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$16.29 list($23.95)
101. Madam Millie: Bordellos from Silver
$17.16 $13.16 list($26.00)
102. Rogue River Journal: A Winter
$19.77 list($29.95)
103. Huerfano: A Memoir Of Life In
$22.95 $9.75
104. Billy Ray's Farm: Essays
$0.85 list($22.00)
105. Running After Antelope
$10.50 $0.66 list($14.00)
106. The Cowboy Way : Seasons of a
$10.40 $5.99 list($13.00)
107. Remembering Denny
$12.89 $6.15 list($18.95)
108. On Good Land: The Autobiography
$19.99 $2.24
109. New York Days
$20.37 $20.22 list($29.95)
110. The Tale of the Devil: The Biography
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111. Living in the Country Growing
$34.95 $24.42
112. John Ireland and the American
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113. Fame and Obscurity
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114. The Vineyard: a Memoir
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115. Crazy in the Kitchen : Foods,
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116. Ringolevio: A Life Played for
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117. Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory
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118. A Taste of the Sweet Apple : A
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119. Five Sisters: The Langhornesof
$14.95 $14.65
120. Son of a Sharecropper : Growing

101. Madam Millie: Bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan
by Max Evans
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 0826327826
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Sales Rank: 313367
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mildred Clark Cusey was a prostitute, a madam, an entrepreneur, and above all, a survivor. The story of Silver City Millie, as she referred to herself, is the story of one woman’s personal tragedies and triumphs as an orphan, a Harvey Girl waitress on the Santa Fe railroad, a prostitute with innumerable paramours, and a highly successful bordello businesswoman. Millie broke the mold in so many ways, and yet her life’s story of survival was not unlike that of thousands of women who went West only to find that their most valuable assets were their physical beauty and their personality. Petite at five feet tall with piercing blue eyes, Millie captured men’s attention by her very essence and her unmistakable joie de vivre.

Born to Italian immigrant parents near Kansas City, she and her sister were orphaned early and separated from each other. Millie learned hard lessons on the streets, but she never gave up and she vowed to protect and support her ailing older sister. Caught in a domestic squabble in her foster home, Millie wound up in juvenile court with Harry Truman as her judge. This would be only the first of many brushes in her life with prominent politicians.

When physicians diagnosed her sister with tuberculosis and recommended she move West to a Catholic home in Deming, New Mexico, Millie moved with her. Expenses ran high and after a brief stint waiting tables as a Harvey Girl, Millie found that her meager tips could easily be augmented by turning tricks. Thus, out of financial need and devotion to her sister, Mildred Cusey turned to a life of prostitution and a career at which she soon excelled and became both rich and famous.

Madam Millie contains sordid details and frank language that will make many readers blush. It is unvarnished language, as recorded directly from Millie by Max Evans over a period of almost 20 years. It presents a complete picture of the business of prostitution as it was practiced in the West from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s, told by the most successful madam in the business. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great story, poorly written
I met Millie once when I was a youngster, this book was of immense interest to me.
This is a very good story and it is hilarious at times.
Other times it is heart wrenching. Kind of like life.
My only criticism is that the biographer was weak in the delivery of the story.
Nevertheless, I express thanks to Mr. Evans his perseverance in writing this book. I am certain it was not an effortless undertaking.

This book is one that I will save as a gem between gems on my bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild, Ribald, Funny, Great!
Absolutely great book if you want to read about one of the truly fantastic madams of the recent period, read this! She crowded more 'living' into her life than most people do in 6 lifetimes. She had friends in all the right places, and knew everyone. On her own from the age of 14, she was a quick learner and knew all the 'tricks'. In fact, as she put it, "We turned a good trick". Had houses from Alaska to the bottom of New Mexico. Top notch- 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read as social history
Ignore the book's subtitle, cover and back cover copy. Madam Millie is not about bordellos or lurid sex detail. It's about a tough, wise, loveable woman. There are a few funny incidents -- as when a cat attacks a delicate portion of a bishop's anatomy -- but today they seem rather tame.
Millie's long life was never ordinary. Orphaned at a young age, she was saved from juvenile justice by Harry S. Truman, then a Kansas City judge. When her sister Florence was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Millie accompanied her to Deming, New Mexico, where she worked as a Harvey Girl at the train station.
Millie entered her new profession to pay her sister's medical bills. And the rest is, literally, history.
Readers will appreciate Madam Millie on two levels: as the biography of a legend and as a social history of women, work and early life in the southwest. Millie entered the business to pay medical bills for her sister. In one night, she would earn more -- and have a pleasanter life -- than she would in the other occupations open to women at the time.
Millie was first and foremost a businesswoman. She built her success not on her looks but on her charisma, executive skills and ability to read people. It was no accident that her houses attracted high-powered clients. She was their equal.
Millie managed bordellos but she also bought and sold real estate. If she had been born forty years later, she would be a player in business or politics -- a very different but equally challenging game.
Readers can debate the morality -- and inevitabilty -- of Millie's "business." Millie herself believed there would always be a need, whether legally met or not. As Millie acknowledged, in the end what she had to sell soon became available for free, thanks to birth control and a changing society.
Millie ran clean houses, with no drugs and no disease, and her contributions to the community must have set a record. There were no rescue agencies back then. She *was* the Red Cross. Her last houses on Hudson Street -- site of the current Silver City post offices -- closed in 1968.
Madam Millie is fast-paced and easy to read. We get a sense of her wit and style, though not a great deal of her thought processes. Then again, Madam Millie does not come across as an introspective gal. She's all action. The pictures help us see history: the "girls" come across as more humorous than provocative.
Give this book to your favorite Silver City newcomer. Buying stamps and mailing a letter will take on a whole new meaning after they read Madam Millie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Hillarious Read!
I found the story of Madam Millie very fascinating and funny at times. I've lived in Silver City for two years and its interesting to read about the town in its heyday. Especially now that I know that the post office is where her infamous whorehouse once sat.
The story is told as if Millie was still alive and Max Evans makes her real and not just some unreachable figure in Silver's past. What I enjoyed most was learning about the people who would visit her brothels and I rolled on the floor with laughter at the story of the Mormon bishop.
I recommend this book to anyone, especially if you live in or near Silver City, because most of the places she talks about still exisit and it makes you think twice about downtown Silver City.

5-0 out of 5 stars An intriguing biographical history
Mildred Cusey was a madam, an entrepreneur, and a survivor: Max Evans's superbly written biography, Mildred Cusey, tells of an orphan and waitress who rose from prostitute to bordello owner, in the process charting the rise and influence of bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan. Madam Millie is an intriguing biographical history. ... Read more


102. Rogue River Journal: A Winter Alone
by John Daniel
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 1593760515
Catlog: Book (2005-04-10)
Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard
Sales Rank: 107668
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Book Description

In November of 2000, after the presidential election but before the results were handed down by the Supreme Court, John Daniel climbed into his pickup, drove to a cabin in the Red River Gorge, and quit civilization for a proscribed time. The strictures set up were severe: no two-way human communications, no radio, no music, no news, no clocks, and no calendars. He left his wife behind and moved into a cabin sure to be snowed-in just after his arrival, where he lived in complete isolation until spring, without even his cat as a companion.

He was intent on not hearing a human voice other than his own for the next six months. Thoreau's Journals were there, of course, for instruction and inspiration. In addition to the physical rigor of working in isolation, Daniel had assumed a hard spiritual task in deciding to live alone: to confront his now dead father. Rogue River Journal is the result, with writing as skilled as Jon Krakauer's—a remarkable memoir of both vivid present and past interwoven. ... Read more


103. Huerfano: A Memoir Of Life In The Counterculture
by ROBERTA PRICE
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1558494693
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Sales Rank: 260544
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104. Billy Ray's Farm: Essays
by Larry Brown
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
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Asin: 1565121678
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Sales Rank: 176939
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In his first work of nonfiction since the acclaimed On Fire, Brown aims for nothing short of ruthlessly capturing the truth of the world in which he has always lived. In the prologue to the book, he tells what it's like to be constantly compared with William Faulkner, a writer with whom he shares inspiration from the Mississippi land. The essays that follow show that influence as undeniable. Here is the pond Larry reclaims and restocks on his place in Tula. Here is the Oxford bar crowd on a wild goose chase to a fabled fishing event. And here is the literary sensation trying to outsmart a wily coyote intent on killing the farm's baby goats. Woven in are intimate reflections on the Southern musicians and writers whose work has inspired Brown's and the thrill of his first literary recognition.

