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21. Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall
$18.16 $5.99 list($25.95)
22. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an
$23.10 $5.00 list($35.00)
23. John Adams
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24. White House Nannies: True Tales
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25. ABOUT FACE : THE ODYSSEY OF AN
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26. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts,
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27. Shooter : The Autobiography of
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28. Wild Swans : Three Daughters of
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29. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
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30. His Excellency : George Washington
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31. The Family : The Real Story of
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32. The American Promise : A History
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33. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History
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34. Founding Mothers : The Women Who
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35. My Life
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36. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
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37. The Best Year of Their Lives:
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38. Fever Pitch
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39. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller,
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40. Thomas Jefferson : Author of America

21. Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
by Kenneth D. Ackerman
list price: $27.00
our price: $17.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786714352
Catlog: Book (2005-03-12)
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Sales Rank: 3300
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Among the monumental characters who ascended to renown and influence in the history of American politics, few are more fascinating than Boss Tweed; and few working historians could record in more vivid detail his astonishing career than Kenneth D. Ackerman, who in his two previous books has established himself as an investigative historian of the first order. This vibrant, accessible, and altogether captivating new work, Boss Tweed, is a biography of the legendary figure who "bribed the state legislature, fixed elections, skimmed money from city contractors, and diverted public funds on a massive scale." During his reign at Tammany Hall and then in a variety of elected posts, including as U.S. senator, Tweed wielded almost total control over New York State and City politics, before his unparalleled zealotry and remorseless disregard for the law led to his imprisonment. Yet, as Ackerman shows, Tweed's positive political contributions have been largely overlooked. From one of the most talented new historians to have emerged in recent years comes this thrilling story of William Marcy Tweed, the master manipulator who tried to make all of New York the instrument of his own ruthless ambitions, and succeeded-for a time. Numerous historic photographs are also featured. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Procrustean Politics
Without rancor or bile, Ackerman brings Boss Tweed back from the grave.Without moralizing or proselytizing, Boss Treed and his New York is laid out in its finery for all to view.The idea that Tweed was the root stock of political corruption is also laid to rest.Great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not much of the rise but the fall is brilliantly told
Perhaps author Kenneth Ackerman and the publishers of "Boss Tweed" can be accused of misrepresenting the book in the subtitle.There is hardly any of Tweed's rise to be found.Virtually the entire book covers the latter years of Tweed's time at the top and then his fall.But oh what a story it is and what a wonderful job Ackerman does of telling it.
Tweed was the iconic big city boss of New Yeark in the years form the Civil War through the start of the gilded age.
Tweed and his cronies brazenly pocketed enormous sums of public money and lived as veritable kings.Indeed, Tweed himself was a king-sized person (over 300 pounds) who lived a king-sized life.
The manner in which he and various other big shots of Tammany Hall siphoned money from city coffers is an amazing story of guile and greed.
Also at the heart of the story are those who sought to bring Tweed and company down (ultimately succeeding, of course) notably eventual New York governor and presidential hopeful Samuel Tilden, and the brilliant political cartoonist Thomas Nast (about whom a worthy full length biography is due).
Ackerman tells the whole of how the might fell and how Tweed took the brunt of that fall for his gang.Included is the story of Tweed's jail time and ill-fated escape from prison out of the country.
Ackerman's book is an important work in understanding post Civil War America, the ways and means of corruption and he nature of political power gone bad.
In Ackerman's more than capable hands Tweed is brought to life.He does not so much render sympathy as he does a bit of admiration.For from the distance of over a century later we can enjoy this corrupt pol for the entertaining stories and cautionary tales that his life provides.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Top American Scoundrel
In my little town, we have councilmen who from time to time might be accused of taking unfair economic advantage of their jobs.In Washington now, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is accused of various instances of taking gifts and bonuses to which he was not entitled.Along with political power at any level comes the ability to use it for one's own financial benefit, always with the hope that no investigative reporter will come asking questions and upsetting the comfortable situation.There are hundreds of instances of financial corruption by politicians, and then there is William Magear "Boss" Tweed, whose name is synonymous with being on the take.In _Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York_ (Carroll & Graf), Kenneth D. Ackerman has given an entertaining account of the life of a rascal.Tweed was, in his way, brilliant.He liked people, and he knew how to get them what they wanted if they would just play his game.He had a superb organizational memory, for favors done and for amounts given.As Ackerman writes, "except for his stealing, he would have been a great man; but then had he been honest, he wouldn't have been Tweed and would not have left nearly so great a mark."He did leave his mark on New York, in structures like the Tweed Courthouse, and even the Brooklyn Bridge (or at least he said he had handed out bribes to approve a bond for it).He is remembered for none of what he did, though, except for his stealing, which was for decades more successful and exuberant than any American politician ever, or any that has so far been caught.

