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Free Republic Book of the Month, March: Your Opinions, Fiction and Non-Fiction

Posted on 03/23/2002 4:50:39 AM PST by xzins

Free Republic Book of the Month, March 2002: Your Opinions, Fiction and Non-Fiction

This is the 2nd month of a recently approved continuing topic for Free Republic. The purpose is to tap the reading experiences of the countless Free Republic readers. Your mission is to post recommendations and brief summaries of current books which you've recently read. They need not be on anyone's bestseller list, but preferably they will be current (roughly two/three years from publication,) although this is not a hard and fast rule. Don't worry about repetitious reviews: a different take over time by different people on the same book is a good thing. If someone wishes a link to a bestseller list, this one is for Publisher's Weekly Bestsellers Lists:

PubWeekly BestSellers


1. Give name of Book, author, and classification (fiction/non-fiction)
2. Give a very brief summary. (Unless you feel bold and want to post a review.)
3. Give a rating and a reason. Scale = 1 to 5 Freeps, five being the best possible. A 5 Freep book would delight the CONSERVATIVE, FREEDOM LOVING folks who frequent our beloved Free Republic. A one Freep book would probably be trash anyplace, but maybe acceptable just in some liberal haven like DemUnderground.

Finally, Thanks Admin Moderator 8 and thanks Jim Robinson.

February, 2002, thread: click, Feb 02

TOPICS: Editorial; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: books; freepers; reviews
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You've had a whole month to do some more reading. What's out there?
1 posted on 03/23/2002 4:50:39 AM PST by xzins
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To: xzins
Andrei Makine "Dreams of my Russian Summers" 4

Czeslaw Milosz "My Native Realm" (His most famous one I haven't read)

2 posted on 03/23/2002 4:55:42 AM PST by cornelis
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: xzins
1. 50 Questions on the Natural Law : What It Is and Why We Need It
Charles Rice, Law Professor Emeritus, Notre Dame

2. This is by far the best books I've ever read on the subject of the natural law. The Q&A format is very well suited to the subject and he asks all of the right questions to the point that you can anticipate them -- it really flows smoothly. I highly recommend the book for religious-minded law students who want an alternative to the prevailing modern law theories where God is absent from the discourse. Charles Rice does a very thorough, scholarly job with this book. Highly recommended. Charles E. Rice demonstrates his capability as a legal scholar in this great treatment of natural law. Not only is this book filled with great information on traditional natural law thinkers such as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, it is full of contemporary legal examples that concretize the discussion and bring natural law out of the abstract realm into our everyday lives.

3. 5 Freeps

4 posted on 03/23/2002 5:01:33 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: xzins
1. "Rise to Rebellion" by Jeff Shaara; exacting historical fiction

2. Jeff Shaara, famous with his father for the Civil War Series, begins a wonderful two book series on the American Revolution. Going from the Boston Massacre up through the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it attempts to get inside the heads and lives of major players. I came away with a great appreciation for the maneuvering of Sam Adams, for the "feel" that Shaara gave to the Boston Massacre, many more events. The tribulations of Ben Franklin in England are eye-opening. Shaara goes to great pains to have all the history be authentically accurate.

3. This is a 5 Freep book. An informative, fun review of all you love about the American Revolution. Can't wait for book 2.

5 posted on 03/23/2002 5:04:28 AM PST by xzins
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To: xzins
POX Americana The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82Elizabeth A. Fenn


Interesting look at the spread of disease and its effect on society, particularly during the Revolutionary War. Prior to Jenner's discovery that innoculation with cowpox confered immunity, innoculation was done with smallpox itself. Mortality of the treatment was still 2-3% (as opposed to 15% or so in European stock)
George Washington, himself a survivor of the pox, was well aware of the diseases' potential for havoc in his camps and eventually got the first state-sponsored vaccination program in American history. This probably contributed greatly to the American victory.
The book also traces the diseases' path throughout north America, among the tribes dealing with the Hudson Bay Company, and throughout the mission system of the Spanish southwest. These outbreaks were vastly more damaging, with the indians experiencing a 60-90% mortality. The book presents this in a dispassionate manner, with no agenda. The smallpox changed life throughout the continent.
I give it 3 Freeps. (Well written and interesting, but not political)

6 posted on 03/23/2002 5:07:48 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
|"John Quincy Adams", a tale of the life of one of our most famous early leaders, and his desire to lead a normal life and read his books, and how he was pulled into and called to fill positions of greater and greater importance. Also and 50 year love affair. Truly a great book.
7 posted on 03/23/2002 5:21:22 AM PST by BooBoo1000
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To: bcoffey; 185JHP; Mad Dawgg; Ward Smythe; SpookBrat; GoredInMich; WIMom; lds23; Barset...
8 posted on 03/23/2002 5:22:56 AM PST by xzins
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To: xzins
Toward A Free And Virtuous Society

