Inconvenient Memories: A Personal Account of the Tiananmen Square Incident and the China Before and After by Anna Wang

 

 

In writing this fascinatingly informative book, the author Anna Wang has fulfilled a promise she made to herself long after the terrible massacre at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, a promise to tell her story about the events at that time.

Born in China in 1966, a few years later than myself in England, Anna has really opened my eyes through her memoir to how different life is in East Asia.

The author was abandoned by her mother into the care of her grandmother who lived in Beijing. It is through Anna’s recollections of her childhood and youth, that we discover how strict the upbringing of Chinese children is, and also what living conditions were like in the capital city during her youth. Perhaps the most eye-opening part of this whole book for me was to discover the different ‘regimes’ which Chinese people have to, and still do adhere to, and the class distinctions and restrictions imposed on its people by the government, and their policies.

It wasn’t until she was accepted into Peking University in Beijing as a microelectronics major that Anna experienced protests for the first time. The death on the 15th April 1989 of a former Communist Leader Hu Yaobang, who had worked hard to move China toward a more open political system, and had become a symbol of democratic reform caused the initial uprising in Tiananmen Square. This commenced with the students marching through the capital to Tiananmen Square. From that beginning the uprising grew, hunger strikes, and rally’s caused Premier Li Peng to impose martial law on 19th May.

Anna’s memories of these times are full of fear, with troupes roaming the street, innocent citizens shot, families decimated, and a city in lockdown. On the 4th June, 1989 the demonstration ended when Chinese troops fired on civilians and students. The true death toll has never been released…

At the time of the incident, and after, she worked as a secretary at Canon Beijing, and then went on to have a successful writing career. She has had published other books about her life and experiences, and is married to Lao Xin who she met when he was a student of literature in college. The couple have two children, and with her own vivid childhood memories, their future is paramount to her.

Throughout her extremely interesting life this determined woman, with strength and fortitude, has intermittently lived in Beijing, and also in America, New Zealand and Canada. Through her vividly detailed accounts the author gives her reader a real insight into life in China, and being Chinese. For me, an added bonus was that her recollections of her grandmother’s stories to her during childhood, gives a fascinating glimpse into early 20th century life, including the custom of foot binding.

I would highly recommend this fascinating book to anyone interested in history, memoirs, and life in China through the 20th, and into the 21st century.


About the Author:

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Anna Wang received her BA from Peking University and is a full-time writer. She has published nine books in Chinese. These include two short story collections, one essay collection, four novels, and two translations. An English translation of her short stories, Beijing Women: Stories, was published in 2014. Inconvenient Memories is her debut book written in English.

About the Book:

Inconvenient Memories is a rare and truthful memoir of a young woman’s coming of age amid the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989. In 1989, Anna Wang was one of a lucky few who worked for a Japanese company, Canon. She traveled each day between her grandmother’s dilapidated commune-style apartment and an extravagant office just steps from Tiananmen Square. Her daily commute on Beijing’s impossibly crowded buses brought into view the full spectrum of China’s economic and social inequalities during the economic transition. When Tiananmen Protests broke out, her Japanese boss was concerned whether the protests would obstruct Canon’s assembly plant in China, and she was sent to Tiananmen Square on a daily basis to take photos for her boss to analyze for evidence of turning tides. From the perspective as a member of the emerging middle class, she observed firsthand that Tiananmen Protests stemmed from Chinese people’s longing for political freedom and their fear for the nascent market economy, an observation that readers have never come across from the various accounts of the historical events so far.

Available from Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle and Audiobook formats https://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Memories-Personal-Tiananmen-Incident/dp/0996640576/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1559118435&refinements=p_27%3AAnna+Wang&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Anna+Wang 

Billy Gogan, American: A Novel by Roger Higgins

 

Billy Gogan’s epic adventure begins as he leaves Ireland for a new life in America.

Lose yourself in the pages of this exciting historical novel as you follow the adventures of Billy Gogan, an Irish orphan sent to America on the eve of the 1844 Irish Famine. Discover the dangers he faces as he lives by his wits, and does what he has to, to survive….

The author of this exciting adventure story, Roger Higgins was born in Cheshire, England, and he emigrated to America with his parents and younger brother just before he was seven. Today he lives with his wife in Chicago, Illinois and is immensely proud of his four children.

He served on a guided missile destroyer and other ships as a naval officer, he then became a lawyer, and had various other jobs, eventually becoming a partner at a firm with the grandest bankruptcy practice of them all. He still practices law on a smaller scale and enjoys writing novels.

It is this diversity of knowledge, and life experiences which the author has used to full effect in writing the story of Billy Gogan – American.

The book begins with the 15 year old Billy Gogan in school, however, suddenly his life changes forever when he learns that his father has died in mysterious circumstances in prison. Following this devastating news he is informed by Father O’Muirhily that he must leave his native Ireland and start a new life in America. Passage has been arranged for him on the Maryann.

Forced to travel in steerage he meets in the boarding queue Mary (Máire) Skiddy a young widow, and her young daughter Fiona. When a sailor mistakes them for a family they are bunked together, and a firm friendship is formed. However the voyage hasn’t even begun before Billy witnesses the death of Father O’Muirhily on the quay, but was he pushed, or did he fall?

The vividly descriptive historical writing of this author enables his reader to really get a feel for the lives of his characters. The harshness of life on board ship, the living conditions, and the terrible weather they endure during the voyage, are acute reminders of what travel used to be like.

When the Maryann eventually docks in Gotham, New York, Billy Gogan is distraught to discover that he has become separated from Mary and Fiona. Despite various attempts to find them, he is unlucky, the Five Points district of New York is a dangerous blend of ex-slaves, Americans, and Irish refugees, he can only hope they are safe.

Straight away he manages to find board and lodgings, and after starting work as a brick carrier, being quick to learn, he soon finds himself working as a bookkeeper for the notorious Magee. There, as if by fate, he is reunited with Mary and Fiona, and they begin to plan a future together…

Through Billy we discover what it was like in those times not only to travel to and survive in a foreign country, but also to make a new life, and learn about love, hate, and the myriad of emotions in between.

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful historical novel and am looking forward to discovering what happens next in the life of Bill Gogan – American.

About the Author:

Roger J. Higgins and his wife reside in Chicago, Illinois, and they are immensely proud of their four children, one of whom is a serving U.S. Marine, and one of whom is Marine turned police officer (happily married to a wonderful high school chemistry and biology teacher).  Their daughter is a nurse, and she and her husband (a retired Coast Guard officer) are the proud parents of a baby boy.  Their youngest son is an aspiring doctor.  As Mrs. Higgins has patiently observed to her husband when he ruminates about the trials and tribulations of raising children, it was together that they went four-for-four with their children, hitting safely at every at-bat.  Not a bad day in the batter’s box.

