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141. Master of the Senate: The Years
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142. Victoria's Daughters
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143. Living History
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144. Taking Heat : The President, the
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146. Because He Could
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150. Spymaster: My Life In The Cia
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160. Return from Tomorrow

141. Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
by ROBERT A. CARO
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394528360
Catlog: Book (2002-04-23)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 9604
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Robert Caro's Master of the Senate examines in meticulous detail Lyndon Johnson's career in that body, from his arrival in 1950 (after 12 years in the House of Representatives) until his election as JFK's vice president in 1960. This, the third in a projected four-volume series, studies not only the pragmatic, ruthless, ambitious Johnson, who wielded influence with both consummate skill and "raw, elemental brutality," but also the Senate itself, which Caro describes (pre-1957) as a "cruel joke" and an "impregnable stronghold" against social change. The milestone of Johnson's Senate years was the 1957 Civil Rights Act, whose passage he single-handedly engineered. As important as the bill was--both in and of itself and as a precursor to wider-reaching civil rights legislation--it was only close to Johnson's Southern "anti-civil rights" heart as a means to his dream: the presidency. Caro writes that not only does power corrupt, it "reveals," and that's exactly what this massive, scrupulously researched book does. A model of social, psychological, and political insight, it is not just masterful; it is a masterpiece. --H. O'Billovich ... Read more

Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Three Volumes
After reading all 1,040 pages of this biography cum political history there is something to be said for the book. Richard Caro does not admire LBJ. But there is much not to like about LBJ. In the worst way he was deceitful, manipulative, crude, selfish, cowardly, and dishonest, however he was also smart, a very hard worker, willing to make sacrifices to serve ambition, a student of human nature and thrived on politics. He knew what he had to do to get power and, when he had power, he knew how to use it. Caro's research is thorough yet he does not get lost in minutia. There is not a dull page in this tome. For an historian he has a smooth, if not elegant, writing style - reminiscent of David McCullough or Doris Kerns Goodwin.
While this book covers only about 12 years of Johnson's life, it is rich in politics and history. For each biographical episode Caro sets the historical foundation to better understand the flow, the impact and importance of events. A compelling example of this concerns civil rights legislation. Caro does not limit his investigation to the weeks and months preceding the passage of the voting registration law of 1957, rather he goes back to Reconstruction and gives an historical thread up to the 1950's just to get the proper perspective. In this connection, LBJ for years stood with the South and shamelessly blocked civil rights legislation - doing do as a Senator, as minority leader and then as majority leader. It was at the 1956 Democratic convention that he got a rude awakening. He sincerely believed that he had a respectable chance at the nomination for president. It was there he learned that in the eyes of the rest of the country he was just another southern bigot. For the 1960 presidential run he would have to change that image by becoming a champion of civil rights. In executing this turn-around and orchestrating the passage of the first civil rights bill in 72 years Johnson's performance is truly masterful. History and personal ambition came together to serve the county. You can take the last 200 pages of this book alone and sell a 100,000 copies!

5-0 out of 5 stars Caro Delivers on LBJ Again.
As usual, Mr. Caro's work on LBJ is excellent. In particular, the book starts with a very absorbing overview of the US Senate, showcasing the concept of the founding fathers to make the Senate a bastion of calm and reason. However, he also shows the Senate's inherent flaws so keenly exploited by the southern senators who for many generations successfully fought off Civil Rights legislation. Mr. Caro includes a sobering and retrospective view of the Senate's inherent isolationism to include "what if" the Senate had ratified the Treaty of Versailles and America had joined the League of Nations.

As an historian with a deep background in 20th Century America, I have a professional interest in the topic, but so should any reader with an interest in 1950's America, in particular during the tumultuous challenges brought on by the Cold War and the fight for Civil Rights .

However, this book definitively showcases LBJ's years in the Senate. He remains a larger-than-life figure in American politics and his "history" is truly extraordinary.

4-0 out of 5 stars A master work with a central flaw
I have read all three of Robert Caro's volumes on LBJ with fascination. Caro is unsurpassed as a researcher, and while there is far too much repetition here (similar evidence marshalled to make a similar point) and too wide a sense of relevance (was it necessary to spend a chapter, for example, on Coke Stevenson's happy marriage AFTER he lost the 1948 Democratic Primary for the Senate to LBJ?) and a lot of stagey writing, too (eg, thundering one-sentence paragraphs), the degree to which Caro succeeds in reconstructing a context for the most minute of LBJ's machinations gives priceless insight and makes this a truly exciting work to read.
The great flaw of these books, however, is that they make Johnson a one-dimensional character, a tireless self-seeker and manipulator of men and women who cannot live a day without furthering his ambitions. In the service of his cause, Caro's Johnson never commits himself, never gives a hint of his true views, if he has any. He started out as a New Dealer but with Southern Conservatives he always behaved like one of them. Then finally, added to this portrait of the shamelessly sycophantic bully, Caro also would have us believe that Johnson all along was an idealist who really wanted to help people, a trait that Caro sees expressed in LBJ's heroic early performance as a teacher of poor Texas children. This assessment will be borne out by the record of LBJ's presidency (Caro is still at work), when Johnson did abandon his Southern base and revert to the emulation of his original model, FDR. But there is no way that the Johnson has described so far will be able convincingly to be transformed into the idealistic reformer president Caro hints at in volume theree. The complexity of motivation simply isn't there in these three volumes. Caro's LBJ seems always to be approached through the eyes of others, whereas LBJ's own point of view remains elusive.
LBJ's life makes a fascinating story--that of a man who used every dirty trick in the book on his way to the top, then tried to use his position to help people. Caro's book would have been better titled LBJ and the Art of Corruption, for he shows that part of the story brilliantly--how money and power work together (roughly, power equals money squared). It's the other side of the story that is unconvincing here, and we are still left wondering Who is the real LBJ?

2-0 out of 5 stars Like chinese food: an hour later, you're hungry again
I should start by saying I feel badly that I am only giving this book two stars, but I think the biggest factor affecting the rating should be the book's substance and general tone, and that is what I take issue with. That said, I will point out that the style of writing is classic and the sort that only appears in great works of nonfiction. Caro really is a very skilled writer and others should emulate his phraseology.

The problem with the book is that, even though it's 1000 pages long, it feels oddly unsatisfying. I read it through and found myself asking, "Wait, how did he get control of the Senate again?" When you really look at it, Caro tends to say things like, "If so-and-so senator couldn't be persuaded by money or by concessions [or whatever else], then Johnson would just use his power to get the vote." Caro seems to keep using this phrase - Johnson would just use his "power" - to explain things. But that doesn't explain anything, and when you dig down to see what it means, Caro doesn't have any more of an answer than anyone else. He fails to really convey the "why" of things - why no one would vote for Estes Kefauver to get one some committee, or why everyone followed Russell's word so closely, or why the Policy committee decided so much. Any attempt to explain it just hits up against some well-written but basically empty passage saying how "clever" or "feared" or "powerful" Johnson or Russell was.

The real reason for this failure is the basic exaggeration of Johnson's power. Caro makes him out to be the wisest, cleverest person since Solomon. But instead of being "Master of the Senate," Johnson is really just "Master of His Times." That is because Johnson, instead of imposing his will on the majority, like some seem to believe, really just shepherded the pre-existing will to passage. The heart of the book, the struggle over the 1957 Civil Rights bill, proves this. It passed not because Johnson singlehandedly made them do it, but because there was finally enough liberal support, coupled with Republican votes, to make it happen. Johnson may have insisted on making the deal, but any majority leader in office at the time could have done so as well.

So the book's main failure is one of emphasis. By devoting so much well-written copy to a great story (but re-telling it with Johnson as the prime mover), Caro gives too much credit to his subject, and his slippery definition of the exact source of Johnson's power is a symptom of this. Many future politicians will surely try to use this book to imitate Johnson's feats; too bad there really isn't anything particularly exceptional to learn from them.

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 Volumes on a Dead Man. What a Waste of Time
4 Volumes on a Dead Man. What a Waste of Time.

Homo-Erotism of a Dead President. LBJ Dead since 1973.
I am always curious why smart people devote years obsessed with dead people, not to mention dead people from the long past.

It must be a man acting out their homo-erotic fantasies out of another man. Of course, LBJ was Texas roughneck, cowboy, and Robert Caro, the pencil-neck geek must find this guy attractive.

LBJ died in 1973 from a Heart Attack. He got kick out after one term in office, the Vietnam War was a diaster. The welfare state left us with billions in debt.

All this can be debated in academic circles. But why devote three books to a man dead since 1973.

Robert Caro, please get a life, a real job. All humans born, live and then die. The USA life expectancy is about 72. We can debate politics and so on.

Weak males tend to be attracted to strong, dominating males and that explains why Robert Caro is devoting three books to a dead man. ... Read more


142. Victoria's Daughters
by Jerrold M. Packard
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
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Asin: 0312244967
Catlog: Book (1999-12-23)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 3921
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Five women who shared one of the most extraordinary and privileged sisterhoods of all time...

Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth's people and who gave her name to an era: Queen Victoria. Two of these princesses would themselves produce children of immense consequence. All five would face the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by ninetheenth-century women of far less exalted class.

Researched at the houses and palaces of its five subjects-- in London, Scotland, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Ottawa-- Victoria's Daughters examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother, married off as much for political advantage as for love, and passed over entirely when their brother Bertie ascended to the throne. Packard, an experienced biographer whose last book chronicled Victoria's final days, provides valuable insights into their complex, oft-tragic lives as scions of Europe's most influential dynasty, and daughters of their own very troubled times.
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Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars a fantastic way to learn more about history
This was a fantastic way to learn more about the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. I have to admit that although I have a master's degree in history, my major focus has always been ancient history, particularly ancient Near Eastern history (I was one of those people who felt that "modern history" meant everything after 1200 BC.--yes, BC.). Only just lately have I begun to follow up intriguing trails through other periods. Some time ago, I began to realize that one could really gain incredible insight into the events of an era by studying peripherals: the history of countries peripheral to the main stage, side issues like trade, crafts, and long distance contacts, and the women and others behind the main historical figures, etc. Jerrold Packard's book Victoria's Daughters seemed to be just the book I needed to learn about a period in time about which I knew next to nothing, the late 19th Century.

At first it seemed as though the book would be more about Queen Victoria herself than about her daughters. As I read on, though, I realized that the oddity of Victoria's succession to the throne had much to do with the lives of her daughters, as did her early life and her own upbringing. Furthermore, it is against her long life and protracted reign that not only the events in her daughters' lives were measured and chronicled but those of most of the lives of the world's population. There was a reason that most of the 19th Century was labeled "the Victorian era!"

