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41. Last Train to Paradise: Henry
list($27.95)
42. Julie Andrews: A Life on Stage
$29.95 $4.05
43. Celine Dion: My Story, My Dream
$24.95 $21.02
44. The Sacrifice of Tamar
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45. Woodrow Wilson (Thorndike Press
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46. Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey
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47. I Love You, Ronnie
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48. Amigas: Letters of Friendship
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49. Gift from the Sea : 50th Anniversary
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50. Caddy for Life : The Bruce Edwards
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51. Yanni: In Words (Thorndike Biography)
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52. Sawchuk: The Troubles and Triumphs
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53. Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain
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54. Bringing Down the House: The Inside
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55. The Measure Of A Man : A Spiritual
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56. Monty's Leap (Ulverscroft Large
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57. Diana: Her True Story (Thorndike
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58. Grace and Power : The Private
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59. My Prison Without Bars (Thorndike
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60. By Myself And Then Some (Thorndike

41. Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad That Crossed an Ocean (Thorndike Press Large Print American History Series)
by Les Standiford, Henry Morrison Flagler
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0786249439
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 296872
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler’s dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Standiford brings the full force and fury of 1935’s deadly “Storm of the Century” and its sweeping destruction of “the railroad that crossed an ocean” to terrifying life. Last Train to Paradise celebrates a crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition in a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.

“A dramatic story . . . and Les Standiford has a good deal of fun with it all.” —Washington Post Book World
“A rousing—a deeply sobering—story.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
“A fascinating and incredibly compelling account . . . I could not put it down.” —Donald Trump
“A definitive account of the engineering feat that became known as ‘Flagler’s Folly’. . . A rousing adventure."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars A superficial look at Flagler and the Florida East Coast RR
Last Train is a short book about a big project...one that essentially created the state of Florida as we know it today. The book focuses on the last leg of Flagler's railroad that crossed ocean and swamp to connect Key West with the mainland.

The book seems more like an expanded magazine piece rather than a thorough treatment of this fascinating man and his amazing project.

Yes, buy the book, but don't expect a Steven Ambrose-like treatment of the subject (considering my opinion of Ambrose's writing ability this is faint praise indeed).

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
I loved this book. Standiford is a tremendous storyteller, as good as Sebastian Junger, or David McCullough. The rise and fall of the Key West railroad, which was built over 150 miles of water by tycoon Henry Flagler, is a story I knew little about. Great fun and I learned a tremendous amount as well. One warning--be prepared to go to work a little bleary-eyed tomorrow--you won't be able to put this down until the last hurricane has hit...

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Awesome - Could not put it down
This book shows how fiction can never compare to real life. I only wish there were other non-fiction books by this author.

5-0 out of 5 stars The man who "invented" modern Florida
Ten years ago, when I visited Palm Beach, Florida, I noticed a lot of places named after someone called Flagler. At the time I had no idea who this person was, or why everything in the area seemed focused upon him, but after reading this book, I understand. It's pretty clear that, without Henry Flagler's vision, and money, Florida today might be an entirely different place. This man, almost singlehandedly, changed Florida from a hot, sleepy area into a mecca for tourists. His building of luxury hotels, the Florida East Coast Railway, and later the Key West Expansion, gave us our modern state. This story is extremely interesting, and I found it well-written. It tells something I did not know before, and that's always important to me when I read any non-fiction work. It's a tale of insight, struggle, ultimate success, and subsequent destruction by the forces of an all-powerful natural storm. Men such as Henry Flagler do not walk among us any longer, and perhaps we are all the poorer for that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Go To Key West!
Les Standiford has put together a spell-binding tale of the last of the privately financed infrastructure projects undertaken by the larger than life 19th century businessmen. Here Henry Flagler races against his own mortality to complete a railroad from Jacksonville to Key West, with the final run south from Miami requiring herculean engineering, management, and financial resources. Flager was a partner of John D. Rockefeller in an earlier venture known as Standard Oil who decided in his 70's to pursue a second career in railroading, land development, and luxury hotels in the then desolate country of South Florida and the Keys.

Standiford weaves together Flagler, Rockefeller, their arch-rival trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt, WWI bonus armies, and big-game hunting author Ernest Hemingway. While Rockefeller also owned vacation homes in Florida, he and Flagler ultimately had a parting of the ways, with Rockefeller pointedly not attending Flagler's funeral. Flagler had been an early supporter of Roosevelt in his successful bid for the New York governorship after Roosevelt's success in the brief Spanish American war. Later Roosevelt brought antitrust action against Standard Oil and at least in Flagler's mind was behind government resistance to his plan to build a deep water harbor in Miami. Ironically, the US victory in the Spanish American War, together with confirmed plans to build the Panama Canal, were the motiviation for Flagler's railroad adventures, as Flagler projected, incorrectly as it turned out, that Miami and Key West would grow in stature as ports.

The final thread introduces Hemingway into the mix. The author was already a well-known Key Wester when the hurricane of Labor Day 1935 ravaged the Keys. Although Hemingway's home and his beloved boat Pilar were not seriously damaged, Flagler's railroad was destroyed. A group of WWI bonus army veterans were working on road construction. Many were killed, despite a daring railroad rescue attempt. By 1935, Flager was long dead and the railroad was in bankruptcy. It was never rebuilt, although some bridges are still standing, for the exclusive use of fishermen and birds. ... Read more


42. Julie Andrews: A Life on Stage and Screen (Thorndike Large Print Basic Series)
by Robert Windeler
list price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786212713
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 1385408
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars rawther opiniated, yet still delightful
What's with the cover picture? I mean, I love Victor/Victoria, but Julie is a beautiful woman... why did he choose this picture? Also, there were times in the book where Windeler's personal opinion was a little offensive to me. I suppose that is alright, because he is allowed his opinion, but it seemed to me like he was bashing the movie "Star!", which happens to be one of my favorites. Other than the difference in opinion that occurred occasionally between the reader and the author... this book was a delightful, yet 'real' holiday about Julie Andrews. It's loaded with anecdotes and great accounts of 'The Adventures of Julie and Carol (Burnett)' (as I call them). Over all, this is a good read for the Julie Fanatic, just keep in mind that you don't always have to agree with what this biographer has to say . ;)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Woman of Wonders
This book about Julie Andrews is extremely interesting. Julie has had many inspiring experiences in her life and continues today to have many more. This book explains how she became what she is today. Also, this book tells the reader many interesting facts about Julie Andrews personal life and career.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!
Julie Andrews: A Life on Stage and Screen is a great read and I have to say that I found it rather informative. Aside from a few spelling and grammatical errors, it was a good book. Any serious Julie fan should read this!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sound of Julie Andrews
SLIGHT ERROR on my reivew of Robert Windeler, JULIE ANDREWS, A LIFE ON STAGE AND SCREEN; this review was made on the HARDCOVER versiuon of the book, not the paperback (as stated on my review). Thanks for correcting this slight error ASAP. Sincerely, Robert Corbell

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sound of Julie Andrews
This is the 3rd edition of Mr. Windeler's original 1970 biography on Julie Andrews, and is a very handsomely-produced book. It covers her career from childhood through the Broadway run of VICTOR/VICTORIA in 1995-97. While some fans may disagree with some of Mr. Windeler's opinions, he has done an admirable job of presenting Julie's life and career in an honest and up-front manner. The book contains a generous photo section, with some rare childhood pics as well as many beautiful poses from some of her famous roles - MY FAIR LADY, MARY POPPINS, VICTOR/VICTORIA - to name a few. Apart from a few minor errors and omissions, this is a handsome and well-rounded look at the life of a well-known and beloved star. Highly reccomened for any fan of Broadway or film musicals, as well as the serious Julie Andrews fan. ... Read more


43. Celine Dion: My Story, My Dream (Thorndike Press Large Print Biography Series)
by Celine Dion, Georges-Hebert Germain
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0786232390
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 838721
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The talented and beautiful woman who has moved us with her singing now moves us with her words.

Celine Dion -- My Story, My Dream is an unforgettable true story of courage, perseverance, dedication, and devotion -- told with the wide-eyed honesty of someone who has basked in the glowing adoration of millions of fans but has never lost touch with her working-class roots. Here is a book for anyone who has ever wondered about the real person behind the magnificent voice. Touching and funny, fascinating and uplifting, it is an exquisitely detailed portrait of a remarkable woman who has never backed away from any challenge...even the most daunting challenges of the heart.

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Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but write a sequel!
When she finishes the book, she's finally become pregnant. She wishes it to be a little girl, because she feels that a little boy would be cold to her. She did end up having a little boy. I would like to see how this has worked with her career, her time at Caesar's Palace, and her fathers death. Many of the stories in her book are very touching, but she tends to be on the melodramatic side more times then not. I have to agree with the reviewer who wrote that it was disturbing to read about her ideas of seducing Rene Angelil when she was 14. Rene and Celine have a beautiful love story, but at 14 that would be wrong, and it feels invading to read it. She does come across as a diva in many points, but all of these shortcomings are minor compared to the wonderful story she writes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Woman...
I bought this book as a gift for John - although we are both huge fans of Celine Dion's.Her voice is amazing, but she has a rare quality in her personality that made me buy the book to discover more.I didn't read the book for over a year, but when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.It was extremely well written.

I was so interested to learn of the role that David Foster had in her American recordings.David Foster is a master with talent.He also has introduced the world to Josh Groban.It is my utmost hope that Celine and Josh will do many duets and shows together.It isn't just their voices - it's their personalities.They are both confident, but they are both so unpretentious as well.

I was awed by the strength of Celine and her family.What a unique environment to grow up in!Additionally, Celine seems so honest about her life - both the good and the bad.

I was amazed at the details regarding her husband, Rene. Amazed that Celine had such a love for this man that it triumphed over YEARS when he repeatedly "rejected" her.She was famous and could have had any number of boyfriends, but instead her heart wouldn't allow her to love anyone but Rene. I believe that Rene was MEANT to be with Celine and her family; that he truly didn't begin to live until he met them.Likewise, I think that Celine is everything that she is because of Rene.Not just her voice, but her looks, style, education, etc.

Celine, a "homewrecker?"Give me a break!She was 14 and mesmerized by a cultured, attractive,genius agent who put her first in his life.I don't think that any marriage could have survived when one woman becomes such an obsessionas Rene wanted the whole world to hear Celine.And in all fairness, the marriage had been over for a long time before he finally made love to her at 20.To me it is one of the greatest love stories of our time!!

Rene groomed Celine to become the woman she is.And he is her whole world.What man could resist this?Personally, I think he should feel as though he is the luckiest man in the world to have the love and loyalty of this gifted, funny, and amazing woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Firsthand Account of Celine Dion's Life
"Remember this name because you will never forget this voice." That is the sologan of one of the greatest singers of all time, known all over the globe: Celine Dion. 'Celine Dion, My Story, My Dream' written by Celine Dion herself has the all the information that you've never read in the tabloids, and the truth on the stuff you did. What was Celine Dion doing in a public L.A. hosptal in her bathing suit? how her grandfather died so tragicly, and what is Celine and Renee's secret sign? Plus, Do you know how many shoes does Celine has? (Neither does she. It would take forever to count them, and she is a busy lady). This book has everything from before she went to kindergarten, to when she took her sabbatical in 1999. And what makes this one of the best books written about her? It's because she wrote it herself! This book is great for anyone who loves Celine Dion.

5-0 out of 5 stars -
I feel that anyone who likes Celine Dion, or anyone who has a passion for music (like myself) will enjoy this book. Very well written, I must say that Celine is a very powerful individual and I look at her in a different light after reading this book.

She gets very personal with the readers and goes into great depth about her relationship with Rene. I couldn't put it down and hope that she writes another book, to update us about her life after her son was born.

5-0 out of 5 stars juicy juicy
Although I doubt she actually wrote a word of it - not that she couldn't b/c she is a very eloquent speaker- this book is sooooooooooooooooooooo engrossing.It really tells the intimate details of EVERYTHING about her.If you are truly a fan and you like to read about her, this is one of two books you must read - the other being "Tour de Force" by Georges-H?rbert Germaine. ... Read more


44. The Sacrifice of Tamar
by Naomi Ragen
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1902881745
Catlog: Book (2003-02)
Publisher: Toby Press
Sales Rank: 740775
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tamar Feingold's life is haunted by the painful, yet unspoken memories of her parents time in a Nazi concentration camp. Battling between her feelings and her religion, the secrets of her past threaten to explode and destroy everything she has. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice read, if a bit predictable
This book was loaned to me along with Naomi Ragen's other book, "Sotah." (Which I am currently reading.) The book does give a glimpse into a world seldom ever shared with outsiders, and I found this intriguing. The book certainly "grabs" its readers from the beginning. However, the flashback scenes to the main characters childhoods, even though providing necessary information, was almost a distraction. As well, the flashback takes up a good 1/3 of the book and I felt it might have been better stated at the beginning of the book.

