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1. Down Came the Rain : My Journey
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2. Nemesis : The True Story of Aristotle
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3. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an
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4. Verdura : The Life and Work of
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5. Front Row : Anna Wintour: The
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6. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller,
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7. A Paper Life
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8. Trump : The Art of the Deal
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9. Careless Love : The Unmaking of
10. Leading with the Heart: Coach
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11. Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic
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12. It Seemed Important at the Time
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13. Posterity : Letters of Great Americans
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14. Hell's Angel: The Life and Times
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15. The Way of the Wiseguy
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16. Philistines at the Hedgerow :
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17. Inside the Dream : The Personal
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18. The House of Rothschild: Money's
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19. 740 Park : The Story of the World's
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20. Luther : The Life and Longing

1. Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depression
by Brooke Shields
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 1401301894
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 612967
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Book Description

In this compelling memoir, Brooke Shields talks candidly about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, and provides millions of women with an inspiring example of recovery.

When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan Francis, into the world, something unexpected followed-a crippling depression. Now, for the first time ever, in Down Came the Rain, Brooke talks about the trials, tribulations, and finally the triumphs that occurred before, during, and after the birth of her daughter.

In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, America's sweetheart Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled this debilitating condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers. She discusses the illness in the context of her life, including her struggle to get pregnant, the high expectations she had for herself and that others placed on her as a new mom, and the role of her husband, friends, and family as she struggled to attain her maternal footing in the midst of a disabling depression. And, ultimately, Brooke shares how she found a way out through talk therapy, medication, and time.

Exhibiting an informed voice and a self-deprecating sense of humor, this first memoir from a woman who has grown up before the eyes of the world is certain to attract the attention and empathy of many new mothers and fans alike. ... Read more

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

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

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (9)

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

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

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

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

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

Generally a good read and well researched. 4 stars.

Jack in Toronto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
by Queen Noor
list price: $25.95
our price: $18.16
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Asin: 0786867175
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 3017
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.

With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist In a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.

Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love story—the intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people. ... Read more

Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars A timely book on behalf of ordinary Muslim people.
I have been deeply moved by this book. Those who are expecting a fairy tale book, about a rosy love story between an American woman and an Arabian King, will be disappointed.

But those who have been wondering when a writer would enlighten the outside world, about the Middle-East, with a serious, factual and well thought out writing, have their prayers answered in this inspiring book which is for those who are open-minded enough to want to look beyond the Western clich├ęs at Jordan and the Middle-East from a Jordanian and Middle-Eastern viewpoints.

I liked its style based on factual data -NO FICTION- given not in a cold manner but with a warm and loving heart. Out of this book, flows mutual respect, understanding and love for (wo)mankind.

Queen Noor, in this book, has spoken on behalf of ordinary Muslim people, like me, who have no access to the powerful Western media. Thank you for that!

Regards to you all in Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant EYE-OPENER!!!!!!
Bravo Queen Noor! An extremely well-written memoir about a Queen and her two greatest loves (King Hussein and the Jordanians). I bought the book at an airport and couldn't put it down for hours. Fascinating, inside look at life and peacemaking in the Middle East. I found it very refreshing to hear another point of view on the Israeli -Palestinian conflict and think anyone interested in the region should read the book. It is pretty heavy on history and foreign policy, from the Jordanian perspective, and lighter on personal details. Queen Noor is an articulate, graceful woman that used her unique position to better the lives of many Jordanians, especially women, and create a greater/more accurate understanding of Arabs and their culture in the USA. Born and raised in America, she was educated in some of the countries most prestigous institutions and her passion for human rights was emblazed in her during the civil rights movement. I view Queen Noor as a visionary and a genuine peacemaker and wish more women in power would embrace her view of humanity.

As a final comment, I am not at all surprised by the negative attacks on the book by the unconditional pro-Israeli followers who cannot bear to have their story questioned. Their comments seem extremely defensive and reveal a deep unsecurity. Despite years of the U.S. media bombarding us with a one-sided, distorted view of Israeli history, Queen Noor has found a powerful platform to present the OTHER side. Hope the Queen's LEAP of FAITH opens your eyes.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustained Optimism
Little did I know that the autobiography of an American who married an Arab monarch would be a lesson in enduring love and ceaseless diplomacy in the Middle East. Queen Noor's Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life provided another window in which to view the internecine politics that have embroiled the region for over sixty years. I now more fully understand why King Hussein of Jordan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after reading about his untiring and unremitting efforts to obtain peace in the region and just treatment for Palestinians. Queen Noor, his third wife with whom he shared twenty years of marriage, also has been a formidable leader in the world, principally for her cultural and humanitarian contributions globally. Born Lisa Halaby in the United States, Queen Noor assumed her position of royalty at the age of twenty-six. She developed a superb work ethic that blended her excellent educational background, her work experience as architect, and diplomacy learned as she matured as the wife of a head of state in a volatile time. Leap of Faith provides balance in our understanding of the multinational conflict which continues to rage.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good sense of history
Queen Noor's book was well received by a segment of the public. King Hussein courted her and married her in a few weeks. The book is poorly written for a Princeton student (remember, she did not graduate). While she has had a lot of experience dealing with politicians, her writing is naive and simplistic. She also portrays too much anti-semitism and her views of Israel and US are almost parroted from the typical middle east forum. Her husband was more polished.

The book is a revisionist version of political history of Jordan. The ground realities are known to a few who have visited the place. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has Palestinian majority but they do not have the right to vote there. You have to be a Hashemeite bedouin to vote there. Arafat was booted out in the 70s for trying to take over Jordan. All this is conveniently omitted in this book and by most middle eastern texts. The concept of democracy in middle east is fuzzy at best. Any person is "elected" for life (unless his life is taken from him like Anwar Sadat of Egypt). Even Israel gives voting rights to its Arab citizens, though it may not be a model state. While all the Arab states complain about the Palestinians, not a single one donate money for infrastructure development or healthcare of the Palestinians, that is the crying shame. While Israel should give rights to Palestinians and create a Palestinian state, why should Jordan not give rights to them. The present king of Jordan is married to a Palestinian, is that not reason enough. This book has hypocrisy written all over it. Please do not waste your money over it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Queen Noor:- a latter member of the beat generation
From the book, it is obvious that Queen Noor is a latter member of the beat generation. For instance, there was the part about how she temporarily dropped out Princeton on account of her disdain for anything to do with the establishment as a result of the war in Vietnam. It seems to me that her main reason for converting to Islam was to rebel against Western values:- a slight variation of how hippies travelled to India in the 60s in search of spiritual enlightenment.

I view with similar disdain her hypocrisy about Israel. She is constantly claiming to have an affection for the people of Israel, but uses a number of pages criticising the very existence of the country. I accept that not all people like Israel, but I feel that she should stop pretending to like it.

I have no time for hippies like Queen Noor. ... Read more

4. Verdura : The Life and Work of a Master Jeweler
by Patricia Corbett
list price: $55.00
our price: $55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810935295
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 38445
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Book Description

A master of metamorphosis, Sicilian duke-turned-jewelry-designer Fulco di Verdura (1898-1978) studded seashells with precious gems, transformed sailor's knots into pearl-encrusted necklaces, and wrapped blazing ruby hearts with braided gold rope. Since the mid-20th century, his ultrasophisticated neo-Baroque pieces have been the status symbols of a near-secret society of European blue bloods, Hollywood royalty, and Park Avenue patricians. Verdura's by-appointment-only patrons included Wallis Simpson, Marlene Dietrich, and Diana Vreeland, who considered his Maltese Cross cuffs an essential part of her daily uniform.

