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1. On the Shoulders of Giants- Volume
2. People From Franklin County, Virginia:
3. On the Shoulders of Giants, Vol
4. Out Magazine - Jesse L Martin
5. The Fire Next Time
6. The Edge of the Chair: Anthology
7. A lasting impression; a collection
8. A lasting impression : a collection
9. Designed for Delight: Alternative
10. A lasting impression; a collection
11. A lasting impression; a collection
12. A lasting impression; a collection
13. Command in War
14. Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms
15. Doomsday Men: The Real Dr. Strangelove

1. On the Shoulders of Giants- Volume 2 (My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance, Volume 2)
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Audio CD: Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$62.99
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Asin: B0019SQSQC
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar invites you to undertake a journey with him back into the Harlem Renaissance, a place where jazz was kingand where some of the greatest writers and politicians changed the course of history. Listen as Jesse L. Martin recounts this spectacular time in history and Kareem recounts how Harlem writers influenced his life. Along the way, youll hear from some of the real voices of the period, such as Marcus Garvey and Langston Hughes. You will also be able to eavesdrop on some private conversations between Kareem and internationally known artists such as Maya Angelou, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Louis Gossett Jr. and Billy Crystal, who were gracious enough to share their own thoughts on that timeand much more. We hope you enjoy On the Shoulders of Giants: An Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance ... Read more

2. People From Franklin County, Virginia: Jubal Anderson Early, Jesse L. Martin, Elizabeth Futral, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Charles Poindexter
Paperback: 296 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$37.30 -- used & new: US$37.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1156027454
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Chapters: Jubal Anderson Early, Jesse L. Martin, Elizabeth Futral, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Charles Poindexter, Dwaine Board, Johnston Lykins, Rudy Lyle, Lewis Preston, Joey Arrington,. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 40. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 - March 2, 1894) was a lawyer and Confederate general in the American Civil War. He served under Stonewall Jackson and then Robert E. Lee for almost the entire war, rising from regimental command to lieutenant general and the command of an infantry corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. He was the Confederate commander in key battles of the Valley Campaigns of 1864, including a daring raid to the outskirts of Washington, D.C. The articles written by him for the Southern Historical Society in the 1870s established the Lost Cause point of view as a long-lasting literary and cultural phenomenon. Historic marker for Jubal Anderon birthplace, Franklin County, VirginiaEarly was born in Franklin County, Virginia, third of ten children of Ruth Hairston and Joab Early. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837, ranked 18th of 50. During his tenure at the Academy he was engaged in a dispute with a fellow cadet named Lewis Addison Armistead. Armistead broke a mess plate over Early's head, an incident that prompted Armistead's resignation from the Academy. After graduating from the Academy, Early fought against the Seminole in Florida as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment before resigning from the Army for the first time in 1838. He practiced law in the 1840s as a prosecutor for both Franklin and Floyd Counties in Virginia. He was noted for a case in Mississippi, where he beat the top lawyers in the state. His law practice was interrupted by the Mexican-American...More: http://booksllc.net/?id=22441617 ... Read more

3. On the Shoulders of Giants, Vol 2: Master Intellects and Creative Giants
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
 Audio Cassette: Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$69.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1436189926
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4. Out Magazine - Jesse L Martin (September 2005)
Unknown Binding: Pages (2005)

Asin: B000WLD1HG
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5. The Fire Next Time
by James Baldwin
Audio CD: Pages (2008-01-29)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$2.30
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Asin: 1602833648
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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A Classic Work on Race, Now Available for the First Time on Audio - read by Jesse L. Martin from Law & Order!

At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice--to both the individual and America at large--The Fire Next Time, which galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement, stands as one of the essential works of our literature.It remains as relevant today, widely read in classrooms and lecture halls across America, as it was when first published, 45 years ago.

Presented unabridged on 3 CDs.Amazon.com Review
It's shocking how little has changed between the races in thiscountry since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coollyimpassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." The Fire NextTime--even the title is beautiful, resonant, and incendiary. "Do Ireally want to be integrated into a burning house?" Baldwindemands, flicking aside the central race issue of his day and callinginstead for full and shared acceptance of the fact that America is andalways has been a multiracial society. Without this acceptance, heargues, the nation dooms itself to "sterility and decay" and toeventual destruction at the hands of the oppressed: "The Negroes ofthis country may never be able to rise to power, but they are verywell placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain onthe American dream."

Baldwin's seething insights and directives, so disturbing to the whiteliberals and black moderates of his day, have become the startingpoint for discussions of American race relations: that debasement andoppression of one people by another is "a recipe for murder"; that"color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a politicalreality"; that whites can only truly liberate themselves when theyliberate blacks, indeed when they "become black" symbolically andspiritually; that blacks and whites "deeply need each other here" inorder for America to realize its identity as a nation.

