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21. A History of the Volga Relief
22. Douglass And Melville: Anchored
23. Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration,
24. Triumph of the Third Reich
25. The Fatal Crown
26. Our Sacred Honor (Prelude to Glory,
28. Lorena
29. The Blue and the Gray Undercover:
30. Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
31. Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full
32. Jungle Ace: The Story of One of
33. Dead March (Civil War Mysteries)
34. An Antic Disposition: A Medieval
35. Authentic Life of Billy the Kid
36. Return with Honor
37. John Adams
38. Truman
39. Alexander Hamilton
40. Galloping Ghost: The Extraordinary

21. A History of the Volga Relief Society
by Emma Schwabenland Haynes
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1982-01-01)

Asin: B003HFYVZ0
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22. Douglass And Melville: Anchored Together in Neighborly Style
by Robert K. Wallace
Paperback: 147 Pages (2005-06-30)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0932027911
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Despite their divergent backgrounds, Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville shared amazingly similar thoughts on the human condition and the turbulent political arena of their time.They also lived and worked near each other during the peak of their careers. Their writings—dealing with issues such as slavery, abolition, equality, and freedom—have been scrutinized by students and academics for 150 years. Did they meet? Author Robert K. Wallace raises that provocative question, seeking clues as he follows their parallel footsteps through New Bedford, Albany, and New York in this most unusual and fascinating book! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars shared concerns and similar lives of the two major American figures
The subtitle is taken from Melville's short story "Benito Cereno." Although Wallace cannot verify that the two major early 19th-century American figures ever met, he abundantly demonstrates from themes and quotes from their influential writings and activities and associations of theirs that the two men were kindred spirits. A professor of Literature and Language at Northern Kentucky U. and former president of the Melville Society, Wallace found his intuition that Douglass and Melville were connected in significant ways "deepened and expanded in multiple ways" as he researched and wrote this work. No one can argue with this after reading his work with much visual matter emphasizing the ties between these two important literary and cultural figures. Stories of Melville's and essays of Douglass's deal with individuals at the bottom or margins of society, the cruelties of physical punishment, and also the characteristic perspectives and abilities of individuals treated as less than human. An accessible work for young adults and adults that with its plumbing of comparisons of the works and concerns of Melville and Douglass sheds new light not only on them, but also American society in the years leading up to the Civil War. ... Read more

23. Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration, 1507-1814 (University of Virginia Library)
by Guy Meriwether Benson, William Robert Irwin, Heather Moore Riser, Heather Moore, John Logan Allen
Hardcover: 88 Pages (2002-12-16)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$19.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574271385
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Two centuries after the Lewis and Clark Expedition comes this collection of early North American maps that preceded and influenced the exploration. Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration 1507-1814 features 32 maps, including the 1810 map drawn by William Clark. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Schools need this
This wonderful book reminds us all that there was life before GPS, and people really just had to stumble around before they got their geography right. There just wasn't the tech. Most important, that affected history, and critical political thinking of the times. Can you imagine Thomas Jeffersons guess about what was really the Louisianna Purchase? Just how big was America?

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice maps, but could use more details....
This is a great collection of selected maps from history -- my favorite is the one of a skinny North America, with the Pacific Ocean right on the other side of the Appalachains.The title is somewhat misleading, since the book is mostly a compilation of the maps that were published well before the Lewis and Clark expedition.The descriptions of each map are brief, and the author often references other maps that aren't included in the book; I find myself really wanting to see one depiction of the world or another that's described but not presented.Overall this is a pretty cool book, though, especially if you've never seen some of these old maps. ... Read more

24. Triumph of the Third Reich
by A. Edward Cooper
 Paperback: 300 Pages (1999-10-02)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1888106999
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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What would have been the outcome of World War II if Germany had succeeded in developing their Vengeance Weapons earlier in the war and had been able to mass produce them? This novel provides the answer in an action-packed story. One that came uncomfortably close to actually occurring. It was June 1944, a day that was to be the beginning of the end for the Third Reich-but Nazi Vengeance Weapons turn the tide of the war forcing the Allies to negotiate for peace. Suddenly Hitler is assassinated and Field Marshall Rommel becomes chancellor of Germany. Stunning events that follow change the entire post-war history as we know it. Joseph Kennedy becomes president of the US, Japan invades Russia and Molotov assassinates Stalin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well researched alternate history
I met Mr. Cooper who was generously donating his time to help at a museum in Ogden, Ut.

He mentioned his book, and I bought it because of our meeting.I liked the book as it was not just a single event turn in history, but rather multiple events intertwining.Definitely a good read and excellent historical research.

1-0 out of 5 stars What a waste of trees and ink!
Have you ever begun reading a book and gotten so distracted by the technical and English errors?Have you ever waded through a manuscript that was so filled with misspelled words, terrible grammatical constructions and English so poor that a 6th grader can spot the errors?This describes my experience with this book.

A few months ago I went on a buying binge of alternate WW2 books, which, unfortunately, included this incomprehensible piece of trash. The author has no style, no concept of how to provide the reader with any sense of continuity, absolutely no schooling in the German language, and very lame technical errors liberally sprinkled throughout the book.For instance: There is a passage that refers to the yield of the atomic device as "twenty thousand kilotons."This comes out to 20 megatons.By contrast the device that was dropped on Hiroshima was a 15 kiloton device.There are many anachronistic references to agencies (NSA, US Air Force) that didn't exist until after the war.

Then there is the junk German:"frau" is a noun and should be capitalized."tochers" should be "Töchter," which is the plural of "Tochter," the word for daughter."Prostituierens" is a nonsense word.In this context the author probably means "Prostituierte.""prostituieren" is a verb, not a noun. "Kornel" is not a German word.The author probably means "Oberst," the German equivalent of colonel. "Kreigsmarnie" is a poor spelling of "Kriegsmarine."

The response by an editor at this publisher who responded to my extensive list of problems replied, "In a topic of Alternative History, we depend on the author for his research. And as we come across corrections that need to be made, we apply then in the next printing."In other words, they don't even do a copy edit of the basic English, which was totally atrocious and bears no relation to the language you and I speak and write.

Not recommended on any level.I wish there were negative stars to rate this juvenile attempt.

3-0 out of 5 stars not the best out there
Details, details, details.These are what is missing in the book. If one reads it carfully the USS Arizona is seen in action in Normandy. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is in Oregon, And Stalin is easily reached. Also the use of jet bombers as fighters is bending the reality of just how the planes work. Also no mention is made on the Allied bomber campaign and its results in hammpering production. While some of the figures are close the aircraft ones are for the frames, not compleated fighters.Tanks and fuel also are not mentioned well. As to the elimination of Hitler, that is just a joke. Most of the political moves are also pure moonshine. All in all poor but still well written except for those annoying little details.

1-0 out of 5 stars the worst book...ever
This is without a doubt the worst book I've ever read. Dialogue is comically bad, as though only one character speaks throughout the book. I forced myself to finish the book, then recycled it.

1-0 out of 5 stars An...excuse for an alternate history
Mr. Cooper makes many dozens of historical errors in every chapter. The dialogue is stilted and childish. the flow of the narative is choppy. The premise is so wholy absurd as to be totaly unbleievable. In short I wonder if the author is a Jr. High School student. If I could give negative stars, I would ... Read more

25. The Fatal Crown
by Ellen Jones
Hardcover: 560 Pages (1991-01-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$3.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671724649
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars i liked it
I have read that this book was historically inaccurate-it was still a good book.I read it when it came out in the early 90's.It's a good historical romance novel and I think you should read it

5-0 out of 5 stars Love It Or Hate It, But You Have To Read It To Decide!
It's entirely possible to love or hate Ellen Jones' "The Fatal Crown."This is historical fiction in the tradition of Margaret George's great novels like "The Memoirs of Cleopatra" and "The Autobiography Of Henry VIII"....mostly it stays true to the facts of this horrible period in English history ...As with any historical novel, Jones makes up nearly all of the dialogue and she does do some wild speculation about the birth of the future Henry II.However, she is very careful to make sure her speculation coincides with facts that are unexplainable otherwise.

I am a fairly good student of Eleanor and Henry II and there is not much doubt that the very popular books on Eleanor pretty much enhance her life beyond what really occurred.This does not stop me from enjoying a good historical novel about either of them.In this case, the speculation about the Empress Maude and King Stephen is probably fantasy, but Jones does a credible job of making sure that all the wild events fit into the known historical facts.In fact, she is the only novelist I have yet read who came up with a plot that actually explained the bizarre swings of fortune that occurred during the long civil war between Maude and Stephen.She keeps a very positive narration on both sides (something that so many novelists just can't seem to pull off - most just *have* to demonize one party or the other).She has decent explanations for Maude's actions in London as well as Stephen's crazy releases of both Maude and the adolescent Henry as well as his final act of making Maude's son his heir instead of his own son Eustace.

When history is insane (and it certainly was during this period), I can find enjoyment in a crazy plot designed to explain the insanity....

5-0 out of 5 stars fast paced and well written
Very well written and fast paced.500+ pages that just disappeared--I didn't want it to end.Wonderfully drawn characters that you come to know and care about.Action, adventure, history and some very good sex.Jones does play a bit fast and loose with the history--but after all it is ficiton and the book is so good that it really doesn't seem to matter.While suggesting that Henry II might actually not be a Plantagenant (did I spell that correctly?), might send some to screaming--Jones is not the first author (in fiction or non-fiction) to make reference to an attraction and admiration existing between royal rivals Maud and Stephen.Even the beloved Sharon Kay Penman makes some reference to this in "When Christ and His Saints Slept."Anyway, Jones does get most of the rest of the history right and I always find it enjoying to read anything about Stephen of Blois and Maud, especially books that paint Maud in a favorable light.It seems to me she was unfairly manipulated to the extreme throughout her life and then abused by the historians as well.As historical romance goes, this is one of the best I've read.I can't wait to read the sequel.

1-0 out of 5 stars Save your money
A badly written historical romance trying to disguise itself as an historical novel.Ellen James takes a defining moment in English history--the struggle between Maude of Germany and Stephen of Blois for theEnglish throne--and turns it into a love story, even implying that Maude'sson Henry was fathered by Stephen and not her husband Geoffrey of Anjou! Readers who know nothing of history may enjoy this, but for a much betteroverview of these events read Sharon Kay Penman's "When Christ and HisSaints Slept."