In this lavish book, featuring fresh color photographs as well as vintage images, Patricia Corbett presents a deft evaluation of Verdura's work and a glimpse inside his impossibly glamorous world. ... Read more

5. Front Row : Anna Wintour: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue's Editor in Chief
by Jerry Oppenheimer
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0312323107
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 152972
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Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of Just Desserts: Martha Stewart: The Unauthorized Biography comes a scrupulously researched investigative biography that tells the inside story of Anna Wintour's incredible rise to power

From her exclusive perch front row center, glamorous Vogue magazine editor in chief Anna Wintour is the most powerful and influential style-maker in the world. Behind her trademark sunglasses and under the fringe of her Louise Brooks bob she determines whether miniskirts are in or out, whether or not it's politically correct to wear fur. She influences designers, wholesalers, and retailers globally from Seventh Avenue to the elegant fashionista enclaves of L'Avenue Montaigne and Via della Spiga. In the U.S. alone a more than $200 billion fashion industry can rise or fall on Anna Wintour's call. And every month millions of women-and men-read Vogue, and are influenced by the pages of the chic and trendy style wish-book that she has controlled with an iron hand in a not-always-so-velvet glove since fighting her way to the most prestigious job in fashion journalism.

Anna Wintour's fashion influence extends to celebrities and politicians: because of it, Hillary Clinton underwent a drastic makeover and became the first First Lady to strike a pose on the cover of Vogue in the midst of Monicagate; Oprah Winfrey was forced to go on a strict diet before Wintour would put her on Vogue's cover. And beauties like Rene Zellweger and Nicole Kidman follow Anna Wintour's fashionista rules to the letter.

Now in her mid-fifties, as she nears her remarkable second decade at the helm of Vogue, comes this revealing biography that will shock and surprise both Anna's fans and detractors alike.Based on scores of interviews, Front Row unveils the Anna Wintour even those closest to her don't know.Oppenheimer chronicles this insecure and creative powerhouse's climb to the top of the bitchy, competitive fashion magazine world, showing up close, as never before exposed, how she artfully crafted and reinvented herself along the way.

She's been called many things-"Nuclear Wintour," by the British press, "cold suspicious and autocratic, a vision in skinniness," by Grace Mirabella, the editor she dethroned at Vogue, and the "Devil" by those who believe she's the inspiration for a recent bestselling novel written by a former assistant.

Included among the startling revelations in Front Row are:
*Anna's "silver spoon" childhood spent craving time with her father.
*Anna's rebellious teen years in London, obsessed with fashion, night-clubbing and dating roguish men.
*Anna's many tempestuous romances.
*Anna's curious marriage to a brilliant child psychiatrist, her role as a mother, and the shocking scandal that led to divorce when she had an affair with a married man.
... Read more

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

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

Reviews (117)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. A Paper Life
by Tatum O'Neal
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060540974
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 749
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Book Description

At age ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed as a new kind of child star -- sassy and precocious -- for a hip, cynical age. As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.

But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother, the actress Joanna Moore, drifted in and out of her life. Her father, saddled with both Tatum and her brother Griffin, grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum -- though a working actress with ten movies to her credit -- had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then, just before her twenty-first birthday, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children, Kevin, Sean, and Emily, in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past, which would nearly kill her.

Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

A Paper Life is a story of strength and courage: unflinchingly honest, yet poignant, often funny, and unfailingly uplifting. It is a tale of triumph steeped in Hollywood lore -- and an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.

... Read more

8. Trump : The Art of the Deal
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394555287
Catlog: Book (1987-11-12)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 7793
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars A real American success story
"Art of the Deal" is a truly inspiring read. If you are interested in learning how others achieve their success, this is one of the best books to study. Although written in the late 80's, this is one book that will withstand the test of time.

Written in an autobiographical style, each chapter covers a major "deal" in the life of The Donald. The beginning chapters show how he was introduced to the world of real estate by his father, and how Donald Trump went from collecting rent in dangerous neighborhoods to building New York's finest luxury accomodations. Each of the deals is unique and has its own set of interesting contractual problems that Trump works out. Some of his most interesting works are the construction of the Trump Tower, buying casinos, and saving the troubled Wollman ice skating rink.

If you like big business, I definitely recommend "Art of the Deal." This book puts you in the front seat with Trump and allows you to view up close how he turns the pressures of negotiations, contracts, and local politics into an exciting game. You will also find this book interesting if you are familiar with downtown New York, as it has many references to famous areas and buildings.

4-0 out of 5 stars Million Dollars Deal Making
If you can get past the unabashed self promotions, this is probably the best book by Donald Trump.

It sheds the most insights into his deal making skills and mindset.

If you are a real estate investor and have read a lot of real estate investments books, you will recognize that many techniques that are taught in real estate investment books and guru's seminars are present in his deal making. The difference is that the other books you read are dealing with a house or an apartment and his deals are hundreds of millions of dollar deals.

His deal making rules are simple, yet insightful. Try this rule: Protect your Down sides and the Upsides will take care of themselves. How many people actually follow that? Most beginner Real Estate Investors go out, load up a ton of debt, and buy houses without thinking about any down sides. In this book, you'll see that Trump is actually quite a cautious and very patient guy...and he is somehow geniusly able to get his capital back in some cases that makes it into those infamous "no money down" deals that gurus are always so proud of pointing out. Like i had mentioned earlier...the only difference is that this is a no money down MILLION dollars deal! I think a lot of us DREAM of doing one like that, Trump shows you how he actually DID it.

This book may be a little out of date...but it does show the reader a glimpse of what it means and takes to dream big.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining story of one of the luckiest guys around
First off, let me just say that The Art of the Deal is an immensely entertaining read, especially for anyone from New York. Trump is obviously an engaging character. So, as an embodiment of Trump's persona, this book is really good.
Donald Trump is certainly a skilled businessman. He offers a lot of advice that is hard to refute given that is seems to have worked quite well for him. Again, he is a real character and a surprisingly likable one at that - although the book seems heavily ghostwritten.
Trump summarizes his success as the result of hard work and a uniquely hard-driving personal style. While that may be true, his rise to success is really a story of some of the most phenomenal luck of anyone I have ever heard of. There are hundreds of real estate developers every bit as ruthless and intelligent as Trump and he fails to credit dumb luck for much of his success; he is, to use the cliche, a person who was spawned on the real estate equivalent of third base and tries to tell you that he's hit a home run every time he scores.
Although his name is still splattered everywhere, he is hardly the prophet that he portrays himself to be. As a construction manager, Trump is probably the greatest who has ever lived. The essential problem of Trump's business "empire" is that his extraordinary management skills, his social savvy, and his astute understanding of the tastes of the nouveaux riche belie a mediocre comprehension of the longer term principles of finance. Eager to build, build, build, it seems that Trump slept through a lot of business school as he seems to think the basic principle that states that a project is only as good as the terms on which it is financed does not apply to him. It is in this delusion of his own uniqueness that some of the more profoundly megalomaniacal elements of his character are visible amid the background of common swagger and bravado. It is funny that Donald Trump is considered by most people in New York as a brilliant businessman but a real jerk. In the end, he seems on a personal level to be similar to what he is on a business level: a man of considerable assets but also staggering debt.
I understand that he's got another book out called "How To Get Rich." May I humbly suggest that Donald Trump is NOT a good person on whom to model a business.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good look inside the life of Trump
Other reviews have summed up the book nicely. So, short and to the point, I thought the book was a nice glimpse into the life of a successful businessman. Who doesn't want to be successful? Seeing his everyday life and how he handles people, obstacles, and situations allows the reader to form their own ideas on how to acheive success. I'm not talking just about financial or business success.
Some of the stories, I thought, were a little long winded, but I'd rather have long winded good stories rather than short stories making me long for more detail. Trump's got a neat story that many will find interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awaken the winner inside you
This book is classic Trump. It brings to life the determination, drive and desire of one of the world's wealthiest men. It is inspiring. This book will help awaken "The Winner", "The mogul" inside you. Great book even if you have read Donald's other books. Highly recommended. ... Read more

