Biography Political Books

Constance Street: Part 1 of 3: The true story of one family and one street in London’s East End

Constance Street can either be read as a full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.

This is PART 1 of 3.

You can read Part 1 two weeks ahead of release of the full-length eBook and paperback.

One forgotten street, 12 unforgettable women.

Through the story of one street - Constance Street - we hear the true life tales of a tight-knit group of working class women in the East End of London set against a backdrop of war, hardship and struggle.

It's a story of matriarchy and deep family ties, of a generation that was scattered away from the street during the blitz bombings, but which maintained the ties of that street for decades afterwards.

Set in an area of East London called Silvertown, a once thriving docking community that at the turn of the 20th century was the industrial heartland of the south of England; the story focuses on the lives of 12 incredible women and their struggle to survive amidst the chaos of the war years.

We have Nellie Greenwood, the author's great grandmother who runs a laundry in Silvertown which becomes the focal point of the community. In 1917 a munitions factory in Silvertown explodes flattening much of the surrounding area and causing extensive damage to Constance Street - Nellie's daughter is blown from her crib but miraculously survives.

Deciding to open the laundry as a field hospital for the injured, Nellie and the women on the street come together to tend the wounded, the sick and the emotionally shattered as they cope with the aftermath of not just one but two world wars.

Through the Great War, the roaring Twenties, the Depression and then the unimaginable - the outbreak of a second world war - Nellie and the street survive with love, laughter and friendships that bind the community together. But just as this incredible group of women live through the worst, the unthinkable happens. On 7 September 1940, Constance Street is no more.

Following in the footsteps of Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth and The Sugar Girls, Constance Street is a life-affirming, heart-warming read that reminds us of a time when people pulled together.

In the Skin of a Jihadist: Free Sampler: Inside Islamic State’s Recruitment Networks

FREE SAMPLER FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

When Anna Erelle, a young journalist, goes undercover online to discover how today's most ruthless terrorists use social media to recruit disaffected young women like the girls from Bethnal Green, her investigation spins into a harrowing nightmare.

In this extract, Erelle creates 'Melodie' - a twenty-year-old convert to Islam on Facebook - who is immediately Skyped by a man named Bilel, in Syria. Bilel is the French right-hand man of the most dangerous militant in the world, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Caliph of Islamic State. He offers Melodie a way to fill the boredom in her young life: he cares about her, offers beautiful things, spiritual purpose and, in less an idyllic life. Bilel's seduction is honey-tongued and forceful - and all Melodie must do is join him and ISIS in their Syrian jihad. Every day he gives more detail, telling her how he drives a jeep filled with guns and bottles of the chocolate milk he loves for hundreds of miles on murderous missions of execution. Every night he lures, seduces and manipulates this vulnerable young woman.

A riveting page-turner In the Skin of a Jihadist is a shocking inquiry into how technology is spreading radicalism, the lure of ISIS propaganda, and the factors that motivate young people - including many British teenagers - to join extremist wars in Syria and elsewhere.

Atiku - The Story Of Atiku Abubakar

As Vice President Atiku Abubakar's media adviser from June 2003 to April 2005, I had the tedious task of going through a steady flow of unsolicited proposals for a biography on him.

Some of these proposals, mostly from people who hardly knew him, were written by adoring fans or worshipful political supporters who genuinely wanted to market his inspiring life story and leadership qualities to the literate public. Others were motivated chiefly, I suspect, by pecuniary gains or the quest for momentary literary fame. The proposals also differed in terms of approach and the medium the would-be authors hoped to use to realize their objectives.Afilm maker in Northern Nigeria wanted to put Atiku's life on video.ASouthwestern author of a proposal wanted to do a television documentary on the Atiku story. A South- South author who had written on many public office holders in Nigeria, wanted to be commissioned to write "the definitive Atiku biography". Someone wrote from Abuja for permission to do a pictorial biography of the Vice President.

I read through these proposals and recommended them, in typical Nigerian bureaucratese, for "Mr. Vice President's kind consideration and further directive". I was directed to politely decline some requests and to open discussion with the authors of other proposals that we considered serious and promising. I did discuss with a few of the authors and reported back. The Vice President was often turned off by the unreasonably huge budget for executing the projects which was expected to be borne entirely by him. One day, he sent a proposal back to me with a note.

"Why don't you do an in-house work?" he scribbled at the bottom of my covering memorandum.

He advised me to liaise with my colleague, Umar Ardo, whose father had adopted him as a son in Kojoli, Adamawa State, to work jointly on his biography. Ardo, a bright historian who had temporarily left a teaching job at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna to serve as a vice presidential aide on political strategy, had been working independently on the Atiku story but had lost interest and gone into other pursuits. For now he was not interested in dusting up the project, he told me matter-of-factly. It was now my cup of tea - so to speak.

What you are about to read is not a hagiography. I have tried to give a balance and fair portrait of a remarkable life. Although the story of an only child who grew up without a father, learned to take care of himself and to fight his own battles from an early age are not uncommon in Nigeria, many people are likely to be inspired by the subject's rugged determination to overcome the difficulties of being born poor and lonely as well as by his perseverance and humane disposition. It is the tale of a man who has no brother or sister. It is the tale of a humble village boy who, with a combination of handwork and incredible luck, made good both in business and politics.