4-0 out of 5 stars It is a power struggle mixed with a love story.
I found this book extremely enjoyable and a quick read. The romance part I did not enjoy much but it was essential to the events in the book. It was well written which made the descriptions that much more interesting. Andthe time period was wonderful. ... Read more

26. Our Sacred Honor (Prelude to Glory, 1)
by Ron Carter
Hardcover: 604 Pages (1998-04-01)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570084319
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In epic style, the new historical fiction series Prelude to Glory chronicles the miraculous events that gave birth to a new nation. In Our Sacred Honor, the first volume in the series, master storyteller Ron Carter presents the early events of the Revolutionary War through the eyes of common people. We meet the heroes, but we see them through the eyes and hearts of the soldiers and the sailors, men and women, who came out of the shops, fields, and forests and paid the price. No human mind could ever have created a plot so diverse, so intensely gripping, so inspiring as the story of the American Revolution. Through fictional as well as real-life characters, Prelude to Glory powerfully depicts that dramatic story. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great journey
Ron Carter does a wonderful job of creating colonial America.His characters have a drive that makes you feel their triumphs and sorrows.Beautiful story that all Americans should be familiar with.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story
I love historical fiction!Prelude to Glory make the details of history come alive with Carter's descriptive style.
The ending made me want to read the next one.
She's Dutch!

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST Read!!
This is an awesome book!

I learned more about early American History in this book than I think I learned in High School and College. I also bought this as a gift for my Father-in-law...it was that good!

5-0 out of 5 stars History 101 - not
I've never been so captivated by a volume of books as by Prelude to Glory by author Ron Carter. He has woven a fictional family (and the reader!) and actual American history together to create an account and the incredible story of miracles that lead to the creation of the United States of America. I learned much about my beloved country in just the first volume. If American history was taught in our schools in Mr. Carter's style, we would have a generation of patriots graduating in our schools! I'm now in Vol 6 and will surely feel a let-down after i finish the last, Volume 8. What will I have to look forward to! With the completion of each volume, i can't wait to begin the next. Enjoy the masterful storytelling of this author and catch his enthusiasm and love for his country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prelude To Glory #1-Our Sacred Honor-Hey Grandpa!-Great!
The book Our Sacred Honor, written by Ron Carter, is very well put together. It is humorous frequently, and is very entertaining. For example, at one part it is describing how this great, powerful, huge army of British is marching to Concord...and then they fall right into a bog. There are many funny parts in this book that I would want to share. It is a riot! I really loved this book, not only because of the humorous parts, but also because it is very descriptive, and the words sound so good together. There is only one thing I don�t like was the gore. It is not very often, but at times it is nauseating. I really like the way he words some sentences like, �He jerked the reins to stop and the horse battled for breath.� It is descriptive and the words work together like a river going to sea.
The story is centered around a family who is on the colonial side-the eldest son (Matthew) is engaged to a lovely young woman, and the eldest daughter is stunned by this young lieutenant on the British side.
It is packed with action, war and adventure. Our Sacred Honor is only the first fantastic volume of a whole series by Ron Carter (my grandpa!). These books are very well written and should be read time and time again. Enjoy! ... Read more

 Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-05-19)
list price: US$1.00
Asin: B002AJ806A
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_With vast foundations seamed and knit,
And wrought and bound by golden bars,
Sierra's peaks serenely sit
And challenge heaven's sentry-stars._

Why this book? Because last year, in the heart of the Sierras, I saw
women and children chained together and marched down from their cool,
healthy homes to degradation and death on the Reservation. At the side
of this long, chained line, urged on and kept in order by bayonets, rode
a young officer, splendid in gold and brass, and newly burnished, from
that now famous charity-school on the Hudson. These women and children
were guilty of no crime; they were not even accused of wrong. But their
fathers and brothers lay dead in battle-harness, on the mountain
heights and in the lava beds; and these few silent survivors, like
Israel of old, were being led into captivity--but, unlike the chosen
children, never to return to the beloved heart of their mountains.

Do you doubt these statements about the treatment of the Indians? Then
read this, from the man--the fiend in the form of man--who for years,
and until recently, had charge of all the Indians in the United States:

"From reports and testimony before me, I find that Indians
removed to the Reservation or Indian Territory, die off so
rapidly that the race must soon become extinct if they are so
removed. _In this connection, I recommend the early removal of
all the Indians to the Indian Territory._"

The above coarse attempt at second-hand wit is quoted from memory. But
if the exact words are not given, the substance is there; and, indeed,
the idea and expression is not at all new.

I know if you contemplate the Indian from the railroad platform, as you
cross the plains, you will almost conclude, from the dreadful specimens
there seen, that the Indian Commissioner was not so widely out of the
way in that brutal desire. But the real Indian is not there. The Special
Correspondent will not find him, though he travel ten thousand miles. He
is in the mountains, a free man yet; not a beggar, not a thief, but the
brightest, bravest, truest man alive. Every few years, the soldiers find
him; and they do not despise him when found. Think of Captain Jack, with
his sixty braves, holding the whole army at bay for half a year! Think
of Chief Joseph, to whose valor and virtues the brave and brilliant
soldiers sent to fight him bear immortal testimony. Seamed with scars of
battle, and bloody from the fight of the deadly day and the night
preceding; his wife dying from a bullet; his boy lying dead at his feet;
his command decimated; bullets flying thick as hail; this Indian walked
right into the camp of his enemy, gun in hand, and then--not like a
beaten man, not like a captive, but like a king--demanded to know the
terms upon which his few remaining people could be allowed to live. When
a brave man beats a brave man in battle, he likes to treat him well--as
witness Grant and Lee; and so Generals Howard and Miles made fair terms
with the conquered chief. The action of the Government which followed
makes one sick at heart. Let us in charity call it _imbecility_. But
before whose door shall we lay the dead? Months after the surrender,
this brave but now heart-broken chief, cried out:

"Give my people water, or they will die. This is mud and slime
that we have to drink here on this Reservation. More than half
are dead already. Give us the water of our mountains. And will
you not give us back just one mountain too? There are not many
of us left now. We will not want much now. Give us back just one
mountain, so that these women and children may live. Take all
the valleys. But you cannot plow the mountains. Give us back
just one little mountain, with cool, clear water, and then these
children can live."

And think of Standing Bear and his people, taken by fraud and force from.... ... Read more

28. Lorena
by Frederic Bean
Hardcover: 284 Pages (1996-12)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$8.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312860617
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Lorena Blaire is one of the Union nurses Ulysses S. Grant has sent to infiltrate the Rebel medical corps, and she does so, only to realize that she must choose between her loyalty to the North and the rebel doctor whom she loves. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Novel
An excellent historical account of the Civil War and the harsh realities associated with the worst war in United States history.Characters were well developed and true to their time period.A romance woven into thebloody, cruel asspects life on the battle front.Lorena is realistic andcompasionate. Not a book for the weak of stomach, but for those thatappreciate a wonderful story.GREAT READ!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good historical fiction, restrained romance
As a person who happens to enjoy civil war history, I found the historical perspectives really interesting.I thought that the main characters showed the emotional restraints appropriate to the times.But it was not a book Iwanted to cuddle up and read.The constant discussion of sawing off limbs,while a part of that period, was not exactly conducive to a restful sleep. It had good historical detail, nice characters, kept your interest, andmoved quickly.While this seems to be a love story, there is too much"blood and guts" in the book to really consider it a true romancenovel. ... Read more

29. The Blue and the Gray Undercover: All New Civil War Spy Adventures
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2001-12-14)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$2.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312874871
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Behind the battles of the Civil war, there was a secret war, a war of military intelligence fought by people who spied for either the Union or the Confederacy. Such people performed acts of tremendous heroism, great audacity, and, sometimes, foolhardy riskiness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasing Change of Pace
Editor Gorman has compiled eighteen original short stories for this fairly entertaining anthology of Civil War spy stories, likely to appeal primarily to the Civil War fiction readers looking for a change of pace, or to mystery fans looking for a change of setting. Each of the authors (none of whom I've read before) contributes a story of 15-25 pages, some of which are fictional treatments of historical incidents or persons, the rest of which are straight fiction. Most of the stories are fairly basic short tales, with a reversal near the end that showcases the spy's skill or trickery. Common protagonists are bewitching and cunning women who shockingly turn out to be spies, and blacks and children who are inevitably smarter and craftier than suspected. As befits the depressing reality of the Civil War, many of the stories are rather bleak and depressing, in their setting if not always in their outcome. There are a few, however, that are a little more swashbuckling and James Bondish in their approach, such as Robert Randisi's "The Knights of Liberty", James Cobb's "Monica Van Tefflen" and the one true throwaway entry, Bill Crider's "Belle Boyd, The Rebel Spy," which is a silly treatment for a cliffhanger serial film. What each author has done well is inject obscure period details and history into their stories, with the result, that even if the story fails to entertain, it will inform. All in all, the collection strikes a fairly good balance of suspense, tragedy, horror, romance, politics, and of course, history-however, if the stories have greater impact if you read them one a day instead of all in one sitting. Another reason not to read it in one sitting is that the typeface is set incredibly small. Even for someone with young (30 year old) eyes like myself, reading it for more than 30 minutes at a time was a strain. ... Read more

30. Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times
by H.W. Brands
Hardcover: 640 Pages (2005-10-04)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385507380
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The extraordinary story of Andrew Jackson—the colorful, dynamic, and forceful president who ushered in the Age of Democracy and set a still young America on its path to greatness—told by the bestselling author of The First American.

The most famous American of his time, Andrew Jackson is a seminal figure in American history. The first “common man” to rise to the presidency, Jackson embodied the spirit and the vision of the emerging American nation; the term “Jacksonian democracy” is embedded in our national lexicon.

With the sweep, passion, and attention to detail that made The First American a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a national bestseller, historian H.W. Brands shapes a historical narrative that’s as fast-paced and compelling as the best fiction. He follows Andrew Jackson from his days as rebellious youth, risking execution to free the Carolinas of the British during the Revolutionary War, to his years as a young lawyer and congressman from the newly settled frontier state of Tennessee. As general of the Tennessee militia, he put down a massive Indian uprising in the South, securing the safety of American settlers, and his famous rout of the British at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812 made him a national hero.

But it is Jackson’s contributions as president, however, that won him a place in the pantheon of America’s greatest leaders. A man of the people, without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, he sought as president to make the country a genuine democracy, governed by and for the people. Jackson, although respectful of states’ rights, devoted himself to the preservation of the Union, whose future in that age was still very much in question. When South Carolina, his home state, threatened to secede over the issue of slavery, Jackson promised to march down with 100,000 federal soldiers should it dare.

In the bestselling tradition of Founding Brothers and His Excellency by Joseph Ellis and of John Adams by David McCullough, Andrew Jackson is the first single-volume, full-length biography of Jackson in decades. This magisterial portrait of one of our greatest leaders promises to reshape our understanding of both the man and his era and is sure to be greeted with enthusiasm and acclaim. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (91)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written book
Very pleasant to read. Brands brings to your imagination all of the amazing facts of this tough and rowdy president. I could not believe how fast I read the 500+ pages. Once I had arrived at the end I felt a little moved as if I had lived through the tragedy of our early American heritage.No one can help but be angry at the way he treated human slaves. In that light, considering the culture that brought him up, one cannot help but see a shade of compassion by his unique practice of keeping families together. One thing no one will argue. Andrew had a passion, and confidence that led a nation to grow, and face its own problems. A very well researched and stylish book that I believe everyone will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars American History Masterpiece
I really enjoyed reading this book. I didn't know much about Andrew Jackson before reading the book but I learned a great deal in a short time. The book flowed well and followed Jackson from birth, his early life, the revolution, his business ventures, duels,through wars, the presidency, and death. The material was so interesting I found myself flying through the book.

