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    $17.15 $12.49 list($25.99)
    1. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder
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    2. The World Is Flat : A Brief History
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    3. What's the Matter with Kansas?
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    4. China, Inc. : How the Rise of
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    5. Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside
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    6. International Economics: Theory
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    7. Perfect Soldiers : The Hijackers:
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    8. Government by the People, National
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    9. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting
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    11. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx
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    12. Program Evaluation: Alternative
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    13. The Lexus and the Olive Tree:
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    14. American Government and Politics
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    15. They Just Don't Get It : How Washington
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    16. Home Invasion : Protecting Your
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    17. Leadership
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    20. The Case For Democracy: The Power

    1. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder : Savage Solutions
    by Michael Savage
    list price: $25.99
    our price: $17.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1595550062
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
    Publisher: Nelson Current
    Sales Rank: 91
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Dr. Savage, sage prophet of the airwaves, has been diagnosing liberal mental illness for more than a decade. Now, in his third and most insightful book, he strikes at the root of today's most desperate issues, providing a hefty dose of his unique conservative medicine, including:

  • Homeland security: "We need more Patton and less patent leather. . .Real homeland security begins when we arrest, interrogate, jail, or deport known operatives within our own borders. . .One dirty bomb can ruin your whole day."
  • The ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, and MoveOn.org: "I believe it's time for the heads of . . . left-wing agitation groups who are using the courts to impose their will on the sheeple to be prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes."
  • Illegal immigration: "I envision an Oil for Illegals program. . .The president should demand one barrel of oil from Mexico for every illegal alien that sneaks into our country."
  • The Doctor is in and the diagnosis is clear. Read Liberalism is a Mental Disorder and find out what you can do to treat it. ... Read more

    Reviews (74)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Savage is truth
    Whats great about Savage is that he tells the truth with compromise or weakness.The only way to deal with the liberal threat to America is to go after them without fear or compromise.There are too many compromisers on the fringes of the conservative movement.Thats why we keep getting sold out by men like John McCain every time that we are on the brink of victory.But poor Mrs. Shaivo is dead and now the liberals can veto a fixed percentage of conservative judges.Savage knows that we can't compromise with the liberals.The system must be purged of their influence once and for all.

    Savage also bravely and forthrightly stands on the side of freedom in the middle east and Israel.Israel and Iraq are the only countries in the middle east and the arab world with any sort of freedom.The terrorists can't live next door to freedom and want to destroy it.During 1967-1985, the territories in Israel were the freest part of the arab world.The people were free and happy.But then Israel allowed the terrorists to creep in and destroy it all.Rather than finish the terrorists, Israel surrendered them to murder and madness at the hands of the PLO gangsters.All the freedom Israel had built was destroyed.

    But now America has taken up the cause of freedom in the arab world and has brought it to Iraq.General Auon will soon bring freedom back to Lebannon.All the rest of the criminals are under pressure and will soon be destroyed.And guess what?In a free middle east, we will discover that there is no Israel problem or "palestinian?" problem.All the arabs hurded into Israel and kept in prison camps at gunpoint since 1948 by the UN will be free to leave.And rather than stay in Israel, most will return to their real countries like free Iraq or free syria.Since 1917, arabs have migrated toward the freedom represented by Israel because they have no freedom of their own.With free Iraq on the rise, it is only a matter of time until all those people return home.

    Freedom is on the march at home and in the rest of the world.While many people recognize the threat the liberals pose to America, nobody wants violence against them.The Sheeple among them (the liberal drones) can be cured by showing them the truth.Many can be cured just by conservatives passing books men like Savage around.The leaders of the liberals will have to account for their crimes.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insanity is a mental disorder
    Yes, this book was better than I expected, given its unfortunate title.After all, we are all Americans here in the United States, and I think it is more productive for us all to work together than to use harsh language about people with different politics.And I certainly think Savage is unfair to liberals in general and to liberalism.

    As a liberal, I wanted to read about some criticisms of liberalism.But this book does not criticize liberalism nearly as much as it does the non-liberal policies of some so-called liberals.

    There is a chapter about the protection of our borders.Now protection of our borders, language, and culture is actually a national issue, not simply a conservative one.Similarly, human rights, justice, and truth are national issues, not simply liberal ones.I think it is better to discuss these issues in such terms.And to some extent, Savage does so.

    The author is right that the United States needs to control its borders.Now, we may disagree signifcantly about some of the details, such as how many immigrants we'll allow in.But I certainly am not going to recommend that we simply open our borders to everyone (as well as to any nuclear weapons they may be smuggling).Even if we intend to let in many of those who now enter the United States illegally, I want this done legally, with our authorities in control of our borders. Savage implies that liberals are too soft on border control, but I think this is unfair, and that border control is a national issue.

    What about Islamofascism, as Savage quite appropriately calls it?Are some liberals just a little too eager to whitewash it?Yes, some are.But the issues are of truth, incitement, human rights, and sedition, and all of these are national issues.Besides, fascism is simply not liberal.I think Savage makes some good points, but they are valid for all of us, across the political spectrum.

    The same can be said for puff pieces about Arafat.Savage lives up to his name in relating some of the more revolting paeans to this monstrous mass murderer.And I think those of us who indulge in coming up with them are not behaving as liberals.Arafat was not merely a monster, he was also an enemy of the United States and a political enemy of liberalism.I would have serious doubts about the liberal credentials of anyone who called George W. Bush the greatest President America has ever had.I have even more serious doubts about the liberal credentials of those who issue similar praise for Arafat.

    I think we liberals need to read this book.We've got enough problems trying to drum up support for rational behavior, human rights, equality, freedom, and justice.We do not need to give ourselves more problems by appearing to fight against our own principles.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Who's Winning
    I took away a star because of the title...you end up with a lot of insecure people immediately going on defensive/offensive. That said, don't read too much into the title. The title is just Mr. Savage's blend of sarcasm and seriousness, which he oft does to get your attention. It worked...another best seller.
    The overall theme of the book is simply that socialistic ideolgy and it's practices often fly in the face of what's actually good for Americans, at home and aboad. Hence, "Borders, Language, & Culture." He argues topics ranging from the family to politics & war. You won't agree with everything...I didn't.
    This book offers alternative points of views supported by real evidence that you won't find in regular news outlets or liberal/conservative media.
    Contrary to other reviewers, this book is not a denunciation of particlar people but of self-destructive politics and idelogy we continue to elect. Mr. Savage has strong options about what's right, and yes, leaves room for little in between.
    Everyone can benefit from reading this book, but not everyone will like it. Love it or leave it.


    1-0 out of 5 stars This could have been made into a booklet
    The first thing that one notices when they pick up the book is the unappealing cover. Savage looks like he's been hitting a few too many buffets in the Castro district of San Fran lately. You turn the book over and look for quotes from his peers but you find absolutely none expect from a bookclub that I've never heard of (and probably no one else either). Paging through the book it seems very thin. The lines on the pages are double spaced and about every three or four pages is a quote in bold print that takes up a good three to four inches of the page. I passed this book to a friend and just told him that it was a book I got at the library and it's a bestseller. The first thing he said was,"there's nothing to this book." I said "yeah and look at how much he's getting per copy, $25." I guess I must be the sucker for not jumping on the bandwagon and putting out a book of opinionated fluff that you could read in a half an hour. He jumps from topic to topic like a gerbil with ADD. Talking about Patton in one chapter and then about how Madonna thinks she's so holy now and then about how he's an animal lover. Do people really care about this stuff? I predict you'll see a lot of copies of this book in the bargain bin at your local discount retailer by the fall.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Self-destructive
    Savage's deep-seated hatred to the world at large has seriously afflicted his health. The front cover of the book shows an intoxicated sick man, with buffed eyelids, congested face, and poor dental hygiene. The man who accuses his opponents of being mentally sick is self-destructed by his own demons.

    As a Zionist zealot, he would sell America to the devil to defend Israel and attack Islam. He blames all Muslims for the mistakes of few radicals and describes Yasser Arafat as a butcher while dismissing the crimes of Arial Sharon during the last five decades. He dedicates his book to the American soldier as long as the later defends Israel and kill more Iraqis and Muslims.Such blind racism ignores the great perils that lie in the future of Israel amidst oceans of angry Muslims who are gaining new technologies, education, and economic powers every passing moment.

    Savage blames Mexican immigrants for the spread of leprosy and tuberculosis. Isn't that the same tactic used by the Nazi for blaming the Jews for every evil on earth?Although his parents had immigrated to America, which offered him the opportunity to graduate education, he wishes to deny others the same opportunity. Sending 150,000 American soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, or the homegrown HIV epidemic, both outweigh the impact of illegal immigration in the spread of contagious diseases. In the era of global air and sea transportation, contagious diseases do not require illegal immigration to spread across the globe. SARS is a good example.

    Mohamed F. El-Hewie
    Author of "Essentials of Weightlifting and Strength Training". ... Read more


    2. The World Is Flat : A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas L. Friedman
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593977514
    Catlog: Book
    Publisher: Audio Renaissance
    Sales Rank: 512
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim, in his new book, The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here. The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists--the optimistic ones at least--are inevitably prey to.

    What Friedman means by "flat" is "connected": the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet. This in itself should not be news to anyone. But the news that Friedman has to deliver is that just when we stopped paying attention to these developments--when the dot-com bust turned interest away from the business and technology pages and when 9/11 and the Iraq War turned all eyes toward the Middle East--is when they actually began to accelerate. Globalization 3.0, as he calls it, is driven not by major corporations or giant trade organizations like the World Bank, but by individuals: desktop freelancers and innovative startups all over the world (but especially in India and China) who can compete--and win--not just for low-wage manufacturing and information labor but, increasingly, for the highest-end research and design work as well. (He doesn't forget the "mutant supply chains" like Al-Qaeda that let the small act big in more destructive ways.) Friedman tells his eye-opening story with the catchy slogans and globe-hopping anecdotes that readers of his earlier books and his New York Times columns will know well, and also with a stern sort of optimism. He wants to tell you how exciting this new world is, but he also wants you to know you're going to be trampled if you don't keep up with it. His book is an excellent place to begin. --Tom Nissley

    Where Were You When the World Went Flat?

