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41. The Western Guide to Feng Shui:
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42. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
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43. The Road to Serfdom
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44. The Civil War
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45. Zen Talks
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46. Darwin on Trial
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47. Getting the Love You Want
48. Other Side and Back: A Psychic's
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49. A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration
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50. Uncovering Clinton : A Reporter's
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51. The Four Agreements: A Practical
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52. His Excellency: George Washington
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53. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and
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54. Nothing Like It In The World :
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55. Three Nights in August : Strategy,
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56. Angela's Ashes (AUDIO CASSETTE)
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57. On War
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58. Animals as Teachers and Healers
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59. Arcanum : The Extraordinary True
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60. The Heart of Parenting : Raising

41. The Western Guide to Feng Shui: Six-Tape Audio Program and Workbook
by Terah Kathryn Collins
list price: $59.95
our price: $59.95
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Asin: 1561704350
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Hay House Audio Books
Sales Rank: 378539
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terah keeps it simple and easy to use
Terah's voice is very pleasing to listen to and she presents the concepts simply so one can immediately put the concepts to use in your home and office. I have done both -- with good effect. Her experience in working with hundreds of homes and offices is condensed into a very pleasant listening and learning experience. If you want to affirm in your physical world what you are already affirming and praying for in your mental world, then this is the program for you. I've listened to a lot of tape programs over the years and hers is among the best!

5-0 out of 5 stars Western Guide to Feng Shui - 6 audio tape series
This tape series is the follow on to the original piece by the author. What an excellent way for readers to learn about Feng Shui - while driving the long commute home or at home. Terah Collins covers the basics in a clear, concise, and informative way. I finally understand the history behind this Eastern practice of building and maintaining harmonious and peaceful environmental surroundings. The workbook clearly compliments topics on tape. Especially useful is tape 5 which covers the room by room outline for emphasizing each type of chi treasure that is part of the bagua in one's home or office. My home has already become a more inviting and peaceful place to live! ... Read more

42. 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
by Stephen R. Covey
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 1883219116
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Covey
Sales Rank: 328272
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This program will help you solve many family dilemmas, such as:

* how to balance your family life with your work life in the midst of life's pressures.
* how to develop a family mission statement that will serve as a foundation for building a beautiful family culture in a turbulent world.
* how to balance "tough" discipline with "soft" discipline by implementing a Third Alternative™ that is both tougher and kinder.
* how parents can maintain control while still giving family members the freedom to grow and develop.
* how to build a high-trust and loving marriage relationship in a world where cynicism, violence, and low trust are prevalent. ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Transformed our Family
We discovered this book after being introduced to Stephen Covey's work through business (7 Habits of Highly Successful People.) We were delighted that he and his wife have applied these principles to family life, and we set to work on applying what we learned to our family.
For example, we have made a concerted effort at changing the way we listen to each other in our family. Now we truly have adopted the culture of listening first to understand, and what a gift that has been to our relationships. Time after time, we catch ourselves from going down the old useless and hurtful path of arguing/debating/proving who's experience is right, and instead stop and listen with empathy to understand.
We also recommend the picture book If I Ran The Family, for sharing these insights with kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars A set of tools for building and strengthening families
In introducing "7 Habits for Highly Effective Families," Covey writes that societal forces have changed, and that we can no longer rely on a family-friendly society to help us with our families. That approach, which he termed the "outside-in" approach was useful in the middle of the 20th century. But at the turn of the century, when societal forces are combining to undermine the family, Covey argues that we need an "inside-out" approach, where we take greater care as parents to create a family culture that encourages goodness, morality and love.

With that premise in mind, Covey applies the 7 Habits to family life. I'm not familiar with the 7 Habits as they are applied to individuals, but as I've tried to apply them in my family I've been impressed by the results. As a husband and father, I feel as if I now have a set of tools to build and strengthen my family, and an understanding of how to use them.

4-0 out of 5 stars More good advice on how you manage your family life.
After reading about Highly Effective People, Covey gives more sound advice on how effective families function. I think Covey does a good job in describing how effective family structures place all members in a win/win situation. This reading is rather light on how to tackle issues with family members in difficulties and/or problems situations. Covey just feels that all members are in the family to work together. In most circumstances, there is always one or more family members battling difficulties such as drug abuse, depression, uncontrollable behavior. Covey would probably argue that good family structures would prevent/minimize such problems. However all families face some difficulties and the book is rather light on facing these problems.
A good read on how to structure a family and make each member a contributor to the team. This book is not a cure all, but it has some sound advice.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books on Families Available
Do yourself and your family a favor and order this book and/or the tapes/cd. It will be one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your loved ones.

The entire family should read and absorb it's concepts and principles for a happier, healthier, family life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will help you become a better parent
I read just about every parenting book that I can get my hands on and this one is a must read. No matter your background, no matter whether you had good role models or not you too can learn how to be that parent that you have always dreamed of being. It just takes some practical tools and some motivation on your part.

Every parent should read this book. ... Read more

43. The Road to Serfdom
by Friedrich A. Hayek
list price: $49.95
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Asin: 0786100508
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 348856
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (126)

5-0 out of 5 stars We're still debating after 7 decades
This classic still holds up well today, seemingly as fresh as a recent work such as "Against The Dead Hand" by Brink Lindsey.It's amazing that Hayek was able to draw the parallels between Soviet Germany and Nazi Germany so early in their respective histories.It is also telling that, despite broad British acceptance during WWII, American publishers were loathe to print and distribute the work here.Perhaps more ironic, than telling, given where Hayek's ideas are flourishing the most.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Liberalism - STILL the untraveled road
This is Hayek's classic critique and best statement against central planning. He would return to some of the ideas espoused in this book later on in his career, but the ideas are most lucidly expressed here.

The fatal flaw of central planning socialism was that it failed to take into account how people would react to planning and would make the decisions and carry out the planning once implemented. Among the failures of 'planning': 1) The uprooting of the rule of law in societal arrangement; 2) The worst people getting to the top because planning entails absolute power over society; 3) Central planning randomly picks winners and loosers and who gets have to court influence; 4) The illiberal (read: Naziism and Italian fascism) societies created by central planning in terms of freedom of movement, 'social' liberties disregarded. The most interesting thing about Hayek was that from his professorship until his death, he still supported some kind of limited-guidelines-based welfare state.

Hayek's book was dismissed in it's time, but may at least partially have been vindicated by history. Liberalism was in serious decline before a sudden 1970s revival, and this stands as one of the few statements on liberalism from 1918-1966 (a few others being Popper's "Open Society", Isaiah Berlin's "Liberty" and Mises' "Liberalism").

Definitely recommended for anyone doing a serious study of the political rifts in the 20th century. In some ways, Hayek's "Serfdom" is more relevant today with the Right-wing "neo-mercantilism" that Republicans enjoy (gotta love the warfare state!)

P.S. To the reviewer Mr. David Swan, maybe you should read the post-script to "The Constitution of Liberty", the essay titled: "Why I'm not a Conservative" -cause Hayek wasn't a conservative, he was a classic liberal from beginning to end. Despite history, you can still find some (in my view very few) elements of liberalism in the democratic and republican parties. This point he painfully tried to make clear during his academic no avail. If you want to know what Right-wing think tanks are up to pick up Russell Kirk or Natan Sharansky instead 'cause most conservatives wouldn't even know who Hayek was.

5-0 out of 5 stars Equal opportunity--or equal results?
This is how Hayek posits the contrasting goals of the Rule of Law and Socialism, the economic tyranny that turns individuals into cogs in a grand plan.

"Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends."

Although Hayek wrote this at the end of WW II and before the East Bloc socialism of the Cold War, this should be required reading today for anyone who isn't clear over the nature of the EU.

A similar scenario is playing out in Europe, where all buses and trucks must eventually be the same length and where farm families may no longer help each other with harvesting or run equipment until the job is done: just a few of the 80,000 regulations superimposed from Brussels.All in the name of central planning.

One might suspect that political maneuvering is about to accomplish what Marx, Lenin and Stalin couldn't accomplish in Western Europe through outright attack on democracy and capitalism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons for the Left and Right
`The Road to Serfdom' is required reading among conservatives and F. A. Hayek's words can still be heard echoing throughout right wing think tanks. The problem is that an amazing linguistic bait and switch has occurred. Mr. Hayek's main argument is against socialism which he blames for Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy but what the author freely admits in his 1976 preface is that the definition of socialism has changed. When the book was written in the 1940's, Hayek was arguing against complete state ownership of business which he saw as the first step towards fascism. Today, however, socialism has become attached to the redistribution of wealth which is not the dictionary definition. The original ideas of socialism are dead so why is Hayek still so intently read? The fact is that some conservatives are trying to take Hayek's ideas to their extreme limit.

Fredrick A. Hayek was vigorously opposed to collectivism and central planning. His assertion was that distributed planning is superior because decision makers are closer to the problem. The bigger issues are that central planning ruins Democracy by placing authority in the hands of unelected experts and enslaves citizens by creating institutions they may disapprove of. It's interesting to note that unelected experts make decisions all the time. The Judicial branch and the presidents' entire cabinet are unelected. If Hayek wanted to avoid the delegation of authority to unelected officials there would have to be a complete restructuring of the U.S. government. Also, Hayek's problem with central planning projects meeting universal or even majority approval seems unrealistic. Using Hayek's thinking Evolution would still be a restricted subject in the classrooms.

Hayek was not specifying socialism per se as the cause of restrictions on freedom. His fight was against the broader problem of the concentration of power. It just happened that in the mid 1940's socialism WAS the greatest threat to the distribution of power. Mr. Hayek uses a quote by Hilaire Belloc that says, "The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself". Hayek mentions his lack of concern over the 50 to 1 disparity in wealth between the wealthiest and poorest Americans but how would he feel about the current 400 times or more disparity? The concentration of wealth IS the concentration of power and as such is as much a threat to freedom and democracy as socialism ever was.

No doubt, F. A. Hayek was a pragmatist. Even while arguing against the socialist aim of bringing business and job placement fully under the control of the state, Hayek still had the foresight to warn against `excessive privatization'. Again, I have to wonder how Mr. Hayek would feel about privatization of Social Security, Education and even in some cases the military.

Mr. Hayek listed some telltale signs of growing totalitarianism that seem eerily recognizable in the U.S. today including groupthink, suppression of information, the politicalization of science and a high state of nationalism. It's poor form to try and speak for the deceased so I wouldn't speculate on Hayek's opinion of the current Conservative movement but their far right members are certainly extending Hayek's ideas far beyond anything he expressed in "The Road to Serfdom". Despite his strong beliefs Hayek was still pragmatic enough to recognize moderation and a country run by lobbyists sitting on a mountain of cash doesn't seem like the free and democratic ideal that F. A. Hayek was envisioning.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Road to Serfdom" paved with good intentions?
I'm not sure whether or not the book was titled to play off the saying "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions" or not, but that is in effect Hayek's main criticism of Socialism.He shows in numerous ways how socialism must lead to totalitarianism, and indicates a few negative aspects of totalitarianism, but fails to reject socialism on the grounds that is morally wrong.In fact he argues against the possibility of a "benevolent dictatorship" on the basis that the process favors the malevolent!

Do you notice a problem here?While all his points are valid, Hayek concedes the moral high ground to the socialists.His main argument amounts to "the goals of socialism are noble, but there are no practical ways to get there".Well the goals, means, and ends of socialism are the destruction of individual rights.Speaking of individual rights, Hayek's grasp on that is weak at best.Hayek claims that individual rights are preserved so long as the rule of law is preserved, and that is preserved so long as all laws apply to everyone without exception.I hope most people can think of numerous laws that could be applied equally to all and still be a violation of human rights.

If you seek an understanding of what's wrong with socialism, I would highly recommend Ayn Rand's "Capitalism- The Unknown Ideal."If you seek an understanding of how socialist philosophy led to the rise of Nazism and Communism, I would highly recommend Leonard Peikoff's "Ominous Parallels."
... Read more

44. The Civil War
list price: $18.00
our price: $18.00
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Asin: 0679403736
Catlog: Book (1991-03-06)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 254140
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now on audio -- excerpts from the mega-bestselling companion volume to Ken Burns' phenomenally successful nine-part PBS Series, "The Civil War."