But the centerpiece of this book is the title essay which embodies every element of Larry Brown's most emotional attachments-to the family, the land, the animals. This is a book for every Larry Brown fan. It is also an invaluable book for every reader interested in how a great writer responds, both personally and artistically, to the patch of land he lives on. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars On Writing and Ranching
"What is it about Oxford [Mississippi] that produces writers?" It's a question Larry Brown, Barry Hannah and John Grisham get asked a lot. Brown says, "They always want to ask about Faulkner and what it all means, being a writer in Oxford, and where all the stories come from....

"I don't know what the answer is for anybody else, and I don't know what caused Faulkner to write," he explains, but "Most times, for any writer, I think it springs from some sort of yearning in the breast to let things out, to say something about the human condition, maybe just to simply to tell a story."

Of this, he knows plenty, for the essays in this memoir - I say "this," as opposed to "his," because I'm sure there will be many more - are stories of his life, so far; as a writer, indulgent father, and reluctant farmer.

Getting back to the question, he supposes it basically boils down to this: "Where do you get your ideas?" His response is "I believe that writers have to write what they know about. I don't think there's much choice in that." Elaborating, he says, "All [Faulkner] was doing was what every other writer does, and that is drawing upon the well of memory and experience and imagination that every writer pulls his or her material from. The things you know, the things you have seen or heard of, the things you can imagine. A writer rolls all that stuff together kind of like a taco and comes up with fiction. And I think whatever you write about, you have to know it. Concretely. Absolutely. Realistically."

Brown has an easy, honest way with language that is as smooth as Mississippi molasses. Describing the region around Tula, where he spent his teenage years, he writes, "The tall cypresses with their knees standing in water were hollow coon castles, the bark worn smooth on one side only from the steady traffic of coons scrambling up in the morning and down at night, regular as dairymen."

Reminiscing about his hunting expeditions with neighbors, he writes, "in the reserves of good memories we all hold, those times are special and seem magical to me, those nights in the woods and those days in the fields, those lessons in the wild."

Hunting is a tradition that weaves its way through Brown's family's generations, one he now shares with his sons: "They bring in ducks and squirrels and deer and doves, and I cook for them as my mother did for me, and they tell me their hunting stories, and I listen to catch their words."

In addition to letting us glimpse his personal life, Brown takes us down the long enduring road he's taken in becoming a writer. Deliberately seeking mentors in his early days as a writer, he found one when a friend lent him a copy of A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews. He would go on to read everything by the author he could get his hands on, and in the end, he's "grateful that a writer like him walks this earth."

Brown had written five unpublished novels by 1985, "and almost a hundred short stories that had, for the most part, gone begging also." Pulling 24-hour shifts at the Oxford fire department, working odd jobs on his off-days to make ends meet, and writing in his "spare" time, Brown burned one of his novels in his backyard and worked on his rejection-slip collection.

His "apprenticeship period" would span seven years - a relative bargain, considering Crews' lasted 10 - until his first book of short stories, Facing the Music, was accepted for publication.

Brown writes with such a subtle passion. Speaking of his son, Billy Ray, whose farm is the subject of the essay chosen for the book's title, he tells, "The barn leaks. It's an old barn, pretty ragged, but he's tried to fix it up. He's mowed yards since he was twelve years old, and worked as a butcher, and hauled hay, and laid sod, and worked on a hog farm. He's saved his money, and all he's ever wanted is to be a cattleman. And it's always hurt me deep that he has had such bad luck."

Perhaps Billy Ray should take a page from his father's history and realize that with a little luck and a lot of dedication, dreams come true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best from Larry Brown in a while
I know these essays are compiled from a few scattered sources and were written here & there for the last couple of years, but the arrangement they get in this book reads like pure Larry Brown. Not since his takes on his firefighting career have I been more pleased with one of his offerings. "Fay" was, for me, lacking in stately elegance, taking itself just a little too seriously, while "Father and Son" was achingly forced in its cardboard intensity. The thing missing in those two works was a sense of humor, and it's back in "Billy Ray's Farm" in spades. A few laughs definitely give a laid-back funkiness to the proceedings, as his observations are concrete and believable (as usual) but at the same time entertaining and lively.

I have read all of Larry Brown's books, and he works best with a smile on his face. These essays find him grinning from ear to ear, and it's about time he regained that sense of playfulness and naughtiness he seemed to have lost with bot "Fay" and "Father and Son", which were heavy-handed and too simplistic in their approach. I'm glad he seems to have come back to Earth with these essays & I can't wait for more of the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfectly simple!!
Larry Brown gets better with each book published. This book is quintessential Larry Brown. Simple, sparse, and completely accessible. Some people may be surprised at the lighter tones in this book of essays. It just goes to show the honesty in everything Brown writes. I have a little Larry Brown story that I think his fans would appreciate. I had the pleasure of hearing Brown read from Billy Ray's Farm at a bookshop in New York City. By mistake someone in the press printed the time of the reading incorrectly by almost two hours. Two people walked in and were devastated that they missed his reading. One of the employees told them that he was still in the back if they wanted to go talk to them. They were both a little awestruck. They're huge fans of his. After getting up the nerve they went up to them and told them how much his writing meant to them and how sorry they were to miss the reading. So what do you think he did? He took these two people into a corner of the store and read two chapters to them. Only them. It was a great thing to see and it's that quality that comes through in all of his stories. Truth and fiction. He is by far my favorite writer working today. I'm a big fan of Jim Harrison and Harry Crews as well, being from the south. If you haven't read "Fay" yet, pick it up as soon as you can. It's an amazing story. Brown does what all great writers do. He makes you forget that you're reading. Can't wait to see what's next.

4-0 out of 5 stars Earthy essays on rural life written with a natural innocence
One of these days when I get through cleaning up from the storm, I'm going to start building a little cabin, right over there above the pond, up in the deep part of that shade.--Larry Brown

Larry Brown has published seven earlier works: two books of short stories (Facing the Music and Big Bad Love), an acclaimed memoir (On Fire), and four novels (Dirty Work, Joe, Father and Son, and Fay).

Billy Ray's Farm contains ten essays dealing with, among other things, the author's struggling apprenticeship to become a published author {"Harry Crews: Mentor and Friend"), his unsuccessful stalking of a goat-killing coyote ("Goatsongs"), the heartbreak of cow ownership and his son's frustrated efforts to build a thriving cattle business ("Billy Ray's Farm"), a big "fish grab" at the Enid Spillway ("So Much Fish, So Close to Home"), and his determination to carve an enclave out of the wilderness by building single-handedly a ten-by-twelve cabin ("Shack").

City slickers unfamiliar with rural life will learn from Brown all about calfpullers and other arcane mysteries.

Like Hemingway, Brown writes with a sparse, down-to-earth, no-nonsense style, with a clarity and precision unlike the convoluted sentences of Faulkner's turgid prose. When critics compare Brown to Faulkner, therefore, they do not mean the tempo of Brown's style but rather the tone of his stories, which, like Faulkner, are written from the heart and spirit, with compassion and a love for the land and people of Mississippi, Brown's microcosmic "postage stamp" universe.

By the way, in case you've never been there, Tula is a small town situated some twenty miles miles south-southeast of Oxford, Miss. (the site of Faulkner's home).

Brown writes with honesty and (often self-deprecating) humor, albeit a melancholy humor tinged with irony. His earthy language has a natural innocence, like cow droppings on a footpath.

In "discovering" Larry Brown, I am a Johnny-come-lately. Billy Ray's Farm is the first of his works I have read, but it definitely will not be the last.

If you grow weary of the stale stuff abounding nowadays, Billy Ray's Farm will revive you like a fresh breeze blowing through the live oak trees.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brown's Essays From Tula
Larry Brown's newest book of non-fiction, Billy Ray's Farm, gives anyone with an interest in the author's background a generous helping of what his life is like, both as a writer and a man. The title essay alone is worth the price of admission, but one also gets literary tributes to Harry Crews, Madison Jones, and Madison Bell; ruminations on growing up in rural Mississippi and how his life has changed since becoming a writer; explorations of the joys and difficulties of fatherhood; and healthy doses of the Mississippi landscape that comes to life so memorably in his novels. In its scope, the book reminds one of Crews' own Blood And Grits--the language is sparse but tough and to the point, and the reader never quite knows which realm of the heart and mind and hand the next page will reveal. If you're a fan of Brown's novels, this book will only deepen your understanding of where his material comes from and how faithful he is to it. If you've never read his fiction, this book is a perfect introduction to the world according to Brown. ... Read more


