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  • Levesque, René
  • Lincoln, Abraham
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    $37.80 $34.94 list($60.00)
    1. The Beatles Anthology
    $19.80 list($30.00)
    2. The Uniter : The Genius of Abraham
    $17.82 list($27.00)
    3. The Intimate World of Abraham
    $17.79 $2.67 list($26.95)
    4. The Eloquent President : A Portrait
    $17.95 $14.47
    5. Abraham Lincoln and Civil War
    $10.17 $9.67 list($14.95)
    6. The Real Lincoln : A New Look
    $10.50 $7.94 list($14.00)
    7. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin
    $26.40 $12.88 list($40.00)
    9. Lennon Legend
    $10.85 $10.24 list($15.95)
    10. The Autobiography of Martin Luther
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    11. Jackson & Lee: Legends In
    $6.75 $3.45 list($7.50)
    12. Luther's Large Catechism: A Contemporary
    $15.92 list($24.00)
    13. Lincoln's Greatest Speech : The
    $9.89 list($25.00)
    14. Commander in Chief: Abraham Lincoln
    15. Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858 (2
    $14.40 $13.22 list($24.00)
    16. Why Lincoln Matters : Today More
    $16.32 $15.62 list($24.00)
    17. Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President
    $11.56 $11.04 list($17.00)
    18. With Malice Toward None : Life
    $13.57 $5.75 list($19.95)
    19. Martin Luther: A Penguin Life
    $12.89 $7.94 list($18.95)
    20. The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham

    1. The Beatles Anthology
    by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon
    list price: $60.00
    our price: $37.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0811826848
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-05)
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 10012
    Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music, which has been a part of so many of our lives, this landmark release is warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story. Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare, vintage images. Includes over 340,000 words and over 1300 images, including unseen photographs and personal memorabilia. ... Read more

    Reviews (203)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
    I was going to give this book 4 stars, until half-way through I was struck by the pure genius of it all. Why? It's like a cover song - when someone else plays a Beatles song, does it ever really sound as good as the original? Rarely. "Anthology" is a huge tome of a book comprised entirely of interviews and snippets from the Fab Four themselves, with a very few extras from their manager, studio producer, etc. It seems like a coffee table book, but it certainly isn't - over 350 large pages of fine print.

    The reason why this book ALMOST got 4 stars is because of the inherent nature of a book made entirely of quotes - natural conversation doesn't translate well onto the printed page, especially when so many people are quoted from different periods in their lives. The book never says "In 1964, the Beatles recorded Rubber Soul" or anything like that. Instead, the quotes gradually roll around to telling you, until you realize "Oh, we're in the studio again". Often this book is disjointed and hard to follow, especially if you don't anything about the Beatles.

    However, few people know nothing about the Beatles! After the first 30 pages, you get used to the style of presentation, and later on you realize the beauty of it all - these boys are down-right inspiring. Worked in with all the tours and stories and pranks and bad rumors and other nonsense are wonderful descriptions of their music and how it was written, what its inspiration was, and the trials that were faced to create it. The Beatles didn't idolize themselves, not like their fans do, so the words just flow out effortlessly and pure, just like their music did. This was their lives, no big deal, this is what they did. The creativity is catchy.

    If you are a die-hard Beatles historian, I'm positive that nothing new is said in this book. There is no "myth-making" in these pages - their fights and disagreements are very bluntly presented - but you can see a "No Big Deal" kind of attitude formed. It's is only natural, the survivors are turning 60, after all. Like the video series and the CDs, this version of Anthology is a warm revisit of a wonderful little rock'n'roll band. Check it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Chronicle At Last
    Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, but it is
    crushingly obvious when reading this Anthology volume that by far the
    best one would naturally come from the bandmembers themselves. [The
    price] seems like an incredible bargain considering the size and
    quality of this work, which covers the years 1940 (the birth of Ringo
    and John) to the breakup in 1970. At 368 coffee-table sized pages
    it's already huge, but the small print makes it almost double that

    The book would be worth it just for the photos alone, which
    are beautifully reprinted--many from the early years are actually in
    color--chronicling dozens of previously unpublished, intimate moments
    taken straight from the group's personal archives. But what really
    makes this one essential is the text itself, which is taken from
    interviews conducted with Paul, George and Ringo in the 90s and an
    exhaustive compilation of Lennon quotes from all points in his life (I
    recognized many, but there were also some I've never seen before).
    Even after the dozens upon dozens of biographies which have recounted
    the group's earth-shattering tale ad nauseum, you feel like you're
    reading it for the first time. All four bandmembers speak with a
    thousand times more wit, frankness and detail than all of their
    previous biographers combined; in fact, they manage to offer up
    juicier tales, and more interesting spins on already known events,
    than anything you've read before even in the most gossipy bios--and
    you get it this time knowing that it's honest (you know it's honest
    when you hear conflicting memories about certain events!).

    "Anthology" is especially revealing when it comes to the
    childhoods and Hamburg era: you get to hear about the first time
    George got laid (right in front of the other three bandmembers!), or
    when Ringo was a member of the Dingle gang, or what they did at
    teenage parties. The detail is so thorough and vividly recalled for
    the early years (and butressed by the photos) that you feel like
    you're living it as it actually happened. No stone is left unturned
    about the famous years, either: George and Ringo philosophize about
    their first LSD trips and the meaning of "Tomorrow Never
    Knows", the Maharishi controversy is finally put to rest (hint:
    he never made a pass at anybody), and new insight is shed on the
    evolution of the friendships between John and the other three. More
    is made about the breakup than was on the "Anthology"
    videos, including Yoko's presence and the business hassles, as well as
    the making of "Abbey Road". Finally, all of this is told
    with such an elegant sense of Beatle humor that even the heaviest
    moments are a joy to read. Also included are excerpts from Stu
    Sutcliffe and Brian Epstein's personal diaries. With this volume now
    finally released, the only other essential Beatle books to get are
    Lewishon's "Beatles Chronicle" and Miles' "The Beatles:
    A Diary", both of which give exact reference dates and
    descriptions for every live show, radio, recording and filming session
    (as well as more great photos).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magical mystery tour through the Beatles' career
    This book purports to tell the Beatles's story in their own words (though augmented by memories from people close to them like Brian Epstein, producer George Martin, roadies Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, and publicist Derek Taylor), and does the job quite well.

    I would estimate that at least 80% of the information contained in this book is already old hat for die-hard Beatlemaniacs who have memorized Mark Lewisohn's "Complete Beatles Chronicle" and read every Beatle book out there. But it's not so much the substance of the information as the way in which it is told--it's great to be able read about these events from the Beatles' point of view, even as seen through the prism of the thirty to forty years that have passed. And I am grateful that George was able to participate in the whole Anthology project before his untimely death in 2001.

    The modern-day comments from Paul, George, and Ringo were apparently taken from the interviews from the Beatles Anthology circa 94-95 (if you watch the entire video/DVD and compare it to the text in the book it's pretty obvious). Hard-core fans will be able to recognize where many of the other quotes came from, although they aren't sourced, unfortunately--after each such quote there's merely a superscript such as "64" or "70" showing the year it was said, with no reference to the publication or interview it was taken from. That said, the editors had an incredible job piecing this thing together; they could almost be listed as co-writers!

    There's a great deal of eye-candy (photographs, memos, handwritten notes, drawings, etc.), which are fascinating to look at. Sometimes, though, the arrangement of text, typeface, and photographs on the page seems rather random and thrown together, and even can make it difficult to read (for example, page 177, which tells about George and John's first LSD trip is printed on a background of garish red with magenta and orange text that all but obliterates the actual text). But it's never dull.

    Despite the fact that it may be a bit of a chore to read, since it's large and heavy (even in paperback), it is a joy to read and I heartily recommend it to all Beatle fans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Beatles!
    This book transcends its overt purpose of being an anthology of the Beatles.

    Anyone who loves the music the Beatles gave us will find much rewarding material here. Those who want to know about how success can be accomplished in popular music will be riveted. Those who like to look back on popular culture in times past will have a happy trip. If you just love exciting photography, there is much to attract you to this volume. I found myself singing the Beatles' songs to myself as I read the text and looked at the illustrations. That was the best part!

    To me, the most thought-provoking part of this book was its rags-to-genius quality. The Beatles were unlikely candidates to become leading musical innovators. Most of them were so poor that their families lacked indoor bathrooms when they were growing up. None of them could read music. The combined number of music lessons they had was less than ten in total. They could not afford musical instruments. Their families could not afford to subsidize their careers. Yet they were observant about the new, in contact with what moved their hearts, listened intently for better music, and worked with a never-ending frenzy to fulfill their passion for the music. It's vastly more heartwarming and fascinating than any rags-to-riches story ever can be.

    I had never understood John Lennon's complaints about the "packaged, predictable" Beatles until I read in this book about the type of band they were while evolving their style. Particularly in the Hamburg gigs, they were more like a jazz combo that played rock and roll. The music was free form, and they stretched some songs into being as long as an hour and a half.

    In fact, their commercial success was a tremendous tragedy for their artistic success because they were probably at the edge of developing a whole new musical genre that would have become the dominant one today. I'm sorry it never happened. I feel even more sorry for them, in realizing that they knew what they lost and must feel it very deeply.

    I was also moved by the story of their tempestuous friendship. These guys went through tremendous stresses, strains, and deprivations together. They fought, they disagreed, they slugged each other, and they appreciated each other. Yet, there was a strong enough pull towards each other that allowed the group to continue through its amazing journey, despite the difficulties. To have had such friendships, even if they are eventually lost, must be an amazing experience. Few will know this closeness in their lives.

    I came away from this book with a new appreciation for the Beatles. Before this book, the Beatles were all about (for me) how they sounded and looked, and how I reacted to that. Now, I see them as being role models for important aspects of human experience that we should all appreciate.

    Before closing, I do have two words of caution. This book is very open about the major and minor vices of life. As such, this book could make the wrong impression on adolescents. They don't need too many new ideas about how to rebel, and this book could be read that way. That's not what the Beatles were doing, but a 13 year old could see it that way.

    Second, as revealing as the book is, more is ultimately still hidden below the surface than is revealed. These young men knew a lot of pain, and that pain was an important source of their brilliance. Don't be offended that they did not share more. It was probably very painful to share as much as they did.

    I would like to give the editors major credit for developing a successful dialogue style in the book that included quotes from John Lennon. It must have been the dickens to read through all of his many quotes, and to weave them into material comparable to what can be developed in a simple interview where the others could be aware of what each other said.

    "Take a sad song, and make it better."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent production.
    I thought the book was excellently produced, but would have liked more input from non-Beatles and from sacked drummers (nudge nudge wink wink). For instance, Lennon and McCartney recount the time they finished up "I Wanna Be Your Man" for the Rolling Stones; I'd like to have had a word from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards about that experience as well.

    To the reviewer who complained that they were still slamming Pete Best's drumming ability and mental acuity, or lack thereof, forty years on--that's not strictly true. Pretty much all the statements in the book on that subject are at least 35 years old. But I'd still like to have seen some more input from Pete, as well as a page or two regarding his post
    Beatles musical career. He did actually have one, and did fairly well for a couple of years. But, as this book presents him, he was basically a non-entity, just the last in a long line of drummers who occupied the Beatles' drum stool before Ringo came along.

    There have been some conflicting reports on the musical skills of the various members of the band, ca. 1962. McCartney's own brother said of the group at that time, none of them was a rocket scientist, musically speaking, and it could have been any one of them fate could have chosen to go. Granted that statement was a bit disingenuous in retrospect, but wrt Pete Best it seems as if there was always an official policy in the Beatles' organization to purge his memory. For instance, when the BBC tapes were put on CD, the first two shows, with Pete Best, were omitted due to problems with the 'sound quality'. I've heard some of those performances, and the sound was fine. The drumming wasn't fantastic, but seemed more than adequate in the context. ... Read more

    2. The Uniter : The Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684824906
    Catlog: Book (2005-10-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 11390
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    3. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln
    by C.A. Tripp
    list price: $27.00
    our price: $17.82
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743266390
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-11)
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 116835
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    4. The Eloquent President : A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words
    by Ronald C. White Jr.
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400061199
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-11)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 13203
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Communicator
    Historians across the political spectrum agree that the United States has had only two great presidents, Washington and Lincoln. They also agree that of all our presidents Lincoln was the most eloquent.

