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Book reviews for "Bracewell-Milnes,_John_Barry" sorted by average review score:

The Essential Conan, Volume #1 (Conan the Barbarian #1-25)
Published in Paperback by Marvel Books (July, 2000)
Authors: Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, and Stan Lee
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A fun look at the Hyborian age's greatest hero
The essential Conan is a collection of the first 25 issues of the Conan the Barbarian comics released by Marvel back in the early seventies. Although this book is in black and white, a format which seems to have gone out of style, this book often manages to capture the spirit of the original Conan stories. The plots aren't usually too dumb, and as the book advances the comics go from a bunch of individual stories to big story-arcs, making it more readable and giving it more of a sense of continuity.

While this book doesn't always stick to the Conan stories continuity-wise, for the most part it fits in, filling little gaps in between those stories. Also, several of howard's better stories are adapted to comic format here; Tower of the Elephant, Frost Giant's Daughter, and Rogues in the House to name a few. We get the first comics' appearance of Red Sonja as well.

Overall, this is a fun, quick read, and although it's only in B&W, for the sheer amount of materiel included herein it's definitely worth the cover price.

The development of Barry Windsor-Smith as an Illustrator
I remember when Barry Smith drew his first comic for Marvel Comics. It was an issue of the X-Men that we all thought was THE WORST DRAWN COMIC BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. It turned out that Smith, newly arrived from England, drew the issue on park benches in NYC. When the first issue of Conan the Barbarian arrived it was clear he was not that bad. By the time his run as artist on "Conan" ended it was even more clear he was something special and the fact that the illustrative style that had evolved in those two-year span was not feasible within the demands of producing monthly issues of a comic book was a depressing irony.

Barry Windsor-Smith has long been my favorite "comic book artist," and this collection traces his evolution as such quite admirably. Indeed, not other collection could better serve that purpose. A simple comparison of the covers from Conan #1 and Smith's swansong issue #24 ("The Song of Red Sonja") evidences the transformation from artist to illustrator. For that matter you can also consider Smith intermediary style (e.g., #13 "Web of the Spider-God"). This transformation is as impressive because of how quickly in took place while he was drawing Conan as it is for the artistic growth. But even in his work today you can see how it is grounded in the style he developed while working on this comic.

These reprinted stories are presented in black and white, which is certainly better than nothing, but I look forward to Smith's work being presented in color as it originally appeared. I notice this most particularly in the Epilogue to Conan #20, "The Black Hound of Vengeance," which was originally presented in muted tones of gray, blue and brown. Smith abandoned panels in an interesting change of pace that underscored the emotional impact of the sequence. Without color that impact is most decidedly lost. One of the things that is still discernable is the increase in the number of panels per page from issue to issue through Smith's tenure as he became more comfortable with using art rather than dialogue to advance parts of the story. The best example of this is the hanging sequence on page 14 of Conan #10.

From a writing stand point it should be noted that there is a nice balance between stories adapted from Robert E. Howard's Conan work and original stories by Roy Thomas. For the former "The Tower of the Elephant" (#4) is usually considered the high point. The appearance of Michael Moorcock's Elric in issues #14-15 seems a bit forced, while the Fafnir character (original a quick tribute to Fritz Leiber's famous pair of thieves) becomes a wonderfully integrated character into an ongoing story line.

Of the 25 issues included in this collection not all are drawn by Smith. Several issues are drawn by Gil Kane because Smith had missed a deadline or took a hiatus from working on Conan. Thomas' ability as a storyteller capable of crafting bigger and longer storylines would continue to grow, and while John Buscema's artwork on Conan was quite excellent (especially when inked by Ernie Chan), Barry Smith's work will always stand on a plateau. Jim Steranko cracked open the door on stylized illustration in color comics, but Barry Smith was the one who gets credit for busting all the way through.

From Revenue Sharing to Deficit Sharing: General Revenue Sharing and Cities (American Governance and Public Policy)
Published in Hardcover by Georgetown University Press (November, 1998)
Authors: Bruce A. Wallin, Barry Rabe, and John Tierney
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Excellent reading
This book is a solid choice for anyone who wants to know more about revenue sharing. It's a book that can be read with pleasure by both novices and political scientists.

