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    1. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
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    1. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
    by Jon Lee Anderson
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $14.00
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    Asin: 0802135587
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
    Publisher: Grove/Atlantic
    Sales Rank: 1532
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (90)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A landmark biography
    Even as I'm not a fan of Che Guevara's politics, the work that Jon Lee Anderson has put together about his life and career is truly commendable. He sorts out an incomprehensible amount of detailed information in a very linear, comprehensive, yet simple fashion.

    The information he gained, some recorded for the first time ever, by gaining access to friends, relatives, and associates, as well as letters and diaries of Che Guevara, makes this work the definitive reference on the subject.

    Like many on the political left, the author is obviously enamoured with Guevara and tends to portray his actions as noble, admirable and heroic. This is quite an interpretive presentation of Guevara, one with which many would disagree. Anderson does give glimpses of Guevara's personality that show the side of him that could be maniacal, dilatory, and restless, but even these are downplayed as the innocuous by products of a passionate man.

    Because of this subjective portrayal in an otherwise very objective book, I cannot give it 5 stars. Still it's a remarkable, fascinating read and an amazingly authoritative and accomplished work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
    Having read the hardcover version of this book in the summer it was released it is good to see that the paperback version is available. Coming in at nearly 800 pages it is no easy weekend read but worth the time invested. Mr. Anderson has done extensive research, clarified inaccuracies in previous works by other authors on the life of Che and treats the subject of his life objectively. Mr.Anderson spent much of the time in Cuba rsearching this masterpiece, probably the dfinitive biography, with the help of Aleida March, his wife and her aide Maria del Carmen Ariet who together are probably the foremost experts on the life of Che Guevara. The story is complete from the birth of Che, his upbring and close relationship to his mother, the formative years, including his education and doctor training, his spirit for adventure as exemplified early on with his famous motorcycle excusion through South America, his fateful meeting with Fidel Castro and of course his participation in the overthrow of the Batista regime in Cuba and the aftermath which eventually would prove to be his demise. Many excellent reviews have been wriiten about this book and I only want to endorse the overwhelming positive majority and say that this book is a cut above the plethora of books about Che. If you have an interest in the life of one of the true revolutionary spirits of the 20th century this is a landmark book that answers many questions. An excellent book for the historian or someone just curious about the man known as Che. Mr. Anderson seperates fact from ficion and helps the reader understand the man from the myth. The human being is revealed and politics aside one comes away with compassion for the man who gave so much of himself, even his life,for the beliefs he held to be true. No greater love can a man display than to give of his life. Read this book, get to know Ernesto Guevara, the man known as Che.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Troublemaker
    First off, the recipes in this book are no bueno -- the Colonel makes chicken better than this, and that ain't saying much. Second, Che is still riding Fidel's coattails. Che was the Ethel to Castro's Lucy Ball.... Maybe smarter, but lacking in kooky charm... that we can feel superior yet protective toward. Che is boring, and his words seem antiquated today. 800 pages is way too much, for someone so unfunny... and an elite background at that... save the drama for your mama ,Che!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Revolutionary Life
    Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a revolutionary. He was born in Argentina but never called the country home after his college years, studying medicine. Through his travels during his college years, he became aware of the povery and inequality in South America. This inspired him to fight for the equality he felt Marxism would bring. Che is known for his effect on the communist revolution in Cuba. He also fought in falied revolutions in Congo and Bolivia. It is safe to say that he is a man who impacted the world even if you do not agree with his political views. He is the man who invented guerrilla warfare.

    John Lee Anderson's book is the definitive book on Che Guevara. At times, it is almost too detailed with its nearly 800 page length. In reality, a book being too detailed is a compliment. The pictures he chose to include in the text are outstanding. Many of the pictures have been in CIA possession for years, and unseen to the public.

    While not directly a goal of the book, I enjoyed the insight this book gives into the relationship between Che and Fidel Castro. Anderson lets the reader draw conclusions rather than telling the reader what to think. While Castro believed in communism, Guevara was held policies more closely to the writing of Karl Marx. Che was willing to criticize policy if he felt it was not "Marxist enough". Unlike Castro, Che was willing to criticize the Soviet Union leaders for not living in the true equality that communism is intended to be.

    Despite Cuba's rivalry with the United States, I found it odd that more was not mentioned about the Cuba Missle Crisis. Guevara detested the United States, so it seems he would have had more to say in the matter. If he did have more to say, little is mentioned in the book.

    Because of its length, readers need some spare time to take in this whole book. The thoroughness of the product makes reading this book a rewarding experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "most complete human being of our age" -- Sartre
    Anderson's biography of Che Guevara was passionately researched. Within the pages of this large book are the most detailed accounts of Che Guevara's life. The book begins with a history of Che's upbringing and forces you to realize how much this man was truly like any other man. Anderson finds importance in the travels Che makes as a young man across South America. Journeys which eventually became 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. Detail is given to the periods of life that influenced his radicalization.

    This was a man who felt deeply for the exploitation of his people. He dreamed of a tomorrow where man did not trample on one another through competition and greed. Che Guevara sacrificed his life for what he believed in. There is no death more honorable. In reading Jon Lee Anderson's biography of this enormous figure, you will fell sympathy for his cause, respect for his determination, and awe for his accomplishments on the battlefield and in his study. ... Read more

    2. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
    by Ulyssess S. Grant, Ulysses S. Grant
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $12.98
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    Asin: 0914427679
    Catlog: Book (1999-03-15)
    Publisher: William S. Konecky Associates
    Sales Rank: 21289
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Grant was sick and broke when he began work on his Memoirs. Driven by financial worries and a desire to provide for his wife, he wrote diligently during a year of deteriorating health. He vowed he would finish the work before he died. One week after its completion, he lay dead at the age of 63.

    Publication of the Memoirs came at a time when the public was being treated to a spate of wartime reminiscences, many of them defensive in nature, seeking to refight battles or attack old enemies. Grant's penetrating and stately work reveals a nobility of spirit and an innate grasp of the important fact, which he rarely displayed in private life. He writes in his preface that he took up the task "with a sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to anyone, whether on the National or the Confederate side." ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grant as commander.
    Ulysses S. Grant like many other Civil War figures wrote a long and detailed memoir detailing his experiences in the war. Unlike many of the others however, he did it not to toot his own horn but for the noble purpose of leaving an income for his family. One of the most famous pictures of Grant is the one of him sitting on his porch, covered in blankets, writing. He died just a week after he finished this book. I wonder if the Grant family is still receiving royalties from this book after all of these years.

    In reading this book one has to take into account that by his own admission, Grant was not a scholar. Nor was he a writer, but for a sick old soldier he does a wonderful job. The writing is a little dry at times but that is mainly because he goes into so much detail about his campaigns. His West Point eye shows not only in his strategy but also in his writing as he goes into great detail about the topography of the areas he is describing. In fact, this is the most dull part of the book as he goes into so much detail that he will occasionally lose the reader entirely. Grant is not one to cast blame for his problems but as part of his topographical discussions he almost always writes that this ground was much more favorable for offense than defense. He of course being on the offensive. It is also easy to avoid casting blame for failures when the writer has few failures, so while Grant is not guilty of this he has no reason to be.

    Grant does not describe his battles in detail for some reason. His overall campaigns are covered in detail but the battles themselves get little attention. The battles of others under his command are told in a far more interesting and complete manner than are the battles he was personally involved in. His descriptions of Sherman's Atlanta campaign and the march to the sea are riveting and his descriptions of the final days of the war and Lee's surrender are enthralling. He also goes to great lengths to defend some of his comrades against charges that had been made against them while never taking on charges leveled at him. His drinking is never mentioned. He even takes time to defend Joe Johnston's Georgia campaign against Sherman. His insights are incredible but this memoir could have offered the reader a little more of a glimpse into the author than it does. Although, toward the end of the book one does start to see Grant's personality come out.

    There are numerous maps included in this book but they will be of little use to most readers. I assume they are military maps, but they are so detailed that one can hardly make out the important points. There is also an attempt to downplay what Robert E. Lee had accomplished before Grant arrived on the scene. This could have come from humility on Grant's part, or it could have been jealousy, but whatever the cause it is unseemly. Still, Grant knew how to defeat Lee and did so, which is more than any other Union general managed to do.

    Overall, this is a very insightful and well-written book. Any serious student of the Civil War will want to have a copy of their own, not only to read but as a very important reference book. He points out the mistakes and shortcomings of leaders on both sides as well as offers praise when he feels it is due. It is amazing how kind he is to General Halleck considering how much trouble that man caused Grant early in the war. He does seem to take delight however in detailing Sherman's dislike of Halleck. Not much of the real Grant comes across in this book but what does come through is that while he was a determined advisory; he was also a very kind hearted man. A great man in fact, who was very much misunderstood, then and now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great books in the English language
    General Grant wrote this book while dying of throat cancer. He had been swindled by a dishonest Wall Street Broker and his trophies and possessions were stripped from him to satisfy the demands of his debtors. Bankrupt, suffering from a terminal illness and never passing a moment without acute pain, he produced this magnificent monument to his greatness. Those who denigrate Grant as a drunkard, butcher, bumbling President need to read this book in order to correct these errant assumptions. It is impossible to read this book and not realize that Grant was an inordinately intelligent man and one hell of a writer.

    Grant's Memoirs are a deserved classic in American literature and considered the greatest military Memoirs ever penned, exceeding Caesar's Commentaries. Grant wrote as he lived: with clear, concise statements, unembellished with trivialities or frivolities. The only "criticism" the reader might have is that Grant bent over backwards not to wound the feelings of people in the book. He takes swipes at Joe Hooker and Jeff Davis, but what he left unsaid would have been far more interesting. A compelling and logical reason why Grant was so spare in his comments was because he was involved in a race with death. He didn't know how long he could live and therefore, "cut to the chase."

    Grant's assessments of Lincoln, Sherman, Sheridan and other military leaders are brilliant and engrossing. His style, like the man himself, was inimitable and couldn't be copied. In everyday life, Grant was a very funny man, who liked to listen to jokes and tell them himself. His sense of the absurd was acute. It's no accident that he loved Mark Twain and the two hitched together very well. Twain and Grant shared a similar sense of humor, and Grant's witicisms in the Memoirs are frequent, unexpected and welcome. There are portions where you will literally laugh out loud.

    Though Grant's Memoirs were written 113 years ago, they remain fresh, vibrant and an intensely good read. I have read them in! their entirity 30 times in my life and I never weary of the style and language that Grant employed. He was a military genius to be sure, but he was also a writer of supreme gifts, and these gifts shine through on every page of this testament to his greatness. All Americans should read this book and realize what we owe to Grant: he preserved the union with his decisive brilliance. A truly oustanding book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the better Civil War memoirs
    One of the nice things Grant does in his book, is break down ranks using a horizantal flow chart on various pages. This helps clear confusion for the novice. (page 446-7 is one example)
    Other reviews have spoken admirmingly of this book, I would like to draw attention to an incident Grant tells of, where a Union soldier is stealing ALL of a Southern ladies chickens.The Southern woman vainly pleaded with the Union soldiers to please spare her a few at least.
    The Union soldiers looked at the woman and said,

    >"This rebellion has to be suppressed if it takes the last chicken in the Confederacy."< ( Page 555 Grants memoirs)
    ( how will this woman and her children eat after this?)Another following incident---

    >"The South prior to the rebellion kept bloodhounds to pursue runaway slaves who took refuge in the neighboring swamps, and also to hunt convicts. Orders were issued to KILL all of these animals as they were met with.
    On one occasion a soldier picked up a POODLE, the favorite pet of it's mistress, and was carrying it off to EXECUTION, when the lady made a strong appeal to him to spare it.
    The soldier replied," Madam our orders are to KILL every bloodhound,"
    "But this is not a Bloodhound," said the lady.
    "Well, Madam, we can not tell what it will grow into, if we leave it behind," said the soldier as he went off with it."<

    ---------------The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant------Page 555----
    ( exact wording again, the capitals are mine for emphasis)

    Combining Grants testimony, and Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, ( see my review of his book, and the direct quote), there is no doubt the Southern women, children and families suffered greatly during the Civil War. There was NO MILITARY VALUE, for the majority of this.

