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Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW "Lithuanian American Princess" RSS Feed (Savannah, Georgia)

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The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West
The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West
by Edward Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.14
35 used & new from $9.74

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read. One not to be missed. A warning of a formerly Communist system morphed into Putinist tyranny., August 29, 2014
This is an incredible book, one of which I was very happy to find out about. This third and newest edition includes a new preface on the Crimean crisis. Like the older editions,it describes in great detail the circumstances in Russia at the time the book was originally copyrighted (2008,2009), when one Vladimir Putin came to power to destroy what progress Russia had made towards becoming as democratic a country as possible after years of authoritarian rule dominated by Communist ideology. I see the book as a warning. After the recent illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russians and their invasion of the Ukraine just days ago, one can see why. It is a call to action. As the author put it: "a central message of this book is that the world's richest and strongest free countries must stand behind these small states now under threat from Russia. It may be inconvenient, costly, or even painful to do so, but if we do not win the New Cold War, on terms of our choosing, we will fight at a time and place chosen by our adversary, and the odds will be tilted against us." This is, after all, how Adolph Hitler launched the world into World War II when the most able countries that could have stood up to his tyranny just passively stood by and let it happen.

True, I may have a more personal interest in this book then some. My parents, after all, were refugees from one of the Baltic nations (Lithuania) that this author writes about. They were among the almost one million people (some 1/3 of the TOTAL population of that small country) that were either arrested, executed, deported to Siberia (in cattle cars to work themselves to death in frigid temperatures with little food). or displaced (forced to leave the country of their birth) while the West stood by not even aware of what "Uncle Joe" Stalin was doing to a whole section of Europe. For them, because the war was over in Western Europe, therefore it was over in the world. For Eastern Europe this was just the beginning of the end. Communist occupation meant death for millions. Now, after successfully regaining their independence in 1991, the Baltic states are again being threatened. After breaking free from the chains of Soviet oppression, they have been recovering very nicely much to the chagrin of one Vladimir Putin. As the author writes about the Baltics already in the Introduction of the book "They are the Soviet satellites whose loss the Kremlin resents most sharply. Their thriving economies and lively open societies are a constant and glaring contrast to the authoritarian capitalism across the border...Putin,,,says the collapse of the Soviet Union was the "greatest geo-political catastrophe" of the twentieth century....Although the Balts are small in population terms, they are members--and loyal and active ones at that--of NATO and the EU....Rather like West Berlin in the days of the old Cold War, the Baltic states are militarily indefensible but symbolically vital: if they succumb to Russian pressure, who will be next? This has not deterred the Kremlin, which is determined both to divide them and to isolate them....If Russia gets what it wants in the Caucuses or the Baltics, the Balkans and Central Europe will be next. And what then? The Arctic? Western Europe? Slice by slice, the Kremlin is adding to its sphere of influence."

I, therefore, thank the author, Edward Lucas, who has covered Eastern Europe for THE ECONOMIST for over twenty years. He (along with my husband, a proud retired American soldier and myself a proud American Navy Hospital Corpsman veteran) "witnessed the end of the Cold War, the parting of the Iron Curtain" and, "as Moscow bureau chief, covered Boris Yeltsin's demise and Vladimir Putin's rise to power." By writing this book he is trying to educate the world's public on what is REALLY going on in Russia these days and that we SHOULD BE AFRAID, should take the proper steps to keeping yet another dictator from continuing his rise to power and causing another world war--one that, this time, may destroy us all.