Yet despite its edgy tone and the strong undercurrent of violence,The Fire Next Time is ultimately a hopeful and healingessay. Baldwin ranges far in these hundred pages--from a memoir of hisabortive teenage religious awakening in Harlem (an interestingcommentary on his first novel Go Tell It on theMountain) to a disturbing encounter with Nation of Islamfounder Elijah Muhammad. But what binds it all together is theeloquence, intimacy, and controlled urgency of the voice. Baldwinclearly paid in sweat and shame for every word in this text. What'sincredible is that he managed to keep his cool. --David Laskin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars probably would have not read it if it wasn't assigned
I love this book and it really expose the flaws with religion and our society .

5-0 out of 5 stars Tai's QuickViews: Five Stars
I admire this book. Here are some quotes from this striking work:

If the concept of God has any validity or any use it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of him.

it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.

theology and religion are used to sanctify our fears, crimes, and aspirations

people tend to band behind something that takes away personal responsibility.

to accept one's past, one's history, is not the same thing as drowning in it. it is learning how to use it. an invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.

if one is continually surviving the worst that life can bring, one eventually ceases to be controlled by a fear of what life can bring.

5-0 out of 5 stars That's Right- Not Water, Fire Next Time
Now I have been, as is my wont when I get "hooked" on some writer, on something of a James Baldwin tear of late, reading or re-reading everything I can get my hands on. At the time of this review I have already looked at "Go Tell It On The Mountain", "Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone", and "If Beale Street Could Talk." Frankly those works, while well written and powerful, did not altogether remind me why I was crazy to read everything that Baldwin wrote when I was a kid. The Baldwin black liberation manifesto (and, maybe, white liberation as a by-product), "The Fire Next Time", "spoke" to me then and after forty years still "speaks" to me now in so-called "post-racial" Obama time.

Back in the early 1960s I used to listen to a late night talk show on the local radio station in Boston. Many times the host would have Malcolm X on and the airwaves would light up with his take on white racism, black nationalism and the way forward for the black liberation struggle- and away from liberal integrationism. Now in those days I was nothing but a woolly-headed white, left liberal "wannabe" bourgeois politico kid who believed in black liberation but in the context of working within the prevailing American society. I was definitely, and adamantly, opposed to the notion of a separate black state on the American continent if for no other reason that it would look something like the then existing ghettos, writ large, that I was committed to getting rid of and a set up for black genocide if things got too hot. And I still am. So, on the one hand, I admired, and I really did, Malcolm X for "speaking truth to power" on the race question while on the other disagreeing with virtually every way he wanted to achieve it.

Now that scenario is the predicate for James Baldwin's assuredly more literary, but seemingly more hopeful, way of getting the thread of the Malcolm X message about white racism out while posing the possibility (or, maybe, necessity) of joint struggle to get rid of it. In my recent re-reading of "The Fire Next Time" I was struck by how much of Baldwin's own hard-fought understandings on the question of race intersected with The Nation Of Islam, Malcolm at the time, and Elijah Mohammad's. Oddly, I distinctly remember debating someone, somewhere on the question of black nationalism and using Baldwin's more rational approach as a hammer against the black nationalists. I probably overdrew his more balanced view of a multiracial American then, if not now.

Still, Jimmy was onto something back then. Something that airy-headed kids like me, who thought that once the struggle in the South was won then the struggle in the North could be dealt with merely by a little fine-tuning, were clueless about. Don't smirk. But do note this: while only a fool or political charlatan, would deny that there have been gains for the black population since those civil rights struggle days the pathology of racism and, more importantly, the hard statistics of racism (housing segregation, numbers in the penal system, unemployment and underemployment rates, education, and a whole range of other factors) tell a very different story about how far blacks really have come over the last half century. A story that makes "The Fire Next Time" read like it could have been written today. And to be read today. Thanks, Jimmy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thesis
James Baldwin is a fantastic writer.I completely agree with his all of his main points and believe that they still apply today.His description of his meeting with Elijah Muhammad was the highlight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good buy
Although baldwin has had heaps of negative feedback for his writing-I enjoyed the book. It depicts the civil rights probably less malicously about whites than most books which is why he was critized but it was a good read. ... Read more

