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Mr. W. A. P. Brown "William Brown" (England)
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AutoCAD 2009 For Dummies
AutoCAD 2009 For Dummies
by David Byrnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.02

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative intro to 2009, 27 Sep 2008
AutoCAD 2009 incorporates

The Dummies format, presenting compelx information in a humourous easy-to-read style, works very well for a technical and potentially dry topic like CAD. The book provives a good overview of AutoCAD for the beginner and reading through it was actually quite enjoyable. It made me enthusiastic about the subject - when pouring over a 1000-page technical tome would have just sent my head to the pillow. The author is an experienced CAD instructor and it is like having an old head looking over your shoulder and guiding you.

Having said that the book is not without faults - and there are some glaringly obvious editorial mistakes! Nevertheless, this would be an excellent book for the first time user and would provide a far better way into CAD than using a huge instruction manual. For maximum progress this book would be best combined with the online sources of help such as AutoCAD's own F1 facility and independent resources such as the excellent [...]


Drawing the Landscape (Architecture)
Drawing the Landscape (Architecture)
by Chip Sullivan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A call for landscape drawings as personal and artistic expressions, 18 July 2008
Chip Sulliven's richly illustrated book is an inspiring introduction to landscape drawing. The emphasis is placed on developing freehand sketching techniques to express sensual elements in the landscape and communciate design ideas. A wide range of material is covered from preliminary drawing excercises to express tone and texture and ideas on developing a personal style and portfolio to chapters on specific types of landscape drawing such as plans, sections and axonometric/isometrics.

This book would be valuable to folk with an interest in landscape and garden design. In a profession which has become increasingly dominated by computer graphics, Sulliven's book is a delight. It reminds us of the value of freehand techniques for creating both rapid design development drawings and beautiful and personal presentation illustrations.


The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD]
The Nazis - A Warning From History [DVD]
Dvd ~ Laurence Rees
Price: £5.00

199 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and poignant, 14 Nov 2005
This is one of the finest television documentaries I have ever seen. It probes behind the usual cliches and half-truths about the Nazis and presents a picture of the party that is altogether more disturbing. The documentary concludes that once in power the operation of some of their darker policies was facilitated by the assistance of lower party officials and ordinary Germans. This expounds the myth that all Germans were manipulated into compliance from the top down. Neither are the sentiments that fuelled Nazi policies restricted to Germany, as in one of the most disturbing parts of the documentary a Lithuanian man who volunteered without coercion to join a shooting squad and execute his Jewish neighbours is interviewed. This series is given weight by the latest scholarship and authenticity and emotive power by a multitude of interviews. The music and narration is also of the finest quality. The documentary will leave you better informed, but also asking some uneasy questions. It is divided into the following six chapters, each approximately 48 minutes in duration:
Helped Into Power - this chapter examines how the political and economic turmoil of the Weimar Republic assisted the Nazis into a position of power. The economic depression of the early 1930s and opposition to communism from senior German politicians are shown to be important contributory factors.
Chaos and Consent – shows that behind the public façade of a rigidly ordered Nazi party, the lackadaisical approach to administration of Adolf Hitler created a cloud of confusion in which ambitious Nazis could exert considerable power in the formulation of specific policies.
The Wrong War – the immediate events preceding the outbreak of WW2 are presented and the question why Hitler ended up at war with the power he most admired – Great Britain - and allied to the country he most hated – Soviet Russia – is answered.
The Wild East – reveals how the occupied territories of Eastern Europe were governed once they were conquered. The chapter focuses on the brutal Nazi administration of Poland, in which forced migration, slave labour and execution were commonplace.
The Road To Treblinka – charts the rise of anti-Jewish sentiment and policies which led to the Holocaust and the creation of mass slaughter camps such as the one at Treblinka. The daily operation of the Treblinka camp is revealed and accounts from living survivors are presented.
Fighting To The End – asks why, despite a growing awareness of the repression and atrocities of the Nazi regime and a realisation of impending military defeat, the German people were not able to rid themselves of Adolf Hitler and were left fighting to the end. Even in the midst of set backs Hitler was able to inspire a fatalistic loyalty in his people and army that prolonged the Second World War. In addition, fear of the advancing Soviet army and the reprisals they would exact on the German people kept the nation fighting until the finale of the Battle of Berlin.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 18, 2012 7:45 AM BST


