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81. Guanzi
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82. About Face: Odyssey of an American
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83. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim : America,
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84. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege,
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85. Prisoner of the Rising Sun
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86. Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul
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87. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the
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88. Austere Luminosity of Chinese
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89. Between Heaven and Earth
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90. Russian Impressionism: Paintings,
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91. Japanese Culture
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92. Stalin : The Court of the Red
93. Memoirs (George F. Kennan Memoirs)
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94. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account
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95. Empire of the Stars : Friendship,
96. America's Longest War: The United
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97. Asian Biblical Hermeneutics and
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98. Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary
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99. The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956
100. The Russian Provisional Government

81. Guanzi
by W. Allyn Rickett
list price: $145.00
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Asin: 0691048169
Catlog: Book (1998-03-16)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 313634
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Book Description

Named for the famous Chinese minister of state, Guan Zhong (d. 645 B.C.), the Guanzi is one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese writings still in existence. With this volume, W. Allyn Rickett completes the first full translation of the Guanzi into English. This represents a truly monumental effort, as the Guanzi is a long and notoriously difficult work. It was compiled in its present form about 26 B.C. by the Han dynasty scholar Liu Xiang and the surviving text consists of some seventy-six anonymous essays dating from the fifth century B.C. to the first century B.C.

The forty-two chapters contained in this volume include several which present Daoist theories concerning self-cultivation and the relationship between the body and mind as well as the development of Huang-Lao political and economic thought. The "Dizi zhi" chapter provides one of the oldest discussions of education in China. The "Shui di" chapter refers to the circulation of blood some two thousand years before the discoveries of William Harvey in the West. Other chapters deal with various aspects of statecraft, Yin-Yang and Five Phases thought, folk beliefs, seasonal calendars, and farming. Perhaps the best-known chapters are those that deal with various methods of controlling and stimulating the economy. They constitute one of the world's earliest presentations of a quantity theory of money. Throughout the text, Rickett provides extensive notes. He also supplies an introduction to the volume and a comprehensive index.

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82. About Face: Odyssey of an American Warrior
by David H. Hackworth, Julie Sherman
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0671526928
Catlog: Book (1989-03-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 852330
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars AuthorZone.Com Book Review
Excellent book. Well written, easily read, thought provoking. Is long, but not cumbersome.

I first read 'About Face' written by Col. David Hackworth during the late 1980s. I found it extremely valuable in helping me...a woman with little knowledge of anything military, understand better my children's dad, a land based Viet Nam combat vet and the problems he had to deal with before his death.

As the wife of yet a second Viet Nam combat vet, special forces, I suggest this book for anyone who wants a better understanding of the debt of gratitude and respect we citizens owe those willing to serve in The United States Military.

Reviewed by: molly martin

5-0 out of 5 stars should be required reading for all seving military leaders
I first came to hear of ABOUT FACE from a friend and fellow NCO in Korea. He said I might think it was good, Was that an understatement. I read About Face in one fourteen hour plane ride back to Korea. I've read it three more times so far and recommend it to all my friends deserving the title Non-Commisioned Officer. I truly believe that all military leaders should read this and take from it; Hack's wisdom and experiance dealing with the military, Integrity and soldiering.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Man, A Great Book, A Great Read
I bought this book when I was about 11 years old and a big fan of "war stories". I am now approaching twenty and have read this book at least once a year since first purchasing it, to the extent that it is now in three parts and the photographs have fallen out. This book is an intense, gripping, readable but most of all honest and believable account of one of America's greatest warriors and his experiences...from the forested slopes of Trieste in 1946 to being chased around Washington DC by Army Intell goons in 1971, this book, while entertaining, will also teach you everything you need to know about duty, honour,bravery and honest patriotism, qualities that come hard to find in the era of Iran-Contra, Tailhook, Whitewater and the like... This book will make you laugh, cry and think. Please, read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A grunts-eye-view look at the career of Col. Hackworth.
This is the tale of America's most decorated living hero. From his humble beginnings to his glorious career in the U. S. Army. A man destined to be one of the elite movers and shakers in the military. He became disillusioned with America's war effort in Vietnam and the "ticket-punching" pursuits of the manager-officers. He gave up his career and moved into self-imposed exile. This story is a must read for those interested in the development of the U. S. Army since WWII. It's a real wake-up call ... Read more

83. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim : America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
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Asin: 0375422854
Catlog: Book (2004-04-20)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 9295
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a fine book, a real eye-opener. For people who don't have a lot of background in Islamist politics, the first half is a hard read because the issues are extremely complicated. However, this is good place to start if you want to try to begin sorting the threads of religious and political Islam. For US citizens with even a modicum of political background, the rest is a piece of cake, and fascinating. Especially interesting is reading about how the Clinton administration was shackled and thwarted as it tried to accomplished some of its more humanitarian objectives. While I believe that Mamdani is not an apologist for 'suicide' bombings, some people are going to have difficulty with his explanation of this phenomenon, which he frames in light of Israeli aggression and compares to similar oppression and violent reactions in South Africa. In any case, it forced me to think of what drives this behavior, and how far humanity must be pushed to the wall in order to exhibit it. The final chapter is heart-wrenchingly poignant, and calls for a world-wide peace movement in the face of what the author believes to be one of the most volatile political scenarios in recorded history: the 'good vs. evil' standoff between the political Christian Right and militant political Islam, a standoff with no hope of negotiation or reconciliation - a fight to the finish resulting in total annihilation of the other.

5-0 out of 5 stars Think Outside the Box
The book explodes the myth of the 'good' versus the 'bad' Muslim and renders baseless US claims that the war on terror is a war between good and evil, civilized and uncivilized peoples. Mamdani locates the origins of terror in American Cold War foreign policy and shows how Al Qaeda is a product of American efforts to 'contain' and 'rollback' communism. These efforts did not just produce 'Afghan jihad' with all the pernicious apparatuses for terror supplied by the CIA, it also created conditions for the movement to grow into an independent organization targeting the Soviet infiltration of Afghanistan and later directing its ire against Egypt, Saudi Arabia and yes, the US. But for Mamdani, terror is not simply an anti-American thing; rather, on many occasions American terror has had equally devastating consequences in Angola, Mozambique and Nicaragua. Reading this book leads you to understand whose definition of terror is in operation at the moment and why this definition receives lukewarm support in the international community. Mamdani knowledge of Islam in general and political Islam in particular is exceptional and his analysis of different strands of Islamic thought in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria is meticulously matched by his understanding of political processes in these countries. A must read book if you want to think outside the 'you are either with us or against us'box.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading
This is an excellent book rooting terrorism in its political/historical context and contingencies. Apart from "culture talk" which obscures more than it reveals, Prof. Mamdani provides a coherent theory for the development of al-Qaeda. The story started when the U.S. government chose to win the war against Communism with whatever means necessary. The main method after Vietnam was proxy wars and covert operations. Why? Because their conduct could be hidden from vigilant Congressional oversight and public scrutiny. The result was not only complicity in illicit trade (because covert operations cannot be easily financed by public funds) , but also the support of vicious terrorist groups and organizations that deliberately targeted civilians to undermine the "nationalist" governments they were fighting and, hence, brought into question their ability to provide safety and security for the citizens and their property.

Initially the U.S. government did not think of Islam as a challenger civilization. In fact Islam was perceived as anti-Communist and anti-nationalist. (Anti-nationlist before the Iranian revolution and the response to that was to back Iraq, despite its secular nationalism, because its brand of nationalism was sort of the lesser of the two evils.) Therefore, the Afghan Jihadis were wholeheartedly supported and even described as the moral equivalents of the Founding Fathers. The Jihadis were taught the state-of-the-art techniques of killing and destruction because they represented a tool to bleed the Soviet Union to death.

