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$14.93 list($21.95)
141. A Brother's Journey : Surviving
$10.50 $3.97 list($14.00)
142. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
$14.93 $13.99 list($21.95)
143. If This Be Treason: Translation
$16.17 $11.50 list($26.95)
144. His Excellency : George Washington
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145. The 24-Carrot Manager: A Remarkable
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146. The Dirt : Confessions of the
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147. The Family : The Real Story of
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148. Design and Development of Medical
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149. The Surrender : An Erotic Memoir
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150. West With the Night
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151. Jerry Lewis: In Person
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152. A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph
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153. The American Promise : A History
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154. My Life
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155. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
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156. A Portrait of the Artist As a
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157. Front Row : Anna Wintour: The
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158. Madam Secretary: A Memoir
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159. John Adams: Party of One
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160. The Best Year of Their Lives:

141. A Brother's Journey : Surviving a Childhood of Abuse
by Richard B. Pelzer
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 0446533688
Catlog: Book (2005-01-05)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 751397
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142. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
by Frank McCourt
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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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


143. If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Dyscontents-A Memoir
by Gregory Rabassa
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 0811216195
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Sales Rank: 10230
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Witty, Fascinating Memoir By One Of My Literary Heroes.
Many years ago I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez' novel, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" for the first time. I was entranced by the tale of Macondo and its populace, the poetic elegance of the language, and the author's ability to turn the written page into a magic carpet. I was living in Latin America back then and just beginning to speak Spanish, so I read the novel in English. I didn't really credit the translator's work very much, sad to say. I was young. What did I know? However, the narrative was, and is, written in such an exquisite manner that I took note of the translator's name, Gregory Rabassa. A few years later, still living south of the border, my ability to speak the language had improved significantly - for which I am thankful! I reread Marquez' masterpiece, this time in Spanish, and remembering the English version I was struck at the accuracy of Mr. Rabassa's translation. Not only had he interpreted the author's text from Spanish into English with exactitude, (the words, their meaning, correct grammar, syntax, and idioms), he brilliantly communicated the culture of coastal Colombia, the author's writing style, in fact, his very voice. Most extraordinarily, however, he was able to capture the lilt, lyricism, and love of language. This ability to transcend linguistic and cultural borders, proves Gregory Rabassa is a gifted writer and poet in his own right. I'm a big fan!

I cannot think of another who has had such an impact on Latin American literature. Through him English-speakers, worldwide, have been able to appreciate the works of such notable authors as: Octavio Paz, Miguel Angel Asturias, Julio Cortázar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Amado, Antönio Lobo Antunes, and, of course, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

When I discovered that Mr. Rabassa had written a memoir, "If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Dyscontents-A Memoir," I couldn't wait to read it. I have done so, and enjoyed every page. Not only does he discuss his own fascinating life, he writes about so many talented authors, whose books I have loved, and his collaboration with them. His writing style is conversational, witty, and provocative in its honesty. One feels as if seated at the table with him, over a good cup of coffee or a bottle of wine, listening to tales of the people, anecdotes and incidents which have been so important in his life.

Also included are essays on the writers he has worked with and the books he has brought into English. These memoirs make for an excellent read - especially for those who have loved the novels Gregory Rabassa has translated. Kudos to the author!!
JANA ... Read more


144. His Excellency : George Washington
by Joseph J. Ellis
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
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Asin: 1400040310
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 10
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Amazon.com

As commander of the Continental army, George Washington united the American colonies, defeated the British army, and became the world's most famous man. But how much doAmericans really know about their first president? Today, as Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph J. Ellis says in this crackling biography, Americans see their first president on dollar bills, quarters, and Mount Rushmore, but only as "an icon--distant, cold, intimidating." In truth, Washington was a deeply emotional man, but one who prized and practiced self-control (an attribute reinforced during his years on the battlefield).

Washington first gained recognition as a 21-year-old emissary for the governor of Virginia, braving savage conditions to confront encroaching French forces. As the de facto leader of the American Revolution, he not only won the country's independence, but helped shape its political personality and "topple the monarchical and aristocratic dynasties of the Old World." When the Congress unanimously elected him president, Washington accepted reluctantly, driven by his belief that the union's very viability depended on a powerful central government. In fact, keeping the country together in the face of regional allegiances and the rise of political parties may be his greatest presidential achievement.

Based on Washington's personal letters and papers, His Excellency is smart and accessible--not to mention relatively brief, in comparison to other encyclopedic presidential tomes. Ellis's short, succinct sentences speak volumes, allowing readers to glimpse the man behind the myth. --Andy Boynton

Amazon.com Exclusive Content
Curious about George?
Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the legendary first president of the United States.

Washington bust by Jean Antoine Houdon.
Courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Assoc.

1. The famous tale about Washington chopping down the cherry tree ("Father, I cannot tell a lie") is a complete fabrication.

2. George Washington never threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River--in fact, to do so from the shore of his Mount Vernon home would have been physically impossible.

3. George Washington did not wear wooden teeth. His poorly fitting false teeth were in fact made of cow's teeth, human teeth, and elephant ivory set in a lead base.

4. Early in his life, Washington was himself a slave owner. His opinions changed after he commanded a multiracial army in the Revolutionary War.He eventually came to recognize slavery as "a massive American anomaly."

5. In 1759, having resigned as Virginia's military commander to become a planter, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. Washington’s marriage to the colony's wealthiest widow dramatically changed his life, catapulting him into Virginia aristocracy.

6. Scholars have discredited suggestions that Washington's marriage to Martha lacked passion, as well as the provocative implications of the well-worn phrase "George Washington slept here."

7. Washington held his first public office when he was 17 years old, as surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia.

8. At age 20, despite no prior military experience, Washington was appointed an adjutant in the Virginia militia, in which he oversaw several militia companies, and was assigned the rank of major.

9. As a Virginia aristocrat, Washington ordered all his coats, shirts, pants, and shoes from London. However, most likely due to the misleading instructions he gave his tailor, the suits almost never fit. Perhaps this is why he appears in an old military uniform in his 1772 portrait.

10. In 1751, during a trip to Barbados with his half-brother Lawrence, Washington was stricken with smallpox and permanently scarred. Fortunately, this early exposure made him immune to the disease that would wipe out colonial troops during the Revolutionary War.

Timeline
Important dates in George Washington's life.
Engraving of Mount Vernon, 1804. Courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Assoc.

1732: George Washington is born at his father's estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

1743: George’s father, Augustine Washington, dies.

1752: At age 20, despite the fact that he has never served in the military, Washington is appointed adjutant in the Virginia militia, with the rank of major.

1753: As an emissary to Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, he travels to the Ohio River Valley to confront French forces--the first of a series of encounters that would lead to the French and Indian War.

1755: Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of Virginia's militia.

1759: He marries wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis.

1774: Washington is elected to the First Continental Congress.

1775: He is unanimously elected by the Continental Congress as its army's commander-in-chief. Start of the American Revolution.

1776: On Christmas Day, Washington leads his army across the Delaware River and launches a successful attack against Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey.

1781: With the French, he defeats British troops in Yorktown, Virginia, precipitating the end of the war.

1783: The Revolutionary War officially ends.

1788: The Constitution is ratified.

1789: Washington is elected president.

1797: He fulfillshis last term as president.

1799: Washington dies on December 14, sparking a period of national mourning.

... Read more

145. The 24-Carrot Manager: A Remarkable Story of How a Leader Can Unleash Human Potential
by Adrian Robert Gostick, Chester Elton
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586851543
Catlog: Book (2002-04)
Publisher: Gibbs Smith Publishers
Sales Rank: 37260
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this companion volume to their successful Managing With Carrots, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton present a remarkable story of how a great leader can unleash human potential--creating success in even the worst economy. Providing strategies and solutions for the managers of today, this book offers answers for improving employee commitment and profitability by strategically acknowledging employee effort. How is it done? The deceptively simply answer: with carrots. Plentiful examples show how to choose the right reward for each employee, how to time the giving of a reward to motivate performance, how to effectively present rewards, when to give praise in private and when to make it a public celebration, and how to motivate employees to work harder and work smarter with the company's goals in mind. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A recipe book for providing recognition
This is an easy-to-read book providing useful tips on how to develop and implement a recognition reward program in your organization.

It offers suggestions at a macro and micro levels.Therefore, you can benefit from it no matter what type of managers you are.There are numerous best practices shared from a wide range of private companies.

In my opinion, the authors spend too much time demonstrating the importance and the benefits of recognizing employees' contribution.If you read the book, it is because you are already converted, isn't it?

