Related to: 'Asne Seierstad'

Robinson

When the Clouds Fell from the Sky

Robert Carmichael
Authors:
Robert Carmichael

'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'During the Khmer Rouge's four-year rule of terror, two million people, or one in every four, Cambodians, died. In describing one family's decades-long quest to learn their husband's and father's fate and the war crimes trial of Comrade Duch (pronounced 'Doyk'), who ran the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, where thousands were tortured prior to their execution, When the Clouds Fell from the Sky illuminates not only the tragedy of a nation, but also the fundamental limitations of international justice. In February 2012, the international war crimes court in Cambodia handed down a life sentence to the man known by his revolutionary moniker Comrade Duch. The court found the Khmer Rouge's former security chief responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 people at S-21 prison.Duch's conviction was historic. He was the first Khmer Rouge member to be jailed for crimes committed during Pol Pot's catastrophic 1975-9 rule when two million people died from execution, starvation, illness and overwork as Cambodia underwent the most radical social transformation ever attempted. When the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975, the entire population was driven from the towns and cities into rural gulags, where they were put to work planting rice and constructing vast irrigation schemes Designed to outdo even Mao's Great Leap Forward, it was an unparalleled disaster.At the same time as the Khmer Rouge sought to refashion the country, they closed its borders, barred all communication with the outside world and turned back the clock to Year Zero. They outlawed religion, markets, money, education and even the concept of family as they pursued a revolution that would outstrip all others. In Orwellian fashion, everything and everyone belonged to Angkar, the anonymous leaders, and all loyalty was owed to them. The individual had no value beyond their utility as a working unit that could easily be replaced.It was not long before the revolution began to implode, driven to destruction by the incompetence and paranoia of Angkar. Yet instead of recognising their own failings, the leaders believed unseen enemies were undermining the revolution. They sought them everywhere, both inside and outside the movement. In their pursuit of purity they destroyed a nation. This was the closed nation to which Ouk Ket returned in 1977. Like hundreds of other returnees, he was utterly unaware of the terrors being wrought in the revolution's name. Hundreds of thousands of other Cambodians perished in nearly 200 institutions like S-21 that formed an inescapable web across the country. Most of the rest died of starvation, overwork and illness in the rural gulags. Cambodia remains defined by this cataclysmic period, and its effects are apparent today. To illustrate this era and its consequences, Robert Carmichael has woven together the stories of five people whose lives intersected to traumatic effect. Duch is one of those five, and the book tackles this complex man and his life through the prism of his trial.The second person is a Frenchwoman called Neary. Her father - the returning diplomat Ouk Ket - was one of Duch's 12,000 proven victims. She was just two when he disappeared. When the Clouds Fell from the Sky is as much about Neary as it is about Duch: her efforts to find out more about the fate of her father, and her subsequent battle to accept it. Towards the end of the book, in one of its key scenes, Neary testifies against Duch at the international war crimes court in Phnom Penh.Intertwined is Duch's quest for redemption: his efforts during his nine-month trial to make those in the courtroom understand the twists and turns of his life and the decisions he took - some logical, others seemingly banal - that culminated in him running one of the twentieth century's most brutal institutions. The truths that emerge during Duch's trial help to illuminate this enigmatic man and how, in many ways, he is little different from most of us.The third and fourth characters are Ket and his wife Martine, who met in 1970 when they were studying at university in Paris. The fifth is Ket's cousin Sady, who never left Cambodia and is today a sixty-something teacher in Phnom Penh. Sady and Ket grew up together in 1960s' Phnom Penh, so Sady is able to tell us about Ket's early years, She also describes the reality of life under the Khmer Rouge: the forced eviction from Phnom Penh in 1975, the murder of her younger brother in 1977, the deaths of Ket's father and siblings, and her suffering in the rural labour camps. Sady's story is the experience of countless Cambodians.Through these five stories, through the author's own research, through interviews with leading academics, former Khmer Rouge and ordinary Cambodians, and by following Duch's trial, which Robert did for months, the book takes the experience of one forgotten man to tell the story of a nation. Since we cannot grasp the concept of millions of dead, he has used the murder of one to speak for the deaths of many. In so doing the book reaffirms the value of the individual, countering the Khmer Rouge's nihilistic maxim that: 'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'

Virago

Two Sisters

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad

One morning in October 2013, nineteen-year-old Ayan Juma and her sixteen-year-old sister Leila left their family home in Oslo. Later that day they sent an email to their parents. 'Peace, God's mercy and blessings upon you, Mum and Dad ... Please do not be cross with us...' Leila and Ayan had decided to travel to Syria, 'and help out down there as best we can'. They had been planning for months. By the time their desperate father Sadiq tracks them to Turkey, they have already crossed the border. But Sadiq is determined to find them. What follows is the gripping, heartbreaking story of a family ripped apart. While Sadiq risks his own life to bring his daughters back, at home his wife Sara begins to question their life in Norway. How could her children have been radicalised without her knowledge? How can she protect her two younger sons from the same fate? Åsne Seierstad - with the complete support of the Juma family - followed the story from the beginning, through its many dramatic twists and turns. It's a tale that crosses from Sadiq and Sara's original home in Somalia, to their council estate in Oslo, to Turkey and to Syria - where two teenage sisters must face the shocking consequences of their decision.

