POSTCARDS FROM STANLAND, by Mould

Travel
Tuesday, December 4, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia By David H. Mould Cover Image

Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia (Paperback)

$24.95


Special Order—Subject to Availability

Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, academic and journalist David Mould’s career took him to the region on Fulbright Fellowships and contracts as a media trainer and consultant for UNESCO and USAID, among others. In Postcards from Stanland, he takes readers along with him on his encounters with the people, landscapes, and customs of the diverse countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—he came to love. He talks with teachers, students, politicians, environmental activists, bloggers, cab drivers, merchants, Peace Corps volunteers, and more.

Until now, few books for a nonspecialist readership have been written on the region, and while Mould brings his own considerable expertise to bear on his account—for example, he is one of the few scholars to have conducted research on post-Soviet media in the region—the book is above all a tapestry of place and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the post-Soviet world.

David H. Mould, professor emeritus of media arts and studies at Ohio University, has traveled widely in Asia and southern Africa as a trainer, consultant, and researcher. He has written articles and essays for many print and online publications. Born in the United Kingdom, he worked as a newspaper and TV journalist before moving to the United States in 1978.

Product Details ISBN: 9780821421772
ISBN-10: 0821421778
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication Date: January 31st, 2016
Pages: 324
Language: English
“An illuminating travelogue through Central Asia…. As a genial travel guide, Mould, an academic who doesn’t write like an academic, shows how one should resist the temptations to stereotype a culture too easily and understand it too quickly.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Mould is the ideal author to demystify the region and its people…. (An) accomplished tome that covers topics ranging from culture and politics to history, the environment, economics, and human rights. Of particular interest are sections that probe national identity; the literary landscape of Semay, Kyrgyzstan; and his overall impression of Central Asia. VERDICT: With a sense of humor, Mould’s memoir will…stimulate interest in this lesser-known region.”—Library Journal

“Books providing
 a stimulating, readable survey of the five countries that straddle Europe and Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—targeted at those with little or no existing knowledge are few and far between. David H. Mould’s Postcards from Stanland promises to be a notable exception. …The western traveler to Central Asia is rare. One with the patience, enthusiasm and attention to detail to provide a considered and mostly vivid portrait…is rarer still. For that reason, Postcards from Stanland is a valuable contribution to the literature on the region.”—New Eastern Europe

Postcards from Stanland is an ambitious undertaking, encompassing the history, politics, sociology and local color of a part of the world almost unknown and often misunderstood outside the territory. We would all do well to study and learn more from Mould’s observations.”—Book Reporter

Postcards from Stanland is strongest when it discusses the subtleties of national and ethnic identity and the way the past affects the present.”—The Asian Review of Books

“The book’s mixture of personal anecdotes, political analysis, historical background, and cultural commentary makes it both an enjoyable and instructive read. … With its rich depiction of life in Central Asia and authoritative yet accessible style, Postcards deserves a wide audience, from high school students to secretaries of state.” —EurasiaNet

“Books providing
 a stimulating, readable survey of the five countries that straddle Europe and Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—targeted at those with little or no existing knowledge are few and far between. David H. Mould’s Postcards from Stanland promises to be a notable exception. …The western traveler to Central Asia is rare. One with the patience, enthusiasm and attention to detail to provide a considered and mostly vivid portrait…is rarer still. For that reason, Postcards from Stanland is a valuable contribution to the literature on the region.” —New Eastern Europe

NOTHING IS TRUE AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, by Pomerantsev

Travel
Tuesday, November 6, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia By Peter Pomerantsev Cover Image

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Paperback)

$18.99


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
A journey into the glittering, surreal heart of 21st century Russia, where even dictatorship is a reality show

Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell's Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the wild and bizarre heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship-far subtler than twentieth-century strains-that is rapidly rising to challenge the West.

When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook and corrupt cranny of the country. He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve-center of the Russian media machine, and visits Siberian mafia-towns and the salons of the international super-rich in London and the US. As the Putin regime becomes more aggressive, Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system.

Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a country spinning from decadence into madness.
Peter Pomerantsev is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics, an author and TV producer. He studies propaganda and media development, and has testified on the challenges of information war to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the UK Parliament Defense Select Committee. He writes for publications including Granta, the Atlantic, Financial Times, London Review of Books, Politico, and many others. His first book, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, was nominated for the Samuel Johnson, Guardian First Book, Pushkin House and Gordon Burns Prizes. It is translated into over a dozen languages.
Product Details ISBN: 9781610396004
ISBN-10: 1610396006
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: November 10th, 2015
Pages: 256
Language: English
Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian First Book Award
Longlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize
An Amazon.com Best Book of the Month, November 2014




"Captivating...keen observations."—New York Times Book Review

"Sparkling collection of essays."
Wall Street Journal

"This is a gripping and unsettling account of life in grim post-Soviet Russia."—Washington Post

"A scintillating take on a twisted reality."—Prospect Magazine

"A patchwork tapestry that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief."—The Guardian

"Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures... the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."—Kirkus, Starred Review

"Sometimes horrifying but always compelling, this book exposes the bizarre reality hiding beneath the facade of a 'youthful, bouncy, glossy country.'"—Publishers Weekly

"It is hard to think of another work that better describes today's Russia; Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible may very well be the defining book about the Putin era. This might seem like excessive praise for a relatively short, non-academic memoir by a reality-TV producer now living in London, but it is justified by the author's gimlet eye and reportorial skill."—Commentary Magazine

"A brilliant, entertaining, and ultimately tragic book about not only Russia, but the West."—Tablet Magazine

"Enthralling... his exquisite rendering of mind-control techniques is chilling."—Times Literary Supplement

