I have stood before many museum exhibits about the Indians and seen a zillion artifacts, but until I read this book I never really had much of a sense of what life was like for either the Indians, the settlers, or the soldiers. One cannot help but admire the Plains Indians for their bravery and skill while at the same time being repelled by their savagery. Although we may now feel some guilt and remorse about the expulsion of the Indians and their subsequent settlement onto reservations, it is now apparent to me that there was probably no other way. The Indians credo was kill, or be killed and they were not the least bit interested in assuming a law-abiding and agrarian lifestyle. Probably there was no other way to settle the west except by forcible means. All in all, this was a terrific book about an historic period that we all have heard in cursory bits and pieces and, for me at least, never heard a comprehensive story of the old Indian West to learn of its horror, torture and struggle. A great book that I would I would heartily recommend. Anyone who pines for the "good old days" just doesn't know their history!
This book is a history of cancer treatment and research over the past two millenia. The topic might not seem interesting to many and downright fearful to others, the book is an amazing compilation of the agonizing and titanic struggle to understand this insidious disease. The book does not dwell on the painful, difficult suffering of those with the disease; it is not a tear jerker. In many ways, the book is uplifting and encouraging because the reader identifies with those who have struggled to understand and deal with this baffling condition. The first two-thirds of the book are accessible to anyone interested in the topic, but the last one-third has considerable discussion of the scientific progress in understanding the disease during the twentieth century. This last section might be a hard slog for those who do not have a scientific or medical background, but even if a person is not able to comprehend all the biological considerations, most people would be in awe of the persistence and insights of the researchers. A fascinating book for all in the medical field. Very good narration, despite some mispronunciations of some scientific terms. Highly recommended.
This gripping story about a fragmented personality is a truly amazing insight into the workings, or failings, of the human mind and the psychiatrist who attempts to unravel the wounds and heal the very capable woman within. It is a fascinating glimpse into mental illness as few survivors can, or would, reveal in such embarrassing detail. It was a tremendous testament to the skilled psychiatrist who endured hours of verbal abuse from the "child" aspect of the woman and never lost patience or acceptance of this woman. He gently probed with leading questions, helping her to reveal events from the her painful past and achieving peace with them, and ultimately restoring her united identity. The patient was a very intelligent woman who had a herculean struggle with all of her metaphorical "demons," sometimes seeming that she might fail to conquer them and succumb to anorexia or suicide. The book is a powerful testimony to the need for mental health coverage, detailing as it did the years-long struggle in one-on-one therapy of this woman. It is no less a struggle than the chemotherapy of cancer patients or that of organ transplantation. This book would probably make a great play or movie.
It was hard not to be moved by Mr. Balzer's story. His persistence and struggles with alcohol, losing his coveted job and subsequent long uphill climb back should be an inspiration to anyone. It should also serve as a great education for teenagers about the dangers of alcohol and alcoholism in a format which they (especially boys) should find palatable (no pun intended.) Although the book is not preachy, it is also a wonderful testimony to his Christian faith in a way that should not offend any but the most adamant heathens! Ha! Mr. Balzer is very open about his feelings and internal struggles in a way that most men might not be, and I think that women would enjoy the story also. Since the author reads the book himself, this provides extra emotional punch to his writing- it comes from the heart. A terrific book!
As a husband, I don't usually read (never read) books of this nature,but I guess that I was intrigued by just the nosiness factor like reading Dear Abby, etc. I thought that I might also get some ideas about self-improvement! I discovered that I have a long way to go to keep up with this husband. In short these two had such a loving, kind, accepting relationship that I was almost moved to tears in some places. It may also help that they seemed to be pretty affluent and that may have shielded them from money issues that plague most of us (or maybe not!).The narrator was excellent also, and I had to keep reminding myself that she was not the author since the book was written in first person. A very heartwarming account.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought that the narration was excellent also. The main character was not exactly admirable, (well, OK he was a bank robber on the lam, a rake and a womanizer) but he was a person who was driven to seek excitement and danger in every aspect of his life. Tremendously smart and resourceful, the situations that he was able to negotiate were nothing short of astounding. Mr. Campbell (Agent Zigzag) seems to be a person born with the innate drive and skills to be a successful spy. The book is extensively documented, even down to transcribed conversations with Mr. Campbell talking to his British handlers. Quite a yarn!
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