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    $16.47 $15.18 list($24.95)
    1. Elvis by the Presleys
    $17.16 list($26.00)
    2. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations
    $17.79 $13.49 list($26.95)
    3. Sinatra : The Life
    $17.13 $10.98 list($25.95)
    4. Nemesis : The True Story of Aristotle
    $15.40 $13.94 list($20.00)
    5. Mein Kampf
    $14.97 $13.20 list($24.95)
    6. The Last Season: A Team In Search
    $11.86 $9.75 list($16.95)
    7. Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography
    $4.95 $3.00 list($5.50)
    8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young
    $10.47 $9.39 list($14.95)
    9. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!":
    $17.79 $17.30 list($26.95)
    10. Augustine : A New Biography
    $15.36 $3.95 list($21.95)
    11. Trump: How to Get Rich
    $7.19 $3.11 list($7.99)
    12. Autobiography of Malcolm X
    $12.24 list($26.00)
    13. Alexander Hamilton
    $13.26 $11.90 list($18.95)
    14. Buffett : The Making of an American
    $12.91 $8.99 list($18.99)
    15. Saint Francis of Assisi : A Life
    $23.10 $5.00 list($35.00)
    16. John Adams
    $16.17 $11.50 list($26.95)
    17. His Excellency : George Washington
    $21.00 $17.95 list($35.00)
    18. My Life
    $14.00 $13.21 list($20.00)
    19. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
    $8.10 $4.95 list($9.00)
    20. A Portrait of the Artist As a

    1. Elvis by the Presleys
    by Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0307237419
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 440
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Think of Elvis by the Presleys as the ultimate souvenir guide from your tour of Graceland. The 256 pages are packed with family photos, reminisces, and still-life photography of Elvis's possessions. The book is also a companion volume to the multimdedia event that brings the personal side of Elvis to the masses from the recollections of just six family members: wife Priscilla; daughter Lisa Marie; cousin Patsy; along with Priscilla's mom, dad, and sister. Many of the words written here were not in the TV show but one assumes what will make this a keeper are the photos. Along with candid shots, there are stills of the home movies seen on the CBS special (and subsequent--and expanded--DVD), and the still life shots by Henry Leutwyler get your mind racing. Here one can dwell on Elvis's guitar and think of all the music that came out of it. You can spy his phonograph with the record that was on it when he died, his wallet, an autographed Bible, his first contract, a hand-drawn football play, even his FBI badge along with pristine views inside Graceland. Some shots seem like filler (a boot, "with the original mud," Lisa Marie's crayons), but the overall impression is you are viewing pieces from the Museum of Cool, circa 1970. Several of Pricilla's passages and some of the images allude to Elvis's dark side: the massive reference book on pills and three guns are shown (plus the TV Elvis shot) looking like items from a murder investigation. Ultimately, do we really learn anything new about Elvis? Perhaps not, but there are several segments where Priscilla (the main voice) draws us in with her emotional recollections. The book (and program) is never better than telling the courtship in Germany when a homesick solider found an older-than-her-age 9th grader. Elvis by the Presleys does not try to be compressive; it succeeds as a warmer, more heartfelt tribute to The King. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For The First Time, The Inside Story by Elvis's Family
    Elvis's wife, daughter, and others in the immediate family tell the story of Elvis Presley from the inside looking out. It is very interesting to have this new perspective on the life of Elvis Presley. In addition, there are some wonderful photos included in the book. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars New Discoveries
    Reading through this book I realized that a lot of what the media said was untrue.This book gave a different insight to the values Elvis kept close to his heart. It tells about his complex personality, but at the same time the sensitive side to Elvis that he hid from the public.The book told how generous he was and at times to perfect strangers.He loved to make people happy.He loved his family life. I recommend this book because it tells the truth about Elvis from the people who were closest to him.This book is truly a must read for an Elvis fan.

    4-0 out of 5 stars great pictures
    I gave this book 4 stars because it does not have a lot to read in it. but it does have some really good pictures. the few stories init were good but just wish there was more text. anyone looking for a good picture book of elvis this is the one for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    Even though i'm only 14 i've been an elvis fan from a very early age and have collected numerous items, books, DVd's etc... but this seemed to give you an inside look to his personal choice. Priscilla and other Presley family members have been lucky to share their life with him and now they're letting us have an insight. Excellant!
    Helen, 14, New York ... Read more


    2. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From The Beaten Track: The Letters Of Richard P. Feynman
    by Richard P. Feynman
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0738206369
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 227711
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    Book Description

    An extraordinary volume of never-before-published letters written by one of America's most beloved scientists.

    Richard P. Feynman, brilliant physicist and beloved teacher, is an iconic figure in the world of science. Born in 1918 in Brooklyn, Feynman received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1942. Despite his youth, he played an important part in the Manhattan Project during World War II, going on to teach at both Cornell and the California Institute of Technology, and winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 1965 for his research in quantum electrodynamics. Many remember his work on the Challenger commission, in particular his famous O-ring experiment, which required nothing more than a glass of ice water. Besides his work as a physicist, Feynman was at various times an artist, dancer, bongo player, and lock picker.

    While there have been many books celebrating his myriad scientific achievements and personal eccentricities, his personal correspondence has remained largely hidden from view buried in the archive at Caltech or locked in a box in his daughter's Pasadena home. Now, for the first time, we have the privilege of reading his wonderful letters to students, long-lost relatives, former lovers, crackpots, colleagues, and die-hard fans. From his early love letters to his first wife Arline, who died at Los Alamos of tuberculosis, to his decades-long attempt to resign from the National Academy of Sciences, Feynman shares his views on feminism, fatherhood and everything in between. These letters, which span a full half-century, tell the story of a marvelous and inventive life, and reveal the pathos and wisdom of a man many felt close to but few really knew. By turns abrasive and charming, intimate and inspiring, we see the many sides of Richard Feynman, and treasure him all the more. ... Read more


    3. Sinatra : The Life
    by ANTHONY SUMMERS, ROBBYN SWAN
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375414002
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 296
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


    ... Read more


    4. Nemesis : The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O, and the Love Triangle That Brought Down the Kennedys
    by Peter Evans
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060580534
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
    Publisher: Regan Books
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Peter Evans's biography of Aristotle Onassis, Ari, met with great acclaim when it was published in 1986. Ari provided the world with an unprecedented glimpse of the Greek shipping magnate's orbit of dizzying wealth, twisted intrigues, and questionable mores. Not long after the book appeared, however, Onassis's daughter Christina and his longtime business partner Yannis Georgakis hinted to Evans that he had missed the "real story" -- one that proved Onassis's intrigues had deadly results. "I must begin," Georgakis said, "with the premise that, for Onassis, Bobby Kennedy was unfinished business from way back..."

    His words launched Evans into the heart of a story that tightly bound Onassis not to Jackie's first husband, but to his ambitious younger brother Bobby. A bitter rivalry emerged between Bobby and Ari long before Onassis and Jackie had even met. Nemesis reveals the tangled thread of events that linked two of the world's most powerful men in their intense hatred for one another and uncovers the surprising role played by the woman they both loved. Their power struggle unfolds against a heady backdrop of international intrigue: Bobby Kennedy's discovery of the Greek shipping magnate's shady dealings, which led him to bar Onassis from trade with the United States; Onassis's attempt to control much of Saudi Arabia's oil; Onassis's untimely love affair with Jackie's married sister Lee Radziwill; and his bold invitation to First Lady Jackie to join him on his yacht -- without the president. Just as the self-made Greek tycoon gloried in the chance to stir the wrath of the Kennedys, they struggled unsuccessfully to break his spell over the woman who held the key to all of their futures. After Jack's death, Bobby became ever closer to Camelot's holy widow, and fought to keep her from marrying his sworn rival. But Onassis rarely failed to get what he wanted, and Jackie became his wife shortly after Bobby was killed.

    Through extensive interviews with the closest friends, lovers, and relatives of Onassis and the Kennedys, longtime journalist Evans has uncovered the shocking culmination of the Kennedy-Onassis-Kennedy love triangle: Aristotle Onassis was at the heart of the plot to kill Bobby Kennedy. Meticulously tracing Onassis's connections in the world of terrorism, Nemesis presents compelling evidence that he financed the assassination -- including a startling confession that has gone unreported for nearly three decades. Along the way, this groundbreaking work also daringly paints these international icons in all of their true colors. From Evans's deeply nuanced portraits of the charismatic Greek shipping magnate and his acquisitive iconic bride to his probing and revelatory look into the events that shaped an era, Nemesis is a work that will not be soon forgotten.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Credible and Entertaining
    By now most people know that the JFK image was an elaborate facade that covered up and hid a more complicated situation; the real story involved a charismatic leader, a shaky marriage and much womanizing. This book fills in a few more blank spots especially about the other half - Jackie and her sister Lee.

