Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trading in Oil Futures, Hardback, Rare Book

Clubley, Sally, Trading in Oil Futures, Second Edition, Cambridge, UK: Woodhead-Faulkner Limited, 1990, pp129.

I bought this readable hardback about 10 years ago from a bookshop formerly situated in The Adelphi at Coleman Street. Having seen crude oil prices hitting record high lately this year, I guess this book was written well ahead of its time.

Expert Practical Advice you could use

Sarnoff, Paul, Trading in Financial Futures, Cambridge, UK: Woodhead-Faulkner Limited, 1986, pp134.

This is one book that I'd bought about 10 years ago from an obscure bookshop I can't recall its whereabout.

That interesting caption written on the top of the dust-jacket says "Expert practical advice on how to make profitable use of the financial futures markets" but I doubt I could ever make use of that practical advice, having read this book once since I'd bought it.

Trading in Platinum, Hardback, Rare Book

Findlay, Gillian, Trading in Platinum, Cambridge, UK: Woodhead-Faulkner, 1988, 170 pages.

This is a rare hardcover book bought for a very high price from MPH Bookstore at Stamford Road in 1990. It is a book of knowledge for the serious reader and investor.

This book has charts, graphs, and text but no photographs. But then it isn't a coffee table book, you know.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trading in Silver, Hardcover Book

Sarnoff, Paul, Trading in Silver: How to Make High Profits in the World Silver Market, First Edition, London: Woodhead-Faulkner Limited, 1988, pp141.

Bought at a high price from Times Bookshop in 1990, this out-of-print hard cover book has easy-to-read large prints on its pages. The pages are clean and neat. Nice front and back covers. Nice dust jacket. Good quality paper. Read one time only. As good as new.

Silver Bulls, Hardcover Rare Book

Sarnoff, Paul, Silver Bulls: The Great Silver Boom and Bust, First Edition, Westport, Connecticut: Arlington House Publishers, 1980, pp199.

Here's a comprehensive description written in this book about how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission outwitted the two marauding Hunt brothers from cornering the entire silver contracts at COMEX and CBOT from 1979 to 1980 when the price of silver skyrocketed from US$6.00 to US$50.00 per ounce. This out-of-print hard cover book has easy-to-read large prints on its pages. The pages are clean and neat. Nice front & back covers. Nice dust jacket. Good quality paper. Nice used.

Here's a short description about how I'd found this rare book. I'd been searching for this book in almost all the used or second-hand bookstores in town from 1987 for a few years when I'd chanced upon an obscure small bookshop in Serangoon Central in 1992. The proprietor was an elderly gentleman and when I'd asked him about this book, he simply took it out from the drawer of his desk and offered it to me at a price I wouldn't refuse to buy. He'd told me that he didn't display this book for sale 'coz he was still reading it. I am still reading it for the second time and I don't think I'll be selling it quite so soon.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Torn Dustjacket on an Old Hardback

Dohrman, Bernhard, Grow Rich with Diamonds: Investing in the World's Most Precious Gems, San Francisco: Harbor Publishing, 1981, pp167.

I saw this old hardback with a torn dust-jacket on one of the bookselves inside Romie's bookshop since my last two visits sometime between September and October, before I'd decided to buy it about two weeks ago.

In my opinion, the glorious days of gem diamonds are over, after hitting the peak in the early 1980s. It might take a catastrophic event something like WW2 or a massive worldwide inflation something like that in the 1970s to bring back some glory for diamonds, but I ain't betting on any of that.

I've a few books (talking about diamonds) bought during the past 25 years and I'd thought of adding this one just the same into my collection and read it for leisure. After some straightening and wiping its torn dust-jacket and finding a mylar jacket protector to wrap it up, the appearance of this old book isn't that bad at all, as shown in my photograph. Now it really goes well with the rest of my collection.

A Scratch on the Dustjacket of a Pricey Hardback

Ian Sayer and Douglas Botting, Nazi Gold: The Story of the World's Greatest Robbery and Its Aftermath, First American Edition, New York: Congdon & Weed, Inc: 1984, pp423. Out-of-Print. Dustjacket. As Good As New.

I'd bought this large hardback from the online store in 1999 for a high price of $63.54 (US$36.94), including shipping and handling. But I was not told before my purchase that its dustjacket has got a dreadful scratch across the title. You can see it clearly in my photograph. I like to think that scratch wasn't done on purpose by any of the packing staff.

Despite this incident, I've continued buying a few more hardcover books and many NTSC1 DVDs from this online store in the following few years.

SURVIVAL, Hardback, Rare Book

Rorimer, James J, Survival: The Salvage and Protection of Art in War, New York: Abelard Press, 1950, pp285. No dustjacket.

Bought about 10 years ago from a bookshop formerly situated inside The Adelphi at Coleman Street, this is an easy-to-understand book any art history student will enjoy reading. It's about the monumental task a handful of those United States art historians of the MFA had to do to search and salvage many cultural objects in Europe during and after WW2.

