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1. The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust
2. The Unknown Terrorist: A Novel
3. Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary
4. Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work
5. Journal of the Unknown Prophet
6. Unknown Means
7. The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese
8. Portrait of an Unknown Woman:
9. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
10. The Unknown Battle of Midway:
11. Lincoln the Unknown
12. To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics)
13. Mao: The Unknown Story
14. Address Unknown
15. Unknown Waters: A First-Hand Account
16. At the Hands of Persons Unknown:
17. Unknown Armies (2nd Edition)
18. Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons
19. Unknown Man #89
20. Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns

1. The Unknown Black Book: The Holocaust in the German-Occupied Soviet Territories
Hardcover: 446 Pages (2007-12-30)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$23.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253349613
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
The Unknown Black Book provides, for the first time in English, a revelatory compilation of testimonies from Jews who survived open-air massacres and other atrocities carried out by the Germans and their allies in the occupied Soviet territories during World War II. These documents, from residents of cities, small towns, and rural areas, are first-hand accounts by survivors of work camps, ghettos, forced marches, beatings, starvation, and disease. Collected under the direction of two renowned Soviet Jewish journalists, Vasily Grossman and Ilya Ehrenburg, they tell of Jews who lived in pits, walled-off corners of apartments, attics, and basement dugouts, unable to emerge due to fear that their neighbors would betray them, which often occurred.

"The most comprehensive English collection of wartime and early postwar diaries, letters, testimonies, and other documents penned by Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust in the territories of Ukraine, Belorussia, Russia, and the Baltics. Anyone interested in studying and trying to make sense of the cruelty, collective violence, inhumane suffering, and trauma of genocide should read this unfiltered, detailed evidence of the Holocaust's impact on individuals and society." - Wendy Lower, author of Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine

"A unique source for a fuller understanding of the tragic events during these dark years." - Walter Laqueur, editor of The Holocaust Encyclopedia

"The Unknown Black Book invites the reader to enter an almost unimaginable world where atrocity became a way of life and survival a miracle...Killing on the Eastern front was raw and unmediated violence. The Unknown Black Book captures that grim reality of rave murder and at the same time disarms denial." - Richard Overy, author of The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Unkown Black Book
Amazing story of the German and Romainian occupation of Russia and Lithuania during the invasion of the Soviet Territories during the second world war and the attrocities perpetrated on their populations especially the Jewish population and the brutality they endured at the hands of the occupiers.

4-0 out of 5 stars great book
The Black Book, is a book incredibly great writen you will in enjoy it from the first page to the last!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Weeping in Babylon
It's a rare reader who'll be able to get through The Unknown Black Book without having to walk away from it several times. The tragedies it documents are just too horrible to bear except in small doses. Both text and photographs stun the imagination and freeze the heart.

The UBB is a narrative history of Nazi atrocities against the Jews in the German-occupied Soviet territories (Ukraine, Belorussia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, The Crimea, and Russia) during WWII. It contains 93 documents, almost half of which are written by eyewitnesses. The rest are compilations of various eyewitness accounts by the editors, a couple of Soviet Jewish journalists, Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, who began collecting material as early as 1942. The eyewitness accounts include diaries, letters, and testimonies of those Russian Jews who managed to survive the wholescale exterminations carried out by the Eastern Front Einsatzgruppen (one of which was commanded by a direct descendant of the composer Franz Schubert).

What can one possibly say that makes sense of the horrors described by the survivors? Tsodik Yakovlevich Bleyman, the sole survivor of the shtetl of Utyan, tells of being driven into the forest with dozens of men and women, who were then sprayed with machine gun fire by Lithuanian fascist collaborators (p. 310). Yevgenia Shendels tells of her father, a physician, being gunned down in the streets of Kursk because he resisted the Nazi murder of medical patients (p. 401). Tatyana Taranova, a student, remembers that one Jew was ill and in seclusion when an Einsatzgruppe exterminated everyone in his village. When he was told of their fate, he was simply unable to believe the fantastic tale. "He decided to ask the German commandant for help because he did not believe that they had shot the Jews. The commandant smiled and called over a soldier with a submachine gun, and the naive Jew was shot right there" (p. 209). Tales such as these defy comprehension. but they need to be told and heeded.

The UBB's own fate is almost as sad as the stories it documents. In 1942, just a few months after the German invasion of the USSR, the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee was formed to document German atrocities, publicize them throughout the world, and garner aid for the Soviet war effort. A parallel Jewish committee in the U.S., chaired by Albert Einstein, promised to publish an English version of the book when it was completed. The American "Black Book" was eventually released. But the Stalinist regime eventually decided that the Russian version was too "Zionist." In addition, the government was upset that the Russian version documented numerous cases of Russian collaboration with the Nazis, thereby revealing the extent of anti-semitism in the Soviet state. So the publication of the Russian Black Book was squelched, even though the manuscript was complete, and in 1952 Stalin executed some 13 "Zionist" Jews who had collaborated on the project.

The book surpressed by Stalin, the "Unknown" Black book, is finally available thanks to the efforts of the editors of this edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant part of history
In this amazing and original history we learn, finally, the first person accounts of the Nazi genocide perpetrated in Belarus, Ukraine and the Soviet Union by the Nazis during the Second World War.This part of the Holocaust has been only touched on elsewhereOrdinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.Despite the fact that Holocaust Museums such as Yad Vashem have documented the Nazi road of terror and death in the Ukraine, few histories have examined this from the point of view of the people involved.

This book bridges this gap, taking the reader deep into the land that was once flowing with Jewish Shtetle life.Soviet eye-witnesses such as Vasily Grossman, one of Russia's most celebrated journalists, show us the eyewitness accounts of Nazi atrocities and reminds us that almost half of the victims of the Holocaust were murdered here.

An amazing story that turns the heart and will shock the reader and one that fills in this gap of history.

Seth J. Frantzman

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling
I just finished reading The Unknown Black Book.It was emotionally exhausting.I have read many books about the Holocaust and seen my share of movies, both documentary films and features.This book, with its emphasis on how ordinary people treated their Jewish neighbors once the Germans invaded, was particularly compelling.No wonder the Kremlin refused to allow the Soviet journalist Ilya Ehrenburg to publish this material at the time.In the future, when I hear the phrase "the Germans and their allies," I will not only think about the governments that colluded in mass murder.I will also have to consider the otherwise ordinary citizens-in Ukraine, Belorussia, and the Baltic Region-who actively participated in genocide. ... Read more

2. The Unknown Terrorist: A Novel
by Richard Flanagan
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-01-21)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802143547
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

From the internationally acclaimed author of Gould’s Book of Fish comes an astonishing new novel, a riveting portrayal of a society driven by fear. What would you do if you turned on the television and saw you were the most wanted terrorist in the country? Gina Davies is about to find out when, after a night spent with an attractive stranger, she becomes a prime suspect in the investigation of an attempted terrorist attack. In The Unknown Terrorist, one of the most brilliant writers working in the English language today turns his attention to the most timely of subjects — what our leaders tell us about the threats against us, and how we cope with living in fear. Chilling, impossible to put down, and all too familiar, The Unknown Terrorist is a relentless tour de force that paints a devastating picture of a contemporary society gone haywire, where the ceaseless drumbeat of terror alert levels, newsbreaks, and fear of the unknown pushes a nation ever closer to the breaking point.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

1-0 out of 5 stars Ohhhhhh--I get it!
Aside from a lame, implausible plot that turns on coincidence and a case of cosmic grief that makes Strindberg seem like Neil Simon, this book groans under the weight of character stereotypes, relentless moralizing and gag-me symbolism. And, ohhhh (no spoiler here), the unknown terrorist is us.

Did those A-list reviewers read the same book I did?

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Never having read anything by Richard Flanagan, I picked this up on the strength of the very positive reviews printed on the cover of the paperback edition.What a disappointment!It reads like a slightly elaborated outline for a book.There is much moralizing and a whole lot of bad writing.The characters are poorly developed and one dimensional.Entire sections read like notes a screenwriter might write advising an actor how he should play his character and what his character's motivations are.The prose is awkward and unconvincing.There are pages and pages of "sly" and "ironic" observations with little connection to the characters.In short, theauthor tells us what we are supposed to think rather than letting us discover these things through the characters' actions and words.

I am sympathetic to the theme of the novel, which is the absurdity of Bush's endless "war on terrorism," and the State's eagerness to compromise basic civil liberties in its hunt for the bad guys.Unfortunately, Flanagan doesn't make me care about the characters.

The Jacket compares Flanagan's effort to le Carre, but a more appropriate comparison is to the most middling of graphic novelists.

Don't waste your time with this drivel.

5-0 out of 5 stars the most exciting novel I've read in a year -- and the most disturbing
The most exciting thrillers I've read in the last few years --- Peter Temple's Identity Theory, Charles McCarry's The Tears of Autumn and now this nail-biter from Richard Flanagan --- all have politics at their center.

There's a reason. Unlike far too many novels, they're about something that matters.

For Temple, what matters is digitized information, and who gets their hands on it, how they acquire it, and what they use it for. For McCarry, it's who really killed Jack Kennedy, and why. And for Flanagan, it's the terrorist threat --- just perhaps not the one you think.

Richard Flanagan? Don't fault yourself for not recognizing the best writer who ever left Tasmania for Australia. His first novel won major Australian literary prizes; his second sold 150,000 copies and was, unsurprisingly, named the Australian Booksellers Book of the Year; his third was also a smash. And long before "The Unknown Terrorist" made many "best of 2007" lists, it was snatched up for a film by DreamWorks.

So you get a bonus in this thriller --- it's a seriously good piece of writing. Better to think of it as a novel that just happens to be thrilling, for right off, Flanagan violates all the traditions.

Start with the dedication: for David Hicks. Another name you don't recognize? Hicks was the Australian who --- before 9/11 ---trained with Al Qaeda. He was captured in Afghanistan in December of 2001, detained at Guantanamo under conditions that led him to think seriously of suicide, and, in 2007, allowed to plead guilty to meaningless charges so he could finish the final months of a sentence that had, by then, been mostly suspended. Reality check: You don't dedicate a novel to a convicted terrorist if you think he actually did something.

And then, right in the introduction, Flanagan reveals that the character known as "the Doll"--- his main character --- will die. Name another thriller that blows what's traditionally a surprise and thus turns the exciting questions into why and how and who. Reality check: The only one that comes to mind is "The Day of the Jackal", in which, as we already know, Charles de Gaulle does not get assassinated.

And, just to top it off, there's not much to know about the main character. The Doll --- Gina Davies, but she's so isolated only a few people could tell you her name --- works the pole in a Sydney men's club. Mother dead, father long gone, she's a product of the dreary modern world quite familiar to her clients and everyone reading these words: the world "of the house, the job, the possessions and the cars, the friends and the renovations, the resort holidays and the latest gadgets." The Doll is, in her way, happy in this world; she accepts it, she considers herself a realist. Defined thus: "Realism is the embrace of disappointment, in order no longer to be disappointed."

The day the novel begins, there's a terrorist bomb scare --- three bombs found in backpacks --- at the Olympic stadium. Richard Cody covers the event for his TV station, an easy task, for no one knows anything and all he has to do is dispense fear on cue. After, he goes to a posh lunch in a mansion "refurbished in the contemporary manner of a corporate foyer," where he trades gossip in that all-too familiar "aggrandizement of self, as necessary as a bull elephant seal's bark." Then his boss demotes him.

At this end of this bad, bad day, Richard Cody wanders into the men's club. He has two "private shows" with the Doll, then wanders off into the night. The Doll has a more unusual evening. Though she usually goes home alone and counts her money --- she's close to the $50,000 she needs for the down payment on an apartment, which she plans to furnish just like the flats in the shelter magazines --- she runs into Tariq, a cute guy she's just met.

She spends a lubricious night with Tariq. In the morning, he's gone. But not forgotten --- he's the only suspect in the attempted bombing at the stadium. And when a mundane security video shows Tariq with the Doll, Richard Cody knows he has the story that will return him to prominence: the pole dancer as the terrorist's accomplice, the Doll as "the unknown terrorist".

In his notes on sources, Flanagan acknowledges "the grabs of politicians and the sermons of shock jocks --- no one, after all, was doing contemporary fiction better." He's a gifted student. His portrait of the inner workings of TV news is pretty much the way you probably imagine how it goes down at Fox. And as for the way politicians use "terrorism"....

But those are easy targets. Flanagan looks beyond them --- to you and me. His question is a simpler one: Why do we like fear? Why do we want to be frightened? Why do we need someone to tell us how to live? And, finally, why do we care so little about our freedom and our rights?

All of this, I emphasize, occurs in a novel you can't put down. A novel that makes you care a great deal about a character whose fate you've known from page three. A novel that leaves you wrestling with disquieting questions rarely aired in the media. (Gee, why is that?) A novel that is, in a word, nothing but trouble --- as a teacher recently discovered in an Irish pub in the Queensland, Australia city of Cairns. He sat down at the bar, opened "The Unknown Terrorist" and was soon asked to leave. Why? "Several customers had complained about the literature I was reading."