Tweed practiced local politics in Tammany Hall, the political organization for the powerful Manhattan Democratic Party.Tammany corruption was an open secret.Tweed got things done within the city, but took his fee for doing so; he and his circle would skim 15% from city contracts, and contractors would agree to pay 35% on all bills in order to have the city's business.Tweed himself was welcomed into the boards of many corporations.He didn't mind his constituents (many of whom were poor Irish immigrants) seeing how well he was doing.He had two yachts, a race horse, a Greenwich estate, a grand Fifth Avenue mansion, and an immense ten and a half carat diamond stickpin that clearly informed any onlooker who was Boss.The stickpin was one of the visual hooks (Tweed's 300 pound frame was another) that Thomas Nast used in his many political cartoons critical of the Boss.Nast and _Harper's_ had no hard evidence that the Boss was stealing; they just harnessed the universal conviction that Tammany was corrupt.The articles exposing Tweed came from the _New-York Times_, which was eager for any facts against the Boss.A bookkeeper in the comptroller's office painstakingly copied one dry financial document after another, and brought the newspaper incontestable evidence of fraud.The problem with the _Times_ stories was that obviously millions had been taken, but there was no one culprit; a Nast cartoon showed a circle of suspects all pointing to the guy on the right.

The "audit trail" was eventually puzzled out by Samuel Tilden, who rode his reform record to nomination for president in 1876.Tweed was arrested, and all the weight of his circle's crimes landed on him, as everyone else went free, not of obloquy but of prison sentences.While Tweed was in jail, he was able to buy favors, and while on a visit home, he disappeared, taking a jaunt to New Jersey, Florida, Cuba, and Spain, where a Nast cartoon was used to help identify him for arrest.He was returned to his New York jail.Tweed knew he had the press to blame for his capture, but was grudgingly admiring of them: "If I could have bought newspapermen as easily as I did members of the Legislature, I wouldn't be in the fix I am now."He made a deal that he would confess everything in order to regain his freedom.He did make a full confession (perhaps too full, taking credit for thefts he had nothing to do with), and was double-crossed, dying in jail in 1878.He had lost his fortune, his wife, and his family, but New York had grown because of him, and even the poor were faring better because of his machinations.Hundreds of workers showed up for his funeral, and thought he had been merely the victim of political malice.This sort of ambiguity shoots through Ackerman's fine book; if we must have selfish scoundrels in our current politics, let us vote in the colorful ones like Boss Tweed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Subject Matter, Great Book
The illustrations prompted me to buy this book, political satire and cartoons fascinate me.Thomas Nast and Harpers Ferry produced some exceptional work on Boss Tweed.Even less balanced than journalism of today - editorial cartoons had superb artwork and were very vicious.

The author provides a well written, lucid and balanced portrait of a politician who was very corrupt (by any standard) but achieved alot.The courthouse he was responsible for building (and was sentenced in)is a great monument for Tweed; most ironic.

The author demonstares well the long term impact Tweed had on New York City.Great book - an empathetic account of a fascinating man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking Forward to Another Good Book by Ackerman
I have been looking forward to a new book by Ken Ackerman since reading Dark Horse, his book about President Garfield.Ackerman's Dark Horse was a wonderfully engaging and educational book, and I am sure the same is true of his latest work on Boss Tweed.Politics can be a dirty profession, and Boss Tweed was a master of his trade.Most readers will be shocked at how brazen he was, and surprised at how timid modern day politics seems when compared to Tweed and his contemporaries.I am confident that Ackerman will give us a good look at one of the more interesting figures in New York history.

I've been looking, but haven't seen this a local bookstore yet.I can't wait for it to show up. ... Read more


22. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
by Queen Noor
list price: $25.95
our price: $18.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786867175
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 3017
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.

With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist In a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.

Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love story—the intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people. ... Read more

Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars A timely book on behalf of ordinary Muslim people.
I have been deeply moved by this book. Those who are expecting a fairy tale book, about a rosy love story between an American woman and an Arabian King, will be disappointed.

But those who have been wondering when a writer would enlighten the outside world, about the Middle-East, with a serious, factual and well thought out writing, have their prayers answered in this inspiring book which is for those who are open-minded enough to want to look beyond the Western clichés at Jordan and the Middle-East from a Jordanian and Middle-Eastern viewpoints.

I liked its style based on factual data -NO FICTION- given not in a cold manner but with a warm and loving heart. Out of this book, flows mutual respect, understanding and love for (wo)mankind.

Queen Noor, in this book, has spoken on behalf of ordinary Muslim people, like me, who have no access to the powerful Western media. Thank you for that!

Regards to you all in Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant EYE-OPENER!!!!!!
Bravo Queen Noor! An extremely well-written memoir about a Queen and her two greatest loves (King Hussein and the Jordanians). I bought the book at an airport and couldn't put it down for hours. Fascinating, inside look at life and peacemaking in the Middle East. I found it very refreshing to hear another point of view on the Israeli -Palestinian conflict and think anyone interested in the region should read the book. It is pretty heavy on history and foreign policy, from the Jordanian perspective, and lighter on personal details. Queen Noor is an articulate, graceful woman that used her unique position to better the lives of many Jordanians, especially women, and create a greater/more accurate understanding of Arabs and their culture in the USA. Born and raised in America, she was educated in some of the countries most prestigous institutions and her passion for human rights was emblazed in her during the civil rights movement. I view Queen Noor as a visionary and a genuine peacemaker and wish more women in power would embrace her view of humanity.

