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In a period when Western military engagement has unleashed violent sectarianism global terrorism, and become a catalyst for the biggest exodus of migrants since the Second World War, the 1999 Nato intervention in Kosovo remains a unique and shining example of a process that led to a peaceful transition from vicious ethnic war to modern democracy. Less than twenty years ago, a young ethnic Albanian student leader called Hashim Thaci, led a revolution against Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian tyrant with the biggest military force in Europe, and convinced the West to bomb Belgrade out of Kosovo. The aerial bombardment beckoned a period of unrivalled peace in the Balkans which Western leaders who sought to subsequently overturn other tyrannies in foreign lands would view with envy as a rare successful model. Nato intervention in Kosovo, led by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, resulted in democracy and the rule of law. By contrast, however, attempts by George W.Bush to effect regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by America, Britain and France to do the same in Libya, have left lethal power vacuums filled by Islamist insurgents, and brought about the downfall of Western leaders themselves. This book is the story of the rare success of Western military intervention and the first biography of the new President of Kosovo, the youngest country in Europe.
The compelling and authoritative story of the financial destruction of Iceland--a saga that mirrors, in microcosm, the forces that caused the global economic crisis.
The economic crisis that emerged in America in 2008 unleashed a veritable epidemic of ill health around the world. However it was Iceland, whose population of three hundred thousand had the world's highest GDP per capita and counted itself the happiest of countries, that caught the worst cold. It has nearly killed them.
No story from the economic crisis of 2008 is more evocative than I celand's. The names may be unfamiliar--Johanesson, Bjoergolfsson, Oddsson--but their exuberance, greed, and miscalculation have many counterparts on our shores. And however traumatic the collapse of individual companies may be in the United States, in Iceland's case an entire country melted down. All the wealth accumulated in the previous decade--during which a new breed of Icelanders had dared to believe they could compete economically on an international level, during which Reykjavik became the Capital of Cool--disappeared practically overnight. Iceland's story shows how closely the world economy is interconnected: The default on subprime mortgages in the U .S. led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which led directly to the run on Iceland's banks, which forced local authorities in Britain to switch off the heating in their classrooms.
With panache and color, Roger Boyes tells the inside story of the bankrupting of I celand: how it happened, the human dramas--from politicians to financiers to fishermen--that continue to swirl around it, and the lessons we can not ignore. Published on the first anniversary of its collapse, "Meltdown Iceland "is a cautionary tale for our times, an authoritative and compelling account of the financial destruction of a tiny country whose saga should resonate for us all.
Drawing on new research and recently declassified documents,
authors Adam LeBor, author of Hitler's Secret Bankers, and Roger
Boyes, The Times of London correspondent in Berlin, reveal a
tapestry of ordinary lives lived under extraordinary
circumstances-ranging from subversion and confrontation to passive
acceptance and eager complicity.
`We-have-a-house-in-the-country?' Lena nodded solemnly. `Where?' I almost shouted, briefly rattling the table. `No, wait, don't tell me - it's Todi in Umbria, right? The old manor house, the one with the lemon groves!' `Alt-Globnitz.' `Alt-Globnitz?' Suddenly I felt cold. `Alt-Globnitz. It's a really nice place. You will love it.' In a desperate attempt to save his relationship with girlfriend Lena and take a break from the world of journalism, Germany correspondent Roger Boyes agrees to make a great escape from the easy urban lifestyle of Berlin and decamp to the countryside. Roger has hopes for southern Italy, but Lena has inherited a run-down old schloss in deepest, darkest Brandenburg. Needing a form of income, they decide to set up a B & B with a British theme. Enter unhelpful Harry and his Trinidadian chef cousin, a mad Scot to advise them on re-branding Brandenburg, some suicidal frogs and a posse of mad tourists. It all culminates, naturally, in a cricket match between the Brits and the Germans on an old Russian minefield. Farce meets romance in this follow-up to the successful A Year in the Scheisse.
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