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61. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten
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62. Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills
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63. 365 Days
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64. Agent Orange: Collateral Damage
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65. Mathematical Circles: Russian
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66. The China Threat
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67. The Cambridge History of Japan:
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68. The Cambridge Illustrated History
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69. Gandhi An Autobiography:The Story
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70. Catfish and Mandala : A Two-Wheeled
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71. Soldiers of God: With Islamic
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72. In Defense of Internment: The
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73. A Plague upon Humanity : The Secret
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74. Falling Leaves : The Memoir of
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75. The Very Small Home: Japanese
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76. The Infertility Cure: The Ancient
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77. If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box
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78. City on Fire : The Forgotten Disaster
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79. Steel My Soldiers' Hearts : The
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80. Science and Civilisation in China:

61. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II
by Iris Chang
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140277447
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 547
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered--a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written what will surely be the definitive history of this horrifying episode.The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: of the Japanese soldiers who performed it, of the Chinese civilians who endured it, and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. Among these was the Nazi John Rabe, an unlikely hero whom Chang calls the "Oskar Schindler of China" and who worked tirelessly to protect the innocent and publicize the horror. More than just narrating the details of an orgy of violence, The Rape of Nanking analyzes the militaristic culture that fostered in the Japanese soldiers a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells the appalling story: about how the advent of the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterizes this conspiracy of silence, that persists to this day, as "a second rape." ... Read more

Reviews (442)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but extremely flawed
While Chang's narrative is compelling, the fact that she compiled most of her information from Chinese sources and uses Chinese government estimates leaves a great deal of doubt with regard to many of her assertions. Real historians have cringed at many of her suppositions, but the most ridiculous part of the book is when Chang plays armchair psychologist to explain the Japanese mindset. I would balance this book with Honda's to gain a little perspective. Still waiting for a good book on the subject by an actual historian without an agenda.

5-0 out of 5 stars not for the faint of heart
this book is not for people with weak stomachs. the author describes the war atrocities very graphically and there are photographs that are equally as grahic. as a combat vet(desert storm), even i had to put this book down,once in a while.

3-0 out of 5 stars This Forum is Being Infiltrated by Deranged Japanese.
'Clint Eastwood made me think deeply about people (including myself) who have sins and are self-conscious of it, and about their lives they carry on with a burden named "guilt".

If you have a sin that is unforgiven, and when you are conscious of it, your life becomes a hell. You feel stained forever. That awareness suffers you.'

-A revealing quote from one of the absolutely deranged Right-Wing Japanese in this forum.

Please note, they are not all this way. Some are level-headed rational members of the family of man.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hi! I'm from Japan...
...and I admit that my country has done many inconsiderate things to some of the lesser nations of the East Asia region. Sorry! Also, my country is and always will be very insecure and fearful of shame... so please understand us when we deny all atrocities that we commited during WW2. Deep down inside, most of us wish we could wake-up one day as white americans with their long limbs and confident personalities. We are simply small in stature and incapable of living with this curse that has been upon us since the beginning of our existence.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Don't Consider Myself a Japan Hater But...
http://www.nancho.net/nancho/ghqemps1.html

Hit this link in order to get a better understanding of something we Asians have known for quite some time about the Japanese.

'The way Japan threw modern civilization into an eclipse and turned the flight of time back to the mythological ages, held her people in ignorance and superstition, and deceives the whole world, is one of the wonders of the 20th Century.'

From the MacArthur Archives.

Not much has changed in the last sixty plus years. ... Read more


62. Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills
by Charles Henderson
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0425103552
Catlog: Book (1991-09-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 7954
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Marine Sniper is not only one of the most astonishing true stories to emerge from the Vietnam War, it has become a classic of military nonfiction, inspiring a sequel, Silent Warrior: The Marine Sniper's Vietnam Story Continues.

There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock. A legend in the Marine ranks, Hathcock stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with 93 confirmed kills.

This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines.

"Highly readable." (Publishers Weekly)
... Read more

Reviews (161)

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling account of a true American hero's exploits!
While I myself didn't follow in my dad's footsteps as a Marine (he was Marine Air Group 61 in WWII--HURRAH!) but went in the Air Force instead (Security Forces--HOOAH!), the Corps still holds a special place in my heart, and reading this gripping story of Carlos Hathcock's exploits reminded me of why I will always love the Corps, even if I didn't wind up joining. Reading the book has made Gunny Hatchcock one of my all-time heroes, and it made me wish to hell the USAF had a sniper program! I lent this book to one of my SF buddies in exchange for Charles Sasser's "One Shot, One Kill" (another great read). America lost a true hero a couple of years back when Carlos passed away, and may God rest his soul. Kudos to Charles Henderson for at least keeping this outstanding troop's memory alive! Semper Fi!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best book I've ever read
Practically everyone who knows me has heard me rave on and on about this book. I read it for the first time about 4 years ago, after picking it up while browsing through the bookstore. I read the excerpt at the front recounting the Vietnamese general's final moments and I was hooked. I recently finished it again, and it was even better this time. Everything that happens to Hathcock seems like something out of a movie; something no mortal man could survive. I learned to respect the discipline and will-power of a well-trained Marine, and was left in awe of the effectiveness of the sniper. Charles Henderson does his part, too. He not only tells Hathcock's incredible story, but makes it an immersive, addictive one to read. Through his clear and descriptive writing, the reader is transported back in time to the dark "Charlie"-filled jungles of Vietnam, where he lies beside the sniper known as "Long Tra'ng" and experiences not only the satisfaction of a well-placed shot, but also the emotional struggles that a man must deal with when he takes the life of another one. Undoubtedly a timeless classic

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson is one of the most gripping books I have ever read. It is the story of Carlos Hatchcock, the forefather of the Marine Sniper program. This book tells of his epic adventures in the jungles of Vietnam. His deadly accuracy and stealth abilities earned him 93 confirmed kills. It tells of his struggles and bravery in the field of battle. It relates account after account of how Carlos stalked the enemy for days on end and used his excellent marksmanship skills to deliver deadly shot after deadly shot. Charles Henderson's purpose in writing this book is to tell the forgotten story of Carlos Hathcock. Once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down; it puts you on the front line with the brave snipers who gave their all. Marine Sniper gives true testament to the struggles and triumphs of the snipers of Vietnam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This book is excellent and better than most fiction along these lines (truth is stranger/better than fiction). The writing does an excellent job of getting to know the sniper. There is a fair amount of jumping around in time, but it never leaves the reader lost. It seems to lose some consistency when Hathcock comes home the first time, almost as if there was a change in authors (perhaps it was done at a later time). Still, definitely a book worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars A favorite among service members
Written by two fellow Marines, one of whom served as Hathcock's commanding officer, this tale chronicles the life of the most notorious sniper in Vietnam. Marine Sniper touches on the issues that faced wounded vets upon returning home, the grim conditions snipers dealt with in the field, and the role that Hathcock played in establishing the Corps' scout sniper program.
Another apsect that this book deals with is the stigma that haunts snipers throughout the service in the military and beyond. Having personally served with them, I know they are routinely looked down upon as cold-blooded killers and mercenaries. Ironically, it is often artillery and air units that house the most disdain for snipers, while their bombs and shells indiscriminately kill more than the sniper's selective rounds ever could. Henderson approaches this from the frustated pov of the sniper and how they dealt with monikers like "murder, inc." and similar slurs.
Also, check out the sequel, Silent Warrior, which tells the same story from different points of view. A must read for Marines and all service members alike. ... Read more


63. 365 Days
by Ronald J. Glassner
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807609951
Catlog: Book (1980-09-01)
Publisher: George Braziller Inc
Sales Rank: 75064
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Over 200,000 copies sold in all editions. A new edition of Ron Glasser's classic account of the Vietnam War. 365 Days stands not only as a compelling account of this tragic conflict, but as a powerful antiwar statement. Nothing speaks so convincingly against the evils of war as the evils themselves.

In this gripping account of the human cost of the Vietnam War, Ron Glasser offers an unparalleled description of the horror endured daily by those on the front lines. "The stories I have tried to tell here are true," says Glasser in his foreword. "Those that happened in Japan I was part of; the rest are from the boys I met. I would have liked to disbelieve some of them, and at first I did, but I was there long enough to hear the same stories again and again, and then to see part of it myself."

Assigned to Zama, an Army hospital in Japan in September 1968, Glasser arrived as a pediatrician in the U.S. Army Medical Corps to care for the children of officers and high-ranking government officials. The hospital's main mission, however, was to support the war and care for the wounded. At Zama, an average of six to eight thousand patients were attended to per month, and the death and suffering were staggering. The soldiers counted their days by the length of their tour—one year, or 365 days—and they knew, down to the day, how much time they had left. Glasser tells their stories—of lives shockingly interrupted by the tragedies of war—with moving, humane eloquence. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Politicians who make the wars young men fight should read it
It's the old men who make wars happen, and cause us younger ones to go to far-off shores to give our lives in the name of ....whatever buzzword they've dreamed up to get the American Public beating the war drums. It wouldn't do the politicos any good to read it,....but, BY GOD, the American Public should...especially those interested in raising a right hand and enlisting. During the war in VietNam, I was a medical service specialist attached to a CONUS 350-bed medical center's Intensive Care Unit and Neuro/Neuro-Surgical Unit taking care of the soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen who'd fallen. From that perspective, Doc Glassen tells it like it is. All that's missing are the smells and sounds...Maybe someday technology will be able to put THAT into a book form. Until then...an intense read. It gives a good perspective on why YOU DON'T want to go to war... Charley Mike

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible for understanding the Vietnam experience.
Dr. Glassner provides a unique perspective on the American experience in Vietnam -- that of a medical officer responsible for treating the shattered, burned, and exhausted men caught up in that conflict. There is plenty of heroism in his short tales, but usually it is the heroism of brute survival, of adapting to impossible conditions, of enduring the unendurable.

I have heard this book referred to as an "anti-war" work, and one that derides America's involvement in Southeast Asia. I disagree. Glassner simply tells it like it was -- he pulls no punches, so oftentimes reading this book is very unpleasant: how many "John Wayne shoot 'em up" memoirs of Vietnam recount the suffering endured on a burn ward?

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Vietnam War, the continued psychological and physical suffering of combat vets from all eras, or to anyone concerned with the consequences for our sons and daughters when politicans send our troops to war. Should be required reading for college students,...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best ever read
Dr. Glasser has written a great story on the Vietnam War and the Hospital and personnel envolved. Having read it almost right through it brought back lots of memories stored in the deep of my mind. I had lived a time in a Naval Hospital and was put back together in a wonderful way by many good Doctors and Nurses in the Boston area. I will always remember them and hope that many that have never associated the hospitals with the war will now understand how many men went through those portals in those years. Many to never be the same, God bless them all, and God bless our wonderful country.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting stories from the Vietnam War
This is a quick and easy read about the Vietnam War. Focus is on stories related to the the soldier's care in Vietnam and the
critical cases sent to Japan. For those interested in the glamour of war, read this book for the cost of such glamour, crippled men. Since this book was written in 1971, it does not
contain much of the later aspects of the war. Generally it is unsypathetic to the American pursuit of the war.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Insight into a Insane War
Several years ago, when the movie SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was released to the movie theaters, I watched what I thought was one of the most painful and senseless battles in the history of the USA. However, after reading Ronald J. Glasser's book of "365 DAYS", I realized that thru his words -without the assistance of Surround Sound, Big Screen, or graphic video effects; the author had created a classic insight into our Country's History that I shall never forget. I never had to serve in Viet Nam since I was in Medical School at the time; but after entering my medical residency training in the early 1970's, I began seeing Viet Nam War Vets being transported to their home Veteran's Hospital for eventual medical dishcarge. The damage was so much more complex than their physical wounds. At that time in our history, the concept of PTSD was being trivialized by the VA Central Office and perhaps many American Citizens, as well. Now- 30 years later - many of our Viet Nam Vets are permanently disabled due to the psychological trauma they had to endure. "365 DAYS" comes as close as I have ever encountered to depicting the senselessness of the War and the trauma to to the soldiers, the Medics, and the Doctors who were expected to salvage as many wounded as possible and send them back into the Jungles, or Highlands, or Saigon....knowing there was no safe haven for the soldiers and no glory for serving their country. I strongly recommend the book to anyone now working with Viet Nam Vets or those who never understood "what the big fuss was all about" For Mental Health Professionals such as myself, it should be required reading in Graduate School or in all Psychiatric Residency Training Programs. I strongly rate Dr Glasser's book 5 stars. David Bransford MD ... Read more


64. Agent Orange: Collateral Damage in Vietnam
by Philip Jones Griffiths
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1904563058
Catlog: Book (2003-11-18)
Publisher: Trolley
Sales Rank: 137018
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Philip Jones Griffiths, for a record five years the President of Magnum Photos, created in Vietnam, Inc. a record of the war there of almost Biblical proportions. No one who has seen it will forget its haunting images. In Agent Orange he has added a postscript that is equally memorable.

