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141. Daughter of Heaven : A Memoir
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142. The Warburgs : The Twentieth-Century
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143. Lush Life: A Biography of Billy
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144. The Nazi Officer's Wife : How
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145. The Unwanted: A Memoir
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146. On a Positive Note
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147. Leap into Darkness : Seven Years
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148. Brothers In Arms : The Epic Story
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149. The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey:
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150. Open House : Of Family, Friends,
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151. Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social
152. A Jewish Boyhood in Poland: Remembering
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153. A Drinking Life: A Memoir
154. U2 : At the END of the WORLD
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155. I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree
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156. My American Journey
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157. Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten
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158. Black Baby White Hands: A View
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159. Fear No Evil: The Classic Memoir
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160. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story

141. Daughter of Heaven : A Memoir with Earthly Recipes
by Leslie Li
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559707682
Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Sales Rank: 158826
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!
Leslie Li's memoir is nothing less than astonishing! Beautifully written, it is a true gem, a heavenly memoir, subtle, mythical, evocative and strong, the real deal so to speak. Li is a writer of extraordinary talent, don't miss out on this one, it will give you pleasure and food for thought!

5-0 out of 5 stars Daughter of Heaven : A Memoir with Earthly Recipes
Author, Leslie Li, guides us through her life as a Chinese-American. You will journey through her ancestry, her relationships with her family and growing up in New York with the strictness of the Chinese beliefs.Well written and easily read, this work gives you insight into the author's life and way of life.This work also includes stories from her grandmother, Nai-Nai and recipes from her heritage.Four stars for Li, a novelist writing her family story. ****

4-0 out of 5 stars Circular Odyssey
I liked Daughter of Heaven and would definitely recommend it to other readers.I enjoyed getting to know Li's paternal grandmother, her father, her grandfather's second wife, her mother, and the food, and significance of Chinese life here andin China.

On occasion I found the juxtaposition of a recipe after an emotionally wrenching chapter a bit jarring.I have yet to try the recipes, but I plan to.And I am curious about the significance of the title.Did I miss something?

The book helped me understand Li and what it meant to be a Chinese-American in the United States, Europe and China.The episode involving Li's buying two bamboo flutes in New York's Chinatown and being told by the clerk that she was like them -- empty inside, with no Chinese culture -- was especially powerful.

Her odyssey has been a circular one -- away from Chinese culture and then back to it for an understanding and an appreciation.And I understood how important her father had been in shaping that journey.His verbal cruelty when she were growing up was hard to take, but somewhat mitigated by Li's travels with him to China and learning of his own odyssey.

Li's book brought home once again how long a parent's reach is and how we, no matter how old, are looking for approval or deliberately challenging them. It's how most of us achieve our own identity. Few of us can simply walk away, but dealing with one's parents
often forces us into a response that we then have to resolve at a later date, as Li has attempted, successfully, I'd say, by writing her memoir.

For future projects, I hope Li will continue to use her own stories. They are compelling -- the conflict between two cultures and the search for self.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book about family, life and food!
What initially attracted me to this book in a shop in Zurich was the cover. The title, colors and images made me pick it up. Then there was the inner sleeve, a quick read told me - Hmmm - meeting this person Nai Nai, some recipes, and listening to Leslie Li describe her life sounds like a fun read - but it was so much more.

Daughter of Heaven takes you deep into Leslie's life - that of her wonderful family, of their interaction with each other and the changing world around them. Leslie gives you insight to her world as a child, where she is a little bit spoiled, a little bratty, and somewhat annoyed by her grandmother - Nai Nai and her conservative father. She then returns to these images as a woman, and in realizing what a treasure her family had become to her, finds answers to many questions that have followed her for decades.

Nai Nai - we have the pleasure of enjoying the life (in pages) of this incredible woman - #1 wife of Li Zongren - Chiang Kai-shek's choice for vice president. You get to enjoy Nai-Nai's food (with sumptuous recipe's at the end of each chapter), hear about her subtle yet carefully planned undoings of wife #2, and are witness to her departure from life after age 100 (I was quite sad during this part of the book). You also get to meet Leslie's father, a caring and sensitive man, caught between his stoic traditional Chinese upbringing, his American wife and their children, who are a constant source of challenges and discovery for him.

Leslie has such a colorful family, and does a magnificent job of making the reader a part of her family - it's as if you were Leslie's best friend and she was imparting these experiences to you first hand and inviting you to dinner. I know I want to meet Nai Nai (unfortunately she has passed away), her father, and Leslie herself to probe for more stories.

This is an honest take on the discoveries of life, one which I am certain we can all relate to in some way, as well as getting `a lovely parting gift' at the end of each chapter of a recipe, which brings this book into another dimension - the universal language of food.

5-0 out of 5 stars heart and soul of a Chinese family
"Daughter of Heaven" is a charming and wildly useful book that allows one into the heart of a family and the soul of a Chinese kitchen. The recipes are complex in taste but easy to follow! ... Read more

142. The Warburgs : The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family
list price: $21.00
our price: $14.28
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Asin: 0679743596
Catlog: Book (1994-08-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 46277
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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All three of Ron Chernow's books are lengthy and solidly researched, but his background as a journalist shows in his ability here to convey complex material in terms of vivid characters and a well-defined theme. As in his National Book Award-winning business history (The House of Morgan) and his comprehensive biography of John D. Rockefeller (Titan), in The Warburgs Chernow employs marvelously detailed material to trace a single overarching story: the riveting and ultimately tragic odyssey of German Jews. The Warburgs were Hamburg's preeminent banking family from the 18th century until Hitler's Third Reich forced them to hand over their business to Aryans in 1938. But they also boasted among their family members a celebrated art historian (Aby Warburg), a Nobel Prize-winning scientist (Otto Warburg), and the financial angel of the New York City Ballet (Edward Warburg). Two of the "Famous Five" brothers married American women at the turn of the 20th century and became honored members of the Wall Street establishment, so Chernow's lively narrative imparts important U.S. social and economic history as well. But don't let all those fancy credentials intimidate you: The Warburgs features enough flamboyant personalities and high-class gossip to make this as entertaining a read as the latest issue of People magazine. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Power, Wealth and a Jewish Dynasty
Ostensibly the study of a remarkable, wealthy dynasty, The Warburgs is a monumental history of Europe, the United States, Israel and even Africa. The author manages to faithfully document the lives of these international bankers, nobel prize winning scientists, explorers and philanthropists against some of the most haunting events in human history.

That the Warburg family loved their German homeland is indisputable. Even after WWII, some descendents could not resist returning to Hamburg, to see the old estates, to embrace old nannies, employees and to on one occassion, steal back a valuable vase that the Nazi's had appropriated elsewhere. They were passionate German citizens later of course spurned and victimized.

From Imperial and then Weimar Germany, the Warburgs were integral to achieving the ends of their leaders; Max Warburg worked tirelessly up until the very end, to secure a peaceful neutralization of Hitler's intention for the Jews. He was involved in assuring a Dutch purchase of Nyassaland in Northern Mozambique which ultimately played a significant role for Rommel's troops.

The family with connections to the Rothschilds, Loebs, Kuhns and others had solid foundations in the U.S. with one Warburg advising Theodore Roosevelt and later, of course, FDR. And logically, from this family where ambivalence toward Judaeism was an on-going theme, there were inevitable struggles and betrayals during the seeding and conceptualization of an Israeli sovereign state.

The book has many levels of interest- it involves a history of culture and the arts, of Jewish European exodus to the U.S and to Israel, it presents scenes of wealthy Jews celebrating with Christmas trees, of kids attending Anglican schools, and even flirtations with far left and deeply conservative politics.

The book is a meditation on the nature of wealth and being Jewish, the insoluble interactions of the two and the frequently unintentional social responsibilities carried within those elements.

2-0 out of 5 stars History of jew bankers
In this 1993 National Book Award winner, Chernow presents a sweeping yet intimate historical saga of an extraordinary German-Jewish banking family whose roots go back to the 18th century. Richly documented by Warburg family archival and oral sources, the study captures both the glory and folly of this family of grandees, whose remarkable impact on the world of international finance, politics, culture, philanthropy, and Zionism continues to resonate. With delicious detail spiced by psychological ruminations and sensitivity, with penetrating insight conveyed by sometimes sparkling writing, Chernow focuses on the individual heroes of the Warburg clan--especially Mak, Felix, Paul, Fritz, Aby, Eric, James, and Sir Seigmund--and deftly portrays the meteoric rise of the dynasty, its fall under the Nazis, postwar rebirth, and the ultimately futile struggle of most Warburgs to maintain a Jewish identity. This is biography on an epic scale. General readers, undergraduates, and above.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Lesson of Courage and Triumph in Adversity
Ron Chernow narrates with panache the riveting tribulations of the Warburgs, a prominent Jewish banking dynasty emerging in Germany in the sixteenth century. The author does an outstanding job in switching back and forth between the Alsterufer Warburgs and the Mittelweg Warburgs, the two rivaling branches of the Warburgs. Ron Chernow indeed vividly recasts the numerous actors of that saga against the economic, political and social backdrop of their time. The author brilliantly helps his readers understand the painful dilemma that many German Jews, keener and keener on assimilation into Germany, faced especially under the Weimar Republic and then under Nazism. Ron Chernow also underlines how several Warburgs emigrating outside Germany had a positive influence on the unfolding of some key domestic and overseas events. Ironically, M.M. Warburg & Co., the German cradle of the banking dynasty that Nazism and then internal infighting almost torpedoed with success, is the only one to remain independent today. M.M. Warburg & Co. is Germany's second largest private bank. S.G. Warburg is now part of Union Bank of Switzerland while Warburg Pincus, successor of E.M. Warburg, belongs to Credit Suisse.

