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    $13.57 list($19.95)
    1. The World Is Flat : A Brief History
    $55.99 $46.88 list($69.99)
    2. Annals of the World: James Ussher's
    $16.47 $16.45 list($24.95)
    3. The New Concise History of the
    $19.77 list($29.95)
    4. Collapse: How Societies Choose
    $19.80 $12.70 list($30.00)
    5. Behind the Lines: Powerful and
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    6. The CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND
    $36.71 $32.18
    7. The Cambridge Illustrated History
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    8. The Cambridge World History of
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    9. Incompleteness: The Proof and
    $109.33 $64.47
    10. Civilization in the West, Single
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    11. History: Fiction or Science?
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    12. Military Innovation in the Interwar
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    13. The Great Influenza: The Epic
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    14. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True
    $47.25 $39.87 list($75.00)
    15. A History of the Modern World
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    16. Traditions and Encounters, Volume
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    17. Makers of Modern Strategy from
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    18. All Those Mornings…at The Post:
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    19. The New History of the World
    $65.00 $7.48
    20. LIFE : Our Century in Pictures

    1. The World Is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas L. Friedman
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593977514
    Catlog: Book
    Publisher: Audio Renaissance
    Sales Rank: 512
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim, in his new book, The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here. The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists--the optimistic ones at least--are inevitably prey to.

    What Friedman means by "flat" is "connected": the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet. This in itself should not be news to anyone. But the news that Friedman has to deliver is that just when we stopped paying attention to these developments--when the dot-com bust turned interest away from the business and technology pages and when 9/11 and the Iraq War turned all eyes toward the Middle East--is when they actually began to accelerate. Globalization 3.0, as he calls it, is driven not by major corporations or giant trade organizations like the World Bank, but by individuals: desktop freelancers and innovative startups all over the world (but especially in India and China) who can compete--and win--not just for low-wage manufacturing and information labor but, increasingly, for the highest-end research and design work as well. (He doesn't forget the "mutant supply chains" like Al-Qaeda that let the small act big in more destructive ways.) Friedman tells his eye-opening story with the catchy slogans and globe-hopping anecdotes that readers of his earlier books and his New York Times columns will know well, and also with a stern sort of optimism. He wants to tell you how exciting this new world is, but he also wants you to know you're going to be trampled if you don't keep up with it. His book is an excellent place to begin. --Tom Nissley

    Where Were You When the World Went Flat?

    Thomas L. Friedman's reporter's curiosity and his ability to recognize the patterns behind the most complex global developments have made him one of the most entertaining and authoritative sources for information about the wider world we live in, both as the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times and as the author of landmark books like From Beirut to Jerusalem and The Lexus and the Olive Tree. They also make him an endlessly fascinating conversation partner, and we'd happily have peppered him with questions about The World Is Flat for hours. Read our interview to learn why there's almost no one from Washington, D.C., listed in the index of a book about the global economy, and what his one-plank platform for president would be. (Hint: his bumper stickers would say, "Can You Hear Me Now?")

    The Essential Tom Friedman


    From Beirut to Jerusalem

    The Lexus and the Olive Tree

    Longitudes and Attitudes

    More on Globalization and Development


    China, Inc. by Ted Fishman

    Three Billion New Capitalists by Clyde Prestowitz

    The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs

    Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz

    In Defense of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati

    The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto

    ... Read more

    Reviews (90)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The World IS Flat
    I was super excited when I heard about this book - finally something proclaiming something that I knew all along -but a little of the way into it, I got the feeling Friedman was being facetious with his title.That he didn't actually think the world WAS flat.My point is, the world IS flat.


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    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting History, But Erroroneous Conclusions
    Friedman provides an excellent summary of recent changes that have created today's intense global economy. However, his conclusion that this is good for the U.S. - based on anecdotal evidence supplied by outsourcing supporters - is dead wrong.

    Broader data show massive deterioration in U.S. workers' healthcare and pension coverage, and opportunities to use and develop higher-level skills (eg. software, engineering, production management, technical skills). The most recent data even show a decline in inflation-adjusted incomes. Meanwhile, the areas being outsourced continues to grow to now include tutors, and drug trials.

    Friedman observes that Asian competitors are quick learners, moving up the "food chain" from simple production managed by Americans to designing new sophisticated equipment and parts and then manufacturing them under local management. What he fails to note is that sooner or later they will also take over total control and financing - leaving only U.S. distribution to Americans. Thus, most of those that now support outsourcing will eventually find themselves also outsourced.

    Friedman does have a recommendation for America in the "flattened world" - substantially improve education and pupil achievement. Unfortunately, even if accomplished (30+ years of reform efforts have yet to come close), it would be of little help. Experts have concluded that Oriental IQs generally average 10 points higher than those of Americans. China alone has about four times the U.S. population, and then there's India, Pakistan, South America, etc. - earning as little as 5% of what Americans bring in. Meanwhile, eg. the number of U.S. computer science students is DECLINING - as a result of unemployment caused by outsourcing.

    In addition, American corporations are hobbled by having to pay high healthcare costs, vs. other nations' much lower costs - largely born by government. And finally there are the government restrictions on genetic research that American firms are hobbled with - possibly precluding significant participation in a potentially booming new area.

    Clearly the mathematics are against us and the inevitable result is that our standard of living is headed for a substantial fall - unless some other solution is found. Rome, Spain, and England proved that a nation's strength is not permanent. Friedman summarized the factors eroding America's - unfortunately, he failed to look clearly into the future or to find a solution. And those should be America's main concern

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    Although written in a journalistic (and enjoyable) manner, Friedman provides an excellent overview of how the adoption of new information and communication technologies, as well as supply-chain, work-flow and knowledge management, are accelerating the process of world economic integration.

    Some of the more critical aspects of globalization (e.g., environmental, labor and other social impacts) could have received more attention.

    I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting... Outstanding... Scary... Best of 2005 (so far)
    It's taking me a while to get through "The World Is Flat". This is not like some books that you can read in one afternoon or evening, such as Mark Burnett's "Jump In", just to mention another book I read recently. In fact, it's taken me several weeks, reading a chapter here and a subchapter there, and then letting it sink in for a while.

    There are some that are not buying into Tom Friedman's basic contention, which is (1) the opportunities/threats for more international competition for global trade and services are real, (2) power has shifted from states (up to 1800) to companies (1800-2000) to individuals at the start of the 21st century, and (3) the higher educational system in the US is not adequately prepared for the "quiet storm". To those that don't believe this, I feel sorry for them, for they are not in touch with the real world! My son is about to enter college in a few months, and I'm worried about the competition he will face coming out of college. I love Tom's story about his advice to his daughters: "Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to tell me 'Tom, finish your dinner--people in India and China are starving'. My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework--people in China and India are starving for your jobs!"

    Friedman does an excellent job in setting the table on how this all came about, in the so-called 10 forces that flattened the world, including the rise of the Intels and Googles of the world, the outsourcing and offshoring phenoms, etc. I strongly believe that, instead of trying to be protectionist for the sake of hanging on to a few more jobs for a few more years, America instead should find the inspiration to look at what's next to add value in the world economy of today, tomorrow and 20 years from now. Does anyone really believe that imposing quotas on Chinese textile imports will "save" the American textile industry (just to name one industry)? Hardly. At the same time, there are American textile companies thriving today by understanding the new global economic environment they are competing in and then taking advantage of it.

    I can't easily recall another book that has made such an impact on me. There is lots to be learned from Friedman's book, even if as you read it, it all sounds so self-evident (as I see it happen all around me). "The World Is Flat" should be required reading in colleges around the country. And this surely will be one of the best books (if not the very best) of 2005 when all is said and done. Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Provocative and Insightful...and Unclear
    Thomas Friedman is a gifted writer. I very much enjoyed his book and learned a great deal from it. His main thesis, that the playing field has been leveled all over the world due to the rise of the machines (sorry, couldn't resist), makes a good deal of sense to me. His ten causes were clearly outlined and easy to follow. I very much enjoyed the little vignettes from the call center in Bangalore, the housewife in Utah, etc. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. Also, the cover art--mine had the ships sailing towards the edge--was outstanding!

    I do feel Friedman could have made his own point of view more clear, however. He makes it clear that technology has made outsourcing, insourcing, informing, offshoring a common business practice. He does not make his opinion of this practice clear. The huge elephant in the room is the fact that American employees are losing their jobs in this new flat world. It was unclear to me whether Friedman was somewhat neutral: "This is just the way of the world now and we must live with it and try to rise to the top of the global workplace" or whether he was making a more positive statement: "The planet has finally reached the point where we can all play ball together and isn't that just grand?"

    In other words, does Friedman view this new flat world as somehow better than the old round one?

    On another note, as one who sees middle school and high school students struggle daily to read and to write basic English, I was a bit put off by Friedman's take on NCLB and its subset, Reading First. Of course, science and engineering, math and medicine is the goal. It is definitely cause for concern that our country is creating fewer finalists in these fields and that our government is currently cutting those budgets. However, let's be smart about this: Reading comes first. Literacy is the cornerstone of a strong civilization. I did not feel that Friedman did due diligence to the magnitude and complexity of the educational crisis our country is facing. ... Read more


    2. Annals of the World: James Ussher's Classic Survey of World History
    by James Ussher, LARRY PIERCE, MARION PIERCE
    list price: $69.99
    our price: $55.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0890513600
    Catlog: Book (2003-10)
    Publisher: Master Books
    Sales Rank: 32915
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Master Books commissioned this important literary work to be updated from the 17th-century original Latin manuscript to modern English and made available to the general public for the first time. In its pages can be found the fascinating history of the ancient world from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

