Leo T. - Reviews

1 to 20 of 1747 - Page:
100 Planes 100 Years: The First Century of Aviation
100 Planes 100 Years: The First Century of Aviation
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/19/2017


The authors begin by noting that simple planes can be kept in the air today while those after the 1930s are too complex. Witness the problems the Confederate Air Force has in flying their B-29 a few times a year.
Louis Bleriot was a businessman who built a series of planes, the Bleriot XI flying the English Channel in 1909 and then the production models being employed in combat in 1914.
Interesting to read of each selected airplane as it is commented upon regrading its place in the 20th C. and its attributes. Good photos, as would be expected, no index but the table of contents lists each featured airplane. There is a list of airplane museums. My copy doesn't seem to be well bound (PRC).
I still like the Ford Trimotor (the authors explain the emphasis was on reliability, not sleek design) and the DC-3 that made Douglas' reputation here in S. Cal. The people who bought residences near the Santa Monica airport, knowing there is noise, are adamant that it will close, as well as those with development plans. The Beechcraft Bonanza is lauded for its decades of being in production. The Gruman E-2 Hawkeye is 1975's selection.


111 Days in Stanleyville.
111 Days in Stanleyville.
Author: Reed, David.
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/25/2011


This book is based on over three hundred interviews with those who endured the four months in Stanleyville. After the death of Patrice Lumumba, General Olenga's Simba rebel army ruled a large section of the Congo. An international effort rescued most of them by the U.S.A.F. flying in 550 Belgian paratroopers via Ascension Island, but two dozen were mown down by the Simba troops. However, two thousand were then flown out with only the clothes on their backs in what some feel is a fitting end in some ways to the bloody history of the Belgian Congo. That is not the view of the author.


1776: Year of Illusions
1776: Year of Illusions
Author: Thomas Fleming
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/6/2014


This is a long (35 chapters) and well-researched tome, written in an easily understandable style, and well worth reading even if it is kept on the bedside table and not finished for months. I didn't read this when it was written 40 years ago and found it in a box of books courtesy of our JWV post, read it on bus rides for three weeks, and was delighted when it was immediately taken by someone when I put it on the shelf at the old soldiers' home (we have few readers).
The year opened very hopefully, with the British holding only Boston, a few posts in Florida, and under siege in Quebec and ended with Washington hard pressed to preserve his army. Fleming discusses the dark side of 1776 as well as the upsides and urges Americans in 1976 to accept our failings today "without losing hope or faith in the future (481)." Of special interest is the efforts of Admiral Lord Howe to not completely squash the rebel army lest a very hard rule be imposed on the colony as Lord Germain and others in the British government desired. There are succinct descriptions of the English society and politics of the time, and how that led to the policy of the government.
Readers are reminded of how little revenue the British were demanding per capita from the colonists. We all remember John Adams saying one third of colonialists were Loyalists, one third Rebels, and one third rather indifferent, but the dilemma of making this decision as events of 1776 forced it on many people is conveyed to us. There are many insights for Americans who covered this in fifth, eighth, and eleventh grades, as well as in junior college. For example, I had forgotten the the Continental currency held its value pretty well throughout the year and didn't realize (given what Canadians say today) how our forces in Canada could have won the day given some hard money and fewer anti-Catholic chaplains.
This book would serve well in a reading classroom in the 11th grade, with 35 different students each having a chance to share their chapter with the whole class for a few minutes. Includes endnotes, bibliography, and index.


