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61. Who Are You?: The Path of Self-Inquiry
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62. Complete Bible on Cassette
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63. ONE WORLD READY OR NOT: THE MANIC
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64. Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring
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65. Conversations With God: An Uncommon
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66. The Iyanla Live! Collection
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67. The Closing of the American Mind
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68. Dialogues of Plato
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69. The Wisdom of Crowds : Why the
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70. The Great Bridge : The Epic Story
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71. A History of the Jews Part II
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72. Christianity in Crisis
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73. Finding and Exploring Your Spiritual
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74. The Art of Raising a Puppy: The
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75. Art of Innovation, The
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76. Marianne Williamson on Emotional
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77. Singing the Psalms: How to Chant
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78. Spanish III (Pimsleur Language
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79. A Woman's Worth
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80. Benjamin Franklin : An American

61. Who Are You?: The Path of Self-Inquiry
by Gangaji
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 1564554376
Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
Publisher: Sounds True
Sales Rank: 202424
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Who Are YOu Gangaji

Investigate the Infinite beyond Death - In the search for truth, there is only one question that needs to be answered: Who am I? This inquiry into the self is the core of advaita vedanta (radical non-dualism) – a timeless teaching for breaking free of mental bonds and reclaiming your true identity: the Infinite that is beyond death.On Who Are You? American-born spiritual teacher Gangaji spells out the bedrock principles of self-inquiry – a cluster of no-nonsense concepts that reveal how to effortlessly step outside limited psychological conditioning and mental constructs into the freedom, expansiveness, and peace of your own true nature. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple, Profound, Important Gift of the East
Gangaji is a great teacher of the Eastern wisdom of Papaji. What she has to say is so simple, in order to understand we have to turn off our understanding. She has reached many with the message of Truth on TV, in person, and on these cassettes. The knowledge of who you are becomes clear when the programming, the self-orchestrated purgatories, the illusions stop, and in the void comes all that there is.
Gangaji invites you to see the universal eternal self, the true consciousness, stripped of ego. To see what has always been, what a society founded on illusion has taught us to ignore.
Alan Watts lectures are all well and good, but direct experience is what matters. Somehow our consciousness became fragmented, so we actually believe we are separate and isolated from people, the world, and God. This tape is a chance for direct insight. ... Read more


62. Complete Bible on Cassette
list price: $89.99
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Asin: 0310204232
Catlog: Book (1995-10-15)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 633456
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The entire Bible presented on 48 audio cassettes, this dramatic reading features multiple voices and music throughout. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Think of it as a "fantasy epic" mixed with history.
First let me say that The Bible was easily the most challenging, thought provoking, and difficult book I have ever read by far.The length alone will drive most people away.Finishing this book for me was truly a test of character.

In a nutshell, the Bible is this: God creates man, man sins.It then proceeds through the history of God's people, the birth of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, whose twelve sons would form the twelve tribes of Israel, the exodus of the enslaved out of Egypt.The rule of Judges and later the rule of kings, the division of the kingdom into two separate nations, Israel and Judah, the sin of God's people, the captivity by Babylon and Assyria.During the captivity, the prophets spoke of a messiah.The New Testament, and Jesus is proclaimed this messiah, and, along with his disciples, gives the plan for salvation of God's people as well as the Gentiles (non Jews).The Bible wraps up with the end of the world and the new heaven and earth.

Throughout the year or so where I read The Bible, I shifted between translations, Some NIV and some KJV.I have never been a religious person, in fact, I am pretty much an atheist, but I won't lie, I did ponder the existence of God while reading.If I got anything out of this, it is inspiration to be as charitable as I can be within my means.Jesus is the shining example of this.

The Bible, though written by many people over a long time, as a whole truly tells a fantastic story.It is simply the greatest story ever told, and has inspired billions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Portable - the size of a paperback novel.
That's what I like best about this Bible. You can read it easily - it's not too big and heavy, the pages aren't too thin. Plus the cover is very cute and makes it look just like a regular book. NIV means it's been translated into easy-to-understand English. The Book of Revelation is especially easier to read than in other translations.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Stories Ever Told
I cannot describe how wonderful the whole Bible is, but it has been a wondeful blessing. While you may have been read Bible stories by your parents at bedtime when you were young, you may not have had all of the stories. But with the whole Bible (both Old and New Testaments) you can get the full story. The Holy Bible has been read for about 2,000 years, and it still has a powerful impact on people. The Bible is the story of God told by man. And because many believe that God spoke through the writers of the Bible, a collection of books, it has been called "The Word of God".

Learn the teaching of the Christian and Jewish faiths with the Bible, which will give you imformation on their beliefs. The Bible is you #1 guide to learning about those two religions, and it is also your #1 guide when learning their cultures, teachings, and morals. For thousands of years, millions of people have been using the Bible as their morality book. With dozens of stories to live by, many people can learn from the Bible. Journey with the Israelite people, told in the Old Testament, as they struggle to live a good and Godly life.

Not only is the Bible the story of God, but it is also the story of man and woman, and how they struggle to avoid sin and do good. To tell the story of evil and sin, the Bible describes the consequences of doing bad things, such as death, suffering, and destruction. When there is sin, there is death. But the Bible is also a book of hope and happiness, which describes the happiness of good people, the joy of the world, and hope for bad people. It describes the forgiveness given to evil people who turn away from their wickedness. The Bible is also a book of poetry, which includes the Book of Psalms and the majestic and moral Book of Proverbs.

With many of those things, the Bible is a book that many can benefit from. Yes, people can misinterpret it, just as the Taliban misinterpreted Islam, but study and understanding of God's word can help you understand it. It will last forever!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent alternative
I do a lot of driving (4 hours/day) and these tapes help me stay in the Word. It doesn't replace reading the Bible, but when you spend so much time in a car every day it is the next best thing to reading the Word. I like the dramatization in the Gospels and the background music. Also the narrator is very easy on the ears. I would highly recommend this audio Bible for anyone who can't seem to get enough time to read the Good Book.

1-0 out of 5 stars disheartened
I purchased this set of tapes because I desperately need to find God.I've been assured the search begins with his WORD. This production is an impediment to that search.The words are read without interpretation, sometimes so fast that it is obvious a task is being hurried through.The same characterless music is repeated ad nauseum. Compare this with Max McLean's performances and you will never want to listen to a "solely for profit" production like this one again. ... Read more


63. ONE WORLD READY OR NOT: THE MANIC LOGIC OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM CASSETTE
by William Greider
list price: $25.00
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Asin: 0671575260
Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 868390
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars problems of economic globalization are daunting
Greider is clearly one of the very top liberal\populist economic analysts who writes for laypeople today. Greider proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that economic globalization as it is practiced today is fraught with contradictions and the potential for disaster. His book is simultaneously alarming and hopeful; the prospects for implementing his common sense reform proposals seem poor in the current conservative political atmosphere, meaning that global deregulation is sure to move even quicker now, causing new and frequent financial crises. The fundamental point in his book are sound: that an unequal income distribution, reinforced by the relocation of capital to low-wage areas, exacerbates a problem of inadequate aggregate demand, making recessions more likely. Greider is quite clear in his belief that a deflation of incomes, economies, and prices is the ultimate consequence of this fundamentally unjust new world economic order. To support his thesis, he takes the reader on a tour of a variety of places all over the globe, showing how, for example, the repression of labor rights in a place as far away as Indonesia contributes to a worsening of the wage-earning potential of first-world middle income workers. Greider is one of the few writers today who offers a genuinely humane and efficient economic vision that the world would be wise to follow. He suggests worker ownership of capital as a middle road between the inequities of capitalism and the disincentives of communism. He points out how transaction taxes on international capital flows would return stability to foreign exchange markets and, more importantly, national economies. He makes clear that the rule of finance capital, as manifest in high real interest rates, is only exacerbating the fundamental capitalist problems. (inadequate demand and excess capacity) Above all else, he makes apparent that economies, like all social institutions, are fundamentally human contrivances, and thus can be favorably altered by a populace with enough imagination to envision a more prosperous, equitable, and environmentally sustainable future. Greider is way left of almost anyone in D.C. today, but he is no communist, as is apparent from a reading of this book. All progressives should read this book, (though it is somewhat complex for those without prior exposure to economics) and use Greider's policy suggestions to pressure the political class to legislate real changes in our global economy so that we can create a more stable, equitable, sustainable, and democratic global community. As a final point, it is very heartening to see someone provide such plentiful evidence for what to me is a self-evident proposition: widely-shared prosperity requires genuine political democratization, everyone and anywhere in this tightly bound global economy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative, Insightful, Compassionate Look at the 3rd Wave
No one writes with more verve, insight, and human compassion than long-time Rolling Stone contributor and Editor William Greider. His perspective always centers on the human cost of social phenomena, and is always heartfelt, compassionate, and extremely well focused. In this book he centers in brilliantly on the ways in which the so-called "Third Wave" of global trading and commerce is poised to transform the social, economic, and political landscape of the countries in which it is being introduced. His writing skills are superb, and the ordinarily dry and stuffy stuff of economics come alive in this highly readable and quite entertaining work. In fact, reviewer Brink Lindsey of the Kirkus Review called this book "the best-written book on the global economy" he had ever read. Ditto, Mr. Lindsey, ditto.

I also agree with his observations calling the prose energized, clear, and sharp. However, I disagree with the negative criticism many other critics and reviewers have voiced concerning Mr. Greider's conclusions herein, which seem to center on the fact that he is not an apologist, fellow-traveler, or celebrant of the new global forces. Indeed, Mr. Greider's perspective is more sanguine, expressing concern of the many ways in which this fundamentally anti-democratic new commerce tends toward becoming a revolutionary & extraordinarily well-focused force literally power-hosing the new wealth generated by this commerce in the direction of the rich and well placed at the expense of almost everyone else.

Who can argue against the observation that we increasingly face an amazing conundrum when in face of the greatest sustained period of prosperity in the last forty years many people at the lower reaches of the socioeconomic spectrum are slipping farther and farther behind, that this prosperity is not acting to level the playing field, but, on the contrary is intensifying the distances and qualitative life styles of the affluent and the poor, or with the observation that consistently the indifferent, selfish and affluent conservative Republicans, ignoring the needs and problems of a majority of others, still demand a substantial tax refund for themselves at the expense of the rest of the populace? The truth speaks for itself in the sense that the governments of the world seem either uninterested or unable to regulate, limit, or meaningfully constrain the powers, policies, or dispositions of the multi-national corporations who now produce, distribute, and control the majority of the world's commercial efforts.

These corporations seem to be primarily motivated by motives much less socially responsive or oriented than they are profit-centered. Unless one actually believes in the silly, self-serving and patently ridiculous nonsense about Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' of the market place, believing that somehow an unregulated and unconstrained world economy will automatically and magically manage and self-corrrect itself through the countervailing forces of the marketplace (can I sell you some of my old lottery tickets?), one must take heed of the plethora of examples one can readily observe concerning the changes in our social, economic, and political environment that stem from the effects of this new 'global economy'.