5-0 out of 5 stars A candid insight
The history of the Warburg family is a amazingly tragic, hopeful and truimphant one. Ron Chernow describes the tight rope that Jews trod, at different stages of world issues, in a captive and sensitive manner. The author describes the begining of the banking dynasty and progresses through each genration leaving a unremovable image of each member. With a few exceptions, for every successful and optimistic father there is a unsure and detached son. For every mother who was a perfectionist and hardworking, there was a loyal, ambitious son. Not being Jewish, but understanding the feeling of not being fully assimilated in my own society, i personally appreciated this balancing act. However i believe that the issues of their religion and their trade, whilst very significant, play a complementary backdrop to which is essentially a superb insight into a diverse and ambitious family. One which, i think we can all relate to. I'd recommend it for all readers out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn history through real events in a family
The best way to learn & really "feel" history is to see it in familiar events, like the story of a family. Ron Chernow has achieved this feat with all 3 of the books I have read by him -- the Rockefeller book, the Morgan book and this book. This volume resonated with me more than the others since I am jewish, and since a number of my ancestors were assimilationist german jews (but never of the magnitude of the Warburgs!). The foolishness & the triumphs of this extended family would have made interesting reading even without the context of world events, but that's what makes the difference between a fair book and a great book. Chernow is particularly good at weaving in the world events without sounding ponderous or pedantic. ... Read more

143. Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn
by David Hajdu
list price: $27.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374194386
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Sales Rank: 427642
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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The myth has always been that Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington shared an identical approach to music. In Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn, David Hajdu dismisses that notion from the very beginning. Schooled in Debussy and Ravel, Strayhorn brought a sensitivity and complexity that was missing in the Ellington oeuvre. Although he had talent enough for a career without Ellington, Strayhorn lacked the confidence. Being both black and gay forced him to take a back seat to his partner's celebrity. Denied greater public recognition, he sought solace in a "lush life" of his own, smoking and drinking himself to an early death in 1967. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars very detailed book
i find myself always enjoying Books on People&this is no exception.very well detailed Book on a Important Composer&His Many Demons&Surroundings.I heard a few years back that Will Smith was considering doing the Bio Movie on Billy would be really interesting to see how things would come out on the Big screen.this book reflects on Music Talent&whole Life.very well done book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read
This book has a lot going for it. Do you like music, swing and jazz? Do you like intersting people? Did you live through the 30's, 40's and 50's? Do you enjoy reading about that era? Do you enjoy reading a well written biogratphy? If the answer to any of these is yes, you'll like this book, it the answer is yes to several of these questions then you'll LOVE this book. David Hajdu has done an exemplary job of documenting the life of Billy Strayhorn. I really felt like I knew the man after reading this. He has done his research and he also writes with a very smooth style that keeps you intersted. I love music and I've read bios of Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, BB King, Chuck Berry, Led Zepplin, Allman Bros. on and on. This is one of the best if not the best music bio I've read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The World of Ellingtonia
Great Book... if you're an Ellington fan and like "Strays" music this is an absolute must. Very informative and interesting and also great reading. The author was here in Seattle for an Elllngton concert with Earshot Jazz and I met and chatted with him.... a very charming and informed man. cmm

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Rounded Review
Hajdu really does a nice job of summarizing the life of a songwriter. He keeps his story moving with pacing, characters, travel, and yes, even drama! Racial prejudice, sexual prejudice, loneliness and alcoholism did nothing to stop this little man from Pittsburgh who knew he was destined to a "lush life" and wrote about it in his fantasies, such as the title song begun at age 19 in Pittsburgh.

He grew up poor, effeminate, and misunderstood; but he loved the theater, and he knew where he belonged. Off to New York where his awesome talent so impressed Duke Ellington that he was immediately hired into the organization, where he would thrive and struggle and live and write for the rest of his life. He died of cancer, after penning and arranging much of Ellington's later work.

The book tells his story with panache that would make him proud!

5-0 out of 5 stars Understated Genius
Billy Strayhorn's contribution to the work of Duke Ellington is immeasurable--at last he is given his full due in David Hajdu's perceptive and insightful portrait of this largely unsung genius of 20th century music. Hajdu's sensitive biography, derived from countless interviews with friends, family and fellow musicians, reveals Strayhorn as a complex, creative individual who preferred to stay discreetly in Ellington's shadow throughout much of his life. It also provides a telling portrait of a man who lived his life as a gay African-American musician completely out in the open during a time in this country when it was both difficult and dangerous to do so. Hajdu has given us telling portraits as well of many of Strayhorn's contemporaries such as Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hodges, Ray Nance and the Duke himself who loved "Swea-Pea" (Strayhorn's nickname) as a part of himself. Not only a portrait of a creative, intellectual genius, "Lush Life" also gives us an insightful look into the world of jazz and African-american popular music that grew out of an age of racism and discrimination. The concluding chapters that chronicle Strayhorn's involvement in the civil rights movement of the early '60's and his friendships with Martin Luther King and Medgar Evans and his own battle with the throat cancer that cut his life short (at age fifty-one) are especially powerful. Throughout the book, Hajdu provides lively anecdotal writing while remaining a respectful journalist and chronicler of his subject. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in jazz history, popular culture, or purely for a portrait of an understated genius. ... Read more

144. The Nazi Officer's Wife : How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust
by Edith H. Beer
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068817776X
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 50358
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. With the help of a Christian friend, she emerged in Munich as Grete Denner. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her. Despite Edith's protests and even her eventual confession that she was Jewish, he married her and kept her identity a secret.

In wrenching detail, Edith recalls a life of constant, almost paralyzing fear. She tells of German officials who casually questioned the lineage of her parents; of how, when giving birth to her daughter, she refused all painkillers, afraid that in an altered state of mind she might reveal something of her past; and of how, after her husband was captured by the Soviet army, she was bombed out of her house and had to hide while drunken Russian soldiers raped women on the street.

Yet despite the risk it posed to her life, Edith created a remarkable record of survival. She saved every document and set of papers issued to her, as well as photographs she managed to take inside labor camps. Now part of the permanent collection at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., these hundreds of documents, several of which are included in this volume, form the fabric of a gripping new chapter in the history of the Holocaust -- complex, troubling, and ultimately triumphant.

... Read more

Reviews (43)

This is an interesting work of non-fiction that, at times, reads as if it were a novel. Based upon the recollection of a secular Austrian Jew, a young woman named Edith Hahn, the book tells the reader her intriguing story. During the Holocaust, she married a member of the Nazi party whom she had told she was Jewish. He married her and kept her secret. In the waning days of the war, her husband was drafted into the German army and ended up a prisoner of war for a time. Upon his return, he found a crumbling German infra-structure, the Nazis out of favor, and his Jewish wife asserting herself as she really was, a well-educated, independent woman.

This is essentially a book about Ms. Hahn's life just before, during, and just after World War II. It tells the reader about her life in Austria before the Nazis took over. She was a well-educated woman studying to be a lawyer, when the Gestapo put an end to her professional aspirations. She was sent to work at a labor camp and while doing so, her mother was deported to a concentration camp, before they could be re-united. Seeing that the writing was on the wall for the Jews of Austria, she went underground with the help of a Christian friend and fled to Germany. It was while she lived an underground life in Germany under an assumed name, that she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi party member who fell in love with her. Notwithstanding her confession that she was Jewish, he married her and never betrayed her.

She tells a tale of sublimation of self in order to survive the rigors of the policies of Nazi Germany that were imposed upon Austria, her country and a land where anti-Semitism was rife. She tells a tale of sublimation of self in order to survive her marriage to a person whose views were so opposite her own. Her fears of discovery were so acute that during childbirth, she refused to take any pain medication or anesthesia for fear of betraying her own self while under sedation. Her only child, a daughter, Angelika, is believed to be the only child born of a Jewish mother in a Reich hospital in 1944. Though Edith loved her husband, she never felt free to be herself until the war was over. Hers is a story of immobilizing fear and survival.

This is an intriguing perspective on the Holocaust from the voice of one who who was in a singular position during the latter half of the war, as she was a Jew in Germany.