Roger was born in England, in the County Cheshire, where he learned early of the orange-striped Cheshire cat, which disappears, leaving only its grin, full of teeth and gums.  Roger emigrated with his parents and younger brother to the United States when he was 6 ¾.  When his mother registered him at the local elementary school, he saw fit to wear his English grammar school uniform, which looked a lot like Harry Potter’s, except his cap was gray with purple piping and topped by a purple button, and he wore gray short trousers, gray knee socks and a purple clip-on tie with his dark gray blazer.  After his mother finished registering him for school, the principal gently asked whether he would like to leave the tie and cap with her for the day and pick them up after school.  Roger demurred.  He was fortunate enough to retain both tie and cap (which were never worn again) on the walk home from school.

At the advanced age of ten, Roger taught himself the art of swearing, a skill he found useful in his thirty-odd years of playing rugby, where he was noted for his stone hands, his lack of size for certain positions and lack of speed for all the rest.  As a young United States naval officer serving on a guided-missile destroyer many years ago with the lucky number “13” as her hull number (where he met some of the best friends a man can be lucky enough to have), he also learned, as did Captain Horatio Hornblower two centuries earlier, that sometimes having fifty-five oaths at your command can be entirely inadequate to the occasion.

Roger learned the art of leadership from his ships’ commanding officer and executive officer, who together led the tired, old ship, which was a bit of a laughing-stock along the waterfront, to win the Arleigh Burke award as the best destroyer in all of the Pacific Fleet.  Roger served another fifteen years after that, having had during that time the privilege of being the fire control officer for the U.S.S. Missouri’s 16-inch guns, and thus the only naval officer in the world (at that time) under the age of thirty proficient in the ancient—and wonderfully obsolescent—art of major caliber naval gunnery.

Roger became a lawyer after retiring from the Navy with a small pension fit to pay the property taxes.  After clerking for a Tax Court judge, who taught him the value of telling your story so as to win your reader to your side, Roger worked for a number of very large law firms, eventually becoming a partner at a firm with the grandest bankruptcy practice of them all.  Roger greatly admires the practice group leader’s philosophy of practicing law, which is to get the best outcome possible for your client, never re-trade on a deal, and if you must stab someone, don’t stab him (her) in the back; look the person in the eye and then stab her.  You’ll be treated the same way, when the time comes.  Oh, and never sell your reputation.  Once sold, you can never buy it back again.

Roger continues to practice law at a much smaller and less grand law firm and to write novels to his own taste.  He is having a wonderful time doing so.

 

About the Book: 

The Billy Gogan story is a fictional memoir told by an old Army general of his adventures as a young man. Billy Gogan, American, opens with recently orphaned Billy Gogan fleeing Ireland on the eve of the Great Hunger — either because he is the son of a dangerous revolutionary, or because his cousin doesn’t trust him around his daughter. Billy befriends a destitute Irish peasant named Máire and her young daughter Fíona, and together they endure a harsh passage to New York, America’s greatest city. They get separated as they debark, and Billy searches tirelessly for them in the dangerous Five Points, ground zero in the collision of Americans, ex-slaves, and Irish refugees.

Here, Billy completes his education. Already able to declaim Cicero and construe Aristotle, he learns voting fraud from Bill Tweed, the future head of Tammany Hall, and the numbers game from Charlie Backwell, Tammany’s top bookie. Finally, Brannagh O’Marran, the beautiful mulatta daughter of the Irish madam of Gotham’s finest brothel, teaches him about love.

Billy eventually finds Máire and Fíona, and the three of them plan their future together. But that future is taken in a cruel stroke, and nothing will ever be the same.

Author’s Website: http://billygogan.com/get-the-book/

 

Bily Gogan, American is available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Gogan-American-Roger-Higgins/dp/1609521153/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1523446127&sr=8-1&keywords=billy+gogan+american 

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Billy-Gogan-American-Roger-Higgins-ebook/dp/B01EEQ9LSW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1523446127&sr=8-1 

and

Barnes and Noble in Paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/billy-gogan-american-roger-higgins/1122741341?ean=9781609521158

and as a NOOK Book https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/billy-gogan-american-roger-higgins/1122741341?ean=9781609521165

 

Dasharajna: The Battle of Ten Kings (Harappa Trilogy Book 3) by Shankar Kashyap

 

An epic Indian battle brought to life by Shankar Kashyap

Yet again Shankar Kashyap has combined thorough and detailed research, with his amazing ability to tell a fantastic story and written this the third book in the Harappa trilogy – Dasharajna – Battle of Ten Kings.

Traditional history books are sometimes difficult to get into, however the author has overcome this by using in this Harappa series the character of Upaas, originally a trainee physician, his friends, and wife Lopa. These characters and the people they meet, rich and poor, give the reader a real insight into what it was like to live in this period of history.

Set in the third millennium BCE, the legend of the Battle of Ten Kings can be easily determined to have taken place on what is now the banks of the River Ravi, in what is now the Punjab, Haryana and north-east Pakistan. The traditions, laws and everyday lives are fascinating to read as a wonderful background to the epic story which is the Battle of Ten Kings, a battle between King Sudas and the alliance between ten to twelve kings. The alliance was forged because the descendants of King Yayathi were unhappy that the central part of Bharatha was given by the king to his youngest son Puru, and not to one of his elder brothers.

The years have passed and Upaas now moves with Lopa and their baby Atreya to Ila to become the Royal Physician to King Sudas. Ila is a great capital city known as the centre of the world and stories of Upaas the physician of Harappa are well known, and he and his family are warmly welcomed by Sage Visishta.

However it is soon apparent that there is great unrest, the opposing forces are grouping together, and adding in numbers. There are rumours in Ila that the enemy has sixty thousand soldiers, fired by their rulers united sense of past injustice, intent on winning the battle over King Sudas.

As the opposing forces gather on the banks of the River Parushni (Riva) it is apparent to all that this is going to be no ordinary battle. Then begins this epic war with soldiers and the king fighting bravely, and Upaas tending the wounded. All would seem to be lost until man is taught an important lesson, one they should never forget….

Wow, is all I can say to this amazing story. Whether you are interested in Indian history, enjoy reading about life in times gone by, or are just looking for a totally fascinating story, this is the book for you, and I highly recommend, it.