In summary, Greider argues that the world is headed for a difficult & chaotic set of social & economic circumstances; disastrous levels of industrial plant overcapacity, unmanageable surplus goods, unemployable labor pools, frantic & often irrational stock speculation, unserviceable debts, and chronic massive unemployment. While all may seem to be wonderful to a casual observer watching along the surface, we are in fact skating bravely over the very thin ice of a totally new and revolutionary set of socioeconomic circumstances, and we should hardly be racing across this fragile and frozen expanse so quickly or so recklessly, trusting so blindly in so many anonymous corporate forces that historically have never bothered to concern themselves with the social, economic or political consequences following in the wake of their profit-oriented activities. Given the increasingly random & uncontrollable flow & use of capital, coming to terms with this emerging bulwark of the 'new world order' will be increasingly problematic. His conclusions are similar to those of neo-Luddite authors like Sales Kirkpatrick and Theodore Roszak, who have come to similar conclusions about the increasingly serious situation emerging concerning a technical, commercial, and economic world spiraling out of control. In my opinion, Greider's book is a heaven-sent call to arms; the first issued by a mainstream social critic whose argument we would all do well to consider.

2-0 out of 5 stars His conclusions drive the narrative
"The Storm Upon Us ... everything seems new and strange ... nothing seems certain ... masses of people are tangibly deprived of their claims to self-sufficiency ... this revolution is steadily creating the predicate for its own collapse ... the prospect of an economic or political cataclysm of unknown dimension ... ." These and similar claims are found on just the first two pages of the book. To be fair, Mr. Greider also references the "great fortunes" thrown off by globalization and the fact that millions escape poverty, but right from the start you get the feeling that he is working backwards from his conclusions and choosing his rhetoric and his examples to sell his point of view. It's almost as if Mr. Greider is suggesting that, now that the West has gone through the very sort of radical transformation he describes with shock and dismay, the rest of humanity should just stay where they are at while we in the industrialized world figure out if and how they should reach for the security and the lifestyle that we take for granted. If you are looking to validate an anti-globalization bias you already hold then this may be the book for you, but I think it's fair to say that most readers would like to benefit from Mr. Greider's considerable experience and expertise without having to interpret his selective or overly cynical presentation. In a nutshell, my problem with the book is not that it argues against globalization and is wrong, but that it is as committed to persuasion as it is to education. I chose not to finish the book and will look for a more neutral resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Close Look At Globalism
I've been meaning to write about One World, Ready Or Not (1997) by William Greider for some time since I finished reading it a few weeks ago, but it is a difficult book to describe in detail given it's scope and content. I first encountered Greider in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine where he writes about politics and economics and was impressed by his intelligence and rational thinking. Needless to say, he is somewhat liberal and progressive. This book is an excellent look at globalism, especially how economic systems and policies affect the world. Some of these sections are bit difficult to follow, but I found his case studies of different companies and labor movements quite fascinating, especially the section about the airplane industry and Boeing in particular. He explained how Boeing parcels out parts contracts to countries that order airplanes as a sort of kickback for countries doing business with them.

The section about the negative impact of free trade zones on the poor people who work in them is very telling. (For a more comprehensive look at the exploitation of third world workers see Naomi Klein's excellent No Logo, which is a good companion text to this). It is something that has troubled me since I saw a large group of peasant girls lining up at the gates of a textile factory in Cambodia, they looked like they were twelve, it was very Dickensian. The fact that they make around $20 a month for shoes that cost over $100, is absurd to me. I'd like to present some of the suggestions he has for reforming the global economic system, which has been spiraling out of control. All of them seem quite reasonable to me.

1. Tax capital instead of labor.

2. Reform the terms of trade to ensue more balanced flows of commerce, compelling export nations to become larger consumers of the global production.

3. Bring the bottom up-raising wages on the low end as rapidly as possible-by requiring trading nations to honor labor rights.

4. Forgive the debtor-that is, initiate a general write-off of bad debts accumulated by poorer nations.

5. Reform the objectives of central banks so they will support a pro- growth regime instead of thwarting it.

6. Refocus national economic agendas on the priority of work and wages rather than trade or multinational competitiveness, as the defining issue for domestic prosperity.

As Greider mentions, none of the propositions I have suggested is especially radical or even new in historical terms, since they all have been actively employed at one time or another. Nonetheless, I don't really expect to see any of these reforms adopted given the fact that there's no real economic motivation to do so. The problem as Greider states it, is that there is no governing body with the best interests of workers overseeing economic policies. As a result the gap between the haves and have-nots will continue to extend. All in all, a very thought provoking look at global economics.

1-0 out of 5 stars Amateur Opinions in Print
Grieder likes playing the role of a public intellectual- one who cuts through it all to see what is really going on. One who sees all that escapes supposed experts, particularly economists. What he sees is a destructive machine that is out of control. There is no one at the wheel of global capitalism, it is wreaking havoc, and will undo itself. To prove this point he describes capitalism and 'free market theory' with disparaging adjectives. To make his case he needs do explain why these theories are wrong and provide valid evidence. He does neither.

His evidence is at best, anecdotal. At worst it is from questionable or unnamed sources. Discussion of the free market concepts he opposes is almost totally lacking. The author claims that free market economics is unscientific and derides it as 'dogma' and 'a value laden form of prophecy' (p48). But, he tells his audience little about these supposedly false ideas. In fact, he admits (p53) that he does not argue much with this 'dogma'. So he admits to evading a serious discussion of the concepts he slanders.

He speaks in terms of absurdly simplistic supply and demand type reasoning, and mentions arbitrage, but he ignores the real issues that pertain to his subject matter. His chapter on wages and work ignores the issue of labor productivity- he barely mentions it (p67+76). The economic arguments that he dismisses hinge on marginal productivity, but it is not clear that knows anything about this supposed dogma. Instead, he focuses on income distribution between capital and labor. He sees international competition in labor markets as benefiting capital- consumers seem not to benefit from this at all. Later in this book (p122), he stumbles into the notion that competition benefits consumers, but fails to realize that he has damaged his own argument.

Greider claims that the most successful Asian economies rejected Laissez Faire and free markets (p87). But, the most successful postwar Asian economies (including Japan) have some of the freest markets. They have some governmental intervention, but far less than other nations. This is not Laissez Faire in the strictest sense, but who would deny that Hong Kong has a high degree of Laissez Faire? Successful Asian nations developed after considerable (not complete) privatization and deregulation.

He writes that the general claim by economists that free trade benefits people generally and causes only temporary and narrowly focused dislocation (p73) is wrong. His condemnation of trade theory is strong, yet he fails to demonstrate an understanding of important concepts, like the principle of comparative advantage. If he wants to engage in idle conjecture that is fine. But if he is going to claim that the experts are generally wrong, he could at least demonstrate a basic understanding of what the experts actually say.

Greider is fond of labor unions. He employs a simplistic high wages=prosperity argument to argue that labor competition benefits capital only and is per see bad for workers (p59). Efforts to restrict competition do raise wages for some workers. It also renders other workers unemployable (productivity matters) Greider provides an example of this principle in action with his Thailand example of job losses following higher minimum wages (p 70). This contradicts his dismissal of economic theory. Greider also writes much about things like social cohesion, shared responsibility, and collective identity. These are catchy phases, but indicate little more than his own dissatisfaction with current trends. He claims that people are helpless in the face of global capitalism, but voluntary consumer spending drives it. There is 'someone' at the wheel of global capitalism- global consumers.

Greider also has nice things to say about Veblen and Keynes (p51-2). In Veblen's case, there is some reason to show some admiration. Veblen was an interesting, though mistaken thinker. Keynes is a different matter. Greider tries to substitute discredited Keynesian ideas regarding overproduction for sound economic theory. He explains neither theory, provides no relevant evidence, and instead assumes the superiority of the demand-side economics of Keynes. This is mere conjecture rather than argument.

Greider complains that America is the worlds 'buyer of last resort' that absorbs surplus production. We supposedly buy imported VCR's, TV's, cars, beer, and clothing not because we derive consumer satisfaction from these goods. We are desperately trying to prop up global Capitalism by spending beyond our means! This, of course, is doomed to failure because we cannot accumulate debt forever. So he accepts Keynesian theory, which promotes deficit spending, but complains about he practice of deficit spending.

Greider admires Keynes' optimism about the supposed possibility of abundance (p440). Once having solved the economic problem, we can 'become social beings on a larger scale, discarding barbarism' and so on. Instead of private property in capital, we should have universal capital ownership- in other words, socialism. Greider dodges all the economic objections concerning socialism, all the incentive and knowledge problems. Instead he whines about how Capitalism induces 'infantile responses'- the pursuit of self interest and evasion of responsibility for collateral consequences of actions. This all reveals that Greider is merely a utopian dreamer. Limited life spans and physical resources put abundance permanently out of reach. Self interest is a part of human nature. As for evading responsibility, that is what socialism does. It socializes costs. Property rights enforcement under Capitalism forces people to bear responsibility for their actions. Some try to avoid this, but that is a violation of Capitalist ethics, not a consequence of them.

Perhaps his most obvious error is in blaming industrial capitalism for the rise of Nazism (p38). Everybody knows that the treaty of Versailles and hyperinflation wrecked German economy and led to Hitler's rise to power- everybody but Greider.

Grieder derides professional opinion rather than criticizing it. Of course, there is no reason why amateurs cannot criticize professional opinion. But Greider does not do this. He offers conjecture, derision, and utopian fantasies, but no substantive analysis. This book should not be taken seriously. ... Read more


64. Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11
by Thomas L. Friedman
list price: $25.95
our price: $6.88
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Asin: B00021GLQ4
Catlog: Book (2002-10-04)
Sales Rank: 35963
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Book Description

America's leading observer of the international scene on the minute-by-minute events of September 11th--before, during and after

As the Foreign Affairs columnist for the The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman is in a unique position to interpret the world for American readers. Twice a week, Friedman's celebrated commentary provides the most trenchant, pithy,and illuminating perspective in journalism.

Longitudes and Attitudes contains the columns Friedman has published about the most momentous news story of our time, as well as a diary of his experiences and reactions during this period of crisis.As the author writes, the book is "not meant to be a comprehensive study of September 11 and all the factors that went into it. Rather, my hope is that it will constitute a 'word album' that captures and preserves the raw, unpolished, emotional and analytical responses that illustrate how I, and others, felt as we tried to grapple with September and its aftermath, as they were unfolding."

Readers have repeatedly said that Friedman has expressed the essence of their own feelings, helping them not only by explaining who "they" are, but also by reassuring us about who "we" are. More than any other journalist writing, Friedman gives voice to America's awakening sense of its role in a changed world.
... Read more

65. Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book Two, Audio Volume I
by Neale Donald Walsch, Edward Asner, Ellen Burstyn
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574531824
Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 360209
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars book 1
this book is haven sent,ive all ways felt that god talks to everyone.and that no-one could have a relationship based on fear,and that anyone and everyone is special to god. i was soo happy to also be clairafied that there is no hell or saten,that god used as a scare tactic to force anyone to chose him.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book told me everything I already knew in my soul.
Throught-out this entire book, I kept exclaiming," I knew that!" But it is always nice to read it from another source than my own inner source. It's nice to know that God communicates with all of us if we but listen. The information and concepts were more than insightful. A Must Read!

