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181. W. Eugene Smith Photographs 1934-1975
$23.10 $5.00 list($35.00)
182. John Adams
$16.29 $11.00 list($23.95)
183. White House Nannies: True Tales
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184. Chyna Black
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185. ABOUT FACE : THE ODYSSEY OF AN
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186. Chasing Matisse : A Year in France
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187. Multitude: War and Democracy in
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188. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts,
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189. The Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten
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190. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
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191. No Lights, No Sirens : The Corruption
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192. Shooter : The Autobiography of
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193. The Long Walk: The True Story
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194. Severe Mercy, A
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195. Let Me Hear Your Voice : A Family's
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196. The Harder They Fall : Celebrities
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197. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign
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198. Steinberg at the New Yorker
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199. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
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200. Expecting Adam: A True Story of

181. W. Eugene Smith Photographs 1934-1975
by Gilles Mora
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810941910
Catlog: Book (1998-10-15)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 192109
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Eugene Smith... what can I say!
Superb. I am a professional photographer, and i really admire Smiths work. This book is a great collection of some of his images.
The publishers did a good job reproducing the photographs, nice detail and tone. Definitely worth the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Staff Photographer, Seattle Times, Seattle, Washington
An excellent display and text of one of one of the world's great photojournalists. I would recomend this book highly to any fan of E. Eugne Smith

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Smith book from an old friend
SMITH BOOK REVIEW

Having risked hernia to browse the impressive new book of an old friend and neighbor, ( W. Eugene Smith; Photographs 1934-1975 John T. Hill/Gilles Mora) what first grabs is the space, air and light enveloping these intense images with almost a loving caress, a sense of freshness and sunlight never possible in our dim, dingy-dusty claustrophobic Sixth Avenue loft building, where, just outside my studio door, were piled stacks upon stacks of his work mounted on black 16x20 dogeared mats, just waiting to be stolen, but which were, in fact, attributed by many visitors to some magical drugstore, and could I, please, arrange to have their wedding pictures made there, too? Gene couldn't sell one print for even twenty-five bucks in those days. Every night when I came home to sleep there was the despairing Clement Attlee staring upward at the bare light bulb over my doorway.

That was forty years ago, and twenty since Gene went to that great blast of ferrocyanide in the sky, and much ado about him has taken place in the interim. New York fifties mindset was Freudian psychoanalysis; everyone went to a shrink. Any prominent individualistic tendencies were often condemned to one definition of neurosis or another, and in the rather small and specious world of photography , Gene's maverick determination stood out in high relief. Businessmen photographers-- like the young Lee Friedlander, himself awash in Freudophilia, considered Gene a 'spoiler', pretentious-precious, and went instead to sit at the feet of the polymorphous Walker Evans; yes, "pomposity" was pretty much the legend that Gene's exit from LIFE brought down around his head. Not a team player at all; tsk tsk. And in his brave repudiation of corporate moloch, Gene valiantly pratfalled himself right into the lap of utter poverty.

To large extent, Gene's persona seemed to require a struggle against impossible odds; it focused and sharpened him to the high standards he demanded from himself , and he was no slouch when it came to grandstanding, often with tears, his anti-Goliath position. He built his own Myth of Smith, his self-invented public (relations?) image, fine when LIFE was footing the bill, but now, inside our firetrap former whorehouse , there was real rent to pay, real electric bills, bona fide empty refrigerators. That is about when we began to get acquainted--- I never really bought the Myth; for me he was just the strangely interesting guy downstairs who became a great pal.

Outside the loft, Gene was quick to acquire the packagable cliche of the garret-starved self-destructive artist. Compared to Van Gogh, he earned some residue of American Puritan contempt; this man whose great humanity was most evident in his work was treated most inhumanely by his peers.

Inside the loft, for many years the two of us were in daily contact, working and trying to exist under extremely difficult economic circumstances, and we often had one helluva good time!! I found him to be a genial, generous, courageous---often outrageous-- warm wildly witty man, always humble, sensitive, shy and hard-working, sharing a great interest in art, with a remarkable philosophical perspective. We jabbered of Welles and Chaplin , wide angle lenses, witches, Goya, Haiti, Satchmo, Stravinsky, O'Casey, Joyce, Kazan, war, suicide, politics, cock-fought over girls, guzzled cheap scotch, and swung with the jazz that regularly took place in my studio , as if great mind trips could avert the cold fact of the necessity to eat. I remember one hot summer day, making cream cheese and molasses sandwiches for us on cinamon bread. Gene argued that we didn't have to buy the molasses because we could get the iron from our rusty tap water. As a rule, his antic humor and punning sense managed always to keep things slightly off-balance; this man who had such a profoundly dramatic instinct and attraction for the tragic had also a capricious spirit of the absurd in the way he conducted his daily life; Van Gogh with a manic dash of Robin Williams.

And astonishingly productive. Yet always the gloomy impassioned chairoscuro came out of the darkroom-- prints blacker than black, then mounted on black, dense, intense, often in layout strangulation, making sure; I , W. Eugene Smith , won't let you go gently into that unferrocyanided good night. Sans assignments, now more artist than journalist, for years on end Gene shuffled his prints, made and remade PITTSBURG, photographed our jazz and our personal La Boheme, tried a failed book, a failed magazine, and finally luck brought him The Jewish Museum show and then his crescendo, Minimata.

One night in Bradley's in 1975, Gene said, "Well, Dave, I finally got there at last. I've got ten thousand dollars in the bank for the first time. Of course, it's only going to be there about a week."

Jump cut posthumous; an icon, passed away amongst us, is now suddenly acknowledged. Many who jeered him, refused him recognition, now come out to sycophant, to pedestal, to celebrate his life-- including LIFE itself. Gee, we're SO sorry; but let's exploit!

Those twenty-five dollar prints buckled the registers at auctions, and giant profits were made; yes, the same old art-woe story--- just at the time Vinnie the Gogh himself was pulling down millions in Sotheby sales. The dark side of Gene, finally, surely, took care of his children and at least one of his wives.

We get a brilliant and sensitive biography by Jim Hughes, a soso documentary, worldwide traveling shows. And then it seemed over. "There's no money left around for Gene Smith anymore" comments executor John Morris in the late eighties, handing his stewardship over to Gene's bastard son.

Now, surprise! comes this current coffee table dominatrix which gives Gene's babies, his pictures, the opportunity to have a life of their own in renewal. SNAP!! Of course one can argue anew the merits of the individual essays and which choices are the best, etc., but for myself-- having gone to bed amidst these images for many years, there's something new about them now; suddenly welcome. There is a spank-spank/no-no here; not all of what we see are Gene's own prints, very much against the artist's wishes, but the damage is by no means on the level of, say, Clement Greenberg's sanding off the paint on David Smith's sculptures after his death. And most of these choices help illuminate Gene's way of seeing and working. There are also textual inaccuracies; Hall Overton did not own the loft bldg. I had rented three floors, and Hall rented originally from me, and my friend Sid Grossman sent over Harold Feinstein to share Hall's floor. When Harold left, he brought in Gene.

I liked John Hill's technical essay at the closure. I was with Gene the night MAD EYES burnt out all the surrounding background, with ritual Clan MacGregor celebration, for neither of us-- one painter, one photographer-- gave a whit about 'objectivity'.

This spacious book-bomb adds honor and light to these master photographs, allowing them their own life and breathing room not usually available. Gene's insistence on control force-gilded his lilies, giving barely any space in his layouts to let the eye feel free to wander on its own volition. Now one can look afresh with impunity, and they look a bit different--even better.

In any event, Gene, now busily groping angels, can no longer argue in his own defense, no longer joke, weep, holler, cajole, rage, pun. And he doesn't need to.

You know? This fellow really had one goddamned great eye and sense of when.

David X Young

Oct 22 1998 ... Read more


182. John Adams
by David McCullough
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684813637
Catlog: Book (2001-05-22)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 6626
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends. As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation.

Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents Washington and Jefferson, who bracketed his tenure in office, Adams emerges from McCullough's brilliant biography as a truly heroic figure--not only for his significant role in the American Revolution but also for maintaining his personal integrity in its strife-filled aftermath. McCullough spends much of his narrative examining the troubled friendship between Adams and Jefferson, who had in common a love for books and ideas but differed on almost every other imaginable point. Reading his pages, it is easy to imagine the two as alter egos. (Strangely, both died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.) But McCullough also considers Adams in his own light, and the portrait that emerges is altogether fascinating. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (536)

5-0 out of 5 stars Never Disappointing
John Adams was a patriot, a devoted husband, father, and friend. This is itself is not too extraordinary. What marks his life, however, is his devotion to the written word. Over the course of his long and fruitful life, Adams was an obsessive letter-writer. Lucky for us! McCullough weaves political and national history with Adams' amazing volume of personal letters, allowing us to view both the relevant history as well as the man behind the history. Indeed, the long dealings with the complex relationship between Adams and Jefferson is wonderful; however, it would be in poor form to single out any one part of the book as extraordinary. It is all extraordinary!
I'll admit that in some parts the book seemed a bit long, but it was never boring, never uninteresting, and never non-entertaining.
After having read McCullough's "Truman," I was very happy to see his latest work. I find his writing style to be lucid and captivating. Try it - you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Man Of Sound Moral Principle
My husband and I listened to the audio tape of this book and it was truly time well spent. Each morning, along with our coffee, we had breakfast with John and Abigail Adams. They both made a lasting impression in my mind. David McCullough did a fantastic job of bringing John & Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin to life. The historical events became more interesting when interjected with the feelings and reflections that the founding fathers had on the various events. The author used excerpts from countless letters that passed between Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and other great men, to give us their thoughts in their own words.

John Adams, the man seemed to have been brilliant, pompous, very
likable and extremely exasperating. His personal integrity noted by many people was one of his most prominent features.From a Massachusetts country lawyer, he went on to become a member of the Continental Congress, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He secured loans from the Dutch for the fledgling American government, helped to negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain and, for three years served as our first minister to the Court of Saint James in London. He was our first Vice President serving under George Washington and, of course our second President.

Many pages are devoted to the often troubled relationship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They made their peace in the last years of their lives, and the letters that passed between these two American icons, were wonderful. In the end, they shared one final day. They both died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

McCullough even gives us a love story that’s told through the letters and diaries of John and Abigail. The love and sacrifices they made for their country during and after the revolution is something that seems to be unparalleled in any other historic couple. Abigail appeared to be an equal partner in her relationship with John. Because of his appointments and positions, she was on her own and managing their property for months and years at a time, and made many choices and decisions that greatly influenced their lives. She not only helped her husband become the second President of the U. S.,
she also raised a son, John Quincy Adams who became the sixth President of the U. S.

