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Drew Shaw "Drew" RSS Feed (Silver Spring, MD)

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The Black Panthers: A Story of Race, War, and Courage—the 761st Tank Battalion in World War II
The Black Panthers: A Story of Race, War, and Courage—the 761st Tank Battalion in World War II
by Gina M. DiNicolo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.07
82 used & new from $5.86

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book, March 18, 2015
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Full disclosure: The author, a former Marine, writer, editor and historian who's written for a number of military-oriented publications, is a friend of mine. She's been working on this book for some time and so, when it came out, I wanted to see what she'd been up to. What she was up to was writing a readable, interesting, heavily documented account of the exploits of the 761st Tank Battalion, a black armored unit that saw action in the final push into Germany in World War II. Several books have been written on the 761st but Gina's is based not only on the memories of aging veterans but on research conducted at the National and military archives among others. And while she's pointedly said she didn't want to patronize black readers, preferably to treat this as a history of a military unit that just happened to be black, she provides fascinating insights into the place of race in the armed services during WWII and into the workings of the black community at that time. Highly recommended.


Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I
Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I
by Paul Streitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.50
38 used & new from $4.84

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "A Tale … Signifying Nothing.", March 18, 2015
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I've been waiting for years to read this book, a study of Elizabethan courtier Edward de Vere has the true author of Shakespeare's plays. I could've waited longer. While history records de Vere as a controversial and talented man well-suited as a candidate for being the Bard, Streitz's wide-ranging thesis is so circumstantial that it becomes hard to take this fairly long book seriously. Read only if you believe NASA faked the moon landing and that Freemasons even today determine our destiny.


Brazilian Adventure
Brazilian Adventure
by Peter Fleming
Edition: Paperback
57 used & new from $7.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure Classic, March 18, 2015
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This review is from: Brazilian Adventure (Paperback)
Some time ago, the Washington Post listed a number of books as classics of adventure writing and "Brazilian Adventure" was one of them. Employed as a reviewer for the London Times, Fleming and his companion set off for Amazonia to determine what happened to an explorer who's disappeared seven years before searching for a lost city of gold. They didn't find him and, as Fleming admits, didn't face death or hordes of cannibals. Instead, they had a rollicking, sometimes trying adventure in the midst of a Civil War. with their greatest adversary their alleged guide. Fleming was the brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Ian supposedly idolized his brother. With good reason.


At the End of a Dull Day
At the End of a Dull Day
by Massimo Carlotto
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.08
58 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A good, cold-blooded read … with a sense of humor, March 18, 2015
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A treat for lovers of noir. Makes you want to read Carlotto's early work. I don't know if it's indicative of Italian noir but unlike even some of the American classics, the plot is straightforward. A good, cold-blooded read … with a sense of humor.


The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It?
The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It?
by Michael J. Neufeld
Edition: Hardcover
66 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The Bombing of Auschwitz: An Unanswerable Question, October 16, 2014
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A book I've been meaning to read for a long time, "The Bombing of Auschwitz" is the transcript of a seminar at the Smithsonian Insitutition on whether the Allies should have diverted some bombing missions during WWII to bomb the notorious concentration camp and theoretically save thousands of Jewish lives. Considered were the strategic aims of Allied bombing in 1944, the limitations of such bombing and of aerial reconnaissance, whether such bombing could actually have accomplished anything, and the political will at the time to do it. Michael Neufeld, the Smithsonian's go-to guy on all things aerial having to do with the Third Reich, edited the book.


The Original Ballcap Buddy Cap Washer
The Original Ballcap Buddy Cap Washer
Offered by Ballcap Buddy Cap Washer
Price: $7.95
20 used & new from $7.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, October 16, 2014
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Product arrived on time and did exactly what it was supposed to do, so I have no complaints.


The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship
The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship
by Roger Friedland
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.41
130 used & new from $0.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Seamy Side of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship, May 12, 2014
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It's said that creative geniuses are seldom the easiest people to get along with. Frank Lloyd Wright was an archetype of that. This book details the history of the Taliesin Fellowship, the "apprentices" who flocked to Wright's studio to learn at the elbow of the Master but who largely supplied an unpaid workforce for Wright's schemes. Friedland makes a good argument that without the work of a handful of talented apprentices, such Wright masterpieces as Fallingwater, the Price headquarters, and the Guggenheim Museum, may never have been realized. But he also makes the point that the bulk of Fellowship members never amounted to much as architects, content to mimic Wright's buildings rather than apply his principles to their own designs. Underlying this is the tragic story of Wright's daughter, who was allowed to grow as a completely free spirit into a life marked by divorce, bipolarity, and eventual estrangement from the Wright group at assisted care facilities in California. Proof that creativity is often an ugly process and an important book for Wright aficionados.


Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Expanded Edition)
Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Expanded Edition)
by Mel Gordon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.46
65 used & new from $17.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World-Class Decadence, May 12, 2014
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I bought this book because I'm a big fan of Phillip Kerr's Bernie Guenther novels and wanted to know more about nightlife in Weimer Germany. Kerr actually cleaned things up a bit. Weimar Berlin made Vegas at its sleazy peak look like Branson, Missouri. Prostitution, homosexuality, transvestitism and more apparently ran wild, something Gordon attributes to the city attempting to adjust to Germany's loss in WWI and to the political change from a monarchy to democracy. On the positive side, some of those Wiemar nightclubs must have been sights to see, e.g. Haus Vaterland, a domed, multi-storied pleasure garden in Potsdam, the ruins of which remained a landmark until the 1970s. Not a book for the easily offended.


Clinton in Haiti: The 1994 US Invasion of Haiti
Clinton in Haiti: The 1994 US Invasion of Haiti
by Philippe R. Girard
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $59.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting Past Haitian Disasters, March 12, 2014
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I read this book on the recommendation of Laurent Dubois, the author of "Haiti: The Aftershocks of History," and "Clinton in Haiti" reiterates Dubois's thesis that both outside parties and Haitians should be wary of external attempts to reform that benighted country. While the Clinton's continuing interest in Haiti has been traced to their honeymoon there, the rationale for the 1994 U.S. invasion, like most things Clinton, was ultimately a political one and its result, like most things Haiti, ultimately accomplished little beyond restoring Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency … for one year. Girard, a native of Guadalupe, brings a different perspective to the story and writes with insight and humor. He could've used an editor, though; the book is rife with small errors.


The Good Lord Bird: A Novel
The Good Lord Bird: A Novel
by James McBride
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.99
270 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An offbeat look at John Brown's Raid, February 9, 2014
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I bought this book when I was in a reading lull and saw it was one of the top-rated and best-selling books of 2012 and it didn't disappoint me. McBride's take on the abolitionist John Brown, as seen through the eyes of Onion, a 12- to 14-year-old runaway slave, is funny and thought-provoking. Not only a good read in its own right but makes you want to read more about Brown to figure out exactly what is fact and what is fiction.


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