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1. Robin Hood (Library Edition)
2. [Our Kind of Traitor]by Le Carre,
3. The hijacking of the development
4. Our Kind of Traitor (Playaway
5. Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested
6. The American Civil War: A Military
7. Exploration Fawcett: Journey to
8. Exploration Fawcett: Journey to
9. The Information Officer: A Novel
10. The Tudors
11. Environment and Human Well-Being:
12. GIVE ME A WORD : Fifty-Seven Poems.

1. Robin Hood (Library Edition)
by David B. Coe
Audio Cassette: Pages (2010-04-27)
list price: US$65.95 -- used & new: US$41.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441755934
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is the novelization of the upcoming film (May 2010) in which Oscar winner Russell Crowe stars as the legendary figure known by generations as Robin Hood, whose exploits have endured throughout popular mythology.

In 13th century England, the legendary figure known by generations as Robin Hood leads an uprising that will forever alter the balance of world power and will make one man of humble beginnings an eternal symbol of freedom for his people.

An expert archer once interested only in self-preservation, Robin now serves in King Richard's army. Upon Richard's death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation. There he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion, who is skeptical of the motivations of this mysterious crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and to save the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct the injustices of the sheriff.

With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king, and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Story Behind the Legend
As far as novelizations of the movie go, this one is fairly typical. It reads like a fantasy novel with special effects thrown in, though the characters are dynamic and interesting. Having spent a life in the service of King Richard in his campaigns across Europe, Robin Longstride returns to England bearing the sword and armor of a dead nobleman. The nobleman's father and widow, the Maid Marion, welcome Robin, crippled as they are by taxes and the despotic sheriff of Nottingham. With his collection of merry men and a mysterious past, Robin helps the common people of the shire unite in the face of civil war.

David B. Coe, as an experienced sci-fi/fantasy writer, takes the reader into the world of Robin Hood with a steady hand, guiding them through some history that's played rather fast and loose, but still manages to show a time when the world was changing, charged with a good underdog-rising-of-the-people story.

The many legends of Robin Hood coalesce in this novel. Was he a commoner? A nobleman? A revolutionary? A bandit? In this, he is all and none of them, which seems to most aptly reflect this well-known English legend.

Reviewed by Axie Barclay

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining; Not a Great Book
Setting aside the historical inaccuracies (the Magna Carta was signed 13 years after John became King, and well after he lost Normandy to the French), the vastly different take on the legend of Robin Hood (which I actually quite liked), and the fact that I have not seen the movie, I'll say that the book was a delightful read so long as one checked their brain at the cover.

I don't fault Mr. Coe for the story issues, as he was given a flawed script with which to start. But it is the story that will get and hold a reader, and there are many concerns in this book. There are, essentially, two story lines flowing through the book: Robin Hood's struggle to find his identity, and Godfrey's treason. Unfortunately, it's Godfrey's treason that is the more interesting story, while Robin's floats around as filler. In fact, were Robin's story completely removed, I wouldn't have noticed, I think. Given that he was the main character, this is a very serious issue.

But it's a quick, easy read that entertains. Mr. Coe does an excellent job of making a purse of a sow's ear out of this script with great writing and wonderful language. His depictions of Little John, Allan, Will, and Friar Tuck were delightful, and while I never really understood the point of the Lost Boys, they, too, were brought to life with nuance. This is common in Mr. Coe's writing, and I think had he been given more freedom with this story it would have been a fantastic book. As it is, it's a good vacation book that one doesn't mind setting aside to do something more interesting and then come back during down moments.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but watch the movie
The writing style of this book is fairly good, but as it stays extremely close to the movie, it is rather redundant.Certainly, it might be worth reading, if one was planning on never seeing the film, but honestly, it cannot show some of the films best features.That being said, there are a few scenes that I predict will show up in the deleted scenes section of special features once it comes out on DVD.It is obvious that this book was written before the casting of the film was entirely complete, as the characterization of Little John is closer to the standard image than what he was in the new movie.Also, there is more time spent on some children of Nottingham, who are clearly modeled after the Lost Boys from Peter Pan, interestingly.What I really suggest is for people to see the movie, and perhaps even buy it once it comes out.

Before seeing the new Robin Hood movie, I had reservations about the idea of casting Russell Crowe as the title character.Watching, however, I was blown away, as his qualities fit this take on the legendary hero perfectly.Being a lifetime fan of Robin Hood, I can say that this version of the story doesn't follow traditional story lines, but that depictions of the period of history he usually inhabits were absolutely perfect.Whoever had been hired to see to historical accuracy, details, and the lives and characters of royalty present was clearly an expert.Even items such as the style of feathers on arrows, and the kinds of quivers and shields used came directly from historical sources and images. I will also tell fans of Russell Crowe that yes, you do get to see him without his shirt on, and that also, medieval armor really couldn't be removed without help.

Cate Blanchet has become my favorite Marian, as well, and portrayed a lady of her times quite neatly, give or take particularities of character.She is clearly in charge of her estate, concerned for underlings, and cool under the pressure of unusual situations.As already mentioned, in the role of Robin Hood, Russell Crowe acts the part in every way, being honest to a fault, caring for those who need his help, always coming to the rescue at the right moment, and of course, standing against the law of the land and corrupted rulers.This film even addresses the tensions in the original legends of Robin Hood, concerning whether his origins were common or if he was displaced nobility, by cleverly giving him a little of both, in a way that is integral to the movie plot.