5-0 out of 5 stars total absorbing and enlighting
This book does not tell you to worship god as much as you should worship yourself. It made me realize that there are many many things we have to learn about , life, ourselves and our relationship to one another ... Read more


66. The Iyanla Live! Collection
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
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Asin: 0743506960
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Sound Ideas
Sales Rank: 366172
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67. The Closing of the American Mind
by Allan Bloom
list price: $76.95
our price: $76.95
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Asin: 0786103868
Catlog: Book (1993-01-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 812231
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Closing of the American Mind, a publishing phenomenon in hardcover, is now a paperback literary event. In this acclaimed number one national best-seller, one of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is essential to understanding America today. It has fired the imagination of a public ripe for change. ... Read more

Reviews (97)

1-0 out of 5 stars hindered by onanism
i tried to read this book but was too preoccupied by onanism and patricide, the side effects of listening to rock music

3-0 out of 5 stars Critiquing "Plato's cave since MTV took it over"
"Openness to Closedness"? Are post-modern western culture and its attendant philosophy of education now recklessly and dangerously committed to the ideas of ethical and epistemological relativism? Bloom argues 'yes'. Some readers will find little to object to here, others will find much. In a "nutshell", here's Professor Bloom's introduction (and his thesis), in his own words:

"There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the student's reaction: they will be uncomprehending. . . The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. (p25) . . . The purpose of their education is not to make them scholars but to provide them with a moral virtue -- openness. (p26) . . . There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything. (p27) . . . There are no absolutes; freedom is absolute. Of course the result is that, on the one hand, the argument justifying freedom disappears and, on the other, all beliefs begin to have the attenuated character that was initially supposed to be limited to religious belief. (p28) . . . Actually openness results in . . . conformism . . . here we can create all the life-styles we want. Our openness means we do not need others. Thus what is advertised as a great opening is a great closing. (p34) . . . The point is to force students to recognize that there are other ways of thinking and that Western ways are not better. . . But if the students were really to learn something of the minds of these non-Western cultures -- which they do not -- they would find that each and every one of these cultures is ethnocentric. All of them think their way is the best way, and all others are inferior. . . Only in Western nations, i.e., those influenced by Greek philosophy, is there some willingness to doubt the identification of the good with one's own way. One should conclude from the study of non-Western cultures thatnot only to prefer one's way but to believe it best, superior to all others, is primary and even natural -- exactly the opposite of what is intended by requiring students to study these cultures, The scientific study of other cultures is almost exclusively a Western phenomenon . . . If we are to learn from those cultures, we must wonder whether such scientific study is a good idea. (p36)"
Drawing from Plato's famous representation of man as a prisoner in a cave: "A culture is a cave. [Plato] did not suggest going around to other cultures [i.e., caves] as a solution to the limitations of the cave. . . That is why philosophy, not history or anthropology, is the most important human science. . . Openness used to be the virtue that permitted us to seek the good by using reason. It now means accepting everything and denying reason's power. (p38)" Openness to closedness is what we teach. . . Yet the fact there have been different opinions about good and bad . . . in no way proves that none is true or superior to others. (p39)"
"Socrates knew, after a lifetime of unceasing labor, that he was ignorant. Now every high school student knows that. . . What accounts for our amazing progress? Could it be that our experience has been so impoverished . . . that there is nothing substantial enough left there to resist criticism, and we therefore have no world left of which to be really ignorant? (p43)"

The book is rather long-winded and hardly perfect, but these are powerful issues that most in the Western world now relate to as would Plato's famous cave dwellers, that is, with comfortably numb ignorance, disinterest, and/or a false confidence in questionable presuppositions/conclusions. Some critics may worry that the thesis appeals to certain Rightist ideologies, and on some points it does, but for the most part that complaint is an oversimplification, and not reasonably helpful. The problem with Bloom's thesis is that it is argued too specifically, has too many pieces, and, although on many points it's diagnose of symptoms is correct, it begins to sound like so much whining, the cause of these symptoms is not succinctly defined. The widely unacknowledged nihilism gripping Western post-modernism is the pervasive malignancy of our culture. C.S. Lewis knew something that Bloom did not -- the arguments against ethical and epistemological relativism are better made at the broader abstract level. The problem lies deeper than the conflict of feminism (most often a 'politically-correct' me-ism) with both nature and convention, deeper than the market-driven obsession of academia with specialization, such that "educated" decision-makers may see the gnat but can see neither the forest nor the trees. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man" is a 'leaner, meaner' treatment of the underlying disease. Like Lewis, Bloom sees a broadly unnoticed nihilism and uncritical relativism as denying college students a truly liberal education. Where a rigorously liberal education (literature, philosophy, etc) is lost, so is much of what is meant by "human" and we increasingly become mind-sedated cogs in a misguided wheel, Platonic cave-dwellers, delusional, 'enlightened' by a chosen darkness, unjustifiably over-confident in our impoverished 'scholarship'.
Bloom's book can certainly serve as a springboard for lively discussions of these issues (which is exactly what he hoped for). Relativism in ethics and epistemology is far too frequently assumed to be 'true' because it is assumed to be 'virtuous' (or vice versa), of course both assumptions logically gut themselves. Bloom's thesis is valid but not efficiently argued, I recommend Lewis' "Abolition of Man" instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only one side of the debate
CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND by Allan Bloom

If we frame this debate with Bloom, Neil Postman, Mark Edmundson, and Genrich Krasko all on one side, who do we have on the other? There are plenty of folks bemoaning the quality of liberal arts education in our schools. But I think another argument can be made to suggest that what our schools prepare students for is what they really need to be prepared for to survive in the world as they find it. Perhaps it is wrong to think very many people need a liberal education - a good one at least. Imagine the task of working in Wal-Mart after receiving a good liberal education? Wouldn't that be worse? "Expecting Deltas to know what liberty is! And now expecting them to understand Othello!" Not 1984 but a Brave New World. Soma anyone? But there are plenty of liberal arts students that are wonderful! Don't we always have more candidates that are qualified than positions for them? Plato's suggestion that an ideal state would be just when it fit the nature of the people in it. We are not amusing ourselves to death. Virtual life is soma.

4-0 out of 5 stars flawed but historically important
Bloom should be credited with bringing this problem to the attention of a broader American public.Before this book, few people had a clue that college as they knew it no longer existed.Most people still don't.Yes, we can fault Bloom: he gushes over the wonders of ancient writers without giving any concrete arguments why they should be considered wonderful, and so on.But he also gives some harrowing specifics.And he turned a spotlight on a serious menace.If you want to know in what ways the situation has gotten worse, you need to read Illiberal Education, Who Stole Feminism? and other more recent books.This collection of books will also serve to refute the usual closed-minded claims that objections to the status quo come only from Conservatives.This is not about Conservativism, though Conservatives think it is.It is about education.And the situation has gotten so bad, we can now say it is about the survival of this country.Yes, it's that bad.

2-0 out of 5 stars More Hype than most....
This is a strange book on many counts.

1) It's hard to understand how the republican right has taken to this book. Bloom's attitude toward Christianity and the idea of economic self-interest is complete disdain. Republicans normally hold these fairly close. I must assume that most of them have not read it very carefully. It might be one of those so-called classics that everyone lugs around and small talks about but no one really reads.

2) The last hundered pages on the university, when he finally does get around to education, is totally unrelated to the rest of the book. It reads like he appended a fairly garden variety essay on the "if it feels good do it; I'm Ok-You're OK,1960's generation, on the end of a rambling philisophical diatribe against what he sees as the the failed Enlightenment project.This is the heart of the book, is totally unrelated to what he concludes the university needs (his analysis of what is wrong with western culture in the first part of the book make his suggestions in the last 100 pages superficial), and is really not very well written. Like I said - it's a series of grand pronouncements.

3)The simplest thing he could have done to explain where he is coming from is to acknowledge Leo Strauss as the source of so much (all?) of what he says. Someone set back by the tone and the casual disdain with which this book treats so much (all of liberal democracy) and looking for more details would know where to look. This he does not do (Strauss gets one mention in the book) and it seems ridiculas if not outright dishonest.

Cheers
Craig Ryder

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68. Dialogues of Plato
by Plato, Pat Bottino, Benjamin Jowett
list price: $32.95
our price: $32.95
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Asin: 0786108576
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 837079
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Many would consider Plato not only the greatest philosopher ever, but the greatest Greek prose writer too. Numerous English translations have been attempted, largely to be criticized and forgotten. Over a hundred years after the first edition of his translation in 1871, Benjamin Jowett's reputation remains resilient to time. Jowett (1817-93) was a great classical scholar and Master of Balliol College, Oxford, who spent over fifty years translating and revising these dialogues. He was keen to convey the literariness of Plato's writings and to offer up a cohesively readable translation that would appeal equally to classics scholars and readers with no knowledge of ancient Greek.

This 1892 third edition of Jowett's translation reveals his clearest vision, with his final editorial selections, ordering, and word-polishing. Thus, it includes the Eryxias, the Second Alcibiades, twenty-one of Jowett's essays, and, most usefully, marginal analyses, all subsequently omitted. Though Jowett wanted his translation to be improved and corrected from time to time, for its overall consistency and fluidity, this third edition remains a classic that both Plato and Jowett scholars will wish to read and consult.

--Contains all Jowett's final amendments
--Twenty-one of Jowett's essays subsequently omitted
--Unique marginal analyses to each dialogue

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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Socratic method is still valid.
This Bantam Classics edition presents, through translations by different sources, eight of Plato's "early" dialogues, all involving Socrates, his apotheosized master. Written in the form of question-and-answer sessions, these dialogues profile a man in a continuous quest for the truth, even when he is awaiting his execution, and demonstrate a particular system of gathering information and building knowledge, a system that is nothing less than the foundation of Western thought.

The oracle at Delphi stated that Socrates was the wisest of men because he knew that his wisdom was paltry -- unlike the Sophists, who not only thought they could teach things like virtue and "excellence" to the youth of Athens but also charged money for their tutelage. Since Socrates admits to knowing nothing, he gains all his knowledge through inquiry, deferring to his interlocutors' presumed knowledge, often using sarcasm with the Sophists. His questions commonly use logic of the form "If A is the same as B and B is the opposite of C, isn't A the opposite of C?"

Socrates saw himself as a "gadfly" to Athenian society, always seeking truth -- an absolute truth, as opposed to the moral relativism taught by the Sophists and practiced by the Athenians. His basic interest was inquiring of the way a man should live his life, one conclusion being that to suffer is better than to cause suffering, since the immortal soul is judged constantly by the gods.

Some of the arguments might seem specious to the modern reader, but the importance of reading the dialogues is not necessarily to agree with any particular argument presented but to observe an intensely systematic and organized method of gaining knowledge through interrogatory dialogue. First-hand experience tells me that asking and answering questions is a better way to learn than listening to a one-sided lecture, and reading Plato's Socratic recollections confirms my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for logically-challenged Liberals!
Unfortunately, the public school system of America has eradicated all courses relative to developing a student's ability to reason, and reason well. Rhetoric,and the 'Socratic Method' were essential parts of a collegiate student's curriculum in medieval Europe, and the universities of America would not be remiss in re-introducing this dynamic type of verbal intercourse today.