Put a plain brown wrapper on it, if you must. But do read this novel. And then ask yourself: Who is the unknown terrorist? If you get the answer I did, you have every reason to be scared.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring and disappointing
Having read Gould's Book of Fish I had high expectations for this book and was completely let down.It was tedious and lacked any meaningful suspense.The characters were two dimensional and the plot predictable.I only finished the book so that i could credibly warn others not to buy it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Stupid to Believe
This book starts well enough and could have been a very interesting read, but as the plot meanders on and on, the entire story relies on the main character's absolute stupidity. It just becomes exasperating after a while and makes you want to give up. I agree with the other reviewer's comment about the author's rants. While he is entitled to these, he should have spent more time on constructing a plot that holds the reader's interest. ... Read more

3. Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra
by John Derbyshire
Paperback: 416 Pages (2007-05-29)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$2.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452288533
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
For curious nonmathematicians and armchair algebra buffs, John Derbyshire discovers the story behind the formulae, roots, and radicals. As he did so masterfully in Prime Obsession, Derbyshire brings the evolution of mathematical thinking to dramatic life by focusing on the key historical players. Unknown Quantity begins in the time of Abraham and Isaac and moves from Abel’s proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois through modern-day advances. Derbyshire explains how a simple turn of thought from “this plus this equals this” to “this plus what equals this?” gave birth to a whole new way of perceiving the world. With a historian’s narrative authority and a beloved teacher’s clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy attempt at a difficult task
There's an inherent difficulty in writing a book of this kind; a significant portion of the material that the author is expected to cover is simply out of the range of readers that lack an extensive background in mathematics. It is, in fact, worse than physics, in which metaphors can be used to give the reader some inkling of what's going on, even if they don't completely understand the reasons behind it. That being said, Derbyshire does a worthy job at a devilishly difficult task.

The first half is a sparklingly written account of the early history of algebra going back to ancient times. In the second half the author starts to get into territories that many readers will have trouble following, and finally in the chapter on Alexander Grothendieck, gives up entirely on explaining the math, and sticks to the personal story of its creator. Some of these slower parts might have been enlivened by the stories of the mathematicians themselves, but with a few exceptions, mathematicians tend not to live scintillating lives outside of their work. Still, aside from some more abstruse portions of the latter half, Unknown Quantity should provide fascinating reading for most educated readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great reading. This guy does know how to write good math books!As good as "Prime Obsession"? Well, that one is a classic. This one is just a teeny shade below. I look forward to more books written by this author, I love them!

5-0 out of 5 stars Where is algebra going?
"Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra" is about the history of algebra. Generally speaking, the book is divided into three parts. They are "Part I: ... the adoption of ... symbolism--letters representing numbers--around the year 1600 ... Part II: the ... victories of ... symbolism and the ... detachment of symbols from ... arithmetic and geometry ... the discovery of new mathematical objects ... Part III: modern algebra--... placing ... the new mathematical objects on a firm logical foundation and the ascent to ever higher levels of abstraction."

One of the most distinctive features of the book is that the book has six math primers. The math primers are (1) numbers and polynomials, (2) cubic and quartic equation, (3) roots of unity, (4) vector spaces and algebras, (5) field theory, and (6) algebraic geometry. The first five primers are related to Galois Theory, which is a landmark of the history of algebra. Many new mathematical objects such as group, ring, and field are invented through the search of a general formula for the roots of a polynomial with order greater than or equal to five.

The author introduces algebra many times. " ... the complex numbers ... 'an algebra' ... quaternions can only be made to work as an algebra ... if you abandon this rule [commutative rule] ... eight-dimensional algebra, a system of numbers called octonious ... To make these work [as an algebra] ... abandon ... the associative rule ... for multiplication ... A vector space with this additional feature--that two vectors can not only be added but also [be] multiplied, giving another vector as the result--is called an algebra."

In addition, the author introduces many new concepts, theories, and conjectures: Poincare Conjecture, the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, homotopy group, homology groups, cohomology, manifold, category theory, and Lie group. The new branches of mathematics such as algebraic geometry, algebraic topology, and algebraic number are introduced, which are the products of utilizing the new mathematical objects on geometry, topology, and number theory respectively. One of the most interesting algebraic topology theorem is introduced: " ... Brouwer's Fixed-Point Theorem (Any continuous mapping of an n-ball into itself has a fixed point.)... For instance: Stir the coffee in your cup smoothly and carefully ... one ... point of the coffee ... will end up exactly where it started."

Other than algebra, the book provides a brief account for the major revolutions in the 19th century geometry. The five major revolutions are (1) Projective Geometry, (2) Non-Euclidean Geometry, (3) Riemann Surface ("replacement for the ordinary complex plane when investigating certain kinds of functions"), (4) Differential Geometry, and (5) "Group-ification" of Geometry. Several "new" concepts are introduced. They are (a) variety, (b) Erlangen Program, and (c) transformation group.

On the other hand, John Derbyshire covers the dilemmas of a mathematician. L.E.J. Brouwer (1881-1966) is considered as Poincare's most important successor in algebraic topology. He developed "... a doctrine called intuitionism, which sought to root all of math in the human activity of thinking sequential thoughts ... Leopold Kronecker objected bitterly on grounds ... call intuitionist ... that uncountable sets like R do not belong in math--that math can be developed without them ... and that mathematics should be rooted in counting, algorithms, and computation. ... Brouwer's version was called "intuitionism," Bishop's "constructivism." It is ... "constructivism" that these ideas are known nowadays ... leading exponent in the United States is Professor Harold Edwards ... Professor Edwards argues that, with easy access to powerful computers, constructivism is now coming into its own and that ... much of the mathematics done from 1880 onward will come to seem misconceived. ... his [Brouwer's] most important research contributions were in topology, Brouwer never gave courses on topology, but always on ... intuitionism. It seemed that he was no longer convinced of his results in topology because they were not correct from the point of view of intuitionism ... " Interested readers on what mathematics should be rooted shall refer to professor Edward's 2004 book, Essays in Constructive Mathematics, which "illustrates the approach very well."

4-0 out of 5 stars History of algebra
This book is partly a history book and partly an Algebra book.The first part of the book is about 70% history and 30% algebra, but the distribution gradually shifts so that the last third of the book is about 70% modern algebra and 30% history of the development of this subject.I addition to the narrative, there are six Math Primer chapters, covering:
· Numbers and polynomials
· Cubic and Quartic equations
· Roots of Unity
· Vector Space and Algebra
· Field Theory
· Algebraic Geometry

The back cover of the book says "For armchair mathematicians and algebra buffs, ....".I believe this to be a very accurate description of the book.Those who love algebra will love this book, those who like algebra will probably like this book, but those who are math phobic are likely find this book not to their liking.Those who like history, but not math, are also forewarned that this may not be the book for them.

I have a typical engineer's mathematical background (basic algebra (including vectors and tensors), calculus, differential equation and advanced calculus), and since I also have an interest in history I read this book hoping to learn more about modern algebra and its development.While modern algebra is a very esoteric subject, it has become the language for quantum mechanics, relativity theory and the melding of the two (in string theory, M theory and quantum loop gravity).This book succeeded in educating me about these subjects, but frankly the math in the last third of the book was way over my head and I found myself just skimming over much of the last 75 pages.All in all, I am glad that I invested my time with this book.Derbyshire is a very good writer and did a good job of giving me an idea of what modern algebra is all about and I plan to re-read much of the Math Primer chapters as they are good introductions to many of the facets of modern algebra.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really well done
This is a realy well done book.Well done to the point where the author makes each paragraph individually addressable.

Beyond that, it's a really chatty book.Reading it, you can almost imagine yourself sitting next to a hyper-intelligent Forrest Gump, listening to a fascinating history.

I really enjoyed the book up until about chapter 10.After that, the algebra goes abstract, and my ability to comprehend goes in the toilet.It was like that in college, and it's like that today:my comprehension of algebra wrecks on the shoals of abstraction.Pity, that.

Still, it's a brilliant piece of work.Just the thing a learned, literate computer programmer would do.Really admirable. ... Read more

4. Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work As a Pilgrimage of Identity
by David Whyte
Hardcover: 257 Pages (2001-03-15)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$34.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00066R4ZM
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Crossing the Unknown Sea shows how poetry and practicality, far from being mutually exclusive, reinforce each other to give every aspect of our lives meaning and direction. For anyone who wants to deepen their connection to their work-or find out what their life's work is-this book is essential to navigating the way.

"Readers who accept poet and Fortune 500 consultant Whyte's invitation to enter into 'an imaginative conversation about life and work' are likely to be challenged as well as delighted by the beauty of his writing and the expansiveness of his views. Gracefully using the metaphor of a sea voyage to depict the journey through the world of work, Whyte views work not only as a means of support, but as a means for interacting with the world and developing self-expression and identity...An abundance of provocative ideas... thoughtful readers will wholeheart-edly savor this book." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A practical, beautiful, insightful and soul-stretching work of art.
I don't often pick up books that threaten to be more touchy-feely than substantive, as the title of this book and its first few pages implied to me. But I read it upon the advice of a friend.

David Whyte has one foot firmly planted in the practical with the other firmly planted in the spiritural and, by the end of the book, you have an idea about how you might achieve a similar posture.One of the reasons Mr. Whyte can pull this off is because he is both a genuine artist--a poet--and has substantial experience in the nuts-and-bolts corporate world. In fact, he has billed himself and sold himself (lucratively, apparently) as a corporate poet.

"Crossing the Unknown Sea" refers to the author's life adventure in search of a career and a meaningful life. I suspect it is because of his roots in poetry that he can write as a novelist--not by virtue of plot or character development, because there is little of that other than the plot of his own life and the development of his own charachter--but because of his ability to use words to capture subtle and deep meanings without sounding as if he were trying to do just that.

I could go on. The book as been a kick-off point for my own life's adventure for which I had already been preparing. However, it is a book well worth reading for its own sake, even if you aren't in the market for a life adventure for yourself. ... Read more

5. Journal of the Unknown Prophet
by Wendy Alec
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-10-20)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$11.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0955237718
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
During a ten day period in November of 1999, Wendy Alec received a visitation from the Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke of mercy, He warned of judgment...on the world's trading systems, on ministry leaders...upon the church. He wept.In two separate visitations in 2002, He spoke in anguish of the Last Days assignments against the elect, He warned of the Great Blinding, of seduction, lust and Jezebel and the Great Falling Away...'My children perish...' Jesus' voice was so soft...that it was barely audible...And then He turned to me, His beautiful countenance ravaged with grief. 'Now warn My children...warn My beloved...that even those in the deepest mire might find their way home...' ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Highly recommend this book if you are really wanting to know the heart of God.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right on the mark
What Wendy Alec has shared rings true with me and agrees with what I have received during my 55 years as a follower of Jesus Christ.The collection of revelation hangs together very well, and it brings together a multitude of life's issues into a central, focused plea:choose life, choose Jesus by honoring Him with His greatest wish...desire Him more than anything, even more than the scriptures, your ministry, your reputation, your comfort, your convenience, your family, your expectations, your history, your church, your self.

Furthermore, while you still have time, prepare properly for the stiff challenges ahead, or soon, you will not be able to stand.

4-0 out of 5 stars tremendous work
Though I've had them sparingly, I am not too caught up with visions and divine visitations; however, it is hard to not be absorbed in this graceful work of Wendy Alec. Not only is the book physically stunning, her encounters with the Lord are riveting. The chapter on Jezebel is alarming and a warning to the Body of Christ. This is a warring principality on a mission to destroy. I also enjoyed "A Step Into Deliverance" by T. Pugh. His autobiographical take on this prinicpality is equally riveting and enlightening.

5-0 out of 5 stars I am on page 55, I am already blast ! MUST READ, If you seeking real life.
I am on page 55, I am already blast by this living words of Lord Jesus Christ. If you want know God's heart and love, this is the Book you must read. I Believe Author of this book is Christ Jesus not Wendy. However, I bless Wendy for delivering this great gift to us. MUST READ!A+
Very interestingly, I remember a scene from my dream long time ago, I have read this book called, Journal of the Unknown Prophet. and I rejoiced and delighted over this wonderful book. I just remember this title of the book from my dream... ??? Could it be that I've seen the future, Which is today.Sweet Jesus has best plan 4 you, Trust 100% and believe him, You'll be living a life of Heaven, here on Earth God Bless
-Your Friend in Christ-

4-0 out of 5 stars Wake up church!
If you want to know what God is planning for the near future, then read this book.It speaks much of the same things we are hearing in our churches. It is a book of prophecy and exhortation, as well as encouragement from the Lord. I would recommend it for devotional time as well. ... Read more

6. Unknown Means
by Elizabeth Becka
 Hardcover: 528 Pages (2008-05-02)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1410406563
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
In Elizabeth Becka's latest highly suspenseful novel, forensic scientist Evelyn James returns to investigate a harrowing series of crimes--only to find that no one is safe.

