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1. My Life
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2. The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our
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3. Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness
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8. Admiral of the Ocean Sea : A Life
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20. The Natural: The Misunderstood

1. My Life
by Bill Clinton
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414576
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 35
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

Clinton approaches the story of his youth with gusto, sharing tales of giant watermelons, nine-pound tumors, a charging ram, famous mobsters and jazz musicians, and a BB gun standoff. He offers an equally energetic portrait of American history, pop culture, and the evolving political landscape, covering the historical events that shaped his early years (namely the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK) and the events that shaped his presidency (Waco, Bosnia, Somalia). What makes My Life remarkable as a political memoir is how thoroughly it is infused with Clinton's unassuming, charmingly pithy voice:

I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only, response to pain.

However, that same voice might tire readers as Clinton applies his penchant for minute details to a distractible laundry list of events, from his youth through the years of his presidency. Not wanting to forget a single detail that might help account for his actions, Clinton overdoes it--do we really need to know the name of his childhood barber? But when Clinton sticks to the meat of his story--recollections about Mother, his abusive stepfather, Hillary, the campaign trail, and Kenneth Starr--the veracity of emotion and Kitchen Confidential-type revelations about "what it is like to be President" make My Life impossible to put down.

To Clinton, "politics is a contact sport," and while he claims that My Life is not intended to make excuses or assign blame, it does portray him as a fighter whose strategy is to "take the first hit, then counterpunch as hard as I could." While My Life is primarily a stroll through Clinton's memories, it is also a scathing rebuke--a retaliation against his detractors, including Kenneth Starr, whose "mindless search for scandal" protected the guilty while "persecuting the innocent" and distracted his Administration from pressing international matters (including strikes on al Qaeda). Counterpunch indeed.

At its core, My Life is a charming and intriguing if flawed book by an equally intriguing and flawed man who had his worst failures and humiliations made public. Ultimately, the man who left office in the shadow of scandal offers an honest and open account of his life, allowing readers to witness his struggle to "drain the most out of every moment" while maintaining the character with which he was raised. It is a remarkably intimate, persuasive look at the boy he was, the President he became, and man he is today. --Daphne Durham ... Read more

Reviews (463)

2-0 out of 5 stars Arrived with a Thud, turned into a Dud.
If you remember the 1988 convention speech where Clinton was nearly booed off the stage for taking too long or the state-of-the-union where he droned for over 90 minutes, you may recall the feeling you'll get somewhere around page 250 of this tome ... "when will it end?"

This particular work of mostly self-aggrandizing fiction suffers from being so self-absorbed and so badly edited it totally detracts from the nuggets of humanity and historical interest in the text. It's the "Heaven's Gate" of Presidential memoirs. That Liberals are dutifully reading this and watching the exposed liar Michael Moore (...) this summer says much about their fanatic religious devotion to their faith. Faith requires suffering!

The memoir still whitewashes much wrt Clinton's 'scandalabra', even while admitting to the bare minimum to keep it credible to the faithful. So we get Monica semi- mea culpa, but what about Genifer Flowers (she claimed a 13 year affair), or his pardon of Marc Rich? Or for that matter *important stuff* like how the Chinese managed to funnel illegal funds to his campaign in 96? Maybe its too much to expect an exhumation of his skeleton closet, but he manages to say so much yet reveal so little in so many pages. And he's entitled to his own opinions about other folks, but his view on Starr and the constitutional issues and process involved in the impeachment show he is trying to re-write history and doesnt understand Starr's appropriate role and actions. He doesnt get it - it was about lying under oath.

Dont read this. Read the Marinass bio and read Rich Lowry's "Legacy" and somewhere in the middle of their accounts is what really happened.

Lastly, read U.S. Grant's memoirs, the best Presidential memiors, writeen before Presidential memoirs were excercises in self-justification. They have all the economy and sparseness in style, bright narrative, and objective viewpoint that Clinton's memoirs lack. And he recount events far more important, like how the Civil War was won by the Union side, than details of Clinton's campaign events.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Easy, Pleasant Read
I approached the book as though it was written -- not by a former Democratic President -- but a man with amazing life experiences. The insight the author provided on the workings of the executive branch of our government, along with international events were just icing on the cake for me.

The writing is very easy to read; the story flows smoothly. All in all, I enjoy the voice that is projected from the author's composition.

I found it interesting that on page 811, when Clinton was introspective about his affair with Monica, his revelation is that he is vulnerable to making selfish and self-destructive personal mistakes when he is exhausted, angry, or feeling isolated. This mirrors the 12-step recovery motto of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired), which recognize our vulnerabilities to succumb to our addictions.

I must say that Clinton's description of sleeping on a couch for two months following his admission to Hillary regarding Ms. Lewinsky was hard to believe. Perhaps he was placing himself in the doghouse, making use of the couch adjacent to their bedroom, but still -- there were so many other bedrooms in the White House. Aside from that, I'm glad Clinton disclosed that he and Hillary participated in weekly couples counseling for a year.

My favorite parts of the book cover Clinton's reflections on family, friends, and associates who passed away. This is where he shared personal thoughts on the affect these people had on him, and how he mourned their deaths.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President
A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President

This book will intrigue anyone who cares about America. You get an insider's view from the divisive man himslef. You'll also learn the struggles all presidents must face, and the role the media played in helping and hurting Clinton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Willie!!
In 2001, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton exited the White House after becoming the first two-term Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead of praise for surmounting numerous and incredible life obstacles, his rags-to-riches personal life story actually had the right wing seriously enraged enough to attempt a sham impeachment and conviction on anything (and EVERYTHING) they thought up. The reception discrepancy between his personal history and presidential administration is painstakingly explored in the personal autobiography---with no detail spared. I am not fortunate enough to live near a city where Clinton undertook book promotion tours, but this title's price vs. length and quality is well worth those televised all-night camp outs.

Eschewing a ghost-writer, Clinton personally poured his heart and mind about personal and potentially difficult subjects which former presidents (of all ideologies) shielded themselves from. Choosing the less-utilized "open disclosure" route is a refreshing contribution to American public policymaking. It is also one which more public officials should follow.

Rather than seeing diversity as an election strategy, Clinton genuinely appreciates social justice movements which attempt to make the world radically different from his Arkansas boyhood. In the television era's early days, then-Governor Orval Fabus tried to maintain segregation 'standing in front of the schoolhouse door' to Little Rock's Central High School (pp. 38-39) Undoubtedly this incident's horror (and fears that all southerners were presumed to agree with Faubus) helped solidify determination to pursue a radically contrasting racial public policy legacy (pp. 559-560). In turn, Clinton's early decision explains why I and many other people love him today.

Repeatedly, Clinton draws upon his witness to the 1957 Little Rock action as one motivator for public service (the other of course is meeting President Kennedy at a D.C. Boys Town Summit). Because I am also growing up in a conservative southern town, I am comforted things do change; a young Republican who openly cheered during the announcement of President Kennedy's assassination later became a Democrat, social worker, and one of Clinton's biggest political supporters (p. 65). The bigger person recognizes when it is time to mend the oft-mentioned political fences. During his Arkansas Governorship Clinton demonstrated the nation only maximum potential when all demographics are empowered to participate in the American dream.

I also enjoyed reading personal family anecdotes---including those which are probably still painful to share with audiences. In fifth grade, he learned that people who rented out motels for long periods of time did abortions (p. 29) because the procedure was illegal in the state. He also describes the incidents where stepfather Roger beat the family---until young Bill grew big enough to fight back (pp. 45-51). The vivid descriptions provide both literary action and a solemn reminder the world is better because abortion is legalized, and domestic violence is no longer a 'family affair'. As a child of divorce, I am also reassured that an American President went through several of the same experiences me and many of my friends experienced. When he talks about families, Clinton is personally aware there are many different types of families and the rightwing has never spoken for everybody (pp. 633-636)

As the first president to be in the delivery room during his child's birth (p. 273), Clinton brought unprecedented sensitivity to the Oval Office. Because the lives of American voters are more egalitarian, this empathy is a definite asset in the post-cold war era From his own personal experiences, Clinton easily understands that good and strong families come in all compositions (pp. 426-427). I was also intrigued to learn that Clinton did not personally/politically have a problem with Hillary's last name (p. 296). Finally, "women's issues" like the Equal Rights Amendment (p. 257) stand on their own merit as something which is genuinely important to HIM.

Certainly people have to take self-initiative for their private life, but Clinton's centrist Democratic theory (dating from Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign) says that government is still obligated to ensure the people trying to help themselves and their communities can actually do so (p. 122). This approach explains why he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ---overhauling the depression-era welfare system, while also rejecting the complete dismantlement passionately championed by Republican opponents. Aware that welfare payments had varied by state and women were not getting rich anywhere, Clinton also knew the current system had intentionally built-in incentives for women to stay at home instead of work. Welfare was initially developed so low-income women would not 'deviate from 'traditional' homemaker roles and could also stay at home with their children like many other women of the time. Clinton purposefully attempted to allocate enough money and resources for childcare so low-income women would not find themselves in a horrid catch-22 situation of wanting to work but not being able to find affordable, safe, and reliable daycare for their children (pp. 720-721).

Before entering elected office, Clinton taught college classes at the University of Arkansas and the professorial enthusiasm (pp. 204-205) required for that task is especially obvious today as the lessons he taught to and learned from the students are recalled. I can easily imagine myself as a student in the class while he is racing up and down the auditorium steps exhorting us to become even more involved in the larger world (p. 203). Because they cannot realistically be confined to a classroom, such individuals were predestined to have a tremendous impact on the larger world.

By showing a less serious side of the Clintons which is not always discernable from the media, the enclosed photos reinforce this aforementioned environment. Conceding that his personal actions damaged the family (p. 800, p. 811), he avoids a holier-than-thou attitude which ruined many other political careers. Clinton succeeds at the American Dream because he already knows and easily accepts his imperfection. He is so personable that even when I disagreed with Clinton's policies, myself and others always knew that he would not attack dissenters on trumped up charges. Instead, Clinton's enduring personal patience (he appears far more patient than he has given himself credit for) and boundless optimism for the nation consistently shine throughout this book. By nature, genuine sentiment cannot be slick.

This book is a mandatory purchase for the Clinton fan---or anybody preferring a time when the United States president was respected for unflagging civility in the face of adversarial circumstances that had grounding lesser politicians from all levels of government. Unfortunately, like Hillary's autobiography (2002), the author's relative chronological youth in relation to his numerous public accomplishments means that another edition or volume will eventually be required for adequately chronicling all of the national/international contributions. Even at 957 pages, fitting all important information into one volume is impossible. I look forward to purchasing future editions of this biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars You either love him or hate him
Very intimate account of his life, with an undertone for the personal pain he his bearing. Great read for someone starting life and who wants to know how to chart the course of his or her life regardless of their family/childhood limitations. ... Read more

2. The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry
by Steven F. Hayward
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895260905
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 139959
Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

1-0 out of 5 stars hayward and dan quale: 2 sides of the same phony coin
when former vp dan 'potatoe' quale heard that former president jimmy carter was being sent by the president bill clinton to negotiate peace talks, all mr quale could say was ' hes just trying to win a nobel peace prize'. hayward is of the same ulra right mentality. his previous book which practically cannonized ronald reagan, completely ignored the reagan regime's 'suprise' release of the hostages on the eve of reagans inaguration and the whole of reagans activites in the iran contra hearings. hell, hayward even negelected to mention that reagan once coddled with joseph mccarthy and turned many 'suspect commuinists in to the house unamerican committe and destroyed many lives.
of course hayward likens carter to the 'despicable' clinton and kerry and worships at the feet of dubya; the most radical extreme militant right wing president in history.
instead hayward goes after that 'softie' carter.
for a man supposeldy having liberal ulterior motives carter 's forming of 'habitat for the humanities' seems perplexing. of course hayward doesnt go there.
instead he echoes the sentiments of possibly the dumbest vp in history; dan quale (who began his illustrious career in the senate with this: he was running against birch bayh and ran a plethora of tv ads portraying bayh as lazy and uncaring about his constituants. his evidence in these ads? well bayh had missed more days in the senate in the previous year than any other senator. of course quales ads forgot to mention that bayhs wife was at home dying of cancer during that previous year. so what did dan family values quale criticze bayh for? for having family values.
the unpardonable hypocricy of the conservative party is blatantly obvious in types like hayward, quale and the bushs and they scream vehemently ugly accusations whenever a liberal like carter or clinton or kerry makes an attempt towards change.
but progress is inevitable and when the smoke clears and history has its say clinton and carter will go down as two leaders who strived for humanitarian progress

1-0 out of 5 stars Shameful Book from a man without Honor
I have a real problem with these types of authors and character assassins. These are people that live in the shadows, finding fault with others. If you want to be critical of a public figure that is fine. However, to go at it with such a hate-filled diatribe, what is your problem. Jimmy Carter was not the greatest President ever, but he was 1000X more honorable than Ronald Reagan. No, he did not trade arms with Islamic extremists to get hostages back or supply cocaine traficking rebels in Central America, like Reagan. What he tried to do was serve with honor and make the US a more honorable place. And the career politicians tore him up for it. How dare you, Hayward! I suppose Mr. Carter could have just charged a trillion dollars worth of spending to remedy the economy, but he knew that would come back to haunt us later. Mr. Carter wanted real solutions, not quick fixes like Reagan. And by the way, Hayward, what about those Marines that died in Lebanon? What reaction was there of Reagan? He cut and ran, like the coward he was.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short, But Entertaining and Accurate
This book could be better as a "book". This is an interesting book and the idea is good, but the contents do not exactly match the advertising and book jacket - plus it is very short. The text on the cover of the book implies that the book is about the former President Carter and his mostly unwelcome meddling in foreign affairs since 1980.