    Peter Evans has already established a fine reputation in a series of 10 prior books including "Ari". Here he tries to clean up a series of loose ends on Aristotle Onassis, his Greek associates, his wife Tina, Maria Callas, Jackie O, her sister Lee, the Kennedy boys JFK and brother Robert Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and others

    For the most part this is an interesting read but it falls a but it short of being an absolute page turner. Still it is an interesting read and mostly compelling and is based on new information and stories from people wanting to set the record straight after the fact so to speak. I will not repeat the plot in detail here.

    The main focus of the book is Onassis, and he is attempting to have three or four mistresses or more - all famous women - simultaneously while at first somewhat incredibly also attempting to stay married to his wife Tina - the latter he married when she was just seventeen and he was well into his middle years. He courts both the married Jackie while simultaneously bedding her sister plus opera singer Callas who he has pried away from her husband - all according to the book. This stirs up a lot of animosity with the Kennedy brothers and we follow an interesting and a real life tale of intrigue, jealousy, and revenge. In retrospect we should not have been surprised by the marriage betwen Ari and Jackie in later years.

    It is like a "tell all" with many twists and turns, rises and falls in health, wealth, and marriages. The book does not have an index but it has an excellent section of detailed notes and a nice collection of photographs.

    Generally a good read and well researched. 4 stars.

    Jack in Toronto

    4-0 out of 5 stars In Short There Simply Was Never Camelot
    I found this book, intriguing, interesting and sad because it is so credibly written. The footnotes are at times more interesing than the book. The research, the interviews the documentation of where people where, when events occured. Facinating.

    I have been an admirer of Bobby Kennedy all my life. The poise and class of Jackie Kennedy seemed so believable, undeniable. Sure many know all the stories about the Kennedy men. (I for one wonder when he had time to be president, he seems to have had so many women) Turns out Jackie Kennedy Onasis could keep pace with the darker side of Jack Kennedy and was even greedier than Joe Kennedy.

    Myths die hard. The author creates the sense of being inside the unraveling of the mystery. It is amost voyeristic to read about the tradegies that these wealthy people created for themselves.

    I think this book is a must read, but be prepared to be disappointed in what you learn at some level. For in short, there simply never was a happily ever after life in Camelot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lifestyles of the Rich, Famous and Scandalous!
    This book is a fascinating and addictive read. I could not put it down, unless I was throwing it down in shock, complete and utter shock at the way our so called "American royalty" lived their lives! But everytime I threw this book down, I picked it up again and continued -- the truth hurts, but it must be read! Peter Evans has spent more than 30 years researching and writing about Aristotle Onassis (He wrote the bio "Ari: The Life and Times of Aristotle Socrates Onassis"). He has demonstrated his insider access and ability to get candid interviews, quotes and details -- it's all in the book and the footnotes!!

    This author spent time with Onassis, his daughter Christina and many of Onassis's closest relatives and associates from the late 1960's on. His theory, that Aristotle Onassis paid Palestinian terrorists to have RFK killed is supported not just by rumor and circumstantial evidence -- but by the confessions/revelations of Aristotle and Christina Onassis, business associates of Aristotle and one of his many lovers. Plus scribbling in Sirhan Sirhan's notebooks (that were entered into evidence at his trial) that implicated Onassis to anyone who was familiar with his world (and apparently convinced his own son of his involvement!).

    You will not believe the reckless sexual behavior of Jackie, her sister Lee, the Kennedy men and just about everyone else in their world! Or how Ted Kennedy reportedly "pimped" Jackie when her intention to marry Onassis was announced (read the footnotes!).

    If you think I have told too much you really need to read this book -- this isn't even the half of it!

    Very well written, researched and documented. I am already hunting down books listed in the foot and end notes. New, used, you've got to read this book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book that proves truth is more fascinating than fiction
    I've read many books on Jack and Jackie, the Kennedys, Bouviers and Onassis. This was a page turner from front to back and showed the darker side of the triangle that existed between Jackie, Robert and Ari. The writer is rather skillful in this expose of a book where he laid out in curious detail the connection between Aristotle Onassis and the assassination of Robert Kennedy. For anyone who wants to dig deeper into the private world of these wealthy jet setters and their life style of unleashed sex, power, betrayal, corruption and murder - this book is a must. It's a believable book, which makes it all the more intriguing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Onassis versus the Kennedys
    Peter Evans has written a fascinating and well documented work which reveals the Onassis-Kennedy connection which plays out like a Greek tragedy with Americna gods. It is a good follow up to another book Jackie Ari & Jack: The Tragic Love Triangle by January Jones which conclusivly connects Onasssis to the original JFK assassination. Both books are must read for all assassination buffs who are still asking who did it? ... Read more


    5. Mein Kampf
    by Adolf Hitler
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $15.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395925037
    Catlog: Book (1998-09-15)
    Publisher: Mariner Books
    Sales Rank: 3292
    Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In 1922, just four years after the war to end all wars, an unknown Austrian then living in Bavaria planned a pamphlet to be called Settling Accounts. In it he intended to attack the ineffectiveness of the dominant political parties in Germany which were opposed to the new National Socialists (Nazis). In November 1923, Adolf Hitler was jailed for the abortive Munich Beer Hall putsch along with men willing and able to assist him with his writing. With the help of these collaborators, chief among them Rudolf Hess, the pamphlet became a book. Settling Accounts became Mein Kampf, an unparalleled example of muddled economics and history, appalling bigotry, and an intense self-glorification of Adolf Hitler as the true founder and builder of the National Socialist movement. It was written in hate and it contained a blueprint for violent bloodshed.
    When Mein Kampf was published in 1925, it was a failure. In 1926 a second volume appeared - it was no more successful than the first. People either laughed at it or ignored it. They were wrong to do so. As Hitler's power increased, pressure was put on all party members to buy the book. Gradually this pressure was extended to all elements of the German population. Soon Mein Kampf was even being passed out to newlywed couples as a gift. Ironically, and frighteningly, by the time Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, what has been considered by many to be the most satanic book ever written was running neck and neck with the Bible at the top of the German bestseller lists.
    In his excellent introduction to this definitive American translation of Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden writes: "For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced -- long before he came to power -- a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it ... That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions, and -- above all -- could find millions of willing tools and helpers; that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come."
    We would be wrong in thinking that such a program, such a man, and such appalling consequences could not reappear in our world of the present. We cannot permit our selves the luxury of forgetting the tragedy of World War II or the man who, more than any other, fostered it. Mein Kampf must be read and constantly remembered as a specimen of evil demagoguery that people whenever men grow tired of thinking and acting for themselves. Mein Kampf is a blueprint for the age of chaos. It transcends in historical importance any other book of the present generation. In his translation Ralph Manheim has taken particular care to give an exact English equivalent of Hitler's highly individual, and often awkward style, including his occasional grammatical errors. We believe this book should stand as the complete, final, and definitive English version of Hitler's own story of his life, his political philosophy, and his thwarted plans for world domination. Translated by Ralph Manheim with an introduction by Konrad Heiden.A compilation of Hitler's most famous prison writings of 1923--the bible of National Socialism and the blueprint for the Third Reich.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (118)

    1-0 out of 5 stars A must read. But is just garbage
    How do we rate this book? Because of its historical significance? If we rate it based on that, then it certainly deserves 5 stars. However, I think we should rate it based in what's inside. It is nothing but garbage. I understand that Hitler had motifs to feel bad about the situation of Germany in the mid -20s but what he expresses in this book is WRONG. High School and College History books don't cover enough information about the economic and social situation of Germany during the 20s but still. Hitler's ideas are nothing but anger and hate. It has a great historical importance. This book is a must read. It is well written and covers important points. But the ideas are still Garbage. Anyone who doesn't think that Nazism is garbage has a problem and you and I know is true.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Dizzying, rambling... but possibly very important
    In order to give any clear review for Mein Kampf it is necessary to attempt to read it as just another book by just another theoretician. While this eventually became untrue, viewing it this way helps to see it as it was initially encountered, which in turn may help us to understand how it went from long political diatribe to near-eternal infamy.

    If we do that, here is what we discover. Adolf Hitler's long tome is not unintelligent. One could, in fact, make a list of quotations from Mein Kampf that are easy to agree with. This is due to the fact that in exploring his ideas Hitler touches on many areas of human and even natural experience. In doing so he states many things which would be difficult to not call truisms.

    Yet in investigating this philosophy Hitler makes errors that perhaps it is easier for us to see in our time, but might have been harder when this was published. In describing human structures, Hitler is quick to designate terms that he feels he can pigeon-hole people into. Given his racial views this might not be surprising, but without that assistance, it might not be as easy to note his logical flaw when, for example, he divides activists into idealists and politicans; though he acknowledges that occasionally one is both, what he fails to notice is that the line between the two is not nearly as easily definable as he thinks it is.

