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41. Masters of Chaos: The Secret History
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42. E=mc2: A Biography of the World's
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43. Dr. Quantum Presents: A User's
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44. Essentials of Physical Geography
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45. Electric Universe : The Shocking
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46. The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's
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47. Spring Forward: The Annual Madness
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60. More Than Human : Embracing the

41. Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces
by Linda Robinson
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
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Asin: 1586482491
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 515
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Book Description

A journalist with unique access tells the gripping, never-before-told, inside story of America's elite troops in action -- from the nadir of their reputation after Vietnam to their preeminence today on the frontlines against terrorism around the world.

Special Forces soldiers are daring, seasoned troops from America's heartland, selected in a tough competition and trained in an extraordinary range of skills. They know foreign languages and cultures and unconventional warfare better than any U.S. fighters, and while they prefer to stay out of the limelight, veteran war correspondent Linda Robinson gained access to their closed world. She traveled with them on the frontlines, interviewed them at length on their home bases, and studied their doctrine, methods and history. In Masters of Chaos she tells their story through a select group of senior sergeants and field-grade officers, a band of unforgettable characters like Rawhide, Killer, Michael T, and Alan -- led by the unflappable Lt. Col. Chris Conner and Col. Charlie Cleveland, a brilliant but self-effacing West Pointer who led the largest unconventional war campaign since Vietnam in northern Iraq.

Robinson follows the Special Forces from their first post-Vietnam combat in Panama, El Salvador, Desert Storm, Somalia, and the Balkans to their recent trials and triumphs in Afghanistan and Iraq. She witnessed their secret sleuthing and unsung successes in southern Iraq, and recounts here for the first time the dramatic firefights of the western desert. Her blow-by-blow story of the attack on Ansar al-Islam's international terrorist training camp has never been told before. The most comprehensive account ever of the modern-day Special Forces in action, Masters of Chaos is filled with riveting, intimate detail in the words of a close-knit band of soldiers who have done it all. AUTHOR BIO: Linda Robinson is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. She was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in 2000-2001 and in 1999 she received the Maria Moors Cabot prize form Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She has covered numerous wars, guerrilla conflicts and special forces operations, and currently lives in Washington, D.C. ... Read more

42. E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
by David Bodanis
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0425181642
Catlog: Book (2001-10-09)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 20317
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Already climbing the bestseller lists-and garnering rave reviews-this "little masterpiece"* sheds brilliant light on the equation that changed the world.

"This is not a physics book. It is a history of where the equation [E=mc2] came from and how it has changed the world. After a short chapter on the equation's birth, Bodanis presents its five symbolic ancestors in sequence, each with its own chapter and each with rich human stories of achievement and failure, encouragement and duplicity, love and rivalry, politics and revenge. Readers meet not only famous scientists at their best and worst but also such famous and infamous characters as Voltaire and Marat...Bodanis includes detailed, lively andfascinating back matter...His acknowledgements end, 'I loved writing this book.' It shows." (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

"E=mc2, focusing on the 1905 theory of special relativity, is just what itssubtitle says it is: a biography of the world's most famous equation, and it succeeds beautifully. For the first time, I really feel that I understand the meaning and implications of that equation, as Bodanis takes us through each symbol separately, including the = sign...there is a great 'aha!' awaiting the lay reader." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"'The equation that changed everything' is familiar to even the most physics-challenged, but it remains a fuzzy abstraction to most. Science writer Bodanis makes it a lot more clear." (Discover)

"Excellent...With wit and style, he explains every factor in the world's most famous and least understood equation....Every page is rich with surprising anecdotes about everything from Einstein's youth to the behind-the-scenes workings of the Roosevelt administration. Here's a prediction: E=mc2 is one of those odd, original, and handsomely written books that will prove more popular than even its publisher suspects." (Nashville Scene)

"You'll learn more in these 300 pages about folks like Faraday, Lavoisier, Davy and Rutherford than you will in many a science course...a clearly written, astonishingly understandable book that celebrates human achievement and provides some idea of the underlying scientific orderliness and logic that guides the stars and rules the universe."(Parade )

"Bodanis truly has a gift for bringing his subject matter to life." (Library Journal [starred review] )

"Entertaining...With anecdotes and illustrations, Bodanis effectively opens up E=mc2 to the widest audience." (Booklist )

"Accessible...he seeks, and deserves, many readers who know no physics. They'll learn a handful-more important, they'll enjoy it, and pick up a load of biographical and cultural curios along the way." (Publishers Weekly)

... Read more

Reviews (75)

3-0 out of 5 stars Science is great, history is not
I would give him five stars for his comprehensible explanation of the physics and the time he spent thinking of metaphors for the equation that make its effects understandable. However, his portraits of figures like Oppenheimer and Heisenberg are way off--extreme readings of uncited evidence that is frankly in conflict with both the historical record and the way that contemporary historians interpret it. Heisenberg was NOT a convinced Nazi--he was a German nationalist. There's a difference. Oppenheimer's personality problems were not at the basis of his later exclusion from further government nuclear research--his communist sympathies were the reason. Bodanis makes Teller sound like a crazy and not like the venerable scientist he was. What's sad about all of these misportraits is that they cast doubt on things I want to believe, about Lise Meitner and Celia Payne, for example. Read with care, and compare to a real book about the Manhattan Project (like Richard Rhodes' "Making of the Atomic Bomb") before you swallow this picture whole. For a much more balanced picture of some of the personalities involved that includes a readable account of the science, check out Freeman Dyson's "Disturbing the Universe."

4-0 out of 5 stars A bumpy ride through Relativity
This is a mildly eccentric book on Relativity. David Bodanis claims at the start that he won't be talking about physics and Einstein --- he's just going to tell you about The Famous Equation. But once he's done with the first chapter, which goes through the basic principles of the equation step-by-step, he gets into physics and Einstein. He loses his focus quickly, but he's always entertaining.

Bodanis loves colorful anecdotes about physicists, the art of discovery, contributions by neglected scientists (primarily women), and the prospect of the Nazis building an atomic bomb. It's this last topic that weakens the book. Frankly, the Nazis never came close to building an atomic bomb. Yes, they would have had a Fat Man or a Little Boy if they built reactors and had heavy water and understood the physics and had a team of scientists working on it and they tested it. But they didn't have any of it. "Might have" doesn't cut it.

The second half of this book is made up of biographies of scientists and extensive footnotes. Bodanis makes good use of the notes, giving you plenty of sources and a lot of additional information. His personal interests are on full display here, as he mentions whatever concept or story that the footnoted information triggers in his mind. It's fun to read, although it does tend to wander.

I recommend this book to anyone who's read a little bit about Relativity. It's a useful refresher, an eccentric view of the topic that will keep your interest. If you've never read about Relativity, try Gribbin and White's biography of Einstein first --- or, better yet, Richard Wolfson's book on Relativity (which is still the best).

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading this book requires E.
The simple equation having only 5 symbols is deep in meaning. It took the genious of Einstein to put the equation together way back in 1905 - - - What E found was: Energy equals mass when you accelerate mass to the speed of light squared. That's 670,000,000 mph times itself.
C stands for 'celeritis' in latin and it means, 'swiftness.' C squared is 448,900,000,000,000,000 mph!
No speedometer exists on Earth that can travel that fast! WOW!
Einstein knew that energy could naturally transform itself into mass under specific and unique condtions.
The equation was published in 1905 and essentially remained dormant and untested until the war.
Then it became a horrifying reality that Einstein himself wished he never uncovered all those years ago.
Other scientists converged their great minds together in a think tank called the Manhatten Projet, and the world changed for the worse --- upon their nuclear discoveries.
Did Fat Boy really need to do what he did?
NEVER! THe controversy broils to this day.
It is so strange to contemplate that in the pool of the most intelligent men on Earth, not a one of them was smart enough to forsee the evil that they created.
Like the saying goes, "You can lead a man to wisdom, but you can't make him think."
None of them thought about what this nuclear power could do when left in terrorist grips.
This book tells the story behind the famous little equation.
Einstein did play a part in developing nuclear arsonel, even though he later denied he encouraged it.
Please see his letter to President FDR on pages 117 - 18.
The reader is left to draw thier own conclusions on that.
Regardless of the controversy, I read this book and must give it my highest recommendations to all who ever wondered what this equation means. It's deep but not complex.
It's complex but not inaccessable by average minds.
What's really chilling is reading what is not said in between the lines of this book.
Could we have avoided the discovery of the Atomic bomb?
Imagine our world without it.....and to think, the Germans weren't all that close to uncovering the secret behind the destruction.
This is a good book about E = mc 2.
Read it and learn that all discoveries have a dark side.

4-0 out of 5 stars meandering history of relativity
In this slim and easy-to-read volume, David Bodanis gives us a meandering history of relativity. First, he looks at each of the individual pieces of the equation (even the equals sign gets its own chapter). Then, he builds up a discussion of other relevant work that led to Einstein's famous equation. He next discusses its applications. The book closes with an immense amount of back matter, including the footnotes and suggested further reading on the topic.

This book is not for physics students who are already intimately familiar with the requisite mathematics and physics. It is intended for a general audience that probably can't remember calculus (or was never introduced to it in the first place). Bodanis engages in a bit of handwaving to make the more difficult parts easier to accept; in general, he acknowledges this. I can't fault him for this decision, although the mathematician in me occasionally found it a bit frustrating.

Make sure that you read the footnotes! It's not necessary to flip back and forth between the main text and the footnotes, but at least read them when you've reached the end of the chapter. Scan past the ones that are simply listing the source material, and read the ones that are longer. There's a lot of great information to be found in those footnotes that doesn't quite fit into the main text. Some of it tells you a bit about what was going through the author's mind when he wrote his book, other material elaborates on what is in the book.

