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1. My Life So Far (Random House Large
$16.97 $16.15 list($24.95)
2. Big Russ and Me (Random House
$17.79 $16.69 list($26.95)
3. Garlic and Sapphires (Random House
$16.47 $15.67 list($24.95)
4. One Soldier's Story LP : A Memoir
$19.11 $19.10 list($28.95)
5. Sinatra : The Life (Random House
$39.95 $22.99
6. Just As I Am: The Autobiography
7. It Doesn't Take a Hero : Large
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8. His Excellency : George Washington
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9. Madam Secretary (Random House
10. All Over but the Shoutin' (Random
11. Tuesdays With Morrie (Wheeler
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12. Babyhood
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13. The Quest for El Cid
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14. Duty: A Father, His Son, and the
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15. The Story of My Father (Random
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16. Cary Grant : The Biography (Random
$26.00 $1.11
17. My Journey: From an Iowa Farm
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18. Three Weeks with My Brother
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19. My America: What My Country Means
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20. Founding Mothers : The Women Who

1. My Life So Far (Random House Large Print)
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375435026
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 13082
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One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda

Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts

The Complete Personal Trainer Series

The Complete Workout and Stress Reduction Program

Fun House Fitness: Fitness for the Whole Family

Jane Fonda: The Essential DVDs


On Golden Pond

Nine to Five

Coming Home


See more Fonda DVDs ... Read more

2. Big Russ and Me (Random House Large Print)
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375433570
Catlog: Book (2004-05-11)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 30668
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.Hardly a day goes by when I don’t remember something that Big Russ taught me."

Over the last two decades, Tim Russert has become one of the most trusted and admired figures in American television journalism.Throughout his career he has spent time with presidents and popes, world leaders and newsmakers, celebrities and sports heroes, but one person stands out from the rest in terms of his strength of character, modest grace, and simple decency—Russert’s dad, Big Russ.

In this warm, engaging memoir, Russert casts a fond look back to the 1950s Buffalo neighborhood of his youth. In the close-knit Irish-Catholic community where he grew up, doors were left unlocked at night; backyard ponds became makeshift ice hockey rinks in winter; and streets were commandeered as touch football fields in the fall. And he recalls the extraordinary example of his father, a WWII veteran who worked two jobs without complaint for thirty years and taught his children to appreciate the values of self-discipline, of respect, of loyalty to friends.

Big Russ and Me, written in Russert’s easygoing, straight-talking style, offers an irresistible collection of personal memories. Russert recalls the dedicated teachers who stimulated his imagination and intellect, sparking a lifelong passion for politics and journalism, and inspired a career that took him from editor of his elementary school newspaper to moderator of Meet the Press.

It has been an eventful and deeply satisfying journey, but no matter where his career has taken him, Russert’s fundamental values still spring from that small house on Woodside Avenue and the special bond he shares with his father—a bond he enjoys now with his own son. As Tim Russert celebrates the indelible connection between fathers and sons, readers everywhere will laugh, cry, and identify with the lessons of life taught by the indomitable Big Russ. ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cats in the cradle...Harry Chapin's song comes to life!!!
The background story behind this book is learning from your elders. In this particular one, we are talking about Tim Russert and how he explains the way that his father's knowledge (something that most children never appreciate until after the fact) and experience shaped his life. We learn of Big Russ, as he refers to his father, and how he was raise in poverty, was a WWII vet with an admirable record and his ability to raise his four children and support his household while holding down two jobs for a good part of his life. That, in itself, shows the character of Big Russ.

As is the dream of every parent, Russert's life is anything but representative of the suffering his father witnessed. A wealthy lawyer, Capital Hill insider and married to a celebrity journalist, Russert is the success story his father could brag about to any and everyone.

The book provides a nostalgic walk through time as the author reflects on his own life as well as that of his country. By the time you finish the book, you can understand why Big Russ earns the biggest title that any father can ever dream of. That of being seen as a hero in his own son's eyes. No amount of money or honors can ever top such a title as that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift to Big Russ
Bookstores have been gearing up for Father's Day for some time now, lining their front displays with titles dad is sure to enjoy: sports, grilling, amusing how-tos. Pretty standard stuff. But once in a while a book comes along that supersedes the silly.

BIG RUSS & ME, by Tim Russert, is one of these rare finds.

Russert, the popular host of NBC's "Meet the Press," wrote this tribute to his father, Tim Senior, a member of what has become known as "the greatest generation." A hard-working, spiritual and devoted family man who served his country during World War II, the elder Russert represents the millions of fathers (and mothers) who sacrificed to make their children's lives better.

The Russert family grew up in a blue-collar section of Buffalo, NY, where Tim Senior instilled in the author and his three sisters the qualities of discipline, respect, honesty and faith that, for whatever reason, are sometimes lacking from parents today.

In the minds of younger readers, Russert might as well have written his book a hundred years ago. Imagine having to walk to school, including "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing adults, or having to do chores. It wasn't punishment --- it was expected and not open to discussion or bargaining.

Writers of a certain age often recall a time and place in which television shows were broadcast in black and white, no one locked their doors, kids always had friends to play with and people watched out for one another. Compare that with today's omnipresent security alarms, motion detectors and play-dates.

Russert writes fondly of his Jesuit education. Its extension of discipline helped him focus on excelling in college and law school. He worked hard to put himself through school, not just because his parents could ill-afford tuition and other expenses. As Big Russ said, you appreciate it more when you earn it yourself. The era in which he grew up was difficult: the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. had profound effects on his circle, as did the social unrest of the sixties. Through it all, however, he remained close to his father while many of his contemporaries rebelled against their parents' values.

Russert is not a name-dropper. He was fortunate enough to know several people who were very influential to his maturation, and he mentions these relationships (his chapters on Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Pope John Paul II are especially warm) more in thankfulness than to inflate his own ego. His self-effacement ("I have a face for radio") seems genuine, not put-on, which makes BIG RUSS & ME even more enjoyable.

The saying goes (approximately): "When I was a teenager I thought my father didn't know anything. It's amazing how much smarter he became once I got older." This is definitely not Russert's credo. Indeed, he has always sought his dad's advice and opinions; even now, in his high-powered capacity as host of one of television's venerated staples, he is not satisfied until Big Russ gives his feedback. (Not to psychoanalyze, but one doesn't get the impression that Russert, Jr. is in dire need of Senior's approval.)

Being "men," it's not unusual that expressive feelings exchanged between fathers and sons are underplayed. This is one reason why BIG RUSS & ME is so welcome. And the love and respect between the generations continues through the author's son, Luke.

Relationships, especially for today's parents, seem much more difficult, thanks in no small part to the myriad distractions and competitions for their kids' attention that simply didn't exist fifty years ago. All vie for the child's attention and some can be very seductive, especially when the folks want him to do something that isn't cool, like get good grades or clean up his room.

Russert's apotheosis is a wonderful gift to Big Russ, an expression of love and gratitude that makes all the hard work seem worthwhile. It's even better that the old timer is still around to enjoy the accolades the book will no doubt engender.

So, what did you say you were doing for your dad this year?

--- Reviewed by Ron Kaplan

1-0 out of 5 stars Ack! Ack!
Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!

4-0 out of 5 stars Endearing & heart-felt memoir.
Refreshing and light read written by a man with a genuine and, in many ways, a new-found love and appreciation for the most important man in his life.

In a society that seems less determined to be self reliant and accountable and more determined than ever compete over who can be the biggest victim, Big Russ is living testimony that absolutely nothing beats a strong family bond and a solid work ethic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, nostalgic, well-written
This is a great book. I can't believe how many Amazon "reviewers" are getting their facts wrong, or dragging politics, or other issues into this simple, straightforward ode to one's father.

One reviewer says Tim does a disservice to mothers everywhere by writing a book about his father. If you didn't check out the title of the book clearly before purchasing it, maybe you should go do that now: "Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life." He mentions his mother reverently a few times in the text, but the book is mainly about his dad. Enough Said. I'm sure his mother knows how much he loves her. Maybe he'll write a book about her someday. But I don't see how he's disrespecting all mothers. That's ludicrous.

Secondly, a few reviewers have remarked about Big Russ blowing his paycheck on booze every week. Obviously these readers didn't read carefully. Tim was writing about another man in town who would take his paycheck to the bar every payday and drink it away. Tim contrasts this man with his father, who would enjoy a few cold ones every now and then, but knew that providing for his family was much more important. Big Russ was not a drunk. Maybe you reviewers should go back and re-read that chapter.

Another reviewer complains that Tim Russert's book is "full of errors," and backs up this claim by saying he got one word wrong when remembering a prayer from his youth. This reviewer says a half-decent editor would've caught this. I'd like to enlighten this reader by letting him know that not all prayers are taught or recited exactly the same way. It depends on the school or church, I suppose. To call it an error is wrong. It's a variation. I'm sure some people think the way you recite it is wrong. Whether it's "THROUGH thy bounty," or "FROM thy bounty," it hardly makes much difference, does it? Means the same thing.

I could go on, but for some readers there's no hope. It's a great book about a father's influence on his son's life. Read it. Pass it on. ... Read more

3. Garlic and Sapphires (Random House Large Print)
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375435468
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 26184
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Fans of Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples know that Ruth Reichl is a wonderful memoirist--a funny, poignant, and candid storyteller whose books contain a happy mix of memories, recipes, and personal revelations. Interview
We chewed the fat with Ruth.Read our interview.
What they might not fully appreciate is that Reichl is an absolute marvel when it comes to writing about food--she can describe a dish in such satisfying detail that it becomes unnecessary for readers to eat. In her third memoir, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Reichl focuses on her life as a food critic, dishing up a feast of fabulous meals enjoyed during her tenure at The New York Times. As a critic, Reichl was determined to review the "true" nature of each restaurant she visited, so she often dined incognito--each chapter of her book highlights a new disguise, a different restaurant (including the original reviews from the Times), and a fresh culinary adventure. Garlic and Sapphires is another delicious and delightful book, sure to satisfy Reichl's foodie fans and leave admirerers looking forward to her next book, hopefully about her life with Gourmet. --Daphne Durham

More from Ruth Reichl

Tender at the Bone

Comfort Me with Apples

The Gourmet Cookbook

Remembrance of Things Paris

Endless Feasts

Gourmet magazine's The Significant Seven
Ruth Reichl answers the seven questions we ask every author.

Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Kate Simon’s New York Places and Pleasures. I read it as a little girl and then went out and wandered the city. She was a wonderful writer, and she taught me not only to see New York in a whole new way, but to look, and taste, beneath the surface.

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Ulysses by James Joyce. What better place to finally get through it?

Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert. If you’re going to listen to one piece over and over, this is one that doesn’t get tiresome.

How to Build a Boat in Five Easy Steps. Since I’m going to be watching one movie over and over, it might as well be useful.

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: I’m such a good liar, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: I can write pretty much anywhere. But I prefer small, cozy spaces, with a good view over a lake or a forest, and room for the cats to curl up.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: "She’ll be right back."

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Elizabeth I. She fascinates me. She had a great mind, enormous appetites--and she was a survivor. The most interesting woman of an interesting time, and I have a million questions I’d like to ask her.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: You mean after creating world peace?This is a hard one. But I’ve always wanted to be able to fly.

... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ruth teased me, I wanted more
It took me over half of the book to warm to Ruth's ways. I felt too many times she built up a scenario and left me hanging, wanting to know more. I was desperate to find out what happened... if there was any comeback from the charity couple, how the guy she duped on a date with her sexiest disguise reacted to finding out he had in fact been dining with the NYT critic, what the Chinese restaurant who had diligently faxed menus back & forth felt when she decided to unceremoniously dump them for some other venue, after so much effort to please her.
Its a light read and charming enough, but my appetite was whetted and I craved more gritty details.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I thought the book was funny.It grabbed me from the first chapter and I laughed through the whole thing.This is a great read and I am up for reading any other books from this writer.Another great one is the glass castle and also Whispers of the wicked saitns.Great reads !!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected
I was extremely disappointed with this book.I expected to read more about the inner workings of NY restaurants, not recycled reviews from the New York Times.I thought it would be interesting to read about how she fooled restaurants with her various disguises.I did not expect to read page after page of where she bought the wigs, how she found the clothes, etc. etc.You can only read "the tastes exploded in my mouth like hundreds of little fireworks" (not a true quote from the book) so many times before you start skipping over the reviews.Save yourself some money and read the actual restaurant reviews from the Times' archives.I wish I had.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great third Memoir. Leaves us wanting more! Buy It.
`Garlic and Sapphires' is the third volume of memoirs by Ruth Reichl. After `Tender at the Bone' which deals with her childhood and teens and `Comfort Me with Apples' which deals with her early journalistic career in San Francisco, this latest volume deals with her five years as the lead restaurant critic for the New York Times.

This volume proves that Ms. Reichl is truly the best culinary memoirist today, and easily the best since M.F.K. Fisher. And, as one who has read more than a few of Ms. Fisher's memoirs, I would easily choose Ms. Reichl's humor and great stories of the modern scene over Ms. Fisher's slightly musty, albeit exquisitely crafted tales of cities and towns in France.

The primary point of this volume is to tell the stories behind Ms. Reichl's various disguises and personas she took on in order to dine at Daniel's and Lespanisse and Le Cirque without being identified as the restaurant critic for the Times. The book starts off with the amazing story of Reichl's flight from Los Angles to New York seated, by coincidence, along side a waitress of a major Manhattan restaurant. It turns out that posted in all restaurant kitchens in New York City was already a photograph of Ruth Reichl with a reward to any staff member who identifies Ms. Reichl in their restaurant.

In spite of all the other things on which Ruth could dwell, she stays remarkably on message. There is only the slightest of references to the great New York Times culinary writer, Craig Claiborne, who was still alive while Reichl was at the Times. And, there was only a slightly more specific reference to R. W. Appel and Amanda Hesser. The only two writing talents cited to any extent are Marion Burros, a friendly colleague who mostly worked out of the Washington bureau and adversary Bryan Miller who left the critic's post and objected to Reichl's overturning a lot of his restaurant opinions. What Miller forgot was that the power of the restaurant critic's column was not based on the writer, but on the newspaper which published the column.

The most important character in this story after Reichl may be `THE NEW YORK TIMES', commonly thought to be the best and most powerful newspaper in the world. This fact makes it almost unthinkable that Reichl would question whether or not she really wanted to work for the Times when she was literally offered the job on a silver platter. There may have been some foundation to her doubts when she saw the Times offices for the first time. In contrast to the light, airy, Los Angles Times offices, the New York offices were crowded and filled with lots of old desks and unmatched chairs. After a full day's interviews plus total willingness from her husband to relocate to New York, Reichl took the job and immediately changed the tone of the paper's reviews.

Reichl's personal philosophy was that reviews were nothing more than informed opinion and taste. This may seem utterly subjective, but actually, it is not far from what you would see in a scholarly work on the nature of aesthetic judgment. One is much better off trusting the opinion of a literary critic who has read 10,000 novels, both good and bad, than of your dentist who may have read 10, all from the same author. The thing that endeared her to her Times editors and publishers was the idea that her columns were written to sell newspapers, not to promote restaurants.

For someone who does not read reviews of major Manhattan restaurants, I was a bit surprised at the incredible difference between the quality of food and service given to a pair of `beautiful people' versus the quality of food and service given to a drab looking old woman. And, if the diner is known to be the critic from the Times, food and service quality goes off the charts. This was the reason for the many disguises. And, it is obvious that more than one was needed, as it was all too easy for an astute restaurateur to connect a person with the byline on a review which can change their gross by tens of thousands of dollars a week. The truly remarkable thing about many of the disguises is how the personality embodied by the wig and clothes became part of Reichl's persona in dealing with people who were not in on the ruse. By far the funniest was the incident when Reichl took on her mother's persona, using her mother's clothes and jewelry. The story is doubly amusing if you have read `Tender at the Bone' where Reichl describes her primary chore was to keep her mother from poisoning any guests by serving spoiled food.

It should be no surprise that Reichl's job had a serious downside. In addition to all the nasty mail from offended restaurateurs and their advocates and the political backbiting at the newspaper, there were the really unpleasant situations where Reichl offered `a dinner with the New York Times restaurant critic' as a prize to be auctioned off for charity. Ruth recounts one especially distasteful episode where the situation went so far as to turn her well-trained chameleon personality into someone who was distasteful to her husband. This job is no picnic. From this encounter comes the name of the book from a line in T. S. Eliot's `Four Quartets', `garlic and pearls in the mud' which echoed the fact that the evening had nothing to do with Reichl's love of cooks, food, or writing.

The book includes the Times reviews Reichl wrote as a result of the meals described in the book. These are fun and interesting, but are really just sidebars to the real action in the main text. My only regret is that Reichl did not find it useful to include photographs of her disguises.

Very highly recommended reading for foodies and non-foodies alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars I ran right out and bought all her other titles
As a foodie and a wine lover, as well as a person who loves New York, this book was like being in heaven at the same time as being a voyuer.I often go to the "starred" restaurants and have my own opinion not only on the food but on how I was treated as a normal everyday person.Having a food critic do the same in costume and actually rate the restaurant based on this makes me want to give her a standing ovation.Hopefully, restaurants around the world have learned something from her and her very equitable way of evaluating restaurants.Ruth writes so very well and entertainly, and you are torn from your own reality into her world of costumes and intrigue.I highly recommend her books if you like food, wine and real life New York restaurants.It may change where you decide to spend your hard earned dollars next time you go out to eat. ... Read more

4. One Soldier's Story LP : A Memoir
by Bob Dole
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060787147
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 54398
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Download Description


Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.

" ... Read more

Reviews (18)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Here
Given the favorable press coverage this book has gotten, I was expecting something really dramatic, personal and revealing in a human sort of way. But I found there's really not much here. What there is you can get by reading the book reviews, and save yourself some money.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Soldier's Story & A memoir of a career in government.
Dole's autobiography is very revealing and more educational than any government school.

Bob Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, in 1923.He was elected as U.S. representative from Kansas in 1960 and served four terms. In 1968 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Dole was Gerald Ford's running mate in Ford's unsuccessful presidential campaign (1976) and campaigned unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988. He has served as Senate majority leader (1985-87, 1995 to 1996) and minority leader (1987-95).In other words Dole was a career politician.

It is clear from the book that being a career politician is probably related to the fact that two weeks before the end of WWII, Dole was severely wounded and remained disabled for life.

He is not a gifted writer--his prose is often stilted, and he resorts too easily to cliches.That also sums up his political career.He gives no hints of understanding free market economics nor the need for cutting government.Dole shows why the Republican Party is a lost cause for liberty.

People sometimes mistakenly say that Dole is "conservative" but that is misleading. Dole served in the Senate for 27 years and government did nothing but grow.Dole exemplifies what is known as the "greatest spending generation."

Dole was the Republican candidate for president in 1996 against Bill Clinton.Given the choice between two big socialists, the voters went with the more charismatic Clinton. Even before Clinton, no republican president had ever cut the size and scope of government. Dole never got his chance to show that he could preside over massive socialism as president. Even so, his fellow republican-socialists are now twice as socialistic as Clinton was (in social spending alone).

The only way that Dole can be called biased is that he drones on about socialists (Democrats and Republicans) and ignores anyone who wants to cut government (Libertarians).

Bob Dole is stuck in silly left-right political analysis, as taught in government schools. He is still unaware of the Nolan chart or Diamond chart. He uses the word "liberal" unprofessionally to mean "left." His habit forgets the etymology of "liberal" for "liberty" (against government and for laissez-faire capitalism). That bad habit explains why republicans and democrats are the same: socialists.Bob Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and must end.

Dole doesn't do well addressing the massive growth in government in the USA. It seems like Dole doesn't think that government in the USA is big enough yet.

Dole is not libertarian and he uses the misnomer "public schools" to mean "government schools."No one would trust the government to tell the truth if it published books like Dole's. Why would the government tell the truth in government schools?

Dole doesn't have a problem with "patriotism" and the pledge of allegiance. Big problem: Dole don't arise each morning to gather with neighbors and robotically chant, as he only "loves" the pledge when government's schools lead children in robotic chanting every morning for twelve years of their lives upon the ring of a bell, like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state. Did I mention that Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and have destroyed a "free press" and why government schools must end?

Dole book suggests that he doesn't know that the pledge was written by a socialist (Francis Bellamy) in the USA and that the original salute was a straight-arm salute (as shown in web image searches for "original socialist salute"). Dole should know because he was born in 1923 and lived through the pledge's use of the Nazi-style salute (it changed in 1942). Dole doesn't know of the news-breaking discovery by the historian Rex Curry that the straight-arm salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) came from the USA's pledge of allegiance and military salute, and not from ancient Rome.Dole seems unaware that Bellamy put flags in every school to promote a government takeover of education for widespread nationalization and socialism.

Dole is an example of why some educated socialists (socialists who know the origin of the pledge) laugh at so-called "conservatives," because socialists presume that conservatives like Dole have been duped into supporting socialism and is ignorant of the pledge's socialist past.

Francis Bellamy and his cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy were national socialists who idolized the military and wanted to nationalize the entire US economy, including all schools. It was a philosophy that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) where millions were murdered (62 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 35 million by the Peoples' Republic of China, 21 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party) in the worst slaughter in history. That is why the Bellamys are known as America's Nazis.All Holocaust Museums could expand four-fold with Wholecaust Museums.

Bellamy believed that government schools with pledges and flags were needed to brainwash children to embrace nationalism, militarism, and socialism.

Bellamy wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military's "efficiency," as he said. It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.

Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives. During Bellamy's time the government was taking over education.

Bellamy wanted government schools to ape the military.Government schools were intended to create an "industrial army" (another Bellamy phrase, and the word "army" was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated segregation by law and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the National Socialists were defeated, and well beyond.

Thereafter, the government's segregation legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

The bizarre practices served as an example for three decades before they were adopted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

The hypnotic "Sieg Heil" salute to a flag symbol mesmerized Americans long before it brainwashed Germans.

Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany.They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism.They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge.Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist's pledge daily, on cue from the government. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others.

The pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history.That is why the pledge still exists.

The USA also continued its Nazi numbering (social security from 1935) and its robotic pledge, with no stopping.

Today, the USA numbers babies, and government schools demand the numbers for enrollment, and the numbers track homes, workplaces, incomes, finances, and more, for life.School laws still tout the daily pledge, a bizarre ritual shunned by every other country.

Dole has discussed plans for "reform" of social security that would invest social security taxes in private businesses. At the height of Nazi power, the USA's government deliberately stepped onto the same path with national numbering imposed in 1935 with the social security system.The federal government was growing massively and attempting to nationalize the economy in many ways.The US Supreme Court struck down much of the new legislation as unconstitutional until the craven FDR pressured the Court into the "switch in time that socialized nine."