Jackson was involved with the Indian wars, Florida, New Orleans, and even Texas be it in battle or influence. I think everyone intersted in American history and important figures of our past should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comments on abridged CD version
"Andrew Jackson - His Life and Times" - H.W. Brands

The following comments are for the abridged CD audio book version of "Andrew Jackson - His Life and Times" by H.W. Brands. Chuck Montgomery reads the book. This is a Random House Audio edition.

This listener found the narrator, Chuck Montgomery, an excellent speaker whose clear pronunciation and moderate pacing a pleasure to listen too. Mr. Montgomery has, in this reviewer's opinion, an appealing Southern tone to his diction that complements the subject matter.

This audio book consist 7 compact disks with a total playtime of approximately 8 hours. The disks are secured in two standard fan fold multi CD holders. These two inserts slide into the external packaging box. Each CD holder has identification on the spine listing the CD numbers. I mention this because not all audio book manufactures add this helpful numbering feature.

For several years I did a significant amount of business travel. I filled those hours listening to numerous non-fiction audio books most of them in the history-biography category. Many were ok, some good and very few compelling listening. "Andrew Jackson" falls into the latter category. There are two reasons for this personal judgment. The subject matter just crackles with exciting events and dramatic situations. In addition the author has a brilliant knack for bringing to life historical events and personalities. This authors talent was also evident in another audio book I have experienced,"Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt".

I will not even attempt to summaries the numerous actions and personalities covered in this book. The author does a more that creditable job of keeping his focus on Jackson. He does divert to elaborate upon the events and controversies of the times - just enough to make you want to follow up on, say, Sam Houston, Texas Independence, Aaron Burr, Indian Wars in Florida and other topics that kindled my interest.

My readings in American History have been confined, primarily, to the Revolutionary and Civil War Periods. I found the subject matter very informative and useful in what transpired between those two events.

Look for author Brands history lectures on YouTube. I found them most interesting and informative.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, But Not Very In-Depth
While H.W. Brands covers Jackson's early years in satisfying detail, Brands covers his middle military career less thoroughly, and he rushes through Jackson's presidency, an area that one would think deserves the greatest focus.I certainly don't feel like I wasted my time, but I am definitely interested in finding another work on Jackson that covers his life in greater detail.

3-0 out of 5 stars There are better choices for a Jackson biography
I purchased this book based on the favorable reviews on this site, but I was disappointed with it.Some significant events in Jackson's life are covered too briefly.The book is not one that "pulls you in" and I found it tedious to get through 560 pages.(Not like a bio written by David McCullough). ... Read more

31. Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full
by Conrad Black
Hardcover: 1184 Pages (2007-10-23)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586485199
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The acclaimed biographer of Franklin Delano Roosevelt takes on Richard Nixon in the first full biography in a generation, bringing a unique perspective to the life and politics of one of America's most controversial public figures.

From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, Richard Nixon was a polarizing figure in American politics, admired for his intelligence, savvy, and strategic skill, and reviled for his shady manner and cutthroat tactics. Conrad Black, whose epic biography of FDR was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, now separates the good in Nixon--his foreign initiatives, some of his domestic policies, and his firm political hand--from the sinister, in a book likely to generate enormous attention and controversy.

Black believes the hounding of Nixon from office was partly political retribution from a lifetime's worth of enemies and Nixon's misplaced loyalty to unworthy subordinates, and not clearly the consequence of crimes in which he participated. Conrad Black's own recent legal travails, though hardly comparable, have undoubtedly given him an unusual insight into the pressures faced by Nixon in his last two years as president and the first few years of his retirement. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

1-0 out of 5 stars Made my skin crawl
I slogged through every page of this wretched hagiography. I picked it up from the bargain bin for $5 thinking it might prove amusing; instead it was infuriating. I've spent a lifetime fine-tuning an aversion to the 37th president of the United States. I've read dozens of books about his life; this one was by far the worst. Lies and B.S. from cover to cover - the ultimate Nixon apology. I feel sorry for the poor helpless trees that were cut down in order to print this garbage. Every copy should be gathered up and burned. I'm a fierce defender of the First Amendment, but I have my limits.

1-0 out of 5 stars O Woe Future Readers
This book is nothing more than a love affair between the subject and its' author. The only part of Nxon's life that wasn't included in this 1057 page farce was the day 'tricky dick" walked on water.How this author can re-write the history of a man who killed 30,000 troops just so he could visit China, and lie and subvert the truth on Watergate so he could be re-elected is just so so sad.The fact that Nixon accepted a peace treaty only weeks before his re-election should say it all.Each and every time the author actually writes that Nixon may have made a mistake he immediately points out the same error in judgment of past presidents or world leaders.At one point he even compares Nixon's underhanded behavior to the Pope.The truly sad part about this book is that 50 years from now some unsuspecting high school senior will read this book for a school assignment and actually believe what is written here.

4-0 out of 5 stars Richard M. Nixon
I bought this book by Conrad Black because he did such an outstanding job on the life of FDR. Again he scores big with this again lengthy but not always well researched volume on Richard Nixon. Black is much more opinionated and biased in this book by sweeping some of Nixons faults and quirks aside with not very well thought out or researched opinions that seem to be of a personal nature. Black does make good points that much of Nixon's work was good for the country but seems to have a favorable bias towards Nixon and an unfavorable bias against his predecessors except Ike. Black lets his politics out a little too much in this one. It was a bit surprising after his fine work on FDR. None the less a great read very informative and another good work by Black over all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling figure made even more compelling
My first involvement in political affairs was, at the age of 5, urging my mother to vote for Nixon, as I made my way off to school.Since then, Nixon has loomed large in the landscape of Orange County.We all knew he lived in San Clemente, but he was a specter: he made few appearances and was overshadowed by Reagan's influence.Reagan, of course, defines California Republicanism, but Nixon shaped the California Republican party before Reagan appeared on the scene.Nixon represented the scrappy, lower-middle class strivers, seeking recognition on a public stage.Nixon was their spokesman, the underdog who could pound his finger on Kruschev's chest, while they busily built their businesses in Whittier and Downey, while others worked for the aerospace companies in El Segundo and Long Beach.Thus, it was with great enjoyment that I read the first 500 pages, which spoke about a California, which I knew little about: the immediate post-War era.And, it is surprising that a Lord from the English parliament, like Conrad Black, would be so passionate about re-creating this era in Nixon's life.In short, what would seem the least compelling about Nixon's life, his move from local congressman, to Senator, to 8 years in the VP role, is the most compelling part of the Nixon story, and gives a greater appreciation of his intellect and humanity.

It has been commented upon that this is a "rehabilitative biography," and that Conrad Black tries very hard to "clean up" Nixon's sinister image.While Black does comment on a few mistakes, which Nixon made, in foreign policy and domestic issues, he does not admit to Nixon having any ethical lapses, at least until Watergate.In fact, if one is to believe Black, Nixon is nearly the cleanest politician of the era, especially in comparison to Kennedy and Johnson.I am unable to judge this.It goes against so much of what I've been taught.But, I am willing to give Nixon the benefit of the doubt after reading Black's thorough defense of the man.

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak, boring read, completely biased
I had just read the Harry S. Truman biography by David McCullough, a fascinating read, and I grabbed this for an inside look at Nixon.To me, the beginning of this book gets very lost in trying to detail every little piece of information and data, without really telling a story.The Truman biography was extremely interesting and kept me captivated throughout.I keep getting lost in the minute detail the Nixon book brings to minor details.There is a great deal of information here; it is just not presented in an interesting or enlightening manner, and I labored through the first half of this lengthy book.

What became more disturbing to me was the biased slant the book takes in the second half.Mr. Black paints a picture of Nixon being one of the greatest presidents that the US has ever had.According to the author, Nixon had a hand in helping each president following him take office.He had nothing to do with Watergate and had no idea of what it was; he was just trying to support his people.It literally becomes a farce as he paints Nixon as one of the greatest politicians of all time and never once agreeing that he did anything wrong except try and support the people on his staff.

He goes on to suggest that every foreign leader and nation loved Nixon and that they could not understand why Watergate was a big deal.According to the author, the US was the only country who did not like Nixon and Nixon was a chief player in every political event following his resignation from office.I had a very tough time with this book as I did not find it plausible or realistic.There was absolutely no objectivity; it was a complete sales job on why Nixon should be revered as one of the great politicians of all time.He even goes so far to say that aside from Thomas Jefferson, no other president was as popular or as effective as Nixon was following his departure from office.The author never seems to grasp the fact that Nixon was forced to resign the office or face impeachment.I am surprised that a package of Conrad Black Kool Aid was not included with the book.
... Read more

32. Jungle Ace: The Story of One of the USAAF's Great Fighter Leaders, Col. Gerald R. Johnson
by John R. Bruning
Paperback: 294 Pages (2002-05-30)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$6.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574884700
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The brief but accomplished life of Army Air Forces fighter ace Gerald Johnson (1920–45) is the subject of John Bruning’s latest book. During three years in the Pacific theater, Johnson shot down twenty-four Japanese aircraft in 265 combat missions. At the age of twenty-four, he commanded the highest-scoring fighter group in the Pacific, the 49th. Tragically, though Johnson had survived three combat tours, which included a mid-air collision with a Japanese aircraft and being shot down by friendly fire, he disappeared while flying a courier mission one month after the war’s end. At the time he was one of the USAAF’s youngest full colonels. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
My uncle is the Stanley Johnson briefly referenced in this book, who went MIA in Nov '43 while flying as Maj Bong's wingman.Somehow I feel he would have been honored to read this book.I wish my grandparents (his folks) could have read it too.It helps me to better understand what his final months were like, and what he and the others there accomplished.Thank you, Mr Bruning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Situation at Leyte.
I enjoy the book especially about the air war situation at Leyte Island in the Philippines during October through December 1944.However, I wish the author had given a complete casuality list of the 49th Fighter Group in terms of the following items:

1)Killed in action by air combat.
2)Killed by ground fire or by gunfire from enemy ship.
3)Killed in flying accidents due to the conditions of the airstrip on Leyte Island or because of enemy action.

4)Orignial group who start off at the Leyte airstrip in October through December 1944 and how many were left?

5)How many replacements did the 49th Fighter Group recieved and how many died in action or in flying accidents due to enemy action or some other mishap during the same time period?

If they tried to emphasize these battles like a meat grinder, then please give a complete casuality list; otherwise, the only time I hear of a meat grinder battle is those fought by the Germans since we have no hestitation about printing the German dead, wound, and POWs.

They should have made books like this years ago.Then we would know the horrors of World War II instead of glorying it through our culture for the last 62 years.