2-0 out of 5 stars inadequate description, translation
The pleasure of Plato is as much from his literary as from his philosophical acumen. The choice of the public-domain Jowett translation is unhappy for bringing out the literary merit of the original. This Victorian prose, while usually competent as translation, does not ring true to the original and certainly does nothing for the late 20th century American ear. One wonders why the set is so expensive when the translation was had for nothing. And why doesn't Amazon print the contents of these cassettes in their bibliographical information. Does one have to buy the set to find out exactly what its contents are>

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful!
Plato's work is brilliant! Socrates was the greatest philosopher of all time, and reading about his wisdom and virtue is absolutely moving. Socrates is such an inspiration to the world, and this book should be required reading for all human beings to teach them how to be truly good people. Socrates is my role model, and this book is absolutely wonderful in showing the incredible wisdom of this divine man.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is simply a piece of art
If you are an amateur philosopher like me, this is a great book to start.

Surprisingly it is easy to read!!!

At the beginning looks boring, but when you start feeling the taste of it, you will LOVE it. ... Read more


69. The Wisdom of Crowds : Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business,Economies, Societies and Nations
by JAMES SUROWIECKI
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739311956
Catlog: Book (2004-05-25)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 364851
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment
I had high expectations for this book because James Surowiecki's New Yorker column is usually so good. But THE WISDOM OF CROWDS is one of the most disappointing books I've read in years. (Indeed, I feel somewhat ripped off by having purchased it and devoted several hours to reading it.)

The main problem with this book is that despite Surowiecki's often breathless tone, nothing he says is new. Every point he makes has been made many times before by many other writers.

For instance, the key theme of his book is that groups can solve certain "cognition problems" better than individuals. No kidding. Ever hear the phrase "Two heads are better than one?" The thesis is so self-evident and widely-known that it comes with its own cliché! Yet Surowiecki devotes more than one-third of the book essentially to arguing that two people can solve a crossword puzzle faster than one person. Amazing, no?

What's more, Surowiecki's central point about the power of "collective intelligence" has long been a staple of business education. If you've ever taken an organizational behavior class, you've done the exercise where groups of varying sizes are stuck on a desert island with a dozen supplies -- and then each group must devise a solution for escaping the island using those supplies. Inevitably, the larger the group, the better the solution -- because larger groups reflect the accumulated experience and expertise of more people. (In other words, five heads are even better than two.) Want another example of how threadbare this idea is? Google the phrase "none of us is as smart as all of us" - and you'll discover that Surowiecki's supposedly "counterintuitive" notion has been talked about in business circles since Bill Gates was in short pants.

If that weren't bad enough, the rest of the book -- particularly Suriowiecki's discussion of "coordination," his second "stunning" insight--- is essentially a retread of arguments that have been made elsewhere for more than a decade. James Gleick made many of these points in CHAOS. Kevin Kelly said everything that Surowiecki says ten years ago in OUT OF CONTROL. Steven Johnson said it again four years ago in EMERGENCE. Howard Rheingold said lots of it last year in SMART MOBS.

And Surowiecki's third argument -- that sometimes cooperation is preferable to competition -- is even older. Charles Darwin told us this in the 19th century! Indeed, there's an entire branch of evolutionary psychology devoted to studying cooperation. Just read Robert Wright's THE MORAL ANIMAL if you want a more thorough and engaging account of this point.

If this book were an undergraduate term paper that summarized the self-evident and reviewed what others had already had said, I'd give it a B. But for book that costs 20 bucks from a writer who's obviously got some talent, I'd have to give THE WISDOM OF CROWDS an Incomplete. Please try again, James. But next time, try a lot harder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I'm a big fan of James Surowiecki's "Financial Page" column in The New Yorker. He's consistently able to come up with unusual takes on seemingly familiar topics, and he has a great knack for making business stories compelling and entertaining as well as understandable. But because it's only a page long, I sometimes come away from the column wanting more, and I always wondered how Surowiecki would do if he was able to develop his ideas and arguments more fully. Luckily, "The Wisdom of Crowds" lives up to all my expectations. It's wonderfully readable, full of terrific stories, funny, and its basic argument -- that groups, under certain conditions, can make better decisions than even the smartest individuals -- is counterintuitive without being willfully contrarian.

The roots of the argument obviously stem from the way markets work -- buyers and sellers find each other and reach efficient outcomes without anyone being in charge, while the stock market (at least some of the time) does as good a job as possible of setting prices. But what I really like is the way Surowiecki extends this argument way beyond business and markets, showing how collective wisdom can be seen (and can potentially be used) in a host of other situations, including the racetrack, on the Internet, and on city streets. He also does a good job of drawing out the possible implications of this for everything from the U.S. intelligence community to the way companies are run.

This is definitely a big-idea book, but the author is cautious in laying out his evidence, and is careful to show that groups, even if they're potentially wise, are often stupid and dangerous. The chapter on small groups in particular, which focuses on NASA's mismanagement of the Columbia mission, is powerful stuff, and useful to anyone interested in how to run a meeting well (or badly, for that matter). The least satisfying part of the book is the chapter on democracy, where Surowiecki shies away from pushing his conclusion to its logical end. But on the whole, this is just a wonderful book, elegant and enlightening.

If you're interested in this book, it's also worth checking out Paul Seabright's "The Company of Strangers" and Robert Wright's "Nonzero."

5-0 out of 5 stars Relevant and surprising
Although the subtitle to THE WISDOM OF CROWDS is an awkward mouthful, it is at least accurate: the book does an exceptional job of illuminating a remarkably wide range of material from politics, everyday life, and the business world. Surowiecki's not offering a grand unified theory of everything, but in the course of investigating how and when groups and crowds are and are not intelligent, he takes you on an exhilarating ride. You can't go more than a couple of pages without coming across some interesting factual tidbit or clever anecdote. Just a short list of stuff Surowiecki writes about includes: crowds on city sidewalks, Navy men trying to find a lost submarine, the Nielsen ratings, Google, scientists trying to find the SARS virus, the stock market, game-show audiences, fashion stores, and the C.I.A. Thankfully, though, he understands that just stringing together stories isn't enough. Instead, he fits his examples into a strong argument that holds the book together. You can get a lot out of this book just by dipping into individual chapters, but reading it from beginning to end is a powerful experience.

One of the things about the book that hasn't been much remarked on is the light it sheds on the flaws in the way the U.S. intelligence community -- and, I would argue, the Bush administration -- approaches the problem of forecasting the future and making good decisions. The book's main subject is the wisdom of crowds, but Surowiecki spends a lot of time on how groups go wrong, and his discussion of how groups make bad decisions seems to me completely relevant to our current problems. When Surowiecki delves into groupthink, into the pressure that's exerted on lower-level employees to conform, and the perils of too little diversity of opinion, he's making a broader point about what good decisions require. But in the process, he clarified for me just why the current administration did such a bad job of figuring out whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and of planning for the postwar period. I was surprised, but it turns out this book has a lot to say about the state we're in right now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly optimistic
It seems naive to mention it, but one of the things I liked best about Surowiecki's take on the intelligence of groups is how optimistic it is. Most of what we hear about crowds and democracy and the potential of average people offers a dismal picture. But I came away from this book in a hopeful mood, and infused with a sense of real possibility. Surowiecki is convincing on the idea that the intelligence of Google, or bettors at the race track, or the audience in "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" aren't peculiar anomalies, but are actually connected by the fact that they're tapping into collective wisdom. This makes me think that if we can figure out a way how to use group intelligence in a wider way -- inside companies, governments, whatever -- the decisions society as a whole makes can be improved.

Stylistically, the book is a delight. The sentences are crisp, and the stories are well-told. Occasionally, Surowiecki makes his ideas too involved and ends up in a digression. But I forgave this because it felt like the result of someone who thinks everything is interesting and wants the reader to feel the same. Wonderful stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging
Even after having read it, I'm still not sure what category I'd put THE WISDOM OF CROWDS in. It offers important insights into business, and helped me understand the way markets work. But it also has lots of fantastic and entertaining material about group psychology, and it's an interesting look at a host of questions about everyday life, ranging from the way crowds on a sidewalk move to traffic to the role of trust.

The book's real strength is its ability to take a complex question -- when are people in groups smart, and when are they foolish? -- and make it accessible and engaging, even to those of us without much background in the field. Surowiecki has a light touch with his ideas, and for me the book flew by (with the exception of a few pages about the NFL, which I had a hard time with). I feel as if I see the world now in a different way. ... Read more


70. The Great Bridge : The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
by David McCullough
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074353722X
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 475586
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF JOHN ADAMS

First published in 1972, The Great Bridge is the classic account of one of the greatest engineering feats of all time -- the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.

This monumental audiobook which presents extended unabridged passages from the book brings back a heroic vision of the America we once had. It is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events during the Age of Optimism -- a period when Americans were convinced that all great things were possible.

In the years around 1870, the concept of building a great bridge to span the East River between the cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the pyramids. Throughout the fourteen years of the bridge's construction, the odds against its successful completion seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives were lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle: it is a sweeping narrative of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or obstructing this great enterprise. ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars McCullough: The Master Storyteller
McCullough is an amazing researcher and writer. His narrative style turns almost unknown historical events into "epic stories." And "The Great Bridge" is no exception. I came to know McCullough after "John Adams" was published, but have since decided to take the time to read all of his works. He never ceases to amaze me. "The Great Bridge" is a well-written, interesting, detailed history of the Broklyn Bridge, the Eight Wonder of the Modern World.

The characters come to life in this story, and the reader is transported into late nineteenth century New York City as an insider to watch the bridge rise from the caissons below the East River to the two gothic arches that dominated the skyline at their completion. From there, the reader can vividly visualize the wire and roadway stretch across the river until the bridge's completion. The book then ends with a spectacular grand opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. McCullough also focuses on the politics and people behind the bridge, and finishes his masterpiece by quoting an elderly woman from Long Island that remembers that the excitement in 1969, when two men walked on the moon, was nothing compared to the day the Brooklyn Bridge opened.

