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    $19.80 $18.80 list($30.00)
    1. Princesses : The Six Daughters
    $10.46 $7.95 list($13.95)
    2. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an
    $19.77 list($29.95)
    3. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts,
    $19.77 list($29.95)
    4. Catherine de Medici : Renaissance
    $10.50 $8.50 list($14.00)
    5. A Treasury of Royal Scandals:
    $16.35 $11.16 list($25.95)
    6. Sex with Kings : 500 Years of
    $4.00 list($29.95)
    7. Miss You: The World War II Letters
    $13.96 $6.91 list($19.95)
    8. Trump : The Art of the Deal
    $11.16 $4.99 list($15.95)
    9. Victoria's Daughters
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    10. Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece
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    11. Like Family: Growing Up in Other
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    12. A Lady, First: My Life in the
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    $27.95 $14.00
    14. The Surgeon and the Shepherd:
    15. Fire in the Night : Wingate of
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    16. Six Wives of Henry VIII
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    17. An Enduring Love : My Life with
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    18. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors:
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    19. Nicholas and Alexandra
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    20. The First Elizabeth

    1. Princesses : The Six Daughters of George III
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679451188
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1717
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dutiful Daughters
    Flora Fraser is the next generation in the fine biographical/historical tradition of her mother Lady Antonia Fraser and her late grandmother Elizabeth (Countess of) Longford.Like her forebears, Fraser combines scholarship with an elegant and witty writing style to produce books whichilluminate and engage.

    King George III's six daughters tend to get short shrift from historians and biographers who focus on their father, their brothers, and their niece Queen Victoria. The prevailing picture of them is of six mousy women pushed into the background.Fraser has pulled Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia out of the shadows and let us see that they had strong personalities and lives of their own.

    The six princesses were victims of circumstance even more than most eighteenth century royal women.Ordinarily they would have been married off to men they scarcely knew almost as soon as they reached puberty in order to strengthen Britain's alliances.George III, however, had been horrified by the ill treatment two of his own sisters received at the hands of unloving husbands, and he was determined that his own daughters would not suffer such a fate.Unfortunately his paternal affections did not extend to allowing his daughters to marry Englishmen they loved, and only meant that he turned down overtures from many foreign princes, usually without consulting his daughters at all. Furthermore, as the princesses reached marriageable age the French Revolution and Napoleonic Warsmeant many possible suitors were now the enemies of Britain and thus out of bounds. Finally, George III's bouts of madness/porphyria attacks made him unable to entertain marriage offers, and his wife Queen Charlotte's deep depression over her husband's malady meant that she could not be a matchmaker either.

    Bereft of the chance to be proper wives and mothers (the only acceptable role for nearly all women of the period) the princesses lived under their parents' noses well into middle age.They developed literary and artistic interests and were patrons of British charities, and managed little flirtations and dalliances here and there with gentlemen of the court.One of Augusta's liaisons possibly ended in (an illegal) marriage, while Sophia actually produced an illegitimate child.The princesses were dutiful and loving children to their increasingly difficult parents and were supportive siblings to their rackety brothers, who were also denied the chance to legally marry women they loved.

    It was only in middle age that some of the daughters married, Charlotte and Elizabeth to German princelings, Mary to an English cousin.Charlotte probably had the most adventurous life, living in Wurttemburg right through several invasions by Napoleon and having to flee for her life at one point (Fraser's description of her life in temporary exile, accompanied by two kangaroos, is among the most amusing of the many anecdotes in the book.)

    The fine human qualities of the daughters are well portrayed here.I felt sorriest for Amelia, whose unrequited love for an English officer lasted until her death in 1810.I was impressed with the lovethe daughters showed for their parents and their brothers, and by the love their brothers gave them in return. (Usually the later Hanoverians are depicted asself-indulgent reprobates devoid of any finer qualities.) Finally, the love and regard the daughters had for each other, going to great trouble to visit when one was ill for example, is admirable.

    The final years of the daughters were quiet, marked by illness and decline, but I was glad to see that they were not lonely ones, but rather filled with visits from their surviving siblings and other relations and friends.There is a charming photograph in the book of Queen Victoria with two of her children visiting Mary, the last survivor.It is a fitting end to this story of six women who, though related to some of the wealthiest and most powerful people of their time, enjoyed unassuming and generally unremarked upon lives.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Six Lives Stories, Well Told
    Perhaps best known in the United States as being the British king who wanted the colonies to pay for military protection with things like the tax on tea, George III was King of England from 1760 until 1820. He fathered fifteen children, six of whom were daughters, this is their story.

    The King's growing madness is heavily emphasized in this story. And this is fitting because this was a growing part of the lives of the children. Ms. Fraser did a remarkable job with this book. It is based on the extensive letters between Queen Charlotte and the six girls. It is not a typical biography talking of the major events of King George's rule, it is the personal story of this group of women trying to live a semi-normal life amidst life at the court.

    It is a fascinating book that looks at a time far removed from ours. ... Read more

    2. Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
    by Queen Noor
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401359485
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
    Publisher: Miramax Books
    Sales Rank: 2715
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 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 (196)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Glimpse into the Arab World
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book!It was fascinating to read about the Middle East conflict from an American woman turned Arab's perspective. It is intriguing how an independent, well-educated, well-connected American woman can move to an Arab country, covert to Islam and live in a society where women are second-class citizens. Having said that, I am very impressed at the role Noor ultimately created, e.g., the programs she developed to help the women in Jordan earn a living through their traditional handicrafts and her speaking engagements in the United States to help raise awareness of the Arab culture.Her background in Urban Planning and architecture also allowed her to play an important role in managing the growth in Jordan effectively.She is an intelligent, articulate and graceful woman who served the King and Jordan admirably.

    The majority of the book is really a tribute to King Hussein and it goes into great detail about his politics and peace negotiations, which was very educational and compelling.Clearly, Noor loved and respected her husband deeply. However, I would have liked to have learned more about Queen Noor, her years as a young woman and her own work which she glosses over quite a bit.

    Keep in mind this is a personal memoir and as such the politics presented are from the Queen's perspective, which I found to be self-serving, or, rather, King serving at times.Not that this is such a bad thing as it is important to try to learn and understandworld politics from other points of view in order to balance out the propaganda that our own government and media feed us.Read this book with an open mind and your view of the Arab world will never be quite the same.

    3-0 out of 5 stars OK if you ignore the politics
    It's a good book about her life, but it gets into indepth details about the politics and the religion of that area of the world. It can get very tedious, and I basically just skimmed most of the book. If you understand politics and all the goings-on of that area of the world, then this book is for you. It's sort of the other side of history as we in the U.S. know it, and it's very biased against the US and Israel. The pictures are great though, and I did cry at the end when the King died.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Ghost-written pap
    The story of Queen Noor's life reads like a romance novel- well, not the usual romance novel, because in this one, the ordinary girl marries the King of a nation created by Western powers in the wake of WWII who manages to survive amidst countries run by murdurous dictators by willingly bowing to the demands of whomever has the largest army at his door. A King whose country subsumed "Arab Palestine" and yet who can pretend to be a defender of the Palestinians.

    Of course that's really of no interest to the readers of this book, who see Queen Noor with the same unjaundiced eye they cast towards the late Princess Diana, another fairy-tale princess- at least in the legend created by her hoarde of press agents and promoters.

    But if a fairy tale is what you're looking for- you'll certainly find it here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book
    I loved this book.I knew next to nothing about Jordan, Lisa Halaby, King Hussein, and the Middle East when I first read this book.I learned so much.I read it several times.

    I particularly appreciated the perspective of an American woman, about my age, who adapted a ready-made family, a culture, a religion, and a country when she married her beloved husband.I think Queen Noor's perspective gives a balanced view of the Middle East and explains much about the differences and similarities in the world we all share.

    I highly recommend this book both as a real life love story and as a mind-opening glimpse into a world very different than our own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars an example to emulate
    Queen Noor writes eloquently as she shares from the heart the solutions to unite humanity through peace, rather than weapons and war.
    I found her courage and heartfelt intentions throughout the book to help raise awareness of the culture she married into, in order to bridge the gap between cultures in the Arab world, that is obviously wide and in dire need of peaceful resolution.

    She is humble and gracious, highly educated and carries her mission to unite with her heart, rather than an ego gain for might and domineering power.
    She is an example to emulate. Her book is an outstanding read.
    ... Read more

    3. Born to Rule : Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria
    by Julia P. Gelardi
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312324235
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-19)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
    Sales Rank: 533495
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    4. Catherine de Medici : Renaissance Queen of France
    by Leonie Frieda
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060744928
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Fourth Estate
    Sales Rank: 185612
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    Book Description

    Poisoner, besotted mother, despot, necromancer, engineer of a massacre: the stain on the name of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen of France to reveal a skilled ruler battling against extraordinary political and personal odds.

    Orphaned in infancy, imprisoned in childhood, heiress to an ancient name and vast fortune, Catherine de Medici was brought up in Florence, a city dominated by her ruling family. At age fourteen, the Italian-born young woman became a French princess in a magnificent alliance arranged by her uncle the pope to Henry, son of King Francis I of France. She suffered cruelly as her new husband became bewitched by the superbly elegant Diane de Poitiers. Henry's influential and lifelong mistress wisely sent her lover to sleep with Catherine, and after an agonizingly childless decade when she saw popular resentment build against her, she conceived the first of ten children. Slowly Catherine made the court her own: she transformed the cultural life of France, importing much of what we now think of as typically French -- cuisine, art, music, fashion -- from Italy, cradle of the Renaissance.