In the past I had given very little thought about the connections that existed throughout European history or about what actually brought about the events that occurred during the turn of the century. I knew of course that the Tsarina of Russia was "Victoria's granddaughter" and a "Prussian princess," but I hardly gave thought to what that really meant. Nicholas and Alexandra were charismatic historical figures in their own right. They were a fairy tale couple, much in love, with a cozy little family living the life of a Russian folktale, and their poetic tale came to a tragic but colorful and certainly very memorable finish. End of story, or so it seemed to me. One knows about World War I, I suppose, and all the people that died in trenches of disease and exposure and mustard gas and enemy fire. One has heard of Bismark and Wilhelm II and Lord Mountbattan, but they're all just interesting names, names one memorizes to answer our world history tests, right? Not when one reads Mr. Packard's story of the children of Queen Victoria.

Each of the daughters, Victoria, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice had a unique relationship with their mother. Because of whom and what she was, Victoria's was not a particularly warm and maternal presence in their lives. When she was a presence at all, she was distant, self-centered, imperious, and controlling. Unfortunately some of this early relationship translated into problems with parent-child interactions when the girls had children of their own. Lest anyone think that women do not have an impact on the course of history because they don't lead armies into battle--often anyway--one only need read about the relationships between some of these women and their children. That between Victoria, "Vicky," and her eldest son, Willy--later Wilhelm II--will quickly disabuse one of the notion.

Furthermore, the five girls were married into some of the key families of Europe. The titles of each and their in-laws read like a who's who of European nobility, and their sons and daughters became kings, queens, and dukes, many of whom ended up on opposite sides of wars in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century. The tangled web of personal relationships, treaties, and ambitions ultimately brought about World War I.

I was especially entranced with the intimate detail woven into the stories of each of the women. The author mined diaries, extensive family correspondence, and biographies written about each to create very personal characterizations. The reader becomes as engaged in the story of their lives as in those of fictional characters; one just does feels connected.

FOR THOSE WRITING PAPERS: in history, anthropology, political science, sociology. One might use this book to discuss the limitations of women of the upper classes at the time and their effects on history. One might look at individuals like Alice, who became a follower of the practices of Florence Nightengale, or her sister Louise, who was an accomplished and professional sculptor, who attempted to break out of the social mold of the time to create an identity and existence of their own. What types of role models did they make for others? What changes did they bring about in society? How did they set the stage for our own era? Might the events of WWI been less likely to have happened if the relationships between countries had been based on less personal grounds? Did the relationships between these women and their children and spouses affect the course of events significantly? Or would they have happened anyway? Would they have happened for the same reasons? How was this era a transitional time?

3-0 out of 5 stars Now, which daughter was that??
This is a very readable and interesting book. I think it is one of the few sources in print for information about Queen Victoria's daughters. However, the way the author presents the information can get confusing to the reader. Packard goes from talking about one daughter to the next in the same chapter. This is especially confusing when there is a reference mentioned from earlier in the book. I found myself having to check which daughter I was reading about and looking back at times to remember and item or two. Another slight problem was the author seeming to judge past attitudes and customs by today's standards. I also question some of the facts presented particulary about Queen Victoria. Some disagree with the many other things I have read about this grand lady. Other than these things, I did enjoy the book. I recommend it especially since it is one of the few sources out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
I'm an avid reader of royal biographies. I prefer learning about how people lived the personal side of their lives. Of course, all of these people (given their positions) had some role in politics of the time. I never paid much attention to that aspect and only now realize what a mistake that was.

This book is wonderful simply for it's attention to royal women (some who are often overlooked by other authors) and especially for it's coverage of the family dynamics. But, I also appreciated the way the author described each family member's involvement in wide-reaching European politics. This information is so well weaved into the "story" of their lives, that I was not at all put-off (bored) by it as I usually am. I was quite surprised to finally understand the unification of Germany, the role of landgraves and all those little principalities, and the formation of Canada. Granted, a book of this scope can only touch the surface of these issues. Still, I found it entertaining and elightening.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster writing with plenty of mistakes
This is one book on the Queen and her daughters I would pass on. Packard failed to do any proper research on the princesses and it shows in several huge mistakes committed by the author. I am glad I bought this used as it would have been a waste of my money if I bought it brand new and only to see what a huge dissappoint it was (and is).

5-0 out of 5 stars Victoria's Daughters
This is totally captivating...these very priviledged daughters grew into socially active adults. Very interesting read. ... Read more


143. Living History
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
list price: $28.00
our price: $18.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743222245
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 1063
Average Customer Review: 3.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

As with most books written by politicians while in office (or at least aiming for one), Living History is, first and foremost, safe. There are interesting observations and anecdotes, the writing is engaging, and there is enough inside scoop to appeal to those looking for a bit of gossip, but there are no bombshells here and it is doubtful the book will change many minds about this polarizing figure. This does not mean the work is without merit, however, for Hillary Clinton has much to say about her experience as first lady, which is the primary focus of the book. Those interested in these experiences and her commentary on them will find the book worth reading; those looking for revelations will be disappointed.

Beginning with a brief outline of her childhood, college years, introduction to politics, and her courtship with Bill Clinton, Clinton covers a wide variety of topics: life on the campaign trail, her troubled tenure as leader of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform, meeting with foreign leaders, and her work on human rights, to name a few. By necessity, she also addresses the various scandals that plagued the administration, from Travelgate to Whitewater to impeachment, though she does not go into great detail about each one; rather, she seems content to simply state her case and move on without trying to settle too many old scores.

Along the way, she offers many apologies, though perhaps not the kind some would expect. She does not shy away from her "vast right-wing conspiracy" comment, for instance, though she does wish that she had expressed herself differently. Regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal, she maintains that her husband initially lied to her, as he did the rest of the country, and did not come clean until two days prior to his grand jury testimony. Calling his betrayal "the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life," she explains what the aftermath was like personally and why she has elected to stand by her man. In all, Living History is an informative book that goes a long way toward humanizing one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women of our age. Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (651)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book
I just love Hillary Clinton, but this is only after I read this book. I never really cared for her, but I decided to give this book a shot. Now that I've read it, I can see what an incredible woman she really is. I admire her greatly.

As for the book itself, it wasn't the best thing I had ever read. Some of it was a little boring, but overall I thought it was worth reading. I enjoyed reading about her childhood and I loved hearing about her getting involved in politics. I now see her relationship with Bill in a new light, and I am glad she didn't dwell on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She had a much bigger story to tell, and I am glad she did it.

The reason some people may not like this book is because it reads more like a political manifesto rather than an out-and-out memoir. The times when she went into too much detail on foreign policies were things I could have done without. Still, I am glad I gave this book a shot because it really does make you see her in a new light. She is no longer the ice woman I once thought she was. Then again my family is predominantly Republican, so it's no wonder I thought that. It's hard for me to think I once thought so little of this incredible woman.

Another reason people may not like this is because they were expecting a juicy gossip rag about the Lewinsky scandal. Like I said earlier, Ms. Clinton does not dwell on this and I love her for that. That is a time in her life she has moved on from and we should all take a page from her book.

I have a newfound respect for Hillary Clinton. She has inspired me to become more involved in politics and I think she is just an amazing woman. Thanks to her, I have come to embrace my liberal views and am not afraid to be the only Democrat in a family full of Republicans. Go out and buy this book to get a glimpse into who this woman really is. She will get my vote if she ever decides to run for the presidency of the United States.

4-0 out of 5 stars History Light
I must admit that this is the first memoir I have ever read that was by the First Lady and given this one is graded as one of the better ones, I think it may be my last. It was not that the book was badly written, it was just that the majority of what the First Lady does is not all that interesting to me. Reading about this fund raisers, good will trips or party planning are not my idea of thrilling political insider info. I am more interested in the hard fought, inside the beltway battles that make major decisions. I obviously new this book was about the First Lady, but given the Clinton Presidency, I assumed that it would cover more in depth the political battles the administration faced. Then again the book was about her.

The next compliant I would have about the book is that the author seamed to take the high road on all the areas you thought she would come out with both guns blazing on. Her comments were so bland that they almost acted to diminish or completely disregarded the very negative attacks the Clinton's faced during their terms. Sure she touched on the items of major interest, heath care reform, the full independent counsel investigation, Monica and the Senate race, but it seamed to be at such a high level that all the real nasty, dirty inside details were left out of the book. Ok I know that she has a new job now so that she did not what to lay waste the political landscape that she will be working in and one could make the argument that the First Lady needs to stay above the partisan attacks, but hey this is the edge of the seat reading I wanted.

Lastly I wanted more detail. Now given that she had lead a rather full life, Governors wife, working on the Nixon impeachment, First Lady and now Senator, to get a real detailed account of all of these areas she would have needed a much larger if not multiple volume book. I guess I would have just liked her to focus on the First Lady section of her life and have gone into more detail. Just as the book seamed to be getting into a topic, the chapter was over and on to the next installment of Hilary on the move.

Even though I have focused on the areas I disliked with the book, overall I thought it was probably better then most books dealing with the Clinton years. I did think the writing was better then average and she did have an interesting story to tell. The details she did given about the life of the First Lady and some of the inside information about the Clinton Presidency were worth the purchase price, throw in some of the personal bit and the book was not bad at all. I also have a sympathetic spot for her, so the increased my enjoyment of the book. I guess I am just a bit disappointed that the book could have been so much better. It could have been a stinging and focused rebuttal of all the overly negative and harmful to the country attacks. Then again how could one book fight back the 8 year, over the top negative campaign focused against the Clinton's. I felt the book was interesting and enjoyable.

2-0 out of 5 stars She's a good girl...
Hillary Clinton is an interesting woman, with tremendous drive and ambition, and this will often get a woman branded as the devil incarnate. The very polarized views of her are not surprising.

What was surprising was the tone and lack of depth in this book. It reads as if she had a list of items she wanted to tick off as having explained. 'I'm a good girl, really.' was the underlying theme. I can't believe she's as naive as she portrays herself. She does admit to a few mistakes, but her apologies are all for not doing a better job, like any good girl.

The healthcare chapter is a good example. She was unable to overcome hurdles around the complexity of the legislative process involved, and she makes 'apologies' for her failure along the lines of 'well, we tried really hard & it's a good cause'. But as she & Bill are both Yale lawyers, with experience in private practice (her) and as the Arkansas attorney general (him) and as they had easy access to many of the best legal minds in the country, it is hard to understand. It comes across more like professional negligence than the naivety it is painted as. I suspect ambition (the 100 day goal) was the real cause for failure, which is a shame given how important this issue is to our country and how badly we need healthcare reform. To put something this complex under a 100 day deadline is almost sophomoric - or ambition out of control.

She is also careful to mention every person and cause that might win over supporters. An extraordinary number of her enounters seemed to have resulted in 'lifelong' friendships. Many iconic figures like Jackie Kennedy and Nelson Mandela get a lot of airtime. It's a bit too good to be true. It reads almost as if she's running for something.

Maybe Sarah Bradford, who wrote that wonderful biography of Jackie Kennedy, will write the book about Hillary one day and we'll get a better picture of who she really is - from all angles. Personally, I would have found the intelligent, ambitious Hillary much more interesting and admirable than the girl scout we hear about in this book... it's a shame powerful women still feel they have to paint themselves as 'good girls' to be heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars 10 things to love about this book.
1. Candid revelations: "It was no surprise that Bill turned out to be a cheat. He used to hang out in the parking lot of Arby's to pick up Monica types, but it still hurts."