105. Running After Antelope
by Scott Carrier
list price: $22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582431116
Catlog: Book (2001-02)
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Sales Rank: 365004
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Science, human nature, war reporting --- it's all here
A collection of pieces loosely based on the author's obsession, inspired by his biologist brother's studies, with literally running down a deer, as some say primitive men once did. In between the attempts to corraborate stories of Indian tribes who do this and trying to catch pronghorns in Wyoming, Carrier intersperses essays about his divorce, his attempts to produce radio segments on the road, his adventures in hitchhiking, and stories from global hot spots that he did for Esquire. None of these digressions in unwelcome, especially the latter, which are superb stories of the best and worst in human nature, of death and survival. Whether he's interviewing a Cambodian woman whose greatest relief is that she no longer has to spend her day making poison sticks to keep out the militia, or an Indian commander is Kashmir who says the daily carnage is only "friendly fire," Carrier knows how to get the quotes and anecdotes that stick with his readers for a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Desert Amerika
Scott Carrier runs to the edge of a high, dry place and observes: "Here it is, Reality; but the reality of what?" The answer comes back as the echo of laughter in the hills. Haunting and wonderful.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Unique, American Voice
Scott Carrier's collection of essays, Running After Antelope alternates sections about travel's to Cambodia, time spent interviewing the mentally ill, and beatnik hitchhiking adventures with brief, intercalary chapters, indexed by year, which describe his passion for animal of the title. Carrier is consumed by the idea of being able to run with these creatures, to track them and perhaps outrun them eventually. On several occasions we meet Scott's brother, a scientist who studies the respiratory systems of mammals. Their relationship is often engaging, as is Scott's relationship to the antelope themselves. Indeed, the author's voice, so easy to read along with after hearing it so many times on NPR, dominates the landscape to such a degree that the reader never really gets a clear view of the vistas, natural and metaphorical, that he attempts to exposit in these brief essay. As individual works, the essays are like existential snapshots of a hell always just below the surface. The best essay in the collection, The Test, describes Carrier's time as a field interviewer for the mentally ill. He meets several, decidedly disturbed individuals - a man who tells Carrier that he can read his mind with the help of a crystal he carries, a woman who was put on medication because she claims sex with angels, and an eighty year old man who responds to every question with a plaintive "I can't remember". Carrier's job plunges further into the heart of darkness when he decides to take the test himself, only to discover, half way through, that the results aren't going to be good. As starling, even heartbreaking, as this essay is, the fact that it is followed later on by a rather lighthearted, Charles Kuraltesque piece about hitching a ride across country with an aspiring art dealer - who incidentally, believes his brother to be a genius of the art world; I wonder if Carrier considered making a stronger parallel with his own brother - and then by two pieces of travel journalism in which Carrier, promisingly enough, rents a motorcycle to transverse the countryside, and then, after getting lost on his way back to the palatial hotel, promptly returns it. The rudiments of Carrier's dark vision of things not quite in their proper place (especially the author himself) do make themselves known from time to time, event these weaker essays. The problem is that the reader's focus is split between the narrator's neurosis (and it is a fascinating one) and the decidedly journalistic intent in many of these essays. The divide never seems to converge at any point, despite the contextual format which leads the reader to believe otherwise. The lack of tonal cohesion between the various pieces, though distracting, should not dissuade a good, long sitting with Carrier's book, however. The precision of his prose style, which sometimes boarders on the baroque, has been honed by years freelancing for public radio. As such, the writing is meant to stimulate the mind's eye. In an early essay, Carrier describes the quite, natural splendor of his Utah:

There are little birds in the trees, and big birds on the rock walls of the canyon - red rock walls in the shadow of the afternoon sun. A dirt road comes around and down and crosses over the stream, and in the pool below road a pale snake slides silent into the water and swims to the other side, holding something rather large in its mouth.

Assonance aside, these sorts of passages, brief and almost haiku-like, crop up throughout the book and provide the necessary calm and elegance to counter Carrier's dark and often morbid musings. It is strange that Scott Carrier, the brooding, almost transient voice so often heard amongst the wacky and the cranky on This American Life, should become a representative belle letterist for this new century. However, the hodgepodge of modes that make up Running After Antelope - memoir, travel essay, nature writing - seems a perfect fit for the era of the translucent computer and gourmet fast-food. Appetites change and morph throughout even a single sitting of reading. To this end, Scott Carrier's short collection of flawed but very often beautiful and haunting essays should provoke even the most distracted of readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars FH grows up
I have always liked Scott Carrier the most of all of the producers on "This American Life". Something about his voice, writing style, and introspection. I found this book to be a non-fiction Jesus' Son, maybe lacking the manic moments that Denis Johnson pens but the sadness, naiveté, and poetic prose is all there.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Running to Stay Alive"
Scott Carrier's theme in "Running After Antelope" is a description of his life, of my life, of everyman's life. Intercalated between short essays of his adventures are recurrent descriptions of Scott and his brother's hypothesis that they (humans) can outrun a pronghorn antelope. This metaphor fits a thinking man's quest in life. We all must keep running to really stay alive. This is some sort of by-product of consciousness I suppose. I predict that Scott will never succeed, but he must keep running. Most of us loose sight of what we should run after. This book gently reminds us without the usual prostelitizing. The sparkling essays are crystals without too much said. This is a soothing book, despite the horrors that are depicted. I plan to give it to everyone I know capable of introspection. ... Read more


106. The Cowboy Way : Seasons of a Montana Ranch
by David McCumber
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380788411
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 113354
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In February of his forty-fourth year, journalist David McCumber signed on as a hand on rancher Bill Galt's expansive Birch Creek spread in Montana. The Cowboy Way is an enthralling and intensely personal account of his year spent in open country---a book that expertly weaves together past and present into a vibrant and colorful tapestry of a vanishing way of life. At once a celebration of a breathtaking land both dangerous and nourishing, and a clear-eyed appreciation of the men---and women---who work it, David McCumber's remarkable story forever alters our long-held perceptions of the "Roy Rogers" cowboy with real-life experiences and hard economic truths.

In February of his forty-fourth year, journalist David McCumber signed on as a hand on rancher Bill Galt's expansive Birch Creek spread in Montana. THE COWBOY WAY is an enthralling and intensely personal account of his year spent in open country---a book that expertly weaves together past and present into a vibrant and colorful tapestry of a vanishing way of life. At once a celebration of a breathtaking land both dangerous and nourishing, and a clear-eyed appreciation of the men---and women---who work it, David McCumber's remarkable story forever alters our long-held perceptions of the "Roy Rogers" cowboy with real-life experiences and hard economic truths. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant study of modern ranch life
This is a towering and lyrical journal of a year's life on a vast Montana ranch. McCumber has a fine eye for detail as he catches the daily toil, heartache and joy of the ranch hand. He carries us through the seasons, from Montana's brutal winters, when the calves begin to arrive, through the fierce summers and idyllic falls. This is a narrative that strips the romance out of ranching, forever destroys the mythic cowboy, only to replace that American legend with something more honest and in the end, more poetical and heroic. His descriptions of doctoring cattle, feeding hay in brutal weather, heat and thirst, and the ever-changing crew of rural nomads who come and go at modern ranches, is unforgettable. This book gripped me from the first sentence.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Resource For Writers of the West
This book ruthlessly (and wryly) strips away any idealized notions of the everyday life of a modern-day cowboy. McCumber also strives to reconcile the "old" west to the new (four-wheelers vs horseback, for example) with appropriately ambivalent results. His prose is very much in the style of the kind of work he spent a year performing: nothing wasted. As a writer, I'm sure I'll refer to this book often. As a reader, I wish he'd spent _two_ years on the ranch. That way, the book would have been twice as long.

5-0 out of 5 stars Montana and Cowboying At Its Best!
David McCumber's, The Cowboy Way: Seasons of a Montana Ranch, is nothing short of brilliant. The inconceivably hard life of the modern day cowboy is described with gripping passion and confident ease. Having spent time in Montana made the memoir even more engaging for me. For those who dream of the cowboy life or simply the magic of the Rocky Mountain west, this wonderful account will do little to suppress the inherent desire to act on those dreams.