6. The Edge of the Chair: Anthology
by This anthology contains: The Sixth Capsule or Proof by Circumstantial Evidence by Edmund Pearson; Fool's Mate by Stanley Ellin; The Axeman Wore Wings by Robert Tallant; Stone from the Stars by Valentina Zhuravleva, The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin; Billy: The Seal Mission by Stewart Alsop and Thomas Braden; A Watcher by the Dead by Ambrose Bierce; Tea Party by Harold Pinter; Death Draws a Triangle by Edward Hale Bierstadt, The Net by Robert M. Coates; Prisoner of the Sand by Antoine de Saint Exupery; The End of the Party by Graham Greene; The Last Inhabitant of the Tuileries by Andre Castelot; Jesting Pilot by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner), Shattering the Myth of John Wilkes Booth's Escape by William G. Shepherd; A Piece of Steak by Jack London; The Game of Murder by Gerd Gaiser; On the Killing of Eratosthenes the Seducer by Kathleen Freeman, The Adventure of Clapham Cook by Agatha Christie; The Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury; They by Rudyard Kipling; The Chair by John Bartlow Martin; Old Fags by Stacy Aumonier; Dead Men Working in Cane Fields by William Seabrook, How the Bridadier Lost His Ear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Dry September by William Faulkner; Rattenbury and Stone by T. Tennyson Jesse; Sing a Song of Sixpence by John Buchan; The Murder in Le Mans by Janet Flanner, Sleeping Beauty by John Collier; The Shadow of the Shark by G. K. Chesterton; A Small Buried Treasure by John Fischer; The Horla by Guy de Maupassant; and Scrawns by Dorothy L. Sayers
 Hardcover: Pages (1968)

Asin: B001CGK9QG
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7. A lasting impression; a collection of photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr., compiled and edited by Hermene D. Hartman, with a foreword by the reverend Jesse L. Jackson.
by John Tweedle
 Paperback: Pages (1983)

Asin: B003NXX094
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8. A lasting impression : a collection of photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr. ; with a foreword by Jesse L. Jackson.
by John (1936-1981) Tweedle
 Hardcover: Pages (1983)

Isbn: 0872494314
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9. Designed for Delight: Alternative Aspects of Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts
Hardcover: 320 Pages (1997-06-15)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2080135953
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By the early part of this century, the principles of Modernism in design-- simplicity of form, little or no ornament, truth to materials-- were established as avant-garde ideas, and functionalism soon became an overriding concern. However, looking back from our fin-de-siècle perspective, it is evident that the history of modern design is far more varied and complex. This lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed book demonstrates the surprising ways in which Modernist designers also took alternative routes to create art beyond function.

From Art Nouveau and the Wiener Werkstätte to Pop and Post-modernism, Designed for Delight presents over 200 works from the collection of the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, in all media, focusing in particular on four aspects of the decorative arts through objects and essays. "Body Language" explores the ways in which the human body and its various parts have been used as elements of design. In "Inversion and Transformation" we see how materials have been unexpectedly inverted. Contrary to the accepted notion that Modern design should be devoid of ornament, the richly decorated surfaces and textures of objects in "Is Ornament a Crime?" argue for the everlasting appeal of floral and geometric patterns. Fantasy and illusion have been equally compelling, and "Flights of Fantasy" demonstrates how twentieth-century artists and designers incorporated the fantastic and even the irrational into their work.

Alongside scholarly inquiries on these themes, four essays reflect on the broader context of architecture, painting, sculpture, and design. The objects are accompanied by the words of the artists themselves, or of commentators from throughout the century-- including many quotations unique to this book-- Lalique and Hoffmann, Dalí and Ruhlmann, Pucci and Nikki de Saint-Phalle, Pesce, Sottsass, and Starck. Their words provide a fascinating glimpse into the processes of creation and perception. Published to coincide with a landmark traveling exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Designed for Delight is certain to become a standard reference for decorative arts of the twentieth century.
Amazon.com Review
This book is aptly titled, for both the objects contained init--things such as Dali's lip-shaped sofa and Gaultier's torso-shapedperfume vials--and the book itself will delight the reader. Thefurniture, vases, fabrics, and other objects are organized accordingto four classifications: "Body Language," "Inversionand Transformation," "Is Ornament a Crime?," and"Flights of Fancy." All are reproduced in full color andaccentuated by essays elaborating the ideas. Quotes by or about theartists, placed alongside each photograph, complement the pieces. Inone, Frank Gehry reveals the genesis of his paper furniture: "Igot interested in paper furniture when I was designing for departmentstores and had to invent display furniture that nobody really had tosit on.... I would draw and my assistants and I would then make them. Inever expected to sell these things until someone from Bloomingdale'ssaw them and suggested I develop them." This fabulous view of20th-century decorative arts includes both well-known and obscureitems, making for hours of reading and viewing pleasure. ... Read more

10. A lasting impression; a collection of photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr., compiled and edited by Hermene D. Hartman, with a foreword by the reverend Jesse L. Jackson.
by John Tweedle
 Paperback: Pages (1983)