 

About the Author:

Shankar N Kashyap is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, UK. He was subjected to a life changing ordeal with potential for disastrous consequences. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success as an innovative and extremely talented surgeon, cooked up spurious allegations against him and reported him to the regulatory body, the GMC. He had to face the prolonged ordeal of a trial conducted by a group of incompetent individuals with no knowledge of his work in the hospital. He faced destruction of an internationally renowned reputation through this trial.
He has published extensively in peer reviewed scientific journals over the years, including a Thesis. This is his first foray into literary field.
The traumatic events of the trial made him write his first book, A Kangaroo Court published in Kindle as well as print format through Createspace.
He has extensive knowledge of History, particularly of Indus Valley civilisation, Mesopotamia and Elam. He has used this knowledge to write a series of books set in third millenium BCE in the Near East and Middle east. The first book of the Harappa series was released in November 2013. It is full of action, adventure and sorcery revolving around real characters, events and places in the Indus Valley and the Vedic scriptures. The second book of the series, The Fall of Shuruppak takes our hero to the shores of Mesopotamia. He gets involved with internal strife of Sumer and helps the famed emperor Gilgamesh in his pursuit of immortality. He, along with his friends, helps Gilgamesh when the Shuruppak is attacked by the Gutians and later witness the great flood which nearly ends the Mesopotamian civilisation. This was released in October 2014. The third book of the Harappa series, The Battle of Ten Kings is due for release in 2015. It deals with the epic battle of good against evil as depicted in the seventh book of Rigveda. If the outcome of the battle was any different, both the great epics of India – Ramayana and Mahabharat – may not have occured or if they did, they would have been completely different.
He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with his wife and three children.

 

About the Book:

The seventh book of Rigveda describes how, the descendants of the four brothers of Puru join forces with several other kings to form a confederacy of ten kings against Sudas. Sage Vishwamitra falls out with Sudas and joins the confederacy of ten kings. They attack Sudas and a bitter battle ensues on the banks of river Parushni. It was a one sided battle on the face of it, with a massive army of ten kings attacking a smaller army of Sudas. The skill of Sudas with the help of sage Vasishta, and timely intervention of weather helps him to an unlikely victory. Astronomical references within the Rigveda place this battle around the middle of third millennium BCE

“’Dasharajna – The Battle of Ten Kings’ is a wonderful gift from the author to his readers. But let me warn you – its not a book for passing readers. If you adore ancient Indian history and have honest respect towards a writer’s extensive background work, then this is a book you must not miss.

One of the most difficult tasks in writing is to deep dive in the realms of history and recreate that in the form of fiction. Dr. Kashyap did exactly that in this book and I must appreciate the publisher for creating such a wonderful cover to match the standard of the contents. The holistic package of the book including cover, formatting, paper quality, fonts etc create a quick attraction to flip through the pages.

The book is bound to be liked by avid readers of both fiction and non-fiction genres (esp mythology/ historic fiction). Very few books in the history of Indian literature present us with a thorough account of pre-Ramayana & Mahabharata saga. Dasharajna did it so keenly – It explores an unaccounted segment of ancient India, a result of 25 years of extensive research by the author. Hats off !!

The other point that sets the book apart is the consistency of the characters. Most of the characters are relevant even in the modern world as well – Their conversations sound authentic; their reactions seem logical and most importantly their presentation is so flawless.”
Reetwika Banerjee, Goodreads Review

 

Dasharajna is available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Battle-Ten-Kings-Dasharajna-Harappa/dp/8193171411/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515750985&sr=8-3

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dasharajna-Battle-Kings-Harappa-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B075YSWTCC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1515750985&sr=8-3

 

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-battle-of-ten-kings-dr-shankar-kashyap/1123777516?ean=9788193171417

 

Fall of Shuruppak: Harappa 2 (Harappa Trilogy) by Shankar Kashyap

 

A must read for anyone interested in Indian history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fascinating journey into Indian history is set in the third millennium BCE. Through the author’s thorough investigation into this era, and extremely descriptive writing, these splendid days of the Mesopotamian and Indus Valley civilisations are brought to life for his readers.

In this the second book of the Harappa series we join the friends Upaas (a physician), his wife Lopa, Parthava and Elaamite Prince Shushan as they continue their journeys, travelling far and wide through unknown lands satiating their thirst for knowledge.

In this adventure they find themselves agreeing to help the grief stricken Emperor Gilgamesh of Sumer find the great Sage Ziusudra. Gilgamesh believes that the sage will answer a question he is compelled to ask, and through the answer he will find an end to his torment.

Armed with the help and advice of Sage Vasishta, magic potions, and amulets for protection they set off on a quest unlike any other they have undertaken. Their travels take them through unknown lands, where they battle mythical beasts, demons, and many unimaginable creatures, but will they succeed and will Gilgamesh find the answer he seeks?

After seeing the Sage they return to Shuruppak as war breaks out, and with battles raging and thousands lying dead or dying they escape by ship, taking those they can. Little do they know that a higher being has decided that mankind needs a lesson, and what happens next is one of the most well-known of all biblical stories…

What I love about this story is that for those of us who are not Indian, yet have a great interest in Indian history, the legend behind the grief and torment of Gilgamesh, and others, interwoven into this epic adventure, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment, and fascination of this book.

I am looking forward to reading Dasharajna: The Battle of Ten Kings (Harappa Trilogy Book 3).

About the Author: 

Shankar N Kashyap is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, UK. He was subjected to a life changing ordeal with potential for disastrous consequences. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success as an innovative and extremely talented surgeon, cooked up spurious allegations against him and reported him to the regulatory body, the GMC. He had to face the prolonged ordeal of a trial conducted by a group of incompetent individuals with no knowledge of his work in the hospital. He faced destruction of an internationally renowned reputation through this trial.
He has published extensively in peer reviewed scientific journals over the years, including a Thesis. This is his first foray into literary field.
The traumatic events of the trial made him write his first book, A Kangaroo Court published in Kindle as well as print format through Createspace.
He has extensive knowledge of History, particularly of Indus Valley civilisation, Mesopotamia and Elam. He has used this knowledge to write a series of books set in third millenium BCE in the Near East and Middle east. The first book of the Harappa series was released in November 2013. It is full of action, adventure and sorcery revolving around real characters, events and places in the Indus Valley and the Vedic scriptures. The second book of the series, The Fall of Shuruppak takes our hero to the shores of Mesopotamia. He gets involved with internal strife of Sumer and helps the famed emperor Gilgamesh in his pursuit of immortality. He, along with his friends, helps Gilgamesh when the Shuruppak is attacked by the Gutians and later witness the great flood which nearly ends the Mesopotamian civilisation. This was released in October 2014. The third book of the Harappa series, The Battle of Ten Kings is due for release in 2015. It deals with the epic battle of good against evil as depicted in the seventh book of Rigveda. If the outcome of the battle was any different, both the great epics of India – Ramayana and Mahabharat – may not have occured or if they did, they would have been completely different.
He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with his wife and three children.