    Thomas L. Friedman's reporter's curiosity and his ability to recognize the patterns behind the most complex global developments have made him one of the most entertaining and authoritative sources for information about the wider world we live in, both as the foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times and as the author of landmark books like From Beirut to Jerusalem and The Lexus and the Olive Tree. They also make him an endlessly fascinating conversation partner, and we'd happily have peppered him with questions about The World Is Flat for hours. Read our interview to learn why there's almost no one from Washington, D.C., listed in the index of a book about the global economy, and what his one-plank platform for president would be. (Hint: his bumper stickers would say, "Can You Hear Me Now?")

    The Essential Tom Friedman


    From Beirut to Jerusalem

    The Lexus and the Olive Tree

    Longitudes and Attitudes

    More on Globalization and Development


    China, Inc. by Ted Fishman

    Three Billion New Capitalists by Clyde Prestowitz

    The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs

    Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz

    In Defense of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati

    The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto

    ... Read more

    Reviews (90)

    3-0 out of 5 stars The World IS Flat
    I was super excited when I heard about this book - finally something proclaiming something that I knew all along -but a little of the way into it, I got the feeling Friedman was being facetious with his title.That he didn't actually think the world WAS flat.My point is, the world IS flat.


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    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting History, But Erroroneous Conclusions
    Friedman provides an excellent summary of recent changes that have created today's intense global economy. However, his conclusion that this is good for the U.S. - based on anecdotal evidence supplied by outsourcing supporters - is dead wrong.

    Broader data show massive deterioration in U.S. workers' healthcare and pension coverage, and opportunities to use and develop higher-level skills (eg. software, engineering, production management, technical skills). The most recent data even show a decline in inflation-adjusted incomes. Meanwhile, the areas being outsourced continues to grow to now include tutors, and drug trials.

    Friedman observes that Asian competitors are quick learners, moving up the "food chain" from simple production managed by Americans to designing new sophisticated equipment and parts and then manufacturing them under local management. What he fails to note is that sooner or later they will also take over total control and financing - leaving only U.S. distribution to Americans. Thus, most of those that now support outsourcing will eventually find themselves also outsourced.

    Friedman does have a recommendation for America in the "flattened world" - substantially improve education and pupil achievement. Unfortunately, even if accomplished (30+ years of reform efforts have yet to come close), it would be of little help. Experts have concluded that Oriental IQs generally average 10 points higher than those of Americans. China alone has about four times the U.S. population, and then there's India, Pakistan, South America, etc. - earning as little as 5% of what Americans bring in. Meanwhile, eg. the number of U.S. computer science students is DECLINING - as a result of unemployment caused by outsourcing.

    In addition, American corporations are hobbled by having to pay high healthcare costs, vs. other nations' much lower costs - largely born by government. And finally there are the government restrictions on genetic research that American firms are hobbled with - possibly precluding significant participation in a potentially booming new area.

    Clearly the mathematics are against us and the inevitable result is that our standard of living is headed for a substantial fall - unless some other solution is found. Rome, Spain, and England proved that a nation's strength is not permanent. Friedman summarized the factors eroding America's - unfortunately, he failed to look clearly into the future or to find a solution. And those should be America's main concern

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    Although written in a journalistic (and enjoyable) manner, Friedman provides an excellent overview of how the adoption of new information and communication technologies, as well as supply-chain, work-flow and knowledge management, are accelerating the process of world economic integration.

    Some of the more critical aspects of globalization (e.g., environmental, labor and other social impacts) could have received more attention.

    I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting... Outstanding... Scary... Best of 2005 (so far)
    It's taking me a while to get through "The World Is Flat". This is not like some books that you can read in one afternoon or evening, such as Mark Burnett's "Jump In", just to mention another book I read recently. In fact, it's taken me several weeks, reading a chapter here and a subchapter there, and then letting it sink in for a while.

    There are some that are not buying into Tom Friedman's basic contention, which is (1) the opportunities/threats for more international competition for global trade and services are real, (2) power has shifted from states (up to 1800) to companies (1800-2000) to individuals at the start of the 21st century, and (3) the higher educational system in the US is not adequately prepared for the "quiet storm". To those that don't believe this, I feel sorry for them, for they are not in touch with the real world! My son is about to enter college in a few months, and I'm worried about the competition he will face coming out of college. I love Tom's story about his advice to his daughters: "Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to tell me 'Tom, finish your dinner--people in India and China are starving'. My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework--people in China and India are starving for your jobs!"

    Friedman does an excellent job in setting the table on how this all came about, in the so-called 10 forces that flattened the world, including the rise of the Intels and Googles of the world, the outsourcing and offshoring phenoms, etc. I strongly believe that, instead of trying to be protectionist for the sake of hanging on to a few more jobs for a few more years, America instead should find the inspiration to look at what's next to add value in the world economy of today, tomorrow and 20 years from now. Does anyone really believe that imposing quotas on Chinese textile imports will "save" the American textile industry (just to name one industry)? Hardly. At the same time, there are American textile companies thriving today by understanding the new global economic environment they are competing in and then taking advantage of it.

    I can't easily recall another book that has made such an impact on me. There is lots to be learned from Friedman's book, even if as you read it, it all sounds so self-evident (as I see it happen all around me). "The World Is Flat" should be required reading in colleges around the country. And this surely will be one of the best books (if not the very best) of 2005 when all is said and done. Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Provocative and Insightful...and Unclear
    Thomas Friedman is a gifted writer. I very much enjoyed his book and learned a great deal from it. His main thesis, that the playing field has been leveled all over the world due to the rise of the machines (sorry, couldn't resist), makes a good deal of sense to me. His ten causes were clearly outlined and easy to follow. I very much enjoyed the little vignettes from the call center in Bangalore, the housewife in Utah, etc. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. Also, the cover art--mine had the ships sailing towards the edge--was outstanding!

    I do feel Friedman could have made his own point of view more clear, however. He makes it clear that technology has made outsourcing, insourcing, informing, offshoring a common business practice. He does not make his opinion of this practice clear. The huge elephant in the room is the fact that American employees are losing their jobs in this new flat world. It was unclear to me whether Friedman was somewhat neutral: "This is just the way of the world now and we must live with it and try to rise to the top of the global workplace" or whether he was making a more positive statement: "The planet has finally reached the point where we can all play ball together and isn't that just grand?"

    In other words, does Friedman view this new flat world as somehow better than the old round one?

    On another note, as one who sees middle school and high school students struggle daily to read and to write basic English, I was a bit put off by Friedman's take on NCLB and its subset, Reading First. Of course, science and engineering, math and medicine is the goal. It is definitely cause for concern that our country is creating fewer finalists in these fields and that our government is currently cutting those budgets. However, let's be smart about this: Reading comes first. Literacy is the cornerstone of a strong civilization. I did not feel that Friedman did due diligence to the magnitude and complexity of the educational crisis our country is facing. ... Read more


    3. What's the Matter with Kansas? : How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
    by Thomas Frank
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080507774X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Owl Books
    Sales Rank: 166
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The largely blue collar citizens of Kansas can be counted upon to be a "red" state in any election, voting solidly Republican and possessing a deep animosity toward the left. This, according to author Thomas Frank, is a pretty self-defeating phenomenon, given that the policies of the Republican Party benefit the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the average worker. According to Frank, the conservative establishment has tricked Kansans, playing up the emotional touchstones of conservatism and perpetuating a sense of a vast liberal empire out to crush traditional values while barely ever discussing the Republicans' actual economic policies and what they mean to the working class. Thus the pro-life Kansas factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh will repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically. To much of America, Kansas is an abstract, "where Dorothy wants to return. Where Superman grew up." But Frank, a native Kansan, separates reality from myth in What's the Matter with Kansas and tells the state's socio-political history from its early days as a hotbed of leftist activism to a state so entrenched in conservatism that the only political division remaining is between the moderate and more-extreme right wings of the same party. Frank, the founding editor of The Baffler and a contributor to Harper's and The Nation, knows the state and its people. He even includes his own history as a young conservative idealist turned disenchanted college Republican, and his first-hand experience, combined with a sharp wit and thorough reasoning, makes his book more credible than the elites of either the left and right who claim to understand Kansas. --John Moe ... Read more

    Reviews (244)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful, relevant, and shocking.
    If you want to understand why the armies of righteousness who have the most to benefit from workers' rights, better schooling, and corporate accountability are the same people to cast their votes for the candidate that works against all three, this is the book to read.

    Frank answers the previous question by describing what he calls a "backlash" phenomenon:an eruption of cultural anger, rooted in a sense of powerless, in response to the perception that elites are destroying society.By channeling all of their energies on remedying the perceived cultural ills of society (practices like abortion, gay marriage, evolution in the public schools), the backlashers, predominantly from the lower classes, feel that they are working to improve not only their own lives, but also society at a whole.

    Unfortunately for the backlashers, and as Mr. Frank so correctly underscores throughout the duration of his work, the positions they champion rarely find their way into public policy.In the end, the backlashers elect politicians who have no intention of appointing pro-life judges or of voting for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.Instead, these politicians instead work to eliminate business regulations, gut old-age pensions, repeal the estate tax (a tax on millionaire's estates at the time of their death), and push through countless other measures that obliterate the economic prospects of lower- and middle-class voters.And they do it all while wrapping themselves in the rhetoric of righteousness.

    As an example, Frank points out that Bush campaigned on his moral clarity regarding such issues as terrorism, stem cell research, and abortion.Now in office with the help of the backlash votes, Bush has not made a single overture to translate any of these issues into action, making one brief mention of the sanctity of marriage in his State of the Union address in January.The agenda he has proposed is the privatization of social security, the continuation of his tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and the appointment of judges who are known more for being anti-consumer than anti-abortion.Ironically, the actions the Bush administration is undertaking affect the very poor people who cast their votes for him in moral indignation last year.

    Fired up by their zealotry, the backlashers still have not realized, even after twenty years, that politicians use morality as a rhetorical device more than as a basis for their policy decisions.As Frank explains, the very purpose these backlash issues serve it to obscure the viewpoint of the voters, to lead them to vote against their own economic well-being in favor of abstract morality, and to do it election after election.Thus, the backlash issues are designed not to become law.They are intended to fester as the rotting carrot on the stick to lead the masses around for as long as they will ignore the consequences of their own voting behavior.

    What Frank does so beautifully in this book is to contrast the self-defeating, seemingly contradictory behavior of backlashing Republicans -- particularly Kansas Conservative Republicans -- with the Kansas populists from a century ago.Whereas William Jennings Bryan correctly identified greed as a driving force behind society's moral composition, today's backlashers are hapless, failing to understand that their righteous politicians are in bed with the corporations that pollute the entertainment industry with depravity.Whereas the Populists that made Kansas a hotbed of activism championed social programs and government subsidies, modern-day Kansans have all-but demolished their own neighborhoods with blind reliance on laissez-faire capitalism.

