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$16.47 $15.90 list($24.95)
1. Lucky Child : A Daughter of Cambodia
$9.76 $7.76 list($13.95)
2. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir
$9.76 $8.24 list($13.95)
3. Dreams from My Father : A Story
$10.85 $7.49 list($15.95)
4. A Hope in the Unseen : An American
$10.46 $4.99 list($13.95)
5. Black Boy (Perennial Classics)
$14.00 list($15.00)
6. The Sixteenth Round: From Number
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7. Autobiography of Malcolm X
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8. Reallionaire : Nine Steps to Becoming
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9. Who's Afraid of a Large Black
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10. Inside the Kingdom : My Life in
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11. The Bookseller of Kabul
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12. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
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13. The Color of Water: A Black Man's
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14. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
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15. The Pact: Three Young Men Make
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16. Who She Was : My Search for My
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17. Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing
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18. When I Was Puerto Rican
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19. Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse
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20. Hunger of Memory : The Education

1. Lucky Child : A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind
by Loung Ung
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060733942
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 5578
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Loung Ung came to America in 1980 as a ten-year-old Cambodian refugee, she had already survived years of hunger, violence, and loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, a story she told in her critically acclaimed bestseller, First They Killed My Father. Now, in Lucky Child, Ung writes of assimilation and, in alternating chapters, gives voice to a genocide survivor she left behind in rural Cambodia, her older sister Chou.

Loung was the lucky child, the sibling Eldest Brother chose to take with him to America. The youngest and the scrappiest, she was the one he believed had the best chance of making it. Just two years apart, Chou and Loung had bonded deeply over the deaths of their parents and sisters. As they stood holding hands in their dusty village while the extended family gathered to say good-bye, they never imagined that fifteen years would pass before they would be reunited again.

With candor and enormous flair, Ung describes what it is like to survive in a new culture while surmounting dogged memories of genocide and the deep scars of war. Not only must she learn about Disney characters and Christmas trees to fit in with her classmates, she must also come to understand life in a nation of peace: that the Fourth of July fireworks are not bombs and that she doesn't have to hide food in her bed every night to make sure she has enough to eat. Her spunk, intelligence, and charisma win out, but Cambodia and Chou are always in her thoughts.

An accomplished activist and writer, Ung has now returned to Cambodia many times, and in this re-creation of Chou's life, she writes the story that so easily could have been hers. Both redemptive and searing, Lucky Child highlights the harsh realities of chance and circumstance and celebrates the indomitability of the human spirit.

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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and gripping tale of immigrant experience
Ms. Ung has once again given us a powerful rendering of what it means to survive.Her first book, First They Killed My Father" was extraordinary for its ability to translate the experience of the Cambodian genocide for a public disconnected to the realities of that war.

Her second book is no less a tour de force, giving us an eye into the life of a young girl from a radically different culture (and history of deprevation) trying to come to terms with this American life.She does it remarkably well, with candor and grace.

4-0 out of 5 stars One Flaw keeps me from buying this
This story appears riveting.I want to read the book.I WILL read the book when it is available at my library.I can't give it a bad rating because I haven't actually read it.The book is written in the present tense and I dislike books written that way.I was ready to buy this book tonight, but when something happened years ago, it is just one of those things I can't handle, "What do you want?" he asks."Nothing."I say.That sort of thing. ... Read more


2. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Azar Nafisi
list price: $13.95
our price: $9.76
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Asin: 081297106X
Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 69
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading—Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita—their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.

Nafisi’s account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.

Azar Nafisi’s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.
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Reviews (112)

4-0 out of 5 stars A literary tour-de-force
Azar Nafisi's memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is the sort of book you should pick up if you want to assure yourself of how well-read you are, or perhaps to remind yourself that you are not well read at all. In the back of Ms. Nafisi's book is a list of recommended reading, some of which deals with Iran, but much of which is the fiction about which she writes in the book.

Having only read some of the novels about which Ms. Nafisi writes, I don't think I can adequately discuss the literary criticism woven throughout the book. The story of the book club itself is often not the main focus, as Ms. Nafisi gives a crash course in Iranian revolutionary history and delves into her personal life as well as that of the women in her book club. The combination of the three is an intriguing and potent conceit; learning how everyday life in Iran affects these women is compelling and evocative. Intertwined with commentary and comparison of some of the great books of western literature makes it even more so.

It would be had to say that one does not learn one thing, if not many things, from this book. Certainly it inspires you to read some of the books Ms. Nafisi writes about, if only to re-read the book and access a new level of understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Lolita in Tehran : A Memoir in Books
Nafisi details her experiences in Iran from 1979 to 1997, when she taught English literature in Tehran universities and hosted a private seminar on Western literature for female university students. Born and raised in Iran, the author offers readers a personal account of events in the postrevolutionary period that are often generalized by other writers. She was a witness to compulsory veiling, the "cultural revolution" that closed and purged the universities, the Iraq-Iran war (including missile attacks against Tehran), and the Ayatollah Khomeini's death. Nafisi provides readers with a view of Tehran during these tumultuous two decades and describes the ways that individuals resisted and defied the new regime's restrictive policies concerning both women's and men's behavior and dress. Readers interested in Western literature and the ways that key works could be interpreted by those living in different settings and times will find this book fascinating. Specialists on Iran, the Middle East, and Islam will also find the work unique, controversial, and informative. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Most public and academic collections and levels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classical Celebration
<br /> Through turmoil, heartbreak and heartache comes the courageous and celebrated life of women. This will be one of the classics that will be handed down through the generations to come. A beautifully written and prolific book for all to read. <br /> Other reads are: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart,A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neil <br />

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Style
Excellent style of writing,a story that captures your attention and holds it. I am a fan of Non Fiction works, Particularly that of Memoirs-Autobiographies. This book is meaty and hard to put down. Other Non Fiction works that have caught my attention are- Running With Scissors,One Child and Nightmares Echo

2-0 out of 5 stars didnt like it either
I had a few probs with this book.

1. Nafisi talks at length about the vices of the islamic republic of iran - which i wholly empathize with - however, she fails to give substantial background on the how the country reached this state ie. the radical secularism that plagued the country only a generation before, under the 'shah'. And while this seems like a mere detail, its very significant, as it provides a sociological context for the political ongoings Nafisi writes so much about.
2. she seems a bit whiny to me and kind of passive....
3. maybe its bc i havent read most of the books she mentions, but I found her running commentaries on the books a bit boring and tedious. I felt like i was reading a book report or something.
4. the one thing i expected from this book was a heartwarming narrative of female bonding (think female"dead poets society" or "how to make an american quilt"). instead, i found the relationship nafisi conjurs somewhat empty and unsatisfying. i felt like she was trying to take me somewhere and we never got there.

so i didnt really like this book basically. ... Read more


3. Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama
list price: $13.95
our price: $9.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400082773
Catlog: Book (2004-08-10)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 154
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Obama, the son of a white American mother and a black African father, writes an elegant and compelling biography that powerfully articulates America's racial battleground and tells of his search for his place in black America. 8 pages of photos. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Book from Political Leader
As a first-time writer, Obama does a wonderful job in relating the stories that affected his life. Obama details his personal reflections on his family, his childhood, race in America, and what it means to be biracial in a multi-ethnic society. Obama is painfully honest in discussing his life, which is not only rare for a politician but requires a tremendous amount of self-understanding and respect for the reading public. This book is a must read for those who are interested in Obama as a politician and for those who have an interest reading first-hand accounts of growing up in America as an "other".

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Reading
Obama makes little mention of his white half -- although by his own account he was lovingly brought up by his white mother and her parents, and this might have provided further answers to the questions he raises about himself and where he belongs. Obama, whom I admire as a political leader in Chicago, is young; the book is hard to read. Obama seems to say that people of mixed backgrounds must choose only one of those backgrounds in which to make a spiritual home.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Find
I highly recommend this book to almost everyone. It should really get more attention!

The writing is thoughtful and interesting, and the subject matter unique. The book follows Barack Obama as he grows up and defines himself and his view of the world, as he finds the community that he wants to count himself a member of. In the end that "community" is really the community of humanity, but this book takes you on Barack's journey.

The author examines his heritage of white, midwesterners on his mother's side and later in the book explores the world of his father, a Kenya of the Luo tribe who came to the U.S. to study. Three parts of the book I found especially well done. First, the evocation of what it was like to be in Barack's head as a young black man with few black role models in his life and the difficult philosophical (internal) conversation of the African-American community defining itself in white America. Second, his work as a community organizer in Chicago really dealt well with the complex problems of declining inner cities. Third, the idealization of his absent father by both himself and his mother and the gradual discovery of the real character of his father and grandfather.

Overall, this book was about his struggle to be true to himself and to figure out what that meant. ... Read more


4. A Hope in the Unseen : An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
by RON SUSKIND
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767901266
Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 7672
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down. Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings will not swallow his pride, and with unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does. The summer after his junior year, at a program for minorities at MIT, he gets a fleeting glimpse of life outside, a glimpse that turns into a face-on challenge one year later: acceptance into Brown University, an Ivy League school.

At Brown, finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen, Cedric must manage a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges. Cedric had hoped that at college he would finally find a place to fit in, but he discovers he has little in common with either the white students, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds, or the middle-class blacks. Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric is left to rely on his faith, his intelligence, and his determination to keep alive his hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward that he struggles, each day, to envision. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rising to the occasion...reaching the unseen
Cedric's trials as an intelligent black youth growing up in Washington DC and going to Ballou High School are well expressed in this book by Ron Suskind. His story and hopes to rise above his surroundings and his past are inspiring and moving. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse inside the life of someone like Cedric, being a District resident myself. However there were a few things about the book that I found to be a bit strange. I think that the book would be very differently written had a black writer taken on this story, and I also feel that more focus could have been around Cedric's home life, with more emphasis on his mother Barbara. The book does a good job of looking at his education which is really the main point and driving force behind Cedric's life, and this story. The story of a real youth struggling to succeed and not be tor apart by his peers or by anyone else who may discourage him makes a very thought provoking book. I really did like most aspects of this book and found it to be a very intriguing read. It is not a particularly fast read, but still, the book managed to keep my attention and I did enjoy this book thoroughly.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cedric gets a 5, Suskind a 2
Amid all the debates over affirmative action and inequity in funding for public schools, A Hope in the Unseen is the story of what these issues mean to a determined young man named Cedric Jennings as it follows him through his inadequate preparation at Ballou High School, to a summer program at MIT, to his freshman year at Brown University, with Cedric not quite fitting in anywhere. At home he's derided for his success, even for wanting to succeed, by his fellow students. At MIT, and later Brown, he finds himself inadequately prepared, academically and socially, to easily succeed. I found the story of his determination to make something of himself and his search for identity to be very powerful. I was put off, though, by the methods Suskind used to tell Cedric's story. This book reads like a novel, including the use of an omniscient narrator. I wanted to hear more from Cedric himself, in his own words, and not Cedric filtered through the lens of Suskind. I wish more of an effort to include Cedric's own perspective were included. If you liked this book, read the works of Jonathan Kozol, particularly Savage Inequalities, which further explains the inequities that exist in public schools.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great book! I read it cover to cover in a day, it was compelling. You feel like you're part of Cedric's story.

4-0 out of 5 stars A story of persistence over struggles and triumph!
When I picked up this book, I didn't know what I'd think of it. It's not the normal kind of book I read, but as this month's book club selection, I gave it a chance. And I was quite impressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Cedric. Coming from middle-class white suburbia, but not far from Detroit, I was familiar of the struggle for inner-city kids to strive, but not with their perceptions of it. This book opened up my eyes to some realities and feelings, I never had thought about before. For instance, how it's not only very difficult to get a good education or good grades in the inner city, but how you're ostracized by your peers for trying.

