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75th Anniversary: The Grapes of Wrath, first novel to herald Age of Ecology
John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is a ghastly portrait of poverty, filth, human misery, starvation, and injustice. It tells the story of the Joad family, Oklahoma tenant farmers or “Okies,” dispossessed from their Dust Bowl homestead by bankers and wealthy landowners. In a jalopy, the Joads go west along Route 66 in search of [...] Read more – ‘75th Anniversary: The Grapes of Wrath, first novel to herald Age of Ecology’.
The Coming Winter of Disconnect: Drought, Hunger and Global Unrest
In the winter of 1845, Charles Darwin witnessed “tremendous destruction” on his otherwise idyllic estate in the hamlet of Downe. Severe drought and extreme cold had killed 80 percent of the birds nesting in his gardens, meadows and woodlands. It was a harbinger of greater destruction to come. Across Europe, suffering and bloodshed followed. A [...] Read more – ‘The Coming Winter of Disconnect: Drought, Hunger and Global Unrest’.
Going Digital in Your Own Backyard: A Workshop by Jon P. Fine and Eric Enno Tamm
Want to publish online? This hands-on workshop walks you through the current options for making your book available – and, more importantly, discoverable – in the digital landscape. Jon P. Fines, formerly at Random House and now Director of Author and Publisher Relations at Amazon, offers step-by-step instructions and answers to all your how-to digitally [...] Read more – ‘Going Digital in Your Own Backyard: A Workshop by Jon P. Fine and Eric Enno Tamm’.
100 Infographic Tools and Resources
The following list of links comes from a blog post by Chris McConnell, the Founder and Editor of DailyTekk. This is the most comprehensive list of infographic and data visualization resources that I have found online. McConnell has also categorized the 100 resources under five headings and provided a short description of the resource. The [...] Read more – ‘100 Infographic Tools and Resources’.
Collapsing, Fast and Slow
A lightning strike in a mature pine forest sparks a wildfire of cataclysmic proportions. A young Tunisian street merchant, disaffected by corrupt, arbitrary authorities, sets himself afire which provokes mass protests culminating in the Arab Spring. A New York investment bank overextends itself on toxic subprime mortgages, bringing about bankruptcy and setting off a panic [...] Read more – ‘Collapsing, Fast and Slow’.
Winner of the 2011 Ottawa Book Award for Nonfiction
At the National Library and Archives, Mayor Jim Watson announced that I won the 2011 Ottawa Book Award for Non-fiction, beating out literary and journalistic heavyweights Charlotte Gray, Tim Cook, Roy McGregor and Martin Lawrence. Read more – ‘Winner of the 2011 Ottawa Book Award for Nonfiction’.
The beast that is China’s ruling party
Review of The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers by Richard McGregor was originally published in the Vancouver Sun on August 14, 2010. In the spring of 2006, I enrolled in a curious course at the B.C. Institute of Technology in Vancouver. It was called the “Fundamentals of Doing Business with China,” but [...] Read more – ‘The beast that is China’s ruling party’.
A resolutely, bullishly inquisitive quest
An excerpt of a review by Jonathan Clements, the author of Mannerheim: President, Soldier, Spy: Author Eric Enno Tamm is a journalist with firm ecological credentials and no fear of rattling cages. Applying for a visa in Vancouver, Tamm finds his path blocked by Chinese officialdom, but this only spurs him even more to imitate [...] Read more – ‘A resolutely, bullishly inquisitive quest’.
A sneak peek of first book from printers
After what seemed like an eternity, the hard cover first edition of my book, published by Douglas & McIntyre, finally arrived this morning by courier. It has been a monumental project, which began a decade ago over a pint of lager at Lund University in Sweden. The official publishing date is September 1, 2010, but [...] Read more – ‘A sneak peek of first book from printers’.
Trekking through China’s “Long Tail”
The whizzes at Chinfographics have recently designed some interesting graphics showing how China's enormity also creates anonymity for its many large cities. This is especially true for cities in the vast interior of China, far from the coastal mega-cities such as Shanghai or Shenzhen that are so well known in the West. While researching my book, I trekked through many of these huge, unheard of cities. Read more – ‘Trekking through China’s “Long Tail”’.
China’s “ghost city” frighteningly unsustainable
The final resting place of Genghis Khan is an utter wasteland—befitting, perhaps, of a ruthless conqueror who laid waste to so much of the world. It is located about 70 kilometres south of Dongsheng, the capital of the prefecture of Ordos in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Once dominated by Mongol nomads, the prefecture, with [...] Read more – ‘China’s “ghost city” frighteningly unsustainable’.
Ethnic violence in an ancient Silk Road bazaar a harbinger for China
In 2006, I visited Osh, Central Asia’s most ancient Silk Road market in southern Kyrgyzstan, for a few days while researching my book, The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road and the Rise of Modern China. I spent time investigating the Osh and Karasuu bazaars as part of my [...] Read more – ‘Ethnic violence in an ancient Silk Road bazaar a harbinger for China’.
The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road & Rise of Modern China
On July 6, 1906, Baron Gustaf Mannerheim boarded the midnight train from St. Petersburg, charged by Tsar Nicholas II to secretly collect intelligence on the Qing Dynasty’s sweeping reforms that were radically transforming China. The last Tsarist agent in the so-called Great Game, Mannerheim chronicled almost every facet of China’s modernization, from reform of education, foreign investment and industry to the military, Muslim borderlands and Tibet’s struggle for independence. Read more – ‘The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road & Rise of Modern China’.