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A. Mcpherson "author of "How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days"" RSS Feed (New Jersey)
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.70
1201 used & new from $0.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Amazing Ah-ha Moments!, December 11, 2014
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This book is absolutely incredible. The author has put an immense amount of information about how different things, such as knowledge and technology, help societies. Lately, I have been highly interested in how societies evolve. Especially with the society we live in today. How is it that China has reversed course and in 40 years has surpassed the United States? International competition is growing fierce. Because of this everyone should read this book to understand how and why societies fail. It will give you a glimpse of why America is in the state it's in today.

The main takeaway is that environment is everything to the success of a culture. Social and cultural norms are also important in predicting the outcome of societies. Also, societies rise and fall all of the time. The Islamic Age of Inventiveness ended and today there is little evidence that Islam made significant contributions in area of science. The culture today is completely different and ultra-conservative. The Greco-Roman Age ended and turned Europe into a backwater for the nearly 800 years, during the dark ages. This is significant in the presence of China, because Empires fall. America could be in an era of decline, BUT it seems that we can learn from the past and not repeat those mistakes.

Some reviewers would like to claim that Mr. Diamond is wrong and that genetics, IQ, and intelligence are the determining factors of why societies have thrived. Our genes respond to our environment. Epigenetics is the study of how environmental signals change genes and genetic expression. That stuff they called Junk DNA is not junk. That "junk" literally responds to cues from our environment and turns genes on and off.

Our environment is the key to human behavior. Behavior builds or destroys societies. Maria Montessori understood this in the early 1900s, which is why many wealthy families spend a lot of money to send their kids to Montessori schools. She understood that Environment Is Key. You can have the greatest genes, but if your environment is terrible you will not advance. I distinctly remember the story Malcolm Gladwell told about a man with an extremely high IQ, who was in jail. He was actually too smart for the IQ test, but he was a loser in life. Largely because of his upbringing, his Environment.

The environment, beliefs, cultural and social norms are significantly more important than DNA. Furthermore, to delude yourself that the Europeans are advanced because of DNA places less emphasis on the things that actually matter. Can you imagine someone saying, I don't need to study because I have good genetics? They will fail before they begin. Emphasizing genetics actually puts people in a slumber and doesn't do anyone any favors. God forbid people actually began to teach that "Genetic Theory" in schools. They would have half of the children believing they are worthless and would likely give up, because what is the point. When the children fail, the believers will feel justified in saying that it is because of their poor genetics. This IQ debate is old and tired. Yet, many of the people proposing this are of average IQ, go figure.


Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States
Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States
by Michael Lind
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.93
44 used & new from $1.92

16 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerously Biased View of America's Economic History, April 8, 2013
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This could have been a great book had the author not inserted his beliefs into this historical writing - instead writing his version of events. This book is dangerously biased. Instead of just presenting the information and facts, he weaves his opinions throughout while trying to present them as facts. For example he calls someone a great man early in the book. Whether someone is a great man is subjective. He should have said, that the person was considered a great man instead. That is just the beginning.

Anyone with Hamiltonian leanings is lavished with praise, while anyone with Jeffersonian leanings is harshly criticized. Readers will never learn concretely why one group is praiseworthy and why the other unacceptable. His reasons are severely insufficient and lacking. We will just have to take the author's word for it. Readers have to dredge through endless pages of his views on Hamiltonian vs. Jeffersonian economics. His view is that all behavior in the United States was driven by those two views and nothing else. I wanted a real economic history, not ideological hogwash with unrelated facts sprinkled in. The author really doesn't do well to hide his disdain for anyone of Jeffersonian leanings and with every word you read it is apparent, but the reason why is never sufficiently explained.

Like another reader said, Reader's Digest could have produced this book. It is very difficult to grasp a continuous story line. On one page we get a brief synopsis of wood and coal technology, then we learn about Morse Code in the very next paragraph. It reads like a jumble of disorganized notes and thoughts on what happened. What is amazing about this book is how cleverly he tries to present his opinion as facts. This book should be titled, Land of Promise: An Economic Commentary of the United States. It certainly cannot be considered history.

His agenda after a point actually becomes comical. He states emphatically, "In the Northeast and Midwest, a society of craftsmen and tinkerers formed, in part because of public schools." After all man hasn't tinkered for many thousands of years without the help of public schooling. Were they learning mechanical trades in school that helped this? No, they were still just learning reading, writing, and arithmetic. His mind cannot grasp the idea that independent people can create technological innovations organically, so he tries to prove otherwise.

All in all this book is about how the government helped created a successful economy in America and how it needs to continue to do so in the future. This economic "history" completely ignores the accomplishments and achievements of extraordinary people who really shaped America's economic history. He is in favor of a top down approach, while missing the point that a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates doesn't grow out of some government program. So, this book is terribly biased to the point of being completely misleading.