New social security reform ideas are so-called "privatization" plans that would nationalize all businesses, in addition to schools. It would impress the Bellamys.Dole does not have the ethics to discuss the other side of the issue (the proper side): ending government involvement in education, and ending the social security scam, its taxes and its Nazi numbering.If the antidisestablishmentarianism does not end, then the USA's police state will grow.

Dole has another bad habit: overuse of the hackneyed word "Nazi" so much that it might cause one to wonder if he knows what the abbreviation abbreviates. Many people forget that "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party," and one reason people forget is because the word "Nazi" is overused by politicians like Dole who rarely or never say the actual name of the horrid party.A good mnemonic device is that the sick socialist swastika represented two overlapping "S" letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Overall, Dole's book was very revealing and educational and worth the time to review.Let's hope for a more enlightened sequel in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story of a Different Time
This book is noteworthy as it is a public figure who has written a book without bragging about himself or supporting his current positions or causes.Dole is a retired politician who in his year's of reflection decides to write about the most significant event of his life, his service in WWII, the subsequent life-threatening injury, growing up in middle-century America and the support he received to overcome this devastating injury.

This is a simple book that could have been written by thousands of WWII vets.Unfortunately, they are not famous and Bob is so in many respects Dole is writing it for them.He writes this book with no ego and no political agenda.In fact, he writes of his relationships across party lines and as he discusses his involvement with the WWII War Memorial there are great discussions on his excellent relationship with Bill Clinton.

Where this book is most fascinating is describing his struggles going to college and the mindset of Americans as Pearl Harbor is bombed.Then you see the thought process of these young men as they decide whether to enlist and what should they attempt to do in the armed services.Pre-battle training is covered extensively but mainly from the standpoint of relationships with family through the letters included.Unfortunately, Dole's time in battle was limited as he is wounded almost immediately.So whole the build-up of this battle is compelling, it ends quickly.Then the amazing tale of how he was rescued at great risk and somehow managed to survive is told in great detail.Most Americans know he was injured but how many know of the months he was laid up paralyzed?Or the life threatening infections he fought off with experimental drugs?

This book is not for everyone.If you are looking for a war book, this isn't it.Political intrigue and partisan politics?Pass on this read.But to reflect family life in a simpler America and the struggles of the heroic WWII soldiers, this is an excellent book and well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Soldier's Story, Not the Politicians
Note the title, this is a soldier's story. Bob Dole spent most of his life as a politician, but that's another story, another book. This is the story of Bob Dole's military career and the aftermath of being wounded in combat.

This story is one of courage and the continual battle to regain what was lost on a mountain in Italy. Bob Dole is a member of what has been called the Greatest Generation. And regardless of what you might think of his politics, he is a great member of that generation.

Also surprising is his humor that comes out in his writing. His is not the dour even sullen personality that came across in the election. His is more the Bob Dole being asked for ID in the American Express commercial.

We are now engaged in a foreign war where young men are coming back horribly wounded. Here is a story of inspiration and hope for them.

5-0 out of 5 stars NotDole the politician
This is a book well worth reading.
Let me say at the outset that I have issues with Dole the politician but this is about Dole the man.
It is a very human book that tells the story of an average American, a good citizen, a soldier and a man having to deal with a crippling injury.
It is an unflinching look at how an average life can becomeremarkable life and a story of human endurance and courage.
Inspiring. ... Read more

5. Sinatra : The Life (Random House Large Print)
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375435492
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 121805
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Age of Sinatra
We know Frank Sinatra - we don't know Summers and wife.

"They buried a man in California on May 14, 1998, but they didn't bury Frank Sinatra. Rock 'n' roll couldn't bury him, disco and rap couldn't. Elvis and the Beatles couldn't." What makes you feel you can, Summers?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Ole Blue Eyes
Frank Sinatra was a Man of many faces,but He had a Persona about Him that you would never soon forget.I've read so many books about him&this One truly captures another side of him.nothing changes my mind of Him as a Artist because I always say that you have to seperate the person from there craft they are two totally different beings.Sinatra is One of the Music Worlds Greatest Treasures period. Sinatra did His thing as He wanted He sang"My Way"&He never strayed from that&You can always respect a stand up Cat.very interesting reading&Details.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Latest Sinatra Book is a Winner
This new book on Sinatra is a great read and most people reading the book will find it difficult to put the book down. It deserves to be a best seller. In short, it is a highly entertaining page turner with many photographs that show Sinatra at most stages of his life, and has an excellent free flowing writing style like a magazine article. Furthermore, the authors did a good job and it eclipses prior books - it is a substantial book about 590 pages long with 200 pages of notes.

Most people, especilally older ones, know the Frank Sinatra success story. The present book gives the rest of the story, the not so pleasant but possibly more fascinating hidden side of the Sinatra story - what was going on behind the scenes. Since many parts will be controversial, the authors have been very cautious and very conservative with the details of their story. In any case, I suspect it is probably close to 100% correct - that is my guess. Out of the total of about 590 pages, the authors have an impressive 200 pages dedicated to backing up the facts of their story including many sources, references, public information, etc. and they give much detail on where they got all their information. Fortunately for the reader, all those 200 pages of notes are neatly placed at the back of the book, and the text itself, just under 400 pages, is a free flowing and easy read with many photographs.

The story starts with the family immigration from Italy to America, and then continues with his youth and his parents living in Hoboken, NJ, right across the river from New York city. It is one of a number of New Jersey ocean port towns in the area that had strong mob ties- and Hoboken was made famous by the 1954 Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront. The story continues through his start as a singer, his breaks in show business, the movies, his wives including first wife Nancy and their children then on to Ava Gardner and the other marriages. Ava Gardner was an obsession that lasted until her death according to the book. Then it is on to the numerous girlfriends including Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall. The authors take us through the criminal charges for assault on a reporter, assault against a 20 years old actress, the days in Las Vegas, his connections with Marilyn Monroe, his numerous contacts with politicians including the Kennedy family and more.

The reason that some will not like this book is that some of the details are not pretty, and they are linked to organized crime. This can be traced to Sinatra's father who comes from the same small town in Sicily as some of the most famous mob leaders of his time; the mob link was previously widely known and it is not new to this present book. Frank had ongoing and continuous contacts with these people as did his father. His parents ran an illegal bar during prohibition using mob supplied liquor, supplied by their Sicilian connections.

It is claimed that he got his singing start with these connections, and later in his career he got his part in the movie From Here to Eternity, in a style similar to that depicted in the Godfather movie, i.e.: serious and credible death threats aimed at the movie producers if they failed to hire Sinatra. However, once he became famous he continued a strong interaction with many mob figures including Sam Giancana in Chicago. According to the book, Sam Giancana was not an isolated incident - there were many. One or a few incidents like Giancana might have been considered an error of judgement, but the authors detail perhaps dozens of other crime figures, many with photographs and notes and other information. They even claim that Sinatra transported cash for the mob. Sinatra would deny all of this in public, even years later after many of the other people were dead, but there are too many references to come to any conclusion other than what is described in the book.

The other not so pretty part of the story involves his famous temper, impatience, and similar behaviour with women and associates, and even beating a reporter. With his fame and success came sex appeal and power. He was diverted from his first marriage to Nancy by many women including Ava Gardner and others, many being the most famous and most beautiful of the day, and sometimes many decades younger than himself such as Mia Farrow. But he was unable to maintain the relationships and marriages, due largely to his temper, his expectations, and his manner or life style.

This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the book. It is similar to some prior biographies on Sinatra but refined and expanded. It has a lot of back up material and an excellent collection of photographs. My opinion of him did not change from reading the book. I already new he was a fairly independent and strong headed guy who did things his own way oblivious to the social norms - as per his song "My Way". Maybe this tough guy connection percolated through to his public image and that is one reason why he was famous?

Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Sinatra So Far
We have had the records. We have the CDs and Videos.And finally we have THE BOOK! The most carefully researched and factually presented document on Sinatra the man. It tells the complete story, for the first time, of the twentieth century legend who thrilled us with his wonderful gift of story telling in music. It is simply the best book on Sinatra so far.

2-0 out of 5 stars Whose "Life" Is It Anyway
Frank Sinatra is generally regarded as the finest popular singer of his time so it seems logical that any book entitled "Sinatra-The Life" would have to take off from the music.

Without the music there would be no "Mob", no starlets, no movie roles,no bodyguards...none of the egocentric trivia the Sinatra biographers generally like to focus on.

Kitty Kelley in her 1986 hatchet job spent so little time on Sinatra's artistry one would be hard put to realize she was writing about a musician.

Anthony Summers and Robin Swann, authors of "Sinatra The Life" are not quite as mean spirited in their tone as Kelley was, but they spend so much time dwelling in the gutter, it's almost as if it was an inconvenience for them to touch upon the music (some of which they get wrong--there was no "recitation" on the "Watertown" album

Summers and Swan devote a huge portion of the book trying to finally cement Sinatra's connection to the Mob....

Does anyone really care at this point if the "Mob" helped get Sinatra the role of Private Maggio?....did the "Mob" give Sinatra's terrific Oscar winning performance--did the "Mob" record a body of musical work that remains unparalled in the history of American popular culture?Did the "Mob" make worldwide standards out of obscure showtunes such as "Lady Is A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin?"...Is the "Mob" responsible for the fact that millions can date the events of their lives by what Sinatra album was in release at the time.

An artist of Sinatra's stature and longevity deserves at least the same sort of 2 volume treatment that Elvis received from the excellent Peter Guralnick.

Suffice it to say that amazingly enough the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra has yet to be written...

"Sinatra-The Life" ain't it........................

... Read more

6. Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham (Walker Large Print Books)
by Billy Graham, William Franklin Graham
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802727212
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 268576
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Journey
The most prolific evangelist in Christian history, a pastor to the Presidents, and a Christian man of integrity -- this is Billy Graham. Or, at least that is how most people see him. Here we have the story of his life, from his simple farm-boy beginnings, through his tent revival conversion, his college days and marriage to Ruth, his early fiery and outspoken preaching days, his years of global ministry and maturity, and ending today, as a respected man of God by virtually everyone in the world.

The story is told with an easy-going pace and reading it you have to smile at Graham's style, which is honest, humorous, and very... normal. It's really amazing to see how God took this average fellow and used him in such amazing ways. This book is also a treasury for any other pastor, evangelist, or other person who wishes to live a life of integrity. Graham relates a wealth of wisdom gained from experience that the church would be wise to remember. We would all do well to remember Billy, and to honor his legacy by remembering his life and everything that he stood for. Just As I Am is an autobiographical masterpiece from a man I deeply respect.