5-0 out of 5 stars Edith Hahn Beer: War Hero
Throughout time, different cultures and groups of people have had varied ideas on what makes a hero. In Edith Hahn Beer's autobiography, The Nazi Officer's Wife, she tells what it was like to be the wife of a Nazi officer-and a Jewish woman with false identity papers at the same time. Some people have criticized Hahn for the manner in which she survived the Holocaust, by being married to the enemy while other Jews were dying in the Nazi concentration camps. Her inspiring autobiography, definitely worth reading, makes the reader admire in stead of criticize her. It tells the story of a young, afraid, hunted Jew living in Nazi Austria who overcomes adversity to become strong willed and brave, helpful to others, and hard working. These qualities are those of heroes, and are reasons why Edith Hahn Beer should be considered a hero or heroine.
One heroic quality that Edith demonstrates is that of her bravery and strong will. She remained cool when Nazi officers questioned her parent's lineage during her marriage ceremony. This is important because when she filed for her marriage to Werner Vetter, her papers had her registered as Grete Denner, a Christian. If the government had found out about this, the lives of both Edith and Christl Denner (the original owner of the papers) would be in jeopardy. Another brave thing that Edith does is listen to the BBC, and other foreign radio stations. This is a brave thing to do, because "Anybody who [listens to foreign radio stations] will go to Dachau or Buchenwald or Orianenburg or God only knows where." Finally, one major thing Edith does to demonstrate her amazing self control and bravery is to give birth to her daughter without any anesthetic. After working as Reich nurse, she had discovered that people giving birth had said all kinds of things that could get them in trouble with the government. "I began to remember all the patients I had seen who had come out of surgery or had been sedated during childbirth, and who said things that could incriminate them and their loved ones." After she is done, she goes on to say that in all of World War II, giving birth to her daughter was the only part in the war where she wanted to die. Going through this much pain to protect the people you love is quite heroic.
Throughout the course of the book, Edith proves herself to be very concerned about other people. She helps others even when it is potentially dangerous to her own self. In the beginning of the book, she becomes a nanny and tutor to a young woman named Christl Denner. As time goes by, Denner becomes like a little sister to Edith. Edith's mother goes on to say "When [Mr. Denner's] girls needed a substitute mother, someone to listen to them with a caring heart, you were there." The fact that Edith befriends Denner as a youth is crucial. Years later, Denner saves Edith's life. Christian Christl let Edith use her original identity papers, and reapplied for a set for herself. With these Christian papers, Edith could then function as an Aryan woman in Nazi Austria. Edith even helps complete strangers. A Nazi officer knocks on her door and says "... We have reason to believe there is a deserter hiding out in the vacant apartment.... Right above you. He would have been here last night. Did you hear any noise?" Even though she had heard footsteps, shuffling, and a creaking bed among other noises, she lied and said "No, Nothing." This act saved a complete stranger. If the government had found out that she lied about this, her whole cover as an Aryan housewife could have been blown. Finally, post war, Edith works shortly as a judge. People come to her requesting emigration papers, with custody battles, and with cases involving impoverished Russian children. She takes all these cases saying "Finally it was my turn to save someone's life." At the end of World War II, non-Aryan judges with proper credentials were in high demand. These people that Edith Hahn was among helped to restore order to the chaos that post-war Europe had become.
Finally, one last heroic quality found to be true to Edith Hahn Beer is that of her hard work and determination. Throughout the course of the war, she is forced to work in at least 2 places: an asparagus plantation in Osterburg, and a factory in Aschersleben. At the asparagus plantation, her fingers "ached as though they were broken" and her back "would not straighten," yet she was still considered one of the plantation's best working. Her hard work was important here, because it showed her inner drive. Even though this was something she wasn't exactly thrilled to be doing, she was still doing her best at it. Life was similar at the factory in Aschersleben. There, she helped cut boxes. Her planning and pacing resulted in having her quota raised twice. A good friend, Mina, went on to say "You are clearly one of 'Bestehorn's best'!" Hard work was important here for the same reasons that it was in Osterburg. As long as Edith was working for the government, she and her family were safe and in the Reich. Edith lastly proves her inner drive and hard work by crepe making. With the end of the war, Bradenburg (the city in which she lived) fell to the Russians. She evacuated with her young, measles stricken daughter, to a nearby city. There, she lived briefly with a farming family and soldiers, all going hungry. She told everyone to go to nearby farmers and bring back milk, eggs, jam, bread, and flour for Crepes. "All day long, as the men streamed into the little house, I made hundreds of delicate Viennese crepes for the Wehrmacht [German for armed forces] and the woman and her daughter served them." This gesture not only represented her willingness to help others, but her hard work helped to feed these starving German soldiers. Since this occurred post-war, this also represents her making amends with the German armed forces, once considered enemies. At the end of the war, she saw that many of them were just tired, beaten down, hungry men and this gesture of her hard work shows that.
There are many different kinds of heroes. There are political heroes, battle heroes, heroes who are innovators. Edith Hahn was none of the above. What made Edith Hahn Beer a hero was not one single deed, or necessarily one big achievement. Her persona, willingness to help others, bravery in hard times and her hard work left footprints in the hearts of those around her, and continues to touch those who read her autobiography. That is what makes Edith Hahn Beer a hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable! Historcal! Informative!
How amazing, and refreshing to read about someone who had this unmistakable courage to lived among her enemies. We can only imagine how very scary her life must have been and yet she lived to tell us her story. I'm so proud of Edith, and I'm proud to have read about her story of survival!
I have to disagree with:
DULL Self-absorbed Tale, October 10, 2003
Reviewer: Sharyn Gantt from Accokeek, MD USA
Seems more fiction than fact to me; at most this reads like an embellished version of something resembling the truth.

Seems to me we shouldn't be so quick to pass judgement on a life we never lived, true I too was not there but who am I to not trust this woman's experience. People like the above re-viewer have no place in my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing True Story!
This book is an amazing, true story about a courageous lady! I couldn't put the book down once I started reading!

1-0 out of 5 stars DULL Self-absorbed Tale
Seems more fiction than fact to me; at most this reads like an embellished version of something resembling the truth. ... Read more

145. The Unwanted: A Memoir
by Kien Nguyen
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316286648
Catlog: Book (2001-03)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 442819
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Saigon fell to the Viet Cong on April 30, 1975. Kien Nguyen watched the last U.S. Army helicopter leave without him, without his brother, without his mother, without his grandparents.Left to a nightmarish existence in a violated and decimated country, Kien was more at risk than most because of his odd blond hair and his light eyes - because he was Amerasian. He was the most unwanted. Told with stark and poetic brilliance, this is a story of survival and hope, a moving and personal record of a tumultuous and important piece of history. ... Read more

Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great story!
Like many others who have left comments about this book, I too finished it in less than 24 hours. I found it difficult to put down.

I am finally thrilled to read a story such as this one. The struggle and journey to freedom for many Vietnamese refugees has not been documented enough. My family and I were fortunate to flee from Vietnam in 1975 during the fall of Saigon. My journey to freedom was less harrowing and uneventful than the author's. However, my other friends who fled the country during the second wave of the Vietnamese influx to the US in 1979 told me of bone-chilling tales of their trek to a far better life in the States.

The tragedies and misfortunes of some refugees who flee Vietnam in boats include harsh weather, a lack of food and water which ultimately leads to starvation, boat engine failures that cripples some boats to drift aimlessly in the Pacific and finally sea pirates and bandits who board these vessels to steal peoples' only possessions while raping some of the women and children. Indeed, these stories are true and more or less remain undocumented to the general public.

I am thrilled to know that stories like this one are now being told.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Moving, Haunting, Disturbing, but Worthy Read
Once in awhile, a really good book that comes along to haunt me for days. This is the case with Kien Nguyen's memoir "The Unwanted." The book is very sad, dark, and disturbing from beginning to end. The only thing that prevents me from falling into an abyss of despair is a glimmer of hope in the final chapter of the book when his family was boarding an airplane to leave Vietnam. It is not an easy read. But it is a worthy read; it is one of the best books I have read about Vietnam. His book reminds me of Jung Chang's monumental work "The Wild Swans" and Nien Cheng's haunting memoir "Life and Death in Shanghai." It reminds me of an extraordinarily well-written and moving article on the Wall Street Journal published in 1999 to mark the 20 years anniversary of the fall of Pol Pot in Cambodia... The book also reminds me of my own experience last year walking through the prison cells and death chambers at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp which was left intact as it was at the end of WWII... As I was standing there, I had flashbacks of my own experience in a Communist prison. All of these experiences force me think about the meanings of Fascism, Communism, human mistreatment, and human dignity. Kien Nguyen's memoir also reminds me of my own best friends in first grade - Amerasian twin brothers... Kien Nguyen's book has provided me an answer. Having been jailed at a prison in Kien Nguyen's hometown and having left Vietnam through the ODP program, I was particularly impressed with his accurate descriptions of the prison, the building, the people, and the troubles one had to go through in order to leave Vietnam. I have a great admiration for Kien who has the courage to write this book that really captures the essence of life in Vietnam during those years. His book is an excellent that will keep you awake at night turning the pages. I like it so much that I order one copy for my home library so in case later my children ask me about Vietnam... "The Unwanted" gets five stars and "Two Thumbs Up" recommendation from me!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond description!
This is one of the most amazing memoirs that I have ever had the pleasure to read. I was touched by each obstacle that came in Kien's way and experienced feelings I rarely feel when reading a book. I devoured it in 4 days and it left me wanting more. It provoked thoughts in me that would have never entered my mind while continually reminding me how strong the human will can be. One of my favorite things about reading this book was they way Kien writes objectively, giving you possible other points of view of actions happening to and around him. He helps you, the reader, to consider other ways of interpreting the events, reminding you of how far he has come from those events.
I will recommend this to everyone I know!

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST Read
Extraordinary. I couldn't put it down. Few of us know about the atrocities ordinary Vietnamese citizens suffered after U.S. soldiers departed - especially the Asian/Caucasian children left behind. Kien Nguyen's tale is haunting. Representation of 'triumph over tragedy' in the purest form. I wish the author well.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I loved reading this book, and I continue to recommend it to others. I must admit, some of the details seem to be unbelievable (i.e. I can't remember much of my life at the age of 6, but then again, I might have a really bad memory compared to others), but the book's message is unforgettable. ... Read more

146. On a Positive Note
by Renita J. Weems, Cece Winans
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671020005
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 442929
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Eight-time Grammy Award®-winner CeCe Winans has broken new ground as a superstar of gospel: her celebrated career includes Platinum and Gold albums, collaborations with Whitney Houston, and forays into television and the Broadway stage. She's also a loving wife and mother, whose commitment to family and faith in God's grace have helped her keep her spiritual balance every day. Now CeCe Winans recalls a life full of blessings in this warm and intimate memoir.

On a Positive Note is CeCe's inspiring story of the road she took from a church-centered, musical home in the projects of Detroit, where she was one of ten children, to the glamorous but dizzying heights of international fame and award-winning success. She portrays how a bashful little girl blossomed into a young woman ready to take the brave step of leaving home, along with her brother BeBe, to work as a background singer on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's television program. She offers the courageous testimony of a rising recording star, confronted with new opportunities, people, and experiences, who must rely on the values she was taught as a child to guide her through life-changing decisions. She tells the wonderful story of meeting the man who became her husband, soul mate, and best friend. And finally, CeCe Winans shares a moving and candid account of her lifelong attempt, through times of tears and laughter, to sing of God's glory and live with His love in her heart.

With the Grammy®, Dove™, Stellar™, and NAACP Image Awards™ she has earned -- both on her own and in partnership with BeBe -- and with such career highlights as sharing the stage with her friend Whitney Houston before a worldwide television audience, CeCe's life certainly has its fairy-tale aspects. But CeCe is also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend who uses all the talent and energy she is blessed with to be the best she can be in all her roles. CeCe's reflections offer a reassuring sense of companionship to women facing their own challenges, doubts, and hopes -- and an inspiration to keep the fires of faith burning bright.