5-0 out of 5 stars Writer Living the Modern day Life of a Real Cowboy:
This is quite an undertaking by the author to leave the comforts of the modern world to work in a Montana cattle ranch for a year. The author experiences everything that a new hand will be required to do from the ground up. From virtually using large farm equipment to dump trucks, to manure haulers including repair work and cleaning that keep the equipment in shape. McCumber does a lot of humbling work all through the year with high points of fence repair in beautiful wide open country, to capturing strays usually on four wheel all terrain vehicles and the highlight of occasional work on horse back. Long, often-grueling days of honest work that test many a hand that quit and occasionally return. The amount of land involved in the Galt ranch is mesmerizing along with all the equipment needed to keep it all going. Quite astonishing to read that the owner can actually perform successful cesareans on cows that have breech problems along with a unique castration of a bull with a stone cramping his hose so to speak that as a result now has an alternate urethra. The author does a wide range of mundane work but works his way up to running heavy equipment, wrestling steers for branding to actually vaccinating cows to the joy of driving cattle when its on horseback. He may not have learned it all but he experienced it all and actually became accomplished at most. The rewards for the hard work are his satisfaction of accomplishment, being out in beautiful open country and the occasional run at old cowboy style work on horseback. This book reads like a highly readable and entertaining diary, which also lets you get to know all the hands and owner who must love the life to endure the days. At the end of the final chapter, you feel like you know them very well and you wish for another chapter or perhaps a personal newsletter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent scenery and aching muscles - the cowboy way
I love books that help me travel to worlds unknown to me. And, as I live in New York City, ranching is something I know absolutely nothing about. That's why this book by David McCumber, in which he chronicles a year spent as a ranch hand, intrigued me. As he was a 44-year old journalist with no experience ranching, I could easily relate to his trials as tribulations as he learned what it takes to be a cowboy today. He's a straightforward clear writer and he uses his words well to describe even the most mundane tasks that are the daily routines for the people who live and work on ranches.

Basically, it's all about the care and feeding of cows and this includes the baling of hay, an essential job which has its own set of challenges. There's the birthing of the calves and the cleaning of the pens. There's setting up and irrigation system, and fixing miles of fencing. Often the weather is brutal and virtually all the work is outside. There's some horseback riding, of course, but nowadays most of the work is done with various trucks and motorcycles and vans which always need mechanical work, also done by the ranch hands. Mistakes are made often and result in a tongue lashing from the owner who knows everything there is to know about ranching and wants no other way of life.

These are real people that the author meets and he writes about them all with a sense of admiration and I'm glad he also included the history of the White Sulphur Springs area, which he researched as background. The magnificent scenery comes alive, as do his aching muscles. He enjoys it all completely and made it quite real for me. I must admit though, that in spite of his detailed explanations, I didn't understand it all, especially when he described the mechanical aspects of the baling machines or the irrigation system or the fixing of the motor in a truck. However, I had no trouble at all understanding the birthing, branding and castrating process. And I was right there with him as he fixed fences and chased straggling cattle for miles.

I thank Mr. McCumber for writing this book. I learned a lot from it. Now, whenever I hear the word "cowboy", I'll think about the real work that that is his daily grind. I'll think of the harsh and beautiful country. And the simple joy of a job well done. Recommended. ... Read more


107. Remembering Denny
by Calvin Trillin
list price: $13.00
our price: $10.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374529744
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 132143
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A reissue of Calvin Trillin's memoir of his relationship with a brilliant but tragic Yale classmate that is also a rumination on social change in the 1950s and 1960s

Remembering Denny is perhaps Calvin Trillin's most inspired and powerful book: a memoir of a friendship, a work of investigative reporting, and an exploration of a country and a time that captures something essential about how America has changed since Trillin--and Denny Hansen--were graduated from Yale in 1957. Roger "Denny" Hansen had seemed then a college hero for the ages: a charmer with a dazzling smile, the subject of a feature in Life magazine, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a varsity swimmer, a Rhodes scholar...perhaps a future president, as his friends only half-joked. But after early jobs in government and journalism, Hansen's life increasingly took a downward turn and he gradually lost touch with family and old friends before eventually committing suicide--an obscure, embittered, pain-racked professor--in 1991. In contemplating his friend's life, Calvin Trillin considers questions both large and small--what part does the pressure of high expectations place on even the most gifted, how difficult might it have been to be a closeted homosexual in the unyielding world of the 1960s Foreign Service, how much responsibility does the individual bear for all that happens in his life--in a book that is also a meditation on our country's evolving sense of itself.
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Reviews (13)

2-0 out of 5 stars Leaves a bad taste
On the surface, this is a book about Roger Hansen. Below the surface, it's about how great Calvin Trillin is.That might not have been the author's intention, but the rather smug tone conveys that message.However unintentionally, Trillin's success is juxtaposed to what he sees as Hansen's failure. Despite some thoughtful reflections on the effect of expectations, Yale in the 50s etc., the whole thing leaves behind a bad taste.My advice: skip this and read one of Roger Hansen's books instead.

1-0 out of 5 stars Calvin Trillin's guilt trip, should have been kept private
I am of mixed feelings about this book.Part of me feels sympathetic towards the subject, Roger (Denny) Hansen.It is quite sad to read of his downward spiral which led to his suicide.Hansen seemed like a nice fellow.

But part of me wonders what all the fuss is all about.Hansen had a lot going for him and he was unable to find happiness despite all that.Many people feel that people are as happy as they want to be and Mr. Hansen simply chose to be in misery.

Admittedly, some of his problems were external.He had severe back problems much of his life.He also may have been a homosexual, at a pre-Stonewall time.

Still, other people with the same problems and fewer privileges make a good life for themselves.We all have hardships and Denny let his overcome him.

Trillin fights with the elitist ideas of an Ivy Leaguer in the 50s.He is one of the few, one of those guaranteed a lofty place in America.Yet I get the feeling that he is somewhat ashamed of it underneath.

And part of me feels no sympathy for the trials and tribulations of the snots who feel superior to anyone outside their circle.That snobbishness is evident throughout.

I also wonder why the book was written at all.This is obviously a guilt trip on the part of Trilling who probably (understandably) wonders if there was something he could have done to prevent this suicide.It is certainly no tribute to the man, Trilling confesses at the end of the book that he probably had no idea of what made his friend tick.

It also makes me wonder why Trillin wrote this book for public consumption.I can understand the voyage Trillin took to learn about his friend.But why release it to the public and why profit from the miseries of his friend.If Trillin gave his royalties from his efforts to some charity, perhaps.But some moral force within Trillin should have seen how crass this book is.Indeed, as I thought of this point, I decided to change my rating of this book from 2 stars to 1 star.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Big Chill" at Yale
The book is a whatdunit: what caused an Ivy League golden boy with a million dollar smile to commit suicide at age 55.

The boy was Denny Hansen. His family was lower middle class and lived in the San Francisco Bay area.At a public high school, he became all-everything. He attended Yale from 1953-57 where he became good friends with the author, Bud Trillin. There, he was a fifties hero: scholar-athlete, a student leader. and all-around good guy. He was a member of swim team, Deke fraternity and the Elizabethan Society. During his senior year, he was tapped by Scroll and Key. He graduated magna cum laude and was admitted to Phi Betta Kappa. Life Magazine published a photo essay about his graduation. He was selected as a Rhodes Scholar and studied two years at Magdalen College at Oxford. He received a master¹s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, Not bad for a young man with his background.

Denny Hansen became Roger D. Hansen. On the career level, he worked briefly in broadcasting, the State Department and at the National Security Council in the Carter administration. He wrote several books on foreign policy that were widely praised. But the Foreign Service rejected his application. Eventually, he was appointed to a chair at the Johns-Hopkins¹ School for Advanced International Studies in Washington. He was a member of the Cosmos Club and the Council on Foreign Relations. On a personal level, Roger never married. He became estranged from his family, his relationships with a few women soured, he gradually alienated his friends from Yale. He became a chronic complainer. He became very depressed. But he always defended right conduct. Near the end of his life, he lived a clandestine gay lifestyle. He bequeathed his pension to his former girl friend, and the remainder of his "huge" estate to Yale.

What caused Roger to commit suicide in 1991?. His friends and colleagues offer various explanations. During conversations after Roger¹s death, his Yale friends discovered that they did not know Roger and may have never really known Denny. Trillin¹sexplanation is that because of ³poisonous template of the fifties², Roger could not accept his sexual orientation. A reader can interpret his explanation as an attack on values of the Fifties. To me, the most persuasive explanation is an application of the backpack analogy. When a boy is born, he is wearing a backpack. Other people put their heroic expectations for him in the backpack. The more the boy succeeds, the more expectations are put in the backpack and the heavier it gets. Eventually, the loan becomes unbearable and the boy reaches a crisis. In Roger¹s case, instead of emptying the backpack, he chose to kill himself. He had a house, but not a home. Remember, the line from a Robert Frost poem, "Death of the Hired Man"., ³Home is the place where, when you have to go there,/ They have to take you in.² Neither Denny nor Roger had a place where they had to take him in.

The details of the book are fascinating. Trillin describes college life at Yale during the 1950s and the careers of many of Denny¹s classmates and friends.. Of course, Trillin¹s writing is excellent: clear, powerful and sometimes humorous.In a way, the book is a mid-20th Century sequel to Owen Johnson¹s Stover at Yale.

