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    Mats Svensson is a photographer who took 60,000 photos in the occupied Palestinian territories over several years and winnowed them down to the 92 perceptive, nuanced, and ultimately heart-rending images in this volume.

    Svensson’s photos are accompanied by pithy and surprising commentary from a wide variety of Palestinian and Israeli figures as well as international voices from Barack Obama and George W Bush to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

    Svensson documents Palestinian street scenes, conveying the mannerisms and customs of daily life, as did the humanist photographer Cartier Bresson. Svensson does not display the blood and gore of conflict, yet he shows its precursors and its aftermath in photos that, taken together, are as charged as the war photos of Robert Capa and David Douglas Duncan.

    Svensson shows us occupation, expropriation, arrest, and immense concrete barriers encroaching on daily life and asks us to come to our own conclusions. Americans will recognize this use of photos and words in the long tradition of politically committed photojournalists such as Walker Evans and James Agee who depicted the “dispossessed of the earth” in the American south at the depths of the Depression in their classic, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

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    Twenty-five paintings by Helen Zughaib accompanied by text based on favorite stories told by her father about life in Syria and Lebanon in the 1930s and during World War II.
     
    Helen's father was born in the Old Quarter of Damascus during Ottoman times, when Le Grande Syrie included the lands that are now demarked  as Syria and Lebanon. His father and mother, first cousins in an arranged marriage, were from the villages of Zahle and Durer Shweir in the Lebanese mountains.

    "Let me tell you a story," Helen's father used to say. What followed were absorbing tales of her father's childhood in Damascus, village life in Lebanon in the late 1930s, amusing relatives, happenings the traditions of in their local Greek Orthodox Church, and major events in her father's young life that lead him to emigrate to the United States in 1946.

    Helen Zughaib is an award-winning artist who has developed a distinctive technique working in gouache and ink. She was born in Beirut and, educated in the Middle East, Paris, and the US. She is currently based in Washington.

    Zughaib uses folkloric elements and a wide variety of other visual references to express the life and outlook of her family, the village community of her father's young adult life, and her position as an international woman with special insight and empathy for the Middle East and its people.

    Critics note the parallels between Zughaib's work as an artist with Arab roots to the art of contemporary "Native, Latin, and African American communities." (Maymanah Farhat)
     
    For More:
    Cultural Understanding in the Art of Helen Zughaib (by Maymanah Farhat) 
    www.onefineart.com/articles/helen-zughaib

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    Refugees from the Middle East and Asia who have fled famine and violence and resettled in the US too often are isolated, disconnected, living in despair. Will their lives disintegrate?

    Enter a group of ordinary Americans who recognized the need, created a solution, got results—and found their own lives uplifted in the process.

    Author Patricia Martin Holt reports on Peace of Thread, a non-profit founded by Denise Smith, who lived near Atlanta and had previously learned Arabic during six years of mission work in Lebanon. Smith befriended refugee women and built on the fabric skills that many women brought with them.

    Now the women are creating handbags and accessories and selling them on ESTY and in several specialty shops. They have new confidence, feel more at home, and are finding purpose in their lives.

    Patricia Martin Holt demonstrates that good-hearted people can overcome the national climate of fear and bigotry toward refugees. It turns out that we can work for world peace simply by lending a hand to those in need—in the same cities, counties, and neighborhoods where we live.

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  • [publication date: May 2020]

    Sidney Reilly was the most audacious, courageous, and successful spy in history. He was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his heroism as a British Secret Service agent.

    Reilly’s top secret Admiralty Intelligence file formed the basis for Ian Fleming’s novels about the character who has become the world’s most famous fictional secret agent, James Bond 007.

    "Dancing with Death is timely reading, especially now when the world balance is at risk and forces of discontent are rising from every quarter." 
           —Arianna Dagnino, author of The Afrikaner

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    [Available in fall of 2020]

    40-somethings filmmaker David Lang and cabaret singer Holly Markham seem to have finally reached the end of their turbulent relationship and are about to part ways forever when Holly discovers that she's pregnant.  She's pretty sure that David is not great daddy material, but she may never have another chance to be a mom.  And David?  He's distracted by the otherworldly being he thinks he sees on their bed.