    People that deny this, should read books, by the two top Northern Generals.

    As far as Civil War biographies go, this is one of the better ones.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A man of whom all Americans can be proud
    The book is remarkable for its clarity of speech and the simplicity of its presentation, but most of all for the quality of focus of a man whose final chapter is as moving as any I have read, and written just a week before he died. I recommend that the trilogy of Grant; CAPTAIN SAM GRANT, GRANT MOVES SOUTH, and GRANT TAKES COMMAND, be read first. Then read his MEMOIRS, and follow it up with ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK. The characters in the MEMOIRS appear prominently in all the others; men known by Grant from West Point, the Mexican American War, and who served, subsequently, as officers during the Indian Wars following the Civil War. Connections such as these fascinate me. Grant's knowledge of his adversaries most of who he knew from experience was perhaps his greatest weapon. Yet, war being war, he never let let friendship interfere with his duty, which is why he became known as UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER (U.S.) GRANT. it seemed to me the more he got into his work, the better he expressed himself, and his CONCLUSION rose to the level of greatness as a writer. He seemed the perfect compliment to Abe Lincoln whose policies he hoped to carry forward.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant , humorous, while at death's door
    More than the descriptions of the great battles, which were of such great scale that they were beyond my ability to grasp, I was most impressed with the courage and intelligence of the man, who wrote these memoirs while dying of a painful cancer. His assessments of the generals on both sides, many of whom he knew intimately from the Mexican war, are priceless. I think the one I like best was of General Warren -- "His difficulty was constitutional and beyond his control. He was an officer of superior ability, quick perceptions, and the personal courage to accomplish anything that could be done with a small command."

    General Grant also never lost the ability to make fun of himself (a lost art among today's leaders?), recalling being mocked by a stablehand who had seen him prancing in his uniform shortly after being commissioned. Perhaps that is why in his prime Grant so often wore a simple private's shirt with his proper insignia of rank.

    The anecdotes from his conversations with President Lincoln are unforgettable. So are stories from the war with Mexico, when long-range Mexican cannonballs came into his lines at such shallow angles that his men could open ranks to avoid the bounding projectiles. The language of the day - "reducing" the enemy "works" with great "execution" -- adds to the enjoyment and reminds the reader of today's "collateral damage" military jargon.

    Grant, great lover of a good cigar, comments on his observations from the war with Mexico that people smoked tobacco more when it was an expensive item they they did later when the price was much cheaper.

    Where are such men today? Probably still out there waiting for the next great challenge to bring them forward. General Grant comments that "Those who wait to be selected, rather than those who seek, can be expected to provide the most efficient service." ... Read more

    3. The Motorcycle Diaries : A Latin American Journey
    by Ernesto Che Guevara, Cintio Vitier, Aleida Guevara
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1876175702
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-15)
    Publisher: Ocean Press
    Sales Rank: 551
    Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    These travel diaries capture the essence and exuberance of the young legend, Che Guevara. In January 1952, Che set out from Buenos Aires to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorcycle. He encounters an extraordinary range of people -- from native Indians to copper miners, lepers and tourists -- experiencing hardships and adventures that informed much of his later life.

    This expanded, new edition from Ocean Press, published with exclusive access to the Che Guevara Archives held in Havana, includes a preface by Che's daughter, Aleida Guevara. It also features previously unpublished photos (taken by Che on his travels), as well as new, unpublished parts of the diaries, poems and letters.

    In January 2004, the film by the same name, The Motorcycle Diaries, will have its world premiere at the Sundance International Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Directed by Walter Salles (Central Station, Behind the Sun), produced by Robert Redford and with a screenplay by José Rivera, the film stars the up-and-coming Mexican actor Gael García Bernal (Amores Perros, Y Tu Mamá También, The Crimes of Father Amaro). ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rethinking Che's 'Motorcycle Diaries '
    Like the book's very title, two out of three comments on the cover of the book are absurd and entirely misleading. "Easy Rider meets Das Kapital" and "It's true; Marxists just wanna have fun" could not have been written by people who read this book and took it seriously. First, there is not one moment in the book where Che might offer us a hint that he had already studied Marx. If anything, there appears a crude and commonsensical 'discovery' of the plight of the poor from the part of an immature white bourgeois. Secondly, to imply that the book is just about having fun misses this very crucial point that there is a 'discovery' being made, however superficial it may seem. I think the implications of this discovery were to be more deeply felt only in the next few years following Che's first South America trip.

    It is rather unfortunate that the book has been subjected to this form of misleading marketing. But this aspect aside, Che's writing itself should be valued for its insight into the future revolutionary's mind. In between an often confused prose, unsuccessful jokes and a linear and seemingly uneventful (because it is nothing but eventful) storyline, we find a clear inclination toward military tactics, as the lengthy and impressive analysis of possible defence strategies at Machu Picchu reveals. As we know from biographical work, this was indeed Che's strong point, as opposed to Marxist theory.

    I cannot help saying I was in a certain sense disappointed with The Motorcycle Diaries. Although I had been told that it would dispel any romantic ideas I had about Che, I was not quite prepared for the shock. The feeling that his political analyses were crude to the point of being racist and that his typical Argentine parochialism seeped through the pages only made his choice of style, a distanced, unreflective approach all the more difficult to wade through. But, with a few weeks' hindsight, I must admit that this revolution in the way I see El Che has actually been quite beneficial to the very romanticism of the picture I have of him in my mind. There is more character, more depth, to the blend. Out of the three comments on the cover, then, I can only stick with the third: "Politically-correct revolutionary hero ? Perhaps a few years later, but in this account Che Guevara comes over as one of the lads."

    5-0 out of 5 stars che's diary blazed a trail across my own adventuresome heart
    although this book was edited by che some time after returning from south america, he acknowledges this at the beginning of the book by saying, "the person who wrote these notes died the day he stepped back on argentine soil. the person who is reorganizing and polishing them, me, is no longer me, at least i'm not the me i was." and in the next paragraph, commenting on how people might interpret his words he states, "i present a nocturnal picture, you have to take it or leave it, it's not important. unless you know the landscape my diary photographed you've no option but to accept my version." it doesn't get much more simple than that. take me or leave me, i don't care.

    i read the pages of "the motorcyle diaries," and was completely blown away! i wanted to be right there on la poderosa with che and his amigo, alberto - drinking at all the dives; conversing with the people; playing soccer with whatever team, in whatever town/country they happened to be; scamming places to eat and sleep, and making their way across the continent on the back de la poderosa until, bless her little hot-rod heart, she literally came apart. then, it was hitching, stowing away on boats, and, finally, floating downriver atop a not-so-navigable homemade raft, the whole while surrounded by the mystery and beauty of wild and mountainous south america. it was an awesome adventure to share! che's writing style is so conversational, and his wit will run up on you like a hairpin turn. i laughed out loud so many times. might i suggest you get a map of south america before turning the cover of this fantastic, freaking adventure. believe me, you'll get so wrapped up in it that you'll want to pinpoint each madcap pitstop. en fin, this is a tale of a grand adventure, of determination, willpower, curiousity, and guts. a great first read of the che. he was a believer in the underdog. sin duda.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In his own words
    Felix Rodriguez, an anti-Castro Cuban who was sent to assasinate Che, said he was a fascinating man he wanted to know better and felt sad at having to hunt him. He protested at Che's execution.

    With that insight, I eagerly read The Motorcycle Diaries. They are very well written, amazingly entertaining, witty and occasionally insightful and the translation is not only excellent, but well-referenced where terms are transliterated.

    Personally, I wound up detesting the little troll. He and his friend masqueraded as experts on leprosy, which they milked for guest space and food. They stole liquor, whined about hospitality until they got even better fare and generally were locusts on the local economy. Che complains mightily about bureaucracy and control that keeps him from his wants (The lack of border stops some places, which made it harder to cadge rides from passing trucks), yet makes a point of mentioning his illegally carried revolver and knife that he smuggled through other border checkpoints (and heck, who wouldn't, when traveling like that?). In other words, "If I want it, it's good government. If I don't, it's bad." The true moral dishonesty of the Latin communist comes through.

    And yet...he was honest enough to preface the book with a note that it represented only a momentary view of his life at that time and place. He didn't edit out any of the bad. The contrast and complexity is fascinating, and I'll have to find more to read about a no doubt highly intelligent man.

    Love him or hate him, the book is honest in its documentation and pulls no punches. It's a great period piece, a great low-budget travelog, and a journal of a young, brilliantly stupid college punk like lots of us were. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you want to understand the Latin communists or Che, you must read this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy Rider goes Marxist
    It is a beautiful thing to see the political awakening of a young man. And it becomes even more notorious when we know that this man will be a true revolutionary years later.

    'The Motorcycle Diaries' is the account of a journey made by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado throughout South America in early 1950's. Beginning as a pair of youngsters' journey, this trip become more a self-discovering journey having as background the impoverished and exploited, but above all, not well known America.

    As most young people, Che and Granado had late-adolescent angst and trying to find a relief they went in a journey in the heart of South America, trying to find what was beyond their middle-class homes. What they find out was much more than what they were expecting to: poor people, with almost no conditions of living, consumed by diseases and being exploited and ignored by the government and the system.

    It is a joy to see Che transforming from almost a brat into a real man of value, fulfilled with social and political conscience, caring for the poor and sick people. At first, he and his friends are only two guys who want to be on the road and learn about the world. But little did they know how was this world they were about to learn about.

    Nearly the end, Che is another completely different person. He, now, has social and political thoughts --almost Marxist ideas -- about the world we live in and how South America has been systematically exploited throughout the years.

    Sometimes painfully funny, sometimes extremely sad 'The Motorcycle Diaries' is a pleasant read, written with heart and soul, by someone who was destined to be big, a person who was destined to change and touch the lives of thousands --as Che did indeed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know the man before the revolution
    In October I went to Cuba and began to learn a tremendous amount about Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Just before reading this book I read two other by him, Reminiscences of a Cuban Revolution and The Che Guevara Reader. If you want to know the man before the revolution, this is the book to read. It is a very interesting book. It is details his trip from his home in Argentina around much of South America. It reads at times like a travel guide which is what I suppose people would write in their travel diaries - what they see and what they thought. My favorite parts were when Guevara told what he thought of life and his experiences while on the road. He writes of the low opinion many people have of the indigenous populations, the exploitation of the land and the populace and the suffering he and his traveling companion endured. The are also very light moments of frivolity and fun. You truly get a sense of who he is and what he values. I was left wanting more, not for want of lack of description but because I wanted to know of who he was. He was a remarkable figure and an great writer. He paints quite a picture with his words. ... Read more

    4. Gandhi An Autobiography:The Story of My Experiments With Truth
    by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahadev Desai, Sissela Bok
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807059099
    Catlog: Book (1993-11-01)
    Publisher: Beacon Press
    Sales Rank: 4983
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices (he called himself a fruitarian), celibacy, and ahimsa, a life without violence. It is in this sense that he calls his book The Story of My Experiments with Truth, offering it also as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps. A reader expecting a complete accounting of his actions, however, will be sorely disappointed.