    Besides his use of this belief system as it relates to race, his tendency to do this extends to the rest of his writing. Mein Kampf is packed with various lists that Hitler feels can describe different phenomena. The more he lists, however, the more that you see someone in love with his own self-created systems than with any desire to map them accurately to reality. This is in spite of the fact that Hitler spends a good portion of the first 1/5 of the book discussing the evolution in his views as his old opinions fell in the face of adult-acquired evidence.

    There is also a problem for the non-German reader in that Hitler spends a good amount of time focusing on specific words that appear to drive the debates of his time, the same way that the fight over words such as "liberal" or "alternative" defines ours. So when Hitler describes the battle for proper use of the word "folkish" to describe his utopian state, most lack the social history necessary to even fully understand his points, let alone judge his accuracy in describing them.

    So the question comes: do you need to read this? That's not easy to answer. At roughly 700 pages with highly complex sentences that often go to more than 10 lines, Mein Kampf is a very difficult read. On the other hand, because we now know of the nightmare Hitler unleashed on the world, it is natural to want to read this to find out where he went wrong so we can avoid these problems in the future.

    For people who feel that way, I would answer this "yes", as the answer for this is more hidden than you might guess. If you get into this with the mindset that you will find a one-to-one correlation of his philosophy to those of some modern-day leader or party, you'll be in for a surprise. Elements of right and wrong are interspersed all over Hitler's rambling. That makes it even harder to work through, but it also provides a reward more fulfilling than any black-and-white rallying cry. And given that that was the kind of world that Hitler saw, and we now know the results of these ideals, that might be all the more reason to put the effort in and understand with more maturity and clarity exactly where Hitler missed the point.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mein Kampf
    Many people claim that was the worst of human kind. I could not disagree more. Adolf Hitler was a genius with a clear sense of historical, social and political knowledge. He had to fight the jew controlled establihment early on his life and knew that the liberal lies where just that, i.e., lies. Whilst it is true that he is not a writer in the realm of either Donne, Milton, Dante or Shakespeare; one would be an idiot not to realize true genius when it stares one right in the eye. His knowledge in many fields is astounding and he writes verily like a scholar and a deep thinker. This book, i.e., Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Introduction), Ralph Manheim (Author), should be read by people whom are not affraid of the truth behind the jewish lies and deceit and want to know the true nature and spirit of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Even though I find his occult ideas very troubling and his cult of personality smacks of heresey one can cleary see that their is a genius residing in that mind. A genius tainted by Satan and his minions , yet a genius. Yet Shakespeare wrote that one can smile and smile and still be a villain.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    i find this book the best book i have ever read, i think it includes some fasinating points and lines. I would reccomend it anyone who is open-minded and is prepared to let there "anti-racist, hate hitler" views go out of the window while you read it. Forget who it was written by for a minute if u dissaprove of the man and you will come to realise wat i mean.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Just FYI....
    I can't stand it when people post reviews which point out factual errors made by other reviewers, as this is usually done to show off their own knowledge rather than out of any charitable impulse to correct a wrong. That having been said, I have to do just that the two official Amazon reviews of this book posted at the top, one or both by Sunny Delaney, who should have checked the facts before posting them as such.

    The original July 18, 1925 release of "Mein Kampf" was not a failure as stated. In point of fact this first printing of 10,000 hardback books sold 9, 473 copies in less than six months, despite a depressed economy and a relatively high price of 12 marks. If the printing had been a failure, Munich publisher Franz Eher would never have ordered a second in 1926. The second edition was in fact a disappointment, sales dropping off sharply in following years, and it was not until the Nazis gained significantly more momentum in Germany years later that additional editions were ordered. However, it is recorded that Hitler gained a substantial, if temporary, income from royalties of his book, and it may have financed or partially financed the 28,000-mark Mercedes-Benz he bought when released from Landsberg prison.

    I understand that most people cannot even fake objectivity about Hitler as a historical figure because of the things he did and set in motion, but that is not an excuse for getting the facts wrong. "Mein Kampf" was by no means a runaway success, but neither was it a failure. It neither fulfilled the lofty expectations Hitler had for it nor flopped on its face as so many of his critics (and there were many, even in 1925) hoped. Hitler, as it happened, had no respect for objective truth and bent it to suit his purposes and his whims; in studying his life, career, and beliefs, we have an obligation to do the exact opposite and get the facts straight. There are enough myths, legends, and outright lies about this crucially important figure of modern history told every day without committing any more of them to print. ... Read more


    6. The Last Season: A Team In Search of Its Soul
    by Phil Jackson, Michael Arkush
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $14.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200351
    Catlog: Book (2004-10)
    Publisher: The Penguin Press
    Sales Rank: 120
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    Book Description

    Nine-time NBA Champion coach Phil Jackson knows all about being in the spotlight-about high-profile, high-pressure seasons coaching gigantic personalities through adversity and controversy in the middle of a media hothouse in which every move is another headline, another installment in the soap opera. But nothing-not six championships with the Bulls of Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, not three previous championships with the Lakers of Shaq and Kobe-had quite prepared him for the only-in-Hollywood high-wire act of the Lakers' 2003-2004 season.

    In The Last Season, Jackson tells the full inside story of the season that proved to be the final ride for this great Lakers dynasty. From its beginnings in the off-season-with the signing of the future Hall-of-Famers Karl Malone and Gary Payton and the enormous expectations it created, and the bombshell news of the felony sexual assault charges against Kobe Bryant, one of the league's marquee superstars-Jackson describes the many challenges that arose during this turbulent season. Juggling enormous egos with enormous sums at stake, managing difficult relationships and public feuds, facing injuries, contract disputes, and team meltdowns, all in the shadow of the Kobe Bryant trial-slash-media circus, Phil Jackson somehow guided his team through to its fourth NBA Finals in his five years as its coach. There, finally, his team ran out of road, a failure Jackson examines with the same deep honesty and wisdom he brings to bear on the rest of this amazing season.

    Few seasons in memory can rival this one for drama, and fewer coaches rival Phil Jackson in the ability to write about it with such wisdom and clarity. The combination has produced, in The Last Season, a book of tremendous human drama and timeless appeal, rich in lessons about coaching and about life.

    With the honesty and insight that are his hallmarks, one of the most successful coaches in the history of basketball offers his personal account of a season like no other-the extraordinary ride of the 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers
    ... Read more


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

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

    Reviews (89)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    by ANNE FRANK
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553296981
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 2494
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

    Reviews (436)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Diary of Anne Frank was a wonderful book.
    I read the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank." I thought that it was not only a wonderful book, but it was very real. It is the captivating story of a young girl, told to her diary about her life, growing up under sone of the strangest, and saddest conditions. It was written in Holland in the early 1940's, during the anti-semetic movements of the Nazi party. Is is told from the innocent eyes of a child, forced to go into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. She lives under close quarters, with seven other people. I felt, because the book was so real, that I actually knew the characters in the book. I found myself relating to ideas that Anne had and things that she said. I think that everyone should read this book because is is an insight into life, love, and hate. I believe that this is a great book and could be enjoyed by anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
    The book that I just finished reading is called Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl written by Anne Frank herself. It is one of the best book that I have ever read. It tells you about the life of a teenage girl who is trying to survive the awful times of the Holocaust while in hiding. Along with her, there are seven other people living in this hiding place. She learns how to cooporate with other people and how to live while all cooped up. The story takes place in Amsterdam and the hiding place is called the "Secret Annexe". There are two people who get them their food and take care of them. The end of this book is so heart-wrenching that it is unbelieveable. I would definately give this book nine stars out of ten. This book is so informative that is really makes you realize how fortunate we really are these days. It explains everything so well that you can't even believe that something this horrible could ever even happen. This book has definately made me think completely different in a good way and I hope that it will do the same for you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Franco's Fabulous Book Review
    Anne Frank, a 13 year-old, strong-willed, and courageous girl, is living in the Secret Annex during WWII to escape the Nazi regime. Anne, along with her family and close friends, are hiding from the Nazis because they are of the Jewish faith. Anne falls in love with Peter, a 15 year-old boy who is living with her in the Secret Annex. They become very close as they spend time in the attic trying to escape Peter's annoying mother. The group living in the Secret Annex has to be extremely careful. If they make too much noise, they have a chance of being caught. If they are caught, they will most likely be sent to a concentration camp. Any loud noise or movement could cost the eight tenants of the Secret Annex to die.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is an amazing book. It lets you realize how lucky we are to live in the world we live in today. The struggles that Anne and the group go through to live a "normal" life are nothing like anyone in today's world would be forced to go through. It allows people interested in WWII to gain information as to what is was like to live during the war.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is a must read. It is ver informative, yet allows the reader to learn about WWII in an interesting way. So, if you like WWII and are interested in learning what it was like to live back then, this book is for you. It is also a good piece of historical fiction. Pick it up today!