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    [Available in fall of 2020]

    The guns in Aleppo have fallen silent. At some point, the war of bombs and bullets and the interior war of one ideology against another will come to an end and Syrians of all stripes will look to their common heritage to rebuild their society.

    Aleppo may be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Its ancient Citadel, covered market, and Umayyad mosque are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

    In this "children's book for adults," a long time resident of Aleppo takes a tour of the old quarter and provides historical sketches and photos for those who value what was lost and are eager to see the treasures of Aleppo rebuilt and a vigorous civil society restored.

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    In the wake of the 9-11 attacks in 2001, Linda Sartor was dismayed to see her country responding primarily with military action and coercive diplomacy. Rather than isolating and defeating the perpetrators, Linda saw US action punishing the innocents in foreign lands, lending credibility to Al Qaeda's depiction of the US as an imperial state and an enemy of Islam, making enemies, and undercutting decades of effort to win the hearts and minds of people around the world.

    Linda resolved to do more than complain. For the next decade she engaged in self-styled citizen diplomacy, traveling to six war-torn countries to see for herself, and to do what she could to assist locals in their efforts to attain peace and justice.

    Linda traveled to Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, and Bahrain. She traveled with several different Peace and Justice organizations. And part of her story is the work of Americans and internationals to highlight injustice and to make some noise about the need for peace.

    Linda Sartor takes us behind the headlines, and she also isolates the idealism of activists from the US and other countries. She hopes that her stories will inspire readers to confront fear, to follow their hearts, and to place a bet that individual protest will, ultimately, undermine and reform the harsh imperial and economic systems that are too often accepted as a baseline "reality" when the nations of the world exercise power.

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    In The Other Side of the Wall the author recounts his experiences in Palestine as a member of a prominent organization of peace activists called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). This controversial group, which works on the front lines of the conflict in both the West Bank and Gaza, has been accused of supporting Palestinian terrorism, but it has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The author witnesses the brutality of the Occupation and the countless forms of humiliations the Palestinians face on a daily basis, such as violence meted out by both soldiers and settlers, long waits at checkpoints, home demolitions, travel restrictions, unfair economic practices, arbitrary detention and arrest, and long prison sentences.

    “Richard Hardigan … has written a measured, you-are-here account, a vivid journal that takes us past slogans and ideologies.” – Philip Weiss, editor of Mondoweiss

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    Looking Both Ways is a collection of interlinked essays that explores family, language, politics, identity, and culture, often with a touch of humor.  These essays move across time and space, beginning in Egypt and crossing the ocean to follow the author’s travels and the challenges of adapting to American culture and creating a family in her new world. 

    The collection is divided into four sections.  “Making Home,” centers on the notion of home, beginning in Egypt in the 1960s and moving toward the U.S.  “In Transit,” examines the connection between place and identity.  “With Caution,” engages with the idea of danger, highlighting issues related to being Arab in America.  “Time Difference,” begins with the 2011 Egyptian Uprising and delves into the blurring of cultural experience between Egypt and the U.S.  

    From recounting her attempt to retrieve a stolen nativity camel to relaying her sense of cultural indignation when her husband tells her to follow a recipe, these essays use humor to dive deeper into the experience of what it means to live as an Egyptian in the United States.  Other essays confront more difficult topics, such as being called “Osama Bin Laden” by some young boys the day after Bin Laden was killed or experiencing the 2011 Egyptian revolution while living in America.  

    Together, these essays create the impression of a memoir as they weave together to reflect the larger narrative of immigration.  This book explores culture, identity, and displacement, offering a unique vision into the Arab American immigrant experience. 

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    Inside Syria - A Physician’s Memoir is a street level view of Syria from 1965 that is far more nuanced than most reports in the US media. Tarif Bakdash, MD, was born and raised in Syria. He went to school with Bashar al-Assad, worked with Bashar’s wife Asma, butted heads with Ba’ath Party bureaucrats, lost friends to anti-Islamic purges.