    In a freak jousting accident in 1559, a wooden splinter fatally pierced Henry's eye. Hitherto sidelined, Catherine found herself suddenly thrust into the maelstrom of French power politics, for which she soon discovered she had inherited a natural gift.

    A contemporary and sometime ally of Elizabeth I of England, Catherine learned to become both a superb strategist and ruthless conspirator. During the rise of Protestantism, her attempts at religious tolerance were constantly foiled, and France was riven by endemic civil wars. Although history has always laid the blame for the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day massacre by a Catholic mob of thousands of French Protestants at Catherine's door, Leonie Frieda presents a powerful case for Catherine's defense.

    This courageous queen's fatal flaw was a blind devotion to her sickly and corrupt children, three of whom would become kings of France. Despite their weaknesses, Catherine's indomitable fight to protect the throne and their birthright ensured the survival of the French monarchy for a further two hundred years after her death, until it was swept away by the French Revolution.

    Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and reread the thousands of letters left by Catherine, and she has reinvested this protean figure with humanity. The first biography of Catherine in decades, it reveals her to be one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown.

    ... Read more

    5. A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors
    by Michael Farquhar
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140280243
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Putnam
    Sales Rank: 4081
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (52)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun for royal watchers
    Michael Farquhar's "A Treasury of Royal Scandals" will delight inveterate royal watchers! As he sniffs in the introduction, he covers not the current crop of royals, as none of them have provided anything worthy of the title of "scandalous," but he goes in-depth to provide us with (as the book is subtitled) "shocking true stories of history's wickedest, weirdest, most wanton kings, queens, tsars, popes, and emperors."

    Farquhar provides a handy family tree for major royal families at the beginning--it's most helpful when the scandals reach a dizzying pitch and you need to sort out which royal is plotting to overthrow/marry for money/murder which other royal. He debunks an awful lot of incorrect gossip (like the oft-told tale of Catherine the Great's predilection for beastiality) and comes up with wonderful gems of dirt that will be deliciously unfamiliar to most readers. This is not a scholarly work by any means--it's kind of like a historical PEOPLE magazine, focusing on the faux pas, the foibles, and the fevered doings of all sorts of royals throughout history. Great good fun!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny!
    This book is well written and absolutely hilarious! Anyone who wants to learn more about royalty and the quirky things they have done in the past should read this. It is funny and interesting, and never slows its pace, but at the same time it also helps you learn more about the rulers of Europe in the past 2000 years. Although it is named "A Treasury of Royal Scandals", it never becomes overly graphic or tasteless. It is well-organized too; split into chapters according to subject (death, marriage, weird parents, etc.) I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the livlier side of history!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
    Even if one is not a history buff (which is hard for me to imagine), this book is one of the more enjoyable reads ever. Well written as a collection of very witty and informative essays, it goes indepthly into the royal scandals of the day. I couldn't put it down.

    4-0 out of 5 stars FEW DULL MOMENTS..
    I was either laughing or reading with my mouth gaped. The information was abundant covering dozens of kings, queens, tsars, popes and emperors. The well written book leaves me eagerly awaiting for the arrival of The Treasury of Great American Scandals to my door step. Not overly intense, but enough to keep you wanting more.

    5-0 out of 5 stars We didn't learn this in school!
    I would loved to have known a few of these stories in high school! I loved this book, read it in about 3 hours, and am looking forwward to the next book. I was upset when I got to the end. I thought it was extremely interesting that there were so many evil popes in our history. It's amazing to me that Catholicism is still alive today! I love the author's writing style, it kept me chuckling and snickering throughout the book. He gives great detail to the appearance of some of the royalty, so much that I kept picturing obese old men with open festering sores all night. Thanks Michael! :) ... Read more

    6. Sex with Kings : 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge
    by Eleanor Herman
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $16.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060585439
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 5074
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.

    Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales.

    The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming delight over any and all discomforts, she was never to be exhausted, complaining, or grief-stricken.

    True, financial rewards for services rendered were of royal proportions -- some royal mistresses earned up to $200 million in titles, pensions, jewels, and palaces. Some kings allowed their mistresses to exercise unlimited political power. But for all its grandeur, a royal court was a scorpion's nest of insatiable greed, unquenchable lust, and vicious ambition. Hundreds of beautiful women vied to unseat the royal mistress. Many would suffer the slings and arrows of negative public opinion, some met with tragic ends and were pensioned off to make room for younger women. But the royal mistress often had the last laugh, as she lived well and richly off the fruits of her "sins."

    From the dawn of time, power has been a mighty aphrodisiac. With diaries, personal letters, and diplomatic dispatches, Eleanor Herman's trailblazing research reveals the dynamics of sex and power, rivalry and revenge, at the most brilliant courts of Europe. Wickedly witty and endlessly entertaining, Sex with Kings is a chapter of women's history that has remained unwritten -- until now.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars O my god
    This book is amazing it has things that i never realized i mean it so funny,true,and very helpin in school it teaches you more about those time you guys should read it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Page turning historical fun!
    Who knew history could be so amusing! Eleanor Herman has intrically crafted a page turning saga of royal mistresses throughout time. This is a very funny, easy to read book with lavish illustrations and well documented research. Never dull, Ms. Herman entertains the reader with laugh out loud stories about hidden lovers, sumptiously decorated suites, set aside wives, ugly woman who captivated kings and great beauties who fought rivals to win the premier post at court. An eye-opening account of the power and intrigue in the daily life of some of history's most famous (and lesser known) women. A summer must read! ... Read more

    7. Miss You: The World War II Letters of Barbara Wooddall Taylor and Charles E. Taylor
    by Judy Barrett Litoff, David C. Smith, Barbara Woodall Taylor, C Taylor, Charles E. Taylor
    list price: $29.95
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    Asin: 0820311456
    Catlog: Book (1990-04-01)
    Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr
    Sales Rank: 722850
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    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. Victoria's Daughters
    by Jerrold M. Packard
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312244967
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-23)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Sales Rank: 3921
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Five women who shared one of the most extraordinary and privileged sisterhoods of all time...

    Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice were historically unique sisters, born to a sovereign who ruled over a quarter of the earth's people and who gave her name to an era: Queen Victoria. Two of these princesses would themselves produce children of immense consequence. All five would face the social restrictions and familial machinations borne by ninetheenth-century women of far less exalted class.

    Researched at the houses and palaces of its five subjects-- in London, Scotland, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Ottawa-- Victoria's Daughters examines a generation of royal women who were dominated by their mother, married off as much for political advantage as for love, and passed over entirely when their brother Bertie ascended to the throne. Packard, an experienced biographer whose last book chronicled Victoria's final days, provides valuable insights into their complex, oft-tragic lives as scions of Europe's most influential dynasty, and daughters of their own very troubled times.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a fantastic way to learn more about history
    This was a fantastic way to learn more about the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. I have to admit that although I have a master's degree in history, my major focus has always been ancient history, particularly ancient Near Eastern history (I was one of those people who felt that "modern history" meant everything after 1200 BC.--yes, BC.). Only just lately have I begun to follow up intriguing trails through other periods. Some time ago, I began to realize that one could really gain incredible insight into the events of an era by studying peripherals: the history of countries peripheral to the main stage, side issues like trade, crafts, and long distance contacts, and the women and others behind the main historical figures, etc. Jerrold Packard's book Victoria's Daughters seemed to be just the book I needed to learn about a period in time about which I knew next to nothing, the late 19th Century.

    At first it seemed as though the book would be more about Queen Victoria herself than about her daughters. As I read on, though, I realized that the oddity of Victoria's succession to the throne had much to do with the lives of her daughters, as did her early life and her own upbringing. Furthermore, it is against her long life and protracted reign that not only the events in her daughters' lives were measured and chronicled but those of most of the lives of the world's population. There was a reason that most of the 19th Century was labeled "the Victorian era!"

    In the past I had given very little thought about the connections that existed throughout European history or about what actually brought about the events that occurred during the turn of the century. I knew of course that the Tsarina of Russia was "Victoria's granddaughter" and a "Prussian princess," but I hardly gave thought to what that really meant. Nicholas and Alexandra were charismatic historical figures in their own right. They were a fairy tale couple, much in love, with a cozy little family living the life of a Russian folktale, and their poetic tale came to a tragic but colorful and certainly very memorable finish. End of story, or so it seemed to me. One knows about World War I, I suppose, and all the people that died in trenches of disease and exposure and mustard gas and enemy fire. One has heard of Bismark and Wilhelm II and Lord Mountbattan, but they're all just interesting names, names one memorizes to answer our world history tests, right? Not when one reads Mr. Packard's story of the children of Queen Victoria.

    Each of the daughters, Victoria, Alice, Helena, Louise, and Beatrice had a unique relationship with their mother. Because of whom and what she was, Victoria's was not a particularly warm and maternal presence in their lives. When she was a presence at all, she was distant, self-centered, imperious, and controlling. Unfortunately some of this early relationship translated into problems with parent-child interactions when the girls had children of their own. Lest anyone think that women do not have an impact on the course of history because they don't lead armies into battle--often anyway--one only need read about the relationships between some of these women and their children. That between Victoria, "Vicky," and her eldest son, Willy--later Wilhelm II--will quickly disabuse one of the notion.

    Furthermore, the five girls were married into some of the key families of Europe. The titles of each and their in-laws read like a who's who of European nobility, and their sons and daughters became kings, queens, and dukes, many of whom ended up on opposite sides of wars in Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century. The tangled web of personal relationships, treaties, and ambitions ultimately brought about World War I.

    I was especially entranced with the intimate detail woven into the stories of each of the women. The author mined diaries, extensive family correspondence, and biographies written about each to create very personal characterizations. The reader becomes as engaged in the story of their lives as in those of fictional characters; one just does feels connected.

