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S. M.Silver "Lobo(AW)" (Coatesville, PA USA)
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A Summa of the Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
A Summa of the Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
by Thomas Aquinas
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.75
32 used & new from CDN$ 18.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Embracing the title of "Beginner", March 19 2004
Most books on Thomas Acquinas can be summarized: "He was a great man and I understand him and you never will." Kreeft diverges from academic interpretation, often designed to show off the brilliancy of the academic interpreter, by providing the reader with Acquinas' own words. He carefully provides footnotes designed to clarify language (he makes use of a literal interpretation into English) and issues. It is an effective approach, but not just for "Beginners." Many people familiar with Thomist thought will find clarification in Kreeft's brief notes and even discover, as I did, understandings they thought they had were, to one degree or another, inaccurate. As I went through this book I found that the title of "Beginner" is in many ways a good thing, especially when climbing the heights of Thomas Acquinas and Krefft is an exceptionally good guide for that climb.
Portions of the Summa have been omitted, including Objections unique to Acquinas' time and irrelevant to the modern reader and Part III of the Summa. Frankly, while recognizing the religious focus of Part III might not be immediately useful to all readers, I would have liked to seen at least some of it with Kreeft's footnotes, perhaps as a second volume.

Tigers In The Mud
Tigers In The Mud
by Otto Carius
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.26
46 used & new from CDN$ 14.44

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The blindside of Whermacht writers, March 19 2004
This review is from: Tigers In The Mud (Paperback)
Carius does a good job of conveying the tactical realities of tank warfare from the German side. He is very typical of those surviving Panzer writers, whose writing often resembles that of Civil War generals, particularly Confederate ones: "If only...", when the essential problem was that the initiation of the war in Europe by Germany, coupled by the declaration of war against the United States, meant that Germany was inevitably doomed. Tactical brilliance would eventually be overwhelmed by the massive production capability of the Allies. And even the tactical brilliance arguments wear thin when one realizes that much of the German success lay in the incredible inferiority of the equipment of the Western Allies (see "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper and the tragic example of the Sherman tank). Though Germany faced France with inferior equipment and invaded Russia with nothing on tracks that matched the T34, excellent tactical handling, especially the recognition of the antitank capability of the FLAK 88mm antiaircraft gun, and air supremacy, gave the Germans a temporary edge and time to accelerate the development of new armor, most notably the Panther and the Tiger. However much either tank was "over engineered" and needlessly difficult to maintain, the reality was nothing on the Western Front could stand up to them until the arrival of the M26 Pershing. Even so, they could not have won, something Carius finds difficult to truly comprehend. He disparages enemy soldiers, especially Americans, while failing to recognize that these amateurs at war, armed with often inferior equipment, nonetheless kept coming at him and Germany until by sheer weight of blood, steel, and ferocity, they destroyed the nation that twice in the 20th Century plunged Europe into war and visited a level of depravity upon the helpless not matched until Cambodia and Bosnia.

Sink the Bismarck
Sink the Bismarck
DVD ~ Kenneth More
Price: CDN$ 6.99
32 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The story and acting carry you, March 4 2004
This review is from: Sink the Bismarck (DVD)
In this era of elaborate SFX, a 1960 B&W movie of the war at sea might be expected to come up poorly. But the superbly crafted story and steady acting carry you along. While history has been modified here and there, the main points are solidly grounded (reality is almost always more compelling than fantasy: compare the struggle for Tarawa with Helm's Deep). Even though all but the brain dead know what the outcome will be, the level of tension achieved during the hunt for Bismark is remarkable. Viewing this film ought to be compulsory for all directors - story and acting are far more important than SFX.

Clint Eastwood Collection: Where Eagles Dare (1969)
Clint Eastwood Collection: Where Eagles Dare (1969)
DVD ~ Richard Burton
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 37.17
14 used & new from CDN$ 6.84

3.0 out of 5 stars Not Burton's or Eastwood's Best, March 4 2004
While many may find it easy to embrace the lack of realism and other problems with this movie, some will find it jarring. Eastwood must have been carrying his own body weight in small arms ammunition to lay down the volume of fire he produces. Unlike "The Guns of Navarone," the only Alistair MacClean movie worth watching, there is little tension and the twisting plot seems more time consuming than interesting. Both of the lead actors did much better in other WWII movies (e.g., Eastwood's Kelly in "Kelly's Heroes" gives us a far more interesting character; Burton's burned-out RAF pilot in the longest day is far more watchable than his spy in "Eagles"). Given all the movies before and since whose primary dialogue has been automatic weapons fire, I'm afraid there is little to recommend in this movie to raise it above the rest. The scenery is pretty, the action sequences are well managed, and aircraft watchers will love seeing the old airplane (Junkers 52). But for the rest... Get a copy of "The Guns of Navarone" for a good WWII adventure movie.