    Although Gandhi presents his episodes chronologically, he happily leaves wide gaps, such as the entire satyagraha struggle in South Africa, for which he refers the reader to another of his books. And writing for his contemporaries, he takes it for granted that the reader is familiar with the major events of his life and of the political milieu of early 20th-century India. For the objective story, try Yogesh Chadha's Gandhi: A Life. For the inner world of a man held as a criminal by the British, a hero by Muslims, and a holy man by Hindus, look no further than these experiments. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Gandhi Introduction.
    I approached this book with some trepidation as my Indian friends are divided in their attitude to Gandhi (some regard him almost as a saint, others are far more ambiguous). There's no doubting Gandhi's place as a major figure in twentieth century history, but would learning more about him create a good or disappointing image?

    I would start with a word of caution. This book only covers Gandhi's life from 1869 to 1921. Therefore I treated this book as an introduction to the man, a preparation for further reading. I suppose an equally legitimate method would be to adopt an opposite approach and start with a biography then finish with this book.

    I reflected that any comments I made here might only serve to reveal my ignorance of Indian culture and history - I'm sure I missed (or misinterpreted) many nuances. Full appreciation of this book may only be possible if you are either Indian or have a better knowledge than mine.

    Nonetheless, I found it an easy book to read - the short chapters helped me keep up a good pace. Indeed Gandhi's style is to pick episodes from his life and reflect on them. Although the book is written chronologically, it very much has a "dipping in and out" feel rather than a linear narrative.

    I was left with the impression that this man was no saint (and would have been horrified at the very thought). There were aspects of his character I found puzzling or frustrating: I've never been impressed by anyone who advocates physical self-denial after having produced a litter of offspring; much of the book is devoted to dietetics - a subject Gandhi was so obsessed with it affected his health very badly; and his treatment of his children was, well to be charitable, distinctly odd.

    I felt that there was a large amount of self-righteousness in the man, and an obsessive delight in self-denial. Yet withal, should we expect any human to be without fault, and how should Gandhi's faults be judged when compared with his role in securing Indian independence - without Satyagraha would it have been even more bloody than it was? That might be a better mounument to him than this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Gandhi: A Man of Peace, a Man of Peas
    Once upon a time there was a man who took nothing for granted - no philosophy, no theology, no lifestyle - for how could he know which were proper, which were true, which led to the Divine, to knowledge of God? How could he know unless he tested them himself? So that's what he did. No, I'm not talking about Alan Greenspan. Mohandas Gandhi was that man and GANDHI, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY: MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH is his story. The Autobiography is a description of how he developed and applied his personal philosophy to his life, or rather, how his spirituality evolved as he experimented with differing lifestyles and theologies in his search for Absolute Truth. But be careful. This book may not be what you expect. Want to know about the life of Gandhi from a historical perspective? You're better off looking elsewhere. Gandhi didn't intend for his autobiography to be such a book. A good alternative is Ved Mehta's MAHATMA GANDHI AND HIS APOSTLES (Viking, 1977), which stresses the historic context and social relevance of Gandhi's life. If you want insight into the origins of Satyagraha (non-violent resistance) directly from its creator, you will find one of Gandhi's other books, SATYAGRAHA IN SOUTH AFRICA (Greenleaf, 1979), to be a much better source. Although Satyagraha may be the most influential experiment of his life, it was by no means the only one.

    You see, Gandhi tells us his life was a series of experiments, nothing more. He actively sought lifestyles and philosophies different from his own, tried the ones with merit, and adopted or rejected them based on his experience. In his own words, "I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography," (xxvi). By following this path, he believed he might find self-realization and ultimately come face-to-face with God.

    Despite this ethereal theme, the story is quite mundane. Gandhi's experiments took place in the real world, not just in cerebral debate and introspection. His story falls within a historical context, leading him on a path toward a lifestyle few are willing to emulate, a life of self-denial and simplicity. From strict vegetarianism (fruit and nuts only) to celibacy (he swore off having sex with his wife (or anyone else, for that matter)), to the rejection of the most meager creature comforts, Gandhi's commitment to principle seems extreme and obsessive to us. This commitment to principle became both the key asset and primary flaw in his character. More than once, principle led him to deny medical treatment to seriously ill family members so he could experiment on them with harebrain "water," "earth," and dietary cures in which he believed. And yet, this same commitment to principle was the crucial component to his achievements toward peace and equality. Gandhi was a serious man whom you probably wouldn't invite to your bachelor party.

    On the practical side, Gandhi is true to his word, giving us an undecorated account of his spiritual journey - the good with the bad. The book is stylistically straightforward, written chronologically in chapters brief enough to absorb during the average sit.

    On the other hand, it is often tedious and screams for annotation. The litany of south Asian names can be difficult for westerners to keep track of or pronounce. Gandhi discusses historical figures and events in passing without introduction or background, so keep a reference book handy. At the same time, he dwells on information you will find irrelevant. And then, of course, there's the problem all autobiographies have - you don't get to see how the story ends. Gandhi published the autobiography in 1927 and went on to live another twenty-one years before being assassinated - active, important years you might want to know about.

    Does Gandhi make a good case for his method of experimentation and for the conclusions he reached through these experiments? That, dear reader, is for you to decide. But it is interesting that the more he experimented, the further he settled upon the uncompromising life of a Hindu ascetic. His exposure to the world brought him back to his roots, to the religion of his homeland, and implicit in this choice is the rejection of the values and theologies he found elsewhere. This is a troubling thought. Did he find no elements of Truth outside Hindu asceticism? Is he suggesting that each of us lead lives of celibacy and self-imposed poverty? Gandhi responds that there are many manifestations of the Divine. The path he chose made sense to him, but it is up to each individual to find his or her own way, to conduct his or her own experiments with Truth, just as he had done.

    Some treat the Autobiography with a reverence due scripture. Scripture it is not, nor is it great literature. Nevertheless, you may very well find inspiration and insight for your own life, and you will certainly learn much about Gandhi, how he saw himself, his place, and his purpose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
    In his own words, Gandhi takes us through some of the experiences in his life, with each chapter forming at least one important learning lesson to him. All experiences, whether good or bad, had a positive learning lesson on him and contributed to his goal of seeking the truth.

    One of his main beliefs was using non-violence as a means of protesting against acts of oppression and using international law to seek justice. This meant he never raised his fists or lowered himself to barbarism however much he was provoked, violated or attacked. In fact this seems to be the opposite attitude demonstrated by all terrorists and most countries (West, Middle East and East) where the belief is that violence and war works. As Gandhi says "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

    As we have now entered the third of the world wars, where the weapons are horrific and the consequences unimaginable, Gandhi's words have never been more important. All politicians and world leaders should read this book. In fact everyone should read this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The honesty in this book is absolutely relentless.
    As notable as they are, Gandhi's political successes are not what attracts me to this man.He had a sincere desire to know his own faults and arrogances (and to therefore, rid himself of them).This is the key to curing human relations.In my own life, this is what I look for in people.They don't even have to like me, so long as they are genuine in their attempt to see me as I truly am, and themselves for what they truly are.
    Gandhi's infamous 'non-violence' beliefs and abstaining lifestyle sprout from this attitude.I think it is imperative that we realize that noble actions are the 'sprouts', whilst the courage to face one's own arrogances is the 'core' of successful humanity.I mean, what happens when the 'actions' are credited as core? eg.Many people express noble slogans like "NO RACISM", yet feel hateful whilst doing so, perhaps even desiring harm come to the racists.Isn't yielding a peaceful slogan whilst feeling hateful, putting across mixed messages? Gandhi expressed genuine compassion for his 'enemies'.He wanted them to learn, not hurt.Even if 'non-violence' is a noble slogan, it isn't guarenteed to have positive effects.A slogan-yielder must show genuine desire to learn of his own arrogances (and not just desire to point out the target's arrogances), otherwise -the target will feel that you expect more of him than you do of yourself (hence, he will inevitably rebel).Brainwashing (nasty word!) is ALWAYS negative, regardless of how well-intended the founding cause was.Hence, Gandhi's successful influence on people was actually founded in his attitude toward himself.He was well trusted by people because his 'lack of hateful feelings' corresponded with the 'words they heard him speaking'.
    What is the true nature of non-violence? Gandhi obviously meant this spiritually, even though he applied it to physical actions.He is 100% correct that violence has no role in the spiritual realm.But physically? His physical application is undoubtedly a rebellion against the human habit passing off ill-intended action as acts of neccessity.(eg. Nazi's later would explain away their racial exterminations as "survival of the fittest").
    My definition of survival (and 'competition'); "survival= gain for the self, at the least cost to all else".Humans currently neglect the "at the least cost to all else" part of the equation.And Gandhi rebelled against this neglect.But, in his abstainance he may have overshot, with the naturally occuring "gain for the self" part lagging behind.As selfish as that phrase may sound, it is only selfish if "in absence of the other part" of the equation.However, abstainance can be a great learning experience so long as it is free flowing and freely chosen, and isn't obsessive or guilt-driven.Gandhi did inherently abstain with nature/God/love in mind.But, it did eat away at him also.So, it wouldn't be accurate to say that he'd perfected a balance, despite getting many things right.

    Does all this mean I'm claiming he was incorrect? No.I'm merely claiming that his philosophy was incomplete.He made great spiritual progress, obviously.His advancement of humankind's understanding of physical combat's true role, is endlessly helpful.But to make sure his wisdoms don't go to waste, we mustn't sell ourselves short by assuming that we can't possibly add to his wisdom with our own (as if we daren't know something that he didn't).We need to allow ourselves to build on Gandhi's platform.That's the whole reason he set the platform.Not so we'd stagnate on it.
    On a side note; I can relate to some reviewers using the word 'boring' to describe his writing (though I dare not use it myself, thru fear of UNhelpful votes.ha, ha).It's just that; Compassionate people are so determined not to feed arrogance into their world that -in abstaining their negative attributes, some of their positive ones can accidentally get caught up in the abstainance also.Hence the phenomenon "nice guys finish last".Nice people do risk 'being boring', in their efforts to not just -blurt out absolutely every (potentially destructive) urge that goes through their bodies and minds.So, I urge (controlledly 'urge', i assure:)) readers to be patient with him.You'll find no cheap comments here designed to 'pheign' being interesting.He much prefered to actually 'be' interesting.Much harder an art.

    4-0 out of 5 stars What the Truth Reveals
    In the book's introduction, Gandhi ascribes these words of the Hindu poet to himself:

    Where is there a wretch
    So wicked and loathsome as I?
    I have forsaken my Maker,
    So faithless have I been.

    The cause of this wretchedness, Gandhi wrote, was "the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him, and yet I cannot get away from them." These thoughts echo those of the Apostle Paul who, while desiring to do good, found that evil worked within him. He bemoaned, "Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?" Both men realized they could not perform what the truth required, and because they loved truth, it made them feel wretched.

    Who then is righteous, if not Gandhi and Paul? The prophet Ezekial spoke of God's promise to "put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes." But such righteousness is seldom seen. Gandhi wrote disapprovingly of one Christian acquaintance "who knowingly committed transgressions, and showed me that he was undisturbed by the thought of them." Paul saw among his own converts in Corinth such immorality "that does not even exist among the heathens."