From there one can start the story of al-Qaeda which is often presented as if al-Qaeda appeared out of the blue. Terrorists are made, not born. The analysis of Prof. Mamdani is somewhat reductionist as it fails to address the internal circumstances of Muslim societies. However, it is a great step toward understanding the foundations of the catastrophes we are witnessing today.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent treatise, lacks in some counterexamples
This book is a well-documented & footnoted description of the process which spawned Al Qaeda and the global Jihadist movement. It carefully and painstakingly describes the roots, ideological, financial & social of Islamic Terrorism. Interestingly, most publications about these terror groups seem to assume that history ceases around 1988 or so. Mamdani shows how the period between the late 1970s and the late 1980s was the crucial period during which various players, including and in no small part directly resulting from the actions of, the United States. His discussions of the Reagan-era of "Rollback" in many countries culminating in Afghanistan and how the techniques used by proxy armies which were trained by the CIA is particularly thoughtful and well documented.

It is interesting to read other user posts who accuse mamdani of ignoring certain aspects of conventional US armed forces, such as the desire to and laudable attempts at avoiding civilian casualties. Because this book is largely about wars which were financed by the United States but fought by entities which were not made up of United States troops, this critique is essentially not valid since the target of Mamdani's examination is not conventional US troops.

There are a few examples of global al-jihad al-akbhar ("Lesser Jihad" or physical struggle, as opposed to "Greater Jihad" which is an internal personal struggle for purity and faith) which Mamdani does not address which run counter to his argument. For instance, the period of arab conquest directly following the death of the Prophet Mohammad in the 7th century AD as well as the Mughul conquest of much of the Indian subcontinent in the 16th century AD. Both of these are examples of Jihad-for-Conquest where the idea of a holy war was applied NOT within the context of a political struggle against modernity, communism, or the west. I would have liked to see mamdani address these earlier examples.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Man's View
The blurb on the dust jacket says: "a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world."

This is probably true. The book presents a view of the Muslim world that is quite different from others such as Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" which holds that the next big struggles between Muslims and the Christians will be the world's next big battlefield based on cultural differences. Mamdani sees the Muslim's current actions as an extension of the Cold War. (He grew up in Africa, among who's nations the US and the Soviet Union fought the war.) That he is probably right does not alter Huntington's view in my mind.

I'd also like to see a chapter, maybe two, on the impact of oil on the crisis. Would 9/11 have happened if Iraq's invasion of Kuwait hadn't happened right over the oil we need to import?

I further question some of his historical aspects. Mohammed was both a religious and military leader. (He was pretty good until he came up against one of the Greats - Genghis Kahn.) There seems to be to me more of an emphasis on uniting the two in the current Muslim thinking.

I really like his closing statement: "To win the fight against terrorism requires accepting that the world has changed, ... that to occupy foreig places will be expensive, in lives and money. America cannot occupy the world. It has to live in it. ... Read more

84. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-1943
by Antony Beevor
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0140284583
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 6844
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This gripping history is the definitive account of the battle that shifted the tide of World War II.

Historians and reviewers worldwide have hailed Antony Beevor's magisterial Stalingrad as the definitive account of World War II's most harrowing battle. In August 1942, Hitler's huge Sixth Army reached the city that bore Stalin's name. In the five month siege that followed, the Russians fought to hold Stalingrad at any cost, then caught their Nazi enemy in an astonishing reversal.

As never before, Stalingrad conveys the experience of soldiers on both sides as they fought in inhuman conditions, and of civilians trapped on an urban battlefield. Antony Beevor has interviewed survivors and discovered completely new material in a wide range of German and Soviet archives, including reports of prisoner interrogations, desertions, and executions. The battle of Stalingrad was the psychological turning point of World War II; as Beevor makes clear, it also changed the face of modern warfare. As a story of cruelty, courage, and human suffering, Stalingrad is unprecedented and unforgettable.
"A fantastic and sobering story . . . fully and authoritatively told." -Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
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Reviews (197)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book!
This is, quite simply, one of the finest novels I have ever read. The author chillingly describes the horiffic conditions faced by both the Russians and the 6th Army, and this book occupied my thoughts for weeks afterwards like no other book has ever done. Mr. Beevor is masterful in his description, weaving facts with personal accounts that puts the reader in the trenches. His access to previously closed Russian files on this brutal battle has allowed the author to write the finest story ever on Stalingrad. His story on Winrich Behr (who by the way is still alive today) I have found to be as unforgettable as the rest of the book. He vividly describes how the desperate situation has convinced the top leadership in encircled Stalingrad to fly out Capt. Behr, proud in his black SS Panzer uniform with Knights Cross. Behr is flown to see Hitler, to explain how a breakout from the Kessel must proceed immediately. Behr is warned on how Hitler tries to overwhelm his guests with the "overall" picture, and how his vast knowledge leaves little room for compromise. Behr is prepared when Hitler steps to the map, and shocked when Hitler quits talking and is attentive while Behr further protests the utter hopelessness of fighting on. Field Marshall Keitel, Hitlers sycophantic lackey, angrily shakes his fist at Behr when Hitler looks away, and then Hitler returns to the map, and produces phantom divisions to rescue the trapped 6th Army. It is then when Behr realizes the war is over. The only other book that compares to this in the horrors of battle is "The Forgotten Soldier" the story on a soldier in the Das Reich SS division who sees destrucion and death on the Eastern front, but this autobiography is not nearly as well written. I have read this book twice, and will enjoy it many more times. Superb.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly gripping stuff...
The Battle of Stalingrad is certainly an interesting study. Everything about it is warfare taken to an extreme, from the will of the leaders, to the weather, to the methods of "motivation," make for gripping human drama. Beevor's account, in my opinion, strikes an excellent balance between all of these extremes of human suffering and the actual tactics and movements of the battle.

I thought Beevor did a good job of recounting the suffering of the common soldier without allowing this book to turn into a series of sad stories. The appalling conditions at Stalingrad are certainly one factor which makes the battle such a fascinating subject, but Beevor does not forget that there was a battle fought around Stalingrad with tanks and guns, and that is what ultimately defeated the Germans, not rats and lice. The conditions are kept in context with the greater battle. The reasons for the attrition of the German sixth army and its subsequent encirclement are given at both the tactical and strategic levels, from the viewpoint of both the common soldier and the general staff.

For better or worse, there isn't a lot of mention of the fact that the starving and freezing German army was the same one which had murdered and raped its way through the steppe, nor that the Soviet army would do much the same to the German people when they crossed into Germany. This omission lends a little more human quality to the book, in that these factors aren't considered when the stories of suffering are recounted, and one finds him or herself pitying the combatants probably more than one would otherwise.

The battle for Stalingrad is one of the great stories of life-and-death struggles between nations, and Beevor does it tremendous justice, in my opinion, from the perspective of both the private and the general.

3-0 out of 5 stars The horror permeates the blur of detail
What remains in my mind are the incidental points: German soldiers drowning in latrines, too weak from dysentary to rescue themselves or be rescued by starving comrades. Russians incinerated as they try to flee across the Volga. Mass cruelty mixed with a German clergyman painting a "Fortress Madonna" on the only available paper, the back of a military map. Soviet propagandists blaring "death tango" music across the front. The Russian truce seekers meeting with Germans after Christmas. Those on both sides who desert. Soviet POWs worked to death as human oxen. German letters home from the "kessel." Hitler's gambling with half a million lives and Goebbels' media manipulation. Stalin's NKVD and Hitler's Feldgendarmerie both shooting those terrified to fight. Everywhere, mud, ice, blood.