This is a story of how Cedric ignored the taunting of fellow students, how he earned a chance at the Ivy league and then we learn the struggle doesn't stop there. For a boy who was salutatorian at his high school, his education level is still far below most of those in the Ivy leagues. The story is about his efforts to make the grade, fit in at school and become comfortable in his own skin. Just reading about his obstacles made me tired for him!

I enjoyed the book, especially how we did get to see the world by more than just Cedric's eyes, but also by his mothers, his fathers and friends. I think this gave the story a pick-me-up when otherwise it would have gotten boring. To anyone who is interested in this topic, I'd recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty found in Hope in the Unseen
While flipping channels one day on my TV, I stumbles upon a writer doing a reading of his Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled Hope in the Unseen. Moments later the main character from the book, Cedric himself, stepped to the mic and took questions about the experience, and the book itself. I was riveted! This was facinating! I ran out and got the book, and was literally swept away by the story, the strength, and the bitter sweetness of the struggle illustrated so well. This book was a profound experience for me. Not only does the author use words in the most beautiful manner, but the story is so unashamed in it's stark compassion and truth. There were so many parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes. I felt privilaged to catch a glimpse of the vulnerability of this courageous, flawed, strong, optimistic young man. This book gave me hope for all young people out in the world facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end, I felt like this kid was going to be better than "OK", that he was going to have a richly rewarding life because he wasn't afraid to push himself along his journey. Every teen in school should be required to read this book, and every adult should read it so that we can change the attitudes in this world one family at a time. ... Read more


5. Black Boy (Perennial Classics)
by Richard A. Wright
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060929782
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Perennial Classics
Sales Rank: 11016
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With an introduction by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Black Boy is a classic of American autobiography, a subtly crafted narrative of Richard Wright's journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. An enduring story of one young man's coming off age during a particular time and place, Black Boy remains a seminal text in our history about what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America.

"Superb...The Library of America has insured that most of Wright's major texts are now available as he wanted them to be tread...Most important of all is the opportunity we now have to hear a great American writer speak with his own voice about matters that still resonate at the center of our lives."
--Alfred Kazin, New York Time Book Review

"The publication of this new edition is not just an editorial innovation, it is a major event in American literary history."
--Andrew Delbanco, New Republic

... Read more

Reviews (117)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent description of negro life in the 1920's
"Black Boy" is a great autobiographical book written by Richard Wright. Richard, the main character in the story, goes through many trials and tribulations in finding what he loves to do- write. The description of the hardships of negro life in the 1920's and how discrimination ran rampant was excellently described by Wright....the only flaw is maybe a little overexaggeration going on in the descriptions of racism and other hate from whites towards blacks. Richard Wright descibes well though the trials and tribulations of an average negro in American society in that time period. This book is great for teenagers; over the age of 16 though. I say this because vulgar language is constant throughout the story and a couple sex scenes are described explicitly in the book. This is a must-read for young adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book To Read
I recently read Black Boy by Richard Wright and I must say it is an amazing book. The book is about Richard growing up in the South in the early 1900's. It may sound a little boring but believe me it's not. Richard had a hard life growing up and that's what makes the book so interesting. Burning up houses, killing cats, and becoming a drunk were just some of the things he did before reaching the age of eight. The thing I like most about him is how he grew up very poor, moved from place to place, including an orphanage, never completed two consecutive school years, and still managed to become a well-educated young man and a world-famous writer. Although the book was very interesting there were some parts at the end that I felt were a little boring, but maybe that's just me. Either way, I think Richard Wright was a very talented writer, and if you get the chance, you should read his autobiography, Black Boy. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of thirteen that is interested in learning about history or just likes to read about some hardships other people had to face growing up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wright Auto Bio
The first Wrift book I read was the impressive 'Native Son'. I found Black Boy and read it. It's easy to read and gives you a good insight in how black life in the south was in the 1920. Wright's life as for so many has not been easy: no father, a crippled mother, racism abound. But still he finds time to read books and he reads the classics. Especially Babbit was one of his favorites (and one of mine too). Via Memphis he goes to Chicago were he becomes a more famous writer and starts working/writing for the communist party where he has a lot of trouble as an independant thinker.

This book gives a great insight into black life. REal events are interspersed with his thinking about race relations. It is also easy to read and won't take a long time to finish. Definitely worth reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Remember
Black Boy, an autobiography written by Richard Wright, describes what many average African American children faced growing up in the Jim Crow South. Wright described the poverty that he, his friends and family lived through and the agony and dangers they had to face day-to-day. Wright also described the unfair treatment from white people that African Americans had to endure and ignore. He also described how white people treated African Americans as slaves. Wright wrote in excruciating detail bringing to the reader what life was truly like in the South and in the U.S. in the early 1900s.
I enjoyed reading Black Boy since it gave me insight into how African Americans were really treated in the South. The book really showed me the crisis that America was in over racial segregation. Black Boy also described the despicable acts that white people committed on African Americans for pleasure and entertainment. Richard Wright's actions showed me how a person that is always put down can still strive to be the best. Wright never gave up and kept on dreaming about his goals in life. Wright's book really showed the determination that one can have. His actions in life influenced me to never give up and to keep on trying no matter what someone tells me to do. This was a great book and if one wants to understand what things were like for African Americans in the South in the 1900s, they should read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable autobiography
Black Boy is a outstanding autobiography about Richard Wright. Richard writes about his whole life. The book shows the great discrimination Richard faced, as well as he a lot of the times stood up for what he believed in. He fights the world back and in the end his dream of becoming a writer comes true, but not only does he become a writer he also becomes one of the best writers of the 20th century. ... Read more


6. The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472
by Rubin Carter
list price: $15.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140149295
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 15651
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On May 26, 1967, the spiraling career of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then the top contender for the world middleweight boxing crown, came to a shuddering and tragic halt: he and a young fan were found guilty of murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar.The nightmare knew no bounds as Carter traded his superstar status for a prison number and the concrete walls of some of America's most horrific institutions.Originally published as an attempt by Carter to set the record straight and force a new trial, The Sixteenth Round is timeless.It is an eye-opening portrait of growing up black in America, a scathing indictment of the prison system Carter grew up in and out of, and a mesmerizing re-creation of his furious battles in the ring and in the courtroom set against the backdrop of the turbulent sixties.The liveliness of Carter's street language, its power and ironic humor, makes this an eloquent, soul-stirring account of a remarkable life not soon to be forgotten. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book
I'm not an avid reader of books. I think that in my life I've read about 6 books from start to finish. This book is one of them. His life is an amazing/tragic yet inspiring one. The feeling I got after reading this book is that it teaches alot about the human sprit and what it can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

His writing style pulls no stops, He's direct and to the point.

The writing style he adopts gives you a real look at the Rubin Carter, in a way the Movie or other books about him can't.

Want to Know the real Rubin Carter! - Read this book

5-0 out of 5 stars Hurricane:A political injustice
I heard of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from the inspirational film "the hurricane" starring Denzel Washington. After seeing the film I became enthralled in the story of a man framed for murders he did not commit and locked away in a cell for 20 years. I decided to get the autobiography of the hurricane entitled the 16th round. The book starts by exposing the life of a child sentenced to a state home for boys from the brutality of the kids and gaurds to the racism and segregation of the prison system in America. Rubin was in prison for most of his early life filling him with hate and rage from the gaurds and other inmates. So he started boxing. His pure power and skill made him an unstoppable talent. That is until he shared his thoughts on the racist Police forces that patrolled the american ghettoes. From then on the police set out to destroy his life. Rubin was pulled over after the murder of 3 white customers of a patterson bar.After 3 witnesses claimed he wasn't the murderer he was released. Five months later He was about to take on Dick Tiger for the middle weight title.But it was not to be and he was arrested and sentenced to three times life after the admitted liars Bello and Bradley said that he was the murderer. And so Rubin entered the familiar walls of Trenton state prison once again for a crime he did not commit. This story of injustice is exellently written. It is an inspirational book that will fill you with love and compassion for the amazing fighter of battles in the ring and battles of political injustice,Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. By Owen Clark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Touching
Obviously no one can write his story better than Rubin himself. This story is both and inspiring story of a man who has never stopped fighting and a terrifying reality check into the American judicial system. This book is filled with an anger that is only kept in check by the author's own love and compassion.

The reader whould of course keep in mind this is an autobiography and therefore is skewed to the writer's point of view and emotional state.

2-0 out of 5 stars The rounds go on and on...
I purchased this book, after viewing the much celebrated movie, "The Hurricane." The book is mediocre. I found it difficult to believe much of the writer's exaggerated boasting regarding his many talents. I had erroneously gathered from the movie, that this was a self-effacing, self-made man, not so. The reader is ever searching for the "real meat" of the story, however, the bulk of the story is about the author as a "ghetto-bad boy." The last few chapters of the book are short and quickly race you through the actual murder and trial. Overall it is not well written and disappointing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching story inspires child.
This story reached out and touched the lives of many people. It also made people realize not to be racist. I know that I used to be racist and this turned my life around. The fact that rubin was in jail for a crime he didnt commit just because he wasnt white isnt at all fair. His story inspired me not to be racist and to get others not to hate the non-white. It has touched many lives and i like that. I am one of Rubin's biggest fans. ... Read more


7. Autobiography of Malcolm X
by MALCOLM X
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345350685
Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 4112
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Malcolm X's searing memoir belongs on the small shelf of great autobiographies. The reasons are many: the blistering honesty with which he recounts his transformation from a bitter, self-destructive petty criminal into an articulate political activist, the continued relevance of his militant analysis of white racism, and his emphasis on self-respect and self-help for African Americans. And there's the vividness with which he depicts black popular culture--try as he might to criticize those lindy hops at Boston's Roseland dance hall from the perspective of his Muslim faith, he can't help but make them sound pretty wonderful. These are but a few examples. The Autobiography of Malcolm X limns an archetypal journey from ignorance and despair to knowledge and spiritual awakening. When Malcolm tells coauthor Alex Haley, "People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book," he voices the central belief underpinning every attempt to set down a personal story as an example for others. Although many believe his ethic was directly opposed to Martin Luther King Jr.'s during the civil rights struggle of the '60s, the two were not so different. Malcolm may have displayed a most un-Christian distaste for loving his enemies, but he understood with King that love of God and love of self are the necessary first steps on the road to freedom. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (214)

5-0 out of 5 stars Forget all the Minuses About the Man
Growing up in a home where Martin Luther King, Jr. was considered the closest thing to a saint, I was not aware of much about Malcolm X. He was the ONE who was too radical, too opinionated, and too controversial for my parents to accept.

However, when I saw Spike Lee's masterful motion picture autobiography, I had to find out more about this man. I was led to read the life story in his own words and am I glad that I did.

Malcolm X was an individual who encompassed the rage and the determination of the black man of the 1960's. He began, as have so many struggling to survive in the inner city, as a hustler involved in the numbers game. This led to an incareration which brought him into the "light" of Islam.

His views changed and he spearheaded much of that movement designed to faciliate black economic survival and pride. He was misquoted, misunderstood, and underappreciated by the very people that he sought to uplift.