Evelyn James is a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner's office who's juggling a demanding workload, a teenage daughter from a failed marriage, and a homicide detective boyfriend.And somehow she always happens to be involved in some of the twistiest, most challenging crime scenes imaginable.

This time around she's called in to investigate what appears to be a locked-room mystery: A wealthy woman is murdered in the penthouse suite of a luxurious, high-security building. The building's intricate surveillance system didn't pick up anything, the entrance wasn't forced, and the victim's husband has an airtight alibi. Cases like this, Evelyn knows, can turn on the most microscopic piece of evidence--if she can find any. Things look even trickier when another victim turns up in another penthouse suite. Then Evelyn's best friend is attacked--and things get personal. And when a third person is found dead, Evelyn realizes that the killer's choice of victim is anything but random . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Discover The Unknown Means
The characters first introduced in Elizabeth Becka's Trace Evidence are back to entertain you in the fast-paced book, Unknown Means. The book lures you in from the first page with a descriptive scene of a posed corpse and carries you all the way through to a surprising, if violent finale.

As a divorced working mother with an intense career as a forensic specialist, Evelyn James finds herself involved in a challenging mystery. The Cleveland police detectives are baffled as the clues and the victims are piling up with no apparent connection, but Evelyn goes beyond her duties with the Medical Examiner's office to make some sense of the scant evidence found at the crime scenes. The plot heats up when the crimes turn personal and a friend from work is nearly killed. Now Evelyn must battle her fears as she fights to keep her demanding career, faces down her claustrophobia in another seemingly unrelated investigation, struggles with a stormy relationship, and faces the possibility that a killer may now have targeted her own teenaged daughter!

A forensic specialist in real life, Elizabeth Becka pulls you into a mystery that shows her expert knowledge and ability to create personable and believable characters that are easy to relate to. The way in which she shows a woman's personal turmoil while piecing together the puzzles makes for enjoyable reading. Mystery fans will appreciate the twists and turns that make this locked-room mystery a treat.

by Rhonda Esakov
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women

5-0 out of 5 stars A Locked Room Thriller
The characters first introduced in Elizabeth Becka's Trace Evidence are back to entertain you in the fast-paced book, Unknown Means. The book lures you in from the first page with a descriptive scene of a posed corpse and carries you all the way through to a surprising, if violent finale.

As a divorced working mother with an intense career as a forensic specialist, Evelyn James finds herself involved in a challenging mystery. The Cleveland police detectives are baffled as the clues and the victims are piling up with no apparent connection, but Evelyn goes beyond her duties with the Medical Examiner's office to make some sense of the scant evidence found at the crime scenes. The plot heats up when the crimes turn personal and a friend from work is nearly killed. Now Evelyn must battle her fears as she fights to keep her demanding career, faces down her claustrophobia in another seemingly unrelated investigation, struggles with a stormy relationship, and faces the possibility that a killer may now have targeted her own teenaged daughter!

A forensic specialist in real life, Elizabeth Becka pulls you into a mystery that shows her expert knowledge and ability to create personable and believable characters that are easy to relate to. The way in which she shows a woman's personal turmoil while piecing together the puzzles makes for enjoyable reading. Mystery fans will appreciate the twists and turns that make this locked-room mystery a treat.

5-0 out of 5 stars strong police procedural
Cleveland Medical Examiner Evelyn James knows her life is full between work and her personal relationships.A single mom Evelyn struggles not to murder her glowering teenage daughter Angel and tries to separate her romance with homicide detective David Milaski from their work together.

The current case involves the murder of twenty-eight years old affluent Grace Markham in her locked apartment inside a secure building.Not too long after the homicide, Metro General Hospital ER Doctor Bailey calls her at two in the morning because someone assaulted her friend Marissa Gonzalez, who lives in the same building as Grace did.Another similar homicide occurs. Evelyn, David and his partner, Bruce Riley investigate trying to find the link between the victims at a time the case load starting with the Lake Erie underwater explosion affirms to Evelyn that twenty-four hours is not enough time in a day.

The anti Kay Scarpetta (personality that is), Evelyn holds this strong police procedural together.The story line is fast-paced from the onset as Evelyn and the police team look for clues at the Markham crime scene and never slows down even when she investigate the Lake Erie explosion while almost crapping in her underwear out of fear.Readers will like this forensic police tale and seek Evelyn's previous appearance (see TRACE EVIDENCE).

Harriet Klausner

... Read more

7. The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty
by Soetsu Yanagi
Paperback: 232 Pages (1990-01-15)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$19.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0870119486
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
This book challenges the conventional ideas of art and beauty. What is the value of things made by an anonymous craftsman working in a set tradition for a lifetime? What is the value of handwork? Why should even the roughly lacquered rice bowl of a Japanese farmer be thought beautiful? The
late Soetsu Yanagi was the first to fully explore the traditional Japanese appreciation for "objects born, not made."

Mr. Yanagi sees folk art as a manifestation of the essential world from which art, philosophy, and religion arise and in which the barriers between them disappear. The implications of the author's ideas are both far-reaching and practical.

Soetsu Yanagi is often mentioned in books on Japanese art, but this is the first translation in any Western language of a selection of his major writings. The late Bernard Leach, renowned British potter and friend of Mr. Yanagi for fifty years, has clearly transmitted the insights of one of Japan's
most important thinkers. The seventy-six plates illustrate objects that underscore the universality of his concepts. The author's profound view of the creative process and his plea for a new artistic freedom within tradition are especially timely now when the importance of craft and the handmade
object is being rediscovered. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful set of fine essays
I know very little about pottery but I have spent a lot of reading time studying Buddhism and specifically Zen and its underlying life philosophy.I found these essays to be especially beautiful in showing the way for artists and craftsmen to embrace 'no-mindedness' in their creative efforts, effacing their own egos and personalities in order to let nature flow through them in the creative process.

'Objects born, not made' is an especially humbling concept to consider.To think that the objects are 'born' through nature and the craftsman is mostly a mere vehicle for that, his signature on 'his' work completely unncessary, the object itself being the 'signature'.

I was pleased to see in the next to last essay in this collection, the author's references to the 'Way of Tea' and its demonstration of the same principles embodied in this work.I strongly recommend 'The Book of Tea' by Okakuro Kakuzo as an adjunct to this material, amplifying his ideas and further reflecting the beauty of Zen.

My only objection, and this is really minor, is this work's subtitle 'A Japanese Insight into Beauty'.As many Japanese are not Buddhist and do not embrace the Zen philosophy, nor understand it, this insight is not so much 'Japanese' as 'Zen'.Thus the finer subtitle could have been 'A Zen Insight into Beauty'.

5-0 out of 5 stars great for the study of craft in Japan
This book was written by the father of the crafts movement in Japan, Yanagi Soetsu.He encouraged the Japanese to appreciate their national arts at a time of modernization and Westernization in Japan.The book covers areas of craft such as cermaics and lacquers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book you HAVE to read, and you'll CRAVE to own...

This remarkable, must-have book is half superb pictures of various Oriental objects of manufacture become recognized as quintessentially "unselfconscious" objects of art (the one of the "top" teacup in Japan alone is worth the book's price), and half short but very eye-opening essays on various dimensions of beauty, creativity, and the aesthetic experience.

MUCH generally accepted superficiality (and downright phoniness) in the field of art appreciation is solidly debunked here (read the other reviews for more on the author's qualifications, plus some relatively piddling criticism from a few experts).

The pieces on the degeneration of the so-called "classic" Tea Ceremony and the cult of deliberate "beauty of ugliness" will provide much food for thought.Literally anyone interested in beauty and its representations will do very well indeed to acquire this truly irreplaceable read.

I too wish the book were 10 times as long! I believe it was out of print for awhile -- great to see it available new from Amazon at a reasonable price.

Oh -- on second thought, DO just buy this title, rather than borrow one first -- my copy is so heavily marked up that it would have been agony to have read a library copy....

4-0 out of 5 stars Humble pie never tasted so good
Soon after getting into custom furniture and cabinetmaking as a profession, I had come to that point where I began to tie my sense of self-worth to what other people thought of my work. Even worse, I began to feel that I was in a competition with my fellow woodworkers. Not only did I want their approval, but I thought I must strive to be better than them or I wouldn't achieve distinction (and therefore success). Then, via my explorations into Buddhism, I came across this book.It presented me with a heaping, much-needed serving of humble pie by telling me things like:

"A beautiful work of art...is the work of a man who is not (bound to) either beauty and ugliness or even to himself."

Yanagi was talking about the craftsman of Japan's past who, working with "total disengagement", created some of the most beautiful art objects the world has ever seen. This work was never signed because these were the products of craftsman who "made no effort to express their individuality through the medium of things; (instead) they produced things through the medium of man". As my understanding of Buddhism deepened, so didn't the import of these words. The bottom line was that I relaxed, I let myselfenjoy the process and I let the objects I made speak for themselves. Humble pie never tasted so good.

4-0 out of 5 stars More photos! More essays!
There is only so much that can be done inside of a few hundred pages, but this book does try. Many examples of Yanagi's writings have been pulled together along with photographs of actual objects in order to give the reader a small feel for the philosophy that Yanagi and others hammered out starting around the 1920's.

For those unfamiliar with Yanagi Soetsu, he and other artists and thinkers of his time developed a philosophy called "Mingei" (folk-craft) in Japan. Similar to the arts and crafts movement in England and Europe, Mingei focuses on exploring the dimentions of beauty before something becomes "beautiful". A great deal of influence from people such as Bernard Leech and Suzuki Daisetsu went in to the creation of this "old yet new" way of looking at art and objects.

His way of looking at the "unknown craftsman", in other words the artist who merely makes to make and sell his works, but does not comprimise because he wishes only to sell and sell quickly, will appear new to many, but there are many patronizing overtones in Yanagi's arguments. This comes close to devolving into a sort of "noble-savage" way of looking at crafts made in traditional ways, and is sometimes criticized as being arrogant if not contradictory.

This book only scratched the surface of the world of Mingei, however, and an actual study would no doubt involve learning the Japanese language in order to follow not only Yanagi's essays, but also to be able to go and "experience" the art Yanagi devoted himself to inside of Japan. Yanagi's ideas, however, span much further than any one culture and many connected with Yanagi, particularly Hamada Shoji, came in contact with similar movements and ideas in their travels to mainland Asia, Europe, and North America. This book can be read, therefore, comfortably by most anyone interested in art and aesthetics. ... Read more

8. Portrait of an Unknown Woman: A Novel
by Vanora Bennett
Paperback: 464 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061252565
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

In the year 1527, the great portraitist Hans Holbein, fleeing the Protestant Reformation, comes to England under commission to Sir Thomas More. Over the course of the next six years, Holbein paints two nearly identical portraits of the More family, his dear and loyal friends. But closer examination of the second painting reveals several mysteries. . . .

Set against the turmoil and tragedy of Henry VIII's court, Portrait of an Unknown Woman vividly evokes sixteenth-century England on the verge of enormous change—as viewed through the eyes of Meg Giggs, More's intelligent, tenderhearted, headstrong adopted daughter, who stands at the center of this sweeping, extraordinary epic. It is a tale of sin and religion, desire and deception—the story of a young woman on the brink of sensual awakening and a country on the edge of mayhem.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Just No Very Good
I've read quite a few during this period and Thomas More fascinates me so I thought this would be nothing if not fun.It wasn't even that.Not poorly written, I was able to at least finish the book but if you're considering it, at least wait for the paperback so you dont waste money.I could donate this book with no problem.It need not don my bookshelves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hurrah! Historical fiction lives!
After all the bodice-ripper romances thinly disguised as historical fiction, what a relief to come across a well-written, imaginative novel that does more than rehash well-known material and does it with an impressive mastery of the time and place in which the novel is set.
Yes, the two big plot twists -- which I won't spoil -- are a stretch. But isn't that part of the fun of fiction? Neither are utterly implausible; both enhance the drama of the narrative. In both cases, the author was authoritative enough in her handling of the material that I found myself willing to say, 'well, why not?' and go along for the ride.
Bennett deftly takes what is known about her real-life characters -- Sir Thomas More, his adoptive daughter, his other children and their circle -- and does a remarkable job in making them "live". She has created some memorable fictional personalities. I was particularly intrigued by her look at Holbein and his creative process during his stay in England.
Philippa Gregory has certainly done wonders for roughly the same time period, but with few exceptions, she seems to be concentrating on those well-known individuals -- Elizabeth, Mary Tudor, Katherine of Aragon, etc. So it's a pleasure to find someone willing to go a bit further afield, do some heavier digging and come up with something creative and well-written.
More, please!