    The promise does not fail, but faith wavers. The promise must be put to the test, as an experiment with truth. Then those who love the Truth may be revealed. ... Read more

    5. Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and Selected Letters : Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant / Selected Letters, 1839-1865 (Library of America)
    by Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Drake McFeeley, William S. McFeeley
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
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    Asin: 0940450585
    Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
    Publisher: Library of America
    Sales Rank: 15486
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Grant wrote his "Personal Memoirs" to secure his family's future. In doing so, the Civil War's greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident throughout this deeply moving account, as well as in the letters to his wife, Julia, included here. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars US Grant--in his own words
    The story of Ulysses Simpson Grant is a tale about a man who rises from obscurity to become one of the most important men of the nineteenth century. Many men saw Grant, as general-in-chief of the Union armies during the late Civil War, as the savior of the nation. He was elected to two terms as President, and enjoyed such immense popularity that he was lavished with praise and gifts around the globe when he traveled the world. But Grant's origins were humble. He was the son of a tanner. As a young man he failed at nearly everything he did, and had a reputation, while stationed with the army in California, of being a drunk. Grant seemed the antithesis of greatness; yet somehow he rose to become one of the most prominent men in the United States during the Civil War.

    Who better to tell Grant's story than himself? His memoirs are somewhat self-serving, and Grant does not hesitate to point out the flaws of others. All too often he reminds his reader that, had things been done his way, disasters would have been avoided and everything would have been all right. There is some reason for his ego, however. Grant had a lot of critics, and was treated unfairly by many from the beginning. When his army was surprised at Shiloh, people said he was drunk. When he stalled outside of Vicksburg, they blamed it one the bottle. Grant's name was connected by some scandal or other through most of his Civil War career (as well as during his presidency). If he seeks to right some wrongs and, in the process, comes across as a little full of himself in his memoirs, who can blame him?

    Grant gives great descriptions of many battles and campaigns, but sparse accounts of others. He avoids sensitive subjects (like the bottle, for example), and does tend to focus on what he did RIGHT rather than what he did WRONG. Despite these inconsistencies, however, Grant's memoirs are a great read. Grant tells his side of the story, and the result is a very entertaining read. Grant's style is engaging, and while not focusing too much on exact figures (Sherman's memoirs are much better for that), he manages to convey to the reader the most important aspects of each major action in which he was involved. Grant may not have been the best general in the war, but he was certainly the right man for the job. Read these memoirs for a look inside the complex mind of the man who took on Robert E. Lee--and actually won.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever by a US President
    Granted (sic) that there are few serious rivals(Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" and Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe" come to mind but don't measure up), this is a remarkable literary achievement by an "uncommon common man." Not only is it an indispensible, if not flawless, narrative of the cataclysmic events of the Civil War, the circumstances under which he wrote make its very creation a triumph of will and ability.

    As historian Brooks Simpson has noted, Grant's character was so complete that nobody could believe he was real. But he was, and the proof is in this book, which contains not only the "Personal Memoirs" but many invaluable letters revealing the man as well as the general. Though this edition lacks an introduction and other scholarly apparatus to enhance its value, the sheer scope of Grant's writings available here probably make it the best current presentation of his unparalleled view of the war. Also, the early chapters on the Mexican-American War (which he detested) are most enlightening in showing some of the sources of his future greatness.

    There were two great tragedies of Grant's public life. First, American Indians and African Americans suffered greatly while he was president, and it was a shame that he didn't (couldn't?) do more on their behalf. But in fairness, could/would anyone else have done better? Probably not. The earlier tragedy was that he was prevented from winning the Civil War early on, by the jealous ambition of rival generals and the circumspect nature of Union strategy. Unfortunately, the impediments that led to the slaughter at Shiloh ensured that that battle would set the tone for the rest of the conflict. If Grant had been given free rein in 1862, several hundred thousand lives would have been saved---but without the abolition of slavery and Reconstruction, there would have been a different tragedy.

    General Grant made some grievous tactical errors during the war, but was able to learn from his mistakes. It's quite misleading to think of him as a heavy-handed butcher who prevailed by grinding down opponents no matter how many men he lost. By 1864 that may have been the only way to defeat Robert E. Lee. But Grant's victories before then were consistently marked by speed, boldness and strategic brilliance whenever he was permitted to act independently, as well as great sensitivity to carnage and death. Has any general ever been better at capturing enemy armies (and thus sparing lives), rather than bloodily smashing them? Perhaps the best way to compare Lee and Grant is to see the former as the last great general of the 18th century, while the latter was the first great one of the 20th century. (A.L. Conger, "Rise of U.S. Grant" helped begin the revival of his reputation; J.F.C. Fuller, "Grant & Lee" is a well-balanced comparison.) But the "Memoirs" document---with artless modesty---Grant's consummate skill at maneuver well before he introduced modern total war. They also contain the classic passage about Appomattox, wherein Grant summarized the entire war in one immortal sentence: "I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse" (p.735).

    Grant's great skill at turning a phrase, along with shrewd insights and dry humor, is well-displayed throughout the "Memoirs" and letters. It's true that there are some inaccuracies, because while he did have access to important documents when writing, his race against death resulted in some errors due to haste, and some inevitably faulty interpretations. But the book's reputation for unreliability is mostly unfounded. Ultimately, it is Grant's story, not a history of the war. It is not a complete autobiography, however, since most post-1865 events are not covered. A favorite image (described elsewhere) comes from Grant's post-retirement world travels, when 20,000 English workingmen turned out to march in his honor, honoring him as the general of freedom who vanquished the armies of slavery. He did not save everyone, but along with Lincoln, he saved his country. Enough said.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read This
    Whatever history has to say about US Grant, the president, there's a reason why his NYC memorial was the most visited American landmark until the Washington Momument was completed. It should fool no one that Grant's memoirs, written under financial pressure, and completed only days before throat cancer killed him, have become part of the American canon. If you've ever seen those upright potraits of this man, his frill-less diction and clarity will not surprise. Despite hailing from another time, this is a remarkably quick read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get this edition for the letters
    Grant's memoirs are the greatest books in American literature. Gore Vidal, Gertrude Stein and other literary figures have acknowledged their preeminence. Even if you know or care nothing about the American Civil War, these books are essential reading for any educated person. Grant wrote simply, yet beautifully, and he was dying in agony of throat cancer when he penned these books. The story of the writing of the Memoirs is one of the most amazing and courageous tales in American history. Imagine racing against death to complete an epic story, the proceeds of which would provide for his family after his death. What an amazing man!

    This edition of Grant's memoirs is wonderful because the appendix contains several hundred letters he wrote over the years. Most of these missives were written to his wife, Julia, and they shed an enormous light upon this shy man's character. Grant's letters show him to have been a tremendously gentle, decent man, with a great sense of humor and profound love in his heart for his wife and family.

    This is an excellent edition, which will bring to you only one of the greatest books written in the English language, but also a selection of Grant's letters. Both make for engrossing, gripping reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An American's Autobiography
    Grant's Personal Memoirs and Selected Letters 1839-1865 Library of America Edition

    This is one of the most important books written an American. There is something huge and seething about these memoirs. To be sure it is not from the cool tone; Grant was old fashioned in that way, and these are not confidential memoirs. This is the story about a down at the heels middle-aged man working as a clerk in Galena, Illinios shop when the Civil War started and how that man would become the nation's first four star general. But don't think of this as a success story in the ordinary sense. This lucid and clear story is one not of a man's success but of a nation's torment. Throughout the book Grant goes out of his way to praise his subordinates for his successes. Grant's modesty however does not obscure or hide his ability. There are many reasons why Grant was the best general of the Civil War, but one that is often overlooked is that Grant wrote the best orders. We know from others that he would haunch over his desk for hours writing. These orders, some of which are included in the autobiography, are models are concise and breviloquent writing. From these orders we can tell that he was involved in every element of his troop's victories and defeats. Grant gave great attention to details, and was meticulous in his preparations, and planning.

    There are a number of editions of Grant's "Personal Memoirs" in print, but I am recommending the Library of America edition because it contains the Report of Lieutentant-General U. S. Grant of the Untied States Armies dated July 22, 1865 and a selection of his letters. The letters to his family are particularly valuable because they show Grant at his most personal and intimate. ... Read more

    6. The Essential Gandhi : An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas (Vintage Spiritual Classics)
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
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    Asin: 1400030501
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-12)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 9943
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Mohandas K. Gandhi, called Mahatma (“great soul”), was the father of modern India, but his influence has spread well beyond the subcontinent and is as important today as it was in the first part of the twentieth century and during this nation’s own civil rights movement. Taken from Gandhi’s writings throughout his life, The Essential Gandhi introduces us to his thoughts on politics, spirituality, poverty, suffering, love, non-violence, civil disobedience, and his own life. The pieces collected here, with explanatory head notes by Gandhi biographer Louis Fischer, offer the clearest, most thorough portrait of one of the greatest spiritual leaders the world has known.
    “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. . . . We may ignore him at our own risk.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    With a new Preface drawn from the writings of Eknath Easwaran

    In the annals of spirituality certain books stand out both for their historical importance and for their continued relevance. The Vintage Spiritual Classics series offers the greatest of these works in authoritative new editions, with specially commissioned essays by noted contemporary commentators. Filled with eloquence and fresh insight, encouragement and solace, Vintage Spiritual Classics are incomparable resources for all readers who seek a more substantive understanding of mankind's relation to the divine.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read Impossible to Forget
    The best anything I've ever read about Gandhiji! I read this over 6 weeks when I was visiting India in the Fall of 2000 to see my mother for the last time. Every night I was so eager to read the book from the place I left the night before. At the end, the book was in several pieces but I still remember the highlights. A great author to write a great book about a unique soul!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Message for Today
    Gandhi's words have never been so pertinent as they are today. This is an anthology of his writings, edited by topic in chronological order. It's an autobiography revealing Gandhi's evolution from a fearful young man, afraid of the dark, to a fearless leader who feared no rebuke by an empire. More than an aesthete in a modern world, Gandhi's complexity is revealed in each passage as he penitently reveals his transformation into selfless service and living simply. His words and actions inspired others to follow without fear of retaliation and could guide today's leaders to a peaceful resolve. The book reads like a primer on non-violence.

    Eknath Easwaran's 18 page Preface is worth the price of the 339 page paperbound book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read For All
    This book is one of my favorite non-fiction books. The beauty of this book is that the main points are in Ghandi's exact quotes while the flow of the arguments are edited by his biographer, Louis Fischer, to give a great feel of direction. Because Ghandi edited his own newspaper his life-changing views are abundant and easily accessible. If only this book were read by all leaders of people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Gandhi book available.
    I have read every Gandhi book i could get my hands on, such as all his autobiographies, and this book is by far the best and just as accurate. With this book and the writings that are on his official website, you will have all the information you will ever need. One thing to keep in mind, that many people seem to forget, is that Gandhi was a normal man like you and me. He made mistakes just like every other man, but had the courage to always follow his 'inner voice' even in his unperfectness. This is a life changing book for those who dare to look within themselves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Thoughts from a Great Man
    This is a mind opening, life changing book. The thoughts and writings, spaning over the entire course of Gandhi's life, offer a glipse into the mind and habits of one of God's greatest followers. His peaceful approach to life and his undying love for friend and foe alike will motivate any reader to the highest level. This is a must read for anyone, regardless of nationality or creed, who wishes to see the potential all humans have within them. ... Read more

    7. Diarios En Motocicleta (Movie Tie-in Edition) : Notas de Viaje(Che Guevara Publishing Project)
    by Ernesto Che Guevara
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 192088811X
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-15)
    Publisher: Ocean Press
    Sales Rank: 15437
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    Book Description

    "When I read these notes for the first time, I was quite young myself and I immediately identified with this man who narrated his adventures in such a spontaneous manner . . .