These poignant and infuriating vignettes rise above the sheer mass of often primary-source material trawled by Beevor. Too often, this army formation goes here and this general goes there, especially in the middle of the narrative, and this weakens the "human" touch which I favor, although to be fair other readers may relish these strategic accounts. I certainly needed the maps to follow the action.

When I was a child, a "Reader's Digest" condensation described Stalingraders eating library paste and boiling leather goods to survive. Surprisingly, the civilian plight gains very little attention; the focus here mixes wide-scale accounts of troop movements with accounts drawn from letters and documents. This is a difficult balancing act to carry off for simplifying a complicated story over a couple of years in four hundred pages, and I commend Beevor's skill while wishing nonetheless that the book was even longer, to allow more space between these two extremes, and more time to relate the dazzling or dreadful individual's story that illuminates the fog of war.

A good companion to his "The Fall of Berlin," and those curious about the punishment batallions of the Soviets, the effect of the loss of the Sixth Army on the Nazi psyche, and the fate of those receiving Russian revenge for Nazi terror will find a logical continuation in his more recent work.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the four best works on Stalingrad ever written
This book by noted writer Antony Beevor joins three others that are essential English language "classics" on Stalingrad. These important books are John Erickson's "The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin's War with Germany" and Joel Hayward's "Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler's Defeat in the East 1942-1943" and Earl Ziemke and Magna Bauer's "Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East".

Beevor has used all three and produced a work that is the least academic but arguably most exciting of all. He has also used Manfred Kehrig's "Stalingrad: Analyse und Dokumentation einer Schlacht"which is not available in English --- sadly.

Beevor also uses the latest research on the Soviets, including the books by David Glantz. He paid researchers to translate unpublished Soviet documents, which also enrich his text.

The book is clearly an excellent overview of the efforts put into winning at Stalingrad by both sides. As scholars have noted in learned articles, Beevor ignores airpower and only deals sketchily with strategy, but his narrative of the human experience of warfare is more than compensatory.

5-0 out of 5 stars World Class History.
I first read this book during the summer of 1999 and had never heard of the author beforehand. I took to him immediately and experienced considerable difficulty putting Stalingrad down. I usually read three or four books at a time but could not with Stalingrad as it became my sole concern until it was finished. Beevor makes use of outstanding primary source materials and his narrative technique makes one feel as if you have secret access to the innermost recesses of the minds of Chuikov, Paulus, Zhukov, von Manstein, and, of course, Hitler and Stalin. It reminded me of the old PBS documentary,
"Battleground" for the way in which it flowed. Buy it,I guarantee you won't regret it. ... Read more

85. Prisoner of the Rising Sun
by William A. Berry, James Edwin Alexander
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 0806125098
Catlog: Book (1993-05-01)
Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr
Sales Rank: 431703
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BETTER ONES I'VE READ
This is an excellent first hand account.It is rather well done, more so than several others I have read.I do wish we had more like this one.Very inspiring.I felt it gave even a greater insight to the war in the Pacific.Recommend you add this one to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Grandfather's Story
The author of this book is my grandfather. I found this book to be inspiring as I am also a soldier. I am in the Army and found this book to give me a greater appreciation of my profession as well as bring a greater understanding of my grandfather's life and why he is so proud. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand what POWs in the Philippines went through. I have lent my copy of his book to several of my friends and they all gave it great reviews as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars A brief first hand look..........
William Berry has written a well-detailed, although brief, look at his attempted escape and captivity after the fall of Correigdor. While not a scholarly look at these events, the author gives a good account of his capture, escape and trek through the jungle, recapture and liberation by American servicemen from Bilibid prison in Manila. He painfully recounts the agony these men went through as they were crammed, up to 13 men at one time, into a 10 by 10 cell and forced to sit, without flinching, and stare at the wall all day.

As a recaptured prisoner, Berry and his two comrades somehow survive the war, as the usual penalty for escape is execution. They were sent to the maximum security prison in Manila for "special prisoners", and many prisoners stopped here only long enough to be sentenced and shot. Berry, who was a fledgling lawyer before enlisting in the Navy, saw these skills save his life and the lives of his friends when being sentenced, not so much his arguments, of course, but rather how he shaped it to fit his audience(A Japanese tribunal)

This book does not take long to read, but it is an interesting tale, and well worth the time invested. But, if you want greater scope and detail of Americans in Japanese captivity, read"Prisoners of the Japanese" by Gavan Daws, an extremely informative and well-written look at the horrors these men had to endure daily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent. One of the best POW books I have ever read.
One of the few true to life books written by a WWII POW. As a history buff I find the first hand accounts in this book of the authors experiances andthe others he came in contact a first rate story of America's darkest time.A must for all those who want to know more about POW's of theJapanese.

Having been stationed in the Philippines and traveled to Battanand Corrigidor it brought the meaning of those visits a little sharper infocus. ... Read more

86. Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul
by John Freely, Ahmet S. Çakmak
list price: $80.00
our price: $80.00
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Asin: 0521772575
Catlog: Book (2004-03-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 313470
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Book Description

This book is about the Byzantine monuments of Istanbul, most notably, Haghia Sophia. The remains of the land and sea walls, the Hippodrome, imperial palaces, commemorative columns, reservoirs and cisterns, an aqueduct, a triumphal archway, a fortified port, and twenty churches are also described in chronological order in the context of their times.These "monuments" are viewed in relationship to the political, religious, social, economic, intellectual and artistic developments of the Byzantine dynasties. ... Read more

87. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
by Robert F. Kennedy
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0393318346
Catlog: Book (1999-11)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 47003
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The unique, gripping account of the perilous showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union. During the thirteen days in October 1962 when the United States confronted the Soviet Union over its installation of missiles in Cuba, few people shared the behind-the-scenes story as it is told here by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In a clear and simple record, he describes the personalities involved in the crisis, with particular attention to the actions and attitudes of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. He describes the daily, even hourly, exchanges between Russian representatives and American. In firsthand immediacy we see the frightening responsibility of two great nations holding the fate of the world in their hands. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars It is only because of great and humble men we are here today
While I was not yet born when RFK and JFK were alive, I would have to say they are two of the greatest men in American history. Robert Kennedy brings his readers closer to a situtation that is almost beyond the scope of the human mind. His account of the Cuban Missile Crisis makes us realize how close we have come to the end and absolutely shows us that it is only because of great men we are here. This book reminds us how close we came to the end and the critical role Jack and Bobby played in bringing us back. I only hope that current and future leaders of the world read this account and understand what they understood...we are all mortal and we all love our children. Those are the things that will save us, Jack and Bobby knew that and it is obvious in this extrodrinary book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thirteen Days: A Memoir Of The Cuban Missile Crisis
During the thirteen days in October 1962 when the United States confronted the Soviet Union over its installation of missiles in Cuba, few people shared the behind - the - scenes story as it is told here by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In this unique account, he describes each of the participants during the sometimes hour - to - hour negotiations, with particular attention to the actions and views of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

In a new foreword for this edition, the distinguished historian and Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., discusses the book's enduring importance and the significance of new information about the crisis that has come to light, especially from the Soviet Union.

As a principle figure in resolving the crisis Robert Kennedy brings to it extraordinary authority, with his own insights, perspectives and very important revelations of the decision - making process at the highest level, on the brink of nuclear holocaust.

