Reviewer: John Phillips "johnphillips61" (Plano, TX USA)
You can tell the author is a poet. This story was beautifully written, insightful and certainl...moreReviewer: John Phillips "johnphillips61" (Plano, TX USA)
You can tell the author is a poet. This story was beautifully written, insightful and certainly rang true. When I finished reading it I felt I had gained a new perspective about how it must be for people who have their homeland torn apart by war. They love their homes, so the answer isn't just fleeing to freedom and safety. For some, there just is no answer. This book turned on new lights for me and moved as well as frustrated me. We can't just save the world with our wealth and generosity, as such actions are viewed by so many good and honest people as signs of arrogance and naivety. I enjoyed the closure the author proveded with the epilogue (after all, it was in part, a love story), but in reality the fugitive's fate probably would remain a mystery. This is a wonderful book, a keeper. (less)
from reviewon Amazon by Michel Aaij (Montgomery, AL) Amazon link
Here is a great book I think we all should read. Steingraber's thesis is relatively...morefrom reviewon Amazon by Michel Aaij (Montgomery, AL) Amazon link
Here is a great book I think we all should read. Steingraber's thesis is relatively simple: environmental factors play a much larger role in the increase of cancer than hitherto assumed by individuals, public health officials, and regulators, and we should act accordingly. Her argument is well-researched and takes into account many of the pollutants we find in our air, water, earth, and bodies, and is presented intermittently as narrative and analysis. I like the structure of the book, the organization into chapters titled "time," "space," "war," and the like. I also like her alternating personal narrative (she is a bladder-cancer survivor, a native of Illinois, a graduate student, a researcher--we find out lots of things) with the cold hard facts and sometimes the fuzzy facts of cancer research and regulation of chemicals. The only thing that holds me back, which is why I gave it four stars, is that the book is a bit too long for my taste at almost 400 pages--I, a layperson, could have done with a bit less detail (though I understand she's covering her bases) and a bit more politics (though I understand she's being careful, not naming too many names).
The best chapter is the final one: if you come across this book and have other things to do, at least read the last chapter--most convincing is her deconstruction of the public policy of 'personal responsibility': sure, some cancers may be associated with personal lifestyle, but more important are the things we have little individual control over, such as the air we breathe, the land our kids play on, the streams we swim in. Blame, Steingraber implies/states (she's not always so outspoken), lies less with us citizens, taxpayers, cancer patients, than with the companies that manufacture products and byproducts that may be carcinegous and are simply allowed to do so until proven otherwise, and the regulators (our government, at all levels) who let them do so. Bravo--it needed to be said, and I'm glad Steingraber did it. (less)
We read this in our economics book reading club. This is one of the best of the books on behavioral economics and alternative economic models. If you'...moreWe read this in our economics book reading club. This is one of the best of the books on behavioral economics and alternative economic models. If you're searching for a replacement to current models and one not totally steeped in the 'bamboozle' factor in capitalism, this is a good place to start.(less)
My favorite book is Sand County Almanac by Leopold. He's one of my super heroes. There's much to be learned from this book including the origin of the...moreMy favorite book is Sand County Almanac by Leopold. He's one of my super heroes. There's much to be learned from this book including the origin of the reference in the title to the 'fierce green light.'
It's been difficult to get Americans to develop even a shred of environmental sensitivity or understanding. Figures like Leopold were among the pioneers who saw the complex web of living things on earth and worked to develop a meaningful way of living among them.
(aside... I learned that he once built a home for his family on 14th street in Albuquerque. I live between 14th and 15th in ABQ and have yet to discover where the house stands or stood.)
I read this book as a teenager. I found it in the library while wandering in the stacks. What I, a suburban anglo teen with little knowledge of Africa...moreI read this book as a teenager. I found it in the library while wandering in the stacks. What I, a suburban anglo teen with little knowledge of Africa or anthropology, took from that book, written by two white folks from Kansas on safari, was very different than what I would make of it today. I wonder if today's teens are as naive about racism, bigotry, and cultural isolation as I was then. As others have remarked, the photography and cinematography are valuable as there was little visual recording at that time.(less)
Average Americans have added 200 hours of work per year compared to the late 1970s - that's roughly 5 more weeks of work a year. Few Americans underst...moreAverage Americans have added 200 hours of work per year compared to the late 1970s - that's roughly 5 more weeks of work a year. Few Americans understand the implications of this finding. The amount of work required, often just to get by, is hurting our families (and children), our health, and our communities. When we take people and our social institutions to task for failing we need to calculate in the damages that come about from too little time spent on just about everything but work.
Raise the minimum wage and millions of workers would not have to work 2 or three part time jobs and would have more time for raising healthy families, contributing to their communities and becoming better informed about the real issues facing Americans.(less)
from Amazon... " The greatest "unsolved mystery" of the American Southwest relates to the Anasazi, the native peoples who by the 11th century converged...morefrom Amazon... " The greatest "unsolved mystery" of the American Southwest relates to the Anasazi, the native peoples who by the 11th century converged on Chaco Canyon (now New Mexico) and built a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world. The Anasazis' accomplishments--in agriculture, in art, in commerce, in architecture and engineering--were astounding, rivaling those of the Mayans in distant Central America.
