Profile for Dr. H. J. Ziman > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Dr. H. J. Ziman
Top Reviewer Ranking: 120,495
Helpful Votes: 67

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Dr. H. J. Ziman "Dr Harry Ziman" (Chester, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
My American Journey
My American Journey
by Colin Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.75

4.0 out of 5 stars A good read but not a substitute for a biography, 26 Dec 2014
This review is from: My American Journey (Paperback)
This is a substantial and well written book that tells General Powell's story until his retirement from the Army. He has, of course, been central to many events of the Reagan and Bush presidencies and even early in Clinton's too. He explains and justifies his role and his mastery of Washington intrigue is clear despite his disdain for politics.

There can be no doubt that he is a remarkable man - he comes over as warm and personable as he explains his passion for developing other people. His is generous with his praise of others and sparing with his criticisms. He does provide some valubale insights into his leadership style and values.

There must be a nagging doubt about whether this is a book that has been written and presented for a market. His co-author has been influential no doubt, and perhaps provides a polish that takes off the edge of the real Colin Powell. In one telling passage, he talks about being short-tempered and impatient with others, but there is virtually no examples given in the text of this. So, while this is almost certainly a genuine account of his values, I do wonder if this is selective when it comes to his behaviours. Is this a book that presents Colin Powell in the way that he would like to come across? As this is his autobiography, he is, of course, entitled to do that.

The accounts of negotiations with the soviets over arms control, the first gulf war and many others are fascinating. Perhaps space has caused these accounts to be truncated though. There are many times when one is left thinking that there must be more to it than has been presented.

Nevertheless, this si a good book, well written and that moves at a decent pace. I enjoyed it.


No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller
by Harry Markopolos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Nobody should listen: A financial yawn, 27 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book should be riveting but it isn't. The author is so preoccupied with himself that he cannot be bothered to introduce evidence to explain and substantiate his case. The text has low literary qualities and is highly repetitive to the point of being positively boring. Non-financial readers are not navigated through the seas of caps and collars. It is very unsatisfactory.

The author writes as if he had a god given right to have his case listened to. One of the submissions to the SEC is reproduced as an appendix. In my opinion, it is so badly written that it is hardly surprising that the SEC did not pick it up. It is long on hyperbole and short on specific evidence. Surely a professional analyst would have skills of presentation and persuasion.

It is an enigma as to why the author took the trouble to write this book. Probably it is a long "I told you so". He claims to be extremely busy pursuing other fraud cases so why take the time to write such a disappointing text. A ghost writer would surely have written a better book and earned greater profits. This is book is a selfish indulgence on the part of the author.

There are many wise words among the other two star reviews. If you don't agree with me. at least pay heed to them.


Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison
Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison
by Jordan Belfort
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK read, but not up to scratch, 12 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is simultaneously a prequel and sequel to the Wolf of Wall Street. It explains the origins of Belfort's firm and also how he assists the state prosecuting his former colleagues. However, the book does not live up to the standard of the previous one and certainly not the hype.

Belfort is still in reformed and self-pitying. His regrets are all personal and not for the harm he did to all his investors. He simply fails to grasp this, as shown by his reaction to restitution awarded by the courts.

The book is readable but a bit slow in places. It lacks the zest of the previous one. If it appeals then do read it but not otherwise.


The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street
by Jordan Belfort
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madness and genius in an entertaining read, 9 Sep 2014
This book is captivating - the absolute genius and madness fueled by greed and extravagance makes this an almost surreal book. The tale is told briskly with lively characters and is almost written as a novel. Readers who are not interested in finance will not be disappointed as these things are glossed over. The relationship between Belfort and the Duchess is like watching a car crash happen in slow motion. This book is extraordinary vivid and is every bit as lively and excessive as the film which brilliantly captures the pure madness of this world. Money flows like tap water but there is not one drop of remorse towards the defrauded investors who funded this. The regrets expressed in the book border on self-interest and Belfort does not present himself as a reformed character. I have no idea how true this book is, but if one suspends belief it is an entertaining read.


Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime: Journey of a Lifetime: 2nd Edition (Apogee Books Space Series)
Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime: Journey of a Lifetime: 2nd Edition (Apogee Books Space Series)
by Sy Liebergot
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey, 22 July 2014
This is a most unusual book. It is a very personal biography written in short chapters often with a key point expressed in a few words at the end.

The book describes a difficult personal upbringing, how he had to work to go to college, the difficulty maintaining relationships with his family and the strong allegiance generated through his engineering studies ending up as a flight controller with NASA. Those wanting a deep account of engineering may be disappointed, save that the material on the accompanying CD is fascinating. This book is more of a personal journey. The writing style is brief, frank and to the point. It is not a polished journalistic style of autobiography. It could have been better written perhaps, but that would have cost the deeply personal and very genuine style of presentation that is distinctive of this book.

