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21. Mr. China : A Memoir
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22. Tales from the Bed : On Living,
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23. Pour Your Heart into It : How
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24. Jack: Straight from the Gut
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25. Biggest Brother : The Life of
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26. Thinking In Pictures : and Other
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27. Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories
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28. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!":
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29. Autobiography of a Face
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30. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie,
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31. The Scariest Place : A Marine
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32. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
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33. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of
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34. Buffett : The Making of an American
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35. Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing
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36. Arnold O. Beckman: 100 Years of
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37. The Soul of Money: Transforming
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38. ABOUT FACE : THE ODYSSEY OF AN
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39. Shooter : The Autobiography of
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40. The Long Walk: The True Story

21. Mr. China : A Memoir
by Tim Clissold
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761393
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 1423
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A first-hand look into China's complex business culture

In "Mr. China," we get a genuine look into the, "Now you see it, now you don't," world of foreign investment in China.

You'll laugh, and cry, when you read Clissold's frightening tales.You'll find out first-hand what it's like to be a pioneer in an emerging market, still entrenched in communism, where firing workers is off limits, regulations are deliberately complicated, and property ownership is a moving target.

Much of what has been written about China deals with the economic boom in coastal cities.Clissold takes us out into the hinterlands, some areas of which have only recently been opened to westerners.Out in China's badlands, they can be trying to destroy you one day, and the next day they're your best buddies, staying up with you all night, sloshing down baijiu.Lucky for us (and for the author), he lived to tell about it.

This book is full of valuable lessons, not just about China, but which are relevant to any emerging market.Even if you're not looking to invest in China, this book is still worth reading.Because, like it or not, China is here to stay.And the more we understand their complex culture, the better we'll be able to deal with them as an economic superpower.

We should be thankful to pioneers like Clissold, who pave the way and take the arrows.Yet despite the extreme hardships, and tens of millions in losses, Clissold leaves us with hope that, some day, we'll be able to make this work."Mr. China" is definitely a step in that direction.


4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual stories about investments in China that went wrong
For every success story that we hear about China investments, there must be many which have gone awry. Yet there are not many books that depict such tales from the first narrator viewpoint. Many are dry textbook-like, how-to narrations. Thus, Mr China provides a refreshing look into the realities of doing business in this vast land of 1.3 billion. I particularly enjoyed the story on the investment in Five Star Brewery- perhaps because it is a tale about a consumer product which makes it easier to grasp.

However, I do not understand why Mr Clissord kept using "arrived back from " when he could have used "returned from". Perhaps, it is due to his long stay in China that he started formulating his thoughts in Chinese?

It would also help if Mr Clissold could explain in greater detail the hierarchial structure of the Chinese governmental bodies.

On the whole, this is book worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone wants to understand modern China
As a person who was born in Taiwan and came of age in the States, I marvel at Tim's in-depth understanding of Chinese culture.All those proverbs he quoted at the beginning of each chapter are old sayings that are known for almost all Chinese and capture much essence of Chinese view of life and world through ages.His sincerity and truthful portrait of the Chinese that he encountered makes this book truly educational for anyone who wants to do business in China, like many reviews have already mentioned. What makes this book so special is Tim's compassion toward fellow human beings, in the instance of this book, toward people who live in the land that European happened to call "China."Scratching the surface difference of customs or language, people everywhere are pretty similar--they all long for a better live, try to do the best of what they are given and want to be treated respectfully.Being a member of this exclusive five-thousand year old club, I admire and appreciate Tim's efforts to put a humane face of Chinese people and try to build deeper understanding between two great nations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Reading Before Business Travel to China
Several days ago, I learned of the book Mr. China by Tim Clissold. I started reading it last night and finished it early this morning - only 252 pages. It is an absolutely mesmerizing chronicle of the investing in China in the 90's, and of the challenge to traveling out into the hinterlands of that enormous nation.

To a great extent it explains to me the situation I was actually in during my trip to Humen China last November - the balance between the Party and the private sector there, the role of the press, the work ethic and entrepreneurial drive of the Chinese, the intrigue of their nefarious rules/regulations and the balance between Beijing and the provinces. It reinforces the wisdom of our non-profit trade group having over 30 members with offices in China, a resouce we can draw from in our network. But this book is what individuals must read and come to grips with prior to travel to China.

I almost can not imagine what our members went through in opening factoriesthere. After you read this book, neither will you. And the same holds true for our many members there or soon to be in one form or another.

Simply amazing and an important, informative, moving and almost visceral read for those of us in this global game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Emerging Market Lessons
I have worked extensively in Russia, rather than China, but most of the author's experiences and lessons are just as applicable to Russia or any other emerging market.

Other than describing some common pitfalls and challenges, the author does a great job of explaining with insight, humor, and feeling why people are attracted to invest and live in emerging markets.

A good, fun, quick, read that might actually teach you something.Highly recommended!

TMR ... Read more


22. Tales from the Bed : On Living, Dying, and Having It All
by Jenifer Estess
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743476824
Catlog: Book (2004-05-18)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 320
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jenifer Estess is a woman on the verge: She's about to launch her own company; she's looking buff and dating vigorously; she's driving in the fast lane -- with the top down. At the age of thirty-five, Jenifer dreams of falling in love and starting a family. Then she notices muscle twitches in her legs. Walking down a city block feels exhausting. At first, doctors write off Jenifer's symptoms to stress, but she is quickly diagnosed with ALS, a fatal brain disease that is absolutely untreatable.

Max out your credit cards and see Paris, suggests one doctor. Instead of preparing to die, Jenifer gets busy. She dreams deeper, works harder, and loves endlessly. For Jenifer, being fatally ill is not about letting go. It's about holding on and reaching -- for family, friends, goals.

Jenifer's girlhood pact with her sisters Valerie and Meredith -- nothing will ever break us apart -- guides them as Jenifer faces down one of the most devastating illnesses known to humankind. That same enduring pact inspires the creation of Project A.L.S., a movement started by the sisters that changes the way science and medicine approach research for ALS and the related diseases Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and which has already raised more than $18 million. Will Project A.L.S. help scientists discover medicine in time for her?

Jenifer answers these questions and others in this beautifully written and wholly inspiring memoir that celebrates a life fuelled by memory. Tales from the Bed forces us to reconsider society's notion of "having it all," and illustrates, more than anything, the importance of endurance, hope, and, most of all, love. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars I've found a new hero (or heroes)
I have seen the HBO documentary, "Three Sisters," with which this book is associated, and also read this book. Both were amazing and powerful, yet different. I walked away from the book, looking to do something more meaningful with my life, whereas the film was more educational as far as ALS is concerned.

