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41. Black Like Me
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42. Maus II : A Survivor's Tale: And
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43. Chinese Cinderella : The True
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44. To End All Wars
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45. The Motorcycle Diaries : A Latin
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46. Wink: The Incredible Life and
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47. Pimp: The Story of My Life
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48. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend,
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49. The Promise : How One Woman Made
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50. Falling Leaves : The Memoir of
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51. Prisoner of the Rising Sun
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52. Maus a Survivors Tale: My Father
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53. All But My Life : A Memoir
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54. The Journey Of Crazy Horse: A
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55. The Complete Maus : A Survivor's
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56. The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
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57. Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing
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58. Survivors: True Stories Of Children
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59. A Small Place
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60. The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of

41. Black Like Me
by John Howard Griffin
list price: $6.99
our price: $2.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451192036
Catlog: Book (1996-11-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 13775
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American. ... Read more

Reviews (116)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Attempt
Black Like Me extracted a gamut of emotions from me; at times I was extremely proud that John Griffin wanted to understand the reality of living in black skin. While on the other hand I thought why what are we (black people) a science project.

Clearly as you read the book your questions change and your initial emotions are either magnified or remain the same. One question blanketed me throughout the book, why leave your privileged life to walk in the shoes of a black man or any minority?

This classical non-fiction journal of the writers experience was captivating and educational. Walking behind Johns' eyes allowed me to see my people and the actions of others in a different light. The author captures the accents and slang in such a way I could hear the characters speaking.

It is my hope that many different people will read Black Like Me, and realize that people are "human individuals" the actions of some or one does not represent the total race.
Missy

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Revealing, Readable
This gripping book helps whites to experience life from the other side of the racial divide. In 1959, author John Howard Griffin (1920-80) used special medication to darken his skin, and then traveled the Deep South as a black man in the latter days of legal segregation. The "Negro" Griffin encountered separate facilities, hate-filled stares, assumptions that he was over-sexed, and job options limited to menial labor. He found conditions slightly better in big cities like New Orleans and Atlanta, but never free of rudeness or indignities. Griffin also met a small number of whites that apologized for racism. When Griffin switched his skin color back to white, blacks became surly, and whites became friendly. Unfortunately, Griffin never ventured outside the Deep South, depriving us of a chance to compare racism between regions. In this sense, his stirring book is too short.

BLACK LIKE ME angered white southerners when published in 1960. Griffin (who'd once recovered from blindness) received anonymous death threats, and soon developed health problems associated with his special medication. Too bad we cannot step into each other's race the way Griffin did - it might make for a better society.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Eye-Opener
Racism has always been a sensitive subject for me. I've never been able to understand how a person could be judged based solely on their race. When I purchased this book, I had no idea how powerful and gripping it could be. Everything that I knew about racism was magnified as I walked with Griffin through the dangerous streets of the Deep South. I felt fear when Griffin was afraid, sadness when he was sad, and felt shock at the injustices that Griffin was seeing and experiencing - the same injustices that the rest of the nation was overlooking.

After reading this book, I feel like I have a better understanding at how raw and intense racism was only a few decades ago. I understand the founding principles of affirmative action better (though I'm still not sure what my feelings on that subject are), and other modern-day controversies regarding the subject of race.

It's hard for me to imagine that something like this was allowed to happen in the United States, and I'm sure many people feel the same as I do. A book like this is a constant reminder of what happened, and therefore a constant hindrance of similar occurrences in the future. Books and studies like these are the preventative measures that need to be taken in order to secure a truly colorblind nation, as Justice Marshall Harlan declared our Constitution to be in his dissenting opinion on the decision of the case Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Snapshot of Americana
The story is well described in all of the other reviews so I will not rehash it yet again.

A very interesting look from a unique perspective at the very start of the civil rights movement in the southern US. Forty + years later one has to wonder what it would be like for a new JH Griffin to repeat the experience. What would he find different? What would he find the same? In all honesty, a great deal has changed and great deal has remained unchanged. It would be even more interesting to have a white become black and a black become white. I'm sure that would be quite an eye opening report from the both of them.

The book just goes to show that a person can never really know what something is like unless they themselves have experienced it. Watching "Saving Private Ryan" doesn't make a person know what combat is really like although it can give an idea of it; a white person can never really know what it is like to be black although they may some idea, it is never authentic.

5-0 out of 5 stars To walk in another man's mocassins
It is said one cannot understand or empathize with someone else unless "you walk a mile in their mocassins." John Howard Griffin did just that, darkened his skin and took a walk into the Deep South to see how it would feel to be a member of a despised minority during 1959, the height of the Jim Crow years, when water fountains and rest rooms were separate for the races, when a black man or woman couldn't eat in a restaurant or get a hotel room. (It is said Bessie Smith, the great blues singer, died after a car accident because she couldn't be treated at a nearby hospital, for whites only.)

The book is of course dated, but it is unique in that it is a viewpoint that is undeniably credible. Here is a white guy, saying: "It happened to me, just because my skin was dark. Believe it." He suffers the indignity of finding everyday tasks that become almost insurmountable--to find a restroom, a bus seat, a park bench, someplace to eat, to be left alone with out fear of harrassment. And it's this harrassment and outright fear that changes Griffin to the point he had to finally abandon his project. He was changed by it.

The question I have is what would someone who chose Griffin's experiment find today? While Jim Crow is gone, the cultures still have a gulf between them. And since today, you won't see the "whites only" sign on drinking fountains that I saw as a child traveling in the Deep South, you should be sure to read this to get perspective on our history and culture. This is a brave book. ... Read more


42. Maus II : A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus)
by ART SPIEGELMAN
list price: $14.00
our price: $9.80
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Asin: 0679729771
Catlog: Book (1992-09-01)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 9302
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

MAUS was the first half of the tale of survival of the author's parents, charting their desperate progress from prewar Poland Auschwitz.Here is the continuation, in which the father survives the camp and is at last reunited with his wife. ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars touching and honest
Summary:
Art (Artie) Spiegelman is a cartoonist and the son of holocaust survivors Vladek and Anna Spiegelman. Art decided to tell his parents' story in graphic novel (comic book) form. The first book, Maus, covers the meeting and marriage of Vladek and Anna and follows their story up until they enter Auschwitz during WWII.

This book follows their story from when they enter the camp until they are finally freed by the Russians. This part of the story is also related in pieces as Art visits his father. Vladek was surprisingly resourceful as a camp prisoner and was continuously able to find positions where he was needed, helping keep him alive. Anna, on the other hand, wasn't always so lucky but she managed to stay alive. For both of them, much of what kept them alive was the hope of seeing the other person, which Vladek was amazingly able to arrange despite the men and women living in separate camps.

Eventually the war ends and they return, separately, to their hometown in Poland, though they have no knowledge of whether or not the other is alive. Thus, when Vladek, who arrives last, finally makes it home, it makes for a touching reunion.

My Comments:
This second book is definitely more touching than the first, though this is probably in large part due to the suffering the Spiegelman's experienced. This book also does a good job of bringing the story closure, though it took quite a while for this book to be published after the first one was.

Once again, the author is critical of himself by illustrating a rocky relationship with his father rather than everything being rosy. This self-criticism leads to my final point. I think the allure of these two books is that the author doesn't try to dress things up in a pretty package. He does his best to present things as they actually were (at least, as they were seen by his father). The result is that you see things like children having their heads bashed in by Nazi's slamming them against walls and a son who only grudgingly helps his father but at the same time uses him for his story (that sounds a bit harsh as I'm sure the son was inspired to tell the story just to share it, but he also made money off of it, so he did use him in a sense).

As I did with the first, I would recommend this book. Keep in mind that the book makes no pretense to be an objective treatise on the holocaust - this is a survivor's tale and it is at the subjective, individual level of one person who made it through. It is compelling and hopefully a warning for future generations about the potential maliciousness humans are capable of forcing on other humans.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "must-read" for WWII history buffs.

If you have ANY interest in WWII history or specifically the Holocaust, I implore you to pick up these two titles (Maus I and II). They are easy-to-read, informative, and HISTORICALLY accurate.

The author's/artist's method of detailing his own struggles with his family's past and present combined with his father's narrative of survival during the Nazi regime is quite effective. The reader is drawn into the story on two fronts - as Vladek (the father) the reluctant but resourceful witness to the Holocaust, and as Art (the son), who is searching for answers to questions on many different levels.

To those who are looking for Military History, I agree with the previous reviewer. This is not about the military. Then again, I don't think it was supposed to be.

In addition, people who have trouble with abstract anthropomorphisms should steer clear. If, having read Animal Farm, you found yourself fuming that the blue collar worker was being represented by a horse, you should also probably skip these.

Otherwise, read them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
The brilliant continuation of the MAUS story, I think I enjoyed the second part even more than the first. It's in this book that Spiegelman really brings out the connection between what happened then in Europe and what is happening now in America.

This is a more interesting part of the story from a character standpoint. The relationship between Art and his father Vladek is painted in its most frustrating and endearing tones in this volume. An amazing piece of historical fiction, and even better feat of interpersonal storytelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cuts Through the Numbness
There is only one problem with Holocaust movies and books such as Schindler's List, The Pianist, and Night: there are a lot of them. They tell these grim, heartbreaking stories which we ought never forget, lest we repeat them, but I fear that the overload of Holocaust images sometimes does the opposite. There is so much that they almost take on a marked unreality. We can almost become numb to them.

Then, there comes Maus, with the same type of horrors, the same type of events, but it manages to break through that numbness. The visual images are somewhat problematic, but I think it almost serves to make them more compelling, helping the bare emotion come screaming off the page. The modern relationship with Vladek and Art adds to the immediacy and modern relavence of the story also.

Maus is a powerful read and one which is essential for anyone studying the Holocaust.

3-0 out of 5 stars A continuation of a riveting story...
I strongly recommend reading the first Maus before starting this book. In this book, the author's relationship with his father is explored further, and we get to see how his father survived the Holocaust. The horrors this one man went through make it seem unbelievable that he is alive to tell his story. The theme of Art's struggle of accepting his religion is also explored as a sub-theme. The illustrations are also much more detailed than a first thought, so make sure you take a good look at them. ... Read more


43. Chinese Cinderella : The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter (Laurel-Leaf Books)
by ADELINE YEN MAH
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440228654
Catlog: Book (2001-03-13)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Sales Rank: 11879
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.

