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Charles E. Rittenburg RSS Feed (Marlton, NJ United States)
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The Spike
The Spike
by Arnaud De Borchgrave
Edition: Hardcover
180 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for All Seasons, April 18, 2011
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This review is from: The Spike (Hardcover)
Shall I say this is a book whose time has come... again? Reviewers from ten years ago felt the same way. It is a book about the REAL WORLD of international influence peddling in the arena of media relations, "spin control," and image crafting back during the Vietnam War (and the Cold War). I remember reading when the book first came out in 1980 that the characters and incidents were based on real people and events. Because I had a career in the intelligence field, I actually ran across accounts of some of the people and some of the events. This is a suspenseful spy novel which also teaches some important truths about the news media, the history of Soviet influence on American affairs through front groups and agents of influence, Soviet KGB organizations and operations, and particularly Soviet influence in the anti-war movement of the '60s and '70s. In this day and age, the USA again seems to be losing the media wars, this time to the very savvy and ruthless men behind radical Islamic terrorism. Whether they're actually operating out of caves on the Pakistani frontier or not, they KNOW how to manipulate the media and craft images which hurt us and help their cause. Front groups and agents of influence abound, and today's enemies are trying every bit as hard as the Soviets did to bring our free society down from the inside. Read this book as an escapist spy story of great intrigue and suspense, but afterward, take a fresh and more informed look at the news stories being peddled by the media about the critical issues of today. Not only will you enjoy this great story, but you'll also profit from expanding your understanding of how the media wars are still being fought today.


Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
by Jonah Goldberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.52
340 used & new from $0.01

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning from the Patterns of History, June 24, 2010
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The past is prelude to the present. The same Marxist-socialist strategies developed by Lenin and Trotsky and exported around the world were used by statists to create Italian socialism, Nazi socialism, Chinese socialism, and the march of socialism in dozens of Third World countries from WW2 until today. I was surprised to realize that American socialism owed more to the Mussolini model than it does to the Hitler-Nazi model. I was not surprised by the constant, consistent, and profound influence of the Soviet KGB in building levels upon levels of subsersive cells and front groups. More modern expressions of this true religion are found in the works of archetypical community organizer, Sal Alinsky, and those budding or experienced agitators in his orbit. The guidelines of how to destroy a democratic country by using its own democratic institutions against it are seen being used today in places like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, the stolen elections in Iran, and even here in the United States. Hillary Clinton wrote a fawning disseration of the glories of Alinsky for her masters degree. She evidently learned her evil "politics of personal destruction" from her socialist saint Sal. Obama is highly familiar with his work, and taught aspects of it to other would-be community agitators as an adjunct college professor. Every American should read this easy-to-digest history of the creeping, or perhaps we should say, charging socialism occurring around the world and in our own country, over decades of deception and lies, under cover of closed doors, secret meetings, bills that "have to be passed so we can see what's in them" (to quote Speaker Pelosi), the Orwellian "transparency" of the White House and its many czars of dubitable reputation and concealed backgrounds. Read Goldberg's book to become aware of the dangers around us. Another good book to read is "Blacklisted by History," by M. Stanton Evans, who details the historic infiltration of the U.S. government by Communists and Soviet spies during World War 2 and the early 1950's. It's time Americans learn to pay attention to those little men "behind the curtains." They are not wizards, but they can certainly perform the magic trick of making the audience think they're not really there (as with the profoundly effective destruction of Sen. Joe McCarthy, who turns out to have been right all along). As Jonah Goldberg warns us--the Left cares nothing for truth, human welfare, anyone's political rights, and least of all, for America's most precious founding documents and its sacred Constitution. They falsely swear their oaths of allegiance to it, but their actual approach is based on doing whatever is necessary to lie, cheat, and steal their way into power over the rest of us "unenlightened hicks" from the "flyover states." Read and heed Jonah Goldberg's warnings, before it is too late for America.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2011 4:31 PM PDT


The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness
The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness
by Harlow G. Unger
Edition: Hardcover
43 used & new from $5.18

