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    $18.70 $17.98 list($22.00)
    1. Framework for Understanding Poverty
    $13.57 $12.88 list($19.95)
    2. How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive
    $18.45 $13.28 list($27.95)
    3. A Deficit Of Decency
    $13.45 $8.69 list($14.95)
    4. The Tipping Point: How Little
    $18.48 list($28.00)
    5. Mother-Daughter Wisdom : Creating
    $100.00 $49.50
    6. Sociology (10th Edition)
    $69.33 $13.75
    7. Society: The Basics, Seventh Edition
    $90.67 $47.00
    8. Criminal Justice Today : An Introductory
    $16.29 $14.96 list($23.95)
    9. Everything Bad Is Good for You:
    $9.75 $6.30 list($13.00)
    10. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting
    $19.77 list($29.95)
    11. Collapse: How Societies Choose
    $18.45 $17.32 list($27.95)
    12. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities
    $100.95 $56.94
    13. Cultural Anthropology : The Human
    $94.00 $58.00
    14. Sociology : A Down-to-Earth Approach
    $91.00 $59.40
    15. Racial and Ethnic Groups, Ninth
    $15.63 $12.57 list($22.99)
    16. Home Invasion : Protecting Your
    $13.26 $11.47 list($18.95)
    17. Let Your Life Speak: Listening
    $19.77 $16.45 list($29.95)
    18. Freakonomics CD : A Rogue Economist
    $16.77 $12.25 list($23.95)
    19. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in
    $93.80 $74.00
    20. Criminalistics: An Introduction

    1. Framework for Understanding Poverty
    by Ruby K. Payne
    list price: $22.00
    our price: $18.70
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1929229143
    Catlog: Book (2001)
    Publisher: Aha Process Inc
    Sales Rank: 1330
    Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Framework for Understanding Poverty teaches the hidden rules of economic class and spreads the message that, despite the obstacles poverty can create in all types of interaction, there are specific strategies for overcoming them. Through case studies, personal stories and observations that produce some aha! moments, Payne clearly strikes a chord in her readers., and provides a hopeful message. ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good starting manual for teaching those born into poverty
    A Framework for Understanding Poverty provides a structure on which to build one's teaching. The way we teach is as important as what we teach, for , as Payne makes quite clear, we will not reach all children until we can understand--and accept--their backgrounds and any accompanying privileges or limitations children carry with them to the middle-class mindset of most American schools. As a high school English teacher, I found Chapter 2, "The Role of Language and Story", quite helpful--in fact, it has changed the way I approach writing in the classroom. Even if you have read bits of this information elsewhere, the author has gathered much relevant research in an easy-to-access format that any harried teacher can appreciate. For those teachers who balk at recognizing and/or accomodating behaviors related to class, I ask them to take the "Could you Survive in Poverty" quiz on page 53. I don't have any idea how to "get and use food stamps" or "how to get by without a car"--do you? I'd love to see a companion manual to this one that lists books for students that address class differences, either fiction or nonfiction.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A "must" read for teachers who teach children in poverty
    I teach in an inner-city school where poverty is prevalent in almost every family. Not until I read Ruby Payne's book did I have an understanding of the differences involved when one teaches a child who is living in poverty. The book gives specific case studies that make you think and relate to poverty-stricken people. It then goes even further and gives the teacher examples of how to use the new knowledge in the classroom. It is, without a doubt, the best book I have ever read on the subject of poverty and how it relates to school children. I learned more from the reading of this book about how to relate to the students I teach than I have from any other book I've ever read about any subject. I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending this book to any teacher who truly wants to understand the individuals she/he teaches.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Payne's book an eyeopener
    Payne does a wonderful job of showing how economic status influences a person's world view and affects his/her reality. She does this while allowing us to step out of our own reality and experience the view from other socioeconomic classes. For people who work with the public, it's a valuable resource.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Summarizing Anecdotes is not research
    As a psychology researcher in inner-city schools, I am drawn to the description of this book because as a field (edu. research), we do indeed lack a theoretical framework to understand poverty in relation to school achievement. But this book falls very short in presenting such a framework. The main data of the book is the author's anecdotal experience, which she summarizes in almost in-your-face presentation of poverty case studies. But a framework fails to draw on various existing well-researched directions in poverty and in education to present a coherent parsimonious way to understand complex phenomena. The conclusions drawn by this author is thinly baesd on a few limited writings (mostly on linguistics), while largely a collection of personal opinions. The author stated that the idea for the book proceeded her years of "research" experience. That may be the problem. A hindsight retrospection wears very tainted lenses. The "years of experience" is not examined in real-time with specific research questions. Rather, they are selectively drawn upon to be coherent only with the author's current thinking. The reference list in the back is more in depth than what the author actually put in text. The mostly pointless clip art inserted throughout the book made it seem like the publisher is trying to squeeze more pages into a other-wise small book. The two pages comparing classes are interesting (but by no means research or data based). They did become very stereotypical (like the local evening news). Educational recommendations are very simplistic and lack explicit logical reasoning. I question the book's treatment of poverty students as a different breed, indicating that somehow they need to be taught special rules in order to even begin learning. For example, the notion that somehow poverty students don't have a sense of choices thus fail to understand causal relationship leading from choices to consequences. What?! That's a very very broad claim that is unlikely to be measurable. In child development, there comes a certain age where many children have trouble realizing (thus having to learn) that choices are related to consequences, regardless of their race, culture, or, income. These claims are quite outrageously stereotypical. Overall, Framework for Understanding is neither framework nor understanding. It may be of some interest here and there, but its title surely over-claims the substance of its content.

    For interested readers, I recommend John Ogbu's ethnographical study on Shaker Heights, titled "Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb".

    4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Understanding Poverty
    This was an eye opener for me. Poverty isn't just financial as I had thought. It put into words what I had been thinking and questioning. I mentor and I wish it would have addressed more solid solutions to help with these problems of society. ... Read more


    2. How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life
    by Tom Rath, Donald O. Clifton
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1595620036
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-10)
    Publisher: Gallup Press
    Sales Rank: 427
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    Book Description

    How did you feel after your last interaction with another person? Did that person-your spouse, best friend, coworker, or even a stranger -fill your bucket" by making you feel more positive? Or did that person "dip from your bucket," leaving you more negative than before? The number one New York Times and number one Business Week bestseller, How Full Is Your Bucket? reveals how even the briefest interactions affect your relationships, productivity, health, and longevity. Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, and grounded in 50 years of research, this book will show you how to greatly increase the positive moments in your work and your life-while reducing the negative. Filled with discoveries, powerful strategies, and engaging stories, How Full Is Your Bucket? is sure to inspire lasting changes and has all the makings of a timeless classic. ... Read more


    3. A Deficit Of Decency
    by Zell Miller
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0974537632
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
    Publisher: Stroud & Hall Publishers
    Sales Rank: 274
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In February of 2004, Senator Zell Miller delivered the speech "A Deficit of Decency" on the Senate floor. The speech considered the very soul of America and generated an unexpectedly massive response from people across the nation.

    Expanding on this theme in his new book by the same title, former U.S. Senator and Georgia Governor Zell Miller identifies a wide range of issues—from media and sports role models, to the judiciary, to the decline of traditional Christian values of the family, responsibility and sacrifice—where an absence of decency is threatening the heart of America.

    "A Deficit of Decency" addresses specific issues where Miller sees a need to return to a basic sense of duty. Miller writes in the preface, "There have been ten generations of Americans since this nation was founded….Each left this nation in a little better condition than they had inherited it from their parents. This is the first generation at risk of doing the opposite. Why? I have come to believe that it is because we failed to acknowledge and discipline ourselves with the spiritual truths that have made us great for these two hundred years—faith, family, country, values. This book is about how one man thinks they may be restored and yet save this great civilization from itself."

    In "A Deficit of Decency," Miller also speaks candidly about the values that led him to attack his own party and deliver a keynote speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention. These same values, he believes, are desperately needed at the heart of American culture. Miller explains, "There were two primary reasons I could not go where my lifelong political party wanted to take me. I seriously questioned its judgment on how to respond to the threat of terrorism, the most serious national security issue of the post Cold War era. But I also came to be repelled by the secularism that had engulfed its thinking and smothered its soul."

    Miller writes from the unique perspective of his rise to and service as Governor and United States Senator, drawing upon public service in each of the past six decades. Miller has written six books, including "Corps Values" and the New York Times bestseller "A National Party No More". ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book with an important message
    Love him or hate his politics Zell Miller has the courage of his convictions to speak his mind. Is this book a blast from the right? No in my opinion it is a blast straight from the heart of the author and he is as mad as hell.
    Is Zell sincere? Is he a true embodiment of integrity? It is my belief that he is but I will let the reader decide
    For those who do not like Zell Miller I encourage you to read this book anyway. Forget all of the Zell bashing you have heard an approach this book with an open mind. If you cannot bring yourself to buying his book I suggest that you take it out of the library. I think a fair minded left winger will find something in this book that speaks to them. If nothing else if you are a hardcore left wing Democrat you might learn something about why Kerry lost the last election.
    More than this book being a diatribe against the Democratic party I believe this book is a cautionary tale for all of us as Americans.
    Zell Miller  points out case by case how American values have strayed. Now I am not a fan of the religious right, at least those of them that are intolerant zealots, but I do believe like Zell we need to return to our values whether they be based in Christianity, Judaism, Islam Buddhism or whatever what faithto which we ascribe.
    For even if one is an atheist there are certain core principles we all share or should share. I am not suggesting everyone should return to the Bible but it is certainly time for us to get our act together. This country definitely needs some backbone and boy do we need it now.
    The author emphasizes the importance of dutyand sacrifice. It is a message many of us in these days of instant gratification do not want to hear butit is something we must hear if we are to survive as a culture and as a nation.
    We live in some of the most perilous times this world has ever seen yet we find ourselves lulled into opinions of the mass media that many times have no basis in fact of logic. Our culture, as Zell Millerpoints out, is both crude and banal. How can anyone who lives in America argue with that?
    (Thoseideologues who wish to throw mud at the author and to point to his past with his less than an exemplary record on civil right I will remind you of one name - Robert Byrd.)
    Zell despite his former short comings is a sincere individual and a former marine you served his country admirably. He has the courage of conviction to blow the whistle on a party that had turned its bak on its former principles and turned its back on America.
    He is a true patriot and a man willing to forsake his party rather than to forsake America.

