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The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of Pope John Paul II's Vatican
The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of Pope John Paul II's Vatican
by David Yallop
Edition: Hardcover
43 used & new from $0.45

35 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slander, November 14, 2007
This book purports to be history, but its written by a journalist who has already been discredited for his book on John Paul the First, `In God's Name'. John Cornwell, a Vatican critic, exploded all Yallop's theories on the "murder" of John Paul the First in his book `A Theif in the Night' and exposed the true story: that Pope Lucciani had a heart condition and foretold that God would take him soon. Does Yallop mention any of this in his new book? Not at all! He continues to insist that he was right, even when he admitted that he was wrong to Cornwell. Therefore, not only does Yallop have scant regard for the truth, but he's a shoddy journalist. He brings the same ineptitude to this `book' but unfortunately, he has no love for the Pope: in this volume Pope John Paul II is the evil player, along with a host of other mysterious Vatican officials. Are any of the claims made in this book documented? Hardly: only 13 notes in the entire book! The tone of the book is insulting: John Paul was a man of great character, and here he is depicted as an actor who loved the `adulation of the crowd' and therefore refused to stand down. Add to that the citations on the photos: the picture of John Paul II the week that he died, looking down at the crowd at St. Peter's and agonized that he could no longer talk has the horrible title, `The great communicator finally silenced'. No mercy on the late John Paul even as he was in his final moments and suffering. This book is trash, and sloppy trash at that! Has Yallop ever heard of proof reading? A bishop suffering a stroke is written as "stoke", the Legionaries of Christ become the "Legionnaires" and so on and so forth. There are no redeeming factors about this book: don't buy it, don't read it and pray for the soul of David Yallop: his calumny against the late and great John Paul II might be forgiven by his editors, but one day he will have to render an account before God, and I don't think he's going to get off lightly.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2012 11:36 AM PST

New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer
New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer
by Bill Maher
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.46
232 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Is Hillarious!, October 17, 2007
This book should come with a warning: it will have you in hysterics, so don't read it on the subway cause people will stare at you.

Even though I come from the opposite end of the ideological spectrum (Reaganite, Christian, pro-life) and find some of the things he says offensive, this book is so hillariously funny that I just had to buy it.

Maher has a true gift for humor: I will treasure this book as reading just bits from it gives me a real belly laugh and cheers me up considerably.

Robert Kennedy and His Times
Robert Kennedy and His Times
by Arthur Meier Schlesinger
Edition: Paperback
55 used & new from $1.24

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sweeping History of Robert F. Kennedy, January 25, 2007
I really enjoyed reading this book. Schlesinger has given us a true portrait of Robert Kennedy, including wonderful insights into his childhood and early adult life by publishing excerpts from family letters.

He goes into great depth to show the work that RFK did as his brother's Attorney General (sometimes a little too much depth) but it gives you an appreciation for RFK's great administrative skills. After seeing how RFK worked as head of the Justice Department, surrounding himself with the `best and the brightest' I believe that he could have a made a great president.

What is amazing from this book is the transformation of RFK following his brother's assassination. He became a champion of the poor, of blacks and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam war. RFK is shown to be a man of great conviction, courage and compassion. Schlesinger also portrays a man of introspection, humor and family values.

It was a great tragedy that he was himself killed in 1968. Unfortunately the book ends rather abruptly upon RFK's death, while I thought a chapter summing up his life and legacy was needed.

That said, this is still the best book available on the life of Robert Kennedy. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to know more about the complex historical figure of RFK.

Whether you agreed with all his politics or not, you come away from this book inspired by Kennedy's example and by his quest to "tame the savagenesss of man and to make gentle the life of this world."

Spark from Heaven: The Mystery of the Madonna of Medjugorje
Spark from Heaven: The Mystery of the Madonna of Medjugorje
by Mary Craig
Edition: Paperback
50 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman Clothed With The Sun, January 27, 2006
I read this book, and yes, it has changed my life. After reading about Our Lady's apparitions in Bosnia in this book, I went to see for myself, traveling to the former Yugoslavia and experiencing what Medjugorje was all about.

I met the main characters of this book: two of the visionaries, Ivan and Mirjana, and Fr Jozo, the priest at the time of the first visions, who was imprisoned by the communists. And what strikes me about this book and what I saw is the consistency: over twenty years after the first apparitions, Our Lady is still appearing daily in Medjugorje, miracles are still happening and the Gospel is still being preached by saintly Franciscans, like Fr. Jozo.

This book gives you the history of the region and of the apparitions and includes many scientific facts about what occurs during the visions. From everything I've read, and my own investigations this much I can say: the Madonna is appearing in Medjugorje, and its no `spark' from heaven, its more like a sun, or rather a `woman clothed with the sun', who is lighting up the world with her messages of peace, love, and conversion. Read this book: it might change your life too and lead you on a journey of discovery.

George Herbert Walker Bush: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives)
George Herbert Walker Bush: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives)
by Tom Wicker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.07
119 used & new from $0.01

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak and Condescending, November 25, 2005
I found this book to be a mere thumbnail sketch of Bush's long service to America, and I found its tone insulting. Wicker constantly derides Bush for his geniality, his many friendships, and for his constant `thank you' notes. I guess the brusque Nixon to Wicker is `one of us', while the polite Bush isn't. Doesn't that say more about Wicker than it does about Bush?