1913: The Year Before the Storm
1913: The Year Before the Storm
Author: Florian Illies
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/8/2018


A sophisticated reader will enjoy this.
This is a translation of the German first edition of 2012. While waiting at the local LA County regional library, I spotted this on the shelf and checked it out with the idea it could be used as collateral reading for interested students in Eleventh grade US history when the Wilson administration is being studied. For example, Discuss in a group the chapter you choose to read (each student selecting one chapter) 10 pts.
However, the chapters I read (January and July) require a considerable amount of background knowledge about the largely German (some others, almost all Western European) artists and writers included. There are few politicians. There are anecdotes about these luminaries' daily activities, garnered from letters, diaries, and biographies for the most part. The selected âentries' do offer an interesting and human view of their lives.
Kafka, painters of Die Brucke, Junger, Karl Krau, âElse Lasker-Sholer, F4ranz Marc, Freud, Adorno, Proust, are included in January. The founding of the first Aldi market is mentionedâthe West German supermarket chain is now expanding into the USA.
Joe Stalin was in Vienna for four weeks, his longest trip abroad until Tehran during the war, and he stayed near the park of Schonbronn Palace, where he liked to take a walk, as did Hitler in that same month.
July includes Macke, Ernst De Chirico, Rosessler, Schiele, Eva Gruel, Musil, Spengler, Rilke, and Koroschka.
A handful of Americans are mentioned, Louis Armstrong being sent to the Colored Waifs Home for Boys and being given a trumpet (January chapter). I suspect they might have been added for this edition. There is a bibliography, but no index, so a student working on a term paper cannot readily find information to offer a lighter touch on, for example, the critic Alfred Kerr giving a bad review to Thomas Mann's play Fiorenza. Mann's train trip from Munich to attend the opening in Berlin and the effect on him is covered in detail.


2005 Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1901-Present (Standard Catalog of World Coins)
Review Date: 8/7/2018


I haven't looked at any of the all the world coin catalogues for some time, but find it is still of interest. Prices and most importantly, a long list of various issues. There is a chart to help one estimate minimum values given the spot price of silver (or gold).
It was on the 'free' book truck at the branch library for nearly a week. I have been taking a couple of books for the old soldiers' home and a dozen that are wish listed by PBS comrades. I had put this on the bottom and took it this afternoon and then wasted a couple hours looking at it. The copy is in ex-library, with usual markings, otherwise VG, but too heavy to mail. I will probably return it unless I can figure a way to get it to the old soldiers.
It is well bound.


201 Organic Baby And Toddler Meals: The Healthiest, Most Natural Toddler and Baby Food Recipes
Review Date: 12/2/2019


The recipes are suitable for kids as old as three years. Well done.


The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
Author: Al Ries, Laura Ries
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 6/14/2018


I obtained this as an add-on from a PBS comrade who was mailing me a wish listed book. It was published mainly for additional reading in college classes and I find it to be still of interest and use.
The author is very succinct. Read the introduction and then the chapters of interest to you if you have limited time. I am looking at it on the bus and then will leave it on the book truck in the lobby of the VA Hospital.
The Ries emphasize that marketing is branding. The old rule about selling is fading at the start of the 21st C., which is illustrated by the many retail places that have cashiers but few if any salespeople. And on the Internet, one tends to search for something under the brand name of the firm, such as 'Amazon' rather than searching through 'books.'
Chapter One is The Law of Expansion--The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope. Thus ToyRUs went the wrong way with BabiesRUs and Starbuck went the right way with coffee as noted with other examples in Chapter 2--The Law of Contraction.
No more time to type....
P.S. I read and enjoyed several more chapters on the way to an appt. at the VA Hospital and put the book on the free book truck in the lobby at 5:30 A.M. As I departed just before noon, I checked and saw someone had taken it up, which is great!
Index.


23 Years of Fatherhood & Music
23 Years of Fatherhood & Music
Author: Jonah Matranga
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/2/2019


He shares his life as he lived it, starting in Sacramento in 1994. It is sometimes almost stream of consciousness. As I post this, he is doing one night stands in England.
No index.


3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise
Review Date: 3/15/2018


I heard one of the principals flogging the book on NPR and obtained a copy from the library as I did not know these masters of hip-hop were such shrewd businessmen. Quite a lot of their success with investments came from maturity. None of them has any background in formal studies of economics, etc. nor did they come from a family where someone would explain these facts of life to them.
It is well written, the author having developed this beat for Fortune several years ago. There are endnotes to back up his statements--many people have talked to him and others over the years and he seemingly has followed up every lead. There is also a chapter on 50cent, yet another who left the life behind.
"Hip-hop's top organizations were born out of a combination of gut feel and necessity. Diddy, Dre, Jay-Z, and their ilk founded record companies because at first they couldn't get deals with major labels; they launched their own clothing and liquor lines because mainstream brands wouldn't meet their compensation requirements for endorsements."
Good index.


