A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression Reviews & OpinionsSubmit A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression review or read customer reviews:
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An ad in the paper under a fictitious name reaches out to help the most needy of Canton, Ohio in 1933. When the deed is done, the remains of the act of generosity is locked in a suitcase and relegated to a dusty attic. Generations later the suitcase is handed off to a grandson who just happens to be an investigative journalist. In his hands it becomes an illuminating insight into the Great Depression. Fascinating!
Ted Gup has written a well-crafted and well-researched book. He has skilfully interwoven his own search for his grandfather, Sam Stone, through the stories of the recipients of Sam's Christmas 1933 gifts. As an amateur genealogist I know first-hand the sheer amount of hard work required to research historical records, track down descendants and put together a cohesive and readable narrative, and Ted has done this with bells on. He explained some of the records he used, but did it in such a way that it didn't interrupt the thread of the story he was weaving. Whether you want a glimpse of the Great Depression shown in a very personal way through the eyes of ordinary people living in extraordinary times; a fascinating genealogical search; or simply a very readable 'feel good' book, I thoroughly recommend this book. I was very pleased to see the index and especially glad to see the timeline for Sam Stone. The Final Reflections and Epilogue chapters were an added bonus. One thing I would have liked in an Appendix were some images of the original hand-written letters. The transcriptions are easier to read, but to actually see images of original documents is thrilling.
Young kids wander along the railroad tracks in search of bits of coal that might have fallen from the trains. A young mother is devastated when two precious eggs roll off the table and break. A valued commodity gone. Ted Gup chooses his images well and does an even better job of painting them across the page. He picks the small, tender moments that are able to tell the profound effects of the Great Depression beyond statistics and o things really struck me about this one. When you study history in school, you're left with this sense that the Depression ended, the war began, and everyone went back to work. The book tells the story of so many workers that never recovered; never regained any of what they lost. The Great Depression was permanent for so many older workers who continued to live in squalor until the end. I couldn't help but think of so many older workers today that are too young to retire but are the hardest hit by the recession and unable to find new jobs. Another powerful discovery for me was how work ethics, a devotion to helping others, or unflappable hope carried on from generation to generation. A great-grandparents insistence on helping others in times of despair is alive and well as Gup interviews great-grandchildren still with an inclination to help those less fortunate. It made me stop and appreciate just how connected we all are and how my role as a parent will truly impact generations to come. I was left with an even greater sense of honor and responsibility for the role. Thank you Mr. ris BowenAuthor of, "Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom
This is a sweet true story about one man's gift to others during the depths of the Great Depression. The author, the man's grandson, has done a ton of research on his grandfather, as well as on the people he helped and the difference it made. A touching look into what people suffered during this period. I recommend it.
The Great Depression in Canton, Ohio: a history of familiesAs the last people who remember the worst years of the Depressionthat began over eighty years ago fade away, it's important for usto listen to them and understand the enormous human costs of thatdisaster. I wasn't pleased when my book club selected this book,as it sounded both depressing and sentimental. It is very movingand I'm lucky to have been compelled to read e author is a political investigative reporter who managed to trackdown and interview just about all of the 75 families of those whoreceived at Christmas 1933 a $5 check from his grandfather afterwriting him to tell him of their tragedy and desperation. So we learntheir stories, and what happened to the letter writers and theirfamilies after 1933. But more, we learn the fascinating andmysterious story of the gift-giver, and the forces that brought him, acomfortable but not at that point wealthy Jewish immigrant, to make aChristmas gift to so many people. All of these stories open up theHard Times of the Depression and the way that it has determined thelives even of descendants born long after it rhaps I felt particularly connected because as a child, just a fewdecades later, I lived in several places just an hour or so away fromCanton, a small city which had major industries that mostly closeddown during the Depression, and which was therefore full of recentimmigrants from Europe and the South who had worked in thosefactories. Or maybe it was because my grandparents were raisingfamilies during those years, and suffered through it, or because myparents grew up then, clearly affected throughout their lives bychildhood e author tried to connect up the Great Depression with our currenteconomic problems, but the more he tells us about the Great One, theless it sounds like our current plight.Anybody interested in the Great Depression in the US, American immigration,or the ways that people and families respond to extreme hardship shouldenjoy this very much. It reflects a lot of very hard and excellent workby the author. The book reads very easily; I read it in two days overThanksgiving, which seems quite appropriate.