But that it not exactly what the book is about. As acknowledged by the author on page 233 this book is really just a short biography of Carter just 193 pages long to bring younger readers up to speed on Carter to the year 1980, and this covers all of Carter's life to that point in time including his runs in Georgia. The same or similar biographies are available elsewhere in a number of lengthy books. What is new here is an added further 38 pages in the final three chapters about Carter post 1980 and his mistakes in foreign affairs - to bring the book to 231 pages plus notes and comments.

So the book is short, does not match the advertising and hype for the book, but still the book is interesting and a good read.

The concept for the book is great and long overdue. The author obviously has a strong negative bias - but he is not writing fiction - the facts speak for themselves and they are not pretty. Many things such as Carter's help at Habitat for Humanity have been exemplary, along with acting as an election monitor and fighting disease in the third world. These are clearly acknowledged in the book and are well known. If Carter had stopped there he might have been the greatest former president.

But he has not had the self control to stop with good works. He has undertaken at best what can be described as a misguided and ill conceived foreign policy interefence of both democratic and republican administrations, from Reagan to Clinton, to Bush, and I stress all administrations post 1980. He has made a series of solo trips largely against the wishes of the US government, befriended tyrants, accepted cash from the likes of BCCI, encouraged the PLO, and attempted to broker peace deals on his own but portraying himself as a US government agent. The Carter story is bleak and hidden behind much false PR and Carter's ego and his inability to let go of his short time in power (1976-1979), especially in foreign affairs.

I found particularly funny the inside joke (in the book) that in the Clinton administration that the leader of North Korea died of laughter after signing an agreement with Carter over nuclear weapons. That pretty well sums up the situation.

One is left shaking one's head in amazement and one really must ask the question: what is he doing? He has fooled Mandela and others and won his Nobel prize. But sadly after 24 years out of power he believes his own PR and propaganda. If he would just stick to charities, the third world, and the homeless he would be great.

Good read but just 3 or 4 stars as a book, maybe 3.5 stars.

Jack in Toronto

1-0 out of 5 stars Lesser Person Trying To Bring Down A Great Person
You know things are bad, when Stephen Haywood, an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) man, has to take a hatchet to the Noble Peace Prize winner, James Earl Carter. I never experience America so divide... I wonder where it all will lead?

But the AEI, with the likes of James Woolsey, Richard Perle, Henry Kissinger and other et al neocons who believe that the new world order must includes preemptive attacks/wars around the globe, make yours and my foreign policy, rather than the US Senate and then complain when Mr. Carter tries to affect global change by strengthening democratic institutions/health care, in a nonviolent fashion.

I read the book, but I just don't buy it!

1-0 out of 5 stars He's preaching to the choir - but what about the rest of us?
The United States has had several 'bad' presidents, ranging from the corrupt (Nixon, Grant) to the inept (Andrew Johnson) to the inefficient (Harding, Harrison). So when I picked up this book and saw the hyperbole of the subtitle, I immediately decided that the author had better make a good case for why he considered Jimmy Carter not simply a 'bad' president, but the 'worst'

Unfortunately this book happens to be short on insight and long on venom. It's decent if you're preaching to the choir, but those looking for a fair and legitimate argument would be best off going elsewhere. Although Hayward does acknowlege some of Carter's achievements for charity, such as Habitat for Humanity, he derides any good that came out of Camp David, the peace talks, etc and consistently chooses to assign only the worst, most calculating speculations towards Carter's motives. Hayward also ignores that some of his charges towards Carter may be levelled against each and every president that has ever sat in the Oval office. For example, he lashes Carter for negotiating with and 'coddling' dictators. However, this can also said about Reagan (South Africa and Apartheid, Gorbachev), Nixon (the China talks), Roosevelt (ignoring the rise of Hitler), Bush Jr (Negotiations with North Korea). Negotiations and compromise - what Hayward calls 'coddling' is part of being a skilled politician

Hayward also fails to discuss both the pros and cons of Carter's policies, refusing to analyze whether the peace talks in Korea suceeded in delaying the rise of nuclear weapon development and the climate of optimism and hope that was briefly created from the talks in th Middle East. He also complains that Carter has 'undermined US foreign policy' but fails to make a good case for why. US foreign policy is constantly evolving and Carter worked FOR it as ambassador during the Clinton Years. Finally, he fails to analyze Carter the man and understand him with all the faults, virtues and contradictions that any person has. Hayward judges Carter as a man with a mean streak by the company Carter keeps and citing particular incidents in which Carter acted petty and/or self-centered. But where is the balance? How did Carter then develop a reputation for kind-heartedness and integrity? Saying that he 'got a pass from the liberal media' is not a good argument, it's prejudiced and just plain lazy. All presidents have contradictions and complications - Reagan 'the family man' whose relationship with his own family was tenuous at best, Freedom advocate and slaveholder Jefferson -where's the complete picture of Carter the man?

Anyone who has ever done a research paper knows that in order to make a good case, you must present the facts, analyze them and then present your conclusion. This book starts out with the conclusion, then concentrates on presenting facts that support its conclusions and any study that approaches its subject in this manner must be taken with a pound of salt. I could make a very good case for why Jesus Christ was one of the most inept leaders to ever live, were I to ignore all he achieved and instead concentrate on the high mortality rate of his disciples, the 'calculating nature' of his actions and how he 'undermined' the Old Testament by encouraging us to forgive rather than judge. Would it be convincing? Perhaps, but it would not be fair, conclusive or comprehensive. The same goes for this book - the author should have just printed up a pamphlet instead - his agenda would have seemed more honest ... Read more

3. Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Endangered America's Long-Term National Security
by Robert Patterson
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895261405
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 15482
Average Customer Review: 3.27 out of 5 stars
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Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson was a military aide to President Clinton from May 1996 to May 1998 and one of five individuals entrusted with carrying the "nuclear football"—the bag containing the codes for launching nuclear weapons. This responsibility meant that he spent a considerable amount of time next to the president, giving him a unique perspective on the Clinton administration. Though he arrived at the job "filled with professional devotion and commitment to serve," he left believing that Clinton had "sown a whirlwind of destruction upon the integrity of our government, endangered our national security, and done enormous harm to the American military in which I served."

Dereliction of Duty is not a personal attack on President Clinton or a commentary on his various scandals; rather, it is a "frank indictment of his obvious—to an eyewitness—failure to lead our country with responsibility and honor." Lt. Col. Patterson offers a damning list of anecdotes and charges against the President, including how Clinton lost the nuclear codes and shrugged it off; how he stalled and lost the opportunity to launch a direct strike on Osama bin Laden at a confirmed location; how the President and the First Lady, and much of their staff, consistently treated members of the military with disrespect and disdain; and how Clinton groped a female Air Force enlisted member while aboard Air Force One, among other incidents large and small. A considerable portion of this slim book is devoted to the myriad ways in which President Clinton undermined the military, and hence the security, of the nation. He seriously questions Clinton's decisions to send troops to Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bosnia to accomplish non-military tasks without clear objectives. Having participated in each of these engagements, Lt. Col. Patterson personally "experienced the frustration of needlessly wasted lives, effort, and national prestige"as well as the alarmingly low morale that Clinton inspired.

This is certainly not the first anti-Clinton book, but it is different in that Patterson does not seem to have a political ax to grind. In fact, at times, he appears apologetic about having to write about his ex-commander in chief. Yet, in the end, this retired soldier felt his last act of service should be to share his experience with his country. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (440)

5-0 out of 5 stars Book is Excellent! Liberals Up to Old Games!
Have any of you noticed that the reviews that receive one star generally do not address the specifics of the book, and the reviews that are 3+ do? It occurs to me that the liberals are still playing the "politics of personal destruction" that they learned during the Clinton years. In my estimation, 90% of the 1 star reviews attack Colonel Patterson personally with every vile comment they can think of. "How dare you," "Where is your honor?" "A disgrace to his service." Very few, if any, address the specific challenges and merits of this book. My God folks, this is an Air Force officer at the top of his game entrusted with the nation's highest security clearances. I choose to believe him. Those of you who care so little that even a second sentence is a challenge, read Sidney Blumenthal. I'm sure you'll buy his pap hook, line and sinker. For those who have not read the book and CARE to know the truth -- this book is extremely well written, well documented, and undeniably damaging to the Clintons, past, present, and future. It's high time we stamp out this blight on our country, our military, and with Hillary, possibly our future. President Clinton, as documented in these pages, was a horrible commander-in-chief, a committed liar, impeached and disbarred. Patterson retired with his integrity intact and the character to write this bestseller. God bless him and God bless our military. We need more like him, and less like "Major Bob," whose troops, I'm sure, are ready to frag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sickness in the White House
I bought Patterson's book this evening and read it in a single sitting. I admit that I had very little respect for President Clinton while he occupied the White House, but had no idea of the depths of his unprofessional conduct until reading Patterson's account of his days as a milaid (military aide) to the President. After reading the book, it is clear to me that Clinton's behavior wasn't merely scandalous in some instances, it was truly a dereliction of duty in a few of them.

Patterson's account is both insightful and, at times, heart-breaking. He divides his time between relating the events he personally witnessed, and his analysis of the role Clinton's decadent attitudes and shallow personality played in Clinton policymaking--on both the domestic and foreign stages.

I've read a great many of the reviews posted here, and it is easy to see that they are divided between several five-star ratings (including my own) and a bevy of one-star ratings. Most of the one-star reviews consist of nothing more than accusatory posts concerning "conservative revenge", "hate-mongering", or "right-wing rating". But in NONE of those reviews do any of the reviewers respond to any of incidents Patterson presents. I was particularly amused by the reviews that castigate Patterson for his betrayal of trust--but make no mention of Clinton's far greater betrayals and disgraceful conduct. You even have one reviewer who claims to have witnessed the same events as Patterson and calls him a liar. Well, forgive me, but I'll take Patterson's word over that person's.

Just goes to show you that some people will never break out of the mold, never think for themselves, and be forever blinded by the hatred that they so eagerly accuse conservatives of wielding. That's why I have come to believe in recent years that liberalism is nothing more than a mental illness based upon unfettered emotionalism, hatred, and intellectual destitution.

Anyway, sorry to go off on a political tangent. Please, read the book for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Contrast to Bill and Hill's books
After reading some of the reviews attacking this book I could not wait to read it and post a review. Lets face it, the clinton's wasted 8 years in office, ruined the military and its moral and had more scandels then all previous administrations.
I think its rather odd that neither Bill or Hillary could remember anything during the Whitewater hearings, but can remember everything when it came time to get paid and write a book.
The Lt. Col brought more items to light then previously known and deserves to say what he needed to say. He earned it, and those that have served know the hardships of biting your tounge when on-duty. The clintons were and are the worst thing to happen to politics since the nixon fiasco.
Pick up the book and give it a chance.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Book to Compare to Clinton's Tripe
With Hillary's lumbering work last year and Bill's "Ain't I Great" book recently released, this is the book that keeps it all in perspective. Patterson served at Bill and Hill's right side and saw it all. He wrotes unemotionally about the chaos, lack of vision, and sheer unadulterated waste that was the Clinton administration. While Clintonites wag their collective fingers and bemoan conservatives who won't "move on," the Clintons seem to be the only people who refuse to do so.

Patterson's not digging up old wounds, he's artfully detailing the many ways Clinton failed in his responsibilites as commander in chief. Patterson doesn't delve into Monica, or Paula, or Kathleen, although God knows I wish he had, he writes matter of factly, like the military officer he is. He obviously takes the high road and carefully twists the knife in liberals' sides without them even knowing it.

I just read this book, didn't realize it had been a New York Times best seller for six months and wonder, "where is the media outrage?" We get plenty of political spin-meisters but when a man of obvious courage, integrity, and the one-time holder of one of the most prestigious positions in the military can't get any play, one must wonder. We truly are a nation of sheep, herded down whatever road ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times would have us go.

This is an excellent read, a page turner, and well documented from a man who had the access. Pick it up and ignore the liberal bleeting.

2-0 out of 5 stars Who's Wagging the Dog?
Obviously the author thought there was still additional money to be wrung out of beating the now-dead Clinton horse. This book is incredibly thin and weak on real facts, lacks any context or understanding. Read something like Benjamin and Simon's "Age of Sacred Terror" for the in-depth story of the fight against terror during the Clinton years.

As an example of Patterson's non-existent and totally biased reportage, he briefly mentions the cruise missle attack on the Sudanese chemical plant at al-Shifa. He decries this as Clinton's weak response to the al-Qaeda bombings of US embassies. But he fails to mention how the Republican Congress and their Whitewater-crazed lackies in the media pounded on Clinton even for this response, repeatedly (and unjustly) calling it nothing more than "wagging the dog." No mention by Patterson of how a Republican Congress obsessed with Clinton's dick blocked all efforts to fight al-Qaeda before 9/11. How the right-wing Wall Street Journal editoral page was attacking the Clinton Admin.'s "obsession" with bin Ladin.

When National Security adviser Sandy Berger stated the U.S. intelligence had "very specific intelligence" on the plant, which was financed in part by bin Ladin, anti-Clinton intelligence officers told the media that they were "taken aback" by Berger's claims and that information that "came from garbled intercepts and a series of walk-ins [i.e., defectors]" was "while not without merit, different from any number of walki-ins that come in all the time." If only these intelligence officers and the media and Congress had been so skeptical about Bush's WMDs and "yellowcake"! ... Read more

4. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932
by William Manchester
list price: $50.00
our price: $33.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316545031
Catlog: Book (1983-05-30)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 10491
Average Customer Review: 4.98 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Part One Of Two Parts

It is hard to imagine anything new about Churchill. But in this life of the young lion, William Manchester brings us fresh encounters and anecdotes. Alive with examples of Churchill's early powers, THE LAST LION entertains and instructs.