5-0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile purchase
While this brief account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, written by Robert Kennedy in 1967, can not be called the most thorough recounting of events between October 16 and October 29, 1962, it has two major selling points:

1.) It is a first person account of a critical moment in American foreign relations, told simply yet compellingly by a key participant.
2.) Personal asides, which could only come from the President's brother, add a dimension to the narrative that can not be found even in Schlesinger's "1000 Days."

Something to keep in mind if you buy this book: it's one of the many things Bob Kennedy left unfinished in his life, and it shows. It is an obvious first draft meant to put the highlights of the Crisis on paper. The last two chapters of commentary are a wonderful preview of the backward glance Kennedy intended, but was never allowed, to apply to one of the most dangerous fortnights in world history.

5-0 out of 5 stars very interessing!
rfk tells us about how jfk and him rescued the world, it's exciting.
this is the best book of the cuban missile crisis.
i advise you to read it.
people who don't like it are odd.
Bobby and Jack Kennedy are two of the greatest men in American history.
Highly recommended for them who are ineressing for history, as well as the intentions of one of America's best-loved martyrs.

5-0 out of 5 stars First Draft History
Bobby's first hand account of the Cuban missile crisis was obviously written with an eye toward his 1968 presidential bid. In fact he was assassinated before compelling it, although the complete story is told. Not surprisingly he pays tribute to his mattered brother and if anything downplays his own role. Quite an interesting device, presenting the author as humble as well as battle hardened. The interpretation it presents, with both Khrushchev and JFK portrayed as being eager for a face saving piece is quite familiar (an easy position to take since Khrushchev was out of power and thus not a potential threat). It is other unnamed powers in Russia that are blamed for the hard line position of the USSR. Interesting to note the demand of the Russians that the US remove the missiles in Turkey and Kennedy's claim that his brother had already ordered it and the order was not carried out to a bureaucratic snafu Well written and easy reading, 13 Days is a quickie, a bit of historical candy for junkies. Highly recommended for its insight into the events, as well as the intentions of one of America's best-loved martyrs. ... Read more

88. Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture (Ahmanson-Murphy Fine Arts Book S.)
by Sarah Handler
list price: $65.00
our price: $65.00
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Asin: 0520214846
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 188938
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Chinese classical furniture is esteemed throughout the world forits beauty, functionalism, and influence on contemporary design aesthetics.Sarah Handler's stunningly illustrated volume traces Chinese hardwood furniturefrom its tenth-century origins to the present. She offers a fascinating andpoetic view of Chinese furniture as functional sculpture, a fine art alongsidethe other Chinese arts of calligraphy, architecture, painting, and literature.Handler, a widely respected scholar of Chinese furniture, uses her knowledgeof Chinese social, political, and economic history to provide a backdrop forunderstanding the many nuances of this art form. Drawing on literary and visualevidence from excavated materials, written texts, paintings, prints, andengravings, she discusses how people lived, their notions of hierarchy, andtheir perceptions of space. Her descriptions of historical developments, such asthe shift from mats to chairs, evoke the psychological and sociologicalramifications. The invention of a distinctive way to support and contain people and thingswithin the household is one of China's singular contributions, says Handler.With more than three hundred exquisite illustrations, many in color, Handler'scomprehensive study reveals "the magical totality of Chinese classicalfurniture, from its rich surfaces and shrewd proportions down to the austeresoul of art that resides in the hardwood interiors." Austere Luminosityrecognizes Chinese classical furniture as one of China's premier arts, unique inthe furniture traditions of the world. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure of a Book
Essential reading for all interested in fine design (East, West, North, or South), this work may well be the most beautiful book published this year. ... Read more

89. Between Heaven and Earth
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345379748
Catlog: Book (1992-06-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5622
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Two of the foremost American educators and healers in the Chinese medical profession demystify Chinese medicine's centuries-odl approach to health. Combining Eastern traditions with Western sensibilities in a unique blend that is relevant today, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH opens the door to a vast storehouse of knowledge that bridges the gap between mind and body, theory and practice, professional and self-care, East and West.
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Oriental Medicine
This book gives a good foundation for understanding how the Chinese five elements theory is used in clinical practice. The description of five-element theory is very poetically written, so the book is fun to read. There is also a good introduction to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. The chapters on acupuncture and herbal medicine are fairly technical, so if you don't have much interest in these areas, you may find the sections boring.

The main problem with the book is it's over-emphasis on the Five Elements. From what I understand, the Chinese five element theory is not regarded as important to diagnosis and treatment in TCM as the theory of yin/yang and chi (in fact, the validity of the theory is still hotly debated in China today) so its treatment here may be a bit over-emphasized.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you buy one book on Chinese Medicine, this is the one
I read this book and used it as a reference in acupuncture school. I highly recommend it to everyone, including my patients.

It gives you a basic understanding of how the organs are viewed in Chinese medicine.

For example, the heart is affected by all emotions. Thus, if you experience extreme emotions for an extended period of time, you can develop a heart Qi (energy) deficiency. This would cause insomnia, palpitations and fatigue. This can be cured with acupuncture and herbs.

If you have too much stress, your liver energy becomes stagnant, or stuck. This causes you to be even more stressed with each added stressor. Chinese medicine can fix that.

Fear affects the kidneys. Have you ever noticed how often you have to go to the bathroom when you go to the dentist? :) Your kidneys become weak and can't control your bladder.

Chinese medicine treats the root of your health issues. Your symptoms will go away once you address the underlying problems.

3-0 out of 5 stars Only One Piece of the Puzzle
I must first admit my bias: I seek to write a better intro to Chinese medicine than this, or the Web that has No Weaver...

This book talks only about "5 Phase" Chinese medicine- this is only one school of thought in Chinese medicine, and most acupuncturists don't practice it to the degree that you find described in this book.

Most acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists practice TCM, or some variation of it. There are many acupuncture styles (I mean Japanese, Korean, Tong, etc.), and herbal medicine is based on organ-system pattern diagnosis... you'll find none of that in this book.

What is in this book is good and interesting, and perhaps an ok intro to Chinese medicine, but please remember there is much much more to even getting acquainted with Chinese medicine. "The Web..." is much too philosophical and scholarly for more readers. The danger there is that no one will read the whole thing.

The danger with "Between..." is that readers will misunderstand the breadth and variation within Chinese medicine and be confused when they visit an acupuncturist who does not practice 5 phase style.

4-0 out of 5 stars FULL INTRO, MAYBE TOO FULL
I found this book to be very very full of information on TCM. Being a beginner in this area, I was amazed at the amount of material combined in this one book. However, as I read this book I tend to skip parts because of how wordy they can be. Also sometimes the discussions got a bit too involved and maybe a bit repetitive. So it is a bit on the difficult side of reading, but still an excellent addition to my library and an excellent reference guide!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and Deep
I have read a lot of books about how the universe works but this one also tells us how to live in it. This book shifts our view of medicine, providing a how-to guide for self-awareness that includes both body and mind. It is an owner's manual for our everyday lives as well as a great introduction to Chinese medicine that is well written and easy to read. ... Read more

90. Russian Impressionism: Paintings, 1870-1970
by Vladimir Kruglov, Vladimir Lenyashin
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810967146
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Abrams
Sales Rank: 192532
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Perhaps the most beloved art movement of all time, Impressionism had its roots in France but soon inspired artists around the world. This new book documents that explosion in Russia, unveiling canvases that resonate with the pure color, sparkling light, and lively depictions of everyday life that characterize Impressionism at its best.

Chosen from the holdings of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, the works displayed in this handsome volume focus on a chapter in Russia's rich cultural history that has been too long overlooked. Now, the broad range of Russian Impressionism is made abundantly clear in 340 lush colorplates and in illuminating essays. The superb paintings, most rarely or never published before, make this collection an essential addition to any art lover's library.

