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    2. Deliver Us From Evil : Defeating
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    3. Against All Enemies : Inside America's
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    20. Twice Adopted

    by Edward Herrman, Bob Woodward
    list price: $15.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671749544
    Catlog: Book (1991-07-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 630435
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It is impossible to examine any part of the war on terrorism in the twenty-first century without seeing the hand of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell or one of their loyalists. The Commanders, an account of the use of the military in the first Bush administration, is in many respects their story -- the intimate account of the tensions, disagreements and debates on the road to war. ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Typical Woodward
    Woodward's books are all the same. They are detailed, well researched and incredibly readable. Each one a treat. The most amusing aspect of them, (considering that he is co-author of the book that brought down Nixon) is the reverence with which he treats the establishment figures. Doubtless this is because they are his sources. If one keeps this bias in mind and reads between the lines a bit, you can generally get a good idea of who's who and what's what. This particular book is an examination of the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and The Gulf War. The insight into the military command structure and the perspectives of the men in the chain of command is excellent. It could also be viewed as a love letter to Colin Powell, doubtless it helped to establish the Generals reputation as a 'great man'. Riveting and gripping, I recommend the book highly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very insightful
    I found this book well worth the read. I quite honestly had forgotten many of the events surrounding the invasion of Panama and the Gulf War. This book brought it all back into perspective. Woodward's research and ability to tell the whole story gives you a "fly on the wall" status. He tries not to make any judgements either on the events themselves or the players involved. Woodward succeeds in laying it all out there for you.

    I will admit Woodward does seem to have a bias toward Powell, but not enough so that you think he is forcing him on you. He doesn't paint an overly rosy picture of Bush, often leaving you wondering about Bush's decision-making skills or intentions. This may only be because he was not able to personally use Bush as a source.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I rate this very highly.
    I enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about what is right and what is wrong with the American political-military machine. It shocked me how much infighting went on, but at least the persons involved USUALLY put aside their egos for the sake of the common cause. I don't know how the author got all the fly-on-the-wall dialogue and facts, but it all seems credible and the author's record for reliability is pretty high, isn't it. This is an exceptional book and I will in time read it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Accessible Non-Fiction
    I am an 11th grade history student who is very intellectual but has one problem- I cannot read nonfiction. However, when I read this book by Woodward for a class assignment, I found the book so readable that I was enthralled and even enjoyed reading through the engrossing decision-making and conversations. What's more, a reader feels like they get the real facts from the book and see the real reasons that decision makers act in certain ways; it is hardly a random action- these men take their jobs seriously and do it well. Cynicism I may have felt towards government has become more controlled and more muted after reading this book. I recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best on the Topic
    I am a big fair of Woodward, so much so that I would even consider reading his shopping list. Overall this book gives the reader some very interesting stories about the military preparation and political decision making that led up to the Attack on Panama and the Gulf War. The book also gives you the details of the inner workings of the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I do not think there is a current writer / investigative reporter that has the ability to get the inside information Woodward always does, at time I wonder if he does not pay people to take tape recorders with them to meetings. He provides so much detail and very useful explanations of the process that you really feel that you are there. He always puts together a great book and he has done it here again. I also have the book by the 1st Bush "A World Transformed", and in the book he states that for the most part everything in this Woodward book is correct, I do not think you can get a better recommendation then that. You will defiantly enjoy this book. ... Read more

    2. Deliver Us From Evil : Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism
    by Sean Hannity
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $16.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 006072305X
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
    Publisher: HarperAudio/ReganBooks
    Sales Rank: 37708
    Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    As Americans face the ongoing war against terrorists and their state sponsors around the world, Sean Hannity reminds us we must also cope with the continuing scourge of accommodation and cowardice at home. With his trademark blend of passion and hard-hitting commentary, he urges Americans to recognize the dangers of putting our faith in toothless "multilateralism" when the times call for decisive action. He believes that only through strong defense of our freedoms, at home and around the world, can we preserve America's security and liberty in the dangerous twenty-first century.

    "Evil exists," Hannity believes. "It is real, and it means to harm us." Tracing a direct line from Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin through Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, he reminds us of the courage and moral clarity of our great leaders. And he reveals how the disgraceful history of appeasement has reached forward from the days of Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter to corrupt the unrepentant leftists of the modern Democratic Party -- from Howard Dean and John Kerry to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

    Hannity's first blockbuster book, the New York Times bestseller Let Freedom Ring, cemented his place as the freshest and most compelling conservative voice in the country. As host of the phenomenally successful Hannity & Colmes and The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity has won a wildly devoted fan base. Now he brings his plainspoken, take-no-prisoners style to the continuing War on Terror abroad -- and liberalism at home -- in Deliver Us from Evil.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1590)

    3-0 out of 5 stars An ACTUAL real review
    I don't even know why I'm writing this review. I've relied on Amazon for insightful music and movie reviews for years, but its obvious that book reviews here are nothing more than empty rants. I've read close to 400 "reviews" so far, and I'm still not convinced that ANY of you have actually read the book (I especially love all of you that detest Sean Hannity, yet supposedly bought the book anyway and are now angry that you wasted your money-- what turnip truck do you think I fell off of?).

    One-star reviews just because you hate him, Five-star reviews from the other side trying to help him out. Save your political opinions for yahoo group message boards for crying out loud! This space should be dedicated to reviewing a product.

    That said, I have mixed feelings about this book. I don't question Mr. Hannity's research or his passion for the subject matter. You may criticize his philosopies, but his quotes are well sourced and accurate. On the air, he isn't the most eloquent speaker, nor is he an efficient debator. And while I can't say he's an excellent writer, he does a pretty good job of laying his thoughts out on paper in an unmistakably clear and concise format. I would rather him stick to the basics of writing than try and fail horribly at the advanced concepts.

    Keep in mind that Mr. Hannity isn't setting himself up as the next Shakespeare. He's simply attempting to put his passionate beliefs into print. And while he is oversimplistic and even repetitive at times, his passion shines through loud and clear enough for the reader to see beyond his literary shortcomings.

    Also keep in mind that his purpose isn't to eloquently weave a complex political postulate. His point is simple, yet it is based on a polarizing principle- that absolute evil does exist, and America's cultural and physical future depends completely on our reaction to it. In his mind, this is a simple concept. His purpose therefore is to point out just how simple it is.

    Bottom line- Die-hard Hannity fans will applaud Hannity's nicely laid-out argument, but ultimately will not gain any more by reading it than they have by listening to his show. On the other hand, those that disagree with Hannity will cringe at his respectable research and instead focus on how much they hate him.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Loud and repetitive doesn't make it true.
    This book is much like Hannity in person: bellicose, shallow and full of "facts", that when you check them--aren't facts. Conservative political thought can be compelling and sensible, but Sean doesn't present anything here that either illuminates or educates. As I said, it is like his TV presence, rude, annoying and half true at best. Unless you just need a channel for your own life-pain and anger, and are willing to put your brain in nuetral while you read an angry man's nonsense, don't waste your money.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just more far right scare tatics
    This book is another book written for people who dont think for themselves. Just part of the republican propoganda machine to scare their constituants of the dreaded "liberals" It is really getting old. No wonder they cant stand Michael Moore, he blows them into the ground with facts they cant spin away.. At least when Bill Clinton lied while in office, nobody died. Too bad thats not true with "W".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Surprising and chilling - masterful summary of Politics 2004
    It would be easy to dismiss Sean Hannity as just another in a long line of long-winded, conservative pundits interested only in self-promotion. That's what I figured about his latest work. In fact, I only bothered to read this book because I'd nothing better to do while at the beach. It's a quick read - and much better, and more chilling, than I'd anticipated.

    Hannity devotes the first fifty pages to Nazi Germany. In one of the best, terse summaries of the Holocaust that I've ever read, he boils down the central failings of the left's inability to understand evil. When Neville Chamberlain returned from meeting with Hitler promising "Peace in our Time", it cemented the role of appeasement when dealing with despots. Tens of millions of needless deaths later, we can boil it down this way: appeasement -- when negotiating with evil -- is a precursor to mass murder.

    Moving on to the Cold War, Hannity points out the flaws of treating the Soviets as anything but evil. Estimates put the world-wide death toll of communism at around 95 million. That's 95 million people murdered through pogroms, death camps, and starvation.

    Yet the left, led by Jimmy Carter, was "in shock" when the Soviets rolled into Afghanistan. And, further, by failing to support the Shah of Iran (who, while a violator of human rights, was infinitely better for the Iranian people and stability of the region), paved the way for Saddam Hussein's war with Iran and the Middle East conflagrations in which we must engage today. Nicaragua, the gutting of the CIA, and other monumental gaffes were all due to a Carter administration that could not comprehend evil... and that it cannot be appeased.

    This, of course, led to the Reagan administration, whose intolerance for evil was famous. When Libya's agents murdered Americans in Berlin, Reagan pushed for an immediate response. The left, led by none other than John Kerry, equivocated. After Reagan bombed Qaddafi, Kerry wrote, "...there are numerous other actions that we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring ... pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists." Reagan's results stand. Qaddafi folded his hand, and because the current administration crushed the A.Q. Khan nuclear parts network, Libya has reentered the international community.

    Hannity then moves onto the UN and 'the fraud of multi-lateralism' (another tenet of the left). As a peacekeeper, the UN required five months to raise 3,000 troops for Rwanda. As the situation dissolved, it passed resolutions. It embargoed arms shipments. Meanwhile, 800,000 Rwandans were murdered and 2,000,000 became refugees... all while president Clinton, Albright, and General Wesley Clark hemmed and hawed. The UN is a beauracracy, torn by conflicting interests, corruption and ill-will towards the U.S. Hannity states, "...the Democrats will pound away with... politically motivated questions: Did we have to go to war? Should we have waited a little longer? Did the president shade the truth?... The American people should ask a different question: When it came to protecting American lives, and preserving freedom around the world, whom do you trust to get the job done?"

    The final section of the book describes the post 9/11 world and the threat of terrorism. Rare voices from the left join in to support the president's aggressive pursuit of evil: Koch, Cuomo, Miller. But they are the exceptions. The left has turned the pursuit of evil into a political game, when in reality the stakes could not be higher. Hannity closes with his perspective on the fallacy of the left's willingness to hedge every argument for political gain... and what the future holds, on a country-by-country basis. He closes, "...we cannot prevail tomorrow without courageous leadership today. Our leaders will choose how we meet the challenges of the future -- with strength and conviction, or with cowardice and accommodation."

    The only nitpicks I have relate to Hannity's tendency to associate religious beliefs (and, specifically, Judeo-Christian theology) with a "correct" sense of morality. My belief is that morality -- good and evil -- should not be tied to religion if we are to walk in lock-step with the true spirit of the American founders. We are not engaged in a religious war. We are locked in a war with evil incarnate: the other side believes that anyone who fails to think as they do deserves to die. It is high time for the left to recognize that we are dealing with evil. And history's lessons are quite clear. Appeasement means disaster, especially in this, the nuclear age.

    Which party do you trust to pursue evil to the ends of the earth?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism...
    Sean Hannity provides a succinct argument for why we cannot ignore the evils of our day and must be willing to confront terrorism. This is especially true for those of use who through a study of history are confounded with the lack of action the various "leaders" took prior to World War 2 that emboldened Hitler to move on to his murderous path. This book is an interesting read and is one worth passing on to those who suffer from Moore's Disease.

    M.H. ... Read more

    3. Against All Enemies : Inside America's War on Terror
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $16.38
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743536371
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-22)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 51435
    Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The real war on terror has happened largely behind closed doors, run by the White House, drawing on secret intelligence and operations around the world. There is no man who knows more about it than Richard Clarke, the former Counterterrorism Czar for both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the man who has led our efforts against al Qaeda and all other terrorist enemies for years, serving under seven presidents and in the White House for George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, until he resigned in March 2003. He has had a front-row seat at every major battle in this war, from the first World Trade Center bombing, to 9/11, to Afghanistan, to Iraq.

    Clarke knows the secret stories of Bill Clinton's great victories -- shutting down anti-U.S. terrorism sponsored by Iran and Iraq -- and his great frustrations -- failing to kill Usama Bin Laden despite many attempts. When President Bush took office, Clarke was ready to present him with a master plan to roll back and destroy al Qaeda -- yet the president did not grant a briefing for months. His aides had little interest in Usama Bin Laden, preferring to talk about Saddam Hussein at every turn. Clarke knows why we failed to shut down terrorist financing within our borders prior to 2001.

    After ignoring existing plans to attack al Qaeda when he first took office, George Bush made disastrous decisions when he finally did pay attention. Thanks to the determined, even conspiratorial views of Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Bush, we went after the wrong enemy.

    The charges Clarke levels against the current administration must be taken seriously by every American, Democrat or Republican. Our security depends upon it. ... Read more

    Reviews (457)

    4-0 out of 5 stars One man's opinion that isn't always non-bias.
    Suddenly, former intelligence analyst Richard Clarke who spent eight years on the White House National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism on the President's National Security Council finds himself in an unique position of pointing how both a Republican and Democrat administration has failed to protect the country. He witnessed how the Clinton administration and Bush administration really just felt as if nothing was really capable of penetrating the imaginative security of the USA borders. Each had other issues at hand and viewed Al-Qaeda as a bunch of rebel rousers that could only perform acts of terrorist in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein was a proven target and an easy sale to the national public. Bin Laden, at the time, was nothing more than a footnote from the mountains of Afghanistan with little threat against the USA other than bombing embassies in African nations.

    True to character, this book points out how Mr. Rumsfeld wanted nothing more than to launch an attack against Iraq on 12 Sept, 2001. This ideological agenda of his was hammered into the American public through Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney as they started out blasting the "Axis of Evil" accusations in the State of the Union speech in 2002. Their bases of such was Saddam's use of nerve gas against his own population years earlier which demonstrated his cold-heartedness, and thus, his ability to be in cahoots with Al Qaeda. Add a dose of noncompliance of UN resolutions and you had a sure terrorist on your hand. That logic was the selling point of preparing the war drums.

    The only thing that I really find hard to follow is how Mr. Clarke is able to provide us a simple, relatively inexpensive national security though means such as increasing the border patrol personnel and strengthening the infrastructure. If only fighting terrorist were so simple, the world would have conquered terrorism years ago. To indicate that the Bush administration has been overall unsuccessful in the fight against terrorism is not entirely true. All the foiled attempts that fade quickly from the spotlight are soon forgotten while 911 is constantly thrown in your face in the book.

    Overall, the book offers us a clear view that neither political party is truly committed to national security and use events for their own benefits. Much more than fighting terrorism, this books silently is yelling that we need to seriously reform our political parties. I recommend it as good reading, but remember that this is an opinionated document and shouldn't be taken as the gospel for everything it says.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a riveting narrative from an insider and hero
    Richard Clarke acted as an anti-terrorism operative under four US presidents, and here he offers a compelling and revealing narrative of one of the most important periods of our lifetime. The book begins with a fascinating chapter that covers the events of September 11th, 2001. Tellingly, Rice leaves Clarke in charge of post-WTC bombing operations, and she goes to the bunker with Mr. and Mrs. Cheney while Clarke and his colleagues stay in the Situation Room, working even as they believe that they will likely be killed in a further attack.

    The next chapters discuss events in the Middle East, the rise of terrorism and the American response to terrorist acts during the administrations of Reagan, Bush the elder, Clinton and Baby Bush.

