Global Shopping Center
UK | Germany
Home - Books - Nonfiction - Audiobooks Help

141-160 of 200     Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Next 20

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

$4.99 list($17.00)
141. MINDHUNTER INSIDE THE FBI'S ELITE
$12.60 $9.70 list($18.00)
142. The Lexus and the Olive Tree [ABRIDGED]
$8.21 $6.96 list($10.95)
143. The Future of God: The Reclaiming
$19.77 $16.97 list($29.95)
144. The Places That Scare You: A Guide
$14.01 list($11.00)
145. Uh-Oh : Observations
$11.53 list($16.95)
146. The Way of Woman and Other Essays
$12.24 $11.33 list($18.00)
147. Explosive Child
$97.95 $61.71
148. The Great Ideas: A Retrospective,
$12.89 $8.84 list($18.95)
149. Mystery: The Wisdom of the Soul
$34.95 $9.95
150. Bella Tuscany : The Sweet Life
$17.13 $6.98 list($25.95)
151. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space,
$29.50 list($23.95)
152. Ramayana (Audio Literature Presents/Audio
list($14.95)
153. ABOUT FACE
$3.91 list($24.00)
154. Bound By Honor
$23.10 $14.89 list($35.00)
155. The Path Between the Seas : The
$92.95 $27.00
156. American Government and Politics
$19.14 $17.00 list($29.00)
157. The Power of Positive Thinking
$18.33 $16.43 list($26.95)
158. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You
$17.16 $15.74 list($26.00)
159. The Gifts of the Jews : How a
$76.95 $48.48
160. Is Paris Burning?

141. MINDHUNTER INSIDE THE FBI'S ELITE SERIAL CRIME UNIT : Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671536044
Catlog: Book (1995-11-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 593485
Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

He has hunted some of the most notorious and sadistic criminals of our time: The Trailside Killer in San Francisco, the Atlanta Child murderer. He has contronted, interviewed and researched dozens of serial killers and assassins -- including Charles Manson, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, and James Earl Ray -- for a landmark study to understand their motives. To get inside their minds.He is Special Agent John Douglas, the model for law enforcement legend Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris's thrillers Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, and the man who ushered in a new age in bahavorial science and criminal profiling. Recently retired after twenty-five years of service, John Douglas can finally tell his unique and compelling story. With journalist Mark Olshaker, he gives us a behind the scenes look at his fascinating career, revisiting his journeys into the dark recesses and calculated madness present only in our worst nightmares. This is the true-crime work everyone has been waiting for -- by the Mindhunter himself. ... Read more

Reviews (148)

4-0 out of 5 stars Biographic story of John Douglas and the Serial Crime unit
REFERENCED BY CANDICE DELONG'S RECENT BEST SELLER:
I read this book because of a reference in the book by Candice DeLong called: "Special Agent : My Life on the Front Lines As a Woman in the FBI". In Ms. Delong's book she made many references to work that John Douglas' group did and cited this book many times. This book gave me further insight into how the Serial Crime unit evolved.

ONE THING THE BOOK DIDN'T DO, WAS EXPLAIN HOW THEY CAME UP WITH A PROFILE:
Many cased were cited in this book and the profiles that were tied to them. However, still after reading this book, I did not come away with an understanding on how they established that the potential culprit was early 20's, did not know the victim, drove a VW beetle (this can't be too great for sales), lived with his Mom and used to be a bed wetter. I can hypothesize, how this was derived, but the book only gives you that much. I imagine many hours of correlating details of solved crimes helps provide the statistical information, they use. This data I'm sure is also closely guarded. One thing they did state was some serial killers were quite bright and no doubt this date could be used as a blueprint to hide your identity. Thus, the need not to publish it. Ironically too many serial killers, were police buffs. All the more reason, not to share it here as well.

JOHN DOUGLAS COVERS MANY HIGH PROFILE CASES IN THIS BOOK BUT, IT IS MORE A BOOK ABOUT HOW THE THE SERIAL CRIME UNIT AND HOW THEY LEARNED SOME OF THE TECHNIQUES THEY USED.
Ironically, common sense prevails. Why not ask some of the perpetrators now that have nothing to lose and a lot of time on their hands. The unit begins interviews with some of the more nototious killers to see what their thoughts were when they committed the crimes they did. As predicted some offenders were less than candid, but even in their lies some insight was gained.

THE LOGIC AND STRUCTURE OF MANY SOLVED INVESTIGATIONS WAS DETAILED. Here you can see where involving this unit may be able to save precious time. From evidence gathering, questioning and staking out various locations associated with the crimes. There is a pattern we all follow. As humans, we are all creatures of habit and compulsion. Those of us driven to crime and horrible acts of violence even more so. John Douglas discusses this in many situations they dealt with.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK THAT:
Covers many high profile cases in broad strokes and deals with the logic behind profiling, while also
showing the people and the process involved in building a department devoted to this, this is the book for you.

BUT, IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Detail case specifics and how all that profiles are generated, this is not it.

JOHN DOUGLAS DOES A NICE JOB WRAPPING UP THE DETAILS OF HIS LONG CAREER AND A PART OF IT HE FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT. We should all be so lucky to have an opportunity to shape the world around us as he has. He has paid the price with health and family issues, but the outcome, I'm sure he would never change. Bravo.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Douglas!
This is the first of Douglas' books I've read. After having read Robert Ressler's 2 books, I found this to be more of the same serial killer profiles, with a different spin on the same cases that Ressler reviews in his books. "Mind Hunter" has more of Douglas' personal & professional journey woven into his case studies. It's somewhat boastful of his accomplishments, and, at times, self congratulatory, but still very interesting. The book achieves a good level of insightfulness into the minds and psychopathology of the serial killers profiled. The disappointment lies, however, in that Douglas casually glosses over exactly how his profiles are derived and constructed from the particular facts of each case. Little to no analytic methodology is presented. (I mean, it's not as if readers are gonna run out and take his job away from him if he reveals too many tricks of his trade). In fact, Douglas presents his ability to profile as if he's a magical psychic, pulling personality theories out of his hat. Low and behold! - once the investigations are complete, he ends up with an accurate profile, and people are amazed by him! Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable and very interesting book. If you're intersted in criminal profiling, it's worth a read, but it's not as in-depth as say, Michaud and Hazelwood's "The Evil that Men Do".

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT
If your a true crime buff, buy it. If you've already read his book Obsession, don't....a lot of the same stories and material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Discriminating readers
What many reviewers of John Douglas and Mark Olshaker's book seemed to have overlooked is the tie-in between the biographical information and the profiling techniques John helped to develop. The story of John's mother inquiring into his sex life leads directly to his 'everybody has a rock' theory. The story of betting on raindrops clearly shows why criminals continue to commit crimes: because they can.

John's other biographical stories help illustrate how diffcult life inside the FBI can be. The list of victims in a murder isn't limited to the one murdered; they include the family, neighbors, friends, investigators working a case and Federal law enforcement officers and their families. Anyone considering a career in law enforcement or with the Bureau, should take this into consideration before signing on.

In the context of writing, there are two ways to tell a story; telling vs showing. Mark and John chose to write this book by showing the reader how profiles are constructed. No, you won't find a step-by-step instruction manual within these pages, but you will find the method fully illustrated. An example is the Trailside Killer profile. Carpenter approached his victims in isolated areas and used a blitz attack from the rear to disable them. John Douglas wondered why and took the reader through the steps; the killer didn't attempt to lure or trick his victims as had Bundy. Instead, the killer felt the need to take the victims by surprise even in isolated areas of Tamalpais Park. This told John the killer felt awkward, possibly had a handicap. A physical impairment or disfigurement would have been noticed by others in the park at the time of the murders. That left a speech impediment. The rest of the reasoning behind the profile is detailed quite clearly.

John's methods aren't magic but a result of years of studying human nature, a creative way of thinking about a problem and a background based on intensive interviews with hundreds of convicted killers.

Ego plays a large part in the life of any law enforcement officer. Had John Douglas or Robert Ressler, or Roy Hazelwood spoken to police departments in an unsure manner, would any of those agencies have paid attention? That confidence carries over into real life and to the written word.

For those seeking an inside look at the FBI, there are other books available. Mindhunter, however, is the story of the FBI's first profilers (All of them, not just Douglas) and a look at the Behavioral Science Unit.

Mindhunter, along with John's other books co-authored with Mark Olshaker, show the impact of murder on those closest to the crimes --the families and loved ones. John Douglas' caring for the surviving victims shines from every page in which he talks about that impact, the friendships formed through tragedy, the advocacy of victim's rights and his push to have VICAP become mandatory.

If I could give a higher rating, I would rate Mindhunter a 10.

5-0 out of 5 stars Profiles in Courage
John Douglas is a retired FBI agent who, along with collegues Rob Ressler and several others, developed a new strategy to catch some of America's (and the world's) most deplorable but elusive killers: Profiling. This new behavioral science took a look at a crime scene and the victim her/himself and after piecing these clues along with the clues left at similar murder sites, detectives were able to come up with a "profile" of the perpetrator of the crime. How? Because Douglas and others had gone to the heart of the matter: the criminals themselves. By interviewing them in prison, they were able to see why they killed, what drove them to it, their preferences, backgrounds, and fantasies. Often, the profiles were so eerily accurate that it seemed like witchcraft. Eventually, it was embraced by law enforcement and came to be a most invaluable tool for which all of us in society should be grateful for.
John Douglas describes his beginnings and his own story is as interesting as that of the sick men he later profiles for the reader. There are many insider-anecdotes for us to live vicariously through and plenty of bone-chilling (but not overly-sensationalistic) details of horrific crimes to keep us awake at night.
Luckily, a lot of these guys are locked up for life and some have even kept their dates with death (like America's most charming serial killer, Ted Bundy, who was fried on the electric chair after years of appeals and dozens of murders). But it's not that there aren't still antisocial personalities out there, waiting to explode; the apparent decline in such crime I think is due to men like Douglas, who have made studying these men his cause so that he can stay one step ahead of them. Also, Douglas and his contemporaries worked tirelessly for victim's rights and have made it possible to track cases all over the country via computer so that people can never get away with running away accross the country--to kill anew--ever again. (Bundy did just that, and because things like VICAP were not instituted yet, he went from Washington to Florida and killed more women in the southern state where no one had heard of the vicious killer.)
This book is not for the weak- it will scare you. But it is also an empowering way to look into the minds of the men (it's mostly men who turn into mass killers) who committed the crimes and become aware. I feel I learned how to "defend" myself at least psychologically.
And I consider John Douglas a real hero. ... Read more


142. The Lexus and the Olive Tree [ABRIDGED]
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671046454
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 146977
Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

As the Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman has traveled to the four corners of the globe, interviewing people from all walks of contemporary life -- peasants in the Amazon rain forest, new entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Islamic students in Teheran, and the financial wizards on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

Now Friedman has drawn on his years on the road to produce an engrossing and original look at the new international system that, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today: globalization.

His argument can be summarized quite simply. Globalization is not just a phenomenon and not just a passing trend. It is the international system that replaced the Cold War system. Globalization is the integration of capital, technology and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and to some degree, a global village. You cannot understand the morning news or know where to invest you money or think about where the world is going unless you understand this new system, which is influencing the domestic policies and international relations of virtually every country in the world today. And once you do understand the world as Friedman explains it, you'll never look at it quite the same way again.

Using original terms and concepts -- from "The Electronic Herd" to "DOScapital 6.0" -- Friedman shows us how to see this new system. With vivid stories, he dramatizes the conflict of "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" -- the tension between the globalization system and ancient forms of culture, geography, tradition and community -- and spells out what we all need to do to keep this system in balance.

Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great drama of the globilization era, and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book -- essential listening for all who care about how the world really works. ... Read more

Reviews (321)

5-0 out of 5 stars McDonald's Theory of Conflict Avoidance and More
I've been a fan of Thomas Friedman's New York Times foreign affairs column since September 11, when I found his voice about the Arab world and how it relates to this tragedy and our daily lives here in the United States. This book created a helpful foundation for understanding our changing planet.