About the Book: 

The third millennium BCE saw the glory days of the Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley civilisations. There were extensive trade links between the two places despite the fact they were hundreds of miles apart. The great Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer is now well-known and often considered as the basis of the story of the biblical flood.
The Fall of Shuruppak traces the adventures of the hero, Upaas as he travels across to Sumer with the famed Sage Vasishta. Along with his friend Shushun, the Elaamite prince in disguise, he helps the emperor in his quest to find Sage Ziusudra. Follow our daredevil physician as he fights his way through this epic adventure, while seeking answers to his own questions about life. As the group of travellers move from one peril to another, we recognise our own hidden desires in their search for truth and immortality.
The author has used archaeological and literary evidence of both civilisations to bring to life the great untold stories of trade links between the two.

Fall of Shuruppak: Harappa 2 is available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harappa-Fall-Shuruppak-Shankar-Kashyap/dp/1549930222/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512036976&sr=8-5

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-Shuruppak-Harappa-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B075X1HBT2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512036976&sr=8-5

and

Barnes & Noble in Paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harappa-2-mr-shankar-kashyap/1120429649?ean=9788192749136

 

Lure of Soma: Harappa 1 by Shankar Kashyap

 

A fascinating glimpse into the Harappan Civilization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author’s vast knowledge of Hindu history and literature makes this enthralling novel set in the third millennium BCE fascinating reading. Indeed although a work of fiction, the story is based around real life characters and events which took place in the Near East, and Middle East at that time.

The Harappan (or Indus Valley) Civilization was the biggest empire of the time. Its lands stretched from the river Indus and Hindu Kush Mountains in the west, to the Ganges Yamuna doab in the east, the Himalayas in the north and the Arabian Sea in the south.

The story is told by the main character Upashantha (Upaas), who is a trainee physician and the son of Angirasa, the chief architect who designed the beautiful city of Harappa, known as the City of Gold.

Through Upaas’s eyes, and the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing, we find ourselves transported back through time to this golden era in Harappan history.

The Harappans live well, are prosperous, safe, protected, and welcome visitors and merchants keen to trade with them. However, for others life is not so fortunate, in Ariana the nine rivers have dried up, the people are suffering, and the crops are failing. Matriya, has had to watch his family and those around him struggle and is angry, and so after failing to persuade the Elders of Sistan to use their magical powers to change the course of the river Sindu (Indus), a resentful and unhappy Matriya decides to take fate into his own hands.

Eventually, after much studying under a  yogi who knows how to control nature, Matriya learns the necessary powers himself, however, although he wants to move the course of the mighty Sindu river so his people’s lands are fertile again, he also has an ulterior motive, he is doing it for selfish reasons, he seeks glory for himself.

As this story unfolds Upaas finds himself called upon to help the Elders of the Council and Sages of Harappa, and is sent down perilous paths to save the City of Gold from war, and the spell of the rogue Magus.

I was fascinated by the magical Soma plant which was revered as a God by the Harappan civilization, and grown in a secret location known only to a few. Its magical powers are as vital to the Magus, and the Harappa people in this story, as they were at the time.

This is a great action packed adventure which is laced with magic and sorcery, and am looking forward to reading the second in this trilogy, Harappa 2:  Fall of Shuruppak.

 

About the Author: 

Shankar N Kashyap is a consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon working in Gateshead, UK. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success and talent, decided to cook up spurious charges against him and reported to the regulatory body, the GMC. He faced an three year ordeal of trial by incompetent individuals who were not only corrupt but completely devoid of any knowledge of the work he did in the hospital. He has written his experiences in his book “A Kangaroo Court” on Createspace. The book is an invaluable guide to all doctors not only in the UK, but across the world.

He is extensively read with wide knowledge of history of near east and middle east. He is presently writing a series of books based in Indus Valley and Mesopotamia around third millennium BCE. First book Harappa: The Lure of Soma has been released through Palimpsest India and available on amazon as well as on Alibris websites. It was released in Delhi in October 2013 and has excellent reviews by renowned authors such as Graham Hancock and David Frawley. The second book of the series – Harappa: The fall of Shuruppak is due for release in the spring of 2014.

He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with his wife and three children.

Author’s Website: http://shankarkashyap.com/
About the Book:
Myth is the smoke of history and as the years pass the smoke, which has hung for millennia over the Indus Valley civilisation is clearing. Trowel and brush investigation in the 1920s by Mortimer Wheeler and now scientific research, which relies on aerial photography and computer modelling, has confirmed that an early urban civilisation appeared in that area slightly before the Sumerian and Egyptian ones appeared. Teams of scholars from every continent have confirmed that the Indus, and its daughter and cousin rivers, for about 1,400 years supported extensive urban settlements, which then disappeared, lost under inundations of mud and dust. In these river valleys, in terrains of clay and water under a relentless sun and cloud-free starry skies. Mathematics, town planning, pharmaceuticals and philosophy flourished and then disappeared almost without trace. Papers on archaeological investigation are appearing but in Harappa, Shankar Kashyap provides a different service. Instead of asking us to piece together a complicated scientific narrative about what lies on, or just under, the earth he does what a Vedic bard would have done he tells a story, which has the features of a rip roaring Bollywood film. His hero, predictably because Shankar Kashyap is a surgeon, is Upaas, a trainee doctor. Upaas describes municipal government, pupilship with a yogi, exploding arrows, kingship, an attempt to re-route rivers with thought, a battle in a hidden ravine as a watching eagle hovers overhead, international trade and horsemanship. There is a doe eyed maiden who flirts in shallow water using her toes and a villain who seems to lack the virtue of rising early without complaint. This novel is well grounded in 5000 years of Hindu literature but it has a modern slant. Today floods threaten, traders quarrel, religious niceties cause children to starve and wail, drone planes bomb weddings and an interrogatory Eagle hovers watching.
And from all Amazon sites worldwide.

New Release the Harappa Trilogy by Shankar Kashyap

 

 

New Release Today on Kindle

Harappa Trilogy

by Shankar Kashyap

 

 

Book One: The Lure of Soma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth is the smoke of history and as the years pass the smoke, which has hung for millennia over the Indus Valley civilisation is clearing. Trowel and brush investigation in the 1920s by Mortimer Wheeler and now scientific research, which relies on aerial photography and computer modelling, has confirmed that an early urban civilisation appeared in that area slightly before the Sumerian and Egyptian ones appeared. Teams of scholars from every continent have confirmed that the Indus and Sarasvati rivers, for about 1,400 years supported extensive urban settlements, which then disappeared, lost under inundations of mud and dust. Mathematics, town planning, pharmaceuticals and philosophy flourished and then disappeared almost without trace.

 Rigveda, is probably the oldest scripture mankind has known and has defied scientists for centuries on its authorship.  Author brings the Rigvedic characters and events in Indus-Sarasvati valley to life in this book.  The hero, Upaas, a trainee doctor, describes municipal government, pupilship with a yogi, exploding arrows, kingship, an attempt to re-route rivers with thought, a battle in a hidden ravine as a watching eagle hovers overhead, international trade and horsemanship. There is a doe eyed maiden and a villain who seems to lack the virtue of the risis. This novel is well grounded in 5000 years of Hindu literature but it has a modern slant.

