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Today's Featured Book:
Archives of Memory: A soldier recalls World War II
by Alice M. Hoffman and Howard S. Hoffman
- He told his mother he was peeling potatoes miles from the front. In fact,
he was helping to knock the Germans back step by step through Europe as a
mortar crewman and forward observer in the United States Army in Europe, 1944
and 1945. He went on to become a distinguished professor (now retired) and
a painter, and author of hundreds of technical papers and several other books
(see below). But back then he was just one of millions of young Americans
who fought for freedom, truth, justice, and a ticket back home by way of Berlin.
This book tells the story of his experiences, from the hundreds of times
he fired mortar rounds into German positions (one round going through his
coat in the rush to get the shots off), to walking through a marked mine
field in the Ardennes, seeing a guy near him get his foot blown nearly completely
off by a "shoe mine" and thinking, "I wish it was me" (because he's going
home alive), to calmly eating breakfast the morning after a brutal
fight while mortally wounded Nazi soldiers whimper and die nearby, this
is the gutsy, personal, utterly frank reminisces of a pawn in a global chess
game of death.
This is actually two books in one: First it is the story of Private Howard
S. Hoffman, S/N 13158418, combat service beginning in Italy, 1944 and ending
in occupied Germany, 1945.
Second, it is a study in memory. The authors, Howard S. Hoffman and his
wife of over 30 years, Alice M. Hoffman (a historian and former president
of the Oral History Association, well-known to the United States labor movement)
recorded the former's war experiences (which he seldom talked about after
the war) from start to finish. Then they set the tapes aside for about four
years, and then started over again and rerecorded the entire experience
without referring back to their previous effort. This book compares the
two descriptions for commonalities and variances and it compares them to
the archives of the daily battle reports for Hoffman's combat unit. These
reports had been written at the time the battles occurred, but not by him.
It is a landmark book for oral historians and those interested in memory,
but will also fascinate anyone who is tired of the Hollywood hype about
World War Two and wishes to explore the real men who fought in it, in their
Excerpt: (while fighting in Germany)
"...we were advancing with our rifles at the ready -- through some woods
very close to a road, and we came upon a field, and I looked up and I see
a small reconnaissance Piper Cub painted brown, of the sort that we used.
He came down to within 50 feet of the ground and circled. It was like a
field with woods all around the edges of it, and he made two circles around
the edge of the woods, and then he threw out a monkey wrench with a streamer
attached to it and a note tied to the monkey wrench. I remember getting
it and reading it and taking it to the lieutenant, who was some distance
from me. It had a message indicating that there were Germans in the woods..."
This is not a book about glory, though Hoffman's hilarious capture of
two German soldiers might qualify as a glorious moment, and certainly the
remembrances of the bravery of his comrades provide touching reminders that
for every soldier who earns a medal for bravery, there are probably 10 or
even a 100 just as brave, who live and die completely unheralded. This is,
in part, their book. This is not a book about strategic or tactical
decisions. It's about the day-to-day life of perhaps America's most unsung
hero -- the grunt.
Excerpt: (this incident occurred during the Battle of the Bulge)
"...one evening I was separated from my outfit and I was trying to get over
to them and I got stopped by a GI with a rifle loaded and pointed at my
guts. He asked me for the password and I'll be damned if I could remember
it. I told him, "Look, don't do anything rash, because I'm an American.
I was born in Brooklyn." Actually I was born in Manhattan. He says, "Yeah?
Well then who did the Dodgers play in nineteen whatever?" And I said, "Now,
wait a minute I don't know a damn thing about baseball, but take a look
at my dog tags. The name is Hoffman. I can tell you the type of blood I
have, I can tell you my serial number, and so forth and so on." Anyway,
he finally was convinced that I was an American and let me through and didn't
shoot. But it's a very uncomfortable feeling when somebody's got a loaded
rifle pointed at you and all they have to do is squeeze the trigger."
This is not a book for the squeamish. Triggers do get pulled and the results
are vividly described. It is for those seeking the truth about what it was
like to fight the Nazi monster on the ground. It is about what it was like
to come upon the fresh remnants of the Holocaust and wonder what sort of
human you have been fighting against that could do these things. It is about
a typical American boy who just happened to help save the world. This is
no movie hero. He's my dad.