    Tarif Bakdash shows us history from the inside­—in the life of a child, a student—a young man struggling to create a life for himself. And then he shows it to us again, in the eyes of a middle-aged MD who, after many years in the US, returns to the city of his birth as an impatient American intent on reforming the Syrian system from within.

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    The modern Middle East often seems like a web of problems none of which has proven more intractable over the last half century than the Israeli-Arab conflict. One of the core issues is the Israeli claim to ownership of modern-day real estate based on ancient stories that have been enshrined in scripture, promoted by politicians, and buttressed by Hollywood.

    In Biblical Time Out of Mind, two revisionist thinkers expose what they argue are the tenuous underpinnings of these claims. Was the Exodus of scripture actually a Hebrew exodus? Was the Moses depicted by Charlton Heston actually a Hebrew leader? Or were they echoes of a much earlier exodus of Hyksos, the invasive people to first conquer and reign over Egyptians?

    The authors argue that neither Moses nor the Hebrews were in Egypt until around 1000 BCE--500 years after the earlier Exodus is known to have taken place. They go on to sift through research of an Hyksos evacuation of Egypt led by an Eastern leader who is far different than the Moses with whom we are familiar.

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    The American government wants to establish a stripped-down diplomatic post in the Equateur, the remotest part of the strife-torn Congo. No diplomatic protections. Not even diplomatic communication links. Officers assigned to staff it refuse to go. They won't serve in that "hellhole."

    Enter Fred Hunter, a young US Information Service officer just arrived from training in Belgium. Why not send him? Sink or swim. Let's see if he'll survive.

    So Fred goes alone into the Equateur, a typewriter his only friend. Quoting liberally from letters written on that typewriter, this memoir recounts the adventures of Fred's year at the edge of the jungle.

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    The Stage Warriors are women from around the world who use theater to talk about war, politics, crime, abuse, and violence in nations where these subjects are taboo. The interviews in this book explain why these women launch drama onto troubled waters, who they help, and the importance of their work.

    Beyond the boundaries of poverty, religion, and intolerance these women use theater to broaden citizen participation, bring focus and energy, and reshape national identity. Through the shows and workshops they create, the Warriors are finding ways to help the disenfranchised exert power in education, politics, the economy, and the home.

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    Elizabeth Jenkins, 17, raised on a Congo mission station, is under intense pressure to marry the station doctor, twenty years her senior. Hours before the wedding, Elizabeth flees. She runs toward the wider world beyond the station. She reaches Nairobi, a place of danger for a single woman without a protecting clan. Can she survive?

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    Syria’s President Bashar al-Asad was an outspoken opponent of the US and Israel. In March 2001 when Arab Spring came to Syria, Bashar reasoned that his support among Syrians was deep and wide because, as he told the Wall Street Journal a few weeks earlier, he was "closely linked to the beliefs of the people." He was dead wrong.

    In Syria - A Decade of Lost Chances, author Carsten Wieland lays bare the web of influence, alliance, power, and ethnic presence that the new president promised to turn into a functioning democracy. He failed, clearly. And now the question is asked, Was he sincere in the first instance? Or, was he - from the beginning - a happy face for a regime that never had any intention of conceding power?

     

    "'Syria: A Decade of Lost Chances' is essential for lay readers as well as scholars who seek to connect the dots of news reports, blog entries and Youtube videos."

    - The Huffington Post

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    From MAKING SCHOOLS SAFE, an independent report on the Horace Mann Sex Scandal and on Sex Abuse in Private Schools in general:

    "One headmaster [at Horace Mann High School] said there were no records of known reports [of teachers molesting students], not seeming to grasp that the lack of written reports is itself an indictment, since we know that students complained to school authorities. In other words, the administrators who should have recorded all complaints instead dismissed them. 'There are no documents that an investigation would turn up,' [we were told]. Knowledge and awareness, however, are not so easily lost, along with the obligation to act and speak out."

