The principle of plural marriage was revealed to the Mormons amid much secrecy. Dark clouds hovered over the church in the early 1840s, after rumors spread that its founder, Joseph Smith, had taken up the practice of polygamy. While denying the charge in public, by 1843 Smith had shared a revelation with his closest disciples.
The modern Middle East was largely created by the British. It was they who carried the Allied war effort in the region during World War I and who, at its close, principally fashioned its peace. It was a peace presaged by the nickname given the region by covetous British leaders in wartime: 'The Great Loot.'
Just as with homicide, those in the 'passion' category of suicide are much more likely to turn to whatever means are immediately available - those that are easy and quick.
Waitresses, soldiers, rickshaw drivers, old ladies selling vegetables - my father would schmooze anybody. He was Clintonesque before the word existed. And, of course, it paid dividends. Ill-tempered guards at the most notorious border crossings waved him through with cheery smiles. Haughty maitre d's fawned over him.
I'd been to a number of war zones before in my life, but I had never been in one as terrifying as Chechnya.