Russia's War
Russia's War
by Richard Overy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.86

92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb account of a remarkable victory, 7 Mar 2005
This review is from: Russia's War (Paperback)
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is not only a thoroughly researched work of scholarship, but a brillantly written and engrossing narrative of how Russia succeded in defeating the Nazi war machine, hitherto the most formidable and effective military force in world history. Since the cessetion of the Cold War, and building on the work of scholars such as John Erickson and David Glantz, there has been a fundamental reassessment of the Russian experience in the Second World War. This book indicates that the Russian victory was underpinned by an ability to mobilise the entire nation and economy, often by brutal means, into a total war. Neither are the Russians presented as a homgeneous horde, as they were in earlier works, but as a complex mosaic of differening ethnicities and political persuasions.
This book challenged my previous belief that the German army came close to total victory within the first year, and that if Moscow had fallen then it would have been virtually sealed. In fact, much of the population and industrial production had already been relocated far beyond Moscow in the Urals, and given the Russian capacity for flexible defensive strategies and a developing capacity to launch counter offensives, the obstacles that stood in the way of a German victory begin to look daunting. Overy makes it clear that Stalin made an fatal miscalcualtion in his belief that Germany would not make war with Russia before the spring of 1942, and the sheer ease of the German victories in the weeks following Barbarossa must be seen as a consequence of a total lack of preparedness of the Red Army. After the initial shock (and enormous losses) brought about by the invasion, the expanding Russian mobilization and increasingly over-stretched German army began to favour a Soviet triumph.
This book analyses the multiple levels of the conflict, from the political intrigue between Stalin and his generals, to the perspectives of the ordinary Russian, who endured unspeakable hardships in the name of defence of the motherland. The Russian-German conflict of 1941-45 was the largest and most costly in history, it also shaped the nature of post-war politics. This excellent book captures the scale and importance of the conflict, and provides scope for reflection in its examination of the divide between patriotism and propaganda and sobering recollections of the terrible acts of brutality that took place.


The Russian German War - Part 1 - The Politics Of Fear [DVD]
The Russian German War - Part 1 - The Politics Of Fear [DVD]
Dvd ~ The Russian/German War
Offered by Amazin Deals *****
Price: £10.98

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sweeping account of the build up to Operation Barbarossa, 5 Feb 2005
An American documentary looking at the political background to Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany. There are no interviews with expert historians or veterans, so it lacks the lucidity or authenticity of the series such as 'The World at War' or 'Line of fire'. Also, sometimes it substitutes dramatic rhetoric for historical analysis. However, even if it does not add much in the way of new insights, what it does say is truthful and presents the sheer scale and drama of the conflict very well.
It is an exciting introduction if this is a new area of history to the viewer. Before I watched this I had read several books and seen a few documentaries about the topic, so I didn't feel I learnt anything new. However, I am glad I brought it because it contains much documentary footage that I had not seen before and reinforces the unprecented brutality and importance of the conflict in my mind.


Line of Fire - Stalingrad - The War in the East[DVD]
Line of Fire - Stalingrad - The War in the East[DVD]
Dvd ~ Line of Fire
Offered by Not2day Media
Price: £4.95

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine account of the epic battle of Stalingrad, 15 Dec 2004
This DVD is a good introduction to what is widely considered one of the bloodiest battles in history. It gives a balanced assessment of the overall significance of Stalingrad in the war, the tactics of the two sides and an impression of the terrible sufferings endured by the soldiers who fought it. It uses an effective combination of archive footage, digital animation, analysis by expert historians and several accounts of Eastern Front veterans.