In 1960 the United States war machine concluded that an efficient deterrent to the enemy troops and civilians would be the devastation of the crops and forestry that afforded them both succour and cover for their operations. Initial descriptions of the scheme included "Food Denial Program", later adapted to "depriving cover for enemy troops". They gave the idea the name "Operation Hades", but were advised that "Operation Ranch Hand" was a more suitable cognomen for PR purposes.

The US had developed herbicides for the task. The most infamous became known as Agent Orange after the coloured stripe on the canisters used to distribute it. The planes that carried the canisters had 'only we can prevent forests!' as a logo on their fuselages. They were right. It was very effective.

Unfortunately the herbicide also contained Dioxin, probably the world's deadliest poison. In Agent Orange Philip Jones Griffiths has photographed the children and grandchildren of the farmers whose faces were lifted to the gentle rain of the poison cloud.

Some maintain that the connection between the maimed subjects of Griffiths' photographs and the exposure to Agent Orange is not scientifically established. However, the compensation payments made by the herbicide manufactures to those Americans sprayed in Viet Nam refute this assertion.

Historians will find it sufficient to say that there will always be collateral damage, that useful PR phrase, in war and that Philip Jones Griffiths should understand the consequences of martial endeavours. He most certainly does. He has catalogued here a pitiless series of photographs, and there can be no doubt that they should and will be recognized. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Black Book of American Infamy
For those already committed to voting for the so-called 'antiwar' candidate, I recommend putting this book in front of Sen. John Kerry and demanding to know what he will do as president to address American responsibility and pay reparations for the genocidal assault on the people of Vietnam. Such action will constitute a litmus test for this candidate, his "band of brothers" and future warriors about how the USA intends to solve the problem of terrorism. Will they acknowledge international law and prosecute the guilty parties including politicians, bureaucrats, executive military officers and defense contractors? Will they honor, finally, the Paris Accords and repair the ecocide brutally wrought upon the Vietnamese by their chemical weapons? Or will they continue to cover up a deliberate, malefic genocide by honoring war criminals like Kissinger and McNamara who now cries cinematic tears while his Pentagon successors plan the mass destruction of any nation that dares to oppose American hegemony?

Philip Jones Griffiths's AGENT ORANGE, COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN VIETNAM is a complex, dense statement that can be viewed and read several ways. Foremost, it is unquestionably the greatest work of photojournalism ever published. I do not make this statement lightly or without professional judgement. For twenty-five years, I edited the work of distinguished photojournalists -- Capa, Richards, Salgado, Peress, and Nachtwey among many others. Comparable only to W. Eugene Smith's MINIMATA: LIFE -- SACRED AND PROFANE, a passionate chronicle of the devastating effects of post-WW II industrial pollution on a Japanese town, AGENT ORANGE surpasses all previous attempts to synthesize the medium of still photography with historical documentation. Griffiths's masterly images unselfconsciously insert readers into the scene of an historical crime and guide them through the evidence page by excruciating page as a means to elicit direct testimony from the perpetrators and their victims. With the possible exception of Erich Maria Remarque' s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, no other monograph so successfully confronts citizens with the folly of leaders who commit atrocities in their name. The stares of genetically deformed children struggling to articulate humanity across the threshold of pain and disability give absolute lie to the facile excuses of national security used by politicians to conduct high tech assault-and-battery on unwitting, innocent populations. Then it was Vietnam, today Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beginning with his eloquent book, VIETNAM INC. first published in 1971, Griffiths has pursued an unrelenting inquiry into the truth of violence and war. He reported from the Mekong Delta battlefront and also the brothels of Saigon. Returning years later, he earned the trust of farmers who had rebuilt their devastated villages with the detritus of war. Pushing his inquest further he located and photographed war orphans, now shunned as the miscegenated offspring of foreign invaders (DARK ODYSSEY, 1997). Infrequently supported by the mass media, Griffiths parlayed his skills as a commercial photographer to raise the cash necessary to return periodically to Southeast Asia, as if excavating its pitted landscape for some fragment of reason that might explain the macabre body counts and haunting trans-generational birth defects. Some photographers are celebrated for their commitments in documenting a family coming of age or the rise and fall of a nation. Journalism schools promote the virtues of in-depth or extended coverage (sometime a whole week!) while network and cable news personnel embrace the fame of sticking with a big story only to defer, in the final analysis, to the desire of corporate sponsors. By contrast Griffiths has the determination of a seasoned forensic scientist. Although no maverick, he has paid the price of banishment from the newspapers and magazines "of record" whose editors remain too frightened by management to commission or publish his work. Why would they want to remind subscribers of their own inaccuracies and slavish pandering to the official story?

In this respect, AGENT ORANGE can also be read for its scholarship because it presents new historical research about the manufacture and deployment of chemical weapons during the Vietnam era. It has been almost twenty years since American courts acknowledged the gravity of dioxin poisoning in rulings on lawsuits filed by military veterans. Yet companies who supplied the military with these chemical defoliants continue to falsify experimental data on their products' potential for birth defects. Our government stands mute on the issue of "peace with honor" and refuses to contribute any meaningful economic assistance, nonetheless stipulated in the treaty with Hanoi. The war's apologists and neoliberal ideologues continue to deride Vietnam as a failed socialist experiment. Griffith's photographs and words rip their lies to shreds and dissolve their chauvinism in the cold truth of twisted limbs, hare lips, and hydrocehpalic fetuses preserved in formaldehyde. AGENT ORANGE is the black book of American infamy, its author has given citizens a priceless instrument to test their politicians sincerity and commitment to peace. Buy a copy and ask Kerry for a clear statement of conscience!

5-0 out of 5 stars The ticking "time bomb" uniting two cultures once at war.
In September, 1976, just back from eight years helping homeless streetchildren in Viet Nam, I wrote an Op/Ed piece for the New York Times ( "Learning From the Vietnamese -- And Giving", 12/04/76) that concluded: "And I'm at a loss how to tell my own people that Vietnam's needs are our remedy - to say that what the Vietnamese people have to offer us - as they did me - is so great that for our own sake we must help them." I was attempting to make a connection between the spiritual strengths the people of Viet Nam had to offer us and the technological assistance we, in turn, could give them. Philip Jones Griffiths, in his book "Agent Orange, 'Collateral Damage' in Viet Nam" has made an even more compelling, if depressing, case for interdependency, i.e., because of the American military's chemical spraying in south VN during the war years there are now thousands of people in both the U.S. and Viet Nam who are dealing with deformities and death because of a ticking "time bomb" planted in Indochina decades ago. Griffiths, author of "VIETNAM, INC.", an award-winning photography book on America's longest war, has included here some unsparing images of humans beings brutally deformed by man's more fiendish dalliance with Weapons of Mass Destruction. Here is a "legacy" that must give all of us pause by a brilliant photographer's tireless effort to bring almost unbearable evidence to us of man's inhumanity to man. Like the Holocaust itself, the full impact of these atrocities took years to come to the fore, but "Agent Orange" makes a compelling case that two countries once at war remain linked in a tragic bond that will not soon go away. This is not an easy book to read or, should I say, to view, but I think we ignore it at our peril. Griffiths knows what of he "speaks", having spent years in Indochina and seen un-speakable carnage firsthand. Here he has placed the evidence before us, as well as a precious opportunity to understand where we have gone wrong and how we may become better human beings in the future. "Agent Orange, 'Collateral Damage'", it almost goes without saying, may be the ultimate brief on America's own WMDs. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterfully photographed and written, poetic
Philip Jones Griffiths is among the unsung heroes of our time, photographing the otherwise untold, unsavory aspects of a mean-spirited war completely lacking in human decency. Agent Orange is masterfully conceived, researched, photographed and written in prose that at once is dark, beautiful poetry. ... Read more


65. Mathematical Circles: Russian Experience (Mathematical World, Vol. 7)
by Dmitri Fomin, Sergey Genkin, Ilia V. Itenberg
list price: $34.00
our price: $34.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0821804308
Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
Publisher: American Mathematical Society
Sales Rank: 332198
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This is a sample of rich Russian mathematical culture written by professional mathematicians with great experience in working with high school students ... Problems are on very simple levels, but building to more complex and advanced work ... [contains] solutions to almost all problems; methodological notes for the teacher ... developed for a peculiarly Russian institution (the mathematical circle), but easily adapted to American teachers' needs, both inside and outside the classroom."

--from the Translator's notes

What kind of book is this? It is a book produced by a remarkable cultural circumstance in the former Soviet Union which fostered the creation of groups of students, teachers, and mathematicians called "mathematical circles". The work is predicated on the idea that studying mathematics can generate the same enthusiasm as playing a team sport--without necessarily being competitive.

This book is intended for both students and teachers who love mathematics and want to study its various branches beyond the limits of school curriculum. It is also a book of mathematical recreations and, at the same time, a book containing vast theoretical and problem material in main areas of what authors consider to be "extracurricular mathematics". The book is based on a unique experience gained by several generations of Russian educators and scholars. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for young students.
I bought this book to help me learn how to solve problems. However, when it arrived, I realised it was destined as a book for 12 to 14 year old students. Still, I gave it a try ( I am 19 years old). The problems are well stated, easy to do, and methodologicaly sound. I found the problems too easy, but my little brother ( 9 years old ) had trouble. It's great for some young students who would like to learn the basics of problem solving.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Russians do Math Right
In sharp contrast to standard US math education, which
is generally a death march from algebra to calculus, this
book suggests a wonderful new way to organize the ideas
of elementary mathematics. The organizational principle
here is around fundamental ideas that underlie
every mathematical proof ever conceived: parity, the
pigeonhole principle, induction, counting (combinatorics),
etc. Each section starts off with easy problems that anyone
can get, and leads you through to more and more challenging
illustrations of that section's principle; the last problems
of each section are often quite sophisticated and rewarding.
Do the problems in this book, and you can't help but just
be smarter for it.

When I was a kid, I was mystified by puzzle problems that I
had no idea how to tackle, and intimidated by kids who could
solve those types of problems. Had this book been available
back then, it would have de-mystified those problems for me,
and I would have acquired the kinds of skills and insights
that make a real mathematician. Whatever your age, if you
are interested in developing your core competencies in math,
I can't think of a better endeavor than to do all the problems
in this book. If I were the US Secretary of Education, I would
make solving all the problems in this book a mandatory
requirement for all math teachers, and all graduating high
school students. Even a partial implementation of such a
policy would make this country mathematically literate in a
way that we can't even conceive of today. It would de-mistify
mathematical "genius" on a global scale. ... Read more


66. The China Threat
by Bill Gertz
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895261871
Catlog: Book (2002-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 96230
Average Customer Review: 3.15 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bill Gertz has now written the definitive book on China's threat to the United States.Highlights of The China Threat include espionage, military escalation, economic warfare, and diplomatic treachery.The China Threat sheds new light on the next "Evil Empire" and suggests where China will strike next. ... Read more

Reviews (59)

4-0 out of 5 stars Gertz Delves and Doves Dive
Bill Gertz writes about the apparent threat that China poses to US national security. The Clinton/Gore policy of "engagement" is put into question as the author argues that US national security is being sacrificed in the wake. Gertz supports his claims in detailed narratives about topics as the Chinese control of Panama Canal, the presence of PRC spies leaking valuable US nuclear secret, and the importance of the functioning Chinese democracy on the island of Taiwan.

The blame is largely put on Clinton/Gore's soft "panda hugger" approach to Chinese foriegn policy. Gertz goes as far as to claim that the policy's failure to be cautious,actually helped communist Chinese government to advance their nuclear strengths. Much is cited on the 1996 illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic efforts in reelction.

Gertz succeeds in proving a seemingly valid arguement in the dangers of a China threat, but sometimes goes a bit far in right wing view. The reader can question which view to endorse for the achievement of world peace. Clinton/Gore's policy is aimed at combating the negative international view of the US being an excessive world hegonomy. Gertz digs deep into secret documents to interrupt this sentiment with announcements of covert US-China concerns.

