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L'affascinante storia dello sviluppo del potere navale moderno dagli inizi del XX secolo ai nostri giorni viene delineata da un grande esperto militare inglese, l'ammiraglio Hill-Norton. Le varie fasi attraverso cui le grandi potenze hanno lottato per affermare la loro supremazia sui mari sono analizzate facendo ricorso a materiali d'archivio provenienti dalle Marine Militari di diverse nazioni e da collezioni private.
 
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BiblioLorenzoLodi | Nov 22, 2019 |
What could be better than a ghost story set on “The Rock,” the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary? Not much in my book. When I saw this slim memoir in a Pier 39 gift shop, I immediately grabbed it.

I knew by looking reading that the first few lines that the story wouldn’t be well written. But I was pulled in by the dedication to his wife, Linda.

John Dekker was from Chicago where he grew up during the Great Depression. He was a tough kid with tough friends and tough relatives. His pulled his first caper to get his hands on $1,000, a heck of a lot of money in those days. He needed it to bail his father out of jail. It was easy, it was fast, and it accomplished his goal. Thus, a criminal was born into the body of a teenager. The story is told in Dekker’s own words. He did a great job with description and creating conflict. One thing you can say about Dekker, he was loyal.

The first half of the book is a setup for Dekker’s ultimate destination, Alcatraz. The descriptions of the life during the time he spent there, 1953-1958, reveal a hellhole. Punctuated by a recent visit, Dekker drew vivid pictures of his life on The Rock. He served his time and was released in 1958.

As far as the ghost went, well, I’m not sure what Dekker was trying to convey. I was thinking literally, but no ghost story was told. I was disappointed, but nonetheless fascinated by Dekker and his life choices. Another thing that disappointed me was that he never mentioned his age at the time of the his crimes, when he was transferred to Alcatraz not when he was released.

After his release, he settled in California. He returned often and attended many of the reunions. I find it odd that the inmates and guards held reunion, much like high schools and colleges. That seems plain ol’ weird to me.

I tried to find Dekker on Google, I wanted to know more about him and if he is still alive, but alas, I couldn’t find any information. I “think” he was alive as late as 2004, but after that, well, I’m just not sure. I bet whoever is reading this can come up with all kinds of fascinating information, and if you do, please let me know.

Although the title is misleading, the style that of a tenth grader, I still found The Ghost of Alcatraz: The Autobiography of Former Alcatraz Inmate #1076 to be a fascinating read. I give it 6 out of 5 stars.
… (mere)
 
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juliecracchiolo | Mar 2, 2018 |
Fascinating biographical account of early missionaries to the Dani people of Irian Jaya. Sensitive accounts of the struggles of westerners who had to change their lifestyle drastically, and the gentle ways they reached out to people with very different customs, ensuring that the Gospel message was not tainted with western culture. Well written, if a little slow in places, and some excellent principles as an appendix, such as encouraging locals to run their own congregations, with their own guidelines, and also to send out their own missionaries.… (mere)
 
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SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |

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