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1. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations
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2. Behind the Lines: Powerful and
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3. Letters to a Young Poet
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4. Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and
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5. Posterity : Letters of Great Americans
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6. Ann Landers in Her Own Words :
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7. Letters to a Young Conservative
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8. Proud Highway (The Fear and Loathing
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9. On the Shoulders of Giants : The
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10. Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
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11. Jane Austen's Letters
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12. The Letters of Robert Lowell
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13. Letters of a Nation
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14. Zora Neale Hurston : A Life in
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15. Wahhabism: A Critical Essay
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16. Poems and Selected Letters (The
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17. Letters to Penthouse XV: Outrageous,
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18. Letters From the Editor, The New
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19. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations
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20. Dear Americans :Letters from the

1. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From The Beaten Track: The Letters Of Richard P. Feynman
by Richard P. Feynman
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0738206369
Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 227711
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Book Description

An extraordinary volume of never-before-published letters written by one of America's most beloved scientists.

Richard P. Feynman, brilliant physicist and beloved teacher, is an iconic figure in the world of science. Born in 1918 in Brooklyn, Feynman received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1942. Despite his youth, he played an important part in the Manhattan Project during World War II, going on to teach at both Cornell and the California Institute of Technology, and winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 1965 for his research in quantum electrodynamics. Many remember his work on the Challenger commission, in particular his famous O-ring experiment, which required nothing more than a glass of ice water. Besides his work as a physicist, Feynman was at various times an artist, dancer, bongo player, and lock picker.

While there have been many books celebrating his myriad scientific achievements and personal eccentricities, his personal correspondence has remained largely hidden from view buried in the archive at Caltech or locked in a box in his daughter's Pasadena home. Now, for the first time, we have the privilege of reading his wonderful letters to students, long-lost relatives, former lovers, crackpots, colleagues, and die-hard fans. From his early love letters to his first wife Arline, who died at Los Alamos of tuberculosis, to his decades-long attempt to resign from the National Academy of Sciences, Feynman shares his views on feminism, fatherhood and everything in between. These letters, which span a full half-century, tell the story of a marvelous and inventive life, and reveal the pathos and wisdom of a man many felt close to but few really knew. By turns abrasive and charming, intimate and inspiring, we see the many sides of Richard Feynman, and treasure him all the more. ... Read more

2. 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
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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

3. Letters to a Young Poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.95
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Asin: 0393310396
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 6628
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It would take a deeply cynical heart not to fall in love withRainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. At the end of this millennium,his slender book holds everything a student of the century could want: the unedited thoughts of (arguably) the most important European poet of the modern age. Rilke wrote these 10 sweepingly emotional letters in 1903, addressing a former student of one of his own teachers. The recipientwas wise enough to omit his own inquiries from the finished product, which means that we get a marvelously undiluted dose of Rilkean aestheticsand exhortation.

The poet prefaced each letter with an evocative notation of the city in which he wrote, including Paris, Rome, and the outskirts of Pisa. Yethe spends most of the time encouraging the student in his own work,delivering a sublime, one-on-one equivalent of the modern writing workshop:

Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; atits source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it.Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take thatdestiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside.
Every page is stamped with Rilke's characteristic grace, and the bookis free of the breathless effect that occasionally mars his poetry. Hisideas on gender and the role of the artist are also surprisingly prescient.And even his retrograde comment on the "beauty of the virgin" (which thepoet derives from the fact that she "has not yet achieved anything") is counterbalanced by his perception that "the sexes are more related thanwe think." Those looking for an alluring image of the solitary artist--andfor an astonishing quotient of wisdom--will find both in Letters to aYoung Poet.--Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars eternal wisdom should be shared with everyone
A very good friend gave this book to me as I was struggling to find myself during my early college years. I was instantly amazed at how a book written over ninety years ago could be so precisely helpful to the many questions I was suffering with at the time. Rilke introduced me to the concept of solitude as a blessing. This idea has truly changed my life for the better as I have taken the time to step away from life and look inside for the answers I seek. If I had one gift to give someone I truly cared about, it would be this masterpiece. Although the contents of this book can not be appreciated by everyone, I challenge all to read it and see if it sparks the fire in them that it has brought to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars full of wisdom and insight
I had already read this book a couple of months ago and was moved by Rilke's incredible wisdom. And just a few days ago, while I was preparing for a philosophy exam, I chanced upon this book once more and, seeing certain parallels between Rilke's words and other philosophers', truly understood and admired Rilke and his perspective on life. Rilke speaks of dragons in our lives... who could be princesses in disguise "...waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love..." This is one book that should be constantly reread and pondered on by anyone who wishes to move towards the true meaning of what it is to be human...

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books I've ever read
I have read, re-read and generally mutilated my copy of Rainier Maria Rilke's "Letters To A Young Poet". Rarely does a day go by without me thinking of Rilke's Nietzschean, no-holds-barred philosophy of the real poet. For him, a poet is no simply one who writes verses or rhymes words: it is a different kind of human being who embraces not only beauty and happinesss but suffering and misfortune. His thoughts on solitude are absolutely indispensable. Any artist or aspiring artist who has ever been in a fruitless relationship ("loss of the self" is a theme he explores almost obsessively) will realize that Rilke is writing through experience on the necessity of a good amount of solitude, both spiritual and physical, to create art. He is achingly honest to the poet with whom he is conversing, and passionately sincere. He knows that not every poet is a poet, and that some will find the Promethean task far too exhausting to actually go through with it: the real artist is the one who has no choice in the matter. His inner demons or angels will not ALLOW him to stop writing. Bukowski's thoughts on the matter are similar, as are most major writers and artist. This is a demanding, unforgiving collection of letters. Rilke has no patience for weakness or dilly dallying. But it is more inspiring than any self-help book on the shelf. This should be nationally distributed, not only for artists but for human beings as a whole.

5-0 out of 5 stars "When a prince is going to speak silence must be made"
"Letters to a Young Poet" is a very small book that allows us to enjoy the correspondence between a famous writer and an aspiring poet. This exchange of letters began in 1903 thanks to a missive that Franz Xaver Kappus sent to R. M. Rilke, and continued for many years, until 1908.

Why is this little book important?. Because it allows us to read what Rilke thought about many subjects, for example life, poetry, and art. And because, as F. X. Kappus said, "when a prince is going to speak, silence must be made".

Kappus wanted to share the insights that Rilke gave him, and thus compiled his missives in "Letters to a young poet". The letters are few, and not overly long, but in this case the knowledge offered is certainly greater than the number of pages.

I especially appreciated the fact that Rilke tried to share his experiences with the striving writer, without pretending to impose his opinions on him. The result of this open-minded attitude is that he doesn't seem a distant teacher, but rather a friend that merely happens to know more than him. That can be easily seen, for example, when he advices Franz to: "Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist".

On the whole, I highly recommend this book to everybody. It will probably be more useful to aspiring writers, but people who simply enjoy literature will delight in it too :)

Belen Alcat

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor translation of an even poorer book
I've never understood the fascination with the "wisdom" of the 28 year old Rilke. To me, this is quite possibly the most condescending work in German literature. ... Read more

4. Ulysses S. Grant : Memoirs and Selected Letters : Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant / Selected Letters, 1839-1865 (Library of America)
by Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Drake McFeeley, William S. McFeeley
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
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Asin: 0940450585
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Library of America
Sales Rank: 15486
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Grant wrote his "Personal Memoirs" to secure his family's future. In doing so, the Civil War's greatest general won himself a unique place in American letters. His character, sense of purpose, and simple compassion are evident throughout this deeply moving account, as well as in the letters to his wife, Julia, included here. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars US Grant--in his own words
The story of Ulysses Simpson Grant is a tale about a man who rises from obscurity to become one of the most important men of the nineteenth century. Many men saw Grant, as general-in-chief of the Union armies during the late Civil War, as the savior of the nation. He was elected to two terms as President, and enjoyed such immense popularity that he was lavished with praise and gifts around the globe when he traveled the world. But Grant's origins were humble. He was the son of a tanner. As a young man he failed at nearly everything he did, and had a reputation, while stationed with the army in California, of being a drunk. Grant seemed the antithesis of greatness; yet somehow he rose to become one of the most prominent men in the United States during the Civil War.