    Find Out:
    • Why was Julius Caesar kidnapped in 75 B.C.?
    • Why did Alexander the Great burn his ships in 326 B.C.?
    • What really happened when the sun "went backward" as a sign to Hezekiah?
    • What does secular history say about the darkness at the Crucifixion? ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars James Ussher was extremely knowledgeable
    He was very knowledgeable to true history, and not the evolutionary fairy tales that exists today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
    I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, and was amazed beyond my best expectations. The first day I picked it up, I could hardly put it down, reading long past midnight. The descriptions of the people, the rulers, the battles, the times, are fascinating. Not only is there a treasure trove of biblical information, but also many first person accounts of encounters with Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, etc. The source materials used are from the people who were there! Any one with an interest in history and notable people of the past will be fascinated. Remember Herod, who ordered the slaughter of the infants when Jesus was born? According to this, he included his own children! Read about Ptolemy Philopator, who in 216 BC tried to murder all the Jews in Alexandria by locking them in the hippodrome with 500 drunken elephants. (It didn't work.) Really, you have to see this to believe it. This is definitely worth every penny.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Go To School, You Delinquent!
    Instead of going to school, I read this instead. I win! Summary: For more than three hundred years, Ussher's colossal Annals of the World remained inaccessible to all but the most esoteric of scholars. This is the first-ever English translation of this enormously important work. A hero of biblical chronology and one of the most astute church historians ever, Ussher is both loved and hated. He is loved by all those who share a commitment to the fidelity of Genesis as an accurate account of human origins, and who consistently hold to the literal, grammatical, historical approach to Bible interpretation. He is hated by evolutionists and compromising theologians who would seek to integrate evolutionary cosmology with the philosophy of science advocated in Holy Scripture. Many thanks to the people at Masters Books for years of research and hard work to bring this volume back to life, and in such a beautiful form. As of this writing, Amazon does not have a photo of this great-looking edition, but it is truly heirloom quality.
    What Augustine was for orthodoxy and Calvin was for theology, James Ussher was for Biblical historiography. No man in church history left a more indelible imprint on the thinking of Christians concerning the chronology of the ancient world than Ussher. Though he was an Anglican Archbishop of Ireland who died during the rule of Cromwell, Ussher was decidedly a Puritan. He was so revered by all, including Cromwell (an independent), that Ussher was given the honor of being buried in Westminster Abbey.
    For three hundred years, his rigorous and comprehensive scholarship on chronology and biblical history was considered the unassailable standard by theologians. Until the very recent takeover of our major seminaries by misguided theories of origins which integrate evolutionary cosmology with Scripture at the expense of sound theology and sound science, Ussher's work was not only a staple of Christian education, but his comments were found in the margin notes of many King James Bibles.
    Ussher did what no other theologian of note had ever accomplished. He dedicated an entire lifetime of study to the issue of world history and chronology. His studies required him to travel extensively throughout Europe, examining the oldest and most rare manuscripts in the world, manuscripts which today are missing or have been destroyed, which is why Ussher's work can never be replicated.
    Dr. Francis Nigel Lee (who has more than ten doctorates), a biographer and commentator on Ussher, explains that the Dublin-born prelate was "raised in a Bible-believing Calvinistic environment. He soaked himself in the Holy Scriptures without ceasing. He also read the Early Church Fathers - systematically, every day, for eighteen years. After becoming Professor of Divinity at Dublin's Trinity College in 1607, he wrote the Irish Articles during the next decade. Head of Ireland's foremost Theological Faculty, Ussher was internationally the greatest Anglican antiquarian and theologian of his age - if not of all time."
    Ussher not only gave us a reliable date for the age of the Earth and drafted the documents which were the primary influence outside the Scriptures themselves on the Westminister Confession of Faith, but he proved through his exhaustive and well-documented research that the first five hundred years of Christianity in Ireland predated the influence of the Roman church. According to Lee:
    "Ussher was very emphatic that Christianity had first reached the British Isles not via Rome but directly from Palestine. He put the arrival date, shortly after Calvary, at around A.D. 35f and not at all at around A.D. 596f (and from the Vatican). (See Ussher's 1631 Discourse of the Religion Anciently Professed by the Irish and British and his 1639 Antiquities of the British Churches. Especially the latter is highly impressive. The Schaff Herzog Encyclopaedia rightly describes it as a work of twenty years' labour, great research, and critical penetration.) Ussher was a pioneer in the historiography of the Early Church. He set out to prove that the Ancient Church in the British Isles was independent of the Roman Church and its later unscriptural traditions. Ussher's various views themselves derived from the remnants of Irish Culdeeism or Proto Protestantism readily found themselves into the later Westminster Standards based upon his own Irish Articles."

    Hundreds of years after first publishing this work for the scholars of his day, Master Books has accomplished the massive and expensive task of translating the entire 960-page tome so that this rare treasure trove of ancient history can, for the first time, be accessible to the general public. Updated from a seventeenth-century Latin manuscript into modern English, "The Annals of the World" contains the fascinating history of the ancients, from the Genesis creation through the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70. At last, students have a comprehensive history of the ancient world which allows them to draw heavily from Scripture and primary source documents. Despite the open mockery of him by evolutionists committed to their own religiously driven view of earth history, Ussher's scholarship remains unassailable and has stood the test of time.

    Annals of the World is packaged in a beautiful display box, and the volume itself is smythe-sewn with gold-gilded edges and foil embossing. It includes eight appendices, and contains over ten thousand footnotes from the original text which have been updated to references from works in the Loeb Classical Library by Harvard Press.

    This is perhaps the most significant Christian publishing event of 2003. This is a multi-generational book, meant to be passed to your children. Christian fathers owe it to their posterity to acquire this volume and display it in a place of prominence in the family library. ... Read more


    3. The New Concise History of the Crusades, Revised Edition
    by Thomas F. Madden
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0742538222
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-25)
    Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 2356
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march in Christ's name to distant lands. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades' effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Superior Introduction to a Fascinating Topic
    The author of this book is the most distinguished historian of the crusades in the U.S.I worried, though, that his erudition would make the book overly complex and unreadable.I shouldn't have worried!This book is a joy to read.Madden brings out the tension, excitement, and human drama of the crusades.Best of all, it is not the usual rehash of tired cliches, but instead the story is based on the best and most recent research.This is that rare book that appeals not only to professional historians, but also to interested general readers as well.If you want to know the truth about the crusades, grab this book!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Captivating reading....but also an apology for the Crusades
    Assuming that the documents on which the book is based are factual, it does contain a lot of interesting information, whose verification of course would take a lifetime of meticulous research and a great deal of financial resources. Not since the historical volumes of Will and Ariel Durant, which covered the Crusades, has there been a work that adds strong personal viewpoints regarding the Christian religion. The commentary of the Durants and that of author of this book are diametrically opposed regarding Christianity, but it definitely distracts readers who are extremely curious about the causes and historical context behind the Crusades. However, since the author has chosen to include opinions on the moral legitimacy of the Crusades, readers are justified in making critical analysis of these opinions.

    The atrocities of 9/11 are of course mentioned in the preface, and the author's bias against the Islamic faith is expressed early on. Indeed, in the second paragraph of the book the author makes it a point to remind the reader that unlike Christianity the Islamic faith had a notion of holy war before the Middle Ages. It took the Roman Emperor Constantine, in his conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312 to realize that Christians, who endured brutal persecution for two centuries, now had armies and power at their disposal. And, as the author points out, this caused St. Augustine in the fifth century to formulate criteria for a "just war." Such a war was not to be one waged for religious conversion or for destroying heresies. The Crusades and the Inquisition are two examples where his formulation was corrupted and abused, and this corruption and abuse has continued to this day. In the intervening centuries intense competition for carnage and horror took place between Islam and Christianity. It is hard to say who won this competition, given the level of brutality exhibited by each. The city of Jerusalem was one of the major sources of contention and "moral justification" for the Crusades, as is readily apparent when reading this book. Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem filled the coffers of those who ruled the city, but this enrichment still did not suppress its political instability. It is very troubling that one city could be responsible for so much violence, and this violence continues to this day.

    There are many interesting discussions in this book however, and due to its size the knowledge it contains can be rapidly assimilated. The reader learns for example of the "Children's Crusade," which arose, as can be expected, from the incessant preaching for the Crusades that occurred in northern France and various areas in Germany. Fortunately, and the author relieves quickly the readers anxiety, this Crusade was not made up of children, and not really a crusade in comparison to the rest. It was made up of a collection of "unknown" people, who no doubt really believed in the content of the preaching they listened to. The author describes their march to the Holy Land, which ended in tragedy, some of them being sold as slaves. Their efforts were nullified, no books have been written exclusively about them. Being mere footnotes in history, they did not qualify for the "great people of history," and no canonization or glorification was imputed to them.

    But one crusader stands out in the book as being more heroic and morally sound than the rest, and it is easy to question the author's objectivity in his description of this crusader, due to his academic affiliation. Indeed, the picture painted of St. Louis is one of extreme piety, generosity, and holiness. Being king of the most enriched country in Europe at the time gave him access to resources that enabled him to crusade for the liberation of Jerusalem. But despite the abundance of material wealth, St. Louis of course had to motivate people to follow him into battle. The author describes him as being very "inspiring" to the troops, and a "gifted leader." There is no reason to doubt this, as wars are not fought by one man, but with many who must control their fears and engage in activity that is not directly in their interests. Religion of course always helps in supplying this courage, which St. Louis was eager to supply. The individuals who accompanied St. Louis are of course not remembered; they were not canonized, and no American cities were named after them. But even though the author chose to characterize St. Louis as one who viewed the conquest of Jerusalem as the "greatest act of devotion to Christ," the fact remains that the Crusades he led were inhumane, immoral acts, having absolutely no ethical justification, and a complete waste of time and resources, just like the others. ... Read more


    4. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    by Jared M. Diamond, Jared Diamond
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0670033375
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-29)
    Publisher: Viking Books
    Sales Rank: 4859
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    Book Description

    In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how andwhy Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them todominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the otherside of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin,and what can we learn from their fates?

    As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesisthrough a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultureson Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finallyto the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern ofcatastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwisepolitical choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies foundsolutions and persisted. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster toRwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite ourown society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warningsigns have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.

    Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place asone of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoidcommitting ecological suicide? ... Read more


    5. Behind the Lines: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters -- and One Man's Search to Find Them
    by Andrew Carroll
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743256166
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 4022
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the editor of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller War Letters comes an even more powerful, more revealing collection of letters by soldiers and civilians from both sides in every major war in our history -- all discovered during Andrew Carroll's extraordinary journey to thirty-five countries around the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The reality of war revealed
    Andy Carroll's last book - War Letters - showed what war is like by reprinting letters of American combatants who had ac-tually fought those wars.(I should confess that one of my letters about Vietnam was reprinted in that book.)

    Andy's new book - Behind The Lines - shows what war is like with reprints of letters from both combatants and non-combatants - civilian women and children.This book also in-cludes letters written by non-Americans as well as Americans.

    Andy limited the letters to those from the wars in which America was involved.Thsee wars range from the Revolutionary War (there's a great letter from a Hessian soldier [Hessians were German soldiers "leased" to Great Britain to fight as mer-cenaries] giving his impressions of America and the poor fighting ability of the rebels), the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam (there's a good letter from a soldier asking his parents to forgive him for having killed a man in combat), Kosovo and Gulf Wars I and II.

    While many letters deal with combat, other letters show the many faces of war.At times, war can be terrifying, funny, ab-surd, touching and hilarious.(You know you've been fighting too long when the same incident strikes you as both terrifying and hilarious.)

    One letter was a love letter written by a California woman to a Swiss national.In fact, the letter was complete fabrication.The Swiss national actually was a German spy traveling in Great Britain during WWII.The letter was created to make his cover seem more believable.

    One letter was from a brother who had enlisted in the Union army in the U.S. Civil War.He wrote to berate his brother for having enlisted in the Confederate army.

    One letter was from a German wife to her husband's company commander.She requested that her husband be given a leave "because of our sexual relationship."She wanted her husband to come home so they can have sex.The commander's sym-pathetic reply is included in the book.

    One letter writer came up with a list of "The Army's Ten Commandments," which should bring a smile to anyone who served in the Army.Commandment number four is, "Thou shall not laugh at second lieutenants."

    One writer came up with a letter filled with multiple choice op-tions.By checking various options, he could either proclaim his undying love or write about an upcom-ing/imminent/current/recent military offensive.

    Several letter writers tried to warn their families that they should prepare for a slight adjustment period when the men come home.One Vietnam writer warned, "If it should start raining, pay no attention to his joyous scream as he strips naked, grabs a bar of soap, and runs outdoors for a shower."(As a Vietnam veteran, I found that letter puzzling.Doesn't everybody shower that way?)