    The book documents the distinct responses to terror threats by the Clinton and Bush administrations: Clinton issued an Executive Order in 1995 designed to go after terrorist funding and another in 1998 specifically to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda, tripled the FBI counterterrorism budget, pushed for Saudi cooperation in terrorist investigations, gave major speeches about the threat of terrorism, secured additional funding for counterterrorism, intervened in Bosnia to undermine efforts by bin Laden to establish a foothold in that country, bombed al Qaeda facilities, issued orders to have bin Laden killed, created the Counterterrorism Security Group, reinforced American embassies worldwide, held dozens of Principals meetings, foiled a number of Millennium plots, and asked for a Pol-Mil plan for al Qaeda, which included planning, goals, resources, timelines and responsibilities, and was later given to Condoleeza Rice in January 2001 though it was adopted by the administration until AFTER September 11th. By 1996, knowing that al Qaeda had a presence in over 50 countries, Clinton and his people "were preoccupied with it". Clarke states that "[Clinton] had seen earlier than anyone that terrorism would be the major new threat facing America, and therefore had greatly increased funding for counterterrorism and initiated homeland protection programs." In contrast, during a time of increasing alerts and chatter, George Bush went on vacation. Clarke resigned his post in frustration, and his replacement quit after a few months because the administration was still not going after al Qaeda but was instead concentrating on Iraq and was "using the War on Terror politically". More importantly, they have not been effective in making us safer since 9-11, have weakened our military capabilities, underfunded first responders, reduced civil rights, and squandered the opportunity to unite the American people and build international alliances. While firefighters dug through the rubble of WTC, Bush & Co. were already plotting to use the horrific event for their own political ends.

    Prince Bandar, in the news recently due to Bob Woddward's book, makes some interesting appearances here, as do Louis Freeh, George Tenet and many others. The FBI and the Pentagon come off especially badly here, but Clarke also gives a lot of credit to individuals who worked hard on this threat, including FBI agent John O'Neill, the counterterrorism expert who is the subject of Frontline's "The Man Who Knew", an excellent documentary about an agent obsessed with al Qaeda and bin Laden, who quit the FBI in frustration, went to work as head of security in the WTC and was killed on 9-11.

    What critics do not give credit for is that Clarke was a government employee who had built a solid 30-year career and who operated behind-the-scenes. He gave up his privacy and his livelihood, knowing full well that the Bush Slime Machine (aka Karl Rove) would try to destroy his character and his life, but he still came forward because he thought this information was so important. Furthermore, his contentions have been corroborated by other insiders. We all owe this man a debt of gratitude for his actions -- before, during and since 9-11.

    One thing I've not seen anyone mention is the incredible implication of the title. After dedicating the book to the murder victims of 9-11, Clarke uses the preface to discuss the Constitution. He states that the President, naturalized citizens, bureaucrats, and FBI and CIA agents all take an oath swearing to protect the Constitution "against all enemies". He says that this is our first mission, "not unnecessary wars to test personal theories or expiate personal guilt or revenge. We must also defend the Constitution against those who would use the terrorist threat to assault the liberties the Constitution enshrines . . . It is essential that we prevent further attacks and that we protect the Constitution . . . against all enemies." Wow. So Bush and Cheney and Ashcroft are some of those referred to in the title. And I couldn't agree more. What are we defending if we allow ideologues to change the essential nature of our way of life? if something is wrong, I want someone to step up and point it out, and if I were ever in trouble, I would want Richard Clarke beside me. He is a remarkably brave, competent and articulate individual, and a true hero.

    Incredible tale with many interesting revelations. Essential reading. Highest recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for an educated U.S. populace to save themselves
    Mr. Clarke writes, "One shudders to think what additional errors [Bush] will make in the next four years to strengthen . . . al Qaeda . . . ." p. 290. I learned a great deal by reading this book. America is less secure today by invading Iraq -- "an oil-rich Arab country that posed no threat to us . . . [and] deliver[ing] to al Queda the greatest recruitment propaganda imaginable and made it difficult for friendly Islamic governments to be seen working closely with us." p. 264. We've all been hood-winked by the Bush White house - a president I regrettably voted for. We've been diverted from eliminating al Queda by invading Iraq, we've ignored our vulnerabilities to terrorism at home, we should have been dealing with the ideological threat. We've stirred-up a hornet's nest in the Islamic world by stepping on that flimsey step ladder and batting the hell out of a nest of terrorists that did not exist in Iran. We owe a debt of gratitude to Richad Clarke and so many other people like John O'Neill, etc. This is a very engrossing book. Although there are a few writing hick-ups that I blame on poor editing, this is a book that as one reviewer said you should pass on to candidates in you community. I saw a little of the debate for Senator in Georgia and was absolutely mortified at the ignorance of the candidates -- my God, they can barely talk legibly. I'm a native Georgian, and I just wanted to cry while I screamed at the t.v. I turned it off for the sake of my high blood pressure. Asking questions, critically analyzing our politicians' decisionmaking is patriotic - I don't give a damn what Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and especially Ashcroft say. Ashcroft who lost an election to a dead man. John, pursue your songwriting career. At least then we can turn you off man. Nobody who merely carries a bar card ought to be Atty Gen. READ CLARKE'S BOOK for your sake and the sake of our children.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, well written and informative
    A well written account of this nation's war against terrorism though Richard Clarke's eyes. Richard's prose is clear, is good at explaining how things work in Washington and the White House and you will come away better informed. You may also, as I did, come away with a new appreciation for how Clinton handled terrorism.

    If you are a fan of President Bush then you will not like this book as it carefully explains the illogic of the war in Iraq in regards to terrorism and other issues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definite account of counterterrorism the last 20 years
    How many Ex-Bush Administration officials have to come out with sobering memoirs that show Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld for who they are before all Americans wake up? At the time of this writing, Kerry and Bush are still neck and neck at about 45% in the polls! WTH?

    The most enjoyable part of this book is when Clarke proves how good at counterterrorism Clinton was. All of you who have been brainwashed by Limbaugh and Hannity might not appreciate that part of the book. By the way, Clinton did everything he could to get Usama. The Sudanese were ready to hand Bin Laden over, but those who know anything about the Sudanese know they are genocidal terrorists. Therefore, we could not negotiate with them. So what did Clinton do? He tried to bomb Bin Laden's convoy. But Usama escaped. You may not remember that because the right-wing was trying to impeach Clinton because he wouldn't cooperate with their bullsh*t "Contact With America".

    The Bush portion shocked everybody for some reason. "What? You mean he's doing a horrible job fighting terrorism? But I thought.." The reality is Bush looked tough with all those strong phrases like "smoke 'em out" and "bring 'em on" the latter being rather flippant and possibly endangering our troops.

    The bottom line: put your political ideology -left or right- on the shelf and read a nonpartison account of our efforts - good and bad - to eliminate our greatest threat after the fall of Communism. ... Read more

    4. Cry, the Beloved Country
    by Alan Paton
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $49.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786104260
    Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
    Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 407863
    Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Cry, the Beloved Country is a beautifully told and profoundly compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set in the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s.The book is written with such keen empathy and understanding that to read it is to share fully in the gravity of the characters' situations. It both touches your heart deeply and inspires a renewed faith in the dignity of mankind. Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic tale, passionately African, timeless and universal, and beyond all, selfless. ... Read more

    Reviews (191)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good so many words
    This book has many beautiful themes tangled into its plot if you can dig through the many lengthy descriptions of the setting. While these descriptions are very wordy, the book would not be the same without them. They are tedious and repetitive, but Paton conveys the beauty of South Africa with the hardships and despair that the natives are facing.Paton does a wonderful job of showing exactly how Kumalo, the main character feels. From his characterizations, the reader understands his motives, thoughts and actions.
    The setup of the book was confusing because the first section starts in chronological order, then the second section starts in the middle of the plot. Also, there are no quotations which makes the book hard to follow.
    Overall, the novel celebrated two cultures reaching out to one another, and the bond between families especially father and son. For people who do not mind lavished detailed settings, I recommend this book highly because the themes taken out of it are unforgettable.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A gruelingly difficult read for such a good story.
    I have been trying to read this book for the last two months. Although the story itself is quite interesting, I am finding it very hard to follow Paton's writing style and that is discouraging. People keep telling me it is SUCH a good book (and I keep hearing people rave about it on "Oprah") so I'm forcing myself to finish it, but I feel like the ground-breaking steps that Paton took with this book have been set back by the difficult-to-read style of writing. He doesn't use quotation marks. Instead, he delineates a quote with a dash at the beginning and no ending mark... which makes it very hard to tell when someone stops speaking and the narration resumes. In addition, the South African dialect is difficult to follow (it reminded me of reading "The Color Purple" at times) although the appendix does help a little with some of the words. Those two things added together have equaled a disappointing experience for me with this book.

    I feel like it's such a shame because I can imagine many people get a few chapters into the book and put it down forever, missing out on a wonderful story and the first "real" look at South Africa for its time. My advice: get this one at your local library so if you have the same experience I have you won't have wasted your money.

    3-0 out of 5 stars White Man's Burden
    Alan Paton certainly had his heart in the right place but couldn't disguise his paternalistic feelings of the plight of the native South African, bringing down what was otherwise a good novel. While Paton recognized the vast injustices being committed in his nation, he failed to recognize the ability of the African to address these concerns. Instead, he created dramatic contrasts between the rural countryside and the City of Gold, Johannesburg, which drew these rural natives into its teeming midst, only to find pain and heartache. In this case it is a father looking for his son, Absalom, only to find that his son has killed a white man. The book resonates with Biblical allusions, taking on the form of a parable, but Paton did not explore the complexities of the situations he created too deeply. He used them more for effect. This is what is most disconcerting about the novel, as it seemed aimed more at a liberal white reader, forcing him to identify with one of his own in the victim he created in Arthur Jarvis.

    While Paton struggled admirably to get into the mind of Stephen Kumalo, the berieved father of the son who was an accomplice in the murder of Jarvis, Kumalo is forced to turn to a benevolent white lawyer to represent his son in court. This relationship reinforced Paton view that utimately it was the white man who would save the black man by attacking his own system of government. While this served as an indictment, of sorts, against the apartheid system, it had a hollow ring to it, not taking into account the vast number of protests and other forms of non-violent demonstrations Black, Coloured and Indian South Africans held in defiance of apartheid laws. Instead, Paton reduced apartheid South African to the most simplistic of terms, unable, it seemed, the understand, or at least come to terms with, the number of gradients in the system.

    Still, it is a moving novel, especially when Paton deals with what he understands most, the anguish of the conscientious white man in reconciling himself with a corrupt system of government. This is seen mostly through James Jarvis, whose son was murdered by Stephen Kumalo's son. One gets the sense that Paton put a lot of himself into Jarvis.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I do not reccommend
    I sloughed through this book with much difficulty - as an avid reader, I read the book not as much for the story it told, but for the way it was told. The novel was often repetitive - several passages were copied word for word (the first paragraph of Book One and the first paragraph of Book Two, for an example). Dialogue was repeated multiple times, and descriptions and phrases were reused. Paton's attempt at creativity with his use of dashes to begin dialogue was distracting at its best points. The base story of South Africa and Kumalo was engaging, but the story as it was written was difficult to process and dull. The only parts of the novel I actually enjoyed were Paton's passionate tangents in which he would leave his characters for a moment and discuss the actual problems and solutions.

    If this novel had been a movie I had rented, I would have turned it off within the first ten minutes and returned it to the store.

    5-0 out of 5 stars From despair to hope, a journey not to be missed.
    Have you ever set up dominoes on their end all in a line, then once they are all set up you touch the first one and it sets off a cascade effect knocking them all over one at a time? The beginning of the game is slow and tedious, but the cascade effect is worth it. Some classics are like setting up dominoes. They begin slowly, and the unfortunate reader will put the book down in disgust and never return to it. A more persistent reader is richly rewarded for their patience. Cry, The Beloved Country is that kind of a classic, others are Tale of Two Cities, Dickens and Jane Eyre, Bronte.

    The language is beautiful, I don't enjoy flowery descriptions of scenery, but in Cry the descriptions helped you feel as if you were there without being too lengthy. The characters are well developed, and some are people I would really love to know. However, because I did care about the characters, the story in the beginning, is just so sad that I almost fell into that catagory of unfortunate readers who quit reading early and miss out on the treasure. I'm grateful that I didn't.

    Inspite of the difficult beginning, this has become one of my favorite books. It carries you from despair to hope. It is a story about South Africa and its people, but it is also a story that has something for each of us.

    Cry, The Beloved County leaves you a better person when you put it down than when you started it. It is a journey not to be missed. ... Read more

    5. The White House Connection
    by Jack Higgins, Dick Hill
    list price: $35.95
    our price: $35.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1567404502
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
    Sales Rank: 741393
    Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Jack Higgins unites the team of The President's Daughter to go after a most curious assassin--but one with the power to bring down nations.

    For many years, Jack Higgins's "battalions of loyal fans" (People) have delighted in his "rip-roaring, satisfying stories" (AP), novels of honor and bravery and irresistible intrigue. "Readers get exactly what they hope for from Higgins," says Publishers Weekly, and never has that been truer than for his new thriller, The White House Connection.

    New York: Late at night, the rain pouring down, a well-dressed woman in her sixties stands in a doorway, a gun in her purse, waiting for a Senator to come home.
    Washington, D.C. : The phone rings on the desk of Blake Johnson, head of the White House department known as The Basement. The President wants him now.
    London: The Prime Minister sits thinking of Sean Dillon, the one-time terrorist, now his most effective, if not exactly trusted, operative. It'll have to be Dillon, he thinks. There's no one else.

    Someone is killing off the members of a splinter group known as the Sons of Erin, normally not a cause for much concern, but the consequences are much greater than anyone realizes. For in these actions lie the seeds of disaster: the fall of two governments, the derailing of the Irish peace process. Dillon and Johnson must stop this unknown assassin, the heads of state agree, quickly, quietly, before all hell breaks loose.

    . . . But they may already be too late. For in the Manhattan night, the silver-haired woman smiles, adjusts her rain hat more snugly on her head, and steps out into the street. Four down, she thinks.

    Three to go.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (52)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent light reading
    Lady Helen, a geriatric British aristocrat, gains revenge on people involved in the killing of her son. While not very believable, and not one of Higgin's better works, it's a quick and mostly enjoyable read with familiar characters. The two major annoyances throughout the book were:

    1. EVERY character talks about the joys of smoking. It appeared to be a paid advertisement for Marlboros and the emphasis he placed on the dialogue related to smoking detracts from the story.
    2. EVERY American character uses British phrases and discusses their love of things British from meat pies to Harrods.

    If a friend gives you the book and there isn't anything better to read, it will pass the time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The fantasy is great!
    Some of you guys are tough! It's Jack Higgins, for heaven's sake. When I want a quick, exciting read, I turn to him. And he usually delivers. This one is totally 'out there', but so entertaining you can't put it down. Just because the shooter is a 60ish y.o. woman with money and connections (good ones) you have to make believe this could really happen. Her son is killed and thrown into a cement mixer and she goes after the Sons of Erin who did him in. Aiding her is her loyal chauffeur and friend, Hedley. This guy is one mean dude; she couldnt get along without him. Sean Dillon and crew are there to add to the mix. Great, good fun. Stop looking for the Book of Life. This was one good time!

    1-0 out of 5 stars It Pains Me... rate this book so low. I am a long time fan of Jack Higgins having enjoyed his books since I was a teen. I don't know if the writing has deteriorated or maybe my tastes have matured, but I could not finish this book. The plot was stale, the dialouge staged and it just failed to generate any suspense at all. Maybe it's time for the Sean Dillon series to end, I know there are several more after this. Whatever happened to the Martin Brosnan character? He and Dillon have an old score to settle. Now that would make an interesting book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars another great read
    I debated between four or five stars and gave it five stars because I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. It piqued my interest at the first with the 60 year old hit woman and kept it all the way through the book. She is killing the Sons of Erin and the British and American special intelligence are trying to find out who is doing it and why. They are also looking for the connection at the White House who has been giving out secret information to the IRA group. I read this book in one day. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly entertaining book by a master of suspense...
    I've read few Jack Higgins books, and this was my first. That said, I didn't know any of the recurring characters or their stories, yet it didn't make a difference. The story makes perfect sense without foreknowledge of the characters, and this was still a great book.