Who better to tell Grant's story than himself? His memoirs are somewhat self-serving, and Grant does not hesitate to point out the flaws of others. All too often he reminds his reader that, had things been done his way, disasters would have been avoided and everything would have been all right. There is some reason for his ego, however. Grant had a lot of critics, and was treated unfairly by many from the beginning. When his army was surprised at Shiloh, people said he was drunk. When he stalled outside of Vicksburg, they blamed it one the bottle. Grant's name was connected by some scandal or other through most of his Civil War career (as well as during his presidency). If he seeks to right some wrongs and, in the process, comes across as a little full of himself in his memoirs, who can blame him?

Grant gives great descriptions of many battles and campaigns, but sparse accounts of others. He avoids sensitive subjects (like the bottle, for example), and does tend to focus on what he did RIGHT rather than what he did WRONG. Despite these inconsistencies, however, Grant's memoirs are a great read. Grant tells his side of the story, and the result is a very entertaining read. Grant's style is engaging, and while not focusing too much on exact figures (Sherman's memoirs are much better for that), he manages to convey to the reader the most important aspects of each major action in which he was involved. Grant may not have been the best general in the war, but he was certainly the right man for the job. Read these memoirs for a look inside the complex mind of the man who took on Robert E. Lee--and actually won.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book ever by a US President
Granted (sic) that there are few serious rivals(Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" and Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe" come to mind but don't measure up), this is a remarkable literary achievement by an "uncommon common man." Not only is it an indispensible, if not flawless, narrative of the cataclysmic events of the Civil War, the circumstances under which he wrote make its very creation a triumph of will and ability.

As historian Brooks Simpson has noted, Grant's character was so complete that nobody could believe he was real. But he was, and the proof is in this book, which contains not only the "Personal Memoirs" but many invaluable letters revealing the man as well as the general. Though this edition lacks an introduction and other scholarly apparatus to enhance its value, the sheer scope of Grant's writings available here probably make it the best current presentation of his unparalleled view of the war. Also, the early chapters on the Mexican-American War (which he detested) are most enlightening in showing some of the sources of his future greatness.

There were two great tragedies of Grant's public life. First, American Indians and African Americans suffered greatly while he was president, and it was a shame that he didn't (couldn't?) do more on their behalf. But in fairness, could/would anyone else have done better? Probably not. The earlier tragedy was that he was prevented from winning the Civil War early on, by the jealous ambition of rival generals and the circumspect nature of Union strategy. Unfortunately, the impediments that led to the slaughter at Shiloh ensured that that battle would set the tone for the rest of the conflict. If Grant had been given free rein in 1862, several hundred thousand lives would have been saved---but without the abolition of slavery and Reconstruction, there would have been a different tragedy.

General Grant made some grievous tactical errors during the war, but was able to learn from his mistakes. It's quite misleading to think of him as a heavy-handed butcher who prevailed by grinding down opponents no matter how many men he lost. By 1864 that may have been the only way to defeat Robert E. Lee. But Grant's victories before then were consistently marked by speed, boldness and strategic brilliance whenever he was permitted to act independently, as well as great sensitivity to carnage and death. Has any general ever been better at capturing enemy armies (and thus sparing lives), rather than bloodily smashing them? Perhaps the best way to compare Lee and Grant is to see the former as the last great general of the 18th century, while the latter was the first great one of the 20th century. (A.L. Conger, "Rise of U.S. Grant" helped begin the revival of his reputation; J.F.C. Fuller, "Grant & Lee" is a well-balanced comparison.) But the "Memoirs" document---with artless modesty---Grant's consummate skill at maneuver well before he introduced modern total war. They also contain the classic passage about Appomattox, wherein Grant summarized the entire war in one immortal sentence: "I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse" (p.735).

Grant's great skill at turning a phrase, along with shrewd insights and dry humor, is well-displayed throughout the "Memoirs" and letters. It's true that there are some inaccuracies, because while he did have access to important documents when writing, his race against death resulted in some errors due to haste, and some inevitably faulty interpretations. But the book's reputation for unreliability is mostly unfounded. Ultimately, it is Grant's story, not a history of the war. It is not a complete autobiography, however, since most post-1865 events are not covered. A favorite image (described elsewhere) comes from Grant's post-retirement world travels, when 20,000 English workingmen turned out to march in his honor, honoring him as the general of freedom who vanquished the armies of slavery. He did not save everyone, but along with Lincoln, he saved his country. Enough said.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read This
Whatever history has to say about US Grant, the president, there's a reason why his NYC memorial was the most visited American landmark until the Washington Momument was completed. It should fool no one that Grant's memoirs, written under financial pressure, and completed only days before throat cancer killed him, have become part of the American canon. If you've ever seen those upright potraits of this man, his frill-less diction and clarity will not surprise. Despite hailing from another time, this is a remarkably quick read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get this edition for the letters
Grant's memoirs are the greatest books in American literature. Gore Vidal, Gertrude Stein and other literary figures have acknowledged their preeminence. Even if you know or care nothing about the American Civil War, these books are essential reading for any educated person. Grant wrote simply, yet beautifully, and he was dying in agony of throat cancer when he penned these books. The story of the writing of the Memoirs is one of the most amazing and courageous tales in American history. Imagine racing against death to complete an epic story, the proceeds of which would provide for his family after his death. What an amazing man!

This edition of Grant's memoirs is wonderful because the appendix contains several hundred letters he wrote over the years. Most of these missives were written to his wife, Julia, and they shed an enormous light upon this shy man's character. Grant's letters show him to have been a tremendously gentle, decent man, with a great sense of humor and profound love in his heart for his wife and family.

This is an excellent edition, which will bring to you only one of the greatest books written in the English language, but also a selection of Grant's letters. Both make for engrossing, gripping reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American's Autobiography
Grant's Personal Memoirs and Selected Letters 1839-1865 Library of America Edition

This is one of the most important books written an American. There is something huge and seething about these memoirs. To be sure it is not from the cool tone; Grant was old fashioned in that way, and these are not confidential memoirs. This is the story about a down at the heels middle-aged man working as a clerk in Galena, Illinios shop when the Civil War started and how that man would become the nation's first four star general. But don't think of this as a success story in the ordinary sense. This lucid and clear story is one not of a man's success but of a nation's torment. Throughout the book Grant goes out of his way to praise his subordinates for his successes. Grant's modesty however does not obscure or hide his ability. There are many reasons why Grant was the best general of the Civil War, but one that is often overlooked is that Grant wrote the best orders. We know from others that he would haunch over his desk for hours writing. These orders, some of which are included in the autobiography, are models are concise and breviloquent writing. From these orders we can tell that he was involved in every element of his troop's victories and defeats. Grant gave great attention to details, and was meticulous in his preparations, and planning.

There are a number of editions of Grant's "Personal Memoirs" in print, but I am recommending the Library of America edition because it contains the Report of Lieutentant-General U. S. Grant of the Untied States Armies dated July 22, 1865 and a selection of his letters. The letters to his family are particularly valuable because they show Grant at his most personal and intimate. ... Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Dorie McCullough Lawson and please continue writing!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Gail Cooke ... Read more

6. Ann Landers in Her Own Words : Personal Letters to Her Daughter
by Margo Howard
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446695041
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 147493
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this witty, wise, and intensely personal collection of letters to her daughter Margo, Ann Landers delivers her own unintentional memoir. The volume is both a moving portrait of a mother/daughter relationship and a keen social history of America between 1958 and 2001. Peppered with incisive information and gossip, Esther "Eppie" Lederer (Landers’s real name) offers insight on everything from marriage and divorce to growing up and growing old. Readers will delight in Landers’ s signature practical wisdom and sharp eye for the absurd. As funny and loving as they are stern and ascerbic, these letters reveal the real woman behind the Ann Landers moniker--a spectacularly original writer, wife, and mother. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars mother love
I loved this book. Given to me as a present, I had no idea what to expect and began reading it with a sense of uncertainty. But within a dozen pages I was completely held and involved. It is poignant, funny, wise and deeply engrossing, and full of practical advice on love, marriage, divorce, motherhood, and growing older. At times I got the guilty (but delicious) feeling that I was reading a good friend's private correspondence - it is that intimate and that honest. Some say that letter writing is a dead art, a form of communication that was killed off by the telephone and, more recently, the brutal abruptness of e-mail. But here it is resurrected in all its former glory. Full of good gossip and insights about famous names in show business, politics, the media and literature. there were moments when I laughed out loud and, occasionally, wanted to weep. I was honestly sad when I reached the end - so I started all over again. Happily, as one does in all good letters, I still found new things to surprise me. Margo Howard tells us that "letters were my mother's art form," and this book confirms that gloriously. Ms. Howard is no slouch at letter writing either, answering her mother's missives with equal wit, insights, and humanity. Those for whom this will be their first taste of the wit and wisdom of Ann Landers - or Margo Howard, who has followed in her mother's footsteps as an agony aunt - have a treat in store.
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7. Letters to a Young Conservative
by Dinesh D'Souza
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 0465017339
Catlog: Book (2002-10)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 17570
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The best-selling enfant terrible of the Reagan revolution offers advice to today's budding conservatives--the very people he sees as the true "radicals" of tomorrow.