A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family.

Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice.
... Read more

Reviews (124)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Dream Come True!
Adeline Yen Mah has written a fantastic book after her best-selling book Falling Leaves. In this story Adeline or Wu Mei is given little notice from her family. That is because her mother had died giving birth to Wu Mei and because of that her family considers her bad luck. Without a mother, her Aunt Baba takes care of her and raises her like she would her own daughter. Even though she skips grades and gets higher scores in school, that is not what she really wants but the love and understanding of her family. Then her father marries a European woman named Jeanne. Niang (chinese for mom) disliked Wu Mei very much. Niang spoiled her children and didn't even like her stepchildren. Niang and her father had abandoned her many times in China. Her aunt and uncle had to rescue her from the communists once. Her grandmother and then later her grandfather had also died as well. Niang also beated her for going to her friend's birthday party. Later Wu Mei entered a writing compeitition and she had won. That was when her father noticed her and granted her wish of going away to college with her brothers. This heart- warming story with make you cry as you read! In this book, you learn how Adeline goes through her sad childhood as she tries to find happiness through her life as an unloved child of her parents.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Unwanted Child
Review:
Chinese Cinderella is about an unwanted daughter. Adeline was hated and neglected by her family, yet she still tried to remain normal. Adeline had always gotten top in the class and the best grades, but something her friends thought she lacked, style. After she was removed from her Aunt Baba, Adeline went to Hong Kong where she studied hard and won an international play writing contest. This gave her the chance, to go to England and study, 'It was like going to heaven''

Response:
Chinese Cinderella is the foremost and most heartbreaking story I have ever read. It is a true story of an unwanted daughter, Adeline Yen Mah. She was neglected by her family for they thought she was bad luck-her mother died when giving birth to her. For years, Adeline went through the torture of her stepmother, until finally, at once, she had a chance to leave and be successful. Her key was because of her grandfather Ye Ye, who had encouraged Adeline to enter a contest. She had won, making her father believe, that it was the right thing to send Adeline to England, for she had brought honor to her family name. By this, it gave her a chance to get out of her contained life, forever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is one the most amazing books I've ever read and probably ever will read, and I've truly read many books. Chinese Cinderella have a lot of fact and can teach you a thing or two or twenty about Chinese and Asian culture. But also give you a story that will make you cry, you'll learn about her struggle through the first years of her life. This is an unique "based on a true-story"-book and it's a very touching story and I recommed it to everyone!

4-0 out of 5 stars A true Cinderella account!
This is a really wonderful book,in a way,to those who don;t believe in fairy tales,especially Cinderella,here's a really great book-a real-life autobiography.
In the 1930s,a girl named Jun-ling was born into an affluent family with an elder sister and three elder brothers.Unfortunately,her mother died within two weeks after conceiving her,and she was soon considered to be a jinx.And that was when her life changes.

The poor rich girl was detested by her own sister and her brothers,and even her stepmother,a snobbish,intelligent and French-Chinese beauty.She lived in a lifestyle practically the same as Cinderella.Though she wasn't forced to do housework or anything,she has no freedom of her own,no new clothes(when the family was super wealthy).She moved from schools to schools,cities to cities,and witnessed the deaths of her beloved grandparents.What life is this for a child who was only aged 5-15 at the time?

Her sister picked on her,her brothers tricked her into drinking their urine(yep,they mixed their urine with fruit punch and told her it was a reward for her as headgirl),her closest friend,a little duckling was bitten to death by the family's dog,a German Shephard.The little girl longed to tell someone how life was for her;her friends thought she came from a loving family(when her stepmother cared for her own children than her-slapped the girl,hoped for her death and all really horrible stuff.Seriously,is this what you call a life meant for a human?

Adeline writes in a short and simple way.She tells her tale-not any fairy tale,though she did find happiness in the end.She won numerous awards as a student,has a passion for education.But nobody has ever cared for her.Each time she received an award,nobody was there with her.Her presence was almost inexistence at home.Her father hardly cared for his daughter,he did not even know his daughter's name and date of birth.Can one believe this? Reality was tough,reality was harsh,but the girl accepted it-without a word of complain.She did not give up,and promised to do well at school to live a life better than that of her family's.She became well-known for her flair of writng,went to London to study medicine,and became a doctor soon afterwards.This is a heartwarming tale of a girl.A true Cinderella.With a real stepmother.With stepsiblings(her own siblings detested her,what more stepsiblings?).And fairy-godmothers/father(her aunt Baba,grandad,friends).An amazing and truly profilic book to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to admit when I was first introduced to this book I wanted to put it back down because it looked liked a children's book and I NEVER have liked getting involved with the melodrama of the teenage worlds. But once I started reading I could not put it down until I had read it cover to cover. It touched me so deeply I found myself crying for her sorrow and suffering. A reader doesn't necessarily have to be going through the anguish that she went through in order to relate. Its theme is universal and I can now see why some schools are listing this book as required reading: because they might have been like me pondering weather or not to read it or not and wind up missing out one of the best stories I have read in a long time. It is so riveting that at times I forget that this is a true story. Now after reading this tale I appreciate my family more than ever before!!!!!!!! ... Read more


44. To End All Wars
by Ernest Gordon
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
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Asin: 0007118481
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 8788
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The best-selling classic of the power of love and forgiveness in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Dramatic, Powerful, and Shocking Book!
I could not put this book down! If you have any interest in the treatment of Allied soldiers during their stay in Japanese internment camps, just read this book. From the introduction to the final page, this book will shock you, horrify you, but amazingly, it will inspire you and leave you with a good feeling about what Ernest Gordon did and became before he died in 2002. Bless his memory and may this book live on forever!

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Account of Perservence over Adversity
This account of how a young Scot, captured by the Japanese in April, 1942, managed to survive the brutal treatment accorded POWs under Japan's control has endured long after Ernest Gordon's imprisonment ended, and will continue to endure and influence readers for more years to come. This book, originally published over 40 years ago, was one of the sources for the highly popular movie of that era, "Bridge Over the River Kwai," and the more recent "To End All Wars."

Some parts of this book are very difficult to read as Gordon, a Captain in a Scottish regiment, spares no detail as he relates the physical trauma, the diseases, the wretched conditions imposed by their captors and the senseless, sometimes unbelievable treatment by the guards of their captives . How to survive this vertiable hell hole? As he notes, without some sort of discipline and some moral compass for guidance, many men gave up hope and died. But Gordon found within the prison camp two people who selflessly gave of themselves when Gordon was literally at death's door to help restore him to physical health, of people who washed his sores, encouraged, prodded, and inspired. Through the faith of these two, one a Methodist, the other a Roman Catholic, Gordon reinvestigated the New Testament and from that learned and acted out the commandment to "love others", even including the brutal Japanese guards, as he would love himself. Using these simple teachings of love, encouragement, and selfless help to your neighbor, Gordon and others in the various camps were able to overcome the horrific conditions under which they existed. The melding of the spiritual and the discipline of order, neatness, and cooperation saw the POWs triumph over the evil of the system under which they existed.

The first part of the book describing Gordon's efforts to escape--he and others bought a sailing vessel that managed to get them half way to Ceylon--is an exciting read in itself. The second half, the journey into hell and return, is thought provoking and inspiring. It is also difficult for those who served in the Pacific theater, as I did, as to how and if I would have survived if I had had to bail out over Japan and was imprisoned. A sobering thought that one does not want to revisit for long.

Gordon came home to Scotland, entered the ministry, and served for many years as Dean of the Chapel, Princeton University. May he Rest in Peace. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

Reviews (30)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


46. Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield
by EdHotaling
list price: $22.95
our price: $13.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071418628
Catlog: Book (2004-09-24)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 19399
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Book Description

"After a number of up-the-track finishes by authors trying to emulate the success of Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a worthy successor has at last broken out of the pack . . .Winkfield's story is so incredible you'll find yourself wondering why you've never heard it before."
--MSNBC

"One of the most extraordinary stories in sports history is also one of its least known. Jimmy Winkfield was a gifted jockey and a remarkably intrepid man, and his life was a singular adventure. His is a story of persistence, hardship, and triumph, and it should be long remembered."—Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend

"In the entire sweep of American sports, from the days of a roistering John L. Sullivan in the 19th Century through the Tiger Woods phenomenon of the 21st, no figure made a bolder and more original odyssey of his life than Jimmy Winkfield, the poor son of former slaves whose brilliance as a jockey bore him from the winner's circle at the Kentucky Derby to the royal courts of Czarist Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and from Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany to the salons of Paris. In Wink, author Ed Hotaling skilfully reports and chronicles Winkfield's battles against racism in the New World--his courage and daring in escaping that most implacable of foes--and his success and rise to glory as a rider and then a trainer in the Old World. The tale of Wink is an illuminating and inspiring read."—William Nack, author of Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, and My Turf: Horses, Boxers, Blood Money and the Sporting Life

"It is phenomenal enough that Jimmy Winkfield became a dominant force in American horse racing half a century before Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But this two-time Kentucky Derby–winner's adventures after leaving to race overseas make his story all the more compelling. Ed Hotaling has a marvelous tale to tell. This is the stuff of great nonfiction."—Douglas Brinkley, author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War

"In this fine book, Ed Hotaling adds the texture of a rich individual life to what his previous work has already told us about the great black jockeys of a century ago."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., bestselling author, Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University ... Read more


47. Pimp: The Story of My Life
by Iceberg Slim
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087067935X
Catlog: Book (1987-06)
Publisher: Holloway House Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 26869
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (59)

4-0 out of 5 stars Disgusting, scary, but such an interesting voice.
I've got two completely different opinions about _Pimp_ and Robert Beck himself. One is glowing, the other terrible. Maybe that's what makes Beck and his books so interesting. First, the glowing opinion. Beck's style is like nothing I've ever read before. He claims to have a 175 I.Q. I don't doubt it. No one less brilliant could conjure up the metaphors and images he casually slings as if they were off the top of his head. The book is written in a loose, story-telling style, as if it was never revised, typos and all. Beck makes you feel as if you were standing on a street corner listening to a "fast track pimp" weave his life's yarn. Many times, I would read a sentence several times simply to admire the unique vision Beck gave to an action as simple as getting in or out of a car (a "hog") or thinking about his mother. The terminology is another, brilliantly colorful language (complete with glossary in the back!).Although the story dotes on his early years and then cruises through a couple of decades in a matter of pages, Beck's tale was never slow or anything less than gleaming. That is the glowing opinion. Now the terrible one. I'll try not to seem sanctimonious. To me, Robert Beck is (was) an alarmingly vicious hypocrite and psychopathic criminal. The book begins and ends with his tepid claims that he has seen the error of his ways and regrets his former life. These meager claims are ridiculous when you read the pride, nostalgia, and admiration with which Beck recounts his former life. In one passage in particular, his role model and mentor teaches him an unbelievable method to keep his whores in line. Whip them bloody with a wire coathanger. Beck eagerly tests the method. You can sense the satisfaction with which he regards the successful results. Beck tells us about breaking women's jaws and pummelling them senseless in the same manner he might use to recount old football victories. This is not a repentant ex-pimp. This is a retired pimp who is smart enough to realize that if he pays lipservice to reform and enlightenment, he will sell his books to a much larger audience. He certainly did make a nice pile of "scratch" off the stories he wrote glorifying his former lifestyle ("Long White Con" is the other Beck book I've read-- much more mediocre in style and plot). In the end, I recommend _Pimp_ as a refreshingly unique voice in modern literature. I certainly don't admire Beck's life, nor endorse the lifestyle (as so many other reviewers alarmingly seem to!).