    By analyzing some of the speeches that Lincoln composed while president, White puts them into historical context, illuminating their whole truth where previous scholars might have been satisfied with a partial one. He describes each speech as a pearl connected by a common thread. Stringing together these pearls, he demonstrates not only Lincoln's habits and thoughts but the evolution of his thoughts, for one speech usually built on a previous one and pointed toward another. Lincoln lived and wrote within the continuum of past, present, and future.

    As Bridges and Rickenbacker write in their book, The Art of Persuasion, schemes and tropes are the tools of the language, having originated with Aristotle; their use lends weight and authority to the spoken and written word. Lincoln made heavy use of alliteration, antithesis, assonance, asyndeton, ellipsis, erotema, isocolon, parallelism -- practically a dictionary of rhetoric -- which White too rarely refers to by name. He argues persuasively that Lincoln met Aristotle's qualifications for successful art of persuasion: 1) moral character; 2) the ability to excite listeners based on an understanding of their thoughts and feelings; and 3) the ability to prove a truth through various forms of argument. An experienced lawyer, Lincoln often argued by syllogism. He wrote on practical occasions to achieve practical effects. Frequently he shunned polysyllabic Latin derivatives for plain Saxon in order to appeal to a broad audience.

    Some biographers have been reluctant to credit Lincoln with a traditional religious sense, calling him a deist, fatalist, or skeptic, but his rhetoric suggests otherwise. Not only did he attend services, he read carefully the King James Bible, employing biblical cadences and references throughout his work. One might say his writing, like his life, was informed by a strong awareness of the workings of providence.

    Lincoln's skill was even more remarkable when we consider that he was self-taught. In a Congressional directory, when asked to comment on his education, he wrote: "defective." He studied Scott's Lessons in Elocution, he absorbed Kirkham's English Grammar; both were more rigorous than what today's students encounter. I have found other sources which listed Lincoln's literary influences as the Bible, Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, and Blackstone's Commentaries -- difficult to read on one's own, all of them. Throughout his life Lincoln worked diligently on writing and revising, sometimes reading to the nearest listener, sometimes aloud to himself, always concerned with orality and effect on the audience. He wrote slowly and spoke slowly.

    Robert Frost one said that he intended to "lodge a few poems where they couldn't be gotten rid of easily." Lincoln's speeches have become lodged into the American vernacular: First Inaugural ("better angels of our nature"); Second Inaugural ("with malice toward none"); Gettysburg Address ("new birth of freedom"); Cooper Institute Address ("What is conservatism?"); the House Divided speech, the Emancipation Proclamation. How many American presidents have made such an impact through their words? Who was the last president even to write his own speeches?

    The terrible irony is that critics of the time denied Lincoln's eloquence, much like the impoverished souls of today who, unable to let go of the Confederacy, insist with John Wilkes Booth that Lincoln was a tyrant. Such is the fate of the good and the great. Profound are their efforts, however, for those like Ronald White who are paying attention.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The living word
    This is a highly interesting history of the emergence of Lincoln's great rhetorical career during the civil war, starting with his railroad tour on the way to Washington after his election. Tracing the particulars and varied drafts of these gestating classics, the author puts each of the classic speeches in its context, especially the Gettesburg Address. The resulting fine-grain context for Lincoln's great masterpieces of eloquence is highly enjoyable and highlights the tenous edge they gave to his threatened passage as president through the trials of the Civil War.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The self-taught communicator
    For anyone who enjoys the process of writing and speaking, this book is a great treat.Lincoln carefully selected words for their mental and emotional impact.And he seems to have gotten better every year.Very inspiring!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Eloquent Book
    Mr.White lucidly conveys the striking skills possessed by Abraham Lincoln in the writing, for oral delivery, of the most important political speeches of our country's history.

    It is a book that should be read by every serious student of President Lincoln and all those interested in the art of formal political speech.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly explains substance and style of Lincoln's prose
    Abraham Lincoln was eloquent; everybody knows that.But what kind of eloquence did he have?How did he use it to advance his ideas and political agenda?How did he use it to enlighten the American people and to summon up the best that this nation can be?Any reader who has any interest in those questions must read this book.It is a profound yet lucid and fast-moving examination of Lincoln's uses of oratory as president-elect and as president.It stands with yet somehow manages to eclipse studies of specific speeches such as Garry Wills's LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG or the author's previous study of the Second Inaugural Address, LINCOLN'S GREATEST SPEECH.I teach Lincoln in my Law and Literature course and I plan to have this book at my elbow as I teach Lincoln this semester. ... Read more

    5. Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography
    by William E. Gienapp
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195151003
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 289881
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America, historian William Gienapp provides a remarkably concise, up-to-date, and vibrant biography of the most revered figure in United States history. While the heart of the book focuses on the Civil War, Gienapp begins with a finely etched portrait of Lincoln's early life, from pioneer farm boy to politician and lawyer in Springfield, to his stunning election as sixteenth president of the United States. Students will see how Lincoln grew during his years in office, how he developed a keen aptitude for military strategy and displayed enormous skill in dealing with his generals, and how his war strategy evolved from a desire to preserve the Union to emancipation and total war.Gienapp shows how Lincoln's early years influenced his skills as commander-in-chief and demonstrates that, throughout the stresses of the war years, Lincoln's basic character shone through: his good will and fundamental decency, his remarkable self-confidence matched with genuine humility, his immunity to the passions and hatreds the war spawned, his extraordinary patience, and his timeless devotion.A former backwoodsman and country lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose to become one of our greatest presidents. This biography offers a vivid account of Lincoln's dramatic ascension to the pinnacle of American history. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Slaveowner & Political Stooge
    Lincoln was a slaveowner and a political stooge that duped the entire U.S. into a war that shouldn't have been fought. History should condemn this vile man.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Abraham Lincoln And Civil War America
    William Gienapp's Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America answers a longstanding need for a biography of Lincoln manageable in size, accessible in style, and wise and balanced in content. Lincoln appers on every page of the book and is never lost sight of in the welter of events. He emerges from the text a real believable person, an individual and persuasive assessment of Lincoln's leadership abilities, the finest such appraisal avilable anywhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Abraham Lincoln in one slim volume.
    This book is a welcome addition ot the already crowded Lincolnia bookself. The author is the presumed successor to the retired David Herbert Donald at Harvard University. Gienapp has produced a highly readable and concise version of a Lincoln biography that can be completed on a moderately long airplane trip(and it's quite portable unlike most hardcover books). While relatively short,this book is a sufficiently thorough treatment of the Civil War Lincoln. I especially enjoyed the author's analysis of the politician Lincoln who mastered his rivals, both Republican and Democrat. This a good book for either a new Lincoln /Civil War "buff" or a good refresher for a scholar of the times. ... Read more

    6. The Real Lincoln : A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761526463
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-02)
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 3385
    Average Customer Review: 3.31 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
    Most Americans consider Abraham Lincoln to be the greatest president in history. His legend as the Great Emancipator has grown to mythic proportions as hundreds of books, a national holiday, and a monument in Washington, D.C., extol his heroism and martyrdom. But what if most everything you knew about Lincoln were false? What if, instead of an American hero who sought to free the slaves, Lincoln were in fact a calculating politician who waged the bloodiest war in american history in order to build an empire that rivaled Great Britain's? In The Real Lincoln, author Thomas J. DiLorenzo uncovers a side of Lincoln not told in many history books and overshadowed by the immense Lincoln legend.
    Through extensive research and meticulous documentation, DiLorenzo portrays the sixteenth president as a man who devoted his political career to revolutionizing the American form of government from one that was very limited in scope and highly decentralized—as the Founding Fathers intended—to a highly centralized, activist state. Standing in his way, however, was the South, with its independent states, its resistance to the national government, and its reliance on unfettered free trade. To accomplish his goals, Lincoln subverted the Constitution, trampled states' rights, and launched a devastating Civil War, whose wounds haunt us still. According to this provacative book, 600,000 American soldiers did not die for the honorable cause of ending slavery but for the dubious agenda of sacrificing the independence of the states to the supremacy of the federal government, which has been tightening its vise grip on our republic to this very day.
    You will discover a side of Lincoln that you were probably never taugh in school—a side tha calls into question the very myths that surround him and helps explain the true origins of a bloody, and perhaps, unnecessary war.
    "A devastating critique of America's most famous president."
    ... Read more

    Reviews (230)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A different look at our 'greatest' president
    The latest polls place Abe Lincoln at the top of the list of "Greatest Presidents". Indeed, few of our nation's past leaders are as reveared (and practically worshipped) as much as Honest Abe is today.

    This book takes a different look at his presidency and offers some challenging new ideas for "Lincoln Lovers". Indeed, anyone who has read some decent civil war history outside of a high school or college textbooks will know that the civil war was about much more than the just the one issue of slavery and abolition. Like many wars throughout history, they are usually about money and power.

    You will find within its pages a clear and concise arguement against the more popular view of Abe Lincoln. Thomas J. Dilorenzo describes a very clear picture of what the Lincoln presidency was REALLY about...

    raising import tariffs in the south to get more money...

    ignoring the constitution whenever it didn't suit his agenda...

    using "dictator-like" tactics to increase his power...

    and ultimately increasing the power of the federal gvt. itself.

    I always enjoy a book that has the guts to argue against the popular myths that we are usually taught in school in place of any real history. Get this book and see Honest Abe from a different point of view.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My high school/college history coach wouldn't approve!
    A refreshing, honest look!! Dilorenzo does an excellent job. The author uses facts and quotes to expose the true socialist/centralist agenda of Lincoln (and many other politicians). With his honest expose, the author systematically debunks the race-game used by so many superficial authors. For those who do not have a recorded family history, this masterpiece will help to put the war into historical perspective and let the reader discover the truth. The author does not elaborate fully on the vandalism, pillage and plunder of the fascist invasion, but does give great insight into the same with respect to the Constitution and design of the founding fathers. It gives a great economic backdrop for understanding the constriction of free markets, ever-growing socialism, fallacious economic reasoning, fiat currency problems, taxation without representation and other travesties that consistently exacerbate the nationalistic left wing socialism in our demopublican political system. Best of all, the author uses FACTS, instead of propaganda. He cites SOURCES, as opposed to using innuendo and conjecture. He covers this excellent read with so many actual QUOTES, that readers have the ammo to think for themselves, rather than be duped by a government history teacher with a government approved textbook. A wonderful expose of the white supremacy and racism that was prevalent in the north and a vindication of southerners, like my ancestry, whose only crime was their continued defense of the constitution, liberty, freedom and their families, homes, communities and sovereign states. We should never forget what really happened.

    5-0 out of 5 stars James Salisbury
    Let me start by saying what an incredible book. This book tells the truth about a man and his myth an anti-constitutionalist and murder of innocent Americans. The book is backed up by facts and not revisionist history as most books about Lincoln and American history are today. It goes to the heart of Lincoln and his ultimate goal of creating a centralized government with absolute control over all Sovereign States in order to push his parties economical and social agenda which they were unsuccessful at achieving politically, so he used a bloody war to crush his opposition to the South even Northern states were threaten at the point of a bayonet to submit to the will of his government or pay with their lives. The book also does a great job of dispelling the myth of Lincolns "Emancipation Proclamation" he was never during his entire life an abolitionist in fact he would distant himself from them. Go ahead and read the reviews below especially the negative ones (e.g. Aaron Smith) then read the book then go back to the negative reviews and you will see first hand how brainwashed so many people are in this country even after the straight forward facts of this book tell it like it was and remains today they still don't want to believe it. The Lincoln myth has been, concocted by the leftist to advance their socialist agendas by creating this false hero of liberty and freedom, which you will see Lincoln was not. So do yourself and your future generations a favor and pick up this book before it disappears, and share it with everyone you know because the school system in America is not going to teach the truth to your children only you can.