Dinesh D'Souza rose to national prominence as one of the founders of the Dartmouth Review, a leading voice in the rebirth of conservative politics on college campuses in the 1980s.

He fired the first popular shot against political correctness with his best-selling exposé Illiberal Education. Now, after serving as a Reagan White House staffer, the managing editor of Policy Review, and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution, he addresses the next generation in Letters to a Young Conservative. Drawing on his own colorful experiences, both within the conservative world and while skirmishing with the left, D'Souza aims to enlighten and inspire young conservatives and give them weapons for the intellectual battles that they face in high school, college, and everyday life. Letters to a Young Conservative also illuminates the enduring themes that for D'Souza anchor the conservative position: not "family values" or patriotism, but a philosophy based on natural rights and a belief in universal moral truths.

With a light touch, D'Souza shows that conservatism needn't be stodgy or defensive, even though it is based on preserving the status quo. To the contrary, when a conservative has to expose basic liberal assumptions to scrutiny, he or she must become a kind of imaginative, fun-loving, forward-looking guerrilla--philosophically conservative but temperamentally radical.

Among the topics Dinesh D'Souza covers in Letters to a Young Conservative:
--Fighting Political Correctness
--Authentic vs. Bogus Multiculturalism
--Why Government Is the Problem
--When the Rich Get Richer
--How Affirmative Action Hurts Blacks
--The Feminist Mistake
--All the News That Fits
--How to Harpoon a Liberal
--The Self-Esteem Hoax
--A Republican Realignment?
--Why Conservatives Should Be Cheerful ... Read more

Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars Liberals still don't get it.
I just received D'Souza's book, so I haven't had the chance to read every chapter. The few I have read were very informative, entertaining, and on target concerning the main differences between liberals and conservatives. D'Souza's wry sense of humor is definitely a plus. It's interesting, but hardly startling, that those who gave the book one star are the sort of liberal who resorts to "postmodernist gibberish" and ad hominem attacks when confronted with facts and common sense. The very things Mr. D'Souza says liberals resort to when they want to avoid hearing the truth about themselves. Referring to Mr. D'Souza as "The Gunga Din of Conservatism" was supposed to be insulting, I guess. I gather the person who wrote that mistakenly believes that Gunga Din was a member of an oppressed minority in need of protection from evil, conservative white men. If so, then he is sadly ignorant of both Kipling AND D'Souza. I feel this is an excellent book that should, but won't, be required reading for all college freshmen BEFORE they are assaulted with liberal hogwash by their left-wing professors. This book deserves SIX stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge!
Dinesh D'Souza has produced earlier incisive, groundbreaking books. Illiberal Education and The End of Racism are both thought-provoking reads for conservatives and liberals alike, but this is one has an additional purpose: a comprehensive outline of conservative doctrine and a blanket condemnation of the opposing points of view. D'Souza revisits some previously published opinions, and if he doesn't always support them with fact, he does bring heartfelt argument to the fore. He also refers back to his other two books when illumination is needed. The book, as the title suggests, is formatted as a series of letters to a college student, complete with fond recollections of the author's days as a conservative firebrand at Dartmouth. Even constrained by this gimmick, D'Souza is an entertaining writer who delights in, "harpooning liberals," eloquently if with slight regard for fairness. We recommend this book as an ideological dessert for potential conservatives, more than as a soup-to-nuts guide to conservatism - and its no-shades-of-gray approach may even help liberals prepare their counterarguments.

1-0 out of 5 stars No more Americans?
Mr. D'Souza seems intent on dividing America into irreconcilable groups, liberals and conservatives. Most people in the street would be shocked to know that we aren't Americans anymore but - liberals and conservatives locked in a culture war, and that one can be a liberal by default, by failing to kowtow to the author's views.

This, and every other country needs uniters, not dividers. September 11 doesn't seem to have given conservatives any reason to reconsider their divisiveness.

5-0 out of 5 stars It is good to be reminded of why Reagan was right.
July 2, 2004. Saw Farenheit 911 this week and needed an antidote. (...) I had received Letters to a Young Conservative as a gift two years ago and had it in my "to read" pile. I came of political age under Reagan. He was the first president I could vote for. He was the first politician I ever volunteered for. He provided a very positive and affirming vision of what it means to be an American and how to participate in our democracy and the world. Up until the 60's it was pretty clear what it meant to be an American. Most people agreed on a large number of core values. Somehow in that drug/sex haze that begat me (born 1964), our parents decided to try and throw everything before out and start over. D'Souza does a very good job of reminding us why that was a silly idea and how the legacy of free everything still haunts us today.

This is the kind of book you can pick up anytime and open to any chapter and find thought provoking prose. Each chapter has a specific topic or theme. If you want to understand the falacy of the Anti-Globalists argument, turn to chapter 26 (particularly relevant given current events). Want to understand why the Catholics, once the party of Kennedy, are now up for grabs? Want to know how and why the heartland of America, once working class Democrats, are now all Republicans? Turn to chapter 29. My favorite is probably chapter 18, "How to Harpoon a Liberal". Full of juicy tidbits from his many campus visits and the direct confontations with tenured liberal professors and brainwashed freshmen students. When you are young and still rebelling against your parents, it is fashionable to take up any cause identified on the "fringe". When you are older and hopefully have your own family, you usually come to realize the value of law, society, family, values, and why "traditions" work. When I was young, I was also incredibly fearless, egotistical and selfish. I thought nothing could hurt me, I knew most of the answers and whatever I liked was right. In the end, much of the liberal agenda is selfish kids not growing up, not accepting responsibility and learning to trust others.

The young liberal would say "whatever feels good, do it". The young conservative has an uncomfortable feeling with that. Something about imposing his minute by minute egotistical desires on the world doesn't seem right. If you feel this discomfort and want to know why and how to explain it, read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sacred Cows into Hamburger
Dinesh reinforces Ronal Reagan's assertion that "Liberals out of power are funny."

As an outsider to the American political milieu, Dinesh shares his unique, incisive perspective through a series of short letters to an imaginary college freshman. His "take no prisoners" approach will anger many. ... Read more

8. Proud Highway (The Fear and Loathing Letters , Vol 1)
list price: $21.95
our price: $15.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345377966
Catlog: Book (1998-04-07)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 78319
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Before there was Gonzo, there was just plain Hunter -- a precocious, earnest, and occasionally troublesome honor student in Louisville, Kentucky.

Before there was Doctor Thompson, there was Airman Thompson -- the military's answer to Grantland Rice, protecting America by covering sports for his Florida base's newspaper.

Before there was Fear and Loathing,there was Dow Jones -- that is, Thompson's early reportage for that company's National Observer, which raised the standard for hip and provocative foreign coverage.

Before there was Rolling Stone, there were job applications everywhere -- in hopes of being hired by a paper, pretty much any paper, an obsession for the starving writer with expensive tastes in alcohol, nicotine, and room service.