The Civil War is a stunning evocation of one of the most crucial times in our history, one that has recaptured the American imagination. Here are the events of a war that tore our nation asunder, from the firing of the first shot at Fort Sumter, to the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Shiloh and Gettysburg, to Sherman's march to the sea, to the fall of Richmond. Here, too, is the story of the familiar figures who battled at the frontlines and behind the scenes: President Lincoln, Southern statesman Jefferson Davis and the brilliant generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. And here are glimpses into the lives of the soldiers, the slaves, the families who willingly fought against their own kin. This is an extraordinary and spectacular account of a moment in history that dramatically and forever changed America. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction - Visual and Literary - to Civil War
When I was a boy, my father had a two vol. set put out by American Heritage called "The Civil War." Its words, pictures, sidebars, and maps helped instill in me a fascination with the war and history.

Burns and Ward have done the same service for a new generation. This is a fine one volume treatment of the Civil War done in a most accessible fashion. The words provide a good overview and summary of the subject. What brings it alive are the many pictures, maps, focus subjects and commentaries in this coffee table book. The media and elements come together to fascinate and captivate the reader. This book is a companion to Burn's monumental ten part PBS television series by the same title. The book captures it's style well, and even uses some of the most memorable documents -- like the romantic and haunting Sullivan Ballou (sp?) letter written prior to the first Bull Run that foretold the passing of its author and a simpler America.

Althought the material is strictly introductory, even the serious Civil War student will find fascination at haveing a story they know so well, so well illustrated and illuminated.

Introduce your children to this book and watch them become interested in our country's greatest story.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Primer on the Subject...With some Reservations
If you've never read any books on the Civil War, this is a good book to start with. Avoid the Vintage quality paperback edition which is simply the text of the book without the wonderful illustrations.

I think the illustrations and the text are made for each other and Knopf did a wonderful job pairing them together. Ward and the Burns brothers (remember, Ric Burns had a hand in this project too so Ken shouldn't get all the credit) chose judiciously and well. The book admittedly doesn't match the overall power of the series but it certainly does well on it's own. The end result is a big, beautiful book you'd be proud to have on your coffee table.

If there is a downside to this volume, it's probably in the tone in which it was written. It's definitely got a Yankee bias to it. The idea that either McClellan or Meade could have "destroyed" Lee at any time seems a bit absurd given Lee's military gifts and leadership. No doubt they could have possibly inflicted grievous losses on Lee (McClellan prior to and during Sharpsburg, and Meade following Gettysburg), but that was highly unlikely and only on the condition that the Army of Northern Virginia would have been placed in a do or die fight (except possibly Chancellorsville).

Other flaws I'd have to say is the typical slavery argument and Barbara J. Fields. Slavery was a major cause, but that isn't all. Frankly, I'd like to think that the War started simply because there was too much antagonistic feelings between North and South. They simply didn't like each other anymore. Fields' essay is utterly dismissable. Her comments on the series were annoying and her "knowledge" of the war shallow. There was much more to the war than that.

Despite these flaws, the book has far more strengths. James McPherson contributes a good essay as does C. Van Woodward. Ken Burns' two day interview with Shelby Foote (which gave the series the majority of its warmth) is included in here albeit in edited form and to me, is nearly worth the price alone.

If you're just starting out reading about the Civil War, buy this or borrow it. It's worth the time. Certainly worth the money if you can afford it.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Universe of Battle"
The Civil War, written by Ken Burns, Ric Burns and historian Geoffrey C. Ward, is the companion volume to the outstanding 1990 documentary series from the Public Broadcasting System. Lavishly illustrated with paintings, photographs and maps, this book tells the dramatic and tragic story of America's bloodiest conflict.

Like the television series from which this project was derived, its narrative is both informative and awe-inspiring. Its prose is lovingly crafted, and one can almost hear the voice of historian-writer David McCullough, who narrated the TV episodes, when reading from any of its five chapters.

"By the summer of 1861, Wilmer McLean had had enough," write the authors in the introduction, The Crossroads of Our Being. "Two great armies were converging on his farm, and what would be the first major battle of the Civil War -- Bull Run, or Manassas as the Confederates called it -- would soon rage across the aging Virginian's farm, a Union shell going so far as to tear through his summer kitchen. Now McLean moved his family away from Manassas, far south and west of Richmond -- out of harm's way, he prayed -- to a dusty crossroads town called Appomatox Court House. And it was there in his living room three and a half years later that Lee surrendered to Grant, and Wilmer McLean could rightfully say, 'The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor.' "

Although the hardcover edition is a coffee table sized volume, it is not a terribly long or exhaustive work. There are only five chapters, each one dedicated to a year of the war and followed by an essay by an eminent historian. My personal favorite is the essay "Men at War" by Shelby Foote, whose award winning three volume history of the Civil War is considered by many to be among the best on the subject. More interview than essay, "Men at War" attempts to explain why Civil War battles were so bloody; "It was brutal stuff," Foote explains, "and the reason for the high casualties is really quite simple: the weapons were way ahead of the tactics." Foote also discusses the primitive medical techniques of the time, and has this to say about Lee at Gettysburg: "Gettysburg was the price the South paid for having Lee." On the issue of who won the war, Foote says, "I can tell you who lost it -- the South lost the war. But I'm not sure anybody won that war. It's a tragedy."

Other essay writers include Barbara J. Fields, James M. McPherson, Don E. Fehrenbacher and C. Vann Woodward.

The Civil War follows the structure of Ken Burns' documentary, and most of the individuals portrayed in the PBS series (ranging from Presidents Lincoln and Davis to Union soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes -- who rose from private to colonel during the war -- and Confederate soldier-turned-author Sam Watkins) are wonderfully described in the text.

While definitely not a substitute for the film on which it's based, The Civil War is a fine book and a good one-volume introduction to the worst internal crisis the American people ever faced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Monumental work
This volume is absolutely fantastic. And I mean everything: pictures, diagrams, maps, selected excerpts, citations, documentary, and of course description of war times, politics, people and battles. I have improved dramatically my knowledge about the Civil War; it's immeasurable size, cruelty and influence on American future. Reading left me simply shocked, full of thoughts about tragedies of soldiers and civilians being simply unlucky by living during these times. I truly recommend this masterpiece to everyone interested in this history.


45. Zen Talks
by Shunryu Suzuki
list price: $20.95
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Asin: 1561769436
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: Mystic Fire Audio
Sales Rank: 513793
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An essential piece of the puzzle
For those who are not familiar with Shunryu Suzuki, this tape may not be helpful. For those like myself who chronically read "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind", this recording of Suzuki's lectures is a fascinating piece of the puzzle in the mystery. Listening to his halting, lapidary but sometimes humorous speech, I got an unusual connection to the real person and got an inkling of why he viewed "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" as the understanding of his disciples - not as his understanding. ... Read more

46. Darwin on Trial
by Phillip Johnson, Frederick Davidson
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 0786103558
Catlog: Book (1994-03-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 502508
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (117)

2-0 out of 5 stars Important reading for the cultural debates, not for science
I read this after listening to Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy, by Edward J. Larson, an excellent recorded lecture produced by the Teaching Company.By way of stating my own biases, I grew up as a Christian and have since become an atheist and I read a lot of books on evolution.

I would strongly recommend reading Brian Spitzer's comments on this book at have not yet double-checked Spitzer's allegation of misquotations, but given Johnson's numerous misstatements and the extremely erratic quality of his "Research Notes, I am inclined to believe Spitzer.He has a lot of other excellent points to make as well.There are a number of other books recommended by the negative reviews, but, since Johnson relies heavily on quotations from Steven J. Gould, I would also recommend reading Daniel Dennett's comments on Gould in "Bully for Brontosaurus", chapter 10 of Darwin's Dangerous Idea.

I am personally troubled by Johnson's inaccurate description of the history of Darwinian evolution in portraying it as a juggernaut that began rolling with the publication of Origin of Species and has crushed all opposition ever since.In fact, Darwinism was considered to be almost dead around 1900. It has, in fact, survived and triumphed over a withering amount of criticism from scientists. I am having a lot of trouble with the picture that Johnson paints of scientists rallying belligerently around a theory that they don't believe in, crushing all dissent, especially since he keeps quoting scientists whom he claims are both prominent and dissenting.I also find it disingenuous if not downright dishonest for Johnson to claim that he is arguing only about the particular theory of Darwinism. Many of his arguments would apply to all of science.

If you are researching the cultural debates, then you should read this book, but I found it generally unimpressive. Johnson keeps portraying the Darwinian establishment as stifling all questions, but in fact most of the issues that he raises have been raised before and answered in the books that I have read.Whether or not he acccepts the answers is another question, but it is false to say that questions aren't allowed. Johnson starts out by making a careful distinction between Darwinism and evolution in general, but he doesn't maintain it to the end of the chapter. Still less does he maintain the distinction between the writings of Charles Darwin and the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis, the current orthodoxy.Apparently, any negative comment, however irrelevant to the current thinking, will do to help create a generally negative impression.It appears that he is opposed to what is sometimes call "macroevolution" but not "microevolution". At first, he seems to draw the line at the change of one species to another, but by the end of the book he has accepted the evolution of flightless birds from flying ancestors, so perhaps he draws the line at genus or family. He never established to my satisfaction why enough "microevolution" wouldn't create "macroevolution".

Johnson states in chapter one that he is only attempting to "examine the scientific evidence on its own terms", without any philosophical bias.He then states in his epilogue that his main purpose was "to legitimate the assertion of a theistic worldview in the secular universities."So much for unbiased examination of the facts.

He fails on the first count because one of his primary objections to Darwinism (and this extends to all scientific disciplines) is its naturalism or materialism, which is the underlying philosophical or some people prefer to say, methodological base.

The original context for this argument is the teaching of evolution in high school, but the issue is really the teaching of science. Not just Darwinism, science in general since the philosophical objections that Johnson has would cut across all disciplines. So the question is, why is science taught in school?I think that the purpose is give students a basic grasp of science and it's workings, and as I recall, one court ruling was that science occupies such an important place in our society that it is desirable that students be taught about it. It is not as if students are forbidden to learn any other ideas from a wide variety of other sources -- I would presume that by high school, theistic parents have already taught the version (and there are many) of creationism to their children that they themselves prefer.

What would Johnson have taught that would not be the presentation of a particular religious view?Johnson defines a creationist as people who believe that "a supernatural Creator not only initated this process but in some meaningful sense controls it in furtherance of a purpose."Not even all religious teachings would conform to that definition.If he simply wants students to be aware that there are creationists, then I find it difficult to believe that many people reach high school without knowing that. If Johnson does feel that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that everyone know this, then it seems to me that social studies is a more appropriate venue than biology classes.

To my mind, Johnson never deals successfully with the requirements of the discipline of science, and this is an issue that extends far beyond evolution in general and Darwinism in particular. Science needs frameworks to both guide and serve as targets of their research and naturally they go with the best that is available at the time. This is a distinction between a belief in absolute revealed truths and experimentally derived truths that Johnson either doesn't grasp or doesn't deal an example, I don't either believe or disbelieve the theory of the Big Bang.I understand that it is currently the most prominent, although not only theory for the origin of the universe. I don't feel the need to convince myself that I have "The Truth." I simply believe that science is the best method for understanding reality.

Johnson appears to fall into the error of assuming that a theistic worldview is the fallback position if he can discredit Darwinism and science in general, and I suspect that he is also assuming that it would be his theistic view, not Vedism, for example. This is a common fallacy, but one need not necessarily have an alternative explanation to declare another explanation to be false. Even if I didn't know how planes stayed aloft, I could still state with confidence that they don't flap their wings like birds.Even if Johnson convinced me that Darwinism is false, I still wouldn't accept the Unmoved Mover argument.