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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Personal Experience
I am constantly amazed at the magnitude of CeCe Winans musical and spiritual capabilities and I am pleased to say that her gifts do not end there. On A Positive Note is a beautiful piece. In it, there is a very natural and earthy quality that reaches the reader to relate the story CeCe seeks to tell. The flow of the book is very smooth; transitions are made nicely from one subject to the next as she relates her story. I cannot stress enough how the personal the experience of reading this book feels and how natural the language reads. CeCe has done it again. God is consistently working through her in a mighty way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faithfulness Brings Blessings
I read this book and I was so blessed by it.Throughout it, Cece constantly discusses the fact the she was taught to give up the world for God.This blessed me because it is evident in the way that God has blessed her music ministry that if we give up the world for God that he will do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ask or think in our lives.It was awesome to read about how God just kept blessing her life because the posture of heart was correct towards him.It was great to read a story about saved artist who had just been taught to live holy and to see the rewards of doing it.I was blessed and truly encouraged through this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very well written
While reading "On a Positive Note" by CeCe Winans, I was taken back into a time when I myself was growing up, how her childhood memories was very similar to my own.I also grew up in a large family, and reading her book brought back so many memories of my past.Despite all the tribulations and triumphs of her life, she managed to hold on to her spiritual belief, letting it guide her through her every decision in life."On A Positive Note" has inspired me, lifted me to a higher level of praising the Lord and reminded me to always put God before each decision throughout my life.This book was quite a page turner that filled my heart with laughter, joy, tears, praise, sadness and forgiveness.I was moved to pray for Ronald myself as she astoundingly shared his testimony.My thirteen year old daughter is now reading this wonderful book and I will reccommend it to everyone I know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Book
This book, "On A Positive Note", was truly an inspiration.I didn't want to put the book down.Ms. Winans biography was written so that you felt that you were right there in that moment of time.Again,GREAT BIOGRAPHY!

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Book
This book was truly an inspiration.I didn't want to put the book down.Ms. Winans biography was written so that you felt that you were right there in that moment of time.Again,GREAT BIOGRAPHY! ... Read more

147. Leap into Darkness : Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385497059
Catlog: Book (1999-09-14)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 213644
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Leap into Darkness is the gripping, action-packed account of a young boy's series of audacious escapes from the Nazis' Final Solution. Leo Bretholz survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Nazis (and others) not once, but seven times during his almost seven-year ordeal crisscrossing war-torn Europe.

He leaped from trains, outran police, and hid in attics, cellars, anywhere that offered a few more seconds of safety. First he swam the River Sauer at the German-Belgian border. Later he climbed the Alps on feet so battered they froze to his socks--only to be turned back at the Swiss border. He crawled out from under the barbed wire of a French holding camp, and hid in a village in the Pyrenees while gendarmes searched it. And in the dark hours of one November morning, he escaped from a train bound for Auschwitz.

Leap into Darkness is the sweeping memoir of one Jewish boy's survival, and of the family and the world he left behind.
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Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Austria was very involved in the Holocaust
The part that most struck me was when he wrote "Before the war would end, little Austria would supply nearly half of the staff of all Nazi concentration camps and death camps." and the story he tells of being a boy in Vienna in March 1938"when Hitler entered the city and found a quarter of a million people rapturously cheering him". He says his cousin Sonja still lives in Vienna "where the citizens now call themselves victims....hoping to keep their secret from the rest of the world".Hitler was an Austrian and so was the head of the Gestapo Kaltenbrunner and many many other Nazi's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing story of several escapes by Leo
I've read several books about the holocaust,whether their authors were survivors of the death camps, survivors on the run, or even non-Jews who helped others survive by hiding them.This book was an incredible story. His escapes were brave and amazing. I'm always looking for more stories such as this, it is amazing to me, there are so many stories, I want to know them all.If you have any other recommendations, e-mail me at book, must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book was incredible
I just finished this book, I coulnt beleive the outcome of it.It was so shocking to hear all of this. I couldn't put it down. Im very interested in the Holocaust, even though im not a surviver, but it is so interesting on how people were back in WWII, it amazes me that people had to go through all of this..I would diffently reccommend this. Thanks to Leo and Michael, to share such a tragic story and a big and unhumian peice of your life, a peice of history..Best Wishes

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely unbelievable
Leap into Darkness was about a young boy fleeing Europe before, during , and after WWII.Leo Bretholz is an amazing and courages individual.I had the opportunity to speak to Leo when he visted my sociology college class "Holocuast and Global Rasism"He is a true miracle and his story tells it all.
-Jessica 22

4-0 out of 5 stars Leo's adventures in running away from the Nazis.
As the other reviewers have already stated, this is an action packed adventure of a young man fleeing the Nazis.Leo fled from his native Vienna, to Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France,and Switzerland.In this book, he describes the Austrians as welcome participants in the Holocaust and not as the victims.Austrians treat themselves as the first victims of Hitler's aggression rather than the willing helpers of Hitler.As he fled, other nations tried to avoid Hitler's refugees.No one welcomed the outcasts from the Hitler regime.
One comment about the nature of this book.Most of the victims did not know what was going to happen when they embarked on the train journey to the camps.Leo states it in the narrative.I don't think even he knew, other than the future was bleak.It lessens the story narrative as he pictures the death that awaits these people.This should have been told at the end.
This is a great book to read.It shows the suffering of the Jews and those who opposed Hitler. ... Read more

148. Brothers In Arms : The Epic Story of the 761St Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anthony Walton
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385503385
Catlog: Book (2004-05-04)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 11082
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

I believe it is time for America to meet the men of the 761st, common men who grew to become heroes, black men who fought for a country that often hated them, stalwart men who overcame social injustice to become men of colorblind valor. This first-of-its-kind book will…help them take their place as member of the greatest generation.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

With these brief, moving words, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sets forth the feelings and the goals that inspired him to recount the courageous story of the 761st in Brothers in Arms. Jabbar first learned the story from his high school mentor and friend, Leonard “Smitty” Smith, a veteran of the Battalion. Working with acclaimed writer Anthony Walton, they interviewed the seventy surviving members of the battalion as well as battalion members' descendants to weave together a page-turning narrative based on their memories and stories, from basic training through the horrors of the battlefield, to their post-war experiences in a racially divided America. By the end of the war, the 761st—which Patton initially spurned, claiming Blacks weren't quick enough to maneuver tanks in battlefield situations—liberated some thirty towns and villages, as well as a concentration camp.

Known as “The Black Panthers,” the 761st Battalion was the first all-black tank battalion to see combat in the war. While most American units fought on the front for one to two weeks before being rotated back, the courageous men of the 761st served for more than 183 consecutive days, fighting under Patton's Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge, helping to turn back the German offensive and cut off German supply lines. They were in the vanguard of the American troops that liberated the concentration camp at Mauthausen—an effort that eventually won them recognition from the State of Israel. All this was accomplished despite a casualty rate that approached 50 percent and an extreme shortage of replacement personnel and equipment.

The unconscionable racism that shadowed these intrepid fighters during the war (black combat units were sometimes referred to as “Mrs. Roosevelt’s Niggers” because of her efforts to persuade the military to allow them to serve in combat) and the prejudices they faced when they returned home is never far from the surface of Brothers in Arms. What shines through most of all, however, are the bonds that united them as soldiers and brothers, the bravery they exhibited on the battlefield, and the quiet dignity and patriotism that defined their lives.

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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not quite there on either goal!
After finishing this book I found myself a bit disappointed. It seemed that the authors were trying to accomplish two goals; To chronicle the battle history of a distinguished unit in WWII and to tell the tale of the personal struggles of the men who made up the unit and fought for their country dispite the racism and bigotry of the times. Unfortunatly the book fell short on both goals.
As has been previously mentioned; How can you tell a tale of war and heroism without a single map or diagram. Details descriptions of tactial situations are fine, but a picture, (diagram, map) is worth a thousand words. And the same is true to recount the strategic situation as well!
As for the other goal, I got the feeling that at least half the story was missing. I want to hear what happened as these brave and honorable men returned to "Normal" life in their own country and had to fight for respect and acceptance all over again. But that story simply isn't here.
It is still a great story, and a book that should be read, especially by young men looking for guidance and role models. (white as well as black!) but I just get the feeling that it could have been much more.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Tribute long overdue
If I were to name the five most important books I'd read on WWII this one would have to be near the top. The only criticism has already been mentioned, it would be great to have theater maps that would help you get a feel for the areas in which the 761st operated. Still what comes through most forcefully for me is the courage and humanity of these soldiers. It's hard to accept that their story has taken so long to tell and that so many are no longer here to accept our thank yous.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Men, Very Good Book
"Brothers in Arms" the under-appreciated story of the 761 Tank Battalion, an African American armored unit attached to Patton's Third Army in World War II. In this volume, the authors assemble the unit's story from the enlisted man's perspective, an approach not attempted in earlier, more obscure histories. We therefore get the story of Leonard Smith and his friends William McBurney and Preston McNeil. Equally important to the unit's history are "Pop" Gates, the non-com who shaped teenage boys into top-notch soldiers; "Iron Man" William Crecy, whose fearless heroism spanned both World War II and Korea; and even Lt. Jackie Robinson, whose stateside brush with Jim Crow justice cost him combat experience, but allowed him to make his mark on history in other ways.

This is the sad truth of a segregated army, run by frequently indifferent white officers, with troops conducting their training in the outright hostile environs of Louisiana, Texas, and Kentucky. Men of the 761 endure the U.S. Army's last-class accommodations and treatment across the ocean to Europe, in the staging areas of England, and right up to the front line, where expediency forces them to join up with distrustful white units. Horrific combat during the winter of 1944-45 takes its toll not only in lives but also in attitudes. Proving themselves to be superlative as a fighting unit, the 761 Tank Battalion contributes to victory in Europe while paving the way for eventual desegregation of the U.S. armed forces.

What I like about this book is the thoughtful research that gives multiple dimensions to this story. The Jim Crow aspects, while well-told, are only a part of the narrative. You get an overview of the stages through which street kids are developed into troops, one camp at a time. The Sherman tank (the principle weapon of the 761) is described from the crew's standpoint. So too are battlefield artillery tactics and the role of terrain in maneuvering against an emplaced enemy. Attention is given to the lulls and pitch of battle. Passages describe foraging for food and trying to sleep in cold, steel vehicles during one of the coldest European winters of the century. A wonderful selection of photographs captures both stateside and European travels of 761. I was particularly touched by the photo of Sgt. Harvey Woodard, looking exhausted but resolute in the turret of his Sherman, apparently only hours away from his death.

What disappoints me is a lack of maps to give the reader some appreciation of the places and distances involved. Also, there is a sudden shift in narrative about two thirds of the way through. Up to that point, the reader rides along at the tank crews' perspective, particularly that of Leonard Smith. The reader is treated to the sights, sounds, fears, and humor that sustains these young men. But after the pivotal battle at Tillet, the tone shifts. The text from that point forward to the war's conclusion reads more like unit histories, where we no longer accompany the fighting men, but read the impersonal unit-level histories. Only at the very end do our heroes return, where the authors devote a paragraph to each describing their post-war lives.