PublicAffairs

The Hacked World Order

Adam Segal
Authors:
Adam Segal

For more than three hundred years, the world wrestled with conflicts that arose between nation-states. Nation-states wielded military force, financial pressure, and diplomatic persuasion to create world order." Even after the end of the Cold War, the elements comprising world order remained essentially unchanged.     But 2012 marked a transformation in geopolitics and the tactics of both the established powers and smaller entities looking to challenge the international community. That year, the US government revealed its involvement in Operation Olympic Games," a mission aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear program through cyberattacks Russia and China conducted massive cyber-espionage operations and the world split over the governance of the Internet. Cyberspace became a battlefield.     Cyber conflict is hard to track, often delivered by proxies, and has outcomes that are hard to gauge. It demands that the rules of engagement be completely reworked and all the old niceties of diplomacy be recast. Many of the critical resources of statecraft are now in the hands of the private sector, giant technology companies in particular. In this new world order, cybersecurity expert Adam Segal reveals, power has been well and truly hacked.

Sphere

Spy Games

Adam Brookes
Authors:
Adam Brookes

'Authentic, taut and compelling. Brookes is the real deal'Charles CummingFearing for his life, journalist Philip Mangan has gone into hiding from the Chinese agents who have identified him as a British spy. His reputation and life are in tatters. But when he is caught in a terrorist attack in East Africa and a shadowy Chinese figure approaches him in the dead of night with information on the origins of the atrocity, Mangan is suddenly back in the eye of the storm.Meanwhile, thousands of miles away on a humid Hong Kong night, a key MI6 source is murdered minutes after meeting spy Trish Patterson. From Washington, D.C. to the hallowed halls of Oxford University and dusty African streets, a sinister power is stirring that will use Mangan and Patterson as its pawns - if they survive.Deeply steeped in tension and paranoia, Spy Games is Adam Brookes' follow-up to his award-nominated debut Night Heron and a remarkable, groundbreaking spy thriller.

Corsair

It's What I Do

Lynsey Addario
Authors:
Lynsey Addario

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a photographer when September 11th changed the world. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making - not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself as one of a new generation of journalists created by the War on Terror. It's What I Do follows a course unavoidable for Addario - from her first camera and the pictures it inspired, to early years as a street photographer and the inspiration she found in the work of Sebastião Salgado. Photography becomes a way for her to travel with a purpose - a singular ambition that shapes and drives her. From Afghanistan to Iraq to Darfur to Libya, Addario finds in photography not only the artistic medium to convey people's stories, but the power to change political policy by showing its consequences. As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken seriously, Addario fights her way into a boy's club of a profession, eventually earning widespread recognition. Refusing to turn down career-defining assignments, she puts romance and family on hold. Yet the sadness and injustice she encounters as a conflict reporter give her a new vision for her own life, and the more she sees of the world, the greater her desires for love and family grow. It's What I Do is also the story of how Addario met her husband and father to their child, and how as a war correspondent and a mother, she learned to live her life in two different - though hardly separate - worlds. Watching uprisings unfold and people fight to the death for their freedom, Addario understands she is documenting not only news but also the fate of society. It's What I Do is more than just a snapshot of life on the front lines; it is witness to the human cost of war.

Virago

One of Us

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad

INSPIRATION FOR THE NETFLIX FILM 22 JULY - DIRECTED BY PAUL GREENGRASSOn 22 July 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 of his fellow Norwegians in a terrorist atrocity that shocked the world. One of Us is the definitive account of the massacres and the subsequent trial. But more than that, it is the compelling story of Anders Breivik and a select group of his victims. As we follow the path to their inevitable collision, it becomes clear just what was lost in that one day.SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA NON-FICTION DAGGER 2015A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Virago

With Their Backs To The World

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad
Nation Books

Dirty Wars

Jeremy Scahill
Authors:
Jeremy Scahill

A New York Times bestsellerA Washington Post bestsellerNamed the top investigative journalism book of 2013 by Nieman Reports Selected as one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Books of 2013 [A] courageous and exhaustive examination of the way a number of clandestine campaigns,full of crimes, cover-ups, and assassinations,became the United States' main strategy for combating terrorism." ,Teju Cole, The New Yorker , Best Books of 2013In Dirty Wars , Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater , takes us inside America's new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA's Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through black budgets," Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that the world is a battlefield," as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America's global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk,we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as suspected militants." Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

Nation Books

Dirty Wars (int. edition)

Jeremy Scahill
Authors:
Jeremy Scahill

In Dirty Wars , Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater , takes us inside America's new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA's Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through black budgets," Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that the world is a battlefield," as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America's global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk,we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as suspected militants." Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