    Now that the scope of abuse has been revealed to include 62 victims of 22 abusers over decades, it’s beyond incredible that Horace Mann would have no record of the largest concentration of child sexual abuse ever in one school -- particularly one of the most prestigious private prep schools in America. Concerned alumni who gathered to understand what happened have learned as well of more than 25 reports of abuse the school received and buried over thirty years.

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    Three years of war. One hundred-fifty thousand dead. One million refugees. No end in sight. This is the grim reality of the conflict in Syria, one of the great tragedies of the modern era. Yet many people remain confused as to what the fighting is all about.

    The Plain Of Dead Cities makes sense of this complex scenario, by delving deep into the wells of Syrian history and examining the vital role that Syria has played in human development over the past 5000 years. Using a unique approach The Plain Of Dead Cities takes the reader of a virtual tour of Syria. The narrator carries you across the country, through the history books and archaeological sites, revealing the political, religious, social, geographical and historical complexities that have led to the current military conflagration.

    The Plain Of Dead Cities is as unconventional as the land it describes, part non-fictional memoir and part fiction. The Plain Of Dead Cities is an adventure and a tale, but above all is a tribute to Syria, that most mystical of lands.

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    An American traveling alone meets smugglers, mystics, revolutionaries, Bedouins, wise men, secret police - and other ordinary Syrians.

    "These are terrible times. Politicians posture for the public, while armies lacerate silent victims - those speechless men and women whom Franz Fanon called the 'damned of the earth.'

    With great humility the author of The Road from Damascus restores the voices of these forgotten sufferers. He does so simply because their voices speak the truth. The truth can also be found in the words of Scott C. Davis."
                     - Le Renouveau, Tunis

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    [Currently available in a paperback "layflat" and also in hardback bindings.]

    As a homeschooling parent, a public school teacher of reading, and a private reading tutor, Karen Louise Davidson tested the most popular methods of teaching reading. They all worked, but none of them worked well enough. Now, Karen reveals the most effective phonics method of all. Number Phonics uses numbers to identify the distinct sounds generated by different letters.

    Karen found that children were quick to grasp the logic that a single letter could represent multiple sounds. Once the logic was made clear to them, children could memorize the sounds and could easily pronounce words with number clues below the letters.

    She also found that students who had practiced using number clues were able to transition to reading normal text, without the number clues. 

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    Abu al-Abbas was one of Yasser Arafat’s top generals. His name is forever linked to an operation in 1985 that sparked an international crisis: the hijacking of an Italian cruise liner named the Achille Lauro and the death of Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly American tourist. This memoir by the wife of Abu al-Abbas recalls an era of Palestinian resistance, the hard realities of a cause that faced impossible odds, and the irony that the death of a single man should outweigh all arguments of right and wrong.

    "Abu al-Abbas told his wife . . . that his intention was “to carry out an honorable operation against the Israeli Army . . . . I wanted them to reach Ashdod: not to fight the passengers on board [the Achille Lauro].”

    [Abu al-Abbas] was to be haunted by the crime for the rest of his life. And when he died mysteriously in US custody in a Baghdad prison camp after America’s 2003 invasion, all the world remembered of Al-Abbas was a crippled man called Leon Klinghoffer. No-one cared how an apparently healthy man would die in American hands."
    —Robert Fisk, The Independent

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    The book consists of rapier-like literary thrusts into the lives of General George Armstrong Custer, Thomas Andrews (the builder of the Titanic), and Edward Grey (British Foreign Secretary before World War I). However spectacular their failures, it's generally agreed that these men (or, in the case of Edward Grey, the men around them) could have avoided disaster except for arrogance - a flaw that has long characterized the imperial ambition of leaders from both countries.

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    This work of narrative nonfiction traces Patience Gromes, an African-American woman whose grandfather escaped from slavery, and others of her generation in the century from the Civil War to the War on Poverty.