    If you are a Democrat and you are amazed at how so many people could vote for Bush -- a second time, read this book.If you are a Republican who does not mind hearing points of view which differ from your own, read this book.If you are neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but a concerned American who wants to understand more about today's political landscape, READ THIS BOOK!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lives Up to its Hype
    Just finished reading the paperback version, which includes an afterword about the 2004 election.After everything that was said about this book by the right and the left leading up to the election, I was prepared to be disappointed.Yet the book provided a rare combination of humor, insight, and almost elegant prose that puts Frank in a rare league-- with the likes of Orwell and Mencken.This is really an essential book for those seeking to understand the trends in American politics, and a breezy, funny read to boot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good analysis
    This book is an excellent analysis of how republicans and conservatives came to finally control all three branches of the government in the 1990s. For an analysis of how conservatives accomplished this starting in the 1960s, see a more systematically and well-researched book, "America's Right Turn."

    I will not go into the details of this book, but this one-starreviewer's quote is ample evidence for how conservatives got the poor and disenfranchised to vote for them: "I can't believe a Lefty allowed trees to be killed for this drivel."

    3-0 out of 5 stars Conservatism and Insanity
    Tom Franks book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" highlights a problem found all across the country.The very people who have been typically identified as solid Democrat voters in the past are often breaking ranks and voting for Republican candidates.

    What is most incredible is that such a decision would seem to defy the self-interest of many--if not all--of these voters.Franks describes in his book how farmers who are losing their farms, workers who are stuck in low wage jobs where unions are being de-certified, and blue collar people who are losing health insurance show up on election day and vote for the very candidates who would seem to accelerate this process.

    Franks demonstrates how the GOP has used the so-called "social issues" abortion, gay rights, and prayer in the school as wedges to persuade people to vote republican who have no logical reason for doing so.Incredibly, this strategy seems to be working in the South and Midwest.

    The book has some weaknesses.Franks spends a great deal of time using hyperbole and sarcasm to ridicule the conservatives and those who seemingly ignore their self interest and vote for them.I wish he had spent more time than he does talking about what the Democrats can do to win these voters back.Perhaps, he also fails to understand that one reason the Democrats have been in decline is simply because many of the things the party has stood for since the Great Depression have become less and less relevant.Economic issues were major motivators for voters when 20% of the work force was unemployed, when collective bargaining did not exist in the workplace, and when no social safety for the elderly--like social security and Medicare--existed.However, despite inequalities in income and social problems the situation in America is fortunately not nearly as desperate as it was in the 1930's. Hence, Democrats cannot play these issues as successfully as they did in the past. Political parties have to adapt to changing realities.Democrats must do a better job of explaining how right wing policies are slowly, but steadily eroding economic gains by the middle class. Democrats have to be more willing to tackle issues like outsourcing jobs and free trade than we have in the past.

    Nonetheless, Franks describes a phenomenon that is very real and must be addressed by Democrat leadership if the party is not to remain permanently--or longterm--in the minority.The power that the "social issues" have over a large segment of the middle class and working class population cannot be ignored.Its now a critical factor in determining the outcome of national elections.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insights
    He gives a very convincing explanation of why people have have abandoned aligning their votes with their best economic interests and switched to "values" based voting.He also shows how misleading are the claims of those who proclaim themselves to be guided by values when in fact they are just in it for the glory and the power. He does go on and by the end I felt the book could have been much shorter. ... Read more


    4. China, Inc. : How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World
    by Ted C. Fishman
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743257529
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 476175
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    5. Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Secret Saudi-U.S. Connection
    by Gerald L. Posner
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400062918
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 1201
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars America's Saudi problem
    Saudi Arabia is officially an ally of the United States. It very often is the OPEC member that adds on to the oil supply , and so keeps the price down. It has huge holdings of US financial instruments. It has especially good personal connections with many of American leaders, among whom are the Bush family. It has been considered an ally of the United States since the time of President Franklin Roosevelt.
    However Saudi Arabia is also the home of Wahabi Islam. This radical xenophobic form of Islam is the principal ideology of Islamic terrorism. Saudi Arabia 's school - system preaches violent anti- Americanism. Eleven of the fifteen terrorists of 9/11 were Saudis. The largest contingent of foreign terrorists operating against the Iraqi regime, and US forces in Iraq are Saudis. The Saudis through Islamic charitable organizations ( as Posner makes clear in this book) are major funders of terror in the world.
    Thus the US- Saudi connection is an important, problematic, and questionable one.
    Posner in this research addsevidence regarding the negative role Saudi Arabia plays in the whole struggle against Terror, and in the US effort to push toward Democracy in the Middle East. He provides evidence showing how Saudi influence has penetrated and corrupted law-enforcement and political agencies in the United States.
    This book even addsthe somewhat unlikely and not fully provedstory of the Saudis having in fear of a US invastion and takeover attemptcompletely mining their oil- fields.
    Aside from the questionable character of this storyPosner does present a well- documented picture of Saudi double- dealing toward the United States.
    It too points out how the Saudi connection has prevented the US from going all out in the war on terror. For to do this the US would have to also confront and transform the Saudi regime itself.
    Whoever reads this book and studies the present US- Saudi connection will leave it having considerable worries about the present course of US foreign policy, and in fact the future of Western democracy in an energy hungry world.
    A vital work for understanding one of the great threats to American democracy today.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Based on Newspaper Articles; Nothing New
    This book is almost all based on secondary sources like newspaper articles and op-eds. It basically rehashes SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL by Robert Baer and HATRED's KINGDOM by Dore Gold. If you have read those books, you can dispense with this one.

    The only new thing Posner offers is a chapter on a supposed "scorched earth policy" the Saudis have to blow up their oil facilities. The only source given for this is an ISRAELI intelligence official (unnamed, of course). Ahhh, how Posner loves his unnamed sources, and how silly that looks after the Newsweek fiasco!

    Now, you don't have to buy into silly Zionist conspiracy theories to realise that an Israeli just MIGHT want to spread around that kind of info about Saudi Arabia...

    Apart from that, you'll have read everything -- and I mean everything -- Posner has to say on the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

    You would do better to spend your money on INSIDE THE MARAGE by Thomas Lippman or SAUDI ARABIA EXPOSED by John R. Bradley. At least those two authors have BEEN to Saudi Arabia, and Bradley speaks Arabic too. Lippman admittedly is a bit dry and he goes on about Saudi Aramco for ever, but Bradley's book is a riot and worth the price of all the books I mentioned here put together!

    SECRETS OF THE KINGDOM, in short, is VERY disappointing. What kind of a "secret" can be attributed by an author to the mainsteam US media??? I am sick of all these unnamed sources!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Secrets of the Kingdom" reveals, and reveals, and reveals
    As one "Secrets" reviewer wrote, 1973 was a pivotal year when the Arabs attacked Israel.After reading Gerald Posner's "Secrets of the Kingdom" it looks as though they also began their attack on the U.S. in 1973!As Posner notes (by the way, don't miss any of the footnotes and chapter notes) 1973 is also the year the radical Islamic Association landed on the doorstep of the U.S., founded by the Muslim Brothers from whence it made several mutations to launch fundraising fronts for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Al Qaeda causes.

    This latest Posner true-crime thriller discreetly cries out for help -- from Capitol Hill policymakers to the U.N. -- to get to the bottom of the "scorched earth" scenario played out in the pages of the book.And as aptly noted in Posner's first chapter, "who let our ransom go?"Who let Ahmed bin Salman, now dead Prince Ahmed bin Salman, sally forth from Lexington, KY to London, England in a private jet on September 16, 2001 with nary a detailed interview?And then let him back into the U.S. to enjoy the Thoroughbred racing season through the running of the Preakness in 2002, evidently with nary a question? What did the Saudi royals know about the planned 9/11 attack?

    This book is a gem, and puts into perspective contemporary Saudi history as no other book has. It captures your interest.It is provacative. Tuesday I was watching U.S. Senate hearings on the Iraq oil diversion scheme to enrich Saddam.Curiously, former French Minister Charles Pasqua was named a reputed beneficiary of the kickback scheme.And so was British MP George Galloway.Then, when I read "Secrets of the Kingdom" Wednesday, I saw that name again, Charles Pasqua, and noted that he had investigated Saudi charities as a source of terrorist financing and had tried to get assistance from the Saudis who turned a deaf ear in 1994 ... As to British MP Galloway, why in 1994 and 1996 it seems he helped Saudi dissidents who fled to England seeking assylum. Since charges against the above were reputedly falsely leveled by Tariq Aziz and other Iraqi detainees under CIA control, it makes me wonder if those Saudi interpreters used by the CIA aren't double agents working their own agendas, cutting deals for Saudis,for Aziz and others, and working for the Royal House of Saud.We know the royals are looking for any way they can to "sack" people whose views are critical of the House of Saud.

    An excellent read, highly recommended.

    Lois Ann Battuello
    Napa Valley CA USA


    5-0 out of 5 stars Over a barrel
    This may be one of the most important books of the year as it points out not only the bargain with the devilwe make when we ally ourselvesmorally bankrupt countries but the larger problem of our dependence on oil and the continuing missteps we make in trying to secure that resource.
    I see Posner's book as balanced and carefully researched. In my opinion as a journalist he does not seem betray any liberal or conservative bias.
    Saudi Arabia was somewhat of a backwater as well as a country whose survival was in question until oil was discovered there by Americans in the 1930s.
    Posner gives usbackground of life in Saudi Arabia before the days of oil. The picture is not a pretty one. It was a society both intolerant and brutal.
    But when oil was discovered the US, originally through Aramco, a dance began with this peculiar culture.
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia long has a history of being anti Jewish and later anti-Israel.
    The UShas been trying to perform a balancing act for decades betweenits support for Israel and while trying to maintain a good relationship with Saudi Arabia. In the meantime the Saudishave been waging an ideological war in both fundingthe Wahabis in their own country and funding projects in our own universities.
    Posner points out how we have and continueto defer to the Saudis time and again.
    This brings us to 9-11-01 and these post 9-11 days.
    Posner exposes members of the House of Saud that had, and may still have, direct connections to al-Qaeda. He also account chilling plans the ruling familyhas to detonate their own oil fields with radiological devices in the event they are overthrown.
    The authors does a wonderful job showing how the interests of Saudi Arabia and the US have become complicatedly entangled despite the fact that the two countrieshave vastly different goals.
    Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good investigative reporting, not shocking
    I was very impressed with Gerald Posner's book, "Case Closed," so when I saw this book, I was eager to read it.And I was not disappointed.It shows the same careful and thorough approach.