5-0 out of 5 stars Secrets within secrets
Thomas More is a saint and a cultural icon. But he was far from perfect, and certainly ought not to be confused with the paragon depicted in A Man for All Seasons. In Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Vanora Bennett brings some humanity, flaws and all, to the cardboard image.
This imaginative look into the lives of the More family, embedded as they were into the very heart of the religious wars that forever changed English culture, appears to have been grounded upon analysis of the composition of the More family portrait painted by German artist Hans Holbein. The interpretive theory, explicated by Jack Lesau at the website of the Hans Holbein Foundation, proposes the ideas around which the plot of Unknown Woman revolves.
Thomas More is depicted here as a sincere, but at times fanatical, hunter of heretics. His children, all adults at the time of the novel's setting, are all brilliantly educated and conversant with the classics and the major schools of thought of their day, particularly humanism. Nevertheless they are constrained to live in accordance with the morals and mores of their era. At the center of the plot stands Meg Giggs Clement, known to have been the ward of More. I will not go into the various plot twists and turns for fear ofspoilers, but, whether or not these family secrets and surprises are true, they make for good reading. This is a novel, after all. Portrait of an Unknown Woman presents a beautifully written, vivid, and memorable glimpse into the life of those people fortunate or unfortunate enough to have lived during the turbulent, world shaking reign of Henry VIII.

5-0 out of 5 stars Art History and History Unite
If you are interested in art history, as well as interested in a good historical novel, this one is for you.
Find insights into English history and the techniques of Holbein.
Find out why Thomas More is depicted wtih red velvet sleeves.
Google More family and Holbein, and see the sketch of the characters, and the knowledge of the significance of the items included will delight you.
I bought this for my cousin who is an art teacher, and I got a copy for myself, too, since I know I'll read it again.Portrait of an Unknown Woman: A Novel

4-0 out of 5 stars More fiction than history, but oh what a story ...
PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN WOMAN is a story of love and betrayal, secrets and forgiveness, and courage in the face of fear. While it borrows from history - particularly the characters of Thomas More and his family - it is a timeless story that could be told in almost any setting.

The author outlines accepted historical fact at the end of the novel. If you are unfamiliar with the time period - roughly 1520 to 1532 - read the outline first. It will give you the historical background against which this highly imaginative story takes place.

The author's main supposition (and there are several) is: What if the princes in the tower (rumored to have been killed by Richard III) lived? With whom would they have lived? How could their existence remain secret? What kind of people would they have turned out to be?

Within the context of this fictional accounting of the princes (particularly Richard), the story also relates the contradictions of the man, Sir Thomas More. (Ironically, it is his erroneous history of Richard III that was responsible for the bad information about the man and his reign until its debunking in recent times.) How can a fanatic also be a saint?

The novel's weakness is twofold: First and foremost, it tries to deal with too many complex issues in just over 400 pages. (Sharon Kay Penman could have made a trilogy out of the plot and sub-plots!) Second, the author gives these Renaissance characters modern ways of thinking. For this latter reason, I found the main character - More's adopted daughter, Meg Gibbs - mostly unbelievable.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story. With the small exception of some of the interpretations of the art work, I found it hard to put down. I think it might have been better as a longer book with more room for exploring the complexities, but that's a minor gripe.

I look forward to the author's next work. ... Read more

9. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, Robert Hessen
Paperback: 416 Pages (1986-07-15)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$4.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451147952
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (110)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rand at her best
Yes, she is abrasive and condescending. That is because she tells the truth. Here is Ayn Rand at her fiery, angry best. Her logic is impeccable although her style may irritate many readers. If you are angry about what's happening to America today, at least attempt to read her prescient message.

2-0 out of 5 stars Capitalism is wrong
Capitalism has a number of failings but perhaps the most basic one
is its theory of values.Capitalism acts as if there is a common
currency with which we can measure all that is valuable (money).
This value monism is incorrect.See "The non-existence of a utility
function and the structure of non-representable preference relations"
(Beardon, et al, J. of Math. Econ., vol. 37, pg 17-38, 2002) and refs.
therein.Capitalists simply get the math wrong.Money isn't everything.
Value pluralism is the correct axiology.There are things of value
that can not be bought and sold (thank god! like love and votes).
This failure of values within capitalism is why it is ultimately evil.
Rand is an apologist for evil, a tragic figure.

4-0 out of 5 stars The moral case for the free market
For anyone interested in an economic case for capitalism, this is not the right book - Rand was a philosopher, not an economist (in spite of her sound understanding of economic theorems.) However, for anyone interested in a moral defence of the system and an understanding of its intellectual history and opponents, this is a vital piece of work. Rand includes essays on voluminous topics, such as the gold standard, distortions of what actually happened during the Industrial Revolution, the proper role of government (I disagree with her on this), and so on. It is essential to understand that Rand was not a corporate shill, nor did she approve of the status quo - to the contrary, she strongly opposed the notion of corporate welfare and the like, and believed in a free market economy. Unfortunately, her adulation of big business gave ample ammunition to her critics. She replicates her essay on the rights of individuals toward the end of the book, which is in itself an excellent read. Taken in conjunction with The Virtue of Selfishness, this work will spur the youthful mind into further inquiry on the philosophical origins and defences of laissez-faire.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZON! PLEASE READ THIS
Can you please take down that disgraceful "editorial review" you've allowed to creep its slimy way onto this site (and somehow barnes and nobles as well? who is pushing this stuff?). It is a smear on this book's page, and frankly it makes your site look tawdry and muckraking.

Unless of course, you posted that review to get all of these wonderful reviews defending the author of this book from attack by its own salesman.

Take that review down and replace it with something neutral at the very least.

Really, its almost criminal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very well written book about capitalism and democracy
Although this book was written many years ago, it rings true for today's issues.The book is made up of multiple (25 or so) mini essays, each about 5-10 pages long.

The book has a clear and logical philosophy that is consistent.Its' basic premise is that pure capitalism is the first and only moral system for man.This is because capitalism equals freedom which frees a man from coercive oppression, and that man can only create wealth and new ideas when free to use his mind.The book states that the US briefly came close to pure capitalism in the 1700 and 1800s, but is now heading to fascism, as the state leaves property in private ownership, but the state controls output and use of the private property.

This book is the best I've read in several years, because it helped me unify my outlook on several fronts (political, economic, legal, social, etc) into one grand, consistent theory.I think this book will appeal to liberals and conservatives alike.Both are damned in this book by Rand, but I think the left, right, and center will recognize parts of Rand's philosophy that are dear to them too.

Read it for yourself to see, the book is cheap. ... Read more

10. The Unknown Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the American Torpedo Squadrons (Yale Library of Military History)
by Alvin Kernan
Paperback: 208 Pages (2007-05-28)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300122640
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
The Battle of Midway is considered the greatest U.S. naval victory, but behind the luster is the devastation of the American torpedo squadrons. Of the 51 planes sent to attack Japanese carriers only 7 returned, and of the 127 aircrew only 29 survived. Not a single torpedo hit its target.
A story of avoidable mistakes and flawed planning, The Unknown Battle of Midway reveals the enormous failures that led to the destruction of four torpedo squadrons but were omitted from official naval reports: the planes that ran out of gas, the torpedoes that didn’t work, the pilots who had never dropped torpedoes, and the breakdown of the attack plan. Alvin Kernan, who was present at the battle, has written a troubling but persuasive analysis of these and other little-publicized aspects of this great battle. The standard navy tactics for carrier warfare are revealed in tragic contrast to the actual conduct of the battle and the after-action reports of the ships and squadrons involved.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars making an unknown unknown known
This book covers only one aspect of the battle of Midway and covers it well - the destruction of 41 american torpedo bombers without scoring a single hit on an enemy ship.I found it well written and very readable.It covered the political, strategic and tactical level doctrines that made it almost impossible for the very brave men of the torpedo squadrons to be put to best use.The personal stories and histories of many of these men help bring the book to life.Most interesting was the solution put forward to explain what has always puzzled me about midway.Why did two of the three american carriers (enterprize and yorktown) launch strikes that found the enemy fleet, whilst the Hornet strike (launched from the same area) didnt find anything - apart from Waldron's torpedo 8 squadron.Instead many of the hornet planes found nothing and thenran out of fuel and had to ditch or divert to midway.A highly recommended read for any interested in learning something new about this battle.

3-0 out of 5 stars Starts great but falls apart at the end
Now a college professor, the author was, in 1942 a member of the aircrew on the USS Enterprise at the Battle of midway and clearly the loss of his friends in the torpedo squadron in their infamously suicidal attack stayed with him until it flowed out of him into the pages of this work.

The early parts of this book show where the scholar of now blends with the young mechanic of 60+ years ago in detailing the working of a carrier's air group and the now know to be fatal flaws in US torpedos and aircraft.

Unfortunatly he should have stuck with that and either run that theme through the book or have written a shorter book. The second part of the book degrades as Kernan launches his own strike against the CAG (Commander Air Group) of the USS Hornet whom he blames for the destruction of that ship's torpedo squadron and failure of the Hornet's bomber and fighter squadrons to engage at all. The rest of this epic battle is reduced to little more than "you know what followed..." I was reminded of "The midnight Ride of Paul Revre" where it cover's a day's battle as "you know what happened in the books you have read, how the redcoats fired and fled..."

He details that there was a lack of communication between Enterprise and Hornet and that there was a failure to agree between squadron leaders but all squadrons of torpedo planes were decimated in the attack and other leaders don't get the venom that Kernan spreads on the Hornet. As Kernan was on board the Enterprise at the time, it's never clear why he has such a particular ax to grind with the Hornet's command. If the CAG and Captain of the Hornet were praised today as the hero's of the battle you could see this as "setting the record straight," but as the heros are Nimitz, Fletcher, Spruance and the commanders of the bomber squadrons from enterprise and Yorktown, this comes accross as just a personal vendetta without explanation. The end result is that the rest of the book, pancakes into sea making it almost as pointless as the torpedo attacks it documents.

2-0 out of 5 stars on a superficial level it's eye-opening; beyond that, it's dreck
one of the first things I noticed upon reading this book was that the author was a 'veteran member of one of the torpedo squadrons" that fought at Midway. I thought it was unlikely that any of the pilots of the few surviving torpedo bombers was still alive, though maybe some of the radio-operator/gunners were.

I was a bit disappointed to read that the extent of Kernan's participation in the torpedo attacks in question was as an ordinanceman for Torpedo 6 aboard the USS Enterprise. I am by no means saying his participation wasn't significant, nor am I saying that I don't think he was just as brave as anyone else. I simply thought (and still believe) that kernan was neither then nor now in a position to second-guess command decisions made by men whose level of responsibility was far greater than his own.

For example, another reviewer correctly pointed out that Waldron, while undoubtedly brave and a fine pilot, committed a grievous military offense in disobeying a direct order from his commanding officer. Disobeying a commanding officer in a combat situation is precisely how to get a lot of people killed, and that is exactly what happened except in this case "a lot" turned out to be "every plane in the squadron." Kernan, however, heaps praise on Waldron's correct guess for the position of the Japanese fleet.

I can't help but believe that Kernan, as an enlisted man, feels or at one time felt a certain jealousy or misguided animosity toward commissioned officers, such as those who flew many of the planes or made some of the command decisions aboard the ships. For example, Kernan points out rather uselessly that among the seven surviving TBD Devastators among all three carrier squadrons, "a high number were enlisted pilots." The clear implication is that the enlisted pilots were more skilled than the Annapolis pilots, who were, in Kernan's view, privileged "ringknockers' and other such members of the good ol' boy fraternity that had excluded him.

Excuse me, but I don't think an Annapolis ring or lack of one counted during the devastators' attack runs, as no amount of flying skill could make a lumbering, 1934 torpedo bomber design escape a Japanese Zero pilot at low level, with a height advantage, and little or no American fighter escort. Ironically, by Kernan's logic, it was only a matter of flying skill that resulted in a torpedo bomber pilot's survival or death during the attack. Waldron, Lindsey, and Massey all died, therefore they must not have been very good pilots. Clearly, kernan didn't intend to say this, so there really wasn't any point to himmentioning that a "high number" of the survivors weren't officers, unless he just wants to get that anti-Annapolis shot in.

Kernan also goes to great pains to point out that American fighter pilots might have been afraid to tangle with the Mitsubishi Zero pilots. This suggestion is so insulting that it alone destroyed Kernan's credibility for me. He doesn't question the courage of the American bomber pilots (as well he should not), and yet the fighter pilots are subject to his accusations of cowardice? Kernan must have had a great view of the battle above the Japanese fleet, from the hangar deck of the Enterprise. He wasn't there and yet he has the gall to write as though he was riding in the cockpit, thinking other people's thoughts. Kernan should know that despite the F4F's deficiencies (and there were many), the Mitsubishi A6M also had many deficiencies which American fighter pilots were gradually learning how to exploit through teamwork and a greater understanding of how to make the most of their own plane's strengths. Kernan conveniently forgets from time to time that in June 1942 America had been in combat with the Japanese for only half a year, against an enemy with a [shrinking] numerical advantage and the initiative. considering these things, the F4F pilots performed very well. Needless to say, the American navy had no lack of volunteers for the fighter units, even if the F4F in use at the time was inferior to the A6M in several respects.