360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story
360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story
Author: Sean Wilentz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/17/2018


A really great book about this company that began by signing Sousa for its popular cylinders and carried on to Springsteen. Excellent photos and quite a bit of text.
Index and Grammy Award Winners.
There are a couple of wishes outstanding but I have been left holding the bag (i.e. carry around the book and finally leave it at the 'free' book truck at another branch library) because my PBS comrades allowed 48 hours to pass by without replying. So I will leave this AF ex-library book to await another person....


40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania
Review Date: 10/8/2019


Mr. Chapman relates the story of Kitzmiller vs. Dover. Creationists, who now advocate intelligent design, wanted Of Pandas and People adopted by the school board for biology classes. Readers learn of the positions taken by counsel on both sides, board members, and many others. The author spins the tale in a leisurely manner; for example there are several pages sharing his visit with plantiff Beth Eveland. Sample: "She became more interested in Easgtern relgions after going to a work-related seminar in Atlanta and hearing Deepak Chopra speak. She now considers herself more or less Buddhist, 'although, I'm sorry, I still gotta kill bugs.' A woman with a hot temper, she found that Buddhism and meditation had made her more tranquil."
No photos, no bibliography, no footnotes. And as there is no index, I reduce my rating by one star.


The 51 Capitals of the U.S.A.
The 51 Capitals of the U.S.A.
Author: Muriel Mandell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/19/2018


Well chosen photographs and nicely written comments on these cities, with some getting short shrift (Boise, Madison, Cheyenne) and others fulsome treatment (Princeton, Sacramento, Boston, Montpelier).
Index.


56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports
56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports
Author: Kostya Kennedy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/18/2019


Mr. Dimaggio hit safely in 56 consecutive games in 1941. I obtained the book, as an add on from a PBS member who was fulfilling a wish for us, to take to the lobby of the VA Hospital (many readers and little nonfiction on offer).
The author, in a florid style, recreates the scenes for us.
"Bugs were everywhere, dancing around the hot rectangular banks of lights that shine down upon Griffith Stadium. In quiet moments you could hear them, a gleeful swarm of gnats, moths, and mosquitoes who seemed to believe all this gorgeous brightness had suddenly appeared--oh sweet mystery of life!--for their pleasure, rather than to illuminate the first night game in Washington Senators' history, a game now in its middle innings, with the Senators up a few runs on the Yankees."
Bibliography, surprisingly few photos, and index.


The 7th Infantry Regiment: Combat in an Age of Terror: The Korean War Through the Present
Review Date: 3/24/2017


This is the first volume of two, the next one covered the War of 1812 through WWI, this Army unit being one of the oldest, their motto being 'willing and able.'
The author aims to share with his readers 'what combat was like for the generations of men who served in the unit.' This is not a regimental history, but McManus has done his work in various archives and found those who served to be generous in granting him interviews.
It starts with 'fighting so hard and frantically' for a hill in Korea after being not much more than a skeleton unit when sent to Japan, the hard fighting in Vietnam, and then the crash into incompetence of the post-Vietnam army that General Creighton Abrams dealt with. Kosovo and the two Gulf Wars are told with a large input from veterans. Notes, bibliography, and indexes.


8 O'Cluck
8 O'Cluck
Author: Jill Creighton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 12/22/2015


Written by a Canadian, with acclaimed Canadian artist Pierre-Paul Pariseau illustrations that employ collage in today's digital media. Unlike the Bros. Grimm, the hungry protagonist does not die a gruesome death.


