Saturday, June 12, 2021

Anime Nere Due Donne e Due Destini nella Roma nazista by Anna Foa e Lucetta Scaraffia

 You musn't be too surprised, it is a sad story this one of the last World War Second: jewish people betrayed for the most diversified reason, but substantially for one, money, by other Jewish ones.

In this new book by Marsilio Anime Nere Due Donne

e Due Destini nella Roma nazista by Anna Foa e Lucetta Scaraffia a little big story I didn't know sets in Rome.

It is a story that I am sure will capture your attention.

It will, because we are in the heart of Rome, in the Jewish ghetto, where that community had more than friendship relationships with the rest of the citizenship: better, there was a fusion with the catholic population, where differencies didn't exist, and where, also after the racial laws of 1938 catholics and jewish continued to interact as they did in the past.

Said that, in a time of war there are many spies, but when these spies are snakes of your same community, it is more frustrating and horrible. 

One of them was a certain Celeste Di Porto. In good relationship with the enemy, every Jewish she met along the street was signaled with a gesture for being captured, put in jail and internated.

No one could see this girl, the rest of the community was all scared of her; Celeste a person who grew up in the same nest of the rest of jewish people: once that they completely  understood her game they tried to escape from her.

Once a boxer Lazzaro Anticoli, in jail, wrote - the message is still visible - : "I am Anticoli Lazzaro, said Bucefalo, boxer. If I won't see anymore my family (he wrote in roman's dialect) it's all fault of that traitor calls Celeste..."

Celeste was terrible, most of the people she signaled were killed also at the Fosse Ardeatine.

Another character close to her, because in jail at the same time was the one of Elena Hoehn. This German lady married a man, became the lover of another one breaking his relationship with the husband and then she returned in the hands of her husband.

Member of the so-called Focolarini, she was a controversial woman: she was a spy and, when her lover mr.Frignani, the guy who participated at the arrest of Mussoni, asked her a way for going somewhere else, she won't hesitate, giving to him protection and a roof where to stay.

Pity that later, she will tell everything to the Gestapo and they arrested everyone (but she said that it was all fault of other people and in particular she pointed the finger on her servant) : she also tried, look at the infernal behavior of this lady, of keeping at home her husband the day of the arrest. The husband, the arrest was on Sunday, was a devoted of mass and at 12 o'clock he loved to attend the saint event. Said this, although she insisted, the husband preferred to go. And he was right! So right that once he returned home noticing all that turmoil, preferred to ask the protection to a guy well-known in the city, who found for him a place in a convent of the city. The husband of Elena stayed there for more than 6 months and intimated to his friend, he had to have a great trust on his wife, I thought!, of not telling her for any reason where he stayed in. 

It wasn't at all a great story, the one of these two ladies. They tried all their best for cleaning their acts, but history is telling what they tried to bury. 

Great book for everyone and for remembering what it meant the last second world war.

I love the cover!

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori

Friday, June 11, 2021

I Believe in You by Tatsuya Miyanishi

 I Believe in You

by Tatsuya Miyanishi published by Museyon Books, present, to all of us, children and adults, the latest adventure of the most ferocious dinosaurus of all the times, The Tyrannosaurus Rex, a guy, this one in action, as we have seen in the previous adventures, with, after all, a great heart.

Yes, because this Tyrannosaurus, as you will see, will start helping with the idea of taking advantage from this situation, but later, will understand a different kind of world populated by good feelings, helped, also, by magical red berries.

The story starts when this family of triceratops is buried in a cave.

Only one of their little triceratops remained safe outside. The little dinosaurus tries his best, asking help to all the rest of dinosaurus. "Please, help me. I want to see again all my family, my papa" but no one is in grade of removing the heavy rocks.

There is just a dinosaurus so powerful: the Tyrannosaurus. But...Why asking for his help? He is horrible, brutal, he kills every second, he doesn't feel any kind of compassion for others, they tell to the little triceratop.