Asin: B0041WZQAC
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11. A lasting impression; a collection of photographs of Martin Luther King,Jr., compiled and edited by Hermene D. Hartman, with a foreword by thereverend Jesse L. Jackson.
by John Tweedle
 Hardcover: Pages (1983-01-01)

Asin: B000OLKOLK
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12. A lasting impression; a collection of photographs of Martin Luther King,Jr., compiled and edited by Hermene D. Hartman, with a foreword by thereverend Jesse L. Jackson.
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1983-01-01)

Asin: B001U9JKWY
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13. Command in War
by Martin van Creveld
Paperback: 352 Pages (1987-01-01)
list price: US$29.50 -- used & new: US$5.48
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Asin: 0674144414
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Many books have been written about strategy, tactics, and great commanders. This is the first book to deal exclusively with the nature of command itself, and to trace its development over two thousand years from ancient Greece to Vietnam. It treats historically the whole variety of problems involved in commanding armies, including staff organization and administration, communications methods and technologies, weaponry, and logistics. And it analyzes the relationship between these problems and military strategy.

In vivid descriptions of key battles and campaigns--among others, Napoleon at Jena, Moltke's Königgrätz campaign, the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, and the Americans in Vietnam--van Creveld focuses on the means of command and shows how those means worked in practice. He finds that technological advances such as the railroad, breech-loading rifles, the telegraph and later the radio, tanks, and helicopters all brought commanders not only new tactical possibilities but also new limitations.

Although vast changes have occurred in military thinking and technology, the one constant has been an endless search for certainty--certainty about the state and intentions of the enemy's forces; certainty about the manifold factors that together constitute the environment in which war is fought, from the weather and terrain to radioactivity and the presence of chemical warfare agents; and certainty about the state, intentions, and activities of one's own forces. The book concludes that progress in command has usually been achieved less by employing more advanced technologies than by finding ways to transcend the limitations of existing ones.

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Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Command in War
Martin Van Creveld had chosen to use military history as the backbone to his thesis on Command and Conrol. The book not only deals with contemporary issues related to command, but traces the evolution of command and control alongside the development of warfare. This excellent analysis of specific battles is a good read for all who need to understand the fundamentals of command and control through storytelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
This book is on the US Marine Corps Commandant's reading list for officers, I was a Cpl when I ordered this book. I think it should be read by all Corporals that are Infantry. It covers the change in battle command from so many years ago BC to modern day. Very good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Study of Command by Napoleon, Moltke, and Others
This book is one of my favorites on military command.I especially liked learning about how Napolean inspired his troops and used a "telescoping" type procedure in which he would visit different sectors of the front.There are also very good lessons to learn from the command structure and its operation during the Vietnam War and the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 (Yom Kippur War).

If anyone is interested in studying leadership generally or military command in particular, I highly recommend this book.If you are a top leader in the military, you already know Martin Van Creveld, if you are not, but are interested in learning how different leaders lead their subordinates under conditions of complex uncertainty - this book is excellent.

4-0 out of 5 stars Van Creveld on Command....
Distinguished military historian Martin Van Creveld's 1985 "Command in War" is a comparative analysis of the challenges of exercising control over armies in conflict.It was and is an exceptional study on the impact of techonology, organization, and doctrine on the exercise of command.

Van Creveld cites a number of historical examples in the search by commanders for certainty on the battlefield, that is, certainty about the environment, their own forces, and the ability to communicate intent and direction.These historical examples include the ancient Greeks, the armies of Napoleon, the Prussian Armies of the wars of German unification, and the more modern armies of the First and Second World War and Vietnam.

Van Creveld's concluding thoughts suggest that neither technology nor organization nor doctrine provide any silver bullet answer to the quest for certainty; human enterprise remains subject to mistakes and the fog of war.The commander in conflict is advised to have a system suitable for his situation and his army, and make it work.

This book, although dated, is still highly recommended to students of the art of war and of command.

5-0 out of 5 stars The future does not work.
The Ideal Command System should monitor close but not choke initiative nor undermine authority.The system should gather information accurately, continuously, comprehensively, selectively, and fast. Decision-makers should reliably tell truth from error in the data. The Display of information should be displayed clearly, in detail, and provide comprehensive vision. The system information should accurately translate into a real world reference. Design and defining of system objectives must be both desirable and feasible.The systems results should produce orders that are clear and unambiguous

Command should act as a force multiplier.Command identifies opportunities to multiple resources, attention, and tactics as a multiplier effect in that region. Command structures do not win battles.Victories are won in spite of command structure.Men engaged in war need both motivation and information. Command must have councils of war, well-defined and understandable procedures, and technical means.90% of good command management never allow certain "events too happen".For example, vigilant effort removes maintenance breakdown, careless waste of life, procedures and practices that are inherently hazardous, and correctly of serious defect.