    Julie Francolino

    4-0 out of 5 stars A diary that truly depicted War...
    I earnestly almost cried after reading this book.I was 13,the same age as Anne's when she started writing her diary,whom she called "kitty".

    For those who have no idea who Anne Frank is,she is a Jewish girl and the youngest of two girls.Her father was successful businessman...and the family led a happy and wonderful life after settling down in the bustling city of Amsterdam,that was until Adolf Hitler started the Nazis.The Nazis was an anti-Jew operation,where they would capture Jewish men and tortured them.The women and young and old were not let off either,many were sent to concentration camps,where living conditions there were so bad,many died of diseases rather than the slow torturings.

    It was at this time that Mr Frank decided to go into hiding with his family.With some of his kind-hearted co-workers,they managed to perfect a secret hideout.Anne,her mother and sister Margot began moving into the hideout,which was located just behind the office.Joining them were the Van Dans (not sure if spelling is right)who had a son named Peter and a doctor.Life was very tough,for living behind the office with barely a bookshelf as a wall means not making loud noises.No one must know of their existense,so all everybody could do is to crept round their area softly,tip-toeing and even speaking in hush-whistle.

    For almost 2 years,that's the life of Anne.A growing teenager,she could not go out to the streets to watch a movie,play with her friends or even talk to boys,for that means getting caught by the Nazis.It was also round this time that Anne had one true friend where she can confide everything to:kitty,her diary.

    In her diary,she wrote of how talkative she was in class(she went to school before the hiding),how she hates her mother when the latter compared her to her sister Margot,how she detested Mrs Van Dam...and her deepest thoughts on growing up in a secret hideout.She also shared about her crush on Peter,who also liked her.

    Anne,as we could see,was a normal girl,someone who detested writing,someone who likes a boy and someone who wants to grow up being an author.Well,you could say she is one now,with her diary published after the war, which was later translated to more than 50 languages and sold millions worldwide...but the young girl,unlike her diary,did not survived through the war,for she was captured from her hideout one fine day.Mrs Frank,Margot,the doctor,the Van Dams and Anne herself,all died.All except for Mr Frank himself,who survived...

    By the way, a little unknown fact about her Anne:her real name is Annelies Marie Frank.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank:The Diary of a Young Girl
    The epic Adventure of Anne Frank, born in Germany Anne Frank spent two years of her life in Astonishing Circumstances. Anne faces adventure when the Nazis where murdering Jews. Anne, Mummy, Daddy, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, and Peter. All hid in a secret passage in an old warehouse in Amsterdam. Anne and her diary explains of the fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Yet within it, a tender love story slowly unfolds-from her shy avoidances with peter to incessant glances and first kiss! Thus her diary is not a lament but a song to life, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the threats.
    Great book for all ages, and you can't beat the low price. ... Read more


    9. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character
    by Richard P. Feynman, Edward Hutchings, Ralph Leighton
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393316041
    Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 1502
    Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to anautobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of receivedwisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88)cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestsellerever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (readthe chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant ofstupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (checkout "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You JustAsk Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible toenjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch ofhilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. Atsome point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all themerriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authenticknowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give upon seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideasthat have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had allthese qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and vervein his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around theworld--adored him. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

    Reviews (156)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's Good To Be Feynman!
    "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" is a very interesting book. The many amusing and captivating stories in this autobiography keep you wanting to read more. I personally had a hard time putting this book down every night. Even though I started reading this for a physics project it turned out to be a very entertaining assignment due to the many diverse topics discussed in the book. The subjects discussed range from physics to biology and even touching on hypnosis in one chapter. The book starts out by telling how he acted growing up and then went on to tell about his college life and eventually went all the way to his adult life. This book is a humorous look at the world of science through the eyes of one of the greatest physicists of all time, Richard P. Feynman. It is a must read for anyone interested in any science related field.

    3-0 out of 5 stars In his own words
    Although I'd heard of Feynman for years now--people I know were excited by the Feynman Lectures volumes--I didn't really know who he was. Oh, I could probably have given you the fact that he was a physicist, and maybe that he had won the Nobel prize, and just recently Jill told me about a Feynman anecdote that she had read by Stephen Jay Gould. After Surely You're Joking, I know much more about Feynman, and why he interests people. As far from the stereotype of the scientist that you can get, yet still having some geeky characteristics that he wasn't afraid to admit to, Surely You're Joking is a portrait of the man in his own words. In fact, the best way to approach this book is as if you had stumbled on to it in a dimly-lit bar, sat down next to it, exchanging turns buying drinks and talking about each other. Just like a conversation, some things are funny, some things don't make sense, and--as a one-sided conversation--they all revolve around a singe subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just plain hilarious!
    I can't see why so many idiots give Feynman's books bad reviews and say "the guy is OVERRATED man!" These people are probably just jealous because Feynman was UNDOUBTEDLY the coolest smart-person who ever lived. Moreover, this is the book which provides conclusive proof of that fact. Anyone who says Feynman was overrated is blatantly wrong -- In fact, I have been interning at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, where I met a man named Don Thompson who actually met Feynman when he did his post-doctoral work at Caltech. As Don says, "Feynman was just as funny, brilliant, and vibrant as all the books and accounts say he was." So, buy this book, and don't believe all the idiots who give it bad reviews.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It really gave dimension to a man I've heard so many stories about from my father in law. My husband got a kick out of seeing me read the book too. He had read it a few years ago and after I would finish a chapter he'd want to chit-chat about what I had just read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest autobiography ever!
    The book is just great. It has a great humorous and adventurous side and shows the reader what an interesting character Richard Feynman was, totally different from the awkward sterotype by which people relate to scientists. Feynman is very candid and speaks his mind, and the book is a very colorful account of his adventures and experiments with different circumstances. I'll recommend the book to everyone, not just those who are interested in science. The book really shows how much a person can do in one life. Even if one bit of Feynman's personality rubs off on you, this book would be twice worth itself.

    Comparing this book to 'A beautiful mind' about John F. Nash, I can see a big difference in the fact that I didn't keep this book down for even a second, while 'a beautiful mind' (a boring description of the boring life of a generally boring person) is lying somewhere gathering dust ever since I read the first chapter. ... Read more


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

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

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

    ... Read more

    11. Trump: How to Get Rich
    by Meredith McIver, Donald J. Trump
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $15.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400063272
    Catlog: Book (2004-03)
    Publisher: Random House
    Average Customer Review: 3.07 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    First he made two billion dollars.
    Then he made The Apprentice.
    Now The Donald shows you how to make a fortune, Trump style.

    HOW TO GET RICH

    Read by Barry Bostwick with an introduction read by the Author


    Real estate titan, bestselling author, and TV impresario Donald J. Trump reveals the secrets of his success. Over the years, everyone has urged Trump to write on this subject, but it wasn't until NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett asked him to star in The Apprentice that he realized just how hungry people are to learn how great personal wealth is created and first-class businesses are run.

    In Trump: How To Get Rich, Trump tells all -- about the lessons learned from The Apprentice, his real estate empire, his position as head of the 20,000-member Trump Organization, and his most important role, as a father who has successfully taught his children the value of money and hard work.

    With his characteristic brass and smarts, Trump offers insights on how to:

    • Invest wisely
    • Impress the boss and get a raise
    • Manage a business efficiently
    • Hire, motivate, and fire employees
    • Negotiate anything
    • Maintain the quality of your brand
    • Think big and live large

    Plus, The Donald tells all on the art of the hair! ... Read more

    Reviews (147)

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Worst Book Ever Written
    Yes, this is the worst book that I have ever read - I would imagine the worst book ever written. For someone that brags endlessly about being a perfectionist, he should be embarrassed. If you want to spend your money to have Trump brag non-stop and then ultimately learn nothing, this is the book for you. There have to be at least 30 pictures of the guy. He somehow manages, between headings and chapter spacing to add an extra 100 pages to the book. One word: pathetic.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good read but not exactly true to its title
    This book is everything that you would expect it to be: well written, entertaining, full of insight into Trump and his accomplishments. However, it is missing one essential ingredient: any formula for how to get (financially) rich as the title states/implies. I use the word "imply" as well because the title does not specifically have to mean how to get financially rich. The underlying theme of the book is to find the field you are happy in and work hard at what you do. Of course, that in and of itself will not make everyone financially independent. However, throughout the book Trump continually speaks about the strong relationships he has with not only his family (ex-wives included), but with his employees, who tend to be very loyal to him and the Trump organization. But in the end, I was entertained and enjoyed reading the various stories and loved that each chapter was no more than a few pages, which helps prevent boredom on any particular subject that one may not find interesting.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Attention to detail and seeing the big picture...
    Personally, years ago, the first time I read about "The Donald", there was something about him that I really liked - I couldn't actually put my finger on exactly what it was, but there was an instant admiration, and a clear, instinctive impression that he was straight forward, honest and tremendously hard working. A true American character.