2. On the Sixties: "Bill really did inhale, as did we all."

3. On lesbianism rumors: "I am not a Lesbian, I only tried it those times to find that out."

4. On faith: "I am a deeply spiritual Church goer, I also dabble in Voodoo and my Wicken name is priestess Dominatrix."

5. On movies: "My favorite movie is that one by Tarintino, I forget the title, something Bill."

6. On her detractors: "They call me a cold angry lady. I am just aloof and have some hate issues."

7. On the vast right wing conspiricy: "They put a computer chip in Bill's head that makes him not very particular about the ladies."

8. On forgivness: "We all make mistakes, even I can recall waking up next to Monica after a night of drinking on a few occasions."

9. On Terrorists: "Let's find out why they are unhappy, maybe they need a hug."

10. On running for President: "I understand that France hates us for being powerful so I will reduce our power to an amount equal or less than that of other countries and stop all this helping people in forign lands stuff."

5-0 out of 5 stars An intelligent account of history, (not gossip filled)
If you are looking for gossip, go read another book. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's book is as the title states: It is a Living History. It is well-written and filled with facts and stories of past generations. If you have children or grandchildren this is a book you should buy for them. It is a warm and compassionate way to learn history (as opposed to our education system that tends to teach history via war dates). Buy this book. You Won't Be Sorry!

(...) ... Read more


144. Taking Heat : The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House
by Ari Fleischer
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060747625
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 31538
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The early years of the twenty-first century were a tumultuous time in America. The country faced a hotly contested presidential election, the largest terrorist attack in the nation's history, and the early stages of war. Through it all, President George W. Bush surrounded himself with a handful of close advisers. During this time the man beside the President was Ari Fleischer, his press secretary and one of his most trusted confidants. In this role, Fleisher was present for every decision and became an eyewitness to history.

In this riveting account, Fleischer goes behind the scenes as he recalls his experiences in the West Wing. Through the ups and downs of this time, he took the heat, fielded the questions, and brought the President's message into living rooms around the world.

In Taking Heat, Fleischer, for the first time, gives his perspective on:

  • The 2000 election, from the recounts to the transition to power
  • September 11, 2001, its aftermath, and the anthrax scare
  • The pressure-filled buildup to the war in Iraq and the President's thoughts as the war began
  • Life in the White House, from learning to adjust to the pace of the West Wing and his early briefings to his relationship with the press
  • The White House press corps, who they are, and how they report the news
  • The factors that led to his decision to leave Washington behind.

This is the story of the men and women of the White House press corps and the cornerstones of democracy: freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. Fleischer presents an in-depth, insider's view on the Washington political arena from a perspective few have seen.

Fleischer writes of his belief that the press has a bias in Washington. It's not a question of partisanship or press-driven ideology. Instead, it's a focus on conflict, particularly if it's a conflict they can attach to the President. It's the nature of the White House press corps, regardless of who's in power. The members of the White House press corps are masters at being devil's advocate, able to take with passion the opposite side of whatever issue the President supports. Fleischer's job was to calmly field their questions, no matter how pointed.

Taking Heat is an introspective exploration of the top political events in the first half of the Bush administration, as well as the candid observations of a professional who stood in the bright lights of the world stage.

... Read more

Reviews (21)

1-0 out of 5 stars You Can Take the Spinner out of the WH, But He Still Spins
The book was a huge disappointment. I'd suggest that it was ghost written by Karl Rove, but Rove would surely be craftier about his unadulterated Bush-envy. Rather than insight and introspection, the book's main purpose seems to be to dismiss criticism of Bushand then explain it away with syrupy words of praise for the author's former boss.

The chapter about the day of September 11th, should have been the most insightful and telling about what happened at the epicenter of power...instead it was spiced with explanations of why President Bush sat reading My Pet Goat, while America was under attack..."Under inconceivable pressure, Bush maintained his composure and sent an image of calm to the nation." (page 140). - I'm not making this stuff up. That was a direct quote from the book explaining Bush's deer-in-the-headlights look that we've all seen as he was reading to the kids in Florida.

I was looking forward to reading this book and again, it was just a disappointment. Maybe Fleischer is hoping to run for office or needs to ingratiate himself even more in certain circles.Or maybe he really believes what he wrote, but to me the book is just nonsense. Sorry. Two thumbs (or maybe 'goat paws') way down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights on the pressures of the media
Ari Fleischer was the White House Press Secretary for 2 1/2 years (January 2001 to July 2003) and now writes to tell about his experiences. Ari does a great job giving us a sense what the daily pressures were like, facing the media day after day. The point Ari makes time and again is that the media try to trick him into saying things he doesn't mean or aren't accurate, trying to stir up conflict, because "without conflict, there is no news".

One of the other points Ari focuses on is how slanted the 'mainstream' media are towards the Democratic viewpoint, and I couldn't agree more. I mean, how believable is CBS, NBC, ABC, the Washington Post and the New York Times (just to name those as an example) when you realize that 90 percent or so (as found when surveyed) of those journalists vote Democratic...

Ari tells great inside stories such as what it really was to be with the President when 9/11 happened. Missing, though, is more insight into Ari's background growing up (he describes his Democratic upbringing until he became a Republican shortly after finishing college in a mere couple of pages). Hilarious are his tellings about Helen Thomas, the notorious "dean" of the White House press and self-admitted anti-Bush all the way. Turns out that Ari actually has a lot of respect for her and a great personal relationship outside of the media spotlight.

I had the pleasure of hearing Ari give a presentation last Fall here in Cincinnati, and was really impressed with the man. That was before this book came out, and having read his book, I am even more impressed with him. This is a terrific book, and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written account of the media covering important events
The job of being Press Secretary for the President of the United States is complex and it essential for both the Presidency and the Public that the person holding that position perform the duties of that office well.Ari Fleischer did a great job during very difficult times.He was there in the 2000 campaign and recount, when the new Bush administration took office, during the intense national sorrow and anger surrounding 9/11, the launch of the War on Terror in Afghanistan, and its continuance in Iraq.No wonder he felt burned out and wanted to leave before the 2004 campaign began in earnest.After all, he had a new wife and they wanted to begin a family.I think he did a great job and made a good choice to leave when he did.

What is particularly interesting about this book is that the events it describes are still fresh in our memory.Nearly all of us experience these events through the media of television, newspapers, weekly magazines, opinion journals, and so on.Here, Mr. Fleischer provides his perspective on these events from the inside versus how the media reported the events.The contrast is illuminating.He does debunk some of the popular myths about these events and makes clear what was really said by President Bush and the administration.He is also very clear that the Administration's certainty over the Weapons of Mass Destruction was held by everyone around the world, but was wrong.

He also has several amusing anecdotes about interactions with this or that reporter over various events.Sometimes he gets off the witty line and other times he is the butt of the joke.He was serious about doing his job well, but under such serious circumstances humor was required to keep things approximately sane.

While some who hate the Bush administration have taken after this book, largely without reading it, I can tell you that I have read it.This book is written engagingly and provides a fresh perspective on recent events that are now becoming a part of history.It is important to get a deeper understanding of our time than the varying and often contradictory news reports.Historians, especially those covering politics and media, will consult various sources for these events to write their books, and I am sure one of them will be "Taking Heat" by Ari Fleischer.

Good job.

5-0 out of 5 stars There is much to learn from this book.
Notice the trend in how people who gave this book 1 star use a whole mess of generalities in their reviews or bash Fleischer's writing skills. He only claims to be a man with a story to tell here, people, never does he claim to be any more of an author than you or me. You can take comfort in the fact that those reviewers are wrong about that also, as Fleischer stays clear and cogent throughout.

1. If you actually read the book, you find that he does explain many of the controversial issues of GWB's term in great detail. He shows where there were misunderstandings, and usually lays out step by step how that came to be from the White House's perspective.

2. To the person who posted the Helen Thomas review of the book: You might have remembered that Helen Thomas was a senior member of the press corps who showed her steadfast bias in the briefing room with evermore persistant and leading questions. That is, again, had you actually read the book.

And if you want to see her ignorance in action:

MR. FLEISCHER: Actually, the President has made it very clear that he has not dispute with the people of Iraq. That's why the American policy remains a policy of regime change. There is no question the people of Iraq --

MS. THOMAS: That's a decision for them to make, isn't it? It's their country.

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, if you think that the people of Iraq are in a position to dictate who their dictator is, I don't think that has been what history has shown.

MS. THOMAS: I think many countries don't have -- people don't have the decision -- INCLUDING US.

Bias, in favor of conflict. That is what plagues our media. Fleischer saw it and confronted it on a daily basis. That is what this book is about.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Lost Opportunity
I read this book hoping to get some insight as to what happened in the first Bush Administration and the way the White House sold the war in Iraq. Instead Ari Fleischer, a man so close to these events, comes across as a Bush loyalist who supports and justifies Bush's policies.It was a waste of time and a lost opportunity to give us some insight and help give us some historical information and honest reflection.

There is no discussion of how they used the press to manipulate the public and sell the war. For example, he claims the President was careful never to link Iraq with 9/11. But he never addresses why 70% of the American people in 2003 believed otherwise. How did that happen?

After leaving the White House, he is still spinning the President's position and blaming the liberal media. Too Bad....

... Read more


145. Theodore Rex
by EDMUND MORRIS
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
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Asin: 0812966007
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 4092
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Theodore Rex is the story—never fully told before—of Theodore Roosevelt’s two world-changing terms as President of the United States. A hundred years before the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, “TR” succeeded to power in the aftermath of an act of terrorism. Youngest of all our chief executives, he rallied a stricken nation with his superhuman energy, charm, and political skills. He proceeded to combat the problems of race and labor relations and trust control while making the Panama Canal possible and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. But his most historic achievement remains his creation of a national conservation policy, and his monument millions of acres of protected parks and forest. Theodore Rex ends with TR leaving office, still only fifty years old, his future reputation secure as one of our greatest presidents. ... Read more

Reviews (151)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bully!
A thrilling look at the great Bull Moose at the apex of his career. Morris definitely seems to have regained his stride after his disappointing Reagan roman a clef. Among recent presidential biographies I'd rank "Theodore Rex" just behind McCullough's "Truman."