The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West
The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West
by Edward Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.66
97 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read. One not to be missed. A warning of a formerly Communist system morphed into Putinist tyranny., August 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an incredible book, one of which I was very happy to find out about. Although this edition is a few years old, it describes in great detail the circumstances in Russia at the time the book was copyrighted (2008,2009), when one Vladimir Putin came to power to destroy what progress Russia had made towards becoming as democratic a country as possible after years of authoritarian rule dominated by Communist ideology. I see the book as a warning. After the recent illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russians and their invasion of the Ukraine just days ago, one can see why. It is a call to action. As the author put it: "a central message of this book is that the world's richest and strongest free countries must stand behind these small states now under threat from Russia. It may be inconvenient, costly, or even painful to do so, but if we do not win the New Cold War, on terms of our choosing, we will fight at a time and place chosen by our adversary, and the odds will be tilted against us." This is, after all, how Adolph Hitler launched the world into World War II when the most able countries that could have stood up to his tyranny just passively stood by and let it happen.

True, I may have a more personal interest in this book then some. My parents, after all, were refugees from one of the Baltic nations (Lithuania) that this author writes about. They were among the almost one million people (some 1/3 of the TOTAL population of that small country) that were either arrested, executed, deported to Siberia (in cattle cars to work themselves to death in frigid temperatures with little food). or displaced (forced to leave the country of their birth) while the West stood by not even aware of what "Uncle Joe" Stalin was doing to a whole section of Europe. For them, because the war was over in Western Europe, therefore it was over in the world. For Eastern Europe this was just the beginning of the end. Communist occupation meant death for millions. Now, after successfully regaining their independence in 1991, the Baltic states are again being threatened. After breaking free from the chains of Soviet oppression, they have been recovering very nicely much to the chagrin of one Vladimir Putin. As the author writes about the Baltics already in the Introduction of the book "They are the Soviet satellites whose loss the Kremlin resents most sharply. Their thriving economies and lively open societies are a constant and glaring contrast to the authoritarian capitalism across the border...Putin,,,says the collapse of the Soviet Union was the "greatest geo-political catastrophe" of the twentieth century....Although the Balts are small in population terms, they are members--and loyal and active ones at that--of NATO and the EU....Rather like West Berlin in the days of the old Cold War, the Baltic states are militarily indefensible but symbolically vital: if they succumb to Russian pressure, who will be next? This has not deterred the Kremlin, which is determined both to divide them and to isolate them....If Russia gets what it wants in the Caucuses or the Baltics, the Balkans and Central Europe will be next. And what then? The Arctic? Western Europe? Slice by slice, the Kremlin is adding to its sphere of influence."

I, therefore, thank the author, Edward Lucas, who has covered Eastern Europe for THE ECONOMIST for over twenty years. He (along with my husband, a proud retired American soldier and myself a proud American Navy Hospital Corpsman veteran) "witnessed the end of the Cold War, the parting of the Iron Curtain" and, "as Moscow bureau chief, covered Boris Yeltsin's demise and Vladimir Putin's rise to power." By writing this book he is trying to educate the world's public on what is REALLY going on in Russia these days and that we SHOULD BE AFRAID, should take the proper steps to keeping yet another dictator from continuing his rise to power and causing another world war--one that, this time, may destroy us all.


A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power
by Jimmy Carter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.50
117 used & new from $8.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive, a most important book, long overdue., August 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I decided to purchase a copy of this book after witnessing former President Jimmy Carter interviewed recently on Jon Stewart's DAILY SHOW. As a practicing Catholic, believer in Jesus Christ and a former social work educator on the subject of domestic violence prevention, I have often wondered why the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) does not really address the historical abuse of women. Instead as our author writes "some selected scriptures, are interpreted almost exclusively by powerful male leaders within the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Budhist, and other faiths, to proclaim the lower status of women and girls. This claim that women are inferior before God spreads to the secular world to justify gross and sustained acts of discrimination and violence against them. This includes unpunished rape and other sexual abuse, infanticide of newborn girls and abortion of female fetuses, a worldwide trafficking in women and girls, and so-called honor killings of innocent women who are raped, as well as the less violent but harmful practices of lower pay and promotion for women and greater political advantages for men." HOW RIGHT YOU ARE former President Jimmy Carter. Alas but your words are not new. I once heard this years ago in a Minority Relations class I took in high school where I brought a speaker from the National Organization of Women to present before our class. It has been 42 years since this speaker gave this talk but I never forgot it. She was a woman, of course, concerned for the future of her own gender. This is the FIRST time I have read a book written by a man concerned for the future of women in our world.