Winner Best Book on Urban Politics
This book has been award the American Political Science Association's award for Best Book on Urban Politics.

I'm Surrounded by Methodists: Diary of John H.W. Stuckenberg Chaplain of the 145th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
Published in Paperback by Thomas Publications (September, 1995)
Authors: David T. Hedrick and Gordon Barry, Jr. Davis
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Personal experiences of the Civil War
"I'm Surrounded by Methodists..." is based upon the diary of Chaplain John Stuckenburg of the 145th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Gives a first-hand account of his experiences of the Civil War as he marched with the troops through each battle. Book also serves as the only regimental history ever written of the 145th, since no official records were ever composed.

Did I love this book?
I screamed loud enough to be heard to the next county, jumped up and down, and alarmed my entire neighborhood! And that was BEFORE I read the book! Okay, I read one, two names on one page. This is the diary of Rev. Stuckenberg who was chaplain of the 145th PA Volunteer Infantry 1862-1863. It includes a copy of the pastor's list of the members of the Regimental Church, hand signed by 58 men. That's the reason a family historian of mature age would run 'round her house with abandon: for there in their own hand writing were two ancestors who had served with the 145th! The book , coupled with their military files, brought this period of the War of the Rebellion into sharp, detailed, focus. That alone would be enough to warrant its reading, however, I received an added bonus. Rev. Stuckenberg was Lutheran, as am I, and it's impossible not to finish this book without being spiritually moved by his observations, reflections, and foremostly, his love for the men to whom he ministered. His essay in appendix 1 and prayer in appendix 2 are extremely profound. If you are an ancestor of one of the men of the 145th, or even a general Civil War enthusiast, I highly recommend this book. Few scholars have studied Rev. Stuckenberg. After spending time with this man's words, I was left wondering at such a loss.
I intend next to read a biography of him.

Carp on the Fly: A Flyfishing Guide
Published in Paperback by Johnson Books (November, 1997)
Authors: Barry Reynolds, Brad Befus, John Berryman, and Dave Whitlock
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Not 'The Dream Songs', but still worthwhile
I was a little confused by what Berryman was trying to do in this book. Like "Love and Fame," "Carp on the Fly" shows a different Berryman from the one we meet in "The Dream Songs." Here the emphasis seems to be on man's relationship with nature, both outer and inner, and the predatory nature of our connections with that larger world. The use of fish imagery also, perhaps, suggests the pre-birth, womb-nestled state which haunts Berryman's work and, I imagine, haunted his life as well -- in the anti-poetic society in which he lived, he was truly a fish out of water. Berryman's complicated attitude toward Christianity is reflected in the image of the fisherman, whose bright hooks draw fish upwards toward the surface, where they meet a kind of death that is also a transcendence, a shudder of pure, mortal joy.

You're Fishing For WHAT?
I can finally come out of the closet! Yes, I fish for Carp. Initially with bait but now with a fly rod. This book is a super introduction to the freshwater Bonefish. Carpfishing on the Fly has all you need to get started. Whether it's tackle, tactics or fly patterns you're looking for it's in this book. Of course, there is a great section on why to fish for carp as well as sections on the life cycle and biology of the Golden Salmon. Chances are good you'll find carp near where you live. Grab this book and your fly rod and head for the water.

The best book I ever saw
This book is great for any carp angler even if you don't fly fish. It talks about in debth the behavore of a feeding and non feeding carp. I give it 15 thumbs up

Published in Hardcover by McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books (01 September, 2000)
Authors: William H. Rentschler and John S. McCain
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Still a Goldwater Fan
Dispite my mild dissappointment with the author, I enjoyed gaining greater insight into my political hero. While I do not consider myself qualified to critique anyone's writing ability, the author too frequently repeats certain otherwise interesting Goldwater quotes. Unfortunately, this impression will compete with my overall favorable feeling.

Encomium to Political Giant
I happened to read this encomium to the late Senator Goldwater in the midst of the Presidential election imbroglio. Senator Goldwater's dignity, candor, courage and conviction stand in stark contrast with the crass self-interest of many of today's leaders, and their policy-by-poll approach to governance.