    Through the media we watched his well-publicised divorce from Ivana, and his near bankruptcy in the realm of 9.2 billion dollars. At that time, particularly here in Australia, we had our own 80's millionaires fall from grace, and the public at large loved every minute of it. As a society, we love to see the mighty fall; it seems to be in our natures. But unlike some of our fallen entrepreneurs, The Donald came back and came back with a vengeance, which was an astonishing feat, and for me, very inspiring. Unlike some of my friends and family, I enjoy watching the reality television show, The Apprentice - its value lies in its believable portrayal of the business world and the skill and personality required to survive in that world. This is what prompted me to read Trump's latest memoir, and without reservation, I was thoroughly impressed.

    The book is organized in six parts: Business and Management, Career Advice, Money, The Secrets of Negotiation, The Trump Lifestyle and Inside the Apprentice. One can glean from these pages a wealth of advice to achieve success and potential wealth. This advice is from a man who has succeeded many times over, rising from the ashes of defeat like the proverbial phoenix. The writing style is breezy and chatty, as if you were sitting in front of the man in his office. Some of his anecdotes are entertaining to the point where I actually laughed out loud. My favourite chapter would have to be, A Week in the Life, written in a diary format hour by hour through a five-day week. From this one gets a true picture of the man's immense energy level and genuine passion for what he does every day. In fact I was a little exhausted after finishing the chapter and amazed at his capacity for work. And this is the secret: dogged hard work, attention to detail and grasping the big picture. I believe he would be a hard man to work for because he's such a perfectionist, but the experience would be well worth the time and potential anguish.

    Because the writing is simple and flowing, the book can be properly read in a few hours. His advice is practical and can be applied immediately. Reading How to get Rich was absolutely an afternoon well spent. Highly recommended.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Thin gruel
    Trump is a fascinating character and great at being a celebrity. He's a big believer in the American Dream, and one can't fault him for that. This book is interesting if you approach it wanting to hear his voice in your head and get a little inspiration to keep moving and working toward your own dreams. If you're looking for specific advice or detailed plans, go elsewhere. This is not a book for deep thoughts.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great look inside Donald's business dealings
    Short, concise, and to the point. That's the way the book is written and that's the way I like it. Get to the point, don't B.S., then move on. The brief sections makes it easy to read and reference. Just like his buildings, the layout and design of this book makes it enjoyable.
    I don't believe he's given away all of his secrets, but it's very interesting to see what goes on in the day in the life of Donald Trump. I also beleive he was hamming it up a bit (probably to some perspective clients, lenders, and customers), but that's ok. I wouldn't expect anything less.
    The way he describes handling obstacles that cross his path is actually inspiring. It kind of keeps things in perspective. He may deal in millions, but I figure anyone's obstacles can be overcome if they use his processes with dealing with them.
    Even if you don't like him, it's fascinating to see how his life works (and that's just the part he let's us see). I, for one, appreciate the doors being open for others. ... Read more


    12. Autobiography of Malcolm X
    by MALCOLM X
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345350685
    Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 4112
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

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

    Reviews (214)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Reviews (51)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    14. Buffett : The Making of an American Capitalist
    by ROGER LOWENSTEIN
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $13.26
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385484917
    Catlog: Book (1996-08-18)
    Publisher: Main Street Books
    Sales Rank: 3760
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    An intimate portrait of Warren Buffet, the world's richest man. With unprecedented access, Roger Lowenstein provides the definitive, inside account of the "Oracle of Omaha, " a true American original. 2 cassettes. ... Read more

    Reviews (60)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing American capitalist with principles.
    The amazing securities investment analyst Warren Buffett is the focus of this near hagiographic biography that is filled with details about the life of an American capitalist that rivals the likes of Carnegie, Ford, or Morgan. Lowenstein has done a remarkable job in telling the financial story of Buffett's rise to securities fame, although not as much about his actual strategy (that's another story). The early years depict a precocious child adept at numbers in a household rich with a domineering mother and business-minded father. Buffett's early investments, his famous relationship with Katherine Graham of The Washington Post, his role in the Capital Cities purchase of ABC, his rescue of the Solomon Brothers, and his unique personal relationship with his wife all make for a highly interesting, fascinating tale, sure to be a hit in schools of business. Buffett's securities firm stock value has ranged from a meager $7, to an estimated 1994 value of over $20,000 per share, evidence enough of the sagacious leadership of this preeminent securities specialist. During the reckless '80s, Buffett's principle-centered approach to building value never wavered, thus solidifying his fame. James Lurie's powerful reading is dead on, evoking the power of this man's singular character. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Proof that a book about investing can also be interesting
    I picked up Roger Lowenstein's book because I had enjoyed his column in the Wall Street Journal. In a nutshell, he and Mr. Buffett explain the differences between investing and speculation. Purchasing a stock based on a cold-blooded assessment of its VALUE is investment; buying a stock based on guesses about the general market, the economy, the mood of the public or other factors that are inherently unknowable is speculation. Unfortunately, that distinction has largely been lost on the frenzied day-traders, the purchasers of Internet stocks and the legion of "expert" market prognosticators who ought to know better. If you are interested in investing successfully for the long term, you should read this book. Apart from all that, Lowenstein also gives us a highly readable story of Warren Buffett the person, and I came away with a strong sense of Mr. Buffett's personal integrity and intellectual discipline. (In a curious way, though, the laser-like focus and icy rationality that have made Buffett so successful as an investor have apparently made him less successful as a father and husband. Read the book and you'll see what I mean.) The book is worth reading simply for what it has to say about this remarkable man.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Buffett Book Ever
    I've read a lot of books about Warren Buffett and this is by far my favorite. If you have to read only one, read this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
    I found that I knew so little about Warren Buffett, and this gave me a wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately, the book was written before the tech boom and subsequent collapse. Therefore, you do not get a sense of what he did during that time of hysteria, but prior to that it gives an insight that most authors aren't capable of relaying.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How Buffett Thinks
    This book helps you understand how one of the greatest business thinkers of all time got that way. (How would Buffett approach a paper route as a boy, for example?) If you are interested in getting inside his head, this book is a good way to start. ... Read more


    15. Saint Francis of Assisi : A Life of Joy
    by Robert F. Kennedy
    list price: $18.99
    our price: $12.91
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786818751
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Sales Rank: 1135
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    He turned away from his life of wealth and privilege to live with lepers, the "untouchables" of his society. He preached the idea of the sanctity of all life, becoming an advocate of animal rights and environmentalism in a time when even human life often had little value. He found joy in owning nothing, and giving everything away. He was story of Saint Francis of Assisi and the story of his life is inspiring and radical. And now more than ever, it bears important messages for American children living in a culture of casual abundance and waste. Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.-a father, a devout Roman Catholic, a crusader for clean air and water, and a member of a family famous for its dedication to public service. It is no wonder, then, that this saint's story should resonate so powerfully with him. Mr. Kennedy has retold Francis's story as a lesson and inspiration for his own children-and for children everywhere. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars ...To Seek A Newer World.
    This is a wonderful book for people of all ages. It is full of hope and wonder and teaches us all, as the author's farther did, "to seek a newer world".The protection of our animals, birds and overall environment is more important today then it was in St. Francis' time and his life story is told with wit and grace by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. As one who was an intern in Senator Kennedy's ill fated campaign for the presidency in 1968, I feel a special happiness that RFK's namesake is contributing so very much to make our country and world a much better place.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!
    When I saw Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talk about his book on Good Morning America, I rushed out to buy a copy.My mom always
    had a Saint Francis figurine out in the garden and the story
    about him has always been an inspiration to me.

    Though this book may be advertised as a child's book, it really
    is for any one at any age.Each page has exquisite illustrations done by Dennis Nolan; each page has has a verse
    and an accompanying full page illustration and calligraphic letters.

    Whether young or old, you should read this book.It will make you think about plants and animals - our most endangered resources - and will give you a different view after you've read it.

    Lovely work.Beautiful story.

    Valerie Atkinson Brown
    Author, International Thomson Publishing ... Read more


    16. John Adams
    by David McCullough
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684813637
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-22)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 6626
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

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

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

    Reviews (536)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    17. His Excellency : George Washington
    by Joseph J. Ellis
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $16.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400040310
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 10
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    Amazon.com

    As commander of the Continental army, George Washington united the American colonies, defeated the British army, and became the world's most famous man. But how much doAmericans really know about their first president? Today, as Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph J. Ellis says in this crackling biography, Americans see their first president on dollar bills, quarters, and Mount Rushmore, but only as "an icon--distant, cold, intimidating." In truth, Washington was a deeply emotional man, but one who prized and practiced self-control (an attribute reinforced during his years on the battlefield).

