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    1. One Soldier's Story : A Memoir
    by Bob Dole
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060763418
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 420
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    "

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

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

    " ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    2. The Peabody Sisters : Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
    by Megan Marshall
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395389925
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 794
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    Book Description

    Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways our American Brontes. The story of these remarkable sisters — and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day — has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall's monumental biograpy brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life.
    Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire thinker. A powerful influence on the great writers of the era — Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them — she also published some of their earliest works. It was Elizabeth who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson's individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Mary was a determined and passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. The frail Sophia was a painter who won the admiration of the preeminent society artists of the day. She married Nathaniel Hawthorne — but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into disarray.
    Marshall focuses on the moment when the Peabody sisters made their indelible mark on history. Her unprecedented research into these lives uncovered thousands of letters never read before as well as other previously unmined original sources. The Peabody Sisters casts new light on a legendary American era. Its publication is destined to become an event in American biography.
    ... Read more


    3. John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights
    by DAVID S. REYNOLDS
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375411887
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1207
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good biography of Brown with important cultural issues
    When I was a child the name of John Brown was a grotesquerie.We sang about his body a moulderin' in the grave, but it was generally understood that he was some kind of crazy man who killed some people over slavery, had something to do with the Civil War, and we just shouldn't talk about it.And I am from Michigan rather than the South so this avoidance wasn't based on region.

    In the sixties I was about as removed in time from the Civil War as today's young people are from the First World War.That is, the people who were alive during the war were all but past and the children born to those who had lived through the war were now old.Still, some of the received knowledge of the war came from tradition of those who had life experience rather than from books and scholarship.However, with the Great War in our Grandparent's lives, the Second World War in our parent's lives and the echoes of Korea all around us and Vietnam getting under its bloody way, the Civil War just seemed too long ago to worry about in real life.

    I took extra time with this book because I wanted to wrestle with the idea of when a cause is important enough to justify personally initiated violence.In our present state of affairs, it is hard to conceive a wrong so great that righting it would involve action outside the political and judicial processes.At bottom, no matter how certain of the rightness and goodness of our cause, there is still some possibility that there is more to the issue than we understand and that those whom we would kill or murder might actually, in the cosmic view of things, not merit the death we would inflict on them.We have doubts enough with the state rendering a judgment of death, how much more would we doubt the rightness of a private judgment that concluded in the death of a human being.

    The author, David Reynolds, does a solid job in telling the story of John Brown.We see Brown as a human being within his time.We see his faith in God, his Puritan sense of destiny, and his fury at the injustice of slavery.As we follow him through his life we understand why he acted as he did and the enslavement and misery of four million souls makes his actions in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry make some sort of awful sense.The last two chapters make clear that this author agrees with W.E.B. DuBois that "Brown was right".Reynolds does take on the modern terrorism of the left and the right.He takes on abortion, the environment, the Islamofacists, and more.He argues that Brown was different and exceptional.He notes the power Brown's words and how his cause was taken on by so many leading into, during, and after the Civil War.

    Yet, in my own mind, if I grant that Brown is an exception I have to ask what was he exceptional with?And I note it was his eloquence in words.I still cannot help but disqualify his violence as just.His cause in freeing the slaves was certainly just, but if we allow his violence under what premise do we make that allowance?Abortion has taken millions of lives, environmentalism claims they are saving the whole planet, animal rights claims they are sparing billions of animals, and on and on the fever goes until it reaches into insanity.Whose conscience do we grant the privileged position of spilling everyone's blood?

    Brown had the passion, conscience, and eloquence that he could have used to make a powerful case against slavery as he did after his trial.He would have had, I believe, and even greater impact against slavery with his preaching than with his sword.Remember, every other country in the world abandoned slavery without the violence of our Civil War.And even if we grant that the War freed the slaves in 1865 while a nonviolent approach would have taken decades longer, we also have to admit it was another century of work and too often bloodshed before the descendants of those slaves got close to the civil rights promised them.And don't forget that the man who did the most to move society to accepting those rights was Martin Luther King who preached nonviolence.Thurgood Marshall won Brown v. Board of Education without guns as well.

    Yes, there is more to do.Certainly, there is cruelty and injustice almost more than we can bear in the world.But bear it we must as we work towards a better world.Our methods in that work do matter and we must not become deluded that our personal sense of righteousness actually grants us a special position from which we can deal injustice in the name of a higher cause.

    This is a thoughtful book and deserves to be read.You will gain a lot from it and wrestling with these awful events will help you clarify what exactly it is you do believe.

    1-0 out of 5 stars There are better biographies of John Brown
    Don't waste your time on this book. Find and read Otto Scott's "John Brown and the Secret Six" which has plenty of evidence of the terrorist roots of John Brown and his band.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
    Ideal for those of you who want to find out about John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Christian Right Wing Terrorist
    I'm not so sure that I agree with Dr. Reynolds subtitle.

    John Brown didn't exactly end slavery. That took a little over two million men; 359,528 of whom died.

    Did he spark the Civil War? Certainly he was one spark. Dr. Reynolds writes that the Civil War might have been delayed, except for John Brown's murderous raids and the seizure of the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. If it had been delayed, might it not have happened?

    Seeding Civil Rights, OK! But if so, the growth and maturity of the Civil Rights movement took another hundred years and the actions of a lot of people.

    From this you can guess the tone of the book. Dr. Reynolds presents Brown as a Puritan pioneer rather than a crazed fanatic. I wonder if he would present Timothy McVeigh and the Christian Right prople who blow up women's clinics in the same way.

    You can certainly say that Dr. Reynolds presents a strong viewpoint almost praising John Brown, yet at the same time he does point out that the actions of John Brown would today mark him as a terrorist. ... Read more


    4. Inside the Wire : A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo
    by ErikSaar, VivecaNovak
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200661
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
    Sales Rank: 2799
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Inside the Wire is a gripping portrait of one soldier's six months at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - a powerful, searing journey into a surreal world completely unique in the American experience.

    In an explosive newsbreak that generated headlines all around the world, a document submitted by army Sergeant Erik Saar to the Pentagon for clearance was leaked to the Associated Press in January, 2005.His account of appalling sexual interrogation tactics used on detainees at Guantanamo Bay was shocking, but that was only one small part of the story of what he saw at Guantanamo --and the leak was only one more strange twist in his profoundly disturbing and life-changing trip behind the scenes of America's war on terror.

    Saar couldn't have been more eager to get to Gitmo.After two years in the army learning Arabic, becoming a military intelligence linguist, he pounced on the chance to apply his new skills to extracting crucial intel from the terrorists. But when he walked through the heavily guarded, double-locked and double-gated fence line surrounding Camp Delta -- the special facility built for the "worst of the worst" al Qaeda and Taliban suspects - he entered a bizarre world that defied everything he'd expected, belied a great deal of what the Pentagon has claimed, and defiled the most cherished values of American life.