University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1718-6, Hardcover, 199 pages,
Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo
by Zlata Filipovic (Translated with notes by Christina Pribichevich-Zoric)
- Modern warfare almost invariably attacks the children most of all. Zlata
Filipovic is a victim of war, a 13-year old girl who lived peacefully with
her parents in Sarajevo until world events -- mostly inaction while murderous
atrocities occurred -- caught up with her and turned her world inside out,
destroying her neighborhood, killing her friends, and stealing her childhood.
Shocking, humorous, insightful, touching and incredibly well written.
This book reminds us how terrible war is on everybody, especially the children.
A must-read for everyone.
I recently asked someone who is now about the age Zlata was when she wrote
her diary if she had seen the book. "I've read it twice" she said. This
book is a powerful condemnation of all war.
If Zlata's house had been hit by any of the thousands of shells that fell
randomly all over Sarajevo, we would not have this book. If there had been
no war, we would not have this book. If Zlata did not keep within her a
basic trust in journalists trying to do their duty to tell the world what
was happening, we would not have this book. If grown men had not acted like
children, we would not have this book. For the price of Zlata's childhood,
and hundreds of thousands of lives, and millions of other stolen childhoods
and stolen lives, we have this book. Treasure it, for the price you may
pay to read it shall be cheap compared to the price this child has paid
to write it.
Viking Press. ISBN 0-1402-4205-8 Paperback Reprint Edition. 200 pages, 1994.
The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches
Edited by Brian MacArthur
- Over one hundred historic speeches from throughout history. Brian MacArthur
has chosen well which speeches and excerpts of speeches to represent each
person and their times. To edit these speeches into a 500+ page tome must
have seemed an impossible task: Our task is much simpler: We only need to
reap the reward of his effort.
This book is the perfect reading material for overseas travel (I purchased
my original copy at Heathrow Airport in London), or to leave in the car,
or perhaps even the john, who knows -- maybe even the kitchen for when you
are making three-minute eggs! Each speech or excerpt of a speech is only
three to at most maybe 10 pages, which allows the user to pick and choose
according to how many minutes they need to wait. This book should be in
every Doctor's office!
I recommend jotting down the date you read each speech in the book's own
Table of Contents, (providing you own the copy, of course!), and savoring
the book over a period of years -- whenever you have a minute, add another
historic (and usually great, but sometimes just important) speech to your
personal knowledge base.
The only downside to this book is that it will make you despise modern
politics, where eloquence has become a forced art made specifically for
nightly news sound bites of 5 seconds or less. In this book, thankfully,
the Gettysburg Address is still, as it belongs, one of the shortest speeches
if not the shortest, at just over half a page.
Penguin USA. ISBN 0-1401-7619-5. Paperback, 528 pages, Reprint edition 1997.
Things That Make Us Smart:Defending Human Attributes in the Age of
by Donald Norman
- Donald A. Norman has got it right: It's all about people. The machines
are just tools to make each of us smarter, faster, more efficient, and better
able to communicate ideas to each other. Now if only more people would listen!
Norman does not denounce technology at all. Rather he champions improvements
in its use, to make human interaction more pleasant, more efficient and
Other of Donald Norman's classic books include:
Penguin USA. ISBN 0-2016-2695-0. Paperback, 290 pages, Reprint edition 1994.
Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American
by Michael Moore
- Michael Moore is as good a proof as any that America does not need an armed
revolution at this time. (Some countries do.) Moore stands out as a voice
of calm, unashamed reasonableness. Even when he's outrageous, he's (usually)
right. Moore is the creator of TV NATION and Roger and Me.
HarperPerennial. ISBN 0-51-77073-9. Copyright 1997.
The New York Public Library Science Desk Reference
Patricia Barnes-Svarney, Editorial Director
- This is the book to have when you need to sound like you know what you're
talking about. It is the single most useful general scientific desk reference
the webmaster has found and is always kept within easy reach while writing
or on the phone. It doesn't contain Babe Ruth's batting average in 1927, but
if sometimes you can't quite remember what Newton's third Law of Motion is,
this is the source for the right answer! (It was law of Conservation
of Momentum, to go along with the Law of Inertia and the Law of Constant Acceleration
(see page 275).)