"Brothers in Arms" adds to the "two fronts" battle legacy of African Americans in World War II U.S. military service who took on Jim Crow and the axis powers at the same time. I would suggest that the authors ignored a "third front," on which black officers and non-coms fought. This would be their struggle with the cynical, disaffected men in their own ranks who scoffed at black superiors as "Uncle Toms" for cooperating with "the Man." You can't tell me there weren't a few of these types in the ranks. The success of the black captains, lieutenants, and sergeants would take on even larger proportions if this truth were also told.

It is also interesting to note that an abridged version of Leonard Smith's story is included in "We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans," by Latty and Tarver. A comparison of the two volumes shows some inconsistency in the details. But the major themes remain in sync. This is not to take anything away from Leonard Smith (a hero in my book), who is finally, finally getting the recognition he is due. It is satisfying to see history made complete by filling in stories that were left untold for whatever reason. The authors are to be commended for that.

5-0 out of 5 stars must read
i am not usually a fan of history books, but i could not put this book down. mr walton and abdul jabbar do an incredible job getting inside the head of the 761st battalion and bring us their struggle for fighting opportunities, supplies and ultimately respect. my only complaint is that the many battle sequences were hard to intepret for someone who is not a buff of history. a set of maps of timeline of the war could have been helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
I am a former Armor officer and was eagerly awaiting this book. The author has written a well balanced account of life as a black tanker during World War II. He goes into detail showing the differences in their training compared to white soldiers and the racism they encountered. For all the humiliation they suffered in the USA, they didn't let it get them down and soldiered on when called to fight. The battle accounts are detailed and the focus is in the soldiers and not the equipment. The only "flaw" in the book is it does not have any maps. It was kind of hard following the route of the 761st as they fought through Europe. Some of the towns I have heard of and others I didnt have a clue. Maps would have helped. But overall this book is an easy read and easy to understand and a well written account of the 761st Tank Battalion. ... Read more

149. The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey: A Portrait in Her Own Words
by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Adler
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559724196
Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
Publisher: International Thomson Publishing
Sales Rank: 53322
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Words more important than packager
You can get lost in the fact that this is a collection of quotes by Oprah and not thoughts written by Oprah exclusively for this book.
Or you could be smart and glean wisdom from what she has to say.
How she grew up, what she learned from her errors, what she thinks of money and herself in relationship to it, the mental preparation to receive the abundance that she has and how she stays centered.

What I think thsi book is valuable for is insight, and perhaps personal inspiration for how to manage one's self in certain situations. The goal is not to become Oprah, it is to become the best YOU possible.

You take or you leave it, but you integrate it into the lessons and challenges of your own life. The same with John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Jenny Jones (hahhahahaha----kidding).

3-0 out of 5 stars A chronology of quotations
While this is a very interesting and well researched book on Oprah, keep in mind that it is an unauthorized biography. This book is basically a chronology of Oprah's life, and Adler does a decent job of stringing her quotes into a coherent history. A nice bonus is the section of short quotes on a wide variety of subjects. If you love Oprah, you'll probably love this book!

1-0 out of 5 stars An unauthorized book of Oprah Winfrey quotes.
Bill Adler has taken past interviews, articles, and speeches of Oprah Winfrey and complied _his list_ of her best quotations. It's an unauthorized book - meaning Oprah didn't write it nor was she involved in the production. Some quotations show the source of information with a date and some don't -- which makes it a bit disappointing not to have the history or context pertaining to the quote. If you have an extensive Oprah collection, you'll want this book just to say you have everything, otherwise there are many other good Oprah biographies available. ... Read more

150. Open House : Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons and the Search for a Room of My Own
by Patricia J. Williams
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374114072
Catlog: Book (2004-11-08)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 2642
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Book Description

Open House strings together a delightful array of observations, reminiscences, anecdotes and commentaries by renowned columnist Patricia Williams. Written with her trademark wit and insight, she relates stories about the many facets of her life - as a lawyer, scholar, writer, African-American, descendant of slaves, mother, and single, fifty-something woman - always aware of the ironies inherent in situations when her many identities don't conform to societal expectations. She tells us of her Great Aunt Mary, who crossed the color line one day, while boarding a train; about her Best White Friend, who believes that the only thing standing between the author and an eligible husband is a make-over; about the day she and her family learned how to eat watermelon without fear of racial judgment; and about why she worships Oprah. She also tackles serious subjects, such as cloning and the legacy of slavery and privacy issues in the cyberage, all with her characteristic sparkling humor and originality. Always provocative, never didactic, Open House is an entertaining journey through the rooms of Pat Williams' imagination.
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151. Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power
by Kenneth Bancroft Clark
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0819562262
Catlog: Book (1989-11-15)
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Sales Rank: 301604
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A deeply penetrating psychological account
Dr. Clark has struck a sensitive nerve in the consciousness of a nation in his 1965 study of black neighborhoods. Revised in 1989 with anintroduction by William Julius Wilson, and a foreword by Gunnar Myrdal, it is apparent that other scholars respect Clark's work as well. I was particularly impressed by the self-honesty of his methodology -- he calls it his "involved observer" method, which shows much more concern for the subjects of the study than traditional "disinterested observer" approaches, espoused by so-called "value-free" social scientists. Also recommended are other books by Clark, and most anything by Cornel West, Lewis R. Gordon, Allen Spear, and Alex Kotlowitz. A related book to "Dark Ghetto" is "Racism & Psychiatry," by Alexander Thomas and Samuel Sillen, with an introduction by K. Clark. ... Read more

152. A Jewish Boyhood in Poland: Remembering Kolbuszowa
by Norman Salsitz, Richard Skolnik
list price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815602626
Catlog: Book (1992-06-01)
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Sales Rank: 872895
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
I really enjoyed this book! It is an intriguing story and vivid depiction of a place that no longer exists except in memory.

Overall it was highly readable, with a minor exception being that too many anecdotes took place in footnotes, which perhaps could have been included in the body of the text. There is a small amount of repetition; this is much more than made up for by the wealth of interesting details and insights about life in that town, how it changed over time, and then when invaded.

I think this book would be highly interesting to the general public and especially those who want to know more about: life in towns that were later destroyed by the Nazi's; life in provincial Polish towns/or Galicia before WWII; issues of rememberance and WWII; relations between peasants, Jews, Othodox, ultra-Orthodox, Zionists, and Christians/Catholics, Poles, Germans.

If you have any relatives that lived in or near Kolbuszowa, than it is an absolute, must-buy. I found it particularly intriguing and a valuable resource regarding family history and issues of memory of WWII, because I had relatives who died in that town and some who were able to leave before its occupation. Feel free to email me if you have questions. ... Read more

153. A Drinking Life: A Memoir
by Pete Hamill
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316341088
Catlog: Book (1994-01-01)
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T)
Sales Rank: 448656
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hamill's wonderful Memoir
The majority of this book takes place during Pete Hamill's childhood where he is raised in Brooklyn in a blue collar family.Hamill describes the characters of the neighborhood, his father and their favorite past time...drinking.The foul smoked filled bars of Brooklyn, this is where Hamill's father spends his time along with the neighborhood.The story is a way of life and that way of life is to drink.The story progresses into Pete Hamill's adult life and eventually into his learned way of life to drink.Hamill's alcohol consumption progresses and here is where Hamill tells his story of his drinking life, what it was to live as an alcoholic and what he did to face this problem.This is a terrific book.Reading about the neighborhood, Brooklyn and the time period alone makes this a wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just...."A Life"
Pete Hamill has lived a very interesting life. We lead many lifes. He was the artist dreamer in rough and tumble Brooklyn as well as being able to be rough and tumble. He is dettached, yet sentimental. He hangs with the boys, grows up to stay loyal to his neighborhood and yet runs in celebrity circles. His memoir is "A Life".It is about drinking, but drinking is secondary to the story. What you get is not the destruction that drink causes but more of a passive tone regarding his heavy drinking. What permeates, into the reader is, mostly that drinking in Hamill's life created huge dysfunction in his family life and in his relationships.

What I found out to be bothersome was that I became very involved in the book and felt it was interesting enough for 100-150 more pages. The book is very detail oriented,from his very detailed young life to the late sixties and then it rapidly goes through his adult life. Hamill basically runs in famous circles later in his life, yet the reader doesn't get to know exactly how he found himself in those circles. On the positive side of this, he doesn't name drop or fall all over himself or pile gossipy crap on any of them.

His book points out his interesting life, his growth as a man, his successes and his adventures. I became involved in "A Drinking Life", in such a way, that I missed his life when the book was finished.

1-0 out of 5 stars What drinking life?
Mr. Hamill has written a book about the drinking life which doesn't mention drinking. Nowhere does he talk about the experience of drinking, why he liked drinking, or any of the other issues central to a drinker's life. I'm a non-drinking alcoholic, and I find it hard from the evidence provided in this book to conclude that Mr. Hamill ever drank at all.

I suppose the answer is probably that Mr. Hamill, in order to remain sober, has repressed all that. Well, more power to him. When you know what alcoholism is like then you want every other non-drinking alcoholic to use whatever means possible to stay sober. However, what we end up with is a highly intellectualized account of Mr. Hamill's drinking life which omits the crucial factors and ends up substituting for them cheap shots at his father.

2-0 out of 5 stars not the best
Quite honestly, I expected much more from this book, but was quickly disappointed. Despite the advice found in these reviews, you can find much better books to transport you into the old days of the New York streets. If you want a real memoir to read, one that tells the true tragic story of an Irish boys life with an alcoholic father, stick to Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes." It's written better, has much more feeling, and content.

Hamill whines, and complains about his life, and it's apparent that he is telling the story in a pity party circle. After reading the book, it's clear that he should just get over it, because his life isn't, and wasn't bad at all. Even his drinking problem pales in comparison to any NYC bar fly.

Stick to Hamill's fiction.

