Rolling Stone writer Wright offers 12 tales of outsiders, people more or less living off the grid in mainstream America. He profiles, for example, a member of Delta Company in Kandahar in southeastern Afghanistan dueling with the Taliban; a fun-loving regular at a dance hall; a committed local anarchist engaging in street theater at a global trade conference; a pastor of the Aryan Nation preaching against the evils of blacks and Jews; and two HIV-infected former porn stars.
Hella Nation charts Wright's deeply personal journey, from his stark but sympathetic portrayals of sex workers in Porn Valley to his raw portrait of a Hollywood �ber-agent turned war documentarian and hero of America's far right. Along the way he meets runaway teens in Hollywood earning corporate dollars as skateboard pitchmen, radical anarchists plotting the overthrow of capitalism from tree-sits in the Oregon rainforest and young American troops on the hunt for terrorists in the combat zones of the Middle East. His subjects are people for whom The American Dream is either just out of grasp, or something they have chosen to reject altogether. Sometimes frightening, usually profane, and often darkly comic, Hella Nation is Wright's meticulously observed tour of the jagged edges of all those other Americas hiding in plain sight.
Based on Evan Wright's National Magazine Award-winning story in Rolling Stone, this is the raw, firsthand account of the 2003 Iraq invasion that inspired the HBO® original mini-series. Within hours of 9/11, America’s war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears—soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the “First Suicide Battalion” would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer. Hailed as “one of the best books to come out of the Iraq war”(Financial Times), Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality and camaraderie of a new American War.
The star of HBO's Generation Kill and the real-life warrior from the New York Times bestseller presents his empowering philosophy. In his publishing debut, Rudy Reyes introduces his warrior philosophy of "Hero Living": part Homer, part Joseph Campbell, part Bruce Lee, and part Spider-Man. He outlines the various stages in the journey to bring forth the hero within: recognizing the hero's call, following the hero's path, and returning from the battlefield with the hero's hard- earned wisdom. Taking readers step-by-step through his program, Reyes draws from his own heroic story of how he triumphed over his harrowing childhood experiences of poverty and abandonment. Rather than giving up hope, he heeded the hero's call to live up to his full potential-first as a martial-arts champion, then as an elite warrior in the mountains of Afghanistan and sands of Iraq, and finally in his post-Marines life as a personal trainer, actor, and motivational speaker.
One woman’s pursuit of justice leads her on a riveting adventure into the world of art trafficking. In this powerful memoir, Tasoula Hadjitofi reveals her perilous journey orchestrating “The Munich Case”—one of the largest European art trafficking stings since WWII. With the Bavarian police in place, the Cypriots on their way, seventy under-cover agents bust into the Munich apartment of a notorious Turkish smuggler suspected of holding looted antiquities. Tasoula places everything on the line to repatriate her country’s sacred treasures, unaware that treachery lies in the shadow of her success. The Icon Hunter is a story torn from the pages of Tasoula's life as she and her Greek Cypriot family lose everything during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Hundreds of ancient Cypriot churches are destroyed, their contents looted and all signs of her Greek Cypriot culture erased as if it never existed. As a refugee, she wants justice. And then fate intervenes in the form of an archbishop and a dubious art dealer in search of redemption. Even as unspeakable personal tragedy strikes, she never gives up her search knowing the special place these antiquities hold in the hearts of Orthodox Christians. These icons are not just masterpieces—they are artistic manifestations of faith and a gate-way to the divine. Using family and faith as her touchstones, Tasoula takes on these “merchants of God” as she navigates the underworld of art trafficking. Tasoula believes this to be her calling, and the Archbishop of Cyprus entrusts her—an ordinary woman, wife, and mother—with the mission. In order to succeed, however, she must place her trust in an art dealer known for his double-dealing. Inspiring and empowering, The Icon Hunter is a gripping story by a remarkable woman that will captivate readers long after the nal page.
"Guilty Victim explores Austria's search for an internationally credible identity for itself after the Nazi era. But Hella Pick shows how the old ghosts will not go away. It is not just the saga of President Kurt Waldheim's Nazi past which has haunted Austria's graceful glide to rehabilitation and respectability. The spectacular success of Jorg Haider and his far right-wing politics have raised grave worries inside and outside Austria. How will Haider's xenophobia and the dangers of revisionism towards the third Reich sit in the new Europe, where Austria has gained a respected place ?" "Guilty Victim provides sobering insights into one of the most troubling questions facing Europe today."--BOOK JACKET.
