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Profile for Dennis A. Porter > Reviews

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Content by Dennis A. Porter
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Reviews Written by
Dennis A. Porter (Framingham, MA United States)

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Reilly: Ace of Spies [Import]
Reilly: Ace of Spies [Import]
2 used & new from CDN$ 68.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, highly entertaining series., Aug. 12 2001
I'm not able to top another review written earlier on this series. I was prompted to read several books about Sidney Reilly after seeing this mini series.
Reilly was a real figure who worked as a sort of free lance agent for the then fledgling British Secret Service. The series follows Reilly from the beginning of his career in the Caucasus after stealing Russian oil exploration information, to his exploits of stealing battleship gun plans from a German shipyard, to his efforts to overthrow the Bolshevik regime in Russia. The story of Reilly is embellished somewhat for entertainment purposes, but, nevertheless, is still fairly accurate historically.
If you like a good yarn about history, and adventure then buy the series. You won't be disappointed.

Flags of Our Fathers
Flags of Our Fathers
by James Bradley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.40
94 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, sad, and heartwarming, June 15 2001
This review is from: Flags of Our Fathers (Hardcover)
I knew the battle for Iwo Jima was horrific in terms of casualties, but I never knew the reasons why the island had to be taken. Bradley's book explains the history of the battle, and how the marines prepared. We learn that the 5th Marine Division was put together at Camp Pendleton, and trained for six months specifically for the battle of Iwo. But what makes Bradley's work so great are the names, faces, and personal histories of these six men who, in 1/400th of a second, became a permanent fixture in the memory of millions of Americans.
History becomes more interesting and relevant when we learn about the people who actually made the history. Bradley, whose father served on Iwo Jima as a Navy Corpsman, never talked of the battle, in part because of modesty, and in part because of of one event in particular that truly disturbed him. So modest, infact, that he never told his family of his being awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on Iwo Jima.
The reader learns about six ordinary boys growing up in geographically diverse parts of the country. Telling the story of each boyhood is so important because it tells us who these men were, and what they were like. The hardships of growing up in the great depression, the childhood pranks, the awkwardness of being around girls, and the pride of being marines. Bradley captures it all.
It's history and story telling. It's anecdotal. Funny at times, and painfully sad. Bradley's work shows us that behind pivotal events, such as the battle of Iwo Jima (aka Sulphur Island), there are ordinary boys who, once you get to know them, are truly extraordinary. Books like this are so important because with the passing of each person who lived through these events goes another chance to learn. Instead of going to see the movie "Pearl Harbor", read this book, then you'll understand why the people of this era are called the greatest generation.

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