Also, read through the list of suggested readings. It's like getting book recommendations from a well-read friend. The suggestions are thorough, insightful, and often entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars Transforming human mass into energy for good
It is easy to think of technology in the context of hard science and with the intellect. Bodanis gives lay readers an appropriate level of insight about how math and science evolved through several hundred years to propel our species toward the elegant equation that changed the world. This historical journey enlivens many forgotten but critical thinkers who made it possible for a restive patent clerk to make the essential creative leap into the intellectual unknown. But this book accomplishes something else, even greater. The author's brilliant chapter describing in micro-second details the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima creates a powerful, sobering perspective of this fearsome technology and dispassionately reminds all of us of the threats looming. The author uses his beloved science to bring into searing perspective the human face of thermonuclear war. The power to manipulate the atom has the capacity for good in medicine and other human advancements, but it is also a power capable of planetary destruction. It is wise for lay readers to understand E=MC2 beyond science. Our survival is at stake. ... Read more

43. Dr. Quantum Presents: A User's Guide To Your Universe
by Fred Alan, Ph.D. Wolf
list price: $69.95
our price: $44.07
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Asin: 1591793483
Catlog: Book (2005-06-30)
Publisher: Sounds True
Sales Rank: 24078
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Book Description

In this Audio Learning Set, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf takes the listener on a stirring intellectual ride through the realms of human consciousness and its relationship to quantum physics. He espouses his theories on the universe, relativity, quantum mechanics, and much more. ... Read more

44. Essentials of Physical Geography (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
by Robert E. Gabler, James F. Petersen, L. Michael Trepasso
list price: $110.95
our price: $110.95
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Asin: 0030338220
Catlog: Book (2003-07-21)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 91363
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Book Description

ESSENTIALS OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY uses the combined expertise of three respected geographers to create the ultimate tool for illustrating physical geography concepts and helping students bridge the gap between scientific theory, practical application, and the human-environmental interface. The text emphasizes student involvement and interaction in the learning process, while combining the traditional and newer systems approaches. ESSENTIALS identifies and demonstrates three major roles for the discipline--Geography as a Physical Science, Geography as the Spatial Science, and Geography as Environmental Science. Our vibrant author team consists of Gabler (Western Illinois), Petersen (Southwest Texas State) and a new addition to the team--Trapasso (Western Kentucky). Gabler's decades of authoring experience combine with Petersen's geomorphology specialty and Trapasso's climatology expertise to invigorate a classic text. We offer a unique technology package, combining two proprietary CD-ROMs with FREE InfoTrac® College Edition access. ... Read more

45. Electric Universe : The Shocking True Story of Electricity
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 1400045509
Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 339066
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46. The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private's Best Chance for Survival
by H. John Poole
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
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Asin: 0963869566
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Posterity Pr
Sales Rank: 91034
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Tiger's Way: A U.S. Private’s Best Chance for Survival is not just fun reading for novice riflemen; it is mission-essential information for all ranks and job descriptions.The U.S. military lost on the ground to Eastern guerrillas 30 years ago, and its tactics haven’t significantly changed.The Tiger’s Way shows how to reverse this trend at a most opportune time.Without better tactical technique at the individual and small-unit level, U.S. forces cannot project minimal force.Without minimal force, they cannot win the hearts and minds of the people.Without winning the hearts and minds of the people, they cannot win a guerrilla war.The Tiger’s Way reveals—for the first time—the state of the art in technique for every category of short-range combat.It does so through 100 illustrations, 1600 endnotes, and 31 battledrills.

But the book will also help U.S. forces to suffer fewer casualties in a total war.As Western weapons systems have become more lethal, Eastern armies have turned to tiny, surprise-oriented maneuver elements.Most now give their lowest ranks both conventional and unconventional abilities. Until the U.S. military follows suit, its nonrates will have less field skill, initiative, and tactical-decision-making experience than their Eastern counterparts.That means they will be at a decided disadvantage in any one-on-one encounter and die unnecessarily every time their firepower fails. It also means that their commanders will have trouble winning a "4th generation" war. The Tiger’s Way will have a profound effect on how foreign war and homeland security are conducted in the future. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Future Officers
My mentor, MAJ Donald E. Vandergriff, uses John Poole's books for the textbooks in his Military Science class here at Georgetown. I started reading them during my first years in the ROTC program. I was captivated by Mr. Poole's ingenious ideas. I must say that in my opinion, The Tiger's Way is his best book yet. It's one of those books that makes a highlighter useless. If you highlighted the important parts, you'd end up highlighting the whole thing! Mr. Poole wastes no space with information less than vital.
As an officer in training, I find that The Tiger's Way provides solutions to the countless questions that have perplexed me in the study of military art. Before I read The Tiger's Way I would always ask questions like, "What changes do we make when it's dark outside? Is that tactic really practical if you're getting shot at? How would that tactic work if the enemy did X or Y? What if the enemy doesn't do what you expect? What if the enemy hides underground?" Our future enemies will use all the tricks I wondered about and more. We cannot stubbornly hide behind our rigid doctrine and superior firepower. The US military will either evolve or suffer increased casualties at the hands of cunning adversaries. Mr. Poole offers a solution!
Mr. Poole lays out detailed descriptions of countless unconventional, deceptive tactics, drawing from a diverse and staggeringly immense list of sources. Mr. Poole's book will both expand Soldiers' tactical repertoire and warn them about what they might expect to encounter when facing a more deceptive adversary. Any cadet who is serious about actually fighting and winning someday should read The Tiger's Way backwards and forwards. Despite my limited experience in the military to this point, I can tell when I read something that is on target. It doesn't take a genius or a combat veteran to see the profound truth in Mr. Poole's writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something Everyone Can Use, Not Just Read
This book is a must read for all ranks. Today's military is falsely secure in its ability to prosecute military operations via the use of high tech weapons and combat support systems, while continuously failing to realize that the human dimension is where warfare truly lies. Such a false sense of security may
result in a preventable number of deaths of our servicemen - especially today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More money, more fancy contract competing complicated weapon systems and competing battle rhythms do not equal success. Such upper level stresses are impacting the Warfighters ability to fight and survive.

Since it is unfortunate that the United States population is a "quick fix" society and is easily manipulated by today's, often slanted, media reports which endangers the lives of service men and women, Poole's book quickly provides insight into what commanders, troops, media reporters and citizens of this country need to understand about our technologically inferior enemies. And, that as long as the United States remains a Super/Mega Power, technologically inferior forces will attempt to find gaps and exploit them in order to limit/stunt U.S. resolve.

John Poole takes the reader into the Eastern Mindset of warfare. Although the concepts he centers on pertain mostly to Far East Asia (i.e. China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam), those concepts have spread into Central and South West Asia as specified in this book which is well cited. The major take-away in The Tiger's Way, is the enemy's employment of deception and carefully choosing battles that are intended to be already won before execution, with the most important concept being that the enemy will let you see what he wants you to see.

So why is The Tiger's Way a must read for reporters? John Poole cites examples in how an enemy would use deception against U.S. armed forces to use weapon systems against innocent civilians and slow/deter the momentum of the U.S. resolve. This book also provides areas that reporters/investigative reporters might want to research to get as accurate a picture as possible into how a technologically inferior foe will attempt to defeat the United States.

Why is this a must read for Commanders? Commander's can see how staff exercises, command over tasking, limited free play and a reluctance to allow subordinates into developing their own initiative and decision making skills can contribute to their demise. This book also illustrates how U.S. forces are fighting today's threats like the linear fighting Brits tried to fight the Indians who employed guerilla tactics during the Seven Years War. The enemy sees us, while we cannot see him and the ENEMY CHOOSES THE TIME AND PLACE TO FIGHT.

Why is The Tiger's Way important for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs)? NCOs now have a tool they can use to develop training plans, and to develop initiative in their subordinates who have to be on the front lines for combat and rear area security operations. It's simply not enough that every Marine is a rifleman.

Why is this a read for other military personnel?

C2- John Poole's The Tiger's Way emphasizes, and explains how the enemy desires to eliminate Command and Control without high tech equipment and by disrupting U.S. forces decision making processes.

Intel- Intel types are provided insight into the importance of debriefing personnel, and teaching other small unit personnel how to debrief their own personnel in order to force the data to intelligence sections for accurate threat assessments. Enemy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) are addressed that can assist an Intel Collections Manager in answering intelligence gaps. Indicators are provided too, or sought, by various collection tools to identify, target and eliminate a threat. The importance of a strong human intelligence collection capability is stressed as being significantly more important than high tech systems which can be deceived or avoided.

Logistics & Force Protection - Logistics types are given some ideas on how to protect their own logistics assets i.e. convoys, rear area security personnel, etc.

Fires- Fires personnel will understand what the enemy may very likely attempt to do in order to avoid being decimated by artillery or close air support.

Maneuver/Grunts- Warfighters will have an idea of what types of patterns to look for leading up to an enemy attack, or hostile intelligence collection effort. Warfighters will also understand that their collected and forwarded observations on site will provide members of the staff and supporting elements the needed data to properly ascertain and eliminate a threat. In other words, all warfighters are intel collectors and it is their job to forward the data to aid in putting an end to the conflict. Last, Poole's well cited book provides direction to other resources which are rare and difficult to find, information that is most important to the people who are actually doing the fighting. Another well written book by John Poole is Phantom Soldier which provides even more resources to facilitate further research.

Finally, The Tiger's Way is an intelligence product that provides insight into today's enemy threat and reducing uncertainty. Most intelligence products focus too much on terrain, weather and other quantitative issues and often ignore the human element to warfare. This book addresses what is ignored, and what ultimately kills our people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review:
The United States now contends with a non-western foe whose combat success relies on guile and not upon force alone. The U.S. grunt faces a foe entirely different from his former "Cold War" opponent. H.John Poole attempts to show how the U.S. fighting man (and woman) can prevail against this opponent.
"Tiger's Way" examines the eastern Eurasian grunt's tactical edge over the U.S. approach to infantry combat. Part I discusses the U.S. fighting style as it relates to the highly touted "maneuver warfare" which the American military has dabbled with since the 1980s. The author concludes that hi-tech U.S. weapons can come up short against the current opponent's skills and techniques at the 75 yard-line. Part II describes those proficiencies attributed to the "Eastern Way" warrior - and necessary for the U.S. grunt to prevail within this 75 yard-line - where, more and more the outcomes will count in strategic currency. Part III continues with tactical applications of these skills, illustrating these with examples from past conflicts. Part IV indicates directions for reform. Appendices provide tables of perceived casualties from the Korean and Vietnam wars, examples of "Eastern Way" combatants' training and battle drills to build the U.S. grunt's proficiencies.
The book is very readable and well researched. Some common themes interwoven through the work include: the "Eastern Way" warrior has eveolved tactically and practiced maneuver warfare for quite some time; U.S. forces are over-controlled, highly dependant on sophisticated arms and continue to conduct "attrition" combat which, rather than out-thinking the opponent, focuses upon destroying him; this reflecting a lack of field proficiency and short-range combat skills. The "eastern Way" grunt is learning to deal with American hi-tech weapons through flexible combat command and short-range tactical skills.
The discerning reader must bear in mind some of the book's limitations. The "Eastern Way" opponent refers to some very culturally-diverse nations - an awfully broad swath of Eurasia including Japan and Germany. The author also tends to assign a uniformly high effectiveness to their training regimes such that every enemy individual has mastered those skills his American opponent lacks. During prolonged combat, experiential learning is temperd with inertia - the "fog of war" - such that tactical outcomes may be come less and less predictable. While Asian armies may recognize and exploit this "fog" through shared concepts, NOT every Eurasian fighting man is a ninjutsu master.
Through his survey of "Eastern Way" military institutions, tactics and training, the author has ignored the one western contender who successfully applied many of the skills he describes, who scored the highest kill ratio (10 to one) against a foe during World War II, who, even in defeat, insured that his nation remained independant to become the modern, economically-successful society it is today. Who might this contender be? None other than the Finnish army - the unsung soldiers of World War II. Perhaps their tactical accomplishments rate more than mere mention. HOW did the Finnish soldier develop such a high level of tactical skill - given that he possessed few of the armaments of his foes?
Perhaps the most significant limitation in "Tiger's Way" is the lack of a focused discussion on how the U.S. military culture needs to change such that these maneuver-oriented, flexible tactical skills might be developed. The American approach to short range infantry combat doesn't exist in a vaccum. Combat leaders have to contend with "up-or-out" promotion policies and frequent rotation in and out of units. Successful experiments such as "cohort" units are dropped in favor of continuing skill-limiting individual replacement systems. Poole provides some good ideas for battle drills at the small unit level but little on how the entire force may make the "cultural leap" such that tactical skills would evolve in the author's recommended directions.
Given these limitations, is "Tiger's Way" worth a read? ABSOLUTELY. This is a MUST-READ book for any professional tactician, combat historian and military reformer. Poole is one of few authors addressing what most strategic thinkers ignore: the significance of combat at the grunt's level and what must happen if U.S. combatants are to win against the "Eastern Way" opponent. Lastly, this ex-Marine Vietnam war veteran grunt can give no highter recommendation than that he would rather have been trained as H. John Poole prescribes in "The Tiger's Way".

