Tag: Books

Chernobyl’s untold story

| September 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
Chernobyl’s untold story

Midnight at Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster By Adam Higginbotham 561 pages Simon & Schuster, 2019 eBook $14.99 Hardcover: $29.95 Paperback: $18.00 Audio download $23.99   On the night of April 26, 1986, a young engineer, Leonid Toptunov, working in the control room of Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear […]

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‘Love letter’ to Canada prefers passion over policy

| July 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
‘Love letter’ to Canada prefers passion over policy

Bruce and Vicki Heyman’s The Art of Diplomacy (Simon and Schuster, 2019, 266 pages, $32) is a syrupy fan letter to Canada — a collection of clichés about our weather, our pronunciation, Tim Hortons and Sourtoe cocktails. About the only thing missing is an ode to the BeaverTail. Still, Canada these days needs to welcome […]

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The real business of Beijing

| April 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
The real business of Beijing

In 2017, Australia’s top defence official declared publicly that China was engaged in widespread espionage in his country. Soon after, Australia’s national security agency warned Parliament that the Chinese Communist Party’s actions directly threatened the nation’s sovereignty. The agency’s head said foreign interference had “the potential to cause serious harm to the nation’s sovereignty, the […]

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When women rule the world

| December 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
When women rule the world

A warning: The first chapter of 100 Questions About Women in Politics by Manon Tremblay features a few linguistic eye-glazers — such as “hegemonic scope,” “antagonistic binomials” and “intersectionality.” They made me fear that I wouldn’t be able to plod through many pages without drowning in jargon. Perhaps Tremblay thought about that, too, because both […]

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In defence of the liberal world order

| October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
In defence of the liberal world order

Three books explore aspects of the liberal world order that today is being challenged — two in the context of Canadian diplomacy and defence, a third from the perspective of one of the U.S.’s most experienced and respected politicians. When he won election in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared to the world that Canada […]

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North Korea: An insider’s view as hope for peace emerges

| July 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
North Korea: An insider’s view as hope for peace emerges

North Korea dominated headlines in July 2017 after Kim Jong-un’s regime fired a long-range  ballistic missile that ultimately landed in Japanese waters. The country launched another missile over Japan on Sept. 15, and released images of a massive intercontinental ballistic missile it claimed could target the United States as early as November. The nuclear threat […]

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The ravaged refugees who flee

| April 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
The ravaged refugees who flee

In August 2014, ISIS militants ordered Yazidi villagers from Kocho — a rural farming community in northern Iraq — to march in the sweltering heat to its only school. Women waited on the upper level of the school while men were assembled outside. Those who refused to convert to Islam were shot. From inside the […]

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Vietnam ‘snow job,’ Lawrence of Arabia and Pol Pot

| December 18, 2017 | 0 Comments
Vietnam ‘snow job,’ Lawrence of Arabia and Pol Pot

At about the midway point between Pearl Harbor and the collapse of the Twin Towers, the United States was the victim of another giant surprise attack. The pummelling assault on Hué, the old imperial capital of Vietnam, close to the sea, south of the Demilitarized Zone, was the work of communist Viet Cong guerrillas and […]

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Russia’s revolutionary ideas

| September 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
Russia’s revolutionary ideas

Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year and on the other side of the world perhaps the most profound such observance right now is the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Several important new books on the subject are being published. All of them struggle, some more successfully than others, to explain the […]

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A big secret that everybody knows

| July 1, 2017 | 0 Comments
A big secret that everybody knows

I have a framed poster on my wall at home that illustrates 14 different types of small explosive devices. The same poster is found in nearly every elementary schoolroom in Laos (and Cambodia, too) where it’s intended to teach the little ones to refrain from, for instance, playing with landmines. My copy hangs above the […]

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