I'd sold this book to a bidder at Yahoo! Auctions Singapore sometime last March. SOLD!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Night of The Generals, Hardback Novel

Hans Hellmut Kirst, The Night of The Generals, Translated from the German by J. Maxwell Brownjohn, First American Edition, New York: Harper & Row, 1963, pp319. No dustjacket, nice used. SOLD!

This is a rare book, and its story has been made into a movie, starring Peter O' Toole, Omar Sharif, and Christopher Plummer.

This is a powerful World War 2 thriller about a German general who becomes a serial killer. When a Polish prostitute is brutally murdered in German-occupied Warsaw, her killer is identified as a German general.

The investigator, Major Grau narrows the suspects to three generals in the German high command: the heroic Tanz, the cynical Kahlenberge, and the weak Von Seidlitz-Gabler. For years the crime remains unsolved, until the killer strikes again, bringing this mesmerizing mystery to its unforgettable finish. Read this book and find out the full story.

I recall way back to the late 1960s when I was a schoolboy then, the movie was screened in Odeon Cinema at North Bridge Road. But I didn't see it.

By the way, I am looking for the made-in-USA NTSC1 DVD movie. If you have a used DVD and would like to offer it to me at a reasonable price, please post me an email anytime. Please do not offer me those Region Free DVDs made-in-Hongkong, or VCDs made-in-Philippines, or those bootleg copies.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Book Review written in 1986

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Revised and Enlarged Edition by Hannah Arendt, First Edition, New York: Viking Press, 1964, 312 pages, 22cm, Bibliography, Index.

Hannah Arendt's Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil was completed in November 1962, when she was then a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University. Regarded as an authority on the subject of totalitarianism, Miss Arendt attended the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 as a reporter for The New Yorker magazine. The content in her book had been assembled and revised from a series of articles originally appeared in The New Yorker in February and March 1963.

In her book, Miss Arendt establishes for the reader that the sole purpose of the trial of Eichmann is to render justice, as when she justifies that "this trial had to take place in the interest of justice and nothing else." In this trial, Eichmann was prosecuted, judged, and punished for his crimes against the Jewish people. After realizing the role played by Eichmann (who was kidnapped in Argentina and brought to Jerusalem to stand trial) in the "Final solution of the Jewish question," the reader is able to understand why Miss Arendt should believe that "the facts for which Eichmann was to hang had been established 'beyond reasonable doubt' long before the trial started, and they were generally known to all students of the Nazi regime." Without any doubt, the trial's sole purpose was achieved.

Miss Arendt demonstrates to the reader that the judges in the trial of Eichmann were right when they proclaimed that the State of Israel was also the State of the Jews and, therefore, had jurisdiction over a crime committed against the Jewish people. As the reader is able to realize, Miss Arendt would like to justify the kidnap of Eichmann. But more importantly, she portrays the willingness and desire of Israel to bring any Nazi criminal like Eichmann to stand trial. Miss Arendt has been critical about the unwillingness of the then Federal Republic of Germany to bring the major Nazi criminals to justice. The reluctance on the part of the then West German authorities to seek out Nazi criminals still at large would certainly provide a valid reason for the State of Israel to take the initiative.

The Nazi criminal who the State of Israel brought to stand trial in 1961 was Adolf Eichmann, head of the Jewish Affairs Section of the Gestapo in the Third Reich. By 1938, all members (about 30,000 persons) of the Gestapo were required to join the Nazi Party's Schutzstaffeln (SS) or the Elite Guard, led by Heinrich Himmler, who was also the chief of the Gestapo. A Party apparatus that came under the charge of the SS was the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) or the Nazi Security Service, led by Reinhardt Heydrich, who was also the chief of the State Security Police. Eichmann, being an officer of the State apparatus and a servant of the totalitarian Third Reich, was drawn into the Party's cobweb. He last held the rank of Obersturmbannfuhrer or Lieutenant-Colonel in the SS.

Writing about Eichmann, the man who inherited the task of finding a "final solution of the Jewish question," Miss Arendt explains to the reader that Eichmann "was recognized not merely as an expert on 'the Jewish question,' the intricacies of Jewish organization and Zionist parties, but as an 'authority' on emigration and evacuation, as the 'master' who knew how to make people move." Her purpose is to remind the reader that Eichmann was no psychopath, but a sane administrator, a civil servant, a man sitting in a respectable office drawing out plans for the deportation, ghettoization, and annihilation of Jews in Europe. Miss Arendt describes vividly Eichmann's role in the destruction of European Jewry from "The First Solution: Expulsion" to "The Second Solution: Concentration" and, finally, to "The Final Solution: Killing" thereby showing the reader that Eichmann clearly had no ground to plead not guilty simply by offering an excuse that he was performing his duty in the Third Reich and obeying the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler's order.