I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good history. This book is not just for lovers of New York City and civil engineers. "The Great Bridge" is another McCullough masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic mix of engineering, social and medical history.
It would be difficult to overpraise this splendid book - and indeed one might have thought it a unique achievement had McCullough not pulled off the trick equally well in "The path Between the Seas". The main theme may be the conception, design and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, but into this are woven absorbing accounts of the social and political history of Gilded Age New York, the development of the technologies of underwater-foundations and of cable manufacture and spinning, the agonising quest to understand and treat the phenomenon of "the bends', the challenge of managing a project of a size unprecedented since classical times and, above all, the characters of a remarkable collection of men and women who were undauntedly resourceful in taking on the impossible. The story may be dominated by two engineers, the Roeblings, father and son, and by the latter's formidable wife, but a host of other fascinating personalities are brought to life, ranging from audaciously corrupt politicians, through noble and heroic army officers, down to individual technicians and workers. Mr.McCullough has a special gift for explaining technical complexities in simple and fascinating terms - this applies not only to the construction of the bridge and its foundations, but to the horrific and initially misunderstood challenge of what was termed "caisson sickness". The narrative never flags and the dangers and discomforts - indeed the sheer dreadfulness of working under pressure in the foundation caissons - are brought vividly to life. The writer excels at the moments of the highest drama - such as the almost catastrophic fire in one of the caissons, when the tension is almost unbearable, even when the final outcome is known to the reader a century and a quarter later. Every aspect of American life of the period seems to be covered somewhere in this book - the experience of immigration and assimilation, service in the most bloody campaigns of the Civil War, Spiritualism, the Beecher adultery scandal and the apogee, decline and fall of Tammany, all described with verve and elegance. The well-chosen illustrations complement the text admirably. In summary this is a book to treasure - to read once at the gallop, breathless to know what happened next, and then to read again at leisure - and again, and again. Wonderful!

5-0 out of 5 stars "...and yet the bridge is beautiful..."
In this day and age, what the name David McCullough means to part-time history buffs and amatuer historians (like myself) is excellence in writing, research and comprehensiveness. This reputation was undoudbtedly built based on classics like "The Great Bridge", written in 1972. Herein, the reader is exposed to spectactular writing and research that not only covers the planning and building of the Brooklyn Bridge, but indeed a history of the Gilded Age in New York city. With an enlightening style and insight that exceeds most other histories, McCullough defines "readable history" and in the process produces a classic that has and will continue to be the apex of literary history.

And what a story it is! Following the Civil War, master bridge builder John Roebling decides that a great suspension bridge between Brooklyn and New York city (present day Manhattan) is not only needed, but would continue his reputation as bridge builder par-excellance. His son, Civil War General Washington Roebling (notable at Gettysburg and Petersburg) becomes Chief Engineer when his father tragically dies during the initial stages of construction on the bridge and proceeds to project an aura of moral integrity and spiritual "high-ground" that sets the tone for the subsequent 14 years that it took to complete this masterpiece. McCullough's account documents this and goes on to explain the initial planning and technical issues of such a massive project. The theory of suspension bridges and all the engineering technicalities is succinctly described by McCullough and this base understanding is what the rest of the story is based on (wires/cable hung form two large towers is the base format).

The construction of the (2) towers is eloquently descibed at the sinking of the timber caissons (large "rooms" made of timber that the stone towers were to be built upon) and the subsequent details of working within them. Frustration abounds as the the Brooklyn side tower caisson goes slower than planned and McCullough describes the technical problems along with an amazingingly comprehensive discussion of the "mysterious maladay", ultimately known as the "bends". Worker-level stories surface here to give immediacy to the story and McCullough is masterful at describing them. The cable construction and subsequent controversey surrounding the contract and testing of the steel/iron would be boring to most readers, but McCullough makes this an intriguing part of the story.

The political side of the bridge construction is not given short-shrift either as McCullough deftly descibes New York city Gilded era politics and specifically discloses the rise and fall of the "Boss Tweed Ring" and Tammany politics in general. This side of the bridge story, McCullough states, is as important to the final product as the engineering and construction...again, he makes this exceedingly readable while extolling it's importance to the story. Commitee upon commitee are formed to decide on both the technical and personal issues associated with project completion and here is where the controversy surrounding Washington Roebling's health (he was an unfortunate victim of the bends among other things) and mental capacity are manifested upon the completion...McCullough is again masterful at integrating this major poltitcal milestone with the story.

The last few chapters are dedicated to describing completion and subsequent public reaction to the bridge and McCullough is superb at depicting late 19th century life in New York. The celebration on May 20th 1883 is a grand one and is placed in perspective in the last paragraph of the book:

"In another time and in what would seem another world, on a day when two young men were walking on the moon, a very old woman on Long Island would tell reporters that the public excitement over the feat was not so much compared to what she had seen 'on the day they opened the Brooklyn Bridge' "

Having walked and driven over the bridge many times, and having derived the name for my daughter from it, I can say that I have a somewhat personal stake and appeal in it. I also can say that I never gave a second thought about it's construction or the fascinating story that went into building it when I walked and drove it, until now. My compliments to David McCullough for giving us a marvelous story and book and giving those of us who've taken the bridge for granted a new perspective. I can't wait to go back and view it with this new knowledge of it's consruction and I'd wager that this is David McCullough's greatest gift...I give this work my highest recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Bridge
It is hard for me to be objective about this book. First off, I am a great admirer of David McCullough's histories. Second, I have published two novels which are set in New York during the mid-19th Century. But what probably makes it hardest for me to be objective is that I have walked over that bridge for my own personal pleasure so many times over the decades that I consider it an old friend. It's my bridge.

Having said all that, I can say that Mr. McCullough has written a history that is not only about a bridge and its builders, which are fascinating subjects in their own right, but it is also about what New Yorkers were thinking back then. This was still a horizontal world; the era of early skyscrapers was a few decades away. Because of this and the rapid growth in population after the Civil War, Manhattan was mostrously choked by block after block of four- and five-story tenements, warehouses and factories. The need for a reliable means to get to the vast open spaces of Brooklyn was urgent. Ironically, however, it wasn't the horizontal--the length of the bridge--which stunned the witnesses to the construction. Instead they marvelled at the height of the towers and the height of the roadway over the East River.

Not as ironic, however, were the people who didn't marvel at the bridge's beauty and the strength of its construction. They were too busy licking their lips, wringing their hands and wondering how much of the bridge's budget would make its way into their wallets. The elements of corruption, then as now, always lurked near a great public work in New York. McCullough covers this tainted side just as carefully as he reports on the glory of the growth of the bridge. Heroes (the Roeblings) and villains (Tweed & Co.) abound, while New York's most beautiful and efficient structure comes to life.

I've been as honest as possible. I recommend this book highly to anyone with an interest in engineering, New York history, or just a good story with great characters.

Rocco Dormarunno
Instructor, College of New Rochelle

1-0 out of 5 stars wonderful story
I've have spent the last 21 years in the constuction trade , as a carpenter working my way up to a superintendent.I have worked on every thing from your basic home , to high rises in San Francisco and L.A. This book (along with McCullough's book on the Panama Canal)have to be the most enjoyable and engrossing consturction books I have ever read. In fact David McCullough has renewed my flagging interest in my own trade, the story's are very colorful, it's not hard to feel as if you are there.A great read,don't pass it up! ... Read more


71. A History of the Jews Part II
by Paul Johnson
list price: $83.95
our price: $60.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786100230
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 460456
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Paul Johnson says that writing A History of the Jews was like writing a history of the world "seen from the viewpoint of a learned and intelligent victim." Johnson's history begins with the Bible and ends with the establishment of the State of Israel. Throughout, Johnson's history is driven by a philosophical interest: "The Jews," he writes, "stand right at the centre of the perennial attempt to give human life the dignity of a purpose. Does their own history suggest that such attempts are worth making? Or does it reveal their essential futility?" Johnson's history is lucid, thorough, and--as one would expect of almost any project with such a broad scope--a little wrong-headed. By the end of the book, readers will be grateful for Johnson's questioning of the Jews' confidence in their cosmic significance. However, readers may also be a little annoyed by his energetic inquiries as to whether this significance was man-made or providentially provided. Either way, it's a given: for a historian of Israel, this should adequately settle the question. Johnson's 600-page history is probably the best we've got by a living gentile--which is no small accomplishment at all. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Reviews (53)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Dearth of Information in One Book!
This is probably the most comprehensive history of the Jewish people out there contained in a single book.It contains an overview of the biblical record and covers the diaspora, medieval period, foundings of Zionism, the Holocaust as well as a decent description of the events leading up to problems in the Middle East that endure to this day.It is definitely not light reading, however, and events are not always described in chronological order.For these reasins I only gave it 4 stars, but it deserves a strong 4.5.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent work of scholarship that's also a great read
Paul Johnson's books always offer vivid portraits of diverse peoples, places, and events. The breadth and variety is what makes his books such great reads. One of his best achievements is "A History of the Jews." Although Johnson is a practicing Christian, this has not prevented him from writing a very interesting, worthwhile, engaging and fair history of the Jewish people. The book covers very well the early history of the Jews, beginning with the Israelites of biblical times through developments in Jewish thought and migration in medieval times. He also covers well how the Jewish people and Jewish traditions evolved in the modern era, culminating in one of civilization's greatest evils, the Holocaust, followed by one of the greatest achievements of any people in our time: the creation of the modern state of Israel. Johnson's book is a very important survey that everyone should have the privilege of reading. But one area where Johnson writes far too little is about what happened to the Jewish people who remained in Poland following the Second World War only to become scapegoats of a desperate Communist government. An excellent book on this topic is Arthur Wolak's "Forced Out: The Fate of Polish Jewry in Communist Poland."

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best history books on Jewish History
I loved this book. One of the things i loved was the way the author connected everything together. Plus their was so many new things I learnt in this book.
On the other hand, this book had so much information to offer it made it a little bit hard to read forlong periods of time. This book is a great reference book.But it was definitely one of the most interesting books on Jewish History. For any person who wants to know what to read for his first book on Jewish History I would advise him this book. After you will finish this book you will a broad knowledge on almost every aspect on Jewish History.

5-0 out of 5 stars Balanced, sympathetic, and thorough
I probably would not have become aware of this excellent book, had not some Jewish friends recommended the AISH.com website to me, thinking no doubt that I needed a more balanced view about Jewish history.I am grateful to them for so doing! One of the most interesting items on that website was ?Crash Course in Jewish History? by Rabbi Ken Spiro in which he recommended many books including this one.I ended up buying not only his book, ?World Perfect ? The Jewish Impact on Civilization?- (ISBN 0-7573-0056-1), but several others including this book.Up to this point in time, my knowledge of Jewish History ended with the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, and I was almost completely ignorant about their history after that. I read Rabbi Spiro?s book first, mainly because it was shorter, and I am glad I did, because it prepared me very well for reading this very detailed book on Jewish history.

I particularly like the structure of the book which is in seven nicely delineated parts ? Israelites, Judaism, Cathedocracy, Ghetto, Emancipation, Holocaust, and Zion.It was not until midway through the section on Judaism, that I realised that I would have to be a little more rigorousin my reading of the book, because not only was there a wealthof detail about Jewish scholars and notables, but there was also considerable explanation of their basic philosophy which I needed to properly understand in order to avoid being overwhelmed.

So I set up my own dictionary of people in a PC workfiles, as well as looking up what websites there were about them.This was an interesting exercise, and I found a lot of useful supplementary information to fill in some details about the lives of these individuals. The task became even greater when I reached the middle of the Emancipation on because the number of names seemed to be increasing on every page!This is not a criticism of the book, because it quite convincingly demonstrated the enormous contribution that the Jewish people have made to our civilisation, particularly since the beginning of the 18th century.

