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$17.13 $6.99 list($25.95)
41. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
$11.18 $8.35 list($27.95)
42. Back in Action : An American Soldier's
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43. Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor
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44. Ogden Nash : The Life and Work
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45. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller,
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46. Confessions of a Street Addict
47. Surviving Deployment: A Guide
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48. The Pact: Three Young Men Make
49. ``Why Should White Guys Have All
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50. The Warren Buffett Way, Second
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51. Pol Pot : Anatomy of a Nightmare
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52. See No Evil: The True Story of
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53. License to Deal : A Year on the
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54. Sam Walton : Made In America
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55. When All the World Was Young :
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56. Confessions of an Advertising
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57. American Soldier
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58. Paris to the Moon
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59. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical
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60. Darkness Visible : A Memoir of

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

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

Reviews (141)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (15)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

43. Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty
by Peter Collier, Nick Del Calzo
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1579652409
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Artisan Publishers
Sales Rank: 2416
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

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

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

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

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

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

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

DG Mogle

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

You will not be disapointed with this book.

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

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

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

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

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

44. Ogden Nash : The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light Verse
by Douglas M. Parker
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156663637X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Sales Rank: 42649
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For years, readers have longed for a biography to match Nash's charm, wit, and good nature; now we have it in Douglas Parker's absorbing and delightful life of the poet. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars I recommend it - get Amazon to send it!
I was delighted to find this book.Rather than quoting Nash's verse at length, Parker uses quotes quite judiciously to illustrate various points he's making.This made me want to read more of Nash's collections, which I feel is an indicator of a good biography.
I thought the book was well-paced and engaging.I'm not a big fan of biographies (I tend to find them overwrought and melodramatic), but enjoyed this quite a bit. ... Read more

45. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679438084
Catlog: Book (1998-05-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 110214
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Ron Chernow, whose previous books have taken on the Morgan and Warburg financial empires, now turns his attention to the patriarch of the Rockefeller dynasty. John D. was history's first recorded billionaire and one of the most controversial public figures in America at the turn of the 20th century. Standard Oil--which he always referred to as the result of financial "cooperation," never as a "cartel" or a "monopoly"--controlled at its peak nearly 90 percent of the United States oil industry. Rockefeller drew sharp criticism, as well as the attention of federal probes, for business practices like underpricing his competitors out of the market and bribing politicians to secure his dominant market share.

While Chernow amply catalogs Rockefeller's misdeeds, he also presents the tycoon's human side. Making use of voluminous business correspondence, as well as rare transcripts of interviews conducted when Rockefeller was in his late 70s and early 80s, Chernow is able to present his subject's perspective on his own past, re-creating a figure who has come down to us as cold and unfeeling as a shrewd, dryly humorous man who had no inner misgivings about reconciling his devout religious convictions with his fiscal acquisitiveness. The story of John D. Rockefeller Sr. is, in many ways, the story of America between the Civil War and the First World War, and Chernow has told that story in magnificently fascinating depth and style. ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The parallels to Gates and MSFT are an interesting subtext
I am in awe of Ron Chernow for writing a long and thorough biography that I absolutely could not put down. Rarely have I finished such a long book in such a short period of time. Chernow manages to show how complex Rockefeller's personality and motives, were, and he helps us to avoid the all-too-easy cliches about the rich and powerful. Yet while revealing the complexity, he is never boring, didactic, or long-winded.

I found it interesting to compare Rockefeller and Standard Oil to Bill Gates and Microsoft. Both men are powerful, rich, misunderstood, certain that their actions are ethical and good for their country and the economy, and dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. Both men vow(ed) to give away most of their fortune. Both have been attacked by their own government, and villified in the press. Both dominate media coverage of business. And, like Rockefeller, Gates is a brilliant strategist who defies easy cliches and shallow descriptions. You can see goodness in either man, and you can also see evil. The beauty of Chernow's biography is that he allows us to see both sides of Rockefeller, without ever landing on either side himself.

Regardless of my thoughts on the parallels, I highly recommend this bio. Four friends are receiving it as their Christmas gift from me.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Two Sides of Titan
Like its hero, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller has two sides. At times the almost novelesque book is insufferable. The text is dense and dizzying, making anyone who is not an economist feel incompetent and mind-boggled. At certain points, I needed to reread a sentence maybe two or three times because I either did not understand economic principle being displayed or because of my sheer lack of interest. When I was almost ready to quit with the constant analysis of the oil industry and Rockefeller's economic strategy, Chernow brought out the more personal side of the book, delving into Rockefeller's private life using uncommon and interesting anecdotes. It is quite obvious that Rockefeller's religious beliefs and family history greatly contributed to his transformation into the titan that will forever be remembered in American history. Chernow both proved my preconceived notions of the frugal and hard businessman that Rockefeller seemed to be and then surprised me, revealing the kinder, more spiritual Rockefeller who is oddly likable. I both loved and hated him. Like Chernow states, "what makes him so problematic- and why he continues to inspire such ambivalent reactions- is that his good side was every bit as good as his bad side was bad. Seldom has history produced such a contradictory figure. We are almost forced to posit, in helpless confusion, at least two Rockefellers: the good, religious man and the renegade businessman, driven by baser motives." So like its protagonist, Titan has two sides, its solid factual analysis of Rockefeller's business that perhaps only an economist could enjoy, and its warm-hearted account of Rockefeller's unexpected traits, which is far more appealing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strong intoduction, bland filler
This book starts out strong, describing in rich detail the rise of one of America's wealthiest men. Very interesting. However, I had to engage in a type of self-coercion to pick the book up after about 100 pages. I hate to call it "filler," but I have to call a spade a spade.

4-0 out of 5 stars Story of an American Icon
In the biography of John D. Rockefeller Sr., Ron Chernow exposes the man behind the myth. Chernow shows both Rockefeller's ruthless nature and his religous beliefs. Even though the book at points was long wordy and long I still found it to be enjoyable. This book does give you a really broad insite to his business pratices and the history of the Standard Oil Company.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five solid stars, THE book on J.D. Rockefeller Sr.
The other reviews have basically said it for me: this is the definitive book on the founder of Standard Oil. While most biographies of Rockefeller Sr. have been either suspiciously laudatory or equally dubiously contemptuous, Chernow takes the middle ground. Ultimately, Chernow seems to fall more on the side of liking Rockefeller, and employs the somewhat cliche perspective that could fairly be called "modern contextualist"- from which Rockefeller is not much more than a product of his times. However, the slight overuse of this particular biographical "voice," if you will, is but one element of what is really a monumental biography of a fascinating person. Chernow is a very readable biographer who evidently has a deep understanding of American business. (Chernow also wrote "The House of Morgan" - an account of the development of the various offshoots of J.P. Morgan's banking empire which, although very good, lacks Titan's intense focus and analysis.) I heartily recommend Titan. ... Read more

46. Confessions of a Street Addict
by James J. Cramer
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743224876
Catlog: Book (2002-05-13)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 27228
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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It's hard to think of anyone more intense or opinionated, or who wears as many hats as James Cramer. In Confessions of a Street Addict, the man who first made a name for himself on Wall Street successfully managing his hedge fund--and then became famous on Main Street with his manic appearances on CNBC--tells the improbable story of his career as journalist, Wall Street pundit, Internet entrepreneur, and television commentator. For the most part, Cramer manages to avoid the self-congratulatory hype that mars so many books of this ilk; in fact, what makes Confessions so compelling are the shots that Cramer takes at himself, be it his now infamous capitulation during the stock market panic of October 1998, when he wrote a piece for advising readers of an impending crash just as the market began to rebound, or the callous way he treated so many around him in pursuit of the next trade. Here's an informative, honest, and rollicking read for fans of CNBC,, or anyone who has ever lost sleep thinking about their portfolios. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars High Energy Reading, Don't Miss This Book!
I recommend reading this book, even if you don't like the stock market or investing. I could hardly put it down once I started to read it. Jim Cramer is not only an exciting individual, but he has tremendous writing skill. You will be amazed at how much fun you will have reading this book, because every line you read causes you to crave the next and the next and the next.