I live in Canton, Ohio where B. Virdot shared his wealth with needy people. I personally knew some of the families who wrote to him. Those of you who are interested in this book and the story of the Great Depression and the life of Sam Stone--there is now more to the ter Ted Gup was here in town to meet descendants of the families his grandfather helped--there was quite a bit of publicity. It stimulated our community to think of trying B. Virdot again for needy families in 2010. Three people from our community seeded the fund with $5000 each. The goal was to help 150 families through our United Way/B. e gift provided by the letters and Ted Gup's easy to read style of writing will greatly enrich the lives of the people who read this excellent an update on the generosity of our community--to date we've raised $45,000 for this modern B. Virdot. Checks to those seeking aid have started to be sent. We understand that the story has taken on nationally and donations have come from across the country.What a great tribute to Sam's idea so many years ago!
I enjoyed this book on so many levels. First, because most of my understanding of the Depression came from comments my dad made over the years, and then later I read several books written by economists regarding the Depression. After having read "The Secret Gift" because it contained the texts of many letters written by people directly and then in the grip of the Depression, my understanding of what that must have been like grew exponentially. For me, that one aspect of this book made it invaluable. But this book keeps right on giving, I also valued the opportunity to see into the life of a man that began life with many strikes against him and he made it, several times, and he did so without losing not only a intact and complete sense of himself, but with all the factory installed accessories, like love for his fellow man with the only requirement for that person's inclusion was membership in the human race. I also enjoyed the sense of adventure the author experienced as he walked in his graddad's footsteps this many years later. I was moved beyond words many times while I read this, and I am grateful that I noticed this book, my life and my understanding of my fellow man, across time was enhanced.
This book provides a great insight on today's wacked-out government ways as viewed through the events leading up to the Great meone once said "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions." This book is a history of numerous of well-meaning actions by government that actually escalated way to the Great en and now government leaders have never gotten the essence of the leadership principle that George Patton was known to expound. Leaders need to "Lead, follow or get out of the way," The attribute most lacking by well-meaning government leaders is the "get out of the way" part. The free enterprise system will work if left to its own devices.
Like The Verona Papers, like Whitaker Chambers' "Witness", like Buckley's lifetime of effort, Amity Schlaes' scholarship reveals how Americans influenced by collectivist thought made it their mission to re-make America by abandoning the founding ideals of individualism and liberty. Ignore the slurs from establishment historians--this lady has the goods on those who believed that industrialization changed the game as far as the role of government in our lives is concerned. And she shows how idealism was a front for absolutism--"we know what's right, the masses can't survive without us, so the rules we make don't have to apply to us." Why don't more Americans see the handwriting on the wall and get revved up about the loss of liberty in the last century? I'm a Social Studies teacher--yes, in a public school--and this book will inform instruction on anything connected to 20th century history that is presented in my classroom.
This is the classic "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." It seems our current set of elected officials are sliding back into the 30's believing big government is the way to go. Combine this with Atlas Shrugged and you can see our future ... well that is until we collapse under the weight of our own inability to do the right thing. Fight debt with more debt - nope that won't work, well it will until it doesn't anymore. Will no one stand up for what is right anymore? It seems like this should be simple, but when you write legislation that is 2000 pages long you won't know what you have until you have it and then it's too late. This should be mandatory reading for elected officials, journalists, educators and Paul Krugman.