I found this book to be balanced, sympathetic, and thorough.Johnson describes in detail the sorry catalog of horrors that the Jews have suffered over the last 2500 years in Europe and Asia, as well as the beliefs and philosophy of their leading scholars from the time of the first Jewish revolt against the Romans to the modern era. How the various Jewish communities responded to the many difficult predicaments they faced firstly with the Roman Empire, then with the Christian Church, then with Islam, and finally with the Christian States of Europe which have emerged during the last 800 years or so, is told with great sympathy and understanding.

Johnson provides ample detail on the contribution of the Jew and Judaism to the philosophy, the culture, and the development of democratic ideals of the modern democracies (which is also the main theme of Rabbi Spiro?s book).His theme is that time and time again, Jewish communities, even though there were usually major restrictions on their activities, would find ways to make a living and to be useful to the monarchy and the nobility, who then would use them as scapegoats when major economic and social disasters struck. In particular, he shows how the basic arguments and slanders used by the Medieval Churchwere used and embellished by later anti-Semites.While anti-Semitism is not the major theme of this book, it does, in my view, deal with the problem fairly and squarely, and particularly well for the past 200 years or so, when eastern Jewsbegan to emerge from their ghettos in increasing numbers. His description and explanation of the rising anti-Semitism during the 19th century, and its sudden emergence in Germany culminating in the Holocaust was particularly careful and thoughtful.

His account of the roots of the seemingly never ending Middle East crisis and the creation of the State of Israel was even handed and sensitive, and I think it extremely important to be as well informed as possible about the root causes of this struggle in order to determine what should be done about it today. He makes the point that the rise of Arab nationalism after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire took place a little later than that of Jewish nationalism, but that it was nevertheless latent during the early 20th century when Theodor Herzl and his successors were making great efforts to push for the creation of a Jewish state in ?Eretz Israel?.I was not aware of many of the events of the 30 years leading up to the creation of the state of Israel, and while I was generally familiar with the first 25 years of its existence, I was certainly not well informed of all the details. I found Johnson?s description of the wars of survival, the religious parties, and population growth, a useful reminder of the internal as well as external issues which Israel currently faces.

I very much enjoyed reading this book.It was interesting, it provided the depth of detail I was looking for, and it met my expectations completely.I am sure there are many other books on Jewish history which I would find equally absorbing, but this is the one I happened to choose first.I am happy to have read it and would thoroughly recommend it to allpotential readers, whatever their religious beliefs or upbringing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Balanced, sympathetic, and thorough
I probably would not have become aware of this excellent book, had not some Jewish friends recommended the AISH.com website to me, thinking no doubt that I needed a more balanced view about Jewish history.I am grateful to them for so doing! One of the most interesting items on that website was ?Crash Course in Jewish History? by Rabbi Ken Spiro in which he recommended many books including this one.I ended up buying not only his book, ?World Perfect ? The Jewish Impact on Civilization?- (ISBN 0-7573-0056-1), but several others including this book.Up to this point in time, my knowledge of Jewish History ended with the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, and I was almost completely ignorant about their history after that. I read Rabbi Spiro?s book first, mainly because it was shorter, and I am glad I did, because it prepared me very well for reading this very detailed book on Jewish history.

I particularly like the structure of the book which is in seven nicely delineated parts ? Israelites, Judaism, Cathedocracy, Ghetto, Emancipation, Holocaust, and Zion.It was not until midway through the section on Judaism, that I realised that I would have to be a little more rigorousin my reading of the book, because not only was there a wealthof detail about Jewish scholars and notables, but there was also considerable explanation of their basic philosophy which I needed to properly understand in order to avoid being overwhelmed.

So I set up my own dictionary of people in a PC workfiles, but found that I needed to go further by looking up what websites there were about them.That was an extremely interesting exercise, and I found a lot of useful supplementary information to fill in some details about the lives of these individuals, and of course, it took me longer to finish the book.The task became even greater when I reached the middle of the Emancipation on because the number of names seemed to be increasing on every page!This is not a criticism of the book, because it quite convincingly demonstrated the enormous contribution that the Jewish people have made to our civilisation, particularly since the beginning of the 18th century.

I found this book to be balanced, sympathetic, and thorough.Johnson describes in detail the sorry catalog of horrors that the Jews have suffered over the last 2500 years in Europe and Asia, as well as the beliefs and philosophy of their leading scholars from the time of the first Jewish revolt against the Romans to the modern era. How the various Jewish communities responded to the many difficult predicaments they faced firstly with the Roman Empire, then with the Christian Church, then with Islam, and finally with the Christian States of Europe which have emerged during the last 800 years or so, is told with great sympathy and understanding.

Johnson provides ample detail on the contribution of the Jew and Judaism to the philosophy, the culture, and the development of democratic ideals of the modern democracies (which is also the main theme of Rabbi Spiro?s book).His theme is that time and time again, Jewish communities, even though there were usually major restrictions on their activities, would find ways to make a living and to be useful to the monarchy and the nobility, who then would use them as scapegoats when major economic and social disasters struck. In particular, he shows how the basic arguments and slanders used by the Medieval Churchwere used and embellished by later anti-Semites.While anti-Semitism is not the major theme of this book, it does, in my view, deal with the problem fairly and squarely, and particularly well for the past 200 years or so, when eastern Jewsbegan to emerge from their ghettos in increasing numbers. His description and explanation of the rising anti-Semitism during the 19th century, and its sudden emergence in Germany culminating in the Holocaust was particularly careful and thoughtful.

His account of the roots of the seemingly never ending Middle East crisis and the creation of the State of Israel was even handed and sensitive, and I think it extremely important to be as well informed as possible about the root causes of this struggle in order to determine what should be done about it today. He makes the point that the rise of Arab nationalism after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire took place a little later than that of Jewish nationalism, but that it was nevertheless latent during the early 20th century when Theodor Herzl and his successors were making great efforts to push for the creation of a Jewish state in ?Eretz Israel?.I was not aware of many of the events of the 30 years leading up to the creation of the state of Israel, and while I was generally familiar with the first 25 years of its existence, I was certainly not well informed of all the details. I found Johnson?s description of the wars of survival, the religious parties, and population growth, a useful reminder of the internal as well as external issues which Israel currently faces.

I very much enjoyed reading this book.It was interesting, it provided the depth of detail I was looking for, and it met my expectations completely.I am sure there are many other books on Jewish history which I would find equally absorbing, but this is the one I happened to choose first.I am happy to have read it and would thoroughly recommend it to allpotential readers, whatever their religious beliefs or upbringing. ... Read more


72. Christianity in Crisis
by Hank Hanegraaff
list price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565071514
Catlog: Book (1993-07-01)
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Sales Rank: 475332
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Thank you Mr. Hanegraaf for this most excellent resource on false teachers and the Charismatics.

Praise the Lord for your BAM broadcast I appreciate your ministry greatly.

5-0 out of 5 stars What the church needs
I read this book in 2002, it is a great book. While I see some of the people who wrote bad reviews about this book has really know anything about the subject. Some say that Hank Hanegraaff take some of these guys out of context, you need to get the audio tape version of this book which you can hear these guys promote their false teachings. Great book.

If you want something on Benny Hinn to watch, get the DVD the Many faces of Benny Hinn. It contains some of the false teaching and crazy sayings from Hinn, and you can see him saying it. These saying are documented in the book and tapes.

Great Job Bible Answer Man

1-0 out of 5 stars ............
Satan sang the song and the Church danced...

This book is guaranteed to cause more division, hate, strife, confusion, unbelief, doubt, sickness, and poverty within the Body of Christ.

Thanks a lot, Hank Hanegraaff.Satan loves your book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Up-close look at the "Word of Faith Movement"
This is truly an eye-opening book. Hanegraaf gives a careful and thoroughly documented examination of several popular televangelists that have gained huge followings worldwide. Some of the main characters are Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price, Marilyn Hickey, Morris Cerullo, Robert Tilton, Paul and Jan Crouch, and others. I think that almost every one of the above, still is broadcasting on TV or operating some multimillion dollar "ministry". And these televangelists have their imitators and disciples too, so their teachings are much more widespread then you might like to acknowledge.

He shows that even though they go under the guise of being Christian, they are really false teachers, or as Jesus said, Matthew 7:15, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Hanegraaf exposes the wolves from their sheep's clothing, and turns the light on their false teachings. Each of these teachers promotes gravely dangerous false teachings that are jeopardizing the souls of millions, not to mention profaning the name of Christ. It will truly shock you, if you don't already know firsthand, how distorted their teachings really are.

Hanegraaf identifies the most blatantly false teachings the Faith Movement espouses, such as the deification of man, basically elevating him to equality with God; demoting God to appear as a if He were merely a weak entity that lost control of His creation and somehow needs OUR PERMISSION to work in this world; teaching that Satan defeated Christ at the cross, and tortured Him in hell before Jesus escaped out of Satan's clutches by a cosmic technicality; a slew of false teachings on the atonement; fraudulent claims of physical healing that have led many to refuse needed medical attention; and they have a strange teaching of faith which makes it out to be some cosmic power we can tap into if we only try hard enough, rather than the Biblical teaching that faith istrust in Christ Jesus.

Some of these so-called Faith teachers have actually taught that God is a failure; that the Trinity is really three triune Gods instead of One God; that Jesus was an exceedingly wealthy man, and that He promises us the same wealth and prosperity. In short, these self-proclaimed prophets of the Word are clearly teaching contrary to the very word of God--sometimes even so bold as to CHANGE the words of the Bible to an entirely opposite meaning! And many of them claim personal revelations from God or angels to authenticate their claims!

If you are a follower of this movement, you need to read this book to have the wool pulled off your eyes. Even if you just consider yourself an average Christian who watches these televangelists on occasion, and thinks that they are harmless--read this book and you will be convinced that they are in fact distorting the Gospel of Christ. We all would do well to remember St. Paul's admonition to the Galatians when they were being misled by false teachers: Galatians 1:6-8 "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- [7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.[8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." The so-called "Gospel" of the Faith Movement is not the Gospel of Christ, that is, the Gospel of the Bible. Rather it is a false Gospel which is really no Gospel at all. It is critical that Christians today follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) who daily tested what they were being taught and compare it to the Word of God.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta hear it to believe it
I have to say that even as an apologist I didn't really want to believe that some of the things I've heard about were REALLY being taught out there.But after listening to this chilling tape I had to face the reality that they really are being taught from "Christian" pulpits.

Even if you are a fan of Hinn, Copeland and the rest you aught to give this tape a listen.Don't take anyone's word on what these men teach.Hear it from their own mouths and then judge for yourself if they are speaking God's Word or not. ... Read more


73. Finding and Exploring Your Spiritual Path : An Exploration of the Pleasures and Perils of Seeking Personal Enlightenment
by Ram Dass
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940687569
Catlog: Book (1989-05-15)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 161720
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Discover and Live a Life of Spiritual Fulfillment

With wisdom gained from his personal 30-year search for enlightenment, Ram Dass speaks from the heart about the often rocky yet profoundly transforming road to living the spiritual life.

With personal anecdotes and commentary, Ram Dass illuminates a wide variety of ancient and contemporary philosophies, drawing from such sources as the Buddha, Russian philosopher Gurdjieff, Mahatma Ghandi, Zen master and many others. Here is down-to-earth advice from both the East and West on the experiences awaiting those on the path to spiritual fulfillment.