This well researched book gave me the feeling of witnessing the birth of my country. The book’s narrator, Nelson Runger did an excellent job.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best biographies I have read...
This book is a very readable book. Unlike some other history books which are dry, this one reads like a novel. I loved how they showed the personal side of a public man. His loving relationship with his wife Abigail is revealed through letters he wrote her. I also loved how the author described John Adams relationship with Thomas Jefferson, down to the little details like when they shared a room in philly one wanted the window open and the other wanted it closed. This book shows that the founding fathers did not live in a vacuum, all alone, responding to each others politics; but that they were freinds with complex relationships. I like how this book lets us see our countries greatest patriots as real people. I highly reccomend this book, there is a sage like quality to it. If this was the kind of reading offered in high school or college, I might have been more interested in history.

4-0 out of 5 stars good beach read
Am 300 pages into this novel. It's very descriptive and really gives you a sense of the person, as well as the other revolutionary characters. You can very clearly picture the obstacles he faced and what type of man he was. I'm thoroughly enjoying it -- and recently heard it may be made into an HBO movie by Tom Hanks.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Adams, Abigail and Jefferson
The book on John Adams by David McCullough is very precise and gives a great overview of the second president of the United STates but also of the country itself. Having been the person defending the Constitution on the Congress floor, being the ambassador in France and The Netherlands (very interesting to read for Dutchmen like myself) to the days of his vice-presidency under George Washington and his own presidency.

Most of the sources are the letters between him and his wife Abigail, one of the foremost women in her time. It deals with politics but also with personal problems like disease in the family and the death of a son due to alcohol.

His relationship with Thomas Jefferson is fascinating; sometimes loving, sometimes hating. They could not get along when they were president and vice-president. In the end through letters they come closer again and freakingly enough they die on the same day, the 4th of July when they were there signing the Declaration of Independence. ... Read more


183. White House Nannies: True Tales from the Other Department of Homeland Security
by BarbaraKline
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585424102
Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
Publisher: Tarcher
Sales Rank: 1694
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Nanny Diaries meets Primary Colors in this hilarious tell-all from the president and owner of White House Nannies, a nanny placement agency that caters to a host of influential people in our nation's capital.

Ah, to experience parenthood as the rich and powerful who have only to call in their Mary Poppinsesque nannies to pick up the pieces. But it's not all smooth ailing for those precious few either-and Barbara Kline should know. In the twenty years since she founded White House Nannies, Kline has handpicked and delivered nannies to elected officials, cabinet members, advisers to the President, and the media who report on their every move. White House Nannies is her laugh-out-loud account of what happens when these powerful parents find themselves at the mercy of tiny tyrants-and the nannies who offer their only hope of salvation.

From finding the "perfect nanny" to firing the "perfect nanny," from refereeing Mommy-nanny disputes to keeping mum about family secrets, Barbara Kline has seen it all. In this hilarious page-turner she takes readers on a delightful ride through the bottle-and-bib-strewn beltway.
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Client
Well, after hearing all of the buzz surrounding Barbara's book I knew I needed to go read it; and it certainly did not disappoint. Even as a client Kline alludes to, I could not stop laughing throughout the entire book. I will continue to recommend White House Nannies (Book or Agency) highly!

5-0 out of 5 stars An all-too-true look at today's power parenthood.
I laughed my way through this book. I also cringed more than once, seeing myself and the women around me all too clearly in Kline's clients. You don't have to be a D.C. power player to relate to the comedy-- and, oh yes, the tragedy-- of trying to keep your brilliant career going while raising a kid or kids. This book is a fun read, but I also came away from WHITE HOUSE NANNIES committed to making some much-needed cuts to my work schedule. Would that my own life may never serve as fodder for the likes of this brilliantly engaging book!

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to its promise
For people who want dish--such as those of us who devoured Lynne Cheney's "Sisters"--this book will not satisfy.For people who must rush to pick up their children from daycare by 6 p.m. or risk a fine, do not read this book.It will kite your blood pressure.

The true playground-and-playgroup book about Washington has yet to be written.The most satisfying book in this canon remains "You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again," by a small-town girl who went to Los Angeles to become a nanny.Suzanne Hansen, I believe her name was, is precisely the sort of warm-hearted girl that Kline treats only as a commodity in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great advice and a fun read.
A very well written book.

I loved this book.It was such a easy read I could not put it down.I laughed out loud so many times and at other times just stared at the pages with my mouth open. Flipping through the pages I could certainly relate to the plight of the working parent.With all the reality shows on tv about nannies, this book had a different twist on the whole parenting working family scenario, I highly recommend this book to anyone even if you are not a parent.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a truly fun read!
This book is an intelligent and very funny look at the often wild world of child care. It's not only for the Washington crowd to guess who the players are, but every parent can recognize him or herself somewhere in this book. After reading this book you should feel much more comfortable with your own lot! It's an easy read that will make you laugh out loud.
... Read more


184. Chyna Black
by Keisha Ervin
list price: $15.00
our price: $12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0976234912
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: Triple Crown Publications
Sales Rank: 8963
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There was a time when I didn’t care about anybody, not even myself. Oh, and who am I? I’m Chyna, Chyna Danea Black to be more exact. I’m here to tell you my story, but for you to fully understand me, you have to understand my past. You see, I’m every black girl growing up in the hood, and like most, I got caught up in the life. Some things I didn’t see coming. Other things were self-inflicted. I don’t regret my path in life but I could have taken a different one. So, for all the young girls growing up in the hood, let me take you back to how I grew up.

Here is the Life & Times of me, Chyna Black. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Is On Fire!!!!!!
Ms. Keisha Ervin, just do your thing girl!I think that Chyna Black was a very good read.Even though I liked Ms. Ervin's debut novel, you can tell that she has improved with this book.We may as well give her the crown on these urban relationship stories.

Chyna Black's characters are well developed with dialogue and action that is entertaining to read.I like the fact that Ms. Ervin's books point out that in many cases the reason a lot of women end up in drama filled relationships is because of absentee fathers.Many young women don't have the example of how a relationship is supposed to work.The main character Chyna was on the right track at one point.She got into some things but nothing too bad.She went to school and kept her grades up.But Chyna's father was not in the picture and when she starts to have major problems with her mother she feels she has no choice but to move in with her boyfriend Tyreik.Tyreik draws her in with money, a false sense of independence, and so called love.Chyna loses her sense of self, drops out of school, and thinks that shopping is what life is about.Little does she know that because something looks good to you it may not be good for you.The drama begins and you will not want to put this book down.

I could have done without the last few chapters.I liked how Chyna's situation turned out for the best after all that happens to her, I just could have done without Ms. Ervin's semi-autobiographical references and shout outs of books by other TCP authors.Just a bit much.Despite that this book is a hit.I recommend you read it and have your friends read it too.I'm ready for the next one!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read in years
This was an excellent book. I read it twice back to back. The book was so real I could really relate to Chyna in all she had to go throuugh in her young life. I hope there will be a sequel. I am waiting patiently for it. If you have not read this book and you enjoy urban fiction this is a must have

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bomb
Ms Ervin you did th dang on thang with this book. It was off the chain from the beginning to the end. This book is a must read. I dont read books twice but I may have to go through this story again. Keep up the good work.You will be in to look for list of authors.

5-0 out of 5 stars hmmm....
This is the story of too many girls across the nation... This book was a page turner, and a classic in urban fiction. Although to too many this is sort of like a biography of girls growing up around the way.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Hot One!
Ms. Ervin, you have hit the nail on the head once again. Me and My Boyfriend was hot, but you did the damn thing with this one. You told the story of so many young girls, and it was so on point. I loved how you developed the story, and it felt like you were talking about someone close to the heart. Good Job! ... Read more


185. ABOUT FACE : THE ODYSSEY OF AN AMERICAN WARRIOR
by David H. Hackworth
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671695347
Catlog: Book (1990-04-15)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 34313
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest leaders of the 20th century

I first heard of Colonel Hackworth when I was a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he came and gave a guest lecture during my sophomore year. After hearing him talk, I had to go out and get his book.

"About Face" is, quite simply, the best book I've ever read...again and again. Colonel Hackworth's no-nonsense approach to leadership is tried-and-true, and what makes each point hit home is that he has learned everything through real life experience. The stories that he tells in this book are not just entertaining. They tell a lot about the life of a soldier; they tell a lot about a military hierarchy and how it should work (as opposed to how it works now); they tell us what really happened in Vietnam and how the U.S. Government "black balled" Colonel Hackworth in order to quell public disatisfaction with the war in Vietnam. He doesn't just make this book a bitch session....he offers his expert opinion as a soldier and a leader about how to correct what is happening to our fighting forces. He offers comparisons to leaders of the past and insight into the leaders of the future...and the future of our military leaders looks bleak.

Lastly, this book isn't just about being a military leader and telling war stories. This book is a must read for anybody that is in charge of anything or anyone. Many of the points he makes in his book apply "across the board". Being a leader is a skill as well as a science. Learn from the best, because "those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it".

5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ ABOUT A SOLDIER'S LIFE
THIS BOOK IS BY FAR THE BEST MILITARY BOOK I'VE EVER READ IN YEARS. AND I THOUGHT TOM CLANCY WAS THE BEST! I GOT A HOLD OF THIS BOOK AT MY COLLEGE LIBRARY DURING MY FRESHMAN YEAR IN 1996. FROM THE MOMENT I READ THE FIRST WORDS, I KNEW I WAS MESMERIZED. I READ THIS BOOK OUT OF MY PERSONAL INTEREST ABOUT THIS CONTROVERSIAL OUTSPOKEN COLONEL. THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS: AN ORPHANED 15-YEAR OLD BOY LIED TO ENLIST IN THE ARMY, AND WENT ON TO BECOME THE MOST LEGENDARY AND CONTROVERSIAL WARRIOR. HE SERVED WITH DISTINCTION UNDER GEN. JOHN M. MICHAELIS AS A WOLFHOUND RAIDER LEADER IN KOREA. HE WAS BATTLE-COMMISSIONED AT A TENDER AGE OF 20, AND BECOMES THE YOUNGEST CAPTAIN AT 22. HE WON 2 DSCs, 7 SILVER STARS, 9 BRONZE STARS AND 2 DFCs, 8 PURPLE HEARTS AND MANY OTHER DECORATIONS DURING HIS SERVICE IN THE KOREAN AND VIETNAMESE THEATER COMBINED. WHILE HE INITIALLY FOUND HOME IN THE "OLD ARMY," HE FOUND HIMSELF INCREASINGLY DISILLUSIONED WITH THE ZERO-DEFECT,"TICKET PUNCHING" MENTALITY OF THE "NEW ARMY" CREATED BY A WEST-POINT GENERAL MAXWELL TAYLOR AND HIS PROTEGES. THE VIETNAM WAR BECAME THE CLIMAX OF HIS DISSILUSSIONMENT WITH THE "NEW ARMY" AS HE GOT A CHANCE TO LOOK INSIDE THE DEPT. OF ARMY, THE FLEDGLING TRAINING SYSTEM, SELF-SERVING TYPES LIKE IRA HUNT AND MANY OTHERS LIKE HIM. AS AN ADVISER TO THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE PARATROOPERS, HE PRESSURED THEM TO PERFORM, BUT TO NO AVAIL. BY 1971, HE WAS THE YOUNGEST COLONEL IN THE US ARMY, AND CONSIDERED A FOUR-STAR MATERIAL. BUT ALL THESE GLORY MOUNTED TO NOTHING. HE WAS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT HIS MEN WHO WERE BEING SHOT AT THAN HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING A FOUR-STAR GENERAL. THUS, HE FINALLY SUMMONED HIS COURAGE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH AT THE EXPENSE OF HIS CAREER,ONLY FIND THE ARMY ATTEMPTING TO CLAM HIM UP. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL TOO TRITE, IF THE STORY ENED OTHERWISE; IF HE WAS TO WRITE THE MEMOIR AS GENERAL DAVID H. HACKWORTH, USA RET., RATHER THAN COLONEL DAVID H. HACKWORTH. BUT THAT IT ENDS WITH IT A SAD CONCLUSION, MAKES IT ALL THE MORE BELIEVABLE. UNLIKE ANY THING I'VE EVER READ, THIS IS A BOOK I FIND HARD TO PUT DOWN. IT'S TOO SAD THAT HE DID NOT GO ALL THE WAY TO MAKE THE NECESSARY DENT, BUT THE COLONEL DOESN'T THINK SO. I LIKE TO SEE HIM MAKE MORE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM TO THIS GREAT ARMY.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener
This book will show what really goes on in the army, it is an eye opener. Check out his web site: www.hackworth.com. A lot of good information.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Warrior
Hackworth has produced a well written and provocative book concerning his time in the USA Army beginning with his enlistment at the end of WWII. His thoughts on the Vietnam War and the Army's command structure and bureaucracy created a lasting impression with me. Obviously he writes from his own perspective, but many of his ideas are worth discussing and giving more thought. A great book about one person's Vietnam experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars I should have read this in High School
For those of you people who have read this, and more specifically the guys I went to Marmion Military Academy with; I never really understood who Walter Schroeder was (Good ol' Steady Schroeder- as Hack refers to him) until I read this book. Mother, Fathers, if your kids are thinking about ROTC scholarships or joining the military in any way at all you need to read this book and then make them read it before they sign on the line that is dotted!