9. Careless Love : The Unmaking of Elvis Presley
by Peter Guralnick
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316332976
Catlog: Book (2000-02-10)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 11045
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Here at last is the full, true, and mesmerizing story of Elvis Presley's last two decades, in the long-awaited second volume of Peter Guralnick's masterful two-part biography.Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume life of Elvis Presley, was acclaimed by the New York Times as "a triumph of biographical art." This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis' life in rich and previously unimagined detail, and confirms Guralnick's status as one of the great biographers of our time. Beginning with Presley's army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unraveling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the complex playing-out of Elvis' relationship with his Machiavellian manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It's a breathtaking, revelatory drama that for the first time places the events of a too-often mistold tale in a fresh, believable, and understandable context.Elvis' changes during these years form a tragic mystery that Careless Love unlocks for the first time. This is the quint essential American story, encompassing elements of race, class, wealth, sex, music, religion, and personal transformation. Written with grace, sensitivity, and passion, Careless Love is a unique contribution to our understanding of American popular culture and the nature of success, giving us true insight at last into one of the most misunderstood public figures of our times. " ... Read more

Reviews (68)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Sad, Never a Work of Caricature
We all think we know the post-Army Elvis. He's the gradually fattening lounge act on steroids (and other assorted chemicals) who cranked out awful movies with mechanical regularity. His talent rebounded in the late 60s with his NBC comeback special and some of his live performances to remind us what he meant when his first performances made a young Bob Dylan feel like he was breaking out of jail. Reading Guralnick's successor to "Last Train From Memphis," one is reminded of the old line that airplane pilots experience 98 percent sheer boredom and 2 percent sheer terror. This resembles Elvis's life, enclosed in a dual prison of Graceland's walls and the companionship of the "Memphis Mafia"--his cronies and pals whose lives consisted of serving the King's often bizarre whims, and awaiting his generous handouts. The predicament echoes China's last emperors in their Forbidden City, ruling a landscape they can no longer see and in which they no longer mattered.

This book oozes sadness, and I sensed that Guralnick, whose prose crackles with energy even describing Elvis at his most pathetic, felt personally disappointed with the great waste of talent Elvis's life became. In the preface and on the book's last page, Guralnick makes reference to the mythic Elvis we encountered in "Last Train." In between, a chronicle of pathos unfolds. Guralnick could have used the decline and fall to interrogate the American mythology Elvis once fulfilled, to show how ultimately false it proved. Instead, we get a touchingly human portrait of a man living in the chaos that celebrity creates. I wouldn't wish celebrity on my worst enemy. One is struck by Elvis's loneliness, by the sense of loss occasioned by his mother's death, and from which he clearly never recovered.

The mythic Elvis is still here, particularly in the burst of achievement from the '68 Comeback Special, through the American Recordings with Chips Moman, and the early stands in Vegas. But even when recounting the saddest days of his apotheosis in the mid-70s, Guralnick's tale suddenly shows Elvis explode out of his stupor with charisma and passion, leading his band through the occasional great session or show. Elvis's bizarre obsession with law enforcement and completely surreal desire to meet Richard Nixon and volunteer to serve the country as a Narcotics Agent has something of greatness about it. All that vitality had to go somewhere, and if it's not fed with healthy outlets, it manifests itself strangely.

When I visited Graceland as a tourist a few years ago, the walls still seethed with the boredom the place must have witnessed. Guralnick captures the pathos without descending to the pathetic, while still maintaining a perspetive on his subject that dilutes none of the passion.

5-0 out of 5 stars A poingant, depressing, and insightful look at Elvis...
First and foremost, this is a depressing book. There is a warning in the author's note that the book is about a tragedy, and this is an understatement. Elvis Presely's "fall" was a hard and bitter one. This book outlines events starting in 1960 up to Presely's death in 1977. Things start out looking pretty good for Elvis as he leaves the army and begins his career almost anew, but as the 1970s emerge, things start to cloud over, and the book follows the downward spiraling vortex that Presley and his somewhat bizarre and almost constantly fluctuating entourage followed up to the end. Along the way, Guralnick allows readers to draw their own conclusions about Presley. Mostly the book outlines details of certain events - sometimes so detailed one wonders if Guralnick was there himself - interspersed with commentary from people who lived through these same events. It is not an uplifting read. One gets the impression that Presley's fame isolated him from pretty much the human race, made him untouchable (reprisals were feared by anyone is his immediate "gang", and it didn't help matters that most of them were on his payroll) and ultimately put him beyond the help of his own family and the people who he thought were his friends. Presely's fame turns horrendously destructive in the 1970s, and some of the stories and anecdotes may make the sensitive reader wince. Some of the stories are just downright strange: Presley's religious enlightenment from seeing an image in the clouds of the face of Stalin turn into the face of Jesus; Presley's determination to secure himself a position of Narcotics officer from President Nixon; the pranks Preseley and his retinue play on each other, on audiences, and on themselves; the fact that, as record sales declined, Presely's revenue actually increased. Other anecdotes have a more disturbing undertow: Presley's manipulation and abject objectification of the women in his life, and the fact that many of them kept coming back even after being brusquely brushed off; Presley's fascination with guns, and his sometime not so comforting habit of pointing them at people when angry; Presely's wild, erratic, and irresponsible spending; Presley's inability to take advice from his wife, girlfriends, business manager, and even his own father on dire personal matters (e.g., his finances, his marriage, his health). It is a tragedy to read about someone who both cared about people but also put himself above others in a way that put him beyond their help or aid.

The figure of "the Colonel" lurks behind the entire story. He has Presley's business needs in mind, and, due to his business acumen, makes Presley (and himself) multi-millionaires beyond imagination. It's amazing to read how the Colonel is able to make more and more money from Movie studios, even as movies starring Presley are on a sharp decline in revenue and popularity. The whole story is mind boggling. In the end, the Colonel thought he was taking care of Elvis in the best way he knew how, but insatiable greed and insular attention to the bottom line and almost nothing else probably hurt Presley more than it helped him in the long run. Guralnick does not say this anywhere in the book. Again, the reader must draw moral conclusions based on the evidence. Guralnick does not moralize apart from calling the story a tragedy, and this makes this biography doubly interesting, as different readers will likely draw different conclusions based on their own interpretations of the delineated events. Who is to blame in the end? Is it fair to blame one or a few people? Is it fair to blame Presley? These questions are not answered (as they shouldn't be) but much food for thought is presented. As usual in life, the answer is far more complicated than mere finger pointing can accommodate. Guralnick handles this subject with eloquence and a distance that pull the reader in and allow for reflection upon what happened. This is not the usual shoddy rock biography that typically clutters the "Music" section of bookstores. This is a story to sink one's cognitive teeth into and reflect upon. Warning: this book will make you think; it will make you moralize; it will make you angry and frustrated at what happened, and it will make you ask "Why?" Regardless if you are an Elvis Presley fan or not (I'm really not; I was very young when Presley passed on) this is a book worth reading. It is a thick book, but a quick read (keep your dictionary handy nonetheless). Once you're in fifty pages or so, you'll probably find yourself stuck on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Researched Tale of the King
There is one way to describe this book - wow, what a story.

The writing is just flat out good. Once you start reading be prepared to finish, except for those pesky breaks to sleep and work.

A very well written account of Elvis's life and actions in and out of the recording studio with lots of details, lots of hanky panky, road trips, recording sessions, flights, drugs, buying Cadillacs, the whole mess. Basically Elvis spent every cent he made. The colonel took each dollar and sent 50 cents to the IRS to keep Elvis out of trouble but Elvis and his "mafia" lived like kings where money was no object. If he was in the mood he would just pick up the phone and buy cars, trucks, land, food, whatever was his fancy. When he died Priscilla actually started to manage the finances and Graceland and then after he was dead, the money really increased.

With his love of music and his drive to create, he had hit after hit, a lull and then more hits, movies, hits, lulls, Las Vegas, and on and on. There were no limits until he came in collision with obesity and drugs. It all became very depressing and then it ended. Elvis came close to pulling back and recovering a few times but was unable or unwilling or not intelligent enough to see what was happening to himself. In that sense he was alone and in charge.