If you desire to see inside the mind of someone on Wall Street this is your opportunity. At times you will envy him, at other times you will despise him, but in the end you will walk away with a deep respect for him. Even if you disagree with his total workaholic mentality, his work ethic will astonish you. He is one of the truely interesting people in the financial world and he has given you the guided tour of his life.

Personally I look forward each day to Real Money on the radio and Kudlow and Cramer on CNBC each night, so this book was a logical next step in understanding the Markets and the people who move them. Don't miss this one or you will regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Trader's Hell and Back, And Lived to Tell About It
James J. Cramer (Cramer & Berkowitz,, CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer) takes you to a stock market trader's hell and back in "Confessions of a Street Addict." The analogy of investing being a war zone was coined at least 70 years ago with Gerald Loeb's "The Battle For Investment Survival" (1935). And you can't make it through the pages of this book without realizing what a battlefield it is. No book comes closer to approximating the giddy highs or heart-wrenching lows that trading puts a person through. The glory of victory and the agony of defeat are never more real as Cramer bares the trader's soul.
The book reads almost like an adventure novel - ricocheting from one crisis to another, each scene set up with hero and villain, with Cramer not always coming out on top. He starts you off with his basic biography, of being a teenage stock picker (paper trader), of his march through journalism (which shows in his writing), of Harvard Law, and eventually to Wall Street's most intense stage of conflict - the hedge fund.
The beauty of this book is that you get the fly-in-the-brain's view of how traders think (or don't think when their emotions get the best of them), how Wall Street really works, and how it all congeals together to produce the daily statistics. You are there as Cramer learns the ropes from his wife-to-be, The Trading Goddess, Karen Backfish. You sweat with him as he does deals, takes chances, high-fives victories, and crashes so low with failures he could probably seep out under the door unnoticed. A lot of the things you learn run counter to what the official Wall Street line wants you to know - the inside story of the blow-up of LTCM, and how analysts, brokers, and fund managers continually jostle each other for positions of power and influence, and profit.
The most interesting part of the book is being there as the Internet springs to life in the mid 90s - the wild enthusiasm and the unbelievable cluelessness that much of the Internet was built upon. But it was built, and it was built by the types of people Cramer came in contact with regularly - half geniuses, half dreamers, and half con men. And you're right - most of the time, it didn't add up.
Cramer, in addition to being a market manic, had a populist's belief that the little guys should have the same access to what the big guys had, and that the technology was now here to make it possible. was the result. It's still here - one of the survivors, as is Cramer.
A lot of the book is a sad commentary on how far an addiction can twist your life around. Cramer chastises himself for talking stocks beside his mother's deathbed, his tumultuous relationship with his benefactor Marty Peretz, the destruction of computers and equipment and abuse of employees when the market went against him, and how he deserted his family for the sake of "the game." He simply couldn't stand to lose. In the end, he had enough common sense (though he makes it clear that his wife was always the steady rock in their relationship) to quit while he was ahead.
I particularly enjoyed Cramer's honesty at the extremes, (the emotional soul-wrenching limit) especially the bottom in 1998 (when he caved in - "sell everything, the market's gonna' crash - it's the end of the world"), and at the top in 2000 (when he publicly announced Internet stocks would live forever), and Cramer's final tantrum with the market on 22 Nov 00 when he met his match in a long Brocade position (I quit!). Each time, Cramer was so sure he was right, nobody or thing could dissuade him of his fallibility. But each time, it was his wife (1998), or reality (2000), or, finally, his own cathartic understanding of himself that led him back to humility...and humanity.
Given his personality, one must believe that if he had taken up stamp collecting, little would have changed, and it would be the philatelic world which would have had to live through Cramer's manias. Summing up his career, Cramer quotes his wife's 1998 pronouncement as they recovered from nearly panicking out at the bottom: "It's better to be lucky than to be good." However, with the success Backfish and Cramer had, I expect their luck was more of the variety of being smart enough to be at the right place at the right time than that of a pure roll of the dice. Good traders aren't just lucky, they're good. And Cramer was good, even if he was an addict.

3-0 out of 5 stars The scam that is Wall St....
With a rolodex of of brokers, analysts and CEO's at their fingertips... Cramer & Co. spent their day hyping or deflating stocks (depending on whether they were long or short), or just trying to get a reading of where the analyst community was (hoping to short or long the stocks -- which they would then go on to hype or deflate)... in the end, of course, the poor sucker holding the bag was John Q. Public.

So is this what hedge fund managers spend their day doing? Is this what trading was to Cramer & Co. (manipulating and in cahoots with Wall St. analysts)? Are analysts nothing but cheerleaders for their favorite stock of the day?

Oh, what a web of deceit and collusion Wall St. is...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Legend
This book rules. I have read both it and Nicholas Maier's "Trading with the enemy", and after completing both, hands down give the trophy to Cramer. Both books tell the same stories, but Cramer is a significantly more intelligent, insightful and entertaining writer. Great balance of Jim being Jim, an insider's view into Cramer Berkowitz and the impact of social and political activities on Wall Street. Jim spends about 20% of the book talking about how drastically he was impacted by the events which unfolded in 1998, specifically in regard to the LTCM liquidation in the fallout of the Russian bond default.

If you have any interest in Wall Street get this and read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I Can Only Take Him In Small Doses
I listen to him on the radio and of course seen him on his show so I bought the book.

I did not finish the book. It is difficult to describe precisely but it is like a sugar overdose. I know 90% will disagree but that is my feeling about the book. There is too much self promotion - not that other writers do not also do this - but I find it annnoying, and there are many good books to read.

Having said that he is a brilliant investor. Follow what he does and you will do well. If you really cannot get enough Cramer then read this book.

4 stars

My humble opinion.

Jack in Toronto ... Read more

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (6)

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

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

I highly recommend this book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

48. The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
by Sampson, Md. Davis, George, Md. Jenkins, Rameck, Md. Hunt, Lisa Frazier Page
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157322989X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 22135
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

They grew up on the streets of Newark, facing city life's temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attain that dream. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are not only friends to this day-they are all doctors.

This is a story about the power of friendship. Of joining forces and beating the odds. A story about changing your life, and the lives of those you love most...together.
... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Friendship and Positive Competitiveness Display
"The Pact" is an incredible book! I just finished reading the remarkable journey completed by Drs. Sam Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. It's an easy, quick read ~250 pages.

If you're not familiar with their story, they are 3 young, African-American men from Newark that establish a pact at 17-years old to become doctors. Over the years, they run into many obstacles (peer pressure, arrest, finances, and family issues) that tend to dissuade so many young people from pursuing their dream. With the "I got your back" support of each other, mentors they encountered throughout their journey, and God they become doctors despite how many people had presumed their future would turn out.

Dr. George Jenkins, probably the most focused in the group, knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a dentist. In high school, the three friends attend a college presentation offering full scholarships to minority students interested in the medical field. Knowing that neither he nor his friends could afford college THIS OFFER would be their ONLY way to attend college...the formation of the pact.

Surprisingly, after completing college and med school, Sam and Rameck were still unsure if they wanted to be doctors. Sam saw business/management as his future and Rameck wanted to be an actor (he'll settle on being a rapper). (If I didn't know the outcome, I would have been in suspense until the bitter end waiting to learn if they became doctors.) The death of an important person in each of their lives confirmed that medically helping others is what they were meant to do in life.

If you're in the education field or work closely with children in your community this is an excellent book to pick up when you...