    FOR THOSE WRITING PAPERS: in history, anthropology, political science, sociology. One might use this book to discuss the limitations of women of the upper classes at the time and their effects on history. One might look at individuals like Alice, who became a follower of the practices of Florence Nightengale, or her sister Louise, who was an accomplished and professional sculptor, who attempted to break out of the social mold of the time to create an identity and existence of their own. What types of role models did they make for others? What changes did they bring about in society? How did they set the stage for our own era? Might the events of WWI been less likely to have happened if the relationships between countries had been based on less personal grounds? Did the relationships between these women and their children and spouses affect the course of events significantly? Or would they have happened anyway? Would they have happened for the same reasons? How was this era a transitional time?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Now, which daughter was that??
    This is a very readable and interesting book. I think it is one of the few sources in print for information about Queen Victoria's daughters. However, the way the author presents the information can get confusing to the reader. Packard goes from talking about one daughter to the next in the same chapter. This is especially confusing when there is a reference mentioned from earlier in the book. I found myself having to check which daughter I was reading about and looking back at times to remember and item or two. Another slight problem was the author seeming to judge past attitudes and customs by today's standards. I also question some of the facts presented particulary about Queen Victoria. Some disagree with the many other things I have read about this grand lady. Other than these things, I did enjoy the book. I recommend it especially since it is one of the few sources out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
    I'm an avid reader of royal biographies. I prefer learning about how people lived the personal side of their lives. Of course, all of these people (given their positions) had some role in politics of the time. I never paid much attention to that aspect and only now realize what a mistake that was.

    This book is wonderful simply for it's attention to royal women (some who are often overlooked by other authors) and especially for it's coverage of the family dynamics. But, I also appreciated the way the author described each family member's involvement in wide-reaching European politics. This information is so well weaved into the "story" of their lives, that I was not at all put-off (bored) by it as I usually am. I was quite surprised to finally understand the unification of Germany, the role of landgraves and all those little principalities, and the formation of Canada. Granted, a book of this scope can only touch the surface of these issues. Still, I found it entertaining and elightening.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster writing with plenty of mistakes
    This is one book on the Queen and her daughters I would pass on. Packard failed to do any proper research on the princesses and it shows in several huge mistakes committed by the author. I am glad I bought this used as it would have been a waste of my money if I bought it brand new and only to see what a huge dissappoint it was (and is).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Victoria's Daughters
    This is totally captivating...these very priviledged daughters grew into socially active adults. Very interesting read. ... Read more

    10. Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece
    by Hugo Vickers
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312302398
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-16)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Sales Rank: 12420
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    “In 1953, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Alice was dressed from head to foot in a long gray dress and a gray cloak, and a nun’s veil.Amidst all the jewels, and velvet and coronets, and the fine uniforms, she exuded an unworldly simplicity.Seated with the royal family, she was a part of them, yet somehow distanced from them.Inasmuch as she is remembered at all today, it is as this shadowy figure in gray nun’s clothes...”

    Princess Alice, mother of Prince Phillip, was something of a mystery figure even within her own family.She was born deaf, at Windsor Castle, in the presence of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, and brought up in England, Darmstadt, and Malta.

    In 1903 she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and from then on her life was overshadowed by wars, revolutions, and enforced periods of exile.By the time she was thirty-five, virtually every point of stability was overthrown.Though the British royal family remained in the ascendant, her German family ceased to be ruling princes, her two aunts who had married Russian royalty had come to savage ends, and soon afterwards Alice's own husband was nearly executed as a political scapegoat.

    The middle years of her life, which should have followed a conventional and fulfilling path, did the opposite.She suffered from a serious religious crisis and at the age of forty-five was removed from her family and placed in a sanitarium in Switzerland, where she was pronounced a paranoid schizophrenic.As her stay in the clinic became prolonged, there was a time where it seemed she might never walk free again.How she achieved her recovery is just one of the remarkable aspects of her story.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Little Known but Admirable Princess
    I would imagine that most people outside the ranks of royalty enthusiasts have never heard of Princess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Andrew of Greece. If anything, they know her as Prince Philip's mother. And that's a pity, because Hugo Vicker's new biography reveals that Alice Battenberg was a truly remarkable individual.Alice was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, which must have seemed her only interesting point at the time of her birth. Her father was morganatic (half-royal) and her mother a princess from a minor German state. Her first years were spent among her multitudinous family (Vickers provides footnotes and trees to help sort everyone out), in the background and unnoticed. Alice's marriage was hardly a glamorous match. Prince Andrew was a younger son of the King of Greece and while charming, not all that interesting. Alice lived quietly until the 1920s, when a revolution in Greece and her own personal troubles caused her a certain notoriety. Vickers does a good job of covering Alice's physical and emotional ailments and is most successful in describing her growing religious faith. In this Alice is similar to her two Russian Aunts, Tsarina Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth. During World War II Alice protected a Jewish family at grave risk to herself, so that she was later declared Righteous Among the Gentiles by Israel.After World War II Alice continued to live in the background, now overshadowed by her only son, Prince Philip, who became the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. She remained a loving and wise part of the Royal Family however, as memories of her from her grandchildren and other relations attest.Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece deserves a place in the library of anyone interested in royalty as well as anyone who cares to read about honorable and decent people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography of Prince Philip's Mother.
    This really is a most enjoyable read about a fascinating woman. Princess Alice was the Mother of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of HM Queen Elizabeth II. If you want to understand the family Prince Philip grew up in I can think of no better book. Princess Alice was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and married Prince Andrew of Greece. Prince Philip is her only living child and her youngest. This book is a must for those interested in the Battenberg family of which Princess Alice was a member. Having read about Princess Alice's Mother, Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt (eldest sister of Tsarina Alexandra) who married Prince Louis of Battenberg (later Marquis and Marchioness of Milford-Haven) this book really is worthwhile but stands very well alone. There are loads of fantastic pictures. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Praise for the author
    I was hesitant to order this book as biographies tend to be dry but Hugo Vickers has written a most sensitive and honest account of HRH Alice's life. He had the cooperation of her son Prince Philip who graciously allowed family photos to be published. This is a very good book about a lady who overcame personal problems and, at the same time, always tried to improve the lives of those less fortunate. A remarkable lady.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and prejudiced
    Vickers just can't write! He's fantastic in an archive and here has gathered an excellent array of facts from numerous sources. He has also done an excellent job of putting everything together. But he just isn't at all a good writer. His style is awkward and clumpsy - he doesn't know how to effectivel tell a story. How he got as far as he did is a modern wonder. AND the cause of the book, being in effect comissioned by Prince Philip, was also it's death, as it is extremely prejudiced in presenting only what the palace wants us to know and believe. There are numerous unpleasant and controversial facts about the historical characters in the book which are neatly omitted, and Alice is always sympathetically and gallantly focused. No even-handed critique or analysis here - just a nice Windsor-approved glowing tribute, and poorly written.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great story, so-so writing....
    Princess Alice of Greece is one of the most fascinating of all the royals, but unfortunately, the least known. Perhaps the British Royal Family has kept the lid on this biography because of embarrassment? But Hugo Vickers tells this long repressed story in Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece.

    Alice was born when royalty was at its zenith, and she was surrounded by some of the most important personalities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her great-grandmother was Queen Victoria. Her father was Louis of Battenberg, First Sea Lord and her brother was Dickie Mountbatten, Last Viceroy of India. Alice's sister Louise became Queen of Sweden, and her mother's sister was Tsarina Alexandra. Alice's youngest child and only son is Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II.

    Alice topped an idyllic childhood by marrying Prince Andrew of Greece. In a day when most marriages were arranged, this was a love match. There was no familial opposition as Alice was from a morganatic marriage and her groom the 4th son of King George I of Greece. Unfortunately, her married life was marred by sadness, heartbreak and tragedy. The Greek monarchy and the Greek government were as unstable as the weather. On numerous occasions, Alice had to flee Greece with her family for extended periods of time. She lived through two world wars where a good many of her relatives were on the German (enemy) side including her sons-in-law. Her father-in-law was assassinated by a disgruntled Greek, and dozens of Russian relatives, including aunt Tsarina Alexandra and her entire family, were murdered during the Russian Revolution. A plane crash in England in 1937 took the lives of one daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a Hessian aunt. Perhaps as a result of these many setbacks, Alice succumbed to schizophrenia and had to be institutionalized for a good many years. The story of Alice's subsequent recovery, her conversion to orthodoxy, her becoming a nun and establishing a religious order make for a fascinating saga.

    Unfortunately, this book is not without some major flaws. First, Vickers writing style leaves a lot to be desired and his run-on sentences are a big distraction. One example can be found on page 77: "Presently the whole party moved to Buckingham Palace, attending a ball at the Russian Embassy and the King's Birthday Parade, in which Andrea [Andrew] rode to Horseguards Parade in the procession directly behind the King, little realizing that this would one day be the annual duty of his yet unborn son." The many footnotes (sometimes 3 or 4 per page) are very tiresome and provide more information than we really need. I have no clue how someone could read this book for a book-on-tape. Also, the author could do a better job identifying Russian Royalty. Most Russians are identified by their first name, followed by a patronymic (their father's name followed by "ovich"). For instance, the tsar's name was Nicholas Alexandrovich (Nicholas, son of Alexander). Vickers doesn't follow this rule and when he names a Grand Duke Michael, it is often difficult to know which of the dozen or so Grand Duke Michael's he is referring to.