    1-0 out of 5 stars rebel dumpty sat on the wall, rebel dumty had a big fall
    in times of peace, a democracy should run like a democracy. in times of internal revolt, rebellion, or secession within a democracy, individual liberties must take a back seat to reestablishing internal order. dilorenzo's book, by an almost mystical inverse relation to its purpose, has shown me that abe lincoln was justified in the steps he took to save this wonderful country. he also did the south a tremendous favor by fighting it back into the union. even while the civil war raged, a few state governments within the condfederacy were itching to secede from THAT governmental conglomerate. if they had won their independence, it would not have been long before the former american south had split itself into 6 or 7 individual countries, with no hope of defending itself...from one another. if not for abe lincoln and the republican government in washington, the "lost cause" myth would relate not to what-ifs about winning the civil war, but rather to those grand days of peace and liberty (though 4 million slaves weren't liberated yet) back in the old union. mr. dilorenzo's book is a stubborn read, very miopic in its presentation of negative information regarding lincoln. dilorenzo has not given us a balanced look at the man who, by reuniting the united states of america through fighting the civil war, saved this land from a legacy of "war on every other thursday" that europe has experienced FOREVER! but dilorenzo's book is not worthless. again, the crafty reader will be able to spot the red-herrings and not be fooled by the chauvinistic arrangement of arguments.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Abraham Lincoln Exposed
    Thomas DiLorenzo has produced a brilliant expose' on Abraham Lincoln and the despotism he has saddled us with. DiLorenzo refutes all of the foolish arguements of the Lincoln "myth" school. "Father Abraham" is seen as he should be: a corrupt, tyrannical despot coercing the South back into the Union.

    DiLorenzo correctly shows how the United States was a voluntary union, pointing out that the states existed prior to the Union, contrary to modern view that the Union came first. DiLorenzo also points out the moral bankruptcy of modern Marxist historians and their agenda. Eric Foner, Garry Wills,et al, are shwon to be the statists that they are.

    DiLorenzo correctly shows how the North, particularly the New England area, profited off the protectionist tariifs that fell on the South. He quotes extensively from Whigs and Republicans showing their devotion to Henry Clay's "American System", a Hamiltonian Scheme to create a huge centralized government. Lincoln's 30 year political career was devoted to Big Government, protectionism, corporate welfare ( particularly for railroads) and bureaucracy.

    As President Lincoln's tyranny hits the reader like a ton of bricks.He violated the Constitution in the following ways: executive suspension of the writ of habeus corpus, invasion without congressional approval, arrest of political opponents without trial, imposition of an income tax,and occupation of several states, Maryland in particular. He had the entire legislature of Maryland arrested and placed the state under martial law.

    Lincoln also suppoted the brutality of his "Grand Army of the Republic". The tyranny of Sherman and Grant was endorsed by Lincoln. Bombardment of civilians, burning of towns, raping of white and black women by Union soliders, and installation of puppet governments in the vanquished states.

    DiLorenzo also correctly exposes the Republican Party and Lincoln as descendants of the Federalist Party. They were proponents of strong centralized government, and did not trust the people. Jeffersonianism was repudiated and limited government was overthrown.

    If anyone wants the true Lincoln, you cannot go wrong with DiLorenzo's book. ... Read more

    7. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
    by Roland H. Bainton
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0452011469
    Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
    Publisher: Plume Books
    Sales Rank: 8475
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
    This is a philosophical biography of Martin Luther. Although it provides some details about Luther's personal life, early upbringing and later family life, the focus of the book is on Luther's struggle to reform the Catholic church. The book is dense with summaries of Luther's writings, and it appears in a relatively small font, so it is not a quick or light read. It assumes a familiarity with Christian ideals and scripture; nevertheless, you don't need to be a Bible scholar to appreciate its discussion.

    This book is filled with passages that made me stop, think and reflect, and then dog-ear the page for return visits. Bainton quotes Luther: "Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith." Later, "Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her all the emotions swayed...The Holy Spirit himself pays tribute to music when he records that the evil spirit of Saul was exorcised as David played upon his harp....This precious gift has been bestowed on men alone to remind them that they are created to praise and magnify the Lord." Through reading this book, I became much more aware of the tremendous influence that Luther had on shaping numerous aspects of modern Western society. Anyone with any interest in any form of Christianity should become acquainted with the ideas of Martin Luther, and reading this book would be a good start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A life in review
    "Here I Stand" is a fine biography of the 16th Century Reformer Martin Luther. It encapsulates the full range of his emotions and struggles as he led the Reformation, and it also summarizes his key teachings. Bainton has a nice way of showing the progression of Martin Luther's thought, as in the earlier chapters the reader witnesses the struggle Luther underwent to free himself of the medieval Roman Catholic church's accretions to the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see Luther's profound awakening to the Gospel, as he began to see in Christ the merciful and righteous God who grants salvation freely through faith. Then eventually we see the mature Luther, who has been freed of the false teachings and traditions of the medieval church. Bainton shows us Luther's boldness and courage as a reformer, and also his deep humility and his failings. This book shows us a picture of a man who was used by God to restore the church to the Word of God alone, to faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone.

    The places where Bainton is weakest in this book is in his descriptions of how Luther understood the sacraments (baptism and communion) and how he understood the two realms of church and government. He doesn't quite explain these correctly in the Lutheran sense. But otherwise he has a helpful balance of the factors that influenced Luther and the reformation: social, political, historical, and most importantly theological factors. And the story is supplemented with personal stories showing his love for his wife and family, and his desire for a peaceful reform of the church. Above all Luther acted on the sure confidence in the Word of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of many Martin Luther biographies
    I am reviewing the 1950, Mentor Books Fifteenth Printing.
    This book is well laid out. Much of the material is in lecture form. There are twenty-two content headings, 12 page Bibliography, References, Source of Illustrations, and comprehensive Index. The illustrations are just that monochrome sketches.

    Roland H. Bainton received an A.B. degree from Whitman College, and B.D. and Ph.D. degrees form Yale University and form Oberlin College, Dr. Theological Seminary and from Oberlin College. He is a Specialist in Reformation history.

    There are many biography and reference books on Martin Luther, each with its own strength s and weaknesses. This one by Roland H. Bainton is pretty comprehensive and goes into more depth than most. Do not get out your highlighter or you will highlight every page.

    This is the story of a religious leader who is well known for leading the Protestant Reformation. "I cannot...I will not...Recant! Here I Stand."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Readable, memorable, informative
    I read this biography several years ago, and still remember it vividly. I am not generally a fan of biography, and read it to get a picture of this man who has made such a radical difference in world history. I was not disappointed. It held my attention throughout. Interesting, well documented, the story moved at a pace worthy of a good novel, while still providing abundant information and detail. The education about the man and the period gained from reading this book has stayed with me like few books I have ever read, and I cannot recommend it too highly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Biography on Luther, Period.
    This biography is the most accurate and unprejudiced ever written on Luther (and I have read dozens of them). Bainton provides very lucid and vivid historical settings, events, people, and such surrounding the life of Luther. What is more, Bainton is quite fair-minded with regard to Luther's personal traits; I get tired of reading other biographers who try to psychoanalyze Luther and draw conclusions about his thinking based on pure speculations. Bainton renders a fair assessment of perhaps why, based on historical settings and events which were occurring during Luther's day, as to why he perhaps did and said some of the things he did.

    Bainton really draws his reader into the life of Luther by carefully unfolding historical events which led up to the reformation and events that helped to shape Luther's thinking during and following the Reformation. The book is also nicely lavished with engravings and illustrations which helps the reader get a better understanding of what Bainton is trying to communicate. Moreover, the book contains a very exhaustive bibliography to help the reader branch out into further research and reading.

    This book is written in a chronological format from Luther's birth to his death, and every major event which occurred between. This text is certainly a must for anyone who wants a better understanding of Martin Luther. Moreover, it is also a crucial text for anyone wanting a better understanding of the Reformation. I cannot begin to describe the depth and breadth of this work. I highly recommend this text!!!! ... Read more

    8. WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED : A Life of Vince Lombardi
    by David Maraniss
    list price: $26.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684844184
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-07)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 132396
    Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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    As coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967, Vince Lombardi turned perennial losers into a juggernaut, winning back-to-back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, and Superbowls I and II in 1966 and 1967. Stern, severe, sentimental, and paternal, he stood revered, reviled, respected, and mocked--a touchstone for the '60s all in one person. Which adds up to the myth we've been left with. But who was the man? That's the question Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss tackles. It begins with Lombardi's looming father, a man as colorful as his son would be conservative. Still, from his father Vince Lombardi learned a sense of presence and authority that could impress itself with just a look. If a moment can sum up and embrace a man's life--and capture the breadth of Maraniss's thoroughness--it is one that takes place off the field when the Packers organization decides to redecorate their offices in advance of the new head coach's arrival: "During an earlier visit," Maraniss reports, "he had examined the quarters--peeling walls, creaky floor, old leather chairs with holes in them, discarded newspapers and magazines piled on chairs and in the corners--and pronounced the setting unworthy of a National Football League club. 'This is a disgrace!' he had remarked." In one moment, one comment, Lombardi announced his intentions, made his vision and professionalism clear, and began to shake up a stale organization. It reveals far more about the man than wins and losses, and is the kind of moment Maraniss uses again and again in this superb resurrection of a figure who so symbolized a sporting era and sensibility. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

    Reviews (121)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest sports biography ever written
    If you are thinking about passing on this book because you've read a hundred other things on Lombardi, don't.

    I almost did. Amongst other things, I'm a football junkie, a bit of an amateur historian on the subject, and felt that I knew enough about Vince--regardless of how fascinating a subject he is. I bought the book on the basis of its good reviews, and let me tell you every other book I have about Vince has been replaced by this book.

    It is probably the best sports biography ever written. First off Maraniss is a world class writer, and this isn't written at the Junior High level as many sports books are. Second, the quality of his research--the dates, details, quotes and interviews--is staggering. An objective look at Lombardi as a family man, a father gives us a real taste of his life. It puts the times and Vince's achievements into perspective, and I never once felt that the airing of what technically could be considered "dirty laundry"(although it is tame by 1990s standards) lessened Lombardi in my eyes. On the contrary, it made him more of a realistic, vunerable person who's life becomes all the more remarkable for it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best sports book I've ever read!
    I've always admired Vince Lombardi ever since his name was instilled in my conscious. When you think of the greatest coaches of all time, of any era, of any sport, Lombardi comes to mind. No coach ever gave so much of his blood, heart and dedication to win than Vince Lombardi; and all those traits are exhibited in this great biography of a man who transformed football, who brought football to the forefront. Maraniss has written a heartwarming, accurate account of a man who still lives in the public's conscious after his death almost 30 years ago. If you want a book about pure sports and strategy, then this isn't exactly your book. It's also about family and the desire to win. It's about determination. I've read King of the World by David Reminick which was also an excellent book, but this book tops it. When you finish this book you'll appreciate who Lombardi is and the sacrafice he gave to win. Most men wouldn't dare sacrafice so much of their time to do what Lombardi did, but after you finish this book you appreciate his love and why he did it. If there is one sports book you are ever going to get, this is it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    As a long-time Packer fan, about anything substantative would have been an interesting and fun read. But this one surprised me because it eclipsed long-established accounts of the Packers successes and failures and took an especially thorough look at the man who made Green Bay famous.

    Who would have known, for example, that the Coach's brother was gay. Or that he could relate one-to-one to his team and his players in a way he never could to his family. The book shares more of these insights than it does such strategic things as how Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman combined to throw "the" block. In fact, the on the field tactics and discussions almost become a distraction in a broader book that emphasizes what made the man tick.

    Like Wisconsin's other 1960s era sports hero, Al McGuire, everybody thinks they know everything about Coach Lombardi. This book lends an exciting perspective on a man dead now for almost 35 years. It's fascinating and long overdue.