    Washington first gained recognition as a 21-year-old emissary for the governor of Virginia, braving savage conditions to confront encroaching French forces. As the de facto leader of the American Revolution, he not only won the country's independence, but helped shape its political personality and "topple the monarchical and aristocratic dynasties of the Old World." When the Congress unanimously elected him president, Washington accepted reluctantly, driven by his belief that the union's very viability depended on a powerful central government. In fact, keeping the country together in the face of regional allegiances and the rise of political parties may be his greatest presidential achievement.

    Based on Washington's personal letters and papers, His Excellency is smart and accessible--not to mention relatively brief, in comparison to other encyclopedic presidential tomes. Ellis's short, succinct sentences speak volumes, allowing readers to glimpse the man behind the myth. --Andy Boynton

    Amazon.com Exclusive Content
    Curious about George?
    Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the legendary first president of the United States.

    Washington bust by Jean Antoine Houdon.
    Courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Assoc.

    1. The famous tale about Washington chopping down the cherry tree ("Father, I cannot tell a lie") is a complete fabrication.

    2. George Washington never threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River--in fact, to do so from the shore of his Mount Vernon home would have been physically impossible.

    3. George Washington did not wear wooden teeth. His poorly fitting false teeth were in fact made of cow's teeth, human teeth, and elephant ivory set in a lead base.

    4. Early in his life, Washington was himself a slave owner. His opinions changed after he commanded a multiracial army in the Revolutionary War.He eventually came to recognize slavery as "a massive American anomaly."

    5. In 1759, having resigned as Virginia's military commander to become a planter, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. Washington’s marriage to the colony's wealthiest widow dramatically changed his life, catapulting him into Virginia aristocracy.

    6. Scholars have discredited suggestions that Washington's marriage to Martha lacked passion, as well as the provocative implications of the well-worn phrase "George Washington slept here."

    7. Washington held his first public office when he was 17 years old, as surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia.

    8. At age 20, despite no prior military experience, Washington was appointed an adjutant in the Virginia militia, in which he oversaw several militia companies, and was assigned the rank of major.

    9. As a Virginia aristocrat, Washington ordered all his coats, shirts, pants, and shoes from London. However, most likely due to the misleading instructions he gave his tailor, the suits almost never fit. Perhaps this is why he appears in an old military uniform in his 1772 portrait.

    10. In 1751, during a trip to Barbados with his half-brother Lawrence, Washington was stricken with smallpox and permanently scarred. Fortunately, this early exposure made him immune to the disease that would wipe out colonial troops during the Revolutionary War.

    Timeline
    Important dates in George Washington's life.
    Engraving of Mount Vernon, 1804. Courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies' Assoc.

    1732: George Washington is born at his father's estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

    1743: George’s father, Augustine Washington, dies.

    1752: At age 20, despite the fact that he has never served in the military, Washington is appointed adjutant in the Virginia militia, with the rank of major.

    1753: As an emissary to Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, he travels to the Ohio River Valley to confront French forces--the first of a series of encounters that would lead to the French and Indian War.

    1755: Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of Virginia's militia.

    1759: He marries wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis.

    1774: Washington is elected to the First Continental Congress.

    1775: He is unanimously elected by the Continental Congress as its army's commander-in-chief. Start of the American Revolution.

    1776: On Christmas Day, Washington leads his army across the Delaware River and launches a successful attack against Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey.

    1781: With the French, he defeats British troops in Yorktown, Virginia, precipitating the end of the war.

    1783: The Revolutionary War officially ends.

    1788: The Constitution is ratified.

    1789: Washington is elected president.

    1797: He fulfillshis last term as president.

    1799: Washington dies on December 14, sparking a period of national mourning.

    ... Read more

    18. My Life
    by Bill Clinton
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $21.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375414576
    Catlog: Book (2004-06)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 35
    Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

    Clinton approaches the story of his youth with gusto, sharing tales of giant watermelons, nine-pound tumors, a charging ram, famous mobsters and jazz musicians, and a BB gun standoff. He offers an equally energetic portrait of American history, pop culture, and the evolving political landscape, covering the historical events that shaped his early years (namely the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK) and the events that shaped his presidency (Waco, Bosnia, Somalia). What makes My Life remarkable as a political memoir is how thoroughly it is infused with Clinton's unassuming, charmingly pithy voice:

    I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only, response to pain.

    However, that same voice might tire readers as Clinton applies his penchant for minute details to a distractible laundry list of events, from his youth through the years of his presidency. Not wanting to forget a single detail that might help account for his actions, Clinton overdoes it--do we really need to know the name of his childhood barber? But when Clinton sticks to the meat of his story--recollections about Mother, his abusive stepfather, Hillary, the campaign trail, and Kenneth Starr--the veracity of emotion and Kitchen Confidential-type revelations about "what it is like to be President" make My Life impossible to put down.

    To Clinton, "politics is a contact sport," and while he claims that My Life is not intended to make excuses or assign blame, it does portray him as a fighter whose strategy is to "take the first hit, then counterpunch as hard as I could." While My Life is primarily a stroll through Clinton's memories, it is also a scathing rebuke--a retaliation against his detractors, including Kenneth Starr, whose "mindless search for scandal" protected the guilty while "persecuting the innocent" and distracted his Administration from pressing international matters (including strikes on al Qaeda). Counterpunch indeed.

    At its core, My Life is a charming and intriguing if flawed book by an equally intriguing and flawed man who had his worst failures and humiliations made public. Ultimately, the man who left office in the shadow of scandal offers an honest and open account of his life, allowing readers to witness his struggle to "drain the most out of every moment" while maintaining the character with which he was raised. It is a remarkably intimate, persuasive look at the boy he was, the President he became, and man he is today. --Daphne Durham ... Read more

    Reviews (463)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Arrived with a Thud, turned into a Dud.
    If you remember the 1988 convention speech where Clinton was nearly booed off the stage for taking too long or the state-of-the-union where he droned for over 90 minutes, you may recall the feeling you'll get somewhere around page 250 of this tome ... "when will it end?"

    This particular work of mostly self-aggrandizing fiction suffers from being so self-absorbed and so badly edited it totally detracts from the nuggets of humanity and historical interest in the text. It's the "Heaven's Gate" of Presidential memoirs. That Liberals are dutifully reading this and watching the exposed liar Michael Moore (...) this summer says much about their fanatic religious devotion to their faith. Faith requires suffering!

    The memoir still whitewashes much wrt Clinton's 'scandalabra', even while admitting to the bare minimum to keep it credible to the faithful. So we get Monica semi- mea culpa, but what about Genifer Flowers (she claimed a 13 year affair), or his pardon of Marc Rich? Or for that matter *important stuff* like how the Chinese managed to funnel illegal funds to his campaign in 96? Maybe its too much to expect an exhumation of his skeleton closet, but he manages to say so much yet reveal so little in so many pages. And he's entitled to his own opinions about other folks, but his view on Starr and the constitutional issues and process involved in the impeachment show he is trying to re-write history and doesnt understand Starr's appropriate role and actions. He doesnt get it - it was about lying under oath.

    Dont read this. Read the Marinass bio and read Rich Lowry's "Legacy" and somewhere in the middle of their accounts is what really happened.

    Lastly, read U.S. Grant's memoirs, the best Presidential memiors, writeen before Presidential memoirs were excercises in self-justification. They have all the economy and sparseness in style, bright narrative, and objective viewpoint that Clinton's memoirs lack. And he recount events far more important, like how the Civil War was won by the Union side, than details of Clinton's campaign events.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Easy, Pleasant Read
    I approached the book as though it was written -- not by a former Democratic President -- but a man with amazing life experiences. The insight the author provided on the workings of the executive branch of our government, along with international events were just icing on the cake for me.

    The writing is very easy to read; the story flows smoothly. All in all, I enjoy the voice that is projected from the author's composition.

    I found it interesting that on page 811, when Clinton was introspective about his affair with Monica, his revelation is that he is vulnerable to making selfish and self-destructive personal mistakes when he is exhausted, angry, or feeling isolated. This mirrors the 12-step recovery motto of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired), which recognize our vulnerabilities to succumb to our addictions.

    I must say that Clinton's description of sleeping on a couch for two months following his admission to Hillary regarding Ms. Lewinsky was hard to believe. Perhaps he was placing himself in the doghouse, making use of the couch adjacent to their bedroom, but still -- there were so many other bedrooms in the White House. Aside from that, I'm glad Clinton disclosed that he and Hillary participated in weekly couples counseling for a year.

