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61. A Sense of Duty : My Father, My
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62. Dr Folkman's War: Angiogenesis
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63. Memories, Dreams, Reflections
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64. Rocket Boys
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65. Even After All This Time : A Story
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66. Tigers in the Mud: The Combat
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67. What Do You Care What Other People
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68. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S.
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69. Florence Nightingale: Mystic,
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70. J. Robert Oppenheimer : And the
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71. Cpl. Forrest Guth: 'E' Company,
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72. The Hypomanic Edge : The Link
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73. A Matter of Opinion
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74. Faith of My Fathers
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75. The House of Morgan: An American
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76. A Table In The Presence : The
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77. A Rumor of War
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78. Detour : My Bipolar Road Trip
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79. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way:
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80. Gifted Hands

61. A Sense of Duty : My Father, My American Journey
by QUANG X PHAM
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0891418733
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 112860
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62. Dr Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer
by ROBERT COOKE
list price: $25.95
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Asin: 0375502440
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 183450
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Early in 1998, New York Times science reporter and author Gina Kolata happened to be seated at a banquet next to the Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson. When Kolata asked Watson what was new in the world of science, he replied, "Judah Folkman and angiogenesis, that's what's new. Judah is going to cure cancer in two years."

Folkman, a longtime physician and medical researcher at Harvard University and Children's Hospital, was caught off guard by the excited news reports that followed Watson's remark, but there was good reason for excitement. For nearly four decades, when not busy doing such things as inventing the heart pacemaker and attending to hundreds of patients, Folkman had been puzzling out a peculiarity of tumors: at some point during their formation, they sent forth chemical signals that in effect "recruited" blood vessels to feed them. If those signals could be intercepted through well-targeted drugs, Folkman reasoned, and the blood supply to cancerous formations thus interrupted, then the tumors themselves might be starved to death, or at least to dormancy.

In this book, Newsday writer Robert Cooke offers an accessible account of Folkman's work on angiogenesis, or the formation of blood vessels, which may well point the way to new treatments for cancer and related illnesses. Following Folkman's roundabout trail, one marked by considerable resistance on the part of doubtful colleagues, readers will gain a sense of how medical research is conducted--and, almost certainly, a sense of wonder at the medical breakthroughs that, as James Watson hinted, are just around the corner. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Odyssey of Medical Innovation
This book clearly deserves many more than five stars.

Dr. Folkman's War contains many valuable insights including how to: Raise children to be outstanding people; be an astute observer about nature to unlock new lessons; pioneer in a new field of science; and be persistent about something important. When the history of medicine in the twentieth century is written, Dr. Judah Folkman will be considered one of the most important figures. This book is the most accessible and complete source of information about his remarkable life and accomplishments.

Dr. Folkman's research to date "has found applications in twenty-six diseases as varied as cancer, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, psoriasis, arthritis, and endometriosis." "Ordinarily, researchers working in any of these fields do not communicate with each other."

Angiogenesis looks at the way that capillaries are formed in response to the body's biochemistry to help and harm health. Tumors depend on this action to get the blood supply they need to grow. Wounds also rely on a similar mechanism to grow scar tissue.

I have been following Dr. Folkman's career for over twenty-five years, and heard him speak about angiogenesis just a little over two years ago. Because I felt I was well-informed, I almost skipped this book. That would have been a major mistake on my part. Dr. Folkman's War contained much new and interesting information that helped me to better understand the lessons of Dr. Folkman's life, as well as the future implications of angiogenesis.

Unknown to me, Dr. Folkman had also played a role as an innovator in implantable pacemakers, time-released drug implants, and specialized types of heart surgery before he began his serious assault on angiogenesis.

The discoveries had their beginning in 1961 when he was a draftee in a Navy lab in Bethesda, Maryland. He noticed that tumors could not grow unless they first recruited their own capillaries to bring an increased blood supply. "Over time, he convinced himself that there had to be some way to block the growth of those blood vessels." He was right, but it took a long time before he knew any of the answers.

In brief opening comments about the book, former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, M.D. and Sc.D. observed how this new science evolved. "In the 1970s, laboratory scientists didn't believe any of it." " . . . [T]he critics' objections were hushed for good in 1989." "In the 1990s, the criticisms came chiefly from the clinical side, and the pharmaceutical companies didn't want anything to do with angiogenesis."

The story is a very heart-warming one. Dr. Folkman's father was a rabbi who asked each member of the family each night what she or he had learned that day. He also constantly implored his son to "Be a credit to your people." His father clearly thought that Dr. Folkman would also become a rabbi. Having announced his attention to become a physician, his father told him, "You can be a rabbi-like doctor." This injunction was one he took to heart, often seeking out his father's counsel on how to console the families of his patients.

His first taste of how close mortality is to all of us was when his first two children inherited cystic fibrosis. The younger of the two died, and the older one needed lots of special care to deal with infections. This probably made him a better doctor, by helping him see things more from the patients' points of view.

Space constraints keep me from discussing the book's description of how angiogenesis developed, but if you like stories about trail-blazing research, you will be amply rewarded. The key hurdles are described, along with the blind alleys that were followed. Anyone reading this will see how important it is to add new skills to the study of any new subject.

I was particularly interested in the way that press reports tended to harm the progress of angiogenesis, either by annoying other scientists, attracting hucksters, or delaying key deals with potential partners. We often think about freedom of speech being helpful, but here the case is a mixed one.

My only disappointment with the book is that it does not provide as much clinical data about the drugs under testing now as has been made public. That material would have made for fascinating reading. There are also natural substances that can cause a tumor to shrink, and clinical studies have been very successful in growing and shrinking tumors for some time.

I suspect that some member of your family will live a longer, healthier life due to future treatments soon to be available using angiogenesis. This book is a great way to learn more about the subject now, so you can encourage exploration of these experimental therapies where possibly appropriate. If anyone in your family now has cancer, this book is must reading for you!

Dr. Folkman summarized the book nicely as follows: "Success can often arrive dressed as failure." "If your idea succeeds everybody says you're persistent. If it doesn't succceed, you're stubborn."

May we all live longer and healthier lives due to the emerging medical treatments using angiogenesis . . . that were helped by Dr. Folkman's persistence!

5-0 out of 5 stars Persistence & vision overcomes dogma an ignorance.
Through long, arduous practice, Buddhists believe it is possible to remove the lens of self-interest and dogma to perceive "absolute reality," with "automatic compassion." After reading Robert Cooke's biography one believes that Dr. Judah Folkman has never looked at medicine any other way.

But the emperors of the scientific establishment have never dealt kindly with the boys who can't see their robes, as Cooke points out with several examples. (The Hungarian doctor who demonstrated that deaths from childbirth fever could be eliminated if doctors washed their hands was hounded by his colleages to suicide.) Dr. Folkman's heresy was the observation that tumors can't grow without stimulating healthy tissues to supply new blood vessels.

Fortunately for all of us, Dr. Folkman's vision has been matched by his persistence in pursuing it. In following Dr. Folkman's path from his boyhood in Ohio as the son of a rabbi, to Harvard where he gained his self-confidence, to the Navy research lab where his angiogenesis hypothesis first formed, and back to Boston as a pediatric surgeon-scientist, Cooke makes what might have been a difficult and technical story into an epic adventure.

In keeping with the fashion that writing a biography in chronological order is boring and passe, Cooke instead follows parallel thematic threads in Dr. Folkman's storied career. I personally found the resulting forward and backward jumps in time distracting, but not insurmountable.

It would have been enough if this were merely a story of scientific progress and the triumph of a new idea over entrenched dogma, but it is also the story of a man whose vision is matched by his devotion to his patients. It should be required reading for all prospective medical students.

Now angiogenesis-based therapies for cancer, atherosclerosis, blindness and arthritis are on the verge of exploding on the scene and Dr. Folkman's lab at Children's Hospital Boston is ground-zero. He and the generation of doctors and researchers that he has helped to train are revolutionizing huge swaths of medicine. When it happens it will seem like it was overnight, but those of us who have read Robert Cooke's book will know it was a lifetime in the making.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Folkman is my hero -- a story better than SeaBiscuit!
This book by Robert Cooke is incredible! Mr. Cooke is able to explain to the average layperson the medical concepts of angeiogeneis conceived by the most under-valued person of our time: Dr. Judah Folkman. Dr. Folkman is to cancer what Salk was to Polio! Personally, Dr. Judah Folkman is my hero! A real hero, deserving of the Nobel Prize....and I don't speak lightly. I am a cancer patient that has recently learned that my cancer (thought was beat) has advanced to my lungs. The ONLY therapy for me is in an ANGIOGENESIS drug therapy program for a drug currently in study and labeled as "PI-88." I am just so confident this drug will work. I am the only patient with my type of cancer cell (adenoid cystic carninoma), so I am a little bit more of a lab rat for this program.

God Bless Dr. Folkman and h is incredible perserverance! His story should be a movie----a tale better than SeaBiscuit! He is my SeaBiscuit!

LHH

5-0 out of 5 stars Cure for cancer?
Chances are someone close to you has succumbed to the ravages of cancer, while you and the medical establishment could only sit by and watch the process reach its inevitable conclusion. The good news is, for nearly 40 years, Dr. Judah Folkman has been pursuing a cure for cancer -- or at least a way to fight tumors more effectively than chemotherapy or radiation -- that only until very recently has garnered serious attention. Dr. Folkman's theory is called angiogenesis, the process by which cancer cells emit an agent which triggers the growth of blood vessels to feed the growth of the cancer itself. For years Dr. Folkman's idea was basically scoffed at as the flailings of an amateur researcher, but Cooke shows how Dr. Folkman has perservered -- while maintaining his brilliant career as a physician -- and eventually, through a slow accumulation of experimental evidence, as well as the discovery of several antiangionesis agents, turned opinion around. Throughout this engaging and fascinating retelling of Folkman's journey, Cooke also provides an eye-opening account of the workings of academia, medical research, and their relationships to those Orwellian biotech companies you keep hearing about. The science is clear and vivid, the battle to defeat cancer inspiring, and the promise of victory -- thankfully, finally -- just around the corner.

2-0 out of 5 stars interesting story, but ......
I work in this field of research. I do like the story of the persistance and creativity of Judah Folkman. However, the author stumbles in describing some of the science and the intellectual contributions of others that led to some of the Folkman lab's discoveries. After reading the reviewers' praise for Mr. Cooke's "detailed research " on the book's back cover, I was diappointed by some obvious errors in the book. I believe that most of the innaccuracies are the unfortunate result of the author's failure to corroborate all of his facts. He may have been in a hurry to get the book out, but I wish that he had taken a little more time to get the science and other facts straight. ... Read more


63. Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C.G. JUNG
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0679723951
Catlog: Book (1989-04-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 5226
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An autobiography put together from conversations, writings and lectures with Jung's cooperation, at the end of his life. ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Story about the inner life...
This is not a typical biography. Rather than the usual record one might expect about an individuals life, that is, chronological time, events of significance, famous personages met and their influence, etc, Jung records momentous aspects about his inner life, his life long and extraordinary relationship with the unconscious. As he states from the beginning, this book is a reflection concerning his self-realisation of the unconscious and its manifestations. In old age, he realised that so-called outward memories, the temporal existence of the senses, had faded, and what remained were memories of his inner life, which manifested in dreams and visions. He found that he could only write his life in terms of a personal myth, because he believed 'autobiography', as a form of truthful expression, was at best, unreliable. Memory, in other words, cannot be trusted. Thus, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, is a personal 'story' about a man's journey of spiritual enlightenment and self-realisation, the process of the unconscious finding expression in the outer world.

Jung's inner life was certainly extraordinary. From an early age, the sheer power of the unconscious made itself known to him in terrible visions. Jung must have been an unusually grounded child in order to withstand the psychic forces that pushed their way into his consciousness at such a young age. He survived these onslaughts, I believe, because he didn't resist them, but chose to grapple with the images, follow his instincts and, along with the violence of these images, came also a knowingness and feeling of safeness, that he was, even at a young age, following what he was meant to do. It is no wonder he became a psychiatrist, a "doctor of the soul" as he calls it; because by helping others through their personal journeys of realisation, he came to better understand his own.