Raise your glasses to Colonel David Hackworth!

Thank you, Sir. ... Read more


186. Chasing Matisse : A Year in France Living My Dream
by James Morgan
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743237544
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 10642
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Who hasn't had the fanthasy of leaving his or her old life behind to start over? What would happen if you gave up your job, city, state, and routine to move to another part of the world? Critically acclaimed writer and aspiring painter James Morgan does just that. Risking everything, he and his wife shed their old, settled life in a lovingly restored house in Little Rock, Arkansas, to travel in the footsteps of Morgan's hero, the painter Henri Matisse, and to find inspiration in Matisse's fierce struggle to live the life he knew he had to live. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part biography of Matisse, Chasing Matisse proves that you don't have to be wealthy to live the life you want; you just have to want it enough.

Morgan's riveting journey of self-discovery takes him, and us, from the earthy, brooding Picardy of Matisse's youth all the way to the luminous Nice of the painter's final years. In between, Morgan confronts, with the notebook of a journalist and the sketchpad of an artist, the places that Matisse himself saw and painted: bustling, romantic Paris; windswept Belle-île off the Brittany coast; Corsica, with its blazing southern light; the Pyrénees village of Collouire, where color became explosive in Matisse's hands; exotic Morocco, land of the secret interior life; and across the sybaritic French Riviera to spiritual Vence and the hillside Villa Le Rêve -- the Dream -- where the mature artist created so many of his masterpieces.

A journey from darkness to light, Chasing Matisse shows us how we can learn to see ourselves, others, and the world with fresh eyes. We look with Morgan out of some of the same windows through which Matisse himself found his subjects and take great heart from Matisse's indomitable, life-affirming spirit. For Matisse, living was an art, and he never stopped striving, never stopped creating, never stopped growing, never stopped reinventing himself. "The artist," he said, "must look at everything as though he were seeing it for the first time." That's the inspiring message of renewal that comes through on every page of Chasing Matisse. Funny, sad, and defiantly hopeful, this is a book that restores our faith in the possibility of dreams. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best
If you've read Peter Mayle and Frances Mayes, you might be expecting a humorous look at life in another country.This book is not like that.Morgan is a thoughtful, introspective artist who risks all to follow his passion, and he brings us along with him as he travels around France to get inside the head and heart of Henri Matisse.This is a wonderful, informative study of Matisse and his struggles for artistic identity as he singlehandedly explodes color onto the drab palette of French art.It is also a personal journey for Morgan, and you will be touched by his sensitivity and candor.A must-read for anyone who contemplates midlife.

5-0 out of 5 stars So enjoyable, I didn't want it to end!
I highly recommend this book.Chasing Matisse totally transports! James Morgan is truly a very gifted writer.This is one of those "best-sellers" that will be popular for eons.

4-0 out of 5 stars Baby, Iknow what you mean! Living the good life in France.
Kudos to the author! Jim Morgan does it again! The man keeps reinventing himself, moving forward in his quest to expand his personal horizons and live life to the fullest. After an earlier career as a successful magazine editor (Playboy, Southern Magazine), Morgan chucked it all to pursue his childhood dream of being a writer, like his hero Ernest Hemingway. Now, at the age of 62, he's written yet another beautiful book. This one is a moving paean to his love of Matisse, France, painting and his wife, Beth. If you've ever wanted to be inspired to take a chance on following your dream, Chasing Matisse may give you just the push you need. Buy it, read it, savor it, laugh over it. I'm sure you'll love it, just like I did!

5-0 out of 5 stars ExrtraordinaryTravelogue
In Chasing Matisse, Jim Morgan takes the reader on a tour of Henri Matisse's France. He takes us into the interiors we've seen in Matisse paintings as well as the land and seascapes seen from those rooms. In this delightful book, Morgan introduces us to Matisse, the man and paints a verbal canvas describing the vivid colors seen and painted by Matisse. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to Follow Your Bliss
This very enjoyable read should appeal to the interests of several types of individuals.For those who like to travel, the book takes you through parts of France as well as Corsica and Morocco.For those who appreciate art and artists, the life of Matisse unfolds in unique ways throughout the book.For all us who dream of leaving home to pursue the fantasy of living in a different culture with fascinating people, this book helps you realize that it can be done. For me it is a reminder of the 5 wonderful months we spent in Nice.We were not chasing Matisse, just the Nicois food customs and way of life.With each page I lived our dream once again. ... Read more


187. Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire
by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri
list price: $27.95
our price: $17.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200246
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: The Penguin Press
Sales Rank: 6954
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Amazon.com

Complex, ambitious, disquieting, and ultimately hopeful, Multitude is the work of a couple of writers and thinkers who dare to address the great issues of our time from a truly alternative perspective. The sequel to 2001's equally bold and demanding Empire continues in the vein of the earlier tome. Where Empire's central premise was that the time of nation-state power grabs was passing as a new global order made up of "a new form of sovereignty" consisting of corporations, global-wide institutions, and other command centers is in ascendancy, Multitude focuses on the masses within the empire, except that, where academics Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri are concerned, this body is defined by its diversity rather than its commonalities. The challenge for the multitude in this new era is "for the social multiplicity to manage to communicate and act in common while remaining internally different." One may already be rereading that last sentence. Indeed, Empire isn't breezy reading. But for those aren't afraid of wadding into a knotty philosophical and political discourse of uncommon breadth, Multitude offers many rewards. --Steven Stolder ... Read more


188. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
by Julia P. Gelardi
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312324235
Catlog: Book (2005-03-19)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 533495
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189. The Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten Years in a North Korean Gulag
by Kang Chol-Hwan, Pierre Rigoulot
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465011012
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 500023
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first personal documentation of life in the North Korean labor camps from a survivor and escapee of the communist regime's prisons.

North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent.
this book was everything I hoped it would be. it was a sad story, but its words were not simlply used up in emotions. as I finished up the book, it really even inspired me to take action regarding north korea. how? that I don't know, but somehow. perhaps I should contact my congressman or find out about some agencies working with north korean refugees.

the stories about the camp were horrifying at times and well-written about. the flow of the middle chapters was not perfect, but its content, not to mention the rest of the book, totally made up for it. the chapters at the very beginning and the very end were especially good, particularly his description of his "happy childhood in pyongyang" and adjusting to life in south korea. excellent book worth my time. if you have any kind of interest in east asia or north korea in particular, you should definitely read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading
In my opinion this book is on par with Alan Patton's "Cry the Beloved Country." It powerfully conveys the plight of foreign oppression with both empathy and clarity.

Every US military officer, all federal politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats and personnel stationed in South Korea NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

The author's family willingly emigrated to North Korea. They had been quite wealthy, but felt ideologically drawn to seek North Korean citizenship. Ultimately they were imprisoned.

Their experiences as related make it clear that the government of North Korea is by no means a true Marxist state, but has devolved into a cult of personality revolving around the ruling Kim family. No imperial government in history has been more repressive, exploitative or murderous of its people. North Korea's leader is truly evil. Its brainwashed citizens are at once victims and enablers that evil. Their plight is tragic.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars I agree. Required Reading
I came across this book after reading Tears of My Soul. I have to say that this book is absolutely captivating. It is a very quick read, but the impact will last forever. With so little information coming out of N.Korea unfiltered, this book and its perspective is invaluable. I recommend this book to everyone, to the point that people must think I am the publisher. Excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An important testimony
This is a must-read, an important testimony of life under an absolutist regime. It is part of a steady stream of testimonials that are finally appearing about what the self-proclaimed "Communist" regimes are actually like inside. I hope that the American academics will start paying attention to these testimonials, and accept the fact that those communist regimes should not have been idealized as they were (and still are by some!). Only after an honest scrutiny of these so-called communist societies and how they ALL turned into dictatorships, can the left recover its intellectual force.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aquariums of Pyongyang
I had the chance to meet with the author, Kang Chol Hwan, this past summer in Seoul. Having spent ten years in a gulag for a crime his grandfather committed, he is among the lucky ones who survived. He took the risk and escaped because he felt it was his only option. In North Korea, political oppression is so severe that entire bloodlines, (normally two generations or more), are thrown in labor camps if one member is accused of "disloyalty" toward the regime. Kang's book is full of powerful images. The eyewitness account brings a detailed accuracy to a dark world unimaginable to those who haven't experienced it for themselves. Kang emphasized during our interview that every incident mentioned in his book was true and free of exaggeration. Kang, now a reporter for the Chosun Daily, continues to write editorial pieces about the atrocious human rights situation in the North. ... Read more


190. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400080452
Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 6457
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. I have not witnessed the extraordinary. This is my story."

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, one-time Might magazine columnist and self-confessed hater of the segue has written a snappy, random, remarkable memoir--the first of its kind to give readers an honest flaws-n-all perspective of what it's like to be...ordinary. Initially inspired by the "bizarre, haphazard arrangement" of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Rosenthal has collected a lifetime of thoughts, observations, and decisions, and created an alphabetized personal encyclopedia, complete with cross-referenced entries and illustrations. Rosenthal reveals the minutiae of her life, from pumping gas ("Every. Single. Solitary. Time I go to get gas I have to lean out the window to see which side the tank is on"), towitnessing her son's accident ("I saw with front-row-seat clarity, just how quickly, randomly, and mercilessly your child can be taken away"), and in turns both playful and poignant, engages the reader in effortless and stimulating conversation.