I often tell people that although I am NOT a religious fundamentalist, DO NOT believe that every word in the Bible was written for people of ALL time, I DO believe that Jesus Christ in coming to spread the Word in bringing a "new" testament became (and still is) a a Super Star for ALL women. That is why I was so delighted when former President Carter wrote in Chapter 3 The Bible and Gender Equality of this book "Jesus Christ was the greatest liberator of women in a society where they had been considered throughout biblical history to be inferior. Even wives and widows of prominent and revered men had few legal rights. It is well known to those familiar with the Bible that, to enhance his own well-being the patriarch Abraham, gave away his wife, Sarah, to live in the harem of the pharaoh of Egypt and later attempted to give her away to the heathen king Abimelech, claiming both times that she was not his wife but his sister. Men could possess multiple wives (King Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred concumbines), but a woman could be punished by stoning to death if she had more than one sex partner.There is one incontrovertible fact concerning the relationship between Jesus Christ and women:he treated them as equal to men, which was dramatically different from the prevailing custom of the times....never...any instance of Jesus' condoning sexual discrimination or the implied subservience or inferiority of women....Matthew even includes four gentile women (all of whom had extramarital affairs) among the ancestors of Christ: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. The exaltation and later devotion to Mary, as Jesus' mother, is a vivid indication of the special status of women in Christian theology....Despite the strict prohobition against a Jewish man dealing with women in public, Jesus had no hesitancy about conversing the community well with a Samaritan woman who was a pariah both among Jews and her peers because of her ethnicity and lascivicous behavior. She accepted him as the promised Messiah and took his message back to her village--the first example of an evagelical witness. Jesus also rejected the double standard of punishment for adultery, by granting both a pardon and forgiveness to a guilty and condemned woman." I WILL NEVER FORGET the impression I had of Jesus as he was portrayed in the 1960's classic KING OF KINGS--the part where he turned to the crowds, breaking with convention, and stated firmly "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." These are words that have resonated with many women for hundreds of years, continue to do so now and WILL always have that effect. I just thank the author of this book, President Jimmy Carter, for reminding me exactly why I have ALWAYS thought that Jesus Christ was my personal Super Star!
The book, as a whole, consists of eighteen chapters including chapters on Sexual Abuse and Rape, Women and the Carter Center, Slavery and Prostitution, Spouse Abuse, 'Honor' Killing, Genital Cutting, Child Marriage and Dowry Deaths, Politics, Pay and Maternal Health and the Road to Progress. There is much in the book about the testimony of a number of religious leaders, scholars and activists former President Carter brought together in June of 2013 for the purpose of working together "to align religious and political life with full equality for girls and women." The book is EXTREMELY well done and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Thank you, so much, former President Jimmy Carter for finally writing SUCH an important book. God bless you and yours.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2014 4:50 PM PDT


Between Shades Of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta (2011)
Between Shades Of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta (2011)
9 used & new from $29.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully written, heartbreaking and dramatic story based on true events., July 15, 2014
Although this most impressive novel was written using fictional characters (the plot created) the events on which it is based are most certainly true. In her Author's Note Ruta Sepetys explains that in 1939 the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Not long after, the Kremlin drew up lists of people considered anti-Soviet who Sepetys accurately states "would be murdered, sent to prison, or deported into slavery in Siberia. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, military servicemen, writers, business owners, musicians, artists, and even librarians were all considered anti-Soviet and were added to the growing list slated for wholesale genocide. The first deporations took place on June 14, 1941."

This is a particularly meaningful story to me because my own family had members who were forcibly deported to Siberia and suffered the deaths of people they dearly loved. Fortunately for the author's father (and my own parents) they (and their families) were able to escape to refugee camps set up in the American occupied zone of Germany. My maternal great aunt and her family with four daughters, however, were not so lucky. They did end up getting deported to Siberia, the two oldest girls literally worked to death dying of cold and starvation.