5-0 out of 5 stars America's Preacher Finally Tells His Story
I've been a big fan of Dr. Billy Graham for many years. I used to love watching his crusades on t.v. back when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's. His preaching always fascinated me. It's funny though, I didn't get saved until 1992! But I certainly can't blame Dr. Graham for that. He planted the seed in my life, and did so repeatedly.
My mother gave me this book as a Christmas gift in December of 1998, during my last year in college. I finished reading it at work before my college went back to school for the spring semester. In fact, I was so fascinated by his story that I couldn't put it down. I had the entire book read in about 6 days! That's my personal record for a book this long! This book really is that great!
He covers his entire life, from growing up in western North Carolina up until this book was published. He leaves no stone unturned. You'll read about how he got saved, hearing God's call into the ministry, and his days in Bible college in Florida. You'll also read of his humble beginnings as a church pastor, his becoming the first Youth For Christ evangelist(yes, they used to have them), and how his ministry took off from there. He also tells of the many famous people he's met over the years, from popes and cardinals to presidents, actors, and others. And if you love autobiographies as much as I do, you might eventually feel as if you're walking in his shoes with them. His story is really that powerful.
At the time I read this, I had just accepted God's call into the ministry. This book help me cement that call and reafirm it, too. After I finished reading it, I knew for certain there was a call on my life. My regret is that I didn't answer God's call to the ministry when I first heard it, as Dr. Graham did.
If you're an evangelist, missionary, pastor, asst. pastor, youth pastor, elder, deacon, or anyone else involved in Christian leadership, you should read this book. If you think God calling you into full-time ministry or some other type of Christian leadership, this book is for you, too.
Dr. Billy Graham, thanks for your many years of faithful service to the Lord. You have been a good example to me and others Christians as well. God bless you, sir!

5-0 out of 5 stars To God Be The Glory!
Billy Graham is an amazing man of God. He fulfilled God's calling, and finished the race marked out for him for over 50 years.
In this phenomenal autobiography, Just As I am; Billy Graham presents us with a detailed, introspective and humorous account of his life and his various encounters with people of high positions. Whether its Kim Il Sung, Muhammad Ali or the many others mentioned; it simply shows how great God is and the amount of influence that he can give to one man was chosen by God.
His ministeries/Crusades are not only inspiring, but mindblowing that leaves your jawdropping after you have read about all of it. I remember shaking my head and smiling in amazement as I read about the number of people who received Christ, and simply the massiveness of the audiences he preached to. I mean, come on. We all have to admit that it is simply God's divine will that one man could speak to 1 million Koreans at once,or to an eager 250 000 crowd in Central Park. In addition, Billy Graham's TV appearances, Newspaper interviews, and Evangilistical Association speaks volumes on his favor and access to the spheres of Media influence.
To onclude, this biography can only spur us on in our life for God. After reading this, I just have this passion to reach out to others and preach the gospel as much as I can. If you are a Christian who lacks that zeal and passion for Christ,then, I hope this would ultimately spur you on to reach greater heights for God.
God can use anyone, and that means that God can use you!

"The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Matthew 9:37-38

2-0 out of 5 stars Where is the struggle?
First, let me say that I am an evangelical pastor who has the greatest respect for Billy Graham. I believe he has done more to further the gospel message in America than any single evangelist of our time. Second, it seems that my review will be in the minority as it seems to have been given 5 stars by everyone else who has read it.

With that said, I eagerly opened this book hoping for insight into his life. How he dealt with struggles. How he dealt with marriage and travel in the midst of his extensive ministry. What I got instead was an itenerary of his travels and very few insights into the difficult decisions that must have been made in his life. There is a great deal of humility within these pages, but very little vulnerability.

While I respect this man as much as any Christian that has lived in my lifetime, I found this book hollow.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great. But there is one thing...
This book was a great account of a great man. Billy Graham is undoubtedly the most well known Christian of the 20th century. This fact alone gave me a reason to read the book. The book was well written, and follows Billy's life geographically rather than chronologically. This sometimes makes his life hard to follow, but overall the book flows nicely.

Let me just point out several observations I had from the book. FIRST, Billy Graham is truly a humble man. He is constantly giving the credit to God. SECOND- Billy Graham has had an incredible impact on the entire world. He has been a close friend to several US Presidents, and he has had conversations with dozens of world leaders. He has also held evangelistic meetings in many countries in the world. His life has not only impacted the world spiritually (which is the most important impact). But his life has also impacted the political and social realm of the globe. THIRD- Billy is very accepting when it comes to theology. On page 251 he writes, "If a man accepts the deity of Christ and is living for Christ to the best of his knowledge, I intend to have fellowship with him in Christ." Personally, I would not take such an accommodating stance. Based on Galatians 1, I believe that those who distort the GOSPEL are unworthy of true Christian Fellowship. I think that Billy has been too accepting of 'Christian' sects and religions because he has not adapted the attitude of Paul in Galatians 1.

Though Billy and I might disagree on this one point- I do not doubt that God has used him tremendously. I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in reading about the most influential Christian person in the 20th century. ... Read more

7. It Doesn't Take a Hero : Large Print Editon (Bantam/Doubleday/Delacorte Press Large Print Collection)
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385425848
Catlog: Book (1992-12-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 315515
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars A true, honest-to-God American hero...this book's a keeper.
One of the things that stood out, and something most probably don't know about Gen. Schwarzkopf, is what a truly interesting life he had. Living all over the world, he absorbed a lot of the culture which certainly helped him later in life, and especially during the Gulf War.

Having been in the military, I was struck at his absolute love and admiration he had for the "grunts" in the field. He loved every one of them....something you don't often see much of.

I lent my copy of this book to my father to read, and have never gotten it back. I only wish I could have gotten a hardcover copy when it first came out. Go ahead...spend the money and read a book which is truly worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive biography of the general.
H. Norman Schwarkopf provides us with a detailed look at his professional life in this fine book. Schwarzkopf describes his life from his formative years through his entire military career. This look allows the reader to see how his outlook on military operations and strategy developed and how he put forth in action his military philosophy during Desert Storm.

Schwarzkopf candidly reviews the performance of his army and it's officers during the conflict with Iraq. This assessment has got him into hot water with the U.S. military establishment, but for the reader it delivers an outstanding behind the scene look at the operation.

My only complaint about the book is it's editing. Many of the stories, while providing a personal glimpse of Schwarzkopf, could have been omitted and the book still would have had the same effect. But overall, this is an outstanding read and given the current events of 2003, almost a must read for people who want to understand the current conflict with Iraq.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read, filled with adventure...
This is a great book written like a novel. Norm takes us with him, we feel like we are there reliving his life events. We also get to see the softer side of Stormin Normin, as he nearly punches out a MP in Vietnam who was less than respectful of an asian college. Softer, you ask? Read the rest of the book to see what he gets like when mad. I also liked the part of the book where Norm was talking about the problem with the NVA attacking, then running across the Cambodia border so the USA Army could not attack. One day Norms platoon is attacked and the NVA runs away, so Norm calls another soilder and asks for the map. The other soilder points to Cambodia and says "they crossed the border". Norm takes the map, licks his thumb, and proceeds to erase/smudge the part of the map that shows the border. Norm then says "Nah, they are still in Vietnam, lets go get em".

Just be warned, after reading this book you might feel like going to the local Army recruiting station. It is a great book!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very readable military autobiography
The book begins with a young Norman Schwarzkopf. As with many autobiographies, there is not a vast amount of childhood memories, but here, enough memories are included to show the influence on a soldier.

From his childhood, Schwarzkopf lived a military life. With all the skills and languages he learned, as well as the cultures he experienced, the reader sees how all these were put to good use in the many duties and functions he has carried out for the United States.

His tale not only covers the events of his life, but the reader also sees how the Army has changed since Vietnam. His perspective provides us with a bit of insight that all non-soldiers should see. Although he uses some military terminology, this book is very easy to understand.

What really struck me was that he left out the names of many people he really disagreed with to prevent attacking them personally. He does mention names when he is giving praise. This, I feel, added a lot of class to my image of the general.

As expected, quite a bit of this book covers the Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations. Also, the book ends rather abruptly after the operations were over.

I would recommend reading this book, and I thank him for sharing this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A soldiers story...
"It doesn't take a Hero" is the remarkable story of a remarkable man, the title of which comes from a quote Schwarzkopf gave during an interview with Barbara Walters in 1991; "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."

Schwarzkopf's story is very different from his compatriot, the now Secretary of State, Colin Powell. The two men are of completely different temperaments, and their tales are told in ways that reflect their personalities. Powell's book is rather dry, with the occasional flash of self-depreciatory humor... and you get the feeling that this was included on the advice of his co-author!

"It doesn't take a Hero" is full of blunt, sometimes brutal, soldiers wit; one of the funniest examples concerns a Sergeant who swore relentlessly, and had to tell his assembled troops that they were now being commanded by a Colonel - not Schwarzkopf by the way - who didn't take to profanity in any way, shape, or form. The sergeant lined them up, and cursing with practically every other word, told them to cut out the ... swearing or else! Although this may look terribly contrived, when you read the book, you simply know that it happened, just the way Schwarzkopf says it did.

When you read Powell's story you respect him for what he achieved, mainly his rise from immensely humble origins to high political office, but when you read Schwarzkopf's, you can't help but like the man, warts and all.

As well as the brutal humor, Schwarzkopf is also brutally honest about his home life. He came from a well-to-do middle class family, his father was a West Point graduate, who later led the hunt for the Lindbergh kidnappers, and served President Roosevelt on a special assignment in Iran between the Great Wars. They lived in the best house in their town, and even employed a maid, but there was a dark family secret... his mother's alcoholism. The hurt and the pain this caused himself, his father and sisters, is dealt with openly and honestly, and you cannot help but feel that the inclusion of this was a very difficult decision for him to make.

The part of the book that deals with his duties in Vietnam is very well written, and like Powell, he also rails against the stupidity and arrogance of the politicians and 'Brass' who ordered young men to lay down their lives in that far away land for no good reason. And like Powell, he became equally convinced that he had to do something to change the army from within; it was either that or resign. In that respect he and Powell were remarkably similar in their thoughts and actions.

But far and away the most interesting part of the book is his telling of the Gulf War, Desert Storm. It is probably true to say that without "Stormin'" Norman, there wouldn't have been a, successful, Gulf War. His experiences in the Middle East as a young man, he lived with his father when he was posted to Iran, gave him a unique insight into the Arab world that served him personally, and the coalition as a whole, very well indeed.

He was able to play on the links his father had with Arab Royalty, and then forged his own links with the current Saudi Royal Family, working with Crown Princes on a first name basis to get things done, everything from releasing endless millions of dollars in payments to the US - what is the daily rental on an aircraft carrier?! - to arranging for "tent cities" to be erected to shield the incoming troops from the scorching desert sun.

But for me, the most interesting aspect of the Gulf War section was the politics of the coalition, especially in the Arab world, something that was almost completely missing in Colin Powell's telling. In this crucial, although mostly unknown area of the War, Schwarzkopf's experiences in the Middle East were invaluable. Middle Eastern politics are a lethal mine field at the best of times - us Brits have had our fingers burnt on more than one occasion over the years! - and pouring hundreds of thousands of free thinking, free drinking, Western troops of endless religious and moral persuasions into the autocracy that is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, should have been a recipe for utter disaster!

Schwarzkopf's deft handling of the endless 'difficulties' involving religious services, the consumption of alcohol, the reading of magazines of dubious 'artistic' merit, even the receiving of Christmas cards and the erection of Christmas decorations, were handled with a skill and subtlety that one would not have thought a mere 'soldier' possible. And then of course there was the Israeli question. The one thing above all else that would have blown the coalition apart would have been Israel attacking Iraq in retaliation for the Scuds that fell on Israeli territory. Although much of the efforts to keep Israel out of the action were handled direct from Washington, Schwarzkopf's handling of the Saudi's in particular, on the ground as it were, was masterful.