5-0 out of 5 stars Morris Displays the Roosevelt Personality
In searching for a biography that perfectly balances TR's personal and political life, I found that Theodore Rex hits the spot. From the outset, Edmund Morris envelops the reader in a novel-like way; I never felt like I was reading a biography. His research is so in-depth and his writing so clear that it seems as if he accompanied Roosevelt throughout his presidency. Numerous quotes from such intimates as Elihu Root and John Hay shed fascinating light on Roosevelt's character. While the descriptions of Roosevelt's political battles reveal his political character, it is the description of his summer life at Sagamore Hill, his skinny-dipping escapades in the Potomac River, and his tennis challenges to foreign ministers that personify Roosevelt. Morris has done a fabulous job in leaving no stone unturned. He turns Roosevelt from a detached presidential figure into a jovial personality. A must read for American history buffs and anyone who enjoys reading about dynamic people. I read it before The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and had no problem, but I recommend some previous knowledge of the Roosevelt administration to truly enjoy the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest Personality to Occupy the White House
Theodore Rex is the second volume of a promised triology about the life of one of our most fascinating and complex presidents. Morris' first volume was the Pulitzer Prize winning book that chronicals TR's rise to the presidency. This volume opens on September 14, 1901 as TR becomes the youngest president at age 42, following the assassination of William McKinley.

Morris reveals the many dimensions of TR's seven and a half years in the White House. It is not always a pretty story. TR loved the Bully pulpit and boldly wielded the power of his office to the great chagrin of party bosses, Wall Street tycoons, and the Congress. One observer determined TR personified the motto, "Rem facias rem, si possis recte, si non quocunque modo rem"--"The thing, get the thing, fairly if possible, if not, then however it can be gotten." He enraged conservative Republicans and financiers with his initiatives against big business, enflamed the White South when he invited Booker T. Washington to the White House for dinner, and cowed party elders and Congress with his understanding of politics and the common man.

Along with a huge personality and amazing breadth of interests, TR left an impressive legacy--the Monroe Doctrine reaffirmed and the Old World banished from the New World, a coal strike settlement, the Panama Canal, a brokered peace agreement between Japan and Russia, liberation of Cuba, a greatly strengthened Navy, greater balance between capital and labor, national conservation conference, eighteen national monuments and five national parks, and a folk consensus that he had been the most powerfully positive American leader since Abraham Lincoln.

It is hard to conceive that any author could write a more interesting story about a fictitious character. Morris' book is well researched, thoroughly documented, and a pleasure to read. This is surely one of the most interesting biographies written about one of our most fascinating presidents. Hopefully, Morris will not make us wait as long for the next volume in the series as he did for this volume (~22 years).

5-0 out of 5 stars Dee-lighted! A bully book about a bully President
As this work of popular history by Edmund Morris begins, it's the early morning of 14 September 1901. President McKinley lies dying in Buffalo, NY, mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is on his way by buckboard and train from his isolated vacation cabin in Upper Tahawus, NY. Over the next 7 years and 169 days, THEODORE REX would drag and shove the United States into the twentieth century.

Unlike perhaps other biographies of TR, this one only hints at his life before his ascendancy to the White House, and ends somewhat abruptly on the day he transferred the mantle of power to William Howard Taft on 4 March 1909. In between, Morris hits all the high points of Roosevelt's two administrations: acquisition of the rights to build the Panama Canal, settlement of the 1902 coal strike, arbitration of the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War, build-up of the American Navy, establishment of Cuban independence, and the calling of a national conservation conference. And certainly the low point - Theodore's response to the 1906 Brownsville Incident, wherein 20-30 Black troops of the 25th U.S. Infantry allegedly went on a shooting rampage in that Texas town.

One of the strengths of the author's prose is that it never becomes ponderous. Indeed, at times, it approaches oddly lyrical, as when he describes the signing of the canal treaty between newly independent Panama and the U.S.:

"Pens scratched across parchment. Wax melted on silk. Two oceans brimmed closer, ready to spill."

THEODORE REX isn't solely about great affairs of State. Did you know that both Teddy and his eldest daughter, Alice, habitually carried pistols. What would today's anti-gun lobby make of that!

The book also serves to dispel a Hollywood myth regarding the 1904 Perdicaris Affair, in which an American citizen in Tangier was kidnapped by the desert insurgent Ahmed ben Mohammed el Raisuli, an event memorialized in celluloid by the vastly entertaining 1975 film, THE WIND AND THE LION, starring Candice Bergen and Sean Connery. Had the movie been more true to fact, Ms. Bergen couldn't have played the role unless dressed in drag.

With my short attention span and too many books waiting on the shelf, this narrative of Roosevelt's Presidency is just about as good as it gets. At 555 paperback pages, it's long, but not too long to bog me down for weeks. It's detailed, compiled from a nine-page bibliography of sources, but not so detailed as to become tedious. And it's got photographs - one or two in each of its thirty-two chapters. At the book's conclusion, I felt I had a satisfactory appreciation of Teddy the man, and was glad I'd taken the opportunity to pick up this excellent volume. My only criticism is the lack of a brief post-epilogue noting Teddy's abortive 1912 attempt to regain the Presidency at the head of the Bull Moose Party, thus splitting the Republican vote and handing the election to Woodrow Wilson, which would have perhaps better rounded out the saga.

Bully!

5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough and fascinating book about a great presidency.
If you are looking for stories of Theodore Roosevelt (I consciously use "Theodore" rather than "Teddy" because of the account in this book of T.R.'s bewilderment that NOBODY he saw when traveling around America called out to him by full first name) charging up hills in Cuba with the Rough Riders or returning from African safari and forming his own third party, this is not the book for you. This book does not cover before or after his 7 years and 169 days as president.

Theodore Rex examines the Roosevelt presidency, from William McKinley's assassination by an anarchist in September of 1901, to the swearing in of "Big Bill" Taft in a blizzard in March of 1909.

If you want to read about Roosevelt before his presidency, I would recommend Edmund Morris' The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It is similar, in that it is an immensely readable historical examination of one of America's greatest leaders.

Theodore Rex, though, gives great insight into the life and times of Mr. Roosevelt, the way he changed the presidency, the way he changed America, and the way he changed the world.

Roosevelt's (and America's) role in the Panamanian revolution and secession from Colombia, and the subsequent securing of the Panama Canal Treaty, is highly enlightening, and at times bordering on humorous.

To briefly quote from the book (page 290):

"...another cable from Panama City announced that a government gunboat had tossed five or six shells into the city, 'killing a Chinaman in Salsipuedes street and mortally wounding an ass.' If that was the extent of Colombia's rage so far, a tired President could get some sleep."

The story of the kidnapping in Morocco of Ion Perdicaris, a wealthy, American-born expatriate who had given up his citizenship during the Civil War (unbeknownst to the U.S. at the time), and the pressure Roosevelt applied ("Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead"), during the 1904 Republican presidential nominating convention in Chicago, to secure Mr. Perdicaris' freedom, is another fascinating bit of American history. It is a prime example of America's rising stature in the world, and of Theodore Roosevelt's famous "big stick."

Other parts, big and small, of Roosevelt's presidency are conveyed with a keen knack for detail and a high degree of objectivity: mediating an impasse between labor and capital on more than one occasion and in more than one context; negotiating a peace between Japan and Russia (which won Roosevelt the Nobel Prize); intervening in Cuba; managing the Philippines; dining with Booker T. Washington; commissioning and sending off of the "Great White Fleet" around the world; and even just moments with his family and friends.

A look at a truly independent and forward-thinking individual, Theodore Rex is a joy to read and ponder. Any serious student of American history ought to read this book, but by no means should this book be limited to history buffs. Highly and excitedly recommended! ... Read more


146. Because He Could
by Dick Morris, Eileen McGann
list price: $25.95
our price: $15.57
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Asin: 0060784156
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 708
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Book Description

Who is Bill Clinton?

A man whose presidency was disgraced by impeachment -- yet who remains one of the most popular presidents of our time.

A man whose autobiography, My Life, was panned by critics as a self-indulgent daily diary -- but rode the bestseller lists for months.

A man whose policies changed America at the close of the twentieth century -- yet whose weakness left us vulnerable to terror at the dawn of the twenty-first.

No one better understands the inner Bill Clinton, that creature of endless and vexing contradiction, than Dick Morris. From the Arkansas governor's races through the planning of the triumphant 1996 reelection, Morris was Clinton's most valued political adviser. Now, in the wake of Clinton's million-selling memoir My Life, Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, set the record straight with Because He Could, a frank and perceptive deconstruction of the story Clinton tells -- and the many more revealing stories he leaves untold.

With the same keen insight they brought to Hillary Clinton's life in their recent bestseller Rewriting History, Morris and McGann uncover the hidden sides of the complicated and sometimes dysfunctional former president. Whereas Hillary is anxious to mask who she really is, they show, Bill Clinton inadvertently reveals himself at every turn -- as both brilliant and undisciplined, charming yet often filled with rage, willing to take wild risks in his personal life but deeply reluctant to use the military to protect our national security. The Bill Clinton who emerges is familiar -- reflexively blaming every problem on right-wing persecutors or naïve advisers -- but also surprising: passive, reactive, working desperately to solve a laundry list of social problems yet never truly grasping the real thrust of his own presidency. And while he courted danger in his personal life, the authors argue that Clinton's downfall has far less to do with his private demons than with his fear of the one person who controlled his future: his own first lady.

Sharp and stylishly written, full of revealing insider anecdotes, Because He Could is a fresh and probing portrait of one of the most fascinating, and polarizing, figures of our time.

... Read more

147. Boyd : The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War
by Robert Coram
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
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Asin: 0316796883
Catlog: Book (2004-05-10)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 13236
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable American!
This is a remarkable book about a remarkable American. I normally gravitate to science fiction, but this book caught my eye. I'm glad it did. If you've read Sun Tzu and appreciate the impact he's had on warfare over the past 2,000+ years, then the amazing contributions of John Boyd to the science of warfare cannot be understated. He literally changed the world. I highly recommend this book! It should be made into a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Boyd Mandatory Reading for Anyone Interested in Military
Coram treatment of Colonel John Boyd's autobiography is a thorough treatment of his work, his career, his accomplishments, and his family. He was a warrior, thinker, honest, sincere, and nasty to the bone man who cared about the MISSION beyond all else. This led him to develop original ideas and fight the Pentagon establishment with such vicious abandon that it limited his career and took a toll on his disciples and family.

Boyd is the common thread that connects development of Energy-Maneuver theory of fighter performance, the F-15, F-16, F-18, Operation Bolo in the Viet Nam air war, the B-1 cancellation by Carter, the testing of the Bradley fighting vehicle (famous from "Pentagon Wars"), the OODA Loop in military command, maneuver warfare/the Desert Storm ops plan, and who knows what else.