    The book is divided into several themes that illustrate the dif-ferent faces of war:friendship; combat; laughing though the tears; civilians caught in the crossfire; and the aftermath of war.

    As a Vietnam Infantry pointman and squad leader, I view a book about war differently from most people.Andy's book showed me a side of war I had never considered - its impact on non-combatants - who could neither run away (what any sane person does when people are trying to kill him) nor fight (if you're going to die anyway, why not die fighting?).

    The book also showed me what I already knew from my own experience:that war changes forever those touched by it.

    One Vietnam veteran was haunted by the fact that several of his comrades had died rescuing him after he was seriously wounded.So decades after the end of the Vietnam war, he left a letter at the Vietnam Memorial thanking those men for their sacrifice.That letter is included in the book.

    Don't buy this book if you are looking for stories about triumphant soldiers marching in victory parades in front of cheering, grateful crowds.That's not the side of war that Andy wanted to show.Instead, the book shows the side of war that doesn't make the 5:00 TV news.

    You will need to read this book in small doses because the emotional impact of the letters can be overwhelming.In Los Angeles I attended a reading of selected letters from the book.One of the speakers read a letter he had written as a Jewish teenager while riding in a sealed railway car on his way to a German concentration camp.The letter told his sister how much he loved her.He pushed the finished letter through a hole in the side of the railway car and hoped that a kind peasant would find and mail it to his sister.One did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars incredibly moving book
    This compilation is marvelously well-edited and includes an incredible variety of letters from soldiers and civilians from numerous wars.The author has put together a very nuanced, clear-eyed, resonant and moving collection and has written helpful, insightful descriptions throughout the book. This book would make a great gift. ... Read more


    6. The CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND THE REMAKING OF WORLD ORDER
    by Samuel P. Huntington
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684844419
    Catlog: Book (1998-01-28)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 1540
    Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Based on the author's seminal article in Foreign Affairs, Samuel P. Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order is a provocative and prescient analysis of the state of world politics after the fall of communism. In this incisive work, the renowned political scientist explains how "civilizations" have replaced nations and ideologies as the driving force in global politics today and offers a brilliant analysis of the current climate and future possibilities of our world's volatile political culture. ... Read more

    Reviews (180)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Provocative. Interesting. True?
    Huntington's thesis is that the post-Cold War world is no longer bipolar (Free World vs. Communist World, with the rest (the "Third World") scrambling around in between) but "multipolar" and "multicivilizational". The centers of gravity in this new world order, he argues, are various "civilizations", defined along religious, cultural and linguistic lines: Western Civilization, Latin American, African, Islamic, Sinic (Chinese), Hindu, Orthodox, Buddhist, Japanese. Huntington argues that this map of civilizations will help us to understand current and future conflicts, which increasingly are "fault-line" conflicts in which states or peoples belonging to different civilizations clash.

    Secondarily, he argues that Western civilization is not universal and is in decline. Islamic Civilization, in the middle of a huge demographic surge, is involved in most of the world's conflicts. Muslims tend to interpret conflicts between other Muslims and Western states as clashes of civilization (the West vs. Islam). These (secondary) points, of course, guaranteed the book a sudden increase in fame after September 11, 2001.

    By and large this is an informative and interesting book. Huntington's discussion of the "bloody borders" of Islam, for instance, is eye-opening and more than a little disturbing. No doubt he is right that an understanding of civilizational differences will help policy makers to better understand current and future conflicts. But I think he pushes his thesis a bit too hard, with a bit too much cultural determinism.

    For starters, I think he sells the West short. Western ideals are not held by everyone, it's true, but they are held by more and more people all the time. They aspire to be universal and are compatible with any religion. Civilizations change. They also spread. This is true, for instance, of Islam, an Arabian export which now has a presence pretty much everywhere. It's also true of Western culture, which has gone from tiny Classical Greece throughout the world. A future scenario which Huntington does not envision is the increasing adoption of Western-style liberal government, undermining the faultlines between civilizations.

    Also, Huntington claims that, increasingly, non-Western countries modernize without Westernizing. In so arguing, he never defines "modernization", but it's clear that he means modernization in a technological sense: better hospitals, bridges and guns. What Huntington ignores is the link between Western culture and technological innovation. Any country which does not adopt such Western norms as individualism, free rational inquiry, the separation of church and state and a dense civil society (i.e., a wide variety of organizations and powers, like religions, guilds, unions, corporations, etc.) can only "modernize" by importing technology. It will therefore always be a step behind countries with Western-style cultures, and the West will continue to be more competitive and therefore very seductive.

    Why can't Iranians or Iraqis, for instance, have a liberal state? To say they can't and won't and are doomed by Islam to live in repressive states that chomp at the bit and hate the West seems to me a sort of bigotry. Huntington is provocative and should be read. In the end, I think he's way too fatalistic to be right.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Elegantly Simple & Amazingly Descriptive Framework
    With the end of the Cold War, some writers wondered if it was "the end of history." However, Samuel P. Huntington postulates we are simply entering a new era of history in which "civilizations" (which are a function of religion, culture and ethnic roots) will be more important than political or economic ideology in determing geopolitics. Huntingon describes eight civilizations that include African, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Islamic, Japanese, Latin American, Confucian/Sinic & Western. Rather than the bipolar power structure of the last half of the 20th Century, Huntington's new world order is multipolar and multicivilizational. Within Huntington's book, the West is and will remain the most powerful civilization for some time into the future. Yet it will face increasing rivalry from Islamic societies and the Confucian society led by China.

    Huntington counsels that, in the future, avoidance of major intercivilizational wars requires core states within each civilization to refrain from intervening in conflicts within other civilizations. This will obviously require a new kind of discipline for leading nations. Huntington's assessment of the militaristic legacy of Islam, the "indigestibility" of Muslims and the "bloody borders" of Islam is thought provoking, enlightening and supported with solid analysis. Huntington also argues the absence of a strong "core state" within the Islamic civilization is "destabilizing." Whereas many books of this genre seem to be long on analysis and short on solutions, Huntington provides both and does so in an elegantly simply framework that is amazingly prescient in predicting how events around the world have developed since the book was published. Many people may choose to differ with Huntington's brilliant, bold, and provocative observations, but his ideas deserve apt and thoughtful consideration from policy makers and interested citizens as they shape their own opinions about current events. A very interesting read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reality Check
    This book is a dry read. It does not have any political affiliations. It would be a great read for naive people who view the world politics and movements through a rose-colored glasses. The books presents facts as they are and stresses the point that the current state of affairs in the world is a natural continuation of the civilizational divide that has been with us for hundreds of years and will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future.

    As an additional read I would also recommend "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" by David Landes and "What Went Wrong" by Bernard Lewis.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Important analysis, questionable conclusions
    Samuel Huntington has been called everything from a racist bigot to one of the most brillant minds of the 20th century. Reading the "Clash of Civilizations" prepares one to grapple with the complex and important issues of today.

    Huntington's thesis is that the world is understand neither from traditional realist principles which centre on the nation-state, or liberal principles which centre on values such as freedom and interdependence. The world is understood through the clash and intermingling of different cultures. Huntington's analysis is interesting and in a lot of cases, bang on.

    However in some issues, Huntington interprets things too simplistically and without context. He makes rather disturbing comments about the Islamic world that can be interpreted as small-minded. Nonetheless everyone would be wise to read it himself and be the judge.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pure Propaganda
    This is a dangerous book especially for those who do'nt know much about Islam, Asia and the Mideast.
    The main idea of the book is that " If we don't destroy them, they will destroy us " whch is a justification for the imperialism The U.S government is practicing on the world nowadays.
    Simpely thre is no clash of " Civilizations " but a clash of " Fundamentalisms " I reccomend ( The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity ) by Tariq Ali instead of this ' Pure Propaganda '. ... Read more


    7. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)
    list price: $36.71
    our price: $36.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521794315
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-11)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 3971
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare provides a unique account of Western warfare from antiquity to the present. The book treats all aspects of the subject from the Greeks to the nuclear age: the development of warfare on land, sea and air; weapons and technology; strategy and defense; discipline and intelligence.Throughout, there is an emphasis on the socio-economic aspects of war: who pays for it, how can its returns be measured, and to what extent does it explain the rise of the West to global dominance over two millennia?Geoffrey Parker is one of the world's leading authorities on military history and is the editor of The Times Atlas of World History (1993) and the author of The Military Revolution (Cambridge,1988). ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Summary On The Evolution of Western Warfare
    As with its political and economic systems, Western Europe came to develop very unique military institutions that had evolved from Greco-Roman military doctrines applying war as a science and as a precise instrument towards defined political ends: emphasizing on uniform training and equipment as well as strict discipline.This book studies the evolution of Western military institutions from antiquity to modern times and demonstrates how these progressive changes contributed to the modern doctrines of Western warfare that are used today by every nation-state.

    Geoffrey Parker did an excellent job in this work.Although many illustrative books are just that, this book has very detailed explanations in addition to very useful illustrations such as photos, maps, and diagrams.The book covers all of the important aspects of Western military evolution.For example, it will start by explaining how the early Greek phallanx comprised of citizen farmers was a significant factor to developing the citizen armies of the Roman legions to the later nation-state armies of 18th century Europe.The book looks at the impact of important military/political thinkers such as Thucydides, Caesar, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz, in the evolution of military doctrine.The book of course makes sure to cover how advances in science and engineering such as siege engines, firearms, and explosives changed the conduct of warfare and how armies adapted to such changes.

    This is nothing short of an excellent book that has the right balance between text and illustrations.Unlike other illustrative texts that are mostly pictures with little substance, this book is extremely thorough and detailed as to the main factors responsible towards the unique evolution of western military institutions and their impact on the world.I strongly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview of Warfare
    This book provides a good first glance at the various stages of warfare that have come and gone throughout human history, from Greek Hoplites to guerilla warfare. The illustrations in this book are very beautiful and informative, and a number of insets provide interesting factoids.

    This book is ideally suited for those wanting a good overview of the history of warfare. Be forewarned, though, that this book should not be used as a reference except for general facts in the history of warfare. Battle formations, major skirmishes and important people make up the majority of the content. Smaller details are not included, for the most part.

    Overall, this is a great book to own. I bought it for a college course a few years back and kept it afterwards. This is a good starting-off point for any interested in military history.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Jumping Off Point
    As a student I found this book to be helpful and articulate. It has a lot of ground to cover--Ancient Greece to the present day--and does a remarkable job of conveying what happened and why. Though it is occasionally dry, I found myself engaged throughout. My only complaint is that it maybe could have benefited from being a bit longer. Brevity is certainly a virtue, but when your topic is as large as this one, I think a longer book is justified. It's definately nice to have around as a reference book too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    The book accomplishes its goal amazingly well with clear graphics, lucid text, and wonderful accuracy. Easily the best in its field, the book gives you a profound understanding and knowledge of the european wars. Thechapters are well written and up-to-date. The bibliographies are clearlystated to give the reader further information on a given topic. This ishistory of war at its finest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory overview of military history
    Geoffrey Parker has assembled some of the best working military historians for this volume, so that each chapter is up-to-date, well written, and reliable.Unlike many illustrated histories, this one gives at least some endnote references, and includes excellent short bibliographies for each chapter.The illustrations are also outstanding.About as good a history of warfare as could be produced within its word limits. --Professor Clifford J. Rogers ... Read more


    8. The Cambridge World History of Food (2-Volume Boxed Set)
    list price: $210.00
    our price: $153.30
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521402166
    Catlog: Book (2000-11-14)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 34094
    Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Have the French always enjoyed their renowned cuisine? When did Russians begin to eat pirogi? What was the first Indonesian spice to be cultivated elsewhere in the world? Questions such as these make for good Jeopardy material, but they're far from trivial--just ask anyone with a passion for good food and a curiosity for where that food originated. That person will know instinctively that the best way to approach a culture--and, indeed, the human animal--is through the stomach. For this individual, The Cambridge World History of Food will be something of a bible, and the best of gifts.