Though Bush was a World War II veteran, a Congressman, a Senate nominee, Ambassador to the United Nations, Envoy to China, GOP Chairman, Director of the CIA, Vice President and President, Wicker seems to think that Bush was merely all `resume', and because he was so `nice' he was easy to lift, with his successes merely a result of the patronage of the powerful (mainly presidents.) What Wicker fails to understand is that Bush was appointed to those positions of power prior to the presidency because he is a man of intelligence and skill capable to preside over entire organizations with style and class.

Wicker grudgingly gives some credit to Bush for his leadership during the Gulf War, but not nearly enough. And Bush's expertise in foreign policy is dismissed by Wicker, who thinks that Bush merely stood back and allowed events to occur, thus giving a sense of `calm'. (Anyone seeking a real understanding of Bush's contribution to foreign policy should read the book he co-authored with Brent Scowcroft, `A World Transformed.)

In conclusion, I don't recommend this book at all. I could have put up with the condescension if it at least provided some sort of depth, but this book is unbelievably shallow.

Timecop 2
Timecop 2
DVD ~ Jason Scott Lee
Price: $9.62
83 used & new from $0.01

1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes No Sense, September 24, 2005
This review is from: Timecop 2 (DVD)
If I could give this movie less than 1 star, I would.

The central character, Ryan, played by Jason Scott Lee (by the way, what happened to the Muscles from Brussels?), is a loser. Why? Because HE SAVES ADOLF HITLER'S LIFE!!! And how does he do this? By killing the leading lady.

Gee, great script guys.

Also, the thing makes no sense. People are obliterated from history, and Ryan knows about it! Hello, if they were removed from history, he would have no memory of them. Duh!

If there was such a thing as a 'Time Cop', they would outlaw people wasting 2hrs watching this ridiculous movie!

Angels Don't Die: My Father's Gift of Faith
Angels Don't Die: My Father's Gift of Faith
by Patti Davis
Edition: Hardcover
203 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Memoir, August 29, 2005
What a beautiful memoir for a daughter to write about her father. Patti Davis, as we all know, was at one stage the anti-Reagan of the Reagan family (hence her dumping of her father's surname.) For whatever reasons, she was at war with herself and consequently, she blamed her parents. Patti has since found peace within herself, and re-discovered her great love for her parents and indeed their great love (and patience) towards her. She also writes in an exquisite manner.

The title for this work comes from a question that the young Patti asked her father, namely, whether it was true that when you saw a falling star, it meant that an angel had just died. Ronald Reagan replied comfortingly, "Angels don't die" and this explanation was just one of many that he gave to his daughter's questions about life and death, and in doing so he imparted to his daughter the greatest gift anyone can give: the gift of faith.

Ronald Reagan, Patti explains, lived what appeared to be a `charmed life' and I find her explanation of this to be fascinating. To live a charmed life you have to be able to stand back from your life with its various problems in order to gain some perspective. The space between yourself and the situation you find yourself in is then filled with prayer. God takes away your fears, and gives you insights and answers in your heart.

Ronald Reagan lived his entire life with this ability to stand back and offer everything up to God. That's how he managed to take on the responsibilities of president with such ease and remain himself. He always treated people equally, be it a King or a doorman.

Though it didn't set out to do so, what I think this book leaves the reader with is the truth that in the end its not what level of success you might achieve in life financially or politically, what's ultimately important is character. And, Ronald Reagan's character was one of the most evolved that a person can attain.

I recommend this book for the above reasons; it's also good in that it details some of the supernatural occurrences surrounding Reagan (including angelic visitations) and helps readers in their own appreciation and understanding of their relationship with their parents.

Because He Could
Because He Could
by Dick Morris
Edition: Hardcover
194 used & new from $0.01

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Because Morris Could, August 23, 2005
This review is from: Because He Could (Hardcover)
This book, unlike Morris's work on Hillary, is actually worth reading, because its perspective and analysis of our 42nd president is fascinating. Though the title is a little tiresome (and becomes especially so when Morris continues to say throughout the book `Why? Because he could!') the book is a fast page turner.

I particularly enjoyed Morris's portrayal of Clinton as one who only came to life around other people: if they were happy, he was, if they were in distress, he felt their pain. A master of reading people and changing according to their feelings, Clinton was perfectly suited to becoming a president who ruled by polls. Enter Dick Morris. As Clinton's chief poller, he also became, at one time, his chief political advisor. And Clinton needed one.

As `My Life' by Clinton shows, the president had no overall strategy and failed to see events as interconnected. For him, each issue needed to be examined individually and with Clinton, that was a laborious endeavor: the prez had the painful habit of considering each argument with equal weight, and therefore was extremely indecisive and cautious to take action. Result? Fiasco's like Waco, Somalia, Bosnia and Health Care reform. More seriously for the future: the loss of the Congress to the Republicans (over ten years now and counting) and the failure to stop Bin Laden.