I thought this book gave a balanced story about a tumultuous time in US history. The times required bold action and that is what the country got from FDR and his brain trust. I thought the author gave credit where credit was due but did not shy away from calling a spade a spade. Some experiments didn't work. The roots of the big government we enjoy/suffer today started during this time period. Excellent read if you want to better understand the great depression and the effect is has on the country to this day.
It had a lot of information that I knew already from reading other books but it was informative. If you read my review of "Coolidge" by the same author you'll know I don't really like Amity Shlaes' writing style but the book is still readable. I don't think she's particularly critical enough of FDR in here, everything he did made the great depression last longer, any honest economist will tell you that. But Shlaes is a neo con so she probably admires FDR in some ways, which you can't do if you believe in liberty, but whoever accused neo cons of believing in liberty, they're the ones who brought us the Patriot Act remember?
I thought I had read the best economy books after Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson", and Jude Wannesky's "The Way The World Works", but this book explains both economics and politics and how the two e title was taken from an old essay by William Graham Summner,in which "the forgotten man" was the one forced to pay tax to support the unproductive recipients of government largesse. However, FDR re-defined the term to mean the poor recipient himself. Likewise, "liberal" had meant individualism until 1935, when the president's politics changed it to mean "collectivism".They say that history doesn't actually repeat itself, and Obama doesn't even rhyme with Roosevelt, but the method of pitting class against class in order to garner votes is something we all know about e book gives a month-by-month description of specific events and people from the 1920s through the New Deal. It would be best to take notes on this book, as I did, but one way or the other, don't neglect to read it!
Obviously, a great deal of hard work and research went into this book. It is obvious that almost everything FDR & HH did made life miserable for the average American thanks to their elitist tinkering. Neither deserve the kindness history has shown them, especially FDR. It is amazing we won WW11 with the egghead experimenters and Commies surrounding FDR. I would recommend this book to anyone searching for TRUTH in HISTORY.
Amity Shlaes wrote the story that took place during my childhood, just prior to and during the Franklin Roosevelt years in the Ovel Office. It reflected in adequate detail on most of the issues that took place during that time period, issues that I remember, but had no understanding of at that time. I never thought of Roosevelt as a progressive, or socialist, but he certainly was and set up many of the programs that have been harmful to the country ever since. Amity Shlaes explained most of the political background that took place and this has offered a better understanding of where we are today as a country, politically. It is a follow-on to her book, "Coolidge", which told the story of a very different President and one who we may wish to see again in the White House. President Coolidge was a frugal and conservative president, almost to a fault. But he ran the country on a balanced budget basis and set the standard for responsible government. "The Forgotten Man" is a most enlightening book!
I have mixed feelings on this book. But overall, I highly recommend it.When I first heard of this book, I was really interested in reading it and pre-ordered it on Amazon – since I like to ready and study the history and development of technology and Silicon Valley. I read The One Device over the course of a few days. No doubt, this boo was released a week before the 10th anniversary of release of the first iPhone - Friday, June 29th, 2007, to generate interest and sales.If you want *just* a history of the development of the first iPhone, this book may not be for you – except for the last chapter. If you want to know more about what made the iPhone possible and everything that lead up to the iPhone in a historical context, then you’ll definitely want to read this book. I just felt that the book could have been organized with more about Apple than a lot of isolated chapters with some Apple and iPhone history sprinkled in, where the best chapter on the development of the iPhone was saved for last. These lines from the last chapter succinctly encapsulates the essence of the book and the development of the iPhone:“… The stars aligned. They also aligned with lithium-ion battery technology, and with the compacting of cameras. With the accretion of China’s skilled labor force, and the surfeit of cheaper metals around the world. The list goes on. “It’s not just a question of waking up one morning in 2006 and deciding that you’re going to build the iPhone; it’s a matter of making these nonintuitive investments and failed products and crazy experimentation – and being able to operate on this huge timescale … Most