Synopsis:

I have used existing archaeological evidence along with known historical evidence in writing this book.  Rigveda talks about several conflicts among the descendants of the emperor Bharata and the Avestan scriptures talk about the conflicts between the Aryans and the Dasyus.  There have always been fierce debates about who exactly these Aryans were and the Daevas mentioned in the Avestan scriptures.   I have used some poetic license to accommodate the dates and times of various individuals and events to suit the story telling.  The book tries to portray the life of ordinary people during the period of Harappans, while trying to tell the tale of the priestly kings, Magi, Rishis and Sages of the great Indus Valley Civilisation during the middle of third millennium BCE.  This is the story of our hero, Upaas, a trainee physician from Harappa.  It is a story of a young man growing up, falling in love, getting involved in adventures and finally fighting for the city he loves most – Harappa.  The story shows the human elements of people around him.  He faces friendship, love, hate, jealousy, treachery and deceit in day to day life.  There is generous sprinkling of magic and sorcery.  As the country of Ariana, west of Hindu Kush dries up, the Avestans facing with near extinction take up arms against their neighbours to obtain the precious Soma.  The tactics used include deceit, sorcery and finally a war between the Meluhhans and Avestans

The Soma plant has been the centrepiece of several hymns in the Vedic scriptures.  It is a plant still not accurately recognized.  The Vedic people revered it as a God, drank the extract from the stalk of the plant, used the plant for medicinal purposes and it

is supposed to have magical properties.  There are hymns composed to the Soma within the Vedas.  The Avestan had a similar plant and called it Haoma and their scriptures also revered the plant for its spiritual properties.  Vedas describe it as growing in a sacred mountain around a sacred lake (Mount Mujavant and lake Sharynavat). Avestan scriptures describe a similar sacred mountain and a sacred lake in Sistan where the Haoma plant grew.  Similar to the Soma of Indus valley, we still do not know exactly what this plant was as it disappeared at the same time as the Harappans.  It was considered the mushroom, Amanita Muscaria for a long time because of the ”hallucinogenic” effects the Soma was said to produce when consumed.  This may be a misconception by the writers who tried to explain the events described in Vedic scriptures and the powers of ancient sages.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harappa-Lure-Soma-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B075Z7SHJK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506788042&sr=8-1&keywords=lure+of+soma+by+shankar+kashyap

 

 

Book Two: The Fall of Shuruppak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third millennium BCE saw the glory days of the Mesopotamian and the Indus Valley civilisations.   There were extensive trade links between the two despite the fact they were hundreds of miles apart.  The great Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer is now well-known and often considered as the basis of the story of the biblical flood.

Fall of Shuruppak  traces the adventures of the hero, Upaas  as he travels  across to Sumer with the famed Sage Vasishta.  The legend of sage Vasishta sailing to the “thousand pillared temple of Varuna” is brought to life in this gripping novel. Along with his friend Shushun, the Elaamite prince in disguise, he helps the emperor Gilgamesh in his quest to find Sage Ziusudra.   Follow our daredevil physician as he fights his way through this epic adventure, while seeking answers to his own questions about life. As the group of travellers move from one peril to another, we recognise our own hidden desires in their search for truth and immortality. 

The author has used archaeological and literary evidence of both civilisations to bring to life the great untold stories of trade links between the two.

 

Synopsis:

Harappans appear to have ventured far and wide with their trade, both on land and sea.  Harappan settlements spread as far west as Shortugai in Afghanistan at the head of river Oxus, which was the centre of raw materials such as Lapis Lazuli, Gold and Silver for the Harappan artisans.  Harappan seals, jewellery and pottery have been found in Elam (present day Iran), Egypt, and Sumer.  Jewellery found in Queen Puabi’s tomb had all the hallmarks of Harappan artisans.  The cylindrical Carnelian beads with central core drilled after hours of careful work is typical of the Harappans.

Cylindrical seal of Shu-ilishu, the translator has the typical humped bull on one side and cuneiform text on the other side.  Archaeologists agree that he must have been a translator of Sumerian and Akkadian into Meluhhan language.  He is placed to have lived in Lagash around the middle of third millennium BCE.  There is archaeological evidence of Meluhhan enclaves around Lagash.

Sargon the great who ruled most of Mesopotamia from around 2300 BCE, boasts of ships from Meluhha, Dilmun and Magan docking in the port of his capital city, Akkad.  The Meluhhans obviously had marine trading links with Akkad for a long time with some of them settling down in Sumer.  Despite elaborate description of the city of Akkad in several tablets in cuneiform texts, the city eludes detection.

Epic of Gilgamesh is a well-known story with an almost entire story written and transcribed from cuneiform texts.  Emperor Gilgamesh befriends an uncouth Enkidu from the deep forests and a deep friendship ensues.  The epic is that of undying love, sacrifice and heroism.  Enkidu is mortally injured fighting a -mythical demon and only a meluhhan sage can save him.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-Shuruppak-Harappa-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B075X1HBT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1506860367&sr=1-1&keywords=fall+of+shuruppak+by+shankar+kashyap

 

 

Book Three: The Battle of Ten Kings (Dasharajna)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seventh book of Rigveda describes the story of an epic battle between Sudasa of Bharatas and Kavi Cayamana of the Anus, leading a confederacy of ten disgruntled kings.  It takes place on the banks of the River Ravi.  It is also a battle of wits and power between the two of the most powerful sages of Vedic times – Vasishta and Vishwamitra. 

This is the age-old story of enmity between the clans set in motion by hunger for power which is so familiar to readers of the great epics of India – Ramayana and Mahabharata.  The enmity had been brewing for centuries starting when Emperor Yayati divided up his kingdom into five quarters –  Turvasha gets the land to the southeast, Druhyu, the  Gandhara in the west,  Yadu the south,  Anu  the north Punjab; and to the youngest son, Puru the center (Sarasvati region,) as the supreme king of Earth. 

It is a battle whose result is paradigm shifting in that the outcome decided the future of the two great epics of India.

Extensive research into the Vedic scriptures and archaeological evidence have helped create a fascinating insight into the geography and history of an iconic battle

Synopsis: 

Book six of Rigveda describes a battle between King Sudas and “ten kings.”  It is a confederacy of ten to twelve kings compiled by disgruntled descendants of King Yayathi’s sons who felt hard done by when the ageing king gives the central

part of the great Bharatha kingdom to the youngest son, Puru over the elder four brothers – Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu and Anu.   King Sudas is brought up and trained by sage Vishwamitra and Vasishta.  Vishwaimtra falls out with the king and the senior sage Vasishta and joins the confederacy of ten kings.  A bitter battle ensues on the banks of River Parushni (present day Ravi) between the forces of King Sudas, highly outnumbered by the huge army of “sixty six thousand” of the confederacy.  God Indra intervenes and takes the side of “righteous Sudas,” and a flash flood destroys most of the army of the confederacy.