When the book is half finished, it becomes rather predictible. The main character is raped by a black man, has sex with her husband the same night, and give birth to a white child. That would seemingly end the story, yet it continues. This leads the reader to pretty much figure what happens next.

Even with that, I enjoyed the book as a pleasant diversion. (And enough to go ahead and begin "Sotah" as well) 3 stars is lower than I would give this book, but it doesn't quite reach 4 stars, in my opinion. I would truly give it 3 1/2 stars, if that were possible.

I thought the more interesting points in the book were below the surface and how three differing points of view, from three very different women, were demonstrated: from the rebellious Hadassah, to the accepting Tamar, to the reflective Jenny. All three women are strong characters in their own right, and all follow different paths. The relationships between the three and within their own worlds is a fascinating character study.

2-0 out of 5 stars A desilusioning "Ragen"
I am not a complete fan of Naomi Ragen's style of writing, but from "Sotah" and "The Ghost of Hannah Mendes"I learned about a community foreign to me or a historical period. This book was too predictable, I do not like it when after the first chapter I stop being surprised. I thought the characters to be too limited and charicutaristic, the negative use of the "violent black genetic material" enoying.

4-0 out of 5 stars Read Ragen's other books first
Though I gave the book four stars, it is clearly not the book "Sotah" and "Jephte's Daughter" were.There was too much of getting the message across rather than true story-telling in "Sacrifice," and Ragen is usually a superb story-teller.I neither thought the book was racist nor denegrating of Orthodox Judaism, and I feel the readers who "saw" those elements in the book were projecting them because they were only reading the surface.The emotions and opinions of Tamar and the othercharacters are valid as far as what is happening in this particular story.Calling the author a racist is confusing her with her characters.I just wish things hadn't tipped so far into melodrama and polemic.I haven't found Ragen's characters to be such stick figures before; they're usually more three-dimensional.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Sacrifice of Tamar
I read "The Sacrifice of Tamar," by author Naomi Ragen, after reading her first and second novels, "Sotah," and "Jephte's Daughter." Ms. Ragen's voice and style show significant growth with each new book. Her characters and their responses to crises are much more complex, and less predictable in each successive novel.

I found "Sacrifice" a compelling story, set as it is against a cultural backdrop rarely accessible to non-Haredi Jews. However, I was very disappointed with one aspect of "Sacrifice." In it Ms. Ragen positions blackness as an inherently flawed, deficient human condition. And she writes as if this were a universally acknowledged fact.

I have no problem with Ms. Ragen using a black rapist as a plot device; it's certainly plausible that a woman attacked by a black rapist could project her hatred onto all black people. Not admirable, but understandable.

But that, as the story line goes, one's blackness should be sufficient grounds on which to be found repulsive, disgraceful, and utterly lacking in human value ... Well, that's another thing. (...)

I'm reluctant to brand Ms. Ragen a racist -- she has proven herself a champion of justice and human dignity in other arenas -- but the premise of this particular novel is pretty nefarious.

(...)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book dealing with a very dramatic dilemma...
A young Jewish women, newly married to a Rabbi, is raped by a blaack intruder who broke into her sister's apartment, and the same night not only does she hide the fact fromer her husband, she also has sext with him. When she finds out she's pregnant, but is not sure who's the father... She turns to two of her childhood friends to help her out, and eventually decides to keep the baby and the secret, which is kept until her son's wife suddenly has a black child, and she feels she has to finally take the blame, and find out - too late - she could have unburdened herself earlier with no unwanted results... Unlikely as this story seems to be, I think it shows 2 major aspects of American orthodox jews:

1) Their different lifestyles - of more or less observant Jews, with both their positive and negative sides.

2) More implrtant - women's lack f knowledge with anything to do with the most basic rules of their lives, which could cause so much confusion and misunderstandings... ... Read more


45. Woodrow Wilson (Thorndike Press Large Print Biography Series)
by Louis Auchincloss
list price: $28.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786233753
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 229739
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of our most esteemed writers and critics paints a deeply insightful portrait of the greatest political mastermind of a century

Our twenty-eighth president was, says Louis Auchincloss, "the greatest idealist who ever occupied the White House." And who better than Auchincloss, with his penchant for quirky personalities andfascination with fin-de-sicle society, to explore this complex persona?

Woodrow Wilson sheds new light on Wilson's upbringing and career, from the grim determination that enabled him to overcome dyslexia to the skillful dance of isolationism and intervention in World War I to the intransigence that--despite his most cherished vision--caused the Senate's rejection of the League of Nations. Here, from the dynamic figure whose ringing speeches hypnotized vast crowds to the gentle voice reading poetry aloud and the comic star of family skits and charades to the rising academic and president of Princeton who made the giant leap into politics are all the triumphs and final tragic irony of this flawed apostle of world peace.
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Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars A Whitewash
Of all the men who have tried to fill the shoes of Washington and Jefferson, who was the worst? Our current crop of "Hallmarxist" professors consider anyone who would assign Wilson and FDR to the lower depths as deserving a quick commitment with Ezra Pound into loony bin of St. Elizabeth's, and for anyone to hold Lincoln among the worst invites being regarded a simple crank.But Thomas DiLorenzo's _The Real Lincoln_ has finally exposed Old Abe as well worthy of infamy, and Jim Powell's _FDR's Folly_ has corrected the omission of Murray Rothbard's _America's Great Depression_ by exposing FDR as really nothing more than - pardon the pun - Hoover on wheels.

This leaves only Wilson, the man whom Mencken denominated _Doctor Dulciferous_ for his cooing blovations. The lack of a good biography of Wilson that reveals him for what he was - our worst president -or at least a book as good as DiLorenzo's on Lincoln-is not remedied by Louis Auchincloss (hereafter LA).

LA for the first 64 pages gets his facts roughly right and his conclusions quite wrong.For example:
- LA calls Wilson's claims to being a Southerner "factitious".This is putting it mildly: Wilson in his heart was an utter New England barn burner and witch-hunter, oblivious to the positive achievements of Calvinism (Milton, Rembrandt, and the Jansenist Pascal) and a perfect specimen of non-conformism's worst faults: obstinacy, a cocksure belief in one's moral correctness, a deluded sense that he was the agent of the Almighty, and that his opponents were tools of the Devil.
-- Wilson's view of blacks can only be called sheer racist, even in a time when "racist" has become a word of cultural socialist McCarthyism - yet LA offers the lame excuse that everyone else from his background thought the same.
-LA faults Wilson for appointing an Anglophile to the Court of St. James, yet LA's own facts prove Wilson the most Anglophilic of all.He tried to remake Princeton into the image of Oxford and Cambridge.He wanted American government to resemble Westminster, knowing full well that in Britain today the Prime Minister is a dictator, free of any checks.Wilson wanted the same for the President in a manner that would make evena Gaullist blush.Indeed, one of Wilson's many bad legacies is a chief executive out of control.Mencken was right to observe that the US State Dept. was simply an antechamber to the Foreign Office in Whitehall.
- LA mentions Wilson's stokes, one after another it seems, and tries to blame them, wrongly,for his manifold shortcomings.In fact, I have yet to see in print what seems quite possible: That Wilson - and for that matter Theodore Roosevelt - were really unhinged.

Wilson's 2nd worst foreign policy blunder was his treatment of Latin Americas - a treatment inept when it wasn't contemptible.LA tries to make Bryan the fall guy for Wilson's folly, and considers the Villa fiasco as "necessitated".I pray the Mexicans now flooding into the country have short memories.When it comes to economics,LA really shows himself wanting.He considers the Federal Reserve Act a "great success", giving us an "elastic currency", when in fact the fiscal solvency of the US -- relatively sound after Hamilton's schemes were put down and prior to Wilson - has been a shambles ever since.Need proof?Check the inflation monitor at the Commerce Dept website and see what a dollar in 1950 is worth now.And thank Woodrow Wilson.Desperate for something good to say about Wilson's domestic turn at the helm, LA chooses his tariff reduction -only on the same page to state, rightly, that the taxpayer was now to be equally robbed by the new Federal Income Tax (also a Wilson deed), that tariff reform was aborted by the Great War, and that it was repealed in 1922.

LA never mentions Wilson's lasting effect on domestic US politics: Completing the work of Lincoln in the destruction of the Jeffersonian party in the US (I'm grateful to Thomas Dilorenzo and Clyde Wilson for this insight).Prior to Wilson, we had such a party, the Democrat Party - with support for minimal government, subsidiarily, states' rights, low tariffs, originalist construction of the Constitution, Anglophobia, gold standard (at least until Bryan), staying out of European affairs, and a healthy suspicion of banks.Wilson turned this party into a socialist party.In fact, now we really only have the choice between two socialist parties: The Hamiltonian version of the Republicans, and the 100 proof offered by the Dimmycrats.

After page 64, LA offers a complete whitewash.Wilson's utter disaster- still visited upon all of us, and re-uttered in the inaugural addresses of Kennedy I and Bush II - was, or course, his entry into World War I, with all the suffering that this decision caused.LA can only find sympathy for Wilson's views, and wastes a whole chapter of this short book demonizing Lodge. I am reminded by the estimable Clyde Wilson (no relation, certainly!) that Woodrow Wilson was our only Ph. D. president. LA offers nothing better than the socialist and PHuddy-Duddy camorra presiding in our Potemkin universities

So, as we wait for a good biography, anyone who really wants to know the truth of the Old Fool should save his money and buy instead Jim Powell, _Wilson's War_, and Thomas Fleming, _The Illusion of Victory_.

Two stars for being mercifully brief with readable prose.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good overview with some surprising omissions
This is a reasonable brief introduction to the career of Woodrow Wilson. His upbringing and early academic career are disposed of in short order in the first chapter. Then one chapter deals with his presidency of Princeton, one deals with (or covers the same time period as) his governorship of New Jersey, and the remaining seven cover his Presidency, all in an engaging and chatty style.

The book's strongest point is describing what happened, although even here there are some strange omissions. It mentions his break with Hibben in Princeton without describing the circumstances, noting that Hibben went on to succeed Wilson as President of the university, or exploring the parallels with his later breaks with House and Tumulty. All of this could have been covered in a single paragraph. In addition, there is no mention of the country's Caribbean adventures in 1915; none of the Red Scare of 1919; and, probably worst of all, nothing about the Sedition Acts and the imprisonment of Eugene Debs, and no discussion of why America behaved worse towards its own citizens during and after the war than either Britain or France did. The first time the book mentions the League of Nations, it doesn't clearly describe what its purpose was (and it would have been nice if it had mentioned that it was actually the idea of the British Foreign Secretary, not Wilson). Still, as an overview of the events of Wilson's life it hits most of the main points.

The book has less to offer on why things happened. In trying to explain why Colonel Harvey picked Wilson for Governor of New Jersey, it gives two pages on what Harvey got wrong about Wilson, but nothing on what he got right. It also takes at face value the idea that Wilson was offered the governorship "without ... even lifting a hand". It describes Wilson's feeling of betrayal by House when he returned to Paris in March 1919, but not what House had actually done!

As noted by another reviewer, the book also fails to put Wilson's international achievements in a broader context. His aim of a just, lasing peace with Germany failed; his aim of encouraging self-determination among smaller nations succeeded, and he is still looked on as a hero in many smaller nations of Europe. Some more insight and context, and a more detailed assessment of his legacy, would have been welcome.

Woodrow Wilson was a fascinating and controversial President. This book helps explain -- and to an extent shares -- the fascination, but it doesn't do enough to help the reader assess the controversies. Still, it's an reasonable starting point for people who know little about Wilson.

One final comment:I'd also have been interested to know how the author is related to the Gordon Auchincloss who attended the Versailles conference -- it's not that common a name, after all.

2-0 out of 5 stars barely alive
If you don't know much more about Woodrow Wilson than an overview of the important events of his life, this book isn't going to help much. There's very little political analysis, almost no attempt to portray what diffiulties Wilson needed to overcome, and no passion at all in the writing. Actually this book feels a lot like a high school term paper that someone knew they had to write and just wanted to turn in for a passing grade. Auchincloss talks a bit about the two Wilsons (one good one bad) and hints at Wilson's dependance on women, but neither of these positions is fleshed out or used consistently. Maybe Woodrow Wilson's life is just too large for a book this small.

4-0 out of 5 stars The biggest hero of WWI
Washington and Lincoln were the great presidents, though this book points out that "It may be well to remember of our two most revered presidents that Washington fought a war to affirm the doctrine [of self-determination], and Lincoln one to deny it."(p. 95).Having a great president appeals to the kind of people that truly believe it makes so many states worthy of uniting into a single country, though Lincoln, who preserved the Union, might have been a deeper thinker than anyone in the pellucidly placid times in which we ought to live would realize.Hundreds of years later, we should be grateful that we don't have the problems they faced, particularly the wars fought on American soil in their times.Woodrow Wilson is the first (or the first American president after Polk, McKinley, and Teddy Roosevelt) to think that the power of the United States might be so great that fighting a war in other parts of the world could settle the hash of the rest of the world so well that all nations would be forced to see things our way.I'm afraid the book, WOODROW WILSON by Louis Auchincloss, makes it easier to count the ways in which Wilson ended up being wrong, even when he counted up to 14 points, than any history could show how compromising could have helped, on a few important occasions.