5-0 out of 5 stars Highest ROI book ever!
After sinking my scarce time into a book, I do a rough ROI calculation by asking two questions: "Is this really going to build my business?" and "How rough a slog was the book to get through?" The 24-Carrot Manager might be my highest ROI book ever. I think it'll have big impact on my company . . . and it's a blast of fresh air to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A golden tool for managers!
Gostick and Elton have woven a clever story together with thoughtful insight and straight-forward HR advice to create a book that should circulate through the management ranks of every organization bent on success. It will soon circulate through ours!

"The 24-Carrot Manager" is a quick-paced, entertaining read with a bushel-basket full of ideas on how to motivate and retain the best employees in any organization. More importantly, "The 24-Carrot Manager" underscores why employee motivation is central to YOUR success as a manager. It's a 24-karat winner! ... Read more


146. The Dirt : Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, Neil Strauss
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060989157
Catlog: Book (2002-07-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 1003
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Whiskey and porn stars, hot reds and car crashes, black leather and high heels, overdoses and death. This is the life of MÖtley CrÜe, the heaviest drinking, hardest fighting, most oversexed and arrogant band in the world. Their unbelievable exploits are the stuff of rock 'n' roll legend. They nailed the hottest chicks, started the bloodiest fights, partied with the biggest drug dealers, and got to know the inside of every jail cell from California to Japan. They have dedicated an entire career to living life to its extreme, from the greatest fantasies to the darkest tragedies. Tommy married two international sex symbols; Vince killed a man and lost a daughter to cancer; Nikki overdosed, rose from the dead, and then OD'd again the next day; and Wick shot a woman and tried to hang his own brother. But that's just the beginning. Fueled by every drug they could get their hands on and obscene amounts of alcohol, driven by fury and headed straight for hell, MÖtley CrÜe raged through two decades, leaving behind a trail of debauched women, trashed hotel rooms, crashed cars, psychotic managers, and broken bones that has left the music industry cringing to this day. All these unspeakable acts, not to mention their dire consequences, are laid bare in The Dirt.

Here -- directly from Nikki, Vince, Tommy, and Mick -- is the unexpurgated version of the whole glorious, gut-wrenching story. In these pages, published for the first time anywhere, are Tommy Lee's letters to Pamela Anderson from prison: Mick's confession to having an incurable disease that is slowly killing him; Vince's experience burying his own daughter -- and the train wreck that his life became afterward; and Nikki's anguished struggle to deal with an entire life fueled by anger over his childhood abandonment, his discovery of the family he never knew he had -- and his subsequent loss of them. And all of it accompanied by scores of rare, never-before-published photographs, mug shots, and handwritten lyrics. No one is spared. Not David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne, Vanity, Aerosmith, Heather Locklear, AC/DC, Lita Ford, Iron Maiden, Pamela Anderson, Guns N' Roses, Donna D'Errico, RATT, or those two girls from Dallas, Texas.

Make no mistake about it: these guys are geniuses. They invented glam metal and then left it in the dust; sold more than forty million albums from Shout at the Devil to Dr. Feelgood; toured the world dozen times and have the scars to prove it it; and maintained a rabid following in an era of throwaway pop stars. MÖtley CrÜe has done nothing less than tattoo the psyche of the entire MTV generation. They are the ultimate rock 'n' roll band. And if you don't believe it, read The Dirt. You don't know what decadence is...

... Read more

Reviews (211)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock's Bad Boys Tell All...
I've followed the Crue since 1982 and have read so much about the band, listened to interviews, and watched them on TV. Knowing all I know about them, I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It's amazing to actually hear how the band was consumed by drugs and alcohol.

The book follows each member from childhood. It gives you a sense of each member's personality and shows you a different side of them not seen by the public. While each member's tales of their upbringing were interesting, Nikki's childhood stories are the most interesting and moving. Moving past childhood and adolescence, the member's chronicle their way into music and Motley Crue.

From their wild nights and endless days of partying while making a name for themselves in L.A., see how the band promoted themselves, and snagged a record deal with Elektra Records. It amazing that they got signed after reading just how wild they were before they hit the big time. At that point, the party had only begun.

The Dirt allows you to see the real people behind the Bad Boy Rock Star Images of the Motley members. While they are one of the wildest bands to walk the face of this earth, they are in fact human and have faced more problems and turmoil than most of us combined will ever know. Some of their problems may have been self inflicted but none the less, real problems. With all the good and bad they went through, they made it out alive and left their mark in rock and roll.

This book covers everything Motley. The wild tours, fights, arrests, deaths, recording sessions, parties, groupies and more. Motley Crue lived the Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll life style like no other band. VH1's "Behind The Music" only scratched the surface of the bad boys story. If you want it all, pick up "The Dirt" and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars THEATRE OF PAIN...INDEED!
I'm not a fan of Motley Crue (the people or their music) but this book came to my attention through all of the stories I have heard over the years. As far as rock biographies go, it's a fast paced read. Motley Crue epitomizes the message of "Sex, Drugs, and Rock N' Roll!" So since there are so many other reviews I think I'll just share what I have learned about the band members through their 430 page opus.

Vince Neil has the most penultimate tear-jerker in the chapter that deals with the death of his daughter. In a book made to shock and astonish, this was as touching a moment as anything I have read. Beyond his love and loss, he comes off like a stand-up guy who enjoys the life style and isn't making excuses.

Nikki Sixx had a rough childhood and has so many father-son issues it's not even funny. While I respect the fact that he's been through more turmoil than I'll ever know...get over it. There's nothing more pathetic than listening to rock star millionaires pining away about how sad they are. I guess money can't buy happiness.

Mick Mars has the least to say in this book and this left me the most intrigued. He has battled rough times from personal illness to divorce to just plain being the victim of emotional abuse. I'm amazed he stayed with the band as long as he has. His is the true sad story in The Dirt.

Tommy Lee...moron. Here is the epitome of a millionaire jerk who just never learns. How a guy like this managed to bag babes like Heather Locklear, Pamela Anderson, and Carmen Electra...is beyond me. Don't expect to learn anything from his chapters except to see a spoiled baby who is used to getting anything he wants, and if he doesn't then the tantrums start...then and now.

It's a testament to this book that I enjoyed reading it. The chapters flow quickly telling each band member's story and author Neil Strauss never slows down. And unlike biographies by other rock groups, these characters actually have some bizarre stories to tell...and how they survived is beyond me. While I may not be racing out to buy any Crue music, I'm very happy that I read this biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for hard core Motley Crue fans!
This was a great book......great pictures and the stories of these guys is just amazing. The fact that it is so in detail about each band member and how they told each of thier stories is amazing. The fact that they are all clean and sober is just as great. This band is amazing and I do feel that the music will live on forever. Don't ever judge a book by its cover. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wild ride
"The Dirt" is impossible to describe. The stories Motley Crue tell are hard to believe, yet you know it's all true. Struggling in Hollywood living together in a roach infested apartment, the wild parties, the girls, girls, girls. Of course, they become a huge famous band and their drugs and girls get huge too.

The chapters Nikki Sixx wrote were my favorites. He comes across as very intellligent and is a great storyteller. Mick Mars' chapters are very insightful, as he always seemed to shy away from media attention and I never knew all that much about him. Tommy Lee's chapters make him sound like a spoiled child. He was always my favorite member of the Crue, but his chapters got harder and harder to read (ending with letters he wrote to Pamela from prison that were so juvenille it hurt to read them).

All in all, this is a fantastic book that I've read three times since purchasing. It's hard to put down, hard to believe and a totally wild ride.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unadulterated Realism
In my opinion, this is the most gut renching, unadulterated truth that I have ever read. From laughing out loud, to being completely disgusted, the boys of Motley Crue cover all basis and pulled no stop when it came to this autobiography of their lives as they lived it.