But the little triceratop wants to give him a chance, and the Tyrannosaurus will learn how beauty is to be good, loved and appreciated.

A warm story for your children!

Illustrations are nice, and they picture the weather, and geological era where our protagonists were with great efficacy.

Highly recommended

I thank Museyon Books for the copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Nient'altro che la Verità by Michele Santoro

 I couldn't sleep well last night thinking at what I would have written in the review of the latest book by Michele Santoro, one of the most beloved reporters and TV journalists, authors of historical talk shows that made history like Samarcanda. 

This book, Nient'altro che la Verità,

is in fact a book on an affiliated of Cosa Nostra, Maurizio Avola, a killer. When we say mafia I become worried and scared. 

The italian mafia  exists because no one talks of it for fear: there is a wall of omertà still pretty high.

But, this book is a revelation after revelation: a big surprise! interesting, captivating. 

Maurizio Avola, the killer interviewed assassinated more than 80 people; he was the one who had put some bombs in the house of the TV presenter Pippo Baudo, and the mansion jumped in the real sense of the word, because Baudo said something of nasty against Cosa Nostra; Avola was the one, this one is an exclusive! who killed Paolo Borsellino. Avola said that his eyes were the last thing that Borsellino had seen when in life. After the departure of Falcone, Borsellino knew that his new condition was the one of the "dead man walking": he knew that the next one would have been him and lived constantly worried. The end was close. 

I thought that these judges were killed because...well... they knew too much; maybe, of course it was true, but... there was also another reason: the pact established between the State and Cosa Nostra was changing with these judges and Cosa Nostra wasn't happy; Cosa Nostra couldn't anymore be as powerful as it was: it couldn't manipulate anymore trials, corrupting judges for setting free  immediately their affiliates. Avola told that before the advent of Falcone and Borsellino no one was worried when some people of Cosa Nostra went in jail because the person incriminated would have been set free more or less immediately, paying, corrupting here and there: with these two judges, guidelines, let's use this word, changed and also for this reason it was important their elimination. 

But...Who is Avola?  He was born in a good family, the father had a pastry shop and was a great baker; same work would have wanted for this kid. Maurizio went in a school owned by some sisters, but he didn't like the place and didn't love to go to school. Then the family ended up in Alassio, but the situation of Maurizio, talking about school didn't better. Returned to Sicily, started soon the criminal activity, at first stealing; there is to say that there is a honor code also in that field. 

At the end, being intelligent, and with a great ability of shooting, Cosa Nostra, and the family of Nitto Santapaola started to observe him more closely. He soon became a killer. For several chapters it's just a story of homicides. People killed because they said too much as it happened to Fava, a beloved italian journalist, or, no sure why this homicide captured my attention a lot, because a young man, driving with his car, didn't let pass the man of honor that was behind him; so later they killed him.

What appear more than clear was that Sicily wasn't in the hand of the State, but controlled by Cosa Nostra considering these homicides. Most of the times bodies were burned, destroyed, so that no one would have found anymore anything: people had to die, so in general killers destroyed their heads. 

Other times bodies were abandoned along the streets, but no one called the police men for telling them anything, because the guideline: "Iddu lo sa" a sicilian expression that can be translated as "he knows why he has been killed" for the rest of the citizenship  is more than sufficient: they do their own business and don't tend to enter in the business of Cosa Nostra and their internal settlement of accounts.

Maurizio Avola has had wagons of women, most of them famous ones, but he didn't want to confess these relationships for not putting in difficulty these ladies.

The women these mafiosi had were famous ones, models, starlets, interested in cocaine as well.

The thoughts of Maurizio: he still thinks that his destiny was the one of shooting, and killing people, and that maybe if he would re-born he would do that again.

He feels that drugs shouldn't be commercialized because cocaine and drugs in general ruin people: once he killed a man because raped a beautiful girl; he knew this girl, still little, not yet 18 years old; she also tried to come up to Maurizio but he refused. When he discovered that a certain man had raped her, he killed that paedophile.