5-0 out of 5 stars Review of The Tiger's Way
The definitive study of small unit tactics employed by the opposition in the Vietnamese and Korean Wars. These tactics should be studied and applied by US forces in future combat situations. As a complement to the earlier "The Last Hundred Yards" which gives the nitty gritty details of attack and defense tactics at the 'Grunt" level, this book provides squad and platoon tactics which will save lives and conserve resources while winning. It is a must for every soldier. No book like this has been published by the US Armed Forces. ... Read more

47. Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time
by Michael Downing
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593760531
Catlog: Book (2005-03-10)
Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard
Sales Rank: 4250
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Michael Downing is obsessed with Daylight Saving, the loopy idea that became the most persistent political controversy in American history. Almost one hundred years after Congressmen and lawmakers in every state first debated, ridiculed, and then passionately embraced the possibility of saving an hour of daylight, no one can say for sure why we are required by law to change our clocks twice a year. Who first proposed the scheme? The most authoritative sources agree it was a Pittsburgh industrialist, Woodrow Wilson, a man on a horse in London, a Manhattan socialite, Benjamin Franklin, one of the Caesars, or the anonymous makers of ancient Chinese and Japanese water clocks.

Spring Forward is a portrait of public policy in the 20th century, a perennially boiling cauldron of unsubstantiated science, profiteering masked as piety, and mysteriously shifting time-zone boundaries. It is a true-to-life social comedy with Congress in the leading role, surrounded by a supporting cast of opportunistic ministers, movie moguls, stockbrokers, labor leaders, sports fanatics, and railroad execs. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book For All Seasons
I teach writing.I'm always telling my students that writers are curious and ask themselves questions. Real writers dig to find the answers to their questions.They're even willing to research to find the answers, I tell them.And I had the perfect book to illustrate my point-Michael Downing's latest book about the history of daylight savings time:Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Savings Time. I read the first several pages to my class and they were hooked.The intriguing details and humorous style generated a lively discussion that had students asking their own questions, willing to pursue the answers, and begging me to read more of Spring Forward before the bell rang.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but...
As it happens, two very similar books came out only days apart, this one and David Prerau's "Seize the Daylight". If I didn't have Prerau's book to compare with this one, I might have rated this one higher; but Prerau's is so much better than this book that I cannot give a 5-star rating to this book.

Both books give some background history of timekeeping. Prerau's goes back to ancient days and covers the previous changes from temporal hours to equal hours, from apparent to mean time, and from mean local to standard time. Downing's book starts at a later point, and also devotes less space to the details, as well as putting this material in a flashback chapter, which makes for inferior organization.

In addition, I find this book is not written as well as Prerau's, which does a better job of holding my interest, and in addition, Downing makes a number of minor (but significant) errors such as writing "latitude" when he means "longitude" or "east" when he means "west." This causes a bit of difficulty on some occasions.

I cannot say I didn't enjoy this book, but I liked Prerau's better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared to Laugh
I looked on the back of this book and saw that one of the proponents of Daylight Saving Time was Richard Nixon. Then I saw that one of the opponents of Daylight Saving Time was Richard Nixon. Yep, I decided, this book has to make good sense. At least as good a sense as Daylight Saving Time does.

Then he said on the first page that he adjusted his clocks before he went to bed instead of at 2 AM. His neighbor told him that he was breaking Federal law.The neighbor then said that if the Feds came around he would lie for him and give him an alibi.

Then on Page 4 Britain's Royal Astronomer suggested that in addition to changing the clocks that the thermometer should be put up ten degrees in the winter so we would be warmer.

I was hooked.

The conclusions of the book: nobody knows why we have it, nobody can prove any savings (or cost).

My real conclusions on this book. Be prepared to laugh. (I also found it necessary to telephone people and read them parts of it.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for the curious...
This is one of those books that will appeal to thosewho always wonder why things are the way they are.Downing introduces his subject by listing all of the explanations he's heard for the existence of Daylight Saving Time and the various dates he's heard it was enacted.The stories are inconsistent and none of them make much sense.Dowling's curiosity about what the real story behind Daylight Saving Time was the impetus behind his writing this book and my reading the book.I wasn't disappointed.

Downing begins with the origination of the idea of Daylight Saving in England, takes you through its first implementation in Germany during WWI, quickly followed by Allied nations including the United States.The story is interesting in that the debate surrounding Daylight Savings has been more or less active from 1918 forward.The players usually don't come down on the side you've been led to believe by your parents and the media.

This is a great book for those who see what most people perceive as non-noteworthy occurences and feel the need to understand how they came to be.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Time of Confusion and Controversy
Around 1965 when my friends and I would go to the movies, along with the previews of coming attractions, we would be treated to a polemical short film designed to teach us the evils of Daylight Saving Time."Do you want to lose an hour of sleep every night?" boomed the self-important voice, as a cartoon illustration of a red-eyed man appeared on the screen."Do you want your children staying out after bedtime because it is still light?"My buddies and I thought it funny at the time to answer back "No!" to the first question and "Yes!" to the second.We did not know it at the time, but were doing our small part to continue a storm of controversy and puzzlement over clock-shifting.In _Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time_ (Shoemaker & Hoard), Michael Downing has given a sprightly history of a peculiarity in timekeeping that has pleased and bothered people ever since it was first seriously proposed for action.You might think that the only confusion that DST causes is for people who forget on the appointed night to change their clocks, or our surprise in the first week over how high the sun seems compared to the nights before the change.The truth is that there is much more confusion to go around on an issue that you probably thought was simple.

The US adopted DST in 1918, but repealed it just a year later; the repeal was sparked by protests by farmers, who were among the first, though certainly not the last, to insist on a return to what they viewed as "God's time."How God came to divide the day into twenty-four hours, however, they did not clarify.The influence of farmers, however, could not compete with that of Wall Street, which liked the idea since it meant that there would be a one hour window in the morning when both the New York Exchange and the London Exchange were open simultaneously, permitting exploitation of prices during those sixty minutes.In fact, the New York Exchange so missed the lucrative hour when DST was repealed that it put itself on DST just for trading hours.Exchanges in Boston and Philadelphia did not want to lose out, so they followed suit, small islands of anomalous time within the nation.The patchwork coverage of DST and the attempted legal patches to make it all sensible resulted in timely confusion.If you drove the 35 miles from Steubenville, Ohio, to Moundsville, West Virginia, and wanted your watch to keep the local time, you would have to change it seven times on the route.In St. Paul, Minnesota, there was an eighteen-story office building with nine floors on DST and nine floors not.

From time to time, like during wars, DST was promoted as the patriotic thing to do, since it saved energy, but this has not conclusively been shown.Some think there are good scientific reasons for DST, but there is no science behind it.What powers DST in a small way is emotion; most people simply like the long summer evenings (and Downing admits that he is one of these).I like it because it shows the arbitrary nature of timekeeping; we can shift hours just as we can (or could, if we wanted to) shift from feet to meters.The biggest force, though, is economic.Wall Street likes it, and that's important, but there were significant gains for specific industries.Sales of golf equipment and course fees go up in DST, and so do sales of barbecue equipment, and seeds and gardening supplies.Farmers still don't like it, but there are fewer and fewer of them to complain.Nonetheless, there are still plenty of people (and businesses like movie studios) that don't like it, and although we have relative standardization in its implementation now, there are still attempts to tinker with it.Falsifying clock time in America has become "the most sustained political controversy of the last 100 years," says Downing.His often hilarious book shows that the controversy isn't going to go away any time soon.
... Read more

48. Vintage Rolex Sports Models: A Complete Visual Reference & Unauthorized History
by Martin Skeet, Nick Urul
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764314963
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Sales Rank: 126374
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Book Description

This comprehensive and detailed reference guide to Rolexs sports model watches is an indispensable asset to watch collectors and dealers. The only work of its kind, it covers the history of the Submariner, Explorer, GMT-Master, Turn-O-Graph, Milgauss, and Cosmograph watches, from 1952 to 1990. The history of more than a hundred and forty vintage models is described in detail, with the watches shown in chronological order. Color photographs illustrate every watch model, with hundreds of diagrams providing clear and useful information. Twenty-two rare Rolex brochures from private collections are shown, in addition to numerous catalog photographs and the sale prices of sports models sold at Christies and Sothebys over the last four years. Also included is a current price guide for every model shown in the book. At a time when Rolex watches dominate the collecting market, this authoritative volume is an essential and timely addition to the library of the Rolex collector and dealer. ... Read more

49. New Cosmic Horizons: Space Astronomy from the V2 to the Hubble Space Telescope
by David Leverington
list price: $60.00
our price: $24.00
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Asin: 0521658330
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 453607
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New Cosmic Horizons tells the extraordinary story of space-based astronomy since the Second World War. Starting with the launch of the V2 rocket in 1946, this book explores the triumphs of space experiments and spacecraft designs and the amazing astronomical results that they have produced. David Leverington examines the fascinating way in which the changing political imperatives of the United States, USSR/Russia and Western Europe have modified their space astronomy programs. He covers all major astronomy missions of the first fifty years of space research: the Soviet Sputnik and American Explorer projects, the subsequent race to the moon, solar and planetary missions, and the wonders of modern astrophysics culminating in the exciting results of the Hubble Space Telescope. Extensively illustrated, New Cosmic Horizons offers amateur and professional astronomers an unusual perspective on the history of astronomy in our time.David Leverington was Design Manager of the GEOS Spacecraft and Meteosat Program Manager for ESA in the 1970s. During his tenure as Engineering Director at British Aerospace in the 1980s, he was responsible for the Giotto spacecraft that intercepted Halley's comet, and the Photon Detector Assembly and solar arrays for the Hubble Space Telescope. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He lives in Essex, England. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The fascinating history of space-based astronomy
In New Cosmic Horizons: Space Astronomy From The V2 To The Hubble Space Telescope, David Leverington reveals the fascinating history of space-based astronomy from the launching of the V! rocket in 1946 down to the present day. Here are all the triumphs of the space experiments and spacecraft designs that have produced the spectacular astronomical results in the last half of the twentieth century. Profusely illustrated and with a comprehensive, "reader friendly" text ideal for both astronomy students, astronomy professionals, and the interested non-specialist general reader, New Cosmic Horizons will prove to be an essential, core addition to any personal, academic or community library reference collection. ... Read more

50. The Ancestor's Tale : A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
list price: $28.00
our price: $16.80
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Asin: 0618005838
Catlog: Book (2004-10-27)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 98
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Just as we trace our personal family trees from parents to grandparents and so on back in time, so in The Ancestor's Tale Richard Dawkins traces the ancestry of life. As he is at pains to point out, this is very much our human tale, our ancestry. Surprisingly, it is one that many otherwise literate people are largely unaware of. Hopefully Dawkins's name and well deserved reputation as a best selling writer will introduce them to this wonderful saga.