    I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican and I a leery of propagandacoming from either side. We now and always have needed  a loyal opposition.I for one am sick as hell of both parties but our President right now happens to be a Republican. Shame on the many Americans who want our President to fail. For wishing the President of our country to fail no matter what political party he belongs to is a depraved desire to see ourselves fail and to have our children be put in peril. That is a true deficit of decency. I am afraid thatwe as Americans have forgotten the day of 9-11-01.
    I am not one of those wishing to deify Zell Miller. As books have become another form of mass media I do not know enough about him from one book to make the claim that he is" a truly great man". But in this book he stands out as a champion against a current that is destroying this country.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Zell Miller is an embarrasment to
    his state, his faith, and himself. The real reason for a decline in morals in this country can be attributed to outsourcing, free trade that does not offer minimal protections to hard working individuals, lack of quality health care that not only fails to address preventative care, but also is the leading cause of bankruptcy,and finally,a lack of rules and regulations that allow for big corporations to maximize their wealth at the expense of their employees. When both parents are working three jobs to get decent health benefits, when are they going to spend quality time with the children to make sure they eat right, study right, and watch the right things on TV? The Walmartization of the workforce that the GOP desires will destroy the family and our moral values even more. What Zell also forgets to address is how the big business donors to GOP also maximize their profits by selling smut to both red state and blue state consumers. It's amazing how Zell Miller, James Dobson, and other so called Christian conservatives fail to see this. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15644-2004Dec21.html

    They solely want to maximize the wealth of the top 1 percent in this nation, and they pull it off by claiming that conservatives can best address the decline of morals in this nation.

    Zell Miller in 1992:

    "Four years ago, Mr. Bush told us he was a quiet man who hears the voices of quiet people. Today, we know the truth: George Bush is a timid man who hears only the voices of caution and the status quo. Let's face facts: George Bush just doesn't get it. He doesn't see it; he doesn't feel it, and he's done nothing about it. That's why we cannot afford four more years. If the `education president' gets another term, even our kids won't be able to spell potato. If the `law and order president' gets another term the criminals will run wild, because our commander in chief talks like Dirty Harry, but acts like Barney Fife. If the `environmental president' gets another term, the fish he catches off Kennebunkport will have three eyes. And folks, after January, George Bush is going to have plenty of time to go fishing. So much for the millionaire."

    Lets see, if I was applying for a job and someone offered to recommend me and endorse me for the position, yet that same someone 12 years ago arguably cost my father the same job by completely dismissing his performance, would I accept his endorsement for poltiical purposes. If i was a genuine Southerner who knows family loyalty is everything, then the answer would be a resounding NO. Because to accept an endorsement like that would mean to accept that man's judgment: I would never accept judgement from a person who trashed my father. Zell Miller may argue that 9/11 changed everything, but it only made Family Loyalty even more important and Bush clearly has none, yet claims to be Pro Family. If you can sacrifice your father and accept an endorsement from someone who blasted him for political gain, what else can you do for political gain.

    That is the real reason for the deficit of decency in this country.

    More on the hypocrite:

    Zell Miller:

    "In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its "Digital Dozen."

    and now Zell Miller bashes a man who even George W. Bush said served more honorably than him.

    I hope Zell Miller remembers the behavior of Lee Atwater in the finals days of his life. Lee Atwater became fearful of God and apologized to all the politicians with whom he had played dirty tricks with. This country might be able to eliminate the deficit of decency if it feared God throughout their lives, rather than just at their death bed. If you fear God, live like Jesus or the particular god you believe in. For Christians, living like Jesus means self sacrifice, tolerating those who are shunned by society, and caring for the poor. None of these concepts are understood by so called Christian Conservatives like Zell Miller.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Political Insight, Very Right Wing Recommendations
    This is a book that most people are going to either love or hate. The right wing will say that it is wonderful. The left will say it is a pack of lies. I guess that I'm in the middle. I don't much care for either the left or right wings.

    I do, however, find the book to be fascinating and well worth reading. His comments on Kerry and Kerry's election are the comments of a seasoned politician watching the national scene. They point out as well as anything that I've seen what Kerry did wrong, and they do so with great insight and understanding.

    On the other hand, the strong right wing stance is not a winner with me. Bush being so far right, and Kerry being so far left ignored the center. And that's why most Americans didn't vote.

    I must say that I'm also concerned about the growth of the religious right in power. They have little tolerance (although Jesus preached tolerance) for opinions not of their own. We don't want this country to become the right wing Christian equivalent of the Islamic countries.

    Read the book, but keep an open mind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Restoring America's Greatness
    Seldom does a book move me as much as Zell Miller's, A Deficit of Decency. It made me laugh, it made me cry and, most of all, it made me tremble for my country. There is much that is good in America, but, in many ways, we are headed in the same direction as other great civilizations which have fallen.Some Americans take the great gifts that our founding fathers bequeathed to us and abuse them, and distort them into something the founders would not recognize.

    Zell Miller is like the nation's grandfather shaking us awake and warning us of the decay eating at the fabric of our society. Tolerance, which was once a good thing, has been morphed into acceptance of just about anything, no matter how destructive to our society. Courage, honor sacrifice, responsibility and decency have been lost or never planted in the minds of many. Love of country and recognition of God as our guide and our founding principle is ridiculed by many. Americans must take seriously Zell's warning that if we don't stop the partisan fighting and unite in the war on terror, the terrorists will win.

    If Democrats would let go of their anger, and their preconceived prejudice against this man, they might learn to appreciate this patriot who rose from humble beginnings, endured hardship with a positive attitude, and served his country in the military, in state government and in the U.S. Senate. You don't have to be a conservative or even a Christian to recognize that what Zell says is the truth. Every American who values family, freedom, opportunity, security, and the right to recognize God in his own way, must read A Deficit of Decency.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zell Miller Never Disappoints
    Zell Miller is to be applauded with standing ovations for this outstanding book. The liberal Dems have had their brief moment, venting and whining about Bible thumping Christian values. Guess what! I am not one of those but I do admire a man who stands and delivers as Zell Miller has done. He makes his words count and nothing Michael Moore or other limo-libs say can discount the truth of the matter. Zell Miller just reinforces a belief in our country's worth. We are a nation of very generous people who have given the Dems too much time to get their act together. All they have done is scare those of us who were unafiliated into the "enemy camp." Those of us who cannot identify with John and Terroriza Kerry, Teddie-Boy Kennedy and Primal Scream Dean will have to find our own scene and Zell Miller will lead the way. Sorry but you Dems chased a lot of us away with your extremes. We are looking for heroes and Zell can fit the big shoes. ... Read more


    4. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
    by Malcolm Gladwell
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $13.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316346624
    Catlog: Book (2002-01-07)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 266
    Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a bestselling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning? In this brilliant and groundbreaking book, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    In The Tipping Point, Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics. The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message--that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world." ... Read more

    Reviews (330)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Insights into Mass Behaviors
    Despite an earlier reviewer poo-pooing this book for shallow insights, I beg to differ. This book is a fascinating and original take on what makes people behave in a certain way en masse. Tying together Paul Revere, Hush Puppies and many other very accessible ideas makes this book, that is in some ways very academic, read like a thriller. I read it in three sittings. It has an impact on several levels. One, as a marketer, it gave me insights into how word-of-mouth really works. I'll be experimenting with these concepts for years. Second, as a member of society, I gained insight into why I am pulled this way and that by trends. If you enjoyed this, you'll also enjoy the groundbreaking book by Robert Cialdini called "Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion." It makes some of the same points. Finally, it makes me think that some savvy activists will find some ways to use these principles to start societal epidemics that will ultimately have a positive effect. I believe Gladwell has introduced a concept, "the Tipping Point," that will have a wide-ranging impact on how we view the world and human behavior.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bowled me over.
    This book is quite wonderful, and it doesn't surprise me at all that it's getting such solid reviews here. Gladwell writes wonderful pieces for the New Yorker (and elsewhere, no doubt), and the craft of the writing here combines with fascinating material to produce a book for the lively of mind.

    What is a "tipping point"? Gladwell shows us how concepts and perceptions derived from epidemiology can provide unexpected, but highly plausible explanations for the transformation of a minor phenomenon into a major trend. Gladwell's examples are diverse, drawn from such apparently disparate worlds as policing, fashion, and medical research, but they work well to create a sense that there's a logic at play in the crazes and fads we see turn into cultural trends.