In the book Kenney Reports, Colonel Merian Cooper, who was General Kenney Chief of Staff, had worried that we were sticking our necks out if we invade Leyte.After reading Jungle Ace and some other books about how the Army had failed to secure a quick capture of the island, Col. Cooper was right.The battle of Leyte Island went on for nearly three months which was just as long as the battle for Normandy.After their defeat at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese had other chances to destroy our shipping and airfields in order to bring the American invasion of the Philippines to the point of defeat if they had use their air power more efficiently.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jungle Ace is a must for pilots, especially fighter pilots!
Col Johnson was probably the best pilot of WWII. He was a P-38 pilot in the South Pacificand became a full Colonel and had 24 victories by the time he was 24 years old. It is a compelling true story with a tragic ending. I am very pleased this book was written because so few people have ever heard of this great leader,

5-0 out of 5 stars You almost meet the man
What Bruning has done in "Jungle Ace" is remarkable:he manages figuratively to bring to full flesh-and-blood life a man who has been dead for nearly 60 years.When I finished reading this biography, I felt I knew and understood Gerry Johnson: felt the weight of the command burden he carried, the exhilaration of victory in combat, the self-doubt when losses occurred, the grinding boredom of life in the SWPA, and the never-ending homesickness.I also got a sense of what he would be like in different situations:as a friend, as a commander, as a classmate.

This is exceedingly hard to do, but Bruning has done it:he somehow got long-ago memories jumpstarted, got people talking.While I accept that some of the quoted conversations probably did not take place word for word as presented, I feel the approach helps the book make the man more real.Charles Martin, in his bio of Tom McGuire, did the same thing, and it worked for both authors.

Thanks, Mr. Bruning for bringing a too-little known hero to light.You can be sure that my children will read about Gerry Johnson.When will you write another aviation biography?How about Charles H. MacDonald of the 475th FG?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Just finished reading this book a few days ago, and I've got to say that it's one of the best WWII non-fiction books I've ever read. Not only is it easy to read and exciting, but Mr. Bruning skillfully covers some of the more technical aspects of Johnson's air combat battles.

Good for hard-core WWII air combat nuts (like me!) as well as the average reader. Anyone with any interest in combat aircraft, WWII, or great reading material in general will love this book!

-Scott Rudi ... Read more

33. Dead March (Civil War Mysteries)
by Ann McMillan
Hardcover: 224 Pages (1998-09-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$3.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670881473
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Historical mysteries fly off the shelves these days. At the same time, millions of Civil War buffs--pilgrims to battle sites and fans of Ken Burns's documentary--devour all they can read about those four fatal years. Dead March, vivid and suspenseful, rich in period detail and the tension of its times, stands poised to capture this twofold audience.In the gilded Virginia spring of 1861, secession talk fills Richmond's parlors and dark doings are afoot in its medical school and cemetery. Narcissa Powers, a well-to-do young white widow, is thrown together with Judah Daniel, a free black herbalist and "conjure woman," to solve the murder of a slave girl whose cadaver is dug up by anatomists and their grave robbers. Aided by a fledgling British news correspondent, these two women from opposite ends of society risk their lives as they infiltrate the worlds of men, medicine, and war that are about to collide in the bloody battle of First Manassas.Dead March is the opening salvo in a series that will delight both mystery and Civil War buffs. Amazon.com Review
Ann McMillan's Dead March is the first in what promises to be aseries of Civil War-era mysteries as appealing as Anne Perry's historicalprocedurals.Narcissa Power, a young Virginia widow consigned to a dismalexistence in the country home of her sister-in-law, receives an urgentsummons from family friends of her beloved brother, Charley. Shortly aftershe rushes to his side, he dies of a disease that should have caused onlya minor infection. The mystery of his death is compounded when Narcissafinds a fragment of a half-burned letter from Charley that someone has hidden inher Bible. Wanting to do right by her brother and avoid returning to thedoldrums of her country existence, Narcissa plunges into the turmoil ofRichmond in the days between Fort Sumter and the first great battle of theCivil War.A colorful collection of plausible characters gather in theparlors and back alleys of Richmond--a British journalist, a dashing butarrogant young doctor, a cruel overseer, and Judah Daniel, a freedwoman whois also the local herbalist and "conjure woman." Each will be a part ofthe eventual unraveling of the mystery.

Against the background of a beautiful city in turmoil, clues come fast andfurious. The players converge at the hospital and secrets are shaken loose,leading to surprising and satisfying denouement. But relationships are onlybeginning to develop among the cast, and the reader must wait for McMillan's next volume to learn the outcome. The credible detail andauthenticity of setting and scene will captivate those with arenewed interest in the American Civil War, which has been aroused by Cold Mountain and KenBurns's PBS series. --Barbara Schlieper ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great first effort...
After stumbling upon Ann McMillan's wonderful Civil War mystery with Chickahominy Fever, I decided to go back and start this series from the beginning.Dead March is just as good and also, a good change in this mystery genre.

Dead March opens in March of 1861.The Civil War is about to open and Virginia is getting ready to secede.A young widow, Narcissa Powers, lives with her brother in rural Virginia.She receives a letter asking her to quickly come to Richmond.Another brother, Charley, is a student at the Medical College of Virginia and he has contracted a fatal infection.He is being cared for in the house of one of his professors.One of the servants in the house slips a disturbing letter into Narcissa's Bible.The letter was written by Charley and intended for his sister.In it, he asks her help in a serious matter.

At the medical school, Charley discovered that one of the cadavers used for teaching purposes was actually a murder victim.But the question remains--are the grave robbers, or "resurrection men" responsible for this, or was the murder caused by one of the doctors?Narcissa decides to volunteer at Chimborazo Hospital as a way to discover the truth.Powers is aided by several characters who will become regulars including Mirrie Powers (her sister-in-law and an abolitionist), Judah Daniel (a free black herbalist), Brit Wallace (an English journalist) and Cameron Archer (doctor at the medical college and Chimborazo Hospital).

McMillan really picks up on the giddy excitement in Richmond as Virginia moves toward secession.Parties, parades, and celebrations are planned throughout the city, but not everyone is in a joyous mood.Professor Powers (Narcissa's father-in-law) states "it does seem an occasion for relection and prayer rather than bonfires and marching bands."As for Confederate General Robert E. Lee, "Among Richmonders, feeling is divided as to whether Lee more closely resembles God the Father or God the Son."The author really gives us a feeling of living in Richmond on the brink of war.

I will definitely make a point of reading all of the books in this series.Unfortunately, I think that there are only four of them at present.What a shame for readers looking for good mysteries.

2-0 out of 5 stars Been there, done that
With Dead March, Ann McMillan has achieved little more than changing the setting of an old story. The theme of the "resurrection man" has been around since the middle of the 19th century when Burke and O'Hare ran their ring in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dead March does contain snippets of period detail, but the characters, including protagonist Narcissa Powers, a salt-of-the-earth wise woman, and a charming but corrupt Southern doctor, are formulaic. As for plot, it's all too predictable - proving that certain medical school officials are sanctioning murder in order to acquire cadavers for teaching. Unless this book will serve as your introduction to this topic, there is no mystery, no suspense, no surprises. Ho hum.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Quite
I liked a number of things about this book.It is well presented in terms of time and place.The history is accurate.Using a young widow as the heroine gives an interesting point of view.On the other hand, the characters, especially the heroine, are underdeveloped.I found I did not greatly care what happened to Narcissa, which is a problem.The supporting characters were more interesting, although they could use some development also. One character changed from a potential villain to a potentional love interest in one or two pages with very little explanation.I am interested enough to want to read the later books in the series and there is potential.However, this book is two or three revisions away from being a really good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good BOOK
Im 10 years old and i read this book. i thought it was really good. very creepy too. Ü hee hee

2-0 out of 5 stars Shows promise, but not quite there yet.
As this was recommended along with Barbara Hambly's latest, I decided to give "Dead March" a go.Unfortunately, it can't help but suffer in comparison with "Wet Grave."Several things in the book struck me as being underdeveloped, and I think the main fault was the characterization.Too much information about the characters is given in expository chunks; rather than letting us discover who these people are through their actions and their conversation, we're simply told what their attitudes and personalities are.The story would have been much more effective if they'd been allowed to reveal themselves.The premise itself is fascinating and seldom-seen, but the presentation of the author's ideas would have benefitted from some more subtlety. ... Read more

34. An Antic Disposition: A Medieval Mystery (Medieval Mysteries (St. Martins Hardcover))
by Alan Gordon
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2004-01-20)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$49.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312300964
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1204 A.D., the Fools' Guild is on the run from an enraged Pope Innocent III and the Papal troops he's dispatched to destroy them.Now, hidden in their secret enclave deep within the Black Forest, the fools, troubadours and novitiates, including the jester couple Theophilos and Claudia, come together for their evening gathering to hear Father Gerald, their ancient leader, tell one of the greatest stories from the history of the Guild.

It begins in Denmark, during a time of civil war when three men laid claim to the throne while a fourth watched and bided his time.Into the strategically crucial town of Slesvig, the Guild sends Terence of York, who is promptly dubbed Yorick by the Duke's young son, Amleth.What unfolds is a tale of treachery, tragedy and bloodshed that is the true story behind one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies.But Father Gerald's history contains secrets never known to anyone outside the Guild, and as he recounts it, Theophilos feels a chill steal over his heart.

For not even Father Gerald knows the ending of this story. But Theophilos does.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Series
I've read all of these books, and I like them all very much.Feste/Theophilos is an engaging character, I love Viola/Claudia's wit and independence, and the Fools' Guild is a clever conceit to hang a series on. I even like Zeus, bless 'im.

But this one, An Antic Disposition, is (IMHO) the best of the series.As the Fools have settled into their new Guildhall, still hiding from the Roman Church, they decide the winter night won't be complete until they can harass their leader, Father Gerald, into telling a story.He obliges them, which is the frame around the main story, an indepth retelling of the story Shakespeare used for Hamlet.This is the Hamlet you never knew, with a far more solid set of characters, motivations and plot -- and before the end, you find that Feste is involved too.

It's great to read well-researched historical fiction (including mysteries) where you learn something painlessly.This series excels in that area.Read them in order -- you'll miss a lot if you don't -- but spend a little extra time with this one.It's worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars By far Gordon's best
Of all the Medieval Mysteries, this is by far the best of the bunch.The storytelling is absolutely superb, the rendition of Hamlet is remarkable.

Gordon has really outdone himself.This series keeps getting better and better with each new novel.How is he going to top this one?I have no idea, but I cannot wait to find out!

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable retelling of the Hamlet story
While gathering in the Black Forest for training, the Jesters Guild hears a story of how the Guild worked to prevent a war in Denmark. The story is a long one, involving a man who betrayed his brother and married his sister-in-law, the son who seemed mad, that son's doomed love for a beautiful woman, spies, secret messages and poison.

