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Douige UK "Dougie UK" (UK)

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Long Walk to Freedom
Long Walk to Freedom
by Nelson Mandela
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, 14 Jan 2011
This review is from: Long Walk to Freedom (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book that should be read by everyone and introduced to all schools. Many people may be put off by the size of the book, but the writing style and content - biographical inequalities, hatred, racism, amazing human endeavours and eventually democracy - will keep the reader aghast and shocked until the end. The book immediately places the reader in apartheid South Africa and the shocking and at times uncomfortable situations and laws that existed at the time when the state was reducing rights and freedoms. It follows Nelson Mandela's life and shows the dramatic contrast of how he was perceived in South Africa (a radical terrorist) and out with South Africa (a scholar) and of course his imprisonment for almost 3 decades and how his day to day life changed from lawyer to eventual country leader.

The most striking aspect that comes across is that even with his imprisonment Mandela on his release holds no malice or bitterness towards those who imprisoned him. He took the time on Robben Island to educate himself and others to reflect, protest and organise for the ANC even when imprisoned.

A remarkable biography of a remarkable human which shows what human perseverance and endeavour can do, even in insurmountable odds and inequality.

A book for every wishlist.A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela


Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Barack Obama Dreams of my Father, 14 Jan 2011
I primarily bought this book after the inauguration of Barack Obama in the United States of America.

The book was written by Obama when he became the first African-American President of the Harvard Law Review and is divided into 3 sections "Origins", "Chicago" & "Kenya". The book commences with a biography of Obama as he grew up and the different countries he moved to throughout. It then follows Obama as he volunteers in Chicago to try and reduce the huge deficit of racial inequality and racial poverty that is and to some extent is still very evident in the US. The final section deals with when Obama returns to Kenya to meet with his family and extended family.

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this book. Having seen Obama orate on various forums I expected the book to flow with the same charismatic and eloquent style, but it does not and I did find myself putting the book down and returning to it several times. Although the style of writing does slow the pace I would state that this book is important not only in the sometimes graphic racial divides that were and are still evident in America, but also for illustrating racial and cultures differences and disadvantages. Overall an informative read, if a little bogged down with writing style.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance


The Secret State: Preparing For The Worst 1945 - 2010
The Secret State: Preparing For The Worst 1945 - 2010
by Peter Hennessy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.74

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret State Preparing for the Worst 1945-2010 Peter Hennessy, 8 Nov 2010
This book was a very pleasant surprise, although full of informative cold war history covering a vast timeline it is very readable - primarily due to style it has been written in. The book which was previously published around 2001 has been re-published with more up to date information as it has become readily available through the declassification of Government documents. The book deals with the security of Britain and the challenges faced by those in power of how to best practice 'the Defence of the Realm' (whether by Cold War Bomber or contemporary terrorist). The book primarily concentrates on the Cold War and the development, planning and potential deployment phases of atomic weapons during World War Two up to current day, from their development phase and work with the Americans and then the going it alone of Britain in developing her own arsenal of atomic weapons as a deterrent during the coldest and warmest days of the Cold War. The book is uncompromising in its research and detail and takes you from the unimaginable decisions that 'may' needed to have been taken and encompasses a few anecdotes to lighten the mood. A very interesting and readable book on what was and is still is for many a contentious and vastly debated topic.

The Secret State: Preparing For The Worst 1945 - 2010


Twelve (Danilov Quintet 1)
Twelve (Danilov Quintet 1)
by Jasper Kent
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twelve - Jasper Kent, 4 Oct 2010
"Twelve" by Jasper Kent is a novel set in Russia in 1812 during the Napoleonic invasion. The main protagonist, Aleksei, and his friends form part of a special unit of undercover fighters set up to cause the French as many problems as possible during their advance and subsequent occupation. To this end Aleksei's group enlist the aid of twelve mercenaries to ensure that as much damage as possible is inflicted on the advancing French, however after a short while Aleksei begins to realise that all is not right. The twelve, named after the apostles, take great delight in their killing missions, only hunt at night and show very little emotion in respect of the missions they carry out - which leads Aleksei and his friends deeper and deeper into a tale of suspicion, double crossing and ultimately a fight for survival.

The novel is written in the first person and is a narrative of the incidents, adventures and events as seen and experienced through Aleksei's eyes. The novel is a bit slow to start and the pace takes a bit of time gathering momentum primarily due to the long drawn out descriptive prose and I must admit that I had almost given up on the novel, however, I am very glad that I persevered, as the novel progressed the pace quickened the story flowed faster and the revelations, some shocking, started hitting all the right spots. The psychological twists and manipulations of the main character by others in the novel also become very compelling reading, so much so the sequel is now ordered. A slow start - with a big finish!Twelve


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Book Thief - Markus Zusak, 8 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Book Thief (Paperback)
This book is absolutley brillant! It appears at first glance to be a simple novel, but it is anything but. Its this deceptive appearence and its easy read narrative that makes it impossible to put down. The book's sweeping illustration of life in Nazi Germany through the eyes of a child and added input from its narrator is sheer genious and ensures that you are hooked on the characters and story from page 1. The book is highly entertaining, funny and unbelievably sad in places. This is absolutely a book that should be added to everyones' book list.The Book ThiefThe Book Thief


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