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Dennis Lendrem

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Thinking Statistically
Thinking Statistically
by Uri Bram
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beware. This book may change the way you think., 5 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Thinking Statistically (Paperback)
I enjoyed this short Christmas read on Thinking Statistically by Uri Bram.

It does three important aspects of statistical thinking - selection bias, endogeneity and Bayes Theorem - in an easy, direct, conversational style designed to be understood by anyone. Some people love it and some people hate it. Those who hate it probably have unrealistic expectations of an introductory text on statistical thinking. This book is about statistical thinking and not a statistics primer.

Warning: This book is written in plain English. Those fluent in Greek and algebra may be disappointed. If you are looking for a book on Statistics this isn't for you. You won't be able to do a t-test to save your life at the end of it. You need to find something duller.

Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend
Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend
by Catrine Clay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Tale Of Redemption, 4 Dec. 2011
On the Eastern Front, Bert Trautmann and his best friend Peter Kularz are separated from their unit in a wood by the Dnieper River. In the night they are woken by shots and decide to investigate. They witness the horrific murder of Russian civilians in a mass grave 3m deep and 50m long. Terrified they steal away into the darkness of the wood never to speak of it again.

After three years on the Russian front, Bert is transferred to the western front. He is captured and becomes a prisoner of war. Unlike many, he cannot easily dismiss the re-education classes as British propaganda. He is a witness to Nazi genocide.

I bought this book because Bert Trautmann was one of my boyhood heroes. I grew up knowing of his goalkeeping heroism - the Manchester City goalkeeper who broke his neck with fourteen minutes to go in the FA Cup Final and played on until the end of the game.

But this book is about Trautmann the man and his life - warts and all - during one of the most tumultuous periods of the twentieth century. From Hitler Youth at the age of 10 to German paratrooper and holder of the Iron Cross to Footballer of the Year in his adopted home of England. This book tells his story: his escape through sport, his battle to be the "good" German in the face of provocation, Jewish protests, hate mail and death threats.

If you are looking for a match-by-match account of his sporting life then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a touching tale of redemption, of hope, of humanity then I strongly recommend this book.

The Imperial War Museum Book of the Somme (Pan Grand Strategy Series)
The Imperial War Museum Book of the Somme (Pan Grand Strategy Series)
by Malcolm Brown
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb account of the Battle of the Somme, 2 Mar. 2010
A superb, authoritative, well researched and gripping account of this conflict. Drawing heavily upon contemporary letters and diaries Malcolm Brown weaves a compelling mixture. The book tells the moving stories of individual soldiers who fought and died at the Somme set against the military and political backdrop to the battle.

The first three chapters give the background to the conflict, the initial build up and countdown to the first day. The fourth and fifth chapters give detailed accounts of the terrible first day on the third and fourth army fronts. Chapters six and seven cover counter-attacking operations and chapter eight the long drawn out summer on the Somme. Chapter nine attempts to capture the conflict from a German perspective with contemporary accounts from the writings of German soldiers. Chapter ten describes the September offensives and the introduction of tank warfare before chapter eleven describes the misery of the 'pitiless Somme' during the closing stages before Ancre and the closedown in chapter twelve. Chapters thirteen and fourteen give an account of life away from the front in the bars and estaminet and chapter fifteen the anticlimax as the Germans make a strategic withdrawal to a more defensible line. The book could have ended at this point since this is the end of the conflict traditionally known as the Battle of the Somme but it doesn't. Instead it goes on in chapters sixteen and seventeen to cover the second battle in 1918 when the ground that had been fought for so bitterly in 1916 was first ceded to the advancing German troops during the spring offensive and then recovered again during the allied counter attack of that year.

Malcolm Brown does a brilliant job of bringing to life this terrible battle and of capturing both the horror and the humanity of the conflict - both 'the mud and the stars'.

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