The book will bring the reader greater insight into this most complex human being. Previous biases about him should be placed aside and take him for what he was: a Black man with a mission, a mission to instill integrity and self-sufficiency in a people long denied many of America's basic principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do NOT underestimate X
Knowing Malcolm X for a colored person is a prerequisite to being socially aware. Time Magazine calls this one of the top ten non-fictions ever. The reasons are clear. This is the most comprehensive, dauntingly honest, transcending account of X. No one energized the colored community with such "self respect" on a mass-level as Brother Malcolm. Malcolm X's charismatic influence as a genuinely intellectual, and intensely thought-provoking leader remains unmatched. The greatest aspect of Malcolm X was his committment to his very own thoughts and thus, speaking his mind. He didn't necessarily say what America's majority wanted to hear. That is why he was so phenomenal, so radical, so involving. His teachings on self-defense, "freedom by any means necessary", true Islam (after the Mecca trip); his urgency in creating forums for colored people, oppressed people world-wide; and his logical prioritizing of human rights before civil rights, are evidential of his deep/complex understanding of race and human nature. The latest version of the book includes a very special message by X's eldest daughter, A. Shabazz. She gives a personal insight into her father's life, goals, and philosophies. But most importantly, she clarifies the misconceptions surrounding X. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" is top-notch. Frantz Fanon's scholarly writing, "The Wretched of the Earth" probably comes second.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is incredible.
I have only one thing to say about this book: Wow, what an amazing life-story. Anyone who reads this book will be changed in some way. Buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story about the life a great man and his important life.
a very interesting story about a man's life. The book is written beautifully by Alex Haley as he tells about malcolm's life which is educational and inspiring. This is a recommeded read for people of all races. you will never regret spending money and time on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars English 230
So... did these Chicago students have to submit their book reviews to amazon.com as one of their class requirements, or what? ... Read more


8. Reallionaire : Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out
by Farrah Gray, Fran Harris
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0757302246
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 6431
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A remarkable teenager who went from public assistance to a million dollar net worth shares his story and offers 9 key principles to success.

Farrah Gray is no ordinary teenager. He wears a suit and tie; he has an office on Wall Street and another one in Los Angeles . . . and he sold his first business at the age of 14 for more than a million dollars. He invested that money in a partnership with Inner City Broadcasting, one of the most prominent African-American owned businesses in the country, and now is heading the relaunch of their signature magazine, InnerCity. According to People magazine, Farrah is the only African-American teenager to rise from public assistance to a business mogul without being in entertainment or having a family connection.

Reallionaire tells Farrah's extraordinary and touching story. When he was just six, Farrah's mother became seriously ill, prompting his decision to provide for this family, and he spent the first $50 he ever made taking them for a real sit-down dinner. At the age of eight, he founded his first business club. By fourteen, with a million dollars in his pocket, Farrah was well on his way to business success.

Each stage of Farrah's progress is marked by one of the principles of success he learned along the way, creating not just an extraordinary story but also a step-by-step primer for others to create success in their own lives with honor; charity and compassion.
In the tradition of great motivators and leaders, this is both an instructional book and a story to inspire others to live life to the fullest. And readers don't have to be interested in business to enjoy it. In fact, Farrah is a role model for everyone.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reallionaire Is A MUST Read!!!!!
I was truly impressed with Mr. Gray's writing style.It blends the personal develoment tenets of Kiyosaki, John C. Maxwell, Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn beautifully in a way that can be easily understood and duplicated by young and old readers.It is a very inspiring and thought provoking guide to living your life with passion, purpose and faith in God and your God-given abilities. I recommend this book to everyone who is serious about personal development. ... Read more


9. Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?
by CharlesBarkley, MichaelWilbon
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200424
Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 2607
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"Racism," Charles Barkley says, "is the biggest cancer of my lifetime. And I know I can't cure the cancer, but doesn't somebody have to attack it?" Barkley's means of attack in Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?--not surprising from one of the most outspoken athletes of our time--is to break past the taboo of race by talking about it in the open. What might be surprising is that Barkley steps aside and lets other people talk, too. While in his previous bestseller, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, the former NBA MVP and current TNT commentator held forth on a wide variety of subjects, for his new book he sought out a baker's dozen of leading figures in entertainment, business, and government (and yes, one athlete) and sat down with each for a frank conversation about race.

Of course race is not a simple topic, and each discussion heads in its own direction. Tiger Woods speaks both of his biracial identity and of how moving it was to see the black staff at Augusta National lined up to see him put on the green jacket as Masters champion. George Lopez talks about the pressures of creating a breakthrough Latino sitcom in an almost all-white industry. Film producer Peter Guber surprises Barkley when he says that he made The Color Purple out of economic self-interest, not idealism. Many of the discussions turn, like Guber's, not to traditional civil rights but to economics, which Rabbi Steven Leder calls the real "last taboo subject in America." It's clear that the audience Barkley most hopes to reach with this book is the young black men and women that he and many of his interview subjects are concerned about. "We're losing," activist Marian Wright Edelman tells him, "and if we don't stop this trend, we're going to be headed back to slavery." Barkley's celebrity subjects can provide some models for success for those readers, but one also hopes Barkley can continue the conversation by turning the spotlight on those struggling with the problems of race outside the sometimes protective glare of fame. --Tom Nissley

Who's Afraid of Talking to a Large Black Man?

Throughout his career, Charles Barkley has always been willing--quite willing--to call it as he sees it, making him one of the most quotable athletes of his era and, many have suggested, a future political candidate. He's as happy talking issues as talking hoops, and for his new book, Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? he sat down for conversations across the country about the troublesome topic of race in America. We had our own conversation on the subject with Sir Charles: Read it to find why he wrote the book, what he tells his own biracial daughter about race, and why he thinks sports can be a model for race relations. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars This is not worth your time or $
I became interested in this book because I was watching David Letterman with Charles Barkley (CB) on it.CB said that the book was about getting kids off of the street, make them stop thinking about professional sports and rapping or acting and get them into college.

This book is not about that at all!I was trying to use this book for a class and paper, I hope my paper won't suck b/c I have to BS my whole paper since this book is worthless.I spent too much money on a piece of crap.

It has no point what so ever and it is all over the wall.There is no order.When CB is talking to someone...all he cares about is his opinion, not what they have to say.It is not in depth like CB proclaims it will be in the introduction.

If you want to read it, read it at Barnes & Noble or the library.Don't buy it.

3-0 out of 5 stars A collection of interviews and random thoughts
I have always been a bit of a fan of Charles Barkley, both as a basketball player and a TV commentator for the NBA.The primary reason for that was that Charles always had something to say.He had some of the best interviews, and made controversial statements that added some much needed variety to the standard "we played hard" quotes most NBA players slogged through.

However, there is a big difference between "always having something to say" and "saying something". This book is a collection of interviews I presume to be on the subject of race.However, the questions and "conversations" between Charles and other celebrities like Tiger Woods, Ice Cube, Morgan Freeman and others are a bit too free flowing, and as a result if there is a greater point Charles is making with this book, after quickly reading it I have no idea what it is.

While the subject of race is an important one, you will not find much deep introspection or tackling of issues here.For a deep look on the subject of race in America check out books by Larry Elder for example.What you will find here is some interesting dialog between Charles and others.I'm not sure if that is worth buying a book for, but it is easy to read and interesting, in a "People" magazine kind of way.Morgan Freeman comes off as the star of this book, and if you want to see the views of someone who seems to be quite grounded in reality, and a genuinely solid guy, check out his interview.As for Charles, let's just say he always has something to say, and leave it at that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good book to just read!
OK, I understand that some look at this as some celebrity interview book, but I see it as more. Sir Charles is always himself and his opinions are well stated. I happen to agree with a lot of what this book has to say. It has a pop culture edge but that is ok. Does everything have to be academic? It is enjoyable and has a good heart.

1-0 out of 5 stars Teach Children About Real Life Not About Celebrity Lives!
Don't waste your time in reading this book. There is no information in there that can help anyone that is struggling but a bunch of people talking about life as if they know what real life is all about. I have nothing against Mr. Charles Barkley, a very controversial person, but America has got to wake up and realize that `so call celebrities' often end in up in Mr. Barkley's position when their incomes seem to be disappearing. When Charles was making much more money than he is now, he had no interest in helping vulnerable children as he indicated in his interview with Tim Russett, aired on CNBC 2005. If he was so interested in writing this book for his daughter as he indicated, he would not be selling it to the public at large. In my opinion, which I am entitled to, this book is purely for profit and has nothing to do with helping poor children of America. This is a tactic used to get people to buy things that they are selling. Common sense cannot be bought nor can we learn it in school. Selling books to poor people is not going to stop poverty or segregation. Life skills will help people to make better decisions and create goals and in turn they will live different lives. Rich folks do not have the time to sit and read books about a set of people that many consider as being `nothing' or `losers'

Many poor people have contributed in helping rich folks achieve the success and the high horse that they are on. Without poor people buying their dumb books, seeing their stupid movies, and other inadequate products and entertainment they would not be anywhere. Poor people have the buying power but yet poor people continue to let a set of people that have money say bad and evil things about people and use them when they want more money. Many poor folks work hard but have no one to help them to the next level. The working poor go to work with the hopes of doing better each day. Young people go to school and when they get out they have no where to turn because they are not paid what they are worth. Listening to all the social problems that these celebrities create; sometimes I wonder who has ghetto mentality. Rich people are no better than anyone despite our income levels or education. Many rich folks do not have formal education. If we had any common sense we would know that money cannot buy happiness. When it comes right down to real life applications, celebrities should be the last that we should run to for help. Many of them can't seem to get their lives together regardless of the money that they have.

Let us take a look at Oprah for example: she has all the money in the world that she needs, not one kid to share it with, and a boyfriend at her age that she has supposedly broken up with her. How pathetic? Do we think that she is really happy? Honestly, no matter how many business transaction she is a part of, when it comes down to real life I truly believe that she is lonely inside.

It is other people's money, especially poor people that is the greater part of rich people's money since poor families are in great numbers than rich ones. Yet these are also the type of people that would purchase products from celebrities to feel that they are doing their part. In truth and reality, celebrities don't want anything to do with us, they see us as wallets and suckers. In the above mentioned interview, Charles rudely degraded people from Alabama in saying that they would want to borrow money from him. He is not the richest man in the world. Perhaps a few people have asked him for money in the past but that does not mean that everyone in that neck of the woods wants his money. He is not very articulate; he speaks off the top of his head and makes very rude comments about people. Is this the Big Black Man, a role model; that you are going to listen to. Take a step backward and evaluate things that this man has said and examine his beliefs.

Like many others, he is using celebrities to tell us what they think about life. Living a lifestyle with a lot of money is truly not authentic because just about 1% of the population is wealthy; the other 99% is the working poor. If Charles had taken the initiative to talk with real people that are struggling and get a better understand about real life then I feel that his book would be worth it.

He talked about feeling bad about being Black. Of course he does, he is right in the ring with those that choose to marry out of their race to the weaker race that hates his own people. He should be the last to talk about racism when he prefers to choose to marry into a race that cannot come to grips with Black America or what they call minorities. It is quite okay to shack-up with beautiful Black women but when it comes right down to having a family - many Big Black Men choose to let White America dictate their lives and how they spend their money. It is sickening to hear Charles talk about this book that was probably written by a ghost writer because his object is not to help anyone but his finance.

Charles, we have lived in this world for a long time and we know phonies when we see them. We are tired of letting `so called celebrities' try this number on us again and again. Be satisfied with the money that you make now Mr. Barkley. You cannot give a man a fish to make his life better, teach him how to fish. If anyone wants to learn more about life I suggest that they learn it from someone that has been through many different experiences, not the rich and the famous that create problems for themselves and are living off other people's money. Get your knowledge from someone who has been there and done that. Some celebrities will want you to believe that they have been through a lot (and some have) but now that they feel that they are making it they think that they are the superior race. Truthfully, if they had it rough when they were younger that was their parent's life and when you are younger you do not really know that you are poor - children don't think about their parent's situation because their brain is not developed to process that type of information. It is their parent's who indicate to them that they are poor.