    It begins by showing the legacy of Saudi extremism, slavery, racism, bigotry, intolerance, and chauvinism.And then we get to the subject of oil money.That money, combined with King Faisal's preoccupation with Jews and Zionists (whom he saw as evil) was a toxic mix.It resulted in pressure on Aramco as well as on the United States government directly to try to help change American foreign policy in the Middle East.

    Of course, for the United States to abandon an ally in that region would have unpredictable but almost certainly fairly serious and negative consequences.So when the Arabs attacked Israel in 1973, the United States soon found itself aiding its ally, much to the displeasure of Saudi leaders.And we see the result of this displeasure: boycotts, embargoes, Saudi funding of terror, and Saudi contributions to American universities (in an obvious attempt to promote the teaching of Saudi racism here).

    Posner also shows us some of the American response to this.There has been plenty of American timidity, especially in the State Department.But there has also been an anti-boycott law, as well as some state condemnations of Saudi intolerance.

    This is a well written book and I highly recommend it. ... Read more


    6. International Economics: Theory and Policy (6th Edition)
    by Paul R. Krugman, Maurice Obstfeld
    list price: $125.40
    our price: $125.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0201770377
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-26)
    Publisher: Addison Wesley
    Sales Rank: 15356
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars international economics
    This book describes in a very detailed way all the general theories of economics concerning trade. It is very well done as there are many examples and it is optically inspiring. Your eyes won't get tired too quickly, as the layout is done fine. The content of the book is fine, a good book for students of economics, even though it is advisable to read more down the line. But for the overview of a topic it serves allright.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Undergraduate International Economics Standard
    Well, I will start off by saying that the book really probably only deserves somewhere between 4-4.5 stars, but I'll give it 5 to offset some of the questionable reviews below.

    No, the book is not perfect. However, it is an academic standard at pretty much any major college or university for teaching undergraduate International Econ/Trade theory, and for good reason. The book makes a clear a concise presentation of basic theory and policy, perhaps in points it is a little too simple. As pointed out, while I'm not sure about the 6th edition, there were some diagrammatical mistakes in the 5th...I bet, however, these were done by a graduate student. A quick bit of reasoning and a second of thought should yield the appropriate picture, however. And yes, I think a bit of Krugman's bias comes through, though its not terribly off-putting.

    The book could use a bit more math I think. The real equations and difficult problems are few and far between, and are, for the most part, pretty straight forward. At the very most it would take a basic understanding of calculus, but the majority of the problems and equations can be explained and done without it. I have read a number of undergraduate economics books with far more intensive math. Despite this lack, however, the intentions come across pretty well.

    No, this book is not for beginners to economics. At least an undergraduate course or reading in both micro and macro are needed, and really and truly, an intermediate level in each is probably better if one wants to get the most out of the book.

    If you find the subject matter within to be terribly math intensive and you cannot get motivated to read the subject matter because it doesn't use "pizza and beer" (and um...I don't think I'd want an imported pizza anyway, but thanks), well I guess the subject and this book are not for you. However, if you are trying to enrich your understanding of economics at a very basic level, this book provides a good way to do so.

    And, if you want graduate level book, and like Obstfeld, I recommend he and Rogoff's book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book.... Too bad its a bit baby
    Having taken a class on Commodity Flow Theory (Micro) and a seperate class on Int'l Finances (Macro), I can say that I enjoyed the former much more then the latter. I used Krugman's latest edition for the former and thought it was adequatly written for the scope of the class.
    I really wish they would make undergraduate Economics more rigirous as I believe many undergrads who have taken 2 or 3 university math courses (up to the linear algebra level) could easily understand most of the mathematics found in "high brow" Economics theory.
    Seeing I've only had the pleasure of reading two textbooks on the subject (and different sections of each respective book), I am not in a position where I can make a relative judgment on the quality of the material.
    I felt Krugman's writing (I am assuming the majority of the micro section is his writing) was mostly neutral. I found, from my reading, the only section that could have been biased was the section on political economy, but since I am unfamiliar with that field in general I cannot make a more descriptive comment.
    Overall, I liked the fact that their was some mathematical indexes at the end of the chapter (something my other int'l economics textbook lacked). I've come to expect the option of a more quantiative treatment in most modern textbooks (both my intermediate macro/micro and econometrics text were layed out in this fashion).
    So in conclusion, the text was easy to understand, well organized, and perhaps abit biased.... However, if you are just being introduced to the matter, I doubt you will notice much of the bias since the majority of what he covers in the book are well established models and theories.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money!!!!
    This guy is an idiot!!! Either he is confused about economic theory or he trying push some sort of an agenda. He repeatedly contradicts himself in a way that undermines his crediblity. A word of advice Mr. Krugman--STICK TO THE NY TIMES EDITORIALS and stay out of academia.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Save your Money--Get the Caves, Jones, et al World Trade...
    Krugman et al constantly contradicts earlier statements throughout the text in the international trade section, it will give you a headache. The finance side is better. If you really want to learn international trade and finance (for undergrad), get the Caves, Jones, Frankel text.... I learned the hard way and had to pay restocking fees (etc) when I wanted to exhange it for Caves et al. Krugman should stick to writing editorials for the NY Times b/c this text needs some serious help!!! ... Read more


    7. Perfect Soldiers : The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It
    by Terry McDermott
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060584696
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 1571
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The attacks of September 11, 2001, were a calamity on a scale few had imagined possible. In their aftermath, we often exaggerated the men who perpetrated them, shaping hasty and often mistaken reporting into caricatures we could comprehend -- monsters and master criminals equal to the enormity of their crimes. In reality, the 9/11 hijackers and their cohorts were unexceptional men, not much different from countless others. It is this enemy, not the caricature, that we must understand if we are to have a legitimate hope of defeating terrorism.

    The intent of this book is to uncover a better understanding of who the hijackers were and, thereby, why they did what they did. Perfect Soldiers traces these men's lives and the evolution of their beliefs, putting a human face on heinous acts. Most of the hijackers were from apolitical and only mildly religious backgrounds. As they came of age, though, they were shaped by historical tides and their own circumstances, evolving into devout, pious Muslims. In fundamentalist Islam, religion and politics are inseparable; they saw themselves as pilgrims, soldiers of God. In the end, this is a story about the power of belief to remake ordinary men.

    Matching unrivaled research, undertaken in twenty countries on four continents, with a voice that is engaging, authoritative, and thought-provoking, Los Angeles Times correspondent Terry McDermott provides detailed portraits of the main players of the 9/11 plot, including by far the most comprehensive study yet produced of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the plan's mysterious engineer. With brilliant reporting and thoughtful analysis, McDermott brings us a clearer, more nuanced, and in some ways more frightening understanding of the landmark event of our time.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reporting!Fascinating, Frustrating Reading!
    Defeating one's enemies over the long run requires first understanding them.For too long Americans have been led to believe the 9/11 hijackers were part of a super-organized and managed group of monsters, motivated by hatred of America's freedoms.McDermott's detailed reporting chronicling the lives of several hijackers shows that none of this is true - and thus is must reading.It also shows that the thousands trained in Afgan camps had little or no role leading such activities.

    The book first impresses readers with the desperate poverty throughout much of the Middle East - in fact, young Egyptians with graduate degrees are 32 times more likely to be unemployed as illiterate peasants.This clearly is a breeding ground for trouble.Further symptoms include coverage of the machinations many undergo to emigrate to Europe for "asylum" (eg. generous welfare benefits).Once overseas, McDermott reports how several of the 9/11 leaders, despite having come from relatively non-religious families, became Islam militants - they simply became malleable by Islamic extremists while looking for companions in a foreign culture.

    The first World Trade Center bombing cost about $3,000 and caused damage in the hundreds of millions.Why the WTC - because "many Jews worked there."Reading McDermott's accounting we learn that the operation was more slap-dash than professional, and would have been much worse if the terrorists had more money.

    Ramzi Yousef then went ('95) to the Phillipines intending to blow up several 747's in roughly the same timeframe.This plot failed as a result of a freak fire caused by disposing of chemicals.Unfortunately, this effort also led to Yousef meeting a friend who had taken flight training in the U.S. - and the suggestion for crashing a plane into the CIA.This was relayed to Bin Laden in '96 and a meeting to initiate it in '99 - instead targeted at the WTC.Clearly such a long delay is not indicative of a well-managed organization.

    As for Saudis making up the bulk of the hijackers - McDermott points out that this was because Saudi passports were the least scrutinized for entry into the U.S. (most of the screening was to weed out those coming over for 'economic' reasons - such as in Europe).

    Meanwhile, those chosen as pilots took U.S. pilot training, and despite reports to the FBI, no action was taken.(One agent did note that Moussaoui "was the type guy who might hijack a plane and fly it into the WTC.")As the pilots literally muddled through their training, the FBI failed, for 19 months, to find two of the hijackers known to be in the U.S.

    Then came 9/11.The FAA "no-fly" list doesn't even have the name of the bombing plot in the Phillipines - in fact, it only has 14 names total, with none of the hijackers.(Meanwhile, the State Department's list of "monitor/do-not admit" names totals about 61,000 - and is not available for use.

