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21. Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography
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22. Augustine : A New Biography
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23. The Hidden Pope: The Untold Story
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24. The Scariest Place : A Marine
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25. Autobiography of Malcolm X
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26. Alexander Hamilton
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27. Father Joe: The Man Who Saved
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28. Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way
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29. Standing Next to History : An
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30. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an
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31. First They Killed My Father :
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32. The Rise of Benedict XVI : The
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33. Right Turns : Unconventional Lessons
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34. John Adams
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35. White House Nannies: True Tales
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36. ABOUT FACE : THE ODYSSEY OF AN
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37. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts,
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38. Shooter : The Autobiography of
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39. The Long Walk: The True Story
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40. Severe Mercy, A

21. Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela Tag: The International Bestseller
by Nelson Mandela
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316548189
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 3000
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself inLong Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretlywhile Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interestingrevelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him twomarriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished.Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit inwhich just about everybody can find something to admire. ... Read more

Reviews (89)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Man Is My Hero.
I read "Long Walk to Freedom" right after I graduated from college in 1996. This is the written life of one of the absolute greatest world leaders who ever lived. I had the pleasure to visiting Robben Island, where most of its tour guides were, like Mandela, political prisoners under apartheid. Words cannot describe what it felt like to actually stand inside of the jail cell that Mandela occuppied. What is even more incredible is that, looking back, the man was not the least bit bitter or angry about what he went through (and who could blame him if he were?); in fact, he invited his former jailers to his 1994 inauguration as South Africa's first black president.

If after reading this book you do not come away with a greater sense of admiration and respect for this outstanding human being, then you are not human.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good autobiography
Long Walk to Freedom is the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest leaders of South Africa. It gives a detailed account of his childhood, youth, and adulthood. It takes you through his years in college and his work as a lawyer as well as all of his political struggles with apartheid including his years in jail.
The book is extremely well written and gives the detail that only someone who witnessed the events could posses. Mandela's hindsight as he reviews the events of his life shows a more personal side to him. I liked the book but anyone who is considering reading it should be reminded that it is an autobiography so it does have a bias. He wrote the book as someone who had been wronged. Long Walk To Freedom provides an interesting and detailed account of the South Africans struggle with apartheid. It details Nelson's joining of the ANC (African National Congress) his rise in the ANC, and his creation of the MK. It also gives facts about his personal life and the life of his family. It is recommended to anyone who enjoys autobiographies or to anyone who is looking to learn more about the history of apartheid and South Africa.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is well worth of my shelf space.
You should read, at least, a book or two about biographies of such noble people as Nelson Mandela, whose lives have been a blessing to the world. This was a great inspirational book and helped me to realize how simple and small things in life could bring so much joy into one's life. Far too often, I personally take simple pleasures of life for granted. The freedom is not free and the book cites how the freedom is brought at the expense of sacrifices of our fathers. The book is very well written and what impresses me is Nelson Mandela's mastery of English language.

4-0 out of 5 stars LOOOOONG Book
This book kept me in prison for a long time. It really bogs down in the middle and then hurries to wrap up. It's a much more "satifying" read in the first 1/3 of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars THE DETERMINATION OF ONE MAN- A MUST READ!
After reading LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, I came away with a sense of awe for a man who spent 27 years in prison but never gave up the hope for his freedom and the freedom of his country.

Communicating was key to keeping the "freedom fighters" on the outside informed and encouraged. One way this was done was to write in tiny, coded script on toilet paper. The paper was so small and easily hidden that this became a popular way of smuggling out messages. When the authorities discovered a number of these communications, they took the extraordinary measure of rationing toilet paper. After awhile, only eight squares of toilet paper were given to each prisoner each day.

To live under such conditions where you can be so isolated from the world (For 27 years), that you contemplate conversing with a cockroach, is a test of the human spirit. To sacrifice the obligations of family so that a nation of people can breath in freedom is nothing short of courageous with a fiercely determined spirit. Here is what Nelson Mandela writes about in his struggle for family and nation:

I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband.

In that way, my commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most. It was as simple and yet as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, "Why can you not be with us?" And the father must utter the terrible words: "There are other children like you, a great many of them....." and then one's voice trails off.

Nelson Mandela is a man that has a spirit and determination that is above and beyond most people or leaders today. READ THE BOOK!! It will open your eyes and in the end, it'll make you feel good about the human spirit. ... Read more


22. Augustine : A New Biography
by James J. O'Donnell
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 0060535377
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 1926
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Book Description

Augustine, sinner and saint, the celebrated theologian who served as bishop of ... Hippo from 396 C.E. until his death in ... 430 C.E., is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the western world. Augustine: A New Biography tells the story of Augustine from the vantage point of Hippo, where he spent almost forty years as priest and bishop. During Augustine's post-Confessions years he became prominent as a churchman, politician, and writer, and James J. O'Donnell looks back at the events in the Confessions from this period in Augustine's life.

Much of Augustine's writing consists of sermons and letters rich in vivid primary material about the events of his time. Prosperous men converting to Christianity to get ahead, priests covering up their sexual and financial peccadilloes, generals playing coldly calculated games of Roman barbarian geopolitics -- these are the figures who stand out in Augustine's world and who populate O'Donnell's intriguing portrait set against a background of the battle over the future of Christianity. This book reveals much of what Augustine didn't confess.