The book kept me up, reading all night long, in a rush to continue with Jenifer on her journey to the end. When I read the final pages, I didn't want to close the book, in fear that the connection I established with Jenifer, Valerie and Meredith would disappear. The writing flowed like a familiar memory and the humor made me smile between the tears that dropped. I feel like I've known the Estess family for my entire life, even though I was introduced to them by mere text in the pages of the book. I recommend this book highly to everyone--not just those who have ALS or know someone with ALS. After all,like Jenifer, ALS could happen to anyone of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This was such a great read that revealed a woman with a lot of class who even though she was dying inch by inch continued to live and fight for the hope of a cure for ALS. Through the writing you can feel her struggle, but her sense of humor comes through so just when you are about to cry over the inhumanity of the disease you crack a smile or even laugh out loud at something Jenifer said. The love she and her sisters had for one another and their determination to help Jenifer is awe inspiring. This book makes you forget about your troubles and makes you want to do something to find a cure for ALS. I'd recommend it for anyone who has a heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving story of courage
I picked up this book on the way home from a trip for some airplane reading and could not put it down. I was somewhat familiar with Jenifer's story from seeing her and her sisters on the Today Show and other news programs when they started Project ALS. But her courageous story of life and love and what it means to be family really touched my heart - and gave me some much needed perspective in my life. I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Indomitable spirit an encouragement to all
I deeply admire Jenifer's courage and indomitable spirit. Her sisters' commitment to love, care, and find a cure is also very admirable.

My husband has ALS and I am very glad I read this book. I am challenged to love others more and do my best to make a positive difference in spite of daunting odds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful summer read - inspiring and filled with love!
I just read Jenifer's wonderful memoir, TALES FROM THE BED and thought it was one of the most beautiful stories I've read in years. With all that was changing in Jenifer's life, she had her sisters and still had hope, and remained funny, heartwarming, and inspiring you can feel the love that she had for life pouring through the pages. I hope that you'll give yourself the gift of reading Jenifer's wonderful story and the legacy she left behind. ... Read more


23. Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786883561
Catlog: Book (1999-01-13)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 3372
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the mostremarkable business stories in decades, growing from a single retailstore on Seattle's waterfront to a company with more than one thousandstores nationwide and a new one opening every business day. Starbucks haseffected a fundamental change in American life, turning coffee into anational obsession and establishing the coffee bar as a new fixture ofMain Street - a home away from home for millions of Americans. In PourYour Heart Into It, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, shares thepassion, values, and inspiration that drive the success of thisfascinating company. Schultz gives credit for the growth of Starbucks toa foundation of values seldom found in corporate America - values thatplace as much importance on the company's employees as they do onprofits, as much attention to creativity as to growth. Schultz tells thestory of Starbucks in chapters that illustrate the principles which havemade the company enduring, such as "Don't be threatened by people smarterthan you," "Compromise anything but your core values," "Seek to renewyourself even when you are hitting home runs," and, most simply,"Everything matters." For entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, andStarbucks' loyal customers, Pour Your Heart Into It gets to the heartof a company that, according to Fortune magazine, "has changedeverything...from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." ... Read more

Reviews (81)

4-0 out of 5 stars An insightful read - much better than the typical CEO tract
I was pleasantly surprised as that number of insights I picked up in Howard Schultz' tale. He and Dori Jones Yang really appeared to have connected in the writing of this book. There's an effortless flow in the telling that gives you a 'fly on the wall' insider's feel without getting bogged down in coffee arcania or management dribble.

Schultz walks you through some of the thought processes and actions that led to important advancements in Starbucks' success with their customers. And, he's not afraid to point out when he's been dead wrong. He's strong enough to admit being dead set against the Frappuccino & totally missing the boat on what ended up being a blowout product for the company.

One comment - it's hard for me to reconcile Schultz' recent fixation on the Internet, going so far as ruminating about buying Williams-Sonoma for its online potential, with the clear-headed thoughts expressed in this book. [Yes, let's see...I'll have a latte and this leather couch, thanks.] Throughout the book, Schultz shows a complete understanding of a company's need to please Wall Street via growing profits, and also is quite clear of having to evaluate each decision by asking "Will it strengthen or dilute the brand?"

5-0 out of 5 stars You will never look at Starbucks the same way again
This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read. It is truly inspiring. One simple, and telling, output from reading this book on a plane was that as soon as we landed I headed to the local airport Starbucks for a latte. I rarely even drink coffee! So powerful are the imagery and the passion for coffee in his story that you can almost smell the roasted dark beans, feel them running through your fingers, hear the sounds of the espresso machine and taste the coffee itself!

Why is this imagery so important? Because behind the corporate image of a relentless pac-man like machine churning out new locations at a rate slightly above the national birth rate it seems, is a simple vision of passion for coffee combined with Italian neighborhoods and a warm and friendly place where the worlds best coffee and social friendship intermix. That is what Starbucks was all about.

The book itself is a remarkable insight into this journey. It was even more special for me, as I grew up with Starbucks - literally. When Howard talks about the vision he had to treat even his part time employees with full benefits and ownership in the company through stock, I know it was more than just a nice sounding corporate manta, it really worked. Friends I went to high school with in Bellevue in the mid to late 1980's worked at the first stores, and raved about this little coffee company and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. So, from firsthand experience I can tell you that what he says about the passion and vision coming to life in Seattle is all true

While company history is quite interesting, and the book itself just hums and glides without ever getting mundane, the real gems are in the emotional reality Howard displays. He talks about being overwhelmed to tears, about the rejection he faced while trying to get funding for his fledgling company, about the naysayers and others who nearly took it all away, and the struggle with having a hand in everything and slowly letting go. You know that you are reading about a real person, someone who came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn with working-class roots, not an image generated by a large corporations PR spin doctors

The value of people, so often lost in corporate bureaucracy, is evident here. Starbucks grew because it struck an emotional chord with people. He knew that in order for the company to be successful he needed people who shared the values. This is often spoken of, and rarely practiced in the corporate world where systems, forecasts, processes and other such tools become the focal point, and the simple fact that all results come through people is lost. He speaks throughout the book of people who helped him, coached him, mentored him, challenged him, and made the company what it was. One quote in particular summarizes his views: "If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better." (Page 6) This theme comes through in every decision.

Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is truly inspiring. I would work for him tomorrow, if it really still is the way it's portrayed here. I encourage you to read this book and see your neighborhood Starbucks in a new light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Try Working at Starbucks
This is an interesting read if looked at as a fictional account of business. As a frustrated Starbucks employee, there are many an urban legend about how great we are supposed to be treated. Howard should go to work as a barista in one of his own stores, have customers insult him, throw drinks back at him and do all of the cleaning chores expected of the people making him his millions. As for the "One Drink at a Time", I wish that were true. We are expected to whip out drinks within mere seconds of them being ordered. Don't believe all the gospel of Howard. It ain't all that he thinks it is cracked up to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
OK. I don't read a lot of books. I am an entrepreneur. This book was great. I always liked starbucks coffee but now I have an in depth understanding of how truly amazing a company Starbucks is. You will not be dissappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book to Read for those who Wish to Develop Own Business
You can see from this book how Howard Schultz upheld his belief in good coffee quality from the begining. Also, he was so committed to bring in new experience to his customers which was a very important marketing strategy nowadays. The book is easy to read and has given the reader a lot of inspirations! ... Read more


24. Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446528382
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Warner Business Books
Sales Rank: 3236
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

It's hard to think of a CEO that commands as much respect as Jack Welch. Under his leadership, General Electric reinvented itself several times over by integrating new and innovative practices into its many lines of business. In Jack: Straight from the Gut, Welch, with the help of Business Week journalist John Byrne, recounts his career and the style of management that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century. Beginning with Welch's childhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the book quickly progresses from his first job in GE's plastics division to his ambitious rise up the GE corporate ladder, which culminated in 1981. What comes across most in this autobiography is Welch's passion for business as well as his remarkable directness and intolerance of what he calls "superficial congeniality"--a dislike that would help earn him the nickname "Neutron Jack." In spite of its 496 pages, Jack: Straight from the Gut is a quick read that any student or manager would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (226)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jack, Over the Top Results
REVIEW: If one word could sum up Jack Welch's career at GE it might be "results". And this is why many people will want to read this book. It is basically an autobiography of Jack Welch's GE years and does not dwell on deap management theory. Those readers expecting a lot of new business theory or to learn how to repeat Jack's performance by reading about his secret methodology may be disappointed.