As is, commanders must fight with information on hand.Commander's location relative to the troopers differs in proximity.The commander's place is dictated by function. Strategic intelligence in the 1800 was found in books of strategy and maps of friendly and enemy territory. Communication was by mounted couriers that moved between rely-stations transmitting messages.The commander would sit in his tent and contemplate his situation.The speed of the communication was limited to the horse.The troop formations were limited by the ability of the commander to see visual clues. Today, troop formations have a 10-fold increase in defense capability to defend perimeter territory against enemy movement because of communication improvements.

A bigger army creates bigger problems.Complexity, specialization, and organizational instability have created an inordinate increase in the amount of information.Excess specialization has worked against stability.In 1963, four services had 2,225,000 enlisted men representing 1,559 Military Occupation Specialties. Significant increases in radio usage resulted between 1943 and 1971. In 1943, the radio usage was 1 for every 38.6 men.However, by 1971, usage increased to 1 for every 4.5 men, a 859% increase. Usage feasibility corresponded with technology innovations. The radio created thousands of little cogs - all interconnected in the hands of supreme management. The result was backfire!The information was to abstract and diffuse to use.Pressure from the top to produce more quantitative information ended up producing inaccuracy and uncertainty.

Bigger armies meant larger interconnected systems.McNamara created a new military resource called system analyst.The job of the system analyst job meant defining parameters for each individual problem, where the smaller problem was part of a larger problem composition.The system analyst defined alternative solutions based on given assumptions about the problem. Quantitative jargon muddied communication effectiveness.The application of quantitative methods reduced "real world" references and responses.Quantitative means appeased the external political rationales managing the outcome of the Vietnam war.The real battle was between the politicians and the military commanders in a desperate struggle to manage the outcome of the war. Quantitative method directly challenged the authority of military commanders by: creating uncertainty in lines of authority of those giving orders and making requests for action lost in organizational noise. Authority improvements made their biggest impact in the logistic supply chains. Authority breakdown was most prominent in message trafficking.Half the message classifications were immediate or flash creating bottle necks Bottlenecks that distorted the real world references and response capability.Washington needed to depend on the Media to supplement highly abstract, slow arriving, and imprecise arrival of information.The real world reference distortion could be seen as 100,000 tons of ordinance where dropped in areas with few enemy causalities because of faulty information. The Media saw 85% of all American battalion maneuvers and 80% of all causalities. The Media began selecting events mainly for their drama and converted the Vietnam war into a ratings war.

The future does not work.In Vietnam, major units seldom had more than one of their subordinate outfits engaging the enemy at a time.A hapless battalion commander, engaged in a firefight, on the ground.The battalion commander was being observed by a brigade commander, in a helicopter, a 1000 feet above; and above him a division commander; and possibly, above him a force commander.Each ranking officer was tuned by different frequency to the battalion commander below and extracted explanation of the situation.This telescoping affect flooded normal communication channels with inaccurate and irrelevant information.
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14. Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism
by William A. Link
Hardcover: 656 Pages (2008-02-05)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$7.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002XULX24
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In Righteous Warrior, William A. Link provides a magisterial portrait of Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most commanding American politicians of the late twentieth century, and of the conservative movement he forged. Born in Monroe, North Carolina, in his early years Helms worked as a newspaperman, a radio commentator and a magazine editor.  Early on, he realized the power of television, and, on tiny black and white screens across North Carolina in the 1960s, he battled the civil rights movement, campus radicalism, and the sexual revolution.  Race was a central issue for Helms, and he used it at every turn to solidify his base and, in some cases, to mobilize political support. But also important was sexuality, and his discomfort with what he believed was a rising tide of immorality. In 1973, he was elected to the Senate, where he remained until 2003.  As Senator, Helms became a national conservative leader and spokesman for the revitalized American Right, playing a prominent role in the Reagan Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s and the rising tide of Republicanism of the 1990s.  His political organization, the Congressional Club, became remarkably successful at raising millions of dollars and in operating a highly sophisticated, media-driven political machine.  The Congressional Club also provided a source of national standing and power for Helms.  In working so relentlessly for his cause, Helms literally became a nexus of the burgeoning movement, pushing conservative causes, linking conservative politicians up with wealthy donors and amassing more power than many Senators within memory.  In Righteous Warrior, William Link tells the story of one of the most powerful Americans of the twentieth century and the conservative mark he left on the American political landscape.