Charles talks so much about education but once he made a statement in saying that he doesn't need to get a degree because he hires people that has degrees. If he valued education as much as he wants us to believe he would not make statements like that. People need to wake up and motivate themselves and stop looking at celebrities or anyone to be their role models. Everyone says that we can be anything that we want to be but who is willing to help - no one. Instead of helping, they prefer to get our monies to help themselves. People that claim that they truly want to help has special interest in writing books, etc. - for the money. In America it is known that in God we trust but the money first. We are tired of being cheated with our permission by those that have household names. If you truly want to help yourself, log unto this website:www.lifeskillsdoctor.com and purchase these life skills literature that is worth its money in knowledge.

Charles and many other celebrities don't have anything to offer to anyone. Interviewing a bunch of other people like himself is not going to help curtail the problems that America in general and not just Black America is experiencing. We often feel that people with household names have our backs but attempt to write to them and ask them to interview you for a job. You would never hear from them because they are always hiding from us. As Mr. Barkley said, he is afraid that people are going to ask him for money. We do not want another mockery in politics like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So I hope that when Mr. Barkley chooses to run for Governor, people will really think this true and vote for someone that can make a difference. We need real people with real life applications to get this world going in one direction. Education does not guarantee anything but with life skills including common sense we can help vulnerable children.

Would Charles Barkley be willing to use his own money to help children as he expressed? If he wanted to do so he would have done so a long time ago. Where is his money? He is now attempting to sell books to help fund his new project of helping children because he is not about to use his own. WAKE UP AMERICA AND SHOW THESE RICH FOLKS WHO REALLY HAVE POWER.Poor people have the say in who becomes rich. Let these people find real jobs and then they will truly see what real life is all about.

Get the information that you need at your fingertip about real life at www.lifeskillsdoctor.com.
Be true to yourself and don't let others take your money out of your pocket with your permission. Don't let celebrities use television to cry for help and use the money for different reasons. We have seen the situation with Martha Stewart - being greedy for money when she has more than she can handle. Charles Barkley talks about television contributing negative statements about Blacks when he in turn is using television to create self-income. Is that truly positive or is the glass half-empty or half-full. DON'T DO IT, don't let these people continue to work numbers on us. Help yourself by spending your money and supporting people that can truly him you!

Good luck America because it is not just about Black America. We once believed that a fool and his money will soon be parted but because of the way one set of people are making money it seems that the working poor are parting with their money even faster because of the way the world is with the division of the rich and the poor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Interviews: Little to do with Charles Barkley
In this book you really do not hear from Charles Barkley so much. When he writes it is very simple and to the point, with very little humor (which is what he is known for). It is fascinating to read opinions and personal stories from Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Obama, and many other famous peronalities on their ideas about race and other issues in America. This book has very little to do with Charles Barkley, and if I were to read it blindly I would have never guessed that he wrote it. This book has a great compilation of contributors and it is worth reading just to learn more about them alone. ... Read more


10. Inside the Kingdom : My Life in Saudi Arabia
by Carmen Bin Ladin
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446577081
Catlog: Book (2004-07-14)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 2899
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Osama bin Laden's formersister-in-law provides a penetrating, unusually inti- mate look into Saudi soci-ety and the bin Laden family's role within it, aswell as the treatment of Saudi women.On September 11th, 2001,Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her ex-brother-in-law was involved in these hor-rifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again.Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, married into-and later divorced from-the bin Laden family and found herself inside a complex and vast clan, part of a society that she neither knew nor understood. Her story takes us inside the bin Laden family and one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressed kingdoms in the world. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars answers many questions
Have you ever wondered how on earth a Western woman could marry a man from a culture that is totally alien to hers? In Inside the Kingdom, Carmen Bin Laden tells the story of how she went from being a free spirited Swiss schoolgirl to the wife of one of the members of the Saudi Arabian Bin Laden clan. It was easy. She was young, he was charming, handsome, rich and seemingly easy going. They fell in love. She thought they were going to live in America and Europe. She was wrong.

Imagine living in a place where it's against the law for you to show your face in public. Imagine not being able to go shopping even for your own clothes or personal items. Imagine shocking your in-laws becuase you want to go for a walk.

One of the most vivid and sad scenes from the book describes how Carmen's husband had to make special arrangements in order for her to go to a grocery store to buy baby formula. While she rushed to the baby section the customers (all male) left the store and the staff turned their backs to her.

Carmen quickly discovered to her horror that listening to music was considered sinful, reading books was considered odd and having a thought in one's pretty head was seen as completely unnatural.

Eventually, the marriage soured and Carmen decided to leave Saudi for the sake of her daughters. The book will attract attention of course because of the author's infamous brother-in-law, Osama (he was apparently a foreboding figure even as a young man) but it's more than a tragi-comic look into the Bin Laden home. This book is a clear eyed look at Saudi life.

Carmen Bin Laden went to Saudi thinking that modernity would prevail and that in a few years Saudi women would have more rights. She was wrong then and things don't look any better now. Since Saudi Arabia is ostensibly an American ally taking an honest look at it makes sense. Can such a culture really change? Are we fools to it expect to?

Inside the Kingdom is a very good book.I'm glad I bought it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for all women
Normally I don't read biographies. Usually they focus on rags to riches stories that I can't relate to. This book was the exception.
This bio starts normally: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married. But this is where the normality ends. Carmen marries into the Bin Ladin family,which back then were not synominous with terrorism. Carmen, who is foreign to Saudi life, is forced to live in isolation. She cannot come and go as she pleases without being completly veiled. She is forced to live in a world where women are property of the men; she is viewed as a foreigner by the other women because she was not born Saudi. Women,imagine going in a time machine from 2004 to the mid 19th century. At least that is the closest analogy I can think of.
This book made me appreciate the simple freedoms that we Americans take advantage of. I couldn't imagine living a life where I felt so powerless as a woman. I admire Carmen for being strong enough to get away from Saudi Arabia once and for all. Every female should read this book. It is an eye opener how far we women have come in America. ... Read more


11. The Bookseller of Kabul
by Asne Seierstad
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316159417
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 875
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

For more than twenty years, Sultan Khan has defied the authorities, whether communist or Taliban, to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he has persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world's darkest places. This is the intimate portrait of a man of principle and of his family - two wives, five children, and many relatives sharing a small four-room apartment in this war-ravaged city.As they endure the extraordinary trials and tensions of Afghanistan's upheavals, they also still try to live ordinary lives, with work, relaxation, shopping, cooking, marriages, rivalries, and shared joys. Most of all, this is an intimate portrait of family life under Islam.Even after the Taliban's collapse, the women in Khan's family must submit to arranged marriages, polygamous husbands, and crippling limitations on their ability to travel, learn, and communicate with others.Seierstad lived with Khan's family for months, experiencing first-hand Afghani life as few outsiders have seen it. Stepping back from the page, she allows the Khans to speak for themselves, giving us a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and of a country of great cultural riches and extreme contradictions. ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Is this what's coming to Scandinavia?
This well written, fast paced books relates the story of a middle class Afghan family a year after American-led forces liberated the country from the Taliban.The incidents and anecdotes are told to and witnessed by a female Norwegian journalist, Asne Seierstad, who lived with the family for three months.

Other reviewers have described the overall book well, especially the systematic oppression of women in the pursuit of some ideal - for who? - Islamic purity.But the author's anecdotes also illustrates why most Islamic economies are immune to advancing the welfare of their own people.

Sultan, the Kahn family patriarch who lets Seierstad observe and write about his family, is a merchant straight out of the medieval caravan era.Most of what he sells, using his uneducated sons and relatives as indentured servants to operate his bookstores, consists of Iranian and Pakistani produced merchandise exorbitantly marked up in price because he benefits from having little or no competitive market.While piously professing a desire to modernize Afghanistan he steadfastly refuses to invest anything is his country's economy or even in his own sons.Consider how unfavorably this compares with how East Asian patriarchs invest in their own economies, businesses and families.

Sultan's eldest son Mansur, a semi-educated seventeen year old, meekly submits to being treated like a dog by his father but whenever his father is away copies his father's tyranny and abuses his aunts, sisters and even his loving mother - telling her to "go to hell" when she says something Mansur doesn't like - , every chance he gets.But the telling thing is just how lazy and irresponsible the misogynistic little wimp is when his father is not there to threaten him.When Sultan goes to Tehran on business for a month he gives Mansur several tasks to complete - cataloging inventory, picking up shipments, dealing with charges against a thief - but Mansur fritters the entire month away reveling in freedom from his father's control and fails to complete even a single task.This is typical of punishment-driven Islamic culture where most people only do what someone forces them to do and accomplish nothing without supervision so that little improvement is made without reliance on the hated infidels or other foreigners.

The author relates the Kahn family stories and lets the events speak for themselves.But in an epilogue describing how family members became estranged after her departure Seierstad tells how frustrated and appalled she was with how Sultan, a man she initially perceived as sophisticated and "liberal", treated his family, especially the women.She relates that she bit her tongue many times to avoid comparing their behavior and customs unfavorably to the (superior in her view) way things work in her native Norway.

Ironically Ms. Seierstad, who generously, and perhaps naively, donates the profit from this book to the Afghan education system, may be spending too much time in the Middle East to realize that Islamic culture is changing Norway and Scandinavia more than Norway and Scandinavia are changing Islam.For example, the Swedish company IKEA recently bowed to demands by Islamic Scandinavian immigrants and reissued all their product instruction manuals to avoid offending Muslims by depicting women assembling everything from cupboards to beds.The new manuals show only men or cartoon figures whose sex is unclear.And in recent years there has been a surge in rapes and gang rapes in Norway attributed to Islamic men, mostly Kurds.In their trials the Muslims invariably claim as their defense that the Norwegian women dress too provocatively.Unbelievably, some Norwegian elites, including a senior judge and a female university professor, agree and have publicly said that Norwegian women should dress more conservatively so as not to offend the cultural sensibilities of Islamic immigrants.And some of the largest, but vacant, churches in post-Christian Oslo are being converted to mosques.Sultan Kahn may yet have the last laugh on Ms. Seierstad as Europe converts itself to Eurabia in the next twenty years.

This book is recommended as a well written bit of "new journalism" with colorful stories and harrowing descriptions about contemporary life in Afghanistan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Shalika keeps a straight face
This is a hard book to comment on, especially being male. I am a western male however, from Ireland. I feel that in western society men's opinions on feminist issues, such as the ones raised in this book, can carry less weight than those of a woman. It's not our place.

That being said, I did enjoy the book but I couldn't say I found it entirely impartial. There are many points in which the author - Asne Seierstad- describes the "thoughts" of the women of the book. It doesn't seem possible that these can be something other than what she imagines to be in the minds of the women. From a western woman's standpoint, they are obviously quite plausible, but they really only serve to make the men folk appear dastardly and allow readers sympathise with the women characters.

The story draws attention to some of the more well-documented characteristics of Afghan men which at times are just short of being caricatures. It is full of the kind of descriptions likely to cause "good grief" type responses from readers not hugely familiar with non-western society.

The book is currently enjoying a considerable amount of success, and this is well deserved. It is clearly written, well thought-out and quite original as a concept. I can't escape the feeling, though, that would appeal mostly to people who enjoy that part of the show where Oprah consults female social expert on women's issues.

I read in one review that the book failed to give any insight into the Afgan male character. I'm not sure that this criticism was relevant because I didn't get the impression that the authors aim was particularly concerned with dealing with the psyche of that half of the Afghan society. I noted this somewhere in the back of my mind though and as a result I was more conscious of the presentation of the men folk in the book. I waited patiently for moments where the purpose of the male character was something other than somewhere to focus the anger that would inevitably ensue due to the suffering endured by the women. Those moments came, but quite infrequently.

Recently I read that the Sultan character in the book is seeking legal damages in real-world European courts. He is claming he has been misled to and dishonoured. International publishers don't seem overly worried and are standing by the book.

I would recommend this book to certain friends, but only those with whose tase I'm familiar. It's not a book I'd especially like anyone to look back and remember that I was the one who recommended it.