"To the development tradition of Hamilton, Washington and Roosevelt, Lincoln and Clay, we owe the Internet and the national rail and highway and aviation systems, the single continental market that allows increasing returns to scale to be exploited by globally competitive corporations, the unmatched military that defeated the Axis powers and the Soviet empire and has generated one technological spin-off after another, and, not least, the federally enforced civl rights laws and minimum-wage laws that have eradicated slavery and serfdom that once existed in the South and elsewhere." If any of that made sense to you, that is what this book is all about.

The title of the book is, I think, purposefully misleading. He completely ignores real economic history; automobiles, jet planes, air conditioners, computers, credit and debit cards, medical technologies, telephones, etc. There are plenty of things that were invented in a workshop on someone's farm, the same way many popular companies were founded in someone's garage. If you want to write a book about how the government helped shape the economic history of the United States, do so. However, do not try to insult me by suggesting in a supposed "Economic History" that all we have we can attribute to some form of government intervention. Government plays a role, but a minor one. It is a supporting cast member type of role.

Let me be clear, Government is SUPREMELY important to a functioning economy, but the government is NOT THE ECONOMY - there is a difference. The government is not a major player when it comes to economics, even though it tries to be more and more with devastating consequences. His anecdotal stories do not prove otherwise. Look around you and tell me how many of the things that you see were produced by the government, yet someone produced them - THAT IS ECONOMICS. This book is not real economic history (according to the definition of economics), that is why I am so completely disappointed with this book.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2014 6:54 AM PST


Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
by Lisa Bedford
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.11
66 used & new from $9.87

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Moms, August 19, 2012
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This book is amazing. I wish I would have had this book when I first began preparing. This book would have saved me a lot of confusion and money. There is really no other book as complete as this one. This isn't a short book but, it is organized and practical.

She covers:

different disaster scenarios
water requirements
food and food storage
sanitation
getting your home base ready
getting prepared for power outages
safety and security,
finances for survival
building a survival community
evacuation basics

Each chapter ends with a plan to help you complete the steps necessary for preparedness. There really aren't any other books as comprehensive as this one that includes a practical plan to help you get prepared. This book is highly recommended.

Alison McPherson
Author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival


Life That Says Welcome, A: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others
Life That Says Welcome, A: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Books Warms Your Heart, July 30, 2012
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This book was written for those who forgot. We forgot how make ourselves of service to others. I grew up in a family that always entertained after church. Somehow I forgot. I love how she lets us know that our home is not going to be perfect. It is our hearts that need to be open.

Our home isn't and shouldn't be magazine ready. A picture perfect home takes the focus off of your guests and puts it on your home. That isn't the purpose of entertaining others. I always put things off and say when things get better I will do such and such and it NEVER happens. Ms. Ehman gives us simple tips and tricks we can use to start being of service today.

This is such a lovely book that warms your heart and makes you feel more comfortable entertaining. It will help you embrace the role of hostess and not in a way that is materialistic and show-offy, but in a way that genuinely welcomes others. I highly recommend it.

Alison McPherson
Author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2013 8:21 AM PDT


Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
by Rose Friedman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.91
258 used & new from $0.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to the Free Market, July 26, 2012
This is the book that began my introduction to capitalism. The first few chapters on the differences between communism and capitalism should be required reading for every college student. It is evident from the recent Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that this generation(my generation) has no clue what capitalism is really all about. They do not understand why liberty and freedom is more important than security and handouts. Thomas Jefferson said: "He who trades liberty for security, deserves neither and will lose both." This book was written so long ago that you can clearly see the transition from free market to the swarms of regulated industries we have now. Each idea in this book is neatly built upon the last so that even an economic novice can understand it. Friedman made sure to include many stories of warning of other countries that took the wrong path and had to deal with the consequences of their choice. It should serve as a clear warning for America on what not to do, but that isn't happening. We are pursuing the same disastrous road many others have taken and it may very well lead to America's ruin. If I had to give one book to sum up freedom and capitalism this would be it. I would also recommend The New Road to Serfdom, which speaks on why America should not pursue the same road as countries in Europe.

Alison McPherson
Author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival


One Second After
One Second After
by William R. Forstchen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.81
150 used & new from $3.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmare Inducing Reality, July 16, 2012
This review is from: One Second After (Paperback)
I read this book after reading Lights Out and I still loved it! This book is much much scarier. I think that the reason this book is so terrifying is because deep down you know that the scenarios are very likely. Many of the events described in this book are very possible. This book introduces you to scenarios you would have never thought about. You will also realize how unprepared you are for such an event. It is nightmare inducing. This book alerts you to the dangers of an EMP while telling an amazing story.

