In a Time of Monsters PDF ¼ a Time of PDF/EPUB

In a Time of Monsters [EPUB] ✹ In a Time of Monsters By Emma Sky – Returning to the UK in September 2010 after serving in Ira as the political adviser to the top American general Emma Sky felt no sense of homecoming She soon found herself back in the Middle East trav Returning to the UK in Time of PDF ↠ September after serving in Ira as the political adviser to the top American general Emma Sky felt no sense of homecoming She soon found herself back in the Middle East traveling through In a PDF/EPUB or a region in revolt In a Time of Monsters bears witness to the demands of young people for dignity and justice during the Arab Spring; the inability of sclerotic regimes to reform; the descent of Syria into civil war; the a Time of PDF/EPUB Ä rise of the Islamic State; and the flight of refugees to Europe With deep empathy for its people and an extensive understanding of the Middle East Sky makes a complex region comprehensible A great storyteller and observational writer Sky also reveals the ties that bind the Middle East to the West and how blowback from the West's interventions in the region contributed to the British vote to leave the European Union and to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

10 thoughts on “In a Time of Monsters

  1. Radiantflux Radiantflux says:

    89th book for 2019If there is a narrative thread to this book it's probably Emma Sky's attempt to find meaning to the carry on effects of the Ira War eg the Arab Spring; European Migration Crisis; Brexit It's written as what can best be described as a series of holiday reports collected over a number of years from various Middle Eastern countries Sky is obviously well connected as she couch surfs at than one ambassador's residence eating and drinking lots with all the people she meets discussing local politics with senior military officials and diplomats and random locals she meets in cafes and taxis This would be good if she really drill down into the details and over some sort of overarching narrative to what she's experiencing but every chapter seems largely disconnected and the insights were too shallow to add much to my knowledge of Middle East politics I don't doubt the author knows the politics of the region well; it's just that she's largely defeated by the structure of the book she's chosen to write2 stars

  2. Laura Laura says:

    Book reviews on wwwsnazzybookscom I didn’t really know what to expect from this novel but having read an excerpt I found myself drawn to this interesting different person who was speaking of her return to the UK after spending a long time in the Middle East and it felt so refreshing I loved reading a book that describes landscapes and countries in the Middle East as places people might want to visit instead of just known as being places of religious political and military strife Being half Iranian though Iran certainly isn’t painted in a particularly positive light in this book I have visited Iran on various occasions and was always surprised at how differently it’s viewed by people who have never actually been there themselves compared to myself and my dad who grew up thereThe book is not really as I first thought a memoir including Emma’s time serving as ‘political adviser to the top American general’ but instead covers the time directly after this when she returns to England and feels a deep sense of loss and a lack of belonging She decides to return to the Middle East and travel through some truly fascinating countries to observe how changes in the Middle East in the 21st century have affected not just the politices of these nations but the people who live thereThe book isn’t as narrative based as I thought it would be Emma relays her travels in places such as Syria Saudi Arabia Ira Turkey and many countries which I found incredibly interesting and which really made me want to explore that area She gives some brief background to the history of these places but obviously can’t go into too much detail otherwise this book would just become a Middle Eastern history book So I think some prior background knowledge of this area of the world is probably best to enjoy In A Time of Monsters to its fullest – though readers without this would no doubt still find the descriptions of the people and way of life in these countries incredibly interesting It doesn’t have much of a story narrative instead focussing on where Emma went and who she spoke to at what time – which makes it fit so well into the genres of travel current affairsI’d recommend this to anyone looking for an interesting often matter of fact read about the Middle East its relationship to the West and Emma’s travels in these countries that boast so much rich historyMany thanks to Readers First for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review