As a final comment, I am not at all surprised by the negative attacks on the book by the unconditional pro-Israeli followers who cannot bear to have their story questioned. Their comments seem extremely defensive and reveal a deep unsecurity. Despite years of the U.S. media bombarding us with a one-sided, distorted view of Israeli history, Queen Noor has found a powerful platform to present the OTHER side. Hope the Queen's LEAP of FAITH opens your eyes.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustained Optimism
Little did I know that the autobiography of an American who married an Arab monarch would be a lesson in enduring love and ceaseless diplomacy in the Middle East. Queen Noor's Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life provided another window in which to view the internecine politics that have embroiled the region for over sixty years. I now more fully understand why King Hussein of Jordan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after reading about his untiring and unremitting efforts to obtain peace in the region and just treatment for Palestinians. Queen Noor, his third wife with whom he shared twenty years of marriage, also has been a formidable leader in the world, principally for her cultural and humanitarian contributions globally. Born Lisa Halaby in the United States, Queen Noor assumed her position of royalty at the age of twenty-six. She developed a superb work ethic that blended her excellent educational background, her work experience as architect, and diplomacy learned as she matured as the wife of a head of state in a volatile time. Leap of Faith provides balance in our understanding of the multinational conflict which continues to rage.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good sense of history
Queen Noor's book was well received by a segment of the public. King Hussein courted her and married her in a few weeks. The book is poorly written for a Princeton student (remember, she did not graduate). While she has had a lot of experience dealing with politicians, her writing is naive and simplistic. She also portrays too much anti-semitism and her views of Israel and US are almost parroted from the typical middle east forum. Her husband was more polished.

The book is a revisionist version of political history of Jordan. The ground realities are known to a few who have visited the place. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has Palestinian majority but they do not have the right to vote there. You have to be a Hashemeite bedouin to vote there. Arafat was booted out in the 70s for trying to take over Jordan. All this is conveniently omitted in this book and by most middle eastern texts. The concept of democracy in middle east is fuzzy at best. Any person is "elected" for life (unless his life is taken from him like Anwar Sadat of Egypt). Even Israel gives voting rights to its Arab citizens, though it may not be a model state. While all the Arab states complain about the Palestinians, not a single one donate money for infrastructure development or healthcare of the Palestinians, that is the crying shame. While Israel should give rights to Palestinians and create a Palestinian state, why should Jordan not give rights to them. The present king of Jordan is married to a Palestinian, is that not reason enough. This book has hypocrisy written all over it. Please do not waste your money over it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Queen Noor:- a latter member of the beat generation
From the book, it is obvious that Queen Noor is a latter member of the beat generation. For instance, there was the part about how she temporarily dropped out Princeton on account of her disdain for anything to do with the establishment as a result of the war in Vietnam. It seems to me that her main reason for converting to Islam was to rebel against Western values:- a slight variation of how hippies travelled to India in the 60s in search of spiritual enlightenment.

I view with similar disdain her hypocrisy about Israel. She is constantly claiming to have an affection for the people of Israel, but uses a number of pages criticising the very existence of the country. I accept that not all people like Israel, but I feel that she should stop pretending to like it.

I have no time for hippies like Queen Noor. ... Read more


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

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

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

Reviews (536)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Reviews (10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raise your glasses to Colonel David Hackworth!

Thank you, Sir. ... Read more


26. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
by Julia P. Gelardi
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312324235
Catlog: Book (2005-03-19)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 533495
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27. Shooter : The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
by Donald A. Davis, Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312336853
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 20
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

Reviews (9)

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

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

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

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

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


28. Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China
by Jung Chang
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743246985
Catlog: Book (2003-08-12)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 3506
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Blending the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, Wild Swans has become a bestselling classic in thirty languages, with more than ten million copies sold. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love.

Jung Chang describes the life of her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician.As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving -- and ultimately uplifting -- detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history. ... Read more

Reviews (234)

4-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and educational account of Communist China
Wild Swans is a riveting story of the lives of three women in 20th century China. It delineates the lives of a concubine grandmother, a communist spy mother, and a student daughter. This was an extremely comprehensive book containing not only the life stories of three generations of a family, but also the stories of their relatives, relations, and of historical occurrences. It gives an extraordinary first hand account of China's history spanning from imperialist China to the rise of communism, and through the Cultural Revolution.

Jung Chang does a very good job of describing and explaining the history of China and the changes that occurred, including details down to what kinds of foods people ate during certain time periods. She gives descriptive images of shocking oppression and violence, which had been everyday occurrences in China. Although these descriptions initially prevented me from putting the book down, near the end, the violence does become somewhat repetitive and tiresome (yet you can't blame the author because constant violence was part of China's history).