The premise on which he bases the book is that there is a conflict in our world between olive trees, which represent our cultural heritage and identity, our spirituality and our rituals, and the Lexus, which is manufactured in technologically advanced factories for people who have cashed in on the globalized American capitalist system and can afford the amenities, and can buy them in increasing outlets worldwide.

Friedman makes a convincing case that this current era of Globalization (he suggests that an earlier era in the late 19th and ealier 20th centuries incited the backlashes that we call today Communism, Socialism and Facism) has replaced the former world order created by the Cold War. Then, everything was bipolar, and nations aligned themselves and propped themselves up
politically and financially with their alliances to either the Soviet Union or the United States. Now, Friedman states, there is only globalization, or global capitalism, and if your nation isn't plugged into it, your people will suffer.

Sometimes the full-bore theme of this book feels heavy, that there is no alternative to market capitalism worldwide seems a little biased, to me. But, Friedman, thankfully, doesn't only concentrate on this, but gives thought, particularly at the end of the book, to the public policies that nations can initiate to protect their olive trees, while not turning their backs on the Lexus.

He has some interesting theories, too, that I enjoyed reading about, particularly the idea that no country with a McDonald's franchise has ever attacked another country with a McDonald's franchise. (His first edition came out before NATO v Yugoslavia, but he still stands by it, as NATO isn't a nation...) His
idea here is that market capitalism can be a stabilizing force in the world because once people have a big enough middle class to support franchises like McDonald's they are hard pressed to risk their lifestyles for war.

I found this edition, which came out in 2000 to be somewhat painful, as his passages about what he calls "super-empowered individuals," who don't need to be in control of a country or its military to attack other nations or groups, somewhat vaguely but eerily predicted the September 11 plot. His position that the
increasing democratization of finance/capital, information and technology can improve life and destabilize it too are convincing, especially in what we've seen happen since the book was published.

The book, written in a pleasant, colloquial style with a lot of well-known examples is engaging and easy to read. I strongly recommend it.

3-0 out of 5 stars An overview, but not enough for "understanding"
Over the years, New York Times reporter Tom Friedman has earned a reputation for his crisp and engaging writing and his ability to present the complex world events in ways that are easy to understand. If you're looking for an introduction to issues involved in the globalization of commerce, this is one of the best books on the market for it. Friendman's descriptions of things like the "electronic herd" of global capital investment and his McDonald's theory of international conflict bring a lot of sense to an otherwise confusing landscape of issues.

This strength of the book is also its limitation. Friedman is a clear writer because he paints with a broad brush. There is a strong bias at work here, but Friedman tends to try to keep hidden both his bias and points of debate that would contradict his theses. For example, he argues that market capitalism is now the one and only way to participate in the global economy, ignoring that there are several distinct flavors of "market capitalism" (US, Japanese, and European, for example) with very different rules and very different outcomes. Reading Friedman, one might assume that the Asian tigers had achieved their success by following the US model (which is the laissez-faire approach also advocated by the World Bank), while in fact they achieved robust growth through an approach more or less like that followed by the Japanese, which involved a combination of protectionism, currency management, and mandated savings. Friedman uses the 1997 Asian economic meltdown to argue that this Japanese-style approach is no longer valid and that global capital investment will not return until they better conform to the financial market transparency typical of the US. During the current slump, however, capital has fled from the US back to many of these economies because of their performance and not because of their transparency.

The question with globalization isnt whether it's "good" or "bad," but whether and how it should be managed. If you're looking for a more in-depth discussion of these issues and a more honest revelation of the author's biases, there are better books available, such as William Greider's "One World, Ready or Not." But this book isn't a bad place to get your feet wet.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sort of rambles, has some great anecdotes and analogies.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree is an important book, but in many ways Thomas Friedman renders his own creation irrelevant. He is almost schizophrenic in his writing style, arguing with himself as if he has yet to make up his mind about the things he is writing. In some ways, it seems like he just prefers to share anecdotes (which are vivid and usually humorous) from his travels around the world, rather than the typical kinds of fact-based research one finds in these sort of books. The result is that the reader can understand some of the concepts, but they can also get a little tedious, and it is hard to translate the anecdotes into something that I assimilate into my worldview.

Furthermore, Friedman seems to love to quote people at length, but one wonders if indeed he is quoting word-for-word, or if he is just sort of crafting something to fit his book out of a vaguely similar comment the person may have made. But, then one thinks again, because the book is almost a little choppy in places because Friedman quotes random characters from all around the world for pages upon pages. One would prefer that he just paraphrase or use shorter quotes.

Because it was written 5 years ago, some of the reading is tedious (he explains what a DVD player is, for example), and in some areas he seems to be caught up in the "irrational" dot-com whirlwind. In his revised version of the book, it sort of just drones on, pontificating for about 20-30 pages too much. Thomas Friedman is a very personable guy, and he has a lot of interesting things to say about the world, but honestly, one doesn't care for his own political/religious philosophy being injected, mostly toward the end of the book. It was just awkward to read through the final chapter or two; the book has multiple personality disorder in some regards.

One almost feel like the book is written for an audience of Dick Gephardts. He wants to win the protectionist wing of the Democratic Party over with the book. He seems to be speaking to them. Maybe he is speaking to Republicans as well, but if so, he lectures a little too sanctimoniously on the environment and the notion of a social safety net (he calls Republicans "mean-spirited voices... uninterested in any compromise" and tries to argue that Africa, with its near-anarchy in places, would be a Republican's dream) to win conservatives over entirely. He sort of just randomly breaks into prostheletyzing, arguing, for example, "That the NRA should feel guilty about the Colombine massacres went without saying." Why even go into that? That's just tacky.

Finally, a reader gets sort of annoyed reading his own made-up terms (Golden Straightjacket, Electronic Herd, etc.), over and over, particularly since none of them caught on whatsoever in the past half-decade since the book came out.

Some of it is dead on, though, particularly when he writes as an observer of the world rather than an activist, and this book is a good way to conceptualize globalization for those who are having a hard time adapting their political ideology in the post-Cold War era. In general, I'd say The Lexus and the Olive Tree starts off strong, ends weak, and that's a shame. It was on track to get 5 stars from me, even with the early tributes to Al Gore and other political cheap shots, but the final part of the book was just THAT lacking, that it falls to 3 stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Basic, almost insulting.
In the book friedman describes several interesting points ranging from the trade offs of culture and capitalism, to the basic efficiencies of different economies, though the way he describes things is almost insulting. The metaphors and anologies used seem to indicate a journalist writing for the elderly or those who have no idea what a digital medium is. Being a young student this quickly wore on my attention span.

I tried to read the book twice and failed becuase I get so fed up with his style. For example, he has a tendency to end paragraphs with exclamations that are as corny as the saying "click on that!" This drove me to the point where I would read the entire paragraph except the last sentence, obviously not the best way to read a book.

The good news is that the liberal bias seen in From Beirut to Jeuraslim(sp) is nowhere to be seen, replaced by ideas that only the free-est of the free markets would survive, a complete contradiction to his pro-arab Beruit book.

I would recommend milton friedman over thomas friedman, anyday, if you want an accurate portrayal of the power of the free market.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer for the novice and interested alike
Friedman's book "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" is an excellent illustration of basic globalization principles and strategies, told in simple and easy language for the layman's point of view. The heavy use of anecdotal evidence also lends a comfortable "storytelling" perspective that generally keeps the reader's attention focused.

One of the things that interested me about this book was Friedman's attempted placement of his work alongside other authors on similar subjects. In the introduction, he plainly states that his purpose in writing this book is not only to fully explain the concept, analysis, and anecdotal evidence of globalization, but also to add to the body of knowledge that is shaping and defining the post-Cold War era in history. Citing other seminal works that have been described as groundbreaking descriptions of this time in history, he lists 3 other books that he hopes to complement on that very subject: "The End of History and the Last Man" by Francis Fukuyama, "The Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel Huntington, and the collected works (books and articles) of Robert Kaplan. In truth, I have recently read all 3 of these selections and can honestly agree that Friedman has successfully accomplished his goal.

For the most part, I already understood globalization (and how it ties in with the greater subject of economics and capitalism) so I thought I might get bored with his tedious simplification and excessive detail... but surprisingly, I found this not to be the case. Overall, I found Friedman to definitely be an expert on the subject, which is often rare for newspaper journalists - and especially the NY Times foreign affairs correspondent who covers the entire planet. This subject is less about "foreign affairs" than economics... but then again, Friedman was the Wall Street correspondent at the Times before he took the foreign affairs desk.

One caveat, though.... this book was published before 9/11 - the first edition was 1999 and the 2nd was in early 2001. So one or two of his predictions didn't pan out, but as to globalization I don't think he'd change much in a 3rd edition. I can only think of one subject in the book where Friedman was dead wrong - his idea that stronger US relations with eastern Europe (specifically the Baltic states) was a bad idea because it might antagonize Russia. Turns out NATO expansion into Europe has gone relatively well... and Russia has practically eliminated their early protestations since 9/11, and in fact are already looking to stronger ties directly with NATO.

Having read those other 3 works, I can honestly say that Friedman has penned a true masterpiece on the post-Cold War body of knowledge. And Friedman is mostly pro-globalization too (unlike the anarchist WTO and G-8 protestors that get all the press), even when he objectively presents both sides of the argument. His overall thesis is basically this: globalization is here to stay, there really isn't anything people can do to stop it (much like the sunrise), so it's best to get used to it, understand it, and realize how you can find yourself moving with it instead of against it. In the end, Friedman uses his considerable journalistic (if not storytelling) talents to offer a subject where readers at all levels of economic expertise can find something to enjoy. ... Read more


143. The Future of God: The Reclaiming of Spirituality's Mystical Roots/Cassette
by Karen Armstrong
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1564553078
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Sounds True
Sales Rank: 198562
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Karen Armstrong The Future of God

Learn how the mystical God of our past reflects the God of our future – a vibrant, living presence available to all of us – on The Future of God. Karen Armstrong’s international bestseller, A History of God, has given us a window to the riches of monotheism as practiced through the ages by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. But what does tomorrow hold for the way we worship God? On this lucid audio session, Armstrong guides us through a bewildering landscape, over many centuries and civilizations, to show how our concept of God has evolved with the passage of time – from a mystical, accessible presence capable of miracles to a dark and wrathful father image contrived by church patriarchs. On The Future of God, Armstrong suggests ways that prayer, imagination, and silence can help everyone on the spiritual path today enter the mystery within our depths and recognize God in ourselves and others. The Future of God is an inspiring event that takes us to the past, present, and future!of our deepest spiritual yearnings. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Speculation by an eminent historian of monotheistic religion
This audio tape is an exploration of monotheistic religions, written and read by Karen Armstrong, the author of numerous scholarly and well-received books on monotheism ("A History of God", "The Battle for God", "Islam: A Short History"). Unlike Armstrong's previous works, "The Future of God" does not focus exclusively on the historical development of monotheistic religions, but it also contains intriguing speculation as to what may lay ahead, extrapolating from their rich past. I can think of no better qualified person to engage in such speculation than Karen Armstrong; to have any credibility in predicting the future, one must have a clear grasp of the past.

As always, Armstrong counterbalances the ethnocentric Western view of religion with contrasting views from Islam, Judaism, and even Buddhism. She reminds her Western listeners that idea of a god who is objective and exists outside ourselves is somewhat peculiar to the West, and is even "eccentric" when compared to Judaism, Islam, and Greek and Russian orthodoxy.

An important theme that runs throughout the tape is that of change; while most adherents of a religion view their creed as essentially fixed, having been revealed in effectively its final and current form, Armstrong continually reminds us that this is a complete fiction. Each of the major religions has undergone enormous transformations over time, and are indeed still in the process of change. For example, Armstrong points out that many of the early prophets were actually polytheists; while they chose to worship a single god, they fully acknowledged the existence of others. Also, the notion of a personal god, with human traits, is a relatively late addition.