Trillin suggests that the ³poisonous template of the fifties² was the major cause of Roger¹s death in 1991. But change is not equivalent to progress. Sex does not explain everything. Each reader must decide for himself whether, based on the circumstantial evidence, the template of the Fifties enabled Roger to carry his backpack of expectations for more than 30 years, or whether it was the templates of later decades that poisoned the golden boy from California with the million dollar smile.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Cheeveresque rumination on unfulfilled potential
Calvin Trillin's "Remembering Denny" is a Cheeveresque rumination on the unfulfilled potential of Trillin's Yale classmate, Denny Hansen.While at Yale, Hansen was so highly thought of that he was profiled in LIFE magazine and his classmates used to kid each other about which cabinet position they'd fill once Hansen had been elected President.After Yale, however, Hansen failed to live up to the high expectations everyone--friends, family, teachers, coaches--had for him.Trillin's book is a delicate examination of what that meant, both for Denny and for his constellation of friends and well-wishers.

Denny doesn't come alive as vividly as might be hoped here, but Trillin does an outstanding job of sketching this young man's life in terms of a larger picture about America.In a country where success on every level is much prized, Trillin subtly but thoroughly plumbs the reasons why Denny didn't succeed--at least not to the extent everyone thought he would.This uncharacteristically somber book is absorbing and thought-provoking, even if it doesn't quite reach the goals Trillin seems to have set for himself in the beginning chapters.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing/dreary/dull
Yeesh!A whole book about a guy who had trouble living up to others' expectations is too much.Yes, Roger/Denny had it rough, he 'failed' when others expected great success, but so what?Isn't that what most of us go through to one degree or another?Thank goodness very few of us have author-friends who will bore the pants off the reading public by flaying our private lives for the whole world to ogle. ... Read more


108. On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm
by Michael Ableman, Cynthia Wisehart
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811819213
Catlog: Book (1998-06-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 223215
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A dramatic pair of pictures opens this book: aerial shots of Fairview Gardens Farm, near Goleta, California, first in 1954, then in 1998. Once part of thousands of acres of farmland, Fairview Gardens is now entirely surrounded by tract homes, strip malls, and all the conveniences of modern suburban life. This 12.5-acre oasis exists only because Michael Ableman has steadfastly refused to let it be gobbled up by the relentless bulldozers. His story is funny, fierce, inspiring, and infuriating. His success, tempered by ample setbacks, will be of practical use to anybody seeking to preserve farmland from suburban sprawl. This powerful love story about a man and a place is especially moving because the land is not his: for most of the past 17 years, Ableman has been a tenant farmer at Fairview Gardens. Few people would put so much sweat and soul into borrowed land, yet to Ableman, ownership is irrelevant--it is the rich, beautiful land itself, and the sweet, slow food it produces for him, that matters. --Ann Lovejoy ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A darn good book!
I live in a desert climate, so farming is something that interests me in this desolate place I live in. I really enjoyed this book because of the success story and the farming aspect of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes farms.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books!
This book was an inspiration to read. It gives me hope that urban sprawl might be contained in some small parts of the world. It's also a good guide to organic farming and living, and getting past the "hippie" stereotype that organics still have. I'd highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars a very personal journey
Reading Michael Ableman's book was like stumbling upon his personal journal. I could imagine it's dirt-stained, hand-written pages - the miscellaneous seed or wind-blown earthen particles stuck deep in the creases of the binding. This book is filled with earnest, intimate tales - the everyday woes and triumphs of a gentle farmer, side-by-side with the battle stories of a true community activist. It is his journey that I found so fascinating, so inspiring. Ableman's story is compelling because he has been on the good path and done the good work for a long time - more than 17 years. From the early days of setting up the produce stand on weekends at a local farmer's market, to lamenting a killing winter frost, he draws the reader into the drama. Ableman's intensely close relationship with the land is his reward for paying close attention to its needs. His goals were clear - to grow healthy food for local people in a way that respected the land's ability to sustain itself. He learned by doing, followed his intuition, and made tough decisions based on what was right, or what he believed to be right at the moment. This book offers its readers as much "food for thought" about life, as it does about farming!

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, thought provoking.
I am not related to the author (like the previous reviewer). Loved this book. Couldn't put it down. I'm a long time organic gardener but I found this California farm story fascinating. As soon as I finished it my 18 year old daughter grabbed it and it doesn't look like I'll get it back soon. Two of her friends are in line to read it. Lovely photographs,too.

5-0 out of 5 stars An unbiased review.
As one who has known the author since birth, I'm not surprised that he has conveyed the message of this work with such perfection, but I am surprised that he has turned it into such an enjoyable story. And what a beautifully bound volume - with some (but not enough) photography like his earlier, "From The Good Earth." This book not only exposes issues vital in our time - it's a great read. But then, I shouldn't be surprised - this guy writes like his father! ... Read more


109. New York Days
by Willie Morris
list price: $19.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316583987
Catlog: Book (1994-11-02)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 274660
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In New York Days, the long-awaited sequel to the prize-winning North Toward Home, Willie Morris recalls his triumphant, exciting, and ultimately devastating years as the youngest ever editor-in-chief of Harper's, America's oldest magazine, when he was at the center of the nation's stunning cosmos of writing, publishing, politics, and the arts. It was the 1960s, when New York City was a place "throbbing with possibility" and "in which everyone seemed to know everyone else and where everything of importance seemed to happen first". These were Willie Morris's New York days - with William Styron, David Halberstam, Woody Allen, Bobby Kennedy, Truman Capote, Shirley MacLaine, George Plimpton, Leonard Bernstein, and the other leading figures of the time. For he knew them all: the writers, the poets, the intellectuals, the editors, the actresses, the tycoons, the detectives, the athletes, and not a few fakirs and charlatans. He wined with Sinatra at the Players Club and eavesdropped in the trattorias on the Mob; sat next to DiMaggio in the Garden ringside seats and spent evenings at Elaine's. And during the day, Morris worked to transform Harper's from an uninspired literary magazine to its apex as the groundbreaking political and cultural voice of the '60s, until the editorial rift and the mass resignations of 1971 - possibly the most notable dispute in American publishing history. New York Days is a portrait of an era, but it is also a poignant, deeply personal yet universal story of a man's life: a man who attains everything he has ever hoped for only to realize that what he has sacrificed is even greater. For in the process of reaching the pinnacle of his career, Morris also experiencedprofound loss: the dissolution of his marriage and the breakdown of the magazine as he helped create it. Now, from a vantage point of more than twenty years and a thousand miles, Morris asks his younger self: "Where on earth, fast-moving boy, are you going now?" And what, i ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Ole Southern Boy Meets NYC Literati
Okay, in reality Mr. Morris was, what, 26 -- and the youngest person to hold the position of Editor at Harper's? Anyway, a fascinating look at the NY literary world during the mid to late 60's. Morris was witness to one of the greatest gatherings of young and gifted writers ever assembled in the modern era.

The book starts with the professional steps Morris took prior to accepting the position. The narrative contiues with his insights into the history of Harper's, and then goes into detail about some of the current and previous literary heavyweights that populated the cramped offices as either full-time workers or contributers.

The passages on how he got Norman Mailer to contribute pieces are illuminating and memorable.

If you liked 'North Toward Home,' you'll like this one as well. A very touching book. ... Read more


110. The Tale of the Devil: The Biography of Devil Anse Hatfield
by Coleman, Dr Hatfield, ROBERT Y. SPENCE
list price: $29.95
our price: $20.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972486712
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Woodland Press LLC
Sales Rank: 163737
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Important 100% American Story
These authors, Dr. Coleman Hatfield and Robert Y. Spence, have created a wonderful study of the feud patriarch, Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield. As far as I have been able to find, this is the ultimate work on this famous character of history. Most importantly, the writers have given a balanced, researched work that offers tons of new, formerly unpublished information. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in post Civil War Appalachia and mountain culture. By teh way, I heard through literary circles that the "Y." in Robert Spence's name stands for Yeowza. Now, isn't that too cool.

4-0 out of 5 stars Neat and precise!
Even though I'm a Hatfield through my mother's family, and I've heard Devil Anse Hatfield stories all my life, I never really understood why and how the feud began. This book has helped put it all together for me. Devil Anse was nasty when he had to be and his son, Cap, was even worse than he was. I wanted the story to never end. I recommend it to anyone who likes a solid story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hillibilly Hooligans
This book takes away the old stereotypes of barefoot, bibbed-overhauled, corncob pipe smokin', hayseed idiots who walk with a limp due to climing the rugged mountain terrain. Instead, we get to read about a Civil War confederate soldier who who eventually went AWOL so that he could head back to his West Virginia home along the Tug River. Though a Hatfield and McCoy once fought as comrades in the same troop, they eventually became mortal enemies and through the account there was a Logan County bloodbath.