Narc [DVD] [2003]
Narc [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Movie
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.74

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charged police thriller with outstanding performances, 15 Dec 2004
This review is from: Narc [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
NARC is a hauntingly atmospheric film about two narcotics detectives investigating the case of a murdered compatriot. It is engrossing throughout, and becomes increasing dark and complex as it builds up to its disturbing conclusion. Jason Patric and Ray Liotta put in superb performances as two partners whose personal lives are edged out by their consuming obsession with their work. There is plenty of tense and frantic action; but the highly personal element, fine performances and intelligent script is what sets this film apart.


Midnight Run [DVD]
Midnight Run [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Price: £3.80

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant action comedy, 30 Nov 2003
This review is from: Midnight Run [DVD] (DVD)
From Martin Brest, the director of Beverley Hills Cop, comes a hilarious action comedy pairing Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin as a mismatched double team. Jack Walsh (De Niro) is a tough and cynical bounty hunter sent by a bail bondsman to track down Jonathon Mardukas (Grodin), an accountant who embezzled $15 million from his mafia boss employer. Walsh thinks he's been landed an easy job (a 'Midnight Run' in bounty hunter talk) but the mild-mannered Mardukas is able to irritate his plans more than any gun-wielding thug could ever do. On the trans-America journey from New York to LA (in plane, train, bus and car) their initial irritation with one anothers habits develops into a hilarious co-dependence as they are simultaneously pursued by the FBI, a bunch of Mob killers and another bounty hunter.
It is a rich and ludicrous cocktail of frentic car chases, witty dialogues, well-developed characters and some genuinely touching moments. De Niro and Grodin improvise off each other superbly, and this is definately a film that stands up to repeat viewing.


Managing Habitats for Conservation
Managing Habitats for Conservation
by William J. Sutherland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £44.99

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, practical and well written, 21 Jun 2003
Whilst not explaining specific management techniques in great depth, it nonetheless provides an excellent introduction to the various habitats of the British Isles and the diverse range of management options available to the conservationist. The chapters of the book are devoted to the examination of specific habitats such as coastal, urban, woodland and heathland environments. In each of these chapters the author briefly covers the ecology, history and status of these habitats before going into greater depth about the biological basis for potential management regimes and their ecological impacts and cost effectiveness.
The style of writing is lucid and informed by an extensive body of research that is both well interpreted and well referenced for anyone wishing to pursue the topics further. The author has the ability to cut straight to the central issues over the management of particular habitats. For example, the chapter on heathland clearly explains that the key to management success is control of the nutrient cycle within the ecosystem. The first three chapters outline issues and principles that are generic to all habitats such as control of succession and site management planning.
What the book excludes from its analysis is the whole array of political and cultural factors that also influence what style of management is adopted. Conservationists often like to believe that their line of work is largely informed by scientific principles, when in fact subjectivity and value judgements form an equally important component. However, I acknowledge that it is not the intention of this book to examine these issues and a book such as 'Contested Natures' provides an excellent exploration of this topic. As a practical guide to habitat management this is one of the best books on the market and anyone involved or interested in nature conservation would do well to read its invaluable advice.


Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Berenger
Price: £5.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The sequel to Sniper is way off target, 5 Jun 2003
This review is from: Sniper 2 [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This is a disappointing sequel. The central quality it lacks is authenticity and believability. The original film is far superior, with its intimidating rainforest setting and tense portrayal of the stress that snipers operate under. Many of the qualities of the original film, such as the demonstration of the snipers stealth and use of camouflage, seem to have been thrown aside in favour of a more conventional action film. The story sees a grumpy and disillusioned Becket coaxed out of retirement and partnered with a death-row inmate on a dangerous rescue and assassination mission in the Balkans.
In fact the 'Balkans' turn out to be Hungary and the subsequent story with its references to ethnic cleansing and Serbs and Muslims is hard to believe when the locals are spouting Magyar. Okay, so unless you know some Hungarian you are not going to notice. However, the plot was so confused and empty that this turned out to be the least of my criticisms. The actual point and logic of their mission completely eluded me, and once they were in 'The Balkans' the action was too disjointed and rushed for any memorable atmosphere or character development to be created. On the positive side Tom Berenger is good as the cynical and hard-bitten former US Marine, but unfortunately this film does not do him credit. As a standard action film it is not bad, however after watching the original film I expected much more from the sequel


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