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James M. Coffey RSS Feed (Boston, MA USA)

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DVD ~ Victor Garber
Price: $6.61
87 used & new from $1.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had discovered this years ago!, May 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Godspell (DVD)
I love the clothes, attitudes, and music of the late 1960's/early 1970's - it is a wonder I had missed this gem of a movie. The pace is fast as these 'hippies' re-enact the gospel of Mark in a seemingly empty, abandoned New York City (amazing how the filmmaker accomplishes that!). You will find yourself singing along...and I will watch this at least once a year from now forward....

The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci
DVD ~ Philippe Leroy
23 used & new from $11.12

5.0 out of 5 stars What a great great 'lost' gem, May 1, 2014
I came across an older version of this TV special on VHS recently - it was a joy to watch. The realistic costumes and on-location shooting add great value. I did not know this had existed - evidently it was well-received in the early 1970's when it was first televised on PBS. More specials such as this should be saved from obscurity...all of the material is as relevent as it is enjoyable.

Learn Irish: Rosetta Stone Irish - Level 1-3 Set
Learn Irish: Rosetta Stone Irish - Level 1-3 Set
Price: $219.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun way to learn a very difficult language, August 21, 2013
I decided to attempt to learn the Irish language as a way to connect with my Irish heritage. I had been warned by several persons including an Irish literature scholar that it was a difficult language to master - they were right.

The Rosetta Stone process, though, made this minefield of complex grammatical structure fun to navigate: although it is a challenge it is an enjoyable challenge - I loook forward each day to using the product.

There are four cd's in the package: one for each of the learning levels and one for the audio downloads as mp3's. I recommend downloading the audio to an Ipod to practice listening and hearing Irish. Each of the three levels has four units and each unit has a few dozen lessons ranging from core lessons that take over one half of an hour to vocabulary drills that take minutes. The user starts simply with brief introductions and greetings then progresses to conversation.

I look forward to reading some ancient texts in this old celtic language of my ancestors and to use Irish day to day just for fun (to do lists, shopping lists, etc.).

This is my third Rosetta Stone language - I started with French (not so easy) and moved to Italian (much simpler) then to Irish. I am thinking of learning a language that requires learning a new alphabet (or a language that uses symbols and NO alphabet). Possible candidates are Farsi, MSA or Mandarin - I know RS will be there for me :)

Les Echos
Les Echos
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good source for international economic and businss data., August 19, 2013
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This review is from: Les Echos (Kindle Edition)
I get this French newspaper every day on my nook 'lite'. Since the Nook has a built in translator I kill two birds with one stone: I am building on my French vocubulary while getting a solid dose in international business news.

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
by Jeff Guinn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.03
165 used & new from $2.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down..., August 19, 2013
When I was in high school back in the early 1980's we would be handed a summer reading list each year on the last day of school - one of the books assigned between sophomore year and junior year was Bugliosi's 'Helter Skelter' - I have had a passign fascination with the Tate/LaBianca case ever since reading that book.

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson is one of the best reads I have had in a long time - the pace is quick but the details are plentiful. The background of the zeitgist of late 1960's America (especially but not limited to LA and SF) is presented here better than any other non-fiction book I have read that takes place at that time.

While Manson and his "family" came from different walks of life, they have one thing in common: they were not valued by their families and were essentially discarded or barely tolerated in their formative years. Each was looking for some type of human connection they could not find unless they were in controll or controlled. How sad. The effect of the rampant availibility of drugs also comes into play - its ability to transorm the personality of the most casual user cannot be understated.

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
by David Nasaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.11
237 used & new from $1.30

67 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have looked forward to this book since I found out it was being published - not disapointed at all, November 16, 2012
I am a fan of the biography genre and love nothing more than a lengthy, copiously researched, well-written tome such as this. I am also an aficionado of books about the Kennedy family as well - since I am of Irish descent, follow politics closely and am from Boston there is a natural curiosity. I started the book this morning and have only put it down to start a review - it is a great book. I read the author's previous work on Andrew Carnegie and it is well-deserving of its high-praise - I foresee that same level of praise for this piece as well. I read about twenty (20) biographies a year and the Andrew Carnegie biography is one of the best of the lot; so far The Patriarch is shaping up to be on par with the Carnegie book ... or possibly surpassing it in its quality.