5 out of 10

Tony DeFrego

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative Journal of Distant Land & One Family
This journalist from the outset doesn't attempt to give a broad, sweeping picture of this country in the news or of what one might describe as an "average Afghani family."

Rather, it is a three month journal of viewing the country and city of Kabul from a bookseller's family.One quickly finds that family is everything there.It determines much in life, how one thinks, who one marries, etc.For women especially, even after freedom from Taliban, there is still residual.Eyeopening.

While the family is atypical in their wealth, they are very typical in most else.The bookseller's obsession with his own book future determines everything in their orbit.There is more parallels here with our own career driven lifestyle for many.

Education plays out in Kabul and this family in vital way.With it there is possibility and hope. Without it, fate is all too often determined by others.Thus, outstanding that the author provides royalties to help women and education there.

The religion and politics highlighted from a limited perspective and few pages devoted gives just a snippet of what likely is occurring there, but nonetheless this engages us Americans with other views than likely we get over the tube.

Enlightening and engaging read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and an eye opener!
This book held me captive from beginning to end. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and way of live. To us westerners, the treatment of women is disheartening, but is a way of life for them, and a hard habit to break. This book has made me want to read more and this author did a great job of reporting.

What we take for granted will never leave my mind, every time I think my house isn't as nice as the next person's, we take electricity, warm water, and the simple pleasure of being able to go where we want, have what we want and do whatever we want, WHENEVER! I don't need someone to accompany me to go to the store. A sure eye opener!

3-0 out of 5 stars Family Life and Culture
All of the reviews that I read of this book were highly positive and the topics (family life and culture in post-Taliban Afghanistan) are interesting to me.So I had hoped to really enjoy this book.Unfortunately that was not the case.Although the issues discussed were very thought-provoking in nature (gender, relationships, and culture) and the story was entertaining, the actual writing and treatment of issues seemed too simplistic and watered-down to me.I felt that the book merely glossed over some topics that could have been highly interesting to the reader, but my first thought in response to that was, "Maybe that was all of the information she could get."In a society that previously meted out physical and capital punishment for "crimes" that may go unpunished or may even be ignored in our society, one learns to either keep certain thoughts or feelings to themselves or does not even have them at all.
On a positive note, I think that what we may be seeing here is a "first look" at the experience of feeling free of the Taliban.What will be even more interesting than this initial endeavor is to see what changes occur within the coming years and compare them to this first glimpse at post-Taliban society.
... Read more


12. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
by Frank McCourt
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068484267X
Catlog: Book (1999-05-25)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 5116
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling -- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (1623)

5-0 out of 5 stars Depressing but Excellent
5 Stars- Depressing but excellent

Frank Mc Court's memoirs "Angela's Ashes" takes us back to the 1940s where he tells us of his childhood and the poverty that his family lived though. This book can be very depressing at times which brought me to tears, but this is an excellent memoirs worthy of a 5 star rating.

The book starts out in New York, the Mc Court family lives in one of the most impoverished areas of Brooklyn and father, Malachy Mc Court has a hard time keeping a job and a drinking problem. After the death of baby Margaret, the family moves back to Ireland where times are harder and life is poorer. The family relies on help from Saint Vincent, DE Paul Society and they are forced to go on relief. The father drinks whatever money he makes and has a hard time finding or keeping a job. Frank has a dream of returning to America, where he feels that he can make life better for himself.

I watched the movie right after reading the book and was amazed at how many part were left out. I advise everyone to read the book to get the true story of the Mc Court Family and I look forward to reading the second part, Tis.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Deserved Pulitzer
McCourt speaks to the reader through his childhood voice in this splendid, moving, and thought-provoking autobiography. McCourt begins the story as a four-year-old living in New York City with his parents and three younger brothers. The poverty stricken Irish family is unable to make ends meet in America and so they head back to Ireland in hopes of survival.

They settle in Limerick where McCourt's mother Angela grew up. Malachy McCourt, the father in the story, claims that he will find work and support the family. However, Malachy's love of alcohol prevents him from finding or keeping any gainful employment. When he does work, he takes his wages and goes to the bars and drinks until all the money is gone. Meanwhile, the family is hungry, the children are wearing shoes with holes, and Angela sinks into a deep depression but remains obedient to her husband because of her Catholic faith. The family moves around Limerick frequently, renting dirty rooms with flea infested bedding, living on the floors in small houses owned by relatives, and even renting a house in which the bottom floor is constantly being flooded with neighborhood sewage. The family comes face to face with illness, death, starvation, and ridicule. The low point strikes when Angela must resort to begging on the streets to help her family survive.

All the while, McCourt has the reader grow with him through the ages of four to nineteen. He shares the Irish tales he grew up with, the feelings he had toward his dyfunctional parents, his opinion of the Catholic Church, and the good and bad lessons he learned from his harsh schoolmasters. Never does McCourt wallow in self-pity, rather he presents the facts of his life in an honest, poignant manner. Despite the despair, it seems that McCourt has no regrets about his upbringing, for he was a child and had no control of the situation. As he grew, however, he came to the realization that he could begin to change things for the better. Unlike his father, he became eager to work. He struggled to support his mother and younger siblings in his teen years with after school jobs. He educated himself through reading and observation. He set goals and priorities and didn't give up until he reached them.

McCourt takes what is tragic and presents it in a beautiful, descriptive language that leaves the reader spellbound. His story is obviously written unselfishly and is told to show that triumph can be the end result of tragedy. Each individual has the power to rise above and make his or her life meaningful. This is the essence of McCourt's message. A message you will not forget after reading Angela's Ashes.

5-0 out of 5 stars a memoir of myself?
This book is simply incredible and the inclusion of the patriotic and doleful poems of the Irish make it simply the best and stand out from the rest. Frank Mc Court has retold the story in a perspective of a child and I wonder how could he retell each and everything so clearly and touchingly.... so hands up for him... Mc Court is one of the greatest Irish writer ever.... This book has broken my heart, made me laugh, brought tears in my eyes and has made me obsessed with Little Frankie and his sore eyes....I never wanted to finish Angela's Ashes and wish I could continue reading it forever and ever.... If you are keen about Frankie's life then Tis' is a must read book...

I wish I could invite Frankie during Christmas so that he didnt have to eat the pig's head....

5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA'S ASHES
THIS BOOK LEFT SUCH A MEMORABLE IMPRESSION ON ME. IT HELPS ME TO UNDERSTAND HOW SOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, DURING THE DEPRESSION YEARS, MUST HAVE LIVED. THE WAY THE STORY IS WRITTEN MAKES YOU FEEL AS IF YOU ENDURED SOME OF THE UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES FELT BY THE WRITER. HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO REMEMBER THIS STORY IN TIMES WHEN THE SIMPLICITY AND BASIC JOYS IN LIFE ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED.

1-0 out of 5 stars P.U.!!
Stinkaroo! Thank god I borrowed this work of maudlin stereotypical crap from the library so I didn't actually fork over any cash for it. Jeez, if I was Irish I would be completely insulted by the authors' ludicrous, stereotypical portrayal of the anguished poor Irish Catholic family. "Aw no da's drunk agin! Aw no, ma's bein' shagged! Aw, I wish ere lived in Ameriki!" Blah blah blah! These characters aren't even as well developed as the guy on the Lucky Charms box. Has McCourt ever been to Ireland?

I couldn't even finish it. It just plodded and sobbed and whined on and on and on. In fact, before I took it back to the library I inscribed in one of the early chapters, "WARNING: MORE CRAP AHEAD". I didn't consider that defacing library property, I considered it a public service. ... Read more


13. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573220221
Catlog: Book (1996-02-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 87340
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity and a poignant, beautifully crafted hymn from a son to his mother. ... Read more

Reviews (463)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mommy, what color is God?
This book is an amazing voyage of discovery. McBride unravels a life forgotten and buried by a mother who was born in 1921 to a Jewish Rabbi and his wife in Poland, and found Christianity and love in the arms of a black husband and her 12 children. The book tells two stories. The author tells of growing up in the projects of New York with a white mother and she tells her story of a young Jewish girl growing up in the south and then Harlem, always an outsider wanting only what all girls want, the love of her family and to be accepted.

It was early on in life that Ruth Shilsky realized that this would never happen. She found herself up against some of the greatest odds a person could face in an era of blatant racial prejudice and a family that turned their back on her because she dared to be different. The life she made was a remarkable one and the children she produced are all extraordinary people, to put it in the words of the author. An inspiring read of warm languid prose, I couldn't put it down, nor could I stop rooting for "Mommy" who just never stopped moving forward. 3/2/01

5-0 out of 5 stars Loving and Believing
James McBride's The Color of Water is an inspiring biography written by a black man as a tribute to his white mother. His mother, Ruth McBride Jordan, is an astounding woman, who showed many characteristics of a Greek Hero. As a child, she grew up as an Orthodox Jew with a father as a rabbi at a nearby synagogue. Her family and family friends strongly hated the black culture. Growing up, Ruth learned to look passed race and see a people for they really are inside. Being brought up in a black-hating household, she was forced to be brave and stay true to what she believed was right. Ruth was compelled to overcome many obstacles in her lifetime, such as being Jewish. She overcame them all with dignity and pride, making her a true hero in many peoples' lives.
As Ruth grew up, she learned to overlook the race of the people in her community. She began to see them for what they were inside. When she was older, she married a black man named Dennis McBride. He loved her and took exceptional care of while he was alive. Ruth had seven children with Dennis, all of whom were blacker in skin then white. Dennis later died of cancer while Ruth was pregnant with another child. Years later, she married another black man named Hunter Jordan, having five more children. As the children got older, they began to notice how much lighter their mother's skin color was. When they would ask why her skin was so much lighter she would say, "You ask too many questions," and ignore it. Soon, they began to question their own race, also. When they would ask what color they were, Ruth would answer, "You are the color of water." (Pg. 51) As her children got old enough to go to school, she sent them to white schools, although they were teased and ridiculed, because she did not believe in having two separate schools for two separate races.
Ruth McBride Jordan was an extremely brave woman. She fell in love with a black man when she was young and they decided to marry. She did this, knowing that she would be disowned from her Jewish family. On page 215, her father says, "If you marry a nigger, don't ever come home again." She ended up following her heart and marrying Dennis. As Dennis was dying of cancer, Ruth stood by him every day, comforting and helping him through it. She helped him eat and cared for him knowing that he was dying. When Ruth would here of a white person speaking cruel words about them, she would stand up for them, risking being injured or killed.
In her lifetime, Ruth McBride Jordan overcame numerous obstacles. As a child, she was an Orthodox Jew with a rabbi as a father. The children in school would treat her cruelly and never thought twice about hurting her feelings. She was forced to live with her father's abuse towards her, her siblings, and her mother. Later in life, Ruth was kicked out of the family for marrying a black man whom she loved very much. Raising twelve children, and suffering from two husbands' deaths, were other obstacles she had to overcome. With her hard work, and loyalty to her children, Ruth managed to put all twelve children into college, some even to become doctors.
The Color of Water is an incredibly moving tale of a hero, who overlooked race in a time where race meant everything to many people, was unbelievably brave in certain moments of her life, and who overcame numerous obstacles throughout her lifetime. The book is exciting, and inspiring to readers who feel the need to make a difference in the world. I would recommend this book to everyone because it is a well-written novel, and extremely touching.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book for your mother!
This is one of the best books i have ever read!

the racial issue between a black man's perception of his white mother is presented equally with the outpouring of love and respect he has for her; simply as a mother of 12 children in Harlem who put all her children through collge and grad school. the stories about trips to church, to camp, riding public tansport, getting homemade haircuts, and how awful a cook his mother was are universal and are presented evenly with the tender moments of love and respect and joy he has with his mother.

the other half of this book is his mother's autobiography; the story of a young polish Jewish immigrant living in Jim Crow Virginia, abused by her father. the thinly veiled pain and anguish of memory that McBride's mother reveals futher illuminates his respect for his mother in his own chapters as he describes his mother founding a Baptist church in Harlem with his father.

this book is a gift to mothers everywhere!