3-0 out of 5 stars IT'S OK

5-0 out of 5 stars rockin robin
I was pleasantly surprised at the scope of this book.It was a different take on Robin Hood but it was a believable one.This book has humor, romance, villany and derring-do.Plus Russell Crowe on the cover. How can you lose? ... Read more

2. [Our Kind of Traitor]by Le Carre, John (Author), Sachs, Robin (Read by) Compact Disc on October 12, 2010
by John (Author), Sachs, Robin (Read by) Le Carre
Unknown Binding: Pages (2010)
-- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B004A3S66S
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Editorial Review

Product Description
he unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful tale of dirty money and dirtier politics. ... Read more

3. The hijacking of the development debate: how Friedman and Sachs got it wrong.(Thomas Friedman, Jeffrey Sachs): An article from: World Policy Journal
by Robin Broad, John Cavanagh
 Digital: 21 Pages (2006-06-22)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000IZIW3Y
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document is an article from World Policy Journal, published by Thomson Gale on June 22, 2006. The length of the article is 6270 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: The hijacking of the development debate: how Friedman and Sachs got it wrong.(Thomas Friedman, Jeffrey Sachs)
Author: Robin Broad
Publication: World Policy Journal (Magazine/Journal)
Date: June 22, 2006
Publisher: Thomson Gale
Volume: 23Issue: 2Page: 21(10)

Distributed by Thomson Gale ... Read more

4. Our Kind of Traitor (Playaway Adult Fiction)
by John Le Carre
 Preloaded Digital Audio Player: Pages (2010-10)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1616572450
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hours

Read by TBA

The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful tale of dirty money and dirtier politics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars SPOILER ALERT: Read only if you have already read the book!
I stayed up late to finish this book ... I could not put it down.However, I was left with a very incomplete sense of what had happened, and I have to agree that the ending could be described as "slap dash."Or perhaps that is completely JLC's intention: to show how morally unsatisfying the results are and how gray the characters are.No neat wrap-up with all characters neatly defined in black and white.
So, please tell me, how did the "bad guys" know the "good guys'" next move?Which of the good guys was actually giving away the strategy?Was it Ollie?Why so many references to oddness of his accent ... where did he really come from?
Of course, I have become so accustomed to the neatly-wrapped-up conclusion that we simple-minded readers and watchers now expect from stories involving intrigue.So, I keep thinking, "what will become of Perry and Gail and all those children?"(Not to mention Tamara.)
But JLC does not give us that satisfaction.Writing from a more realistic viewpoint, he does not feel the need to account for everything to finish a story.Life, and particularly our increasingly complex international relations, do not resolve in a satisfying way.Where is the moral certainty?It just isn't there, and I guess that is what he is reflecting.
But I still want to know.

5-0 out of 5 stars His Best Work in a Long Time
Literally, this is the best John Le Carre has written in a very long time, and it is timely as well.I'll say no more than this: the dialogue and characters are to die for, and the ending will leave you reverberating with the implications.What a banner year to have both this and Brian Freemantle's 'Red Star Rising' (a Charlie Muffin novel)!

5-0 out of 5 stars Le Carre's "non-fiction" world
I read "Our Kind of Traitor" in a week that the U.S. media revealed that the private prison industry had written and ensured passage of the immigration Arizona law and BP and Halliburton were publicly dukeing it out over responsibility for the catastrophic failure of their joint drilling venture in the Gulf of Mexico.There was other reporting on how Wall Street and financial institutions had manipulated the mortgage markets that resulted in the 2008 recession and how one of the principals in that greed-fest had been let off (judicially) with a slap on the wrist fine.In Russia, more investigative journalists were killed or arrested and the Russian Federation government announced greater involvement in the country's private business sector and put into place a new, Putin-selected Mayor of Moscow. And so it goes most weeks of the year.

John Le Carre has increasingly written in the stark but real terms that accurately reflect what is actually happening in the globalized and corporate controlled world that we live in.He gets a lot of flack for doing so, but you could certainly make an argument that our "now" world (which he faithfully chronicles in his "fiction") is a scarier and more dangerous place for the citizens of developed and developing countries alike than the world that existed before the disintegration of the Communist Bloc in 1989.

"Our Kind of Traitor" is a terrific book with the classic Le Carre mix of rich character development and gradually building plot.By the last chapter, the reader has been inveigled into investing a great deal in the outcome of the story, particularly in the future of the collected characters.But this being a Le Carre cautionary tale, tied very much to political and social reality, the ending is neither simple nor wholly rewarding.This is not a book for those who need the white hats to come out on top.In this author's world, there aren't many white hats out there, and they always greatly outnumbered by gray and black-hatted adversaries."Our Kind..." was written very much with the realities of 2010 in mind, and as such, it is neither positive in tone nor optimistic looking toward the future.Like most Le Carre books, I found it an engaging, highly insightful and articulate wake up call for all of us.Let's hope that this author's voice continues to be heard for a long time to come.Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars He's sucked for most of this decade...
...and this book maintains that sucky tradition.

I LOVE this Le Carre, have purchased and embraced every book and audiobook (loving the 70s, 80s & 90s stuff).

But The Constant Gardner I found a little disappointing, and every book since has gotten less involving, less fun, and less intriguing.

I can't BELIEVE how much of this book involved tennis matches and basement chats and so much MELODRAMA (teen pregnancy! will father find out! oh noes!) from the mostly irritating main couple. And we're expected to identify and sympathize with them?

In his prime, Luke (sans lovesickness -- it's like "Twilight" in here!) and Olliewould have been Le Carre's main characters.

As I've told myself for the last four novels now... "maybe the next one will be better."

I cross my fingers in hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lean and Memorable
To my mind, one of Le Carre's best.There is a lean quality to the prose that pulls the story right along, and the characters are memorable.Moreover, there are neither too many characters nor too many plot twists -- lean prose, lean story, but rich and vivid and striking. ... Read more

5. Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested Advice from a Higher Authority
by Pat Connor
 Audio CD: Pages (2010-05-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401394728
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The new single woman's Bible that shows how to distinguish Mr. Right from Mr. Right Now

Father Pat Connor knows marriages. Having presided over more than two hundred weddings and conducted pre-marriage and marriage counseling for more than forty years, he's something of an expert. And now he is sharing his wealth of experience with women everywhere on the subject of Whom Not to Marry.

