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Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan
Perimeter: A Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan
by Kevin J. Miyazaki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.47
28 used & new from $18.10

5.0 out of 5 stars The Lake And Its Faces, September 29, 2014
I have often vacationed along the shores of Lake Michigan so I was drawn to “Perimeter” and am glad that I followed. Author/photographer Kevin J. Miyazaki circumnavigated the Lake taking pictures. The organization is four pages of with pictures of people found along the lakeshore or three pages of pictures with one page containing quotes from the object of the photo on the opposite page. After those four you get a double page lakescape.

The photos focus on the people who are presented before a black background. These are the people who work and play, and live and love alongside this great inland sea. They are a diverse lot, an elderly woman with her daughters, the policeman and park ranger, the longshoremen and tattooed skateboarder, the ferry captain and fisherman, the swimmer and the lifeguard, the painting and sailing students, the re-enactors and the tourists, well you get the idea. These are the people bring the Lake to life and draw their life spirit from it. As I studied the portraits I kept thinking, “Have I seen him?’ or “I know where she lives, works or plays”.

These are the faces of the people of the Lake. There are the faces of the Lake itself. In the lakescapes the colors change from brown to green to blue, the sunlight sparkles and the fog covers, storms threaten and whitecaps play, and the skies are blue and cloudy and reflect the setting (or rising) sun.

This book has few words, but much reading. We read the faces and outfits, tools and toys but mostly we read the Lake: The Lake that is beautiful and powerful, living and life giving. “Perimeter” is a book to peruse and ponder. Keep it where you can find it when you need something to lift your spirits. Don’t be selfish. Leave it where your guests can find it and share this treasure.

I did receive a free copy of this book for review.


EISENHOWER & MONTGOMERY At the Falaise Gap
EISENHOWER & MONTGOMERY At the Falaise Gap
by William Weidner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.49
28 used & new from $4.75

4.0 out of 5 stars A Deeply Researched, Revisonist Study Of The Allied High Command, September 28, 2014
“Eisenhower & Montgomery At The Falaise Gap” is another attempt to explain discord and conflict among the Allied High Command. Author William Weidner lays his cards out when he says: “It is a central theme of this book that the British cabal of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Alan Brooke, and Allied Ground Forces Commander, General Bernard L. Montgomery often played politics with military strategy, placing Allied soldiers at a great disadvantage.”

The setting of this work is the European Theatre from D-day through V-E Day. The title emphasizes the controversial incident known as the Falaise Gap in which it is claimed by some, including Weidner, that the opportunity to surround and destroy the German Army in the West was lost by the failure of Allies to close the gap before the Germans could escape to the East.

Anyone familiar with classic movies and books on World War II in Europe are aware that Gen. Patton criticized Ike for being too pro-British. This book develops that claim, showing Eisenhower as leaning toward the British in order to appear to favor his own American Army.

Weidner attempts to support his theme by critical examinations of political motives of Churchill and Montgomery’s military theories and personal psychological make-up. Churchill is portrayed as striving to maintain the prestige and influence of a declining world power with a military that could no longer replace its losses. I had often viewed Churchill as possessing a greater world vision than FDR by anticipating the post-war rivalry with Russia. Weidner supplements this view with facts supporting his thesis that Montgomery was promoted as a British hero to maintain a parity as American numbers rose and that British-American military disputes were not merely professional disputes over the best way to achieve victory but based on fundamentally divergent goals. Churchill’s opposition to Operation Dragoon (invasion of Southern France) is depicted not only, as the PM claims, as a belief that more could be accomplished in Italy and by taking Vienna than by another invasion of France but also as an attempt to limit American dominance in French operations. Winston’s support for Montgomery’s proposed offensives is presented as an attempt to maintain British prestige during and after the war.

This book is not flattering toward the British Army. Weidner’s basic maxim is that, when the British possessed overwhelming superiority, such as at Alamein, they, including Montgomery, usually, but not always (remember Singapore) could win. With anything close to parity the British lost. I have seen this concept expressed elsewhere. Weidner claims that the Allies did not achieve success until Eisenhower seized command from Montgomery on March 28, 1945 and assigned the leading drive to the American armies under Bradley.

Weidner’s most severe criticism is saved for Montgomery personally. He is described as a not intellectually gifted officer wedded to the set piece battle in which each unit has a precise role in the plan who claimed that every battle went according to plan. Despite Montgomery’s claim of achieving each plan, no D-Day objectives were achieved and Caen, which the British planned on capturing on D-Day was captured on D-Day+43. Although thoroughly professional and “by the book”, which he wrote Monty, and the British army, are shown as lacking the flexibility for independent thinking necessary to adapt to changing conditions.

Some of the ideas expressed in this book are ones that, even if controversial, I have seen presented by other authors. That being acknowledged, I am always suspicious of psychiatric diagnoses made at a distance, particularly ones by amateurs. I take frequent references to Monty’s “mental disturbance” and identification of his condition as “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” and characterization of him as a psychopath suffering from an inferiority complex with a grain of salt. I do not have the expertise to draw these conclusions and doubt the competency of those who made them. Without forming or expressing an opinion as to the accuracy of these conclusions, I am unwilling to accept them merely because they are advanced by this book.