5-0 out of 5 stars Iceberg - a diamond in the rough..
Slim's books could not have been written by anyone else. the genius of them derives from two things, slim's own lengthy and painfull experiance of the ills and games of the ghetto in his era and the poetry and downtrodden virtue of his sole. this is the story of his life and its a story worth telling, many have lived longer and not gone through half as much, the story weaves from an abuzed childhood through life as mean young adolescant and into his early days as an ambitious young pimp keen to hit the "fast track" in Chicago. from here on in it's a tale of abuse, drugs, degradation and manipulation as well as in it's own strange way love. However the story is only half the book and it's through the poetic telling of that story that we really get to meet the engrossing character,enigma and genius of iceberg slim. Slim remoulds street slang and lingo into a rich and textured prose which stands comparison with the very greatest writers, it's a pleasure to read (if a little hard to understand at first), it's also very cool and any young man who reads this book will find slim's slang slipping into his speech in no time. This story is engrossing from start to finish, Slim makes it out of the game in the end and became a writer - be thankfull.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pimp'd
Great Read - the story is amazingly original with the highs and lows of Iceberg's life detailed in an honest & direct manner. Reading this book, you believe everyword...mostly b/c it does not sound that glamorous eventhough the main character becomes enrapt with the lifestyle. Clearly, the reader has to step back and relaize that reading a life-story about a pimp is not the same as supporting prostitution...

4-0 out of 5 stars a little much for the typical reader
Having grown up in the Chicago suburbs and been in high school during the gangster-rap glory years, I was only exposed to the fantasy-end of pimp culture in music videos, etc. Iceberg Slim is not the pimp of the type shown on MTV - this story is full of desperation and regret. There is a real pathological hatred of women that plays out in Slim's foul treatment of his prostitutes. Homo-eroticism abounds in Slim's relationships with other, especially more senior pimps. Slim rots in confinement for some time, and guess what, he doesn't enjoy it. This story is good antidote to the pervasive and unambiguous sexuality that gets portrayed on the rap videos (at least, it was when I last watched one in the mid 90's), which ignore the truly aberrent aspects to the lifestyle that gets shamelessly glorified.

5-0 out of 5 stars MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF THIS BOOK!!!
ATTENTION: Editors, Directors movie makers, get to work on this book as a film. It's your duty to put this book on the silver screen, and if you do it, do it right. Don't leave out anything. This is real-life Pimpin' at it's greatest. No one man has been through as much as Iceberg Slim in the Pimp Game. In, 2006 would be the best time to have it out. But, mark my words this will make people open thier eyes to how trife life can be. THIS WILL BE THE BEST PIMP MOVIE EVER MADE. ... Read more


48. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco
by Joshua Gamson
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805072500
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 591461
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Book Description

A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change-the '70s-as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester

Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome-to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson-a Yale-trained pop culture expert-uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up-from the parties to the dancing and music.

The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing buta really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame asSylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
... Read more

49. The Promise : How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of1st Graders to College
by ORAL LEE BROWN, CAILLE MILLNER
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385511477
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 31934
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book.
This book is written the way that an average person speaks, which is to say that it rambles a bit and frequently repeats things;but it's an easy read that I think every reader (both young and old) should find very approachable.As literature goes, it's not a great work of linguistic mastery.That being said, this is an excellent book that I wish everyone would read, because there's an extremely important lesson for all of us here.

Oral Lee Brown first recognized the very root cause of the brutal cycle of poverty that persists in America (it's the education system, people!), and then she tackled that problem in one of the most extraordinary ways I've ever heard of.Her story is brilliant and inspiring.And as I said before, I hope that it reaches as many people as possible, and will serve as an inspiration to us all.Great story, great lady, 5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars AHeart of Gold
I first heard of Oral Lee Brown a few years ago when one of the children from her original class was accidentally killed. I read a little about Mrs. Brown and when the book came up for review I had to get to know the lady behind the heart. I was not disappointed, this book displays an angel in disguise.A humble woman who just wants to do all she can for those in need. Determined, dedicated and courageous are words I would use to describe her and each of the classes her foundation takes on.The child who initially inspired Oral Lee to start her foundation, was an angel sent from God, to help Mrs. Brown fulfill her purpose here on earth.In addition, to this being an inspiring read, there are tips on applying for college found at the end for both parents and students. If you need inspiration to do something you have been putting off, reading THE PROMISE will give you the motivation you need.

Reviewed by Eraina B. Tinnin
of The RAWSISTAZ™Reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars The author is a hero in my book....
Words fail me when it comes to Ms. Oral Lee Brown.We were living in the bay area when the Oakland Tribune and other media were reporting on her promise to send an entire 1st grade class to college.A real estate woman who was making less than 50k a year and a big heart and a bigger faith in God is what made her quest and her story so awesome.

And she made some big sacrifices and it did put a bit of a strain on her marriage and family life.And for some of the students parents who worked 2-3 jobs just to support their families, she would often step in and volunteer to attend PTA and parent-teacher meetings and report back to the parent(s).It wasn't just funds she was setting aside for college expenses but her time and energy.

As silly as it may sound she often gives as an example, that instead of buying shoes for her kids at Macy's she would buy shoes at Payless (just like many of us). And she would work more than one job herself.

What she shows is that if a woman who makes less than 50k a year can set aside money for twelve years to send a couple dozen kids to college, then a huge number of Americans can and should try to do the same.

What if a handful of citizens in a given city/town/village/community were to set up a foundation like she did, and raise money to put next years first grade class thru college in twelve years?

Education is power, and while we homeschooled, I still believe that no matter the educational choice, that any child who can get into a Jr. college or four year institution should have that guarantee of funding.

Ms. Oral Lee Brown is a hero of mine. ... Read more


50. Falling Leaves : The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
by ADELINE YEN MAH
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767903579
Catlog: Book (1999-04-06)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 21048
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.

A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China. ... Read more

Reviews (286)

5-0 out of 5 stars Falling Leaves: Book Review
Adeline Yen Mah begins her autobiography with the events leading up to her life that would eventually have an effect on either herself or her family. She painted a vivid picture as to the historical background of China, before beginning the story of her life. The events preceding Communism, which she depicted, helped one to gain a greater understanding of her life story and the effects of Communism on the Chinese. From here Adeline went on to explain her life story.

Being the youngest child, a girl, and having her mother die when she was born basically made Adeline an outcast and unwanted child to her father and her step-mom, Niang. Despite the oppression she faced from her family, Adeline became a physician in America. The heart-wrenching autobiography, Falling Leaves, evoked more emotions from me than any other book I have read in my life.

Adeline's stories were described with such emotion that would make one sympathize with her situation. For example, in one scene Adeline had been elected class president, in order to celebrate her feat her friends secretly followed her home. The family maid admitted Adeline's peers into her home. The party ended abruptly when Niang summoned Adeline to her room and began to demand Adeline to admit that she had invited her classmates over so they could see their fancy home. Adeline was being falsely accused and refused to admit to these accusations. Niang, in response, began to slap Adeline, until her nose began to bleed. The whole book overflows with emotion, however although a large portion of the emotions are focused on Niang's malevolence the feelings are not of hatred and vengeance, but rather of worry about what she can do better to please Niang. Adeline is a respectable person who could be considered a role model, because no matter how much hate and inequality was turned loose on her she would always be forgiving and strive even harder to please people. Her forgiving attitude reminded me of a young girl, Anne Frank, who also faced oppression throughout her childhood, as she stated, "It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet, I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." Adeline seemed to live by this quote. Upon reading her autobiography the reader can learn a great deal about life and one's attitude towards the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars _FALLEN LEAVES: THE MEMOIR OF AN UNWANTED CHINESE DAUGHTER_
Adeline Yen Mah's, _Fallen Leaves: _The Memoirs of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter_... is an incredible story. _Fallen Leaves_, would be a perfect book for adults who are very interested in the Chinese culture. However, teenagers with an interest in different cultures would also be able to appreciate the difficult life Adeline Yen Mah encountered. I would not recommend _Fallen Leaves_ for sensitive or extremely emotional adults.

_Fallen Leaves_ was written in chapters. Each chapter includes another extraordinary tale of Adeline Yen Mah's life. Throughout the story, Adeline Yen Mah describes what it was like growing up in an unwanted family. Her mother passed away after giving birth to her and her family blamed and recented Adeline for her mother's death. Later, her father remarried. Adeline's step mother was controlling and emotionally abusive towards her. Her parents eventually sent her away to boarding school. Adeline Yen Mah was so unloved that people at the boarding school just assumed that she was an orphan. The story may seem, at this point, incredibly depressing but there was hope for little Adeline. Her one true positive feminine role model was her Aunt Baba. Adeline's Aunt loved her and helped her overcome the hatred and abuse from her childhood. Remarkably, with strength from her Aunt Baba, Adeline Yen Mah was able to become a physician and a writer. If that is not strength and determination, then I don't know what is.