Once they organized a big robbery and the person corrupted was the vice-manager of the bank they assaulted. A big power of Cosa Nostra is the possibility of "buying" people in the italian State tissue, in the masonry, police men, and every field you can think at. Maurizio hates these people, the so-called respectable ones, the first dishonest ones he adds. 

There was the law of the three days after a robbery. Everything stolen had to keep away and not sold for three days. They killed people who would have violated this code.

There are chapters dedicated to the advent of Berlusconi, like also to the latest governments.

What appear clear is that Cosa Nostra was a sort or organical part of Italy and after all of the deviated State.

Mafia can also be classified like a situation, a city where a bunch of people do the good and the bad weather and other people are like trapped: it musn't be the sicilian mafia. Mafia is synthesis of less growth, less development and less freedom for all the citizens. 

Great book, let's hope to see Michele Santoro back on TV soon.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 


Friday, June 04, 2021

Il Diavolo Zoppo e il Suo Compare by Alessandra Necci

 Il Diavolo Zoppo

e il Suo Compare by Alessandra Necci is a new historical book published by Marsilio. Alessandra Necci with accuracy proposes to its readers two french characters absolutely complicated like the ones of Talleyrand and Fouché were.

Both Catholics, and both later profound haters of the Catholic church, these two politicians lived an intense existence, sometimes enemies, other times "friends" just for convenience.

They became the perfect characters of the political opportunism..

It is true, of course, but they have been also great strategists; they survived the French Revolution and what it followed, and more than being loyals to the various regimes or governments they have been loyal to  France. 

A captivating reading for everyone.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 


Ira e Tempo by Peter Sloterdijk

 Ira e Tempo

by Peter Sloterdijk is a lucid account of Anger and what it means this feeling. The philosopher starts his mental trip analyzing the meaning of anger in the greek culture, not seen so negatively, for later becoming in our culture a sort of boiling caldrum of the nastiest sentiments of the human beings. In fact, once the solidity of the society over, and many certainties, characterized by political parties for example or different kind of ideologies, (they were called the banks of the resentment) gone forever, every man started to live in a condition of aggressivity his state of orphanage without to know anymore where to let explode his anger; so, it musn't be a big surprise the disharmony of our society; the conflicts in the urbans areas more poor of big cities; anger could also means joining terroristic groups, or trying to discover dangerous certainties that the common society and countries and their systems can't give to them anymore.

Unfortunately, as adds at some point the beloved philosopher, there is not an escapism or a projectuality for a new world with solidities of different nature.

A book for everyone interested at the discovery of a sentiment that should be kept under control.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori  

La Frontiera Viaggio Intorno alla Russia by Erika Fatland

 La Frontiera

Viaggio Intorno alla Russia by Erika Fatland is a new book by Marsilio. Russia is  a fascinating, magical, mysterious land. The biggest country of this world, my father used to say that the Russia was the "Granary of the World". An immense vastity that means also differences, linguisticals, climaticals, geographicals. 

The author, one of the best ones of Oslo, she also received the prize as one of the most influencial and good authors under 35 decided one day that she would have visited the entire russian border territory: and she made it! with the difficulties that you can imagine, with the most diversified drivers she met along her way, some toxic, curious, other ones polemics, I want to remember the taxi driver of Georgia polemic with Putin, grown up there; great relevance, in terms of chapters is given to Georgia, a land that has given to Russia a lot of politicians: I want to remember you of reading, for understand much better what the Communist Party meant for peasants, thinkers, people in general The Eight Life for Brilka by Nino Haratischwili, always published by Marsilio.

Erika tells when she decided at 22 years to afford to Russia, in the city of Puskin for studying Russian. It was a miserable experience, was pretty hot, the lady who gave her hospitality was pretty poor and she couldn't eat properly. Odessa was another experience and she reports the anedoct of her teacher. When she explained her that she would have wanted to read Dostoevskij in original, she suggested her of enter in a good mental predisposition, being lonely and in a tranquil place; the brain must be opened and receptive. With a lot of available time.