    5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic!
    First, a few low points... While not written in the jargon of the field, Maraniss clearly approaches the subject of Vince Lombardi from a post-modern point of view. He opens with a contrived and somewhat galling introduction, in which he explains that he has borrowed the title from another author and uses it (of course!) "ironically." At various points throughout the book, Maraniss attempts to "de-construct" Lombardi, which is to some extent the mark of any good biography, but the author takes it too far at times, especially in his frequent references to the "fallacy of the innocent past." Moreover, this is not a political book, but because Lombardi was mildly politically active, politics enters the picture. And a subtle bias pervades Maraniss's discussion of politics. When lifelong Democrat (but always pretty conservative) Lombardi begins drifting toward Nixon and Republicans in the turbulent sixties, Maraniss attributes Lombardi's conservatism not to a heartfelt belief in those principles but to an inability to cope with rapidly changing times. The 60s is a favorite topic for Maraniss, as his latest book indicates, but his digressions into the protests, while tangentially important to Lombardi's story (particularly his philosophy of freedom), are overdone.

    Nevertheless, despite those faults, I still give this book a five. Immediately after that disappointing introduction, Maraniss redeems himself with probably the most stunning first line I have read in any book of nonfiction (and perhaps in fiction, too): "Everything begins with the body of the father." It is a starting point for a discussion of Lombardi's immigrant father, but it brings together elements that appear throughout the book: family (especially Lombardi's relationship with his son); Catholicism; the physical violence of football. From his youthful desire to be a priest and his high school and college football career, Maraniss follows Lombardi to Fordham and beyond to his first coaching job at a small Catholic high school in New Jersey and to an assistant's job at West Point, under Red Blaik. It was then to the Giants, where he was an assistant with Tom Landry, and finally across the country to Green Bay, where the legend was born.

    The book is not just a biography of Vince Lombardi; it is a look at American life and culture and at the history of professional football. It is amazingly written, and the descriptions of football games are wonderful--particularly the Ice Bowl, which another reviewer has mentioned. Flaws and all, this is a fantastic read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Power Sweep
    _That William Verneli Wood was challengig for a place on the Packers at all was a meaure of his mental strength and perseverance. It also underscored the determination of Lombardi and his personnel man, Jack Vainisi, to ignore the prejudices then prevalent in most NFL front offices in their search for the most talented players...Wood was a black quarterback in an era when black athletes were seldom allowed the opportunity to play that position_ (p237). Willie Wood went on to play 12 seasons for the NFL Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 In this biography WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED, David Maraniss identifies _race relations_ as an issue that revealed Coach Vincent Lombardi's character.

    I understood very little about the American version of football. Part of my confusion was that the foot is seldom used, and the object of the competition resembles a ball like no other. Even so, after reading WPSM, Mr Maraniss has provided me an appreciation for the athletes and the unmatched accomplishments of Coach Lombardi. Mr Maraniss chronicles football's mythical beginnings at US colleges in the first half of the twentieth century culminating in its zenith in the decade of the 1960s. The Packers were the team of that turbulent decade and Coach Lombardi became an icon.

    I was not surprised by this aspect of the biography. I don't feel I am alone in anticipating a captivating telling of the history and personalities of the NFL. Where Mr Maraniss exceeds my expectations is in his ability to weave disparate details together as they powerfully manifest at a critical time. The Packer Sweep is the most prominent example. So too is the complex and often contradictory character of Coach Lombardi.

    Mr Maraniss tells us that Vincent Lombardi had a rare quality of leadership that enhances the confidence of those around him. He was able to lift their spirits and they in turn responded with an effort that exceeded even what they themselves thought possible. This is a spiritual gift.

    Part of this gift found expression when Coach Lombardi was intolerant of racial prejudice. _The Jim Crow discrimination that black Packers faced when the team played exhibition games in the South enraged Lombardi, and at the end of the 1960 preseason he decided that he would never again allow his team to be split by segregation; from then on, he said, any hotel that would not accomodate all Packers would get no Packers_ He applied the same standard to the establishments in hometown Green Bay, Wisconson.

    Even before Willie Wood came to Green Bay, Lombardi brought Em Tunnell with him from the NY Giants, and paid for his lodgings, _Lombardi respected and needed Tunnell's experience that much_. (p240). Tunnell and Wood returned the respect. Wood said that Lombardi was _perhaps the fairest person I ever met_

    Coach Lombardi carried this same attitude to the issues of homosexuality and pre-marital pregnancy. These are typically, emotionally laden issues for Christians. Whatever reservations Lombardi may have held personally, he let his team know that a gay player deserved respect, _if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood you'll be out of here before your ass hits the ground_ (p471).

    The coach's daughter and her fiance agreed to get married but they did not want her parents to know that she was pregnant. Their parish priest helped the young couple with the details of securing a marriage license and with their permission, contacted Vince and Marie Lombardi who were enjoying the success of a Super Bowl victory in Florida (GB 33 Oakland 14). Lombardi had become a national symbol of old-fashioned discipline and moral rectitude. Upon hearing the news, _at first, Lombardi was 'extremely angry, of course, but then calmed down and began drafting a game plan._ (p430). As soon as Vince and Marie returned to Green Bay, they paid a visit to the newlyweds. Susan remembers, _He stuck out his hand to Paul and said welcome to the family and asked him about his education and his plans_.

    Mr Maraniss tells us of a complex Coach in this biography of Vincent Lombardi. There is never any doubt about his shortcomings. Through his unique determination Lombardi overcame these shortcomings and applied his will to hold a faith in the positive nature of us all. _Winning is the ony thing_ is the most famous quotation from Coach Lombardi, but winning was not the only thing at which Vincent Lombardi excelled.

    PEACE ... Read more

    9. Lennon Legend
    by James Henke
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $26.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0811835170
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 5890
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Presented in a handsome slipcase, Lennon Legend is both an illustrated and an interactive biography of the creative genius - songwriter, artist, social activist - who changed his times. Created with the cooperation of Yoko Ono Lennon, who has opened her archives for this project, the book offers insightful details about every era of John's life, from his early days at art school to the height of Beatlemania to "Imagine." A live recording of that song is included, along with several interviews of John talking about his life and art, on the audio CD contained in this package. Throughout, the book features archival photographs and reproductions of John's handwritten song lyrics, drawings, memorabilia, and personal papers. In all, 40 removable facsimiles can be enjoyed by the reader, several previously unpublished, including an intimate self-portrait in pen and ink and a plea for world peace. It's been said that John Lennon's was the voice of a generation. Lennon Legend celebrates that voice's power to resonate across the generations. ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Breathe" - Experience John Lennon
    Imagine - you are visiting an exhibition about an important artist. An exhibition guide is describing anecdote-rich in short chapters all creative periods of this artist.

    Imagine - you are buying the catalog, covering all the things you saw and heard before. Again ...

    Imagine - you are taking with you some of the so admired exhibits (ok, only as reproductions, but ... anyway).

    James Henke let with his book "Lennon Legend: An illustrated Life of John Lennon" this dream become true. Because provided with large expenditure, a worthy book is published, which resembles rather a fan collection in form of a photo album as a classical biography. The "Clou" - the book contains high-quality reproductions: handwritten letters and Songtexte, historical documents and further 40 removable memorabilia as well as an interview CD, on which also a rare live recording of "Imagine" is to be heard from the year 1972.

    Henke avoides dry academical essay and "letter deserts" to the reader. As a curator he knows obviously, how history can be lastingly and affectionately address. Facts become literally "illustrative" and "handable". Therefore you should pull the art cart with Yokos handwritten request "breathe" from page 26 and in thoughts experience , how it could have been, when John met for the first time Yoko.

    The author succeeds with this approach to show, almost the entire work of Lennon as a musician, author, painter, performance artist and as an actor. But the book is not a detailed exposition with the John's contradictions. Rather Henke concentrates to point the view of the reader of the strengths and talents of this outstanding artist.

    Nevertheless in my opinion this book let the answer to question open, which let John Lennon become a legend. This to mediate clearly, succeeds only in few places in this book: "in somewhat more than three years... they (the Beatles) had revolutionized the music and the fashion, and at the cultural and social changes... they were considerably involved."

    Also John never understood itself as legend. In its last interview (contained in cutouts also on that CD) he says: "my role in society is trying to express, what we all feel and not to tell the people how to feel - not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all, and it's like that the job of the artists in society."

    All in all, this book is remarkable, than many biographies about John Lennon before - Henke lets the "legend become touchable":

    Imagine - you are opening the book and the Lennon exhibition come to you home.

    Already because of this conception that book earned at least four of five stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fab!
    Everything Henke publishes is always a high quality, well-researched effort and this is no exception. It's not hyperbole to say that this book contains virtually everything you ever wanted to know about Lennon memorabilia; the details are prodigious. It's an almost encyclopedic chronicle of Lennon's life from 1940 until his tragic death in 1980. Casual fans might suffocate under the weight of all this info, but for Lennon fanatics, like me, this is nirvana.

    The book is divided between personal material about John, his relationships, marriages, divorce, and two sons, and his professional career. His partnership with Paul is explored in fascinating detail and no discernible bias can be seen. The index is easy to follow and cross-referenced so you can easily find what you're looking for. The highlights are the color photos of John memorabilia: report cards, Quarrymen stuff, lyric sheets... it'll blow your mind.

    If you are a serious fan of John Lennon, this is an indispensible guide to his songwriting, personality and his life. If only he had been allowed more than 40 years on earth, how many more classic songs would he have written? Sadly, we will never know, but this celebration of his life is as good as it gets.

    5-0 out of 5 stars IN JOHN'S LIFE
    This is an outstanding biography of John Lennon.

    This is a high caliber, comprehensive work that follows John Lennon's early years in Liverpool and the formation of the rock bands he founded until its final evolution as the Beatles. There are a plethora of good photographs and material that will captivate readers from Beatle experts to lay persons. This author has clearly done an excellent job of researching his material.

    Yoko's input is invaluable and helps to make a good work all the more effective. Imagine owning this masterpiece - you will be so glad that you do. As for the Beatles, in my life, I love them more. This book will certainly spark an even keener interest in the Beatles and the man known as the Chief Beatle, John Lennon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All I'm Saying is give this book a chance
    John - my second favorite Beatle, and my favorite solo ex-Beatle (come on, is there really any competition between 'Imagine' and 'Silly Love Songs'?) So you can IMAGINE my giddy excitement when I saw this one on the shelves. A must read. I loved it. For any obsessive Beatle fan (like me) or anyone just looking for a way to pass the days away.

    "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."
    John Lennon

    If everyone read this book, there'd be peace. Or at least a very satisfied reader.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
    If you love John Lennon then you will love this book. I don't own it, but i saw it in a book store and sat on the floor for about 20 minutes just going through all the little pull-outs it has. Great book to have...i highly recommend it! ... Read more

    10. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
    by Martin Luther King Jr., Clayborne Carson
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446676500
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 20221
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    A professor of history and the noted author and editor of several books on the civil rights struggle, Dr. Clayborne Carson was selected by the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to edit and publish Dr. King's papers. Drawing upon an unprecedented archive of King's own words--including unpublished letters and diaries, as well as video footage and recordings--Dr. Carson creates an unforgettable self-portrait of Dr. King. In his own vivid, compassionate voice, here is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as student, minister, husband, father, and world leader . . . as well as a rich, moving chronicle of a people and a nation in the face of powerful--and still resonating--change. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! An excellent read!
    The book "The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr." is Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson's amazing account of one of the most impressive leaders to have ever lived.

    This is an outstanding biography and it accounts for the full story of Dr. King, literally from cradle to grave. Martin Luther King Jr. at university, when he met his wife Coretta, their children being born, the movement begins, fights and struggles, getting arrested etc. etc. Carson does an absolutely amazing job transporting the reader into Dr. King's thoughts, ideas and feelings. I have only read a couple of other biographies that I rank as high as I rank this one. The other two are Che Guevara and Malcolm X's biographies.

    Few people are given strength, means and opportunity to make a real and great impact in the world. Martin Luther King Jr. was not only given such opportunity; he seized upon his opportunity as well. His fights and sacrifices made life better not only for millions of black people in America - his fight made the world a better place to be for all of us.

    The author uses Dr. King's letters, college papers, and speeches; such as the "I have a dream" speech from 1963, and the Nobel Peace Prize speech from 1964 when telling his story. I had never read the whole "I have a dream" speech, so I greatly enjoyed that.