"It doesn't take a Hero" is a fascinating tale, a real inspiration, it shows what one man can achieve through clear thinking, a positive attitude, boundless enthusiasm, and a profound love, not only of his own country, but of mankind. I would recommend it highly. ... Read more

8. His Excellency : George Washington (Random House Large Print)
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037543190X
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 2226
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9. Madam Secretary (Random House Large Print)
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375432159
Catlog: Book (2003-09-09)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 189492
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (41)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--- Reviewed by Robert Finn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. All Over but the Shoutin' (Random House Large Print)
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679774424
Catlog: Book (1997-08-26)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 594689
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A haunting memoir about growing up dirt-poor in the Alabama hills -- and about moving on but never really being able to leave.

The extraordinary gifts for evocation and insight and the stunning talent for storytelling that earned Rick Bragg a Pulitzer Prize are here brought to bear on the wrenching story of his own family's life. It is the story of a war-haunted, hard-drinking father and a strong-willed, loving mother who struggled to protect her sons from the effects of poverty and ignorance that constricted her own life. It is the story of the life that Bragg was able to carve out for himself on the strength of his mother's encouragement and belief. And it is the story of his attempts to both atone for and avenge the mistakes and cruelties of his past.

All Over but the Shoutin' is a gripping account of people struggling to make sense and solidity of life's capricious promises. A classic piece of American literature, it is made vividly, movingly particular by Rick Bragg's searching vision, generous humor, and richly nuanced voice. ... Read more

Reviews (253)

5-0 out of 5 stars Midwest Book Review
Rick Bragg understands poverty. He knows intimately the taste and smell of being dirt poor, has experienced the chill that settles deep into a person's marrow. When it comes to the haves and have nots of life, he's walked both sides of that line and knows first hand the strengths and weaknesses of both. He witnessed from an early age the deprivation that can drive both the strong and weak to violence and desperation. And he by God knows determined courage when he see's it because he grew to manhood watching true fortitude in action. In this book, courage and cowardice, violence and devotion, poverty and triumph are found in equal measure.

Bragg's mother was a pretty southern girl who married young. When her husband went away to war in Korea, she waited loyally for his return. The young man who loved music and laughter did not return to her from Korea. In his place, she got an irresponsible alcoholic given to drunken rages and abuse who abandoned his growing family with regularity, leaving them to scrounge their way without him. To feed her three sons, the author's mother worked long hours picking cotton and ironing the clothes of those who could afford such luxury. Much of this memoir is a testament to his mother's strength, as well it should be. The people and places he decribes are also memorable, whether Bragg speaks of them with bitterness or pride. And he cuts himself very little slack in the telling.

Whether sharing memories of Alabama, Africa, or Afghanistan, Rick Bragg sees life with his heart's eye, and documents prosaically his visions. He writes of times and places few of us have seen, and does it with compassion. All Over But the Shoutin' is a gift to those of us who love to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Rick Bragg
Rick Bragg describes his journey of life through a collection of childhood memories. His writing releases his emotions that should be captured by all. This book is a wonderful novel for those who havedealt with a troubled childhood.
"When God Blinks" is a great chapter due to his southern home style of life. He gives full detail in the house on the hill. you can close your eyes,and see exactly what he describes.
Bragg's weakness of this novel would be the age of the audience.This novel is suited for an "older" generation or an open minded person willing to read about a southern broken family.
I would recomend this novel to people who are eager to learn about southern living in the 1970's. People from broken homes or people raised by a single parent could grasp a hold of this novel and recollect on their memories.

4-0 out of 5 stars just another good read
All Over but the Shoutin' is a memoir written by Rick Bragg. He wrote it in honor of his mother who had a great presence in his life. The book starts early in his life, when he was still just a toe-headed little boy. He grew up in poverty with his mom and two other bothers in a box house just barely big enough to live decently in. He didn't remember much of his father except for how every now and then he'd get drunk and beat his mother. Rick had a blessed life in a sense. He survived a car crash that should have killed him, he came close to death in riots, became a famous journalist for the New York Times and he even won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
I'll admit, I first choose this book by its cover. The pictures on the front for some reason told me it was going to be a good book. Little did I know the author had won the Pulitzer Prize and was a writer for the New York Times. I thought the book was great. The author did a good job of honoring his mother for all that she had helped him achieved, even if it was in small ways. I also liked the fact that the author had a lot of respect for the way he grew up. He didn't think his childhood was horrible because he grew up poor.
There was nothing I really didn't like about the book. I think Rick has had quite an extraordinary life, better then most people. The book was good and I would recommend it if you want a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A reader from Nebraska
I checked this book out of my local library, and was gald I did.

Rick Bragg's mother reminded me of my own. Another rviewer said Mrs. Bragg should have gotten a job. The lady already picked cotton from daylight til dark, then took in ironing which she worked at half the night. Rick Bragg's family lived in a different time, when southern poverty was far worse than it is today. Picking cotton and ironing are not jobs for the faint of heart. Bragg made it quite clear in his book how hard his mother worked at horrible jobs to make a life for her children. She was the glue that held this book together and gave it a shine. If you love your mother, love or have a certain curiosity about the south, you need to read this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars Grossly overrated
I do not get it. He writes an ode to his mama, who, it seems to me, could have made all their lives a lot easier if she had just gotten a job. ... Read more

11. Tuesdays With Morrie (Wheeler Large Print Book Series (Cloth))
by Mitch Albom
list price: $28.95
our price: $28.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156895557X
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Wheeler Publishing
Sales Rank: 108496
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague.Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder.Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance.He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life.Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college.Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world. ... Read more

Reviews (1628)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tuesday's With Morrie
This year for my seventh grade Language Arts class, we were supposed to choose a book and then critique it. I chose Tuesdays With Morrie after selecting it from a dusty bookshelf in my brother's room. Personally, I loved the book; it had a deeper meaning of life that i had never considered before. Some of my favorite quotes from the book have stuck with me like the one, "Love eachother or perish," The book is about a former college student, and his favorite professor. It all begins sixteen years after graduation when Mitch Albom finds himself watching his beloved college instructor on Nightling with Ted Koppel. Morrie has become a victum of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, leaving his body withered and sagging. Mitch visits Morrie one day and what starts as a reunion of old friends turns into the project of a lifetime. Now, I don't want to spoil anything, but the lessons that Morrie teaches to Mitch on their Tuesdays together will stay with him all of his life. I would recommend this book to anyone. If you are looking for enlightenment, deep thinking, and a true story, you've come to the right book. On a scale from one to ten, i would give Tuesdays With Morrie a nine and a half.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Tuesdays with Morrie is definitely one of the best books that I've ever read. Once I picked it up, I couldn't stop until I found myself on the last page. Although the book is very short, nearly every page carries a message. It's purpose is to teach us a lesson; that was Morrie's final goal. He wanted to create this one last thesis with one of his favorite students, Mitch Albom, that would give people insight into how to live their lives and what it feels like to die. In this book, not only do we learn from Morrie (who died from ALS) how to live life to the fullest, but we learn from Mitch's mistakes as well. All too often we get caught up in our fast paced culture that we forget to stop and look around and actually enjoy things.

Mitch Albom uses a unique approach to get his old professor's message out. When I was reading this, I couldn't help but feel like Morrie was speaking right to me. The book could relate to anyone; it covers so many topics from love and life to death and trying to live even when death is knocking on the door.

I highly recommend reading Tuesdays with Morrie. You can't help but love Morrie by the end of the book, and like me, you might even tear up at the end a little.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
<br /> Beautiful and touching, inspirational and rich. A book that not only teaches but makes you feel. <br /> Also recommended: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs,The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

4-0 out of 5 stars Have A Tissue Ready
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is beautifully written. It is also an easily read and understandable. The fact that it's a true story makes it even more touching. So have some tissue ready :) . Morrie was a real person. He helped so many people during his life, and now, because of Mitch, he will touch many more after death. I strongly recommend reading this book if you are afraid of death.

There is also another book here on Amazon I have found that I highly recommend on life after death, or between death that has given me a lot to think about. It is called The book of Thomas by Daniel Aber and Gabreael. In their book everything from the suicide, the different levels of heaven, reincarnation, and so on is covered also in an easily read format

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm Embarrassed I Read This
My younger brother had this on his summer reading list and I noticed it on his desk. Seeing it was pretty short I sat down and read it. I think the fact that my high school's English department recommended it should have been warning enough to avoid this book. In all seriousness, this is the worst book I have read in a LONG time.
Even calling it a book is slightly misleading, because that usually implies some sort of literary value. It's about as literary as Life's Little Instruction Book, but far less insightful. Albom writes at about a 2nd grade reading level, in a ridiciulously simple shallow way rather than a Hemingwayesque style. Even more ridiculous is his constant use of immature, sentimental little gimmicks that I guess the Oprah-watching soccer moms giving this book a good review would call "touching and heartfelt". For example:
"He waited while I absorbed it.
A Teacher to the Last.
"Good?" he said.
Yes, I said. Very good.

I would write something like that and be satisified with it when I was probably a freshman, and I really don't consider myself to be a talented writer. The whole Tuesday motif was also along those lines. Even more annoying was I lost count of the epiphanies Mitch has by about the 11th page. Highlight how many times he "suddenly realizes something about life". Don't be materialistic? Love other people? Is this really that breakthrough? I think Jesus said that about 2000 years ago, and most people agree he wasn't even that revolutionary(in moral philosophy that is.) Look at some of his other ridiculous "aphorisms":
Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
Learn to forgive yourself and forgive others.

If I really felt like it, I could probably spew out about four thousand of those obvious, self-righteous statements in about 5 minutes.
I also don't even see how Morrie was such a hero. In one scene, they tried to convince you that he was some hero for turning down some medicine that wouldn't have helped and, more importantly, wasn't even available. Wow. Not to mention, it's pretty easy to be so courageous about death when you have an amazing family supporting you. I wonder if he was half his age, alone with nobody to help him except some indifferent inner city hospital nurse if he would face death with such resilience and wit.
What annoys me the most is how they planned writing this book before Morrie even died. Sounds like he just wanted to pay some bills. I mean, if they are planning to write a book about all these great moments Mitch realizes, of course he's going to have them(or pretend to) because he has to write a book about it! Furthermore, it's pretty arrogant that Morrie to think that he had some great noble truths to spread.
This book has several more blatant flaws, but this review has a maxium word limit. So, I'll say if you like reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, and other empowering self-help books that like to constantly re-emphasize the obvious for $20, go ahead and buy this. If you are looking for an actual good book by someone who actually knows how to write, don't waste your time or the 40 minutes it takes to read this. ... Read more

12. Babyhood
by Paul Reiser
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380728729
Catlog: Book (1998-08-01)
Publisher: Avon
Sales Rank: 58031
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

I'm going to be totally honest. This is not the kind of book that can help you. It's not a "how-to," "when-to," a "what-to-expect" book. It's not even endorsed by anyone remotely connected to the medical profession. (Although a cousin of mine who sells carpeting to doctors' offices not only found it "insightful" and "informative," but felt that, "if properly vacuumed, it should last a lifetime.")

"A fine endorsement," you say. "But if I have only one book to buy, shouldn't I go for the helpful one?"

Let's compare:
Those "know-it-all" books tell you how to have a happy, healthy pregnancy.
My book mentions a squirrel.
Those books tell you how to care for a newborn child.
My book describes how tired I am.
Those books give you essential information you can use in a life-threatening emergency.
My book has some very amusing anecdotes about poop.