companies aren’t able to that. Apple almost wasn’t able to do that.”The One Device tells the story of the development of the iPhone – but much more so, the confluence of ideas and technologies over time that made the iPhone e book starts off with Apple’s “Explore New Rich Interactions” (ENRI) group and initial experimentations of multi-touch before even thinking about the smartphone. Then a chapter into the history of the phone, electronic communications and the smartphone. Then on to a chapter (“Minephones”) on the sources of materials of smartphones. Then to Gorilla Glass. Then a chapter on the origins and work on multitouch over the en back to a chapter on Apple (“Prototyping”).Then back to the history of the battery and lithium battery and the origins of lithium. Then a chapter on Apple’s interest in the camera & image stabilization. Then a chapter back to the history of sensing motion (gyroscopes, GPS, accelerometers, etc). And onto a chapter on the ARM microprocessor (“Strong-ARMed”). Then a chapter on cellular network en back to Apple (“Enter the iPhone”), describing Apple’s thinking on developing a mobile phone, as iPod was taking off. Then to a side-tracked chapter and history of Siri (along with voice recognition, and artificial intelligence). I say side-tracked, since the original iPhone didn’t have Siri – which came out in the Fall of 2011 with the release of the iPhone en a chapter on Foxconn and the Chinese labor force that assembles the e back to Apple on how secretive it is as well as its marketing prowess (“Sellphone”).Then back to China and description of the Chinese component ecosystem and aftermarket and black market for en finally the last chapter of the book – the last 50 pages or so (out of 380 pages) – “The One Device” - is the meat of what I was looking for – getting more deeply into the details (as much as one could to a general reading audience).Overall, I would describe The One Device as a book version of the history of the smartphone analogous to the 1996 three hour PBS television documentary about the PC industry titled, “Triumph of the Nerds” – which I often say, is the best three hours of television, or at least documentary television, ever made. If you’re really interested in the history of what made the iPhone possible, this is terrific me other thoughts – this book really also looks at the cost of the iPhone, smartphone and consumer electronics in general – the mining material & labor cost, the factory worker & cellular tower worker cost, and the environmental cost.And finally, the cost to the Apple employees who gave their lives for the iPhone:As stated in the book, “His doctor, he says, gave him an ultimatum. Do these two things or risk dying – lose weight and quit [Apple]. Thirty-six people I worked with at Apple have died,” he says. “it is intense.”That intensity is also likely the reason that the team that built the iPhone has since scattered to the winds. As of 2017, besides Jony Ive, none of the executive staff at Apple was seriously involved in creating the iPhone.”
I couldn't put this one down. Merchant takes you on an adventure across the world and through time to tell the REAL story of the iPhone. After reading, I truly have a new perspective on this device that I use every day. I can't believe how much I had taken for granted about the iPhone.
We believe in magic. Unobtrusive, short, self explanatory, exhilarating and full of mystery, it titillates the senses and drives imagination. What was built as a imaginative drive of one person was instead a decade long sweatshop inquisitive creative process by those who believed in the art of the technologically impossible - and made that possible.
It's disheartening to learn that the drug cartels have the enormous power described in this book. Equally disheartening is the shocking lack of concern for the danger faced by undercover agents. Thankfully Senator John Kerry & Senator Charles Schumer tried to address the legitimate concerns of the author. Other politicians don't show as much integrity. And international banks are often complicit in money laundering, to a staggering degree.
Fascinating at first, and certainly a job that is very different from the what the rest of us do (to say the least). It also provides some insight into how large amounts of cash generated by the drug trade are laundered. However, after a while it turns into a litany of 'went here, met this guy, a ton of money was involved, met this/that corrupt banker'...etc, etc. It certainly takes a special type of person to do this, especially considering that he has a family that hardly sees him while he is undercover. Not to mention the real risk of being discovered and murdered. But again, after a while it gets repetitive and I was unable to [email protected]#$%!.Considering the huge amounts of money being made in the drug trade, it's no wonder it has not been simply legalized. Too many people on both sides of the law have their hands in the cookie jar. This is not to take anything away from the job being done by the author, but considering the effect that all the money and manpower spent on the war on drugs has had (apparently none whatever), I have to wonder if it's worth it.