    In the opening pages, an assassin waits patiently for a Senator to arrive at his residence. Against the backdrop of a light rain, two men pull a woman into an alley with the intent to rape her. The assassin comes to her aid, and we find that the assassin is an old woman, a kindly old grandmother! From this moment on, my interest was peaked. I had to find out who this woman was, how she entered her profession, etc. I was not disappointed. "The White House Connection" is a spy thriller true to its purpose, perfect for a rainy day or an extended plane ride. If you like Jack Higgins, you'll definitely love this novel. And if you've never read his work, this is a great starting point. For a quick reality escape, read this book!

    Britt Gillette
    ... ... Read more

    6. Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News
    by Bernard Goldberg
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1402517599
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
    Publisher: Recorded Books
    Sales Rank: 183238
    Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In his nearly thirty years at CBS News, Emmy Award winner Bernard Goldberg earned a reputation as one of the preeminent reporters in the television news business. When he looked at his own industry, however, he saw that the media far too often ignored their primary mission: to provide objective, disinterested reporting. Again and again he saw that the news slanted to the left. For years, Goldberg appealed to reporters, producers, and network executives for more balanced reporting, but no one listened. The liberal bias continued.

    Now, breaking ranks and naming names, he reveals a corporate news culture in which the closed-mindedness is breathtaking and in which entertainment wins over hard news every time.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (783)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Waking up to the 'frantic orthodoxy'
    In 1972, New York film critic Pauline Kael famously said she couldn't understand how Richard Nixon had won 49 of 50 states in the presidential election: 'I don't know a single person who voted for him!'...

    In this important book, veteran reporter Bernard Goldberg does not accuse America's broadcast journalists of actively trying to promote a left-wing agenda. Instead, the crux of his argument seems to be that the reporters, editors, producers, and network executives of the so-called 'mainstream media' live in such an insulated, self-referential world that they actually believe, as Dan Rather once argued, that The New York Times editorial page is 'middle of the road.'

    Goldberg's book seems aimed, not so much at the general reading public, but at his former colleagues in broadcast news. Indeed, it should come as no surprise to anyone (outside Hollywood and Manhattan, anyway) that the news media has a leftward tilt. According to the late Brill's Content magazine, a 2000 survey showed that even 47 percent of registered Democrats 'believe that most journalists are more liberal than they are.' Only Dan, Tom, Peter, and their fellow insiders continue to insist that they're 'fair and balanced.'

    Bernard Goldberg is not ideologically driven. He's not (no matter what Dan Rather and his acolytes say) a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, nor a 'political activist' pushing a 'political agenda.' Instead, he's pleading with his former colleagues to recognize how far they've strayed away from objectivity and into advocacy. It's a compelling argument to those of us here on the outside. I doubt any of his real audience is even paying attention.

    Goldberg's many examples of quotas, preconditions, entertainment-as-news, editorials-as-analysis, and all the rest, are inexorable. It's powerful confirmation of the observation once uttered by the late Austrian writer Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, that the astute observer approaches the media with the mindset, 'What lies do they want me to believe today?'

    Today, network TV news is little more than a subset (and a not particularly successful one at that) of the larger 'entertainment industry.' If Bernard Goldberg's powerful book doesn't wake up industry executives to the fact that 'the ship be sinking' (one of his chapter titles), it should at least convince the rest of us to release broadcast 'news' from whatever claim it once had to be taken seriously.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Honest Personal Observation
    Bernard Goldberg's book is--and purports to be -- nothing more or less than his personal observations and opinions about the workings of the U.S. TV news industry. He developed his opinions as a result of having been a reporter for CBS News for almost 30 years. His opinions are honest and straightforward, and he's entitled to them. Moreover, they have validity precisely because "he was there." "Bias" is entertaining and insightful, and Mr. Goldberg is perfectly entitled to say everything he says.

    The dishonesty of some of the left-leaning reviews of the book just astounds me. For example, the criticism from left-leaning reviewers that his accusations of liberal bias don't count because he doesn't support them with a lot of footnotes is ridiculous. His book is intended to tell us about HIS experiences in TV news, HIS interactions with the media bosses, HIS discussions with other reporters, HIS perceptions of how reporters do their jobs, etc. -- all based on HIS having worked in TV news. The book doesn't need footnotes.

    Some of these leftist reviews tell you more about the present-day left than they do about Mr.Goldberg's book. They tell you, essentially, that if a person's opinions aren't politically correct, then the person isn't entitled to them. They tell you that despite what Mr. Goldberg saw and heard, his impressions are invalid because,look, here are some statistics from Eric Alterman or Jonathan Alter or some such liberal that "prove" the media cannot possibly be biased. "Mr. Goldberg," they essentially say, "is not entitled to form opinions based on what he saw and heard and experienced, and you are not entitled to believe him when he conveys those opinions to you. You both must be reeducated to the politically correct 'truth' that the media is not at all biased." Right. The media is not biased and neither are these leftist reviewers; the book is [bad material], and I DO love Big Brother. (But, just between you and me, I highly recommend that you go buy "Bias" and read it anyway.)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hits the spot in parts, but muddled elsewhere
    Bernard Goldberg book is a large part opinion, some real issues, others seemingly just a vehicle for him to lay into his old CBS bosses and in particular Dan Rather. He makes fair points about the politically correct sensibilities of the media, an unfortunate trait common to mainstream TV media accross the western world, siting the TV couverage of the homeless and the distorting scare-mongering couverage of the AIDS problem in America.

    But as to whether these distortions amount to a mass conspiracy to marginalise conservatives, and promote lofty liberal ideas is debatable. Goldberg does not ever demonstrate consistently news stories being systematically 'liberalised', instead relying on a few selected quotes off-air by various news anchors belittling conservatives, and some larger examples with the one regarding Steve Forbes 'flat tax' inititative repeated several times in the book. What Goldberg does not mention is that this story, aired at the time of the 1996 GOP primaries largely favoured Bob Dole, with a string of high profile Republicans such as Newt Gringrich lining up to rubbish Forbes idea. However the idea of CBS couverage favouring a mainstream Republican would not play well with Goldbergs largely conservative audience.

    If Goldberg could demonstrate that the media elites supposed liberal bias was allowed to regularly influence and distort news coverage then there would be a big story, but Goldbergs evidence is few and far between for someone who claims to have witnessed this bias for nearly thirty years. too often he asserts himself and his victimisation without offering an explanation as to why CBS chose to shoot him down as they did, with his likening of the 'media elite' to mafiosi a stupid exaggeration.

    What this book does best is demonstrate mindless political correctness that has been allowed to infiltrate many areas of society, rather than a mechanical liberal plot to control the nations newsrooms only unique to the media.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the liars at CBS don't want you to read this
    the liars at CBS don't want you to read this, especially those on 60 minutes.

    read this book and get well educated.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A poorly researched, disorganized mess
    After reading "Bias", I found the title to be misleading. After all, the book is focuses little on media bias. Bias, for the mostpart, is filled with Goldberg's scathing attacks on former CBS journalists, such as Dan Rather. When the book covers liberalism in the media, I found its conclusions to be shoddy at best.

    For instance, Goldberg recalled an incident where CBS journalist Dan Rather identified senators as they were called to an oath book, during a Clinton impeachment hearing. Goldberg then described how Rather labeled "every conservative" at the proceeding, and did not do so for the liberals. When making various media appearances promoting his new book, he cited this example frequently. Unfortunately, it's not true. According to a CBS transcript of the hearing (January 7, 1999) Rather only labeled 3 senators as "conservative".

    This is just one of the many instances of inaccuracies I found scattered about the book. Regardless, little is devoted into proving the media bias he claims--or even ellaborating and explaining what he means by a "liberal bias".

    The book, really, is only fodder for conservatives. It's not a real piece of journalism. ... Read more

    7. Saving Faith
    by David Baldacci
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $25.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1570427704
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 569962
    Average Customer Review: 2.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Another eagerly awaited novel of thrilling suspense set in Washington's corridors of power from the incomparable David Baldacci, bestselling author of The Simple Truth and Absolute Power.

    Danny Buchanan and Faith Lockhart are the greatest influence peddlers in Washington because they can do something no one else can: guarantee results. But when Buchanan's scheme is uncovered by Robert Thornhill, a zealous CIA chief, he is forced to spy on his clients and network of politicians to further Thornhill's grand plan. Separately, Lockhart goes to the FBI to tell all, and thus becomes a target of Thornhill's. As the FBI is unknowningly pitted against the CIA mastermind, and Buchanan and Lockhart think each is destroying the other, it's left to private investigator Lee Brennan, who's stumbled into this nightmare, to "save faith." And a lot more.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (158)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Starts Slow, Stays there a While and Ends Hot
    I have read all of David Baldacci's other novels with the exception of TOTAL CONTROL and must admit that I had some trouble getting into this one. I also had trouble staying with it and had to force myself to do so. Initially I did not think much of the story line or the characters and wondered when the author would get to the point. Additionally, I did not like Danny Buchanan much or Faith Lockhart, either. I felt sorry for the PI, Lee Adams because he just seemed to be some poor sucker drawn into the various plots by Buchanan, Lockhart, Robert Thornhill (the evil CIA operative) and even the FBI.

    Somewhere along the way, however, the story line just started to heat up and I really began to like, respect and admire the resourcefulness of Lee Adams. Faith started to come into her own as well. Much later, the true character and mettle of Danny Buchanan comes through, too and I found that I liked him much more by mid-book. By book's end, he had become more heroic and I realized he was truly a principled person.

    The book was somewhat formulaic, but it did combine the best of police procedurals, techno-thrillers, spy novels and murder mysteries. Robert Thornhill, the CIA ADDO (assistant Deputy Director of Operations) was a thoroughly despicable character and while some reviewers here thought him too one-dimensional, I must say that I thought he was well-drawn. As a career CIA spy, he had lost sight of the fact that he worked for the U.S. Government and the the government is supposed to be working to protect ALL Americans. Thornhill felt he operated from a sacrosanct position and therefore, the normal rules did not apply to him or the CIA. In that regard, and after all of the truly evil actions he unleashes, he was a well drawn picture of a zealot run amok.

    I would have to say that David Baldacci has for me, established a very noticeable pattern in the way he constructs his plotlines. It is my impression that he starts his books slowly, describes the situation, fleshes out his characters and then moves the story along at an ever increasing pace. He has shown considerable skill in building the level of tension while increasing his pacing toward the final denouement. He has shown this facility with all of his novels and yet, I would have to say he did it best with his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER.

    This is one of those books that a reader can pick up and put down. It is also one of those books that are best suited for someone snowed in with no place to go, the cable is out and the reader has few other choices. Don't get me wrong, by book's end, I realized I liked the overall package. It just took a while for that level of appreciation to be realized.

    If you pick up this book, stick with it. By book's end, you won't regret it and you'll realize that David Baldacci has had you rooting for Lee Adams, Faith Lockhart and Danny Buchanan for the last 3/4 of the novel.

    4-0 out of 5 stars NOT RELIGION BUT A WOMAN....
    This book is a slow moving but easyreading that helps keep your interest. At times things getexciting but it is not a pageturner. The same old competitionbetween the CIA and the FBI forfunding and recognition gets a bittiresome. Faith Lockhart is a legal assistant to Danny who hiresLee to follow someone to start thelife and death of Agents (take your pick) as they betray and/orshoot their way up to fame or life's end. It involves Congessmembers vieing for the best gravyjobs after retirement. Someone gets killed by accident, another gets shot by taking the bullet tosave a friend. The reader keeps on reading this to the end and isassulted by a "They lived happilyever after" line you won't wantto hear. Baldacci usually writestoo long a story and has troublebringing them to a close. Thatgives it a 3 1/2 star but it isBaldacci so I gave it a 4. The line "And so he did." actually rates it a 3. This is a book from1999 so don't rush to read it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad but far from great.
    After titles like "Absolute Power", I really expected more from David Baldacci. While this isn't a bad book, and actually did keep my interest, it wasn't the dynamic page-turner that I was hoping for.

    Like others have said, the opening stages are a little rough. The plot is intriguing but as the book wears on, it becomes predictable. You know what is going to happen, just not HOW it is going to happen. There was a nice twist at the end, but not enough of one to get the book up to 4 stars.

    It's a good read overall but not a top priority book. If you have a choice, go for a David Morrell, Tom Clancy, Gayle Lynds, or someone in that class.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Possibly, the worst book I,ve read
    Ouch, thats a pretty bad title but I paid a whopping 8 bucks or so for this alleged thriller and was determined to finish it.I have put it down at least ten times for many reasons, 1, it really stinks, 2,very poorly written,3, lousy boring plot 4,naive horridly constructed characters 5.He,s really written a few books we,ve all enjoyed and now is doing it purely for dough.Oh, well, ;its better than getting maimed in a car wreck, or a huge bill from the IRS or your Dr. saying,"oh, this doesn,t look too good" while reviewing your lab work, or various types of std,s.Uh, that would be sexually transmitted diseases and is too much of a low blow to count but its what came to my slightly demented but highly educated mind at the time.Avoid this book.Thanks

    4-0 out of 5 stars Saving Faith
    Not my favourite Baldacci, but still exciting and a page-turner. I didn't feel as close to these characters as I have in his other books. However, I always love reading about my home (Maryland/DC) and is especially entertaining for me to read about my business (PR/Lobbying) and my "coworkers". ... Read more

    8. Homegrown Democrat
    by Garrison Keillor
    list price: $22.95
    our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1565119274
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-15)
    Publisher: Highbridge Audio
    Sales Rank: 35552
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, HomegrownDemocrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness." Inhis inimitablestyle, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God- fearingpeople of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessitiesthatarose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintaingovernment as a necessary force for good. As Keillor tells it, these arearticles of faiththat are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe thathuman miseryis a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorousmeditation, andarticulate ire, Keillor asserts the values of his boyhood—the values of LakeWobegon— that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the countrytoday. Athoughtful, wonderfully written book, Homegrown Democrat is Keillor’sloveletter to liberalism, the older generation, John F. Kennedy, the University ofMinnesota,and the yellow-dog Democrat city of St. Paul that is sure to amuse and inspireAmericansjust when they need it most. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sincere and Honest
    Keillor does a competent job of sharing his views (which some may find too "liberal" for their taste).

    Most impressive was the sincerity and honesty which came through in his writing.

    The book comes across as having been written, not for shock value, nor to necessarily convince anyone that the author is correct in his views. Rather, Keillor seems to have written this one to, as he puts it, "speak his mind."


    4-0 out of 5 stars Citizen Keillor
    To say this book is about why President Bush should be defeated is a little like saying that Moby Dick is a book about a whale. True enough,as far as it goes. No, the book is really an extended mediation on citizenship---what it means(we all hang together or we all hang separately), how we lost it(lack of courage by both parties), how we get it back(civility).
    But civility for Keillor is not the same as passivity. No, he believes that the idea of citizeship is in mortal peril and like a mother protecting its offspring(come to think of it he does write about his newborn) he attacks what he thinks wants to kill it: intolerance(he muses over why many Republicans can't figure out how not to think about homosexuality), lack of authenticity( he ridicules the Democracts for failing to be true to themselves in Vietnam and the drug war), and arrogance(the belief by many of both parties that they owe nothing to the past, believing themselves sprung full blown without a context ).
    And, like the best poets, he takes the personal---how he grew up, where he was raised, those who nutured him---and makes it universal.
    Now,make no mistake, he wants President Bush defeated and talks at length about it. Yet I think that he'd like nothing better than to talk to a fellow citizen about being a citizen and thinks,like the Stevie Ray Vaughn song, that there is only one allegiance we have and it's to freedom. Take him up on his offer. Have a dialogue. Be a citizen.

