Monthly Archives: April 2010

A dauntless investigation into a chilling phenomenon, Dangerous Waters is an epic, breathtaking modern tale of the sea.

Dangerous waters : modern piracy and terror on the high seas New York, N.Y. : Dutton, c 2002  John S. Burnett Pirates,  Hijacking of ships Hardcover. First edition and printing. xii, 332 p. : maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [317]).  Clean, tight a nd strong binding with clean dust jacket. No underlining, highlighting or marginalia in text. VG/VG Guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours of our receipt of your order 24/7/365

While sailing alone one night in the shipping lanes across one of the busiest waterways in the world, John Burnett was attacked by pirates. Through sheer ingenuity and a little bit of luck, he survived, and his shocking firsthand experience became the inspiration for this book. Dangerous Waters charts the resurgence of piracy in recent years and reveals why it poses a significant threat to our safety and security.

Today’s breed of pirates are not the colorful cutthroats painted by the history books. Unlike the romantic images from yesteryear of Captain Hook, Long John Silver, and Blackbeard, they can be local seamen looking for a quick score, highly trained guerrillas, rogue military units, or former seafarers recruited by sophisticated crime organizations. Armed with machetes, assault rifles, and grenade launchers, they steal out in speedboats and fishing boats in search of supertankers, cargo ships, passenger ferries, cruise ships, and yachts, attacking them at port, on the open seas, and in international waters. Entire ships, cargo, and crews simply vanish, hijacked by pirates working for multinational crime syndicates; these modern-day ghost ships turn up later carting illegal immigrants to the United States or running drugs. Burnett probes this dangerous world of thievery and mayhem, from the life-and-death struggles of brave captains and their crews, to the pirate hunters with bounties on their heads, and to the shadowy groups themselves who employ these ruthless, modern-day mercenaries.

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Twelve mighty orphans : the inspiring true story of the Mighty Mites who ruled Texas football

If you want to know what is right about America – and there is a lot right about America – forget the politicians and their pundits, ignore the lies on the front page and turn down the volume [better yet turn off] the ranters broadcasting. After you have enjoyed a few minutes of peace and quiet, lowered your blood pressure and restored your soul to some semblance of harmony pick up something written by your favorite sportswriter. You will find all of the American virtues there, everybody starts from the same line and while the fastest may win the 100 yard dash someone slower may prove themselves through endurance and win the marathon. The hours of unseen practice do pay off, we do keep score and we honor the victor and respect the sportsman. Jim Dent gets that and that is why his books rival the best of Hemingway and will be read and reread long after the Hearst hacks are recycled into toilet paper.

Twelve mighty orphans : the inspiring true story of the Mighty Mites who ruled Texas football    New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2007  0312308728 Jim Dent Masonic Home and School of Texas (Fort Worth, Tex.) ; Football Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. x, 287 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes index. A remarkable and inspirational story of an orphanage and the man who created one of the greatest football teams Texas has ever known . . . this is their story—the original Friday Night Lights. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG  Guaranteed to be shipped within 24 hours of our receipt of your order 24/7/365

More than a century ago, a school was constructed in Fort Worth, Texas, for the purpose of housing and educating the orphans of Texas Freemasons. It was a humble project that for years existed quietly on a hillside east of town. Life at the Masonic Home was about to change, though, with the arrival of a lean, bespectacled coach by the name of Rusty Russell. Here was a man who could bring rain in the midst of a drought. Here was a man who, in virtually no time at all, brought the orphans’ story into the homes of millions of Americans.

In the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing bigger in Texas high school football than the Masonic Home Mighty Mites — a group of orphans bound together by hardship and death. These youngsters, in spite of being outweighed by at least thirty pounds per man, were the toughest football team around. They began with nothing — not even a football —yet in a few years were playing for the state championship on the highest level of Texas football. This is a winning tribute to a courageous band of underdogs from a time when America desperately needed fresh hope and big dreams.

The Mighty Mites remain a notable moment in the long history of American sports. Just as significant is the depth of the inspirational message. This is a profound lesson in fighting back and clinging to faith. The real winners in Texas high school football were not the kids from the biggest schools, or the ones wearing the most expensive uniforms. They were the scrawny kids from a tiny orphanage who wore scarred helmets and faded jerseys that did not match, kids coached by a devoted man who lived on peanuts and drove them around in a smoke-belching old truck.