  3. Antenna Antenna says:

    Encouraged to read this by Emma Sky’s sharp analysis in BBC radio interviews of the unintended conseuences of the Ira War I realised too late that to find out about her role as political advisor to the American commander General Ray Odierno in its aftermath enabling her to give damning evidence at the Chilcot Enuiry I should have started with her book “The Unravelling”“In a Time of Monsters” proves as is often the case with travel books to be very anecdotal and episodic often revealing some telling insights through a chance encounter but also frustrating even confusing at times in what it omits or glosses over The background history of the Shias versus Sunni is a little too fragmented while the explanation of the Caliphates from the death of Mohammed up to the recent attempts of Daesh to create a single Islamic state probably comes too late in the book some two thirds of the way through“Bored bitter and twisted” with an acute sense of anticlimax and loss of purpose after her return to London in 2010 perhaps even a little traumatised by her experience in Ira as she suggests most westerners are she resolves to make sense of events by visiting countries affected by the Arab Spring Egypt Tunisia Syria Ira Turkey Saudi Arabia Oman Kurdistan and so onMaking use of what seems like an inexhaustible network of obliging high level political contacts prepared to engage in boozy debates Emma Sky has no difficulty in striking up conversations with strangers prepared to chat at length Perhaps her childhood as the matron’s daughter at a boys’ boarding school gave her the confidence to act with such ease in “a man’s world” and also to embark on risky physically tough journeys solo or with a male guide for the reward of seeing beautiful remote areas like the mountains of Kyrgyzstan Skimming along the river on a jet ski white water rafting swimming into caves to scale waterfalls sometimes the socialising and exciting activities seem too much of a digression from the lives of ordinary ArabsIt is no surprise that Emma Sky criticises the US for allowing Daesh or ISIS to gain a foothold in Ira in the anger over government corruption and discrimination against Sunnis following the fall of Saddam Hussein She also condemns the failure to take early action against Assad in Syria to force him to negotiate It is perhaps of a surprise that she is so harsh on Obama described as “leading from behind” and being too passive However she does not really provide convincing evidence that continued use of direct force by the West would have yielded the desired results without unacceptable levels of bloodshed not to mention resentment over apparent attempts to dominate She is also very critical of Iran as a somewhat malign and destabilising force reaching tentacles even to the borders of Israel but was perhaps unable to make the visit to the country which would assist a clear and objective analysisThere is a logical progression in that being in date order the visits reflect the passage of events so that by 2014 Emma Sky is at the refugee camp of Zaatari close to the border in Jordan which has become the fourth largest city in the country owing to the flood of refugees from Syria By 2016 she is in Greece and Eastern Europe tracing the destabilising pressure of Arab refugees pushed out by the devastation in parts of the Middle East She even visits London to suggest perhaps too simplistically that the Brexit vote itself was largely the result of concerns over migration triggered partly by the instability of the Middle EastThe Epilogue finds her on the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain a time of acceptance of her past naïve over optimism but clinging to the belief that “this is not a time for cynicism or despair” in the hope that her students will manage to leave the world a better place than they found it

  4. Mya Mya says:

    interesting nuanced accessible I'm not well versed in Middle Eastern politics or history so I'm not sure how accurate it is but it felt genuine and well researched

  5. Laurie Laurie says:

    Really this is a 25 it's a good book don't get me wrong Sky delves into some deep issues and engages with some fascinating concepts and conflicts But it really is hamstrung by its halfway travelogue halfway journey of self discovery format It's an intensely personal journey for the author that we are part of but it's hard to fully appreciate it due to the format A brave attempt and some great pieces within it though

  6. Andrew Andrew says:

    Essential insight into the Middle EastEmma Sky writes in a fluid way linking her work and travels around the Middle East with the politics and wars in the region She also considers the knock on effects in Europe and the rest of the world Revealed to the reader is the human side of the Arabs Muslims and folk who populate this far away landscape coming across positively we see aspects of their daily lives and how they are connected to us We are also informed about the environmental social and humanity impacts of the conflicts and controlling powers within this diverse and rich region An engaging colourful and informative read There are many facets to this book we learn about the work that Emma did in the area which leads in to her travels meeting people after the Coalition forces have withdrawn Taking a trip to countries wrapped within the Arab Spring then the spectral rise of DaeshISIS from the ashes of defeated foes Emma then Follows the march of the refugees trying to escape their destruction by Assad and Daesh while Europe has a mixed reaction of providing some support as well as total ignorance to their plight as the over faced flimsy dinghies take their souls to the depths of the Mediterranean The Russian support of Assad prolonging the civil war in Syria their airstrikes against homes and hospitals then feeding the mass exodus to neighbouring countries and Europe The drive of the right wing in Europe massively inflating the fears of the Syrians moving to their countries and causing them harm rising and bringing about Britain’s Exit of the European Union The fracture of the European Union serving Russian ambitions to bring their nation back to the world stage retaking former Soviet territoryThis book really highlights how the conflicts in the Middle East impact the Europeans and do not occur in isolation As Europeans we are very similar to those in the Middle East and have a vested interest in peace and freedom for those who live there Despite some of the focus being on the negative sides this book holds onto hope rather than fear Emma has an authentic view as a European who has lived and travelled across the Middle East uniuely having worked with both UK and US forces as well as the local populace By the end of the book I have been brought closer to that far away place We have to brave enough to understand why there is suffering and oppression remembering that despite a different nationality these are still people who are not dissimilar to ourselves This book brings a message of hope but to bring about a better Europe the Middle East must find peace We have to consider the motivations of those who seek or wield political power and be cautious about how they want us to perceive others This book is an eye opener and everybody should read it