    Obviously, this book would be a good read for anyone interested in forcasting consumer behaviour, and other business concerns. I read it, though, as a person interested in culture and the trends which form the fabric of our waking lives. I read it twice, in fact, because it's very well written, and because I used it to teach theories of information to university students, who also really "got" the book. I find that concepts drawn froom the book return to me in unlikely situations, and that's a true test of non-fiction.

    My only complaint? It's not long enough!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Esoterica
    This is a fun book to read, but the dots remain uncconected.
    ...
    I much prefer works that are more practical, and guide you directly to where you are going, instead of this very indirect analysis.
    ...
    Some examples of this direct approach which are exceptionally well done include the CD "Voice Lessons to go" and the DVD "New Sex Now."
    ---
    All of these are fun and enjoyable and will improve your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars does not disappoint
    I rarely pick up a book that holds my interest all the way. This book was exceptional though and I have recommended it to many of my friends. The book discusses what causes an epidemic- how one tiny product, tv show, event, etc influences so many. I was impressed by the number of case studies and research that Gladwell did to back up his point. I really enjoyed learning about the influence Sesame Street had on the literary rate of the children who watched it, while what causes problems like teen smoking and suicide. It was a very interesting read.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Tiresome and Repetitive
    Tipping Point is a painful book to read, painful especially to contemplate the patchwork of fill that turns what at best is a pop magazine article into a poor excuse for a book. Gladwell stabs at any theme he can possibly use to support his by no means new theory of tipping points. He hits one, perhaps, when he covers Rudy Giuliani's results in the City of New York, buts the rest are paler attempts. His comparison of Paul Revere with Dawes is over-romantic and downright silly. There's something profoundly patronizing about his tone of writing and his lack of any kind of wit. ... Read more


    5. Mother-Daughter Wisdom : Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health
    by CHRISTIANE MD NORTHRUP
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553105736
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 40028
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    6. Sociology (10th Edition)
    by John J. Macionis
    list price: $100.00
    our price: $100.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131849182
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-13)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 8155
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    Book Description

    The title says it all. This tenth edition of the best-selling Sociology is a comprehensive book and multimedia package that offers readers a global perspective to help them better understand their own lives, provides a strong focus on social diversity that allows them to see the impact of race, class, and gender, and focuses on critical thinking. With technology integrated throughout, this new edition features hundreds of new research citations, as well as recent data from Census 2000 to present a cutting-edge picture of life both in the United States and around the world. Covering all aspects of sociology, this book describes sociological investigation, culture, society, interaction in everyday life, groups and organizations, deviance, sexuality, social stratification, social class in the United States, global inequality, gender stratification, race and ethnicity, aging, the economy, politics and government, family, religion, education, health and medicine, population and urbanization, collective behavior and social movements, and social change. An excellent resource for professionals in the field of sociology, this book is also an excellent read for non-academic hobbyists and life-long learners.

    ... Read more

    7. Society: The Basics, Seventh Edition
    by John J. Macionis
    list price: $69.33
    our price: $69.33
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131111647
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-13)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 24143
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Society: The Basics, Seventh Edition
    Order was shipped on time, received in good condition and I would definately order from this user again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best textbooks I've read.
    Excellent, excellent book! Don't listen to reviews that say this book doesn't help if you are taking a sociology class. The author is a very good writer- he doesn't talk in circles, he's specific in examples and the topics are very well-organized. The author doesn't hesitate to mention proven facts, and at the same time, he's able to maintain a genuine tone of concern, no haughtiness. One thing, though- John Macionis churns out a new edition almost every year, it seems. There is already a 7th edition out. You could probably get away with buying an older edition and still do well in your sociology class. Check with your instructor to make sure. My Soc class actually requires this 6th edition, but I am using the 5th edition, in Spring 2003, and I have an "A" in the class. There is an additional chapter in the 6th that the 5th does not have- on sexuality, I think (I apologize if there are children reading this review), but my class was not assigned to read that chapter, so I was fine. I am not sure what additions the 7th might have. Hope this helps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Introduction
    I found this book to be very interesting and learned quite a bit from it. I bought it last semester for a sociology course I took. Because my professor was also the dean of that department - it amplified the learning experience I got out of the book. Each chapter also starts out with a little snippet of a story that relates to the theme of the chapter. I very much enjoyed the course and the learning experience gained out of the book.

    1-0 out of 5 stars did I buy this?
    I had to buy this one for a class in school, to bad we never really used the book...
    Mostly got the standard hand-out, and went along with our day.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This is the worst book I've ever read!
    Some of his explanations are not correct. Get another book. Don't waste your monety. ... Read more


    8. Criminal Justice Today : An Introductory Text for the 21st Century (8th Edition)
    by Frank Schmalleger
    list price: $90.67
    our price: $90.67
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131844938
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-23)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 317512
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    THE bestselling four-color book/multimedia package in the field, this introduction to criminal justice provides a realistic description of the American criminal justice system and how it works—police, courts, and corrections. Using a three-pronged thematic approach, it provides an intricately woven picture of contemporary American criminal justice, assumes a forward-looking perspective that recognizes the importance of individual rights, social order, multiculturalism, and high-technology as they affect the day-to-day practice of criminal justice, and gives serious emphasis to terrorism as a crime. Incorporates the most authoritative, reliable, and current information, statistics, and court cases, and provides citations to online criminal justice mega-sources that are constantly updated. Features a variety of issues-oriented, career, and “the future” boxes throughout. An accompanying simulations CD features real-life scenarios based on actual U.S. Supreme Court cases that enable readers to put themselves in the role(s) of police officer, judge, probation officer, legislator, and corrections official.What Is Criminal Justice? The Crime Picture. The Search for Causes. Criminal Law. Policing: History and Structure. Police Management. Policing: Legal Aspects. The Courts. The Courtroom Work Group and the Criminal Trial. Sentencing. Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections. Prisons and Jails. Prison Life. Juvenile Justice. Drugs and Crime. Multinational Criminal Justice. The Future of Criminal Justice.For those in law enforcement, the court system, corrections, juvenile delinquency, probation, parole, and private security. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT INTRODUCTION
    Relatively up to date (September 11 and law enforcement reactions, USA PATRIOT Act, etc.), and very informative, this textbook provides an excellent survey of the Criminal Justice System. The prose is streamlined, clear, and somewhat non-biased. Minor corrections may need to be made (e.g. the textbook states that the majority of female sexual assault victims do not know their attacker. . .), but these flaws are minor for a textbook of this scope. The book is extensively source documented, making it perfect for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of the Criminal Justice System. The CD-ROM and online tools are comprehensive, and give the reader/student a more intimate view of the author's vision.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Criminal Justice.
    This is the best book I have read on Criminal Justice. It is fun to read and easy to enjoy. I advise anybody that is interested on the field of criminal justice to begin with this book. ... Read more


    9. Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
    by StevenJohnson
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573223077
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
    Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 130
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the author of the New York Times bestsellerMind Wide Open comes a groundbreaking assessment of popular culture as it's never been considered before: through the lens of intelligence.

    The $10 billion video gaming industry is now the second-largest segment of the entertainment industry in the United States, outstripping film and far surpassing books. Reality television shows featuring silicone-stuffed CEO wannabes and bug-eating adrenaline junkies dominate the ratings. But prominent social and cultural critic Steven Johnson argues that our popular culture has never been smarter.

    Drawing from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and literary theory, Johnson argues that the junk culture we're so eager to dismiss is in fact making us more intelligent. A video game will never be a book, Johnson acknowledges, nor should it aspire to be-and, in fact, video games, from Tetris to The Sims to Grand Theft Auto, have been shown to raise IQ scores and develop cognitive abilities that can't be learned from books. Likewise, successful television, when examined closely and taken seriously, reveals surprising narrative sophistication and intellectual demands.

    Startling, provocative, and endlessly engaging, Everything Bad Is Good for You is a hopeful and spirited account of contemporary culture. Elegantly and convincingly, Johnson demonstrates that our culture is not declining but changing-in exciting and stimulating ways we'd do well to understand. You will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Video games are good for you and Reality TV is smart
    This is one hell of a thought-provoking book that decimates the oft-repeated phrases that have become cliches. Video games make you stupid, TV makes you stupid, society's going down the drains. The author knocks each of these ideas off their pedestals in clear, convincing prose that entertains while enlightening the reader. In terms of how this book affected me, personally, I would say that it makes me want to go buy a television and a Playstation 2, but honestly, I doubt I would take its' conclusions that far.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening
    Very good book, written from the perspective of a teenaged gamer made good.

    Johnson played games as a kid, baseball strategy games, as well as Dungeons and Dragons, and one can detect a certain bias in his outlook.However, his statistical references and footnotes make this book a scholarly look at popular culture - in particular movies, TV and videogames - and is a nice refutation of the "our culture is going into the toilet" crowd.

    Johnson argues - to me, convincingly - that even though modern mass market entertainment may appear "dumbed down", it really isn't, and that at a basic physical level, our brains are being made to work harder, get more exercise if you will, and develop higher cognitive functions as a result.

    A very complex book written in easy to read language with convincing data to back up the arguments - disguised in a very palatable dialogue that doesn't seem like science at all.He even takes Marshall McLuhan to task on at least one of his conclusions - very daring, and in this case, pays off.

    Johnson does miss out on one or two things - the ascendance of message boards is glossed over, or perhaps incorporated into "Internet" "email" and "IMs" in the discussion of why males watch about 1/5 as much TV as they did as little as five years ago.

