A fantastic book describing the courage and intrepidity of a young Screaming Eagle who sacrificed his life to save his comrades in a very bad situatioA fantastic book describing the courage and intrepidity of a young Screaming Eagle who sacrificed his life to save his comrades in a very bad situation and how his sacrifice was forgotten for almost 40 years before being stumbled upon. He was the son of immigrants who escaped the communist takeover of Hungary and was drafted into the US Army towards the end of the 60s when public opinion about the war in Vietnam was very hostile to those who went over and fought in it. It never ceases to amaze me to read stories of such people who selflessly give their lives to save their friends. It makes me believe that there is something good overall in most people and that gives me hope. ...more
This was an amazing book. Halevi has helped bring words to the very same thoughts I have been having for many years. He has really captured the very eThis was an amazing book. Halevi has helped bring words to the very same thoughts I have been having for many years. He has really captured the very essence of the issue - neither side can see the other's story. While there is a strong group among Israelis who are willing and able to see the Palestinian narrative, the same cannot be said for the Palestinian side. I hope that Halevi is able to reach some on the other side who are willing to not just listen, but to accept that the Jewish narrative and ties to Israel are genuine, historic, and extremely strong and that if they want to even have a chance at peace they must accept those facts and help others to accept them as well. ...more
An excellent book that details the rise of Bin Laden and how we got to 9/11. It's amazing the missteps that American law enforcement and intelligenceAn excellent book that details the rise of Bin Laden and how we got to 9/11. It's amazing the missteps that American law enforcement and intelligence had that could have easily prevented 9/11....more
**spoiler alert** I first read Childhood's End about 25 years ago and decided to reread it when I found it at Wonderbooks in Gaithersburg a few weeks**spoiler alert** I first read Childhood's End about 25 years ago and decided to reread it when I found it at Wonderbooks in Gaithersburg a few weeks ago. I didn't remember the story as well as I thought and rereading it was as enjoyable now as it was then. Like Rendezvous with Rama, Childhood's End is an exciting story of possibilities but, unlike Rama, it is tinged with tragedy. The idea that humanity could evolve into something greater is tempered with the knowledge that the Overlord's who have come to shepherd humanity's children to this new existence are stuck in their own evolutionary cul-de-sac - and they're painfully aware of it. It's funny because I now see (which I didn't back when I first read it) a sort of Christological story where the evolution of humanity's children into the consciousness which merges with the Overmind is a sort of "afterlife" and the Overlords (who look like the Devil with their leathery wings barbed tails and horns) can never achieve this state although they very much want to. They are forever "damned" to never achieve the "salvation" of evolving to merge with the Overmind. What's even more interesting is that the Overlords are not evil in any way - but rather a set of characters to be both admired and pitied at the same time. They have achieved such technological and intellectual heights and yet can evolve no further spiritually.
Another potential underlying idea is that it is humanity's youth and innocence that enables them to evolve in the end to the next plateau that can merge with the Overmind. Humanity, as a race, doesn't have to "unlearn" as much (which is why it is only the children who evolve and not the adults) - but the Overlords are much further evolved technologically and therefore can never reach that stage of evolution.
All-in-all it was as excellent of a book this time as when I read it 25 years ago. It is a classic and will always remain so....more