The author was pursued by the Kennedy family over a decade ago to write the biography of the family's patriarch and he refused - he does not write authorized biographies. Only after much negotiation would he acquiesce - and only with the conditions that nothing could be redacted or blocked and that he would have access to ALL of family's archives. He was also able to interview several family members that have since died: Senator Kennedy, Eunice and Sargent Shriver, Patricia Lawford, etc. This makes for an exciting book - one in which the author has unlimited access to resources and can use all of them.

The Patriarch begins in Ireland with Kennedy's grandfather deciding to depart for the United States - he is not escaping the famine but rather the economic downturn that accompanied it. He was a realist that knew - since he was not the first-born son - he would not inherit land: this meant a great life could only be found someplace far away. He emigrates on a 'coffin ship' and finds himself in East Boston, Massachusetts - and quickly employed. He marries and one of has several children - one of which will be Patrick Kennedy's father. We then segway to the marriage into a respected family and the birth of the book's main character. All the while we get a look at an integral aspect of Kennedy's life: Boston politics in the early twentieth century. Kennedy's years at the prestigious Boston Latin Academy are quickly covered and he moves on to Harvard. At the same time an important figure emerges: Rose Fitzgerald.

Writing about JPK's youth is a difficult task - Kennedy was a forward thinker: he did not dwell on the past although he appears to have had a somewhat ideal childhood. The book moves quickly to the more important times in Kennedy's life starting with his days at Harvard. JPK was not an A student - he was more interested in keeping busy making lifetime contacts and earning money. A long-held myth about Kennedy stealing a game ball (as reported by, among others, Doris Kearns Goodwin in her book about the Kennedys) is debunked and dismissed.
JPK graduates from Harvard and embarks on a business career. At first he was a bank auditor, then a bank president, then a ship-building executive, he then moves into the world of Wall Street. Several long-standing and erroneous assertions about Kennedy are challenged: he was not in fact a bootlegger (the author traces the origins of this rumor) and he did attempt to manipulate the stock of Hertz BUT only to increase its share price from rogue short sellers trying to drive it down. We see a very different Kennedy than depicted in previous works: a driven and hard-working man (sometimes to the point of exhaustion requiring in-patient care) who was a shrewd dealer who knew how to capitalize on opportunities. All of his business dealings appear to have been entirely scrupulous - the image of a man who made a fortune manipulating stocks is summarily dismissed. This fervent ambition in business is juxtaposed with an image of a truly caring, albeit oft-absent, father.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 28, 2013 9:26 AM PDT

Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation]
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation]
10 used & new from $90.00

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for learning French !!, November 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have had a Nook Color for almost a year and have been very satisfied with it but with two expeptions: I cannot use it at the beach (or anywhere outdoors) due to glare and it does not seem to have non-English dictionaries. I have been studying French as a second language and want to move on to reading French books and newspapers on a daily basis.

This new Kindle addresses both issues very well: the screen is perfectly clear outdoors even at noon and has non-English dictionaries - AND a built-in language translator.

Upon setting up my new Kindle, I chose French as the language. I was able to navigate my way through set-up with ease and pick up some vocabulary.

I purchased a copy of "The Count of Monte Cristo" in French and have subscribed to a French daily newspaper - "Les Echos" (business and politics/national and international). As I read I can easily highlight a word and get the French definition; I can usually figure out its meaning. If I am unable to figure out the word's meaning from the definition I can use the built-in translator to get the English version of the word. My exposure to France and my French vocabulary are both progressing well with my new Kindle!

The translator is quite powerful - I have highlighted entire articles and translated to English with a high-level (but not always perfect) accuracy.

This has proven to be a great tool for immersion into French. I plan to keep my Nook for new books (I am a fan of tomes in the biography and history genres) but will be using my nook just as often. The kindle's screen is as clear as a magazine page when reading outside - I can't wait to read some Voltaire in its original text on the beach next summer...or maybe a good French spy novel...

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
by Bob Spitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.47
220 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched and well-written piece on America's most famous chef, October 3, 2012
Julia Child has been a part of my life since I was a little boy: I remember my grandmother watching The French Chef and Julia Child & Company back in the 1970's. I still enjoy watching these programs today and have my DVR set to capture (and I save) all her old shows.
This book provides a solid overview of the life of television's most famous chef from her idealistic childhood in California to her coed days at Smith, her early days as a "career girl", her intelligence gathering job during WWII, her marriage, her discovery of French cooking, and - of course - Julia's tenure as television's most famous chef.
We get an intimate look at Julia - her fears, her challenges, her disappointments, and her triumphs.
There is much to learn here - even for those who have followed Julia over the years: her love of good-looking men, her love of a good time (to the detriment of her school work) and the exhaustive effort put into her magnum-opus "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".
The only part of the book I found disappointing was the handling of Paul Child's death - we don't see how Julia struggled with this event.
This is a thoroughly engaging book - if you enjoyed Julia's shows and cookbooks then you will enjoy this book as well.

Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama
Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama
by Ann Coulter
Edition: Hardcover
100 used & new from $0.01

22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read no matter what side of the political aisle!, October 3, 2012
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Ann Coulter presents a provocative and controversial look at the effect of race in politics in the last five decades - as usual she does not hold back, and all assertions are backed up by fact. Ann scrutinizes the pre-conceived, usually unquestioned notions of racism in the United States and how this false perception of a racist culture causes disastrous decisions on the behalf of American voters. In 2008, many (too many) voters based there decision solely or primarily on race. What has that led to? A president who has spent trillions of dollars for which we have reaped nothing and led an administration that is feckless, incompetent, and dishonest.

Do not vote this November until you have read this book.

After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family - 1968 to the Present
After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family - 1968 to the Present
by J. Randy Taraborrelli
Edition: Hardcover
135 used & new from $0.01

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and readable overview of the post-Camelot Kennedy family, May 1, 2012
This is an approachable, readable, and copiously researched look at our most famous political family: the Kennedy's. Their accomplishments have all to often been overlooked by their tragedies and scandals. The author (who has met many members of the family over several decades - including Jackie) does a commendable job at balancing both sides - we see this family struggle through tragedy as well as enjoying its many successes. While most Kennedy books look at either Ted, Jack, Bobby, or Jackie - this one looks at all the major players in the clan: Rose, Ethel, Joan, Eunice, Peter Lawford, Sargent Shriver, etc.

I am from Massachusetts and always followed politics closely - I thought I knew all there was to know about the Kennedy's - this book proved me wrong. The actions surrounding Rosemary, the eldest daughter, and what I had understood about her condition were wrong - the truth is much more interesting! The forgiveness that Joan (who is consoled by President Bush at Ted's funeral with words that should have been said to her year's ago) would find for Ted is inspirational. The dedication Eunice made to her charities is heartwarming. And, we see a true human side to Jackie (who was closer to the Kennedy's after Jack's assasination than I realized).

The commitment this family has made to performing charitable work is most admirable - even when the children were teenagers they were expected to go out and help those less fortunate. It is a shame that the actions of a few of grandchildren have painted all the 3rd generation cousins with the same negative brush - for the most part they really are decent, committed, and hard-working people. Without the Kennedy family we would not have the Peace Corps, the Cape Cod National Seashore Trust, the Special Olympics, Very Special Arts, Meals on Wheels and the list goes on and on.

It is often overlooked that, for a time, Joseph P Kennedy was the wealthiest man in the United States and had given all of his children a million dollars each to do with as they please. They all could have lived decadent, carefree, jetset lives; rather, they chose public service and lived relatively modestly. They have always treated those they encountered well because that was instilled in them as children. As I found out in this book, Maria Shriver, at the age of 15, spent the summer doing volunteer work in a remote African village. I wonder what Paris Hilton did during her 15th summer?

One prevailing, important theme troughout the book is the family's Catholic faith: it is what sustained them and gave them the strength to move forward after all setbacks. Rose Kennedy found inspiration in the Virgin Mary's suffering in seeing her only son on the cross - she would turn to this image often: two sons assasinated, one killed in way, one daughter killed in a plane crash, and one daughter suffering mental illness. In an increadingly secular society it is important to see how religion played a factor in this family's ability to cope and move on. Many of the Kennedy's attend mass every day.

The chapters are short and to the point BUT the research is obviously extensive. This will prove to be the "go to" book for the post-Camelot years of the Kennedy's. There are a few errors that in no way detract from the book: Joan is said to have been a Music major in college; she was an English major and a Music minor, Jean is once described as the fourth daughter; she is actually the fifth.

The fourth generation of the family is now entering politics as Joe Kennedy (great grandson of Joseph P Kennedy) runs for congress in - of course - Massachusetts. This young man is typical Kennedy: an ivy league education followed by extensive oversees volunteer work. I plan to vote for this young man - and I am a republican!

I highly recommend this book.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2012 5:18 AM PDT

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