Whether you are laughing aloud or nodding along, reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life is like being introduced to a new friend--one that you automatically connect with and feel compelled to share. Fans of Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, and shows like Arrested Development and Scrubs will appreciate Rosenthal's quirky, conversational humor and dead-on observations. Writers will see the book as a contemporary portrait of the fledgling artist, and should enjoy her aptly named, "Evolution of this Moment"--a timeline tracking her growth as a writer from her first word ("more") to publication of her fourth book.

Modesty prevents Rosenthal from acknowledging herself as anything other than ordinary--that, and the fact that she has not "survived against all odds"--but that certainly does not mean she has nothing to say, or to share. Her delightful memoir is a reminder that life is not always anadventure, but it can be full of sad, silly, and important moments that make it worth living. Witness the generosity of an author who is willing to reveal so much of herself, not just as a writer, but also as a person--share this delightfully quirky, utterly enjoyable book with family and friends with a note, "Here is someone I think you should meet." --Daphne Durham

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

The Lost and Found Project
Between January 25th and February 1st, hundreds of copies of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life were intentionally left in random places (taxis, public bathrooms, laundromats) in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Each book was inscribed with a note from the author, and the finder was encouraged to report back to Rosenthal's website (www.encyclopediaofanordinarylife.com) when and where the book was discovered.

Watch the "Lost and Found" video directed by filmmaker Steve Delahoyde, documenting Rosenthal's test run and featuring her theme song, "This is My Story."
Listen to the theme song written by Tony Rogers.


Ordinary Life from A to Z
How do you interview a smart, creative, clever author like Amy Krouse Rosenthal? You agree to let her start with the questions, and hang on for the ride. Find out more about Amy and sneak a peek behind-the-scenes at Amazon.com with this decidedly ordinary email correspondence between Ms. Rosenthal and senior editor Daphne Durham.

Read our unusual interview with author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.



Extra Ordinary Excerpts
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... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Engaging Catalog of an American Life lived 1965 to present
Amy Krouse Rosenthal describes her "Orientation Almanac" that begins her "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" as an attempt to provide "plain facts about American life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the backdrop against which this book was written."Her "Alphabetized Existence" continues that theme to a large extent, but also presents personal (but at the same time universal) reflections that are engaging and delightful. Her encyclopedia of her life is more topical than a novel or linear prose, but it's :) very easy to pick up & compulsively read.
I'm about a decade younger than the author, so some, but not all, of the American pop-culture details resonate.It would be interesting to see how this catalog reads in twenty years."Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" is a self-affirming, funny, sometimes tragicomic, read that is a good way to spend the afternoon.
I really enjoyed reading about Scholastic book orders (p. 89) which I haven't thought of in probably twenty years.The instant I read the phrase, a picture of those order forms came strongly to mind.When I was in school, I used to fight with my parents to get them to order as many books as possible, so I could add to my Scholastic book stash. :)Never mind the other chances with the RIF program & book fairs.Thanks for the memories, Ms. Rosenthal-- the minutiae and detritus of your life are my nostalgia (see Red Gingham Tablecloth p. 171). Although, I disagree that one can give too many landmarks when giving directions.On most entries I've been nodding, but when it comes to giving or getting directions, too much is better than too little.Unless brief directions are given with the director's phone number.

4-0 out of 5 stars Contains Brilliant Insights, With a Few Slow Points
This highly original book succeeds brilliantly in conveying the day-to-day thoughts and actions of an "ordinary life." Amy Krouse Rosenthal has written down the small events and thoughts that often go unnoticed and are never, ever, expressed aloud.I couldn't read the table of "sounds that are loud, though quiet" without nodding with recognition at every single entry.Just look at the entry under "dishwasher," and see if you've never experienced the same disorienting feeling when someone loads a dishwasher the "wrong" way. And I shamefacedly had to admit to doing the same thing as the author whenever I come across a "stupid, slow driver."Going through the encyclopedia, I wondered what the author would do for the letter "X."The entry "XX," where Rosenthal explains why she enjoys being a girl, does not disappoint.

The book gets tiresome, however, when it becomes a little too self-reflective.I don't care about the author's "childhood memories." The "evolution of this moment" is flat-out boring.The fact that it comes right up front, however, should not deter you from looking at the rest of the book, which has insights that are remarkable.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Clever Little Book
I bought and read this book on the same day and loved it.It's clever, insightful, and fun and I found myself wanting to buy a copy for friends and family.I read it from cover to cover, but it's the type of book you can set on your coffee table and open to any page for interesting insight on any number of things.

5-0 out of 5 stars a cult favorite
A fun book to pick up and put down at any time... although I had a hard time putting it down.Indeed the format is refreshing, the thoughts and insights as simple and ordinary as the title implies.Once in a while, between reading intense mystery or history, it is nice (and even healthy!) to pick up something lighter, to discover the joy of reading a work of reality and humor.Do not expect to be knocked over by this book unless you can laugh at yourself and everyday life.It is light, fun and worth the read.If you take yourself too seriously you may think you have wasted your time; in fact you missed the point entirely.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a kindred spirit
I rarely pick up a book that ends up delighting me from cover to cover as thoroughly as this book has. I knew from the instant I encountered the back cover's description of "Book, standing in the bookstore(well, library for me) holding a" and read the exact procedure I had just gone through, that I and this book were destined for each other.
I could name off a hundred things that I admire about the Encyclopedia, from the orientation almanac to the cross-section; however, that would perhaps be over-zealous. I will say that any book that incorporates the wit and humor of the entire book into the copyright page has earned my eternal devotion, and such a "Reader's Agreement" as the author includes should be incorporated into...well, everything!
Though I identify with almost every aspect of the encyclopedia, there is one entry I would add my slight alteration to. On "Rainy Day" I would add that while the return to radiant reality may be slightly overwhelming, somehow, the smell of the sun as it caresses the newly-washed grass make it all worthwhile. At least, that's how it is for me.
I must admit that as a child I also read the encyclopedias; I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate this contribution to my library. It has brightened my day and is sure to remain a favorite on my shelf for years to come. ... Read more


191. No Lights, No Sirens : The Corruption and Redemption of an Inner City Cop
by Robert Cea
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060587121
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 812
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No lights, No sirens is the harrowing true story of an officer who, on his way to becoming one of the most highly decorated cops in NYPD history, lost his soul

Robert Cea began his career as an idealistic young man, a gifted lawman who would right wrongs and make the world a better place by putting away the bad guys. But whatever he'd learned at the academy did not prepare him for the streets, the thugs, or the depravity he'd encounter. "I'd sworn that it would never get to me," he writes, "that I'd never turn into the monsters I was chasing. I was wrong." And become a monster he did during his relentless journey into the criminal netherworld.

Brutally authentic, as gritty and graphic as the life itself, Cea's story takes readers into the cruisers and onto the streets to show how the law was -- and continues to be -- routinely bent to stay one step ahead of criminals. Cea painstakingly reveals his slow downward spiral into the depths of hell that would shatter his conscience, his marriage, and his mind. It would all lead to a final attempt at redemption that would nearly cost him his life.

Illuminating a hidden side of law enforcement that cannot be imagined, No Lights, No Sirens is as gripping as it is terrifying, a morality tale with repercussions for us all.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW - what an amazing ride!
I just finished reading this book, and I was hoping there were more titles by Robert Cea.Unfortunately there is only this one.Attn: Mr. Cea, can you hurry up and write another one?Thanks!

The author's writing style makes you feel like you are right there, with him in the car, in the run down bars and in the back alleys of New York City.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who can handle the language and violence.Beyond that what emerges is a book of complete and open honesty.You can see where every step seems to be a logical next step in policing.Let a heroin junkie go to get info on a perp with a gun.Thats a good move.A gun gets people killed, a junkie just kills himself.But a small step like that leads to him being completely intertwined with the mean streets and he ends up paying for it.

No more details than that.Its just too good :)

Buy it!You will not be able to put it down.

On a slightly different note, it shows how cops are the real backbone of our system, and they get dumped on from everyone.Defense attorneys, the media, even citizens groups - all for their own political gain.That really sucks, because a lot of good people probably get crushed by the system, who were just there doing a good job.I hate to think about that, but I am sure its true.

Enjoy !! ... Read more


192. Shooter : The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
by Donald A. Davis, Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312336853
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 20
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With more than sixty confirmed kills, Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top-ranked sniper. Shooter is his harrowing first-person account of a sniper's life on and off the modern battlefield.
Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin is a divorced father of two who grew up in a wealthy Boston suburb. At the age of nineteen, although he had never even held a gun, he joined the Marines and would spend the next twenty years behind the scope of a long-range precision rifle as a sniper.
In that time he accumulated one of the most successful sniper records in the Corps, ranging through many of the world's hotspots. During Operation Iraqi Freedom alone, he recorded at least thirty-six kills, thirteen of them in a single twenty-four-hour period.
Now Coughlin has written a highly personal story about his deadly craft, taking readers deep inside an invisible society that is off-limits to outsiders. This is not a heroic battlefield memoir, but the careful study of an exceptional man who must keep his sanity while carrying forward one of the deadliest legacies in the U.S. military today.
... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars One Shot, One Kill
This is a non stop action filled read with a great human touch. The best book I have read in years about the struggle to keep your mind on killing vice having to live with it.The book focuses primarily on the most recent war in Iraq, but opens with the author's experience in Somalia.I would have liked to have read more about the author's 20 years in the marine corps, but nevertheless, this was a great read.I particularly enjoyed the author's opinions regarding the differences between an urban environment, and a jungle environment.Also, his views on the evolution of the deployment of snipers was very interesting.Finally, this book was a good, first person account of war.