Father Pat's philosophy is simple: A love affair may lead to marriage, but love itself cannot make a marriage work. That's why it's important to weed out the bad seed's before you fall in love. Sounds easy enough, but in the early stages of romance, when infatuation trumps judgment, it can be difficult to see the flaws in your mate and to think rationally about your future. That's where this book comes in. A heavenly how-not-to, Whom Not to Marry offers timely and time-honored advice such as:

  • Never marry a man who has no friends, for he won't be capable of the intimacy that marriage demands.
  • Never marry a man who isn't responsible with cash. Most marriages that flounder do so because of money, a case of 'til debt do us part.
  • Never marry a man who lets you walk all over him. It's good to have a doormat in the house, but not if it's your husband.

Life may seem random, but there are many things you can do to make sure your life partner is the right one. It all starts with being honest with yourself. Use your good judgment, Father Pat counsels. Know what you want. Know who is worth loving and who is worth marrying. Once you can do that, you'll stand a much better chance of living happily ever after.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Practical Relationship Book I've Picked Up
I've tried reading a few different books about dating relationships in a Christian perspective, the dos and the don'ts, etc. Unfortunately many of these books are geared toward teenagers, and they repeat a lot of what I already know (especially on moral issues - YES I know that sex before marriage and cohabiting and pornography are wrong! lol). I tried reading "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and a lot of that book just contained a lot of melodrama and impractical dating advice (at the decrepit age of 21, I would NOT want a man to ask my dad if it was OK to date me - my dad would just laugh at him). I read through some of the "Ten Commandments of Dating" and found that to be much better than "IKDG," but at the same time it made very strong convictions about being in a relationship that I just couldn't find myself agreeing with no matter how much I thought about it. I very much loved the psychology behind it and the explanations for certain moral convictions, but the end of the book where it talked about meeting people on the Internet only showed the authors' ignorance of that particular subject.

It excited me to see this book on the shelf at Borders in the Psychology section, written by a Catholic priest. I sat down and read the first chapter and a half and was hooked. Not only is his advice solid, but he is very humorous and relies on many personal experiences so as to not paint every couple with the same brush, yet at the same time recognizes that a woman should never marry a man under certain circumstances. Even though the author is a priest, he doesn't spend much time talking about God, which while I firmly believe that God should be the center of every relationship, not putting that much spirituality in this book will probably ease the temptation to over-spiritualize the relationship. If you "feel like God wants you to be in the relationship" but the man you're dating is neglecting you and isn't willing to commit, then maybe, just maybe, God is telling you differently. The Christian God is a practical God and I think that many Christians today (and people in general) lose sight of that.

That being said, this book is obviously written by a Christian because the chapter headings are based off 1 Corinthians 9:13. He very much believes in the power of this Scripture verse and fleshes out the ideas behind each phrase using anecdotes and the patterns found in each of the couples he's counseled. He is very clear and concise about each of the points he makes, which not only makes for a quick read, but some of the stuff he says can blow your mind, based on your own experiences with relationships and/or marriages. I know that my eyes were opened when he gave certain tips (such as "Never marry a man who makes jokes at your expense" - some people have a tendency to be doormats about that kind of stuff, especially when they laugh at the jokes because they don't want to be hurt by them). I also learned about issues that I didn't even know /were/ relationship issues until I read about them in here (of course, when I read about the anecdotes then I knew they were issues).

I especially liked the little section about rules being your servants but not your masters. I think that needs to be said more in Christians circles. All it is sometimes are rules, rules, rules and most of these rules aren't even biblical. Rules like, "Never French kiss" or "Don't become intimate/serious until the 6th date" or "Don't date someone unless you've become close friends with them first" don't help every individual who dates. Everyone is different. That being said, Scripture speaks of prudence and I know the Catholic Church speaks about chastity, but those are really the only "rules" that you need to follow, and most of that can be determined by your own judgment.

Of course, like Fr. Pat says at the beginning of this book, infatuation trumps judgment, at least in the early stages of a relationship. But well, what do you think this book is for? I plan on being serious with someone in the near future and this book has helped me see what I need to look for in him before I can REALLY think about marrying him (although that's weird for me to say, since marrying him isn't on the forefront of my mind right now, but hey, all the more reason to be looking for those signs). Thank you Fr. Pat for writing such a wonderful book and I hope that you publish more in the near future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Humorously Delightful
Normally, one wouldn't expect a Catholic priest to be able to give advice on whom to marry, but this little book is a real gem!It is peppered with information and humorous anecdotes, mingled with some of the most clear cut and honest reasons for choosing the right mate.What should one look for in a potential spouse and what qualities should send us fleeing in the opposite direction?Can he be patient, courteous and respectful of our feelings?Is he humble and able to compromise on issues or is his jealousy tearing your relationship apart?As the book says, love is patient, kind and rejoices in the truth.

Those who have been married for a while may also appreciate remembering why they married the man they did.What were the special things that touched your heart?When was the last time you really listened to your spouse or told him how much some of the little things he does say he really loves you?Does he put you down in public, in front of his friends (or yours) or does he treat you like a queen?This book is a quick, enjoyable read, one which will linger in your mind for some time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ok book, poor title
I don't have extensive experience with relationship books, so I can't say whether this one is very different in that field. I thought it was easy to read and entertaining. The author is obviously a lively personality and I enjoyed the humor with which he told his stories. The book feels like a conversation with someone who has a great deal of experience, which makes it a nice read.

However, I think the book's title, although clever, is a little misplaced. First of all, the actual structure of the book is based on a Bible passage that describes different aspects of love. It goes through different qualities that a man ought to have, and issues or questions you should be considering before you do get married. This is a minor quibble, but the book is not actually all that focused on negative qualities but rather positive things which your boyfriend/fiance should exhibit.