    A massive scholarly tome in two volumes and more than 2,000 pages, the CWHF encompasses a wealth of learning that touches on nearly every aspect of human life. (It also reveals the answers to the three earlier questions: No, French cuisine as we know it is a 19th-century development; in the 16th century, following the conquest of the Volga Tatar; ginger, in colonial Mexico.) Thoroughly researched and highly accessible despite its formidable layout, the set addresses a groaning board of topics past and present, from the diet of prehistoric humans to the role of iron in combating disease; from the domestication of animals to the spread of once-isolated ethnic cuisines in a fast-globalizing world. Of greatest interest to general readers is its concluding section--a dictionary of the world's food plants, which gives brief accounts of items both common and exotic, from abalong to Zuttano avocado.

    The product of seven years of research, writing, and editing on the part of more than 200 authors, The Cambridge World History of Food promises to become a standard reference for social scientists, economists, nutritionists, and other scholars--and for cooks and diners seeking to deepen their knowledge of the materials they use and consume. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not quite all the world
    If you are hardcore into food history this book is for you. The articles are done in a dry academic style but are absolutely full of information. Folks who are into nutritional or food anthropology will have hours of reading before them. Be prepared, the articles are long.

    The food dictionary section is not as detailed as say the Oxford Dictionary of Food but it is still good.

    The main complaint that may be raised is the fact that there are some foods that are ignored or not given their own specialty article. I was surprised to see only wine was covered for alcoholic beverages in great detail while a general article on "distilled beverages" covered the rest of the alcohol world. Folks hoping to find a detailed discussion on beer or other grain based drinks wil have to look elsewhere.

    Do not expect any recipes. Instead, you will find academic articles on a variety of topics all related to food. It is not as comprehensive as one may think but it is very WIDE none the less. It is a monumental work and deserves a great deal of praise.

    Highy recommended for the collection, but you will think that there should have been more. Buy other great reference books as well to round out your collection and your information.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Awesome Resource
    These two hefty volumes comprise on the most useful generally-accessible material history resources I have ever seen. It contains dozens of articles on just about every aspect of food in cultural history. The entries range from essays on what early human begins ate to essays on specific foods (Oats, Chili Peppers, Soybeans, Ducks, etc.) along with some entries on foods that are somewhat surprising (Algae, Dogs, etc.). There are entries on vitamins, on beverages, on food deficiently diseases and eating disorders. On top of that, there are articles on the foods of different regions around the world. There are entries on nutrition, on fads and on the political implications of foods. There really just aren't any angles these volumes have overlooked.

    The articles are written by different contributors, so there is not much consistency from piece to piece, but overall they are well written, engaging, informative, and generally lots of fun. I can't recommend this book strongly enough.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Taking a class with the editor
    Argghhhh I have Kenneth Kipple for a teacher, arghhhhh. The greatest use of this book is in the bibliographies at the end of the chapts. Skip the articles and look for the books in the bibliography.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food for thinking with
    Part of the dissatisfaction among some reviewers is that this book is not a light, cheerful cook-book/dictionary. For those who want something more along those lines, there are plenty of light-weight volumes that purport to tell the story of this or that cooking tradition with lots of nice glossy pictures and maybe more than three accurate facts if you're really lucky. Try Jane and Michael Stern's road trip food voyages for example.

    This two volume set is not for the faint of heart. It is a book for the enthusiast and the professional food historian alike: people who are looking for the social, biological and historical context to the food they enjoy. It is not completely encyclopaedic and there are a few inaccuracies in the identification of plant names and such but these are minor quibbles in the face of the sheer comprehensiveness of the work and the undoubted scholarly care that has gone into its preparation.

    I for one appreciated the early chapters on the archaeology of food. People tend to forget the time depth that surrounds eating as a human activity. This is not surprising in a modern world that emphasizes fast food over aesthetics or knowledge. It's my observation that those who are most interested in food purely as a consumable item seem to have little interest in where it really comes from. For example, one of the great tragedies of modern industrial living is the increasing absence of knowledge of or even respect for the fact that real animals died to provide you with your McChicken Burger, or your Poached Sole in Tuscan Orange Sauce.

    This book is an invaluable reference. I recommend it to all my students in my Anthropology of Food and Eating class, and I myself use it all the time. The Oxford Companion to Food is also a fine volume, and while it is sometimes more useful with regard to specific foods, it is much lighter on analysis and unneccesarily flippant in places. I would recommend that you buy both the Cambridge volumes and the OCF. Together they almost completely fill the reference spot on the bookshelf of the serious student of food.

    To dine well is to touch the face of God

    3-0 out of 5 stars A warning note
    This is a bumper book, stuffed with good articles by leading authorities in the field. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is a relatively dry volume that concentrates overmuch on archaeology and evolution (well documented elsewhere) and not enough on food history, on which there is a huge amount of misleading literature.

    Sadly these volumes require a warning notice for their dictionary of plant foods (a hefty part of the book: pages 1711-1889). Evidently a last-minute attempt to widen the appeal of the book, this is woefully and grossly inaccurate. For example, pink peppercorns are wrongly identified as Piper nigrum, rather than Schinus terebinthifolius (and their mild toxicity is not noted either). Almost every entry in the directory is wrong or questionable. There is further evidence of underinvestment in editing elsewhere in the book; for example, botanical names are not consistent between chapters.

    Most readers would fare much better with Alan Davidson's amusingly written, comprehensive and (above all) accurate "Oxford Companion to Food". This Cambridge volume belongs on library shelves - where it will occasionally be very useful. ... Read more


    9. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel (Great Discoveries)
    by Rebecca Goldstein
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393051692
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-28)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 79959
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    Book Description

    A masterly introduction to the life and thought of the man who transformed our conception of math forever.

    Kurt Gödel is considered the greatest logician since Aristotle. His monumental theorem of incompleteness demonstrated that in every formal system of arithmetic there are true statements that nevertheless cannot be proved. The result was an upheaval that spread far beyond mathematics, challenging conceptions of the nature of the mind.

    Rebecca Goldstein, a MacArthur-winning novelist and philosopher, explains the philosophical vision that inspired Gödel's mathematics, and reveals the ironic twist that led to radical misinterpretations of his theorems by the trendier intellectual fashions of the day, from positivism to postmodernism. Ironically, both he and his close friend Einstein felt themselves intellectual exiles, even as their work was cited as among the most important in twentieth-century thought. For Gödel , the sense of isolation would have tragic consequences.

    This lucid and accessible study makes Gödel's theorem and its mindbending implications comprehensible to the general reader, while bringing this eccentric, tortured genius and his world to life.

    About the series:Great Discoveries brings together renowned writers from diverse backgrounds to tell the stories of crucial scientific breakthroughs—the great discoveries that have gone on to transform our view of the world. ... Read more


    10. Civilization in the West, Single Volume Edition (5th Edition)
    by Mark Kishlansky, Patrick Geary, Patricia O'Brien
    list price: $109.33
    our price: $109.33
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321105001
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-24)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 397362
    Average Customer Review: 3.43 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of western history
    Civilization in The West is a superb text. Written by an outstanding group of historians the book is highly readable and contains a wealth of information. The suggestions for additional reading at the end of each chapter are invaluable and list the key texts for any time period. Finally, the colorful illustrations and photographs brilliantly compliment the text. This book is a definite buy for anyone interested in a general guide to western civilization.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely a college text!
    I enjoyed this text during my history class very much because it was so in depth. The hundreds of famous paintings alone make this book worthwhile, but it reads very much like a college text. Don't get me wrong -- I came to love history through taking this class, and the book was a large part of that. You must have a high level of literacy and some previous knowledge of history to read this book very easily. NO DETAILS ARE LEFT OUT!!! The book is fabulous and I would recommend it to any level anyways.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good textbook, not nearly as bad as some i have had to read
    The book had lots of info and was easy to understand. It covered all of the most important aspects of western civilizations. Anyone who complains that it was hard to read is an ... I would consider myself smart but i am by no means a rocket scientist and i found this book easy to read and enjoyable. It provided lots of information about certain interesting aspects of different civilizations cultures that would appeal to anyone who whould sign up for a history course.

    2-0 out of 5 stars This text book is very dull.
    This book is used as a MEH textbook for sophomores in my highschool. My friends and i found this book to be very dull and boring. It contains a lot of information but the way it is presented is not in an interesting manner, rather in a dull way. This book has no bold words which makes it difficult for us to read. I believe it was chapter 17 or 18 that the beginning was very interesting but suddenly it became boring. I think history is interesting but the way that this book teaches it to you is very uninteresting. I don't suggest this book for any highschool student. Everyday when we get our history assignment i dread to read this book because it is so boring.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Civilization in the West, by Kishlansky, Geary, O'Brien
    This book is a cornucopia of detail. It is undeniably the most detailed of any textbook on the subject. Unfortunately, this otherwise useful textbook suffers from poor if not outright negligent editing. Some paragraphs are virtually incomprensible. The text reads as if the individual authors took turns writing sentences. The concept of topic sentences and paragraphs expressing discrete subjects seems to have been lost on the authors as well as the editors. ... Read more


    11. History: Fiction or Science?
    by Anatoly T. Fomenko, Anatoly Fomenko
    list price: $23.45
    our price: $23.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2913621058
    Catlog: Book (2004-03)
    Publisher: Mithec
    Sales Rank: 29818
    Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    `History: Fiction or Science?` is the most explosive tractate on history ever written - however, every theory it contains, no matter how unorthodox, is backed by solid scientific data.

    The book is well-illustrated, contains over 446 graphs and illustrations, copies of ancient manuscripts, and countless facts attesting to the falsity of the chronology used nowadays, which never cease to amaze the reader.

    Eminent mathematician proves that: Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086 The Old Testament refers to mediaeval events. Apocalypse was written after 1486. Does this sound uncanny?

    This version of events is substantiated by hard facts and logic - validated by new astronomical research and statistical analysis of ancient sources - to a greater extent than everything you may have read and heard about history before.

    The dominating historical discourse in its current state was essentially crafted in the XVI century from a rather contradictory jumble of sources such as innumerable copies of ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts whose originals had vanished in the Dark Ages and the allegedly irrefutable proof offered by late mediaeval astronomers, resting upon the power of ecclesial authorities. Nearly all of its components are blatantly untrue!