    Carson has done a great jobs combining his own research with Dr. King's own speeches and writings and this is all masterfully woven together into a unique biography. Dr. King had a huge impact on the Civil Right movement, and he made his way into American history as one of its greatest, most charismatic leaders ever.

    My recommendation is given for two reasons. Firstly, Dr. King is an extraordinary interesting subject, but also because of Carson's excellent job writing this biography.

    Great read - highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Manifestation of a great Man
    The autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. is a manifestation of his thoughts, words, philosophies, and his way of life, reborn and written by Clayborne Carson. Carson has done a great job re-writing Kings life, and combining his letters, and speeches, and notes with his words to create the world of Martin Luther King again for us. The book gives us good insight on MLK's life, and his impact on the civil rights movement. You get to know his standpoints well, and how the man worked things out. Sadly you mostly can read about MLK's life inside the civil rights movement, and less about him at home, or his relationship with his family. This is a good one to help you gain insight on the civil rights movement of that time, and all in all, is a great and interesting book to read even if the civil rights is not your main interest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If Nothing Else
    This book should be must reading (or in my case listening) for all Americans. The threads of a single man's search for freedom for all are woven in a tapestry of the times he lived with powerful choices of recorded speeches.
    I had two of my daughters listen to his reading of his letter from the Birmingham jail and the conversation that followed enriched all of us. Current "Black Leaders" would do well to seek inspiration from his words and recall a time when the motivating factors were the need for freedom, justice and equality independant of financial desires other than the monies needed to accomplish the task at hand. His views of Malcolm X were also well laid out and deserve attention beyond the hollywood version.
    If you weren't black then, sympathy is easy but empathy requires study ... this book goes a long way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Immortal Beloved
    As I sit here listening to Beethoven, it strikes me that MLK, like Beethoven, will be a man for all ages to come. Both have given the world a gift that we must cherish and always remember.

    Let me first say, that I too am glad that Dr. King did not sneeze. That would have been a loss of an unimaginable magnitude.

    The other reviewers of this book are on target. This is an extraordinary piece of literature that should be a must read for all students. I was midway through my seventh year when Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis. And although I remember the event it did not resonate fully with me until last year when I took a master's level Civil Rights course. Throughout my own formative years of primary, secondary, and post-secondary liberal arts education, none of my history or social studies courses concentrated on this era of American History. This is a sad commentary and an oversight that needs to change.

    Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great man in American History and must be given the credit deserving of his greatness - the book, as articulated by the other reviewers, provides a comprehensive look into that greatness. It is my opinion that God was truly with this man as he undertook his overwhelming mission to obtain freedom and equality for a people so maligned by the majority.

    This book was so well-written that I even read the Editor's Acknowledgements. It is so well-written that one can easily become lost in time and simply continue to read chapter after chapter. I could go on, but will stop. I wish to thank Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her undying devotion to her husband and his work; to console her for her unfathomable loss thirty-five years ago, and for not only reviewing this book for accuracy before publication, but also to permit its publication so that Americans from all backgrounds may appreciate and learn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars how can we change the world?
    This is at one level an uplifting autobiography of an extraordinary man but at another level it is a guide to us a people living in a cynical (we call it "realistic") age in which we are bombarded by so many causes; all of them claiming to worthwhile, all of them claiming that they will uplift human dignity and freedom. How can we choose amongst these causes? How can we tell which cause is truly just and, having decided, how do we champion it effectively?

    In his autobiography, Martin Luther King helps us do so. He explains that "constructive ends can never give absolute moral justification to destructive means, because in the final analysis the end is preexistent in the means" (20). Thus, if those whose cause we would champion are murdering babies to achieve justice, the end they and we will achieve will be child murderers whether we want it or not. But if those whose cause we would champion march peacefully to save a life, write countless letters on behalf of a starving child, collect money so that a woman who has been cast out by her society and is facing death might have a good legal defense, then we can be assured that the end we will achieve with our peaceful means will be a saved and happy life. Not least of all our own.

    And how should we effectively champion our truly just cause; a cause we know is just because the means its proponents use to achieve their ends are right and noble? We should concentrate on one issue at a time, highlighting that one issue by non-violent means. And we must use nonviolence for today we do not face a choice between violence and non-violence but between "nonviolence and nonexistence" (360).

    So let us choose, in our cause and in our methods existence over the nihilism of all too many movements that claim to be revolutionary and yet which "reject the one thing that keep the fire of revolutions burning: the ever-present flame of hope" (329). Let us choose those causes that would bring our fellow men and women life and that would bring us all hope. Let us follow in the footsteps of Dr Martin Luther King and, like him, not follow false causes that (like the Black Power Movement he gives as an example) promise much but deliver only death and despair. ... Read more

    11. Jackson & Lee: Legends In Gray : The Paintings of Mort Kunstler
    by Mort Kunstler, James I. Robertson
    list price: $34.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558533338
    Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
    Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press
    Sales Rank: 300492
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE EYES HAVE IT ! !
    I have read and "studied" several of Mr.Kunstler's books and enjoyed them all.I particularly enjoy the artists comments as to why he does some of the things the way he does.This book is different in that his art is not accompanied by his explanations but by another writer's text.This text is very good and really brings out the personalities of these great characters.As one who believes that it is important to understand the personalities of the people involved if one is to understand why things happened the way they did;this is very well done.
    As to the title of my review;I find eyes fascinating.The first thing I look at in Mr.Kunstler's paintings is the eyes.Let me point out Confederate Sunset on pg.56 both Lee's and Jackson's eyes are very beady and staring resulting in them looking like figures in a wax museum;giving the painting a posed and unnatural feeling.Other examples are of Jackson on pages 38and 40.Note the difference in Jackson's eyes on page44.Another thing I like to study is how some paintings look very stiff,posed almost like a diorama in a museum,eg.The Return of Stuart on pg.126.Compare this to The Last Council on pg.102 which is so realistic. Am I alone in seeing this aspect of Mr.Kunstler's work?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent combination of art and history!
    Outstanding compilation of information, and the best images of primiere Civil War artist Mort Kunstler. A "must have" for all serious students of the American Civil War. ... Read more

    12. Luther's Large Catechism: A Contemporary Translation With Study Questions
    by Martin Luther
    list price: $7.50
    our price: $6.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0570035392
    Catlog: Book (1988-02-01)
    Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
    Sales Rank: 25851
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lutheran perspective
    Being a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) I can say that this is one of the greatest theological writings outside of the Bible ever. It is a wonderful overview of many biblical truths. Many of his arguments such as his support for infant-baptism are practically impossible to soundly refute. If you agree with his theology or not, it is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to grow in the Christian faith or learn about what Lutherans believe. ... Read more

    13. Lincoln's Greatest Speech : The Second Inaugural
    by Ronald C. White Jr.
    list price: $24.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743212983
    Catlog: Book (2002-02-12)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 137652
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    In the tradition of Garry Wills's modern classic Lincoln at Gettysburg, RonaldC. White Jr. offers a close reading of the speech Abraham Lincoln gave in 1865at his second inauguration and declares it the man's finest and most importanteffort. It contains one of Lincoln's best-known lines ("With malice toward none;with charity for all"), which White admires as "a timeless promise ofreconciliation." At the same time, White reminds readers that rather thanyanking such brilliant rhetorical nuggets from their context, "We need tounderstand Lincoln's strategy for the complete speech." He provides this in somedetail, describing the political environment in which Lincoln found himself,having recently won a presidential election that he nearly lost and also seeingthe Confederacy begin to collapse for good. It was not a long speech, containingonly 701 words of mostly one syllable each and requiring merely six or sevenminutes to deliver, compared to about 35 minutes for the inaugural address hehad given four years earlier. White calls these words Lincoln's "last will andtestament to America." John Wilkes Booth, who attended the inaugural ceremony,would murder him the next month. Lincoln buffs in particular will appreciatethis book, as will fans of Jay Winik's April 1865. --JohnMiller ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Gem
    Ronald White calls Lincoln's Second Inaugural his "last will and testament to America," and he provides powerful support for that judgment in this book. The speech itself was only 703 words long. White's text probably runs to more than 50,000 words, yet his discussion never flags. He provides rich commentary, revealing biographical insights, and engrossing historical background for a speech that was initially received with little enthusiasm, yet is remembered today as one of the greatest orations of American history.

    The address was steeped in biblical references, revealing not only Lincoln's substantial biblical scholarship but also his profound religiosity. White correctly states that the separation of church and state in the United States has never meant the separation of religion and politics, and he makes it abundantly clear that, in Lincoln's mind, the fate of the United States could never be separated from God's plan for the world. Often confused with fatalism, Lincoln's religious view was centered on the Presbyterian tradition of the providence of God, the faith that "His kingdom ruleth over all." Lincoln's religion was not self-righteous; he did not wear it on his sleeve; and he explicitly rejected the view, popular among war leaders, that God was on his side and against his enemies. In his mind, the Almighty was the major actor in the Civil War, and the contesting parties were his agents.

    White writes clearly, logically, and often movingly. He brought tears to my eyes when he described Frederick Douglass's visit to the White House reception given at the close of the second inaugural day. A book that can touch the heart while it informs the mind and uplifts the spirit is rare. This one does that. It is a gem.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A small book that yeilds great insights
    This is a short book about a short speech; but both are saturated by meaning and insight. Ronald White's analysis of Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (which Lincoln gave weeks before the end of the Civil War), portrays Lincoln as a thinker and artist, wrapped in a politician. White deconstructs each word and phrase in the speech/sermon, firmly setting them within the historical context that includes Lincoln's speaking style, Frederick Douglass, Bible-smuggling, Aristotle's rhetoric, the reading public, theological debates within Christendom, the little table in front of Lincoln while he spoke, long-forgotten sermons delivered in the Washington church where Lincoln and his family worshiped, the overtaxed printing presses which rushed out copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin, skeptical foreign newspapers, and so many other aspects of this lost and sad world. American deaths in the Civil War almost equaled American deaths in all subsequent wars, and yet, in this speech, Lincoln avoided blame for the war and gloating over the North's impending victory, and instead invoked a merciful God that punished the whole of the country for "America's (not the South's) slavery." White captures a Lincoln who was a man of his times but was somehow able to rise above them. He has written a masterful book here, blessedly short. We need more short books like this. History, like speeches, can be a lot more palatable in small bites than in the large tomes that crowd contemporary bookshelves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A look inside Lincoln's thinking.
    I never thought a book about a speech would be so very interesting. White does a great job dissecting this short speech and Lincoln's thinking behind it. At the time, the speech was not thought of well, but after his assassination, the words became the last testament of this great president. With malice toward none and charity to all, these words came to embody Abraham Lincoln.
    I was especially interested in the spiritual aspects in both the speech and Lincoln. White makes Lincoln come across as a spiritual person, who believed in fate. The book examines his experience in three Protesant denominations. As we look at Lincoln's spiritual growth, we find this reflected in his speeches, especially his Second Inaugural. The last speech contained many references to God.
    This is a great book about Lincoln. For those who want to understand Lincoln more, White's book examines a crucial episode in the final stages of this president's life.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Time or Effort
    Found this book to be onerously biased and self serving. Ronald Whites depiction of Lincoln lacks any credibility, considering the fact that Lincoln the man was such a complicated human being, politician, and president. Not worth the time or effort!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lincoln Speaks Today
    I picked up Ronald White's impressive book to learn not only about Lincoln's March 4, 1865, Second Inaugural Address, but also about persuasive speech. And learn I did. Thus, I think others who speak or write about things important will be instructed by Lincoln and White's analysis of his effective rhetoric. For them, that alone will be worth the price of the book.

    But there is much more in these pages. I'm neither a Lincoln scholar nor an historian, and I'm not sure what I was expecting, but when I read histories I first check for the wide range of material the authors draw upon. I then look for the care they take not to read into their texts and sources what they want readers to hear, but to read out of them what they actually say and to tell us what they have found between the lines. I appreciated White's integrity and discipline in this regard.