    As a fellow who grew up playing Advanced Squad Leader (arguably a set of rules even more dense than AD&D), I could relate to his argument that kids will learn horribly complex procedures in the name of fun (as he did with his baseball games and D&D sets) and may very well be better for it.

    Overall, even if one disagrees with Johnson's arguments or conclusions, the book is fun to read; brings back memories for those who grew up in the 70s and 80s, presents logical arguments, well constructed, easy to understand, and supported by corroborating evidence - including scientific testimony about how the physical (hi Shannon) human brain works.Would love to read a rebuttal, though Johnson has personally sold me over hook, line and sinker.If nothing else, a comforting book amidst doom and gloom prophesies about the fate of our intellect in the hands of TV producers.Well done, Mr. Johnson.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Pop Culture.
    ...Lily Tomlin is caught dreading in one of her routines aboutwhether drug consumption has made us think we are more creative than we really are....

    Steven Johnson is a tech writer for Discover and Wired. He has come up with an observation he calls the Sleeper Curve, based on the Woody Allen movie Sleepers where things that are considered bad for you nowadays--like too many steaks, too much hot fudge, smoking--will be healthy years in the future.

    Case in point, television. The Boob Tube. He says that nowadays series like 24, The Sopranos and The West Wing require the viewer to pay more attention than in the days of yore where like in the 70s Starski and Hutch series there was basically one story line per episode. You don't have to recall much about those except that ocassionally they would use Huggy Bear to get info from the street.

    Johnson states that the complexity required to keep up with the many story-lines in the tv programs and the spatial/dexterity intellect required for the video games like Grand Theft Auto has perhaps, to paraphrase Tomlin, "made us more smarter than we originally thought we were..."

    What should society do with this information? Well, for one thing we should stop the badmouthing of popular culture. Apparently--and we intuitively know this--it ain't all bad.
    Plus, we should reassess not only how intellect is measured, but also how to integrate this style of learning into something that will help our young, say, go back and read some pieces of great literature so that it helps them become well rounded, contributing individuals.

    The idea about some forms of entertainment inciting violence in youth, is not covered very decently--Johnson talks of specific heirachy of skills acquired with these forms of entertainment. When a Columbine or a Grand Theft inspired criminal act occurs...we also must assess why. ... Read more


    10. 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


    11. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    by Jared M. Diamond, Jared Diamond
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0670033375
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-29)
    Publisher: Viking Books
    Sales Rank: 4859
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    Book Description

    In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how andwhy Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them todominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the otherside of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin,and what can we learn from their fates?

    As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesisthrough a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultureson Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finallyto the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern ofcatastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwisepolitical choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies foundsolutions and persisted. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster toRwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite ourown society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warningsigns have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.

    Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place asone of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoidcommitting ecological suicide? ... Read more


    12. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
    by JeffreySachs
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200459
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
    Sales Rank: 123
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    He has been cited by The New York Times Magazine as "probably the most important economist in the world" and by Time as "the world's best-known economist." He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world's poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all.

    Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world's problems are, but how solvable they are-and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, The End of Poverty is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world.

    From "probably the most important economist in the world" (The New York Times Magazine), legendary for his work around the globe on economies in crisis, a landmark exploration of the roots of economic prosperity and the path out of extreme poverty for the world's poorest citizens.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Poverty and the Professor's Plan
    Jeffrey Sachs, the director of Columbia University's Earth Institute and special advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, tells us that about 20,000 people die daily due to extreme poverty (that's about 8 million people annually).Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than a dollar a day.About 1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day, one third of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.Thisbook makes us aware of the extent of this tragedy and it offers a global plan to do something about it.

    The global plan, of course, requires big money and big debt relief.Sachs has calculated that it would take anywhere from $135 billion to $190 billion per year of donations from rich countriesover the next two decades in order to eliminate extreme poverty by 2025.

    Not surprisingly, the conservative critics, such as the economist William Easterly, will disparage this plan as so much utopian social engineering and call instead for a more piecemeal approach (Neoconservatives, however, are different: they have a propensity for lavish spending and risky foreign adventures).

    Sachs' plan is not entirely new.The development models of the 1960's and 70's were similar.Huge amounts of money were allocated for building infrastructure and human capital; instead this money ended up in the bank accounts of dictators and corrupt aid officials.The development focus of the 1980's and 90's was more toward ending corruption and state ownership, encouraging deficit spending and free trade.The results have been equally disappointing: still 20,000 die daily.

    The Sachs' plan calls for some swift, aggressive, and large-scale "neoliberal" economic interventions.His recommendations on how this $135 to $195 billion should be spent are staggering: it goes from how to plant trees, to soil fertility, to antiviral therapy for Aids, to mosquito nets for malaria, to specially programmed cell phones, to battery charging stations - just to name a few.He proposes that the secretary general of the UN run the overall program (with the requisite oversights), and that this would lift poor countries out of the poverty trap by 2025.This is, admittedly, a tough sell in conservative circles.

    It is disingenuous, however, for critics like Easterly and others in this column to call this plan utopian.The goal of ending "extreme" poverty is getting countries to the first rung of the economic ladder so that they can participate in the gobal economy.For example, Sachs considers sweatshop labor a step up from no labor at all - this is hardly a utopian goal.Ending extreme poverty only prepares people and countries for the marketplace, it doesn't make them wealthy.

    It is true that an ambitious plan such as Sachs' would have its excesses and unforeseen consequences.One of Sachs' problems is that he accuses people who disagree with him of being uninformed, or, worse yet, in the case of Africa, racist.Surely, someone who became a tenured Harvard professor at aged 28 and saved a handful of countries from economic disaster is not lacking in ego.He would do well to be a little more diplomatic.

    From this book one should remember the mission: to save 20,000 lives a day.Instead of labeling proposals left-wing or right-wing, liberal or conservative, we should look deeply within our technocratic selves to end extreme poverty.



    5-0 out of 5 stars Fighting Poverty, says J. Wallis, is a Moral Value.
    Sojourners magazine editor Jim Wallis is also an evangelical who has lately been speaking out on the current administration's politics which infer that anything having to do with fighting gay rights or abortion is a moral, Christian thing to do. Wallis says that although he cannot find many references in the Bible regarding abortion or gays, he can find thousands of verses regarding poverty, and fighting poverty is a moral, religious issue folks everywhere should do what they can to end.

    Coincidentally--and I don't know whether these gentlemen has ever met--we have another popular economist, Jeff Sachs who is head of Columbia University's Earth Institute--who coincidentally has a hot book out that's causing waves. Causing waves for the end of poverty in our lifetime. Already he's been seen rubbing elbows with Kofi Annan and Bono of U2. He probably would have been a better candidate for the US ambassador to the United Nations...but, I politicize. The main thrust of this work here is that taking into account geography, infrastructure, political leanings, corruption of public officials, and other development issues, we (rich nations) can conceivably end grinding poverty by 2025 in most of the worlds under developed countries. How? By supplying medicine and education in AIDs ravaged areas of Africa and Asia, by aiding production of foodstuffs in these rural area (rather than by putting big thinking growers who tend not to understand the region and the traditions of people), by control of for example mosquitos in South Africa. We will help the poor survive and teach them how to survive.

    Sachs says that by taking a pro-active stance, addressing problems that are able to likely be solved with enough appropriate effort, we can improve lives. The Millenium Project Report under the UN is designed to help these areas solve their problems.

    The book is about the nature of the world's poverty (in for example Bilar, Pakistan, India, Africa) some of Sach's general observations of the poor and the steps to take to curve poverty.

    Why should you read this? Even if you are not a Christian, it seems that as a citizen of this world two of your responsibilities are to feed the hungry and to help the poor. This is a valuable, current day, rational dissertation on a 'zero poverty by 2025' goal. It also teaches that civilization will be judged on how it treats its poor. Let's avoid having a bad report card.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Overview
    A very exciting book.Professor Sachs describes his round the world adventures in working to solve some of the most severe economic conditions in modern history.Thrilling was his account of making his proposal to an unbathed Eastern European leader into the night (while the leader consumed a bottle of whiskey and smoked an untold number of packs of cigarettes), working through the night to have a written economic strategy proposal by morning and then, months later, watching with fingers crossed the behavior of the economy after his plan was put in place.Jeffrey Sachs is a high stakes player.The well-being of millions is often at stake.Disappointing was his account of how Russian and other world leaders ignored the majority of his proposals to transform the Russian economy.I've read books about Geronimo and Crazy Horse, climbing Everest, and revolutions, and this book was just as exciting.

    Thrilling also is that it is possible to, maybe not eliminate, but greatly reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty.Disappointing is the fact that the necessary assistance from the wealthy governments of the world probably will not materialize.

    This book is merely an overview of Professor Sachs's plan to eliminate the poorest of the poor.This is about how to give the absolute poorest of people (those living on less than $1 per day) a boost up to the bottom rung of the economic ladder of development.The poorest of the poor, Sachs claims, with no infrastructure, no education and no capital, are often achieving negative per capita economic growth.Sachs claims that, once on the bottom rung of the ladder, these poorest of the poor will then be able to begin climbing.

    Professor Sachs suggests using "differential diagnosis" to determine the causes of deep poverty and devise a strategy to alleviate it and begin economic growth.Decades of experience have taught him that different countries and different regions and villages may be impoverished due to different causes.These impediments to growth must be first diagnosed through careful analysis followed by a strategy specifically designed to overcome these impediments.His method is not a one size fits all approach.