The management insights that Jack does reveal seem to me to be generally built on fairly well established (but poorly executed) management practices. Jack has just embraced them and used focussed passion coupled with an obsession on people to execute superbly and produce great results. For example, some of his major initiatives could be said to have been derived from existing management principles: 1) "No. 1 or 2" Jack admits is derived from Peter Drucker, 2)I believe six sigma is derived in part from Motorola, 3) "Boundaryless behaviour" can said to be based on Peter Drucker's observation that there are no profit centers inside an organization, and 4) Jack was clearly not an early pioneer on "E-business". Yet he recognized the opportunities and produced results from them. The book probably won't become a classic, but it is still recommended reading for today's and tomorrow's managers and especially those interest in the man himself.

STRENGTHS: The book is a fairly easy and interesting read full of anecdotes and insites. It does a great job of showing the management task as art and discipline that can be learned, improved, and mastered rather than as personal charisma or other common stereotypes of leadership.

WEAKNESSES: The minor weaknesses of the book relate to Jack's strong, competitive personality (and maybe ego) that show through in his writing. Despite that author's initial disclaimer to read "I" as meaning "we" I found Jack's lack of distinction between himself and GE to be minorly annoying. Parts of the book are filled with phrases like "I bought this $$$$$ company" when clearly "We" is appropriate [I know, I'm nit-picking]. Second (and this is almost excusable in an autobiography) Jack rarely gave the "other side" of the story when discussing major GE crises. For example, he never explains the EU's reasons for blocking the Honeywell merger, assuming that it is so obviously wrong it's not worthy of explaination.

5-0 out of 5 stars His advice may seem obvious to some, but...
His advice may seem obvious to some, but how often is it actually practiced? I shouted "yeah!" to myself over and over as I read a couple chapters of this book.

For example: the chapter about rating and rewarding his employees was excellent. For example, giving Class A employees 3x the salary increases over Class B employees-- Great!! Giving NO increases to Class C employees, and getting rid of them sooner rather than later...what can I say, I LOVE IT!!

He's so right about the fact that it's more cruel to let Class C workers attain and maintain an certain income level (that they are not really worthy of), and waiting til they're older, with a large mortgage and kids in college before finallly telling them that they're not making the grade.

I've worked with some people in the high-paying tech arena that, because of either blatant incompetence, bad attitude, and/or pure laziness, never should have gotten to where they are today. As far as I'm concerned, some never should have gotten past working in the food service industry.

Eventually those people *do* get weeded out (I'm seeing it happen right now in this economy). Sooner is better than later, both for the employer and the employee. I also enjoy not having to work with those types.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am almost ashamed to keep this book on our shelves
I must say I am disappointed in this book. Mr W. clearly takes much credit for the success of GE. Although a strong leader in any organization can make a big difference, it looks disgustingly fake when he tries to take all credit for success. If you are a critical reader you will most likely see through the tireless self promotion that went on with W.

I cannot waste any more time on this book, so I must end this review here, but there are good parts of this book. To find out about those, read someone else's reviews.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inside scoop on GE
A good book to get the inside "going ons" from a CEO's perspective. If you have interest in GE and the happenings through Mr. Welch's eyes this is a good read.

I was hoping to get a little more insight and direction regarding the key elements of running an extremely successful business. Outside of the "people are everything" and weed out the bottom feeders, there was little practical knowledge to be taken from the book and used by manager "want-to-be" types.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy the book used
I guess it's not bragging if you can do it - and he did. It is difficult to argue GE's success over the past 20 years. Mr. Welch took a 12 billion company and made it into a 500 billion dollar business. Without even using a computer!! Regarding the portion of the book were he talks about assigning E-trainers for all the top executives in the company, all I have to say is rank does have its privileged, It must be nice to have a techie hold your hand if you are an executive and computer illiterate.
It is hard to believe that it wasn't until 1999 that Jack Welch sent his first email. A multimillionaire who isn't connected....
I am not sure if it is ignorance or apathy?

In Mr Welch's defense, I am not sure how the author could have gotten around referencing everybody he worked with or for.
If you can get through that part of the book, there are some things in the rest of the book that are of value. I listened to the book on tape so it wasn't so bad.
He does talk about real people and real problems that he encountered throughout his career and what it took to get the job done working within the environment HE created.
If you are not a business person or just wondered what it is like at the top, here are a dozen of the key ideas Mr Welch talks about in his book.

Stretch jobs
The runway of a person,
The vitality curve of a career
Differentiation being a key value to getting ahead
"boundaryless" operations
Blackbelt employees
Plane crash scenario: Who will run the company
Having a deep bench: When a replacement was needed
Fix, Close or Sell areas of business that are not performing well
Being #1 or #2 in your field
The 6 sigma quality movement
Finance: People and dollars are the movable parts, while the people hold the depth of knowledge
Not to mention a smattering of, golf, tennis and ping pong stories.

Overall I would say buy the book used or borrow it from a friend - 4 stars ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


26. Thinking In Pictures : and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
by Temple Grandin
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0679772898
Catlog: Book (1996-10-29)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 2745
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's firstbook--and the first picture of autism from the inside--"quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable."Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and inThinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Grandin, who feels she can "see through a cow's eyes," is an influential designer of slaughterhouses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight into human-animal relations. It would be mere justice if Thinking in Pictures transforms the study of religious feeling, too. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars The life and times of Temple Graindin
... The book Thinking in Pictures involves the evaluation, from the first person perspective, of a life with autism, and delves into the complicated world of an autistic person. The book provides a clear explanation of almost all the problems that plaque a person with autism, and additionally shows the way an autistic person's mind works and
the way the world affects their thinking. The book conveys information primarily through the view of author Temple Graindin, but also makes references and comparisons to animal science and, thus provides an almost parallel theme to the
book.
While parts of the book do diverge from the subject, the book provides an excellent summary of the life of an autistic in a non autistic world. Because the book is written from the first person, there is a personal touch to the book that draws the reader in and helps them to better experience Temple's world. The comparisons to animals also prove to be effective as they further emphasize how different an autistic person's
mind works as compared to our's. It, then as a result, further shows how an autistic person's world is completely different, yet the same to our own. The book at times, however, sometimes goes too in-depth with the descriptions of animal science and
sometimes reads like a cattle-dairy science textbook. Much of the book also deviates from the main topic of autism into her own philosophies of life. Finally, much of the information about the drugs is very tedious, and while it does provide much useful information, does not contribute much to the overall theme of the book. On the whole, the book is very interesting and helps to show the pictures of the autistic world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-Written View Of Autism From A Real Insider
Temple Grandin accomplished many things with this book. Technically, it is a very well-written book, with good flow, an extensive display of vocabulary (without sounding pretentious), a logical structure, and only a small amount of repetition (which is an accomplishment for an autistic person).