VLADIMIR KRUGLOV, an art historian and leading curator at the State Russian Museum, has published extensively on the history of Russian art.

VLADIMIR LENYASHIN is currently head of the late 19th- and early 20th-century painting department at the State Russian Museum and is a professor at the Ilya Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in St. Petersburg.

340 illustrations in full color, 81/2 x 14" ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Move Over Monet!!!!
I was fortunate enough to have purchased this magnificent volume for its original retail price -- but now feel it may be the most priceless item I have ever owned! As a person who loves to paint (notice I don't call myself "artist" or even "painter") I'm inspired to move forward in capturing something -- ANYTHING of what these artists did. Every time I look through this book and its gorgeous plates, I learn something new about color and light and using paint to sculpture a scene. Having been happily saturated with French and American Impressionists (and we still love them!) it is like entering a parallel universe where all is familiar yet new, and somehow more robust than you can imagine. These works are simply luscious. I pray I live long enough to see a major retrospective. Until then -- this book is my bible, my solace and inspiration. If you can afford it -- or find a deal -- I suggest creating a place of honor in your home -- for the Russians have arrived!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Privlikatel'no! Molodyets!
Wonderful! Well-done!

This is about all I can think to say about this book. Superb text and many, many beautiful illustrations. Russian art wasn't even touched on in my American university art history courses, except for a few important 20th century avant-garde artists...explore this little-known world of Russian impressionist painting with this book. I'm happy I paid the retail price, not the prices asked by the used booksellers now that it is out of print. ... Read more

91. Japanese Culture
by H. Paul Varley, Paul Varley
list price: $21.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824821521
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Sales Rank: 50767
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For nearly three decades Japanese Culture has garnered high praise as an accurate and well-written introduction to Japanese history and culture.This widely used undergraduate text is now available in a new edition.Thoroughly updated, the fourth edition includes expanded sections on numerous topics, among which are samurai values, Zen Buddhism, the tea ceremony, Confucianism in the Tokugawa period, the story of the forty-seven ronin, Mito scholarship in the early nineteenth century, and mass culture and comics in contemporary times. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Typical history
This book is good. I'm not going to call it great, nor will I say that it isn't a worthwhile read; however, it gets wordy at points. It could be improved with an overview of each chapter and then have the in-depth information to follow. Regardless, there is a wealth of information within! I personally love the history parts because I fell asleep when I took east asian history, and this is a good way of refreshing my memory to prepare for my college major of East Asian Studies come 2005 ;).

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing detail in such a small amount of space
I wasn't sure what to expect when i bought this book - after all the title does seem a little generic and it is a pretty small book, but i was pleasantly surprised. Varley's style is incredibly terse yet still very accessible. He deals with Japanese culture chronologically, giving the reader a clear picture of the state of the country at the time any major cultural events took place, although avoiding any unecessarily long forays into the history of Japan which do not relate to cultural happenings. Overall, an extremely diverse and useful introduction to Japanese culture which could provide a thorough grounding in the subject prior to further study, or equally serve as a useful reference book to anyone with a casual interest in the culture of Japan

5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Japanese history and culture
This book is fantastic for a thorough introduction to Japanese culture. It was a pleasure to read. This was the textbook used for my Japanese Life and Culture university class, and I was extremely pleased with it. Varley's writing style is straightforward and extremely interesting. What I especially liked about the book was its mixture of history and all aspects of Japanese culture, from the literature to the art to the religions. I can't recommend this book highly enough for anyone interested in learning about Japanese culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exceptionally well written comprehensive text on Japan
This is an outstanding text, the best I have encountered in its straightforward writing style and depth of information.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best introductory books on Japanese Culture
If you are looking for good introductory books on Japanese culture, this book is, perhaps, the only book you need. The book is comprised of rich historical surveys of Japanese culture, with many wonderful B&W pictures. The book does not cover about "current" cultural trends in Japan, but it does cover all important cultural foundations which shape today's Japan. I was born and raised in Japan. But I painfully realized the facts that I didn't know much about my own cultural heritage when I took Prof. Varley's class at college. Through his book, I was able to re-discover myself. ... Read more

92. Stalin : The Court of the Red Tsar
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400042305
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1414
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent and Comprehensive Biography
This is a well-written biography by the British journalist Simon Montefiore covering Stalin's life from 1878 to 1953. Photos on the book cover depict Stalin with his associates (the magnates) but it is mainly about him in the period 1932 to 1945. The author attended Cambridge University and has written one previous historical book "Prince of Princes" plus he has written two novels, and contributed many articles on Russia and those regions of the old USSR to the Sunday Times, the New York Times, and created various other written and TV works. He is very well qualified and does an impressive job examining original Russian sources such as letters and diaries, interviewing survivor's relatives or consulting with scholars, etc. From the book, one must conclude that it must have taken a long period of time to pull all the facts together and write the book - since the book is lengthy - is almost 800 pages long with the introduction, photos, maps, notes, lengthy index, etc. Plus it has many references and comments. In short it is not a quick read.

There are many things that one can say about the story and Stalin but I will try and limit my comments. Needless to say I recommend the book. It holds your attention and in many ways is quite fascinating. In any case, what really brings this book to life are two things, i.e.: the author uses a lot of quotes or accurate summaries from primary sources that are conversations or communications either written or spoken by Stalin or received by Stalin, so we get the feeling that we are back in the USSR on some chilly Moscow night at the Kremlin or on the warm Baltic coast at his dacha listening to the conversations as observers, plus the author inserts four sets of black and white photos that show all the main characters including Stalin's second wife Nadya, different associates (the magnates) such as Beria, and it gives the reader some perspective as one proceeds through the book. Without these photos and good writing I think this would be a much more difficult read for the average person to keep an interest in the book - and to follow while wading through the many pages of Russian names and relationships. So the author has done excellent background research job for the book and then he does a good job at presenting the material to keep our interest. Also there is a certain degree of drama in the book during the loss of Stalin's second wife and the invasion of the USSR by Germany.

In the book the author tells us that he is attempting to provide an accurate and complete biography of the man and his politics, not just the one-dimensional evil genius that is the normal perception of the man. We learn that Stalin enjoys his family life, and endless parties and dinners, hunting trips, billiards, visits by his children, comments by his mother, and his reading from an extensive personal library, singing and dancing, etc. His personal life is not all rosy and you will see that when you read the book. The author reveals these human sides to his complex personality and it works to a point in the book. Also, he gives the reader many details on the war, and the near destruction of Moscow, Stalin living in the subway, meetings with Churchill, Mao, Tito, endless diplomatic and business dinners, drinking binges with many including Churchill, and meetings with his associates to plan the war or the next purge, etc. But in the end it is a story about a ruthless killer that seized control of large country and retains power through the use of a terrifying secret police, bands of armed thugs, mind boggling torture techniques, firing squads, rigged courts, random killings, party purges, killing off of millions of independent farmers and business people, labor camps, and all the mayhem that this entails. But the author for the most part manages to keep the book an interesting read and an educational historical experience.

Overall this is an excellent and well-written book that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the man and European history. I read it cover to cover and enjoyed the book. Also, I read many of the notes and comments. As a follow up I would suggest "Khrushchev" by William Taubman. It is a highly acclaimed best seller. The same author Taubman has written other books on the Soviet Union and Stalin's foreign policy.

Jack in Toronto

3-0 out of 5 stars OK book but not for beginners
Mr. Montefiore certainly worked hard to get this book right and his intimate look at Stalin and his inner circle certainly is worth reading if you are already knowledgable about Stalin and the happenings of the Soviet Union under his rule. THis book goes to a level where we almost know what Stalin had for dinner every night. It spends much time on his relations with his family, friends and comrades. I am sure this will enlighten some.