So really, it's up to you. If you want to be prepared and well-informed, I understand. But if you enjoy seeing the words "pterodactyl" and "uterus" in the same book, you've come to the right place.

... Read more

Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest books I've ever read!
Maybe it's because I have 4 "babies" of my own, but I thought this was the funniest book I've read in a very long time. I laughed so hard, numerous times, that I almost cried! Paul Reiser is a gifted comedian and writer. He managed to write a hilarious book that was entertaining and wholesome...a rarity these days.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Funny!
I received this book as a gift when my daughter was just two years old. Throughout the whole book I laughed so hard I cried. Paul puts our real fears as new parents into hilarious perspective. I've since given two copies to other people as gifts and keep going back to read my own again and again. I still laugh out loud every time. Couplehood was also just as funny and definitely a book I could relate to. Why hasn't he written anything else?! If you like to laugh, babyhood and couplehood are THE books to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Funny, indeed... but not as engaging as I expected
I can't say that Paul Reiser's book on babies (making them and having them), "Babyhood", was bad or dull. On the contrary, it was quite funny and packed with thought-provoking comments that make you question some of your irrational behaviors as you're going through the stages of parenthood , both before and after birth. However, I expected a lot more humor from the star and producer of 'Mad About You', arguably one of the best comedy shows ever, along with 'Seinfeld'. On that level, I must recommend as an alternative (a non-stop laughter generator) the book "Being a Dad: The Stuff No One Told Me". I read it shortly before "Babyhood". Though not as deep as this one in some spots, I found it to be a lot funnier than Reiser's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soooo funny, and soooo true!
My sister gave me this book about 2 months after I give birth to my first baby... I was dying for something good to read, spending so many long hours sitting around at home. THIS WAS THE BEST THING THAT I COULD HAVE PICKED UP! I couldn't stop laughing, as I turned the pages. Everything is sooooo true, but that's what makes it all so funny! I love Paul Reiser's frank writing style. I read the book in two short days, and it's the kind of book that you can pick up and finish at any time.

I would recommend giving this to anyone who has just had a baby! It will be the best thing that they'll receive! :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Even the Book Jacket is Funny
Paul Reiser wrote his own blurb on the inside of the book jacket for Parenthood, comparing his book with other parenting books. Other parenting books may tell you how to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, how to care for a newborn, and may give you first aid information you could use in an emergency, he says. In his book, though, you get to read about how tired he is plus there are some entertaining anecdotes about baby waste.

The book itself is painfully funny, perfectly capturing the sleepless nights and bewilderment of new parenthood. In the chapter called "Things to Worry About" Reiser lists all the myriad worries that come along when you bring a new baby home, for example that you could make him wave to someone who doesn't wave back, thus traumatizing him for life. In the chapter "I've Never Been This Tired, Ever" Reiser states that he'd do twenty years of diaper changes if you could guarantee him a solid eight hours of sleep a night for those twenty years. Not only do these phenomena have an effect on you as a parent, but also as a member of a couple, and Reiser perfectly describes the decimation a baby can wreak on a heretofore healthy relationship.

I read this book when my first child was two months old and literally laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks. I re-read it recently now that my oldest is 2 and I have another infant, and I find it just as apt. If you're a parent, don't miss it. ... Read more

13. The Quest for El Cid
by Richard Fletcher
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195069552
Catlog: Book (1991-06-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 212362
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rodrigo Diaz, the legendary warrior-knight of eleventh-century Castile known as El Cid, is remembered today as the Christian hero of the Spanish crusade who waged wars of re-conquest for the triumph of the Cross over the Crescent.He is still honored in Spain as a national hero for liberating the fatherland from the occupying Moors. Yet, as Richard Fletcher shows in this award-winning book, there are many contradictions between eleventh-century reality and the mythology that developed with the passing years.

By placing El Cid in a fresh, historical context, Fletcher shows us an adventurous soldier of fortune who was of a type, one of a number of "cids," or "bosses," who flourished in eleventh-century Spain.But the El Cid of legend--the national hero--was unique in stature even in his lifetime.Before his death El Cid was already celebrated in a poem written in tribute of the conquest of Almeria; posthumously he was immortalized in the great epic Poema de Mio Cid and became the centerpiece for countless other works of literature.When he died in Valencia in 1099, he was ruler of an independent principality he had carved for himself in Eastern Spain.Rather than the zealous Christian leader many believe him to have been, Rodrigo emerges in Fletcher's study as a mercenary equally at home in the feudal kingdoms of northern Spain and the exotic Moorish lands of the south, selling his martial skills to Christian and Muslim alike.Indeed, his very title derives from the Arabic word sayyid meaning "lord" or "master."And as there was little if any sense of Spanish nationhood in the eleventh century, he can hardly be credited for uniting a medieval Spanish nation.

In this ground-breaking inquiry into the life and times of El Cid, Fletcher disentangles fact from myth to create a striking portrait of an extraordinary man, clearly showing how and why legend transformed him into something he was not during his life.A fascinating journey through a turbulent epoch, The Quest for El Cid is filled with the excitement of discovery, and will delight readers interested not only in Spanish history and literature, but those who want to understand how myth can shape our perception of history. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn about 11th Century Spain
This is more a history of 11th Century Christian and Islamic Spain than about El Cid. In fact, Rodrigo Diaz, El Cid, is hardly mentioned in the first 100 pages of the book. It is good history, though, about an era and place that most Americans know little about.

There is a belief that Spain was continually in turmoil - that the Christians and Moors were always fighting each since the beginning of Moorish rule. It is true that there were many tiny kingdoms, and often they were at war with each other. But in the 11th century and before, more often than not the wars were about territory and riches rather than religion.

Rodrigo Diaz was not a scourage of the Muslims, as he is often portrayed. Rather he was as often fighting with the Muslims as against. He also was not the only warrior of his time, there were many. But although this history dispells many of the myths of the man and the place, it is still fascinating reading. My only criticism is that the book may be a little too short. I would have liked to read more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of the Cid and the al-Andalus
Chances are, if you were famous and died a long time ago, Charlton Heston has played you in some epic film. Such is the case with El Cid, the Spanish warlord who successfully played the Christian and Muslim tensions and ended up seizing Valencia for his own. Fletcher's book cuts through the myth to explore who the Cid really was, at the same time offering very intricate portraits of the history and personality of Medieval Spain, at the time the joining of the Christian and Muslim worlds. And it succeeds admirably.

5-0 out of 5 stars El Cid, a mozarabic lord
The understanding of the reign of Alfonso VI of Leon-Castilla is basic to the understanding of the following 1000 years of Iberian History... and this text is very helpful to understand that time.
It is evident that the author has some difficulty in perceiving the social and religious coexistence of Jews, Christians and Muslim... and it is very instructive to see how a Gallo-Romano-Germanic author sees a life that is, basically, Hispano-Romano-Semitic.

4-0 out of 5 stars The facts behind the legend
El Cid was, in Spanish legend, a hero who helped to liberate Spain from the Moors; in fact he was a mercenary warlord who worked for both sides. This brief, scholarly look at his life and times attempts to separate legend from reality. The first half sets the scene by reviewing Iberian politics, religion, and society in the early middle ages; the second recounts the historical events in which El Cid played a role, relying on four near-contemporary sources (which are analyzed in a chapter that divides the two halves). A final chapter discusses when and how the legend arose.

The first half of the book is its strength. It is El Cid's context -- the interaction of peoples and states across the border between Islam and Christianity -- that intrigues, and Fletcher presents an interesting overview. The second half moves nicely through the minutiae of mid-11th-century Spanish politics but demonstrates that most of the few things history (as opposed to legend) knows about El Cid are not terribly interesting.

The book is well-written and should please those interested in its rather narrow subject matter.

2-0 out of 5 stars too dry
Perhaps this would be a good book for a hardcore medieval history buff. The author lays down facts and geographies and genealogies, but all from an observed distance. One never feels what it is like to live in those times or in that style and culture. There was no excitment; no feel for the adventure. Too dry for me. ... Read more

14. Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War
by Bob Greene
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
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Asin: 0060197552
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 460079
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Bob Greene went home to central Ohio to be with his dying father, it set off a chain of events that led him to knowing his dad in a way he never had before--thanks to a quiet man who lived just a few miles away, a man who had changed the history of the world.

Greene's father -- a soldier with an infantry division in World War II--often spoke of seeing the man around town. All but anonymous even in his own city, carefully maintaining his privacy, this man, Greene's father would point out to him, had "won the war." He was Paul Tibbets. At the age of twenty-nine, at the request of his country, Tibbets assembled a secret team of 1,800 American soldiers to carry out the single most violent act in the history of mankind. In 1945 Tibbets piloted a plane--which he called Enola Gay, after his mother -- to the Japanese city of Hiroshima, where he dropped the atomic bomb.

On the morning after the last meal he ever ate with his father, Greene went to meet Tibbets. What developed was an unlikely friendship that allowed Greene to discover things about his father, and his father's generation of soldiers, that he never fully understood before.


is the story of three lives connected by history, proximity, and blood; indeed, it is many stories, intimate and achingly personal as well as deeply historic. In one soldier's memory of a mission that transformed the world -- and in a son's last attempt to grasp his father's ingrained sense of honor and duty -- lies a powerful tribute to the ordinary heroes of an extraordinary time in American life.

What Greene came away with is found history and found poetry -- a profoundly moving work that offers a vividly new perspective on responsibility, empathy, and love. It is an exploration of and response to the concept of duty as it once was and always should be: quiet and from the heart. On every page you can hear the whisper of a generation and its children bidding each other farewell.

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Reviews (54)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Tribute From a Son to His Father
Bob Greene has written a touching and emotion-filled book about two men who influenced the outcome of World War II; his own father and Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay. Greene's father served as an infantry soldier in Italy, while Tibbets was training his men in Wendover, Utah for a mission which would hopefully end the war.

Tibbets and Robert Greene, Sr. lived in the same town in Ohio, but had never met. Bob jr. writes about how his father would speak of Tibbets and call him "the man who won the war". While Bob jr. was back in Ohio to be with his dying father, he drew on his memories of Tibbets. Finally, Bob went to meet Tibbets. What occured was the beginning of an unlikely friendship that spanned a generation and allowed Bob to discover things about his father and his father's generation that he never understood before.

Bob found Tibbets to be a very honest and straight-forward man. There was no nonsense from him; everything was in plain terms. Tibbets talked frequently about his mission to Hiroshima on that fateful day in August, 1945. He said several times that he had no regrets for what he did and he always slept easy at night. Tibbets' stories enabled Bob to see that his father and many other men just like him also played large parts in winning the war. Tibbets never liked the phrase "the man who won the war". He was always quick to give credit to the soldiers as the real heroes, just like Robert sr.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is the several chapters which deal with the trip to Branson, Missouri. Bob, Tibbets, Tom Ferebee (bombardier), and "Dutch" Van Kirk (navigator) took a trip to Branson over Memorial Day weekend and they were treated like conquering heroes by the public. But what impressed me was the candor and openness that these men spoke with. I learned a lot about the Hiroshima mission that I never knew before.

