Hussain Zaidi, Brijesh Singh, “Dangerous Minds”

Biographies

Hussain Zaidi, Brijesh Singh, “Dangerous Minds”
Roger Steffens, Linton Kwesi Johnson, “So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley”
The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers by Eric Hansen
Empire Maker : Aleksandr Baranov and Russian Colonial Expansion Into Alaska and Northern California
Walking in the Woods : A Metis Journey

Hussain Zaidi, Brijesh Singh, “Dangerous Minds”

Dangerous Minds will delve into the complex and intricate lives of some of the most talked-about terrorists of the country. Dr Jalees Ansari, a doctor from Malegaon involved in eighty blasts, including some on railway tracks, was supposed to be a quiet, peace-loving medical professional. Fahmida Ansari, a housewife and mother of two from the Jogeshwari slums of north-west Mumbai, physically planted the bombs herself in a bus and taxis and returned home as if nothing had happened. What drove them to such violent designs? What were their compulsions? Can a human being be so ruthless and heartless, and why?
The book will explore the lives, early beginnings, careers and sudden transformations of such persons into merchants of death.

Roger Steffens, Linton Kwesi Johnson, “So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley”

A revelatory, myth-shattering history of one of the most influential musicians of all time, told in the words of those who knew him best.
Roger Steffens is one of the world’s leading Bob Marley experts. He toured with the Wailers in the 1970s and was closely acquainted with Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and the rest of the band members. Over several decades he has interviewed more than seventy-five friends, business managers, relatives and confidants—many speaking publicly for the first time. Forty years in the making, So Much Things to Say weaves this rich testimony into a definitive telling of the life of the reggae king—the full, inside account of how a boy from the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, became a cultural icon and inspiration to millions around the world.
The intimacy of the voices and the frankness of their revelations will astonish even longtime Marley fans. Readers see the intense bonds of teenage friendship among Peter, Bunny and Bob, the vibrant early sessions with the original Wailers (as witnessed by members Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Green) and the tumultuous relationships with Rita Marley and Cindy Breakspeare.
With unprecedented candor, these interviews tell dramatic, little-known stories, from the writing of some of Marley’s most beloved songs to the Wailers’ violent confrontation involving producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, Bob’s intensive musical training with star singer Johnny Nash and the harrowing assassination attempt at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, which led to Marley’s defiant performance two nights later with a bullet lodged in his arm.
Readers witness Marley’s rise to international fame in London, his triumphant visit to Zimbabwe to sing for freedom fighters inspired by his anthems and the devastating moment of his collapse while jogging in New York’s Central Park. Steffens masterfully conducts the story of Marley’s last months, as Marley poignantly sings “Another One Bites the Dust” during the sound check before his final concert in Pittsburgh, followed by his tragic death at the age of thirty-six.
So Much Things to Say explores major controversies, examining who actually ordered the shooting attack on Hope Road, scrutinizing claims of CIA involvement and investigating why Marley’s fatal cancer wasn’t diagnosed sooner. Featuring Steffens’s own candid photographs of Marley and his circle, this magisterial work preserves an invaluable, transformative slice of music history: the life of the legendary performer who brought reggae to the international stage.

The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers by Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen survives a cyclone on a boat off the Australian coast, cradles a dying man in Calcutta, and drinks mind-altering kava in Vanuatu. He helps a widower search for his wife’s wedding ring amid plane-crash wreckage in Borneo and accompanies topless dancers on a bird-watching expedition in California. From the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Washington Heights, Eric Hansen has a way of getting himself into the most sacred ceremonies and the most candid conversations.

Empire Maker : Aleksandr Baranov and
Russian Colonial Expansion Into Alaska and Northern California

A native of northern Russia, Alexander Baranov was a middle-aged merchant trader with no prior experience in the fur trade when, in 1790, he arrived in North America to assume command over Russia’s highly profitable sea otter business. With the title of chief manager, he strengthened his leadership role after the formation of the Russian American Company in 1799. An adventuresome, dynamic, and charismatic leader, he proved to be something of a commercial genius in Alaska, making huge profits for company partners and shareholders in Irkutsk and St. Petersburg while receiving scandalously little support from the homeland.
Baranov receives long overdue attention in Kenneth Owens’s Empire Maker, the first scholarly biography of Russian America’s virtual imperial viceroy. His eventful life included shipwrecks, battles with Native forces, clashes with rival traders and Russian Orthodox missionaries, and an enduring marriage to a Kodiak Alutiiq woman with whom he had two children. In the process, the book reveals maritime Alaska and northern California during the Baranov era as fascinating cultural borderlands, where Russian, English, Spanish, and New England Yankee traders and indigenous peoples formed complex commercial, political, and domestic relationships that continue to influence these regions today.

Walking in the Woods : A Metis Journey

Reflecting on his evolving identity as a human being, a Canadian and a Metis westerner, Herb Belcourt tells the remarkable story of one familys enduring connection to the dramatic history of western Canada. Belcourt traces his ancestry directly to an early French-Canadian voyageur and his Cree-Metis wife who lived in Ruperts Land after 1800. The eldest of ten children, Belcourt grew up in a small log home near Lac Ste. Anne during the Depression. His father purchased furs from local First Nations and Metis trappers and, with arduous work, began a family fur trading business that survives to this day. When Belcourt left home at 15 to become a labourer in coal mines and sawmills, his father told him to save his money so he could work for himself. Over the next three decades, Belcourt began a number of small Alberta businesses that prospered and eventually enabled him to make significant contributions to the Metis community in Alberta.
Belcourt has devoted over 30 years of his life to improving access to affordable housing and further education for aboriginal Albertans. In 1971, he co-founded Canative Housing Corporation, a non-profit agency charged with providing homes for urban aboriginal people who confronted housing discrimination in Edmonton and Calgary. In 2004, Belcourt and his colleagues established the Belcourt Brosseau Metis Awards Fund, a $13-million endowment with a mandate to support the educational dreams of Metis youth and mature students in Alberta and to make a permanent difference in the lives of Metis Albertans.
Awarded an honourary doctorate of laws by the University of Alberta in 2001, Belcourt is also the 2006 recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Housing. In this memoir, Walking In the Woods, he describes Albertas opportunities with admiration while speaking bluntly about the loss of aboriginal and Metis land in western Canada, and about the difficult consequences of generations of interracial misunderstanding in the West. Addressed to young Metis, and to all Canadians, he speaks with compelling candour about his love for this country, and his concerns about its future.

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