    I also found myself fascinated by both the president's penetrating insights into human nature and White's deft ability to spell them out. I was impressed, too, with the author's lucid descriptions of the historical setting, emotional context and profound theological influences that shaped Lincoln and his address. They helped me to identify with the president as he struggled to heal and unify the nation and to see why he approached his daunting task the way he did. Moreover, both White's competence as an historian and his training in theology helped me to understand better not only this critical American moment, but also to grasp what Lincoln's message says to us today.

    When finished reading, I went to our back bedroom to be alone. I read the speech to myself several times. Then I stood at the window and looked down on the plants in our garden, envisioning them as Lincoln's inaugural audience. Then, imagining I were the president at his podium, giving his greatest speech to the war-weary people before him, I read his words aloud, trying to capture his cadence, milking his use of alliteration, and pausing to stress what I now believed he wanted to emphasize. I don't cry at the drop of a hat, but as I read the last paragraph -- "With malice toward none; with charity for all ... a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations." -- my brain brought me back to our present world. Tears filled my eyes, and I could hardly finish. ... Read more

    14. Commander in Chief: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War
    by Albert Marrin
    list price: $25.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0525458220
    Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
    Publisher: Dutton Books
    Sales Rank: 868174
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Much more than a biography of Lincoln or a history of the Civil War, this portrait of Lincoln makes our sixteenth president accessible to young readers as a human being, rather than as a historic icon or paragon of virtue. The author, renowned for his award-winning books on great leaders, shows how a principled but imperfect man -- full of intelligence but also of sorrow,logical and determined but also cautious and prejudiced grew under the pressure of personal tragedy and national crisis to become our greatest president.The book is written in a quick-flowing, engaging style, detailed but easy to read. The author effortlessly uses eyewitness accounts -- letters, speeches,diaries, newspapers, poems, songs, memoirs -- to create setting, to show personality, political climate, to give voice to the attitudes and hopes of everyday Americans. The treatment of slavery is especially vivid. All the important events of the war are here, but the emphasis is on people, personalities, human feelings and behavior.As the historian Barbara Fields made clear in the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War, the issues of that war are still with us. Perhaps never more than now do young people need to be exposed to the unfailing humanity, honesty, and political sagacity that allowed Lincoln to hold together a country racked by secession, racial hatred, and other divisions. Lincoln had that most uy76precious of all human qualities -- the capacity for growth. His life reminds us that any person can learn from experience and rise above poverty, prejudice, and limitation; and that a political leader can and must embody a profound respect forthe plain peopleand the democratic processes that elevate us all. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Human Side of Lincoln
    For the first time, I came to know Lincoln not as an iconified hero, but as a funny, direct, engaging and committed human being as I read this book. The author has thorough notes of very detailed research and tells a story that others omitted or overlooked. It made me want to read much more about Lincoln, especially more of the piercing wit and emotional perseverance shared in this book. ... Read more

    15. Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1858 (2 Volumes) (BCL1 - U.S. History)
    by Albert J. Beveridge, Albert Jeremiah Beveridge
    list price: $150.00
    our price: $150.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0781261694
    Catlog: Book (1928-01)
    Publisher: Reprint Services Corporation
    Sales Rank: 690040
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    16. Why Lincoln Matters : Today More Than Ever
    by Mario M. Cuomo
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $14.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0151009996
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 15337
    Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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    Politicians have been casting themselves as inheritors of the banner of Abraham Lincoln since his assassination nearly a century and a half ago, as former New York governor Mario Cuomo chronicles in the first of this slim but eloquent political treatise. From William Jennings Bryant to William Jefferson Clinton, from FDR through W, figures on the left and right have declared themselves heirs to the martyred "secular saint" of American statesmanship. (Ronald Reagan went so far as to misattribute eight conservative maxims from the great man at the 1992 Republican convention; the adages turned out to be the creation of a early-20th-century clergyman who was putting his own spin on the Lincoln legacy.) Cuomo notes that Lincoln is too complex a figure to belong exclusively to either the left or the right, but that doesn't stop him from finding an enduring link from Lincoln’s vision to Cuomo's brand of unabashed liberalism. The notion may be debatable, but Cuomo, one of the great orators of his generation, is as fluent at the keyboard as he is at the lectern, making Why Lincoln Matters a rewarding read for those on both sides of the divide. Fired by 9-11 and the 2004 presidential election, Cuomo surveys a host of contemporary issues---from the battle against terrorism to religion, race, and the role of government---interpreting the words and notions of his political hero like a true believer deciphers the Bible. One can dispute his conclusions, but his rousing passion and sense of mission are at the very least thought provoking and articulately reasoned. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    4-0 out of 5 stars a valid argument in spite of a clear political bias:
    Call this a good book with a number of obvious problems. The first issue I would take (and my four star review is quite sincere, regardless of the spate of criticisms to follow) is the fact that many of these essays were clearly written at different times. The editorial process, or what there is of it, has managed somewhat admirably to keep the issues up to date (or at least to the time of its publication as so many things are happening so quickly it is impossible to avoid an ensuing irrelevence). What is wrong is the fact that so many points are repeated--endlessly, it seems at times--and this makes the reader sometimes wonder if they hadn't just read or overheard the exact same thing elsewhere. Now there are positives and negatives to this impression. A positive, certainly, would be the implied rational logic of the argument--yeah, I've heard that before so this guy really makes sense. The negative (and this probably affected me more specifically) is that you will read the same idea over and over again.

    Now Cuomo has some good things to say, some interesting parallels to make between Lincoln's time and the present moment in history and he argues passionately and forcefully. He didn't necessarily need to convince me as I likely already agreed with much of what he is saying. But as a reader I try to avoid applying my own personal biases and look at the issue at hand objectively (although if I disagreed with his points I bet my review would have dropped a star or two).

    What is ultimately at hand, after the eloquent sling shots of President Bush and his supporters, is a minimal hypocrisy on the part of Mr. Cuomo, a man I admire and respect tremendously. He condemns certain politicos of the past for "quoting Lincoln out of context" or for applying his words to their own issues. Unfortunately he does the exact same thing here, assuming Lincoln's opinions regarding issues a mid-19th century politician, a radical or otherwise, could not possibly grasp.

    Again, I agree (if not wholeheartedly than essentially) with many of Cuomo's criticisms of the way the Bush administration is running the economy, the 'war on terrorism'--even the murky religious/moral issues at hand throughout the world. This is a worthwhile book if only to get an intelligent man's opinions, stated clearly and persuasively, regardless of what you may actually believe. This is not the angry ranting of some spoiled and frustrated 'liberal' nor the embittered mumblings of a professional contrarian, but a well thought out screed and ideology about how to improve not just America but the very world itself.

    This is, in spite of its temporary contemporary relevence, a celebration of Lincoln's brilliance in statesmanship and his greatness as a communicator. It is a history book applied to the present. I would whole-heartedly recommend Cuomo's ideas to anyone--to consider, to talk over, even to debate prior to dismissing. I would just warn that the author is guilty of much of what he seems to disparage in his own political opposition, regardless of his greater ability to communicate his ideas.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lincoln From a (Very) Liberal Viewpoint
    Mario Cuomo, three time governor of New York is also a long-time Lincoln scholar. Here he writes a very interesting book on how he thinks Lincoln would have handled the situations facing George W. Bush.

    The simularities are striking, not only a war, but deep divisions within the country on the basic conservative/liberal viewpoints.

    During the civil war Lincoln silenced some of his enemies by simply arresting them and holding them without trial or due process. In 1866 the Supreme Court ruled this illegal. Now the US is holding some 158 accused Taliban and al Qaeda members. Just this week the Supreme Court said 'no-no.'

    Throughout the book Mr. Cuomo uses selected quotations from Lincoln to illustrate how he thinks Lincoln would have handled the current situations. As Mr. Cuomo is an unabashed liberal, and Mr. Bush is an unabashed conservative, I wonder if Mr. Bush might have picked a different set of quotations to prove that he is handling the situation just like Lincoln would have done.

    This is a very different approach to using history to illustrate our current problems. One small section of the book is devoted to how Lincoln might have addressed Congress, a Lincoln's State of the Union Message if you will. Mr. Cuomo uses this 'speach' to decry budget deficits (strange how the Democrats and Republicans have switched sides on this issue), but spend more on education, give more money to the states, etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Synthesis
    Gov. Cuomo has done a tremendous job weaving together his own commentary on our nation's present predicament with Lincoln's wisdom. When I read Donald's biography of Lincoln, I found Lincoln's humility in the face of his challengers to be the most enduring lesson. In part, I think it grew out of his considerable depression and what was clearly a sense of being alone in the world. Ironically, it became his greatest asset. In a strange way, by contrast, George W is too well-adjusted for our nation's good. The thread that runs through his prosecution of this war, his cynical treatment of the environment, his tax policies, and many other policies is a complete absence of self-doubt. The beauty of this book is that Gov. Cuomo has captured both Lincoln's essence and Bush's in a nuanced contrast.
    I found three areas particularly fascinating. First, the discussion of civil liberties and Lincoln's approach to the Supreme Court appointments. I had not thought about the relevance of Lincoln's actions in the Civil War to the current Court's consideration of "enemy combatant" status for U.S. citizens. Second, Lincoln's religion fascinates me in part b/c Jefferson's does as well. I wish it were better appreciated that two of our nation's most foundational thinkers and leaders had deep concerns about the role of organized religion in issues of state and worked hard to preserve the separation without denying the value of religious beliefs and practice. Third, and most important, the State of the State chapter was a terrific idea and beautifully executed. I only wish that it were being issued by the White House today rather than just being published by Harcourt Brace.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Democratic Republican or Republican Democrat?
    In today's political climate, the rhetoric and the pressure to be either Democrat or Republican often ignores the fact that the issues are so closely interwoven that it's difficult to tell the difference in some cases. In fact, logic requires that when persons like Reagan or Clinton grow up in Democratic households as Reagan did, or Republican households as Clinton did, (I think), and as many others have, it may be impossible to typecast the person as all Democrat or all Republican, based upon the kinds of issues defined by Lincoln and others who founded the parties. Unfortunately, the political labels of today with respect to conservative or liberal don't really convey much anymore, and the lables of Democratic Republican or Republican Democrat may serve to identify the political hybrids of today which are flocking into the elections as candidates, Hillary included who once, was Republican possibly until the McGovern campaign as volunteer. As America grows more mature, Cuomo may have the perspectives to allow America to evaluate its political momentum more effectively through the number of political crises that reveal more than has been currently discussed with regard to political centers. These rifts have yet to be debated successfully, and may cause the bulk of the derision seen on many current political talk shows.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Clear Voice For America's Most Important Values
    Governor Cuomo, one of the nation's foremost experts on Abraham Lincoln's life and writings, has examined the ways in which Lincoln dealt with the crises facing the nation during his presidency, deconstructed them to find Lincoln's core values, and brilliantly applied them to the key issues facing us today: war, civil liberties, the role of government, economic opportunity, globailization, religion, the Supreme Court, and race. While both Republicans and Democrats have claimed Lincoln as their own, Cuomo's book shows us that Lincoln's legacy transcends party lines, and that Lincoln's views on these issues, his values and his vision of America are as important and relevant today as they were then. Whether you agree or disagree with Mario Cuomo's politics, this is a readable, thought-provoking book by a great intellect, communicator and historian about another great intellect and communicator that reminds us why America became and still is such a great country.
    I particularly enjoyed "Abraham Lincoln's 2004 Address to Congress" -- Cuomo's take on what Lincoln would say to us today, and how he would say it. ... Read more

    17. Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography)
    by Allen C. Guelzo
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802842933
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 141671
    Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Since its original publication in 1999, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" has garnered numerous accolades, not least the prestigious 2000 Lincoln Prize. Allen Guelzo's peerless biography of America's most celebrated president is now available for the first time in a fine paperback edition.