"Thinking in Pictures" explains autism from the inside-out. Oliver Sacks, in "An Anthropologist on Mars" gave an excellent description of autism (and Temple Grandin) from the outside, but this book gives the inside view from the very same subject. After reading the DSM-IV and many textbooks, I was still having trouble fully grasping what autism was. After reading Sacks' books, I was much clearer on the subject. "Thinking in Pictures" went three steps further in helping me to understand the various forms of autism. I also have a much greater understanding of what sensory integration treatment is all about, even though I had listened to two in-services on sensory integration by sensory integration therapists before reading this book.

I also learned much about the cattle and beef industry in this country, which was surprisingly interesting. I'm glad that there are people like Dr. Grandin in that business working to make it as humane as possible.

Temple Grandin is in an unusual situation and was able to give a perspective on what it means to be a "normal" human being that few people could give. Being a very bright but autistic person, she is almost the "flip-side" of "an anthropologist on Mars": it is as if she were a Martian anthropologist visiting Earth and trying to understand humanity. Her thinking, feeling, and sensory processes are so different from the average person, that she can almost view humanity from the outside.

"Thinking in Pictures" teaches the reader much about autism, the cattle industry, and humanity. What might surprise many people is that, with all that teaching going on, this book is also thoroughly enjoyable. I hope that I can someday meet Dr. Grandin, as I am sure it would be an interesting, unique, and memorable experience.

Christian McCallister, Ph.D., L.P., Clinical Psychologist

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking in Pictures
I have no connection with autism. This book was recommended to me because I cannot think in pictures; my mind works with ideas and words. Temple Grandin has written a book about a way of thinking that is so alien to me she might as well be from a different planet. Absolutely amazing. I did not know that the world could be seen from this perspective. This book has changed the way I try to see the world. No TV program or lecture will cause you to shake your head in bewilderment like this book.

Temple Grandin is the Helen Keller of the 21st Century. Only her words can describe the world she lives in. Or maybe pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer for understanding autism
I borrowed this book from a parent of an autistic child when I began working with autistic students in the public school system. It was invaluable to my understanding autism. Ms. Grandin gives an inside look at autism and not only outlines the challenges, but also gives possible benefits. If you are a parent of an autistic child, work in the public school system, or merely wish to understand autism better; I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insights into the autistic mind
In some passages, Ms. Grandin reflects on her humanity, her mortality and directly addresses her difficulties. I cannot wait to read her other books. Just wonderful. ... Read more


27. Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal
by Rachel Naomi Remen
list price: $12.50
our price: $9.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573226106
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 3399
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Enthusiastically praised by everyone from Bernie Siegel to Daniel Goleman to Larry Dossey, Rachel Remen has a unique perspective on healing rooted in her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. A deeply moving and down-to-earth collection of true stories, this prominent physician shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives. Kitchen Table Wisdom addresses spiritual issues-suffering, meaning, love, faith, courage, and miracles-in the language and authority of our own life experience.

Foreword by Dean Ornish, M.D.

"This is a beautiful book about life, the only true teacher."-Bernie Siegel, M.D.

"Rachel Naomi Remen is nature's gift to us, a genius of that elusive and crucial capacity, the human heart. She has much to teach us about healing, loving, and living."-Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence

"A great healer and a living saint."-Larry Dossey, M.D.

"Heartfelt...compassionate and courageous."-Publishers Weekly

"I recommend this book highly to everyone."-Deepak Chopra, M.D.
... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Remen is a Blessing
Several friends had told me about Kitchen Table Wisdom over the years, and I just put off purchasing it. Then while recovering in the hospital from surgery, the chaplin suggested I read it. I read it during my recovery and have not stopped reading it since. There are so many lessons in the book, and Dr. Remen's selection of stories and writing style present an education on how to be human and to develop a deeper understanding of the humanity each one of us posseses. I look at my life, and those around me in a different way since I read the book. Dr. Remen has taught me that we all have the capacity to make our life a blessing and she is truly a blessing to all that read her words.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
I like to read mostly just before bed, so for this nightowl I am usually reading pretty late after midnight. Sometimes I find a book I just can't put down, I like those kind. Since it is the beginning of a new year according to western calendar anyway, I find the book by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. Kitchen Table Wisdom - Stories that Heal very appropriate for this time of year. I must say the title was the hooker but as I get more into the book, I see it is really much, much deeper than any talk that has ever gone on around my kitchen table. The chapters are rather short & sweet with stories of humanity & love, growing experiences, healing & yes even death experiences all of which end in a message for the reader to ponder on. I don't mind writing in books I buy, you know good spots where I want to come back to later or that I want to remember, & this book is turning out to be filled with those pencil marks! When the author herself makes a personal discovery regarding her life & her soulful purpose, she states "Although I could be analytical & pragmatic, by nature I was an intuitive, even a mystic. I was my grandfather's granddaughter, I had remembered & I was going home. .." It was at this point the author moved from her traditional medical career, into the mind/body health field & we are grateful for her inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes these stories can actually heal
When I'm feeling really bad about my chronic illness or other things in my life, the stories in this book help me keep going. Dr. Remen is a wonderful story teller and an amazingly creative healer. She uses guided imagery in skillful and loving ways to help clients and readers see the meaning and strengths in their lives.

I admit to bias. Rachel Remen wrote the blurb for the back of my book, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness. But I was a fan of hers before and since, too. Her other books are also excellent.

David Spero RN www.davidsperoRN.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories that Heal
This beautiful, touching and life- altering book is without doubt one of the best books I've read. Dr.Remen captured my mind, heart and soul from the very first page. The stories she tells about herself, her patients, her family and friends are told with amazing honesty, beauty and grace. This book is about Life with all its different facets, phases and seasons. As a physician, reading this book has made a lot of impact on how I view my role and how I communicate with my patients. I now think of myself not as a "doctor" but as a healer, and know that there is much more to my work than diagnosing diseases and prescribing medicines. I read this book many times, and every time I laugh and I cry and I am inspired and touched. This book is truly one of a kind; it is worth a million stars!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Life affirming
I first read this book when it was given to me as a gift and again more recently as I went through a difficult time in my life. Both times I was struck by the true stories, beautifuly and simply related, that demonstrate over and over our own capacity to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Dr. Remen's medical credentials combined with her own history as a patient give her a deep understanding of healing and disease from both sides. I would recommend this book especially to anyone who is suffering from a physical or emotional illness. But even more so, I recommend it to the doctors out there who realize that your patients are more than just a compilation of symptoms and who are looking for a better way to relate to them. ... Read more


28. "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


29. Autobiography of a Face
by Lucy Grealy
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060569662
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4791
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer, but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."

At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.

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Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars DISABLED IN ACTION
Lucy has had to contend with cancer from a very early age. At 10, she undergoes surgery and follow-up treatments to remove a cancerous jaw. This unfortunately alters her appearance and Lucy has to live with the hostile stares, cruel comments and stupid remarks made by insensitive people.