The one problem that I encountered with _Fallen Leaves_ was not knowing the exact order of events taking place. Although Adeline Yen Mah attempts to stay in chronological order, I often find my self having to look back at the chapters to determine when exactly an event was taking place.

Overall, I enjoyed reading _Fallen Leaves_, by Adeline Yen Mah. The book was extremely inspiring and interesting at the same time. Reading _Fallen Leaves_ has given me a much greater appreciation for my parents love and respect....

4-0 out of 5 stars Darkness and light
The writing is not spectacular: Mah after all is a doctor, not an author. But the, episodic narrative, while plain, is well written.

This book presents the story of a girl who endured unbelievable cruelty at the hands of her father, siblings, and most especially, stepmother, and yet grew up to be a kind and forgiving woman.

The enormity of Mah's stepmother's cruelty left me in shock at times. "How could someone be that emotionally abusive?" I thought. How could any child grow up to be a well-adjusted adult when she was forbidden to go to visit the few friends she had, or to invite them to her home; when she was dropped off at an orphanage as punishment for some triviality; when her rich parents suggested she go to a bank to get a loan so she could afford to buy a plane ticket to the States, where she had a job waiting for her. These are just a few of the many examples that come to mind as I type this. Mah 's stepmother was, in short, pathologically cruel.

And yet, as if to disprove all the nurture advocates in the nature/nurture debate, Mah grew up to be a forgiving, generous woman. As she reached financial security as an anesthesiologist, she used her money to help her siblings (and their children), though they'd done nothing but torment her for most of their lives.

"Falling Leaves" is a example of how good people are simply good people, no matter how society treats them, and that evil people can be unbelievably dark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Importance of Family
Adeline was born into a family that did not want her. Her mother dies two weeks after she was born. Afterwards, her father then marries a seventeen year old beauty named Jeanne and treats her like a queen. All of the children's names were changed. Sadly, soon enough Adeline was sent away to school wishing for so much more than she had. The novel had a very big impact on me.

In the beginning of the novel i was grasped in. I fell deep into the depressing words of Adeline. Her strive for a family that would love her made me want to read more. The suspense had me wondering what was going to happen next. As i read more, it got better and better.

I did not dislike anything about this novel. I would not stop reading until i got to the end. This book was very heartwarming to me and made me think about how important my family is. It will make you think of your closest to you and what they are doing at that exact moment. In Conclusion I recommmend this book to anyone who enjoys reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars It was kind of neat
My opinion of this book was that it was alittle alright if you love to cry. But then many parts of it seemed to be alittle to farfetched. Like how she cried because all she cared about was to be accepted by her father when she lost everything. Even though that is the right thing, she acted alittle to "good" and it was just annoying. She wouldn't admit that she was actually hurt that she didn't get that ownership to what her father had left her. But then she could've been AT least telling us that she wanted those things.

But then what I had just said was a bit too mean. But sort of true. Plus the fact that if you read this book you would JUST have to give sympathy to her and her childhood. For since she had been through something so rough and hard that you could not believe it. Awesome. Just simply. Awesome. ... Read more


51. Prisoner of the Rising Sun
by William A. Berry, James Edwin Alexander
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806125098
Catlog: Book (1993-05-01)
Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr
Sales Rank: 431703
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BETTER ONES I'VE READ
This is an excellent first hand account.It is rather well done, more so than several others I have read.I do wish we had more like this one.Very inspiring.I felt it gave even a greater insight to the war in the Pacific.Recommend you add this one to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Grandfather's Story
The author of this book is my grandfather. I found this book to be inspiring as I am also a soldier. I am in the Army and found this book to give me a greater appreciation of my profession as well as bring a greater understanding of my grandfather's life and why he is so proud. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand what POWs in the Philippines went through. I have lent my copy of his book to several of my friends and they all gave it great reviews as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars A brief first hand look..........
William Berry has written a well-detailed, although brief, look at his attempted escape and captivity after the fall of Correigdor. While not a scholarly look at these events, the author gives a good account of his capture, escape and trek through the jungle, recapture and liberation by American servicemen from Bilibid prison in Manila. He painfully recounts the agony these men went through as they were crammed, up to 13 men at one time, into a 10 by 10 cell and forced to sit, without flinching, and stare at the wall all day.

As a recaptured prisoner, Berry and his two comrades somehow survive the war, as the usual penalty for escape is execution. They were sent to the maximum security prison in Manila for "special prisoners", and many prisoners stopped here only long enough to be sentenced and shot. Berry, who was a fledgling lawyer before enlisting in the Navy, saw these skills save his life and the lives of his friends when being sentenced, not so much his arguments, of course, but rather how he shaped it to fit his audience(A Japanese tribunal)

This book does not take long to read, but it is an interesting tale, and well worth the time invested. But, if you want greater scope and detail of Americans in Japanese captivity, read"Prisoners of the Japanese" by Gavan Daws, an extremely informative and well-written look at the horrors these men had to endure daily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent. One of the best POW books I have ever read.
One of the few true to life books written by a WWII POW. As a history buff I find the first hand accounts in this book of the authors experiances andthe others he came in contact a first rate story of America's darkest time.A must for all those who want to know more about POW's of theJapanese.

Having been stationed in the Philippines and traveled to Battanand Corrigidor it brought the meaning of those visits a little sharper infocus. ... Read more


52. Maus a Survivors Tale: My Father Bleeds History
by ART SPIEGELMAN
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394747232
Catlog: Book (1986-08-12)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 13217
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Some historical events simply beggar any attempt at description--the Holocaust is one of these. Therefore, as it recedes and the people able to bear witness die, it becomes more and more essential that novel, vigorous methods are used to describe the indescribable. Examined in these terms, Art Spiegelman's Maus is a tremendous achievement, from a historical perspective as well as an artistic one.

Spiegelman, a stalwart of the underground comics scene of the 1960s and '70s, interviewed his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor living outside New York City, about his experiences. The artist then deftly translated that story into a graphic novel. By portraying a true story of the Holocaust in comic form--the Jews are mice, the Germans cats, the Poles pigs, the French frogs, and the Americans dogs--Spiegelman compels the reader to imagine the action, to fill in the blanks that are so often shied away from. Reading Maus, you are forced to examine the Holocaust anew.

This is neither easy nor pleasant. However, Vladek Spiegelman and his wife Anna are resourceful heroes, and enough acts of kindness and decency appear in the tale to spur the reader onward (we also know that the protagonists survive, else reading would be too painful). This first volume introduces Vladek as a happy young man on the make in pre-war Poland. With outside events growing ever more ominous, we watch his marriage to Anna, his enlistment in the Polish army after the outbreak of hostilities, his and Anna's life in the ghetto, and then their flight into hiding as the Final Solution is put into effect. The ending is stark and terrible, but the worst is yet to come--in the second volume of this Pulitzer Prize-winning set. --Michael Gerber ... Read more

Reviews (106)

4-0 out of 5 stars an interesting way to write about the holocaust
I just read "Maus" for my history class and thought this was a great way to write about the holocaust. While keeping all of the seriousness, Spiegelman chose a way write which would interest readers of every age. By making it into a comic book, it will definitely attract many teenagers and college students and teach them lots of interesting facts about world war II. I thought Spiegelman did a great job cutting back and forth between his father's holocaust stories to the relationship between his father and him, it continued to remind me this was all a true story. Overall, this was a very depressing story and also a very informative one. All the stories about Spiegelman's father continuously running from the Nazi's made me realize what I have in life. After I was done, I was still blown away that Vladek survived the holocaust, there were so many times where he could have been killed, starved to death or just times when he could have given up and decided that was it. The part where Vladek described the Nazi's killing crying children by grabbing them by the feet and smashing them into a wall was just horrible, I will never be able to imagine what any Jew went through in the 40's. To sum it up, I would definitely reccomend this book to people of all ages, a very unique book with lots of style. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, I'm sure it's just as good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good, very touching, very worthwhile.
I will admit I had to read this for a class I was taking about modern Jewish history. But I also chose to take said class and was very curious about the subject matter. Maus was the third and last biographical work that we read in class (Solomon Maimon's and Pauline Wengeroff's autobiographies being the others) and it was easily the most unique.

When I told friends that I was reading a comic book about the Holocaust I received many strange looks. But there was always one response that made people understand: The author's father survived the Holocaust and he wanted to tell his father's story in the medium he knew best. Art Spiegelman puts unsurpassed passion into this work that ties his father and mother's struggles in wartime Poland as well as his own struggles with his geriatric father thirty years later.

Told with a serious tone overlaid with characters where Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, Germans are cats, and the other nationalities are equally represented in animal form, Maus proved to be an extremely unique and endlessly fascinating and tragic biography. I have never been one for reading comic books, but Art Spiegelman's effort can do nothing less than elevate the respect anyone could have for the art form.

2-0 out of 5 stars Subject matter overshadows a very mediocre work
If one can truly see past all the cultural signifiers and content obeisance attached to Maus and simply judge the work on craft alone, one will find a fairly pedestrian work, well told, yet instantly forgettable.

Spiegelman has crafted a shrewd piece of media here, he has mined the true-life experiences of his grandfather to fashion a non-fiction biographic tale of internment in a concentration camp, replacing the Germans with cats and the Jews with mice. Such a choice is guaranteed critic-proof simply because of the subject matter. Publicly, one is not allowed to dislike Maus or find it flawed in any fundamental way; it fosters a mild form of cultural fascism against the dissenter. Recently discussing Maus with someone who thought it profound, I found myself dodging bullets of anti-Semitism and callousness towards the human spirit. But we must understand that Maus the graphic novel has virtually disappeared, its place taken by Maus the "Holocaust for a new Generation" and Maus the "culturally significant signpost of human dignity."