All in all, Kernan writes fluidly enough, and the way he presents his case might convince the casual reader that there was some kind of conspiracy to cover up American incompetence at Midway. A more informed reader will be aware that America was new to the war and still learning how fight it, and still learning how to build the weapons to win it. The A6M Zero was designed in response to the Japanese' experience against Seversky P-35s and Russian I-16s in China. The F6F Hellcat was designed in response to the American experience against the Japanese. Kernan should be applauding the navy rather than bashing it.

He seems to really dislike the elitist Annapolis types, and yet it is clear that his position as a Yale professor paved the way for this dreck to reach the book store.

What's good enough for the goose, Kernan. Whatever.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another perspective
The Unknown Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the American Torpedo Squadrons

This book is a very quick and very informative read and offers a very different perspective as to the Midway encounter.I recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Filled with substantive and interpretive errors - Kernan gets it all wrong
At the beginning of World War II the author was an 18-year old enlisted aviation ordnanceman who subsequently served on several carriers in the Pacific.Readers would hope that he would leverage this experience to provide a unique and original viewpoint of war on a carrier.Unfortunately, Kernan strays far outside his expertise.Many of his comments and some of his facts are dead wrong; some of his comments and many of his interpretations can seem to be creditable on a superficial level, but are also either dead wrong or one of the breed of insidious half-truths that have a life of their own and are hard to squash.This book will be cited in future works, so another cottage industry has been created to correct the horde of myths and inaccuracies that will trickle down into Naval history from this book.To crown this achievement, Kernan creates a new "conspiracy theory" about the Battle of Midway.
Any good conspiracy theorist needs to first establish his personal credibility.This Kernan attempts in a few introductory chapters where he talks about military history, carrier aviation, ship design, and aerial torpedoes.His believability dies quickly. Specifically, I count 20 substantive or interpretive errors or half-truths in the book's first 25 pages.
There are errors where his facts are just dead wrong:
*"The USS Oglala was hit by four torpedoes ..."No, she was not hit by any torpedoes - she sustained underwater damage from a single torpedo hit on a light cruiser that was moored inboard of her.Because she sank without taking any direct hits herself she was later known as The Ship that Was Frightened to Death;
*The Japanese had not "stalemated the Russians in Manchuria," actually the Japanese were soundly beaten at Nomonhan, the 23rd Division being nearly annihilated with 76% casualties.The only reason the Soviets halted was because they had Poland to invade and then the Germans to repulse;
*The US Navy had radar "courtesy of the British."No the first USN radar was on a ship in April of 1937, and the first production radar, the CXAM, began installation in May of 1940.Exchange of radar information with the British did not happen until the Fall of 1940;
*Carriers to launch wanted 30 knots of wind over the deck, not "30 knots [of ship's speed] plus the wind."
... and many other factual errors.
There are errors where his proffered opinions are either only half right or misleading.For example, his comments on the placement of islands on carriers, boiler and engine room subdivision, and stack numbers and placement are superficial and uninformed, and generally half-truths.Tonnage limitations and how the disposal of stack gasses effect turbulence in the landing area is never mentioned.He thinks that early US carrier designs had arresting gear at both ends of the ship because "depending on the wind, the carriers were as likely to launch and land planes while going backward as forward" - no, Alvin, the arresting gear at both ends was for emergency recoveries without having to break the deck spot, or in the event of battle damage.
Even more egregiously, he does not understand the distinction between belt armor and a ships torpedo protection system, mixing them up in his discussion and then laughably coming to the conclusion that carriers succumbed to enemy torpedoes "because they were not armored enough."He uses technical terms improperly: for example, a ship's propeller shafts are referred to as "drive shafts," equating a carrier's propulsion system with that of a 1941 Chevrolet roadster.
After thus establishing his credibility, Kernan then goes on to collect some of the reasons why so many of the US torpedo bombers were lost at Midway.Most are straightforward, collected from other secondary sources dealing with the battle, and are presented in a workmanlike manner.However, when he moves to original material he reveals his true roots, not those of a Navy aviation ordnanceman, but of an English Professor from an Ivy League school.What he really wants is to talk about racism and class barriers in the wartime Navy.Racism he could work in only for a sentence, since it is clearly irrelevant to the story.Classism, however, becomes the centerpiece of the only "original" analysis in the book.Kernan contends that there was a conspiracy among the Navy high command to confuse or suppress the facts surrounding the attack of Torpedo 8 in order to protect the career of the Commander Hornet Air Group (CHAG), Commander Ring.
The bare facts are the following:the enemy carriers were located inexactly.Ring and Waldron have an argument before launch on the flyout course to use to find the enemy, but Ring is unconvinced by Waldron's arguments.Ring, as CHAG, gathers his squadrons and heads out.30 minutes after launch Waldron again argues over the radio with the CHAG, then, on his own hook, departs from the formation with his squadron of torpedo bombers.Waldron finds the carrier, attacks, and his entire squadron is shot down, inflicting no damage.Ring does not find the target and returns to the Hornet.
Waldron is Alvin Kernan's hero.He dedicates the book to him.
In Kernan's view, Waldron is the self-sacrificing hero and Ring is the goat for not agreeing with him, and subsequently for not finding the targets when presented with the "correct" course by Waldron.This is exactly 180 degrees out, and where Kernan displays a lamentable ignorance of how military organizations work.Waldron was obligated to present his views to his commander; however, he was equally obligated to follow the orders of his commander afterwards.Kernan spends a lot of ink explaining why the Devastator was a poor aircraft and inadequate to the task; how, then, can he make Waldron out as a hero for disobeying orders and leading his squadron on a suicide attack in such an inadequate aircraft?If the TBD was unlikely to penetrate to the target without fighter support and the diversion of a dive bombing attack, points all well made by Kernan, how can Kernan subsequently praise him for doing just that?
Waldron was guilty of disobeying orders, and should have been court-martialed; the real "conspiracy" was that the Navy gave him a Navy Cross for getting himself and his people killed.
Examine what could have been: if Waldron had followed his commander's orders, he would have arrived at the point of no return and turned back, undoubtedly with a great big "I told you so" expression on his face.But then, his torpedo squadron would have been back on the Hornet and available for subsequent strikes, including those against Hiryu and against the Japanese cruisers on the 6th, after the Zeros were gone and the TBD had a reasonable chance of getting hits.Had he acted appropriately, his combat power would have been preserved for later, instead of senselessly thrown away.These points totally evade Kernan as he obsesses with his conspiracy theory.
The evidence that Kernan presents to support his idea that there was a Naval Academy Alumni Association conspiracy to "save" Ring career is that Ring did not submit an after action report (rather, that Kernan could not find an after action report in the archives, quite a different thing), and that Mitscher's after action report was inaccurate as it supposed that Ring passed to the south of the target carriers, when he evidently actually passed to the north.Kernan does not understand that the after action reports, submitted only days after a battle, sometimes reflect the very real confusion of the battle.Considering that Torpedo 8 and Fighting 8 were lost in toto, Mitscher was writing a report based on limited inputs and not a full picture.Often only an exhaustive after-action review is able to get the facts sorted out.From this slim reed - the lack of a report, and an inaccurate report - Kernan claims a conspiracy to protect Ring.That's the jist of Kernan's argument.There is no other evidence, no corroborating testimony, no other facts, just Kernan's perception of class jealousy manifested into a conviction of a conspiracy.
One wonders if Kernan's research in the field of English is held to the same standard of evidence.
One should buy this book if one would like to see a collection of secondary source information regarding the US torpedo bombers at Midway.He has some quotations from works that are not easily located, and collects faithfully most of the arguments against US torpedoes and the Devastator torpedo bomber that are located in disparate sources.One should not buy the book for clear charts or graphics - "minimalist" is the style, so minimalist as to be nearly incomprehensible.One should also purchase this book if one wants to be entertained when the real naval historians go into damage control mode to stamp out all the disinformation spread by this book.
One should not buy this book if you are less than an expert in the field, for you are likely to be misled by what is known in the Navy as "bum gouge."
Dr. Alan D. Zimm, CDR USN (ret) (By the way, NOT a USNA grad).
... Read more

11. Lincoln the Unknown
by Dale Carnegie
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1993-06)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$159.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0899683207
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!
This is by far the best Abe book out there...actually makes "learning" fun!...be careful about loaning this one out!

5-0 out of 5 stars How To Win Wars And Influence History
This is the best book on Lincoln I have ever read. A true joy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
Knowing little other than the obvious facts about Lincoln, I was amazed, entertained, and simply captivated by this Carnegie masterpiece. Lincoln's poverty-stricken childhood, his lackluster days as a lawyer, his love of poetry, his political career - it's all covered in great detail and conveyed in a very appealing and straightforward style. Carnegie's research and dedication towards this book are deservedly well-applauded. The story of how this very mortal man became so admired, so loved, and such an American icon is simply priceless. This monumental work is a must-have for anyone's collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars "TOREADTHISISTOLOVEHIM "

5-0 out of 5 stars the unkown hero
The storytellers of other nations and cultures have to manufacture myths to give themselves heroes.Americans don't have to.Abraham Lincoln is inspiring because of his greatness, yet he is inspiring also because of his human frailties, which make his monumental achievements all the more fantastic.This book is a labor of love by Mr. Carnegie about his hero; it's his way of making his hero available to us all.I love particularly the introduction in which Mr. Carnegie tells his reasons for writing the book and his method of composing it.This is one of the best books I've ever read.All the wisdom and insight Mr. Carnegie ever collected in his "how to" books can be found more poignantly and abundantly here, because Lincoln exemplified everything that Mr. Carnegie ever taught.This book is what will keep Mr. Carnegie's name alive, long after his institute has folded and his "how to" books have gone out of print.In this book Mr. Carnegie captures the living reality of Lincoln: his wisdom, his virtues, his beautiful and unfettered English prose, his perserverance, his commitment to justice and liberty, his keen understanding of the paradoxical condition of mankind, his deep reverence, and his abiding love.
This book also demonstrates that heroes don't just descend from Olympic heights to awe mankind with superhuman prowess; they are regular folks who face troubles, pains, and long-odds like the rest of us; but when most people act out of self-concern and a desire for ease and convenience, true heroes do what is RIGHT, in spite of the cost to themselves and the apparent futility of the task at hand.Lincoln was such a hero. ... Read more

12. To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 240 Pages (1995-08-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140187510
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
As his father lies dying, Joseph Wayne decides to trade his Vermont farm for a new life in California. Once established on his ranch, he comes to revere a huge tree as the embodiment of his father's spirit.

Joseph's brothers and their wives join him, and their farms prosper. Then one of the brothers, repelled by Joseph's reverence for the tree, cuts it down. Consequences follow -- harsh and severe.

In TO A GOD UNKNOWN, one of his earliest novels, Steinbeck uses the Western American experience as a way of exploring man's relationships to his environment -- a theme that would come to characterize much of his later work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Do not fear Steinbeck!An easy, enjoyable read.
I believe that many people fear reading Steinbeck, mainly because of the length and complexity of his two best known works, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.But To a God Unknown is not only my favorite Steinbeck book, it is my favorite fiction book of all time.And it is shorter (a novella) and has fewer characters than either Eden or Wrath.As a result, the story is straight forward, but beautifully conveyed:

Joseph, the protaganist, successfully begins his life anew after moving across the continent to California.He works hard.His farm is prospering.He is happy and satisfied.Until, that is, his siblings and their families follow him and move nearby.One brother, who is overtly religious, is troubled because he believes Joseph "worships" a tree on Joseph's property.The brother stuns Joseph by cutting down the tree, leading to dire consequences.

If you've avoided Steinbeck in the past, this novella is a good place to start.A wonderful book.

As an aside, I've always believed that the many (not all) of the titles of Steinbeck and Hemingway books are wonderful, and this is one example - To a God Unknown.Also consider titles such as The Winter of Our Discontent, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in the Afternoon, etc.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Steinbeck's greatest, but still worth your time
I opened this book for the first time - one of the few Steinbeck novels I had not yet read - shortly after completing my own first attempt at writing a novel. The little book is one of Steinbeck's earliest published works and, interestingly enough, the one that took him the longest to complete. It was in this context that I found the book most provoking: myself an aspiring writer, it was interesting to witness part of the development of one of my favorite novelists. Although not yet as strong and defined as in his later works, the classic Steinbeck tone is still there, and, of course, it is set against the oft-revisited setting of the fertile farmlands of Central California.

What prevents me from giving this book a higher rating is that, in the scope of Steinbeck's literary career, it is not very impressive. The characters do not gel together as flawlessly as those in most of his later works and the classical allusions to parallel stories and characters in the Bible are a bit shaky and somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, what prevents me from giving this book a lower rating is that it remains a thoughtful, intriguing, and insightful piece on the nature of man's relationship to the land and to God.

Overall, it is certainly a worthwhile read. In both its length and the complexity of its symbolism, To a God Unknown is certainly more accessible than Steinbeck's more celebrated longer works, such as The Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden, but it is in no way a comprehensive sample of Steinbeck's essential style and literary voice.

4-0 out of 5 stars To the great unknown
"To a God Unknown" is one of the most cryptic or simply weird novels I have ever read. I write this more as a book report, as opposed to a review, for my own clarification.

