Reviews by Marje

Darius the Great

by Jacob Abbott

A fascinating history told by Jacob Abbott, a wonderful story-teller and historian. We are introduced first to Cyrus, the founder of the ancient Persian empire, his deranged son, Cambyses, and to Darius himself. We follow Darius and his massive military as he invades Greece, in the Battle of Marathon - the first of the Persian Wars, one of those great events in the history of the human race which continues to attract, from age to age, the admiration of mankind.

I would recommend that the moment you finish reading this book, you download Jacob Abbott's "Xerxes (Penny Books)" which picks up where "Darius the Great" ends with Darius' son Xerxes and the second Persian War ... even more of a page-turner.

Both books are as much about the ancient Greek city-states and their amazing reaction to two massive invasions of their homelands as they are about the Persian Empire.

High drama at its best; I would recommend both books to anyone with an interest in history (seems very contemporary at times) and would like an introduction to ancient Greece and Persia.

Who knew ancient history could be so fascinating!

Reviewed on 2009.06.27

Xerxes

by Jacob Abbott

First of all read Jacob Abbott's "Darius the Great", as it covers Xerxes' father Darius and the first of the Persian Wars.

"Darius the Great" is a fascinating history told by Jacob Abbott, a wonderful story-teller and historian. We are introduced first to Cyrus, the founder of the ancient Persian empire, his deranged son, Cambyses, and to Darius himself. We follow Darius and his massive military as he invades Greece, in the Battle of Marathon - the first of the Persian Wars, one of those great events in the history of the human race which continues to attract, from age to age, the admiration of mankind.

I would recommend that the moment you finish reading this book, you download Jacob Abbott's "Xerxes" which picks up where "Darius the Great" ends with Darius' son Xerxes and the second Persian War ... even more of a page-turner.

Both books are as much about the ancient Greek city-states and their amazing reaction to two massive invasions of their homelands as they are about the Persian Empire.

High drama at its best; I would recommend both books to anyone with an interest in history (seems very contemporary at times) and would like an introduction to ancient Greece and Persia.

Who knew ancient history could be so fascinating!

Reviewed on 2009.06.27

Tolkachev, A Worthy Successor to Penkovsky

by Barry G. Royden

I've been watching the series "The Sandbaggers" about the elite covert operations section of British Intelligence, nicknamed the Sandbaggers. So "Tolkachev" caught my eye and I thought I'd give it a try.

Subtitled "An Exceptional Espionage Operation," this article (only 54 pages long) is a case study of Cold War intelligence written by Barry Royden who served in the CIA for four decades. The article states that it was declassified so as to be available to scholars and the public.

Adolf Tolkachev was "one of CIA's most valuable human assets in the Soviet Union," who, for seven years, provided the CIA with a huge volume of extremely sensitive and valuable intelligence on Soviet research and development activities. The time-frame is approx 1977 - 1985.

This is the story of a spy ... his motivations, his initial and subsequent communication with CIA agents, how he was able to photograph the highly classified materials and then successfully pass them onto his handlers, the fascinating details of how a CIA intelligence operation involving him was conducted... and my only negative comment is that it was too short.

I would recommend it to anyone interested in true espionage.

Reviewed on 2009.04.17

''Old Put'' The Patriot

by Frederick A. Ober

I had just finished "His Excellency, George Washington" by Joseph Ellis and "1776" by Davis Mccullough when I got my Kindle 2. I ended up at manybooks.net and the first book I noticed was "Old Put" The Patriot.

"Ole Put" played a prominent role in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War, and as David McCullough said, "Old Put was as tough as any man who ever lived."

What I find! I downloaded it immediately and it became the first book I read on the Kindle. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in early American history, the two wars mentioned above, in the lives of people during that time ... and in particular, of "Ol Put" - a truly admirable and heroic character.

It was a good read.

Reviewed on 2009.04.12

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