Although not threatening to the books thesis, the absence of bibliography and footnotes leaves me puzzled and wondering where the sources come from. Every respected intellectual work should be accompanied with scholarly notes to aid the advanced reader. This absence teamed with the prose often reading like a fiction novel(such as the intro to Chapter 5) work to discredit some ascpects of the author's points. However, the book remains a must read for American citizens seeking to form an educated assesment of Chinese foriegn policy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Betrayed
Once again Bill Gertz has provided invaluable research and documentation of the betrayal of American national security over the past ten years. Of course the overwhelming tendency is to draw the obvious conclusion from this book, that Clinton/Gore critically damaged this nations security. And yes the Clinton/Gore administration was more than willing to trade long-term national interest and security for short-term contributions and political power, but that is not the whole story.

...

Clearly documented by Gertz is not only the massive failure of the Clinton/Gore administration, but the complicity and failure of a whole range of American leaders to take care and concern of American national interest. The old guard Republican leadership, represented by its elder statesman Henry Kissinger, constitutes a strong China lobby within the Republican Party. And this lobby contributes daily to the current leadership's weak reaction to China.

The range of business leaders that quickly and emphatically put profit and share valuation above the interest of the nation of their birth and above their majority shareholders is also documented. The willingness of American business leaders to turn their face from the United States and to smile upon the cheap labor and unfulfilled markets of China is appalling. This business reaction in many ways reflects the thinking of business leaders leading up to WWII in its shortsighted self-centeredness.

...

We live in a far more dangerous world today than ever before. America's rush to globalism, as evidenced by its rush to embrace China, has left this nation critically and fatally exposed.

Bill Gertz has shown us the face of the betrayers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes for an interesting read......
Whether or not China does participate in global subversion of the Unites States I'm not certain. What can't be denied is that China has been fairly successful in recetn years in its intelligence operations in the U.S. Gertz writes of what he believes is a larger Chinese strategy to undermine the U.S. and often blames the Clinton administration for China's success at doing this. Chronicaling such actions as attempted Chinese business take over of the Panama Canal, Gertz makes an interesting argument that should probably be further researched. he does provide interesting documents in the apendix that are worth looking over.

1-0 out of 5 stars Go see for yourself how China has been changing
This book is one of the garden variety of books that exploit the general ignorance of the American public about China. If you stoke rabid nationalism and xenophobia at a time when the U.S. feels vulnerable, you will have the cash register ringing. I wonder how many of those who have given a postive review of this book have ever been or lived in China--or that part of the world, for that matter. The world is already fraught with strife and violence without this kind of stuff. A responsible intellectual should not publish this kind of material without thinking about the ramifications of his or her actions. Well, that's freedom of speech. What can we say? And we sacrifice a few trees along the way for publishing it.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Red Chinese Rate thebook 1 Star - Star system Schmar System
OOOOOOoooooo K Star system Schmar system - until Amazon institutes a proof of purchase system, I will rate books 5 stars to offset the rants of those who don't read them FIRST.

O.K. China doesn't have a strategic bomber or sub fleet BUT they do have (who knows really?) 50-100 nuclear bullets (ICBM's) with your name on it and the capacity to create another 5-10 per year. They have the Panama Canal lease, & are building silos there. AND, three times, various PRC military officers have threatened to Nuke L.A. over TAIWAN. Sheesh and all that was in the L.A. Times. You think Dr. Strangelove is just a western phenomena?

So buy the book and learn something. You were given a brain, think a little.

-- and if you live near a major city or the West Coast -- think retirement cottage in Banff with 2 years supply of food and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. ... Read more


67. The Cambridge History of Japan: Volume 5, The Nineteenth Century (The Cambridge History of Japan)
list price: $150.00
our price: $136.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521223563
Catlog: Book (1989-07-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 403540
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Book Description

This volume in The Cambridge History of Japan provides the most comprehensive account available in any Western language of Japan's transformation from a feudal society to a modern nation state.Volume 5 traces the roots and the course of political, social, and institutional change that took place in Japan from late Tokugawa times to the early twentieth century.The interrelated collection of authoritative and analytical essays by specialists in the history of nineteenth century Japan discuss the fissures in late feudal society, the impact of and response to the Western world, the overthrow of the shogunal government, and the revolutionary changes that were instituted as defensive measures to strengthen the country against what seemed a dangerous competition with the Western world. ... Read more


68. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)
by Patricia Buckley Ebrey
list price: $38.20
our price: $25.21
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Asin: 052166991X
Catlog: Book (1999-05-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 7877
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

More populous than any other country on earth, China also occupies a unique place in our modern world for the continuity of its history and culture.In this sumptuously illustrated single-volume history, noted historian Patricia Ebrey traces the origins of Chinese culture from prehistoric times to the present.She follows its development from the rise of Confucianism, Buddhism, and the great imperial dynasties to the Mongol, Manchu, and Western intrusions and the modern communist state.Her scope is phenomenal--embracing Chinese arts, culture, economics, society and its treatment of women, foreign policy, emigration, and politics, including the key uprisings of 1919 and 1989 in Tiananmen Square.Both a comprehensive introduction to an extraordinary civilization, and an expert exploration of the continuities and disjunctures of Chinese history, Professor Ebrey's book has become an indispensable guide to China past and present.Patricia Ebrey is Professor of East Asian Studies and History and the author of Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (1993). ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars easy reading of 3000 years of chinese history
Ebrey's "Cambridge Illustrated History of China" is a great textbook for the student or reader desiring only to get a basic overview of chinese history. The book is exceptionally smooth reading and enjoyable, yet it is not exactly suited for students with an existing knowledge of China. The book is greatly complimented by Roberts' "A Concise History of China" which discusses more material into greater fact-packed detail, but not as smooth or enjoyable to read alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand
My Professor used this text and I find that it is easy to understand and read. One of the feature of this book is that at the end of every chapter, the author would include her opinions and at the same time, she will relay what happened in Europe or U.S. at that particular time. For instance, in 1700-1800, China was ruled by the last empire- the Manchu and it was also during this time that the Americans gained independence. To me, it's always nice to know what happened during a particular period in the opposite side of the world.

I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know more about the Chinese history as it's very easy to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars very good, very brief
If you're looking for a general overview or first book to read on Chinese history, this it. It's concise and very clearly organized, giving an even coverage over the whole course of Chinese history. The many photos are generally quite relevant to the text, though I found the maps made little sense to me. She uses pinyin for all names regardless of time or place -- which is mostly good. I found her writing very dry, but you'll notice some reviewers say she's a great writer. I think the book is strongest on high culture (as opposed to politics and battles and emperors and such)

Don't expect this brief book to overflow with details. If you want details, then you'll have to read Jacques Gernet's "A History of Chinese Civilization".

3-0 out of 5 stars Factual, but dry
One of the interesting things about this book is that it uses standard Mandarin Pinyin (Chiang Kai-Shek is Jiang Jieshi, Sun Yat-Sen is Sun Zhongshan, etc). While this can be very helpful to those who know Mandarin Pinyin, it can be somewhat confusing to those who do not.

For the most part, the book is factual and unbiased, although Ebrey does allow her anti-Maoist bias to slant her discussion of post-1949 China. The read is extremely dry, however, and often comes across as a colorless collection of irrelevant facts.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure to Read
This richly illustrated book (the maps are detailed and in color) is a fantastic survey of China's history from prehistory to present day. And it doesn't suffer from paying excessive attention to the modern era either, which is a fault in many Chinese histories (including Fairbank's). Excellent. Ebrey is a Sung specialist and a social historian with a PhD from Columbia.

Customers who are wondering whether this book is worth the price may do well to ask themselves if China is important enough to merit study. I'm afraid it is. China is the world's second largest economy, according to the CIA, worth $6 trillion in Purchasing Power Parity and almost 60% as large as America's. (In nominal GDP China is in fifth place, just ahead of France.) According to the World Trade Organization, China is now the world's fifth largest trader (in both exports and imports of goods and services), after the US, Japan, Germany, and France, and just ahead of Britain, which is sixth. (If the EU is counted as one unit, China is fourth.) China has the world's third largest stockpile of nuclear warheads, and has a highly developed ballistic missile technology (which is also reflected in its well-developed space program). The Pentagon believes China will improve its nuclear deterrence in both quality and quantity. China is one of the world's largest oil producers, with proven crude oil reserves larger than America's, according to the US Dept of Energy. Needless to say, China is the third largest country in territory (America is almost exactly the same size) and the largest in population, and has the veto on the UN Security Council. Two key facts make China particularly important in the future: its economic growth rate, which is the fastest in the world, and its population growth rate, which is kept under control (which is in fact lower than America's) and thus will help raise the average standard of living. In either respect can India, China's closest competitor in the future, compete. By one estimate China's economy will be equal in size to America's in twenty years' time. (See Gregory Chow's "China's Economic Transformation" available here on amazon.com.)

So China is a very important country, both politically and economically, and will be increasingly important in the future. Some people are already calling China the second most important country in the world. But what fascinates many people is the fact that China has lasted so long as a country. Indeed China's history as a unified state is ten times as long as the United States's own. China is one of the most ancient of civilizations. Unlike some of them - such as Babylon - China not only has survived, but it is still thriving. People like Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, Paul Wolfowitz and Jack Welch are already predicting China to become a superpower within a generation.

To understand such an important country, one must know something about its history. And this book is an excellent guide. I recommend it to all who wish to know more about China. I have yet to find a general historical survey of China as accurate and suitable for the beginners as it is fun and pleasurable to read, as this book. ... Read more


69. Gandhi An Autobiography:The Story of My Experiments With Truth
by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahadev Desai, Sissela Bok
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807059099
Catlog: Book (1993-11-01)
Publisher: Beacon Press
Sales Rank: 4983
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Gandhi's nonviolent struggles in South Africa and India had already brought him to such a level of notoriety, adulation, and controversy that when asked to write an autobiography midway through his career, he took it as an opportunity to explain himself. Although accepting of his status as a great innovator in the struggle against racism, violence, and, just then, colonialism, Gandhi feared that enthusiasm for his ideas tended to exceed a deeper understanding. He says that he was after truth rooted in devotion to God and attributed the turning points, successes, and challenges in his life to the will of God. His attempts to get closer to this divine power led him to seek purity through simple living, dietary practices (he called himself a fruitarian), celibacy, and ahimsa, a life without violence. It is in this sense that he calls his book The Story of My Experiments with Truth, offering it also as a reference for those who would follow in his footsteps. A reader expecting a complete accounting of his actions, however, will be sorely disappointed.

Although Gandhi presents his episodes chronologically, he happily leaves wide gaps, such as the entire satyagraha struggle in South Africa, for which he refers the reader to another of his books. And writing for his contemporaries, he takes it for granted that the reader is familiar with the major events of his life and of the political milieu of early 20th-century India. For the objective story, try Yogesh Chadha's Gandhi: A Life. For the inner world of a man held as a criminal by the British, a hero by Muslims, and a holy man by Hindus, look no further than these experiments. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (50)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Gandhi Introduction.
I approached this book with some trepidation as my Indian friends are divided in their attitude to Gandhi (some regard him almost as a saint, others are far more ambiguous). There's no doubting Gandhi's place as a major figure in twentieth century history, but would learning more about him create a good or disappointing image?

I would start with a word of caution. This book only covers Gandhi's life from 1869 to 1921. Therefore I treated this book as an introduction to the man, a preparation for further reading. I suppose an equally legitimate method would be to adopt an opposite approach and start with a biography then finish with this book.

I reflected that any comments I made here might only serve to reveal my ignorance of Indian culture and history - I'm sure I missed (or misinterpreted) many nuances. Full appreciation of this book may only be possible if you are either Indian or have a better knowledge than mine.

Nonetheless, I found it an easy book to read - the short chapters helped me keep up a good pace. Indeed Gandhi's style is to pick episodes from his life and reflect on them. Although the book is written chronologically, it very much has a "dipping in and out" feel rather than a linear narrative.

I was left with the impression that this man was no saint (and would have been horrified at the very thought). There were aspects of his character I found puzzling or frustrating: I've never been impressed by anyone who advocates physical self-denial after having produced a litter of offspring; much of the book is devoted to dietetics - a subject Gandhi was so obsessed with it affected his health very badly; and his treatment of his children was, well to be charitable, distinctly odd.