    My favorite parts of the book cover Clinton's reflections on family, friends, and associates who passed away. This is where he shared personal thoughts on the affect these people had on him, and how he mourned their deaths.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President
    A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President

    This book will intrigue anyone who cares about America. You get an insider's view from the divisive man himslef. You'll also learn the struggles all presidents must face, and the role the media played in helping and hurting Clinton.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Willie!!
    In 2001, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton exited the White House after becoming the first two-term Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead of praise for surmounting numerous and incredible life obstacles, his rags-to-riches personal life story actually had the right wing seriously enraged enough to attempt a sham impeachment and conviction on anything (and EVERYTHING) they thought up. The reception discrepancy between his personal history and presidential administration is painstakingly explored in the personal autobiography---with no detail spared. I am not fortunate enough to live near a city where Clinton undertook book promotion tours, but this title's price vs. length and quality is well worth those televised all-night camp outs.

    Eschewing a ghost-writer, Clinton personally poured his heart and mind about personal and potentially difficult subjects which former presidents (of all ideologies) shielded themselves from. Choosing the less-utilized "open disclosure" route is a refreshing contribution to American public policymaking. It is also one which more public officials should follow.

    Rather than seeing diversity as an election strategy, Clinton genuinely appreciates social justice movements which attempt to make the world radically different from his Arkansas boyhood. In the television era's early days, then-Governor Orval Fabus tried to maintain segregation 'standing in front of the schoolhouse door' to Little Rock's Central High School (pp. 38-39) Undoubtedly this incident's horror (and fears that all southerners were presumed to agree with Faubus) helped solidify determination to pursue a radically contrasting racial public policy legacy (pp. 559-560). In turn, Clinton's early decision explains why I and many other people love him today.

    Repeatedly, Clinton draws upon his witness to the 1957 Little Rock action as one motivator for public service (the other of course is meeting President Kennedy at a D.C. Boys Town Summit). Because I am also growing up in a conservative southern town, I am comforted things do change; a young Republican who openly cheered during the announcement of President Kennedy's assassination later became a Democrat, social worker, and one of Clinton's biggest political supporters (p. 65). The bigger person recognizes when it is time to mend the oft-mentioned political fences. During his Arkansas Governorship Clinton demonstrated the nation only maximum potential when all demographics are empowered to participate in the American dream.

    I also enjoyed reading personal family anecdotes---including those which are probably still painful to share with audiences. In fifth grade, he learned that people who rented out motels for long periods of time did abortions (p. 29) because the procedure was illegal in the state. He also describes the incidents where stepfather Roger beat the family---until young Bill grew big enough to fight back (pp. 45-51). The vivid descriptions provide both literary action and a solemn reminder the world is better because abortion is legalized, and domestic violence is no longer a 'family affair'. As a child of divorce, I am also reassured that an American President went through several of the same experiences me and many of my friends experienced. When he talks about families, Clinton is personally aware there are many different types of families and the rightwing has never spoken for everybody (pp. 633-636)

    As the first president to be in the delivery room during his child's birth (p. 273), Clinton brought unprecedented sensitivity to the Oval Office. Because the lives of American voters are more egalitarian, this empathy is a definite asset in the post-cold war era From his own personal experiences, Clinton easily understands that good and strong families come in all compositions (pp. 426-427). I was also intrigued to learn that Clinton did not personally/politically have a problem with Hillary's last name (p. 296). Finally, "women's issues" like the Equal Rights Amendment (p. 257) stand on their own merit as something which is genuinely important to HIM.

    Certainly people have to take self-initiative for their private life, but Clinton's centrist Democratic theory (dating from Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign) says that government is still obligated to ensure the people trying to help themselves and their communities can actually do so (p. 122). This approach explains why he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ---overhauling the depression-era welfare system, while also rejecting the complete dismantlement passionately championed by Republican opponents. Aware that welfare payments had varied by state and women were not getting rich anywhere, Clinton also knew the current system had intentionally built-in incentives for women to stay at home instead of work. Welfare was initially developed so low-income women would not 'deviate from 'traditional' homemaker roles and could also stay at home with their children like many other women of the time. Clinton purposefully attempted to allocate enough money and resources for childcare so low-income women would not find themselves in a horrid catch-22 situation of wanting to work but not being able to find affordable, safe, and reliable daycare for their children (pp. 720-721).

    Before entering elected office, Clinton taught college classes at the University of Arkansas and the professorial enthusiasm (pp. 204-205) required for that task is especially obvious today as the lessons he taught to and learned from the students are recalled. I can easily imagine myself as a student in the class while he is racing up and down the auditorium steps exhorting us to become even more involved in the larger world (p. 203). Because they cannot realistically be confined to a classroom, such individuals were predestined to have a tremendous impact on the larger world.

    By showing a less serious side of the Clintons which is not always discernable from the media, the enclosed photos reinforce this aforementioned environment. Conceding that his personal actions damaged the family (p. 800, p. 811), he avoids a holier-than-thou attitude which ruined many other political careers. Clinton succeeds at the American Dream because he already knows and easily accepts his imperfection. He is so personable that even when I disagreed with Clinton's policies, myself and others always knew that he would not attack dissenters on trumped up charges. Instead, Clinton's enduring personal patience (he appears far more patient than he has given himself credit for) and boundless optimism for the nation consistently shine throughout this book. By nature, genuine sentiment cannot be slick.

    This book is a mandatory purchase for the Clinton fan---or anybody preferring a time when the United States president was respected for unflagging civility in the face of adversarial circumstances that had grounding lesser politicians from all levels of government. Unfortunately, like Hillary's autobiography (2002), the author's relative chronological youth in relation to his numerous public accomplishments means that another edition or volume will eventually be required for adequately chronicling all of the national/international contributions. Even at 957 pages, fitting all important information into one volume is impossible. I look forward to purchasing future editions of this biography.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You either love him or hate him
    Very intimate account of his life, with an undertone for the personal pain he his bearing. Great read for someone starting life and who wants to know how to chart the course of his or her life regardless of their family/childhood limitations. ... Read more


    19. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
    by Jon Lee Anderson
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $14.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802135587
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
    Publisher: Grove/Atlantic
    Sales Rank: 1532
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (90)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A landmark biography
    Even as I'm not a fan of Che Guevara's politics, the work that Jon Lee Anderson has put together about his life and career is truly commendable. He sorts out an incomprehensible amount of detailed information in a very linear, comprehensive, yet simple fashion.

    The information he gained, some recorded for the first time ever, by gaining access to friends, relatives, and associates, as well as letters and diaries of Che Guevara, makes this work the definitive reference on the subject.

    Like many on the political left, the author is obviously enamoured with Guevara and tends to portray his actions as noble, admirable and heroic. This is quite an interpretive presentation of Guevara, one with which many would disagree. Anderson does give glimpses of Guevara's personality that show the side of him that could be maniacal, dilatory, and restless, but even these are downplayed as the innocuous by products of a passionate man.

    Because of this subjective portrayal in an otherwise very objective book, I cannot give it 5 stars. Still it's a remarkable, fascinating read and an amazingly authoritative and accomplished work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
    Having read the hardcover version of this book in the summer it was released it is good to see that the paperback version is available. Coming in at nearly 800 pages it is no easy weekend read but worth the time invested. Mr. Anderson has done extensive research, clarified inaccuracies in previous works by other authors on the life of Che and treats the subject of his life objectively. Mr.Anderson spent much of the time in Cuba rsearching this masterpiece, probably the dfinitive biography, with the help of Aleida March, his wife and her aide Maria del Carmen Ariet who together are probably the foremost experts on the life of Che Guevara. The story is complete from the birth of Che, his upbring and close relationship to his mother, the formative years, including his education and doctor training, his spirit for adventure as exemplified early on with his famous motorcycle excusion through South America, his fateful meeting with Fidel Castro and of course his participation in the overthrow of the Batista regime in Cuba and the aftermath which eventually would prove to be his demise. Many excellent reviews have been wriiten about this book and I only want to endorse the overwhelming positive majority and say that this book is a cut above the plethora of books about Che. If you have an interest in the life of one of the true revolutionary spirits of the 20th century this is a landmark book that answers many questions. An excellent book for the historian or someone just curious about the man known as Che. Mr. Anderson seperates fact from ficion and helps the reader understand the man from the myth. The human being is revealed and politics aside one comes away with compassion for the man who gave so much of himself, even his life,for the beliefs he held to be true. No greater love can a man display than to give of his life. Read this book, get to know Ernesto Guevara, the man known as Che.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Troublemaker
    First off, the recipes in this book are no bueno -- the Colonel makes chicken better than this, and that ain't saying much. Second, Che is still riding Fidel's coattails. Che was the Ethel to Castro's Lucy Ball.... Maybe smarter, but lacking in kooky charm... that we can feel superior yet protective toward. Che is boring, and his words seem antiquated today. 800 pages is way too much, for someone so unfunny... and an elite background at that... save the drama for your mama ,Che!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Revolutionary Life
    Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a revolutionary. He was born in Argentina but never called the country home after his college years, studying medicine. Through his travels during his college years, he became aware of the povery and inequality in South America. This inspired him to fight for the equality he felt Marxism would bring. Che is known for his effect on the communist revolution in Cuba. He also fought in falied revolutions in Congo and Bolivia. It is safe to say that he is a man who impacted the world even if you do not agree with his political views. He is the man who invented guerrilla warfare.