How could someone influence so much and you never heard about him you ask? Its because John Boyd had the tact of an nuclear weapon, a propensity for pissing off general officers (service didn't matter), called major contractors liars (which was often true), and generally tore up the Pentagon and Wright-Patterson (the Air Force aircraft purchaser) for 20 years! For every man who admires Boyd, there are ten who hate him! The Air Force, Army, and Navy refuse to acknowledge any but his technical accomplishments; the Marine Corps lionizes him (it will make sense once you read the book). Boyd said you can "be it" or "do it", military careers rarely permit both. If you are of the latter ilk, then read "Boyd"! ... Read more


148. Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and Selected Letters : Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant / Selected Letters, 1839-1865 (Library of America)
by Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Drake McFeeley, William S. McFeeley
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940450585
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Library of America
Sales Rank: 15486
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Grant wrote his "Personal Memoirs" to secure his family's future. In doing so, the Civil War's greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident throughout this deeply moving account, as well as in the letters to his wife, Julia, included here. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars US Grant--in his own words
The story of Ulysses Simpson Grant is a tale about a man who rises from obscurity to become one of the most important men of the nineteenth century. Many men saw Grant, as general-in-chief of the Union armies during the late Civil War, as the savior of the nation. He was elected to two terms as President, and enjoyed such immense popularity that he was lavished with praise and gifts around the globe when he traveled the world. But Grant's origins were humble. He was the son of a tanner. As a young man he failed at nearly everything he did, and had a reputation, while stationed with the army in California, of being a drunk. Grant seemed the antithesis of greatness; yet somehow he rose to become one of the most prominent men in the United States during the Civil War.

Who better to tell Grant's story than himself? His memoirs are somewhat self-serving, and Grant does not hesitate to point out the flaws of others. All too often he reminds his reader that, had things been done his way, disasters would have been avoided and everything would have been all right. There is some reason for his ego, however. Grant had a lot of critics, and was treated unfairly by many from the beginning. When his army was surprised at Shiloh, people said he was drunk. When he stalled outside of Vicksburg, they blamed it one the bottle. Grant's name was connected by some scandal or other through most of his Civil War career (as well as during his presidency). If he seeks to right some wrongs and, in the process, comes across as a little full of himself in his memoirs, who can blame him?

Grant gives great descriptions of many battles and campaigns, but sparse accounts of others. He avoids sensitive subjects (like the bottle, for example), and does tend to focus on what he did RIGHT rather than what he did WRONG. Despite these inconsistencies, however, Grant's memoirs are a great read. Grant tells his side of the story, and the result is a very entertaining read. Grant's style is engaging, and while not focusing too much on exact figures (Sherman's memoirs are much better for that), he manages to convey to the reader the most important aspects of each major action in which he was involved. Grant may not have been the best general in the war, but he was certainly the right man for the job. Read these memoirs for a look inside the complex mind of the man who took on Robert E. Lee--and actually won.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever by a US President
Granted (sic) that there are few serious rivals(Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" and Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe" come to mind but don't measure up), this is a remarkable literary achievement by an "uncommon common man." Not only is it an indispensible, if not flawless, narrative of the cataclysmic events of the Civil War, the circumstances under which he wrote make its very creation a triumph of will and ability.

As historian Brooks Simpson has noted, Grant's character was so complete that nobody could believe he was real. But he was, and the proof is in this book, which contains not only the "Personal Memoirs" but many invaluable letters revealing the man as well as the general. Though this edition lacks an introduction and other scholarly apparatus to enhance its value, the sheer scope of Grant's writings available here probably make it the best current presentation of his unparalleled view of the war. Also, the early chapters on the Mexican-American War (which he detested) are most enlightening in showing some of the sources of his future greatness.

There were two great tragedies of Grant's public life. First, American Indians and African Americans suffered greatly while he was president, and it was a shame that he didn't (couldn't?) do more on their behalf. But in fairness, could/would anyone else have done better? Probably not. The earlier tragedy was that he was prevented from winning the Civil War early on, by the jealous ambition of rival generals and the circumspect nature of Union strategy. Unfortunately, the impediments that led to the slaughter at Shiloh ensured that that battle would set the tone for the rest of the conflict. If Grant had been given free rein in 1862, several hundred thousand lives would have been saved---but without the abolition of slavery and Reconstruction, there would have been a different tragedy.

General Grant made some grievous tactical errors during the war, but was able to learn from his mistakes. It's quite misleading to think of him as a heavy-handed butcher who prevailed by grinding down opponents no matter how many men he lost. By 1864 that may have been the only way to defeat Robert E. Lee. But Grant's victories before then were consistently marked by speed, boldness and strategic brilliance whenever he was permitted to act independently, as well as great sensitivity to carnage and death. Has any general ever been better at capturing enemy armies (and thus sparing lives), rather than bloodily smashing them? Perhaps the best way to compare Lee and Grant is to see the former as the last great general of the 18th century, while the latter was the first great one of the 20th century. (A.L. Conger, "Rise of U.S. Grant" helped begin the revival of his reputation; J.F.C. Fuller, "Grant & Lee" is a well-balanced comparison.) But the "Memoirs" document---with artless modesty---Grant's consummate skill at maneuver well before he introduced modern total war. They also contain the classic passage about Appomattox, wherein Grant summarized the entire war in one immortal sentence: "I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse" (p.735).

Grant's great skill at turning a phrase, along with shrewd insights and dry humor, is well-displayed throughout the "Memoirs" and letters. It's true that there are some inaccuracies, because while he did have access to important documents when writing, his race against death resulted in some errors due to haste, and some inevitably faulty interpretations. But the book's reputation for unreliability is mostly unfounded. Ultimately, it is Grant's story, not a history of the war. It is not a complete autobiography, however, since most post-1865 events are not covered. A favorite image (described elsewhere) comes from Grant's post-retirement world travels, when 20,000 English workingmen turned out to march in his honor, honoring him as the general of freedom who vanquished the armies of slavery. He did not save everyone, but along with Lincoln, he saved his country. Enough said.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read This
Whatever history has to say about US Grant, the president, there's a reason why his NYC memorial was the most visited American landmark until the Washington Momument was completed. It should fool no one that Grant's memoirs, written under financial pressure, and completed only days before throat cancer killed him, have become part of the American canon. If you've ever seen those upright potraits of this man, his frill-less diction and clarity will not surprise. Despite hailing from another time, this is a remarkably quick read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this edition for the letters
Grant's memoirs are the greatest books in American literature. Gore Vidal, Gertrude Stein and other literary figures have acknowledged their preeminence. Even if you know or care nothing about the American Civil War, these books are essential reading for any educated person. Grant wrote simply, yet beautifully, and he was dying in agony of throat cancer when he penned these books. The story of the writing of the Memoirs is one of the most amazing and courageous tales in American history. Imagine racing against death to complete an epic story, the proceeds of which would provide for his family after his death. What an amazing man!

This edition of Grant's memoirs is wonderful because the appendix contains several hundred letters he wrote over the years. Most of these missives were written to his wife, Julia, and they shed an enormous light upon this shy man's character. Grant's letters show him to have been a tremendously gentle, decent man, with a great sense of humor and profound love in his heart for his wife and family.

This is an excellent edition, which will bring to you only one of the greatest books written in the English language, but also a selection of Grant's letters. Both make for engrossing, gripping reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American's Autobiography
Grant's Personal Memoirs and Selected Letters 1839-1865 Library of America Edition

This is one of the most important books written an American. There is something huge and seething about these memoirs. To be sure it is not from the cool tone; Grant was old fashioned in that way, and these are not confidential memoirs. This is the story about a down at the heels middle-aged man working as a clerk in Galena, Illinios shop when the Civil War started and how that man would become the nation's first four star general. But don't think of this as a success story in the ordinary sense. This lucid and clear story is one not of a man's success but of a nation's torment. Throughout the book Grant goes out of his way to praise his subordinates for his successes. Grant's modesty however does not obscure or hide his ability. There are many reasons why Grant was the best general of the Civil War, but one that is often overlooked is that Grant wrote the best orders. We know from others that he would haunch over his desk for hours writing. These orders, some of which are included in the autobiography, are models are concise and breviloquent writing. From these orders we can tell that he was involved in every element of his troop's victories and defeats. Grant gave great attention to details, and was meticulous in his preparations, and planning.

There are a number of editions of Grant's "Personal Memoirs" in print, but I am recommending the Library of America edition because it contains the Report of Lieutentant-General U. S. Grant of the Untied States Armies dated July 22, 1865 and a selection of his letters. The letters to his family are particularly valuable because they show Grant at his most personal and intimate. ... Read more


149. The Keys of Jeshua
by Glenda Green
list price: $24.95
our price: $21.21
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Asin: 0966662377
Catlog: Book (2003-12-03)
Publisher: Spiritis Publishing
Sales Rank: 82320
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There are keys that open doors to astounding perceptions and higher states of being…These keys have now been revealed!The Keys of Jeshua is not about religion. Nor was it written to solicit, reinforce, or change existing beliefs. These teachings are a gift to your heart for the fulfillment of your life.Discover the courage to be fully conscious. Unlock your creativity.Fulfill the desires of your heart.Learn how to enter the Sacred Heart and know your soul’s true purpose. Learn to release, forgive, and receive the ultimate blessing of true freedom. Gain enlightenment and practical techniques to bring this new understanding into reality. Find peace within yourself."The Keys of Jeshua" is the culminating presentation of the conversations between artist Glenda Green and Jesus Christ that took place in 1992 while she painted his portrait.He personally appeared to her. (He has appeared many times to others since the day of his resurrection.)Their visits were warm, personal and completely vivid to all the senses.She took extensive notes for her own future study, not realizing that he would eventually ask her to share them with the world.

"The Keys of Jeshua" presents the remaining notes from their original conversations, plus the continuing lessons of subsequent years.More than that, it stands alone as a perfected light of what his teachings have always been.These are the quintessential instructions of the Beloved Master now presented within the context of contemporary language and modern understanding. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Christ is Risen and within our hearts...
This is a beautiful, deeply spiritual guide for living WITH Jeshua, for He IS truly risen and within our hearts. An outstanding book for a study group...one that bears spiritual fruit. God works through us...and this is another example of God's message of love and healing being given to the world through Glenda Green. May He continue to bless her on her extraordinary journey, and in so doing, bless all those who read these messages. The Word of God continues to be written!

5-0 out of 5 stars Keys Of Jeshua
Having just completed this book, The Keys Of Jeshua, I find even a closer connection with Jeshua. The intention of Glenda Green to share this information with us through the book, is done so in a very open and loving way. Sharing information allows for building and personal growth. I often find myself returning to the pages of "Jesus Speaks", her first book, and now with this "Keys" book as well. I used to feel confused by what appeared to be conflicting points made in the Bible. New clarity has come my way by learning what the old language of the Jeshua's day had to offer, and what was really meant. I now have a fresh understanding, which I can use in my daily life. It is important to share love and knowlege with each other, and this book, does just that in a beautiful way.
Thank you Jeshua, and Glenda for speaking to us.
Blessings

5-0 out of 5 stars Astounding Book! A mind opener & the spirit filled my heart
Thank you Glenda for your integrity and care in presenting this modern revelation for all who would have an ear. These unique and divinely inspired concepts are presented in an easy to understand format, with practical daily applications.

The overwhelming outcome of this book supports and expands upon Christ's message: Matt: 37 ...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

To the skeptical I say... Rev: 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Every chapter unfolds to reveal, and clarifies the very core of Christ's teachings. It also serves to unite many "religious" viewpoints, although the book is not about religion.

