A broadly redone tale of Swan Lake, in an overdramatized way that probably makes purist fans of the ballet crazy. But I like the fluffy fantasy that LA broadly redone tale of Swan Lake, in an overdramatized way that probably makes purist fans of the ballet crazy. But I like the fluffy fantasy that Lackey specializes in, when I just need a little bit of distraction to pass the time and get me through a hospitalization. There's a lot of build up for not a lot of climax, and Siegfried is far from my favorite prince; it's hard to get behind the sex-crazed "accidental rapist," regardless of his "repentance" later. That makes it far from my favorite Lackey fantasy, but it serves its purpose....more
Once of the best biographies I've read in awhile, Bradley walks us through his experience in the war with calm, quiet authority. He goes through minutOnce of the best biographies I've read in awhile, Bradley walks us through his experience in the war with calm, quiet authority. He goes through minute detail on each decision made and walks us through battle plans (and the actual battles that followed) with an excellent tactical eye that never gets too far beyond what a lay person can follow. He never seems like he's dumbing history down; he said in his introduction that he wanted the GIs to under why they were given the orders they were given, what went into the decisions that sent them hither and yon, and he does so with careful precision. In doing so he humanizes the "brass" in a way that I never appreciated before, and gave me a look at the personalities behind the commanders. For example, I always viewed Eisenhower as the ultimate chess master, a brilliant tactician but a "cold fish," with very little personality. Seeing the human side of him through his interactions with Brad and George changed that completely. So from both a strategy angle and for the human interest perspective, this is an absolute must-read for the World World II buff.
And, from reading the other reviews, I've learned that this was the basis for the film "Patton," which I did not know. Somehow it's very fitting that Bradley's biography would be the basis for the film of another man's story. I'm not even sure it would bother him, which tells you everything you need to know about the man. ...more
I want to go back to every history teacher I've ever had (and as a history major, that's a quite a few), show them this book, and say "Why didn't youI want to go back to every history teacher I've ever had (and as a history major, that's a quite a few), show them this book, and say "Why didn't you tell me?!" I had heard about Ataturk, the father of modern, secular Turkey, the "great uniter"--but I had never heard of how he became that "father." Somehow, every history book I've ever read has conveniently left out the rampant rape and slaughter of Jews, Christians, Greeks, Armenians, and anyone who was not a Muslim Turk, like him. It's easy to unite everyone if they're all just like you.
And, of course, once he's wiped out everyone who isn't just like him, then there's no one left to disagree and he can do whatever he wants, include re-write history to make him the hero. Forget the forced marches of men from sixteen to sixty and raping from girls and women from below and above those ages. Bayonet babies, gut old women, and do it all in the sight of the so-called "Allies," who dare not interfere because they don't want to upset the diplomatic apple cart or interfere with their respective countries' access to oil.
The more things change...
Two people (not one, as the title states) stood in the way, and rescued hundreds of thousands virtually on their own: Asa Jennings, a hunch-backed Methodist missionary from the YMCA, and Halsey Powell, a Naval commander who chose to ignore rank and politics and focus on right and wrong. These are true heroes, who worked tirelessly and against all odds, sometimes against their own organizations, to save as many lives as they could. Tear down Ataturk's statue, and put statues of these men up!
These was a beautifully, masterfully written book, and one I will be buying copies of to distribute among all my friends and family. But be advised before you read it--it is depressing and graphic. You will have to deal with accounts of dead bodies, raped women and children, brutalization in all its forms. Man's inhumanity to man is on display in all its most base, horrific varieties. You will also see bravery, faith, honor, and true compassion and heroism; the most direct confrontation between good and evil. A strong stomach, for this one, is a must, but I guarantee it is worth it in the end....more
Meh. I didn't hate it, but I was not impressed, blown away, or terrified. I did read through it quickly because I was curious to see what was coming nMeh. I didn't hate it, but I was not impressed, blown away, or terrified. I did read through it quickly because I was curious to see what was coming next, but it didn't exactly rock my world. The most emotion I can come up with in describing my reaction is "depressed."
Although the more I think about it, the more questions I have about the plot that may or may not be answered with a second reading, I just do not care enough to wade back into the mess a second time--literally or figuratively. ...more
First of all, let's be clear that this is not a text for newcomers to Tudor England and the eventualities of Henry VIII. Without at least a basic backFirst of all, let's be clear that this is not a text for newcomers to Tudor England and the eventualities of Henry VIII. Without at least a basic background, anyone stumbling on this will be lost and miserable, so don't be fooled by the "#1" in the series, as if it's a primer. If you don't come with minimal understanding, then you might as well not come at all.
That being said, I knew enough to keep up, although like a lot of people I was more familiar with Katherine of Aragon as she was being forced off her throne by Anne Boleyn than Catalina the Infanta, bred to be the Princess of Wales. I found the young, stubborn, long-suffering princess to be a fascinating woman, and I definitely want to do some more reading to see how much of Gregory's characterization was based on fact, and how much on conjecture. So in that sense, you could say that I enjoyed the book.
However, I have and always have had issues with Gregory's writing; NYT best seller or not, I just don't think it's very good. The subject matter may carry her through, and she may be a good story teller, but I just think her technical abilities leave something to be desired. In this case, the alternating between the prose and the italics that functioned as Catalina's diary entries was jarring, frustrating, and completely unnecessary. At least it let us do some time jumps toward the end, when they became quite necessary, but otherwise, all they did was drag the story. ...more
The amazing story of the battle of words and ideas that accompanied the bullets and bombs of World War II. Hitler burned books, Americans printed andThe amazing story of the battle of words and ideas that accompanied the bullets and bombs of World War II. Hitler burned books, Americans printed and donated them by the millions. This is something that that I had no idea about, but as a bibliophile, hugged my soul. The idea that books were considered as necessary to our soldiers as their weapons is one of the most incredible things I've ever heard. Now if only our current generation would understand that books will save the day......more