For the first half the story, the protagonist is a fool, Terrance of York (renamed Yorick by the young Amleth), while Amleth himself becomes the primary figure after the death of his father. Strong story-telling, and the strong underlying story propell the narrative seamlessly through this transition.

In fact, author Alan Gordon retells the story of Shakespear's Hamlet--but with the Fools playing a larger role. The Jester's Guild is a formidable force for peace during the middle east, and a small group of fools have their hands full in a wild time in Denmark's history when the nation is pulling itself together, but where multiple men see their chances to become King--even if it means betraying their promises.

Fans of the Shakespear play will enjoy Gordon's retelling of the story--and the surprise ending. But the enjoyment is not limited to Shakespear fans. The idea of a medieval Fools Guild which wroks for peace is a strong one that has served Gordon well across a number of these stories (and something we need more of in our world today).

If you enjoy historical mystery with a touch of humor, you don't want to miss Alan Gordon's Fool series--and AN ANTIC DISPOSITION is a great one to get started with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alas, Yorick, fool that he was could not retain his head...
I get so excited when I find another great writer especially in the medieval era. Not only do I get my history, but a mystery mixed in with it. I prefer my history to be as accurate as possible, and though I know from geneaology, going past the year 1000 makes it real fun to find out names and births and deaths because the only records kept at that time were those of kings and queens, and monastery records. They were just starting to keep written records of the local areas and they were very inconsistent. People could and did disappear off the face of the earth just as if they had never existed.

Soon into the story, I became aware that this story was based on Hamlet's story...but not the one that Shakespeare wrote. He wrote a play that was designed to please the masses and get the most information in in as little time as possible. Gordon uses historical records from which Shakespeare also gleaned his stories. This story within a story does a great job of 'filling in the blanks'. When I was in English Literature I did not enjoy Shakespeare's tragedies as much as his comedies for obvious reasons and some not so obvious reasons. I felt that much of the background to Hamlet's inability to forget his father's death was lacking. He would say some things that were poetic alright, but why bring it up if it didn't add much to the story (Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well).

I intend to read all of Gordon's books now and look forward to it. I had no idea that there was a guild for fools/jesters, though that makes sense. Guilds were their versions of our unions today. Besides the fact that they provided shelter and a sense of companionship for each other.

I was sincerely glad that the story ended a bit more happily than in Shakespere's version. When Amleth brought out something of Yorick's to give to his son, I was relieved he didn't give him his skull! Excellent writing, enjoyable reading, good history. Couldn't ask for more!

Karen Sadler

5-0 out of 5 stars A winner
In 1204 AD, Pope Innocent III declares the Fools' Guild as the most dangerous enemy that the Christian hierarchy faces, even more perilous than the Saracens, due to their subversive mockery of church hypocrisy.He sends an army of God to devastate the guild.Though they are Fools, these are not fools so they hide in the Black Forest (thankfully it is summer).The members heed the words of leader Father Gerald as he tells a morality tale from the annals of their history that explains why they must continue even though outlawed.

Less than five decades ago in Denmark, three men were in a power struggle to claim the throne.As civil war explodes, another claimant patiently waits to usurp the throne.The Fools' Guild dispatches Terence to observe one of the contenders Duke Orvendil.Upon Terrence's arrival, Orvendil's son renames him Yorick.Major double crosses and murders become the norm as Danish blood flows freely and no one trusts anyone else.Fools like Theophilos, alas he knew Yorick well, was a key player as they destroyed some of the more vile pretenders and their followers.Still he wonders if back in 1157, he and Yorick crossed the line as he has hid his role and his ungainly heritage even from his beloved Claudia.

AN ANTIC DISPOSITION uses a tale within a story to develop a deep morality tale as the prime story line though that is a flashback.That inner plot tells the excitingly "true" story of Shakespeare's' Hamlet.Alan Gordon may have written his best tale to date, which says a lot as this is one of the finest medieval series on the market today.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

35. Authentic Life of Billy the Kid
by Pat F. Garrett
Hardcover: 262 Pages (1995-06)
-- used & new: US$9.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1566195012
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Reputed to have killed his first man at the age of twelve, William Bonney went on to gun his way into Western legend as Billy the Kid. When he was killed at the age of twenty-one, the Kid was famous throughout the country as the boy who, so he boasted, had killed a man for every year of his life.

This is the story of William Bonney as told by the lawman who ended his notorious career. While explaining the public sympathy that people often accorded Bonney, Garrett challenges the glorified legends of the Kid with the genuine story of a reckless cowhand who became a hired gun. Combining the best elements of eyewitness history with the dramatic flair of a Western novel, this is the clearest account available of the career of a man some thought of as a murdering fiend and others as an American Robin Hood. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and generally underrated book
Although I enjoyed the book very much, I won't write a thousand-word rehash.I lived in BTK country in New Mexico and have been to all the locales mentioned in the book.I could almost smell the dry cottonwoods and taste the dust.It's still hard for me to imagine how much inhospitable territory those folks covered on horseback.The book is a good addition to others I have even though the publisher chose a cover that shows BTK incorrectly as "left-handed" from the old mirror-imaged ferrotype.

Some previous review(s) were right on: it IS much more interesting for me to read historical accounts by someone who was actually there - in this case, right in the very middle of the history. I found the vernacular language appropriate and interesting in itself. Readers that complained about the grammar, style, or rhythm of the book revealed their ignorance of those writing characteristics common in 1800's.Rather than reading this book, perhaps they would have preferred a modern movie with shorter, more simplistic lines and copious computer graphics explosions.

2-0 out of 5 stars An interesting book of sorts
This book starts out slow and dry.It didn't get exciting until Pat Garrett started to take over the story.This doesn't occur until about midway through the book.Don't expect this to be a screenplay for the movies Young Guns and Young Guns II.The book isn't that exciting but it does introduce you to an interesting character profile of Billy the Kid.Personally I feel that the first half of the book is fiction that is read for pure entertainment and the second half covers the real story of the Kid.I would recommend this book if you are interested in the Kids story and you want to read every angle of his story.

2-0 out of 5 stars Could have used a ghostwriter here!!!
Some very interesting facts are in this book. However, the book is dry and boring. So much work went into putting this book together, that it's a shame there wasn't a ghostwriter working with Mr. Garrett to capture the emotions and the urgency in what could have been a fascinating book. I'm afraid I only got halfway through this book, before I gave up. I hate to walk away from a book without finishing it... but there was no way I could finish this story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the best history is written by those who make it.
This is quite a work. A quasi-biography, a documentary and an adventure tale all rolled into one is the best I can do to try and classify it as something. Essentially, Garrett's book is generic - an oddity which caan only ever be a `one off' due entirely to the nature of the writers' relation to their subject.

Garrett and, to a lesser degree, Upson, write as technicians of fact-conveyance rather than writers. I found that this actually served to whet my appetite to learn more as I read. When you're hearing about a legend straight from the mouth of the horse that was chasing him, the awe you feel overrides your contempt for shoddy writing style.

Having said that, the book is just the right length and so is nowhere near as boring as the claims I had heard here and elsewhere prior to my buying and reading it. The writing, although nonchalantly functional most of the time, is kept tight which is necessary. To have imbued it with imaginative streaks and cosmetic touch-ups would have certainly destroyed the flow of what is, you'll soon find if you pick it up, a fast river of intrigue. Anyway, Upson has done quite a good job at injecting artistry in his sections so there is no really terrible lack of good writing here.

Of course, Garrett's leaden, subdued delivery do deaden the thrills a little. It's interesting how he balances his attitude toward `The Kid' throughout the book. At times, he seems to speak admirably of him (allbeit apparently with a false tone sometimes); at others, he seems genuinely distanced from him, almost indifferent to whether or not their paths will actually cross.

Biased? Of course it is. What do you expect? Even so, `The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid' is made the definitive work on the topic because it, like the legend it examines, is a product of the same time. The best way to read it is with an analytical mind. By all means, challenge Garrett on his words when you feel he's deviating from his function as a chronicler - that is the point of reading this book a hundred and twenty years later. Unlike more recent biographers who would do exhaustive research based on documents, wide-sweeping second-hand information and historical `givens', it's best to go straight to those `givens' yourself and get to grips with them. Sheriff Garrett's book is a remarkable fountain of first generation facts and factoids and it commands the respect of academics and casual readers alike because of its durability. After all, just how many accounts of book length from the Old West survive today, especially those that receive serious scrutiny from a variety of disciplines.

My only peeve lies in Garrett and Upson's ardent declarations regarding the aftermath of `The Kid's slaying. Why did they repeat themselves so many times that `The Kid' was dead and buried and `that was that'.It seems that Garrett was a little insecure in case he was challenged over the fate of his quarry. Whatever the case, the insecure tone he adopts in the last pages seems to somehow lend strength to the camp of `Flat Earthers' who claim that Billy the Kid survived into the next century....cue Brushy Bill Roberts......

5-0 out of 5 stars A valuable book because of the relationship of the author

The introduction to this book by J.C. Dyke is good, and explains a lot; especially the last paragraph, wherein he says,"The reading (andstudy) of [this book] is essential to an understanding of that mythicalhero, the Robin Hood of the Southwest, who was once just a bucktoothed,thieving, murderous little cowboy-gone-bad, Billy the Kid."

Ofcourse, the author, Pat Garrett, was not an unprejudiced reporter ofevents, for it was he who ended the life of William Bonney, also known asWilliam Antrim (his foster father's surname).It is also interesting Ithink, in passing, to mention that Billy the Kid was not a product of theWest, but a transplanted New Yorker.

Elsewhere, you will read that PatGarrett's writing effort is poor, and leaves much to be desired.Hereadily admits it.In his own words, he says, "I make no pretensionto literary ability, but propose to give to the public in intelligibleEnglish, 'a round, unvarnished tale,' unadorned with superfluousverbiage."

Garrett is motivated, he says, by an "impulse tocorrect the thousand false statements which have appeared in the newspapersand in yellow-covered cheap novels."

And, there is no doubt atall that the stories of Billy's exploits were greatly exaggerated by anEastern press eager for stories of gunplay and adventure on the Westernfrontier.Today's myth of Billy the Kid is largely descended from the pulpstories created by the inflamed minds of Eastern "journalists"and the latter-day Hollywood screen-writers who have made no attempt at allto portray the truth.

Pat Garrett claims to have known Billythroughout the period known as the "Lincoln County Wars," andhaving listened to Bonney's reminiscences around campfires and says he hasinterviewed many persons since Bonney's death.That much would seem to beundisputed.

Bonney was born in 1859, six years after the birth ofanother Southwestern hardcase, John Wesley Hardin.In fact, they werecontemporaries and were raising hell at the same time.Bonney, however,died young at the age of 21, in 1881.Hardin died at the age of 42--twiceBilly's age--in 1895.And, if the rumors are true, Hardin probably killedtwice as many men.They both started young.Both are reputed to have hadfearful tempers.Neither were killed in the face-to-face "quickdraw" shootouts so dear to the hearts of Hollywood writers.Instead,both of their executioners used stealth to kill theirquarries.