    1-0 out of 5 stars It figures
    I stopped having anything to do with Garrison Keillor after he used his early morning poets corner on NPR to share vulgarities with Amarica's commuters. I didn't know if he was a Democrat or a Republican or neither. However, after almost driving my kindergartner off the road in a mad effort to save my baby from this man's coarse expressions, I needn't have waited for the title of this book to direct me to his political leanings. It figures!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A refreshing, uplifting and thought-provoking read
    Garrison Keillor quotes Dante as the reason for writing this short, delightful book: "Dante says the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader." I don't usually like Keillor's written work--I prefer hearing him tell stories--but his honesty, good will and hopes for the country that he loves shine so strongly in Homegrown Democrat that it is almost like hearing him talk out loud. I appreciate the fact that he is willing to challenge liberals as well as conservatives and his observations about 9/11 and Homeland Security are quite valid. Homegrown Democrat is a valuable reminder of where we have come from and where we are headed as a country. ... Read more

    9. Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
    by Bernard Goldberg
    list price: $25.98
    our price: $16.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586215736
    Catlog: Book (2003-11)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 119160
    Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bias exposes the culture of narrow-minded elitism in the media--and reveals what must be done to change it.In December of 2001, Emmy Award-winning journalist Bernard Goldberg charged the mainstream media with slanting the news and created a firestorm with his controversial bestseller Bias. Now Goldberg goes beyond identifying the media's partiality and explains how the slanting of the news is all but inevitable in the current climate--and why the media's stars continue to deny the industry's condition. In this fascinating report, Goldberg lays out his rallying cry, unafraid to name names, and prescribes the difficult remedies that must take place if genuinely balanced news is to survive. ... Read more

    Reviews (99)

    4-0 out of 5 stars great follow-up to Bias; constructive criticism
    While some of the skewering is sometimes entertaining, this would have been a pale follow-up to Bias if it hadn't been for one signicant component to this new book: it spends a good bit of time pointing out potential (and reasonable) resolutions to the obvious problem. This shows that Goldberg actually cares for his trade. There is more than "skewering" going on here. The author appears to sincerely care about his craft. (And Mr. Shaw, if you or your publisher happen to be reading these reviews, I appreciate your recommending Indianapolis as a new HQ for the newsmedia. I've found that our city's people have a pretty representative view of the country. Even though Indiana is a "red state", the city itself has liberals and conservatives in pretty good balance.)

    Goldberg also alludes to another problem with the news media (of which he says is another topic): their typical avoidance of balanced and ORIGINAL coverage of actual "news"...and replacing it with so-called "personal interest" stories. I could learn to live with some bias in the news if I actually got news, actual compelling information for my life, instead of the blah, blah, blah Britney, Lacy, Menendez Brothers posing as news. Goldberg should write another in depth analysis of how the news has been hijacked by what he rightly referred to in this book as "crap". The chapter in this book which amounts to a two-quotation juxtaposition by Barbara Walters is as entertaining as it is revealing. When I first read that "chapter", I thought it was just a stab at Walters -- an easy mark. I had to read it twice and put it into the context of the whole book to really let the point of that chapter hit home in the form that it was offered.

    Well done.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bias Part II: This Time It's Personal!
    Long ago, William F. Buckley asserted that liberals claim to want to give an airing to "other views", but are then shocked and appalled that there _are_ other views. More recently, Jonah Goldberg said that the word "conservative" in the news media has contracted to simply mean the position you the reader are meant to disapprove of. Both quotes could serve as epigraphs for _Arrogance_.

    This book is billed as a prescription for remedies of liberal media bias. It is not. It is a second helping of exposure of journalistic malfeasance on the part of the New York Times and the big three networks. What pointers Goldberg does offer come toward the end, and even then are merely hooks upon which to hang more indictments. It's clear that the publishers, who may be liberal themselves but aren't allergic to the profits a sequel to a conservative bestseller would bring, wanted Goldberg to serve up lots more of the same. In one of her books Ann Coulter noted how reviewers had for years and years referred to popular conservative books as "surprise bestsellers." A surprise to who? Not to Warner Books anymore, not with the bills to pay on that Time-Warner merger with AOL!

    To liberals, Bernard Goldberg may be a traitor, but the attempts by some of them to paint him as a hack or a phony have fallen flat. You have to be very good to stay on at the the major networks for nearly thirty years, as Goldberg did. The efforts to smear him merely give more credence to his charge of herd mentality.

    It's an important distinction that Goldberg insists on: there is no secret liberal media NKVD, keeping everyone in line. Rather, it's a case of "birds of a feather flock together". Regardless of how educated or smart or possessed of goodwill people may be, they are still taken aback, at least momentarily, if it slips out that one of their number does not share their worldview. Now replace the set of educated, smart people of goodwill with self-impressed, arrogant products of politically correct Blue State journalism schools, and you can see the trouble coming a mile off.

    Goldberg goes easy on the statistics and heavy on the dismaying anecdotes. Indeed, if some people continue to dismiss his work as "anecdotal", you can be sure that that means they are nervous that the peasants might be listening. His chapters are arranged thematically: race, feminism, sports, etc. His tone is a rather yammery blend of sarcasm and incredulity, but the sympathetic reader can take this as proof of how outraged he is over how far his profession's standards have fallen. Frequently, he pauses in his description of how a particular story was misreported, to distance himself from the issue or the principals. His only goal is improving journalism, he says, not joining the right-wing media watchdogs. (Though truth to tell, another watchdog of Goldberg's experience and savvy surely wouldn't hurt.)

    The book appeared before a couple of recent media feeding frenzies, which would have fit right in. As I write, the national press corps is running Democratic National Committee talking points as breaking news, making a story out of the quality of President Bush's denials of decades-old and still unproven allegations of being AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. At the same time they are stonewalling for the moment allegations of infidelity on the part of the current Democrat frontrunner. In the internet age, it won't work. Denial is just a river in Egypt, thanks to the internet--and Bernard Goldberg.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Confirms Everything I Already Knew About The Liberal Media
    Bernie Goldberg's book already confirms everything I knew about the liberal media. But what he did is give us all a behind-the-scenes look at the left and why they want to slant certain stories to their liking and just how far they will go to do it. I never take the Network News at their word and now I am ten-times more skeptical that anything they say is the truth.

    Kudos to Bernie Goldberg for an excellent book that needed to be written.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting read....
    An interesting read, if only to get some insight on the true personalities of the talking heads you see on your TV screen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bias, redux

    I have read and reviewed Bernard Goldberg's other book, Bias (New York Times best seller, although the media elite tried their best to ignore it, and when that failed, to use their usual tactic of attacking the author's parentage, credentials, intelligence and veracity). I have just finished this one as well. I recommend it to you.

    They should have listened: the rest of the country did. In fact, Mr Goldberg found credibility with his audience, judging from sales of the book. He was saying things that people already believed, like Rush Limbaugh when he first started, that the people knew already and were simply waiting for someone to say out loud. Things that were obvious, and everyone wondered at the denials and pretense of objectivity that accompanied the lies and propaganda we were being fed on a daily basis by the lockstep media who seemed to find it necessary to blame America first, and do everything possible to build up socialism and destroy our conservative valuie system. They've accomplished quite a bit of their agenda, too. They have persuaded many; especially the airheads in Hollywood.

    Finally, we were hearing voices in the wilderness "telling it like it is," and the liberals hated it, judging by their screams of rage. The current effort, for example, is to get Limbaugh taken off Armed Forces radio, where he is heard only because our servicemen requested him in such numbers in a write-in campaign that even the Clinton administration was forced to give him a voice, despite their hatred of him.

    After all, the first amendment guarantees free speech--especially political speech--which forbids government censorship in our free society. It also guiarantees our right to keep and bear arms. Hah! The Constitution that protects our Bill of Rights, and that all members of the Congress must swear to protect and defend is undefended. They have forsworn themselves, and deny us our freedoms with every word they utter.

    Bernie Goldberg spent decades as a TV reporter. He is widely respected, especially now that he has brought our attention to the fact that the emperor is naked.

    This book, a follow-up on Bias, is full of facts, names, places, inside anecdotes, and a glimpse of the real world of television newsrooms--where the "objectivity" of Dan Rather and the rest of the "talking heads" on the major networks, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and the other "elite" media is demonstrably phony.

    No wonder the American people have lost their confidence in the main sources of most of our "news". We have gotten wise to them. We have other, alternative sources. Like China about the time of the Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing, we get the news through fax machines and the internet, if nothing else. We are no longer fed their propaganda. They are losing their audience, while that of the Fox Network, Washington Times, and magazines like National Review are gaining a stronger voice.

    This is a good book, by a veteran newsman who has been sickened by what he saw, and in telling his story has incurred the wrath of his erstwhile colleagues--evcen their hatred. They see him as a traitor. Some privately have told him that he's right, but that they can't agree publicly.

    You don't believe me? Read the book. You probably won't believe him, either, if you consider yourself a political liberal, or of you hate the President, or think your country is a "bully" and has brought all of the terrorism on ourselves, as many have said. But, if that describes you, we'd be better off without such "patriots" defending us. With such friends, who needs enemies.

    Joseph (Joe) Pierre, USN (Ret)

    ... Read more

    10. Bushwhacked : Life in George W. Bush's America
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0739307487
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-23)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 256682
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose, authors of Shrub, Bushwhacked is a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at George W. Bush and his administration, and an essential book for understanding the full, destructive impact of his presidency.

    For years, bestselling political commentator Molly Ivins has been sounding the alarm about George W. Bush. In Shrub, her 2000 skewering of presidential candidate Bush, the inimitable Ivins, with co-author Lou Dubose, offered a devastating exposé of Dubya’s career and abysmal record as governor of Texas. Now, in their second book on our current White House occupant, Ivins and Dubose take the wire brush to the Bush presidency and show how he has applied the same flawed strategies he used in governing Texas to running the largest superpower in the world.

    Bushwhacked brings to light the horrendous legacy of the Bush tax cut, his increasingly appalling environmental record, his administration’s involvement in the Enron scandal, and the real Bush foreign policy—botched nation building in Kabul and Baghdad, alienation of former allies—and, unfortunately, much more. Ivins and Dubose go beyond the too frequently soft media coverage of Bush to show us just how damaging his policies have been to ordinary Americans—“the Doug Jones Average,” rather than the Dow Jones Average. Bushwhacked is filled with sharp observation, humor, and compassion for the people often ignored by the federal government and the Washington press corps.

    With the war on terrorism posing unprecedented challenges to our civil liberties, and with the Bush economic policy in shambles, it is high time for a close look at the state of our Union. Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose provide just that in Bushwhacked—an incisive, entertaining, and damning indictment of the Bush presidency.

    We've been Bushwhacked
    Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose on:

    Dubya’s involvement in the failure of Harken Energy Corporation:
    “There are countless subjects on which George W. Bush might have pleaded ignorance in 1990, but a failing oil business was not one of them.”

    Dubya’s accomplishments as governor of Texas:
    “As full-time residents of the state that gave you tort reform, H. Ross Perot, and penis-enlargement options on executive health plans, we’re obliged to warn you that if Dubya Bush really had exported ‘the Texas Miracle,’ the country would be in deep shit.”

    Dubya’s environmental record:
    “Bush has a chemical-dependency problem, but it’s not cocaine. It’s Monsanto, Dow, and Union Carbide. They wrote the checks that put him in the Texas governor’s mansion....Bush had two voluntary emissions-control programs here in Texas. One involved polluting industries. The other was directed at adolescent males, who were encouraged to ‘try abstinence.’ Only 3 of our 8,645 most obnoxiously polluting refineries actually volunteered to cut back on their toxic emissions. Numbers on teenage boys are not yet in.”

    Why the Republican Party is the party of unregulated meat and poultry:
    “The Republicans win elections in the ‘red states’ in the center of the country, where cattle and chickens are produced and slaughtered. Democrats win their elections in the ‘blue states’ on the coasts. Republicans use the USDA to pay off their contributors in the red states. The result of that crude electoral calculus is laissez-faire food-safety policy whenever a Republican is in the White House. (If you must eat while the Republicans control the White House, both houses of Congress, and the judiciary, you might want to consider becoming a vegetarian about now.)”

    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (89)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful and depressing indictment of Bush's policies
    Of the growing spate of liberal books to appear in the past few months, BUSHWHACKED by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose is my favorite of the bunch. It also holds the odd distinction of being one of the most thoroughly depressing books I have ever read. No matter how low one's opinion of George W. Bush, it will be lowered through reading this book.

    Many of the recent books on Bush and the Right have focused on the habit and strategy of intentionally misrepresenting positions held by those on the right. They are, in effect, apologias for liberalism and honesty in politics. This book is instead a direct examination of George W. Bush's policies and plans, and what they see scares them and me. As they write near the end of the book, "The six most fatal words in the language are rapidly becoming 'The Bush administration has a plan . . . " (p. 295).

    Ivins and Dubose don't discuss the Bush policies in abstract, but in terms of how they affect real live human beings. They argue "this country no longer works for the benefit of most of the people in it" (p. 293) and they are determined to explain precisely why. What is most informative about the book is not just the discussion of the more familiar failures of the Bush administration, but overlooked or under considered facets of their policies. For instance, in Texas they have already undergone school reform of the kind promoted by Bush in the No Child Left Behind act. In fact, as they demonstrate, it is a perfect recipe for leaving vast numbers of children behind, as high schools out of self-protection refuse to promote underachieving students past ninth grade, in many instances keeping them there until they turn eighteen and are no expected to stay in school. Or consider the vast number of students in Texas who now graduate by taking the G.E.D as a way of avoiding the exams. All education in Texas is now focused on preparing those students who have a fighting chance of passing the major exam, and shunting those with no prayer of doing so off to the side. The result, in other words, of the No Child Left Behind equivalent has been disastrous, and now this is national policy as well. As they demonstrate, with a minimal financial investment in schools, the federal government has maximum input, and not in a constructive way. I found this chapter to be one of the scariest in the book.

    The book is an unrelenting recitation of horrors. 500,000 poor Americans who Bush cut off from the federal program providing some support in paying heating bills in the winter. Instituting faith based programs as a means of allowing religious institutions that would otherwise fail credentialing requirements to offer their services to individuals whose needs they are poorly equipped to meet. Consistently sending ideologues instead of public policy experts to every imaginable international meeting. In one such conference, the September 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, the U.S. delegates attempted to strike language that "would have included female genital mutilation, forced child marriage, and 'honor' killings as human-rights violations" (p. 262). Ivins and Dubose go on to cover the effects of his court policies, the Patriot Acts, his naked espousal of fundamentalist religion, his tax policies, his environmental policy, the EPA, his unilateralist foreign policy, his food policy . . . the list goes on and on and on, a veritable parade of horrors.