They had drugs on tap, sex on tap, and a boat load of trouble that followed them everywhere they went. The fact that some people dislike this book because of their "Hedonistic actions", they must realize that this IS life as it was and still is today. I highly recommend that people read this book just so they can know what is out there and what really happened/happens in the world of rock as we know it. ... Read more


147. The Family : The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
by Kitty Kelley
list price: $29.95
our price: $17.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385503245
Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 705
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Amazon.com

Kitty Kelley, author of exhaustive and highly unflattering biographies of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis, and the British royal family,among others, has never received much cooperation from her subjects. Likewise, none was given for The First Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, and it's not hard to understand why. In the book, the family that has produced two presidents as well as an assortment of other politicians, businesspeople, and a number of lesser-known black sheep is portrayed as a powerful empire that leverages wealth and influence to grow ever stronger while stringently covering up numerous instances of drug abuse, infidelity, poor judgment, and scandal. While charges about George W. Bush, including that he snorted cocaine at Camp David while his father was president, garnered the most attention upon the book's release, Kelley's history goes back several generations, detailing the rise to power of Senator Prescott Bush and his son, the first President Bush. Those seeking a salacious peek at the inner sanctum of a wealthy and powerful family will not be disappointed by The First Family--Kelley always delivers on that count--and will likely devour allegations of Barbara Bush's sour temperament, George H.W. Bush's long-standing affair with aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, and George W. Bush's obnoxious drunken frat boy days that stretched, according to Kelley, well into adulthood. Those seeking a rock-solid and airtight indictment of the Bushes, however, will be disappointed, since Kelley leans on anonymous sources and rumors for some of the juicier bits. Interestingly, although it tells the stories of a family built on politics, The First Family mostly avoids the subject, clearing the decks of all political substance in order to put the style on wider display. --John Moe ... Read more


148. Design and Development of Medical Electronic Instrumentation: A Practical Perspective of the Design, Construction, and Test of Medical Devices
by DavidPrutchi, MichaelNorris
list price: $120.00
our price: $120.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471676233
Catlog: Book (2004-11-05)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 237412
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Book Description

Design and Development of Medical Electronic Instrumentation fills a gap in the existing medical electronic devices literature by providing background and examples of how medical instrumentation is actually designed and tested. The book includes practical examples and projects, including working schematics, ranging in difficulty from simple biopotential amplifiers to computer-controlled defibrillators. Covering every stage of the development process, the book provides complete coverage of the practical aspects of amplifying, processing, simulating and evoking biopotentials. In addition, two chapters address the issue of safety in the development of electronic medical devices, and providing valuable insider advice. ... Read more


149. The Surrender : An Erotic Memoir
by Toni Bentley
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0060732466
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 940
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Book Description

This New York Times Notable Book is a stunning story of sexual and spiritual awakening.

Few women do it and even fewer will admit to it. But in Toni Bentley's daring and intimate memoir, The Surrender, she pulls the sheets back on an erotic experience that's been forbidden since the Bible and celebrates "the joy that lies on the other side of convention, where risk is real and rapture resides." From Story of O to The Kiss to The Sexual Life of Catherine M, readers have been enthralled with sexually subversive memoirs by women. But even those erotic classics didn't navigate the psychosexual terrain that Bentley does when she meets a lover who introduces her to a radical and unexpected pleasure, to the "holy" act that she came to see as her awakening.

The Surrender is a witty, intelligent, and eloquent exploration of one woman's obsession that will be sure to leave readers questioning their own desires.

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150. West With the Night
by Beryl Markham
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0865471185
Catlog: Book (1983-05-01)
Publisher: North Point Press
Sales Rank: 3318
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.
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Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars First Aviatrix in Africa
The rule is, I found, that females can't write. I am staying away from what my own gender writes. Beryl Markham is a wonderful exception to my rule. Ernest Hemingway felt dwarfed by the authoress.
Beryl wrote in 1936, and Africa were she grew up was obviously different than now. She describes first hand encounters with lions and elephants, very interesting observations on animal behavior. She also describes the natives, and I wished she would have even gotten more into them. I love her philosophy on life and often I got the feeling she is writing right now, not 70 years ago. A great book for people curious about Africa! Put it into your collection, because you want to read it again!
Addendum April 30, 2004: After writing the above review I have learned from the biography "The Lives of Beryl Markham" by Errol Trzebinski that Beryl did not write "West with the Night", but her third husband Raoul Schumacher, a Hollywood ghostwriter.
Addendum June 15, 2004: I read "The Splendid Outcast" and in the Introduction, Mary S. Lovell, who wrote another biography on Beryl and knew her personally, does not doubt the authorship is genuine Beryl Markham.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great American Novel - Only Its A True Story From Africa
Life and love, hardship and adventure, romance and history - all beautifully woven into a delightful autobiography of an unlikely heroine. The daughter of a poor white farmer trying to eke out a living in untamed and uncharted Africa, Beryl Markham rose from very humble beginnings to become a successful horse trainer, bush pilot, and the first person to fly east-to-west across the Atlantic from England. Her fantastic life seems to be one adventure after another, coincidentally commingled with the lives of Isak Dinesen (the author and heroine of "Out of Africa") and Denys Finch Hatton (played by Robert Redford in the movie, OOA). On this level alone, that of an adventure-packed historical tale, this book is compelling. But the absolute poetry of the narrative makes it inescapable.

Ms. Markham's inimitable flair for description and metaphor are enchantingly powerful. One could truly open the book to any random page and find a treasure. No previous knowledge of plot or precedence would be vital to the enjoyment. That such extraordinary prose also reveals an incredible life provides a rich dividend. Savor the following corsage randomly plucked from the bouquet:

"Arab Ruta... is of the tribe that observes with equal respect the soft voice and the hardened hand, the fullness of a flower, the quick finality of death. His is the laughter of a free man happy at his work, a strong man with lust for living. He is not black. His skin holds the sheen and warmth of used copper. His eyes are dark and wide-spaced, his nose is full-boned and capable of arrogance.

"He is arrogant now, swinging the propeller, laying his lean hands on the curved wood, feeling an exultant kinship in the coiled resistance to his thrust.

"He swings hard. A splutter, a strangled cough from the engine like the premature stirring of a sleep-slugged labourer. In the cockpit I push gently on the throttle, easing it forward, rousing the motor, feeding it, soothing it."

My first encounter with this charming book was accidental but fortuitous. I found the paperback in an airport bookstore, and stayed engrossed and enchanted by the lyrical meanderings for the entirety of my three-hour flight. A few years later I discovered the audio version which springs to an even greater life in the voice of Julie Harris. Her reading of the horse race that proved to be a watershed moment for Ms. Markham, still has the capacity to choke me to tears, though I have listened to it many times.

A few reviewers here have given less than laudatory reviews. This book is absolutely among the top five I have ever read, and I must pity those unfortunate souls who are tone-deaf to the rhapsodic music playing among its pages. Never mind my glowing endorsement. Never mind that Ernest Hemmingway said that Beryl Markham "has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer." Just find this book and open it randomly to any page. You will quickly discover that this book is an extraordinary encounter. Don't miss it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Companion piece to Out of Africa. Should be read together
From the age of 4, Beryl Markham lived in East Africa and spent her childhood with native Maruni children as her only playmates. She was there during the same era as Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), author of Out of Africa, and reading these two books together gives a lyrical, poetic, and heart-full-of-love picture of the Africa they both knew. But it wasn't only Africa they loved; they both shared a passion for the same men: Bror Blixen (Dinesen's husband) and Denys Finch-Hatton (Dinnesen's lover), so, inevitably their paths collided at times.
Although Dinesen is more well-known and respected as a writer compared to Markham, better known as an adventurer, Markham rises to heights of poetic imagery and her writing style was praised highly by many other writers of her era, including no less than Ernest Hemingway.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Life, Well Told
I read this book when it first came out in the early 80s and have never forgotten it. I love Beryl Markham's language; and the story she has to tell is better than any fiction. She was an independent spirit, living an amazing life in an immense and beautiful land.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Book
I read this book on the recommendation of my husband, who had read it twice over the years, and various comments and adulations from others. I had not heard that there was controversy over the authorship of this magnificent work - but it would not have made any difference. It is a beautifully written book about a beautiful life. What more can one wish for? Whoever wrote this book had a style very little seen today. She writes with care and attention and humour, so that we can experience not only the mechanics of her exciting life, but also the self realisation she developed. The author makes me want to be alone so that I can share the silence of the soul and the environment that she describes so acutely. I have been enthusiastic with my recommendations of this work to my friends and I am sorry to read the rather sad "one star" reviews on this site. ... Read more


151. Jerry Lewis: In Person
by Jerry Lewis
list price: $57.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689112904
Catlog: Book (1982-08-01)
Publisher: Atheneum
Sales Rank: 508967
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars In His Own Words
This book is Jerry Lewis in his own words.It is interesting, because more than two decades of his life have passed since penning this autobiography.This was him before his success in "Damn Yankees", and before his film with Johnny Depp or the 1995 film "Funny Bones".He gives a personal account of a man, not a Hollywood mogul or American Icon, as he is, and this is why the book is amazing. ... Read more


152. A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness
by David J. Pelzer, Dave Pelzer
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452281903
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 1812
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The inspiring conclusion to A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy

"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here.One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself."--Dave Pelzer, from A Man Named Dave

These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance. Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality, denying him food and clothing, torturing him in any way she could imagine. This was the woman who told her son she could kill him any time she wanted to-and nearly did. The more than two million readers of Pelzer's previous international bestsellers, A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy, know that he lived to tell his courageous story. A Man Named Dave is the gripping conclusion to his inspirational trilogy. With stunning generosity of spirit, Dave Pelzer invites readers on his journey to discover how he turned shame into pride and rejection into acceptance. ... Read more

Reviews (164)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most moving experience on paper
I have read all three books in the series, and I feel I have gained so much from all 3. Dave, as a boy, lived as no child should ever have to live. I am a single mom and have done everything in my power to surround my child with as much love as possible,so it almost was impossible to imagine any mother torturing her own flesh and blood as "The Mother" did with Dave.. After reading this book, not only did I feel extreme sorry for Dave and all other abused children in our world, but I also felt an extreme sense of pride for him and the amazing accomplishments he has made in his life. This is a must read. You will cry with Dave, laugh with him, and get angry at him so many times in this book. But most importantly, you will learn about surviving, willpower, trust, and how we all have to ability to make a difference. Thank you Dave Peltzer for making such a difference. I kiss and hug my child a little longer and a little harder each and every night because of what you've taught me. You're better than Superman!