Louis Auchincloss seems to be well informed about the leading cultural figures of Wilson's time, and the book contains a number of quotations from people who were paying attention, as well as clear descriptions of the positions of Colonel House, Henry Cabot Lodge, Walter Lippmann, and Edith Bolling Galt or Wilson.There are ten chapters and no index, so it is not easy to look up anything specific, such as who considered Roosevelt Dionysian in making emotional appeals to the people, while "Wilson was the Apollonian, favoring the primacy of reason."(p. 47).Not everyone thought so."Lindley Garrison, his first secretary of war, described him as a man of high ideals but no principles."(pp. 47-48).Wilson had prepared for the presidency by studying and writing, speaking well to crowds and offering policies that people might vote for.He cut tariffs so much, he had to institute the income tax to provide sufficient government revenue, and tariffs went back up after he was no longer in office, but it worked:people could import cheap sugar for a few years.

The medical information in the book is specific.The president had a doctor, and also a wife who protected his health, after September, 1919, in her fear "that any frank revelation of his health might have been fatal to her husband."(pp. 2-3).The anger that overwhelmed Wilson at the end of his life was related to the disability he had suffered, but it seems to relate as well to the intellectual sense of being stymied, after winning his big war, by the big questions, why?, for what?, that retained some religious significance for him, humbled though he had been in so many ways.This book provides more than an outline of Wilson's character.It is a tragedy that could spook the daylights out of anyone who thought some plan had been prepared for the situation that the world faces today, if not sooner.

2-0 out of 5 stars lacks substance and depth
Cecil Spring-Rice, the British ambassador to Washington, described Woodrow Wilson as "a mysterious, a rather Olympian personage and shrouded in darkness from which issue occasional thunderbolts."At least to his contemporaries, the twenty-eighth president may well have been something of an enigma.After all, he did somehow move from a fairly conservative philosophy toward a more activist government, including a reversal on child labor laws.Unfortunately, Auchincloss contributes little to shedding some light on these riddles of Wilson's character and mind-except for the all-important (to Auchincloss, at least) reason for the estrangement between Wilson and his advisor/friend/confidante Colonel Edward M. House, which is attributed to Edith Wilson.

Auchincloss paints a very superficial picture of Wilson, and maybe that's because of the nature of the Penguin Lives series, but there was much that was mentioned in passing and not really mentioned again.For example, Wilson's southern birth and upbringing are given early and justified attention, but the consequences of this southern heritage on Wilson's life and politics are not pursued, even though the question is particularly interesting, relevant, and important for the president's views on race.Wilson's deep Presbyterian faith is given similarly superficial treatment.It did much to create the man's stubbornness and sense of moral rectitude, but how it shaped the specific elements of Wilson's idealism, Auchincloss does not explore.All that emerges is the all-too typical portrait of a man with a "divided" nature.

I did find his discussion of the 1916 election interesting, particularly the contingency plan in the case of a Wilson defeat.In this period of international crisis, had Wilson lost to Charles Evans Hughes, Vice President Marshall and Secretary of State Lansing would have resigned, Hughes would have been named Secretary of State, and Wilson would also have resigned.I had never heard this before and hope to explore the issue further.

Besides an apparent affinity for describing certain remarks as "intemperate," Auchincloss seemed to be fixated on the grandson of Henry Cabot Lodge and on Bill Clinton, both of whom he mentions twice.Lodge's grandson receives considerable scorn for trying to justify his grandfather's behavior (his "hatred" of Wilson and his reading of the Versailles Treaty in the Senate).The Clinton impeachment is mentioned as an example of the people's representatives taking action against the will of a majority, and Clinton's definition of "is" is compared to Lodge's grandson's definition of "hatred."Maybe these are legitimate comparisons (though probably not), but they seemed wholly out of place in this biography.

These Penguin biographies aren't necessarily intended to be the deepest or most insightful of books, but they should at least contain some substance.This one, unfortunately, contains very little that can't be had by reading an American history textbook. ... Read more


46. Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series)
by Jane Goodall, Phillip Berman
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078622343X
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 560865
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans.

Now at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. Reason for Hope is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (37)

2-0 out of 5 stars a place for Jane to dump her old diary entries
Boring and overly senamental.
I couldn't even finish this book because I was so tired of reading exerpts from Jane Goodall's childhood journals.SOme of her poems were cute and amusing, but I couldn't help feeling that I was trapped into reading her old diaries...I can only compare it to being a cordial guest at someone's dinner party and being stuck looking at all their old photo albums...
but...it is Jane Goodall and she has a good heart and message...if you can stand the sentimental quaintness of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
She has such an wonderful way of presenting herself and her ideas. She is the opposite of arrogance!
I like the way this reviewer put it:

"Jane made an amazing and commendable effort to be honest and humble with her readers, sharing her deepest and seemingly most private thoughts, which all have played a part in shaping her life and character. anyone will appreciate this book, be they from a scientific, animal welfare, spiritual or casual background."

She is not boastful, but sticks to her points. Her honesty reminds me of my father's honesty about life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A DIFFERENT APPROACH
When it comes to issues concerning animals and the environment, most people have a hard time staying cool. But from the minute I heard Jane Goodall speak back in my freshman year of college, to the second I finished reading this book, I knew that I?d found a new role model?A gentle, contemplative, and fiercely intelligent role model.

It?s Jane Goodall?s calm, sensitive approach to effecting change that made her life extraordinary, and made Reason for Hope a pleasure to read. In this book she tells a story, woven with memories, lessons learned, and quiet introspection.

From her blissful youth overshadowed by World War II, to her peaceful days in Gombe surrounded by violence, Jane struggled to understand the sharp contrast between her life and those of others. Her compassion was not limited to people?it was amplified by her love of animals and appreciation for nature.

But you?ll never find Jane Goodall protesting on the streets. You?ll never find her raiding animal laboratories in the middle of the night and freeing its prisoners. Instead, you?ll see her chatting quietly with the ?bad guys,? sharing her experiences in such a humble and non-threatening way that they don?t even realize how much it?s changed the way they see things. Jane has the ability to take a step back and analyze her observations logically without losing sight of or being overcome by the emotions that started it all. She writes:

?Real change will come only from within; laws and regulations are useful, but sadly easy to flout. So I keep the anger?which of course I feel?as hidden and controlled as possible. I try to reach gently into their hearts? (p. 270)

This is what makes her unique among most of the scientists and activists we see today.

?Not that her story will resonate with everyone. Even I didn?t identify with some of her religious speculations, or the little poems scattered throughout the book. I was particularly put off by her call for a ?moral society,? driven by her belief that ?We will have to evolve, all of us, from ordinary, everyday human beings?into saints! Ordinary people, like you and me, will have to become saints, or at least mini-saints?? (p. 200). It?s not that I don?t believe it?s possible?I just don?t think turning 6 billion people into saints is the most effective way to go about doing things.

Then again, what I appreciate most about Jane Goodall is her approach, and not necessarily the beliefs that underlie them. In dealing with issues that are so often drenched with emotions, Jane Goodall remains an example of how to handle things both gracefully and objectively. This is something we could all stand to learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very uplifting, insightful, and inspirational
Jane Goodall writes openly and honestly about her awesome and inspiring life.Jane Goodall tells us about her amazing travels-- from a young ambitious girl growing up in the birches of England to a brillant woman documenting apes' behavior in the forests of Africa to bravely fighting for environmental change around the world.

In this book, Jane Goodall pours from the deep corners of her heart.By sharing her personal experiences, Jane Goodall is a witness to the true innate goodness of all human beings, the triumph of the human spirit, and the great God in which we all live, move, and have our being.

Jane Goodall ponders the greatest of human questions throughout her book.Is God real and present in our world, even with all of the modern discoveries of science?Can human beings achieve greater levels of moral, intellectual, and spiritual growth and overcome the great obstacles that they face?Jane Goodall makes sense of these questions and helps the reader to come to a better understanding of how to live in the world.

I read this book for an assurance that science only adds to the wonder and mystery of existence, and that science can help us come closer to God.My favorite part was when Jane Goodall went to the forest after the death of her second husband, and felt a connection to the "great spiritual energy of life itself."She reaffirmed her conviction by discovering how science was only a part of the human pursuit of understanding and knowledge, not the complete and final truth.

At the end of the book, Goodall asks a significant question as she reaches the autumn of her life, "And when I reach the end, it will be the beginning?"I recommend this book to all who want to remember that the journey of growth, understanding, and knowledge we are all on is always just beginning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply... remarkable. Utterly inspiring.
Jane is a remarkable woman, who's story of struggle as a young and inexperienced scientist with what were thought to be absurd ideals and methods of study, received much flack from the scientific community of her time. Still, many scientists under go the rigors of the scientific community's lateral and blinkered thinking. Reason for Hope, serves more than to encourage individuals into believing that each is capable of achieving their ideals and dreams, but that the simpler, intangible qualities like motivation, tenacity, courage and love, can triumph in the end with belief and resilience.
Jane made an amazing and commendable effort to be honest and humble with her readers, sharing her deepest and seemingly most private thoughts, which all have played a part in shaping her life and character. anyone will appreciate this book, be they from a scientific, animal welfare, spiritual or casual background. because jane's work relates to of all of us in the simplest of ways - we all have ambitions we wish to fulfill, depending on what they are we're often hard challenged and many of us have been defeated, yet we hold true to our beliefs and jane reminds us all, that that is which matters most - that is which will pull through to the end. that that, could only be, our reason for hope. ... Read more


47. I Love You, Ronnie
by NANCY REAGAN
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375431055
Catlog: Book (2000-09)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 43982
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No matter what else was going on in his life or where he was--travelling to make movies for G.E., in the California governor's office, at the White House, or on Air Force One, and sometimes even from across the room--Ronald Reagan wrote letters to Nancy Reagan, to express his love, thoughts, and feelings, and to stay in touch. Through letters and reflections, the characters, personalities, and private lives of a president and his first lady are revealed. Nancy Reagan comments on the letters and writes with love and insight about her husband and the many phases of their life together.
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Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars What love! What devotion! Truly sweet and sincere ...
Sweet and sincere best describe this lovely collection of love letters from Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan. The media seemed to show that Nancy Reagan was a control freak and overbearing during The White House years, this book tells another story. The story is of a man and a woman deeply in love and totally committed to one another. What impressed me most was the sweetness and the vulnerability of this once very powerful man.

Many of the letters have been scanned from the original copies so you get a real taste of the time and the personality of Ronald Reagan. The letterhead is often from various places and penned in his own handwriting. These letters show his most private and personal feelings of loving his wife and just how much she meant to him. You also get some insight into his sense of humor and in his ability to love and express love. I was charmed by the feeling that he never took his position(s) in government life so seriously that he lost his true core and his true heart.

At first I was a bit shocked that Nancy Reagan would share something so personal because that was not the impression I once had of her. I also wondered what was in it for her? Fame, she has, fortune? But I later learned the proceeds from this book will benefit the Alzeimers Foundation. Whatever her motivation this is a wonderful surprise of a book and a great way for her to share some really neat things about one of our ex-presidents.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Glimpse into the Private Life of Ronald Reagan
What a warm, touching tribute to our late President from his wife! The letters lovingly saved by Nancy Reagan show us a portrait of a genuine, down-to-earth man. I just finished reading this book for the second time, (it's a very quick read), and I was reminded how much I enjoyed the book. Mr. Reagan's integrity, charm, and sense of humor are clearly evident in every letter and "doodle" in the book.

More than half of the letters are from the period before Reagan entered politics. For several years, Reagan was the host of the General Electric Theatre and spent huge amounts of time travelling the country to promote the show. The letters from this period are particularly poignant.

Thank you so much, Nancy Reagan, for sharing your treasures in this lovely book.

4-0 out of 5 stars GREAT LOVE STORY
seldom read books written by celebrities as too often they are only self serving pap. HOWEVER, this is one of the greatest love stories of all times. Hard to imagine that a man who led such a busy life would find the time, inclination and energy to put his thoughts in writing. A greater gift I can't imagine. The thoughts that occurred to me were the minor things that made him and Nancy so happy with each other and with themselves. My husband was in the Air Force and was gone a lot and was constantly in touch with me either by phone or letter so I know how much it means to have someone thinking of you even when they are so busy and so far away.Thank you Nancy for sharing these intimate parts of your life with us. You have a wonderful husband and I am so sorry you have lost him. But in his own way somehow I know he is still communicating with you.