... Read more

23. The Hidden Pope: The Untold Story of a Lifelong Friendship That Is Changing the Relationship Between Catholics and Jews: The Personal Journey of John Paul II and Jerzy Kluger
by Darcy O'Brien
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0875964788
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Rodale Press
Sales Rank: 344887
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

John Paul II has made greater strides toward understanding and atoning for Rome's complicity in anti-Semitism than any other pope in history. The Hidden Pope shows how and why this rapprochement is taking place by telling the story of John Paul's lifelong friendship with Jerzy Kluger, a Polish Jew. The text is a fascinating and detailed depiction of John Paul's personal life, butthe book's real significance lies in its frank demonstration of the way Karol Wojtyla brings his personal experience to bear on the eternal truths of Catholic theology. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Jewish readers
This book gives an eye opening view of the current Pope. It shows how his upbringing in Poland led him to have his feelings of friendship with the Jewish people. He is presented as a true "tzadik". The book also briefly relates on how the works of Pope John XXIII and Cardinals Willebrands, O'Connor and Spellman have brought about a better understanding of Judaism in the Church. If their messages could only filter down to the populace...

5-0 out of 5 stars A good read!
I found this book very informative on the Pope, who has always been a hero of mine. It was very indepth and historical. Although it was not negative about the Pope it did seem to contain some incorrect statments on the views of catholics and the teachings of the Church. I felt it was assumed that catholics are, in general, negative towards Jews. I have always been a believing catholic and have never thought of Jews as "Christ Killers" or anything like that. I have never found anything in Catholic teaching that would support those views, most of these from writings from before John Paul II. Usually I read that we are all personally guilty of the crucifiction by our own sins. Over all it was a good and worthwhile reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
This is a fabulous book. I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, but I was fascinated by the depth of the man we all call Pope. I had no idea of his personal journey, and the breadth of his goodness. Too many times, we don't look beyond the title and the robes. This is truly a saintly man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another O'Brien masterpiece
Having read many other books by this author, I am constantly amazed at not only the depth of knowledge O'Brien brings to each of his works, but also by the depth of the author himself, who obviously lives the research of each subject. Such dedication to research is highly visible in his latest, and sadly, his last offering.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellant historic account of the pope and his boyhood
Wonderfully written. O'Brien shows great talent in going from his account of the Hillside Strangler Case, "Two of a Kind" to a revealing historical account of the Pope. ... Read more


24. The Scariest Place : A Marine Returns to North Korea
by James Brady
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
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Asin: 0312332424
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
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25. Autobiography of Malcolm X
by MALCOLM X
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0345350685
Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 4112
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

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

Reviews (214)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


26. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
list price: $26.00
our price: $12.24
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Asin: 0143034758
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 11047
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades," now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington's aide-de-camp, a member of the Constitutional Convention, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, leader of the Federalist party, and the country's first Treasury secretary. With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

For the first time, Chernow captures the personal life of this handsome, witty, and perennially controversial genius and explores his poignant relations with his wife Eliza, their eight children, and numberless friends. This engrossing narrative will dispel forever the stereotype of the Founding Fathers as wooden figures and show that, for all their greatness, they were fiery, passionate, often flawed human beings.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow's vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America's founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.
... Read more

Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of American History's Shining Stars
There have NOT been enough biographies of Alexander Hamilton, and Ron Chernow has restored this often maligned founding father into his deserved spotlight. The marvelous opening passage describes the longings of Hamilton's widow, Elizabeth, for her husband who had died nearly 50 years previously. This romantic image sets the tone for this brilliant book, as it explores the heart as well as the mind of Alexander Hamilton.

For those who do not know, Hamilton was not merely a capitalist and economist who happened to die in a duel with Aaron Burr. True, he was the founder of The Bank of New York and was America's first Secretary of the Treasury. But Hamilton was also a tireless abolitionist, a brilliant lawyer and writer, General Washington's right-hand-man, a war hero, founder of the New York Post, and a swash-buckling romantic. Taken on their own, these achievements are amazing enough, but given the enormous obstacles and tragedies he had to overcome during his youth, it's just mindboggling. To take it a step further, he accomplished all this in just 49 years, which was his age at the time of his death.

A life as full, as dramatic, as IMPORTANT as Alexander Hamilton's deserves volumes. Ron Chernow's extensive biography is a long book but, even so, the amazing life he is describing requires such length. And, to Chernow's credit, the book achieves just the right balance of admiration and criticism, romanticism and realism, speculation and fact. Hamilton's life swung between often contradictory ideas and emotions, and Chernow presents them all to us, rather than sticking with one overriding image. ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow is perhaps the most important book written about the nascent years of our country since Ellis' FOUNDING BROTHERS, which would make an excellent companion to this book. I would also strongly recommend McCullough's JOHN ADAMS, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Important American Figure Never to Become President
During the 1980s, during the period when Bank of New York launched its hostile take-over of Irving Bank, the following anecdote circulated.

As Alexander Hamilton was getting into the boat to be rowed across the Hudson River to Weehawken where he was scheduled to duel Aaron Burr, he turned to his aide and said, "Don't do anything until I return."

The story concluded, unfortunately, the aide and all of his successors took Hamilton at his word.

The anecdote, though funny at the time of the take-over, could not have a weaker historical foundation. Ron Chernow's biography relates the details of an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan who rose to become George Washington's key aide-de-camp, battlefield hero, Constitutional Convention delegate, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Federalist Party head and the country's first Treasury Secretary.