The other reviews that I have read are fair. this book is a little different and you may or may not like it. Why not try and find out for yourself.


Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science
Chaos and Fractals: New Frontiers of Science
by Heinz-Otto Peitgen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical mathematics of fractal and chaotic phenomena, 20 July 2014
This is an excellent if lengthy book for the recreational mathematician. It describes in accessible terms the concepts of fractals and chaos in a way that readily derives practical results.

When I say that it is "accessible" I mean that it requires readers who have a capable working knowledge of mathematics, probably at graduate level. It does not require particular specialisms and so mathematically oriented physicists and engineers will enjoy this book as well. Others may struggle.

The book is long - make no mistake. However, it does a good job of describing important, fascinating and unexpected results in quantitative and qualitative terms. It will equip any competent reader to confidently write their own software to reproduce and further explore the phenomena described but without getting bogged down in formal or pedantic (read rigorous) pure mathematics. It is very much a practical book.

It would be nice if we were treated to more examples of how the results and ideas could be used but this should not detract from an excellent book. I read it from cover to cover, and recommend it.


Leadership Workout: Shortcuts To... Informed Leadership Energised Leadership Empowered Leadership
Leadership Workout: Shortcuts To... Informed Leadership Energised Leadership Empowered Leadership
by Judith Mary Sharman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.25

5.0 out of 5 stars A most unusual book, 29 Mar 2014
There are so many books on leadership that it would take a lifetime to read them all. Most of us can't afford that long. We need to be rapidly told about at the key ideas for each situation and told where to find exactly what we must know.

Happily for us Judith Sharman has done the reading, indexing and cataloguing for us, providing handy navigators to guide us through the stormy seas of leadership. It is not even necessary to read this book - just follow the flow charts.

The material has been selectively chosen to be useful and practical with proven methods that can be readily applied to understand tricky leadership situations and develop strategies for effective results. This book is deliberately written to be precise and concise - the bare bones of each leadership practice is all that is presented. It is enough, but for those who need more there are extensive references to the original source. Unlike so many books, it is not about shortcuts to leadership - it is about accelerating access to key information needed by leaders so that they are informed. This book does what is says on the tin.

It will be useful to leaders and coaches alike. I would recommend its use to those who are being coached as this provide opportunity to reflect on the material within the book.


The Believing Brain: From Spiritual Faiths to Political Convictions – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.
The Believing Brain: From Spiritual Faiths to Political Convictions – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.
by Michael Shermer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a good edit, 25 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is rather frustrating as the author indulges in a wide range of rambling and often irrelevant material. For example, the whole of Part 1 is not needed at all; the interesting ideas are introduced in Part 2. The concepts of patternicity and agenticity do make sense and are appropriately argued with varying degrees of rigour. The book presents theory and illustrates it with examples so the needs of both strongly conceptual and practical readers are met. Part 2 is by far the most interesting part of the book. Then it goes down hill as we are introduced to concepts such as afterlife, aliens and conspiracy theories. The text is long and makes its points slowly and with insufficient care and attention. It rather loses its way. The book makes pretences to be informed by academic research from psychology but senses that this has been done very selectively and without full regard to the body of knowledge and established concepts in this field.

On the whole this book is a disappointment. There are some interesting points in here, but they could have been made in a book of about one third of the length.


Thinking, Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars There is learning for all, 1 Jun 2013
The astonishing thing about this book is that it uses the reader's reactions to a few choice questions to demolish our preconceptions about how we take decisions and the judgements we form. It uses them to introduce the many pitfalls to our thinking, and also to show that in many cases hardened professionals fall into the same traps.

The book is long but the chapters are mercifully short which makes it easy to read.

The points made in this book should be compulsory learning for all, particularly those who seek to impose their views upon others.


Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (Cambridge Paperback Library)
Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (Cambridge Paperback Library)
by Richard S. Westfall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative but heavy going, 21 Jan 2013
This is a long and detailed book carefully written. It securely places Newton's work in the context of knowledge of its time which provides a fascinating insight into how he was rigorous and innovative in his scholarship and unremitting when crossing intellectual swords with hes contemporaries. The level of scholarship is high.

His ideas are carefully explained and there are extensive quotes to demonstrate the points made. These could be made more accessible to the modern reader by presenting them in a modern context or even using modern notation when discussing things. Some of his ideas are hard to understand or access as they are not positioned into current scientific or mathematical forms. Whilst doing this potentially detracts from understanding his work in its original setting, it would extend the brilliance of his insight and also assist in showing how much of the foundations of classical mathematical physics can be traced to Newton.

This is a good book, but you will need time to read it.


Page: 1 | 2