  7. Gail Owen Gail Owen says:

    On an Uzbekistan airways flight Emma Sky fears for her safety; fearing the end is nigh she laments that perhaps she hasn’t left enough indication of her time on earth I for one am glad she didn’t meet her maker on that plane as this book is a treasure of the highest order In a Time of Monsters is both a book about the joy and benefit of travel and an analysis of history and politics teaching the reader about the history of many middle eastern countries The sheer joy and complete bravery Emma Sky demonstrates introduces the reader to the very human side of the Middle East although she meets people with whom she can’t agree she meets people who are described and portrayed as thoroughly human At the GreekMacedonian border with the refugee crisis in full flow Emma meets Syrian men who invite her to have a cup of tea with them “even there in the cold unknown the Syrians tried to show me the hospitality of home” A vital book that everyone should read to improve our understanding of the current situation in the Middle East and to contemplate how we as individuals can create a welcoming peaceful world This is a book that encourages us all to see each other as fellow humans rather than different races religions and colours Emma has inspired the traveler in me to set off to beautiful Oman in the hope that on the journey I will find some of her bravery and understanding to venture deeper

  8. Noreen Noreen says:

    In a Time of Monsters is a fantastic book detailing the stories of Emma Sky a former advisor to an American General in Ira as she travels throughout the Middle East following the Arab Spring Sky does a fantastic job of describing each country's political situation going through important points in recent and sometimes distant history in order for the reader to understand the current situation As someone not overly familiar with the Middle East I found her style of relaying information to be concise and easy to digest and she never once strayed into overloading the reader with too much information While politics post war rebuilding simmering tensions and the rise of ISIS were prominent topics throughout the book this was juxtaposed with various travel stories Sky vividly describes journeying to see the pyramids in Sudan Palmyra in Syria and rafting in Irai Kurdistan Her descriptions of her time spent in Kyrgyzstan especially made me want to visit Not only is this a great book about Sky's travels and personal experiences in the Middle East it is further a testament to the compassion and kindness of the people there The hospitality she encountered throughout her travels is unparalleled Overall it is an informative and insightful book that makes me want to read of her work

  9. Kathleen Dussault Kathleen Dussault says:

    A thought provoking 'travelogue' and examination of international affairs surrounding the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring' The author Emma Sky poignantly talks about her friendships throughout the area made during her time as the most senior of civilian advisors to American Generals in Ira and Afghanistan It is believed that she contributed greatly to the 'nation building' priorities that turned the Ira conflict around during and after 'the surge' in 2007 and 2008 and she very sadly points to the reversals of that success in her previous book 'The Unraveling' by American total withdrawal from Ira which inevitably led to the rise of ISIS from 2012 to 2015This books makes you want to pack up kit bag and take off to the many places she visited in the Middle East and just talk to the people and other travelers to understand the lives they lead in very challenging circumstances You'll want to travel with her next time she packs up and forges out to understand the world we all live in Bravo

  10. Alwaysreading Alwaysreading says:

    This book was a wonderful insight into this awful situation and I found it very informative I had not expected for it to be so well detailed and in depth with regards to knowledge without appearing biased in anyway The writing was really good and everythingwas well explained without being too flowery In addition to this the topics discussed were well explained so rarely found myself googling certain topics All in all the book was very well written and I found it to be insightful into this issue Although this was only my second book regarding this topic I would really like to read non fiction books on this topic This was a very well written book and I would highly reccomend to anyone interested on learning

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