FiveBooks Newsletter 13

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.


Dear FiveBooks Readers,

A big round of applause for Jansie Martin, winner of the FiveBooks quiz and
recipient of the lavish $30 Amazon voucher!
The correct answers were:

1. Matt Lynn, Guy Walters and James Twining.
2. Rupert Isaacson and Nigar Hasan-Zadeh.
3. 7, until 8 September, but now 8.
4. Grover Norquist.
5. Amnon Rubinstein and Michael Goldfarb.

Don't miss the Millennium Goals series on FiveBooks, kicking off today with
Jeff Sachs, and including Mia Farrow and Jonathon Porritt.

Here's what's on the site now:

_[2]Fatima Bhutto on Pakistan _(do read the comments on this one - quite a
controversy sparked here)
Monday, September 14th
Author and journalist Fatima Bhutto says that to understand Pakistan you
must first understand the the devastating impact of American foreign policy
on the young nation. She tells FiveBooks: ‘They say that there are three
forces that determine the direction of Pakistani politics: the army, Allah
and America...I think that is slightly overstated because I am not sure
Allah has that much to do with it!’

_[3]Iftikhar Malik on Pakistan, Partition and Identity_
Tuesday, September 15th
In a dense and comprehensive interview, the Pakistani author and professor
describes the past and future of Pakistan, the influences of India, Britain,
the US and Islam, via two seminal non-fiction works and three sweeping
Pakistani works of fiction.

_[4]Thomas Barfield on Afghanistan_
Wednesday, September 16th
Professor  Thomas Barfield explains that in order to understand Afghan
politics you have to understand buzkashi – literally, goat-grabbing. It is a
polo-like game played in North Afghanistan, but with a dead goat or calf
used instead of a ball. Horsemen battle to grab the carcass and break free
with it to win the round. The Taliban, tellingly, do not play.

_[5]Kanan Makiya on the history of Iraq_
Thursday, September 17th
The Iraqi democracy and civil rights campaigner says the Iran-Iraq war is
one  of the single largest unappreciated great events of modern Middle
Eastern history. Iraq was transformed beyond recognition and it was the
bloodiest war in the Middle East’s recent history. You could take all the
Arab-Israeli wars and all the various civil wars and intifadas and acts of
genocide or mass murder committed in the modern Middle East and still you
wouldn’t even come close to the number of Iraqis and Iranians who were
killed during that time.

_[6]Richard Harries on Faith_
Saturday, September 18th
The former Anglican Bishop and House of Lords crossbencher says that none of
the current political nostrums can motivate people or bind people together
in society with a sense of belonging in the way that religion at its best is
able to do. The moral vision we need to recover in politics has its roots in

_[7]Carmen Callil on The Other France_
Sunday, September 19th
The author and founder of Virago Press describes how Pope Pius XII changed
the Vatican into a centre of power and came to a concordat with Hitler. She
decries the absolute silence of the church when the Holocaust was happening
and says there was only one French cardinal who spoke out about what was
happening to the Jews. The others accepted it because they thought that
socialism and democracy and freemasonry were evil.

Happy reading and have a wonderful week.
Anna Blundy
Editor, FiveBooks

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