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Profile for Daniel Fireside > Reviews


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Daniel Fireside RSS Feed (Cambridge, MA USA)

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The Magical Ballet Slippers: The Princess and the Magic Locket Set
The Magical Ballet Slippers: The Princess and the Magic Locket Set
by Nick Ellsworth
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from $0.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy! Has lead paint!, July 16, 2008
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has just issued a recall for these items because of high lead content in the jewelry!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2009 6:28 PM PDT

Rigoberta Menchu And The Story Of All Poor Guatemalans
Rigoberta Menchu And The Story Of All Poor Guatemalans
by David Stoll
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from $0.01

37 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Author misses his own point, November 17, 2002
After 10 years of research, Stoll has shown that Menchu's book is an imperfect biography. How shocking! She went to sixth grade! She didn't witness her mother being tortured and murdered (although it did happen)!! There is no record of one of her brothers dying of malnutrition!!! For a time she participated in the unarmed political wing of the Guerrillas!!!!
As one who has spent several years living and working among Guatemalans who (barely) survived army massacres, tortures and disappearances, and who was in Guatemala when Stoll's book came out, I find these revelations to hardly be capital crimes.
Rigoberta's book was an attempt to bring international attention to the Guatemalan army's genocide campaign against the indigenous population. To that effect it was successful, although not nearly successful enough.
Is Menchu's book a perfect account of her life? Apparently not. Is it an accurate portrayal of what happened to millions of other indigenous Guatemalans? The UN-sponsored Truth Commission, and the Catholic Church's REMHI report have definatively answered in the affirmative.
In the end, you could say that Rigoberta's book is more accurately the story of "all poor Guatemalans" than it is her own. What Stoll sees as a fault is really one of the book's main virtues.
There are many stories that urgently need to be told about Guatemala. That Stoll would choose to spend his professional career attacking someone who has tirelessly fought for the human and cultural rights of Guatemala's indigenous people is the real mystery here. Instead of focusing on Rigoberta Menchu, a marginal, if noble, figure in Guatemala's sad history, why not undo the country's more dangerous mythic figure, Efrain Rios Montt (killed tens of thousands during his 16 month reign of terror, and now currently runs Guatemala's Congress and ruling party).
How many as-told-to autobiographies would stand up to 10 years of background checking? Personally, I'm waiting for Stoll's account of his own life story...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 4:57 PM PDT

Glory Times
Glory Times
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $11.88
61 used & new from $2.92

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For hardcore Portishead-heads only, October 16, 2002
This review is from: Glory Times (Audio CD)
I've burned a hole through my "Dummy" and "Portishead" cd's, so it was nice to hear several alternative takes of two of my favorite tracks. However, the list price is rather steep for the amount of music (less than one regular cd, despite the fact that they put it on two), and you really have to be in the right mood to listen to the same lyrics and chord progressions over and over. Overall, the live album is much more satisfying.

Lonely Planet Bolivia: A Travel Survival Kit (3rd ed)
Lonely Planet Bolivia: A Travel Survival Kit (3rd ed)
by Deanna Swaney
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware, January 2, 2001
I just returned from Bolivia with this book as my only guide. I nearly threw it out the bus window in frustration. Although much of the out of date information is due to the fact that the book is five years old, there is no excuse for the scores of addresses for museums and the like that are completely wrong. There is also a major lack of basic info like the location of bus terminals. I also heard from many people who got lost for days trying to follow the book's directions on treks. Best to pay a little extra and hire a reputable guide who knows the area. Also be aware that because of changes in the Bolivian phone company, virtually none of the telephone numbers in the book are correct. It's definately time for a new edition, hopefully done with a little more care.

30 Exitos
30 Exitos
Offered by betamusic
Price: $19.99
8 used & new from $9.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A major disappointment., May 11, 1999
This review is from: 30 Exitos (Audio CD)
This album contains half-hearted remakes of the great Cha Cha Cha standards. A much better bet is to go straight to the originals, many of which can be found on the far superior collection "La Gloria del Cha Cha Cha."

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