Barry Goldwater is one of the most misunderstood leaders of his generation . . . his consistently literal interpretation of the Constitution and unwavering fealty to the Rule of Law caricatured by a press with a penchant for oversimplification, and a viciously cut-throat LBJ political machine (aided by the Rockefeller wing of the GOP). It was only in the twilight of his life that this political giant was accorded the respect he deserves.

Insightful, provocative book on Barry Goldwater
This book is gives an in-depth view into the life of Barry Goldwater, one of the founders of conservatism in America. What an interesting look at his life and accomplishments. Wonderfully written!

French in Action: A Beginning Course in Language and Culture: The Capretz Method/Study Guide, Part 1
Published in Paperback by Yale Univ Pr (June, 1994)
Authors: Barry Lydgate, Sylvie Mathe, Norman Susskind, John Westlie, Pierre J. Capretz, Beatrice Abetti, and Marie-Odile Germain
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A must get for serious French Learners
This along with the video cassettes are an absolutely invaluable resource for anyone serious about learning French. It is total immersion without having to go to France, and crafted in a way that is not intimidating. It is a very endearing little story about two attractive young people in Paris, and is capable of enthralling even the beginner into the story in such a way that One cannot take this course without wanting to go through it all the way to the very end (Its actually sad when it ends) not becuase of a tragedy but because of the bonding with the characters that is established throughout their fun-filled odyssey through Paris. The result, an absolutely revolutionary concept of learning the language that has not been matched since its inception!

Best Conversational French method
This is an amaizing course in how to communicate in French. Communication is not only the words in the sentance but how they are constructed and the subjects that evoke a response. The course is fun, albeit corny but amusing, story of an American boy in Paris who falls for a French girl. Through their adventures one is introduced not only to the language but to the subjects dear to the French heart. I have heard some of the conversations almost verbatum between French people during my 6 years in France. I still listen to the tapes from time to time to memorise sentences that work at engaging french people. Any of the conversations on food are a winner along with things like 'la belle pierre de France'. Its amaizing what cords these subjects and the way they are presented in the course ring a chord with the French. The people who put this course together understood the differences between the American perspective and the French perspective and were able to emphasize or play with these differences to point them out in the course. I wouldn't consider buying any other method until I had this one.

Best French course
I have tried several self teaching french course books, audio tapes, etc. None of them comes close to French in Action. My french language skills have jumped several levels after I started studying this course. After having finished about half of this course, I was able to get by quite well in French during a recent trip to France. This course teaches you French and France, its culture and its people like no other.

Although all the video tapes, audio tapes, workbooks seems like a very expensive deal, there are ways to do this cheaply. The video section is broadcast year round on PBS stations, (local as well as sattelite on PBS-U). You can tape them. They are also available in community college libraries. I skipped the audio tapes since most of the excercises in the workbooks can be done without audio tapes and furthermore if you watch each video several times you have already understood the conversation. Then all that is needed is the textbook and the two workbooks. It can take a long time to complete the 52 lessons, but language learning is a long process. French in Action does make it very enjoyable.

I don't think this is a beginner level course, though. Its probably useful to do some other basic course for a couple of months before starting on this one.

A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America
Published in Paperback by Gallaudet Univ Pr (January, 2002)
Authors: John Vickrey Van Cleve, Barry A. Crouch, and John Vickrey Van Cleve
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All this talk of disease...
For everyone who is interested in this book, let it first be said that I think many people interested and involved in the deaf community would find it appaling that deafness is being treated as a "sin" or and "error" in humans. While not all people may agree with me on this point, I think it is very important to watch your comments when referring to these books. While Van Cleve uses historical analysis in his work, it fails to account for any positive deaf cultured view of the situation. Those involved in this culture will tell you that deafness is not a disease or a problem, but part of a human being, and Van Cleve fails to recognize this point, and therefore fails in any attempt to empower the Deaf Community. Whether or not this was his attempt is not as important. We all must be aware of the fact that some people are happy how they are. They dont want their deafness "treated" or "cured" becuase it can't be - it is as much a part of them as your eye color.