On the other hand this book is not recommended for non-Stalin scholars. Important external details (like much of WW2) are omitted so it is hard to figure out exactly what is happening at times. The onset of the Cold War is even less well explained, although some events, like the meetings with Churchill and FDR are explained in detail.

I would say the greatest plus of this book is its description of a tyrant going mad, eliminating every person around him who might be a threat and creating new threats out of an overwhelming imagination. I would say the greatest flaw is the picture much of the book draws of Stalin as some sort of intellectual who likes to eat with friends and party with women. WHile this is going on millions are dieing, but hte focus remains on the fete of the evening and not the atrocities.

Finally, while I understand Mr. Montefiore is Jewish, his focus on who is and is not jewish was quite off=putting. If somebody did not tell me he was jewish I would have guessed he was leading to some sweeping anti-semitic conclusions. I was not sure through the whole book why I needed to know who was Jewish and who was not. Maybe in England the word "Jew" is used as an adjective before a name like the Jew, Leon Trotsky, but it is not common in the U.S. and as I just said, it turned me off tremendously.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Compelling Book I've Ever Read About Stalin
"Stalin: The Court of The Red Tsar" is simply the most compelling book I've ever read about Stalin, and I've read a few (from Martin Amis to Solzhenitsyn to Robert Tucker to Volkogonov.) Montefiore has the skills of a novelist with narrative drive, smooth prose, and psychological portraiture. He also has ransacked a treasure-trove of freshly available documents like personal correspondence, newly published memoirs, and in-depth interviews with family members of the Soviet elite. The result is the most gripping picture yet of this time and place in world history.

Interestingly enough, the Soviet leaders were like a small town where everyone knew and lived in close proximitity with each other. Add to this the murderous habits of the Bolsheviks and you get something which looks amazingly like "The Sopranos": family men who were also monsters. (I guess David Chase just has great instincts for this kind of material.) There's also a resemblance to "I, Claudius" in the mixture of power, family banality, and horror. For example secret police chief Beria was a loving husband, father and grandfather who also personally tortured, raped, and killed his victims. (Human bones were recently found in the basement of his old mansion, according to Montefiore.)

The author also has a sure grasp on the moral and intellectual issues raised by Stalin's life. He says that the Communists were a fanatical sect and compares them to the "Islamo-fascists" that we face today. He also gives an amazingly rounded portrait of the human side of the dictator and the people around him. We learn about Stalin's mistresses; that the secret policeman Yezov's flighty, doomed wife slept with the great writer Isaac Babel; that Stalin ordered the destruction of his wife Nadya's entire family (including one woman who had an affair with him.) This is an absolutely essential book which you must purchase immediately.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Last, a Stalin Study Free of Cold War Hyperbole!
Montefiore's study of Stalin is truly the first, comprehensive, academic study of Stalin WITHOUT the ubiquitious Cold War rhetoric and moral grandstanding of so many previous English language biographies. Unlike Payne, Ulam, Tucker, and Lacquer, for example, Montefiore provides readers with an exhaustive examination of Stalin and his close associates for what they really were: Human beings who loved, hated, gossiped, told bawdy jokes, back-stabbed, got drunk, went on picnics, struggled with self doubt, cried, worried about their careers, enjoyed singing folk songs, spent long hours at the office, played with their children, endured personal health problems, and grieved for lost family members. This book does NOT focus on geopolitics or diplomacy but rather the million-and-one seemingly day-to-day activities that make up the thing we call Existence. Based on many interviews and newly-opened Russian archives, Montefiore presents a fascinating, lively, and well written study for both the scholar and the general reader. Stalin and all of his lieutenants -- including Molotov, Kagonovitch, Mikoyan, Beria, Zhukov, and dozens of others -- are portrayed not as two-dimensional robots mindlessly spouting-off Marxist-Leninist slogans, but rather as ordinary persons struggling with the mundane pettiness of Life. As a result, this tome leaves nothing sacred, and makes no apology for the horrific crimes committed by the Stalin regime. Nevertheless, because of the everyday banality of these individuals, it only makes the reader think of the hatred and destruction ordinary humans are potentially capable of....

5-0 out of 5 stars Horrifyingly Fascinating Account of Stalin
I must admit that I feel a bit of guilt for the compulsive manner in which I read this highly personal account of life in the court of Stalin. This well-told story is horrible, but fascinating.

Montefiore makes no effort to dissect the big geopolitical issues of the Stalin era, except to use them as a backdrop to the backstabbing, denunciations, groveling, and horror in which the senior leadership of the Soviet Union operated from the early 30s until the early 50s. Using in-depth interviews and newly-available archival information, including much of the correspondence between and among the senior leadership, Montefiore fleshes out what was going on under the surface, in particular the complex love-hate (mostly hate) relationship of Stalin to his court.

It's a wonderful account of a country run by leaders who viewed their role more as mafiosi than as leaders of a legitimate government. In a real sense, they were gangsters and that's the way they ran the country--including the way Stalin required the leadership to all participate in the Great Terror (he wanted all them to have blood on their hands and thus share in the collective guilt).

The author's behind-the-scenes view of the Great Terror is the centerpiece of the book. His portraits of Yeshov and Beria, the two most malignant monsters after Stalin, will now be etched into my memory.

But in the end, the book is a portrait of Stalin, a man who could turn on the charm, perform an act of kindness for an old comrade, then in the next moment sign the death warrants of hundreds of innocent victims. I disagree with other reviewers who criticize the author for treating Stalin too kindly. There's no question where Montefiore stands: he views Stalin was a monster, and Stalin's occasional human touches makes him even more so.

I've had long-term interest in 20th century Russian history, particularly trying to understand how a country could find itself in the hands of the personification of evil. This book helps answer the question.

A final point. Montefiore is an excellent story teller. I don't pretend to be in position to judge all his conclusions, but they have the ring of truth to them, and the author is good about telling the reader when he's departed from evidence into speculation.

I recommend this book. I only wish that in reading it, I lacked the guilty fascination that comes from watching an entire nation turned into a train wreck by a single evil man. ... Read more

93. Memoirs (George F. Kennan Memoirs)
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394716248
Catlog: Book (1983-08-12)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 380448
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone involved in foreign affairs
In a very different period of time, I have travelled to (or lived in) almost all the places described in these memoirs. Furthermore, I have confronted - a generation or so removed - many similar anecdotes, characters and bureaucratic missteps. This book has a ring of authenticity that is striking. It describes the ordinary and then shifts smoothly to the momentous. I have not found anything else quite like it. (Leigh White's 'The Long Balkan Night' has this similar feature, but it's the story of a journalist).

With all of that said, I was nonetheless struck by Kennan's essential desire to survive by avoiding any personal risk. He was a successful bureaucrat. During his life, he derived his status entirely from his position, or membership in an organization, and not from any personal endeavour.

How many today would naively do as Kennan and, during a whole career, derive status from membership? There are too many other things on offer. And the bureaucracy now is, well, too bureaucratic. Thank God.

1-0 out of 5 stars kennan's filth
His writing lacks coherency and he seems as though he genuinely has no knowledge of the subject, a thoroughly challenging book with no discernable benefit. The conclusion is inadequate and unjust, perhaps he should learn the facts first.