As to his second goal, he certainly provides no scientific basis for teaching a theistic version of science.(I presume that he means in the teaching of science, since universities already teach about theistic worldviews in religion, philosophy and sociology classes.)I cannot see a way around the problems raised by David Hull as quoted in Johnson's epilogue - how would one empirically examine the supernatural? How can scientists proceed without limiting their studies to the materialistic? Of course Darwinists adjust the theory every time there is contradictory evidence - as scientists, they are supposed to!Despite Johnson's frequent portrayal of Darwinists as overwhelming bullies, it is true that theists of varying stripes have an enormous infrastructure of schools, universities and funding. They should be quite capable of doing the sort of research that Johnson wants to see, if it can be done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Critique of Darwinism from a scientific standpoint
As a theological student published in genetic, endocrine and clinical research, I was very interested in this book.My background was that of pre-medical education and then clinical and basic research.I took a course in evolution which brought up many questions in my faith which were not resolved for some time.The book was of great interest to me, someone well versed in both sides of this argument.
Johnson is one of the few Christian writers who takes on evolution (more specifically Darwinism) from a scientific standpoint, rather than from a theological standpoint.Most unbelievers disregard much of the theological arguments, so a critique from this standpoint was necessary to challenge evolution, if progress was going to be made for Creationism.Despite having a deep feeling regarding one side of the argument, Johnson does a great job of remaining unbiased in his arguments.He is also a lawyer, but he seeks guidance from many who are learned on the subject to check his material.This makes his argument a sound one.He steps through the different ideas of Darwinism from Natural Selection, which he of course admits is observed in nature.Then he goes on to discuss how this idea is expounded upon to create the theory of evolution without credible data.He says that scientists have neglected their normal methods of research to attempt to prove evolution rather than disprove it, which is the standard in science.Johnson makes a great argument for the illogicality of evolution, but admits science has no alternative hypothesis, so it persists.
This book is a must for anyone in the field of biology or theology.It thoroughly discusses the obstacles and holes in the evidence.
There are some issues with the book:
Johnson's reference system is poor at best.He does not notate each find or bit of evidence, which would help in checking up on his work.
He does mention Lamarck and the fact that evolution often speaks as Lamarck did despite science's discreditation of his theories.
Johnson also spends very little time on the fact that there would be many variations in the basic materials of life if everything had occurred randomly.Meaning, there would be more than 5 nucleotides and 20 amino acids found in organisms if they had evolved randomly.
Overall, the book does a very good job of referencing the writings of the preeminent scholars of evolution (mostly Gould and Darwin) and makes a superb case against Darwinism.

1-0 out of 5 stars The book has already been PROVEN false
Yes I said PROVEN. A CHRISTIAN who is also a scientist has broken down the outright lies in this book step by step.

Why any person would still consider this book at all valid is simply astounding.I say again a CHRISTIAN, who is also a scientist has shown MULTIPLE outright LIES in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good
I have generally stayed away from getting engrossed in the always contentious creation/evolution debate - mainly because I'm neither a scientist nor a philosopher and I recognize the limitations these facts have on my ability to responsibly appraise the legitimacy of each side's arguments.As such, I am not well versed in the explosion of literature in this area emanating from both sides, and my critique of this book should be understood with this in mind.

As an evangelical committed to Biblical authority, naturalistic evolution is untenable because its metaphysical imperatives are hostile to Christianity.I think Johnson does a good job of demonstrating this.Further, evolutionary scientists are not merely empirical scientists with no interest in epistemology and metaphysics, but quite the contrary, are necessarily expanding Darwinian naturalism into the realm of philosophy and metaphysics.Darwinian science without darwinian metaphysics is no threat to anything - it is the metaphysics of Darwinism that give naturalistic evolution its teeth - and both Darwinists and theists know it.Johnson spends a good bit of time exploring the metaphysical presuppositions (unproven presuppositions) that undergird the entire evolutionist enterprise.In many ways, I think Johnson succeeds in demonstrating that evolutionism is a comprehensive worldview in every sense, opining upon matters of metaphysics and origins that take naturalistic evolution far beyond the realm of empirical science.

Johnson also attempts to critique evolution empirically, by discussing the fossil record and biology.Johnson's conclusion in these areas is that support for evolution is sparse at best in the very kind of empirical way that respectable science is supposedly based on.No doubt, debate over the empirical evidence hasn't stopped with Johnson's appraisal of it in this book, but I do think his appraisal generally succeeds in making the much trumpeted 'fact' of evolution quite surmountable.

Johnson also discusses philosophy of science and evolutionism's desire to expand its worldview into public education, natural history museums, and all relevant areas of public thought.This discussion only confirms that what may (arguably) have started as a mainly scientific approach to origins and species has mushroomed into a full scale effort to take the Gospel of Evolution to the masses in non-scientific ways and into non-scientific areas.

I'm giving the book 4 stars, probably because I'm a bit prejudiced.I agree with others that Johnson's speciality as a lawyer, to some degree, handicaps his ability to speak thoroughly persuasively on scientific matters.I do think Johnson does exhibit a pretty good command of the scientific issues that are discussed here, but just as I'm skeptical of evolutionary scientists switching hats and becoming pseudo-metaphysicists and philosophers with little to no philosophical training, I am likewise skeptical of lawyers acting like scientists.Having said this, Johnson's main purpose in here is to address issues that are more in his area of expertise - logical argumentation and reasoning, rather than assessing empirical science.I think this is mostly a strength of the book, though like his evolutionary counterparts, I do think Johnson falls prey to the idea that knowledge is objective in an autonomous human reasoning kind of way.This, I believe, is an unbiblical notion.

Evolutionary ways of explaining the universe did not begin with Darwin - the pre-Socratics tried to explain the universe in ways that prefigure evolutionism as well.Darwin's main achievement was that he laid down the basics of a comprehensive worldview system that allowed people something else other than the Bible to believe in when it came to explaining the universe and origins.I think the result of reading Johnson's book is that the appeal of Darwinism is not that it is a worldview bolstered by solid arguments and empirical evidences (because it definitely isn't), but that it is the place to run for those who reject the Bible.It is hoped by this reader that the evolution's ever more precarious perch atop scientific orthodoxy might eventually give way to a more intellectually respectable empirical and even rationalistic approach to the investigation of origins.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is why OJ got off
An absolutely blistering indictment on the entire foundation of the legal industry, and the appalling abuses we can commit with language. I'm reminded of something the great Dr Pauli (of Pauli exclusion principle fame) once said about a paper he was asked to review: "This isn't right. It isn't even wrong." ... Read more

47. Getting the Love You Want
list price: $11.00
our price: $11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394581989
Catlog: Book (1990-02-03)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 121140
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bestselling author Dr. Harville Hendrix offers warm, intelligent advice for transforming an intimate relationship into a lasting source of love and companionship.

Dr. Hendrix, a marriage therapist and pastoral counselor, has divided his helpful recommendations into 3 stages. First, he chronicles the fate of most relationships-attraction, romantic love and the power struggle -- and suggests ways for you and your partner to identify the conflicts associated with each of them. Then, he explores methods for achieving a "Conscious Marriage," where the early phases of romance are rekindled and confrontation is slowly replaced by growth and support. Finally, Dr. Hendrix incorporates these ideas into a unique therapeutic course, offering a series of proven step-by-step exercises that lead to insight, resolution and revitalization.

If you're not getting the love you want from the person you're with, you need to do something about it. Dr. Hendrix tells you what that something is. ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST read if relationships seem to fall apart on you!
This book is packed FULL of information and ideas that you've never even thought about! There are things that happen in a relationship, the way we act, respond and instigate that we never realized WHY. This book explains it and explains it WELL!

I could barely put this book down. Let me just say that I am SINGLE and I bought this book in hopes of helping me figure out why all of my relationships end up being so rocky, dramatical and emotionally draining. I totally understand now!

The author explains how our childhood and our relationship with our parents plays an important role in our choosing of partners. I agree with it 100%! It's very interesting to say the least. The author points out several critical triggers that are crucial in identifying reasons we behave the way we do. He also includes wonderful exercises to assist us to overcome some of our conditional thinking from our "old brains" which would be the imprints in our minds of what we learned when we were young & growing up.

Every single and married person alike should read this book. It's an eye opener and definitely a helping hand to healing and beginning a healthy relationship. Even if you're currently in a relationship, this book tells you how you can start to change some of the ways you think helping to re-create the romance and love you once shared. I highly recommend this book. You WONT be disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Working much faster than anticipated!
We're an average couple with a toddler and all the accompanying stresses that finally brought all our relationship problems to the boiling point. When I found myself saying "I can't take this anymore" I decided to get the book because I'd heard good things about it. The text section at the beginning of the book completely made sense to me, so I asked my husband if he'd be willing to commit to doing the exercises with me. It's a commitment of one 1-2 hour session each week for 10 weeks. My husband was up for the plan, so we started it out.

Here we are 3 weeks into the exercises, and our marriage is better than it's been at least since our son was born. We found that the simple act of signing our agreements to work through all the exercises in good faith and then doing week 1 (creating a common vision for your relationship) lifted a lot of tension and allowed us to be able to give each other the benefit of the doubt more easily. After slogging through the tough stuff of week 2 and then sharing it with each other in week 3 we seem to be closer than I can remember us being since the initial glow of infatuation wore off. I'm actually starting to look forward to our weekly sessions instead of dreading them as something we had to do because we didn't want to split up.

Some of the reviewers of this book sound like it's got a magic incantation that you can say that will make your relationship fixed in an instant. That's not the case at all. It *does* give you the tools to help yourselves *if you want to*. You're still going to have to sit down and talk about it and write it down and think about yourself and what you really want and what you've been fooling yourself about. But the exercises are designed to bring you just as far as you need to go each week without overwhelming you. Some of the exercises seem a little hokey, but laughing at the language helped us bond a little more, so who cares? It's working so far. I'll post again in a few weeks when we're further into it to give an updated view.

4-0 out of 5 stars It takes two
It is hard to tell others what we want, this book gives practical tips on how to do just that. If couples could only communicate better, so many children would have both parents under the same roof. I recommend this book to anyone who is in a relationship. Also check out Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life by JoAnna Carey for a step-by-step guide to getting more out of life.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Note from a Villanova University Senior Thesis Group Review for Getting the Love You Want
Author: Harville Hendrix

This review was completed by a group of five college seniors from Villanova University. We spent a semester researching and reviewing best-selling self-help books on the subject of romantic relationships. We evaluated five texts after reviewing academic literature specifically on the topics of commitment, trust, conflict, verbal communication, and intimacy. In order to make you a more informed consumer, we hope to provide you with a review of Getting the Love You Want.
The author's intent of this book is to help people improve their romantic relationships. He claims that the book will provide sound insight for dating couples, married couples, heterosexual and homosexual couples. Getting the Love You Want provides people with an understanding of where their difficulties may stem from and includes a section of the book with actual exercises for couples to do over a period of time to improve their relationship. The style of the book is very personable and easy to understand. Hendrix's extensive experience of working with couples and helping people shines through his writing and helps the reader to feel at ease. Hendrix is challenging, yet at the same time understanding.
Getting the Love You Want addresses couples who want to work together to improve their relationship. The exercises in the book target both individuals in the relationship, but allow for increased self-understanding and growth as well.

We evaluated how the following five topics were approached in the book:

Commitment- The advice for couples in revolves around the theme of commitment. Two chapters are devoted to commitment as well as a subheading in another chapter. Ideal commitment is described as "a decision to join together in a journey that will last the rest of their lives." Personal dedication is described as a necessary component of commitment.

Trust- Several implications of trust are discussed in the book, but the word trust is briefly mentioned. Hendrix points out that the process of developing trust is a learning experience that allows someone to really get to know their partner. He suggests that we need to get over our self-centered tendencies and deal with personal issues preventing trust.

Conflict- This subject is addressed in terms of anger, criticism and arguments. Specific exercises deal with working things out as a couple. Conflict is described as something that is not necessarily bad, but rather expressing anger in a constructive manner can be healthy. Hendrix recommends approaching situations with more acceptance and understanding in order that conflict may be seen in a more productive light.

Verbal Communication- This topic is addressed in a very straightforward manner in the book. Hendrix stresses the importance of good communication skills. Couples need to be clear and specific in their communication. The book provides specific step-by-step exercises to enhance communication.

Intimacy- The book approaches intimacy in the context of self-disclosure, expression of thought and emotion, listening, providing support, and making positive verbal statements. Hendrix also stresses the importance of sharing one's feelings.

This book is best for the subject of verbal communication.(...)