- feel like what can I do to get through to this person
- need a testimony that success is not by luck but achieved through faith, perseverance, and support from others
- need a roadmap to better mentor a person in need

"The Pact" is an amazing story of inspiration and motivation to get (primarily) black teens to see beyond their environment, current situation, and look ahead with a plan for tomorrow. "The Pact" also displays the need for adults to begin mentoring children before they reach their teens. The book concludes with the doctors providing the "how-to's" to make a pact work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting!
There are times that I think my life was or still is hard. Well, I'm a black female who grew up in a middle-class home with two teachers as parents. College was as automatic as sleeping and eating. But, for these young men in the book "The Pact", college was as uncertain as winning the lottery. I always knew that our young black boys growing up in the inner-city had it super hard, but this book allowed me to see another side of our young brothas. They all have dreams as little kids, even though they don't see anyone in their neighborhood to emulate. Somehow, someway, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins all found the determination to succeed and become doctors. Their positive story is proof that just one person can make a difference in a kid's life. Everyone needs someone to look up to; someone to follow.

We all have gifts we can share. Read this book and feel blessed that someone in your life took the time to mentor you and be there for you; not everyone has that in their lives. I am so proud of these young men! Not only are they smart and positive, but they are cute too! What a great combination! God has truly blessed them and their family.

What a refreshing book. Thanks to Tavis Smiley for recommending it on the Tom Joyner Show.

5-0 out of 5 stars A HAPPY ENDING
This book was very informative. I really loved this book not only because they are from my hometown Newark, New Jersey. But it was an interesting novel. They came from the ghetto and turned out to be very distinguished gentlemen. I am so happy I read a sucess story from my hometown. I recommend this book to people that feel is though there is no way out in the ghetto when there actually is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
I was pleased to read a book about three African-American men, from disadvantaged backgrounds, who'd beat the odds.They supported each other through thick and thin, and fulfilled their dream of becoming Doctors.They remained humble and are giving back by helping people who are at a disadvantage. They are positive, beautiful, and successful young men. God has truly gave the three Doctors a great annointing. I wish more people would read this book.I was upset when I read the last page. I did not want the book to end! The Doctors are a true inspiration. May God continue to bless them.

I will definitely be giving this book to every young African American male that I know. It's such a powerful testimony of the power of the people that you surround yourself with and a plan. ... Read more

49. ``Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?'': How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire
by Reginald F. Lewis, Blair S. Walker
list price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471042277
Catlog: Book (1994-10-14)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 217577
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Voyages deep into the frenzied, complex world of LBO transactions."—BusinessWeek.

"Sheds light on an important chapter in both African-American and American business history."—Earl G. Graves, Publisher, Black Enterprise magazine.

When Reginald Lewis was six years old, his grandparents asked his opinion about employment discrimination against blacks. Reg replied simply, "Why should white guys have all the fun?" Why, indeed! Lewis grew up to become the wealthiest black man in history and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, reigning over a commercial empire that spanned four continents. At the time of his death in 1993, his personal fortune was estimated at $400 million.

"Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?" traces Lewis's rise from a working- class neighborhood in east Baltimore to Harvard Law School and ultimately into the elite circle of Wall Street deal-makers. Expanding on Lewis's unfinished autobiography, journalist Blair Walker completes a vivid portrait of a proud, fiercely determined man with a razor-sharp tongue—and an intellect to match. He shows how Lewis's lifelong hunger for wealth and personal glory fueled his success on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the boardroom. Walker also provides a rare insider's view of Lewis, the iron-willed negotiator and brilliant business strategist in action as he finesses one phenomenal deal after another.

A moving saga of personal courage and determination as well as a virtual how-to book for those who would like to follow in Lewis's footsteps, "Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?" is every bit as memorable as the man whose story it tells. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed My Life
This book gave me a new sense of understanding on how one African American man can not only change history but do it with style and passion. I never new what Reginald Lewis did during the time frame he did it back in the 80's I was a young kid growing up in the south Bronx area of New York City still trying to find a role model to look up too that looked like me. I first heard of Mr. Lewis in college but still had no idea of what he had accomplished until reading his book and then hearing about untimely death some years later. I have read this book 5 times since I bought it and I get a sense of vigor every time I finish it. Not only is it possible for me as a young black man to become the owner of a billion dollar company like him but do it in a way that will make all the white guys at my former prep school green with envy. My only regret is that I never got to meet Reginald Lewis before he died. It would have been such a great honor to meet such a driven and determined man. To sit and do lunch with him at the Harvard Club in New York and just watch all around us wonder how we got there.

5-0 out of 5 stars A insightful guide to success
Reading this book has given a whole new meaning to the term of success. The only regret is not being able to see Reginald Lewis in action today. From the onset of the book he describes what it is like to chase success down and conquer it. This book provides a blueprint for breaking the color barriers in the world of finance, mergers and acqusitions and lbo's. For any aspiring character of color who considers entering the world of movers and shakers, trust me this is the book you MUST read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW is all I can say.
This book made me want to work so much harder in life to achieve my business goals. The key is fake it until you make it. No one knows you struggles unless you tell them and you can't make excuses for your life and why you have to work hard. I read it fast and read it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars The sub-title would have been a better title. Oh well.
I came across this book through the recommendation of an acquaintance. I was initially put off by the title, it seemed arrogant, but my philosophy of learning from everyone helped me get over it.

At the end of the day this is a great book. The format is confusing because Mr.Lewis passed away while still in the process of completing it. Mr.Walker does his best to keep Mr.Lewis's voice, but he fails in many ways.

As for the content, it is riveting. To see the humble beginnings of a man that decided that "No" was not good enough is tremendous.

The lesson that I learned from him is that "acquisition" is just as good, if not better than organic growth.

He pursued McCall Patterns with a tenacity that was both admirable and envious. Who else could see the potential? No one apparently, and is coup landed him a 70x's return on his money in under five years. Then to move into the food industry with the same energy was impressive.

It is unfortunate that he passed away so suddenly, his value investing was very much right out of Benjamin Grahams school of thinking, and Mr.Lewis definitely had the potential to become the next Mr.Buffett.

Great book, it really set the tone for how I will grow my own business.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely solid!!
This is a wonderful book that has inspired me to attend law school and to traverse a positive path to success. I recommend to men and women...boyz and girls of all races. A true inspiration! ... Read more

50. The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition
by Robert G.Hagstrom
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471648116
Catlog: Book (2004-10-08)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 10133
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


"Nobody has described what Buffett practices better than Hagstrom."

"Simply the most important new stock book . . . If you think you know all about Warren Buffett, you have a lot to learn from this book."

"It’s first rate. Buffett gets a lot of attention for what he preaches, but nobody has described what he practices better than Hagstrom.Here is the lowdown on every major stock he ever bought and why he bought it.Fascinating."

"Almost anybody curious about the relationship between the behavior of economics, the performance of firms, and the ups and downs of the stock market will find something of interest here."
–The Economist

"The Warren Buffett Way is accessible to average readers because Mr. Hagstrom reduces the billionaire’s techniques to some easily understandable tenets . . . the book demonstrates the rewards that can come down the road."
–The Dallas Morning News ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Belongs on the list of all time investment classics.
Other reviewers have written that this book is undervalued and they are right. Right from the start Hagstrom gives us advice on the nature of the market. He then gives management tenants, how to value a business and all kinds of investment tenants. These tenents are so fundamental that its very difficult to see how investing can be done without them in one form or the other. This makes the book timeless. Numerous examples are given from real world cases of how these tenants are used. There is also an excellent appendix that gives examples of how a business is valued. This is very helpful. Some reviewers have criticized Hagstrom, saying that if the book is true, why isnt he rich? But this is not how information is to be judged. There are many books that contain solid gold advice, but there are few who master them. Buffett is among them. If one wants additional information on Buffets methods, I suggest reading "How to pick stocks like Warren Buffett" by Tim Vick. But The Warren Buffett Way is a classic and at the top of the heap.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the most popular investment reads
This book is for anyone whether you are trying to understand investing for the first time or an experienced investor refreshing yourself with the principles of fundamental analysis. Hagstrom answers all the questions of what makes Buffett one of the most successful investors of our time. He talks about Buffett's childhood as a boy ambitious to turn a profit in selling Coca Cola as well as his philosophy behind which he makes his decisions on buying a particular stock. The refreshing part about investing like Buffett is whether you buy millions of dollars worth of stock or just a few shares of stock, you can still use the same principles that Buffett uses in making a decision. The methods are straight-forward and bring common sense approach to picking stocks. In it you buy stocks as if you were buying groceries and not as if you were buying perfume. It is not even necessary to know any complicated formulae about how to determine the value of a stock although some elementary math is required. If you only had to pick one book to read about investing and burn all the other books I would recommend this book. It is more informative that many other textbooks out there read by college students filled with unnecessary math and financial theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
Forget B-school, read this book. Seriously, a great introduction to value investing and the Buffett mentality of risk.