The Ancestor's Tale takes us from our immediate human ancestors back through what he calls ‘concestors,’ those shared with the apes, monkeys and other mammals and other vertebrates and beyond to the dim and distant microbial beginnings of life some 4 billion years ago. It is a remarkable story which is still very much in the process of being uncovered. And, of course from a scientist of Dawkins stature and reputation we get an insider's knowledge of the most up-to-date science and many of those involved in the research. And, as we have come to expect of Dawkins, it is told with a passionate commitment to scientific veracity and a nose for a good story. Dawkins's knowledge of the vast and wonderful sweep of life's diversity is admirable. Not only does it encompass the most interesting living representatives of so many groups of organisms but also the important and informative fossil ones, many of which have only been found in recent years.

Dawkins sees his journey with its reverse chronology as ‘cast in the form of an epic pilgrimage from the present to the past [and] all roads lead to the origin of life.’ It is, to my mind, a sensible and perfectly acceptable approach although some might complain about going against the grain of evolution. The great benefit for the general reader is that it begins with the more familiar present and the animals nearest and dearest to us—ourimmediate human ancestors. And then it delves back into the more remote and less familiar past with its droves of lesser known and extinct fossil forms. The whole pilgrimage is divided into 40 tales, each based around a group of organisms and discusses their role in the overall story. Genetic, morphological and fossil evidence is all taken into account and illustrated with a wealth of photos and drawings of living and fossils forms, evolutionary and distributional charts and maps through time, providing a visual compliment and complement to the text. The design also allows Dawkins to make numerous running comments and characteristic asides. There are also numerous references and a good index.-- Douglas Palmer ... Read more

51. Governance of Teaching Hospitals: Turmoil at Penn and Hopkins
by John A., Md. Kastor
list price: $55.00
our price: $47.30
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Asin: 0801874203
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Sales Rank: 121160
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Book Description

What forces lead to changes in governance among medical schools and their associated teaching hospitals? To what extent do such changes affect how well those schools and hospitals do their work? In this book, John A. Kastor, M.D., focuses on the academic medical centers of the University of Pennsylvania and the Johns Hopkins University, two institutions that underwent dramatic change in governance during the late 1990s.

Drawing on extensive interviews with more than three hundred administrators, physicians, and other medical professionals at Penn, Hopkins, and elsewhere, Kastor identifies the factors that influenced changes in governance at these two institutions. Chief among these, he finds, are structure, personality conflicts, and current events. This book will be of interest to administrators of teaching hospitals as well as professionals in health policy and management. ... Read more

52. The History and Geography of Human Genes : (Abridged paperback edition)
by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza
list price: $52.50
our price: $43.05
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Asin: 0691029059
Catlog: Book (1996-08-05)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 171675
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hailed as a breakthrough in the understanding of human evolution, The History and Geography of Human Genes offers the first full-scale reconstruction of where human populations originated and the paths by which they spread throughout the world. By mapping the worldwide geographic distribution of genes for over 110 traits in over 1800 primarily aboriginal populations, the authors charted migrations and devised a clock by which to date evolutionary history. This monumental work is now available in a more affordable paperback edition without the myriad illustrations and maps, but containing the full text and partial appendices of the authors' pathbreaking endeavor. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars History and Geography of Homan Genes
This work, in hardback, is written with the advanced researcher in mind. The author is world famous for his pioneering efforts in identifying traits in particular traits in ethnic groups with unique genetic markers. The color plates in the index section can be helpful to those who know how to intrepret them.
It's a scholarly treatment of a highly technical subject and a thorough one as well. This is ground-breaking work collected from many samples and analyzed in detail. I think this should be required reading for college students in the field of genetic research.

5-0 out of 5 stars A review of everything
Cavalli-Sforza presents the nearest approximation possible to the correlation of all measurable human genes, markers and attributes. You might think of the work as the "unified field theory" for evloutionary biology, culture and linguistics.

While the heft even of the abridged version is imposing, the component parts are manageable for those who already have basic statistical knowledge or who are willing to pay attention to the author's explanations. The world's populations are addressed in geographic chunks, and then at various appropriate points, more general conclusions drawn from the pieces.

Given the advances in genetic research acheived since publication, the model may ultimately prove more valuable than the particular contents...but for this decade the contents are fascinating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book, but Martel is Wrong
The book provided a great deal of information about genetic distances and the relationships between populations. However, Mr. Martel's review includes lies and these lies must be addressed. First of all, the native North Africans were not "very blonde" or "nordic". In fact, the ORIGINAL population was as black as their rock art depictions of themselves (which just so happen to span the Sahara and date back nearly 10000yrs). Many of these Ancient Saharans were, however, completely abosorbed by an incoming of migrants from the Middle East. Perhaps these migrants are the people Mr. Martel is speaking of??? At any rate, with the dessication of the Sahara, most of the original Saharans (blacks) migrated South into The Sudan. In fact, they can still be found in West Africa today. They (especially the Fulani and Dogon) can be recognized in person as easily as they can be recognized in the Ancient Saharan depictions drawn by their ancestors.

Thus, despite Mr. Martel's comments to the contrary, the admixture seen in North Africans today is not so much the result of slaves (modern admixture) as it is the result of both modern admixture as well as ancient admixture - admixture which took place LONG before the Arabs ventured anywhere near the region. As for the Egyptians, they were from the same stock as the rest of North Africa and they almost always depicted themselves as brown and intermediate between and separate from both the white people of the North (Europe), the light skinned Semites (Middle East), and the darker, more Sudanese people of the South (Nubia).

Mr. Martel is not completely wrong in so far as SOME of these Middle Eastern migrants had blonde hair and light eyes (a few individual Lybians were depicted this way). But, such features were most probably seen at the same rate theyre seen in Middle Easterners and North Africans today. Neither people, however, are "Nordics", and to assume they descend from Nordics based on hair color alone is ridiculous. Blondism occurs in Aborigines... are we to believe they descend from Nordics as well? Somehow, I think not.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but...
In this book, a group of Italian researchers present their study of the repartition of a sample of human genetic sequences, based on data they collected between 1978 and 1986. This is certainly very interesting for the study of human races, even if based on only a sample of sequences, many of them being not relevant for races. Although the authors acknowledge that some scientists were able to identify and classify the majors races, they pretend the concept of race is a failure because there is much intra-class variation for some DNA sequences within given races (by saying this they already implicitly recognize the existence of given races.) This is however the fallacy of strawman - attacking a caricatured enemy - for the concept of race never meant that there would not be great inner variation for specific sequences, but only that it is possible to cluster and classify human groups and that such classification should correspond to a higher degree of common ancestry for individuals of the same cluster, as the races are the result of micro-evolution. And given that we now know that most of the genome is not used, that the active genes are a very small proportion, the intra-class variability makes sense, as these genes are not expressed and thus not submitted to the selection of evolutionary pressure. It is enough to find some sequences clusters that correspond to the existing races to show that different races indeed exist, which the authors actually do (something confirmed recently by the result of the genome projects, finding that inter-races distance is 0,1 of the genome, something enormous given that most of the genome is not expressed, and that the distance between humans and monkeys is 1%, the difference between human races being then 10% of the differences between humans and the closest animals.) Besides, the same intra-classes variability is also observed among animal races and vegetal varieties, yet no scientist will say that this makes the concept of animal race or vegetal variety useless. Anyway, this misconception allows the authors to get a green light from the politically correct thought police and avoid censorship.

The book follows with an exposition of their data analysis method. The main issue is the distance measure for the genetic data, something new for me. Otherwise, they use standard methods of data mining / pattern recognition : design of classification trees, and clustering with principal component analysis (PCA, for which the authors use the PC acronym).

Then, after 60 pages, come their results, which make the rest of the book, 300, p, that is most of it. It is way too much to review in detail, I will make general comments.

Globally, when dealing with the main racial groups, their findings are corroborations of what was already known or supplementary information. The PCA gives a mapping corresponding to the main racial groups (Africans, Australoids, Mongoloids, Euripids.) .After 200 000 years of existence (at about -200 000), our African ancestors start to move northwards and evolve into the common ancestor of the non-African races. 100 000 years later, at -110 000, occurs the split between the Australoids and the Eurasian. And then at -80 000 the split between Mongoloids and Euripids, Europeans appearing very lately, at -20 000.

In the remaining 200 pages, the authors deal with each local populations, proceeding continent by continent, and comparing the local races together. Interestingly, they add a lot of environmental and cultural information. But here they miss the most relevant, namely the history and anthropology that is relevant to the given population, which makes them miss important considerations and analysis. For example they seem to believe that the Basque are an ancient Indigenous population, failing to know the well established facts that they arrived very late (in the 8th century) and are believed to have come from the Caucasus. It would have been interesting to compare the Basques with the populations of the Caucasus, instead of comparing them with the native Western Europeans. Or they fail to know that the native populations of North-Africa (Berbers, Kabyls, etc.) were very blond and tall Nordic people, as is attested by the Egyptian, Greek and Roman antic sources, as well as by their Arabs conquerors. And when the Spanish conquered the Canari Island, the Berbers (Ganches) they found there were also Nordics. The genetic change of the North-African population occurred after the Arabs imported many African (Negroids) slaves, as they did in many other places, like Egypt, Palestine, etc. This the authors ignore, speaking only of the Arab genetic influence (which was probably insignificant.) It would have then relevant to compare the North-Africans with the Nordics and with the Negroids, and see how close they are to each, and the same for those Berbers populations in the mountain who did not so much racially mix and often have light hair of eyes. To their credit, the authors find out with their genetic analysis that the North-Africans have Caucasoid ancestors.