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting autobiography and psychological study
This is a very gripping book by a man who has a rather unusual job. The job he doesis a job that when troops are deployed must be done. It is a job that we collectively as a country sanction. It is an interesting study of one man's mind as he is doing this job. Whether you are hawk or doveit is a book that should be read as it more about human psychology than it is about war.
Of courseby saying this I do not mean to say that the book is devoid of history as it is chock full of it.
It is also not just about killing but about skill and what it means to be skilled at something.
If you give this book a chance it will get you thinking.
A very challengingand multileveled book that is not so easy to dismiss (as much as many would perhaps like). It is very much worthy of your attention.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shooter for real
The name is Hathcock, Carlos Hathcock, not Hackworth. Yes he was an increbible shot, probably the best ever, but give this man his due, especially if you've never put on a uniform, stared down the barrel at another man and ended that man's life. The equipment is a moot point, it's more about the emotion,character, and everything else involved in making that shot, and the consequences good or bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!
Shooter is an excellent book, filled with plenty of real world action, but that is not the strength of it. Shooter puts you into the mind of the sniper, as you attempt to understand the conflict of emotion a sniper endures. When reading through the book, you often have to stop, and remind yourself, that this book is written by real people describing actual events, not some fiction tale typed up by someone who hasn't "been there". If you want to truly understand the combat environment, and not read a list of chronological events, or the distorted views of sideline observers, read Shooter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling true story
While reading this book you feel like your looking through the scope of Gunny Coughlins sniper rifle. He brings you into the highs and lows of todays battlefield. Gunny Coughlins experience as a Marine sniper is his own not Gunny Hackworths or any other
sniper. I'm sure Gunny Coughlin has the utmost respect for his craft and all other snipers who came before him and all to come in the future. To give a bad review because of advancements in weapon technology is to show disrespect to the craft and to the marine sniper and Gunny Coughlin. Semper Fi. ... Read more


193. The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
by Slavomir Rawicz
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558216847
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 1843
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.
... Read more

Reviews (209)

2-0 out of 5 stars Facts, Facts, Facts
I read this book eagerly, given the fact that the book jacket described Rawicz's journey as "Homeric." Though he may have travelled as far as Odysseus, he certainly doesn't possess the literary skills of a Homer, even with the help of a ghost writer. The Long Walk was a plainly told tale of extraordinary endurance. In fact, I agree with one reviewer who found the tale so extraordinary as to be unbelievable. I might be willing to accept the truth of Rawicz's story had there been some introduction or some verifiable historical facts within the tale itself. Unfortunately, my edition had none of this and the result was fairly implausible. I could easily catalogue the story's absurdities: the fact that the Polish officers all died along the way, leaving only Rawicz and a few untraceable companions at the end; the claims that the party walked for days with no food or no water (read _In the Heart of the Sea_ or _Endurance_ for a more plausible survival tales, and you'll realize how difficult this is); the idea that the party traversed some of the most daunting territory on the earth in handmade fur garments (?!). Even if his story is true, Rawicz never bothers to analyze his experience, or mull over what it might mean. He and his companions managed to reach the relatively hospitable Mongolia and encountered dozens of boats heading for China, yet still chose to walk not only through the Gobi desert but over the Himalayas, with tragic consequences. Without some thoughts about the meaning of the experience and about his post-war life, Rawicz's tale is hardly more interesting than the map that marks his party's estimated route through the wilds of Asia.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story You'll Never Forget.
Although The Long Walk is well written, that has nothing to do with why it's a good book. People should read this book because it chronicles perhaps the most extraordinary true story of human endurance in recorded history.

Slavomir Rawicz is unjustly imprisoned by the Communist Russians early in World War II. He is confined to a cell so small that he literally cannot sit, but must sleep by collapsing with his knees against the wall and his feet steeped in his own waste. He is later transported to Siberia by train, and then marched through the cold countryside to a Soviet Gulag, witnessing the death by exposure and exhaustion of other unfortunate captives along the way. In the prison camp he is set in forced labor, kept in horrendous conditions, over-worked, and underfed.

Near the end of his rope, Rawicz and a handful of companions orchestrate a daring and desperate escape, and then proceed to run for their lives, on foot, toward freedom in India--4,000 miles away. Then the fun begins. They must conquer the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains, starvation, the Soviets, and their own inner demons.

Slavomir's ordeal overshadows every other survival tale I've every read, including Admiral Scott's Polar expedition and Krakauer's Everest disaster. This is up there with the Donner Expedition in terms of grim conditions and the indomitable human spirit. Trust me. If you've got a teenager who's complaining because they think they have it rough, let 'em read this one. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great examination of the surviving spirit
There have have been questions about the truth od this book. What rings true is the deep emotional turmoil of the author as he hangs on to his hatred for his tormentors, and there's no doubt thess dark passions helped spur him on during his long and often seeminly endless trek. It's a sad book. An amazing journey of the mind and the soul can be found in IN THE GHOST COUNTRY by Peter Hillary, a mind-bending account of his haunted journey to the South Pole. Deep stuff.

2-0 out of 5 stars not believable
This book purports to describe the travels of a polish
officer in 1942 escaping from Siberia across China and
into freedom in India. As a travel book, it doesn't
hold up. As anyone who has travelled to these areas can
tell you, no small unsupported group of people is going
to just walk across those deserts without water or cross through
Tibet north to south during the coldest months of the year.
There are no landmarks to speak of presented in the book that
in any way line up to the geography of where he claims to have
gone. Beyond that, his story of escape from the russian camp is pure unbelievable melodrama. And for good measure, it contains
a bigfoot (or snowman) sighting near the end.

I suppose a few people will believe that some of the worst
deserts in the world are just there to walk across or that
you can just kind of find your way over the Himalayas during
the coldest part of the year to India.

I also couldn't help but wonder where his companions ended up
after. Did they all just fall off the face of the earth
after arriving in India? And on a journey like this, why would
you only know one of your companions as "Mr. Smith". Most people
would learn the entire life stories of the others on a trip like
this supposedly was. Or at the very least learn the names of
those your moving with.

If you want to read real survival stories, try something
about Shakelton or the book Great Heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars When freedom calls
This book is the story about a young Polish officer who is imprisoned and tortured by the Soviets. In a mockery of a trial he is sentanced to twenty-five years in a Soviet prison camp. It is here the real story begins.

In the middle of Siberia, this Polish officer plans the unthinkable: escape! He selects six other companions to attept this act of deparation with him. In planning his escape, another reviewer indicates that he receives help from an unexpected source. You will not believe who assists him in his quest for freedom!

The balance of the work deals in the trek across Siberia, Mogolia, the Gobi desert, and finally the Himalayas.

In the annuals of human history you would be hard pressed to indentify a person whose sigle mindedness approaches Slavomir Rawicz.

This is a terrific book! ... Read more


194. Severe Mercy, A
by Sheldon Vanauken
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060688246
Catlog: Book (1987-07-29)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 7853
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken, is a heart-rending lovestory described by its author as "the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers." Vanauken chronicles the birth of a powerful pagan love borne out of the relationship he shares with his wife, Davy, and describes the growth of their relationship and the dreams that they share. As a symbol of their love, they name their dream schooner the Grey Goose, "for the grey goose, if its mate is killed flies on alone and never takes another."

While studying at Oxford, Sheldon and Davy develop a friendship with C.S. Lewis, under whose influence and with much intellectual scrutiny they accept the Christian doctrine. As their devotion to God intensifies, Sheldon realizes that he is no longer Davy's primary love--God is. Within this discovery begins a brewing jealousy.

Shortly after, Davy acquires a fatal illness. After her death Sheldon embarks on an intense experience of grief, "to find the meaning of it, taste the whole of it ... to learn from sorrow whatever it had to teach." Through painstaking reveries, he comes to discover the meaning of "a mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love." He learns that her death "had these results: It brought me as nothing else could do to know and end my jealously of God. It saved her faith from assault. ...And it saved our love from perishing."

Replete with 18 letters from C.S. Lewis, A Severe Mercy addresses some of the universal questions that surround faith--the existence of God and the reasons behind tragedy. --Jacque Holthusen ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars love is stronger than death...
After several readings of this book over the past few years, I can conclude without any hesitation that it is the most moving and unforgettable memoir I've ever read. It is relevant to note that all 29 of the other ... reviewers (at the time of my own writing) rate it a solid 5 stars... it really deserves a sixth. Not only for it's amazing true content, but for the beautiful way in which the author lays it all out. This book will literally captivate your imagination, sweep you away, and tug you towards a deeper understanding of the depths of "inloveness" (a Vanauken term) possible in God-ordained marriage.

Sheldon and Jean Vanauken were living the dream of togetherness that most people only.... well, DREAM about... until they came face to face with the fact that perhaps "perpetual springtime is not allowed." Those words were from their personal friend, the Oxford don C.S. Lewis and addressed to Sheldon as he tried to make sense of his overwhelming grief.

This is the story of a profound love between two people... a love that has its genesis, consummation, and terminus in heavenly places. If your eyes are dry all the way through this book... well, never mind... they won't be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful story of love, beauty and spiritual insight
A Severe Mercy is a masterfully crafted autobiography and the story of an intensely deep love relationship, a profound introspective on their path to finding God, and the utimate bereavement the author experiences as his thirty-something wife dies of a terminal illness.

Along the way, their paths cross with C.S. Lewis; personal correspondence with him peppers the book, as does a collection of superb poems written by Vanauken. It explores complex theological, philosophical and aesthetic issues with deep insight and profoundly sharp perspective. I can't recommend it highly enough, it's truly one if the best books I've ever read - a work of art which crosses many dimensions.

Practically speaking, A Severe Mercy explores a number of crucial life issues with breathtaking clarity. First, the second chapter, "The Shining Barrier" distills more insight into the true workings of a wonderful marriage relationship than a dozen garden-variety relationship books from the self-help section of a bookstore. Anyone who wants to understand why their romance has cooled off after five or ten or twenty years of marriage (including myself) could use this chapter alone as a manual for re-kindling the fire.

Secondly, it explores the nature of a difficult spiritual journey in a most articulate way - the emotional, philosophical, theological and personal implications of the claims of Jesus Christ. This book is not in any way a Bible-thumping promo for Christianity; rather it examines the claims of Christ and their implications from logical, historical, aesthetic and personal viewpoints -- in a way that no thinking person can easily dismiss.

I gave this book to friends of mine, a highly educated married professional couple, before they went on a camping trip. They were struggling mightily to reconcile Christianity with their modern worldview and the book was instrumental in helping them accomplish a breakthrough.

Third, it delves into the difficult interior world of a person who is bereft of the love of his life and who must feel the sorrow and loss and yet go on.

A Severe Mercy plumbs the depths of all of these issues via beautiful prose, expertly crafted perspective, and provocative poetry. Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars all kinds of creepy
"A Severe Mercy" is a monotonous tale of a sick relationship which was, sadly, never fully healed even after the author's conversion and his wife's death.

The author is an overly self-conscious, controlling, self-absorbed snob (who can stomach Americans affecting British spelling?) whose characterization of his "beloved" remains disturbingly two-dimensional. If only she'd left her own story (well, one Van didn't burn), there might have been something interesting to it.

People who love this book, in my experience, tend to love it for all the wrong reasons. They are, for example, swept away by the ideal of pagan love and miss the explicit point (which even the author, in theory at least, gets) that such love must either convert and grow or fester. Others are emotionally immature, somewhat naive and inexperienced in love, and miss all the glaring problems in the author's relationship and attitudes toward it (both at its beginning and later, as he looks back). Many of my friends who liked this book as teenagers found it repulsive when they read it as adults. (And the theologically inclined found a few theological errors to boot.)

The book does have some redeeming features, like a handful of letters from C.S. Lewis to the author, but overall, it isn't worthwhile. There are too many good Christian books to be wasting time on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sentimental, yet Truthful
A story about love, the shining barrier, between a pre-WWII American couple that leads to a life of deep living and true struggle with what life and relationship bring to each other. CS Lewis, God, and intellectualism all mix in a very well thought out and true to life way that make this a most timely and peculiarly important book. Three big events: the love of a couple, their conversion to Christ, and death all mix with how God must be faced in our lives. Touching, sentimental, yet truthful to the greater truths of what it really means to be a follower of Christ.