By the 13th century, however, the Anasazi were gone from Chaco. Vanished. What was it--drought? pestilence? war? forced migration? mass murder or suicide? Craig Childs draws on scholarly research and a lifetime of adventure and exploration in the American Southwest to pursue the mystery of their disappearance. Considering many possibilities, he points the way to a new understanding of how a vibrant civilization collapsed."
Quoting from page 91... "The principal governor for these people was climate... Chaco (Chaco Canyon)was merely reborn during a rising drought. Formalized links of continuity were built into the system, allowing people to slip out from under environmental pressure and establish themselves elsewhere with their entire culture intact."
As we think about the fall of our own civilization we find clues in the disappearance of others. This author is suggesting that people left the area in favor of new areas where there was a better climate and more water. People who are fond of a 'catastrophe' theory will find this account suggests a more moderate approach to decline, although there is no doubt that the drought had a serious impact on the families and culture of the time.(less)
A review from Steve on Amazon ... "This book is not what I expected. I was ready to find easy answers to complex questions that would satisfy my precon...moreA review from Steve on Amazon ... "This book is not what I expected. I was ready to find easy answers to complex questions that would satisfy my preconceived ideas of what I thought the founders believed instead I got complex answers to easy questions which many times were just the opposite of what I believe. As I read, I found myself disappointed and intrigued with the founders at the same time, they weren't the perfect examples of pure libertarian wisdom I envisioned however I could see how they would struggle with implementing their idealist values while they had to consider political and practice realities. I found it an entertaining exercise to reconcile 17th century issues with modern day ones. It was very elucidating to recognize that in many instances the deliberation and politics of that era are similar to the debates of modern liberals and conservatives today."
Let me add that those who are very knowledgeable about this period in history will find know its limits. To understand more about the book, read the HARDBACK customer reviews on Amazon. I use the section on education to raise questions for my students to answer today.(less)
A useful tactical guide, October 29, 2006 Reviewer: David Stinson from Amazon
An overall good book. The author I think has a useful strategy, and lots o...moreA useful tactical guide, October 29, 2006 Reviewer: David Stinson from Amazon
An overall good book. The author I think has a useful strategy, and lots of numbers to back it up. In fact, my main criticism of the book would be that Scaller is better with numbers than complex philosophical arguments. He can tell you a lot of useful information on the political situation in many places around the country. He analyzes the politics in the south very well. The historical analysis from decades ago is less interesting, though. There is a curious ommission with Katrina, and all the corruption that exposed. Maybe that was because he was trying to protect the line that it was a problem with the feds, not the local southern politicians - but if his thesis is that we're giving up on the south, that would give us free reign to criticize the southern politicians as well.
Later in the book, as he started talking about a non-southern political strategy, he could have said more about policy. There was one chapter on demography that read like a census report. Only one chapter was specifically devoted to policy, and I think there is more to say about that while still utilizing his tactical approach. In that chapter, I also picked up on some contradictions, like the Publisher's Weekly people. The chapter opens with a couple of on-the-money quotes about the Democrats being 'against' stuff, rather then 'for' stuff. Yet later in the chapter, he argues that NAFTA and CAFTA were perfect examples of where we should "plant a flag" in opposition, and show resolve. He never gives any positive examples of "flag planting."
This is the first book I've read in the 'genre' of partisan tactics, so perhaps many of these criticisms would apply to other books as well. But I think a good book on policy should address some of the political issues, and visa-versa. The author does have an insightful argument that the Democratic leadership should consider, and I still think it's a worthwhile read just for that.(less)
There are numerous reviews of specific brands of hot sauce (a number of which are no longer available.) The real value of the autographed copy I have...moreThere are numerous reviews of specific brands of hot sauce (a number of which are no longer available.) The real value of the autographed copy I have are the illustrations by Christi Teasley. I have a number of them mounted and framed. I've even talked with Christi about purchasing an original, but no luck so far.(less)
Reviewer: Suzanne Prescott (Albuquerque, NM USA) This is my review on Amazon
If I had told friends I was reading about alleged disease in sheep they wo...moreReviewer: Suzanne Prescott (Albuquerque, NM USA) This is my review on Amazon
If I had told friends I was reading about alleged disease in sheep they would have missed the true significance of this book. It's about big government intervention against the rights of citizens. It's about a Vermont family's creativity and dedication and how all of that was trampled by the USDA run amok. It's also about what happens when special interests and lobbyists overwhelm a government agency.