In conclusion, this book is a mine of interesting data analysis. It would have been though quite better if the authors had teamed up with historians competent in the field of racial history, or with true anthropologists (anthropology having becoming ethnology.) Let's hope that the next similar book, which will exploit the data of the human genome, will be able to improve this. Anyway, human diversity, as long as intermixing does not destroy it, is a thrilling subject that illuminates history, as this book shows.

5-0 out of 5 stars An extremely technical book
This volume is an abridgement of the full $200 "History & Geography of the Human Genes," and I found it quite incomprehensible. If you think you might want this book, I would suggest taking a look at its unabridged version in a local library first. The same author has summarized his findings in two other books which are aimed at the general reader. "Genes, Peoples, and Languages" is the most recent, while "The Great Human Diasporas" is the most accessible to the layman. ... Read more

53. The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment
by Amit Goswami, Deepak Chopra
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
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Asin: 0835607933
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Quest Books
Sales Rank: 61641
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE AHAH! BOOK
I was about four years old when I discovered that things die, and the outrage that I felt at this news has fueled a fifty year search to understand what we're doing here. This is not my only literary quest, but it is a big one, and it has taken me all over the map. When I studied relativity and quantum physics in college, I saw - 'through a glass darkly' - that this was an important piece of the puzzle, but real understanding eluded me. I just bought the The Visionary Window, and I knew almost immediately, that this, for me, was the Ahah! book - the one that brought all the pieces together. I recommend it highly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hold a Webster with you for this
Although the book seems to be sincere effort in terms of the treatment of subject, but the language is too tricky with very very esoteric terminology used. Also the use of word 'quantum' seems to be too casual and thus the terms such as 'quantum monad' seem too ambiguous. Perhaps when Mr Goswami has finally reached some perspective about 'truth', he will realize that any truth that can be expressed, ceases to be 'the truth'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, Unification of Eastern and Western thought.
Many students of philosophy understand and appreciate both
Western materialist philosophies and Eastern philosophies
more centered on consciousness. Like looking at an atom,
and looking at a galaxy, these two philosophies needed a
middleground to connect them
In this book, Goswami is the first person ever to unify
the two seemingly disparate ideologies. He provides the
middleground in a way that books like "The Tao of Physics"
fail to do. (They only "hint" at the connection).

I am very happy that I bought this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended reading for students of physics
With his insightful and occasionally inspiring observations and commentaries integrating the spiritual with the scientific, Amit Goswami's The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide To Enlightenment to present a new scientific paradigm placing human values as paramount. He shows how the principles embedded and revealed through the new science of quantum physics can help the reader tap into an inner creativity, deepen spirituality, and life a life of liberation and fulfillment. The Visionary Window is very highly recommended reading for students of physics, metaphysics, and spirituality.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Visionary Window
Unlike Dr. Goswami's other books, which often meander and seem too technical for a layperson, this book is extremely well-written and easy for anyone interested in the new physics and spirituality to understand. This is a fascinating account of exactly how quantum physics might be used to explain such complex spiritual phenomenon as reincarnation, karma, shaktipat, the chakras and physical death. Dr. Goswami's father was a Hindu guru in India. However,as a small boy hiding in an English library during the Indian War of Independence, his son read all of Einstein's works and began a lifelong journey to find explanations in the laws of physics for the most mysterious spiritual tenets of the ancient Upanishads. Today, Dr. Goswami teaches quantum physics at the University of Oregon, and is a scholar in residence at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Consequently, he seems the most qualified of the "new physicists" to integrate Eastern spirituality with Western science. This books offers people in the West nothing less than a real opportunity to understand God, and, as such, is probably the most spectacular book you'll ever read. ... Read more

54. The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man
by JeffreySatinover, Jeffrey Satinover
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471441538
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 12027
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"The Quantum Brain is an adventure in the science of ideas. It is the first book on the brain that combines a grasp of the physics of the microcosm and the technologies of artificial intelligence, neural networks, and self-organizing systems, with a recognition of the transcendant properties that define the mind and differentiate it from matter. Although the subject is inherently difficult and novel, Jeffrey Satinover is an inspired guide through the fertile areas of convergence among the pivotal sciences of the age. From such insights will emerge both new technologies and new philosophies and theologies for the twenty-first century."
–George Gilder, Editor, Gilder Technology Report

"Many authors have written about one or two of the topics covered in The Quantum Brain. Jeffrey Satinover’s book is unique in trying to tie everything together."
–Michael E. Kellman, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Oregon

"Thoroughly researched . . . and told as a gripping tale, thanks to Dr. Satinover’s . . . gift for the narrative. A marvelous introduction to the most fascinating question the human brain can address: its own working."
–R. Shankar, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Yale University

"A thrilling journey through the world of brain research. The author has set new standards for popular science writing by making arcane topics . . . easy to follow. A tapestry of insights."
–Jack Tuszynski, Professor of Physics, University of Alberta

"I wish I had written this visionary book."
–Professor Hugo de Garis, Head, Starbrain Project, Starlab’s Artificial Brain Project ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Jeffrey Satinover has written a wonderful book here. What I find so impressive is the book's scope and accessibility. Satinover covers a wide variety of complex topics and explains them in ways that the lay-reader can easily understand. Essentially, the book serves as a wonderful introduction to problems in quantum physics, neural nets, computing, cellular automata, genetic algorithms, artificial intelligence, and some of the basic philosophy of mind problems.

If these kinds of topics have always interested you but you didn't know where to begin, Satinover provides a fun to read and easy to understand introduction. Readers who are already well-versed in these areas may find Satinover's approach to be a little "light-weight", but I think they could perhaps appreciate the manner in which he explains these things.

In the end, I was left somehow feeling a little skeptical of the author's contention of the brain serving to amplify quantum phenemonon to produce free will. But Satinover is weaving a complex argument and attempting to connect a lot of dots. Each of these dots is well-explained and I'm inclined to think that the failure to connect is most likely my limitation and failure and not Satinover's.

So to summarize I'd say this is a wonderful introduction to the discoveries in a broad array of fields such as mathematics, cognition, physics, and biology from the last 100 years. It's a pleasure to read and highly acessible. The index and bibliography are both extensive, giving the reader ample opportunity to further investigate these topics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweeping synthesis
It takes a psychiatrist trained in physics and well versed in modern
technology to understand the impact of quantum mechanics
and neural networks first on computation and then on the human condition.
Dr. Satinover reviews the history of perceptrons, the rise and
tribulations of symbolic artificial intelligence and
related subdisciplines of psychology and biology.
This is a sweeping book, broad in scope and
provocative in its thesis: quantum phenomena are not just a
curiosity for physicists, they underlie our very thought.
It's the kind of book that will, after
a period of gestatation, lead to new research directions
and new speculations in the philosophy of mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound synthesis of quantum physics to neurobiology
One of the best books I have ever read. For those of us who have not followed the cutting edge research in quantum physics, neurobiology and artificial intelligence, this book provides an elegant and well-written overview and synthesis of these topics. Although the author may have a bias towards seeing God behind the cloak of quantum randomness, he does lay out the possibilties in a balanced way that can only leave the thoughtful reader further in awe of the miracle of sentience and wondering if free will and God do indeed express themselves through "quantum wierdness". This scientific treatise is a novel path to the BIG questions. Absolutely wonderful. Beware; you'll want to read it again once you've finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book
I have found this book very interesting. It is written in a readable and attractive style. A fascinating description of artificial neural network research, weird quantum phenomena, chaos theory and unexpected connection between those 3 fields... Although the relation between quantum computing and brain physiology is far from proven, the book comes with new and inspiring ideas that go beyond Penrose's suggestions. I consider this book as a prophetic one. There is much inspiration in the book also for philosophy and theology. Reading this book was for me one of my greatest intellectual experiences of the year.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
What if a butterfly flapped its wings and started a chain of events that caused a tornado in kansas? This is the main idea behind this book. Except that the butterfly is the strange completely random behavior of subatomic particles and the tornado is what you and I are thinking right now. The first half of the book makes the argument that everything is deterministic in nature. For example: if I throw a ball and know how fast its going, what direction, its spin etc., then I can determine where it will end up. If this is true, why isn't the human brain any different? The second half of the book argues that this is not true. Satinover explains a wide variety of scientific discoveries that all link together to explain how our thoughts can harness the complete randomness of quantum phenomenons. Even the lay person can pick this book up and read it. He explains step by step all of the ideas. Anyone who likes learning how new things work should pick up this book. I've learned a great deal from it. ... Read more

55. Successful Scientific Writing: A Step-By-step Guide for Biomedical Scientists
by Janice R. Matthews, John M. Bowen, Robert W. Matthews
list price: $26.99
our price: $26.99
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Asin: 0521789621
Catlog: Book (2001-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 72832
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This new edition of the acclaimed step-by-step guide encompasses all aspects of typescript preparation from first to final draft, including efficient use of word processing, electronic database literature services, the Internet, and email. The authors provide sensible advice on inclusive word choices and communication for writers and readers of different first languages. Abundant examples, practical tips, and self-help exercises draw on extensive experience with actual typescripts. In addition, a detailed index and numerous references make information easy to find. Applicable to a variety of scientific writing contexts, Successful Scientific Writing is a powerful tool for improving individual skills, as well as an eminently suitable text for classes or seminars on scientific writing. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Scientific Writing - A difficult task made easier
"Successful Scientific Writing" is a well written, user friendly and sometimes humorous guide to effective scientific writing. Even the wire, lay open binding is user friendly. The text is up to date, well organized and provides guidance on effective use of computers and software in the entire scientific endeavor. Of course the primary strength is in helping the reader through the writing and publication of the scientist's efforts. This concise work would be especially appropriate as a text in scientific writing classes. The exercises provided would be great student assignments. Additionally the exercises are fun and enhance points made in the text. Matthews, et al have given us a guide that is appropriate for advanced writers as well. Virtually every page has gems of wisdom or insights that will enhance the end result of scientific communication. This book may be especially helpful for those that are "stuck" in trying to get started writing or have complete "writers block". After reading and using this book, readers will likely be thankful that the authors have so adeptly conveyed their wisdom and vast experience in helping others to write with greater clarity and brevity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better
Our lab used this book for a study group on effective scientific writing. We are located in Korea, so with the exception of the instructor and I, all participants were not native speakers of English. As a result, this review is from the viewpoint of foreign students. It is based on chapter reviews written by the members of our lab after finishing the book.

The book is just what it claims to be, a step-by-step approach to writing a scientific manuscript intended for publication. The first chapter helpfully furnishes a checklist (Table 1.3) for preparing a research paper. The chapter is actually a summary of the rest of the book so a reader already in the process of writing can easily find which chapter they wish to skip to via Table 1.3.