If I were to pick a book for any of my history buff-buddies, I would certainly choose The Tale of the Devil.

Buy it, own it and cherish it -- then pass it down to the grandkids. This is good history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anderson Hatfield was only protecting his familY!
Okay, this is a book everyone should own, especially those who like frontier American history. I received this book as a gift for Christmas. Up until then, I had never heard of it. Boy, I never dreamed it would be so thorough and exciting. I want to know more about these people along the Tug River and Logan County, WV. The book I have says that it's already in its second printing -- no wonder! It's a great book by two great writers, Coleman Hatfield and Robert Spence. After I read the book, I had the opportunity to meet Coleman Hatfield in Montgomery, Alabama during a book-signing. He is a scholar, and a great story-teller.

5-0 out of 5 stars A sometimes dark, yet often insightful life story
The collaborative effort of Coleman C. Hatfield and Robert Y. Spence, The Tale Of The Devil is the factual biography of Devil Anse Hatfield, and the role he played in the infamous and brutal Hatfield and McCoy feud. Co-author Coleman Hatfield is Devil Anse Hatfield's direct descendant and brings a special "insider's" expertise to this project. The Tale Of The Devil candidly examines this figure's early life, the origins of the Hatfield and McCoy feud, its brutal toll, denouement, and ultimate conclusion -- as well as the impact it has had on subsequent generations of Hatfields and McCoys. A profound, sometimes dark, yet often insightful life story, The Tale Of The Devil is a very highly recommended addition to American History and Biography collections. ... Read more


111. Living in the Country Growing Weird: A Deep Rural Adventure
by Dennis Parks
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
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Asin: 0874174848
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
Sales Rank: 645235
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Book Description

In 1972, Dennis Parks, a young potter with a promising academic career ahead of him, decided to move to Tuscarora, a near-abandoned mining town in remote northeastern Nevada. Parks and his wife were attracted to Tuscarora's isolation and beautiful setting, and they believed that it might be a healthy environment in which to raise their two small sons.

Living in the Country Growing Weird is Parks's account of his family's life in Tuscarora, a tiny settlement whose population even forty years later numbers fewer than twenty permanent residents. Parks created a pottery school that attracts students from around the world and developed for himself an international reputation as the creator of powerful, innovative works in clay. Meanwhile, he and his family had to master the numerous skills required of those who choose to live in the back country--growing and hunting their own food, renovating or building from scratch the structures they needed for residences or studios, resolving conflicts with neighbors, inventing their own amusements.

Living in the Country Growing Weird is an engaging and often amusing account of one family's move to a simpler life. As Dennis Parks reveals, the life that he and his family found in Tuscarora is also richer, infinitely more interesting, and profoundly more creative than what they left behind. This book is certain to delight admirers of Parks's pottery who want to learn about his environment and the inspiration of some of his work, but it will also fascinate any reader who has ever dreamed of relocating "far from the madding crowd" and living a simpler and more self-sufficient life. The complexities of life in Nevada's harshly beautiful and remote back country have never been depicted with such sensitivity, or with such good-humored candor. ... Read more


112. John Ireland and the American Catholic Church
by Marvin Richard O'Connell
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873512308
Catlog: Book (1988-11-01)
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Sales Rank: 556462
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Book Description

John Ireland (1838-1918), first archbishop of St. Paul, believed that the United States offered a new and tremendously favorable opportunity for Roman Catholics and their church.By vigorously and single-mindedly urging his fellow Catholic immigrants to take their place in the mainstream of American life, he played a major role in the growth of the American Catholic church.

Marvin R. O'Connell's masterful biography brings to life the experiences that shaped Ireland's views and describes the battles that marked his career.In smooth and flowing prose, with rich detail and enlightening analysis, O'Connell traces Ireland's life, from his boyhood to his years as a powerful player in Vatican politics and an advisor to American presidents.

Ireland was one of the important and characteristic figures of the American Gilded Age, a man whose own rags-to-riches story followed classic lines.Born in Ireland in 1838, he saw as a boy the horrors of the Great Famine.In 1852 he and his family emigrated to St. Paul, Minnesota.Sent by pioneer Bishop Joseph Cretin to France for his education, Ireland became a priest in 1861.His work for temperance and Catholic colonization on Minnesota's western frontier gave him national prominence and launched him on a long and impressive career.

Ireland was an Americanist, one of a group of Catholic leaders who promoted the ideal of a truly American church.O'Connell's accounts of Ireland's hard-fought and often acrimonious battles present a lively portrait of a complicated man, with impressive strengths and surprising weaknesses.Ireland struggled to convince the Vatican that the American church was more than a collection of immigrant churches; he argued to his fellow clerics that immigrants could abandon Old World customs and languages without losing their faith; he encouraged Catholics to take advantage of the opportunities offered in America; and he strove to demonstrate to Protestant Americans that Catholics were not hopelessly foreign.

O'Connell also tells little-known stories of the archbishop's personal politics and finances.Ireland became wealthy through land speculation, but nearly lost all in the Panic of 1893.As a prominent and out-spoken Republican, he associated with William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft.

Though John Ireland was denied the ultimate accolade of a cardinal's hat, and though his colleagues on the episcopal bench were by no means unanimous in supporting him, his influence upon the development of American Catholicism was enormous.This forthright biography is a fascinating account of an important man. ... Read more


113. Fame and Obscurity
by GAY TALESE
list price: $19.00
our price: $13.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034546723X
Catlog: Book (1995-03-01)
Publisher: Ivy Books
Sales Rank: 414810
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Fascinating . . . Poignant."The Wall Street Journal

In this extraordinary work of insight and interviews, bestselling author Gay Talese shares with us the lives of those we don't know and those we might wish we did:Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Manhattan mobsters, Bowery bums, and many others -- fascinating men and women who define our country's spirit and lead us to an understanding of ourselves as a nation.

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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic portraits of DiMaggio, Sinatra, etc.
I say 4 stars only because of the datedness of some of the material. But the pieces on Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio in this book (both written in 1966) are brilliant and incisive portrayals of a time and states of mind (and of icons in an age when celebrity was in some ways larger than life than it is today and in some ways refreshingly not) that are both long gone. ... Read more


114. The Vineyard: a Memoir
by Louisa Thomas Hargrave
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142004316
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 732118
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Book Description

In 1973, against the advice of experts and the experience of history, LouisaHargrave andher husband, Alex, bought a run-down 1680-vintage potato farm on Long Island’sNorthFork and planted ten thousand European wine grapes. Having begun her grape- growingadventure with the arrogance of youth and the assumption that she and herhusband couldfigure it all out themselves, she was both humbled and transformed by the land,by herchildren, and by the generosity of those who helped along the way. At once wryandheartwarming, this is an odyssey as much about spirit and the connection toplace as it isabout the simple pleasures of a new wine. ... Read more


115. Crazy in the Kitchen : Foods, Feuds, and Forgiveness in an Italian American Family
by Louise DeSalvo
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582344701
Catlog: Book (2005-01-03)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Sales Rank: 794472
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Book Description

During Louise DeSalvo's childhood in 1950s New Jersey, the kitchen becomes the site for fierce generational battle. Louise's step-grandmother insists on recreating the domestic habits of her Southern Italian peasant upbringing, clashing with Louise's convenience-food-loving mother; Louise, meanwhile, dreams of cooking perfect fresh pasta in her own kitchen. But as Louise grows up to indulge in amazing food and travels to Italy herself, she arrives at a fuller and more compassionate picture of her own roots. And, in the process, she reveals that our image of the bounteous Italian American kitchen may exist in part to mask a sometimes painful history.
... Read more

116. Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps (Citadel Underground)
by Emmett Grogan
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0806511680
Catlog: Book (1990-07-01)
Publisher: Citadel Press
Sales Rank: 160529
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Ringolevio" is the memorable tale of Emmett Grogan and the Diggers, the irreverent urban guerrillas anti masters and masters of street theater who made San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury a home, putting on Grateful Dead dances in Golden Gate Park, ladling out free stew to all comers in the park's Panhandle, and keeping the peace with the cops. While Kesey's Merry Prankster's were off tripping the light fantastic, the Diggers were transforming the Haight from a seedy district of abandoned Victorian houses into an evanescent paradise on earth.

For anyone who thinks that those were days only of peace, love and flower power, Ringolevio will be a revelation, as it evokes the gritty urban sensibility that supplied the backbone to the community's free flights of fancy.

Vastly entertaining, Ringolevio is at once high adventure, political screed, social history. and hyperbolic memoir. This classic traces the story of Emmett Grogan, a larger-than-life sixties legend of great controversy, from the streets of New York to the heights of the Haight.

