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Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II--Updated Through 2003
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II--Updated Through 2003
by William Blum
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 49.27

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitive, June 24 2004
This has got to be the definitive book on US foreign policy since WWII. Blum goes through how the CIA has been involved in drug trafficking, producing pornography, providing handbooks, materials & encouragement for torture, how the military did chemical & biological tests on the general public, etc. It's all written in a ridiculous amount of detail, mainly citing sources that use internal government documents, or the writings of people in the 3rd world who got bombed nonstop. & yes, at times the author uses sarcasm & black humor, which greatly helps with readability, since the reading could easily become very heavy without it.
(...)

Deschooling Society
Deschooling Society
by Ivan Illich
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 6.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Not necessary, but should still be a 'valid' way to learn, May 28 2004
This review is from: Deschooling Society (Paperback)
I don't totally agree that we should get rid of schools completely, but what Illich recommends should be a 'valid' way to learn. That is, we should be able to do what is now technologically feasible, which is to have networks of people with common interests who can communicate with each other (through mail, email, etc) and decide when/where they will meet to discuss something. An example he gives is a guitar teacher posting their contact information & availability somewhere, and someone interested in learning to play the guitar contacting them. Simple as that, and it would be a similar situation with anything. I think something like that could happen in a school environment, which is where I don't really agree with Illich, but the system would have to be changed radically for it to be possible. I don't think it would matter whether schools 'stay' in society but with a totally different system where students are encouraged to question everything & do what they're comfortable with, or done away with altogether though. Such an education situation wouldn't last long in a society based on authoritarian hierarchic institutions.

The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education
The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education
by Eric Margolis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 44.92
12 used & new from CDN$ 27.95

5.0 out of 5 stars hiding in full view, May 27 2004
I agree with the previous reviewer in that this book is very well-written and readable to a non-sociologist like me. There are articles on pretty much everything there is in university like the actual buildings on campus, along with how the classrooms and desks/tables are organised, how racism and sexism are perpetuated in society because of how schools are tacitly non-inclusive, to actual indoctrination and 'obedience training' in law and business schools. I go to a public university in Canada, and while I don't think the hidden curriculum is as obvious or extreme here as these American sociologists say since they only looked at American schools, the situation would probably be roughly the same across the Western world. This book breaks new ground in that hidden curriculum hadn't been studied in-depth before; it has only been highschools and elementary schools that have been studied before. It was good to have some of my suspicions confirmed by others by reading this book. I think it's good that it's acceptable to talk about this sort of thing openly, society has progressed far enough that we can do that I guess.

Counterexamples in Topology
Counterexamples in Topology
by Lynn Arthur Steen
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.78
20 used & new from CDN$ 7.83

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a veritable mine of information...., May 27 2004
To paraphrase Chandrasekhar's review of Watson's Bessel functions text, this is "a veritable mine of information... indispensable to those who have occasion to use point-set topology." I don't think this book is intended to be a text (& I think the authors say so), in which case it would be terrible because it doesn't explain the concepts very much. It's mostly a catalogue of every kind of set you can come up with, every kind of topology you can put on it, and what properties it has such as what T_i axioms the space satisfies, whether it's compact, para compact, etc etc. Most of the time such things are proven, but be prepared to think hard sometimes about the proofs or fill in details. I'm the kind of student where I have trouble understanding things which are highly 'counter-intuitive' so I had trouble proving things, even when I knew definitions, when I did topology for the first time last term. Once I saw this book though I got used to all the weird things in topology (like the ordered square, R in the lower-limit topology, Sorgenfrey plane, etc etc). This book is incredibly useful as a reference.

The Vanishing Country: Is It Too Late to Save Canada?
The Vanishing Country: Is It Too Late to Save Canada?
by Mel Hurtig
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from CDN$ 3.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes me more mad every time I read it, May 1 2004
Mel starts by telling the reader how good we have it in Canada, with all the space we have compared with Europe or Asia, and how lucky he felt to grow up here after immigrating from Eastern Europe. He then goes on to tell us how, since the Mulroney government abolished the Foreign Investment Review Agency in 1985, approximately 13000 Canadian businesses have been taken over, mostly by Americans. He also says why this is bad due to transfer pricing & other things. Then he goes on to say why it would be a bad thing to continue the "Americanisation" of Canada and gives us some differences between Canada & the United States, including why Canada is better in many ways than the United States. Near the end, he lists many alternatives to the current situation, including 4 things which MUST happen for Canada to survive in any meaningful way. Is it too late to save Canada? I think it's a question of political will. Canada isn't Haiti; it has more to do with will than opportunity.

A First Course on Complex Functions
A First Course on Complex Functions
by G. Jameson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 88.14
14 used & new from CDN$ 14.10

2.0 out of 5 stars hey I know why this book is out of print!, April 30 2004
This book doesn't have very many examples and is excessively terse. It doesn't have many routine problems either; they're either hard or very hard, and no hints are included for any of them. I didn't think this book was very helpful at all. I used Jerrold Marsden's book as a reference & it was more helpful. The complex variables book by Brown/Churchill doesn't cover any of the topological concepts, but it's a good reference also.

Abstract Algebra
Abstract Algebra
by I. N. Herstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 113.90
33 used & new from CDN$ 49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars baby Herstein!, April 30 2004
This review is from: Abstract Algebra (Paperback)
I had this text for an intermediate course (after the 1st one) on abstract algebra including groups, rings, fields and homomorphisms, quotient structures, etc right up to where Galois Theory would start, and it was good for that. I wouldn't say that this book is good for someone who has never seen algebra before because the easy problems are still kind of hard compared with other books. If you've seen a bit of algebra before though this book would be really good. It's got tons of problems at the end of almost every section also.

Linear Algebra Done Right
Linear Algebra Done Right
by Sheldon Axler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 39.78
39 used & new from CDN$ 31.38

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, April 30 2004
I had this for an intermediate course on linear algebra (after the 1st course on abstract algebra) & I thought it was good for the level I was at. There's just enough stuff in this book to fill up a 1-term course, but no more so you'll have to get another book to find more applications, or other stuff to look at. The texts by Hoffman/Kunze or Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces by Halmos are good references. As for this Axler book, I like how it's written in a relatively informal style, including comments in the margins by the author. I also like how he emphasizes the concepts of vector spaces, inner product spaces, etc rather than matrices (although they do appear but they're not emphasized) while determinants are done last. This is the only book I know of that does it this way & I think I liked it better like that.

Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach (Second Edition)
Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach (Second Edition)
by Morris Kline
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.73
30 used & new from CDN$ 24.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kline rocks!, April 19 2004
I totally agree with Kline in that calculus, at the beginning anyway, should be taught in an intuitive way, since 1st-years aren't used to mathematical rigour. There is plenty of time to get used to the more abstract, rigourous approach to doing calculus/analysis.

Calculus
Calculus
by Michael Spivak
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 93.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, April 19 2004
This review is from: Calculus (Hardcover)
I picked this up (among other books) to use as a source for some notes for a tutoring job. I think the way this book is written is fairly conversational, which would help a 1st-year student in any subject (science, math, engineering). Since I usually talk to other 4th-year students, this helps me relate to math novices. Some of the problems are kind of hard though, and there aren't a lot of routine ones that can be used to get the hang of it. Another good one is Morris Kline's.

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