In the subsequent chapters, the authors provide good advice accompanied by helpful tables, examples and exercises, although the figure chapter could have used more tips on actually preparing the figures. Examples of poorly prepared and corrected figures would be a useful study aid. One student suggested that the second chapter on computer use was not particularly informative for graduate-level students. Regarding the chapter on grammar (chapter 6), another student pointed out that in some scientific articles, ungrammatical sentences are not corrected in order to effectively deliver the point.

The overall use of informal expressions and phrases seemed intended to make the text livelier for English-speaking students, but was confusing for several participants with English as a second language. We would like to suggest that the authors take their own advice and refrain from using slang and jargon. Several of us liked Appendix 2 and thought it was a good read for those unfamiliar with the practice of journal editors.

Apparently the authors had intended to attract those who had not already submitted a manuscript to read their book, but Successful Scientific Writing contains many helpful pointers for published scientists and journal editors, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Watch what you eat!
Words can hardly express the beauty and cleverness of "Successful Scientific Writing" by Matthews, Bowen and Matthews as a step-by-step guide on how to write scientific reports for publication in English. I am using this book for a course that I teach on scientific writing at the Postgraduate School of Health Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark, and I find it to be perfect! Before this book was published, there was none that dealt so well and so entertainingly with so many aspects of what it actually takes to prepare a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal. Many young (and old) scientists are good thinkers, but they are often poor writers! Thus, although they may have been able to design and carry out an experiment, they often lack the ability to express what they have done clearly and concisely. This book is for them! The first few chapters provide mainly words of encouragement for getting the writing process underway. There are also remarkable bits of advice, such as the notion of avoiding certan snacks that could derail ones momentum. In my view, the crux of the book appears in chapters 5, 6 and 7 in which extraordinarily lucid and practical instructions and exercises are presented for improving one's ability to write scientifically. There are also tips on how to optimize word-processing so that the manuscript submitted to the editor of a journal is most likely to be accepted for publication. Perhaps some old-timers in Science can do without this book, but they should nevertheless have a copy of it on hand for their students.

4-0 out of 5 stars well written and worthwhile
it is unfortunate the authors did not review the most recent scientific style and format conventions of the council of biology editors(accepted internationally) that were published in 1994. had they done so, they would not have made a number of the errors that show up scattered about in the text. i use parts of this text , especially the exercises, in a course i teach on scientific writing and have to make the corrections as we go along

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for scientists!
This book has greatly improved my writing. It is easy and enjoyable to read and very informative. I highly recommend it for anyone writing a thesis, manuscripts, etc. ... Read more

56. The Dancing Wu Li Masters : An Overview of the New Physics
by Gary Zukav
list price: $7.50
our price: $6.75
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Asin: 055326382X
Catlog: Book (1984-09-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 5905
Average Customer Review: 4.01 out of 5 stars
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At an Esalen Institute meeting in 1976, tai chi master Al Huang said that the Chinese word for physics is Wu Li, "patterns of organic energy." Journalist Gary Zukav and the others present developed the idea of physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters--the teachers of physical essence. Zukav explains the concept further:

The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter.... This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li.... Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it.

The "new physics" of Zukav's 1979 book comprises quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity. Even as these theories age they haven't percolated all that far into the collective consciousness; they're too far removed from mundane human experience not to need introduction. The Dancing Wu Li Masters remains an engaging, accessible way to meet the most profound and mind-altering insights of 20th-century science. --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (86)

4-0 out of 5 stars Taught me what a Prof. couldn't...
Let me start simply, by saying this book is no Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, even though a title-reviewer mentions ZMM in passing. It is, however, a discussion of quantum physics that you could have with a knowledgeable friend who lacks a pen and paper (well, perhaps an envelope and a pencil for some sketches).

This book isn't the "definitive" discussion of QPhysics in simplistic terms, but it does do a nice job of introducing how QPhysics came to be from Plank to Einstein through Feynman... [Others have mentioned Feynman's "QED", which I haven't read but plan to.]

What this book did for me was to solidify QM/Qphys after being taught by 3 Physics professors at one of the top universities in the country, as well as an electronics-materials prof. who couldn't seem to explain a single thing about Schrodinger's equation. And, for a book that's kept me reading it, that's quite a bit to say about it.

I kept saying, "Ah! Well, why didn't those sillies [Prof's] ever tell us that?!"

Agreeing with others here, I will admit at times it's slightly difficult to keep the whole particle/wave thing separate. If one stops to think about the book while reading it, it's not difficult in the least.

It also helped me to solidify a thought that's begun for me in past readings... that on the edge of knowledge, all of us are putting faith in our ideas. Science is closer to philosophy than most will admit.

This book, I agree, does not touch much on Eastern philosophies in the least. For that, I suggest reading Alan Watt's "Way of Zen", or perhaps the somewhat silly at times Benjamin Hoff's "Tao of Pooh" and "Te of Piglet", 3 classics for starters. [While you're at it, pick up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig if you haven't yet - it's not really only about motorcycles.]

5-0 out of 5 stars Another liberal arts convert
Until last fall, I wasn't a science person at all. At college, I majored in English Lit, minored in Music and Philosophy and did my best to avoid anything slightly scientific.

But then one night last October when I couldn't sleep, I stayed up flipping channels and came across Brian Greene's Nova program THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE. I saw it was about Physics, and almost hit the clicker, but something about the presentation made me curious to watch a little more.

Within an hour, I was a new Physics convert. If you interested in language, art, and the disciplines of beauty, you can't help but be mesmerized by Quantum mechanics, string theory, and all of the cutting edge theories of physical world represented in Brian Greene's program.

The next time I was at a bookstore, I tried to pick up a copy of the book the NOVA show was based on, but they were sold out, so I scoured the Physics section and found a copy of Gary Zukav's THE DANCING WU-LI MASTERS, instead.

Written back in the late seventies, Zukav's book is one of the first popular mainstream explications of modern theoretical physics for the lay, non-science person, like myself. I found it fascinating, and for the most part very easy to follow.

Zukav writes in a clear and compelling manner about the wonderful mysteries of the universe. He covers the history of how theoretical Physics got to where it is today (or at least was in the late seventies). He explains Einstein's major contributions to science in a few easy to follow chapters, and then goes on to skillfully explain the inexplicable conundrums of quantum theory.

As Zukav describes probability theory, he makes a convincing case that modern Physics isn't that different from Zen Buddhism. He shows how the steel-and-concrete building blocks that make up our universe are actually a lot more fluid and suggetable than common sense would dictate.

This books really helps you recover any amazement and wonder you might have lost in the everyday world around you.

Check this book out if you think you're not a science person, and if you like it, also get Brian Greene's THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE. Theoretical Physics is pretty literally the stuff dreams are made of.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read
There are not too many books that can satisfy everybody. This book is for the whole family- scientists, lay-men, the religious aunt and the rebel teenager can enjoy this book equally.

2-0 out of 5 stars Danger Ahead
I read this book when it was new, and found it entertaining. I didn't think much more about it after that. Then I came upon a reference to it in one of Gardner's books concerning bad science. Looking back at it knowing so much more now, I agree, it's borderline nonsence. E.g. electrons don't "think" about making a choice about which way to go; they enter into superposition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flow Like a River, Understand Relativity Like an Physicist
Do you want to understand all the mysteries of the universe? Hoping to discover the essence of existence? Well, if you desire to do anything along these lines, there are certainly worse ways to start than through reading The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav.

This information-packed book represents the pinnacle of popular science achievement, as it provides a gentle guide for the average reader through the intellectual minefield of modern physics from quantum mechanics to relativity. Rather than bogging down the reader with dozens of equations and complicated graphs, Zukav chooses to demonstrate the concepts of new-age physics through metaphors, diagrams, and an explanation of the thought processes that led to such startling theories as the Theory of General Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Sure, Zukav may explain the experiments that confirm the viability of a theory, but he doesn't force you to sift through the data; instead, writes in plain English while including lots of easily-followed, pretty pictures. Particularly for a high school student without too much exposure to physics, this style provides an excellent overview of the most interesting, cutting-edge ideas in science.
Zukav's subject-matter couldn't be more interesting: using the backdrop of Eastern philosophies to better link physical concepts to ideas more compatible to the human mindset, he breezes through Newtonian physics, quantum mechanics, and both theories of relativity in just a little over 300 pages. Zukav also admirably presents the problem of the irreconcilability of quantum mechanics with relativity, which bothered Einstein to his dying days. While none of these concepts is dealt with entirely thoroughly (it is a short book), the book is an enjoyable and easily understandable introduction to one of the most difficult fields mankind has to offer

At the same time, Zukav's book is not perfect. For one thing, the book is rather dated; he doesn't even deal with String Theory, which was by and large developed after the publication of this book. At the same time, the absence of String Theory may be advantageous to the reader who knows little about physics, since the five separate String Theories are both difficult to understand and incredibly theoretical (that is, no physicist has been able to design an experiment that actually produces data to prove String Theory, which means that the concept is rather ephemeral and hard to describe in a concrete way; for more on this, see Further, the whole Zen thing seems a little excessive. Sure, Eastern philosophies are generally conducive to modern physics in that Eastern philosophers have always realized that sometimes the human mind can't comprehend everything at once, but the fact is that people reading this book probably aren't doing so to learn about "Wu Li" ("The Way"); they're reading it to learn about "New Physics."

Despite these minor deficiencies, though, this book does a good job of explaining very difficult concepts to a "normal" reader. There was a time when only the very top physicists in the world understood Einstein's theories of relativity, but books like The Dancing Wu Li Masters have helped rectify this problem by making complicated physics accessible to the general public. ... Read more

57. Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395977894
Catlog: Book (2001-01-17)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 22648
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavor company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat.

Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed ... Read more

Reviews (1014)

5-0 out of 5 stars McInteresting Look at Fast Food
I read this book knowing I was not going to learn any new and cheery anecdotes about how Ronald McDonald got his start..... instead I read this to solidify the notion that fast food was not a healthy choice. And boy, did this book give you reasons it is not, and I'm not just talking nutritional value here.

I found this book fascinating for the detail was great, well researched, and given to the reader straight. It was an eye opening book. Who knew that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even the nicer restaurants. I also found some of the content appalling. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses.

This book is insightful and unbelievable, and will make you question how the fast food giants sleep at night.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm Supporting What?
I've been trying to write a review for this book and end up not being able to grasp the profound effect it has had on me. I'm left will a feeling of being too small to actually do anything about the "wool" being pulled over America's eyes. From basic human rights to our nation's safety (e.coli, salmonella, etc.), the fast food industry has been able to break laws, cover up incidents and some how flourish, making billions of dollars a year.

I devoured this book, it is easy to read, accurate and eye opening. The contents in this book is something that every American should be familiar. Fast food customers need to be informed of what goes on to deliver that "happy" meal on to that plastic tray from beginning to end. I'd like to thank Eric Schlosser for writing this book, his research has caused me to take a look at what I'm supporting and risking by consuming meat. I for one will not support these arrogant corporate giants and have chosen to stay away from fast food. I have seen the light and it's not from the glowing golden arches down the street!