    After the Civil War, Patience Gromes and other striving African-Americans of her generation left the country and came to the city. They married, took jobs, purchased houses, raised families. They pursued the program of hard work and thrift that their parents and grandparents had perfected in the country after the Civil War. Patience Gromes and her peers brought the project that three generations of African-Americans had been pursuing to a triumphant conclusion in the Civil Rights Movement.

     

    Then came a complex new world that rewarded a person's ability to wheel and deal in the city world, a world that rewarded bootleggers and gamblers and those who knew how to maneuver in a realm dominated by whites. Those who merely knew how to work, save, rear their children, build churches, schools, social clubs - those who merely knew how to lead good lives found themselves cut adrift. In this new modern world, Patience Gromes could scarcely survive.

    "Without seeming to try, The World of Patience Gromes contributes as much to our understanding of the modern black inner-city a any book written in this decade."
                - The Wall Street Journal

    "Scott C. Davis is a gifted writer."
                - Horton Foote

    *** Winner of the Washington State Governor's Award.

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    East of the Grand Ummayad reveals that for a century a pivotal Middle Eastern country was ruled by men with a secret allegiance—to the Fraternity of Freemasons.

    East of the Grand Umayyad is the story of Damascus Freemasonry from 1868 until 1965. It shows how the crème-de-la-crème of Syrian society were Freemasons, men such as Fares al-Khoury and Abdul Rahman Shahbandar (leaders of the anti-colonial movement). This book shows how they contributed to the building of their societies through scholarly work in an academic setting, politics, industry, and philanthropy.

    The coups of the Independence period come alive when viewed through the lens of Freemasonry, when the power politics that followed the French withdrawal from Syria and Lebanon set Masonic brothers against one another.

    Ultimately, the proud accomplishments of Damascus Freemasons are besmirched by unfounded Zionist ties and the brotherhood is overtaken by a younger and more powerful secret societyThe Rotary Club.

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    Stephen Fife’s powerful lens pinpoints daily drama and delusion in our Twenty-first Century mysterium. 
                —Jean-Claude van Itallie, author of America Hurrah and The Serpent 

    Stephen Fife’s poems crystallize those moments when one is walking through a great city—almost always New York—taking in faces, storefronts, the great bridges and skyscrapers, and the most minute details of everyday life. There are portraits and still-lifes, glancing observations and extended meditations—a vast web of human interactions that enable us to enter this world, with pathos and understanding, as both participants and observers. 
                —Nicholas Christopher

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    This book bleeds the passions of youth, racked with doubt amid blazing aspirations, words thrown to the wind, women in water, grabbing him by the roots of poetry... This is an offering, a sign, brilliantly naïve yet profound.
    — Billy Hayes
    Author of Midnight Express and The Midnight Express Letters from a Turkish Prison
    A testimony to the vitality of the poetic spirit for poets of any age or Age, and a tribute to this particular poet’s intense energy and vision . . .
    — Lee Slonimsky
    Author of Wandering Electron

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    A friendly, helpful, and sometimes humorous conversation that demystifies Arab, Arab-American, and Muslim cultures.

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    Ali Ferzat is the dean of Arab political cartoonists. His caricatures do not spare wealth, influence, or power. They give hope to the disenfranchised, the poor, and the hungry. Ferzat is an authentic Arab voice who nevertheless does not hesitate to buck the tide of majority oopinion. Ferzat's work is a ringing cry for justice that cuts across all cultures.
    Ferzat is head of the Arab Cartoonists' Union and has received the distinguished Prince Claus award (Holland).

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    Professor Tom Gage portrays eight modern educators and links their ideas to those of Fethullah Gülen, a highly influential educator who draws on Islamic traditions.

    — Muhammed Cetin, PhD

    This sweeping work reminds us of the achievements of the West’s great educational thinkers and connects them to Gülen’s ideas and accomplishments that have arisen in the east and have spread throughout the world.

    — Dr Paul M. Rogers

    George Mason University

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    Kisses From A Distance begins in 1895 at a Lebanese mountain convent where a young girl was abducted and given into a marriage that she neither anticipated nor desired. The story exquisitely details the resulting consequences of this event.

