Sunday, March 19, 2017

Recent Reading

I thought Stalin's construction of socialism causing the premature and excess death of over 15 million people was near the top of inhumanity by Marxist regimes. But, I just finished reading Frank Dikotter's Mao's Great Famine (2010) and he puts a credible estimate of 45 million premature excess deaths in China due to the GLF alone from 1958-1962. A lot of the book goes into detailed descriptions of how these people died and how others managed to survive. Overall a very depressing book.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Day Off

Today I took a taxi to the bank and then strolled to the bazaar. At the bazaar I had a falafel roll and ayran for lunch. Then I walked to a money exchange, a tea vendor, and the book store that carries English language titles. After buying a book I went to two more tea vendors before taking a cab back home.

73 Years since the Deportation of the Balkars

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Balkars by the NKVD to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I don't have a lot new to add so here are some posts from previous years.

71st anniversary

70th anniversary

65th anniversary

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Happy International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women's Day. I have the day off for other reasons. But, after living in Kyrgyzstan I am always shocked at how little attention this holiday gets outside of the former Soviet bloc. In Africa and the Middle East it doesn't seem to register any more than in the US.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Nepali Food

Today I took a cab to the bazaar to get something to eat from one of the Nepali stands outside the park that set up on Fridays. I had two large vegetable samosas smothered in spicy red sauce. It cost me a total of 1000 IQD.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Chinese Food

Yesterday I ate at the new Chinese place everybody here is raving about. It was pretty good. I had spring rolls, fried rice, pepper beef, kung pao chicken, and some sort of cabbage dish. I had the left overs for breakfast this morning.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming

I am quite sure that most of my regular readers (ie my parents) prefer my posts about life and work in Sulaimani to those linking to my work on the Soviet deportation of the Chechens and Ingush or the CIA's role in removing Nkrumah from power in Ghana. So I am returning to my posts on the mundane experience of my personal life. This week went well. I covered the Atlantic slave trade in Civ 102 and incorporated my personal visits to the slave castles of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana into my lectures. I try and do this as much as possible because I have found that it helps the students relate to the topic much more if they are able to link my first hand accounts with the text. It might be my best pedagogical trick.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fifty One Years Since the Overthrow of Nkrumah

On 24 February 1966 the Ghanaian army and police overthrew the Convention People's Party government of Kwame Nkrumah. This coup was one of a series of military seizures of power in Africa and other Non-Aligned states such as Indonesia in 1965 to take place in the 1960s. My book chapter, "Nkrumah, the Cold War, the 'Third World', and the US Role in the 24 February 1966 Coup" from Bea Lundt and Christoph Marx, eds., Kwame Nkrumah: A Controversial African Visionary (Stuttgart:  Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016) provides a summary based upon declassified US State Department and CIA documents. A draft manuscript of the chapter can be found at academia.edu here. Feel free to leave any comments about the chapter or the coup in general below this post.

73 Years Since the Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush

Yesterday was the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush from their Caucasian homeland to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I have put up a draft on academia.edu of an article I wrote for the Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics a couple years ago dealing with the subject. The title of the article is "Scourging the Caucasus: The Soviet Deportation of the Karachais, Chechens, Ingush, and Balkars in 1943-1944." The final version of the article appears in the Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics, vol. 3, no. 1, Spring 2015, pp. 51-72. A slightly different draft of the article by itself  without the surrounding articles can be found at the following  link. Feel free to leave any comments regarding the article here