5-0 out of 5 stars HEART WRENCHING STORY
A Man named Dave tells the story of one man's incredible journey through hell and how when as a child he endured the most appalling abuse by his mother. This is gut-wrenching stuff, not for the squeamish. It reveals the courage and strength Dave possessed as well as his ability to forgive his mother. Its a story of triumph and forgiveness.

I'm so pleased that Dave has the most extraordinary relationship with his son and with the love of his life Marsha. Dave, I sincerely pray that you, Marsha and Stephen live happy ever after - you deserve it. Dave also unselfishly helps other abused children and travels extensively to offer guidance and motivational talks. Dave you are truly an amazing person.

You think you had a bad childhood, read this book and you'll soon find out what bad really means. This book is so inspirational to not only abused children, but to anyone who is interested in the resilience of the human spirit.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
It's hard to criticize a book dealing with abuse, and I certainly don't have any issues to take up with Mr. Pelzer. This is a fine book, regardless of its topic. If you enjoyed books such as "A Child Called It," "Sybil" or "The Bark of the Dogwood," you're sure to like this one. Pelzer's story is truly amazing and an inspiration to anyone whether they were abused or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent excellent excellent
i opened it up and couldn't put it down until i finished it. it's hard to believe there are people so cruel in this world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cycle Of Abuse Broken
Sally Tremble, Reviewer
In this book 'A Man Named Dave', we learn that the cycle of violence can be broken. He shares his story of how life turns around for him and how he is able to share his new found growth with that of his wife and child. The past that haunts ' A Child Called It' and 'Lost Boy' are the past memories that will stay with him forever. yet his courage and determination to thrive and survive is shown here in this book. Highly recommended.

Recommended reads are: All of the David Pelzer books,Running With Scissors,Lucky and Nightmares Echo ... Read more


153. The American Promise : A History of the United States, Volume I: To 1877
by James L. Roark, Michael Johnson, Patricia Cline Cohen, Sarah Stage, Alan Lawson, Susan M. Hartmann
list price: $78.95
our price: $78.95
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Asin: 0312394195
Catlog: Book (2001-07-27)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 7555
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154. My Life
by Bill Clinton
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414576
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 35
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

Clinton approaches the story of his youth with gusto, sharing tales of giant watermelons, nine-pound tumors, a charging ram, famous mobsters and jazz musicians, and a BB gun standoff. He offers an equally energetic portrait of American history, pop culture, and the evolving political landscape, covering the historical events that shaped his early years (namely the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK) and the events that shaped his presidency (Waco, Bosnia, Somalia). What makes My Life remarkable as a political memoir is how thoroughly it is infused with Clinton's unassuming, charmingly pithy voice:

I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only, response to pain.

However, that same voice might tire readers as Clinton applies his penchant for minute details to a distractible laundry list of events, from his youth through the years of his presidency. Not wanting to forget a single detail that might help account for his actions, Clinton overdoes it--do we really need to know the name of his childhood barber? But when Clinton sticks to the meat of his story--recollections about Mother, his abusive stepfather, Hillary, the campaign trail, and Kenneth Starr--the veracity of emotion and Kitchen Confidential-type revelations about "what it is like to be President" make My Life impossible to put down.

To Clinton, "politics is a contact sport," and while he claims that My Life is not intended to make excuses or assign blame, it does portray him as a fighter whose strategy is to "take the first hit, then counterpunch as hard as I could." While My Life is primarily a stroll through Clinton's memories, it is also a scathing rebuke--a retaliation against his detractors, including Kenneth Starr, whose "mindless search for scandal" protected the guilty while "persecuting the innocent" and distracted his Administration from pressing international matters (including strikes on al Qaeda). Counterpunch indeed.

At its core, My Life is a charming and intriguing if flawed book by an equally intriguing and flawed man who had his worst failures and humiliations made public. Ultimately, the man who left office in the shadow of scandal offers an honest and open account of his life, allowing readers to witness his struggle to "drain the most out of every moment" while maintaining the character with which he was raised. It is a remarkably intimate, persuasive look at the boy he was, the President he became, and man he is today. --Daphne Durham ... Read more

Reviews (463)

2-0 out of 5 stars Arrived with a Thud, turned into a Dud.
If you remember the 1988 convention speech where Clinton was nearly booed off the stage for taking too long or the state-of-the-union where he droned for over 90 minutes, you may recall the feeling you'll get somewhere around page 250 of this tome ... "when will it end?"

This particular work of mostly self-aggrandizing fiction suffers from being so self-absorbed and so badly edited it totally detracts from the nuggets of humanity and historical interest in the text. It's the "Heaven's Gate" of Presidential memoirs. That Liberals are dutifully reading this and watching the exposed liar Michael Moore (...) this summer says much about their fanatic religious devotion to their faith. Faith requires suffering!

The memoir still whitewashes much wrt Clinton's 'scandalabra', even while admitting to the bare minimum to keep it credible to the faithful. So we get Monica semi- mea culpa, but what about Genifer Flowers (she claimed a 13 year affair), or his pardon of Marc Rich? Or for that matter *important stuff* like how the Chinese managed to funnel illegal funds to his campaign in 96? Maybe its too much to expect an exhumation of his skeleton closet, but he manages to say so much yet reveal so little in so many pages. And he's entitled to his own opinions about other folks, but his view on Starr and the constitutional issues and process involved in the impeachment show he is trying to re-write history and doesnt understand Starr's appropriate role and actions. He doesnt get it - it was about lying under oath.

Dont read this. Read the Marinass bio and read Rich Lowry's "Legacy" and somewhere in the middle of their accounts is what really happened.

Lastly, read U.S. Grant's memoirs, the best Presidential memiors, writeen before Presidential memoirs were excercises in self-justification. They have all the economy and sparseness in style, bright narrative, and objective viewpoint that Clinton's memoirs lack. And he recount events far more important, like how the Civil War was won by the Union side, than details of Clinton's campaign events.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Easy, Pleasant Read
I approached the book as though it was written -- not by a former Democratic President -- but a man with amazing life experiences. The insight the author provided on the workings of the executive branch of our government, along with international events were just icing on the cake for me.

The writing is very easy to read; the story flows smoothly. All in all, I enjoy the voice that is projected from the author's composition.

I found it interesting that on page 811, when Clinton was introspective about his affair with Monica, his revelation is that he is vulnerable to making selfish and self-destructive personal mistakes when he is exhausted, angry, or feeling isolated. This mirrors the 12-step recovery motto of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired), which recognize our vulnerabilities to succumb to our addictions.

I must say that Clinton's description of sleeping on a couch for two months following his admission to Hillary regarding Ms. Lewinsky was hard to believe. Perhaps he was placing himself in the doghouse, making use of the couch adjacent to their bedroom, but still -- there were so many other bedrooms in the White House. Aside from that, I'm glad Clinton disclosed that he and Hillary participated in weekly couples counseling for a year.

My favorite parts of the book cover Clinton's reflections on family, friends, and associates who passed away. This is where he shared personal thoughts on the affect these people had on him, and how he mourned their deaths.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President
A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President

This book will intrigue anyone who cares about America. You get an insider's view from the divisive man himslef. You'll also learn the struggles all presidents must face, and the role the media played in helping and hurting Clinton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Willie!!
In 2001, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton exited the White House after becoming the first two-term Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead of praise for surmounting numerous and incredible life obstacles, his rags-to-riches personal life story actually had the right wing seriously enraged enough to attempt a sham impeachment and conviction on anything (and EVERYTHING) they thought up. The reception discrepancy between his personal history and presidential administration is painstakingly explored in the personal autobiography---with no detail spared. I am not fortunate enough to live near a city where Clinton undertook book promotion tours, but this title's price vs. length and quality is well worth those televised all-night camp outs.