At the end of Jung's life he maintained that he was not a mystic, a wise man or a sage. He admits that he drank from the stream of knowledge and life, but was not the stream itself. But what is a mystic in the traditional sense of this term? A mystic is one who, through meditation, prayer or other means, achieves direct intuitive experience of the divine. A mystic experiences these 'other realities' and brings their experiences back, in some cases, to share with the rest of us. To the mystic these experiences are real. Taking this definition at face value, Memories, Dreams and Reflections is a record of one man's intuitive experience with the divine. Jung made it his life's mission to express these experiences in such a way as to make them real, and to then formulate them into a psychological method, in the hope of helping others lost and searching for meaning in their lives. Jung was most assuredly a mystic. His writings tell us that there is something greater than ourselves within us, and our task is to grapple and understand this power, that he has chosen to call the unconscious; and by better understanding this greater part of ourselves, we can become more human.

This is a wonderful story about the inner life of a man, a mystic and original thinker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wisdom from the inner life in Jung's own words
These writings come straight from Jung's own inner experience and it is his last book before his death in 1961. I have read and re-read this work because at different times in my life I needed to re-evaluate where I was and where I was going. Other books by Jung are more intellectual and scientific, whereas, this autobiography has the wisdom of a person in the later part of life and it was written not so much to teach but to leave with us his legacy. Having myself had a near death experience, I was especially re-affirmed by Jung's own near death experience and his dealings with this phenomenon. His acceptance of his own humanity and his returning from this state to share with us his knowledge and vision is a gift to all of us. It is not easy to return to our humanity and deal with the sufferings we encounter but growth is the only evidence of life. We have to come down from the mountain top and work in the valley. This brings to mind two books written by Hannah Hurnard called Mountains of Spices and Hinds Feet in High Places. Allegories about living our lives with others and not in solitude. Solitude is a wonderful place but if we stay too long we become self-centered, afraid to reach out to others. Another author who gives a good perspective on life is Henri Nouwen and his books Out of Solitude and Reaching Out.

4-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into the humanity of the healer
This book does give a good overview of Jung's ideas, and how the developed in his life and interior thought. What I most love about this book, however is the feeling I came away with for Jung himself. It made me feel that he was a deeply compassionate, openminded and rational man, if imperfect as all men. Its greatness is that it puts a human face behind all of the science and ideas of his legacy, and gives the reader an insight of his own inner experience which one can relate to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Controversial, insightful, self-contradicting...
Admittedly, this is the most important book for those interested not only in the Jungian approach in psychology, but also in the life itself of Carl Gustav Jung. Indeed, this is an autobiography, imbedded in which is most of Jung's theories and quite an adequate outline of his cosmotheory as well.

Now, this being the book that "allows" us a glimpse into the soul of this psychologist, i was for one somewhat puzzled by the overall insight i got. While for the most part i appreciated Jung's bold approach in matters considered heavy taboos in his time (not to mention our time as well for certain particular issues), on the other side i found that Jung is self-contradicting at times, or murky, for lack of a more descriptive term.

Jung dares to look on the "other side" and consider it openly an integral part of "this" side. What others deem as "paranormal" or "supernatural" is to Jung just the other side of the same coin. He discusses the reality under the accepted reality but he is not straightforward about it. If i wanted to take it far enough I'd even say he's not honest about it. He does mince hiw words much too often and stops short of telling you what he really thinks. But this hardly undermines his openmindedness. Same goes for his treatment of religion.

In the beginning of the book he goes to great lengths in his denouncing of the western religion, and yet, all throughout the book he leaves countless hints that he's religious himself, without ever explaining in what sense. This was in my view perplexing.

The part of the book where he details his views on psychotherapy and explains how he approached his patients is definately the highlight of this book, and it should be of paramount importance for those interested in that subject area.

The last third of the book is mostly about Jung's travels. That part, might be disturbing for some, as one can sense that Jung felt some kind of well hidden superiority over the people he encountered. This superiority is often enough brought forward as his surprise over the insights these people offered him, but it still remains a mystery (at least to me) what he actually "took" from these people pertaining to their beliefs and approach in life. If anything, that is.

All criticism aside, this is still essential reading. Jung was a person torn between the desire to explore the off-limits and his fear of being ostracised by the scientific community. In the gray area within that struggle is where one discovers Jung's most thought-provoking theories because that is where he presents himself bare.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius
When I first started reading this book, I was highly naïve as to what my possible reactions could be. I never realized that this book would spark an internal flame within me, causing me to yearn for more knowledge and a broader insight into many subjects. It even lead me to come to many realizations about myself and my actions that I could never explain, but turned out to be so true and conclusive.
The extremely difficult vocabulary content did not discourage me one bit, it just made my curiosity grow. Jung amazed me with the beauty of his language choice and writing style and further astonished me with this extensive knowledge on so many various subjects and interesting way of interpreting them. Jung constantly referred to literary works and ideas of other authors and always stressed his references. This was perfect because this was the first book that I've ever willingly read from cover to cover in the psychology field, and it gave me an idea of other books like this one that I could read on topics that I liked and could hand-pick.
The book was most interesting knowing that it was written in autobiography-style and at the end of Jung's life, thus giving myself (the reader) his life-experienced and life-proven philosophies. It was a very difficult read but it was well worth it. I could honestly say that sometimes I just couldn't put it down; and no other book has been able to do that for me. ... Read more


64. Rocket Boys
by Homer Hickam
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385333218
Catlog: Book (2000-01-11)
Publisher: Delta
Sales Rank: 6441
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir that inspired the film October Sky, Rocket Boys is a uniquely American memoir--a powerful, luminous story of coming of age at the dawn of the 1960s, of a mother's love and a father's fears, of a group of young men who dreamed of launching rockets into outer space . . . and who made those dreams come true.

With the grace of a natural storyteller, NASA engineer Homer Hickam paints a warm, vivid portrait of the harsh West Virginia mining town of his youth, evoking a time of innocence and promise, when anything was possible, even in a company town that swallowed its men alive. A story of romance and loss, of growing up and getting out, Homer Hickam's lush, lyrical memoir is a chronicle of triumph--at once exquisitely written and marvelously entertaining.

Now with 8 pages of photographs.

... Read more

Reviews (442)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Moving Memoir
Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys was one of those books that I couldn't put down, and I thought about for a long time after I finished it. There is humor mixed in with the story of one boy's determination to succeed in achieving his goals. I would recommend this book to people who are looking for an inspiring story. It is about growing up in a rural mining town in West Virginia struggling to accomplish goals in space when the main concern of the town is what is below the ground, not what is above it. I thought that this was an excellent book and would recommend it to teenagers as well as adults. It's considered an adult book, but it is an easy book to read and teenagers can relate to the main character. This is one of my favorite books.

Through reading this book, I have learned that hard work and determination will allow a person to reach his or her goals in life. In this book, Homer Hickam had many obstacles to overcome in order to reach his goal of becoming a rocket scientist. This book has taught me that if I have a dream, I must try to reach it. No matter how many and how hard the obstacles are that come in the way of dreams, a person must keep trying. I would also recommend seeing the movie that was based on this book, October Sky. October Sky is an accurate presentation of the story. If you have already seen the movie, you are sure to enjoy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars October Sky: A Memoir
Rocket Boys

This is a book which was inspired by a boy's desire to please his father. Homer Hickman Junior, referred to as Sonny, grew up in Coalwood, a mining town in West Virginia. Sonny's mother knew he was special; she encouraged him regardless of the upsets, the destruction, or his fathers reluctance from him to go on. Spanning his years in high school, this memoir evokes encouragement, disappointment, and sheer ecstasy. To see the blossoming of a "geeky" child into a man revered in Coalwood and all through out society should be an inspiration to us all. All of his efforts were concentrated on a single person, his father, to gain his full support. Rocket Boys is a book which is impossible to put down, looming in the back of your head until you finish. A magnificent read. Attending high school and being in those formative years gave me a chance to reflect on what the message might be. Every nook and cranny of the book is something a person can relate to, a well thought out memoir

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!
I'm not sure which was more interesting--the story of the rocket building or the story of growing up in a small West Virginia coal mining town. I was captivated by both.
To those that say this book doesn't appeal to women--nonsense! I'm a woman and am recommending it to my daughter and all my friends.
And finally, to the reviewer that said the movie is better--I loved the movie, but guess what, the book was even better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - a quick read
This book really drew me in - although it is nearly 400 pages long, I finished it within two days! Highly recommended - especially if you have an interest in space/rocketry. However, it is hard to imagine many people who wouldn't enjoy this book. Better than the movie. I'm also amazed that a "rocket scientist" can write so well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rocket Boys
One day my class teacher told us we would all be picking a book, reading it, and writing a critique for it. Then she told us we would be placing it on the internet. I wasn't too thrilled about any of this. This book turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. Rocket Boys, by Homer H. Hickam was written beautifly, tellling the story of a few young boys trying to reach a common goal. Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr. starts out as a freshman in highschool trying to find a way with the ladies, especially Dorthy, and battling the jocks, one being his brother, for popularity. Sonny takes a sudden intrust in Sputnik. This is what gets him started on his incredibly passoinate love for rockets. His father is a miner and is always gone, as where his mother is incredibly supporting to whatever he does as long as he "doesn't blow himself up." Miss Rilly was another very supporting person in Sonny's life. She is the one that provides the "fuel" for Sonny's dream when she gives him a book on rocketry and encourages him to enter the science fair. I loved how the story is so vivid and colorful, how you can see the excitement, anger, fear, and love that the character expresses. This story also shows you that you have to keep trying to get what you want, and that not everything comes easily, but if you work hard for it, it can be very rewarding. Sonny learns this when he decides to enter the county science fair. It ends up being incredibly rewarding, and surprising to him. He ends up in the national science fair and returns home with a medal. Sonny eventually ends up working for NASA and accomplishing his dream. I loved this book because it was what really happened to him and it shows. He made a lot of really great frinds along the way, whether in the mine workshop or just some "different" people at school. I give this book five stars and would read it again anyday! ... Read more


65. Even After All This Time : A Story of Love, Revolution, and Leaving Iran
by Afschineh Latifi
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060745339
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 15896
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story with Several Lessons
I see this book as two or perhaps three in one.

On the one hand it is the story of a family torn apart by the execution of the father (convicted of commiting murder on the day he was in a hospital far away). The author was a young girl of ten at that time. This is the story of her life after her fathers arrest and execution. Obviously well to do at the time, the two daughters were sent to school in Austria, and finally to an uncle in America.

As part of this, I am reminded that when people move to the United States, they often become the best, most capable citizens we have. In this family of four children there are two doctors and two lawyers. Often, usually, the people who leave a country are the best people that that country has. Our country is benefitted by their being here.

Finally, this is the story of how an Islamic government moving into power. At one time the author's mother is showing hospital records to the jailer, and is told that it doesn't matter what proof she has, the decision stands and he will be executed. Not too different, I guess, than the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, but a pretty rough way to life. And this is what people say they want???

1-0 out of 5 stars Little Princess Cries,....... Again!
Cheio de Gases must be addicted to fiction and romance novels! He/she certainly lacks appreciation for and understanding of history. It appears to me that Az Kayhan, the other reviewer, hits it on the nose: This book is yet another sob story written by a former little princess who can't be one anymore. Read it as fiction and you'll be fine. Placing any significant amount of factual value on it is like taking the National Inquirer as a legitimate source of news.
Unfortunately, this is yet another book in a series of a dozen or so which very similarly chronicle the life story of children who were forced to leave Iran when the revolution hit and are now grown up to write their own "memoirs" with amazing recollection of the events of 26 years ago, when they were mere children. How detailed and accurate are our recollections of our childhoods? Fiction it is, fine literary work? I'm afraid it it is not.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blame Game
Another reviewer savagely and unfairly attacks this quietly powerful book by saying that everyone suffered in the Iranian revolution and therefore the book author must learn to deal with her tragedy.Strangely, this bitter reviewer does not mention that the author's father was executed and that this regime is by far more cruel and inhumane than what the Shah was ever even accused of being. The reviewer's bizarre obsession with the CIA-supported coup in the 1950's shows an unhealthy complex of reality avoidance.Get over it--what happened 50 years ago has little to do with Mullah's trampling of human rights today.Talk about weird nostalgia--if one were to accept the reviewer's tortured argument, then every execution in Iran is preceded by a salute to Mossadegh's unattractive portrait.

The simple reality is that political simpletons such as the CIA-obsessed reviewer were naive participants in a revolution that succeeded in killing innocent Iranians, and destroying a generation of hopes with war, religious fanaticism and repression. Now that the simpletons have seen their mistake, they revert to the old favorite of blaming the CIA!You might as well blame the Mongols too---no one ever fully recovered from their rampage and they were possibly under the direct control of the CIA Ulan Bator station.

