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Reviews Written by
Keith Appleyard "kapple999" (Brighton, UK)
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Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order
Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order
by Robert Kagan
Edition: Paperback

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus, 17 May 2004
This is a polemic, and not actually a very good one. There are 101 pages without a break for a chapter – is this an essay or a speech? Then we get a 54 page afterword – phew!
There are some good soundbites though, such as : the USA remains mired in history exercising power in a world where international rules and laws are unreliable, and where true security still depends upon the possession and use of military might.
I couldn't agree with the viewpoint that when the USA acts in its own interests, it necessarily serves the interests of everyone.
It accuses Europeans (read the French) that the risks from the "axis of evil" will never be as great as the risk from an American Leviathan unbound.
But I think it asks too much of the rest of the world, to trust in America, when America won't subject itself to any moderating influences, whether it be the UN or the International Courts.
A book aimed at educating the Europeans, but I'd rather have a seen a more balanced view to also re-educate the Americans.


Flight: 100 Years of Aviation
Flight: 100 Years of Aviation
by R. G. Grant
Edition: Hardcover

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the eyes, 25 April 2004
This is an impressive book which takes you through the history of mannedflight, the Pioneers, 1st World War, Flying Boats & Airships, 2nd WorldWar, Jet Age, Cold War, Space Travel, finishing up with light aircraft &hobby craft.
The material has been prepared in conjunction with both the US SmithsonianInstitution's National Air & Space Museum, and the UK Imperial War Museum,Duxford; consequently the contents have strong credentials.
There are relatively few drawings, because what you get on every page areexcellent photographs, mostly in colour, on high quality paper : aircraft,inventors, pilots and events – a feast for the eyes, accompanied by solidinformative text. Nothing is overlooked. A lovely book to keep.


Phantoms in the Brain: Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind
Phantoms in the Brain: Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind
by V.S. Ramachandran
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into neurological problems, 18 April 2004
I first heard of VS Ramachandran when quite by accident I tuned into his giving the 2003 Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4. His entertaining & instructive style prompted me to tune in a few nights later for the next instalment, and then to go and seek out his published work.
Phantoms in the Brain is an excellent introduction to practical studies of phantom limbs syndrome, and thus into the workings of the human brain and the concept of body imaging.
As a direct consequence of reading this book, I then eagerly awaited his next offering, the transcript of those BBC Lectures.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2009 11:46 AM BST


Essential Negotiation (Economist)
Essential Negotiation (Economist)
by Gavin Kennedy
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best way to learn about Negotiation, 12 April 2004
Despite the title, Essential Negotiation is not Essential. Rather than 'How To', it is really an A-Z Dictionary from Adjournment to Zero-Sum. You need prior knowledge to be able to use the book intelligently.
It's ill-structured in places : "Alternative" says 'see BATNA'; go to "BATNA" and it just says 'see page 25' - and then on page 25 you get an explanation of "Best Alternative to No Agreement".
The shortest entry must be "Quick Deal" - it just says 'Often Regretted' - isn't there any other advice to give about a Quick Deal?
Then there's other suspect entries - less than 1 page on "Hotel Purchase" - actually all about Valuation rather than Negotiation as such.
There's 1 page on "Kidnap Negotiation" and 2 pages on "Hostage Negotiation" - I think these are irresponsible, and could be dangerous in the hands of the ignorant?
All in all, very disappointing, not what I expect from the 'Economist'


Angel Customers & Demon Customers: Discover Which Is Which, and Turbo-Charge Your Stock
Angel Customers & Demon Customers: Discover Which Is Which, and Turbo-Charge Your Stock
by Larry Selden
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make your Angel Customers Happy, 28 Mar. 2004
We should all be aware of unprofitable Customers. Anyone in business should be already aware of the 80/20 rule - that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers.
This book goes that one step further – by some excellent case studies it shows how 150% of your profits come from 20% of your customers – they are the Angels. The Demons are those 20% of your customers who actually lose you money equal to 150% of your profit.
Its not another book about CRM (Customer Relationship Management), but it is about being Customer-focussed rather than Product-focussed.
I have multiple relationships with Companies who could do with reading this book – including my own employer, with whom I have around 20 Contracts, and yet any one Business Unit only seems to know about 1 or 2 others at best. All those lost selling opportunities – for example they know the ages of my kids from my Travel Insurance Policies, but have never tried to sell me any College Savings Plans!
Read the book and make your Angels happier – and get rid of the Demon ones!


Thinks
Thinks
by David Lodge
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another interesting work from Lodge, 23 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Thinks (Paperback)
I read all of David Lodge's works of fiction when I discovered him about 15 years ago. Thereafter I read the odd one, but it's been nearly 5 years since I last read anything of his. I found this different from the others, yet not disappointing.
I could relate to most of the characters, and the story was believable, as well as containing a couple of twists that I didn't see coming.
The scientific research on Artificial Intelligence was well-covered, so much so that I stopped after chapter 3 to see in the Acknowledgements where he had got his material from?
The parodies of Amis, Welsh, Beckett, Stein etc were excellent!


Right Hand, Left Hand
Right Hand, Left Hand
by Chris McManus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting for both left & right handers, 23 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Right Hand, Left Hand (Paperback)
I'm a 'lefty', 'southpaw', 'cack-handed' etc. My daughter bought me this for my birthday. It was a very interesting read.
The only downside was that some of the chapters seemed too long, at over 30 pages? There were points when the topic of the chapter seemed exhausted, and was strung out, and on more than one occasion my interest waned, only to perk up on the next page when some new issue was introduced, and off we went again?
What I liked best was the little anecdotes (I drafted this before I read the previous Reviewers thoughts, so he stole my thunder, but I thought I'd leave it in).
Like how it took years for Canada to decide whether to drive on the Left or the Right, with British Columbia & the Maritime Provinces not changing over until after the First World War, and then still over a number years between 1920 and 1924. Similarly how Western & Eastern Austria drove on different sides of the road until 1938.
Lots of fascinating material.


Meditations (Classics)
Meditations (Classics)
by Marcus Aurelius
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this one and avoid any inferior translations, 23 Mar. 2004
I picked up a more modern translation of this work, and phrases like 'if you keep putting things off' leapt out of the text. Consternation – did the Greek original actually have words like that? It was a 'modern' translation – 'modern' as in 'dumbing down'.
So I went looking for this translation, only 40 years old, but more faithful to the original, as in 'think of your many years of procrastination' rather than 'if you keep putting things off'. I'm sorry, but if you can't handle good English, and need the 'dumber' versions, then you're probably too dumb to appreciate the finer points of the work in the first place. Both versions were the same price, so that didn't influence my decision.
Then you can sit back and enjoy the thoughts and the musings of this interesting man.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2011 4:37 PM BST


The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman
by Richard P. Feynman
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting new material, 17 Feb. 2004
I've read numerous other works by Feynman, so I expected this to be a composite of previously published material. In parts it was, but there was some new material.
Given that some of the material was based upon recordings for TV Interviews & Speeches, there was new stuff.
I particularly found his musings on nanotechnology interesting, showing how much of a polymath the man was; also the analogy of observing a games of Chess, not knowing the rules, for progressively uncovering the Laws of Science.


Netocracy: The New Power Elite and Life after Capitalism
Netocracy: The New Power Elite and Life after Capitalism
by Alexander Bard
Edition: Paperback

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pseudo-intellectual disappointment, 1 Feb. 2004
I found that the contents of this book didn't even begin to deliver the message as on the flyleaf and from other reviews.
Probably 10% of the contents even made sense, and the rest of it was a wide range of disparate ideas strung together to pad out a book that could say what it had to say in 20 pages.


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