Excellent book on the cultural/social history of the deaf
For a long time I have been searching for such book like this! It is excellent resources for the people, who are interested to learn American Sign Language, to become aware of richly deaf cultural/social history. The authors know where to find such wealthy of information, yet their writings are brevity along with several examples of where the deaf people have been interacted in order to preserve their cultural-linguistic connections. I highly recommended this book to the education and medical personnel to see how the deaf people are evidently happy with their livings without being heavily corrected on their hearing loss.

First-rate work!
A Place of Their Own is quite a good book, really, and the authors are qualified to write on their subject matter. In regards to other reviews of this book: Sorry, but the ones accusing God of schizophrenia are not the authors, but trinitarian Christians. After all, it is trinitarian Christianity which insists that God has three distinct personalities. One of them died and was resurrected by the other. One of them prays to the other and begs the other to be saved. One of them sends another to people, one walks around on earth while the other stays in heaven. The third, I suppose, just kind of flies around being misty and mysterious. Then of course, they will insist that they really don't worship three gods, but one. They further insult the mercy of God by implying that he sent someone else (his son/his self) to die for our sins, and as long as we accept that we are saved. Tell me, why would god require a blood sacrifice as the price of salvation? We can't just repent to God and be forgiven? Someone else has to die for something I did? And let's not even get into the fact that all of humanity is supposed to be stained for something done by someone else eons ago, ...or that accepting that someone else has already paid for my sins means PARTY TIME! I can do whatever I want. A Place of Their Own is a highly readable, accessible work that presents its topic in a clear format. It isn't too long and is a good introduction to the topic. VanCleve and Crouch did a great job.

The Amazing Spider-Man: The Wedding
Published in Paperback by Marvel Books (January, 1992)
Authors: David Michelinie, Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, Gary Freidrich, Barry Dutter, Alex Saviuk, and John, Sr. Romita
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I hope we see this in the Spider-Man Movie.
In 1987, Stan Lee, David Michelinie, and a team of writers and artists finally did a series of stories where Peter Parker married Mary Jane Watson, both in the regular comic book series, the newspaper Spidey comic strip, and a live event at Shea Stadium with the New York Mets. featureing artwork by John Romita, this is a funny/romantic story and has been generally regarded as one of the most important Spider-Man stories ever published. I hope film maker Sam Raimi recreates this event on film with the Spider-Man movie or in one of the sequals.

Counter-Dependency: The Flight from Intimacy
Published in Paperback by CICRCL Press (September, 1992)
Authors: Janae B. Weinhold, Barry K. Weinhold, and John Bradshaw
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This Seems So Logical
I'm about half-way through this book, and I can't put it down. I found it on the bookshelf of a friend who barely remembered having purchased it and who had never read it.

I had never before heard of the concept of counter-dependency, but I intuitively knew of its existence. While the copy I'm reading is plagued with editing mishaps, the authors have grabbed my attention with their colloquially informational style that presents not only a logical case for their theories but also a guide for continued personal growth.

This chance discovery comes at a time when I'm beginning to try my under-developed, 34-year-old relationship wings, and while I'm still afraid to "let go" as much as the book encourages, I'm excited to continue my journey of personal discovery with this book as my guide for the next leg of the trip.

What If: The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been
Published in Audio Cassette by S&S audio (August, 1900)
Authors: Robert Cowley, William H. McNeil, Victor Davis Hanson, Josiah Ober, Lewis H. Lapham, Barry S. Strauss, Cecelia Holland, Theodore K. Rabb, Ross Hassig, and Murphy Guyer
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I started reading this book with great expectations of an intellectual stroll through history. On the whole, the essays contained in this book were disappointing, although (as one should expect) there is an uneven quality of entries.