Overall, I think this was a very fascinating book. The author successfully gives a detailed description of the history, recounting tales of the various things different families went through, while also telling the dramatic stories of her relatives. She does a good job of describing what people went through during the changes in Communist China and after reading this book, I have gained a very clear understanding of what happened during the time and why it happened. This was a very entertaining book which I also learned a great deal from.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Complete Yet Engaging Historical Account
I was given Wild Swans to read prior to a summer trip to Beijing. Being a high school student, I was not only daunted by the heft of the book, but by the extensive historical chronology and family tree in the introduction as well. I was also unsure as to whether the story would be a Chinese-generation plot along the lines of Amy Tan or whether it would be more of a strict historical recount of China in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Despite my apprehensions, I decided to go ahead and read it, and I have been thoroughly delighted with the results of my endeavor.
Wild Swans is what I would term a "human-interest history," meaning that the dry historical aspect of the book is tempered by the human emotion surrounding the individual events. Jung Chang uses the female leaders of each generation to provide a thoughtful outlook on the traditions and culture of China. For me, the best way to gain a true feel for the attitudes of a specific time period is to hear a personal account. This is the book's most salient quality. Chang makes the most of the little details that encompass the environment of the characters and uses the thoughts and feelings of her family to convey key concepts pertaining to Chinese morals and behaviors.
The concise language of the book also helps to promote these historical images and gives the book a quick tempo. Each anecdote is told in the same, somewhat removed manner, even Chang's own experiences. While some might find this an impersonal tactic, I felt that it allowed the tragedies of the story to shine by basing them purely on their own facets. Any extraneous writing would have clouded the sheer pain involved in a number of the events, and Chang's distance allows the reader to recreate the scene and absorb the historical depth behind it. Chang's own academic experience provides a particularly striking cultural contrast to typical Western thought processes and teachings.
Of course, there are some minor flaws in the book. Chang tends to gloss over her father's upbringing and adolescence and lingers on her grandmother's trials during her youth and during the Communist takeover, resulting in some unbalanced character depictions. Chang's privileged lifestyle prior to and then under the Communists also provides a lopsided view as to the true reign of Mao and the general state of China during the early Communist years. However, bias is to be expected whenever dealing with a personal account, and these deficiencies become lost in the greater framework of the book.
I have learned more from this book about Chinese history than I could have ever hoped to acquire from a guidebook or textbook. I highly recommend this book to anyone planning to travel to China in the near future or for anyone who is looking for an informative, yet entertaining, story of a family in China over the years.

5-0 out of 5 stars a classic
this is a beautiful book. maybe even my favorite of many classics.

it is the story of three women, strong and united with a determination that will get them through the hardships of China from the early nineteen hundrens to the present. optimism and love for each other and their family, as well as tears and sadness, get them through their lives as well as the tyrannical reign of Mao, a powerful dictator of China.

i am partly struck with wanting to share this book with you, and invite you to read it, (though it is certainly not children's fiction, but mature, adult fact) or to keep it like the treasure it is to me and i'm sure many others. if you do read it, covet it. is a bargain for what you get in return.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical account
This book does something that most people don't get around to doing when they say this or that about China: Provide historical detail. Specifically of interest:

1. The reason that the Kuomintang was not successful in China was constant corruption. Some people have suggested that Chinese people love tyrants (Jasper Becker, "The Chinese") and this is the explanation of why they rejected what would have been a democratic government for an authoritarian government. This is partially true, but the Kuomintang blew any chance that it had at legitimacy with its rampant corruption.

2. That the Communist Party became popular because they promised to not be like the corrupt and crooked Kuomintang. Her father is an example of one of the wide-eyed idealists that really believed in his cause at the beginning and was left a broken man when he saw what actually became of this grand vision. People at Western universities are always attacking the West and praising the Communist ideology/ governent allocation of resources, and they haven't a faintest idea of the actual RESULTS of the intended programs. Nor do they understand the incentive structures that led to those results.

3. Historical accounts of the great famine. I can't believe that this very afternoon, there are still people trying to talk away this historical event in China and say that it was just a statistical illusion. This is the second author that I've read that gives historical accounts of people eating their children.

4. Demonstrating how the cult of Mao was created and maintained, as well as what were his motives in the various campaigns (Cultural Revolution/ The Great Leap Forward) that swept the country during his reign. Another author (Anhua Gao) has also noted that Mao generated a lot of morass in the country because the weaker the country, the easier it was to control. But her detail is not comparable to the author of this book. She showed the self-denunciation meetings and the stages of his campaigns to keep the country divided and fighting against itself. It may be another 200 years before China shakes off the residual results of his rule (such as overpopulation and then the resulting sex imbalance that has come about because of population control), but here in this is an example of WHAT happened, and HOW it happened.

