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Tommy Lee Johnson (Norco, CA USA)

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Perfectly Legal
Perfectly Legal
by David Johnston
Edition: Hardcover
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The tunnel is VERY dark, but it is a tunnel...., Feb. 26 2004
This review is from: Perfectly Legal (Hardcover)
Like most books about reform Johnston's book starts out and spends 90 percent of its space on what is wrong with the system, citing example after example of shocking, scandalous and angering abuse. Mr. Johnston has what is better described as a liberal outlook rathher than a bias. More conservative Americans should go directly to the chapter entitled "The Stealth Tax" about the Alternative Minimum Tax, responsibility for which Johnston lays directly on thirty years of Democratic "tweaking". They may then be more willing to read about what he has to say in the other chapters of this book. "Perfectly Legal" is VERY readable, but there were still things which I had to go over two or three time before I began to believe I understood what was happening.
For me Mr. Johnston makes three very important points:
1. We get the America that we pay for.
2. We have to decide what we want that America to be. (Our tax system was designed for a national, wage earning tax base, not the global, investment income tax base, we now have.)
3. The tax system in NOT intuitive. (The results we hope for when we cut taxes is not necessarily the result we will get, almost CERTAINLY not in the long run.)
Everyone should read this book. Fiscal conservatives should be patient with Johnston's liberal outlook and read about Bob Goizueta and Jack Welch. Then if you still believe they were fair to the American tAxpayer, ask yourself if they were fair to the shareholders of Coca-Cola and GE.

Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea
Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea
by Robert K. Massie
Edition: Hardcover
41 used & new from CDN$ 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Massie Does It Again, Feb. 24 2004
I read this book because Dreadnought was excellent. I read Dreadnought because Nicholas & Alexandra was excellent. I read Nicholas & Alexandra because Peter the Great was excellent. None of these were historical periods I was particularly interested in, but Massie makes them interesting. He brings these people to life. Now I REALLY understand what Churchill meant when he said "Jellicoe was the only man who could lose the war in an afternoon". And then there is German Chancellor Bethman-Hollweg, not merely a mouthpiece for the German military, but a man who seemed to be the only one in Berlin who understood the consequences of unrestricted submarine warfare. If you have only a casual interest in World War I and you've never hear of either of these men, read this book. One more thing: Castles of Steel stands alone. It's been years since I read Dreadnought. You need not read the latter to enjoy the former, but enjoying the former will probably lead to reading the latter.

Thief of Time
Thief of Time
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 4.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Time Is On My Side, June 22 2001
This review is from: Thief of Time (Hardcover)
Terry is back! Which is particularly amazing since he hasn't been away. Someone, somewhere a long time ago wrote "Terry Pratchett does for fantasy what Douglas Adams did for Science Fiction". On the basis of that description I read the first of these (now) 26 novels and I have NEVER looked back. With a series this large some books will be better than others, but they are all consistantly entertaining. Read them all!
But particularly this one. Having a layman's interest in both Eastern philosophy and quantum mechanics I particularly enjoyed this book. (And only Terry could bring them together so entertainingly) I hope to see the History Monks sprinkled generously through future Discworld volumes.
The past few Discworld tomes have been good, but they have been missing one special Pratchett element. As a longtime Pratchett reader it was an element that I had not see for awhile, but I just assumed I was getting more demanding. This made it doubly special when I found it again in this book. When you read this book you will know it. There will come a moment in reading Thief of Time when you will LAUGH OUT LOUD and that is the true magic of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.

Sharpe's Triumph: The Battle of Assaye, September 1803
Sharpe's Triumph: The Battle of Assaye, September 1803
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.32
90 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Star is Born, June 12 2001
The Sharpe novels may not be great literature, but you know what you're getting and all the new "India" novels maintain the level of quality and entertainment value Sharpe fans have come to expect. Assaye is where the legend that would become Richard Sharpe was born. This book tells the story well, with fewer trumpets and pennants than choking dust and stifling Indian heat.

East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950
East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950
by Roy Edgar Appleman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 28.57
35 used & new from CDN$ 5.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Infantryman's War, June 12 2001
I've read a lot of military history over the years, though I'm definitely not as well-read as some. This book and the others in Appleman's Korean War series really helped me understand small unit operations. They can be dry and a little tough going, but if you give them a chance you may discover a side of battle often overlooked. Making great use of original after action reports as well as interviews and the more common types of sources, Appleman reminds us that (unlike the movies) often ammunition and rations run out and what happens when they do. (Real men have to be sent to get more.) He shows us how and why troops are moved from one nondescript hill to another. (Almost never due to command brilliance.) And better than anyone else he shows us how great battles are built up from squad and platoon actions.
You may lose track of which regiment "L Company" is a part of, but you will come to care what happened to L Company.

Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country
Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country
by Rosalind Miles
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.73
60 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Miles Has Done Better, June 12 2001
In the modern literature of the Arthurian legend the book rehabilitating the adultress High Queen has yet to be written. I very much enjoyed Rosalind Miles' "I, Elizabeth" and had high hopes for this volume. It might work as a juvenile, but everything about it is weak. Not one of the characters captures the imagination of the reader. I didn't hate it, but I did finish it constatntly hoping it would get better. I will not buy the second volume in this series. I might borrow it, but then only in the desperate hope that this effort by Ms. Miles was a fluke.

The Mists of Avalon
The Mists of Avalon
by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.23
128 used & new from CDN$ 2.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Why Should You Read Mists of Avalon?, June 12 2001
This review is from: The Mists of Avalon (Paperback)
As I write this there are almost 500 reviews of this book on, so I'll try to keep it simple. One of the ways to judge a great story is that when it's over, you miss the characters. You may recognize that a book cannot go on forever, but you hate to let it go. That was true for me with this book.
If you are a reader who has come to Mists via Bradley's other Avalon books, (this is the oldest book in the series, but the last in the chronology), the best is still before you.

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