Gettysburg
Gettysburg
DVD ~ Tom Berenger
Price: CDN$ 9.93
42 used & new from CDN$ 2.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Berenger's and Daniels' best, March 4 2004
This review is from: Gettysburg (DVD)
Tom Berenger's Confederate General Longstreet is a superb portrayal, his best work since the near-psychotic sergeant in the otherwise forgettable "Platoon" and not equaled since. It leads the list of excellent portrayals, including Chamberlain by Jeff Daniels, his best work ever (his speech to his unit was done with Civil War recreators from Maine and powerfully affected them and him). Martin Sheen is the wrong actor to do R. E. Lee but this unconvincing portrayal is not a fatal flaw. The acting, even where license is taken with the historical truth, does accurately reflect the people involved in the struggle. While a must-see for Civil War students, anyone interested in history will appreciate this film. The advantage of the DVD is, of course, the lack of interruptions so the viewer gets a better sense of the flow of things.

The Blue Max
The Blue Max
DVD ~ George Peppard
Price: CDN$ 6.99
36 used & new from CDN$ 6.62

5.0 out of 5 stars A flying fan's movie, March 4 2004
This review is from: The Blue Max (DVD)
If you are a fan of flying or WWI aircraft, this movie is worth the price. The planes steal the show, though, as others have noted, the transfer was made from an apparently scratched film, which is a little surprising. Nonetheless, all the detail is there with an attention that even grognards will appreciate. Peppard does the best acting of his career, imho, and his performance will be an eye opener to all those who only remember him from such lame work as "The A-Team." But the aircraft are what the movie is about. The dogfight sequences are meticulously arranged. Those viewers with experience in ACM will be able to follow what is happening and what the pilots are trying to do with only a few instances leaving you with "How'd he do THAT?!??"

The Wind and the Lion [Import]
The Wind and the Lion [Import]
DVD ~ Sean Connery
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 6.96
28 used & new from CDN$ 6.96

5.0 out of 5 stars It works on two levels, March 4 2004
The struggle of Americans to come to grips with their power and position (they do not wish to be the world's cop but they find it hard to stand aside, they want to be liked but they want to do the right thing which will leave them hated) is the underlying theme of this very well done, swashbuckled movie. And yet you can put all that aside and watch it as an adventure where even the identified "bad guys" (ultimately, the Germans) show gallantry. On that level it is ideal for 12-year old boys, as the last scene between Raisuli and the small boy demonstrate. If you wish to take it deeper, then, like most movies, it will be a Rorschach into which you will project all your political ideology.
For myself, the scene with the Marine captain and the corrupt ruler struck a chord that is echoing across the world: (paraphrase from memory) "Captain, you are mad and your President Roosevelt is insane." "Yes, sir!"

Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering
Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering
by Robert L. Shaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 45.00
27 used & new from CDN$ 9.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A professional's book, Nov. 10 2003
As someone with some experience in the real world of fighter aviation (316 combat missions, F4 Phantom II RIO), Shaw's book is one of the best single-source volumes on the complexity of modern aircraft combat maneuvering. It is not light reading, but fighter aviation is deadly serious - high speed, three dimensional chess where the loss of the game is a very ugly death.
His approach is to begin with the basics (flight sim players might find it useful to consider his chapters "lesson plans" for practicing) and gradually take the reader into greater depth. Readers may find it useful to re-read some chapters - the text is fairly tight and there is much of value in here that might get overlooked.
While individual aircraft systems and weapons vary, the basic principles of aerial killing have not changed since WWI: see before being seen, kill before the enemy realizes he is dead, protect your wingman, and come home alive. Shaw shows you how it is done.
I recommend this book to current fighter aircrew - it is a great supplement to fighter weapons training manuals and courses that sometimes emphasize particular aircraft capabilities while being a bit light on fundamentals.

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