Granted the story is compelling. If Maus had been told as a straight prose work of non-fiction it would have most certainly been published and given average to good marks, quickly joining the legion of Holocaust literature. But should we elevate Maus to the ranks of the graphic novel pantheon just because Spiegelman is Jewish and he used his authentic Jewish roots to tell a story of the Holocaust in pictures? I counter arguments that posit Spiegelman's work as introducing the Holocaust to a new generation (sort of like re-inventing Shakespeare for the geek set?) with the idea that the generation itself should begin to question its own intellectual vigor when we must teach our children about the holocaust using a comic strip. In that case, forget the Bible, why not teach it through a graphic 'Chronicles of Jesus' format, allowing our children to get the story while abandoning the thorny arguments and contradictions that make reading any work of art a challenge to the mind?

I repeat, do we give Maus credibility for simply choosing subject matter? If we do, then we must re-think the way we judge literary works. We must then judge every piece of holocaust literature to be superlative, and regardless of its actual merit, place it on a hallowed shelf above all other literature. We must then judge every piece of art or media the same. In this new critical paradigm, if a graffiti artist painted a series of stick figures across a barren factory wall but above them sprayed the name "Auschwitz," we should take care not remove them. However, if that same artist simply painted a wall full of stick figures, they should be removed post-haste and a steep fine levied against the artist.

I am tired of works being given credibility for subject matter and not for craft. Maus is not a bad book, and may well foster early discussions with children or adolescents about the holocaust. But judged by artistic merit and craft alone it hardly belongs on the same shelf as Watchmen, From Hell, or Miller's Batman writings. In those works, the writers crafted dense literary works that truly transcended the genre and used the form in novel and interesting ways. They did not rely on content alone to sell mediocre work.

3-0 out of 5 stars Less than I expected
I'm Jewish and easily depressed, so I expected to be very moved by this tale. But I wasn't. I was freaked out-Art portrays Jewish life well and I was honestly scared for the characters-but not moved. I did not cry. Then again, I'd probably give it four stars if it weren't for my high expectations. I'm definitely definitely going to buy the next installment though.

I disagree with people who say Polish people are portrayed negatively in this book, aside from the fact that he portrays them as pigs. Most of the Poles in this book were nice-they hide in the house of a Polish lady, there housekeeper is Polish. Of course, at one point you have Polish people being anti-semitic but what do you expect? No Poles actually hurt the Spiegelman's, though they do occaisonally put them in jeopardy by yelling that there is a Jew in the yard. I think the animals are meant to portray stereotypes. Vladek has disdain for the Poles, and Art shows that by making them pigs. That doesn't mean that the Poles are bad, that's just how Vladek is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful comic book!
This book is one that caught me in its clutches instantly! For those who are interested in the Holocaust and are sick of stories of Anne Frank(no offense), this is perfect! Summary: The author of this book, Art Speigelman, goes to visit his father, Vladek, and learn of his story of living in Hitler's Europe. Art also tries to understand his father's changes that have happened due to his experiences. Art's stepmother, Mala, complains that Vladek is too uptight and doesn't care about her. Vladek complains that all Mala cares about is his money. Art's struggles show how even the children of the survivors have to survive. Review: This book took me away. For a story of the Holocaust, this hits a home run. Never before have I read a book like this. A tale like this deserves to be read by everyone. ... Read more


53. All But My Life : A Memoir
by Gerda Weissmann Klein
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0809015803
Catlog: Book (1995-03-31)
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Sales Rank: 18575
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey.

Gerda's serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of "all but her life."By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps, with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead.

Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda's beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century's terrible history of devastation and prejudice, yet offers them hope that the effects of hatred can be overcome.
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Reviews (66)

4-0 out of 5 stars Moving account of Holocaust experience
In *All but My Life*, Gerda Weissmann Klein tells us the story of a young girl forced into the events of the Nazi Holocaust. The story of a family torn apart never to see one another again. The story of Nazi work camps and death camps and seemingly endless inhumanity. Sadly, this story was her own.

Klein provided a heartwrenching account of the events leading from her teens to her adult years. We met her family, lived vicariously through her relationships with friends and neighbors and hoped and prayed the Nazis never capturedd the Weissmanns. But the inevitable occurred.

Over the years that Gerda was a prisoner of the Nazis, we learned of the unspeakable acts the Germans performed. And we cried with Gerda through her experiences. And we finally felt the joy of freedom and the love relationship that ensued.

*All but My Life* should go up on our shelves next to *Schindler's List* and *The Diary of Anne Frank*. It's an absolute must read and a classic. Thank you, Gerda, for showing all of us what must not ever happen again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Saved by her boots--and her soul
On the hot June day that Gerda Weissmann left her home for the last time, her father insisted that she wear her hiking boots. Gerda resisted, but an unspoken plea in her father's eye convinced her to strap them on. During a death march from January through April of 1945, those boots saved Gerda Weissmann's life. Many other women died of cold and starvation, but most fell for simple lack of footwear. Her camp sister, with whom she survived the worst horrors in several concentration and slave labor camps, died of exhaustion at a water pump minutes after American liberators freed the women from the march.

Ms. Klein's tale about her boots, screened at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, led me to her book. I wanted to know every detail--although, over the years, I have been privileged to hear many personal accounts from Holocaust survivors I know. Too many still cannot not speak about what they lived through. Millions never had the chance at all. By itself, the silence of the majority makes Ms. Klein's testimony priceless, like every other personal Holocaust chronicle. So does her reminder not to take anything for granted. So does her gem of a soul. Alyssa A. Lappen

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be high school required reading
As a Protestant with German ancestors I wish every high school would require this book. Poetically written with emotional sensitivity this far surpasses 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Catcher in the Rye' that my daughter and so many high schoolers are STILL required to read. This is true, it is historical, it is politcal, it is human, we can learn from it on EVERY level. Not only that we come to love Gerda, the author, in the reading of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A reader's favorite book
This book held my attention from page one, until the very end. I actually have read this book( or at least large parts of it) ten or more times. I was so riveted by Gerda's story that I went to my local library to find out MORE about Gerda. She has written a few other books, interesting too, but this is her best. ALL BUT MY LIFE so impressed me that I felt the need to visit the US Holocaust Museum in Washington,DC. I have chosen this book for my book club selection next month, although I really read it the first time about 5 years ago. I was initially concerned that it was not "mainstream" enough for my book buddies, but...we will see. I have read voraciously for my entire reading life, which would be about 40 years or so, and I think this book IS my absolute favorite.

5-0 out of 5 stars impressive... truly.
This book was assigned by my English teacher. The first page, i thought of reading it as a chore. After that, i couldnt put it down. i read the whole thing in two days. It was remarkable!! This showed what the Holocaust was really about. The Holocaust wasn't just about the millions of Jews that were killed- it was about real people being killed, real people losing all hope to live, among Gerda. When liberation day came around, it didn't mean much. The very few survivors still had a life to rebuild. Gerda told her own remarkable story of what happened to her. Gerda goes from camp to camp, hardship to hardship, but learning valuable lessons about life in gerneral on the way. This book deserves way more than 5 stars- everyone should read it. ... Read more


54. The Journey Of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History
by Joseph M., III Marshall
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670033553
Catlog: Book (2004-10-07)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 1965
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Book Description

Most of the world remembers Crazy Horse as a peerless warrior who brought theU.S.Army to its knees at the Battle of Little Bighorn. But to his fellow LakotaIndians, he wasa dutiful son and humble fighting man who—with valor, spirit, respect, andunparalleledleadership—fought for his people’s land, livelihood, and honor. In thisfascinatingbiography, Joseph Marshall, himself a Lakota Indian, creates a vibrant portraitof theman, his times, and his legacy.

Drawing on firsthand research and his culture’s rich oral tradition (rarelyshared outsidethe Native American community), Marshall reveals many aspects of Crazy Horse’slife,including details of the powerful vision that convinced him of his duty to helppreservethe Lakota homeland—a vision that changed the course of Crazy Horse’s life andspurredhim confidently into battle time and time again.

The Journey of Crazy Horse is the true story of how one man’s fight forhispeople’s survival roused his true genius as a strategist, commander, and trustedleader.And it is an unforgettable portrayal of a revered human being and a profoundcelebrationof a culture, a community, and an enduring way of life. ... Read more


55. The Complete Maus : A Survivor's Tale
by ART SPIEGELMAN
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679406417
Catlog: Book (1996-11-19)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 26413
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Volumes I & II in paperback of this 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning illustrated narrative of Holocaust survival. ... Read more

Reviews (107)

5-0 out of 5 stars More subtle than can be understood in a single reading
These books are an easy and fast read, but by no means are they simple. In two slim comic books, Art Spiegelman chronicles his parents' movement from comfortable homes in Poland to the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and from there to a surreally banal afterlife in upstate New York. We watch the destruction of the Holocaust continue in Spiegelman's father's transformation from a bright, good-looking youth to a miserly neurotic, his mother's deterioration from a sensitive, sweet girl into a suicide, and in the author's own unhappy interactions with his parents.

I have read some of the most negative reviews of these books, and I respectfully disagree. Some negative reviews ("Spiegelman is a jerk") castigate Spiegelman for his shamefully self-interested milking of his father's life and the Holocaust. Other negative reviews find fault with the unoriginality of the story, or discover historical inaccuracies, self-contradictions, or simplifications in the tale. Finally, a set of reviews are upset with Spiegelman's coding of people of different nationalities as animals(especially the Poles, who were also victimized by the Nazis but are depicted as pigs in the comics.)

The first criticism is both deserved and unfair. Deserved, because Spiegelman profits by the pain and death of millions, including his own family. Unfair, because Spiegelman himself consciously provides the basis for our criticism that he mocked and neglected his elderly father at the same time that he fed his own success upon his father's tales. The two volumes echo with his regret and unexpiable guilt at his treatment of his parents, and at his own success and survival. To attack Spiegelman for these things is like scolding a man in the midst of his self-immolation.

The second type of criticism finds _Maus_ to be sophomoric, inaccurate, or repetitive of other Holocaust survivor's experiences. The defense here is that Maus is the story of a single family, seen through the eyes of a single man (Vladek Spiegelman), and filtered again through his son. It is almost certain that the elderly Vladek forgot, exaggerated, or hid details, just as it is certain that his son summarized and misunderstood. However, the quasi-fictionalized format of the comic book throws this subjectivity into relief. The destroyed diaries of Spiegelman's mother are a reminder of the millions of life stories left untold, including stories perhaps too horrible and shameful for the survivors to reveal. _Maus_ does not claim to be an objective, authoritative history of the Holocaust, and in fact tries to emphasize its own limitations.