    This book is not about enhancing development in economies that have are already on the economic ladder and growing.Countries like Bangladesh, although poor, are already on a path to economic growth and, with small accomplishments in read per capita GDP growth every year, will be able to continue to improve standards of living.

    Criticism of this book began before the book was even available.It's not surprising that the harshest criticism comes from those who obviously have not read this book.Sachs is often criticized for failing in Russia.The critics never point out, probably because they are not aware, that neither the Russian government nor outside governments and institutions followed his advice.

    A popular criticism of this book is that Sachs's solution involves merely throwing money at a problem.This is perhaps the most misguided criticism.Sachs's plan does involve development assistance from wealthy countries; however, the amount he suggests that is needed is no more than countries have already pledged to contribute.Moreover, Sachs is clear that financial aid without a development strategy will produce little results.Sachs proposes an analysis of the impediments to development at the village level followed by a diagnosis and strategy to overcome them.A stable, honest government is essential in carrying out the plan.

    Another popular criticism is that aid has shown to be inadequate in addressing the problems of development.Sachs addresses this issue in the book.His argument is that the amount of aid has been so low in the most impoverished countries that it could not possibly have a significant long-term effect.The governments in the United States invest 30% of GDP in public goods - roads, bridges, ports, police and courts, education ($10,000+ per student in many areas) - in order to achieve a growth rate of 2% in real per capita GDP.Should we be surprised that an investment of a few dollars per citizen is ineffective in Africa?

    Sachs is also criticized for suggesting that aid be given to corrupt governments where the money will merely end up in an off shore bank account.Sachs is very clear throughout the book that it is imperative that the recipient countries devise and implement a poverty reduction strategy and stick to it.Countries that are not committed to this "need not apply".

    In the end, Professor Sachs has made a good proposal that WILL be effective in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of deep poverty and a track record to prove it.Unfortunately, his plan WILL NOT be implemented primarily because of resistance from Washington.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at development economics
    Professor Sachs gives a great tour of the world and its economic problems.He gives personal accounts of helping the economies of Bolivia, Poland, India, Russia and to a limited extent China.Most attempts at helping were successful (Russia, which had deeper and more entrenched problems, was a notable exception).Sachs gives sound advice on what works and what doesn't in really really poor countries.He also lays out how little it would take from America and other developed nations to make it all happen.

    The one downside is that for Sachs' plan to work, foreign governments have to be willing to cooperate.It's kind of a Catch-22.The US is not willing to donate large amounts of money if it is used poorly, and foreign governments aren't going to be able to spend wisely if they don't have very much. But really - we are spending hundreds of billions fighting the war in Iraq to "help the Iraqi people".But we could help many more people much more efficiently if we just committed to do it.

    Overall, one of the most interesting economics books I have ever read (and I have read a few).

    3-0 out of 5 stars A few problems
    If there is a more tireless and indefatigable advocate for the poor and downtrodden, and a more vigorous campaigner fighting the evils of poverty in dozens of countries around the world than Mr. Sachs, I don't know who it is. Sach's book provides a sweeping and compelling overview of the dire effects of poverty and the possibilities for aid and assistance, economic reform, and development in third world countries, discussing the successes and failures in many countries and how and why they either failed or succeeded.

    Before I get into the rest of my review, I should say something about my own prior and perhaps naive views on foreign aid. Before reading Mr. Sach's book, I believed in helping poor countries as much as possible and putting as much money into it as one could afford. Unfortunately, after reading his book, I was somewhat dismayed to find that so much of what he said could just as easily be used to argue against it. So, like a number of the reviewers here, although I agree that some sort of action is necessary, most of these solutions unfortunately still seem to come down to throwing more money at what in many cases have already turned out to be bottomless pits, lining local dictator's and beaurocrat's pockets and accomplishing very little else in the way of long-term gain. One shudders at the number of countries in Africa where aid is desperately needed and yet so little seems to reach the actual populace, not to mention several former Soviet countries, such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, and countries like Cambodia, that have similar if not worse situations.

    One of Mr. Sach's favorite countries, for example, is Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest nations, where less than 1 dollar is spent per year per person on medical aid. However, Ethiopia still has not come to grips with its population problem, and every generation or about 20 years, there is another famine and the world sends vast amounts of food and money to rescue the starving populace.

    This happened back in the 60s, and again in the 80s. That one I remember well because of all the TV ads featuring actors/actresses like Sally Struthers, one of the stars from the TV sitcom, All in the Family. While this generosity is commendable, nothing had changed since the 60s, and Ethiopia was again starving as a result of a couple of years of crop failures. Again, the U.S. and the world again sent huge amounts of aid, which did save many lives, but again, it just postpones Ethiopia's need to deal with the population issue in a more realistic and timely way.

    Although I learned much about the different circumstances and strengths and weaknesses of many countries around the world in regard to their economic problems and opportunities, sometimes the book tantalizes as much as it explains. For example, Mr. Sachs discusses the amazing progress China has achieved, contrasting that with the failure of many Latin American countries to continue to progress, not to mention the problems of Russia. He attributes the success of China to the development of TVEs (township and village enterprises), which became small but dynamic production and profit centers, as opposed to the inefficient Soviet state operations, and the failure to develop true capitalistic institutions where profits are plowed back into capital spending, growth, and expansion rather than into the new elite industrial leadership's pockets.

    However, this doesn't really explain why local village enterprises in China really succeeded over the larger state concerns in Russia. Larger operations enjoy certain advantages such as economies of scale and access to governmental funds for loans. Deciding to follow up on the question, I did a Google search and came up with the following excerpt from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization document number 4536 (I apologize for the long quote but it provides info that Sachs leaves out, and also, I'm going somewhere with all of this):

    "China's township and village enterprises (TVE) are rural, collective economic organizations established at the township or village level. They also include the city branches of township enterprises. TVEs had become a major component of the Chinese economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employing large numbers of people and contributing to social development.

    The development of TVEs has varied across China's regions and economic sectors. TVEs in some sectors are hi-tech or export oriented, and they face regional and international competition. However, TVEs in the brick, cement, coking and metal-casting sub-sectors were set up primarily to absorb rural labour, to provide essential low cost products, and to contribute to improving livelihoods in a localised area. In these sectors TVEs relied heavily on direct interventions from local governments for access to resources and marketing opportunities. As a result of the limited exposure of TVEs in these sectors to the market and to market forces, development in these sectors was characterized by expansion, without technology and technique development.

    Despite their general dynamism and growth, TVEs still have many disadvantages compared to state owned enterprises (SOE). A key one is the shortage of workers having significant professional skills. Another is the lack of access to finance. These gaps are also found between TVEs in Central China and those in the coastal regions.

    While the building material, coking and metal casting sectors provide key inputs to China's economic development and have been a major contributor to China's economic growth over the last 20 years (TVE provide more than half of the total output from these sectors), the level of technology in these sectors is low. Accordingly, TVEs in these sectors are characterized by high pollution levels. Notably, these four TVE sectors account for a staggering one sixth of China's total emissions of CO2. Their average relative energy consumption is 30% to 60% higher than state-owned-enterprise sector using currently available technologies. In addition, the low quality of their products leads to additional energy inefficiencies in product use (notably, poor building materials have low insulation levels, leading to heat loss in buildings). TVE are also major contributors to local air and water pollution and health hazards for employees."

    Unfortunately, the impression I get from this article in the way of explanation is that this apparent miracle won't last. The most likely explanation to me for the success of the TVEs is that the interior of China was so backward (it consisting mainly of literally of tens of thousands of small and relatively isolated villages) is that almost any improvement in industrial capability and capacity was a big improvement over what had existed before in the region. The same thing happened in the Soviet Union, where initially industrial output increased due to some fairly simple and basic improvements in manufacturing technology and production. Like the TVE's, they also initially seemed a big success, only later peaking and going into decline. However, the interior of both countries was so backward industrially that almost any improvement was likely to succeed in the short term, whether it was more collectivized as in the case of the Soviet Union, or smaller scale, more private enterprise type operations as in the case of TVE's.

    My point, unfortunately, is that we still don't know whether TVE's will truly succeed or not in the long run, as much of the profit can also be explained by the low cost of labor. If labor is cheap enough, you can still make a profit not matter how inefficient and low tech and non-competitive your operation is.

    So overall, although I applaud Mr. Sach's willingness to be an advocate for eliminating poverty around the world, we still don't really know what we're doing in many cases economically, and the practical problems are still daunting. Development economics is itself a developing academic area (by the way, John Kenneth Galbraith, an advisor to many U.S. presidents, did his Ph.D. dissertation on farm economics, although he became known mainly for his book, The Age of Affluence), and hopefully we will continue to learn more and be able to apply more rational and scientific solutions to the elimination of poverty in the future.