Hamilton was a rare revolutionary: fearless warrior, master administrator and blazing administrator. No other moment in American history could have better employed Hamilton's abundant talents and energy.

As Treasury Secretary, the country benefited from his abilities as a thinker, doer, skilled executive and political theorist. He was a system builder who devised and implemented interrelated policies.

As in the Revolution, Hamilton and Washington complemented each other. Washington wanted to remain above the partisan fray. He was gifted with superb judgment. When presented with options, he almost always made the correct choice. His detached style left room for assertiveness. Especially in financial matters, Hamilton stepped into the breach.
Washington was sensitive to criticism, yet learned to control his emotions. Hamilton, on the other hand, was often acted without tact and was naturally provocative.

Perhaps the main reason Hamilton accomplished so much was Washington agreed with his vision of 13 colonies welded into a single, respected nation. Chernow presents a well-written and nuanced portrait that arguably is the most important figure in American history that never attained the presidency. Though his foreign birth denied him the ultimate prize, his accomplishments produced a far more lasting impact than many who claimed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars True Founding Interests
The best all around depiction of a pivotal charecter in the founding of our country. With all of Mr Hamiltons accomplishments and pitfalls of character. Hamilton created almost single-handedly the modern capitalist society in addition to making huge implications into the manner which our government took shape that so many Americans take for granted. I would encourage anyone interested in the formation of the American experiment and a capitalist society read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Life
After Ronald Reagan died, I recall a TV commentator saying that there was a movement to replace Hamilton with Reagan on the $10 bill. Paraphrasing, "Hamilton was an easy target because he lacks a 'constituency'". Chernow's outstanding biography not only demonstrates why Hamilton is on the bill, but that his constituency should be all Americans. Of the "Founding Fathers", it is Hamilton who, if he could come back today, would be generally pleased at the United States he would find; his vision of capitalism, free markets and a central government has come to fruition.

The book details his youth growing up in the West Indies of questionable legitimacy, emigrating to the "Colonies", receiving an education, serving on Washington's staff in the Revolutionary War, his authorship of the Federalist Papers, his role in the Constitutional Convention, first Secretary of the Treasury, prolific writer, lawyer. His was a truly a phenomenal life. Chernow remarks that "No immigrant did more for the United States than Hamilton." After completing this book you can't help but "second" that statement.

The book paints vivid portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Burr as well as the political climate. The role of his family and particularly his wife are well chronicled along with his faults. This book adds to the number of outstanding biographies that are being written about this period of our history. Back to Reagan, who quoted Hamilton on numerous occasions, I think if he had a say in who should be on the Ten, he like me would vote for Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This is the best biography I have read in years. After the wonderful biographies out recently about Franklin and Adams, it was a thrill to learn about Alexander Hamilton, who has been so maligned and sidestepped by history. Buy this book. It is beautifully written, will hold your interest, and you will come away--as I did--with a new take on the founding of this country. ... Read more


27. Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul
by Tony Hendra
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 1400061849
Catlog: Book (2004-05-18)
Publisher: Random House
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

How I met Father Joe. I was fourteen and having an affair with a married woman. These are the opening lines to the first chapter of this outstanding memoir by former National Lampoon Editor Tony Hendra. How could we resist diving into this deliciously satisfying story about a lifelong mentorship with Dom Joseph Warrilow, a.k.a. Father Joe? After the devout Catholic husband catches the illicit couple in the kitchen, the husband does not attack Hendra. Instead he decides the young boy needs salvation. Amazingly, the husband leads Hendra to the one man who could save his soul: Father Joe. This is a tribute to a spiritual mentor, written in an easygoing, guy-talk style. It is no small feat to be brilliantly funny, ruthlessly honest, and spiritually profound at the same time, but Hendra has the winning combo. For more than 40 years Hendra would return to this mesmerizing old soul to tell him everything---from the details of his first sexual encounter, through questioning the social value of satire, to his crisis in faith after losing two children through miscarriages. But it's not just the North Star wisdom of Father Joe that captivates readers; it is the chance to follow Hendra as he gradually matures into a humble and spiritually solid man who can still crack a wicked good joke. Such a gift. Thank you, Tony Hendra.--Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not "Tuesdays with Joe"
"Father Joe" is an unexpected stunner; not a "Me and My Mentor" book at all. It's a brush with greatness that wouldn't brush off. A real-life parable. An atheist's prayer.

Don't be scared off by the "Father" in the title. It doesn't mean you have to know (or care) about Catholicism or any other religion to "get" the book. Its lessons are hardly church-specific. There's even a paradoxical quote from the title guy on this point: "God loves atheists as much as believers. P-p-probably more."

Also don't be scared off by the idea of "lessons." This book preaches nothing. It discovers things -- resonant truths -- and the reader can't help but discover those truths along with the author.

If you don't laugh, cry, and learn something from "Father Joe," you're already dead.

Caveat: Have Google close at hand when you read. The author's language is clear but some of his analogies are a bit arcane. (Hendra's scholarship appears to predate his Cambridge education. His 14-year-old self, as recounted in the book, knows more than most adults I can think of.) It's hard not to be embarrassed bringing a standard American education to this party, because we are generally taught so little about literature and history.

Update June 8 -- based on feedback here, I started a Yahoo discussion group for "Father Joe" at groups.yahoo.com/group/father_joe_group

3-0 out of 5 stars Good read... but...
Father Joe is a very entertaining and wonderful story about a man who really makes a difference in people's lives. On that level it's engaging and involving, although I agree a bit with some of the other complaints I've seen that Hendra goes out of his way to insult Thatcher and Reagan, and doesn't tie those details in too well to the rest of the story.