    In this powerful account, he takes us inside the cell blocks and interrogation rooms, face-to-face with the captives.Suicide attempts abound.Storm-trooper-like IRF (initial reaction forces) teams ramp up for beatings of the captives, and even injure one American soldier so badly in a mock drill -- a training exercise -that he ends up with brain seizures.Fake interrogations are staged when General Geoffrey Miller - whose later role in the Abu Ghraib fiasco would raise so many questions - hosts visiting VIPs.Barely trained interrogators begin applying their "creativity" when new, less restrictive rules are issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    When Saar takes over as a cosupervisor of the linguists translating for interrogations and gains access to the detainees' intelligence files, he must contend with the extent of the deceptions and the harsh reality of just how illconceived and counterproductive an operation in the war on terror, and in the history of American military engagement, the Guantanamo detention center is.

    Inside the Wire is one of those rare and unforgettable eyewitness accounts of a momentous and deeply sobering chapter in American history, and a powerful cautionary tale about the risks of defaming the very values we are fighting for as we wage the war on terror.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Overall, it wasn't bad
    I am currently assigned the Naval Station in GTMO.I read this book, and found it very easy to read and follow.It had an interesting plot and told a good story.

    Before anyone who is reviewing this and is convinced that this book deserves a bad review decides to scan down to the next one, please hear me out.I have never worked inside the camp.I know several people who have, but I have never done more than drive down the road inside.I don't know what goes on in that camp, and like many other sailors and government employees here, I listen to CNN talk about what is happening less than a mile away from me on television everyday.I cannot draw a conclusion about the truth behind statements and stories contained in this novel because I simply don't know.I bought this book after reading mixed reviews because I wanted this former soldier's perspective on what happens back there...not caring whether it was true or not.I hear so much about what goes on in there I don't know what to believe anymore.

    But with all of that said, I believe the book was very well written.It was easy to read, and was very hard to put down. It doesn't go into as much political depth as I had expected, which was OK, because I don't like reading books like that.It is simply one man's views of what goes on there.

    I only gave this book four stars for one reason.The information that the author adds about the Naval base itself is very true for the most part.He describes buildings and placesin a way that anyone who has been here for a while and knows their way around the base would be able to pick them out in a heartbeat.However, he mentions some things in the book that completely off the wall, and crazily un-true about the base itself.These are included as so called "rumors" but are just silly in my opinion.This is the only reason I gave it four stars, but like I said, it was overall a good novel.

    Before I close though, I would like to add that I believe you have to have an open-minded opinion of the goings-on at GTMO before you dive into this one.The personnel that openly bashed this book after it's release were careless, and downright rude.Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but next time it should be displayed with a bit more couth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Its nice to know so many GITMO personnel buy books!
    After reading the reviews, I was very suprised at the number of former/current GITMO personel that buy and review books on amazon.com This is truly an untapped market! Evidently this is the ONLY book being read at GITMO, since they have never reviewed anything else on amazon.com Ok, Im finished with the sarcasm.
    The book was an easy read. The details were disturbing. Is it fact/fiction? Its up the reader to decide. Unfortunately we dont have any nice digtal photos floating around on the internet to verfiy the author's account.
    Many are quick to dismiss his version of events. But then again, if someone had written a book about soldiers in Iraq leading detainees around on leases, making them masterbate, stacking them naked in a pyramid...I would be inclined to think it was fiction too. Now if only we could find some photos from GITMO.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Real Profile in Courage
    Erik Saar's book has all the credibility of the Onion or at this point Newsweek. It strikes me that anyone with a dissenting view of the book is labeled right wing etc or that they will not post their real names. After seeing some of the responses on here and on Blogs I can not blame anyone for not posting their real name as I can see hate mail direct towards them. As Americans we seem to have a disturbing trend to want to believe in all conspiracies no matter how far fetched. The Iraq prison scandal has shown that clearly as is Erik Saars book. My hunch is that some of the positive reviews on here also believe that the government has Aliens in Area 51 and that the CIA killed Kennedy.
    There is a true patriot from both GTMO and Abu G, Specialist Joseph Darby who was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The annual honors recognize acts of political courage. Darby was the first to report abuse at the prison. He turned over pictures that included images of prisoners chained together in sexual poses. Spc Darby did not write a book and is not making money over what he saw and felt was wrong. He took a stand and did what is morally right which is more than I can say for Erik Saar.
    While this book is well written it is far from the truth and it is amazing looking through interviews with Saar that his story changes and he seems to stick to doing interviews on the far left fringe of things.
    I am neither left nor right, I make educated choices and decisions based on the facts and Saar book lacks facts and has a lot of conjecture. As the Newsweek story has shown not everything in print is the truth and a stronger more in depth review of Saars book will show the same. I would love to see Saar's NOCER's for the time as well as the interrogation plans that show Saar was in the booth. I have a feeling most of what he said he saw is stuff he heard happened etc. It also strikes me as odd that Saar as an Arabic linguist never advanced beyond E5 despite the points being low and the need for Arabic linguists being great. I also noticed he has two good conduct awards. This means he did at least 6 years active duty. The average soldier makes E5 in 3-4 years and E6 in Saars MOS he should have had it in 5 with ease. I have a feeling there is more to look at with this young man than meets the eye.
    SPC Joseph Darby is a true American hero, not Saar, America should be offended at those who commit abuses and question the government and challenge it for better government and leaders, but we should also be offended at those that chose to try and profit from situations such as this and make matters worse and instead in flame things needlessly.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a thoughtful read
    this book was written by someone who had actually been at
    guantanamo and for that reason, if none other, deserves
    better attention than some previous reviewers want to give it.the author gives us chapter and verse but of course, it is up
    to the reader to accept or challenge, but the challenges
    should come from readers who come to the book without
    built-in prejudices.

    saar was a participant in events and i thoroughly appreciate
    his view of that history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An important and accessible work
    This book gives us an alternate view into the workings of the Guantanamo detention facility.Before this book almost all of the information we have received has been second hand, either from officials in Washington or commentators.None of these people have actually been there, day in and day out, as part of the operation.

    Other reviewers have cast aspersions on the veracity of this book.My objective opinion is that Sgt. Saar's story rings true.For instance, we are told of a farmer who had no idea why he was there, and had not been charged with any crimes.If we were paying a bounty to Northern warlords for capturing terrorists, but not validating their claim that the people presented are terrorists, it seems reasonable that the warlord would pick up local farmers and tradesmen as easy money. It seems that they would certainly be easier to find and capture than real terrorists.In any case, the problems illustrated by this book would be easy for the government to check out.

    Some of the reviewers have impugned Sgt. Saars motivations and patriotism.While it is difficult to speak of another's motivations, writing this book is the definition of patriotic right and duty.The fact that we are able to criticize our government is at the heart of what being an American is all about.The free press is the ultimate check on the behavior of our government - the fourth branch.

    I believe that the most important point in the book is not the fact that we have violated international treaties and our own principals at Guantanamo, but that it hasn't worked.I remember the mood after 9/11.The world had shifted and only an extraordinary response would keep us safe.But this doesn't give us leave to forget about leadership, training, organized execution and oversight.We seem to have been making mistakes, but ignoring the outcome - the lack of good intelligence and the problems in moral and performance.Sgt. Saar is doing us a service by providing valuable feedback.The question is, will the leadership receive it from this source, as they didn't get it from proper oversight.

    You might have noticed that I was using the pronoun "we" when I spoke of activities described in the book.This was unintentional, and when I focused on it, I felt it might have been presumptuous.I certainly wasn't there.I was living in safety and comfort in the presence of my loved ones while Sgt. Saar and the others were doing their countries work in Guantanamo.On reflection, I decided to leave the pronouns where they lay.The military is the shield that protects us, but our surrogates.The soldier shows the world how we respond to difficult situations.