An enthralling and well written blockbuster that stays in your hands until the last page.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars Stirring...
I picked up the book Careless Love. At the time the title puzzled me. Who was guilty of Careless Love? Elvis? Umm. Go figure. But upon completion of the book, I now realize no other title would have suited. Elvis was guilty of careless love as was the people whom he surrounded himself with daily and most importantly the fans.
Now, I find no joy in his music and it is painful for me to look at smiling happy picture's of him when he was at the height of his career. Why? Because I know how it all ends. The man, who would burst on the scene and shred American culture, all the while rebuilding it, fascinates me. He was a pioneer, a rebel. Everyone knows the story. Poor boy makes good. But the trajectory his life took is painful to follow. How could a man whose vision changed the music world not have had enough foresight to see his own destructive and erratic behavior?
Paul Guralnick writes the only account of Elvis that I trust implicitly. Why? Because his regard for Elvis as an artist is woven between even the most heart wrenching accounts of his life. Mr. Guralnick does not try to persuade you to like or dislike Elvis. He merely gives Elvis life and places him in front of you saying, "Here he make the decision on how you feel about him."
The book is a disturbing but respectful look at a man who was gifted beyond reason. Mr. Guralnick clearly demonstrates that the fame Elvis endured was even beyond him.

5-0 out of 5 stars You want to know who Elvis really was? Read this book!
A wonderful achievement. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written. You'll learn everything about the King you always wanted to know - plus some facts of which you had rather remained ignorant. Careless Love is on par with the first volume of Guralnik's Elvis-biography, "Last Train to Memphis" (see also my review of that outstanding work). ... Read more

10. Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life
by Donald T. Phillips, Mike Krzyzewski
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446526266
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 110791
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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In some respects, a top-level college coach is a lot like a manager in any business. He has to turn a group of talented individuals into a smoothly running team, and he has to produce results that please the fans of his team--the shareholders of the athletic program. Thus, in Leading with the Heart, Krzyzewski reviews the lessons he's learned as basketball coach at Duke University, and tries to universalize them so they translate to any leadership position. For example, he writes, "Adjustments are not unusual, they are usual. So a leader's ability to think on his feet ... to do things without instruction ... is of paramount importance." Makes sense, as does this admonition: "When teaching, always remember this simple phrase: 'You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand.'"

The book has four sections--"Preseason," "Regular Season," "Postseason," and "All-Season"--and each of those has four chapters. Each chapter begins with three quotes ("Too many rules get in the way of leadership" leads off chapter 1), and ends with bulleted tips summing up the chapter's message. Between the quotes and the bullet points are anecdotes about Duke basketball games and (occasionally) Krzyzewski's life outside basketball. What you come away with is an understanding of why Krzyzewski is a great basketball coach, why former Duke assistants such as Tommy Amaker and Quin Snyder are probably going to become great basketball coaches, and how anyone who's currently a coach can become a better coach. It would be great if other types of managers in other types of businesses could incorporate these lessons in compassionate, focused, highly flexible leadership, but it seems unlikely. Most managers in business rise through the ranks not because of their ability to lead or inspire but because of their knowledge and competence (if not their connections). On the other hand, it would be nice if each of us, just once, could work for someone like Coach K, someone who could push the right buttons and lead us to our own version of the Final Four. Not likely, but a pretty sweet fantasy. --Lou Schuler ... Read more

Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steps to a Dream
My stepdaughter decided she wanted to go to Duke at the age of six, when she fell in love with Bobby Hurley's vibrant playing style. As a result, we've watched the growth of Duke's men and women's basketball programs over the years. Recently, we took my stepdaughter, now sixteen, to see the campus and what do you know; there in Cameron Indoor Stadium was Coach K with about 250 young men for basketball camp. We bought the book on the way out and I read the entire book in one day.

This book appeals on several levels. For a teenager, it can be a road map to help reach a dream. Coach K describes what he looks for in prospective players and his combination of talent, respect for authority and coachability clearly distinguish any promising athelete. However, they are equally hallmarks of the best entry level professsionals in business.

Coach K's use of the phases in a season work very well as a framework to build his ideas on. The analogies to business situations, which he makes from time to time, are inescapable for anyone who leans to team based leadership styles.

In our work, this book will become the basis for a team building exercise to help launch a new team and a new business.

I strongly recommend reading the book and sharing it with your team and your kids. It will be a great discussion source for both groups you need to communicate with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book in all regards
I graduated from Duke in 68 and am an avowed fan of Coach K.However, I've hit a rut in my reading recently, can't find anything that seems stimulatiing or interesting.I was afraid this book would just be another of those "smaltzy" rah rah type of books that coaches(and usually someone else write), but I was happily surprised. It is really worth everyones attention, whether to motivate a business person or anyone on how to live ones life. The usual blah blahing about excellence is pretty much left out, thank goodness, and the book is full of very helpful aphorisms about what priorities to put first and how to lead a wholesome and successful life,even if you don't have a jump shot.Coach K comes across as really honest and sincere.I can't stand phonies and really was pleasantly surprised by the book. Lots of real life anecdotes about games, players, situations and how to take defeat.Truly inspirational from a superb leader. For sports fans, look what he did with the team of mostly freshman this year, way beyond anyones expectations.He uses his heart a lot, but also his head.You can also read and skip around in the book, its not like a novel.Again, his repeated emphasis on how to deal with defeat and failure shows true wisdom, far beyond that of most college coaches. I remember the tonge in cheek defintion of a college basketball coach by a player once."you have to be a little bit crazy to base your career on someone else's jump shot." Coach K is crazy like a fox.

3-0 out of 5 stars More about basketball and coaching than leadership
As one who is interested in leadership development, I was disapointed in this book. For those of you who are coaches of athletic teams this book will be usefull. For those who are looking at leadership for business, government etc, there are likely better books out there that cover the subject minus the glory of the Duke basketball team.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Motivational!
Let me first preface this by saying I'm a huge Duke fan...
now, let me tell you that if you are in any position of leadership, this is a must-read! Coach K's outlook on leadership is very positive and easy to work into any type of job. I even found things to use while teaching 2nd graders!
If you are anti-Duke, you may be put off to references to past players, but the leadership ideas are so valuable! If you have ever read Pat Riley's book on leadership and enjoyed it, you will definitely enjoy this one!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply phenomenal
One of the few "good guys" in college basketball, Coach K always seems to have two things in common that are usually mutually exclusive in college sports - a superlative record of winning & more importantly, a superlative family atmosphere. Too many times in both college and in business we hear of two types of coaches and managers - the overly soft players coach or the motivate by fear authoritarian type. Seldom have we seen a coach succeed at such a high level who, through a tireless work ethic, has engendered such indelible values as trust, personal responsibility, honesty, teamwork, the ability to laugh at one's mistakes, selflessness, & a genuine love for those on your team as if they were your family.

This is, as opposed to a memoir, a leadership book - one that everyone who has followed Duke would enjoy and learn from. Coach K reveals his secrets to motivating players, his core values, how to deal with adversity, how to maintain a level of excellence, & what it takes to get to the top - in sports, business, and in life. Coach K chronicles humorous and educational anecdotal stories with his players such as Chris Collins, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Jeff Capel, Danny Ferry, Trajan Langdon, Wojo, Johnny Dawkins, & Shane Battier to name a few that helped mold them into not only great players on the court, but more importantly, great leaders off of the court. The audio version is especially poignant and well read. ... Read more

11. Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose
by Paris Hilton, Merle Ginsberg
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743266641
Catlog: Book (2004-09)
Publisher: Fireside
Sales Rank: 577
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Book Description

Paris Hilton has a lifestyle most girls dream about. Her name is on everyone's lips -- but can she help it if she was born rich and privileged? Now, with a sly sense of humor and a big wink at her media image, Paris lets you in for a sneak peek at the life of a real, live heiress/model/actress/singer/it-girl and tells you how anyone can live a fairy-tale life like hers.