5-0 out of 5 stars Escape Into McBride's Plight
I read this biography over the summer during camp, when I wanted to escape from the heat (not to mention the annoyance of the little campers!). It's very easy to lose yourself in this book because of McBride's straight-to-the-point, action-packed writing style. His own autobiography and his mother's biography are brilliantly intertwined in alternating chapters, keeping readers immersed in the various parallels and general comparisons of both lives.

The search for self-identity is so rich, so apparant, that almost everyone can relate to it. It also shows that the rise of poverty is possible, but also requires an endurance of obsticles along the way. Read this.

4-0 out of 5 stars A question of identity
James McBride, the author, knew very little about his mother's heritage before he began writing this book. One thing he did know was that she was different. Different from his father, his siblings, himself, his friends, and his neighbors. When he would ask her if she was white, she would avoid the question or answer that she was "light-skinned". When he once asked her what color God was she replied, "He's the color of water. He has no color". This is the way Ruth McBride looked at the world. When her Jewish family acted in an unloving manner towards her, she turned to black friends, who were more accepting of her. James loved his white mother, whom he calls "Mommy" in the book but was also embarrassed by her racial differences and was confused by a lack of knowledge of her roots. This book seemed to be a catharsis for him as it allowed him to contact some of his mother's relatives and old friends whom he had never met. Ruth McBride considered her greatest achievement to be the many college degrees which her 12 children earned and their professional occupations. This is an interesting story of a woman who did not ever let life defeat her and who held high educational and behavioral standards for her racially-mixed children. It is also the story of a search for identity. ... Read more


14. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by MAYA ANGELOU
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394429869
Catlog: Book (1970-01-12)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 136529
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In this first of five volumes of autobiography, poet Maya Angelou recounts a youth filled with disappointment, frustration, tragedy, and finally hard-won independence. Sent at a young age to live with her grandmother in Arkansas, Angelou learned a great deal from this exceptional woman and the tightly knit black community there. These very lessons carried her throughout the hardships she endured later in life, including a tragic occurrence while visiting her mother in St. Louis and her formative years spent in California--where an unwanted pregnancy changed her life forever. Marvelously told, with Angelou's "gift for language and observation," this "remarkable autobiography by an equally remarkable black woman from Arkansas captures, indelibly, a world of which most Americans are shamefully ignorant." ... Read more

Reviews (255)

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful narration of emotions.
I've never read Maya Angelou before and I was really impressed by her style. I've enjoyed this book because although it describes in a very detailed way the very sad aspects of racism; it also describes certain situations with a good sense of humour. It also portrays the values and richness of the African American Culture. The book is full of different "feelings" which make you laugh, cry and let you be part of the different stages in which Maya goes through. I like the way she clarifies different situations in which the African American way of dealing with things is described, because this let you see the situation from their point of view and at the same time introduces you to their culture. I enjoy the detailed narration of the sad and the happy moments of her life. It is also very easy to perceive her relationship with the different people in her life. This book is one of those which you don't want to finish, so I'm looking forward to reading the following titles of her autobiography because I really want to know more about the way her life has developed and to be treated again by her powerful narrative style. What a wonderful woman she must be!

5-0 out of 5 stars A young womans struggle
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is, in my mind, one of the best books ever written. This is a wonderful coming of age story of a young African American girl growing up in the 50's and 60's. It tells the story of a young woman and her brother and the struggles Maya faces trying to be the best she possibly can be. Marguerite (Maya) is a very intelligent, well spoken young woman, but she never has the chance to really shine. When Maya is about 11, she is molested by her mothers boyfriend, and later raped when no one is home. She is immediately scared into silece and never really has the chance to blossom. She and her brother are then sent back to Stamps Arkansas to be raised by their grandmother. She then begins to attend school, and the book goes on to tell her life story of how she came to be the woman she is today.

This book is an inspiration to anyone who has ever faced adversity. The things that this woman has endured are enough to make you thank the Lord above for your life. If I were dealt the same cards as Maya, I don't think I would have such a prominent place in society as she does. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an eye-opener for anyone who thinks that they have had it "hard"." This book allowed me to know some of what a young black girl growing up in the south experiences in her quest to better herself and her life. After reading this book, I have a much deeper respect for Maya Angelou. Many people, myself included, are not completely aware of the harsh conditions that blacks were forced to endure decades ago. I believe that this book is a good way for one to read what life in the south for blacks once was. This book is a true inspiration for anyone who has dreams.

5-0 out of 5 stars literary brilliance
<br /> <br />Ms. Angelou writes with literary brilliance, and "I Know Why The caged Bird Sings" is no exception. Part poetic, part memoir...she brings her life in to full view for all to see, read and feel. She has triumphed.and isn't afraid to tell about it. I rate this highly with books such as "Nighmares Echo" and "The Color Purple" among other wonderful memoirs written in the past year or so.

1-0 out of 5 stars Machiavellian
Not a man to judge others by their Christian names, I opened this book expelling my prejudices and bias. I admit, however, that my history has caught up to me, and I will be unable to complete the undertaking. It is now obvious to me that the author, like the central character of the novel, is an insidious rebel and a Negress who will never belong here. Shut your mind - and your soul - from this treason.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressionable
This is an amazing autobiography. Ms. Angelou is a beautiful story teller. She leads you in with beautiful words, but don't get the impression that it is simply a sweet book because its not. She tells the way it really was for her growing up and all the courage needed to survive.

Also recommending highly: Nightmares Echo (courage and determination in the life of a child of abuse,self-healing)Running With Scissors (deals with abuse,dysfunction,also courageous) ... Read more


15. The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
by Sampson, Md. Davis, George, Md. Jenkins, Rameck, Md. Hunt, Lisa Frazier Page
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157322989X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 22135
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

They grew up on the streets of Newark, facing city life's temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attain that dream. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are not only friends to this day-they are all doctors.

This is a story about the power of friendship. Of joining forces and beating the odds. A story about changing your life, and the lives of those you love most...together.
... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Friendship and Positive Competitiveness Display
"The Pact" is an incredible book! I just finished reading the remarkable journey completed by Drs. Sam Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. It's an easy, quick read ~250 pages.

If you're not familiar with their story, they are 3 young, African-American men from Newark that establish a pact at 17-years old to become doctors. Over the years, they run into many obstacles (peer pressure, arrest, finances, and family issues) that tend to dissuade so many young people from pursuing their dream. With the "I got your back" support of each other, mentors they encountered throughout their journey, and God they become doctors despite how many people had presumed their future would turn out.

Dr. George Jenkins, probably the most focused in the group, knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a dentist. In high school, the three friends attend a college presentation offering full scholarships to minority students interested in the medical field. Knowing that neither he nor his friends could afford college THIS OFFER would be their ONLY way to attend college...the formation of the pact.

Surprisingly, after completing college and med school, Sam and Rameck were still unsure if they wanted to be doctors. Sam saw business/management as his future and Rameck wanted to be an actor (he'll settle on being a rapper). (If I didn't know the outcome, I would have been in suspense until the bitter end waiting to learn if they became doctors.) The death of an important person in each of their lives confirmed that medically helping others is what they were meant to do in life.

If you're in the education field or work closely with children in your community this is an excellent book to pick up when you...

- feel like what can I do to get through to this person
- need a testimony that success is not by luck but achieved through faith, perseverance, and support from others
- need a roadmap to better mentor a person in need

"The Pact" is an amazing story of inspiration and motivation to get (primarily) black teens to see beyond their environment, current situation, and look ahead with a plan for tomorrow. "The Pact" also displays the need for adults to begin mentoring children before they reach their teens. The book concludes with the doctors providing the "how-to's" to make a pact work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting!
There are times that I think my life was or still is hard. Well, I'm a black female who grew up in a middle-class home with two teachers as parents. College was as automatic as sleeping and eating. But, for these young men in the book "The Pact", college was as uncertain as winning the lottery. I always knew that our young black boys growing up in the inner-city had it super hard, but this book allowed me to see another side of our young brothas. They all have dreams as little kids, even though they don't see anyone in their neighborhood to emulate. Somehow, someway, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins all found the determination to succeed and become doctors. Their positive story is proof that just one person can make a difference in a kid's life. Everyone needs someone to look up to; someone to follow.

We all have gifts we can share. Read this book and feel blessed that someone in your life took the time to mentor you and be there for you; not everyone has that in their lives. I am so proud of these young men! Not only are they smart and positive, but they are cute too! What a great combination! God has truly blessed them and their family.

What a refreshing book. Thanks to Tavis Smiley for recommending it on the Tom Joyner Show.

5-0 out of 5 stars A HAPPY ENDING
This book was very informative. I really loved this book not only because they are from my hometown Newark, New Jersey. But it was an interesting novel. They came from the ghetto and turned out to be very distinguished gentlemen. I am so happy I read a sucess story from my hometown. I recommend this book to people that feel is though there is no way out in the ghetto when there actually is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
I was pleased to read a book about three African-American men, from disadvantaged backgrounds, who'd beat the odds.They supported each other through thick and thin, and fulfilled their dream of becoming Doctors.They remained humble and are giving back by helping people who are at a disadvantage. They are positive, beautiful, and successful young men. God has truly gave the three Doctors a great annointing. I wish more people would read this book.I was upset when I read the last page. I did not want the book to end! The Doctors are a true inspiration. May God continue to bless them.

5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING BOOK ABOUT THE POWER OF A PLAN
I will definitely be giving this book to every young African American male that I know. It's such a powerful testimony of the power of the people that you surround yourself with and a plan. ... Read more


16. Who She Was : My Search for My Mother's Life
by Samuel G. Freedman
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743227352
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 14749
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Samuel G. Freedman was nearing fifty, the same age at which his mother died of breast cancer, he realized that he did not know who she was. Of course, he knew that Eleanor had been his mother, a mother he kept at an emotional distance both in life and after death. He had never thought about the entire life she lived before him, a life of her own dreams and disappointments. And now, that ignorance haunted him.

So Freedman set out to discover the past, and Who She Was is the story of what he found. It is the story of a young woman's ambitions and yearnings, of the struggles of her impoverished immigrant parents, and of the ravages of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust.

It is also the story of a middle-aged son wracked with regret over the disregard he had shown as a teenage boy for a terminally ill mother, and as an adult incapable for decades of visiting her grave. It is the story of how he healed that wound by asking all the questions he had not asked when his mother was alive.

Whom did she love? Who broke her heart? What lifted her spirits? What crushed her hopes? What did she long to become? And did she get to become that woman in her brief time on earth?

Who She Was brings a compassionate yet unflinching eye to the American Jewish experience. It recaptures the working-class borough of the Bronx with its tenements and pushcarts, its union halls and storefront synagogues and rooftop-tar beaches. It remembers a time when husbands searched hundreds of miles for steady work and wives sent packages and prayers to their European relatives in the desperate hope they might survive the Nazis. In such a world, Eleanor Hatkin came of age, striving for education, for love, for a way out.

Researched as a history, written like a novel, Who She Was stands in the tradition of such classics as Call It Sleep and The Assistant. In bringing to life his mother, Samuel G. Freedman has given all readers a memorable heroine. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars When we reach the age when our first parent died ....
When we reach the age when our first parent died we have to come to a kind of realization that they didn't have any more than we're already had. Somewhere about then many of us start to reflect a bit on the life that that parent lived.

In my case it was a father who lived very poor in rural Arkansas.His father ... well this is not my family's story. It was later that I realized what he had gone through working in the hot Louisiana sun to give me a couple of college degrees.