    Sgt. Saar's response has been both courageous and appropriate. This is an important book.

    ... Read more


    5. Biggest Brother : The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers
    by LarryAlexander
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0451215109
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: NAL Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 468
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the rest.

    A soldier. A leader. A living testament to the valor of the human spirit. Major Richard D. Winters finally shares his amazing story.

    They were the Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Army Airborne, the legendary fighting unit of World War II. And there was one man every soldier in Easy Company looked up to-Major Richard D. Winters.

    Here, for the first time, is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero-from Winters's childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through the war years in which his natural skill as a leader elevated him through the ranks in combat, to now, decades later, when he may finally be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

    Full of never-before-seen photographs and the insight that family, friends, fellow veterans of Easy Company-and only Winters himself-could provide, Biggest Brother is the inspiring life story of a man who became a living testament to the valor of the human spirit-and America.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
    I've never written a review for Amazon before but had to for this great book.If you're interested in World War II, Band of Brothers, etc you would find this book very enjoyable.Although the subject matter is obviously similar to Stephen Ambrose's book, Larry Alexander takes a much more in depth and personal look into the life of Dick Winters (they are from the same city in Pennsylvania).He had access to many of the letters that Winters wrote at the time and that gives you a lot of insight into his thoughts and emotions during the 506th's deployment in Europe.It is fascinating reading!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest Brother, the biography of Major Dick Winters
    This has to be the best book I've read. Everyone should read this even if they haven't seen the miniseries or read Stephen Ambrose's book. This book was certainly one of those that you'd find hard to put down. Even though this is Larry Alexander's first book to the best of my knowledge, he has undertaken a fine job.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fills In the Blanks
    This is the right book for those of us who want to know more about the most famous infantry officer of World War II. While covering a lot of the same territory that was told in "Band of Brothers," "The Biggest Brother" goes further and illuminates what Dick Winters was thinking and experiencing as a teetotalling, Bible reading, conscientious company and battalion commander during some of the worst combat in the European Theater. The author has obtained a treasure trove of a resource in that he got hold of a pile of letters that Winters wrote to a girlfriend/pen pal during his Army career. His thoughts and reactions to events of more than sixty years ago were recorded for this woman and it provides the backbone for this well-written work, along with interviews and solid research.

    While Easy Company's story is told in more detail, I was particularly interested in what happened to Dick Winters after the war. Too often we're left hanging as to how the catalysts of these stories coped with what they went through. "The Biggest Brother" shows that, like many, many veterans, Winters struggled at first, wound tight as a drum and having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. His stint with his friend Nixon's company didn't help matters. Nixon and his father, both raging alcoholics, more or less left Winters on his own at their company headquarters. Basically he had to learn about the business world through intense study, trial and error and strength of will, much like his rise through the ranks in the Army. His eventual success as an animal feed salesman was accomplished through years and years of hard work. We later generations sometimes forget (or never knew) that the "Greatest Generation" built modern America with their own blood, sweat, tears and a very tough work ethic.

    In addition, assuming what Alexander has written is true, many of the episodes of the HBO mini-series had major inaccuries in them. Hopefully this book will set the record straight once and for all. For example, Private Blithe, the trooper who suffered from "hysterical blindess" was indeed wounded in the neck but survived, stayed in the Army and served in Korea in the 1950s. The movie stated that he died several years after his Normandy wound, lying paralyzed in an Army hospital.

    Another inaccuracy is the HBO portrayal of "Wild Bill" Guarnere going berserk and shooting up a German horse-drawn column. Evidently it was another group of paratroopers who did this as Guarnere, like Winters, had lost his weapon during the jump. There are numerous examples like this, of Hollywood forsaking accuracy, as told by the men who were actually there, in favor of dramatism and blowing things out of proportion in order to make a more profitable production. I was particularly interested in the segments where Winters attempted to impress Tom Hanks and the HBO writers with the need to be accurate and not exaggerate. The overuse of the "F word" was particularly disturbing to Winters and a lot of the other Easy Company men. Usually his advice was ignored as those of us who have seen the movie know.

    At 87 Dick Winters still comes across as a tough, no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't suffer fools and likes to tell it like he sees it. I ended the book convinced he had to be one of the top, if not the absolute best, infantry officers in World War II. His concern for his men, obsession with perfecting his skill and knowledge and lack of interest in whooping it up on furlough made him an almost flawless leader. What a guy!

    I would have given the book five stars (I'd like to have made it 4.5) except for a few minor complaints about grammar, missing words and, albeit it petty on my part, technical inaccuracies. The author repeatedly uses the word "insure" when he means "ensure." There's one case where the text reads "Winters and opened fire." In addition, German tank nomenclature is a bit confused. The Mark V (popularly known as the Panther) had a 75mm gun, not an 88mm. I think he means the Jagdpanzer V (dubbed the Jagdpanther) when he refers to the Jagdpanzer IV. If not he should note that the JgdPz V had an 88, the JgdPz IV a 75. He also repeatedly refers to German artillery fire as coming in from 88s. Maybe he got that from the vets who seemed to call all enemy guns "88s." In fact, German artillery covered the gamut, from 75mm to 88mm, 105mm, 150mm and 170mm.

    As I said, these are minor complaints. Overall this is an excellent work telling the story of a man many are very interested in. While there must be thousands of WWII vets still out there with stories to tell, I don't think many would be as fascinating as the life of Dick Winters. "The Biggest Brother" satisfies the curiosity a lot of us had after reading Ambrose's original work and watching HBO's mini-series. ... Read more


    6. The Scariest Place : A Marine Returns to North Korea
    by James Brady
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312332424
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
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    7. Shooter : The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
    by Donald A. Davis, Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312336853
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 20
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

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

    Reviews (9)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    Reviews (209)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This is a terrific book! ... Read more


    9. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
    by James Bradley
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316105848
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 752
    Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Flyboys is the true story of young American airmen who were shot down over Chichi Jima. Eight of these young men were captured by Japanese troops and taken prisoner. Another was rescued by an American submarine and went on to become president. The reality of what happened to the eight prisoners has remained a secret for almost 60 years. After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth. Not even the families of the airmen were informed what had happened to their sons. It has remained a mystery—until now. Critics called James Bradley's last book "the best book on battle ever written." Flyboys is even better: more ambitious, more powerful, and more moving. On the island of Chichi Jima those young men would face the ultimate test. Their story—a tale of courage and daring, of war and of death, of men and of hope—will make you proud, and it will break your heart. ... Read more

    Reviews (141)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Book About War.
    If you are looking for a feel good American heroes book this is not it. "Flyboys" is a very worthwhile and thought provoking book. There are times when it causes the reader to feel uncomfortable as it describes large scale and individual atrocities including cannibalism and mass murder performed by the Japanese that are very distressing to read about. Many of the previous patriotic reviewers I believe found it difficult to face the descriptions of the small and large scale violent and destructive American behavior even though it was dwarfed by the Japanese behavior.

    The author remained remarkably non judgmental in his descriptions. He tries to put in context the violent behavior, although not to excuse it, by supplying relevant cutural and historic background.