While other works may better convey the Jewish experience in the Holocaust, the innovative format of _Maus_ justifies its existence, as it allows the story to reach a greater audience.

Finally, many have objected to the negative stereotyping of the many peoples appearing in the book, especially the Poles. Spiegelman draws the Jews as innocent mice, but the Germans as bloodthirsty cats, and the Poles as selfish pigs. More amusingly (because they appear infrequently in the story) the French are drawn as frogs, the Swedes as reindeer, and the British as cold fish. The Americans are dogs, mainly friendly bow-wow dogs but also sometimes cold-eyed predators capable of pouncing on a mouse or rat. I believe that the wrongness of stereotypes was a major reason why Spiegelman used them. The Nazis are recorded as having called the Jews "vermin" and the Poles "pigs". Whether they had the qualities of these animals or not, they were treated as such... and such they were forced to become despite themselves. The Jews had to hide, hoard, and deceive; the Poles were compelled to act out of self-interest just to survive.

In other words, I think that Spiegelman's stereotypes were a deliberate choice. The WHOLE POINT of _Maus_ is how the dehumanization of the Holocaust twisted people beyond their capacities... how the camps tried to make people as ugly and despicable as their worst racial stereotypes, by making them all alike in their fear. Sometimes they succeeded.

Neither Poles nor Germans are depicted as only selfish, cowardly, and cruel in _Maus_. In fact, there are many Polish in Spiegelman's books who are shown as fellow-sufferers, or kind despite the risks to their own lives, just as there were Jews who betrayed their own. Look closely at the drawings-- I open Maus II to a random page, and see both pigs and mice in the prison suits, both as capos and victims. Who is the kind priest who renews Vladek's hope on page 28? A Pole! Even the Germans are seen to suffer from the war, caught by powers beyond their control. Meanwhile, Vladek himself is shown to be an inflexible racist (II, p. 98).

I argue, therefore, that the above criticisms of _Maus_ show a hasty reading of the books and poor comprehension of how an artist(even of non-fiction) chooses to convey a theme.

As a non-European, I have no personal investment in Jewish, German, or Polish points of view. However, as a second-generation American and child of war survivors [a civil war, so we are both victims and oppressors], I have a chord that resonates with the story of the Spiegelmans. I just re-read "Maus II" this afternoon and found to my amazement that it was still able to draw tears. In fact, when I first read the Maus books ten years ago I don't recall them affecting me so deeply... but I was younger then and had only an intellectual understanding of many things, such as love, fear, guilt, death, and weakness.

I wholeheartedly recommend these books to those who are willing to read them more than once. If you are not moved by them now, perhaps later you will be. Meanwhile, let's do our best to stop such suffering around the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Allegory
A veteran of the underground comic scene in the 1970s and a more recently a cover artist for the New Yorker, in the late 80s, Art Spiegelman undertook a project of interviewing his father Vladek, a Polish Jew who survived the holocaust in Auschwitz. He turned the narrative into an allegorical, graphical representation of the ordeal, in which Europe is a menagerie of humans behaving at our raw, animalistic worst, and perhaps best as well. Umberto Eco claimed that "Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep." This was certainly true for me when I read it. Perhaps the only 'comic book' (as inappropriate as that term may be here) to win a Pulitzer Prize, Maus is gripping and compelling. Some have criticized it for relating simply a story which was no more remarkable than millions of others. Can anything different be said, however, of Night, or The Diary of Anne Frank? Does that make it any less important that the story be told? And yet, in Spiegelman's cat and mouse play, where moral virtues, failings, and decrepitude are writ large, Maus is also exceptional because of the strength of its allegory, which is almost Spenserian in its strength.

1-0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Sanctimonious Telling of the Holocaust
This is yet another sanctimonious telling of the Holocaust. Maus is the blatant type of trivialization being taught to our children that leaves most unaware of the other victims of the holocaust. For American school children the Holocaust has become synomous with Jewish history. Maus simply reinforces most historical literature which focuses on the six million Jewish victims to the exclusion of the nine million Gentile victims. This book goes so far as to portray one of the Nazis other targets, the Poles, as fattened pigs going about their business unmolested by the Germans! There were three million non-Jewish Poles who perished in this tragedy, many trying to save their Jewish neighbors. Shame!

"The genocidal policies of the Nazis resulted in the deaths of about as many Polish Gentiles as Polish Jews, thus making them co-victims in a Forgotten Holocaust. This Holocaust has been largely ignored because historians who have written on the subject of the Holocaust have chosen to interpret the tragedy in exclusivistic terms--namely, as the most tragic period in the history of the Jewish Diaspora. To them, the Holocaust was unique to the Jews, and they therefore have had little or nothing to say about the nine million Gentiles, including three million Poles, who also perished in the greatest tragedy the world has ever known. Little wonder that many people who experienced these events share the feeling of Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, who anxious when the meaning of the word Holocaust undergoes gradual modifications, so that the word begins to belong to the history of the Jews exclusively, as if among the victims there were not also millions of Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, and prisoners of other nationalities." Richard C. Lukas, preface to The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles under German Occupation 1939-1944

1-0 out of 5 stars Anti-Polish Propaganda
While this a moving account of one families experience during the holocaust, the depiction of Poles as pigs in Spiegelman's "Maus" an unfair and highly insulting caricature. Poles suffered horribly under Nazi occupation. No nations suffered worse. Six million Poles were murdered. Roughly half were Jewish and half Gentile. In fact exterminating Poles was also part of the Nazi master-plan. They were victims and to portray them as pigs is a grave injustice. While I read the reviews pointing out pigs have positive traits or are neutral animals, it is disingenuous to present the selection of the pig as representative of the Pole as anything but a slur. Germans are shown as cats. This is no wonder since cats chase mice. Apart from that, cats are quite nice animals. This, however, does not pertain to pigs. I suggest when reading this book you research the positive events in the 1000 history of Polish Jews. For starters, visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Over 11,000 'Righteous Gentiles' are honored; almost 5,000 are Polish. These are non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

5-0 out of 5 stars A landmark comics work
"Maus," Art Spiegelman's moving tale of the Holocaust and how it impacts a family a generation later, is hailed as a comics classic for a reason. It is a landmark work that transcends the term "comics."

Through the seemingly absurd decision to use animals in place of people - Jews are mice, for instance, while Nazis are cats - Spiegelman manages to avoid coming across as heavy-handed, exploitative and melodramatic. The reader never feels that they are reading an educational tome with badly drawn people better suited for school than compelling entertainment. Instead, through the use of universal cartoon imagery, the emotional tug of the story is successfully conveyed.

Two threads are woven throughout. The first deals with the Holocaust directly, from the years before Jews were taken to the camps and then to release. The second thread deals with Spiegelman's relationship with his father many years later, and that relationship's ups and downs as the author tries to get the oral history he needs to tell the tale of "Maus." All of the pain, confusion, death, turmoil and horror of the Holocaust comes home, as does the autobiographical tale interwoven throughout of the author's relationship with his father - who is also the central figure of Holocaust survival.

Modern editions of this book ("Maus" was originally published in serial form) are generally produced very well. The two-book slipcase offered here is sturdy and attractive to look at. The pages are printed on thick, glossy stock. The black and white artwork really shines, every stroke visible and vibrant. Mine has been read multiple times and still looks great.

"Maus" is compelling reading that requires no great love of comics to enjoy. History lovers, those interested in the Holocaust, and people who like stories about family struggles will enjoy this. Readers will quickly forget they are reading a comic, instead becoming wrapped up in the story Spiegelman has to tell. A highly recommended buy. ... Read more


56. The Scalpel and the Silver Bear : The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing
by LORI ALVORD, ELIZABETH COHEN VAN PELT
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553378007
Catlog: Book (2000-06-06)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 59817
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first Navajo woman surgeon combines western medicine and traditional healing.

A spellbinding journey between two worlds, this remarkable book describes surgeon Lori Arviso Alvord's struggles to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in Gallup, New Mexico--and to bring the values of her people to a medical care system in danger of losing its heart.

Dr. Alvord left a dusty reservation in New Mexico for Stanford University Medical School, becoming the first Navajo woman surgeon. Rising above the odds presented by her own culture and the male-dominated world of surgeons, she returned to the reservation to find a new challenge. In dramatic encounters, Dr. Alvord witnessed the power of belief to influence health, for good or for ill. She came to merge the latest breakthroughs of medical science with the ancient tribal paths to recovery and wellness, following the Navajo philosophy of a balanced and harmonious life, called Walking in Beauty. And now, in bringing these principles to the world of medicine, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear joins those few rare works, such as Healing and the Mind, whose ideas have changed medical practices-and our understanding of the world.

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Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Scalpel and the Silver Bear
This book explores the remarkable journey of a Navajo women who leaves the reservation to train as a surgeon. It contrasts traditional Navajo practices with those of western medicine and illustrates how one women was able negotiate two worlds at odds with one another. The book provoked me to re-evaluate some of my assumptions of western medicine and heightened my awareness of cultural differences in philosophy of medical care. The book is thought-provoking and inspirational. A quick and easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK
I picked up this book and I could NOT put it down. What a wonderful journey described here....how she interlocks traditional medicine with Navajo, how harmony and positive spirit is such a process in the healing world. You will not be disappointed with this read. I have shared this with all those close to me. Make it part of your list

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid credentials but too abstract
--Dr Alvord writes about her journeys as a Native American student and physician. The book seems clearly designed for non-technical readers rather than the professional medical community, and there's little medical jargon. She uses her own difficult pregnancy and the death of a beloved grandmother as case studies in integrating Western medicine and Navajo ideas.
--On the one hand, it's worth reading this book just to hear such an inspirational story from such a role model. Dr Alvord tells her story with dignity and courage and she has many good ideas about listening to patients and integrating Balance and Harmony in our profession (although these ideas don't seem as radical or as rare within the medical community as she seems to imply, and I don't think she does anyone a great service by implying they are).
--On the other hand, the authors remained disappointingly abstract, even given the limitations of confidentiality and space. The stories of Navajo healing barely scratched the surface and the book was pretty scanty with practical advice that would help non-Native healers understand Native American patients. I'd love to have heard her perspectives on the magnitude of Native American health problems, how she handled the constant pressures of time and funding, or how she successfully used traditional Native American methods to help manage serious medical-social problems (i.e. alcohol use, diabetogenic diets, family pressures, basic compliance and responsibility issues, etc). In short, I'd like to have heard more about her successes.
--The book's perspective gives a good counterpoint to those who criticize Western medicine as too impersonal/sterile/uncaring/whatever, while they fail to demonstrate how to predictably improve things and still efficiently deliver technically competent health care to people with different levels of motivation and understanding. Western medicine works beautifully in its own niche, but it will be made to work less efficiently if we mess around with the wrong things. Perhaps medicine will improve if we balance the responsibilities of patients to live a healthy lifestyle with the responsibilities of healers to carefully listen to patients and then help them heal.
--This book did not practically help me to do this, so I cannot give it five stars despite my respect for her credentials. I do look forward to a sequel.
--Other books which may be of interest include Blessings (by Dr. A. Organick), The Dancing Healers, and Primary Care of Native American Patients.