    For some of us, it shall possibly be quite disturbing to see the magnificent edifice of classical history to turn into an ominous simulacrum brooding over the snake pit of mediaeval politics. Twice so, in fact: the first seeing the legendary millenarian dust on the ancient marble turn into a mere layer of dirt - one that meticulous unprejudiced research can eventually remove.

    The second, and greater, attack of unease comes with the awareness of just how many areas of human knowledge still trust the three elephants of the consensual chronology to support them. Nothing can remedy that except for an individual chronological revolution happening in the minds of a large enough number of people. ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sky&Telescope Magazine confirms results
    Sky&Telescope Magazine confirms results, but does not buy Fomenko's theory
    Fomenko uses astronomy data to support his argument that history is too long and that many historical events happened more recently than we thought. The temple walls and sarcophagi of some Egyptian ruins are decorated with depictions of the sun, moon, and planets as observed in the different zodiacal constellations. If a given depiction is accurate - that the celestial bodies were observed and placed correctly in the constellations - a horoscope can be used for dating. Fomenko has deciphered over a dozen Egyptian horoscopes. He claims, that the latter show dates that are 2-3 thousand of years later than conventionally thought. Most well-documented ancient eclipses actually took place in the Middle Ages.

    Roger Sinnott, studied astronomy at Harvard and is an editor at the respected Sky & Telescope Magazine checked Fomenko's calculations for the famous trio of eclipses from Thucydides's account of the Pelopponesian War. The three eclipses are conventionally dated to 431, 424, and 413 BC. Fomenko finds these dates as non adequate to narrative of Thucydides's and finds exact solutions as late as in 1133, 1140, and 1151 AD.

    The second example is the eclipse of 190 BC described in Livy's history
    of Rome. Fomenko redates this event to 967 AD.

    Fomenko`s dates accommodate details from ancient descriptions that the conventional dates do not. For example, Thucydides wrote that the first of his three eclipses was solar and that the stars were visible, that means that the eclipse was total. The accepted solution of August 3, 431 BC involves an eclipse that was only partial in Greece. Similarly, the Livy eclipse is supposed to have happened five days before the ides of July, which by our conventional reckoning would date it July 10. Fomenko's 967 AD solution nails that date, while the conventional 190 BC eclipse actually occurred on March 14.

    Sinnott confirms that eclipses did take place on the dates Fomenko has chosen and concludes, "Even though Fomenko has found valid eclipse dates that seem to fit the descriptions, I think it is far-fetched in the extreme to conclude that the chronology of the ancient world is 'off' by more than one thousand years." Free country, isn't it?
    Check Fomenko's calculations with ANY sky mapping software, professional or amateur, you'll get his results confirmed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deals with a very serious issue
    History: Fiction Or Science? is a quite scholarly expose of the extreme limitations of our understanding of human history. So few physical records have survived hundreds, let alone thousands of years that it casts even the most conventional understanding of what really happened into doubt. Chapters address the problems of historical chronology in general, astronomical datings, astronomy in the Old Testament, methods of dating ancient events via mathematical statistics, the construction of a global chronological map, the Dark Ages, and much more. Black-and-white illustrations add a vivid touch to this scholarly work that may appear controversial yet deals with a very serious issue directly affecting humanity's comprehension of its own past.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Crackpots. Conspiracies. History. Science.
    When I picked up "History: Fiction or Science?" for the first time, it was out of sheer curiosity. I appreciate crackpots and crackpot conspiracy theories of all sorts - one could say that I have a private freak collection on a separate bookshelf. Therefore, this entire history revision business looked very much like it belonged there as well, so I decided to give it a go. My initial reaction was disappointment; the author sounded perfectly sane, which is simply out of order, if you ask me (a good crackpot theorist is always stark raving mad, hence the interest - never a dull moment anywhere). Then I started to read deeper into the book and, as I submerged about thirty pages deep, the remnants of my ironic grin dropped to the floor along with my jaw. The stuff actually made sense. No hysterical overtones or complex paranoid theorizing anywhere - it is certainly a scientific work written in a manner that has academia stamped all over, no doubt about it.

    The critic in me would keep arguing with the authors every now and then - yet they never fail to emphasize the hypothetical nature of their reconstructions. Some of the hypotheses make perfect sense, others do not - which pleases me greatly, since I am most wary of books that make me agree with everything instantly; their integrity is nearly always heavily compromised in some way, yet never too obviously (the best crackpot conspiracy theorists are the ones you can't help agreeing with, and once you agree with enough, you find yourself ready to agree with the bloke who says reptiles rule the world). Here, you may be offered several contradictory renditions of the same historical event. Once again, I wouldn't have it any other way - anyone who is gullible enough to believe simple and unequivocal explanations offered by the official historical sources is usually unaware that those, in turn, contain numerous gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions.

    I always knew that history, especially ancient history, has been a collection of fairy tales all along; still it took me some time to accommodate the thought that, for want of a better metaphor, even the fairy tales it consists of were culled from a wide variety of books, shuffled together like a very dodgy deck of cards, then put into a random sequence, given a new index and proclaimed the only authorised collection of fairy tales in the world (and children who ask silly questions about why certain things make no sense or whether there are any other, more interesting tales available elsewhere need spanking, of course - a time-honoured tradition, isn't it then?). Well, the Russian mathematicians do ask questions. Lots of questions. Questions which there was a very long tradition of not asking; ones that concern the very foundations of modern chronology (although "modern" might be a misleading term here, since said chronology is a child of the Middle Ages). And the historians who demand a spanking shaking fists and frothing at the mouth make me want to put every book on history that I own on the crackpot shelf - certainly not Fomenko and team. Indeed, I haven't put them on any shelf yet, since I'm reading the book for the third time over, and eagerly anticipating the second volume.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I laughed a lot with this book
    In the middle of a lot of forced texts, the first think that made me laugh the most was the fact that, 16th century paintings depicting Classic age personalities were painted in 16th century style, thus proving that there was no middle ages.

    Even high school children can see that renaissance painters painted using their imagination, because therer were no archaelogical findings to sho how the ancient dressed and most of the painters had no formation in the classics.

    If I use this reasoning, maybe we can say that the americas wrere only discovered in the 19 th century since all paintings and drawings between the 15 to 18 century were innacurate in the depiction of the florsa and fauna

    4-0 out of 5 stars I really don't know whether I must laugh or cry.
    According to this chronology (which we can name "Ultra High Revised Chronology"), Jesus died in 1086 AD. More or less, in this time, the Cid was fighting against the Moors in medieval Spain.
    Taking this theory to extreme, then Jesus/Joshua would be Rodrigo Díaz alias "the Cid, the Champion Knight" (el Cid Campeador in Spanish), who took Valencia (i.e. Jericho), because he was exiled from the kingdom of Castilla (i. e. Egypt) by King Alphonse VI (i.e. the Pharaoh of Exodus)!!!. We don't have to forget that, according with Spanish medieval legends, the Cid rode after his own death and won a battle (resurrection???).
    Ergo Jesus/Joshua was the Cid.
    On chronology, I am arranged to think anything. ... Read more


    12. Military Innovation in the Interwar Period
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $26.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521637600
    Catlog: Book (1998-08-13)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 184952
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great historic analysis on military innovations
    It is a very good review on how things developed between world wars. It provides a good insight of the thinking of the different countries and how they coped with their doctrines and how much they took an advantage of the WWI experiences.
    I am rating 4 stars because actually I would like much more information rather than 30 pages on each subject.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Readable and Good
    This is an anthology of various articles. Generally anthologies are the pits as they tend to lack a central them and the quality will vary. These articles are generally by the authors and as such they are of an even standard.

    There are a number of chapters that discuss a range of issues from the use of Tanks to the development of the Aircraft Carrier.

    The book is interesting although the area covered is naturally enormous and the amount of space that can be devoted to complex subjects is naturally limited. Despite this most of the essays are interesting and not only for what they say. In the first essay about the development of armored warfare by way of an aside the writer attacks Gueridian as a sycophant and also as a person whose reputation was largely the result of self publicity. Later the English theorists Fuller and Liddell Hart are critiqued as presenting overly schematic histories of the First World War which warped the truth to fit in with their own theories. Interestingly the essay then goes on to suggest that the first world war infantry battles were so complex that even now we struggle to understand them and for that reason it was no surprise that Douglas Haig had the problems that he did.

    All in all an interesting book although again very much a starting point for the issue it covers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Serious Systematic Look at Military Innovation
    This may be the one book Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld should read. It is a serious systematic look at military innovation between the first and second world wars and its ten chapters run the gamut from aircraft carriers to submarines to mechanized combined armed warfare (the Blitzkrieg) to the development of radar, the emergence of amphibious landing capability, and the evolution of strategic bombing campaigns. There is a wide divergence of patterns both between topics and between countries. The British led in aircraft carrier development but made a series of organizational and technological choices that left them far behind the Japanese and the Americans. The British also led in the development of the tank but then rejected it as a mobile warfare system and were rapidly supplanted by the Germans who used the 1920s British tests as a basis for their development of Blitzkrieg. The submarine was rejected politically by everyone but was then developed effectively by the Americans and the Germans. The American torpedo failures are a maddening study in bureaucratic rejection of reality and a sober warning to the current peacetime Pentagon.

    This book captures the complexity and the lessons of peacetime military innovation as well as any that has been written. It should be required reading for everyone who wants to work on the current problems of transforming the Pentagon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Food for Thought
    Williamson Murray (Editor), Alan R. Millet (Editor), combine again to publish a "must have" reference work for any serious military professional. The articles are universally excellent, well researched, and full of analysis. As military policy makers and strategists confront the ambiguities of the 21st Century, this work provides superb lessons learned from history. Buy the book and read it - it will be time and money well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HQDA Recommended Reading!
    This book is on the HQDA Recommended Reading list! Enjoy! ... Read more


    13. The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History
    by John M. Barry
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0670894737
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
    Publisher: Viking Books
    Sales Rank: 817
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in twenty weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century. Victims bled from the ears and nose, turned blue from lack of oxygen, suffered aches that felt like bones being broken, and died. In the United States, where bodies were stacked without coffins on trucks, nearly seven times as many people died of influenza as in the First World War.

    In his powerful new book, award-winning historian John M. Barry unfolds a tale that is magisterial in its breadth and in the depth of its research, and spellbinding as he weaves multiple narrative strands together. In this first great collision between science and epidemic disease, even as society approached collapse, a handful of heroic researchers stepped forward, risking their lives to confront this strange disease. Titans like William Welch at the newly formed Johns Hopkins Medical School and colleagues at Rockefeller University and others from around the country revolutionized American science and public health, and their work in this crisis led to crucial discoveries that we are still using and learning from today.

    The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley said Barry’s last book can "change the way we think." The Great Influenza may also change the way we see the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Influenza: The American Experience
    In The Great Influenza, John Barry has produced a massive and exhaustively researched description of one of the greatest disasters of human history. At least, from the American point of view. While there are a few glancing references to what was going on in the rest of the world, there is no serious discussion of any attempts to deal with the pandemic in other countries, even in other industrialized countries. On the other hand, Barry has chosen a very specific point of view: the transition of American medicine and medical training from folk wisdom to science. It's a compelling point on which to balance a long and exhaustive (there's that word again) study of how America and, specifically, American medicine confronted an epidemic in which people were dying faster than the technology of the time could handle, an epidemic in which society itself was nearly overwhelmed by death.