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Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating history of Helms and the movement he represented
This book is a great read on two dimensions.First, it's a well-written and fascinating biography of Senator Helms, one of the most important American political figures of the second half of the twentieth century.Second, it's a captivating story of the movement that he represented: the "New Right," heavily composed of Southern conservative former Democrats.It's this political movement, whose apotheosis was Reagan (or perhaps Bush 43), that shaped much of the Republican party over the past several decades, and indeed much of the nation.

That's why it is so interesting to hear about its "humble beginnings," which were in the white South's resistance to federally-mandated civil rights legislation.This, of course, was nothing new, and the South had been fighting this ever since their defeat of Reconstruction (with the help of some white-robe-clad compatriots).But in the 1950s and 1960s, the perceived federal interventions had drastically increased, and this segment of the southern population flocked to leaders who would stand up against the tide.

Helms, of course, was one such leader, and the conservatives of North Caroline elected him to the Senate for five terms.Unlike other southerners known for their anti-civil rights stances, he never relented or repented, unlike George Wallace or Strom Thurmond.To some, that makes him more honorable.

The author is by no means unbiased, but that doesn't mean the book lacks objectivity, nor does it mean we ought not to believe anything written in the book.One can personally be liberal but still write an honest biography of a conservative.After all, if the book were written by an outspoken Helms supporter (or Helms himself, who has in fact written an autobiography), it would be subject to the same attacks of unfairness.Do we demand a book written by someone with no personal opinions whatsoever about Helms or what he stood for?I suspect such a hypothetical author wouldn't really have much to say, about Helms or about anything.

The book was especially interesting to read now (mid-2010), in the light of the nascent "Tea Party" movement of conservatism.While the tea party people aren't openly racist as was Helms, their basis of support is most likely drawn from the same well as the New Right.Resistance to federal intervention originated for many families as resistance to desegregation.

I recommend reading this with an open mind.If you are liberal, you'll find yourself agreeing with a lot, and if you're conservative, you'll find yourself challenged.But are you challenged by the facts?Does anyone disagree that Helms did in fact argue against racially integrating his own church, against a Martin Luther King holiday, or that he made no secret of the disgust he felt towards gays?These are the facts of his life, and those can't be disputed.

1-0 out of 5 stars By A Tar Heel in Exile

A thick, boring book, not a biography at all; just a tenured professor spilling out his leftwing prejudices. It does, however, show how a white Republican can defeat a black Democrat: In 1990, Helms used the affirmative action issue to defeat Harvey Gantt, noting that Gantt, due to a set aside program, had a swimming pool and tennis court in his house. Jesse was a man of some means, but not that wealthy! Jesse Helms was a Republican who knew how to win elections. I am, however, disgusted that Helms's former aides on Capitol Hill agreed to talk to Link.

1-0 out of 5 stars Biographer reveals predictable, liberal bias against conservative stalwart
I have read with great interest, and much disappointment, the book by professor William Link, "Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism."

While the book relates some interesting episodes from the life and professional career of Senator Jesse Helms, it ultimately fails to capture the character of the man, falling victim instead to the obvious, politically liberal bias of the author (a member of Historians for Obama).In fact, Link's admiration for one of the Senate's most liberal members (THE most liberal, according to the National Journal Survey in 2008) should serve as caution enough about the prejudiced liberal leanings that inevitably influenced his biography on one of the Senate's most conservative members.

Under the guise of serious scholarship, Link skews his presentation - in a way that actually reveals his own biased viewpoint - selectively picking and choosing what he would include and what he would ignore in order to perpetuate his preconceived slant on a man he never met.

It was my privilege to work with Senator Helms for 12 of his 30 years in the U.S. Senate, and I scarcely recognize the man Link portrays.I remember being interviewed by Link more than a year before the book was published in preparation for his biography on the senator.

At the time, he portrayed himself as a professional and disinterested historian, who wanted to write a factual and objective portrait of North Carolina's longest-serving senator whom he considered had been pivotal in the development of modern-day conservative politics.

Imagine my surprise when I read in the preface to his book that, in fact, he came to his project not with any sort of academic neutrality but rather with a fundamentally liberal prejudice.Link, who is now a professor in Florida, lived in North Carolina for much of the Senator's tenure, and he says that while a constituent of the Senator's, "I subscribed to his demonization; he represented everything that I dislike in modern politics, his policies represented polar opposites of everything I believed in."

Of Helms' first election in 1972, Link, who was a college student at the time, says he "regarded him as out of the political mainstream and of little importance: most people, especially in student circles of the 1970s, regarded him as something of a buffoon who would almost certainly not last longer than a single term."

That bias, finally confessed, is not confined to the preface, but drips from page after page. In fact, to a group editorial writers assembled in Chapel Hill earlier this year, Link acknowledged that he lived in North Carolina at the time of most of Helms' election campaigns (four out of five) and voted against Helms each time.