    The book invites us to examine the contrast between war time and peacetime humanity. Which is really us? Is war time meanness just kept below the surface during times of peace? It reminds us that when hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, that these are the lives of valuable individuals whether American or others. It emphasizes the remarkable heroism and perhaps the naivete of our servicemen particularly our "Flyboys." They were heroes especially because they completely understood the risks they were taking and proceeded out of choice because they were needed. George Bush Sr., as one of them , is featured as a sensitive and lucky(to be alive)hero.

    The Japanese soldiers were brutalized by their officers and were required to follow orders without question. One gets concerned about group think and herd mentality. How independent are human beliefs and actions? Do we actually choose them or are we mostly a product of the society in which we were raised? We must intuitively know that it is wrong to bayonet a restrained man with a sharpened bamboo pole with the purpose of of causing pain, prior to beheading him while still alive, The officers who ordered this behavior earn our contempt. They force soldiers to carry out their orders as if they were slaves.

    The Japanese "Spirit Warrier" believed that all orders originated with their Emperor who they believed descended from the Sun Goddess. In a way they were following their faith. Is it right to unquestioningly follow a religious leader or a religious belief ie Jihad,or perhaps to believe that followers of our culture are more worthwhile than the followers of other cultures. We must have known as Americans in the 19th century that slavery was wrong and that women should have the right to vote but it took us a long time to correct these injustices. Were we not deserving of contempt for thoughtlessly following the group think?

    This is a history of WWII in the Pacific told mainly through a small group of people involved with the battle for the island of Chichi Jima by an author who is a truth seeking patriotic American whose father was incidentally a flag raiser at Iwo Jima. It raises our awareness of the horrors of war. It ends with some optimism and descriptions of forgiveness or at least understanding by memebers of both sides. There is even some real humanity displayed as Private Iwatake, who developed a personal relationshop with a subsequently beheaded cannibalized "Flyboy" named Warren Earl Vaughn, when phoned by the author, doing his research, answers the phone with, "Hello, this is Warren." He had changed his name to honor his dead prisoner.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Has its faults, but important nevertheless...
    I read about 20 of the earlier reviews of "Flyboys" as I struggled through the book this past week. Some of the negative comments are deserved, such as referring to the late Gen. Curtis LeMay as "Curtis" in half or more of the references to him. This is bizarre and distracting. Whether a result of careless editing or author-torial stubborness, it does not work. Also, I agree that the term "Flyboys" as a collective description of pilots, gunners and radiomen is over-used. I also agree that the book perhaps tries to cover too much history and abandons its cover story for too many pages at a time. Some condensing and reorganization would have enhanced its power. That said, many of the other negative comments seem to be unfair. Yes, Mr. Bradley dwells on America's mistreatment of Indians and Filipinos at length, including prisoners of war. Yes, he gives disgusting details of how our napalm drops on Japanese cities destroyed civilians indiscriminately. But he is not making up those facts. And to emphasize how easily combat and its stresses can make soldiers willing to do horrible deeds is not exactly the same thing as excusing the acts. I have read my share of WW II books, as I near 60 years of age, and "Flyboys" is the first one which sensibly explains how the Japanese fighter rationalized not only his willingness to die in already-lost battles, but his contempt for those from other cultures who chose to be prisoners of war instead. To explain the Japanese viewpoint, again, is not to excuse the acts. Nor is it unpatriotic.

    "Flyboys" describes disgusting acts of brutality and cannibalism, and is ultimately a very sad tale. It is not a work that should be tackled by readers who are emotionally fragile. As most people reading this review will already know, Mr. Bradley's dad was one of the Iwo Jima flag-raisers, wounded physically by Japanese soldiers in that fight, and wounded in some ways psychologically by the whole of his wartime service. The fact that his son went off to study in Japan, and developed much respect for the residents there, must have been painful and puzzling for the father. But I don't think any intelligent reader of Bradley's earlier book, "Flags of Our Fathers" or of "Flyboys" can question the younger Bradley's respect for our troops or our country. One of our strengths as a representative democracy is that we can love our nation for having humane ideals even if we are imperfect in living up to them every minute. And we can learn from injustices committed in our names by our government or military agents, and change our ways.

    I stuck with "Flyboys" right to the end, flaws and all, and I'm glad I did. It gets more powerful as it goes on, and it does finish the story of the eight Chichi Jima American POW's as much as it could be completed, so long after their 1945 deaths. We live in a time when we may be facing 30 years or more of sporadic war with terrorists and the countries which fund and hide them. To read a book which makes war and its (initially) unintended horrors seem like a step to be accepted only with the greatest caution is not a bad thing right now. While Mr. Bradley is not the smoothest historian/writer on the block, he shows promise. In some ways this book is better than "Flags of Our Fathers" despite its problems of style, language and organization. For sure, it is more important than the previous book, because the Iwo Jima battle story had already been well-covered in earlier works. Former President George Bush came close to being a prisoner on Chichi Jima, and plays a small part in this book. If he cooperated, and if he thinks Jim Bradley has done a service to the country with his research into the horrors of war in the Pacific from both sides, I won't argue with him. He was there, I was not. I'm glad I read "Flyboys" but unlike "Flags of Our Fathers" which I've read three times since it was first published, I won't be reading it twice. Its medicine is too strong for a second dose.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Strays way off course
    I am very offended in the tone that book takes in regard to comparing Japan's Chinese campaign with our final offensives in Germany and Japan. With all of the well written reviews I do not have much to add except to say that Japan was dead in the water and would have fought to the last man, woman and child. I also think that the nuclear bombs definately did create a new level of war and by doing so expedited the surrender. I am tired of people trying to apologize for America, the fact remains if they did not engage us then they would not have faced our wrath. The Chinese on the other hand recieved the barbaric wrath of Japan without so much as provoking them. I suppose we are supposed to draw a parallel in our manifest destiny or turn of the century Phillipine campaigns that were both in a very different era. By taking away all of Japans budget to make war America gave them a head start on creating a modern economy unparalleled in the world.

    This book gets three stars for having some nice solid sections when it stays on task and does not get to preachy. If it wasn't for that I would have flunked it. The author has talent though and the read is pretty good being that is so severly flawed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to make of this book
    First off, I find it surprising that this story was not told sooner, as it involved a future U.S. president (I suppose much of the information was not available until recently). I give Bradley credit for telling the story of the airmen who gave their lives in service to our country, but I'm not sure what to make of Bradley's commentary on U.S. policy before and during World War II. It's true that atrocities happen in war, and the actions of our military should not be whitewashed. It seems wrong to me, however, to try to draw moral equivalency between the aggressors, and those who fight that aggression at great cost to themselves so that others may enjoy freedom. I also reject Bradley's suggestions that all atrocities committed by the Japanese were a direct result of earlier U.S. actions, however wrong those actions may have been (Bradley's description of the Japanese corruption of the Samauri code seems to contradict his own assertions regarding this point). I rate "Flyboys" 3 stars for telling a story that should have been told earlier, but I have reservations about the revisionist history in the book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, misleading title
    A few months ago, I overheard an argument by two people over this book, so I figured I would read it myself to see what it was really like. I must say I was very disappointed. The first few chapters are not even about World War II. The title is misleading, for it is not really about "Flyboys", and the author uses it as a platform to condemn the use of airpower. Unfortunately, civilians were killed in bombing raids, but it should be remembered that it was the Germans and the Japanese who started this war. The author also sees very little, if any, difference, between the Americans and Japanese, yet he overlooks who rebuilt Japan. If Japan had defeated the US, would they have rebuilt our cities? I highly doubt. There are better books about World War II in the Pacific, and certainly better books that portray the courage of the American Fighting Man. ... Read more


    10. Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude
    by David Rozelle
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $11.18
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0895260417
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 43954
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    The inspiring true story of the first amputee to return to active duty in Iraq! ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Should have been 4.5 stars
    I was eager to read Capt. Rozelle's book and compare with others by combat veterans from previous conflicts as far back as the American Revolution.Though the Captain has been exemplary in his actions as a soldier, and in his determination to overcome his disability, I was dissapointed and offended by the use of profane and vulgar language in the text.I realize the useage is common in the military, (I am a veteran myself), but it is never appropriate in an historical text to be read now and for generations to come.