In The Proud Highway, readers will find a Hunter S. Thompson they've imagined but never known. With the publication of these extraordinary letters, written from the time of his high school graduation in 1955 through the triumph of his first book, Hell's Angels, in 1966, critics and fans can finally trace the development and maturation of a singular talent, one of our era's most important voices. How Thompson changed the face of contemporary nonfiction -- and of America itself -- is the mesmerizing story of The Proud Highway.
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Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars The man who made Old Crow Famous!
I have just got through reading this collection of Letters and found it to be worthwhile reading. I received the book as a gift and was not aware of a Fear and Loathing Letters Volume. I found this to be a highway of following (if anyone possibly could) and watching Thompson grow as a writer. While at the Air Force Base working as an editor of the Sports Section, he wrote to his family and friends as well as ex-girlfriends. Probably because he was away from home for the first time.

As the years go on the more this book became more interesting. Between following all over this country we follow him to South America were some of his best articles came from. I have read Hell's Angels and The Great Shark Hunt and found this to tie in with those books. Through his consumption of Old Crow and god only knows what else, we see letters to LBJ, various magazine editors, and Mr. Semonin and start to see the Hunter we all know and love to come out. The thing that makes him "likeable" is his blunt honesty, since he calls them as he sees them. He is intelligent and knows a lot about everything. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read Thompson!

If anything this book offers a chance to see what makes this amazing mind tick!

5-0 out of 5 stars The compelling pre-gonzo mind at its finest
Perhaps, as Hunter Thompson suggests in The Proud Highway, people really do take more of a liking to his letters and not his serious work. This statement is easily endorsed by the fine contents that surround it. This is the perfect book for a typical Thompson fan, a collection of eccentric one plus page letters that suit a person with a short attention span. His sylistic prose is best received in short bursts, such as essays, articles, and letters. The letter format also allows us to see the evolution and experimentation Thompson has endured in his life. This pre-gonzo collection is Thompson as himself, not the "Raoul Duke" character he has personified in the past. While Hunter seems incapable of writing anything unautobiographical, the fact remains he is far more qualified to tell this story than any hack biographer seeking to romanticize and sensationalize Thompson's myth for a profit. The Proud Highway tells Thompson's story in a much more engaging fashion than the biographies, though there is no lack of effort and emulation in any of these books. This book should be required reading for aspiring authors.

4-0 out of 5 stars HST at his best
Hunter S. Thomson came to the conclusion at a very young age that he was brilliant, and as a result made a point of saving his letters to prove it. Before Gonzo was Gonzo there was Hunter S. Thomason the lover of the written word, and this collection of letters lets you in on the adventure of an author coming of age. Like the readers of Hemmingway and Kerouac, if you are a lover of Hunter S. Thompson's writing you are more than likely a lover of Hunter S. Thompson - This book is for you. Anyone not familiar with HST will find in this book the archetypical American idealist: self reliant, self directed and uncompromising. However what makes Thompson unique is that he is able to write very, very well, and in so doing his journey is told with vibrancy and power that can only be told by a man who has done much, thought a lot, and wrote even more.

Editor Douglas Brinkley has done an outstanding job arranging Thompson's "trunk load of letters" from a mix of miscellaneous correspondences into a brilliant historical look at the history of America over latter half of twentieth century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply awesome!
This is a must for every wannabe author. This is not simply for the diehard HST fan. The author speaks to everybody but for those born before 1964 it is particularly poignant, a real coming-of-age story. If this had been fiction, it would not have been published because it would have simply been too outrageous to accept. I'm sure in this case 90% of it is true, but only HST would know for sure -- and even he probably forgets much of it. (If you can remember the 1960's, you weren't there.)The softback copy has a great feel and look to it, the paper and the font. A great book to keep in your carry-on baggage even if it is a bit heavy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Start with Hell's Angels, then move here
Did you ever secretly read someone's diary? You knew it was wrong but you couldn't help yourself. We do it because it offers a glimpse into a part of someone's personality that we may have not known. That's essentially what these letters are. When Thompson wrote them it's unlikely he ever intended for them to be open to the public. Although at one point he does make a prophetic statement about his suspicion that people like reading his letters better than his fiction. AND he did keep carbons of everything. No matter. This is completely entertaining. It's fascinating to the see the evolution of his writing and depth of his intellect. He really grows fangs and claws along the way and uses them, usually hilariously, to rip people to shreds. He says the things that we would want to but are afraid to. No one is off limits. Unfortunately, his incredible talent as a writer is overshadowed by his reputation for consuming freakish amounts of booze and pills. Everyone loves a freak show, right? But this shows his power--what made him great. If you're a writer, you'll especially love it. One note: If you've never read any Hunter Thompson, start with his breakout book, Hell's Angels, and then move here. Not only does Proud Highway culminate with the release of that book (which erupted Thompson's fame) but it also rumbles with energy and is a heck of a lot of fun. ... Read more

9. On the Shoulders of Giants : The Post-Italianate Edition
by Robert K. Merton
list price: $28.00
our price: $28.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226520862
Catlog: Book (1993-05-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 280180
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With playfulness and a large dose of wit, Robert Merton traces the origin of Newton's aphorism, "If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Using as a model the discursive and digressive style of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, Merton presents a whimsical yet scholarly work which deals with the questions of creativity, tradition, plagiarism, the transmission of knowledge, and the concept of progress.

"This book is the delightful apotheosis of donmanship: Merton parodies scholarliness while being faultlessly scholarly; he scourges pedantry while brandishing his own abstruse learning on every page. The most recondite and obscure scholarly squabbles are transmuted into the material of comedy as the ostensible subject is shouldered to one side by yet another hobby horse from Merton's densely populated stable. He has created a jeu d'esprit which is profoundly suggestive both in detail and as a whole."--Sean French, Times Literary Supplement

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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Academia Transfixed
'On the Shoulders of Giants' (which shall hereafter be referred to as OTSOG) is the quintessential study of the nature of academicism. It is thinly disguised as a dissertation into the origin (and originality) of Newton's famous aphorism 'If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' However, once the reader finds himself confronted by what might or might not be an attack on Richard Burton (the one that wrote 'The Anatomy of Melancholy'), suspicions grow, and in short order one begins to understand that a leg or two is being pulled.

Of course, it does not end there. Displaying the kind of dazzling scholarship that most academics can only aspire to, Merton zigzags across the intellectual horizon on a quest for the lighter side of truth. In doing so, he exposes many of the pretensions of scholarly work, plagiarism and specious logic. Leaving no stone unturned, we are as likely to find ourselves in pursuit of Tristram Shandy as we are to be wandering through the transept of Chartres Cathedral. All in a mad search to uncover who really used OTSOG first.

It needs to be said that Merton is, on his own, an extremely respected sociologist, one who often has used the scientific and academic world as the focus of his remarkable eye. OTSOG sets out to make points by mimicking its subjects rather than lecturing about them. Whimsical and witty, it still touches on serious issues while exposing a great deal of fascinating minutia. Certainly it is a one of a kind work that enjoys a large cult following among those who are reluctant to take themselves seriously. Look out for Umberto Eco's foreword and Merton's riposte-face as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
Every scholar should this wonderful, joyous book

5-0 out of 5 stars Robert Merton invites comparisons. . .
with Sterne. He comes off third best. First, of course, is the master himself. Second, comes Umberto Eco for his witty, catholic and erudite Forward. Nonetheless, Merton treads where no others have dared in his re-creation of the "Shandean" style. For this, alone, he deserves credit (and reading.) Because Merton chose real characters it was inevitable he failed to reach the pinnacle achieved in Sterne's fictional master-creation: Uncle Toby--one of the great characters in all literature. Do read Merton, and Tristram Shandy. ... Read more

10. Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan B. Holland, Merlin Holland, Rupert Hart-Davis
list price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805059156
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Sales Rank: 99143
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Deliciously wicked, astoundingly clever, and often outright shocking, Oscar Wilde put his art into his work and his genius into his life. In this collection, replete with newly discovered letters, the full extent of that genius is unveiled.

Charting his life from his Irish upbringing to fame in his fin de sicle London to infamy and exile in Paris, the letters-written between 1875 and 1900 to publishers and fans, friends and lovers, enemies and adversaries-resound with Wilde's wit, brilliance, and humanity. Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland, and Rupert Hart-Davis have produced a provocative and revealing self-portrait.