The story begins simply enough.Joseph Wayne, a carbon copy of his father, upon reaching adulthood faces the harsh realities of sharing a small Vermont homestead with his three brothers.To his father's chagrin, he travels west to the new promised land of California, where he finds a fine tract of land and sets down roots. Everything seems at first so promising in his land of milk and honey.Yet he soon finds out that the previous settlers had been forced to flee on account of a mercilessly relentless drought.Undaunted, he dismisses out of hand any notions of past disaster and even goes so far as welcoming his three brothers to move west to share in the wealth.

Steinbeck drew a sharp contrast in the way he depicted the four Wayne brothers.The stoic Joseph was the oldest and natural leader of the pack. Thomas was a naturalist whose love and caring for wild things overshadowed everything else.Burton was the fire and brimstone brand of fundamentalist who forcefully took exception with anyone who departed from his notions of creation. The baby of the family, Benjamin, was by disposition prone to laziness, drinking and womanizing. At first, the unified family made a success with the land.But, as so often seems the case when it comes to the long-term practicality of communal living, internal dissensions spelled its ultimate demise.Benjamin's transgressions with one of the farm helper's wives results in his being brutally stabbed to death.Furthermore, owing to Joseph's pantheistic inclinations,* Burton leaves the farm.

The final blow arrives in the form of drought.In searching out sources of water at an ancient, legendary spring, Joseph tragically loses his new wife to a freak fall. Emotionally and spiritually distraught by the scorched earth, Thomas flees with the few remaining emaciated livestock.Lastly, Steinbeck closes the book with Joseph's suicide. Perhaps he provided this as a metaphor.Did not Christ give up his life here on Earth so that we might have a better chance of reaching heaven?Could it not, therefore, be interpreted in a rather convoluted way that Joseph's taking of his own life was a means through which to bring about the drought's end and return to the people its promised land?

*Joseph views a large oak tree on the farm as an extension of the soul of his deceased father

3-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck Finding his Chops
"To a God Unknown," is a curious little book written early in Steinbeck's career developing into one of the better American writers to come along since the entity of what we know as America came along.It is his third book preceded by "Cup of Gold," and "The Pastures of Heaven."It came out the same year 1933 as the better known "The Red Pony" novella and predated "Tortilla Flat," by two years.I've read a few of Steinbeck's works and consider him pretty near my favorite American writer.As such, "To A God Unknown," just didn't resonate with me.

I would only recommend the book for those wanting to better understand Steinbeck and how his style developed.For the pure joy of reading, I'd direct avid and semi-avid readers elsewhere.It seems to be a largely symbolic tale of paganism versus religion.It is curious what drove Steinbeck to want to address this dichotomy of belief but address it he does.Through a tale of Joseph Wayne who migrates west upon the death of his father, Steinbeck scratches the surface of the land of California that his writing seems so deeply connected to.Wayne loves the land.He indeed loves the land.So much so that he has a little episode of sorts with the land upon his first arrival.It kind of left me taken aback and not wringing true.Couldn't have dear John shown this characters love for the land in another way than to have to have Wayne dismount his horse and wallow in the dirt mounting his dear new land?Though it makes for curious reading, it sure is entertaining to write about it later.

When writers make a concerted effort to explore life's deeper meanings through symbolism it many times comes off as a forced convention.Steinbeck had much more success later on in other works when he learned to relegate the symbolism to the subtle.A large oak tree on Wayne's new land represents his late father.A grove of trees with a huge green mossy rock and a magical stream represents something else...maybe Eden perhaps.Wayne meets a wife along the way, prospers and loses it all, and eventually becomes sacrificial (quasi-Jesus symbolism) in his love for the land.

The dialogue for each character comes from a collective voice not unique to each character Steinbeck is attempting to develop.It comes across as slightly wooden and unlike how real people would talk.The actions of the characters seem to represent some deeper symbolic meanings...when as a reader I'd prefer them to reveal the depth of the characters or advance the march of the story.With both dialogue and action, I was left wanting.

"To a God Unknown," is a short book and not, by all means, a bad book.It is the genesis of a developing writer that seems to have used this book as a stepping ladder to bigger greater things.I am grateful for the gift left by Steinbeck of deep and rich literature.With "To a God Unknown," Steinbeck was on his way to deeper and richer.

Read on dear fellow readers.


4-0 out of 5 stars The Life of the Land
As always with John Steinbeck's novels, "To a God Unknown" is lyrically descriptive and intensely potent with emotion and meaning.The topic matter of this novel might seem like strange territory for the Steinbeck of "Cannery Row" or "Of Mice and Men", but is filled with his trademark depictions of men who have been broken by life trying to find their way.This time the novel focuses on Joseph Wayne and his family as they try to eek out a living in the valley of Nuestra Senora in California.

Joseph Wayne leaves his family and dying father in Vermont to fulfill his dreams of owning his own land in the vast unknown country.After he has established his farm, he receives news that his father has passed away, and his brothers shortly come to live with him at his ranch.The Wayne family experiences every prosperity the land has to offer and happiness settles on them; however, Joseph believes that this prosperity is due to the spirit of his father who resides in the great oak tree he built his house next too.He daily offers news and sacrifices (of a sort) to the tree as a way of thanksgiving.This worries his devoutly Christian brother Burton, who eventually destroys the tree when he leaves the ranch.As soon as the tree is destroyed and dying, disaster settles upon the ranch and the Wayne family.

After the disaster strikes, Steinbeck takes readers along on Joseph's quest as he madly searches for the meaning behind the dying land and a way to bring it back to life.In his search, he means to leave no stone unturned, no matter what the sacrifice."To a God Unknown" is a compelling examination of man's fate and beliefs.The story is beautifully told with vivdly poetic descriptions of the land.And yet the characters seem to lack some luster, some thread of reality.While some may mark that up to the story being a fable, a vast quantity of the dialogue rings untrue and leaves the characters flatly, one-dimensional.The story is strongest when the author isn't forcing his characters to confess things to move the story along, when it's allowed to unfold with the enviable grace that infuses all of Steinbeck's greatest works. ... Read more

13. Mao: The Unknown Story
by Jung Chang, Jon Halliday
Paperback: 864 Pages (2006-11-14)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$10.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679746323
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In the epilogue to her biography of Mao Tse-tung, Jung Chang and her husband and cowriter Jon Halliday lament that, "Today, Mao's portrait and his corpse still dominate Tiananmen Square in the heart of the Chinese capital." For Chang, author of Wild Swans, this fact is an affront, not just to history, but to decency. Mao: The Unknown Story does not contain a formal dedication, but it is clear that Chang is writing to honor the millions of Chinese who fell victim to Mao's drive for absolute power in his 50-plus-year struggle to dominate China and the 20th-century political landscape. From the outset, Chang and Halliday are determined to shatter the "myth" of Mao, and they succeed with the force, not just of moral outrage, but of facts. The result is a book, more indictment than portrait, that paints Mao as a brutal totalitarian, a thug, who unleashed Stalin-like purges of millions with relish and without compunction, all for his personal gain. Through the authors' unrelenting lens even his would-be heroism as the leader of the Long March and father of modern China is exposed as reckless opportunism, subjecting his charges to months of unnecessary hardship in order to maintain the upper hand over his rival, Chang Kuo-tao, an experienced military commander.

Using exhaustive research in archives all over the world, Chang and Halliday recast Mao's ascent to power and subsequent grip on China in the context of global events. Sino-Soviet relations, the strengths and weakness of Chiang Kai-shek, the Japanese invasion of China, World War II, the Korean War, the disastrous Great Leap Forward, the vicious Cultural Revolution, the Vietnam War, Nixon's visit, and the constant, unending purges all, understandably, provide the backdrop for Mao's unscrupulous but invincible political maneuverings and betrayals. No one escaped unharmed. Rivals, families, peasants, city dwellers, soldiers, and lifelong allies such as Chou En-lai were all sacrificed to Mao's ambition and paranoia. Appropriately, the authors' consciences are appalled. Their biggest fear is that Mao will escape the global condemnation and infamy he deserves. Their astonishing book will go a long way to ensure that the pendulum of history will adjust itself accordingly. --Silvana Tropea

10 Second Interview: A Few Words with Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Q: From idea to finished book, how long did Mao: The Unknown Story take to research and write?
A: Over a decade.

Q: What was your writing process like? How did you two collaborate on this project?
A: The research shook itself out by language. Jung did all the Chinese-language research, and Jon did the other languages, of which Russian was the most important, as Mao had a long-term intimate relationship with Stalin. After our research trips around the world, we would work in our separate studies in London. We would then rendezvous at lunch to exchange discoveries.

Q: Do you have any thoughts about how the book is, or will be received in China? Did that play a part in your writing of the book?
A: The book is banned in China, because the current Communist regime is fiercely perpetuating the myth of Mao. Today Mao's portrait and his corpse still dominate Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, and the regime declares itself to be Mao's heir. The government blocked the distribution of an issue of The Far Eastern Economic Review, and told the magazine's owners, Dow Jones, that this was because that issue contained a review of our book. The regime also tore the review of our book out of The Economist magazine that was going to (very restricted) newsstands. We are not surprised that the book is banned. The regime's attitude had no influence on how we wrote the book. We hope many copies will find their way into China.

Q: What is the one thing you hope readers get from your book?
A: Mao was responsible for the deaths of well over 70 million Chinese in peacetime, and he was bent on dominating the world. As China is today emerging as an economic and military power, the world can never regard it as a benign force unless Beijing rejects Mao and all his legacies. We hope our book will help push China in this direction by telling the truth about Mao.

Breakdown of a BIG Book: 5 Things You'll Learn from Mao: The Unknown Story

1. Mao became a Communist at the age of 27 for purely pragmatic reasons: a job and income from the Russians.

2. Far from organizing the Long March in 1934, Mao was nearly left behind by his colleagues who could not stand him and had tried to oust him several times. The aim of the March was to link up with Russia to get arms. The Reds survived the March because Chiang Kai-shek let them, in a secret horse-trade for his son and heir, whom Stalin was holding hostage in Russia.

3. Mao grew opium on a large scale.

4. After he conquered China, Mao's over-riding goal was to become a superpower and dominate the world: "Control the Earth," as he put it.

5. Mao caused the greatest famine in history by exporting food to Russia to buy nuclear and arms industries: 38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61. Mao knew exactly what was happening, saying: "half of China may well have to die."

Book Description
The most authoritative life of the Chinese leader every written, Mao: The Unknown Story is based on a decade of research, and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before — and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him. It is full of startling revelations, exploding the myth of the Long March, and showing a completely unknown Mao: he was not driven by idealism or ideology; his intimate and intricate relationship with Stalin went back to the 1920s, ultimately bringing him to power; he welcomed Japanese occupation of much of China; and he schemed, poisoned, and blackmailed to get his way. After Mao conquered China in 1949, his secret goal was to dominate the world. In chasing this dream he caused the deaths of 38 million people in the greatest famine in history. In all, well over 70 million Chinese perished under Mao’s rule — in peacetime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (240)

3-0 out of 5 stars Shadows of Mao
I approached the book wanting to understand how Mao was able to take control of China and the truth about his reign.
What I got was definitely not objective.This book would be a good companion piece to research about Mao, but I feel like it's written with an ax to grind.
It's written in the textbook manner, although it makes no bones about presenting other points of view or interpretations.Very little in the way of useful maps (they mention Outer Mongolia a hundred times, but don't bother to tell you it's present day Mongolia or have it on a map) and pictures placed in inserts rather than chronologically.
I came away from this book with an impressively researched overview of Mao's life and his place in the Cold War but no greater understanding of how he was able to manipulate, intimated, murder his way to the top, and create an enduring cult of personality.Mao seemed almost like a ghost in his own biography, especially after 1949.I wanted to know more of the how & why as well as the details.I can't really address the other serious scholarly issue of the book as other reviewers have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scary
...to think that based on the reviews and the numbers pro and con, that most folks think Mao is great. This of course does not bode well for our future as a nation, if someone like Mao can so capture our hearts. Not the first time our starry eyed idealists missed the mark, nor is it the last. Great book, if you think Mao was not really good for the world.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is not History! Intellectually Bankrupt!
This is not serious history!This is not serious scholarship!This screed is intellectually lacking and bankrupt.This is a waste of effort and money.Even as one acknowledges that Mao was a monster, there is absolutely no historical objectivity in this book. It is a tough book to get through since it is such a hatchet job and overly simplistic.The formula it follows is this:Mao = Bad, Anything or anyone opposed to Mao = Good.
All historical facts and accounts are tainted and suspect because of the whole tone of the book- nothing is credible.This is simply a screaming diatribe or catharsis against Mao.Anyone who expressed a position that differed from the authors' views - from journalists, to historians, to philosophers, economists and academics, heads of state etc.(past, present and I would assume future) is tagged as "naive", "a lackey" or a "chowder head liberal"!
I do not recommend this book for anything.It is useless as history, or as a biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars Apologists can excuse anything
It's amazing to me how little people understand human nature.Evil people never consider themselves to be truly evil (there are no Darth Vaders).They find or invent justifications for their actions, no matter how twisted they may be.The apologists say that he united China - wow, that's some achievement.And all it cost in terms of human suffering were countless deaths and indescribable torment.It's a typically lame academic argument - I'm sure if Don Mele (a previous reviewer) had his family taken away and he was horribly tortured and killed he wouldn't go up to heaven and tell St. Peter "you know, what happened to me was horrible but at least the president unified the country so some good came out of it".As long as it happens to someone else, it's OK I guess.The apologists also claimthat Mao was a deep thinker who loved the arts - yes, he was and could afford to be as long as he prevented anyone else from enjoying the pleasures he never denied himself (a la Castro and every other sympathetic dictator).Here's a good one - Mao raised literacy.Yes, it's nice to do that but then you undertake destroying every piece of available literature in the country except for the Little Red Book.What's the use of knowing how to read if there's nothing to read?That's like having an extra arm coming out of your forehead - yes you could pick up things with it but in the end it's useless.I don't mind that the book was biased - I welcomed it.The authors backed up their assertions with impeccable research (the only way you could have quoted more primary sources was to have performed a Vulcan mind-meld on Mao while he was alive) and presented it in a vivid style that was a welcome to read.I recommend this book wholeheartedly but I throw in a word of caution - be prepared to read about a human being who did nothing while he was on this planet except cause grief and misery.I can see some people not being able to get through the amount of stupidity and misery that one man is able to accomplish but I recommend that those people forge on and read a fascinating book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading
Absolutely required reading for the history buff or anyone having any need to know the genesis of present day China.Gives wide comprehensive view of history of Asia throughout the 20th Century.Very readable and engaging read. ... Read more

14. Address Unknown
by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
Paperback: 64 Pages (2001-04-01)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743412710
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

A rediscovered classic, originally published in 1938 --

and now an international bestseller.