"Manchester is not only master of detail, but also of `the big picture.'...I daresay most Americans reading THE LAST LION will relish it immensely." (National Review) ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars Volume 1 of the life of Winston Spencer Churchill
"The Last Lion: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932," is the first of William Manchester's projected three-volume biography of Winston Spencer Churchill. I found it a superbly crafted, supremely well researched account of the first 58 years of the life of the 20th century's greatest statesman. With wit and candor, Manchester chronicles Churchill from his earliest days as the neglected and troublesome first child of Lord Randolph Churchill and his American-born wife, Jennie, to his entry into the political "wilderness" over home rule in India in 1932. Manchester's portrait of his subject is balanced and objective; we see Churchill at his finest: a courageous (almost to the point of foolhardiness) army officer, and later a gifted Member of Parliament who became one of the youngest Cabinet ministers in British history. We also see him at his worst: a Cabinet minister with appalling political judgment at times, quick to meddle in other ministers' affairs while neglecting his own, and with an uncanny ability to alienate not only his political foes, but almost all his political allies as well.

In addition to a wonderfully written chronology of Churchill's life, Manchester provides an overview of the times in which Churchill lived. I was fascinated by the author's account of Victorian England -- its culture, its mores, and its view of itself in the world. The sections which describe Churchill's times make highly entertaining and absorbing reading by themselves.

"The Last Lion: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932," clearly shows why William Manchester is one of the pre-eminent biographers at work today. The book is written with obviously meticulous scholarship, insightful analysis, and crisp, sparkling prose; I have yet to find a better account of Churchill's life. Now, if only Mr. Manchester would give us that third volume . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Churchill Saves the World
Having read Manchester's incomparable biography of Winston Churchill, one is struck by the supernatural, almost superhuman aspect of his subject. Churchill is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest politicians of the twentieth century -- or as Manchester says, The greatest nineteenth century politician who remained to challenge his sinister twentieth century counterparts.

This first novel of his early years show the struggle, his toil, his stolen successes, his vision ignored or supplanted by lesser men. Reviewing the life and decisions of Churchill reveal a striking fact -- he was almost never wrong. A casual reader might attribute this to "common sense", but those who drink history more deeply are less likely to accept such a simple view. To one living at the time, Hitler had many facets of his leadership that would attract many modern readers -- he was the first leader of a major nation to embrace enviornmentalist policies, the first to embrace technological development as a means to improving national utility, and most importantly the only leader to move his nation out of the great depression. It is a measure of Churchill's greatness that he saw through all of these things, and was the only - literally the only - major political figure in the world to strongly and resolutely attack the emergence of the German National Socialist Movement before, during, and after its rise to power. Prior to reading Manchester's bio, I had assumed that Churchill was in some way right for the wrong reasons, as so often occurs in history, and his subsequent election as Prime Minister was the result of his record, regardless of his reasons. I was wrong.

Manchester shows us that Churchill got it almost exactly right: conservative enough to defend his principles, yet liberal enough to innovate and excel at innovation throughout his carreer. Unshakably rooted in his beliefs, and sincerely willing to sacrifice his self interest to them (a trait which, I confess, I have seen no more than once or twice in historical oand modern individuals), he simultaneously was able to marry this rocklike character with an amazing ability to innovate: technologically, strategically, and politically. Manchester does him service by this excellent bio, to which my only question is, when is the last installment due

5-0 out of 5 stars The Man of the Century
Manchester's work is extraordinary and a journey into the making of a great leader of the world that was the 20th century.

Churchill was a man of vision and he was molded in his early years. Manchester makes a case for his growth coming in the Boar War period.

There is a beginning of greatness. Manchester introduces us to the world that formed this great man.

4-0 out of 5 stars Understand the most Remarkable Man of the 20th Century
This is an excellent book on the first half of the life of a truly exceptional man. Mr Manchester's book deals with Winston's early life and his rise to power and fame. I particularly liked the vignettes about life at the turn of the century; the social situation, the class struggle, the morals of the upper and the working classes.

Just reading it makes you feel somehow inadequate against the intellectual brilliance, courage and sheer energy of the subject.

It would have merited a full five star rating but for two faults. It should have been shorter. It as if every single little titbit of information had to be written out in full, rather than filtered through the critical intellect that Mr Manchester undoubtedly possesses. Instead, he quotes too many letters, reports and speeches in full when his job as a biographer was to summarise them.

The second fault was Mr Manchester's tendency to lionise his subject. Brilliant he may have been, but a bit more acknowledgement of Winston's faults would have made him more human and reachable.

But this is nitpicking. Overall the book is a good read on a subject well worth reading about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read both books - Best history/biography ever!
Many lists say the best historical biography is "Disraeli" by Blake. This is better. Way better.

The only author that has ever kept me glued to a book as much as Manchester's is Michael Crichton. It's odd to compare a biography to Jurassic Park, but Manchester makes history come alive. He spends a lot of time and care setting the "culture" in a way that is not pedantic or boring (unlike some Civil War histories I've read!). And then he builds on Churchill's stories in a way that makes you feel like you're in Churchill's shoes, with the same issues and challenges.

Unfortunately, there is no Volume 3 about the war years. Manchester's illness prevented this. What a sad loss to history.

Read Vol 1 and 2. You won't regret it. ... Read more

5. Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years
by Rich Lowry
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895261294
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 50872
Average Customer Review: 3.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bill and Hillary Clinton don't want you to read this book.Bill has spent his days since the presidency aggressively defending his legacy, and Hillary plans to run for president on it, and now, unfortunately for them, Rich Lowry uses sound fact and shocking detail to dispel the myth of the Clinton legacy once and for all.

Showing how a politician with grandiose ambitions became a cautious, poll-driven placeholder and how a president who yearned to confront a great international crisis cringed and still shrank from the threat of Islamic terrorism when it arrived, Lowry destroys Clinton's record as president and sparks an intense debate about the nature of his legacy.

Lowry reveals how: 1. Clinton didn't "grow" the economy; his economic record depends on lies 2. Clinton sold out US national security to campaign contributors 3. Clinton stood in the way of real welfare reform before being forced by Republicans to sign a reform bill 4. Attorney General Janet Reno was AWOL on domestic security 5. Clinton's scandals were very real and he deserved impeachment 6. Clinton made sexual liberation the only cause for which he took career-endangering risks 7. Clinton's unwillingness to use force abroad emboldened America's enemies 8. Clinton left the country vulnerable to September 11 terrorist attacks

You won't know the truth about Clinton until you read this book. ... Read more

Reviews (103)

5-0 out of 5 stars The case against Clinton
Believe it or not, in today's day and age, as our country is fighting a global war on terrorism, there are still those that look back at the era of Clinton for "peace and prosperity" and consider him one of the best presidents ever. Clinton's record is based on myths and spinning and Rich Lowry gets to the bottom of this with a great objective approach and a witty writing style.

People give credit to Clinton for the economic boom of the Nineties, but Lowry shows how the economy was already on the upturn prior to Clinton's inaugeration. The budget was balanced because the Republican-controlled Congress wouldn't pass many of his extra programs and truly did limit his spending (if Clinton had his way, Hillary's healthcare initiative would have passed, raising the already great deficit).

Welfare and crime? Republican triumphs. Clinton signed welfare reform under pressure and never truly delivered on his campaign promises. As for crime, hardly anything Clinton did can be attributed as the cause for the decrease in crime.

Lowry really shows how Clinton was truly a "waffle" as depicted by cartoonists. He never took a strong stand on everything and constantly switched his position on everything (the issue of a balanced budget is a great example).

Clinton was absolutely lacking in morality. He did not lie about "just" sex, but truly, it got to deeper fundamental issues.

However, in the most powerful section, Lowry exposes Clinton's meager foreign policy and how he let global terrorism spread while refusing to take on the serious issues facing the world. From the Middle East to the few wars to the actual issue of terrorism worldwide and how Clinton refused to take on terrorism and make the world a safer place.

Under Clinton, America enjoyed short-lived "peace and prosperity" as a cover, not realizing what was happening underneath. Once September 11th happened, America had to strongly re-examine Clinton and his policies. Who let terrorism run so rampant? Why is the global situation a mess? Who let these corporate crooks, like those at Enron, get away? Why did the economy drop so rapidly after Clinton left office? The answers all point to Clinton and his bitter legacy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Researched
The source obviously conservative, does make a strong argument regarding the Clinton Legacy (mostly its failures). Mr. Lowry's research and notes are extensive (33% of the book). He slams former President Clinton's legacy on Domestic and International Issues. Anyone with a pro,anti, or neutral Clinton bias would be well served in reading this book and subsequently evaluating Mr. Lowry's notes.

If Mr. Lowry is correct in his analysis of the former President, Mr. Clinton and or his defenders should be called upon to answer to these assertions (from the media), especially the assetions that relate to his dealings (or lack of dealings) with terrorism.

3-0 out of 5 stars it won't change any minds
you Americans look like you're stuffed to me. Every book review I read about politics on Amazon and you guys are divided along the left/right divides. Neither side can see that the other has at least some valid points.

Some of this book is interesting and some seems suspiciously like BS to me but no one can see it. It is either god given truth or absolute lies. The truth is probably in the middle. Yes, Clinton was a weak, indecisve man befuddled in a personal crisis of his own making but no he probably wasn't the devil himself either.

1-0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE
A bunch of conspiracy theory garbage, typical of Lowry, who is at the center of all of the lowest, dirtiest tricks in politics in the last 20 years.

1-0 out of 5 stars More Clinton Bashing Filth From Regnery Publishing
"Tell Lies, Destroy Lives, And Blame Everything On Clinton." -- Republican Motto ... Read more

6. The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
by Barbara Olson
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895261677
Catlog: Book (2001-10)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 27763
Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New York Times best-selling author Barbara Olson, whose Hell to Pay laid bare the sordid political deals of Hillary Rodham Clinton, focused her razor sharp vision on the Clintons' shocking excesses in their final days of office: the outrageous pardons to political cronies and friends, the looting of the White House, the executive orders that were sheer abuses of presidential power, the presidential library that is becoming a massive boondoggle of vanity more appropriate to a Third World dictator, and much more. This was how the Clintons chose to end their occupation of the White House, in a story whose reverberations are still shaking the political landscape.

Barbara Olson knew Washington politics from the inside -- with a depth of insight and fire-honed principled -- like few others. She was an attorney with the Justice Department, a Congressional investigator, and a general counsel in the United States Senate. She knew the law. She knew the Constitution. She knew how power is meant to be responsibly exercised. In The Final Days she shows how the Clintons climaxed eight years of sleaze with a spree of payoffs and self-indulgence unprecedented in its vulgarity and possible illegality. ... Read more

Reviews (125)

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading for anyone against Hillary in '04
Barbara Olson is a hero. She actually accomplished something in her life and her last act on this earth was trying to save the lives of those on her doomed plane. She, not the former First Lady had the qualifications to actually be a senator. She got to where she did by hard work and accomplishment. That ethic is brilliantly displayed in the book, "Final Days."
After reading both "Hell to Pay" and "Final Days" it is clear to me that the media has done little to let truth be known about the Clinton regime and its inevitable effects(of it)on the nation's future. The sleazy deals and power grabbing of the last eight years will come back to bite us all hard. This book is sure to shock even the most politically savvy reader.

Ms. Olson did not wake up one day and say, "I don't like the Clintons." She formed her opinions from facts she gathered during a federal investigation. The lies, slimy dealings, cover-ups and the ultimate abuse of power--the pardons--will leave any reader doubtless that William Jefferson Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton were not only co-presidents, but also co-conspirators in a myriad of slimy acts which will eventually stain the former President's legacy forever.

May Mrs. Olson rest in peace knowing that she was a hero, a true patriot and the absolute antithesis of her subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classy Patriot Examines Two Crass Scoundrels
Barbara Olson lived a life of such unflinching integrity and veracity that even in death she continues to defy terrorists. Sadly ironic in its title, "Final Days" is a clarion articulation of the former first grifters in their ultimate Clintonian moment. Beyond Monica, Paula, Jaunita, Kathleen and legions of Jane Does, more so than Travelgate, Filegate, Pay-per-slumber parties in the Lincoln Bedroom, campaign finance chicanery, quid pro quo contributions from Communist China, and the who' who of other ethical transgressions, even outdoing Waco, the Elian Gonzalez raid and kidnapping, missiles fired at questionable targets merely to create diversions etc.: perhaps no disreputable shenanigan was as quintessentially Clinton as the unfathomably dissolute shamelessness that marked his/their last days in office.

The much talked about Marc Rich pardon has become an appropriate symbol of the entire eight years, but Mrs. Olson does a commendable service by clearly detailing the effrontery of his (Rich's) misdeeds, and an even more skillful demonstration of the President's specious and insulting attempt to justify this shocking act. To add fuel to her raging fire, she quotes former President Jimmy Carter who openly stated "I don't think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion that was disgraceful."

However it is her dissection of the many other pardons that really makes this work a vital read. The hodgepodge of unrepentant drug dealers, swindlers, and--with tragic irony--terrorists who received Clinton's boundless 11th hour clemency should elevate the 42nd president to a unique plateau in American history; one currently occupied by Benedict Arnold.

As in Mrs. Olson' previous handling, "Hell to Pay," she authentically treats the Clintons as an entity of one. Few would deny that their loveless marriage is anything more than another one of their poorly concealed shams, but the conjugal co-conspirators are forever intertwined. Both know where countless bodies are buried, and if their self-perpetuating union ever comes asunder, each would gleefully destroy the other. Both are experts at dishonestly denying any knowledge of their sins, and while the trust that graces most marriages is visibly absent, either Clinton will artfully lie to save the other one.

"Final Days" is not only a fitting obituary to the Clinton Presidency; it is also a tribute to its author. Throughout the heavily annotated work she meticulously skewers the Clintons' for their devotion to nothing more than their own advancement, and by truthfully uncovering their tracks, she reveals what kind of person she was. Of the Clintons, she writes, "it all came down to one thing: Character. Here the gage rests firmly on empty." In Barbara Olson's tank the gage constantly registered "full to overflowing." As in her frequent TV appearances, Mrs. Olson never shies away from telling it like it is. On occasion her frank quotes from the depths of the Clintons' well-known, foul vocabularies will make readers cringe, but these are among the unpleasant details essential to truly grasp the multifarious quiddity of two power-lusting libertines.

