More Foreign Service Fiction

The latest release from ex-Foreign Service Officer Peter Van Buren, author of controversial Iraq reconstruction expose We Meant Well, is set during World War Two. We may find ourselves in 1940s Japan, but Hooper’s War aims its barbs dead-center at the contemporary conflagrations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The men and women in Hooper confront the complex ethical decisions of war, … Continue reading More Foreign Service Fiction

New Foreign Service Fiction

After 20 years on the diplomatic beat ex-Foreign Service Officer Matthew Palmer has released his fourth tradecraft thriller: Enemy of the Good. U.S.–Kyrgyz relations are at a critical juncture. The U.S. is negotiating the details of a massive airbase that would significantly expand the American footprint in Central Asia, tipping the scale in “the Great Game” … Continue reading New Foreign Service Fiction

Kush for FBI

It's little wonder the hunt for a new FBI Director seems to have ground to a halt. The country's next top cop will be subservient to a criminal, whose charge sheet includes housing discrimination in NYC, fraud related to an eponymous university, bribery of a federal judge, tax and immigration violations, and sexual predation. This Whitman's Sampler of criminal … Continue reading Kush for FBI

We Have Better Writers

Kevin Spacey tells Stephen Colbert why House of Cards makes for better viewing than the drama issuing daily from the 'real' White House. "I do believe we have better writers." Season five binge-watching begins May 30. "I have to say, I think we've never been more relevant." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7YKdjb5eBU Earlier thoughts on the House of Cards opening credits... Not just some anodyne … Continue reading We Have Better Writers

In Flight Entertainment for POTUS

What are Trump & Co. reading as they wing their way to Saudi Arabia tonight? Two Pumps for the Body Man! This black comedy set in Saudi Arabia does for American diplomacy what Catch 22 did for military logic: The enemy in the War on Terror can't kill us if our own institutions kill us … Continue reading In Flight Entertainment for POTUS

The F-Bomb Drill

A few years back my son told me about his day in kindergarten: ‘We practiced the truder drill. It’s like the fire drill, only instead of going outside we go to the back of the room. The teacher locks the door and pulls the shade. We all keep quiet.’ His anecdote about a potential armed … Continue reading The F-Bomb Drill

Mother Land: A Review for Mothers Day

Stephen King reviews Paul Theroux's new novel, Mother Land at the New York Times this week (PeaceCorpsWorldwide brought it to my attention). King gives voice to the love-hate relationship so many readers have with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, novelist and travel writer, whose prolific career spans nearly six decades and whose vicious pen reaches the furthest places on the … Continue reading Mother Land: A Review for Mothers Day

Happy Book Launch Day Vikram East!

Congrats to Vikram East today as he launches his debut novel, Fun in Ancient Greece. The book manages to do for homework what homework never did for books: make learning fun! The assignment? Convince the elementary school principal to take the third grade class to one of four civilizations: Rome, Greece, Egypt, or China. Fascinated by gods and warriors, Vikram … Continue reading Happy Book Launch Day Vikram East!

Let Us Not Be Quiet

Revisiting Remarque before peace eludes My copy of All Quiet on the Western Front is a tattered thing. The cover, already coming apart in brittle pieces, fell off entirely as I read. It was appropriate to the fate of narrator Paul Baumer to see that cover come away. It is the father of all modern war … Continue reading Let Us Not Be Quiet