    "There were moments when I literally took over Granado's place on the motorbike and clung to my dad's back, journeying with him over the mountains and around the lakes . . .

    "To tell you the truth, the more I read, the more I was in love with the boy my father had been . . ."- from Aleida Guevara's preface

    "A journey, a number of journeys. Ernesto Guevara in search of adventure, Ernesto Guevara in search of America, Ernesto Guevara in search of Che. On this journey of journeys, solitude found solidarity, 'I' turned into 'we'."-Eduardo Galeano

    ... Read more

    8. Ulysses S. Grant (The American Presidents)
    by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Josiah Bunting
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
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    Asin: 0805069496
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-08)
    Publisher: Times Books
    Sales Rank: 1870
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    Book Description

    The underappreciated presidency of the military man who won the Civil War and then had to win the peace as well

    As a general, Ulysses S. Grant is routinely described in glowing terms-the man who turned the tide of the Civil War, who accepted Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and who had the stomach to see the war through to final victory. But his presidency is another matter-the most common word used to characterize it is "scandal." Grant is routinely portrayed as a man out of his depth, whose trusting nature and hands-off management style opened the federal coffers to unprecedented plunder. But that caricature does not do justice to the realities of Grant's term in office, as Josiah Bunting III shows in this provocative assessment of our eighteenth president.

    Grant came to Washington in 1869 to lead a capital and a country still bitterly divided by four years of civil war. His predecessor, Andrew Johnson, had been impeached and nearly driven from office, and the radical Republicans in Congress were intent on imposing harsh conditions on the Southern states before allowing them back into the Union. Grant made it his priority to forge the states into a single nation, and Bunting shows that despite the troubles that characterized Grant's terms in office, he was able to accomplish this most important task-very often through the skillful use of his own popularity with the American people. Grant was indeed a military man of the highest order, and he was a better president than he is often given credit for.
    ... Read more

    9. Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace
    by James Wallace
    list price: $24.95
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    Asin: 0471180416
    Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 606523
    Average Customer Review: 3.53 out of 5 stars
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    While Microsoft was occupied with the largest, most expensive consumer marketing effort in history, the launch of Windows 95, Netscape was equally busy capturing the Web browser market. By mid-1995 it looked as if Bill Gates and company had missed the paradigm shift created by the Internet, and many pundits doubted Microsoft could recover. Meanwhile, the Justice Department was aggressively investigating claims of unfair practices levied by Microsoft's competitors. Suddenly the company found itself in the unfamiliar role of lumbering corporate giant--and underdog. James Wallace's Overdrive, his sequel to Hard Drive, is the story of Microsoft's response to this challenge. A veteran investigative reporter, the author paints a vivid portrait of Gates's determination and competitive ferocity, with a host of revealing anecdotes and details as backdrop. The battle for control of cyberspace is far from over, but Microsoft is clearly not to be trifled with. The tale of how the company repositioned itself in the race makes for fascinating reading. ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this book,Gates's fans, if u had read Hard Drive
    Don't miss this book if u had read James Wallace's Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the making of Microsoft empire. Because this book contain Gates's next way to mantain his empire from internet wave. Just like Hard Drive ,this book is well written: Complete and detail but still easy to read and understand. It is still the easiest to read and understand Gates's book compare with other similar book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Didn't really meet expectations
    I read Hard Drive and like it a lot. I work with computers and I am very interested in the whole history of how things developed and how MS managed to stay on top. I liked this book, but I have to give it 3 starts because it really didn't keep me interested a whole lot. The part about Netscape and how MS almost totally missed the Internet was great. What is most amazing to me is how they turned it around and blew everybody away, which is not easy task for a company that size. Although the litigation against MS should be mentioned because it's part of the history of the company, the chapters about the lawsuits were way too long and boring. I can imagine that a lot of people gave up reading it after chapter 2, with so many names thrown around. Maybe if I were a lawyer I would've enjoyed more. I would read another book by the author as he did a good job on the research, perhaps in a few years it's going to be about how MS dominated the Internet. Hopefully, it'll be more focused on that subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Have to read this book to know more about Bill Gates.
    This is one of the best written books out there on Bill Gates and the reason seems to be the journalistic background of the author that is so well suited for this kind of biographical account. The book has numerous real life stories of not just Gates but other legends as well like Marc Andreessen. Like me, you may also find that it is hard to put this book down once you pick it up and start reading it (almost on any page, any chapter).

    If you are in the Information Technology field, you will no doubt thoroughly enjoy this book but it isn't written just for someone knowledgeable in computers. Almost anyone can read this book with little difficulty as the focus is not on technology terms but on the lives behind the technology and the Internet revolution. After reading this book, you will definitely catch up on the events of the last 15 years or so that have changed the world into one filled with computers and the Internet everywhere.

    The paper used in the hard cover edition of this book feels strange to the touch and is not the normal paper you would find in most books. It feels more like cheap paper with a strange white color and the font used throughout looks like one of the generic fonts from the eighties. This alone discouraged me from reading this book for the first few months after I had bought it. But when I finally decided to read it, I instantly moved it to the top of my reading list.

    If you are a budding entrepreneur wanting to topple Bill Gates' empire with some revolutionary idea that you are building in your garage or apartment, you HAVE to read this book. It is inspirational as it gets the hair on the back of your neck to stand up for most of the book and it gives you raw data to analyze and strategize how to succeed in this highly competitive market place.

    The same author also wrote 'Hard Drive' which was a best seller prior to 'Overdrive' and I plan on reading 'Hard Drive' next as I am so impressed by 'Overdrive'. The thing that really got me hooked on this book is the author's writing style where he keeps your attention the WHOLE time. He does it by hooking into your emotions as evidenced by his account of Bill Gates' visit to Orlando, Florida in 1993 where he gets stuck in a traffic jam. As the author reveals the cause of the traffic jam (everyone from around 100 miles all going to the Sheraton hotel to listen to Bill Gates talk) you can't help but chuckle at the hilarious situation Bill is in (since he is the cause). The book is full of several such accounts where you can't stop reading!

    Working on a startup company myself, I was looking around for biographical books on successful entrepreneurs to get some ideas and informaiton that I can analyze for myself and find some patterns. I then came across a few books focused on Bill Gates (this being the best) all of which I purchased immediately. I have not been disappointed. This book is headed for my long term collection. I hope that you too enjoy this book!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Actually In Park
    Gossipy, disorganized and poorly written anti-Gates screed. This book is so badly written it's hard to get through it, even for someone who is a knee jerk hater of Chairman Bill (like, well, me). The author meanders about, jumping from topic to topic like a kangaroo, leaving the reader at first dazed and confused, but finally bored and annoyed. Worse, he spends an inordinate amount of time discussing Gates personal life, from the chairman's alleged over attachment to his mother to the birth of his kids. Excuse me, but I'm interested in the business end of Gates' life, I don't care if he wants his mommy. Wallace spends an entire chapter gushing about Gates' Hawaiian wedding and how exclusive and elaborate it was. Doubtless Wallace is envious, I was bored. The anti-trust battles are poorly explained, at best, why did Bingaman refuse to prosecute chairman bill? We can only guess. This book has little to recommend it, although Judge Sporkin thought highly of the prequol, HARD DRIVE. I never read it, and after reading this disjointed mess I don't think I will.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but diffused
    This is a very informative and eye-opening book on the policies of Microsoft. What I didn't like in here is that a lot of material that has nothing to do with the main subject matter has been discussed at length. I don't understand why a whole chapter (out of a total of about 6) has been devoted to Mr. Gates' wedding. There is also some discussion on the history of the island where his wedding took place! ... Read more

    10. Companero : The Life and Death of Che Guevara
    by Jorge G. Castaneda
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679759409
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-27)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 15792
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    By the time he was killed in the jungles of Bolivia, where his body was displayed like a deposed Christ, Ernesto "Che" Guevara had become a synonym for revolution everywhere from Cuba to the barricades of Paris. This extraordinary biography peels aside the veil of the Guevara legend to reveal the charismatic, restless man behind it.

    Drawing on archival materials from three continents and on interviews with Guevara's family and associates, Castaneda follows Che from his childhood in the Argentine middle class through the years of pilgrimage that turned him into a committed revolutionary. He examines Guevara's complex relationship with Fidel Castro, and analyzes the flaws of character that compelled him to leave Cuba and expend his energies, and ultimately his life, in quixotic adventures in the Congo and Bolivia. A masterpiece of scholarship, Companero is the definitive portrait of a figure who continues to fascinate and inspire the world over.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Passionate and informative
    This very passionate work does a good job of clearing up misconceptions and making Che's ideas and philosohy more readily available. Che has become a sort of enigmatic figure in our times and it is disturbing how so many people just plaster his image and "claim" to be a "compa~nero" without really knowing what Che stood for and what he accomplished in his life. This is a very welcome biography on one of the most influential and misunderstood revolutionaries. This book was written by someone who is not only passionate about it, but who is also able to be objective. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Che.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An materful work, a brilliant conclusion
    As a bit of a Cuban Revolution scholar, I found Castaneda's book to add a depth and insight found no where else in the Che literature. The volume of footnotes may frighten some off, but they can mostly be ignored. This book gives a remarkable sense of the incredibly difficult task of actually trying to run a country after a revolution and in the face of such opposition. While much of the book is complex research at its' best, the final chapter is a thing of beauty. Castaneda give meaning to both the life of Che and meaning to the impact of the 1960's on the society at large. The final two pages are brilliant.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Well written but?
    If anyone has seen the documentary about Who betrayed Che Cuevara on the history channel you will know that this guy was supposed to have read police reports, interrogation documents etc on the Bolivian two Bustos and Debray. Of course it is obvious he did not asnd has either made up or followed everyone else in accusing the wrong people of being traitors to Che. If a writer of historical books cannot get this right then this book lacks very much from the difinitive writing of Anderson. its worth reading but I'd buy Anderson's first.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a no spin look at Che Guevara
    I was tired of seeing his face on all the t-shirts (as I am a college student) and not knowing just who Che was. Having read Castaneda's book, I now feel that I can say with confidence that I understand why Che's face has become such a countercultural symbol. Castaneda has definitely done his homework in preparing to write this compelling account of Guevara's life and death. The author does not attempt to glorify the revolutionary or to paint him as a villian, but rather provides the reader with details from both camps in order to allow him or her to make their own decision. The Che that emerges is a superb visionary and one of the few truly pure Marxist socialist leaders of the modern era, a throwback to the Bulsheviks of the early 20th century. This book has encouraged me to read more into Che's theories, and is one that I absolutely recommend to anyone, especially those readers who would tend to quickly denounce socialism due to there familiarity only with the corrupt brand practisted by the Soviet and Chinese camps. If only more of us were like Che Guevara in sticking with our convictions no matter what they may be!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Che for grown-ups
    Castaneda's is by far the best work yet done on the subject, not only better written, but also more penetrating and authoritative than either of the other recent big bios--and all at something like half the length. Also, though Castaneda clearly admires Che, his insights and conclusions are still clear-eyed and uncompromising. This is Che for grown-ups, a real-life saint, as exasperating as he is inspiring, and all the more compelling for it. In fact, since reading this I can't think about the guy without getting a lump in my throat. No lie. So Hasta La Victoria Siempre, Commandante... wherever you are. ... Read more

    11. Diarios de Motocicleta
    by Ernesto Che Guevara
    list price: $16.20
    our price: $16.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 9504912028
    Catlog: Book (2004-06)
    Publisher: Planeta
    Sales Rank: 40785
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    12. Bill Gates (Biography (Lerner Publications Company).)
    by Jeanne M. Lesinski
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 082259689X
    Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
    Publisher: Lerner Publications
    Sales Rank: 55682
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bill Gates
    I would give this book a five-star rating. The title is Bill Gates and the author is Jeanne M. Lesinski. Bill Gates had a dream. His dream was to create his own computer. Bill does complete his goal. On different kinds of computers he created, he did them with other friends. Throughout the story, it tells about his life, his wife, and three kids. Read the book and find out about his life and the start of Microsoft.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
    A & E produces a daily Biography show about famous people in all categories, this book is based on that series. Bill Gates is more than a story about the richest man in the world, is an accounting of where this fame and fortune came from and the vision of the future of the software giant.