Secondly, the book's subtitle is obviously calling your attention to the fact that the author is a Catholic priest, however, I felt that this book was really not very religious at all. That might be a good thing in your perspective! The author obviously imagines his reader to be a very secular person and makes an effort to leave things fairly religiously neutral. Again, this might be something you appreciate, but Christian and Catholic women should be aware that this is not a book that attempts to give you guidance as a Christian trying to live a Christian life.

That said, "time tested advice" is exactly correct. This is a man who has obviously seen a lot and in this book he shares with you his thoughts and advice. He guides you through many different aspects of love and relationships which should be considered when deciding to get married. I thought he managed to bring out some interesting issues and if you used this as a survey of your relationship I think it would be very thorough. I would say the ideal reader for this book would be a woman who is engaged or starting to think about marriage.

I read this using Kindle for iPhone, which was an ok experience. There are a lot of little block quotes thrown in which I imagine are sidebars in the printed text but become somewhat distracting on a small screen. Not a big deal though, and not something that affected my rating.

5-0 out of 5 stars For the Single, the Married and all Relationships
Father Patrick Connor's book is not only a book of wisdom for the unmarried but is an excellent toolfor the married, for those in religious life and for all relationships in general.
The book is so arranged that you could use it for counseling and classes on better relationships.I sent this book to my family and they are all fighting to be the one to read it first.
Every mom and dad should give this book to their college sons and daughters for graduation.I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful Book
This book helps soothe worries such as, "What if I get married and am miserable!"This book can give you confidence from a confident source.
The book was a little dirty when I received it, but not too bad. ... Read more

6. The American Civil War: A Military History
by John Keegan
Audio CD: Pages (2009-10-20)
list price: US$38.00 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739354639
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of America’s most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles among some two to three hundred known to us by name. Now Keegan examines these and other puzzles with a peerless understanding of warfare, uncovering dimensions of the conflict that have eluded earlier historiography.

While offering original and perceptive insights into psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics, Keegan reveals the war’s hidden shape—a consequence of leadership, the evolution of strategic logic, and, above all, geography, the Rosetta Stone of his legendary decipherments of all great battles. The American topography, Keegan argues, presented a battle space of complexity and challenges virtually unmatched before or since. Out of a succession of mythic but chaotic engagements, he weaves an irresistible narrative illuminated with comparisons to the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and other conflicts.

The American Civil War
is sure to be hailed as a definitive account of its eternally fascinating subject.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (47)

3-0 out of 5 stars Robert E Lee is not as brillant as we all think
John Keegan is the leading military historian alive today. In his latest endeavor, he has turned his critical and unromantic eye on the American Civil War. Keegan examines the social, political, and economic factors that slowly simmered over decades that allowed the election of Abraham Lincoln to throw the United States into Civil War. He also argues counter to the widely accepted opinion that it was not Robert E. Lee's brilliance as a general, but rather the incompetence, timidity, and lack of military leadership that kept the Confederate Army in the conflict for so long. It was Ulysses S. Grant's ruthlessness and determination to force decisive battle that brought the end to the Civil War.

I am not sure if it was the nature of the conflict being examined or Keegan's analytical style, but I found the first two thirds of the book difficult to put in sequential order. Keegan focused on very narrow fronts, which made it difficult to appreciate how several different factors influenced events at any one moment. Although the knowledge and analysis provided by Keegan is excellent, the reader will need a strong desire to learn about the American Civil War in order make it the end of the book.

Reviewed by: Mike Scott

4-0 out of 5 stars English Take on The Civil War
John Keegan is a fantastic author.It was interesting to read his expert opinion of the American Civil War.However, anyone who has yet to read James McPherson, should read his Civil War books first.They offer a more complete view of the events of 1860-1865.

1-0 out of 5 stars jc from georgia
Oh my goodness! Have all Mr. Keegan's books been this bad and I just didn't know it?

I greatly admired his earlier books on subjects I knew little about, but now I seriously question if his facts and conclusions there were equally as glaringly, joltingly, embarrassingly, inexcusably wrong as here.

Even when he gets his facts right he presents them in such a way as to produce the wrong impression/conclusion.

Coherence. What's that have to do with it?

I think a public apology is in order.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great Disappointment
I'm an author myself, so I know how much work goes into a book, and how easy it is to thoughtlessly write a harsh review, completely ignoring all the blood, sweat, and tears a writer pours into a book. I'm also a huge fan of Keegan. So it is doubly painful to say that this book disappointments in every way. It is so far beneath his best work...just sad.
The book is nothing more than a rehash of a hundred other standard rehashes. It brings no new insights, no new research, none of the remarkable revelations we're accustomed to from Keegan. We see the same old photos, read the same stuff about McClellan's timidity, Hooker's loss of nerve, Lee's magnificence, etc. etc. His treatment of the Battle of Gettysburg, where even the cable history shows have found new information, is barely more than a quick gloss. Even the maps are substandard, poorly drawn and confusing. Most embarassing, there are, as other reviewers have noted, factual errors. If nothing else, a historian of Keegan's stature should insist on careful fact checking.

Even more sadly, this is only the most recent disappointing performance from Keegan. His book about WWII basically regurgitated information other historians had already been regurgitating for half a century.

Before Ibuy his next book, I will do some sampling very carefully, lest I waste another $25.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars, in spite of numerous defects ...
I will begin with the defects of this book, well-noted by other reviewers:It is disorganized, repetitive, and the narrative is confusing and not very chronological.A person with no previous knowledge of the Civil War would easily get lost in this book. It appears to be a compilation of individual articles which have not been unified.He makes a factual blooper, stating that Eisenhower ended segregation in the US military, when every American knows it was Harry Truman.He thinks Tennessee is much closer to Indiana and Ohio than it actually is.The Great Kanawha River, with all due respect, is NOT a "major waterway".And he has a lapse in his usually impeccable language usage when on page 361 he uses "nauseous" when he means "nauseating".