    In the short-term, however, our efforts continue to be hampered by inefficient and corrupt governments and inefficient aid organizations--although I still believe that we must continue to provide help despite the small percentage of it that ultimately reaches those most in need. ... Read more


    13. Cultural Anthropology : The Human Challenge (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
    by William A. Haviland, Harald E. L. Prins, Dana Walrath, Bunny McBride
    list price: $100.95
    our price: $100.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534624871
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-21)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 11096
    Average Customer Review: 1.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Comprehensive, readable and written for the student, Haviland/Prins/Walwrath/McBride's market-leading text, CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, is a highly relevant, high-quality teaching tool. The narrative voice of the text has been thoroughly internationalized and the "we:they" Western voice has been replaced with an inclusive one that will resonate with both Western and non-Western students and professors. In addition, gender, ethnicity, and stratification concepts and terminologies have been completely overhauled in accordance with contemporary thinking and the narrative streamlined using more fully developed, balanced, and global examples. In CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, the authors present students with examples of "local responses" to challenging globalization issues, designed to provide students with a "cross-cultural survival guide"for living in the diverse, multicultural world of the 21st century. This edition is a truly exciting and unique examination into the field of cultural anthropology, its insights, its relevance, and the continuing role of cultural survival issues. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    1-0 out of 5 stars I agree with the previous reviews...
    This text was required reading for my anthropology course and although I was looking forward to learning about the subject matter, I felt that Haviland wrote in a way that made it much less enjoyable than it should have been. Often repetitive, always with his own biased version and even his terminology (using such phrases as *something like* when using descriptives)were not what I expected from someone of his caliber. To make matters worse, the *Original Study* segments which were some of the most interesting parts of the book were printed on a green background with the print lightened so that it was barely readable...what were the publishers thinking? I was greatly disappointed.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Book Sucks
    This book is down to earth stupid! Through out the text, haviland insults Western countries by saying that they are all uncivilized and their way of life is far inferior when compared w/ other indegineous cultures. If he has a Ph.D., he should know better that insulting any culture is the trait of a narrow-minded person - not a guy who holds a ph.d. He also mocks religion constantly and the book repeats the same thing in several chapters...its like after a while you'll say "dude, we get the point, move on!". Don't buy it, unless u are a college student and your teacher requires it (I don't know y they would).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Intolerable
    This is among the most frustratingly uninteresting textbooks I've ever read.Every chapter takes the same dull, sensationalistic view of its subject, citing a limitless number of redundant examples of life in lesser-known cultures while condemning every aspect of modern, industrial cultures.Each unit restates the same cliches ad nauseam, and reading this material does nothing to enhance one's appreciation for humanity or for science.It is a terrible and tiresome introduction to anthropology.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for the Educated Reader
    The editors' review would lead you to believe this is an unbiased, thorough and scholarly examination of cultural anthropology.It is not.There is subtle age, gender, cultural and religious bias.Although it is a thorough look at various cultures, it is by no means comprehensive or accurate.It is inaccurate in highlighted descriptions of minor aspects of Native American culture, especially of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.It seems to imply Western European cultures and various organized religions are the greatest evil on the planet.The portrayal of some cultures, such as the Malaysian, Pacific Island, and a few of the African Bushmen cultures, are very nice but that is the only redeeming quality of this text.Real scholars should avoid this text at all costs!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading text
    This text explores human nature in a completely dry, systematic, and cliched manner. It conveys none of the realities of human experience.It describes the customs and practices followed by only a handful of societies in the world, and it does so in a distorted and often sensationalized manner.For example, it portrays Christianity as a simple religion of snake handlers, and it describes the Christian practice of eating the body of God in the COMMUNION WATER!The text communicates that there is no meaning or reason to human existence, and it picks apart each aspect of humanity until there is nothing left but the absurdity of all human thought and belief. If you wish to understand Man's history, get a firsthand look at what Man has written, built, believed, and striven for throughout the ages. Don't go to this book to have your questions answered.I don't know who wrote that ridiculous one sentence review about this book being wonderful, but they were a moron to do so. ... Read more


    14. Sociology : A Down-to-Earth Approach (7th Edition)
    by James M. Henslin
    list price: $94.00
    our price: $94.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0205407358
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-27)
    Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
    Sales Rank: 45571
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars great
    Excellent service. Book was shipped same day and I received it 2 days later.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Lively
    Admittedly I haven't read a lot of sociology textbooks, but this one is quite good. Every chapter has real-life examples (and many of the author's own experiences), so it not only makes you know the theory but also feel it at work in our societies, although the author writes quite a lot of his own feelings (it's dead obvious that he wants to change the world), which I don't know if it's a good point or not. ... Read more


    15. Racial and Ethnic Groups, Ninth Edition
    by Richard T. Schaefer
    list price: $91.00
    our price: $91.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130418692
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-25)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 55172
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This best-selling, classic book provides readers with a vibrant and comprehensive introduction to racial and ethnic studies, and helps them understand and explore the issues confronting a variety of ethnic groups in both the U.S. and other countries.Beginning with a thorough introduction to how sociologists think about race and ethnicity, the book then moves on to chapters on each major group, examining the group's history, then exploring the group's current situation and its concerns as we move into the 21st century.For a better understanding of, and a firm foundation in, relevant theories and perspectives in sociology. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just what I ordered
    Thank you so much, the book was just as described and shipped direct fast!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Updated edition of a classic.
    Racial and Ethnic Groups is extremely well researched, informative and entertaining. I read this book from cover to cover for pleasure. Then I read several of the books listed in the bibliography. This is clearly the best book available for anyone taking or teaching a course on human diversity. Each section tells a fascinating story with just the right combination of history, facts and relevant statistics.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The students liked it, but found it boring and so did I.
    This textbook on race relations is decent and many of the students said they found it useful, but no one thought it was a great text. I find it extremely boring, expecially when compared to the far more complete text by Farley, "Majority-Minority Relations." Schaeffer's approach seems to be to cover lots of topics, but none with any depth. The text is adequate but I am disappointed with its lack of depth. I do think it is a very useful book, nonetheless, for the beginning student and for the professor who perhaps is looking for a text that will be non-threatening to the student. ... Read more


    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. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
    by Parker J.Palmer
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $13.26
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0787947350
    Catlog: Book (1999-09-10)
    Publisher: Jossey-Bass
    Sales Rank: 2889
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The old Quaker adage, "Let your life speak," spoke to author Parker J. Palmer when he was in his early 30s. It summoned him to a higher purpose, so he decided that henceforth he would live a nobler life. "I lined up the most elevated ideals I could find and set out to achieve them," he writes. "The results were rarely admirable, often laughable, and sometimes grotesque.... I had simply found a 'noble' way of living a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart."

    Thirty years later, Palmer now understands that learning to let his life speak means "living the life that wants to live in me." It involves creating the kind of quiet, trusting conditions that allow a soul to speak its truth. It also means tuning out the noisy preconceived ideas about what a vocation should and shouldn't be so that we can better hear the call of our wild souls. There are no how-to formulas in this extremely unpretentious and well-written book, just fireside wisdom from an elder who is willing to share his mistakes and stories as he learned to live a life worth speaking about. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Living life with purpose!
    To discover the purpose and meaning in life is an aspiration that all people desire and seek. Many live a lifetime never finding their true purpose for why they were born and what their contribution towards community should be. Parker Palmer addresses this need head on. In his book Let Your Life Speak, Palmer explains that it is through listening and responding to the signs of life that we can find hope, comfort and peace. Parker uses his personal life, to tactfully illustrate the seasons of life that all experience. Parker causes the reader to explore their souls and lives to discover why we too are given our gift of life and what are we to do with it. Parker encourages this inner examination and encourages a response of reality and integrity. This little book is both practical and inspirational.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quietly Paradoxical
    Parker Palmer creates a peacful arena for understanding our own lives by sharing what he has experienced and learned from his own. I found this book to be a "quick read" on the one hand and yet I keep going back and rereading parts of it ... and then rereading the whole section.

    I came away from reading this book - the first time - with a peace about my life and how I have lived it. I better understand the lessons I have been taught and more faith about the path I am following. A whole lot for a little book to accomplish.

    1-0 out of 5 stars fluffy. very, very fluffy.
    my god, what an obnoxious, over-wrought, self-important heap of nonsense. this man thinks far too highly of his life story, which is low on anything truely trying and high on sentimentality. i quote:

    "i love the fact that the word humus, the dacayed vegatable matter that feeds the roots of plants, comes from the same root that gives rise to the word humility. it is a blessed etymology. it helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave 'mud on my face' or that 'makes my name mud' may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow."

    well, good for you, pal. the oft-used metaphores and life stories that are not incoherent are utterly laughable in a droll, sugary way that does not lend itself to serious reading. some people may be capable of enjoying such writing and finding it truly inspiring. i am not one of those folks, and do not reccomend this book. to anyone.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting if Not Useful
    I found this book to be an interesting read into one man's journey toward self-discovery. He has some good insights into how one might take a different view of the world and find one's true vocation.

    From my perspective, it was a bit too self-absorbed and self-engrandizing. I would recommend this book to anyone that is depressed about his or her life and needs to find a potential source of comfort. If you have a fairly good sense of self, this book may not be of great benefit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Validating....
    This book is an inspiration for those feeling "the pull"--the struggle between "what society tells me I should be doing" and "what I feel I need/was born to do". Both my husband and I could not put it down. Palmer validated our feelings of "I don't think the rat race is what life is really about..." whereby giving us the confidence to pursue major life and career changes. Read a paragraph, stop and think...and then read on.... ... Read more


    18. Freakonomics CD : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060776137
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperAudio
    Sales Rank: 287
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences. The annual Nobel Prize winner in that field never receives as much publicity as his or her compatriots in peace, literature, or physics. But if such slights are based on the notion that economics is dull, or that economists are concerned only with finance itself, Steven D. Levitt will change some minds. In Freakonomics (written with Stephen J. Dubner), Levitt argues that many apparent mysteries of everyday life don't need to be so mysterious: they could be illuminated and made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing connections. For example, Levitt traces the drop in violent crime rates to a drop in violent criminals and, digging further, to the Roe v. Wade decision that preempted the existence of some people who would be born to poverty and hardship. Elsewhere, by analyzing data gathered from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make great money while scores of underlings make something below minimum wage. And in a section that may alarm or relieve worried parents, Levitt argues that parenting methods don't really matter much and that a backyard swimming pool is much more dangerous than a gun. These enlightening chapters are separated by effusive passages from Dubner's 2003 profile of Levitt in The New York Times Magazine, which led to the book being written. In a book filled with bold logic, such back-patting veers Freakonomics, however briefly, away from what Levitt actually has to say. Although maybe there's a good economic reason for that too, and we're just not getting it yet. --John Moe

    Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner Answer The Amazon.com Significant Seven

    Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, author and co-author of this season's bestselling quirky hit, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, graciously answered the Amazon.com Significant Seven questions that we like to run by every author.