Hagstrom's analysis is very easy to read and understand... a book everyone should read.

5-0 out of 5 stars What if Mr. Market goes really crazy?
If you are reading this book just to be better informed, I think you will get your money's worth. I feel I got a five-star education. But if you are going to read it to make a decision to buy or not to buy Berkshire Hathaway, you should keep these two points in mind: First, almost everyone considers Warren Buffet to be the world's greatest investor. This special attribute of Mr. Buffet might be reflected in the price of Berkshire Hathaway stock. If Warren Buffet were no longer around, what would that do to Berkshire Hathaway? Hasn't Mr. Buffet's greatness built in a premium in Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Second, this book proves that Mr. Buffet beat Mr. Market most of the time under normal circumstances. In abnormal circumstances, Mr. Market could beat Mr. Buffet. Abnormal circumstances would exist if Mr. Market went into a long, deep depression (like he did in the 1930's and dropped in value by 90%). And could a second terrorist attack similar to 9/11 cause Mr. Market to panic and create abnormal circumstances in the economy?

No matter how good the company, Mr. Market can and will hurt the value of its stock. If there is another terrorist attack like 9/11, Mr. Market will panic and Coca Cola, Washington Post, GEICO, etc., would all suffer terribly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once Again, Take It With A Grain of Salt
I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, who has the delightful headache of trying to figure out where to put his steadily growing billions, I am a non-investor, sitting on the sidelines, wondering what all the fuss is about. Like most readers of this book, I have been told incessantly to invest for retirement, and not knowing exactly how I should do so, I figured it might be a good idea to glean a few secrets from a proven successful investor. Hence, I read The Warren Buffett Way from cover to cover, hoping to learn a few things.

And what did I learn? I learned that I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, whose circle of associates includes all of the Beautiful People of Corporate America, I am surrounded by ordinary people, more than a few of whom are looking for a way to get rich quick. Whereas Mr. Buffett is patient and thoughtful with his investments, most of the people I encounter are thoughtless and reckless with their gambles. These two things, which I increasingly began to ponder as I read this book, distinguish me from the Oracle of Omaha, and quite possibly from most readers of this book.

The book consists of nine chapters, and is mostly historical in nature. It details many of Buffett's past exploits in the stock market, mostly the good moves but also some bad ones, and offers some of the principles guiding Mr. Buffett's stock investing strategy, grouped into three classes called Management, Financial and Market Tenets. The first four chapters of the book delve into the early history of Berkshire Hathaway, the key influences on Mr. Buffett which helped to shape his investment philosophy, Mr. Buffett's perspective on the financial markets, and the principles by which he goes about purchasing a business. The last five chapters of the book give example after example of some of Mr. Buffett's past stock moves, and tries to show his Tenets in action.

The style of the book is mostly active until the fifth chapter, whereupon it becomes plodding. The book is extremely repetitive at points, and as other reviewers have pointed out, key concepts are not fully explained up front, suggesting that the possible target audience for this book are those having a strong background in the general principles of economics and business.

In all honesty, I have previously encountered most of the content of this book in coursework or self-study. I previously read Mr. Hagstrom's The Warren Buffett Portfolio, and found the two books to be similar in some respects. That said, I still found this book to be very interesting and useful, primarily because it exposed me to an investment approach which utilizes these concepts in ways I had not previously considered. I also found it highly interesting on an anecdotal level, given that Mr. Buffett's investment career spans The Go-Go Years, The Nifty Fifty Stocks and the 80s and 90s Tech Stock Boom, and yet he never once participated in these tech-stock manias but handily outperformed tech stock investors nonetheless.

Like I said, I am not Warren Edward Buffett and I can not expect or even hope to do what he does, but that does not mean that I can not think like him. Even Mr. Buffett cautions the small investor in this regard, as there are things that he can do that none of little guys can do. Yet, he also has said that there are things the little guy can do that he can not do. That said, the book deserves to be read by any one lacking the ability to reason through the process of investing. However, readers at all levels should not stop with this book. Others have pointed out that one could get even more information straight from the horse's mouth- the Berkshire Hathaway website.

On the other hand, as this information details past moves for which the conditions surrounding them are most unlikely to come around again, I believe that the more astute reader looking to learn more should consult The Money Game by Adam Smith for a brief historical look at financial foolishness (albeit the late sixties but the resemblance to Right Now is striking), The Theory of Investment Value by John Burr Williams for Buffett's original basis for valuation, and The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham for a more detailed explanation of the concepts of margin of safety, intrinsic value, and the benefits associated with ignoring the market noise. These three books will help one learn how to reason through the investment problem, as this is the most important step, aside from finding smart people (as Mr. Smith admonishes forcefully in The Money Game and Buffett has consistently done) and thinking more but acting less (as Buffett has said- do a few things right and screw everything else). ... Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CIA was systematically destroyed by political correctness, by petty Beltway wars, by careerism, and much more. At a time when terrorist threats were compounding globally, the agency that should have been monitoring them was being scrubbed clean instead. Americans were making too much money to bother. Life was good. The White House and the National Security Council became cathedrals of commerce where the interests of big business outweighed the interests of protecting American citizens at home and abroad. Defanged and dispirited, the CIA went along for the ride. And then on September 11, 2001, the reckoning for such vast carelessness was presented for all the world to see.
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Reviews (124)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

53. License to Deal : A Year on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent
by Jerry Crasnick
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594860246
Catlog: Book (2005-06-04)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 18157
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Book Description

The movie Jerry Maguire and HBO series Arli$$ barely skimmed the surface. Now the true inside story of the sports agent business is exposed as never before.

During baseball's evolution from national pastime to a $3.6 billion business, the game's agents have played a pivotal role in driving and (some might say) ruining the sport. In a world of unchecked egos and minimal regulation, client-stealing and financial inducements have become commonplace, leading many to label the field a cesspool, devoid of loyalties and filled with predators.

Matt Sosnick entered these shark-infested waters in 1997, leaving a job as CEO of a San Francisco high-tech company to represent ballplayers--and hoping to do so while keeping his romantic love of baseball and his integrity intact. License to Deal follows Sosnick as he deals with his up-and-coming clients (his most famous is the 2003 rookie-of-the-year pitching sensation Dontrelle Willis). We become privy to never-before-disclosed stories behind the rise of baseball's most powerful agent, Scott Boras. And we get a novel perspective on the art of the deal and the economics of baseball.