These major and minor defects aside, this book is well worth reading by any serious student of the Civil War.First, anything Keegan writes is worth reading. In addition, he has spent many years studying American wars and the American military and its methods, and has personally visited numerous American battlefields.He is well-versed in the history of European warfare and therefore is in an excellent position to make illuminating comparisons between the American and European experience of war.Although this is a "military" history, he defines "military" broadly, and has much to say about the political and social background of the war.

For example, he illustrates the bitterness with which the war was fought by noting the lack of respect given to Confederate war dead on Northern battlefields.His chapters on Walt Whitman, the role of African-American soldiers, the role of women, and the role of religion are quite interesting and to the point.

His military analysis is of course the heart of the book.His first and most important point is the role geography played in the course and outcome of the war.The great problem of the Union forces was how to get at the heartland of the South, and here geography was as great an obstacle as the Confederate Army.The rivers of the Piedmont Plateau were severe obstacles to any 19th century army, as were the rivers, mountains, and forests of Tennessee.The general question was how to subdue an enemy whose country has no concentrated economic targets and few concentrations of population?

In essence, there were only two useful military targets for the Northern forces to attack: the Southern mind and the South's stock of fighting men.This is what Grant and Sherman realized and accepted and put into effect, and what previous Union generals and even Abraham Lincoln himself did not:The South would fight until it ran out of soldiers.And that's what happened.

In his excellent chapter on Civil War Generalship (the most important chapter in the book) Keegan notes that the Civil War was fought by amateurs.Although by the end of the war the Union Army would have been a match for any European army of the time, including the Prussians, Keegan is not impressed with the quality of Civil War generals.In my opinion, he gives Lee too much credit and Jackson not enough (see Lost Victories: The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson and Grant and Lee: A Study in Personality and Generalship for more on this point.)He calls McClellan "one of the most interesting psychological cases in military history".Keegan does not say this in his discussions of Grant and Sherman, but in my opinion, their strength as military leaders was in their absolute realism about what had to be accomplished in order to defeat the South.Grant destroyed the military manpower of the South in the Overland Campaign, knowing that he had virtually unlimited re-enforcements to call on, while Sherman attacked the South's spirit, by breaking into the heartland of Georgia and South Carolina and ruining it.Morality aside, this strategy did not require brilliance to execute.Keegan's summation of most Civil War generals, North and South:"... too much personality in play, and far too little talent."

As to the causes of the Civil War, they seem to be somewhat of a mystery to Keegan.He mentions the popularity of the amateur "militias" of the day as an inciting factor, lighting a fire that quickly roared out of control.But Keegan compares and contrasts the American Civil War with World War One, calling World War One an "unnecessary" war, but stating that the American Civil War was NOT unnecessary, that the divisions over slavery were too deep to be resolved by peaceful means.So, mysterious though the causes of the Civil War may be, Keegan seems to think that war was unavoidable.Whether he is correct or not continues to be one of the key questions of American history.


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7. Exploration Fawcett: Journey to the Lost City of Z (Library Edition)
by Colonel Percy Fawcett
Audio CD: Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$118.00 -- used & new: US$74.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441763775
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the true story of the real Colonel Fawcett, whose life was the inspiration for the bestselling book The Lost City of Z and an upcoming movie starring Brad Pitt. A thrilling account, it tells of Colonel Fawcett and his mysterious disappearance in the Amazon jungle, which is now considered one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century.

The mystic and legendary British explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett disappeared in the unknown and unexplored territory of Brazil's Mato Grosso in 1925. For ten years he had wandered the forests and death-filled rivers in search of a fabled lost city. Finally, convinced that he had discovered the location, he set out for the last time with two companions, one of whom was his eldest son, to destination ''Z,''never to be heard from again. This thrilling and mysterious account of Fawcett's ten years of travels in deadly jungles and forests in search of a secret city was compiled by his younger son from manuscripts, letters, and logbooks. What happened to him after remains a mystery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Percy Harrison Faecett's Masterpiece of Adventure
Colonel Fawcett experienced more adventures in his life than most of us could endure. In his highly detailed account he takes us with him into the Amazon jungle where giant anacondas, deadly insects, Indians shooting poisoned arrows, horrible diseases, and countless other dangers become a part of his daily life. What is more, Colonel Fawcett uses clear sentences, abundant knowledge, and on-site photographs which he developed himself to make his detailed account come alive. This was a remarkable man who never returned from his last expedition. This book tells the truth and tells it well. Buy it. You will read it, treasureit in your library, and end up buying copies for your friends. ... Read more

8. Exploration Fawcett: Journey to the Lost City of Z (Playaway Adult Nonfiction)
by Colonel Percy Fawcett
Preloaded Digital Audio Player: Pages (2010-09)
list price: US$64.99 -- used & new: US$64.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441763821
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The disappearance of Colonel Fawcett in the Matto Grosso remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of today. In 1925 Fawcett was convinced that he had discovered the location of a lost city; he had set out with two companions, one of whom was his eldest son, to destination 'Z', never to be heard of again. His younger son, Brian Fawcett,has compiled this book from letters and records left by his father whose last written words to his wife were: 'You need have no fear of any failure...' This thrilling and mysterious account of Fawcett's ten years of travels in deadly jungles and forests in search of a secret city was compiled from manuscripts, letters and logbooks by his son. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Percy Harrison Faecett's Masterpiece of Adventure
Colonel Fawcett experienced more adventures in his life than most of us could endure. In his highly detailed account he takes us with him into the Amazon jungle where giant anacondas, deadly insects, Indians shooting poisoned arrows, horrible diseases, and countless other dangers become a part of his daily life. What is more, Colonel Fawcett uses clear sentences, abundant knowledge, and on-site photographs which he developed himself to make his detailed account come alive. This was a remarkable man who never returned from his last expedition. This book tells the truth and tells it well. Buy it. You will read it, treasureit in your library, and end up buying copies for your friends. ... Read more