    Still, Alice is an interesting book and it was not an easy story to write, as Alice destroyed most of her papers and letters throughout her lifetime. It also includes many never before seen photos of Alice and her extended family, including a poignant photo of her processing in her nun's habit for the coronation of her daughter-in-law. So for readers interested in royalty, suffer through the poor writing and discover the real story underneath. ... Read more

    11. Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir
    by Paula McLain
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316597422
    Catlog: Book (2003-03)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 142368
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars witty, poignant, poetic
    This woman got through her grinding childhood with something!
    She sure can write!
    Like Family is at once witty and poetic, and it rings true at many levels. Some of the descriptions are heart-wrenching in their honesty and vulnerability.
    This book ought to be read by anyone who works with children in danger or in bureaucratic systems, for its ability to convey the recurring states of complete confusion and powerlessness that haunt these children.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Are You My Mother?
    In this highly descriptive and compelling memoir, Paula McLain shares with us her unstable, inconsistent, yet memorable childhood as a foster child growing up with her two sisters. She also shares her heartbreaking disappointments and adult perspective. I breathed a sigh of relief when I finished the book, knowing that Paula and her sisters reached adulthood and made better lives for themselves than their biological parents.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Growing Up Scared
    A couple of months after their feckless, volatile father lands in jail, Mom drops the three girls off at Granny's one evening and doesn't come back for 16 years. Paula, age 4, and her sisters, Teresa, 6, and Penny, 3, prove too much for the old lady and enter into a long and rocky relationship with the Fresno, CA, foster care system.

    Paula McLain's harrowing memoir of growing up among strangers who may or may not become family teems with complex, shifting emotions. Chief among them, especially in the early years, is fear, and the yearning to belong to a family, any family. But that was not to be. Not quite anyway. McLain's fluid prose captures the reader with its immediacy; its sense of urgency and its intimacy. This is a page-turner with real orphan children to root for.

    It never seems to occur to the girls, as it does to the reader, that they could be separated. But they never are, which is the saving grace of stability that runs through their Dickensian childhood. Their first brief placement ends with a charge of thievery, but their second is a mystery. The Clapps are wealthy and their children are grown. Mrs. Clapp has no humor and no affection. Her rules and routines are rigid and she is fanatically house proud.

    One rainy day after school, the girls slosh through puddles to the car. "Just as we got to the Cadillac, the sky started to drop hail like frozen BBs. Mrs. Clapp sat behind the wheel in her lavender rabbit-fur coat, her dry fingers toying with the door lock as though it were a chess piece, deciding whether she would let us into the car. We'd ruin it, we would."

    So what does she want with three little girls? This is not McLain's question; it's the reader's, and McLain never comes out with the horrifying answer, either. She simply takes you there and lets you see for yourself how things are. The third placement, also brief, is the most heartbreaking. These people want children, delight in their new girls, and yet suddenly, mysteriously, it's over and the sisters find themselves with their fourth family in three years.

    "If we felt any hope that this new situation would be different, then it was the stowaway version, small and pinching as pea gravel in a shoe." The Lindberghs make no secret of their reason for taking in three foster girls. Their daughter, Tina, is an only child and wants siblings. It's that simple. Bub Lindbergh is a big bear of a man, "easy to love," who teaches the girls to ride and gets each of them a pony, while his wife, Hilde, a German immigrant, is prickly and unpredictable. She spoils her "real" daughter and delights in telling perfect strangers the sad history of her foster daughters.

    McLain's anger comes through in shock waves of description - hilarious bizarre incidents perpetrated by blotchy, oversize, cartoon character Lindberghs. Interspersed with moments of tenderness, even joy. McLain (her first book of poems, "Less of Her" was published in 1999) is a visual, visceral writer unafraid to mix brutal honesty and laughter. She and her sisters are not easy children and never lose sight of the fact that, unlike other children, they can be cast off at any time, their worldly possessions lumped in a trash bag in the back of the social worker's car. It's a scary way for a child to live.

    McLain's memoir is many things: a gut-wrenching portrayal of growing up insecure and longing for love, a celebration of sibling solidarity, a catharsis and a satisfying revenge on people who once had the power, and will recognize themselves as they read. Funny, bleak, angry and winsome, McLain's debut is beautifully written and compulsively readable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars eloquent, wise, absorbing--and tough
    Like Family is a beautifully written story of a childhood shorn of the protections and comforts that family ought to offer. McLain's finely rendered prose captures her experience vividly and paints rather than explains the hard, fragmented life she and her sisters were forced to lead in the California foster care system after her father left them and then her mother went to the movies and never came back. It reminds us how the idiotic passions and tragic weaknesses of adults can cause a train wreck of a childhood--and how a brilliant young girl with a sense of humor and a resiliant spirit can nonetheless survive, hold onto her sisters, and write a magnificent book. I read it without stopping, gobbling it down like stolen chocolate cake, and then turned around and read the whole book again,just for the joy of the language. Even though it is a hard-edged story, and sometimes I even wept a little, McLain is really very funny, too. And the soundtrack for the movie is going to be great. This book is destined to be a classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Carverian childhood
    Mclain grew up in Raymond Carver's America, but she writes more like Tess Gallagher. A touching, brutally honest memoir. ... Read more

    12. A Lady, First: My Life in the Kennedy White House and the American Embassies of Paris and Rome
    by Letitia Baldrige
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $15.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0142001597
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 69348
    Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Letitia Baldrige is the woman best known as Jackie Kennedy's social secretary during the White House years. But in this fascinating memoir Baldrige reveals a career sparkling with a host of other achievements: embassy work in an era when women rarely were given jobs overseas, becoming the first female executive at Tiffany & Co., and founding one of the first companies run by a female CEO. In her amazing life story Baldrige shares her perspective as a White House insider: the hilarity of young Jackie's antics on foreign diplomatic visits, the terror of the Cuban missile crisis, and the heartbreak of President Kennedy's funeral. Stylish, chic and always polite, Baldrige reveals the determination that has made her a success and brought her the admiration of women around the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wind Beneath Their Wings
    I have always been a fan of Miss Baldrige, and I have several of her books, but I really enjoyed this one. I feel it gives a more personal glimpse into the HOW behind the WOW. She really was (is) the wind beneath the wings of her glamorous employers, Evangeline Bruce, Clare Boothe Luce, Jacqueline Kennedy. Creative mind behind the clever Tiffany campaigns, and later of her own company Letitia Baldrige Enterprises.

    I particularly enjoyed her telling of early life, and then of life on her own. I have always found her quite as interesting as her illustrious employers, and delight to catch her on television.

    I think her chouce of "A lady, First:" says it all.
    She is indeed a lady, and a very interesting one.

    I recommend this book heartily.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and Amazing Woman
    Tish Baldridge has led an interesting and amazing life. She wasn't blessed with great wealth or beauty yet she managed to live and work on the upper echelons of American political and social society in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and onward.
    Baldridge takes you through her beginnings in the midwest, her education at Miss Porter's and Vassar as one of the less financially advantaged students, her life in Paris and Rome working for such trend setters as Clare Booth Luce, her days at Tiffany, her years in the White House with Jackie Kennedy, and her life after.

    Here's what is great about this book and her story: her life didn't begin and it didn't end with her association with Jackie Kennedy. Camelot fans will get great glimpses into those years from her vantage point. But there is a lot more to this book...

    I would highly recommend this book to women who love biographies on the Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn set. I also would recommend this book to women who enjoy the story of a self-made woman and a survivor and anyone interested in the social history of this era. I would not recommend this book to most men and I would caution all readers to note that this is a book filled with details of food, flowers, gowns, and jewels and not policy making or congressional bills. You learn about the parties that Jackie Kennedy went to in the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis not about the policy nuances behind the crisis.

    I gave this book as a present to several female friends and they loved it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Class from the past!
    Oh! how I wish I had a life like Tish Baldridge's! She is a gutsy and classy lady and I admire her for that. I loved to read that book because it goes to show that dreams come true when we put the energy and efforts for them to materialize.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classy!
    I just couldn't put this book down! Mrs. Baldridge has led a wonderful and exciting life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Strong women with great manners are always in style ...
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book as my first glimpse into the life of Letitia Baldridge ... I was consistently intrigued as to what intimate political and social disclosure the next page would bring, all the while appreciating her honest and often self-deprecating narrative. She has in fact led an extraordinary life which she often acknowledged in reflection of each experience, always seemingly thankful for the opportunity to have played small, yet significant roles in our nation's history. She also represented the classic female struggle more commonly found for today's woman ... unafraid to admit her conventional desire for an all-American red-blooded husband, while also refusing to compromise all of her intelligence, skill and experience by stopping anywhere short of being an accomplished business executive, saleswoman, philanthropist and lecturer.

    Anyone who has enjoyed biographies from other great woman of the last century (i.e. Eleanor Roosevelt, Katherine Graham) would definitely enjoy this one as well ... ... Read more

    13. JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS : Follow the FBI's Premier Investigative Profiler as He Penetrates the Minds and Motives of the Most Terrifying Serial Criminals
    by John Douglas, Mark Olshaker
    list price: $25.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684833042
    Catlog: Book (1997-02-20)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 537760
    Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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    Some authors are worth reading because of their area of expertise, even when their objectivity may be questionable. This is true of John Douglas, who follows up his Mindhunter with another assortment of his observations and opinions from his ex-job as the FBI's top expert on constructing behavioral profiles of criminals. This book contains several passages of interest: a detailed discussion of the modus operandi versus the "signature" of a murder, and how each relates to motive; thoughts on how the press and the public can be used to flush out a killer; a taxonomy of pedophiles, with a chapter on how to protect children from them; a detailed analysis of the savage sex-murder of a female Marine; a profile of the Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman killer; and a report on how the courts are handling behavioral testimony. Always biased, often egotistical, but uniquely experienced--that's Douglas. ... Read more

    Reviews (57)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A read that scared the daylights out of me!
    Though this book still has John Douglas's usual pat on his own back all through it, it's truly a terrifying read.