I found this book a little slow at the beginning, but it definitely picks up over the second half. Read this book and learn about the generation of men who won the war.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Generation and Its Children Saying Goodbye
Greene is a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Life and is the SON;FATHER is Bob's father, once a Major in the 91st Infantry Division of WW II -famed for Its role in the Italian campaign; THE MAN WHO WON THE WAR is retired Brig. General Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, the B29 that took the A-bomb to Hiroshima. The father lived in Columbus, Ohio and Bob had grown up there. Father would announce now and then: "That man going(standing)there is Paul Tibbets". Bob contacted Tibbets and they became friends just days before the father died . Not stated, but clear to the reader: Bob is going to be writing articles in the Tribune and, finally, this book. His quest was to understand his father's generation and to find out Paul's feelings about dropping the bomb. Bob learns about the disgust and disappointment his father's generation has for those whose freedom they preserved with such devotion to purpose. The current and older generation have quite different rules for societal conduct and that accounts for a lot of the differences. But in my view the most salient point Paul makes in their many discussions is the one about discipline. To do great things, he said, you must have discipline. We had it. Much of today's society doesn't have it and it shows in so many ways. No, Paul didn't lose any sleep over dropping the bomb. It was an 1,800 man project which he was under orders to organize and lead. Countless men and their relatives wrote him to express their thanks for saving them from a bloody invasion of Japan's home islands. The toughest people for him to make understand were those who would say, "why didn't you just tell them you didn't want to do it." But he did want to do it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book about a hero and a father and how much are alike
A great book about a true hero and other's worthy of the same label. A very easy and engaging read. I highly recommend this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointment .
I have seen Bob Greene on some of the news stories on TV. I like his wit and sentiment. I was prepared for a great book on the great generation that produced his and my father. I was disappointed.
First, the book is disjointed. It goes from sentiment to sentiment, and then reverts back again. In his talks with General Paul Tidbitts, I thought he kept dwelling on the same emotions of a hard military decision. That decision was made long ago, and why keep hammering away at it. Bob, just get over it. The U.S. had to bomb Japan to spare the lives of American soldiers and sailors.
Another problem I have with this book is its lack of history. It tells a little of the history of his father, some of Tidbitts, and then a little on the Doolittle Raiders. Other than that, it is pure sentiment, repeated again and again. For a 300 page book, this could have been cut to 80 pages. I read this book, and it was a disappointment. If one wants to remember the Greatest Generation, read something from Ambrose.

3-0 out of 5 stars decent memoir, bad history book.
I started to read this book and at first, found it interesting. THen gradually, I became aggravated because this is really NOT a history book, but a memoir. If you are looking for information about the war and the man who dropped it, a sample of it is in the book, nothing more. I couldn't finish it. ... Read more

15. The Story of My Father (Random House Large Print)
list price: $24.50
our price: $24.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375431918
Catlog: Book (2003-03-11)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 900434
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the fall of 1988, Sue Miller found herself caring for her father as he slipped into the grasp of Alzheimer's disease. She was, she claims, perhaps the least constitutionally suited of all her siblings to be in the role in which she suddenly found herself, and in The Story of My Father she grapples with the haunting memories of those final months and the larger narrative of her father's life. With compassion, self-scrutiny, and an urgency born of her own yearning to rescue her father's memory from the disorder and oblivion that marked his dying and death, Sue Miller takes us on an intensely personal journey that becomes, by virtue of her enormous gifts of observation, perception, and literary precision, a universal story of fathers and daughters.

James Nichols was a fourth-generation minister, a retired professor from Princeton Theological Seminary. Sue Miller brings her father brilliantly to life in these pages-his religious faith, his endless patience with his children, his gaiety and willingness to delight in the ridiculous, his singular gifts as a listener, and the rituals of church life that stayed with him through his final days. She recalls the bitter irony of watching him, a church historian, wrestle with a disease that inexorably lays waste to notions of time, history, and meaning. She recounts her struggle with doctors, her deep ambivalence about many of her own choices, and the difficulty of finding, continually, the humane and moral response to a disease whose special cruelty it is to dissolve particularities and to diminish, in so many ways, the humanity of those it strikes. She reflects, unforgettably, on the variable nature of memory, the paradox of trying to weave a truthful narrative from the threads of a dissolving life. And she offers stunning insight into her own life as both a daughter and a writer, two roles that swell together here in a poignant meditation on the consolations of storytelling.

With the care, restraint, and consummate skill that define her beloved and best-selling fiction, Sue Miller now gives us a rigorous, compassionate inventory of two lives, in a memoir destined to offer comfort to all sons and daughters struggling-as we all eventually must-to make peace with their fathers and with themselves.
... Read more

Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a complete waste of time...
Maybe it's because I don't have a parent currently struggling with Alzheimer's or maybe because I was listening to the book and not actually reading it, but when the second CD ended, I just couldn't bring myself to put the third one in. I felt almost as if I was caught in the hallway with a coworker who kept droning on and on, oblivious to the fact that I wasn't really listening anymore and had somewhere else I needed to be...20 minutes ago. I listen to books on my commute to fill my time and take my mind off of traffic, but I found myself sighing and not following the story, because quite honestly, in my opinion there isn't much of one. Granted, I didn't give the book a real chance, but after the first two hours, I felt no indication that it was going to get any better. It was almost out of politeness that I brought myself to flip to the third disk, but then I realized no one would ever know that I didn't finish this book unless I told them. So I didn't.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt
Ms. Miller did a wonderful job putting together the story of her father's illness and how it became intertwined with her life. I used to work with Alzheimer's and dementia patients and saw how difficult it was for families, not to mention the person suffering. Many families fall apart because they can not make sense of what is happening to their parent, but it was encouraging to see someone stick by and care for their parent. I think this memoir accurately portrays the slow loss all people involved go through. Its a great book for caretakers and anyone touched by this disease.

4-0 out of 5 stars I am Not the only one...
It was nice to read of Sue's experience, as I am now going down a simalar path with my mother. There were many things she said that are happening in my case and it was indeed good to know I was not alone. I have similar thoughts and feelings and to see the similarities to my mom's case was enlightening. The book will make the next steps easier as I know much more what to expect from the disease and what I can do and to asuage my guilt feelings. Thanks for writing this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Losing a father, finding a self
I have not been so moved by a book since the death of my own father 10 years ago. Sue Miller's memoir of her father's last years with Alzheimer's Disease tells the reader more about her than about her father. Her ability to stay connected to the complexity of feelings she experienced, even when they overwhelmed her and she couldn't articulate them, is astounding. Most moving of all is her father's final gift to her - a much deeper understanding of herself, of him. and of their relationship.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
Sue Miller's excellent work tells the heart wrenching story of an incredibly gifted man who gradually disappeared into the horrible disease that is Alzheimer's. Anyone who has a loved one who is suffering from this disease should read this book. I also recommend Into the Shadows by Dr. Robert F. DeHaan, a psychologist whose wife suffers from Alzheimer's, for those who want to read more. Both books address the loss of a loved one from a spiritual perspective. ... Read more

16. Cary Grant : The Biography (Random House Large Print)
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375434178
Catlog: Book (2004-09-21)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 25826
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17. My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral of Dreams
by Robert H. Schuller
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0066214076
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 686926
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"In 1955, I accepted a call from the Classis of California of theReformed Church in America to establish a church in central Orange County. Certainly thescope off the ministry that resulted is something no one could have predicted from its all-too-humble beginnings." This kind of grand yet understated tone pervades theautobiography of Robert Schuller, My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral ofDreams. Schuller's life began in 1926, "at the dead-end of a dirt road that had no nameand no number." He was the fifth child in a poor, conservative family, and he grew into anearnest young man whose hard work and discipline fueled a rapid rise to success andpower. Schuller's account of his personal life is both idealistic and candid (of his weddingnight, Schuller writes, "The explosion of true joy and unalloyed affection was our reward forhaving waited to offer our virginity, each to the other!"). And his descriptions of his seminaryyears, his early ministries in the Midwest, and his move to California illustrate thedevelopment of his popular "Possibility Thinking" message, which built on the foundationof Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. Schuller's influence on AmericanChristianity has been immense. He has muffled the doctrine of sinfulness in favor of anoptimistic message about joy, success, and possibility. And although the reader may wishat times the author had used fewer exclamation marks and given himself more tocircumspection, My Journey is an engrossing spin on the classic HoratioAlger tale. --Paul Power ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars One ofOur Best Ambassadors
I was introduced to Dr. Schuller's "Hour of Power" in 1983 when my Irish Catholic mother was dying of cancer. As her conditioned worsened, she was unable to get to Church. One Sunday she stumbled onto the "Hour of Power" and found it a source of spiritual nourishment. She quickly became a weekly viewer and told all of her great discovery.

I have watched "The Hour of Power" off and on ever since. I havebeen intrigued with the simplicity of his message and the corresponding expansion of his ministry to Europe, Russia, and now, the Far East.

While Rev. Robert Schuller is unique in modern US Religious History, he is, more importantly, unique as a great US ambassador. Each week, he shows the world the goodness of this country. And though being grounded in Christ's Word, his spiritual outreach is for all faith traditions.

This autobiography, "My Journey," tells his story. While a bit too detailed, and too wordy (515 pages), those that have an interest in this man and his ministry should find it a good read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Warm-hearted book.
I didn't know much about Robert Schuller before I read this (he is a TV preacher who believes in the power of positive thinking), but I really liked his autobiography. It's a good book. I especially liked the retelling of his growing up on a farm, and his and his wife's early days with their "drive-in" church in California.

5-0 out of 5 stars BE INSPIRED!
If Robert Schuller hasn't inspired you yet to think positively and trust in a higher power, this simple story of his life will. If you need proof that God has a plan for each of us, if you've ever questioned your own purpose on earth, if you are stuck in the rut of modern society, read the recollection of the trials and tribulations of the life of this simple, kind man who has done so much for so many. I've been a member of this church for a long time, but reading this story from his birth to the present has given me a new view of the awesome-ness of the mission Dr. Schuller and Arvella Schuller have built. I recommend this not only for viewers or followers of the church or Dr. Schuller, but also for the sceptics. I wonder if reading this man's journey will make you, too, look upon your own purpose and path in a different light. Above all else, I believe this is the motivation Dr. Schuller had for telling his own life story... to renew our own faith in positive thinking, ourselves and our God. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars California Dreamin'
Dr. Schuller has been such an inspiration to me over the years. His sermons and books have encouraged me on numerous occasions. He helps me feed my mind the right substance. I identify with his migration to California from the interior part of the U.S. The way he tells the story is a true inspiration each time I read it. I was in the Crystal Cathedral in 2002 and it was liked standing in my dream. I was there, observing what I had read about and seen on television. In the American mythology, California is still the land of dreams.
Dreams which are given by God are to be pursued, according to Dr. Schuller's teaching. That's logical. His life shows how it's done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
A wonderful book about the life of a man who has touched many. A nicely written Biography. Interesting in details and filled with his special can-do attitude. Buy it. ... Read more

18. Three Weeks with My Brother
by Micah Sparks, Nicholas Sparks
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446500100
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 50983
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As moving as his bestselling works of fiction,Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragic. ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Summer Reading
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Spark's family and about the journey around the world and through childhood of these two brothers. I was deeply touched to be given such insight into the author's life and it made you realize that no matter how good someone's life looks on the outside, you never know really what is going on/has happened behind the smile/tears. This book is different from his others since it was inspired by his own life not someone else's (also enjoyed learning where he came up with the ideas for other characters in previous books)...truly an enjoyable book to read. I loved how he mixed past and present stories with his trip with his brother. Kept it very interesting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Skip the Travelogue, Read the Memoir
If anyone advised Nicholas Sparks to abandon couching his memoir within a travelogue, he should have paid attention. Sparks's thoughts about the wondrous places he visits -- Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Agra, among others -- are silly and shallow. Plus he and his nominal co-author brother proudly portray themselves as buffoons and philistines. You want to slap them both on the back of the head and tell them to at least be quiet if they can't behave.

