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Rodge (Ontario, Canada)
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Thieves' Road: The Black Hills Betrayal and Custer's Path to Little Bighorn
Thieves' Road: The Black Hills Betrayal and Custer's Path to Little Bighorn
Price: CDN$ 9.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating background of conflicts with Sioux in USA, May 20 2015
Once again, the title of a Terry Mort book might mislead you into thinking you're picking up an action-packed historical adventure (see The Wrath of Cochise). Once again, though, we have a background study which is fascinating in its own way, but hardly has the character of a narrative. The main events of the book are Custer's trips into the Black Hills looking for gold. Not much really happened on these trips, although they incidentally did find gold. What's more significant is the motivation for the trip and of course the consequences for the Sioux of the discovery of gold. Mort covers the angles very well, and I think if you give him time, you'll find this background study well worth the read

Hitler 1889 To 1938 Hubris
Hitler 1889 To 1938 Hubris
by Ian Kershaw
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 12.37

5.0 out of 5 stars A well-balanced, readable and convincing account, May 13 2015
This first volume of Kershaw's Hitler biography is not pleasant reading, but it is certainly readable and enlightening. This first volume takes us from Hitler's birth to his regime's demilitarization of the Rhineland. Kershaw walks a fine line between showing Hitler's importance to the process and also how factors outside of his control enabled him to rise to the top in post WWI Germany. To some extent only Hitler could have done what he did, but it could only have happened in the situation Germany was in at that time. The economy was not working for most people, the governments of the day were inept and the conservative nationalist elites were actively undermining the democracy of the Weimar Republic.

Lots of worthwhile analysis - if you think you know Hitler, this volume will give you some surprises. Of course, if you want to know more, this volume is an excellent place to start

Two Kingdoms, Two Loyalties: Mennonite Pacifism in Modern America
Two Kingdoms, Two Loyalties: Mennonite Pacifism in Modern America
by Perry Bush
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A political and cultural study of Mennonite evolution on non-resistance/pacifism, May 4 2015
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This is a fascinating study of the evolution of Mennonite relationship with the government, particularly in connection with war. Bush carefully maps out the path from the end of WWI to the Mennonite response to Vietnam, showing how Mennonite identity came to coalesce around their identity as a "Peace church" particularly as the more liberal wing jettisoned visible markers of division and as the Mennonites became a less rural people. The book's main weakness is that it is too much a political and social history and does not explore religious motivations very well. The book does not really address Mennonites on their own terms but looks at them as a social and political object of curiousity. This is a significant limitation rather than an undermining fault, however. This book is still tremendously valuable as a political, social and cultural study.

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 16.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Falls short by overdoing the narrative arc, April 29 2015
This book takes Jobs' life and tries to give it a narrative arc. By setting up the "half-genius/half-asshole" framing as a straw man to be knocked down, this book justifies it's narrative structuring. Nonetheless, this book falls short of Isaacson's far-from-perfect biography by trying to answer the big questions about Steve in a way that is over-negative about his early career and overly positive about the return to Apple. In reality Jobs was a contradictory, complex figure, admirable in some ways, less so in others. It is certainly true that Jobs learned important lessons that he applied later on and allowed him to be more successful, but this book stretches that story to the point of fiction. A really good biography of Jobs has yet to be written.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
by Peter F Drucker
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.16
38 used & new from CDN$ 6.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Drucker is a must-read for practical and reflective business types, April 27 2015
This is a practical business book that will please the philosophical and reflective as well. Good book to read if you want to know what all the fuss is about Drucker. He may not be right about everything, and his approach is well-supplemented by a well-researched approach from Jim Collins. For people who want to be effective in business, Drucker remains a must-read

The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.72
54 used & new from CDN$ 2.94

3.0 out of 5 stars This classic flopped for me, April 27 2015
This review is from: The Grapes of Wrath (Paperback)
This classic fell rather flat for me. Perhaps it was the dialogue which seemed more affected than real. The story itself is a rather meandering, atmospheric thing that isn't really headed anywhere. Instead, Steinbeck gives us a fully drawn imaginative picture of the Depression-era south. The same thing could have been accomplished in half the space in my opinion. To be fair, Steinbeck does paint a fairly unique and vivid portrait in these pages, so depending on your tastes you might be ready to take the full journey with him. I wasn't. I've enjoyed other Steinbeck novels, but not this one.

Historical Reliability Of The Gospels, The
Historical Reliability Of The Gospels, The
by Craig L. Blomberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.37
25 used & new from CDN$ 18.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview and explanation of historicity in relation to the Gospels, April 24 2015
This is a one-stop accounting of the reasons that many (not all) scholars rely on the gospels as historical documents. Blomberg will take you through the reasoning and tackle various issues regarding historical Jesus studies and the rest. Pretty much everything Blomberg discusses could be debated at greater length, and there will undoubtedly be readers who leave unconvinced. Nonetheless this is a pretty powerful book that provides a counterweight to a more skeptical, deconstructed view of the gospels as histories

Jonathan Edwards: A Life
Jonathan Edwards: A Life
by George M. Marsden
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from CDN$ 22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful biography, April 23 2015
This biography is masterful in every way. Marsden gives us a full picture of Edwards and his times. He makes the work look effortless, showing us Edwards' strengths and flaws, giving us a rounded picture of the relationships and conflicts in Edwards' life. Where Edwards butts heads with contemporaries, Marsden succeeds in helping us understand and sympathize with both sides, while perhaps being somewhat partial to Edwards in most matters. This is an extremely important work that will immerse you in the era and thought of Jonathan Edwards, helping you understand, as Marsden states his goal, Edwards on his own terms. It is difficult to imagine how this book could be bettered, it's that good.

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer
by Jeffrey Liker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.16
60 used & new from CDN$ 4.70

4.0 out of 5 stars An approving and thorough overview of Toyota philosophy, April 14 2015
This book gives a systematic and approving appraisal of how Toyota has built a successful company over the years. Undoubtedly if you want to gain insight into how Toyota thinks and works, this is a book you need to read. If anything is wrong with this book, it is perhaps a lack of understanding of Toyota's shortcomings. There's nothing in here to show how Toyota might have stumbled or where it might have fallen short next to a Honda, for example. Nonetheless, this book will give you a good framework to understand how a Toyota philosophy might apply to other fields.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
by Chris Hadfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.06
24 used & new from CDN$ 3.08

4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and sometimes inspiring read, April 13 2015
Hadfield's book is engaging, relatable and has enough unique stories to keep you engaged with what might otherwise seem a technical and over-your-head drag. Definitely worth a look. Hadfield has worked hard, is very smart and yet clearly aspires to humility and sharing the credit. Perhaps you'd call him prototypically Canadian but I don't know how many Canadians are actually like this. Definitely a very Canadian role model.

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