    The only unfortunate part of the book is Douglas's rehash of the Simpson case (yawn), and his showing us how he'd profile the killer is a big bore.....and it's in here because John Douglas likes to talk about how good he is (and I'm sure he is....but the man has an ego problem).

    Aside from that profile, the reading is so scary that I couldn't sleep, and as far as true crime books, that rarely happens to me.

    It's an excellent read, and gives some worthy "tips" as far as your own self-preservation, and the safety of your children.

    In spite of Douglas himself, I enjoyed this book almost too much. I was afraid to go in front of my windows for days!

    Absolutely worth buying and reading...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Examining the mind of a killer
    "Journey into Darkness" gives a harrowing portrait of the brutality of murder. The book includes several stories of actual criminal cases involving serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, etc. With his years of experience in the FBI, Douglas has developed the ability to predict the profile of a killer with an excellent degree of accuracy. He is straightforward and honest about his opinions on crime and our system of justice. This is good reading material, but be forewarned: with its graphic explanations and disturbing nature, this book is not intended for the weak of heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A real Journey into Darkness
    I have been an avid true crime reader for several years although this is the first book that I have read by John E. Douglas. This book makes you see the darkness that a lot of people seem to have inside and what they are prepared to do to realise their fantasies whatever the cost. I was not able to put down this book even though it filled me with anxiety and sadness because the title is true - he really does take you on a journey into Darkness, although John Douglases telling of these brutal cases is masterly. He explains even the most complicated of theories in a way that is understandable to all. After reading this book I have already ordered his other books and can't wait for them to be delivered. Gripping stuff!!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Getting Redundant
    If you've already read Mindhunter, you needn't bother with Journey. It is essentially the same stuff, with just enough words switched around to justify a new title. If you haven't read either Mindhunter or Journey, flip a coin.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Detailed analysis of killer's minds
    This book is very precise and detailed but a bit scattered at times. Very good psychological analysis and details without getting too graphic or drawn out. ... Read more

    14. The Surgeon and the Shepherd: Two Resistance Heroes in Vichy France
    by Meg Ostrum
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $27.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0803235739
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
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    15. Fire in the Night : Wingate of Burma, Ethiopia, and Zion
    list price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375500618
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-28)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 218564
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Few men have made as outstanding contributions to their country's cause as Orde Wingate, yet few have divided opinion so completely. "We don't want any more Wingates in the British Army," says an Army Council minute written after the end of the Second World War, and after his death. In contrast, no less than Winston Churchill himself said, before the House of Commons, "There was a man of genius, who might well have become a man of destiny."

    John Bierman and Colin Smith's enlightening and rigorous biography of this brilliant man amply demonstrates how the conservative establishment of the British Army could come to adopt such an ungracious attitude to one of their most dynamic sons, who contributed so much to the war effort with dazzling performances in Abyssinia and Burma, and so much to future strategic thinking with his bold formulation of new methods. He ruffled feathers with his uncompromising style, unconventional thinking, and eccentric nature (perhaps most memorably expressed in his unaffected penchant for receiving visitors in the nude). Together with an acute intelligence and great breadth of learning, Wingate was a man possessed of awe-inspiring will and single-minded application, and he was often seen flying into a rage when things were not done as he thought they should be. Many, regardless of rank, felt the lash of his tongue. His almost fanatical commitment to the cause of Zionism, a highly sensitive and ambivalent political hot potato for the British at the time, seems also to have rankled many who simply could not understand a man so unlike the typical public-school-educated officer. Although not Jewish himself, to this day he is widely honored in Israel. Zvi Brenner, his Jewish bodyguard in Palestine before the war when he was commanding the Special Night Squads, elegantly encapsulated the man when, in describing Wingate's uncanny ability to negotiate all terrain in darkness, he said, "Wingate didn't follow any paths but walked in straight lines." A truly exceptional man; there is, unfortunately, little chance of the British Army's having any more Wingates. --Alisdair Bowles, ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    Having been brought up on stories from my early years about the brave and often forgotten exploits of the Chindits I was very enthused to tuck into this book. Orde Wingate has been the hero of many, not so much because he was a military successful warrior, but because he was wildly unconventional at a time when staid ethics and methods of war were leading to defeats of the western allies on all fronts.

    A fierce Old Testament fear and learning of the bible bread in what would now be called a fundementalist christian family, he blended this with [...] eccentricities like, indifference to appearing nude before his collegues and newspapermen, a complete indifference to British Monarchy and the hierarchical class-bound society and way of thinking. An appreciator of new ideas and probably quite to the left of many of his superiors, he had no hestation in punishing and physically striking his recruits (no matter their colour), and could kill the enemy mercilessly, or order large groups knowingly to their death without a blink.

    Wingate pioneered unconventional warfare with his notion that large unit groups can function in the rear of the enemy for long periods of time if they were self-sufficient and well trained. He eschewed the entire idea of "special forces" as they are often called nowadays. In the end I do not think that he squared the circle large unit action and special forces --- he wanted both and got really neither. His tactics worked rather well against the Italians (but that was no surprise he realised), but they were problematic against the Japanese. The first operation, "Long Cloth" was an unmitigated disaster, with enough adventures from its many participants to fill an entire library (they still make some of the most heart thumping reads available). The entire operation broke down and became in some cases, every man for himself. Wingate himself giving the order.

    His second operation was more problematic. No doubt these operations had significant effect on the enemy and no doubt were very helpful in the taking of Myikyena and Mogang, but I really think that 14th Army would have rolled up the Japanese flank nicely anyway, as they did and win the Battle of Burma with overwhelming firepower and troops as well unmitigated air superiority.

    In the end the Japanese in Burma were beaten by traditional large unit engagements.

    That is not a defeat of the ideas of Orde Wingate, nor do they negate the incredible bravery of the men who served with him. What it does DO however is to put to rest the idea that Orde Wingate was a purveyor of "Truth" -- his ideas were worthy, but they were not the be-all end-all of jungle combat. His developments were prodigeous and his personal bravery never in doubt. But I think that, like Moses, he got involved too much in fanatical devotion to one idea and was willing to sacrifice a lot for an idea. In the case of Moses, his people --- in the case of Wingate, it was often his own troops.

    This books admirably chronicles the multifacted nature of Wingate. It is factual and comes across as neutral as possible, often citing critical sources and those men (also of incredible courage) that did not fall under his spell.

    The narrative is tight and WELL EDITED. Unlike your regular 1000 page biography Smith and Beirman are able to deal with the subject adequately in 400 pages with nothing substantive missing. Also there is just enough detail of almost all of his life. The final 150 pages deals with the Burma campaign the authors are very skillful in their use of detail. They include all of the crucial elements necessary of his many campaigns.

    I found the book to be a very admirable read. I think that it only deepened the questions I have about Wingate --- was he a daring experimenter or a madman? --- I think that one can add, bitterly-troubled person to the heap of other appelations surrounding this man.

    I still ask myself, if this man were my commander would I succumb and become a convert? Would I stand aloof and protest that something is terribly wrong? I do not know, and cannot judge because I was not born at the time these events transpired. I was not a part of this great crusade, the glory they gained or the horrors they endured.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary story of a unique person
    This is actually three wonderful stories in one. Beginning with a short introduction of the 'early years' the book quickly opens with Wingate in 1936 Palestine/Zion where is quickly discovers the passion that he will keep for the rest of his life, namely Zionism. Wingate, witnessing the anti-Semitic nature of the British officer corps, gravitates towards the Zionists due to his penchant for sticking out and backing underdog causes. This book tells the riveting story of Wingate's training and arming of the famous 'night squads' which became the backbone of the Palmach who eventually led Israel to victory in the 1948 war.

    The second story is the story of Wingate in Africa. Exiled to Africa because of his deep connections to the Zionists Wingate once again latches onto a new cause, the 1941 liberation of Ethiopia, which had been the last free African state before the Italians invaded it.

    The third story is where Wingate once again shined, namely in Burma leading the Chindits who operated behind enemy lines fighting the Japanese. Once again Wingate's penchant for native causes and brilliant ability to adapt unorthodox fighting techniques helped prepare the way for British victory. Churchill called Wingate a genius and when you read this book you will wholeheartedly agree, this is truly the story of the man who was the 'fire in the night' when the world was becoming dark with fascism.

    Seth J. Frantzman

    5-0 out of 5 stars One good read begets two
    Some time ago, I read QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE, the wartime memoirs of George MacDonald Fraser concerning the time he spent in the Other Ranks of the British imperial army that recaptured Burma from the Japanese in World War II. In his book, Fraser mentions the high regard the troops had for the army commander, William Slim. I subsequently read DEFEAT INTO VICTORY by Field-Marshal Viscount Slim, a personal account by the man who commanded the Fourteenth Indian Army during its bitter retreat from, and its glorious return march through, Burma. In his volume, Slim mentions the unorthodox British general Orde Wingate's contributions to the Japanese defeat in Southeast Asia. Thus, FIRE IN THE NIGHT, Wingate's biography.

