Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc CaseLangVeirs Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer WienerDog WienerDog WienerDog  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro
Profile for Howard Schulman > Reviews

Browse

Howard Schulman's Profile

Customer Reviews: 169
Top Reviewer Ranking: 40,209
Helpful Votes: 1248


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Howard Schulman RSS Feed (Providence, RI)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-17
pixel
The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)
The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)
by Robert A. Caro
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.41
207 used & new from $2.74

4.0 out of 5 stars that plodding so almost poetic and easy to read, May 9, 2016
This review is for "Path to Power". The man behind the curtain here at Amazon has mashed all reviews for Caro's 4 volumes on LBJ together in this listing, most confusingly. I had a hard time giving the book 5 star rating and a hard time giving it a 4 star rating. The only reason I give it a 4 stars is that he just takes so long to make his point. 5 stars because even though he plods along, that plodding so almost poetic and easy to read, masterfully written. 5 stars because Caro has done such an enormous amount of research about Johnson and puts it all together to make a story that seems so easy to understand, almost as if there is nothing more to Johnson, no innermost thought of his you don't know about and fully understand the origin of.

Warning, do not go near this book because you will end up having to read the next 3 tomes Caro writes and then wait feeling like an idiot for him to finish his 5 th book, about Johnson when he becomes president--what you've been waiting for, reading the other 4 tomes for. Reading volume one is like smoking crack. And then if he doesn't finish the last volume, you will go into violent withdrawal.

One thought that sticks in my mind, that Caro said about his books on Johnson: Caro says that he did not write a typical biography about Johnson, he wrote a book about "power" in the late 20 th century in the US.

Additionally, I'm doing his books on audiotape. The reading is absolutely top rate, but I totally missed seeing how extensive his documentation is, how truly based on his own research/oral histories this book is.

By chance, while visiting San Antonio I visited the Johnson Summer White House and Johnson's boyhood home, and that is how I personally got interested in Johnson. You might as well visit these place and hike and drive around the Hill Country north of San Antonio because everything makes more sense if you do.

Just like people initially had no idea Roosevelt was a cripple, people had no idea how complex and not-what-he-appeared Johnson was until Caro wrote this book.


The Life And Times Of Little Richard
The Life And Times Of Little Richard
by Charles White
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $14.10

3.0 out of 5 stars very superficial biography, May 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Can't say I really liked this bio. First of all it is an "authorized" biography. Second, teh subject is treated in the most superficial matter. After the first 100 pages when Richard Penman decided to become a preacher, I gave up. Very little insight as to why he was so important and why he is looked up to by many important musicians who came after him, i.e. Paul McCartney who tends to scream like him and who write a little intro to the book. Some of the early growing up info about Richard is good.


The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family
The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family
by Ron Chernow
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.72
108 used & new from $2.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish it had been done better, April 25, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I imagine I'm going to get unhelpful votes by saying this, but this biography was not up to par with the author's other biographies. I've read Titan, which I thought was great, House of Morgan, which was really good, and Hamilton, which was also good, and this book just isn't up to those other books.

The beginning was very frustrating because we learn about this supposedly very successful and widely acclaimed and established German banking family, yet there is practically nothing concerning how they got to be well known and exceedingly wealthy, nor what their business dealing were at the time. And this lack of information goes on and on, focusing almost to exclusion on intra-personal issues.

Looking up the Warburgs in Wikipedia, I learned that the family had been a very successful banking family from the 1600's back in Venice, even before they settled in Warburg, Germany. Starting the narrative in the mid to late 1800's with the success of Jews in what was to become Germany just left me hanging and feeling like I was missing a large part of who the Warburgs were and how they got that way.

Additionally, the family had been around for a very long time and there are scattered references to visiting or staying with uncles and aunts, but the overall breadth of the family is not addressed.

Thinking about his problem now, it almost would make more sense and read better if there was a short intro and perhaps 10 separate bios on separate family members, instead of skipping around. It would help the flow. I have a feeling the author's inability to read German or Swedish or other European languages and his lack of primary research in Europe, where the Warburgs achieved fame and fortune, contributed to this incomplete biography.

On the other hand, it appears that not much had been written on the Warburgs prior to this book (at least in English), and that is why I read the book. Additionally, the whole build up to the Holocaust and how the Warburgs kept their warm feelings for Germany throughout the experience, as a constant theme, was very interesting and well done, especially since I'm Jewish. The reading got more focused and poignant the closer the Holocaust got and immediately afterwards.

3 or 3.5 stars is probably the best score, but will upgrade so I don't get canned too badly. If you're interested in the Warburg it's a good starter book, though I imagine if this weren't one of the first books Chernow wrote, he would have done a better job as a more mature and accomplished biographer.