Citadel Underground's edition of Ringolevio features a new introducing by the actor Peter Coyote, one of Grogan's oldest friends, a fellow Digger and a veteran of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

"The San Francisco Diggers combined Dada street theater with the revolutionary politics of free". Slum-alley saints, they lit up the period by spreading the poetry of love and anarchy with broad strokes of artistic genius. Their free store, communications network of instant offset survival poetry, along with an Indian-inspired consciousness, was the original white light of the era. Emmett Grogan was the hippie warrior par excellence. He was also a junkie, amaniac, a gifted actor, a rebel hero, ...and above all a pain in the ass to all his friends. Ringolevio is half-brilliant". -- Abbie Hoffman ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading-- but suspend your disbelief
Grogan is a born storyteller, sorta like your old uncle who tells you in detail how he killed scores of Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. "But Uncle Bert-- you were 12 years old in 1944!" "Yeah, but I enlisted early..." Grogan is like that-- he tells a great story, and it's up to you to figure out which parts are true, and how much he's exaggerated: 20%, 50%, or 193%. Why this is worth reading: if you wish to know about the sixties and the counterculture in NY and LA and SF, and if you want a (mostly unreliable but entertaining) eyewitness, this will inform and intrigue. Someday, this will be made into a film-- if they can make a movie of Chuck Barris' "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," they can film this hodgepodge of fiction and fact as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars A sad book about a sadder life
While it is true, this is a wonderful, true-to-life autobiography of one of the central figures to the Haight-Ashbury scene, there is something fundamentally tragic about Grogan, especially if you read Peter Coyote's introduction and realize what happened to Grogan in the 1970s. Grogan was no bohemian intellectual, and so the reading is rough at times, but Grogan was a man who had an amazing amount of gaul, a joie-de-vivre, and a sense of daring that made his life fascinating... "a life played for keeps" as his subtitle tells us.

Unfortunately, at too early an age, that sense of daring led him to heroin. Perhaps because Grogan opens himself up so completely in "Ringolevio", one comes away from the book with a sense that somehow, despite Grogan's disappointment with the failure of the Haight-Ashbury adventure, he was going to be all right, he was going to find a new way to do his good work in this world. The book ends with a first-hand account of the Rolling Stones Altamont Speedway murder. Grogan was writing with hindsight, recognizing that the concert marked the end of the illusion: many residents of Haight Ashbury began to move away, or get into trouble, and it didn't take long before the whole gig was over. But Grogan seemed optimistic that he would find other gigs, equally as enriching as his years as a Digger in San Fransisco.

The first time I read this book it was a first edition copy, and I didn't have the benefit of knowing what happened to Grogan in the years following this book's publication. Reading Coyote's recollections of Grogan in the years after the book's publication - how financial success led Grogan back to the needle, and how the needle eventually claimed Grogan's life - makes the feigned optimism of Ringolevio's end all the more bittersweet.

I don't give it five stars because it reads at times like the work of a hack. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating document for anyone interested in the history of the Haight-AShbury community of the late 1960s, who the figures involved in the community were and what events shaped that community. And for the most part it seems honest, warts and all, not some nostalgia-tinged feel-good book about peace and love.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American classic?
Each time I read this book, I'm more amazed and amused by it. There is never a dull moment, and I still can't figure out when or whether it crosses the line from fantasy into reality. It has a voice as authentic and American as "Huckleberry Finn" and Woody Guthrie's autobiography, and it stands as tall as they do in American literature, no joke. One of my favorites of all time. It captures a place and time, and delivers an unforgettable character, as charming as he is unreliable. I hope it will be rediscovered and recognized someday.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE COOLEST BOOK ABOUT THE 60'S
Anybody who wants to know anything about the San Fran "hippie" scene of the late 60's has to beg, borrow or steal "Ringolevio." Even if some of it is ***, it's the read of a lifetime. Far better than fiction

5-0 out of 5 stars The 'Gone With the Wind' of the Sixties
Ringoloevio is a game played by NYC street kids which lies somewhere between 'tag' and a gang fight.

This purportedly self auto-biographical book centers around Kenny Wisdom as he matures from street-wise punk to heroin addict to cat burglar; then follows him to Europe and back to the US, and onto his misadventures in the army and his relocation to the Haight in the early sixties, where he helps create the Diggers, a legendary (and well documented) group of people that sponsored free food and free concerts in Golden Gate Park where such luminaries and legends as the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin performed. Incisively written and indelible on one's memory once read, it stands as one either of the great first hand social histories of the sixties, or as one of the most imaginative fictions ever concieved.

When the book was first published in 1972, Peter Coyote's name was not listed as one of the authors.

From the inside jacket (1972 edition):
"He's America's most famous invisible man who, determined on keeping his identity anonymous, has fed deceptions to the press and let others use his name to the point where some people think he doesn't even exist ("Whenever a Digger identifies himself as 'Emmett Grogan'", the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "it means nothing, since all Diggers call themselves Emmett Grogan . . .")" ... Read more


117. Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction
by Eric Foner
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807120820
Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Sales Rank: 799876
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Amazon.com

Between 1865 and 1876, about two thousand blacks held elective and appointive offices in the South. A few, such as the senator from Mississippi Blanche K. Bruce, are well known, but most have languished in obscurity, omitted from official state histories. Prize-winning historian Eric Foner profiles more than 1,500 black legislators, state officials, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and constables. Essential reading for anyone interested in the scope of black achievement during Reconstruction, Freedom's Lawmakers includes biographical sketches of each officeholder (some necessarily brief because so little is known) and many photographs. ... Read more


118. A Taste of the Sweet Apple : A Memoir (Woodford Reserve Series in Kentucky Literature)
by Jo Anna Holt-Watson
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 1932511083
Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Sales Rank: 112447
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Book Description

Jo Anna "Pee-Wee" Holt Watson is a charmer of a writer, her voice so vivid the reader is transported to a vanished rural culture intimately seen: mid-twentieth century, Woodford County, Kentucky. In A Taste of the Sweet Apple, Holt Watson documents one summer, her seventh, at Grassy Springs Farm in the heart of the Bluegrass. Here is a world of shadowy lanes, granddaddy's ice-cold artesian well, tobacco stripping rooms, a girl's pony barn, Ginnie Rae's Beauty Shoppe on the Main Street, and Ocean Frog's Grocery. Here, a grandfather clock in the hallway says did-not, did-not, and an oscillating "Anglican" fan plays Episcopal hymns.

In this memoir where emphasis is on character essential to the ethics of community, a young girl of robust curiosity keeps company with the spells her people cast. At the center of the book is a poetic and telling bond, an adoring friendship between this small white girl and a black foreman, Joe Collins. There's a tempestuous physician father, a beautiful powerful mother in powerless times, and the "wonderfully long-winded" Aunt Tott. We witness the travail of hired laborers as well as the beauties of craft and devotion in Holt Watson's sharp rendering of traditional tobacco culture.

A seven-year-old girl may set her buckteeth on fire or bite her pony, but never misses the silent rush of spring water deep within the greenest land, a land from which she, too, springs. Brimming with unsentimental innocence and the sensuality of furs, tobacco, her mother's lemon lily beds, she draws a tough-minded portrait of girlhood. In the rural tradition, Holt Watson is a conjuror of tales both hilarious and moving, mixed with temper and spirit.

"Pee-Wee" Holt Watson's voice is so vivid that the reader is transported to a vanished rural culture: mid-20th century Kentucky. This memoir documents one summer, her seventh, at Grassy Springs Farm in the Bluegrass region of Woodford County. At the center of the book is a poetic and telling bond, an adoring friendship between this small white girl and a black foreman, Joe Collins. There's a tempestuous country-physician father, a beautiful, powerful mother in powerless times and the "wonderfully long-winded" Aunt Sudie Louisa. We witness the travail of hired laborers as well as the beauties of craft and devotion in Holt Watson's sharp rendering of traditional tobacco culture.

Here is a world of shadowy lanes, granddaddy's ice-cold artesian well, tobacco stripping rooms, a girl's pony barn, Ginnie Rae's Beauty Shoppe on Main Street and Ocean Frog's Grocery. Brimming with unsentimental innocence, she draws a tough-minded, tomboy--accomplished portrait of girlhood. In the rural tradition, Holt Watson is a conjuror of tales both hilarious and moving, mixed with temper and spirit.