5-0 out of 5 stars The thinking couple's guide to marriage
If you want an intelligent guide to making marriage work (as opposed to some quick fix or gimmicky guide, or, even worse, some retro-marriage guide that's based solely on female self-sacrifice!) then this is the book for you. This book recognizes that when two people seriously commit to working on a marriage, the results can be amazing. I have used this in my work with couples as well as in my own relationship with my partner. It's a first-rate resource. ... Read more

48. Other Side and Back: A Psychic's Guide to Our World and Beyond
by Sylvia Browne, Lindsay Harrison, Barbara Rosenblat
list price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141800518
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 509020
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

World-famous psychic and New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Browne takes readers on an unprecedented and comprehensive "tour" of the afterlife-a world-changing revelation that has helped millions live for today, tomorrow, and forever...

how spirit guides and angels "talk" to us daily
the truth about ghosts and hauntings
solving "unsolvable" missing persons cases
how psychic energy can keep people healthy and improve relationships
why we shouldn't fear aging and death
must-read predictions for the new millennium
and more

"Psychic, medium, clairvoyant, channel-these are all words to describe Sylvia Browne's unique powers. I've personally witnessed her bring closure to distraught families, help the police close cases, and open people's hearts to help them see the good within themselves."-Montel Williams

"The Other Side and Back is the most grounded and authentic 'entry to the other side' that I have ever read. You know immediately upon reading the first few pages that Sylvia Browne is more than a psychic-she is a master at conveying the truth that exists in the fourth dimension." -Caroline Myss, Ph.D., author of Anatomy of the Spirit
... Read more

Reviews (170)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, informative, a can't put it down book.
I have seen Sylvia on the Montel Williams show quite a few times. I have read her book. Each time I've seen her on TV I got the feeling she was always speaking from her heart. I got the same feeling when I read her book. I found her book very interesting, and I learned some things, too! Sylvia is more than willing to not only share her ideas, but let us all know "how to" get in touch with our own spirit world. Sylvia has so many great ideas in this book of helping us to become better people. She writes just like she speaks so you feel almost as if she's talking just to you. Keep up the good work Sylvia!!

The Other Side and Back is by far, world renowned psychic Sylvia Browne's best book to date! If you think this book is just about the "other side" think again! Like Sylvia and her husband have said many times over, this book is more of a "how to" live your life. And I strongly believe that it has personally brought me closer to God, and to connect with my own spirituality. This book is 'A MUST READ!!' Buy at least 2 copies, one for you, and one for a dear friend or someone close to you for the holidays, believe me, they will end up thanking you for life! It opens your mind, makes you see a bigger picture of what life and living is all about, and it's done in that unique "Sylvia" way, written like only she could write it. And I was lucky enough to meet her and spend time with her at her spiritual salon last weekend, she is even more remarkable in person! And I thought nothing could top this book! Her presence that just fills the room, is something that you can't quite explain, and I know I have been blessed and my life has changed forever, for a better good, for having met her and spending time with her, discussing many of lifes issues. Somehow, she is the most remarkable person I have ever and will ever meet! We are truly blessed to be in such good company and comfort that her words hold for us. Open this book, and I guarantee, you won't be able to put it down. It's reading addiction, I am warning you! And in the back of the book, you'll find very interesting predictions for the Millenium. If you never pick up another book, this one will make you wanting more. And I hear she's working on another!

3-0 out of 5 stars Sylvia needs a new Spirit Guide
Though I'm not entirely sold on spiritualism, I read this book out of interest. I agree or don't argue with much of what she had to say, but had to contest some of her beliefs with a wide smirk, such as her notion that everybody on The Other Side is 30 years old (as told to her by her Spirit Guide, Francine). And although Browne admits to not being entirely accurate with her predictions, I think only one or two out of the several forecasts she made for 2000 came close to being true. However, it was nonetheless an interesting read, worthy of discussion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Predictions, what predictions?
I had three major issues with this book. It was uncomfortable reading that every one on the other side is 30 years old and that we get 5 exit points. These seem too convenient and almost childish. Sylvia has done a disservice to herself and her readers by peppering her book with Christian teachings. By taking this approach, she severly restricted its universal appeal. I strongly believe that religion has nothing to do with spirituality and I don't think Sylvia has learned this lesson yet. Spirituality transcends religion and is beyond petty religious differences. Spiritiuality is broad and deep, very broad and deep. You have to lose your identity, before you can experience spirituality and that is a lesson that religion does not teach us. Religion thrives on differences, while spirtuality emphasizes interconnectedness. Just witness the turmoil throughout this wonderful world and you will realize that for most religions spiritualism is dead.

Finally, Sylvia why did you include that chapter on predictions? You did yourself a great disservice. This chapter alone destroyed your credibility in my eyes. You made no reference to: September 11 2001; the Taliban's fall, Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda's terrorism; Sadam Hussien's ungraceful fall; North Korea's leader; the Colombia disaster; the Iraq war; the successful Mars landing; the Bush, Gore presidential fight. And why did you think it was necessary to predict the events in the lives of some Hollywood celebrities? Pretty petty stuff in the light of what you missed.

Sylvia, I hope, these constructive criticisms will not compel you to cast me in the role of a Dark entity.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener Book...........
I dont Understand What Some Peoples Problem Is?Why They Write Negative Reviews About Such A Wonderful Book.I am Sure They Havnt Read It Yet Or ........As Sylvia Said,May be They Are From Dark Side Who Love To Mislead Others.
Anyways This Is A Wonderful Book,You can say a Psychics Life Long Work In This Field.You Can Read It Like A Novel But This Is Fact Not Fiction.You Will Accept It As It Is, Because Your Subconcious,Your Spirit Knows All These Facts.I Never thought In My Life How Wonderful Can Other Side Be Until I Read This Book. ... Read more

49. A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Martin Luther King Jr.
list price: $26.98
our price: $17.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570425728
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 73984
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Audiobook Reviews

These 11 historic sermons--some complete recordings of entire addresses, others reconstructed from various church services--make plain why Martin Luther King Jr. considered his "first calling and greatest commitment" to be a preacher of the gospel. As an orator he is second to none, drawing his audience in with an urgency that resonates through every soaring cadence of his familiar, powerful voice. Using insights from psychology, philosophy, and the Bible, he appeals to the heads as well as the hearts of his congregations, explaining that personal and social change can only be effected by adopting a morality of love in service of God and humankind. While King's concern for social justice is a common theme throughout, each sermon is a jewel of literary artistry, as it presents a simple problem, examines its complications, and offers a startling and often challenging resolution. Topics range from "Rediscovering Lost Values," a caution that scientific progress without moral progress can result only in a step backward for humanity, to "An American Dream," a wake-up call to the "self-evident truth" of equality proclaimed in the Constitution.

Brief introductions to the sermons from spiritual leaders and friends, including Dr. Joan Campbell, Billy Graham, Dr. Robert Franklin, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offer personal insights into King's life, work, and legacy. An interesting note from the producers explains how the recordings of the sermons (published in a hardcover companion of the same name) were pieced together. In word and in voice, these are masterpieces of theological literature from one of the world's great orators, who Robert Franklin rightly says may well be "the greatest religious intellectual of the twentieth century." (Running time: 8 hours, 6 cassettes) --Uma Kukathas ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars King still inspires
Forget about the sweet-toned, hagiographic introductions and organ play at the beginning of each sermon and you've got 6 cassetes with remarkable good and lively preaching. The sermons of the early King and the rather boring sermon on the American dream excluded you've got some retorical outstanding sermons like 'Love your enemies' and 'Why Jesus calls a man a fool'. Listening to King makes me wonder where this acute relevance of the gospel has gone...and how we can get this vigor back.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Profound Message
The sermons in A Knock at Midnight are both deeply moving and a powerful reminder of the greatness of Dr. King. This collection should be read and heard by everyone, especially the young of today who have been fed a Dr. King who somehow only delivered one speech ("I Have a Dream"). As a middle school teacher I found the sermons to be an excellent way for my students to move beyond the platitudes about Dr. King to a much deeper understanding of his life and ministry. To read and listen to these great sermons is an absolutely wonderful experience, but at the same time a sad reminder that today we have no great voice of moral authority like his. Fortunately we do have his words and voice preserved for us and our children.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this EXPERIENCE 10 stars!
Notice I refer to the cassettes and the companion book as an EXPERIENCE as I both listened to and read the REVEREND King! Although the media focused on the visible part of his ministry, the civil rights movement, his sermons are profound and awesome in their implications for today as well as their in their powerful delivery during the mid-1950's through 1960's. Although I will cherish both the cassette series and the book, it is through hearing the SPEAKING of Dr. King that really made me breathless! Thank you LORD God for sending us your messenger Dr. King to give us a wonderful earthly ministry for a brilliant and brief time (much like Jesus Christ). Simply awesome!

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous collection of soul-stirring preaching.
A fabulous collection of soul-stirring preaching by one of this century's finest preachers. Many people know King as a great political leader, fiery orator, and creative organizer. This collection of sermons will convince the world that King was first and foremost an anointed preacher. His sermons ring with authenticity and resound with relevancy. Kings messages speak profoundly to our troubled times and offer both prophetic insight and divine guidance as we attempt to find our way into the next millinium. This collection of sermons, with their superb introductions and commentaries, is perhaps one of the finest efforts of its kind. It will certainly be a source of pleasure and insight for generations to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Answering the World!!!!!
A Knock At Midnight is frightfully prophetic,subperbly truthful and dynamically inspiring.It shows what the great mind of King brings and brought to the forefront while he was living and while he continues to live in our hearts.These sermons are chillingly lifelike as if King speaks directly to your heart and mind---NOW! It is truly a must read! The sermon A Knock at Midnight delivers the powerful and sensitive message concerning where the Church has to take the people as far as their needs are concerned and it deals with the advocacy of having to open the door to the truly oppressed and needy.It is a thought provoking theme set against the veil of modern times.There is a a Knock At Midnight and it is now answering the world. ... Read more

50. Uncovering Clinton : A Reporter's Story
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375407596
Catlog: Book (1999-03-30)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 797221
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I realized something that should have been apparent to me much earlier:I was in the middle of a plot to get the president."

A quarter of a century after Woodward and Bernstein stunned the nation with All the President's Men, Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff gives us an equally explosive behind-the-scenes account of the scandals that have rocked President Clinton's second term.

Isikoff, who is credited with breaking the Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Monica Lewinsky stories, is universally acknowledged as the leading reporter who brought to light the revelations about Clinton's personal and political lives that have consumed this country and shocked the world. As a reporter for the Washington Post and Newsweek, Isikoff has established himself as an astute observer and chronicler of Clinton's conduct throughout his presidency, following a trail of presidential misconduct from Little Rock, Arkansas, to the Oval Office. Uncovering Clinton will surely be the definitive account of our nation's biggest political scandal since Watergate.

... Read more

Reviews (76)

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally engaging.
I barely followed the whole Monicagate story. I watched not one minute of the impeachment trial. Why not? Because it didn't interest me and I'm a Clinton supporter. I cant stand the rightwingers who were out to get Clinton. But this book is amazing. I read it in two days. It puts the whole story together for you and it made me realize that a pretty sick dude is running our country. Isikoff is totally fair. Although the reader develops new sympathy for Paula Jones, the villain of the book has got to be Linda Tripp. And Clinton. But the bottom line: this book is so well written and so engaging that I recommend it to Clinton admirers and Clinton haters both. Although, I gotta say, it's hard to be an admirer after reading this book. Bravo, Isikoff!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Way, way, way Inside-the-Beltway look at Clinton scandal.
It doesn't get any more in depth than this folks. Michael Isikoff, the Newsweek reporter largely acknowledged as having broken the Monica Lewinsky scandal, gives all the sordid details, and not just about Monica...

The book lays out the pre-scandal hub-bub. Closed door editorial meetings in New York. The ins-and-outs of how cyber journal-hound Matt Drudge dredged up the story. The checking and rechecking of facts and sources. Sure it's a riveting story. Sure, we all know how it ends. But if you're into the muckety-muck of Inside-the-Beltway politics and Big Journalism, 'Uncovering Clinton' will not disappoint. Years after the fact, the whole affair seems almost surreal.

1-0 out of 5 stars More World Weakly News than Newsweek
Poor Michael Isikoff couldn't get a job at the more presigious World Weakly News, instead Newsweek hired him at a bargain rate. And it shows in this boring, half witted book that was written for feebs.

3-0 out of 5 stars Five years later: big story, big ego
The fifth anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky scandal came and went without little media coverage or public reaction. People seem to have forgotten how the whole world briefly revolved around a blue dress and Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff.

It is a safe bet Isikoff hasn't forgotten.

The title and author's name appear in equal size type along the spine of Uncovering Clinton/A Reporter's Story. This technical touch is an appropriate tribute to Isikoff's monumental ego. The reporter's megalomania is on display from the first page to the acknowledgements; one two-page footnote is dedicated to a relatively inconsequential detail that involves Iskoff. The journalist is pretty full of himself.

So why give such a vanity project three stars? The answer lies in the epilogue. The last pages of Uncovering Clinton probably best summarize the scandal and subsequent impeachment and acquittal of Clinton more than anything written at the time or since. One line about the press coverage, in particular, stands out:

"Sometimes the best stuff comes from the most unpleasant people."

Isikoff's summation is dead on.