By one of baseball's most respected sportswriters, who is now's lead Insider baseball reporter, License to Deal, like Michael Lewis's bestselling Moneyball, will provide fuel for many a heated baseball discussion.
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54. Sam Walton : Made In America
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553562835
Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 8680
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It's a story about entrepreneur, and risk, and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. And it's a story about believing in your idea even when maybe some other folks don't, and about sticking to your guns. Sam Walton. Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who turned a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch. Here, finally, Sam Walton tells his extraordinary story in his won inimitable words. Genuinely modest, but always sure of his ambitious and achievements, Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. In a story rich with anecdotes and the "rules of the road" of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream. " ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Retail Formula!
An interest in how discount shops work triggered my reading of the book. Sam Walton, a prominent figure in the field, with his phenomenon success in Wal-Mart, had openly revealed his secrets and strategies in his empire building. Being well-organised, this book takes one step-by-step through the whole process of the business setup, enlightening with reasons behind each move he'd made, e.g. taking the company to public. Hence, if you wanna be or are presently a retailer, you probably wouldn't want to miss this great book. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Business Strategies Book
Sam Walton truely gives us a great model on how to run a business in Made in America. It is not so much the autobiography of Sam but the autobiograph of the Wal-Mart Corporation. This book give a great model for how to try to get big in business and still remain small. Sam Walton used his knowledge along with many ideas from other companies to form what Wal-Mart is today. These and many other strategies for running a business are all included in this book. I feel that this would be a great book for a class on general business. It gives great ideas on how to run a business weather it is big or small.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Valuable Book in the World
I can say without doubt that I have come across the most valuable book ever published in the whole of history, which is estimated to be worth around $80 Billion... encouraging, inspiring, insightful, interesting, modest... SIMPLY SUPERB!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Hillarious propaganda
This is so stupid. Wal mart was "Made in america" by sam walton and now everything in wal mart says "Made in china." Wal amrt pays its emplotyees next to nothing and breaks strikes and prevents union formations. These pigs and this dead guy are so stupid that they think they can get away with breaking every labor law on the books and get away with it.


1-0 out of 5 stars Ghost written in India?
My copy of this book has many spelling and grammatical errors. It is if this was ghost written in another language and then put through a translator who had no idea of how American English sounds. Also, when I went to my local Wal Mart to fact check the book, all the American flags were made in countries other than the US!
What a disgrace!! ... Read more

55. When All the World Was Young : A Memoir
by Barbara Holland
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582345252
Catlog: Book (2005-03-02)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Sales Rank: 32869
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The author deemed "a national treasure" by the Philadelphia Inquirer finally tells her own story, with this sharp and atmospheric memoir of a postwar American childhood.

Barbara Holland finally brings her wit and wisdom to the one subject her fans have been clamoring for for years: herself. When All the World Was Young is Holland's memoir of growing up in Washington, D.C. during the 1940s and 50s, and is a deliciously subversive, sensitive journey into her past. Mixing politics (World War II, Senator McCarthy) with personal meditations on fatherhood, mothers and their duties, and "the long dark night of junior high school," Holland gives readers a unique and sharp-eyed look at history as well as hard-earned insight into her own life. A shy, awkward girl with an overbearing stepfather and a bookworm mother, Holland surprises everyone by growing up into the confident, brainy, successful writer she is today. Tough, funny, and nostalgic yet unsentimental, When All the World Was Young is a true pleasure to read.
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Delightful
An absolutely delightful book that brings back so many memories. I've often wondered how any of us survived child hood. I had about as much trouble with school as she did, as she called it "The Long, Dark Night of Junior High School." We didn't have a junior high school, but I certainly thought high school was a bitch.

I was struck by her story of wanting to ride on the back seat of a bus. She was in the South at the time, and this forced the African American women to stand. But she didn't know. There weren't any signs, just 'everyone' knew.Where I lived there were signs. I remember riding on a bus with our "negro" (the word at the time) baby sitter. She sat behind the sign, my brother sat just in front of her, with the sign in the middle. My brother and I played with the sign until the ultimate authority in the world, the bus driver came back and said, "leave the sign alone kid." We sat perfectly still for the rest of the trip.

This book is not a typical autobiography. It's a series of little stories from a time when the world was different. It wasn't as easy a world as one would have liked, but she made it through.

My life was much the same, I wish I could write like she does.

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of the times as well as the person
A misfit, bookish, lonely child beset by terrors and bewilderment, Barbara Holland grew up to look back on her pre-mid-century childhood with wicked hilarity and affectionate humor, but not a shred of sentimentality. Growing up in the Washington DC suburbs during World War II, graduating high school in 1950, Holland, author of 14 non-fiction books, reanimates a bygone world when "the Father's chair" was sacrosanct and mothers never sat at all but fussed endlessly over their families. Except for her mother, who belonged in a category all her own: "Mothers and my mother."

Holland's mother is brilliant, attractive, talented, and about as unmaternal as a mother of five can be. A skilled carpenter and artist who believes her place is in the milieu she's least suited to - the home- she emerges as a complex, sympathetic character with dozens of quirks (not all of them endearing), who shuns housekeeping for murder mysteries.

Holland's stepfather, on the other hand, receives no such complex attention. He's a monster with only two dimensions, cold and brutal, and at long last Holland has her revenge on him. She calls him " `Carl,' since that wasn't his name." "Just thinking his name brings him back too vividly and I can even remember his smell, not noxious but sharp and distinct like a whiff of danger in the forest." Her real father was lost to divorce early on and nobody explained things to children in those days. Lucky for her, her grandmother anchored her childhood, a constant, if undemonstrative presence, with whom she spent most of her weekends.

Holland, writing as an adult, with an adult's horror and sympathy, appears comfortable with the elasticity and vagaries of memory. She conveys the immediacy of the child's world - the acuteness of perception, vulnerabilities and emotion - and accepts the large blurry patches from which islands of vividness emerge, inking the spaces with evocations of the daily round. Her chapter headings evoke the past with Dickensian humor, beginning with: "In Which the Chairs & Domestic Habits of Fathers Are Explored, & Nick Is Born."

She was five when Nick, her younger brother, appeared. "I was horrified....He howled when Carl was trying to read his paper; he howled at night when Carl needed his sleep. He fouled his diapers and made outrageous demands on Mother's time and attention, even during dinner. He was totally ignorant of the danger he was in; how could he know? He just got here." It was her job to save them both from being cast out of the house into the street. "Apparently Mother didn't understand the danger either. She had, as I said, a great capacity for refusing to notice."

School was the bane of Holland's existence, second only to Carl: "School & I Struggle with Each Other, Plus Hard Times with the Old Testament." The social maneuvering baffled her, numbers were a threatening mystery, each day was a looming dread. Reading, however, was a miracle, and she read voraciously, "shucking the self gladly like a shirt full of fleas."

In elementary school she was called on to read the Bible to her class each morning. A methodical child, unfamiliar with the Bible, she prepared herself by starting at the beginning. The "sheer meanness of God" shocked her. She cried hardest at the fate of Lot's wife: "Struck down for a moment's homesickness." "I wanted no more of God. He was Carl on a cosmic scale. When He put His foot down, everyone died."

Then came war, a time of change. A girl from California came to class wearing Bermuda shorts, a Northern family descended with a white housekeeper, Republicans moved into the neighborhood. Food deteriorated but children, just as they had before the war, "ate what was put in front of them, without comment, and barely noticed." Mother went to work. "Fathers, by definition, came home from the day's work exhausted and surly. Mother came home sparkling all over as if from a light fall of snow."

In school there were air raid drills and in Florida, where she spent summers, German submarines prowled the waters, sinking oil tankers, and fighter planes practiced offshore. "In Washington the war, though great fun, was largely imaginary; on Florida's east coast it was actually happening."

After the war there was Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, which put the fear of State into many of their friends and neighbors, though not Holland's socialist grandmother, who resigned from teaching rather than sign the loyalty oath. There was also polio and the nuclear threat, which progressed from backyard shelters to evacuation to the end of life on earth.

"The Long Dark Night of Junior High School," ended with the blossoming of a wonderful, intense friendship, her first with a soul mate, and high school brought a succession of bad-boy boyfriends, then after graduation she fell into a stultifying depression. But Holland leaves us on a high note, "In Which I Am Saved Again & Live Happily Ever After:" saved by a job - nothing special about it, except the independence of a paycheck, no small thing, then or now.

Holland draws us into a time when big families were the norm, mothers stayed home and had black household help, children roamed at will, and people ate creamed chicken and pineapple upside down cake. In school history was male, girls weren't expected to do math or allowed to take shop and Latin was still offered. Funny, poignant, even savage, Holland's memoir will inspire you to seek out her other books, which cover a wide range of subjects from the irreverent presidential short takes of "Hail to the Chiefs," to "They Went Whistling," a wry and lively account of history's forgotten females, and "Gentleman's Blood," a sharp-witted history of dueling.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Cultural Reflection
My sister Sally H. S. says, "Had Barbara Holland stayed at BCC high school, instead of leaving as a sophomore because she flunked gym, we would have been in the same home room. . . she writes about sledding down Meadow Lane, and she went to Rosemary School.She does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of suburban Washington in WWII."