This is an autobiographical book by Charles Barkley, the legendary basketball player who is a frequent TV commentator during the basketball season now...moreThis is an autobiographical book by Charles Barkley, the legendary basketball player who is a frequent TV commentator during the basketball season now. How could this book possibly belong among the other books I've read? (See answer below)
I agree with the review. Barkley is a very colorful character in bball circles. Could there be another side to the bad boy image as he is portrayed in the media? Well, of course, yes. The reviewer below has stated the limits pretty clearly.
reviewed by Kyle Jones on Amazon "If you're looking for the biography of a great man, a hero, this isn't it. But one of the good things that has come from a culture where anyone can publish a book is that you're almost certain to be able to hear both sides of any story. Barkley has been pilloried by the media for his antics; it is interesting as a fan of sport to read Barkley's account of events and his role in them.
Other than those details, the book's contents are not going to surprise you unless you're unaware of how poor black people grow up in the rural South. The requisite funny anecdotes are there, along with a pro's insights into the game of basketball. But if you're looking for a biography that will inspire you, look elsewhere."
A moderately interesting collection of short pastiches from the authors experience growing up and beyond. I haven't read her more recent book 'The Wor...moreA moderately interesting collection of short pastiches from the authors experience growing up and beyond. I haven't read her more recent book 'The Wordy Shipmates' but I' not going to rush to read based on the style in this earlier book.(less)
The struggles of a family dealing with the death of their brother and son in the Vitenam war. This book was used when I received it and in the inside...moreThe struggles of a family dealing with the death of their brother and son in the Vitenam war. This book was used when I received it and in the inside of the front cover the owner had written "strangely beautiful." And disturbing too. It reminded me that we are trapped in a war in our own era... so moving, so upsetting. I hope the issue doesn't get lost now that the focus is on the economy.(less)
currently Re-Reading. I read this book not long after it first came out. It was an eye-opener. It haunted me and has stayed with me over the years. Rec...morecurrently Re-Reading. I read this book not long after it first came out. It was an eye-opener. It haunted me and has stayed with me over the years. Recently I decided to re-read it and I'm glad. It's just as powerful to me now as it was then and perhaps its message is even more urgent now. It was one of the first books to make me question the relation between special interests and our supposed 'free-market' economy.(less)
Reviewer: L. Shirley "Laurie's Boomer Views" from Amazon
Imagine...Having to hide a satellite dish for fear of being arrested and thrown in prison,havi...moreReviewer: L. Shirley "Laurie's Boomer Views" from Amazon
Imagine...Having to hide a satellite dish for fear of being arrested and thrown in prison,having to hide your face with a veil,your body with a robe,your head with a scarf,and God help you if a couple of loose strands of hair are sticking out. Imagine living under such a strict regime that a woman can not walk down the street with a man who is not her husband,father or brother,of having to scramble to different tables in a restaurant where a raid is going on, if you are sitting with a man who is just a friend. Imagine being subjected to body searches for no reason, of being jailed and quite possibly executed for having an opinion not accepted by that regime.Imagine the books you love, great and classic literature by Nabokov,Austen,James,and Fitzgerald, hard to come by and considered evil propaganda. And if fearing what your own countrymen can do to you is not enough, now imagine all that, with bombs going off constantly for years, landing so close they flatten your neighbors house and kill everyone in it. This was everyday life, a battleground of fear from all sides, for professor and intellectual Azar Nafisi. She only wanted to read, teach and discuss her favorite works of fiction.
Those are just a few of the injustices and life threatening situations, described in "Reading Lolita In Tehran". After refusing to wear a veil to her job as a teacher of Literature, sticking to her own agenda of books considered controversial, Nafisi formed her own little group of women to study the great books mentioned above. She considered them "her girls", like an Iranian Miss Jean Brodie. They discussed the great works of Lolita, The Great Gatsby(this one was put on trial by her class at the University - imagine putting Gatsby on trial!), Pride and Prejudice among others, as they met in secret at Nafisi's home sans the robes and veils revealing their jeans and bright colored T-shirts, along with their inner most thoughts. They saw themselves as the heroines of the fiction they read. They discussed their sometimes unimaginable situations,their deep faith,the deaths of their friends, and the political times they lived in.
Azar Nafisi writes of how this group came to be, how these young women defied authority by studying unacceptable fiction. The girls themselves each have quite a background and stories of chilling experiences. Considering themselves lucky for only getting 5 years in prison for expressing their opinions instead of death in some cases.You can't help but feel a bond with each one of them. Nafisi also takes us back to the years before the group. She writes of life of in the "Islamic Republic of Iran",of teaching at the University of Tehran, and the extreme authoritative figures that ruled. Her writing seems to go off on tangents and some times it is a while before we are brought back full circle to the point, but I have to say, that every word she writes seems important to this story, and well worth reading through. She brilliantly interweaves the theme and characters of the books with the way of life in Iran.
This book left me deep in thought about the things I read in it. It was an up close and personal look at life we've heard about, but always seemed so far away. It not only touched me deeply and emotionally but I learned so much about the history and politics of the country as well. It certainly made me appreciate my own life much more.
Highly recommended read for everyone, and may be an especially deep discussion for book club groups. It is quite a bit to absorb, but one that I will read again someday...Enjoy the read...Laurie (less)