5-0 out of 5 stars If You Want to Know What Makes a Good Marriage - Read This
I loved this book. There was little commentary by Nancy so you're left to judge him for yourself. The vast majority of the book is composed of the actual letters he wrote to her and what woman wouldn't love to have a husband say these things to her?? I also appreciated that she put in a couple of non-positive occurances and verbiage that things weren't always perfect. The other thing I liked was that she wasn't embarrassed by their pet nick-names they had for each other. I've been married and my late husband and I had silly nick-names for each other. I'd be embarrassed to tell them publically in a book so I admire that she spent about two sentences explaining them and let it go at that. If you want to understand a truly loving relationship (no matter what your politcal views), this is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading some of the rotten reviews has really
made me mad. But whereas I might get mad or Nancy would be furious, Ronnie would laugh it off as "they're just having a bad day." This was the type of marriage we hope for, dream about, talk about. It is the kind most kids want to see from their parents, the type parents desire for their children, one where they are newlyweds for 50 years. Patti Davis said she knows her father loved his children but when Nancy walked into the room, there was no one else. Just perfect!!

These letters reveal a man helplessly and deeply in love with all his heart. If this is corny or childish, so be it. The world would be a better place if relationships could be this strong. He says it over and over, "You are my life, you saved my soul." The President could wax poetic and plumb the depth of emotions, something few ever manage. The letters were not only loving and tender but also erudite, witty, colorful and quite original. (My favorites are those written in the same room or those in which he refers to himself in the third person.) This is perhaps one of the best personal portraits of an American President that exist.

The letters range over a period of several years and contain some biographical data. Just to set the record straight, the proceeds from this book went to an Alzheimer's fund; the family received not one penny. ... Read more


48. Amigas: Letters of Friendship and Exile
by Marjorie Agosin, Emma Sepulveda
list price: $32.50
our price: $32.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0753198207
Catlog: Book (2002-01)
Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books
Sales Rank: 733518
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This collection is a testimony of hope and endurance through the power of writing. The experience that unites us and that we want to share with you is the experience of exile, of belonging neither in Chile nor the United States: our experience of existing between two cultures and not feeling comfortable in either of them, of choosing the path of political activism and uniting our destiny with that of the voices of marginalized women." --Marjorie Agosín"I am convinced that [these letters] should be made public as a testimony of the life of women in Latin America, and of the Latina immigrants who live in the United States. The histories interwoven in our correspondence are not exceptions, they are the norm. These episodes from the lives of Marjorie and Emma are part of a voluminous tome of common histories that have been lived and continue to be lived by Latin American women, from our grandmothers to our daughters. --Emma SepúlvedaThis collection of letters chronicles a remarkable, long-term friendship between two women who, despite differences of religion and ethnicity, have followed remarkably parallel paths from their first adolescent meeting in their native Chile to their current lives in exile as writers, academics, and political activists in the United States. Spanning more than thirty years (1966-2000), Agosín's and Sepúlveda's letters speak eloquently on themes that are at once personal and political--family life and patriarchy, women's roles, the loneliness of being a religious or cultural outsider, political turmoil in Chile, and the experience of exile. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Letters: a lost literary gender
It is an interesting book about the correspondence between two friends that meet in their country,Chile.But, life is very unjust, and for political reasons bothhave to leave their land. The letters,that they write to each other through many years, tell their stories of survivaland they explain, from their point of view and in a epistolar style, what each of them have to endure to becamewomen citizens, mothers, academics and profesors,etc. in this country. Their experiences are not unknow or irreal, they are very realistics, a common ground for many women that are gone through the same or similar path. This book is a document: a good book for women and men who love literature, books, and academic work. ... Read more


49. Gift from the Sea : 50th Anniversary Edition (Random House Large Print)
by ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375434550
Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 169394
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

I found a 1955 printing of this book in an old waterfront cabin and was struck by the care with which the previous owner had read it. Eve (the name inscribed inside the front cover and then again above the heading for chapter 3) made pencil marks on nearly every paragraph of the book, underlining a phrase, highlighting many passages with strong vertical marks, scratching out some words that she seems to have found superfluous and even x-ing out whole sections that apparently missed their mark with her altogether. Two rusting paper clips isolate several pages, absent any marking at all. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's lyrical words are still relevant and presage so many of the themes of today's most popular books: simplicity, peaceful solitude, caring for the soul, a woman finding her place in society and life. I heard that the woman who had lived in the cabin had actually passed away some time before. Thank you, Eve, for your gift... from the sea. ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars A reissue
Gift From The Sea was first published in 1955 and was the best-selling nonfiction book of the year with 80 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. I'm discovering it for the first time. It's simply lovely and is deserving of this new 50th Anniversary edition of 130 pages.

It is obvious that the sea and the beach were an integral part of Ann Morrow Lindbergh's life as her writings are full of references to them.

Gift From The Sea is a woman's poetic reflection about the challenges we all face in our relationships with our family, friends, the world and ourselves. They are her thoughts and ideas but are universal when thinking about the human condition.

The introduction is written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh's son Reeve. Even 50 years after it was written, it continues to be fresh and filled with wisdom. It's a book to be read, savored and read again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life journey flows like the tide
Sometimes, in our life, we need to get away and reevaluate our life. We need to find out what it means to us. What is the purpose? Where do we go from here?Anne Morrow Lindbergh did just that when she went to an island beach alone for two weeks and, while there, wrote a book called "Gift From The Sea." Anne made the transition to her retreat by leaving behind a New York suburbia house, five children, and the many other hats she put on to fulfill her role in the community and as a wife. She not only went to the beach to write, but also to find and shape her life.

What she found was even more valuable. It came to her as a gift from nature without requiring anything from her in return. The gift nature gave Anne was the gift of seashells. She went on to write in the most eloquent and descriptive language about the shells she found. She described how each one related to her life and how the simplicity of the beach was transformational. In her book, the "Moon Shell" represents the encumbrances we experience in life by its attachments. The "Double-Sunrise" shell exhibits the qualities of how we love, and the "Argonauta" distinguishes the final freedom we have to be independent, while still loving another person.

The "Moon Shell" is representative of a snail shell in which its inhabitants leave to gain freedom. Anne's life had paralleled this type of escape, if even for only two weeks. When she looks at this shell, she sees the beauty of the simple lines - unlike her life in New York - which she compares to being a shell covered in barnacles. Her life had grown complicated and she felt like she lost the simple shape and design of her life in many ways. Anne was a business woman, a mother, a wife, and a member of society with many social duties. Her life was scattered and frantic. She felt like she had to wear a mask - so much so - that in doing so, she lost herself. Perhaps the "Double-Sunrise" shell would help in her journey to find her true shape and nature.

The "Double-Sunrise" shell is the type of shell that is double winged.With its amazing pink and peach hues, if you found one on the beach, you would see that the color and magnificence of the lines were simply remarkable. Just like first love's beauty, Anne remembered this feeling as she gazed at the shell.It symbolized feeling at one with another person - so that if they left your side for a just a moment - it would mean utter death. Looking at the shell, she remembered feeling her heart beat simultaneously with another, and knowing the love was so strong that nothing else mattered. This was the kind of love Anne first remembered when looking at the shell. After questioning if this type of love was real, she assessed it was as real as anything in the world could be, even if only for a brief moment in eternity. Practical love and duties would eventually take over - she muses - as she comments on the other shells and forms of love and marriage.

The ultimate shell she eventually finds is the "Argonauta." The `Argonauta" shell houses rare creatures that are not fastened to the shell at all, and Anne is looking for this type of freedom to shape her life. Yes, we can have a house, a body, a family, and all of the things the world gives us, but to become so undeniably detached from them, would be achieving perfect freedom. This is an evolutionary process that usually only occurs once we have come of age. She relates the process of the trees coming from the same source. They are individual, yet together, as their branches reach out and touch each other, each branch being the same, yet intrinsically different. As with the changing tides, the "Argonauta" shell will remind Anne of the changing tides and cycles of life.

4-0 out of 5 stars A new interpretation....
Since it was first published in 1955, the book version of Gift from the Sea has offered advice and inspiration to readers on subjects from love and marriage to peace and contentment. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's advice and aphorisms are still relevant today: a woman finding her place in society and life with simplicity, peaceful solitude, and caring for the soul. Now the audio version offers a fresh perspective on this classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gentle wisdom that is still relevant today
Written as a personal journal during her alone time visiting the beach in the 1950s, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's eloquent meditations on age, marriage, solitude, creativity, peace, and contentment beautifully illustrate the timelessness of these issues for women as wives and mothers.

Gift from the Sea would be an excellent book club selection for a group that is interested in discussing the joys and challenges of motherhood.

Lindbergh's book wouldalso make a lovely baby shower or Mother's Day gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful legacy
When I left home for college in 1978, my mother gave me a copy of this book.Some twenty years before, her mother gave her a copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's sweet musings of life as a woman.A few years ago, I bought a copy of Gift From the Sea to give to my own daughter who was leaving home for the first time.That this book speaks to multi-generations is part of its allure.People from my mother's generation will recall the Lindbergh's public tragedy of a kidnapped and murdered son.Although AML doesn't speak of this in her book, the knowledge of this awful event and what it must have meant to the author colored my perspective as a reader, adding to my respect for her essays.Gift from the Sea has become a legacy in my family; someday I hope to give copies to my grandchildren. ... Read more


50. Caddy for Life : The Bruce Edwards Story
by John Feinstein
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316010863
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 71654
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beyond Golf's polished surface, there lies a world not often seen by the average fan. The caddy sees everything- the ambition, the strategy, the rivalries, the jealousies-that occurs behind the scenes. And now for the first time, along with America's favorite sportswriter, one of golf's legendary caddies will reveal the secrets behind one of our most popular sports. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tale of golf, friendship and courage
Perhaps my only mistake was choosing to start reading this book the same night I had finished John Feinstein's most recent effort, "Let Me Tell You a Story," his book about the legendary Celtics figure, Red Auerbach. For that reason and that reason only, it took me a little longer to get into this one. After all, following that one is almost impossible.

But this one does. It is at times funny and sad and as a result, there are times this book brings out a smile, but many times it brings out a tear. But through it all, Feinstien's gift for telling a story makes this book one of the best books I have read. It is a story about a caddy with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Bruce Edwards, the long-time caddy to golf great Tom Watson, was diagnosed with the fatal illness in January of 2003, a little more than two years ago. The book chronicles his life on the PGA Tour with, not only his brother-like relationship with Watson, but with everyone who ever came into his life. It is apparent that he touched a lot of lives during his 30+ year career on tour.

Through it all, until the end, Edwards was a picture of perservearance, bravery and courage. He refused to let the illness get the better of him. If memory serves, Edwards passed away shortly after this book was published. May he rest in peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never Ever Give Up
Being an Avid Golfer, I was drawn by this story of courage under the face of the biggest adversity a person could ever face, knowing you are going to die. This story is a touching tribute to Bruce Edwards, the long time caddy to PGA tour vetran Tom Watson and a tribute to Bruce as not only a great caddy but a great person as well. It is a story of two men who forged a freindship over the years that brought them "Closer than Brothers" and a tribute to the class and dignity in which Bruce displayed in facing ALS or "Lou Gehrigs" disease.
We never know if and when something devestating will hit us or someone we love, but Bruce Edwards shows that you can have dignity in dying and that the Human Spirit prevails in the worse of conditions. A must read right there with Tuesdays with Morrie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Rather Gehrig's disease than Liberace's!
Never quitting what he was passionate about, that was Bruce Edwards.Certainly he was passionate about caddying, about caddying for Tom Watson, passionate about always being upbeat and humorous."AT least Lou Gehrig was a great athlete.I'd rather tell people I have Gehrig's disease than Liberace's disease."

He set standard for pro caddies before finding out he had this dreaded killer.

This consumate team which had been through so much thrilled the sporting world at Olympia Fields.Watson's passion for his friend and his plight.

Feinstein's wordsmithing of this unique relationship and its unfurling from a fateful incident where hhe missed out caddying for veteran Dale Douglass only to chance upon a new upstart yound college grad from Stanford.

The rest is golfing history and told so well in this engaging and emotionally charged book.

May it inspire much good in the game and for this dreaded killer of a disease.

4-0 out of 5 stars Grace under Pressure
Do you have a long-time friend who has made a big difference in your life?I hope so.

Bruce Edwards and Tom Watson have been blessed to have one another as friends for over 30 years.Mr. Edwards was Mr. Watson's primary caddy for all but four years of that time.They've supported each other through victory, defeat, family problems, and serious illnesses.Both are graceful men who want to help others and take responsibility for their own actions.That friendship became more important to both of them in 2003 when Bruce Edwards was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and they knew their friendship would soon be over.This book features the magnificent story of how both of them responded in uncommonly valiant and wonderful ways to this new challenge.

This book will be most appealing to those who have been caddies, fans of Tom Watson, those who know someone with ALS, people who value friendship and those who appreciate the potential of the human spirit to rise above the physical world.