5. Showing the highly ritualized behavior of Chinese people in things such as foot binding, etc. A lot of people may come to China and wonder where people here get their ideas from and why they are prisoner of them. This author demonstrates that it's been that way for a *long* time. And it may never change.

It's hard to recommend this book enough times for someone who wants *actual results* of what happens in the context of a Communist Revolution, as opposed to the vague ramblings of something like the Communist Manifesto or state-sheltered academics in Western universities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outsanding
(Aug 2003 release) Being interested in Chinese culture for sometime, I finally found a book that has given me something other than state sponsored history facts. I came across this book by accident. I began reading at the bookstore on Saturday evening and wasn't able to put it down until going to work on Monday morning. This book made me laugh, cry and scared the **** out of me in some places. It has definitely given me a wider perspective on the Chinese people and its culture. I'm looking forward to the release of Jung Chang's next book on Mao due out this year. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (1623)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


30. His Excellency : George Washington
by Joseph J. Ellis
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
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

31. 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


32. 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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33. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
by Mim E. Rivas
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 0060567031
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 186054
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34. Founding Mothers : The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 006009026X
Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 974
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the histories of the American Revolution, much has been written about America's founding fathers, those brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution. Yet the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters who supported, encouraged, and even advised them have been virtually ignored.

In Founding Mothers, New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings to light the stories of the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, sometimes even defending their very doorsteps from British occupation. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their husbands' businesses, ran the farms, and raised their children. These women who sacrificed for the fledgling nation spent months or even years apart from their husbands, at a time when letters were their only form of contact.

Drawing upon personal correspondence and private journals, Founding Mothers brings to life the everyday trials, extraordinary triumphs, and often surprising stories of Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Reed Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Martha Washington, and other patriotic and passionate women, each of whom played a role in raising our nation.

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Reviews (30)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good and Not So Good
The information about the various women was interesting.However, I had to go through the book a second time to be able to sort the facts about each woman separately in order to get a picture of what she was like. The book was so poorly organized that one reading left me with a mish-mash of impressions. I can't imagine why any editor would allow this rough draft to be printed. And I expected better of Cokie Roberts. I am reasonably sure that no one but a celebrity could get by with such a poor effort.Fortunately, the subject matter was arresting enough to carry me through the forest even though I often could not see the trees!

5-0 out of 5 stars Women Powered by Inner Force
Against enormous social,political and family forces the early American dynamos profiled by Cokie Roberts changed the face of the world by revolutionizing a nation. They powered realignment of social and political forces often through low profile but passionate and decisive impact on decision makers as well asgrassroots movements. As Roberts notes, coercive powers that locked many women into racial and gender servitude were not enough to silence or bind Founding Mothers. They were energized by inner forces just as essential for truly free women today - will, knowledge, vision, judgment, conscience, social radar and faith. As skillfully unearthed by Roberts, these stories of early American wonder women seem bittersweet. Bitter, in that they have been buried so long, robbing generations of American women of a rich legacy. Sweet, in finally allowing us to savor the inspiration of their lives. Whether in birth families or in a national family, digging out historic facts of our ancestors empowers us to move on from a stronger position. Truth sets us free. Reviewer: Beverly Hubble Tauke is author of "Overcoming the Sins of the Family," and is a Virginia-based family counselor and lecturer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great subject matter -- poorly written!
I used to like Cokie Roberts until I started reading this book. I love reading about the Revolutionary War and had (like other readers with comments) read the excellent biography of John Adams that was extremely well-written. Time and again in Cokie's book, she puts in little asides -- for instance early in the book when she speaks of the wedding present that Benjamin Franklin gives his daughter. He changes it from a nicer present to a spinning wheel. Cokie apparently does not think the reader "gets it" and goes on to say that such a present is akin to getting a toaster. She does this throughout the book and it is annoying. Worse, however, the narrative does not flow and it is easy to lose track of who she is talking about and when she is placing them in history. And I really do not like how Ms. Roberts keeps inserting her voice in the lives of these historic people with her 21st century sensibility. The Revolutionary War was a different time period, Cokie! I winced when I would read quotes about Abigail Adams with such Cokie asides as "she must have wanted to hit him." etc. I will look for a better book on this subject!

2-0 out of 5 stars Let's face it, celebrity standards are lower
Would this book even have been published if the author wasn't an NPR commentator? I truly doubt it. The standards for celebrity authors are MUCH lower, even if the book is supposed to be a "scholarly" work, as opposed to, say, a diet book.
If Roberts could pull together a few facts about a woman from the Revolutionary War period (documented or undocumented), that woman landed in the book. There was no real narrative flow.
But, if it interested a few people in the Revolutionary War period that weren't interested before, well, that's a good thing!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I like Cokie Roberts, listen to her on NPR, etc. etc.Perhaps it was because I had just come off from reading "John Adams," but I was very disappointed in this book.There didn't seem to be much in the way of original research, it didn't challange me to rethink history, and I really wasn't blown away by how these women did much to change the course of history in the grand scale.Nonetheless, there were interesting tidbits of historical information, and a reader may learn some new stuff. ... Read more