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enticing Tribute to the Forgotten Founder, February 24, 2010
Harlow Unger's "Last Founding Father" is a great read and a wonderful biography of perhaps the youngest of the Founding Fathers, but one of great character, leadership, and success in establishing our young Republic. Reminiscent of David McCullough's "John Adams," Unger does not neglect the fascinating character and contributions of Monroe's fair wife, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, who contributed significantly to her husband's success and her country's call, and became a bit of a celebrity in her own right as an outstanding First Lady. She even demonstrates her determination and courage in a successful cloak-and-dagger operation she conducted to free Lafayette's wife, Adrienne, and her family from prison and the shadow of the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. The book is a great combination of Unger's wonderful story-telling skills and a great subject. James Monroe, a war hero, heroic Ambassador to France during the Terror, and the most popular president after George Washington, himself, made a difference for our country. How we cry out nowadays for the kind of leadership exerted by Monroe, who presided over the enviable "Era of Good Feelings," and whose perspicacity in foreign policy, including the longstanding "Monroe Doctrine," held off the machinations of European powers, Spain, France, and England, and ensured these United States were launched on a course by which our unique experiment in representative democracy would survive and would achieve our "Manifest Destiny." I personally consider David McCullough's "John Adams" to be in a class of its own, but Unger's "Last Founding Father" runs in the same vein. It is a great, very readable, and informative tribute to an often neglected American hero. I highly recommend it to the history buff or to the casual reader. Great stuff!


Saber's Edge: A Combat Medic in Ramadi, Iraq
Saber's Edge: A Combat Medic in Ramadi, Iraq
by Thomas A. Middleton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.03
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Face of the Citizen Soldier at War, August 2, 2009
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Anyone interested in modern American military operations will enjoy this book. But I especially recommend it to the everyday American who wonders what it's actually like to be fighting on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. This story is told straight from the shoulder. It's easy to pick up and read, and you don't have to be a veteran, a techno-geek, or a military historian to understand it. Mr. Middleton describes what it's like for the iconic American citizen-soldier--not a Regular Army man, but a workaday civilian who in "real life" is a nurse, a salesman, a teacher, etc.--to be called to 18 months of active duty to defend his country in a combat zone far from home. Middleton, a combat medic and a religious Catholic, describes movingly his own reactions to the realities of the combat experience, both the ugly and the sublime. He describes suspenseful combat actions conducted by the Vermonters, but also the daily tedium of serving far from home in a strange, hostile, and uncomfortable environment. The Vermont Brigade fought under the 2nd Marine Division during the long battle for Ramadi, the city which insurgent leader Al-Zarqawi, now dead, had declared to be the "Capital of Al Qaeda in Iraq." The Guardsmen's triumphs in battle, and even more so, their reputation for fair dealing earned day by day from the tribal chiefs of Ramadi, contributed significantly to the Al Anbar Awakening, which is what turned the tide of the war in Iraq. I fully expect Mr. Middleton's fine story will find a valued place in the popular literature describing the history of our American citizen-soldiers at war.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Side of the Defeat of the Taliban, July 18, 2009
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This is the first audio book I've listened to in years, but I found that I enjoyed it tremendously. I was able to hear the whole thing on one long car trip, and it kept me rivetted the whole time. I hated to get off the road for food and gas because it interrupted the story! This is an inside look at the secret, special warfare operators who led the Afghan Northern Alliance, which had just lost its inspirational commanding general and was on the verge of defeat on 9-11, to complete liberation of Afghanistan in literally a few months. We are introduced to some of the soldiers, and can follow their rollicking adventure tale from the first helo drop into fog-shrouded mountains and an uncertain fate to the final victory parade in Kandahar. The story is interesting, exciting, and well told. The Taliban was driven into the no-man's land technically belonging to Pakistan, and the listener knows that they have made a comeback since then so that we are again fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But what a great achievement it was for America, after 9-11, to militarily defeat and remove from power the extremist government which had shielded and aided Al Queda in its terrorist campaign to kill Americans around the world. And they did it with only 50 American special operators in-country, on the ground, using the force multiplier of American air power to reinforce our Northern Alliance allies. Great story, great tape. I am now inspired to buy and read the book at my earliest opportunity.