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    Forty-two testimonies of Palestinians from the Jenin refugee camp who survived the Israeli army invasion in April 2002.

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    Syria is a pivotal Middle Eastern country that is largely unknown and misunderstood in the West. This book provides insight and understanding through the lives of leading Syrians over the last century.

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    Tossing Around Ideas develops a creative process based on The Design Code Process ®, an idea-generating system developed by Northwest artist and educator, Fred Griffin. Griffin's approach makes it possible for professional graphic designers and illustrators - as well as students and lay artists - to turn out fresh ideas and great designs on deadline.

    The first book in the series (Learning First in Black & White) introduces The Design Code and the last book in the series (Putting It All Together) provides a review plus exercises, tips, and techniques that make it possible to consistently produce excellent graphic designs.

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    Putting It All Together reviews The Design Code Process ®, an idea-generating system developed by northwest artist and educator, Fred Griffin. Griffin's approach makes it possible for professional graphic designers and illustrators - as well as students and lay artists - to turn out fresh ideas and great designs on deadline.

    This book is for two types of readers: those with an understanding of design and experience in the field—and those with interest and entry level skills who have never studied design. For experienced artists and designers, this book is a tool to lift oneself out of a creative dry spell. For those who are new to thinking to design, it also serves as a primer in the basics of composition. For either type of reader, these are books that you can return to again and again for inspiration and practical guidance.

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    Learning First in Black and White introduces The Design Code Process ®, an idea-generating system developed by Northwest artist and educator, Fred Griffin. Griffin's approach makes it possible for professional graphic designers and illustrators - as well as students and lay artists - to turn out fresh ideas and great designs on deadline.

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    (Volume I)
    Use Greek and Latin root words to quickly build vocabulary and to unlock the secret structure of English. Widely used for homeschooling, SAT prep, and as a language tuneup for writers and people in business.

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    (Volumne II)
    Use Greek and Latin root words to quickly build vocabulary and to unlock the secret structure of English. Widely used for homeschooling, SAT prep, and as a language tuneup for writers and people in business.

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    From Anne Hutchinson to Marcel Proust, from Franz Kafka to Camille Claudel, Beth Bentley's poems range the geographies of our culture.

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    Grace & Desolation channels the rebellion of Bentley's rock 'n roll inside the teenager's carefully honed craft. These poems were written from what was then the safe vantage point of the US as we, as a nation, slumbered in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the First Gulf War that followed in 1991. Most of Bentley's poems are about the quiet personal dramas of ordinary life, local visits to overgrown bunkers from WWII, traveling in Italy, remembering the holocaust. A single poem recalls the Gulf War, just a few lines. Yet they have colored my memory of Bentley's book and made me think of the way that far removed foreign events are not really foreign, and not far removed.

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  • [Work in progress. Publication date not yet set.]
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    [Work in Progress. Publication date not yet set]

    Cradle of Intrigue uses postwar Syria as a focal point to tell the story of how Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and Jordan made Syria their target of conspiratorial plots as they sought to gain influence over Damascus. The book’s narrative challenges the notion of an omnipresent CIA and MI6, giving agency to local actors’ decisions to unseat governments and guide their own foreign policies. The Mosul Revolt, the 1957 October Crisis, and many more subversive schemes originated in Cairo, Baghdad, Ankara, and Amman. Sometimes these plots had American and British assistance or merely their consent, while at other times they plotted these conspiracies despite Washington and London’s fury. In short, not only the US and Great Britain used the coup d’état as a foreign policy tool. Syria, from its birth, became a haven for foreign conspiracy as its regional rivals sought to win influence in the coveted Arab capital of Damascus..

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    [Work in progress. Publication date not yet set.]

    This book is about imagination and creativity.  It has four sections:  Doodles, Sketchbooks, Creative Tips, and a Gallery of the author’s paintings and illustrations--with the story behind each piece.  And an illustrated 90-day sketchbook journey.

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Cune Press was founded in 1994 to publish thoughtful writing of public importance. Our name is derived from “cuneiform.” (In Latin cuni means “wedge.”)
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