    The first "intellectual biography" of Lincoln, this work explores the role of ideas in Lincoln's life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo's masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life was in many ways a paradox. As journalist Richard N. Ostling notes, "Much has been written about Lincoln's belief and disbelief," but Guelzo's extraordinary account "goes deeper." ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars an accurate and highly readable portrait of a great man
    Gulezo, in his book, decides to concentrate on the intellectual and religious development of our sixteenth president. Since Gulezo readily admits that religion did not play a very important role in Lincoln's actions, I am not sure why he chose to highlight this area. With this criticism aside, Gulezo writes a highly readable and absorbing narrative of Lincoln's life. Like all good historians, Gulezo focuses his narrative without forcing opinions on the reader. After reading the book, it is abundantly clear that Lincoln remained a Whig moderate on the slavery issue. Gulezo correctly and intelligently seals the continuum between his Whiggish beliefs in the American System and his views toward slavery. He is not the phlegmatic opportunist of Hofstader nor the evil racist rumored but denied by Kearns-Goodwin and Spielberg. The most valid criticism of Lincoln, phrasing it as Barry Goldwater might, may be his moderation instead of his extremism in the pursuit of virtue; maybe it is a sin. In summary, it would be difficult for me to conceive of a better writen biography of Lincoln. After finishing this book, I was left with a much better understanding of this president.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Lincoln Biography of Ideas
    I've read, I suppose, 500 books and articles about Abraham Lincoln, but Allen Guelzo's Redeemer President is by far the best on the subject of the beliefs that animated the 16th President. Lincoln's ideas on politics, the economy and social relations -- and especially on religion -- are clearly (but not too simply) described, and Guelzo shows how these developed over time and influenced Lincoln's actions. The book is most satisfying because it presents a convincing portrait of Lincoln as he understood himself, and so makes him less enigmatic -- but no less complex -- than he is usually shown.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Intellectual and Religious Biography of Lincoln
    Biographies of Abraham Lincoln have tended to fall into two broad categories. The first category consists of biographies of the "subjective" Lincoln. These biographies are based largely on the many anecdotes and stories people told about Lincoln's life, typically during the early years in Illinois and concentrate on trying to explore Lincoln as a man (He remains an enigma.)The second category of Lincoln biography is the political. This biography focuses on Lincoln's public actions, typically during or shortly before his Presidency and draws on the lengthy public record available during the Civil War years. This type of biographical approach tends to give short shrift to the personal approach.

    In his "Abraham Lincoln, Redeemer President" Allen Guelzo points out these two approaches to Lincoln studies (p.472) and says that his book is an attempt to combine the personal and public approaches to Lincoln. Professor Guelzo, Dean of Templeton Honors Colledge and Professor of History at Eastern Universtiy, writes a primarily intellectual biography; but he tries to explore the degree to which Lincoln's thought formed his political actions.

    Professor Guelzo devotes a great deal of attention to establishing Lincoln's political identity as a whig -- an admirer of both Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. From his early days in public life, Lincoln was interested in promoting economic opportunity by encouraging the free market. He supported ambitious programs of public works and public education, to develop transportation infrastructure, (canals, roads, and railroads) and to promote the growth of industry and of a middle class. The whig approach emphasized public virtue, public morality, the value of hard work, and a unified United States. Guelzo effectively contrasts Lincoln's Whiggish beliefs with the agrarian beliefs of the Jefferson-Jacksonian democrats with their commitment to a nation of agrarian, self-sufficient yeomen and farmers. (Lincoln's father was such a yeoman, and Lincoln wanted none of it for himself.)

    Professor Guelzo traces the beginnings of Lincoln's opposition to the expansion of slavery, in the early 1850's. to his desire to promote the development of upwardly mobile capitalist workers. He tended to see agrarianism as slavery slightly disguised. Lincoln never lost his whig commitments, according to Professor Guelzo, even after the party disbanded and Lincoln became a leader of the Republican party.

    Professor Guelzo also studies the nature of Lincoln's religious beliefs and the importance Lincoln gave to religous questions. As is the case with Lincoln's economic rebellion against his father, Professor Guelzo finds the beginnings of Lincoln's religious thought in a youthful rebellion against the Calvinism and predestinarian beliefs of his father. Lincoln found he could not believe in the revealed God of the Bible, although he knew the Bible well. He could not accept the doctrine of predestination, but he came close to it in a secular way. During most of his life, Lincoln was a determinist who believed that people had little independent choice in what they did but acted in response to outside factors which they did not control.

    According to Professor Guelzo, Lincoln also tended towards the englightenment of John Locke and towards the utilitarianism of Mill and Bentham. His politics and Presidency, of course, have distincly pragmatic characters. Throughout his life, Lincoln remained outside the fold of organized religion.

    According to Professor Guelzo, Lincoln's thought developed as Lincoln confronted at deepening levels the difficulty of the Civil War. The beginning of this development was the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates where Lincoln vigourously attacked the morality of holding slaves. Lincoln's thoughts on providence, for Professor Guelzo, were instrumental in Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln told his cabinet he had made a promise "to his maker" to issue the Proclamation and that he could not do otherwise. (pp 341-42.) Guelzo continues his treatment of providential themes in Lincoln with his discussion of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address.

    There is also a great deal in the book that discusses Lincoln's handling of the War, the border states, his generals, and the Army. Professor Guelzo's intellectual and religous themes sometimes get lost in these discussions, and we are reminded that Lincoln was a pragmatist, a leader and a consummate politician.

    The picture of Lincoln's religiosity that emerges from Professor Guelzo's study has a distinctly modern flavor. (Professor Guelzo sees it as high Victorian.) Lincoln was a person who sought religous belief but could not find his way to an organized religion of his day. He was not, in his mid and late life, content simply with materialism and skepticism but rather developed his own religious thought based upon a rather loosely defined notion of providence and redemption. As personal as his thought was, it helped shape our nation. Lincoln's life, as Professor Guelzo presents it, seems to be a paradigm of many people today who reject organized religion in favor of a search for what many call spirituality.

    On a political level, Guelzo's account of Lincoln stresses that the United States is and has become a unified Nation and that Americans should see themselves, for all their diversity and differences as part of a unified people. I also see the book as a reminder of the value of hard work and economic effort.

    Professor Guelzo has written a thoughtful, provocative study of Lincoln the man, the thinker, and the President.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lincoln the Whig
    Like a typical biography, Redeemer President goes through its subject's life. But unlike most biographies, Redeemer President centers on the maturation of its subject's thinking. Guelzo shows how some of Lincoln's most famous ideas, such as his reliance on "the proposition that all men are created equal," was part of Whig orthodoxy. To trace Lincoln's development takes nothing away from his genius, of course.

    This was one of the most enjoyable biographies I have read on Lincoln. One might begin with Oates' With Malice Toward None for Lincoln's life as a great story. Then go to Donald's Lincoln for a more modern biography -- lots and lots of facts, but with little attempt to see Lincoln as a product of his own time. Both are very well written, but I prefer Guelzo's over either of them.

    If you like Guelzo's book on Lincoln's thought, you'll like A New Birth of Freedom by Harry V. Jaffa, which Guelzo calls "the greatest book on Lincoln's politics for another generation."

    1-0 out of 5 stars Where is the Real Lincoln?
    Eerdmans should stick to theological tomes, rather than embarassing themselves with yet another propaganda piece for the Yankee cause. Guelzo fails to mention how Lincoln trampled upon the Constitution (Illegal arrests, Intimidation of duly elected leaders (e.g. Maryland State Legislature), and making war upon peaceful states which legally withdrew from the voluntary Union). A Government for the people, by the people vanished [Jeffersonian Constitutional Republic replaced with Consolidated Absolutism] with Lincoln's insistence that the Federal government existed before the States. The right of secession in America, beginning with the Declaration of Independence, was taught for decades until Sen. Sumner thundered from the Senate floor that this was a perpetual Union (Lincoln decided to carry this torch at the expense of 600,000 innocents). Lincoln's Emancipation proclamation was none other than a war measure (slaves were being used to build the capital and slaves were only declared free in Confederate held territory)encouraging slaves to revolt: this did not happen. Guelzo also fails to mention that slavery in the South was dying out and that roughly 10% of her people ever owned slaves. Guelzo failed to point out that the Emancipation Proclamation was illegal since it would have to take a Constitutional amendment to change the Constitution. Furthermore, his book fails to point out that the Emancipation had no jurisdiction in the Confederate States of America since the Southern states were no longer a member of the Union. I'm amazed at how people continue to admire a man who waged war on people who decided to follow in the footsteps of their fathers: Revolutionary War Heroes. The South was right, and the Northern propaganda machine is still filling the public mind with lies. If Abraham Lincoln embodies what a Christian is, then I'm not one, and evangelicals fascination with a man who was not converted until after Gettyburg is dangerous. Furthermore, I have no respect for a man who waged war on my native state: North Carolina. ... Read more

    18. With Malice Toward None : Life of Abraham Lincoln, The
    by Stephen B. Oates
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
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    Asin: 0060924713
    Catlog: Book (1994-01-05)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 16077
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Someone once said that more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other person in history save Jesus and Shakespeare. Indeed, it is impossible to understand the Civil War without getting to know the complex figure of the 16th president. More than any other biographer, Stephen B. Oates brings the plain-talking man from Illinois to life as a canny politician, a doting husband, and a determined wartime leader. Oates has an appealing appreciation for Lincoln's majestic control of the English language, his raw humor, and his undeniable heroism. The final pages, covering Lincoln's death and his legacy, are graceful and moving. ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A "70s" Lincoln, Not The Right One.
    Oates' biography, though very readable and quite good on Lincoln's personal tragedies, is far from a persuasive or fair portrait. Oates advertises his 1970s New England liberalism by painting Lincoln as all but wanting to be an abolitionist and egalitarian, but darn those dang border states and that Constitution tying his hands! Such authors have stretched long chapters around a few tidbits like Lincoln's one-time public favor of limited black suffrage and very little more. Lincoln was more of a moderate realist for reasons of his own view on the desireable pace of national reform, and not simply because of external factors. He was neither a Radical Republican restrained by the Constitution, or a conservative wishing to maintain the status quo. Before this book, Lincoln biographers dragged him too far right, and Oates overcompensated, dragging him too far the other way. David Donald's LINCOLN is far superior.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most readable book ever written on Lincoln
    IMO, this is "the" biography of Abraham Lincoln. While I consider David H. Donald's bio of Lincoln to be slightly more sophisticated and detailed, Stephen Oates' bio of Lincoln is the most enjoyable and interesting to read. Prof. Oates has a smooth writing style that tackles complex issues and makes them easy to understand. He never gets bogged down in boring, hard-to-understand statistics or details.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the 3 Best 1 Volume Biographies About Lincoln
    I have been studying Abraham Lincoln for nearly 40 years. Many Lincoln scholars consider WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE by Stephen B. Oates one of three BEST one-volume biographies of Abraham Lincoln ever written to date. The other two are LINCOLN by David Herbert Donald and ABRAHAM LINCOLN: A BIOGRAPHY by Benjamin P. Thomas.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography of an incredibly complex man.
    "With Malice Towards None" is a very creditable work and a fine attempt to explain the author's view of Abraham Lincoln. Oates views Lincoln as a genuinely good man, highly ambitious, self-made, and first and foremost: a politician. Like all politicians who are heads of state, Lincoln had to grapple with the issues of his day. In his day, however, the issues were unusually intractable, difficult, and complex, such that the nation was unable to solve them through established institutions. It took an actual Civil War to decide whether slavery in America must go, whether America is first and foremost a union of united States, or whether it was a Union of essentially sovereign single states. These were and are great issues, and the greatness of Lincoln is that he stood in the center of these issues, spent his entire presidency grappling with them, and ultimately, it was his unswerving leadership, not perfect but great, that ultimately led America to resolution of these issues.

    Oates shows us that Lincoln was a politician. He wheedled, compromised, and was carried by great events as often as he shaped them. This does nothing to take away from the man who, along with Washington, ranks as doubtless one of our two greatest presidents. While opposing slavery, Lincoln was ready to compromise with it, at least sometimes to some extent. Oates does a good job of explaining this in a non-revisionist way that shows respect to Lincoln and to history.

    Oates' writing is clear, and his research thorough. This is not a perfect book in that it is not a complete view of Lincoln. No 400 or so page book about this complicated man could achieve that. On the other hand, Oates portrays Lincoln brilliantly, and with insight, as a gifted leader and politician in an incredibly difficult time.