Macmillan. ISBN 0-0286-0403-2 Hardcover, 668 Pages, 1995
Vital Circuits:On Pumps, Pipes, and the Workings of Circulatory Systems
by Steven Vogel
- A wonderful book. For understanding not just living organism's circulatory
systems (especially our own), but also the basic principals of fluid transfer
in all systems of pipes, pumps and vessels, be they human, plant, animal or
machine. The webmaster has found no more delightfully written or thoroughly
understandable book than this one. It is a classic text for all ages which
you will find very hard to put down. The webmaster wishes he had had this
book prior to programming the human
heart software tutorial and was glad to have been able to read it while
working on his mechanical
pumps software tutorial.
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-1950-8269-9 Paperback, Reprint edition,
by Igor J. Karassik et al
- The most complete book on pump technology known to the webmaster, this
book was an invaluable resource in the creation of the webmaster's ALL
ABOUT PUMPS software tutorial.
McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-0703-3302-5 Hardcover, 1000+ Pages, 1986
Radiation and Human Health:
A comprehensive investigation of the evidence relating low-level radiation
to cancer and other diseases by Dr. John W. Gofman
- The landmark work in its field. Contains complete charts you can
use to determine the potential health effects of common X-ray exams, and discusses
how these data were obtained. Other books by Dr. Gofman include:
Sierra Club Books. ISBN 0-8715-6275-8. Hardcover, 908 pages, 1981.
Chernobyl:The Forbidden Truth
by Alla Yaroshinskaya. Foreword by Dr. John W. Gofman
- There are wildly varying values on how many people were effected by the
Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia. This book explains some of the reasons
why nobody knows what really happened. Everything from gross negligence
to dereliction of duty to intentional misrepresentation of the facts, to silence.
The foreword by eminent nuclear physicist and medical doctor John W. Gofman
presents suggestions for methodologies which, had they been followed, might
have helped provide the world with some reliable data on the actual size
of the largest non-military nuclear disaster in history (so far).
(Dr. Gofman is a co-discoverer of Uranium 233, and isolated the first
"working quantities" of plutonium at the personal request of J. Robert Oppenhiemer
for the Manhattan Project. Without these precious few milligrams of stardust,
there would have been no bomb, and no early end to the bloody Pacific Campaign
of World War II. In addition, noted nuclear physicist and Nobel Laureate
Glenn Seaborg has referred to Dr. Gofman's contribution to the nuclear power
industry as being worth "hundreds of trillions of dollars". Dr. Gofman is
also a noted physician specializing in the health effects of nuclear radiation.)
University of Nebraska, Publisher. ISBN 0-8032-9910-9. Paperback, 135 pages,
by William Thomas
- By now, nearly everyone agrees that the Allied combatants who took part
in Desert Storm came back with something more than sand in their shoes. This
book explores the cover-up that went on and continues to go on regarding Iraqi
chemical weapons. It also delves into the causes of "Gulf War Syndrome" and
-- happily -- concludes with important information needed by anyone who thinks
they or a loved one might be suffering from this strange affliction.
Earthpulse Press. ISBN 1-890693-24-3 Paperback, 436 pages, 1998.
by Karl Grossman
- Ever since Russia shocked America with its launch of Sputnik, the American
space program has considered itself too important to need to concern itself
with ecological damage from its efforts. This resulted in the incredibly insane
1997 launch of Cassini with some 60 pounds of Plutonium 238 (hundreds of billions
of potentially lethal doses). But that is not the worst nightmare our flawed
space program has given the world: NASA, and the U.S. Military-industrial
complex have decided that nukes in space as a precursor to weapons
of mass destruction in space are a "must have", and they will stop at nothing
to get their wish. Regardless of the lies needed to accomplish this goal,
regardless of the consequences to the environment, and regardless of the cost.
This book exposes the crimes and coverups which have occurred, and continue
to occur, in the misguided name of science and the "peaceful exploration of
space". Very well referenced.
Common Courage Press. ISBN 1-56751-125-2 Paperback, 272 pages, 1997.