    I am also dissapointed in Regnery for not providing better editing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
    David Rozelle's book was very good and gave a good picture of the war in Iraq and what a wounded soldier goes through.I would have enjoyed the book more had he left out all the "F" words, though.It would have been just as good without them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspirational story from a die hard troop and a friend
    No bias here - I had the chance to serve with Dave when he was then-2LT Rozelle, and wouldn't expect anything less.A superb leader who has always set the bar high.And a true warrior poet; our armed forces need commanders like CPT Rozelle in the field now more than ever.

    Sorry I hit your stump with that chair at the hospital, bud - we're better friends for it.Do I get to play me in the movie?

    4-0 out of 5 stars I have had a terrible time rating this book.............
    and I'm not sure I've done justice, or injustice, by it with 4 stars.

    On one hand I see the book as written for the general public's reading level.It reads like a romance novel much of the time, especially the first half.I think this book may be better-liked by women.I don't mean that as a "put-down" in any way.I mean there is far more about his relationship with his wife than about Iraq.

    In spite of its title, "Back in Action", it is NOT an action story, and certainly not a thriller.However, it is a look into the life of an army couple who give more for their country than their critics have ever even considered.

    Does it inspire?That depends on who you are. If you are like the left wing radicalR. J. Pooley Jr. "eyes open", whose ignorant criticism of the book reflects not only his political bias, but his callousness toward disabled heros, the answer is a resounding "NO". There will be many cowards and weakling critics among the left, likeR. J. Pooley Jr. "eyes open", who will use their review as a platform to spew their political garbage.

    If you truly love your country; if you have had prolonged absences from your spouse and children, due to either military or civilian service for your country, you will be far more understanding.The book is about soul-searching, not war. It is about relationships, not political intrigue; and it is about love, courage, devotion to duty, and a strength a critic likeR. J. Pooley Jr. "eyes open" cannot understand. It is far beyond these type of people to understand someone stronger and more courageos than they are.

    Unless you are tainted by hate, anger, political bias, and just plain ignorance, you will be touched by the description of the phyically handicapped and how so many of them overcome terrible disabilities and become as successful, or more successful, and certainly more praiseworthy, than those who stayed home and criticized.

    And,if you have the slightest bit of patriotism in your soul you will be touched by the soldier's devotion, not only to his country, but to his fellow soldier, and the United States Army.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read This Year
    It's great to hear the personal story of one of our nation's bravest!I read this book in an evening-something I rarely do, but it was like having a conversation with Capt. Rozelle.I simply couldn't put it down.What a great role model he is. ... Read more


    11. Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty
    by Peter Collier, Nick Del Calzo
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $26.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1579652409
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: Artisan Publishers
    Sales Rank: 2416
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the call of Duty
    Great pictures! Poor editing, many mistakes, flopped pictures, wrong information, wrong death dates. These mistakes take away from the written information, but not the pictures. Done in black & white with keen eye of a photojournalist, and probably the last portraits of three who have died this year, Joe Foss, Ray Davis and Mitch Paige. Each full page portrait is done with a different approach, one reading this book will be captivated by each picture of these men, these heroes. This is a collection of the last living Medal of Honor recipients, starting in 2000. Even with the bad editing this book is worth having, it's history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deeply Moving
    A dear friend highly recommended Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty so recently I was standing in the bookstore waiting for the clerk to find it on the computer. After the third try she told me it was not showing up on her screens when another shopper walked up to me and placed it in my hands. He said " I overheard you asking for this and I had just looked it over"

    With this auspicious beginning, my journey into the world of Medal of Honor winners began. As I looked through this beautiful book, I found myself taken by the photography and absorbed by the accompanying text which details the events of each honoree. Although I looked at each page and the photographs, I found that I had to pace myself on reading the text and short biographies. That is a lot there on many levels so I used the photos as a guide to decide which ones to read during this first encounter.

    This book evoked tears for me. I have served in the military although not in combat. Also I have served in the US Peace Corp so I have always been aware of the paradox of the human condition.

    While reading, I found discovered some very ambivalent feelings. Respect and admiration for the portraits of courage was obvious. Yet, simultaneously, a soul felt sadness when I realized that the "enemy" described on several pages, could very well have been the beloved grandfather of a dear friend I stayed with in Germany recently.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to explore the challenges of the human spirit.

    DG Mogle

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book & photography
    This book is loaded with moving acounts of courage, suffering and achivement. In addition to the individual stories, there is a history of the CMH and a military glossary. The book has a forward by George H.W. Bush, and Senator McClain of Arizona.

    You will not be disapointed with this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Untterly breathtaking book
    This is an untterly breathtaking book, a tribute to
    men whose lives have been transformed by their own
    courage, as our lives will be transformed by what we
    learn of them. The tales of their heroism are great,
    more, almost, than we can comprehend; but the images
    of their faces are breathtaking, haunting, brilliant,
    and will inform our souls with an indelible sense of
    the majesty of theirs. In this unforgettable book, we
    learn the true meaning of the terms "manhood" and
    "warrier" in the most sacred sense.

    Nick Del Calzo is more than a photographer; he is a
    visionary of the human essence. His photographs not
    only spell out the message This man is a Hero, but
    also tap in to all that lives inside the man who
    carries the title Congressional Medal of Honor Winner.
    Indeed, Nick has captured the emotional and spiritual
    essence of each of these men with such exquisite
    respect, vision, and honoring, that we, too, can truly
    see--and deeply honor--them.

    This is more than a coffee table book of stunning
    photographs. It is a book of images from--and to--the
    depths of the human heart.

    Daphne Rose Kingma
    Author of The Men We Never Knew; The Future of Love

    5-0 out of 5 stars A keeper
    I am one of those folks who reads about 50 books a year. Once in a while I read a book that so impresses me that I recommend it to all my friends. Last year the book was Seabiscuit. This year it is Medal of Honor. In fact, Medal of Honor is a better book than Seabiscuit. I am buying it as a Christmas present for friends and giving it to them now, so they can, in turn, buy copies for their friends before Christmas. ... Read more


    12. Surviving Deployment: A Guide for Military Families
    by Karen Pavlicin, Karen M. Pavlicin
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0965748367
    Catlog: Book (2003-04)
    Publisher: Elva Resa Pub
    Sales Rank: 76286
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    As part of today's active duty or reserve forces, your loved one may be called to war, peacekeeping missions, anti-terrorism campaigns, field exercises, disaster relief, and many other duties far from home--and you.