Although Lucy uses the word "disabled," it is the opinion of this reviewer that Lucy was disabled in ACTION. As unfortunate as her health and appearance altering condition is, Lucy remains true to her core self. Bright, witty and extremely verbal, Lucy reminds the world at large of how character all too often is eclipsed by appearance. Lucy also inadvertently reminds all who have read this book that "able" is the core part of "disable" and that "dis" is simply a prefix. Therefore, she is more ABLE that disabled. That is a very affirming thought.

Lucy is truly an inspiration and gives a good reminder to ALL persons never to judge somebody based on physical appearance. In this book, Lucy is truly beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars I had Ewing's sarcoma & related to Lucy feeling all alone.
I read Lucy's book several years ago, all in one day. Her words, feelings, and thoughts captured my attention, as I fully understood her battle with cancer. I had Ewing's of the pelvis when I was 15, and there weren't any books that I read back then where the person lived at the end. How utterly depressing, since we are proof that you can survive cancer!

I greatly appreciated the way in which Lucy described what it felt like during chemo treatments and surgeries, because her interpretation is not glossed over. There is no real way to describe the experience except to go through it for yourself to really understand it, but Lucy's words came very close! One day, I wish to write my own novel describing my struggle with cancer as an adolescent.

I'd also love to talk with Lucy, one survivor to another, if possible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!,
<br /> This is a great book for anyone who has struggled with their appearance in a world full of beautiful people. A must-read!!! Other remarkable books to read are: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart and If I Knew Then by Amy Fisher

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment through beautiful proxe
I just finished Autobiography of a Face and I found it just a beautiful, touching read. Lucy writes with such incredible introspection and heartfelt feeling that one must stop from time to time to just reflect on her insight. I truly wondered where she got the strength to endure all that she did. I felt her emptiness in situations and yet her strength inspite of it. Her mother just seemed to totally not get the whole experience or at least couldn't deal with it, so Lucy was left to her own devices. The insight into the boy she meets in the hospital who is paralyzed after a diving accident just blew me away. She writes, "I did it for him. I'd close my eyes to feel the height, see the bright blue of the pool winking below me, bend my legs, and feel the pull in my calves as I jumped up and then down, falling from one world of unknowing into the next one of perpetual regret." What a gut-wrenching insight into the soul of this young man. She allowed me to view the world from a whole new perspective and I thank her wherever she may be. She was definitely an old soul who hopefully fulfilled her karma.

4-0 out of 5 stars seems odd
i found the book very well written, but very, very sad. it seemed weird to me, when searching through the reviews, that most everyone discusses her as if she's alive, unfortunately she no longer is. i feel that that part is inextricable from the rest of the story and its message. this is not a story about a woman who overcame cancer and her feelings of insecurities, it is a story of a person who, after undergoing grueling treatments may have conquered the physical illness, but never its emotional consequences.it garnered a lot of sympathy and empathy from me.i felt so sad for her and wished that she had joined support groups, seen a good therapist, and had had a better support system to start out with.shame that the world has lost her. ... Read more


30. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
by Les Standiford
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400047676
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 5156
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31. The Scariest Place : A Marine Returns to North Korea
by James Brady
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312332424
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
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32. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
by Ann Patchett
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060572140
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 2189
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BROKEN HEART AND A BRILLIANT MIND
If you've read Lucy Grealy's book AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, you must read Ann Patchett's book TRUTH & BEAUTY. Ann was Lucy's best friend and tells the story of their loving and literary friendship. Ann's book is filled with Lucy's letters. The book tells of how Lucy was taunted by kids and adults because of her facial cancer. Readers get to see into Lucy's heart and how because of her "ugly" face she thought no one would ever love her. yet she beds every man who says something nice to her out of a need to connect and feel "love.". this book is a fantastic look into the heart and mind of someone with a visible disability. it is about someone with a brilliant mind. and it's filled with triumph and tragedy. And if you haven't read AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, I recommend that too. In both books you'll see the life of a driven woman hoping her genius and writing abilities will save her from what she thinks is the tragedy of her disability and make someone love her and she will live happily ever after. Sadly Lucy died of a drug overdose a few years ago. was it an accident or suicide?? she was heartbroken. she never thought she would find love. but so many of her friends loved her.

4-0 out of 5 stars Patchett's Frank and Tender First Work of Nonfiction
Female friendships are one of the most complex human relationships, regardless of age. And in TRUTH & BEAUTY, author Ann Patchett does nothing to dispel the mystery of girlfriends. If anything, she adds to it.

Although this book is nonfiction, it reads like fiction. Readers will dive into the story, greedily gathering information about the two main subjects --- Patchett and her friend, Lucy Grealy --- like characters in a novel. They were two young and ambitious women who go directly from Sarah Lawrence to the Iowa's Writers Workshop, the most coveted graduate school for writers. They develop a friendship that straddles the lines of intimacy, and they find literary fame. Along the way they form a bond that is difficult to describe. It spans continents, weathers illnesses both physical and mental, and seems to survive even death. But this is not a work of fiction, and so the eloquent writing of this well-known author packs even more of a punch. These are real people; this is Patchett's life, her beloved friend who lives, metaphorically speaking, just beyond her reach.

Patchett recreates her life with Grealy by interspersing their history with letters she received from Grealy over the years, postmarked from Scotland, New York, Providence, Connecticut, and all of the other places she traveled, taught and lived. They are letters that reveal a literary voice filled with love and admiration for a woman to whom she referred as "Pet." She was a competitive woman who was known to jump into Patchett's lap and ask repeatedly, "Am I your favorite? Do you love me the most?" And inevitably the answer was yes.

"Dearest Anvil, she would write to me six years later, dearest deposed president of some now defunct but lovingly remembered country, dearest to me, I can find no suitable words of affection for you, words that will contain the whole of your wonderfulness to me. You will have to make due with being my favorite bagel, my favorite blue awning above some great little café where the coffee is strong but milky and had real texture to it."

Narrated by Patchett, TRUTH & BEAUTY could be described as an analysis of Grealy, a woman who fights an uphill battle to recover physically from a cancer that robbed her of her outward beauty as a child, though it amplified an inner beauty. Grealy, as Patchett tells us, had a kind of animal magnetism that drew the best of people to her. She underwent at least 35 surgeries to rebuild a jaw decimated by radiation and lived her life subsisting on mashed fruits, ice cream and the occasional milkshake. Despite the staggering number of surgeries, the procedures never quite worked and much of Grealy's life was spent lamenting what she believed were her physical inadequacies. Yet TRUTH & BEAUTY is not a sad story. In fact, it features the gifts of Grealy's best features: her wit, gaiety and zest for life.

And while it focuses on Grealy and Patchett's friendship, TRUTH & BEAUTY may be better described as a study of human nature. Patchett writes about the intricacies of the human heart in THE MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS and BEL CANTO, and she tackles the subject once again in TRUTH & BEAUTY. The constant search for a love that seems to be right in front of a person's eyes is a recurring theme for Patchett, who weaves a beautiful if not frustrating story of a friendship that she worked diligently to maintain.

In life many people struggle to find reciprocal friendships in men and women. And, frequently, outsiders perceive even the best of friendships to be one-sided. This may also be the case here. Readers will complete TRUTH & BEAUTY with a keen appreciation for the love that exists between women, the unwavering loyalty that friends can maintain through years of turmoil and emotional trials. And while loyalty (as we see in this 257-page story) may falter occasionally, it can withstand the test of time. And perhaps even beyond.

--- Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw

4-0 out of 5 stars Not recommended for tender sensitivities
Well written, strangely powerful and often horrifying. I can't quite recommend it. It's a special sort of pathology that many of us have encountered.

4-0 out of 5 stars Painful and Questionable
I read this book directly after reading Autobiography of a Face. Lucy seemed to have a huge black hole in her soul that she constantly looked to others to fill up. Obviously she never learned to love herself, so her friends were her mirrors to her soul. She searched endlessly for love on the outside but her greatest quest was her search for the ability to love herself with all her physical flaws.
I saw Lucy's repeated surgeries simply a way to stay connected with something she knew and a place where she felt comfortable and accepted. The surgeries were physically painful but they gave her an opportunity to have everyone care for her openly and with such extraordinary allegiance, a true sign of love. Lucy could never quite embrace it and assimilate that love into her psyche.
Was it guilt that drove Ann to write this book wondering if there wasn't something she could have done to make the ending different? I felt a sense of relief when Lucy's life was finally over. What quality did she ever have in her existence? I think Ann went above and beyond the realm of friendship. One has to wonder why she hung in there through everything for a one-way friendship? Why was Ann so possessed by Lucy? It's a question we will never know but one that the book continually asks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful tribute
Patchett's book is a beautifully written tribute to an exceptionally intense friendship. The author takes you through her relationship with Lucy Grealy although side-stepping prolonged analysis of why their bond was so tight. The reader can draw his or her own conclusion; close attention should be paid to the excerpts from Grealy's letters, which reveal her intellect, her delight in words and her charisma. One thing that astonished me, despite having read Autobiography of a Face when it was first published, was how much physical discomfort Grealy constantly dealt with. Her problem was far more than just an aesthetic problem -- she had only six teeth left, couldn't chew food normally and was constantly in danger of choking because she couldn't close her lips. It amazes me that she was able to be as productive as she was despite to this condition, even before factoring in the multiple surgeries. Grealy clearly had the heart of a lion and it's no surprise that people were drawn to her inner strength, even when it was clouded by her understandable depression and feelings of isolation and want. ... Read more


33. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of a Family
by Steven Roberts
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060739932
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 6522
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Book Description

Bayonne prepared me well for a larger life and a larger world. I knew who I was and where I was from. I was connected by innumerable little cords to people and places that gave me strength and identity. On The Block I was safe, secure, loved. I even had a number, 174, the address of our house, but the number wasn't a badge of anonymity. To the contrary, it marked my place, where I belonged.

As moving as Russell Baker's Growing Up and Calvin Trillin's Messages from My Father, My Fathers' Houses is the story of a town, a time, and a boy who would grow up to become a New York Times correspondent, television and radio personality, and bestselling author.

In this remarkable memoir, Steven V. Roberts tells the story of his grandparents, his parents, and his own life, vividly bringing a period, a place, and a remarkable family into focus. The period was the forties and fifties, when the children of immigrants were striving to become American in a booming postwar world. The place was one block in Bayonne, New Jersey, and the house that Roberts's grandfather, Harry Schanbam, built with his own hands, a warm and reassuring home, just across the Hudson River from "the city," where Roberts grew up surrounded by family and tales of the Old Country.

This personal journey starts in Russia, where the family business of writing and ideas began. A great-uncle became an editor of Pravda and two great-aunts were originalmembers of the Bolshevik party. His other grandfather, Abraham Rogowsky, stole money to become a Zionist pioneer in Palestine and helped to build the second road in Tel Aviv before settling in America. Roberts returns his saga to Depression-era Bayonne, where his parents, living one block apart, penned love letters to each other before marrying in secret. His father, an author and publisher of children's books, and his uncle, a critic and short story writer, instilled in him a love for words and a determination to carry on the family legacy, a legacy he is now passing on to his own children and grandchildren.

Roberts, too, would leave home, for Harvard, where he met Cokie Boggs, the Catholic girl he would marry, and later, for the New York Times, where he would start his career -- across the river and worlds away from where he began. An emotional, compelling story of fathers and sons, My Fathers' Houses encapsulates the American experience of change and continuity, of breaking new ground using the tools and traditions of the past. ... Read more


34. 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


35. Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer
by TRACY KIDDER
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375506160
Catlog: Book (2003-09-09)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 1908
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tracy Kidder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the author of the bestsellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, and Home Town. He has been described by the Baltimore Sun as the “master of the non-fiction narrative.” This powerful and inspiring new book shows how one person can make a difference, as Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who is in love with the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard professor, renowned infectious-disease specialist, anthropologist, the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, world-class Robin Hood, Farmer was brought up in a bus and on a boat, and in medical school found his life’s calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. This magnificent book shows how radical change can be fostered in situations that seem insurmountable, and it also shows how a meaningful life can be created, as Farmer—brilliant, charismatic, charming, both a leader in international health and a doctor who finds time to make house calls in Boston and the mountains of Haiti—blasts through convention to get results.

Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that "the only real nation is humanity" - a philosophy that is embodied in the small public charity he founded, Partners In Health. He enlists the help of the Gates Foundation, George Soros, the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and others in his quest to cure the world. At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope, and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”: as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.

Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of a gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr says, “[Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”
... Read more

Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Be Careful: Makes You Think
I like Tracy Kidder, but think his writing here is weaker than it has been in other books. However, I couldn't put it down. Not just because Dr. Farmer is a compelling person. Somehow, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Dr. Farmer, the problems he's dealing with, Kidder's reaction: together, this book somehow manages to be both enjoyable and unsettling. the lyric in Jesus Christ Superstar said "there will be poor always." It's a great read -- fast, interesting, lots of human interest -- but the bottom line is that this book forces the reader to try to reason through what's the right approach to inequity, what's our duty to the poor, how can national borders matter in the face of suffering. Very inspiring to learn about Dr. Farmer's successes; can't stop thinking about what my OWN sense of the issues are. One thing's for sure: while I may not agree 100% with Farmer's approach as a model for everyone to follow, there's no question he's made complacency less of an option I can live with. I highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about issues of human suffering, poverty, health, philanthropy, international relations, race relations, leadership.

