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Showing posts from November, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal / Author: Michael Gates Gill
Published in Daily Times / Saturday, November 27, 2010

Starbucks had more than coffee on the menu the day Michael walked in. A company that claims its mission is to “inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time”, was about to offer him a choice of lifelines along with their standard latte. And the man who once hobnobbed with poets, writers and political bigwigs and jet-setted around the globe, happily ensconced in his armour of wealth and entitlement, was going to accept both.

It is not every day that a former creative director of J Walter Thompson (JWT) who has a Yale education and leads a charmed life steps down to take the place of a Starbucks barista only to find that it was actually a step up in life. As ludicrous as this sounds, How Starbucks Saved My Life insists on turning the classic rags to riches story on its head.

Michael is someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth (he i…

BOOK REVIEW: Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's SpyTechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda

Wallace, Robert (Author) and Melton, H. Keith (Author)
with Schlesinger, Henry R. (Author)
Foreword by George J. Tenet Former Director CIA

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Published in Daily Times / 06 Nov 2010, under the title: I Spy With My Little Eye

Some in the intelligence business have been dismayed to find that they have been using gadgets relegated to spy museums long ago. As agencies operating under the espionage banner usher in a new era of covert warfare, asking the public to admire their enterprising nature may not be wise. Getting the agencies to set aside their secrecy clause long enough to admit to their past may not be possible.

The ‘top gun of OTS’ CIA’s Office of Technical Service have been engaged in a battle of wits for half a century and their stories are worthy of attention. An insider’s look at the world of espionage especially OTS or ‘America’s Q’ and its fearsome capabilities besides being a cause for concern for rival agencies is a chance to observe ‘history in the…