My chief issue, though, is that nowhere do I get the impression that Hendra ever got the real message this priest should have had to offer. I don't know if it's because Father Joe didn't tell it well or because Hendra didn't hear it well. Hendra seems to be searching for a spiritual experience for it's own sake, and on that level, it's a pretty selfish quest, which migh explain why it is so disappointing. But that's just not what Christianity is about. It's about a unique individual who is both God and man and who's still alive, even though he was killed.

At one point in the book Hendra tells Father Joe that he only senses God's presence when he's with Father Joe. He should keep looking!

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Uplifting
Don't get me wrong, though it is an uplifting book in many ways, you also see or should I say 'Feel' the heartbreak along the way. This is a Powerful read. There have only been a few books that have touched me so deeply-'Father Joe' is one of them, as well as 'Nightmares Echo','Running With Scissors'and 'A Million Little Pieces'

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
This is a sad book about a very selfish person that wasted his life while inflicting much pain on others. I would have found the read more palatable if Hendra actually experienced a metanoia, but it remains clear he continues to view himself as the center of the universe. The lessons and love unconditionally offered by Fr. Joseph were ignored at best and at worst persecuted.

A couple of other points: (a) I find it impossible to believe the "recollections" are accurate as this author is prone to extreme fabrication, and (b) I found the "name dropping" to be tedious and off the mark. Silly me, I thought the book might actually be about the title - "The Man Who Saved My Soul". This one goes in the trash bin. I wish I could get my money back.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Powerful Book I have read in a Long Time
Father Joe is the story of author Tony Hendra's faith journey. It is an inspiring, heartfelt story of the four decade relationship between the satirist and a surprisingly wise Benedictine monk named Father Joseph Warrillow.

Hendra, one of the original editors of National Lampoon, captures the beautiful essence of a truly God-inspired man. The portrait that emerges is of one a cleric who is a credit to Church, a cleric who is a credit to his Christ. Father Joe is truly a saint. Hendra, in a startling departure from his normal style, portrays Father Joe's actions as non-judgmental, caring, and engaged.

This is the most powerful book I have read in a long time. If I have one criticism, it is Hendra's prodigious talent occasionally clouds this great story. I would occasionally find myself re-reading a particularly clever or unique descriptive phrase. However, you should properly view those words as the musings of a less talented, envious and jealous writer.

Father Joe is a tribute to one of the most charismatic, selfless, spiritual mentors of our time. At times it is funny; at times it will bring tears to your eyes. Tony Hendra experienced a miracle. I am grateful he shared the story with me. Read the book. You will be grateful he shared it with you. ... Read more


28. Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way
by Pope John Paul II
list price: $22.95
our price: $16.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446577812
Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 7990
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Book Description

Following the success of the international bestseller Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II provides the world with a glimpse into his past in RISE, LET US BE ON OUR WAY.Chronicling the years he spent as a bishop and later archbishop in Krakow,Poland through his election as the first Polish Pope in 1978, he recounts everything from communist efforts to suppress the church in Poland to his efforts to adopt a new and more open style of pastoral ministry. With recollections on his life as well as his thoughts on the issues facing the world now, Pope John Paul II offers words of wisdom in this book that will appeal to people of any faith looking to strengthen their spirituality. ... Read more


29. Standing Next to History : An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service
by Joseph Petro, Jeffrey Robinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312332211
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 64631
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Book Description

Joseph Petro served for 23 years as a special agent in the United States Secret Service; eleven of them with presidents and vice presidents. For four of those years he stood by the side of Ronald Reagan.

Following his career as a Navy Lieutenant, during which he patrolled the rivers and canals along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, he worked his way up through the Secret Service to become one of the key men in charge of protecting the President. That journey through the Secret Service provides an individual look inside the most discreet law enforcement agency in the world, and a uniquely intimate account of the Reagan presidency.

Engagingly, Joseph Petro tells "first hand" stories of: riding horses with the Reagans; eluding the press and sneaking the President and Mrs. Reagan out of the White House; rehearsing assassination attempts and working, then re-working every detail of the president's trips around the world; negotiating the president's protection with the KGB; diverting a 26 car presidential motorcade in downtown Tokyo; protecting Vice-President Dan Quayle at Rajiv Gandhi's funeral where he was surrounded by Yassir Arafat's heavily armed bodyguards; taking charge of the single largest protective effort in the history of the Secret Service-Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit to the United States; and being only one of three witnesses at the private meeting between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that ushered in the end of the Cold War.

Joseph Petro provides an original and fascinating perspective of the Secret Service, the inner workings of the White House and a little seen view of world leaders, as a man who stood next to history.
... Read more

30. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
by Queen Noor
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401359485
Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 2715
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

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

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

Reviews (196)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Glimpse into the Arab World
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!It was fascinating to read about the Middle East conflict from an American woman turned Arab's perspective. It is intriguing how an independent, well-educated, well-connected American woman can move to an Arab country, covert to Islam and live in a society where women are second-class citizens. Having said that, I am very impressed at the role Noor ultimately created, e.g., the programs she developed to help the women in Jordan earn a living through their traditional handicrafts and her speaking engagements in the United States to help raise awareness of the Arab culture.Her background in Urban Planning and architecture also allowed her to play an important role in managing the growth in Jordan effectively.She is an intelligent, articulate and graceful woman who served the King and Jordan admirably.