No doubt the Clintons depravity was particularly revolting to the author because it stood in stark contrast to the way she lived and died--calmly warning her husband of the terrorist attack as it was in progress. As tragic as her death was, some comfort can be taken from the fact that she died knowing America had ridden itself of the scourge of Clintonism. Modesty may have compelled her to ignore the fact, but even before this posthumous publication, Barbara Olson was an American hero for the tireless way she elucidated the true nature of the couple from Arkansas who went to New York and stomped on the Constitution on their way.

No line from the book better delineates the antipodal essences of Mrs. Olson and the Clintons than a comment she made in relation to the former first couple's lackadaisical attitude toward terrorism, "Since the end of the Cold War, Soviet Aggression has been replaced by a number of particularly venomous threats from Timothy MacVeigh to Osama Bin Laden." Her murder makes the accuracy of that insight almost unbearably pungent.

Rest in peace Barbara! There is a place in Heaven for you among America's other heroes; many of whom arrived there on the same day you did.

4-0 out of 5 stars What we didn't know about the Clinton Whitehouse
Barbara Olson's skill as an investigator comes through well in the writing of this book. She focuses very exclusively on the abuses of power that occured in the last few days and hours of the Clinton presidency. She uncovers the arrogance that was commonplace in their administration. While I was always tempted to give the Clintons the benefit of a doubt, this book totally changed how I viewed the Clinton presidency.

Olson picks apart each Clintonian denial and points out their faults with solid evidence. Whether or not you liked Bill Clinton, this book will open your eyes. I was personally surprised at how many legislators from Clinton's own party criticized his 11th-hour actions.

Although "The Final Days" can get a bit dry in sections, and is perhaps a bit long-winded, it gets the point across well.

4-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT criticize unscrupulous liberals...
Why is it that reading reviews is such an interesting passtime? Because you can spot a Blind Liberal review a mile away. They seem to have only one pattern for reviews of their beloveds- like Bill & Hilary. That pattern is pointing out Republicans who have also abused power as the justification for ALL in the future to not only repeat that, but to improve on it. I would like to know how liberals got the label of being the open-minded crafters of a better society. Look at America's state of affairs since WWII and whose leadership precipitated our great declines. At least Clinton has a loyal, ugly, and equally greedy co-dependent wife to enable him to carry on his lifestyle with no fear of repercussion! Certainly not from his loyally BLIND constituency anyway!

4-0 out of 5 stars Barbara would be proud of her accomplishment
Some readers would accuse her of hate. Barbara simply exposed truth that we as a people are often too busy or careless to look into. Is it hate to expose that so many were released from prison on the last days of a Presidency?

To keep our people free we need to care about what happens in our government. This book has a lot of sources, and quotes are usually without right wing invective. I think Barbara's book hit the mark on information we needed to know about for our future. But alas, America tends to forget.

May we remember Barbara and her life, she died on 9-11, she was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. ... Read more

7. Journals
by Kurt Cobain
list price: $19.95
our price: $7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157322359X
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 1476
Average Customer Review: 3.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now in paperback, Journals includes never-before-seen material that will keep everyone talking.

Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerizing, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time.
... Read more

Reviews (144)

3-0 out of 5 stars You know you want to read it
Yes, there's the moral corundum of disrespecting a dead man's wishes and invading his privacy to make an easy buck off him, but Journals is an interesting read. I'm not a huge Nirvana fan, but I did get a voyeuristic kick out of perusing his handwritten rants, unsent letters, drafted lyrics, rambling diary entries, and assorted scribbles and doodles.

That is not say Journals is essential in understanding Kurt - his music was just as effective in that regard. There's nothing in this book to shed any new light on his complicated personality, though time will tell if that's just a result of Courtney Love's selectivity.

Journals is put together nicely and works as a really morbid coffee table book. But to ease your guilt of exploiting Kurt's death to make Courtney's wallet thicker, while still satiating your curiosity, I would recommend simply borrowing it from a library.

5-0 out of 5 stars review
Some of you people need to calm down and get a grip, dont be all like " well I dont think Kurt Cobain would like this, and its Courtneys scheme" so be it. If you despise it so much dont buy it.

I will admit i was to young to remember his suicide, but after reading a book on him I found he was a simple and amazing man who had a passion for what he did. I love every one of his songs. Im not saying im better at guitar than him, but he was a kinda crappy guitarist, but an amazing and inspiring song writer. I like to this man is my hero. BUY JOURNALS BUY JOURNALS BUY JOURNALS BUY JOURNALS!

5-0 out of 5 stars Grow up and read this book if you're so inclined to do so!
The problem with the people who give Journals a negative review is the fact they haven't read Journals. And the kicker is that these so-called "fans" are so terrified of reading it and somehow "desecrating" Kurt Cobain's soul in the process that they dare not read it. These tpes of people don't even belong here reviewing something they haven't even read let alone opened with their own hands. It's not like Kurt's going to come back from the dead to haunt any of you people; None of you are even worth it. Anyway, Journals is a good read for anyone interested in the documentation of an every-man's life because it's such a rare thing to see someone's letters of any profession, word-for-word (the airbrushing was a rumor... or not!), in their own handwriting. To the naysayers: Go naysay your heads off, and don't come back 'til you read Journals.

3-0 out of 5 stars ...
I HATE how people are saying it's "disgusting" reading Kurt's Journals...If you don't think it's right, then don't read it.Make a choice for yourself.Kurt's gone and his privacy should be respected, however, people are going to buy Journals no matter what you say. I only flipped through it in the book store the other day. Interesting to say the least. And I'm going to buy it. Despite all the bashing I've read about it. Despite the fact that it's repeating facts I already know [he was a druggie, suicidal, such and such]. Despite the fact that buying it will help Courtney more than anyone else. When I die, if I'm a recognized celebrity I would want my journals to be published. It's a way for fans to see more about the person they idolize.I'm not saying I idolize Kurt and thats why I'm buying. I'm just saying there is people like that.

4-0 out of 5 stars These one-star reviewers haven't read Journals! Ignore them!
Kurt documented his drug abuse, suicide attempts, and other problems in this Journals compilation so that the entries could be read after he killed himself. That's the ONLY reason somebody like him would do that. His entries aren't even numbered or marked with dates because he just wanted to keep track of his daily rants, whines, and problems for future reading. Who they were meant for exactly is obviously a mystery, but he kept them for SOMEONE. The "fans" who say that selling Kurt's Journals is "disgusting" need to actually read the journal entries before making judgments, because there's isn't anything in there that Kurt hasn't mentioned in interviews or Azzerad's CAYA. I hate preachy fans of any band, but that stands double for supposed "morally-upright" Nirvana fans. They practically worship Kurt Cobain when he was the most self-absorbed, self-indulgent druggie ever to grace he music world. They're such hypocrites. He deserved the "tragic" ending to his life that he gave himself. Wanna talk about somebody's greediness? Then talk about Kurt's daily $400 a day heroin binges... and how he killed himself and took hemself out of his daughter's life forever. Kurt allowed Courtney to get her hands on his journal entries by killing himself, so it's his fault if he didn't want them released. All in all, Journals was an interesting read. Ignore the born-again Christian Nirvana reviewers who gave this book one star, and see for yourself if you like it. ... Read more

8. Admiral of the Ocean Sea : A Life of Christopher Columbus
by Samuel Eliot Morison
list price: $28.99
our price: $28.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316584789
Catlog: Book (1991-10-12)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 51703
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Telling the story of the greatest sailor of them all, "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" is a vivid and definitive biography of Columbus that details all of his voyages that, for better or worse, changed the world. 50 drawings, maps & charts; 4 fold-outs. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and entertaining
This was one of the most enjoyable biographies I've read. The most distinguishing thing about this book of course is the fact that Morison recreated the voyages before his writing the book. This recreation lends credibility to his writing. But more than that, it makes much of the book, particularly those parts at sea, seem as if the reader is experiencing the voyages through the person of Columbus. Not only the particulars of what he saw, but the smells of land breezes, the feel of the trade winds, the motion of the boat. Morison's obvious love of the sea and of sailing work very much in his favor. Another strength is the historical perspective carefully provided by Morison. Knowing what was going on with Catholic Spain during Columbus' life (the defeat of the Moors, the expulsion of the Jews, political intrigue and conflict involving France, England, Portugal, and others) helps to explain the motivations of Columbus and his contemporaries. I was a bit wary of a 60-year old book, Pulitzer or no Pulitzer, in light of the more recent reconsiderations of Columbus. Some people would have us believe that the voyage of 1492 was some sort of original sin inflicted upon the paradise that was the western hemisphere. But in his preface, Morison makes it clear that he is concerned with Columbus, the "man of action", and is leaving analyses of his motivations to others. And at any rate, Morison's sensibilities are very much in tune with those of the year 2000. He makes few apologies for Columbus and takes him to task where warranted, particularly for his treatment of the natives. One chapter, "Hell in Hispaniola", is almost exclusively devoted to this area. One word of warning: If your knowledge of sailing isn't good, then you may want to bone up on some of the rudiments before starting this book. Morison provides an explanation of some of the terminology, but not enough for someone who knows as little about sailing as I did coming in. But please don't be put off by that - this book is a real pleasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Discoverer
Morison was both a true sailor and a true writer. This, his pre-war masterpiece (his WW2 history of the U.S. Navy being his other) was intended for the 450th anniversary of the First Voyage which, sadly, was overshadowed by other events. It remains the standard English-language work on the four voyages of the Admiral (as Morison likes to call him), and it reigns supreme over all other Great Explorer books as the one tome which is doubly literate - both well written and fully conversant in sailing lore. The first point Morison makes is that Columbus did, after all, discover America: Africans, Chinese, Vikings and (obviously) the Indians had encountered it before 1492, but only Columbus got back home to spread the word. Discovery is not just finding something, it's telling everyone else about it. The other early point debunked is that Columbus never "proved" the world was round, as no-one ever doubted it was: his thesis was that the world was not as big as everyone said - therefore China was only a month's sail away. In this, he was utterly, utterly wrong, but the by-product of his error was the unfolding of the New World. Finally, Morison comes to Columbus the man. He was no saint - his treatment of the Carib peoples is a terrible stain on his and his masters' reputations - but as a navigator, few approach his skill, and none his achievements.

4-0 out of 5 stars biased book, still good reading for the beginner
Morison (RIP) was in love with Columbus, thus, don't hold your breath waiting to find out details of the natives' Holocauts (yes). And the "other" Holocaust will be forever part of his biography.

Columbus was in large part responsible for introducing penalty of cutting off hands of Indians who failed to produce the quota of gold dust. Greedy Columbus himself was killing natives at the wholesale. After all, in his first journal the word "gold" is repeated countless times. Columbus was first the businessman, and then a superb mariner.

Such abuses are polished by Morison, making the book unreliable source.

Still, author uses good narration to explain life of Columbus, and sets in invironment. If you know nothing about Columbus, you may buy the book for its easy reading. If you are looking for fair and detailed bio, look further (John Boyd Thacher, "Cristopher Columbus", 1903, is still the best source).

Worthwile to note: this book comes also in 2 volume version, which, beside of more pictures, includes an extra chapter on origin of syphilis (Morison in general minimizes massive raping of women).

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best on the subject...
What other Author on Columbus was also an Admiral? ... and sailed the same pathways on a clipper ship?... Morison has written many books on Cristobal... and this one is the cadaliac. I have a slip-covered collectors edition, but have bought many used copies to give to friends as gifts (plus a few for myself). If you like truthful history written with style and professionalism... this in a book to own.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book by a great historian and a great prose stylist
This remains the definitive biography of Columbus. Morison was one of the greatest historians ever to practice the craft--his scholarship still holds up today. He was also a master of the written word, unlike most professional historians today.

Morison enumerates the reasons why he admires Columbus, but he also catalogs the man's misdeeds--for example, Morison uses the word "genocide" to describe Columbus's treatment of the Indians as governor of Hispaniola. Morison gives his readers the facts they need to form their own opinion of Columbus. (I do not share Morison's admiration for the man.)

I must correct the astonishingly ignorant remarks of the reviewer who identified himself as "A reader from New York City" and entitled his review "So much ignorance my God..."

Here goes:

1) The reviewer asserted that Morison was not, in fact, an admiral. Actually, Morison did receive the title. FDR made Morison an honorary admiral when he commissioned the scholar to write the naval history of the US role in WWII. (Morison produced a 12-volume epic. It's still in print.)

2) The reviewer regurgitates a number of questions about Columbus's origins that he apparently drew from another book by a revisionist historian (Kirkpatrick Sale?). The questions the reviewer repeats are good ones, but they are questions that remain open because the evidence to answer them conclusively probably does not exist. If the reviewer were a trained historian, he might understand that. ... Read more

9. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940
by William Manchester
list price: $50.00
our price: $33.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316545120
Catlog: Book (1988-10-28)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 33421
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent History of Churchill's Wilderness Years
As one reads William Manchester's second volume on Churchill, one is struck by Churchill's uncanny grasp of the threat of Nazi Germany, and his many attempts to warn Britain of its peril. Like Cassandra in Greek mythology, though, Churchill's predictions are not believed, and he is only included in the War Cabinet when war was inevitable. William Manchester's book is thoroughly researched, and is at least as good as that of Churchill's official biographer, Martin Gilbert, with one important difference: Manchester's book is written on a far larger canvas, and the level of detail he is able to devote to Churchill is far greater -- and the subject is more than worthy of it. Mandatory reading for anyone studying Churchill, a good prelude to read before reading Churchill's own five volume history of World War II in that it gives insight into Churchill's mind. On a personal level, I know that Mr. Manchester is advanced in years, and I cannot help thinking, in my selfishness as a historian, that I hope he completes volume III soon. It would be a tragedy if the task of completing this wonderful history proves to be too much for him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Current Events
As the crisis in Iraq developed in the post-911 days, I found myself thinking more and more about this second volume of the life of Winston Churchill. I was reminded of the essential differences between appeasement and the need to take agressive measures to stop agression. William Manchester does an outstanding job of spelling out the state of the world at this time leading up to World War II. He details, from a British perspective, every move as we watch disappointedly from an historical vantage point. Churchill's eventual elevation to Prime Minister comes not as a triumph, but more like an act of desperation. All along the way, knowing who the bad guy is (and just how bad he really is) we are disappointed (or is it disgusted) at each step of retreat.