"If you follow your own plans and dreams and you don't let anyone talk you out of them, then you'll start to get the hang of being an heiress....All you need after that is a good handbag, a great pose, and very high heels, and you're on your way. (Long blond hair doesn't hurt, either.)"

In her fabulous and very tongue-in-cheek -- and chic -- guide, you'll discover Paris's twenty-three rules for How to Be an Heiress (Never have only one cell phone when you can have many), Paris's list of Twelve Things an Heiress Would Never Do (Go out the night after the Oscars), and Three Things Most People Think Heiresses Shouldn't Do, But I Think They Should (Go out with broke guys). Paris also shares private information such as her memories of growing up with her sister, Nicky, and family photos; her favorite designers and her unique beauty secrets; what a night out with Paris is like; her personal gallery of fashion don'ts; and behind-the-scenes stories from both installments of her hit television series, The Simple Life. Of course no book by Paris would be complete without her pet teacup Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, and in these pages, the best-dressed dog in the world shares pages from her own secret diary.

Featuring more than three hundred fabulous color photos of Paris, Confessions of an Heiress is a look at life from the unique perspective of a young woman who has the whole world at her stiletto-clad feet. ... Read more

12. It Seemed Important at the Time : A Romance Memoir
by Gloria Vanderbilt
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743264800
Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 1526
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Book Description

An elegant, witty, frank, touching, and deeply personal account of the loves both great and fleeting in the life of one of America's most celebrated and fabled women.

Born to great wealth yet kept a virtual prisoner by the custody battle that raged between her proper aunt and her self-absorbed, beautiful mother, Gloria Vanderbilt grew up in a special world. Stunningly beautiful herself, yet insecure and with a touch of wildness, she set out at a very early age to find romance. And find it she did. There were love affairs with Howard Hughes, Bill Paley, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few, and one-night stands, which she writes about with delicacy and humor, including one with the young Marlon Brando. There were marriages to men as diverse as Pat De Cicco, who abused her; the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, who kept his innermost secrets from her; film director Sidney Lumet; and finally writer Wyatt Cooper, the love of her life.

Now, in an irresistible memoir that is at once ruthlessly forthright, supremely stylish, full of fascinating details, and deeply touching, Gloria Vanderbilt writes at last about the subject on which she has hitherto been silent: the men in her life, why she loved them, and what each affair or marriage meant to her. This is the candid and captivating account of a life that has kept gossip writers speculating for years, as well as Gloria's own intimate description of growing up, living, marrying, and loving in the glare of the limelight and becoming, despite a family as famous and wealthy as America has ever produced, not only her own person but an artist, a designer, a businesswoman, and a writer of rare distinction. ... Read more

13. Posterity : Letters of Great Americans to Their Children
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038550330X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 2361
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Personal and Revealing
This wonderful book spans more than three centuries and gives the reader insights into the thoughts of many great Americans as they wrote to their children.

This treasury of short letters also provides some background for each one. The research needed to discover these personal letters is documented. I love this collection and the way all the letters are presented.

To quote from the author's father, David McCullough, "This is a book to pick up and read at almost any page, a book to keep close at hand, to return to for nourishment and guidance, yes, but also for reassurance and pure pleasure". I couldn't have said it any better! This quotation says exactly how I feel. I want to purchase several copies to give as gifts and as a parent, I even feel compelled to write to my own children!

All the letters provide wonderful insights into the minds of the parents, and I have several favorites; Eleanor Roosevelt wrote one to one of her sons who wanted to skip Christmas and it is so touching! As Dorie M. Lawson reminds us, letter writing is generally a thoughtful art - it cannot compare to e-mail writing.

These personal letters from parent to child are arranged thematically and within each section, they are in chronological order and printed in their entirety just as they were composed. It is thrilling to read them, especially the really old ones and all of them were written by aparent who made worthwhile contributions to America.

Here are a few of the parents whose letters are included: Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Patsy, Harry Truman to his daughter Margaret, General Patton to his son, Oscar Hammerstein to his son, and so many more from all walks of life. All of us who have children and even those who do not, will benefit from reading this rare collection of parents expressing their thoughts.

Thank you Dorie McCullough Lawson and please continue writing!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Display of Humanity
To often, we think of historical figures as cardboard characters, names in a textbook. In this wonderful book, they come alive as thinking, feeling human beings, sharing their innermost thoughts with their children. No matter the era, or the fame of the writer, the humanity is what one remembers. Perhaps the greatest tribute I can give Dorie McCullough Lawson is the fact that I have since read, or am reading, biographies of N.C. Wyeth, Theodore Roosevelt, John J. Pershing, and Harriet Beecher Stowe...all because of what I learned about them from her book, and the letters therein. "Posterity..." is a book to treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deeply Satisfying, Cleverly Organized Collection
I was initially put off by the "high concept" execution of the book, but the selection of the letters and the breadth of the authors is enormously satisfying and deeply moving. The book is another reminder of the rich inner life we have lost in our world of email and voicemail, as revealed in the warm, funny, eclectic and eccentric voices of the famous speaking to their loved ones. In books about families, I'm very fond of "I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets," by Bruce Stockler, a fresh, memorable story of living a life turned upside down, and "Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir," by Richard Cohen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely. Moving, Entertaining Look Inside Families
I'm not a big fan of the genre of letters literature, but this book completely surprised and enthralled me. The obvious hook is the eclectic group of thinkers, from Thomas Edison and Jack London to Moe Howard from the Three Stooges and Woody Guthrie. Each writer reveals a profound love of family, children, sense of humor and warmth that is collectively astonishing and heartbreaking. (...)

In this day of email and instant messaging does anyone ever take the time to write a longhand letter? What will future generations have to reference in order to learn more about us, who we were and what we thought? Well, I don't have the answer to those questions but I do know that today we can read the letters of some very distinguished people who did take the time to advise, order or console their children via pen and ink.

Yes, the writers of the letters contained in this volume are famous Americans, but they are also very much like all of us when it comes to our offspring. What a privilege it is to be able to read these letters and in that way perhaps know a little more about what was in the writers' hearts and minds.

The letters are arranged by theme, from "Continuity" to "Rules To Live By," and each letter is preceded by a brief biographical sketch.

We find Albert Einstein writing to Hans Albert Einstein, "What I have achieved through such a lot of strenuous work shall not only be there for strangers but especially for my own boys.....I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits......"

Sam Houston tells Sam, Jr. of a mother's love: "Your Ma loves you more than she does any one else, so you should love her, more than any one." While John Adams sends a note of caution to John Quincy Adams: "...Go and see with how little Wisdom this World is governed."

In moments of discouragement Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote to Georgiana Stowe: "Why have n't I written? Because, dear Georgie, I am like the dry, dead leafless tree, and have only cold, dead, slumbering buds of hope on the end of stiff, hard, frozen twigs of thought, but no leaves, no blossoms...."

"Posterity" offers a collective portrait of who we were. It's a book that can be picked up and enjoyed a page at a time, and it's one you'll want to refer to again and again.

- Gail Cooke ... Read more

14. Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
by Sonny Barger, Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060937548
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 23903
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.

Dozens of photos, including many from private collections and from noted photographers, provide visual documentation to this extraordinary tale. Never simply a story about motorcycles, colorful characters, and high-speed thrills, Hell's Angel is the ultimate outlaw's tale of loyalty and betrayal, subcultures and brotherhood, and the real price of freedom.

... Read more

Reviews (67)

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly excellent book.
Sonny Barger has lived the life and "Hell's Angel" chronicles it all. From the moment I began reading I found it hard to put down. Few other books have inspired that much anticipation in me.

While never truly romanticizing the 1%'er lifestyle it still holds an appeal that is undeniable, which is to say that those close to the subject will understandably get the most out of this while the rest of us will still find it a remarkably engrossing read. I was surprised to find that not very many books on the Hell's Angels and other associated clubs have been written, and of those that have most are of the expose/tabloid variety. Sonny on the other hand lays it all out in a very plain, unapologetic manner. He doesn't seek your approval just tells it how it is without ever acknowledging the right or wrong of his actions. "Hell's Angel" is not an indictment of his personal values or those of the Hell's Angels themselves.