    Surviving Deployment is your personal guide to turning an otherwise lonely and challenging situation into a positive experience.

    Learn what to expect, how to prepare, and how to personally grow as individuals and families. Your survival gear will range from a sturdy toilet plunger to the fine art of letter writing. You'll manage financial changes, help children express their feelings, and discover a renewed appreciation for everyday life.

    Solid information. Practical checklists. Personal stories from hundreds of families. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get it for your kids' sake! Great resource, dynamic speaker!
    I recently attended a deployment/reunion workshop given by the author. She is a dynamic speaker, down-to-earth person, and has lots of experience to share. She has a great sense of humor and outlook on life. Everyone at the workshop received a book. I read it right away.

    I have four young kids. My husband has been deployed for a year and I sometimes lose my patience! I learned some great tips for "winning cooperation" and seeing things from my kids' perspective. (And yes, I realized a few things that are my fault that I've been blaming on my kids!)

    I highly recommend this book!

    And if you can, get the author to speak at your post/base. The workshop was a nice complement to the book. She made it very relevant to our battalion's situation. I was feeling down when I went in and I came out feeling inspired and ready to handle the last stretch of deployment. It was nice to see the author's sense of humor and examples continued in the book. I think my kids are very happy I attended and read this book! Get it for yourself and your kids will benefit too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Military Families
    This book is wonderful. I highly recommended it to ALL military families. It has lots of ideas and things to consider. It has short stories of other families' experiences. And it covers all branchs of the military. I'm recommending this book to ALL my online support groups, my FRG and I'm recommending it to you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for After Deployments Too
    Having been through a long deployment, I can honestly say that the time after the deployment - when we got back together again - has been just as hard as during the deployment! For different reasons, of course. I found this book to be very helpful for our reunion and getting back to "normal" life. It covers everything from courting and sex to changes in parenting roles, children's reactions, and being sensitive to how to talk about combat situations.

    I like that it gives perspectives and tips for service members coming home as well as for family members. It helped us understand and think about it from each other's point of view. Some of the information is great for any couple who wants to strengthen their relationship or if one of you travels a lot.

    I wish I had read this book before the deployment (I didn't make the time) but I'm really glad I started reading it just before our homecoming. Good advice and some great stories. Don't just buy it, make time to read it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for Military
    I am a Military "Brat" as well as a Military spouse. After reading this book I realized that even though I have been a spouse for 17 years there are still things to be learned, things to be updated(wills) and reviewed(insurance policies,budgets). This book has checklists that are for anyone to follow not just Military. If you have spouses that travel this book if for you, if you have children this book is for you, if you have moved recently or are planning to this book if for you. New to the military? "Surviving Deployment" is exactly what you need!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Covers Everything About Deployments!
    This book is so well put together. It covers every aspect of deployments - I can't think of anything I wanted to know that isn't covered here. Every military family should have this book!! ... Read more


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

    Reviews (57)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Raise your glasses to Colonel David Hackworth!

    Thank you, Sir. ... Read more


    14. A Rumor of War
    by Philip Caputo
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080504695X
    Catlog: Book (1996-11-15)
    Publisher: Owl Books
    Sales Rank: 8095
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man’s experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today’s students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war.

    A platoon commander in the first combat unit sent to fight in Vietnam, Lieutenant Caputo landed at Danang on March 8, 1965, convinced that American forces would win a quick and decisive victory over the Communists. Sixteenmonths later and without ceremony, Caputo left Vietnam a shell-shocked veteran whose youthful idealism and faith in the rightness of the war had been utterly shattered. A Rumor of War tells the story of that trajectory and allows us to see and feel the reality of the conflict as the author himself experienced it, from the weeks of tedium hacking through scorching jungles, to the sudden violence of ambushes and firefights, to the unbreakable bonds of friendship forged between soldiers, and finally to a sense of the war as having no purpose other than the fight for survival. The author gives us a precise, tactile view of both the emotional and physical reality of war.

    When Caputo is reassigned to headquarters as “Officer in Charge of the Dead,” he chronicles the psychological cost of witnessing and recording the human toll of the war. And after his voluntary transfer to the frontlines, Caputo shows us that the major weapons of guerrilla fighting are booby traps and land mines, and that success is measured not in feet but in body counts. Nor does the author shrink from admitting the intoxicating intensity of combat, an experience so compelling that many soldiers felt nostalgic for it years after they’d left
    Vietnam. Most troubling, Caputo gives us an unflinching view not only of remarkable bravery and heroism but also of the atrocities committed in Vietnam by ordinary men so numbed by fear and desperate to survive that their moral distinctions had collapsed.

    More than a statement against war, Caputo’s memoir offers readers today a profoundly visceral sense of what war is and, as the author says, of “the things men do in war and the things war does to men.”

    This edition includes a twentieth-anniversary postscript by the author.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (65)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be a mandatory reading in every high school
    Caputo describes "the splendid little war" as his road from an enthusiastic idealist poisoned by the romanticized view of war as a chivalrous and noble enterprise to the dehumanized and desensitized wreck that he becomes during his tour in Vietnam. The book is an amazing testimony about the true nature of war with all its atrocities and horrors. Caputo brilliantly captures the endless despair of being strained in the jungle with no clear reason for being there, the hopeless madness of chasing the guerillas and the agony of loosing friends. But the most important aspect of this book is that it shows how a normal mentally healthy person can be turned into a thoughtless killing machine in the course of a few months, fast on the trigger, without any remorse for his victims. Caputo uses very strong and vivid images such as "pigs eating napalm-charred human corpses" to force the reader into his story and feel what Caputo has felt. Very realistic book that cannot leave you indifferent, definitely up there with Remarque's "All quiet on the Western front." If you want to know what fighting the Vietnam War was really like, I can't imagine how any book can possibly be better than Rumor of War.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Put It On Your Bookshelf!
    "A Rumor of War" is a darkly disturbing book. It is set in what was the early, "optimistic" Vietnam in the spring of '65 when we thought we were fighting for "freedom" and before the reality of the place hit home. Vietnam hits Lieutenant Caputo very quickly, as it must have for all Marine Corps platoon leaders. It's all right there-booby traps, mines, trip wires, leeches, foot blisters, jungle rot, constant shelling, dysentery, pigs eating corpses and cold C Rations. As a Vietnam vet, I was surprised the author never mentions RATS!, but we both know they were there too. (THEY were everywhere). Lt. Caputo's transfer to a staff job is worse than the field, so he transfers back to the bush as a platoon leader.It's more of the same-patrolling and repatrolling the same trails, the same hills, the same villes. All watched over by unsupportive and bureaucratic commanders. "RW" offers yet another look at the Vietnam War, one more pessimistic than most because so many of us felt! that the years of '65 and '66 were more positive than this. I might suggest reading Joseph Owen's "Colder Than Hell" to compare the Marine experience in Korea with Lt. Caputo's. Reading the late Bernard Fall's "Street Without Joy" will make us aware, again, that perhaps there was never a time to be optimistic about Vietnam. I must admit that I constantly found myself curious as to how I would have handled many situations in "RW". How would I have measured up? What would I have done? How would the men have judged me? While the story of "RW" tends to stray at times, I found no fault since the author is relating a painful part of his past. One small point: "RW" would benefit from better maps-these are so often lacking in military books. The bottom line:"A Rumor of War" belongs on the bookshelf of any serious military book reader or anyone searching for yet another angle to the frustrating Vietnam War that affected so many of us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was there...it's true
    I landed in "Chu Lai" with the Marines on May 7, 1965. Do you want to know what it was like? Read this book. Caputo has written the most accurate account I have ever seen -- both of the action and the emotions.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
    If you are intending to serve in the military, this book should be required reading. It's not pretty, in fact a bit depressing, but seriously good. Even good people do bad things during war - unlike what the movies show. Most of the other reviews have covered what I wanted to say... Seriously, this book is a must-read. In this day and age where combat operations are the norm, you can learn from people who have BTDT, and hopefully learn from their mistakes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars From Camelot to Quang Nam
    Mr Caputo (as in TOE) takes the reader on his journey from college to war to military inquiry and part of the power of the work is how well the language illuminates that experience. It begins with clear, concise prose, as the young man is clear in his goals and what his country "stands for" , and rises to poetry of a kind as the narrator descends into a confused hell, where his goal becomes simple survival and he is uncertain about his country and its values. The narrator's journey in his early twenties, is from a sobriety to a delirium and back again but on that return, the open, trusting individual, is transformed into a cold, hardened, and cynical Nam Vet. There is some especially good analysis of "courage" (p.294) and the nature of a patrol by a platoon (p.252). The passage on 240 has a music and power which I could imagine being quoted as a classic piece of war prose/poetry in which the phrase "All secure. Situation remains the same" is echoed five times throughout the piece in a kind of fugue. Great writing which summarises the misery and the exhaustion men suffered on patrol, especially the power of the landscape and climate to overpower. ... Read more