A must read! I wept as the spirit revealed to me what I was ready to hear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prayer answered
Throughout my life I've had trouble coming to terms with the various interpretations of the Bible. I questioned who was right. I wondered what it would be like to talk to someone who could answer all my questions. Someone I trusted, to explain it in everyday language I could understand, to guide me in understanding and integrating his teaching into my life. The Key of Jeshua is a profound answer to my prayers. Now I know how to sustain the joys of life, to deal with the set backs and sorrows, to find peace, to find true success, how to pray and how to love, all in his own words. And most of all, I can now accept his love and embrace myself as the beloved.

Stephen Eaton, Texas

5-0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Want It To End!
I can't decide which one of Glenda Green's books I liked best. Either way, both are my favorite books. I loved the story that Glenda relayed of Jesus telling about the oyster and the pearl. I had an encounter with Jesus this past January and that is exactly the message I received. I love her prayers and meditations and at times felt as if Jesus were right beside me as I read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and will be giving this as well as Love Without End as gifts. Thank you, Glenda, for two beautiful and inspiring books. ... Read more


150. Spymaster: My Life In The Cia
by TED SHACKLEY, Theodore Shackley, RICHARD A. FINNEY
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 157488915X
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Brassey's Inc
Sales Rank: 596053
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151. Inside the Dream : The Personal Story of Walt Disney
by Richard Greene, Katherine Greene
list price: $60.00
our price: $39.60
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Asin: 0786853506
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 16579
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Disney Fans Must Have
This is a must have for the Disney fan. This book gives in depth detail into the man who created the "happiest place on earth", from the people who knew hime best. His family, friends, and employees. I have read many books on Disney, and this ranks in the top 2(along with Imaganineering). It tells the stories of his triumphs as well as his tragedies. I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars NIce story about a true genius
This book is not a complete and detailed biography, but is a nice tribute to Walt Disney. It has a lot of photos, and the most interesting parts of the book are "personal side" sections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Proof That Walt Disney Was The Original Dream Worker!
Walt Disney is well on his way to becoming the most written about creative talent in American film.
This is the 100th anniversary of his birth and thankfully any examination of his life can still include careful interviews with people who knew him and worked with him. The book is less an in-depth biography and more like spending a long afternoon hearing how it was from those who knew him best and who can praise him at the same time they acknowledge his frailties. It's an earnest and heartfelt look at the heart and soul of the man, and the authors do their level best to take a frank and thoughtful approach while still being entertaining. Like everything else Disney, it's best to give in to the fact that you're about to be put under a spell. The sooner you give in, the more fun you'll have.
Though some may find it less satisfying than a more critical analysis, this reader is tired of deconstructing American icons and welcomes this lovely look at a historical figure whose impact went well beyond his filmmaking. Disney is arguably the greatest influence on American popular culture and family entertainment in the past 100 years. Most admirable is the way the authors address some of the detractors who've criticized Walt Disney over the years for such things as anti-Semitism or racism. Albeit sentimental, the authors maintain fairly good objectivity. Walt Disney remains enigmatic even to those closest to him. Thankfully, the recollections by family and friends are edited into the layout without making the entire book seem like a posthumous testimonial dinner.
Granted this Disney Editions publication doesn't come without its ulterior motives. With the kind of control Disney has always had over any thing profiling the company one doubts that a harsh light will ever shine on their founder in one of their own pubications. But dreams and dreamers always look better in a soft light, and who but a bitter DreamWorker would ever want to bother trying to detract from such happy success? (And if ever proof was needed that certain ex-studio head turned competitor NEVER was and NEVER WILL be the next Walt Disney, this delivers it!) Though you wish the current Disney brass would pay more attention to the underlying principals of what makes Disney 'Disney' that are spelled out in this book. Hey, we can dream, too, can't we?
Still, this deliciously illustrated oversized scrapbook-styled remembrance of Walt more than makes up for its obvious propaganda focused origins. Imagine(eer) that!
Even though the book serves primarily as a companion to the documentary film of the same title, it's a wonderful read. A gentle reflection with rich illustrations -- some seldom and never before seen photographs -- and a rich and handsome design. Endlessly entertaining. A lovely tribute worth adding to your library. ... Read more


152. Rachel's Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott
by Darrell Scott, Beth Nimmo, Steve Rabey, Darrell Scott with Scott Rabey
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
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Asin: 0785268480
Catlog: Book (2000-04-20)
Publisher: Nelson Books
Sales Rank: 10239
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Columbine tragedy in April 1999 pierced the heart ofour country.In December 1999, we learned that the teenage killers specifically targeted Rachel Scott and mocked her Christian faith on their chilling, homemade videotapes.Rachel Scott died for her faith.Now her parents talk about Rachel's life and how they have found meaning in their daughter's martyrdom in the aftermath of the school shooting.Rachel's Tears comes from a heartfelt need to celebrate this young girl's life, to work through the grief and the questions of a nation, and to comfort those who have been touched by violence in our schools today.Using excerpts and drawings from Rachel's own journals, her parents offer a spiritual perspective on the Columbine tragedy and provide a vision of hope for preventing youth violence across the nation.

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Reviews (89)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book of faith
As a student who is a Biblical Studies and Theology major I can honestly say that reading Rachel's Tears has greatly enhanced my faith and walk with Jesus Christ as no other book has. The testimonies found in the writings of this profoundly spiritual young girl is breath taking to read and I would encourage anyone who is struggling with their Christian walk to read the writings of Rachel Joy Scott. I am thankful that Rachel's parents have helped this nation take a more spiritual look into the tragedy at Columbine. This book has helped me to see that the martyrdoms of Rachel Joy Scott and Cassie Bernall were not merely empty deaths, but rather, God's way of reaching out to a spiritually dying nation. There is an old Christian saying, that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church", and Rachel's parents have truly helped me understand the truth of this statement. I highly encourage everyone to read this book, as well as the books "She Said Yes" by Cassie Bernall's mother, "Columbine Courage" by Ron Luce, and the "Martyr's Torch" by Pastor Bruce Porter. I have been greatly blessed by reading these books and I hope that you will be blessed as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars My Tears for Rachel
Rachel's Tears was an excellent book that appealed to many emotions at once. A book like that is hard to find. There was happiness, times that made me cry, when i was confused or I was amazed by her strength and faith. Rachel's Tears has changed some of my views on life. She is one that any true Christian should follow. Through the hard times at Columbine, even before the shootings, her light was always seen throughout the halls in Littleton, CO. This book was very successful in trying to allow people to understand that you don't have to be like everyone else and allow yourself to follow others. Rachel was unique in everything she did and that's why she had so many loved ones. This book does appeal to only some minds that don't mind reading very faithful stories of others but even if you don't like reading, this will be the book that changes your life after its read. Rachel's Tears definately has a long-standing value especially considering the Columbine murders have effected so many people and people will be curious throughout the time. All in all this was an excellent book that you can't put down.

3-0 out of 5 stars Relatively Interesting
This is a relatively interesting book, but I don't believe that Rachel was asked that. That doesn't make her death any less tragic or make her any less of a person, but Rachel (along with Danny R.) was killed outside; part of a random shooting. The two other people sitting with her I believe were also shot. They weren't asked about their faith and I don't believe Rachel was either. I think the only one asked and shot was Valeen S. I think her name was. If she had been asked, and Rachel said no, they would have shot her anyway. They asked two other kids if they believed in God (Dylan did), and when someone answered yes, Dylan just walked away.

Anyway, this is an interesting read, but I did find it hard to get past all the preaching. Maybe that's because I'm not to religious, but Christians who believe that Rachel was asked will probably divulge the book. It's written well, and interesting, what's not to like if you don't mind preaching?

Just remember that Rachel and Cassie aren't the only victims here. Their death is no more important than Danny R., Daniel M., Kyle, Kelly, John, Isaiah, Corey, Steven, Lauren, Matt and Mr. Sanders. ALL of these people's deaths are important, but because it's speculated that they were asked a question doesn't make Rachel and Cassie above the others. RIP all of them!

5-0 out of 5 stars Rachel's Tears
Rachel's Tears

Rachel's Tears, is a sad story that her parents wrote. It is a breathtaking and overwhelming story. There is Rachel, a joyful teen, that believes in God. Craig, is her brother that lays between his friends under a table in the library. Dylan and Eric are the shooters that kill themselves. Beth and Darrel are Rachel's loving parents. This non fiction story is a christian book.
Rachel's Tears takes place in Coumbine High School with about 1900 students in it. Columbine High School is near Denver, Colorado. The story has lots of passages from Rachel's journals in it. This book would be a great book for 8th grade and up to parents. A lot of people that know her wrote little things about her. Most of the stuff from Rachel's journals are letters or written poems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
This book is more than just another book about Columbine. This book is a book about a remarkable young lady who was an amazing example of how Christ wants us to be. This book touched me and gave me a new hope and desire to live my life for God by watching out for the forgotten ones. Rachel made it a goal to help others who were forgotten by the more "popular" crowds. She left some very inspiring writings in journals that she kept. These journals inspired her parents to write this book. I am so grateful that they did. I believe this book will bless both the young and the old. ... Read more


153. Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement
by John Lewis, Michael D'Orso
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
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Asin: 0156007088
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Harvest/HBJ Book
Sales Rank: 60132
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The son of an Alabama sharecropper, and now a sixth-term United States Congressman, John Lewis has led an extraordinary life, one that found him at the epicenter of the civil rights movement in the late '50s and '60s. As Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis was present at all the major battlefields of the movement. Arrested more than forty times and severely beaten on several occasions, he was one of the youngest yet most courageous leaders. Written with charm, warmth, and honesty, Walking with the Wind offers rare insight into the movement and the personalities of all the civil rights leaders-what was happening behind the scenes, the infighting, struggles, and triumphs. Lewis takes us from the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he led more than five hundred marchers on what became known as "Bloody Sunday." While there have been exceptional books on the movement, there has never been a front-line account by a man like John Lewis. A true American hero, his story is "destined to become a classic in civil rights literature." (Los Angeles Times)
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Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best memoir I've ever read
I don't like memoirs. They're usually self-serving, ego-driven and full of cheap shots. Walking With the Wind is none of those. John Lewis and his co-author have crafted a marvelously told tale of the civil rights movement. Perhaps no one but Lewis, King and Abernathy could write about the movement with this scope. Lewis was there for all of it, from jails, to voting, to sit-ins. And he describes it beautifully with the perfect pace.

I think the book's best chapters are the ones that cover what happened in Selma. I've read a half-dozen histories of the civil rights movement and none of them have recounted the Selma story better than Lewis does here.

Lewis also gives us insight into several other movement leaders. Not even Taylor Branch (the Pulitzer-winning historian and journalist) tells us about Jim Bevel with this much color. Lewis tells fascinating stories about Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael and the relations between SNCC and the other movement-leading groups. It's the kind of inside baseball a good memoir delivers.