Few heroes are to be found here. The "most unpleasant people" make the best sources, the best investigators, the best villians, the best liars, the best conspirators, and the best characters. New details emerge in these pages about Matt Drudge, Sidney Blumenthal, Lucianne Goldberg, Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and assorted others, but none are rehabilitated by the fresh information. President Clinton is oddly absent from most pages. Yet when Clinton does appear he is a dark and furtive figure.

Iskioff, apparently unwittingly, portrays himself as a reporter with an oversized ego and just enough grandiosity to see his work as always for the greater good. Oddly, Paula Jones comes across as a very sympathetic character. Isikoff finds a surprising degree of merit in Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton. On the other hand, Isikoff's acceptance of Kathleen Willey's dubious tale throws this and other observations into some question. The Betty Currie the author portrays is potentially more culpable than she appeared. Without actually stating it, Isikoff's outrage at cyber-muckraker Drudge is an acknowledgement of the transition from the old era of the Establishment press to the Internet age of instant information. Drudge's scoops are a portent of things to come.

The book effectively is divided into three sections: the Jones lawsuit against the president, which started it all; the Willey accusation, which interjected Isikoff into the story; and the sexual scandal and subsequent cover-up that led to the president's impeachment. The author neatly ties them all together.

As the title indicates, this is a reporter's story. Neither scholarly nor shallow, Uncovering Clinton chronicles how one egotistical and dogged journalist covered, and in the process helped shape, a historic event that most people seem eager to forget. Given the sordid calamity Isikoff describes, the public reaction is understandable---and regrettable.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Story
Isikoff is able to pull off something unusual, not getting placed into the loop of "Bill-Haters". He tells the story with much facts and gives us an excellent view of the players in this drama (L. Tripp, M. Lewinsky, V. Jordan, R. Bennett, B. Clinton, P. Jones, B. Currie). I learned about the "vast conspiracy against WJC", but was disappointed in the lack of any info regarding Hillary. Obviously, she was tangental to the story, but it would have been nice. There was a earlier comment about Isikoff not taking an attorney to task over a blatent lie (Obviously not the first in this case). I would tend to be a bit more charitable: I think Isikoff had an error in judgement. I believe overall Isikoff acted with a great deal of integrity... Far more than you could say about the ex-president. ... Read more

51. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
by Don Miguel Ruiz, Peter Coyote
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1878424432
Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing
Sales Rank: 29248
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rooted in traditional Toltec beliefs, these four agreements are essential steps on the path to personal freedom: Be impeccable with your word; Say only what you mean; The word is the most powerful tool humans have; Don't take anything personally; Self-importance leads people to think they are the center of the universe, causing pain and injustice; Don't make assumptions. To avoid frustration and blame, ask what is meant; Always do your best. This is the surest way to avoid self- condemnation, though it is important to realize one's best is always changing. ... Read more

Reviews (351)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Hocus Pocus.
So many "self-help" books are pure rhetorical tripe. Common sense, good manners, and sensible actions regurgitated. In "The Four Agreements," Ruiz does not break new ground but the simplistic and thoughtful nature of his message make this book a winner.

Let's face it, experience and iteration (practice) will propel one toward their stated goals with certainty. To point, the four agreements, as simple as they may be, are tantamount to successful achievement of personal and/or professional goals:

1) Be impeccable with your word - keep your word or your reputation will fail.
2) Don't take anything personally - tough act to muster at times but possible (besides, its good for the soul).
3) Don't make assumptions - those who assume will lose the benefit of fact and learning; check your facts--learn what is necessary.
4) Always do your best - this is the most simplistic of the agreements but one that we all have a tendency, at one time or another, to allow to lapse; if you decide to undertake something, make it YOURS!

So many people who read books such as this or "Who Moved My Cheese" (self-help genre) attempt to pick apart the conceptual nature of the message whether simple or complex. Certainly, many books of this ilk are not worth the paper they're written on but when you find a message that speaks to your intellectual being as well as your soul, you'd better listen. Riuz's message is poignant; follow these simple rules and create your own happiness.

This isn't a "cure-all" book. If you read it without concurrent introspection, then you've done nothing more than read a short book espousing basic vitues. However, if one reads this book with an open mind and the congruous search for excellence, this will be a truly powerful experience. If one does not, then one has lost the message behind the words. Don't read the WORDS, absorb the MESSAGE!

Jump in, both feet. You'll not be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom for modern days.
What a great book! "The Four Agreements" flows with a simplicity and honesty that caught my attention. I came away from this book feeling more at ease in myself. Perhaps the most powerful passage in the book for me was "Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are." I hadn't looked at this idea before, and when I checked with myself I found it to be true. Miguel Ruiz's book does a great job of describing the process through which we lose sight of our true selves. After that, Ruiz outlines the four agreements you can make with yourself to have a fulfilling life. They are simple and powerful and they can make a a great difference in the quality of your life.

Gladly enough, when I found this book on Amazon and read the reviews to check it out, I saw a review for another book which I bought as well. It is Ariel and Shya Kane's "Working of Yourself Doesn't Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation." This book is about having a magnificent life and nothing less. And while it seems too good to be true, I found that the three principles of transformation the Kanes talk about touched me so profoundly that I HAVE discovered my own magnificence. No kidding! Just by being in the moment, life becomes magical. By becoming aware of the mechanical behaviors that keep us out of the moment, we regain our original freedom. My work is easier and I feel more connected to the people in my life. Read this book and the presence of the Kanes will seep through and you'll feel how true and powerful their words are, and how deeply they care about people and about the often-missed possibility of living with immeasurable joy, wellness, relationship, and satisfaction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Agreements for Life
This is a beautifully written book coming from the sincere and simple yet profound wisdom that will help many people if applied. I found this to be among the few books I have purchased where the solutions for humanity are filled with compassion, inspiration and expansive wisdom as well as compassion.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good ideas..remedial delivery...
I enjoyed the book, but it was very repetitive and a little simplistic. Lots nifty ideas with a few interesting metaphors and insights... The book doesn't provide many revelations (if any). It mostly serves to re-enforce what we already know is right and true. We've all heard a million versions of the ideas delivered in this book. Stuff like:

"Say what you mean. Mean what you say"
"Assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME"

You get the idea... Read this book as a reminder. Read it to gain an alternate perspective. I would recommend it to anyone who is on a path to self-discovery. Remedial or not, the toltec perspective referenced in this book is a valuable one...

One thing I've noticed about most of the negative reviews. They all seem a little bit angry. Perhaps too angry to be receptive to a book with such a positive spin...

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Making Assumptions
By implementing the four agreements into my daily life I have been transformed. I took back my power by being able to 'see' other peoples parasite when it was exposed to me. I have been handling every situation in my life now with one of the agreements. I also recommend reading Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life by JoAnna Carey. ... Read more

52. His Excellency: George Washington
by Joseph J. Ellis
list price: $34.99
our price: $27.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402593015
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Sales Rank: 14622
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53. In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam
by Brian VanDeMark
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787105678
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 405830
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The #1 national bestseller--an indispensable document for anyone interested in the Vietnam War. McNamara's controversial book tells the inside and personal story of America's descent into Vietnam from a unique point of view, and is one of the most enlightening books about government ever written. This new edition features a new Foreword by McNamara. of photos. (Military History) ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must to better understand the quagmire that was Vietnam
For anyone wishing to better understand the Vietnam War this is a must read. As usual McNamara fills his book with tables and statistics that tend to support his view of Vietnam. Boiled down to its utmost simplicity there are really only several points of controversy in Vietnam. 1. The strategy as promulgated by the General Westmoreland (known as "Westy" by McNamara) was A. Let the South Vietnamese troops basically provide security in the villages and Hamlets, and have US Troops (sometimes assisted by those few South Vietnamese military units that were well organized and disciplined) engage in "Search and Destroy" missions. This was essentially the "war of attrition" philosophy. This was contrasted by the philosphy of having US troops guaranty security of the hamlets and villages so as to encourage the South Vietnamese to cooperate with the South Vietnamese Government. This philosophy was promoted by the United States Marines, primarily Lt. General Victor Krulak as described in his book, "First To Fight", a book not about Vietnam as such but about the Marine Corps. Krulak believes that Gen. Westmoreland's strategy was thus fundamentally flawed and I agree with him. 2.The second major point was that the "military's hands were tied" by McNamara and the President in that it was forbidden to fight in North Vietnam and the concurrent refusal to cut off the supply of military material to the North Vietnamese by bombing and mining the port of Haiphong and hitting other shipping and communications facilities in North Vietnam. On this important point it is vital for the reader to understand that neither North or South Vietnam hadd any material manufacturing abiltiy. All of North Vietnams military material came from either Russia or China or their allies. McNamara's point is that the bombing of Haiphong and other points would have not worked anyway due to the relatively small amount of material need to sustain the North Vietnamese regulars and the Vietcong. North Vietnam has large manpower willing to virtually carry supplies on his back to supply its own troops and the Vietcong. If Haiphong was cut off certainly the supplies would be sent through rail links to China. This point is crucial. McNamara and the President delieved that by bombing Haiphong and other points China and perhaps Russia would directly enter the war. Nobody now can know if that is true. What does seem to make sense is that McNamara's point that the bombing would not work as supplies would still flow into North and South Vietnam in amounts sufficient to maintain both the North Vietnamese regulars and the Vietcong. Another point brought out in McNamara's book is how close we came to use nuclear and biological weapons as proposed by the United States Military in their plan to bomb and mine Haiphong and other points. This account of nuclear weapons use was recently declassied and it is truly scary how close nuclear weapons night have been used. No one of course knows that even if nuclear weapons were used what would have happened. McNamara does not deny that both he and the President did not want to use nuclear or chemical weapons because of the risks involved of the third world war. I agree that such a decision, made at the time was right. 3. McNamara further points out that the Vietnam war was doomed from the get go because of the lack of a strong, popularly supported government in South Vietnam. This obvious point is true. I believe that the only way the South Vietnamese people would have ever supported government would have been to provide security to the villages and hamlets by following the philosophy of Marine General Victor Krulak and his ilk. There is no doubt that McNamara was right. Without popular support the Vietnam war was doomed from the start. The last important point is that if McNamara thought the Vietnam war was doomed from the start and as McNamara points out that there were specific points that the United States should have pulled out why did he not say so. If McNamara felt as strong as he did about the unwinability of the war why did he not resign and say so. If McNamara did take such action what effect would it have on the future conduct of the war after McNamara resigned in protest. No one knows of course. NcNamara points out that his philosophy is that such action is just not right. McNamara feels that cabinet members owe their loyalty to the President and not anybody or anything else. This is where McNamara and I differ. McNamara points out that ours is not a parliamentary system as in England where the cabinet ministers revolt and call a new elections as recently did happen in England. This may be true but I believe that McNamara is wrong. The duty anyone owes is to the people of the United States and its Constitution and not to any one person even if that person is the President. The best example of a cabinet officer to resign in protest was that of Attorney General Elliot Richardson when he resigned in protest in the so called "Saturday Night Massacre". This is an important point and it should not be forgotten. It must be further pointed out that when McNamara "resigned, or quit" there were approximately 20,000 American dead. When the war ended in 1972/73 the total American dead was 58,000. McNamara resignation may have preventeed at least some of those 38,000 Americans who came not in glory but in body bags. Unusual in most books is that McNamara prints both favorable and unfavorable reviews and point by point answers his critics. One may not agree with McNamara but at the very least this book should be read to better understand all the actors points of view at the time. I would like to point out two upcoming events that anybody wishing to further understand Vietnam is that as this review is being written there is conference being held in Hanoi with McNamara and North Vietnamese military officials on the Vietnam War. This is the first time that meetings have happened at this level. The second event is a book which I have not read that is being pubished July 1, 1997 called "Dereliction of Duty" by H. R. McMaster. From the publishers hype this also appears another book to be read. Bernard Barton(

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective from the guy who screwed things up..
McNamara and his so called Whiz Kids really botched things up in Vietnam. Though, McNamara makes for an interesting read... The same arrogant McNamara that sunk us into the quagmire in Vietnam, with his poorly planned strategy, is still somewhat defiantly arrogant in this book. Yes, he humbles himself at first, but his true self comes out in the book. To me, he is still apt at making excuses like 'America was overzealously concerned about containing communism' and the 'domino theory is bogus.' McNamara is right in pointing out how we alienated the Vietnamese people, but he was complicit in the policy to do so.