Wilde's reputation as a serious thinker, humorous writer, and gay icon continues to flourish. The Complete Letters is an intimate exploration of his life and thoughts-Wilde in his own words. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilde speaking for himself
This book is an absolue delight, a most wonderful portrait of one of the most interesting figures in history. When people think of Oscar Wilde, they think scandals and love affairs. Wilde has most certainly been made into a larger than life character. This book humanizes Wilde, gives him a chance to speak for himself, to show what he really was. His business corrospondnce, letters to his children, these simple writings from his everyday life show a sign of Wilde that people do not think about. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

3-0 out of 5 stars The not so "Wilde" writings of Oscar...
As one of those people who has always found Oscar Wilde an interesting and inscrutable character I had great expectations and an insatiable desire to finally peruse the epistolary output of this remarkable man. Sadly and I will add through no fault of the editors of this opus this compilation will probably leave most readers still searching for insight. Many of these letters (if not the majority) deal with very mundane issues (e.g. business arrangements,inquiries to publishers, very conventional thank you notes and in the post-gaol notes a good number of entreaties for money). Of course this book does contain De Profundis which does present some fascinating insights about the way his mind was functioning during his incarceration as well as the great indignities attendant with this. I would still recommend this to the diehard Wilde fanatic but to the novice would recommend a good standard biography (Ellman's for example).

5-0 out of 5 stars WILDE with delight!
Though Mr. Wilde is indeed dead, his memory and writing is still with us. With this new book, "THE COMPLETE LETTERS OF OSCAR WILDE" you get a total new insiders glance on Oscar Wilde and his life. If you are a fan of Oscar Wilde, merely just heard of him, or a fan of literature, this is a must-have! ... Read more

11. Jane Austen's Letters
by Jane Austen, Deirdre Le Faye
list price: $21.50
our price: $15.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192832972
Catlog: Book (1997-02-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 20770
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

LARGE PRINT Illustrated.Excellent compilation of Jane Austen's letters to family and friends. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have for the English Regency reference shelf
Primary sources are always the best in understanding the mindset of a period. Here we have a thick collection of Jane Austen's letters, which have been very well annotated by the editor. The contrast between the Memoirs of Harriette Wilson (who lived in the same period, published by the famous courtesan in 1825) are hilarious. Witty but staidly Anglican Jane at one point savagely attacks the very high aristocrats romping their scandalous way through Harriette's world, that "race of Pagets". Jane Austen's letters let us have a glimpses of what daily life in the English gentry and aristocratic class was like in Regency England; seeemingly trivial details such as the buying of Wedgwood china with the personal crest, buying the breakfast set separate to the other china sets (longing to see what a Regency breakfast set looked like! The breakfast set is mentioned in Sense and Sensibility) are actually very difficult to find out about, it is not something historians generally write about. The notes by the editor are fascinating and could lead to further research, for example how did one lord prove his title after being a Dublin potboy? And the gentleman who divorced his wife after the proper lady decided to become a professional actress...usually it was the other way around, the actress became a proper lady! The biographical details added by the editor on various gentry/aristocratic families mentioned in Jane Austen's letters are very tantalising.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for all fans
This collection of Jane Austens letters is a must for all fans who would like a peek inside the mind of the author. It is the most extensive collection to date and Le Faye has done quite a lot to make it as accessible as possible. It features all of the surviving letters from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra plus some letters to some of her brothers, a niece, etc. It also includes three letters from Cassandra to various relatives from the time immediately after Jane Austens death and so also shows Jane Austen from another persons perspective. The only drawback of this book is that all the notes are in the back, arranged by the number of each letter, and so you find yourself flipping back and forth quite a lot but it is an annoyance well worth putting up with.

I have read quite a few bibliographies on Jane Austen but there is no competing with her own words. If you have any kind of interest in Jane Austen as a person then you should definitely get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for Austen fans
Proving that Austen was as fun and readable in her everyday letters as she was in her novels. These letters (about 160 of them) are great fun to read. The biting wit of her novels is clearly evident here.

As pretty much most people know Jane Austen was incredibly close to her sister Cassandra and most of these letters are from Jane to Cassandra while they were separated. After Jane's death Cassandra destroyed goodness knows how many of Jane's letters and all of her own - so this small collection is all that is left - along with some to her neices and other family members.

The collection was first put together in the 1930's by Chapman, but Le Faye has uncovered a few more since then (as I understand it).

The book is great value for money. Le Faye has done a phenomemal job in providing all the support information you will need to read and understand any aspect of the letters. They are footnoted clearly. There is a biographical and Topographical index in here - along with a chronology of Jane's life, and a chronology of the letters themselves - and if all else fails there is a comprehensive index.

For the history buff there is a great amount of really useful everyday infomration - for instance in 1813 apples were scarce in the country and cost 1 pound 5 shillings a sack. And insight into Jane herself - in April 1811 she is searching for a novel called 'Self Control' but says "I am always afraid of finding a clever novel too clever." Perhaps something that guided her own writing.

Over 600 pages of great value reading, pure pleasure and wealth of information.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must For All Janeites!
As a Jane Austen, Regency period and history fan I loved this book. Highly recommend it for fans of any of the above. We get to peep into Jane Austen's real life and real love for her family in the wonderful letters to her sister and her friends. We learn about the period's social mores, what they did for entertainment, the joys and losses of living in the late 1700's/early 1800's. The author carefully explains geographical names and the intricate web of family and friends in the back of the book. I read it with two bookmarks to keep track, but it's easy to read. A must to round out your Jane Austen library. ... Read more

12. The Letters of Robert Lowell
by Robert Lowell
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374185468
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 12120
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Book Description

Over the course of his life, Robert Lowell impressed those who knew him by his "refusal to be boring on paper" (Christopher Benfey). One of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, Lowell was also a prolific letter writer who corresponded with many of the remarkable writers and thinkers of his day, including Elizabeth Bishop, Edmund Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Frost.

These letters document the evolution of Lowell's work and illuminate another side of the intimate life that was the subject of so many of his poems: his deep friendships with other writers; the manic-depressive illness he struggled to endure and understand; his marriages to three prose writers; and his engagement with politics and the antiwar movement of the 1960s.

The Letters of Robert Lowell shows us, in many cases for the first time, the private thoughts and passions of a figure unrivaled for his influence on American letters.
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13. Letters of a Nation
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767903315
Catlog: Book (1999-01-05)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 34125
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Letters of a Nation is a unique and timeless collection of extraordinary letters spanning more than 350 years of American history, from the arrival of the Pilgrims to the present day. Many of the more than 200 letters are published here for the first time, and the correspondents are the celebrated and obscure, the powerful and powerless, including presidents, slaves, soldiers, prisoners, explorers, writers, revolutionaries, Native Americans, artists, religious and civil rights leaders, and people from all walks of life. From the serious (Harry Truman defending his use of the atomic bomb) to the surreal (Elvis Presley to Richard Nixon on fighting drugs in America), this collection of letters covers the full spectrum of human emotion, illuminates the American experience, and celebrates the simple yet lasting art of letter writing. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This book is easy to read and interesting. The editors notes in front of and behind almost every letter really make the book that little bit more. I found all of the letters interesting and many of them quite moving. Many of the letters illuminated subjects about which i was familiar but did not know that little part of the story. I recommend this book for any and every one. You do not have to be American (although much of the information is perhaps from an American perspective) to feel the things that are brought forth by the reading of these letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Letters reveal the true character of a person.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the inner qualities of our nation's most well-known and respected figures and the lesser-known, who were the people who shaped our country. From the early settlers and our founding fathers to people of the present, this book offers a touching and rewarding look into the lives of people during war, hardships, family life, and many other aspects of life. Letter writing truly reveals the inner part of ourselves. A wonderful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Voices of America's Past
What a fantastic book. The letters I've read have brought voices to America's past. It's like reading a hundred stories in one book. For me, it's been an emotional read. The voices of people-slaves,soldiers, presidents and mothers that helped shaped our nation are still ringing in my ears. I'm recommending this to all my friends. A great trip though history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read In 20 Years!
Andrew Carroll is a quiet genius, working seven long years to bring us this most amazing collection of American literature. I originally stumbled across the paperback edition of Andrew's book in an airport bookstore and minutes later, landed in a city three hours away! I've now purchased copies for all my friends since I've never encountered a more wonderful gift. Buy this book for your mate. Buy another copy for a friend. Buy another one for your parents and be sure to get a copy for yourself. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll never be the same again. Roy H. Williams

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent bite of History
This is a wonderful look into the various faces of American history. From the most famous letters like "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," to some of the least known letters like the one from Scott Carpenter's father to him, this book is full of pieces of treasure. The epistolary is a now uncommon type of work, and letterwriting has fallen into disrepute with the rise of e-mail and memos, but this work reminds us of the power of a simple handwritten personal message. A must read! ... Read more

14. Zora Neale Hurston : A Life in Letters
list price: $40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385490356
Catlog: Book (2002-10-08)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 456947
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Whatever happened to Zora Neale Hurston? In the 1930s her stories, novels, folklore studies, and plays were all over the bestseller lists. By the '60s she was forgotten--a reversal of fortune captured in the extraordinary collection Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters.