According to Garrett, in Pete Maxwell's darkened bedroom,where he shot Billy to death, Billy was holding a butcher knife in one handand drawing his double-action Colt "Lightning" revolver("self-cocker") with the other, while asking in Spanish,"Quien es? Quien es?"("Who is it?Who is it?")Theywere, again according to Garrett, at point blank range.The only otherwitness was Pete Maxwell.There are other versions to the story, includingone which insists that Bonney was unarmed except for the knife, which hehad used to cut off a chunk of beef from a hanging carcass outside, becausehe was hungry.

My question is this: it is undisputed that he washolding the knife, and the reason for which he had it.So, where was thebeef?It is unlikely that he ate it raw, or stuck it in a pocket. Probably he was holding it in his other hand, intending to cook it.Inwhich case, if he had a revolver tucked in his waistband, he must have hadto drop the beef to fetch his revolver.

It is probably of littleimportance; a Billy Bonney armed with a butcher knife, at close quarters,would still have needed killing.But, did he make the fatal mistake ofcoming to a gunfight armed only with a knife?

I think that this is animportant book, if for no other reason than the relationship that existedbetween the author and William Bonney.I recommend it.My version is inthe hard cover.

Joseph Pierre

... Read more

36. Return with Honor
by Scott O'Grady
Hardcover: 224 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$0.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385483309
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The American pilot who was shot down over Bosnia provides a candid, inside account of his ordeal, struggle for survival, and rescue. 75,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars Teaches a survivor spirit
This book will give you a greater sense of awe for the people in uniform who fight for our freedoms. The author gives wonderful details in describing fighter jets, survival procedures and the comraderie of people who have a common goal and purpose. Even though it is very detailed, he keeps the writing interesting. I've read this at least three times over and have purchased copies for two different people I know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Primer for survival situations
An easy read and a great story! I attended Air Force survival training in Spokane back in the '70s, and this book shows just how valuable that training can be. Scott did everything right, and as a result he lived to tell us his inspiring tale. Should be required reading for anyone attending the school at Fairchild, and maybe it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching story
This narritive of survival by Capt. Scott O'Grady is a powerfull story. I highly recomend this for all christian adults. This story does heavily focus on the religious aspect of Capt. O'Grady but it does so in a way that will move anyone who is willing to keep an open mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful and Inspiratoinal
I used to work for the Air Force as part of a large program to support the effective operation of electronic warfare equipment, so I had a pretty good understanding of some aspects of the shootdown in 1995.The book went far beyond the shootdown into a gut-wrenching story of survival.I almost felt like I was there.Scott then gave a good description of all the celebration and hoopla that followed.However, in my opinion, the best part of the story begins with "Amid the hoopla...". Scott showed true humility in recognizing all the players that made such a positive difference in his life, and in others.And, most important, he recognized that our devotion to material possessions and pre-occupation with self-serving actions really mean little or nothing in our lifetime.Our faith in God and our actions which are inspired by that faith are what's really important in our earthly existence.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Plane, Great Person
I wood recomend this book to any person young or old. This great book about a stranded F-16 pilot shot down over Bosina. The detail is amazing and so are the flash-backs. The way he described it made you feel like you were there!!! ... Read more

37. John Adams
by David McCullough
Hardcover: 752 Pages (2001-05-22)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$6.25
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Asin: 0684813637
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot -- "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him -- who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries. In particular, the more than one thousand surviving letters between John and Abigail Adams, nearly half of which have never been published, provide extraordinary access to their private lives and make it possible to know John Adams as no other major American of his founding era.

As he has with stunning effect in his previous books, McCullough tells the story from within -- from the point of view of the amazing eighteenth century and of those who, caught up in events, had no sure way of knowing how things would turn out. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, the British spy Edward Bancroft, Madame Lafayette and Jefferson's Paris "interest" Maria Cosway, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the scandalmonger James Callender, Sally Hemings, John Marshall, Talleyrand, and Aaron Burr all figure in this panoramic chronicle, as does, importantly, John Quincy Adams, the adored son whom Adams would live to see become President.

Crucial to the story, as it was to history, is the relationship between Adams and Jefferson, born opposites -- one a Massachusetts farmer's son, the other a Virginia aristocrat and slaveholder, one short and stout, the other tall and spare. Adams embraced conflict; Jefferson avoided it. Adams had great humor; Jefferson, very little. But they were alike in their devotion to their country.

At first they were ardent co-revolutionaries, then fellow diplomats and close friends. With the advent of the two political parties, they became archrivals, even enemies, in the intense struggle for the presidency in 1800, perhaps the most vicious election in history. Then, amazingly, they became friends again, and ultimately, incredibly, they died on the same day -- their day of days -- July 4, in the year 1826.

Much about John Adams's life will come as a surprise to many readers. His courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits that few would have dared and that few readers will ever forget.

It is a life encompassing a huge arc -- Adams lived longer than any president. The story ranges from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the Versailles of Louis XVI, from Spain to Amsterdam, from the Court of St. James's, where Adams was the first American to stand before King George III as a representative of the new nation, to the raw, half-finished Capital by the Potomac, where Adams was the first President to occupy the White House.

This is history on a grand scale -- a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.Amazon.com Review
Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends. As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation.

Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents Washington and Jefferson, whobracketed his tenure in office, Adams emerges from McCullough'sbrilliant biography as a truly heroic figure--not only for hissignificant role in the American Revolution but also for maintaininghis personal integrity in its strife-filled aftermath. McCulloughspends much of his narrative examining the troubled friendship betweenAdams and Jefferson, who had in common a love for books and ideas butdiffered on almost every other imaginable point. Reading his pages, itis easy to imagine the two as alter egos. (Strangely, both died on thesame day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.)But McCullough also considers Adams in his own light, and the portraitthat emerges is altogether fascinating. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (886)

5-0 out of 5 stars Meet His Rotundity, the Mad Monarchist and Warmonger
`Politics are a labyrinth without a clue'. That's what John Adams wrote during a Congress session in 1775, before the Declaration of Independence was written. At that time, he said, only about a third of the delegates were `true blue' Americans. Even during the following decades, the `founding fathers' were not exactly of one mind. The poison spread at the election in 1800 when Adams ran for re-election against his VP Jefferson was on par with what we get served today.

One of the boulders on my Mount Readmore finally got moved out of the way. This book has been standing on my shelf for years, winking at me quietly. There are others that have been calling out longer.
I have recently become a semi-Bostonian myself and furthermore, I have started a major reading expedition paddling down Henry James River. Both changes made me think that I really needed to attend to Mr. Adams in the McCullough version, finally. I knew that I would enjoy it, and I did. Have I learned much? Let me see.

I have learned that almost every street and building and bridge and river in and around Boston is called after somebody who was somehow related to Adams. Even my daughter's classmate is not just from Braintree, but from the place where Adams came from (before Quincy was spun off).
I learned that Adams was not happy with Paine's Common Sense, though that book gave a vital impulse to independence. Adams thought it was too destructive without building. He was even less happy with Rights of Man, after the French Revolution had taken off, and that started rather a feud with his pal Jefferson, who turned out to be quite on the other side of the brand new party divide.

I learned that Adams defended the shooters of the Boston Massacre in court. The man had guts. I learned that he wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, which is said to be the oldest functioning written constitution in the world, practically single-handedly. (He was a solid balance of power advocate, based on Ciceronic wisdom.)
I learned that he was a natural as a parliamentarian, but that success as a diplomat came hard. As a VP he was like a fish on dry land. As a president he lived in splendid misery.
Despite his often alleged vanity, the man lived in modesty and was practically a pauper during most of his years in service, for all his merits and sacrifice.

I learned that the level of personal enmity and spite between some of the grandees was considerable. Jefferson was a different case, much friendship mixed in with the rivalry and the backstabbing, until open antagonism and rivalry broke out, which was to be drowned in decades of correspondence later.
I learned that the practice of sticking exaggerated political labels on opponents is as old as the US: Adams was a Monarchist and a warmonger like others are called Communist or Fascist or Muslim.
Republicans and Federalists of the party divide at the time were at each other's throats just as much as current parties and teabags.

McCullough's books are of a kind that is rare in Germany, a good example of what one might call popular historiography. I owe a considerable part of my picture of the US to some of them, like his Great Bridge and his Truman biography. Possibly the Adams book gave me less news, as I had read plenty of other stuff about the period, but it is certainly worth the trouble.
If I want to look for downsides, I find them in the fact that the book must remain superficial in most of its subjects: even with 650 pages, it can just skim the surface of most problems of the man's life if it wants to tell us the bare facts of it.
Adams is painted as a solid, honest, unobjectionable pillar of the political class of his time. Not in every respect a very interesting man. Not enough flaws. Not enough big mistakes, at least not in this view (well, apart from a shameful Alien and Sedition Act; and a bad temper). Most things that he got accused of he was rather innocent of. On the other hand, Hamilton and Jefferson are the villains of the piece. Adams maneuvered himself between the camps and lost his re-election.

Maybe the portrait is a little too uncritical? To some people, Adams' `manifest integrity' seems to have been `unsettling'.
Jefferson wrote about him that Adams was not good at understanding people's motivations. That is of course a serious flaw not only in a diplomat, but also in a president. And in a football coach and in about half the professions that I can think of.
`Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right.' (That would also have been a good title for my review.)

My conclusion (until further notice, i.e. until somebody convinces me otherwise): an honest, capable man who did his best in nearly impossible circumstances. He should be more appreciated, e.g. by granting him a 25 or 200 Dollar bill, to pull even with his nemesis Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to Top This One
A couple of years ago I read McCullough's Truman and was very impressed.So, while I had high hopes for his biography of John Adams, I was skeptical that its quality would match that of his Truman masterpiece.

Indeed John Adams did not match Truman.It exceeded Truman!

Some seem to believe that a good biographer must view his subject as equal parts good and bad, that if the author is too kind to the subject then the biography has little merit.I totally dissagree with this notion for the reason that there have been truly great men and women in our history for whom the positives of their character and achievements far outweigh the negatives.When this is the case, it should be adequately represented in the biography.

In the case of John Adams McCullough clearly finds much more to admire about Mr. Adams than to despise.His shine is bright and his warts few and small.McCullough is correct to accurately reflect the high quality of the character and achievements of John Adams, one of our truly brilliant founding fathers.

Adams and his wife Abigail (who was also clearly very intelligent and highly influential to her husband) were both prolific writers of letters, and McCullough draws heavily from this primary source.Quotes from their correspondance adds much texture and context to the historical background and trajectory of Mr. Adams's career.

But, where the book really shines is, surprisingly, in the final two chapters.Until then, it was a good, but not great book.The quality of the last two chapters made it an exceptional book.Adams as the old man, reconciled with his old friend Jefferson, reconciled to his past frustrations and grievances, and reconciled to his own mortality, is where I found the true greatness of this man as expertlly conveyed by the author.The author's treatment of the near simultaneous passing of Adams and Jefferson astonishingly on July 4th, 1826, exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence, was incredible and it brought the story of the two "fathers" of the Declaration full circle to one final, unbelievable conclusion.