I wish that I had the way with words Mr. Freedman has to put down the story of his mother's life. Indeed I'd like to have even researched my father's life as extensively as he has his mothers.

It was certainly a different life in the East Bronx than it was in the Arkansas Ozarks. I don't think better, or worse, just different. Mr. Freedman's grandmother had a major and not necessarily beneficial impact on his mother's life. My father's mother had died when he was six (childbirth).

Mr. Freedman has taken this story beyond just the story of one lady, it's a tale of the life of new immigrants living the Depression Era American Jewish experience. It's a good tribute to Eleanor Freeman. It's also a good tribute to Samuel Freedman.

He, like I, think of the casual cruelty we caused our parents. We'd like to go back and fix a few things, say a few things. But we can't. Instead, we smile and think of the things our kids have done, and we don't mind.

Mr. Freedman, your mother is, I think, looking down on you with pride, as I think my father is with me -- even though we know we don't deserve it. ... Read more


17. Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran
by Azadeh Moaveni
list price: $25.00
our price: $10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586481932
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 4801
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A young Iranian-American journalist returns to Tehran and discovers not only the oppressive and decadent life of her Iranian counterparts who have grown up since the revolution, but the pain of searching for a homeland that may not exist.

As far back as she can remember, Azadeh Moaveni has felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian-American. In suburban America, Azadeh lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community, serving tea, clinging to tradition, and dreaming of Tehran. Outside, she was a California girl who practiced yoga and listened to Madonna. For years, she ignored the tense stand off between her two cultures. But college magnified the clash between Iran and America, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist. This is the story of her search for identity, between two cultures cleaved apart by a violent history. It is also the story of Iran, a restive land lost in the twilight of its revolution.

Moaveni's homecoming falls in the heady days of the country's reform movement, when young people demonstrated in the streets and shouted for the Islamic regime to end. In these tumultuous times, she struggles to build a life in a dark country, wholly unlike the luminous, saffron and turquoise-tinted Iran of her imagination. As she leads us through the drug-soaked, underground parties of Tehran, into the hedonistic lives of young people desperate for change, Moaveni paints a rare portrait of Iran's rebellious next generation. The landscape of her Tehran-ski slopes, fashion shows, malls and cafes-is populated by a cast of young people whose exuberance and despair brings the modern reality of Iran to vivid life. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but a little flawed
Very interesting look at everyday life in Iran, pre-"axis of evil."I especially enjoyed her chapter on the veil and the effect it had upon women in Iran.Very incisive analysis of American vs. Iranian ideals & values.I wish that she had discussed gender relations more; she was most interested in politics, reform, the revolution.
Problem: Moaveni comes from a wealthy, secular family.This has apparently rendered her incapable of understanding how a person can truly believe in a religion, how a person's religion can profoundly and meaningfully affect a person's worldview.She portrays Iran as a country in the grips of a very few fundamentalist clerics, populated by closet secularists just waiting for their chance to shed pesky Islam.This I highly doubt.I noticed this same problem with religion in Carl Sagan's "Contact."He tried to write a religious character, the preacher Palmer Joss, who was totally flat and unconvincing.I feel this is because Sagan did not really believe that a person could be intelligent and religious.Moaveni has a similar issue.She cannot fathom that people would actually *believe* in Islam, would truly believe that Mohammed is a prophet.In Iran, she hangs out with journalists and corrupt clerics who shed their veils and grab beers as soon as they are out of the country.Perhaps if she had done something really brave, like mingle with the middle class, she would have found people devoted to Islam yet still unhappy with the anarchy of the country.People who view the veil as something other than repressive and the cause of constant bad hair days.
Now, I am just joshing when I mock Moaveni's bravery.Some of her experiences are horrifying.I have great respect for someone who voluntarily moves from California to a third-world country to confront head-on her questions about her ethnicity and cultural history.I just think she is young and doesn't even realize she has this religion perception issue.Another reviewer said she is wise beyond her years, and that makes me laugh out loud.No, sorry, she is not.Someone is confusing intelligence with maturity.Silly, silly.She is very intelligent.Her analysis is often razor-sharp and insightful.Is she mature?Not particularly.She tattles to her daddy when an auntie is mean, she hangs out with her teenaged cousin because adult Iranian women are "mean" to her.
Also, towards the end of the book Moaveni complains bitterly about casual American prejudice against Islam.Which, by the way, she doesn't even believe in.This I found incredibly hard to stomach, because earlier in the book she portrays Mormon women as cultish.She asks in the last chapter, anguish in her words, (paraphrasing) What other religion can you slander so completely and get away with it?The answer, Miss Moaveni, is apparently Mormonism.I might take you a little more seriously if you shed the religious hypocrisy.
I know I've ragged on this book a lot, and yet still given it four stars.I did really enjoy the book and highly recommend it.It made me think about things from a new perspective, especially America's actions in the Middle East, and I love being made to do that.

2-0 out of 5 stars Same Old Story
Although this book is slightly superior to that of Afschineh Latifi (Miss "Persian Privileged Princess" herself!)'s book of the same genre ("After all this time:A story of..."), it is still of the same kind of bleeding heart memoir books of recent publication by Iranian so called women authors which have been sprouting like mushrooms (fungi live in the dark).This book also, like others of its kind, lacks depth, and is totally void of any vision of history:a superficial "Remember When" story at best.
Iran needs concrete action towards Democracy right now, not reminiscence and lamentation for a fun-filled, decadent life style that only "Persian Marie Antoinettes" led back under the Shah.
(Read my review of Latifi's book here on Amazon for more).

5-0 out of 5 stars Hands-down the most beautiful book I've EVER read.
I cannot praise this book enough. The book's stated objective is to portray the life of a Middle Easterner growing up in America, and then attempting to integrate themselves back into the society of their home country. In my opinion, she does both rather well, although the latter is lacking only because she does not embrace what constitutes as the current Iranian culture, and thus does not attempt to integrate herself with it. The former objective is unbelievably well done, and as I've stated before, the book offers the portrait of a girl of Middle Eastern descent growing up in a culture vastly different from what she knows. Readers everywhere are lucky that its author is such a gifted writer.

My own back round is one very similar to Azadeh's. My parent's are from Israel, having migrated to America when they had an arranged marriage. Unlike Azadeh, I was actually born here in America, though I have also lived in Israel for extended periods of time, and having been a girl who attempted to integrate herself in with a seemingly foreign culture, I can really relate to Azadeh's experiences, especially her experience as an Iranian in America. I too tried to erase my "Arabness" from my life as a young girl, from the awkwardness of your friends hearing the weird language your mother speaks at home, to the funny smells that emanated from your kitchen (standardly the fruitions of my mother's laborious hours in the kitchen). And like Azadeh, I too have learned to embrace my distinction as I got older.

The strongest point in the book was most definitely the author's writing style. Reading Azadeh's own personal tale of her life in Iran has inspired me to travel there at some point, as well. I've been a huge reader since I was a little girl, and this is hands -down the most beautiful book I have EVER read, and I cannot emphasize that enough. I seriously cannot praise such a work of art enough. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, as I feel that it deals with some particularly important topics for being able to truly understand the perspectives of a Middle Easterner, especially one in America.

5-0 out of 5 stars memories of home & madness
Rebeccasreads highly recommends LIPSTICK JIHAD as a deeply disturbing, astonishingly enlightening & unflinching look into a world in upheaval, when a young journalist returns to Iran, the land of her birth, and falls headlong into a revolution where the young people explore drugs & hedonism under an oppressive Islamic regime, often with tragic results.

The old saying: "you can never go home" is fully realized as this American Iranian struggles with her dreams, memories & illusions in a very different world, where a free, modern American woman clashes with the violence of a moralistic, past-obsessed male-dominated society.

Outstanding!

5-0 out of 5 stars Poignant narrative !
The author has an excellent command of English; further, she is a gifted writer. This book is far superior to SAFFRON SKY by Gelareh Asayesh and TO SEE AND SEE AGAIN by Tara Bahrampour.Ms. Moaveni is a trained journalist unlike these other two authors. A glossary of Persian terms and personalitiescited in the book would have aided the reader.The book would have benefited from an index.Perhaps, in a future book the author could visit the Iranian Shahrestan.She did cite a trip to Kermanshah on p. 72 placing it in 'a Kurdish province of northwestern Tehran'.Tehran should be replaced by Iran.This is the only error that I could find in the book. ... Read more


18. When I Was Puerto Rican
by ESMERALDA SANTIAGO
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679756760
Catlog: Book (1994-10-11)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 11827
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Selling over 16,000 copies in hardcover, this triumphant coming-of-age memoir is now available in paperback editions in both English and Spanish. In the tradition of Black Ice, Santiago writes lyrically of her childhood on her native island and of her bewildering years of transition in New York City. ... Read more

Reviews (76)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift From Santiago
A joyful and proud eulogy to the island of her youth. Santiago is a wonderfully talented voice that exudes passion. The title alone, When I WAS Puerto Rican, is at first intriguing. But we soon learn the profound sense of this past tense usage. I read Santiago's memories in Spanish, which, in my view presents her story in a distinctive poetic prose, rhythm and rhapsody (often characteristic in Spanish) that is absolutely captivating. However, what is most appealing about this autobiogaphy, interwoven delightfully with memorable and richly detailed anecdotes, is the moving revelation that Santiago shares with her readers who don't know what it means to be caught in the agonizing web of dual-identities/dual-allegiances that is largely the Puerto Rican Experience ... as well as other North American immigrant experiences. This writer has presented us with a lyrical gift of enormous joy. High on the list of Must-Read novels, especially those by the new cadre of Latina writers. If you haven't as yet seen the excellent movie version of the sequel to this novel, Almost A Woman, do so. Wanda de Jesus is brilliant in the lead role.

Alan Cambeira
Author of AZUCAR! The Story of Sugar (a novel)

5-0 out of 5 stars When I Was Puerto Rican
When I Was Puerto Rican is a chronicle of the events that take place in the life of author Esmeralda Santiago during her childhood in Puerto Rico and later New York city.

Two things make this book worthwhile right off the bat. One it crosses the divdes of age, sex and race. I found it to be an effective introduction to Puerto Rican culture. However, this isn't a story for simply one group of people it was written for everyone.

I believe that Mrs. Santiago while writing this biography tried her best to keep the events of her early life in the child-like perspective,in which she first experienced them. What I mean by this is she does not pollute her narrative with the reflections of an older wiser adult woman looking backward. She allows the story to unfold as it was at the time.

Culturally this book is far different from any other book I've read. But the story and the empathy I felt for the characters in it has stayed with me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Touching and Heart Felt
I just finished "When I was Puerto Rican." I thoroughly enjoyed the book and connected with the author. Being the oldest female child in my family, I have felt the way that she did. The book takes you back through your adolescence and makes you exam life.

Another plus to the book is how much culture it has. I enjoyed learning about the culture, the food, the dichos (sayings). I am pretty familiar with the Mexican Culture but the Puerto Rican has a completely different vibe and I enjoy it. Esmeralda's experience in New York is what so many people dream of. She makes me proud of her and I feel that I know her so intimately. That is what I love about her writing. Thank you for being so honest with your readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars When I was Puerto Rican
The book of "When I was Puerto Rican by; Esmeralda Santiagon was really great. It's shows the way she lived in Puerto Rico her life was easy she lived with her mother and her uncle that would always help them out, she also lived with six cousins. She got older she wanted to get married with this guy that she liked but her uncle wanted to get married with this older guy. She didn't want to but if she didn't her uncle would have to go to this counselor camp. That's when she decided to run away she wanted to go to America.
She wanted to come America and have a better life but sometimes cominh to america is so easy. She also wanted to come and find her dad that was a soldier. Esmeralda books are really amazing because she puts you in her shoes and she takes you with her in her journeys. She shows how hard it was for her to live in the situation she did. Not knowing anything about her culture. This book is a really good book if you want to know whether she goes to America and finds her dad and gets a better life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is, without question, the best autobiography I've ever read. Santiago's writing is vibrant, fluid, and concise. Her evocation of life in PR as Americanization slowly seeps in is deadeye brilliant, and her transition to life in the margins in Brooklyn is heart-rending. She never uses a hammer to make her points, choosing the subtle, the offhand, the seemingly innocuous instead.