I felt that there was a large amount of self-righteousness in the man, and an obsessive delight in self-denial. Yet withal, should we expect any human to be without fault, and how should Gandhi's faults be judged when compared with his role in securing Indian independence - without Satyagraha would it have been even more bloody than it was? That might be a better mounument to him than this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gandhi: A Man of Peace, a Man of Peas
Once upon a time there was a man who took nothing for granted - no philosophy, no theology, no lifestyle - for how could he know which were proper, which were true, which led to the Divine, to knowledge of God? How could he know unless he tested them himself? So that's what he did. No, I'm not talking about Alan Greenspan. Mohandas Gandhi was that man and GANDHI, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY: MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH is his story. The Autobiography is a description of how he developed and applied his personal philosophy to his life, or rather, how his spirituality evolved as he experimented with differing lifestyles and theologies in his search for Absolute Truth. But be careful. This book may not be what you expect. Want to know about the life of Gandhi from a historical perspective? You're better off looking elsewhere. Gandhi didn't intend for his autobiography to be such a book. A good alternative is Ved Mehta's MAHATMA GANDHI AND HIS APOSTLES (Viking, 1977), which stresses the historic context and social relevance of Gandhi's life. If you want insight into the origins of Satyagraha (non-violent resistance) directly from its creator, you will find one of Gandhi's other books, SATYAGRAHA IN SOUTH AFRICA (Greenleaf, 1979), to be a much better source. Although Satyagraha may be the most influential experiment of his life, it was by no means the only one.

You see, Gandhi tells us his life was a series of experiments, nothing more. He actively sought lifestyles and philosophies different from his own, tried the ones with merit, and adopted or rejected them based on his experience. In his own words, "I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography," (xxvi). By following this path, he believed he might find self-realization and ultimately come face-to-face with God.

Despite this ethereal theme, the story is quite mundane. Gandhi's experiments took place in the real world, not just in cerebral debate and introspection. His story falls within a historical context, leading him on a path toward a lifestyle few are willing to emulate, a life of self-denial and simplicity. From strict vegetarianism (fruit and nuts only) to celibacy (he swore off having sex with his wife (or anyone else, for that matter)), to the rejection of the most meager creature comforts, Gandhi's commitment to principle seems extreme and obsessive to us. This commitment to principle became both the key asset and primary flaw in his character. More than once, principle led him to deny medical treatment to seriously ill family members so he could experiment on them with harebrain "water," "earth," and dietary cures in which he believed. And yet, this same commitment to principle was the crucial component to his achievements toward peace and equality. Gandhi was a serious man whom you probably wouldn't invite to your bachelor party.

On the practical side, Gandhi is true to his word, giving us an undecorated account of his spiritual journey - the good with the bad. The book is stylistically straightforward, written chronologically in chapters brief enough to absorb during the average sit.

On the other hand, it is often tedious and screams for annotation. The litany of south Asian names can be difficult for westerners to keep track of or pronounce. Gandhi discusses historical figures and events in passing without introduction or background, so keep a reference book handy. At the same time, he dwells on information you will find irrelevant. And then, of course, there's the problem all autobiographies have - you don't get to see how the story ends. Gandhi published the autobiography in 1927 and went on to live another twenty-one years before being assassinated - active, important years you might want to know about.

Does Gandhi make a good case for his method of experimentation and for the conclusions he reached through these experiments? That, dear reader, is for you to decide. But it is interesting that the more he experimented, the further he settled upon the uncompromising life of a Hindu ascetic. His exposure to the world brought him back to his roots, to the religion of his homeland, and implicit in this choice is the rejection of the values and theologies he found elsewhere. This is a troubling thought. Did he find no elements of Truth outside Hindu asceticism? Is he suggesting that each of us lead lives of celibacy and self-imposed poverty? Gandhi responds that there are many manifestations of the Divine. The path he chose made sense to him, but it is up to each individual to find his or her own way, to conduct his or her own experiments with Truth, just as he had done.

Some treat the Autobiography with a reverence due scripture. Scripture it is not, nor is it great literature. Nevertheless, you may very well find inspiration and insight for your own life, and you will certainly learn much about Gandhi, how he saw himself, his place, and his purpose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
In his own words, Gandhi takes us through some of the experiences in his life, with each chapter forming at least one important learning lesson to him. All experiences, whether good or bad, had a positive learning lesson on him and contributed to his goal of seeking the truth.

One of his main beliefs was using non-violence as a means of protesting against acts of oppression and using international law to seek justice. This meant he never raised his fists or lowered himself to barbarism however much he was provoked, violated or attacked. In fact this seems to be the opposite attitude demonstrated by all terrorists and most countries (West, Middle East and East) where the belief is that violence and war works. As Gandhi says "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".

As we have now entered the third of the world wars, where the weapons are horrific and the consequences unimaginable, Gandhi's words have never been more important. All politicians and world leaders should read this book. In fact everyone should read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The honesty in this book is absolutely relentless.
As notable as they are, Gandhi's political successes are not what attracts me to this man.He had a sincere desire to know his own faults and arrogances (and to therefore, rid himself of them).This is the key to curing human relations.In my own life, this is what I look for in people.They don't even have to like me, so long as they are genuine in their attempt to see me as I truly am, and themselves for what they truly are.
Gandhi's infamous 'non-violence' beliefs and abstaining lifestyle sprout from this attitude.I think it is imperative that we realize that noble actions are the 'sprouts', whilst the courage to face one's own arrogances is the 'core' of successful humanity.I mean, what happens when the 'actions' are credited as core? eg.Many people express noble slogans like "NO RACISM", yet feel hateful whilst doing so, perhaps even desiring harm come to the racists.Isn't yielding a peaceful slogan whilst feeling hateful, putting across mixed messages? Gandhi expressed genuine compassion for his 'enemies'.He wanted them to learn, not hurt.Even if 'non-violence' is a noble slogan, it isn't guarenteed to have positive effects.A slogan-yielder must show genuine desire to learn of his own arrogances (and not just desire to point out the target's arrogances), otherwise -the target will feel that you expect more of him than you do of yourself (hence, he will inevitably rebel).Brainwashing (nasty word!) is ALWAYS negative, regardless of how well-intended the founding cause was.Hence, Gandhi's successful influence on people was actually founded in his attitude toward himself.He was well trusted by people because his 'lack of hateful feelings' corresponded with the 'words they heard him speaking'.
What is the true nature of non-violence? Gandhi obviously meant this spiritually, even though he applied it to physical actions.He is 100% correct that violence has no role in the spiritual realm.But physically? His physical application is undoubtedly a rebellion against the human habit passing off ill-intended action as acts of neccessity.(eg. Nazi's later would explain away their racial exterminations as "survival of the fittest").
My definition of survival (and 'competition'); "survival= gain for the self, at the least cost to all else".Humans currently neglect the "at the least cost to all else" part of the equation.And Gandhi rebelled against this neglect.But, in his abstainance he may have overshot, with the naturally occuring "gain for the self" part lagging behind.As selfish as that phrase may sound, it is only selfish if "in absence of the other part" of the equation.However, abstainance can be a great learning experience so long as it is free flowing and freely chosen, and isn't obsessive or guilt-driven.Gandhi did inherently abstain with nature/God/love in mind.But, it did eat away at him also.So, it wouldn't be accurate to say that he'd perfected a balance, despite getting many things right.

Does all this mean I'm claiming he was incorrect? No.I'm merely claiming that his philosophy was incomplete.He made great spiritual progress, obviously.His advancement of humankind's understanding of physical combat's true role, is endlessly helpful.But to make sure his wisdoms don't go to waste, we mustn't sell ourselves short by assuming that we can't possibly add to his wisdom with our own (as if we daren't know something that he didn't).We need to allow ourselves to build on Gandhi's platform.That's the whole reason he set the platform.Not so we'd stagnate on it.
On a side note; I can relate to some reviewers using the word 'boring' to describe his writing (though I dare not use it myself, thru fear of UNhelpful votes.ha, ha).It's just that; Compassionate people are so determined not to feed arrogance into their world that -in abstaining their negative attributes, some of their positive ones can accidentally get caught up in the abstainance also.Hence the phenomenon "nice guys finish last".Nice people do risk 'being boring', in their efforts to not just -blurt out absolutely every (potentially destructive) urge that goes through their bodies and minds.So, I urge (controlledly 'urge', i assure:)) readers to be patient with him.You'll find no cheap comments here designed to 'pheign' being interesting.He much prefered to actually 'be' interesting.Much harder an art.

4-0 out of 5 stars What the Truth Reveals
In the book's introduction, Gandhi ascribes these words of the Hindu poet to himself:

Where is there a wretch
So wicked and loathsome as I?
I have forsaken my Maker,
So faithless have I been.

The cause of this wretchedness, Gandhi wrote, was "the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him, and yet I cannot get away from them." These thoughts echo those of the Apostle Paul who, while desiring to do good, found that evil worked within him. He bemoaned, "Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?" Both men realized they could not perform what the truth required, and because they loved truth, it made them feel wretched.

Who then is righteous, if not Gandhi and Paul? The prophet Ezekial spoke of God's promise to "put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes." But such righteousness is seldom seen. Gandhi wrote disapprovingly of one Christian acquaintance "who knowingly committed transgressions, and showed me that he was undisturbed by the thought of them." Paul saw among his own converts in Corinth such immorality "that does not even exist among the heathens."

The promise does not fail, but faith wavers. The promise must be put to the test, as an experiment with truth. Then those who love the Truth may be revealed. ... Read more


70. Catfish and Mandala : A Two-Wheeled Voyage through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
by Andrew X. Pham
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312267177
Catlog: Book (2000-09-02)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 19728
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Winner of the Whiting Writers' Award
A Seattle Post-Intelligencer Best Book of the Year

Catfish and Mandala is the story of an American odyssey—a solo bicycle voyage around the Pacific Rim to Vietnam—made by a young Vietnamese-American man in pursuit of both his adopted homeland and his forsaken fatherland.

Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam and raised in California. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people." Following the suicide of his sister, Pham quit his job, sold all of his possessions, and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness."In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey ("Only Westerners can do it"); and in the United States he's considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and an eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.
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Reviews (84)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unveils the complex relationship between Vietnam and America
Catfish and Mandala is about the author's journey to Vietnam to get in touch with his roots. Andrew is a Vietnamese-American that immigrated to the US shortly after Vietnam's reunification. "Mandala" signifies a bicycle wheel, as Andrew's journey is undertaken on bicycle. His stories of modern-day Vietnam are interdispersed with his mother's memories and his own memories of his childhood in Vietnam and the US. This story is mind-broadening -- I am amazed at the difficult trials he experienced at such a young age. Andrew also has to come to terms with his incredible luck when compared to people still living in Vietnam. Viet-Khieu - Vietnamese-Americans - are not always received warmly in Vietnam.

At the same time that Catfish and Mandala reveals truths about Vietnam that no Westerner would ever unveil, it also tells about the racism in US society that many of us never experience. I was shocked to read about the subtle and outright racism that is a part of his life in the US. At the same time, the author maintains a love for the United States, only made stronger by his visit to his fatherland.

Catfish and Mandala, so far, is one of the best books I have read this year, perhaps the best. 24 hours after I started it, I had finished it. The writing is hilarious, tragic, vivid, visceral. I can see the beggars, smell the rain-damp air, visualize the author's changing relationship with his homeland as he immerses himself in it. This book definitely deserves all the awards and accolades it has already received and then some. I am of a mind to go out and buy it for everyone I know.

For the past two days, I have come home from work, sat on the couch to read it, and not moved for several hours. Not even hunger could interrupt me. I have even attempted to read it in the car, during those long traffic lights. Such is the grip that this book takes hold, having a sense of when to lighten the story with tales of cultural misunderstandings contrasted with the difficult stories of his family.