I am in the midst of reading Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and, while I can sing it's praises, it does not do as impressive job on this subject as Manchester's "Alone". Someting about Manchester's writing makes you feel that you're in the midst of everything that's happening.

I can think of no better a time to read this book than in the present world political situation. I'll leave it to the reader to decided how similar the Iraq situation is to that of Nazi Germany. However, the various ways the world and this country react to the situation brings Europe of the 1930's to mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Read
As Hitler was gaining power in Germany, Churchill was warning his fellow countrymen of the dangers thatlurked. He did not receive a listening hear. At a speech before a University audience in Oxford when he told the crowd it was "essential for us to be safe in our island home," the audience burst into laughter. The laughter grew so raucous that Churchill could not continue. These are the sort of snapshots that Manchester captures that makes this book such a delightful read.

Churchill was written off more than once. This second snapshot describes what happened:
"Joseph Stalin, receiving a British delegation headed by Nancy and George Bernard Shaw, had bluntly asked her about Winston's political prospects.Her eyes widened. 'Churchill?' she had said. She gave a scornful little laugh and replied, 'Oh, he's finished.'" These are just two examples of the thoroughness of this well-written book. The author takes a complicated era and makes it understandable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wilderness Years
I liked this treatise on the life of Churchill. His wilderness years when those who treated him with disdain thought of him as a wash up.

This was his time to bide his time, in order to gain his composure for his future use.

Anyone in the oxbow of life can gain insights on how to use time rightly until the attainment of a goal.

Churchill did not just bide his time, he used it to his advantage.

One day I hope Manchester finishes volume III.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Superstar
I've read a lot of books in my life, but I guess I had to wait to find one of the best books I've ever read. It is hard to believe that a "history book" could be a page-turner, but I literally could not put the first volume down. Or the second. Manchester is a fantastic writer and his admiration and enthusiasm for the Last Lion is evident. Do yourself a very big favor and read these books, Vol. 1 and 2. I sure hope there's a Vol. 3 in the works. ... Read more

10. The Survivor : Bill Clinton in the White House
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0375508473
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 11033
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11. The Wit & Wisdom of Winston Churchill
by James C. Humes, Richard M. Nixon
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060925779
Catlog: Book (1995-01-25)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4010
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An enormously entertaining compendium of witticisms, anecdotes, and trivia about Winston Churchill by a former White House speechwriter. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Book About A Great Man........
Winston Churchill is one of the greatest men of our or any other time. His intelligence, wit, humor and clarity of thought is well captured in this great little book. It's broken down into several sections and it's a quick read. It's a book that I keep going back to!

5-0 out of 5 stars Reader from Boston, MA
This book is an excellent compendium of the wit of Winston Churchill. Often acerbic, frequently self-deprecating, but always humorous and witty while exactly on point, Churchill's humor and wit collected in this book would be of great value even to professional comedy writers. The book also tells much about the man, Churchill, himself, and his inner strength, sense of proportion, his mastery of the English language and his uncanny ability to use the English language masterfully and to its maximum affect -- the qualities that made Churchill such an effective and potent world leader during the bleakest days of World War II.

5-0 out of 5 stars Power of Words in the Majestic Battle of Ideas
In this book, James C. Humes gives his audience an excellent opportunity to conjure up a mental picture of Winston Churchill and his legacy. As a renaissance man, Churchill was more than a skilled politician and a gifted soldier. Perhaps more importantly, Churchill was a man of inspired words, whose work was ultimately crown by the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. Churchill often was far from politically correct and did not hesitate to say, write and do what he thought was right. Churchill's bluntness did not make him dear to everybody.

Humes first brings to light many of the great thoughts of Churchill in "Observations and Opinions." Humes classifies key words alphabetically without giving context so that readers can easily find a quote of their liking about a specific subject. Some readers might get frustrated about it if they are not familiar with the key milestones in the life and career of Churchill. These readers can read books such as "Churchill a Life", "Churchill a Study in Greatness", "Clementine Churchill The Biography of a Marriage" or "Winston and Clementine The Personal Letters of the Churchills" to fill in the gaps in their knowledge of Churchill for that purpose.

Humes forges ahead in a similar way in "Orations and Perorations", "Coiners of Phrases", "Saints and Sinners" and "Escapades and Encounters." In these sections, Humes is usually very good at giving his audience the context so that readers better understand where Churchill was coming from. Hours of fun and laughter are virtually guaranteed, especially in "Escapades and Encounters."

Churchill's witticism, wisdom and oratory probably reached their climax in the faithful summer of 1940 when Britain stood alone against the Nazi monster. Churchill galvanized by his words and actions the civilized world to soldier on when the horizon seemed hopelessly bleak. As President Franklin Roosevelt said to his aide Harry Hopkins after listening to one of Churchill's radio broadcasts during that period: "As long as that old bastard is in charge, Britain will never surrender." The words of Churchill will continue to resonate for a long time in the heart and soul of humanity. Churchill's words will further shine like diamonds in the night when humanity loses hope from time to time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Your finest hours will be spent reading this book!!!
Be forewarned. The words of Sir Winston Churchill are not for everyone. If you are too timid, sensitive, politically correct, Victorian in outlook, or do not drink, you are not the ideal audience for this book. However, if you love stirring speeches, great epigrams, and explosive wit, then Winston is your man. Divided into several sections, the first deals with epigrams concerning subjects in general, for example; History--"A nation that forgets its past has no future." The next section deals with excepts from his most famous speeches: Their Finest Hour, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, etc. Then, Coiner of Phrases, a section dealing with famous words or sayings first attributed to him, such as Destroyer, for "light search and destroy vessel." Next, Saints and Sinners, a section reserved for his opinions of the great (and nearly great) of the world; his opinion of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George: "He could talk a bird out of a tree." Finally, the last (and best) section, Escapades and Encounters (aka Winston's Wit). Yes, here we have the famous Lady Nancy Astor story (I won't spoil it for you here), another famous (and politically incorrect) encounter with Labourite Bessie Braddock, and the hilarous story The World Is Not My Oyster, in which the eighty-six year old Churchill blames his indisposition on the oysters served at the Savoy Grill, not the numerous glasses of wine he consumed there. So, grab a glass of your favorite port or sherry (or a snifter of brandy, if you must), sink into a comfortable chair with a favorite snack and this book, and INDULGE YOURSELF. Trust me, it will be one (or more) of your finest hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Words, wit, Winston, Wow !
I am a big fan of these types of collections, and have been distressed in recent years as series publishers have pumped them out. James C. Humes, however, avoids the path of ready material and produces a book of Churchilliana as comprehensive and broad as the man himself.

There are all the favorites here: the Lady Nancy Astor tea story, the acerbic prepositional rejoinder to the supercilious editing of an assistant, the choice between sherry and adultery, and so on. More importantly, one begins to acquire a notion of the extent to which Churchill, as Shakespeare before him did, has shapped our language, our thoughts, and our clich├ęs: "trade no aid", Iron Curtain, and "blood, sweat, and tears."

Every page is a gem, and this is the perfect book for bed or bathroom, if you are a lover of words, wit, and Winston.

p.s. The very nice, concise introduction by Richard M. Nixon is a quirky little joy as well. ... Read more

12. The Man Called Cash : The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend
by Steve Turner
list price: $24.99
our price: $16.49
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Asin: 0849918200
Catlog: Book (2004-09-23)
Publisher: W Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 1494
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Book Description

Johnny Cash is one of the most influential figures in music and American popular culture today. While he was an icon to people of all ages during his life, Cash’s legacy continues after his death. His remarkable story is captured in this exclusive authorized biography, addressing the whole life of Johnny Cash—not just his unforgettable music but also his relationship with June Carter Cash and his faith in Christ. His authenticity, love for God and family, and unassuming persona are what Steve Turner captures with passion and focus in this inspiring book.

Different from other books written about him, The Man Called CASH brings Cash’s faith and love for God into the foreground and tells the story of a man redeemed, without watering-down or sugar-coating. Unquestionably one of the biggest book releases of 2004, The Man Called CASH will be a huge success with his millions of fans and will draw in many new fans with this inspiring story of faith and redemption.

The audio book, ISBN 084996377X, is narrated by Cash's close friend and musical partner, Kris Kristofferson.

... Read more

13. Blinded by the Right : The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400047285
Catlog: Book (2003-02-25)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 22943
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a powerful and deeply personal memoir in the tradition of Arthur Koestler’s The God That Failed, David Brock, the original right-wing scandal reporter, chronicles his rise to the pinnacle of the conservative movement and his painful break with it.

David Brock pilloried Anita Hill in a bestseller. His reporting in The American Spectator as part of the infamous “Arkansas Project” triggered the course of events that led to the historic impeachment trial of President Clinton. Brock was at the center of the right-wing dirty tricks operation of the Gingrich era–and a true believer–until he could no longer deny that the political force he was advancing was built on little more than lies, hate, and hypocrisy.

In Blinded By the Right, Brock, who came out of the closet at the height of his conservative renown, tells his riveting story from the beginning, giving us the first insider’s view of what Hillary Rodham Clinton called “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” Whether dealing with the right-wing press, the richly endowed think tanks, Republican political operatives, or the Paula Jones case, Brock names names from Clarence Thomas on down, uncovers hidden links, and demonstrates how the Republican Right’s zeal for power created the poisonous political climate that culminated in George W. Bush’s election.

Now in paperback and with a new afterword by the author, Blinded By the Right is a classic political memoir of our times.
... Read more

Reviews (340)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Will Set You Free. The Reader or the Writer?
Blinded by the Right is in some ways a remarkable book. In other ways, it is a frustrating tale of self-centeredness and greed -- the author's. Brock is a fine writer. He is informed and clearly intelligent. In Blinded, Brock provides a first-person account of the tactics employed by the conservative Republican extreme throughout the 1990's in their effort to "spread their message" and exert the considerable power of their money and influence.

The book is frightening in that political games are laid bare and the conservative Republicans look pretty reprehensible in the process. While there are just as many - perhaps more -- similar books on the opposite spectrum of politics, Brock's stands out because it is so strongly autobiographical and he was so much a part of the propaganda machine as a reporter for the American Spectator during the 90's. He wrote many of the stories that caught our attention in the news media. David Brock was one of the party's key delivery boys!

Even more frightening is the fact that David Brock was a soul-less chameleon who served as a political puppet for many years. While some folks are motivated to advocate positions because of deep personal conviction, David Brock was a shallow, selfish man, essentially interested in only one cause - himself. Brock essentially proved he was willing to be anything he needed to be and to go to any lengths to advance his own standing, inflate his own ego, make himself more money, and promote his own notoriety.

I can't say that I leave Blinded by the Right with much sympathy for David Brock. While Brock has obviously gone through some form of personal transformation in writing this book about his own dishonesty, he actually got quite a bit out of his personal prostitution over the years as one of the key party messenger boys. If he believes it was he that was used, I would urge another look. Even after his "breakthrough" there still seems to be disingenuousness to Brock's desire to "come clean" and his personal ego looms large throughout the book - even after his supposed "wake-up" call.

I'm not really very convinced that Brock has actually changed his agenda very much through all of his soul searching. So much of the undertone of Blinded by the Right seems to sound a discordant note that "the world somehow should revolve around David Brock". Sadly, he still seems to lack very much conviction or commitment to anything other than to himself.

While I enjoyed reading Brock's account of some of the zealotry that drove a wedge through American politics all through the 90's, I can't help but finish the book hoping that David Brock himself finds something to believe in that is worthy of his intelligence and giftedness. A man at middle age who doesn't have any personal conviction, regard for others, or much to believe in that is larger than oneself, quite frankly, isn't very impressive.

Daniel J. Maloney
Saint Paul, Minnesota

4-0 out of 5 stars GOP = Gated Only Please
David Brock's "Blinded by the Right" gives an insider's view of what's being done "behind the curtain" by a veritable phalanx of "neo-conservative" societies, foundations, think tanks, newspapers, publishers, et al. Well written, the book is quite entertaining in a chilling "Star Chamber" sort of way. One must wonder how the underlying attitudes of misogyny, racism, and elitist classism would play if presented openly as the one and only "patriotic" American Way. Trouble is, the underlying philosophies (and the policies they promote) negate and/or corrupt nearly everything my twenty years in the American lit classroom spoke of and to. As for rational, meaningful debate in any election cycle, post Bork, -- forget about it.

Politics from here to Armageddon in this media-drenched culture will be a loud and insulting Limbaugh-Springer carnival, relying mainly on smears and character assassination. It will be this way because the hugely wealthy echelon that funds it will accept no less than their entitlement to the lion's share. Curiously, McVeigh could be the overarching poster boy for this version of a home rule, anti-DC, WASP-only vision of a grand "Gated Community of America." Such is the toxicity poisoning the executive branch.

Compassionate conservatism...sure thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Kafkaesque Hate Trip
This book gets five stars for the list of names it drops, and I get five for actually making it to the last page without vomiting once. Brock gives us a guided tour of the hate matrix from the top down. Bizarre freaks like Rupert Murdoch, Sun Moon, and Richard Scaife bleed influence and money into a rat maze crowded with legions of hungry rodents thoroughly purged of principal and hungry to feed. And feed they do, on everything from the self-esteem of a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, to the tentative and twisted lies and fantasies of a bunch of power junkies, gold diggers, hillbillies, sociopaths, and miscreants, all floundering around together like pigs in a sty.