5-0 out of 5 stars Appalling. Read it and weep.
Since many other reviewers cover the more repulsive details of Schlosser's book, I will stick to pointing out something I think deserves even more attention: one of the themes of the book is that the fast food industry has its tentacles in EVERY aspect of Americans' lives. Changing this goes far, far beyond bypassing a Big Mac...boycotting fast food is not the same thing as boycotting the fast food industry, when industry practices have made the USDA powerless against meatpackers, advertisers target children as consumers, and schools are taking money for corporate sponsorship.

This a fantastic book and it touches on a lot of areas that I don't normally think of relating to fast food, such as the plight of abused migrant workers in the slaughterhouses and the economics of teen labor. Everybody should read it, even if you never eat fast food, because you're affected too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing... Will never eat fast food again!
I must warn the reader that you'll never want to eat fast food again after you read this book. I've never been a big fast food junkie, though I've eaten it if there isn't anything else around, but I won't again take a bite of the same even if I'm starving during a road trip and the only food available is a drive-thru burger joint. Eric Schlosser's book is an impressive, albeit disturbing dissection of the fast food industry in the United States, one that examines each aspect of said industry with unflinching, well-researched facts. The result is an unflattering picture of an industry that has changed US business and eating habits in an almost secretive fashion. The book is a fascinating look into the business and talks about the process of hiring, franchising, purchasing and other practices. The most fascinating and disturbing chapters concern, however, the beef served at fast food restaurants and how it gets there. I warn you that it is not a pretty picture. If you care about the food you eat, these chapters will sicken you. You must read this book (unless you never eat fast food at all). The quality of the food aside, this book is extremely critical of the fast food industry and I believe that if you are a fast food lover, this book will disturb and upset you. As I said above, the picture Schlosser paints isn't pretty, nothing is sugarcoated. This is well-researched and well-written book and I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars KNOW WHAT YOU EAT AND SUPPORT

58. Dr Folkman's War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer
list price: $25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375502440
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 183450
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Early in 1998, New York Times science reporter and author Gina Kolata happened to be seated at a banquet next to the Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson. When Kolata asked Watson what was new in the world of science, he replied, "Judah Folkman and angiogenesis, that's what's new. Judah is going to cure cancer in two years."

Folkman, a longtime physician and medical researcher at Harvard University and Children's Hospital, was caught off guard by the excited news reports that followed Watson's remark, but there was good reason for excitement. For nearly four decades, when not busy doing such things as inventing the heart pacemaker and attending to hundreds of patients, Folkman had been puzzling out a peculiarity of tumors: at some point during their formation, they sent forth chemical signals that in effect "recruited" blood vessels to feed them. If those signals could be intercepted through well-targeted drugs, Folkman reasoned, and the blood supply to cancerous formations thus interrupted, then the tumors themselves might be starved to death, or at least to dormancy.

In this book, Newsday writer Robert Cooke offers an accessible account of Folkman's work on angiogenesis, or the formation of blood vessels, which may well point the way to new treatments for cancer and related illnesses. Following Folkman's roundabout trail, one marked by considerable resistance on the part of doubtful colleagues, readers will gain a sense of how medical research is conducted--and, almost certainly, a sense of wonder at the medical breakthroughs that, as James Watson hinted, are just around the corner. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Odyssey of Medical Innovation
This book clearly deserves many more than five stars.

Dr. Folkman's War contains many valuable insights including how to: Raise children to be outstanding people; be an astute observer about nature to unlock new lessons; pioneer in a new field of science; and be persistent about something important. When the history of medicine in the twentieth century is written, Dr. Judah Folkman will be considered one of the most important figures. This book is the most accessible and complete source of information about his remarkable life and accomplishments.

Dr. Folkman's research to date "has found applications in twenty-six diseases as varied as cancer, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, psoriasis, arthritis, and endometriosis." "Ordinarily, researchers working in any of these fields do not communicate with each other."

Angiogenesis looks at the way that capillaries are formed in response to the body's biochemistry to help and harm health. Tumors depend on this action to get the blood supply they need to grow. Wounds also rely on a similar mechanism to grow scar tissue.

I have been following Dr. Folkman's career for over twenty-five years, and heard him speak about angiogenesis just a little over two years ago. Because I felt I was well-informed, I almost skipped this book. That would have been a major mistake on my part. Dr. Folkman's War contained much new and interesting information that helped me to better understand the lessons of Dr. Folkman's life, as well as the future implications of angiogenesis.

Unknown to me, Dr. Folkman had also played a role as an innovator in implantable pacemakers, time-released drug implants, and specialized types of heart surgery before he began his serious assault on angiogenesis.

The discoveries had their beginning in 1961 when he was a draftee in a Navy lab in Bethesda, Maryland. He noticed that tumors could not grow unless they first recruited their own capillaries to bring an increased blood supply. "Over time, he convinced himself that there had to be some way to block the growth of those blood vessels." He was right, but it took a long time before he knew any of the answers.

In brief opening comments about the book, former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, M.D. and Sc.D. observed how this new science evolved. "In the 1970s, laboratory scientists didn't believe any of it." " . . . [T]he critics' objections were hushed for good in 1989." "In the 1990s, the criticisms came chiefly from the clinical side, and the pharmaceutical companies didn't want anything to do with angiogenesis."

The story is a very heart-warming one. Dr. Folkman's father was a rabbi who asked each member of the family each night what she or he had learned that day. He also constantly implored his son to "Be a credit to your people." His father clearly thought that Dr. Folkman would also become a rabbi. Having announced his attention to become a physician, his father told him, "You can be a rabbi-like doctor." This injunction was one he took to heart, often seeking out his father's counsel on how to console the families of his patients.

His first taste of how close mortality is to all of us was when his first two children inherited cystic fibrosis. The younger of the two died, and the older one needed lots of special care to deal with infections. This probably made him a better doctor, by helping him see things more from the patients' points of view.

Space constraints keep me from discussing the book's description of how angiogenesis developed, but if you like stories about trail-blazing research, you will be amply rewarded. The key hurdles are described, along with the blind alleys that were followed. Anyone reading this will see how important it is to add new skills to the study of any new subject.

I was particularly interested in the way that press reports tended to harm the progress of angiogenesis, either by annoying other scientists, attracting hucksters, or delaying key deals with potential partners. We often think about freedom of speech being helpful, but here the case is a mixed one.

My only disappointment with the book is that it does not provide as much clinical data about the drugs under testing now as has been made public. That material would have made for fascinating reading. There are also natural substances that can cause a tumor to shrink, and clinical studies have been very successful in growing and shrinking tumors for some time.

I suspect that some member of your family will live a longer, healthier life due to future treatments soon to be available using angiogenesis. This book is a great way to learn more about the subject now, so you can encourage exploration of these experimental therapies where possibly appropriate. If anyone in your family now has cancer, this book is must reading for you!

Dr. Folkman summarized the book nicely as follows: "Success can often arrive dressed as failure." "If your idea succeeds everybody says you're persistent. If it doesn't succceed, you're stubborn."

May we all live longer and healthier lives due to the emerging medical treatments using angiogenesis . . . that were helped by Dr. Folkman's persistence!

5-0 out of 5 stars Persistence & vision overcomes dogma an ignorance.
Through long, arduous practice, Buddhists believe it is possible to remove the lens of self-interest and dogma to perceive "absolute reality," with "automatic compassion." After reading Robert Cooke's biography one believes that Dr. Judah Folkman has never looked at medicine any other way.

But the emperors of the scientific establishment have never dealt kindly with the boys who can't see their robes, as Cooke points out with several examples. (The Hungarian doctor who demonstrated that deaths from childbirth fever could be eliminated if doctors washed their hands was hounded by his colleages to suicide.) Dr. Folkman's heresy was the observation that tumors can't grow without stimulating healthy tissues to supply new blood vessels.

Fortunately for all of us, Dr. Folkman's vision has been matched by his persistence in pursuing it. In following Dr. Folkman's path from his boyhood in Ohio as the son of a rabbi, to Harvard where he gained his self-confidence, to the Navy research lab where his angiogenesis hypothesis first formed, and back to Boston as a pediatric surgeon-scientist, Cooke makes what might have been a difficult and technical story into an epic adventure.

In keeping with the fashion that writing a biography in chronological order is boring and passe, Cooke instead follows parallel thematic threads in Dr. Folkman's storied career. I personally found the resulting forward and backward jumps in time distracting, but not insurmountable.

It would have been enough if this were merely a story of scientific progress and the triumph of a new idea over entrenched dogma, but it is also the story of a man whose vision is matched by his devotion to his patients. It should be required reading for all prospective medical students.

Now angiogenesis-based therapies for cancer, atherosclerosis, blindness and arthritis are on the verge of exploding on the scene and Dr. Folkman's lab at Children's Hospital Boston is ground-zero. He and the generation of doctors and researchers that he has helped to train are revolutionizing huge swaths of medicine. When it happens it will seem like it was overnight, but those of us who have read Robert Cooke's book will know it was a lifetime in the making.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Folkman is my hero -- a story better than SeaBiscuit!
This book by Robert Cooke is incredible! Mr. Cooke is able to explain to the average layperson the medical concepts of angeiogeneis conceived by the most under-valued person of our time: Dr. Judah Folkman. Dr. Folkman is to cancer what Salk was to Polio! Personally, Dr. Judah Folkman is my hero! A real hero, deserving of the Nobel Prize....and I don't speak lightly. I am a cancer patient that has recently learned that my cancer (thought was beat) has advanced to my lungs. The ONLY therapy for me is in an ANGIOGENESIS drug therapy program for a drug currently in study and labeled as "PI-88." I am just so confident this drug will work. I am the only patient with my type of cancer cell (adenoid cystic carninoma), so I am a little bit more of a lab rat for this program.

God Bless Dr. Folkman and h is incredible perserverance! His story should be a movie----a tale better than SeaBiscuit! He is my SeaBiscuit!


5-0 out of 5 stars Cure for cancer?
Chances are someone close to you has succumbed to the ravages of cancer, while you and the medical establishment could only sit by and watch the process reach its inevitable conclusion. The good news is, for nearly 40 years, Dr. Judah Folkman has been pursuing a cure for cancer -- or at least a way to fight tumors more effectively than chemotherapy or radiation -- that only until very recently has garnered serious attention. Dr. Folkman's theory is called angiogenesis, the process by which cancer cells emit an agent which triggers the growth of blood vessels to feed the growth of the cancer itself. For years Dr. Folkman's idea was basically scoffed at as the flailings of an amateur researcher, but Cooke shows how Dr. Folkman has perservered -- while maintaining his brilliant career as a physician -- and eventually, through a slow accumulation of experimental evidence, as well as the discovery of several antiangionesis agents, turned opinion around. Throughout this engaging and fascinating retelling of Folkman's journey, Cooke also provides an eye-opening account of the workings of academia, medical research, and their relationships to those Orwellian biotech companies you keep hearing about. The science is clear and vivid, the battle to defeat cancer inspiring, and the promise of victory -- thankfully, finally -- just around the corner.