5-0 out of 5 stars I nominate Paul Farmer for sainthood
Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder tells us about Dr. Paul Farmer, an infectious disease specialist who has been working in Haiti since 1982. Farmer founded an apolitical organization that's the only source of medical care for hundreds of thousands of peasants. For his Herculean efforts, in 1993 he received a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation - and of course he plowed the money right back into his organization.
That Farmer has chosen this path is not so surprising when one considers his unconventional childhood, which included living on a leaky boat and in a bus. As a scholarship student at Duke (anthropology major), he worked in the NC tobacco fields with Haitians. After graduation, he spent a year in Haiti and then went to Harvard Medical School. He's married and has a child, but he sees them infrequently; he rarely sleeps, is a workaholic (duh!), and seems to inspire an uncommon degree of devotion among his coworkers and his patients.
Buy this book, and be aware that part of your money will doubtless find its way back to Haiti. Then send an additional donation to Partners in Health.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's all true-Paul Farmer is the real thing
The book was great. Tracy Kidder writes the truth and his wanting to write about Paul Farmer shows his insight, his awareness. I know Paul Farmer and what Kidder has written in this book is all true. The beauty of Paul's life, person and mission aside-he has the ability to inspire people, to bring the best out in people. Even if he meets them only once-as he did me. The fact that Kidder wrote this book will multiply that effect to thousands more people. The strong reactions that Paul's life and work has on people shows how many of us share his love for humanity, and his story wakens what is inside us. Not everyone has the god-given gifts of Paul Farmer but many relate to his heart and spirit. I like the idea that he is a professor. I know before I met up with him I was doing nothing in my field and after just a few words with him, I managed to accomplish a few steps toward human rights advances for women. He is someone who is almost christ-like in this way and no wonder Tom White and others wrote checks and made the commitment to the poor. I cannot say enough good things about this man, and his flaws-his humanity- just make him closer to all of us. His academic work reminds me sometimes of the great writer Ben Okri-the notion of innocents caught up in difficult and wicked worlds a recurring theme in his work. Paul loves and puts that love into transcendant forms -spirit transformed into concrete results. People wonder why his beautiful wife and child are not mentioned in the book. They are, and the story told is quite enough. Nabokov never wanted anyone writing about his wife either. Why do people need to hear this detail-its already admitted by Kidder, by Paul Farmer himself that he is human, no more, with flaws, with limits despite no sleep etc., he is a workaholic and yeah that is a problem. We know that it is Tom White's money that gave credibility to Paul at a place like Harvard-but Paul proved Tom right. He is real and that is the hope of his story-if he can do what he dreams and knows is right, in spite of his shortcomings, human limitations, it gives fuel to the rest of us. He reminds me of a kindred spirit, Jonathan Mann, MD, also a very approachable, compassionate man, who could inspire people to access the best in themselves and move mountains. There are many people like Paul who do the work he loves in obscurity. We never hear about them or meet them so we lose the gift of thier inspiration. Paul in being public, writing and extending himself out there gives us a view of that world. The book is marvellous and the best part about it is that it is true story!

4-0 out of 5 stars The man who walks the walk.
You may think he is crazy, or a commie, or a dreamer but you have to admire Paul Farmer. I think most likely he is a truly good genius. Alot of WLs (white liberals) talk the talk but his guy walks the walk, about a million miles of it. He is sort of a Mother Theresa + doctor + scientist. Sure he may come off as abrupt or self righteous from time to time but I believe this guy really does care for the downtrodden of the world. If you were inspired by this book as I was consider making a donation to his organization, Partners in Health, which is what I did as soon as I read the last page.
The book itself is somewhat superficial in it's analysis of Farmer. I am concerned about his family, for instance, and his daughter having a long distance dad. I'm not sure how he reconciles this. I guess Gandhi had the same issue. I think Kidder did an OK job though and I would not fault him for his introspection as other reviewers have.
All in all a solid uplifting book that makes you feel good about mankind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Patria Es Humanidad--the only real nation is humanity
This is Tracy Kidder's chronicle of Paul Farmer's ongoing quest to wake our consciousness to the plagues coming out of third world poverty and to shake us into recognizing the suffering of our fellow humans around the globe. Paul Farmer is a super-hero on the front lines of infectious disease, attacking drug-resistant TB in Haiti, Peru and the prisons of Russia. His global fight for funding for AIDS and TB treatment has gained his organization Partners in Health huge grants from the MacArthur, Gates and Soros foundations. Farmer backs down from no obstacles in his quest to bring health care, one patient at a time, to the poorest and most down-trodden patients on earth.
A natural leader, his influence has drawn nations together in
their fight against poverty, hunger and disease. This is the most important story Tracy Kidder has told. Farmer's constant questioning of why some individuals need so much wealth, when most of the world goes hungry, is not an easy thing to take.
Should be required reading for high school seniors. ... Read more


36. Arnold O. Beckman: 100 Years of Excellence (Chemical Heritage Foundation Series in Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
by Arnold Thackray, Minor Myers, James D. Watson
list price: $65.00
our price: $65.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941901238
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Chemical Heritage Foundation
Sales Rank: 670747
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Arnold O. Beckman is a living legend: the blacksmiths son who grew up to play a pivotal role in the instrumentation revolution that has dramatically changed science, technology, and society. From his rural boyhood world of farming and woodworking, through his spell in the Marines and his appointment to the Caltech faculty, to his path-breaking creation of the pH Meter, the DU spectrophotometer, and Beckman Instruments, this work portrays an individual whose ingenuity and integrity made him a scientific leader and industrial pioneer. It also discusses his role in California and national politics, and his career as a major philanthropist. Arnold Beckmans story is inseparable from that of the twentieth centurya very inspiring read.

Included with this biography is a video portrait of Arnold Beckman, in CD-ROM format for both PC and Mac. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Leading with Innovation and Example
This biography of Dr. Beckman was created to coincide with his 100th birthday last year.

While many will not recognize his name, all have had their lives improved by his many innovative contributions to science, medicine, and education. Chemistry as we know it mostly advanced through the development of instruments that can rapidly, inexpensively, and accurately analyze biological and mineral substances. Our modern manufacturing processes rely on these instruments as do our physicians in isolating and diagnosing diseases. Many of these tests were first accomplished by either Dr. Beckman or the company he founded, Beckman Instruments. His company also played a key role in pioneering critical components and instruments for secret projects such as those for radar and the atomic bomb during World War II.

In parallel, Dr. Beckman played a big role in the development of Cal Tech, as a student, professor, major donor, and trustee. The rise of that institution from being a small school to one of the world's very top universities benefited, in part, from Dr. Beckman's efforts on Cal Tech's behalf over many decades.

Dr. Beckman's company continues to thrive today as Beckman Coulter, and is leading the way to finding new ways to diagnose diseases.

If you are like me, you will enjoy reading about how many important chemical and electronic innovations occurred. Dr. Beckman was often involved. For example, Beckman Instruments was at one time briefly a leader in work developing the first semiconductor technology, before there was a Silicon Valley. It was fascinating to see how the team split off to become Fairchild and later Intel.

Dr. Beckman was very generous with his charity, and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars.

The biography is unusually detailed on both the personal and the scientific side. The book also benefits from having many excellent photographs. I particularly liked the many side bars that made it possible to read in more depth about particular aspects of Dr. Beckman's life. .

Anyone who wants to understand about the challenges of being an inventor-businessperson will enjoy this book. Those who are interested in understanding more about how modern instruments developed will find the book like a history of science. Anyone who wants to learn about being a good example will find Dr. Beckman to be a worthy source of study, as well.

After you finish this book, consider where you have stopped following your curiosity. Then take some more steps in those directions. Like Dr. Beckman, your greatest accomplishments may be ahead of you as you follow your curiosity into the uncharted territory of the next big thing.

Look on life with interest and pursue it with high standards!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good
An interesting book about an interesting man. In 1997 "USA Today" listed the top 10 charity givers in America, and Arnold Beckman was listed 10th as having given $280 million to charity. A man who does that is worth reading about! ... Read more


37. The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life
by Lynne Twist
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393050971
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 5451
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A wise and inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life.