Why did Hurston's star fade? Simple weariness, her correspondence suggests. She was happier, it seems, tilling her Florida garden than revealing her soul to the world. She was also not shy of crossing swords with the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes, and in a time of growing militancy and the awakening civil rights movement Hurston became increasingly conservative, developing political stances that, editor Kaplan writes, "have often baffled her admirers." Hurston developed a pen-stilling, probably ungrounded suspicion that anything she wrote would be stolen by other writers, who would "then hate me for being alive to make their pretensions out a lie. And then take all kinds of steps to head me off."

Having enjoyed early fame, Hurston died alone and in poverty. This well-assembled and very welcome book traces her sad path, and it adds much to our understanding of the once-neglected writer. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Adventurous life-journey captured in letters
Kaplan's collection of Hurston's letters provides her fans with a first-hand intimate view into the mind of the author which has previously been restricted to the perview of scholars. For the first time, readers can draw their own conclusions about Hurston's often contradictory, enigmatic, and adventurous life.
The letters are logically organized in chronological order with a comprehensive and lively introduction to each decade. Kaplan's painstakingly thorough research, evidenced in her footnotes and glossary, help guide the reader's interpetation and understanding of events in a way that a biography cannot. For this reason, I have read Valerie Boyd's excellent biography in tandem with Kaplan's collection of Hurston's letters. I was also impressed with the "new" research in Kaplan's book that sheds light on some of Hurston's social and political stands, such as her involement in the first black doll to be produced in the U.S. In addition to the many new facts she presents, I also found Kaplan's editorial comments to be extremely enlightening and well-founded. I beleive that most fans who read this collection of letters will most likely feel the same way toward Kaplan as I do . . . deeply grateful for the gift of insight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hurston Fans Rejoice!
This collection of Hurston's letters not only offers insight into the life and thoughts of this fiercely independent and enigmatic writer, it also lends clarity to the historical and cultural context in which they were written. Kaplan's lively introductions to each decade are laced with intelligent commentary and fascinating details that define the complexities of Hurston's life and time.

5-0 out of 5 stars a new fan
I wasn't a Hurston fan when I started reading, but now I find myself fascinated by her life and her times. This book was such a detailed and compelling introduction to both. And so well written!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
An illuminating collection of letters and biography about one of our best American writers. Her rise in scholarship through sheer guts and tragic fading from popularity and opportunity will leave you feeling both sadness and respect for her audacity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zorz Neale Hurston - A life in Letters
What a great way to write a biography. Through Hurston's letters, Kaplan traces Hurston's life. Her annotations are through and so full of the story of this extraordinary woman. I loved it. ... Read more

15. Wahhabism: A Critical Essay
by Hamid Algar
list price: $12.95
our price: $11.01
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Asin: 188999913X
Catlog: Book (2002-03-10)
Publisher: Islamic Publications International
Sales Rank: 55163
Average Customer Review: 3.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Wahhabism, a peculiar interpretation of Islamic doctrine and practice that first arose in mid-eighteenth century Arabia, is sometimes regarded as simply an extreme or uncompromising form of Sunni Islam. This is incorrect, for at the very outset the movement was stigmatized as aberrant by the leading Sunni scholars of the day, because it rejected many of the traditional beliefs and practices of Sunni Islam and declared permissible warfare against all Muslims that disputed Wahhabi teachings. Nor can Wahhabism be regarded as a movement of “purification” or “renewal,” as the source of the genuinely revivalist movements that were underway at the time. Not until Saudi oil money was placed at the disposal of its propagandists did Wahhabism find an echo outside the Arabian Peninsula.

The author discusses the rise of Wahhabism at the hands of Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Wahhab, a native of Najd in the eastern part of the Arabian peninsula, the doctrines he elaborated to serve as the basis of the Wahhabi sect, and the alliance he concluded with the Saudi family, then rulers of the principality of al-Dir’iya. An early result of this union was a creeping conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, misnamed as jihad; it culminated in the sacking of Taif and the occupation of Mecca in 1803. This first Wahhabi occupation was short-lived but Wahhabism triumphed anew with the foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1925. Among the extensions of Wahhabism beyond Arabia must be accounted the perverse and brutal regime of the Taliban in Afghanistan. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary expose of Wahhabism--the ideology of terrorism.
This book is a timely effort. Traditional Muslim scholars fought against this heresy disguising itself in the garb of Islam from the time of its inception by the infamous Ibn Abd al Wahhab al-Najdi who is detailed in this book. Indeed, his own brother, Shaykh Sulayman ibn Abdul Wahhab refuted him as did the great Muslim scholars all over the world; and they are still doing.

This movement is extremely crude and cultish and rejects almost all of the traditional teachings of Islam which do not fit into its narrow black and white views: any Muslim who disagrees with them is considered a non-believer! They are only about 2% of the world's Muslims but because of Saudi petro-dollars their beliefs have spread far and wide amongst the disenchanted youth. They have an especial hatred for Sufism--the heart of Islam and because they can offer nothing spiritual to their followers, Wahhabism is the first step to becoming angry with the rest of the world and leads to terrorism. All the Muslim terrorist organisations are Wahhabi in creed or sympathetic to Wahhabism. This book therefore is excellent for allowing misinformed Western Muslims and non Muslims to differentiate between the religion of Islam (respresented by the Sufis in its highest form and scholars like Imam Ghazzali (12th century), Imam Abu Hanifa (8th) and Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (20th) to name just three from different centuries of Islamic history) and Wahhabism.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book
Prof. Algar should be congratulated for writing this timely book. For readers who do not know about this ideology, it is sufficient to tell them that the illegitimate rulers of Saudi Arabia are the propagators of Wahhabism and most of the internal confusion within Islam can be attributed to them. The Talibans and Osama bin Laden follow this ideology and they do not represent the real Islam. Two quick points - It is a misconception specially in the minds of western scholars that Wahhabism started as a reform movement. Wahhabism was/is just a plot to befool ordinary devout muslims to capture power and that is how Saudi Arabia (the most extremist "muslim" country) is under the control of these power hungry dictators. Secondly, Wahhabis are mostly characterized as "extreme" or as "conservative" Sunnis with adjectives such as "stern" or "austere" (though saudis are not austere by any standard!) added for good reason. It has, however, been observed by knowledgeable Sunnis since the earliest times that Wahhabis do not count as part of "Sunnis" for almost all the practices, traditions and beliefs denounced by the Wahhabis have been historically integral to Sunni Islam, enshrined in a vast body body of literature and accepted by the great majority of muslims. To know more about this tension between traditional "Sunnism" and Wahhabis you should refer to:
Beliefs: Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, Vol. 1
by Muhammad Hisham Kabbani which is available at Amazon

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit tricky to read
I found this book to be a bit tricky to read due to the extensive use of Islamic verbage. I also think the author is highly prejudiced against Wahhabism, but he does take pains to explain why he has negative views on the "movement." Regardless of his personal opinion, the book does a basic job of shedding some light on the beliefs underpinning Al Quida and Saudi Arabian religion...which is the scary part. Whether Wahhabism is a deviant of Islam or not is not the question, but whether it shall become THE dominant doctine of Islam for the next few centuries is the question. I for one cannot see a society surviving based on the tenets of such a draconian culture, except if it is enforced by terror...but only time will tell. One only need to look at Eastern Europe to see the pain a small group of power hungry monsters such as Stalin, Lenin, and Bush...oops.. can inflict on the masses when allowed to rule by the outside world.