The authors of the following books are all related to the webmaster
of this web site!
DB2/400 Design Concepts: Referential Integrity and Triggers
by Sharon L. Hoffman
The IBM AS/400 is the best-selling minicomputer ever and is used, in one
capacity or another, by more than 90% of the Fortune 100 companies. One
of the great strengths of the AS/400 is its built-in database, DB2/400.
Referential Integrity and Triggers are powerful features of DB2/400 that
programmers can use to improve database integrity and reduce redundant code.
This book answers these key questions about the DB2/400 implementation of
referential integrity and triggers: the database system for the IBM AS/400.
- What does referential integrity actually do?
- What is a trigger?
- How can I put this stuff to work in existing applications?
- What happens when a referential constraint is violated?
- How is a referential integrity error conveyed to a client/server application?
- Will referential integrity reduce the amount of application code required
to maintain the database?
Midrange Computing, ISBN 1-883884-29-2 Copyright 1996.
Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love
by Dorothy Tennov
- Have you ever fallen in love? Or was it just lust? This book describes
the feeling of "being in love" in "clinical terms" which may sound like a
bad idea, but it actually has worked the other way for thousands of people
who have felt the pain of unrequited desire -- you are not alone!
This book describes the differences between "love" and "limerence", a
term coined by Dr. Dorothy Tennov when she realized that what many of the
people who thought they were in love were feeling, wasn't love at all! This
book is for everyone who has felt a desire for someone they could not have.
Stein and Day, Publishers. ISBN 0-8128-6134-5 Copyright 1979.
The Cruikshank Chronicles: Anecdotes, Stories, and Memoirs of a New
Edited by Alice M. Hoffman and Howard S. Hoffman. Forward by Jimmy
Carter & Rosalynn Carter.
- Nelson Cruikshank was a government bureaucrat in the finest sense of the
words, a personal advisor to President Jimmy Carter and before that, he helped
to put the New Deal into action. This book of stories will delight and entertain
anyone who enjoys frank remembrances of American Politics in the middle half
of the 20th century.
Archon Books. ISBN 0-208-02250-3 Hardcover, 200 pages, 1989.
Amorous Turkeys and Addicted Ducklings: A Search for the Causes of Social
by Howard S. Hoffman
- History does not often record the day-to-day life of its subjects, usually
concentrating instead on the grand events. This book describes 15 years of
experimental and theoretical investigation of the primary social bond.
It is also a look back at the activity of scientific investigation by a veteran
of over 40 years of behavioral research.
Click here for more information
about this book including a listing of chapter titles.
Authors Cooperative, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-9623311-7-1 Paperback, 194
Statistics Explained: A Computer-Assisted Guide to the Logic of Statistical
by Howard S. Hoffman
- This book is currently be re-written into a CD-ROM-based educational tutorial
by the original author and his son, Russell D. Hoffman. Expected release date
University Press of America, Publishers. ISBN 0-8191-4894-6 Hardcover, 1986.
Currently out of print. alternate
listing at Amazon.com
Psychotherapy: The Hazardous Cure
by Dr. Dorothy Tennov
- Ahead of its time by decades, this is a severe criticism of psychotherapy,
which brought the author intense condemnation for speaking out against the
arrogance and destructiveness of a practice now being recognized as generally
ineffective and often harmful. This book exposes the weak underbelly of psychotherapy.
"Anyone who wants to know what psychotherapy is really about absolutely must
read it. From works written by the psychotherapists themselves, [Dr. Tennov]
gives us a new image of it, surprising, often unsettling, which concerns us
all." -- Simone De Beauvoir.
Abelard-Schuman. ISBN 0-200-04028-6 Copyright 1975. Currently out
of print. alternate
listing at Amazon.com
SuperSelf: A Woman's Guide to Self-Management
by Dorothy Tennov
- Over the course of the day, your intellectual capacity changes. If you
learn to work with these changes and match your tasks to the level available
at the moment, you can increase your productivity and reduce the feeling that
you aren't doing as much as you could.
ISBN 0-3081-0273-8 Copyright 1977. Currently out of print. alternate
listing at Amazon.com