Eschewing a ghost-writer, Clinton personally poured his heart and mind about personal and potentially difficult subjects which former presidents (of all ideologies) shielded themselves from. Choosing the less-utilized "open disclosure" route is a refreshing contribution to American public policymaking. It is also one which more public officials should follow.

Rather than seeing diversity as an election strategy, Clinton genuinely appreciates social justice movements which attempt to make the world radically different from his Arkansas boyhood. In the television era's early days, then-Governor Orval Fabus tried to maintain segregation 'standing in front of the schoolhouse door' to Little Rock's Central High School (pp. 38-39) Undoubtedly this incident's horror (and fears that all southerners were presumed to agree with Faubus) helped solidify determination to pursue a radically contrasting racial public policy legacy (pp. 559-560). In turn, Clinton's early decision explains why I and many other people love him today.

Repeatedly, Clinton draws upon his witness to the 1957 Little Rock action as one motivator for public service (the other of course is meeting President Kennedy at a D.C. Boys Town Summit). Because I am also growing up in a conservative southern town, I am comforted things do change; a young Republican who openly cheered during the announcement of President Kennedy's assassination later became a Democrat, social worker, and one of Clinton's biggest political supporters (p. 65). The bigger person recognizes when it is time to mend the oft-mentioned political fences. During his Arkansas Governorship Clinton demonstrated the nation only maximum potential when all demographics are empowered to participate in the American dream.

I also enjoyed reading personal family anecdotes---including those which are probably still painful to share with audiences. In fifth grade, he learned that people who rented out motels for long periods of time did abortions (p. 29) because the procedure was illegal in the state. He also describes the incidents where stepfather Roger beat the family---until young Bill grew big enough to fight back (pp. 45-51). The vivid descriptions provide both literary action and a solemn reminder the world is better because abortion is legalized, and domestic violence is no longer a 'family affair'. As a child of divorce, I am also reassured that an American President went through several of the same experiences me and many of my friends experienced. When he talks about families, Clinton is personally aware there are many different types of families and the rightwing has never spoken for everybody (pp. 633-636)

As the first president to be in the delivery room during his child's birth (p. 273), Clinton brought unprecedented sensitivity to the Oval Office. Because the lives of American voters are more egalitarian, this empathy is a definite asset in the post-cold war era From his own personal experiences, Clinton easily understands that good and strong families come in all compositions (pp. 426-427). I was also intrigued to learn that Clinton did not personally/politically have a problem with Hillary's last name (p. 296). Finally, "women's issues" like the Equal Rights Amendment (p. 257) stand on their own merit as something which is genuinely important to HIM.

Certainly people have to take self-initiative for their private life, but Clinton's centrist Democratic theory (dating from Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign) says that government is still obligated to ensure the people trying to help themselves and their communities can actually do so (p. 122). This approach explains why he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ---overhauling the depression-era welfare system, while also rejecting the complete dismantlement passionately championed by Republican opponents. Aware that welfare payments had varied by state and women were not getting rich anywhere, Clinton also knew the current system had intentionally built-in incentives for women to stay at home instead of work. Welfare was initially developed so low-income women would not 'deviate from 'traditional' homemaker roles and could also stay at home with their children like many other women of the time. Clinton purposefully attempted to allocate enough money and resources for childcare so low-income women would not find themselves in a horrid catch-22 situation of wanting to work but not being able to find affordable, safe, and reliable daycare for their children (pp. 720-721).

Before entering elected office, Clinton taught college classes at the University of Arkansas and the professorial enthusiasm (pp. 204-205) required for that task is especially obvious today as the lessons he taught to and learned from the students are recalled. I can easily imagine myself as a student in the class while he is racing up and down the auditorium steps exhorting us to become even more involved in the larger world (p. 203). Because they cannot realistically be confined to a classroom, such individuals were predestined to have a tremendous impact on the larger world.

By showing a less serious side of the Clintons which is not always discernable from the media, the enclosed photos reinforce this aforementioned environment. Conceding that his personal actions damaged the family (p. 800, p. 811), he avoids a holier-than-thou attitude which ruined many other political careers. Clinton succeeds at the American Dream because he already knows and easily accepts his imperfection. He is so personable that even when I disagreed with Clinton's policies, myself and others always knew that he would not attack dissenters on trumped up charges. Instead, Clinton's enduring personal patience (he appears far more patient than he has given himself credit for) and boundless optimism for the nation consistently shine throughout this book. By nature, genuine sentiment cannot be slick.

This book is a mandatory purchase for the Clinton fan---or anybody preferring a time when the United States president was respected for unflagging civility in the face of adversarial circumstances that had grounding lesser politicians from all levels of government. Unfortunately, like Hillary's autobiography (2002), the author's relative chronological youth in relation to his numerous public accomplishments means that another edition or volume will eventually be required for adequately chronicling all of the national/international contributions. Even at 957 pages, fitting all important information into one volume is impossible. I look forward to purchasing future editions of this biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars You either love him or hate him
Very intimate account of his life, with an undertone for the personal pain he his bearing. Great read for someone starting life and who wants to know how to chart the course of his or her life regardless of their family/childhood limitations. ... Read more


155. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
by Jon Lee Anderson
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802135587
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic
Sales Rank: 1532
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (90)

4-0 out of 5 stars A landmark biography
Even as I'm not a fan of Che Guevara's politics, the work that Jon Lee Anderson has put together about his life and career is truly commendable. He sorts out an incomprehensible amount of detailed information in a very linear, comprehensive, yet simple fashion.

The information he gained, some recorded for the first time ever, by gaining access to friends, relatives, and associates, as well as letters and diaries of Che Guevara, makes this work the definitive reference on the subject.

Like many on the political left, the author is obviously enamoured with Guevara and tends to portray his actions as noble, admirable and heroic. This is quite an interpretive presentation of Guevara, one with which many would disagree. Anderson does give glimpses of Guevara's personality that show the side of him that could be maniacal, dilatory, and restless, but even these are downplayed as the innocuous by products of a passionate man.

Because of this subjective portrayal in an otherwise very objective book, I cannot give it 5 stars. Still it's a remarkable, fascinating read and an amazingly authoritative and accomplished work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
Having read the hardcover version of this book in the summer it was released it is good to see that the paperback version is available. Coming in at nearly 800 pages it is no easy weekend read but worth the time invested. Mr. Anderson has done extensive research, clarified inaccuracies in previous works by other authors on the life of Che and treats the subject of his life objectively. Mr.Anderson spent much of the time in Cuba rsearching this masterpiece, probably the dfinitive biography, with the help of Aleida March, his wife and her aide Maria del Carmen Ariet who together are probably the foremost experts on the life of Che Guevara. The story is complete from the birth of Che, his upbring and close relationship to his mother, the formative years, including his education and doctor training, his spirit for adventure as exemplified early on with his famous motorcycle excusion through South America, his fateful meeting with Fidel Castro and of course his participation in the overthrow of the Batista regime in Cuba and the aftermath which eventually would prove to be his demise. Many excellent reviews have been wriiten about this book and I only want to endorse the overwhelming positive majority and say that this book is a cut above the plethora of books about Che. If you have an interest in the life of one of the true revolutionary spirits of the 20th century this is a landmark book that answers many questions. An excellent book for the historian or someone just curious about the man known as Che. Mr. Anderson seperates fact from ficion and helps the reader understand the man from the myth. The human being is revealed and politics aside one comes away with compassion for the man who gave so much of himself, even his life,for the beliefs he held to be true. No greater love can a man display than to give of his life. Read this book, get to know Ernesto Guevara, the man known as Che.

1-0 out of 5 stars Troublemaker
First off, the recipes in this book are no bueno -- the Colonel makes chicken better than this, and that ain't saying much. Second, Che is still riding Fidel's coattails. Che was the Ethel to Castro's Lucy Ball.... Maybe smarter, but lacking in kooky charm... that we can feel superior yet protective toward. Che is boring, and his words seem antiquated today. 800 pages is way too much, for someone so unfunny... and an elite background at that... save the drama for your mama ,Che!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Revolutionary Life
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a revolutionary. He was born in Argentina but never called the country home after his college years, studying medicine. Through his travels during his college years, he became aware of the povery and inequality in South America. This inspired him to fight for the equality he felt Marxism would bring. Che is known for his effect on the communist revolution in Cuba. He also fought in falied revolutions in Congo and Bolivia. It is safe to say that he is a man who impacted the world even if you do not agree with his political views. He is the man who invented guerrilla warfare.