Although this book is a memoir about Mr. Edwards, you cannot tell a caddy's story without talking about the people he caddied for so there's lots of golf history including Mr. Watson's famous chip-in at the 17th hole at Pebble Beach, his many British Open wins and keen insights into the character of many famous golfers (including Greg Norman for whom Mr. Edwards caddied for four years).

You will learn how Mr. Edwards decided upon caddying as a career.He had caddied at his home country club in Connecticut where a tour event was held annually, and loved caddying for a pro in that tournament.Having disliked the discipline of school, he enjoyed the freedom and camaraderie of the links.Upon graduating from high school, he persuaded his parents to let him try his hand at caddying for a year.At that time, there were few caddies who worked regularly on the tour.Mr. Edwards soon got Mr. Watson's bag . . . and kept it.

Naturally optimistic and positive, Mr. Edwards has always been generous in sharing those traits with other golfers . . . even Mr. Watson's opponents.You'll find out about the many times he helped Mr. Watson get an advantage that might otherwise not have been his.

Facing a near-term death sentence, Mr. Edwards soldiered on as best he could in the 2003 season.He made the best of his rapidly diminishing physical capabilities, and was generous in helping make others feel more comfortable around him.Mr. Watson responded by playing at the top of his game for a man his age so that he could share more success with Mr. Edwards.Mr. Watson also took on a crusade to raise money for ALS research hoping to help save Mr. Edwards' life.It's a beautiful, touching and memorable story.

The book's main weakness is that it is a little too much about Mr. Watson prior to 2003 and a bit too little about Mr. Edwards in those years as well.I would have liked to know more about Mr. Edwards' views on golf and caddying . . . and his advice for the rest of us.

If you don't have that long-time friend, you need to start looking.

I suggest that you consider giving this book as a gift to young people to help them understand how to build a meaningful, satisfying and contributing life.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the love of the game.
Bruce Edwards was passionate about golf, and he realized at a young age that the itinerant life of a caddy was ideal for him.He worked mostly with one man, the great Tom Watson, who also became his lifelong friend.If Edwards had not been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease when he was in his late forties, this book would not have been written.However, in 2003, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic told Edwards that he had only a short time to live. "Caddy for Life," by John Feinstein, is the poignant, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story of this courageous man.

Feinstein writes knowledgeably not just about Bruce Edwards, but also about the game of golf.When Edwards started out as a caddy, he worked for peanuts, and his living accommodations were spartan.It was only in later years that Edwards and other caddies gleaned substantial financial rewards for their efforts. People like Edwards completely changed the nature of caddying.Edwards studied each golf course thoroughly and took meticulous notes about every bump and ridge on each green. In many ways, a sharp and experienced caddy can raise a golfer's game to a higher level, and Edwards was one of the best caddies in the game.

"Caddy for Life" is, most of all, an emotional paean to the close friendship that developed between Tom Watson and Bruce Edwards.Since they went through so much during their almost thirty years together on various golf courses, Watson and Edwards knew and loved each other like brothers.Watson cried often in the days and months after Edwards told him the grim news about his fatal illness.Since then, Watson has done his best to raise awareness as well as funds for research that may someday lead to a cure for this horrendous disease.

Edwards's illness devastated his loved ones, including his parents and three siblings.What a cruel fate that a short time after Edwards proposed to the love of life, Marsha, he was diagnosed with ALS. However, he refused to shut himself in his room and brood about his misfortune.Edwards spent the rest of his life caddying with Watson to the best of his ability, and fighting the disease that was robbing him of his speech and his strength.

"Caddy for Life" is not only about the sadness of a man cut down in his prime.It is also an entertaining and often amusing account of how various golfers have struggled to tackle some of the most challenging courses in the world.Feinstein illustrates time and again that golf is as much a mental as a physical game, and few golfers have the psychological makeup to handle the pressure."Caddy for Life" is an engrossing, moving, and informative look at the world of golf and at one particular individual who has left an indelible mark on the game he loved so much. ... Read more


51. Yanni: In Words (Thorndike Biography)
by Yanni, David Rensin
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078625453X
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 812186
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this moving and poignant autobiography, Yanni shares with his readers the story of his immense success, but also of the failures along the way.He tells the story of staging three career-defining concerts at The Acropolis in Athens, and the toll it took on him; his relationship with his father; his intense nine-year love affair with Linda Evans, and the exhaustion and depression that made him leave Linda and quit music altogether-before his eventual renewal and return. Yanni, In Words is more than just an autobiography. Woven through this text is a variety of lessons he's learned, including working through pain, keeping an open mind, and his discoveries about the creative process-and how anyone can access it. Yanni, In Words is the story no one knows and millions have been waiting for. ... Read more

Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars I disagree.
A few reviewers refer to Yanni as arrogant and an ego maniac, so while I read the book, I was looking for those qualities in him. They're just not there. He actually has a lot of humility and at the same time a gratitude for and belief in his own power to create.
He's very likeable and I found myself smiling at how he put things. He's actually very funny. I'm glad to have read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars His story, a truly motivational one....
I was fortunate to receive a copy of Yanni's book, "Yanni in Words". I have always enjoyed his music and now I was able to read his story.

His story, a truly motivational one:

He was born and raised in Greece. His upbringing was a simple one, to quote Yanni, "though our family life was simple, I wasn't aware that we were poor. Maybe we didn't have many possessions, but we never went hungry, were cold, or lacked love."

At age 14 he set a national record for breaking the fifty-meter freestyle swim. However, you should be aware that he never had a coach nor did he have any formal personal training. He beat swimmers that had coaches and trained every day for many years. How did he do it? In his book he states, "I believed that anything was possible, or at least because I didn't put together everyone else's 'facts' and believe that winning was impossible."

His parents wanted their children to receive an education in the United States. They sold their house and moved into a rental apartment in order to come up with the money to send their children to get a better education. So at 18 years old, Yanni found himself on a plane to the United States. He arrived speaking very little English. He got a part time job as a dishwasher. In university he struggled as he states in his book, "Every fifth word was unfamiliar. I'd never been so frustrated, but as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I studied with the book, a notebook, and a Greek/English dictionary". He persevered and graduated with a psychology diploma in 1976.

But he then his passion for music took over. While he had his ups and downs, worked with different bands, he had a desire to create his own music. But it was a music that was unlike others. Throughout the book you will read about the challenges he faced. But you will also see his determination. He put it all on the line. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "We are all capable if we have faith and passion." While he did have faith and passion he had many challenges to overcome. It was not an easy ride to success, but his through his faith and a passion he did make it.

A happy ending, not exactly! When he reached success, he had a setback. One, which he overcame, but one which made him look at life and all he had accomplished and made him realize he had to take care of himself.

The story of Yanni and his success is one, which is motivational and inspiring. Thank you Yanni for putting your experiences "in words" so many of us can learn and be motivated by your experiences!

5-0 out of 5 stars Humble and Inspirational
As a newcoming listener to Yianni's compositions, I wanted to know more about the talented mind and philosophical greek that is Yianni Chryssomalis.Reading this book not only helped me to see him more as a person rather than just an artist with smouldering good looks, but it also motivated me.I found it to be very open, and humble in a sense.It's not your formal typical autobiography; it's graphic, and moving.I can only say that I think it's very bold of an artist of Yianni's caliber to be so honest and open with readers. Yianni is indeed an over-achiever, but he has come so far because he has "worked hard" for it.One thing that we should always hold present is that the media's portrayal of "Yanni" is one thing, whereas Yianni Chryssomallis is a whole different story.Once we realize that Yianni is not infallible and that he is human just like the rest of us, we will be able to digest this book without the unnecessary criticism and judgement.

5-0 out of 5 stars INSPIRING JUST AS HIS MUSIC!!!
YANNI IN WORDS, the awaited biography, of a great instrumental artist.

The book is magnificent, full of events, stories & lessons... Yanni is very open and honest, discussing most of his life details. The book is very surprising infact in several aspects.
It's inspiring, emotional, interesting, uplifting, optimistic & detailed.

I recommend this book to all, whether fans or non-Yanni fans, since the book mainly focuses on life aspects, and how Yanni dealt with such situations. It's like talking about his journey with life, rather than focusing on his music only & himself.

Personally, I learnt many things about the man, life, and success, which shall benefit anyone who reads it. Yanni talks about his experiences, music, creativity, childhood, relations, concerts, achievements, his parents, Greece, etc

I see YANNI IN WORDS as a book about Life, rather than just a simple biography of an artist. Simply, you live it... :)

Way to go Yanni, another great master piece of work! ;)

1-0 out of 5 stars This book has no soul
A thoroughly bland book, written in a matter-of-fact, flat narrative -- sorely lacking depth and dimension. There is no sign of introspection or personal reflection, only Yanni's inflated ego. The book is a simple-minded retelling of his life. Yanni's self importance and arrogance lurk throughout. While he purports to "tell it like it is," it is apparent he is most concerned with portraying himself in a certain light. Even when he talks about things like his rock 'n roll days, he makes sure he doesn't come off looking too bad, i.e. "every one was doing it then" and "I was always upfront with the girls before getting intimate with them." (Hmmmm). It seems his ego is such that he can't really reflect upon his own weaknesses and mistakes - he can only make excuses. His memory and accounts of some of the facts in the book are equally biased and inaccurate. One can only hope that he isn't as monochromatic and one-dimensional in his own mind as he comes off in this book. ... Read more


52. Sawchuk: The Troubles and Triumphs of the World's Greatest Goalie
by David Dupuis
list price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0773760644
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Stoddart
Sales Rank: 894745
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Top Shelf (4 1/2 stars)
David Dupuis does an admirable job in marshalling the facts in this eminently readable biography of one of hockey's most difficult subjects, the incredible Terry Sawchuk. Illuminated with generous contributions from Sawchuk's family and colleagues, it captures both the highs and the lows and should set the record straight regarding the life, death and career of perhaps the greatest goalie who ever lived. Even though we know how the story ends, the book builds up momentum to become a page-turner, and one almost wishes there were more pages. Its only small shortcoming is a somewhat static style that abruptly jumps back and forth between sporting and domestic scenes. Dupuis makes an earnest effort to understand the roots of the inner rages that drove Sawchuk to excel on the ice and to self-destruct off it. One is left wondering if the lives of Terry and his family might've been any more stable had he been born a couple of generations later; in that sense, his story becomes something of a cautionary tale as well. This compelling biography and hockey history is worthy of addition not only to the shelves of Red Wings and Maple Leafs fans, but to that of anyone who wants a better understanding of Sawchuk's incomparable legacy to the game.

4-0 out of 5 stars Honest and Interesting Book, Good
I started reading this book because I had heard that Patrick Roy, who passed Terry Sawchuk's record of most winningest goalie, was reading it in order to find out more about the goalie he would be passing in the record books. What I found out as I continued reading was that even if you are just a fan of hockey in general, this is a great read. It is so honest that it is almost surprising that the Sawchuk family would want to release some of the information the reader finds out. It is even more interesting to read if you know someone who was an alcoholic, because Terry goes through many of the same troubles that other alcoholics do. The pictures included in the book are helpful and they give an idea of the people in Terry's life as well as the surroundings in his life. The writing style is easy to follow no matter how good of a reader you are, though sometimes the many statistics and names of other hockey players get confusing and boring. All in all, the Sawchuk book is fun to read and it really lets you in on Terry Sawchuks life on and off the ice.

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT LOOK AT THE GOOD AND BAD
THE AUTHOR DOES A SPECTACULOR JOB SHOWING THE GREAT CAREER OF A HOCKEY LEGEND. FROM HIS CHILDHOOD TO HIS FINAL DAYS, TERRY SAWCHUK WAS A VERY COMPLEX MAN. GOOD VS. EVIL FIGHT ALWAYS GOING ON INSIDE HIM. THE DREADED DEMON ALCOHOLISM IS WELL DESCRIBED AS TO WHY HE HAD SUCH ANGER AND MOOD SWINGS. A GREAT CAREER AND TURBULENT FAMILY LIFE. EVERY ASPECT OF SAWCHUK'S LIFE IS SO WELL DESCRIBED BY MR. DUPUIS. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BIOGRAPHIES I HAVE READ. THANKS FOR A GREAT JOB MR. DUPUIS. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, Easy, and Interesting Reading.
I bought this book as a present for my husband, who is a die hard hockey fan. But, I ended up reading it myself and I really enjoyed it. I get to know more of Terry Sawchuck than just the old NHL goalie whose record was just got broken by Roy. It is not the best written book, but it tells the story that it is suppose to tell. It was an easy and enjoyable reading and I am not even a Red Wings fan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Review of the Terry Sawchuk biography
The author's skill in writing indicates that this is a three-star book...as long as you understand that this was written by a fan, for fans. It is not a literary classic. The sentence construction is simple, but that's part of the charm of this book. Interwoven in the book are interviews with Sawchuk's wife, a couple of engaging surviving former teammates, and most obvious, research done in newspaper "morgues". It is written chronologically, highlighting season achievements. Of most interest to me are the tales told by his wife. Sawchuk was a full-blown dysfunctional alcoholic. His wife was most happy when Sawchuk was not around, although the man was around enough to produce seven children.