Piatkus

Grace Under Pressure

Sophie Walker
Authors:
Sophie Walker

When Sophie Walker's daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, her world unravelled. Her high-powered job was in disarray, she couldn't sleep, often woke in tears and felt hopeless and useless in her role as a mother.One day she realised she hadn't done any exercise for months - neglecting her physical health as well as her mental wellbeing. Previously a keen runner, she set herself the challenge of running the London Marathon to raise awareness of Asperger Syndrome and make herself physically strong enough to support her daughter.Invigorated by the physical challenge she had set herself, Sophie began a blog - 'Grace Under Pressure' - writing about both day-to-day life raising Grace alongside training for the marathon. The combination caught the imagination of readers and the blog took off, garnering praise from a wide range of sources.Now transformed into a book, Grace Under Pressure is a moving story that charts the highs and lows of raising a child with Asperger Syndrome and the physical challenge of training for a long-distance running event.

Nation Books

After Empire

Dilip Hiro
Authors:
Dilip Hiro
Nation Books

The World As It Is

Chris Hedges
Authors:
Chris Hedges

Drawing on two decades of experience as a war correspondent and based on his numerous columns for Truthdig, Chris Hedges presents The World As It Is , a panorama of the American empire at home and abroad, from the coarsening effect of America's War on Terror to the front lines in the Middle East and South Asia and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Underlying his reportage is a constant struggle with the nature of war and its impact on human civilization. "War is always about betrayal," Hedges notes. "It is about betrayal of the young by the old, of cynics by idealists, and of soldiers and Marines by politicians. Society's institutions, including our religious institutions, which mould us into compliant citizens, are unmasked."

Virago

The Angel Of Grozny

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad
Basic Books

With Their Backs to the World

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad

From beloved international reporter Åsne Seierstad comes a remarkable exploration of the lives of ordinary Serbs under the regime of Slobodan Milosevic-during the dramatic events leading up to his fall, and finally in the troubled years that have followed. Seierstad traveled extensively through Serbia between 1999 and 2004, following the lives of people from across the political spectrum. Her moving and perceptive account follows nationalists, Titoists, Yugonostalgics, rock stars, fugitives, and poets. Seierstad brings her acclaimed attention to detail to bear on the lives of those whom she encounters in With Their Backs to the World , as she creates a kaleidoscopic portrait of a nation made up of so many different-and often conflicting-hopes, dreams, and points of view.

PublicAffairs

Masters of Chaos

Linda Robinson
Authors:
Linda Robinson

Special Forces soldiers are daring, seasoned troops from America's heartland, selected in a tough competition and trained in an extraordinary range of skills. They know foreign languages and cultures and unconventional warfare better than any U.S. fighters, and while they prefer to stay out of the limelight, veteran war correspondent Linda Robinson gained access to their closed world. She traveled with them on the frontlines, interviewed them at length on their home bases, and studied their doctrine, methods and history. In Masters of Chaos she tells their story through a select group of senior sergeants and field-grade officers, a band of unforgettable characters like Rawhide, Killer, Michael T, and Alan - led by the unflappable Lt. Col. Chris Conner and Col. Charlie Cleveland, a brilliant but self-effacing West Pointer who led the largest unconventional war campaign since Vietnam in northern Iraq. Robinson follows the Special Forces from their first post-Vietnam combat in Panama, El Salvador, Desert Storm, Somalia, and the Balkans to their recent trials and triumphs in Afghanistan and Iraq. She witnessed their secret sleuthing and unsung successes in southern Iraq, and recounts here for the first time the dramatic firefights of the western desert. Her blow-by-blow story of the attack on Ansar al-Islam's international terrorist training camp has never been told before. The most comprehensive account ever of the modern-day Special Forces in action, Masters of Chaos is filled with riveting, intimate detail in the words of a close-knit band of soldiers who have done it all.

Virago

A Hundred And One Days

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad
Virago

The Bookseller Of Kabul

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad

Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Åsne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict there. In the following spring she returned to live with an Afghan family for several months. For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities - be they communist or Taliban - to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. He even resorted to hiding most of his stock in attics all over Kabul.But while Khan is passionate in his love of books and hatred of censorship, he is also a committed Muslim with strict views on family life. As an outsider, Seierstad is able to move between the private world of the women - including Khan's two wives - and the more public lives of the men. And so we learn of proposals and marriages, suppression and abuse of power, crime and punishment. The result is a gripping and moving portrait of a family, and a clear-eyed assessment of a country struggling to free itself from history.

Read an exclusive extract here

Countdown

Read an exclusive extract from Alan Weisman’s brilliant new book, Countdown.

Read an exclusive extract

Countdown

Read an exclusive extract from Alan Weisman's brilliant new book, Countdown.

Chapter One

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Read the first chapter of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. The victim of an important art theft appeals to Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and sleuth, for help.