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
What a terrific read! Here is a girl who slayed many a dragon, surviving to become a brave, funny and rocky-smart lady who writes like a dream. The fascinating personalities who people Barbara Holland's world are portrayed with precision and compassion. A noble work, highly recommended. ... Read more

56. Confessions of an Advertising Man
by David Ogilvy
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1904915019
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Publisher: Southbank Publishing
Sales Rank: 20636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The long–awaited reissue of the million–copy best–seller that FORBES magazine called “A valuable primer on advertising for any businessman or investor.” With a new Foreword by Sir Alan Parker. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise -- Worth a quick read
Ogilvy's clear concise writing makes it a quick easy read. In fact, parts of the book itself sound like an advertisement for the advertising industry. His bulleted set of mantras are for the most part, intuitive. It is very interesting especially for a person in the 21st century reading the advertising zeitgeist in 1960s.

The last chapter "Should Advertising be Abolished?" is a must-read. The author seems to be feel guilty enough to admit that the industry needs to be "reformed" and stricter controls and regimens need to be adopted.

I wish the book had lot more concrete examples of ads and copies that have run in the papers, so Ogilvy's observations can be more credible. Nevertheless the author's writing is quite compeling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from One of the Masters
While not as detailed or colorfully illustrated as his later work "Ogilvy on Advertsing," this is still a classic fillld with great information. The book is clearly a precursor to "Ogilvy on Advertising," as many of the same elements can be found in it.

Ogilvy has a wonderfully casual, yet occassionally pompous, style to his writing, but he clearly knows and understands advertising. He manages that rare combination of managing to teach while entertaining. Sometimes his ego and pride come across too strongly, but given the man's accomplishments, I'll cut him slack. And you may wonder why he starts off discussing his days as a chef in Paris, but he does a great job of analogizing that experience to his experiences with running an ad agency.

Highly recommended for anyone involved in advertising, particularly copywriters. Ogilvy was a copywriter and he clearly has a special admiration for those who write copy for a living. He also has great advice to share for anyone in advertising.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding read!!
I am a freshmen marketing mojor at Johnson & Wales University and let me just say that this book is outstanding. There are concepts in this book that no marketing professor will ever teach you! David Ogilvy is an advertising genius! If your looking for a great book that will give you a tremendous leap forward in the marketing/advertising industry, this is the book to pick up. I checked this book out at the local library, but i loved it so much that i am planning on picking up my own copy of the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic in Advertising. Easy to read.
This is a great book. It's a must for any one who is going to want to work in advertising agency AND for anyone who is going to run ANY KIND of a business. David Ogilvy, is giving ideas on everything. This book was very easy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Advertising Classic
I really enjoyed this book and have lent it to several friends. Much to my chagrin, they now regularly spew Ogilvy quotes to me. If you buy the book, don't lend it to anyone you talk to on a regular basis.

Ogilvy is one of my favorite advertising thinkers. This isn't saying much but what of serious importance is there to discuss in advertising anyway. He's a really witty, cocky guy.

He tells a bit about how he got started in advertising and then goes on to detail his philosophies on running and agency, copywriting, etc.

Much of the content and structure of this book is similar to that in "Ogilvy on dvertising."

If you work in advertising or want a better idea of what the advertising biz is all about, read this book.

It's out of print so the only way to get it is to buy it used. ... Read more

57. American Soldier
by Tommy Franks, Malcolm McConnell
list price: $27.95
our price: $16.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060731583
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: ReganBooks
Sales Rank: 92
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As Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, Tommy Franks led the American and Coalition forces to victory in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Unsurprisingly, the portions of American Soldier covering these wars are the most interesting because they combine military maneuvers, political wrangling, and lots of action and commentary. This does not mean, however, that the rest of his autobiography is dull. General Franks's writing is clear and engaging and his insider's perspective is informative and interesting, particularly when he explains how the military moved into the 21st century by emphasizing speed, agility, and better cooperation among the various branches--a significant shift from the first Persian Gulf war just a decade earlier.

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

58. Paris to the Moon
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758232
Catlog: Book (2001-09-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 7971
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Paris. The name alone conjures images of chestnut-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés, breathtaking façades around every corner--in short, an exquisite romanticism that has captured the American imagination for as long as there have been Americans.

In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. Gopnik is a longtime New Yorker writer, and the magazine has sent its writers to Paris for decades--but his was above all a personal pilgrimage to the place that had for so long been the undisputed capital of everything cultural and beautiful. It was also the opportunity to raise a child who would know what it was to romp in the Luxembourg Gardens, to enjoy a croque monsieur in a Left Bank café--a child (and perhaps a father, too) who would have a grasp of that Parisian sense of style we Americans find so elusive.

So, in the grand tradition of the American abroad, Gopnik walked the paths of the Tuileries, enjoyed philosophical discussions at his local bistro, wrote as violet twilight fell on the arrondissements. Of course, as readers of Gopnik's beloved and award-winning "Paris Journals" in The New Yorker know, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with day-to-day, not-so-fabled life. Evenings with French intellectuals preceded middle-of-the-night baby feedings; afternoons were filled with trips to the Musée d'Orsay and pinball games; weekday leftovers were eaten while three-star chefs debated a "culinary crisis."

As Gopnik describes in this funny and tender book, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys--both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik weaves the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the twentieth century. "We went to Paris for a sentimental reeducation-I did anyway-even though the sentiments we were instructed in were not the ones we were expecting to learn, which I believe is why they call it an education."
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Reviews (123)

4-0 out of 5 stars Reflections on the city of light
I enjoyed Gopnik's book, primarily due to the mixture of personal reflection and careful observation that make up these essays. The essays about French cooking were certainly confirming in that the history of cooking is grounded in peasant fare and a return to those roots is a central theme in understanding good cooking foundations. I was most impressed however not by the essays on French government and culture but by the soft personal loving sections of the book on Gopnik's young son. Gopkik and his son swim at the Ritz pool in Paris where they meet two young girls. Gopnik's son's playful love for one of the female children was written so well and so transparently that I was amazed. The boy responds like a puppy, abaze with attraction and energy, swimming fearlessly in the deep end of the pool, like a magnet, a duckling, a male. Gopnik, the wise father, perfectly reads the situation, seeing eros engulf his little child, and supports the situation so that his son fully experiences this first taste of the honey and sting of the beautiful other.The children order expensive hot chocolate every day after swimming, which Gopnik endulges. It is Gopnik's wife upon discovering the VISA card balance that brings reality back into the picture. I would say to Gopnik "Your choices were correct, as you yourself know. The good father allows a child to experience the pull of beauty in the world, aware of the risks, aware of the rewards." I expected thoughtful essays because I have been a New Yorker/Gopnik fan. However, the passages on his relationship with his young son were sublime.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fin de sicle finery
Humor! Pathos! Sports! Food! Shopping (or not)! Wine, women (the heavenly Cressida) and song!

Not to mention, just plain life a la Parisienne.

This book is a modern sentimental sojourn through Paris which is not only a delight for the senses, but truly captures the essence of the French in all their guises. Having recently fallen completely in love with Paris on a short visit, I was longing for more and this book gave me that "You Are There" feeling I sought. Not only does M. Gopnik bring the Paris of today alive, but in the storyline dealing with all things human- his family, his adopted community, and the costume of French nationality which he endeavors to don- we see a glimpse into the Paris that generation after generation has attempted to make its own.

This book was so enjoyable that while reading, I was overcome with the desire to return and have already booked another trip. How lucky is this man to have had 5 years in this most sublime city!

