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Dennis Martin "Dennis Martin" (Liverpool, England)

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Who Will Teach the Wisdom
Who Will Teach the Wisdom
Price: £7.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The search for knowledge, 21 Jan. 2016
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A unique book. Tim Bax describes how he sought the wisdom, rather than just "information" about how to operate in the African bush. A fascinating read by a born raconteur.


Beat Waves 'Cross the Mersey
Beat Waves 'Cross the Mersey
by M. Kuhlmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed full of detail, 31 Dec. 2015
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A terrific addition to the history of "Merseybeat." Well researched and packed with detailed portraits of groups famous and obscure. Numerous photos complement the text. Highly recommended.


The Crossing (Harry Bosch Book 20)
The Crossing (Harry Bosch Book 20)
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. Michael Connelly maintains his usual high standard, ..., 7 Nov. 2015
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Superb. Michael Connelly maintains his usual high standard, with this tale featuring both of his main characters. I really hope we get more about Harry Bosch and Micky Haller.


It's One For The Money
It's One For The Money
Price: £13.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shark infested business, 30 Oct. 2015
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"One for the Money" is a book I'd wanted to read ever since hearing Clinton Heylin being interviewed on the topic of song plagiarism, by Spencer Leigh. As soon as the book was published I ordered a copy, and delved into the shark infested world of the song writing business.
Having written numerous books, including works on Dylan, Springsteen and The Beatles, Clinton Heylin has a vast knowledge of pop/Rock music, and this current work takes in the whole sweep of the business, from the Delta blues of 1900, right up to Sam Smith. The thesis has three main strands:
1] Songwriters copying existing works, from the distant, or, even recent, past. As I have said before "Imitation is the flattest form of sincerity." Examples include Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan
2] Songwriters being ripped off by music publishers, who firstly sign them to extortionate contracts, then further steal from the meagre percentages left to the writer. Examples include The Beatles being fleeced by Dick James.
3] Writers refusing to share credit. A typical example will be a guitarist coming up with a riff that defines the whole song; which goes on to sell millions, while the lead singer claims sole publishing credit. Examples include Mick Jagger, Roger Waters.
The topic of legal battles over copyright could be rather dry, but Mr Heylin has a witty style that keeps the reader fully engaged. Although music is, obviously, about listening, we also enjoy discussing it.. This book provides a great deal to talk about, and I enjoyed it immensely.


My Life in the Shadows
My Life in the Shadows
by Sam Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true professional, 27 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: My Life in the Shadows (Paperback)
A terrific insight into the world of covert surveillance by a decorated soldier who served in 14th Intelligence as well as working against Soviets in Germany, plus on the streets of London for MI-5


An Outsider Inside No 10: Protecting the Prime Ministers, 1974-79
An Outsider Inside No 10: Protecting the Prime Ministers, 1974-79
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the shoulder of history, 17 Oct. 2015
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Although my main interest was in the protective tactics, I found the inside look at three Prime Ministers, and the characters around them, fascinating.


FROM A STORM TO A HURRICANE
FROM A STORM TO A HURRICANE

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stormin' book, 12 Oct. 2015
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If Rory Storm and the Hurricanes [RSATH] are known to the public, it's usually because of their connection to the Beatles. Ringo was playing with RSATH when he was approached to join the “Fab Four” and the rest is history. In fact, the connections between RSATH and The Beatles are numerous, which is partly why this book is so significant.
If you asked a Beatles fan when did John, Paul, George and Ringo first play on a record together, they would probably think of “Love me Do” In fact, it happened a couple of years earlier, in Hamburg.
Rory and his guys were, actually, the top group on the early Liverpool scene. Invited for an extended season in Hamburg, they were given top billing over The Beatles. During this frenetic time the two groups became firm friends, leading to a couple of songs being recorded by a composite group, backing a Hurricane; Lou Walters.
However, the story of Rory and the band is significant not just for the Beatles connection. The story illustrates a unique time and place. In late fifties Britain it was commonplace for a group of lads, from the same neighbourhood, to get together and make music. It was Liverpool that made the difference. Countless clubs, cellars and “jive hives” provided a thriving scene where a decent group could actually make a good living performing several nights a week. ….. and RSATH were more than decent, they were the top of the scene. At a time when it was extremely rare for a working man to own a car Rory and his guys were driving flash motors.
At the time the horizons of a band were limited to the Merseybeat scene, with it's hundreds of venues, occasional weekend gigs in other British towns, and the lure of a Hamburg season. The Beatles, who after their return from Hamburg had quickly become top dogs, had more ambition, and saw themselves on the world stage. Brian Epstein had the vision to put that ambition into reality.
Decades later and only a handful of Merseybeat groups have achieved lasting fame,; almost all managed by Epstein. The rest of the many hundreds of Merseybeat groups faded into obscurity. I can't remember who asked the question “What would The Beatles have become without Brian?” “Answer, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes” That's cruel, and doesn't do justice to a great group of lads. In this book Anthony Hogan does do justice to them, and paints a picture of a tight group of friends, sometimes arguing, always laughing; playing great Rock 'n Roll and putting on a terrific show.
I had the pleasure of seeing RSATH perform at the Cavern back in the day, and this book captures those times magnificently. An essential addition to the history of popular culture.


American Pop Before the Beatles
American Pop Before the Beatles
Price: £3.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Sept. 2015
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Spencer Leigh does his usual great job as the historian of pop music.