4-0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Midway through this novel, I wanted to pull my heart out of my chest. The emotions I felt were painful and sad. Worse part, this book wasn't meant to be depressing or close to tear-jerking.
While I could really care less about author Andrew Pham's adventures on his bicycle, this book gave me a deeper admiration for my Vietnamese-American friends. It helped answer why they were born is such far flung locales like Albuquerque, Kansas City and some hick town in Illinois. Yes, Illinois.
I did a double take while reading, wondering if my friend Ryan had actually written this novel. It seemed like his story, immigrating from Vietnam during the war, growing up in California and now successful in the medical profession. It seemed too close to be true, even down to the two gay brothers.
I always wanted to ask him, but always thought twice, what was it like when he came to the states as a 13-year-old. I wanted to know how he felt, what high school was like, the struggles, the successes, the tears. Did his father die in the war? When did he finally feel comfortable with the English language? What was the discrimination he endured? How did his family leave war-torn Vietnam? All these questions, not a single answer.
Pham's vivid and emotional depiction of immigrant life in the U.S. could be applied to any immigrant group. He retraces his history from life in Vietnam, the escape from Vietnam, finally making it to the U.S. and then, his return to Vietnam.
Pham achieves something with his depiction of his return home. He gives readers the truth, not some pretty account driven for tourists. He doesn't lie about the mosquitos, dirty air, poverty, feelings towards America, commercialism and amount of change since the war.
Pham tries to find some connection with the country he grew up in, some connection to understand who he is. What he finds is something readers need to read to gain a better understanding of immigrant life, Vietnam and one's strive to survive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for those who want an introduction modern Vietnam.
This book is two-fold. One part of the book is a story about the struggle of a Vietnamese family who travels to America and their tragic story after reaching the U.S. The second part of the novel is about one of the members of that family who travels to Vietnam after completing an engineering degree at UCLA. Both of the stories are centered around Andrew X. Pham (I assume it's autobiographical).
The story about Pham's family's immigration to America is in and of itself a reason to buy this book. Although Mexican, Irish and Eastern European immigration to America are covered in school, the Vietnamese experience is one that is almost almost ignored. That is regretable because it is a facinating one.
This book is also a great view of modern day Vietnam. Americans often ignore the plight of people in 3rd world countires like Vietnam. Reading this book will open your eyes to the hardships those who live in Vietnam are having today.

4-0 out of 5 stars Catfish and Mandala
This book is highly reccomended. For those who know so little about such a trerrible country, vietnam

2-0 out of 5 stars How much is fiction?
I don't know this guy but they certainly were not the only Asians in Shreveport, Louisiana nor were they the first Vietnamese there. There were Chinese families there since the 1920's that I know of and there were several Vietnamese familes that came over in 1975. If he came over when he was 10 it would have been 1977...over 50 years since some Chinese families and restaurants had been in town. I know, I was there. Even today you can find several of the old families still there although only a handful have restaurants now. Their kids have gone on to become Doctors, Lawyers, CEOs of Companies and Entrepreneurs as well as Policemen, Firemen and serving in the military.

Growing up as an Asian in the South during that time period wasn't as dramatic as he made it sound in his book. He came after the Chinese had settled the town and won the respect of the community. For example, there was one chinese businessman in town who was very involved in politics in the 1960's and did wonders for the Chinese community along the way of paving the road to acceptance. The church he mentions that sponsored him was the church of the the elite in town and that included several millionaires. These people were educated and had a lot of class.

After I read that part I started to question how much was fiction. Vietnamese soldier earning the Green Beret of the US Army??? Hmm, I just don't know about this guy. ... Read more


71. Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
by ROBERT D. KAPLAN
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400030250
Catlog: Book (2001-11)
Publisher: Vintage Books
Sales Rank: 18574
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First time in paperback, with a new Introduction and final chapter

World affairs expert and intrepid travel journalist Robert D. Kaplan braved the dangers of war-ravaged Afghanistan in the 1980s, living among the mujahidin—the “soldiers of god”—whose unwavering devotion to Islam fueled their mission to oust the formidable Soviet invaders. In Soldiers of God we follow Kaplan’s extraordinary journey and learn how the thwarted Soviet invasion gave rise to the ruthless Taliban and the defining international conflagration of the twenty-first century.

Kaplan returns a decade later and brings to life a lawless frontier. What he reveals is astonishing: teeming refugee camps on the deeply contentious Pakistan-Afghanistan border; a war front that combines primitive fighters with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man; rigorous Islamic indoctrination academies; a land of minefields plagued by drought, fierce tribalism, insurmountable ethnic and religious divisions, an abysmal literacy rate, and legions of war orphans who seek stability in military brotherhood. Traveling alongside Islamic guerrilla fighters, sharing their food, observing their piety in the face of deprivation, and witnessing their determination, Kaplan offers a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of a people and a country that are at the center of world events.
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable book
Kaplan, D. Robert, Solders of God (Vintage Books, New York, NY, November 2001). xxi+254. 1 map. Index. ISBN 1-4000-3025-0.
In his own personal account, Robert D. Kaplan, international affairs expert and war-time journalist, chronicles his journey with the mujahidin ' 'holy warriors' - through the forbidden and vicious landscape of Afghanistan. In Solders of God Kaplan attempts to unravel the sheer chaos of Afghanistan through an inter-personal level of analysis, first by gaining access to some of the most important tribal/resistance leaders, and then accompanying them on their Jihad ' or 'holy war' ' against the Soviet Union. Kaplan purposely uses his experience with the mujahidin to help explain the chain of events over the past 30 years which left the door open for the fanaticism of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
In the 80's 'war-time' reporting was largely focused around the civil war in Lebanon or apartheid in South Africa. Rarely was their a first-hand report from the front lines of Afghanistan, which is what makes Kaplan's accounts of what some journalists call, the 'forgotten war', an invaluable tool in understanding present day international affairs.
During his time with the mujahidin, Kaplan details the lives of these mainly young, devote, and incredibly resistant solders who portray almost superhuman like qualities. As the Sherpas of Nepal have essentially evolved to conquer the highest of altitudes, the mujahidin of Afghanistan have evolved to become some of the world's best guerrilla fighters. Insidious and intolerant as the mujahidin might seem, Kaplan exposes a fissure between the modern day authoritarian Islam of the Arabic world and the more introverted democratic, and egalitarian Islam of the Afghani tribes, specifically the Pathans in the north. Kaplan finds that while they were fanatical, many Afghani Moslems were incredibly tolerant of 'non-believers' and women journalist (who many times felt safest with the mujahidin).
Some of the most shocking pieces of Kaplan's account shows the ferociousness, relentlessness, and brutality of the Soviet invasion. Kaplan describes how the miscalculated and misguided Soviet war of attrition has left the 'footprint' of war on Afghanistan to this very day. Riddled with Soviet landmines, Afghanistan has become a country of amputees, disabling a majority of an already diseased population.
Kaplan's relationship with renowned leaders such as Abdul Haq (Pathan leader; known as the 'Lion of Afghanistan'), Ahmad Shah Massoud (Tajik leader; known as the 'Panshir Lion'), and Hamid Karzi (current Afghan interim leader), allows the reader to better understand the incoherence and complexity of the ethnic and tribal codes that rule Afghani politics.
Because of his intimacy with the Mujahidin, one might criticize Kaplan for romanticizing the bravado and machismo of these Afghan guerrillas. However, rather than romanticize, Kaplan delivers a telling and respectful account of a people and a country 'orphaned by war'.
In Kaplan's final analysis he shifts focus to neighboring Pakistan where the majority of Afghani refugees reside. Combined with past support (financial and political) for the Taliban and a fevering wave of fundamental Islam, seen coming directly from the Saudi sponsored Madrassas (religious schools); an explosive cocktail of factionalism is predicted on the horizon. In a chilling conclusion Kaplan warns of potential Balkanization in Pakistan. However unlike Yugoslavia, Pakistan has a Nuclear Arsenal.

Scott Shadian

5-0 out of 5 stars I hope my Senator has read this book
Kaplan's book should be mandatory reading for every single elected official in the Executive and Legislative branch as well as all of our military leaders. Kaplan's understanding of the forces at play in Afghanistan and Pakistan (which are inextricably linked) is second-to-none. As an Infantry Officer with 6+ months experience in Afghanistan, I can say that reading Kaplan's book gave me great insight into the enemy we are fighting and the relationship that exists between them and their Pakistani neighbors who routinely provide them safe haven outside the reach of the Coalition Forces.
Chock-full of insight that few Westerners have ever been exposed to, Kaplan delivers a phenomenal account of the Mujahideen from the inside-out. I highly recommend this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars The author missed the most important point
Even though Mr. Kaplan goes deeper into the recent Afghan history, he missed the most important point. He does not understand the profound meaning of the life of Ahmad Shah Massoud and the impact of this great leader, with great spirituality and a great vision, in the 23 years of Afghan Resistance. But who does? Very few as always when an important event happens in the world. Good book. Not a great book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if biased, account of what was up pre 9/11
As an American living in several parts of the world in which Islam has a strong influence, I have always had a bit of a problem with the mainstream categorization of Islam as a fanatical approach to solving normal human problems.

Kaplan, once again, gets beneath the surface of things to discover that all is not what it seems. As he himself freely admits in the new introduction to this edition, he was somewhat biased by his visceral experiences on the front lines in 1980s Afghanistan, in which he shared life and death with the mujahidin. His square placement of blame on the US for its blind reliance on Pakistan to provide intelligence and diplomacy on the war in Afghanistan is probably a bit short-sighted.

Nevertheless, if anyone has any curiosity about how Bin Laden and his ilk came to find Afghanistan a safe-have, they should read this book. The updated intro and new last chapter are good additions in light of the prescience which lies beneath the surface of the original prose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Account of a Forgotten War
The title of Robert Kaplan's Soldiers of God made me pick this book up and buy it and I was not sure exactly what to expect from it. What I did not expect was a magnificent account of the mujahedeens' long battle against the Soviets, a clearer picture of the geography of Afghanistan, its relationship with Pakistan and the dark years of Soviet invasion.
Kaplan's description and stories about the Mujaheedeen commanders as well as warlords and pro-Soviet leaders of Afghanistan brings the reader into a tumultuous period of the country's past. His proximity and access to some of them makes me feel like I know something about them that readers of newspapers or articles on Afghanistan don't.
His trips into Afghanistan and how he crossed the tough terrain made me marvel. Anecdotes of fellow travellers, photographers, translators, and hosts of the camps where they stopped at pulled me further into this riveting book. Superb work by Kaplan, he shares with us the face of a war that many did not bother to cover. ... Read more


72. In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror
by Michelle Malkin
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0895260514
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 15579
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Book Description

This diligently documented book shows that neither the internment of ethnic Japanese--not to mention ethnic Germans and Italians--nor the relocation and ecacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast were the result of war hysteria or race prejudice as historians have taught us. ... Read more


73. A Plague upon Humanity : The Secret Genocide of Axis Japan's Germ Warfare Operation
by Daniel Barenblatt
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060186259
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 240551
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In wartime Japan's bid for conquest, humanity suffered through one of its darkest hours, as a hidden genocide took the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Cloaked in secrecy and protected under the banner of scientific study, the best and brightest of Japan's medical establishment volunteered for a major initiative in support of the military that involved the systematic murder of Chinese civilians. With the help of the United States government, they were allowed to get away with it. Based on important original research, this book reveals as never before the full extent of this crime, in a story that is as compelling as it is terrifying.

Beginning in 1931, the military of Imperial Japan came up with a new strategy to further the nation's drive for expansion: germ warfare. But they needed help to figure out how to do it. So they recruited thousands of doctors and research scientists, all of whom accepted willingly, in order to develop a massive program of biological warfare that was referred to as "the secret of secrets." This covert operation consisted of horrifying human experiments and germ weapon attacks against people whose lives were seen as expendable, including Chinese men, women, and children living in Manchuria and other areas of Japanese occupation. Even American POWs were targeted.

At the forefront of this disturbing enterprise wasan elite organization known as Unit 731, led by Japan's answer to Joseph Mengele, Dr. Shiro Ishii. Under Ishii'sorders, captives were subjected to deeds that strain the boundaries of imagination. Men and women were frozen alive to study the effects of frostbite. Others were dissected without anesthesia. Tied to posts, victims were infected with virulent strains of anthrax and other diseases. Entire cities were aerially sprayed with fleas carrying bubonic plague. All told, more than five hundred thousand people died. Yet after the war, U.S. occupation forces under General Douglas MacArthur struck a deal with the doctors of Unit 731 that shielded them from accountability for their atrocities.

In this meticulously documented work, Daniel Barenblatt has drawn upon startling new evidence of Japan's germ warfare program, including firsthand accounts from both perpetrators and survivors. Authoritative, alarming, and gripping from start to finish, A Plague upon Humanity is a powerful investigation that exposes one of the most shameful chapters in human history.