Morris gives credit where credit is due though: Clinton's work on welfare reform cut the roll books in half and the tough work on deficit reduction allowed the economic boom of the 1990s to take place. Also interesting, was Clinton's use of the presidency as a bully pulpit for families and education: an issue that was local politics, and therefore cost Clinton nothing in the budget but brought in massive political capital.

Read this book before reading Clinton's `My Life'. Why? Because Morris points out the inconsistencies and just plain untruths contained therein. Also, Morris says that the president's autobiography is the `Rosetta Stone' that decodes Clinton. If that is the case, then Morris is certainly the interpreter.

Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations
Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations
by Geraldine Hughes
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from $18.18

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MAKES SOME GOOD POINTS, July 29, 2005
Ok, let me start by saying that the start and end of this book should have been edited out.

She refers to Michael Jackson's accuser as a 'little boy' when he was actually 13, and therefore a teenager, not a little boy. Also, she gets her tenses mixed up, placing herself back in 1993 and making it the present tense!

Then, the end of the book descends into a sermon about Satan and greed, includes a prayer to be 'born again' and calls on Jordan Chandler to come forward, tell the truth and be saved.

That stuff aside, she does make some really good points about the entire case.

1) Barry Rothman, the accuser's lawyer, with whom Geraldine Hugh's worked with, was chosen because he was a 'mean, nasty, SOB, who didn't mind breaking every rule to get what he wanted.'

2) The accuser's father, Evan Chandler, wanted 20 million dollars up front for a 'movie deal' or he would go ahead with allegations against MJ. An obvious extortion attempt.

3) Evan Chandler was recorded saying that 'there will be a massacre' if he went ahead with his 'plan' to 'destroy Michael Jackson'. When asked what effect this would have on his son, Evan said, "Thats irrelevant!" and ended by saying, 'If I go through with this, I win big time, there is no way that I lose.'

4)Evan and June Chandler were fighting for custody of Jordan. For Evan's "plan" to work, he needed to brainwash Jordan. He therefore took the boy and refused to return him. When a court order demanded he do so, Evan didn't mention the fact that he was afraid for his son's welfare. No mention of sex abuse. Why? Because the court order took them off guard...Rothman said, 'Let's stick to the plan.'

5)The fact that Jordan "revealed" the allegations to a doctor, who would have to report the abuse to the authorities. Rothman and Evan did this so that they couldn't be held liable in a resulting lawsuit.

6)Evan Chandler's "nervous breakdown" when the allegations surfaced and his fear that he could "go to jail" if the extortion charges were proved by Jackson.

And finally, Hughes reveals Chandler's history of making 'death threats' against his ex-wife and new husband, that he would 'kill them all, including the children' and the fact that he assaulted June Chandler's new husband on two occasions. Not a very nice person indeed!

So, I think this book makes some excellent points about the case and makes very clear that the entire thing was lies made up to extort 20 million dollars from Michael Jackson. Sadly, in the end, Evan Chandler got his money. But at what price? It's now been revealed that Jordan never saw his mother since the settlement and before he turned 18, he divorced his parents to secure his millions. Enough said!

Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium
Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium
by Pope JohnPaul II
Edition: Hardcover
137 used & new from $0.01

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Piece from a Giant of the 20th Century, June 11, 2005
The year was 1993, and the 73 year old Pope John Paul II sat with some of his philospher friends, and reflected on the 20th century. These reflections were transcribed and made the basis for this amazing work on the 20th Century.

Perhaps it is fitting that the man who would have the final word on the 20th century would be a Polish Catholic who had lived through Nazi conquest and Communist tyranny; He would do this from the unique position as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 'Memory and Identity', John Paul tackles the issues of good and evil, freedom and opression, and sees 20th Century Europe as the threatre where this struggle was played out.

In the 20th century, evil grew to gigantic proportions and assumed the very structures of the state where abominable crimes such as the Holocaust occured. Yet, John Paul reflects, Divine Providence placed a limit on the madness of Nazism and saw its end.

The evil of Nazism was replaced by the evil of Communism. Communism, like Nazism, eliminated people. The assassination attempt on John Paul on the 13th of May 1981 was to His Holiness 'one of the final convulsions of the arrogant ideologies unleashed during the 20th century.' He sees the attack and his subsequent miraculous survival as symbolic of the triumph of God over the plans of evil.

But as John Paul writes, evil continues at the dawn of the 21st century. He cites September 11, the Madrid Train Bombing, the Beslan slaughter as examples of the new face of evil in our time. The Pope also mentions the new evil of democraticially elected legislators passing laws that kills the unborn and sanction homosexual unions which His Holiness calls "the work of another ideology of evil, more suble and hidden" exploiting a false sense of human rights against man himself.

The Church's role, John Paul concludes, is to hand down the memory of Jesus Christ and to recall that in Him evil has already been destroyed and redemption assured. All that is left is for Jesus to return and to give the definitive ruling on human history before bringing about a new world free from pain, evil or death.

This book, the final of John Paul's, is most definately his best work and is therefore a must read. And considering the chaotic times in which we live, the late Pope's faith in the triumph of good over evil, gives hope to us living at the dawn of the third millinium.

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