The fight/horseplay with teammate Ron Stewart that led to Sawchuk's death was covered in detail. That's mainly why I bought the book. I knew of his career highlights, which you can see on the back of his hockey cards. There weren't enough behind-the-scenes stories regarding each season to hold my interest.

I understand Jerry Sawchuk, the eldest child, also has written a book about his father. I get the feeling that his book, plus the Dupuis tome, put together could produce a satisfying final product. I need more than Dupuis offers, and finished the book feeling somehow unsatisfied. ... Read more


53. Homegrown Democrat: A Few Plain Thoughts From The Heart Of America (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)
by Garrison Keillor
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786270144
Catlog: Book (2004-12-09)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 557112
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, HomegrownDemocrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." Inhis inimitablestyle, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God- fearingpeople of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessitiesthatarose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintaingovernment as a necessary force for good. As Keillor tells it, these arearticles of faiththat are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe thathuman miseryis a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorousmeditation, andarticulate ire, Keillor asserts the values of his boyhood—the values of LakeWobegon— that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the countrytoday. Athoughtful, wonderfully written book, Homegrown Democrat is Keillor’sloveletter to liberalism, the older generation, John F. Kennedy, the University ofMinnesota,and the yellow-dog Democrat city of St. Paul that is sure to amuse and inspireAmericansjust when they need it most. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sincere and Honest
Keillor does a competent job of sharing his views (which some may find too "liberal" for their taste).

Most impressive was the sincerity and honesty which came through in his writing.

The book comes across as having been written, not for shock value, nor to necessarily convince anyone that the author is correct in his views. Rather, Keillor seems to have written this one to, as he puts it, "speak his mind."

Bravo.

4-0 out of 5 stars Citizen Keillor
To say this book is about why President Bush should be defeated is a little like saying that Moby Dick is a book about a whale. True enough,as far as it goes. No, the book is really an extended mediation on citizenship---what it means(we all hang together or we all hang separately), how we lost it(lack of courage by both parties), how we get it back(civility).
But civility for Keillor is not the same as passivity. No, he believes that the idea of citizeship is in mortal peril and like a mother protecting its offspring(come to think of it he does write about his newborn) he attacks what he thinks wants to kill it: intolerance(he muses over why many Republicans can't figure out how not to think about homosexuality), lack of authenticity( he ridicules the Democracts for failing to be true to themselves in Vietnam and the drug war), and arrogance(the belief by many of both parties that they owe nothing to the past, believing themselves sprung full blown without a context ).
And, like the best poets, he takes the personal---how he grew up, where he was raised, those who nutured him---and makes it universal.
Now,make no mistake, he wants President Bush defeated and talks at length about it. Yet I think that he'd like nothing better than to talk to a fellow citizen about being a citizen and thinks,like the Stevie Ray Vaughn song, that there is only one allegiance we have and it's to freedom. Take him up on his offer. Have a dialogue. Be a citizen.

1-0 out of 5 stars It figures
I stopped having anything to do with Garrison Keillor after he used his early morning poets corner on NPR to share vulgarities with Amarica's commuters. I didn't know if he was a Democrat or a Republican or neither. However, after almost driving my kindergartner off the road in a mad effort to save my baby from this man's coarse expressions, I needn't have waited for the title of this book to direct me to his political leanings. It figures!

4-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing, uplifting and thought-provoking read
Garrison Keillor quotes Dante as the reason for writing this short, delightful book: "Dante says the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader." I don't usually like Keillor's written work--I prefer hearing him tell stories--but his honesty, good will and hopes for the country that he loves shine so strongly in Homegrown Democrat that it is almost like hearing him talk out loud. I appreciate the fact that he is willing to challenge liberals as well as conservatives and his observations about 9/11 and Homeland Security are quite valid. Homegrown Democrat is a valuable reminder of where we have come from and where we are headed as a country. ... Read more


54. Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six Mit Students Who Took Vegas for Millions (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction Series)
by Ben Mezrich
list price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078625257X
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 546917
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

#1 National Bestseller!

The amazing inside story about a gambling ring of M.I.T.

students who beat the system in Vegas -- and lived to tell how.

Robin Hood meets the Rat Pack when the best and the brightest of M.I.T.'s math students and engineers take up blackjack under the guidance of an eccentric mastermind.Their small blackjack club develops from an experiment in counting cards on M.I.T.'s campus into a ring of card savants with a system for playing large and winning big.In less than two years they take some of the world's most sophisticated casinos for more than three million dollars.But their success also brings with it the formidable ire of casino owners and launches them into the seedy underworld of corporate Vegas with its private investigators and other violent heavies.

Filled with tense action, high stakes, and incredibly close calls, Bringing Down the House is a nail-biting read that chronicles a real-life Ocean's Eleven.It's one story that Vegas does not want you to read.

... Read more

Reviews (290)

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting read that you can't put down.
I'm not a huge fan of blackjack (though I do play a lot of poker) but I found this book intriguing and interesting right from the start. You get sucked in and find yourself gasping and unable to stop from turning the pages at certain points. If the plane hadn't landed, I wouldn't have stopped reading it until I was done. Good character development and detail - you could almost see the places as they were being described. It flitted back and forth through time here and there - but nothing that "lost" you. An amazing view on Vegas from an outsider who was pretending to be in.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down
I had never read Ben Mezrich's work before, but Bringing Down the House turned me into an instant fan.The book itself is not long, but the author draws you into the unbelievable double life of "Peter Lewis" and his team of card counters.I could not put the book down, and it really did make me want to gamble.I can only envy the "research" that Mr. Mezrich had to do for this book.I hope he had as much fun writing it as I had reading it.I would recommend this as a great quick read to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars its a trading manual, not gambling
The book was recommended to me.I thoroughly enjoyed it.I also feel that it is a great book about trading.

The trading outlook, they got a mentor, they were taught about a small probability edge, they spent 7-8 hours a day for many months practicing the edge, then they went out with total confidence that the edge would work for them.They made many millions using that small edge.

Plus its a good story that made me want to fly to vegas and start playing blackjack.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every Gamblers Dream
Read this book in 2 days.I love the balls on these kids.If you ever placed a bet on anything you will have a great appreciation for what they did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't try this at home,... or in Vegas.
I am sure we all got the idea of, just maybe me and my friends... Wrong.These are the smartest of the smart from MIT, and although we may be able to pull the wool over the eyes some of our friends in the local game, to do it on this level is something totally different.How they worked on it and practiced is part of the story that makes it great.This is a great book on how some "nerds" took Vegas and other casino's for millions.You probably know that if you are looking at this review so I will just tell you that the story and how it is told is great, from the way they were recruited to the reasons some of them left.It is a roller coaster ride from the high's of winning (strapping tens of thousands of dollars to their body in order to fly) to the low's of winning (being followed, having their home broken into, etc.) and everything in between (having to wear disguises to play in the casino's).It is a great story and at the end it leaves you asking, when is the next book coming out on those that actually decided to remain "in the game". ... Read more


55. The Measure Of A Man : A Spiritual Autobiography
by Sidney Poitier
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006019717X
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 645320
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. In The Measure of a Man, Sidney Poitier explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure -- as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor.

He explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man seeking truth, passion, and balance in the face of limits -- his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.

... Read more

Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful memoir by a great human being
In his autobiography, "Measure of a Man", Sidney Poitier talks about his failures as an actor, his struggles with life, and his encounters with nature. Poitier writes in a straight-forward style, making the book an enjoyable read. It's quite easy to get involved in Poitier's stories about his childhood skirmishes, his acting failures, and other sketches from his life, because he writes as if he were having a conversation with the reader. Poitier reflects on his past without sounding preachy. His tone has a sense of inquiry and wonder in it. A job well done by a fine human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book by a great actor...
I didn't know that Sidney Poitier had written a book until I saw the commercial for the "Oprah" show. I decided to tune in to see the interview, and found that Mr. Poitier was a very wise person. So, I decided to get the book, and I was not disappointed.

Poitier's prose is very much like a friend having a discussion with you over a cup of coffee -- more like a conversation with an intimate friend, rather than just a written record of his life and career. There is much wisdom here -- from his early beginnings on a small island in the Bahamas, he learned quite a bit about life and living. He has carried this knowledge throughout his life, and he now shares it with us.

It's hard to know a person just from the movies he makes. Mr. Poitier's body of work speaks volumes -- and so does this excellent book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Measure of a Man, a literary addition to Poitier's life
Sidney Poitier fans are not hard to come by and would thoroughly enjoy this book, seeing as how the tone of the book is exemplary of Poitier's signature calm and confident demeanor.

_The Measure of a Man_ is organized into eleven sections that take the reader sequentially through the main lessons of Poitier's life with insights by the author looking back. Each section contains several stories from Poitier's life, each flowing seamlessly into the next. For example, under the chapter title, 'Life in Black and White' Poitier recalls the Harlem, New York that he loved. He opens with the politics of the area, including the fact that blacks were expected to go into New York City to work, but once the day was over, they were expected to stay far away from downtown, which segways into Poitier recalling the great nightlife of Harlem which in turn leads to a story of a specific man who was able to stay in Harlem as a hot item for one week annually. The man saved his money all year to spend on himself and others in the city in seven days before returning to Poitier's home place, Cat Island. These examples, along with many others support the overall lesson of this section; that the author was faced with discrimination many times, but he did not accept it into his beliefs and was happier with himself and his lifestyle.

The highlight of the book for me was understanding how Poitier's beginnings and upbringing support the life of an actor so well. Poitier never comes out and states, "this is what happened when I was a kid and at this moment on stage I drew from it," rather it is left to the reader to make the connections which I rather enjoyed. Any aspiring actor or speaker can take note from Poitier's examples and apply them to their own situation.

Anyone faced with adversity can respect and draw strength from Poitier's firm beliefs that had to be proven over and over again. His upbringing comes in to play in this aspect because he was raised in the 1940s but was unaware of racial segregation for the majority of his childhood. Being raised on an island where everyone was black with the exception of two people was helpful for Poitier because he developed his sense of self without the concept of prejudice. When this was introduced to him in his early teens, Poitier was already developed enough to feel confident enough to reject bigotry.

I have read other reviews that found tones of "black anger" in Poitier's story and I have found none. I believe he tells his story from his point of view and it is a viewpoint of equality for all men and a view of high self-respect, containing no notable tones of "black anger."

Some less enjoyable moments of _The Measure of a Man_ are the times Poitier drops names like a novice at a networking luncheon. Anyone who writes an autobiography thinks enough of himself or his story that he expects others to be interested. Poitier, for the most part does this unpretentiously and without excessiveness. Unfortunately, that makes the few times he does preach all the more noticeable. When recalling a filming, an integral meeting, or a high stakes encounter, Poitier drops a lot of names. Reading through the lists five or six lines long full of names becomes a bit tedious.

Another aspect to be aware of is that where as this is a great book for anyone looking to know more about Poitier's career, but anyone questioning about his family or personal life will be disappointed.

Sidney Poitier's _The Measure of a Man_, published by Harper SanFransisco is the literary addition to Poitier's life, and is not to be missed by those who respect his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars review of measure
The measure of a man is a story of integrity and character,anyone who would like to know something about the true man Poitier is should read this selection, but not just who Poitier is but also anyone who's looking for questions about themselves. Questions of life discipline, integrity. I also recommend it to a person who is open to a broad band of religion and isn't set on one particular religion, but open to a broad christianity. Sidney tells us of religion, but he never tells us of a particular one or group he belongs to, instead he takes things from many religions and kind of lumps all of their values and aspects into one form of his own particular standards and beliefs, he takes us on a journey through time, the trials and tribulations of his own life. The book also tackles the very controversial issue of race and segregation, and breaking through the race barrier, through pure determination.

The book starts of with Sidney watching T.V. and not being able to find anything on the television. He's frustrated with the fact that there are 97 channels on the television, but nothing to watch on them. He says he starts to think of "...images of a time in my life when things were so much simpler, when my options for entertainment couldn't be counted on a scale from 1 to 97." From this point the rest of the book is a continual flashback, structured into main points of the authors life from growing up on Cat Island to making movies, and to dealing with international stardom, a journey through time if you will. Its written in a very conversational style of writing, making you believe that your sitting right in front of Poitier himself, watching him tell his story and interacting with him with either disbelief, joy, or laughter. The book is well written from front to back, and because of this and his conversational style of writing, the events he describes, his actions, his feelings and his thoughts, are greatly illustrated. After reading a measure, you don't just feel as if you meet a man, you feel as if you lived with a man, through his struggles and through his success.