Armstrong argues that the idea of a personal god has been useful in the early stages of a religion, but that it ultimately proves to be problematic and limiting; that it must eventually be abandoned for more abstract and mystical notions. This leads to Armstrong's most unexpected--even startling--proposal; that modern atheism is potentially a prelude to a new religious outlook with an even deeper appreciation for god. She likens atheism to a sorbet that cleanses the palette in preparation for more delicious things to come. Armstrong notes that "If we look back at history, we'll see that when people were called atheists this usually marked a religious transition, one of those quantum leaps to an entirely new era of religiosity and spirituality. Thus, in the early stages of their history, Jews, Christians, and Muslims were all called atheists by their pagan contemporaries, not because they didn't believe in god (obviously they did), but because they denied current conceptions of the sacred that were dear to the pagan world."

As the initiators of all religious movements, throughout history, were castigated as atheists, might we not reason that the atheists of today are in fact at the vanguard of a new epoch of religious views? A fascinating idea, to be sure. Indeed, on might view Secular Humanism as such a movement, although Armstrong does not make that connection explicitly.

Perhaps my only complaint about the tape is that it lacks the traditional references that allow a reader to explore the background material to a greater depth. Admittedly, this is rather hard to do on an audio tape, yet there were times when a brief pointer to the relevant literature would have been extremely helpful. As one example, Armstrong states categorically that the book of Genesis is a myth, and that it was quite deliberately written as such. As this is a topic of heated debate (at least in the US), it would have been appropriate for Armstrong to mention the evidence or body of work that, in her view, establishes this fact.

I found Armstrong's ideas to be quite thought provoking, so I feel the tape is well worth the cost. I believe that anyone who has read and enjoyed Armstrong's books would also enjoy this tape (even though it contains but a small fraction of what is contained in her larger volumes). I recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another good book of Karen Armstrong
A good one, if you like the clear definition style of Karen Armstrong. This book looks at faith and believes system outside of the common day practices of the different religions. I enjoyed it. ... Read more


144. The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
by Pema Chodron, Tami Simon
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1564559289
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
Sales Rank: 265056
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

We always have a choice, Pema Chodron teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. In The Places That Scare You, this beloved Tibetan Buddhist nun and bestselling author provides the tools to deal with them – the practical means to cultivate an awakened, compassionate ability to open our hearts and minds to our own suffering and that of others. Shambhala Lion Editions. Unabridged book on tape read by Tami Simon. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Facing the Places That Scare Us
Pema Chodron's latest book, "The Places That Scare You," was released just before the world experienced the embodiment of all the places that scare us: the inconceivable catastrophic events of September 11 and their aftermath. Of course, we must not pass over the monumental suffering cause by these events. However, the real message of September 11 is to point out the insecurity that constantly lies beneath the surface of our existence, the groundlessness that we fear and either try to ignore or to flee. Fear ordinarily shuts down our hearts and minds; it makes our world smaller. But when we begin to relate to our fear fully and properly, the vulnerability that we ourselves experience is transformed into genuine caring for others and for our world. In her book, Pema presents various tools for facing up to fear as a springboard for giving birth to bodhichitta, the awakened heart of love and compassion. These include mindfulness meditation, training in the four limitless ones (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity), and the practice of tonglen (exchanging ourselves for others). For people interested in learning more about tonglen, Pema has written another book called "Tonglen: The Path of Transformation," which is available from Vajradhatu Publications.

5-0 out of 5 stars OPEN YOUR HEART AND YOU RELEASE SUFFERING!
Pema Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhis nun, is the one inspirational person you would choose to have with you when your world falls apart. Being a follower of Buddhist Philosophies for many years, I have found inner peace, strength, love and fulfillment through my beliefs. Each one of us must find "enlightenment" from whatever source we alone believe in, but for me, personally, Buddhism has been the answer. As the author reminds us, "Loving kindness comes from opening ourselves to vulnerability."

Meditation, mindfulness and practices such as "tonglen" (taking in the pain and suffering of others while sending out happiness) can be key tools in ridding ourselves of negativity, anxiety and fear. Each of us has within us the power to overcome that which causes us fear. Chodron explains how we can use these tools to overcome almost any obstacle or challenge.

Another book by the same author which is highly recommended is "When Things Fall Apart." Both offer excellent words of wisdom and advice and both are deserving of a five-star rating. Chodron is a teacher, a sage, an inspirationalist, a mentor and a prime example of one who is good, compassionate, understanding, kind and loving.

4-0 out of 5 stars A lot more to this than meets the eye
Pema Chodron seems to get mostly favorable reactions from reviewers, although a few are turned off by what they see as her complacency and hard-edged analysis. To the latter, I suggest reading "traditional" self-help books (there are plenty out there) that are either squishy (John Bradshaw and Wayne Dwyer come to mind) or tell you to "Just Do It" (Eat That Frog, Who Moved My Cheese).

I like Chodron and this book because I think she takes a middle path between compassion and "tough love". So many books tell us to be in the moment and experience life just as it is, warts and all. I think this book goes into a little more depth regarding the many aspects of awareness and the mind-games we play with ourselves. I also get a sense that Ms. Chodron has been through a lot in life, from both a personal and a spiritual perspective. That makes her writing a little more down to earth than, say, Deepak Chopra (many of you will cringe that I even mentioned his name in this review).

An interesting insight that I got from this book is the concept of groundlessness. In 12-step programs and some Christian circles they talk about being "spiritually grounded", which means to have beliefs that are not whimsical or based on hunches, but are well-established principles espoused by your program/religion. Chodron would appear to disagree with this description somewhat, and I'm on her side, in that you should always question what the truth is, even the Buddha's teachings. Even enlightenment is not the end, she says, but really is just the start of truly living. Groundlessness, then, is being able to be in the moment with no pre-conceived ideas or desires for a particular outcome. It could also be called egolessness.

Where this book comes up short is that it is highly repetitive, especially in the middle chapters. She basically repeats the same exercise for practicing lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. I didn't get as much as I would like out of those sections; I think they're more for someone who's in a heavy-duty meditation practice.

I think this book could be easily misinterpreted by someone who picks it at random from a library or bookstore. The stuff that's talked about in here may seem simple or even counter-intuitive, but I believe it's the result of the author's long spiritual journey. Many self-help books and religions advertise that they can cure whatever your problem was in X easy steps (and have testimonials to prove it). The Places That Scare You says that there is relief from suffering, but finding relief is just the beginning.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sound Advice
Pema Chodron teaches us here that indeed, we always have a choice: We can let conditions in our lives make us more fearful, anxious and ever more bitter, or we can allow them to diminish and thus make us kinder. The choice truly is our own, whether we always care to admit this or not. Here she provides us with the tools necessary to deal with the challenges we face in our lives, to open our hearts and above else our minds to the suffering of ourselves and ultimately others; tools which helps us move beyond apprehension which is always preventing us from being honest and loving towards one another.

"So beautifully written that the reading is a pleasure-speaks to people of all religious persuasions." - The Los Angeles Times.

This was a brilliant book, I cannot recommend it enough to any of you.

5-0 out of 5 stars All her books are wonderful..........
This is the second copy of this book I have bought, since I gave one copy to the local library because it is so wonderful. The whole book is overflowing with wise, gentle advise or wisdom as I prefer to call it. So many of the Chapters have added value to my life. Especially The Facts of Life which reminds us that life is fluid and never static so learn how to go with the flow and not have you canoe capsize. Or Learning to Stay when one is more apt to want to run away from a challenge. Finding the Ability to Rejoice was an excellent chapter because we humans, especially we Americans are all to apt to be self-centered and looking for what we think we want that we fail to see just how blessed and happy we really are.

The Chapter on the Three Kinds Of Laziness is one most Americans need to read. The first kind of laziness the author shares is based on our tendency to want to avoid inconveniences. Second kind is loss of the heart, or the "poor me" habit. The third kind is the "couldn't care less" type which is often related to resentment. Or giving the world the obscene finger gesture. It's either the world owes me something and I'm not getting it or the idea that because we aren't getting what we think we want we get mad and basically say screw the world and we shut ourselves off from others.

When the Going Gets Rough is also a great chapter because its a good kick in the pants reminder that life is both glorious high peaks where we can savour everything we see, as well as valleys with bogs and tough terrain, which if we would just stop complaining and instead become more observant, could provide wonderful life changing experiences just as great as the mountain top.

In fact I am reminded of how the most successful and happy people often love the process of getting the success more than the success and in fact once they obtain success in something they aren't prone to sit on their buttocks but are quick to seek a new challenge that will provide more life changing and positive lessons. ... Read more


145. Uh-Oh : Observations
by ROBERT FULGHUM
list price: $11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679402268
Catlog: Book (1991-08-27)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 328718
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Once again, Robert Fulghum, the man who has been a working cowboy, IBM salesman, professional artist, folk singer, parish minister, bartender and, of course, #1 best-selling author, offers us a delightful, eye-opening collection of essays that deal with the extraordinary wonder in ordinary, everyday life. Reflecting on everything and anything from meatloaf to the smell of a good cigar, Fulghum approaches the familiar with his characteristic joie de vivre. The result is Uh-Oh -- charmingly astute observations of "just folks" like us all.

Robert Fulghum's appeal is universal as, in these increasingly harder times, he inspires us with his upbeat message -- one that is certain to put us in touch with all that is joyous and true in our lives. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars a very worthwhile read
First, let me say that I read this book in one day, which is a feat in itself with my short attention span. And when I was finished, I honestly felt sad that it was over. Second, I'm not one to take the time to review books online, but this is one that is worthy of all the praise I can give it. This book is fantastic. It's the best book I've read in a long while. One moment, Fulghum is making you ponder some very deep subjects, and the next, he's got you laughing those really good, healthy belly laughs that are so few and far between. His insight on so many ordinary subjects is astounding. You will find yourself relating to some of the stories and touched or delighted by the others. My mother encouraged me to read this, and I've encouraged everyone I know to read it. Get this book. It's really worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars How can I describe this work?
Imagine, if you will a Sunday evening, with everybody still in their church clothes after having eaten a delicious Sunday dinner. Everyone's sort of lazily sated and they all meet on the porch to hang out for a while: they wave and smile at neighbors passing by, perhaps they bask in the evening sunset. Then, someone let's out the loudest, longest burp. Making every one burst out laughing...that's a bit how Fulghum's book on everyday observations, inspirations from happy accidents, and the many, many people he has run into is like. Some of the stories are tenderhearted like his experiencing culinary delights (Jelly Bellys in Cheerios) with a grand child or his gaining a reluctant love of a neighbor's ol' dawg. Other stories are of the making lemonade out of lemons type...a good, good cigar gets swiped by someone who perhaps appreciated it more...the bride is plagued with hiccoughs in the middle of the wedding ceremony....old VFWer's crash their pals' funeral with an anemic 10 gun salute and a stripper...all done in Fulghum's easy-does-it style. Do I like the book? Of course I do. Does it make me smile? You bet. My only problem is waiting long enough to forget all about the book and how much I love it, so that I can read it again like a 'new book' and enjoy it some more....does that sound like a Fulghum scenario to you? Anyway, get it and read it one lazy Sunday afternoon. You will thank me for the suggestion.

5-0 out of 5 stars I fell asleep with this book clutched in my arms
Amazing...I didn't want it to end. It opened a new fronteer of book reading in my life. It changed me. This man, Fulghum, packs so much emotion into his words. How I wish I could live like him, or at least write like him. Definintely inspritional and touching and funny. I can't say it enough! Read it! Nothing out there compares to Fulghum's sensitivity about everything in life. I don't know how to say it any other way. If I had even half as much truth and insight as this author has, I would be happy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and Fun
Though not nearly as terrific as his KINDERGARTEN book, Uh-Oh is a great read.Fullugham has some unique perspectives.This is a terrific book that can be savored a few pages at a time.The included essays are often funny, sometimes touching, and always enjoyable.The way the authour looks at the commonplace, and then bestows it with a sense of wonder has brought me back to Mr. Fullgham's books on a number of occassions.Read one and you'll be hooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent short read
Robert Fulghum has a way of coming across quite simple, but his perceptions are actually quite intricate.You'll more than likely find some of your own ponderings in his thoughts.And then again, some of his ponderings must be charmingly and uniquely his. ... Read more


146. The Way of Woman and Other Essays
by Helen M. Luke
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0930407326
Catlog: Book (1994-09-01)
Publisher: Parabola Books
Sales Rank: 633913
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Luke guides women to seek the realization of their essential feminine natures. She speaks of community, levels of relationships, and humility, through the Cat Archetype, Demeter and Kore, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in a way that provides real growth for our everyday lives. ... Read more


147. Explosive Child
by Ross W. Greene
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694521906
Catlog: Book (1999-04-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 72874
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

We've all seen them: children who explode when they're told to do something or when things don't go their way. The ones who completely lose control and become verbally and physically aggressive. Spoiled, stubborn, manipulative children. Right?

