Book Review: Paris 1919

In the foreword to Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan, Richard Holbrooke argues: In the headline version of history, the road from the Hall of Mirrors [where Versailles treaty was signed] to the German invasion of Poland only twenty years later is usually presented as a straight line. But as… Continue reading Book Review: Paris 1919

Categorized as Books

League of Nations and Racial Equality

An interesting chapter in the book “Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World” is related to Japan. Japan was on the Allied side in World War I, though it hadn’t done much fighting. The Japanese had three goals for the Paris Peace Conference after the war: to get a clause on racial equality written… Continue reading League of Nations and Racial Equality

What I am Reading

I am busy, so no regular posts today. However, here is some stuff I am reading: A New York Times article about the Lackawanna Six, the Yemeni-Americans in Buffalo who trained at an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. An interesting article about the history of the oath of allegiance that naturalized citizens have to take.… Continue reading What I am Reading

Woodrow Wilson

Once again Wilsonian ideas are popular, both with liberal hawks and neoconservatives. So I thought I should excerpt some comments about Wilson from the book I am reading nowadays about the Versailles Peace conference at the end of World War I. Wilson never forgave those who disagreed with him. […]He was also stubborn. […]The French… Continue reading Woodrow Wilson

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63

I recently finished reading Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. It’s a huge book with more than 900 pages of text plus about 78 pages of notes. It took me a long time to read, but it was worth it. The book is fascinating and Taylor Branch brings the civil… Continue reading Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63

Categorized as Books

Book Review: Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam

I finished reading Gilles Kepel’s Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam recently. The author is French with a number of previous works in the area. This book was originally written in French in 2000 and was translated after the September 11 terrorist attacks with small changes incorporating them. The main thesis of Kepel is that… Continue reading Book Review: Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam

Book Review: Neuromancer

I finished reading Neuromancer by William Gibson this weekend. I am a big fan of science fiction, but don’t particularly like cyberpunk. Hence, this book was a surprise for me. I liked it a lot. It definitely grabs your attention. I read it in two sessions, on the way to Jersey and back. And guess… Continue reading Book Review: Neuromancer

Categorized as Books

Maudoodi: According to Kepel

I have started reading Gilles Kepel’s book Jihad : The Trail of Political Islam”. It is an interesting book with a somewhat different viewpoint about political and militant Islam. Here are some excerpts about Maudoodi (for some background, read my earlier posts [1, 2]): By contrast with Egypt, where Nasser crushed the Muslim Brothers in… Continue reading Maudoodi: According to Kepel

The Arab-Israel Conflict

I recently finished reading the book Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 by Benny Morris. It’s a long read (more than 700 pages) with a comprehensive history of the conflict starting in 1881 and ending with the election of Sharon. Benny Morris gives a very balanced and nuanced account of the conflict.… Continue reading The Arab-Israel Conflict