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“Mao’s Great Famine,” “Outside Looking In,” “Carlo Ancelotti”   

As the weather starts getting a bit chillier for most of us, as more time is spent indoors, the scene is set for reading some good books. A new trio with totally different subject matters beckons.

“Mao’s Great Famine” by Frank Dikotter (Walker, $30.00, 420 pages) is a riveting and heartbreaking and illuminating read by an expert in the field. Its focus is on China’s most devastating catastrophe that lasted from 1958 to 1962. As Professor Dikotter writes “China descended into hell” as the nation was thrown into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward attempting to surpass Great Britain in less than fifteen years. Utilizing previously unavailable archival materials, Dikotter documents what happened in great detail. Mao’s madness comes through on every page.  A MUST READ.

In a completely opposite vein, there is “Outside Looking In” by Gary Wills (Viking, $25.95, 195 pages). This new work by the acclaimed and bestselling author is a memoir of a half century of observing, note taking, being involved in seminal events on the journalistic scene. Wills covering presidential campaigns, meeting and knowing bold type celebs like Beverly Syls, Richard Nixon, Jesse Jackson, all is part of the intriguing and informative content. Quick but important reading.  NOTABLE.

For those with an interest in football (soccer), for those with an interest in a well told tale, “Carlo Ancelotti” by “Carlo Ancelotti” with Alessandro Alciato (Rizzoli New York, $25.00, 264 pages, 35 photographs) fits the bill. The former star player, the famed coach of top teams in Italy and England, the outspoken Ancelotti touches all bases in this illuminating autobiography. There is something to learn on each page about “the beautiful game” and the man some call “the ordinary genius.”  TOP DRAWER.

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer/travel.htm.

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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