" If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking "
Gulag, written by Anne Applebaum tells the history of Labour Camps during USSR. The book have the details on the Origin of Gulag, Life & Work in the Camps, how camps evolved over the years, the condition of the camps during Second World War. The book describes the conditions of camps located at Solovetsky, Norilsk, Vorkuta, Kolyma and others. Harsh working conditions in the camps, the scarcity of food & clothing, how people survived through the camps, condition of women and how diferent types of prisoners lived in the camps.
The conditions of the camps during Stalin and after Stalin's death. The changes made to the camps when Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Mikhail Gorbachev led USSR. and finally how Gulag came to an end.
The Fall of the Ottomans, written by Eugene Rogan describes the events and the wars fought by Ottomans in the First World War and how the Great Ottoman Empire came to an end. The Ottoman empire finding it hard to keep its large territories secured, finds an ally in Germany and eventually jumping into First World War. The book describes the fights in Dardanelles and Gallipoli, fought by Ottomans and its ally Germany against British Empire (which included Indians, Australians, NewZealanders among others) and French forces. The Ottomans empire worried about the loyality of Armenains, deported and killed Armenians in large numbers. The book also describes the Siege of Kut (a town in Iraq) and the fall of Baghdad in quite detail.
The Arab Revolt started by Sharif Hussein which was aimed to get the Independence from Ottoman rule and to create an Arab Kingdom, British used the Arab Revolt against Ottomans in the Middle East to defeat the Ottoman army. The greatest loss was the Jerusalem and eventually entire Palestine falling to the British hands, with the full support of British and the Zionist forces working relentlessly to occupy land of Palestine to create a Jewish State. Ottoman forces lost the major cities of Middle East one by one to British forces. Finally accepting its defeat in First World War and with that the Great Ottoman Empire came to an end.
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, written by Alexei Vassiliev, is a great biography of King Faisal son of Abd Al Aziz. The book covers life of adolescent Faisal, as a Viceroy of Najd, his relationship with his Father Abd Al Aziz and his brothers (specially elder brother Saud), his marriage with Iffat. The book also have chapters on the Yemen conflict, discovery of Oil in the Kingdom, dealing with Aramco, his relations with Egyptian leader Nasser, death of Abd Al Aziz and ascension of Saud as the King, Pro Israel foreign policy of US, the Six Day War with Israel and Oil Embargo by the Kingdom.
King Faisal played a significant role in modernizing and reforming the Kingdom during his reign and took initiatives by making huge investments in education, healthcare and infrastructure. Under King Faisal, Saudi Arabia experienced significant economic growth due to its oil resources. He helped establish the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and played a vital role in the oil market.
King Faisal was austere in his lifestyle and a staunch advocate of Islamic values. King Faisal hated Zionism and was a vocal advocate for the Palestinian cause and supported Arab states during conflicts with Israel. King Faisal was assassinated on March 25, 1975, by his nephew, Faisal bin Musaid. King Faisal was a great leader and worked relentlessly for his people.
Drinking the Sea at Gaza, written by Amira Hass who lived in Gaza Strip for many years and wrote for Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Amira Hass is well known for her reporting on the daily lives of Palestinians living in Gaza. Gaza is under Siege from a long time and this book tells about the everyday life of Gazans.
Palestinians living in Gaza could not move freely to West Bank or Israel, they needed exit permit which was most of time not given, If a male is less than 40 years or single he will not get exit permit. Even if someone gets the exit permit they needed to return back to Gaza same day. Palestinians start to queue up at Erez checkpoint at 3 AM, so thay can go to Israel or West Bank. Inhumane policies of Israel which resulted in high unemployment, made everyday life of Gazans extremely difficult. And whenever a bomb blast or any other attack took place in Israel, it resulted in complete closure of Gaza.
The book also mentions the Deir Yassin Massacre, in which more than 100 Palestinian villagers were massacred by Jewish militia Irgun and Lehi. Names of the Palestinian villages and cities were changed, Isdud was renamed to Ashdod, Majdal renamed to Ashkelon, Beit Daras renamed to Beit Ezra and a large number of other villages were renamed once Israel occupied the land.
The book also explains the failure of Oslo Accords, condition of Palestinians inside Israeli Jails and Shabak interrogation which involved squeezing the mens testicles.
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, written by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, explains how Israel Lobby controls the U.S. Foreign policy. No other Organization have as much effect on U.S. Foreign policy as AIPAC, which is a Pro Israel lobby. Anyone in U.S. congress who condemns or questions U.S.'s unconditional support to Israel, would have to face AIPAC and its people, thats why no one dares to condemn Israel.
The book also mentions the role of other Pro Israel individuals and organizations e.g. World Zionist Organization, Zionist Organization of America, Christians United for Israel. A significant role is also played by Christian Zionism and Evangelical Christians in pushing the policies which are Pro Israel, even if it undermines U.S. interests. The Israel lobby also have a great impact on Public Discourse, College campuses, Academia and Mainstream media, the lobby makes sure that people have a positive impression about Israel. So when you see Alan Dershowitz write all the Pro Israel artcles in Newsweek, The New York Sun, Jerusalem Post and others, it shoudn't be a surprise.
The book provides significant evidence that Neoconservatives and Pro Israel members of the Bush Administration e.g. Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and Dick Cheney played a major role in America's decision to invade Iraq, which was actually Israel's war on Iraq fought by America.
The book also talks about U.S. foreign policy on Syria, Iran and the Israel-Lebanon War. Neoconservative's policy to spread Democracies in Middle East countries by using Military firepower, failed. It actually resulted in strengthening groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
The Palestine Nakba, written by Nur Masalha explains how Zionism and European Settler Colonialism led to the Nakba (`The Catastrophe`), in which Palestinians were massacred and their villages were destroyed, Zionist armed groups expelled around 750,000 Palestinians. Although May 15, 1948, became the official day for commemorating the Nakba, Nakba started before 1948 and it did not end in 1948, infact its still ongoing today. Zionist Colonisation of Palestine started in year 1881.
The book breaks the myth in which Jewish forces are portrayed as David and Arab forces as Goliath, it also exposes the Zionist lie that land of Palestine was barren, empty & underpopulated, waiting to be made fertile and populated by Israel. Names of Palestinian villages, cities, public squares were changed to Hebrew sounding names, Zionist 'reclaiming by renaming' project is a major factor in the colonisation of the land of Palestine. Jewish National Fund (JNF) build Forests & Parks on the destroyed Palestinian villages to completly destroy the traces of Palestinian history and identity.
There are great efforts made by Israel to wipe out the Palestinian history and silence the Palestinian voices e.g. Palestine Research Center in Beirut was destroyed and archives from Orient house in Jerusalem were looted.
When Israel celebrates its Independence day, Palestinians mourn the Nakba.