When it first appeared in Story magazine in 1938, Address Unknown became an immediate social phenomenon and literary sensation. Published in book form a year later and banned in Nazi Germany, it garnered high praise in the United States and much of Europe.

A series of fictional letters between a Jewish art dealer living in San

Francisco and his former business partner, who has returned to Germany, Address Unknown is a haunting tale of enormous and enduring impact.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Revenge
This is a surprisingly brief but very effective drama of the time before
World War II. There is a close business partnership and friendship between
two Germans in the US, one of whom is Jewish. The non-Jew returns to
Hitler's Germany and is soon converted to Nazi-ism. What follows is high drama depicted in correspondence between the two friends. There is ultimately sweet revenge for the German who remained in the US.

5-0 out of 5 stars This should be required reading
Sixty years later, apologists for the slow American response to the holocaust say that, gee, we just had no idea until the camps were liberated at the end of the war.Not so.In 1938, Katherine Kressman Taylor published the short story ADDRESS UNKNOWN in Story Magazine. Its popularity inspired a stand alone hardcover release the following year. The critics could not say enough. They and those who made it a bestseller knew.

It is a perfectly crafted, creatively conceived story and it is a story that delivered an unmistakable message about the Nazi menace.Taylor was inspired by what became of a couple she knew who moved to Germany in the 30's and from a newspaper article.This edition includes an introduction by the author's son who reveals some biographical detail and how the story came to be written.Even with this information and what we know of history, the story packs an unexpected punch. It takes fiction to the living edge of what it can do for society and culture.

This is a nicely produced edition, with a sturdy, flapped soft cover and rich vellum pages,worthy of the classic it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best short story ever written and still relevant
An expertly written and moving short story set during the rise of 1930's Nationalism in Germany. Using the format of a series of correspondence betwen two business partners in the art trade,it traces their close relationshipand how this develops when one returns to his German homeland at a time when Hitler is rising to power. With modern parallels to the current east-west political situation, this story is a must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling Story of Nazis and Revenge
The relationship between two Germans -- one Gentile, the other Jewish -- quickly deteriorates with the rise of Hitler.The book, consisting entirely of trans-Atlantic correspondence, shows how seemingly normal people can be seduced by Fascism.

When the newly enthusiastic Nazi cruelly betrays his longtime friend and business partner, it is not the end, only the beginning. An unforgiveable crime is punished with an extremely creative and deeply vindictive act of revenge that will stay with you long after the last page is read. Moving, frightening, and fast-paced, this novella has stood the test of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read classic!
This is an excellent short story. So much to understand between the lines that makes the story even better. Excellent for anyone interested in history of the holocaust and human relations. Sure to become a classic! ... Read more

15. Unknown Waters: A First-Hand Account of the Historic Under-ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651)
by Alfred S McLaren
Hardcover: 242 Pages (2008-01-25)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0817316027
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16. At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (Modern Library Paperbacks)
by Philip Dray
Paperback: 544 Pages (2003-01-07)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375754458
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Lynching, the extrajudicial punishment inflicted by vigilantes and mobson often innocent victims, was far from an unusual occurrence, though somehistorians have depicted it as such. Instead, writes Philip Dray, lynching waspart of a "systematized reign of terror that was used to maintain the powerwhites had over blacks." Drawing on records held at the Tuskegee Institute, Drayargues that from 1882 until 1952, not a single year passed without a recordedlynching somewhere in the United States, most often in the Deep South andMississippi Delta regions. This violent "justice," meted out "at the hands ofpersons unknown" (with, therefore, no possibility of attaching guilt to theperpetrators, though, as Dray points out, such seemingly spontaneous eventsrequired organization and planning) held African American communities in terrorand was one force behind the exodus of black southerners to the north in thelate 19th and early 20th centuries. Dray's extraordinary study reveals a patternof crime against humanity, one that, he writes, diminished gradually for variousreasons, not least of them the work of reformers and ordinary citizens "who knewwe were too good to be a nation of lynchers." --Gregory McNameeBook Description
Winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

This extraordinary account of lynching in America, by acclaimed civil rights historian Philip Dray, shines a clear, bright light on American history’s darkest stain—illuminating its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the commitment to justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes lynching’s legacy belong to us all. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Difficult Book To Read But Essential!
This is history book in the purest sense of what a history book should be yet this book is much more than a history of American Violence against African Americans, it's a history of how civilization can be repressive and savage despite it's seemingly enlightened ideology. Philip Dray doesn't hold back in painful details of lynching, the dynamics and psychology behind the mob mentality, and how people actively seek to uphold an illusion of law and order from the bigoted vigilantes to the unsympathetic courts. Collectively we have tried and still continue to try to supress the history of slavery and the bloody history subsequent racial violence. This book needs to be required reading in our schools as a counter to other so-called history texts admonishing certain fathers of the nation.

5-0 out of 5 stars One word - outstanding.
Quite possibly the best, most well-researched book I've ever read. A smooth read, impeccable use of historical sources, and a clear narrative account of the most tragic era in American history. For scholars who research or teach in the area of social control, legal, and extra-legal punishment, you *cannot* have a full grasp of the topic unless you read Dray's work. A fine work of history...the author is to be commended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
This book was not only shipped within 2 days but in new condition. The book itself is very informative about other things than lynching. It talks about various people related to the anti-lynching movement tons of other things. I'm currently using this as a text book for a college class. This is a great teaching resource! Buy the book, you won't forget it!

5-0 out of 5 stars A first rate history of an Americantragedy
Dray's account, while often disturbing reading, is an essential for anyone who seeks to understand the lynching phenomenon in the United States. Scholarly, but accessible, the history's gruesome recountings of lynchings are balanced by the tales of those individuals and organizations that fought, often at great personal peril, to bring an end to this national disgrace. This meticulously researched volume is recommended for the professional as well as the lay historian. It is a cautionary tale, but ultimately one not without hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars I only THOUGHT I knew about lynchings...
I fancy myself a history buff. And as a black man, I like to think I know my history. I knew how savage whites in the South could be to black men who didn't know their place.
I knew what a potent and mix sex and race were - and are - in America.

But nothing I knew prepared me for what I read. Mr. Dray did an incredible job in tying together the long history of lynching in this country, from its origins in early America, to the 1960s - in other words *in my lifetime*.

I gained a appreciation for Ida Wells that I never had; she is often mentioned in Black History texts, but I never understood until "BPU" why she was so amazing.

This book should be required reading for high school students Nationwide (another fact that Dray makes clear is that while Southerners were the worst offenders, lynchings took place in the Northern states as well).

This shameful period of American History is as bad as the Nazis atrocities against Jews - and for a far longer period of time. People who think that post-slavery, Jim Crow was nothing more than a benign embarassment should be made to read this book until they get it.

Hats off to Phillip Dray for a engrossing and educational read. By the time I finished, I understood our country a little better than before. ... Read more

17. Unknown Armies (2nd Edition)
by Greg Stolze, John Tynes
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2002-07)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$33.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1589780132
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
What will you risk to change the world?

The acclaimed RPG of modern occult intrigue returns in a stunning new hardcover edition. Completely reorganized, largely rewritten, and jam-packed with new art, the second edition of Unknown Armies isn't just better. It kicks metaphysical ass!

We've remixed the book based on the level of campaign you want to play: Street, Global, or Cosmic. At street level, you're outsiders to the secret world of magick, ordinary people entering a land of mystery and peril. At global level, you're mojo-wielding cabalists in the occult underground, pursuing your arcane agendas and plotting against your rivals. At cosmic level, you're in tune with the cosmos itself, fighting to shape the next incarnation of reality. Background material is divided up as well, so new players in a street-level campaign only read what the

GM wants them to know.

But the beats don't stop there:

Much more information for new players, to get them into the mindset of the game and help them make better characters and stronger campaigns.

* New character-creation options, including Trigger Events, Paradigm Skills, and power levels scaled to match the level of campaign you're playing.

* Numerous rules tweaks, including a new initiative system, Fuzzy Logic skill checks, player-directed combat modifiers, amped-up martial arts rules, a new experience system, and more, all dedicated to upgrading UA's innovative percentile system into a lean and precise tool for fast play and player empowerment.

* More magick for non-adepts: Authentic Thaumaturgy, new rituals and artifacts, and revised versions of Proxy Magick and Tilts allow the freewheeling use of symbolic, sympathetic magick by anyone with the will to make it happen.

* Twelve schools of magick (up from seven in UA1) for obsessed adepts, including revised versions of published schools (Bibliomancy, Personamancy, and Urbanomancy) and two new schools (Videomancy and Narcotic Alchemy).

* Fourteen avatars (up from eight in UA1) for archetypalists, including revised versions of published avatars (The Messenger, The Mother, The Mystic Hermaphrodite, and the True King) and two new avatars (The MVP and The Warrior).

* More resources for the GM, including specific guidance on combat, wounds, skill checks, campaign building, and other critical issues.

* New cover art and design, new interior art and design, and a hardcover binding to keep this game in line. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent RPG
This is one of the most fun RPGs I've had the pleasure of GM'ing. It's dark, fun, sometimes humorous, and overall a blast to play.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best modern RPG! (The best RPG in general?)
Unknown Armies is the game that brought me back as a RPG enthuisiast.When the first edition of this game came along I had grown tired of the overly popular games such as Dungeons and Dragons and all the World of Darkness games.I read an online review of Unknown Armies and its intrigued me so much that I got the game.I read it over and instantly was drawn in.Unknown Armies seemlessly blends its setting and its system.Its truly a character driven game where the beliefs (obsessions and passions) of the characters can affect the outcome of the game and the success of dice roles.The modified percentile system that the game uses works great and stays in the background, not intruding the roleplaying and plot development.Tynes and Stolze created a unique cosmology that sets UA a head above the rest of the modern occult, horror, and conspiracy games that are out there.The 2nd Edition of the game corrects a couple of bumps in the system such as spending experience points.More importantly the 2nd Edition sets the framework for very exciting and interesting UA campaigns.This is the best modern setting RPG out there and I am serious in saying that it has the potential for being the best paper-and-pencil RPG.I hate to use the words "instant classic", since that is such an oxymoron, but this definitely will be a classic of RPGs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very cool
If you're a roleplayer, and you're tired of the same-old stuff, give this a look. The first edition of Unknown Armies was good, but the 2nd edition is much improved--the elegant rules are somewhat simplified and easier to grasp now (and thereby more elegant). The book is organized more logically, and the writers provide much better information on how to run a campaign, giving this book a lot more direction.

It's a very setting-specific game: It seems that the world we know is full of secrets, and when you start to learn of some of them, everything changes for you. That in itself isn't original, but the details often are. The "feel" of the game is that choices have consequences.

The rules focus properly on role-playing over rolling dice. Character generation is fast and simple, with only 4 characteristics, and no definitive skill list (players can make up their own skills, subject to GM approval). Combat requires only two rolls per round: initiative and a single attack/damage roll--whether you hit and how much damage you do is resolved in the same roll. There are three different and fascinating systems of magic, all easy to use, believable within the context, and highly flexible. The "sanity" rules are an improvement over the already-good Call of Cthulhu rules.