While there is no archaeological evidence of the battle or the actors within it, there is enough evidence within the Rigveda itself to place the event around the third millennium BCE.  River Parushni is easily identifiable as the present day Ravi and the kingdom to be the present day Punjab, Haryana and parts of northeast Pakistan with seven rivers.   This epic is considered by many to be the third epic of India, after the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.  Descendants of king Puru for the famous Kuru dynasty who are the actors within the great battle of Mahabharata.  This battle has often been used by the proponents of the Aryan Invasion theory as proof of mighty Aryans invading India and destroying the Harappan civilisation.  It is claimed that they brought the horses and Iron weapons to destroy the great Harappan empire.

Available from Amazon in Kindle format: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dasharajna-Battle-Kings-Harappa-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B075YSWTCC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1506788203&sr=1-1&keywords=Dasharajna+by+shankar+kashyap 

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shankar N Kashyap is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, UK. He was subjected to a life changing ordeal with potential for disastrous consequences. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success as an innovative and extremely talented surgeon, cooked up spurious allegations against him and reported him to the regulatory body, the GMC. He had to face the prolonged ordeal of a trial conducted by a group of incompetent individuals with no knowledge of his work in the hospital. He faced destruction of an internationally renowned reputation through this trial.

He has published extensively in peer reviewed scientific journals over the years, including a Thesis. This is his first foray into literary field.
The traumatic events of the trial made him write his first book, A Kangaroo Court published in Kindle as well as print format through Createspace.

He has extensive knowledge of History, particularly of Indus Valley civilisation, Mesopotamia and Elam. He has used this knowledge to write a series of books set in third millenium BCE in the Near East and Middle east. The first book of the Harappa series was released in November 2013. It is full of action, adventure and sorcery revolving around real characters, events and places in the Indus Valley and the Vedic scriptures. The second book of the series, The Fall of Shuruppak takes our hero to the shores of Mesopotamia. He gets involved with internal strife of Sumer and helps the famed emperor Gilgamesh in his pursuit of immortality. He, along with his friends, helps Gilgamesh when the Shuruppak is attacked by the Gutians and later witness the great flood which nearly ends the Mesopotamian civilisation. This was released in October 2014. The third book of the Harappa series, The Battle of Ten Kings is due for release in 2015. It deals with the epic battle of good against evil as depicted in the seventh book of Rigveda. If the outcome of the battle was any different, both the great epics of India – Ramayana and Mahabharat – may not have occured or if they did, they would have been completely different.

He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK with his wife and three children.

Author’s Website: http://shankarkashyap.wixsite.com/harappa-series 

 

Survivor Love Thy Enemy by James Dennison

 

One man’s powerful insight into the realities of the Vietnam War.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a youngster the author was raised a catholic, his father owned an Irish bar in the north side of Chicago, he was shy and had a devoted girlfriend. Those years were a time of wonderful innocence, luckily, he had no idea what the future would hold for him, physically, emotionally and religiously.

On the 17th of May 1966, aged 20, he was like many others called up for the drafted, and enrolled in the Fort Kansas Ninth Infantry Division. After 32 weeks basic training, which could in no way have prepared these young men for life in the swamps and jungles, the recruits were called ‘C’ (Charlie) Company and sent to Vietnam, to become part of the Mobile Riverine Force based in the Mekong Delta and operating from US Navy gunboats.

As soon as I started to read this book I was immediately struck by the author’s clear recollections of his comrade’s backgrounds and future dreams, his attention to detail in this respect brings the book wonderfully alive as we get to know the men behind the camouflage gear. As expected in a war book there are many graphic and horrifying images which the writer has been brutally honest in his descriptions of, not only the fighting, but also in methods of torture and some of the truly horrendous ways it was implemented by both sides. We discover also, how hard it was for these young Americans to acclimatise to living in the jungle, the rations, dysentery, insects, depression, and of course the deaths and terrible injuries caused by claymore mines, guns and fighting. However, in his representation of the horrors of war, the author hasn’t forgotten to give the reader glimpses into how life was like for the non-fighting Vietnamese people and how, unsure of what the future would hold, they openly hedged their bets with both sides.

Another very important character in this story who we are introduced to very early on is Van, a prominent member of the Viet Cong movement, a young man with an all-consuming hatred of the Americans burning within him. However, we are to wonder if this is going to change when he falls in love with the beautiful Tuyen. Their love is so fierce that when Van leaves Th oi Son Island for Cambodia, to recruit and train new soldiers in war craft, interrogation and torture, she trains to become a spy, using her womanly whiles to infiltrate the lonely American men of the intelligence services.

As we follow the author through this nightmarish war we discover that even in the most hellish situations love can be found, and indeed true love knows no boundaries. However, always where there is love there is also a myriad of other emotions, including its direct opposite hate, and perhaps the most dangerous of all jealousy.

This book is not only an extremely interesting look at the Vietnam War, the politics, and people, it is also an incredible testament to how the author’s whole life has been shaped by his experiences in Vietnam.

I have read many times that a person comes out of a war a totally different person, and having reading this absorbing, heart rending, vividly honest account by the author it is easy to understand why, when you span the years from that young man drafted in 1966 to the man portrayed on the last page of this amazing story. I just could not put this book down, and highly recommend it.

 

About the Author:

James Dennison grew up in Chicago, going to Catholic schools and living a life of too much drinking until he fell in love with the Italian “girl next door.” That all changed when he was drafted into the Vietnam War at the age of 20. Facing conflict on all sides and losing his friends on the battlefield in the jungle and his loved ones to alcoholism here at home, he still struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After the death of his only son in 2010, he wrote “Survivor Love Thy Enemy” hoping that to share his story would be to heal his demons. Having realized that talking to other vets is more therapeutic than talking to therapists, Dennison hopes that his book will reach others out there who have also lost much. He also gives light to both sides of the conflict, something that most generations, including this one, have trouble seeing. Dennison is retired from construction equipment sales and lives in Hawaii.

 

About the Book:

From an inspired Catholic family base, this youth’s naiveté and immature nature was hell bent on living the wild life of booze and party times when a special female, who he wanted more than his innocents could bear, changed his outlook forever. Then reality came to visit his dreams, turning them into nightmares of war. The Vietnam conflict would eat him up, grow him up and create a new perspective of life that only the enemy could teach. The language is harsh, the writing brutally honest and the message clear, it relates with great candor the unvarnished realities of dealing with day to day combat in and around the Mekong Delta during the TET Offensive. You will be shocked, fascinated, outraged and frustrated when you read about the US fight for Democracy and Peace in Vietnam and the enemy’s pragmatic dedication to the annihilation of the South Vietnamese and all Western ideals. This story is about an Army warrior who made the journey to combat and the unbelievable events that made up his combat tours….peppered by Vietnamese insight, perspective and romantic ardor. This is my story and it is historically accurate. Survivor, Love thy Enemy is a definite “must read” for military and civilians alike, once picked up, not put down until the last page read.