I'm thrilled that I read this book. It has greatly contributed to my understanding of the civil rights movement.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book
John Lewis chronicles his ascendancy from the backroads of Alabama to the hallowed halls of Congress - an experience which reads more like carefully contrived fiction than real life events. The struggles, the triumphs, the emotions, the meanings are all skillfully woven to create a soon-to-be American classic literary canon, depicting the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis, described as an American treasure, lives up to the title with his intimate details of the renown leaders of the movement and the not-so-well-known heroes, who fought tirelessly and courageously to end the social injustices of the segregated South. Twenty-first century textbook authors would be remiss, if not negligent, by not including the perspectives of Lewis' Walking with the Wind. Amazingly, Lewis remains humble, despite his successes. He is a role model, and more importantly, a 20th Century American hero. Walking with the Wind is a must-read for all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Walking With the Wind-an Inspirational Memoir
All I can say is that I LOVE this book. It is a true and chilling first-hand account of the Civil Rights Movement. I suggest that everyone read this book. John Lewis is truly an American hero!!

5-0 out of 5 stars a must read regarding the civil rights era
after reading this book i have a much different view of the civil rights era. Mr. Lewis has revealed a fascinating view of the times as well as of himself. i have read several books about the so-called civil rights era and this is at the top. what makes it so good is that it is balanced and honest. buy it and you won't be sorry. even if you don't give a darn about this point in history, this is a wonderful story about courageous people and turbulent times. Mr. Lewis does not try to elevate himself above the many faceless people who gave their energy and their lives for what they believed in. one of my all-time favorite books period. buy it, buy it, buy it!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The story of a true American hero
John Lewis was seemingly everywhere during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. From the Nashville Sit-Ins, to the Freedom Rides to the famous march from Selma and more. It is akin to someone having been at the Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Not only was Lewis there but he was an active participant, one of the many brave souls who risked injury, even death to bring down segregation. Lewis knew all the key figures in the Movement, such as Dr. King, and was a leader himself. Today, of course, Lewis serves his country in the House of Representatives.
It's hard to go wrong with such a compelling story to tell and Lewis doesn't dissapoint. With the help of co-author Michael D'Orso, we learn not only of one person's participation in the Civil Rights' Movement, but gain insight into the Movement as a whole.
Lewis is vastly under appreciated by Americans today. Hopefully Waking With the Wind will help future generations appreciate John Lewis, an American hero. ... Read more


154. Let Me Go
by Helga Schneider
list price: $19.00
our price: $13.30
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Asin: 0802714358
Catlog: Book (2004-07-30)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 10194
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Book Description

Helga Schneider was four when her mother suddenly abandoned her family in Berlin in 1941. This extraordinary memoir, praised across Europe, tells of a daughter's final encounter with her mother, who had left her family to become an SS guard at Auschwitz. ... Read more


155. Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945
by JohnGlusman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670034088
Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 1987
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines are legendary inthe annals of World War II. Those who survived faced the horrors of life as prisoners ofthe Japanese.

In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through theeyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of "the Rock," and thedaily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviestbombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmenwaged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace.To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn’t protect themfrom a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raidsthat burned Japan’s major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews withAmerican, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and warcrimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race warthat escalated into total war.

Like Flags of Our Fathers and Ghost Soldiers, Conduct UnderFire is a story of bravery on the battlefield and ingenuity behind barbed wire, onethat reveals the long shadow the war cast on the lives of those who fought it. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL HISTORY
This book, about a subject that many Americans are unaware, is both a personal journey and taut war history. America in the early Forties was still dealing with the depression, and how it would conduct itself, while much of the world was already at war.

This story, not about generals or admirals, is instead a tribute to dedicated, unassuming men caught in the throes of the terrible war that finally found America in 1941.

John Glusman actually writes about four different things: the allure of Asia to these young men, the defeat in the Philippines, their struggles to survive, and finally to recover their lives.

His style is easily readible and compelling.

I have read many books on this topic, and the only one that compares is John Toland's, But Not In Shame.

Please read this book!It is a magnificent work of history, and a moving personal tribute. ... Read more


156. Posterity : Letters of Great Americans to Their Children
by DORIE MCCULLOUGH LAWSON
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038550330X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 2361
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Personal and Revealing
This wonderful book spans more than three centuries and gives the reader insights into the thoughts of many great Americans as they wrote to their children.

This treasury of short letters also provides some background for each one. The research needed to discover these personal letters is documented. I love this collection and the way all the letters are presented.

To quote from the author's father, David McCullough, "This is a book to pick up and read at almost any page, a book to keep close at hand, to return to for nourishment and guidance, yes, but also for reassurance and pure pleasure". I couldn't have said it any better! This quotation says exactly how I feel. I want to purchase several copies to give as gifts and as a parent, I even feel compelled to write to my own children!

All the letters provide wonderful insights into the minds of the parents, and I have several favorites; Eleanor Roosevelt wrote one to one of her sons who wanted to skip Christmas and it is so touching! As Dorie M. Lawson reminds us, letter writing is generally a thoughtful art - it cannot compare to e-mail writing.

These personal letters from parent to child are arranged thematically and within each section, they are in chronological order and printed in their entirety just as they were composed. It is thrilling to read them, especially the really old ones and all of them were written by aparent who made worthwhile contributions to America.

Here are a few of the parents whose letters are included: Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Patsy, Harry Truman to his daughter Margaret, General Patton to his son, Oscar Hammerstein to his son, and so many more from all walks of life. All of us who have children and even those who do not, will benefit from reading this rare collection of parents expressing their thoughts.

Thank you Dorie McCullough Lawson and please continue writing!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Display of Humanity
To often, we think of historical figures as cardboard characters, names in a textbook. In this wonderful book, they come alive as thinking, feeling human beings, sharing their innermost thoughts with their children. No matter the era, or the fame of the writer, the humanity is what one remembers. Perhaps the greatest tribute I can give Dorie McCullough Lawson is the fact that I have since read, or am reading, biographies of N.C. Wyeth, Theodore Roosevelt, John J. Pershing, and Harriet Beecher Stowe...all because of what I learned about them from her book, and the letters therein. "Posterity..." is a book to treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deeply Satisfying, Cleverly Organized Collection
I was initially put off by the "high concept" execution of the book, but the selection of the letters and the breadth of the authors is enormously satisfying and deeply moving. The book is another reminder of the rich inner life we have lost in our world of email and voicemail, as revealed in the warm, funny, eclectic and eccentric voices of the famous speaking to their loved ones. In books about families, I'm very fond of "I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets," by Bruce Stockler, a fresh, memorable story of living a life turned upside down, and "Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir," by Richard Cohen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely. Moving, Entertaining Look Inside Families
I'm not a big fan of the genre of letters literature, but this book completely surprised and enthralled me. The obvious hook is the eclectic group of thinkers, from Thomas Edison and Jack London to Moe Howard from the Three Stooges and Woody Guthrie. Each writer reveals a profound love of family, children, sense of humor and warmth that is collectively astonishing and heartbreaking. (...)

4-0 out of 5 stars A GLIMPSE INTO HEARTS AND MINDS
In this day of email and instant messaging does anyone ever take the time to write a longhand letter? What will future generations have to reference in order to learn more about us, who we were and what we thought? Well, I don't have the answer to those questions but I do know that today we can read the letters of some very distinguished people who did take the time to advise, order or console their children via pen and ink.

Yes, the writers of the letters contained in this volume are famous Americans, but they are also very much like all of us when it comes to our offspring. What a privilege it is to be able to read these letters and in that way perhaps know a little more about what was in the writers' hearts and minds.

The letters are arranged by theme, from "Continuity" to "Rules To Live By," and each letter is preceded by a brief biographical sketch.

We find Albert Einstein writing to Hans Albert Einstein, "What I have achieved through such a lot of strenuous work shall not only be there for strangers but especially for my own boys.....I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits......"

Sam Houston tells Sam, Jr. of a mother's love: "Your Ma loves you more than she does any one else, so you should love her, more than any one." While John Adams sends a note of caution to John Quincy Adams: "...Go and see with how little Wisdom this World is governed."

In moments of discouragement Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote to Georgiana Stowe: "Why have n't I written? Because, dear Georgie, I am like the dry, dead leafless tree, and have only cold, dead, slumbering buds of hope on the end of stiff, hard, frozen twigs of thought, but no leaves, no blossoms...."

"Posterity" offers a collective portrait of who we were. It's a book that can be picked up and enjoyed a page at a time, and it's one you'll want to refer to again and again.

- Gail Cooke ... Read more


157. Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
by Sonny Barger, Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060937548
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 23903
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.

Dozens of photos, including many from private collections and from noted photographers, provide visual documentation to this extraordinary tale. Never simply a story about motorcycles, colorful characters, and high-speed thrills, Hell's Angel is the ultimate outlaw's tale of loyalty and betrayal, subcultures and brotherhood, and the real price of freedom.

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Reviews (67)

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly excellent book.
Sonny Barger has lived the life and "Hell's Angel" chronicles it all. From the moment I began reading I found it hard to put down. Few other books have inspired that much anticipation in me.

While never truly romanticizing the 1%'er lifestyle it still holds an appeal that is undeniable, which is to say that those close to the subject will understandably get the most out of this while the rest of us will still find it a remarkably engrossing read. I was surprised to find that not very many books on the Hell's Angels and other associated clubs have been written, and of those that have most are of the expose/tabloid variety. Sonny on the other hand lays it all out in a very plain, unapologetic manner. He doesn't seek your approval just tells it how it is without ever acknowledging the right or wrong of his actions. "Hell's Angel" is not an indictment of his personal values or those of the Hell's Angels themselves.

At times, though, "Hell's Angel" has a tendency to meander out of chronological order and which gets kind of confusing but it usually becomes obvious after a few minutes of reading just exactly where the event in question took place.

This is a must have for any Americana lover out there so do yourself a favor, don't wait, go out and buy this book right now.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strong start, slower finish
I picked this book up at my local library as soon as I saw it on the shelf. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Hell's Angels are a part of 20th century American history and culture, and the lion's share of the credit for this fact goes to Sonny Barger. It was interesting to read *the* insider's look at the Angels, whose image has been heavily mythologized, both positively and negatively, since the 1950s.

The first chapters of the book were more interesting to me, since they dealt with the history of motorcycle gangs in 1940s and 1950s America, the formation of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, and the personalities and activities that put the group on the map, as it were. Descriptions of Angels' club rules, codes of conduct, and reflections on their famous runs and riots were riveting.

But as the book went along it became less about the HAMC and more about the trials (literally) and tribulations of Sonny Barger. Granted, Barger is an interesting personality and I came away with a certain admiration for the man, and the book is the story of Sonny Barger and not just the club, but chapters about Barger's drug trials, incarcerations, and other travails were less interesting to me than stories of the heady early days of the HAMC.

All told, however, this is a good look into one of the more interesting but neglected parts of 20th century American society.

1-0 out of 5 stars An old man who has selective memory
"Sometimes you have to fight to be free". Bless you Sonny, but you know the real truth and you have left all except the most innocent facts out of this book. The Hells Angels are a horror and a growing one at that.