I love the incredibly empathic way in which this novel was written. It is written in the first person ("as told by") a 15-old-girl named Lina, who instead of heading for art school found herself forced into a train heading into the far reaches of the Soviet Union. Packed into railroad cars, starved for food, fresh air, even bathroom facilities these people, like the Jews in many parts of Europe, were stripped of their homes, their possessions, their very lives. It was painful to realize that, in many cases, the oppressors themselves were being fed and supplied by Americans who were too uninformed, too naive or simply had no wish to know what was going on. As they made their way east young children and the elderly started to die. Their bodies were literally tossed from train cars "swept clean" not even given the dignity of a burial. Before the journey begins Lina risks death by trying to find her father who has been placed into another train car headed for a prison where later she finds out he is shot. It is at this time she meets another teenager, a young man named Arvydas, for whom she develops a liking. Her group of people were first sent to one forced labor camp and then to another. In the second camp, located near the Arctic circle where the weather is especially harsh, Lina suffers the loss of her own mother. This part of the book is written particularly well because it evokes such deep emotion that the tears cannot help but fall.

Although Hitler's mass destruction of six million Jews (and at least three million non-Jewish individuals) is a most unquestionably horrible set of events, I have often wondered why more attenton has not been given to the TWENTY million that Stalin murdered in his own country. Again the author reminds me that "Upon returning in the mid-1950's, the Lithuanians found that Soviets had occupied their homes, were enjoying all of their belongings, and had even assumed their names. Everything was lost. The returning deportees were treated as criminals. They were forced to live in restricted areas, and were under constant surveillance by the KGB, formerly the NKVD. Speaking about their experience meant immediate imprisonment or deportation back to Siberia. As a result, the horrors they endured went dormant, a hideous secret shared by millions of people."

As a Lithuanian-American I am so DEEPLY grateful that Ruta Sepetys wrote this book. She explains how carefully she researched it by several visits to Lithuania where she interviewed survivors of this horrible ordeal. My only regret is that someone had not written this book YEARS earlier. These people's (MY people's) story needed to be told. The author honored their memory by doing just that.. Sirdingai aciu. (My sincerest thank you). Tegul Dievas tave palaimina Ruta (May God bless you Ruta).


Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)]
Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)]
24 used & new from $4.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully written, heartbreaking and dramatic story based on true events., July 15, 2014
Although this most impressive novel was written using fictional characters (the plot created) the events on which it is based are most certainly true. In her Author's Note Ruta Sepetys explains that in 1939 the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Not long after, the Kremlin drew up lists of people considered anti-Soviet who Sepetys accurately states "would be murdered, sent to prison, or deported into slavery in Siberia. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, military servicemen, writers, business owners, musicians, artists, and even librarians were all considered anti-Soviet and were added to the growing list slated for wholesale genocide. The first deporations took place on June 14, 1941."

This is a particularly meaningful story to me because my own family had members who were forcibly deported to Siberia and suffered the deaths of people they dearly loved. Fortunately for the author's father (and my own parents) they (and their families) were able to escape to refugee camps set up in the American occupied zone of Germany. My maternal great aunt and her family with four daughters, however, were not so lucky. They did end up getting deported to Siberia, the two oldest girls literally worked to death dying of cold and starvation.

I love the incredibly empathic way in which this novel was written. It is written in the first person ("as told by") a 15-old-girl named Lina, who instead of heading for art school found herself forced into a train heading into the far reaches of the Soviet Union. Packed into railroad cars, starved for food, fresh air, even bathroom facilities these people, like the Jews in many parts of Europe, were stripped of their homes, their possessions, their very lives. It was painful to realize that, in many cases, the oppressors themselves were being fed and supplied by Americans who were too uninformed, too naive or simply had no wish to know what was going on. As they made their way east young children and the elderly started to die. Their bodies were literally tossed from train cars "swept clean" not even given the dignity of a burial. Before the journey begins Lina risks death by trying to find her father who has been placed into another train car headed for a prison where later she finds out he is shot. It is at this time she meets another teenager, a young man named Arvydas, for whom she develops a liking. Her group of people were first sent to one forced labor camp and then to another. In the second camp, located near the Arctic circle where the weather is especially harsh, Lina suffers the loss of her own mother. This part of the book is written particularly well because it evokes such deep emotion that the tears cannot help but fall.