It is amazing that our goverment financed the spread of Wahhabism directly through our financing of the Jihad in Afganistan, and even more amazing that the present administration would confuse Saddam's secularist goverment as the threat to the USA, when Wahhabism is clearly the beast that needs to be dealt with and beheaded.

The other point not addressed is, "Do the saudi's intend to inflict this movement on all of Islam, and if they do, will Bin Laden coopt the movement for himself and become the first caliph of the 21st century? (With all of our oil supplies under his control)

5-0 out of 5 stars High time
It's high time that ppl started revealing these puritanicals as the whackos they really are. Their version of Islam is very weakly rooted in the true understandings of Islam and in fact a corruption of the religion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I had some difficulty reading this work due to the extensive use of Arabic terms. The terms are indeed the best to describe the concepts they convey however for the uninitiated it can make understanding aspect of the essay a bit treacherous. Also the key word in the title is "Critical". All in all this is an interesting book. ... Read more

16. Poems and Selected Letters (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe)
by Veronica Franco
list price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226259870
Catlog: Book (1999-02-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 296226
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Veronica Franco (whose life is featured in the motion picture Dangerous Beauty) was a sixteenth-century Venetian beauty, poet, and protofeminist. This collection captures the frank eroticism and impressive eloquence that set her apart from the chaste, silent woman prescribed by Renaissance gender ideology.

As an "honored courtesan", Franco made her living by arranging to have sexual relations, for a high fee, with the elite of Venice and the many travelers--merchants, ambassadors, even kings--who passed through the city. Courtesans needed to be beautiful, sophisticated in their dress and manners, and elegant, cultivated conversationalists. Exempt from many of the social and educational restrictions placed on women of the Venetian patrician class, Franco used her position to recast "virtue" as "intellectual integrity," offering wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life.

Franco became a writer by allying herself with distinguished men at the center of her city's culture, particularly in the informal meetings of a literary salon at the home of Domenico Venier, the oldest member of a noble family and a former Venetian senator. Through Venier's protection and her own determination, Franco published work in which she defended her fellow courtesans, speaking out against their mistreatment by men and criticizing the subordination of women in general. Venier also provided literary counsel when she responded to insulting attacks written by the male Venetian poet Maffio Venier.

Franco's insight into the power conflicts between men and women and her awareness of the threat she posed to her male contemporaries make her life and work pertinent today.

... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Untitled
Though some of the letters included in this book are quite hard to get through without having a coffee break, the poems are absolutely fascinating. They are filled with passion and mystery. The majority of poems to or from lovers of Veronica Franco in this book are unknown, which leaves the beauty of being able to make up your own mind. This title doesn't focus so much on her life so if your after history of Veronica then another title might be more suitable. Otherwise this is well worth the buy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Fruit of Poetry
Veronica Franco had an unbelieveable ability to write-beautifully translated and expressed in Poems and Selected Letters (Other Voice in Early Modern Europe). Margaret F. Rosenthal put this book together with careful thinking, allowing it's readers to skip to different poems and letters easily. I am not reviewing Ms. Rosenthal as much as I am Veronica Franco in her writing. The poetry is revolved around her daily events, none out of the ordinary. My particular favorite being Capitulo 13-A Challenge To A Lover Who Has Offended Her. Excellent for those interested in this portion of history, a Courtesan's life, and one who loves poetry. Very beautiful! I rated it 4 out of 5 stars-it only lacks the one star because it take a working brain to relate the poetry to what it actually means. But once done, it is well worth the time. :)

3-0 out of 5 stars Delightful reading
The book is romantic and charming. I enjoyed it because it was written by a prostitute and she explained her life as a human being. Whereas most books treat prostitutes as abtract objects being studied by an out of touch intellectual. I was delighted at the content and found it to be enjoyable reading. However, the interpretation of the poetry to English forces it to loose its rhyme and the poems seem weak on depth. If you are reading it for quality poetry, you would be best off reading other classics. The poems simply give a window into this facisnating woman's life. They are not artfully written poems, they are just amazing because they were written in a time period when women were not supposed to be educated.

5-0 out of 5 stars prego! prego!
Veronica's work is much too hard to find, but this book made the search worth while. As with well reproduced Italian poetry, being able to read it both as it was written and in English is pleasure. We can all relate to some of the things she writes regarding missing home and affairs of the heart, especially the pain we suffer when we are parted from these two things. The translation was superb to the point of finding it hard to believe the words were penned four centuries ago.

5-0 out of 5 stars This girl could write.
Veronica Franco was one of the foremost poets of her time--her time being the 1600s--and her place being Venice. It is amazing that it has taken this long for a volume of her poetry and prose to make it into English. Witty, erotic, playful, sophisticated: such is her poetry, by and large. The woman had a wicked tongue and a busy pen. This volume is a must for anyone interested in the history of literary women. ... Read more

17. Letters to Penthouse XV: Outrageous, Erotic, Orgasmic!
by The Editors of Penthouse Magazine
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446611220
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 41291
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18. Letters From the Editor, The New Yorker's Harold Ross
list price: $26.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375503978
Catlog: Book (2000-01-04)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 666075
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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"Don't waste your time and words on letters," Harold Ross cautioned more than one writer. "You don't get paid for them." Happily, The New Yorker's founding editor and dreamer didn't follow his own advice, and now--thanks to his biographer, Thomas Kunkel--we can share in Ross's revealing, inspiring, and hilarious correspondence. The fizzingcommuniqués collected in Letters from the Editor begin when he was a serviceman in France during World War I, and from the start his impulses were comedic. In April 1918, for example, a shell came a little too close for comfort: "My morale was shattered. I immediately retreated to a subway station and remained there for two hours. I then came up and consumed a whole bottle of 'morale.'"

Ross liked to present himself as an unadorned, uneducated type, but from the moment he magicked up The New Yorker in 1924, it's clear that he was far more. Nonetheless, as late as 1949 he declared, "I don't know anything I've done for the human race, except possibly entertain a minute segment of it from time to time, and I can't compare myself with Goethe, because I don't know what he did for the race, either." The above quotes should give readers some notion of Ross's zinging mode, his sentences gathering into an absurd or satirical finale. Here's another: In 1937, he told E.B. White: "A gentleman from Montreal wrote in suggesting that your last piece be set to music. I suppose you got that letter. There was some talk that I ought to write you a letter upon completion of ten years service and I started a couple of times on it, my idea being to have that set to music and sing it to you." And the paragraph only gets better from there--just take a look at page 120. In fact, Ross's dispatches to White and White's wife, New Yorker editor Katharine White, are among the book's most tantalizing as he wheedles, exclaims, scolds, and invigorates.

Ross lived for his job, and gave endless support to his writers, artists, and editors. His letters to the likes of Fitzgerald, Thurber, Rebecca West--not to mention the various Marx brothers--are graceful and unsycophantic. Yet he was no less solicitous to the obscure. In 1949 he complimented one Sally Benson on her "very good and trim story" before admonishing her: "Twenty-six stories in the next twenty-six weeks is what I expect from you, young lady, and come to think of it no more suicides during that period. Our characters have been bumping themselves off so often lately that our readers think they're reading Official Detective half the time."

Of course Letters from the Editor lets us in on far more than The New Yorker, but it is Ross's missives and memos to his staff and contributors--and several more than acrimonious shots at his publisher and advertising department--that are most intriguing. Here was an editor who was concerned with every level of the magazine: he kept a card catalog with story ideas but was equally obsessed with language, commas, typos, and even the vexed question of large or small capital letters. In this sense, Kunkel's collection is a sublime record of a lost era. Ross was a lucky visionary, after all, who never concerned himself with target audiences, focus groups, or user testing. By his own lights, he and his colleagues were not "'aware' of our readers. It's the other way around with me. All I know about getting out a magazine is to print what you think is good ... and let nature take its course: if enough readers think as you do, you're a success, if not you're a failure. I don't think it's possible to edit a magazine by 'doping out' your audience, and would never try to do that." Hmmm, could Harold Ross have something there? --Kerry Fried ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading--because Ross is worth reading
Most of the text is Ross's; this is what makes the book worth 4 stars.