60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Antonio and Austin: Including the Hill Country
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Antonio and Austin: Including the Hill Country
by Johnny Molloy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.26
28 used & new from $2.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't bad, March 7, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have little idea of how exhaustive a list of hikes this book covers, but there were plenty of hikes. Almost all land in Texas is in private hands at the moment I liked how the book groups the hikes according to difficulty, scenery, and distance. Also liked the map in the front which indicated over all, where the hikes were in the region. The difficulty ratings initially threw me off--as a "moderate-difficult" hike to me was pretty easy. The graphs of elevation along the trails make them look steeper than they were. I really liked that in each of the three hikes that I did in the Hill Country area there were park rangers stationed there and well-stocked maps and other informational papers. The book, kindly indicated the hours of the ranger and also the park websites for more detailed trail maps. I have to say that coming from Rhode Island which is a truly beautiful area, that hiking the Hill Country (albeit just prior to the wildflower blooms) was fun but not 30% as pretty or intereseting as it is over here, but I'm glad I did them. The descriptions of the hikes could have had a little more, but I did appreciate what was offered, which was pretty much what was described in the official park handout maps, etc. Often the park maps had more details and more trails, not indicated in the book diagrams.


Rick Steves Spain 2015
Rick Steves Spain 2015
by Rick Steves
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from $3.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty solid rendition, September 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rick Steves Spain 2015 (Paperback)
Used this book on a 16 day trip through Spain, though the 2016 edition just came out so get that not this. most of the time I was on a Rick Steves tour, but spent an extra 2 days in Bilboa. most helpful aspects of this book and other rs books in general--they are being updated every year for many books, so the information in them is accurate. additionally, i appreciated his guides to museums, which tend to point out the important or distingushing aspects in a church or building or art collection with many things to looks at. only concern was that this book and many rs books tend to indicate that they tell you everything you can or should seen in a location, when there is always more, though pretty reliably, most of the most important things to do or visit are covered.


Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson
Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson
Price: $9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was OK, see the review, July 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As with many other people now reading about the life of Brian Wilson, the movie "Love and Mercy", which just came out, sparked my interest. The movie practically ignores the rise of the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, and focuses on Brian's later on relationship with Melinda Ledbetter and his battles with Dr. Landy, as well as the Pet Sounds and Smile years. I was hoping to fill in the gaps, as well as get the facts.

In this aspect the book was good. In the movie Dr. Landy was portrayed as totally evil, but in the book it is clear that Landy saved Wilson's life, getting him off drugs and getting him to lose over 100 pounds and back writing music, when all other options had failed. It was also interesting to read about the rise of the Beach Boys. Brian's father Murry was similarly portrayed entirely evil in the movie, but, again, it is clear that the Wilson brothers' interest in singing came through their father's interest and at least early on, Murry, as their manager, fought tooth and nail for his sons' musical career.

Although this book is possibly the best book out there on Brian Wilson, while I was reading it there was just something that left a bad taste in my mouth that I had a hard time identifying, until later on in the book: Carlin's tone throughout the book is almost as if he is part of the Brian Wilson media promotion. Supposedly, Carlin is an independent newspaper reporter who followed Brian Wilson for a while before writing this book, but, honestly, aside from Wilson's remake of Smile in 2004, most of Wilson's musical output after 1967 is pretty darn mediocre, and if weren't for his past greatness, I'm not sure many people could bare listening to more than a song or two....but you wouldn't know this by the way Carlin writes.

A review of another book on Brian Wilson slams that book because all it talks about is the endless infighting and internecine lawsuits. Carlin's book goes light on the lawsuits, but certainly at least gives us the minimum without making the lawsuits the majority of the writing.

If you get a chance make sure to see some online video's of Brian Wilson talking and being interviewed to get a better idea of how mentally "damaged" he is. Diane Sawyer interviewed him and Dr. Landy in 1991. You've got to see this. The actor in the movie did a great job, but there's nothing like seeing Dr. Evil himself.

Lastly, before you read this book, buy a copy of "Brian Wilson Presents Smile" or the 1967 "Smile Sessions". Your life will never be the same.


Chuck Berry: The Autobiography
Chuck Berry: The Autobiography
by Chuck Berry
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from $13.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Chuck as only Chuck could have told it, July 5, 2015
I'm glad I read Chuck's version about his life instead of some other author's. Sure enough Chuck's version focuses on what Chuck wants you to hear and what he wants to talk about, but at least you hear his voice pure and unadulterated. If you're interested in filling in the gaps, read Wikipedia. Chuck lived his life under the public spotlight, so the information about his life is reasonably accessible if you're interested.

I have a hard time imagining another author's biography describing what it was like growing up dirt poor in a segregated nieghborhood where his family had barely any contact with white people. He also writes in depth in the beginning of the book about his family roots going back 4 to 5 generations, what they did and who they were and where they lived. It seemed very much like this was mouth to mouth information, but he had a lot of good detail. He even seems to have fairly detailed story about a white blood relative.