    As other reviewers have noted, the book's weakness is a tendency towards melodrama, as in the far-too-often repeated tag line "This was influenza. Only influenza." After a while, you think to yourself, "Yes, we get it. Give it a rest."

    On the other hand, the book has one of those quirky displays of real brilliance in the last two chapters in which Barry deals with how science is done well (in the case of Oswald Avery) or done poorly (in the case of Paul A. Lewis). These two chapters are so strong that they could stand on their own, and what they have to say about the process of scientific thought itself is fascinating. Avery's story is that of a man who was just relentessly focused, who kept digging deeper and deeper into a single issue until he discovered the source of heredity itself. Lewis's story, on the other hand, is that of a man who simply lost his way. Distracted by the need to administer an institute, the need constantly to raise money, to deal with the politics of science, the need to socialize and just plain hustle to support the work of others, Lewis lost the focus that Avery had and ending up flailing in a sea of theories and methodologies. In fact, if you don't read any other part of this book, read these two chapters.

    There is no question about The Great Influenza being a monumental work. It's so good that you just have to overlook the bits of melodrama that pop up from time to time. The research is, well I obviously can't use "exhaustive" again, so let's say nearly encyclodedic. In fact, there's so much research, and so much documentation that Barry has used an odd method of footnoting. Instead of using footnote numbers that refer to the notes section at the end of the book, you have to turn to the notes section and find the specific page and text being referenced. Unfortunately, as a result you don't know while you're reading which bits have footnotes and which don't. I'd prefer actual footnote numbers. Ah, well. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    In any case, Barry has produced a massive and important work of epidemiological history which is, at the same time, as readable as a thriller. In writing this review, I kept wavering between giving it four stars or five stars and finally decided on five based on the scope, the thoroughness, and what Aristotle would call the "point of attack," that is, the point at which the story really begins, which is, in this case, the birth of truly scientific medical education in America. All in all, it's a truly fascinating and immensely readable piece of history.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sobering look at a deadly pandemic...
    A book that recently caught my eye was one by John Barry titled The Great Influenza - The Epic Story Of The Deadliest Plague In History. Now, I generally have a phobia about needles, and have *never* received a flu vaccination, but I think that will change next year. This was scary stuff...

    Barry details the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 in great detail. He starts by setting the stage of how American medicine was practiced at the end of the 19th century, and how there was little control or respect for the profession. And rightly so... Nearly anyone could call themselves a doctor and do nearly anything. But through the efforts of a few key people, John Hopkins university was formed to bring the medical education up to European standards. Most of this transformation was occuring when the flu pandemic started. This is where the book gets interesting... and frightening.

    Because of World War 1, recruits were overcrowded into training facilities that were less than sanitary. When the flu first broke out in one of the army camps in the states, it was quickly transferred to other camps when soldiers transferred. From there, it easily jumped into major cities, decimating large numbers of people. And when these soldiers went overseas, the flu went with them. Being especially contagious, it swept the globe in short order and left, by some estimates, over 100 million dead. That is so hard to comprehend.

    When you look at the struggle they had to even identify the cause of the illness, you understand how it could so easily run rampant. One would think that it couldn't happen today, but one would be wrong. SARS, AIDS... diseases that defy attempts to quickly identify the virus, and are resistant to attempts and efforts to treat them. It's not hard to imagine how a pandemic could start so much more quickly today due to the ease of worldwide travel.

    Well worth reading to understand how precarious the general health of society could be...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just the flu
    Wow. The Great Influenza sort of blew me away. Like most people I've heard of the 1918 influenza, but also like most I've never actually read anything on the epidemic. My first introduction to the topic came as a young nurse working on a neurology ward where Parkinson's Disease was diagnosed and treated. At the time it was believed to have arisen as a late neurological response to that infection. For all I know they may still think so. During the swine flu epidemic and the controversy over whether the vaccine had caused a rise in the incidence of Guillian Barre, the so-called French polio, the 1918 flu was frequently mentioned. After reading Mr. Barry's book I can certainly see why.

    What amazes me most about the pandemic of 1918 is not its virulence so much as its repercussions. It definitely occurred during the most inopportune time, almost proving Murphey's law that if anything can go wrong it will and at the worst possible time. Probably one of the most significant outcomes of the flu seems to have been the effect it had on the peace terms. One is left to wonder if Wilson had not been affected by the flu in so damaging a way and at so crucial a time, whether World War II could have been avoided. Moreover much is made of the nihilism of the 1920s, that lost generation between the two world wars. The young of the era seemed to have gone through a loss of innocence that is often attributed to the effects of the WWI experience and the death of the overconfident 19th century way of life. It seems to me that far more damage to the confidence of young adults was due to the effects of the influenza epidemic. Certainly Barry's discussion makes the character of the 1920s and 1930s much clearer to me.

    The differential effect of the flu on the various age groups, suggests much about the effect of the virus on the immune system. Having had to manage patients with ARDS in ICU, most of them very young people like those in 1918, I can hardly imagine what it might have been like to be a nurse during a time prior to mechanical ventilation and sophisticated drug therapy. We lose ARDS patients with an unpleasant frequency even now. In 1918 I don't know how one could have helped even a single patient survive it. It had to have been appallingly painful to the staff, overworked as they were, even ill themselves as some were, to watch a patient die that way especially as the author points out again and again because so many of these patients were in the prime of life and had so much to live for yet. I certainly know what its effect has been on me over the years.

    Although the author attempts to reassure the reader that although we may have another similar pandemic, the outcome will be less devastating because of our modern medical facilities and experience, I can't help but think of the Titanic! It couldn't sink, you know, because it was the product of the most modern and up to date technology of its time. Maybe MRSA (methacillin resistant staph aureus) and VRE (vanco resistant enterococci) will be our armageddon!

    A serious and fascinating book. One every health care worker should read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Dense with detail, full of melodrama
    I read many reviews of this book, and finally had to buy it.
    This is a book you can easily put down! Dense with detail and many fascinating characters, but ruined by the melodramatic style. Along the lines of: " Then suddenly, it struck with incredible force!" Not an actual quotation, but you get the idea.

    Over and over again he uses this same device. It ultimately becomes tiresome. I'm about halfway through, and I have not picked it up in about 3 weeks.

    Hold out for the (used) paperback!

    5-0 out of 5 stars a mesmerizing book
    This has just become one of my favorite books. It is a compelling read, like a real-life Stephen King novel. But it's built around a lot more than just plot and character. It also gives you tremendous insight into how the body works, how viruses work, and how diseases interact with the environment--- and it makes clear that one of the most important elements of the environment is the political climate. This book tells you more about Woodrow Wilson than most history books on World War I. Finally, it's extraordinarily well-researched and accurate: a doctor-friend who is actually a pulmonary expert told me it not only gets things right, but taught him something. I think it's obvious by now I love this book. ... Read more


    14. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True Story of Survival
    by Dean King
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316159352
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 6444
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Some stories are so enthralling they deserve to be retold generation after generation. The wreck in 1815 of the Connecticut merchant ship, Commerce, and the subsequent ordeal of its crew in the Sahara Desert, is one such story. With Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival, Dean King refreshes the popular nineteenth-century narrative once read and admired by Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and Abraham Lincoln. King’s version, which actually draws from two separate first person accounts of the Commerce's crew, offers a page-turning blend of science, history, and classic adventure. The book begins with a seeming false start: tracing the lives of two merchants from North Africa, Seid and Sidi Hamet, who lose their fortunes—and almost their lives—when their massive camel caravan arrives at a desiccated oasis. King then jumps to the voyage of the Commerce under Captain Riley and his 11-man crew. After stops in New Orleans and Gibraltar, the ship falls off course en route to the Canary Islands and ultimately wrecks at the infamous Cape Bojador. After the men survive the first predations of the nomads on the shore, they meander along the coast looking for a way inland as their supplies dwindle. They subsist for days by drinking their own urine. Eventually, to their horror, they discover that they have come aground on the edge of the Sahara Desert. They submit themselves, with hopes of getting food and water, as slaves to the Oulad Bou Sbaa. After days of abuse, they are bought by Hamet, who, after his own experiences with his failed caravan (described at the novels opening), sympathizes with the plight of the crew. Together, they set off on a hellish journey across the desert to collect a bounty for Hamet in Swearah.King embellishes this compelling narrative throughout with scientific and historical material explaining the origins of the camel, the market for English and American slaves, and the stages of dehydration. He also humanizes the Sahrawi with background on the tribes and on the lives of Hamet and Seid. This material, doled out in sufficient amounts to enrich the story without derailing it makes Skeletons on the Zahara a perfectly entertaining bit of history that feels like a guilty pleasure.--Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1815 shipwreck and slavery, told under the Sahara sun today
    An 1815 shipwreck and slavery by Arabs told under the Sahara sun today

    Dean King studied Captain James Riley's story of his 1815 shipwreck off the coast of Africa, and the subsequent slavery of Riley and crew when captured by the Arabs.After months in the formidable Sahara Desert, Riley and crew were freed from being hostages, by Englishman William Willshire.Riley returned to the States and in 1816 published his book, "Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce."Riley accepted an 1819 appointment from the U.S. Surveyor General Edward Tiffin to survey land in northwest Ohio, following the U.S. Treaties with the Indian Nations.In 1822, Riley platted Willshire, Ohio, to honor his benefactor, Wm. Willshire.Riley went on to become Northwest Ohio's Representative to Ohio Congress, 1834/24.In the 1830's, Riley returned to sea.U.S. President Abraham Lincoln wrote that he had read Riley's book, which influenced his attitudes concerning slavery.

    Dean King read Riley's "Narrative," and became so intrigued with Riley's story, that he planned and implemented a trip in the Sahara, following Riley's route on camels.King questioned his Arab guides and related stories written by Riley, to confirm the authenticity of Riley's "Narrative."King kept a daily journal which is now posted on his website, DeanHKing.com.King's daily journal is worthy of being a companion book to his book about Riley, because it takes the reader with him under the hot desert sun.

    How do I know to advise the reader to read Dean King's book about Captain James Riley?I served as Director of the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home, Celina, Ohio, for over three decades.I wrote a biography of Captain James Riley, about his ancestors, and descendants, as well as about Riley's entire life in Connecticut and Ohio.Riley's son, James Watson Riley, platted Celina, Ohio in 1834.At this Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home, archival collections of Captain James Riley, include Riley's ship logs: his international correspondence with William Willshire, British Vice Consul; his correspondence with members of the U.S. Government, and his correspondence with his children.The archives also include histories of Riley's descendants in the United States, Canada, and Ireland.

    I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Dean King in 2000 when he was beginning his journey to learn about Riley. We have continued our communication these past years.April 23/24, 2005, the Members of the Mercer County Historical Society were proud to host Dean King as speaker at the public program, partially funded by the Ohio Humanities Council.Descendants of Captain James Riley, from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida attended this program, and they shared their family stories about Captain Riley with Dean King.

