If you buy this book to discover secrets in the secret war you probably won't find them. The book doesn't really reveal any new facts (read Charlie Wilson's war for that!).
What the book does is take a step back and examine the motives, tactics and strategies involved. The book does point out the US sucesses AND mistakes as well as the Al-Qaida successes and mistakes. In this sense it is a welcome refresher after the Coulters(liberals =bad) , Michael Moores and German WW2 revisionists (Bush = bad, everybody else is good). In this respect the book did a great job at actually trying to be objective.
When reading this a lot of puzzles pieces of the last few years fell into place. It offers reflection on all the stacks of "breaking news" we endure every day.
A point of critique:
The book does focus very much on 09/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and lacks in describing the other "battlefields". Like the Philippines, Nigeria, Western Europe , Bosnia, Kosovo, Global shipping, global finance etc. etc. In that way the book lacks a bit the unprecedented broadness of the war.
A good analyses, some more of this is badly needed. (Sorry partisan writers)
No matter what your political view:
Looking back in hindsight on event tends to change the perception of the event. Moreover one is tempted to think that ANY other choice would have been more beneficial that the one's taken. We only experience problems from choices made, not the what ifs!
This book does give a very detailed perception of one of the players. And yes it is very very plausible. If you are one of those people who think that Bush and his gang was pure evil or like a lot of Germans supported Saddam because he hated jews, maybe this is not for you.
If you are willing to take a less extreme position, this is definitely a book worth listening too. But warning it is a big work, not a 4 word slogan which sounds good.
Friedman gives a good account of current developements regarding globalization and the "flattening of the world" and the effect on the economy. The basic point of the book is that America should wake up and get flexible and educated or face doom and gloom.
What I missed in the book is a certain depth in the discussion (like getting more than one point of view in there). I was surprised at the partisan level of the book "if you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat". OK if you make this comment please explain??? and don't leave it hanging out there. I agree with a lot what Friedman says, but I expected a good study not a political supernewspaper column. (Before I bought the book I didn't know Friedman worked for the NY times). If you like to read why Bush is a failure, buy this, if you want a real study how to deal with globalization (anybody has tips for me??)
Excellent book, this book really bring into focus the problems middle management in the current US Army as well of the army of it's friends (my country).
Kaplan does critically describe the role of the foot soldiers on the ground and what the political/media influence on this.
I don't think there is another book that goes that deep. It also gives a look how the embedding functions in the US Army.
Altough political correct the story is not, It does tell a yet untold story.
Being a European I never heard of Enron before the collapse, this was very interesting. The book chronicles Lay's en Enron's history from the seventies. It focuses very much on culture, personality conflict and the SEC rules.
I am really impressed by the ability of the writer to explain the accounting rules like mark to market/raptors in common sense. Altough it still might be bewildering (or boring) if you have no accounting background.
I personally found the unabridged version a real "page turner".
The author really proves the point the title makes out, who were you kidding. The author also reevaluates some of the media assertions at the time of the scandal.
With some of the investigation still proceeding I am really impressed by the excellent quality of the work in uncovering the sources.
Compared to it's big competitor the Disneywars, this is definately more focused on broader accounting rules and procedural implications. Disneywars is more focused on personality conflicts as such. Both are books I would recommend (if you like the subject).
Yes, the writer does have some good points, people are not biggots for not liking Janet Jackson desperate attempt to sell a few extra CD's with her superbowl performance. The book is somewhat funny and yes it isn't purely conservative.
It does point to some people I never heard of and some who for the sake of there career quite happily pretend to be principled.
The book writing style is like the top 100 music list starting from 100, 5 of these in a row are funny. Listening to the full 100 cast is definately tedious. (the person who thought hurricanes should have more "black" names was funny and insightful, I never knew there was such a thing as a "black name").
Al in all a great book if you want to work yourself up(being a liberal) or get some cheap shots(if you're conservative). A mildly funny, somewhat informative original list if you're none of the above. Hopefully this helps you on deciding a bit.
Having never heard of Feynman (being an "ignorant" non Physicws European)I downloaded the book anyway based on te brilliant reviews.
True the lectures are very interesting and absolutely awesome. The lectures do keep you "glued". I did learn a lot.
One point of critique, these lectures are over a 40 years old, which might diminish some of the value and sometimes Feynman obviously scratches formulas on the board. He speaks out the formula but it is still a bit hard to follow. Thus in my experience some "written" backup material is excellent.
I very much recommend this book, just keep the limitations in mind when deciding to buy.
What makes the Stephanie Plum series excellent is the fantastically funny and wild characters of the series. Plum is a bounty hunter but the kind that keeps a gun in the cookie jar seem to run into accidents.
As far as narration is concerned, Lorelei King does an excellent job, altough Lori Petty is still my favorite.
This book is definately a classic and tells the story of the men who sacrificed to deliver us from the German occupation. Living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands which was liberated by the 101st this book for me was very touching.
Well narrated, well written, it tells the personal story of the men who fought and died to fight the Nazis.
Too bad there isn't an unabridged audio version.!
It took me a long time before I decided to buy this book on the assumption that "audioversions" of TV shows don't work very well. How wrong I was!
The main reason I think is that because of the high focus on textual interaction as opposed to cinametic humour, the jokes do not get lost on the listener. (E.g. with audiobook fawlty towers a "describer" is needed to describe the cinematic situation in order to get the joke through).
What makes the show fun is the interaction between the very steriotypical characters, "idiot/insensitive general, pencil pusher, gung ho officer and the ultimate cynic who's main objective is "do everything not to get killed"
This book is very very funny, but also very sarcastic at how it sneers at British history. The TV show was controversial as it obviously doesn't spare British/Allied ignorance to life. "After 17 failed attempts they would never expect us to try an 18th".
In that aspect the book does have a sad historical value. Rowan Atkinson himself stated that the distance in time to 1917 only made it possible to write a parody about "Flanders Fields".
The only thing i found a bit annoying was the "canned laughter" but I got used to it after a few minutes.
Even if you didn't see the original show, I still recommend the book!
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