In writing a story of unforgettable characters and great football, Jim Dent has come forward to reclaim his place as one of the top sports authors in America today.

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A global history of U.S. nuclear espionage from its World War II origins to today’s threats from rogue states.

Spying on the bomb : American nuclear intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea      Jeffrey T. Richelson Nuclear arms control , United States New York : Norton, c 2006 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. 702 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

A global history of U.S. nuclear espionage from its World War II origins to today’s threats from rogue states. Since 1952 the nuclear club has grown to at least eight nations, while others are making serious attempts to join. Each chapter chronologically focuses on the nuclear activities of one or more countries, intermingling what the United States believed was happening with accounts of what actually occurred in each country’s laboratories, test sites, and decision-making councils.

Intelligence scholar Richelson weaves recently declassified documents into his interviews with the scientists and spies involved in the nuclear espionage, revealing new information about U.S. intelligence work on the Soviet/Russian, French, Chinese, Indian, Israeli, and South African nuclear programs; on the attempts to solve the mysterious Vela Incident; and on current efforts to uncover nuclear secrets of Iran and North Korea. Includes spy satellite photographs never before extracted from the National Archives.

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One of the greatest ecological mysteries of our time.

Locust : the devastating rise and mysterious disappearance of the insect that shaped the American frontier      Jeffrey A. Lockwood Rocky Mountain locust , West (U.S.) , History New York : Basic Books, c 2004 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xxiii, 294 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Throughout the nineteenth century, swarms of locusts regularly swept across the continent, turning noon into dusk, demolishing farm communities, and bringing trains to a halt as the crushed bodies of insects greased the rails. In 1876, the U.S. Congress declared the locust “the single greatest impediment to the settlement of the country.” From the Dakotas to Texas, from California to Iowa, the swarms pushed thousands of settlers to the brink of starvation, prompting the federal government to enlist some of the greatest scientific minds of the day and thereby jumpstarting the fledgling science of entomology.

Over the next few decades, the Rocky Mountain locust suddenly–and mysteriously–vanished. A century later, Jeffrey Lockwood set out to discover why. Unconvinced by the reigning theories, he searched for new evidence in musty books, crumbling maps, and crevassed glaciers, eventually piecing together the elusive answer: A group of early settlers unwittingly destroyed the locust’s sanctuaries just as the insect was experiencing a natural population crash. Drawing on historical accounts and modern science, Locust brings to life the cultural, economic, and political forces at work in America in the late-nineteenth century, even as it solves one of the greatest ecological mysteries of our time.

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For lovers of words and seekers of wisdom, a lively history of aphorisms — the shortest and oldest written art form — and the intriguing people who have penned them.

The world in a phrase : a brief history of the aphorism      James Geary Aphorisms and apothegms , History and criticism New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck, 2005 Hardcover. 1st U.S. ed. and printing.      ix, 229 p. ; 22 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-228).  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Starting with the ancient Chinese and ending with contemporary Europeans and Americans, The World in a Phrase tells the story of the aphorism through spirited and amusing biographies of some of its greatest practitioners: Americans like Ambrose Bierce, Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker; great French aphorists like Montaigne, La Rochefoucauld, and Chamfort; philosophers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein; as well as prophets and sages like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Jesus.

Though it’s an ancient art form, the aphorism is as spritely and as apposite as ever. Challenging and subversive, aphorisms deliver the short, sharp shocks of old forgotten truths. They are literature’s hand luggage: they’re light and compact, you can take them anywhere, and they contain everything you need to get through a rough day at the office or a dark night of the soul.

But more than just a literary history, The World in a Phrase is a personal memoir of how aphorisms changed Geary’s life — and how, if not for an aphorism by W.H. Auden, he might never have met his wife. In our modern age of drive-through culture, pre-digested soundbites, and manufactured sentiment, The World in a Phrase explores how aphorisms still retain the power to instigate and inspire, enlighten and enrage, entertain and edify.

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