Brock and his buddies attended the delivery of the current Rosemary's Baby of a presidential administration that we currently cower under in a state of near-perpetual fear and utter victimhood. He appears to repent as it twitches away in its black cradle, but his confessions and regrets are little more than weak platitudes, and the author's core personal defects are neither explored nor resolved here in any meaningful way. At the bitter end, I was left with a haunting feeling that endures. The book is billed as an autobiography, but the interior world of its author is either heavily guarded or nonexistent. Who is this guy, and who abducted his soul? Certainly not the Berkeley anarchists who angered him, or his neocon professor friends who mentored him - no comic book activists or university faculty could ever warp a smart guy like this to such an extreme. Don't crack this book expecting anything but solid concrete - it's nothing more than a running diary describing who he screwed, how hard he screwed 'em, and his resulting ample compensation. That's what you get, but you get a LOT - perhaps more than you can take. Occasionally Brock describes his motivations with blubbering, intelligence-insulting rationale: "I wanted status. I wanted love and acceptance." After a while these shallow reflective utterances taper down to a predictable drone as he plods through detailed descriptions of year after unrelenting year of his own original and continuous journalistic atrocities.

Liberals wonder why they do not possess a frankenstein-meets-godzilla kind of media monster that might lumber forth to confront the fascist hate regime fueled by minds like the one floating around inside Brock's head. Read this book and you might gain some insight into the problem, but only by its very LACK of a real explanation. Maybe it has something to do with personality type. Brock's is a perfect fit for the extreme right - vain, superficial, materialistic, opportunistic, sex-confused - his every paragraph is an act of servile, self-conscious spite dedicated to advancing his puppetmasters' agenda. There's no way the left can compete with this stuff - David Brock's work makes Michael Moore's look like empirical science by comparison.

Actually, it's not even ironic that Brock could come out of the closet and still survive within the hard right on nothing more than his skills in the art of character assassination and slander. To me, there's no irony in even the very thought of this book, and this idea kind of scares me, and it leads straight to the conclusion that Brock is an incorrigible operator, a hard-core narcissist with a Huey Lewis soundtrack bubbling away endlessly in the shallow murk of his own semi-conscious mind. At the end of the day, David Brock was never really 'blinded by the right'; he was already blind before he ever enlisted his services. This book doesn't describe how that happened. Read at your own risk, serve up a short dose of pity, and pray that you and your offspring will never turn out like David Brock.

5-0 out of 5 stars Needs More on the Ladies!
If you need to know, Brock tells how disgusting the right wing is. Reagan put a happy face, unity, and some civility on it all, but when Daddy left, the "kids" started to lose it. Gingrich and so many others could throw bombs, but couldn't lead. Nope. Brock found himself fronting and digging dirt for this wingnut crowd, after (understandably) shying from and countering ultra-PC lefties in college. So Brock went Reagan's direction in formative years, like so many others his age. And then... well, Brock tells the story best... and I can't think of a more encompassing history of 1990's politics. The story is dark, and if you're too alert you'll keep questioning Brock's initial motives for the book, and how he spins his tales in his book. (Especially after Bill Clinton's performances - with fingers to chest -, this reader is cynical toward apologies). But, if you lay back and give Brock the benefit of doubt (at least until you finish the book), it's a good read about 90's right-wing politics, tactics, $$$$, careerism, "friendships" of convenience, and hypocrisy, not in that particular order. When I finished the book (which is hard to do -- just keep plowing through it; the info and perspective *is worth it*) I actually felt for Brock (and I don't *think* I'm a bleeding heart :-). Brock's arc and inside perspective are wholly unique. Is this book a new Whittaker Chambers' (who left the communists and spoke up) "Witness" for the *left*? A little, maybe?

Anyway, I'm pretty conservative, and learned a lot. Brock's is a hard book to get through, but I'll never view the 90's (Newt, Clinton, all media) the same again. Oh yeah, back to my review title: Brock tells of his relationships with right-wing queens Arianna Huffington, Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter. More details next time! Do they like to play quarters? Caps?! Keggers or wine boxes?

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read...
A great perspective on two decades of American history. Engrossing and powerful. ... Read more

14. Cash
by Editors of Rolling Stone, Rosanne Cash, Jason Fine
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140005480X
Catlog: Book (2004-05-11)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 7545
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Variety of Perspective
The value of this book is in the perspective afforded by the compilation format. Included are chapters taken from articles formerly published in Rolling Stone magazine, chapters pulled from Johnny's autobiography and numerous other sources. I've got all of the Rolling Stone articles but bought the book so I could have it all together in one source. Not all of the writing is top notch, but there are plenty of gems to be found. A generous sampling of photographs are provided also. I'm being generous with the 5 star rating - it's probably worth a solid 4 but the subject adds a bonus in itself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent & informative.
Outside of Cash's own autobiographies, most of the biographies dealing with Johnny Cash are none too good. This one isn't really detailed enough but it's good for quick info and the articles from Rolling Stone are very well written. Definitly worth a look if you're a Cash fan. ... Read more

15. Christopher Columbus (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3)
list price: $3.99
our price: $3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679803696
Catlog: Book
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 189176
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Illus. in full color. Youngsters can celebrate the 500th anniversary of

Columbus's fateful voyage with this dramatic, easy-to-read account of a pivotal

moment in American history. "Enlivened by attractive full-color artwork,

including maps and a cutaway view of the ship, the straightforward account is a

good choice at this reading level."--Booklist.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Starter Book For Learning About Columbus.
Hi!:) This book is nice and informative without being too long and boring. It will most likely appeal to children around 5 or 6 through about 9 or 10. After that, they may want to read another, more in depth biography about this remarkable and fearless sailor and explorer.
The illustrations are realistic and well done.
I, as a parent, felt that the ending was a bit weak, but children will certainly gain a better understanding and clearer picture of the explorer, and his sacrifices, upon reading this book. Wording is simple and uncomplicated. A step 2 book.
Good information, good book!~ ... Read more

16. Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
by Tony Horwitz
list price: $26.00
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000AZW7G
Catlog: Book (2002-10-02)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
Sales Rank: 19457
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

James Cook's three epic journey's in the eighteenth century were the last great voyages of discovery. When he embarked for the Pacific in 1768, a third of the globe remained blank. By the time he died in 1779, Cook had explored more of the earth's surface than anyone in history.

Adventuring in the captain's wake, Tony Horwitz relives his journeys and explores their legacy. He recaptures the rum-and-lash world of eighteenth century seafaring gang members, and the king of Tonga. Accompanied by a carousing Australian mate, he meets Miss Tahiti, visits the roughest bar in Alaska, and uncovers the secret behind the red-toothed warriors of Savage Island.

Throughout, Horwitz also searches for Cook the man: a restless prodigy who fled his peasant boyhood, and later the luxury of Georgian London, for the privation and peril of sailing off the edge of the map.

Read by Daniel Gerroll

... Read more

Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining sampling of Cook for the non-historian
Tony Horwitz spends a year and a half visiting many of the places Captain Cook visited from 1768 - 1779. The book culminates with Cook's violent death in modern day Hawaii.

The book alternates back and forth between Cook's 18th century experience and Mr. Horwitz's modern day travels. Horwitz does an excellent job of interpreting the various sources available and giving an account that the historical layperson can relate to. Key characters include the author, Cook, the colorful Joseph Banks (the Endevour's Botanist) and Horowitz's even more colorful traveling companion Roger Williamson. Horwitz paints a picture of Cook as an austere, yet fair man-seemingly driven to the edges of the earth. As driven as Cook is to explore the world, Banks is driven to explore the anatomies of females from different Polynesian cultures. Roger is mainly content to explore the bottle and make wisecracks about Horwitz's adventure. If you think Blue Latitudes sounds like a dry historical piece, you're sorely mistaken. Any potential dryness is quickly quenched by Horwitz's wit, Banks's "botanizing" and Roger's boozing.

Much to my wife's amusement I found myself laughing out loud many times while reading Blue Latitudes. Despite that, I found myself strangely moved after reading the account of Cook's death. While the consequences of Cook's voyages are complex, you cannot help but feel a great admiration for this man who started with so little yet went so far. Great book, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Adventure in the Pacific
The question often asked of Columbus - how could he "discover" America if there were already people here could apply to Captain Cook and his 3 voyages of discovery in the Pacific. Retracing some of the journeys, Horwitz sets out across the world to discover Cook, and the world he encountered. This is helped by the fact that a lot of the remote areas have changed very little in the intervening 200 plus years. But Horwitz also shows us that Cook's travels are remembered in differing ways - from worship, to indifference, to outright hostility, depending on where you go. While Columbus is honored with numerous locations, and others like Magellan have landmarks named after them. Yet Cook was more self effacing and thus very little bears the name of this explorer. This makes the journey even more interesting, as you try to get into the head and person of the great Captain.

Some of the book is depressing and almost seems an aside. Repeatedly Horwitz and his friend run into walls trying to look beyond the published history and understand the early European - Native contacts through the people left behind. An oft repeated theme is the way Cook is looked up as a monster by the natives today, having shattered paradise with his arrival. Horwitz juxtaposes the historical journeys of Cook seen through logs and writings of the time, and what is to be discovered today. Much of the writing is very enjoyable and brings us along to visit remote areas in the Pacific that we most likely would not visit ourselves. Some parts get long winded, or stretch for inclusion, but overall the book moves along nicely and pays honor to the explorer and his place in the world, both in the 17th century, and the 21st.

5-0 out of 5 stars Horwitz does it again...
Tony Horwitz has had two back-to-back smash hits in his Pulitzer prize-winner Baghdad Without a Map and the critically acclaimed Confederates in the Attic. He now has added another gem to his body of work in Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before.

James Cook seems largely to be forgotten to history. Yet, his was probably the most incredible voyage of discovery. Just the story of how Cook came to be a navigator is a fascinating one. In a day where the children of laborers did not receive an education, a mentor took notice of Cook and paid for four years of school. Cook was ambitious and worked hard to fill in the gaps in his education. As a teen, he moved from a store clerk to working on a coal ship to finally joining the Royal Navy, where he rose very rapidly through the ranks.

The tales of Cook's three voyages to the Pacific are an unbelievable story. This man of humble beginnings became one of the world's greatest explorers. In the course of 10 years, his Pacific travels covered over 200,000 miles at a time when one third of the world was unknown and unmapped. He traveled "140 of the earth's 180 degrees latitude, as well as its entire longitude." He probably named more places (rivers, islands, points, bays, bluffs, etc.) than any other man, before or since. He was a shrewd handler of men--both those above and below him in rank. He was a prolific writer of journals and logs, which are still read today. Cook was also a brilliant surveyor and chart maker, and his map of New Zealand was used up until the 1990's (when it was finally replaced by satellite images). His voyages also led to the discovery of thousands of new plants and animals, and his claiming land for Britain helped to eventually lead Britain in becoming a major empire that spanned 11 thousand miles.

But what makes Blue Latitudes a true delight is Horwitz's travelogue. In his attempt to follow in Cook's footsteps and see locations as Cook might have seen them, Horwitz travels to Canada, Tahiti, Bora-Bora, New Zealand, Australia, Niue, Tonga, England, Alaska and Hawaii. With his sidekick Roger, his travels are often hysterical. His week spent on a replica of the Endeavour (complete with 14 inches of hammock space) is especially a hoot. But it is also depressing to discover that the European explorers (not just Cook) changed the way of life on these islands. Many brought with them disease, STD's, materialism and religion. They also tried to eradicate the native culture and native populations. Horwitz also discovered that while Cook is revered in England, he is pretty much reviled among the Pacific nations he visited. Yet ironically, journals, diaries, logs and sketches from Cook's travels are in some cases the only record of these native cultures. It was also distressing to Horwitz was to discover that very little actually exists from Cook's time. Places he lived, worshipped and worked are pretty much gone. The sites he visited are also much changed. Cliff Thornton, president of the Captain Cook Society told Horwitz that "the best you can do is catch an echo of the man. You can almost never reach out and touch him."

The only thing lacking from this almost perfect book is pictures. There are plenty of maps and a painting of Cook. It would have been fascinating to see photos of the many places Horwitz traveled. I don't expect to be traveling to Bora-Bora, Tonga, Niue, Tahiti, or the other locations mentioned any time soon. Still, Blue Latitudes is a wonderful book and even those not much interested in history will find a fascinating story here.

3-0 out of 5 stars Decent, informative, amusing book.
Decent, informative, and amusing book.
(6 out of 10)

Tony Horwitz' book, Blue Latitude, is part travelogue, and part history book. The author writes about his tales retracing the three voyages that Captain Cook took to the Pacific Ocean around 1770-1780. Horwitz' retracing is not exact nor the site visitations in chronological order with Cook's visits. This is mainly due to the logistics of travel.

If memory serves me correctly, Horwitz visits the North west coast of America, then swings south to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, back up to Cook islands, England, the island of Tonga, the Unalaska Alaskan Islands (you read that right) and onto Hawaii.

The cultural and environmental demise of most of these islands is much the same. Materialism, missionaries, and venereal diseases would devastate each island, destroying much of the culture. Many would despise Cook's journey, but ironically, it would be Cook and his crew's journals that would help these islands reconstruct the traditions of their ancestors.

Horwitz covers a lot of ground. From what it was like living on a ship, to the hardships of living in England, to the customs of Pacific culture. His manner is that of a well informed friend. There were times where you were pressing to know more, but overall, I was happy he gave perhaps a slightly more than cursory treatment of the various topics. Since I'm not a history buff, nor a serious traveler, but rather part of the "masses" on this subject, anything more than what Horwitz presents would have been nauseating details.