    While the book is only about 100 pages there is enough information about Gates' roots, his ride to the top of the software industry and his recent battles with the Justice department to give this reader a new look into the man himself.

    The author gives you pictures from early childhood to his start with Microsoft in Albuquerque to his work with the Bill Gates Library Foundation. I must admit most of the photos have already been seen, however they're a few new and interesting ones, especially his new house.

    I personally liked the way the author put together the story, not running over of boring you with details in any one are. The storyline flows from start to finish. Granted there is a lot more that could have gone into the book, however this one was an excellent read. ... Read more

    13. Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary
    by Alberto Granado, Lucia Alvarez de Toledo
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1557046395
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
    Publisher: Newmarket Press
    Sales Rank: 15519
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    Book Description

    Published for the first time in the U.S.—one of the two diaries on which the movie The Motorcycle Diaries is based—the moving and at times hilarious account of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado's eight-month tour of South America in 1952.

    In 1952 Alberto Granado, a young doctor, and his friend Ernesto Guevara, a 23-year-old medical student from a distinguished Buenos Aires family, decided to explore their continent. They set off from Cordoba in Argentina on a Norton 500cc motorbike and traveled through Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. The duo's adventures vary from the suspenseful (stowing away on a cargo ship, exploring Incan ruins) to the comedic (falling in love, drinking, fighting...) to the serious (volunteering as firemen and at a leper colony). They worked as day laborers along the way—as soccer coaches, medical assistants, and furniture movers. The poverty and exploitation of the native population started the process that was to turn Ernesto—the debonair, fun-loving student—into Che, the revolutionary who had a profound impact on the history of several nations.

    Originally published in Spanish in Cuba in 1978, the first English translation was published by Random House UK in 2003. The movie, based on Granado's and Che's diaries, directed by Walter Salles (Central Station, Behind the Sun), was produced by Robert Redford and others. Shown at the Sundance Film Festival, it generated great reviews and a frenzied auction for distribution rights, which was won by Focus Features. Granado, now 82, was a consultant to Salles during the production. 10 b/w photos. ... Read more

    14. Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire
    by James Wallace, Jim Erickson
    list price: $22.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471568864
    Catlog: Book (1992-04-16)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
    Sales Rank: 643385
    Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This biography chronicles William Gates' rise as the most powerful player in the computer industry--a man who has revolutionized the software industry with the incredible growth of his Microsoft company, that now threatens gigantic IBM. Reveals Gates' personal quirks and idiosyncrasies which helped fuel his fierce competitive spirit. Interviews Gates' closest friends, associates and former employees, and details IBM's as well as Apples' efforts to topple his Microsoft empire. ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive History of Microsoft
    (By Edward Trimnell, author of "Why You Need a Foreign Language & How to Learn One," ISBN:1591133343)

    This book is required reading for anyone who is interested in:

    1) Computers and software
    2) Microsoft
    3) Entrepreneurship

    Hard Drive is as readable as a novel. The book covers the history of Bill Gates' rise to power with expert thoroughness. There are numerous insights into the man and company--not all of which are flattering.

    If you have ever wondered how the current PC software market reached its current state, then you will find the answers within these pages. The authors portray the struggles between Microsoft, Lotus, IBM, and Apple from the technical, commercial, and human perspectives.

    The book is also balanced in its handling of one of the business world's most controversial personalities. Gates admirers and detractors alike will find ammunition in Hard Drive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book written by two very talented journalists
    I had heard a lot about this book and I finally got around to reading it a while back and have to say that it was time well spent. Not only the book is a well versed discussion of how to succeed through hard drive, it is also a reflection and warning on how ambition, when unchecked, and an unbalanced life can turn into greed, complete paranoia and life driven by fear rather than the excitement of accomplishment. The book tries to be balanced and shows the evolution of a boy genius to a driven shrewd industry leader to a completely paranoid ego maniac. Not having any opinions of Gates when I started to read the book, besides the fact that he was a successful and driven person worthy of examination, I could not help but to admire him in his youth for his dedication and drive. By the middle of the book when Microsoft finally establishes itself in Bellevue, one sees the transformation of a workaholic and challenge driven person, to a paranoid almost parasitic individual, who surrounds himself with technologically unaccomplished little demons -- such as Steve Ballmer and Mike Maples -- who will do his dirty job for him and will fetch/steal and confiscate other people's hard earned technologies such as C-U-SeeMe, Go, Inuit, Borland technologies and even DOS etc. Paul Alan by this point is out of the picture suffering from cancer (probably from the guilt of being part of it all) and shunned by his old partner Bill. When one reads the account of Microsoft's attitude toward Lotus (putting bugs in DOS allegedly to break Lotus 123), one understands why Chairman Bill -- like Chairman Mao -- is being credited for transforming/destroying a culture, and according the the founder of Lotus creating a kingdom of the dead. By this time pity turns into complete dislike. Following Microsoft's recent attitude toward Java/Netscape/Inuit/3COM one is left but to wonder 1). where the heck has the justice department been upto now! and 2). will Xanadu be Citizen's Gates last place in history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy About the #1 Guy at the Pinnacle
    Should I Buy This Book?

    The story is starting to get a bit dated but the book still has 95% of the Gates story warts and all. He is one of the most compelling and admired and maybe feared business leaders today.

    Unlike Jack Welch, another great leader and manager, he started from zero or near zero in a new field and (largely) owned the company. I remember seeing the personal computers for sale in the 70's - just pre Microsoft - that did not come with anything other than a very rudimentary software. He was one of the first people to recognize the dollar value of the software and to charge for its use in the hobby market. Since then he has dominated the market. Now there is a computer in virtually every office and home using his (expensive high margin) software. Now he has the resources to buy anything he wants, or to support any charity or university, or buy a sizeable portion of the stock in almost any company that he wishes. And of course he has no debt. He used no risky leverage or tricks. He took the software and generated billions of dollars in cash and securities on hand. It is quite the story.

    This is a relatively short book and an easy read. Frankly it is a must read for anyone running their own business and or in the Tech field. Gates is the statistical anomaly who sits at the very pinnacle. He is perched even above Warren Buffet the financial guru who is at least 20 years older than Gates. But Gates was astute enough to buy DOS for $50,000. and then had the business smarts and drive to market and sell the product. He was a hands on manager working long hours and a technical leader. He was (is) as smart or smarter than anyone else in the field. He did not invent any major new invention but he had the practical ability to take the product to market and make it work, make it better, and build a winning business. He hired great people and built a team that literally crushed the opposition including IBM and all foreign competitors in that area. It is only now two decades later that people are (seriously) starting to consider alternatives such as Linux, and these still have a lot of catch up to do.

    Still a great book and a great yarn. A must buy 5 stars.

    Jack in Toronto

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hard Drive and the GENIUS BILL GATES
    Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire is a great book. James Wallace and Jim Erickson gives us an insight as to how Bill Gates really is as a person. The genius Bill Gates at the mere age of 13 was completely different from any ordinary 13 year old. He had ideas that would once lead world into future. If anyone really wants to know as to how the future billionare thought, then I recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Accurate Account of How It All Started
    I fine myself re-reading this novel from time to time. It's that good. From the time Bill Gates recited passages from the bible to win a dinner at Seattle Space Needle to becoming the riches man in world has led many people including myself to "emulate" this figure's work ethics if not his flaws. In some small way, we can be just as sucessful as a billionaire as long as we stay away from the "Darkside". It's how Microsoft got the contracts to support the Altair; the flourishing program language business; they're plan for oversea expansion with Kay Nishi; what they did with the money that rolled in and yes, Bill's hygene problem.(LOL) This is how it happen - not how Pirates of SV wrongfully portrayed events for the sake of entertainment. ... Read more

    15. Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham (Walker Large Print Books)
    by Billy Graham, William Franklin Graham
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $39.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802727212
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
    Publisher: Walker & Company
    Sales Rank: 268576
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Journey
    The most prolific evangelist in Christian history, a pastor to the Presidents, and a Christian man of integrity -- this is Billy Graham. Or, at least that is how most people see him. Here we have the story of his life, from his simple farm-boy beginnings, through his tent revival conversion, his college days and marriage to Ruth, his early fiery and outspoken preaching days, his years of global ministry and maturity, and ending today, as a respected man of God by virtually everyone in the world.

    The story is told with an easy-going pace and reading it you have to smile at Graham's style, which is honest, humorous, and very... normal. It's really amazing to see how God took this average fellow and used him in such amazing ways. This book is also a treasury for any other pastor, evangelist, or other person who wishes to live a life of integrity. Graham relates a wealth of wisdom gained from experience that the church would be wise to remember. We would all do well to remember Billy, and to honor his legacy by remembering his life and everything that he stood for. Just As I Am is an autobiographical masterpiece from a man I deeply respect.

    5-0 out of 5 stars America's Preacher Finally Tells His Story
    I've been a big fan of Dr. Billy Graham for many years. I used to love watching his crusades on t.v. back when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's. His preaching always fascinated me. It's funny though, I didn't get saved until 1992! But I certainly can't blame Dr. Graham for that. He planted the seed in my life, and did so repeatedly.
    My mother gave me this book as a Christmas gift in December of 1998, during my last year in college. I finished reading it at work before my college went back to school for the spring semester. In fact, I was so fascinated by his story that I couldn't put it down. I had the entire book read in about 6 days! That's my personal record for a book this long! This book really is that great!
    He covers his entire life, from growing up in western North Carolina up until this book was published. He leaves no stone unturned. You'll read about how he got saved, hearing God's call into the ministry, and his days in Bible college in Florida. You'll also read of his humble beginnings as a church pastor, his becoming the first Youth For Christ evangelist(yes, they used to have them), and how his ministry took off from there. He also tells of the many famous people he's met over the years, from popes and cardinals to presidents, actors, and others. And if you love autobiographies as much as I do, you might eventually feel as if you're walking in his shoes with them. His story is really that powerful.
    At the time I read this, I had just accepted God's call into the ministry. This book help me cement that call and reafirm it, too. After I finished reading it, I knew for certain there was a call on my life. My regret is that I didn't answer God's call to the ministry when I first heard it, as Dr. Graham did.
    If you're an evangelist, missionary, pastor, asst. pastor, youth pastor, elder, deacon, or anyone else involved in Christian leadership, you should read this book. If you think God calling you into full-time ministry or some other type of Christian leadership, this book is for you, too.
    Dr. Billy Graham, thanks for your many years of faithful service to the Lord. You have been a good example to me and others Christians as well. God bless you, sir!