    Lessons to Learn:1)It takes a very few seemingly ordinary people to create unimaginable havoc; further, the Internet etc. are making it ever easier to do so.2)Hatred of the U.S. derives from our actions - support for Israel, occupation of Saudi Arabia, and undoubtedly also Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.3)High Middle-East unemployment and its very large Islamic population provides a fertile ground for hatred of the U.S.4)The reported time-lag between concepualization and implementation of terrorist actions is so long that little/no comfort should be taken in the lack of U.S. attacks post 9/11.5)The U.S. needs to seriously focus on removing major sources of Islamic irritation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Soldiers by Terry McDermott
    The author did an excellent job of researching the activities and the background of the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. This is an introduction to our new enemy and he is a person both similar and very different from us. In the realm of extremists, he is the common man with all of the incompetencies and blunders in his efforts to cause harm to us, his "sworn enemy".It is this "common man" status, however, that has provided his cloak of protection up to now.Unfortunately, these are people who are easily manipulated through misguided religious fervor and hatred.The combination of anonymity, blind hatred and availability of resources makes for a formidable enemy. Terry McDermott helps us know and understand this enemy.Everyone should read Perfect Soldiers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Provides First-Rate Narrative of 9/11 Hijackers
    McDermott has written what is so far the definitive narrative of the 9/11 hijackers. He divides his book into three parts: First, he profiles the backgrounds and personality profiles of the hijackers, many who started as regular citizens and slowly drifted into their extremism, often by chance. Second, he explains the political forces in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan that helped to revive Jihad and give power to Osama Bin Laden. Third, he focuses on the actual plot to hijack the planes on 9/11. The reportage is remarkable and provides clues to the hijackers' personalities that have so far not been publicized. What's scary is the effective way the author shows the hijackers often came from privileged backgrounds and then drifted into the fringes of society where, needing direction and identity, they were susceptible to the extremist rhetoric of fundamentalism and violent jihad. Where I might disagree with McDermott is his characterization of the hijackers as "fairly ordinary men." Perhaps I have a different definition of "ordinary" than does McDermott who uses hundreds of salient illustrations to paint these men anything than as ordinary: They are often portrayed as sullen spoiled narcissistic brats and bullies. One of the most prominent of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, in particular is an extreme personality study in repressed sexuality, narcissism, and sociopathic hatred of others. He cannot smile or enjoy life in the slighest so that when he eats food he mutters to himself how boring and tedious the task of eating is. Everyone who knew him, even people who shared in his beliefs, found him an obnoxious presence. Sullen, brooding, and controlling, he made the hairs on people's neck bristle whenever he entered a room. In spite of his fastidious religious adherence, he takes to the mysterious and disturbing desire to wear eye mascara. I'll let you decided if he is "ordinary" or not. In any event, Atta, like the others, is misogynistic; women are shunned and held in contempt. The total sum picture you get of these hijackers is a bunch of malignant malcontents who need an extreme cause to be a vehicle for their personal frustration and deeply-set anti-social tendencies.

    For an excellent companion book to better understand the types of personalities who get drawn to extreme forms of belief, I highly recommend Eric Hoffer's slim masterpiece The True Believer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
    Wow. The reporting here is intense, but "Perfect Soldiers" doesn't read like some stretched-out newspaper feature or a clip file---the writing is clear and crafted, the story well-told and well-paced. McDermott is a reporter's reporter, but more than that: he's gone out, mastered it all, and comes back now to tell us what is good and true and what is BS. Characters and places mean something here, and what McDermott has found is often incredibly shocking and sometimes unnervingly weird. I'm very glad I read this book, and I look forward to reading it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Biographies
    The accounts of the hijacker's lives show a disturbing banality.For figures that until their death lived such illusive and insignificant lives the biographies are superbly detailed and comprehensive.

    The style of writing is informative and generally fair and balanced given the nature of the subjects.It is probably the clearest account of the events leading to 9/11 that has been written.

    Two minor criticisms:Every major religion has its share of extremists. Islam is no exception.The book implies a more general malaise than is probably deserved.All major religions have their high and low points: prior to the renaissance, Arabic scholars preserved much of previous eastern and western philosophy, while making significant advances in algebra, medicine and navigation.

    The description of the countries and places in which much of the plotting occurs sometimes lacks context (but not accuracy).E.g., although the authors' description of Cairo is superb, but as far as cities go, it surpasses most of the developing world, both for safety and quality of life.Also, to state that German bureaucracy conducted minimal monitoring of Islamic extremists is true; but at the time the US wasn't doing such a great job itself.

    Overall this is a superbly written book that is very readable.It appears to be very well researched and is an excellent set of biographies. ... Read more


    8. Government by the People, National Version, 20th Edition
    by James MacGregor Burns, J.W. Peltason, Thomas E. Cronin, David B. Magleby, David M. O'Brien, Paul C. Light
    list price: $96.00
    our price: $96.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131101706
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-03)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 7728
    Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars I noticed a definite left tilt as well.
    After having spent a semester taking a class requiring this book, I definitely noticed a rather liberal-leaning bias throughout most of the text.One of the obligations of national government, as stated by the text, is its "matter of fact" attitude that more wealthy individuals owe it to "impoverised" people through literally "taking money from more wealthy states" and giving it to poor states.Give me a break, there is so much socialism and liberal drivel in this book it made reading it a headache.

    Profs and teachers, PLEASE find something a little more objective than this textbook.Sheesh!!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Leftist propaganda not science
    This book presents the issues in a twisted manner, and never teaches fundamental values. It does not discuss at all the Declaration of Independence, does not give nearly enough historical background and generally mystifies the foundations of American politics. The meaning and value of the Electoral College is not explained nor compared to the structure of the Senate and House. Well if that was mentioned it would tell too much. Instead you get the usual leftist posturing, "uh - it's so complicated - let us fix it for you". The misery of this book is most evident in the discussion of the First Amendment - it is declared contradictory. Of course their interpretation is contradictory but this is what they like, so this is what you get. Once a conflict is introduced, the familiar soap opera style takes over. If you are not into MTV this book is not for you. BTW, editions galore and the price is definitely not "for the poor".

    3-0 out of 5 stars The Toooo!!! Politcal Side
    The book was ok. I took it as a summer class, and there was too much information to be packed in this book. Some side issues were rather interesting, but I would not recommend it unless you are into political science. And I mean "into it". ... Read more


    9. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
    by Barbara Ehrenreich
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805063897
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
    Publisher: Owl Books
    Sales Rank: 629
    Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.

    Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

    Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (694)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Important Book
    The value of Barbara Ehrenreich's troubling, but remarkable investigation of the dearth of opportunity faced by working class Americans, is evident from the gamut of highly emotional reactions it has raised here.

    Many readers seem enormously offended simply on the grounds that Ehrenreich was not actually a member of the working class, and only "visited" a life of poverty and toil. These readers take great pains to say that poverty is a serious issue, while discounting the book on the grounds that Ehrenreich - who holds a PhD of all the horrible things! - has no right to raise it. This is a willfully deluded argument which would seem to white wash all kinds of investigative journalism across the board. The attacks on Ehrenreich's credentials appear designed to avoid a discussion of the book itself, a low but familiar critical tactic, shooting the messenger to destroy the message.

    It is understandable, however, that people would seek to look away from the experiences that Ehrenreich relates from her sojourns in the waitressing, housekeeping, and retailing industries. The pay is meager, the work is often backbreaking, and the management is consistently exploitative. You may already have suspected this to be the case, but the hard details in Nickel and Dimed - of trying to find housing, of applying for community aid, of unpaid overtime, and a thousand other tiny indignities - confront the reader with the vivid reality of how many of their fellow human beings are forced to live.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific book, terrific writing
    I love this book. Some people seem to find it hard to believe that a person can't "get by" on minimum wage, or that people get stuck in low-paying jobs - some claim that "everyone starts at minimum wage in life, but they get promoted and make more", etc. That doesn't always happen, or even happen that often. Ms. Ehrenreich's book shows the struggles she faced in just a short term experiment, but imagine trying to do it for the long haul - there are other crises that occur in the lives of working people - such as, lack of medical insurance - a HUGE problem - and car troubles, to name a couple. In this book, Ms. Ehrenreich was working during the warmer months - God knows what she may have encountered during the winter in Maine or Minnesota!But this terrific book gives a glimpse into the lives of the working poor, even with everyone seemingly going right for Ms. Ehrenreich. By the way, several reviewers have claimed that she has 'contempt' for the poor, and has a snobby, yuppie-ish attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't know why people make false allegations in a book review, I suspect it's to dissuade others from reading the book and deciding for themselves. Read this book, you'll be glad you did. And pass on a couple copies to your state reps, senators, etc. Teach them a few things. I look forward to future works by Barbara Ehrenreich after reading this - she's wonderful.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Working Poor of America get a voice
    This case study in, as the subtitle says "(Not) Getting by in America" was in many ways surprising. I thought I had a pretty good handle on the fact that there are people in desperate straits out there, that being in desperate straights is awful, and that it would be better if no one had to do it. But some of the problems that are described in this book were things I had never even thought of. One of her main contentions is that many of the working poor are borderline homeless, living, ironically, in expensive motels because they can never get far enough ahead to save the deposit for a real apartment. The lack of medical care and desperate penny-pinching wasn't surprising, but what struck me was that the author, daughter of a union organizer and left wing journalist, was consistently surprised at the importance that her co-workers placed on the jobs they were doing, quite apart from the monetary rewards or managerial incentives.

    This struck me as especially tragic, because it just reinforces the fact that most people take satisfaction in doing something well, and it's obvious from the lives these people lead that they aren't in the habit of shirking work. Shouldn't hard, quality work bring you a life with the basics we should all have? A thought provoking, if not especially surprising book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars STAYS with you forever!
    I read this book 3 years ago, and I'm STILL experiencing recall and flashbacks to some of its passages. For example: I might be doing nothing much in particular, as I set myself down to dinner at a family style restaurant...and WHAP!!! I will recall a passage from "Nickled and Dimed" concerning the not very pretty or easy plight of many waitresses and cooks who work at such establishments. And "Nickled and Dimed" does it all with a sense of humour, to boot!

    Very thought provoking and enlightening for anyone who wants a better understanding the working poor and the flaws in our socio-economic system.

    "Nickled and Dimed" should be required reading for every politician and social worker in the United States.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Try Living it for Real
    The biggest problem with the "realism" here is the fact that the author knows, throughout all of it, that she will be going back to her 'real' job and some serious money along with her yuppie lifestyle. She doesn't even pretend to want to find out how it feels to live this life for real. Try having $5.00 in your pocket on the 2nd of January to last you the rest of the month, with 2 babies crying because there isn't any heat in your house. And then come to the realization that you REALLY only have $5.00 in your pocket with 2 crying babies and no heat. And try realizing that the reason you are in this situation is because your town was hit by a flash flood that wiped your home away and your insurance company refused to cover the damages because they don't cover "floods." Suddenly you are poor and desperate and nowhere to turn. Try that. Then write your book. The only problem would be finding someone to publish it. The general public still doesn't want to hear about the true struggles of the working poor or what the circumstances were that lead to that poverty... they only want to be entertained and feel "enlightened" because they now "understand the plight of the poor." Sorry... you really don't. Next time you sit down to a full meal, consider there really are people out there eating ketchup on noodles and nothing else. All week... maybe even all month. ... Read more


    10. South Park Conservatives : The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias
    by Brian C. Anderson
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0895260190
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 1258
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For the better part of 30 years, liberal bias has dominated mainstream media.But author and political journalist Brian Anderson reveals in his new book that the era of liberal dominance is going the way of the dodo bird. ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read examining a new conservative thought
    Modern-day conservatives are a lot different than the conservatives of the last few generations. This book examines what new, college student-conservatives are really like.