This book brings to light the very issue being discussed on the news today: the very common practice by the banking, etc. establishments of money laundering to hide the proceeds of criminal enterprises. Mazur gives excellent explanations of the web of conspiracies by myriad banks and other institutions and how everything works. Well written.
My interest was piqued when Escobar was arrested in February. I heard Robert Mazir interviewed on KOMO radio about the arrest and his undercover operation with the Medellin cartel. His book was well written and well organized. I could really feel his stress, anxiety, and the ever-present sense of danger of having his cover blown. I also appreciated his acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by his wife and children during this two-year period, as well as their love and support. This book is worth reading, to get an understanding of what undercover officials go through and the dangerous circumstances of their jobs.
It was undoubtedly quite an accomplishment to bring down a large international bank. Less remarkable, unfortunately, is the fact that all the big money center banks were pandering to the drug lords and no doubt still are. A surprise to me was that so many of the bank insiders were Pakistani's. Saudis would not surprise me given their financial resources, but does Pakistan sell that much heroin? Our Hero has a serious addiction to all the trappings of the super rich and I can't help wondering what a 3rd party narration would read like. The internecine feuding within Customs was never told from another point of view.
A colleague of mine recommended The Infiltrator to me and said it's the best book ever written about the topic of money laundering. I was surprised given that the book is marketed as more of a thriller nonfiction but I decided to purchase it anyway because it appears that the theme of 2010 is international banks getting in trouble for money laundering schemes. I breezed through the book in three nights. It reads like fiction, but it actually happened. You can't make up the things that Bob Mazur wrote about in the book. I was also very sad that the bad guys in the book were actually the people who were supposed to support Mr. Mazur in his undercover operation. There are very few books out there that can change a person's life and this is definitely one of them. I was more caught up in the thrill of the book in the first read, but I will read it again for the educational purpose of the book. As somebody that actually worked side by side with money launderers and drug lords, Mr. Mazur can give you insight that no other money laundering professional Mazur is an American hero!
I heard from a friend this book might be made into a movie. I purchased it from Amazon and received it on a Saturday. I truly couldn't put it down, I know that is a cliche, but what a story, and best of all, it is based on a true story. In my opinion, this book ranks right up there with authors Sidney Sheldon & James Patterson. It really shows the problem this country, and world, has with drug traffickers and the money that flows. To me, it was a real eye opener of what banks and governments, say nothing about people, will do for big money & the power it brings. Thank goodness for agents like Mazur who risk everything to make these cases. This should be a best seller.R. Anderson
Very clear, Basic bit illuminating series of biograohies of important World leaders. I bought this for my son but profitted by reading it myself. Not original scholarship but clear,well organized and thoughtful
I must admit that I have never been someone who loves history. However, this book did really keep me turning the pages. The author touched base on Muhammad and all the way back to St. Paul! The Author is very insightful and had many references to back up points. This is a great book to learn things that others might not necessarily know.
Intersting facts but found it a bit short on depth, for us who enjoy history....