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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars 'WHAT THE DEAL BOUGHT"/'A PLAGUE UPON HUMANITY
I recently attended a lecture by Daniel Barenblatt in NYC. The subject was of course Barenblatt's new book A PLAGUE UPON HUMANITY. Whereas the use of human medical experimentation is now a well known aspect of the Nazi extermination program, the fact that
Japan innovated these same techniques, as well as implementing a lethal biological warfare unit, directed by Dr. Ishii Shiro & imposed upon the Chinese population in Manchuria & Occupied China, prior & parallel to the Nazi regime, is less known in the Western World.
Whereas some books on this topic have been published, Mr. Barenblatt, with integrity & the detachment necessary to cover the terrain, has written a contemporary & updated version of the material That he does so fills an important gap in our historical understanding but moreover, underlies the situation in which we now live.
The 25 photographs speak without words. The 10 chapters & for this reader, in particular the last chapter 'What The Deal Brought' wherein the implication of this program for our current policy is clear become apparent.. In an era of lethal indifference , poisoned ambients, both intellectual & environmental, a voice such as Barenblatt's must be heeded.

1-0 out of 5 stars Resurrects a despicable and totally false allegation . . . .
For me, this book lost all of its credibility when the author floats as at least possible the totally discredited allegation that the Chinese and North Koreans made that the US and UN used biological weapons during the Korean War. This "big lie" has been debunked again and again, yet keeps on surfacing like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or the blood libel.

What makes it almost comical is the way the author characterizes the sources of the allegation. He really seems to think that the North Koreans and the PRC --under Mao at his most ruthless-- are credible reporters. Personally, if the North Koreans and the PRC claimed the sky was blue, I'd look up to make sure it still was.

The really killing thing about the book is the fact that the author makes no significant reference to the existence of documentary evidence showing that the Soviets --the Soviets for God's sake!!-- didn't believe these charges.

Shame on the author of this book for breathing life into this old canard; shame on his publishers for not adequately fact checking his book; shame on those who endorsed and reviewed it without
seeing if this outrageous claim is true; shame on the bookstores that sell it; and shame on anyone who buys it without at least doing a little research on this very important topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A peak into the past of our inhumanity
During World War 2 over 500,000 people died not from the war itself but biogtry and evil. Barenblatt's well researched book takes a glimpse back to a little known chapter in history;Japan's biological warfare development and experimentation on humans in other countries. What's sad about this heinous crime is that those involved in subjecting innocent men, women and children to these inhuman experiments went on to affluent positions in the pharmaceutical industry in Japan, political power and respect from their peers. They were essentially rewarded for the same horrible behavior that the Nazi's were arrested, tried and convicted for--treating captive humans as lab rats.

Barenblatt documents the rise of nationalism in Japan and how the social stratification of its society gave rise to Unit 731 where much of this work was carried out. Many of the participants had a sense of superiority that made them believe other humans were somehow no better than animals. The main mover and shaker behind this horror was a doctor named Ishii who came from a privilaged background, married into power and cultivated social relationships to increase his power and climb the social ladder of Japan. His beliefs made him as dark and evil as Hitler and Gobbels.

Under Ishii's direction Unit 731 would routinely spray toxins over parts of China, Taiwan and other captured countries. His men would also contaminate food with bacteria and deadly virues and hand them out to people. The worst part of this story was the treatment of children; they were frequently subjected to "innoculations" that consisted of a deadly cargo of bacteria and disease.

War always has casualities. But Ishii's victimization of innocent babies, children, woman and men who were guilty of being inferior in his eyes, puts him in the save league as other monsters throughout history. These innocent victims didn't know what was happening and couldn't stand up for themselves. Until now, their voices were lost in the din of history. Barenblatt's book allows them to finally point out the monsters who did this to them.

Why weren't these monsters punished? Some of these people were tried and executed in Russia after the war. What did the United States do? Nothing. When MacArthur liberated Japan, he struck a deal with the doctors of Unit 731 that allowed them to go unpunished and resume their respectful careers in society. This is a sad example of how ego, bigotry and ignorence can be rewarded. MacArthur and the United States participated in this horror by covering it up.

Barenblatt should be applauded for giving a voice to those who couldn't cry out for themselves and for finally uncovering the identities of the cowards who committed these acts of evil against innocents.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great history book
An absolute must read for students of 20th century or WWII history. While I feel it could have easily been twice the length, the author lays the facts out clearly, exposing a story so awful that it ranks with the final solution as an example of mans' capacity for genocide and horror. Should be required reading in high school history all over the world, but especially in the United States and Japan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shocking and disturbing
Like many people, I've heard stories over the years about Japanese experiments on unwilling human captives (called 'maruta' or wooden logs, by the Japanese) during WWII. But I had no idea just how widespread and systematic the abuse really was until I read this book. As Barenblatt ably details it, in addition to the infamous "Unit 731", there were many other Biological Warfare units operated by the Japanese throughout Manchuria and other areas occupied by Japanese forces before and during WWII.

In addition to illegally conducting experiments on prisoners, POWs, and others inside these units, the Japanese Biological Warfare technicians also conducted "field tests" of bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax, etc. on unwitting civilians using airplanes, specially-made ceramic bombs, and poisoning of wells and food supplies.

Barenblatt uses compelling research to detail all of these atrocities and the men who were behind them, most notably Shiro Ishii. He also details how the U.S. government agreed not to persecute these Japanese "doctors" for war crimes after WWII in order to get the details of their experiments.

All in all, this book is an eye-opening but very necessary look at how Biological Warfare can wreak destruction upon unwitting civilians when applied by a war-mongering, power-hungry, fascist government. A powerful history lesson for all of us..... ... Read more


74. Falling Leaves : The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
by ADELINE YEN MAH
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767903579
Catlog: Book (1999-04-06)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 21048
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.

A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China. ... Read more

Reviews (286)

5-0 out of 5 stars Falling Leaves: Book Review
Adeline Yen Mah begins her autobiography with the events leading up to her life that would eventually have an effect on either herself or her family. She painted a vivid picture as to the historical background of China, before beginning the story of her life. The events preceding Communism, which she depicted, helped one to gain a greater understanding of her life story and the effects of Communism on the Chinese. From here Adeline went on to explain her life story.

Being the youngest child, a girl, and having her mother die when she was born basically made Adeline an outcast and unwanted child to her father and her step-mom, Niang. Despite the oppression she faced from her family, Adeline became a physician in America. The heart-wrenching autobiography, Falling Leaves, evoked more emotions from me than any other book I have read in my life.

Adeline's stories were described with such emotion that would make one sympathize with her situation. For example, in one scene Adeline had been elected class president, in order to celebrate her feat her friends secretly followed her home. The family maid admitted Adeline's peers into her home. The party ended abruptly when Niang summoned Adeline to her room and began to demand Adeline to admit that she had invited her classmates over so they could see their fancy home. Adeline was being falsely accused and refused to admit to these accusations. Niang, in response, began to slap Adeline, until her nose began to bleed. The whole book overflows with emotion, however although a large portion of the emotions are focused on Niang's malevolence the feelings are not of hatred and vengeance, but rather of worry about what she can do better to please Niang. Adeline is a respectable person who could be considered a role model, because no matter how much hate and inequality was turned loose on her she would always be forgiving and strive even harder to please people. Her forgiving attitude reminded me of a young girl, Anne Frank, who also faced oppression throughout her childhood, as she stated, "It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet, I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." Adeline seemed to live by this quote. Upon reading her autobiography the reader can learn a great deal about life and one's attitude towards the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars _FALLEN LEAVES: THE MEMOIR OF AN UNWANTED CHINESE DAUGHTER_
Adeline Yen Mah's, _Fallen Leaves: _The Memoirs of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter_... is an incredible story. _Fallen Leaves_, would be a perfect book for adults who are very interested in the Chinese culture. However, teenagers with an interest in different cultures would also be able to appreciate the difficult life Adeline Yen Mah encountered. I would not recommend _Fallen Leaves_ for sensitive or extremely emotional adults.

_Fallen Leaves_ was written in chapters. Each chapter includes another extraordinary tale of Adeline Yen Mah's life. Throughout the story, Adeline Yen Mah describes what it was like growing up in an unwanted family. Her mother passed away after giving birth to her and her family blamed and recented Adeline for her mother's death. Later, her father remarried. Adeline's step mother was controlling and emotionally abusive towards her. Her parents eventually sent her away to boarding school. Adeline Yen Mah was so unloved that people at the boarding school just assumed that she was an orphan. The story may seem, at this point, incredibly depressing but there was hope for little Adeline. Her one true positive feminine role model was her Aunt Baba. Adeline's Aunt loved her and helped her overcome the hatred and abuse from her childhood. Remarkably, with strength from her Aunt Baba, Adeline Yen Mah was able to become a physician and a writer. If that is not strength and determination, then I don't know what is.

The one problem that I encountered with _Fallen Leaves_ was not knowing the exact order of events taking place. Although Adeline Yen Mah attempts to stay in chronological order, I often find my self having to look back at the chapters to determine when exactly an event was taking place.

Overall, I enjoyed reading _Fallen Leaves_, by Adeline Yen Mah. The book was extremely inspiring and interesting at the same time. Reading _Fallen Leaves_ has given me a much greater appreciation for my parents love and respect....

4-0 out of 5 stars Darkness and light
The writing is not spectacular: Mah after all is a doctor, not an author. But the, episodic narrative, while plain, is well written.

This book presents the story of a girl who endured unbelievable cruelty at the hands of her father, siblings, and most especially, stepmother, and yet grew up to be a kind and forgiving woman.

The enormity of Mah's stepmother's cruelty left me in shock at times. "How could someone be that emotionally abusive?" I thought. How could any child grow up to be a well-adjusted adult when she was forbidden to go to visit the few friends she had, or to invite them to her home; when she was dropped off at an orphanage as punishment for some triviality; when her rich parents suggested she go to a bank to get a loan so she could afford to buy a plane ticket to the States, where she had a job waiting for her. These are just a few of the many examples that come to mind as I type this. Mah 's stepmother was, in short, pathologically cruel.

And yet, as if to disprove all the nurture advocates in the nature/nurture debate, Mah grew up to be a forgiving, generous woman. As she reached financial security as an anesthesiologist, she used her money to help her siblings (and their children), though they'd done nothing but torment her for most of their lives.

"Falling Leaves" is a example of how good people are simply good people, no matter how society treats them, and that evil people can be unbelievably dark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Importance of Family
Adeline was born into a family that did not want her. Her mother dies two weeks after she was born. Afterwards, her father then marries a seventeen year old beauty named Jeanne and treats her like a queen. All of the children's names were changed. Sadly, soon enough Adeline was sent away to school wishing for so much more than she had. The novel had a very big impact on me.

In the beginning of the novel i was grasped in. I fell deep into the depressing words of Adeline. Her strive for a family that would love her made me want to read more. The suspense had me wondering what was going to happen next. As i read more, it got better and better.

I did not dislike anything about this novel. I would not stop reading until i got to the end. This book was very heartwarming to me and made me think about how important my family is. It will make you think of your closest to you and what they are doing at that exact moment. In Conclusion I recommmend this book to anyone who enjoys reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars It was kind of neat
My opinion of this book was that it was alittle alright if you love to cry. But then many parts of it seemed to be alittle to farfetched. Like how she cried because all she cared about was to be accepted by her father when she lost everything. Even though that is the right thing, she acted alittle to "good" and it was just annoying. She wouldn't admit that she was actually hurt that she didn't get that ownership to what her father had left her. But then she could've been AT least telling us that she wanted those things.

But then what I had just said was a bit too mean. But sort of true. Plus the fact that if you read this book you would JUST have to give sympathy to her and her childhood. For since she had been through something so rough and hard that you could not believe it. Awesome. Just simply. Awesome. ... Read more


75. The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas For Living Well In Limited Space
by Kengo Kuma
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 4770029993
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN)
Sales Rank: 14049
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Book Description

Building small can be a sign of higher ambitions, and those who take the time to peruse these pages will undoubtedly grow to appreciate that creating a small home can be an amazingly positive and creative act, one which can enhance life in surprising ways.

THE VERY SMALL HOME presents stunning design advances in Japan. Eighteen recent houses, from ultramodern to Japanese rustic, are explored in depth. Particular emphasis is given to what the author call the Big Idea—the overarching concept that does the most to make the house feel more spacious than it actually is. Among the Big Ideas introduced here are ingenious sources of natural light, well-thought-out atriums, snug but functional kitchens, unobtrusive partitions, and free-flowing circulation paths.

An introduction by the author puts the house designs in the context of lifestyle trends, and highlights their shared characteristics. For each project, the intentions of the designers and occupants are examined. The result is a very human sensibility that runs through the book. a glimpse of the dreams and aspirations that these unique homes represent and that belies their apparent modesty.