9. The Information Officer: A Novel
by Mark Mills
MP3 CD: 1 Pages (2010-02-02)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.36
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Asin: 1441721290
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Malta, April 1942--Max Chadwick is the military officer charged with managing information and maintaining morale on the tiny Mediterranean island, a strategic lynchpin in the war. Bombs rain from the sky at all hours of the day and night, as the Maltese and their British protectors fiercely cling to the rocky outcropping that is all that stands between the Axis and total dominance of the Mediterranean theater.When a Maltese woman is murdered, and evidence links her death to a British serviceman, Max is faced with the possibility that the fragile and crucial esprit de corps could shatter. Forced to keep his investigation a secret, Max sets out to unravel the mystery and unmask the killer. At stake is not only his only life and that of the woman he loves, but a conflict with far broader consequences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (59)

3-0 out of 5 stars Pedestrian in style and content
This book is supposed to be a mystery, but there are really no surprises.I found this to be an average book written in a pedestrian style and containing too many uninteresting subplots thrown in primarily to spice up the story with an apparently obligatory sex scene every other chapter.The book seems geared to people, especially women, who otherwise lead a boring life and need to read about other people's sexual infidelities and peccadilloes, rather than a story that can stand on its own merit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Atmosphere, Historical Recreation, So-So Plotting
In "The Information Officer" by Mark Mills the setting is the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta in 1942 at the height of World War II. It was a British crown colony that was bombed with more explosive tonnage than London itself. The Germans and the Italians were keen to destroy its military capability, lying as it is strategically between Sicily and North Africa. The Maltese were a courageous people standing by the British who were protecting them but also furthering their own war interests by making the island a bastion.
Major Max Chadwick is the military's information officer who gets some news that may be potentially devastating to the British. He learns that a British officer is a serial killer who has murdered at least three Maltese women. If this became general knowledge among the Maltese, they could lose faith in their British occupiers. A truism quoted is "A lie can makes its way halfway round the world before the truth has a chance to put its boots on."
One of the murdered girls is found with a shoulder tab insignia from an officer on the submarine Upstanding, and this turns out to be a valuable clue. Max's torrid love affair with Mitzi who is married to the sub's captain is an important plot element.
The picture that Mills paints of the air attacks against the island is brilliantly done. The descriptions of the air raids, the pluck and courage of the Spitfire pilots and the general atmosphere of a place under relentless siege - these are all depicted with great skill. What may disappoint readers is the conclusion of the book when melodrama takes hold and the author's explanations and denouement are off-the-wall and incredulous. I shook my head when I got to the end.
Mills uses alternating chapters in which the killer writes at great length in a journal. I became confused as various characters came on the scene, and the book's plot became less convincing and more complex.
The author knows Malta and is not only able to recreate the wartime horrors of the little island but also to convey its charm. Unfortunately Mills belongs to the plotting school where more plot and murkier plot strands are better than fewer ones.

4-0 out of 5 stars A WWII Murder Mystery
The besieged island of Malta in 1942 is the backdrop for this wartime murder mystery. Germany must take Malta to clear the way to dominate shipping in the Mediterranean to shore up its supply lines to North Africa. Ragged divisions of British navy and RAF try to hold off the invasion despite heavy German bombing. In the midst of this, a young Maltese girl is found murdered with evidence pointing to a British officer. Max Chadwick, the British Information Officer, stumbles into the murder and is soon pulled in, with dire consequences for his own love affair.

Author, Mark Mills, writes a twisting plot with a straightforward style, reminiscent of Ken Follet. His descriptions of the Malta and the summer of 1942 put the reader firmly in that time and place. The Information Officer is a fine historical novel and mystery all in one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery Set During the Siege of Malta
`The Information Officer' is a murder mystery set in an unusual locale: Malta during the Axis bombing campaign against the Island.As German and Italian planes bomb the Cities young woman are being murdered by a serial killer and the British Administration try to keep the Maltese in the dark.

Max Chadwick is the Information Officer for the British Authorities.It's his job to disseminate the news with a Pro British slant to keep up morale and keep the Maltese population on the side of the Allies.He is the chief propagandist on the Island.

One day he is called to the Morgue by his friend Dr. Freddie Lambert.He is informed of a series of murders of young Maltese `Sherry' girls who entertain servicemen in bars.The last victim has been found with a piece of torn British uniform in her hands.If this becomes public the Maltese may turn against the Allies.

Max must discover who is responsible for the killings. Is it a local or an Axis Agent or could it be an English Soldier?If there is a killer in the ranks, can they be brought to justice without compromising the status of the British on the Island?

Max discovers there is a large number of suspects.Could it be Elliot, the mysterious American liaison who is probably a Spy?Could it be the Captain of the Submarine `Upstanding' Lionel Campion with whose wife Max Mitzi has had an affair?Could it be the Ralph the Spitfire ace who has been recovering from wounds suffered in a crash?

With help from his native girlfriend Lillian and a local police inspector, Max's investigation takes the reader on a perilous journey interrupted by air raids and British Authorities trying to sweep things under the rug.Miller weaves a great story.I admit I did not guess the identity of the killer and it came as a surprise.A great summer read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Suspense
Most people don't know what occurred in Malta in 1942 during World War II. We hear of the bombing of Dresden or the London siege, but Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean was the most bombed country in the war. A strategic shipping and military supply port, it was critical to the Germans as they planned Rommel's advance, and critical to the Allies to stop the ability of the Axis powers to bring their armies together rather than fighting on different fronts. The people of Malta endured months of daily bombings, waves upon waves of bombs raining down and killing civilians as well as military forces.