I have tried as much as possible to track the major events in his life and to retell them in the context of Nigerian and global history. After all, the history of a nation is the sum total of the lives of its notable men and women and the events which shape our world and impinge on our little corners of it are triggered off by the actions of individuals and groups. Lastly, I would like to say that I have tried in this book to simply tell a story without embellishment or over-dramatization. I believe the facts should speak for themselves.

Beyond the Clouds: Why I Became a Military Writer

Mark Berent is a well-known author of many Vietnam airwar books and articles. In this article he recounts the people and events that motivated him to write. As he says:

"They're out there now, somewhere beyond our eyes, beyond the clouds, rolling and soaring in towering cathedrals flying beautiful airplanes that need only the fuel of their love. These are the men I honor...

My Life

The story of MY LIFE is told in greater detail in the biography titled Atiku: The Story of Atiku Abubakar by Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba (Africana Legacy Press, Abuja, 2006). MY LIFE is based largely on a series of interviews I granted the biographer.

The interviews covered the major events and milestones in my life and they have been distilled here and woven into a personal narrative of struggles and triumph with a hint about the vast unconquered territory that still lies ahead.

I want readers to take note of two points. One, my modest achievements in life have not come to me on a platter of gold. I have had to struggle against uncommon odds to get to where I am today. Success in life requires hard work and sacrifice. Two, personal achievements in life are meaningless in a country where the vast majority of our people still struggle daily to meet their basic needs.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to create a Nigeria of shared exertion and prosperity, a Nigeria where the majority of our people are fulfilled, happy and hopeful about the future.

I hope our young people will find the story of My Life inspiring. It is not the circumstances of our birth that truly count, it is what we make of life itself.

As for me, I will continue to devote the rest of my life to making Nigeria a strong, united, democratic and prosperous country.

Song To Kill A Giant (Latvian contemporary)

25 years ago, the people of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania united under broad democratic movements to demand from the Soviet Union the freedom which was taken from them in 1940. One can only admire the courage of these people who, armed only with songs and an urge for justice, challenged the Soviet giant. The world was shaken by this peaceful singing revolution, because it threatened the finely-adjusted bipolar balance of world order. Back then, hardly anyone believed that the Baltic States would even have a chance for greater autonomy in the Soviet Union, let alone their regaining independence.

The success of the Baltic nation's independence movements shook the Soviet Union at its foundation, and in 1991 lead to its collapse. The world as we had known it since the end of the Second World War had irreversibly changed forever. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, for those nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltics, who had been held captive behind the Iron Curtain, World War Two had finally come to an end.

To understand why, it is important to read Sandra Kalniete's book; it tells the story of strategy and tactics, of the difficult choices and compromises which at every step of the way can threatened the ultimate goal in such mass movements. The success story of the people's movements of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia can be used as an example for the many millions of people around the world who still yearn for freedom.

Since writing the book in 2000, Kalniete has gone on to become Latvia's ambassador to the United Nations, France and UNESCO, her country's foreign minister, Latvia's first representative to the European Commission, and, in 2009, a member of the European Parliament. She is the author of several other books.

About this edition:

First digital Edition, 2013

Format: EPUB

Size: 2.55 MB

My name is Bino Byansi Byakuleka: Double essay

,,We must learn to see the stereotypes behind the term asylum seekers. The book is a good start for that." (Susanne Memarnia, taz)

Could you imagine to be a refugee and be treated like a criminal? Not like a human being? How would you like to be welcomed? With Patras Bwansi you can relive this experience. He describes growing up in Uganda with school beatings, tells us about the constant bureaucratic supervision in the German "initial reception facilities", colloquial also called "Lager", as well as his personal outbreak into the protest, calling for humanitarian rights. That this will come only with a political and social rethinking, Lydia Ziemke shows in her text, which is inspired by her artistic work with refugees. This double essay will completely change our thinking about immigrants.

Bino Byansi Byakuleka, formerly known as Patras Bwansi, born in 1979 in Kabale, Uganda is a Textile Artist who currently lives in Berlin. In August 2012 he started a protest tent in Passau Klostergarten and in October he joined the refugee protest camp in Berlin-Kreuzberg at Oranienplatz. Since then he is a full time political activist to change the asylum system in Germany and for LGBTIQ rights.

Lydia Ziemke, born 1978 in Potsdam, lives in Berlin. She studied Classics at the University of Edinburgh and was running the Gilded Balloon Studio Ensemble there for three years. Since 2006, after completing LAMDA's one-year directing Pro-gramme, she divided her time between London and Berlin as a freelance director and dramaturg.

The O'Dell File

The general public has never heard of Jack O'Dell. But many of those who worked with him in the '50s and '60s consider him the unsung hero of the Black Freedom Movement. Victor Navasky, the longtime editor of The Nation and author of the acclaimed book Kennedy Justice, drawing on secret government files and interviews with O'Dell himself, seeks to correct that historical oversight.

O'Dell, at one time a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., was described by J. Edgar Hoover as "the number five Communist in the United States", cited as a reason for the wiretapping of MLK, and was subsequently forced out of King's inner circle. In this compassionate and vivid biography, Navasky reveals O'Dell's unique organizing capacity and brilliant mind while lamenting what American society, obsessed by the so-called Communist menace, lost by disqualifying him from being an open and visible contributor to the civil rights movement.