I am greatly impressed with the depth of research behind this tome. It quotes from many memoirs and historians including Eisenhower, Churchill, Bradley, Patton, Montgomery, Butcher, Ambrose, Pogue, Ryan, D’Este, Hastings and Blumenson as well as correspondence and official reports. It is obvious that William Weidner has an extensive familiarity with the history of the ETO. This work is definitely revisionist in character and contains conclusions which many readers will question or dispute. Even many skeptics will find themselves pondering ideas they had not thought of previously. America’s inter-war isolationism was inspired, in part, by the belief that the U.S. had been suckered into a European war to promote British and French interests. Readers may find themselves wondering whether America was suckered into prosecuting World War II in a way that served British interests more than American? Loyal Monty fans should probably take a pass. Reading this may only make them angry. “Eisenhower and Montgomery At The Falaise Gap” is ideal for those who have a general understanding of World War II and are seeking a book that will challenge their conceptions and stimulate their thinking.


Mead Academie 2-In-1 Pencil Sharpener and Eraser, 2.25 H x 1.25 W Inches, White (98032)
Mead Academie 2-In-1 Pencil Sharpener and Eraser, 2.25 H x 1.25 W Inches, White (98032)
Price: $7.80

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Handheld Sharpener, September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This pencil sharpener is small, lightweight and easy to carry. The collection space for the shavings is self contained but of limited capacity. It has openings for two sizes of pencils. The pencils come out sharp and pointed. The eraser is large and should last a long time. This is a great, portable, hand held sharpener.


The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign
The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign
by Charles Messenger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.78
52 used & new from $12.40

4.0 out of 5 stars An Invaluable Aid To Understanding Overlord, September 26, 2014
“The D-Day Atlas” tells the story of the D-Day landings and follow-up battles in words and pictures. The maps are numerous, colorful and informative. They show the locations and movements of the various units without the distracting terrain lines found on some other maps. The photos add a sense of realism while the drawings of the ships, planes and tanks provide the engineer’s perspective of the equipment.

Do not let the visual effects overshadow the narrative of the battles. Author Charles Messenger explains the development of the war that set the stage for Overlord. He introduces us to the men, on both sides, who fought it and leads us onto the beaches, into the bocage and through the breakouts. The story did not end there so neither did the book. It completes the tale with the disputes over an Allied land commander, the controversy over the closing of the Failase Pocket and Operation Market Garden (A Bridge Too Far).

“The D-Day Atlas” is an invaluable aid to anyone seeking an understanding of Overlord and its aftermath.

I did receive this in a giveaway. The review was optional.


Time Capsule 1944 - A History of The Year Condensed From The Pages Of Time
Time Capsule 1944 - A History of The Year Condensed From The Pages Of Time
by Manfred Gottfried (Editors) Henry R. Luce
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $0.70

4.0 out of 5 stars 1944 As Reported In Time, September 25, 2014
This is one in the series of condensed histories taken from the pages of Time Magazine. It tells the stories of 1944 as there were reported when they were fresh with only occasional post-publication updates.

1944 was the momentous year of Anzio, D-Day, MacArthur’s return to the Philippines and the Battle of The Bulge. It was also the year that Dick Bong became America’s greatest flying ace, Kathleen Kennedy (Joe’s daughter) married into the British aristocracy, and Jimmy Durante and Charlie McCarthy brought humor into an otherwise dreary world.

These Time Capsules make for interesting looks back on the world and few years were as interesting as 1944.


Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel
Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel
by Debbie Macomber
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.88

5.0 out of 5 stars An Angel On A Mission, September 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I always share Debbie Macomber’s books with the women in my house to get their perspective. “Mr. Miracle” is a delightful Christmas novel. One of the characters, Harry Mills, is a guardian angel sent to earth on a special mission to help Addie Folsom get her life back on track. Harry poses as Addie’s English teacher. He uses the sorry of the “Christmas Carol” to emphasize how important it is to change for the better. When we help people it makes us feel good. Harry has some problems in dealing with human emotions and gets himself into some unusual predicaments. He is worried he will be sent back to Heaven. Read this novel to find out if Addie gets the message that that change can be a good thing and if Harry is sent back to Heaven before his mission is completed.


Four Friends
Four Friends
by Robyn Carr
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.42
240 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Power Of Friendship, September 25, 2014
This review is from: Four Friends (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I always share Robyn Carr’s novels with the women in my house to get their takes on them. “Four Friends” is a moving story about four women who are neighbors and best friends. They are in their late forties to early fifties. Each woman is experiencing some major difficulty in her life. The four help each other through these hardships. Robyn Carr describes this bond between friends so eloquently that the reader wants to cheer them on as the overcome their various challenges. “Four Friends” illustrates the power of friendship. It should be of particular interest to women 45 and above.