This book is a personal story with facts that are sadly so true. Let the author tell her story in dignity and give her the respect that she has earned.Her tragic history in Iran is no less real than what she ways.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, Counter-productive nagging and nostalgia
Another book added to the slew offemale Iranian exile Fifth Generation bleeding heart nostalgic over the "lost glory" books of the same genre that have sprouted like mushrooms in the last 5 years or so.Which begs the question:Who is encouraging and supporting these mostly women exiled "writers" to write these mostly fictional accounts and "auto-biographies"?These books are basically a written transcript of a Persian tea visit to a friend:full of delusional and vague memories, gossip, and exaggerations.
The photo album is cracked open and published, and the authors who are still "after all this time" still suffering from the "Persian Privileged Princess Syndrome" are culturally frustrated and emotionally depressed for having to live outside Iran are reaching out to the public as their potential therapists or saviors.Like all people who are confused about their identity living outside the land they grew up in as kids and teenagers, only worse!

These so-called authors are women who were teenagers in the 60s and 70s under the Shah's regime, and who were (and are) mostly brats from privileged and affluent families who consumed the cream off the top of the food chain in Iran and lived really nice lives even with American standards.Now they have lost it all and are like lost Persian kittens in a land they feel estranged in culturally.So, they regurgitate "old glory" stories.The truth is that most of those sweet juvenile memories are exaggerated.Furthermore, for most Iranian people who lived under the old Shah's un-Democratic and Dictatorial regime deprived and persecuted, and without any nuance of social or political freedoms, these books sound hollow, indeed.

The Shah was put back in power in 1953 via a CIA coup d'etats which overthrew the Democratic nationalist government of Dr. Mossadegh, and replaced him with the ruthless General Zahedi who was on the CIA payroll.And so began the un-popular and un-Democratic regime these writers fret over with such longing and pain in their books.None of these books mention these historic truths.None mention SAVAK, the Shah's secret political police, who arrested and killed many free-thinkers and students in the 60s and the 70s.Instead, the authors choose only to depict the pretty, sweet tea parties of their cushiony past that they choose to remember.

Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the 1979 uprising to correct that historic faux pas committed by US and Britain intelligence services.It was a reaction by a frustrated people who were deprived of the most fundamental freedoms, and deeply resented the foreign-installed monarchy and the atmosphere of fear, corruption, persecution, and social injustice that was created later.Not all who lost their lives were officers in Shah's army.Soldiers accept certain risks when they become soldiers.That is what happens in Revolutions, people die.And Revolutions happen because there is injustice, or at least perceived injustice.The original intent of that uprising was to regain the social justice and freedoms lost under the Shah.But since the Shah and his SAVAK had all but destroyed all viable Democratic opposition in Iran, the mantra of the Revolution was snatched and its path derailed, distorting a genuine movement into a totalitarian theocracy.So does that mean that anyone who was part of the illegitimate rule of the Shah has anything to be proud of now?History has been, and will continue to be the judge of that.But one thing is for certain: no amount of "how sweet it was" tales by Persian Marie Antoinette "Wanna Be"s can alter that judgment.

Besides, there is hardly any Iranian family who was not adversely affected during those times, and even to this day.Iranian ex-patriot hard luck stories are dime a dozen.Everyone has one, but most who were affected do not claim any special mantra because of that loss, nor do they write books to gain financially from that loss, and nor live in the relative comfort, wealth, and social status that most of these women authors writing these kinds of books enjoy outside of Iran.

Feminism is good when it talks about gaining expanded and equal rights for women, but when it becomes a tool for self-propagation, self-righteousness, buying vindication due to real or imaginary loss, or trying to legitimize or create sympathy for an illegitimate and corrupt regime, it becomes pure non-sense.

For effective and Democratic changes to take place anywhere, we should all first stop nagging and crying over the fake Garden of Eden that we think we had.To be effective for creating a Democracy again, we must first and foremost have a vision of history, something that these dreamy and mystified so-called authors sorely lack.We must also be forward-looking and hopeful, instead of being reactionary dreamers of the past.And most of all, please, no moroseness, fretting, sulking, or sad violin playing, and no hiding behind the shield of being a woman from a country where women are oppressed.And one more thing: keep your family photo album to yourselves (That's why they call it "family" album), we all have "look what I was" pictures from our past, no one is impressed.And guess what:no one cares.
As a famous contemporary Persian poet said in a poem:" there is nothing in the past but a dusty, old window shutter".

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST-READ!OPRAH'SLIST should include this Best Seller!
Afschineh Latifi's touching tribute to her loving, devoted parents touched me in so many ways.I could not put it down.Ms. Latifi is a terrific role model who demonstrates that the power of strong morals beliefs, high personal goals, perseverance and family values can lead not only to professional success but also to inner peace.

The true saga of a young father's execution by barbaric terrorists a mere 25 years ago was very tragic, especially when heard through the voice of the victim's young daughter.The story continues with tales of two innocent little girls who were thrust into the world to fend for themselves without the guidance of a mother or father for many of their formative years.

While reading the book I found myself crying one moment and laughing the next. The author's frankness in sharing the experiences and inner thoughts of a child growing into her own were honest, pure, and often hysterical!

"The wife and daughters of a soldier," as they proudly refer to themselves, Afschineh, her sister, Afsaneh, and their mother, Fatemeh, did what was required to provide for their family through very difficult times. They overcame great obstacles and persevered together to achieve great success in their lives emotionally and professionally.An impressive collection of family photos dispersed throughout the book makes their life story really come to life.I found this book to be extremely inspirational and I would recommend it to anyone, including my 4 children.

... Read more


66. Tigers in the Mud: The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius (Stackpole Military History Series)
by Otto Carius, Robert J. Edwards
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811729117
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Sales Rank: 7227
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Real war stories told by real soldiers for readers who want to know what it was like to be in the thick of battle. These are riveting combat narratives about the weapons and warriors of some of history's bloodiest conflicts. Each book is a gritty, action-oriented account of life and death in the heat of battle. Original titles as well as long out-of-print gems will explore conflicts ranging from the blood-soaked fields of the Civil War to the current war on terror and everything in between. The books are published as high-quality and affordable trade paperbacks, making them terrific editions for all who are interested in military history.

WWII began with a metallic roar as the German Blitzkrieg raced across Europe, spearheaded by the most dreaded weapon of the 20th century: the Panzer. No German tank better represents that thundering power than the infamous Tiger, and Otto Carius was one of the most successful commanders to ever take a Tiger into battle, destroying well over 150 enemy tanks during his incredible career.

Illustrations: 51 b/w photos; 3 maps; 50 illustrations ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Treading in Death's Sphere.
The famous Tiger Ace, Otto Carius, has provided a valuable memoir of his experiences in WWII. This book is an asset whether you are a professional soldier, WWII historian, or Tiger tank afficinado.
Valuable lessons are gained by learning the problems associated with fielding new technology in the time of war. While the Tiger tank proved to be an awesome weapon while operational; its' Achilles heel was the tremendous amount of logistic and maintenance support required to keep it running.
I was reminded of Stephen Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage" when reading about Carius' first engagement as an officer, but by the end of the book one thing that is not in dispute is the personal courage of Carius and many of the tankers he led, especially Albert Kerscher. They would slug out the battle from extreme close ranges often so close that traversing the main gun was not possible!
The drama of tank warfare on the Eastern Front is simply told in this book and valuable lessons can be learned by those in the profession of arms. Much like Patton, Carius relays his frustration that the German and Anglo-American forces did not join together and turn on the forces of the Soviet Union. The desperation of German forces to retard the advance of the Red Army allowed many Germans to escape and avoid Communist 0ppression is noteworthy.
Yet these brave German soldiers were an embarrassment to the Post-War Germany and unlike the US where our veterans are dubbed the "greatest generation," German veterans are shunned and instead monuments go up to the draft dodgers and deserters.
In light of the recent prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, his comments concerning the treatment of Prisoners of War by the Americans are interesting.
I am fortunate to have met Otto Carius, who is still alive and active as a pharmicist at his Tiger Apothecary. A generous man, he personally delivers medicines to those homebound.
One of the most telling comments he made to me concerned his leadership as the Company Commander of 2d Company, 502d Heavy Tank Battalion; while in command he did not have one soldier killed in the company - many were wounded, but all lived. That fact, tied with his successes on the Armor battlefield in high intensity conflict truly makes him one-of-a-kind.

4-0 out of 5 stars A primer for tank commanders
Carius' book is an outstanding look at the reality of armored warfare. Far from the romantic view of modern knights, Carius explains what is actually involved in commanding a platoon of tanks. The constant need to allocate resources to vehicle recovery, the reality of grand-tactical movement, just how much time a platoon commander is out of the track and on foot. It's all in this book. Carius does act as an apologist for the German army, but if one ignores the occasional rhetoric (as one should from both sides of the issue) there is a lot to be learned from this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lost on the Eastern Front
Tigers in the Mud is the story of Otto Carius's experience in tanks on the eastern front. Of interest is how Otto started out at the beginning of Operation Barbarrosa as a tank's radio operator (Czech 38's), graduated to the officer corp and lead a Tiger platoon. While there were many interesting story's in this book, unfortunately, Otto focused more on his time in Tigers than his earlier career (he did though mention how he initially liked the Czech 38, but after being knocked out and wounded, he thought it was pretty weak).

In the later portion of his career (43-45), Otto becomes much more descriptive about his operations and his opinion of events. Otto was very descriptive about different generals, his opinion of Russians, and also his feelings about the Americans (after being wounded, he was assigned to lead Hunting Tigers). What I found very interesting and bordering on insulting was his comments about how poor American tank operations were (he only fought against the Americans during Patton's operations against Model's forces) and his feelings about Americans as his captors (he was very derogatory about us once he realized the Americans weren't going to send the Germans against the Russians). One of the best parts of the book though was Otto's experience with the "press" (Otto was very derogatory about the "press" because they "recorded" things after the battle and didn't accurately portray the battle that occurred. The one time he had a photographer ride with him, the man was scared to death!).

Otto is not humble (as Guy Sager was), is very proud of what he'd done (he kind of forgot that Tigers were on the top of the feeding list and forgot what it was like to have a tank that wasn't as capable as the Tiger in taking punishment), especially his awards, but is very good at describing what he and his teammates did on the western front. Otto does preface the book by saying that the book was written for the 502 and that is what the focus of the book is, his experience in the 502. With everything in perspective, the book is good, but not in the same calibre as The Forgotten Soldier.

3-0 out of 5 stars The blindside of Whermacht writers
Carius does a good job of conveying the tactical realities of tank warfare from the German side. He is very typical of those surviving Panzer writers, whose writing often resembles that of Civil War generals, particularly Confederate ones: "If only...", when the essential problem was that the initiation of the war in Europe by Germany, coupled by the declaration of war against the United States, meant that Germany was inevitably doomed. Tactical brilliance would eventually be overwhelmed by the massive production capability of the Allies. And even the tactical brilliance arguments wear thin when one realizes that much of the German success lay in the incredible inferiority of the equipment of the Western Allies (see "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper and the tragic example of the Sherman tank). Though Germany faced France with inferior equipment and invaded Russia with nothing on tracks that matched the T34, excellent tactical handling, especially the recognition of the antitank capability of the FLAK 88mm antiaircraft gun, and air supremacy, gave the Germans a temporary edge and time to accelerate the development of new armor, most notably the Panther and the Tiger. However much either tank was "over engineered" and needlessly difficult to maintain, the reality was nothing on the Western Front could stand up to them until the arrival of the M26 Pershing. Even so, they could not have won, something Carius finds difficult to truly comprehend. He disparages enemy soldiers, especially Americans, while failing to recognize that these amateurs at war, armed with often inferior equipment, nonetheless kept coming at him and Germany until by sheer weight of blood, steel, and ferocity, they destroyed the nation that twice in the 20th Century plunged Europe into war and visited a level of depravity upon the helpless not matched until Cambodia and Bosnia.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but . . .
A very interesting book from a vantage point not often seen. Carius seems to have been an example of that unfortunately rare breed: the outstanding officer who is totally committed to his men. Alas, he's not so outstanding as a writer, although the translation may bear some of the blame. The book is choppy and full of single-sentence paragraphs that read like minichapters, having little to do with the text before or after. Also, his complete avoidance of any acceptance of the reality of the Holocaust, which he refers to only as "atrocity stories" wears a little thin. It seems he hasn't bothered to learn much about the war since it ended.