5-0 out of 5 stars Historically Significant and Equally Sensitive - Rare Combo
It is extremely rare that the memoirs of someone who played a truly significant role in his country's history are also beautifully and sensitively written. They candidly reveal the shy and introspective man who also happen to have been a critical player in the U.S. relationship with the Soviet Union from the 1940s through the 1980s (from the late 1920s thorugh the 1950s in his governmental role and as historian and critic since then). Kennan is candid, brilliant, critical, and happens to have a wonderful writing style. This is personal history at its best. If you've read this one (which won the Pulitzer Prize), be sure to read the sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Life, a Penetrating Look
"Experience had convinced us that far more could be learned by careful, scholarly analysis of information legitimately available concerning any great nation than by the fanciest arrangements of clandestine intelligence."(p48)

"In the face of this knowledge, [of the inevitable Russion domination of Poland] I could only feel that there was something frivolous about our whole action in this Polish question. I reflected on the lightheartedness with which great powers offer advice to smaller ones in matters affecting the vital interests of the latter. I was sorry to find myself, for the moment, a part of this. And I wished that instead of mumbling words of official optimism we had had the judgment and the good taste to bow our heads in silence before the tragedy of a people who have been our allies, whom we have helped to save from our enemies, and whom we cannot save from our friends."(pp209/10)

"The strength of the Kremlin lies largely in the fact that it knows how to wait. But the strength of the Russian people lies in the fact that they know how to wait longer."(p511)

[On the German war crime trials] "I have already mentioned my aversion to our proceeding jointly with the Russians in matters of this nature. I should not like to be misunderstood on this subject. The crimes of the Nazi leaders were immeasurable. These men had placed themselves in a position where a further personal existence on this earth could have had no positive meaning for them or for anyone else. I personally considered that it would have been best if the Allied commanders had had standing instructions that if any of these men fell into the hands of Allied forces they should, once their identity had been established beyond doubt, be executed forthwith.

"But to hold these Nazi leader for public trial was another matter. This procedure could not expiate or undo the crimes they had committed. It could have been justified only as a means for conveying to the world public the repudiation, by the conscience of those peoples and governments conducting the trial, of mass crimes of every sort. To admit to such a procedure a Soviet judge as the representative of a regime which had on its conscience not only the vast cruelties of the Russian Revolution,of collectivization, and of the Russian purges of the 1930s, as well as the manifold brutalities and atrocities perpetrated against the Poles and the peoples of the Baltic countries during the wartime period, was to make a mockery of the only purpose the trials could conceivably serve, and to assume, by association, a share of the responsibility for these Stalinist crimes themselves."(pp260/1)

This is a great book. It shows the progress of a fine mind possessed of a practical scholarship and a moral voice in what were often excrutiatingly ambiguous circumstances.

Kennan was in Moscow in 1935 when Stalin began the purges; he was in Prague in 1938 when Germany invaded the Sudetenland; he was in Berlin when Germany declared war on the U.S.; he was the chief architect of the Marshall plan. Of course, he is associated with our Cold War policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union, an association that he regrets, since very little of it reflects his thinking. The book is a fascinating look at modern power politics from a bemused, but acute, inside observer. ... Read more

94. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038549565X
Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 6325
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.

In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.
... Read more

Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Saga
Numerous books have been written concerning the most depressing times as well as the most uplifting. Bookstores and libraries are filled with accounts and tales of the epic time period surrounding World War II. While many are quite factual and educational, they fail to grab the reader and make the material come to life. The New York Times called Ghost Soldiers "riveting and patriotically stirring." While this may seem high praise, it is in fact an understatement. Hampton Sides masterfully weaves the tales of the men who bravely fought for control of the Philippines and the touching story of Allied POW's and their rescuers. Because it is written in the form of a novel, it is easily readable and instantly captivating. It is not your typical history book filled with dry facts, but rather the emotional account of a story that should never have been forgotten. Ghost Soldiers recounts the greatest war story no one has heard of. It is a must read for all who wish to honor and remember the dedication, courage, and patriotism of our forefathers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ryan Derong - War Is Hell
Hampton Sides conjures up a masterpiece in his galvanizing story Ghost Soldiers. The setting of the book is in the Philippines during World War II. Confronted by starvation and depravation of supplies, the American army is forced to surrender to the Japanese. Despite Japanese promises of hospitality, the American soldiers are quickly rounded up and forced to participate in the infamous Bataan Death March. Incarcerated for years in horrid conditions, the prisoners must fight a personal war every day in the fight to survive. Many succumb to sickness or perish at the hands of the Japanese brutality. But, this story focuses on those who made it out alive at the hands of the American Ranger battalion.

I strongly recommend this book for it vividly portrays the grim situation of war without omitting lurid details. Sides does not back down from the cacophonous details. For example, in describing the burial of the dead prisoners, he describes how when a new body was thrown into the mass grave, you could hear the "crack of one skull on another." The story will leave a lasting impression which forces the reader to think twice about his fellow country men who fought to protect what was truly precious to both them and us, freedom.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Part Of History
I bought this book after a friend recommended it to me. She knew that my father survived the Bataan Death March & was a POW for almost 3 years, had been held at the Cabantuan prison camp & was there when this rescue took place. Funny to see the postcard shown in the book and I have the same one my father sent all those years ago.

My father is gone now, I only wish he could have read this book. It took years but at the urging of his family he finally wrote down in journal form the suffering and cruelty he received and saw handed out.

As the years went by his one great saddness was the fact that so many people, adults among them, had never even heard of the Bataan Death March. This is some small part of history that should be taught to our school children in a history class, but for some reason has been neglected.

Thank-you Hampton Sides for bringing this true life story to generations of people.

Renee Salewsky

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
When I first saw Sides' book I must admit I was a bit miffed. Forrest Bryant Johnson gave a fantastic account of the Cabanatuan resue in his book HOUR OF REDEMPTION and I felt like Sides was taking advantage of Johnson's great work.

However, Sides presents the story in a different way and includes many tidbits that are not found in Johnson's book, such as numerous Japanese atrocities and the massacre at Palawan. Sides also has a great writing style that I enjoyed immensely.

While Johnson's book is still the standard on this subject, Sides' book is a great addition to the field.

I rated GHOST SOLDIERS a 4-star rather than 5 as it contains no footnotes or endnotes, no index, and no table of contents. I believe that all serious history books should contain at least notes and and index.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unencumbered by details...
This book is aimed at the general reading public. Consequently, it lacks the detailed minutiae typically associated with military histories. That's good news for general readers who just want an interesting story. Bad if you're looking for details about organization, equipment, training, logistics, communications, etc. Stephen Ambrose, whose books were also aimed at a general audience, did a much better job of including sufficient detail in his work. Also, like many other books in this genre, "Ghost Soldiers" suffers from a dearth of adequate maps. You simply cannot write about military operations and not include good maps. As an aside, it may not be easy for American readers to dismiss the brutality of the Japanese. After reading "Ghost Soldiers", the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may seem less regretable. Almost forgot, there's no index either! ... Read more

95. Empire of the Stars : Friendship, Obsession, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes
by Arthur I. Miller
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 061834151X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-25)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 21466
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Book Description

In August 1930, on a voyage from Madras to London, a young Indian looked up at the stars and contemplated their fate. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar —Chandra, as he was called — calculated that certain stars would suffer a most violent death, collapsing to virtually nothing. This extraordinary claim, the first mathematical description of black holes, rankled one of the greatest astrophysicists of the day, Sir Arthur Eddington, who in 1935 publicly ridiculed Chandra, sending him into an intellectual and emotional tailspin — and hindering the progress of astrophysics for nearly forty years.

Tracing the rise of two great theories, relativity and quantum mechanics, which meet head on in black holes, Empire of the Stars is the dramatic story of this intellectual feud and its implications for
twentieth-century science. It"s also the moving tale of one man"s struggle against the establishment and of the deep-seated prejudices that plague even rational minds. Indeed, it wasn"t until the cold war that scientists realized the importance of Chandra"s work, which was finally awarded a Nobel Prize in 1983.