First off, the reader should be aware that the book does not, in general, provide "alternative history;" instead, it is a compilation of important moments in world history (with weight on US history). Perhaps it should have been called (as is another, regrettably unread, book on my shelf) "Turning Points in World History." Some of the essays are excellent - inspired and thought-provoking (e.g., the first essay by W McNeill on ancient Jerusalem). Others are silly - the first such, by Lapham on Teutoburg, induced me to do a web search to discover his credentials (he hadn't appeared to have given it much thought). Some were infuriating (why did I waste my time?): for example, McPherson's essay on the "Lost Orders" in the Antietam campaign (OK, here comes the rant). Sure, this was a random, low-probability event that had a major effect on the war, and could easily had turned out otherwise. But McPherson (a highly regarded historian) goes on to speculate that, absent the discovery of the orders, the 1862 campaign would have been similar to the 1863 MD-PA campaign, with the Confederates moving north as far as Harrisburg and the Susquehanna, then concentrating (from the north and west) at Gettysburg; while the Union army, shielding Washington, moved up from the southeast (OK...). But then he supposes that the armies somehow switch positions, with the Union army attacking the Confederates from the north and west at Gettysburg!?!

Well, I know it's just for fun, but I'd like to see the authors put a little bit more into it. As it is, I can recommend this book for its entertainment value, and occasional nice essay. But, most of the time, you could probably do better yourself.

Enjoyable Yet Uneven Speculation
Who hasn't wondered about a decision not taken or the string of uninterrupted causation that is required for any single person to exist? Think about your own life: the chain of events which resulted in your parents meeting; how you ended up in your current job; the college you attended; you never attended college; or how you met your current significant other. We are all shaped by historical choices, both ones made by ourselves, and those made on a scale that can alter history.

"What If?" gathers some of the world's foremost military historians to offer hypothetical counterfactuals, including: What If Alexander the Great had died in battle at the age of 21, before he had built an empire? What if the American Revolution had resulted in disaster? What if certain key battles in the American Civil War had changed? This is fun reading as it is always interesting to consider alternative paths not taken or paths unavailable by happenstance.

This book contains a number of excellent examples of counterfactual speculation, with only a few medicore essays. The authors examine how individual actions can have an impact as can the whims of weather.

This is an enjoyable book and, because of the broad area of military history, invites the potential for sequels. For example: One counterfactual I've always wondered about occurred in December of 1814 here in my home town of New Orleans. A prosperous son of Creole planters was awakened by the sound of British troops landing at the back of his plantation. Young Mr. Villere jumped out the window and headed for New Orleans, dodging a shot from a British sentry. Villere arrived in New Orleans and spread the alarm. Gen. Andrew Jackson gathered his forces and launched a surprise attack on the British. The British, unsure of the forces facing them, slowed their advance to give time to consolidate their forces. This gave Jackson time to throw up some defenses on the plains of Chalmette. Within 2 weeks the British had been defeated after suffering enourmous casualties attempting to storm Jackson's fortifications.

But what if the British sentry had not missed young Mr. Villere? Had the British continued their advance it is conceivable that these veterans of the Peninsular campaign could have won the Battle of New Orleans. Today people only remember that the Battle of New Orleans was fought after a peace treaty had been signed. But the treaty had not yet been ratified. Further, in the treaty the British recognized the status of borders prior to the war. But Britain had never recognized the Louisiana purchase, as the Spainish had violated a treaty with Britain when Spain secretly sold Louisiana to France. Britain could have attempted to keep New Orleans. This would have meant a widening of the war. It also begs the following question: Would there have been sufficient British troops to win at Waterloo?

As you can see counterfactual speculation leads to a never ending string of alternative possibilities. But it is enjoyble to speculate, as is "What If?"

Have You Ever Wondered?
What if George Washington had been captured on Long Island in 1776 and summarily executed by the British?? What if Robert E. Lee and his forces had achieved a decisive victory at Gettysburg in 1862? What if the Normandy Invasion (D Day) had failed in 1944? Your guess is as good as mine but the guesses of eminent historians are much better. Specifically, David McCullough, James M. McPherson, and Stephen E. Ambrose, respectively, who ask "What if?" in reference to these key situations in military history. Others speculate on, for example, "The Immolation of Hernan Cortes" (1521), "The Repulse of the British Fireships" (1588), "How Hitler Could Have Won" (1941), and "China Without Tears" (1946). Robert Crowley has done a masterful job of editing this anthology of essays. You may disagree with many of the answers to the repeatedly asked question "What if?" but I am certain you will be entertained as well as informed while reading this splendid book. My hunch is that the eminent historians had at least as much much fun formulating their speculations as readers now have when sharing them.

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