Not so fast. These labels suggest that the behavior if such children is planned and intentional, and popular reward-and-punishment strategies are typically used to teach and motivate them to behave more appropriately. But for a significant number of these children, the standard approach doesn't always work. Such children are easily frustrated and extremely inflexible. They get "stuck" over seemingly simple requests, benign issues, and sudden changes in plans. They may be very anxious, irritable, and volatile. They may have difficulty telling you what they're frustrated about or thinking through potential solutions to problems. In clinical terms, they may be diagnosed with any of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including oppositional-defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette's disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder. If this sounds like your child, you're probably feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, guilt-ridden, exhausted, and hopeless.

Now there is a new way for you, your child, and your entire family to find help. In this groundbreaking new book, Dr. Ross Greene, a child psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, makes a compassionate argument that the difficulties of these children stem from developmental deficits in two critical skills: flexibility and frustration tolerance. He asserts that if such children could do well, they would.

Drawing upon recent advances in the neuroscience, Dr. Greene describes the factor that contribute to "inflexible-explosive" behavior in children and why the strategies that work for most children aren't as effective for inflexible-explosive children. Then, with the help of "snapshots" from the lives of children, parents, and teachers with whom he has worked over theyears, Dr. Greene lays out a sensitive, practical, effective, systematic approach to helping these children at home and school, including:

reducing hostility and antagonism between the child and adult

anticipating situations in which the child is most likely to explode

creating an environment in which explosions are less likely to occur

focusing less on reward and punishment and more on communication and collaborative problem-solving

helping the child develop the self-regulation and thinking skills to be more flexible and handle frustration more adaptively

In Explosive Child, you'll find ways to regain your sanity and optimism and rebuild the confidence to handle your child's difficulties completely and lovingly. With Dr. Greene's compassionate, expert advice and insight, you and your child will rediscover newfound hope and a relationship you can both feel good about. ... Read more

Reviews (82)

5-0 out of 5 stars a book you'll want and need to pass on to others
I've read this book at least 20 times and have purchased copies for teachers and other parents of difficult kids. Whenever I feel burned out with my wonderful but explosive child, this books helps me to pull myself back together and renews my hope and energy. The Collaborative Problem Solving technique works! What a relief after so many failures.

Dr. Greene writes about these kids with affection and respect - and less face it, if your kid is explosive and inflexible, affection and respect from teachers, therapists, doctors, police, etc (maybe even from yourself) has been hard to come by. I can't begin to describe the relief and hope I felt when I finally saw a description of my child that FIT (!) and didn't blame either her or myself for being horribly inadequate people and causing the whole problem in the first place.

If you parent or teach these kids - you need to read this book. Your outlook and actions will change and so will the child.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understand How it Feels to be your child!
Excellent description of children (and adults) who are very inflexible, easily frustrated and very difficult to understand. As a teacher and parent of children diagnosed with ADHD and Sensory Integration Dysfunction, I was impressed by the way this book explains how it feels to be the child who is so difficult to manage. I have read many books on difficult children and this is the first one that finally forced me to realize how hard life is for the child and not just the parents or teachers of these kids. The book offers constructive approaches and, even more importantly, tells adults what NOT to do with these kids. Each school library should offer this book to teachers and parents. You won't be disappointed. You will find yourself looking more realistically and sensitively at your explosive child. You'll want to rush to school and start fresh right away!

5-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
This book has changed our lives! I have read it several times through, and given copies to all of my daughter's educators. I cried when I read the opening chapters - it described my life to a tee. But now, after using the methods discussed in the book for about a year, the difference in my daughter, my household and my sanity are remarkable. This methodology is phenomenal!

5-0 out of 5 stars This book saved our family
Finally somebody who understands what we live with. After several years of professionals suggesting that we just needed another parenting class, we were ready to fall apart. "The Explosive Child" acknowledges that children like mine exist and that we have to understand why they are the way they are and how we can start to bring some sanity to our lives. For desperate parents, this book is like oxygen. It provides a great template for dealing with explosive children on a day to day basis. Dr. Greene's book gave me the courage to stop accepting answers that clearly weren't in our daughter's best interest. This gave me the understanding of how to start advocating for my child. If you find yourself thinking that 'something just isn't right with my child' and 'how can I live with this behavior forever' and 'we need help because nobody understands what we live with', then this book belongs in your hands today. I am not exagerating when I say this book saved our family. We actually have hope that we can raise our child to be a happy and self-sufficient person instead of ending up dead or in jail.

5-0 out of 5 stars A family in progress.
We were completely unprepared for the bundle of determination and independence we produced. We had tried many traditional forms of discipline and strategies in attempt to parent the spirited child we have. This book was an excellent recourse recommended by one of the many counselors we have seen. Our situation is similar to many others here. It is very hard to get 'buy in' for the three basket approach from those who are not familiar with it and do not deal with extreme and violent breakdowns. It is very much seen as 'giving in' and can result in much input form others. I have found myself needing to purchase multiple copies for some of our family to help educate them about our new parenting method for our visits. This book did not transform us completely but it really has helped to greatly reduce the hostility, hitting (from our son), yelling (by all) and tension in the household and allowed us to enjoy playing, teaching and simply being with our preschool son. ... Read more


148. The Great Ideas: A Retrospective, Episodes 1-26, Library Edition
by Mortimer J. Adler
list price: $97.95
our price: $97.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786114061
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 711458
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

149. Mystery: The Wisdom of the Soul
by Rachel Naomi, Md Remen, Michael Toms
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1561708976
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Hay House Audio Books
Sales Rank: 219977
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

On this audio program Rachel is telling with wit and inspiration of her emergence from a socialistic, atheistic upbringing to a life and medical practice filled with grace, mystery, and wonder. ... Read more


150. Bella Tuscany : The Sweet Life in Italy
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553502352
Catlog: Book (1999-04-06)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 454699
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

Work's still not completely finished on Bramasole, the Tuscan house that California-based poet and bestselling author Frances Mayes bought a decade ago and has been fixing up every summer since. Nevertheless, in Bella Tuscany, she goes out--in search of Italy and Italian life. The sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun is awash with sensual discovery, from Sicilian markets with "rainbows of shining fish on ice" to the aqueous dream of Venice "shimmering in the diluted sunlight." Wherever she is, Mayes celebrates everyday rituals, such as picking wild asparagus, "dark spears poking out of the dirt ... stalks as thin as yarn" and driving through country rains, as "the green landscape smears across the windshield" for buffalo mozzarella and demijohns of sfuso--bulk wine kept fresh with a slick of olive oil on top. Mayes also ventures into the world of the locals, some "bent as a comma" and others throwing six-hour communion feasts where half a dozen cooks in a barn continually send out heaping platters of pasta with wild boar sauce, roasted lamb, and even the thigh of a giant cow--wrapping up the festivities with honeyed vin santo, grappa, and dancing to the accordion. Capturing the details that enrich the commonplace, in Bella Tuscany Mayes appears less like a visitor and more like someone discovering in Tuscany a real home and a real life. --Melissa Rossi ... Read more

Reviews (119)

4-0 out of 5 stars Second course
This book is like a second course in a sumptuous dinner. Frances and Ed have now cpmpleted most of the major alterations to their villa in Tuscany and are now able to spend more time touring the rest of the region, sampling the local wines and cuisine, enjoying the magnificent architecture and generally continuing their love affair with Italy.
This book definitely inspires the reader to visit this wonderful sounding region of Italy and to be able to feel part of such a warm, rich culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely Dreamscapes into the Heart of Italy
Who has not dreamt of escaping to a colorful villa in Europe, preferably Provence (France), Tuscany in Italy or some obscure litle hillside in Central Europe? Frances Mays did just that! She describes the delicious details of this idyllic existence in this precious and charming book.Her sensitive, seductive descriptions are irresisible reading.

The reader is introduced to the sights, sounds, and smells of this magnificent dreamy region of the world. The book is interspersed with Italian phrases, increasing the allure of her exotic choice for a second home, Tuscany, Italy. All the senses of the reader are aroused into full alert by the aroma of freshly baked bread, the smell of newly turned earth awaiting seeds for the vegetable garden, and the enticement of early morning capuccino ...One can just hear the Italian accent in the greeting, "Buon giorno, una bella giornata" ("Good morning, a beautiful day")!

Along with the author, the reader participates in selecting flowers for a garden path and making a trip to the wine region for "sfuso" (house wine) ... bought from local vintners from their own local brew. We take side trips to Venice, and a gondola ride down the main canal, reminiscing of the past. We take a trip to the famous Capella Palatina, a former residence of kings. It has Arabic and Byzantine architechtural influences from many hundreds of years historical importance ... We go to Sicily and taste the local seafood at a restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk, who assures us, this the restaurant the locals choose for the "best seafood". Indeed, there is no disappointment, the appetizer is "futta di mare", a variety of fried fish and a spicy eggplant dish made with cinnamon and pine nuts. We are served stuffed squid and veal, rolled around with a layer of herbs and cheese. The day concludes with a visit to the market, where lamb, fish, shrimp, candied fruits and various cooking utensils as well as a large variety of food is sold.

This book is richly detailed with the experience of creating a new life in a foreign country. The reader along with the author is learning many things ... building a garden with hearty plants that survive all year round, planting the proper vegetables by the right season, remodeling a home, and partaking of customs and religious feast days of the region. It has wonderful descriptions of side trips to local and distant places of historical interest and of physical beauty ...I have never read Frances Mays first book so have no basis of comparison. However, this book is clearly an artistic achievement similar to a painting on canvas. This author possesses the power of selecting the right words to create nostalgia and longing in the reader ... to experience *her* Tuscany. Erika Borsos (erikab93)

4-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite!
Mayes is a treat. I loved this book as much as her previous Italy book; can't understand the attacks herein, but it doesn't matter. I love all of the Italian references. The imagery is so powerful that it almost felt as though I were in Italy. It enriched my reading experience by teaching me the finer parts of Mediterranean culture -- and Mayes has done the same in a unique and memorable way. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to anyone without an ax slung over their shoulder.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read if you love Italy
This is a great book! It actually take you to a portal of Italy. Well written of Italian culture, Frances Mayes capture the bella of Italy. I love this book very much, I visited Italy before and I miss it so much. When I read this book, I feel that I am there again. I love the detail of it, I actually love when she talked about food, the market and the italian word with english beside it. I learned from the book.
If you love Italy, this is a must read.
One thing I agree with the other reader that if there's pictures and map included would make this book a plus. I really wants to see the pictures she mentioned and the map for my quick reference. I love the part she talked about mushroom and market with fresh food.

4-0 out of 5 stars a diamond with some flaws
OK--Many of the customers who wrote previous reviews about Bella Tuscany have some valid complaints.It is several chapters too long and we do get tired of Mayes' whining.We have little pity for her trying to restore two houses at once and we don't need to hear about every meal and shopping excursion.It certainly does not surpass her first effort, "Under the Tuscan Sun."Still, as someone who has never been to Tuscany (or Italy for that matter), many of the descriptions in "Bella Tuscany" are little treasures.Who wouldn't want to live where you can go to one local farm for ricotta, another for pecorino romano and a third for wine?Or where Roman and Etruscan ruins are to be found in so many unsuspecting places?Or where fabulous meals can be made with only the simple ingredients you grow in your garden?Or where every small local church has a major work or art or two?I do have two recommendations that would have made this book more enjoyable; a map of Tuscany and Italy would have been helpful in identifying the many places Mayes visited.Also, I would have enjoyed more photographs other than those on the dust jacket.Maybe the few "teaser" pictures are to whet our appetite for her 3rd book, "In Tuscany."In any case, while this book has some character flaws, I think potential readers need to try to overlook these and to dig deeper for the jewel within. ... Read more


151. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality
by Brian Greene
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739309250
Catlog: Book (2004-01-27)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 97070
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

In his new widely anticipated new book, Brian Greene, one of the world's foremost string theorists and the best-selling author of The Elegant Universe, reveals the strange and stunning layers of reality modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of the everyday world.