At times, though, "Hell's Angel" has a tendency to meander out of chronological order and which gets kind of confusing but it usually becomes obvious after a few minutes of reading just exactly where the event in question took place.

This is a must have for any Americana lover out there so do yourself a favor, don't wait, go out and buy this book right now.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strong start, slower finish
I picked this book up at my local library as soon as I saw it on the shelf. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Hell's Angels are a part of 20th century American history and culture, and the lion's share of the credit for this fact goes to Sonny Barger. It was interesting to read *the* insider's look at the Angels, whose image has been heavily mythologized, both positively and negatively, since the 1950s.

The first chapters of the book were more interesting to me, since they dealt with the history of motorcycle gangs in 1940s and 1950s America, the formation of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, and the personalities and activities that put the group on the map, as it were. Descriptions of Angels' club rules, codes of conduct, and reflections on their famous runs and riots were riveting.

But as the book went along it became less about the HAMC and more about the trials (literally) and tribulations of Sonny Barger. Granted, Barger is an interesting personality and I came away with a certain admiration for the man, and the book is the story of Sonny Barger and not just the club, but chapters about Barger's drug trials, incarcerations, and other travails were less interesting to me than stories of the heady early days of the HAMC.

All told, however, this is a good look into one of the more interesting but neglected parts of 20th century American society.

1-0 out of 5 stars An old man who has selective memory
"Sometimes you have to fight to be free". Bless you Sonny, but you know the real truth and you have left all except the most innocent facts out of this book. The Hells Angels are a horror and a growing one at that.

5-0 out of 5 stars back in the day...
Not owing a bike or even being able to ride one, I found myself wanting to Be a Angel( mostly because of the parties, booze and the woman). The book is mostly about former members and the roots of the bike club. It pretty wild stuff and hell I can see why the FBI keeps tabs on these boys.. Over all if you every wanted to know about the Hells Angels read about it from the man himself....

5-0 out of 5 stars truly inspirational
this book was such an inspiration to me, it helped me learn of a new alternitave way to live a life free of the daily toil of the system and helped correct all those rumors heard (especialy about "that" rolling stones incedent) and proved my point that Hunter S Thompson nothing that he makes himself out to be, i am not a bike or gang enthusiast, i had this book bought as an out of the blue gift and now that ive read it im so glad to have recived it ... Read more

15. The Way of the Wiseguy
by Joseph Pistone
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0762418397
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
Sales Rank: 9597
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here's the first nonfiction work from author Joe Pistone since his New York Times #1 bestseller and hit movie, Donnie Brasco. Perhaps no man alive knows the inner workings and lifestyle of wiseguys better than Pistone does, having spent six years infiltrating the Mafia as an undercover FBI agent. Now, years later, Pistone reassesses what the underworld was really about. Occasionally poignant, always in shocking detail, The Way of the Wiseguy gives readers a first-hand look at the thinking, psychology, and customs that make wiseguys a unique breed. The book is divided into anecdotes that reveal key principles of wiseguy life, including "Don't Volunteer You Don't Know Something," "Be a Good Earner," "Look Like You Mean Business, "It's Your Best Friend Who Will Kill You," and much more. The stories-more than 80 of them-are spellbinding, and the insights into this lawless realm of badguys are often uncannily relevant to the workings of the legitimate world of big business and everyday social discourses. Includes CD with shocking undercover surveillance audio from the Donnie Brasco operation (with commentary by author Joe Pistone). ... Read more

Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars Tired material, dubious delivery
If you read Donnie Brasco - or know even a little bit about the prototypical wiseguy - you do not need to read this book. It essentially details the way mobsters live their daily lives, what's important to them (money), why they kill people (also money), etc. If you have a brain in your skull you could have gleaned that from Pistone's first book, or the film Donnie Brasco, or any of the Godfather movies. What's worse, the book is littered with profanity, something that was missing (or at least not gratuitous) from the Donnie Brasco book. And it also surprised me because when you see Pistone interviewed, he seems like a class act. The profanity seems highly contrived as to make you think Pistone has more credibility if he talks like a scumbag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brasco does it again
This book was an excellent read. Told in Joe Pistone's authentic voice, it provides an alternative viewpoint to Hollywood's glamorized version of the mafia-a viewpoint that we don't see often enough.

I particularly enjoyed the format. The book is interspersed with some shorter chapters and some longer ones, each consisting of anecdotes that teach lessons about the wiseguy's lifestyle. So whether you've got an hour to sit down and read it, or whether you've only got 10 minutes here and there, you can pick up The Way of the Wiseguy at any point and be entertained and enlightened.

Informative, funny, and poignant all at once, Pistone brought me closer to being inside the mafia than I'll ever be. And convinced me that I don't ever want to get any closer.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Warmed-over rehash of better titles.
Joseph Pistone takes a page out of the handbook of those he put away and shakes down mafia aficionados for a quick buck.

There is nothing in this writing that hasn't been documented before by other authors better and in more detail. What we hope is a true insider's view of the day-to-day machinations of the mob turns out to be a book of thirty one- to two-page essays on various facets of a Mafioso's daily life. We hope to get a look at mob life not apparent to those of us on the outside, to get a true feel for the Way of the Wiseguy. What we get instead is a Cliff's notes outline of The Godfather.

Way of the Wiseguy offers up such gems as :

--some Wiseguys are degenerate gamblers
--Wiseguys do not have the same value system as everyday people
--Wiseguys send a message by whacking people
--Wiseguys are greedy
--Wiseguys take goomahs
--Wiseguys are all about the money

Do you want more details or information than the above list? Don't expect to find it in Way of the Wiseguy. Pistone really phones it in on this one: pulling a robbery on the book buying public that should be the inspiration for chapter one in his next writing: Fake Wiseguys know how to sucker the public too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fun & Informative Fast Read
While Pistone uses poor english --- 6th grade level lower class english, he writes what I find to be a riveting account of life in La Costra Nostra.

These are all issues and things that most people wonder about mobsters and Pistone answers them clearly, succinctly and well.

This is a good book for people interested in American History, Mafia history, the mob in general and sociology, among other things. One can't help but see a bit of oneself in mobsters. After all, we all have a dark side even if we never show it or dare to think about it.

A warning to parents, this book uses what some might consider very bad language although among business people, politicians, mobsters and just about every living human being, it's quite common. But if you are sensitive, don't buy it.

If you want a really great read and don't mind poor english and bad language, do buy it. It's totally different than any other book about La Costra (...)

1-0 out of 5 stars thin and weak
There isn't a whole lot to this book. Several 1 page chapters and blank pages. You can get a lot more information in other books. I loved Donnie Brasco, but this seems like a cheap way to get a quick buck. ... Read more

16. Philistines at the Hedgerow : Passion and Property in the Hamptons
by Steven Gaines
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316309079
Catlog: Book (1999-05-06)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 95114
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC READ!
I loved this book. The author has written a social history of the Hamptons that's a real page-turner. The characters are fascinating and he evokes a sense of place that makes you feel the author knows every nook and cranny of his subject. The book creates an historical tapestry stretching from pre-Revolutionary days to an end- of-the-millenium July 4th party. It would be easy to take potshots at the rich and richers who live in the Hamptons, but the author, who sees these characters with a clear and discerning eye, never condescends. The book moves so quickly I finished it in one sitting. This is my favorite kind of book-- a non-fiction book that reads like a novel. Because of the subject, some people might consider this a summer read, but I found this to be THE perfect book to read during a recent snowstorm. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but a little exclusionary
As a Hamptons native who has moved away from the area, I was very interested by the idea of the book. It read a lot like "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," with eccentric real-life characters (though no transvestites) and squabbles that are funny to anyone not involved in the situation. However, it seemed rather caught up in mainly covering the socially elite of the Hamptons and was rather rude in its constant dismissal of any Hamptons other than Southampton or East Hampton (Gaines sniffed several times that Westhampton, for instance, should've been called "Dentisthampton"). I think an excellent follow-up, or companion, volume to this book would be if Gaines were to find the same types of fascinating people and stories in the not-so-exclusive Hamptons.