Erika visited also a little town where there are still swedish emigrated in Russia at the end of 1800: they still speak swedish and they try to maintain traditions, including their great tea, instead of drinking the horrible ukrainan one precised the son of Maria, the lady where Erika spent time with. What a beautiful experience. These two people lived in a very tiny house; the bathroom was outside, close to the stable of the hens; they live modestly, in the house there is also the washing machine, theoretically there is warm water in the house, but not all the time they receive it.

But, their hospitality has been the one that a king and a queen would donate to an appreciated guest. They donated to Erika time, a big dinner and a lot of cups of great tea! Yum! 

Interesting the visit at Cernobyl. I didn't know that: now they organize groups for tourists brought with a little bus in the city where there was the catastrophic nuclear disaster in 1986. Grass is still incredibly radioactive and people must avoid it with all themselves.

There was a park built for children and never inaugurated where tourists focuse the attention.

Every year, touristic tours started in 2001, Cernobyl counts 10-20.000 visitors.  A city at just 2 km from the nuclear central counted 50.000 people; it was the place where the workers of the nuclear atomic central, four in total, lived. 

Immediately after the disaster, all the people of the city remained at the obscure of the gravity of the situation living unprotected for a day and half; 36 hours: after that the government decided for reasons unclear at the time to the citizenship to evacuate the city, adding that they would have returned soon in the city; but the fact is that this one is a phantom city like the ones you meet in California and no one returned there.

There are still in the houses children toys left on the tables and the life is fixated in that historical moment. A sort of modern Pompeii, after all, because that days left unprepared the citizens and their life is crystallized in the latest instants spent in their houses. That houses tell their existence left behind forever. It is calculated that the emissions spread by Cernobyl were 200 times times superiors 8f compared to the ones of the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki-

Tyroid cancers, but also deficit at the immunitary system the main illnesses treated in the hospital of Cernobyl, where they don't wait a change for other 30 years. Erika interviews some survivors of the explosion, and most of them are still spending long long time to the hospital. No one want to declare what kind of illness they have, but everyone hate the sovietic regime for what done.

The atomic central explosed was a model developed by Russians but never approved in the western countries of the world because considered too dangerous.

Changing topic....In Caucasus explains Erika there is the biggest concentration of spoken languages and ethnic groups than not in the rest of the world. 

In less than 260 days she explored the most remote territories of the russian country, starting from Pyongyang.

The portraits accumulated of places, countries, is fantastically beauty; I leave to you the discovery of them I don't want to ruin your reading  spoiling too much. Erika is captivating, opened, someone enthusiastic of people, places and the desire of telling a complicated but absolutely fascinating land she is in love with. 

Enjoy this reading, it's perfect for the summer-time!

Highly recommended book.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

A Life, by Simone Veil translated by Tamsin Black

An immense book A Life,

by Simone Veil translated by Tamsin Black excellently well and published by Haus Publishing.

The beloved french politician tells her entire story in this book.

From the serene, peaceful, happy existence with her parents and siblings, till at the arrival of Nazis and following deportation.

When they escaped to Nice, the only consolation was that when they arrived in the french riviera the power was in the hands of italians and italians didn't want to cause any stress to the jewish community, and they were treated very well. Her mother, her father, and brother died in the camp; survived, this lady studied law and political science. With the time she became Minister of the government of Jacques Chirac; with her there was the legalization of abortion in France.

Veil became also the first President of the European Parliament, later returning in the french government with the role of minister for social affairs.

A stunning character, a strong personality, someone who made of her life a beautiful existence and an example for everyone.

As President Macron remarked "Simone Veil is the best of what France can achieve."

Highly recommended!

I thank Haus Publishing for the physical copy of the book.

Anna Maria Polidori