    15. Alexander Hamilton
    by Ron Chernow
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200092
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 45
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    Building on biographies by Richard Brookhiser and Willard Sterne Randall, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton provides what may be the most comprehensive modern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start, Chernow argues that Hamilton’s premature death at age 49 left his record to be reinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. Hamilton’s achievements as first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death by strident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernow delves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles that make up Hamilton’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, a romantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity.

    One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of Hamilton’s excellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chernow’s account of the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes Hamilton’s final hours as pious, while Burr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the news of Hamilton’s passing.

    A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent of slavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow argues that in contrast to Jefferson and Washington’s now outmoded agrarian idealism, Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebear of modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did." With Alexander Hamilton, this impact can now be more widely appreciated. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (51)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    16. Pol Pot : Anatomy of a Nightmare (John MacRae Books)
    by Philip Short
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805066624
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 107326
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    Book Description

    A gripping and definitive portrait of the man who headed one of the most enigmatic and terrifying regimes of modern times

    In the three and a half years of Pol Pot's rule, more than a million Cambodians, a fifth of the country's population, were executed or died from hunger. An idealistic and reclusive figure, Pol Pot sought to instill in his people values of moral purity and self-abnegation through a revolution of radical egalitarianism. In the process his country descended into madness, becoming a concentration camp of the mind, a slave state in which obedience was enforced on the killing fields.

    How did a utopian dream of shared prosperity mutate into one of the worst nightmares humanity has ever known? To understand this almost inconceivable mystery, Philip Short explores Pol Pot's life from his early years to his death. Short spent four years traveling throughout Cambodia interviewing the surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge movement, many of whom have never spoken before, including Pol Pot's brother-in-law and the former Khmer Rouge head of state. He also sifted through the previously closed archives of China, Russia, Vietnam, and Cambodia itself to trace the fate of one man and the nation that he led into ruin.

    This powerful biography reveals that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were not a one-off aberration but instead grew out of a darkness of the soul common to all peoples. Cambodian history and culture combined with intervention from the United States and other nations to set the stage for a disaster whose horrors echo loudly in the troubling events of our world today.
    ... Read more

    17. To End All Wars
    by Ernest Gordon
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0007118481
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
    Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 8788
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The best-selling classic of the power of love and forgiveness in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Dramatic, Powerful, and Shocking Book!
    I could not put this book down! If you have any interest in the treatment of Allied soldiers during their stay in Japanese internment camps, just read this book. From the introduction to the final page, this book will shock you, horrify you, but amazingly, it will inspire you and leave you with a good feeling about what Ernest Gordon did and became before he died in 2002. Bless his memory and may this book live on forever!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Account of Perservence over Adversity
    This account of how a young Scot, captured by the Japanese in April, 1942, managed to survive the brutal treatment accorded POWs under Japan's control has endured long after Ernest Gordon's imprisonment ended, and will continue to endure and influence readers for more years to come. This book, originally published over 40 years ago, was one of the sources for the highly popular movie of that era, "Bridge Over the River Kwai," and the more recent "To End All Wars."

    Some parts of this book are very difficult to read as Gordon, a Captain in a Scottish regiment, spares no detail as he relates the physical trauma, the diseases, the wretched conditions imposed by their captors and the senseless, sometimes unbelievable treatment by the guards of their captives . How to survive this vertiable hell hole? As he notes, without some sort of discipline and some moral compass for guidance, many men gave up hope and died. But Gordon found within the prison camp two people who selflessly gave of themselves when Gordon was literally at death's door to help restore him to physical health, of people who washed his sores, encouraged, prodded, and inspired. Through the faith of these two, one a Methodist, the other a Roman Catholic, Gordon reinvestigated the New Testament and from that learned and acted out the commandment to "love others", even including the brutal Japanese guards, as he would love himself. Using these simple teachings of love, encouragement, and selfless help to your neighbor, Gordon and others in the various camps were able to overcome the horrific conditions under which they existed. The melding of the spiritual and the discipline of order, neatness, and cooperation saw the POWs triumph over the evil of the system under which they existed.

    The first part of the book describing Gordon's efforts to escape--he and others bought a sailing vessel that managed to get them half way to Ceylon--is an exciting read in itself. The second half, the journey into hell and return, is thought provoking and inspiring. It is also difficult for those who served in the Pacific theater, as I did, as to how and if I would have survived if I had had to bail out over Japan and was imprisoned. A sobering thought that one does not want to revisit for long.

    Gordon came home to Scotland, entered the ministry, and served for many years as Dean of the Chapel, Princeton University. May he Rest in Peace. ... Read more


    18. See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
    by Robert Baer
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 140004684X
    Catlog: Book (2003-01-07)
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 3923
    Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In his explosive New York Times bestseller, top CIA operative Robert Baer paints a chilling picture of how terrorism works on the inside and provides startling evidence of how Washington politics sabotaged the CIA’s efforts to root out the world’s deadliest terrorists, allowing for the rise of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the continued entrenchment of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

    A veteran case officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the Middle East, Baer witnessed the rise of terrorism first hand and the CIA’s inadequate response to it, leading to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This riveting book is both an indictment of an agency that lost its way and an unprecedented look at the roots of modern terrorism, and includes a new afterword in which Baer speaks out about the American war on terrorism and its profound implications throughout the Middle East.

    “Robert Baer was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field
    officer in the Middle East.”
    –Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

    From The Preface
    This book is a memoir of one foot soldier’s career in the other cold war, the one against terrorist networks. It’s a story about places most Americans will never travel to, about people many Americans would prefer to think we don’t need to do business with.