5-0 out of 5 stars What We All Want in a Doctor
This book was recommended by a friend, and after I read it, I chose it as my selection for my book club. Living in the Southwest, the insight into Native American culture was especially educational. Alvord seems to confirm what so many of us as patients have been saying for years: give us a doctor who will take the time to get to know us on a personal level and treat the whole person. I would recommend this to men and women, young and old alike! What an amazing woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars Made me homesick!
I can't tell you how helpful this book was to me in gaining insight to myself and my own heritage. I too grew up on the "rez", or the Navajo Nation, not far from where Ms. Alvord grew up. (In fact, I am related to her by clan!) I also grew up half Navajo and half white. This book helped me to understand many of the characteristics and traits that I have and the cultural significance underlying them, as I was raised non-traditionally. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially Native youth, because it shows that anyone can achieve their dream. I am very proud of Lori Alvord for being willing to share her story and show the Western medical world the importance of Native/Indigenous healing practices. ... Read more


57. Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
by FIROOZEH DUMAS
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812968379
Catlog: Book (2004-01-13)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 4272
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here. More family soon followed, and the clan has been here ever since.

Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.

In a series of deftly drawn scenes, we watch the family grapple with American English (hot dogs and hush puppies?—a complete mystery), American traditions (Thanksgiving turkey?—an even greater mystery, since it tastes like nothing), and American culture (Firoozeh’s parents laugh uproariously at Bob Hope on television, although they don’t get the jokes even when she translates them into Farsi).

Above all, this is an unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love. It is a book that will leave us all laughing—without an accent.
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Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of Funny in Farsi
If you ever wondered what it was like to grow up an immigrant in the United States, Funny in Farsi is a telling story of this experience. Firoozeh Dumas writes a candid account of growing up Persian in America. From her parents adjusting the customs and cultures of America, to the impacts of the hostage crisis on her life in the US, and her own growing up experiences with her family, she paints a picture of how humor helps get through all the tough times.
Although this book is about a Persian family in the US, it transcends culture barriers and tells the universal story of what it means to be an immigrant in the United States and the difficulties that it entails.
Dumas writes an honest account of her life that the reader can relate to. Her poignant language and truthful analysis of life makes this a book that you will not be able to put down.
This is a truly delightful book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lives up to its name--laugh out loud funny!
A book with "funny" in its title already gives readers expectations of being funny--and rightly so, because it lives up to all of its expectations, and I laughed out loud at every page! It's Dumas' witty, clever play on words when she retells her tales of childhood mishaps that makes this book so endearing and easy to identify with. We've all tried to fit in somehow, somewhere and ended up doing exactly the opposite! Dumas manages to take these stories and tell them with such humor, that sad stories turn into absurd ones--providing lots of giggles and laughter on the way. But the book also has tremendous substance, as Dumas writes about her family with love--especially her father, who is the epitome of kindness, and the ultimate lessons she learns growing up in an Iranian family in California. Those lessons of generosity and humanity serve her well through life's ups and downs, and she is able to look back on even the toughest of circumstances with side-splitting humor. I highly recommend this book for anyone that has ever felt "displaced"--and that would be every one of us. Brilliant!

2-0 out of 5 stars verey superficial
I bought this book because I was really craving a book written by an iranian so I could relate to... The book is well written if you want to have some fun laughing at extremely superficial issues about iranians living in the US, but totally lacks a real understanding of the situation. In few words this was a teenager book although I would not even recommend it to teenagers to read

2-0 out of 5 stars Too shallow, even for summer reading
It would have been wonderful if she wrote it to share with her family and friends, but to publish it? There is no substance, it is not particularly funny and it is just plain boring. This book proves that not everybody needs to write a memoir.

I've been married into Iranian family and I recognized a lot of traits she is describing. The book was amusing, at times. However, I would not recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
This has to be one of the most entertaining books that I have ever read. I am so impressed with her writing, her honesty and willingness to share the story of her life and her touching recollections. Better yet, the story is mixed with humor all along.

When Firoozeh tells a story about financial problems, family issues, discrimination and injustice, she does so with humor and dignity, although you can even TOUCH the pain she had felt at the moment!
In this book, She also talks about some occasional unpleasant traits shown by her family, however it's clear the she loves them and that love shows through. She knows that you can love someone and not like everything that they do.

Reading Firoozeh's book makes me laugh out loud so many times. There are plenty of serious moments but they are all rendered with the remarkable wit of a very funny author, Firoozeh Dumas. Even the parts that should be dull in a biography are worthwhile and interesting.

I consider this book one of the best; I hope that you will too ... Read more


58. Survivors: True Stories Of Children In The Holocaust
by Allan Zullo
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439669960
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 998057
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Book Description

These are the true-life accounts of nine Jewish boys and girls whose lives spiraled into danger and fear as the Holocaust overtook Europe. In a time of great horror, these children each found a way to make it through the nightmare of war. Some made daring escapes into the unknown, others disguised their true identities, and many witnessed unimaginable horrors.But what they all shared was the unshakable belief in-- and hope for-- survival. Their legacy of courage in the face of hatred will move you, captivate you, and, ultimately, inspire you.
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59. A Small Place
by Jamaica Kincaid
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527075
Catlog: Book (2000-04-28)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 38211
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua--by the author of Annie John

"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the Prime Minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him--why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen . . ."

So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.
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Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Caribbean jeremiad
"A Small Place," by Jamaica Kincaid, is a nonfiction prose piece about the Caribbean island of Antigua. The author bio at the beginning of the book notes that the author was born on Antigua. A lean 81 pages, this is nonetheless a powerful text.

Kincaid discusses British colonialism, the corruption of the Antiguan government, racism, and greed. It seems to me a key question raised by the book is whether post-colonial Antigua is worse than colonial Antigua. The book is very much haunted by the spectre of New World slavery.

This book is a dark, angry jeremiad. I think it works better when seen as an extended prose poem rather than as an essay. As the latter, it could be criticized as full of invalid generalizations and undocumented claims. But as a poetic/prophetic text, it is chillingly effective.

Ultimately, Kincaid's vision of the human condition is extremely negative But her haunting, almost hypnotic prose really held me. I recommend the book to anyone planning a trip to a poor country for their own pleasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spell-binding
Exceptional, breathtaking. I have never in my entire life witnessed a god-given writing talent like this.

2-0 out of 5 stars Be Part of the Solution
This book is full of hate and racism on Kincaid's part. Would she have no tourists? What brings in the money? She should be a part of the solution not continue the problem.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating use of tense and voice
Like other reviewer, I was little put off by Kincaid's politics.

But the first thing that struck me about this book was the tense and voice. Second person (?you do this, you do that.....?) isn?t very common in literature, so when I see it, it has an immediate effect on me. Now, in one sense, I admire the choice of this tense. It allows the narrator to talk directly to the reader, informing him or her. It also gives the narrator some freedom to literally paint a scene in the reader?s mind. Instead of going to all the trouble to create the hundreds of details necessary to allow the reader to place himself or herself in Antigua, Kincaid can accomplish this in one sentence. Granted, she goes on to provide the details (she points out the cars, the roads, the hospital, the beach, the sun, etc.) but as she does this she has some additional room with this tense to comment on these details and actually point out their significance.

Using this tense also lets Kincaid convey her opinion of the typical tourist who comes to Antigua. Using the second person present tense makes the book flow more like a conversation, and as such, allows me to imagine one particular narrator, a very specific person who is telling me this story and painting these pictures in my mind, filling in the details and their significance as we go along. And if I am not a middle class or upper middle class white American who travels to other countries, this works very well. If I am not a middle or upper class Briton, this also works. But if I am, as are many of the people who buy and read contemporary literature, this would put me out a bit. In fact, it would pretty well alienate me to this narrator. Kincaid?s narrator pretty clearly says she wishes the tourists would stay home, she despises the English, she disdains the concepts of democracy and capitalism, and doesn?t think much of the people who do. Now on the one hand, using this tense and voice makes the narrator very real, very tangible as a character. We hear the narrator?s opinions on almost everything, so the voice becomes distinctive and individual. On the other hand, what this narrator says can be very challenging to some readers. Kincaid has obviously made some choices about what she has to say and how she sees her readership.

Starting in second person, the narrator focuses on building the scene in the reader?s mind, helping the reader see himself or herself in Antigua. The first sense we get of the narrator is from the asides (?Or worse, European?). The first time the narrator identifies herself is on pg. 10 (?of the people like me...?). I think this relates to the gradual change in voice that becomes evident at the beginning of chapter 2.

At the beginning of chapter 2 (after the illustration) the voice changes from a heavy second person to a slightly more traditional first person. Kincaid starts the chapter with ?The Antigua I knew....? and goes on to stay more focused on the first person voice. For me, this reinforced the conversational aspect of the book, the give and take as the focus moves from one speaker to the other. Even though it is always Kincaid?s narrator talking, the first chapter?s emphasis on the reader (you, you, you) is followed by the second chapter?s emphasis on the narrator (I, I, I). This more closely approximates the rhythm of a real conversation and keeps the essay relaxed and moving forward for me.