A highly rewarding read is what this book offers.One of the reasons I enjoy reading of another's life is to see the twists and turns that occur in the course of events.Most of the time (never always) the route is circuitous before a life's occupation is finally realized.In this case Pete Hamill is talented from childhood due to a creative brain and the ability to draw.This lead to many many adventures and the final destination of author.What a trip!Everything is well written and his amours are something to behold.I coudl not put this book down and read it quickly. ... Read more

154. U2 : At the END of the WORLD
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385311540
Catlog: Book (1995-05-01)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Sales Rank: 442920
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute "Must Have"
This is a must have for any U2 fan. This book is not only very informative but funny too. Bill Flanagan gives a unique insiders view into the band from personal conversations and participation in backstage antics. The close relationships the band share with each other are very evident in this book. I was given the feeling of being a "fly on the wall" while reading - some of the situations the band find themselves in are at once both amazing and horrifying. Bill Flanagan was along for the ride for most of three years while the band toured and recorded in the studio. U2 At the End of the World is an accounting of his time spent with the band and is an enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best up-close look at a private band
If you are a true U2 fan this is the book for you!It is impossible to put it down, so much detail into their daily lives and ideas is so amazing.I have always respected U2's privacy and control over their lives, but like all fans, I have yearned to know them better, this book takes you in up close better than all the rest.Read this book first and see if you want to bother buying any others, I wish I had bought it first!

5-0 out of 5 stars The KEY book for a KEY time in the life of this band
Rarely put-downable, Flanagan writes with a careful balance of of humor and seriousness that puts U2 in unparallelled company as rock's most thoughtful and interesting band. Flanagan benefits from covering them from the depths of the at times extremely tenuous Achtung Baby sessions in Berlin to standing once again at the top of Rock superstardom, reinvented, embracing of irony and cultivating a wholly new following. If you're like me and became a U2 die hard during this period but were a little too young to go out to concerts or see band members while in town on tour, this book will show you just what a remarkable period it was for them. Paul McGuiness's insights and vision for what was to come with respect to digital, downloadable music is almost prophetic, reading the book now in 2004. But U2 are at the center of a changing world in the early 90s with the fall of the Wall and the newness of the "New World Order" which they try to recognize and understand and the election of the first Democratic president in a dozen years in America. All the while, U2 remain 4 secondary school mates who take themselves MUCH less seriously than is commonly believed. ZOO TV still remains as one of the most dazzling, ambitious and provocative tours ever put on, all at at time where a band was desperately trying to find a new direction. But the cultural, political, musical discussions, events and meanderings are what make this work so rich, beyone typical band biographies. If you love U2 or merely just love Achtung Baby and Zoo TV, you will love this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just a really, really,F****** brillant read
I had always prided myself as being a u2 fan - I could sing their entire back catalog by heart, but I was aways a bit wary of reading any actual "books" on my fav band as they are often out of date by the time they (the books) hit the self and often show my beloved boys in an unkind light.
I ordered this book on word of mouth and the fact that I am starved for any band info as it has almost been four years since their last masterpiece - I was not disapointed.Flanagan writes this journal of life during the Zoo TV tour as a journalist but also as a fan - the personalities of the members of u2 and their organization are brought to focus in a way that helps the reader identify with Bono, Edge, Larry, Adam, and Paul (if by chance you are wondering who Paul is - please read the book and become a true U2 fan of God's Sake!)
True the events that are described in this book are over ten years old but it is an essential period of u2 and it sets the stage for the cohesive unit that the band has become - last seen during the band's most recent elevation tour.
I read the entire book over two days and Flanagan has done something that I didn't think was possible for a die-hard u2 fan - I fell a bit more in love the members of the band for the separate men they are and for the band they form.Remember - "We're one, but we're not the same, we got to carry each other"
Flanagan shows that u2 stand behind the sentiment in One.A true gift of a book - a must read

5-0 out of 5 stars A great rock-n-roll travelogue
Although this is a book about U2, it's such a strange and fascinating tale that it should stand as a classic of rock-n-roll writing as well as the single essential volume for any U2 fan.

The first thing that sets this book apart from the usual rock bio is that it doesn't focus on serving up facts about the band members.There's no "born here, went to school here" at the beginning; instead, we open with Bono, startled into crouching with a hand over his nakedness when a German family comes to reclaim the East Berlin house he's staying in just after the Wall falls.The rest of this tome continues in the same vein, conveying what the band members are like and how they live their rockstar lives by vividly recounting moment-to-moment experiences that the author lived through along with them.

Bill Flanagan was granted unprecedented access to the band member's lives, and throughout the two years he spends touring with him, they treat him as a friend.He makes no pretense of impartiality but rather tells everything from his own point of view, which is much more genuine than any false distance would be and allows you to feel you're there with the band.The length of time and volume of material that result are made more manageable by the fact that Flanagan gives each chapter its own brief coherency, so they can easily be read separately as well as together (and indeed a couple of them were originally published as magazine articles in Musician).

The real reward comes from following the band through to the end of their Zoo TV/Zooropa tour.There's a detachment from reality that Flanagan, the band members, and all the tour crew come to experience as they dedicate themselves to a roaming life, and it's gradually revealed as the band's experiences become more and more strange.Eventually, when you reach the near-insanity of Bono walking and talking and refusing to go to sleep in Japan, it makes a kind of strange sense.Along the way, Adam bottoms out, Edge does 'shrooms and falls in love, and Larry injects himself with bull's blood.It's all good stuff.

If you're really into U2, it would be a crying shame for you to miss out on this book because you'll never understand the band so well any other way.If you've somehow stumbled upon this out of a general interest in rock-n-roll life, it's worth your time to use this book for an insider's view.And if you're looking for some fun nonfiction, it doesn't get any crazier than this. ... Read more

155. I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree : A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor
by Laura Hillman
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689869800
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Atheneum
Sales Rank: 191831
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Book Description


In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany--Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn.

Soon another letter arrived. "The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East--whatever that means." Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings...How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman.

Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree is the remarkable true story of one young woman's nightmarish coming-of-age. But it is also a story about the surprising possibilities for hope and love in one of history's most brutal times.

... Read more

156. My American Journey
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345407288
Catlog: Book (1996-06-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 12121
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

--The New York Times Book Review
Colin Powell is the embodiment of the American dream. He was born in Harlem to immigrant parents from Jamaica. He knew the rough life of the streets. He overcame a barely average start at school. Then he joined the Army. The rest is history--Vietnam, the Pentagon, Panama, Desert Storm--but a history that until now has been known only on the surface. Here, for the first time, Colin Powell himself tells us how it happened, in a memoir distinguished by a heartfelt love of country and family, warm good humor, and a soldier's directness.
MY AMERICAN JOURNEY is the powerful story of a life well lived and well told. It is also a view from the mountaintop of the political landscape of America. At a time when Americans feel disenchanted with their leaders, General Powell's passionate views on family, personal responsibility, and, in his own words, "the greatness of America and the opportunities it offers" inspire hope and present a blueprint for the future. An utterly absorbing account, it is history with a vision.
"The stirring, only-in-America story of one determined man's journey from the South Bronx to directing the mightiest of military forces . . . Fascinating."--The Washington Post Book World
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"PROFOUND AND MOVING . . . . Must reading for anyone who wants to reaffirm his faith in the promise of America."
--Jack Kemp
The Wall Street Journal
"A book that is much like its subject--articulate, confident, impressive, but unpretentious and witty. . . . Whether you are a political junkie, a military buff, or just interested in a good story, MY AMERICAN JOURNEY is a book well worth reading."
--San Diego Union Tribune
"Colin Powell's candid, introspective autobiography is a joy for all with an appetite for well-written political and social commentary."
--The Detroit News
... Read more

Reviews (64)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great American, Yes; Great Book, No
RE: AUDIO TAPE VERSION READ BY POWELL. I am a Colin Powell admirer but a definitive biography would better be told by a skilled independent writer, and after more "chapters" in his life are complete. Powell may indeed be a man of few faults but we can't be sure of that from his own words. I disagree however with reviewers who postulate that Powell has puffed-up his own accomplishments, on the contrary he's excessively modest. Rising to the highest position in the most powerful military in world history (and now to US Sec. of State) without benefit of a West Point education & connections describes a truly extraordinary individual. And far from savaging his detractors and the many incompetants he must have encountered along the way, Powell offers only a few token, and generally mild, criticisms. This book displays insight into Powell's background, development and beliefs but sidesteps tough questions of who screwed up and when. In that sense it is highly Politic - burns no bridges - and gives one hope that Powell may yet consider an Eisenhower-like leap to the highest civilian office.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most Educational Books I have ever Read
An American success story if there ever was one. Colin Powell vividly depicts his extraordinary life and career that could only take place in the setting of America. This autobiography wheels you through life in the poor neighborhoods in the Bronx to Washington Power broker. Colin Powell takes you though his life through his eyes, and into history, in some ways while reading it, I felt as though it was Forrest Gump on steroids, but the story is true.
Anyone interested in the policymaking process should read this book, as Powell describes his role as well as the role of other American leaders in making some of the most crucial decisions, the reader is swept into the pressures and challenges faced with America's leaders on a daily basis. The book delivers an account into the lives of Dick Cheney, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, and others, allowing you to take a more personal look at American leadership. It is so easy to criticize from the outside looking in, but usually criticism as well as praise, is done by the uninformed.
One aspect I found particularly educational was how Powell provided a small glimpse to me (A young white male) of an educated man, a commissioned officer of the United States Army, refused service in restaurants, and discriminated in others ways. It is a credit to Powell, how he rose above narrow-minded bigotry and focused on the positive; resisting the temptation of "victimization" to become one of the most powerful and respected men in the country. I recommend this book to anyone, black, white, Latino, male, female, liberal, or conservative.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Back in the early 90's, I didn't understand America's love affair with Colin Powell. It was only after he was named Secretary of State by George Bush that I read My American Journey, originally published in 1995. While the book obviously doesn't provide much insight into Powell's sudden about-face in early 2003 on whether to invade Iraq, it does provide a great deal of background and context to allow Americans to understand that Powell probably felt he exhausted his options and had no choice but to support Bush's policy or to resign. It also makes plain Powell's disdain for Dick Cheney. Clearly, Powell did not expect to be working again so closely with Cheney when he published My American Journey.