He spends a fair amount of time ridiculing the abilities of the American soldier, then complains that he wasn't treated well in captivity. One wonders if he would have been happier in Siberia under the Soviets whose ability he so admired.

The most fascinating chapter, I think, is about his meeting with Himmler to receive the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. A very rare look at Himmler, relaxed and behind the scenes. ... Read more


67. What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0393320928
Catlog: Book (2001-01)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 6735
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The best-selling sequel to "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"--funny, poignant, instructive. One of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman possessed an unquenchable thirst for adventure and an unparalleled ability to tell the stories of his life. "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" is Feynman's last literary legacy, which he prepared as he struggled with cancer. Among its many tales--some funny, others intensely moving--we meet Feynman's first wife, Arlene, who taught him of love's irreducible mystery as she lay dying in a hospital bed while he worked nearby on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. We are also given a fascinating narrative of the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger's explosion in 1986, and we relive the moment when Feynman revealed the disaster's cause by an elegant experiment: dropping a ring of rubber into a glass of cold water and pulling it out, misshapen. A New York Times bestseller. ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars ¿Continuation of a curious character¿
This book is a continuation and addendum of sorts to Mr. Feynman's first biography, "Surely you are joking, Mr. Feynman". The two major stories of the book involve Mr. Feynman's enormously influential first wife, Arlene and the second story involves Mr. Feynman's work in the Challenger disaster investigation. Sprinkled around these two major bookends are other humorous adventures and observations about a trip to Japan, being labeled a sexist pig by feminists, and hotel hunting in Europe to name just a few.

The Challenger investigation takes up a sizable chunk of the book and is sometimes filled with drier material. But the compelling event and frustrating insight into government bureaucracy holds some interest to make up for the technical specifications.

The first part of the book where his wife Arlene is discussed is so touching and powerful that the reader will be hard pressed not to get teary-eyed.

As noted in the review about the first biography, Mr. Feynman was an extremely curious person who explored things out of simple curiosity. His life's quest was nothing simpler than a desire to understand Nature. All the while, he tried to have the best time he could. Hopefully this reader can take away at least a little bit of that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scientific background is not a prerequisite
A lot of books written by scientific people claim to be "down-to-earth" and for the "layman" but end up creeping into the obscure. Not so here. Feynman starts with his feet planted firmly on the ground and never strays.

The first few stories range from the serious to the light-hearted. From the pain of losing his wife to being invited to speak at a funeral for a man whom he can't remember. These accounts give you a good look at the ability of Feynman to convey a story and make it interesting. The majority of the book however is given to the time he spent on the committee that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Using no nonsense, straight-forward writing he takes you through the process of how he and the others, despite a lot of bureaucratic red tape, managed to find out what went wrong on that fateful day. What could very well be a dry and uninspiring subject becomes quite informative and engaging through his telling.

This is my first book by Feynman, but having absorbed the whole thing in one sitting it surely won't be my last.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Joking this time
The follow-up to the successful, "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" this book offers four pretty distinct parts.

First section describes how his father taught him to think about the world and his father's ambition to make young Richard a scientist. The end of the book is Feyman's case for the importance of science. In between we get the sad, but sweet story of his first wife and the utterly compelling story of his time on the committee investigating the challenger explosion. It was my favorite part of the book.

The description of how government committees decide facts and make recommendations was eye opening. It was the best description of how these things work that I've ever read. Feynman was constantly up against a committee chairman that wanted to keep everyone in a room asking questions of experts. Feynman didn't like that setup. He wanted to travel out to NASA and talk to engineers, so he did.

Going to Huston and Canaveral, Feynman learned something about the nature of NASA that probably goes for any big organization. He found that NASA was a unified force when their goal was putting a man of the moon. Information was shared freely and appreciated at every level. Once that goal was met NASA became compartmentalized.

Leaders at the top spent their time reassuring Congress that NASA would achieve their goals with low costs and high safety. Engineers at the bottom realized that this wasn't entirely possible. The middle managers didn't want to hear the challenges because they would be forced to report it to the top bosses who didn't want to hear it. It was much easier for top bosses to paint a rosy picture to Congress if they were unaware of the actual challenges of making it work. The end result was that top bosses said that the likelihood of a mission death was 1-100,000 while engineers on the ground felt that the likelihood was more like 1-300.

Feynman concludes that maybe the shuttle program was a bad idea. It could never live up to the ambitious projections of the leaders and the American public was being lied to. NASA should be honest with the American people, Feynman thought, then Congress and voters can decide if they are getting enough for their money. It was a surprisingly thing to hear from an advocate of science and discovery. But Feynam reckoned that the amount of science and discovery has been little compared to the cost. He complained years after the first shuttle launch he still hadn't read any significant experiments in scientific journals.

In all, I liked this book a little better than "Surely You're Joking." It was a little more thought provoking than those fun tales.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting follow up
This book is the follow on to the book "Surely you must be joking, Mr. Feynman". In the first book there was a time line that progressed from youth to Professor at Caltech. This book is much different in that 45% of the book describes his pre- 1986 life and 55% describes his involvement in the Challenger shuttle accident investigation. This investigation was a mere 2 years of his life (and the final 2 years as well). The same brilliant character shines through in both parts of this book. There are many interesting vignettes of this iconoclast that are not in the first book. The most interesting part is the description of his relationship with his first wife Arlene who succumbed to TB while he was still a young man. He really had a great heart for those close to him. He didn't suffer fools willingly and often was abrupt to the point of rudeness. More interesting observations are available at feynmanonline^com. Detailed there is a more balanced view of the man and his foibles.

2-0 out of 5 stars Hero worship can blind you to reality
Yes, Feynman was brilliant. Yes, Feynman revolutionized the teaching of physics. Yes, he seems to have been a delightful, charming, handsome, womanizing, fun guy to hang out with. But the Feynman cottage industry ran dry a long time ago. I expect his grocery lists to be published any day now to feed the insatiable hunger for anything that he touched. The essays and articles in this book are bland and nearly worthless. One is introduced as "uproarious." Uproarious is defined as "provoking hilarity." If you think anecdotes about Feynman running up a stairway to bring his heart rate up are hilarious, you are easily amused. This book was a complete waste of time and money. ... Read more


68. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
by Ulyssess S. Grant, Ulysses S. Grant
list price: $12.98
our price: $12.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0914427679
Catlog: Book (1999-03-15)
Publisher: William S. Konecky Associates
Sales Rank: 21289
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Grant was sick and broke when he began work on his Memoirs. Driven by financial worries and a desire to provide for his wife, he wrote diligently during a year of deteriorating health. He vowed he would finish the work before he died. One week after its completion, he lay dead at the age of 63.

Publication of the Memoirs came at a time when the public was being treated to a spate of wartime reminiscences, many of them defensive in nature, seeking to refight battles or attack old enemies. Grant's penetrating and stately work reveals a nobility of spirit and an innate grasp of the important fact, which he rarely displayed in private life. He writes in his preface that he took up the task "with a sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to anyone, whether on the National or the Confederate side." ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Grant as commander.
Ulysses S. Grant like many other Civil War figures wrote a long and detailed memoir detailing his experiences in the war. Unlike many of the others however, he did it not to toot his own horn but for the noble purpose of leaving an income for his family. One of the most famous pictures of Grant is the one of him sitting on his porch, covered in blankets, writing. He died just a week after he finished this book. I wonder if the Grant family is still receiving royalties from this book after all of these years.

In reading this book one has to take into account that by his own admission, Grant was not a scholar. Nor was he a writer, but for a sick old soldier he does a wonderful job. The writing is a little dry at times but that is mainly because he goes into so much detail about his campaigns. His West Point eye shows not only in his strategy but also in his writing as he goes into great detail about the topography of the areas he is describing. In fact, this is the most dull part of the book as he goes into so much detail that he will occasionally lose the reader entirely. Grant is not one to cast blame for his problems but as part of his topographical discussions he almost always writes that this ground was much more favorable for offense than defense. He of course being on the offensive. It is also easy to avoid casting blame for failures when the writer has few failures, so while Grant is not guilty of this he has no reason to be.

Grant does not describe his battles in detail for some reason. His overall campaigns are covered in detail but the battles themselves get little attention. The battles of others under his command are told in a far more interesting and complete manner than are the battles he was personally involved in. His descriptions of Sherman's Atlanta campaign and the march to the sea are riveting and his descriptions of the final days of the war and Lee's surrender are enthralling. He also goes to great lengths to defend some of his comrades against charges that had been made against them while never taking on charges leveled at him. His drinking is never mentioned. He even takes time to defend Joe Johnston's Georgia campaign against Sherman. His insights are incredible but this memoir could have offered the reader a little more of a glimpse into the author than it does. Although, toward the end of the book one does start to see Grant's personality come out.

There are numerous maps included in this book but they will be of little use to most readers. I assume they are military maps, but they are so detailed that one can hardly make out the important points. There is also an attempt to downplay what Robert E. Lee had accomplished before Grant arrived on the scene. This could have come from humility on Grant's part, or it could have been jealousy, but whatever the cause it is unseemly. Still, Grant knew how to defeat Lee and did so, which is more than any other Union general managed to do.

Overall, this is a very insightful and well-written book. Any serious student of the Civil War will want to have a copy of their own, not only to read but as a very important reference book. He points out the mistakes and shortcomings of leaders on both sides as well as offers praise when he feels it is due. It is amazing how kind he is to General Halleck considering how much trouble that man caused Grant early in the war. He does seem to take delight however in detailing Sherman's dislike of Halleck. Not much of the real Grant comes across in this book but what does come through is that while he was a determined advisory; he was also a very kind hearted man. A great man in fact, who was very much misunderstood, then and now.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great books in the English language
General Grant wrote this book while dying of throat cancer. He had been swindled by a dishonest Wall Street Broker and his trophies and possessions were stripped from him to satisfy the demands of his debtors. Bankrupt, suffering from a terminal illness and never passing a moment without acute pain, he produced this magnificent monument to his greatness. Those who denigrate Grant as a drunkard, butcher, bumbling President need to read this book in order to correct these errant assumptions. It is impossible to read this book and not realize that Grant was an inordinately intelligent man and one hell of a writer.

Grant's Memoirs are a deserved classic in American literature and considered the greatest military Memoirs ever penned, exceeding Caesar's Commentaries. Grant wrote as he lived: with clear, concise statements, unembellished with trivialities or frivolities. The only "criticism" the reader might have is that Grant bent over backwards not to wound the feelings of people in the book. He takes swipes at Joe Hooker and Jeff Davis, but what he left unsaid would have been far more interesting. A compelling and logical reason why Grant was so spare in his comments was because he was involved in a race with death. He didn't know how long he could live and therefore, "cut to the chase."

Grant's assessments of Lincoln, Sherman, Sheridan and other military leaders are brilliant and engrossing. His style, like the man himself, was inimitable and couldn't be copied. In everyday life, Grant was a very funny man, who liked to listen to jokes and tell them himself. His sense of the absurd was acute. It's no accident that he loved Mark Twain and the two hitched together very well. Twain and Grant shared a similar sense of humor, and Grant's witicisms in the Memoirs are frequent, unexpected and welcome. There are portions where you will literally laugh out loud.

Though Grant's Memoirs were written 113 years ago, they remain fresh, vibrant and an intensely good read. I have read them in! their entirity 30 times in my life and I never weary of the style and language that Grant employed. He was a military genius to be sure, but he was also a writer of supreme gifts, and these gifts shine through on every page of this testament to his greatness. All Americans should read this book and realize what we owe to Grant: he preserved the union with his decisive brilliance. A truly oustanding book.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the better Civil War memoirs
One of the nice things Grant does in his book, is break down ranks using a horizantal flow chart on various pages. This helps clear confusion for the novice. (page 446-7 is one example)
Other reviews have spoken admirmingly of this book, I would like to draw attention to an incident Grant tells of, where a Union soldier is stealing ALL of a Southern ladies chickens.The Southern woman vainly pleaded with the Union soldiers to please spare her a few at least.
The Union soldiers looked at the woman and said,

>"This rebellion has to be suppressed if it takes the last chicken in the Confederacy."< ( Page 555 Grants memoirs)
( how will this woman and her children eat after this?)Another following incident---

>"The South prior to the rebellion kept bloodhounds to pursue runaway slaves who took refuge in the neighboring swamps, and also to hunt convicts. Orders were issued to KILL all of these animals as they were met with.
On one occasion a soldier picked up a POODLE, the favorite pet of it's mistress, and was carrying it off to EXECUTION, when the lady made a strong appeal to him to spare it.
The soldier replied," Madam our orders are to KILL every bloodhound,"
"But this is not a Bloodhound," said the lady.
"Well, Madam, we can not tell what it will grow into, if we leave it behind," said the soldier as he went off with it."<

---------------The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant------Page 555----
( exact wording again, the capitals are mine for emphasis)

Combining Grants testimony, and Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, ( see my review of his book, and the direct quote), there is no doubt the Southern women, children and families suffered greatly during the Civil War. There was NO MILITARY VALUE, for the majority of this.