That's hardly the record of an impartial observer.

Link's dislike, distrust, and disagreement with Helms is obvious throughout.

For instance, any time there is a choice between believing what Helms said were his reasons or motivations for a particular position during his Senate years versus believing what a liberal Senate colleague or liberal editorial page writer charged, Link invariably chooses the most liberal, anti-Helms viewpoint.

Link frequently views Helms through a one-dimensional, racial prism.He attributes racial motivations, inevitably devious ones, to many of Helms' positions, and ignores all evidence of Helms' actual racial record of fairness and equal treatment - such as running one of the most integrated and racially diverse television stations of his era or hiring the first black American, of any party, on the professional staff of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.

Is it any wonder that Link's book is applauded by like-minded liberals, especially in academia, the media, and the Democratic Party (three groups Helms frequently battled)? Those who opposed Senator Helms' conservative philosophy, Christian faith, and support for traditional values will, no doubt, be heartened by this re-hash of presumptions about the Senator's motives and actions with the same, predictable chorus of critics, most with their own agendas. Note, for instance, how many of Link's sources (just skim the footnotes for confirmation) are liberal editorial writers and columnists, or liberal, usually Democratic, politicians, with whom the conservative Republican Helms frequently clashed. Link's interpretations continually put Senator Helms' actions in the most negative light, falsely concluding that courageous or controversial positions were taken in order to seek political advantage, when, in fact, he was standing against the prevailing winds, even earning the moniker "Senator No."

Jesse Helms was recognized during his Senate career, even by political pponents, as a creative legislator (and master parliamentarian) motivated by principled positions - invariably conservative ones, with which Link should just admit he disagrees. Helms was also renowned throughout his lifetime for his directness, candor, and honesty, traits that Link's version of events attempts to displace.

Link fails even to consider that Senator Helms' actions and motivations came from this core set of deeply-held convictions on principle - principles upon which our country was founded - such as the importance of personal responsibility, private property rights, and limited government.

Those wanting to fuel their own propensities toward a liberal leaning will,undoubtedly, find the book full of the examples they may find fulfilling to accomplish that purpose.

But a more thoughtful reader seeking a deeper insight into one of the late 20th Century's most courageous and controversial politicians - with even a modicum of biographical objectivity or historical context - will come away deeply disappointed.

This book gets one star, only because Amazon doesn't offer a lower rating.

4-0 out of 5 stars Balanced and Authoritative
Prof. Link's book takes a hard look at the political life and motivations of Senator Jesse Helms.The book is well-researched, and makes a compelling argument for the centrality of Sen. Helms in the American Conservative movement.

As a doctoral student in the history department that Dr. Link formerly chaired (UNC-Greensboro), I had the opportunity to gain "inside" knowledge on how Link did his work. Ignoring a good deal of criticism from colleagues (who felt the historian too generous toward his subject), Link produced a balanced view of a politician easily caricatured as a buffoon or neanderthal: in truth, Helms was neither angel nor devil.Indeed, one of the greatest strengths of this work is its balance; clearly, the reviewer who lambasted this book on this website never read, or even skimmed, the work.

Like most of Link's other works, "Righteous Warrior" is thick with detail, and is, at times, a bit dry.Furthermore, the book focuses on Helms' political, rather than his personal, life; you won't find much of the story of how Helms' upbringing and background shaped him.However, the work is certainly worth reading, especially for anyone interested in the machinations that brought Ronald Reagan and the Right into power during the 1980s.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Superb Public Biography
Professor William Link's biography of Senator Jesse Helms and his influence on the rise of Modern Conservativism in America is a well-written, balanced, and thoroughly researched treatment of a significant man and his impact on the American political landscape.
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15. Doomsday Men: The Real Dr. Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon
by P. D. Smith
Hardcover: 576 Pages (2007-12-10)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$4.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031237397X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

This is the gripping, untold story of the doomsday bomb—the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. In 1950, Hungarian-born scientist Leo Szilard made a dramatic announcement on American radio: science was on the verge of creating a doomsday bomb. For the first time in history, mankind realized that he had within his grasp a truly God-like power, the ability to destroy life itself. The shockwave from this statement reverberated across the following decade and beyond.