    Also, this book examines how new media (that is, talk radio, cable, south park, and blogs) is defeating the liberal old media (newspapers, network, and most of cable). It is a fun-to-read book that examines the ways in which conservatives are finally getting a voice in the media. If you are a conservative or an open-minded liberal, you should read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Snapshot of Today's Media Situation
    It isn't surprising that most of the media is quite liberal. After all, the people who major in journalism are liberal arts majors. Dan Rather and the like are not physicists or computer scientists. Indeed if he were, he would have looked at a supposedly typewritten document from long ago and noticed that there were superscripts. Superscripts are easy to do with Microsoft Word and ink jet printers. But you didn't do them thirty years ago with military typewriters. But what can you expect of a liberal?

    As for the national news, I'm not so sure that they have been defeated by the conservatives so much as having self destructed. I watch any of the three (four if you count CNN) and I don't see much liberal bias. After all, you have to report on things like the news if you spend all of your time on the trivia that they seem to consider the important stories of the day.

    I mean, we have real problems to talk about, who really cares if some guy in California killed his wife. That happens all the time? There is nothing magic to draw me to Scott Peterson. Who really cares about a nutty pop singer who somehow gets young boys to come visit? If you are going to show only such fluff, how can you be accused of having any bias at all? They are entertainment shows, not news.

    This book talks about the growth of the conservative media: talk radio, Fox News, and the internet Blogs. It's interesting to see, but as of yet, the big networks and CNN still dominate the airwaves, and the big newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post still have tremendous readership and influence.

    The future's not ours to see, will the big media recover, will the "rebel" conservative press grow to dominance, will electronic media grow to match the traditional? Let's keep watching.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks to negative reviews I bought this book.
    After reading all the negative reviews by "cry baby liberals" I can only assume that it must really hit the "donkey" on the head, so I bought it. I find it interesting that so many libs who never read this book are so quick to jump in and add their own personal heart felt opinion about just how wrong this book must be and how it is really the right wingers who are bad. To me they are saying "THIS BOOK IS 100% CORRECT!" It just proves the main point of this book, you libs have no sense of humor all you got is anger, hatred, resentment, frustration, bias and narrow mindedness. I recommend Prozac, get help, it is available, there is a brighter life out there guys, you can be happy, focusing on everything that is wrong in the world is a sickness and it needs to be treated. Just as Michael Savage's book says, "Liberalism is a mental disorder". I think a more honest title, for some of the negative reviews, would be "WHAW! We lost the election!"

    1-0 out of 5 stars "All Humor Conservative"?HA!
    All humor is conservative, and all of my condom loads are "precious life".Seriously guys, if conservatives are finally catching up to South Park, then Parker and stone can retire their titles as anti-establishment provacateurs.For all the nihilist posturing these guys do, it's really hilarious that they're being embraced by right-wing tools who will sit idly by while the fringe of their party strives to pass legislation that would not allow South Park to be on the air.What a country.

    By the way, South Park has been far surpassed by real cutting edge comedy like "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "Wonder Showzen".You Reaganites can have Dennis Miller and Colin Quinn (good riddance!).We'll take Mr. Show, Bill Hicks, Patton Oswalt, Jon Stewart, Mitch Hedberg, and almost all of the planet's other funniest people.

    1-0 out of 5 stars As smart as "W"
    This book tries to belittle and skew what being a liberal means, but if being a liberal means being honest, intelligent, and thoughtful, everything that Bush is not, count me in. ... Read more


    11. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City
    by Jonathan Mahler
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0374175284
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-15)
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Sales Rank: 1431
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    New York City in 1977 was in the middle of wild upheaval on all fronts, from the hunt for the Son of Sam killer and the citywide blackout to a brutal mayor's race and the rise of punk rock and the zenith of disco. In Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning, journalist Jonathan Mahler revisits all those storylines through another drama, which grabbed tabloid headlines all summer long: the outrageous--and pennant-winning--New York Yankees. The Yankees weren't the greatest baseball team ever assembled--they weren't even the greatest of the era (the talent-laden Cincinnati Reds were superior player for player). But no modern team has earned more type than the "Bronx Zoo" Yanks of the late '70s, thanks in no small part to such characters as meddling owner George Steinbrenner, firebrand manager Billy Martin, and flashy slugger Reggie Jackson.

    But what more is there to say about a ball club, even one as stormy and successful as the '77 Yanks? Mahler wisely strays out of the dugout and into the chaotic city to give his chronicle breadth and shape. Mahler deftly brings together a host of characters and developments--from doomed old-school catcher Thurman Munson to congressional hellraiser Bella Abzug, from media kingpin Rupert Murdoch to battling politicos Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo, from downtown punks to the glittery decadence of Studio 54. The result is a lively read that will entertain readers who wouldn't know an RBI from CBGB. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Takes one back
    I lived just outside of NYC, in New Jersey, during this summer of 1977, and reading Mahler's book was like traveling back in time.He captures the weirdness of the Yankee's season perfectly, in which one never quite knew whether Billy Martin was going to implode or not.He captures the tension of the blackout-related looting and the fear surrounding the serial-killings of Son of Sam.Looking back from this vantage point, it's somewhat amazing how far back from the brink NYC has come.Mahler chronicles the events of that time extremely well, and is a wonderful storyteller.My only question is:to what end?If he sees that year as a turning point, he was too subtle in discussing that significance.The takeaway is that he simply saw it as an interesting year, with large events occurring simultaneously, with no relation to one another, and little relationship to the outside world as a whole.If you were not there to witness -- or read about -- these events, you might say, "Interesting, but so what?"What was missing from the end of this book -- which so many books similar to this have -- is a "where-are-they-now" section.A coda such as that may have answered the question as to why these events and stories were significant and why we should care about them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Big '77
    This book is for everyone who grew up in New York, survived the City's dark ages, graduated Jamaica High School, rode the 1 train to Columbia University, loved (or hated) the Yankees, remembered the blackout and the looting, didn't sit in parked cars because of the Son of Sam (first called the ".44 caliber killer"), danced to the "hustle" and the "walk," saw Star Wars fifteen times, tried to get into Studio 54, avoided 42nd Street, and wondered how the City didn't sink into the East River. Those were the good old days. I love this town, and The Big '77.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A year that stunned New York
    Jonathan Mahler's new book, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning" is a terrific accomplishment that weaves together many fractured elements which helped to contribute to a year that was quite unlike most other years in New York City. It was, by and large, a depressing time for New York but the enormous boost New Yorkers received by the Yankees' World Series victory that October, coupled with a change in mayors shortly thereafter, began to lift the city out of the doldrums. As one who remembers New York in 1977 very well, Mahler has reminded us of a place which seems light years away from the present. It's a walk down memory lane for some of us.

    "The Bronx is Burning" is told in three parts and the least effective part is the first. Necessarily introductory, Mahler's narrative style in Part One never gains much traction. Betweenthe political landscape of the early part of the year and the problematic Yankees, the author doesn't quite bounce back and forth so much as he diarizes. If there is tension to be found in what's to come, it's not found here. Reggie Jackson's ego is certainly a reportable topic but Mahler spends far too much time on him. It's filler that doesn't quite sate. Mahler, however, has plenty of good stuff to come. With Part Two he begins to build a story of intense proportion. From this point on, I couldn't put down the book. He begins by giving us an account, rich in detail, about the first hour of the summer blackout and the hapless Con Edison systems operator who was at the heart of it. Continuing on through the night's ensuing riots, "The Bronx Is Burning" begins to breathe new life. From here the links in the book become clearer. As the events of July, August and September unfold, the city of New York is forced to take a sharper look at itself and there is no better focal point than the upcoming Democratic primary and its characters from central casting. Mahler brilliantly connects the dots at the same time adding an exceptionally good section about the murderer known as the "Son of Sam", who terrorized the city for over a year. The author's final chapters regarding the Yankees' championship are told with clarity and passion.

    It's hard to remember that all of these events happened in one calendar year but maybe we were so benumbed by those happenings that we tended to overlook their confluence. Jonathan Mahler has brought them all together in "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning" and has done so in a way that puts that year back in some of our minds and gives a great account to those who were not yet around to experience it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I'm a huge Yankee fan.
    I'm a huge Yankee fan and I read everything about them.I had high hopes for this book; the reviews I saw were good.But it was a major disappointment. Mahler can't keep his political leanings out of the story (please tell me what his antipathy to neoconservatives has to do with 1977) and that spoils it for me.
    If I want Ann Coulter or Al Franken, I'll buy their books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Addictive -- A Home Run
    Jonathan Mahler has hit a home run with this excellent examination of New York City politics, baseball and social life in 1977.The dual narrative focuses primarily on the titanic, four-way struggle for Gracie Mansion involving Koch, Cuomo, the incumbent Abe Beame and Bella Abzug, as well as the incendiary Steinbrenner-Martin-Jackson triangle of animus in the Bronx.

    The sweltering summer of 1977 also featured the Son of Sam serial murders and power-failure-induced rioting - the City's worst civic disorder since the Civil War - and Mahler skillfully weaves these compelling events into a captivating, past-faced narrative.Ground-zero of the rioting was the Bushwick section of Brooklyn - less than a decade before a stable, working class neighborhood - and Mahler provides a vivid portrait of the chaotic mayhem that took hold there (as well as in other poor communities) when the lights went out on July 13.

    Mahler also shows how the ghetto rioting transformed the Mayoral race.In mid summer, Ed Koch, then a relatively low profile Congressman, was fourth in the polls, mired in the low single digits. However, the erstwhile Greenwich Village liberal recognized that New Yorkers were ripe for a stern, law-and-order message. In particular, Koch's embrace of capital punishment and his get-tough policies generally found resonance with an electorate that had grown weary of the culture of lawlessness that increasingly pervaded their lives.The long-shot candidate - David Garth, his campaign guru, placed Koch's odds at no better than 40 to 1 - rode voter outrage to a first-place finish in the Democratic primary, and after besting Cuomo in a runoff, to City Hall.