1-0 out of 5 stars spiritual exhibitionism
I wrote a review of this book a year ago, but it has been deleted. My opinion is unchanged. It is shallow, sentimental, and exhibitionist--a pathetic example of what passes for profundity in our time. It also attributes remarks to C S Lewis that no one who has read his books (or knew him)would regard as accurate. I earnestly hope it will soon go out of print and vanish into the obscurity it so richly deserves. ... Read more


195. Let Me Hear Your Voice : A Family's Triumph over Autism
by CATHERINE MAURICE
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0449906647
Catlog: Book (1994-07-19)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 4729
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She was a beautiful doelike child, with an intense, graceful fragility. In her first year, she picked up words, smiled and laughed, and learned to walk. But then Anne-Marie began to turn inward. And when her little girl lost some of the words she had acquired, cried inconsolably, and showed no interest in anyone around her, Catherine Maurice took her to doctors who gave her a devastating diagnosis: autism.
In their desperate struggle to save their daughter, the Maurices plunged into a medical nightmare of false hopes, "miracle cures," and infuriating suggestions that Anne-Marie's autism was somehow their fault. Finally, Anne-Marie was saved by an intensive behavioral therapy.
Let Me Hear Your Voice is a mother's illuminating account of how one family triumphed over autism. It is an absolutely unforgettable book, as beautifully written as it is informative.
"A vivid and uplifting story . . . Offers new strength to parents who refuse to give up on their autistic children." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Outstanding . . . Heartfelt . . . A lifeline to families in similar circumstances." -- Library Journal
... Read more

Reviews (61)

2-0 out of 5 stars Autism is not a "fate worse than death"
This is a well-written and interesting book. Catherine Maurice's devastating criticisms of the fraudulent therapies which attempt to make mothers feel guilty for their children's autism would alone make the book worth reading.

However, I have three very major concerns about the book.

The first is that Maurice presents Lovaas's version of ABA as the only possible option, ignoring the fact that there are other educational methods (such as TEACCH, Greenspan, or the various other techniques within the behavioural field such as the Koegels' modifications of ABA), which also have solid scientific evidence backing them.

Secondly, she also ignores the experts who have raised doubts about Lovaas's claim to have effected complete "recoveries" from autism, and who have pointed out that greatly improving a child's level of functioning, while vitally important, is not the same as a "cure". I've seen too many parents who read Maurice's book and immediately start to plan on the basis that after a few years of Lovaas treatment, their child will be completely normal. The overwhelming balance of evidence is that as a rule autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. We (I have high-functioning autism) may grow up to be independent, happy and successful adults, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, but we remain "different", and often experience great stress from the constant pressure placed on us by families and society to be more "normal".

Thirdly, I was worried by the way in which she constantly treats autism as a tragedy and a fate worse than death, and speaks of dragging her children kicking and screaming out of autism, forcing them to be "normal". Autism certainly doesn't make life easy (and I work with kids with severe autism combined with severe mental retardation, so I know just how difficult it can be), but nonetheless it's also part of who I am, not a "shell" in which there is a normal person hidden away. How would you feel if you found out that your parents viewed who you are as a tragedy to be cured at all costs?

ABA can be a very useful way of teaching, but I'm worried about people who use it not to teach children but to try to "force" them to be normal. There's a big difference between trying to help someone learn and function better and trying to "fix" them by turning them into someone else completely.

I'd recommend that people who read this should not make it their only book on autism - they should also read a more general account of autism giving information on the condition itself and on various methods of educating autistic children, and also a first-person account such as those written by Dr. Grandin.

4-0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Intellectual Introduction to Life with Autism
I found this book heart-rending, inspiring and informative. Maurice describes vividly the pain, terror, hope and confusion that a diagnosis of autism precipitates. She also presents in a clear-eyed way the difficulties of dealing with doctors, the seduction of fake miracle cures, and the continuing difficulties of parenting an autistic child when everyone's suddenly an expert on your kid and how to raise him or her. Maurice is a devout Catholic and described beautifully how religion affected her journey: I found these sections gutsy and inspiring. She does an excellent job providing an introduction to the best-documented treatment for autism, applied behavioral analysis. She also provides resources at the back for setting up programs, getting them paid for etc. Maurice does not make herself out to be perfect in this book: at times she is hot-headed, impatient and a bit of a know-it-all who has to bite back sharp comments. However, this is real life and I am glad she showed her strengths and weaknesses. If the book has any negative, it is that in one chapter Maurice spends a chunk preaching about how people today are not disciplining their kids. Since her oldest kid is only 7 when this book ends, it seems a bit premature to give others advice on the best way to raise children who will lead productive, responsible lives. However, she may be right. In any case, I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

3-0 out of 5 stars Offers hope
I found this book gave me much hope for what would otherwise have been a very devastating diagnosis for my 3 yr old son. I only wish the drills were described in more detail and that there was less religion and preaching. A good first read, but very sentimental and at times condescending.

2-0 out of 5 stars Positive plot, negative attitude
I have never lived with an autistic child. I can not speak for those parents who have to somehow cope with their child's disability. I am sure that this book provides some much-needed hope and inspiration to these parents, some of whom have also reviewed this book. However, it bears mentioning that although the plot is positive, the attitudes towards children with autism are not. I believe it is important to note that acceptance of a child no matter how they are is just important as trying to "fix" or "cure" them. This is a point regretfully absent from this book. Although many of the points made in this book are good ones, they are overshadowed by this absence. I thank the author for writing this book that seems to give hope to those who need hope most, but I warn against drawing all of your thoughts and opinions from the words of one other person.

5-0 out of 5 stars I felt like I wasn't alone
I am a mother of an autistic daughter who was diagnosed a few months ago. This book really inspired me not to give up hope! While reading this book, I would be in tears as to how realistic it truely is. How you preceive your own child. How you go through all the stages of defeat, over and over again! and to reading about the most uplifting little spirits who overcome HUGE obsticals over and over again! This book both breaks your heart and heals it. Great book to give as a gift to those who are an important part in a little persons autistic life who just "don't get it" or want to know hands on what you are going through as a parent. I would recommend to anyone who has autism in their life. Be prepared with a tissue box. ... Read more


196. The Harder They Fall : Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Addiction and Recovery
by Gary Stromberg, Jane Merrill
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592851568
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Hazelden
Sales Rank: 12091
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The heady, drug-induced decades of the sixties and seventies provide the backdrop for this all-star account of addiction and recovery. Comedians Richard Pryor and Richard Lewis, musicians Grace Slick, Dr. John, and Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night), actors Malcolm McDowell and Mariette Hartley, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright, writer Anne Lamott, and athletes Doc Ellis and Gerry Cooney are among the many celebrities interviewed for this inside look at what can happen when fame and fortune meet the recklessness and ruin of addiction. While the stories are as unique and vibrant as the individual celebrities who tell them, the irrefutable collective message is that addiction knows no boundaries. The disease strikes and topples even those who are seemingly on top of the world. Still, The Harder They Fall is a book of hope. In this modern-day version of the 1980s New York Times best-seller The Courage to Change, the famous people profiled have climbed out from the devastation of addiction to lead lives of extraordinary accomplishment. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book!
Gary Stromberg really tells some very compelling stories of some of the biggest names in pop culture.This book offers hope, some laughs and great insights into an insidious disease that effects millions.I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Wonderful!
Mr. Stromberg combines incredible insights and unparalleled celebrity access into a book that is warm, funny, touching and often surprising. This is not one of those books where you read what celebrities "supposedly" said or did...each page is full of meaningful, eye-opening, personal revelations. Mr. Stromberg lived it, and I am glad he's chosen to share his story and help others to do the same. A must-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Picked it up last week and must have finished this book in two or three days. I loved the Dr. John piece. Great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mind Altering Experiences
This book lays entertaining, healing tracks down in your mind!. Even if you're not a big reader, you'll have no trouble getting through it.It's a gripping collection of tales of the most fascinating, diverse celebrities you'd ever want to know, and I think their experiences are identifiable with all human turmoil. They reveal secrets and break through taboos, which is why you'll never forget what they say.

Julie Merle, New York City ... Read more


197. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail
by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446313645
Catlog: Book (1985-04-22)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 8443
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

With the same drug-addled alacrity and jaundiced wit that made Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a hilarious hit, Hunter S. Thompson turns his savage eye and gonzo heart to the repellent and seductive race for President.He deconstructs the 1972 campaigns of idealist George McGovern and political hack Richard Nixon, ending up with a political vision that is eerily prophetic.A classic! ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars political science for those interested in the inner workings
As a Journalist Hunter S. Thompson is by no means impartial. Instead of striving to give an unbaised account of events around him, he writes thing exactly as he sees them. That's the whole point though. In a sense, it's also a large part of what makes this book so very interesting. Thompson doesn't give the reader a glossed over "Road to the Whitehouse" view of politics; his book gives the reader a chance to look at the underbelly of those fat cats who scramble for votes every four years. It captures one aspect of elections that most people don't even really think about. Instead of jumping straight into the Nixon-McGovern battle for presidency, Thompson begins with the primary campaigning. He focuses on the turmoil that occurs within a party when it is trying to choose a suitable candidate. In this case, he looks at all the various democrats who were rushing to face the incumbent: Nixon. Thus, we're allowed to look at the political landscape, and know who the primary and secondary actors are. It allows you to see how Muskey and McCarthy were important then in the same sense That McCain and Forbes are now. For me, this was the most valuable part of the book. However, the actual contest between Nixon and McGovern is interesting, and worth reading as well. Fear and Loathing on the campaign trail is twisted , and hilarious. At times (if not all the time), one wonders just how trustworthy all the accounts that Thompson is feeding you are --the unreliable narrator. However, whether you chose to believe him, or not, his passion for the political scene is unquestionable. For all of his drug induced ranting, Thompson has a certain profound nature about him. His knowledge of the political figures of the time is extremely impressive. I would recomend this book for anyone interested in the political process, or political involvement with the media. Through Thompson's coverage, you can see the profound effect that mass media has had on the porcess of electing the president of this country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gonzo journalism at its twisted zenith.
Anyone wishing to truly understand the Age of Nixon should have three books in their collection: The Final Days by Woodward 7 Bernstein; The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon by Anthony Summers; and Fear & Loathing: On The Campaign Trail '72.

True, in this book Thompson focuses most of his attention and energy on the Democratic primary -- but that primary season was irrevocably shaped by Nixonian politics, and, in any event, Thompson did, surprisingly, manage to spend some time with the Nixon campaign.

F&L:OTCPT'72 provides a jaggedly sharp view of the inner workings of four Democratic campaigns: the primary efforts of Ed Muskie and George Wallas as well as McGovern's equally ill-starred primary and general campaigns. Thompson's writing is remarkably unclouded; he writes as he saw things, holding back no details and pulling no punches. Would that political reporting were always so uncritical and focused!

