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Sam Vaknin

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Member Since: Jul, 2000

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Books
· FREE A Critique of Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century [

· FREE DOWNLOAD The Death of Sex and the Demise of Monogamy

· FREE DOWNLOAD Short Fiction About Narcissism And Mental Health

· FREE DOWNLOAD Speculations and Physics

· FREE DOWNLOAD Essays on God and Freud

· FREE DOWNLOAD Macedonia: A Nation at a Crossroads

· FREE DOWNLOAD Healthcare Reform Checklist

· FREE DOWNLOAD The Facts and Fictions of the Securities Industry

· FREE DOWNLOAD Abuse, Trauma, and Torture - Their Consequences and Effects

· FREE DOWNLOAD From Alexander to Obama Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders


Short Stories
· Ned’s Short Life

· Sexsomnia

· Fugue

· The Galatea of Cotard

· Live Burial

· Lucid Dreams

· A Dream Come True

· Anton's Trap

· The Elephant's Call

· Night Terror


Articles
· The Narcissist's Seriously Ill child and Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome

· The Narcissist's Disabled and Challenged Children

· Network vs. Hierarchy as Organizing Principles in Business and the Economy

· Macedonia National and University Library’s Digital Revolution

· The Narcissist in Custody Battles

· FBI Warns: Google Used by Malicious Hackers

· Israel’s Brinkmanship: after the Elections in 2015

· ECB (European Central Bank) vs. Bundesbank (Germany)

· The Eurozone's Greek Future

· Live and Let Die: The West's Perennial Error of Picking Sides


Poetry
· Her Birthday

· Hebrew Love

· My Putrid Lover

· Twinkle Star

· Synthetic Joy

· Our Love Alivid

· The Miracle of the Kisses

· Selfdream

· In Moist Propinquity

· A Hundred Children

         More poetry...
News
· FREE E-BOOK Abuse, Trauma, and Torture - Their Consequences and Effects

· FREE E-BOOK Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders

· FREE EBOOK The Hitler File (Excerpts)

· NEW eBOOK Excerpts from the Archives and Case Studies

· EIGHTH EDITION - Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited

· NEW BOOK - After the Rain - How the West Lost the East

· NEW EBOOK Personality Disorders Revisited

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Books by Sam Vaknin
“I couldn’t put the book down” is by now a trite cliché used in every book review. But I really couldn’t: this book is an enchantment, a time travel, an adventure park, and a rounded education all wrapped into one and doused in dollops of wry humor and compassion. I learned, I laughed, I felt provoked and comforted, it sent me searching furiously for answers online and in other books, it made me daydream, or sit up startled. It is the kind of book that keeps on giving long after its perusal is over.


 “Who, or Why, or Which, or What: A Global Gazetteer of the Instructive and Strange” by John Oldale – London and New-York, Particular Books (Penguin Group), 2011

The classic gazetteer is a numbing compilation of places: their names, their coordinates in an attendant eye-taxing mini-atlas, and some raw data, usually presented in an utterly indecipherable manner. Enough to put one off travel – and reading - for good.

Imagine my surprise then, when I warily stole a peek inside the covers of John Aldale’s gazetteer. In decades of avid – nay, compulsive – immersion in reference works dating back three centuries I do not recall having come across a tome remotely similar to this concoction! The author being an adventurer and globe-trotting traveller in the Lawrence of Arabia mold may have something to do with it.

The gazetteer’s design is traditional: the countries of the world are arranged alphabetically. But here all resemblance to any geographical dictionary you have ever beheld ends.

Each country has its name written in English and in its own script. This nod to local civilization is followed by a joyous, riotous, and unrestrained train of historical, cultural, social, and political associations, a veritable and delectable cornucopia of anecdotes, facts, factoids, quotes, myths, curiosities, and oddities. It feels like rummaging through an inordinately mysterious and endowed attic in a manor that’s 5000 years old. The entire ensemble is handsomely illustrated with photos, diagrams, charts, and drawings.

Two countries I know well and first-hand are Israel and Macedonia. I used these polities to test the validity and relevance of the book’s contents.

I was surprised by the author’s choice to dedicate a mere 2 pages to Israel, the cradle of all Western and Middle-Eastern religions, and the target of conquering armies from the Babylonians to the Crusades. In comparison, Italy got 5 pages. I was also somewhat puzzled by the author’s selection of trivia which I did not think captured Israel’s spirit or its history. But when I turned the leaf to Macedonia, I was rewarded with a timely exposition of all the issues that characterize the territory and its complex relations with its neighbours, including its current overwhelming identity crisis.

“I couldn’t put the book down” is by now a trite cliché used in every book review. But I really couldn’t: this book is an enchantment, a time travel, an adventure park, and a rounded education all wrapped into one and doused in dollops of wry humor and compassion. I learned, I laughed, I felt provoked and comforted, it sent me searching furiously for answers online and in other books, it made me daydream, or sit up startled. It is the kind of book that keeps on giving long after its perusal is over.

DISCLAIMER: The book was provided to me, as a review copy, courtesy Penguin Group.

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