35. My Life
by Bill Clinton
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
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Asin: 0375414576
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 35
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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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


36. 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


37. 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


38. Fever Pitch
by Nick Hornby
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573226882
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 6680
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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In the States, Nick Hornby is best know as the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy, two wickedly funny novels about being thirtysomething and going nowhere fast. In Britain he is revered for his status as a fanatical football writer (sorry, fanatical soccer writer), owing to Fever Pitch--which is both an autobiography and a footballing Bible rolled into one. Hornby pinpoints 1968 as his formative year--the year he turned 11, the year his parents separated, and the year his father first took him to watch Arsenal play. The author quickly moved "way beyond fandom" into an extreme obsession that has dominated his life, loves, and relationships. His father had initially hoped that Saturday afternoon matches would draw the two closer together, but instead Hornby became completely besotted with the game at the expense of any conversation: "Football may have provided us with a new medium through which we could communicate, but that was not to say that we used it, or what we chose to say was necessarily positive." Girlfriends also played second fiddle to one ball and 11 men. He fantasizes that even if a girlfriend "went into labor at an impossible moment" he would not be able to help out until after the final whistle.

Fever Pitch is not a typical memoir--there are no chapters, just a series of match reports falling into three time frames (childhood, young adulthood, manhood). While watching the May 2, 1972, Reading v. Arsenal match, it became embarrassingly obvious to the then 15-year-old that his white, suburban, middle-class roots made him a wimp with no sense of identity: "Yorkshire men, Lancastrians, Scots, the Irish, blacks, the rich, the poor, even Americans and Australians have something they can sit in pubs and bars and weep about." But a boy from Maidenhead could only dream of coming from a place with "its own tube station and West Indian community and terrible, insoluble social problems."

Fever Pitch reveals the very special intricacies of British football, which readers new to the game will find astonishing, and which Hornby presents with remarkable humor and honesty--the "unique" chants sung at matches, the cold rain-soaked terraces, giant cans of warm beer, the trains known as football specials carrying fans to and from matches in prisonlike conditions, bottles smashing on the tracks, thousands of policemen waiting in anticipation for the cargo of hooligans. The sport and one team in particular have crept into every aspect of Hornby's life--making him see the world through Arsenal-tinted spectacles. --Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Reviews (110)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beware What This Book Might Do To You
I've been meaning to write a review of this book for a long time, but since Nick Hornby reawakened in me many of my childhood sports fan obsessions when I read it for the first time in 1999, I've been too busy. Not only did "Fever Pitch" remind me how irrationally and how much I loved my own hometown team (the heartbreaking Boston Red Sox) but he turned me into a fan of English football and his own Arsenal Gunners to the point where I follow them daily on ESPN's soccernet, LISTEN (!?) to them on internet radio broadcasts and have even gone to two games in London over the past two years. It's sick really, and I suppose it's not the kind of thing Hornby would have wanted when he wrote this quintessential memoir of growing up a soccer fan in England, but I've enjoyed it

"Fever Pitch" is an obsessive's tale as much as it is a fan's story, and so should appeal to the same wide audience that enjoys his excellent novels (It was my love for "High Fidelity" that sent me straight to this book). It is a memoir of surprising depth considering how it is organized only by the dates of soccer matches between 1968 and 1991, and it makes perfect sense that Hornby, or any true fan, should see the rest of his life (parents' divorce, his own education, romantic and career trouble) primarily as it relates to the team he spends so much time, money and psychic energy on.

The irony, for me, was finding out after I read "Fever Pitch" for the first time that Arsenal was one of the top teams of the last decade in England, so Hornby at least gets to feel the joy that we Red Sox fans are still waiting for. Sure, we're ecstatic the Pats won the Super Bowl, but our lives will change forever when Boston brings home the World Series. But after "Fever Pitch," I'll remember to laugh like the rest of the world laughs when American sports leagues crown their title-holders "world" champions.

5-0 out of 5 stars For sports fans, obsessives, and everyone else
I assume this book would be a joyous, justifying experience for a devoted fan of any sport - "I'm not alone!" - and I can assure you that it's a fun, educational read for someone who has no interest in any sport. It's a look at the way fanship can be created by, and in turn create, a person's life, and as such should be required reading both for fans themselves and for the people who can't understand them. In other words, if you completely understand why an important win could turn your entire life around, or why you would have to miss your sister's wedding if it coincided with a game, Fever Pitch is for you. And if you don't understand this at all, the book is also for you.

Now, having said that, there are a few problems with this book for Americans who don't know much about football. (You know, soccer, not American rules football.) If you don't know thing one about the game, you can still read the book, but you won't understand big chunks of it. Hornby either never expected this book to be published in America, or he can't imagine an audience that isn't intimately familiar with football argot. (And, having read the book, I'm betting on the latter.) So you'll need either to read a book about football before you read Fever Pitch, or to have on call a person who knows football. As it happens, I had both. I read the decent book The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro before Fever Pitch, so I knew about, for example, relegation and promotion. And I happen to know a person who watches football. And still I didn't get everything; what the heck is the Arsenal offside trap? What was the Ibrox disaster? (Double whammy, since apparently it also happened before I was born.) What's the penalty spot? I don't know, and Hornby didn't take the time to tell me. So - not perhaps the best book to introduce you to football.