The majority of the book is really a tribute to King Hussein and it goes into great detail about his politics and peace negotiations, which was very educational and compelling.Clearly, Noor loved and respected her husband deeply. However, I would have liked to have learned more about Queen Noor, her years as a young woman and her own work which she glosses over quite a bit.

Keep in mind this is a personal memoir and as such the politics presented are from the Queen's perspective, which I found to be self-serving, or, rather, King serving at times.Not that this is such a bad thing as it is important to try to learn and understandworld politics from other points of view in order to balance out the propaganda that our own government and media feed us.Read this book with an open mind and your view of the Arab world will never be quite the same.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK if you ignore the politics
It's a good book about her life, but it gets into indepth details about the politics and the religion of that area of the world. It can get very tedious, and I basically just skimmed most of the book. If you understand politics and all the goings-on of that area of the world, then this book is for you. It's sort of the other side of history as we in the U.S. know it, and it's very biased against the US and Israel. The pictures are great though, and I did cry at the end when the King died.

1-0 out of 5 stars Ghost-written pap
The story of Queen Noor's life reads like a romance novel- well, not the usual romance novel, because in this one, the ordinary girl marries the King of a nation created by Western powers in the wake of WWII who manages to survive amidst countries run by murdurous dictators by willingly bowing to the demands of whomever has the largest army at his door. A King whose country subsumed "Arab Palestine" and yet who can pretend to be a defender of the Palestinians.

Of course that's really of no interest to the readers of this book, who see Queen Noor with the same unjaundiced eye they cast towards the late Princess Diana, another fairy-tale princess- at least in the legend created by her hoarde of press agents and promoters.

But if a fairy tale is what you're looking for- you'll certainly find it here.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book
I loved this book.I knew next to nothing about Jordan, Lisa Halaby, King Hussein, and the Middle East when I first read this book.I learned so much.I read it several times.

I particularly appreciated the perspective of an American woman, about my age, who adapted a ready-made family, a culture, a religion, and a country when she married her beloved husband.I think Queen Noor's perspective gives a balanced view of the Middle East and explains much about the differences and similarities in the world we all share.

I highly recommend this book both as a real life love story and as a mind-opening glimpse into a world very different than our own.

5-0 out of 5 stars an example to emulate
Queen Noor writes eloquently as she shares from the heart the solutions to unite humanity through peace, rather than weapons and war.
I found her courage and heartfelt intentions throughout the book to help raise awareness of the culture she married into, in order to bridge the gap between cultures in the Arab world, that is obviously wide and in dire need of peaceful resolution.

She is humble and gracious, highly educated and carries her mission to unite with her heart, rather than an ego gain for might and domineering power.
She is an example to emulate. Her book is an outstanding read.
... Read more


31. First They Killed My Father : A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
by Loung Ung
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060931388
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 34614
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung's family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. Eventually, they dispersed in order to survive. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited.

Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother and sustained by her sister's gentle kindness amid brutality, Loung forged ahead to create a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this family's story is truly unforgettable.

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Reviews (110)

4-0 out of 5 stars First They Killed My Father
Book Review

"First They Killed My Father: A Daughter Of Cambodia Remembers" by Ms. Loung Ung. January 2000. HarperCollins Publishers, 256 pages.

Reviewed by Ronnie Yimsut Special to the Asian Reporter

Do you remember when you were just a child? What kind a childhood did you have? Do you still remember what kind of dream you have? What was it like for you when you were growing up?

These are some of the questions one should ponder before he or she is about to read a recently published book by Ms. Loung Ung. For Loung, a genocide survivor, her answer to these questions might have been simply as, "I never really have a childhood, with the exception of the brief happy moment I have with my family." Loung's childhood, like that of many other children in Cambodia-including this reviewer, was taken away completely by war and the Khmer Rouge's Killing Fields regime. Only loneliness, suffering, extreme hunger (starvation), and sadness seemed to accompany Loung's early childhood in Cambodia.

Forced to live and work as slave labors in a virtual "prison without a wall," Loung and her family endured every basic human rights abuse by a genocidal regime, following a long and agonizing forced march across Cambodia. Overworked, sickness, and starvation soon followed as her constant companions. One by one, her family members were dying. Her family unity was slowly and agonizingly breaking up piece-by-piece by the so called, "Angkar," the Khmer Rouge secretive or phantom organization. An older sister was the first to die of illness, as a direct result of overwork and starvation, in a primitive Communist hospital. Her father, a former government official, was the first to be taken away and subsequently executed. Her mother and the youngest sister survived long enough to endure more torture before the Khmer Rouge young and eager executioners also killed them. No one immune from the mass killing by the Khmer Rouge, including some of the loyal Khmer Rouge cadres and soldiers themselves.

Orphaned by age eight years old, young Loung managed to overcome the Khmer Rouge brain washing sessions and training to be a child soldier. They trained her to be just another obedient killer for Angkar, like so many others before her. But they failed miserably. She survived only by her wit and her own family members' love for one another, and the numerous sacrifices that were made. It was the formula needed to fence against a genocidal regime bent on destroying family unity and a civil society. Loung refused to give up. In the end, Loung strong will have triumphant against all odds.