Although Hitler's mass destruction of six million Jews (and at least three million non-Jewish individuals) is a most unquestionably horrible set of events, I have often wondered why more attenton has not been given to the TWENTY million that Stalin murdered in his own country. Again the author reminds me that "Upon returning in the mid-1950's, the Lithuanians found that Soviets had occupied their homes, were enjoying all of their belongings, and had even assumed their names. Everything was lost. The returning deportees were treated as criminals. They were forced to live in restricted areas, and were under constant surveillance by the KGB, formerly the NKVD. Speaking about their experience meant immediate imprisonment or deportation back to Siberia. As a result, the horrors they endured went dormant, a hideous secret shared by millions of people."

As a Lithuanian-American I am so DEEPLY grateful that Ruta Sepetys wrote this book. She explains how carefully she researched it by several visits to Lithuania where she interviewed survivors of this horrible ordeal. My only regret is that someone had not written this book YEARS earlier. These people's (MY people's) story needed to be told. The author honored their memory by doing just that.. Sirdingai aciu. (My sincerest thank you). Tegul Dievas tave palaimina Ruta (May God bless you Ruta).


Ruta Sepetys'sBetween Shades of Gray [Hardcover]
Ruta Sepetys'sBetween Shades of Gray [Hardcover]
by Ruta Sepetys (Author)
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from $19.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully written, heartbreaking and dramatic story based on true events., July 15, 2014
Although this most impressive novel was written using fictional characters (the plot created) the events on which it is based are most certainly true. In her Author's Note Ruta Sepetys explains that in 1939 the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Not long after, the Kremlin drew up lists of people considered anti-Soviet who Sepetys accurately states "would be murdered, sent to prison, or deported into slavery in Siberia. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, military servicemen, writers, business owners, musicians, artists, and even librarians were all considered anti-Soviet and were added to the growing list slated for wholesale genocide. The first deporations took place on June 14, 1941."

This is a particularly meaningful story to me because my own family had members who were forcibly deported to Siberia and suffered the deaths of people they dearly loved. Fortunately for the author's father (and my own parents) they (and their families) were able to escape to refugee camps set up in the American occupied zone of Germany. My maternal great aunt and her family with four daughters, however, were not so lucky. They did end up getting deported to Siberia, the two oldest girls literally worked to death dying of cold and starvation.

I love the incredibly empathic way in which this novel was written. It is written in the first person ("as told by") a 15-old-girl named Lina, who instead of heading for art school found herself forced into a train heading into the far reaches of the Soviet Union. Packed into railroad cars, starved for food, fresh air, even bathroom facilities these people, like the Jews in many parts of Europe, were stripped of their homes, their possessions, their very lives. It was painful to realize that, in many cases, the oppressors themselves were being fed and supplied by Americans who were too uninformed, too naive or simply had no wish to know what was going on. As they made their way east young children and the elderly started to die. Their bodies were literally tossed from train cars "swept clean" not even given the dignity of a burial. Before the journey begins Lina risks death by trying to find her father who has been placed into another train car headed for a prison where later she finds out he is shot. It is at this time she meets another teenager, a young man named Arvydas, for whom she develops a liking. Her group of people were first sent to one forced labor camp and then to another. In the second camp, located near the Arctic circle where the weather is especially harsh, Lina suffers the loss of her own mother. This part of the book is written particularly well because it evokes such deep emotion that the tears cannot help but fall.