John Lee Anderson's book is the definitive book on Che Guevara. At times, it is almost too detailed with its nearly 800 page length. In reality, a book being too detailed is a compliment. The pictures he chose to include in the text are outstanding. Many of the pictures have been in CIA possession for years, and unseen to the public.

While not directly a goal of the book, I enjoyed the insight this book gives into the relationship between Che and Fidel Castro. Anderson lets the reader draw conclusions rather than telling the reader what to think. While Castro believed in communism, Guevara was held policies more closely to the writing of Karl Marx. Che was willing to criticize policy if he felt it was not "Marxist enough". Unlike Castro, Che was willing to criticize the Soviet Union leaders for not living in the true equality that communism is intended to be.

Despite Cuba's rivalry with the United States, I found it odd that more was not mentioned about the Cuba Missle Crisis. Guevara detested the United States, so it seems he would have had more to say in the matter. If he did have more to say, little is mentioned in the book.

Because of its length, readers need some spare time to take in this whole book. The thoroughness of the product makes reading this book a rewarding experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars "most complete human being of our age" -- Sartre
Anderson's biography of Che Guevara was passionately researched. Within the pages of this large book are the most detailed accounts of Che Guevara's life. The book begins with a history of Che's upbringing and forces you to realize how much this man was truly like any other man. Anderson finds importance in the travels Che makes as a young man across South America. Journeys which eventually became 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. Detail is given to the periods of life that influenced his radicalization.

This was a man who felt deeply for the exploitation of his people. He dreamed of a tomorrow where man did not trample on one another through competition and greed. Che Guevara sacrificed his life for what he believed in. There is no death more honorable. In reading Jon Lee Anderson's biography of this enormous figure, you will fell sympathy for his cause, respect for his determination, and awe for his accomplishments on the battlefield and in his study. ... Read more


156. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Penguin Classics)
by James Joyce
list price: $9.00
our price: $8.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142437344
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 9329
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, providing an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce. At its center are questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive, this coming-of-age story is a tour de force of style and technique. ... Read more

Reviews (185)

3-0 out of 5 stars My Humble Opinion
James Joyce is a hero. Writing with a exceptionally unique style that fits the corresponding drama perfectly, he is able to involve several underlying themes that help advance the meaning of the book. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is rich in detail and offers vital insights into Joyce?s art of portraying the internal struggles that all of us face within the drama of a single character, Stephen Dedalus. Perhaps the most salient brilliance of Joyce?s ability is painting the picture of simbolism and theme to allow the reader to internalize everything he reads.
The book opens in a rather ambiguous way. Jumbled phrases across the opening pages provoke images of confusion and disorder in the reader?s mind. Joyce masters the Stream of Consciousness style of writing, which reflects the spontaeous thought process that all of us experience. It is especially notable at the beginning when he describes the unfocused thoughts of the baby Stephen. With a light touch of humor Joyce reminds us how simple life was for all of us back then when all we had to worry about was the discomfort of ?wetting the bed?
(Portrait 1).
The reader then re-lives his life as he joins in with Stephen?s. We are first exposed to the unjust treatment from others when the bully Wells shoves Stephen into the nearby cesspool. The imagery is more than intense here when he comes out of the pool grimy, disgusting, and smelling like a sewer. Joyce even pencils in the detail about rats wallowing around in the pool. The theme of unjustice continues as Stephen is punished publicly for losing his glasses, something that he had no control over. The Catholic Father Dolan flogs him across the hands for ?intentionally? losing them so he wouldn?t have to study.
Another interesting piece of information that James Joyce includes for the benefit of the reader putting himself in the place of Stephen is the theme of physical beauty. Stephen experiences love all throughout the piece, starting first with the innocent love notes that he writes to a small girl his age, building to the prostitute with whom he has his first sexual experience, and culminating finally with the woman on the beach who he is infatuated with. This sexual passion arouses sympathetic feelings within the reader from all backgrounds. Everyone has experienced that true feeling of wanting to be with someone else.
My favorite part in the story is how Joyce deals with the issue of remaining true to religion, particularly the Catholic Church. Stephen is troubled by the fact that there is so much corruption within the church. He sees the imperfections within the church, but yet he somehow continues. Other characters present Joyce with the opportunity to let us look deep into the heart of Stephen and examine how he struggles. Much of Joyce?s audience has struggled with the decision of remaining true to the Catholic Church in spite of its many corruptions, or pioneering a new generation of religious loyalty elsewhere.
Towards the end of the novel Joyce touches on a reoccuring theme: freedom. Being free from religion as well as being free from Ireland (or the restraints that bound some individual). Again Joyce delicately works his way into the lives of his readers; all are faced with decisions of leaving their past lives, whether they be entrapped in the pits of smoking or the despair of being overweight, all of the readers of Jame Joyce are faced with that decision sooner or later. Stephen sees his escape from the island with drawing back to strength from the Greek artisan Dedalus, who crafted his own wings to escape. It seems that all of us somehow need to draw on strength from the past to give us motivation for the future. Many rely on examples from their parents. Others trust in counsel and advice given through the scriptures. All are in search of help from the past to live a better future.
All in all, Joyce masters his work and is able to assist the reader in making his own decisions in his own life while doing it through the life of his central character. If I were anything but American, I might consider moving to Ireland.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books of the twentieth century
"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is easily one of the greatest books of the twentieth century. Rarely is such a mastery of the English language encountered. James Joyce has an almost uncanny ability to create images and feelings out of words. He manages to describe a place and also the feelings of the main character when he's in that place with teh same set of words.
The story itself is almost inconsequential. As I read it I was so caught up in Stephen's self-destructive spiral that I could never pass any sort of moral judgement. I had to like Stephen because he was so human. His dilemmas and his emotions were so real, and Joyce was able to bring them to life with his words.
As a previous reviewer has said, it is true that to understand certain parts of the book, it helps to have a little background on Irish politics at the turn of the century (or at least know who Parnell is) but a few minutes of internet research will do that for you. As for strange words and slang, the language becomes more elevated as Stephen grows up (a touch of genius, if you ask me) so that's not really much of a problem. Stephen's final break with tradition as he answers the call of Daedalus, his namesake, is magnificent to read. All in all, this book is definitely worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best edition of "A Portrait"
Depending on one's taste and level of concentration, James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is either tedious flop or a wonderful cornerstone of world literature. (I believe the latter.) I won't go into a discussion of "A Portrait" here because if you are looking at this particular Viking Critical edition, you've already committed yourself to reading it. The value of this edition lies in the critical essays and notes at the end. The notes will help the reader along, as they explain some of the terms and/or conditions that are particular to Joyce's Ireland. The essays are, each and every one, valuable tools. Whether it's an examination of Joyce's life, the creation of "A Portrait", the influences it would have, etc., every essay is a heavy-weight that enchances an understanding of the book. (At least it did for me.) If you're seriously considering reading "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" this is the edition to use.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Sure its pretentious, frustrating, difficult, etc., but it is also such a rewarding read. Boring sections like chapter 3 with the church sermon set up excellent ones, such as the end of Chapter 4, with Stephen's epiphany, which I must say is the most beautiful, glorious thing I have ever read. the emotion and symbolism (such as Stephen Dedalus taking flight from society much like his Greek namesake Daedalus did from an island) is simply overwhelming. I had to read this for a college english class (as well as write an essay on it) but i still enjoyed it. the stream of conciousness style may be too difficult and odd for some but i found a nice break from other literature, which is more than i can say for the similar novel To the Lighthouse by Woolf (also extremely good stylistically, but much less interesting). brilliant, but not a good introduction to joyce for those still in high school or not used to reading challenging literature. I would recommend "The Dead" to try him out first.

1-0 out of 5 stars Largely unintelligible.
Cut straight to the chase here: I tried really hard, I really did. But after a while I couldn't read more than a sentence without losing concentration, and then noticing half a page later that I had no idea what was going on.

It's painfully dull, and frustratingly difficult. I thought it was alright at first, but before you realise it, your man Stephen Dedalus is 16 or something, and then he may be older, but you've no idea when it happened.

I enjoyed all the guilt he was feeling at visiting pros, and the five page description of hell (or more), and in the end it was a real shame that I had to stop reading it. I was almost 300 pages in, and just realised there was absolutely no point in continuing since it was sending me to sleep, but I was so close to the end!