    Co-authored by John Bierman and Colin Smith, FIRE IN THE NIGHT is the immensely readable life story of an incredibly complex man. In a nutshell, after several brief chapters on Wingate's early life, the narrative sequentially covers his postings in Palestine, Ethiopia and, finally, India/Burma, during which time (1936-1944) he rose in rank from Lieutenant to Major General. In the British Mandate of Palestine, Orde became an ardent Zionist while fighting Arab "gangs" with Special Night Squads, the armed detachments of British regulars and Jews which he himself brought into being. In Ethiopia, his was a key role in the British victorious military effort to drive the Italians from the country and return Haile Selassie to the thrown. In India, Wingate's ultimate triumph before an untimely death was to conceive, form, train and deploy the Third Indian Division, the "Chindits", as a Special Force to insert behind Japanese lines in Northern Burma to destroy the enemy's means of communication and supply.

    To my mind, the strength of this book is that it gives the reader an excellent overview of Wingate the man and soldier without getting bogged down in an overabundance of detail. Certainly, the subject of Wingate's character, obsessions and eccentricities could fill volumes. He was admired and loved by the men he literally led into battle. (He drove them hard, but he drove himself even harder.) Conversely, he was loathed by many of his officer peers and superiors for his arrogance, outspokenness, rudeness and personal slovenliness. (He was on record as calling some of his more Blimpish superiors "military apes".) But, he also had his admirers in high places, most notably Winston Churchill and Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of all allied forces in Southeast Asia.

    Perhaps the most endearing of Wingate's traits were his eccentricities. For example, he carried a wind-up alarm clock on his person because he considered watches unreliable. And then there was his attitude to personal nudity best illustrated by an incident during the wide press acclaim following his first Chindit campaign. An Australian correspondent invited to the general's hotel room in Delhi wrote:

    "I found him sitting naked on his bed, eyes buried deep in a book. He hardly glanced up as I entered and rather gruffly asked what I wanted. ... He wasn't interested in me or my requirements, but seemed most excited about the book he was reading ... a critical commentary of Emily Bronte and her work."

    Can you imagine those media hogs of the Second World War - Patton, Montgomery and MacArthur - doing that?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Balanced and entertaining...
    This is a lucid, penetrating, balanced and entertaining analysis of one of the 2nd World War's underestimated and controversial personality---a latter day T.E. Lawrence without the romantic riddle and enigma. The authors skillfully grabs the reader's attention from the start, eliminating extraneous details.(e.g., initial statement: "Orde Charles Wingate entered the world as he left it, amid a flurry of urgent telegrams.")

    The book makes one wonder what the outcome would have been if he was given far more timely attention for his, at that time, unconventional theories of long range penetration and supply. On the other hand, it makes one wonder if he would have amounted much in today's athmosphere of the 'politically correct society' with his "amazing success in his getting himself disliked by people who are only too ready to be on his side", with his abrasive way of getting things done. It may well be a classic example of the adage that 'genius is never appreciated in one's time.' But many exalted figures in history considered him a military genius--the authors made it plain and clear there were many detractors too, from the ordinary soldier to Field Marshall Slim's unjust inferences in his post war memoirs.

    My only complaint: the maps in the book--one gets the impression they were done in a hurry; the places mentioned which are crucial to the events described cannot be found, and I found myself having to use different atlases.

    In retelling this story, the authors proved once more the truth in the saying that two heads working together are better than one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
    Bierman and Smith have done a fine job of portraying Wingate. And, what a great read!

    Wingate has finally been given his due in this book. His true worth as an Army officer is finally exposed: As great as Lawrence but lacking the literary gifts.

    A must-read for the professional Army or Marine Corps officer! ... Read more

    16. Six Wives of Henry VIII
    by Alison Weir
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802136834
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Grove Press
    Sales Rank: 11837
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The tempestuous, bloody, and splendid reign of Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) is one of the most fascinating in all history, not least for his marriage to six extraordinary women. In this accessible work of brilliant scholarship, Alison Weir draws on early biographies, letters, memoirs, account books, and diplomatic reports to bring these women to life. Catherine of Aragon emerges as a staunch though misguided woman of principle; Anne Boleyn, an ambitious adventuress with a penchant for vengeance; Jane Seymour, a strong-minded matriarch in the making; Anne of Cleves, a good-natured and innocent woman naively unaware of the court intrigues that determined her fate; Catherine Howard, an empty-headed wanton; and Catherine Parr, a warm-blooded bluestocking who survived King Henry to marry a fourth time. ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    5-0 out of 5 stars From A Teen's Perspective
    I have one word to say-WOW! I am thirteen years old and last November my family took a trip to London over Thanksgiving break. While in Westminster Abbey's gift shop, I noticed this book about Henry's the Eighth's wives. The book looked HUGE and I jokingly told my brother I was going to read it. I started looking at it and it looked so interesting I really did end up buying it. Once I got started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I had heard about a King named Henry with six wives before, but this book completely changed my view of him AND his wives. Weir shows us their thoughts and feelings and brings every character to life. After reading the book, I reccomended it to my best friend's mother, who read it and loved it also. After reading it, I began to look for more books on the Tudor period in Great Britain and have become an absolute fanatic on the subject. I learned more from this one book than from all my other history classes combined!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and fascinating!
    This is perhaps one of the finest biographies of the women who shared their lives with one of the most powerful and fascinating monarchs to have ruled England. Weir devotes the utmost care to each of the six wives of Henry VIII, telling their stories with compassion and giving each an individual voice. Most of the energy of this book is clearly directed on Henry's first two marriages, first to Katherine of Aragon and the divorce that helped to create the Church of England, and his stormy second union with Anne Boleyn, mother of the Great Elizabeth, chronicling her astronomical rise in power and her spectacular fall from grace. Powerful and masterfully written, Weir recreates the fantastical Tudor court and sweeps the reader into this realm effortlessly. Immensely readable and absorbing, this is Alison Weir at her very best. Extremely well researched, I would recommend this book to anyone who is the least bit curious about 16th century society as viewed through the eyes of 6 of the most important women of their time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars most informative.
    My decision to read this book stemmed from a desire to get the feel of England at a most influential and diabolical time in history. Italian Renaissance has always captivated my interest with its stories, inventions, and literature. But upon the anticipation of a recent trip to England I though it necessary to brush up on my English history.

    This book was compelling from the start. It rules out all ridiculous American folk tale myths you might have heard about the King Henry who cared only for himself, and little for his religion or country. The opposite is quite true. Weir leads you into Tudor history and holds you there for well over 500 pages. Each of his wives were unique and unlike the other. They had histories before the king, and some despite some misconceived notions continued to have pleasant lives beyond the king. I would recommend this book to anyone who is just beginning a love for England's history or to the most professed scholar on the subject. You will find yourself falling in love with these characters, and wishing more was to come.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, hands-down
    It's thorough. It's accurate. It's all the glamour and betrayl of English court life in a single book. Weir hasn't just raised the bar, she's obliterated it. Everything you could possibly want to know about Henry VIII's wives is in here---the clothes they wore, the gossip surrounding them, and what Ambassador So-and-So thought of their manners. Best of all, it's not the slightest bit boring. If every history book was written this way, the world would be a much better place. Do not hesitate: buy it now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, fascinating book
    I cannot recommend this book strongly enough to anyone who's even slightly interested in the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. This is a gorgeous, cohesive book, easy to read and full of historical detail that enriches the story rather than overwhelms it. There were many times when I forgot I was reading non-fiction, the story was so cleanly presented.

    This is a far cry from the dry, confusing history lessons I had in high school. Weir makes these women (and the men around them) come back to life, warts and all. Normally reading a book like this, I'd need a flow chart to keep track of all the dukes, duchesses, ladies, lords and scheming religious zealots, but I had no trouble at all remembering who was who, even during the period where every woman was apparently named Katherine, Anne or Elizabeth. It was especially interesting to see how kind history has been to Anne Boleyn, a woman who may actually have been deserving of the executioner's axe.

    My one miniscule gripe (not enough to drop my review from 5 stars) is that once in a while, Weir puts the story ahead of the timeline and will insert details out of sequence. One example of that is that during a segment discussing the latter years of the marriage of Henry and Anne Boleyn, there's a short paragraph discussing a gift Anne gave to Henry early on in their relationship. There really wasn't any reason why that tidbit couldn't have been presented chronologically; the only thing I could think of was that perhaps the author didn't want to interrupt the narrative about the acrimony between Anne and Katherine of Aragon by tossing in the bit about the gift. There are about a half dozen or so instances like this, and while they don't at all disturb the flow of the book, they struck me as a little annoying given the meticulous detail to the timeline in every other instance.

    This is a truly masterful book; I plan on immediately purchasing Weir's other books in this genre. ... Read more

    17. An Enduring Love : My Life with the Shah - A Memoir
    by Farah Pahlavi
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 140135209X
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-10)
    Publisher: Miramax Books
    Sales Rank: 28654
    Average Customer Review: 3.21 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Enduring Love
    After reading few chapter of this valuable book I remember what we as a nation have lost, they are too expensive to mention. I can list just few, the first Human right was wrote in Iran or Persia and died after HIS Majesty and Empress Farah left their home land. When Shahin left Iran's air space, Freedom, world wide Reputation, Prosperity, Happiness, Healthy society and many more left Iran as well.

    Empress Farah is a true and unique Queen who her hand has touched so many lives regardless if they were coming from a small village some where in the middle of desert or newly grads from western countries. Her Majesty always welcomes them.

    She will be our Queen as long as we are alive, Shah's memory will be in our heart as a Crowned Father the one who loved his country and nation so much, if still some folks believe he was a dictator then, today the people of Iran knows what is the meaning of dictatorship, they have no rights, even to the life or future of their own children.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Graceful, truthful and utterly powerful!
    This is an amazing book, that truly sheds light on the power, grace and profound loss of a woman, not simply an Empress. She does so, with tremendous integrity and honesty. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in true love, history, the drama of life.