Loung's memoir represents the story of countless other children in Cambodia who did not survive to tell of their fate, of their immense suffering before their untimely death. In telling her own story, Loung is in fact telling many other untold stories of the suffering and death of her fellow children in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge reign of terrors. She is the voice for many others who are no longer have a voice. As Loung often said, "By telling my own story of suffering to others who would listen, I am worthy of being alive."

Thank you for your courage and determination, Loung!

5-0 out of 5 stars A deeply moving story of courage and survival
In the beginning pages of "First They Killed My Father", the book is dedicated in memory of the two million people that were killed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The vastness of that number is hard to understand and comprehend, but by writing her book Loung Ung helps us to understand. By telling her story she speaks not only for herself; but for all of those other voices that will never again be heard. The story that she tells is especially heartbreaking, because it is a story of horror and brutality seen through the eyes of a child. Loung Ung was only 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia in 1975. Loung and her family; along with hundreds of thousands of other families from the capital city of Phnom Penh; were forced to leave their homes and to flee into the countryside. They witnessed the deliberate destruction of an entire society by the Khmer Rouge. Day to day life in Cambodia became a living nightmare. I felt a very deep sense of grief and sadness reading about the death of so many of the Cambodian people; and of the terrible suffering endured by Loung and her family. But beyond those feelings of sadness, there is much more within this book. There are many poignant moments in the book, that reaffirm the ultimate value of every human life. As you read Loung's story, every member of her family will be vividly brought to life before your eyes. The love, sacrifice, courage and kindness of Loung's family helped to give her the strength to survive. Loung's courageous heart has helped others to live too. This is a book that was written from the heart, and it is a story that you will always remember.

5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book
This is an absolutely wonderful book. I wish that I hadn't read it yet so I could go back and read it again for the first time. It is a haunting recount of the transition of Cambodia's government by Pol Pot and the Khmer rouge and an amazing story of the people who were able to survive it. Fantastic writing that keeps you glued to every page. THis book really makes you realize the lack our hardship in your own life.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Reading
Forget Britney....And do you tend to complain of your life's miseries because you are not Britney? This is the kind of literature that makes you a different person, if you read it. You won't be the same, I promise. You'd appreciate the simplest of things in life...a drop of water, a grain of rice, a grain of sugar...and love and support from the family. It should be on a reading list for every students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moved me so much on the human spirit
As I'm now travelling in the Southeast Asia I would want to read some books about this area. I found Ms Luong Ung's book in a bookstore in Nha Trang of Vietnam (original copy!). Once I started to read it I had to stop for some time to get some fresh air before I could finish it. The book was so greatly written but the story was so horrible, it's impossible to be unmoved by the knowledge that this is not a fiction but a real life story that happened at the time of my generation. I felt the sorrow when Ms Luong's father, and later her mother, were taken away by the Khmer Rough, I felt the happiness when she finally started a new life in America. I was born in Aug 1977 and it's somehow quite difficult to imagine that when I was well brought up in a peaceful place (in Hong Kong), then a girl and other children of my generation living very near to me would force to serve for the children army and suffer from great miseries and unspeakable carnage. This book definitely tells us how lucky we are, how precious a life can be, and how one politician's stupid idea would ruin so many lives and families. Thanks Ms Loung for writing such a great book to share her experience with all of us, it must have taken you great courage to tell us your story, which moved me so much on the human spirit. ... Read more


32. The Rise of Benedict XVI : The Inside Story of How the Pope was Elected and Where He Will Take the CatholicChurch
by JOHN L. JR ALLEN
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385513208
Catlog: Book (2005-06-07)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 6935
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33. Right Turns : Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life
by MICHAEL MEDVED
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400051878
Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
Publisher: Crown Forum
Sales Rank: 597
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34. John Adams
by David McCullough
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684813637
Catlog: Book (2001-05-22)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 6626
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

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

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

Reviews (536)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

From finding the "perfect nanny" to firing the "perfect nanny," from refereeing Mommy-nanny disputes to keeping mum about family secrets, Barbara Kline has seen it all. In this hilarious page-turner she takes readers on a delightful ride through the bottle-and-bib-strewn beltway.
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Reviews (10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raise your glasses to Colonel David Hackworth!

Thank you, Sir. ... Read more


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

With more than sixty confirmed kills, Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top-ranked sniper. Shooter is his harrowing first-person account of a sniper's life on and off the modern battlefield.
Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin is a divorced father of two who grew up in a wealthy Boston suburb. At the age of nineteen, although he had never even held a gun, he joined the Marines and would spend the next twenty years behind the scope of a long-range precision rifle as a sniper.
In that time he accumulated one of the most successful sniper records in the Corps, ranging through many of the world's hotspots. During Operation Iraqi Freedom alone, he recorded at least thirty-six kills, thirteen of them in a single twenty-four-hour period.
Now Coughlin has written a highly personal story about his deadly craft, taking readers deep inside an invisible society that is off-limits to outsiders. This is not a heroic battlefield memoir, but the careful study of an exceptional man who must keep his sanity while carrying forward one of the deadliest legacies in the U.S. military today.
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Reviews (9)

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

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

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

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

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


39. The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
by Slavomir Rawicz
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558216847
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 1843
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The harrowing true tale of escaped Soviet prisoners¿ desperate march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India.
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Reviews (209)