Tres charmant! Merci beaucoup, M. Gopnik!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Must If You Love Paris
This book is a wonderful memoir of a New York family that moves to Paris for a period of 5 years with a young son in tow.

Adam Gopnik writes this book in a style of short stories or essays that weave into one great book. He offers a well thought out idea of what must be said from an American in Paris. His comparisons are very real, some light-hearted, some blatantly profound. Gopnik shows his vulnerability many times as a fish out of water, but he tries harder than the average American to blend into his surroundings and take on some of the easier characteristics of becomming French like developing a fondness for a life of profound beauty, a taste for well prepared food, relaxing into the dining experience of the cafes and brasseries, showing his son the art of the carousel rather than the brainlessness of "Barney", and eventually creating another child born a Parisian.

The best chapters in this book are the ones that Gopnik writes about his son discovering himself in Paris. His favorite food becomes croissants rather than ketchup fast food burgers, his puppy love with a young French girl in the Ritz pool, how he would rather play at the Luxembourg Gardens than with a television and most importantly how he adapts to becomming a childish little Frenchman. With this said the one chapter I would skip is "The Rookie" a portion in the book that somehow just dosen't fit. From the elegance of the French life back to the world of baseball? Personally I would have just left the entire chapter with an editor and walked away.

Gopnik shows how well he has adapted to French life in the portions of the book that he dedicates to the cafe Balzar. This cafe becomes the victim of a corporate buyout and is almost lost until a band of dining brothers glue themselves together and form a secure fortress in pure French flair to save the cafe in its original form, garcons and all! It is an interesting look at how easy and yet how complicated life can be in Paris, all that French discussion can lead to something good.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Paris and craves a walk down its Rues. Gopnik makes little things seem absolutely important and accurately describes all of the large and small nuances between the French and Americans. His wife, Martha, says it best, "We have a beautiful existence in Paris, but not a full life, and in New York we have a full life and an unbeautiful existence." This must be why Paris remains in the minds of most Americans who walk along its streets but slowly find themselves returning home, to the rush and bustle of America with an over-inflated heart.

3-0 out of 5 stars If You Like The New Yorker Sensibility...
...and think that "The New Yorker" slant on everything is the apex of Western thought, then you'll love this book because you're the kind of person who goes to Paris and experiences it and notices it the way Mr. Gopnik does. If you detest "The New Yorker"/"New York Times" Manhattan-centric provincialism, you'll hate this book. If you're somewhere between these two extremes, well, you'll love and hate "Paris to the Moon."

Gopnik is a fine writer and observer it's always gratifying to read well-written expatriate tales. (I lived in Asia for years and am still looking for competent contemporary expat memoirs of Southeast Asia). Some of what he writes is engaging--he takes you inside the national library, demystifies the Ritz, describes everyday rituals that become something else overseas. Some is mundane--if you're not a parent or you loathe (your) children, your eyes might glaze over reading about his son and daughter and wife's pregnancy. Some is excruciatingly precious--the occupation of a restaurant (such revolutionary, soul-shaking activism!), the explanation of how super-expensive French restaurant cooking really is about peasant roots, one person's outrage over a perceived misuse of curry powder.

In short, my reactions to Gopnik's book were pretty much my reactions to Paris. It's hard to tell sometimes if Gopnik is just reporting or really finds all he writes about momentous, but it's refreshing to read contemporary accounts of urban life that aren't layered in irony or polemics.

A good companion piece is Lawrence Osborne's "Paris Dreambook", a fantastical account of Paris's underworld that is feverish and lurid where Gopnik's book is measured and polished.

5-0 out of 5 stars A father in Paris
Paris to the Moon follows the relationship of a new father with an old city. The book's anicdotes describe Parisians and the awkward curiosity that Americans have with the Gallic personality. Gopnik is a Paris romantic, but doubts that the city remains the international capital of culture.

Gopnik is a New Yorker at heart, but has a tremendous desire to understand and to fit into Paris. This dilemma never resolves itself, but Gopnik's struggle is a journey that is unique to contemporary America (and Paris). The desire to be separate from New York, a romanticism for Paris, and the uncertainties that come with being a father mix for a touching description of an American abroad.

As a casual speaker of French, a new father, and a lover of Paris, I found the book insightful and meaningful. ... Read more

59. Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140280553
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 6525
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Galileo Galilei's telescopes allowed him to discover a new reality in the heavens. But for publicly declaring his astounding argument--that the earth revolves around the sun--he was accused of heresy and put under house arrest by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Living a far different life, Galileo's daughter Virginia, a cloistered nun, proved to be her father's greatest source of strength through the difficult years of his trial and persecution.

Drawing upon the remarkable surviving letters that Virginia wrote to her father, Dava Sobel has written a fascinating history of Medici--era Italy, a mesmerizing account of Galileo's scientific discoveries and his trial by Church authorities, and a touching portrayal of a father--daughter relationship. Galileo's Daughter is a profoundly moving portrait of the man who forever changed the way we see the universe.

• Winner of the Christopher Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award

• Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and the American Library Association
... Read more

Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo's World Under A Microscope
Galileo's Daughter is a rare gift. This marvelous duo biography of Galileo Galilei and his daughter Virginia evokes a sense of time and place, character and action and of cosmic importance that are usually the province of great works of fiction.

Author Dava Sobel's meticulous scholarship and keen insights provide us a literary microscope with which we can examine Galileo's seventeenth-century world as the great astronomer explored the heavens with his telescope.

Galileo's numerous scientific discoveries and his condemnation by the Church for heretically teaching the earth moved around the sun are familiar to most school children. Galileo's Daughter does much more than chronicle these familiar events.

Sobel transports us to the Florence of Grand Duke Ferninando de Medici, the Rome of Pope Urban VIII, the Covent of San Matteo where Virginia Galilei became Suor Maria Celeste and breathes life into Galileo's Italy during the era of The Thirty Years War. Superstition and science, loyalty and treachery, generosity and selfishness, the ridiculous and the sublime each combine in a rich Italinate tapestry of seventeenth-century life.

I recommend this wonderful book to men and women of all ages. It will satisfy even those with little interest in history, science or biography. If you are looking for a good story, well told, that illuminates the human condition, this book is for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bringing a historical figure down to a more personal level
Galileo's correspondence with his favorite daughter (only her letters to him are present; his letters to her were lost or destroyed) gives us a new perspective on a well-known historical figure and events.

Sobel weaves fascinating historical background on everything from the plague to international politics around the tender letters from Galileo's daughter, Maria Celeste. Despite the fact that she's a cloistered nun, we learn quite a bit about the world at large.

It's interesting to watch Galileo, a devout Catholic, grapple with his faith and with church authorities who believe science and religion are mutually exclusive. We get to see the personal side of Galileo's famous trial.

The book also presents a suprising portrait of a strong, intelligent woman in a place where you might not expect to find her - a seventeenth-century convent.

If you're not a science or history buff the book can get a bit dry in places, but Galileo's discoveries and persecution generally make for enough plot to draw you along over the rough spots.

4-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Perspective
From the title of this book, I naturally expected it to be a biography of Galileo's daughter, which it is not exactly. I was a bit disappointed to begin with, as the first hundred pages or so are Galileo's early biography. Once his daughter, Virginia (later Suor Marie Celeste) came into the picture, the story became much more interesting.

Virginia was one of Galileo's three illegitimate children by the mistress of his early years, Marina Gamba. She eventually married, with Galileo's blessings, and he never lost interest in his children. Due to their illegitimacy which he felt would eliminate any chance of a decent marriage, Galileo had his two daughters entered into a convent at a very early age. The both became nuns at the convent of San Matteo on turning sixteen, Virginia taking the name Suor Marie Celeste and Livia that of Suor Arcangela. The son, Vincenzio, lived with Galileo in his late teens and eventually (after an unpromising start) became a good son to him.

This book recounts Galileo's personal and private life, using letters from Marie Celeste to give color to what would otherwise be a black and white, straight forward biography. Their shared love is beautiful to see in her letters--his to her having been lost--and the bits and pieces of every day life that she treats the reader to are thoroughly enjoyable.