    5-0 out of 5 stars To God Be The Glory!
    Billy Graham is an amazing man of God. He fulfilled God's calling, and finished the race marked out for him for over 50 years.
    In this phenomenal autobiography, Just As I am; Billy Graham presents us with a detailed, introspective and humorous account of his life and his various encounters with people of high positions. Whether its Kim Il Sung, Muhammad Ali or the many others mentioned; it simply shows how great God is and the amount of influence that he can give to one man was chosen by God.
    His ministeries/Crusades are not only inspiring, but mindblowing that leaves your jawdropping after you have read about all of it. I remember shaking my head and smiling in amazement as I read about the number of people who received Christ, and simply the massiveness of the audiences he preached to. I mean, come on. We all have to admit that it is simply God's divine will that one man could speak to 1 million Koreans at once,or to an eager 250 000 crowd in Central Park. In addition, Billy Graham's TV appearances, Newspaper interviews, and Evangilistical Association speaks volumes on his favor and access to the spheres of Media influence.
    To onclude, this biography can only spur us on in our life for God. After reading this, I just have this passion to reach out to others and preach the gospel as much as I can. If you are a Christian who lacks that zeal and passion for Christ,then, I hope this would ultimately spur you on to reach greater heights for God.
    God can use anyone, and that means that God can use you!

    "The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

    Matthew 9:37-38

    2-0 out of 5 stars Where is the struggle?
    First, let me say that I am an evangelical pastor who has the greatest respect for Billy Graham. I believe he has done more to further the gospel message in America than any single evangelist of our time. Second, it seems that my review will be in the minority as it seems to have been given 5 stars by everyone else who has read it.

    With that said, I eagerly opened this book hoping for insight into his life. How he dealt with struggles. How he dealt with marriage and travel in the midst of his extensive ministry. What I got instead was an itenerary of his travels and very few insights into the difficult decisions that must have been made in his life. There is a great deal of humility within these pages, but very little vulnerability.

    While I respect this man as much as any Christian that has lived in my lifetime, I found this book hollow.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great. But there is one thing...
    This book was a great account of a great man. Billy Graham is undoubtedly the most well known Christian of the 20th century. This fact alone gave me a reason to read the book. The book was well written, and follows Billy's life geographically rather than chronologically. This sometimes makes his life hard to follow, but overall the book flows nicely.

    Let me just point out several observations I had from the book. FIRST, Billy Graham is truly a humble man. He is constantly giving the credit to God. SECOND- Billy Graham has had an incredible impact on the entire world. He has been a close friend to several US Presidents, and he has had conversations with dozens of world leaders. He has also held evangelistic meetings in many countries in the world. His life has not only impacted the world spiritually (which is the most important impact). But his life has also impacted the political and social realm of the globe. THIRD- Billy is very accepting when it comes to theology. On page 251 he writes, "If a man accepts the deity of Christ and is living for Christ to the best of his knowledge, I intend to have fellowship with him in Christ." Personally, I would not take such an accommodating stance. Based on Galatians 1, I believe that those who distort the GOSPEL are unworthy of true Christian Fellowship. I think that Billy has been too accepting of 'Christian' sects and religions because he has not adapted the attitude of Paul in Galatians 1.

    Though Billy and I might disagree on this one point- I do not doubt that God has used him tremendously. I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in reading about the most influential Christian person in the 20th century. ... Read more

    16. A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius
    by Edward H. Bonekemper
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $27.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 089526062X
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing
    Sales Rank: 164491
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of Grant's Civil War Career
    This is a well written book covering the campaigns and military career of U.S. Grant during the civil war.

    Chapter 12 and the appendixes give a solid analysis of what made Grant a success and offers a great discussion of the attacks upon his record by his detractors.

    Included within the book are statistical analysis demonstrating the losses suffered by Grant's armies were not out of proportion, especially when viewed in contrast to those suffered by Lee and his other opponents.

    This book brings forth in a very readable style how and why Grant was a success as a general. It should be enjoyed by the novice and the expert on the subject of Grant's civil war career.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Modest Revision of History
    Perhaps it is the American tradition of rooting for the underdog. Perhaps it is the influence of movies like 'Gone With the Wind' that have created a golden image of the south (In spite of the South's Peculiar Institution - Slavery.) But for whatever reason, Robert E. Lee has been raised to almost God like esteem, while Grant has been considered a drunken butcher.

    Of late, the reputation of Lee has suffered some. Incidents like Picketts Charge have been looked more closely in the reliaziation that Lee's most trusted Liutenant, Longstreet recommended against the Gettysburg campaign so heavily.

    It is good to see that Grant is getting a new look. He led a masterful series of military campaigns, often over the objections of his superiors such as Hallack. And in the end, he won the war. Dr. Bonekemper does not go into the troubles Grant had as a civilian, either before the war or during his presidency. But after all, this is not a biography of Grant but a military history. Well done, well written, highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this Book
    I found this book thoroughly enjoyable. While I never thought of Grant as a "butcher", it gave me new insight into his merits as a commander and a person. It brought out a number of things that I had read in other contexts relating to the failings of other civil war generals and highlighted the strengths of Grant in avoiding their problems.

    It was easy to read and understand. I recommend it highly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Myth No More
    Historical myth, especially those connected to the Civil War, are not easily changed. Decades of authors have tried to embellish a myth until it is accepted as fact. Mr. Bonekemper does an excellent job of pulling together statistics, details and opinions concerning Ulysses Grant and then analyzing what these really mean. A case is meticulously built that Grant was a brilliant leader and apparently the only general who had an overall view of what needed to be done and how it would be accomplished. He not only understood the military actions needed on the battlefield but the political implications to Washington. Mr. Bonekemper refutes the myth that Grant was a butcher and shows how he generally minimized his overall loses by understanding the "big picture" and changing tactics when needed to overcome his opposition. The book is easy to follow and is highly recommended.

    3-0 out of 5 stars To the victor goes the spoils
    Towards the end of the war Grant was losing 5000 troops per major engagment. Mary Todd Lincoln called him a butcher and wanted him removed. Abe wanted to end the war. Grant made no bones about his motive. To crush the south, and he did. I wonder if it was because he knew that sacrifice was necessary and with the Northern industrial complex behind the logistics and a draft in full swing (whew)... at that point Lincoln finally had a General who had the will to win at any cost. He could have won with one hand tied behind his back... the south was in poor shape. Yet Lee managed to give back worthily at just about every juncture, save Petersburg and the rear guard action into Appomatox. Was the book that good? No suprises here. ... Read more

    17. Cigars, Whiskey & Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant
    list price: $14.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0735201633
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-04)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall Art
    Sales Rank: 245329
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Long before leadership became identified as the catalyst for corporate success, the Civil War's winning general was showing the world how dynamic leadership is the crucial determinant of victory or defeat.

    Ulysses S. Grant never sought fame of glory, nor did he try to tie his performance to personal reward. Instead, he concentrated on contribution and service. He looked upon being given increased responsibility not as increasing his power, but as increasing his ability to get the job done. "The great thing about his perfect correctness and persistency of purpose." (Abraham Lincoln)

    In this masterful retelling of Grant's story, Al Kaltman draws on Grant's writings and life experiences to present a series of practical lessons on how to get superior performance from the troops.

    Going beyond mere "how-to's", Cigars, Whiskey & Winning deals with character traits, core beliefs, and fundamental values to reveal the secrets to becoming a winning leader that are as much about "who to be" as "what to do".And there isn't a chart, table, or checklist in sight-just a handy index of lessons for ready inspiration on demand. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good solutions for everyday problems
    This book is an excellent summation of the lessons learned by Ulysses S. Grant in an easy-to-read format. The book is well-paced and divided, following Grant's victories and defeats in military, civilian and personal battles from his childhood through the Civil War, his presidency, and Kaltman even manages to draw cogent and sobering lessons from his death. For each chapter the author gives a short story and draws a lesson from it. Each lesson is less than two pages, giving the reader an ability to read for a few minutes at a time during a busy day without losing his or her place or train of thought. Because of the length Kaltman does not run his point into the ground like many management books. His simple explanations stand alone. Kaltman's innovative format is now being emualted by many management authors.

    Don't be fooled by the easy read--this book contains serious lessons that I will ponder again and again and wish I had learned earlier in life. The oft-maligned Grant is a worthy hero, and Kaltman has extracted invaluable morals from his experiences. If the author's bias that Grant deserves a better place in history than he currently enjoys shows through in some places, it is a sentiment I share. And so will you after you read his book. I recommend this book as a gift for anyone struggling to learn the skills to survive and thrive in the battlefield of business.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book on managing, leading and facing life's issues!
    Identical to the book on leadership using Robert E. Lee, Kaltman has taken issues faced by Ulysses S. Grant and placed them in similar context. Issues managers and people in general face are brought forth on how to deal with adversity, changes, demands, employees and other popular concepts are clearly written. Kaltman has put together a great book in regards to managing work related and also non-work related issues that can be very beneficial to anyone. The book is a rather quick read and covers many topics or situations Grant faced that could be represented towards leadership scenarios from his early beginnings to after the war. This book is full of great insight and lessons to be learned from either failures or successes that Grant went through. Many people can benefit from reading this facinating book on leadership and take what they learned and use it in everyday life. 5 STARS!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good, easy read!
    This book has come in handy on many an occasion when a succint response to a workplace situation was in order. It is well arranged, easy to read, and VERY timely, considering it was "written" 100+ years ago! I would recommend it to both managers and "the managed" like myself. I don't usually go in for business or management reading, since I get enough of that corporate culture all week long, but I don't regret reading this one at all!

    5-0 out of 5 stars First in War but Then....
    Here is another of the "leadership lessons from" volumes which seem to be published in an ever-increasing number. I was curious to know what Kaltman had to say about one of our nation's most successful generals who is also generally viewed as one of our least successful Presidents. The bulk of the book focuses on Grant the general but Kaltman adds a brief section in which he attempts to place Grant the President within an appropriate historical context. The material is organized within 11 chapters, ranging from "Seize Opportunities: April 1822-August 1848" to "Always Do What's Right: February-December 1865." Kaltman then provides a Conclusion ("The Quintessential Grant") and an Addendum (The aforereferened "Grant's Mismanaged Presidency"). The net result is much more than a portrait of Grant. Indeed, Kaltman has carefully examined all manner of primary sources from which he has selected what he considers to be those "leadership lessons" which are most relevant to our own time. (I wish he had included a Bibliography.) At the heart of this book is an essential paradox: the same leadership principles and strategies which enabled Grant the general to achieve great success are precisely the same which (for various reasons which Kaltman suggests) Grant rejected or failed to use while serving for two terms as President. I am among those who consider Grant's Personal Memoirs a literary masterpiece as well as one of the most valuable historical accounts of the American Civil War. Therefore I was not in any way surprised by the eloquence of Grant's remarks which Kaltman generously and skillfully includes together with appropriate comments by others best-qualified to comment on Grant, both in terms of his military leadership and qualities of personal character.