    Levitt and Dubner answer the Amazon.com Significant Seven questions

    ... Read more

    Reviews (118)

    4-0 out of 5 stars interesting, but not rocket science
    Unlike a lot of economics books this book is pretty fair and unbiased. I don't think it is as funny as some readers thought, but the subjects are interesting. Most of it is common sense. Like that teachers cheat to make their students look smarter on standardized tests and real estate agents won't necessarily being doing everything they can to help you. As a graduate student in economics, I find is reasoning for the decline in crime being attributed to abortion highly speculative. Common sense would tell you that "aborting" fetuses that are likely to become criminals will reduce crime, only if that mother doesn't have as many children as she would if abortion were illegal. The author does a good job of staying away from the politics of abortion.

    This book is good for the layman but is nothing new to the average economists. I personally think that it has been given too much praise and attention.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking but falls a bit short
    While Levitt has the propensity to ask many interesting and thought-provoking questions, his data analysis is often suspect to the same tunnel vision which he attributes to many academic studies. Levitt seems so intent on proving the "conventional wisdom" wrong that he immediately accepts data from a single source as long as it provides a sensational conclusion. For instance, just about all of Levitt's conclusions on education and parenting come from a single ECLS study conducted 15 years ago. The early chapters on information and cheating are quite solid and alone may be worth the price of the book. However once Levitt tackles education, crime, and parenting his down-to-earth anecdotal approach becomes insufficient to explain these complex issues. Freakonomics is similar to many other pop-science bestsellers in that it makes its subject more approachable through oversimplified explanations and conclusions.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great, Quick Read, Perfect for Summer
    I very much have enjoyed reading this book.As a grade school teacher, it doesn't surprise me that teachers cheat on their students' end-of-the-year assessments; what is surprising is that this is rarely talked about and people seem to be shocked and surprised when, on the rare occasion, someone gets caught.With the pressure to have one's students earn high scores coming from both parents and administrators, how could it not happen?Much more is expected of teachers today, and not all are up to the hard work, time and energy.But this book isn't only about teachers--you'll learn about drug dealers and how they organize their gangs quite similar to corporations; you'll be surprised that sumo wrestlers cheat (I actually hadn't thought about them or the game, but there is a way they can cheat), among other topics. Perhaps the most controversial notion is about what brought down crime levels in the 1980s, a time when everyone predicted crime would rise.It's an interesting idea, but Levitt doesn't provide much support, which was disappointing.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Layman's LanguageAnalyses of Various Social Canards
    Too often articles or books written by economists are couched in arcane verbiage and statistics.Levitt avoids this, and the result is a very interesting, though-provoking review of several social myths.

    He begins by summarizing the status of crime in the mid-1990's - high, and projected to go much higher with the coming "teenager boom."Instead, it began a long, steep decline.The most common "explanations" were "roaring economy," "gun control," and "innovative policing." Levitt then goes on to summarize data that convincingly reture them all.For example, a good economy might decrease economic crimes, but why did violent crimes drop even more?Further, why didn't crime also fall during the booming '60s?As for innovative policing, Levitt reports that the declines began prior to this initiative, and that its prime contribution was through adding policeman (accounting for about 10% of the drop).Similarly he refutes the logic for crediting increased rights of citizens to carry guns, and gun buy-backs, while the drop in crack prices is credited with 15% of the drop.

    Levitt then reports the results of Romania's strong anti-abortion posture in the 60s - a large contingent of resented children, many of whom became serious problems when they grew up.Finally, the "shocker" - Levitt presents various data that provide a solid case for concluding that the drop in crime was primarily due to Roe v. Wade making abortions available to lower-income women - many of whom would have had problems raising the unwanted children.

    Other topics addressed by Levitt include documenting cheating associated with "high-stakes" (eg. potential job loss, raises, school closure) pupil testing (estimated at about 5% in Chicago Public Schools), documenting and explaining the lack of drug traffic profits for most of those involved (rakeoffs by those at higher levels).Another interesting and useful topic covered is how society often misplaces efforts into low-payoff efforts to protect children (eg. child-resistant packaging, flame-retardant pajamas, avoiding being seated near front-seat airbags, and keeping their children out of homes with guns), instead of the much higher-payoff of keeping children away from homes with swimming pools.

    Throughout the book, Levitt carefully summarizes supporting data, while also informing readers of how similar data are often misused.His "bottom-line," so to speak, is for the reader to become more aware of the effect of incentives, and the frequent lack of factual bases for conventional thinking.

    An interesting, useful two-hour read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Revelations?!only if you're the type to wear shades at night
    while interesting, the subject matter of this book is not sublime, the questions are not revolutionary and the 'answers' are soooo not comprehensive. though a contribution is likely, to claim that crime went down simply because of abortion is silly. and duh swimming pools are 'more dangerous' if you look at data collected from past incidences. but you cannot claim this to be true of the inherent/accidental potential for danger of a swimming pool compared to a gun. this book seems to ignore that probability is only predictive if circumstances are equal. and that sometimes a name might carry significance beyond where it can get you in life. but perhaps that one is more than what can expected of educated white men. Still... fun reading, great cover. And I'm sure levitt's classes are more intellectually engaging than this book. ah! one more thing: drug dealers live at home because 'Gator boots, with the pimped out gucci suit/ Ain't got no job, but I stay sharp/ Can't pay my rent, cause all my money's spent/ But thats ok, cause I'm still fly/ Got a quarter tank gas in my new e-class/ But that's alright cause I'm gon' ride/ Got everything in my moma's name/ But I'm hood rich da dada dada da' - Still Fly by Big Tymers ... Read more


    19. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety
    by JudithWarner
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573223042
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-17)
    Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 771
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The old adage is especially true for Perfect Madness: don't judge this eminently readable book by its stern and academic-looking cover. Judith Warner's missive on the "Mommy Mystique" can be read in a weekend, if readers have the time. Of course--according to the book--many would-be readers will have to carve out the hours in between an endless sea of child-enriching activities, a soul-sucking swirl that leads many mothers into a well of despair. Warner's book seeks to answer the question, "Why are today's young mothers so stressed out?" Whether shuttling kids to "enriching" after-school activities or worrying about the quality of available child care, the women of Perfect Madness describe a life far out of balance. Warner spends most of the book explaining how things got to this point, and what can be done to restore some sanity to the parenting process.

    Warner draws her research from a group of 20- to 40-year-old, upper-middle-class, college-educated women living in the East Coast corridor. In other words, mirror images of Warner herself. Her limited scope has caused controversy and criticism, as have some of her more sweeping statements. (For example, Warner blames second-wave feminism--rather than corporate culture--for the many limitations women still experience as they try to balance the work-family dynamic.) Other favorite targets include the mainstream media, detached fathers, and controlling, "hyperactive" mothers who create impossible standards for themselves, their children, and the community of other parents around them. Warner begins and ends the book with a compelling argument for the need for more societal support of mothers--quality-of-life government "entitlements" such as those found in France. It's these big-picture issues that will provide the solution, she says, even if most mothers don't want to discuss them because they consider the topic "tacky, strident-sounding, not the point." In these sections on governmental policy, and also when she steps back, encouraging women to be kinder to each other, the author's warmth comes across easily on the page. Pilloried by some readers and supported by others, Warner should at least be applauded for opening up the Pandora's Box of American motherhood for a new generation. And if readers are of two minds about the issues raised Perfect Madness, as Warner sometimes seems to be herself, it's a fitting reaction to a topic with few easy answers. --Jennifer Buckendorff END ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good read
    In Perfect Madness , Judith Warner successfully exposed a strong view being held by some groups of professional women about motherhood in the new millennium. It is all about securing career growth while being a mother, a path that demands less presence by the mother in the life of her child(ren), while at the same time is fraught with the pressure to be the ideal mum that children always dream about, the mother who is always there when needed. It is a rising conflict in motherhood in the rapidly professional America where the specter of single parent families is growing everyday. However I think this book should have toned down its strong feminist perspective. It is a good read though. Like THE USURPER AND OTHER, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, THE COLOR OF WATER, HOW TO AVOID THE MOMMY TRAP,THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD , the echoes of conflicts in motherhood are very similar. I like its hilarious side the most.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily bleak -- Read Avoid The Mommy Trap to avoid it
    Along with others, I kept wondering, where is the joy and magic of being a mother, and of children?Why are all the men depicted not helpful?I read an article quoting Judith Warner in which she stated that the men in her generation just were not going to help out enough to take this awful weight off of our shoulders.This assumption is not correct for many of us, thankfully.My husband does a little more in the house and with our children than I do, and we both have worked hard to achieve a good balance in our lives and we are in Warner's generation, and many of our peers do the same.The norm we see is parents sharing and mothers, whether they work or not, finding their own life after the first few years if not before, not the over-stressed Moms alphabetizing toys or lining up at 6 am to sign up for a pre-school or arts and crafts class.The best book on this subject and almost the only one that is not whiney or depressing is How To Avoid The Mommy Trap, by Julie Shields.Shields interviewed a different set of Washington parents, among others, including some in France.I'd much rather hang with them, and their children than in the amped up, unhappy world Warner presents.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A big warm pat on the back
    The book succeeds at the least in being an interesting read and quite a we're-all-in-this comfort if you're a mother working in or out of the home, or both. Though she's interviewed but a small slice of society, Warner taps into the extreme performance anxiety many American moms are facing as we try to cope with what society's dealt us.And it's not senseless whining, as other reviewers have claimed -- there's a clear agenda here, but it involves getting together and getting some big policy changes through -- in the interests of mothers and children, for a change. If more women understood that's what needed, fewer would blindly accept that mothering is a "sacrifice." It needn't be.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Necessary Read
    This book has struck a chord with me and many of the women I know balancing a family and work. The author has some great points about the lack of a public support system (or even a private one in today's world) and my generation of control freaks. I recognized myself and many of my friends in bits here and there throughout the book. It is also a good history on motherhood and feminism through the 20th century, and different social movements. This book also states right out front, it doesn't have the solution, but is a collection of what women are feeling.