97 Ways to Make A Baby Laugh
97 Ways to Make A Baby Laugh
Author: Jack Moore
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 12/8/2016


A clever idea and the execution is great. There is a photo of a smiling baby on every page! I will give it to a Marine so he can try it on his great grandkid (?), a baby that visits him sometimes at the Nursing Home.


About Habitats: Forests
About Habitats: Forests
Author: Cathryn Sill, John Sill
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/8/2019


Very simple text (CS is an elementary school teacher) and well drawn illustrations (JS is a wildlife artist) are offered in two page spreads. For example, "Most trees that live in cold forests have special leaves called needles." In the corner it is labeled 'Boreal Forest, Siberian Jay. White Spruce.'
The Afterword includes a few details about each plate, in this case Plate 9: "Most of the trees that grow in boreal forests are conifers. Many conifers are evergreen--their needles stay on all year. They grow hard scaly cones to hold their seeds. Coniferous trees have pointed tops and wide bottoms that allow the snow to slide off. This keeps the branches from breaking under the weight of heavy snow. Siberian Jays live year-round in boreal forests in Eurasia. They store food for winter by sticking it in the cracks of tree bark." Thus if you are reading this with a kid, you can appear knowledgeable.
Plate 17 ends the book, picturing and lamenting that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker seems to be extinct, and warning that too much logging is underway. Thus when discussing Plate 9 the authors would be disappointed if I recalled that Dad and I went out and cut a three foot tree for Christmas when I was a six year old in Second Grade (1953, Lake Walker, Nevada).
Bibliography (5 books, 3 websites) and glossary.
But again no wishes, so I will put it back on the 'free' book truck at this branch library for someone else to have.


The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Review Date: 12/26/2017


I read some of this on the bus/subway when taking it to the VA Hospital where there are many readers. It got no reader at the old soldiers' home in eight weeks on the shelf.
It reads well but there is a lack of index, footnotes, and bibliography and so is not very easy for a student to use.
Author's note: "recreating dialogue," "recreated scenes," and "changed or imagined." Zuckerberg refused to be interviewed.


The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science
Review Date: 8/24/2018


I got the book for the shelf at the old soldiers' home but I don't think anyone read it. Pulling it after eight weeks to take to the VA Hospital lobby (many readers), I enjoyed reading most of it before dropping it off.
These are articles for a popular readership and often are still of interest. Many are suitable for collateral reading in a US History or Economics class.
Some highlights:
Dr. Krugman criticizes Robert Reich ('Downsizing, Downsizing' pp. 24-27). "Like much of what Reich says, tis story was clear, compelling, brilliantly packaged, and mostly wrong." "...wrong about this and most other things...." "Reich's style of economics relies on anecdotes rather than statistics, slogans rather than serious analysis...."
'In Praise of Cheap Labor,' (pp. 80-86). Addressing the low paying manufacturing jobs in Third World countries, the economist argues that these jobs are better than what they had.
During the Clinton Administration a $50 billion loan was arranged for Mexico after investors lost confidence, thus staving off disaster. (pp. 142-145).
'Cornering the market,' an economic term, is demonstrated with copper in the 1990s (pp. 34-41).
A couple of essays deal with currency and crisis: George Soros working over sterling was an anamoly; it is rare for a "sinister financial mastermind" to cause a devaluation on his own. Mr. Soros certainly remains unloved by some governments and a whipping boy.
The other article is about the Asian financial crisis that devastated that part of the world. See Making the World Safe for George Soros plus Bahtulism: Who Poisoned Asia's Currency Markets? (146-161).
Standards (Rates) of living are compared, 1950 and 2000 in The CPI and the Rat Race (pp. 191-195).
A political science essay from an economist was published in 1997 in which Krugman considers the pluses and minuses of democratic elections (pp. 179-183).
No index.


Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management
Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management
Author: Caitlin Rosenthal
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/15/2018


I have not yet seen the book; rating is based on hearing her flog the book for about three minutes on Marketplace radio, 8/14/2018. She bases a lot of her work on Thos. Jefferson's account books as few plantations kept such a detailed record and fewer survive.


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