Greene examines space--fromNewton's unchanging, realm, through Einstein's fusion of space and time, to recent breakthroughs suggesting that ours may be one of many island universes floating in a grand, multidimensional spatial expanse. We encounter the peculiar world of quantum physics, in which space and time are buffeted to and fro by the turbulence of quantum uncertainty. We see the paradoxical nature of time, which, according to the laws of physics, does not necessarily need to run in any particular direction. And Greene shows us how the tantalizing world of string and M-theory may unltimately provide us with the elusive unified theory of the universe.

In a book infused with his characteristic wit and humor, deftly making use of analogy and characters from popular culture, Brian Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific background, on an exhilaratingjourney toward understanding the physical relaity of the world we live in.


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Universe of Great Physics Books Keeps Expanding!
I have been buying and reading "layman" books on modern physics for the past couple of years. I've read and enjoyed "Black Holes and Baby Universes" by Stephen Hawkings, "Three Roads to Quantum Gravity", by Lee Smolin, Feynman's "QED" and John Gribbin's "Schrodinger's Kittens". My background includes a degree in engineering, but in my opinion a knowledge of math and "textbook" physics is not necessary to read and enjoy all of these titles.

As for "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality", it is by far the best and most readable of the modern physics books I have encountered to date. Greene is truly in a class of his own when it comes to explaining the "almost" unexplainable.

I was amazed at how Greene was able to stay one step ahead of the reader on every page and have answers ready as soon as a question popped into my head. Greene has that rarest of gifts in a writer; an intimate knowledge of the subject matter, coupled with an intiutive understanding of questions that trouble the reader.

In conclusion, if you are going to buy only one book on modern physics, choose this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time--Absolutely relative or relatively absolute?
No one could read the first chapter and not finish this book! I savored every page of it from start to finish. Brian Greene has a unique combination of talent that you JUST DON'T SEE in such an outstanding scientific mind. 1) He can write! 2) He is clearly one of the top physicists in the field of Superstring/M-Theory. 3) He is a born teacher. 4) Did I mention he can write? Through brilliant use of analogy, Greene makes the most mind boggling concepts easy to grasp. This is a book for lay people, as evidenced by the absence of equations in the text...they are included in the notes section at the end along with more robust theoretical details. The book takes you through the usual history of quantum physics and cosmology, as it must do to provide the background necessary to understand where we are now. He moves from the earlier understandings to the most current developments in a manner that makes very difficult subjects accessible to everyday people. The question of why the arrow of times moves relentlessly forward is answered in this book, and that is no mean accomplishment. In fact, the infusion of knowledge is so gentle that after 500 pages I was amazed at how much was covered and even more amazed that I understood it. The subject matter itself is fascinating. Greene's writing ability makes it enjoyable at the same time. His injection of humor put the icing on the cake. A small example: "...Ordinary experience confronts us with two types of phenomena: those that have a clearly delineated beginning, middle, and end...and those that are cyclic, happening over and over again (the changing seasons, the rising and setting of the sun, Larry King's weddings)." Now some might find his highly imaginative analogies can get a bit corny, but I saw them as brilliant--and they do the job of illuminating complex ideas. I really can't recommend this book highly enough to those who want to learn! One last thing...you can read the whole book without consulting the notes at the end. This is great for continuity and readability. Just don't fail to read the "Notes" section when you finish. It serves as a brief refresher to cement the new ideas into your head, and expands on the more complicated concepts. Whatever happened to the 10-star ratings? 5 stars are not enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great accomplishment
This book is amazing. Apparently a number of folks agree with me given the 4.5 star average it has gotten from the preceding 60 reviews. There were some pans, however. In contradistinction to what some of the naysayers (and some of the kuods too) have written , this is most certainly *not* a rehash of the "Elegant Universe", which I also read and liked a lot. This is something totally different. This is not about string theory or quantum mechanics or relativity or the nature of time - but it does contain discussion of all of those. This book is about nothing less than cosmology, the structure of the universe, just exactly as the title indicates.

I have read a number of lay (read - not for physicists but not for your average college drop-out either) physics books over the years, mostly having to do with quantum mechainics and the nature of physical reality or relavity. Prior to "Fabric", I think my favorite was John Gribbin's "In Search of Schroedinger's Cat". I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the essentials of quantum mechanics for a layman, and learned relatively little that was really new from most of the others. But I found a lot of new material in"Fabric". The way the quantum measurement problem was dealt with or resolted was great - new to me. The discussion of entanglement, and why everything is in fact *not* connected to everything else was also new to me, and well done. There is a ton of new physics from the late 1990s that is reviewed here. This book contains everything a newcomer to quantum mechanics needs, but also has tons to offer folks who have read on this subject before. And that alone is is quite an accomplishment,. more than worth the price of admission.

But, at least for me, the most ennjoyable sections of the book were the ones middle that dealt with relativity, both general and special, how they relate to older and current cosomological models, and unification with quantum mechanics. I thought I sort of understood relativity (again, at an educated layman's level), but I learned a ton from this book (gravity depends not only on mass and energy but also pressure!!). The early foundations of relativity and the relation to Mach were great. The relation of Einstein to modern cosmology, Higg's fields, the big bang, inflaton theory, repulsive gravity, the universe expanding at a rate potentially faster than the speed of light (with no contradiction to relativity!!) - these were all new to me, and explained very well.

One could quibble with the style a little. The constant use of analogies and examples starring the Simpson's or Mulder and Scully might turn some people off. I didn't mind then, but I didn't love them either. The book is very long - perhaps too long, and there is a fair amount of recapitulation. This recapping bothered me in the beginning until I realized (about three quarters fof the way through the book) that there was so much new stuff here that I was going to have to read the book again, pretty soon.

There is a tremendous amount of material here, all of it interesting, very up-to-date,and all of it well presented. If you are at all interested in modern physics, and the nature of the universe, this book is a great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars How Brian describes time and spacetime
I have rated this book 4 stars because I think it does a good job providing an overview of the state of physics, without the reader needing a technical background. I think this book should be read by every high school student entertaining a physics career. I will say that serious technical study offers far greater understanding of the concepts suggested in this book that what can be gained by a non-technical reading.

There is one important subject that the author discusses that I would like to comment on. In chapter 5 and elsewhere the author compares spacetime to a frozen river and to a loaf of bread. The author seems to be saying that spacetime is a four dimensional block, perhaps with a frozen part and part with a dynamic part. The frozen river analogy suggests something solid but continuous. The author says, also, that spacetime incorporates past events and future events.

I think that spacetime is more complicated. Spacetime must, in my humble view, include only active space. That is, spacetime must include only space where something is happening, or, where motion is taking place. We know that time itself is dependent on motion, and is really an expression of motion. We know that we have never observed through a telescope spacetime that is not dynamic, or where motion is not taking place. And we know that we have never observed the future by looking through a telescope, despite the fact that Earth with the Sun and galaxy is moving at approximately 600 km/s (1.3 million miles per hour) relevant to the local cosmic flow. Motion relevant to the cosmic flow should, in theory, allow a view of future spacetime at distant locations. This is what the author says is the case when he slices the spacetime loaf at angles.

One conceptual difficulty with the frozen river analogy is that, by including past and future space-time, there is the suggestion of a "creation" event for the whole of space-time, not just a birth of spacetime. For example, if future spacetime exists, then all of future spacetime exists at once, and must have been created all at once. The frozen river analogy also implies a frozen part, that is, a part that once was in motion but is now a frozen and unmoving record. But observation does not support this. While past spacetime must be frozen, future space time must by dynamic and moving, with a boundary between the frozen and moving part. The boundary would be moving as more frozen history gets incorporated.

A better way to look at spacetime, in my view, is to think of it as a four dimensional space that includes all of active space, and includes only active space.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of physics/String theory still needs work
I certainly recommend this book to any layperson that enjoys reading accounts of both the history of physics and the state of progress in modern physics. Greene is an excellent writer and he discusses and teaches often difficult concepts in an accessible way. On reflection, my only criticism of the book is really an issue with the subject of string theory, rather than with Greene's descriptions.

For me, the book breaks down into two parts. The first 2/3 is an account of historical developments in physics using an excellent organizing scheme. Greene sets out two key questions. First, are space and time fundamental or do they simply arise as descriptions of relations among other fundamental entities? Second, how do we account for the unidirectional flow of time ("the arrow of time") which we experience? With these questions in mind, Greene reviews classical physics, Einstein's relativity, quantum mechanics, and recent cosmological theories.

The best part of this first section of the book for me was the review of the inflationary hypothesis. After describing the second law of thermodynamics (the only part of traditional science which has an explicit arrow of time), Greene examines theories of the history of our universe for a possible explanation of both the flow of time we experience as well as the geometry of observed space. I understood the attraction of the inflationary scenario much better after reading the book.

The second part of the book is a discussion of progress in string theory/M theory and the attempt to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics in a unified framework.

String theory's major exciting starting point was its promise to explain all of the fundamental particles and forces (including gravity) in a framework of one-dimensional units called strings. To laypeople, it is usually put forth that different vibrations in the strings describe all of the fundamental entities. However, the working out of string theory was accompanied by difficulties. First, there were several versions, not just one. More importantly (in terms of the nature of space and time), in its initial formulations string theory required an absolute backdrop of space-time, thus in a way reverting to a pre-relativity stance. Also, to work, there had to exist many more dimensions of space - a total of ten space-time dimensions. (I should note that, to his credit, Greene does a good job throughout presenting criticisms and possible shortcomings of string theory.)

In recent years, Greene tells us, it was discovered that several different versions of string theory really were one theory after all. This overarching theory (which now featured an eleventh space-time dimension) also introduced new structures beyond one-dimensional strings. These 2, 3 and higher dimensional entities became known as branes, and the theory as M-theory ("M" possibly standing for membrane, but maybe several other things as well). Given that the mathematics in which the theory is described is so far beyond the typical reader, Greene describes the theory effectively and defends it against the common criticism that its details are not provable - he outlines experiments which could make key features testable in the not-too-distant future.

Greene finishes by trying to recover the concepts of space and time (as we know them) by postulating that they emerge from a more complex foundational reality described by M-theory. I should also note that in the book he discusses a number of interesting topics that are somewhat off the track of his core narrative, such as time-travel and wormholes, and the holographic principle. As always, the descriptions are interesting and reader-friendly.

Despite the fact that I doubt string theory can be described any better than Greene does it, the second part of the book is less compelling than the first. Part of the reason is simply the benefit of hindsight which enables the author to organize and present an effective narrative of the physics of the past, in contrast to describing the messier developments of a work-in-progress. However, in reflecting on Greene's account, I think there's more to it than that. I'm struck by the fact that many of the historical examples of progress in physics featured brilliant conceptual advances which built a framework for the resulting theory, while this is less clearly the case for M-theory. The paradigm case is general relativity, where Einstein had the insight that gravitation is equivalent to acceleration, and then he found a pre-existing mathematical framework in which to formulate the specifics of the theory. In contrast, my impression is that the small army of mathematically gifted M-theory modelers steer a course somewhat un-tethered to guiding concepts, and then attempt later to go back and fix things up. For example, Greene describes current attempts to draw connections to cosmological theories like inflation and to address conceptual shortcomings like space-time background-dependency.