    Dean King's book, "Skeletons in the Zahara," should be read by anyone with the slightest hint of maritime adventure running through his veins.King's knowledge of sailing ships and the sea is superb.

    King's books should be read by historians who will value not only the history of the War of 1812 maritime era, but also King's detailed footnotes and extensive bibliography.

    King's books should be read by literature clubs who read for the pure pleasure of reading and discussing good books.King's literary talents are of the quality of the classical authors.

    At his young age, Dean King is an uncommon man who has achieved that broad experience and ability, to be able to walk among peers in his academic world, as well as to be able to walk among camel herders, sailors, and the common man, and to tell their stories well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read by a Master Storyteller
    This book is simply incredible. I was hooked by the first page and couldn't bare to part with it until I was finished. King's ability to put the reader under the Saharan desert sun is almost scary. I felt every agonizing step that Riley and his crew took: from the burning sand and stinging stones to the torturous rack of stubborn camels. This is one of the best historic adventure novels I've ever read. I can't wait for King's next!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thirst-Quenching Read
    I am a direct descendant of Capt. James Riley (he was my great-great-great-great grandfather), and as such, grew up vaguely familiar with the story of his shipwreck and survival.Happily, I did not inherit his nose (see his portrait on p. 13).Unhappily, I share his somewhat questionable navigational skills.

    I read Riley's original memoir, "Sufferings in Africa," several years before King's book came out, and agree with other reviewers that it is a fascinating tale well-told in Riley's words and certainly worth reading.However, King's retelling adds a level of depth to Riley's account.

    For example, when reading Riley's memoir, I was baffled by his mention periodically of crossing paths on the vast desert with other shipmates who had been taken captive by other nomads. King's maps and narrative helped immensely to show how the nomads travelled, and where, and why they would, at seemingly random points, meet up and then go their separate ways.

    By interweaving Riley's memoir with that of one of his crew, who also survived and wrote a lesser known memoir upon his return, King brings clarity to Riley's saga.The shared experience of a shipwreck as seen through the eyes of two very different men (one subordinate to the other) helps you see that what may be presented as objective by one was very much filtered and interpreted by the individuals experiencing this ordeal.Accordingly, one can extrapolate that the other 6 or so survivors, had they left any written records of the event (and perhaps they have) would have, in their own way, had different tales to tell as well.(What do you suppose became of Dick Delisle, the cook? As the only Black on board, he had the least to gain by returning to 19th century America and the best chances of long term survival and acceptance in his captor's culture if he were willing to convert to Islam). After all, some came back and went stark raving mad.Others lived to ripe old ages.Thanks to King's diligent research, we know all this: Riley's book will not provide you with this information.

    In short, King's maps, glossaries, careful footnotes, and analysis help clarify many things that were less accessible in Riley's original telling.More importantly, King's story elicits in the reader empathy for Riley as a flawed but principled and sensitive man.You are left understanding that were Riley a different sort of person, he could have returned from this ordeal condemning dark-skinned people as evil based on his horrific experience.Instead, he came back staunchly opposed to the institution of slavery.

    By all means, read Riley's memoir.It will leave you wanting to know more, and you'll find King's book proves invaluable in quenching that thirst for knowledge.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Recommendation: read Riley's own account
    King has taken two first-hand accounts of this 1815 ship wreck story -- Robbin's journal (1817)and Riley's well-known Sufferings in Africa (1817)--and combined them into his own day-by-day account of this survival adventure. And, although his book is nicely written, it adds little to the record. Riley's book was in its time read by over a million readers. It was a favorite of Abe Lincoln. It appeared in numerous editions from 1817 through the Civil War years. It was, and, is called "one of the best adventure books ever written," and is now available in a paperback edition of 316 pages (published in 2000)by Lyons Press. With 195,000 books published last year, in my opinion, King's rehash is one we could have done without. If you want authenticy, immediacy and the real story; read Riley's own first-hand account not this on-looker's composited version.

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book will make you thirsty
    A great book that is in many ways reminiscent of "Endurance".In other ways the story couldn't be more different.From the safety of my living room I was able to feel the extreme discomfort experienced by Riley and his crew.In some senses it makes Shackletons experience seem like a prolonged picnic in a winter wonderland.Ace navigator, Captain Riley was not.The crew of the "Commerce" blundered into a misfortune easily avoidable anddifficult to imagine.Where as the Endurance crew had penguins aplenty and were awash in water, Rileys gang was forced to resort of the consumption of the foulest of substances in order to survive.Worst of all was their lack of control in determining their own destiny, haven been bought and sold more often than the Brooklyn Bridge.King did a great job presenting the story from beginning to end, with an epilogue that cleans up all of the missing bits of each participant in this epic drama.

    You may want to keep in mind that the glossary of Arabic expressions appears toward the back of the book and it's a great help.If you have a world atlas, you may want to dust it off and keep it nearby as you read along. ... Read more


    15. A History of the Modern World (9th Edition)
    by R. R. PALMER, JOEL COLTON, LLOYD KRAMER
    list price: $75.00
    our price: $47.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375413987
    Catlog: Book (2002-01)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 26779
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    8th edition ... Read more

    Reviews (55)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Go Palmer & Colton!! You are my heroes...
    I, like many of you precocious high school students who fancied yourselves a cut above the average pupil, took AP European History. I must say that I enjoyed the class, but it was a whole lot more complex than I originally thought. Part of the reason was "A History of the Modern World," a massive, philosophical tome that I thought would be a lot easier to understand than it proved to be. That said, I am so glad our teacher (my personal hero, btw, not even kidding- Scheidler is the man) used this text. I believe that without it, I would have done very poorly. As a result of this book (and my amazing teacher, who could demystify its complexity for us with a lower learning curve), I was confident going into the test. Beyond its academic value, it is simply a well-written book, very interesting and filled with salacious tidbits about various historical figures and institutions. ( Holy Roman Empire, anyone?) Well worth the time and energy required- I think I'm gonna buy a copy to have at my disposal!! Thanks for reading-

    4-0 out of 5 stars Overall it get's the job done.
    True this is a tough book to finnish reading. It's rather dry but is packed with a vast amount of wonderful information. As a primary textbook for an AP European History class it benifited me greatly, after I re-read each page at least twice. For you teachers of the class out there, I'd make it a supplement, not the primary source for information at the high school level. College professors well you can make your students suffer through it. It's not too bad!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but WRONG
    I am a scholar of Hungarian history, and almost every single mention of the Hungarians or "Magyars" is linked with information that is either plain wrong or shows an immense bias and at the very least a very superficial understanding of the subject material. This is how Kossuth Lajos becomes a racist, there is no mention of Petofi Sandor or Ferenc Deak who were integral in the 1848 revolution and Ausgleich, and a sharp distinction drawn between "Hungarians" and "Magyars." If the author is this wrong about so many subjects that I noticed, how many of his supposed "facts" can really be trusted?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great even for personal use
    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history or has a class they need the book for. It provides any information you need, and sometimes information you don't really NEED, but it's interesting the same. It can be a little hard to read at times, and the index isn't very helpful most of the time, but it does what it tells you it will, teaches you about history.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful Book
    As a result of taking AP World History(formerly AP European History) I am working with this book for the first half of the year, then changing to the Stearns book. I found that this book is not only challenging, but one of the best history books i've ever read. It has depth and is complicated, but still is written better than just a regular Global Studies book. I applaud the authors. ... Read more


    16. Traditions and Encounters, Volume I with Powerweb; MP
    by JerryBentley, HerbertZiegler
    list price: $74.69
    our price: $74.69
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072564997
    Catlog: Book (2002-06-07)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
    Sales Rank: 87681
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    Book Description

    From the Beginnings to 1500, Chapters 1-22This groundbreaking world history text has, in its first edition, become a market leader by offering a fresh, global perspective on the past.The text is unique in approach; covering the world as a whole, examining the formations and development of the world’s major societies (“traditions”), and also systematically exploring cross-cultural interactions and exchanges that have been some of the most effective agents of change in all of world history (“encounters”). In addition, the authors have taken great care in constructing a coherent vision of the past that is not weighed down by a mass of detail, thus enabling instructors to incorporate additional readings of their choosing. Finally the text emphasizes that historical processes work themselves out through the lives and experiences of individual human beings, opening each chapter with an account of individual experiences that illuminate themes in that chapter.The second edition includes scholarship updates throughout and revisions to organization and content. ... Read more


    17. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $35.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691027641
    Catlog: Book (1986-03-01)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 97556
    Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mandatory Reading for Army Staff Majors
    As the title indicates, the Army's Command & General Staff College requires students to read Makers of Modern Strategy in the core history class. Professors can make best use of this book as a supplement. As other reviewers have noted, the chapters are disjointed with each other. Taken separately, however, many of the chapters help the history student or enthusiast to develop a depth of understanding on a particular subject. Authors such as John Shy, Douglas Porch, Michael Howard, and Condoleeza Rice, just to name a few, explore many of the strategic issues involved with the evolution of military thought.

    From Machiavelli and Clausewitz to strategies of world wars and colonial wars, Makers of Modern Strategy adds value to any serious study of warfare. The high quality academic research and thought that underlies many of the articles is worth the price of the book. Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good general military history overview.
    One of the essentials, a good starting point for the study of military history and strategy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still, this is a good book.....
    Although I agree with the reviewer preceeding me that this might not be as strong of a book as was the masterpiece which preceeded it (by Earle), it is still a strong book and does (generally) what it sets out to do: to provide an accounting of major developments in military thought (i.e. western military thought) from the Renassance to the modern age.

    As a text or as a reference, this is still a powerful and useful book. Each of the chapters discusses a major figure's thought in a fashion that can be dealt with easily in a sitting: for those people who don't want to sit and sort through Jomini (though everyone reading this should sit down with Clausewitz! ) or Douhet, to see their rights and wrongs....

    I like this book. I bought my copy for $8.00 in NYC and have had it with me through a number of moves since....

    1-0 out of 5 stars Newer is Not Necessarily Better
    This second version of the book is disappointing. I would have thought that it being edited by an historian as good as Peter Paret would have improved on the original, which was edited by Robert Earle. However, it is weaker both in scholarship and accuracy, especially John Shy's essay on Jomini. Old myths are resurrected about the Swiss renegade whose own works are generally historically inaccurate.

    Many of the older, more professional, historians, who are unfortunately no longer with us were much more careful in their research and writing, hunting down sources that newer historians either refuse to look for or refuse to use. they also were more blunt, calling a spade a spade, and weren't worried about offending people or in 'revisionist' (read inaccurate) history. Political correctness was unknown to these stalwarts.