Still, this a fascinating book, a book that contains a wealth of self-knowledge for the obsessed and astonishing revelations for everyone else. Read it. If nothing else, you'll learn that the person in your life that you thought was as obsessed with team X as it is possible to be is merely a fly-by-night fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is one of the best football books around. But it is about much more than football, it gives a rare glimpse into the psyche of the British football fan. In his book, football is a metaphor for all aspects of life, romance, family, and career. Hornby¡¦s amusing narratives perfectly encapsulate the unique relationship a football fan has with their favorite team. Even as a Manchester United fan I find it fascinating to read about his obsession with and dedication to Arsenal.
At the most superficial level, this book provides a very detail account of Arsenal from the late 60s through the beginning of the 90s, and the increasingly violent behavior by football fans during the late 70s and early 80s, and the negative impact it had on his feelings for the games.
Hornby describes vividly how his life was related to Arsenal's achievements. When Arsenal was doing good, Hornby was doing good. When Arsenal was having an off-season, Hornby fell into depression. It is interesting to observe the development of Hornby's obsession, because it can happen to anyone. With the backdrop of his often witty accounts of Arsenal games, Hornby talks about how his life evolves with his family, his girlfriend, and his students. Football is like a common world language, and Hornby uses it to interact with his students. And watching football with his father was one the highlights of his childhood.
Every game has an analogy in life for the football fan. For Hornby, a tight game ending in defeat is a painful reminder of a break with his girlfriend.
While this obsession with football is almost innate, sometimes Hornby felt immature, especially when he was unable to control his overwhelming passion for the game in front of his students.
In humorous pros Hornby highlights how football and life come together on the pitch and is definitely worthy of reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars black and white and read all over
This is a cool book, and a very good book, but a tiny little "je ne sais quoi" keeps me from giving it that last and final fifth star.

To summarize the book superficially in a sentence, it's an autobiographical retelling, in a very witty first-person voice, of the author's (London journalist Nick Hornby) lifelong love of soccer and his passion for the English pro soccer team Arsenal (which plays in London). Thrown in are side stories about his boyhood, his relationship with his parents, and his posse of friends, love interests, and workmates who either do or don't share his love of the sport.

One problem for North Americans is that this is a truly English book, in that it contains tons of references to little villages in England, little UK customs, judgments and descriptions of London neighborhoods, etc., that left me feeling like a Yankee hick who'd never left the trailer park. Indeed, that is my problem and not the author's, but North Americans who don't know English culture well will feel lost at times.

Another problem is that the book, like the TV show "Seinfeld," isn't really about anything. Sure, there's a lot of chatter about soccer, but not in any sort of methodical or educative way. It's basically a willfully disorganized diary about 20 years in the life of a clever, witty Englishman (from about age 10 to about age 30) who allows soccer to dominate his worldview and, alas, his whole life. It comes down to the amusing musings of a 30-something Londoner, which makes the book fascinating but not monumental.

The obsession with soccer is the strength and the weakness of the work. If you want to learn about English pro soccer, you will be disappointed. If you want to learn first-hand, from a very imaginative and clever soul, about what it was like for one particular person to grow up soccer-mad in southeastern England the 1970's and 1980's and how it impacted the rest of his life, then this is the book for you.

I'm a big fan of Nick Hornby, and a better book of his, and a better "starter book" for him, is "High Fidelity."

2-0 out of 5 stars Painfully, painfully boring
This book was extremely pointless. Since each entry is a memory, they are written like them so they don't have an insteresting story-telling narrative. Also, some of the entries were just how the game was played and who won, with absolutely nothing interesting to say. And that for 300 pages, completely redundant. This book has no beginning, middle, or end. Just entry after entry of complete pointlessness. Now, it may be because I am not interested in sports, but this is just a football (soccor) journal and nothing more. Hornby was able to shove in a little bit of angst and childhood problems, but it is not nearly significant enough to keep the reader interested.

Though the book had some very funny parts, it doesn't make up for the ennui I experienced while reading this book. You know, they made a movie out a this.....HOW?!! It barely works as a piece of fiction or reference book...but a movie?! Jesus. I'm sorry but this was one of the most boring books I've ever read. ... Read more


39. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
by RON CHERNOW
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679438084
Catlog: Book (1998-05-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 110214
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Ron Chernow, whose previous books have taken on the Morgan and Warburg financial empires, now turns his attention to the patriarch of the Rockefeller dynasty. John D. was history's first recorded billionaire and one of the most controversial public figures in America at the turn of the 20th century. Standard Oil--which he always referred to as the result of financial "cooperation," never as a "cartel" or a "monopoly"--controlled at its peak nearly 90 percent of the United States oil industry. Rockefeller drew sharp criticism, as well as the attention of federal probes, for business practices like underpricing his competitors out of the market and bribing politicians to secure his dominant market share.

