An interesting, informative, quick read about the assassination of Lincoln. Lots here I didn't know, even though I've read a little about Lincoln. I dAn interesting, informative, quick read about the assassination of Lincoln. Lots here I didn't know, even though I've read a little about Lincoln. I didn't realize how many people got hurt by Booth and his associates. The book tells about the end of the Civil War, the assassination, and the aftermath--for the assailants, the victims, and some of how it defined the country afterward. This book is really worth reading....more
One of the most powerful Holocaust memoirs I've ever read. 14 people in a bunker dug out under a house for 18 months, all depending on their former hoOne of the most powerful Holocaust memoirs I've ever read. 14 people in a bunker dug out under a house for 18 months, all depending on their former housekeeper and her volatile, unpredictable, but in the end, dependable husband for survival. When they finally come out of the bunker, they are among the 50 surviving Jews out of a community of 5000. Clara, just a young teenager, kept a diary of their time in the bunker and the book is based on the diary, and there are also excerpts. This story of survival is written so well, so powerfully, and so intensely, I didn't want to put it down....more
A fascinating story of two men, an inventor named Marconi and a doctor and murderer named Crippen. The book goes back and forth between them and theirA fascinating story of two men, an inventor named Marconi and a doctor and murderer named Crippen. The book goes back and forth between them and their individual struggles until Marconi's wireless makes it possible to catch Crippen, even though he and his mistress had already left England for Canada when they were discovered. The author does an amazing job researching and recreating the age, the mindset, and the characters involved. He didn't even recreate dialogue. Everything inside quotes are actual quotes. Even the footnotes are interesting and worth reading. Love this book....more
I really did enjoy this book. Jan and Antonina's quiet heroism amazed me and inspired me. They helped so many people! The author did go off on a lot ofI really did enjoy this book. Jan and Antonina's quiet heroism amazed me and inspired me. They helped so many people! The author did go off on a lot of tangents, but I found them informative, if a bit tiring towards the end of the book. I would have liked to have known more about their later lives, after all the details of their lives during the war. I'm glad this book was written, it really emaphasized that there was a lot of risk taking and life-saving during the Nazi occupation. So many books have just the opposite view. I'm sure they are both true, the good and the bad. This book is really worth reading....more
The movie Defiance is based on the true story of the Bielski Brothers, amazing men who saved over 1000 Jewish people during WW2. The book was writtenThe movie Defiance is based on the true story of the Bielski Brothers, amazing men who saved over 1000 Jewish people during WW2. The book was written in a very simple style--but it was informative and direct. These men were so brave and skillful--they faced so much opposition--the Nazis of course, but there were internal threats to their authority, and they were also incorporated into the Soviet partisan movement and had to answer to the Russians, empahsizing to them that they were saving Soviet citizens, which was true, but the real mission was to save the Jewish people. The atrocities are documented and so are the acts of heroism. I kind of wish this book had been written in more of a creative non-fiction style, getting more into the heads of the main characters, but that wasn't the purpose of the book. It fufilled its purpose very well. I felt really sad when I read about Tuvia, the oldest brother's life in America. Truck driver, taxi driver. He was a hero that got very little recognition and even less worldly sucess. It was sad. According to this book, the Bielskis saved more Jewish lives than any other Jewish person during the war. I'm glad they made the movie and now more people than ever know about these great men....more
Wade Davis uses words well. I still haven't forgotten the "cloak of conformity" that he describes falling over the indigenous people he writes about.Wade Davis uses words well. I still haven't forgotten the "cloak of conformity" that he describes falling over the indigenous people he writes about. He takes us to Tibet, Australia, the Inuit lands, the Amazon, Africa, and Indonesia. He has friends in these places, people that trust him and his good intentions. He calls the the world an ethnosphere--a sphere of people groups, amazing in in its diversity. I learned a lot from this book--about the despair and demoralization of so many robbed of their cultures. And about the hope and work and faith of those fighting to preserve those same cultures. There is so much to learn from the ancient wisdom, so much for us to learn. Davis doesn't advocate for people to be left in the Stone Age. He knows that's impossible. But he fights for the right of these people to be in control of their own transition--not into our world--but into a world where they can incorporate parts of the surrounding cultures into their own and reject what they don't want. He's found examples of people doing just that. It's isn't a choice of 100% old ways or 100% new ways, but just acknowledging that cultures are always evolving and changing and it's the members of those cultures that should control how, not outside governments, corportations, or missionaries.
The arrogance and ignorance of the Europeans who made initial contact with these people is astounding, but not surprising. So often they were perceived as savages to be enslaved, civilized, eduacated. Non-humans to be obliterated. The ancient wisdom was not ignored--that would require an initial awareness of the wisdom and a consious decision to ignore it. The "civilized" white people weren't capable of even that.
The book does end with hope. Much has been lost, but much has been preserved, resurrected, strengthened. I'm glad I read this book....more
This book is the amazing story of a woman born in her father's harem. But she wasn't content to with the life of a well-off wife in upper class Iran.This book is the amazing story of a woman born in her father's harem. But she wasn't content to with the life of a well-off wife in upper class Iran. She wanted to study in America. After her beloved father's death, she left, in the middle of WW2, for America and studied and lived there for many years. When she returned to Iran she started a school for social work. Her passion was to help people improve their lives. The whole idea of social work as a profession was so unheard of in Iran, that Sattareh even had to coin the word. After several productive years, the revolution hits. I don't want to reveal what happens next, but it had me staying up late to finish the story. Not only is this book the memoir of a brave, intelligent woman, but it could be used as a text book in modern Iranian history. I didn't know the details about the Shah, how he came to power, and why Iran wanted the revolution. I also didn't know why they hated our country so much and took over our embassy and held the people there hostage. This book tells why. I really enjoyed this book....more