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible book
Save your money, give it to charity, do anything but spend it on a new copy of this book. This person is hideously conceited about his knowledge of, yet totally wrong about life in East Hampton. Why did this book get the hype? There are valid ones out there that are fun, good, informative reading. This book is ludicrous.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Summer's Read
This is not Rand, nor Tolstoy, nor Fitzgerald, nor Dunne. One needn't think too much about such a book. Suffice to say that it is simply amusingly written and quite informative about such a seemingly provinicial world and the moneyed individuals who inhabit and have inhabited it. A good read, especially if one's planning to visit the region.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Look Inside
This was a most enjoyable book....a look at how the super-wealthy denizens of the Hamptons really live. The author tells many gossipy tales, but at the same time, gives the reader a great deal of historical background about the early settlers of the area; those who became wealthy via the real estate of the Hamptons; and the mega-wealthy newcomers who seem to delight in flaunting their wealth even as they try to remain anonymous...or perhaps the right word would be "mysterious".

I think Gaines, an insider who lives in the Hamptons, has done his research and perfectly relates the superficial life led by many of the residents there.

This book read like fiction and I finished it very quickly. Many of the characters who populated the book were very odd people, ones that a reader would expect to meet in a novel.

I found the story of Gardiner's Island fascinating. It was first settled by Lion Gardiner in 1639, and was the first permanent English settlement in New York. Lion bought this from the Indians and it has been owned by his descendents ever since. They allow no trespassing.

I also enjoyed the story of The Creeks, one of the largest estates in the Hamptons. It was created in incredible splendor by Arthur and Adele Herter and recently rebuilt by Ron Perelman. In the intervening years, The Creeks belonged to the artist Alfonso Ossorio and his lover Ted Dragon, an interesting couple. These men befriended Jackson Pollock and their story included interesting information about Pollock's life and tragic death.

This says it all: "The establishment can hold off the newcomers for only so long. There are always more of Them than Us". The "Them" he refers to are the Philistines at the hedgerow. ... Read more

17. Inside the Dream : The Personal Story of Walt Disney
by Richard Greene, Katherine Greene
list price: $60.00
our price: $39.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786853506
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 16579
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Disney Fans Must Have
This is a must have for the Disney fan. This book gives in depth detail into the man who created the "happiest place on earth", from the people who knew hime best. His family, friends, and employees. I have read many books on Disney, and this ranks in the top 2(along with Imaganineering). It tells the stories of his triumphs as well as his tragedies. I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars NIce story about a true genius
This book is not a complete and detailed biography, but is a nice tribute to Walt Disney. It has a lot of photos, and the most interesting parts of the book are "personal side" sections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Proof That Walt Disney Was The Original Dream Worker!
Walt Disney is well on his way to becoming the most written about creative talent in American film.
This is the 100th anniversary of his birth and thankfully any examination of his life can still include careful interviews with people who knew him and worked with him. The book is less an in-depth biography and more like spending a long afternoon hearing how it was from those who knew him best and who can praise him at the same time they acknowledge his frailties. It's an earnest and heartfelt look at the heart and soul of the man, and the authors do their level best to take a frank and thoughtful approach while still being entertaining. Like everything else Disney, it's best to give in to the fact that you're about to be put under a spell. The sooner you give in, the more fun you'll have.
Though some may find it less satisfying than a more critical analysis, this reader is tired of deconstructing American icons and welcomes this lovely look at a historical figure whose impact went well beyond his filmmaking. Disney is arguably the greatest influence on American popular culture and family entertainment in the past 100 years. Most admirable is the way the authors address some of the detractors who've criticized Walt Disney over the years for such things as anti-Semitism or racism. Albeit sentimental, the authors maintain fairly good objectivity. Walt Disney remains enigmatic even to those closest to him. Thankfully, the recollections by family and friends are edited into the layout without making the entire book seem like a posthumous testimonial dinner.
Granted this Disney Editions publication doesn't come without its ulterior motives. With the kind of control Disney has always had over any thing profiling the company one doubts that a harsh light will ever shine on their founder in one of their own pubications. But dreams and dreamers always look better in a soft light, and who but a bitter DreamWorker would ever want to bother trying to detract from such happy success? (And if ever proof was needed that certain ex-studio head turned competitor NEVER was and NEVER WILL be the next Walt Disney, this delivers it!) Though you wish the current Disney brass would pay more attention to the underlying principals of what makes Disney 'Disney' that are spelled out in this book. Hey, we can dream, too, can't we?
Still, this deliciously illustrated oversized scrapbook-styled remembrance of Walt more than makes up for its obvious propaganda focused origins. Imagine(eer) that!
Even though the book serves primarily as a companion to the documentary film of the same title, it's a wonderful read. A gentle reflection with rich illustrations -- some seldom and never before seen photographs -- and a rich and handsome design. Endlessly entertaining. A lovely tribute worth adding to your library. ... Read more

18. The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets, 1798-1848
by Niall Ferguson
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140240845
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 66678
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Founded in the late 18th century by expatriate German Jews, the London-based House of Rothschild was within decades the largest banking enterprise in the world. Its principals controlled a vast portion of the industrial world's wealth--more so, Oxford historianNiall Ferguson writes, than any family has since--and as a result enjoyed tremendous political influence in the major capitals of Europe, counting as allies such important figures as Metternich and Wellington. That influence would provoke countless anti-Semitic tracts fulminating against Jewish usury and against the power of "Eastern potentates" in the empires of England and France. Although the Rothschilds were well aware of their power and not reluctant to use it, they operated fairly, Ferguson notes. For example, whereas lending rates in the textile industry, in which the Rothschilds got their start, were often 20 percent, the fledgling house charged 5 to 9 percent. Through shrewd, complex negotiations they helped promote peace and the beginnings of economic union throughout Europe.

Ferguson's sprawling history covers much ground and involves a cast of hundreds of players. At the outset he notes that his book was commissioned by the modern descendants of the House of Rothschild; even so, he approaches his task with careful balance and a critical eye, pointing out the Rothschilds' failings as well as successes. The result is a fine, solid contribution to economic history, one that, unlike so many books in the field, is eminently readable. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent and comprehensive analysis
Niall Ferguson has done a commendable job of describing the developement of a captivating family saga. What I found most appealing about the book is its comprehensive nature -- it weaves the family story in the context of the political and economic developments,with which it is closely intertwined. What is even more fascinating is the level of financial details about the bank than Ferguson provides. Perhaps it is his access to the recently open archive in Moscow that allows the author to deisclose finanacial history that it fascinating and detailed.

I would highly recommend this book to any serious student of history, as well as to people interested in banking and economics. Perhaps it may appear too detailed for the casual reader.