Although Hitler's mass destruction of six million Jews (and at least three million non-Jewish individuals) is a most unquestionably horrible set of events, I have often wondered why more attenton has not been given to the TWENTY million that Stalin murdered in his own country. Again the author reminds me that "Upon returning in the mid-1950's, the Lithuanians found that Soviets had occupied their homes, were enjoying all of their belongings, and had even assumed their names. Everything was lost. The returning deportees were treated as criminals. They were forced to live in restricted areas, and were under constant surveillance by the KGB, formerly the NKVD. Speaking about their experience meant immediate imprisonment or deportation back to Siberia. As a result, the horrors they endured went dormant, a hideous secret shared by millions of people."

As a Lithuanian-American I am so DEEPLY grateful that Ruta Sepetys wrote this book. She explains how carefully she researched it by several visits to Lithuania where she interviewed survivors of this horrible ordeal. My only regret is that someone had not written this book YEARS earlier. These people's (MY people's) story needed to be told. The author honored their memory by doing just that.. Sirdingai aciu. (My sincerest thank you). Tegul Dievas tave palaimina Ruta (May God bless you Ruta).


God, Give Us Wings
God, Give Us Wings
by Felicia Prekeris Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.69
19 used & new from $9.68

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully well written, incredibly detailed, historically fascinating, an AMAZING book., June 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: God, Give Us Wings (Paperback)
This is the true story of Felicia Dalia Prekeris, just seven years old when she was forced to leave her native Lithuania in October of 1944 fleeing for her life and the lives of her mother, father and older sister. It is a vividly recalled story of deepfelt loss for a beloved homeland while fighting for survival of a family deeply devoted to one another.

I know this story well because it is also the story of my own family forced to leave Lithuania in July of that year or face forced deportation to the far reaches of the Soviet Unon. This, after all, was the Russian idea of the "final solution", exile the intellectuals to gulags or forced labor camps (really one Soviet version of Nazi concentration camps), replace democracy with Soviet totalitarianism, force feed Soviet ideology to a population that would be encouraged to forget their age-old Lithuanian language and culture to be replaced only with that of Russia. Felicia's father, after all, was a learned man, a teacher, a school inspector and highly respected amongst his peers and students. During the first Soviet occupation Soviet officials had tried to force him to spy on his own colleagues which he had (with great risk to his own safety) adamantly refused to do no matter what manipulative techniques the Soviet authorities used on him. Despite Felicia's mother's reluctance to leave a land they dearly loved the famly was finally forced to go using whatever means they could to flee first to Prussia and then to the British occupied zone of an occupied post WWII Germany. Their continued struggle to survive, their deep faith in God and devotion to each other keeps this family alive and together until one day, after an interim period in England, they are finally settled in the United States.

This is an outstanding book, one you should not even consider missing. There are many people in the United States (and elsewhere in what has historically been known as the Free World) who did not know what happened to the people of Eastern Europe when the Allied government chiefs, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, met at Yalta and, as the author writes "decided the fate of nations, including our homeland, without a word trickling down to us." The luckier refugees would end up in Displaced Persons Camps where, although barely fed at the end of an awful war, had a chance of some kind of future. Tragically, however, many who had survived horrible odds at getting out were forced to later return to now Soviet occupied lands by poorly informed (or influenced by Communist sympathizers) Amercian forces whose only aim was to repatriate as soon as possible without regard for the long term safety and welfare of those entrusted to their care. This book helps tell the whole story, a story that has been hidden too long about the painful personal story of the people who were able to escape.


The Land of Honey
The Land of Honey
by Chinenye Obiajulu
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.96
27 used & new from $12.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing story of a young couple in love struggling make a new life for themselves in Canada after leaving their native Nigeria, June 2, 2014
This review is from: The Land of Honey (Paperback)
This is a beautiful story--one that many an immigrant couple or family can relate to after deciding, for one reason or another, to leave their native country to make in another leaving behind everything that is secure and familiar, family, friends and the community one has grown up with for a better life in an unfamiliar land.

