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To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Mass Market Paperback (11 October, 1988)
list price: $6.99 -- our price: $6.29
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Editorial Review

"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Reviews (1395)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read...
This epic novel is one of the best that I've read.This story has to do with the contraversial issues of racism.Taking place in the days where african-americans really didn't get respect,it is precise in every detail,and gives the reader a front row seat at the events that happen.Harper Lee is a critically acclaimed novelist,and this book gave her a place in the world of literature forever.

-Great Book! Recommended!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Classic! Read it at least once!
To Kill A Mockingbird is a powerful masterpiece at it's best. This classic tale was brought to life by Harper Lee in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and later became an Academy Award-Winning film. There are over 15 million copies in print with translations in forty languages. The story takes place in Alabama during the Depression, in the early 1900's. It is about a young girl, her brother Jem, and their lawyer father Atticus, who must teach his children the value of every human being, regardless of race. It is a life lesson that is taught not only to the characters in this book, but the reader as well. Harper Lee does a marvelous job allowing the reader to actually live the hatred, love, suspense and determination of this family to stand up for what they believe in. It is a test for them because in the days that To Kill A Mockingbird takes place, race issues were just coming to life, and the true lesson was yet to be learned.

The storyline is about a young girl, Scout, who is at the age of curiosity. She wants to learn about everything, and looks to her older brother Jem to help her learn the ways of life. It is about a father that is forced to raise his children alone, after losing his wife. Through many hardships, this family learns about respect, love, personal growth, and most importantly they learn life lessons. "You never really know a man till you walk a mile in his shoes", says Atticus, who is defending an innocent black man, who is being charged for the rape of a white girl. In the end the real truth comes out, to no avail. The story is also about friendship, found in Dill, a boy that brings excitement to these two young characters. The three quickly become friends and they explore, play, learn, and love one another.

The story is based on Scout Finch, Jem, Dill, Atticus Finch, and many others who bring this book to life. The Radleys, who live next door to the Finches, are a strange and curious family to say the least. Through determination, they all quickly learn the Radleys aren't as strange as they would appear. There is Aunt Alexandra, who is very much against everything that Atticus believes in, she moves in with her brother and tempers flare. The neighbor, Miss Stephanie Crawford nurtures the children and aides them in ways only a woman can, since they lack a mother figure. Culprina, the black housemaid who has been helping Atticus raise his children, also guides this family into a world of understanding. Through all the characters, you find a perfect puzzle, that without just one piece, it would crumble.

The meaning of this book really touches on all the problems that are still very real in this world today. It is a true life lesson for the reader, young and old alike. I don't believe anyone can read this classic and not walk away with something truly special....Love For All.

Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez

5-0 out of 5 stars To kill a Mockingbird or to kill man's freedom -great book!
The book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is much more educational than any government school.The title comes from a comment in the book about how it is not a sin to kill bluejays, as they are vicious vandals and pests, but it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, as a mockingbird only sings for us.All of you who have been physically attacked by bluejays (as I have) raise your hands. All the hands show that the title's subject is clearly true.

The "Mockingbird" analogy in the book is to the defendant falsely accused of rape.

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

Readers can make comparisons with real life trials such as "An American rape: A true account of the Giles-Johnson case" by A. Robert Smith and read the book or view the documentary about "The Scottsboro Boys" -six sets of trials for nine defendents... all young black men wrongly accused of raping two white women while "riding the rails" through the deep south during the Depression.

The book explores the themes of racism, violence and doing what is right.There is even a setting in a government school in which the class discusses Hitler and the analogy is made to his persecution of people based on race or religion.

At the time set in the book, the government in the USA had taken over most schools and the government mandated segregation by law, institutionalized racism, and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the defeat of Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' Party and well beyond, even into the 1970's.

Every day students would attend segregated government schools and chant the pledge of allegiance using the original straight-armed salute.The USA's pledge of allegiance was the origin of Hitler's salute, as discovered by the historian Rex Curry (the book "The pledge of Allegiance and the Bellamys).The salute was not from ancient Rome.

In 1892, Francis Bellamy began the pledge of allegiance with a military salute for the phrase "I pledge allegiance" and then the rest of the pledge was chanted with the arm outstretched toward the flag. The military salute became the Nazi salute. The hand was supposed to be turned upward for the main gesture, however it changed in time to the Nazi-style because of casual extension of the initial military salute straight toward the flag. Even when the palm was turned upward, people would see the relationship to the later Nazi-Sozi salute, and the USA's salute changed to the hand-over-the-heart.

When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany. They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism. They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge. Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist's pledge daily, on cue from the government. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others.