It may be that a new key conceptual insight will be needed to guide the advance of modern physics. ... Read more


152. Ramayana (Audio Literature Presents/Audio Cassette)
by William Buck, Ram Dass
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 094499332X
Catlog: Book (1991-08-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 644800
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Fascinating retelling receiving 1st class reviews. Choice wrote "Buck has succeeded better than anyone else in conveying the spirit of the original." ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dharma is Everything in this World
Ramayana is an unimaginably ancient epic poem, translated here into beautiful English prose. It does not present Hindu theology-- to glimpse Hinduism's ancient essence, one must attempt to understand the more impenetrable Upanishads. Rather, Ramayana presents in a literary, or fictional, work all of the values of right conduct, or "dharma," that are essential to happiness in all the worlds. The story so remarkably resembles Homer's The Illiad that it is difficult to believe some ancient wandering poet did not export the story to the near eastern culture of ancient Greece, many centuries after it began being told amongst Indian poets. Consequently, the values of Ramayana reverberate throughout three millenia of Eastern as well as Western literature. Honoring your father, fogiveness, loyalty to wife and husband irrespective of the hardships, devotion to God, knowing God when you see him, rejection of earthly wealth, and reverence for all of nature. These are but a few of the values, dharma, that revisit the reader through one beautiful character after another. Ramayana is essential reading for any ersatz scholar or well-read mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars If I was Rama, William Buck could be my press agent.
William Buck brings out the metaphysical aspects of the epic tale. Rama and his brother must perform a journey that allows them to grow and understand nature and the world on the way. They must overcome many hurtles and meat with the good and bad.
Two of the creatures I found fascinating is Hanuman who claims he is only a monkey and does not know any better. He is admonished and reminded if he is aware of that then it is no excuse. The second character is Ravana who knows in a world where there is no black and white that he is supposed to be an evil antagonist. But his role is important to the story and the world.

The illustrations by Shirley Triest are simple line drawings with shading to give an added richness to the story with out distracting from the writing.

I made the mistake of reading "RAMA" by Jamake Higwater first. That was a bad move, as I did not understand the richness of the story until I read this version. Now that I have a few more versions under my belt, I must say that this is my best. In addition, I have the audio tape now it is time to start the Mahabharata.

5-0 out of 5 stars RE: Strange values, Awsome Book
This is a fantatic telling of the tale. It is really easily readable.

I'm not going to go over the plot, its best left to you to read it and become absorbed in Rama's epic.

Now to the person to made the remark about "Simple Christiaty", and Hidnuism's "Strange values".

Think before you judge. Christianty has wrought more *war* and conflict in its short span then most religions and it supposedly itends to teach love and charity. The myths of the Bible are no less violent and filled with "Strange values" IE putting an egotistcal god before even family, "God" killing incocent Eygptian babes in retrobution - WOW it makes anything in here look tame and mild.

Rodney aka Sharr

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good book
This is the oldest of the books written on this earth. No other book is older than this . The sanskrit verses of the original Ramayan are so beautiful.
I was not really surprised by the comments of a reader from Arlington , VA . You can find stupid ignorant people everywhere. If she had read the whole Ramayana in its original form ( even translated in a language which she understands ?? ) she would not be able to grasp the true reality of what it says and what moral values it lays down which are always better than anything else which she might know.
Hinduism was much more evolved and knowledgeable when christanity had not even started . All religions are same and that is what Hinduism teaches us . If anyone thinks that this religion or that religion is better that just shows what they really understand about their own religion because Christ would never say I prefer Christanity because there is only one God then how can you define your preference.

1-0 out of 5 stars Strange values
I am astonished at the response of the reader from Houston about the book's moral qualities. Basically, the story is about a man (Rama) whose wife (Sita) is kidnapped by force and taken to another country. There she may, or may not, have been forcibly raped.
In response, Rama burns down the country to which Sita was abducted. Then, feeling that Sita has been defiled (by being, perhaps(!), raped) he kicks her out.
As a simple American, I don't understand these Hindu values. By being kidnapped, did the woman commit a crime? By (maybe!) being raped, did the woman commit a crime? And does an entire country deserve being burnt because its ruler kidnapped a woman? And these values are considered sacred by the Hindus?
Give me simple Christianity any time. ... Read more


153. ABOUT FACE
by Hackworth
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671684507
Catlog: Book (1989-04-01)
Publisher: Audioworks
Sales Rank: 469990
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Hero has entered Valhalla
The Good Colonel just passed on to the Big O Club in the Sky today. None the less he has left a great legacy in this book. To call it one hell of a story would be an understatement of the 1st degree. It is a classic story of a poor hard scrabble kid who goes out and finds himself a home in the US Army. Hack was really one of the lucky ones who found a place where he could really excel. I found myself actually feeling sorry for the Enemy and some of his idiotic Superior Commanders. He must of been a hand full is all that I can say.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam - a defining point of his life
[Sadly for all of us, Col David Hackworth died shortly after I wrote this review. Nothing about him or my review of his works needs revision. Hack - we will miss you!]

Say what you want about Hackworth - you can't deny him his valor or experiences in the Army. "Hack" continues to thrive on controversy - one who is not afraid to stir the pot. This book was his first view on the public stage after his Vietnam exit from the Army.

As a young officer - I first read this book in the career stage of my commission - as a Major - and came away with mixed feelings about his views and attitudes. Hackworth's Vietnam experience - like that of John Kerry's, was a defining point of his life. Both came away from that service determined to change the way government uses the military. Kerry became an anti-military cynic; Hackworth lashed out at the systems' waste and stupidity - in an attempt to make the system better.

During war, Hack would be a leader one would wish to serve under. In peacetime - like so many other warriors - he'd be a disaster in the mind numbing training environment of a peacetime army. Like a fire extinguisher - keep under glass until an emergency demands his use.

The book is what it is. Many of his positions are factual and cannot be argued. When he drifts to politics - watch out! He has no friends in either political party.

Some favorite segments I carry with me from the book are paraphrased as follows ... 'after spending 2 trillion dollars to modernize the military, our boys went to war in Desert Storm [Iraq 1991] with duct tape covering air holes in the combat boots to keep the sand out' ...another ... 'while the rest of the world was using cell phones ... our military continued use of radio sets with lead acid batteries weighing over 25 pounds that didn't work as well' ...

If you have never served - and are thinking of signing up - maybe this will give you pause. If the world awaits you as a grand adventure - do what he did - and wear the uniform proudly for a majority of your adult life. At the least - Hackworth made me stop and think along the way. My latter years in uniform were constant battles against mind numbing stupidity and for care and protection of our countries' most valuable assets - the men and women who served under my leadership. I have learned much from this soldier. Buy and read the book. You will come away a changed person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Odyssey it is
This isn't a mere bio, it's a walk thru Dave Hackworth's life...minefields (physical and mental). He seemingly holds back nothing. Parts drag...post war duty in Germany...but that's Army life. It's not as on the edge as his recollections of combat, but that's the way it was.
His writings on Korea alone make this a must read.
But it keeps going, giving you his evolving perspective on what was and wasn't happening in Vietnam. He calls a spade a spade.
There is a little overlap (not much), but I would read this first, then Steel My Soldier's Hearts. Then, look at his webpage and Soldiers for the Truth. He's squarely on the side of the dogface soldier for whom few speak for fear of their career. If I could chose the man to lead my Sons into war, it would be Hack.

5-0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH THE READ - WARTS AND ALL
I really hate military autobiographies.That being said, I must say I enjoyed this one.Col. Hackworths career is fastinating. Being a career military person myself, I could certainly relate to much he said.On the other hand, he was rather heavy handed with his ego thing.I doubt if he and I could ever be "buds" but we would, admittedly, be in better shape had we had more officers like him over the past 40 years.The writing is clear, enjoyable and informative.We get a very good historical overview of semi-recent military history and some wonderful "war stories" thrown in.All in all I have to recommend this one (I must admit to have read it twice).A very interesting life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Try .
I've learned more about winning thinking and leadership in this book than I have from officers in the past eleven years of navy service. Shame these things are not practiced and taught as widely as they used to be. ... Read more


154. Bound By Honor
by Bill Bonanno
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671045644
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 557552
Average Customer Review: 3.21 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Bill Bonanno was born into a world of respect, tradition, and honor. The son of legendary mafioso Joe Bonanno, Bill was a "made" member of the mafia by the time he was in his early twenties. He was rumored to be the model for The Godfather's Michael Corleone, and was the subject of Gay Talese's bestselling Honor Thy Father.

Now retired, Bill is finally ready to bear witness to his life as a high-ranking captain in the Bonanno crime family, one of America's most powerful mafia syndicates. He takes you inside the mob at its peak, when New York's Five Families -- the Bonanno, Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese, and Genovese -- not only dominated local businesses, but also controlled national politics.

From the truth about the mysterious disappearance of his father, to a startling disclosure about the mob's participation in the Kennedy assassination, Bill Bonanno lays bare the inner workings to his chaotic, violent, and surprisingly human world with unparalleled detail and insight.

Bound By Honor not only recounts Bill Bonanno's tumultuous life, but also is an engrossing chronicle of organized crime. His story provides a remarkable glimpse into all of the intriguing personalities of the underworld of yesterday and today, from Bugsy Siegal to John Gotti.

A fascinating audiobook, Bound By Honor is a must-listen for fans of Mario Puzo, Gay Talese, Nicholas Pileggi and others who have recorded the mafia -- but have never been at the eye of the storm in quite the same way as Bill Bonanno. ... Read more

Reviews (42)

2-0 out of 5 stars Legend of his own mind
The book as such is an easy read and has some amusing stories, it is, however, filled with appearent contradictions and self promoting spins on most of the events.
The writer is clearly unable to put is own life into perspective and believes he has done no wrong........but that the government is at fault for hunting down organised crime, mostly himself and his father (who is depicted as the role model mobster).
The book is worth reading if the subject itself is of interest to you. For most readers it will become clear that the writer is a complete and total loser.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss the Point
This book isn't about crime; it's about a broken heart. Like Michael Corleone, what Bonanno did to preserve his family destroyed it; like Corleone, once he got involved, he couldn't get out. This explains his fatalistic feeling that his role in life was preordained at birth.

Contrary to other reviews here, Bonanno DOES give new details, like why Bugsy Seigal was killed and who the second shooter was in Dallas. His explanation of who killed the Kennedys and why is worth the price of the book. He shouldn't be expected to give details about his own capers, not only because this would be self-incriminating, but because he was a strategist, not a soldier or capo. He's a policy wonk of crime.

He says the U.S. Government is the biggest mob around. If true, this not only justifies why Sicilians are as they are, but burdens the rest of us with a warning. Even if false, it indavertently supports his point that "the life" came to an end when those practicing it entered into a war of attrition with a foe more capable of maintaining it. Maybe greed wasn't to blame; maybe it was hubris.

Even if the book is self-serving or written for profit, that it exists is omerta's epitaph. It demonstrates that action for its own sake can be as addictive as heroin and harder to shake. It restates a great truth--that whatever is taken by force must be maintained by force, and force feeds on force. It also proves that two cultures can't exist in the same place at the same time; one absorbs the other or eliminates it. A war between the Mafia and America could end in only one way. Bonanno says that his father knew this; I believe him.

3-0 out of 5 stars Propaganda??
I found this book an enjoyable read, but having finished it I now have my doubts about all of the name dropping. Why would a "man of honor" suddenly be divulging the twenieth century's most guarded secrets, and why wasn't there a huge media outcry about these revelations at the time of publication. (if there was I don't remember it)

... Sammy the Bull however states that the Bonanno's seat at the "Commission" was revoked due to heroin trafficking.

Makes you wonder if these tell-alls are just ploys to protect their own interests.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bound by Honor, A Mafioso's Story
I've read a few "Mafia" books in my time and this one beats them all for best fiction. "Our tradition" and "honor". These words pop in the story about a thousand times. This guy thinks he came out of a fairy tale with the holy grail tucked under his belt.

The way Billy Boy describes his traditional father as an angel of peace just doesn't stick. As one of the five Dons leading New York's underworld, Bonanno Senior was not the caretaker of some sacred tradition but a Machiavellan player who could rival with the likes of the Borgias. What? You think La Cosa Nostra was built on some divine attribute. You're wrong - it was built on greed.

In French we have an expression, "Jamais deux sans trois", which translates as, "Never two without three". This book is the third attempt by those zany Bonannos to sanitize their traditional family history. See "Honor thy Father" and "A Man of Honor" for the other two miscarried attempts. Oh! I almost forgot. His wife Rosalie wrote "Mafia Marriage", an essay into a not so traditional relationship. Good advice for all those dysfunctional couples out there.