This is the story of Zimako and Anuli, a professional couple from Nigeria, who decide they can no longer live in a country where their physical security has become so much of an issue that they fear for their lives. Zimako, an engineer, and Anuli, a banking professional leave the country of their birth deciding to make a life for themselves in Edmonton, Canada. Their relationship, however strong, is soon to be tested when obtaining employment becomes a real challenge especially for Zimako. Determined not to downgrade himself and become one of many professionals who come to North America only to find themselves underemployed in positions that do not recognize their education and experience, let alone their earning potential, Zimako holds out while Anuli, more able to delay gratification while earning money at a lesser job goes out into the world world much to Zimako's disappointment. At one point both are even tempted by infedility. Just at the point where it doesn't look things can get any worse something happens and the couple's lives are forever changed.

I really liked this book. The author's style was very natural and relaxed. She is a true storyteller making the reader feel like they are "part of the family" as she describes both the husband's and the wive's family of origins, their values, their traditions, their hopes for this couple. It is a good read and I would very much recommend it.


Someday I'm Going To . . .: An Inspiring Straightforward Approach to Achieving Your Dreams and Making Your 'Someday' Soon
Someday I'm Going To . . .: An Inspiring Straightforward Approach to Achieving Your Dreams and Making Your 'Someday' Soon
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Might work for some who have lived a conventional life style., May 18, 2014
I had a problem with this book. There were some valid points made in it, some real truths: i.e. "You create your own destiny...It pays to be optimistic, for optimism is what fuels dreams and keeps us going, even on the darkest of days, etc. etc." These are the themes that seem to run throughout the book. The problem I have though is that the author simply ASSUMES that EVERYONE has lived the same patterned lifestyle, graduated from high school, gone away to college, boy meets girl, marries girl, has children in their 30's, children leave home creating the Empty Nest Sydrome, couple faces retirement, etc. all the while having all the money they need (except for course in their 20's while still students) to pursue their dreams.

The reality is that some people will NEVER have the money to truly pursue their dreams, couldn't afford to go away to school (maybe they worked part time and commuted from their parents' home to get their education or joined the military to take advantage of a GI bill and earn their college degree later in life), didn't get married "Norman Rockwell style" in their 20s, have 2.1 kids in their 30's etc., couldn't afford to buy their "first" house let alone their "second" and so on and so forth. Some may never find that special someone, never marrying, never having children, face unemployment for years, rent apartment or homes all their lives and can only dream about the vacation they may never go on. These people know all to well the adage "Know that there will be setbacks". They really do not need to be told that. They need something more than the author's cookie cutter solution to apparently "just go for it". They have some real practical realities to consider and this is where I feel the author falls short.

This is a great book, however, if you ARE from an upper middle class or wealthy family, have had the money (or been able to acquire later in life), have the financial freedom to pursue your goals in the way the author recommends. Alas but I am not one of those people so this book was of limited value to me. I do appreciate optimism well applied and that principle (applied my OWN personal way) is something that could sustain me but not in the way the author recommends.


Terror Survivors and Freedom Fighters
Terror Survivors and Freedom Fighters

5.0 out of 5 stars Most important and very informative book stressing the importance of holding world Communists accountable for their crimes., May 12, 2014
Throughout this most interesting book the author wonders why haven't there been Nuremberg-type trials for the numerous acts of what we now call "crimes against humanity" committed by world Communists over the years. After all, as he points out, on the very first page of this most informative book: "....the Communists killed at least four people for everyone who persished under both Fascism and Nazism combined." The author estimates that there were 25 million TOTAL victims of Fascism and Nazism BUT 100 million were the victims of worldwide Communism. He goes on to write: "Incredibly it seems the crimes of Communism have not so far received a fair judicial analysis and no official body count has been made in the U.S., Congress or the Western World....the crimes of Communism have apparently not been subjected to any moral or ethical scrutiny despite many confessions of guilt by participants and perpetrators of the collapse after the Soviet Union." In the same chapter the author points out: "During our last decade, Hitler and Nazism have been increasingly highlighted in the Western media, whereas Stalin and Communists have not been given much coverage. The status of ex-Communist has not carried any stigma in the Western World and no criticism has been offered against former Communists who have confessed to some bad deeds and have apologized. By contrast, any past contact with Nazism, no matter how marginal or remote, have resulted in some cases in loss of citizenship, employment or trials for deportation."