On the other hand, the bulk of the book, which details the series of tragedies that have overwhelmed the brothers' adult lives -- deaths of parents and a sibling, as well as the rearing of an autistic child -- is sad but compelling, and ultimately encouraging, because it is written from the heart.

I also think another book -- perhaps it will take the form of a novel -- needs to be written about the Sparks' mother. Nicholas professes unblemished love and respect and devotion to the woman, who died tragically at 47, just weeks after his marriage. However, she was a complicated character whose parenting of her three children was often questionable at best. Perhaps additional time is needed for him to examine her -- and his own feelings about her -- more honestly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Full Of Heart
Thats exactly what this book has-Full Of Heart. The brothers go through so much together, life is a challenge, sometimes so unfair but the one thing-the clearest thing spoken is that they have the ultimate gift-Love. Full of heart! Also recommended: Other Memoirs-A Child Called It, Father Joe,Running With Scissors,Nightmares Echo

5-0 out of 5 stars "Three Weeks" is a great read
Like many others who have reviewed this book, I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' previous books. I completely enjoyed reading this book as well. I think some reviewers missed the point of the book, unfortunately. It is not a "travel" book and it is not a "spiritual" book. It is a memoir, an autobiography, of the author and his brother's life experiences. I was drawn into the story on many levels - the familial relationships, the growing up years in Fair Oaks, the heartbreaking traumas endured. I think it is wonderful that Cathy and Christine were in favor of this trip for the brothers. They truly are saints (it's nice to know that both Nick and Micah truly understand that!). It makes me sad to think that Micah and Nick are so far apart (physically), but the book is a beautiful reminder that love knows no bounds. And aren't they lucky to have each other. I don't think they come off as pretentious at all...they're all they've got, it doesn't get more real than that. I think it must be amazing for Nick to look back and realize where he was and where he is now (and that he thanks God for all the blessings). I think writing this book must have been very cathartic for him, at least I would hope it was. And that he can still rely on his faith to carry him through the difficult times...we all have them, even if we aren't best selling authors or successful businessmen. It's interesting that as I read the book, I kept reminding myself that this wasn't one of his novels...this stuff really happened. And though some of the antics that he and his brother did on the three week trip were borderline-out-of-control, it was funny. I could see me and my brother and sisters doing stuff like that! Micah seems to be a good reminder to relax, enjoy life and have fun. I hope that they both benefitted from traveling together and spending quality time together like that...and that there was some healing in the pains suffered after living through so many tragedies...especially for Nick. Micah seems to deal with life and it's ups and downs well enough...I mean, if not going to church and questioning his faith are the worst things that he has endured, then good for him. I think writing the book for Nicholas probably has helped him move forward, which sounds like he is doing. God bless him, his brother and their families. Now I think I need to make a run downtown to get some Zelda's and beer myself! :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
This is a different kind of book but wonderful! Any Sparks fan will love this! You will laugh and cry. Have some tissues nearby and enjoy! Fan for life! ... Read more

19. My America: What My Country Means to Me, by 150 Americans from All Walks of Life
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743240898
Catlog: Book (2002-10-02)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 697034
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Some of these essays are powerful and poetic. Some seem to reflect a stunned condition on the part of the contributor. But all of them share a newborn or reawakened feeling about the country we live in...Some are personal narratives that explain and justify the patriotism of the writer. Some examine and praise the values that make the country great."

-- Hugh Downs, from the Introduction

What is the essence of America? In this fascinating new collection inspired by one of our most trusted and beloved commentators, 150 diverse Americans express in their own words what America means to them.

My America includes candid insights from such well-known personalities as Barbara Walters, former president George Bush, Dave Brubeck, Willard Scott, Helen Thomas, Donald Trump, Phyllis Diller, Mike Wallace, John Glenn, and Patricia Neal, as well as remarks by lesser-known citizens from all over the country. These frank and thought-provoking observations from Americans of every age, race, religion, and social position compellingly illustrate the American mosaic and offer a glimpse into the subconscious mind of this unique and wonderful nation. My America is a timely collection for anyone who wants to reflect on America's past or celebrate its future. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars two stars is being nice.
It wasn't as impactful as I thought it would be.Some of the people that gave comments gave some great comments and others, well, other gave comments.The selection of people was a good cross section but it didn't have meaning to it.I was looking for more in depth commentary.Maybe what I was looking for should have been said between each of the comments in the book.It might have looked like hugh just collected a bunch of email and old letters and thrown them together.

2-0 out of 5 stars My America by Hugh Downs
My America by Hugh Downs

My America by Hugh Downs is a collection of 150 brief, one page or so on the average, comments on 'what America means to me.' Selected by invitation, these individuals express their patriotic feelings with stories or straightforward editorial comments. I have found nothing surprising. If you ask a handful of elite individuals who have already succeeded in their chosen profession in any country, you will find similar outburst of patriotic feelings.

Missing in this book are the views and feelings of ordinary citizens. In my opinion America is a great country for ordinary people-like a man from India who came to this country because he knew this is where even poor people are fat, have television sets in the living room, microwave ovens in the kitchen and cars in the driveway, if not in the garage.

Those who have made in any society will feel good about themselves and the society, but what about those who have not yet made? If Mr. Downs included the voices of another 150 ordinary citizens in his book, the book would have been much better reading.

Of the 150 comments, the one story that touched me most deeply was the one by Pete Hamil, a journalist, an author and a descendant of an Irish immigrant. When he was a boy, he witnessed in the dark of the night his father weeping from physical pain. The stump of his ruined leg was covered with blisters caused by the heat wave. And yet, in the morning, his father went to work in the factory where there were concrete floors but no air-conditioning. He went to work because he was an American allowed to work without being asked about his religion, his family history, or his political beliefs.

He writes, "Some Americans might be stirred into love of country by the sight of B-52 vapor trails. I prefer the image of a young Mexican-American woman in cap and gown, surrounded by weeping parents and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters, walking into an early summer afternoon, clutching a diploma. In that moment, she honors her family. She honors mine too, and all those where a parent once wept in the dark. Above all, she honors America." ... Read more

20. Founding Mothers : The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060533315
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 12232
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cokie Roberts's number one New York Times bestseller, We Are Our Mothers' Daughters, examined the nature of women's roles throughout history and led USA Today to praise her as a "custodian of time-honored values." Her second bestseller, From This Day Forward, written with her husband, Steve Roberts, described American marriages throughout history, including the romance of John and Abigail Adams. Now Roberts returns with Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families -- and their country -- proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. Roberts brings us the women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. While the men went off to war or to Congress, the women managed their businesses, raised their children, provided them with political advice, and made it possible for the men to do what they did. The behind-the-scenes influence of these women -- and their sometimes very public activities -- was intelligent and pervasive.

Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed, and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might never have survived.

Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the drive, determination, creative insight, and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Roberts proves beyond a doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity, and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances and carry on.

... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars NO DOLDRUMS HERE.
One of the problems with history is that it's male orientated. There isn't much about our "founding mothers." Roberts finds most of her information in the letters and diaries of these women. At the age of sixteen, Eliza Lucas (Pinckey) ran her father's three plantations, taught her sisters and slaves lessons and wrote Wills for her neighbors. Ben Franklin's common-law wife ran his print shop and her Sundry shop while he played politics. Pamphlets were the delivery system of the colonial era and it was Mercy Otis Warren, the wife and sister of revolutionaries, who bravely published pamphlets against the British government.

_Founding Mothers_ is a fascinating read/listen. Those who consider history dull will discover this book has enough personal tidbits about our founding mothers to ward off the doldrums. Highly recommended for a personal read or for a school project.

Brenda @ MyShelf.Com

5-0 out of 5 stars It's About Time!
It's about time that a book was written about the extraordinary women who were obscured behind famous men throughout history. In this book Cokie Roberts does an excellent job in telling their much overlooked story and pointing out how important their contributions were to America. If you love history, I highly recommend it! Debbie Farmer, 'Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat'

3-0 out of 5 stars Better in the hands of Doris Goodwin or John Krakauer
The concept of this book is what interested me. I was quite inspired by the women depicted here. Unfortuantely I found the work to be poorly written. I certainly could have done without the personal commentary Cokie threaded through the book. It was as if I was being directed what to think. I "get it" I wanted to scream. The content wasn't all that bad but the book is written for the reader young reader, perhaps of high school age. I would consider it for paperback if at all.

1-0 out of 5 stars For In Style readers who've yet to graduate to People Mag
With Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, Cokie Roberts has provided a service to remedial readers everywhere.
Writing on what appears to be a third grade reading level (which I hope reflects a choice she made and not her own reading comprehension level), Cokie's prodded her usual readers to put down their See Spot Run picture books.
Trudging through page after page of facts from other books (usually better written ones), I kept attempting to think of another writer so committed to a grace-free style.
Used to be that a writer of Cokie's ilk would put out a book (say, Joan Rivers) and no one who read it fooled themselves into thinking it was a great book or helping the nation's literacy levels. We knew it was trash and if we read it, we didn't try to justify it after the fact by praising it as anything other than a "page turner" (high praise for these type of books).
But somewhere along the way we appear to have lost our abilities for critical thought if this repetative, plodding clip-job can be seen as anything other than a hack trying to cash in with as little work as possible. (The American dream? I don't know, we used to take pride in our work.)
I made it to page 70 (and felt I lost several reading levels in the process) before I tossed this book. Couldn't even pass it on because though I do favor recycling, I couldn't in good faith risk inflicting the cellular damage this type of dull, graceless "writing" does to one's brain.
I read the reviews of this hoping to find something I'd missed in the 70 pages I had read, some level on which to appreciate it.
I didn't find any comments like that. Some argue it's "new" information. New to them, perhaps, but that's nothing they should scream from the rooftops. (Has Jay Leno's stupid American skits made people proud of their own ignorance?) I did read a review that cautioned readers not to mistake clip-jobs for books and not to mistake magpies for authors. I applaud that sentiment. It's sound, it's reasoned, it's informed, it's educated.
But clearly there's a market for this book. I've reflected on the seventy pages read for half an hour now trying to figure out whom these people are. Then it hit me, Founding Mothers is a "book" for In Style readers who've yet to graduate to People Magazine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough People That Weaker Sex
This book is a tremendous contribution to the historical picture. Suppose you were the wife of an upper-level Colonial Army officer who, during the annual winter pause in fighting, visits the family from November to February, then he goes back off to war and is thus not around to talk to. You, the wife, now have the management of the farm/business, with perhaps 5 children to raise, with the task of planning for the family's escape should the British invade your part of the colonies, and since women were the fighters against outbreaks of deadly infectious agents (smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, etc) you could be called into this action, and, by the way, you are 7 months pregnant. Added to this is the good chance that you could deliver the child in the heat of summer (the year being about 1780) with no electric fans, no air-conditioning, and with 1780's medical knowledge (no knowledge of viruses or bacteria, and no antibiotics). As illustrated by this book, this routinely was the situation of our Founding Mothers. And of course there is more. (By the way, window screens will not be invented for 100 years, leaving folks with the interesting choice of leaving the windows open and being eaten alive by mosquitoes, or closing the windows and sweltering.) ... Read more

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