    For thos who have chosend to diminish the Shah and his reign, I have a bit of advice. To the non Persian readers whom have called the Shah a tryannical ruler and a dictator....If he was truly such a man, he would have followed the advise of King Hussein of Jordan and commanded a tank battalion and crushed the protestors. However instead he chose to relinquish his crown so that not a single person sheds their blood. Even his harshest critics will site this mans humanity and grace. The reviews that I have read from outsiders can be best described as a novice chef imparting instructions on how to make a souffle having never made one, and then having the temerity and gall to describe the taste never having eaten one!

    1-0 out of 5 stars No concept of history
    Farah Pahlavi may have love for her husband and her country. Well, that does not make up for everything that her husband was for. He was installed in power instead of Mohammed Mossadegh, a true patriot, to protect the interests of the oil of US and UK. That led to the disastrous consequences. Granted that he gave civil liberties (as long as you do not criticize the monarchy) and there was religious freedom and the government there now is worse than what was there. It depends on the perspective of the person. If you are a common man who has no gripes against the Shah, then you have everything OK. If you are in cahoots with him, then things are great. If you have problems with him, then heaven preserve you. All this is conveniently left out from this book. Anyone can take the life of a person and leave out the relevant portions and make a person look good. There are no details of the misguided life that their family had, including the looting, the torturing of the political prisoners, a small cabal of people having all the wealth and power. When a revolution happens, it does not necessarily produce rosy results. Look at the Russian revolution and its results. The Shah is responsible for the Iranian revolution and the deadly backlash.

    For all my Iranian friends who feel that we cannot comment on their country and its state, well, they have not yet learnt what freedom of speech is. If they had gone back to the Shah, who knows what would have happened. There is no jealousy in this review. I read enough about Persian history and know that this was the low sink point for Iran. I know that Pahlavis want to come back to power badly. A good start would be to admit the wrongs, but that would never happen would it. Portraying him as Nelson Mandela who was betrayed by all can get the sympathy of a few, well, not all will bite. Unfortunately madam, too many know the history of your family. Better luck next time. I am sorry that she lost her daughter. No parent should go through that, however, it is shameful that she tries to get political milage out of that incident too. Difficult situations produce the best and worst in people, the Pahlavis have not learnt. Her daughter was living an expensive lifestyle. Any other mother would try to analyze the cause for the problem and try to do genuine repair. Look at how Mandela was unable to go to his son's funeral when he was in prison for 20+ years. When he came out, he bore no illwill towards those who incarcerated him. He said, "If I did that, then I will become my own enemy". The change in South Africa happened without the chaos that was seen in Iran. He retired a private person, that is the mark of a great leader. The Pahlavis sent their children to good schools, but I wonder how much they learnt. If they had, they would not repeat the mistakes of the past but carve out a place for themselves. I sincerely hope that Iran goes back to its days of greatness with a happy future for its youngsters, but I am certain of one thing, given the content of this book, it is not under the Pahlavis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative
    I loved this book. The review that it mirrors Queen Noor's book is wrong. Both were great books, but very different stories with different styles. The critics should remember that the author is telling the story from her perspective - from her loss, her triumph, and her feelings. She did admit to mistakes and I had the feeling she (and her son) learned from them. When I put the book down, I couldn't go to sleep because I was thinking about this struggle she brought to life in the pages of this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Please forgive us!
    On behalf of the Iranian people, I would like to say to the Pahlavis that we are sorry. We messed up!

    This book is a wonderful depiction of the great services the Shah gave to Iran and they way we, the people of Iran, betrayed him.

    As the recent events in Iran show, the people of Iran are determined to bring down the brutal Islamic regime and restore dignity and sovereignty to the people.

    We will get our country back from the facist Islamic dictators! ... Read more

    18. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (Chronical Series)
    by Chris Scarre, Christopher Scarre
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $23.07
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0500050775
    Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
    Publisher: Thames & Hudson
    Sales Rank: 47419
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Crap, this book Rocks!!!!
    For anyone who likes ancient history, this book is for you. It is an excellent reference for the Roman Empire and a jolly good read as well. The pictures also add a great deal to this awesome book. Being a confirmed history freak I often enjoy just reading the small biographies presented in this book and looking at the pretty pictures. I especially enjoy reading about some of the kooky things those wacky emperors do like when Caligula declared himself a living god(Caligula, you so crazy). To sum up this book is totally sweet and Chris Scarre is the biggest stud in the whole world. In fact in my book 5 stars aren't enough for this amazing book I think it needs like a million stars(yeah definetely a million).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a good read or as a historical reference book
    Chris Scarre's Chronicle is a very good overview of the Roman emperors, and helps to place their often confused regnal periods into a proper perspective.

    What I found most useful about the book was its chronological grouping of emperors (no more having to look in four different places for four "emperors" who reigned simultaneously -- until one defeated the other or they all fell).

    A second useful feature is its thumbnail summary of each "emperor's" birth, death, and regnal periods, his family, and his titles. The titles are often a good guide to the character of the emperors, with stay-at-Rome sybarites with titles such as "Gothicus" and "Germanicus" revealed as vainglorious, while warrior emperors with the same titles are revealed as true veterans prepared to fight for the imperial purple. One helpful feature is an explanation of the significance of the titles. The actual word designating an emperor, for instance, was NOT "Imperator," which was a military honor which could be won by any very succesful general, but "Augustus," with "Caesar" gradually acquiring the meaning of "heir apparent," with many a war fought over who should have which title. (As an interesting historical aside, you may want to note that while "Augustus" eventually became a personal name, "Caesar" became an imperial title in later kingdoms: both "Tsar" and "Kaisar" are actually derived from the name of the last dictator of the Republic, Gaius Julius Caesar, adoptive father of Octavian, who became the first "Augustus" and is usually designated by that title as if it were his proper name.)

    The third good feature of the Chronicle is the same as in other books of the series: a plethora of gorgeous photography of things from major architectural wonders to small handcrafts.

    The one great inconvenience of the book is the editorial choice of where to place those photos: they too often appear smack in the middle of an imperial biography, or separate the biographies of emperors whose lives should be studied together because of the interlocked details presented by Scarre. This placement was an irritant to me when I tried to just read through the book for pleasure -- the pictures presented jarring interuptions mid-story.

    Still and all, one can hardly do better than this for a broad survey of Imperial Rome.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Do you want to be Emporer of Rome? No Thank you!
    This book demonstrates that being a Roman Emporer was not necessarily something to envy. Once proclaimed, the emporer had to delicately balance happiness between the public at large, the senate, and - most importantly - the praetorian guard (basically the emporer's bodyguards). There are many examples in this book of emporers upsetting one of these groups too much and ending up with their heads on pikes. It seems to have been a shaky, difficult office to maintain. Very few emporers ended their days in peace, and many were brutally murdered (I cringed more than once while reading this book). One big lesson that too many emporers learned the hard way: do not mess with the praetorian guard.

    This book begins with a brief summary of the city of Rome: how it grew from a monarchy to a Republic and how Octavian secured absolute power from the Senate and became Augustus, marking the beginning of Imperial Rome, which was to be the Western empire's final phase. The book has three sections: The First Emporers (from Augustus to Domitian); The High Point of Empire (Nerva to Alexander Severus); Crisis and Renewal (Maximinus Thrax to Constantine & Licinius); The Last Emporers (Constantine II to Romulus Augustulus). The book also has a continous timeline that runs through sections of the book for an at-a-glance history.

    It's important to note that this is not a history of the Roman Empire; it's a history of the Roman Emporers. Events not directly (or somewhat) tied to an emporer are not covered. You won't learn about the daily life of a Roman, for example. Still, through the lineage of emporers a history of the empire in general can be extracted. Who fought who, who tried to overthrow who, descriptions of how emporer's wives or mothers influenced (and sometimes took over) government, the conversion from traditional pagan Rome to a Christian Rome (it wasn't ALL Constantine), etc. The fall of Rome is not covered in great detail (the final section is the shortest and the detail becomes almost minimal), but the basic idea that the empire was overrun by various peoples emerges.

    The pictures, maps, and graphs throughout the book are incredible and complement the text very well. There are maps of conquests, borders of the empire at specific times, coins, maps of the city of Rome, pictures of busts and mosaics of emporers, architectural reconstructions, pictures of buildings in their current state, etc.