Max Chadwick has been posted to Malta. He is the British Information Officer and his job is to report the news in such a way that the troops and the native people of Malta are encouraged rather than desolate. In his position, he gets the inside scoop long before anyone else. Or at least that is what he has always thought. Now there seem to be currents and counter-currents of information swirling around, plots and counterplots, until Max realizes that he has been naive and used as one more tool in the government's manipulation of reality.

Other factors complicate life for Max. He has been carrying on an adulterous affair with the wife of one of the submarine commanders. But, he has also met a Maltan woman, a newspaper editor, who he is rapidly coming to realize that he loves. Then he becomes aware of the murders. Five women, most bar hostesses, have been killed recently. Who is this serial killer who uses the war to mask his crimes? There are indications that he might be a military man. The military authorities want this information squelched, and Max is in their sights as he tries to discover what is going on.

This is easily the best book I've read this year. The writing is lush and starts slow and languorous. As the military action heats up, so does the pace of the book, and it becomes a page-turner that leaves the reader breathless. The romance is underplayed and never takes over the story. The plot is intricate and skillfully revealed. This book is highly recommended for all readers. ... Read more

10. The Tudors
by G.J. Meyer
Audio CD: Pages (2010)
-- used & new: US$218.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307705676
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Family History, But Certainly Not England's Most Notorious Dynasty
G.J. Meyer's The Tudors, The Complete Story Of England's Most Notorious Dynasty is an extremely long, detailed read covering mostly the political, social and religious aspects of the Tudor's rule over Britain. The book begins with Henry VII defeating and killing Richard III, thus taking the royal crown for himself. This would be the last time in England's history that a man claimed the throne by defeating and killing the King of Britain. For those not that familiar with Henry VIII's father, Henry VII, Henry VII was born Harri Tudor, a Welshman and a distant relative to the ruling House of Lancaster. Richard III was from the House of York. These two houses were both from the House of Plantagenet, whose Kings ruled England for centuries. The two houses of Lancaster and York were always trying to control who sat on the thrown from their houses. The House of Lancaster was represented by a Red Rose, whose Kings used this symbol when they ruled.The House of York was represented by a White Rose, whose Kings used this symbol when they ruled, thus creating what would be called the War of The Roses between the two houses. When Harri Tudor from the House of Lancaster killed King Richard III and took the Crown, he married Richard's niece, the daughter of King Edward IV's, Elizabeth, joining both Houses of Lancaster and York, thus ending the long War Of The Roses. He combined the Red and White Roses together and created a new Rose to be his symbol as King of Britain. Harri Tudor created the Tudor Dynasty, which would rule Britain for 118 years through 5 rulers: Henry VII,Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey (Never Crowned and Disputed), Mary I and Elizabeth I.
The book covers each ruler's political enemies and allies, religious allies and enemies, as well as the social world that the average people lived in during each King or Queen's rule. The personalities of the rulers are a secondary theme in this long book whose main focus is how politics and religion seemed to dictate almost all the important decisions that the Kings and Queens made. Most of the book is interesting, as details are given on their appearances, such as Elizabeth I had survived smallpox, but it left her with pox marks on her face , making her hide under lots of white make-up and having her portraits show a better-looking monarch than she actually was. The author also paints a very detailed picture of what life was like back then for the average person under the Tudor's rule. There is a lot of interesting reading if you want to know about the politics of that time and get a good glimpse into the Tudor's ruling reasons. However, there is one thing I completely disagree on with the author, and that is calling the Tudors, England's most notorious dynasty. Notorious is defined as being Widely And Unfavorably Known.
If you are familiar with any of the Houses that ruled England, such as the Yorks and Lancasters, many of these rulers that came from these houses were very well hated by the people. The Tudors on the other hand, were not well hated by the people. Henry VII stopped The War of The Roses and brought peace to Britain by combining the two houses. Henry VIII was beloved and very popular with the people before he decided to make his own religion and get rid of his wives. The boy King Edward VI was well loved. As for Mary I and Elizabeth I, it would be very unfair for anyone to say they were not liked by the people, as Mary I was the first Queen of England and having a woman rule would be just like having a woman president rule here today. It just doesn't happen! It must have been unreal for these poor 2 women to be the first female rulers of Britain. I can't even imagine how frightening a job that would have been for them, so in my opinion they did a fantastic job! Mary of course was loved by the Catholics and she got the name Bloody Mary by having a few hundred Protestants killed. Most Kings before her had a few hundred people killed every other month, but they never got the name Bloody attached to them! As for Elizabeth, she was loved by the majority of England, especially the Protestants. She left no debts when she died. She had no husband to complicate her decisions. She introduced the Poor Law, which allowed peasants too ill to work a certain amount of money to live off of, from the State. When Elizabeth ruled England, people called her reign the Golden Age. The Tudors were far from notorious, other than Henry VIII's marriage and religious issues.
I had time many years ago, to put together my grandfather's family history whose family moved from Sweden to Northumberland in England in 1100. My ancestor was a tall blonde Viking whose family securedthe Scotland border for all the English Kings through the centuries. They were granted many Knighthoods and Lordships from the Kings of England. They were even given one of the King's grand daughters to marry. They were shocked when a Queen- Mary I ruled. She was not popular, because of being a woman, and not because of how she ruled. Followed by Elizabeth I, the country was again shocked at yet a second woman ruler, but Elizabeth was a good ruler and the people were very surprised. When Elizabeth died in 1603, Mary Queen Of Scot's son James I became King. James I was the great great grandson of Henry VII, the first of the Tudors (his great grandmother was Henry VIII's sister Margaret). So technically, even though Elizabeth I died with no heir, the Tudor bloodline mixed with the Stuart bloodline goes on ruling Britain.
When James I took the throne after Elizabeth's death, all of England said The King is dead, Long Live The Queen, a statement which shows that Elizabeth I was as good a ruler as the Kings before her. My ancestors left Northumberland after James I took the throne and came to the States here in the early 1600's. After keeping the Scottish from taking the border from England for all those centuries in Northumberland, they just couldn't live under a Scottish King, even if he was from the Tudor bloodline. In the 1620's there was a revival of the cult of Elizabeth I, as the people wished for that Golden Age again! The public was truly unhappy being ruled by James I, a Catholic sympathizer presiding over a very corrupt court! It's not a co-incidence that the British started coming to America in ships in 1620 to start new lives here! After the death of the Golden Era of Queen Elizabeth I, life went down hill in Britain. Life with the ruling Tudors was far from life with a notorious dynasty! I thought the author could have written a more interesting book, if he had written less on the politics and religion and written more on what the average family thought of the rulers, as my family had in the stories I am mentioning here. If he had, he would have seen that because of great rulers such as the Tudor Family, the Royal family still holds an honored position to this day in Britain with the current Queen Elizabeth II.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Author Makes It Fascinating
I thought I knew a lot about the Tudors but this was an education.The author made the book so readable that after I read it from the library I bought it for the rest of the family.Then I went looking for his other book about WWI and drove everyone crazy quoting from it as I read it!A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