    My assessment of President Bush before reading this book is that he could very well be considered one of the very worst presidents in American history. Now, thanks to Ivins and Dubose, I think he is not only our worst president ever, but that one could make a powerful case for his being arguably the most destructive American to ever live. I consider this book to be essential reading, but working through it won't be much fun.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely interesting and thought-provoking...
    ... but it's not journalism. Or, at least, it's journalism told from a slanted point-of-view. As I read through this book, I became angrier and angrier with the leadership of our nation. Ivins and Dubose tick off the areas in which Bush and his administration are ruining our nation. Scary examples of environmental setbacks, insane fiscal policy, dictatorial foreign policy, too much political influence by Big Business, etc., play throughout the book. I became convinced that the Bush administration is destroying our country and everything it stands for. But then about half-way through, I realized the reason I was so angry was because at no point do we hear a rebuttal from the administration itself. There has got to be reason that Christine Todd Whitman decided to do away with the ombudsman office within the EPA. But danged if we could find out the reason, or even if Ivins or Dubose attempted to contact Whitman's office to hear their side of the story. Don't get me wrong, I DO think Bush and his high-paying cronies are evil. It's just that they need to have more of a voice in this book if it's aspiring to be anything close to journalism. Even Al Franken, in his most recent book, contacted his intended targets for a response/rebuttal. I have absolutely no doubt that if Ivins and Dubose were to have given those within the administration a voice, they would have quickly hung themselves, so to speak. There's no way the administration's representatives could have stood up to the heart-wrenching individuals who are the focus of each chapter. Had there been more balance, this could have been a journalistic classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars From a liberal
    (Best with books like this to have it on the table where I stand)

    I've read many of the recent Bush-bashing, liberal-energizing books (Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars . . .", Moore's "Stupid White Men" and "Dude, Where's My Country"), and I honestly think that this book is the best for someone who wants a good view into what liberals are so worked up about. Franken's book is often more humorous and a somewhat lighter read, so it may be better for you depending on your taste, but Ivins and Dubose here do the best job I've seen of setting out a well-reasoned, well-argued case, with not only the anecdotes but the numbers to back it up (although admittedly I haven't gone through their end-notes and checked up on all their sources).

    While I love all the recent liberal-lit---preaching to the converted may not help so much, but we do so enjoy the sermon---"Bushwhacked" impressed me most for an argument that's both compelling and rational. If I can find an equivalent on the conservative side (it's hard to slog through the partisan reviews and find out anything useful about many of these books, and I hope my review isn't more of the same), I'd read it for such a good view into the other perspective.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly WRONG
    Books like this completely amaze me as they seek only to fuel peoples hatred. It's quite clear Ivins goal is to be among the elite crowd of Bush-haters by pointing out idividual cases of Americans misfortunes as oposed to the state of the entire nation. Once again proving that anything bad for the people of America is good for democrats and liberals. When I read rubish like this it only helps me embrace conservatism more. One question, answer it honestly to yourself, When you vote will it be out of hatred or genuine trust in the other guy ?

    5-0 out of 5 stars darn good
    molly ivins is a texan, and like a texan, she is blunt: bush is an unqualified jerk! good book, some humor, worth a read! ... Read more

    11. The Zero Game
    by Brad Meltzer
    list price: $44.98
    our price: $28.34
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 158621604X
    Catlog: Book (2004-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 471555
    Average Customer Review: 3.18 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaires and The First Counsel returns to Wash-ington, D.C., with the story of an insider's game that turns deadly.Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are best friends who have plum jobs as senior staffers to well-respected congressmen. But after a decade in Washington, idealism has faded to disillusionment, and they're bored. Then one of them finds out about the clandestine Zero Game. It starts out as good fun--a simple wager between friends. But when someone close to them ends up dead, Harris and Matthew realize the game is far more sinister than they ever imagined--and that they're about to be the game's next victims. On the run, they turn to the only person they can trust: a 16-year-old Senate page who can move around the Capitol undetected. As a ruthless killer creeps closer, this idealistic page not only holds the key to saving their lives, but is also determined to redeem them in the process. Come play The Zero Game--you can bet your life on it. ... Read more

    Reviews (65)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Intriguing Thriller from Brad Meltzer!
    You cannot come away from reading a Brad Meltzer book without being just a little smarter. THE FIRST COUNSEL provided an extremely interesting peek behind the curtains of the White House. THE MILLIONAIRES contained several side dissertations about finance that were not only informative but also interesting. In his latest offering, THE ZERO GAME, Meltzer provides an illuminating, and at times, quietly frightening look at the way the United States government does --- and does not --- work.

    At age 19 Meltzer was an intern on Capitol Hill. Along the way he apparently acquired a bit of knowledge about appropriations committees. You've heard the term "appropriations committee." It's a term of art that usually causes one's eyes to glaze over. He apparently did a lot more than work on Capitol Hill, however; he observed and absorbed a lot as well, if THE ZERO GAME is any indication.

    The initial focus of the novel is the appropriations committees of the House and Senate. Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are good friends who are on appropriations committees in the House and Senate, respectively. One day Sandler lets Mercer in on something called the Zero Game, which is kind of a clandestine government office betting pool. But it isn't a wager on football games --- it's a bet on such things as how many votes will be cast for or against House resolutions, or whether items will be included or excluded from bills or resolutions. The fact that the participants in the game don't know the identity of the other players, other than the pool member who invites them to participate, adds to the intrigue.

    Meltzer initially takes a bit longer to set up THE ZERO GAME than he ordinarily does in his novels, and for just a page or two his regular readers might wonder if he's going to tone things down a bit for this offering. Never fear. The quiet beginning is a setup. After the first 50 pages or so Meltzer takes a completely unexpected left turn that will have you rereading a paragraph or two several times until you're sure that he actually did what you think he did. I still can't believe it, but he did do it.

    From there, Meltzer doesn't even give his reader a chance to come up for air. What appears to be a harmless, even beneficial, line item in an appropriations bill --- authorizing the private acquisition of an abandoned, and apparently worthless, gold mine in South Dakota --- becomes a wager subject of the Zero Game and leads to a desperate cross-country race to determine why someone is willing to stop at nothing --- including murder --- to ensure that the transfer of the land goes through.

    Meltzer is in fine form here, as his protagonists are pursued back and forth across the country with an ultimate, and perhaps symbolic, showdown in the bowels of the Capitol Building. The elements that make Meltzer's work so addictive are all present here. Meltzer has few equals in his ability to ratchet the suspense level of his narratives to new highs, all the while dropping interesting little factoids about the nooks and crannies of his well-known surroundings. I learned more about the Capitol Building in a few pages of THE ZERO GAME than I learned from a solid year of high school civics. Yet Meltzer never lets the information drag his storyline down. There are times when reading this book is like being taken on a tour of the Capitol Building by a tour guide who has a pistol stuck in your ear while you race through the corridors of government. You know where you are and you're conscious of what he's saying, but you're praying that everything turns out okay.

    Meltzer also demonstrates some familiarity with caverns. I don't know if he is a spelunker in his spare time, but his descriptions of mine shafts and caverns are dead on. Maybe a little too dead-on, actually. If you're at all claustrophobic, you might want to read the last half of the book outside so you can take a breath once in a while.

    With THE ZERO GAME Meltzer continues to demonstrate his ability to present a complex plot in an understandable manner while using it as a method to propel his characters, and the reader, through a reading experience that is unstoppable. Although this is only Meltzer's fifth novel, he writes like a Grandmaster of many years' experience. If you haven't reserved a bookshelf in your library for him yet, you will soon.

    --- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

    5-0 out of 5 stars Layers of suspense and thriller intrigue
    After his taut mystery thrillers, The Millionaires and The First Counsel, Brad Meltzer again takes you by the throat for a game and a chase through the corridors of the U.S. Congress for a new and original take on how human weakness can affect the governance of our nation and allow it to become an unwilling provider for a treasonous operation. If you don't get caught up in the drama (but you will), you'll come away from this read with an insight into how congressional staffers negotiate appropriations for bills. It's our money, so it pays to have some idea.
    The weakness is in being a sucker for an insider's game -- a secret game for the privileged. Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler his mentor who helped him get on Congressman Nelson Cordell's staff and in on the game, are players. It's a secret game that gives you a sense of importance because you don't know who else in Washington might be playing. The object is to bet on such things as getting unsuspecting legislators to do or say specific things, or guess the final tally on a vote. The stakes are based on a preceding round of betting and, so far, the it's been little more than dinner money, but the real payoff is establishing yourself as a true power broker in Washington.
    To win the latest Zero Game, Matthew has to insert his Congressman's land sale project into the Interior House Appropriations bill, which has to do with the transfer of land rights for a closed gold mine in South Dakota, little more than the usual pork and a simple matter for him to do. He can taste victory and wavers only when the bet rises to a couple of thousand dollars. Greed and the intoxication of a sure thing drives him to ignore the fact that a loss could put him in the poor house. He inserts the project into the bill and, shortly thereafter, is murdered.
    Harris is devastated, but he also realizes that his friend's fate can't be unrelated to the game. Drawing in the unwilling help of Viv, a 16-year old, black, female page whose access around the Capitol is as unnoticed as it is unlimited, he sets out to investigate a case his superiors are suggesting was just an accident. It doesn't take long to realize that his efforts have made him and Viv targets for attack by Janos, an arch, relentless hitman who's working for the influential lobbyist pulling all the strings.
    This is high adventure in high places, with layers of unpredictable developments in a dense plot of international intrigue. Highly recommended for the mystery thriller reader who will happily fall into its trap of suspense in a completely new set of circumstances and locales.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Capital Fun at a Thrill a Minute
    When I first started listening to this novel on unabridged audio cassette, I admit to being confused and having to rewind the first 45 minutes in order to listen to the opening sequence a second time. But after this bout of fuzzy thinking, the fast pace and non-stop excitement narrated in the intelligent and frat boy confident voice of Washington staffer Harris Sandler. moved me along at breakneck speed, unraveling a mystery as labyrinthine as the old gold mine in one of the novel's most exciting sequences. Bored to an unhealthy cynicism with the Washington CYA scene of political manuevering, Harris and his best bud Matthew have spiced up their otherwise mundane careers by doing the unethical: gambling on Congress in a little wagering fun known only by a select few as the Zero Game. Very early on in the novel, the sure thing turns bad, and Harris finds himself in an unthinkable position: on the run for his life from a maniacal assasin with a black box tool that simulates a heart attack when used on its intended victim, with 17 year old Viv Parker, a senate page from Michigan as his only ally.

    As Harris and Viv weave from DC to South Dakota and back attempting to uncover the secret of the Zero Game, the reader unearths vital information about the smooth and clever Harris Sandler whose pin-striped perfection hides a disillusioned knight unhorsed by over ten years of back-stabbing DC wheeling and dealing. The innocent, idealistic and religious Viv plays the light to his shadow and together they make a wonderfully precocious and unforgettable team.

    The denouement is not predictable, the science interesting, the Washington insider scenes informative and the thrills lasting until the epilogue. If listening to the audio performance, Scott Brick does a more than admirable job of depicting Harris' fallen angel personality; his Viv is brilliantly bright-eyed and wholesomely winsome.

    At the end, the two protagonists part ways, but I would like to see these two reunited in the future, say 10 or 15 years down the road; perhaps difficult for the author to envision a future political climate, but fun nevertheless to imagine what could happen to these two down the road.

    I recommend this book highly to all those who like a little espionage with a domestic rather than Ludlem-esque international flavor.

    4-0 out of 5 stars lots of action and suspense !!
    I really enjoyed reading this book it is a page turner and is very hard to put down. Meltzer is as good a Grisham! The gane "Zero Game" is clever and truns deadly for Matthew and Harris they have been friends since college days. Harris persuades MAtther to join the Zero Game. All is well until Matthew is killed . Harris is on the run for his life and career. This book is a must read !!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Destined for the big screen? Let's hope!
    Every great once in a while I come across a book meant for the big screen. _The Zero Game_ has what it takes - action, suspense, compelling characters, and best of all, an exceptional plot packed with some striking, fascinating twists.

    Matthew and Harris have been friends since college. The friendship is strong, even though the two are opposite in personalities: Matthew is a follower, whereas Harris, the son of a barber, is a born leader with the gift of gab. These two senior staffers have some humorous stories to share, but the most interesting Harris has saved for the right moment. Matthew is bored and dissatisfied by his job. Harris tells him about the Zero Game and talks him into joining him. Each person is allowed to invite only one other person. No one is allowed to know who is leading the bet or those joining in on the bet. It's as blind as betting can get. The subject of betting is whether or not one can get an unusual piece of Legislation passed. Matthew gets carried away with one particular bet, and changes the game into a life and death situation. Matthew and Harris are trapped in the game and eventually drag a young African-American Senate page into the danger after her name badge is found at a crime scene. This gal is one tough cookie and she steals the show.

    The first four chapters set up the story and some may find them a bit slow, but trust me, once it is over, it all becomes clear. I listened to _The Zero Game_ while working. Needless to say, I gave up because the further I got into the storyline the more I automatically stopped to listen.

    _The Zero Game_ has the kind of heart-stopping suspense that takes your breath away.

    Kudos to the reader, Scott Brick, for a suspenseful listen. ... Read more

    12. Truman
    by David McCullough
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671798871
    Catlog: Book (1992-12-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 23931
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman has captured the heart of the nation.The life and times of the thirty-third President of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.From Truman's small-town, turn-of-the-century boyhood and his transforming experience in the face of war in 1918, to his political beginnings in the powerful Pendergast machine and his rapid rise to prominence in the U.S. Senate, McCullough shows, in colorful detail, a man of uncommon vitality and strength of character.Here too is a telling account of Truman's momentous decision to use the atomic bomb and the weighty responsibilities that he was forced to confront on the dawning of a new age.Distinguished historian and prize-winning author David McCullough tells one of the greatest of American stories in this stirring audio adaptation of his Truman---a compelling, classic portrait of a life that shaped history. ... Read more

    Reviews (172)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Truman
    Truman by David McCullough is a biography of one of our most extraordinary Presidents, Ol' Give 'Em Hell Harry, the man who said, " the buck stops here." Harry S. Truman, who's humble start in rule Missouri, with hard work, determination, and circumstance landed in the Oval Office of the White House.

    This is a tale of a man, told warmly with feeling. A story of a man who walked in the shadow of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a man who had to make a choice to use the Atomic Bomb, a man who proved himself, a man of uncommon vitality and strength of character. Reading this book, one gets to know Harry Truman, you feel emotion and see insight as the author sets the story and writes a telling tale.

    Harry Truman a man who married later in life because he didn't have the money. His work on the farm gave him strength and dogged optimism in the face of defeat, but much more was to come for Harry. Facing responsibilities such as had weighed on no man ever before and setting American politics and diplomacy, Harry Truman was treading a new age.

    The author has mastered Truman in this book, as no other has to date, and it shows throughout this book. This is the life of Harry Truman complete with all of the supporting characters as well... Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, his wife Bess Wallace Truman, General George Marshall, Joseph McCarthy and Dean Acheson. Harry Truman was responsible for the Truman Doctrine, NATO, the Berlin Airlift and the Marshall Plan, but fired General Douglas MacArthur. "Truman," shows Harry Truman to be complex, thoughtful, peppery when he needed to be and plainspoken.

    I really enjoyed reading this biography... like a grandfather telling a story that happened in his lifetime... with understanding and thoughtfulness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A model biography of an almost model man
    David McCullough delivers! Truman is a model biography - in both McCullough's craft and his subject of the epic life of Harry S Truman. McCullough truly creates another universe - a reality that would have existed only in the past, but now fits in your hands in these 1000 some pages. The reader will find him/herself immersed in the history and lives of amazing figures of another age whose actions for which we - citizens of the world are greatly indebted. The reader will both know Harry S Truman and his historical significance - his heroic and at the time highly controversial Presidency.

    Truman is both an epic of a man's life and homage to the triumph of American democracy. Truman is a man of humble origins who achieves incredible feats. I urge anyone who stumbled onto this page to "get to know" Truman by reading this book. This book is a joy to read - it flows like a novel. You will not be disappointed.