It was OK as far as it went. The problem I had with it was likely my own error - I must have missed the part in the description that says it's written at an early middle school reading level. The 3-star rating I gave reflects how the book struck me personally. I would rate it higher, I suppose, for a young reader. It does a pretty good job of giving the reader a basic introduction of historic figures with whom one should at least be familiar.
and succinct group of stories that most of us have at least heard about in school, but we were not challenged to think about how one man's life could so dramatically change the lives of millions of other people's of different races, cultures, religions, and methods of government. This short book tells about Jesus, Mohammed, Julios Caesar ,Octavious Julius Ceasar, Mahatma, Ghandhi, Alexander who were indeed some of the most important personages since recorded time began. They moved people, they stirred armies, some of them conquered worlds, and let's not forget the religious impact of Jesus Mohammed,and Gandhi. My only problem with this hook is it is written too stylistically. These men stirred the world, but I found the book provoked no debt of
This book is an extraordinary source particularly to the individuals who have fun in perusing history and needs to enhance their insight about it. The book contains data about old history including pictures and clear detail to each occasion. This is an awesome book to learn things that others may not as a matter of course know. This was an incredible aggregation of short life stories of a percentage of the best men who changed history.
George Washington was born in 1732, not 1731 as this book indicated. Book error? The way this book is written or the way the sentences are structured makes reading this pretty confusing as well. I wouldn't recommend this book based on those two things. Fact wise, it's not very informative. You could google any of these historical men and find more information and resources about them than this book offers. I would highly not recommend this book. Look elsewhere.
As an artist, an educator and above all, a spiritual seeker, I am always looking for ways to live out the spiritual practice of kindness and compassion. Ferial Pearson and her Secret Kindness Agents give all of us a practical way to walk the talk of kindness. You do not have to be wealthy, healthy, have a lot of time on your hands or of any particular religious or political persuasion to begin to make a difference in the world right where you live. Too many times we think that the only ones who can make a difference are big organizations but as anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I would love to see us take this practice to heart and start small kindness crews where we join together with others to find ways to do secret acts of kindness. Together we are much stronger than any one person.
What I love most about this book is that Mrs. Pearson and her Secret Kindness Agents demonstrate empowerment and mindfulness in answering the question; What can we do when confronted with tragedy? I read it all at once and it hasn't left my thoughts since I finished it. I loved the Agents' reflections. They were so honest and so funny! Dr. Edwards's Memoriam had me in tears. I always use the phrase "classroom community" but I had forgotten that I first learned that from her. She was the first professor I met at UNO that literally walked her talk. Mrs. Pearson created a marvelous tribute to her students and to the power of a classroom community that is led by a loving mentor who allows her students to recognize and claim their own voices. I look forward to introducing my students to our own Secret Kindness project this fall!
The most heart-warming and motivating call for action to change the world. I absolutely love it! Every time I need a little inspiration, I go back and re-read a couple of pages; the goosebumps and shedding of tears are inevitable. Ferial is empowering us all to make a difference; it really doesn't take much... a smile, holding the door for someone, helping with a heavy load... but these small acts of kindness will forever change everyone involved. Thank You Ferial Pearson, it is people like you that help me believe in humanity again :)
This book has motivated me to start my own group of secret agents in my classroom. Written as a “how-to” guide on creating kindness agents, the book is easy to read and follow. The book offers practical (and free) kindness ideas and personal stories from the students to share and ignite that same passion with your own students, (or own children). With all the sad stories and hard issues our students (and teachers) face, what an inspiring way to promote change and kindness in the world.
How inspiring and beautiful it was to discover how seemingly small acts of kindness had such a tremendous impact on the thoughts, actions, and emotions of all involved at this high school and in the community at large. And with such concrete instructions on how the Secret Kindness Agents project was set-out, any and all high schools and communities can easily (and should) be involved. Together we can change the world with kindness and with this book as a resource, changing the world, a task that at times is seemingly impossible, becomes that much easier.
The book is an essential tool for planting seeds of kindness. The process can be adapted and duplicated virtually anywhere, and can help classes and other groups with buildling their own cabal of Secret Agents (of Kindness). After reading the stories and the process, I now find myself on the lookout for my own opportunities to commit secret acts of kindness and to spot kindness in the act!
This is a fascinating account of how given the right incentive and drive you can get teenagers to do something that will benefit not just them, but those around them. Written by their teacher, who came up with most of the objectives and plans, but it’s especially intriguing when the kids come up with the ideas themselves. [email protected]#$%! had been longer, but what there is here is gold.