    This memoir, I hope, will show the reader how spying is supposed to work, where the CIA lost its way, and how we can bring it back again. But I hope this book will accomplish one more purpose as well: I hope it will show why I am angry about what happened to the CIA. And I want to show why every American and everyone who cares about the preservation of this country should be angry and alarmed, too.

    The CIA was systematically destroyed by political correctness, by petty Beltway wars, by careerism, and much more. At a time when terrorist threats were compounding globally, the agency that should have been monitoring them was being scrubbed clean instead. Americans were making too much money to bother. Life was good. The White House and the National Security Council became cathedrals of commerce where the interests of big business outweighed the interests of protecting American citizens at home and abroad. Defanged and dispirited, the CIA went along for the ride. And then on September 11, 2001, the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (124)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about the CIA in the 90's
    Baer began as a CIA agent in the 80's. His book sputters through his life in the CIA. It reads like a book written by an amateur and barely roped in by his editor. But his experiences are fascinating. He spent most of his time overseas in the spy trenches with the people who matter today. His ability to use names, dates and locations is amazing. It's not dry at all. It's not James Bond but it is real life. There are lots of names you see on TV today and lots of research regarding terrorism. The last part of the book is a stinging slap to the face of the Washington DC political Babylon. He effectively demonstrates the power of money and big oil in the US capital. The focus on money in the 90's left us vunerable on 9/11. Baer shows you how it was done.
    This is a must read for everyone concerned with terrorism.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great treatise on what's gone wrong with intelligence
    Robert Baer does an excellent job of drawing the reader into the shadowy world of the covert world of intelligence. His elaboration (as much as he can divulge) of the training and operations of case officers is both fascinating and worrysome. Fascinating, because it allows laymen get a glimpse of what "could have been" if they too had pursued the life of being a "spy" (come on...admit it, we all have that fantasy), and worrysome because he outlines the CIA and intelligence community's not so slow drift toward reliance on technical means to get intelligence, rather than the days-old practices of the human side of the world's second oldest profession. His elaboration on names that are all too familiar now to those of us who study the mid-east weaves an incredibly complex and captivating web. Immediately after finishing Baer's book, I started on American Jihad, and the web just grows more tangled. Truly a great read, though, and is highly recommended for anyone who wants the "down and dirty" side of espionage. It is all the more important now that we are trying to rebuild it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Gripping account of the CIA of from the 70's and 80's
    Reading this book is like sitting down with a colorful crusty old man who schelped for the CIA for most of his career. Great metaphors, Baer goes into how he was recruited and his hunt for the creeps that murdered over 200 U.S. Marines during the 1980's in Bierut. If you like that kinda "counter-intelligence" thing then this book is a fascinating read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars See No Evil
    This book succeeds equally well on two levels. On the primary level it is a fascinating and action packed memoir of a CIA operative who served in some of the most dangerous and inhospitable places imaginable. Its author, Robert Baer, writes from first hand experience and is not shy about sharing his opinions. His writing style is clear and easy flowing. The stories he has to tell are as relevant as today's headlines. For example, in one section of the book titled "You're on Your Own", Baer tells an appalling tale of his adventures in Northern Iraq leading a team in what turned out to be a rather half-hearted effort of the Clinton administration to depose Saddam Hussein. In this activity he even crossed paths with the Iraqi Shi'a Ahmad Chalabi who then as now was adept at fabricating stories of dubious plausibility. In sum any general reader would find this book both a good read and highly thought provoking.

    On a second level, Baer's book should be read by any one interested in the subject of the U.S. Intelligence process and its reform. Baer was a practicing intelligence officer for almost 20 years and became a terrorist expert the hard way by dealing directly with such terrorist associations as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizballah on a daily basis. In this account of his intelligence operations, Baer provides a good deal of evidence that Iran, at least in the 1990's, was a state sponsor of terrorism and that Shi'a and Sunni terrorist groups were at willing to make a common cause against the U.S. and Israel. If you read between the lines of this book, it is obvious that Baer has developed a pretty significant target knowledge base on Middle Eastern terrorism which is still relevant today. Yet, no where in this book does anybody talk about intelligence requirements, collection plans, the venerated intelligence cycle or any of the other jargon so dear to most writers on intelligence issues. Instead what we read is how Baer and his fellow operatives used their own initiative to exploit opportunities as they presented themselves and applied such qualities as common sense and target knowledge to decide what to exploit and what to leave alone. Unfortunately many of the opportunities Baer and his fellow operatives wished to pursue were vetoed by his managers at CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) who were becoming increasingly risk adverse especially after 1990. As a former field operative, Baer provides the reader with what I think is an accurate, but depressing account of the decline of initiative and competence within the DO in the years prior to the 9/11 tragedy. Would be intelligence reformers should take note.

    5-0 out of 5 stars PRESCIENT
    If you have any interest in why Iraq has turned into a quagmire, you MUST read this book. I proudly voted for GWB in 2000....but find it both interesting and sad that Mr Baer knew right away that Ahmad Chalabi was a fraud and fake, while someone in the the Bush administration or Pentagon fed Chalabi sensitive info that made it back to Iran.

    Baer's book is two sides of the same coin: on the one hand, it makes one sad that the CIA is so fouled up (or at least was while he worked there and likely has not markedly improved). On the other hand, knowing that there are patriots like Baer bright enough to recognize this and patriotic enough to want to make a difference, better days could yet be ahead for the CIA. ... Read more


    19. American Soldier
    by Tommy Franks, Malcolm McConnell
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $16.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060731583
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
    Publisher: ReganBooks
    Sales Rank: 92
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    Amazon.com

    As Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, Tommy Franks led the American and Coalition forces to victory in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Unsurprisingly, the portions of American Soldier covering these wars are the most interesting because they combine military maneuvers, political wrangling, and lots of action and commentary. This does not mean, however, that the rest of his autobiography is dull. General Franks's writing is clear and engaging and his insider's perspective is informative and interesting, particularly when he explains how the military moved into the 21st century by emphasizing speed, agility, and better cooperation among the various branches--a significant shift from the first Persian Gulf war just a decade earlier.

    In addition to his years as a war general, his memoir also covers his childhood, his early years in the Army, his tours of Vietnam, and how he contemplated retirement before being called up as commander of Central Command, "the most diverse, strategically vital—and unstable—region of the planet." Ever the diplomat, General Franks offers insights, but little criticism of individuals. Other than expressing admiration for his own staff and for President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in particular, he is tight-lipped about any conflict within the administration that may have occurred regarding policy issues. (The one exception is counterterrorism specialist Richard Clarke. "I never received a single operational recommendation, or a single page of actionable intelligence, from Richard Clarke," he writes). He also writes that he was surprised by the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that no WMDs were used against American troops. Still, the invasion of Iraq was justified in his eyes: "While we may not have found actual WMD stockpiles, what the Coalition discovered was the equivalent of a disassembled pistol, lying on a table beside neatly arranged trays of bullets."American Soldier is a compelling look at the war on terrorism from one who served on the frontlines as both a warrior and a diplomat. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more


    20. A Sense of Duty : My Father, My American Journey
    by QUANG X PHAM
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0891418733
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 112860
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