Let me list some of the best parts of the book. The opening chapters describing Horwitz experience on replica of the Endeavor, the boat used by Cook on his first journey, really conveys to the reader the danger, and the toil that sea travel was back in the 18th century. That chapter was the most memorable, and it's lessons of hardship provides a good background for the rest of the book. Of course, that doesn't meant the rest of the book is all down hill. The Epicurean tastes of his best science officer, Banks who was a party animal, when contrasted against the hard life of the rest of Cook's crew was funny in a rather dark way. Perhaps the most intriguing story was the circumstances of Cook's death in Hawaii, and it is here I really wish Horwitz had gone into more detail.

The modern day travels were also amusing. These include a traditional, drunken party in Australia celebrating Cook's discovery of Australia which to some degree reminds me of a crude Mardi Gras-like celebration in New Orleans. The quest for the Red banana on the island of Tonga, a traditional fruit believed to be forever lost. The brutally cold visits to the Unalaska islands of Alaska make you marvel at the temerity of Cook and his crew. And of course, there was Horwitz funny, drunk and quick-witted friend from Australia, Roger who would travel with Horwitz for most of the itinerary.

Perhaps the most serious thing lacking in this book are the pictures. It would be great to see the ship that Cook sailed on. It would have been informative to see the before and after pictures of the various islands overrun by western culture.

This book is neither a boring nor exciting. Think of this book as sitting down with a good friend and having him tell you his vacation stories. It's a pleasant experience, but since this is a book not a friend, you can't ask any questions and 'direct' the conversation. In that sense the book can be frustrating. The friend-conversation analogy is apt. Just like friends, at times I wanted to know about Tony Horwitz, and not so much about his adventures. Horwitz came off as more a reporter, and I think his book could have benefited from telling us what exactly he was thinking at the time. Is it possible to think of Cook, every thought throughout the several months? Probably not.

To that end, books similar to Blue Latitudes but where the authors have no problem telling you exactly what they were thinking, I recommend the following:

Travels by Michael Crichton
Primate's Memoirs by Robert Sapolsky

The first is about the spiritual awakenings of the author. The latter is about the author's adventures in Africa as a grad student studying primates.

So in summary, Blue Latitude is a decent read filled with amusing anecdotes of history and of the author's travels. It's a light book, and because of that, you may not come away with any sort of wisdom. But for those who may be wondering what it would be like to adventure or vacation on the "high seas", then this book can provide you insight, and for some, it might just be the vacation they need.

5-0 out of 5 stars In the flotsam of Cook's wake
"With only one break in the encircling reef, the lagoon couldn't flush the sewage pumped into its once-crystalline water. If the wind and tide ran the wrong way, scum coated the surface. Overfishing had killed off much of the marine life. Fresh water was so scarce it had to be cut off each night from nine P.M. to five A.M."

Such is the contemporary description in BLUE LATITUDES of the over-developed Bora-Bora lagoon, one of Captain James Cook's Polynesian landfalls in the summer of 1769.

During the period 1768 to 1779 at the behest of the British Admiralty, Cook of the Royal Navy captained three 3-year voyages to the Pacific Ocean in attempts to discover either the continent rumored to be at the bottom of the world, or the much-sought Northwest Passage to Asia. Cook found neither, but he was the first European to see and chart many of the islands and landmass margins in that vast watery expanse. In BLUE LATITUDES, author Tony Horwitz follows in Cook's wake to the most celebrated of the latter's landfalls, both north and south: Tahiti, Bora-Bora, New Zealand, Botany Bay (Australia), the Great Barrier Reef, Niue, Tonga, Unalaska (in the Aleutians), and Hawaii.

To my tastes, this book is a near-perfect travel essay. Not only are Cook's experiences described from the author's study of the great explorer's journals, but Horwitz paints a present-day picture of places that I'll likely never visit except in my mind's eye. And he writes with humor and perception. So, I'm both educated and entertained; it doesn't get better than that. The only thing lacking is a photo section - something illogically missing from too many travel narratives on the bookshelves. (Why most travel writers neglect to provide visual reinforcement remains a mystery to me.)

Tony begins his book with a nice touch - his personal agony during five days as a volunteer sailor aboard a full-scale reconstruction of Cook's first ship, The Endeavor, as it sailed from Gig Harbor, WA, to Vancouver, BC. At the end of his short voyage, Horwitz and the reader marvel at the endurance of the 19th century swabbie during literally years at sea because, as the author describes himself:

"My hands were so swollen and raw that I couldn't make a fist or do the buttons on my shirt. Every limb throbbed. My eyes twitched and blurred from fatigue ... (I had) tar stuck in my hair (and) grime embedded in every inch of exposed skin."

Two-thirds of the way through the volume, in order to discover something of the inner Cook, Horwitz takes us to North Yorkshire, England, where the explorer was born in 1728, and where he took to sea from the Whitby docks in 1746 as a coal ship's apprentice. In the following chapter, it's on to London, where Cook lived with his wife between his celebrated voyages. Sadly, there are few genuine traces of the intrepid captain remaining on his home island.

Admittedly, the modern world has taken cruel toll on the exotic places that so captivated Cook and his crews. For example, Horwitz describes Papeete, Tahiti as an overpriced, congested mass of billboards, car fumes, crumbling sidewalks, litter, and ferroconcrete. Even the monument on the Hawaiian beach commemorating the spot of Cook's death at the hands of the natives is marred with graffiti and surrounded by trash.

Cook has been blamed by some as being the point man for West's destruction of Paradise. But, at the end of BLUE LATITUDES, this reader, at least, stands in awe of the man. ... Read more

17. Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain
by Charles R. Cross
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786865059
Catlog: Book (2001-08-15)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 8668
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

The art of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was all about his private life, but written in a code as obscure as T.S. Eliot's. Now Charles Cross has cracked the code in the definitive biography Heavier Than Heaven, an all-access pass to Cobain's heart and mind. It reveals many secrets, thanks to 400-plus interviews, and even quotes Cobain's diaries and suicide notes and reveals an unreleased Nirvana masterpiece. At last we know how he created, how lies helped him die, how his family and love life entwined his art--plus, what the heck "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really means. (It was graffiti by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna after a double date with Dave Grohl, Cobain, and the "over-bored and self-assured" Tobi Vail, who wore Teen Spirit perfume; Hanna wrote it to taunt the emotionally clingy Cobain for wearing Vail's scent after sex--a violation of the no-strings-attached dating ethos of the Olympia, Washington, "outcast teen" underground. Cobain's stomach-churning passion for Vail erupted in six or so hit tunes like "Aneurysm" and "Drain You.")

Cross uncovers plenty of news, mostly grim and gripping. As a teen, Cobain said he had "suicide genes," and his clan was peculiarly defiant: one of his suicidal relatives stabbed his own belly in front of his family, then ripped apart the wound in the hospital. Cobain was contradictory: a sweet, popular teen athlete and sinister berserker, a kid who rescued injured pigeons and laughingly killed a cat, a talented yet astoundingly morbid visual artist. He grew up to be a millionaire who slept in cars (and stole one), a fiercely loyal man who ruthlessly screwed his oldest, best friends. In fact, his essence was contradictions barely contained. Cross, the coauthor of Nevermind: Nirvana, the definitive book about the making of the classic album, puts numerous Cobain-generated myths to rest. (Cobain never lived under a bridge--that Aberdeen bridge immortalized in the 12th song on Nevermind was a tidal slough, so nobody could sleep under it.) He gives the fullest account yet of what it was like to be, or love, Kurt Cobain. Heavier Than Heaven outshines the also indispensable Come As You Are. It's the deepest book about pop's darkest falling star. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (191)

3-0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile, though not definitive
Charles Cross' biography on Kurt Cobain is a thoroughly researched, highly intelligent, thoughful book. Even if you are not familiar with the music - or even care for rock as a whole - it is a solid read. However, it is important to bear a couple of factors in mind:
a) the access to Cobain's journals was granted through Courtney Love, Kurt's surviving wife. Therefore, the book casts her in a sympathetic light, and maybe a little too much so at times, losing its' objectivity.
b) The book is essentially in many ways a very well-written transcription of Kurt's journals and Michael Azzerrad's "Come As You Are", which is the preferable of the two, and the more relevant (though it was written during Kurt's life - so it may seem a little out-of-date, it features many interviews with him and his bandmates, and the tragedy (and drama) of his death becomes more apparent)
c) Greater participation from his former bandmates would reveal still further layers of Cobain's life and psyche.

d) Cobain's legacy is evolving still, so - in the wake of the realease of Journals and the Nirvana greatest hits package - even this book could benefit from an updated revision.

So what to do? Of course, check out nirvana's Nevermind and In Utero (as well as unplugged). From there Michael Azzerod's Come As You Are, then read Journals. This book is by no means redundant at that point. In fact, I had read this initially when it first came out, and didn;t really care for it. Having thumbed through journals and coming back to the recently published paperback edition, I found Cross' book much more illuminating and compelling.

2-0 out of 5 stars what a disappointment
if you've never known about the existence of kurt cobain, then frankly, reading this book isn't going to bring you any closer. this book is a complete disappointment. you never find out who kurt cobain as a person really was, and most especially you never find out just what it was that made him so special. if i hadn't known about kurt beforehand, i'd wonder just what the big deal was. you want to know who kurt was, this is not the book to turn to.

3-0 out of 5 stars looks behind the myths
This book gave me an alternate view of Kurt Cobain by the author's willingness to examine the singer's mythology that developed around him (thanks in part to Cobain's purposeful attempts in interviews) and present the real facts. For example, if you take this account as true, Cobain was something of a bully himself in school, he didn't sleep under a bridge,and Courtney Love tried to discourage, rather than facilitate, his drug abuse.

The book incorporates interviews from just about everyone you can imagine who knew or knew of Cobain, mostly the former. Although some of the material could have been omitted without decreasing the impact of the book as a whole, it is still a mostly intriguing read.

4-0 out of 5 stars What else could I say?
This is a great book, from beginning to end, it is amazingly written; jumping from time to time in Cobain's life with no rhyme or reason, but manages to flow without being too confusing. There was only one problem I had with this book, even though the book is 'unauthorized', sometimes it feels as though Courtney pressured some stuff to be a certain way, it could be that Cross and Love knew each other before the book was published, but some stuff just seemed to be purposely left out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interests Can Be Dangerous
I read this about 3 years ago, about the time it was first released. I bought it on hardback and it took me awhile to finish, because I basically had to have the time to really read it.

Nirvana is easily my favorite band of all time and there is no question how controversial his life was. Cross finely examines this in 'Heavier than Heaven.' Cobain's life is dark, but in a way, it's almost that you can see where he could have made it better. After reading, I realized there were many situations where Kurt did it to himself. So I developed a sense of, well, he has his problems, but chooses to not go on.

Surprisingly, after years later of research and thorough study of Cobain's life and death, doing research papers and none such, it's been claimed that Cross' book is very falisified. Either way, the book has it's values, where you can find information that is really interesting, not on just Kurt, but on Nirvana as well.

There are some chapters where I am surprised and wonder how Cross knew of it, but I guess that might explains the mishaps in the writing.

The book is the best biography for Kurt's life, not his murder, and I would love to pick it up and read it again, some time. It's a good book to have and Cross is a fine author.

For a Nirvana fanatic, it's necessary, but for anyone else, I say once again, 'to each is own.' ... Read more

by David Brock
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684834510
Catlog: Book (1996-10-08)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 571611
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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In this surprising, often thoughtful, political biography, investigative writer for the American Spectator David Brock--best known as the right-wing hatchet man who produced "The Real Anita Hill"--makes a case for Hillary Rodham Clinton as a brilliant, principled, but betrayed woman. Hillary Clinton's social activism, Brock notes, is rooted in liberal Methodism and deep compassion for the underprivileged, especially children; but it has been distorted and derailed by her Faustian alliance with her husband, "the greatest seducer who ever lived," according to former White House aide David Watkins. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Why does Brock hate Hillary?
In page after page of "facts" based on assumptions, presumptions, and lies, he produces a tale of flimsy accusations of improperity against a woman who is much brighter, quicker, and kinder than her male counterparts. It was easily apparent that he manufactured much of the "facts."

1-0 out of 5 stars The Vast Credibility Conspiracy
I read this book when it was first issued. The more time passes, the less impressed I am by the work.

At the timethe book was issued, I noted what must have been a very painful episode in the subject's life, at least as Brock reports it.

According to Daivd Brock, for her entire life, Hillary Rodham's mother urged her daughter to excell at academics. Yet when Hillary received the singular honor of giving the commencement address at her college, an event that brought her national attention at a young age, Brock reports that Hillary's mother was not in attendence. That struck me as what must have been a particularly bittersweet moment in the young Ms. Rodham's life. To work so hard for approval and then receive none.

Several years later, in a biography that received cooperation from the First Lady, Gail Sheehy reported that it was Hugh Rodham, Hillary's beloved father, who had skipped her famous commencement address in lieu of other pressing activities.

Mistaking the subject's mother for the subject's father strikes me as a rather serious factual error for a biographer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Even-handed????
I disagree with the other reviews of this book. It is even-handed only if you consider damning with faint praise to be even-handedness. Brock's thesis is that while Bill Clinton is a sleaze bag; Hillary is a sincere committed radical--sort of a Emma Goldman with a law degree. While he does at times acknowledge that a double standard has been applied to the Clintons, as compared for example to the Bushes, he repeatedly denigrates Hillary by resorting to guilt by association. He trots out every associate she has ever had who has been involved in any liberal or left-wing cause and gives you their background in lurid detail. According to Brock, Hillary's intellectual development stopped in college or law school. I await his new book to see whether he really is ready to write an even-handed appraisal of the current political scene. In this book, he assumes that the liberals are naive or out to destroy basic American values. For example, he assumes that there wasn't merit at all to the Vietnam war protests or that anyone could actually believe that the war was both immoral and not in the interests of the United States of America.--Arthur Amchan

4-0 out of 5 stars Sleazy title, good book...
...No matter what you think of the Clintons, this is not a hack job. The writing is very balanced, if a little confusing during the Whitewater phase, and Hillary comes off as someone with flaws- her main one being her husband. Can't get enough of those Clintons!