If detonated, Szilard's doomsday device—a huge cobalt-clad H-bomb—would pollute the atmosphere with radioactivity and end all life on earth. The scientific creators of such apocalyptic weapons had transformed the laws of nature into instruments of mass destruction and for many people in the Cold War there was little to distinguish real scientists from that “fictional master of megadeath,” Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. Indeed, as PD Smith’s chilling account shows, the dream of the superweapon begins in popular culture. This is a story that cannot be told without the iconic films and fictions that portray our deadly fascination with superweapons, from H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds to Nevil Shute’s On the Beach and Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Although scientists admitted it was possible to build the cobalt bomb, no superpower would admit to having created one. However, it remained a terrifying possibility, striking fear into the hearts of people around the world. The story of the cobalt bomb is an unwritten chapter of the Cold War, but now PD Smith reveals the personalities behind this feared technology and shows how the scientists responsible for the twentieth century’s most terrible weapons grew up in a culture dreaming of superweapons and Wellsian utopias. He argues that, in the end, the doomsday machine became the ultimate symbol of humanity’s deepest fears about the science of destruction.

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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely captivating
Completely captivating from the first page, this book never ceases to surprise and enchant. A picturesque stroll through the interwoven history of science and fiction, I learned a lot about both while being thoroughly entertained. The cross-pollination between imagination and science has been more fruitful than I knew, and I definitely view the world differently since reading this book.

Old enough to have done bomb drills in my early school days, but too young to have taken them very seriously, fear of nuclear annihilation was only on the outer fringes of my consciousness. I wonder what it would have been like to grow up entirely without such fear? I didn't know that fear of superweapons has been with us for far longer than the Cold War -- for about a century, in fact. P.D. Smith made me think about the important role this fear has played socially, politically, economically and culturally. I cannot overstate how highly I recommend this book to anyone - it is not just for geeks.

Like all the best books, Doomsday Men is best devoured whole and then gone back over to be savoured slowly -- the pleasure goes on long after the first reading. Not simply a history book, it is filled with thought-provoking parallels that are entirely relevant for today. A deadly serious subject is treated with erudition and rare charm. I cannot recall any other time when my ignorance was so delightfully dispelled.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Out of the libraries come the killers." - - Bertolt Brecht, "1940"
In Brecht's "1940," the "latest inventions of the professors" probably didn't include the atomic bomb. Poison gas and rockets meant to kill civilians were horrific enough. But one of the surprising things (to me, at least) that P. D. Smith's Doomsday Men shows is how newspapers and popular science writing in Europe and America described atomic bombs and atomic power plants in detail decades before Hiroshima.

Another interesting thing in Doomsday Men is how fiction writers and scientists inspired each other. Roentgen discovered X-rays in 1895 and the next year H. G. Wells used "Roentgen vibrations" as the rationale for the Invisible Man's experiments. (Wells was the first to use the expression "atomic bomb.")

American science fiction magazines published stories about atomic energy years before Pearl Harbor.

In Germany Zukunftsromane ("future novels") and Weltuntergangsromane ("end-of-the-world stories") were popular. These stories influenced German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and Hungarian physicists Leo Szilard and Edward Teller, two of the "Hungarian Quartet" that Doomsday Men is primarily about. Most of the best nuclear scientists in Berlin were Jewish and left Germany in the 1930s for Britain or the United States.

Fritz Haber, was an ultra-patriotic German-Jewish scientist who developed poison gas during World War I without any qualms. (After the Nazis took power, when Haber was a refuge in England, Ernest Rutherford refused to meet Haber, saying " 'he did not want to shake hands with the inventor of poison gas warfare.' ") Many of Haber's family were killed by Zyklon B gas at Auschwitz.

As the truth about the effects of atomic bombs and atomic testing became known, a new kind of story replaced the old pro-technology-at-any-cost stories in American science fiction magazines (where you rarely read about a Faust or a Frankenstein). Actually, it was a return to an older type of story.

Movies like Godzilla, Them!, The Amazing Colossal Man, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were a return to the "deadly utopian dream" of turn-of-the-century fiction like H. G. Wells's The World Set Free or The War of the Worlds.

By the time of the modern era of ICBMs and hotlines, the tragic figure of Goethe's Faust had become Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, an amalgam of von Braun, Edward Teller, and others, who could only be comprehended as a joke, even though the joke was we're doomed.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding history of the cultural impact of superweapons
Doomsday Men is an impressively creative examination of how literature and philosophy influenced the development of superweapons, and how knowledge of their ghastly potential shaped, in turn, the cultural icons of the 20th century.It shows how those involved in the Manhattan Project differed greatly in their temperments and outlooks, and reached drastically different conclusions about the role of nuclear weapons after the Second World War was over.While some scientists, such as Leo Szilard, rallied for arms control, others, such as Herman Kahn, argued that the west should be prepared to accept massive casualties.Kahn's remarks, taken to their terrifying extreme, were incorporated into Kubrick's classic dark comedy, Dr. Strangelove, a film that occupies a central place in this book.Through colorful anecdotes and fascinating connections with popular culture, Smith helps bring the turbulent history of those frightening times to life. Doomsday Men offers a vital and intruging account of the mentality and culture of the Cold War. ... Read more

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