    "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."
    -Harry S Truman

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy It and Read It ASAP!!
    I first read this book in 1992 when it was released. I've read it over several times since and each time I enjoy it just as much as the first. What a great person and what a remarkable life! This is one book that I can't possibly say enough about. IT'S OUTSTANDING!! Mr. McCullough obviously admires his subject, but he is objective and shows Mr. Truman warts and all. He had very few warts however. BUY IT and READ IT as soon as you can. You won't regret the time spent.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Talks about the right aspect of Truman's career
    I admired the book for talking about Truman's friendship with Eddie Jacobson. He and Eddie were business partners in the 1920's and Eddie (a Jewish man) later influenced Truman to help found the modern state of Israel. I am still disappointd as I am also searching for talk about (probably) Truman's other mostly unsung achievement-the firing of Churchill and the birth of modern India and Pakistan. Sadly the book offers nothing about that aspect of Truman's career.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My First Biography
    I decided to read this book for two reasons. First, I was/am an avid supporter of Howard Dean, and he often cites Truman as his favorite president, and knowing so little about Truman, I was curious why. Second, practically the only thing I did know about Truman was that he made the decision to use the Bomb, and I was extremely interested in what sort of man it takes to make such a decision.

    The book is 992 pages long - daunting to someone whose only other 500+ page read had been Lord of the Rings.

    But I found each page interesting and riveting. Never did I find it slow or dull. I had no idea how much impact the Truman administration had on the country and the world. Not only the Bomb, but the start of the Cold War, the Korean War, the first push by a President for universal health care, the first push by a President for equal civil rights. Truman, an ordinary farmer from western Missouri, is the absolute example of the American dream.

    The book also answered both of my questions. The similarities in Truman's approach to politics and his agenda with Howard Dean's campaign for the presidential nomination are uncanny. And, to my surprise, Truman was not at all the sort of man I imagined making the decision to obliterate Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    I feel like I've learned more from this one book than I learned in 17 years of schooling. ... Read more

    13. By the Rivers of Babylon
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $8.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 037541908X
    Catlog: Book (2001-08-07)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 114396
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    Lod Airport, Israel: Two Concorde jets take off for a U.N. conference that will finally bring peace to the Middle East. Covered by F-14 fighters, accompanied by security men, the planes carry warriors, pacifists, lovers, enemies, dignitaries--and a bomb planted by a terrorist mastermind. Suddenly they're forced to crash-land at an ancient desert site. Here, with only a handful of weapons, the men and women of the peace mission must make a desperate stand against an army of crack Palestinian commandos--while the Israeli authorities desperately attempt a rescue mission. In a land of blood and tears, in a windswept place called Babylon, it will be a battle of bullets and courage, and a war to the last death. ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    4-0 out of 5 stars DeMille is the master of the game
    THE PLOT Peace in the Middle East is almost assured and two concordes are flying to New York with delegates for the negotiations. Terrorists against the peace conference plant bombs on board and try to take them hostage. After destroying one plane and killing all on board, the plane is forced to land near Babylong but at the last minute manages to get the hostages to the top of a small hill which they attempt to defend against the hostages through several days of sorties, knowing that the military probably doesn't know where they are and therefore can't swoop in and rescue them.

    WHAT I LIKED Long before there was Clancy, there was De Mille. This book takes the international realm and stands it on its ear -- the relations between the characters on both sides of the peace conference who are forced to work together to fight the hostages are brought to the surface in excruciating detail. The battle tactics are first-rate, the writing is almost perfect, and the story is superb as the "hostages" fight in small groups with every weapon they have -- gas bombs from the plane's fuel tanks, sounds from a war movie blasted over speakers to simulate larger weaponry, etc.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE The ending is a little over-the-top, resembling a scene from a Die Hard movie more than keeping with the slightly more realistic tone of the rest of the book. As well, there is a meeting between the hostage-leaders and the terrorist-leader that is absolutely surreal. The likelihood of both parties treating it like a military battle with truces, etc., is virtually nil but it was at least interesting.

    At the end, there was a lot less fewer characters left and that helped the plotting speed-up. Up until then, there were too many small sub-plots -- not all of which were necessary. Some were good, and necessary to flesh out the experience, but not all of them.

    OVERALL RATING A good solid book for the international mystery field, and if it wasn't for the fact that De Mille published long before Clancy, it would be appropriate to say "Move over, Tom!". But, since Clancy's marketing machine is bigger, suffice it to say that it is better than anything Clancy has ever produced in the same field. Give it a 4.5 out of 5.0.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An expected success from DeMille
    I am currently on page 245 out of 422 in this book and I already think that it is wonderful. Just recently have I discovered Nelson DeMille and this is the fourth one of his novels I'm reading. He writes wonderful thrillers and this is no exception.

    It begins with talks of a peace conference for the Israeli government in New York. But a terrorist has different ideas and hijacks the two Concordes on their way to New York and forces them to some ruins near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what was Babylon, once again placing Jews in Babylonian captivity. Now, this small band of politicians, delegates and a few security officers with mostly small handguns have to defend a hill(resembling Masada) against a highly trained group of heavily armed Arab terrorists.

    Since I'm not totally done with this book, I can't really say anything else about it. In fact, I don't even know why I'm writing this right now. I am at(what I think is) the beginning of the climatic scene and big battle.
    I suggest this book strongly and hope that you find it as thrilling as I am.
    UPDATE: I finished the book long ago and have since read it four times. I suggest this book more strongly now than I ever have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So Much Time Has Passed and Yet . . .
    I ran across this book while getting my house ready to sell. I saw that it had a 1975 copyright date and wondered if, while all that has gone on in the region since then, whether I would find it an interesting read. I believe it's timeless. If we don't delve more into the background of this conflict we'll never have an inkling of what it's about (even when we do so we may not!). At any rate it's a good book and I was riven by it

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
    After reading The General's Daughter I wanted to give Demille another read since I enjoyed it so much. I was not disappointed. At first I was this is not my cup of tea. Peace talks, middle east, history, military talk. But before I got anywhere even near 1/2 way through I was caught. I grew to love and hate the main characters. Demille throws in enough history that the reader gets all the irony of where they are being held captive at. Sure some parts dragged and were a bit on the technical side, but overall this is a great read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful first effort
    It is interesting and can be quite illustrative to go back and read the first novel of a highly successful novelist. What is it that they learned over the subsequent years and multiple forays on the bestseller list? In Nelson DeMille's case, he started immediately with a suspense thriller that would be considered impressive even if written by a veteran novelist. Written in 1978, BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON resounds with today's headlines. A peace mission is flying to New York in which a treaty is to be negotiated between the Palestinians and the Israelis. High-ranking dignitaries are flying on two Concorde jets from Tel Aviv. What they do not know is that in the tail of the planes are explosives placed over a year ago as the planes were being built. Rish, a terrorist approaches the planes with his jet and threatens to blow them up unless they follow him to an unknown destination. What ensues is a standoff in the Babylonian desert between the Arab terrorists and the Israeli diplomatic team, which includes members of the military and Israeli security force.

    Nelson DeMille's first effort is a fast paced and extremely clever tale that is in some respects surprisingly claustrophobic. Almost the entire book occurs in this Babylonian desert region. The book can be divided into prebattle, battle and post battle. It is obvious that Nelson DeMille was stretching the simplistic plot in an effort to bulk up the book. However, the pacing is relentless and the book can almost be consumed in one lengthy sitting. The author revealed almost twenty-five years ago that he could write a competent thriller and has perfected that task over the ensuing decades. A wonderful first effort. ... Read more

    14. Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $16.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 073931081X
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-19)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 286285
    Average Customer Review: 2.93 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    “Liberals’ loyalty to the United States is off-limits as a subject of political debate. Why is the relative patriotism of the two parties the only issue that is out of bounds for rational discussion?”

    In a stunning follow-up to her number one bestseller Slander, leading conservative pundit Ann Coulter contends that liberals have been wrong on every foreign policy issue, from the fight against Communism at home and abroad, the Nixon and the Clinton presidencies, and the struggle with the Soviet empire right up to today’s war on terrorism. “Liberals have a preternatural gift for always striking a position on the side of treason,” says Coulter. “Everyone says liberals love America, too. No, they don’t.” From Truman to Kennedy to Carter to Clinton, America has contained, appeased, and retreated, often sacrificing America’s best interests and security. With the fate of the world in the balance, liberals should leave the defense of the nation to conservatives.

    Reexamining the sixty-year history of the Cold War and beyond—including the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Whittaker Chambers–Alger Hiss affair, Ronald Reagan’s challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” the Gulf War, and our present war on terrorism—Coulter reveals how liberals have been horribly wrong in all their political analyses and policy prescriptions. McCarthy, exonerated by the Venona Papers if not before, was basically right about Soviet agents working for the U.S. government. Hiss turned out to be a high-ranking Soviet spy (who consulted Roosevelt at Yalta). Reagan, ridiculed throughout his presidency, ended up winning the Cold War. And George W. Bush, also an object of ridicule, has performed exceptionally in responding to America’s newest threats at home and abroad.

    Coulter, who in Slander exposed a liberal bias in today’s media, also examines how history, especially in the latter half of the twentieth century, has been written by liberals and, therefore, distorted by their perspective. Far from being irrelevant today, her clearheaded and piercing view of what we’ve been through informs us perfectly for challenges today and in the future.

    With Slander, Ann Coulter became the most recognized and talked-about conservative intellectual of the year. Treason, in many ways an even more controversial and prescient book, will ignite impassioned political debate at one of the most crucial moments in our history.

    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1877)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Open-minded liberals and conservatives will be fascinated
    Reading through the negative reviews of the book posted here, I found a litany of platitudes and lies criticizing Ms. Coulter and the book. It is sadly obvious that some of the people posting these reviews did not read the book. Whatever your politics may be, it is undeniable that "Treason" is marvelously footnoted, contrary to a prior claim. Ms. Coulter should be awarded the Medal of Freedom and a Pulitzer Prize for her concise and precise effort to correct the record on Senator McCarthy--indeed, that portion of the book should (but won't) be required reading in every high school in America.
    One person here ignorantly referred to Ms. Coulter as an inch-deep T.V. talking head attempting a transition to print media. It's just the opposite--she has for quite a long time written a weekly opinion column, wrote two books previous to this, and "back in the day" was the editor of the Michigan Law Review. (She is also coming out with her own weblog, "Coultergeist".) Suffice it to say, her credentials as a wordsmith are more than adequate. The negative reviewers would also have you believe the book comprises unsupported, malevolent ad hominem attacks on liberals. In fact, the simple genius of the book is in exposing what people say and do and then nuking what they say or do in light of the facts.
    Yet another reviewer is excited about a forthcoming book by Al Franken that features Ms. Coulter on the cover. Unsurprising, considering that the sales of Mr. Franken's first book were entirely due to using Rush Limbaugh's name in the title.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some things never change
    The book begins with Joseph McCarthy holding hearings to discover why known Soviet agents are working in sensitive US military positions. McCarthy couldn't care less about communists in Hollywood or any other private lifestyle. Ann Coulter documents how government officials from Roosevelt and Truman on down knew about Soviet infiltration but would do worse than nothing: they retained these agents as their closest advisors while the accusers (Whittaker Chambers, for example) were pilloried before the nation. To measure the real damage of McCarthy vs. the contrived "McCarthyism," Coulter juxtaposes the actual deaths of millions under communism with concern that a few people graced with living in the US may have had to choose a new career, or worse, hang out by their own choice in the night clubs of Europe with "trendy" people.

    Check the facts yourself. The endnotes are there to confirm or dispute a pattern of liberal behavior that closely resembles political events that we continue to see today. If you are a skeptic, you can do the research. If you are a lazy skeptic, you can argue that the information is not available to mere mortal researchers. There's a sub-theme to the book and much a part of Ann's public discourse - when liberals are faced with facts, they will not just change the subject. They will attack the messenger.

    Not every fact is documented in this manner, and in some cases truth is hard to distinguish from shameless hyperbole. But don't be fooled. When, for example, Ann says that that novelist, poet, and film critic James Agee denounced atrocity films of Hitler's death camps as a hoax, the reference to the source material is in the endnotes. But there is no endnote to the subsequent remark that the Harvard Graduate School of Education now has a James Agee chair of Social Ethics. While this might be assumed to be a sarcastic embellishment by Ann, just the same, there is such a position. She just shows that anyone who does some small amount of honest research will become familiar with liberal patterns to the point that a certificate of authenticity is not always needed.

    Ann's technique can be used to analyze any liberal counterargument and, for that matter, actually classify a counterargument as "liberal." In McCarthy's case, Ann may suggest asking "Yes, but were there 205 identified security risks (or was it 57 communists?) working for the State Department?" in response to the assertion, by the publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, that McCarthy was a "disreputable pervert." Okay, so how about asking "Yes, but did Saddam Hussein pose a threat to our national security through terrorism or any other means?" in response to the assertion that George W. Bush lied when he said "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Some things never change.

    5-0 out of 5 stars you liberal whackos
    To the liberal whacko "reviewer" trying to smear Coulter as an anti-Semite because this said "reviewer" decided to substitute "Jew" for "liberal" in some of her quotes: you are missing the whole point buddy. If it DID say "Jew" she would indeed be wrong, and a hopeless racist, anti-semite, judging fellow Americans on superficialities such as religion, skin color, etc. But that ISN'T what she said... she said "liberal", not Jew... "liberal" actually makes her statements TRUE, and not anti-semitic in the least... the modern-day intonation of the term "liberal" (in case some of you out there are not aware) refers NOT to such a superficiality as skin color or gender, but rather a VOLUNTARY ideology... the way you choose to see the world- ie, government is always the solution, cradle-to-grave, no one is responsible for the actions they take... In this sense, she is 100% correct when she states that liberals are consistently on the wrong side of history... usually the anti-US, anti-freedom side!... Nice try, go back to the drawing board you LIBERAL (not "Jew") demagogues!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Libs.....
    "according to Merriam-Webster: it is "a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the political and civil liberties." Now that *is* evil, right?"

    No, but that definition is centuries old, and it applies to Classical liberalism. It hardly applies to modern day liberals which is exactly how Coulter is using the word.

    That old definition also says: "individual freedom from restraint especially by government regulation in all economic activity and usually based upon free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard"

    Does anyone know any liberals who believe in lack of "government regulation in all personal economic activity"?

    "Allow me to quote her in one instance that perfectly embodies the entire aim of the book; it's from the very first page, and it's fully accessible from Amazon: "Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy. This is their essence. The left's obsession with the crimes of the West and their Rousseauian respect for Third World savages all flow from this subversive goal." Is she serious? And, furthermore, does she know that if one were to substitute the word 'liberal' in her book with the word 'Jew,' she would sound like Joseph Goebbels?"

    And here we have the typical liberal tactic of dragging in the "nazi" comparisons.

    "(Here's another sampling from Treason, complete with a simple substitution written in brackets: "Whether they are rooting for the atheistic regimes of Stalin and Mao, satanic suicide bombers and terrorists ... [Jews] always take the side of savages against civilization" (pp. 285-6)). As a Jew myself I find it interesting that a simple substitution like this can reveal so much about the cruel, sadistic nature of her book."

    Your analogy is wrong. The Jews never constituted an actual threat to Germany. They were merely scapegoated. Liberals, on the other hand, are a clear and present danger to our Republic. These people have ripped apart the Constitutional limitations of the Republic and the social fabric of our society.

