braid that falls to the middle of her back. She’s wearing her favorite pale blue gauzy skirt (the one...

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“A Collector of Affections” by Judith Glynn Book Excerpt

Chapter Three The bucolic and pastoral scenes en route to Madrid blurred as Leah’s eyes drooped and finally closed after the exhausting visit with Javier combined with her lingering jet lag. When the bus jerked to a stop at the AutoRes station, she rubbed her eyes awake and was the last person to get off. Just being in the city again gave her an adrenaline high to walk the few blocks to the subway station where she swiped her multi-ride ticket at the turnstile. Tirso de Molina was her stop, close to the center of Madrid. Although familiar with...

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Review of “Margaret Thatcher,The Authorized Biography, from Grantham to the Falklands”

In the late 1800s through the start of World War I, Turkey, the old Ottoman Empire was often called “The sick man of Europe.” This referred to its ongoing losses of geographical territories and states, its deteriorating military capacity and a perceived general collapse in its cultural and social stability. In the 1970s, a less likely nation sometimes received this unfortunate description—the United Kingdom. This nation, often referred to as the mother country of the U.S., our staunchest European ally, was in very bad shape, economically and, to some extent, socially. Basic heavy industries, nationalized since shortly after World...

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Octogenarian Artist Joanne Turney Excels In The Art Of Living

She Creates Art With Passion, Gratitude and Courage “I now face all challenges with gratitude because I know they are my teachers and they give me opportunities for positive growth and guidance.” ~ Joanne Turney Joanne Turney is an active octogenarian and accomplished abstract painter, author, and classical pianist. I’ve had the good fortune of knowing her for almost 20 years. She has served as an important positive role model for me and many other individuals who are blessed to know her. Turney’s dramatic award-winning art has been influenced by her extensive world travels, having lived in the colorful...

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Washington’s Magnificent Spooks

This superlative historical text, George Washington’s Secret Six, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger describes a hitherto little known, but vital feature in American history—George Washington’s Secret Six spy ring, that played a very heroic and positive role in the American Revolution. In the Central Intelligence Agency, its archivist said that his organization uses strategy and design of a particular program for training today’s new recruits. Are we talking about the script from Argo?  Are we talking about material from the hunt for Bin Laden? No, indeed, we are talking about George Washington’s program for his network of spies...

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The Kennedys Love Affair with Victura

Author James W. Graham did a superb job when writing Victura, The Kennedys, A Sailboat, and the Sea. The exemplary insight it provides into Kennedy family dynamics in total is thorough, with massive quotes and footnotes in abundance. Its focus provides an understanding of several generations of the family. It was a challenge numerous quotes or excerpts. The author’s research was incredibly extensive. To those of us who lived through much of the spotlight time, the Kennedy name brings a reaction ranging from love to hate. Victura provides a greater understanding to all. Joseph and Rose Kennedy and their...

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A Broad Abroad, One Woman’s Journey -Book Excerpt – Bizarre Bazaars

A Broad Abroad, One Woman’s Journey by Mandy Rowe Book Excerpt – Chapter Title: Bizarre Bazaars Riyadh was a city with more than its fair share of markets, shops, souqs and malls, but the expat community – especially the women – had an insatiable urge for more shopping. Markets and bazaars popped up at regular intervals in the rec centres of some of the larger compounds, with customers arriving by the busload and shopping as if a war was imminent and they needed to stockpile. The largest bazaar was held on the first Monday of each month at Kingdom...

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