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Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan
by Edmund Morris
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.65
272 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much left to desire in Dutch, September 25, 2010
Having enjoyed immensely the Pulitzer price winning "The Rise of Theordore Roosevelt", I was anxious to read another biography by the same author. Big mistake. Dutch uses a completely different style of writing that I do not appreciate at all. The author invents a character whose biography follows loosely the geographic history of the real subject Ronald Reagan. He uses this trick to add more color where he admits he otherwise had little material. I found it quite distracting and did not make it far before I put the book aside. Others have found the book a good read, but my copy is now a doorstop.

Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869
Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Hardcover
808 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Binding East to West, North to South, November 3, 2000
The building of the transcontinental railroad was one of the largest efforts in modern times. It tied the Atlantica to the Pacific and enabled the settlement of the west. It dramatically changed communication, reducing both time and cost. It began the healing of the rift between North and South.
Ambrose tells the story of the building of the road, from initial concept through the decades following its completion. We learn of the complexity and scale -- grander than anything else to that time. We see the impact on the native peoples and the nation recovering from a devisive war.
The story is worth telling, but is not the easiest read. There are so many details that for me they interfered with the story. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal, including the difficulties of each line, the effect on local economies and populations, the competition itself. The book is worth the effort.

My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD
My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD
by Brian McDonald
Edition: Hardcover
104 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 100 years in the NYPD, November 3, 2000
Anyone who ever wondered what it was like to be a cop in New York City should read this book. The author is steeped in police tradition -- his grandfather, father and brother all wore the badge. The book is particularly interesting because of the view it provides of life in New York over the past 100 years.
Brian McDonald's grandfather, son of Irish immigrants, joined the New York City police department in 1893. He was there during the height of Tammany Hall. He walked a beat as a patrolman and then rose quickly to seargent. He and his descendants each enjoyed the life of a copy and suffered because of bureaucracy, favoritism and the changing nature of the city.
In a way the story of these 3 generations is an excuse to tell the story of the NYC police department and the city it served. Though not a disciplined or complete history, this book quite effectively creates an anecdotal portrait that gives the reader a peek into a time and place not generally accessible.

The Seamstress
The Seamstress
by Sara Tuvel Bernstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.41
114 used & new from $0.30

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Brothers, My Sisters, November 3, 2000
This review is from: The Seamstress (Paperback)
This book was almost not written. And it was almost not published. And revealing as it is, it tells only some of the tale. Some things are just too close, too hard, too emotional, too overwhelming to share. Yet share she did, and we are richer for it, even if we don't know the whole story.
The story is a familiar one in some ways. Young Sara was a survivor, even before this term became indelibly linked with the Holocaust. Outgoing, ambitious, adventurous, Sara struck out in the world early and learned hard lessons in cruelty and hatred. Yet her spirit remained and helped her survive the unsurvivable. In fact, given her condition at the end of the war it is remarkable she did survive. Perhaps her single-minded dedication to her sister and friends enabled her to forget about her horrible condition. She truly willed herself to survive.
Yet the story, as so many others, may never have come to light. After the ward there was so much else to do, so much time to make up. Only in her later years did Sara think of writing her story. And when it was done she could not get it published so she put it away. Her daughter found the manuscript after Sara's death, and published it 15 years later.
Sara never saw her book in print. You should.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2012 2:58 PM PDT

Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals
Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.34
254 used & new from $0.01

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick read with a lasting impression, November 3, 2000
I picked up this book in the airport as I headed off for a 4 hour flight. I knew that given its author it would be an interesting "quick read". I had enjoyed many other books by Ambrose and looked forward to another.
In this short compilation Ambrose explores the relationships between men as "brothers, fathers, heroes, sons and pals". Similar to his other works, this book examines its topics through the lives of specific people -- Ambrose himself, his father and brothers, and others he has met or researched. What emerges is a theme of loyalty, fealty and connection that is unique and binding.
True to my estimation this book was enjoyable and easy to read. Ambrose draws few conclusions but rather allows the reader to discover the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of these disparate relationships.
In an age where pop psychologists diagnose and prescribe broad generalisms about gender and relationships it is nice to find someone who appreciates men for who and what they are. I look forward to Ambrose's next work.

Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood
Farewell: A Memoir of a Texas Childhood
by Horton Foote
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.76
100 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Texas Childhood, November 3, 2000
Think life in a small town is idyllic? Think again. Horton Foote gives us a portrait of his home town, complete with the details many wish to forget. Pettiness. Alcoholism. Racism.
At the same time, Foote describes his childhood in tones that leave a lasting impression of roots and home. Of growing up and new responsibility. Of family.
Foote has shared with us his appreciation for small town life in such great works as "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Trip to Bountiful" and now "Farewell". Enjoy.

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