This teacher and these students turned something horrific into something beautiful. What an inspiring way to pay tribute to Avielle and so many other students that we have lost to school violence. Several times this book brought tears to my eyes. It reminded of the good in each of us. It is an easy, short read and well worth the time and money.
This book contains details about the gods of the Egyptians. Anubis was one of the most important gods as he was the one that weighed the heart of the dead person. The details of the mummification process is so interesting. Each part of the forty day process is laid out in this e story of Isis and Osiris is also told in great detail.I read a lot about ancient Egypt, but this had new information that I did not already know. I love when that e story of Osiris and his brother Set is an amazing tale of jealousy and intrigue. The things that Set did to Osiris are just horrible. But the devotion of Isis overcame these. This created the reason for the embalming, the preparations for the afterlife. Each god had a specific role and this book explains each role very r a small book there is some heavy new facts about the belief system of the ancient Egyptians. How they influenced regions of their neighbors and how they interacted with different nationalities.Just the section on the age of the pyramids was mind boggling. It is a truly amazing history that we can barely r history enthusiasts this is a great little book. I am glad I picked it up.
A good short read on ancient Egypt. I can't ever get enough of this topic. I particularly enjoyed reading about the deities Isis and Osiris, the magnificent pyramids and the Valley of the Kings and while I am not a religious person myself, I am very interested in reading about the history of religion and this book touches on that too. Worth the download.
It is amusing to learn about the times gone by Egyptians. This book is a close approach to their past lives and how significant they were for our civilization, it also gives us key and essential information to understand their philosophy. This book was very enjoyable. Great educational resource, that is an easy read.
Good for reader who have less time but in need to cover all aspects in general. The writer is honest in keeping historical approach into content than flooding with mysterious story or conspiracy e book is worth both price which is cheap and value of reading time spent into this.
I enjoyed this book. I was sick and couldn't sleep and finished it in a single night. It held a lot of information though. I was happy with it.
I recently watched couple of movies surrounding the stories of Egyptian Gods. This books, of course, tells the right tale. This book tells an interesting story of the history of Egypt. One chapter that was intriguing for me is Legacy of Egyptian Beliefs. Great insight of the different beliefs relating to Egypt.
Egypt has rich history and many stories to tell. This book will take you to the ancient egypt and will uncover some unknown facts about its history. Some stories you may find creepy but that about it. Enjoy this book.
This book covers the basics of Egyptian culture and their take on the afterlife. It also covers their downfall in a short, detailed, easy to read manner. I am overall satisfied with my purchase of this book.
This was like a high school paper. Lots of errors. No real information. Lots of conjecture. Not worth the time.
My son and I are starting a homeschool lesson on Ancient Egypt. I found this book, saw the positive reviews, and decided to read it to prep myself for the lesson. It was saying quick read. A nice overview and gave me a great starting point for my lesson plan.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It is very pagan friendly, and incorporates and alternative history and the spirit of the Magickal Battle of Britain, though it is not descriptive of the true events of it. (See: The Magical Battle of Britain. I love the stories like this and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel where magic is used for good in times of is story is not at all complicated, and quite easy to read as a simple pleasure. It has strong female characters who are hereditary witches. This is the story of a lineage of mothers and daughters through time, and their use of magic in attaining their life's ambitions. The stories center around family, love, and children, and occasionally fortune. The individual women's tales should resonate with all women. The book has chapters, but it is perhaps easier to put down as each new generations' tale e book does draw on ritual aspects of modern neopaganism and Wicca, as well as, in some sense, Wicca's own very real historical fiction. Woven through the story are topics such as the wheel of the year, with very simple explanations of those days' rituals, and basic circle casting and scrying. At times the women in the stories are raised Christian, and the story is very Christian friendly overall, though there are some fundamentalist witch hunters who are much feared, for good is not lewd, though very brief sexual situations are mentioned in a romantic way, and it is never explicit. The language is very mild and in general, the values are love and faithfulness to it, observance of the wheel of the year, and family and loyalty. There's also a strong thread of love and respect for animals and their well being, and love of the earth and planting/gardening.If you enjoy this story, especially the tales of Gypsies practicing the craft in secret in the early- mid 21st century, you might also like Diary of a Witch. As I was reading "A Secret History of Witches" I found myself often remembering how I enjoyed that book, too.