A Bridge Too Far (Collector's Edition)
A Bridge Too Far (Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Sean Connery
Offered by DeepDiscountsDeals
Price: $29.95
43 used & new from $1.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savagery of War, Realistic Battle Scenes, September 13, 2014
I had seen “A Bridge Too Far” in the past and watched it again in anticipation of teaching a continuing ed class on World War II- 1944. It never fails to be worthwhile. It tells the story of Operation Market Garden, Gen. Montgomery’s scheme to drop airborne units into Holland, have them capture seven bridges and hold until relieved by ground units advancing up a single highway. Like many other battles, things did not go according to plan. One bridge was destroyed before capture, and a Panzer unit had been pulled back for rest near Arnhem, the last bridge to be captured. Despite advancing through six of the river crossings, the heavy Allied casualties and failure to open the road to Germany’s industrial heartland marked this as the Allies’ major defeat after D-day.

The star studded cast depicts the savagery of war in exciting and reportedly realistic battle scenes. Perhaps the most important theme of the film is nobility in defeat. Despite the failure, the trapped paratroopers and their expected rescuers carried out their duties with determination. Ignored intelligence, unrealistic planning marred the operation from the outset but even at the end the officers had no consensus as to the cause of the failure. Any student of World War II in Europe will want to watch “A Bridge Too Far” again and again.


My Life with the Green & Gold: Tales from 20 Years of Sportscasting
My Life with the Green & Gold: Tales from 20 Years of Sportscasting
by Jessie Garcia
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.96
55 used & new from $5.57

5.0 out of 5 stars A Class Sojourn Behind The Mic In Titletown, September 9, 2014
Oh, the glamour of the sportscaster: Admission to every game, up close and personal with the athletes and coaches who are knocking each other over to talk with you to get on television, first class air travel and luxury hotels, well not according to Jessie Garcia.

For those of you who are not Wisconsinites, Jessie spent 20 years as sportscaster for WTMJ TV in Milwaukee. Think the Wisconsin sports scene and you automatically think Packers and that is the focus of most of this book. Jessie tells us about her childhood in Madison and her introduction to broadcasting at Boston University. Armed with degree and a fiancé she returned to Wisconsin to begin her career with her soon to be husband, Paul, who works as a cameraman for WTMJ.

The story she tells is different from what much of the public envisions. It involves weeks away from home covering Super Bowls (less of a problem for Bears or Rams reporters), Thanksgivings and Christmases spent on the sidelines, rather than at family gatherings, early morning drives to Green Bay for Coaches Shows in all kinds of weather (remember this is Wisconsin and football is played in the fall and winter), late nights followed by 8 a.m. press conferences, connecting flights, medium to low grade hotels, you get the idea. I particularly liked the story of the time Jessie and her family were getting ready to vacation in Door County ( I will have to be on the lookout the next time my family goes) when she got a call that Brett Favre would give her an interview in the Atrium at Lambeau at 11. She was able to push it back to noon, load up and dash to Green Bay (it is on the way) and get her 10 minute interview before moving on to the beach.

There is glamour amidst the drudgery. She did partake in the excitement of Super Bowls XXXI, XXXII and XLV and a White House visit, got to know Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, coaches Mike Holmgren and Mike McCarthy, Packers President Bob Harlan and other celebrities too numerous to mention. It's not all Packers, though, she spent time with the Brewers (going into game 6 she predicted that the Cardinals would eliminate them in the 2011 NLCS), Badgers, Olympians and at the Curling Club.

This book pleases on several levels. The sports fans will enjoy the sides of the players and executives not seen on television. I know I will never look at an interview in the same way again. I have a greater appreciation of how hard the reporters work to think up the questions, get the access, make themselves presentable and edit the footage into that one or two minutes that we see on the screen. What I like most is the way Jessie tells her story. Many of can identify with her challenge of balancing the job with family, a challenge that finally draws her to a career change. She relates the role of a female reporter in male dominated sports. Our hearts are touched as we read of the embarrassing moments, and the disappointments in the choices of some of the subjects of her reports. She seems bewildered and dismayed by Brett Favre's fall from grace, and disgusted by juvenile performances of others. Even in these sections her writing can best be described as classy. She draws the reader into her feelings, but never humiliates the offender or shatters the magic link between hero and fan. When I got this book I was expecting a literary sojourn into the Heart of Titletown. I got that, a traipse through the sports news business and much more.

I did receive a free copy of this book for review.


Shout Triple-Acting Laundry Trigger 22 oz (Pack Of 3)
Shout Triple-Acting Laundry Trigger 22 oz (Pack Of 3)

5.0 out of 5 stars Gets The Stains Out, September 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You need "Shout" to get the stains that do not come out with normal washing. You squirt the Shout onto the stain, let it sit for a few minutes then wash it, either by hand or in the washing machine. If this does not get rid of the stain then probably nothing will. I have not noticed any damage to other areas of the fabric. Shout is the stain remover for me.


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