The stages along the spiritual journey

The pleasures and pitfalls you might encounter en route

The value and potential dangers of teachers and gurus

The importance of following your intuitive heart

If you are a serious seeker of the spiritual path, here is advice and encouragment on finding the one that is right for you. If your interest lies in the people and ideas that shape the way we think, here is an introduction to one of the most influential contemporary philosophers.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars RICH SOURCE OF LIFE'S WISDOM
I am very touched by opportunity to say what this tape means to me. For many years now, this voice of deeper meaning has calmed me, guided me, while coming back into my "mind's ear" to allow me to help many, many others. May you enjoy finding out that your body is like driving my old Volvo, I honor it...but it's not 'me'. May you find out how to delight in the ego, but not be trapped by it. May your journey be blessed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Making life spiritual
Ram Dass explores what it means to embark on a spiritual journey, and how to spiritualize every experience we encounter, even when we would consider it a failure or an obstacle; he also answers questions we ordinarily have about our relationship with different teachings and to the teachers themselves in a helpful way for westerners. This is a winner--And Dass' voice is a delight to listen to. You'll want to hear him over and over again. ... Read more


74. The Art of Raising a Puppy: The Monks of New Skete
by Monks of New Skete
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565112849
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 253660
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The monks of New Skete have been breeding and training dogs at their New Yorkmonastery for more than 20 years. Their philosophy of raising dogs accentuatesthe essential human-canine bond, whereby owners must learn to understand a dog'sinstincts, needs, and behavior. Understanding a dog, the monks say, is the keyto successfully training him. They first published this philosophy in their 1978classic guide How to Be YourDog's Best Friend. Now the monks concentrate on the first three months ofa puppy's life in The Art of Raising a Puppy.

The book observes a litter of monastery puppies from birth to 12 weeks. Tenderphotographs and dialogue reflect these precious first few weeks of life. Even atthis time, the human-canine link is vital; the monks stress the importance ofgentle touch to help forge this connection. Basic puppy training techniques areexplored and executed, all of which puppy owners should find easy to implement. Virtually all types of dog problems and dog training are examined in the book,always in compassionate and easily comprehensible language. The monks also lookwell beyond surface training techniques to analyze the roots of dogs' problemsand explain how training can help. Owners are taught how to gently assertdominance over their dog, which will make for a long-lasting and fulfillingrelationship.Beautiful black-and-white photographs of monastery puppies will pull at everyheartstring. ... Read more

Reviews (108)

5-0 out of 5 stars So gentle and effective
My dog Sparkler and I have benefitted greatly from this wonderful book. No other training method has worked as well for both of us. If I were a dog, this is the book I'd want my owner to get. I think that says it all.

2-0 out of 5 stars Old and outdated, let's move onto new and improved
I remember reading this book years ago and thinking it was an awesome book. The section on the different growth periods of puppies is very good, however, much of the other information is outdated and incorrect. Many aspects such as the alpha roll and their concept of dominance theory has been proven not to work and there are better ways to get your point across to the puppy or dog. Many excellent dog behaviorists such as Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnel have more recent methods you can use with raising your dog and are highly respected among dog trainers across the country and internationally.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not just a training manual...
I bought this book because I thought it would be a good training manual for my new puppy.

It turned out to be a lot more, which is a mixed blessing.It's great in that it gives a lot of information about how dogs act when they are pregnant, the bond that mother dogs make with their babies, how dogs relate to one another (alpha males, dominance, etc) but as I was reading it, I kept wondering where the training exercises were.I finally found them on page 111.

The first cover things like finding a dog breeder, deciding if a puppy is right for you, preparing for a puppy, supplies you'll need, etc. was really impressed at the breadth of information, along with all of the insight and explanations for why dogs do certain things.

My only complaint, is that the book covers a lot more information than I was looking for.However, this is more my fault for not examining the book thoroughly, rather than anything I can pin on the structure and writing.

Bottom line:If you have plenty of time to read through the book and don't have to train one right away, this book is fantastic.However, if you're looking for a "meat and potatoes" book on dog training, you may want to look elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Aproach
If you are looking for a wonderful aproach to raising that cute little puppy, this book is for you. It is 10x more informative and useful than 99% of the puppy-raising books out there. The monks' philosophy of kindness, compassion, and lots of love will result in a new best friend is a wonderful way to train your new dog. Buy it today for the best way to raise a dog!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Own:Clearly written and comprehensive
The Monks compile a great deal of knowledge into one very informative, very well-written, hard-to-put-down book.This book focuses on the development, both physiological and psychological, of puppies:from the dams pregnancy and whelping on.They address what to do, what to avoid, nutrition, etc., for each phase.I strongly suggest that you also read "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend".In the latter book (their first) they make it very clear that you should read not only their book, but many others on the training and evolution of dogs and a variety of other related subjects and provide a recommended reading list.Having read both books (and many others), I felt that they had no pretensions (as some do) to be the utmost authority on the subject.Nonetheless, as for puppy books, this is my number one pick, my guidebook. ... Read more


75. Art of Innovation, The
by Thomas Kelley, Jonathan Littman, Dick Hill
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567403794
Catlog: Book (2001-01-16)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
Sales Rank: 204886
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Subtitled: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm

IDEO, the widely admired, award-winning design and development firm that brought the world the Apple mouse, Polaroid's I-Zone instant camera, the Palm V, and hundreds of other cutting edge products, reveals its secret for fostering innovative, out-of-the-box thinking across the world of business.

There isn't a business in America that doesn't want to be more innovative and creative in their thinking, products, and processes. At many companies, being first with a concept and first to market are critical just to survive. In The Art of Innovation, the general manager of the world-renowned design firm IDEO, Thomas Kelley, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative and energized company to reveal strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit.

IDEO doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius working away in isolation, waiting for great ideas to strike. The fact is, as Kelley points out, everyone is creative, and the goal at IDEO is to tap into the wellspring of creativity among its employees. How does it do that? First, IDEO fosters an atmosphere conducive to freely expressing ideas, throwing out (most of ) the standard rules, and freeing people to design their workspaces and environment to fit their personalities. It is IDEO's focus on teams that has resulted in its countless innovative breakthroughs - the constant give-and-take among people willing to share ideas and trust in the group process, dubbed "the deep dive" by IDEO. In entertaining anecdotes illustrating some of IDEO's own successes (and mistakes), as well as pioneering efforts at other leading companies, Kelley shows how teamsresearch and completely immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a concept or problem, examining it from the perspective of the companies they are designing for, from the perspective of safety, and from the perspective of consumers.

IDEO has won more awards in the last ten years than any other design firm, and full half-hour Nightline presentation of its creative process received one of the highest ratings in the program's history. Total immersion in The Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge, top-rated stars of their industries.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this Book
I read this book awile back during a vacation and couldn't put it down.I only read no-fiction books and this one was the best I'd ever read.I've never felt compelled to review a book before, but his one was worth it.It was very well written, informative as well as inspirational.It made me want to go work at Ideo.Well worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of Innovation
Thanks Tom! We're just starting a new technology business and we're wanting and needing to create the sort of culture that you have at Ideo. Our industry is dynamic, so if we're not dynamic then we will not succeed. For us that means innovate - deliver true value to our customers - learn - innovate - deliver more value to our customers, in a continuous cycle. You have given us some practical ideas about how we can ingrain innovation into our culture as we grow. Thanks. ... Read more


76. Marianne Williamson on Emotional Healing: Preparation for Relationships and Depression
by Marianne Williamson
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694516244
Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 50826
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With her two lectures, Preparation for Relationships and Depression, Marianne Williamson challenges listeners to examine how they think about each area of their lives and relationships.

Our relationships are not separate from our work, and our health is not separate from our money or our spiritual lives. When we experience trouble in any area of our lives, Williamson tells us, it's a sign that our minds have shifted from their natural alignment with God. And we experience this separation from God as "problems."

How we perceive our problems is central to achieving peace in our lives. If we see the cause of our problems as being outside ourselves, we will put our energy toward changing the outward appearances of our problems. But this does not remove the problem. We will experience cycles and variations on our problems until we look within ourselves for the cause -- and the solution.

Thought is the power we have to create change in our lives. Through conscious right thinking, we can achieve peace by turning our focus from ourselves, and to God. It is then, Williamson assures us, that we will realize that we are never alone and our depressions will lift as we see the brilliant light within each of us.

A continuation of her lectures based on A Course in Miracles.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars very helpful
I give it 2 and not 1 star is because of some good information. She tells us to fall in love with Universe. Because of this and other similar comments I give it 2. I do recommend that you listen to this. She has a lot of good, and helpful information that will help you see things from a different side of problems & relationships. don't accept everything she tells you, but some of the information will open your eyes on dealing with problems and relationships. And even if you're not in one at the moment, you still need to hear this. This is a must for all who is in a relationship or thinking to enter one.

Easy to listen, she's a great speaker

5-0 out of 5 stars A gem!
Marrianne Williamson's work is both real and honest. Rather than couch things in a concepts that are alien or extremely religious, she talks to you about the realities of existing. Of how things will not always be easy, about how you will lose your way, and honestly how to see people clearly. Growth is messy, it's not neat, maturity is not easy, nor is spirtiuality delicate work, but with assistance from a tape like this you can see yourself clearly and how to bridge yourself from concept to human to spiritual being.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Marianne Williamson WINNER!
Everything I've ever read, listened to by Ms. WIlliamson, has been very enlightening. This was no exception. Her manner is informative, yet her humor & her personal experience keeps me coming back for more. I related to many things mentioned in this tape - because in many areas, I've come "full circle" & I would highly recomend this tape to anyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect timing again!
I knew I needed emotional healing, but never really thought much about the depression part of it. Then I experienced a Mild Traumatic Head Injury. Well into the third year of my healing, I found the audiocassette again. I did not realize I was dealing with depression (you don't know, what you don't know with a brain injury). Marianne never fails to come through for me... I recommend this to anyone. ... Read more


77. Singing the Psalms: How to Chant in the Christian Contemplative Tradition
by Cynthia Bourgeault
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1564555755
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Sounds True
Sales Rank: 352638
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Singing the Psalms Cynthia Bourgeault

Discover the prayerful system of ora et labora – prayer and work – established over 1,500 years ago by St. Benedict with this delightful course in chanting the psalms. Episcopal priest Cynthia Bourgeault teaches how this time-honored practice can awaken rich spiritual and psychological insights, whatever your level of vocal skill. Includes a mini-psalter (psalm book) with instructions, musical notations, and more. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and practical teaching methods offered for novice
The material that Cynthia Bourgeault has assembled shows in a very real and practical manner how anyone can incorporate the Singing of the Psalms into their Church Worship Services. She has a great knowledge of both scripture and music. This will provide a Blessing for many. ... Read more


78. Spanish III (Pimsleur Language Program)
by Pimsleur
list price: $295.00
our price: $185.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743528948
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Pimsleur
Sales Rank: 353073
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79. A Woman's Worth
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679424326
Catlog: Book (1993-04-13)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 217165
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The bestselling author of A Return to Love addresses women in the family and workplace, in history (particularly the role of the goddess), and as healers. 2 cassettes. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC BOOK: HONORS FEMININE BEAUTY!
Here's a book that guides women back to their true essence.