5-0 out of 5 stars back in the day...
Not owing a bike or even being able to ride one, I found myself wanting to Be a Angel( mostly because of the parties, booze and the woman). The book is mostly about former members and the roots of the bike club. It pretty wild stuff and hell I can see why the FBI keeps tabs on these boys.. Over all if you every wanted to know about the Hells Angels read about it from the man himself....

5-0 out of 5 stars truly inspirational
this book was such an inspiration to me, it helped me learn of a new alternitave way to live a life free of the daily toil of the system and helped correct all those rumors heard (especialy about "that" rolling stones incedent) and proved my point that Hunter S Thompson nothing that he makes himself out to be, i am not a bike or gang enthusiast, i had this book bought as an out of the blue gift and now that ive read it im so glad to have recived it ... Read more


158. Character Is the Issue: How People With Integrity Can Revolutionize America
by Mike Huckabee, John Perry
list price: $11.99
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805463674
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publishers
Sales Rank: 525438
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The True Voice of Arkansas
Arkansas' current Governor Mike Huckabee is certainly not politically correct. He is a man of integrity, convictions, patriotism, Christianity, and honesty-quite a departure from his two most recent predecessors.

The bulk of this disquisition concerns the attempted hijacking of his first inauguration. The convicted Governor Jim Guy Tucker changed his mind about resigning less than ten minutes before Lieutenant Governor Huckabee was to be sworn in. The State Constitutional Crisis was quickly thwarted by the united outrage of Arkansas' heavily Democratic controlled legislature.

In relating this tale of public servants putting their honor above their party, Huckabee does not descant on the obvious irony. In this scenario it was the Democratic Party and Arkansas politicians who saw their duty and boldly threatened an expeditious impeachment proceeding to restrain a law breaking chief executive. Not too many years later the National Democratic Party abnegated its duty when an Arkansas-bred Chief Executive contemptuously subjected the country to a Constitutional Crises.

The governor devotes less time to several other segments of his public life and includes a few biographical sketches. Whatever the subject, he displays a trenchant mind and a true dedication to serving mankind. It is not difficult to see why he was previously very successful as a minister. In addition to the clergy and politics, he may also have a calling as an author. Like his second book "Kids Who Kill," I read this one all the way through in less than 24 hours.

5-0 out of 5 stars Governor Huckabee is truly a 'great' American !
Of the countless political books and memoirs I have read in over 25 years in political affairs Governor Mike Huckabee's book, "CHARACTER IS THE ISSUE" is the most refreshing,outstanding and wonderful political memoir I have read.

Governor Huckabee's book should be read be all who seek and want leaders with integrity,honor and principle.

President John F. Kennedy wrote that great historic book "PROFILES IN COURAGE" --- Governor Huckabee of Arkansas is truly a 'profile in courage and integrity' !

God bless Governor Huckabee of Arkansas.

-------------------------------------------------- Visit my website: POLITICS INTERNATIONAL --------------------------------------------------

5-0 out of 5 stars We put the wrong Arkansan in the White House!
A sobering expose' of sordid Arkansas politics as seen from the eyes of a Baptist preacher turned Governor of Arkansas. Mike Huckabee is a known quantity, a splendid man of character. Gov. Huckabee sought to serve his fellow man from a larger pulpit; politics. On the journey to the Statehouse he exposes all of the "characters" masquerading as public servants and himself proves that "Character Is the Issue"!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mike Huckabee's Pulitzer Quality Review
Governor Huckabee exposes the cruel and inappropriate behavior that faced him as he moved into the Lt. Governor's Office, and then the Governor's Office. It provides true insight into the evil spirited Jim Guy Tucker, and the true nature of the rivalrous relationship of Tucker and Clinton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Go Governor Huck!!!
Governor Huckabee is a fine Christian man, a natural-born leader, and an individual of great decisiveness and courage. He knows what to do and when to do it. This book is an excellent leadership book, and well worth the time. ... Read more


159. The Way of the Wiseguy
by Joseph Pistone
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0762418397
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Sales Rank: 9597
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here's the first nonfiction work from author Joe Pistone since his New York Times #1 bestseller and hit movie, Donnie Brasco. Perhaps no man alive knows the inner workings and lifestyle of wiseguys better than Pistone does, having spent six years infiltrating the Mafia as an undercover FBI agent. Now, years later, Pistone reassesses what the underworld was really about. Occasionally poignant, always in shocking detail, The Way of the Wiseguy gives readers a first-hand look at the thinking, psychology, and customs that make wiseguys a unique breed. The book is divided into anecdotes that reveal key principles of wiseguy life, including "Don't Volunteer You Don't Know Something," "Be a Good Earner," "Look Like You Mean Business, "It's Your Best Friend Who Will Kill You," and much more. The stories-more than 80 of them-are spellbinding, and the insights into this lawless realm of badguys are often uncannily relevant to the workings of the legitimate world of big business and everyday social discourses. Includes CD with shocking undercover surveillance audio from the Donnie Brasco operation (with commentary by author Joe Pistone). ... Read more

Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Tired material, dubious delivery
If you read Donnie Brasco - or know even a little bit about the prototypical wiseguy - you do not need to read this book. It essentially details the way mobsters live their daily lives, what's important to them (money), why they kill people (also money), etc. If you have a brain in your skull you could have gleaned that from Pistone's first book, or the film Donnie Brasco, or any of the Godfather movies. What's worse, the book is littered with profanity, something that was missing (or at least not gratuitous) from the Donnie Brasco book. And it also surprised me because when you see Pistone interviewed, he seems like a class act. The profanity seems highly contrived as to make you think Pistone has more credibility if he talks like a scumbag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brasco does it again
This book was an excellent read. Told in Joe Pistone's authentic voice, it provides an alternative viewpoint to Hollywood's glamorized version of the mafia-a viewpoint that we don't see often enough.

I particularly enjoyed the format. The book is interspersed with some shorter chapters and some longer ones, each consisting of anecdotes that teach lessons about the wiseguy's lifestyle. So whether you've got an hour to sit down and read it, or whether you've only got 10 minutes here and there, you can pick up The Way of the Wiseguy at any point and be entertained and enlightened.

Informative, funny, and poignant all at once, Pistone brought me closer to being inside the mafia than I'll ever be. And convinced me that I don't ever want to get any closer.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Warmed-over rehash of better titles.
Joseph Pistone takes a page out of the handbook of those he put away and shakes down mafia aficionados for a quick buck.

There is nothing in this writing that hasn't been documented before by other authors better and in more detail. What we hope is a true insider's view of the day-to-day machinations of the mob turns out to be a book of thirty one- to two-page essays on various facets of a Mafioso's daily life. We hope to get a look at mob life not apparent to those of us on the outside, to get a true feel for the Way of the Wiseguy. What we get instead is a Cliff's notes outline of The Godfather.

Way of the Wiseguy offers up such gems as :

--some Wiseguys are degenerate gamblers
--Wiseguys do not have the same value system as everyday people
--Wiseguys send a message by whacking people
--Wiseguys are greedy
--Wiseguys take goomahs
--Wiseguys are all about the money

Do you want more details or information than the above list? Don't expect to find it in Way of the Wiseguy. Pistone really phones it in on this one: pulling a robbery on the book buying public that should be the inspiration for chapter one in his next writing: Fake Wiseguys know how to sucker the public too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fun & Informative Fast Read
While Pistone uses poor english --- 6th grade level lower class english, he writes what I find to be a riveting account of life in La Costra Nostra.

These are all issues and things that most people wonder about mobsters and Pistone answers them clearly, succinctly and well.

This is a good book for people interested in American History, Mafia history, the mob in general and sociology, among other things. One can't help but see a bit of oneself in mobsters. After all, we all have a dark side even if we never show it or dare to think about it.

A warning to parents, this book uses what some might consider very bad language although among business people, politicians, mobsters and just about every living human being, it's quite common. But if you are sensitive, don't buy it.

If you want a really great read and don't mind poor english and bad language, do buy it. It's totally different than any other book about La Costra (...)

1-0 out of 5 stars thin and weak
There isn't a whole lot to this book. Several 1 page chapters and blank pages. You can get a lot more information in other books. I loved Donnie Brasco, but this seems like a cheap way to get a quick buck. ... Read more


160. Return from Tomorrow
by George Ritchie
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080078412X
Catlog: Book (1988-03-01)
Publisher: Revell
Sales Rank: 51972
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Enlightening!
Dr. Hugh Harmon and I are nationally recognized teachers and practitioners of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. This is one of the class books we use for our students and is a book we often recommend to clients who are interested in, curious about, or fearful of life after death. It is very helpful for those struggling with loss of loved ones. The book is so engrossing, you will want to read it in one sitting. The one note we would make about the content is that it may be "off putting" to non-christians that the book seems to indicate Jesus is the lighted being one meets at death. We have conducted thousands of past life regressions in which we ask what is happening after the death of the body. People often speak of meeting Beings of Light. Christians often see Jesus or will call the Being they meet God. Non-Christians will have a different identity for this being. Some refer to the Being of Light as their own Spiritual Self or Higher Self. Our knowledge is that spirit is energy. When one meets with a spirit whose spiritual energy is very great, one will see this energy as light. In near death or just after death experiences one's mind is still focused on physical form so one's mind will create an image for the spiritual light energy one encounters. This realization will help non-christians better appreciate this book and this individual encounter with death and higher spiritual energy beings. Addendum: The prisoner in the concentration camp who the author of this books writes about: This was the man who made the decision to not hate, but to help in any way possible and to hold in love all he encountered, thus experiencing health when others were failing and joy when others sank into despair. This was as inspiring and as enlightening and as life altering as the rest of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific book!
What a wonderful book. This book restores faith and hope. It rings true.

It's a simple story about a miraculous event in a young man's life. The event changed this man forever causing him to lead a life of love and service. As for our lovely "Christian's Beware" reviewer just ignore that psycho-babbel.

When you read this book, listen to your heart and spirit. Judge for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars it changed my life forever
This may be the best life changing book ever... If you know someone who is dying, or if you are just interested in knowing what it's like when we pass on-this is A MUST! George Ritchie is for real, no one could have made a story up like the one he presents. Thank you! A+

5-0 out of 5 stars A blind man is one that does not want to see
What is the problem with those ppl that claim that spirits and reincarnation cannot be true? How could they know? Give yourself a chance and READ THIS BOOK. While you are at it, make yourself the HUGEST favor you could ever do and read all Allan Kardec books.
Come on, you really think God's best job is here on earth? Isn't it obvious that life is so much more than this tiny lil planet? Open your eyes, open your mind. Life on earth is short, make it worth it so you don't have to come back to this planet filled with pain.

5-0 out of 5 stars It changed my life...compelling and awe-inspiring
This book will change many lives for the better. I can never see things the same after reading it. As one reviewer said, such sincerity can't be made up and I believe that Ritchie experienced everything just as he described it. I would recommend it to all atheists or agnostics...after reading I doubt that they would remain so. ... Read more


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