 

Survivor Love Thy Enemy is available from:

Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Survivor-Love-Enemy-James-Dennison/dp/1477478159/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506500020&sr=8-1

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Survivor-Love-Enemy-James-Dennison-ebook/dp/B00BKGZS9G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506500020&sr=8-1&dpID=51CuNWAGaVL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

and

Barnes and Noble in Paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/survivor-love-thy-enemy-james-dennison/1112199621?ean=9781477478158

 

 

One Step Ahead by Avraham Azrieli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The war time ordeals of a Jewish mother and her 7 children.

This story is an amazing true account of the wartime struggles of a Jewish woman named Ester Parnes, her husband Samuel, and their seven children.

In June 1944 they believe that they are safe from the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps, as they are living in the small village called Skalat in eastern Poland. After World War I, the land was given to the Soviet Union under the 1939 treaty between Stalin and Germany, and the Soviet people had been friendly, and they, and their relatives are happy, and have a good life. However, they soon discover that Adolph Hitler has no scruples about going back on his word as he instigates Operation Barbarossa. On the very day this happens the family find themselves fleeing the German planes and soldiers, desperate just to survive…

When they join thousands of other Jews and tens of thousands of Polish people crossing the Zebruschk River, and entering the Ukraine, they believe it is only for a short time, and they are sure that they will be safe there until they can return to Skalat. However as the German army ruthlessly advances, slaughtering everyone in their path with Hitler’s “scorched earth” policy, the days and months turn into years. Watching those around them die from starvation, or being murdered by the Germans, the family suffer unimaginable hardships and find themselves doing what they have to, to survive. Driven further and further from their home on a journey which is to take them through the Ukraine, Russia, and into Asia.

I found this story totally absorbing and the very fact that it is written from true accounts given to the author by the Ester Parnes children and grandchildren, makes it even more interesting. Not only did I learn a lot about the plight of these people during World War II, but I also could not help but be amazed at their strong faith and true sense of family, which bound them together, and gave them a reason to survive.

Of course during the war years, despite being on the run from the Germans, their normal family life continued, and like all families disagreements and disputes arose, however, strong in their faith, they still manage, despite everything, to remain united.

Having read modern history at school, this book should, I feel, be part of the curriculum as not only is it a compelling story of one families family’s survival during World War II, but also reveals how Adolph Hitler thought, and explains the timing and reasons behind his policies.

I would highly recommend this book as a fascinating true account of the bravery and fortitude of Ester Parnes, and her family during WWII.

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avraham Azrieli’s new novel, Deborah Rising, will be published by Harper Collins on September 27. 2016. A graduate of Columbia Law School in New York City, Azrieli tried many complex court cases before publishing his first novel, The Masada Complex (a political thriller) in 2010. A full-time author since then, his other books include the Israeli spy novels The Jerusalem Inception and The Jerusalem Assassin, as well as Christmas for Joshua (a family drama dealing with interfaith conflicts), The Mormon Candidate (a political thriller), Thump (a courtroom drama featuring sexual harassment and racism) and The Bootstrap Ultimatum (a mystery involving the commercialization of Memorial Day). He also authored Your Lawyer on a Short Leash (a guide to dealing with lawyers) and One Step Ahead – A Mother of Seven Escaping Hitler’s Claws (a WWII biography, which inspired the musical By Wheel and by Wing). Azrieli grew up in Israel, where he received extensive Talmudic education, served as an intelligence officer and, after attending law school, clerked for the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Residing primarily in the United States since 1990, he currently lives near Washington DC with his wife and children. Like Ben Teller, the protagonist in The Mormon Candidate, Azrieli often rides his motorcycle in the mountainous forests of western Maryland. To learn more, visit AzrieliBooks.com

About the Book:

Hitler’s attack on Russia in the spring of 1941 and the Nazi eastward blitzkrieg form a dramatic backdrop to this true story. On the first day of Operation Barbarossa, in the midst of battle, Esther Parnes leads her family east, away from the Polish village of Skalat. A step ahead of Hitler’s earth-scorching troops, Esther and her children endure hunger, disease, and bloodshed. But Hitler’s four-year campaign defeats neither Mother Russia nor Esther Parnes. In an era when women were confined to traditional household roles, at a time when proud men bowed their heads as they stood at the edge of a pit waiting to be shot, this redheaded woman challenged Adolf Hitler. Based on extensive interviews and independent research into the Parnes family’s plight and the Nazi war on Russia, this book tells the story of an extraordinary mother’s battle to save her seven children.

One Step Ahead is available from Amazon in Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/One-Step-Ahead-Escaping-Resistance-ebook/dp/B015UTD7GE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504601540&sr=8-1&keywords=one+step+ahead+by+avraham+azrieli 

and Barnes and Noble in Paperback https://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/one-step-ahead-avraham-azrieli/1006867514?ean=9781401082802#reviews-header

 

The China-America Alliance: East Asian and American Cultural Values Promote Global Harmony by Jack C. Westman

 

 

A strategy for China and America to work together for the future of mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The China-America Alliance makes a compelling case that the USA and China hold the keys to the future of the condition of man and the health of the planet.

However, the question is… Does mankind have the strength to stand united, and fight as one for humanity, and the future of our wonderful world?

In this fascinating book Jack C Westman examines in-depth, the similarities and differences which makes an alliance between China and America the way forward, not only for global peace, but also enabling them to turning about the destructive influences which are sweeping our world, and threatening its future for our decedents.

Thoroughly researched, this book is overflowing with theories, examples and quotes from great people throughout the history of the world, who each have been passionate about their work or beliefs, humanitarians, scientists, leaders, politicians, psychiatrists, cosmologists, the list goes on.
Asia and America both share remarkably similar cultural values. Deep down they both believe in old fashioned family values, the importance of stability for children, good neighbourliness, and supporting local organisations and businesses. However, somewhere, each has lost its way in this modern world of instant gratification and materialism, which has become a throwaway society, where all around are examples of lack of accountability, chaos and violence. It is this that has set mankind on a downward spiral which could potentially be fatal for the future of the human race.

It is time to open our eyes to the truth, which is that human beings cannot be separated from our environment, for us to survive we must do something to help our environment now. The author explores how we can proceed by looking at realistic and unrealistic thinking, and examining how Asia and America can achieve this, by working together for global peace.