Some of the explanatory comments are pretty clumsy:

"Married to Fleischmann's ex-wife, Ruth, a major New Yorker stockholder, Vischer played a strong behind-the-scenes role at the magazine and was trying to keep Ross from quitting." (p. 271)

Would a sentence like that have ever made the pages of the New Yorker?

I can't comment on the selection of letters with any authority, but it's at least adequate: Truman Capote progresses from someone who, in September 1944, "wouldn't have been employed here [even] as [an office boy] probably, if it hadn't been for the man- and boy-power shortage" (Capote had insulted Robert Frost by walking out on poetry reading) to somone whose stories Ross would like to see more of, if they "aren't too psychopathic" in July 1949.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alive in His Letters
These letters were my companion as I read "Genius in Disguise", Kunkel's wonderful biography of Harold Ross. The biography tells the story of Ross and his founding and development of The New Yorker. These letters bring Ross to life and convey the personality that spotted and nurtured the talent that made the magazine great. Here's a quick letter to John Cheever in 1947, which gives a little flavor of the man:

"Dear Cheever:
I've just read "The Enormous Radio," having gone away for a spell and got behind, and I send my respects and admiration. The piece is worth coming back to work for. It will turn out to be a memorable one, or I am a fish. Very wonderful, indeed."
As ever,

5-0 out of 5 stars Am loving every page of this book
I've long been a fan of The New Yorker altho the drawings and not the too lengthy articles are my favorites now.

Have read most of the books about working at the magazine, but this is the best. Harold Ross had such a way with words. I particularly liked the letter of sympathy to E.B. White (page 97) upon death of White's father: "...after you get to be thirty people you know keep dropping off all the time and it's a hell of a note." And about Christmas: " always comes at the very worse moment in the year for me."

Here is truly a genius at work. I thought it was ironic also that although he said don't waste time writing letters as you don't get paid for them, he wrote them so well. It is also interesting that the editor of this book finally found some recordings that Ross made and he was dictating letters!

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys The New Yorker and would like to know how it developed over the years.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Literary Anthology, Laugh Out Loud Funny
Even more than Kunkel's brilliant biography "Genius in Disguise," this book offers special insights into "New Yorker" founder and editor Harold Ross, not only a seminal figure in American letters but a sardonic wit reminiscent of H.L. Mencken, one of the people with whom he frequently exchanged letters. (Indeed, the sweep of his correspondence, from "New Yorker" stalwarts like E.B. White and his wife Katherine to Dorothy Parker and James Thurber all the way to John O'Hara, Harpo Marx, various state governors and other polticos, President Truman, and Premier Nehru, is impressive in itself.) While in many of these letters, Ross comes across as that curmudgeon one might expect, there is a touch of tender concern in others that shows you that some of the gruffness was merely a pose--as is his stance as the long-suffering, embattled editor who says he would rather be doing anything else, but who clearly shows he is having the time of his life.

The book may be a bit abstruse in places for those who do not know the history of the "New Yorker" during the Ross editorship, but there seems to be enough comedy throughout to maintain even a casual reader's interest. Anyone who has enjoyed "Genius in Disguise" will surely love this book. I guess the greatest complement I can offer is now that I've read Kunkel's two Ross portrayals, I can't wait for his next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's to literacy
Ross's legendary gruffness and expansive curiosity are revealed in this wonderful book. Kunkel's superb biography of Ross, "Genius in disguise," deserved this follow-up, in which the subject speaks for himself. He is as lively a letter-writer as ever lived, making one wish that email weren't the washed out modern excuse for correspondence that it so often is. Read it; then go and read the old New Yorkers on microfilm at the university library. Sensational. ... Read more

19. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman
by Richard Phillips Feyman
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 141934322X
Catlog: Book (2005-05)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Sales Rank: 203000
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Richard Feynman himself...
With this new book collecting Richard Feynman's correspondence, you won't only better know about a Nobel laureate physicist, but you will be able to appreciate the deepest insight, knowledge and inspiration of an honest man. From his first beloved wife or the Manhattan project to motivation and good understanding of Physics. I have loved Feynman since I first read one of R. Leighton books when I was a teenager, he inspired and encouraged me a lot and since I had a great interest in Science I eventually fell in love with Physics, which I'm studying know, thanks to him. Besides, his wise guide helped me out to understand life better and cope with difficulties, mostly tackling problems à-la Feynman. This book is worth reading and it's quite big with hardcover so the price is quite great!

Everybody interested in Feynman biography and character cannot miss this chance to meet him at his most personal book for which we all should thank his daughter Michelle Feynman. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR MAKING THE WORLD WISER ABOUT A GREAT SCIENTIST AND HUMAN BEING. ... Read more

20. Dear Americans :Letters from the Desk of Ronald Reagan
list price: $26.00
our price: $16.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385507569
Catlog: Book (2003-10-21)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 9242
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ronald Reagan’s “Handwriting File” contains an archive of thousands of handwritten missives from the president to his constituents, written throughout his eight years in office. Historian Ralph E. Weber and his son have selected the highlights from this treasure trove, creating a uniquely intimate portrait of Reagan at work.

A fascinating glimpse at the issues facing the United States during the 1980s, Dear Americans is arranged chronologically to trace history in the making. Taking time each week to respond to dozens of Americans who asked him about a tremendous range of issues, Reagan delivered sensitive, eloquent messages to senior citizens worried about the Social Security program’s solvency, angry critics of the Star Wars missile defense program, parents of soldiers killed in Lebanon, and children inquiring about details of presidential life. Not all of the recipients were strangers; Dear Americans also features correspondence with close friends of Reagan, both famous and obscure.

Written in a down-to-earth, often gently humorous tone, the letters featured in Dear Americans reveal much about this president’s unshakable political convictions, religious faith, and concern for humanity. In the bestselling tradition of When Character Was King and I Love You, Ronnie, this compulsively readable collection will be on thousands of wish lists this holiday season.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insight into the Character of Reagan from his own Words
It turns out that Ronald Reagan, often derided for intellectual shortcomings, was a vociferous letter writer throughout his eight years in the White House. This collection pulls together in a single book, many of the letters he wrote on all varieties of subjects and to all manners of persons. There are letters to supporters, letters to opponents, letters to world leaders and letters to Americans who wrote either in support or critically. Most incredibly, there are letters Reagan wrote to a child with whom he maintained a "pen pal" correspondence throughout his time in Washington.

These letters, many with handwritten additions or paragraphs were Reagan's personal correspondence, not edited or ghost written by speech writers or other advisors. They reveal a man who was not detached from either the day to day workings of his administration or the policy arguments the administration was engaged in. Many of the letters are touching or filled with humor. Many times I found myself chuckling. For example, when Reagan gently let down a boy who was hoping to receive federal cleanup funds because his mother had declared his room a "disaster area." Some have a hint of anger or defiance. Many of the letters are responses by Reagan to individual citizens who wrote to him critical of a certain policy. His replies were always polite and respectful of alternative opinions. But he seems to have made the effort to convince these people of their mistakenness. The letters reveal much about Reagan the man. The book is arranged in chronological order with an introduction written by the editors detailing each year of the administration and the main issues Reagan faced both personal and professional. In this manner the book reads like a memoir of Reagan's time in Washington. I do not intend to discuss whether Reagan was right or wrong in his views or his actions. Obviously, Reagan believed he was correct and his letters reflect this belief. Others certainly disagree and may well be right to do so. But it will be helpful to an understanding of Reagan and his times to put to bed the myth that Reagan was a scripted movie actor. These letters prove this is not so. History will be served if Reagan's opponents can criticize the actions he took or the views he held and not re-hash a phony mythology. I recommend this excellent collection to anyone, friend or foe, interested in Ronald Reagan and his times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming
Great insight into the heart and mind of a great American. The letters contained in this book illustrate Reagan's convictions, humility and sense of humor. His letters to ordinary citizens are the best - gracious responses to both complimentary and negative letters he received. Reagan's love for his country and his fellow citizens is evident throughout. This is a truly heartwarming read. ... Read more

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