    I would have enjoyed more discussion of some of Lincoln's more extreme actions, his bending (some would say breaking) of the Constitution, and the extremes to which he went to achieve ultimate military victory for the North. Oates does touch on this, but more would have been welcome.

    An excellent book about a difficult and complex subject. Recommended.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A decent portrayal of Lincoln, but not a great one
    Abraham Lincoln is one of the most written-about men in history. There are scores of biographies, profiles, analyses, everything to do with this great man. Because of this, it is difficult to find a good, comprehensive work that details his life adequately and faithfully. In this book, Stephen B. Oates gives a good representation of Lincoln, giving a pretty good account of his life and not trying to raise the man to deity (as others have done). Despite this, however, there are several flaws in this book that make it only of average quality.

    Oates commits what I consider to be the unpardonable sin in biography--he attempts to get inside Lincoln's head. One of the necessary qualities of a good biographer is that he or she should not try to psychoanalyze the subject, should not assume he knows what was going on inside the subject's head, and should certainly not embellish the account with a bunch of supposed conversations and feelings which are more the fabrication of the author than the feelings of the subject. Oates breaks all of these rules.

    The most annoying thing about the book is that Oates will paraphrase what he thinks Lincoln said. He may give a short quotation, but then he closes the quote and proceeds to adlib what he assumes Lincoln would say, speaking in the first person as though he were the President himself. He uses the pronoun 'I' in his own narrative, when he should be using 'he.' If you can get over Oates pretending to speak for Lincoln himself throughout most of the book, the rest of the account is pretty decent. But I had a hard time getting past that.

    For a 400 or so page biography, this book covers the subject moderately well, though not excellently. Many men, such as Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, or Admiral Farragut, are barely mentioned, as if Lincoln had nothing to do with them at all. It would have added greatly to the account to have a more detailed description of the Civil War, and about Lincoln's counterparts in the South (such as Davis). Still, this is a pretty good book, though far from definitive in any way. With the mountains of work available on this great man, there's got to be something better out there. ... Read more

    19. Martin Luther: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives)
    by Martin E. Marty, Martin Marty
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
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    Asin: 0670032727
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Lipper
    Sales Rank: 9147
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Martin Marty—professor, author, pastor, historian, and journalist—is, in Bill Moyers’s words, "the most influential interpreter of American religion." In Martin Luther this man of unswerving faith, rooted in his own Lutheran tradition yet deeply committed to helping enrich a pluralist society, brings to powerful life the devout Reformation figure whose despair for a perilous world, felt anew in our own times, drove him to a ceaseless search for assurance of God’s love. It was one that led him steadily to a fresh interpretation of human interaction with God—as born solely from God’s grace and not the Church’s mediation—and to the famous theses he posted at Wittenberg in 1517.

    Luther’s persistence in this belief, and in his long battle with Church leaders—embellished by rich historical background—make Marty’s biography riveting reading. Luther’s obdurate yet receptive stance, so different from the travestied image of "fundamentalism" we currently face, restored the balance between religion and the individual. Martin Luther is at once a fascinating history, a story of immense spiritual passion and amazing grace, and a superb intellectual biography. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Martin Luther
    Lutheran minister and historian Martin Marty writes a brief, but complete biography of Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation. Marty covers the life of Luther from birth and childhood until his death. Though overly detailed in some spots and sketchy in others, this biography gives the reader a fairly objective view the famous monk turned revolutionary. We learn about Luther's inner struggles through intensive research of his personal journals, letters, and subsequent biographies immediately after his death. A faithful monk and teacher, Martin Luther advocated the doctrine of the 'priesthood of all believers' and 'justification through faith alone.' This was in direct defiance of the Roman Catholic Church, which stressed the special power of the Pope and priests to intervene with God on behalf of the people. Though tolerated for years by Rome, he was eventually excommunicated and lived the rest of his under a death sentence. Some details about Luther's life were fascinating. He married a nun that he helped to escape from a convent. They had six children. He maintained relationships with powerful political figures during his long career. He grew bitter during old age and withdrew from public life. Disturbingly, Luther wrote several tracts condemning Jews that were later used by others to justify anti-Semitism. Throughout the biography, Marty depicts Luther as a man of extremes. He was both an erudite scholar and a fiery debater; harsh with critics, but loved by his students and followers; and a revolutionary that would not support violent peasant uprisings. Marty gives an excellent history lesson on the politics and religious controversies of the day. Understanding the political strife between the Germanic states and Roman Pope is critical to understanding the life and work of Martin Luther. Although slow in the beginning, this biography of history's most overlooked revolutionary is a complete and informative read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Well Balanced Portrayal
    The author has given us a very short biography of one of the most significant historical and religious figures known to history. I have sought for a balanced biography of Martin Luther and believe that this work largely fits the bill. Although I sense that the author fails to fully understand Catholic theology, he does appear to accurately portray how Martin Luther understood that theology. Whether Luther was theologically correct or incorrect, whether he accurately understood his opposition's theology is an argument for theologians. The historian's emphasis is to accept Martin Luther's understanding and write the history of how the man struggled with his own understanding. Far too often, biographies of Luther focus on the theology of the man, either approve or condemn his theology and, depending on the result of this judgment, either praise or condemn the man.

    To that end, the reader should not look for a thorough explanation of religious thought in this book, whether it be Catholic or Lutheran. Luther is here portrayed as a man of extremes and contradictions. Unlike other biographies of Luther, Luther is not portrayed as spotless, saintly, or entirely in the right. In contrast, Luther is not blamed for every evil or atrocity during the Reformation committed on behalf of freedom from Rome.

    What particularly interested this reader, was the author's handling of how Luther failed to deal with the political forces he set in motion. How he compromised in some rather essential moral questions in order to retain his core theological ideas of salvation by faith alone. In short, the reader is presented with Martin Luther, the politician, and theologian, but most importantly the man.

    I found this work to be a very quick read and a good jumping off point for more research on Martin Luther. I recommend it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Gently sidestepping Luther's masterpiece
    Most modern Christians have trouble accepting Luther's denial of free will even though they admire Luther the man. Marty proves to be no exception. Luther considered his The Bondage of the Will (1525) his best work, but the best Marty could say about this was that Luther never retracted his views in this book. (p. 130) That's an understatement, to say the least. Also, in The Bondage of the Will Luther emphasized over and over that we humans have no free will or free choice, but Marty chooses to discuss Luther's views of the nature of God instead. Luther did talk about this subject, but that's not the main issue of his masterpiece. Marty's adjectives for Luther's greatest work include: "raucous", "drastic", "shocking", "dark and risky", "bursts", "could not be more radical".

    Marty reminds me of Bainton's biography, which tried to sweep Luther's The Bondage of the Will under the carpet, without so much as mentioning the title.

    I find it hard to believe that Marty is a Lutheran. Even when a theologian cannot agree, it is a biographer's duty to faithfully report the facts as they are.

    As Martin Brecht says, The Bondage of the Will sums up Luther's theology in concentrated form. The reluctance to discuss this work in full and at length mars an otherwise competent biography.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fine intro to a great life
    Having grown up Lutheran, I've know the facts of Luther's life practically from the cradle, and in our day we had to virtually memorize his Small Catechism when we were confirmed. Since then I've read other, longer bios and all were fine. But this one is excellent, though brief--or perhaps because it's brief. I learned even more about the man and his thinking, though I already knew a reasonable amount. This would also be a fine introduction for anyone who doesn't know much about Luther. It's concise and very well written, and neither idolizes nor condemns a complex man who did much to shape life as we now know it. I'm recommending it to all my friends, Lutheran and otherwise.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A noble theology, but a poor history
    This is a disappointing book.

    Now, that's on a personal basis and not necessarily on the merits of the book as written. Quite frankly, it's not much of a biography; I found more details about Luther's life in the 1958 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica; my disappointment is based on Marty's emphasis of Luther's religious ideas and development instead of the society in which he lived.

    On a religious basis, examining how Luther reached the positions he did, the book may be superb; I'm not a theologian, so I can't judge it on that basis. Marty is an exceptionally fine theologian, and he may well have done a superb analysis on that basis. The editors at Penguin are not fools, and they don't necessarily target excellent works at my interests; so if they missed the mark with me, it may well be my loss.

    Having said that, Marty gives little attention to the "small, poor, ugly, stinking, hideous, wretched, unhealthy, smoky, full of slop, populated by barbarians and sellers of beer and not by real citizens" town of Wittenberg in 1512 where 2,100 people lived in 400 houses. True, some 172 houses had licenses to brew beer, so it couldn't have been all bad; and, the town also had a newly created university and a printing press (Johann Gutenberg has "invented" the printing press by 1450). Talk about casting pearls before swine; yet, this "pearl" of Luther was part of a worldwide enlightenment that changed the entire nature of Christianity.

    The Pope Luther challenged was one of the most corrupt in the history of the Roman Catholic church; it raises the question of how much Luther would have achieved had he challenged an honest Pope. A second question Marty overlooks -- what would have been the fate of Catholicism had Luther not challenged its fetid corruption?

    Luther lived at the same time as Erasmus, in Rotterdam; and when King Henry VIII was challenging the authority of the Pope in England. The Roman Catholic church of that era was clearly an early example of globalisation; this early international insensitivity to local independence led to a rise in nationalism which culminated in the worldwide wars of the last century. Clearly, northern Europe was reacting against the endemic corruption of the Roman Catholic Church and in support of a rapidly growing nationalism. Luther was hardly a courageous dissident marching to a different drummer and thus liberating the exploited masses from a dark tyranny; instead, he was a brilliant evangelical spokesman for a resolute freedom that sought local autonomy and freedom from the dictates of Rome.

    It was also a time of bitter anti-Semitism, one of the enduring failures of Europe. Marty says Luther's support of such prejudice was unfortunate, but he avoids the issue of what might have happened had Luther developed a religion based on tolerance instead of bigotry. What if he had preached religious toleration for Islam, even while opposing the Islamic attempt to conquer Europe?

    Granted, speculation is not the duty of any competent historian. But, in my view, passing lightly over the issue of Luther's anti-semitism avoids confronting one of the major faults of Luther and this biography. Yet, on a religious basis, Marty is succinct, clear and relevant. As a non-Lutheran, I wanted more history and less theology.

    Perhaps there is no better basis for a biography of a major religious leader. If so, Marty has done a good job. But it's less than I expected. ... Read more

    20. The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America
    by Mark E., Jr. Neely
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
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    Asin: 0674511263
    Catlog: Book (1995-03-01)
    Publisher: Harvard University Press
    Sales Rank: 344234
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A PRAGMATIC HERO
    The Title of Professor Neely's biography of Lincoln is taken from Lincoln's second Message to Congress dated December 1, 1862. It is an inspiring phrase and an apt title for a Lincoln biography. Professor Neely's biography is good and solid in its analysis of Lincoln's life. It lacks, however, something of the eloquence and vision of the title and of Lincoln's words. We never learn why Lincoln considered the United States "the Last Best Hope of Earth" or what that can mean for our country today.

    That said, this book is a good introduction to Lincoln and his Presidency. The book skims briefly over Lincoln's life before he became the 16th President. There are advantages to this, but the treatment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates and of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which led to them is too brief to help understand sucession and the Civil War which followed.

    The book's treatment of Lincoln's relationship with his Generals and of the strategy of the War is probably the best single chapter. It has something to teach even those who are familiar with the military history of the war. The chapter on Lincoln as a pragmatic politician and on the 1864 campaign is also well done. The book treats the Emancipation Proclamation at length but to me anyway left something to be desired. (The text and some explicit treatment of it would help) and discusses the fate of Civil Liberties during the War and domestic development during the war in good but not dispositive detail.

    If you are looking for an understanding of Lincoln and of the Civil War this is a good place to start but not to end. I suggest reading the book together with the complilation of Lincoln's own speeches and writings in the Library of America series.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good general biography
    I really enjoyed this work. I felt it could have been more in-depth, but only so much can be expected from its relatively short length. It is a good resource and point of departure for the Lincoln historian or enthusiast, but I would recommend additional reading to fill in the gaps. ... Read more

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