In "Bound by Honor", we are once again brought to believe the Joe Bonanno, a man of tradition, was kidnapped in 1964 by his not so honorable cousin, Steve Maggadino. Actually, Joe Bananas faked his own kidnapping to escape the Feds and his mob "friends". Another ludicrous idea is that Joe Senior was never into heroin. It just wasn't part of his tradition. Oh come on Bill. You're telling us your daddy was heartbroken when he learned that Carmine Galante was indicted for dealing in smack in 1959. Read "The Canadian Connection" by Jean-Pierre Charbonneau to get the true story. Bonanno was probably the biggest heroin dealer in the fifties and sixties. That's what the Mafia power struggle in that period was all about - control of New York City's heroin market. (Bill, that honorable kind of guy, simply is trying to whitewash all the white powder resting on his father's conscience and the thousands of lives that were destroyed by his activities.)

If you're interested in conspiracy, Bill also solves that great riddle wrapped in an enigma - "The Kennedy Assassination". In the Tale of the Two Joes, Bill compares his father with Joe Kennedy and yes you've guessed it, he compares himself with Jack Kennedy. Somehow we are also led to believe that Joe Bananas was the puppetmaster behind Kennedy's 1960 election. It goes on and on... I also forgot to mention that Bill believes he is the real life model behind the character of Micheal Corleone with the clout to call Commission meetings. Yeah, right.

I got to give it to you Bill. You really turned out to be one fine "con artist".

Too bad Junior can't come up with the truth his almost century-old father could give that would make Joe Valachi's account sound like a bedtime story. Then we'd really have a read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Please don't heed the ignorant
Having just this second finished the book, i jumped onto the internet for more information. I then found these reviews by the ignorant and felt I should put my own two penneth in. In 1974, during my 4 year investigation into the Kennedy assasination, I was fortunate enough to meet and interview Johnny Roselli, who answered without hesitation every possible question I could think of. After my intensive studies, he confirmed everything I was in sure of and left me in do doubt as to the assasins, and plot. Another reviewer complained about the disrespect given to the Americanized Family leaders. I have only just got off the floor, from laughter. America, as we all know is the worst, most arrogant and greedy, country in the world. The Americanized leaders took away their own respect by destroying a perfectly working community handed to them on a silver spoon. They once again used their own selfishness, abusing all they could in their attempts to make push and bully themselves to the top (hello John Gotti!). The Sicillian traditions were what made the Mafia work so well, and whilst they might not have been as honourable as they like to believe, they looked after each other and co-operated for group gains. Bonanno's book is quite beautifully written at times, and paced well to keep readers interested. The people who disliked this book, were really looking for something more gory, I believe. If you're this somewhat typical American then stick to your TV movies and your all you can eat $4 fat-fests. If, however you wish to read an interesting account of inter-Family relationships, mafioso spirit, and something much closer to the truth behind conspiritary American governments then read this book. ... Read more


155. The Path Between the Seas : The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
by David McCullough
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743530179
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 122277
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. McCullough expertly weaves the many strands of this momentous event into a captivating tale.

Like his masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography John Adams, David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This audiobook is a must-listen for anyone interested in American history, international intrigue, and human drama. ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting story!
It takes a good author to make a subject like this interesting. McCullough accomplished it!

The story behind the Canal is so much more than just the physical construction involved. The years of the French construction involved a lot of corruption and scandal that I'd never heard about!

Then, after about two decades, American takes over, and within a few years the canal is open for traffic. The successful fight against the deadly mosquito was one of the turing points.

McCullough talks a lot about some of the politics involved, in both the French and the American stages. The story behind the Panamanian revolution was quite interesting. . . the US more or less "stole" Panama from Columbia, I guess you could say.

Definitely a good book, and worth your time to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Covers the key players
After our vacation to the Galapagos this past Spring I mentioned it would be neat to take the next trip along the coast of Costa Rica and Panama with a trip through the canal. My girlfriend bought me the book so that we could go sooner rather than later.

It's tough reading a book about a canal. McCullough has built a reputation on writing giant books about fairly small subjects (Truman). He does a lot of research, then pieces it all together and inserts at least a little creativity (you get lines like "in this picture you can tell that he commands the entire room while his companion looks weary and beaten down"). Sometimes that gets annoying but for the most part I guess it keeps things moving along.

This isn't so much a book of construction and achievement as it is of political intrigue (I'm an engineer and would have liked more of the construction and achievement). With today's Worldcom and Enron failures it is interesting to read a story about the (privately financed) French effort to build a canal that caused all of its stockholders (one of the most widely owned stocks of its day) to lose everything and its bondholders to get back 10 cents on the dollar. All the while the man running things was saying how great things were and hiding the truth that what he was trying to do was nearly impossible (he wanted a canal built at sea level).

The failed French effort is nearly half the book. The rest is about the successful american effort, but even that is mostly about all the political manuevering and influence peddling that caused the canal to be picked up again. After that you get a portrayal of the leading people who were responsible for construction of the canal.

Anyway, if any of that sound interesting, you might give the book a try. It was written in 1977 as Jimmy Carter was giving the canal back to Panama, but I don't know if there's much to tell or much more that has come to light since.

It's a very heavy read, but if you have an interest in the subject it is pretty rewarding.

4-0 out of 5 stars An incredible feat!
This book was a pleasure to read! Building the Panama Canal today would be a monumental undertaking, even with all of our modern technology. Building it almost a century ago was truly an incredible triumph, not only of engineering, but of political will and human spirit! McCullough weaves all these aspects together in this wonderful history. The story of the first French efforts to build the canal and how America came to acquire the land and pick up the failed French effort is a fascinating tale. This story is interwoven with the story of the perseverance of the men who actually built the canal through dense, blisteringly hot jungle, overcoming weather, terrain, and the everpresent fear of tropical diseases.

5-0 out of 5 stars save up $1000 before you read this book....
... because you will be inspired to visit Panama to see the Canal. Fortunately tourism in the Canal Zone has become much easier ever since the US withdrew from the country. Many of the exclusive areas formerly reserved for Canal personnel are now open as hotels, restaurants, and for general tourism. McCullough writes about the flood of tourism that attended the Canal's construction and opening. He is probably responsible for quite a bit of the modern Canal tourism!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Canal the Changed the World
The Path Between the Seas explains just about everything one could ever possibly want to know about the Panama Canal. You start off by reading about why the canal was needed and learn about the pioneers of the building of the canal. You then read about the French Era which is filled with scandal, lies, and a start to the canal. Then you read about the American Era. The America era is alot more interesting than the French. The American era starts with "TR" becoming president. The Americans start a Revolution in Panama fight off the misquitos and successfully build a canal in Panama.Thourghout the book you learn about the backround of the men who built the canal and about the life and times not just in Panama but in France and the United States. This is a must read by the award winning David McCullough that anyone interested in engineering, history or just learning new things should read. ... Read more


156. American Government and Politics Today, 2001-2002 Edition (Revised, Non-InfoTrac Version with CD-ROM)
by Steffen Schmidt
list price: $92.95
our price: $92.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534571530
Catlog: Book (2001-05-31)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 290070
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

This thoroughly updated edition of Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes' popular text offers balanced, unbiased, comprehensive, and up-to-date coverage of constitutional, governmental, political, social, and economic structures and processes. The book's overriding theme is the importance of informed active citizenship, and the extensive pedagogy underscores this theme by soliciting critical thinking about political issues and encouraging students to become involved in the political process. With keen awareness of its audience, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY incorporates current examples, the Internet, and other media to stimulate learning and excitement about American government. This truly interactive text gives students more than reading material; it gives them tools to become good citizens. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS BUY
I have looked at several government textbooks, and this is by far one of the very best I have seen! Definitely a great buy!! ... Read more


157. The Power of Positive Thinking
by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
list price: $29.00
our price: $19.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671799037
Catlog: Book (1993-02-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 334237
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Translated into fifteen languages with more than 7 million copies sold, The Power of Positive Thinking is unparalleled in its extraordinary capacity for restoring the faltering faith of millions.In this insightful program, Dr. Peale offers the essence of his profound method for mastering the problems of everyday living.You will learn:How to eliminate that most devastating handicap---self doubt How to free yourself from worry, stress and resentment How to climb above problems to visualize solutions and then attain them Simple prayerful exercises that you can do every day, through-out the day, to reinforce your new-found habit of happinessEliminating all the negative thoughts that prevent you from achieving happiness and success, The Power of Positive Thinking is an inspiring program that will help you create a positive change in your life. ... Read more

Reviews (96)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Practical Benefits of Belief..
are what you will find in the pages of this book. One afternoon when I was cleaning out my storeroom, I came across a copy of "The Power Of Positive Thinking" in paperback. The edition was from 1956 and had been my father's. I opened the old, yellowed, dog-eared copy and began reading and found that Peale had taken the concepts of an earlier work by Dale Carnegie and elaborated on them with a spiritual twist.

This book can be life-changing, period. If you read it with an open mind and heart and follow the simple and very practical exercises in its pages, you will be changed forever in a very special way. It has stood the test of time and critics, both from the "anything goes, new age" people who say it is too conservative to the "Bible-pounding fundamentalists" who decry its message as heretical. Peale shows us a God who loves us, who is more than ready to give us "every good thing." Yet, if you are not religious in the conventional sense, you will find a new way of thought that will bring peace and harmony to your life through your greatest gift: the power of your mind.

More than just a book, it is a guide to living your life with a maximum of joy. I thank Dr. Peale for his wonderful gift to all of us, "The Power Of Positive Thinking." (P.S. If you find this book a little too heavy in religious emphasis, try reading Dale Carnegie's "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" which does a great job in a more expanded fashion and is full of examples and practical steps).

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY motivating FANTASTIC book!
This book will change your life! You will never go through any situation the same way again! Your thinking will change, your actions will change and all for the better! This book contains the solution to every problem there is and ever will be. If you are seeking to build your faith to overcome obstacles in your life this book will do it. This book reminds me of the fact that anything is possible with God! I almost didn't buy this book because of some comments I'd read on certain Christian websites about the author. But I had the condensed version at home and loved it, so after reading all 45 reviews on this book with 99.9% of them being in favor of the book I went ahead and bought it and I'm VERY glad I did! I am over halfway through with this book and I count it 2nd in importance only to the Bible! Do yourself a favor that will last a lifetime and buy this book NOW!

4-0 out of 5 stars "Nothing on earth is greater..."
"than the human mind in potential power." NVP

A Peale classic!!! Another spring cleaning survivor! My copy has been rained on etc. but not ruined! I'm not throwing this one out.

I first read this many, many moons ago in college. My father had passed away during that time and I was unsure I would be able to complete my studies. My mind was flooded with so many worries. My sister gave me this book to read and whenever I would regress to my woe is me mode of thinking, she would snap, "Go read your positive thinking book."!

I've since read other Norman Vincent Peale books and they're all written on the same lines. I would classify them as self-help books but upon a christian foundation; Norman Vincent Peale was a protestant pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. The power of positive thinking was published in 1952.

My only criticism, and the reason NVP fell from a 5 star grace to 4 is that his ideas fit too much into the traditional American idea of working your way to success and not into the biblical one. The goal of the christian is to become more christ-like in character, not to become a financial success in the American marketplace. But surely there are some people who are genuine christians and are successful that way. But the main thing is the inner character which should reflect Christ's.

The sixth chapter on "fuming and fretting" contains my personal favorite verse to meditate on when my mental balance is being tipped: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee"-Isaiah 26:3. Obviously, I accepted and applied Norman Vincent Peale's practical advice to meditate on and repeat that verse as an antidote to such a mental state. It works for me but might not work for others, if you do not fully comprehend what that 'Thee' (God) is all about. If you don't know who the biblical God is, grab a Bible and read! It's the only book I've read ten times from cover to cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful...A Classic!!
This book helps one at home and at work!

There are always two ways of seeing a situation, any given situation. Peale puts it in simple language and does not try to loose the reader in psycho-babble.