You never really think about what would happen to people on diabetes, the people in nursing homes, and the people on highways. We always think there will be someone there to help. This is a very sad story, but it reveals a very real vulnerability in our nations preparedness. I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that the scariest part of an EMP is that, unlike a hurricane or tornado, no one has ever experienced a modern-day one before. There are so many unknowns. It is uncharted territory. It is very difficult to prepare for something no one has ever experienced.

One Second After and Lights Out are no comparison. You can read both, because the stories, the situations and circumstances are so different. Both are very good reads.

Alison McPherson
Author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival


Lights Out
Lights Out
by David Crawford
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
17 used & new from $11.36

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, July 16, 2012
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This review is from: Lights Out (Paperback)
As the author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival I remember when I first read this book. I was unsure about what kind of book it would be. According to the other reviews I knew I would either love it or hate it. I love this book and never thought that I would. Reading this book helps you see how vulnerable we are to an EMP attack. I was drawn into the story. I was completely living the story as if I were the characters. I was invested in the outcome as if it were my own life. It pulls you in and you begin to believe you are there living in this apocalyptic world. This is very important when the book is 600 pages. At no point did I feel bored.

It will be very difficult to take any of our modern luxuries for granted after reading this. You get to read about others trying to survive without the luxuries we currently enjoy and you wonder if you would have been able to do as well. Even as someone who considers herself prepared for disasters I had never considered an EMP attack. Reading this book made me feel grossly unprepared. The scariest aspect of an EMP is that, unlike a hurricane or tornado, no one has ever experienced a modern-day widespread EMP before. It is uncharted territory. It is difficult to prepare for something no one has ever experienced.

One Second After and this book are no comparison. You can read both, because the stories, the situations and circumstances are so different. One Second After is the nightmare inducing Worst-case Scenario event after an EMP attack. That being said, both books are great reads. I am just a bit more partial to Lights Out.


Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before
Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before
by Jean M. Twenge
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.01
259 used & new from $0.01

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am in this generation., March 31, 2012
I am a member of this generation "me" she discusses and she is totally on point. I learned a lot reading this about my peers and about myself. We are probably the most confused, medicated, depressed, and suicidal generation to live. She delves into why our selfishness is partly to blame. We hide behind a computer, an iPod, and a cellphone. We are utterly devoid of real human connection and we wonder why kids lose it and shoot up schools. She explains why this generation has a lot more stress on its plate. More global competition for jobs leaves many my age struggling to keep up on this road of life. It has always been true that generations determine the future. I truly wonder what type of future this generation will create. This book may give you some insight into your future, your child, yourself, and your culture. This book wasn't meant to be a fairy tale, and maybe that is why so many reviewers didn't get the warm fuzzy feelings they wanted. This gives us true insight into the problems this generation has and how to deal with it.

Alison McPherson
Author of How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival


Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living
Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient living
by Deanna Caswell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.48
68 used & new from $7.16

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny and Easy to Read, February 26, 2012
I was expecting this book to be very boring and more of a reference guide.This book is head and shoulders over other beginner's guides. It is very informative and fun to read! It is something you can read all the way through. The authors talk to you and they are very funny. Their are gorgeous pictures throughout. This is ideal for people with a small amount of land who would like to get back to basics. It is not a comprehensive book of everything but it will start you out in self-sufficient living and make you feel comfortable as a newbie. I would recommend this book to anyone starting out looking for an introduction. I loved this book so much that I actually did recommend it in my book, How to Get Prepared for a Disaster in 7 Days: The Beginners Guide to Complete Disaster Preparedness and Survival.


How To Earn Money With eBooks : Self-Publishing Guide
How To Earn Money With eBooks : Self-Publishing Guide

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth 99 cents, January 19, 2012
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This book should be free, because all of the information contained can be obtained for free somewhere else. Also the author continues to point the reader in the direction of free resources from Amazon and Smashwords where we can find more information on what to do; isn't that what he was supposed to do.

The title itself is very deceptive in that the book doesn't tell you how to make money. Instead it is a checklist of step 1, step 2, now you are published. Sometimes you are extremely shocked at the quality books you can get on amazon for 99 cents, this isn't one of them. I'm sure eHow.com offers much more information than this book. I never regretted spending a dollar in my life until I bought this book.

If the author wants better reviews than he needs to put more thought, organization, and care into his books. His first book he admitted was a cookbook that he found online for free and organized the recipes and sold it online for money. Congratulations on originality.

I just want to point out that this is the authors mentality. He thinks if I get the information and organize it people will buy it regardless of whether it is quality. When reading a book people judge not just the price, we judge the quality of the information, and we judge whether we enjoyed it or it was a waste of time. This book was a waste of time.

Update: I just read Kindle Cash and that book is heads and shoulders over this one. A certain edition of it is also .99 cents so try to get that edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2012 12:54 PM PST


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