Vietnam was a farce, because Vietnam had no clear-cut strategic objectives... Gen. Westmoreland succinctly summarized its failings when he stated that the overarching strategic objective is to 'rack up the body count.' Killing people and breaking things is a means to attaining an end, but it shouldn't be the only end.

Also recommended:
No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon
A Bright Shining Lie
Vietnam: The Neccessary War

1-0 out of 5 stars 58,000 Americans died for LBJ's & JFK's business venture
58,000 Americans died for LBJ's & JFK's business venture known as the Vietnam War. The Kennedys and especially LBJ became very wealthy off of the war. McNamara's disasters during the war are endless including his rushing the defective M-16 into combat.

McNamara should have done the honorable thing and committed hari-kari. The man is a disgrace.

The only honorable characters in the Vietnam War are Nixon, our soldiers and General Creighton Abrams. Our men had the war won and the North Vietnamese were ready for a conditional surrender not long after the Tet Offensive after 1968. The liberal U.S. media, Hnaoi Jane Fonda, Ramsey Clark and Hanoi John Kerry saved the communists. General Giap and other N. Vietnamese leaders later said their anti-war collaborators saved the day for Hanoi.

While the Kennedys became wealthier from JFK's Vietnam War and LBJ became an inflation adjusted billionaire (see his Brown & Root ownership and billions in contracts) - Nixon left office practically broke.

McNamara is a disgrace. At least Benedict Arnold had a conscience and regretted his actions until the day he died.

3-0 out of 5 stars Honest admission, but still misses the mark
Although the mention of Robert MacNamara's name is enough to inflame passionate responses on both ends of the spectrum, I felt the book was an honest attempt by MacNamara to deal with his mistakes and, to a lesser extent, the consequences of those mistakes. It's probably as honest a self-appraisal as we are likely to see from such a prominent figure of the period.

However, I suggest that one reads this in conjunction with H.R. McMaster's splendid "Dereliction of Duty" to gain a more balanced perspective on exactly where the Johnson and Kennedy administrations went wrong. One gains the impression that MacNamara still doesn't really understand why his noble intentions met such a sordid end - read McMaster's incisive analysis of the cynical machinations of Johnson, MacNamara, Taylor, et al and it will become clearer.

MacNamara is also disingenuous about the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as his manipulation to remove the JCS from any major forum on the strategy of the war, despite their clear misgivings, makes him clearly culpable. McMaster's judgement on the JCS is also damning, but his analysis and conclusions are more sound, I think.

One of the few retrospective acounts by a major participant which isn't entirely self-serving and worth reading for that alone.

3-0 out of 5 stars McNamara's Honest But Still Misses the Point
It took more than a fair share of integrity and courage for McNamara to write In Retrospect. Others in similar positions of power have not owned up to their Vietnam era mistakes. Some, most notably Walt Rostow (National Security Advisor from 1966-1969), still think that Vietnam was a necessary war and that fighting it was worth the price. It saved other countries in the region - e.g. Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, even Japan - from the threat of Communist expansion, or so the argument goes.

In Retrospect is well written and provides a clear exposition of what McNamara believed were the mistakes of the war. The book also offers penetrating description and analysis of debates about the War occurring in the Johnson cabinet, in Congress, and in other branches of the U.S. government during McNamara's years in the Pentagon.

Nonetheless, the book has many shortcomings. While honest enough to admit his mistakes, McNamara still misses the point. He shares with many foreign policy makers past and present the mistaken belief that the War was a noble endeavor: "I truly believe we made an error not of values and intentions but of judgment and capabilities" (xx).

The evidence belies the nobility of U.S. intentions. After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, a diplomatic arrangement was created in Vietnam, whereby the country would be unified through democratic elections in 1956. Fearing the popularity of Ho Chi Minh, the United States undermined this political process. It instead installed Ngo Dinh Diem to lead a puppet government in the South to do its bidding. A compliant regime would help the United States pursue its economic and strategic interests in the region.

Diem was an inept dictator who squashed civil liberties and showed little interest in the welfare of his people. He was assassination in a November 1963 coup that had the support of the United States. A revolving door of generals held power during the ensuing years. They faired little better than Diem in garnering the support of their people, and rivaled Diem in their incompetence and pettiness. One of them, Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky, even professed his admiration for Adolph Hitler. It is no wonder that the South Vietnamese leadership failed to rally the people to its side and why the Vietcong made so many inroads in the countryside. One is left to speculate how McNamara could state that "President Johnson's foreign policy rested on moral grounds" (p. 147), when his administration, McNamara included, supported various unsavory Saigon regimes that did so little for their people.

Like so many who served under Kennedy, McNamara expresses the belief in his book that Kennedy would have extricated the United States from Vietnam had he lived. McNamara provides little evidence to support this argument, which has become standard fair for Kennedy hagiographers. Weeks before Kennedy's death, Walter Cronkite interviewed the president about Vietnam. As McNamara notes, Kennedy expressed the view that the South Vietnamese must win the war on their own. But he also told Cronkite "I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a mistake" (pg. 62).

Contrary to McNamara's speculation about what Kennedy might have done had he lived, the fact is that Kennedy increased U.S. involvement in Vietnam. From the time he took office until his assassination, the number of U.S. advisors in Vietnam increased from several hundred to 16,000. Upon becoming president, Lyndon Johnson shared many of the same concerns that Kennedy had about Vietnam. He too was wary of committing U.S. ground troops, believing that ultimately it was the South Vietnamese people's responsibility to fight the war. But, like Kennedy, he subscribed to the domino theory, holding an inflated view of Vietnam's geopolitical significance. Johnson introduced ground troops on a significant scale beginning in February 1965. Had he lived, there is no clear evidence that Kennedy would have chosen differently.

In Retrospect analyzes most of the major events of the Vietnam War during McNamara's tenure as Secretary of Defense. The coup of Diem, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the U.S. military build up, and the many of the failed attempts at negotiation are discussed in detail. Most disappointing, however, is McNamara's failure to write about the Tet Offensive, which he mentions only once in passing.

The Tet Offensive was launched the month before McNamara's resignation. Many believe that it was the seminal moment of the War. While the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese sustained enormous losses in the Offensive, they demonstrated that they could carry out coordinated attacks against major cities in the South. They attacked 13 of 16 provincial capitals and even managed to penetrate the U.S. embassy in Saigon. Tet produced a huge psychology victory for the North, helped to sway American public opinion decisively against the War, and was a major factor in convincing Lyndon Johnson not to seek a second term as president. That these issues are not discussed at all in the book is a shortcoming of In Retrospect.

The public should be grateful for this memoir. It is refreshing when a public official, especially one often criticized for his arrogance, has the humility to produce such a book. We do get a feel for what was going on in McNamara's mind while he was grappling with Vietnam as Secretary of Defense. His humanity comes across in these pages. Otherwise, none of the information here is new or, oddly, particularly illuminating. Likewise, this reader had difficulty with some of the author's conclusions. ... Read more

54. Nothing Like It In The World : The Men Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad 1863 - 1869
by Stephen E. Ambrose
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743506472
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 315724
Average Customer Review: 3.01 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers an historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage.

Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life.

The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. At its peak, the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, living off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

In building a railroad, there is only one decisive spot -- the end of the track. Nothing like this great work had ever been seen in the world when the last spike, a golden one, was driven in Promontory Peak, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined.

Ambrose writes with power and eloquence about the brave men -- the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation. ... Read more

Reviews (185)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bad work by a history professor
Stephen Ambrose and his team did voluminous research and then managed to put together a book filled with mistakes. He has geographical errors like placing like placing the discovery of gold in California WEST of Sacramento when it was actually thirty or so miles the the east. He claims that Robert E. Lee got hold of George MacClellan's battles plans at Antietam (Just the opposite occured). He also states that Union Pacific built the causeway across the Great Salt Lake (It was the Southern Pacific). I could go on and on.

In addition to the all the mistakes, Ambrose also likes to repeat himself. Some of the anecdotes appear three or four times. In addition he takes some great liberties such as often calling Theodore Judah "Ted". Never have I read anything in which Judah was called Ted and the only sources that Ambrose uses that include Judah's first name call him Theodore.

As a railroad buff and a historian I was really looking forward to this book. It's too bad that the book does not reflect all the research that went into the project. This book is a mediorcre performance.

2-0 out of 5 stars Woefully inadequate journalism
I'm not in the habit of denigrating books that so many others have criticized before -- yet this one has some glaring faults that I haven't seen mentioned by other reviewers. Specifically:

The subject of railroad construction history cries out for comprehensive, detailed, accurate maps, both current and historical, to illustrate the geography and cultural features of the landscape through which the railroad was built. The paltry few maps included are crudely drawn, with rarely marked elevations and no more than a dozen or so place names each, neglecting the hundreds of locations and terrain features critically important to this epic story. Although the major rivers are fairly carefully traced, we are left to wonder about the size and names of most of them.

Many personal meetings (those involving Abraham Lincoln in particular) are described complete with casual chitchat, behavioral mannerisms, and even the thoughts of the participants -- as if these details could be known even to others living at the time, much less a historian writing more than a hundred years later. The technique of imagining and fabricating details of events, unless carefully acknowledged (as in Safire's brilliant "Freedom"), belongs in historical novels, not in a conscientious history. It casts doubt on the rest of the work, documented or not, because it shows the author has injected his own speculations and assumptions among the confirmable facts.

Lastly, the journalistic mistakes in this book represent a veritable catalogue of errors any self-respecting writer must avoid. They include the duplication of information and chaotic meandering in time and place that many others have noted in detail. Poor choices of wording and vocabulary are legion, to the point that it is hard to believe the manuscript underwent any critical editing. Also distressing to the reader are multitudes of obvious typographical errors.

If the estate of Mr. Ambrose would allow it, the publishers of this book could do their faithful readership, and the railroading enthusiasts of the world, a great service by issuing a second edition of this book with the organization improved, errors corrected, and better maps added. The result could be much more readable than Bain's massive tome on the same subject.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Readable History of the Transcontinental Railroad
In this effort, Mr. Ambrose takes up the subject of the transcontinental railroad. First, this story needs to be told. Secondly, it should be told in a fashion that is readable and easy to understand. Ambrose achieves both goals.

Of note is the commentary about the marvel of engineering necessary to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the quiet dignity of the Chinese immigrants who made it possible. I found the contrast between the work ethic of the Chinese, as compared to the boisterous revelry of the Irish, very interesting.

Lastly, I believe that this history can add to our understanding about how government and private money can be used as a tool to encourage the best of American ingenuity. At the same time, it is also a good lesson in graft and political expediency.

Ambrose can be read by children and adults. His obvious gift of storytelling is more than evident in this history. Pick it up cheap and find out.

1-0 out of 5 stars MISTAKES

1-0 out of 5 stars A great and enduring story, poorly told and misinterpreted
This book begins and ends with grand statements about the "vision" of government supremacists like Abraham Lincoln and various members of Congress. Ambrose repeats many of the most enduring myths of the railroad baron era, and tells this story in a very conventional way. The great "foreward-thinking" "leaders" in Washington who planned and commissioned the first transcontinental railroad as a marriage of government and private enterprise are painted as heroes, while those who criticized this monstrous government giveaway are depicted as narrow-minded reactionaries.

In fact, Ambrose ignores a good bit of evidence that suggests that government subsidies of the transcontinental railroads was entirely unnecessary and probably detrimental to the industry. Burton W. Folsom, Jr., in the book "The Myth of the Robber Barons" shows that it was possible to build transcontinental lines without government subsidies. Ambrose deals primarily with the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroades, which were both in bed with Washington policymakers. But Folsom describes how James J. Hill's Great Northern Railroad was able to construct a transcontinental line across worse terrain using land purchased on the open market without any government loans or subsidies--and to make a profit while charging lower faires! Thus much of Ambrose' interpretation--his "moral" as it were--is simply false. Government subsidies of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific produced inefficient, corrupt operations that negatively impacted the U.S. railroad industry for generations afterward. ... Read more

55. Three Nights in August : Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager
by BuzzBissinger
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565119754
Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 180124
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific look at baseball behind the scenes
3 Nights in August is an awesome look at baseball and why it is such a great game.Buzz Bissinger follows Tony LaRussa around and chronicles a 3 game series with the Cubs.There are plenty of asides - histories of players, coaches, strategy think sessions, etc.It really brought baseball to life for me.For too many years I have lived through "fantasy" baseball, numbers flying at me through the internet.That is no way to enjoy baseball.To enjoy it through the eyes of a manager and a team that love the game - that was something very fun.