While Chernow amply catalogs Rockefeller's misdeeds, he also presents the tycoon's human side. Making use of voluminous business correspondence, as well as rare transcripts of interviews conducted when Rockefeller was in his late 70s and early 80s, Chernow is able to present his subject's perspective on his own past, re-creating a figure who has come down to us as cold and unfeeling as a shrewd, dryly humorous man who had no inner misgivings about reconciling his devout religious convictions with his fiscal acquisitiveness. The story of John D. Rockefeller Sr. is, in many ways, the story of America between the Civil War and the First World War, and Chernow has told that story in magnificently fascinating depth and style. ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The parallels to Gates and MSFT are an interesting subtext
I am in awe of Ron Chernow for writing a long and thorough biography that I absolutely could not put down. Rarely have I finished such a long book in such a short period of time. Chernow manages to show how complex Rockefeller's personality and motives, were, and he helps us to avoid the all-too-easy cliches about the rich and powerful. Yet while revealing the complexity, he is never boring, didactic, or long-winded.

I found it interesting to compare Rockefeller and Standard Oil to Bill Gates and Microsoft. Both men are powerful, rich, misunderstood, certain that their actions are ethical and good for their country and the economy, and dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. Both men vow(ed) to give away most of their fortune. Both have been attacked by their own government, and villified in the press. Both dominate media coverage of business. And, like Rockefeller, Gates is a brilliant strategist who defies easy cliches and shallow descriptions. You can see goodness in either man, and you can also see evil. The beauty of Chernow's biography is that he allows us to see both sides of Rockefeller, without ever landing on either side himself.

Regardless of my thoughts on the parallels, I highly recommend this bio. Four friends are receiving it as their Christmas gift from me.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Two Sides of Titan
Like its hero, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller has two sides. At times the almost novelesque book is insufferable. The text is dense and dizzying, making anyone who is not an economist feel incompetent and mind-boggled. At certain points, I needed to reread a sentence maybe two or three times because I either did not understand economic principle being displayed or because of my sheer lack of interest. When I was almost ready to quit with the constant analysis of the oil industry and Rockefeller's economic strategy, Chernow brought out the more personal side of the book, delving into Rockefeller's private life using uncommon and interesting anecdotes. It is quite obvious that Rockefeller's religious beliefs and family history greatly contributed to his transformation into the titan that will forever be remembered in American history. Chernow both proved my preconceived notions of the frugal and hard businessman that Rockefeller seemed to be and then surprised me, revealing the kinder, more spiritual Rockefeller who is oddly likable. I both loved and hated him. Like Chernow states, "what makes him so problematic- and why he continues to inspire such ambivalent reactions- is that his good side was every bit as good as his bad side was bad. Seldom has history produced such a contradictory figure. We are almost forced to posit, in helpless confusion, at least two Rockefellers: the good, religious man and the renegade businessman, driven by baser motives." So like its protagonist, Titan has two sides, its solid factual analysis of Rockefeller's business that perhaps only an economist could enjoy, and its warm-hearted account of Rockefeller's unexpected traits, which is far more appealing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strong intoduction, bland filler
This book starts out strong, describing in rich detail the rise of one of America's wealthiest men. Very interesting. However, I had to engage in a type of self-coercion to pick the book up after about 100 pages. I hate to call it "filler," but I have to call a spade a spade.

4-0 out of 5 stars Story of an American Icon
In the biography of John D. Rockefeller Sr., Ron Chernow exposes the man behind the myth. Chernow shows both Rockefeller's ruthless nature and his religous beliefs. Even though the book at points was long wordy and long I still found it to be enjoyable. This book does give you a really broad insite to his business pratices and the history of the Standard Oil Company.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five solid stars, THE book on J.D. Rockefeller Sr.
The other reviews have basically said it for me: this is the definitive book on the founder of Standard Oil. While most biographies of Rockefeller Sr. have been either suspiciously laudatory or equally dubiously contemptuous, Chernow takes the middle ground. Ultimately, Chernow seems to fall more on the side of liking Rockefeller, and employs the somewhat cliche perspective that could fairly be called "modern contextualist"- from which Rockefeller is not much more than a product of his times. However, the slight overuse of this particular biographical "voice," if you will, is but one element of what is really a monumental biography of a fascinating person. Chernow is a very readable biographer who evidently has a deep understanding of American business. (Chernow also wrote "The House of Morgan" - an account of the development of the various offshoots of J.P. Morgan's banking empire which, although very good, lacks Titan's intense focus and analysis.) I heartily recommend Titan. ... Read more


40. Thomas Jefferson : Author of America (Eminent Lives)
by Christopher Hitchens
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0060598964
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Eminent Lives
Sales Rank: 346686
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