    Books of this type are highly useful. If you are looking for this particular volume, get the first version edited by Earle, even if you have to go looking in second hand book stores or on the internet in used book services. I did, and it is well worth the effort.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for general military history
    This book gives the reader a good general overview of the development of modern military history. There are many good essays on (in my opinion too many) the 17th and 18th century. The modern reader concerned with more recent developments might find the last part of the book more beneficial ... Read more


    18. All Those Mornings…at The Post: The Twentieth Century in Sports from Famed Washington Post Columnist
    by Shirley Povich
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $18.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586483153
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    Sales Rank: 3464
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The greatest sports moments of the 20th Century-by one of the greatest sportswriters of the 20th Century

    Shirley Povich was the Dean of American Sportswriters. As a columnist for The Washington Post for more than seventy-five years, he was an eyewitness to the most thrilling moments in American sports, including: the legendary 1927 Dempsy-Tunney "long count"; the celebrated 1938 race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral; the 1946 signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers; Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series; the Ali-Frazier fight of 1971; and the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.But Povich's columns were about more than sports; they reflected the dramatic changes in American society over the course of the 20th Century. Driven by a strong sense of social justice, Povich called for the integration of major league baseball in 1939, and twenty years later he was still at it, attacking Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall for having an all-white team.For the 100th anniversary of his birth, Povich's children-David, Maury, and Lynn-and his colleague at the Post, former sports editor George Solomon, have pulled together this panoramic collection of Povich's most beloved columns. The result is a front-row seat to the most awe-inspiring sports moments of our American Century. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Sports Journalism
    Rarely does a book take me very long to read, especially when its composed of a series of short pieces such as newspaper columns.Journalism isn't supposed to be literature, and sports writing particularly is mainly to give the doggone scores.

    Then again, calling Mr. Povich a sportswriter is about as accurate as calling the Pope a good man.

    Mr. Povich was the genuine soul of the almighty Washington Post, perhaps the most principled writer ever to grace the pages of any newspaper's sports section.He belongs in the very rare and esteemed company of great journalists such as Cronkite, Mencken, Twain and pehaps a few others.

    Yeah, these pieces give you the story.What's more, you get the story behind the story.And it's done in language a 13-year-old can read and understand.

    Knowing perfectly well how special this collection is, I read it as slowly as possible.Why rush a good thing?I'm sure Mr. Povich had to fight the daily deadline pressures to produce the work.The least we can do is savor his command of language and keen insight into human character.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like a visit with an old friend
    For almost 75 years Shirley Povich was a fixture on the sports desk of the Washington Post. He didn't exactly invent sports reporting, but he certainly help define it in a unique way. His style of reporting, his style of writing created a respect that went beyond sports. He used the sports world as a window on the broader world of America. Sports reflected the dramatic changes in American society over the course of the twentieth century from the depression, to war, to race, to everything else.

    The problem with newspaper columns is that they get recycled with the rest of the paper. Only once in a while are a lifetime of columns lovingly collected by people who care (his children and a sports editor) and are published as a book.

    If you are familar with the original columns, here is a visit with old friends. If you have not read the originals, here is the way that sports (and maybe everything else) should be reported.

    This book is an absolute delight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Washington Institution for 75 years
    An interesting conversation took place the other day. I mentioned to my grandfather, now in his early 80s, that I had just bought the new book entitled "All those Mornings...at the Post." And he responded with, "I grew up reading Shirley Povich."

    My response: "So did I, and I am 25." And so did my father. That's the amazing thing about Povich - he linked generations. He wrote about stars from Walter Johnson to Michael Jordan and everyone in between.

    As a freelance sports writer, and former sports editor of my college newspaper, the Towerlight in Towson, Md., Povich was my biggest inspiration growing up and I would be willing to bet that most other sportswriters or aspiring sportswriters feel the same way.

    I tried to put in perspective to my wife how influential he was. I said he is the Humphrey Bogart of sports writing. He is the epitome of what newspapermen should be and he was just as good in 1994 as he was in 1924.

    The amazing thing is he never retired and wrote his final column the day before he died in 1998. This book brings his most important columns to life and for people of my generation we get to live events such as the Senators' only World Series title in 1924 for the first time.

    This book is a treasure and is highly recommended to anyone who has ever read a sports column. Chances are the person who wrote the column did so because Shirley L. Povich inspired him.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Povich is America
    Long live the legacy of Shirley Povich.This book brings to the current generation the work of the best, Shorley Povich. It is mandatory reading for every sports fan!!! ... Read more


    19. The New History of the World
    by J. M. Roberts
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $32.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0195219279
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Sales Rank: 14515
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    2-0 out of 5 stars too poor
    This is an ambitious book trying to cover 'World History'.

    Although it touches upon all important historical matters
    (with special chapters for china, India etc) I found it
    inadequate. In particular the reasoning standards in the book
    are peculiar. I was surprised to see that the author used
    works of *literature* (even worser religious literature
    in many cases) as sources for his history.
    In other cases he irons out important details in order to advance
    quite unsupported ideas about his conceptions of interactions
    between cultures.

    In many instances I thought I was reading a novel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Roberts Final Trumph
    This is the last edition of the book there will be. Roberts died soon after he finished this book. The original one volume "History of the World" was the best one volume world history book in existence. The update is well worth the price for it as well. I own several editions of the book.

    I would compare the excellence in quality of the book to the 11 volume "Story of Civilization" series by Wil Durant. Of course, Durant's works are in many cases outdated today. Roberts updated his work in order to "fix" things where evidence has leaned one-way or-another over the last several years, as well as to bring it up-to-date with the fall of the Soviet Union and the new global supremacy of the United States.

    Of course, Roberts only hits the highlights. But he doesn't ignore anything; even so-called minor issues are discussed. In many ways, he is outlining how the modern world came to be the way it is. All too much of what passes for history now a days is really little more than gossip about minor events in the relatively recent past. The grand sweep of historical events is often lost. Looking at well sells as history books today can make one cringe that somebody would read something, let alone write it.

    Because people lack and true appreciation and understanding of history, they seem to be electing leaders who also lack the willingness to learn from past events. Democracy is on - at the very lest - a tenitive rise. Leaders need to know how Rome or Britain affected things in the modern political landscape. Churchill made decisions that are still being played out in the Middle East and Iraq today. Roman and even ancient Greek leaders had to deal with the issues of in the Balkans in southeast Europe over two-millennia ago. You can't fully understand the former Yugoslavia without understanding Roman province carving and its long term affects on world history.

    How can leaders hope to make the best decisions if they don't understand the causes of the original problems? And since democratically elected leaders are, at least in the West, the norm now, people need to understand history in order to recognize people who understand it.

    Roberts tries to restore the grand scope to the matter of human history. Something people and our political leaders seem to have very much lost sight of now. True History, the whys and wherefores need more attention.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Master's Final Word
    Anyone fascinated by world history will be delighted with the appearance of a new edition of John Robert's History of the World. His ill health mentioned in the preface made it hard work, and his recent death confirms his prophesy that this will be the final edition of this successful book. Overall Roberts provides a great summation of world history, supplying a sweeping overview with perceptive insights, and avoiding the temptation to become enmeshed in encyclopedic detail. The themes he follows, those of change and continuity, the impetus of history and the relationship between tradition and innovation in human history are well chosen and help to find a context for this daunting subject. Additionally he makes relevant the weight of the past to present events (including a very good job of bringing the book right up to date with post-9/11 events). His overall perspective on history has changed surprisingly little over the years, perhaps because one of his basic philosophies is durable; "the two phenomena of inertia and innovation continue to operate in all historical developments ... we shall always find what happens both more, and less, surprising than we expect". Sounds like a bet both ways, however thinking about recent events it is quite plausable.
    The book, it is freely acknowledged by Roberts, comes from a white, middle class western perspecive, however every edition finds him attempting to balance his global coverage further, as well as expanding the text to include more on gender issues and the environment. The thinness of material on non-Western cultures, such as Africa and Latin America is more related to knowledge than bias. He certainly has always argued strongly for the "European Age" since the age of exploration and I think he tends to overemphasise its influence on the world's population as a whole (important as it was). A little more material on imperialism from the subjects perspective might have helped, although don't get the impression that the book is a whitewash.
    His prose is enjoyable, although his sentance structure could be improved at times, and the book provides a servicable set of maps.
    Anyone who reads this book will certainly gain a comprehensive and valuable overview of the forces of the past that manifestly continue to shape the world today, and a fine insight into the way human societies and cultures work. ... Read more


    20. LIFE : Our Century in Pictures
    by Richard B. Stolley, Tony Chiu
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $65.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0821226339
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-07)
    Publisher: Bulfinch
    Sales Rank: 16650
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Richard Stolley knows a bit about what we want from the pictures of our century. He's the LIFE magazine guy who acquired the Zapruder film of JFK being shot (the fatal instant is depicted in this book), and he basically created modern celebrity culture as the founding father of People, where he articulated his famous rules for cover photos: young is better than old, pretty better than ugly, rich better than poor--"and nothing is better than the celebrity dead." All of the above are found abundantly in Stolley and Tony Chiu's lively, cannily selected, and sumptuously produced photo album LIFE: Our Century in Pictures.

    It's not just a grab bag of 770 arresting, touching, scary, funny, alternately famous and unfamiliar images. It tells a semi-coherent story by breaking up the century into nine "epochs," each introduced with a brief essay by a leading intellectual light (David M. Kennedy, Paul Fussell, and Garry Wills do especially well). There are fun facts aplenty: did you know Columbia Pictures' Lady Liberty-like logo was inspired by a debutante in an anti-Hun propaganda poster? Or that Ike almost chose Margaret Chase Smith instead of Nixon? Each epoch gets assigned a "Turning Point," sometimes a defining moment or a flashy burst of upbeat cultural documentary to offset the sometimes stark violent-event photos. The World War I section breaks up the black-and-white trench-fighting scenes with a quickie history of the American musical, pages as radiant as a rainbow. Each chapter ends with "Requiem" photos of people whose passing is still news.

    The layouts are often superb: you have to open the book to see how perfect a Mondrian looks next to a photo of college girls doing patriotic calisthenics that transform them into a similarly energetic grid. There are heftier historic-photo collections, like Bruce Bernard's true test of coffee-table construction, the 1,120-page Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression, Suffering, and Hope. But you're not going to find a more popular book of its kind than Stolley and Chiu's. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unmatched Photo History
    A great book for kids to learn about the past and adults to be reminded of it. It's a bookmark of the time we left behind. A great opportunity to teach and entertain at the same time, although some photos might require a bit of explanation for the younger readers. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this is War and Peace times 10! It brings history to life (no pun intended). You'll go through it over and over. It's a great coffee table or bedside book. You'll laugh and cry again, because the emotion and griping tales just leap off the pages at you. A must for anyone interested in our recent history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating images of our times
    They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. They were right! This fine pictorial collection of historic photos brings history to life as well if not better than the best historical novels of the year. 'War of the Rats', 'Charlotte Gray', and 'the Triumph and the Glory' triggered a fascination in recent history in our family and LIFE has sustained it by offering this superb book. We are always looking through it again and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A scrapbook of the century...
    Life has done a superb job of pulling the whole century together into one book.I wont't tell you what picture was the first picture the started the book off with.But I'll tell you this;they got it right! This in not only the most important and best picture of the 20th century, but also; the most significient picture to portray what man has done;ever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book.
    How do you shoe the history of the past century in pictures. Life has come as close as anyone can to do this. This is a great book and should be viewed by everyone. Photographers would be especially taken with the presentation. One must take time in looking through the book as there is so much to cover. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Life
    This book contained a very biased segment of American life, mainly that of immoral Hollywood and Washington. What of the families and individuals of America that put this nation together, the farmers, school teachers, workers, the miners, soldiers, etc. whose contributions are not protrayed adequately in this book. ... Read more


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