People that deny this, should read books, by the two top Northern Generals.

As far as Civil War biographies go, this is one of the better ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars A man of whom all Americans can be proud
The book is remarkable for its clarity of speech and the simplicity of its presentation, but most of all for the quality of focus of a man whose final chapter is as moving as any I have read, and written just a week before he died. I recommend that the trilogy of Grant; CAPTAIN SAM GRANT, GRANT MOVES SOUTH, and GRANT TAKES COMMAND, be read first. Then read his MEMOIRS, and follow it up with ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK. The characters in the MEMOIRS appear prominently in all the others; men known by Grant from West Point, the Mexican American War, and who served, subsequently, as officers during the Indian Wars following the Civil War. Connections such as these fascinate me. Grant's knowledge of his adversaries most of who he knew from experience was perhaps his greatest weapon. Yet, war being war, he never let let friendship interfere with his duty, which is why he became known as UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER (U.S.) GRANT. it seemed to me the more he got into his work, the better he expressed himself, and his CONCLUSION rose to the level of greatness as a writer. He seemed the perfect compliment to Abe Lincoln whose policies he hoped to carry forward.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant , humorous, while at death's door
More than the descriptions of the great battles, which were of such great scale that they were beyond my ability to grasp, I was most impressed with the courage and intelligence of the man, who wrote these memoirs while dying of a painful cancer. His assessments of the generals on both sides, many of whom he knew intimately from the Mexican war, are priceless. I think the one I like best was of General Warren -- "His difficulty was constitutional and beyond his control. He was an officer of superior ability, quick perceptions, and the personal courage to accomplish anything that could be done with a small command."

General Grant also never lost the ability to make fun of himself (a lost art among today's leaders?), recalling being mocked by a stablehand who had seen him prancing in his uniform shortly after being commissioned. Perhaps that is why in his prime Grant so often wore a simple private's shirt with his proper insignia of rank.

The anecdotes from his conversations with President Lincoln are unforgettable. So are stories from the war with Mexico, when long-range Mexican cannonballs came into his lines at such shallow angles that his men could open ranks to avoid the bounding projectiles. The language of the day - "reducing" the enemy "works" with great "execution" -- adds to the enjoyment and reminds the reader of today's "collateral damage" military jargon.

Grant, great lover of a good cigar, comments on his observations from the war with Mexico that people smoked tobacco more when it was an expensive item they they did later when the price was much cheaper.

Where are such men today? Probably still out there waiting for the next great challenge to bring them forward. General Grant comments that "Those who wait to be selected, rather than those who seek, can be expected to provide the most efficient service." ... Read more


69. Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Reformer
by Barbara Montgomery Dossey
list price: $55.95
our price: $55.95
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Asin: 0874349842
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Sales Rank: 127348
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Florence Nightingale brought to life
As a nurse and amateur Florence Nightingale historian, I was so excited to find this book. The content did not disappoint me. It offers the best coverage of the life of this extraordinary woman I've seen or read. This book is exciting, informative, and beautiful.

Nightingale transformed healthcare in the nineteenth century, and built a foundation for modern nursing. Dossey's clear writing, coupled with her extensive research, presents an enjoyable, comprehensive picture of the significance of Nightingale's life. The historical photographs and illustrations complemented the text and were a delight to view.

I recommend the book to anyone interested in nursing, history or the biography of an amazing woman. Thank you Barbara Dossey for bringing Florence Nightingale to life in this wonderful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer
This beautiful book is the most comprehensive and creative examintation I have ever read of the life of this remarkable woman. The book is profusely illustrated. Many of the images are in full color and have not been previously printed. Words and images combine to produce insights of incredible depth and beauty. The author's straightforward and readable writing style reminds readers of Nightingale's own writings. Clearly, Dossey has a connection with the fascinating Miss Nightingale that spans the boundaries of time and space. This is lucky for us, the readers of this sesntive portrait of one of the most amazing women in history. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in feminist history, healing, the path of the mystic, leadership, or the history of nursing. It will surely become a classic in its genre!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Most Inspiring Book
I knew of Florence Nightingale's nursing activities before reading this book but had no idea of the extent of her self-discipline, dedication and accomplishments. She was a systems analyst, administrator, networker and mystic who devoted her life to doing God's work. She was also a prolific writer of books, lay reports, pamphlets and thousands of letters. The author provides a wealth of background material describing the historic times and places associated with Florence Nightingale. One of the things I appreciated about this book were the many maps and photographs appropriately placed near the text about the person or places.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding biography
This is unquestionably the best biography of Nightingale ever written. The author reminds us that Nightingale was one of the first statisticians -- one of the first members of the statistical society in the U.K. and for many years the only woman member. Nightingale collected and published voluminous statistics about health care (she proved that the rate of childbirth fever was lower among women cared for by midwives vs those cared for by physicians and surmised correctly that the difference was that the midwives washed their hands and established hygiene in the birth chamber. The physicians came to the birth room covered with blood from dissections.) The germ theory of disease had not been developed -- but she was able to reduce the death rate in the hospitals in Crimea by ensuring cleanliness, safe water and good food for the patients.) She was also a suffragist and one of the first signers of a petition in support of suffrage put forward by her
friends, the philosopher John Stuart Mill and his wife Harriet Taylor, who were prominent proponents of women's suffrage. Mill asked Nightingale to dedicate herself to the cause of female suffrage and she replied that there were others as qualified as she; she was needed to reform the British military, hospital and medical systems. Nightingale shook up the British military, hospital and medical establishments. She had many enemies because of her work -- and they became even more virulent when she was proved right. Unfortunately their calumnies persist to this day. While doing the work which first brought her to public attention she contracted Crimean Fever -- a common complaint of those who served in the Crimea War. Dossey points out that recent research indicates that Crimean Fever was probably brucellosis which was and is epidemic and endemic in the Crimea. (It occurs now, too, in the U.S. among persons who work with infected cattle.) Nightingale was a very devout Christian. At 17 she sought a direction for her life. She came to feel that she was called to serve the sick and took a vow of chastity when she was 17. Barbara Dossey is an R.N. with a Master's degree in nursing. She has written texts on intensive care nursing and on wholistic health. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing -- which signfies the high respect of her research peers for her work. This is the finest contribution she has made and that says a lot.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on the History of Nursing
learn about the history of the nursing profession... very interesting... lots of beautiful pictures ... Read more


70. J. Robert Oppenheimer : And the American Century
by David C. Cassidy
list price: $27.95
our price: $19.01
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Asin: 0131479962
Catlog: Book (2004-08-20)
Publisher: Pi Press
Sales Rank: 49090
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Download Description

The unexplored secret of the American Century, the last 100 years of US history, is the rise of American science, specifically physics. At the heart of that story is J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. He was a man of contradictions: a scientist who discovered black holes and then turned his back on cutting edge research; a gentle liberal humanist responsible for the creation of the first real weapon of mass destruction; a genius who founded "scientific militarism" and then let it destroy him. His life story embodies the great conflicts of American society, its genius, its weaknesses, and even its essential morality. How did an aesthete man uninterested in the acquisition of power become the leader of American science, the most powerful research community in the world? And how did he, with all his intellectual and social advantages, lose his power and become regarded by many as an unfulfilled if not failed scientist. While it is biography of a physicist, it is also a history of the 20th century offering insights into the "scientific militarism" behind events on the world stage today.

DR. DAVID CASSIDY is a Professor in the Natural Science Program at Hofstra University, and has been Chair of the Section for History and Philosophy of Science of the New York Academy of Science. Dr. Cassidy has had an outstanding career as a writer and editor in the history of physics. He has been awarded the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award and the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society, the latter the highest award in the field. He is also the author of "Einstein and our World "and coauthor of "Scientists at War: The Farm Hall Transcripts." ... Read more


71. Cpl. Forrest Guth: 'E' Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division (WWII American Paratroopers Portrait Series, No. 1)
by Michel De Trez
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 296001765X
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: D-Day Publishing
Sales Rank: 167945
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Goody" Guth is an original member of the famous "Easy" Company of the 506th PIR, the "Band of Brothers".

In Normandy, Guth chose to disregard the order against taking cameras into Normandy and snapped photographs throughout the Normandy campaign leaving him with many outstanding images.

With the help of these photographs and Guth's recollections it has been possible to retrace the route he took from the place he was miss-dropped near Utah Beach, until he reached "Easy" on the outskirts of Carentan.

Guth's story is retold through many photographs, pieces of his original uniform and equipment and his personal recollections. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Forrest Guth Book Review
Mr. DeTrez does a fabulous job in telling Corporal Guth's story of his time in the Airborne. Tons of pictures, many with long, information-filled captions. The pictures are from Mr. Guth's private collection, and give a great perspective on his time in the 101st Airborne. It's almost like you're sitting in his house, looking at his personal photo albums.

I met Mr. Guth on one occasion, and correspond with him occasionally. He's a very nice man, polite, modest, and takes very little credit for the incredible job he performed in the military.
If you like the Band of Brothers Mini-series, you need to buy this book; it's a must!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Picture Book of WWII Paratrooper
Cpl. Forrest Guth, of Wilmington, Delaware, was one of the real "Band of Brothers" featured in Stephen Ambrose's book and the HBO movie series of the same name.

This book is written in English and French and chronicles the training, D-Day experiences and European service of Cpl. Guth (including the Battle of the Bulge) as he and other members of his 101st Airborne company liberated Europe from German control.

This is a coffee table type book with great pictures and long captions that tell the story of one man's duty in that great war. The pictures are terrific and are a good impression of the look, equipment and wear of a combat parachutist. A good companion book for fans of "Band of Brothers."

I have had the honor of meeting Cpl. Guth. He is a matter-of-fact man who did is duty honorably and is humble regarding the attention Mr. Ambrose's book has placed upon him. This book is a nice brief picture of a regular young man called to do big and dangerous things during wartime.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for all WWII enthusiasts.
Amazing collection of photo's from a 101st member on D-Day. If you are a fan of the Band of Brothers series on HBO or enjoyed Ambrose's book you'll love these photos.
You will see up close photos of uniforms and equipment of the 101st Airborne Division as well as some German gear. This makes a perfect reference for WWII Re-enactors.
Also included are some great stories behind the photos. As a huge WWII buff and re-enactor I highly recommend this book for your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cpl. Forrest Guth
If you liked "Band of Brothers," you'll enjoy this book. It follows one member of Easy company from when he joined the Airborne until the end of the war. The book is filled with photos taken by Cpl. Guth during training, the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. There are also photos of the uniforms and equipment he carried. It's really a fascinating account of what this one man experienced during the war. Be sure to check out De Trez's other Airborne books. You won't be disappointed. ... Read more


72. The Hypomanic Edge : The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America
by John D. Gartner
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0743243447
Catlog: Book (2005-03-10)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 11793
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why is America so rich and powerful? The answer lies in our genes, according to psychologist John Gartner.

Hypomania, a genetically based mild form of mania, endows many of us with unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks. America has an extraordinarily high number of hypomanics -- grandiose types who leap on every wacky idea that occurs to them, utterly convinced it will change the world. Market bubbles and ill-considered messianic crusades can be the downside. But there is an enormous upside in terms of spectacular entrepreneurial zeal, drive for innovation, and material success. Americans may have a lot of crazy ideas, but some of them lead to brilliant inventions.

Why is America so hypomanic? It is populated primarily by immigrants. This self-selection process is the boldest natural experiment ever conducted. Those who had the will, optimism, and daring to take the leap into the unknown have passed those traits on to their descendants.