Interesting story with a great variety of characters. The story, as promised, did weave through history and while not all the history of the time being portrayed was obvious there was enough to hold the reader interested. The rotating cast of heroines were unique and varied and made for a great read.
One woman's story fades to her daughters, then to her daughters, and so on. While being a story some would consider set in fantasy, it has a great way of making you ponder life & love. You see both through realistic, and harsh, eyes but come out better on the other side.
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan is a historical novel that starts in 1838 at Orchard Farm. The Orchierres families magic seemed to wither with the death of Grandmere Ursule. Her descendants keep following the practices she established that have been handed down from mother to daughter. They have Ursule’s magic crystal and grimoire. Some of them can do simple spells, simples and charms. Nanette, Ursule’s granddaughter, is the first one to blossom with real power. Magic, though, always comes at a price. Follow the magic through the generations to see what happens to the Orchierres line of witches.A Secret History of Witches was a slow-paced novel that I found lacking in magic. The story had potential, but it was never achieved. Each generation seemed to make the same mistake. I thought it would be a story about strong, female witches (instead we have women that grow up, get pregnant, pass on family history and repeat for the next generation). Unfortunately, the only strong person was Gradmere Ursule (and she was dead). The woman and men were stuck in their gender roles and they were conventional. The magic elements were uninspiring. For a book about witches and magic, it was deficient. The characters lacked development (they were flat). Some sections were more complete than others. I was disappointed in the ending (it was unsatisfying and felt unfinished). I did not understand why the author did not bring the book into modern times and bring the witches full circle. She could have shown them back in full power in modern times. The book needed some oomph. My rating for A Secret History of Witches is 2 out of 5 stars. There is some good writing and the author did her research for the historical periods featured. My favorite section the World War II with Veronica Selwyn. If you are looking for a magical novel, check out Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy (vampires too)!
A great sequel to Colors by Victoria Finlay! The anecdotes interspersed with the history of jewels and Ms. Finlay's personal experiences make this book fascinating and entertaining reading. It is at once a very personal story and an engaging history of jewels. Like Colors, it takes awhile to read -- but every minute is enjoyable.
Great Book for those interested in the histories and background information about specific gems and pearls, as well as general technical info about them. Very well researched and written, fast moving, very informative and entertaining all at the same time.
Great book...Wonderful writing style. I have her other book "Color".I own a small handmade stone and pearl jewelry business so the purchase was a must for me!Am inspired by her inspiration of the stories and facts of gem lore.Her push via husband father in law as refrenced in the Preface...while in England at her father in laws memorial...Later taking a walk with her husband as they were discussing her doing this book or not and what her Father in law would tell her, that "you must do it"... While looking down into the canal a small canal boat named "Little GEM" happened to be going by just at that very momnet...Later found out "that it was rare for Little Gem to be on that stretch of the Thames: she is a weekend hire barge near Rugby, and only very occasionally finds herself so far south." One of Derek's (father in law) passions was canals and canal is world craves more great stories and inspiration to go along with thefacts...Victoria, you have artfully written another gem!Thanks...
I truly enjoyed this book. I love non-fiction, but am a stickler for good writing. Finlay fits the bill. The story is engaging, interesting, and well-paced. Many revelations in the book were entirly surprising, so there was delight around every corner. I would recommend this book to any one interested in geology, jewelry, or world history. It is a great book on all fronts.