Powell's lessons are inspirational. There is a reason that Colin Powell is one of the most admired leaders in America, and his autobiography makes clear that he cares about his troops and his employees. Strange, then, that he would have forced his Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs to "retire" in 2002 rather than stand up to the pressure he must have been under from the press and other government colleagues, including, perhaps, his boss, in the wake of numerous visa scandals. That she was one of the most respected and successful Foreign Service Officers shows that even such bigger-than-life heroes as Powell are only human after all.

My American Journey includes some of Powell's setbacks as well as his achievements. His vignette about a poor efficiency report he received at a crucial stage in his career helped me deal with a similar run-in with my boss. I practically quoted Powell to my boss, but was a bit more active than Powell has himself come across. (Powell essentially resigned himself to finding a new job.) In the end, Powell's first rule prevailed: "It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning."

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspiration for All People!!!
Upon reading "My American Journey," I felt an enourmous sense of pride for the United States of America. Secretary Powell is an example of what people can be become through hard work and determination. In his autobiagraphy, Powell allows the reader to become aware of the challenges this country has endured and how he has over come obsticles that have been placed throughout his life.
Powell lets the reader become aware of where he stands on various important issues that have been part of both United States international and domestic policy. Even if one does not agree with him politically, we can all gain from his sense of respect and devotion to ones country. This is a must read for any one interested in the life of a great American hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Hero For All Seasons
It seems everywhere you go these days, there is Secretary of State Colin Powell, "America's Promise." This book shows why. Secretary Powell's character shines through and will continue to do so despite his detractors, who are truly attacking President George W. Bush (who is distantly related) as well as anything the ultra-agenda-driven media, with their WMD (Words of Mind Destruction) 24-hour anti-Bush shark attack.

Secretary Powell's lessons on life, his devotion to his wife Alma, his service to his country and his fond recollections of being "Luther and Arie's Son" create a portrait of a multifaceted man who planted the seed, via Jamie Sepulveda-Bailey, of "The Valley's Promise," a remarkable youth organization in Palm Springs, Secretary Powell's family, including his cousin Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, author of his own inspiring story, ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, are undoubtedly as remarkable as he is. ... Read more

157. Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads With an Indian Elder
by Kent Nerburn
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577312333
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: New World Library
Sales Rank: 19555
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this 1996 Minnesota Book Award winner, Kent Nerburn draws the reader deep into the world of an Indian elder known only as Dan. It’s a world of Indian towns, white roadside cafes, and abandoned roads that swirl with the memories of the Ghost Dance and Sitting Bull. Readers meet vivid characters like Jumbo, a 400-pound mechanic, and Annie, an 80-year-old Lakota woman living in a log cabin. Threading through the book is the story of two men struggling to find a common voice. Neither Wolf nor Dog takes readers to the heart of the Native American experience. As the story unfolds, Dan speaks eloquently on the difference between land and property, the power of silence, and the selling of sacred ceremonies. This edition features a new introduction by the author. "This is a sobering, humbling, cleansing, loving book, one that every American should read." — Yoga Journal ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars We must talk to one another
"We had people who could tell us about the old days and why they were important to us. The story of our people was like a song. As long as somebody could sing it, it was real. It never mattered if someone wrote it down. When you came you said our song wasn't real because it wasn't written down. Then you wrote it down the way you wanted it. Our history was alive. But your history was dead, even though it was written in words. "
This is an honest and open-hearted book which aims at giving us the Native American perspective on the relationship between the whites and the reds. The anger, the bitternes and the incomprehension which the Indians have for the white man's robot-like obsession with possessing land (how could land, a living organism, be possessed?) and acquiring goods are depicted touchingly via a series of conversations between the author and an old Lakota man. The book is skilfully written and has many humorous passages. It is easily readable but for me it was not an easy read. It is hard to be reminded of the extent to which the Lakota (and other N.A. peoples) were physically, morally and culturally battered and, almost, vanquished by an almost inhuman, greed of the invaders. The desperation, with which they have watched their animal "brothers and sisters" disappear. It made me very sad. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding the N.A. point of view and who wants to take a breather from the deluge of books on N.A. "spirituality", which paradoxically, tend to perpetuate the separation between "us" and "them". If you want to learn about respect, listening and generosity, read this story, listen to its songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Change in Perspective
Every so often, a book comes along that really begs the reader to question his or her belief system, and how those beliefs became a part of their personality. It is often difficult to find a bird's eye view of the subtle idiosyncracies of the average everyday white american lifestyle. Often it takes a foreign perspective, much like DeToqueville's Democracy in America, to comment on what is really going on socially, politically, and economically in a certain place.

Kent Nerburn eloquently relays the teachings and stories of the Old Man in Neither Wolf Nor Dog in this sort of way. From the perspective of an elderly Native American, I was able to partially understand why there is such a gap between Native America and the rest of the country in terms of communal relations, and even everyday interaction. Much of this is due to the mystification of Native America through Hollywood films and frontier novels written by romanticizing white writers.

White America doesn't really understand what it is really like on reservations, and can't possibly comprehend what it is actually like for a population that deals with it's painful history every second of every day; a people lamenting the loss of their ancestoral lands, way of life, and culture.

Nerburn uses the Old Man's narrative to help explain what goes on in the mind of many Native Americans, and how Native America really views the capitalist white society's dealings with race, the environment, history, family, interaction with one another, and employment, among others. In my view, this is the most valuable portion of the book, and the section from which I gained the most perspective. In sometimes complex, but often quite simple terms, the Old Man offers commentary on the roots of our value system, which, after reading his description of our culture, seems very selfish, ignorant, arrogant, and at some times, preposterous. The dichotomy between the two cultures helps to bridge a gap between our two very different, yet forever interwined cultures.

Much like Saul Bellow's Seize the Day, this book deals with a very painful subject: genocide. In Bellow's novella, the topic was the Holocaust; in Nerburn's, the decimation of the Native population of this country. Both touch on the same theme, the inability to move forward as a human race without acknowledging, understanding, and finally accepting the tragedy and horror inflicted upon our fellow man by our ancestors. Only then can we hope to truly live as one people, sharing one land, accepting eachother as brothers and sisters in a world blessed with differences.

I recommend this book to anyone searching for answers, anyone plagued by a feeling they can't quite explain, and anyone who wishes to better themselves by finally asking the questions about human existence that couldn't be more important.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
This is a well-written book that does the unusual. It can make readers see through someone else's eyes. I felt completely drawn into the story and the perspective of the Native Americans featured in this book. The author made these people seem like friends and I was sorry to leave them behind when the book ended. While they don't speak for all tribes and all peoples, it's an enlightening glimpse into the lives and outlooks of some of the Lakota people.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most powerful book I have ever read
This is the most powerful book I have ever read about the Native people of this land. Since reading it, I have gotten several copies for my friends and loved ones and they have all reported being powerfully touched by it. I can't recommend any book more strongly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Neither Wolf Nor Dog
Finally, a book about indians that tells it the way it was and the way it is today. At first I thought Old Dan was full of BS. But the more I read the more I knew he was speaking the truth. I was truely sad when I reached the last page of the book, I wanted it to go on forever. ... Read more

158. Black Baby White Hands: A View from the Crib
by Jaiya John
list price: $15.00
our price: $12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971330808
Catlog: Book (2002-06)
Publisher: Soul Water
Sales Rank: 101020
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


July 15, 1968. It is only three months following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the nation is burning. Black and White America are locked in the tense grip of massive change. Into this inferno steps an unsuspecting young White couple. Neither significantly knew even a single African American person while growing up. Now, a child will change all of that forever. In this fateful moment, a Black baby becomes perhaps the first in the history of New Mexico to be adopted by a White family. Here is a brazenly honest glimpse into the mind and heart of that child, a true story for the ages. Jaiya John has opened the floodgates on his own childhood. Black Baby White Hands, a waterfall of jazz splashing over the rocks of pain, love and the honoring of family. Magically, this book finds a way to sing as it cries, and to exude compassion even as it dispels well-entrenched myths. This classic is sure to find itself well worn, stained by tears, and brushed by laughter in the lap of parents, adolescents, educators, students and professionals. Here comes the rain and the sunshine, all at once. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Jaiya, for sharing your soul...
Black Baby White Hands: A View from the Crib by Dr. Jaiya John touched my soul. It is a journey into the world of a child who was a stranger surrounded by well meaning adoptive parents who were unable to reach the depth of his heart and soul. As you read his book, you move through the depth of a range of emotions and emerge with a hope that armed with sensitivity and knowledge, there is a future for the children caught up in the system. Prior to adopting my first child 25 years ago, I read a book about the account of an adoptee. That story enabled me to prepare myself for how my children might feel being adopted. Dr. John's book is the "Transracial Adoption Bible" sorely needed in this arena. As a transracial adoptive parent, adoption worker and trainer, "Black Baby" has become required reading for those families that I work with or train who desire to parent transracially. When I train prospective aodptive parents, all of them indicate that they want the best for their children. If we look at ourselves honestly, we realize we cannot be everything to our child. Jaiya's poignant life journey compels us to shed our color-blind ideas and recognize we live in a race conscious society that will see color and react according to preconceived notions. We cannot protect our children forever; we must give them the tools to survive in this society. For those who have or are considering adopting transracially, once you read "Black Baby", you will have walked in Jaiya's shoes and you cannot help but come away enlightened and armed with the knowledge you need to do right by the children you love so much. Thank you, Jaiya, for sharing your soul. We need you in this field "It takes a whole village to raise a child."

5-0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful book!
The elegant cover is symbolic of a beautifully told story that it holds within its pages. This story deeply touched my heart. Living in Los Alamos, I found the descriptions of the city, surrounding areas and cultures to be simply breathe-taking. This story disclosed the inner conflicts of a child adopted into another race. Dr. Jaiya John's honest and heart -wrenching descriptions of his inner turmoil and his examination of how he was living vs. how he might have been living in his own culture was captivating. After reading this book, I found myself with a deep connection and love for the Black community. I have told strangers about this beautiful book. It is a must!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an extremely powerful and beautifully written book.
As a child welfare professional and advocate, I believe that this book can serve as a wonderful learning tool for parents seeking to adopt children of different cultures/races. All Social Workers would also greatly benefit from reading it. As a transracial adoptee, this book truly validated many of my experiences growing up in a world that was socially and emotionally challenging, and often made very little sense to me. Dr. John can serve as a role model for many because he has worked tirelessly to search for, and grow from, the meaning behind his experiences. Through his storytelling, he also shares his life with us in a manner that honors all of his family members. I highly recommend reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars elevated
I wasn't sure when I first picked up the book if it would hold my interest, but it did quite a bit more than that.I can't imagine anyone not getting something out of this book, because it touches everyone if your heart is open and beating. I gained considerable insight on transracial adoption and the plight of the child growing up without really knowing their heritage.
I would consider this book a "must read" by anyone.
The author really keeps you captivated.