2-0 out of 5 stars interesting story, but ......
I work in this field of research. I do like the story of the persistance and creativity of Judah Folkman. However, the author stumbles in describing some of the science and the intellectual contributions of others that led to some of the Folkman lab's discoveries. After reading the reviewers' praise for Mr. Cooke's "detailed research " on the book's back cover, I was diappointed by some obvious errors in the book. I believe that most of the innaccuracies are the unfortunate result of the author's failure to corroborate all of his facts. He may have been in a hurry to get the book out, but I wish that he had taken a little more time to get the science and other facts straight. ... Read more

59. Qualitative Research in Practice : Examples for Discussion and Analysis (The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series)
list price: $32.00
our price: $32.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787958956
Catlog: Book (2002-05-24)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 108088
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Book Description

Qualitative research (QR) is the method of inquiry that seeks to understand social phenomena within the context of the participants' perspectives and experiences. The research methods of QR are more flexible, responsive, and open to contextual interpretation than in quantitative research, which uses inventory, questionnaire, or numerical data to draw conclusions. In Qualitative Research in Practice, Sharan Merriam combines discussions of the types of QR with examples of research studies and reflections by the researchers themselves. An important resource for students and practitioners of QR, the book may be used as a companion to any general text on QR. ... Read more

60. More Than Human : Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement
by Ramez Naam
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0767918436
Catlog: Book (2005-03-08)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 12069
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Realistic and optimistic
In the last few years there have been a number of books that have served as excellent apologies for the ongoing and very rapid technological developments. The authors of these books have their own beliefs as to the actual rate of technological progress, but they are uniform in their unrelenting optimism about this progress. This is indeed refreshing, considering that most authors that discuss scientific and technological development seem to have one singular goal: to instill anxiety and foreboding in their readers. The author of this book will have none of that, and has written a book that projects a future that is both believable and scientifically realistic. In addition, the author does not hesitate to speculate, but is always careful to note when his speculations begin and end. He also points out the risks that are involved in human modification, and exhibits caution when it is appropriate.

One particular topic that the author addresses early on is gene therapy, and considering the hit that gene therapy has taken in the press recently, this is an appropriate choice of topics. It would be unwise to dismiss the viability of gene therapy so early in the game, and the biotech industry needs to be more aggressive in its development. The author discusses some of the applications of gene therapy, including that of the isolation of the growth hormone erythropoietin (EPO) in order to treat anemia. EPO gene therapy could be used by athletes to boost performance, but the author cautions that EPO is probably responsible for the deaths of several athletes in the early 1990's. He also describes alternative strategies using gene promoters, that will allow the control of the EPO levels, and also "hybrid" approaches that involve both the taking of pills and gene therapy. Also discussed are gene therapies for cosmetic enhancement, for curing baldness, and for curing Alzheimer's disease. Gene therapy for the latter involves the modification of neurons in order that they have extra copies of the gene responsible for production of NGF (nerve growth factor).

Some laboratory evidence involving laboratory mice indicates that NGF gene therapy could improve their learning and memory. The author points out one experiment where extra levels of NGF enabled mice to navigate a maze about 60 percent faster than normal mice. He also discusses research where mice were genetically engineered to have extra copies of the NR2B gene, which produces proteins that are needed for the NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. These mice learned things more quickly at any age than normal mice. The downside of this genetic engineering is that the mice also "unlearned" more quickly, and seemed to be more susceptible to pain than ordinary mice.

Another unique feature of this book that sets it apart from other apologies for enhancement technologies is the inclusion of statistical evidence for many of its assertions. The reader will find bar graphs, references to pertinent statistical studies in the literature, and other graphs as appropriate. Particularly interesting is the graph on worldwide life expectancy, since it indicates that life expectancy at later age has not risen much in the last one hundred years. The author then proceeds to give a fascinating account of the research that has been done in life extension in the last few years. Some of this research involved the changing of a single gene, which for the case of the nematode worm resulted in the tripling of its life span. Even though his discussion is fairly short, the author gives enough to motivate the reader to search for more in-depth discussion of the research in this very exciting area. The possibility of increasing human life spans by decades or more will of course raise the interest of the majority of people. The author believes that therapies that can increase human life span will enter into human trials within the next decade. This is a very optimistic projection considering the current perceptions of the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.

Readers who are impatient to get on with the genetic engineering of humans will have to wait a little longer. As the author reminds us, the germline genetic engineering of a human embryo has not been attempted as of yet. The gene therapy for Ashanti DeSilva was `somatic' gene therapy, and could not be passed on to her children. The author though mentions a procedure that would blur the distinction between germline genetic engineering and somatic gene therapy. It involves in utero gene therapy, and is done while the fetus is still in the mother's womb. Such a technique was never carried out, due to regulatory restrictions, but the author gives several reasons why it could be viable. Genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart problems could be eliminated he says by this technique. The author points out, interestingly, that 59 percent of the American population approves of the use of genetic engineering to eliminate disease from the unborn. It is actually surprising, at least to this reviewer, that this figure is so high, given the anxiety about genetic engineering in general, even in areas as "trivial" ethically as genetically modified crops. In addition, and this is most refreshing to read, the number of Americans who approve of genetic engineering to create desired traits in children went from 10 percent in 1994 to 20 percent in 2002, according to a study quoted in the book. This is a promising trend, and gives one hope that the population as a whole will eventually appreciate the ethical soundness of using genetic engineering.

The author also addresses the controversy on human reproductive cloning, noting correctly that it is not safe to perform today, but supporting its use when safety concerns have been overcome. Reproductive cloning will hopefully become routine in this century, and human clones will enjoy the rights that all humans have. Banning reproductive cloning is not necessary, the author argues. Clones will be ordinary people, like the rest of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucid and wonder inducing, M.T.H. is a must read!
In More Than Human, Naam's writing is a compelling look at our probable future. Through genetic techniques, drugs, computer and robotic technology, we will have many avenues to enhance our minds and bodies.

Naam presents a wonderful and engaging survey of current, cutting-edge scientific research across various fields including medicine, genetics, biology, robotics, and computers. The central theme, of course, is that all of these endeavors involve improving the human body and/or mind.

Unfortunately, many oppose the idea of enhancing our minds and bettering our bodies. They argue that such desires are "unnatural" and go against what it means to be human. They further believe that decisions on the future technologies of bio-enhancement should be made by a select few. Naam convincingly argues that the desire to improve and enhance ourselves is in fact a central trait that defines our humanity. Indeed, nothing could be more "natural" than the interest in improving ones abilities, including the ability to have better, longer, and healthier lives. Naam also demonstrates how the governance of these issues by an elite cadre of political appointees is ultimately more harmful than allowing the billions of inviduals who will make use of these bio-enhancements to choose for themselves.

In sum, Naam writes clearly and with infectious excitementabout topics that could easily be confused as science fiction. The great wonder however, as Naam is able to show us, is that these topics are very much science fact. We can not avoid what bio-enhancement will do to us as individuals and to our society. We should allow our enthusiasm and optimism to fully accept the inevitable changes that are coming, so that with full understanding we can properly integrate them into our lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare voice: rigorous and accessible
Naam describes recent scientific advances with the rigor of an academic researcher, but in terms that you don't need a PhD to understand.He also does an insightful job of relating recent breakthroughs to historic scientific firsts.For example, he makes a credible case that someday choosing the genes of your children will be just as common and non-creepy as in-vitro fertilization is today.He covers a wide range of topics, describing science that could lead to 150 year lifespans or being able to google things just by thinking about them.I was hoping for a bit more about nanotechnology, but maybe it's still a bit early for that.;)

He explains how these technologies can be helpful to society if embraced.The more compelling argument is how frightening they could be if restricted.He draws astute connections to the rise of already common technologies like reading or antibiotics.Even if you don't agree with everything he believes, his position is well argued, and insightful.

Most importantly, from a crowd screaming in panic about a changing world, Naam's perspective stands out as calm, optimistic, logical and caring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why I Wrote This Book
In 1999, a friend suggested to me that within a few decades we'd have Matrix-esque implants in our brains that would, among other things, allow us to interact in a completely believable virtual reality and beam our thoughts instantly to one another.I pooh-pooh'ed the idea.The brain and body are much too complex to manipulate in that way, or so I thought.

That same year a scientist named Phil Kennedy in Atlanta implanted an electrode into the brain of a paralyzed patient named Johnny Ray - a stroke victim who was completely unable to move, speak, or feed himself.The electrode monitored the activity of just a few neurons inside the patients brain. But through it Johnny was able to learn to control a computer - moving a cursor around on a screen and typing out messages.

Later that year, Joe Tsien at Princeton made the cover of Time Magazine with his Doogie mice - genetically engineered mice that could learn at astounding speeds, up to five times as fast as genetically normal mice.

And that year is also when I learned of the pioneering longevity research of scientists like Tom Johnston at Colorado, who had genetically altered nematode worms to more than double their lifespan and preserve youthful health into old age.

Suddenly, it seemed, science was resembling science fiction.

At the same time, there are a number of voices raised in concern over these technologies.What does it mean to extend our lives, boost our mental abilities, or integrate our minds with computers?Would we still be human?What would happen to society?To equality?To the meaning of life?

I wrote this book to cover these two, interrelated topics:

1)The science of human enhancement - what's actually happening in the labs and what that could lead to in the near future.

2)The ethics, social consequences, and policy challenges of human enhancement.Basically, what we should or shouldn't do with this technology.

More Than Human is an optimistic book, but it's a cautious optimism.Along the way it looks at issues like the effect of longer lives on overpopulation, on socio-economic stratification and whether these technologies would help the rich pull further away from the poor, and at issues like human identity, and whether we could even call ourselves human after changing ourselves in such ways.

It's not a utopian book.There can be no doubt that using biotechnology to alter the human mind, body, and lifespan will lead to problems.But the conclusion I come to in the book is that these technologies will solve more problems than they create.And that the alternative - to prohibit their use - will create many more problems than it will solve.

You can

I hope you enjoy the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent though too optimistic account of humanity's future
Naam touches on many of the most crucial milestones in the most optimistic visions of humanity's future: genetic medicine, drug therapies, human cloning, and cybernetic enhancement to name a few. He does so in a way that is scientifically rigorous without becoming mired in the details in a way that would make the account difficult to read for those without a scientific background.

Some readers may be put off by the directness with which he approaches issues which are very controversial, but these technologies are already in use and Naam makes a persuasive argument that, like it or not, the rest of them will be in regular use sooner or later.

While I am personally skeptical of the rose colored glasses through which Naam looks at the future, this book is an undeniably excellent introduction to our technological future and is an enjoyable read at that. ... Read more

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