Jo Anna "Pee-Wee" Holt-Watson is a fourth-generation Kentuckian and self-proclaimed Yellow Dog Democrat. She is an amateur photographer, gardener, avid sports-person, former horse trials judge, and creator of Plumbline, a series of televised panel discussions regarding critical political and social issues. She currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

... Read more

119. Five Sisters: The Langhornesof Virginia
by James Fox
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074320042X
Catlog: Book (2001-05-02)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 232969
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The beautiful Langhorne sisters lived at the pinnacle of society from the end of the Civil War through the Second World War. Born in Virginia to a family impoverished by the Civil War, Lizzie, Irene, Nancy, Phyllis, and Nora eventually made their way across two continents, leaving rich husbands, fame, adoration, and scandal in their wake.

At the center of the story is Nancy, who married Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world. Heroic, hilarious, magnetically charming, and a bully, Nancy became Britain's first female MP. The beautiful Irene married Charles Dana Gibson and was the model for the Gibson Girl. Phyllis, the author's grandmother, married a famous economist, one of the architects of modern Europe. Author James Fox draws on the sisters' unpublished correspondence to construct an intimate and sweeping account of five extraordinary women at the highest reaches of society. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Women, but...
Too often, biographers attempt to do such a conscientious job describing their subjects that the books about those subjects end up being dull. And it should go without saying that those subjects, in real life, were anything but dull. Had they been less than interesting, no one would be tempted to write their stories and there would be no buyers for the finished biographies. Something like that has happened with FIVE SISTERS, the story of the famous Langhorne sisters of Virginia.

Author James Fox, who already has proved his skills as a writer in his other works, is well-assisted in this book due to the fact that he, himself, is the grandson of one of these Five Sisters. As such, he had access to family papers and correspondence unavailable in the public records.

The sisters were born into a prominent Southern family impoverished by the Civil War. The most famous sister, Nancy Astor, married the heir of William Waldorf Astor and became the first American woman elected to the English parliament. In a word, she was a character. Another sister, the most beautiful of the group, married artist Charles Dana Gibson. Very literally, as his model, she became the personification of the Edwardian concept of feminine beauty, the "Gibson Girl."

As described by James Fox, the women appear to be fairly typical in their sisterly concerns and rivalries. Nancy Astor sounds odd (to be kind) as well as nasty. And the book, FIVE SISTERS, somehow manages to be less than engaging. Nonetheless, Fox makes a serious contribution to detailing the social history of the lifestyle of the aristocracy in England at the turn of the 20th Century.

4-0 out of 5 stars THE RICH ARE DEFINITELY DIFFERENT!
This was a very interesting, annoying and heartfelt biography of the author's mother's family, the Langhornes of Virginia. A family impoverished by the Civil War that became the creme of society in the late 19th Century and continued through the 20th Century. The story centers on the five sisters, Lizzie, Irene, Nancy, Phyllis and Nora; each, who in their own way became celebrities in their own right.

There's Lizzie who was old enough to remember the mind-numbing and humiliating poverty brought by the Civil War. She is embittered by the younger siblings' treatment of her in adulthood. Irene's beauty is enshrined when she marries Dana Gibson and becomes the model for the Gibson girl. Phyllis struggles to end her unhappy marriage and eventually migrates to England. Nora, the youngest, the dreamer and wayward one, keeps the sisters' busy covering up scandal after scandal. Then there is Nancy. She becomes the most famous sister when she marries Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world who possesses her children and everyone around her alike, often with disastrous results.

The author researched the book very well. I especially enjoyed the historical detail thrown in. I've read books on both WWI and WWII and never got the full gist of the events leading up to both wars. However, through the author's families eyewitness account and actual involvement at the highest level of political involvement, I got a better understanding of how and why Hitler came to power. The book's focus is on Nancy and Phyllis and does tend to lose track of the other sisters' doings; however, not enough to detract from the overall book. The book is definitely an eye-opener into the inner workings of a super-rich family that didn't seem to be happy despite their stupendous wealth. Worth a read.

1-0 out of 5 stars boring tale about flakey mean people
I had to quit reading this book approximately half way through because I had no interest whatsoever in continuing to read about these snobby, conceited and dull women. Don't waste your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars As The World Turns - Langhorne Style
This excellent biography takes an in-depth look at the famous, turn-of-the-century five Langhorne sisters of Virginia. The author is the grandson of one of the sisters, which gave him unprecedented access to some never-before-published letters and journals. Lizzie, Irene, and Nora take a back seat to highly visible Nancy (Lady Astor, first woman to serve in Parliament) and Phyllis, the author's grandmother. The author weaves historical and political background around the sisters' stories, which gives the book a pleasurable informational heft and weight.

They started out poor, as most Virginians were after the calamity of the Civil War. Eldest sister Lizzie was born in 1867, only two years after the war. Father, Chillie Langhorne, hit it big about twenty years later by entering into business with some Yankee railroaders. Then he was able to purchase the fabled Mirador, a perfect setting for his daughters. Chillie and mother Nemoire could have been stand-ins for Scarlett O'Hara's father and mother. Chillie was a hard-drinking charmer and a complete autocrat while Nemoire was almost saintly in her beauty and patience. They had eleven children, eight who lived, five girls and three boys. Two of the boys died young of a combination of hard drinking and tuberculosis.

Eldest Lizzie, who grew up poor and was already married living in genteel poverty in Richmond when Chillie hit it big, resented her sister's success all her life---but thought monetary gifts were her due. Irene was a true phenom, a bona fide celebrity, the last true Southern Belle who took the entire East Coast by storm with her breathtaking beauty. She married Charles Dana Gibson and was the prototype of the Gibson Girl. Irene may not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she was kind (a rare trait among the Langhorne girls) and supportive all her life. Volatile, incredible Nancy who married and divorced a Boston millionaire, then married one of the richest men in the world, Waldorf Astor, almost single-handedly tore her family apart with her extreme possessiveness of both her sisters and children. Nancy looked like a beautiful, frail Edwardian lady with marvelously intense sapphire-colored eyes. Looks deceive. She was actually fiery, cruelly witty, and indomnible. Phyllis followed Nancy's footsteps marrying and divorcing an East Coast millionaire and remarrying famed British economist Robert Brand. Phyllis was soulful, the best woman rider in the country, and was a born martyr. My favorite was baby sister Nora, scatter-brained, scandalous, with a complete disregard for the truth fell in and out of love all her life. Men could not resist her. Nora's sisters had to bail her out over and over again, while Nora sincerely said she had made a "fresh start" every time. But Nora was a loving, generous person and a wonderful caring mother (her daughter was the actress Joyce Grenfell), and her nieces and nephews adored her.

"Five Sisters" is a fascinating read, well researched with an excellent index and bibliography. I recommend it highly.
-sweetmolly-Amazon reviewer

4-0 out of 5 stars I think some reviewers have missed the point
There are many reviews of this book posted and many emphasize the shallowness and unpleasantness of the sisters, especially Nancy. This is true; I think Mr. Fox presented these women honestly, warts and all, but I also think that many reviewers missed a very important point.
Lady Nancy Astor was the first woman to be elected to and sit in the House of Commons. She stood for the seat because her husband, Waldorf, having become a peer, could no longer sit in the House of Commons. She was not a good representative, having no real grasp of or even interest in the issues.
HOWEVER, and this is my point, each day she entered the House of Commons she performed an act of great courage. The male members (all the rest) viewed her presence in chambers as an aberrance of nature. This hostility was outright and overt and fell short only of physical violence. In one debate on venereal disease they used the most graphic pictures they could find in an attempt to drive her out of chambers.
Though she may have been motivated more by pride than by principle, she gave other women the courage to come after her. When Margaret Thatcher dedicated a placque in her honor some years ago she emphasized the courage it took Nancy (and still takes women today) to take a seat in the Commons.
Regardless of whatever else she was, she deserves the credit for her courage and the foundation she laid for the women that came after. ... Read more


120. Son of a Sharecropper : Growing Up in Oklahoma 1913-1940
by David L Roper, Dave H. Roper
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0595321062
Catlog: Book (2004-05-31)
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
Sales Rank: 526135
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Son of a Sharecropper tells of the flu epidemic of 1918, World War I, the Depression, and the Dust Bowl. Subject matter ranges from old-time doctoring, one-room schoolhouses, and old-time religion to moonshinin, 'ridin' the rails, and hard times. A thread running through the book is the desire of a sharecropper's boy to own his own land. Every chapter is filled with wry humor; tragedy and triumph are handled with an even hand. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Amazing stories -Amusing Storyteller
It's hard to beleive all of these things happened to a man just 27 years old by the end of the book.

These are true stories of dustbowls and the depression - warm, heartbreaking and hilarious, told in anecdotal form. It flows easily from story to story, and each chapter begins with a brief overview of what was going on in the world at the time.

_Son of a Sharecropper_ gives an entertaining history lesson while providing a close look at an inspiring and hardy group of people. ... Read more


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