    Where I feel the book lacks are a couple of areas. The author interviewed many women, but mainly women in the Washington D.C. area, it would have been good to see more women around the country profiled. Also many of my friends (inlcuding me) have husbands that are staying at home or sharing in child care and the book tends to focus on the father as the chief breadwinner and I quote, "Men who cut their hours to spend more time with their children are routinely regarded as losers." Nu uh, maybe in Washington D.C., but not in my world honey. I see men among my friends doing this, and men I work with, and when I hear one of them is working his schedule to keep up with his family, he is a hero in my eyes.

    I read this book on vacation, and my Mom seemed a bit worried about it. "Maybe you should read something a little more upbeat." She is right. The book did raise my own level of anxiety, but I think it was needed. I look forward to the slew of books that will provide the solution.

    1-0 out of 5 stars No real solutions, just hopelessness
    I finished Perfect Madness with a heavy sigh. As I thought about how to sum it up, all I could do was sigh some more.

    I'll compare it with Mommy Guilt, in which the underlying message throughout is, "You are not alone. It's OK. You're doing a great job. Forgive yourself. Stop feeling guilty." When I finished that book, I felt energized, excited, empowered. I wanted to tell everyone about it.

    Here's the message from Perfect Madness: Life sucks. It sucked for our mothers. We thought we would take over the world. We didn't. Life sucks for us. It even sucks in France now. Nowhere is a good place for women or their children. It's hopeless.

    Something seems underhanded. Much like the author accuses women of humiliating their husbands by sharing intimate details of their sex lives, she somehow does the same to other women. She sat among them, talked to them, even proclaimed to be one of them. Yet she took their confidences, stamped them with her judgment, fit them as pegs into the holes she so neatly lined up and turned them out for the world to see. In the beginning, she said she wanted to prove that mothers aren't divided. At the end, she divided them herself, pitting SAHMs against WOHMs.

    I'm not a frantic parent she discusses throughout the book. But you know what? I still feel overwhelmed, underappreciated and isolated sometimes. I need something to help me get through every day, every week, every year.

    Will the author's "solutions" help me get through today or even next year? The solutions are vague at best. I can say we need "quality daycare" too. But what exactly does that mean?

    Sigh. What a depressing book. I'll take empowerment (Mommy Guilt) over hopelessness (Perfect Madness) any day. ... Read more


    20. Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science (College Version), Eighth Edition
    by Richard E. Saferstein
    list price: $93.80
    our price: $93.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131118528
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-18)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 72713
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Written by a renowned authority on forensic science, this book introduces the non-scientific reader to the field of forensic science through an exploration of its applications to criminal invesigations, with clear explanations of the techniques, abilities, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory. The most current technologies, techniques, practices, and procedures highlight this book; the accompanying interactive crime scene CD-ROM puts readers in the role of crime scene investigations. Actual cases, including a new case study on the role of DNA evidence in the investigation of the World Trade Center crime scene, enable readers to see the integral role of forensic science in criminal investigations. Topics covered include: the crime scene, physical evidence, physical properties, organic analysis, inorganic analysis, the microscope, hairs, fibers, and paint, drugs, forensic toxicology, forensic aspects of arson and explosion investigations, forensic serology, DNA, fingerprints, firearms, toolmarks and other impressions, document and voice examination, and forensic science on the Internet.An excellent reference resource for members of the forensic science field, as well as others involved in criminal justice. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    3-0 out of 5 stars correct your listing please
    You're listing as a paperback version of Saferstein's "Criminalistics: an intro to forensic science," the associated lab manual by Meloan, Saferstein and another. Sort of confusing until you figure it out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Forensic Science!
    As textbooks go this is without a doubt the best one that I have ever used. This book manages to explain complicated things such as DNA, and other techniques, and tests that are used during the course of an investigation in simple terms that are easy to understand. Especially if you are new to the idea of Forensic Science. Simple explanations, with colored pictures, diagrams, and case studies help show how different tests, evidence collection, and other aspects of Forensic's are used to help "catch" the bad guy. Again easy to read and understand. Well worth the purchase, you will learn a lot!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science
    This is without any doubt, in my opinion, the best book ever
    written on criminalistics. Not there are not any other great books on the subject, however this is the greatest. It is suprisingly comprehendible considering the complexity of some of the topics involved. The photographs and drawings are crystal clear.
    In addition I especially like the test at the end of each section that I feel is necessary to help the reader realize his knowledge,(or lack of knowledge) of that section.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Orwellian apparatus we can live with?
    On the surface, Saferstein's textbook is meant to survey the procedures and instrumentation which oversee the evidential chain-of-possession from crime scene to laboratory to courtroom presentation. It offers a brief archaeology of the field, the technologies of social control developing alongside the modern metropolis (that eternal hotbed of anonymous hatred and victimization), from anthropometry and dactylography all the way down to the Human Genome Project. "Forensics," derived from the Greek FORENSIS, or "debate," registers the cooperative interplay between scientific reason and the criminal justice system. Saferstein's text begins, logically enough, at the crime scene itself, and after a brief excursion on basic chemistry, biology, geology and physics, goes on to catalogue the vicissitudes of evidence-collection and processing, the laboratory procedures for organic and inorganic analysis, the various forms of microscopy available and their uses, the typing and collection of hair, fiber, fingerprints, body fluids, et al., the physiology of drug and alcohol consumption (and its legal implications), with detailed excurses on forensic serology and toxicology, firearms and ballistics, document and voice examination, the Internet, all supplemented by legalistic paradigms of prosecution, evidential value, case studies, and a fine insight into the way lawyers manipulate criminalistic legislation to their own parsimonious gain (i.e. memories of O. J. Simpson's blood).

    The implications for altruistic social control are staggering. Once identitarian criminal databases (blood, fiber, DNA, fingerprint, somatotype, facial and retinal recognition, credit records, the resurrection of deleted email off the original magnetic tapes(!), et al.) are centralized and updated, it would seem that a citizen wouldn't be able to stick his gum on a public wall without the whole juggernaut of networked forensic technologies converging on the site, a public littering ticket arriving in one's mailbox that very afternoon. One could envision a subculture of decadent anti-criminologists, using Saferstein's text as a blueprint for new Underworld patents on gloves, bodywear, chemical reagents, and a whole bookshelf of counter-procedural "operations manuals" which serve to elude and obfuscate the forensic apparatus. In the teeth of such ambitious criminality, I suppose the only hope forensic science has of becoming the legalistic Archangel of altruistic Orwellianism it wants to be is if the criminal element remains, on the whole, as stupid as ever. As for the *true* decadents, the white-collar devils of capitalist exploitation, we can only shudder at the destruction their money can wreak. In the future of crime, those who have the most brilliant scientists and engineers on their payroll will be the ones who can stay strategically ahead of the system. Why, one can almost imagine organized crime syndicates recruiting disgruntled grad students right out of MIT!

    But going back to the text itself, there are some annoying glitches the potential buyer should be aware of.... My criminalistics professor at Rutgers, a friend and colleague of the author, pointed out to me that Saferstein retired from the forensics field in 1991, going on to freelance his expertise to any privatized legal cabal willing to stamp a check. As a result (isolated from the laboratory as he is), some of the instrumental minutiae which characterize a cutting-edge forensics lab are absent from or misrepresented in the text. Furthermore, on the flip side, certain defunct procedures and instruments are presented as if they were still cutting-edge! Much of the photography and graphic presentations in the book also seem a tad antiquated, carry-overs from previous editions, apparently. (My own father, a specialist in immunoassay engineering, upon perusing the book's graphics estimated its copyright at late '80s, early '90s!) But these are minor trifles in an outstanding introductory text. The best thing about this book is that the price has dropped about twenty dollars since the previous edition. Wonderful news for penny-stricken undergraduates like ourselves!

    4-0 out of 5 stars For School
    I had to use this book for school - I liked it. It provided me with the basic information that i needed to know in this field. ... Read more


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