Of course, as with any Thompson book, this one is not without its moments of gut-busting laughter. The Doktor's savage daydream about convention delegate vote-brokering as well as a episode involving the "Boo-Hoo" -- a drunken maniac who harrassed Senator Ed Muskie during a whistlestop campaign tour of Florida -- are priceless moments of humor.

Thompson was never quite as crazed as he was in this book. Even in "Hell's Angels", Thompson was more of a reporter than a participant in the action. For this reason, F&L:OTCPT'72 is truly Gonzo Journalism at its peak.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Finest Political Journalism Ever Printed
This is probably my favorite example of political journalism, in that it is informative, insightful, but never dull. I'm not one for long reviews, and I think all that I could say about this book has already been said by the other Amazon.com people. I just wanted to tack five stars onto this book. Thompson's work here and in Hell's Angels probably inspired hundreds of people to become journalists, and I am one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars MAYBE THE BEST POLITICAL BOOK EVER WRITTEN
Hunter Thompson would despise me. I am a conservative Reaganite. I thought Dick Nixon a brilliant President. I think the Lord Jesus Christ saves my soul. Whereas I despise Michael Moore and do not think he speaks the truth, I admire Hunter Thompson, who is probably a lot closer to Moore's politics than mine. It is not just the passage of time that heals divisions, it is more than that. If I were to analyze Hunter's political nostrums, I would probably find much that I know to be wrong, and that Hunter had enough education and knowledge available to him to know it was wrong but he wrote it anyway. Still, whatever visceral reaction I have to Moore I do not have for Hunter.

I guess humnor must be why. Hunter is absolutely inconoclastic. He is side-splitting. He never smiles, and his writing has no funniness in it. I picture him writing out of dread and hate, yet it magically transforms itself into laughs when my eyes meet his words and transfer to my brain. Forgive my bad attempt to get into his head and "explain" Hunter. It's all I can do to try.

This book is phenomenal. It contains events that are different from any descriptions ever. Others have novelized reality, but nobody splits the difference like Hunter. Hunter's supposed on-scene reportage of Edmund Muskie coming unglued in the New Hampshire snow, Frank Mankiewiczs' furious (drug induced?) ramblings, the one-on-one with Nixon himelf, leaves the reader exhausted in an effort to separate reality from fantasy. Hunter is like the great con man who uses Truth to augment his lies. This is not calling Hunter a liar, it is just an example. The fact that I don't see this as lies is telling, and separates Hunter and his times from the current political climate, in which his spawn, if you will, the likes of Moore and Al Franken, try to make Hunteresque points but leave themselves exposed as obfuscators instead. The answer is that Thompson is just so much better than almost all other writers that he cannot be duplicated or even imitated. To try is pointless. Many, inclduing myself, have tried to be the "next Jim Murray," but like Murray nobody can be Hunter, either.

STEVEN TRAVERS(...)

5-0 out of 5 stars On the trail of McGovern
For all his gonzo journalism, Thompson has a very keen eye for politics, even if he backed McGovern in '72. This is a very engaging and very insightful study of the McGovern campaign and how, in Thompson's mind, it was the only hope in the miasma of politics at the time. He is unsparing on McGovern's opponents, particularly Humphrey, but saved his scorn for Nixon, whom the Democrats were desperately hoping to unseat. One of the most memorable scenes in the book (whether real or imagined) is when Thompson was called up to talk sports with the President himself on Air Force One. For a moment, Thompson puts down his guard, to engage in Nixon's favorite pastime, football. What you get is a heady mix of politics and humor as only the Grandmaster of Gonzo Journalism can give. The book remains unsurpassed in its candid view of a presidential political campaign. ... Read more


198. Steinberg at the New Yorker
by Joel Smith
list price: $50.00
our price: $31.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810959011
Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 152751
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Book Description

For six decades, Saul Steinberg's covers, cartoons, features, and illustrations were a defining presence at The New Yorker. As the magazine became a standard-bearer of taste and intelligence in American letters, Steinberg's drawings emerged as its visual epitome. This richly illustrated book, featuring Joel Smith's astute text and a captivating introduction by the artist's friend and colleague Ian Frazier, explores the remarkable range and unceasing evolution of a major American modernist-one whose art reached a grateful public not from museum walls but from the pages of the periodical he called "my refuge, patria, and safety net."

All Steinberg's New Yorker covers appear here in full color, along with over 130 examples of inside art, from black-line drawings to elaborate color portfolios. Also included are Steinberg's most beloved, intuitive, and brilliant inspirations, among them a New York populated with stoical cats, precocious children, puzzled couples, and a menagerie of vivid grotesques. A vibrant celebration of one of the most original and engaging artists of the 20th century, Steinberg at The New Yorker brings alive a genius, a magazine, and an era. AUTHOR BIO: Joel Smith has been the Fisher Curator at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College since 1999. He is the author of Edward Steichen: The Early Years. Ian Frazier is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. His previous books include the national bestseller Great Plains.
... Read more


199. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
by James Bradley
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316105848
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 752
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Flyboys is the true story of young American airmen who were shot down over Chichi Jima. Eight of these young men were captured by Japanese troops and taken prisoner. Another was rescued by an American submarine and went on to become president. The reality of what happened to the eight prisoners has remained a secret for almost 60 years. After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth. Not even the families of the airmen were informed what had happened to their sons. It has remained a mystery—until now. Critics called James Bradley's last book "the best book on battle ever written." Flyboys is even better: more ambitious, more powerful, and more moving. On the island of Chichi Jima those young men would face the ultimate test. Their story—a tale of courage and daring, of war and of death, of men and of hope—will make you proud, and it will break your heart. ... Read more

Reviews (141)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Book About War.
If you are looking for a feel good American heroes book this is not it. "Flyboys" is a very worthwhile and thought provoking book. There are times when it causes the reader to feel uncomfortable as it describes large scale and individual atrocities including cannibalism and mass murder performed by the Japanese that are very distressing to read about. Many of the previous patriotic reviewers I believe found it difficult to face the descriptions of the small and large scale violent and destructive American behavior even though it was dwarfed by the Japanese behavior.

The author remained remarkably non judgmental in his descriptions. He tries to put in context the violent behavior, although not to excuse it, by supplying relevant cutural and historic background.

The book invites us to examine the contrast between war time and peacetime humanity. Which is really us? Is war time meanness just kept below the surface during times of peace? It reminds us that when hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, that these are the lives of valuable individuals whether American or others. It emphasizes the remarkable heroism and perhaps the naivete of our servicemen particularly our "Flyboys." They were heroes especially because they completely understood the risks they were taking and proceeded out of choice because they were needed. George Bush Sr., as one of them , is featured as a sensitive and lucky(to be alive)hero.

The Japanese soldiers were brutalized by their officers and were required to follow orders without question. One gets concerned about group think and herd mentality. How independent are human beliefs and actions? Do we actually choose them or are we mostly a product of the society in which we were raised? We must intuitively know that it is wrong to bayonet a restrained man with a sharpened bamboo pole with the purpose of of causing pain, prior to beheading him while still alive, The officers who ordered this behavior earn our contempt. They force soldiers to carry out their orders as if they were slaves.

The Japanese "Spirit Warrier" believed that all orders originated with their Emperor who they believed descended from the Sun Goddess. In a way they were following their faith. Is it right to unquestioningly follow a religious leader or a religious belief ie Jihad,or perhaps to believe that followers of our culture are more worthwhile than the followers of other cultures. We must have known as Americans in the 19th century that slavery was wrong and that women should have the right to vote but it took us a long time to correct these injustices. Were we not deserving of contempt for thoughtlessly following the group think?

This is a history of WWII in the Pacific told mainly through a small group of people involved with the battle for the island of Chichi Jima by an author who is a truth seeking patriotic American whose father was incidentally a flag raiser at Iwo Jima. It raises our awareness of the horrors of war. It ends with some optimism and descriptions of forgiveness or at least understanding by memebers of both sides. There is even some real humanity displayed as Private Iwatake, who developed a personal relationshop with a subsequently beheaded cannibalized "Flyboy" named Warren Earl Vaughn, when phoned by the author, doing his research, answers the phone with, "Hello, this is Warren." He had changed his name to honor his dead prisoner.

4-0 out of 5 stars Has its faults, but important nevertheless...
I read about 20 of the earlier reviews of "Flyboys" as I struggled through the book this past week. Some of the negative comments are deserved, such as referring to the late Gen. Curtis LeMay as "Curtis" in half or more of the references to him. This is bizarre and distracting. Whether a result of careless editing or author-torial stubborness, it does not work. Also, I agree that the term "Flyboys" as a collective description of pilots, gunners and radiomen is over-used. I also agree that the book perhaps tries to cover too much history and abandons its cover story for too many pages at a time. Some condensing and reorganization would have enhanced its power. That said, many of the other negative comments seem to be unfair. Yes, Mr. Bradley dwells on America's mistreatment of Indians and Filipinos at length, including prisoners of war. Yes, he gives disgusting details of how our napalm drops on Japanese cities destroyed civilians indiscriminately. But he is not making up those facts. And to emphasize how easily combat and its stresses can make soldiers willing to do horrible deeds is not exactly the same thing as excusing the acts. I have read my share of WW II books, as I near 60 years of age, and "Flyboys" is the first one which sensibly explains how the Japanese fighter rationalized not only his willingness to die in already-lost battles, but his contempt for those from other cultures who chose to be prisoners of war instead. To explain the Japanese viewpoint, again, is not to excuse the acts. Nor is it unpatriotic.

"Flyboys" describes disgusting acts of brutality and cannibalism, and is ultimately a very sad tale. It is not a work that should be tackled by readers who are emotionally fragile. As most people reading this review will already know, Mr. Bradley's dad was one of the Iwo Jima flag-raisers, wounded physically by Japanese soldiers in that fight, and wounded in some ways psychologically by the whole of his wartime service. The fact that his son went off to study in Japan, and developed much respect for the residents there, must have been painful and puzzling for the father. But I don't think any intelligent reader of Bradley's earlier book, "Flags of Our Fathers" or of "Flyboys" can question the younger Bradley's respect for our troops or our country. One of our strengths as a representative democracy is that we can love our nation for having humane ideals even if we are imperfect in living up to them every minute. And we can learn from injustices committed in our names by our government or military agents, and change our ways.