Bringing his audacious and persuasive thesis to life, Gartner offers case histories of some famous Americans who represent this phenomenon of hypomania. These are the real stories you never learned in school about some of those men who made America: Columbus, who discovered the continent, thought he was the messiah. John Winthrop, who settled and defined it, believed Americans were God's new chosen people. Alexander Hamilton, the indispensable founder who envisioned America's economic future, self-destructed because of pride and impulsive behavior. Andrew Carnegie, who began America's industrial revolution, was sure that he was destined personally to speed up human evolution and bring world peace. The Mayer and Selznick families helped create the peculiarly American art form of the Hollywood film, but familial bipolar disorders led to the fall of their empires. Craig Venter decoded the human genome, yet his arrogance made him despised by most of his scientific colleagues, even as he spurred them on to make great discoveries.

While these men are extraordinary examples, Gartner argues that many Americans have inherited the genes that have made them the most successful citizens in the world. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Gartner's Hypomanic Patient
I am a former patient of Dr. Gartner and a mentalhealth professional as well. In reading his book and then reading some of the reviews( especially the NY Times interview) I began to wonder if we were all reading the same book. I found the book to be entetaining, funny and astoundly accurate. I have treatedmany patients who are exactly as John describes in his book. I my self have or have had most of the characteristics described in "the Hypomanic Edge". When I spoke with Dr. Gartner last week he asked me what I thought, I told him you "got it right!". I have long held the view that most of the written material in field is just recycled trivia, completely useless. This book is ground breaking and we need more of John Gartner and less of Dr. Phil and his ilk who write books that are more Jacquline Susan and about as usefull as the novel "Love Story".
Psychodoc

5-0 out of 5 stars SHEDS PYSCHOLOGICAL LIGHT ON AMERICA'S SUCCESS & CHARACTER.
This nation gives unusual opportunities and celebrates the success of the hypomanic personality-one marked by an elevated mood state that may be, but is not necessarily, subject to depression. Hypomania is not an illness. The irrational confidence, ambition, vision, and zeal of these individuals has had an enormously positive impact on this nation's rise to economic prosperity. The book spotlights nine hypomanics through our history, and devotes a chapter to each of them, which is both a small biography and a clinical case history. The author concludes by offering evidence that the genetic roots of hypomania trace back to our primate ancestors. A totally absorbing and enlightening book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why didn't anyone think of this before?
It strikes me that there are two really interesting forms of writing in psychology; one that analyzes complex ideas in complex language, and one that breaks down complex ideas in simple language.Both have their place, yet neither is easy to pull off successfully.Gartner has captured the latter form of writing quite handily in The Hypomanic Edge.His central thesis, that a hypomanic character is actually a desirable way of being, is at once counterintuitive from prevailing cultural logic, and simultaneously one of those ideas that, in retrospect, seems so obviously true and useful that it's hard to imagine why we didn't think of it before.The intellectual clarity of Gartner's opening and closing chapters, coupled with the biographically and psychologically rich middle chapters on several important entrepreneurial figures through the centuries, makes for an enlightening and eminently readable book.Gartner has managed to generate a fresh angle on well-trodden clinical and historical ground.This in itself is quite noteworthy and refreshing, and I'm sure the book will be rewarding to most who open it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
John Gartner's unique new book is a tour de forceIt is a page turner which I could not put down.Dr. Gartner brings to life men from each of America's five centuries as he interweaves his story of how genetically driven mood alteration altered America. Hypomania is a form of bipolar disorder that gave these men the restless energy, incessant sleepless speech and work capacities that made them world altering giants, but also the impulsivity, reckless speech, and, with most, delusional excesses which sowed the seeds of their ultimate personal decline.The book reads like a novel but cites an impressive array of sources in over 800 footnotes to document his thesis that America is a nation of immigrants who come here because of their bipolar genes.This "immigrant drive" made America a leader in business, the arts, science, religion and finance, and Dr. Gartner demonstrates how with literary skill and clincal accuracy.

He writes of the supreme accomplishments and pathological excesses of Christopher Columbus, 17th century religious leaders, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnagie, the Hollywood Selznicks and Mayers, and the discoverer of the human genome Craig Venter.In each chapter Dr. Gartner gives the reader the background history, and sociological and technological information necessary to highlight the significance of the person's achievment.He uses written sources, but also has impressively and extensively interviewed biographers, colleagues, decendents, and
Dr. Venter himself, making the stories The Hypomanic Edge with information, surprises, humor, and compassion.

As a practicing psychoanalyst and psychiatrist I was very impressed with the scientific quality of the book, but having shared the book with several members of my family, I can attest that the the non-professional reader will find the book equally compelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A different title might have been helpful!
Don't be misled by the cursory dismissals contained in some of the "professional" reviews.I am a psychologist and I know Gartner.This is the most interesting psychology book that I have read in quite a few years.However, that is not saying much as most psychology books are uninspiring.Whether you agree with him or not (I'm not sure that I do) it is an interesting read and a well thought out presentation.If you are going to disagree with him, you will have to work at it.The link between genius and craziness has been discussed before and is not the most interesting part of this book.What is useful is the examination and documentation of the lives he chose to illustrate his thesis.More important are the implications for managing creativity and ambition.Gartner's examples are of those whose success contains the seeds of their downfall.Those of us in the field know many whose "inspired imagination" and "unrelenting drive" routinely insure that any measure of success will elude them. ... Read more


73. A Matter of Opinion
by Victor S. Navasky
list price: $27.00
our price: $17.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374299978
Catlog: Book (2005-05-11)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 27849
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Book Description

Victor S. Navasky is the renowned editor, writer, and teacher who has been at the helm of The Nation for almost thirty years.A Matter of Opinion, a scintillating reflection on his journalistic experiences, is also an extraordinary political document-a spirited, provocative argument for independent journals of opinion as vital to the health of democracy.

Whether at the satirical magazine Monocle (which he founded when he was in law school), or at The New York Times, or finally at The Nation, Navasky's commitment to political engagement and to the social and intellectual values of independent cultural activity has always been front and center.In a wonderfully entertaining narrative, he tells of his innovative efforts to find money to keep The Nation afloat and to keep its pages lively, honest, and relevant, and he embellishes it with unforgettable stories-about his colleagues and opponents, from E. L. Doctorow to Bill Buckley; his heroes, from I. F. Stone to J&uuml;rgen Habermas; and his precedessors, from Daniel Defoe to Carey McWilliams.

Navasky's accomplishments have been legion, despite the threats of revenue-driven multinational media corporations, and despite the sometimes ugly, sometimes hilarious problems that fearless muckrakers face in any culture.A Matter of Opinion is a passionately written, irresistibly charming account of a great journalistic tradition.
... Read more

74. Faith of My Fathers
by JOHN MCCAIN, MARK SALTER
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375501916
Catlog: Book (1999-08-31)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 6171
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Books by politicians are not often worth reading, but John McCain's Faith of My Fathers is an astonishing exception to the rule. The Republican senator from Arizona has a remarkable story to tell--better than just about any of his peers--and he tells it well, with crisp prose and an unexpected sense for narrative pacing. The first half of the book concerns his naval forbears: his grandfather commanded an aircraft carrier in the Second World War, while his father presided over all naval forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. They were the first father-son admirals in American history. Young John McCain knew he had enormous shoes to fill and rebelled against many of the expectations set for him. At the Naval Academy, he was nearly expelled, graduating fifth from the bottom of his class. He never became an admiral, but achieved fame another way: as a naval aviator in 1967, he was shot down over North Vietnam and spent several years in POW camps, where he was beaten, tortured, and nearly allowed to die. McCain describes the awful details of his imprisonment and tells how he stayed mentally strong during seemingly endless months of solitary confinement and how he communicated in code with fellow captives. Faith of My Fathers concludes with McCain's release and contains no information about his subsequent political career. It is, nonetheless, a complete and compelling memoir of individual heroism--one that will interest both political and military history buffs. --John J. Miller ... Read more

Reviews (161)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fair and moving account
I am a Vietnam combat veteran, and I was pleasantly surprised by this book because almost everything in it was new to me. I knew very little about the careers of Senator McCain's grandfather and father, and even less about his harsh years as a POW in North Vietnam. My miserable year in combat pales in comparison to the horrible treatment these men received. I particularly enjoyed McCain's openness and honesty about his own shortcomings, his self-deprecating style, his dry sense of humor, his generous praise for others, and most of all his humility. I was also struck by the total lack of hostility expressed towards his captors. This is a very readable book and I found the author's personal insights into the Vietnam War both moving and powerful. Reading this made me proud to be an American, and it reminded me that we do have something special and unique to offer in the world, and how fortunate we are to have leaders like John McCain in our midst.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!
John McCain's "Faith of My Fathers" deals primarily with his POW years in Vietnam. The first half of the book provides information on his grandfather and father's Navy careers. This might be mundane to some readers but as I read along, I understand how his family's legacy made John McCain who he is. McCain also detailed his life in the Navy academy and outlining the academic and practical training he received. It is quite interesting to learn more about McCain's childhood, living from one state to another, never really retaining close friends and his rebellious years at the Academy.

The second half of the book deals with his imprisonment in Vietnam. This part of the book is most amazing and eye-opening. The beatings and tortures that McCain and other POWs received were appalling. It takes a lot for these prisoners to endure both physically and mentally. McCain describes the various methods that the prisoners used to occupy their time, to keep the mind as clear as possible and to provide support for their fellow prisoners. Communication proved to be an essential part of their survival. In addition, McCain was generous in his compliments to his fellow prisoners and provided many true stories of heroism and bravery of the POWs.

After finishing this book, I cannot but feel tremendous respect for John McCain and other POWs who survived the terrible ordeals and also to the military. In this memoir, McCain proved that it is important for the POWs to believe in both the military and the government to take care of their families when they were unable to. This memoir/biography is definitely worth reading and readers can gain valuable insights into life in general and things that we take for granted, such as freedom. "Faith of My Fathers" is a reminder for us to appreciate the little things in life and most importantly, to have faith.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if a bit abbreviated
Faith of My Fathers is John McCain's memoir of his service in the Vietnam war, with an extended prologue in which he introduces you to his father and grandfather, their deeds, and what these acts mean to him. It's interesting, but the memoir half of the book isn't that long and so it's somewhat less satisfying than it could be.

McCain's grandfather and father were both admirals (the first father and son to both reach four star rank in the Navy's history). McCain the elder commanded aircraft carriers during WW2, under Admiral Halsey. Halsey is quoted as saying that McCain was "not much more than my right arm." McCain served during the last year of the war in command of Halsey's carriers or a large portion of them, and did so ably.

The second McCain was a submarine commander during the same conflict, and was Commander in Chief of the Pacific during the Viet Nam War. He held this latter position when his son, the author of the book, was shot down over North Viet Nam and captured by the Vietnamese. Both father and grandfather appear to have been loyal, skilfull sailors who fought hard and lived harder, something that McCain apparently has done also.

The faith of the title is less religious than it sounds, though the author makes it clear that he's Christian. Instead, the faith turns out to be an abiding attachment to the core values that officers in the armed services once held: being honorable, faithful to the flag and the uniform, loyal to their country, and of course conventionally rowdy (drinking and gambling too much, chiefly) but never anything that would raise anyone's eyebrows, really. There is a strong religious element to it, but it's not overwhelming.

I enjoyed this book. McCain is an interesting and at times infuriating Republican, but he's also very up front abou what he considers his core beliefs and how he tries to hold on to them. The best parts of the book are the passages where he tells of the Vietnamese attempts to torture him and other prisoners into confessing to war crimes. He makes it clear that the war criminals weren't the captives. I would recommend this book, especially for those who wish to learn more about John McCain.

5-0 out of 5 stars very moving story
I often wonder how the being a POW would shake your resolve and faith for the country, and wonder if I could do it. After reading this book I am no closer to the dicision that I could survive it, but it makes you proud to know that there are americans like John Mccain out there. This book doesn't just cover the time in prision though, but rather his life up until he was released as well as the lives of his father and grandfather. A must read for anyone interested in history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Patriot
I couldn't put this book down. A great, smooth read about the three John McCains. An awesome family history that teaches about fathers and sons and wars. The relationships between these men were stronger than I imagined. I recommend this book to everyone to see how a true patriot serves their country. ... Read more


75. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
by Ron Chernow
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802138292
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Publishers Group West
Sales Rank: 4514
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The winner of the National Book Award and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. Acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as "brilliantly researched and written," the book tells the rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned. It is the definitive account of the rise of the modern financial world. A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P. Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece, a compelling account of a remarkable institution and the men who ran it, and an essential book for understanding the money and power behind the major historical events of the last 150 years. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars The House of Morgan
Chernow vividly portrays the influence that the Morgan banks have had on the history of the Western economy since the late 18th century. The epic story of the development of the American industrial experience is inextricably related to the history of the Morgan banks. Though this fascinating story is virtually the same as that told by Kathleen Bunk in Morgan Grenfell 1838-1988 ( LJ 12/89), Chernow adds color and personality with an emphasis on the 20th-century development of the bank. Working with recently discovered Morgan archives, he reveals institutional details long hidden by the protective secrecy of the family. This superb history will be an important book. BOMC, Fortune, and History Book Club featured alternates.