This compelling and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money—earning it, spending it, and giving it away—can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Lynne Twist is a global activist and fund-raiser who has raised more than $150 million in individual contributions for charitable causes. Through personal stories and practical advice, she demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose. She shares from her own life, a journey illuminated by remarkable encounters with the richest and poorest people on earth, from the famous (Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama) to the anonymous but unforgettable heroes of everyday life. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful exploration of our relationship with money
In this book, Lynne Twist explores the relationship that people - rich, poor and in between - have with money. For many of us, it is a relationship fraught with anxiety and the sense of scarcity. No matter how much we have, or how many things we've bought with it, there's not enough.

But through her globe-spanning experiences, Ms. Twist has found ways to replace a sense of scarcity with a more-positive understanding of sufficiency and the freedom that awareness provides.

No matter what your personal financial situation, this book will be meaningful, helpful and perhaps even inspiring. Well-written and fascinating, beginning to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Lynne Twist
Rusty Schweikart was the first man to walk in space. He had been tightly scheduled with activities each moment he was floating outside the command module in the late 60's. But at one point his camera jammed, and he was able to experience just being in space and circling the earth. Many of you may have seen the video he made from this remarkable experience called "No Frames No Boundaries."

It took Rusty many years to digest and integrate this planetary experience and to realize the responsibilities he felt to mankind for the privilege he had been given. He came to call himself "a sensing element for mankind" (to know more about Rusty, his life and work  http://www.well.com/~rs/ ).

When I read "The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship to Money and Life," I found that Lynne herself is also such a sensing element for mankind.

She worked for several decades as the chief fundraiser (she's raised $150 million from individuals) for the Hunger Project, which has been a revolutionary effort far beyond what some of us may remember it for in its beginnings. In that role her travels have taken her all over the world--from Bangladesh to Ethiopia, from the Women's Conference in Bejing (where she reports some of the most poignant and heartbreaking stories you'll ever read) to South Africa and the installation of Nelson Mandela, although that story is not included.

Lynne has been with the rich and famous. One of her great stories is her returning a $50,000 check from a corporate CEO because she realized it was guilt money. Read the book to find out what happened next! And, of course, she has been with the poor and apparently downtrodden. They have been her great teachers and inspiration for this book. They taught her how money can be blessed, how when it comes from love, appreciation, and intention--from the soul--it has power, it flows and it can transform lives.

Where she has been on this planet, what she has seen, and how she has thought about it and integrated it into the soul of her being is the gift she gives back to us, her readers. Very few of us have had the opportunity to go where she has gone, to meet whom she has met, and to have contributed as much as she and her colleagues have to helping to end hunger and poverty on our fragile, blue orb, as Rusty first saw it.

Lynne offers great guidance about how we can each be and be better philanthropists (the amount doesn't matter, but the intention and commitment surely do). But the core of the book (which many of us may already know) is a transformation from a "you or me" world to a "you and me." one. Buckminster Fuller first articulated that as the necessary condition we are challenged to make on spaceship Earth (also his articulation). He was someone who profoundly influenced Lynne.

She leads us through the belief systems around scarcity (fear of not enough, push to always get more, resignation that it's just the way it is) to belief systems around sufficiency (there is always enough; turn our attention and appreciation to what we already have). Sufficiency becomes a more useful word than abundance. Creating a world of sufficiency (includes sustainability) is where we are headed together.

The most compelling parts of the book are the stories she tells from around the planet about actually ending hunger and poverty. She shows that this change of belief systems (we actually do have enough most of the time; we can focus on and appreciate what we already have to get to where we want to go) along with love, understanding, and effective facilitation can get the job done. "The Soul of Money" adds the interior dimensions as a vital and necessary component to solutions to hunger and poverty.

Lynne is herself a gifted and expert facilitator, and at the personal level the stories she shares of people who pull themselves out of poverty and lack are equally riveting. She concludes with a remarkable narrative about the last months of life of her mother, her first role model as a fundraiser and philanthropist. How Lynne assists her mother to fully complete her life is a wonderful offering to all of us with aging parents.

"The Soul of Money" is about far more than just the soul of money. Lynne reveals her own soul, the souls of the rich and the poor, and the collective soul of which we all partake that holds the promise of a sufficient, just, and more peaceful planet. Just as Rusty Scheweikart took us around the whole earth from the outside, Lynne, gives us many inside views of the beauty and commonality which we share. She provides an outstanding, authentic, and worthy ride!

--John Steiner

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book
To read The Soul of Money is to sit down and have a memorable, life-altering conversation with an extraordinary, courageous, deeply thoughtful and committed soul. Lynne speaks intimately and passionately from each page. The book does a beautiful job of untangling the mess in which almost all of us have learned about money, and then offers important opportunities and challenges to each of us about ways to enrich our lives and those of all around us.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book can help us change the soul of our nation/world
The Soul of Money is fully worth the praise it is getting and far more. Rooted in sufficiency and backed by moving stories situated throughout the world, this book will inspire you, enlighten you, give you hope, and certainly will make you cry.

If this book can help those of us who have been siting on the fence looking for the motivation to invest our souls in the transformation of this world, join those who are engaged in this effort, I believe that we truly can change the world. I believe that Lynn's message is one to help move all of us into activism, whether it is quiet or out there.

My personal commitment is to engage. Lynne asked me at her book signing during a conversation if I had invested in the Pachamama Alliance. I had been taking the newsletter but did not believe I was in a position to participate. I had to say no and I felt small knowing that I could have but did not participate. Oh I had my excuses, many of us do. I made a commitment to invest and I did. First a small donation to the Pachamama Alliance; then a visit to the adoption agency from which I was blessed with my little girl from India; next calls to NGO's working in the Telangana in India looking for ways to donate my time; and finally a commitment to bring Lynne to Yamhill County Oregon for a fundraiser, workshop and a book signing.

Yes I am moving out of my comfort zone of non-action and it is based on Lynne and her inspiring message. Please read this book, yes, but more than that, please join me in taking action to transform our nation and world.

Thank you Lynne for your great work though out the world and for funneling your experiences and insights into this great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Raise your money consciousness
Most of us think that we understand the facts of money: money is good, lack of money is bad; having more money is better than having less money; competition and scarcity are normal because it's a jungle out there; the way to cure economic depression and hunger is to throw more money at the problem; and so on. But these aren't "facts" in the sense of objective realities; rather, they stem from attitudes towards money that are so ingrained in our culture that they rarely intrude into our consciousness.

This book is an eye-opener: as a highly successful fund-raiser and representative for the Hunger Project, Lynne Twist has worked with everyone from Amazon tribal members to CEOs of multi-billion-dollar corporations. Her sensitivity and willingness to listen have given her insight into the real-life consequences of our attitudes towards money (and resources in general). The money consciousness that she propounds in this book is transformative, but it's based on a breadth of experience that makes her conclusions convincing -- for instance, she's worked in real jungles, and the "law of the jungle" is NOT the way they actually operate!

Despite the many well-chosen anecdotes, this book deals primarily in generalizations. But that's appropriate: the author's purpose is to make us aware of our attitudes towards money, and suggest how changing these attitudes can transform the way we go about solving some of the world's most vexing problems. This book deserves not only to be read, but taken to heart. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raise your glasses to Colonel David Hackworth!

Thank you, Sir. ... Read more


39. Shooter : The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
by Donald A. Davis, Jack Coughlin, Casey Kuhlman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312336853
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 20
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a terrific book! ... Read more


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