This is a very detailed and readable history of Galileo, and gave me a much greater understanding of the man, his work and his difficulty with the Church. The conflict he felt between himself and his discoveries comes through very clearly and poignantly in his own words through his other letters. Her faith in him, and in the fact that he was not being heretical, is very apparent. It was interesting to me to see how differently Sobel portrays Galileo's fight was the Church--if her sources are to be believed (and I see no reason to disbelieve) it was not at all what history textbooks would have us believe.

As a history major and fanatic, I truly enjoyed reading this book. The alternate perspective of Galileo was refreshing and real--and made sense of a lot that had previously seemed murky to me about him and the Church. The addition of Marie Celeste's letters gave this book personality and took Galileo from a science god to a human being. My only regret is how few letters are in this book, and that the title is a bit misleading. Despite that, if you have any interest in Galileo, this is a must-read!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The father...of modern science" had a loving daughter!!

This six part, 33 chapter book, by Dava Sobel, has two themes running through it:

Theme #1: Decribes thoroughly the life and times of Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642).
Theme #2: Describes the life of Galileo's daughter (1600 to 1634) through some of the actual letters she wrote to her father.

This is first and foremost a solid, easy to read biography of Galileo. His life is traced from him first entering a monastery before deciding to lead a life of scientific inquiry and discovery. Actual letters or parts of letters (translated from the original Latin, French, or Italian by various experts) by Galileo and others are included in the main narrative. Throughout, we are told of his numerous inventions and discoveries. Perhaps the most sensational is that his telescopes allowed him to reveal a new reality in the heavens and to reinforce the Copernican argument that the Earth moves around the Sun. For this belief, he was brought before the Holy Inquisition, accused of heresy, and forced eventually to spend his last years under house arrest. All the translated papers pertaining to these inquisition days are included and make for fascinating reading.

My favorite Inquisition story is with respect to the June 1633 renunciation or "confession" document (reproduced in this book) Galileo was to speak out aloud. The main point of this document is that the Earth does not move around the Sun and that the Earth does not move at all. After reading it aloud, it is said that he muttered under his breath "Eppur si muove" (translation: "But it does move.")

One of Galileo's daughters born "Virginia" and later appropriately named "Sister Maria Celeste," had the intelligence and sensibility of her father. As indicated by her letters, her loving support, which Galileo repaid in kind, proved to be her father's greatest source of strength through his most productive but tumultuous years. Sobel herself translated these letters from the original Italian. They are expertly woven into the main narrative adding an emotional element to this biography.

This book contains almost twenty-five complete letters and numerous large and small fragments from other letters by Sister Celeste. All letters she wrote begin with a statement showing love and respect for her father. Example: "Most Illustrious Lord Father." The first complete letter is dated May 10, 1623 and the last complete letter is dated December 10, 1633. Those letters Galileo wrote to his daughter have not survived.

Almost 75 illustrations are found throughout this book. They add (besides the actual letters of Galileo's daughter) yet another dimension to the narrative. Two of my favorite pictures are entitled "Moon drawings by Galileo in 1609" and "Sunspot drawings by Galileo."

Another intriguing aspect of this book is a chronology after the main narrative ends entitled "In Galileo's Time." This is not just a timeline of important events that occurred during Galileo's life but includes all significant events (especially scientific ones) between 1543 to 1999 inclusive. For example, what happened in 1687? According to this chronology, "Newton's laws of motion and universal gravitation are published in his [book] 'Principia.'" What happened in 1989? Answer: "[NASA] launches [the] 'Galileo' spacecraft [or space probe] to study the moons of Jupiter at close range."

Where did the author obtain all the fascinating information needed to write such an intriguing book? Answer: from the over 130 references found in the bibliography.

I noticed in the book's "Appreciation" section that the author gives thanks to many people. (Dr.) Frank Drake, who helped with the celestrial mechanics found in this book, caught my eye. She co-authored with him the excellent book "Is Anyone Out There?: The Scientific Search for Extraterrestral Intelligence" (paperback, 1994).

Finally, my only minor complaint is with the book's title. As mentioned above, there are two interconnected themes running through this book. Thus, I think a more appropriate title might have been "Galileo and his Daughter."

In conclusion, this book is a thorough biography of Galileo that includes some translated letters from one of his daugters. It is truly, as the book's subtitle states, "A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love!!!"


4-0 out of 5 stars A original perspective.
Dava Sobel made an excellent job in this book. Family is an aspect of Galileo's life never exploded before (at least not that I know) and totally gives you a different perspective of this controversial and heavily influential individual. Galileo's life, as exposed in Sobel's book, is a very human and touching one. Seeing Galileo from the eyes of his tenderly loving bastard daughter (a nun), evokes such intense conflicting emotions as one might expect only to surge by empathy, a characteristic only obtained when the author makes you compenetrate inside the personage life. A great book, highly recommended for curious people. ... Read more

60. Darkness Visible : A Memoir of Madness
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679736395
Catlog: Book (1992-01-08)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 5753
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and almost suicidal depression, the same illness that took the lives ofRandall Jarrell, Primo Levi and Virginia Woolf.That Styron survived his descent into madness is something of a miracle.That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes Darkness Visible a rare feat of literature, a book that will arouse a shock of recognition even in those readers who have been spared the suffering it describes. ... Read more

Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting protrayal of the horrors of depression
William Styron has written an incredibly interesting book, although at times it was hard to truly feel the despair he was obviously feeling because the reader is not allowed far enough into the author's mind. (I recently read a wonderful book entitled "The Music of Madness" where the author not only talks about her deep depression but lets you directly into her conscious thoughts so that the reader can truly experience the horrors of depression). I wish Mr. Styron's book had focused more on his own inner thought processes. There is a great deal of focus on his friends and other rescuers that surrounded him and he was fortunate to have such a wonderful support system, but to truly experience the horrors of depression, one must be led into the dark recesses of the tormented mind itself. This book is brave in its honesty however and to share something so personal in such a public way is a tribute to the author's strength of will. In the final analysis this book is definitely worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet
My one-line summary is a cliche, of course, but entirely appropriate; after all, if fatigue is but one of depression's many demons, what person suffering from this affliction is going to have the energy to read a lot? (Darkness Visible is, fortunately, about eighty pages long. I think it's great fortune that the book is short.)

I think it's important that this book was written by an author of the same stature as famous writers who did take their lives. The difference is that Styron came out on the other side of this malady, saw it for what it was. At times he makes remarkable observations on depression, worthy of a clinician in a psychiatric hospital; for example, when he writes sentences such as, The physical symptoms of this affliction trick the mind into thinking that the situation is beyond hope.

As with many, Styron's physical predisposition to depression (a), led to (b) feelings of despair, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts, which further fed the symptoms and perpetuated the disease.

This literary work helps dispel the idea that depression is "fashionable" and that suicide among the literati is "cool."

His "no holds barred" discussion honors those who fight this affliction.

(By the way, the title is from John Milton's epic "Paradise Lost," "darkness visible" is one of many ways Milton described the Hell into which Satan and his demons were tossed.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Well Written
<br /> <br /> <br /> This is a fantastic and well written moemoir about the life of someone dealing with depression, the reasons behind the depression and the inspirational journey through the darkness and in to the light. Several other good books in this genre are Nightmares Echo, Running With Scissors, and Moods and Madness.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Short and Bittersweet Essay By a Survivor
Having wrestled with various mental health issues myself, I found Bill Styron's essay quite interesting. I recommend this book to anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short and honestly descriptive account
Since I have suffered from depression, I can relate to this book in many ways. For me, it is uplifting in ways to hear an accout of another who has suffered in similar ways and to ultimately hear of his triumph over the disease. He describes the disease well, emphasing how difficult it is to exaplain to others the terrible disabilitating effects of the disease.

It is good that this book is a short, easy reader that does not waste time. The personal accounts are great. Lets others know they are not alone. ... Read more

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