Set against the waning days of the British Empire, this sweeping history examines the quest to understand one of the most forbidding objects in the universe as well as the passions that fueled that quest over the course of a century.
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96. America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 with Poster
by George C Herring
list price: $39.68
our price: $39.68
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Asin: 0072536187
Catlog: Book (2001-11-15)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
Sales Rank: 200987
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Comprehensive yet concise, America’s Longest War provides a complete and balanced history of the Vietnam War. It is not mainly a military history, but seeks to integrate military, diplomatic, and political factors in order to clarify America’s involvement and ultimate failure in Vietnam. While it focuses on the American side of the equation, it provides sufficient consideration of the Vietnamese side to make the events comprehensible. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Herring focuses on diplomacy
Unlike most Vitenam books, America's Longest War chooses to examine the diplomacy element of the war instead of the typical military aspects of the conflict. I was assigned this as a textbook in my Vietnam War class in college and was surprised by the lack of military coverage in it. About two chapters into ALW, I realized that Herring was concentrating on what happened behind closed doors during the war and then it became more easy to understand. Herring also introduces the reader to the movers and shakers of the war and their reasoning behind their decisions. He also starts back with Truman's administration in dealing with French Indo-China and you get the story from the very beginning. Other books typically gloss over Truman and Ike and like to start in LBJ's administration.

Herring also informs the reader that contrary to the current popular opinion, JFK was NOT going to get out of Vietnam because he chose to let the aggressive Henry Cabot Lodge make key decisions in escalating the United States' involvement in South Vietnam. The reader begins to understand that the US lost the war in the diplomatic and political theaters and not on the battlefield. After all, the US military's job was to keep communists from taking over South Vietnam and while US troops were deployed in the country, that objective never happened.

I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in the Vietnam conflict. Although there is no coverage on military engagements, troop life, or popular battles like Khe Sanh and Dienbienphu, this book will give the reader answers on why we were there and who was making the decisions on what we did in Southeast Asia.

4-0 out of 5 stars Read the First Edition. Good, but needed North POV
I read the first edition of this book (published 1979). This is an excellent introduction into the Vietnam War. The book does focus on the politics and policies of the United States rather than more palatable topics such as the human stories of the war. The book gives a firm background into the years preceding American involvment in Vietnam. The first edition needed the perspective of communist sources to make it a more well rounded work, but of course at the time that was near impossible. A good book for anyone interested in a general history of the Vietnam war.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best introduction to the Vietnam War.
For anyone interested in a basic understanding of the politics and diplomacy of the Vietnam War, this is the place to start. It is widely used in college classes around the country. The style is very readable, and the book includes useful maps and an excellent bibliographic essay for further reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Vietnam War History in a Small Size
This history by Vietnam War expert Herring is by far the best general history of that war in a small, manageable size. It's suitable for both general readers and classroom use. As a bonus, the annotated bibliography is a terrific standalone resource, a wonderful guide for further study.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Info, but not a great read.
In retrospect, I enjoyed this book more than some of the other books about Vietnam that I've read. At the time, however, I viewed it as fairly boring. It contains a lot of useful information presented in a readable format. On the downside, it also contains a lot of policy and politics, which is not a subject of great interest to myself. It would prove to be an excellent source of information for any formal research paper or project, etc. All in all, a good book, but not very exciting. ... Read more

97. Asian Biblical Hermeneutics and Postcolonialism: Contesting the Interpretations (Bible & Liberation Series)
by R. S. Sugirtharajah
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
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Asin: 1570752052
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Orbis Books
Sales Rank: 235135
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98. Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings 1912-1949: New Democracy (1939-1941) (Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings, 1912-1949)
list price: $195.95
our price: $195.95
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Asin: 0765607948
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: East Gate Book
Sales Rank: 721669
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99. The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956
by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 0060007761
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 8096
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression -- the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.

Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims -- men, women, and children -- we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the "welcome" that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation. The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 -- a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle -- has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn's move back to Russia.

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Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fills in the historical blanks left from public education
Gulag provided for me a powerful and shocking history lesson I had never been taught in high school or college. So much has been taught on Hitler, but barely anything of substance on Soviet Communism. After reading this book, you'll understand the reasons for the so-called paranoia of McCarthyism. Ronald Reagan had it right when he called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." I found this book so compelling, though heart wrenching, that I went on to read "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" as well as a recent biography on Solzhenitsyn by D. M. Thomas called "Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life." I have come to the conclusion that nobody but a man like Solzhenitsyn could ever have written Gulag.

5-0 out of 5 stars Someone has to tell the truth
This is probably as significant a book as has been published in the 20th century. Not because it changed the course of history or influenced a huge number of people. It did neither of these things. The history it deals with was already long passed and its size and severity kept it from being read by a mass audience. Still, it is significant because it tells a story that otherwise could not have been told. The full extent of what happened during the half century of Soviet rule to millions of Soviet citizens is the focus of this book and Solzhenitsyn's narrative, often numbing in the regularity of repeated cycles of arrests, 'trials', and imprisonment, seems to be his effort at repaying those who perished - at insuring that they are remembered and that those who subjected them to lives of torture are remembered for what they did.

Solzhenitsyn is a true hero of the 20th century. A military officer of the Soviet Union during WWII, he was imprisoned for writing a letter that included a joke about Stalin. During his time in prison he met numerous others who had been in different camps - different places and different types - and started piecing together in his mind the full scale of the vast Gulag enterprise which eventually consumed more of his contrymen than the total count of those of all countries who died in WWII. That the size and scope of this mass internment was kept virtually a secret to most of the world (and to most Russians)for so long is only part of the horror to which Solzhenitzyn is responding.

From his first book, A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovitch, a small volumn about a single day in the life of a typical Gulag prisoner - smuggled out of Russia and published in the West - he has devoted his life to various tellings of his country's recent history. Most of it to do with the Gulag. This isn't pleasant stuff. It isn't tight fiction like Darkness At Noon. This is the real stuff with no prettifying. He feels that someone had to tell the truth. We owe it to him to listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Work of Non-Fiction
This is an amazing book. It is long, but well written, despite the translation. It shows the pattern of injustices and tortures to the point of the reader's acceptance and perhaps understanding. For those of us who have never experienced such, it is a peak at something that seems important to understand.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best!
Review by Mike, Age 13

Solzhenitsyn does an excellent job of retelling the story of the atrocities of the Soviet Union. The Gulag Archipelago is a disturbing account of what happened inside the Gulag prisons. This is an account about the things hidden from the public and the things the Marxists wanted to keep hidden. And how he gave a first person account of prison life, well that was just amazing! His vivid descriptions about the kinds of arrests that took place I thought was very interesting and an amazing brainchild of a distorted Soviet Union!

How Stalin could turn an innocent gesture of two long lost friends being reunited into an arrest is beyond me. The Gulag Archipelago is an excellent book that unveiled an entirely new side of the Soviet Union and its perverted system of justice. It's a great book for historians and World War II buffs, or even if you are trying to find out more about the Soviet Union. The Gulag Archipelago is quite possibly one of the best books I've ever read! I would recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in the Soviet Union. (Content will be confusing for younger readers.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy smoke!
After I read this book I bought a rifle! ... Read more

100. The Russian Provisional Government 1917: Documents (Hoover Institution Publications)
list price: $125.00
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Asin: 0804700230
Catlog: Book (1961-06-01)
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Sales Rank: 752671
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