    John Lee Anderson's book is the definitive book on Che Guevara. At times, it is almost too detailed with its nearly 800 page length. In reality, a book being too detailed is a compliment. The pictures he chose to include in the text are outstanding. Many of the pictures have been in CIA possession for years, and unseen to the public.

    While not directly a goal of the book, I enjoyed the insight this book gives into the relationship between Che and Fidel Castro. Anderson lets the reader draw conclusions rather than telling the reader what to think. While Castro believed in communism, Guevara was held policies more closely to the writing of Karl Marx. Che was willing to criticize policy if he felt it was not "Marxist enough". Unlike Castro, Che was willing to criticize the Soviet Union leaders for not living in the true equality that communism is intended to be.

    Despite Cuba's rivalry with the United States, I found it odd that more was not mentioned about the Cuba Missle Crisis. Guevara detested the United States, so it seems he would have had more to say in the matter. If he did have more to say, little is mentioned in the book.

    Because of its length, readers need some spare time to take in this whole book. The thoroughness of the product makes reading this book a rewarding experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "most complete human being of our age" -- Sartre
    Anderson's biography of Che Guevara was passionately researched. Within the pages of this large book are the most detailed accounts of Che Guevara's life. The book begins with a history of Che's upbringing and forces you to realize how much this man was truly like any other man. Anderson finds importance in the travels Che makes as a young man across South America. Journeys which eventually became 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. Detail is given to the periods of life that influenced his radicalization.

    This was a man who felt deeply for the exploitation of his people. He dreamed of a tomorrow where man did not trample on one another through competition and greed. Che Guevara sacrificed his life for what he believed in. There is no death more honorable. In reading Jon Lee Anderson's biography of this enormous figure, you will fell sympathy for his cause, respect for his determination, and awe for his accomplishments on the battlefield and in his study. ... Read more


    20. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Penguin Classics)
    by James Joyce
    list price: $9.00
    our price: $8.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0142437344
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 9329
    Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man portrays Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, providing an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce. At its center are questions of origin and source, authority and authorship, and the relationship of an artist to his family, culture, and race. Exuberantly inventive, this coming-of-age story is a tour de force of style and technique. ... Read more

    Reviews (185)

    3-0 out of 5 stars My Humble Opinion
    James Joyce is a hero. Writing with a exceptionally unique style that fits the corresponding drama perfectly, he is able to involve several underlying themes that help advance the meaning of the book. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is rich in detail and offers vital insights into Joyce?s art of portraying the internal struggles that all of us face within the drama of a single character, Stephen Dedalus. Perhaps the most salient brilliance of Joyce?s ability is painting the picture of simbolism and theme to allow the reader to internalize everything he reads.
    The book opens in a rather ambiguous way. Jumbled phrases across the opening pages provoke images of confusion and disorder in the reader?s mind. Joyce masters the Stream of Consciousness style of writing, which reflects the spontaeous thought process that all of us experience. It is especially notable at the beginning when he describes the unfocused thoughts of the baby Stephen. With a light touch of humor Joyce reminds us how simple life was for all of us back then when all we had to worry about was the discomfort of ?wetting the bed?
    (Portrait 1).
    The reader then re-lives his life as he joins in with Stephen?s. We are first exposed to the unjust treatment from others when the bully Wells shoves Stephen into the nearby cesspool. The imagery is more than intense here when he comes out of the pool grimy, disgusting, and smelling like a sewer. Joyce even pencils in the detail about rats wallowing around in the pool. The theme of unjustice continues as Stephen is punished publicly for losing his glasses, something that he had no control over. The Catholic Father Dolan flogs him across the hands for ?intentionally? losing them so he wouldn?t have to study.
    Another interesting piece of information that James Joyce includes for the benefit of the reader putting himself in the place of Stephen is the theme of physical beauty. Stephen experiences love all throughout the piece, starting first with the innocent love notes that he writes to a small girl his age, building to the prostitute with whom he has his first sexual experience, and culminating finally with the woman on the beach who he is infatuated with. This sexual passion arouses sympathetic feelings within the reader from all backgrounds. Everyone has experienced that true feeling of wanting to be with someone else.
    My favorite part in the story is how Joyce deals with the issue of remaining true to religion, particularly the Catholic Church. Stephen is troubled by the fact that there is so much corruption within the church. He sees the imperfections within the church, but yet he somehow continues. Other characters present Joyce with the opportunity to let us look deep into the heart of Stephen and examine how he struggles. Much of Joyce?s audience has struggled with the decision of remaining true to the Catholic Church in spite of its many corruptions, or pioneering a new generation of religious loyalty elsewhere.
    Towards the end of the novel Joyce touches on a reoccuring theme: freedom. Being free from religion as well as being free from Ireland (or the restraints that bound some individual). Again Joyce delicately works his way into the lives of his readers; all are faced with decisions of leaving their past lives, whether they be entrapped in the pits of smoking or the despair of being overweight, all of the readers of Jame Joyce are faced with that decision sooner or later. Stephen sees his escape from the island with drawing back to strength from the Greek artisan Dedalus, who crafted his own wings to escape. It seems that all of us somehow need to draw on strength from the past to give us motivation for the future. Many rely on examples from their parents. Others trust in counsel and advice given through the scriptures. All are in search of help from the past to live a better future.
    All in all, Joyce masters his work and is able to assist the reader in making his own decisions in his own life while doing it through the life of his central character. If I were anything but American, I might consider moving to Ireland.

    5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books of the twentieth century
    "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is easily one of the greatest books of the twentieth century. Rarely is such a mastery of the English language encountered. James Joyce has an almost uncanny ability to create images and feelings out of words. He manages to describe a place and also the feelings of the main character when he's in that place with teh same set of words.
    The story itself is almost inconsequential. As I read it I was so caught up in Stephen's self-destructive spiral that I could never pass any sort of moral judgement. I had to like Stephen because he was so human. His dilemmas and his emotions were so real, and Joyce was able to bring them to life with his words.
    As a previous reviewer has said, it is true that to understand certain parts of the book, it helps to have a little background on Irish politics at the turn of the century (or at least know who Parnell is) but a few minutes of internet research will do that for you. As for strange words and slang, the language becomes more elevated as Stephen grows up (a touch of genius, if you ask me) so that's not really much of a problem. Stephen's final break with tradition as he answers the call of Daedalus, his namesake, is magnificent to read. All in all, this book is definitely worth the read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best edition of "A Portrait"
    Depending on one's taste and level of concentration, James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is either tedious flop or a wonderful cornerstone of world literature. (I believe the latter.) I won't go into a discussion of "A Portrait" here because if you are looking at this particular Viking Critical edition, you've already committed yourself to reading it. The value of this edition lies in the critical essays and notes at the end. The notes will help the reader along, as they explain some of the terms and/or conditions that are particular to Joyce's Ireland. The essays are, each and every one, valuable tools. Whether it's an examination of Joyce's life, the creation of "A Portrait", the influences it would have, etc., every essay is a heavy-weight that enchances an understanding of the book. (At least it did for me.) If you're seriously considering reading "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" this is the edition to use.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
    Sure its pretentious, frustrating, difficult, etc., but it is also such a rewarding read. Boring sections like chapter 3 with the church sermon set up excellent ones, such as the end of Chapter 4, with Stephen's epiphany, which I must say is the most beautiful, glorious thing I have ever read. the emotion and symbolism (such as Stephen Dedalus taking flight from society much like his Greek namesake Daedalus did from an island) is simply overwhelming. I had to read this for a college english class (as well as write an essay on it) but i still enjoyed it. the stream of conciousness style may be too difficult and odd for some but i found a nice break from other literature, which is more than i can say for the similar novel To the Lighthouse by Woolf (also extremely good stylistically, but much less interesting). brilliant, but not a good introduction to joyce for those still in high school or not used to reading challenging literature. I would recommend "The Dead" to try him out first.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Largely unintelligible.
    Cut straight to the chase here: I tried really hard, I really did. But after a while I couldn't read more than a sentence without losing concentration, and then noticing half a page later that I had no idea what was going on.

    It's painfully dull, and frustratingly difficult. I thought it was alright at first, but before you realise it, your man Stephen Dedalus is 16 or something, and then he may be older, but you've no idea when it happened.

    I enjoyed all the guilt he was feeling at visiting pros, and the five page description of hell (or more), and in the end it was a real shame that I had to stop reading it. I was almost 300 pages in, and just realised there was absolutely no point in continuing since it was sending me to sleep, but I was so close to the end!

    So anyway, there it is. I didn't want to slag it off, but if I can't get through it there's nothing more I can do. ... Read more


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