This book was written by a highly decorated but now retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel born in Kaunas, Lithuania, the son of Lithuanian refugees who in their flight from a Soviet occupied Lithuania, survived the horrible bombing of Dresden, Germany on February 13, 1945. My own parents, in their flight from Lithuania, had just barely escaped that area themselves when this unnecessary murder of thousands occurred. I have been told that even though Dresden, was of no strategic value to the Allied Powers, the justification for its destruction at that time was to "break the spirit" of the German people thus hastening the end of World War II. In light of what I read in this book, however, it seems there was another much less honorable motive for this most unwarranted act inflicted on a beautiful art city. "Dresden" as the author points out "with a population of about 1,000,000 was overflown with about 300,000 REFUGEES fleeing from the Soviet Army in the Balkans, Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic States". It doesn't take a genius to figure out the REAL reason Chief of the Soviet General Staff (STAVKA) General A. I. Antonov demanded at the Yalta Conference between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin that Dresden be bombed. Roosevelt foolishly submitted and as a result, the author informs us: "During three days of bombing, according to U.S. Air Force historians, about 25,000 persons were killed and 35,000 were wounded. Reportedly one British writer has estimated that over 60,000 people were killed in Dresden. Since there were many uncounted refugees, displaced persons, prisoners of war and residents in Dresden, some observers have estimated that the real count of persons killed was higher, about 135,000. One study performed under contract for the U.S. Army in Europe (USAREUR) by two former German Generals, came up with the highest total estimate of about 250,000 casualties. After the bombing, with incendiary, high explosive, and some 8,000 pound "block-buster" bombs, it took eight days, we were later told, before the fires in the city burned themselves out."

Later in the book the author informs his reader that it was well known in Europe that Joseph Stalin was a ruthless mass murderer. He was even called "the devil incarnate" by his own people: "From 1917 until the death of Stalin over 20 million were sent to labor camps from which many never returned. From 1953 to 1987 about 15 million more people were sent to labor camps and many died." Some of the people who suffered the most at the hands of Soviet Communists were from the author's own native country, the now independent Lithuania. Shockingly, at the time of the Yalta conference I learned the Roosevelt administration contained many Communist sympathizers along with 320 Soviet agents whose plan it was to turn all refugees over to the Soviet Union. It saddens me, as an American to think, that Stalin played Roosevelt like a violion when Roosevelt agreed to the enslavement of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and all of Eastern Europe. Roosevelt carelessly threw these European countries away and in so doing, cost the lives of thousands. The author described in detail: "The worst days of ethnic cleansing and subjugation...were from 1944 to 1953 during which time about 100,000 Lithuanians died and 315,000 were deported to Siberian death camps out of a population of three million....about one-third of the Lithuanian population fled to the West, including most of the educated professionals, property owners, clergy and merchants."

Along with educating the public about the crimes of worldwide communism, the author writes about his own career as a Marine Corps officer during the Cold War, his experiences in Okinawa, Vietnam, the former Eastern Germany and Santo Domingo. He entered the military service in June 1957 and retired in 1985. I am so grateful to him for this wonderful book. I agree with his thesis that there SHOULD be trials held and punishsment rendered for the Communist War Criminals. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to happen as many Americans today STILL care as little about Eastern Europe today as they did at the time of Second World War. I am a little more satisfied today, however, that most Americans have at least HEARD of Lithuania, sometimes can even place it on a map! That was NOT my experience growing up in the 1960s in suburban Detroit. This is an EXCELLENT book. You should read it!


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