However, if you don't like baseball, you probably will be bored silly throughout this book.But you never know - give it a chance and you may appreciate the game a little bit more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Read for Real Fans
Buzz Bissinger is a talented journalist and writer, who knows how to tell good stories about the people who play and manage sports.He also has the ability to capture some of the beautiful complexity of baseball, as seen through the eyes of Tony LaRussa, and play it out in ways that make the book difficult to put down.He does not approach his subject with the sublime wit infused throughout Michael Lewis's Moneyball.Nor does he go so far as to deconstruct the whole game, like George Will did in Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball.While I rank those books above this one, you will find Three Nights in August a thoroughly satisfying read if you read and liked those books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Look Behind the Scenes!
This book is a great chance to see what goes on in the many hours between baseball games and the life of an athlete on the road.Stories of Rick Ankiel and J.D. Drew are great examples of the perils of the modern athlete, while the part about Daryl Kile will tear out your heart!Reading about the seeming indifference of a gifted athlete like Jose Canseco can make one question why they believe in baseball, but then there's the story of Albert Pujols to restore one's faith.By the way, Bissinger mentions about Canseco's apathy about playing during the 1990 season without following up with the Oakland A's getting swept by the mighty underdog Red in the Series that year.My big question after reading the book is, "How does Tony LaRussa continue to function while getting so little sleep?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
It's hard to believe the Tony LaRussa in 3 Nights in August is the same expressionless man I see in the dugout every Cardinals game.

I'm a huge baseball fan and a coach, and I recommend this book to every ball player before he begins playing in high school.The book was educational for me as a coach, and I wish I'd have read it when I was playing.As a fan, it's easy for me disagree with a manager's decisions when he puts in a .230 average utility infielder in a close game, but two of my favorite topics in the book are the importance of bench management and developing younger players.

My only complaint about the book is Buzz Bissinger's vocabulary.I read because I enjoy it and it keeps my mind sharp.I have reasonable intelligence and a decent vocabulary.But I think Bissinger, like too many authors, sacrifices the flow of the story to boast his own vocabulary, and, in the process, he makes the reader feel intellectually-inferior.Any word that isn't used at least rarely in a conversation should be equally absent in a book.It's frustrating when I'm reading about baseball and I have to stop to figure out or look up the meaning of words like leitmotif.

Aside from the abundance of unnecessary foreign words, I loved the book.Bissinger did a great job of showing the different personalities of the Cardinals players, coaches, and behind-the-scenes workers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Already Seems So Long Ago
Bissinger's book isn't as inspiring as FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, but he's a careful stylist, and the depth of his take on manager Tony LaRussa may never be equalled.Tony's fights and reconciliations with his wife, Elaine, over family issues and how to work out a long distance marriage are part of the book, a big part, and any honest reader will see both sides to the story and will come away with admiration for both LaRussa's for trying to handle a difficult issue in public.

Darryl Kile's death, which ironically occurred in Chicago, the city with which St Louis has such a great rivalry, is presented here in moving detail.I feel sorry for Flynn, Kile's lovely wife, and their children.Their little boy is maybe three or four now and yet he will never know his father.

The story of Rick Ankiel is treated more lightly, and will keep you in stitches.Ankiel, the pride of Fort Pierce, comes off in Bissinger's aphoristic prose as a bit of a flake.

The three games Bissinger writes about are thrillingly presented, but when I closed the book it all seemed to have happened so long ago, particularly because only in the past year or so has the issue really been broached about steroid use.LaRussa seems honest about this, but it's hard to tell how much he's covering his own ass about rampant steroid use on his team and what he knew about it.After Jose Canseco's book and congressional hearings into the matter, maybe the real story will have to wait until a few more players die brutal and unexpected deaths.Or perhaps, as Canseco implies, you're not really a man if you can't handle the drugs that go with baseball.

I must also add a word in favor of LaRussa's work with the Animal Rescue people.No matter what people say about Tony, you know his heart is in the right place, and this animal work is nothing new for him, he's been into it for eons.Good for him.If St Louis ever tires of T, there's a place for him reserved at Rainbow Bridge. ... Read more

56. Angela's Ashes (AUDIO CASSETTE)
list price: $50.00
our price: $34.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067158037X
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 76449
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland.Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages.Yet Malachy does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story.

Perhaps it is a story that accounts for Frank's survival.Wearing shoes repaired with tires, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Imbued with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion -- and movingly read in his own voice -- Angela's Ashes is a glorious audiobook that bears all the marks of a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (1623)

5-0 out of 5 stars Depressing but Excellent
5 Stars- Depressing but excellent

Frank Mc Court's memoirs "Angela's Ashes" takes us back to the 1940s where he tells us of his childhood and the poverty that his family lived though. This book can be very depressing at times which brought me to tears, but this is an excellent memoirs worthy of a 5 star rating.

The book starts out in New York, the Mc Court family lives in one of the most impoverished areas of Brooklyn and father, Malachy Mc Court has a hard time keeping a job and a drinking problem. After the death of baby Margaret, the family moves back to Ireland where times are harder and life is poorer. The family relies on help from Saint Vincent, DE Paul Society and they are forced to go on relief. The father drinks whatever money he makes and has a hard time finding or keeping a job. Frank has a dream of returning to America, where he feels that he can make life better for himself.

I watched the movie right after reading the book and was amazed at how many part were left out. I advise everyone to read the book to get the true story of the Mc Court Family and I look forward to reading the second part, Tis.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Deserved Pulitzer
McCourt speaks to the reader through his childhood voice in this splendid, moving, and thought-provoking autobiography. McCourt begins the story as a four-year-old living in New York City with his parents and three younger brothers. The poverty stricken Irish family is unable to make ends meet in America and so they head back to Ireland in hopes of survival.

They settle in Limerick where McCourt's mother Angela grew up. Malachy McCourt, the father in the story, claims that he will find work and support the family. However, Malachy's love of alcohol prevents him from finding or keeping any gainful employment. When he does work, he takes his wages and goes to the bars and drinks until all the money is gone. Meanwhile, the family is hungry, the children are wearing shoes with holes, and Angela sinks into a deep depression but remains obedient to her husband because of her Catholic faith. The family moves around Limerick frequently, renting dirty rooms with flea infested bedding, living on the floors in small houses owned by relatives, and even renting a house in which the bottom floor is constantly being flooded with neighborhood sewage. The family comes face to face with illness, death, starvation, and ridicule. The low point strikes when Angela must resort to begging on the streets to help her family survive.

All the while, McCourt has the reader grow with him through the ages of four to nineteen. He shares the Irish tales he grew up with, the feelings he had toward his dyfunctional parents, his opinion of the Catholic Church, and the good and bad lessons he learned from his harsh schoolmasters. Never does McCourt wallow in self-pity, rather he presents the facts of his life in an honest, poignant manner. Despite the despair, it seems that McCourt has no regrets about his upbringing, for he was a child and had no control of the situation. As he grew, however, he came to the realization that he could begin to change things for the better. Unlike his father, he became eager to work. He struggled to support his mother and younger siblings in his teen years with after school jobs. He educated himself through reading and observation. He set goals and priorities and didn't give up until he reached them.

McCourt takes what is tragic and presents it in a beautiful, descriptive language that leaves the reader spellbound. His story is obviously written unselfishly and is told to show that triumph can be the end result of tragedy. Each individual has the power to rise above and make his or her life meaningful. This is the essence of McCourt's message. A message you will not forget after reading Angela's Ashes.

5-0 out of 5 stars a memoir of myself?
This book is simply incredible and the inclusion of the patriotic and doleful poems of the Irish make it simply the best and stand out from the rest. Frank Mc Court has retold the story in a perspective of a child and I wonder how could he retell each and everything so clearly and touchingly.... so hands up for him... Mc Court is one of the greatest Irish writer ever.... This book has broken my heart, made me laugh, brought tears in my eyes and has made me obsessed with Little Frankie and his sore eyes....I never wanted to finish Angela's Ashes and wish I could continue reading it forever and ever.... If you are keen about Frankie's life then Tis' is a must read book...

I wish I could invite Frankie during Christmas so that he didnt have to eat the pig's head....

5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA'S ASHES

1-0 out of 5 stars P.U.!!
Stinkaroo! Thank god I borrowed this work of maudlin stereotypical crap from the library so I didn't actually fork over any cash for it. Jeez, if I was Irish I would be completely insulted by the authors' ludicrous, stereotypical portrayal of the anguished poor Irish Catholic family. "Aw no da's drunk agin! Aw no, ma's bein' shagged! Aw, I wish ere lived in Ameriki!" Blah blah blah! These characters aren't even as well developed as the guy on the Lucky Charms box. Has McCourt ever been to Ireland?

I couldn't even finish it. It just plodded and sobbed and whined on and on and on. In fact, before I took it back to the library I inscribed in one of the early chapters, "WARNING: MORE CRAP AHEAD". I didn't consider that defacing library property, I considered it a public service. ... Read more

57. On War
by Carl Von Clausewitz
list price: $56.95
our price: $41.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786101946
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 580676
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

On War is the most significant attempt in Western history to understand war, both in its internal dynamics and as an instrument of policy. Since the work's first appearance in 1832, it has been read throughout the world, and has stimulated generations of soldiers, statesmen, and intellectuals.

... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars Diplomacy By Other Means
Carl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian aristocrat who served as an officer during the Napoleanic Wars and who began writing this treatise on warfare upon the conclusion of the conflict.Although primarily philosophical, Clausewitz' efforts are to explain the nature and the dynamics of war.Unlike Sun-Tzu's "The Art of War" which is primarily a work of maxims or dictums, Clausewitz tried to put such concepts into a theoretical and empirical framework.

This edition does a fine job at clarifying the historical context in which Clausewitz was writing his work as well as what issues he was trying to address.Clausewitz never found his works to be ready for publication but his wife had them published shortly after his death.One can see Clausewitz' efforts to categorize his concepts were strongly influenced by Emmanuel Kant's philosophy. This factor,in addition to his work being mostly rough drafts, can make Clausewitz a difficult writer to follow.

Clausewitz' most important and relevant concepts to the world today would be his "Books" 1-4 and 8 which deal with the theorical and philosophical aspects of war: his most famous phrase being that war is the execution of a state's diplomatic policies by other means (i.e. organized military force.)The objective of war is to make the enemy do your will (ideally with unrestricted force) which is to make him surrender unconditionally.The question then being who has the means and methods to put those principles into effect successfully.Clausewitz then goes into the concepts of leadership and strategy that are important in winning a battle or a war.Clausewitz' remaining works on offense, defense, and military forces are less relevant as they are more products of the Napoleanic War: their tactical and strategic insights are of limited use in the context of modern mechanized warfare.

This is a great edition as it is accompanied by a very detailed preface and introductory essays that clarify Clausewitz' convoluted manuscripts.The essays bring his work into modern perspective and discuss its important contributions to modern political and military thinking.I strongly recommend this edition and translation over other works as the reader will simply get more bang for their buck compared to publications by Penguin or others.

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS EDITION OF ON WAR!!!
On War is an incredible work, but the Penguin Classics edition is terrible - the translation was done by an editor who was openly hostile to Clausewitz, something to do with Kissinger (whom our editor detested) being a Clausewitz fan.There are entire sections that are specifically translated in ways that make Clausewitz look bad, and edits to the same effect.

I highly suggest that you read this book - but read the Everyman's or Princeton version - those editions have the Peter Paret translation and are far superior in every way.The Everyman's edition in particular is fantastic - hardcover, elegant, and only a few dollars more than Penguin's steaming pile of excrement.

4-0 out of 5 stars The bible of warfare
The translation leaves something to be desired, but Clausewitz's book itself really is the bible of modern warfare and ought to be the first book anyone reads on the subject.The translation would get 2 stars but Clausewitz's work definitely gets 5.