    You are exactly what you are bashing. Coulter has been completely logical. The assertion of liberals "taking the side of savages against civilization" is not exactly an emotional one as much as it is a logical one. You inject anti-semitism to the equation so as to bring emotion into the debate, because you cannot win on the facts (suggesting we rewrite what she said by replacing the word "liberal" with "jew". That is not winning with the facts. It cannot be denied that modern day liberals have sided against their own country, with American enemies, even at times of war). Because LOGIC leads to conservatism. Conservatism is the result of logic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All you phony lefty reviewers...
    Look, I understand that a lot of us review these books (and rate these reviews) based on our pre-conceived notions and political affiliations. But I have never seen a book so unreasonably castigated here at Amazon.
    The venom spills forth, along with hyperbole and innuendo, regarding why intelligent Americans should not read this book. Only thing missing is: FACTS! ...What exactly has Ann Coulter got so wrong, can one of you bleeding hearts explain to me? (remember, use FACTS!)
    I have read reviews on this book about Coulter's appearance on the cover, with nasty comments about her perceived personal life. Other reviews state that she makes up stats and references... again, with no FACTS to back it up.
    In actuality, what Coulter has produced here is a massively researched and meticulously documented treatise on the terrible consequences of allowing liberals to govern in modern America. Quite the contrary to others' claims, I randomly researched a few of Coulter's endnotes, and had no trouble substantiating her references. I guess truth is not a relevant point when you we have a political axe to grind. Ironically, it is exactly this narrow-minded unexamined life that Coulter continually rails against, using modern US political history as a backdrop. And here all you hyperventilating libs are on this site, proving her point!
    For those on the right, and you "moderates" (ie fence-sitters, undecideds, those above being categorized): get this book. Read it. Yes, Coulter has a biting, sarcastic style... that's who she is. But it just may give you a whole new perspective on the US history that you have been spoon-fed by the liberal establishment (public schools, Hollywood, the media) your whole life. The sections on Joe McCarthy are worth the price of admission alone. Warning: you may be challenged to actually do some thinking, possibly even some follow-up research on this topic, something the left would prefer you not do.
    For you hopeless lefties: please just go away. I'm sure most of you haven't even read the book. Go back to your Michael Moore movies, and go give Clinton's book 5 stars. Unlike you shrieking lefties, I'm not trying to sabotage that review, I'm just ignoring it. Maybe he'll go away eventually...
    For all of you reading this who are not here to demagogue, but actually decide whether to read/buy this book, ask yourself this: as you peruse all the drooling and maniacal negative reviews on this book, do you notice the glaring underlying sense of being threatened present? Do all these negative reviews truly convey that this is a "bad book", or rather that some lefty indoctranaire doesn't want you to read it, because they are so threatened by the truth within...? Me thinks they doth protest too much...
    Now go ahead you shameless lefties... hit me with all your negative feedback. Not because I have failed to write a well thought-out and lucid review, but because you don't agree with my politics. ... Read more

    by Erik Menendez, Lyle Menendez, Steve Futterman
    list price: $10.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671894862
    Catlog: Book (1994-07-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 642628
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    16. Theodore Rex
    list price: $32.95
    our price: $21.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 073930013X
    Catlog: Book (2001-11)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 94387
    Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The most eagerly awaited presidential biography in years, Theodore Rex is a sequel to Edmund Morris’s classic bestseller The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It begins by following the new President (still the youngest in American history) as he comes down from Mount Marcy, New York, to take his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, one hundred years ago.

    A detailed prologue describes TR’s assumption of power and journey to Washington, with the assassinated President McKinley riding behind him like a ghost of the nineteenth century. (Trains rumble throughout this irresistibly moving narrative, as TR crosses and recrosses the nation.) Traveling south through a succession of haunting landscapes, TR encounters harbingers of all the major issues of the new century-Imperialism, Industrialism, Conservation, Immigration, Labor, Race-plus the overall challenge that intimidated McKinley: how to harness America’s new power as the world’s richest nation.

    Theodore Rex (the title is taken from a quip by Henry James) tells the story of the following seven and a half years-years in which TR entertains, infuriates, amuses, strong-arms, and seduces the body politic into a state of almost total subservience to his will. It is not always a pretty story: one of the revelations here is that TR was hated and feared by a substantial minority of his fellow citizens. Wall Street, the white South, Western lumber barons, even his own Republican leadership in Congress strive to harness his steadily increasing power.

    Within weeks of arrival in Washington, TR causes a nationwide sensation by becoming the first President to invite a black man to dinner in the White House. Next, he launches his famous prosecution of the Northern Securities Company, and follows up with landmark antitrust legislation. He liberates Cuba, determines the route of the Panama Canal, mediates the great Anthracite Strike, and resolves the Venezuela Crisis of 1902-1903 with such masterful secrecy that the world at large is unaware how near the United States and Germany have come to war.

    During an epic national tour in the spring of 1903, TR’s conservation philosophy (his single greatest gift to posterity) comes into full flower. He also bestows on countless Americans the richness of a personality without parallel-evangelical and passionate, yet lusty and funny; adroitly political, winningly natural, intellectually overwhelming. The most famous father of his time, he is adored by his six children (although beautiful, willful “Princess” Alice rebelled against him) and accepted as an honorary member of the White House Gang of seditious small boys.

    Theodore Rex, full of cinematic detail, moves with the exhilarating pace of a novel, yet it rides on a granite base of scholarship. TR’s own voice is constantly heard, as the President was a gifted letter writer and raconteur. Also heard are the many witticisms, sometimes mocking, yet always affectionate, of such Roosevelt intimates as Henry Adams, John Hay, and Elihu Root. (“Theodore is never sober,” said Adams, “only he is drunk with himself and not with rum.”)

    TR’s speed of thought and action, and his total command of all aspects of presidential leadership, from bureaucratic subterfuge to manipulation of the press, make him all but invincible in 1904, when he wins a second term by a historic landslide. Surprisingly, this victory transforms him from a patrician conservative to a progressive, responsible between 1905 and 1908 for a raft of enlightened legislation, including the Pure Food and Employer Liability acts. Even more surprising, to critics who have caricatured TR as a swinger of the Big Stick, is his emergence as a diplomat. He wins the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing about an end to the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.

    Interspersed with many stories of Rooseveltian triumphs are some bitter episodes-notably a devastating lynching-that remind us of America’s deep prejudices and fears. Theodore Rex does not attempt to justify TR’s notorious action following the Brownsville Incident of 1906-his worst mistake as President-but neither does this resolutely honest biography indulge in the easy wisdom of hindsight. It is written throughout in real time, reflecting the world as TR saw it. By the final chapter, as the great “Teddy” prepares to quit the White House in 1909, it will be a hard-hearted reader who does not share the sentiment of Henry Adams: “The old house will seem dull and sad when my Theodore has gone.”
    ... Read more

    Reviews (151)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bully!
    A thrilling look at the great Bull Moose at the apex of his career. Morris definitely seems to have regained his stride after his disappointing Reagan roman a clef. Among recent presidential biographies I'd rank "Theodore Rex" just behind McCullough's "Truman."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Morris Displays the Roosevelt Personality
    In searching for a biography that perfectly balances TR's personal and political life, I found that Theodore Rex hits the spot. From the outset, Edmund Morris envelops the reader in a novel-like way; I never felt like I was reading a biography. His research is so in-depth and his writing so clear that it seems as if he accompanied Roosevelt throughout his presidency. Numerous quotes from such intimates as Elihu Root and John Hay shed fascinating light on Roosevelt's character. While the descriptions of Roosevelt's political battles reveal his political character, it is the description of his summer life at Sagamore Hill, his skinny-dipping escapades in the Potomac River, and his tennis challenges to foreign ministers that personify Roosevelt. Morris has done a fabulous job in leaving no stone unturned. He turns Roosevelt from a detached presidential figure into a jovial personality. A must read for American history buffs and anyone who enjoys reading about dynamic people. I read it before The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and had no problem, but I recommend some previous knowledge of the Roosevelt administration to truly enjoy the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest Personality to Occupy the White House
    Theodore Rex is the second volume of a promised triology about the life of one of our most fascinating and complex presidents. Morris' first volume was the Pulitzer Prize winning book that chronicals TR's rise to the presidency. This volume opens on September 14, 1901 as TR becomes the youngest president at age 42, following the assassination of William McKinley.

    Morris reveals the many dimensions of TR's seven and a half years in the White House. It is not always a pretty story. TR loved the Bully pulpit and boldly wielded the power of his office to the great chagrin of party bosses, Wall Street tycoons, and the Congress. One observer determined TR personified the motto, "Rem facias rem, si possis recte, si non quocunque modo rem"--"The thing, get the thing, fairly if possible, if not, then however it can be gotten." He enraged conservative Republicans and financiers with his initiatives against big business, enflamed the White South when he invited Booker T. Washington to the White House for dinner, and cowed party elders and Congress with his understanding of politics and the common man.

    Along with a huge personality and amazing breadth of interests, TR left an impressive legacy--the Monroe Doctrine reaffirmed and the Old World banished from the New World, a coal strike settlement, the Panama Canal, a brokered peace agreement between Japan and Russia, liberation of Cuba, a greatly strengthened Navy, greater balance between capital and labor, national conservation conference, eighteen national monuments and five national parks, and a folk consensus that he had been the most powerfully positive American leader since Abraham Lincoln.

    It is hard to conceive that any author could write a more interesting story about a fictitious character. Morris' book is well researched, thoroughly documented, and a pleasure to read. This is surely one of the most interesting biographies written about one of our most fascinating presidents. Hopefully, Morris will not make us wait as long for the next volume in the series as he did for this volume (~22 years).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dee-lighted! A bully book about a bully President
    As this work of popular history by Edmund Morris begins, it's the early morning of 14 September 1901. President McKinley lies dying in Buffalo, NY, mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is on his way by buckboard and train from his isolated vacation cabin in Upper Tahawus, NY. Over the next 7 years and 169 days, THEODORE REX would drag and shove the United States into the twentieth century.

    Unlike perhaps other biographies of TR, this one only hints at his life before his ascendancy to the White House, and ends somewhat abruptly on the day he transferred the mantle of power to William Howard Taft on 4 March 1909. In between, Morris hits all the high points of Roosevelt's two administrations: acquisition of the rights to build the Panama Canal, settlement of the 1902 coal strike, arbitration of the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War, build-up of the American Navy, establishment of Cuban independence, and the calling of a national conservation conference. And certainly the low point - Theodore's response to the 1906 Brownsville Incident, wherein 20-30 Black troops of the 25th U.S. Infantry allegedly went on a shooting rampage in that Texas town.

    One of the strengths of the author's prose is that it never becomes ponderous. Indeed, at times, it approaches oddly lyrical, as when he describes the signing of the canal treaty between newly independent Panama and the U.S.:

    "Pens scratched across parchment. Wax melted on silk. Two oceans brimmed closer, ready to spill."

    THEODORE REX isn't solely about great affairs of State. Did you know that both Teddy and his eldest daughter, Alice, habitually carried pistols. What would today's anti-gun lobby make of that!

    The book also serves to dispel a Hollywood myth regarding the 1904 Perdicaris Affair, in which an American citizen in Tangier was kidnapped by the desert insurgent Ahmed ben Mohammed el Raisuli, an event memorialized in celluloid by the vastly entertaining 1975 film, THE WIND AND THE LION, starring Candice Bergen and Sean Connery. Had the movie been more true to fact, Ms. Bergen couldn't have played the role unless dressed in drag.

    With my short attention span and too many books waiting on the shelf, this narrative of Roosevelt's Presidency is just about as good as it gets. At 555 paperback pages, it's long, but not too long to bog me down for weeks. It's detailed, compiled from a nine-page bibliography of sources, but not so detailed as to become tedious. And it's got photographs - one or two in each of its thirty-two chapters. At the book's conclusion, I felt I had a satisfactory appreciation of Teddy the man, and was glad I'd taken the opportunity to pick up this excellent volume. My only criticism is the lack of a brief post-epilogue noting Teddy's abortive 1912 attempt to regain the Presidency at the head of the Bull Moose Party, thus splitting the Republican vote and handing the election to Woodrow Wilson, which would have perhaps better rounded out the saga.


    5-0 out of 5 stars A thorough and fascinating book about a great presidency.
    If you are looking for stories of Theodore Roosevelt (I consciously use "Theodore" rather than "Teddy" because of the account in this book of T.R.'s bewilderment that NOBODY he saw when traveling around America called out to him by full first name) charging up hills in Cuba with the Rough Riders or returning from African safari and forming his own third party, this is not the book for you. This book does not cover before or after his 7 years and 169 days as president.

    Theodore Rex examines the Roosevelt presidency, from William McKinley's assassination by an anarchist in September of 1901, to the swearing in of "Big Bill" Taft in a blizzard in March of 1909.

    If you want to read about Roosevelt before his presidency, I would recommend Edmund Morris' The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It is similar, in that it is an immensely readable historical examination of one of America's greatest leaders.

    Theodore Rex, though, gives great insight into the life and times of Mr. Roosevelt, the way he changed the presidency, the way he changed America, and the way he changed the world.

    Roosevelt's (and America's) role in the Panamanian revolution and secession from Colombia, and the subsequent securing of the Panama Canal Treaty, is highly enlightening, and at times bordering on humorous.

    To briefly quote from the book (page 290):

    "...another cable from Panama City announced that a government gunboat had tossed five or six shells into the city, 'killing a Chinaman in Salsipuedes street and mortally wounding an ass.' If that was the extent of Colombia's rage so far, a tired President could get some sleep."

    The story of the kidnapping in Morocco of Ion Perdicaris, a wealthy, American-born expatriate who had given up his citizenship during the Civil War (unbeknownst to the U.S. at the time), and the pressure Roosevelt applied ("Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead"), during the 1904 Republican presidential nominating convention in Chicago, to secure Mr. Perdicaris' freedom, is another fascinating bit of American history. It is a prime example of America's rising stature in the world, and of Theodore Roosevelt's famous "big stick."

    Other parts, big and small, of Roosevelt's presidency are conveyed with a keen knack for detail and a high degree of objectivity: mediating an impasse between labor and capital on more than one occasion and in more than one context; negotiating a peace between Japan and Russia (which won Roosevelt the Nobel Prize); intervening in Cuba; managing the Philippines; dining with Booker T. Washington; commissioning and sending off of the "Great White Fleet" around the world; and even just moments with his family and friends.

    A look at a truly independent and forward-thinking individual, Theodore Rex is a joy to read and ponder. Any serious student of American history ought to read this book, but by no means should this book be limited to history buffs. Highly and excitedly recommended! ... Read more

    17. Eisenhower in His Own Voice
    by Douglas Smith
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $18.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0694514616
    Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
    Publisher: HarperAudio
    Sales Rank: 202817
    Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Eisenhower first came to public attention in 1942, during the Second World War, when General George C. Marshall chose him to be commander in chief of the Allied forces in Europe. By war's end, Eisenhower had become one of the best known and most popular figures in the United States. In 1952, he was nominated by the Republican party as its presidential candidate and defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson in that year and again, for a second presidential term, in 1956.

    Eisenhower was greatly admired and enjoyed uncritical affection during a presidency of relative peace and sustained prosperity.