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative book and well worth reading
I picked up this book to gain further insight on the Clinton's. I have read what I consider the most reliable and informative book on the "Boy Wonder" by David Maraniss (First in his Class), and I wanted to learn more about Hillary as she prepares to run for the Senate.

I found this book to be a fairly balanced and compelling book. Brock portrays Hillary as a intelligent, committed woman who made apparently bad choice to marry the Devil in Ms. Jones, and follow him from Yale to Arkansas, from triumph to tragedy. Brock portrays a woman who made a Faustian bargain in marrying Clinton and hasmany problems because of it. As he says, Brock believes that Hillary and Bill are some sort of co-dependents. I had this feeling after seeing how radiant she was after the accusations of Lewinsky started to arise two years ago.

Hillary Clinton comes across as a very sad woman who has chosen to look the other way during numerous transgrssions by her husband, both sexual and legal. To me I felt she is the perfect anti-feminist because she denied her own obvious gifts and subverted her own desires to get her husband elected President. Clinton himself comes across as a real doofus(just look at the wonderful pictures(the first one of Hillary is enough to make anyone regret living through the Sixties-YIKES! ). she comes across as a lonely woman, who is committed to her causes because of a belief in them, and because it must take her away from an obviously unhappy married life.

This book made me feel a real human affinity for Hillary. I don't agree with her politics, but I still think she is an interesting woman.

The President comes off like a real sleaze, and he seems to make her one as well by both association, conspiracy, and her own behavior.

Ultimately, she reminds me of those people in life who see life through their own granny glasses, and can't stand to have anyone disgree with them.

A worthwhile book! ... Read more

19. The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: The Unreported Stories
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895264080
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 119202
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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These days, it seems like everyone's a Friend of Bill--Clinton's buddies from Arkansas are turning up in powerful White House positions faster than you can say "Whitewater." But make no mistake, British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is no F.O.B.: in the course of The Secret Life of Bill Clinton's 350-plus pages, he manages to connect the president to everything from 1997's Oklahoma City bombing to Arkansas's drug underworld to the mysterious death of White House aide and longtime Clinton friend Vince Foster, and, of course, to Paula Jones. According to Evans-Pritchard--who has reported for the London-based Spectator, Sunday Telegraph (where he served as Washington bureau chief), and Daily Telegraph newspapers--Clinton's "original sin" was the Waco incident, the FBI's much-criticized assault on the Branch Davidian community in Texas that led to the deaths of 76 people. From that point on, the author asserts, it was all downhill for the American people.

Evans-Pritchard's exposé of Arkansas's favorite son is indeed scathing: he documents the then-governor's drug use and consort with prostitutes (primarily in the company of ne'er-do-well brother Roger); innumerable lies to friends, staff members, and the people who empowered him; numerous infidelities; blackmail--the list goes on and on. Evans-Pritchard claims that, because he is not an American citizen, he is not "beholden to any political or financial interest in the United States," and he does not "hang on lips of official sources," nor does he "fear the loss of access in Washington, or the blackball of [his] profession"; in other words, he ain't afraid to call 'em like he sees 'em. And although many of his seemingly wild claims and accusations are substantiated by thorough notes and appendixes following the text (including copies of original FBI documents), you're never quite convinced of the author's theories. Whether or not you come to believe, as Evans-Pritchard does, that "Arkansas was a mini-Colombia within the United States, infested by narco-corruption"; that--because of William Jefferson Clinton--"you can sniff the pungent odors of decay in the American body politic"; that the president's "actions and character ... have engendered the most deadly terrorist movement in the industrialized world," you will most certainly be entertained and enlightened by the dirt this British muckraker has uncovered. You may not be an F.O.B., but after reading this book, you may not mind so much. ... Read more

Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for all citizens...
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard provides a well documented, and well evidenced view of the current presidential administration. Being a "Brit", he shows no partiality to any US political party, nor to the US media. That is what makes the book so great. We are finally given a look at a great deal of material that the popular media, and the Clinton Administration have been hiding. The truth about the OK City bombing, Vince Foster's death, and the motivations and background of the "Arkansas Group". Like many other authors, Evans-Pritchard has his own opinions about American politics, but it is clear that this does not affect his work. He presents evidence, not feelings or hearsay. He pulls together all of the hidden and distorted pieces, and presents a picture of the current Clinton Administration that is disturbing and angering to say the least. Don't hide your head in the sand, and don't allow the government friendly, popular media to feed you their continuous stream of half-truths and misinformation. Look for the truth about our current administration, and the current state of American Government, and start with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Clinton Administration: It is WORSE than you imagined...
10+, actually. We all know the Clinton Administration is pretty miserable on the ethics front, but this book not only proves (with verifiable facts) that the National Clinton Calamity has its roots in Arkansas, but literally takes your breath away with the shear scope and magnitude of the corruption. If Evans-Pritchard (a Brit no less) can uncover and assemble a book of verifiable facts showing that Bill Clinton is knee-deep and directly involved in drug pay-offs, gun running, planned assination attempts, pardoning drug lords, etc., etc. -- in short a fully paid up and active member of the "Dixie Mafia", where the hell is the American Mainstream media and why haven't they uncovered *ANY* of this mess? Methinks they have and are deliberately withholding information from the public to protect their man Clinton. I believe that this book will be cited for the rest of our lives as the historians (we hope they will remain uncorrupted) describe the putrid legacy of the Clintons. Buy several copies for friends and family. This one is a keeper! Note to Mr. Evans-Pritchard: do an American book tour so we can get your autograph! If you come to North Carolina, you won't even need a body guard. (You will elsewhere, though...).

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read to any American citizen...
I purchased this book after hearing review after review of it from my family members. Needless to say, they were right - this book is an absolute bombshell of information that pinpoints most, if not all of the ethical and legal faux pas raised by the Clinton Administration and the organizations under that regime. Some of the highlights include how the FBI blundered Waco, how the Murrah building was most definately more than a one-person job (but was apparently ordered not to investigate it as such), how Clinton was dealing in cocaine trafficking and how the Clintons managed to cover all of this up with the help of the liberal media.

... Ambrose Evans-Pritchard documents everything he asserts based on facts of witness testimony, comparing FBI affadavits, and other documents related to these cases. If there is any flaw with the book is that Pritchard couldn't 100% tie all of the incidents to Clinton, though 95% of the crimes mentioned in the book can be easily seen how they tie to Clinton or to someone high up in the Clinton administration.

I reiterate - this book is a must-read to anyone who is sick and tired of hearing how great the Clinton Administration is, and should be read by those people who continue to profess how wonderful Clinton was.

1-0 out of 5 stars Partisan Revenge Tactics = Big Bucks
To the people who read this book, you really should do some research on the author, who was sure that he was going to be killed by Clinton's "Death Squads" while writing this. It's a perfect book to feed the conservative paranoia that the Clinton years cultivated. The guy couldn't even have a successful affair without getting caught, how he could have managed all that he is accused of in this book is borderline absurd. And the section regarding the advanced knowledge of the Oklahoma bombing is just plain ridiculous, especially when you compare it to the recent allegation of the Bush administration's advance knowledge of 9/11 activities. It's easy to dislike Clinton when you're a conservative, I understand, and this book certainly gives you fuel for the fire. But no one should take anything in this book as entirely factual or of any journalistic value. The elaborate footnotes and "documentation" are an almost comedic exersize in logical thinking. But hey, I'm not going to knock a book that so many people like. The only thing I object to is its classification as a "non-fiction" book.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's time for One Term Limits for all Politicians
I just finished reading this book - on the heals of finishing Bernard Goldberg's book, Bias. It made me sick to my stomach. Not being one to swallow what someone tries to feed me without thinking for myself, if even some of the allegations made in this book are true, it's horrifying.

I'm wondering why no one in the media wants to uncover the truth about Vince Foster's death. I learned recently that his widow received a $286,000 wire transfer 4 days after his death and no one wants to account for the money trail.

What blows my mind is if Bill had a "nose like a vacuum" as the author alleges Roger Clinton stated on a surveillance tape, why isn't that front page news? Are we so gullible as a society that we tolerate such behavior from our leaders so long as it doesn't interfere with our own personal quality of life?

I admit I am no fan of the Clintons and I didn't vote for Al Gore. However, I'm having trouble sleeping at night in fear for the country my son will inherit if these allegations are true. I always knew the rich and powerful got different justice from the rest of us - I guess I always thought the press would protect us from ourselves. God help us all.

This book is powerful in its ability to "probe and disturb". ... Read more

20. The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385506198
Catlog: Book (2002-03-05)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 209086
Average Customer Review: 3.52 out of 5 stars
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Primary Colors author Joe Klein offers a nonfictional take on his favorite subject, Bill Clinton, whom he describes as both "the most talented politician of his generation" and "the most compelling." Klein is of two minds when it comes to the man from Hope: he is at once disappointed by Clinton's failure to achieve greatness, but also a defender of what Clinton did do. He can be unremittingly harsh about the 42nd president's personal shortcomings: "Bill Clinton often seemed the apotheosis of his generation's alleged sins: moral relativism, the tendency to pay more attention to marketing than to substance, the solipsistic callowness." Yet he also credits Clinton with running "a serious, substantive presidency" whose chief success was dragging "Washington toward a recognition that a revised form of government activism might be appropriate in the anarchy of an instant economy." Klein is a smart and engrossing writer, and The Natural is an honest liberal's best effort to explain eight controversial years. Readers who supported Clinton will discover new insights into why he didn't accomplish more; those who opposed him will gain a sharper understanding of why he remained so popular with the public. --John Miller ... Read more

Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Natural: Bill Clinton
Joe Klein tackles the subject he knows best: Bill Clinton. Astute, even - handed, and keenly intelligent, The Natural is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened - to the military, to the economy, to the American people, to the country - during Bill Clinton's presidency, and how the decisions made during his tenure affect all of us today.

Much has been written about Clinton, but The Natural is the first work to cut through the gossip, scandles, media hype, and emotional turbulence that Clinton always engendered, to step back and rationally analyze the eight years tenure, a period during which America rose to unprecedental levels of prosperity. Joe Klein puts that record into perspective, showing us what worked and what didn't, exactly what was accomplished and why, and who was responsible for the successes and the failures.

We see how the Clinton White House functioned on the inside, how it dealt with the maneuvers of Congress and the Gingrich revolution, and who held power and made the decisions during the endless crises that beset the administration. Klein's access to the White House over the years as a journalist gave him a prime spot from which to view every crucial event - both political and personal - and he sets them forth in an insightful, readable, and completely engrossing manner.

The Natural is stern in its criticism and convincing with its praise. It will cause endless debate among friends and foes of the Clinton administration. It is a book that anyone interested in contemporary politics, in American history, or in the functioning of our democracy should read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Concise Summary and Commentary
In this publication Klein essentially presents a summary of the Presidential career of Bill Clinton. Any reader of previous Klein commentary knows that, on the whole, Klein likes Clinton a good deal; however, he avoids becoming an apologist that the likes of Frank Bruni and Bob Woodward seem to have become with President Bush. He makes available criticisms of Clinton--both political and ehtical--at least as quickly as he does praises. In the end, this seems to be the culmination of the very vivid picture that Klein has been painting of Bill Clinton the man and politician ever since _Primary Colors_. The prospective reader should note before beginning that there is no controversial argument at work here (apart from what is already controversial about the President), nor is _The Natural_ a systematic synthesis based on study of recent history; this is merely a summary of the events of Clinton's presidency with subsequent commentary. Particularly engrossing is the section just over halfway through the book in which Klein succintly recounts the history behind the presently bitter partisanship in Washington and the effect of the post-Watergate media on public and private political discourse. In the seventh chapter (of eight) Klein also begins to analyze Clinton with respect to his historical context--which quickly gets interesting--but stops abruptly (Klein clearly hasn't gotten this far with Clinton yet). I would surmise that most of the people that dislike this book do so because of their emnity towards Bill Clinton himself, but if you are looking for a summary of the era with generally just and honest commentary from a rational and balanced commentator, this isn't a bad place to begin.

2-0 out of 5 stars too short, unorganized
I got the impression that Mr. Klein just threw together a bunch of odds & ends he had left over from another book and notes -- the way they made the movie "Midway" out of edit-outs from "Tora, Tora, Tora!"

4-0 out of 5 stars A balanced and thoughtful review--a rarity!
A rarity indeed in the realm of Clinton literature is an honest and balanced review of the Clinton years. It is not a deep review but a wonderful reconsideration of the Clinton years. Klein is spot on in most of writing--from his accounts of the destruction of Newt Gingrich to the accounts of Clinton's self-destruction. He hammers Clinton particularly hard for the Mark Rich pardon, which makes perfect sense in the context of who Clinton was. Klein makes one very bizarre conclusion. He blames Clinton for the current problems between Israel and the Palestinians. It is unclear how the failed peace talks are really Clinton's fault (don't Barak, Sharon and, of course, the Arafat and his ilk, deserve the blame?). Nevertheless, a rare book that is honest and tempered. And it pulls no punches. Fair and balanced.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short-Cut to Understanding Eight Years
The Natural by Joe Klein will surprise few people, particularly those who have read his fictional Primary Colors, but it is a wonderful introduction to eight very strange years in American politics. Bill Clinton's biggest tragedy as a president was that he did not live through a time of crisis (beyond those sordid ones that he created for himself) because the evidence suggests he could have risen to the challenge with the utmost skill. He was a truly fascinating politician with an a amazing and powerful love of the game of politics. This book hits all the high (and low) lights of his reign and often gives a balanced and intelligent assessment. The author touches effectively on the changes brought to goverment by the arrival of Baby Boomers into government, such as Clinton and his easily bested foe, Newt Gingrich, in order to supply a context for the narrative. The book is short so it does not dwell on policy issues and cabinet ministers much but it is a nicely done remembrance piece. ... Read more

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