GREAT BOOK~~

4-0 out of 5 stars the power of praying
This book learns you techniques for positive thinking, based on belief in God and the techniques of praying. The main message that this book wants to bring to you is that if you want to improve your life, visualize what you want and pray for it.
I know a lot of people who found extra power in this book to fight against the misfortunes of life. If you belief in God and want to explore how praying can improve your life, I can strongly advice this book. But this is where the book stops. A better title for this book would be "the power of praying", or "the power of believe". The word thinking in the title is confusing, thinking is more then praying and believing.

Personally I agree with the fact that the way you think, can influence your life a lot, but it is also important to learn how you should think. Especially, you should learn to take the responsabilities for what you think and how it influences how you feel. This book fails on learning you these consequences of your thinking. And this is essential in order to take the correct actions to improve your life. I certainly agree that belief in God (and pray to God) can help, but you definetely need some additional techniques, not found in this book. Books doing and excellent job here are the following books : "The Resilience Factor: 7 Essential Skills for Overcoming Life's Inevitable Obstacles" by Andrew Shatte, Karen Reivich and
"Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer. Remark that these books present techniques independent of your belief in God. I would strongly advice these books. If you are a believer in God, you can buy "The power of Positive thinking" in addition to the books I just mentioned.

I wish everybody a lot of success in the exciting and never ending process of improving your life. ... Read more


158. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739313991
Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 14688
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

159. The Gifts of the Jews : How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
by Thomas Cahill
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671576860
Catlog: Book (1998-04)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 41491
Average Customer Review: 3.37 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The author of the runaway bestseller How the Irish Saved Civilization has done it again. In The Gifts of the Jews Thomas Cahill takes us on another enchanting journey into history, once again recreating a time when the actions of a small band of people had repercussions that are still felt today.

The Gifts of the Jews reveals the critical change that made western civilization possible. Within the matrix of ancient religions and philosophies, life was seen as part of an endless cycle of birth and death; time was like a wheel, spinning ceaselessly. Yet somehow, the ancient Jews began to see time differently. For them, time had a beginning and an end; it was a narrative, whose triumphant conclusion would come in the future. From this insight came a new conception of men and women as individuals with unique destinies--a conception that would inform the Declaration of Independence--and our hopeful belief in progress and the sense that tomorrow can be better than today. As Thomas Cahill narrates this momentous shift, he also explains the real significance of such Biblical figures as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Pharaoh, Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

Full of compelling stories, insights and humor, The Gifts of the Jews is an irresistible exploration of history as fascinating and fun as How the Irish Saved Civilization. ... Read more

Reviews (113)

2-0 out of 5 stars Biblical Studies Lite: Half the calories, Less filling
It is very obvious upon reading that this is the work of a well-informed amateur and not the work of a professional scholar. For a much more respectable and intellectually stimulating take on the Western migration from pantheism to monotheism, read Karen Armstrong's "History of God". Unlike Armstrong, Cahill resorts to glittering generalities and obtuse simplicities. There is also a disturbing lack of footnotes in most sections. Furthermore, the central hypothesis of "Gift of the Jews", that the Jews invented individuality and historic time, is too over-arching to be taken at face value. What makes this worse is that Cahill's analysis of other, non-Western, cultures is incredibly cursory. Cahill sets up an underfed strawman in the form of the "cyclical worldview", only to lamely knock it down with the Western-centric feather of processivism. Finally, too much of "Gift of the Jews" is dedicated to a paraphrasing of the events of the Torah; there is very little analysis interspersed between the "Movie of the Week" plot summaries. This book feels rushed and half-done, as if the author were behind on a deadline and needed to put in lots of filler material. On the bright side, it is easy to read, simplistic, and approachable. It is also very sensitive to those of Faith. As such, I can really only recommend this work to those who have never read a tome of religious study before and need something that is inoffensive, easy to swallow, mildly informative, and full of lots spiritual good feelings. For a meatier, more challenging, and, ultimately, more satisfying read, see Armstrong's "History of God".

5-0 out of 5 stars well-written, enjoyable read, even if you disagree...
PERSPECTIVE: theologically interested reader, unfamiliar with Cahill's work

The Gifts of the Jews is a wonderfully written exploration of the pivotal role the Jewish people have played in the shaping of our modern perceptions and life, irregardless of faith. Cahill brings extensive theological and historical training to bear, and goes to great lengths, including travelling the world, to do research for his chosen topic. His thesis, as he calls it, is that the Jewish people were the first to break out of the "cyclic boredom" of ancient world views. Through their culture, beliefs, and history, they have given the entire modern world crucial "gifts" of individuality, prospective thinking, freedom, justice, and many more. To illustrate this, he uses a wide variety of historical documents, texts, and commentaries, including several translations of the Hebrew Bible, and weaves them together with a style that is remarkably eloquent, delightfully funny, and impressively accessible.

Whatever your religious or political beliefs, this thought- (and spirit-, if you are so inclined) provoking novel worth a read. Although it is, at its heart, an academic treatise, and as such is eminently open for debate, as exemplified by the many editorial discussions - with much heated agreement and dissention - it is important to note that it is easily enjoyable on a different level.

FINAL WORD: Read this book! Buy it, check it out from the library, or buy it and donate it to your local library.

1-0 out of 5 stars Cahill: Exaggertation and distortion, not elucidation
I found this book to be an insult to one's intelligence, completely undeserving of the book jacket claim to having been written with the "rigor of a scholar." Had I, as a freshman at Wellesley College, attempted to make vast and unsubstantiated claims such as Cahill makes on nearly every page of this book, I would have flunked every course I took. The Jews were the only ones to value education and records of geneology? These claims are offensive to put it mildly. The Jews changed the way everybody thinks and feels? Where are Cahill's sources? Where is his bibliography? We get a note in the back that Cahill had permission to excerpt from a song by Bob Dylan, but no reference to books about ancient Sumeria or the cultures he dismisses so breezily. What about China, with the greatly advanced civilization they developed? What about every explorer from the time of the cave man who ventured out and away from his or her immediate tribal group? During the same week that I was reading Cahill, PBS rebroadcast a remarkable and thoroughly researched scientific program about "The Journey of Man" and the earliest journeys taken from Africa which eventually peopled the world with homo sapiens. What a difference between the approach of this brilliant and convincing presentation of the genetic history of mankind and that of Cahill and his foolish oversimplifications.
Cahill, do you ever look beyond your own convenient theory which you want to turn into a best-selling book which panders to a certain audience? Count me out. If this work is "scholarly" and you are depicted as having the skills of a "gifted teacher" then I fear for the present generation and its ability to look at and think deeply about history or any other subject. This book is to good scholarship as MacDonald's is to nutritious food.

4-0 out of 5 stars Their History Is Our History
Thomas Cahill's "The Gifts of the Jews" provides an insight into a thousands-year-old civilization that has markedly shaped modern-day Western society. The thought that thousands of years ago a small clan of believers in a mere Voice could have affected the West to the extent that it did is extraordinary.

The Jews separated themselves from their contemporary civilizations such as the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Sumerians in their concept of time: the latter three did not really grasp the idea of time, believing that life was cyclical in nature, while the Jews believed time was linear and that the future was dependent on actions of the present.

The Jews also emphasized the importance of the individual. Other civilizations believed that only the gods could accomplish great feats, emphasizing deference to the gods and a devalued belief in individualism. Jews, while they revered their God (not gods), believed in the inherent worth of each and every human being inasmuch as each is said to have been created in the image of God. Thus Jews believed that every human being should be treated with dignity and that the rich and well-off had an obligation to assist the poor and marginalized. This view of universal equality among humans can be found in our legal system, where the ideal exists that all men are created equal and that no one is above the law.

Regarding law, the foundations of our legal system also trace back to the Jews and the Ten Commandments; although many laws come straight from Rome and Greece, the idea that one should not steal, kill another, or commit adultery came from Mt. Sinai.

Cahill writes about the lives of three famous Hebrews: Abraham (Avram), Moses (Moshe), and David. The personalities of each are quite different (Avram a well-to-do Sumerian who was ready for whatever he encountered, Moshe a humble mediator between God and His people, and David a blithe, likeable politician), yet all of them never lose faith in God, regardless of the misfortunes they are faced with.

Although the Jews saw time as linear, there is indeed a cyclical nature found in their relationship with God. Throughout their history there have been periods where they have deeply placed faith in God and subsequent periods where they have lost faith in God. Such an ebb and flow is an exemplary allegory to life: everyone goes through highs and lows, but one can always be certain of one thing, and this thought comes straight from the Jews: tomorrow the sun will rise.

3-0 out of 5 stars exaggerated
How a tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels." This is the subtitle to Thomas Cahill's book The Gift of the Jews. Cahill, like some others, exaggerates the endurance of a single idea impacting history. In his book he makes much of the commandment "Thou shalt not commit murder." It was not an idea that originated with the Jews. If there had been no Judaism, murder would still be proscribed in a lot of societies, because it is considered right for the sake of order and liberty.

Judaism was a way of looking at the world that differed from the view of the world of the ancient Greeks, but now we have a new book by Cahill claiming the importance of the Greeks in influencing the world. The Greek manner of viewing the world and the Judaic manner were contradictory -- until many Jews began being influenced by Hellenism after Alexander the Great and before the Maccabaean revolt.

Cahill has a book out entitled How the Irish Saved the World -- which I am told includes a fictitious account of Ireland in fifth century. If Ireland had sunk into the sea in the fourth century, the world probably would have managed as well as it has without it. ... Read more


160. Is Paris Burning?
by Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
list price: $76.95
our price: $76.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786107405
Catlog: Book (1994-08-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 909451
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A journey back in time
This excellent book not only describes the events that happened in Paris during her liberation in 1945, it also describes the emotions felt by the different people living those events. Few books have made me feel a bizarre mixture of feelings like this one did. From one page to the next I found myself feeling happy, angry, surprised, sad, worried (yes, worried... even though I'm able to see every day that the city was not destroyed). This book has given me new eyes to see my own city. Paris is full of little plates with the dates and the names of the persons who died for her liberation. I didn't use to pay attention to these things. Today, I look at them with new interest and gratitude. There's only one little detail I would criticize about the book: its continuous repetition about Paris being the most beautiful city in the world. Even though I agree with the authors about this fact, I think their use of this remark was a little exaggerated and sometimes you loose the real context with so many repetitions. But well, no book is perfect and at the end, this is a very negligible thing compared to the interesting stories the authors share with the reader. They did a marvelous job researching the existing documents and interviewing the different intervening persons. I can't imagine the enormous amount of work this represented....

5-0 out of 5 stars Is Paris Burning?
Puts flesh on the bones of a remarkable group, including Generals Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower and Von Coltitz, writers Hemingway and Sartre, and political figures Roosevelt, Hitler and DeGaulle. Numerous anecdotes from the occupation and liberation brings history to life. Tales of moonlit parachute drops, secret codes and Molotov cocktails remain with the reader, long after the book is completed. Like the last Metro train before curfew for Parisians under Nazi rule, this book is not be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Exciting As A Novel!
No novel could have been more exciting than this detailed story of the birth of Isreal and the early struggles. This book is written with all the suspense and excitement of a novel but what sets it aside is that it is all factual.

One of my favorite books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brent Paris?
This was the question asked by Hitler of his generals after giving the order to raze Paris to the ground as the German army departed. Collin's novelistic narrative is one of the classic World War 2 books to come out of the fifties and sixties, and is a perfect companion to Cornelius Ryan's works such as "Bridge Too Far" and "Longest Day." (Too bad the movie didn't match these.) The many players include resistance leaders, Gaullist soldiers, German generals, French collaborators and ordinary folk, as well as the odd Swedish diplomat. De Gaulle's parade down the Champs Elysees is the emotional highlight of the story but there are also gripping descriptions of activity along the barricades.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read on your trip to Paris
Airplanes are boxes that can transport us to places of wonder. Books can also transport us to these same places but not necessarily in the same time frame. This book allows you to imagine the Paris that could have been against the one you actually arrive in. It is as invaluable as a guidebook and will not go out of date. ... Read more


141-160 of 200     Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Next 20
Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

Top