2-0 out of 5 stars Facts, Facts, Facts
I read this book eagerly, given the fact that the book jacket described Rawicz's journey as "Homeric." Though he may have travelled as far as Odysseus, he certainly doesn't possess the literary skills of a Homer, even with the help of a ghost writer. The Long Walk was a plainly told tale of extraordinary endurance. In fact, I agree with one reviewer who found the tale so extraordinary as to be unbelievable. I might be willing to accept the truth of Rawicz's story had there been some introduction or some verifiable historical facts within the tale itself. Unfortunately, my edition had none of this and the result was fairly implausible. I could easily catalogue the story's absurdities: the fact that the Polish officers all died along the way, leaving only Rawicz and a few untraceable companions at the end; the claims that the party walked for days with no food or no water (read _In the Heart of the Sea_ or _Endurance_ for a more plausible survival tales, and you'll realize how difficult this is); the idea that the party traversed some of the most daunting territory on the earth in handmade fur garments (?!). Even if his story is true, Rawicz never bothers to analyze his experience, or mull over what it might mean. He and his companions managed to reach the relatively hospitable Mongolia and encountered dozens of boats heading for China, yet still chose to walk not only through the Gobi desert but over the Himalayas, with tragic consequences. Without some thoughts about the meaning of the experience and about his post-war life, Rawicz's tale is hardly more interesting than the map that marks his party's estimated route through the wilds of Asia.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story You'll Never Forget.
Although The Long Walk is well written, that has nothing to do with why it's a good book. People should read this book because it chronicles perhaps the most extraordinary true story of human endurance in recorded history.

Slavomir Rawicz is unjustly imprisoned by the Communist Russians early in World War II. He is confined to a cell so small that he literally cannot sit, but must sleep by collapsing with his knees against the wall and his feet steeped in his own waste. He is later transported to Siberia by train, and then marched through the cold countryside to a Soviet Gulag, witnessing the death by exposure and exhaustion of other unfortunate captives along the way. In the prison camp he is set in forced labor, kept in horrendous conditions, over-worked, and underfed.

Near the end of his rope, Rawicz and a handful of companions orchestrate a daring and desperate escape, and then proceed to run for their lives, on foot, toward freedom in India--4,000 miles away. Then the fun begins. They must conquer the frozen Siberian tundra, the Gobi desert, the Himalayan Mountains, starvation, the Soviets, and their own inner demons.

Slavomir's ordeal overshadows every other survival tale I've every read, including Admiral Scott's Polar expedition and Krakauer's Everest disaster. This is up there with the Donner Expedition in terms of grim conditions and the indomitable human spirit. Trust me. If you've got a teenager who's complaining because they think they have it rough, let 'em read this one. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great examination of the surviving spirit
There have have been questions about the truth od this book. What rings true is the deep emotional turmoil of the author as he hangs on to his hatred for his tormentors, and there's no doubt thess dark passions helped spur him on during his long and often seeminly endless trek. It's a sad book. An amazing journey of the mind and the soul can be found in IN THE GHOST COUNTRY by Peter Hillary, a mind-bending account of his haunted journey to the South Pole. Deep stuff.

2-0 out of 5 stars not believable
This book purports to describe the travels of a polish
officer in 1942 escaping from Siberia across China and
into freedom in India. As a travel book, it doesn't
hold up. As anyone who has travelled to these areas can
tell you, no small unsupported group of people is going
to just walk across those deserts without water or cross through
Tibet north to south during the coldest months of the year.
There are no landmarks to speak of presented in the book that
in any way line up to the geography of where he claims to have
gone. Beyond that, his story of escape from the russian camp is pure unbelievable melodrama. And for good measure, it contains
a bigfoot (or snowman) sighting near the end.

I suppose a few people will believe that some of the worst
deserts in the world are just there to walk across or that
you can just kind of find your way over the Himalayas during
the coldest part of the year to India.

I also couldn't help but wonder where his companions ended up
after. Did they all just fall off the face of the earth
after arriving in India? And on a journey like this, why would
you only know one of your companions as "Mr. Smith". Most people
would learn the entire life stories of the others on a trip like
this supposedly was. Or at the very least learn the names of
those your moving with.

If you want to read real survival stories, try something
about Shakelton or the book Great Heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars When freedom calls
This book is the story about a young Polish officer who is imprisoned and tortured by the Soviets. In a mockery of a trial he is sentanced to twenty-five years in a Soviet prison camp. It is here the real story begins.

In the middle of Siberia, this Polish officer plans the unthinkable: escape! He selects six other companions to attept this act of deparation with him. In planning his escape, another reviewer indicates that he receives help from an unexpected source. You will not believe who assists him in his quest for freedom!

The balance of the work deals in the trek across Siberia, Mogolia, the Gobi desert, and finally the Himalayas.

In the annuals of human history you would be hard pressed to indentify a person whose sigle mindedness approaches Slavomir Rawicz.

This is a terrific book! ... Read more


40. Severe Mercy, A
by Sheldon Vanauken
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060688246
Catlog: Book (1987-07-29)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 7853
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken, is a heart-rending lovestory described by its author as "the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers." Vanauken chronicles the birth of a powerful pagan love borne out of the relationship he shares with his wife, Davy, and describes the growth of their relationship and the dreams that they share. As a symbol of their love, they name their dream schooner the Grey Goose, "for the grey goose, if its mate is killed flies on alone and never takes another."

While studying at Oxford, Sheldon and Davy develop a friendship with C.S. Lewis, under whose influence and with much intellectual scrutiny they accept the Christian doctrine. As their devotion to God intensifies, Sheldon realizes that he is no longer Davy's primary love--God is. Within this discovery begins a brewing jealousy.