Edwidge Danticat should take notes. Ernesto Quinones should be embarrased. ... Read more


19. Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson
by Kenneth R. Timmerman
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895261650
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 47780
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jesse Jackson is a modern day highway robber who uses cries of racism to steal from individuals, corporations, and government, to give to himself, says veteran investigative reporter Kenneth R. Timmerman.

Until now, however, no one has been brave enough to say it and diligent enough to prove it. But Ken Timmerman has cracked Jackson's machine, found Jackson cronies willing to break ranks, and uncovered a sordid tale of greed, ambition, and corruption from a self-proclaimed minister who has no qualms about poisoning American race relations for personal gain.

Shakedown reveals:

* Jackson's massive defrauding of the federal government - and how both Republican and Democratic administrations have chosen to ignore it.

* Jackson's financial ties to Third World dictators - including Mohammar Qaddafi of Libya.

* Jackson's shocking private life - and his even more shocking public lies, including about his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King

Other details must remain embargoed until publication, but one thing is for certain, Shakedown finally bursts the carefully constructed myths around Jesse Jackson and subject him to the critical scrutiny he's long deserved.

Kenneth R. Timmerman, a reporter with more than two decades of experience, has written for many magazines and newspapers including Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, and The American Spectator, and has appeared on Nightline, Sixty Minutes, and many other television programs. He lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his wife and five children. ... Read more

Reviews (121)

4-0 out of 5 stars The dude do get over
The author has previously written for such unusally reliable sources as Time, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. There are 1,078 references in this book in 426 pages of text covering an introduction, a prologue, and 18 chapters. The references are from such sources as memoranda and reports from U.S. government agencies, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and the New Republic, to name only a few. The author, therefore, cannot be dismissed as some sort of right wing crackpot. What Timmerman does is document Jackson's unashamed schemes to line his own pockets and those of his friends and family in the name of racial diversity, economic opportunity, and other buzzwords popular with income redistribution leftists. But Jesse is the quintessential capitalist. He doesn't do anything he can't get paid for, to include NOT speaking up in favor of minority groups who have sought his assistance in the past but didn't have the money to pay his fee! SHAKEDOWN is an appropriate title for this work, as Jackson has managed to get governments and businesses to pony up for his schemes in order to keep from being branded as racist by Jackson. This book could have been subtitled "Show Me the Money!" He has definitely helped himself, and made himself rich in the process. Whether he has helped others is truly open to question, as the author has convincingly documented.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, brilliantly researched and well written
It was very tough to put this book down. Timmerman has done an excellent job in researching this book, and backs up his research with copious notes.

If even one tenth of the book is accurate, Jesse Jackson is a very dangerous, dishonest, and evil character. I suspect that the overwhelming majority of the book is accurate, however, and that fact makes my blood boil at the thought of Jackson and his shakedown scheme.

This book should be required reading for every young liberal- Black, White, Brown-it doesn't matter. Jackson's evil tactics transcend race, religion, and creed. His hucksterism is a danger to this nation, a danger to the advancing civil rights of minorities, and a danger to honest people trying to make a living in America.

I highly recommend this book, I think that anyone who reads it with an open mind will thoroughly enjoy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Blame the Author - Blame Jackson
This book states the obvious. Most people half awake can see his scam a mile away. This is not a race issue; it is a scam that uses the race issue. It might not be PC to attack a black man, but when he uses the weakness in his fellow man black and white to enrich himself one needs to blow the whistle.

Let us give Jackson a small benefit of doubt. Years ago when he worked for King he was an idealistic young man. But that has long passed. We now have a man milking the system and taking what he can - it is as simple as that. And blame the people and corporations that support his habit.

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at how one obtains power.
At first, I just wanted to read the "lowdown" on how much of a crook Jesse Jackson was, but as I read more, I see how Jesse rises from being a mere street hustler to being a major pollitical force that is known throughout worldwide. As a person that wants to understand how and why a person obtains power of that magnitude, SHAKEDOWN gives great insight into how one man, Jesse Jackson, stategically picks not only the battles he wants to fight, but also his allies. A great companion book to this is THE 48 LAWS OF POWER by Robert Greene. Many of the laws of power in that book can be seen being used by Jesse in SHAKEDOWN. What really got me was one of the guys mentioned in this book was a pastor in my church who was "rubbing elbows" with Jackson and almost got put in jail by following him. Read this book, it's a real eye opener.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wake Up America!!!!!!
I have always been a supporter of Jesse Jackson and looked upon him as a true leader..............until I read this book. This book has opened my eyes to just what kind of person Jesse Jackson really is: con-artist, extortionist, race-baiter, etc. The people in Chicago who refer to him as "Justme" Jackson, have really hit the nail on the head. What has the self-appointed leader of the African-American race ever done for poor and truly disinfranchised African-Americans? Not a damn thing!!! The only African-Americans who have ever benefited from his shakedowns and extortion of american corporations are his rich and well-to-do cronies! Why the IRS has never stepped in and audited this scheister and crook is a travesty! Jesse Jackson is only a leader for the well-to-do African-American, the ones who can pay to play. This man is no more interested in closing the racial divide that exists in America today, than the KKK is! He is one of the reasons that the racial divide has gotten wider, not smaller. Anyone who calls this book racist is either blind, deaf, and dumb, or is a racist themselves. This book is well documented and the facts well supported. Through it all, you have to give "Reverend" Justme Jackson credit. He has taken advantage of a society where it is worse to label someone a racist than it is to call someone a rapist or child molester. He has used the word racist as his trump card and thrown it about freely, when he himself is as racist as anybody. I wonder when the next time he is going to call as his friend some 3rd world dictator who has ravaged his homeland and committed innumerable atrocities on his people? And when he is long gone from this world, don't worry America, his sons will pick up the torch and continue this man's great, benevolent works in society. Oh yeah, after reading this book, I have changed my affiliation from Democrat to Republican, as has my African-American wife. ... Read more


20. Hunger of Memory : The Education of Richard Rodriguez
by Richard Rodriguez
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553272934
Catlog: Book (1983-02-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 24934
Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for teachers of immigrant and minority students
I just finished reading Hunger of Memory as an assignment for a Language and Literacy class I'm taking in my teacher training program. I recommend this book to all teachers or to people like myself who are planning to be teachers. Rodriguez does a outstanding job of capturing the feelings of confusion and separation one feels when learning English. I liked how Rodriguez corelates language with intimacy. He talks a lot about how Spanish was for him a language of intimacy and family. When he learned English in school, however, he lost a lot of that intimacy in the home when he began to lose his language. One particularly sad part was when his grandmother died and he wasn't able to speak to her or say goodbye beforehand because his Spanish was so limited and his grandmother spoke only Spanish. Towards the end of the book, Rodriguez exhibits a lot of honesty and courage in writing about his feelings on affirmative action. As a result of assimilation and studying in England, Rodriguez no longer felt like he could be an effective role model for minority students. However, because he was a Mexican-American with a Phd in Renaissance Literature and because he was a "minority professor", he was expected by Berkley administrators (and students) to be such a role model. When some hispanic students ask him to teach a minority literature class at a community center, he declines. As a result, they treat him like a sell-out. All in all, I admire how Rodriguez is not afraid to take stances on issues like affirmative action and bilingual education that go against what is expected, considering his race. One would expect him to be in support of both programs, but he is not. Though I do not agree on his stances on these issues, I truly admire his ability to be true to his convictions in spite of being called a sell-out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Controversial--After All These Years
I'm an author of a mystery novel in current release that features a Stanford-educated detective of Latino heritage as its protagonist, an American government/economics teacher (for over twenty years) in a rural California high school with a student population that is over 98% Latino, and I have attended several lectures/discussions by Richard Rodriguez over the years. His HUNGER OF MEMORY remains one of the most controversial books in the community in which I work for a significant portion of every year. HUNGER OF MEMORY is viciously hated by some of the most gifted students I have ever had. Others love it. My fellow professionals argue over Mr. Rodriguez and his positions on assimilation and bilingual education. I respect this book and this man. I don't necessarily agree with all he writes, but I do agree he writes what he writes well. I admire what Richard Rodriguez has gone through in life, and I admire the courage of his positions. HUNGER OF MEMORY is an excellent book that anyone interested in the contemporary American Southwest should read. It is extremely educational.

1-0 out of 5 stars SELLOUT
I wont purchase a book by Rodriguez because he is a sellout to himself and his people. The man has consistently come out against affairmative action when he himself is a product of it, and owes his success to it. We all make choices in life and Rodriguez chose to distance himself from his Mexican roots and wants us to validate his choices. Rodriguez is a sucess in the Anglo world but nothing is worth the cost of selling your soul to achieve success at such a high cost. The man is not Mexican he is best described as a pitiful soul that wrote a book trying to find redemption, but you cant have it both ways. Be what you are, take pride in your difference and you can still succeed in this country. I feel contempt not pity for the man.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tio Tomas
Richard shed himself to become a white man. He defines himself by the success standards set by white people. Although I don't disagree with him on everything, he clearly has been white washed and it's really sad. HE rants about himself like his 'ethnic' look is so mesmerizing to people. He's got a big head that I really can't empathize with. He made a choice many people of color make, assimilation in most extreme way. If you need a reason to feel pride in your cultural, read this book and see how you cold turn out if you have no pride in your culture

2-0 out of 5 stars Makes some good points but boring as hell
Indeed Richard makes some good points about bilingual education and affirmative action - and they ARE well worth noting (how affirmative action doesn't benefit those who need it the most)....but everything else about this book [is bad]. His writing style is very self-absorbed. His opinions are inserted after just about EVERY comment and EVERY action ANYONE (his family or the outside world) commits, it's like he's trying to beat his own opinion into your head. There's also very stuck-up tone lurking under his writing; he VERY often notes his own accomplishments endlessly (...at a cocktail party in Bel Air...entered high school having read 100s of books...), it's all fabulous but reading about his greatness gets very tedious after awhile (especially when he's describing how he started making lists of books he read...that alone is 6 pages - go look yourself: p.59-64.

Many advocates of this book say that they like it because of how he becomes "aware of his assimilation" and "recognizes that with all gain comes some loss." Well, unfortunetely, even though Ricahrd becomes AWARE and RECOGNIZES all these things - he lets everyone know he knows by portraying himself as a suffering hero and a "cosmic victim." By saying he's a "cosmic victim" implies some divinity "choose" him to suffer - as if! He chose to separate himself from his family the minute he decided he repected his teachers more.

And yes, Mr. Rodriguez dedicated his book to his parents - but it's funny how he wrote "For him and her-to honor them." To me, if he hadn't written the "to honor them", I would have though he was writing this book as almsot a cruel parody of them - of what they never could be anything else but what they already were in his world, that they are not as great as he because of their lack of education.

Overall, this book is nothing remarkable, if not very boring. Read for an opinion of affirmative action and biligual education (but ignore the fact HE frequently benefited from both, even he admits that!). Yes, he is educated, intelligent, and perhaps (I wouldn't know) a "provocative speaker"....but his image at the end is not of a strong, modest, "manly" man, but a pathetic figure of a person who wants to comfort himself in the glory of his accomplishments. The overall taste you walk away with this book is not respect for Richard Rodriguez, but pity. ... Read more


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