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The Iron Butterfly: a trip through the twentieth century Paperback – August 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (August 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159129472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591294726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,883,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ennika Kaldsdottir on August 5, 2005
Quite simply, this is one of the best books I've read in ages.

Doris Colmes is not a towering figure of the 20th Century. She

didn't hobnob with the Roosevelts, shoot a Kennedy or shoot up with Jimi Hendrix. She didn't give Einstein helpful hints about relativity nor Oppenheimer tips for designing the Bomb. She didn't march alongside Martin Luther King in Selma or scold the poor while ladling out soup alongside Mother Theresa.

What she did do was live private her life so attentively, honestly, and vividly that her report equals those characters' in an important way; in another way it outshines the apocryphies of the towering figures "under" whom we all shared that century, whose stories have been overmagnified into unavoidable hypocrisies.

No hypocrisies for Doris. You get it "warts and all." These are

real people. Nobody's perfect. But everybody's a part of, and forms the milestone events of which Doris was also part, from a childhood of quietly daring the Nazis to dump her into a concentration camp for sitting on a park bench, to a full grown adult, daring enough to dump the cozy life of a pampered millionaire's wife and go find real meaning among the folds and contours of poverty and uncertainty.

Doris relates here story with such a knowledge of human nature that you can see her behind her own words, quietly watching you read. The point the story of her life makes is self-evident on every page: we all count. Every one of us, every day, everything we do. It takes a brilliant soul to relate that message so that it keeps us turning the pages.

I certainly kept turning the pages. In fact, I took the book with

me wherever I went... walking down the street nearly bumping into

people, busy reading. Sometimes uttering about it out loud. I now have a little waiting list of friends lined up to borrow it.

Don't wait for the movie!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2002
"The Iron Butterfly" emerged from the cocoon of a repressive and abusive childhood and a stifling l950's marriage to lead a colorful and productive life. Doris Colmes' free-spirited and sometimes wild journey, often on the edge of danger, took her through the tumultuous times of early women's lib to the sensational sixties and seventies of sex, drugs and rock and roll. With the passage of years she was able to free herself from the ice age of her frozen emotions and the furies that pursued her to find a personal and spiritual resolution. Along the way, Colmes' interests and experiences ran the gamut from the athletic -- ski patrol, scuba diving, sailing, and jogging -- to the intellectual-- earning bachelor's and master's degrees. Love for her children, for humanity, for animals, and for music permeate this story. This book is definitely worth your time -- not only for the entertaining escapades, but for the elegant and intelligent writing that brings the reader into this vital life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Olson on February 26, 2003
It's been a long time since a book followed me from the bedroom to the bathroom, to the kitchen to the car, to the waiting room, grocery line, traffic jam. The Iron Butterfly has been my dear companion this past week and now exhibits all signs of well-worn love - folded page corners, underlined passages, crinkled cover. Thank you Doris Colmes for this gift of delectable literature, so finely crafted I felt the ocean caressing my toes and the pointed schoolgirl stares stabbing my soul. I ached for your grief, rejoiced in your cunning strength, shook my head at your gutsy, live-life-to-the-fullest tango. I found myself exhausted, impressed, amazed, cheering, closing my eyes, afraid of your next move, but peeking at the next chapter. Thank you for dancing with words. Thank you for a brilliant performance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judith Klefman on November 7, 2002
I found myself drawn into this amazing life story that is well written and fast paced. Doris is able to clearly communicate the lessons she learned on her journey. Her message to take care of yourself and others and do no harm is a timely message that has much to offer. To read about her journey of personal growth and change that allowed her to see the needs of those around her is inspiring.
It was easy to get lost in her descriptions of places...a master wordsmith or mistress wordsmith as the case may be. Mesmerizing is a word that comes to my mind.
Amazing, inspiring, thought-provoking, adventurous, timely, hopeful - these are all words that flow through my mind when I think about The Iron Butterfly, Doris.
For those times when we think that our lives are too hard, that there is no way to have a better life, that we will never experience joy again, The Iron Butterfly has a message and has a heroine who has overcome many of life's adversities. Doris has shown that it is possible to grow, change, and become.
A great book and a great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ani Corné on May 21, 2004
This book has fascinated me from line one to the last. It is beautifully written; in a style one rarely finds these days. The reader gets a pretty good idea of who the author is and can picture all events quite vividly.
I loved the many details regarding music and political events, but apart from all that, the story of Doris Colmes' life is so unusual, so fascinatingly told that it leaves the reader with great insight into a wonderful personality.
Recounting her past in a very candid way - not even shying away from very personal issues -, Mrs. Colmes gives the reader an account of world events spanning several decades.
This book is a must-read and I hope it will be translated into many other languages, so that a worldwide readership can enjoy it.

Doris Colmes is a great writer and she should write another book soon. This lady still has a lot to say and she says it so well. When do I get to read the next "Doris Colmes"?
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