    Though this book will not make you an expert on the Roman Empire, it provides a great outline from which to learn more. Once it's read, keep it handy for reference. There are many lessons that can be learned from the lives and mistakes of the men (and women) who ruled Rome.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Holy [Moly], this book Rocks!
    For anyone who likes ancient history, this book is for you. It is an excellent reference for the Roman Empire and a jolly good read as well. The pictures also add a great deal to this awesome book. Being a confirmed history [fanatic] I often enjoy just reading the small biographies presented in this book and looking at the pretty pictures. I especially enjoy reading about some of the kooky things those wacky emperors do like when Caligula declared himself a living god(Caligula, you so crazy). To sum up this book is totally sweet and Chris Scarre is the biggest stud in the whole world. In fact in my book 5 stars aren't enough for this amazing book I think it needs like a million stars(yeah definetely a million).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
    This book is great either as refresher material, companion to more in depth histories, or something to make you look deeper to your friends and potential sexual conquests. I bought it for all the pretty pictures, and because I'd just finished the Decline and Fall of the Western Roman Empire by (Sir?) Edward Gibbon. The latter being an incredibly dense, though enjoyable read. I wanted something light, colorful, and quick to read. Not to mention it's really easy to forget if Nero came before or after Caligula, and whether or not Probus was a tyrant or just misunderstood (possibly only by me). This book, as it turns out, goes out of its way to be as objective as possible. A lot of the judgments passed down through history ma in fact have been incredibly biased by Republicans (NOT the GOP) and Christians alike. For instance Constantine has always been portrayed as some saintly virtuous hero, when in fact he was a scheming back-stabber looking to get all of the Roman Empire under his banner no mater what the cost. Turn the other cheek indeed. Also it gives the true account of the life of Commodus that Hollywood did such an extravagant job of getting wrong in the movie Gladiator. At any rate, this book was pretty good, and offered several hours of entertainment. I would recommend it most to someone who is curious about ancient Rome, but not yet willing to delve into the dusty old tomes of Roman history. If you like this book, you should definitely check out the saga that Colleen McCullough wrote about a decade or so ago. They're truly excellent, and take place at the end of the Republic. ... Read more

    19. Nicholas and Alexandra
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $12.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345438310
    Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 17308
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (73)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Excellent
    The story of Nicholas and Alexandra has all the elements of a great novel: complex characters, plot twists, and an exciting conclusion. But, it's all true. Robert Massie wrote this history in 1967, but it is still relevant to today. In these days of democracy, it is enlightening to learn about the times when monarchy and autocracy were the words of the day. Robert Massie's book is excellently written. It is consistently clear, and at all times a pleasure to read. The biography has a wide scope, it covers just about everything relating to the Tsar and the Tsaritsa from the time of their marriage to the time of their death. You don't often see biographies of two people in one book. But to understand Nicholas, you must understand Alexandra. And, by the end of this book, you will have a better undserstanding of why events played out the way they did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
    The story of Nicholas and Alexandra the last Tsar And Tsarina of Russia is one of the most Tragic love stories the world has ever known. Their glorious begining and their horrifying end, still continues to facinate thousands of people today. This book is like a journey back through time, taking you directly into the world of the Russian Imperial family. It's actually like you are living their lives day by day.
    Massie has done a wonderful job in depicting the life of Nicholas and Alexandra. The books text is well researched and easy to read. You can breeze from chapter to chapter with complete understanding of what you have read. The text is also well balanced between political aspects of their life as well as personal aspects. Some romanov books are way to political and deal to much with the difficulties concerning government in Russia. The book stays on task and makes you want to keep reading.
    I could honestly not put the book down, it's really that good. It's so rich and well written. The only part of the book that can be misleading is the final chapter, when the family is actually executed. But that can be forgiven for when this book was originally written there was not alot of information avalible concerning their death. Massie makes up for this in his book THE ROMANOVS: THE FINAL CHAPTER, which is another must read. No Romanov library is complete without this book. to read it is to grasp a better understanding of Nicholas and Alexandra.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sad end of a kind man
    Why go for fiction when you can get a riveting true story like what happened to the Romanovs? The book starts with Nicholas' unexpected coronation as Tsar in 1894, and slowly but surely the story unfolds towards the gruesome end 25 years later. The saddening thing about this episode in history is that despite Rasputin, despite the heir Alexis with his hemophilia, despite the Empress' foilies, I left the book believing that the Tsar and his whole family got killed because he was just too kind and humble to make the tough decisions that Russia required during those turbulent times. If you consider Stalin, a cynic may argue that evil pays.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A well researched, informative and entertaining peice!
    First reccomended to me by a Professor of mine, Massie's work reveals all the intimate details and crucial historical story lines that even a novice of the Russian Revolutionary history would grasp to understand the life of the last Imperial Highnesses. From the infamous Bloody Sunday to the love letters that were exchanged between Nicholas and Alexandra the book was clearly exhaustively researched and also gives a touch of real emotion which is magnafied by the authors own personal experiences with the terrible disease of hemophelia. Grandoise as this story is it might well have been fiction, tragically it is not! As sad as the historical truths presented in the pages are, Massie writes words that flow and are easy to understand. I would reccomend this book for anyone looking for a story so incredible and emotionally raw that it had to be true or to anyone who wants to make some sense out of the mysticism of this part of intriging Russian history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Majestic Work of History
    "Nicholas and Alexandra" is a fantastic history book that I can thoroughly recommend to all readers. The book is truly "unputdownable" and if it were not a history book, it could almost have read as a novel.

    The end of the Romanov dynasty is a work of tragedy. Here we have this closely bound intimate family playing out a drama against the backdrop of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. Yet tragedy almost becomes farce when the role of Rasputin is considered. The Czarina is quite spellbound by the man despite the damage that his decisions have for the family and the dynasty.

    In "Nicholas and Alexandra", we see the unfolding of the downfall of autocracy which, in due course, would have been inevitable. The First World War simply accelerated the process. Yet while we should shed no tears for the fall of autocrats, the rise of an even more vile autocracy under Lenin heaps tragedy upon tragedy. The history of modern Russia is tragedy writ large.

    Robert K Massie covers the events leading to the execution of the royal family in great detail but without ever deluging the reader with arcane facts that detract from the picture that he paints. The end result is a work of substance and colour.

    I emphatically recommend this book to all readers of modern history. Robert K Massie has excelled! ... Read more

    20. The First Elizabeth
    by Carolly Erickson
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 031216842X
    Catlog: Book (1997-08-15)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Sales Rank: 125887
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this remarkable biography, Carolly Erickson brings Elizabeth I to life and allows us to see her as a living, breathing, elegant, flirtatious, diplomatic, violent, arrogant, and outrageous woman who commands our attention, fascination, and awe.

    With the special skill for which she is acclaimed, Carolly Erickson electrifies the senses as she evokes with total fidelity the brilliant colors of Elizabethan clothing and jewelry, the texture of tapestries, and even the close, perfumed air of castle rooms. Erickson demonstrates her extraordinary ability to discern and bring to life psychological and physical reality.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Very Difficult Read
    I have read a couple of her books, Mistress Anne and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and I enjoyed them. So when I got The First Elizabeth was extremely disappointed. Having read dozens of books on Elizabeth and knowing something about the subject, this book does not really paint an accurate picture in my opinion. She writes more on gossip and rumours without giving acutal facts. There are accurate statements but they are not in evidence on the whole. She also tended(IMO) to side more with Mary Tudor, who was not as intelligent or politically astute as Elizabeth. She gave the feeling that Mary was just misunderstood. The author seemed to relish in court gossip especially from Elizabeth's maids of honour. I would recommend Mary M. Luke's, Gloriana: The Years Of Elizabeth I, and Alison Weir's, The Life of Elizabeth I before I would recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The First Elizabeth- A great book about the Virgin Queen
    This book is absolutely the best. I had to read it for a school biography and had a really great time learning about Queen Elizabeth. Her character, power, and history simply amaze me, and has gotten me more interested in world history. I feel very satisfied with the book and can't wait to read more of Ericksons books.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nearly reads like a novel ...
    I tend to read mostly fiction, but for some reason earlier this year I decided to foray into biographies. This book gives you a peek into Elizabethan life, gives you insight into Elizabeth I's personality, and you learn quite a lot of history, scandals, and rumours-of-the-day along the way.

    This book reads more like a biographical novel than a pure biography, which, considering the subject matter is about 500-years old, probably means some license was taken with dialogue, etc., however, I think the style makes the subject infinitely more memorable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars First Elizabeth a reading pleasure
    The major difference in "The First Elizabeth" by Carolly Erickson and "The Life of Elizabeth I" by Alison Weir is stylistic. Both women are thoroughly versed in the life of their royal subject, and obviously enthusiastic about her as well.

    Erickson's style, however, leans more toward novelistic narrative. She seems to be sitting with you, telling you a story about this great monarch with her infamous "virgin" status, her political adeptness, her fearsome temper, her penchant for swearing oaths that made one's blood freeze, and her ability to command deep love and adoration from her subjects.

    This style is especially appealing for those for whom this biography is their first foray into Tudor biography. It introduces the major players in the queen's life thoroughly so that one is well acquainted with Robert Dudley, Cecil and Walsingham, as well as Mary I and the many other colorful characters that populated the Queen's life. You also get a real feel for the terror and uncertainty of Elizabeth's youth, when she lived in fear of death at the hands of her unstable, Catholic sister.

    Erickson adroitly paints a stunning (and sometimes shocking) picture of life at court - and what a life it must have been. Living at the various castles Elizabeth moved between (they changed castles regularly so that the one previously used could be cleaned and "aired out") was far from our 21st century idea of luxury, and when you read about the trials and travails inherent in the Queen's annual "progresses", you'll never gripe about rush-hour traffic again!

    Again, I would recommend this to anyone starting out to read about Elizabeth I, and to the reader already familiar with the life of the greatest queen of England. Those of the latter group might find that the author falls in love a bit too much with her subject (and who wouldn't, as this lady is one of the most fascinating people in history). In some places towards the end the flow of the narrative (going from event to event) isn't quite as seamless as it could be (you feel as though you are jumping from one to the other without a lead-in sentence/paragraph) but never mind that. Erickson does a marvelous job of painting a portrait of the life and times of Elizabeth and it's a most pleasurable learning experience and enjoyable read.

    After finishing "Elizabeth I", the reader would do well to continue on with Weir's biography mentioned above. I started with Weir and am now committed to reading Erickson's extensive series on the Tudors, including "Great Harry", "Mistress Anne", etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hail Britainia
    A great book about a Queen whose story reads more like "The Godfather" than you'd guess.

    Elizabeth I, thrust onto the throne while her country was still in the midst of it's centuries-long emergence from Roman rule, turned England into Great Britain through a heady mixture of guile, guts, and British steel(How's that for rhetoric?).

    It's a great book, as are most of Erickson's titles. ... Read more

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