Francis Bellamy put flags in every school to promote a government takeover of education for widespread nationalization and socialism, and Bellamy was a self-proclaimed national socialist who advocated "military socialism" for three decades before Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Edward and Francis Bellamy were cousins and were national socialists who idolized the military and wanted to nationalize the entire US economy, including all schools. It was a philosophy that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) where millions were murdered (62 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 35 million by the Peoples' Republic of China, 21 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party) in the worst slaughter in history. That is why the Bellamys are known as America's Nazis. All Holocaust Museums could expand four-fold with Wholecaust Museums.

Many people forget that "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party," and one reason people forget is because the word "Nazi" is overused by the writers who never say the actual name of the horrid party. A good mnemonic device is that the sick socialist swastika represented two overlapping "S" letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers' Party, as exposed in the book "Swastika Secrets."

The Bellamys wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military's "efficiency," as he said. It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.They wanted government schools to ape the military. Government schools were intended to create an "industrial army" (another Bellamy phrase, and the word "army" was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

After the government's segregation ended, socialism's legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

Francis Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives.

At the height of Nazi power, the USA's government deliberately stepped onto the same path with national numbering imposed in 1935 with the social security system. The federal government was growing massively and attempting to nationalize the economy in many ways. The US Supreme Court struck down much of the new legislation as unconstitutional until the craven FDR pressured the Court into the "switch in time that socialized nine."

After the USA entered WWII, the pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history. That is why the pledge still exists.

The USA also continued its Nazi numbering (social security from 1935) and its robotic pledge, with no stopping.

Overall, the book was very revealing and educational and worth the time to review. ... Read more

Isbn: 0446310786
Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fathers and daughters    3. Fiction    4. Girls    5. Legal    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Literature: Classics    8. Race relations    9. Trials (Rape)    10. Fiction / Classics   


Cracking the GRE Literature, 3rd Edition (Cracking the Gre: Literature, 3rd ed)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Paperback (15 August, 2000)
list price: $18.00
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Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful for its Pragmatism
As a former history major attempting to gain admittance to at least one PhD program in literature, I found this book essential for many reasons.However, let me admit its faults immediately at the risk of echoing other reviewers: the actual test (as of fall 2004) has seriously migrated away from the British canon and has placed primary emphasis on the literature of the past two centuries, most notably that of Romanticism and Modernism.Needless to say, the Princeton Review text spends too much time on classical allusions, styles, and motifs.Despite these minimal flaws, the text gave me confidence to approach the test without fear through its "two pass" system, and secondly, it reinforced the notion that students need to study the exam itself and not the entire history of literature in the English language (something I was loosely contemplating in my idealism).That said, it seems wise to study African-American as well as Modern authors--particularly woman writers--to broaden one's horizons.My final impression is that the test virtually ignores criticism and literary vocabulary in favor of raw recognition and reading comprehension, and a selective skim of the British and American Nortons--combined with good luck and faith--is the ultimate key.

4-0 out of 5 stars the best you can expect
The Princeton Review does a great job of addressing how eclectic and difficult this test will be.Students that are used to breezing through exams are prepared to be surprised and challenged by the extent of material this exam covers.(For example, when was the last time you reviewed your Greek and Roman Mythology?Edmund Spenser?Derrida?Yeah.)Everybody has their own complaints about the GRE, but I think this book gives you a plan of study that will help fill in the gaps with the esoteric bits of information that ETS expects all English scholars to know.Princeton Review won't help you all the way, though -- they give you some good ideas but a lot of it is just on your own.Spend quality time with your Norton (Vol 1 and 2 are standard fare).Be aware that Princeton does not cover much after 1900, yet you WILL need to know that stuff for the exam.I love that this book does not talk down to the reader - it presents a refreshing kind of challenge, as opposed to the General GRE (useless, useless, useless...)For a review book, I think its the best you can expect to find.

5-0 out of 5 stars Make your life easier...
I am a doctoral student at a very competitive university.A couple weeks ago I was talking with some other students in my department about studying for the GRE Lit Subject Test.We all used this book.Everybody.

The author formulates what he calls a "points-to-pages ratio" to help readers triage their exam reading lists.For example, he points out that the English Bible is about 3,000 pages long and there will be 2 or 3 questions (out of 230) about it on the test.Good thinking.He also does a pretty good job breaking down the various schools of literary criticism and theory (as the testmakers tend to see them) and his sample test with explanations is a lot more helpful than the sample tests you can buy from ETS.

All in all, this book is well worth [the price] since you already have to pay $150 to take the test! ... Read more

Isbn: 0375756175
Sales Rank: 425273
Subjects:  1. American literature    2. English literature    3. Examinations    4. GRE (Graduate Record Examination)    5. General    6. Graduate Record Examination    7. Literature (General)    8. Study Aids    9. Study Guides    10. Test Prep    11. Study Aids / GRE (Graduate Record Examination)   

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