I enjoyed the book thouroghly, he says in his introduction he didn't want to write a book about his life, instead he "wanted to write a book about life. Just life itself." I think he accomplishes this throughout his book. He doesn't make the focus on his particular life, instead he uses his life as an example to others. He doesn't make it a standard he makes it a lesson, for all to read and all to learn from. It's an intriguing tail of a man who came from nowhere and wasn't given anything or any special treatment, but fought his way to the top, all by himself. It is an inspiring tail of self determination and tells a story everyone can learn from.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mistakes are to be found in this book!
Poitier describes,in the picture section, the 1958 movie, The Defiant Ones, he made with Tony Curtis as being a 1966 film! And Guess Whose Coming To Dinner, a 1967 movie of Poitier's, is described as being a 1968 film. ... Read more


56. Monty's Leap (Ulverscroft Large Print Series)
by Derek Tangye
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0708988792
Catlog: Book (1996-02-01)
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print
Sales Rank: 804333
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57. Diana: Her True Story (Thorndike Large Print Basic Series)
by Andrew Morton
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560546085
Catlog: Book (1993-02-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 191773
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Diana: Her True Story was originally published in 1992 under the guise of a quasi-authorized biography, with mostly unnamed courtiers and royalty as the accredited sources. It instantly became a sizzling, international bestseller that lanced the boil of Windsor family dysfunction, triggering a chain of events that led to Charles and Diana's divorce. After her tragic death in 1997, Andrew Morton revealed that Diana herself had not only been the main source for the book, but had also edited his original drafts for accuracy. In return for this gold mine of information, Diana wanted complete anonymity for fear of retaliation from the queen. Her True Story in Her Own Words is enhanced by more than 75 full-color photographs of the princess, from her childhood in Althorp to her marriage to Charles at Westminster Abbey to her humanitarian efforts, and finally to her unforgettable funeral service. However, the most poignant portrayal of the princess emerges from the unedited transcriptions of Diana's interviews with Morton: "I think I'm going to cut a very different path from everyone else. I'm going to break away from this setup and go and help the man on the street." ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ BUT NOT ENTIRELY TRUTHFUL
I first read this book when it came out in 1992.Like everyone else, I was shocked and blamed Prince Charles for the marriage falling apart.

Since she died, there's been a number of credible stories come out that shows Diana to be manipulative, emotionally immature, stubborn and just plain bizarre.While her devotion to her children is unquestionable, and her charity work obviously came right from her heart, there were too many other aspects of her character that were not so glossy.

I mean come on, if your wife was pregnant and threw herself down the stairs to get your attention, would you not seriously question her mental stability?Anyone who can cut themselves with a lemon peeler or smash themselves against a glass cabinet is obviously a few bricks short of a load and in serious need of help.When she did the Panorama interview in 1995, she declared that she felt "betrayed" when her former lover James Hewitt did a tell-all book.............uh, well didn't she do the exact same thing to her husband when she told Andrew Morton all the dirty details of their marriage?

While I despised Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles for their affair, I understand now (a decade later) why he would turn to her:for some NORMALCY in his life.

Be that as it may, the one fasinating thing about Diana is her uncanny ability to predict things.In this book, it tells of her conversations when she was young that she was going to marry someone "in the public eye".She also apparently predicted her father's stroke in 1975.But what was fasinating to read in 1992 was Diana's belief that "while she knows that William will one day be King, she is firm in her belief that she will never become Queen" and "I am performing my duty as Princess of Wales, but I can't see it for much longer than 15 years."As we all know, she was Princess of Wales for 16 years. She made these statements 6 years before she died.....



1-0 out of 5 stars Spin, from the Mistress thereof
Andrew Morton's book, written in collusion with the late Diana, is a well-written, cleverly confected polemic designed to undo the very people who made her what she was (or, as some in the UK were wont to say, "After all, she's just a royal by injection"). Purportedly the daughter of a famous alcoholic (Lord Spencer), she exhibited all the classic symptoms of an adult child of an alcoholic; low self-esteem, poor boundaries, poor impulse control, chronic depression, a pattern of blaming others for her problems, etc. Of course, one can add on bulemia (from which she suffered before she married her poor husband), and other deep-seated psychiatric disorders. All this is clearly shown in the book to any critical reader. My daughter's godmother, the late Ouida Huxley, used to regale us with stories told her by one of the Queen's closest confidants, who herself witnessed how during the height of her omnipotence Diana would disparage her husband to his face, in front of the family, on his lack of charisma compared to her. She pulled cute pranks like screaming and rolling about on the floor when she didn't get what she wanted (in this particular case, to go to Majorca instead of Balmoral) in a fine impression of a grand mal epileptic seizure, in front of the Queen at a family meeting. For some reason (and it wasn't Camilla, who re-entered the scene only after all efforts at marital repair were exhausted), Diana felt as if the ungrateful royals needed to be paid back for her psychic pain, not realizing that the source of her suffering was in her own head. Andrew Morton's book is the result. It's as one-sided as an autobiography by a narcissist. Morton was either duped, or a willing collaborator in the tearing down of Britain's primary civic institution, the Monarchy. This work (if such it may be called) is about as accurate as Soviet propaganda. It is a fantasy woven from scraps of truth. If Diana had lived, and married the dreadful Dodie Fayed, she would have lost her titular "Princess" title, and reverted to merely the (alleged) daughter of an earl, and would have once again been "Lady Di". Dodie's dad was planning to lugubriously install the two love-birds in the Windsors' old place in the Bois de Boulogne. Eventually, no doubt, she would have tried out one of her famous emotionally wracking "turns" on Dodie (an Egyptian man, mind you) and would have infallibly been kicked out on her coutured posterior. During that time anyone who knew her, even from a distance, could see that Diana's life was on an inexorable and endless downward cycle (remember, even her brother, who so "courageously" dissed his own godmother, the Queen, on international television, refused to have Christmas dinner with D the last year of her life). Andrew Morton's book is a classic celebrity bio. Poor Diana. She was never happy, she would never be happy, and she was going to sow chaos and destruction wherever she went. Death, however, mercifully came for Diana before her life got even worse.

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD!
If you need to read just ONE book rehardsing Princess Diana... This is THE one you must pick!

You will be delighted with all the details and will admire even more this wonderful person.

A book you MUST have on your shelves!

5-0 out of 5 stars The real Diana at last
Diana's authorized, however covertly, biography finally tells the truth about this remarkable human being from her own lips. Morton's frank, honest telling of the grief behind the glitz shows us a very vulnerable woman who isn't all that different from the rest of us. Diana, young girl, schoolteacher, princess, wife and mother should have been embraced by the royal family instead of frozen out. One can only hope that her sons will follow the trail she fought so hard to blaze for them and live real lives instead of rigid imitations. The world is a poorer place without the people's princess.

4-0 out of 5 stars Andrew Morton's Version... or rather, Diana's
With a lot of info and some edting assistance from Princess Diana, Andrew Morton wrote a book that rocked the monarchy. In this book Morton makes Di out to be the poor little princess and Charles is the big bad villian.

I never took much of an interest in Diana's life until the horrible car crash and her tragic death. My mother owns a copy of the (this) infamous Morton book, and the pictures are interesting, so I decided to give it a read. This is not a happy book, especially while covering the years of her marriage to Charles. Prince Charles is no saint, but he gets an unfair rap in this book; he's actually a good person with many admirable qualities, and flaws like all of us. Anyway, this book is the portrait of a suicidal bolemic woman married to a physically and emotionally absent man who doesn't give her the love she so desperately craves because his heart belongs to another woman. Poor Di. And did she have to die?

David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes" ... Read more


58. Grace and Power : The Private World of the Kennedy White House (Random House Large Print)
by SALLY BEDELL SMITH
list price: $31.95
our price: $21.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375433759
Catlog: Book (2004-05-04)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 237264
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fair and enticing: interesting and easy readI just finished
I just finished Grace and Power : The Private World of the Kennedy White House by Sally Bedell Smith, and it was a terrific read from start to finish. It reads like a very long and interesting magazine article and is, hence, not gossipy, but factual and interesting. It's a well-constructed account of the days from the election to JFK's assassination; it covers both the political and social history of JFK's brief time in the White House. Thousands of sources are called upon as the author has painstakingly pieced together her story. There is much in the book that is new information about the Kennedys and their days in the White House, though not being a Kennedy aficionado, I was not aware of what was old and what was new. I felt the book was very fair and did a wonderful job of calling forth the duality of the Kennedy panache and mystique coupled with the huge burden of tragedy that seemed to be part of their heritage. I'd highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating retelling of Camelot
GRACE AND POWER gives the reader the sights, sounds and textures of the Kennedy White House. William Safire called the book "a stunning new history" (his column lead me to buy the book)) and he's right.

You feel like you are right there in the Washington DC of the early 1960s, and what a very different DC it was! The Kennedys liked to work hard and play hard, and Bedell Smith shows the rivalries, friendships and goings-on of the Kennedy's inner circle.

This is truly the first book to make Jack and Jackie human, and Bedell Smith does a wonderful job of telling both the political and social sides of the First Couple.

I read the Vanity Fair excerpt and there is indeed new material here: Jackie's intimate conversations about her marriage with Dr. Frank Finnerty, her secret therapist who helped her improve her relationship with her husband; one of JFK's lovers who speaks for the first time about their two-year affair; and most importantly, details of JFK's last days and the aftermath of the assassination from the sealde (for 40 years!) papers of historian William Manchester, who authored DEATH OF A PRESIDENT.

A historical, serious and fascinating retelling of the Camelot years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Though I haven't read any other books about the Kennedy administration, and consequently cannot say if this one is better or worse than others on the same topic, this one caught my attention. The book appears to be well researched and documented and gives the reader a real feel for what the Kennedy White House must have been like, warts and all. I found the view to be balanced, presenting both the strengths and the personal foibles of the people involved.

The book is full of fascinating historical dichotomies; for example, it shows how the administration would deal with war with Russia over Cuba during the day, and then party at night. (One must maintain one's standards, even in the face of nuclear annihilation.) The reader also gets a real sense of tremendous responsibilities and burdens that go with living in the White House.

To digress a bit, what I really got from this book was a reminder of what politics in the USA used to be like, when politicians were more interested in doing what was best for the country, before the citizens of all political persuasions allowed it to become so bitterly and unproductively polarized. There used to be dialog between the political parties instead of ranting; there used to be pragmatic compromises and solutions instead of unyielding positions; and there used to be respect for the concept that reasonable minds can differ. Camelot, indeed.

That reminder alone makes this a worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Camelot" re-revealed magnificently...
The essence of "Camelot" wasn't necessarily the inspiring leadership of John Kennedy (although this certainly doesn't hurt the Camelot mystique) or the seemingly serene picture of the youngest elected President and his equally youthful wife, rather it was a culture, indeed an attitude or mystique that many historians have tried to capture with heretofore moderate to little success. In this light, Sally Bedell Smith has presented her attempt at synthesizing the mystique with the well documented history of JFK's administration and has succeeded fabulously with "Grace and Power".

The perspective that Smith presents is one that many historians have missed...in a day when JFK administration books abound, Smith gives us a whole new view into the Kennedy family. Right from the beginning of this work, we delve into the personal and behavorial side of both the new President and his First Lady and see how they are in turn affected by the avalanche of the media and policy machine. JFK's full medical history (recently made public in Robert Dallek's magnificent work "An Unfinished Life") is further explained by Smith with many new nuances and she describes how these many maladies not only affected his work as President, but his family life as well. Indeed, we see JFK's covert doctor (Max Jacobson..."Dr. Feelgod") administering to Jackie as well (during periods of stress or depression) and it's this level of new information, presented not in a tawdry gossipy style, but in fair and elegant prose, that really made this work hard for me to put down. JFK's dalliances with many other women comes to be a main theme at the beginning of the story and we see how Jackie's attitude of benign acceptance at this behavior is formed over time in the White House. At the same time, Smith suceeds in presenting JFK as a loving Father and husband...further enhancing this mysterious component of JFK's behavior.

The social scene at the JFK White House is comprehensively descibed...at times offering a counter-balance with what is happening in the world and I thought this added a fullness to the Kennedy story that is usually missing from many otherwise excellent JFK works. For example we see the dinners and the guests who attended them given equal importance in the book while the emotion and stress of the Cuban Missile Crisis is distracting the President. How JFK reacts at these events (i.e. away from "work") is a fascinating new look at the Crisis and Administration as a whole and is this new information that I mentioned that should be the selling point for this work. Closing out the book, Smith eloquently descibes the before and after affects of the assasination on all the participants (old girlfriends as well as close family friends) and tries to philosophize on what the tragedy meant to each.

Historians may argue that the level of scholarship pertaining to Presidential history is lacking (although, I thought Smith did an admirable job describing the events that she did cover), but clearly the focus of this work was not a historical narrative but a genuine social/historical synthesis.

