Reviews by amy
Bully!
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Part 1 of a trilogy, this wonderfully written biography only covers Roosevelt's life prior to becoming president in his mid 40s, but by the end of it he's already lived a full and remarkable life.
not great
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Well, it's not the best Sherlock Holmes I've seen, though in a better director's and editor's hands it might have come off better than this. Christopher Plummer as Sherlock Holmes and James Mason as Dr. Watson had some potential. The best part is the pea scene, which apparently James Mason came up with himself.
literary retribution
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I fully expected to be outraged by the chronicle of abuses Solomon Northup endured during his captivity, and I was. What I didn't expect was such a compelling narrative and an author whose intelligence and humanity is evident on every page. From his subtle use of detail to build empathy and credibility (and not just for his personal story but for those of all the other slaves he meets), to the fair and nuanced portraits of his various masters, and his refusal to shy away from the brutality and hopelessness he encounters while never resorting to sensationalism or victimization, Northup's achievement is all the more remarkable coming from someone who had every reason (and was surely encouraged by ardent abolitionists) to exact literary retribution by even more dramatic means.
fun history
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Another great addition to author Thomas Cahill's immensely readable "Hinges of History" series chronicling the "gifts" - those key moments, cultural touchstones, philosophical pursuits, and religious quests - handed down from the Jews, the Greeks, the early Christians, medieval monks, and Renaissance artists, that helped to shape western civilization.
imperialism run amok
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A clear-eyed and well-written portrait of four key players in the Middle East amidst the death throes of turn-of-the-century monarchical imperialism during World War I. The romantic figure of T. E. Lawrence is just one of the memorable personalities we meet in this riveting account of the Arab Revolt, the origins of the Jewish state, the quest for oil, and the bitter legacy of autocratic machinations.