Herein you will find a few but a growing number of book reviews of works by leading and pioneering scholars in the social sciences and humanities that are pushing intellectual and knowledge frontiers.

Further, as readers will quickly realize, these scholars deal with a wide variety of subjects and diverse issues in far-flung regions of the world which is a wealth of knowledge that has enriched, informed and influenced my own research interests and broad thematic approach to matters African.

“German” Roots of a Culturally Homogeneous Polish Nation-state:


T.D. Curp, A Clean Sweep? The Politics of Ethnic Cleansing in Western Poland, 1945-1960 (New York: University of Rochester Press, 2006).

The moment Germans are defeated, a ruthless , mass terror must be organized. The imported Germans must be expelled…by the same methods by which they settled here –by force and ruthless extermination. …The factual conditions which the Germans have succeeded in creating, and which they will undoubtedly amplify in the near future, can be destroyed only by means of a ruthless mass terror …. Polish citizens of German descent betrayed Poland in a body. That is why whatever future of Poland ... Read more...

Hush –We Drank From the Same Poisonous Vial:


A Book Review: S. Drakulic, They Would Never Hurt a Fly (New York: Penguin Group, 2004)

…It is essential that we understand that it is we, ordinary people and not some madmen, who made it possible. We were the ones who one day stopped greeting our neighbors of a different nationality, an act that the next day made possible the opening of concentration camps. We did it to one another.
–Slavenka Drakulic in They Would Never Hurt a Fly, 194


I was thirty-one years old and a little naive. The Rotary World Peace Fellow’s Class of June/September 2008, which I was part ... Read more...

People Power –Seeds of ’89 “Anticommunist” Revolution:


Padraic Kenney, Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989 (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2002)

“A single spark can cause a prairie fire.”

-Mao Zedong, 1930 (On the potential of a Chinese peasant revolution)

The remarkable Independent Peace Association (NMS) August 21st demonstration, which marked the beginning of the Czech revolution was of “‘extraordinary significance’ …. As ‘spontaneous forces rose up without any fixed framework.’ Most surprising of all was the demonstrator’s age. … They ‘had felt those deficiencies [of freedom and of living standards] ... Read more...

The Fateful Hungarian ’56 Revolution


Charles Gati’s masterful Failed Illusions (2006) is perhaps one of the most authoritative analyses distinguished by  its “sober-minded realism” of what really happened –in what started as within-system reforms but radicalized into fully-fledged anti-communist counterrevolution- and what ought to have happened to avoid the subsequent tragic bloodshed and its fateful end as a historic ash heap of failed illusions –those of the young would-be révolutionnaires in the “streets” of Budapest; those of their right-wing Radio Free Europe instigators; those of the White House and American politics  of misplaced hopes that verged on hypocrisy; those of Moscow’s competing interests and designs on power as well as the ... Read more...

Unlikely Frontline City, Impossible Choices:


Ungváry, The Siege of Budapest: 100 days in World War II (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2002).

The front has arrived. They are installing machine guns on both balconies of the upper floor. In my room they wanted to set up an automatic cannon…. They were carrying firewood from the garden to build barricades in the windows. They are also putting furniture into the windows. Germans …inform me …that they will shoot me if I don’t go back to the cellar, ... Read more...