Supported by many new interviews and research, Sally Bedell Smith has added immensly to the monumental amount of literature surrounding the JFK administration and given us a unique perspective that should be used by all as an emotional target for that magnificent and tragic time. A fairly quick read (about 470 pages of readable text) and lively written, I would recommend this book very highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling read-- what the reviewers have to say
Grace and Power is a compelling read, and I highly recommend it. Instead of offering my own comments, I thought Amazon readers should hear what the professionals-- reviewers, historians, columnists and feature writers around the country-- have been saying about the book. I took these quotes from the author's website, www.sallybedellsmith.com .

Washington Post Book World (page one review by William E. Leuchtenburg, Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina): "Sally Bedell Smith has written the nonfiction beach book of the season...she is in firm command of the vast Kennedy scholarship...The book is impressively well researched and smartly written. It is rich in character sketches, anecdotes and accounts of events"

Los Angeles Times (page one review by Gary Indiana): "A gracefully written tell-all that really does tell a story worth reading...Smith's portrait of Jackie is irresistible...One falls in love with her all over again."

The New York Times (William Safire column): "A stunning new history... [written] with taste and sensitivity... prodigiously researched... The reader is placed right there in the salons of Georgetown and upstairs at the White House"

Liz Smith (syndicated columnist): "A ravishingly readable book"

Houston Chronicle (review by Fritz Lanham, Books Editor): "Smith writes neither to make idols nor to break them. She's unblinking but fair-minded in her assessment of the Kennedys and their friends, and she writes lucidly and engagingly... Grace and Power really does make you feel that you've stepped inside the private quarters of the White House"

New York Daily News (Sherryl Connelly): "Stylistic grace and authoritative reporting...the ultimate account."

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Karen Heller): "The White House that Smith presents is an elite circle of brilliant men and elegant women...In this history, Jacqueline Kennedy emerges as a more engaged, substantial and controlling presence."

The Boston Globe (Recommended Summer Reading by David Mehegan): "The background is the thousand days of the Kennedy administration, and the big events are here. But the narrative tension is in the tight circle around Jack and Jackie Kennedy... If we did not already know the ending, one might say this book reads like a novel"

San Francisco Chronicle (Carolyne Zinko): "What emerges is the complex nature of the relationship between the president and first lady, a marriage strained by his infidelity yet preserved in part by her tolerance of it; the transformation of the White House into a royal court of sorts... and the degree to which the president manipulated his advisers and the press, for good and bad."

Daily Mail (London): "Riveting history...Grace and Power paints a lively picture of this `social' White House, but though Bedell Smith captures its glamour she never falls in love with it... Throughout the book, Bedell Smith deftly manages to include the weightier events of those Cold War years without either trivialising them or lessening the fun of her lighter gossip."

Newsweek: "Smith has made a career out of turning the lives of bold-faced names into meticulously researched biographies...Smith chronicles Jack and Jackie's highs and lows, heroic diplomacy, prodigious infidelity and a sparkling intellectual and social life unsurpassed by their successors."

Dallas Morning News (Joy Dickinson): "A book that puts journalistic integrity above gossip but includes juicy details." ... Read more


59. My Prison Without Bars (Thorndike Press Large Print Americana Series)
by Pete Rose, Rick Hill
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786264977
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 194652
Average Customer Review: 2.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

PETE ROSE HOLDS MORE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL RECORDS THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER IN HISTORY. He stands alone as baseball's hit king having shattered the previously "unbreakable" record held by Ty Cobb. He is a blue-collar hero with the kind of old-fashioned work ethic that turned great talent into legendary accomplishments.

Pete Rose is also a lifelong gambler and a sufferer of oppositional defiant disorder. For the past 13 years, he has been banned from baseball and barred from his rightful place in the Hall of Fame-- accused of violating MLB's one taboo. Rule 21 states that no one associated with baseball shall ever gamble on the game. The punishment is no less than a permanent barring from baseball and exclusion from the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose has lived in the shadow of his exile. He has denied betting on the game that he loves. He has been shunned by MLB, investigated by the IRS, and served time for tax charges in the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.

But he's coming back.

Pete Rose has never been forgotten by the fans who loved him throughout his 24-year career. The men he played with have stood by him. In this, his first book since his very public fall from grace, Pete Rose speaks with great candor about all the outstanding questions that have kept him firmly in the public eye. He discloses what life was like behind bars, discusses the turbulent years of his exile, and gives a vivid picture of his early life and baseball career. He also confronts his demons, tackling the ugly truths about his gambling and his behavior.

MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS is Pete Rose's full accounting of his life. No one thinks he's perfect. He has made mistakes-- big ones. And he is finally ready to admit them.
... Read more

Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hit King Hits Home Run!!!
Pete Rose's new book, My Prison Without Bars is excellent by any standard, and a must read for fans of Pete as well as Baseball in general.

Yes, Rose finally admits he bet on baseball. He goes into detail about the reasons behind his love of gambling and why he was unlike any player of his generation (or since then). But this isn't why I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed it because it is well written in a very engageable style. Pete has an edgy sense of humor which comes through in the book.

I would recommend you ignore the hype by all the media (whether it's from ESPN, Jim Rome, Bob Costas or anyone else) and read the book. By the end of it you too will agree that it is time to lift the ban and allow one of the greatest players to every play the game back into the game and elected to the hall of fame.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pete Rose's new book
This reviewing area on amazon has become a Pete Rose bashing area. Some here need to actually read the book before making a review.

I am not saying that Pete Rose is perfect. But this is a damn good book that has raised my respect for him even more. It covers his whole life from his birth in 1941, through his playing career and management, his (legal) businesses after getting barred by baseball in 1989. He even admitted finally to betting from 1985-1988. I am not saying he should automatically be elected to the hall of fame but I damn well think this guy is a decent human being. He cared for his family. He did not do anything to physically hurt anyone. He loved baseball and he IS the hit king and owned about at least 10 other batting records.

And for the review that is one or two spaces down calling a Pete a "savage" for nailing Ray Fosse in the '70 All-Star game, it's professional baseball, not girls softball or tennis. It's a game.

Buy this book and who knows, after the 322 pages, you might respect him even more (or at all) possibly?

3-0 out of 5 stars Life before, after, but not during baseball
This book is a solid read only for Rose fans who are NOT looking for any details of his playing days. It's no secret he has admitted to gambling on baseball and he comes forth with the details. Both the gambling and the events leading up to them.

The major downer is he spends a good deal of time being critial of John Dowd and the "Dowd Report". He states the witness used by Dowd were unreliable and there is no way Dowd should have concluded Rose bet on baseball. However... Dowd got it right. Even if the evidence was "unreliable", Rose shouldn't have spent so much time bashing Dowd knowing the result was accurate.

On the plus side you can really see his life since the banishment. He shows the plusses and minuses of events since then, including his jail time. You can see he's certainly been punished.

Also he does have a good wit. I especially liked the first sentence of the epilogue.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fine case of whine
In the book, Rose seems to be able to find ways to blame nearly everyone else for his failures. When he finally admits to having gambled on baseball while actively participating in it, it feels like a confession without realling confessing. He simply wants to be in the Hall of Fame and will say anything to make it happen.

Now, I believe that Pete deserves the honor of being in the Hall. During the 70s, nobody played baseball like he did. He is truly one of the greats of the game. Had he admitted 14 years ago that he did bet on baseball, he probably would be in the Hall today but his own stubborness along with his ability to shift the blame for his problems to anything and everything but himself now probally make this a moot point.

Overall, this is an interesting book about a talented ballplayer but a flawed human being. Don't expect, however, to learn what makes Pete tick.

1-0 out of 5 stars Shift All The Blame Everywhere Else
He shifts the blame everywhere but where it belongs -- PETE ROSE. This is a lame attempt to attempt to clear the air so he can make it in to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but believe me, he will NEVER make it there! He is a LIAR!!! The book contains several glaring errors and typos and you think the editor would have told him to cut back a little on the usage of "feller" and "sumbitch." ... Read more


60. By Myself And Then Some (Thorndike Press Large Print Biography Series)
by Lauren Bacall
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786275561
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 119405
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Engaging Book
If you have read her first book you will probably be a bit disappointed since the present book has just 80 new pages added in a second section at the end, and there is a twenty year gap in her biography, between where the old story stops in the 70s and the addition begins in the 90s. The new part is mostly from the early 1990s through to her Oscar nomination, and then on to the Sept 11, 2001 attack and beyond to the end of 2004. It covers her more recent movies and TV appearances, and plays, including those movies with Nicole Kidman. For readers like myself - and I am a Bogart fan - and I have not read her old book, I found this to be a wonderful biography and I read it cover to cover over a two day period. The book transports the reader back to 1940s Hollywood with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and many more.

This is a fairly detailed look at the life of Bacall, but mainly about the years to 1957 and before, the year her first husband Humphrey Bogart died. My main complaint is that the book lacks structure, andinstead the 500 page book is one continuous story broken with the occasional short sentence inserted in heavy font to designate a change in the direction of the story, and that line can occur anywhere on a page. There are no chapters nor is there an index - just one break where the new 80 pages are added. The good news here is that this update book by Bacall is a a very well written, reader friendly, and an engaging book. Once you start to read it is almost impossible to put the book down, and I read the first half or over 300 pages almost non stop - to where Bogart dies.

She starts with her early childhood in New York city; she tells us her life story through high school, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, modelling, then into small parts. She was star struck with visions of Bette Davis and others frorm a young age. The book describes a meeting bewteen the two in a New York hotel, where Bette Davis advised Bacall and her friend on how to become an actress. After some struggles, and by page 80 in this 500 page book, the ambitious Bacall makes a breakthrough when she appears on Harper's Bazaar cover in March 1943. Next she leads us through seemingly hour by hour for her first days in Hollywood at Warners, her screen test, the long wait and then her first film with Bogart, their relationship, threats from the director Hawks who had been supporting her but who opposed the Bogart relationship, Bogart's love letters, etc. They had an intense romance punctuated by Bacall making a middle of the night drive down highway 101- somewhat dramatically in the rain like a Bogart film -looking for a perhaps slightly drunk Bogart - who had phoned her in the middle of the night - and who was walking on foot with a large sunflower in his lapel - while her mother sat at home and was horrified that her daughter was going out with a three times married and 25 years older man.

The book seems to slow in tempo after Bogart's death and her affair with Sinatra - around pages 320 or so - and my only negative feeling about the book is the Sinatra section - about 20 pages long - where one is certain that she is skipping much detail. The last part of the book, the last 150 pages, leads us though her second marriage to Robarts - a mostly dismal and uninteresting period in her life - followed by the death of her mother, and then the rest of her career and awards, and her friends and family. In the last few pages she spills over with opinions about living in New york city, travelling outside the US with a US passport, and a number of other topics including her relationship and admiration of the late Katherine Hepburn.

After her second marriage failed, and her mother's death, and with "Mrs. Bogart" still being part of her core identity, Bacall was able to start a new life and made a comeback on her own in TV, movies, and live theatre. To her credit, the mature Lauren Bacall seems to have had great success in live theatre and on Broadway, and done it mostly on her own. She worked around the country in smaller theatres then in New York. She got a Tony for Applause and in a moment of poetic closure, Bette Davis, the star that Bacall had schemed to see in a hotel 30 years earlier (see above), came backstage and praised her for her performance in Applause, and told her that only she could do the part.

After her comeback she has appeared in a number of films and has reached a total of 50, but never again enjoying the same level of success and popularity as her early 4 Bogart films. But she continues to work into her seventies and is still sought for parts, especially mother roles, and came close to duplicating her old successes with a recent Oscar nomination late in her career. With her success she continues to live in New York overlooking west central park, her home town where she grew up and went to school.

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


1-0 out of 5 stars Same book, with brief epilogue
BY MYSELF--excellent, heartfelt autobiography.

UPDATE--reads something like this."The next one to die was Adios Hartley.We had enjoyed many wonderful luncheons together over the years and he was my escort to the Golden Globes in 1987.I will miss him terribly."

"Then the next one to die was Beau Bye.He was a delightful person that I got to know well on the set of Uptown Downtown.Such a raconteur!"

and on, and on, and on....

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I har already read the first book by myself.This is a wonderful book.The rest is just not worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Loved It"
BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME by Lauren Bacall is anything but boring. What a woman!

I admire Ms. Bacall for many, many reasons, a few reasons...her savvy way of doing things...her spunk... and her own unique style.I, for one, am thrilled she chose to share some of herself with us (her many fans), in this fantastic book.

No-matter what her real age today, I think she is STILL beautiful both inside and out.

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved By Myself.Looking Forward to Reading This One
I have not actually read this follow-up book yet, but am looking forward to in the near future.I am currently re-reading By Myself.I read one of the reviews below, and felt I really have to answer it.Lauren Bacall is in no way ripping off or cheating her readers.Instead, what she has done is a marvelous thing.By Myself was first written 25 years ago.It is a wonderful book.Since then, a whole generation of people has grown up not knowing about this book.She has simply presented it again along with an update so those of us who weren't around the first time can enjoy it, and those of us who read the first book can enjoy it again along with a nice companion update.I just love and admire Lauren Bacall.She really is class all the way. ... Read more


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