The second half of the book is devoted to illustrating the special features in the homes, from clever storage and kitchen designs, to ingenious skylights and nooks. As with his earlier SMALL SPACES, Azby Brown has given home owners, designers, and architects a fascinating new collection of thought-provoking ideas. ... Read more


76. The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies
by Randine Lewis
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316172294
Catlog: Book (2004-01)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 7793
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For thousands of years, Chinese women have trusted traditional Chinese medicine to help them conceive. A recent medical study found that women who augmented Western fertility treatments with TCM, traditional Chinese medicine, doubled their chances of a succesful pregnancy. THE INFERTILITY CURE gives women an effective, natural means of supporting their efforts to get pregnant. Based on techniques and remedies drawn from traditional Chinese medicine, this program shows readers how to increase their overall health and well-being, strengthen the organs and systems vital to reproduction, heal specific conditions that may affect fertility, and even support Western-based reproductive technology such as IVF and hormone therapy. Dr. Lewis' easy-to-follow program begins with diagnosis, using an extensive questionnaire to determine each reader's unique diagnostic category. The next three steps involve bringing a woman's body back into balance through diet, acupressure, and Chinese herbs. By following this program, women will be able to create a welcoming physical and emotional environment for what they desire most: a child. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars From a former skeptic
After several failed attempts to get pregnant using western medicine (at a cost of over $30,000), I was referred to Dr. Lewis by one of the best reproductive endocrinologists in Houston, TX. I was extremely skeptic about acupuncture and what it could do for me but decided to give it a try based on my doctor's recommendation and the fact that I had nothing to lose. In addition, the cost of acupuncture treatments and herbs were miniscule compared to the money my husband and I had already spent.

After only a couple of weeks, I noticed significant changes in my menstrual cycle. After three months, I had more energy, felt better than I ever have before, and was no longer bothered by allergies. I have not gotten pregnant, but given the vast improvement in my well being and quality of life I feel blessed to have come in contact with Dr. Lewis. I continue to receive treatments at Dr. Lewis' clinic to address my endometriosis.

Dr. Lewis' book explains the traditional chinese medicine approach and her own diagnostic and treatment methods. She also cites many examples from her own patients' experiences. More importantly, she is extremely compassionate and understands what people dealing with infertility are going through. I highly recommend her book to anyone considering expensive fertility treatments. Read her book first and consider pursuing traditional chinese medicine treatments before you spend money on western fertility treatments.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for couples dealing with infertility issues
I think this book is the answer to what a lot of couples faced with infertility are looking for.
It provides a comprehensive view point of the available options today from both a western and eastern medicine standpoint. Best of all you do not have to be a Chinese medicine practitioner to understand this book. An excellent simplification of the ancient theories and wisdom of Traditional Chinese medicine. The dietary recommendations and lifestyle changes can be incorporated to maximise health and therefore chances of conception no matter what path you adopt to achieve your goal of a healthy baby. It clearly lays out the different syndromes and patterns that could be underlying the same diagnosis, emphasizing how the acupuncture and herbal treatments need to be individualized. Dr Randine is one of the pioneers in this acupuncture speciality her knowledge and experience reflects through the information provided in this book.
A source for acupuncturists and medical doctors too!!As stated in another book I recently read on Acupuncture and Infertility by Dr Lifang Liang, it can greatly improve your chances of success.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hope for the Fertility Struggle
This book was recommended in my fertility-support group, and it has been a great read. I've tried everything I'm going to from Western medicine, but no solutions have been forthcoming. (And I have a great doc -- not like the "specialist in a top US clinic" I first went to (see negative review #2) who did a few tests and told me I had no problems... oops, she missed the endo and my low hormone levels!) I highly recommend this book not only for people who have tried everything else, but also for those who haven't started trying everything yet, and those who are pursuing medication and/or surgical treatments. Try this early, and save yourself a lot of heartache and expense.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Randine Lewis will show you that you are NOT Infertile!
Dr. Randine Lewis' book addresses the problem of infertility from the standpoint that most women who are of reproductive age, with the proper anatomy are FERTILE; the inability to conceive is an expression of an imbalance within their system that can be improved through the techniques that this book teaches. The text is both scientific and a self-help primer. Through the pages in this book you will learn to diagnose your underlying imbalance and then follow the approach that Traditional Chinese Medicine advocates for your diagnosis. The treatment generally includes the use of acupuncture or self-performed acupressure, stress reduction, dietary changes, supplement use, restorative exercise (yoga, Qi Gong), and relaxation techniques.
Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that Dr. Lewis has experienced approximately a 75% success rate with achieving pregnancy with her patients, many (if not most) of whom came to her clinic after years of failed Western procedures. The Western medicine definition of "infertile" is rather narrow, defined by inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. I never believed I was infertile, despite solidly falling within Western medicine's definition and it has been reassuring to find an approach that has validated my intuition about my body: namely, I am not infertile, I am just very imbalanced and stressed and I need help to restore my reproductive health. While this book contains the information that is necessary to self treat, it can be complicated and I'd recommend that you seek the treatment of a licensed acupuncturist, preferably one who specializes in infertility or, at least, women's health.
If you undertake this approach for yourself, you cannot lose. Surely, you will be more hopeful, feel more relaxed, experience increased vitality and generally improved health. This is a book that will help you to reclaim your body and, in so doing, you can reclaim yourself and recognize that you are not broken, a failure, nor infertile.

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm giving it a shot
After 10 + years of fighting against infertility I have pretty much tried everything Western medicine has to offer so when I saw this book I decided to give it a chance. I have to say that it is quite well written. Randine Lewis presents her case clearly and consisely. She doesn't make any wild claims and she's not pretending that her mehtods are the only ones that will work. I went looking for something to criticize in this book and I can't find anything. It's the best "natural" infertilty book I've come across and I've read enough of them to fill a book case over the years.

Now, who is this book for? I think it's best for mature readers who have nothing left to lose. If you no longer have any illusions and won't be heartbroken if this doesn't work out go ahead and buy this book. However, I would say to any potential reader to go to her doctor first and then to remember two things: Rhinos and tigers are endangered mainly becuase Eastern medicine promotes the idea that pills made from the bodies of these animals has medicinal benefit. In other words Eastern medicine is not perfect. It's a diferent approach to the human condition, not necesarily a better one. This is a entertaining, and highly readable book but don't expect a miracle; okay? ... Read more


77. If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
by TIM O'BRIEN
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767904435
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 24341
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars exceptional!
This is an excellent piece of literature. O'Brien is at his finest as he transcribes his experiences during the vietnam war. If you read "The Things They Carried" (which he wrote after this) you'll definately love this book. It's also interesting to observe some of the similarities to the characters in this memoir to those in The Things They Carried. It's exceptional, honestly. You wont be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courage
A thinking man in Vietnam was a dangerous thing. Being a soldier in Vietnam was a dangerous thing. Tim O'Brien was both and somehow he managed to live to survive it and tell his story. He ends up in Vietnam after unsuccessfully dealing with his conflict between doing the right thing and being a courageous man. He tells of his decision not to follow his well planned escape route and stay with his country and its proposal to send him to Viet Nam. O'Brien describes Vietnam as a place with nameless soldiers and Buddys, faceless enemies and endless minefields.

This is an excellent text for learning about the experience of the Vietnam war, the choices that young man were faced with at that time and basic dilemmas in making moral decisions. It is a well written book which makes for a quick, satisfying read.

5-0 out of 5 stars War a Go Go
Whether academics would consider this a literary masterpiece or not, Tim's honesty and integrity make this a must-read account of his total Vietnam experience. I say total, because I found his description of his almost-AWOL phase to be one of the most fascinating parts of the book.

Morally and practically, his situation was infinitely more complex than that of a draft dodger, for whom there were known routes into Canada above all, and more clear cut decison processes involved. About 90,000 of the 100,000 draft dodgers fled to Canada, many of whom settled here long-term.

Yet as you read Tim's account of his guided tour of hell, you realize that, like all Vietnam Vets, and I have the honor of knowing many of both genders, his healing journey is one that he will not be undertaking alone. Sadly, there was nothing unique about his Vietnam experience, as he would be the first to tell you.

At one point, back in the late seventies, there was a statistic indicating that about 800,000 Vietnam Vets - about half the combat vets, were suffering from PTSD. Yet it became obvious that this figure, which did not even include the Army nurses and Docs who sewed everybody back together, was somewhat low. On reading If I Die, you can see how the Vietnam experience could stay with a person for the rest of his/her life, especially in view of the hostility that the Vets faced upon their return to 'The World'.

Vietnam was a tremendously divisive issue and the factors that Tim O'Brien had to balance during his almost-AWOL period, make you realize that the actual draft dodgers will also have their own healing to do. The only draft dodgers I have a problem with are the ones who fled to Canada, yet who claim to have done so because of their 'principles'.

No. The draft evaders with true integrity and principles either took the courageous step of joining the military as a Medic and refused to carry weapons, or like David Harris, Joan Baez's husband, went to jail for their principles - David was jailed for 3 years for Draft Evasion. The dodgers who ran to Canada did so because they were scared, pure and simple, and there is nothing wrong with being scared. Just don't lie about it - or you will never heal.

As for 'principles', if 100,000 people had forced the Government to jail them over the Vietnam issue, as David did, it might have made a difference. It might literally have ended the war years earlier, and saved young men like Tim from having to undergo such a psychologically damaging experience. Running away was a selfish act, but one which I do not judge - that is between them and God. Just don't try to sell me 'principles', boys. Ever.

Tim O'Brien is a great writer, and in If I Die, he really puts you in harm's way, among the trip-wire grenades, the panji stake pits, the minefields and the VC snipers. Yet hard as the Vietnam War was on the young draftees, the unforgivable thing is the fact that for many of these teenage soldiers, the hardest part was coming home. To quote from Paul Hardcastle's '19' (the average age of the combat soldier in Vietnam) "They fought the longest war in American history... None of them received a hero's welcome..."

Welcome home, Tim.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Early O'Brien...
O'Brien is simply my favorite author. I was curious to read this, his first book, a memoir of his real days in country. It is without the lyrical beauty and power of some of his other fictionalized accounts of war, but as he says in How to Tell a True War Story--what exactly is real in war? This is as close one can come...a fascinating account--perhaps most interesting is the down time--the mundane aspects of war. His honesty is disarming (no pun intended), but the polished O'Brien we know and love is still developing. It is an important book and worth the time spent.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
As a Marine grunt(1968) In Vietnam, the book basically gives a good view into daily 'NAM' LIFE. Other reviewers gave a low rating thru their WELL-> READ knowledge of the war. There is a old Vietnam unwritten code "if you were not there, then you have no idea what happened or should not judge the ones who were. Vietnam vets don't talk about our experiences over there because there is no way a civilian could comprehend what we endured". The war was a horrible, minute by minute effort to stay alive but also a duty to protect your fellow marines , your fellow marines were your brothers. Read the book. Semper Fi ... Read more


78. City on Fire : The Forgotten Disaster That Devastated a Town and Ignited a Landmark Legal Battle
by Bill Minutaglio
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060185414
Catlog: Book (2003-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 359074
Average Customer Review: 3.63 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On a day that dawned with brisk breezes, a clear sky, and perfect temperatures, the small town of Texas City suddenly found itself facing the greatest industrial disaster in the most industrialized nation on the planet. And, in time, the survivors of that all-American city found themselves wondering if their own government had delivered them into this hell on earth.

In 1947, Texas City was experiencing boom times, bristling with chemical and oil plants, built to fuel Europe's seemingly endless appetite for the raw materials needed to rebuild its ruined cities. When an explosion ripped through its docks, the effect was cataclysmic. Thousands of people were wounded or killed, the fire department was decimated, planes were shot out of the sky, and massive ocean-bound freighters disintegrated. The blast knocked people to their knees in Galveston, ten miles away; broke windows in Houston, forty miles away; and rattled a seismograph in Denver, Colorado. Chaos reigned, the military was scrambled, the FBI launched investigations -- and ordinary citizens turned into heroes.

For months on end, the brave residents of what had once been an average American town struggled to restore their families, their homes, their lives. And they also struggled to confront another welling nightmare-the possibility that the tragedy that almost erased their city from existence might have been caused by the very government they thought would protect them.

City on Fire is a painstakingly researched saga of one of the most profound but forgotten disasters in American history. The Texas City Disaster was a searing, apocalyptic event that had an enormous ripple effect for millions of people around the world.

It changed the way Americans respond to disasters and the way people viewed the American government -- the Texas City Disaster opened the door for average Americans to confront their government and its leaders in the nation's courts of law. It was the first time that the United States of America was named as a defendant in a case that, after a series of dizzying twists and turns, would end up in the nation's highest court.