I stuck with "Flyboys" right to the end, flaws and all, and I'm glad I did. It gets more powerful as it goes on, and it does finish the story of the eight Chichi Jima American POW's as much as it could be completed, so long after their 1945 deaths. We live in a time when we may be facing 30 years or more of sporadic war with terrorists and the countries which fund and hide them. To read a book which makes war and its (initially) unintended horrors seem like a step to be accepted only with the greatest caution is not a bad thing right now. While Mr. Bradley is not the smoothest historian/writer on the block, he shows promise. In some ways this book is better than "Flags of Our Fathers" despite its problems of style, language and organization. For sure, it is more important than the previous book, because the Iwo Jima battle story had already been well-covered in earlier works. Former President George Bush came close to being a prisoner on Chichi Jima, and plays a small part in this book. If he cooperated, and if he thinks Jim Bradley has done a service to the country with his research into the horrors of war in the Pacific from both sides, I won't argue with him. He was there, I was not. I'm glad I read "Flyboys" but unlike "Flags of Our Fathers" which I've read three times since it was first published, I won't be reading it twice. Its medicine is too strong for a second dose.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strays way off course
I am very offended in the tone that book takes in regard to comparing Japan's Chinese campaign with our final offensives in Germany and Japan. With all of the well written reviews I do not have much to add except to say that Japan was dead in the water and would have fought to the last man, woman and child. I also think that the nuclear bombs definately did create a new level of war and by doing so expedited the surrender. I am tired of people trying to apologize for America, the fact remains if they did not engage us then they would not have faced our wrath. The Chinese on the other hand recieved the barbaric wrath of Japan without so much as provoking them. I suppose we are supposed to draw a parallel in our manifest destiny or turn of the century Phillipine campaigns that were both in a very different era. By taking away all of Japans budget to make war America gave them a head start on creating a modern economy unparalleled in the world.

This book gets three stars for having some nice solid sections when it stays on task and does not get to preachy. If it wasn't for that I would have flunked it. The author has talent though and the read is pretty good being that is so severly flawed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to make of this book
First off, I find it surprising that this story was not told sooner, as it involved a future U.S. president (I suppose much of the information was not available until recently). I give Bradley credit for telling the story of the airmen who gave their lives in service to our country, but I'm not sure what to make of Bradley's commentary on U.S. policy before and during World War II. It's true that atrocities happen in war, and the actions of our military should not be whitewashed. It seems wrong to me, however, to try to draw moral equivalency between the aggressors, and those who fight that aggression at great cost to themselves so that others may enjoy freedom. I also reject Bradley's suggestions that all atrocities committed by the Japanese were a direct result of earlier U.S. actions, however wrong those actions may have been (Bradley's description of the Japanese corruption of the Samauri code seems to contradict his own assertions regarding this point). I rate "Flyboys" 3 stars for telling a story that should have been told earlier, but I have reservations about the revisionist history in the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, misleading title
A few months ago, I overheard an argument by two people over this book, so I figured I would read it myself to see what it was really like. I must say I was very disappointed. The first few chapters are not even about World War II. The title is misleading, for it is not really about "Flyboys", and the author uses it as a platform to condemn the use of airpower. Unfortunately, civilians were killed in bombing raids, but it should be remembered that it was the Germans and the Japanese who started this war. The author also sees very little, if any, difference, between the Americans and Japanese, yet he overlooks who rebuilt Japan. If Japan had defeated the US, would they have rebuilt our cities? I highly doubt. There are better books about World War II in the Pacific, and certainly better books that portray the courage of the American Fighting Man. ... Read more


200. Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic
by Martha Beck
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425174484
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 4880
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The "slyly ironic, frequently hilarious"(Time) memoir about angels, academics, and a boy named Adam...

A national bestseller and an important reminder that life is what happens when you're making other plans.

Put aside your expectations. This "rueful, riveting, piercingly funny" (Julia Cameron) book is written by a Harvard graduate--but it tells a story in which hearts trump brains every time. It's a tale about mothering a Down syndrome child that opts for sass over sap, and it's a book of heavenly visions and inexplicable phenomena that's as down-to-earth as anyone could ask for. This small masterpiece is Martha Beck's own story--of leaving behind the life of a stressed-out superachiever, opening herself to things she'd never dared consider, meeting her son for (maybe) the first time...and "unlearn[ing] virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage."

"Beck [is] very funny, particularly about the most serious possible subjects--childbirth, angels and surviving at Harvard." --New York Times Book Review

"Immensely appealing...hooked me on the first page and propelled me right through visions and out-of-body experiences I would normally scoff at." --Detroit Free Press

"I challenge any reader not to be moved by it." --Newsday

"Brilliant." --Minneapolis Star-Tribune
... Read more

Reviews (154)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you've ever loved an exceptional child, read this book.
Maya Angelou once said that "there is no greater agony than holding an untold story inside of you." This piece of work represents Martha Beck's luminous journey towards choosing to mother Adam, her son who was prenatally diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.

Like many mothers of exceptional children I've known, Martha has touched on the one theme most of us feel reluctant to talk about--that our lives are peppered with unexplainable, prescient experiences that served to pave our way towards accepting a child that a highly educated world often believes is less than worthy of a chance at life.

Because Ms. Beck's Harvard Education and academic's resume brings the reader into a metaphycial journey towards coming to accept Adam through a skeptics eyes, her story seems more credible than that of the average person who sits down to write a book that says "oh, but my child is so much more than what he seems."

Martha's tale is as convincing as it is spellbinding. Her range as a writer is vast--she is both a comedian and an accomplished dramatist.

Expecting Adam hits its intended mark. It reminds us that every child comes into this world for reasons that often lay beyond the realm of human reckoning. It offers proof that all lives have purpose, meaning and dignity. On top of all this, Expecting Adam offers the reader the benefit of an excellent writer.

As the mother of two boys with autism, one who "came back" and one who "didn't", I commend this writer for sharing her story.

Ms. Beck's experiences felt universal to me, and true in a way I can't begin to put into words.

When I look into my children's eyes, I understand without reservation that nothing is left to chance. Like Ms. Beck, I feel both humbled and awed by the opportunity to mother children like mine.

It is impossible to read "Expecting Adam", and fail to see that every life has meaning and dignity.

For all things, there is a season...

5-0 out of 5 stars Read the whole thing in one sitting
Martha Beck dubs her tale "A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic" and sets the imagination churning with her wit and wisdom. An account of a Harvard sociology graduate student from Utah who decides not to abort her Down Syndrome baby sounds more like the recipe for a tragedy than a satire, but Beck is full of surprises. For me Beck's book was a witty critique our success-oriented society, on academia, on pretense and on parents. Beck dreads the mindset that leads our society toward perfect babies, perfect students, and perfect breadwinners, and away from perfect content.

This story carries you high and low over the hurdles and under the weather with Martha all through her pregnancy. You feel the harsh sting of the truth, the terror of the unknown, and the crumbling of life-long plans. Over and above all else this book is a secret look at one of the ways in which life manages to outwit our calculations. The strong survive because they bend, because they stretch to fit the life that chance throws in their path. Perhaps those of us who plan our life events as though they were dinner parties are really weak, weak because we do not know how to rejoice in the unexpected.

5-0 out of 5 stars So many skeptics
It's a shame that people are unwilling to accept possibilities simply because it's beyond the scope of their experience. In reading the reviews here, I understand why people have trouble believing. But, they shouldn't completely discount someone else's experience just because it's different from their own. While I've had nothing in my life nearly as miraculous as Martha Beck's experiences, I've had enough strange occurrences to know that what she writes is absolutely possible. And, there are many people who have had extraordinary experiences. I wish the same for the rest of you who are too closed-minded to open up to the possible. Your life will be forever changed for the better.

4-0 out of 5 stars She swears it's all true, but......
I'm puzzled by this book still, several days after putting it down. Can it be true? Is it possible for someone to have the incredible good luck that Martha and John had during Martha's pregnancy? Or is the story the product of a mind half-crazy from dehydration, overwork, stress, and the knowledge that her baby will be born with Down syndrome? It's a credit to Beck's book that we're not quite sure!

Martha Beck is a very smart woman married to a very smart guy. They have swallowed the Harvard message that work comes first hook, line and sinker. Nevertheless, Martha and John manage to get into serious trouble through a sort-of-unplanned second pregnancy. Martha has an unspecified auto-immune disease which results in 9 long months of debilitating nausea. Her husband takes on an assignment which requires him to spend 2 weeks of every month in Asia while still trying to finish a thesis. She herself has a punishing schedule, also working on her PhD. They already have an 18 month old daughter to whom not a whole lot of attention is paid.

This would be enough to unhinge anyone, but then odd things begin to happen. Martha and John become convinced that they "know" their unborn son; Martha senses there's "something wrong," and when they discover the baby has Down syndrome, they make the improbable--at least for Harvard--decision to continue the pregnancy. At the same time some very good things happen--a generous friend takes Martha under her wing and probably prevents her from spending most of her pregnancy in the hospital, Martha miraculously gets her child into the toughest child care center around, and she somehow finds a way to communicate with John even when he's half a world away.

But some things happen that are hard to believe. Could she have been saved from the burning building by someone unknown? I'm not sure, and I had to wonder why an intelligent, pregnant woman would deliberately start down 10 flights of smoke-filled stairs with an 18 month old child in her arms. Could a life-threatening hemmorage mysteriously stop after Martha passes out form loss of blood? Not sure, and again I had to wonder why with her last ounce of strength Martha didn't call one of the faithful friends she had to bail her out. Can unexpected, wonderful things happen in life? Yes. Do people get saved from life-threatening situations they get into partly through their own fault, again and again? Not so sure.

If, however, you can suspend disbelief for awhile the book is very good in parts. I loved Martha's description of her son, and I wondered for the first time about the automatic assumption that every woman over a certain age will have amnio and abort if something is wrong. Surely Adam must have had problems, which Beck doesn't share with us, but the good times are truly lovely. I also thought her description of life at Harvard quite brutal but mostly accurate. I'm not sure that giving birth wouldn't have been a good excuse for late homework even back then, but Beck accurately portrays the way Harvard professors can completely terrify highly intelligent adults--I know from experience. And Beck makes a very convincing case that there's an alternate reality out there, even if you cen't believe everything she tells us.

2-0 out of 5 stars Expecting Adam, Not Expecting Fiction
It's a little hard to access the veracity of someone's magical experiences, but the veracity of the rest of the book seemed to lose me with each passing chapter. Beck's descriptions of Harvard reminded me of the movie Good Will Hunting - where the academic moral was that the folks who are janitors are in fact the truly smart people and the professors are inadequate boobs. But lucky for Martha, she has it both ways. (she's the OUTSIDER - making her smart - but with the 3 degree credential for her 165 IQ.) And did anyone out there buy the story about the Smurfs??? (This was my first tip off that she was inserting transparently ludicrous scenes that could be easily adapted to a Hollywood screenplay.) And the books she claims were at the Harvard Coop - such as "Pre-Law for Preschoolers" and "Toddling Through the Calculus" are certainly not in print here at Amazon. It certainly made me doubt a lot more incredible material when she was willing to fabricate such seemingly trivial details. Does anyone believe there is a daycare center that signs up parents 5 years before the birth of their child? And if Dr. Goatstroke was anything but a character out of cental casting, I'd be amazed. (apparently Goatstroke is the name of a town in Utah.) The litany of improbable events - near death experiences, strangers at the door with grocieries, car accidents, drownings - combined with the obvious factual fabrications - began to make me think this was supposed to be a satire. Somehow, though, from reading most of the other reviews here, people took this book SERIOUSLY. Perhaps like Martha, there is a profound desire for people to believe what they want to believe. ... Read more


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