Imminent Conflict

To be honest I can’t wait to get this series to the First World War (WW1). But I want to be thorough. So I’m going to take you from the beginning, when Zionists were buying land in Palestine to start a Jewish homeland, to the eve of WW1.* During this time, both groups, Arabs and […]

Review: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

I know. It’s a novel. But bear with me. It’s a really good one. In somewhat confusing chronology Richard Flanagan recounts the life of an Australian doctor who was an officer during WW2. He grows up poor, gets to go to school, moves rapidly up the social ladder and becomes a bit of a hero when […]

Many tragedies make a disaster

An old man told me when fighting broke out in Gaza last summer: “the international community made huge mistakes back in 1948, when Israel was created, and that’s why they’re fighting in endless loops now.” I didn’t know much about the origins of the conflict, so I believed him, on the basis that he was […]

The borderland’s borders

So, as I think I mentioned in the first post of the series on Ukraine, Ukraine as it is today has not been a sovereign state for very long. I’ve found this great list of maps that shows how the borders were laid out from 1400 AD. Please go ahead and study it for a […]

Iranian passengers

The tragedy of the Malaysia Airlines airplane that was shot down on July 17th seems unique in its kind. But it wasn’t the first time a passenger aircraft became involved in a war. In 1988 an Iranian airbus was shot down by the USS Vincennes, a ship that was in the strait of Hormuz to […]

Early Glory

The beginnings of human settlement in Ukraine are quite fascinating. The country has rich farmland and other natural resources, and was much contested by warring nomadic tribes, the Greeks and those coming in the Great Migration of Peoples. We don’t know much about this era, unfortunately, because there are very few primary records. The Scythians, […]

Peacemakers – Margaret MacMillan

I’ve been warned against writing reviews that are too rave. A reviewer should be stern, fair, but critical. Trouble is, I rarely finish a book I don’t like. And I happen to think Peacemakers by Margaret MacMillan is absolutely brilliant. I’ve been sitting here, trying to think of what might be a credible bit of […]