5-0 out of 5 stars A tour de force!
Here is an astounding literary achievement where poetry and music of the soul come to the written page. It's so remarkably rare to find a biography rich in colour, texture on a voyage of discovery. His use of metaphor unparalleled. I do hope we have more from the pen of Jaiya John. ... Read more

159. Fear No Evil: The Classic Memoir of One Man's Triumph over a Police State
by Anatoly Shcharansky, Natan Sharansky, Stefani Hoffman
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1891620029
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 6279
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The classic, inspiring memoir of a political dissident-a man whose fierce spirit and drive for freedom triumphed over imprisonment, solitary confinement, the Soviet Union, and Communism itself. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE MAN AGAINST THE KGB
This book lends incredible insight into the life of a Russian Refusenik under the oppressive Soviet system. Sharansky's mental tricks that sustained him during his years of horrific incarceration as well as his genius and amazing memory impressed the hell out of me.

Learning how one man could take on the KGB and outsmart, outwill, and outlast them is a truly uplifting experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spirit Triumphant
Sharansky's autobiography is one of the most compelling works of literature that I have read. This is literature - it made me pause to think and reflect on what he said frequently, and my copy is well-thumbed. The story is of a spiritual journey, as the young Sharansky's awareness of his Jewishness de-Sovietizes him and leads him into the Gulag - willingly, as he forknew the risks of protesting Soviet emmigration policy. His voluntary civil disobedience seperated him from his bride, Avital, physically for a decade, but the growing intensity of the spiritual forces working within and through him bonded them ever more securely. The moral courage demonstrated by one of the most celebrated of the Refusniks is evident on nearly every page. The spiritual uplift that Sharansky found came from his faith, and from reading the classics, one of the few liberties permitted him in the Gulag. (Looted libraries and personal collections left the prison system well-stocked for this purpose.) The comments on how he was encouraged by his encounter with Aristophanes, when he understood the connection between himself and a character in a 2,500 play through a joke that he finally 'got,'are among the most uplifting in the book. Sharansky recounts how that joke opened a floodgate in his mind, through which came pouring the voices of Rabelais, Cerevantes and other great classics, reminding him of his humanity and the ways of man. The climatic chapter, "The Interconnection of Souls," should be re-read many times. -Lloyd A. Conway

5-0 out of 5 stars Great inspiration and a great lesson.
It's hard to believe that one person could morally and intellectually defeat the KGB all by himself, to preserve his identity and his integrity despite all odds. There are many lessons for our everyday life that one can learn from this book. I recommend it very highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A increadible tale of one man's bravery in Soviet prison
An inspiring book in which Natan Sharansky tells of his struggle against the KGB and the power of the Soviet police state. I found myself amazed at the courage that this young, physically small man exhibited when faced with the full fury of the KGB. His intellectual battles with his interogators and his remarkable stamina during hunger strikes in support of fellow prisoners are memorable. The whole book helped me to put the small struggles of life in perspective, emphasizing the importance of following ones principles, yet having in mind the small magnitude of ones problems compared to the historic ones faced by refuseniks like Mr. Sharansky. -Michael Good ... Read more

160. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During andAfter the World War II Internment
list price: $6.50
our price: $5.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553272586
Catlog: Book (1983-03-01)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Sales Rank: 27136
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.

At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances. Written with her husband, Jeanne delivers a powerful first-person account that reveals her search for the meaning of Manzanar.

Farewell to Manzanar has become a staple of curriculum in schools and on campuses across the country. Last year the San Francisco Chronicle named it one of the twentieth century"s 100 best nonfiction books from west of the Rockies.
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Reviews (112)

4-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and heartfelt book
Farewell to Manzanar is an autobiography by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston,who was a little girl when she and her family were placed in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The book begins when Pearl Harbor is bombed. She is seven years old. About a month after, Jeanne and her family are moved to Manzanar, where the government has set up camps for Japanese-Americans, who they fear won't be loyal to America. Jeanne writes about Manzanar as the place where her life began. She describes her life there as a child. As the book continues and her family leaves Manzanar, she writes about the impact of Manzanar on her and the other members of her family.
Throughout the rest of her childhood, Jeanne tries to find herself and understand how to live in the world given her race and heritage. She struggles living up to her father's expectations. She does not find total peace with her own identity until she returns to Manzanar thirty years after she first went there.
The book not only focuses on Jeanne's life, but also tunes into the rest of her family's. It shows how her mother feels disgusted by the camp, the way her brother is transforming from a boy to a man, and about her fathers mental and physical downfall.

3-0 out of 5 stars American treatment to Japanese during WWII
this book is written in first person by Jeanne Wakatsuki. It starts out when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. The FBI then sends all of the Japanese living in the U.S. (or at least that area) to live at a concentration camp, Manzanar. But Jeanne's father is separated from the rest of the family because he's arrested by the FBI. 9 months later, he joins the rest of the family, but has now change, he now drinks a lot, has a bad attitude, and beats his wife. To distract herself, Jeanne tries out baton twirling at camp. Finally, the people at m,anzanar are granted freedom when the United States wins WWII because they bombed Hiroshima. Jeanne's father, mother, and sister don't move out yet, they stay a while longer, until they are forced toleave camp. That is when Jeanne's father decides to move near Long Beach CA, where Jeanne meets her new best friend, Radine, the typical american girl. As Jeanne grows, she realizes how racist people are to her just because she's japanese. Finally, she has her moment of glory, but is then ruined by other's feelings of racism. Years later, Jeanne gets married and goes back to Manzanar to see what's left of it, but it's mostly bad memories. i thought this was a good book because since the authors tells us the story in first person, she can add more feeling and emotions to the book. what i didn't like was that some parts were confusing, i didn't know whether she was telling us what was happening right then or whether she was remebering. overall i say it was a good book. the theme, racism, is very clear throughout the entire book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story as relevant today as ever
When I first read this book 2 decades ago, I read it to learn about a history that I hoped our government would atone for. In fact, later, the US government did make reparations, and I had hoped that that would be the end of that story.

But today post 9/11, the same issues have arisen. This time, it is not Japanese-Americans, but Americans of Middle-Eastern descent. Today, the US Supreme Court announced its decision in "Hamdi v. Rumsfeld" in which a US citizen of Middle-Eastern descent was being held prisoner indefinitely by the US government even though there has been no trial and Hamdi has no access to a lawyer. The Supreme Court wisely said that this was unacceptable. In many sections of the opinion, the Court kept referring to the lessons we learned from the Japanese-American internment experience that is described in this book.

When times are stressful and we feel like we are being attacked by the enemy, it is easy to conclude that anyone who looks like the enemy should be detained, even without any evidence that that person did anything wrong. I hope that all people who feel that racial profiling is appropriate (or that all Middle Eastern people are suspect) read this book. Maybe this book will change their minds.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jeanne Wakatsuki A Japanese American
Farewell to Manzanar was written by a Japanese American named Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and her husband James D. Houston. They wrote this book about how her life was in the Manzanar camp. They wrote the book in memory of her father Ko, her mother Riku, and her brother Woodrow M. Wakatsuki. My favorite character in this book was Jeanne's mom Riku. She was a very strong willed and strong minded person. Riku, the mother, reminds me a lot of me because she does some things that I did for my husband when I was still with him.
I can relate to Riku because she was with an abusive and alcoholic husband. I also was with an abusive husband who used drugs. I don't see how we put up with it, but her husband changed and my husband just got worse; I ended up leaving him. I also don't think I can relate to the other characters in the story because I have never been in a camp that had so many rules and boundaries.
I like this book very much because I like learning and reading about different cultures and how they live their lives. Some stories don't have a happy ending but I think this one has a pretty good ending to it. My favorite part of the book was when Ko Wakatsuki had and interview at Fort Lincoln. The reason I enjoy this part is he was being a smart-alecky person about the whole interview and it made me laugh. Ko is asked questions more than one time, and after a while he began asking the questions and it makes the interviewer very mad. My least favorite part about the book is when Mama is being abused by her husband. I don't see how she stood by him that long.
I don't think I would change any part of the story. This story happened in real life to the Wakatsuki family and we can't change what really took place. The story pretty much has a good ending. They got out of Manzanar camp with their dignity.
I highly recommend people read this book about Japanese Americans because it is very interesting to know what happened. It is not easy to hear, see or read about how the different cultures were treated.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful story of an American family's struggle
"Farewell to Manzanar" is by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. In a foreword Jeanne Houston notes that this book, which tells about the internment of a Japanese-American family during World War II, is a true story. "Farewell" is a rich and fascinating chronicle. The Houstons follow the lives of the members of the Wakatsuki family before, during, and after the experience of internment.

The narrative is full of compelling details of the family's experiences. It is particularly intriguing to watch how the internment camp evolved into "a world unto itself, with its own logic"--a "desert ghetto." During the course of the book the authors discuss many important topics: religion, education, anti-Asian bigotry, the impact of the Pearl Harbor attack, the military service of Japanese-Americans during the war, and more.

The Houstons write vividly of the dislocation, humiliation, and injustice faced by the Wakatsuki family. Also powerful is the narrator's struggle to come to terms with her own ethnic identity.

For an interesting companion text, I would suggest "Desert Exile," by Yoshiko Uchida; this book also deals with the internment experience, but from a somewhat different perspective which complements that of the Houstons. I was moved by "Farewell." The book is a profound meditation on both the hope and the tragedy of the United States, in which the "American dream" can become intermingled with American nightmares. I consider this book an important addition to Asian-American studies in particular, and to the canon of multiethnic U.S. literature in general. ... Read more

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