4-0 out of 5 stars A first-rate history, if a bit thin on the finance
Ferguson has written a rare work: a family chronicle which is both a compelling read, and is good history. The text is richly detailed, while the very complete footnotes provide the reader with a clear sense of the broad scholarship that has gone into the book. One caveat: while Ferguson points out in his introduction that the work is not a financial history, he unfortunately doesn't paint as rich a picture of the financial markets of the early 19th century as the book requires. While the house's trading history makes for a fascinating read, it takes place without any contextual comparison of how other market makers behaved and traded (other than an occasional comparison of profits and losses). Still, though, it's a minor criticism of a great book. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and enlightening
The House of Rothschild 1798-1848 covers a pivotal time in history. The Napoleonic Wars, rise of capitalism, the rise of multinational businesses, development of the railroad and the French Revolution. The Rothschild's had a front row seat to all of this and were the focus of some of it. From humble beginnings in the Frankfurt Jewish Ghetto, the rise of this family is chronicled through three generations. Many myths about the Rothschilds are laid to rest by Ferguson's groundbreaking research, much of it original scholarship. One of the main threads running through the book is that finance had a profound role in the ability of the rulers of Europe to do what they wanted. By 1825 the Rothschild had a significant role in sovereign finance. Many things were wished for by the various despots that ruled Europe at that time, but if the Rothschilds did not perceive that those wishes would lead to stabilization and peace it typically was not supported thereby making it difficult to realize. They did not support the despots with out reserve, but they knew that peace protected their interests. That perspective makes this book unique.
The Rothschild family business was a partnership that was constructed as the 2nd generation left Frankfurt for London, Paris, Vienna, and Naples. That the partnership should survive was the 1st generation's greatest desire and was respected (most of the time) by his descendants. The exchanges between the 5 houses make for fascinating reading and are reference extensively in the book.
The book details how the Rothschilds pushed for Jewish emancipation and equality and were resisted at every turn. That did not prevent them from receiving commendations from the various governments that the worked with. It did not prevent them from gaining entry to the most prestigious universities for their children. It did not prevent Lionel from gaining entry into the British Parliament without having to swear a Christian Oath. The Rothschilds achieved a great deal for themselves and for Judaism.
Intrigue, betrayal, revolution, and vignettes of famous people make this a very entertaining book, not merely a historic rendering of dates and places. From the beginning of the Rothschild climb to prominence with the Elector of Hesse-Kassel to the French Revolution in 1848, this book will engage the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars The House of Rothschild
Ferguson (Oxford) presents a fascinating picture of the first two generations of the Rothschild family (Mayer Amschel and his five sons Amschel, Solomon, Nathan, Carl, and James), who laid the foundation for the family's banking fortune in the early 19th century. Ferguson attacks the myths surrounding the family and focuses on the nature of the partnership and the secret of its success. Intricately weaving together strands of familial, financial, and political history into a highly readable but complex narrative, the author presents a vivid picture of this Jewish family, which emerged from the Frankfurt ghetto to dominate European finance, particularly the international bond market, and which, despite its rise to unparalleled wealth and influence, never deserted Judaism. This massive, lucid, and captivating study rests largely on previously unexamined manuscript sources in Paris, London, Frankfurt, and Moscow, many written in German with Hebrew characters. These sources are meticulously documented in 140 pages of footnotes/bibliography within the 600-page text. It will remain the definitive account of the early history of the family. Highly recommended for scholars and general readers alike.

2-0 out of 5 stars BORING
This book is about the rise of the House of Rothschild but it is not written for the casual reader of history. This is written for the scholar whose subject matter is economic history. As that is not my field of study, I found the book boring in the extreme (it took me two months to wade through it). However, for the student of Jewish history, it does have some interesting ideas as to the origins of some of the Nazi propaganda. ... Read more

19. 740 Park : The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385512090
Catlog: Book (2005-10-18)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 157827
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Book Description

From a bestselling author and journalist renowned for his access to the rich and famous comes the epic story of the last great apartment building erected on Manhattan's Gold Coast--home to countless 20th Century icons including Bouviers, Rockefellers and Chryslers, as well as modern Midases like Edgar Bronfman, Henry Kravis, Ronald O. Perelman and Saul Steinberg.

740 Park Avenue is the best-known, and most lusted-after co-op apartment building in New York-and so, in the world.

Built by Jacqueline Kennedy's grandfather, the building has housed America's oldest, richest, most powerful and most gossiped-about families for 75 years.

Their stories are juicy, startling, and above all entertaining, but no more so than that of the building itself--and in 740 Park, Michael Gross tells all.

The backbone of the book is the building: the financial, artistic, and social stew that created it and made its apartments the most expensive in New York. Interwoven are stories of the residents who set the building's tone and made its grand reputation--including Countess Kotzebue, a five-times married multi-millionairess; Marshall Field III, whose family was a model of patrician dysfunction; C. Channing Blake, the Friendly's Ice Cream heir, whose gay lover lived on one floor of the duplex while his wife lived upstairs; Prince Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, brother of the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Kamel Abdel Rahman, the Palestinian billionaire believed murdered by his third wife; and many more.

Michael Gross knows their world intimately, having explored its every nook and cranny. More than just a sensational read, 740 Park is rich in social history, providing a glimpse into a world that most of us can only dream about. ... Read more

20. Luther : The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross
by Craig Seymour
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060594187
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 26685
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On April 16, 2003, Luther Vandross suffered a near-fatal stroke, and the world held its breath. Inside sources said he might never sing again. He was too weak to receive visitors, but cards and good wishes came from Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Anita Baker, Halle Berry, Patti LaBelle, Jesse Jackson, Burt Bacharach, Bette Midler, Star Jones, Gladys Knight, and Dionne Warwick, among others. With a will to live matched only by the enormous strength and power of his heart, soul, and singing talent, Luther survived and is regaining his voice. This biography is a loving tribute to the man who has entertained millions.

Luther remains one of the music industry's most private celebrities. In Luther, the first biography of the hugely popular and beloved singer, Craig Seymour investigates and illuminates Luther's life, from his early obsession with soulful girl groups to the day he was discovered by glam rocker David Bowie to his devastating stroke and inspiring recovery. Seymour explores Luther's elusive sexuality, the taboo question that has plagued him for his entire career. He talks about Luther's yo-yo dieting, and the pain his weight has caused him and those around him. He tells the whole story behind the widely publicized feuds between Luther and R&B icons Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker as well as the group En Vogue. And he frankly and honestly explores the tragedies of Luther's life: the 1986 car crash that killed his best friend and nearly destroyed his career, and the 2003 stroke that almost ended his life.

An authentic R&B legend, Luther Vandross is one of the most popular and talented vocalists in the world. His life has been full of pain and love, tragedy and redemption. And now, for the first time ever, Luther gives you a backstage pass into his life and longing.

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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and surprisingly funny
This Luther Vandross biography unexpected arrived in the mail and I begin reading immediately. An easy, quick and fascinating read, I enjoyed learning about Luther's background, his struggles to become a recording artist, and his careers successes and challenges. Although this really isn't a book filled with personal comments by Luther to the biographer, Craig Seymour, you can tell that the author did a great job seamlessly piecing together Luther's history so that it reads logically and thoughtfully. There are sad and poignant moments (the stroke), and many funny moments too (Luther's quick wit and great sense of humor). The squabbles he's had with fellow singers will make you laugh too and shake your head at what goes on behind closed doors within the industry. Even if you aren't a Luther Vandross fan, if you enjoy reading about a slice of R&B music history, you may enjoy reading this book. The book provides a fascinating and dramatic look at the music industry, and it simultaneously honors Luther Vandross with grace and honesty. It's highly recommended and may give you a greater appreciation for Luther, as well as entertainment in general.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book!
I loved this book! Luther's life unfurls with drama and style--much like his live shows. I've been a Luther fan for years and learned more about him--and had a greater appreciation for him--by reading this book. I definitely recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
The story is inspirational; aspiring artists should read it to appreciate the obstacles and fears that perseverance overcomes. After finishing the book, I was inspired to begin my artistic projects again. Also, it was a wonderful journey down memory lane.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting Biography
This is probably the best celebrity biography I have read. Seymour demonstrates his reporting and writing prowess by filling the book from beginning to end with loads of character-revealing research, while simultaneously maintaining pace and rhythm. He gives readers the sensation of having front-row seats to the ongoing drama by recreating the kinds of behind-the-scenes antics that only an insider gets to witness. He also helps to transport readers across the barriers of time and place by recreating the sights and sounds of the important social (and musical) events that mark each era. Even if you have not followed Luther's career closely, you'll find yourself drawn into this engaging portrait of a man whose childhood hobby led him to become a producer for some of R& B and pop music's biggest icons and, ultimately, to attain mega-watt stardom.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational, Uplifiting Read!!!!
This book cuts to the heart of Luther's artistry and spirit. A must read!!!! Great for the beach!!! ... Read more

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