So anyway, there it is. I didn't want to slag it off, but if I can't get through it there's nothing more I can do. ... Read more


157. Front Row : Anna Wintour: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue's Editor in Chief
by Jerry Oppenheimer
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312323107
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 152972
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Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Just Desserts: Martha Stewart: The Unauthorized Biography comes a scrupulously researched investigative biography that tells the inside story of Anna Wintour's incredible rise to power

From her exclusive perch front row center, glamorous Vogue magazine editor in chief Anna Wintour is the most powerful and influential style-maker in the world. Behind her trademark sunglasses and under the fringe of her Louise Brooks bob she determines whether miniskirts are in or out, whether or not it's politically correct to wear fur. She influences designers, wholesalers, and retailers globally from Seventh Avenue to the elegant fashionista enclaves of L'Avenue Montaigne and Via della Spiga. In the U.S. alone a more than $200 billion fashion industry can rise or fall on Anna Wintour's call. And every month millions of women-and men-read Vogue, and are influenced by the pages of the chic and trendy style wish-book that she has controlled with an iron hand in a not-always-so-velvet glove since fighting her way to the most prestigious job in fashion journalism.

Anna Wintour's fashion influence extends to celebrities and politicians: because of it, Hillary Clinton underwent a drastic makeover and became the first First Lady to strike a pose on the cover of Vogue in the midst of Monicagate; Oprah Winfrey was forced to go on a strict diet before Wintour would put her on Vogue's cover. And beauties like Rene Zellweger and Nicole Kidman follow Anna Wintour's fashionista rules to the letter.

Now in her mid-fifties, as she nears her remarkable second decade at the helm of Vogue, comes this revealing biography that will shock and surprise both Anna's fans and detractors alike.Based on scores of interviews, Front Row unveils the Anna Wintour even those closest to her don't know.Oppenheimer chronicles this insecure and creative powerhouse's climb to the top of the bitchy, competitive fashion magazine world, showing up close, as never before exposed, how she artfully crafted and reinvented herself along the way.

She's been called many things-"Nuclear Wintour," by the British press, "cold suspicious and autocratic, a vision in skinniness," by Grace Mirabella, the editor she dethroned at Vogue, and the "Devil" by those who believe she's the inspiration for a recent bestselling novel written by a former assistant.

Included among the startling revelations in Front Row are:
*Anna's "silver spoon" childhood spent craving time with her father.
*Anna's rebellious teen years in London, obsessed with fashion, night-clubbing and dating roguish men.
*Anna's many tempestuous romances.
*Anna's curious marriage to a brilliant child psychiatrist, her role as a mother, and the shocking scandal that led to divorce when she had an affair with a married man.
... Read more

158. Madam Secretary: A Memoir
by Madeleine Albright
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786868430
Catlog: Book (2003-09-16)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 2168
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"It was a quarter to ten. I was sipping coffee, but by then my body was manufacturing its own caffeine. I still couldn't allow myself to believe. Finally, at 9:47, the call came. 'I want you to be my Secretary of State.' These are his first words. I finally believed it."

For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times—from the pursuit of peacein the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence.

The story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era.

Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with face-to-face in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are intriguing portraits of such leading figures as Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Jesse Helms.

Besides her encounters with the famous and powerful, we get to know Albright the private woman: her life raising three daughters, the painful breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America's leading newspapers families, and the discovery late in life of her Jewish ancestry and that her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. It is a tapestry both intimate and panoramic, a rich memoir destined to become a twenty-first century classic. ... Read more

Reviews (41)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Far-Ranging Autobiography --- Readers Will Learn Much
In winding up her far-ranging autobiography, Madeleine Albright tells us with amusement that once, after leaving office as U.S. Secretary of State, she was mistaken in public for Margaret Thatcher.

It's worth a chuckle to the reader --- but there are indeed interesting similarities between the two women, even though their political leanings are light-years apart. They both reached the highest rank ever attained by a woman in their respective democratic governments, were fiercely partisan political figures, and held very strong opinions and were never afraid to battle for them (Albright's favorite expression for this is that she never hesitated to "push back" at those who opposed her).

Albright is best known for serving as U.S. ambassador to the UN in the first Clinton term, and as Secretary of State in the second. Readers of this book will learn in detail about the early years and long political apprenticeship that led up to those two high-profile jobs. They will also learn, in perhaps more detail than they care to absorb, about the many foreign policy crises in which she was a major player under Clinton.

The other thing about Albright that most people will recall is that only after she became Secretary of State did she learn that her family ancestry was Jewish --- that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps. This personal revelation is duly covered but not dwelled upon in extraordinary detail.

Her life, though unsettled due to wartime exigencies, was not a rags-to-riches tale. She was born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague into a comfortably situated family. Her father was a respected Czech diplomat and college professor. Fleeing the Nazis, the family spent time in England during World War II. They arrived in the United States when she was 11, and her father took a teaching job in Denver. She entered Wellesley College in 1955 and became an American citizen two years later. She married into a wealthy and well-connected American family in 1959. Her first political idol and mentor was Edmund Muskie, in whose doomed presidential campaign she took part. After the breakup of her marriage, her career in government and politics took off during the Carter presidency, her only personal setback being a painful divorce in 1983.

This is all dispatched in the first 100 pages or so of her lengthy book. The rest of it details her UN and State Department years with a thoroughness that seems at times compulsive. All the heroes and villains of those years pass in review --- Carter, Havel, Milosevic, Helms, Clinton, Putin, Arafat, Barak. The complexities of Rwanda, Serbia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Somalia and other trouble spots are laid out in prose that can get ponderous --- but her incisive personal portraits of these people lighten the mood.

Albright makes no pretense to real objectivity. She is a committed Democrat who admired both Carter and Clinton, and she defends them against all the charges that have been flung at them by their opponents. She defends such controversial actions as Clinton's successful ousting of Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the UN, and his policy of opening up trade with China and warily seeking a somewhat civil relationship with North Korea. Her two biggest regrets are the failure of the UN to stop genocide in Rwanda and Clinton's failure to forge a solid peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (in that regard, while gently critical of Israel on occasion, she holds Arafat mainly responsible for the breakdown). The two biggest villains in her cast of characters, not surprisingly, are Arafat and Milosevic.

There is naturally a strong feminist slant to her narrative. There is also a vein of sharp observation, character analysis, and even humor. The writing, when not bogged down in the minutiae of crisis management, can be bright, though we are left to wonder how much of the credit is hers and how much belongs to her collaborator, Bill Woodward.

Mercifully, Monica Lewinsky remains a bit player in Albright's narrative. Two other things, perhaps more important, are also missing: detailed assessments of the effect of the 9/11 tragedy on America's global course and the George W. Bush administration. Those would have made an already long book longer, but one wishes she had covered them anyway.

--- Reviewed by Robert Finn

5-0 out of 5 stars Exemplary
Madam Secretary is a wonderful capsule of a remarkable life and highly recommended for anyone who is as much of a current affairs geek as I am. While most will be drawn to read this book because of the insights Ms. Albright provides into the Clinton Administration's roles in the Middle East conflict, Kosovo, and North Korea - all of which are discussed in fascinating detail - some of the most compelling (and poignant) sections of the book have to do with her pain associated with the sudden dissolution of her marriage, the discovery of her Jewish ancestry, and her life in Czechoslovakia as a young girl.

Ms. Albright's narrative voice is warm and inviting and utterly without pretension. This is my vote for the best non-fiction book of 2003.

4-0 out of 5 stars An inside view...
Madeleine Albright led a remarkable life - fleeing as a child across war-torn Europe, first from the invading Germans and then from the invading Soviets, the little girl from Prague came to America before a teenager, and ended up becoming the first female Secretary of State in American history (although, interestingly, not even the first non-American-born Secretary of State in the last half century!). She reinvented herself as an American, someone who fell deeply in love with her adopted country, even to the extent that her name Madeleine, isn't the one with which she was christened (although it is the French version of her name, and thus we are reading the memoirs of Madeleine, not Marie Jana Korbel).

She weaves together her personal life and insights together with the professional experiences she has had throughout her various careers, culminating with the office of Secretary of State for several years in Bill Clinton's administration. Her father, part of the Czech government-in-exile, immigrated to America and became a professor (interestingly, one of his student was Condalezza Rice, one of the principle voices in foreign affairs in the current Bush administration). Albright thus had training from the very beginning in terms of both academic and practical aspects of governments and diplomacy.

Albright's academic credentials are impressive, and her experiences in school shaped her later career. For undergraduate work, she studied at Wellesley College in Political Science, and then went to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She finished her formal education at Columbia, receiving a Certificate from the Russian Institute, and her Masters and Doctorate from the Department of Public Law and Government. This is also where she got involved with political and media affairs in earnest.