4-0 out of 5 stars Chernow's best work
The House of Morgan is a book that must be read by any and all people who have a significant interest in the early stages of American capitalism and its place in modern global economic history. Chernow demonstrates assiduous research and presents a wonderful review of the nascent stages of a economic and financial clearinghouse at Morgan. He writes quite cogently on the Morgan family and it's inner circle of elite and well groomed senior management's ability to harness this power to the benefit of both the firms parners and the U.S. economy at large. Further, Chernow does a admirable job discussing the more evolved stages of captial formation in the early to mid 20th Century that greatly increased competition and radically diminished the power at Morgan.

Where I believe he fell short, as was the case in his Titan tome as well, was in the integration of his specific thesis into a more general historical and socio-economic context. While some may agrue that this would be too much to conquer in one book, I would argue that improved editing of certain repitions would make room for this improvement and make this work a true treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Consistently fascinating
A consistently fascinating account of the rise of modern finance and its relationship to the development of large scale and multinationalindustry and modern government. The portraits of the Morgan family and associates are sharp and illuminating, both in their public and private dimensions. Two reservations. It would have been helpful to have a chart/timeline of the leading figures of the related Morgan banks to supplement the chart of the organizational changes in the House of Morgan. Second,too often the author relies on a rather shorthand explanation of the financial techniques and stratagems involved in his accounts of the Morgan banking and investment empire. A little more explanation would have added to the appreciation and understanding of readers without a serious background in finance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stick With it, You'll Be Pleased
"The House of Morgan" is one of the best business biography books I've ever read. It is an unbelievably comprehensive piece of research work on an important banking history in the United States. The stories of the people behind JP Morgan & Co give readers so much hopes and belief that anything is possible in your life. Mr. Chernow covers the company's historical and current background in great detail. He also presents a more technical view on what happen in the cycles of US economy that spans over many decades. What I like most about the book is the coverage of individuals involved in building and leading the firms (JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley). These groups of talented individuals are amazing leaders whose stories are worth reading.

I thought that the first 40 pages were pretty slow, but the actions did pick up real soon. By the 700th page, I was hoping there would be a second book written on the House of Morgan. I was especially impressed with Mr. Thomas Lamont that I proceeded to read a separate biography on him. I loved the book so much that I went on to buy some other books related to it - (RJR Nabisco story on Leverage Buyout and The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst). It's a thick book but it's really worth the time to read. You'll be pleased with yourself!

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement
Ron Chernow is arguably the best business historian writing today. His ambitious attempt to tell the story of the famed banking dynasty of J.P Morgan could not have succeeded more brilliantly. Here is a story not of just a bank. It is even more than simply the story of the financial services industry. It is, in fact, the story of the modern era, where everyone from Teddy Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini to Paul Volker and Ivan Boesky figure prominently.

At the heart of this epic is a great paradox: the rise of modern global finance ushered in the demise of the banker. In J.P. Morgan's day, a small group of bankers held sway over giant corporations and the governments of global powers, serving as intimate advisors and self-regulating their industry with a strict but unwritten gentleman banker's code of conduct. The institutions that banks like Morgan created ultimately grew too powerful to control. Whereas once governments and companies were at the mercy of their bankers, today the reverse is true. Chernow tells the story of this transformation in exquisite detail and with admirable clarity.

As interesting and well written as this book is, some may still find it to be a challenge to finish. For those who like to read a few pages before bed every night, you should expect the "House of Morgan" to be on the nightstand for several months. However, if you have the time and commitment, you'll likely find the experience of reading this book to be a worthwhile and fulfilling one. ... Read more


76. A Table In The Presence : The Dramatic Account of How a U.S. Marine Battalion Experienced God's Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq
by Carey H. Cash
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0849918235
Catlog: Book (2004-04-07)
Publisher: W Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 1905
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On April 10th, 2003, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, faced with the task of seizing the presidential palace in downtown Baghdad, ran headlong into what Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North called, “the worst day of fighting for U.S. Marines.” Hiding in buildings and mosques, wearing civilian clothes, and spread out for over a mile, Saddam Hussein’s militants rained down bullets and rocket propelled grenades on the 1st Battalion. But when the smoke of the eight-hour battle cleared, only one Marine had lost his life. Some said the 1st Battalion was incredibly lucky. But in the hearts and minds of the Marines who were there, there was no question. God had brought them miraculously through that battle.

As the 1st Battalion’s chaplain, Lieutenant Carey Cash had the unique privilege of seeing firsthand, from the beginning of the war to the end, how God miraculously delivered, and even transformed, the lives of the men of the 1st Battalion. Their regiment, the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the Marines, was the first ground force to cross the border into Iraq, the first to see one of their own killed in battle, and they were the unit to fight what most believe to have been the decisive battle of the war—April 10th in downtown Baghdad. Through it all, Carey Cash says, the presence of God was undeniable. Cash even had the privilege of baptizing fifty-seven new Christians—Marines and Sailors—during the war in Iraq.

The men of the 1st Battalion came to discover what King David had discovered long ago--that God’s presence could be richly experienced even in the presence of enemies. Here is the amazing story of their experience.

... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful account of how God's love is ever present.
I could not put this inspirational and comforting book down. As a wife of a Marine in First Battalion, Fifth Marines, I can honestly say that I'm impressed by the accurate accounts of both the people involved and events that occured during OIFI. Lt. Carey Cash's book comforted me with heartwarming stories and descriptions of the undeniable,loving presence of God in their lives during trying times. This book has it all- letters from home; prayers and scripture; love stories; tales of God's presence; accounts of 1/5's experiences during the war; friendships strengthened;and hope when faced with adversity. This story shows how in the midst of eye-witnessing the suffering of the Iraqi people, grieving over fallen fellow Marines, and fearing what the days may bring, God's love and grace gave them all strength and courage to face each day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Testimony of God's grace
I read this book in one night, thoroughly captivated by the descriptions of yes, war, but mostly the stories of our Marines' hearts and how they were changed during the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You travel the road with them, through fear and courage and amazement when they see God's hand protecting them in battle. This puts a new perspective on the war and definitely encourages the reader in trusting God and knowing how to pray for our military. Cash seems to be respected by all in 1/5...including me now that I've read his book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Humbling in God's presence
Chaplain Cash does an excellent job of describing the awe of being in God's presence even in the harshest environment imaginable. He also shows what a good Navy Chaplain can do to help a unit come to grips with its own spiritual needs. May our Lord Jesus be glorified by the witness this book provides.

4-0 out of 5 stars A moving and thought-provoking work.
As an ordained Evangelical minister and pastor for 23 years, with a strong concern that we Americans may stray off track if we lose our humility, I read this book with a critical eye for its doctrinal and scriptural correctness. I found it basically fine, but perhaps guilty of what Carol Hamrin of the Institute for Global Engagement (a superb Christian think-tank) called "the hubris that God is on OUR side". I agree with that view, which was expressed by another padre (Chap. Boyd) below: that we must not fall into the sin of believing that Almighty God our Savior is an instrument of American foreign policy. This is actually a little dangerous and possibly blasphemous. We serve an unimaginably mysterious and righteous God, who is neither American nor Iraqi, neither Republican nor Democrat, neither Christian nor Islamic, neither militaristic nor pacifistic. He is spirit; pure, omnipotent and omniscient. I rejoice that our wonderful God guided and protected our servicemen and women in Iraq, but I also lament the fact that some readers are believing this is evidence that God must be supportive of the war and our intervention and actions. It is not. God's protective mantle was indeed spread over many Americans (praise Him) but also over many Iraqis (yes, Islamic Iraqis are God's created children too). I certainly don't mean to criticise Chaplain Cash's powerful book, but only to encourage readers to remember that the context is a world in which we must be on God's side, not one in which we try to get Him on our side.

5-0 out of 5 stars God's Presence Today in Iraq
Chaplain Cash brings home the horrors and fears of war, offset by the presence of Nature's God in the midst of it all. As a Bible teacher, I found poignant lessons for living in today's world as the Bible teaches. The Chaplain describes ordinary humans, their fears, concerns and their faith that can inspire people in all circumstances of life. If you ever doubted God's presence in our world, reading this book will definitely convince you otherwise. Kudos to Chaplain Cash and the brave men of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (65)

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

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

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

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

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


78. Detour : My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D
by Lizzie Simon
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743446607
Catlog: Book (2003-06-18)
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Sales Rank: 47374
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

By all appearances, Lizzie Simon was perfect. She had an Ivy League education, lots of friends, a loving family, and a dazzling career as a theater producer by the age of twenty-three. But that wasn't enough: Lizzie still felt alone in the world, and largely misunderstood. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager, she longed to meet others like herself; she wanted to hear the experiences of those who managed to move past their manic-depression and lead normal lives. So Lizzie hits the road, hoping to find "a herd of her own." Along the way she finds romance and madness, survivors and sufferers, and, somewhere between the lanes, herself. Part road trip, part love story, Detour is a fast-paced, enduring memoir that demystifies mental illness while it embraces the universally human struggle to become whole. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Lizzie Simon, a charming, witty, intelligent, bipolar young woman travels cross country interviewing fellow sufferers. I enjoyed this book, although I kept returning to the cover to look at her pictures, because she is so cute. Bipolar disorder is no joke, but that doesn't stop the author from having a good life.

4-0 out of 5 stars A First in a New Genre about People with Mental Illness
Lizzie Simon experienced her first manic-depressive episode at age 17 in her senior year of high school while studying in Paris. It happened after she received early acceptance to Columbia University. Simon, now a 1998 graduate of Columbia University, quit her $900 a week job as creative producer of New York's Flea Theater at age 23, immediately after she helped them win the esteemed Obie Award. She had unresolved issues in her life, unexplored feelings left behind from the scary time in high school when her mind fell apart and was restored again with Lithium. She went away to college, sought and found success, and the subject of her daily battles with her life-saving pills never came up. She longed for closure. She searched for her sign, her way out.
"I kept receiving signs telling me I had other work to do. It was as if success had made a lot of noise in my head go away about being successful. I wasn't screeching at myself to make more and more. I wasn't basking in the public attention I was receiving or gloating through the streets of Tribecca. No, all of a sudden, it seemed things go really quiet in my head. I longed for a new direction, a new devotion. And then the signs emerged. The detour, my detour, lay ahead," she writes in Detour.
Then, she saw the sign. As she rode the subway back to her Brooklyn apartment, she saw a sign with a woman in a business suit. In big lettering over the woman it read, "For Mentally Illness, Treatment is Working". A few days later in the NYPress' "Best Of" section a commentary was written calling the ad "Best Scary Subway" ad of the year. The stigmatization and prejudice shown on behalf of the Press' editors moved her to write and send an editorial. From this editorial, spawned ideas for a new project aiming at de-stigmatizing mental illness and at the same time unite young sufferers.
"I am creating this project for the terrorized seventeen-year-old who has just been through hell and back. She's on the precipice of the rest of her life but she doesn't have the faith to know it, because all she can see, all anybody is showing her, is the dead end she feels surrounding her. I am making this journey for her, to help her through this, the hardest time in her life...I think she's worth my time, my energy, my art, and my honesty, because I think if she breaks through she'll change the world," she writes.
Detour began another part of her journey with this illness. She interviewed six other young successful people with bipolar disorder all between ages 16 and 30 chronicling their stories and asking them for advice on how they cope and deal with parents, coworkers, teachers, and friends. The story takes place in Simon's fathers's white SUV as she cruises from her parent's home in Rhode Island down the East Coast and out to California in search of her herd-her herd of other successful, high-functioning young people with mood disorders like herself. Along the way, she meets some odd characters, courageous souls, and battles terrifying existential woes, which almost cause her to abandon her quest and go home. She even adds some spice by including her love affair with a bipolar drug addict and fellow New Yorker throughout her book project.
Simon sketches with simplicity, portraying her six interviewees with honesty and sheer determination to survive and even thrive. Her empathetic interviews with other young bipolars as well as her witty insights into her own story make the book come alive. This book defines a beginning in a whole new genre of fiction and creative nonfiction about young people and mental illness. This is a must-have for every young person, their doctor, their friends, and their school counselors.
In 2002, Simon served as an assistant field producer for the MTV special "True Life: I'm Bipolar," which was inspired by Detour and HBO recently optioned for the rights to make the movie.
A recipient of a grant from the Federation for Families for Children's Mental Health, Simon is a frequent guest speaker and freelance writer. She also teaches creative writing classes and is working on a novel with a character who loses her brother to suicide. You can visit her web site at www.lizziesimon.com.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual memoir
Lizzie Simon had everything except peace of mind. Having been diagnosed during her teenage years with bipolar disorder, she'd never quite come to grips with her condition and felt misunderstood and unable to live the normal life she craved. So she took off to travel and found her way home. Detour is a fast-paced memoir, unlike most in this genre of self-absorption, and manages to demystify the aura of mental illness.
It's good, really good. ... Read more


79. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way: Management Insights and Leadership Secrets of the Legendary CEO
by Robert Slater
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070581045
Catlog: Book (1998-07-31)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 16165
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A recent Fortune poll cited General Electric Company as America's most admired company. Much of the credit went to Jack Welch, GE's chief executive for the past 17 years. During his tenure, GE's revenues and profits have grown enormously. Its share price has soared, making GE the world's most valuable company. And the key to GE's success, according to Jack Welch and the GE Way, is Welch's fanatical devotion to a personal philosophy of leadership. Author Robert Slater has made a growth industry of his own out of Welch, penning two previous books on him, The New GE in 1992 and Get Better or Get Beaten! two years later. The same territory was plowed in 1993 by Noel M. Tichy and Stratford Sherman in Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will.