However, to go forward we must be able to examine ourselves objectively, and the roles we play, discovering who we are and what impact we have on the environment. Global unsustainability is rising alarmingly, with air and water pollution, global warming, the destruction of our seas by disposing of our rubbish in them. Then there is the ever present threat of nuclear weapons…

I found this book absolutely fascinating and compelling reading. It has laid out a firm strategy for China and America to independently rekindle their cultural values, then work together to control hostile and corruption in both societies, and achieve mutual economic dependence.

 

About the Author: Dr. Jack Westman is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is president of Wisconsin Cares, Inc., an organization devoted to public policy formation and has been president of three professional organizations. He has written over 150 professional publications and thirteen books.

 

About the Book: The following persons have commented on this book: 1) Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientist, “Dr. Westman makes a compelling case for the need for collaborative international leadership by the U.S. and China. He reminds us that the common interests of the U.S. and China far outweigh the differences.” 2) Ross Rojek, San Francisco Book Review, “Our civilization’s future depends on finding shared common values between the great nations, especially China and the U.S. This book provides a framework for how that can be achieved.”. 3) Susan Keefe, Midwest Book Review, “Dr. Westman shows how the U.S. and China hold the keys to the future of the condition of mankind and the health of the planet. However, the question is: does mankind have the strength to stand united as one for humanity and the future of our world?” and 4) Jess Todtfeld, former producer ABC-TV, NBC-TV and FOX News, “This book promotes collaboration between America and China in ways that most people are not contemplating. Dr. Westman shows how these two economic powers can positively influence the world.”

 

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/China-America-Alliance-American-Cultural-Promote/dp/3330650885/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497882334&sr=8-1&keywords=the+china+american+alliance

Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln by John C Fazio

 

Thought Provoking…

Right from the beginning it is obvious that this amazingly thorough book has been very carefully researched by the author, John C. Fazio, who formerly had a successful fifty year career practicing law.

His retirement has given John C. Fazio the time he needed to devote to writing this book on a subject for which he has had, for a long time, a great fascination, the American Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He looks in depth at not only the shooting of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, but the events surrounding it. Abraham Lincoln was watching a production of Our American Cousin, in the presidential box of the Ford Theatre on the 14th April, 1865 when he was shot. The following morning at 7.22 Abraham Lincoln died, one of the greatest men in American history had been murdered!

Being a student of history, and especially European and American history, with special emphasis on the Civil War, meant that he has accumulated an immense knowledge of the subject. He enjoys sharing this knowledge by teaching Civil War history at the Chautauqua Institution, writing numerous articles, and speaking about the subject. He is also a member, and former president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, and is active in the Lincoln Forum, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Grays, and the Surratt Society.

There is so much mystery surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, that out of the 16,000 books which have been written about this great man, over a hundred are dedicated to solely to this subject. However, accounts, and details of it, and the events around it, are surrounded in enigmas, mystery, theories, and littered with errors, so much so, that the author decided it was time for him to write this thought provoking book.

It is forwarded by the well-known historian Joan L. Chaconas, and then the author gives the reader a thorough background on events which led to a nation torn apart by conflict, and Abraham Lincoln’s murder. Finally he concludes with the imprisonment, trial and sentencing of all but John H Surratt, of the assassination group.

This book makes absolutely riveting reading, and I would imagine that this would be of immense interest to anyone studying this period of American history, as the author provides plenty of notes and references in the back. For me personally, the icing on the cake is the fact that it is liberally sprinkled with terrific photographs, copies of hand written notes, drawings, and portraits, which I feel are very important in this type of book.

About the Author:

John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He now lives in Fairlawn (an Akron suburb) with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest. John joined Mary in retirement in 2015 after practicing law for fifty years. He is a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society. He teaches Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution, frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects. In addition, he has written Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing. The book was released in January, 2016.

 

About the Book:

More than a hundred books have been written about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, yet one of the few certainties about his death is that little about it is certain. The literature on the subject is replete with errors, theories and guesswork. This comprehensive work on the assassination and on the attempted assassination of other Northern leaders in the closing days of the Civil War, seeks to correct major and minor errors in the record, reconcile differences of opinion of historians and scholars, offer explanations for great unknowns and make sense of conspiracy theories. After a Foreword by the renowned historian, Joan L. Chaconas, it begins with the background of the conflict, threats and assassination attempts against Lincoln, black flag warfare, the Wistar and Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Raids on Richmond and the Confederate response thereto, and it ends with the incarceration, trial and sentencing of the assassin’s action team (except for John H. Surratt, who would be tried separately in 1867, and except that one of those tried was not really a member of Booth’s team) and an in-depth analysis of conspiracy. In between are chapters on the underground mosaic; Booth and his co-conspirators; the great kidnapping myth that concealed the planned decapitation of the United States government; the setting for assassination; riddles, conundrums, enigmas and mysteries relating to key players in the drama; carnage in the presidential box; Booth’s descent to the stage, declamations, broken leg, exit and escape; attempted decapitation of the government; the death of the President; Edman Spangler’s innocence; the pursuit of the fugitives; and the death of Booth. The author rejects the simple conspiracy theory and affirms the Tidwell, Hall and Gaddy thesis of the complicity of the highest levels of the Confederate government and its Secret Service Bureau. The author makes use of hundreds of sources to justify his conclusions and to give greater cohesion to the record of the events of April 14, 1865. The book has received dozens of reviews. Among them: 1. “…a must read for Civil War historians and enthusiasts.”–William John Shepherd, America’s Civil War. 2. “Everyone should have this one on their Lincoln bookshelf.”–Joan Chaconas, The Surratt Society 3. “I found every page an adventure. You cannot come to a decision on who ordered the assassination without reading this book.”–Joseph Truglio, Civil War News 4. “…probably the best (book) on the market on the American Civil War.”–Amazon Customer 5. “…very strongly recommended…”–Michael J. Carson, Midwest Book Review 6. “A brilliant contribution…”–Frederick Hatch, author of Protecting President Lincoln and other works 7. “Long overdue. John Fazio’s lucid narrative puts Booth’s plan to decapitate the Union front and center…Decapitating the Union is both educational and entertaining…Give it five stars.”–Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon and other works 8. “If you enjoyed Ed Steers’s Blood on the Moon, you must read Decapitating the Union…”–Howard G. Anders, Jr. 9. “…perhaps the most (significant) work on this topic ever written.”–Amazon Customer

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Decapitating-Union-Jefferson-Benjamin-Assassinate/dp/1541095383/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495014899&sr=8-1&keywords=decapitating+the+union

and Kindle format https://www.amazon.com/Decapitating-Union-Jefferson-Benjamin-Assassinate-ebook/dp/B01N4MC1M7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1495014899&sr=8-1

and

Barnes &Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/decapitating-the-union-john-c-fazio/1120363992?ean=9781541095380