by Robert A. Sirico

Our Price: $2.50
Softcover - 12 pages
Published in 1997 by Acton Institute

Subject: Christian Social Teaching
ISSN: 10756566
Catalog Number: SIR002

Brief Description
Short and Sweet. Freedom and Virtue. Ordered Liberty. Occasional Paper No. 9. With an Introduction by Doug Bandow. A foundational description of the complementary relationship of freedom and morality. "Both freedom and virtue are under serious assault today...At this critical time, some supporters of either liberty or virtue are setting the two against each other, treating them as frequent antagonists, if not permanent opponents. At the very least, the competing advocates suggest, you cannot maximize both values, but instead have to choose which to promote and which to restrict." "However, it would be a mistake to assume that one must be sacrificed for the other. Rather, freedom and morality are complementary. That is, liberty - the right to exercise choice, free from coercive state regulation - is a necessary precondition for virtue. And virtue is ultimately necessary for the survival of liberty. Anyone interested in building a good society should desire to live in a community that cherishes both values. As the Rev. Robert A. Sirico points out, 'common sense tells any sane person that a society that is both free and virtuous is the place in which he or she would most want to live.'" - from the Introduction

5 Freeps

9 posted on 03/23/2002 5:23:06 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
available at
10 posted on 03/23/2002 5:25:03 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: xzins
Secret Weapons: Two Sisters Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies and Sabotage (publ. 2001)

Rating: 5 (Mainly for an intriguing story that is almost unbelievable)

This is a story of two sisters who basically have their lives signed over to the CIA when they were 4 and 6 years old in the mid 1960's. The CIA then brainwashes them and induces multiple personalities into their psyche. Each personality does not know of the other, thereby making them the perfect assassins. Their personalities range from assassin, seductress, fighter pilot, martial arts expert, to military tacticians.

I guarantee that you have never read anything like this before. It is equally disturbing as it is intriguing.

11 posted on 03/23/2002 5:28:45 AM PST by robomatik
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To: robomatik
robo, you got an author for the "sisters" book? Thanks. Sounds like some fun reading.
12 posted on 03/23/2002 5:31:11 AM PST by xzins
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To: Notwithstanding
Charles Rice was one of my law professors at Notre Dame. He was and is an amazing intellect. Remembered generally as the toughest of all the law professors, he demanded that his students memorize all of the footnotes in Prosser on Torts. He tested us with about 25 'fill in the blank' questions where the students had to insert the correct words perfectly. However, the essay portions of his tests were quite a bit tougher. 'A's' were very rare and 'B's' were coveted. Roughly 80% of his classes earned grades of 'D' through 'C.' Oh, and 10% 'F's.'

Professor Rice was and is a devout Catholic, a loving father and family man. He is one of my favorite professors of all time and a man that I admire and respect deeply.

13 posted on 03/23/2002 5:32:19 AM PST by ex-Texan
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To: xzins

Cheryl and Lynn Hersha (The Manchurian Candidates from the book) with Dale Griffis, Ph.D. and Ted Schwarz.

14 posted on 03/23/2002 5:34:33 AM PST by robomatik
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To: xzins
There is a new book coming out in April, so naturally I haven't actually read it yet. But considering the timing and the subject matter, it seems like a good idea to post it here.

The book is called:

"Goodbye Good Men"
How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood
by Michael S. Rose
( ISBN 0-9676371-1-2)

"American Catholics have been left reeling by recent clergy sex scandals, and have wondered how things could have gotten so bad. "Goodbye! Good Men" has the shocking answers. Rose presents evidence that the destruction of Catholicism in America has primarily been an inside job carried out by unchaste gay priests, feminist nuns and theological dissenters in control of the institutional Church - and he names names. Goodbye! Good Men could not have come at a better time for the American Church which is in desperate need of authentic reform. At last, someone has written the blockbuster book orthodox Catholics have been hoping and praying for." -- Rod Dreher National Review

15 posted on 03/23/2002 5:49:23 AM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: xzins
I'm still on "American Caesar". It's a long one.
16 posted on 03/23/2002 6:07:01 AM PST by GuillermoX
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To: Vince Ferrer
Sounds like an insiders' cabal driving the real candidates away. There was a news piece on a seminarian who was driven away by constant sexual harrassment by the males at some American seminary. Came out about a month ago.

Is that the direction this book will take?

17 posted on 03/23/2002 6:40:11 AM PST by xzins
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To: xzins
Author: Bernard Lewis. Title: What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response, Oxford University Press, 2002.

A small book packed with information that will assist those who want to make some sense of the Islamist challenge to the West. Lewis is an expert whose prose runs smoothly and who tells a tale better than most of his contemporaries.

18 posted on 03/23/2002 7:10:31 AM PST by gaspar
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To: gaspar
If you used the 5 point rating scale, what would you give it?
19 posted on 03/23/2002 7:16:18 AM PST by xzins
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To: xzins
Report from Ground Zero ....
by Dennis Smith

..."Dennis Smith began his career as a firefighter in the New York Fire Department.
In 1972, he published his first book, the New York Times bestseller ...Report from Engine Company 82....

He is well known and respected within the NYFD.....and so was given special favor to write this account of 9/11.

The narrative is strightforward and the personal testimony of many who were there that day is breathtaking!

I highly recommend this book.

I give it a 5!

20 posted on 03/23/2002 7:27:35 AM PST by Guenevere
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