Natural Born Heroes: The Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance
Natural Born Heroes: The Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance
Price: £3.23

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspirational, 7 Jun. 2015
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This book could well have been written specifically for me! The core of the narrative is the SOE operation on Crete to kidnap a top German General and spirit him off the barren island. This op was the basic for the wartime memoir “Ill met by Moonlight” [later made into a somewhat accurate film]. Christopher McDougall uses this and other memoirs, plus his present-day revisiting of the sites in Crete, to tell a spellbinding tale of impromptu audacity and courage.
The Greek campaign was supposed to be the usual German Blitzkrieg victory, but the fiery Greeks put up such determined resistance that Hitler had to divert masses of troops and delay his offensive against the Soviet Union, which, ultimately, led to his defeat. So aggressive were the Greeks that Churchill commented “We said that the Greeks fought like heroes; from now on we will have to say that heroes fought like Greeks” And nowhere did they fight so hard as on Crete.
Around this central core the author goes into history to show how the heroic myths had a base in reality. He also discusses the austere life in such barren places, and marvels at how the Cretans, and dwellers in other similar mountain regions have developed a gazelle-like bounding gait, that eats the miles over virtually impassable terrain. The book then examines modern groups who have rediscovered this type of “natural movement” and how they train for it.
Returning to the SOE mission he devotes much space to discussing the specialised training, with lots of reference to Fairbairn and Sykes, and how they distilled years of Oriental martial arts training into Gutterfighting.
McDougall relates the role of the fascia into developing that bounding energy, and short-range shock impact for fighting.
As in his previous book “Born to Run” he offers concepts which challenge the orthodox view. He slates the “hydration industry” for the totally fabricated concept of over drinking. He also covers nutrition, citing the work of Professor Tim Noakes, who literally wrote the book on carb loading, and who is now a firm proponent of fat burning. The Paleo diet is naturally discussed in detail. [bulletproof coffee gets a thumbs up too]
Like the previous book, this work is peppered with remarkable characters who are well deserving of the accolade “heroes” All in all, a truly thought-provoking book.


The Bremer Detail: Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World
The Bremer Detail: Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World
Price: £6.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World, 11 Mar. 2015
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Frank Gallagher was recruited by Blackwater, spent a couple of days on their range, then flown out to Baghdad to become detail leader on the PSD covering the Presidential Envoy Paul Bremer. Galallagher was selected mainly because he had protected Bremer previously when an Ambassador.
The story of putting together the detail to protect what the US Secret Service rated as the most threatened individual in the world, is fascinating.
Gallagher asserts "When the Bremer Detail was started there were, in my estimation, perhaps 250 guys in the US private security sector who had the skill set and mental toughness to do the job. Of these 250 there were about 60 working on the Karzai Detail in Afghanistan. This left Blackwater with about 190 from which to choose. By the time we left I probably had somewhere in the vicinity of 130 or so guys, who rotated in and out. Ten percent were fired. Ten percent completed one rotation and I sent word that I didn't want them back."
Looking at the task, from a VIP Protection point of view, Baghdad had three types of threat. Background, Generic and Specific.
The background threat was just the dangers inherent in Baghdad at the time, for every citizen going to the market or the mosque. Bomb attacks, snipers and mortars were an ever-present fact of daily life.
The generic threat was against anyone identified as being part of the Allied effort. Anyone who apperared to be American was a ready target.
Finally, the specific threat against Bremer was high, as he was on a number of death lists, and numerous terrorist groups put a bounty on his head.
As well as this enormous threat Frank Gallager was engaged in battles with people who should have actually been his main support.
Blackwater HQ, back in America, continued to send him guys who were unskilled in the specifics of hight-threat/hostile environment PSD work, and also had their heads filled with promises of leadership positions which didn't exist.
Corporations are run by accountants, bean counters, who instinctively try to cut costs and maximise profits. So Gallagher was always fighting for resources and kit. At one stage they tried to cut the salary of his ops officer, who was dong a terrific job. They were still going to invoice the client for the full amount, they just wanted to reduce his pay.
To be fair it wasn't just Blackwater who acted this way. The Karzai Detail was run by Dyncorps, and they had recruited a truly outstanding team, led by a former Delta senior instructor. Almost immediately the company tried to mess with the guys' pay and conditions, so the whole detail left.
These two contracts, protecting heads of state, were the "shop window" for Backwater and Dyncorps; and you would have thought that they would have devoted all resources to ensuring they were running smoothly. Evidently, to bean counters the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.
Another battle was with certain military officers. "Eventually I learned that his biggest issue stemmed from taking directions from me, a former Marine Corps NCO, an enlisted man. He was a retired army colonel, and truly believed that officers were superior to enlisted men in everything and in every way. The fact that I had been doing protection operations for years for a former cabinet level government official, meant nothing to him. As an officer he knew more about protection than I ever would."
Even though some of the guys sent out to him were former members of noted military units, they could still cause problems. One member, a former SEAL, decided to practice his pistol quick draw while protecting Bremer in a high-level meeting. Moved to another role, he was at an event where several PSDs were present, when the magazine fell from his assault rifle. Gallager fired him, but Blackwater just put him on another Baghdad PSD.
All in all the Bremer Detail did an outstanding job, keeping alive the biggest target in the world, without losing a team member, or, firing a shot.
The book is filled with lessons for all involved in VIP Protection.


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