Author: Steven Martin
Release Date: 2012-06-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A renowned authority on the secret world of opium recounts his descent into ruinous obsession with one of the world’s oldest and most seductive drugs, in this harrowing memoir of addiction and recovery. A natural-born collector with a nose for exotic adventure, San Diego–born Steven Martin followed his bliss to Southeast Asia, where he found work as a freelance journalist. While researching an article about the vanishing culture of opium smoking, he was inspired to begin collecting rare nineteenth-century opium-smoking equipment. Over time, he amassed a valuable assortment of exquisite pipes, antique lamps, and other opium-related accessories—and began putting it all to use by smoking an extremely potent form of the drug called chandu. But what started out as recreational use grew into a thirty-pipe-a-day habit that consumed Martin’s every waking hour, left him incapable of work, and exacted a frightful physical and financial toll. In passages that will send a chill up the spine of anyone who has ever lived in the shadow of substance abuse, Martin chronicles his efforts to control and then conquer his addiction—from quitting cold turkey to taking “the cure” at a Buddhist monastery in the Thai countryside. At once a powerful personal story and a fascinating historical survey, Opium Fiend brims with anecdotes and lore surrounding the drug that some have called the methamphetamine of the nineteenth-century. It recalls the heyday of opium smoking in the United States and Europe and takes us inside the befogged opium dens of China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The drug’s beguiling effects are described in vivid detail—as are the excruciating pains of withdrawal—and there are intoxicating tales of pipes shared with an eclectic collection of opium aficionados, from Dutch dilettantes to hard-core addicts to world-weary foreign correspondents. A compelling tale of one man’s transformation from respected scholar to hapless drug slave, Opium Fiend puts us under opium’s spell alongside its protagonist, allowing contemporary readers to experience anew the insidious allure of a diabolical vice that the world has all but forgotten. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2011-06-28
Genre: Political Science
A wide variety of extremist groups -- Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis -- share the oddly similar belief that a tiny shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, journalist Jon Ronson has joined the extremists to track down the fabled secret room. As a journalist and a Jew, Ronson was often considered one of "Them" but he had no idea if their meetings actually took place. Was he just not invited? Them takes us across three continents and into the secret room. Along the way he meets Omar Bakri Mohammed, considered one of the most dangerous men in Great Britain, PR-savvy Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Thom Robb, and the survivors of Ruby Ridge. He is chased by men in dark glasses and unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp. In the forests of northern California he even witnesses CEOs and leading politicians -- like Dick Cheney and George Bush -- undertake a bizarre owl ritual. Ronson's investigations, by turns creepy and comical, reveal some alarming things about the looking-glass world of "us" and "them." Them is a deep and fascinating look at the lives and minds of extremists. Are the extremists onto something? Or is Jon Ronson becoming one of them?
Author: Michael Eric Dyson
Release Date: 2010-10-01
What Hurricane Katrina reveals about the fault lines of race and poverty in America-and what lessons we must take from the flood-from best-selling ''hip-hop intellectual'' Michael Eric Dyson Does George W. Bush care about black people? Does the rest of America? When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. The federal government's slow response to local appeals for help is by now notorious. Yet despite the cries of outrage that have mounted since the levees broke, we have failed to confront the disaster's true lesson; to be poor, or black, in today's ownership society, is to be left behind. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him fans across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. Combining interviews with survivors of the disaster with his deep knowledge of black migrations and government policy over decades, Dyson provides the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation. He explores the legacy of black suffering in America since slavery, including the shocking ways that black people are framed in the national consciousness even today. With this call-to-action, Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. From the TV newsroom to the Capitol Building to the backyard, we must change the ways we relate to the black and the poor among us. What's at stake is no less than the future of democracy.
This is a story that the CIA will not want you to read. It will likely shake your faith in the highest levels of America’s national security establishment. And it will leave you feeling as if you are living not in the United States but in a seedy banana republic where there is no line between the good guys and the bad guys. In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” the celebrated journalist Evan Wright reveals the extraordinary story of Enrique “Ricky” Prado, an alleged killer for a major Miami drug trafficker who was recruited into the CIA. Despite a grand jury subpoena and a mountain of evidence unearthed by a federal task force, Prado was promoted into the agency’s highest echelons and charged with implementing some of the country’s most sensitive post-9/11 counterterrorist operations, including the agency’s secret “targeted assassination unit.” All while staying in close touch with his cocaine-trafficking boss and, evidence suggests, taking part in additional killings for him. After Prado retired in 2004 at the rank of SIS-2—the CIA equivalent of a two-star general—he moved to a senior position at Blackwater, the private military contractor, where he continued to run the same, now-outsourced “death squad.” Contrary to government assurances that it was never actually activated, Wright reveals explosive testimony from one of the Blackwater assassins that Prado’s unit was indeed carrying out assigned killings. As a former military intelligence officer told Wright in 2011, “Private contractors are whacking people like crazy over in Afghanistan for the CIA.” In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” Wright discloses never-before-seen federal investigation files and lays out a mind-boggling and ultimately damning indictment of Ricky Prado and the intelligence community that embraced and empowered him. It is the deeply disturbing story of a criminal case abandoned because of CIA intervention, political maneuvering, and possibly corruption. Its cast includes Mafia capos, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former CNN host Rick Sanchez, and Prado’s longtime boss at the CIA and then Blackwater, J. Cofer Black, who is now a “special adviser” to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Wright also delivers a stunning portrait of Prado’s childhood friend Albert San Pedro, a.k.a. “the Maniac,” the drug lord whom he served for years as loyal bodyguard and enforcer, as well as their longtime nemesis Mike Fisten, the detective who began pursuing them more than two decades ago and still hopes to put them both in prison for murder. There are many conspiracies in Wright’s story, all of them unsettling. Did the CIA knowingly hire a suspected murderer with strong ties to drug traffickers? Or was the agency a stooge, infiltrated by an underworld hood described by one investigator as “technically, a serial killer”? “How to Get Away with Murder in America” is likely to have serious repercussions for the U.S. national security establishment. And it will shake to the core your conceptions of government and justice in America. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Evan Wright is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards and the author of the bestselling “Generation Kill,” “Hella Nation,” and “American Desperado,” which he co-wrote with Jon Roberts. His reporting has also been included in “The Best American Crime Writing.” He co-wrote the HBO series “Generation Kill,” based on his book.
Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism When Hella Winston began talking with Hasidic Jews for her doctoral dissertation in sociology, she was excited to be meeting members of the highly insular Satmar sect. While several Jewish journalists and scholars have produced largely admiring books describing the Lubavitch way of life and that group's outreach efforts to unaffiliated Jews, very little has been written about the many other Hasidic sects in the United States. Unlike Lubavitchers, members of these other groups are raised to avoid all unnecessary contact with outside society, including contact with other Jews. Winston's access was all but unprecedented. As a nonobservant Jew with little prior exposure to the Hasidic world, she never could have guessed what would happen next-that she would be introduced, slowly and covertly, to Hasidim from Satmar and other sects who were deeply unhappy with their highly restrictive way of life and sometimes desperately struggling to leave their communities. First there was Yossi, a young man who, though deeply attached to the Hasidic culture in which he was raised, longed for a life with fewer restrictions and more tolerance. Yossi's efforts at making such a life, however, were being severely hampered by his fourth grade English and math skills, his profound ignorance of the ways of the outside world, and the looming threat that pursuing his desires would almost certainly lead to rejection by his family and friends. Then she met Dini, a young wife and mother whose decision to deviate even slightly from Hasidic standards of modesty led to threatening phone calls from anonymous men, warning her that she needed to watch the way she was dressing if she wanted to remain a part of the community. Someone else introduced Winston to Steinmetz, a closet bibliophile worked in a small Judaica store in his community and spent his days off anxiously evading discovery in the library of the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary, whose shelves contain non-Hasidic books he is forbidden to read but nonetheless devours, often several at a sitting. There were others still who had actually made the wrenching decision to leave their communities altogether. Already called a "must read" by Hasidic blogger "Shtreimel," Unchosen tells the fascinating stories of these and other rebel Hasidim, serious questioners who long for greater personal and intellectual freedom than their communities allow. In so doing, Unchosen forces us to reexamine the history of these communities and asks us to consider what we choose not to see when we romanticize them. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Joshua Cooper Ramo
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: 2009-03-23
Genre: Political Science
Today the very ideas that made America great imperil its future. Our plans go awry and policies fail. History's grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to improve lives, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions made to stem a financial crisis guarantee its worsening. Environmental strategies to protect species lead to their extinction. The traditional physics of power has been replaced by something radically different. In The Age of the Unthinkable, Joshua Cooper Ramo puts forth a revelatory new model for understanding our dangerously unpredictable world. Drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, psychology, immunology, and the science of networks, he describes a new landscape of inherent unpredictability--and remarkable, wonderful possibility.
Author: Jon Roberts
Release Date: 2011-11-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The true story of super-criminal Jon Roberts, star of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys. American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become--at age 22--one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler. But that’s just half the tale. The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega. Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda. Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you’ve ever read.
One of our most visceral and important memoirs on race in America, this is the story of Nathan McCall, who began life as a smart kid in a close, protective family in a black working-class neighborhood. Yet by the age of fifteen, McCall was packing a gun and embarking on a criminal career that five years later would land him in prison for armed robbery. In these pages, McCall chronicles his passage from the street to the prison yard—and, later, to the newsrooms of The Washington Post and ultimately to the faculty of Emory University. His story is at once devastating and inspiring. For even as he recounts his transformation, McCall compels us to recognize that racism is as pervasive in the newsroom as it is in the inner city, where it condemns so many black men to prison, to dead-end jobs, or to violent deaths. At once an indictment and an elegy, Makes Me Wanna Holler became an instant classic when it was first published in 1994. Now, some two decades later, it continues to bear witness to the great troubles—and the great hopes—of our nation. With a new afterword by the author
Instead of building new hospitals that import old systems and problems, the time has come to reexamine many of our ideas about what a hospital should be. Can a building foster continuous improvement? How can we design it to be flexible and useful well into the future? How can we do more with less? Winner of a 2013 Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence! Answering these questions and more, Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future explains how hospitals can be built to increase patient safety and reduce wait times while eliminating waste, lowering costs, and easing some of healthcare’s most persistent problems. It supplies a simplified timeline of architectural planning—from start to finish—to guide readers through the various stages of the Lean design development philosophy, including Lean architectural design and Lean work design. It includes examples from several real healthcare facility design and construction projects, as well as interviews with hospital leaders and architects. Check out a video of the authors discussing their book, Lean-Led Hospital Design at the 2012 Med Assets Healthcare Business Summit. www.modernhealthcare.com/section/LiveatHBS