The Goddess within every woman is embraced, honored and adored in A Woman's Worth. If we ever doubted the feminine beauty, Marianne Williamson passionately weaves a modern mystical tale reminding us of Her necessity.

In countless ways she gives testimony to the love and goodness all women can provide the world. It is the feminine in all of us that brings the finer subtleties to life fulfilling what Nature craves. It is the responsibility of men and women alike to balance our masculine communities, our masculine governments, our masculine ways. It is through our own gracefulness that we attune ourselves to the highest good.

Throughout her passionate commentary of her own life and the lives' of women, Marianne teaches how to embrace all that is feminine. From chapters Glorious Queens and Slavegirls to The Castle Walls, her personal, intuitive insights move all of us to cultivate that which is pure in our being. In order to develop the Goddess within, appreciation is given to the necessity of pain in our lives while the importance of forgiveness, patience, and understanding is encouraged. At any stage in our personal development journey all can benefit from Marianne's conversational and uplifting prose.

Finally, this is the book that will take you to higher plains in your development.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Powerful Insight!
This book reminds you of your greatness as a woman. Reminding you that it is okay to do well and be the best you can be and the goddess you were born to be! This is a spiritual journey into our self-realization as woman. A book not just for women but also for men who wish to acknowledge their feminine powers of intuition, passion, healing, nurturing. The author's insight is insightful and encircling and she has an extraordinary was to actualize the women's roles in family, society, relationship and just the being. This is a book nobody should miss and one you purchase two for. To keep one and to pass the other to a friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life...
Marianne Williamson puts forth in this beautiful book, what we all know. Deep down in the bottom of our soul, we know that we're here for a purpose. We know that God created us and that for centuries we have been silenced, denigrated and devalued. Yes, we know we are powerful, but many of us have forgotten.
Read this book and remember. And then buy one for your sister, your best friend, your mother and your daughter.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful treatise on woman
The heart of a woman lies, according to Marianne, in the secret interior of the heart. She talks a lot about the body and mind, and how they come together to form the feelings we have had about each other, and as human beings, to our sexual spirits and ideals.

Her diverse iconography of language in this wonderfully written book divests to us the true beauty of a woman. Naked, powerful, unfathomable. With her distinct breath, a woman reveals her instinct as a Goddess and as a spiritual animal, capable of both honoring the goddess and loving her sensibility.

The religion she refers to (in the book as in A Return to Love) is a mainly Judeo-Christian one, one also bound to be a fatigue to most readers interested in the spirit. I say this with clarity, because I came from the religion she talks about, and it is a very sad religion, because it takes away women's power over their bodies, and ultimately, truth. I think she uses words like God and King and Heaven to illustrate her point of view, and not name any one point or place or whatever. It's her choice of words that may throw some people off, but in the end, you will see an immaculate dialogue forming between the characters in her mythical tale and her worldview of the reality of how little woman's bodily nature has been revered, and how decimated she has become, because of this.

I hope you will read this book! It's a wonderful work about women who are searching for answers on how to live fully, openly gracious, and more considerate of those around them. If you like this please buy her other treatise on love, "A Return to Love".

5-0 out of 5 stars A great gem
Marrianne Williamson's work is both real and honest. Rather than couch things in a concepts that are alien or extremely religious, she talks to you about the realities of existing. Of how things will not always be easy, about how you will lose your way, and honestly how to see people clearly. Growth is messy, it's not neat, maturity is not easy, nor is spirtiuality delicate work, but with assistance from a tape like this you can see yourself clearly and how to bridge yourself from concept to human to spiritual being. ... Read more


80. Benjamin Franklin : An American Life
by Walter Isaacson
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074353364X
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 24962
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us -- an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings.

In bestselling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours.

The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself. America's first great publicist, he was consciously trying to create a new American archetype. In the process, he carefully crafted his own persona, portrayed it in public, and polished it for posterity. His guiding principle was a "dislike of everything that tended to debase the spirit of the common people." Few of his fellow founders felt this comfort with democracy so fully, and none so intuitively.

In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin's amazing life, from his days as a runaway printer to his triumphs as a statesman, scientist, and Founding Father. He chronicles Franklin's tumultuous relationship with his illegitimate son and grandson, his practical marriage, and his flirtations with the ladies of Paris. He also shows how Franklin helped to create the American character and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century. ... Read more

Reviews (98)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great effort.
Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" is an excellent biography of the eldest of the American founding fathers. Isaacson's writing style is incisive, so the book is never dull. Many Americans tend to view the founding fathers as god-like patriots; but Isaacson is able to show Franklin's flaws through the many refrences to Franklin's correspondences. Isaacson also extensively covers Franklin's pragmatism and frugality through many examples from his letters and other records.

I can't compare this book to any of the other popular Franklin books because I haven't read them, but I would reccomend this book for a less analytical, though not superficial, read. I say this because it was written by a journalist - journalists tend to be incisive and easier for most to read than scholers. If you would enjoy a more psychological view into Franklin's character, HG Wells' version would probably be more appropriate.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Renaissance Man
Publisher, philosopher, scientist, inventor, and statesman - Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" is a fascinating portrait of our Founding Father's most senior citizen. But it is also an outstanding history of American life in the 18th century, first as a colony, then in the struggle for independence. The role of France in the American Revolution - and Franklin's role in securing that key alliance - unfolds with a clarity I'd not previously encountered. And Franklin's often-combative relationship with John Adams is a riveting character study, especially when balanced by McCullough's biography of Adams. In vivid detail and painstaking research, Isaacson's Franklin is brilliant, but still an enigma. Despite unquestionably high morality, we see a ruthless businessman. While possessing an obvious love for socializing - especially with members of the opposite sex - his immediate family is effectively abandoned, as Franklin lives virtually parallel lives between Europe and America. We see Franklin typically charitable and charming, yet alternately cold and calculating. Yet despite his foibles and flaws, Franklin emerges deservedly as "the most accomplished American of his age." And given the breadth of these accomplishments, an argument could be made "for any age". In summary, Isaacson achieves the rare combination of an important and scholarly biography that at the same time is a lively and entertaining story of America and one of our greatest Americans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Portrayal of the Most Versatile American
Let me first start off by saying that I have read few biographies. But Isaacson made a biography that is both readable and balanced between Franklin's personal and professional life. Franklin was the true founding father that believed in the common man. Franklin was not perfect but he believed in fair treatment for all. America would have advanced much slower if it was not for Ben. Probably his greatest contribution to our society was the feeling of helping one another. He helped form the first fire station, post office, police force (much less his inventions) - his work had community written all over it. All of his work was done with the premise of helping mankind. Maybe other founders fought the wars and wrote the documents. But we survived all these years because we formed a community; the idea that as Americans we have to all work together. That is Franklin's legacy to our nation. I will read biographies on the other founders (Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams and Washington) to gain a more complete perspective on how this country started. This book lays an excellent foundation and is a must read for those interested in the origins of America through the eyes of one of its greatest citizens.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding biography of a remarkable man
Walter Isaacson, former chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time Magazine, has written an immensely readable and informative biography of Benjamin Franklin that never gets too stuffy or bogged down in meaningless minutae. Instead, we are treated to a fascinating glimpse at a man who was early America's greatest publisher, scientist, politician, inventor and diplomat.

We all have our pre-conceived notions of Franklin, including him out flying his kite to try and link electricity with lightning, or him dozing off during the lengthy and tedious deliberations at the Constitutional Convention. Isaacson peels back the layers of the story a bit, reminding us how often our vision of Franklin derives from Franklin's own pen, such as the vision of the young teen arriving in Philadelphia with loaves of bread, looking ridiculous as he passed by the window of his future wife (a scene written by Franklin at age 65 when he penned his autobiography).

The book does a very good job not only of recounting the many accomplishments of Franklin, but also of exploring his middle class ideals and values. For example, Isaacson's book reminds us that while Franklin was never terribly pious or religious throughout his life, he favored organized religion because churches encouraged citizens to behave well, and to do good things. There was always a sense of pragmatism and public service in everything Franklin did and believed in. As a publisher, if he thought a public policy or official was wrong and needed to be criticized publicly, he would invent characters (to avoid libel suits) to write humorous and sometimes scathing attacks that were basically anonymous.

The book also dwells repeatedly on the Franklin's love and admiration of the middle class as the real core of American society. While Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia as a college for southern gentlemen, Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania to serve a much larger, and more low-brow, populace. As a statesman, it is remarkable that Franklin (despite many years abroad as an effective French ambassador) was a participant and signer of virtually every key treaty/document in colonial history, including the Albany Plan of the Union, the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Peace Treaty with England, and the Constitution. His spirit of compromise and his sage demeanor no doubt helped bridge the gap which sharply divided members of the Constitutional Convention. He occasionally flip-flopped on an issue, including his views on the Stamp Act and his belief in the possibility of conciliation with Britain, but without his sense of compromise the Constitution would never have made it in its present, remarkable form.

Isaacson also explores the personal side of Franklin, including his strained relationship (and ultimate lack of a relationship) with his loyalist son, who became governor of New Jersey, as well as his relatively harmless flirting with the ladies of French society while he was abroad. The contrasts in his character, and that of John Adams (who was sent out to France to work with him on the French alliance), was remarkable. Both great men to be sure, but they could not be more unalike, and their pairing was an unfortunate one.

The book ends with a wonderful chapter titled "Conclusions" in which Franklin's place in history, and the changing attitudes towards his character over the years, are explored. The Trascendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau had little use for Ben, as he was too practical and mundane for their "rarefied tastes", but as the country became more industrial and Horatio Alger novels became the rage, Franklin's work ethic and maxims were embraced all over again. Ultimately Isaacson points out that as a writer he was "more Mark Twain and less William Shakespeare", and as a scientist he was more like Edison than Newton. Always witty and charming, if not profound, he probably did more than anyone in history to try and advance the common good, through civic associations, libraries, volunteer fire departments, post offices, etc. I put the book down terribly impressed with Franklin the man, and Isaacson the biographer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Walter Isaacson: Mr. Shallow, An American Life
As a direct descendant of Simon Meredith (1663-1745), father of Hugh Meredith, Benjamin Franklin's erstwhile business partner in Philadelphia, I looked forward with great interest to Isaacson's much touted book, and immediately consulted it between flights, looking up Cousin Hugh. With respect to Hugh, Isaacson, like so many predecessors, again proved shallow, inept, under informed and a grand source of misinformation: as we Merediths know all too well, Franklin simply stiffed Simon and dumped Hugh after the venerable Ben had gained a virtual monopoly to print money. Isaacson remains oblivious of the fact that the Simon Merediths of Radnorshire, members of a medieval college of physicians and clerics, were and remain one of the most distinguished Welsh-American families this country has ever known. I realize Isaacson is reputedly a great publicist and business person, but as an historian and researcher he remains woefully ignorant. Welcome to another silly, sorry Franklin read. ... Read more


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