I've embarked on a project to read a biography of every president in order through Reagan.Two down and 38 more to go.I doubt any of the remaining 38 will top this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars Why John Adams is cooler than Thomas Jefferson
This should be the subtitle because it seems the author spends as much time criticizing Jefferson as he does praising Adams.His criticism is offered without substantiation and is obviously based on opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome on a number of levels.
McCullough has done more than simply written a brilliant biography about a great American and mensch, he has brought him to life, literarily if not literally.

As well as many of those around him, such as Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington et al.

And the American Revolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb biography of an American hero
This is one of the very best books I have read in the past decade.When I opened it, John Adams was a cipher to me: just a name ("one of the Founding Fathers"). By the time I finished it, John Adams almost felt like an old friend.A truly American hero, clearly cast in the American mold: a hard-working, thrifty, devout, and utterly incorruptible New England Yankee, who loved working his farm almost as much as he enjoyed reading the classics, and giving this country a giant assist in becoming independent.

As an added bonus, you get an entire picture of the American Revolution --- from Adams' point of view, naturally, but he saw almost everything and knew everybody.Additional fascinating portraits include: Ben Franklin as an old man, the celebrated pet of Parisian society; Thomas Jefferson (I began thinking of him as "Lord Jefferson," with his 200 slaves taking care of his every need from cradle to grave); George Washington (of course), and, shining through clearly, his beloved wife Abigail.Many minor portraits also fascinate: Alexander Hamilton, John Quincy Adams (his brilliant son), Louis XVI of France, and George III of England.Even Marie Antoinette makes a stellar appearance.

Over time, this book almost approaches being a dual biography, of Adams and Jefferson, two totally different men: Adams thrifty and Jefferson spendthrift; Adams dying with money in the bank and Jefferson dying in deep debt.These two became fast friends in France, and then Jefferson turned them into political enemies by undermining Adams while serving as Adams' Vice-President.

In a surprise turn of events, the friendship resumed many years later, when all of the political strife was so much water under the bridge.In one of history's most amazing coincidences, both men died on the same exact day: July 4th, 1826 --- the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Adams enjoyed his retirement, after his spell in the White House.He lived to see his son elected President, and as he aged, his thoughts grew deeper and deeper.The world became more and more miraculous to him.One diary entry reads:

"I never delighted much in contemplating commas and colons, or in spelling or measuring syllables, but now...if I attempt to look at these little objects, I find my imagination, in spite of all my exertions, roaming in the Milky Way, among the nebulae, those mighty orbs, and stupendous orbits of suns, planets, satellites, and comets, which compose the incomprehensible universe; and if I do not sink into nothing in my own estimation, I feel an irresistible impulse to fall on my knees, in adoration of the power that moves, the wisdom that directs, and the benevolence that sanctifies this wonderful whole."

This sounds very close to a theophany, perhaps the last thing one would have expected in a biography of an industrious, common-sense farmer and lawyer.

"Take him for all in all, we shall not see his like again."

A truly wonderful book. ... Read more

38. Truman
by David McCullough
Hardcover: 1120 Pages (1992-06-15)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$11.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671456547
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A biography of the U.S. president explores Truman's brutal frontier childhood, his education, his dogged optimism, his rise through the ranks of the Pendergast machine that controlled Missouri politics, and more. 100,000 first printing. Tour.Amazon.com Review
This warm biography of Harry Truman is both an historical evaluationof his presidency and a paean to the man's rock-solid American values. Trumanwas a compromise candidate for vice president, almost an accidental presidentafter Roosevelt's death 12 weeks into his fourth term. Truman's stunningcome-from-behind victory in the 1948 election showed how his personalqualities of integrity and straightforwardness were appreciated by ordinaryAmericans, perhaps, as McCullough notes, because he was one himself. Hispresidency was dominated by enormously controversial issues: he dropped theatomic bomb on Japan, established anti-Communism as the bedrock of Americanforeign policy, and sent U.S. troops into the Korean War. In this winner ofthe 1993 Pulitzer Prize, McCullough argues that history has validated most ofTruman's war-time and Cold War decisions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (332)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Writing, a great read regarding a greater man
This is the largest, yet best book, I have ever read. McCullough's biography reads more like a novel and keeps you hooked from page 1- 992. I recommend this book to anyone interested in early 20th century American history or presidential history. I love this book and feel in love with Truman that when he dies I almost cried.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truman
I received the audiobook in excellent condition and very quickly.( However, I did not realize it was abridged and I was looking for an unabridged cd set.)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing and Epic Work
I was originally a little intimidated by this book due to its size (about 1,000 pages), but I bought it after seeing so many glowing reviews of it.

I absolutely loved this book. It really is an extensive biography of the 33rd President of the United States. It starts out with Truman's grandparent's move to Missouri, tracks his life through childhood, his service in the Army during World War I, and then his return to Missouri and his involvement in Jackson County politics and the powerful Pendergast political machine. Truman is then elected to the U.S. Senate and explains his career there including the Truman Commission. It covers the election of 1944 and his brief stint as vice president.

The best part of the book, and probably the reason is exists at all, is his presidency. Truman was a man who was vice president when Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House. His death was shocking to the nation, even though his failing health made it inevitable. Truman suddenly found himself with the weight of the world on his shoulders and the burden of the presidency itself. Throughout his presidency, the book looks at major decisions and events during that period. This includes the Potsdam Conference, the use of atomic weapons against Japan that ended World War II, the aid to Greece and Turkey as part of containment, the Marshall Plan, the decision to recognize the State of Israel, when he sent troops to Korea, his decision to nationalize the steel industry amidst an impending strike, among others. It covers the election of 1948 when Truman set off on his famous Whistle Stop tour of the country and his surprise defeat of Dewey. The final part of the book covers his post-presidency when he returned to Missouri to live out the rest of his years.

The book really is almost like an epic novel of a man's life. A true American journey. The size of the book might be daunting to some, but for me it was a real page-turner. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truman
Limited on time? Eye sight or mobility issues? Truman by David McCullough on disc is a super way to take in his work. A must read . . .or hear. You will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truman Bio a Hit
I bought this Truman biography for my 94-year-od mother-in-law at her request. And she read it immediately after reading another Truman biography that I also bought for her (and thank goodness received before this bio) by his daughter Margaret. As my mother-in-law had already concluded from Margaret's book that Truman was a great man because of his love for his wife and daughter, she was willing to stick out reading this "heavy" (and by that she meant weight not content) book - loving every minute of it. The delivery was timely. And the book arrived in very good shape. All in all, a very successful purchase. ... Read more

39. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
Hardcover: 832 Pages (2004-04-26)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200092
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades," now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington's aide-de-camp, a member of the Constitutional Convention, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, leader of the Federalist party, and the country's first Treasury secretary. With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

For the first time, Chernow captures the personal life of this handsome, witty, and perennially controversial genius and explores his poignant relations with his wife Eliza, their eight children, and numberless friends. This engrossing narrative will dispel forever the stereotype of the Founding Fathers as wooden figures and show that, for all their greatness, they were fiery, passionate, often flawed human beings.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow's vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America's founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.Amazon.com Review
Building on biographies by Richard Brookhiser and Willard Sterne Randall, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton provides what may be the most comprehensive modern examination of the often overlooked Founding Father. From the start, Chernow argues that Hamilton’s premature death at age 49 left his record to be reinterpreted and even re-written by his more long-lived enemies, among them: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe. Hamilton’s achievements as first Secretary of the Treasury, co-author of The Federalist Papers, and member of the Constitutional Convention were clouded after his death by strident claims that he was an arrogant, self-serving monarchist. Chernow delves into the almost 22,000 pages of letters, manuscripts, and articles that make up Hamilton’s legacy to reveal a man with a sophisticated intellect, a romantic spirit, and a late-blooming religiosity.

One fault of the book, is that Chernow is so convinced of Hamilton’s excellence that his narrative sometimes becomes hagiographic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chernow’s account of the infamous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. He describes Hamilton’s final hours as pious, while Burr, Jefferson, and Adams achieve an almost cartoonish villainy at the news of Hamilton’s passing.

A defender of the union against New England secession and an opponent of slavery, Hamilton has a special appeal to modern sensibilities. Chernow argues that in contrast to Jefferson and Washington’s now outmoded agrarian idealism, Hamilton was "the prophet of the capitalist revolution" and the true forebear of modern America. In his Prologue, he writes: "In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did." With Alexander Hamilton, this impact can now be more widely appreciated. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (295)

2-0 out of 5 stars Pricing
Price too high I will not purchase an e-book over 9.99. no thanks. not when there are free stuff out there and not when there are stuff out there for 9.99 Oh. BTW. I have read this book but I would like a search able version. stop raping your customers.

Overall the book was interesting as heck. this election was more violent in terms of verbage than ours.

5-0 out of 5 stars satisfied customer
Satisfied with this purchase. Great biography. I reccommend it. Hamilton was an extradinary man, who played a very important part in the founding of our country, but who also had a very dark side to him. Chernov is an excelent story teller. You will not be able to put this book down.

4-0 out of 5 stars The most controversial Founder
"Today, we are indisputably the heirs to Hamilton's America, and to repudiate his legacy is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world."Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, p. 6 (ending the Introduction).

This book was given to me by a former boss and warm friend out in New Mexico with whom I love to debate the Constitution and politics.When he first heard an idea of mine for amending the Constitution he challenged me thusly:"Do you think you're more enlightened than Madison?"I don't (necessarily) but Alexander Hamilton, the historic rival of Madison and his partner/patron Thomas Jefferson, certainly thought so about himself.

Hamilton was one of the few delegates at the Constitutional Convention who would have recognized (and approved of) the modern imperial presidency.(He in fact argued for a President and Senators who would serve for life.)His real problem with the Constitution was that it failed to make the central government strong enough, a deficiency that later Presidents (especially Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, the most radical Hamiltonians) corrected in spades.(Lincoln, in case you're wondering, was a Hamiltonian too, though perhaps not as radical.)Yet, he remained loyal to the system of government he helped to create (and through "The Federalist Papers" did even more to promote) for all the 17 years between the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and his untimely death in New York, where he was rowed after his duel with the today otherwise largely forgotten Aaron Burr.

227 pages (about the length of Forrest McDonald's biography of Hamilton, the only other one I have read) of this 731-page book are devoted to Hamilton's life prior to the Constitutional Convention, a span of 32 years.During this time Hamilton was born on Nevis, a British colony in the Caribbean; escaped from his agonizing orphanhood there with a scholarship to King's College in New York (rechristened Columbia after the Revolution); put schoolbooks aside to fight in the Revolution from 1775 until the end, including several years as George Washington's aide-de-camp; married the beautiful, respectably wealthy Elizabeth Schuyler and started a family; and served in the Confederation Congress and as a lawyer in New York.All this would have satisfied most veterans of the Revolutionary War, but not Hamilton; nor was Washington, Hamilton's warmest friend and patron, satisfied to embark on his service as President without Hamilton's advice.He became the first Secretary of the Treasury and the man who made the new nation financially viable.