Ultimately, the story of Texas City is a story of courage, humanity, bravery, and a painful quest for justice. It is the story of ordinary Americans behaving in extraordinary ways -- and serving as role models for dignity and grace.

... Read more

Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars One Flaw Spoils Almost All of It
If you're not interested reading a story that is absolutely factual or at least as factual as someone's research can make it, this book is probably one you want to read. After all, it is a dramatic telling of the cataclysmic explosion in Texas City in 1947.

Yet if you are a fussy reader like me, something is going to bother you about the narrative. It's very simple. In the case of at least one of the major figures of the book, Father Bill Roach, the author puts words in his mouth; tells us what he is thinking; and frequently informs us in detail of his routine actions. This is despite the fact that Father Roach died in the explosion, and unless the author knows the secret of time travel or can speak with the dead, this means there is a large amount of fiction in the book.

To me, this wrecks the credibility of the narrative. The enormous amount of research Mr. Minutaglio did almost becomes moot. He doesn't even give us footnotes, endnotes, or chapter notes, so we can pick out what amounts to pure speculation on his part and ignore it.

His only sop to the readers is italicizing some passages. These he coyly describes as "external and internal dialogue" that he "built" from what is known as fact. In the end, I find myself wondering why he didn't just stick to the facts like most other writers of non-fiction do or simply write a novel about the explosion. He writes very well, and I bet such a book would have sold.

2-0 out of 5 stars Could have been much better
"City on Fire" is a book that had to be written, for it's the shocking true story about the industrial port city of Texas City, Texas, that was devastated by a pair of ammonium nitrate explosions in April 1947. It's an event that was largely forgotten about until Bill Minutaglio's book came along.

That said, "City on Fire" was a disappointment for me. The first third of it dwells on Father Bill Roach, the Catholic priest who crusades for the city's underclass. This is the worst part of the book, for much of it seems utterly made-up. As another reviewer pointed out, there's no way all of this could be factual; how could Minutaglio possibly know what Roach is seeing, thinking and saying? Other characters are treated in similar fashion.

While the book is full of florid characterizations, it has precious little about ammonium nitrate, such as how it is handled, why it is explosive, how it is manufactured and so forth. A map of the city prior to the event would have been helpful, too, as would a diagram of the Grandcamp, the ship that was the first to explode.

Minutaglio writes as if he's writing the screenplay for a low-budget TV movie. Another complaint -- far too much italic type, much of which is put there for no apparent reason.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the movie
I recently read in Variety that Tom Cruise might be making a movie of this book so I thought I would check it out. Turns out it's an incredible story -- made even more so by the fact that it really happened and hardly anyone knows about it. Once I started I couldn't put it down. This is one powerful book -- and so visually written. I'll be the first one at the theatre when it comes out as a film....

1-0 out of 5 stars A waste of money
Sometimes a small book about a local tragedy can be a great find -- a good action narrative worth the money. Unfortunately, this book isn't.

I bought this book on the recommendation of a bookstore clerk, who said it hadn't sold well but promised an appealing story. As it turned out, the story is pretty predictable and lacks a writer's skill in the telling. The author deserves credit for attempting to present an ensemble of interesting characters, but mostly they are caricatures. The writing is fairly clunky and the promise of the subtitle -- that the horrific 1947 explosion in Texas City produced a landmark legal ruling -- turns out to be something of an overstatement. The death of 600 people is no small event, but the long-ago events of Texas City have been eclipsed by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

As a regional book, City on Fire might kindle the interest of Texas historians and descendants of those who died in the disaster. But for those who like good active narratives, this one falls short.

A reader Houston, TX

5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting Read
I read a terrific review of this book in The Washington Post a while back and was eager to check it out. Turns out the reviewer was quite right, this book SHOULD be turned into a movie. The Texas City Disaster was a horrific event not caused by nature but by greed, negligence and misguided efforts. In hindsight there was much to be learned from it that was -- for various reasons -- mostly covered over.

Author Bill Minutaglio has taken a complex story and made it visual and energetic. The characters of Father Roach and Curtis Trahan are deeply drawn and riveting, and Minutaglio weaves together the cultural, social and political currents of the time to create a fascinating backdrop.

This one's highly recommended. ... Read more


79. Steel My Soldiers' Hearts : The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam
by David H. Hackworth
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743246136
Catlog: Book (2003-05-06)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 50266
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In January 1969, one of the most promising young lieutenant colonels the U.S. Army had ever seen touched down in Vietnam for his second tour of duty, which would turn out to be his most daring and legendary. David H. Hackworth had just completed the writing of a tactical handbook for the Pentagon, and now he had been ordered to put his counterguerilla-fighting theories into action. He was given the morale-drained 4/39th -- a battalion of poorly led draftees suffering the Army's highest casualty rate and considered its worst fighting battalion. Hackworth's hard-nosed, inventive and inspired leadership quickly turned the 4/39th into Vietnam's valiant and ferocious Hardcore Recondos.

Drawing on interviews with soldiers from the Hardcore Battalion conducted over the past decade by his partner and coauthor, Eilhys England, Hackworth takes readers along on their sniper missions, ambush actions, helicopter strikes and inside the quagmire of command politics. With Steel My Soldiers' Hearts, Hackworth places the brotherhood of the 4/39th into the pantheon of our nation's most heroic warriors. ... Read more

Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steel My Soldiers' Hearts
Steel My Soldiers' Hearts
By David Hackworth

This book that I have written about was written by, David Hackworth, former U.S. Army colonel that served in the Vietnam war. It Is a nonfiction book almost like a documentary in some ways by how some of the men give accounts of what happened at a certain time, or just things they had to deal with.
The book goes through how a colonel transforms a unit of dirty ragged hippies into one of the most feared American fighting units by the Vietcong. The "Hardcore the Recondos". The book goes through different points of view from the enemy and the U.S. soldiers. It goes through what types of booby traps the Americans faced on patrols and in everyday life there. It goes through a few battles the Hardcore fought in and how they were won. It's action packed and will keep you reading on and on. The first person account how the battles were fought is in great detail and will make you cringe.
I really like the way Hackworth wrote this book. It really painted a good picture in my mind of the war was like and Vietnam it self. In the future I would like to read more of his books. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Vietnam War or is just looking to read a well-written war story.

- M.S.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blowing away the fog of war
Uncompromising, tough, boots on the ground in the enemy's face. This is the way that David Hackworth ran his battalion and taught them to fight the enemy. That his methods were so successful with an outfit previously dubbed 'hopeless' is vindication of Hack's theory that with proper leadership and training the American soldier can meet and defeat any foe.
Steel My Soldiers' Hearts is more than a simple primer on combat leadership techniques. It is larger than the historic role it will fill in the library of personal reminiscenses of Vietnam. This book captures well the irrational nature of the war as expressed by the national leadership and promulgated down through the military command structure. It touches a poignant nerve of what might have been.
Hack had to fight much more than the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army although they proved to be as tough an opponent as he had met on any battlefield. He had to deal with the double dealing and backstabbing of career army officers to whom a dead GI or a false report was of considerably less condern than risking the next promotion or decoration.
He was continuously at loggerheads with highers up who saw more benefit in using precious helicopter resources to ferry USO entertainers about than to support American troops engaged in battle. He recounts how his battalion staff, trying to run inteference with him while he led from the front on the ground - something mighty scarce among leaders in that war - had to cope with minutiae and bean counting from higher HQ. Exceeding allotted 'blade time' on helicopter assets meant that you would not supply or maneuver troops in contact, for example. He fought the all too common practice of routinely disregarding or downgrading awards and decorations for combat soldiers while quietly approving them for senior officers who never smelled a sweaty armpit or fresh gunpowder.
In the Vietnam era Army the officer's efficiency report form listed 'tact' as an evaluated leadership trait. It was a point of pride for most of us to get low marks in that category. I am certain that David Hackworth set the standard in blunt truth that many of us strove to match. His most recent work Steel My Soldiers' Hearts has only added to his reputation for direct and honest expression of thoughts regardless of whose feelings get hurt.
Stylistically there are places in the book where I would have suggested different word choice or toning down of expression. To me it got in the way of the narrative. However that might not be Hack. And regardless it ought not get in the way of his core message.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Vietnam war as it was not as we hoped it might be. It ought to be required reading for anyone responsible for dispatching, funding, managing or leading troops, especially for the politicians who somehow manage to avoid seeing the product of their failed policies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hack Tells It Like It Is
Well written book.Good detailed accounts of Hack's experience with the Hardcore Recondos. He's not afraid to point out the shortcomings of his superiors and gives the reader insight to the problems and hardships his men faced during the Vietnam war.He shows us that by his own basic rules of soldier discipline , leadership skills , tactics, and common sense , he is able to take the fight to the enemy and turn around his unit.Hack gives us the truth and a better understanding of that war. Maybe it will prevent future military leaders from repeating the mistakes of the Vietnam War era. I have read several books about the Vietnam war and this book is the best one I've enjoyed reading. It is a hard one to put down after you have started reading it.

4-0 out of 5 stars This is what military transformation is all about
When Donald Rumsfeld was named Secretary of Defense for the second time, one of his main objectives was transformation of the military. Thirty years before, in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam, a different yet equally important kind of military transformation was taking place. This book chronicles the transformation of the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry and its warrior leader, David Hackworth.

As an author, COL David Hackworth is known for his straight talking, "tell it how I see it" style. In keeping with previous efforts, this book is a first-hand, full-frontal assault by COL Hackworth. He gives you his complete and biased view of his tenure in command, the officers and men he fought with, and the battles waged against the enemy and against the state of warfighting by the US Army in Vietnam.

The book opens with his being named to command a downtrodden infantry battalion who had been intimidated by the enemy and lost its will to fight. The Commanding General described it as the "worst" battalion in the Army. The opportunity to command is normally a coveted and prestigious honor in military circles, however this opportunity was more of a double-edged sword.

The initial impression of his new unit was as bad as he imagined it would be. COL Hackworth uses the break in period to set the tone. He replaces ineffective soldiers with more capable men and changes the unit's standard operating practices. Initially his methods are met with great skepticism and some go so far as to place a bounty on his head. He thwarts the bounty and eventually the adaptation of new tactics for fighting counter insurgency warfare pay dividends. The continued success and uncompromising leader transforms the unit into battle-hardened fighting force that is using the enemy's own battle plan against itself.

This book could be read from the standpoint of the specific firefights and skirmishes along the Mekong Delta, however it goes much deeper. COL Hackworth provides his thoughts regarding the US Army Officer Corps and our warfighting failures in Vietnam. He provides firsthand examples from the tactical level of warfare and relates these examples to much larger problems in the war effort. Throughout the book he castigates the inexperience of the officer corps, the lack of effective training, and the inappropriate strategy. As always, he continually gives credit where it is due and provides little quarter to the ineffective peers and superiors in his limited use of pseudonyms.

COL Hackworth writes like a military warrior but includes a glossary to accurately describe military terms in common language. This is an outstanding addition and is beneficial for any reader. While this book is not a significant work in military history circles, it is appropriate for more than just the Hackworth-faithful. Members of the Armed Forces, Vietnam buffs, and persons interested in small unit leadership and group dynamics may find this book interesting, straightforward, and useful.

I recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars your favourite
This book is trully outstanding in its realism and honesty. It is a fantastic account of the workings of a U.S. division later in the war let alone a Battalion. This is my personnal favourite read because it has depth and the personnel accounts of the soldiers are hard and gritty. It is a trully unique account on all levels and would be a good read for both first time readers of the war and people who have a greater interest. ... Read more


80. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 7, Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic (Science and Civilisation in China)
by Ho Ping-YĆ¼, Lu Gwei-Djen, Wang Ling
list price: $190.00
our price: $190.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521303583
Catlog: Book (1987-01-22)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 450518
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Book Description

The Gunpowder Epic is one of three planned publications on military technology within Dr Needham's immense undertaking. The discovery of gunpowder in China by the 9th century AD was followed by its rapid applications. It is now clear that the whole development from bombs and grenades to the invention of the metal-barrel hand gun took place in the Chinese culture area before Europeans had any knowledge of the mixture itself. Uses in civil engineering and mechanical engineering were equally important, before the knowledge of gunpowder spread to Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Dr Needham's new work continues to demonstrate the major importance of Chinese science and technology to world history and maintains the tradition of one of the great scholarly works of the twentieth century. ... Read more


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