In this book, Slater draws extensively on Welch's own words to deliver his now familiar message: keep it simple; face reality; embrace change; fight bureaucracy. Bromides these may be, but Slater's account of Welch's fierce efforts to lead a global, multifarious organization of 270,000 people does inspire admiration, even if it does not enable emulation. The book provides fresh insights into GE's shift toward service businesses, as with its takeover and transformation of NBC. Most timely are Welch's closing thoughts on trends in the global economy. Jack Welch and the GE Way is a must for the legions of "Welch-heads" out there and for anyone else interested in this brilliant leader's perspective on the future of business. --Barry Mitzman ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons from a brilliant business icon
Good Job, Jack!!

As a one-time Wall Street professional, I find books about the top minds of business interesting. Truly, this book about the now-retired CEO of General Electric, the world's best run company, is fascinating. It not only gives us insight into Jack Welch the man, but the strategies he used to make GE a darling of Wall Street and Main Street.

What I found most intriguing about this book is its dedication to showing HOW and WHY Mr. Welch employed his fresh attitudes towards his pursuit of excellence. He addresses many salient issues, including

1. Leadership being the key to successful management, not managing; 2. Harnessing the true power of the corporation: its employees; 3. The advantages of large corporations acting like small companies; 4. Growth by globalization; 5. Corporate change is natural and necessary. Jack Welch has proven that he was one of the greatest leaders corporate America has known. The author, Robert Slater, does a superb job of taking us inside GE and Jack Welch's head. This book will stand as a tribute to GE's greatness and Welch's vision, strength, courage and brilliance.

If you are an entrepreneur, corporate manager or business executive, this book is well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC STORY... INCREDIBLE MAN!
Any corporate executive or manager should read this book to be an effective, top-notch leader. Jack Welch has come through the ranks and has shown us that in the corporate world of business it is not enough to manage, one must lead by example. Welch shows how and why corporate change is both healthy and a necessity. Above all, the book brings out the fundamental aspect of communication and the fact that many of our obstacles, trials and errors in the corporate world could easily be overcome or eliminated with effective communication skills. In the world of business, communication takes up the majority of our time even though many CEO's and managers have, seemingly, not learned this critical fact. If CEO's, managers and employees are lacking exceptional communication skills, corporations, both large and small, will not reap the fruits of their labour and achieve optimum results.

Overall, "Jack Welch and the G.E. Way" is an insightful look inside the mind of brilliant man, and penned by a writer who puts meaning and conviction to the words. The story which unfolds, and Welch himself, are throughly intriguing. The book is highly recommended and certainly deserving of a five-star rating.

2-0 out of 5 stars Author Paid By The Word
Good overview of the Jack Welch way, including a variety of innovative business ideas that brought GE forward.

However, as a book goes, it would appear the author was paid by the word. Each of the "secrets" is presented, reviewed, repeated, and presented again in a 300+ page book that would better be summarized in about 20. I kept reading after the first two chapters thinking I would learn somthing new, but honestly, save your money, read chapter one at the library, and go home with just as much insight.

To the publisher, I'd recommed an "executive summary" version for the next edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But I Prefer Jack's Own
I bought this book before reading Jack's "Straight from the Gut". When I read this book I thought it was 5 stars and I re-read this book at least once looking for clues to help my own business. Then I read Jack's book and realized his was better. In any case this covers all the basic aspects of Jack's methods including the educational meetings at the GE "university", cleaning house, picking winning companies, eliminating small market share companies, and promoting top performers and eliminating underperformers. It shows how he is hands on.

Good if you want to read two books on Jack Welch.

Jack in Toronto

1-0 out of 5 stars Absurd
I worked as an engineer for GE under Jack Welch and I have also worked as a (civilian) naval engineer.

GE's bureaucracy makes the government look like a paradigm of efficiency. GE is probably the most politicized, bureaucratic, inefficient and bloated organization on the planet.

Jack Welch is incompetent. Read a comic book instead: You'll find more truth in one. ... Read more


80. Gifted Hands
by Ben Carson, Cecil Murphey, Dr. Benjamin Carson
list price: $18.99
our price: $18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310546508
Catlog: Book (1990-06-04)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 127697
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The inspiring story of Ben Carson, M.D. takes readers into the life of an inner-city youngster who rose above his circumstances to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. ... Read more

Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gifted Hands: An autobiography by Ben Carson
Gifted Hands, the inspiring transformation of Ben Carson, was a great autobiography! As he faced terrible times during his rough childhood years, he still managed to become successful.

Ben Carson was a troublesome juvenile growing up in a terrible neighborhood. He did not excel in school and therefore battled an anger problem which almost caused his best friend's life. His lack of self-control always led him into a rage that would hurt others as well as himself both physically and emotionally. Carson later realized that he had a serious problem and wanted to change. He decided to transform from a immature angry boy into an unique man that impacts other peoples lives.

This novel revealed an interesting zeal of success and motivation that inspires readers of all ages. It led to having hope, never giving up, and striving to become the individual that God wants you to become.

Dr. Carson suceeded and now is a brain seargeant at Johns Hopkins Hospitol in Baltimore, Maryland. One of the most inspiring surgeries he ever performed was on separating simese-twins who were joined at the head. Dr. Carson also speaks to young men and women to encourage them to turn their lives around to make something of themselves. After this breathtaking autobiography, Carson remains one of the most highly respected and intriguing African-Americans in the history of America. I actually had the opportunity to meet Dr. Carson at Johns Hopkins one day while visiting my father when he was being hospitalized there. After that short time talking with him, I could already begin to admire him. This book,Gifted Hands will change any readers life for the better.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story of Inspiration
This is a must read for anyone interested in stories of people overcoming adversity, and making something of their lives. This is the Ben Carson story plain and simple. Dr. Carson gained world wide fame when he and his staff separated the occipital twins from Germany, but the real story of Ben Carson begins much earlier in his native Detroit. Ben came from circumstances that most people do not overcome, but he found a way out through his love of learning. However, he faced numerous challenges before he would reach his desire to become a medical doctor. Early on in his life he was hit with a real whammy when his father left the family under the strangest circumstances when Ben was eight years old. He also shares the fascinating experience of how anger nearly doomed his medical career before he ever graduated from high school. In addition, he discusses his early academic struggles at Yale, and how faith, prayer and hard work got him through. The final chapter of the book provides the doc's prescription for success using the acronym Think Big. This book is a great read, and provides many wonderful ideas on how to make a life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good.
It's a very good book to read, particularly for the younger generation who are still on their way to realizing their goals in life, in terms of profession. My only problem with it was that ever since Ben got his reading glasses, every single little thing went well for him. The path was butter-smooth for him ever since, except for one or two incidents or issues. Maybe that's the way it really was for him, but it made it difficult for me to be able to relate to it. It's probably because our lives are so contrasting...luck does not come easy for me, although I do work hard. Other than that, I found it a quick enjoyable read. I wish Carson the best of luck too. He's a good guy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Contagious inspiration and motivational drive
GIFTED HANDS, an autobiographical look into the life of one of the best neurosurgeons in the U. S. of A, is so unbelievably inspirational and poignant. If 100 people simultaneously read this book, I assure you at least one of them would walk away a changed person! I know Ben Carson has changed me. From now on, I'm vowing to do my absolute best. This year of homeschooling has given me many opportunities to "slack off" as one might say - I've taken a few of those opportunities. Even though I ended up with mostly As, I'm vowing to give my all into my academic performance next year. Ben Carson's motivational drive is absolutely contagious!

Benjamin Carson, M.D started out on the mean Detroit streets. His father had to leave the family after it was found he was practically living a double life: he had a girlfriend and another family while married to Ben's mother. While his mother assured him the family would be fine, they had to struggle to make ends meet. Yet all the while, she kept pushing and pushing Ben to be the best he could possibly be. All the while, she knew he had it in him to get out of the Detroit ghetto in which they lived. All the while, she knew he'd make something of himself. And he did.

We see an amazing transformation from a skeptical kid, unsure of life, to an intelligent neurosurgeon with a heart of gold - so much so that he can't help but break down and cry when surgery results in the death of a patient. He is a person who made the best of his education, as well as his college years. He went from being the best to simply doing his best and can be regarded as an inspiration to all because his standard of life he began with wasn't as favorable as many rich families who have attended Ivy League colleges for generations. In his case, he along with his older brother, Curtis, were the first in the family to attend colleges. Curtis ended up at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and Ben enrolled at Yale University, where he met his wife, Candy.

Ben's beginnings were certainly not easy. Signs of determination showed as young as the age of 10. He started out as the "class dummy" in school, frequently getting every single question on his math tests wrong. But then, through hard work and a lot of reading at the local library, plus a new presciption for glasses, he expanded his knowledge in every subject. Soon, "good" wasn't good enough. Ben was driven to be the best. In fact, he was so driven that he won a full scholarship to the renowned Yale University.

God has clearly played a pivotal role in Ben's life. Before operating, he always prays to the Lord. But one life experience in particular especially is one I won't soon forget. Ben feared flunking a Yale exam and knew last-minute cramming would do him no good. As he slept, he dreamt of the mathematical facts and figures and equations. The next day, he nervously proceeded to take the exam and realized many of the questions had been in his prior dream! After a lot of worrying, Ben scored a 97 on the exam. He knew it was God's way of helping him.

What I most enjoy about this autobiography is the way in which Ben addresses the readers. Whether his audience ranges from the age of 13 to the age of 99, either age should enjoy it. Clearly, Ben is a brilliant genius. He speaks eloquently, yet he doesn't throw in the "big words" he could probably use if he chose to. Instead, his story is told through simple language that anyone can understand.

Ben Carson ought to be regarded as a role model for today's youth. Those not on the right path to a successful future could especially benefit, as a book like this could assist in a serious straightening out of priorities. As I mentioned before, Ben's motivational drive is contagious and inspiring! This down-to-earth doctor's story is really meant for everyone, teens and adults alike.

1-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awful
This book was truly a painful read. Carson's story is one dimensional, boring, and horribly written. There seem to be no low points in his life, only highs where he suceeds apparently against all odds.

His life seems to occur in a vacuum, with very little sense of time or place. He says he live in a poor area of Detroit as a child, but there is extremely little description of the place or its people, or how his life is extraordinary compared to everyone else who was raised there. You can't imagine what it was like for him at all. The people in Carson's life are poorly and unimaginatively described. In the first half of the book, Carson talks about his mother very much and how much she influenced him, but only mentions her once in the rest of the book. His mother seems to be a talking head, not a real person with any kind of physical weight, but just a voice. It is hard to picture her or to think of her or anybody else in the book as a real person and therefore it is hard to care about any of them.

Although Carson has done a lot of good for people, he comes off as arrogant, talking about his endless string of sucesses and how humble he is on every page . He has no sense of humour irony, or subtlety. In the end, this book is just hollow words with no soul. ... Read more


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