The arrangements Hamilton made to do that earned him the enmity of Jefferson, who had become Secretary of State, and Madison, who became what amounts to the first House Minority Leader as the first American political parties coalesced around support for or opposition to Hamilton's ideas.The increasing repression in France by its revolutionary leadership, and the war fought to contain or reverse the French Revolution by the rest of Western Europe, lent an emotional dimension to the party rivalry which caused American political leaders (Hamilton not excepted) to become increasingly unhinged, expecting (and sometimes receiving) violence from their opponents.Of course, it would do a great injustice to dismiss the politics of the 1790's with "they were all crazy," but Chernow's approach to the period comes close to stating that Hamilton was sane and his opponents were crazy and/or evil, which is only slightly less of an injustice, and for which I deduct one star from the book.

In this respect, the most problematic part of the book are the nine chapters devoted to the John Adams administration, which lasted four years but must have seemed much longer to those who lived through it.Due to the danger of war with France after negotiations for a principled neutrality broke down, Washington and Hamilton were called out of retirement to take up major generalships in the new national army (which numbered about ten thousand out of a population of four or five million).Washington's health would not permit him to serve an active role (even prior to his death in December 1799), so Hamilton more or less ran the army, and was very disappointed when Adams concluded peace with France and concluded the US no longer needed much of an army.Hamilton saw this as somewhere between "not in the national interest" and "treason" and began pushing his, Washington's, and Adams' party, the Federalists, to back Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who unlike Adams had been at the Constitutional Convention, for President in 1800.By the time of the election Adams had fired his whole cabinet, who were Hamilton's men anyway, and Hamilton had written a long pamphlet calling him, essentially, crazy.This is problematic in that I strongly believe Adams made the right call.Twenty-nine years (the period of time between the end of the Revolution and the War of 1812) is the third-longest period the US has ever gone without fighting a major war, for which Adams deserves substantial credit.

All that aside, there is a lot of good information here, and Chernow greatly humanizes his subject.Both Hamilton's flaws and his strengths are revealed and it's clear Hamilton's merits outweigh his flaws.Chernow has previously written about titans of the Gilded Age whose business conquests would have been impossible without the financial system devised by Hamilton.I may or may not read more books by him, but fully expect to read more books about Hamilton and his friends and enemies made during the Washington administration.This book itself is well worth the reading and, subject to the caveat above, I would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in this period of American history.Four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The case for learning more about A Hamilton
Chernow chronicles Founding Father Hamilton from birth to death, including a brief look at the Hamilton family after his death.This biography of one of our more controversial and less understood founders is excellent.While Chernow seems to be sympathetic to Hamilton as a misunderstood founder, Chernow neither denies nor glosses over Hamilton's mistakes and personal faults.

This biography makes an important contribution to our overall understanding of Hamilton and the other founding fathers, who argued over states' rights and federalism, capitalism, and the intended course of the revolution to name a few.These men (and their wives) were petty, vain, self-interested, and hypocritical, not unlike politicians today, but as we learn from Chernow, Hamilton and the other founders created a system of government, proving the test of time.

I have always believed Hamilton deserved more veneration as a founder and Chernow explains in detail why.Hamilton is much more than the man who dueled Burr and appears on the US $10.Hamilton was a Revolutionary War hero, advocate for the Constitution (Federalist Papers), and founder of our market economy and financial system.Hamilton was a leading supporter of a strong executive, implied powers, European neutrality, a standing army and navy, and abolition of slavery.In many ways, good or bad, we live in a country much closer to Hamilton's philosophy than Jefferson's or Madison's.

As excellent as Chernow's biography of Hamilton is, there are instances in which the author "channels" Hamilton and draws favorable conclusions impossible to make, such as Hamilton's warmth for Washington, love of Eliza, and feelings prior to the duel.Perhaps, all true, but we cannot know for certain.Contrarily, Chernow corrects assertions that Hamilton was an "out-of-control" amorous man and does not dwell ad nausea on Hamilton's one known extra martial affair.

Overall, this is an excellent biography that narrates an extraordinary life of an exceptional and flawed founder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Biographer-in-Chief
Here is another riveting, fascinating, compulsively readable biography from the greatest practictioner of the art now in business. This man could write the history of paperclips and make it fun and exciting to read. While it helps to be retired or unemployed, or laid up in bed with a broken leg to find the time to read his biographies, it is time well spent. The narratives never flag or fail. I salute you, Ron Chernow, and nominate you for the Medal of Freedom for your contribution to American letters. ... Read more

40. Galloping Ghost: The Extraordinary Life of Submarine Captain Eugene Fluckey
by Carl Lavo
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2007-05-11)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$19.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591144566
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Eugene Fluckey was one of the great naval heroes of World War II. His exploits as captain of the submarine USS Barb revolutionized undersea warfare and laid the groundwork for the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine fleet that today is the primary deterrent and capability of the United States against nuclear attack. Now a retired rear admiral living in Annapolis, Maryland, he is the most decorated living American, having earned numerous presidential, congressional, and military honors, including the Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses. In the war against Japan, Fluckey fired the first ballistic missiles from a submarine, sank more tonnage than any other U.S. submarine skipper; including an aircraft carrier, a cruiser, a destroyer, and blew up a train after landing submariners-turned-saboteurs on mainland Japan in 1945. The title of this biography is the legendary submariner s nickname,"Galloping Ghost, " a reference to the hit-and-run tactics that left his enemies baffled about the direction of his attacks.

Here is the admiral's story, told with the exclusive access to Admiral Fluckey's personal papers and based on interviews with him, his family, Barb shipmates, official Navy documents, and the recollections of his contemporaries. The author, Carl LaVO, who spent years researching the subject, offers not only a dramatic, action-filled account of Fluckey's wartime experiences, but also a lively description of his life before and after that captures the infectious optimism contributing to his many successes.

LaVO describes meeting the ninety-year-old retired admiral: With a full shock of hair, trim build, natty clothes, and buoyant demeanor, Fluckey looked much younger and still displayed his characteristic dry wit, despite the fact that Alzheimer's disease had robbed him of many memories. When asked about a long-forgotten episode of his life, the admiral replied with a twinkle in his eyes and hearty laugh,I don t know. You tell me.LaVO took up his challenge and with this book presents Admiral Fluckey's full biography.

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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galloping Ghost
The story was well written, by an iterviewer. It provided some additional details that were not in "Thunder Below" and were helpful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Terror along the China Coast
This book gives the reader a comprehensive look at one of WWII's most daring leaders, his background, his education, his drive.As a past submariner myself, one can appreciate the work and dedication it took to get the details in this biography correct and interesting at the same time.The post war years and the photos were most interesting to me.If you like WWII history and you can appreciate the extrodinary efforts of a true American hero, this book will give you great insight into the attributes and leadership qualities that men like Eugene B. Fluckey exhibited during very difficult circumstances in their service to our country.

4-0 out of 5 stars Galloping Ghost
My husband is a former submariner and I purchase most of the Submarine books for him then they are passed on to former sub-buddies.
I would be interested in being notified of sub-books for my husband.

Joan Hart

4-0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read for submarine enthusiasts
This book will appeal to anyone with an interest in US submarine warfare during World War II, particularly the character and personalities of the captains of the boats.It is competently written, and provides a detailed account of the WWII patrols of the USS Barb - not an insignificant feat for events that occurred 60 years ago - along with considerable insight into the family background, personal development, and military career of Eugene Fluckey.It is unabashedly positive in regard to Adm. Fluckey, who was clearly a remarkable individual.The material summarizing Adm. Fluckey's post-war career was informative, albeit perhaps a bit more spotty than the wartime chronicles, and I was disappointed to not be able to gain more insight as to why such an outstanding operational officer was not able to more succesfully advance in the Navy in later years, beyond a suggestion of 'politics'.While I find William Tuohy's biography of Richard O'Kane (The Bravest Man) to be slightly more analytical and comprehensive, this book is enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone interested in naval history, particularly those with a focus on submarines, and remarkable naval officers.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest...
Noted submarine author Carl Lavo turns his attention to one of the most colorful characters in the WWII submarine skipper pantheon, Eugene Fluckey.I wasn't sure how well this slim (about 200 pages) volume would stand up in comparison to Fluckey's own book, "Thunder Below".Given LaVo's past track record writing on submarine topics, I needn't have worried.Whereas "Thunder Below" really concentrates on the day to day exploits of the USS Barb, "Galloping Ghost" is really about Fluckey himself, and more importantly the impact he had on others and on the US submarine force.

Fluckey, with blue eyes, red hair and enough freckles to win a contest at age 6, is a strong athlete and student while growing up in Washington, DC.Inspired by a neighbor to consider a naval career, he forgoes a chance to study at Princeton and attempts to get an appointment to the US Naval Academy.Through the graces of Illinois representative William Holaday (his family had roots in Illinois), he manages to gain acceptance at the Naval Academy. We follow Fluckey up to the time of the war, and his efforts to get assigned to a combat submarine.Finally (through some finagling on his part), he ends up commanding The Gato class submarine Barb.

The book details each of Fluckey's war patrols on Barb.The sinking of the Japanese carrier Unyo, and the rescue of British and Australian POWs from sunken Japanese transports, the famous rocket attack and the daring landing on Japanese territory to destroy a train are all related.Fluckey's adventures in running Barb toward the dock at high speed so that FDR can get movie films from his wheelchair add some comic relief.While on furlough at home, Fluckey is told he will receive the Medal of Honor for his exploits, he objects that it is for "dead heroes". He finally accepts it not for himslef, but on behalf of his Barb crew.

Fluckey's service as Nimitz's aide after the war, his command of USS Halfbeak, and his promotion at a very young age to admiral is covered.His role in the time when the US Navy converts its submarine force to nuclear power and missile firing capabilities find Fluckey deeply involved at the forefront of these changes.Even in retirement, he was a sought after inspirational speaker.In later years, he treated the surviving crew members of the USS Barb to several exotic trips, paying for everything with proceeds from the book "Thunder Below".When given a standing ovation at the 1995 50th Anniversary of the war's end in Pearl Harbor, Fluckey thanked the crowd, "on behalf of that standing ovation for my crew."

I heartily recommend this book to all.Eugene Fluckey's irrepressible nature, humor, and character come through, and his self-deprecating ways, always trying to turn the focus on the fact that he led a crew, an extraordinary crew on Barb, and that it was never about him.This book sits next to "Thunder Below" on my shelf, and I am sure I will reread it in years to come.

"Put more into life than you expect to get out of it.Drive yourself and lead others. Make others feel good about themselves; they will outperform your expectations, and you will never lack for friends".Eugene B. Fluckey.
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