5-0 out of 5 stars War as it is (Princeton University Press edition)
We can compare Clausewitz with Sun-Tzu, the other great military thinker. Clausewitz reads more like a typical western school book. Sun-Tzu is more akin to Buddhist thinkers - he gives you the ideas and the basics, but you are left to work out the details. They complement each other very well. What Clausewitz understood, and it is still so difficult for certain presidents to grasp, is that war is a last resort; it must have a definite, and achievable goal; the the way to achieve that goal is by decisively defeating the enemy!
Clausewitz stress land battle as the way to defeat an enemy. Even with the advent of trade embargoes, naval blockades, and strategic bombing, the land battle has proved to be the decisive factor.
Clausewitz only managed to edit the first book of On War before he died. The others were just compiled and published by his widow, and I am afraid it shows. That is why so many editions just feature the first book. The others are a drag to read! Still, there are so much wisdom here! A few highlights include:
- the passage describing the recruits first exposure to battle, which is chillingly detailed and gruesome.
- the statement that it is not the attacking nation that wants the war, it is the defending nation! The aggressor would be just as happy annexing the defendor quietly! The corollaries here are mindboggling.
- poloticians must start the war, but it is the generals that must end it (negotiated peace is not an option)
In some ways Clausewitz is a bit dated. He concentrates on land war, and, I assume, he could not predict the cold war and the rise of the military-industrial complex, which desires a permanent state of almost war. Something that would have abhorred the noble old Prussian general.
Still, no one has lost a war by following the advice of Clausewitz.

4-0 out of 5 stars Practical book
"On War" is a simple book to read and understand.It is a practical guide not only to the methodology, but to psychology of actual armed combat."On War" has, for instance, the only meaningful justification for strictly following chain of command: If soldiers are in danger, they will follow their own desire for safety, all else being equal, but the mission and the greater situation are presumed to be known by higher headquarters, therefore the soldiers' following chain of command is essential.The distortions of this basic purpose of chain of command within organizations, especially governmental organization, even in peacetime, is legendary."On War" addresses the necessity of commanders' judging the relativevalues of different units and how they match up against the enemy.It may not be the best thing for a commander to throw his best troops (in training, equipment, etc) against the enemy's best troops.If the need is to check the enemy, as to delay him or force him to take a less advangageous way or to walk rather than ride, and that mission can be done by lesser troops, those lesser troops should be employed (even if it means more dead and wounded) and the better troops held back to deliver more decisive blows.

"On War" is a quite cynical look at armed war.It is said that the ancient Spartans did not ask how many the enemy were, only where they were.Such gut-level thinking is the antithesis of von Clausewitz's teachings. ... Read more

58. Animals as Teachers and Healers : True Stories and Reflections
list price: $16.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679459332
Catlog: Book (1997-01-14)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 584204
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Susan Chernak McElroy, who owes her triumph over cancer to the love of her dog, Keesha, tells her story and gathers real-life testimonies from those whose souls have been touched by the loving energies of animals. Simultaneous hardcover release from Ballantine. 2 cassettes. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Uplifting Tribute to our Animal Friends
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a good animal story. If it's happy, I cry; if it's sad, I cry harder. Animal abuse distresses me almost more than anything else.

One of my pleasures is to pick up every book I can on animals and the psychic realm. The books that focus on our intimate connections to the animal kingdom and how we may communicate with them through our intuitive thoughts and feelings are books to not only to learn from, but to savor.

I remember that pioneer in the field, Beatrice Lydecker, whose book was revolutionary when it came out years ago. It was "What the Animals Tell Me", and I was thrilled this work was available to us. The fact that there are so many books about this subject on the market now testifies to the fact that as a people we are really ready to hear the wisdom and love that animals offer. They are not just a food source or slave labor to us any longer.

Ms. McElroy does a beautiful job of bringing forth her message of healing the relationship between people and animals. She comes from a most compassionate, wise place in her understanding of why animals are with us as our companions.

If you want an example of unconditional love, be in the presence of a beloved pet. Never have I, in my life, ever received even close to that level of unconditional love and acceptance that my animal companions have shown me. [Particularly my recently deceased, Francis, who was a very evolved being inhabiting a humble life form. I am planning a future book on this soul.]

Animals are helping us evolve to the realization of our Oneness universe. We are taught by them that there is no separation between us and them. They feel what we feel. They see the spiral of life and death as part of the Wholeness of life.

The author goes into several different topics: animals as guides or guardians, healers, in the dream state or shamanic state, and through the death process. There is no dead weight in this book---all is riveting, and should be read more than once through.

Most highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Animals as Teachers and Healers
This is the Best book that I have read and I have read quite a few books. I purchased this book in a train station in Washington, DC because I had a long time between trains returning to Pittsburgh from North Carolina. After I started reading this book, I could not stop. I read most of it in the train station and finished it when I arrived home. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the various stories about the animals. When I read some stories, I cried because of what happened to the animals. In some of the stories, animals risked their own lives to save a human life. I love animals very much and for anyone who loves animals, this is the book to read. The author, Susan Chernak McElroy is an exceptional writer and I would purchase any book she writes.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful tribute to animals
Susan McElroy has put together a most memorable book. It expresses the beautiful relationships and experiences people have had with animals in a way that deeply touches the heart. I could not read this book with a dry eye. Having grown up with many animals, I have long been an animal lover. Reading about the moving experiences that others have had with animals confirmed the feeling that I have often had that we are connected with them on a deeper than conscious level. This book accords animals the honor they deserve.

5-0 out of 5 stars Animals as Teachers and Healers
As an avid animal lover, I found Susan Chernok McElroy's book to be none other than touching and heartfelt.The material she used for her writings was a great teacher and healer in of itself for me, the reader.Every story leapt off the page and affected me deeply, evoking any number of a myriad of emotions ... joy, sorrow, relief, suspense, laughter.When I finished the book (which I did quickly), I felt more inspired than I had in a long time to make the earth's animal kingdom a greater and more important part of my life, whether by working for its welfare/well-being, or simply by giving my own pets more of the love they need and deserve!I plan to give this book to every animal lover I know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuing the Roles of Animals in our Lives
The author, Susan McElroy, uses her successful fight against cancer as the backdrop for this inspirational work. She credits her animal companions for much of the strength and wisdom she needed to be a cancer survivor.

McElroy's way of combining stories and analyzing them makes this more than just a collection of sweet pet stories. It helps you recognize the important role animals play in our lives. The inspiration, hope, love and of course bittersweet emotions we've all felt with our animals are all stirred up when reading this book. She also devotes time to the wild animals that touch our lives, even if just fleetingly.

Animals as Teachers and Healers is highly recommended for everyone who's life has been changed by the love of an animal. ... Read more

59. Arcanum : The Extraordinary True Story
by Janet Gleeson
list price: $24.00
our price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570426554
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 614641
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Surprising History
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up a copy of The Arcanum in a bookstore at the airport. I needed something to read on a four hour flight, and Janet Gleeson's book definitely fit the bill: it kept my attention for the whole four hours. The capsule on the back cover was what really caught my attention. It promised eccentric kings, dungeons and avarice of all kinds. The book did not disappoint! It's as much an entertaining look at how small things make a big difference in history as it is a factual and well-presented history of the introduction of porcelain manufacture in Europe.

Gleeson did her homework, and that enabled her to bring to life a cast of character that might have come out of the most imaginative of novels. Almost before our eyes we can see the Augustus' obsession with porcelain, and finding a way to manufacture it, drive events in European history. We see a young and desperate alchemist/charlatan who couldn't have gotten himself in more trouble if he tried. Gleeson weaves these, and other, figures and their strange tale into a history that reads almost like a novel.

If you enjoy Barbara Tuchman's books, I suspect that you'll like Janet Gleeson's, as well. Aside from the fascinating story, Gleeson provides a technical discussion of the substance of porcelain ware and its manufacture that should appeal to novice and expert alike. I enjoyed this book immensely; it gave the reader the whole package. I recommend it without reservation and I'll definitely be looking to read more books by this author.

4-0 out of 5 stars The development of Europe
There were many advances during the rennaisance era in Europe that are far reaching. You would think that something so ephemeral as a luxury item wouldn't have much impact, but history demonstrates otherwise. Deception, espionage, war, and even treason were common occurences in 17th and 18th century Europe. All that in pursuit of the secrets for making porcelain is conceptually challenging to say the least.

When one alchemist searching for the legendary philospher's stone performs one illusion too many, he finds himself a "guest" of Augustus the Strong until he provides him with the gold he needs to pay for his extravagantly decadent life style. Fortunately, for the alchemist, he's bright and talented, and just may provide the king with another type of gold to keep the executioner at bay.

The Arcanum, is well written and researched with an extensive bibliography. I was very impressed with the level of scholarship exhibited by Ms. Gleeson. Considering the subject matter, and my preconceptions, I was suitably suprised and impressed at what I learned.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Read
Janet Gleeson is not a storyteller. This becomes apparent as she pops between explaining the arcanum, porcelain making, political strife and the lives of the people involved. The subjects are so compelling, however, that you will not mind too much. It is apparent, too, that she has a passion for the subject of porcelain making, and she does manage to infuse the reader with her interest.

5-0 out of 5 stars Splendidly told history always pleases
If you enjoy splendidly written historical stories, this is a must read. I must admit that the story started to lose its lustre around the time that Meissen loses its lustre; but, in its entirety, the book is a must read. If you've read The Professor and the Madman, this story is equally enthralling.

4-0 out of 5 stars A substance more valuable than gold
Today, porcelain, china, and dinnerwares are common items in a household. This was not always true. Once, hard paste porcelain, the world's best, was literally as valuable as gold. But only the Chinese knew the formula, and they kept their secret from Europeans for nearly 1000 years. So it is fitting that the person responsible for discovering the Chinese's secret was an alchemist, whose true quest was to find the secret for making gold from other less expensive metals.

This swashbuckling tale of adventure, double-dealing, and final victory, is a basic manual for porcelain collectors and dealers, and it is a must for antiques enthusiasts, no matter where their interests lie. Porcelain and its history touch every collecting area to some degree. The knowlege contained in this short history is a must for anyone who aspires to a full education in the decorative arts. ... Read more

60. The Heart of Parenting : Raising an Emotionally Inteligent Child
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559274352
Catlog: Book (1997-02-15)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 116196
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Based on twenty years of research at the University of Washington studying parent-child interactions, award-winning research psychologist John Gottman and his team have developed Emotion Coaching -- a technique that parents can use to teach their children self-awarenessand self-control, and to foster good emotional development.This proven technique has demonstrated a positive effect on children's physical health, academic achievement and emotional well-being.Among the issues this program explores:

* Emotion Coaching: the key to raising emotionally intelligent kids
* How to assess your parenting style
* Key steps and strategies for Emotion Coaching
* The effects of marriage and divorce on your child's emotional health
* The crucial role of fathers in families

Dr. Gottman's research has shown that children who learn to master their emotions have more self-confidence, do better in school, and have a better chance of living happy, emotionally healthy lives.Filled with practical and common-sense advice on how to become an Emotion Coaching parent, this is a how-to guide for parents interested in helping their children grow into "emotionally intelligent" people.
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of hte best parenting books!
You can find a lot of books about parenting, but many of them are just pop psychology, the solitary opinion of the author.
Gottman is definitely not one of them. He is known as one of the leading psychologists in the area of family and marriage psychology. This book presents the essence of his research findings about raising emotionally intelligent children.
His advise is surprisingly easy and is based on a 5 step model:
1. Be aware of your child's emotion
2. See your child's emotions as an opportunity to be close together
3. Actively listen to your child and validate the feelings
4. Help your child to verbalize his feelings
5. Help your child solve problems, while setting clear limits

Gottman clearly explains how you can implement this 5-step-model in daily life and what to do when problems arise. His real life examples make reading really fun.
All in all, an excellent parenting book! As a supplement, I can also recommend the book by M. Seligman: "The optimistic child"

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic audio book every parent should have!
This audio book has opened my eyes to what children are really thinking and how to deal with them. I have tried the recommended ideas with my own daughter and it has worked wonders. It can be difficult at first, but with patience, these ideas will create a bond between you and your child that you may not have known could exist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!
"Emotional Intelligence" has recently been recognized as an important life skill. A combination of important traits (including self-discipline, ability to handle anger appropriately, self-esteem, empathy, and social skills), emotional intelligence allows one to handle life's frustrations and to "work and play well with others." These skills have been shown as more important than I.Q. as predictors of success in one's personal relationships and career. This wonderful book teaches parents how to raise their children to have emotional intelligence. The book sees children's problems and frustrations as opportunities for "emotion coaching" - helping them learn how to deal with their emotions. The book also identifies four "parenting styles" - two of these styles react negatively to chldren's negative emotions, one style accepts them but doesn't help the child deal with them, and the "Emotion Coaching" style accepts the emotions and teaches the child what to do with them. I wish my parents had had this book - I was a "difficult" child, prone to tantrums, etc., but much of my difficulty came from feeling frustrated and not knowing what to do about it. My parents were loving, but didn't really know how to handle the problem. This book will create greater understanding between parent and child, and will help the child grow up to be an emotionally healthy adult. ... Read more

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