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Powers That Be Library Binding – Oct 1999


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Product Details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Bt Bound (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078572852X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785728528
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A frontier society outwits a big, uncaring parent company in this appealing joint venture by McCaffrey ( Damia's Children ) and Scarborough ( The Healer's War ), the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning representatives of two generations of science fiction writers. Major Yanaba Maddock, medically retired with severely damaged lungs after military action aboard a space station, is pressured into acting as a spy by her employer, the sinister Intergal corporation. Colonel Giancarlo, local head of psychological operations, seeks evidence that colonists on the bitterly cold and inhospitable planet Petaybee are abducting company geological survey teams, engaging in illegal genetic engineering and plotting rebellion. Yana finds the locals charming, helpful and uncannily effective as healers; their home remedies salvage her ruined lungs. As the company and its forces move in to quell what they perceive as rebellion, Yana casts her lot with the Petaybeans and geneticist Sean Shongili, the man she has come to love. Perceptive characterizations and a vivid depiction of a nurturing culture integrated with nature make up for the somewhat hackneyed plot.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-A well-written, entertaining novel. Ex-soldier Major Yanaba Maddock has retired to the "company" planet of Petaybee due to major lung damage from poison gas. Strange things are going on there. Survey teams are disappearing, and the locals are acting suspiciously. As it turns out, the planet is alive and the natives have formed a beneficial symbiotic relationship with it, and it is threatened by the exploitive company that is mining precious gems. While not a completely original idea, the story will be enjoyed by McCaffrey and Scarborough fans alike.
John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
Stifling in the crowded processing center of Petaybee's spaceport, Yanaba Maddock eyed the side door as a drowner would eye a drifting spar. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
For an avid news reader in Israel, such as I am, journalism in the United States always seemed like a role model, something the local press should aspire to. From the Pentagon Papers to Watergate, we've always been told the courage of the US media is something to imitate.
This book put me in some proper perspective. Halberstam's wonderful inside information, ranging from political pressure put on newspapers and the networks to squabbles among the press people themselves, avidly shows how limited American journalism was then, and by induction, how limited it probably is now. It mentions stories that were dropped not because they were not good or verified, but merely because some powerful figure in Washington, or worse yet a sponsor, chose to intervene. What to naive people might seem a scandal is shown here to be standard practice.
I heartily recommend this book. It's length (over a 1000 pages) can be intimidating at first, but not after you start reading - this is probably the most readable work I've come across, packed with information and yet never dull. While the scope of the book is limited (it was published in the 70s and does not go beyond Watergate), it is truly enlightening and mind-expanding, a must for anyone wishing to understand the media.
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Format: Paperback
I read and loved this book for the stories and details it gives on the American press over the period of its glory, to about 1980. At that time, in the wake of My Lai, Watergate, and the Pentagon Papers, the press had revealed to Americans how much we really resembled other powerful countries and the depths to which some of our politicians fell. Halberstam makes the people who contributed to this collective glory come alive, from Kay Graham at the Washington Post and Buff at the Los Angeles Times to Seymour Hersh and William S. Paley, founder of CBS. He tells the stories with his ususal high and humanistic style, in an unmistakable moral tone (at one point he laments that the Munsters were created in place of a news program). He also reviews the presidency and politics from about Eisenhower to Nixon in fascinating detail, with plenty of editorialising, such as Nixon's snubs of his original patrons at the LA Times.
It is truly great reading, but in the end there is a bit too much of it. In retrospect, it also appears dated, and perhaps places a bit too much faith in the press. For those life myself who increasingly feel that the press is ridiculously focused on personal foibles instead of issues and failed to do its duty during the Clinton scandals - preferring to keep a trivial story alive rather than point out that it has all, like, happened before - they will find little support and that Halberstam had any inkling of when things might go to far.
Nonetheless, no one has done a better job at telling the story of the press, in print and TV, than Halberstam. He also succeeds in putting a great deal of issues in proper perspective, such as the rich careers of Walter Lippman, Teddy White, and Walter Cronkite.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Albeit, I'm biased--a long time Anne McCaffrey fan, and I've corresponded a few times with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. But for all I'm loyal to Pern, Pern has *nothing* on this one.
Petaybee is a world without equal--both in climate, its own special 'personality', and in the characterization of its people. From charming Sean Shongili to helpful Bunny to the single-minded determination of Torkel, each character is different and unique. And no super-heroes either--even Yanaba makes mistakes.
Of course, there are minor problems. The affectionately dubbed 'Anne-science' shows up in this book, too... but only skeptics can allow that to interfere with the story. Personally, I don't care just how they managed to make humans able to tolerate that climate... what matters to the story is that they *did*.
The characters aren't limited to humans, either. Although only in bit parts, cats, dogs, and a breed of long-haired horses called 'curlies' play important roles, making this book good for any animal-lover. But those are all *common* animals... want something more exotic? How about seals? And if that's not enough, check out the unicorn on the cover.
All in all, Powers That Be falls in its own category of science fiction. The science is dubious, but the fiction more than makes up for it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read most of the books that Halberstam has written, and while I've liked them all, I think this is his best. In typical Halberstam form, the book is an interwoven parallel development of a number of stories. Halberstam tracks the development of four cornerstones of modern media: The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and CBS. He presents the media not only as watchdog, but also powerbroker. Examples include the role of the Times and Chandler family in sponsoring Richard Nixon and bringing him to national prominence and the impact Henry Luce had through Time magazine in determining American opinion of and foreign policy towards Asia in the 30's through the early 60's.

For anyone who is interested in 20th centery history, political science, or the role of the media in political power, this is a must read.
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