Shortly after, Davy acquires a fatal illness. After her death Sheldon embarks on an intense experience of grief, "to find the meaning of it, taste the whole of it ... to learn from sorrow whatever it had to teach." Through painstaking reveries, he comes to discover the meaning of "a mercy as severe as death, a severity as merciful as love." He learns that her death "had these results: It brought me as nothing else could do to know and end my jealously of God. It saved her faith from assault. ...And it saved our love from perishing."

Replete with 18 letters from C.S. Lewis, A Severe Mercy addresses some of the universal questions that surround faith--the existence of God and the reasons behind tragedy. --Jacque Holthusen ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars love is stronger than death...
After several readings of this book over the past few years, I can conclude without any hesitation that it is the most moving and unforgettable memoir I've ever read. It is relevant to note that all 29 of the other ... reviewers (at the time of my own writing) rate it a solid 5 stars... it really deserves a sixth. Not only for it's amazing true content, but for the beautiful way in which the author lays it all out. This book will literally captivate your imagination, sweep you away, and tug you towards a deeper understanding of the depths of "inloveness" (a Vanauken term) possible in God-ordained marriage.

Sheldon and Jean Vanauken were living the dream of togetherness that most people only.... well, DREAM about... until they came face to face with the fact that perhaps "perpetual springtime is not allowed." Those words were from their personal friend, the Oxford don C.S. Lewis and addressed to Sheldon as he tried to make sense of his overwhelming grief.

This is the story of a profound love between two people... a love that has its genesis, consummation, and terminus in heavenly places. If your eyes are dry all the way through this book... well, never mind... they won't be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful story of love, beauty and spiritual insight
A Severe Mercy is a masterfully crafted autobiography and the story of an intensely deep love relationship, a profound introspective on their path to finding God, and the utimate bereavement the author experiences as his thirty-something wife dies of a terminal illness.

Along the way, their paths cross with C.S. Lewis; personal correspondence with him peppers the book, as does a collection of superb poems written by Vanauken. It explores complex theological, philosophical and aesthetic issues with deep insight and profoundly sharp perspective. I can't recommend it highly enough, it's truly one if the best books I've ever read - a work of art which crosses many dimensions.

Practically speaking, A Severe Mercy explores a number of crucial life issues with breathtaking clarity. First, the second chapter, "The Shining Barrier" distills more insight into the true workings of a wonderful marriage relationship than a dozen garden-variety relationship books from the self-help section of a bookstore. Anyone who wants to understand why their romance has cooled off after five or ten or twenty years of marriage (including myself) could use this chapter alone as a manual for re-kindling the fire.

Secondly, it explores the nature of a difficult spiritual journey in a most articulate way - the emotional, philosophical, theological and personal implications of the claims of Jesus Christ. This book is not in any way a Bible-thumping promo for Christianity; rather it examines the claims of Christ and their implications from logical, historical, aesthetic and personal viewpoints -- in a way that no thinking person can easily dismiss.

I gave this book to friends of mine, a highly educated married professional couple, before they went on a camping trip. They were struggling mightily to reconcile Christianity with their modern worldview and the book was instrumental in helping them accomplish a breakthrough.

Third, it delves into the difficult interior world of a person who is bereft of the love of his life and who must feel the sorrow and loss and yet go on.

A Severe Mercy plumbs the depths of all of these issues via beautiful prose, expertly crafted perspective, and provocative poetry. Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars all kinds of creepy
"A Severe Mercy" is a monotonous tale of a sick relationship which was, sadly, never fully healed even after the author's conversion and his wife's death.

The author is an overly self-conscious, controlling, self-absorbed snob (who can stomach Americans affecting British spelling?) whose characterization of his "beloved" remains disturbingly two-dimensional. If only she'd left her own story (well, one Van didn't burn), there might have been something interesting to it.

People who love this book, in my experience, tend to love it for all the wrong reasons. They are, for example, swept away by the ideal of pagan love and miss the explicit point (which even the author, in theory at least, gets) that such love must either convert and grow or fester. Others are emotionally immature, somewhat naive and inexperienced in love, and miss all the glaring problems in the author's relationship and attitudes toward it (both at its beginning and later, as he looks back). Many of my friends who liked this book as teenagers found it repulsive when they read it as adults. (And the theologically inclined found a few theological errors to boot.)

The book does have some redeeming features, like a handful of letters from C.S. Lewis to the author, but overall, it isn't worthwhile. There are too many good Christian books to be wasting time on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sentimental, yet Truthful
A story about love, the shining barrier, between a pre-WWII American couple that leads to a life of deep living and true struggle with what life and relationship bring to each other. CS Lewis, God, and intellectualism all mix in a very well thought out and true to life way that make this a most timely and peculiarly important book. Three big events: the love of a couple, their conversion to Christ, and death all mix with how God must be faced in our lives. Touching, sentimental, yet truthful to the greater truths of what it really means to be a follower of Christ.

1-0 out of 5 stars spiritual exhibitionism
I wrote a review of this book a year ago, but it has been deleted. My opinion is unchanged. It is shallow, sentimental, and exhibitionist--a pathetic example of what passes for profundity in our time. It also attributes remarks to C S Lewis that no one who has read his books (or knew him)would regard as accurate. I earnestly hope it will soon go out of print and vanish into the obscurity it so richly deserves. ... Read more


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