4-0 out of 5 stars Hard edged look at the Tudors
This is a hard look at the Tudors, who dynasty ran from Henry VII through Henry VIII to Edward VI, to Mary I, and ending with Elizabeth I. Many treatments of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I take rather positive looks at them (leavened, of course, by the record of unhappy fates of some of his wives). This book argues that things began to go downhill after Henry VII's improbable accession to the throne. A genealogy on pages xiv-xv is most helpful in keeping the cast of characters straight.

The factors that make this an interesting volume include the critical cast toward the Tudors and a rendering of their history in one volume. There are times when reading this volume that I wished for more detail--but that would defeat the purpose of a work that nears 600 pages as it is. Some might contend, not surprisingly, that the book and its author are too negative, too critical of the Tudors. Each reader will have to judge such issues on the basis of their own reading.

Meyer begins with an Introduction that speaks of the "old propaganda" of mythologizing the Tudors. The brief Prologue lays out the demise of the Plantagenets with Edward IV's death at a relatively young age. There followed Richard III's accession to the throne and a revolt organized by the unlikely leader, Henry Tudor (to become Henry VII). Tudor married Edward IV's daughter to cement his hold after the defeat--and death--of Richard III at Bosworth Field.

Part One focuses on Henry VII and the younger Henry VIII. It notes the development of Henry VIII as a young king with his wife Catherine of Aragon. Things begin going awry as she is unable to bear him a son (her only child was Mary, a future queen). She was also older than Henry. He began to contemplate changing the English relationship with the Catholic Church as that body refused to consider an annulment of the royal marriage. By now, of course, Henry had fallen for Anne Boleyn. The story of their relationship is pretty well told here, although it is rather briefly told. Then, the inevitable fall of Anne Boleyn and the succession of wives. Also, his profligate spending of England's treasure on foolish wars and on a lavish lifestyle had troublesome effects on the health of the country.

After Henry's death, his young son, Edward VI, became king (albeit with others actually exercising practical authority). Over his short reign, Edward began to work toward a stronger Protestant status. However, he dies young and his older sister, Mary, became queen. A strong Catholic, she ended up exercising her power rather indecisively, began exercising power on behalf of the Catholic Church, trying to "restore" it. She dies rather young and her younger sister, Elizabeth (daughter of Anne Boleyn) became queen. Here, Part Four of the book tells the story of Elizabeth. Meyer's treatment of her is hardly warm. He contends that she was interested mainly in her survival, that she spent extravagantly, and that she was fully as bloody as her father, Henry VIII. In the end, the author contends, England had been driven into the ground by the Tudors.

A well written book that reads well. Some may see this as excessively negative. Other will find it a useful corrective to the sometimes romanticized treatment of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good history but hardly complete
This book is being advertised as a complete history of the Tudor dynasty. That's hardly true. Meyer skips ahead to the "good parts". All of Henry VII's reign and the first twenty years of Henry VIII's reign are quickly run through in the first chapter and the narrative really begins with Henry's decision to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. This book then hits the highpoints of the next seventy years: divorces, executions, rebellions, martyrdoms, etc.

Overall, this would be a good book for anyone who's watched any of the many movies and television series set in the Tudor court and wants to read some historical background. But it won't take you much deeper than that.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not exactly captivating
I'm a fan of Tudor history and I was very hopeful that I'd thoroughly enjoy this book.I'm used to reading the detail oriented accounts of Tudor history written by Alison Weir and was anticipating a book that would be equally informative.Instead I found this book to be a watered down version of Tudor history and the writing style wasn't nearly as captivating as the accounts written by Weir.For someone who is serious about reading up on Tudor history I would highly recommend he or she checks out Weir's non-fiction book on the Tudors. ... Read more

11. Environment and Human Well-Being: A Practical Strategy (UN Millennium Project)
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-05)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$43.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1844072282
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Achieving human development while overcoming, rather than exacerbating environmental challenges – such as the degradation of land; watersheds and marine fisheries; deforestation; pollution; and climate change – is an immense but central challenge to humanity. This Millennium Project Task Force Report presents principles upon which each country can determine for itself the most appropriate steps to take towards achieving environmental sustainability. ... Read more

12. GIVE ME A WORD : Fifty-Seven Poems.
by Ferruccio; Sachs, Norma (introduction). di Cori
 Hardcover: Pages (1982-01-01)

Asin: B000HNHAUI
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