A comparison to Call of Cthulhu is apt--both Tynes and Stolze have written quite a lot of Call of Cthulhu material in the past, and it seems almost a cliche now that so many people who read this book immediately start to think of how to incorporate Call of Cthulhu into it. But while there are many correspondances, at their hearts, Unknown Armies and Call of Cthulhu are opposites, and merging them is a difficult (but worthy) task. CoC is about a nihilistic spiral into madness and death; Unkown Armies is about desire, hope, and what you'll do to get them--and the consequences of your actions. As dark as it can be, Unknown Armies is set in a human-centered world; CoC is set in an alien-centered world, in which human hopes are utterly irrelevant. Both are wonderful games.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine modern horror RPG
It isn't often that I can read an role-playing game cover to cover and find that the game is playable and it reads well.Unknown Armies, UA, is a fantastic game with ten gaming ideas for every paragraph.

The system is a simple percentile system but the system is elegant, letting the player characters flip numbers under certain role-playing situations.It plays dramatic and fast.

The combat chapter begins with ways to avoid a fight.Then it launches into the way combat works.Beautiful.

Magick is brutal and extracts a price.

The world is fun and has a captivating cosmology while still allowing the DM and the players to make some choices about how the world really works and the headlines of the paper are fine adventure fodder.

I cannot stress enough how well written and fun this game is.I have both played and run it.Please pick it up and find out for yourself.

The works of Tim Powers are where many of the metaphysical ideas of the game come from.Check out his novels if the game appeals to you.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new direction,,,I LIKE IT!!
This game is well worth it, and that's putting it mildly.

The game's mechanics are simple whether you play street, global, or cosmic, and the fact that you're not limited by JUST what's in the book as far at character types makes it take your creativity to a whole new level; the only limits here are those of your imagination, and what your GM will allow. Over all, the game strikes me as a combo of Mage; the Ascension, Call of Cthulu, with a healthy dose Jung,(the man, not the game:) thrown in.

The trick here is that the simple game mechanics may not work for game players who come from "traditional" statistic laden systems that simply require a dice roll to solve most problems; players must think originally, creativly, and the game indulges you to go places that some folks may fear to tread, so it may not be for everyone. It'll be a grand and enjoyable challenge for both GM's as well as players.

Myself, I like it a lot, as it challenges more than just a few traditional ideas about life, the universe and everything; be prepared to be changed by this game, if ye dare!!! ... Read more

18. Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark's Daring Westward Expedition
by Jack Uldrich
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2004-04)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$7.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0814408168
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
If life is an adventure, no one will ever live it more fully than Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the rumored Northwest Passage, Lewis and Clark instead discovered a seemingly endless land whose very existence foretold a future America infinitely different from what had been imagined.

May 2004 marks the beginning of a two-and-a-half year bicentennial celebration of their incredible journey and its significance to the history of America. Against staggering odds, these unique men inspired such absolute loyalty in each other and in their group that they are still widely regarded as the most successful leadership team in American history.

Today's leadership adventures unfold in the rugged terrain of business, and who better than Lewis and Clark to lead us through its toughest challenges? Their story resonates with business leaders of our time because they had to:

* Think strategically* Make tough and timely decisions * Surround themselves with good people * Manage resources * Motivate the team* Deal with different cultures * Assimilate information from many sources * Balance long-term goals against short-term realities * Learn from their mistakes* Try new approaches

Most importantly, they had to persevere and change course in the face of adversity. Their lessons will inspire business leaders to take their teams to new adventures of great discovery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Let the Corps of Discovery Guide You
This is not a re-hash of the events of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. In his book, INTO THE UNKNOWN, author Jack Uldrich has examined the management principles used over 200 years ago by the great exploration, and has brilliantly applied those same lessons to todays business world. To help business leaders navigate their way through the rugged terrain of modern business, Uldrich presents Lewis and Clark as examples of leaders who were able to take their team through the roughest environments and the toughest challenges.

The challenges these two captains faced and those confronting the leaders of today are more similar than most might expect. The advancements of technology and knowledge itself are propelling us faster and faster into the unknown. What better leaders are there to turn to that those who have successfully faced unknown challenges?

Uldrich focuses on 10 core principles which Lewis & Clark used to make the Corps of Discovery a success and shows us how those same 10 timeless lessons can inspire business leaders to take their teams to new adventures of great discovery in any era.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Lessons
I recently received this book as a graduation gift.After allowing it to sit on my bedstand for a few weeks, I finally cracked the cover.The first chapter on "Passionate Purpose" really hit home.I had been debating between pursuing a career in PR or one in teaching.After reading the chapter, I havenow decided on the latter.I have not yet finished reading rest of the book ... but I am hoping it'll be as inspirational as the first chapter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time Well Spent
I recently read Jack Uldrich's previous book, The Next Big Thing is Realy Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business, and I enjoyed it so much that I asked Amazon.com to alert me when his next book came out.I was a little surprised when I received an email from Amazon.com telling me that his next book was about Lewis & Clark (I was expecting and hoping for another high-tech book.)Nevertheless, I decided to give it a read (it's a quick read) and was thoroughly delighted with it.In fact, in many ways, it was even better than his first book.Uldrich is the rare business consultant--he understands that regardless of how good or exciting new emerging technologies are, they are worthless in the hands of businesses or organizations that don't have good, strong, capable leaders.I strongly encourage any business leader or executive who is struggling to lead their organization through these technologicaly-challenging times to spend an evening with this book.I guarantee you that it will be time well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Leadership Lessons
Using the 2 ½ year adventure into the American Northwest as a backdrop, Jack Uldrich offers leaders ten timeless lessons.

Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark discovered an endless land whose very existence foretold the country's future America.

May, 2004 begins a bicentennial celebration of their incredible journey.Against staggering odds, these unique men inspired such absolute loyalty that they are regarded by many as the most successful leadership team in American history.

Their story resonates with us because they had to:

1. Think strategically
2. Make tough and timely decisions
3. Surround themselves with good people
4. Manage resources
5. Motivate the team
6. Deal with different cultures
7. Assimilate information from many sources
8. Balance long-term goals against short-term realities
9. Learn from their mistakes
10. Try new approaches.

Lewis and Clark lead their team into the unknown.They preserved through crises, course changes and insurmountable adversity.They persevered. Their lessons will inspire all of us to lead our teams on discovery adventures.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lewis & Clark -- Still Relevant!
As a self admitted fan of Lewis and Clark, I was somewhat reluctant to purchase this book.However, after reading it, I am glad I did.Uldrich takes an utterly unique approach to their incredible journey.Rather than simply retelling the story of the Corps of Discovery as so many authors have done, the author instead dissects their journey from the prospective of leadership.I found myself in complete agreement with his ten leadership principles and the ancedotes he uses are wonderful.His method of weaving in real-world examples drives home the point that Lewis and Clark are still relevant after 200 years.If I have a criticism, it is this ... I think the author should have had a chapter devoted to the diplomatic skills of Lewis and Clark.All told, I strongly recommend this book. ... Read more

19. Unknown Man #89
by Elmore Leonard
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2002-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060082216
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Detroit process server Jack Ryan has a reputation for being the best in the business at finding people who don't want to be found. Now he's looking for a missing stockholder known only as "Unknown Man No. 89." But his missing man isn't "unknown" to everyone: a pretty blonde hates his guts and a very nasty dude named Royal wants him dead in the worst way. Which is very unfortunate for Jack Ryan, who is suddenly caught in the crossfire of a lethal triple-cross and as much a target as his nameless prey.

Download Description
E-book extras: "Martin Amis Interviews 'The Dickens of Detroit'"; Elmore Leonard's "If It Sounds Like Writing, Rewrite It"; "All By Elmore: The Crime Novels & The Westerns"; Selected FilmographyDetroit process server Jack Ryan gets caught in the crossfire of a lethal triple-cross. Detroit process server Jack Ryan has a reputation for being the best in the business at finding people who don't want to be found. Now he's looking for a missing stockholder known only as "Unknown Man #89." But his missing man isn't "unknown" to everyone: a pretty blonde hates his guts and a very nasty dude named Royal wants him dead in the worst way. Which is very unfortunate for Jack Ryan, who is suddenly caught in the crossfire of a lethal triple-cross and as much a target as his nameless prey. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good old standard
This is one of the first books I purchased for my Kindle and I really enjoyed Elmore Leonard's reliable tale-telling and character development.As usual, the romance was a bit predictable, but the caper took some interesting twists.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've ever read
This may be the best book I have ever read.I'm a big fan of the movies, "Get Shorty" and "The Big Bounce" so I picked this up just because I liked the writer.I just ordered 2 more of his books, I highly recommend Unknown Man #89 though.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Safe Bet
When you're in the mood for an Elmore Leonard book, I recommend reading this one.It definately satisfies, because, A:it's a page turner, and B:the characters are top-notch and the setting is Detroit (mostly).Why do we read Elmore
Leonard?Because he is a master of his craft.And nowhere is that more evident than in Unknown Man #89.It's not deep, or life-changing, or life-affirming, but it is a good read.Especially if you hanker to get lost in the world of a seedy 1970's Detroit.
I think this is my fourth E.L. book, and I haven't yet read anything he's written past 1979.There seem to be heavy similarities in his books from this era.You always know what you're going to get, kind of like when you buy a Slayer albumn.But, much like Slayer, Leonard rarely disappoints.

3-0 out of 5 stars First Leonard Read!
I have always enjoyed the Elmore Leonard movie adaptations, so I thought I'd give his work a try.I loved "Get Shorty", "Out of Sight", and enjoyed the others as well.I researched the best one to read and based on the reviews here, I chose this one.I'm sorry I can only give it 3 stars.Read on for the reasons!


There was so much happening throughout the book that could have added some inetresting and exciting action, but instead it just ended terribly.All of the sudden Ryan is in love with Denise?What about his girlfriend he already had?He just up and goes to Florida and then we read where he is in her office telling her he loves Denise while trying to get her to type a fake court injunction for them.And virgil was supposed to be such a tough character and then to just dispose of him and Tunafish so easily along with Raymond.It was as if Leonard didn't know how to end it or what to do with everyone, so he just eliminated the "hardened criminal" types of the plot.So, the end is Ryan, Denise, and Perez just all get together and be friendly and settle the whole deal?Give me a break.Should have done that to begin with and 3 people wouldn't have had to die.And why title it Unknown Man #89?Bobby Leary was not unknown.They knew who he was from the beginning, the morgue tagged him unknown.

************SPOILER OVER*******************

The story had potential, but fizzled out the last half of the book.All those parts of the story that started the book were left unfinished and some, or most, were pointless to introduce in the first place.I only finished it because I kept hoping it would get better and, unfortunately, it didn't.Sorry, I just couldn't buy it.

Needless to say, I'm not going to be picking up anymore Elmore Leonard books.I'll stick to the movie adaptations.

5-0 out of 5 stars No One Does it Better than Leonard!
I have always been an Elmore Leonard fan and have read everything he's published.I just can't get enough of him.His concise way of writing is superb. He doesn't overengage in descriptives, thank goodness - that gets boring - yet manages to convey exactly what he wants more succinctly than any author I've ever read.The characters never disappoint and the sense of humor displayed is simply unsurpassable.Another fantastic book by an author who is the best. ... Read more

20. Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and unknowns in the dazzling world of derivatives
by Satyajit Das
Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-05-15)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$17.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0273704745
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
After reading this you wont trust a banker/broker ever again (not that you should have before).
The book is written like a set of short stories. They just flow smoothly and along the way you get to learn about how the world of modern finance has become the creature that it is today. Want to know more about how the sub-prime crisis came about? Read the last section. Wonder how Goldman Sachs got out of it without so much of a scratch? The "tone" of the book will let you know. Just a really insightful and pleasurable read if you like the exciting world of high finance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bulls-eye
For anyone who has been in the business since the advent of financial futures each chapter is a wonderful ride down memory lane (a.k.a. Wall Street) - where fear and greed intersect. Each chapter fittingly a gapers block of financial wreckage and black humor brought on by appropriately licensed Wall Street professionals. A must read for anyone who's been on the Street and those aspiring to.

3-0 out of 5 stars Traders Guns & Money
This book is an authoritative explanation and review of a very abstruse subject "derivatives". The author is very knowledgeable although sometimes too technical for the average person to understand. I think he could have explained his subject without the use of so much profanity. Mr. Das uses this colorful language to portray the lowlife that is handling billions of dollars of our investment money. It certainly was effective. A must read if one is concerned about our debt and the greed of our money managers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book lacks a general story line, but provides a good general overview of the history of derivatives without getting into the technical aspects or valuation techniques.It is well written and can be quite humorous at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Time, And Heed the Warning
Thoroughly enjoyable read into the world of complex financial structures with anonymous introductions to a few of satans sons who peddle the wares to the not-so-innocent buy-side. DAS weaves his tales with a refreshing sense of humor, something that is in painfully short supply in the industry. If your looking for an understandable survey of current, and not-so-current, financial innovations and the havoc they can bear, then this book is for you. ... Read more

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