    Meanwhile, up in the Bronx, the season-long hostilities between the egocentric Reggie Jackson and his combative manager flared famously in an ugly confrontation in the visitor's dugout at Fenway Park.Steinbrenner sided with his million-dollar superstar (Mahler calls Jackson New York's first black superstar; I'm not so sure), the fans overwhelmingly with the pugnacious Martin.Despite the team's success, the melodrama off the field eclipsed the drama on the field for much of the season - until Jackson's prodigious, three-homer performance in the last game of the World Series.Mr. October's Ruthian feat helped the Yanks capture their first world championship in 12 years and set everything right - at least until next season.

    I am a compulsive reader, but found this book especially addictive.I think you will, too. ... Read more


    12. Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines, Third Edition
    by Jody L Fitzpatrick, James R Sanders, Blaine R Worthen, Blaine R. Worthen
    list price: $103.20
    our price: $103.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321077067
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-08)
    Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
    Sales Rank: 48702
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars All models evaluation book
    Even though it is not an Evaluation Manual which sometimes comes in handy for conducting evaluation studies, it is a very good book. I have used it for my Masters Program (at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala) and found it very useful both for the theoretical and for the practical parts.It covers all major models tracing their origins. I plan on using it for my Doctoral Program, at Universidad de Costa Rica.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough
    I've been using this book as a resource for evaluating programs at our college and for my doctoral research. The book is well organized and contains several examples and paradigms with which to evaluate programs in both govermental and corporate settings. Expensive book but one that you'll keep handy! ... Read more


    13. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
    by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385499345
    Catlog: Book (2000-05)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1813
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From one of our most perceptive commentators and winner of the National Book Award, a comprehensive look at the new world of globalization, the international system that, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today.

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

    Now Friedman has drawn on his years on the road to produce an engrossing and original look at globalization. Globalization, he argues, is not just a phenomenon and not just a passing trend. It is the international system that replaced the Cold War system; the new, well-greased, interconnected system: Globalization is the integration of capital, technology, and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and, to some degreee, a global village. Simply put, one can't possibly understand the morning news or one's own investments without some grasp of the system. Just one example: During the Cold War, we reached for the hot line between the White House and the Kremlin--a symbol that we were all divided but at least the two superpowers were in charge. In the era of globalization, we reach for the Internet--a symbol that we are all connected but nobody is totally in charge.

    With vivid stories and a set of original terms and concepts, Friedman offers readers remarkable access to his unique understanding of this new world order, and shows us how to see this new system. He dramatizes the conflict of "the Lexus and the olive tree"--the tension between the globalization system and ancient forces of culture, geography, tradition, and community. He also details the powerful backlash that globalization produces among those who feel brutalized by it, and he spells out what we all need to do to keep the system in balance. Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great drama of he globalization era, and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book--essential reading for all who care about how the world really works.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (321)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    14. American Government and Politics Today, 2003-2004 Edition (with InfoTrac and CD-ROM)
    by Steffen W. Schmidt, Mack C. Shelley, Barbara A. Bardes
    list price: $99.95
    our price: $99.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534592562
    Catlog: Book (2002-12-20)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 16300
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

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

    Reviews (1)

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


    15. They Just Don't Get It : How Washington Is Still Compromising Your Safety--and What You Can Do About It
    by David Hunt
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 140009741X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Crown Forum
    Sales Rank: 330
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    16. Home Invasion : Protecting Your Family in a Culture that's Gone Stark Raving Mad
    by Rebecca Hagelin
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $15.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1595550070
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-15)
    Publisher: Nelson Current
    Sales Rank: 2426
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Middle class moms and dads have long sought safety for their children in the nurturing haven of the cul-de-sac. Like a safe harbor at the edge of an angry sea, the suburban neighborhood is an environment of protection from the world and all its dangers. Or is it? In Home Invasion, Rebecca Hagelin proves that in today's all-consuming culture of corruption there is nowhere left to hide-American homes have already been invaded by this insidious enemy that seeks totwist our minds and poison our hearts through the unmonitored Internet, television, magazines, and music that our families ingest on a daily basis. Speaking as a nationally known social commentator and as a mother of three, Hagelin shows through specific examples and alarming statistics how the enemy has infected the family van, our neighborhood schools and textbooks, the stores in which we shop, and even the churches in which we worship. With warm words of encouragement and practical suggestions, she coaches parents on how to arm themselves with information, strategically plan the movements of their family members, secure allies in the battle, and most of all, muster the guts and the resolve to lead their families to victory against the great beast. ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Addtional Reading to Help Understand Marketing to Kids
    Here are some additional resources for those of us who are trying to protect
    our children:

    The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman

    To see how corporations have no ethics in their marketing to children watch:

    The Corporation a DVD movie

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately necessary
    Unfortunately, everything this author says is true, and her rather strict and aggressive techniques she proposes to protect your family from this stuff are completely necessary.I will go so far as to say that if you are stupid enough to scoff at good advice like this, you risk waking up one day to find your child is a gang member or drug prostitute.Before you start scoffing at me, for being alarmist, I want to point out that is EXACTLY what several of my neighbors and friends with children have had to deal with.We live in a good area, with negligible crime, and they are good parents and STILL this happened.It happened because they weren't vigilant and they weren't in control.They FAILED in their responsibility and paid a high price.Don't let this happen to you.Find the strength to throw off the garbage of liberalism and political correctness and get in touch with what is really going on in our culture and do what it takes to prevent it from hurting your family.On a scary note, the author stops well short of pointing out that this sort of thing is being done ON PURPOSE, by highly evil people, and being aided by sheeple who have their heads rammed so far up their asses, they will never see the light of day again.This situation calls for strong measures.You MUST move to an area of the country where the local government, especially the judiciary isn't controlled by granola people (nuts, fruits and flakes).You MUST get rid of your TV and Internet connection, and severely limit movies and other types of recreation outside the home to only things that are guarenteed wholesome....and maintain a draconian curfew.You MUST screen who your children are hanging out with and make sure they are under the watchful eye of trusted adults at all times.You MUST keep track of your neighborhood, especially crime and drugs and gang behavior in your neighborhood(and understand, it IS in your neigborhood...no exceptions).You MUST work together with other parents and take an iron grip of control on your school system, especially at the high school level and demand that police, courts and all others paid to look after your family's welfare, do their job.....or else.You MUST do these things because there are a huge number of wackos and deviants (often working in organized groups that pretend to be benevolent) out their working 24/7, trying to hurt your family in various ways.Unfortunately, society as a whole has lost the will to root them out and get rid of them, or even criticize them...or even admit anything is wrong.....while one child after another has their life destroyed or even ended.Don't let that happen to your family.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Required reading
    One of the reasons we homeschool is not to take our kid out of the world, but to prepare her to enter it. Rebecca's mature, thoughtful and vulnerable insights and encouragements codifiesthis philosophy. I'm grateful to read ideas that my wife and I have held to for years in written form. Warning - do not read this book unless you intend to do something in your circle of influence. The result of reading Home Invasion will leave you with a desire to reach out to your world, not withdraw from it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars First Big Brother, now Big Mother
    I am what most people would call a "good kid." I do well in school, obey my parents, and haven't gotten caught up in the pitfalls that are ubiquitous in youth culture. This being said, I extremely oppose what this author is trying to do to children. I saw Mrs. Hagelin on the Bill O'Reilly show recently and her message seemed appalling. I support the goal of keeping kids safe, but not at the expense of completely sheltering them from the American culture. It is this sheltering practice that creates kids who are out of touch with the real world, and wind up having problems with not only their peers, but also coping with life after high school. Take it from me, a real senior in high school, that every home schooled or "sheltered" kid that I have ever met has displayed anti-social behavior, is out of touch with their peers, and has almost no friends. Mrs. Hagelin should be more concerned about teaching kids how to deal with life and its realities, instead of hoping they won't find out about them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rebecca Hagelin is wise and absolutely trustworthy.
    I have been reading Rebecca's columns for years. They are always sensible and well-written.It is such a relief to know that women with traditional values are still out there who have the brains, the guts and the intelligence to put their foot down.This is a great book. I preordered it and my wife and I think this is one of the best books of its kind.Young parents need help and they need to be reminded they have the power and the authority to NOT TOLERATE THE INTOLERABLE.


    There is an old prayer about HOLY HATRED. yes, HOLY HATRED.
    OH MAKE US MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BURNING HEART that we may HATE ALL EVIL AND LOVE ALL MEN. Set us aflame with passion for a transformed world where sin is banished and love shall reign...etc.

    Young parents need to be AWARE...Rebecca Hagelin's book helps make parents aware of real dangers out there that could ensnare or corrupt innocent kids.

    You parents need reinforcement....and good common sense to fight off the HOME INVASION of the modernists of the left who want to destroy all private life and destroy the possibilty to let kids have their innocent childhood. I can really say that years ago my mother was innocent at age 21.My own children are wonderful but their age of innocence is much shorter.By 10 they already have been exposed to too much.One thing is certain Rebecca Hegelin is wise, witty and absolutely trustworthy.University deans are not....most are wimps...many principals have through in the towel.Today it is heaven knowns anything goes for kids 16 and up. Parents! Don't lose your kids and don't let them get lost.READ THIS BOOK. STUDY IT ! You will praise REBECCA HAGELIN the rest of your lives and your children wil too!!!I am a teacher and I am a parent and I found myself almost in complete agreement with almost everything in this book.This book deserves to be read by a whole generation of young parents...BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!! ... Read more


    17. Leadership
    by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Ken Kurson
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $16.35
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786868414
    Catlog: Book (2002-06-15)
    Publisher: Miramax Books
    Sales Rank: 785
    Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (112)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Everyone can be a Leader, but there's only one Giuliani
    "Leadership" is an excellent resource for anyone who seeks
    to manage, lead, or instill organization into their own lives.
    Written in a style reflective of Giuliani's friendly yet steely
    personality, it provides an excellent overview of his political
    philosophy, decision making skills, and of course his historic
    leadership following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
    Until reading the book, I had forgotten how dire the conditions were in New York City prior to Rudy's election in 1993 - over 9,000 felonies per week! He details how he put plans into action
    and demanded accountability from everyone in the system, which often required enormous political strength. Being a Republican mayor in a city that is nearly 80% Democrat is enormously difficult. But Rudy explains how he relied on his priciples, moral beliefs and formed relationships with political enemies by
    trusting those who were trust worthy and always being open to discussion. These principles and beliefs were evident during the leadership exercised during 9-11.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in a political or management career, or anyone who wants to learn more about this great American.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
    In Leadership, former NYC Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (with writer Ken Kurson) gives you the inside look at how he applied basic leadership principles to being Mayor, Associate Attorney General and U.S. Attorney. Giuliani reveals how he and his key team applied these principles in the face of the Sept. 11 World Trade Tower collapse, and focuses on exercising leadership all the time. The principles may sound familiar - prioritize, prepare, take responsibility, hold everyone accountable, recruit great people, reflect and then decide, under-promise and over-deliver, develop and employ strong beliefs, be loyal and purposeful - yet the thrill comes from learning how Giuliani straightforwardly applied these principles to accomplish Herculean tasks. We from getAbstract recommend this breezy, engaging book to business leaders, governmental managers and politics junkies.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Don't confuse leadership with management
    First off, don't get me wrong this is an interesting book. From the man who helped a city recover from a dreadful event; he is an inspiration.