Compelled to Fight, The Secession Crisis in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Compelled to Fight, The Secession Crisis in Rockbridge County, Virginia
by Thomas Rittenburg
Edition: Paperback
Price: $27.32
25 used & new from $22.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Did Virginians Feel Compelled to Secede?, July 15, 2009
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This wonderful history is more than just a "niche" book or local county history. It is a major historical work addressing the struggle among Virginians about how to come to grips with pressing historical tidal waves which ended up leading to America's most profoundly formative war. Rockbridge County before the Civil War was an important economic, political, and intellectual center of Virginia society. This book traces both local and national events of the time, especially between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of South Carolina and others subsequent to his inauguration. It follows the evolving reactions of various opinion molders and various groups and classes of citizens in Rockbridge County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to the chain of national, state, and local events leading up to the Civil War. The reader finally understands why solid, God-fearing, and otherwise patriotic Americans felt compelled by their own values and belief systems to resist the attempts of Washington, D.C. to prevent Southern secession by force of arms. The author opens a window into the day-to-day lives of contemporary personalities of Rockbridge County--you get a good feel for these "historical personages" as real, live people leading ordinary lives in an extraordinary time. The story of Rockbridge County is the story of Virginia in microcosm, and much of the thoughts and reactions experienced by the Virginians were shared among Southerners of other states who wrestled with the right and the wrong of backing secession. In the interests of total disclosure, this reviewer does happen to be related to the author, but consanguinity notwithstanding, as a Civil War buff and re-enactor, I found this book to be a treasure of insight into the last, twilight hours of antebellum America and the moral and legal disputations which seared the conscience of Virginians until they finally came to the bloody conclusion that they had, indeed, become "compelled to fight."


Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
by Marcus Luttrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.21
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Insight into the Mind of a SEAL, January 27, 2009
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I greatly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the SEALs, Special Opertions Warfare, Afghan culture, or the Global War on Terror. It's a special opportunity to see into the heart and mind of a typical, US Navy SEAL--where does he come from, what makes him tick, how is a Navy SEAL built from a mere mortal, how does a SEAL think, act, fight, and how does he feel about his brothers-in-arms. Marcus Luttrell's book offers a unique peek into the deepest thoughts and feelings of a SEAL: in BUDS training, in his unit assignments, in special operations combat, and as an overcomer of impossibly adverse circumstances. One aspect of his story which I found of curious interest was the absolute fidelity of his Afghan hosts to their Moslem and tribal doctrine of accepting responsibility for the welfare and protection of an invited guest--even to the point of sacrificing their village. It gives a better, more three-dimensional perspective on the people of Afghanstan and their culture. Luttrell completely opens his heart and his mind to the reader. I think almost everyone who reads this book will come away with an unusually informed perspective on just how amazing our special operators and, indeed, all of our young men and women in combat theaters really are. Thank you, Mr. Luttrell. God bless the US Navy SEALs and God bless Marcus Luttrell and his mates!


The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)
by Robert Spencer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.83
258 used & new from $0.03

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Object View of Islam, April 27, 2007
Having served with the U.S. Army in counter-terrorism efforts against Islamic terrorists beginning in the late 1970's, I have studied a lot about Islam. As one can imagine, most books about the religion are written by zealous adherents who either wittingly or unwittingly ignore the blemishes of the Islamic culture while burnishing the more attractive features. This book is a good, readable overview of Islam, its history, and its culture. What makes it so outstanding is that Mr. Spencer writes so objectively about Islam, although from the admitted perspective of a Christian. You learn much more about the true nature of Islam, both good and bad, than most books on the subject are willing or able to reveal. I highly recommend it.


Wargaming: An Introduction
Wargaming: An Introduction
by Neil Thomas
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from $8.54

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview of Figure Wargaming, April 27, 2007
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This book is a colorful, readable overview of figure wargaming across the range of available wargame periods, from ancient battles of Greeks or Romans to the most modern battles. There are examples of different army organizations and uniforms. The sample rules for each period are easily used, although should the reader decide to seriously pursue the hobby, he will want to find more sophisticated rules designed for his particular period. The photographs illustrate figures from the various periods and show various wargames in progress. Great for youth readers and people who are just curious about this special hobby.


Iraq War Veteran Bumper Strip Magnet
Iraq War Veteran Bumper Strip Magnet
Offered by warehouse-supply
Price: $6.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Iraq War Veterans, April 27, 2007
Great magnetic bumper strip for veterans of the Iraq War. I've bought several for my son and his "battle buddies" who returned from their combat tour in Ramadi, Iraq, in Jul '07. Everyone of his veteran friends who sees it, wants one! It's a great design, with strong colors, easy to see and read. So far it's proven very durable. Highly recommended!


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