"Brilliant collection of sketches...powerful, moving and sometimes hilarious."—Washington Times

"Hauntingly perceptive and beautifully written."—New Statesman [UK]

"[A] tale of descending into and eventually emerging from Moscow's hallucinogenic reality."—Foreign Affairs

"[A] riveting, urgent book ... Pomerantsev is one of the most perceptive, imaginative and entertaining commentators writing on Russia today and, much like the country itself, his first book is seductive and terrifying in equal measure."—The Times (UK)

"This is the strangest book of note I have ever read... a dark and grotesque comedy of manners... His reporter's straightforward and unlimited curiosity, his willingness to plow and harrow the widest fields for facts, and his exacting descriptive details give him credibility. Plus, what he tells us is so incredible."
P.J. O'Rourke, World Affairs Magazine

"A riveting portrait of the new Russia with all its corruption, willful power and spasms of unforgettable, poetic glamor. I couldn't put it down."—Tina Brown

"Peter Pomeranzev, one of the most brilliant observers of Putin's Russia, describes a country obsessed with illusion and glamor, but with a dangerous, amoral core beneath the surface. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible is an electrifying, terrifying book."—Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag and Iron Curtain, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

A WOMAN IN ARABIA, by Bell

Travel
Tuesday, October 2, 7:00 pm

The Travel Book Group is led by Katie Mathews and meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert By Gertrude Bell, Georgina Howell (Editor), Georgina Howell (Introduction by) Cover Image

A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert (Paperback)

By Gertrude Bell, Georgina Howell (Editor), Georgina Howell (Introduction by)

$18.00


Special Order—Subject to Availability
A portrait in her own words of the female Lawrence of Arabia, the subject of the PBS documentary Letters from Baghdad, voiced by Tilda Swinton, and the major motion picture Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, and Robert Pattinson and directed by Werner Herzog

Gertrude Bell was leaning in 100 years before Sheryl Sandberg. One of the great woman adventurers of the twentieth century, she turned her back on Victorian society to study at Oxford and travel the world, and became the chief architect of British policy in the Middle East after World War I. Mountaineer, archaeologist, Arabist, writer, poet, linguist, and spy, she dedicated her life to championing the Arab cause and was instrumental in drawing the borders that define today’s Middle East.
 
As she wrote in one of her letters, “It’s a bore being a woman when you are in Arabia.” Forthright and spirited, opinionated and playful, and deeply instructive about the Arab world, this volume brings together Bell’s letters, military dispatches, diary entries, and travel writings to offer an intimate look at a woman who shaped nations.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Gertrude Bell (1868–1926) was one of the first women to be made a Commander of the British Empire. Her statesmanship paved the way for the creation of an independent Iraq.

Georgina Howell (editor) wrote the acclaimed biography Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations.
Product Details ISBN: 9780143107378
ISBN-10: 0143107372
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: August 11th, 2015
Pages: 320
Language: English
“A fascinating read . . . The story that emerges is thought-provoking. . . . Gertrude’s legacy makes easy parallels to the present, from world powers trying to determine the political shape of the Middle East to women’s struggles to be taken seriously by male colleagues. In A Woman in Arabia, she faces it all with humor, passion, and candor; even a century on, she’s a woman worth knowing.” —NPR.org

“[A] well-chosen selection from [the] letters and memoirs [of] one of the most remarkable figures of the late 19th and early 20th century . . . Bell might be regarded as the much happier, female equivalent of T. E. Lawrence, who knew and admired her.” —The Washington Post

“I hope this collection of Bell’s prose, more than the upcoming film by Werner Herzog, stirs up controversy about her time as an archaeologist and spy and spearhead of post-WWI British policy in the Middle East, the effects of which can still be felt today.” —Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire’s “10 Must-Read Books for August”

“Luckily for those of us who are unfamiliar with Gertrude Bell, there comes A Woman in Arabia . . . a collection of Bell in her own words, helpfully annotated.” —The Daily Beast

“Bell’s letters . . . are as rich in ethnographic detail as any of the great nineteenth-century European travelogues, but chattier—devoid of the heroic rhetoric of T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. . . . [They] capture both her charisma and the intensely social character of her time in the Middle East. Like the State Department cables released by WikiLeaks in recent years, Bell’s archive of correspondence is a reminder of the daily disorder obscured by other political documents: maps, treaties, bulletins.” —The New Yorker

“A fascinating glimpse at [Bell’s] larger-than-life personality . . . Timely and timeless . . . The genius of this collection is letting Bell tell her story in her own words—just as her fiercely independent spirit would have wanted. Impossible to put down, the book reads a bit like a travelog, part humorous wit and part educational lecture, allowing the reader an in-depth look at the life of a true heroine and the time period she inhabited and conquered. . . . A must-have for every library.” —Library Journal, starred review

“An impressive anthology . . . Howell brings the ‘female Lawrence of Arabia’ to life through judicious selections from Bell’s massive public writings and personal papers. . . . Bell comes across as a compassionate, erudite quasi-diplomat worthy of great admiration.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tantalizing . . . Fascinating . . . Bell’s own words showcase . . . a personality and intellect that glittered like the sun-drenched Arabian sands. . . . Readers will accompany her on some of her most daring exploits. . . . This is a nifty little volume that illuminates a remarkable life.” —Publishers Weekly

“Her letters are exactly herself—eager, interested, almost excited. . . . She kept an everlasting freshness; or at least, however tired she was, she could always get up enough interest to match that of anyone who came to see her. I don’t think I ever met anyone more entirely civilized, in the sense of her width of intellectual sympathy.” —T. E. Lawrence

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