Small Place Section Stands Out Because of Voice Change Again

On page 52, the narrator changes voice again. In this section, the narrator stops talking primarily about herself and the reader and speaks in a more essayistic voice about Antigua as a whole. ?In a small place, people cultivate small events.? For me, this served to draw attention to this section. Not only because the voice changed, but also because the meaning of the book?s title is revealed in this section. The effect on me as reader is to keep my attention. The general feeling I come away with is an essay that starts with me, moves to the narrator, then moves to Antigua in general.

Last Section Entirely Third Person

The final change in voice occurs in the last section. The last chapter is totally in third person. The narrator has completely dropped the reader (you, you, you) and herself (I, I, I) and begins to speak in straightforward, third person omniscient point of view about Antigua. She even drops into the essayists questions (?What might it do to people...?) in this section. Ending the book in this voice, to me, lent credibility. If she had stayed in the first or second person voice all the way to the end, I might have more easily dismissed the book as biased or too personal. But slowly moving across the voice spectrum, ending in traditional third person, lends an aura of objectivity to the end.

All in all this was a fascinating change ue of tense and voice to tell a compelling story.

1-0 out of 5 stars The selling out of the West Indies
Unfortunately, I had to buy A Small Place for my University of Michigan class on Latin America. I'm horrified that students and people will believe the West Indies is such a bad place from this book. Horrified. Believe me, I was born and lived in Barbados, an island close and similar in attitude to Antigua. Many everyday activities in Barbados that occur in Antigua are turned into Dateline "controversy of the week" issues. People, it's not that serious! What's worse, she doesn't even touch the real issues of the Caribbean. Not to mention, Jamaica Kincaid wrote the account as a longtime resident of the US. She doesn't even sound like a West Indian; she sounds like a pampered, naive North American who believes every nation that doesn't have a McDonald's on every block is third world, to exaggerate. White superiority is the myth this book perpetuates, and the West Indies is once again made out as a "Banana Republic." What's worse, half of the book's claims aren't even true, nor do natives consider them major issues. A warning to North Americans and Westerners alike; take this book with a grain of salt, most of this account is cornball, "what people want to hear" bull. Unfortunately, most people will believe this "tragedy." Please don't. I'm never believing anything Western media says about the rest of the world again. ... Read more


60. The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
by MAXINE HONG KINGSTON
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679721886
Catlog: Book (1989-04-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 16018
Average Customer Review: 3.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity. ... Read more

Reviews (153)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book for Older Readers
Although Maxine Hong Kingston does jump around from chapter to chapter (which seems to confuse most), she does a great job at explaining her life growing up as a Chinese-American. I can really relate to some of the aspects of the books. Kingston recalls constantly being filled with ridiculous stories. These stories, though, become a part of who she is and what she believes. The sub-title of the book, "Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts", explains a lot of what the author has to deal with. She has to deal with hearing that her friends and her are ghosts, because they are American. All of the people that surrounded Kingston's family were ghosts, except for the Chinese people who lived on the Gold Mountain, Chinatown in San Francisco. The children's teachers and coaches were ghosts. Kingston feels like a ghost herself: "...we had been born amonth ghosts, were taught by ghosts, and were ourselves ghost-like. They called us a kind of ghost."

This book is truely a page turner. There's always something to learn or laugh about in each turn. Wonderful book.

3-0 out of 5 stars HOW TO GAIN PITY
Kingston, with her novel about misplaced and awkward lives in society, uses the first person narrative to make the reader understand the problems and opinions of herself, and the way she sees the world. A story about a Chinese girl lost and confused in a new culture, The Woman Warrior has very strong and savage views. These opinions are only enhanced by the first person, and give a greater impact to the message. Slightly disturbed and greatly angered by unfain treatment, Kingston's book is a rather hateful one. She uses strong words, blunt remarks, and subliminal messages to give the reader a feeling that she is simply lost in a world full of hallow ghosts. Throughout the entire novel she portrays herself as the victim, in an attempt to gain the reader's pity. A sad reflection of her own life, The Woman Warrior is truly a novel about a lost soul in an unfamiliar place.

One would first assume Kingston to be a very bitter person, but her strong opinions are formed by the society she lives in. An old Chinese saying, "Better to raise geese than girls," (pg. 46), angers Kingston as a child. Her entire lifestyle and culture, American and Chinese, revolves around the concept of male dominance. Throughout the book the reader sees the cynical hatred Kingston holds for anyone who who does not sympathize with her race and gender; even by writing this book she asks for the pity of others. Such an example can be found when Brave Orchid (Kingston's mother) and Moon Orchid (Kingston's aunt), set out to avenge the marriage of Moon Orchid's husband and new wife. It is not only the cultural differences which set the awkwardness of the confrontation, but Kingston's mother's rage against the weak, (a trait later found in Kingston), which make this argument concerning divorse troublesome. Moon Orchid is shy and afraid, while Brave Orchid, anger fuled by Moon Orchid's timidness and her own extreamly feminist views, demands that she reclaim her title as wife. By the way Kingston words and retells her mother's expiriances, the reader understands the implied message that it is the husband who divorced who is evil, and the shy female who is right; this makes the first person narrative effective in that the reader sees the very strong emotions felt by Kingston and her mother. THe first person is also used to create bias opinions and exagerated comments, such as with Moon Orchid's "animalistic" children. Seen as lying, rude, vain, and selfish, the harsh words of Kingston try to make the reader think the children really are so selfish and evil, when infact it is only a misunderstood cultural difference. By being in the first person, the reader sees the opinions of Kingston, and must try to formulate what is truth and what is exagerated. Kingston, her own views tainted and twisted by society's treatment, uses the first person point of view very well to try to gain the sympathy of the reader.

Well written and very vague, this book leaves the reader searching for the truth rather than Kingston's bias views. Slightly disturbed, she is able to claim the pity of her readers by displaying herself as a victim of racial and cultural differences, and the rest of the world as mindless and uncaring drones. With the first person narrative, she can turn the reader's opinion to fit her own. She very effectivly gain's the readers pity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Trailblazer
I'm astonished to read so many virulently negative reviews. I read this book just after it came out, as a high-school student, and loved it for the strength of the writing and the vivid images, also the mix of fantasy and reality.

I do recall being a bit surprised at her anger, but up until then the only stories of Chinese-American girlhood that were available (all one or two of them, I think; this was the mid-70s) portrayed very dutiful, very quiet, very "good" girls. So this was an eye-opener and a stereotype buster, and should be welcomed for that. We have to remember that this was written nearly 30 years ago, when the whole multi-cultural debate was really just getting going; perhaps some things in it would be different now. But the trailblazers in any society often have to be angry to get their messages heard -- and taken seriously. And people like Maxine Hong Kingston laid the foundations that allowed literature by people like Amy Tan to be published. She deserves credit for this.

I can definitely see that aspects of the book could be annoying to Asian-Americans who find people taking this as gospel about Chinese culture, though.

But I'd also like to suggest that some of the negative responses might also come from people uneasy with the idea that non-white people are angry about the racism they've experienced in the United States. It's easy to think this anger is exaggerated if you've never experienced racism.

4-0 out of 5 stars women warrior
The book by Maxine Kinston is based on five different stories about different Chinese women. The novel is filled with Chinese folktales and culture. This is a story that one as a Chinese or any other culture could relate to because throughout the novel shows ancestry and tales about myths and legends. The novel will take you through stories of deception and haunt that is told through the eyes of Kingston herself. Starting with long lost aunts followed by so-called ghost warriors and ending with stories about her mother's life back in china; this book will keep you reading until the end. I recommend this story to anyone who is interested in story tale and culture of a different sort, that of Chinese. I enjoyed reading the novel myself and it kept me reading in interest on the twist and turns of Kingston's life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Chinese-American Read
I enjoyed reading the fictional tale Warrior Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston. I think anyone who likes to see how other cultures live and relate to one another will enjoy this story. Readers who enjoy fantasy type stories will also enjoy this book, because it is rich in both types of story telling. After reading the novel, I can appreciate Chinese culture more, and although I usually shy away from fantasy stories and novels, the sections dealing with fantastic themes drew me in. In the story White Tigers, I was attempted to skip pages until the end of the section, but somehow I kept reading the story and I became more involved in it. When I realized the story was being told to empower Chinese women, it gave the whole fantasy a new meaning to me. Women at the time of the story held little value in Chinese society. Girls grow up, go away, and leave their aged parents, but boys were expected to stay with the parents along with their wives to care for their elderly parents.
The story No Name Woman disturbed me as I read. No name woman was the narrator's aunt. The aunt became No Name Woman after her family disowned her for committing adultery and becoming pregnant. The aunt would never name the father, so he could bear in her shame. What bothered me most about this section is not so much that the father escaped punishment, although that bothered me too, but the total lack of forgiveness from the family. Because of this total lack of family forgiveness, this young woman killed herself and her newborn. How terribly sad!
Although the Chinese society seemed to value family and a tradition, I found it highly curious that they could not speak about sex at all and they went to great lengths to avoid even family intimacy. Kingston describes how family members in China shout into each other's faces and yell at each other across the room. At mealtimes, which is a sort of intimate family time, no one talks.
I found the section At the Western Place intriguing. I am aware that there are many immigrants who come to the United States to make a better life for themselves, many times leaving families behind until they can establish themselves. When I read how Moon Orchid had been waiting for her husband for over 30 years and he never returned, instead establishing a new family in the United States, to say I was taken back, is expressing my reaction mildly. Moon Orchid did not seem to mind the arrangement though. Could it have been because she was well provided for financially without the obligation of carrying out wifely duties? Perhaps she enjoyed the prestige of being a married woman. Whatever her reasons, I felt so sorry for her after her sister Brave Orchid forced a confrontation between the estranged spouses. Moon Orchid was devastated by the encounter and was never the same afterwards. Something intangible and innocent within her was forever altered.
I would recommend that this book be read in a thoughtful and serious manner, although the narrative is by no means heavy or serious, but the characters themselves as interesting as well as being a complex mixture of clashes between their own culture and their assimilation to American culture. There are marked differences between the struggles of the young people and the struggles of the older people and how both groups try to fit into the new society while holding onto parts of traditional Chinese culture. I found The Warrior Woman a good read. ... Read more


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