    Also, Giuliani is a fantastic *manager*, who was able to get the city of New York running better than it had for years.

    My main criticism is the title, and the derivations of some of the anecdotes. From my reading, Giuliani doesn't clearly understand the difference between *leadership* and *management*.

    Sure, he has a great technique for aiding communication, for setting KPIs and ensuring they are met. But these are management tasks, not leadership.

    My greatest disappointment with this book was hoping to find some of his ideas and insights into that much harder topic of leadership but all I got were some great ideas on how to manage a city (a city that has a population greater than my entire country...).

    So, buyer beware! This is an interesting book and gives you some insight into the man (even if you need to read between the political lines) but don't expect a book on Leadership!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
    Can a textbook be delightfully written? This one is. Authors Richard L. Hughes, Robert C. Ginnett, and Gordon J. Curphy explore every aspect of leadership and smoothly weave research conclusions into the narrative. Examples abound, from Colin Powell to Walt Disney. The authors are all psychologists who specialize in leadership issues. They have written conversationally and intelligently, using plenty of sidebar material (even famous cartoons) to bring their reporting to life. We recommend this classic (now in its third edition) to everyone interested in leadership.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Laughed. I Cried. I Marvelled.
    I listened to all of the ten audio cassette tapes. The presentation was both instructive and entertaining. The narration was great. I resonated with the message such that I laughed, cried, and marvelled through the many precepts and stories given. I got moist around the eyes while vicariously experiencing the beauty of courage, conviction, and of successfully overcoming great obstacles in the path to great accomplishment. The accomplishments of Mayor Giuliani's administration in NYC were many. Within the stories were principles related to the importance of hiring excellent people, management by morning meetings, management by metrics, being at the scene of problems. For lawyers, the book includes more than a few great insights.

    Primary among the many great stories is the Mayor's references to September 11, 2001. This occupies all of chapter 1 but the stories continue throughout. One of the early delights in the book is the story of overcoming the "squeegee men" panhandlers in New York City. Chapter headings related to "Be Prepared", "Loyalty" and "Stand Up To Bullies" deliver what they promise. I marvelled that the loyalty stories related primarily to loyalty down to the people who work for you. The story about Rudy's fight with prostate cancer was remarkable for the example that it gave of great diligence in gathering information and making a careful decision. The book, as read, is clear and concise. Every word seems to count. In my experience, Rudy began to earn his reputation long before he was Mayor when we worked to obtain convictions and strong sentences against organized crime bosses.

    The precepts and examples are admirable. It's Rudy's own account, but it is clear that Mr. Giuliani has given great diligence to his work while showing great insight, great commitment to principle, great courage. ... Read more


    18. Supervision of Police Personnel (6th Edition)
    by Nathan F. Iannone, Marvin P. Iannone
    list price: $88.00
    our price: $88.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0136492290
    Catlog: Book (2000-05-18)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 12970
    Average Customer Review: 3.31 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This book offers complete coverage for leadership training of supervisors in law enforcement and allied fields. The relationships involved in individual and group management methods and the practical techniques for carrying out the various responsibilities of the supervisor are explored. Everyday problems faced by the police supervisor in interpersonal, operational, and administrative relationships with subordinates are also covered in detail.Chapter topics include the supervisor's role, and function in organization, administration, and management; leadership, supervision, and command presence; interpersonal communications; principles of interviewing; psychological aspects of supervision; employee dissatisfaction, grievances, and complaints; discipline principles, policies, and practices; tactical development of field forces; and conference leading. For the training of managerial and supervisory personnel in police departments and law enforcement agencies. ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Iannone ranks #1 on list of police stressors.
    Ugh! This book is awful. I also don't know anyone else who feels differently. It is required reading for Lt/Sgt. exams even though there are usually only a few questions related to the material. I think whoever writes the exams that way after requiring this book must be a sadist who hates cops. Or maybe is just concerned about insomnia from rotating shifts because this book can put you to sleep in a half a page. Who needs a doctor? Just read Iannone. I am sure there must be some very good factual or theoretical information in the book - otherwise it wouldn't be as well known as it is. (I sure hope so and its not simply that Iannone married the sister of some official who has sway over these things. Gotta love law enforcement.) Then again, there are also things in the book that are impractical at best. I can't tell you how to score high on the exam and it doesn't matter because a high score doesn't mean you will be a good supervisor and that is what is most important - will your cops follow you - happily? Read Iannone but start studying profiles in great leaders and look within your own department to those supervisors who hold the respect and confidence of the cops and just as you did while a rookie, cultivate these examples and merge your own style into them. Look to present leadership but don't fashion yourself as a clone - so much of the success of our work depends on our authenticity as people, try to be someone else and everyone will detect that immediately. #1 rule of success and safety - have an unwavering respect for yourself and unwavering belief in yourself. So, I think that Ianonne should grab a successful writer and let them form the concepts into sentences. Then we would have the best of him without the droning. But if they have to pay this person - what would the price go to then? Good luck on the test. Stay safe.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally made it
    Can't believe some of the comments on this book. This book was great but you must get the HLC Study Guide for it. I took the Sergeant's test 3 times before I score well (93)and got my stripes. The study guide made all the difference. It puts all the material in the book into your memory banks so it all makes sense at test time. Do yourself a favor, and get the study guide to go with this book.(I'am currently re-reading this book and guide for the Lieutenants test in the morning). GOOD LUCK

    2-0 out of 5 stars Cliffs notes
    Any one who has to read this book for a class or promotional exam; please call the Cliffs Notes company and ask them to write a Cliffs notes booklet for this book. The authors should take their own advice found on pg 83 and avoid aimlessness in the book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good... But not that good
    This book is yet another one in the annals and the pursuit of spending an inordinate of of money for promotion. It is definetely full of information. However, it is hard to read and seems to possess a never ending amount of run-on sentences. It is not black and white, as a promotional book should be.
    The book is put together better than its predecessor and is somewhat easier to read. I would suggest purchasing the study guide that is available. It will more than prepare you for a test that includes this book as part of the reading list.
    Good Luck and always remember where you came from, once you get promoted!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just a horribly boring book.....
    The author takes a 100 page book and turns it into a 350 page novel. Most of the information given is dry and oversimplified. The author constantly rehashes everything he can to make the book longer than it needs to be. As a long time supervisor, there was nothing at all I gained in knowledge that applies to the job. Urge your Chief or civil service board to NOT use this book on any supervision test. ... Read more


    19. Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry
    by John E. O'Neill, Jerome R. Corsi
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $27.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0895260174
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-15)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1541
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    Amazon.com

    Due to the timing of its publication, Unfit for Command could be dismissed as the sort of controversial, loaded book typical in a presidential election year: Either courageous and necessary, or untruthful and malicious, depending on one's political point of view. Filled with interviews of men who served in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, the book poses the following question: "Why do an overwhelming majority of those who commanded or served with John Kerry oppose him?" (Note that the issue of "service" has sparked investigation into its definition--in other words, just how close was the interaction between Kerry and those cited in the book during Kerry’s Vietnam tour of duty?)

    The charges leveled against Kerry in this book are severe and include filing false operating reports; lobbying for and receiving three Purple Hearts for minor wounds, two of which were self-inflicted; receiving a Silver Star under false pretenses; offering false confessions of bogus war crimes in both print and testimony; and recklessness in the field, including the burning of a village without cause or direct order. The book also claims that Kerry left Vietnam after serving just four months instead of the usual one year tour and that he returned home and accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities without offering any evidence, endangering POWs in the process.

    It is debatable whether the book will change any minds, or votes. Instead, readers will likely reach one of two conclusions: Either John Kerry grossly misrepresented his military service or the authors are spinning the interviews that they conducted for ulterior motives. There is a third option, however; readers will further investigate both sides of the debate, and by doing so, may reach conclusions independent of partisan extremes. --Brian Neff ... Read more

    20. The Case For Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror
    by Natan Sharansky, Ron Dermer, Anatoly Shcharansky
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586482610
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    Sales Rank: 140
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    Book Description

    Natan Sharansky has lived an unusual life, spending nine years as a Soviet political prisoner and nine years as an Israeli politician. He brings the unique perspective of his experiences in order to make the case for democracy with his longtime friend and adviser Ron Dermer. In this brilliantly analytical yet personal book, nondemocratic societies are put under a microscope to reveal the mechanics of tyranny that sustain them. In exposing the inner workings of a "fear society," the authors explain why democracy is not beyond any nation's reach, why it is essential for our security and why there is much that can be done to promote it around the world.

    Freedom, the authors claim, is rooted in the right to dissent, to walk into the town square and declare one's views without fear of punishment or reprisal. The authors persuasively argue that societies that do not protect that right can never be reliable partners for peace and that the democracy that hates us is much safer than the dictatorship that loves us. The price for stability inside nondemocratic regimes, the authors explain, is terror outside of them. Indeed, the security of the free world depends on using all possible leverage-moral, political, and financial-to support democracy.

    This book is about much more than theory. After explaining why the expansion of democracy is so critical to our future, the authors take us on a fascinating journey to see firsthand how an evil empire was destroyed and how the principles that led to that destruction were abandoned in the search for peace in the Middle East.

    But the criticism contained in this book does not dampen its profound optimism. When there is every reason to doubt that freedom will prevail in the Middle East, this book declares unequivocally that the skeptics are wrong. The argument advanced here makes clear why lasting tyranny can be consigned to history's dustbin if the free world stays true to its ideals. The question is not whether we have the power to change the world but whether we have the will. Summoning that will demands that we move beyond Right and Left and start thinking about right and wrong. ... Read more


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