    With regard to the title of this book, Kaltman shares three quotations from those who had direct association with Grant. One observer noted that Grant "smokes almost constantly" and the most famous is of remarks by President Abraham Lincoln concerning Grant's fondness for whiskey ("...if it made fighting generals like Grant I should like to get some of it for distribution"). However, the remarks which I found most revealing were made by Robert E. Lee to a professor at Washington College where Lee served as president after the Civil War: "Sir, if you ever presume to speak disrespectfully of General Grant in my presence, either you or I will sever his connection with this university." I urge those who share my high regard for Kaltman's book to read or re-read Grant's Personal Memoirs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise
    It's amazing that Kaltman takes a military genius (but financial disaster) such as Ulysses S. Grant and magically transforms him into an example for busisnessmen. Poor Grant must be revolving in his grave. The premise of this book is to take pithy and brief remarks from Grant and relate them to the business world. It's an interesting premise and an extremely flawed one. Grant's genius was in writing and on the field of battle, not in making money or advising those grappling on the corporate ladder.

    However, the book does have merit if it introduces the sublime character of Grant to average people with little or no interest in history. Serious historians will laugh off this sophomoric book, but managers might actually learn something about one of the greatest and most underrated figures in American history. Grant was an intensely honest, moral and highly intelligent man and reading his words can only enhance anyone's character, even those whose only interest is in chasing the almighty dollar. ... Read more

    18. Pope John Paul II : A Tribute
    by LIFE
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0821226770
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Bulfinch
    Sales Rank: 269162
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Photographs
    I loved this book. I thought the photos were very beautiful and touching. However, it was Bulfinch Press who published it, not New York Graphic Society. ... Read more

    19. Personal Memoirs: Ulysses S. Grant (Modern Library War)
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375752285
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
    Publisher: Modern Library
    Sales Rank: 2699
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Destitute and wracked by throat cancer, Ulysses S. Grant finished writing his Personal Memoirs shortly before his death in 1885. Today their clear prose stands as a model of autobiography. Civil War soldiers are often celebrated for the high literary quality of the letters they sent home from the front lines; Grant's own book is probably the best piece of writing produced by a participant in the War Between the States. Apart from Lincoln, no man deserves more credit for securing the Northern victory than Grant, and this chronicle of campaigns and battles tells how he did it. (The book also made a bundle of money for his family, which had been reeling from the failure of Grant's brokerage firm.) This is not an overview of the entire Civil War; as the North was beating the South on the third day of Gettysburg, for example, Grant was in Mississippi capturing Vicksburg. But it is a great piece of writing, one that can be appreciated even by readers with little interest in military history.--John J. Miller ... Read more

    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling, Humble and Well-Written
    Grant's memoirs are a must-read for any serious student of the Civil War. While praise is heaped upon Confederate generals such as Lee and Jackson, Grant's legacy has always been a little more uncertain. His reputation has been associated with allegations of drunkenness, and with an apparent unflinching ability to send men to their slaughter which this book helps to dispel.

    Lincoln loved Grant, as he was the first Union commander who seemed willing to fight it out with Lee's army, and who enjoyed any consistent success. When one considers Grant's predecessors at the helm of the Union army, one can understand Lincoln's enthusiasm. You had McClellan, who never read an exaggerated report of the enemy size he didn't believe; "Fighting Joe Hooker", flanked and embarrassed at Chancellorsville; Burnside, who foolishly sent wave after wave of Union soldiers across the Rappahanock to attack an impregnable stone wall at Fredericksburg; and Pope, who was soundly beaten at Manassas. Meanwhile, Grant caught Abe's attention with his successful siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863, as Meade was beating Lee at Gettysburg.

    Reading Grant's Memoirs is a fascinating experience, as the war, at least that part of it involving Grant, comes to life in the hands of a thoughtful commentator. Grant was obviously there, and he shares informative communications with his inferior officers (such as Sherman) and with the President. Grant sent many men to their doom to be sure, (the Wilderness campaign comes to mind as being especially bloody and ineffective), but overall you get the sense that Grant was respected by his men, who were happy to be marching forward and not backwards after a battle. He restored a sense of pride and accomplishment that was sorely lacking in the Union rank and file. He gave cogent reasons in his memoirs for the actions undertaken, sometimes admitting mistakes in humble fashion, and sometimes explaining why a siege would accomplish the same overall goal without unnecessary bloodshed.

    My only regret is that Grant didn't live long enough to write a companion memoir about his presidency, which was clearly outside the scope of this book. Readers who have gotten this far in the Amazon review process are no doubt aware that a broke Grant, stricken with painful throat cancer, wrote out his Memoirs of the Civil War right up until the end of his life to provide financially for his family, finishing the book days before he died. We should all be grateful that he was able to preserve these pages for prosperity, they are truly a model of military memoirs that I consider an extremely rewarding reading experience. When one considers the circumstances in which Grant composed this work, the end result is nothing short of miraculous.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Moving
    A must read for all Civil War buffs and those even remotely interested in history. The 600+ pages in this book (both volume I and II are included together) articulately spell out the military career of one of the United States' greatest generals. Grant's Memoirs are well-written, thoughtful, insightful, and offer more than a glimpse into the mind of U.S. Grant.

    Volume I opens with a heartfelt preface where Grant explains how his diminishing health pushed him to complete this work and "asking no favor but hoping (his remarks) will meet the approval of the reader." They most definitely do. Following the preface, the reader is given a (very) short review of his early childhood, life at West Point, and early Army life. The next one hundred pages are dedicated to the Mexican War followed by his resignation from the military and civilian life in Illinois. The remainder of Volume I and all of Volume II extensively deal with the War Between the States.

    I found Volume I (written before Grant realized he was critically ill) to be rich in detail of the various military campaigns (perhaps too detailed) and his ascension through the military ranks, but it is somewhat lacking in personal observations and insights. It even drags at times--but stick with it. The patient reader will not be dissapointed. Volume II hurls the reader into the conflict, reads rapidly, and is rife with Grant's personal observations and insights.

    This second volume picks up where the first left off--following Vicksburg to the campaigns in Tennessee to the Battle of the Wilderness to Sherman's March to the Sea to the Battle of Franklin right up to Appomattox and all the events of April and May 1865. These campaigns are told from the commanding general's perspective with great overview and detail. However, what really makes Volume II (and this volume is much more fast paced than the first) special are all the personal observations and insightful (rarely negative and always humble) comments about those Grant served with and against. Grant is thoughtful and displays much about himself as this great book draws to a close. An eloquently written, detailed, first-person account of the Civil War that offers much to those who read it.

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and readable memoirs
    Grant here gives a consistently interesting account of his role in many of the major campaigns of the Civil War. His prose is clear and his accounts of battles and strategies quite readable, even to those without particular expertise in military history. He sticks to the story, making few attempts to even scores with his numerous critics in the Army or the press.

    One thing that should be noted is that these 'personal memoirs' are in many ways remarkably impersonal. There is only a quite brief account of Grant's youth, and his wife, to whom he was apparently quite devoted, is barely mentioned. Grant tells the story of his career as an officer with increasing levels of responsibility, but says little about himself. Also, the memoirs end with the assassination of Lincoln, and do not at all discuss his presidency.

    The edition I read was lacking in maps, which was a serious drawback, however it was a different edition than the one discussed here. Because so much of the book focuses on the tactics of specific campaigns, a good set of maps is a very valuable addition, and would be advisable to check for in any edition you consider reading or buying.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading
    I'm not a Civil War or military fan, but I really enjoyed reading these memoires. I expected a very dry book, but General Grant provides a great narrative, slipping in a sly sense of humor at times. My recommendation is that the publishers provide better maps. I needed to use an atlas and detailed maps off the internet.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Old wine in new bottles
    I'm a little irritated at the usually terrific Modern Library. They have hatched a new series of volumes on "War", with a general introduction by Caleb Carr. Apparently, however, aside from the slick covers, no attempt was made to provide the reader with any original material, such as maps, appendices, notes or other scholarly material. The edition of Grant's memoirs contains a new, curt, unhelpful introduction by Geoffrey Perret. (Perret offhandedly mentions that Grant's memory diverges from the facts on more than one occasion, but makes no attempt to further elucidate a matter that would obviously be of high interest to the reader.)The maps are old, crabbed and often difficult to follow; the geographically-challenged reader, such as myself, is often obliged to consult a road atlas to follow the Western campaigns. The memoirs themselves are terrific. Grant's plain, homely soldier's style, with dashes of self-deprecation and dry irony, is engrossing reading. ... Read more

    20. Gates : How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry--and Made Himself the Richest Man in America
    by Stephen Manes, Paul Andrews
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $24.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671880748
    Catlog: Book (1994-01-21)
    Publisher: Touchstone
    Sales Rank: 255102
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Gates reveals the guiding genius behind the unparalleled success of theMicrosoft Corporation-- the biggest and most profitable personal computer software company in history-- and exposes the intensely competitive tactics that help it dominate the desktops of America.Chairman and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is the most powerful person in the computer industry and the youngest self-made billionaire in history. His company's DOS and Windows programs are such universal standards that more than nine out of ten personal computers depend on Microsoft software. Under the "Microsoft Everywhere" rallying cry, Gates intends to expand his company's worldwide dominance to office equipment, communications, and home entertainment.Vivid and definitive, Gates details the behind the scenes history of the personal computer industry and its movers and shakers, from Apple to IBM, from Steve Jobs to Ross Perot. Uncovering the inside stories of the bitter battle for control of the expanding personal computing market, Gates is a bracing, comprehensive portrait of the industry, the company, and the man-- and what they mean for a future where software is everything. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Gates Biography Around
    I first read "Gates" back in 1993. Many books about Bill Gates have been written since. But "Gates" by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews is still by far the best book about Bill Gates.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still Best Gates Biography Around
    I first read "Gates" back in 1993. Many books about Bill Gates have been written since. But "Gates" by Stephen Manes and
    Paul Andrews is still by far the best book about Bill Gates.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Detailed History in the Making of a Monoply...
    I won't get wordy here but I read this book twice and enjoyed it both times. It goes into the life of Bill Gates; his thought process, his work ethics, his childhood and how Microsoft established it's dominance. It's a good read even though it's over 500 pages. I highly recommend this book along with the book "Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire". This is the way it really happened. Not the way the movie "Pirates of SV" incorrectly portrayed it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great history of PC computing
    I bought this book expecting to skim through it to find out a little more about what Bill Gates was like. But it's a wonderfully readable history of the growth of PC's, from the early days when the best a school kid (Bill himself) could do was to try to get access to a teletype time-share system, on through the first home "computers" that amounted to little more than a bunch of switches and LEDs (no keyboard or monitor), to IBM coming out with the PC and Microsoft's amazing good fortune at supplying the OS (great story! Bill just cared about programming languages, mostly BASIC, and saw the DOS manuever mostly just as a way to ensure that BASIC would run on the new IBM machine!), on thru the OS/2 vs. Windows battles.

    It even has a lot of inside detail on the development of the Apple Macintosh. I recently read "Accidental Empires" (the basis for the TV documentary "Triumph of the Nerds"), and found Gates to be a far better and more readable history of the PC's startup.

    The book is packed with interviews and amusing or interesting anecdotes. It's well written and well edited. One drawback for some people will be that it hasn't been updated since 1995, but for the two main things that have happened since then - the anti-trust suit against Microsoft and the rise of the Internet - there are plenty of other sources.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting account of Bill and the evolution of the PC
    This very readable book provides a candid overview of the rise of Bill Gates and Microsoft. I found it interesting and insightful. Like much of the material about "billg", I find it a little sycophantic -- but it is not over the top. Key success ingredients: early signs of selfishness, million dollar trust-fund from his grandfather (which no doubt provided safety and leverage at the start), an early passion for an incredibly important technology at the critical period and a shrewd, single-mindedness. I suspect Bill is not a particularly compassionate, polite, happy or fair person -- however I bet he is really efficient! ... Read more

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