She was a White House staffer, including staffing the National Security Council, during Carter's presidency; during the 12-year Republican administrations in Washington, her career focused on the Center for National Policy, a non-profit liberal think-tank/research organization formed in 1981 looking at issues in domestic and foreign policy. This gave her continued presence in the field so that when the time came, Clinton tapped her to be the ambassador to the United Nations, and then later Secretary of State.

She met and married Joseph Albright, part of a wealthy media family, and recounts in some detail and emotion the difficulties with the breakup of that relationship. She also confesses an affair with a Georgetown professor, and other difficult times in her life. However, these take a back seat most of the time to her professional career.

Albright makes the claim to have not discovered her Jewish ancestry until late in life; there is reason to discount this belief, given that she is the kind of person likely to know the details of her background, and given that she visited family back in Czechoslovakia back in the 1960s. Reasons for not wanting to be identified as being of Jewish descent during her career are unclear, but in an otherwise very straightforward autobiographical account, this one point seems less than convincing.

Albright does reflect with candor on many world leaders, including her boss Bill Clinton, and his wife Hillary; few of the key names of the 90s are missed here. Ultimately, one comes across with the impression of a erudite diplomat, a skillful politicians, and a sincere worker for the best interests of the nation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth, captivating and thoughtful
A fascinating story of a remarkable person who has served her country well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Filling in What the Media Neglects
If your interesting in knowing the truth about one of the 1990s most important foreign policy personalities, this book won't necessarily help. While it is an easy read with lots of details about what was happening behind closed doors, Ms. Albright also spun it to her own advantages. But that is to be expected. Considering her harsh handing at the hands of the right wing, it is good to get her point of view. ... Read more


159. John Adams: Party of One
by James Grant
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374113149
Catlog: Book (2005-03-16)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 1615825
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Book Description

An acute examination of a paradoxical U.S. president.

John Adams was an undiplomatic diplomat and an impolitic politician--a fierce revolutionary yet a detached and reluctant leader of the nation he helped to found. Few American public figures have ever been more devoted to doing the right thing, or more contemptuous of doing the merely popular thing.Yet his Yankee-bred fixation with ethical propriety and fiscal conservatism never stood in the way of his doing what was necessary. Adams hated debt, but as minister to the Netherlands during the Revolution, he was America's premier junk-bond salesman. And though raised a traditional Massachusetts Congregationalist, Adams was instrumental in bringing about the consecration of the first American Episcopal bishops. He was a warm and magnanimous friend and, on occasion, a man who fully vindicated the famous judgment of a rival he detested. Adams, said Benjamin Franklin, "means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but, sometimes, and in some things, is absolutely out of his senses."

James Grant examines this complex and often contradictory founding father in the most well-rounded and multi-faceted portrait of Adams to date. Going from his beginnings on a hardscrabble Massachusetts farm to the Continental Congress to the Court of St. James and the White House, Grant traces the words and deeds of one of our most learned but politically star-crossed leaders.

... Read more

160. The Best Year of Their Lives: Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon in 1948: Learning the Secrets of Power
by Lance Morrow
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465047238
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 4077
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Best Year of Their Lives is not a typical presidential biography in that it forgoes the comprehensive approach to history. Instead, Lance Morrow shows why 1948 was a watershed year not just for John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon personally, but for the nation as well. That is the year that Johnson, in his bid for the Senate, used huge sums of corporate money to bombard the media with lies about his opponent, finally stealing the election by 87 votes by having a ballot box stuffed (thus earning the nickname "Landslide Lyndon"). Had he lost, he would have arguably been out of politics forever and the course of history would have been changed. At the same time, Nixon, as a freshman congressman, launched his political career by using his seat on the House Un-American Activities Committee to relentlessly pursue Alger Hiss, making himself a prominent national figure in the process. (Four years later he became Eisenhower's running mate.) Meanwhile, Kennedy was working hard to suppress the fact that he had Addison's disease. He continued to lie about his health for the rest of his life just as he later hid his reckless personal behavior. Through anecdotes and analysis (including personal contact; all three were presences in Morrow's childhood), Morrow shows how secrets and lies were to shape the behavior of all of them. This "convergence of personal ambition with secrecy, amorality, and a ruthless manipulation of the truth" would have tremendous implications for the country. The events of 1948 also foreshadow the tragedies and scandals that would end all three of their administrations.

Externally, the three presidents were radically different. Internally, argues Morrow, they were identical in many ways in that they "shared a tendency toward elaborately deliberated amorality; all three behaved as if rules were for others, not for them." Along with a rapidly changing American society, the start of the Cold War, and looming atomic destruction, 1948 ushered in modern politics and these men were the embodiment of it. Absorbing and unconventional, The Best Year of Their Lives adds to the considerable bodies of work already available on all three presidents. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magisterial yet accessible - a new way of looking at history
Forget what "overblown silliness" says below. Lance Morrow's 1948 is one of the freshest, most insightful pieces of popular history to come around in ages. In looking at both the lives of JFK, LBJ, and Nixon in 1948 and the historical significance of that year for the United States as she really came into her own in the post-war world, Morrow gives an incredible insight both into the lives of the respective politicians, and the country itself.

What is most interesting, though, is that underlying all the post-war rah-rah optimism, Morrow captures a current of worry, of anxiety, and of moral unease: the US won World War II, Morrow suggests, but also lost a certain innocence in the process. New technologies (atom bombs, television) and a new breed of politician all came on the scene in this critical year, and Morrow's book captures it brilliantly.

This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in modern American history, and how we became what we are today.

1-0 out of 5 stars Overblown silliness
This is truly one of the worst books ever written, a huge disappointment to anyone reading about U.S. domestic politics in the 20th century.The topic had great promise, but readers would be much better served picking up Christopher Matthews` book on Kennedy and Nixon or Robert Caro`s multi-volume biography of LBJ.Morrow`s prose is overwrought with far too much armchair psychologizing.He also has a dreadfully annoying, almost juvenile habit of using motion pictures to illustrate the points he wishes to make.It is a very unsuccessful literary device.Who at the publishers let this project see the light of day?

5-0 out of 5 stars Three Men Face Decisions in 1948 That Lead to Their Fate
This fascinating book chronicles a pivotal year in the lives of three ambitious politicians each of whom became President. In 1948, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon were all on the rise as young congressmen who according to author Lance Morrow, went to great pains - physically, psychologically and morally - to ensure their place on the American political scene.Like David Halberstam who wrote the classic "The Best and the Brightest", journalist Lance Morrow is able to shape a cohesive chapter of American history through seemingly unrelated events and brings a present-day relevance to what he writes.

LBJ won the U.S. senate seat for Texas by a highly suspicious 87 late-counted votes over the more popular Coke Stevenson. In one of the bellwether events of Communist witch-hunting, Nixon used the headline-grabbing Alger Hiss case as a springboard for national prominence, and it indeed led to him to become Eisenhower's running-mate in 1952. And JFK, despite the image of youthful vigor, was dealing with the death of his glamorous sister "Kick" (Kathleen) and hiding the debilitating effects of Addison's disease. Morrow does a superb job intertwining these three men by focusing on the secrets each kept to move to the next level of political ascendancy.Why this takes on a greater relevance is what the year 1948 represents in American history - the redefining period between the end of WWII and the crystallization of the Cold War. Many held secrets far larger in scope than these three. After all, the Cold War was all about Communist infiltration within the U.S. government, concealed knowledge courtesy of informers under the guise of friends, clandestine acts of espionage and who would end up detonating the A-bomb.That's why the secrets held by LBJ, JFK and Nixon seem so indicative of the prevalent behavior - LBJ did anything, no matter how unscrupulous, to take attention off the controversial votes that sent him off to the Senate; Nixon destroyed civil liberties and took witch-hunting to a new level with his obsessive pursuit of Hiss and Whittaker Chambers; and JFK went to great lengths to hide his medical condition knowing he would never otherwise have a chance to become President. Each drama turned on secrets.

What Morrow does best is show how the rather amoral behavior of each shaped each of their destinies and how each was challenged later on when Vietnam brought down LBJ and Watergate did the same for Nixon. Vietnam almost proved to be JFK's undoing, though we'll never know as his life was cut short in Dallas. Each was not so much into breaking rules as much as they saw them as irrelevant to them. Their shared priority was in creating their legacies no matter the cost. 1948 saw many more prominent turning points - Gandhi's assassination, the birth of Israel, the Kinsey Report was published - but this comprehensive history book really shows how the next generation of leaders were formed and ultimately damaged by the decisions they made at that critical juncture.Strongly recommended. ... Read more


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