    This recording revisits the high points of his life and military and political careers through his own voice and the voices of Churchill, Roosevelt, de Gaulle, Khrushchev, Truman, Nixon, and others. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Incoherent narrative
    Too choppy. Lots of short excerpts. I would have preferred less excerpts, but each of them running longer. Doesn't give you a "feel" for Eisenhower. Kind of expensive for what you get. ... Read more

    18. The Republic
    by Plato, B. Jowett, Pat Bottino
    list price: $62.95
    our price: $62.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 078610712X
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
    Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 709615
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This is a completely new translation of one of the great works of Western political thought.In addition to Tom Griffith's vivid, dignified and accurate rendition of Plato's text, this edition is suitable for students at all levels. It contains an introduction that assesses the cultural background to the Republic, its place within political philosophy, and its general argument; succinct notes in the text; an analytical summary of content; a full glossary of proper names; a chronology of important events; and a guide to further reading. ... Read more

    Reviews (49)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy's wellspring of questions.
    It has been said that all philosophic work of the past 2400 years stands as footnotes to Plato's writings. 'Do the ends justify the means? What is justice? Whom does it serve? Who should serve as its guardians? Is it absolute or relative?'
    Plato's protagonist is his old teacher, Socrates. The arguments are presented as dialogues and thus embody a literary aspect different from many, although certainly not all, subsequent philosophical writings. His object is "no trivial question, but the manner in which a man ought to live." The answers are seen to point to the manner in which a utopian society should be operated.
    As a storied mountain calls to a climber from afar, Plato calls to the student of the art of thinking. This is why we read Plato, for the "neo-Platonists" -- Plotinus, Augustine, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Whitehead, Gödel, and others -- have certainly propounded improved philosophy. But it is Plato on whom they improve. Most thinkers (perhaps especially most mathematicians and logicians) yet agree with Plato, at least insofar as his understanding of "form" -- often adapted or restated as: ideas / perfection / consciousness / mind / or, 'the thing in itself'.
    Plato's realm of [what he calls] "forms" acknowledges the mysterious, yet logically necessary, existence of non-material reality. In Republic he views this as the realm of reference in constructing his understanding of an ideal society. We find in the work of subsequent thinkers (and within Plato's Republic as well) that this non-material reality is perhaps more easily recognized in purer considerations of reason, aesthetics, mathematics, music, love, spiritual experience, and ultimately in consciousness itself, than in idealized human social institutions. Mathematics, for example, although readily practiced in material ways, is not itself material. Thus the understanding of the purity of reason as opposed to the synthetic (and uncertain) nature of empiricism, arises from the work of Plato (and is particularly well developed in Descartes' existentialism).
    Modern readers should rightly find that Plato regards the State too highly; in pursuit of an ideal State his supposedly improved citizen is highly restricted and censored. His "utopian" citizens are automatons, bred by the State; unsanctioned infants are "disposed of." Where his ideas are wrongly developed, they are in fact important ideas, i.e., they are issues deserving serious examination. Should the ruling class be restricted to philosophers? Plato says yes, that wisdom and intellectual insight are more desirable in leaders than are either birthright or popularity. Of course we, in the democratic West, tend to see this idea as totalitarianism, but it remains an interesting argument.
    Although the product of polytheistic culture, Plato is leery of the tangled accounts of the gods received from the poets, Homer, Hesiod, etc. His view of the divine -- that "the chief good" has one eternal, unchanging and surpassingly superior form -- which he also calls "Providence", hints strongly of the common ground which was to emerge between neo-Platonism and monotheism. Like Plato's proverbial cave dwellers, we perceive this transcendent entity through poorly understood "shadows" of the actual truth. Beside its philosophical, literary, political, and theological aspects, Republic is also important as a treatise on psychology, in fact the science of mind seems to have progressed very little beyond Plato's insights. Books 5-7 are particularly fascinating.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The classic--what did you expect?
    There probably isn't much I can add in a scholarly vein to what people have already said about Plato. So I thought I would make a few personal observations from the standpoint of a somewhat philosophically literate, 21st century man who is reading such an august classic in middle age.

    I came to this book with more of a background in modern epistemology and the philosophy of science than in classical philosophy. So political philosophy isn't exactly my strong suit, but nevertheless I found the book interesting reading in a way I hadn't really thought of before.

    Actually, I had read portions of this book 20 years ago when I was a young student first studying philosophy, and I have to say, there is something to be said for having a more mature outlook in approaching such a venerable work. At the time I thought political philosophy pretty dull stuff, and besides, I felt there was no real way to answer any of the important political questions that get debated here, despite the easy way Socrates disposes of everybody else's half-baked opinions and theories.

    The fact is, if you move ahead 2400 years and read something like Karl Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies," an advanced modern work, you can see how much, or how little, political philosophy has progressed in the last 24 centuries.

    Well, that may be true, but at least with this book you know where it basically all started. The best way to decide this issue is to read the book and decide for yourself.

    Although entitled "The Republic," this society isn't like any republic you've probably ever read about. Plato proposes an ant-like communism where there is no private ownership of property, philosophers are kings, kings are philosophers, people cultivate physical, moral, and ethical qualities, and the idea of the good takes the place of political and social virtues.

    Another odd facet is that the bravest citizens are permitted more wives than those less brave in battle. And then there is the infamous proposition that all poets and artists are to be banished since they are harmful purveyors of false illusions.

    I find the Socratic method as a way of moving along the dialogue between the participants sort of interesting, and it is certainly an effective device. However, none of these people, even the Sophist Thrasymachus, are really Socrates' intellectual equal, so he really doesn't have much competition here.

    If ancient Athens disproportionately had so many towering intellects, relative to its small population (about 20,000 people, most of whom were slaves anyway), you'd think they would show up in Plato's dialogues more. But all we seem to get are second-raters who are really no match for the clever Socrates.

    Yet I would say this is still a great book. Classical scholars say there are more perfect, less flawed dialogues than Plato's Republic, but none that are as profound, wide-ranging, and as influential and important for later philosophy. As someone once wrote, in a sense the entire history of western philosophy consists of nothing but "footnotes to Plato." After finally reading it, I can see why there is so much truth to that statement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazing. a must read for everyone
    Just read it. Plato's idea shaped so many other's after him. If you don't understand what Plato was trying to say then you're doing yourself a disservice. Just in readin this, the reader realyl begins to think. You'll get better at thinking by the time the book is done, for this book teaches the reader how to think. All the ideas are presented in dialog, but if you can just look at what is being said you'll begin to understand. If you only read one thing, make it be this.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Excellent Society
    in the Republic, Plato. envisioned his ideology of what a free and fair society should look like. the book emphasises on the perfection of a perfect society, which will be free of corruption, discremination, race division, and partiality.

    the author was aware of the alarming rate of corruption gripping the world we are in. he sketched a plan for a state to be run and maintained. a state that will based on law and order. specifically, Plato was hitting the nail on justice and equity of law, he stressed that a society should not be making laws based on a portion of the jurisdiction rather order should be maintained on equality and fair justice.

    The book is a treaty on how a social society and a normal state is to be ressuracted from the clamouring segregation of the rich state and the poor society. in his work of art plato pulls the trigger of justice towards equity, unity and peace of justice. its such a great book, it is more than the wordings on it because it contains ancient landmarks of literary work of art, the work has been done long ago, and it grammer complex needs not be rushed but remember that the day a man stops reading, he stops growing intellectually. how i wished books were paste. i could have kept reading each day first thing as i woke up from the sleep. The Republic needs not be rush, just slow and steady because it is a treaty and not a mere thriller novel. but its a try from all intellectual aspirants. so dont let go. if you do, you missed a book from one great thinker.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, not life changing
    The republic not only serves as a basis for western philosophy but is of central importance as a historical text. By observing staunch critics of Athenian society debate the nature of the ideal city, we come to understand precisely what Athens at the time was not like. By then noting all the specifics touched upon in the creation of this "kallipolis", we are provided with a subtle but vast account of how things actually were. Nevertheless, such politically colored views do not transfer so well into the actual philosophy. Plato, through the voice of Socrates, claims that he defines the city to help with the search for justice within the individual. More likely he is defining justice as a rationale for his elitist political views. So, as with anything powerful or important, treat this book with respect and fairness. Don't give the words more sanctity than they're due. Be prepared to sift through a considerable amount of semantics, wordplay, and blank assumptions before any of the gritty logical reasoning is found. Don't fall into the same trap of book's characters who are dazzled by Socrates' rhetoric. People will say that Plato is a genius- but that doesn't mean he can't make mistakes. All throughout the book there will be things that seem contradictory or illogical, and it doesn't make you stupid to think that Plato can be wrong. There are some fascinating and profound things that the careful reader can pull from this book, but as you read, keep in mind that Plato was a person and had his opinions like any other. ... Read more

    19. Madam Secretary: A Memoir
    by Madeleine Albright
    list price: $31.98
    our price: $21.11
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401397425
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: Miramax Audio
    Sales Rank: 137681
    Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Born in 1937, Madeleine Albright came from an Eastern Europe torn by war and the Holocaust to reach the highest echelons of American government as Secretary of State under President Clinton.Her memoir will cover her childhood and emigration, her role as wife and mother of three daughters, the painful breakdown of her marriage, and her life in politics.She will bring to life the world leaders and politicians she worked with intimately in her years in public service.She will talk very candidly about the real difficulties of being the only woman at the table and the battles she had to fight to prove her worth.And at a time when the US is examining the legacy of its policy in the Middle East during the Clinton Administration, Secretary Albright's testimony will provide essential listening-throwing light on the key players, explaining and exploring foreign policy for the non-specialist. ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Far-Ranging Autobiography --- Readers Will Learn Much
    In winding up her far-ranging autobiography, Madeleine Albright tells us with amusement that once, after leaving office as U.S. Secretary of State, she was mistaken in public for Margaret Thatcher.

    It's worth a chuckle to the reader --- but there are indeed interesting similarities between the two women, even though their political leanings are light-years apart. They both reached the highest rank ever attained by a woman in their respective democratic governments, were fiercely partisan political figures, and held very strong opinions and were never afraid to battle for them (Albright's favorite expression for this is that she never hesitated to "push back" at those who opposed her).

    Albright is best known for serving as U.S. ambassador to the UN in the first Clinton term, and as Secretary of State in the second. Readers of this book will learn in detail about the early years and long political apprenticeship that led up to those two high-profile jobs. They will also learn, in perhaps more detail than they care to absorb, about the many foreign policy crises in which she was a major player under Clinton.

    The other thing about Albright that most people will recall is that only after she became Secretary of State did she learn that her family ancestry was Jewish --- that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps. This personal revelation is duly covered but not dwelled upon in extraordinary detail.

    Her life, though unsettled due to wartime exigencies, was not a rags-to-riches tale. She was born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague into a comfortably situated family. Her father was a respected Czech diplomat and college professor. Fleeing the Nazis, the family spent time in England during World War II. They arrived in the United States when she was 11, and her father took a teaching job in Denver. She entered Wellesley College in 1955 and became an American citizen two years later. She married into a wealthy and well-connected American family in 1959. Her first political idol and mentor was Edmund Muskie, in whose doomed presidential campaign she took part. After the breakup of her marriage, her career in government and politics took off during the Carter presidency, her only personal setback being a painful divorce in 1983.

    This is all dispatched in the first 100 pages or so of her lengthy book. The rest of it details her UN and State Department years with a thoroughness that seems at times compulsive. All the heroes and villains of those years pass in review --- Carter, Havel, Milosevic, Helms, Clinton, Putin, Arafat, Barak. The complexities of Rwanda, Serbia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Somalia and other trouble spots are laid out in prose that can get ponderous --- but her incisive personal portraits of these people lighten the mood.

    Albright makes no pretense to real objectivity. She is a committed Democrat who admired both Carter and Clinton, and she defends them against all the charges that have been flung at them by their opponents. She defends such controversial actions as Clinton's successful ousting of Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the UN, and his policy of opening up trade with China and warily seeking a somewhat civil relationship with North Korea. Her two biggest regrets are the failure of the UN to stop genocide in Rwanda and Clinton's failure to forge a solid peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (in that regard, while gently critical of Israel on occasion, she holds Arafat mainly responsible for the breakdown). The two biggest villains in her cast of characters, not surprisingly, are Arafat and Milosevic.

    There is naturally a strong feminist slant to her narrative. There is also a vein of sharp observation, character analysis, and even humor. The writing, when not bogged down in the minutiae of crisis management, can be bright, though we are left to wonder how much of the credit is hers and how much belongs to her collaborator, Bill Woodward.

    Mercifully, Monica Lewinsky remains a bit player in Albright's narrative. Two other things, perhaps more important, are also missing: detailed assessments of the effect of the 9/11 tragedy on America's global course and the George W. Bush administration. Those would have made an already long book longer, but one wishes she had covered them anyway.

    --- Reviewed by Robert Finn

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exemplary
    Madam Secretary is a wonderful capsule of a remarkable life and highly recommended for anyone who is as much of a current affairs geek as I am. While most will be drawn to read this book because of the insights Ms. Albright provides into the Clinton Administration's roles in the Middle East conflict, Kosovo, and North Korea - all of which are discussed in fascinating detail - some of the most compelling (and poignant) sections of the book have to do with her pain associated with the sudden dissolution of her marriage, the discovery of her Jewish ancestry, and her life in Czechoslovakia as a young girl.

    Ms. Albright's narrative voice is warm and inviting and utterly without pretension. This is my vote for the best non-fiction book of 2003.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An inside view...
    Madeleine Albright led a remarkable life - fleeing as a child across war-torn Europe, first from the invading Germans and then from the invading Soviets, the little girl from Prague came to America before a teenager, and ended up becoming the first female Secretary of State in American history (although, interestingly, not even the first non-American-born Secretary of State in the last half century!). She reinvented herself as an American, someone who fell deeply in love with her adopted country, even to the extent that her name Madeleine, isn't the one with which she was christened (although it is the French version of her name, and thus we are reading the memoirs of Madeleine, not Marie Jana Korbel).

    She weaves together her personal life and insights together with the professional experiences she has had throughout her various careers, culminating with the office of Secretary of State for several years in Bill Clinton's administration. Her father, part of the Czech government-in-exile, immigrated to America and became a professor (interestingly, one of his student was Condalezza Rice, one of the principle voices in foreign affairs in the current Bush administration). Albright thus had training from the very beginning in terms of both academic and practical aspects of governments and diplomacy.

    Albright's academic credentials are impressive, and her experiences in school shaped her later career. For undergraduate work, she studied at Wellesley College in Political Science, and then went to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She finished her formal education at Columbia, receiving a Certificate from the Russian Institute, and her Masters and Doctorate from the Department of Public Law and Government. This is also where she got involved with political and media affairs in earnest.

    She was a White House staffer, including staffing the National Security Council, during Carter's presidency; during the 12-year Republican administrations in Washington, her career focused on the Center for National Policy, a non-profit liberal think-tank/research organization formed in 1981 looking at issues in domestic and foreign policy. This gave her continued presence in the field so that when the time came, Clinton tapped her to be the ambassador to the United Nations, and then later Secretary of State.

    She met and married Joseph Albright, part of a wealthy media family, and recounts in some detail and emotion the difficulties with the breakup of that relationship. She also confesses an affair with a Georgetown professor, and other difficult times in her life. However, these take a back seat most of the time to her professional career.

    Albright makes the claim to have not discovered her Jewish ancestry until late in life; there is reason to discount this belief, given that she is the kind of person likely to know the details of her background, and given that she visited family back in Czechoslovakia back in the 1960s. Reasons for not wanting to be identified as being of Jewish descent during her career are unclear, but in an otherwise very straightforward autobiographical account, this one point seems less than convincing.

    Albright does reflect with candor on many world leaders, including her boss Bill Clinton, and his wife Hillary; few of the key names of the 90s are missed here. Ultimately, one comes across with the impression of a erudite diplomat, a skillful politicians, and a sincere worker for the best interests of the nation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth, captivating and thoughtful
    A fascinating story of a remarkable person who has served her country well.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Filling in What the Media Neglects
    If your interesting in knowing the truth about one of the 1990s most important foreign policy personalities, this book won't necessarily help. While it is an easy read with lots of details about what was happening behind closed doors, Ms. Albright also spun it to her own advantages. But that is to be expected. Considering her harsh handing at the hands of the right wing, it is good to get her point of view. ... Read more

    20. Twice Adopted
    by Michael Reagan, Chris Fabry, Sean Hannity
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1589267354
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
    Publisher: Oasis Audio
    Sales Rank: 250961
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    Book Description

    Michael Reagan’s life is much more than just an interesting story.It is a testimony of how Christ allowed him to find healing from many of the issues that confront our culture today, such as sexual abuse, divorce, loneliness, the feeling of rejection, and the belief that God does not care about us. Michael Reagan’s first adoption gave him an identity, but he did not find his true identity until he found Christ.

    In this book, Mike Reagan shows how others can meet a God who loves them, and who wants to embrace them and bring them healing, salvation, and meaning to life. ... Read more

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