Several times when Chuck ends up in jail, he talks about feeling "black", and I don't think someone else's book could conveyed this feeling. Chuck writes incredibly openly about the three separate occasions he spent in prison, and somehow remains upbeat about life, without bitterness and still able to resume his career with enthusiasm.

Additionally, Chuck talks about his galloping libido and success with the ladies, even though he is married and he is putting this down for the whole world to read, including his wife and children. He doesn't talk much about his wife aside from an early chapter about how he met her, but at the end he brags that he has been married for 35 years without any divorce or separations and something like 4 kids and many more grandkids, and how one of his daughters joined his act. A successful life.

The autobiography gives a great sense of what a self-made man he was, or at least tries to portray, in that he manages his music career and his business empire with only a close, long time, totally trusted non-professional manager/friend Fran. He wrote his own songs.

There were also a lot of personal photos.

He's about 89 years old now and still "performs" semi-regularly in his nightclub in St Louis--amazing. John Lennon and Brian Wilson and many more music legends idolized him. It's an interesting story.

I highly recommend a 3 CD collection of his music as part of a Chess Collection.

Enjoy.


Chuck Berry (Chess Box)
Chuck Berry (Chess Box)
Price: $32.77
43 used & new from $16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting as well as fun to listen to, May 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chuck Berry (Chess Box) (Audio CD)
If you ever get a chance, listen to John Lennon's solo album called Rock 'n Roll where he covers a few Chuck Berry tunes. Also, if you get a chance, look up Morris Levy on Wikipedia. As mentioned in most of the reviews, the recording of early, classic Chuck Berry is about as bad as it comes, but it seems like that's just the way the master tapes were done. Also, for those of you not Chuck Berry aficionados, make sure to Google the lyrics, so you can read them. Memphis, Tennessee, especially, touched my heart. Can't Catch Me was fun, as well as interesting, if you know about the Come Together brouhaha. This collection was nice because it had the most songs of any of the collections listed on Amazon, though there may still be more songs out there, but you'll have to start buying individual albums to get those songs (?). Also appreciated several live song editions added on at the end. His pianist Johnnie Johnson was truly amazing, but due to the poor recording you can barely hear the notes. A true loss.

Addendum 1/6/16: Just an addendum, the 5 Classic Chuck Berry collection has much much better sound. The Chess collection is about as bad as it gets where the guitar sound like a ukulele and the piano sounds like background noise in a Victrola. The 5 Classic collection you can definitely hear the piano and chuck's voice sounds more full and the other instruments are so much better. The 5 Classic collection amazingly has many songs the chess Collection doesn't have, so it was reasonable to get both, if you want more of this truly groundbreaking and entertaining musician.


All You Need Is Ears: The inside personal story of the genius who created The Beatles
All You Need Is Ears: The inside personal story of the genius who created The Beatles
by George Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.29
79 used & new from $5.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not exceptional, May 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Good but not exceptional. I probably would have appreciated this book more if I had read it before reading other books about the Beatles. Much of what he describes was not new to me. The most important contribution of this book is Martin's description of how he dealt wiith and overcame very limited and limiting recording technology and his role in producing the Beatles. Over and over again he tells about how he had to deal with "4-track" recording equipment, in the face of the Beatles' need for more.

Martin's documentation of his contribution to the Beatles' music is also good to see, since he received almost no money or fame compared with the rest of the group, yet he played instruments and wrote music for and collaborated with the Beatles without getting his due. He really was the "fifth Beatle", but I already knew this from other books.

I must say that the story line jumps around quite a bit chronologically, so much so that it gets annoying. Additionally, the book lacked much emotional content and tended to stay rather superficial when he tells about his work with the boys. Also, although the book read quickly, I wasn't too interested in non-Beatles subjects, about 1/2 the book. Probably could have been conceived better by his writer, though I did enjoy learning about Martin's musical background growing up and how that influenced him subsequently. It was also interesting to get a better feel for Martin's very "proper" personality and how that contrasted with the eccentric Beatles and the psychodelic 60's.

Glad I read it, regardless. It put a smile to my face when he ends the book, written in 1979, talking about the coming of digital recording technology and 24 and 32 track recording equipment.


50 Coastin' Classics
50 Coastin' Classics
16 used & new from $19.95

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok, April 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 50 Coastin' Classics (Audio CD)
not quite as good as I thought they might be. i certainly don't find myself humming the tunes after i hear them several times. from the credits I was surprised to see that Stoller is on the piano for many of the coasters' songs. the 2 cd set goes chronologically. the second cd is better, but I have a feeling that a 3 cd set of leiber and stroller songs from all their songs, not just the coaseters, will be better. i do have to admit that I appreciated most of the humor in the songs and that after getting to hear 50 songs i got a better feeling for what the coasters/robbins music was like. i would highly recommend leiber and stoller's combined "autobiography" published in about 2009. the coasters was their favorite group. I would also highly recommend listening to the beatles demo version of three cool cats and comparing it with the coasters' version.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-17