Miss Arendt also reveals Eichmann's Nisko plan to settle the Jews, which was repudiated by Hans Frank, governor-general of occupied Poland. Eichmann then came up with the Madagascar project but it was stalled by the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia. He blamed the rivalries, quarrels, and competition among the diverse bureaucracies within the Third Reich for the failure of Madagascar project. When all his plans for the mass evacuation of all Jews did not materialize, Eichmann was finally directed by Heydrich to execute the "final aim" which was the "physical extermination" of all Jews. Hence, Eichmann carried out his duty of rounding up the Jews and deporting them to death camps. In August 1944, he was able to report to Himmler that six million Jews had been killed. The sinister role which Eichmann had played, without any doubt in the reader's mind, should be judged instrumental in causing such an outrageous loss of human lives. As such, Miss Arendt is absolutely correct to conclude that Eichmann was guilty of participation in mass murder and deserved to hang. She describes Eichmann as "the man who was to go down in history as one of the arch-murderers of the Jewish people...." The reader would no doubt agree with her.

Despite having all the factual content presented brilliantly in a readable manner and calling for more of such a kind of trial against Nazi criminals in the name of justice, Miss Arendt has somehow accused the Jewish people for co-operating with the Nazis in their own destruction. She feels certain that the Nazis needed Jewish co-operation in order to execute their genocidal plan, and if the Jews had not co-operated, the Nazis might not have a massive labor power to assist them on a large-scale annihilation of the Jews. Miss Arendt may thus be insinuating that the Jews had helped the Nazis to kill more Jews. But had the Jews decided not to co-operate with the Nazis, the community would sooner be wiped out. Thus in the hope of saving some lives, the Jews opted to co-operate with the Nazis, most reluctantly.

Going further in her accusation of the Jews for co-operating with the Nazis, Miss Arendt speculates that the loss of lives would have been far less had the Jews been leaderless and unorganized. How wrong can she be on this point because the leaderless and unorganized eastern European Jews were, likewise, killed in large numbers. The Einsatzgruppen (SS special murder squads operating in Eastern Europe) annihilated well over half a million Russian Jews in the first few months following Hitler's invasion of Soviet Russia.

Miss Arendt was especially critical of the role played by the Judenrate or the Jewish councils in their co-operaton with the Nazis in areas such as the selection of victims for the concentration camps and recruitment of Jewish policemen to round up these victims. She does not take into consideration the policy of appeasement, which was a traditional diplomatic tactic of the Jewish leaders. In this instance, most unfortunately, the Jewish leaders failed to recognize the unprecedented and revolutionary character of the Nazi regime. Having seen the German troops as the most well-behaved outfit during World War One, the Jewish leaders had assumed that the Nazi Germans would act likewise henceforth. Even though such a grave mistake was made by the Jewish leaders regarding the intentions of the Nazis toward them and their people, Miss Arendt should not blame the Jewish leaders squarely for this unintentional mistake. Besides, nobody at that time could fully comprehend and foresee the potential evil of the Nazi regime. The Jews definitely did not really know what was about to happen to them in the "final solution" dealt by the Nazis.

And when the full horror of the "final solution" was finally revealed to the Jews, Miss Arendt questions why the Jews had not found opportunities to escape or offer resistance. Miss Arendt has asked an unfair question, for how could the Jews escape or offer resistance when the whole of Europe had turned into a battle-ground and all borders had been closed; most of the Jews were scattered over vast areas; possession of firearms was prohibited by law; the Jews at that time were a people lacking in military traditions? Miss Arendt has thus wrongly blamed the Jews for not taking the initiative to escape or offer resistance.

Finally, Miss Arendt wrongly blames the Zionists for not being able to get a deal with the Nazis in transferring more Jews to Palestine. She thinks "only Zionists had any chance of negotiating with the German Authorities..." and "hence, the Zionists could, for a time, at least, engage in a certain amount of non-criminal co-operation with the Nazi authorities...." Having emigrated from Germany in 1933, when the going was easy, Miss Arendt seems to think that the situation for emigration should remain the same in war-torn Nazi-occupied Europe. Of course the situation was not the same and escaping became extremely difficult during the war. Thus it is wholly unwarranted for Miss Arendt to blame the Zionists for not being able to assist more Jews in leaving Europe.

Discounting on these few flaws made by Miss Arendt in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil can rightfully be ranked among the great classics. The reader should appreciate Miss Arendt's smooth style of writing, ample factual research, and good overall presentation of the material. This is a book all students and researchers of the study of Nazi war crimes can greatly benefit from.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hitler and his Secret Partners

Pool, James, HITLER AND HIS SECRET PARTNERS: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997, pp415 (text), pp16 (b/w photos). SOLD!

Read all about Adolf Hitler's secret financiers & his infamous Nazi loot of the Third Reich. This is a large size as good as new paperback that I'd bought from Romie some years ago and read it quickly once over. This paperback has a price tag of £9.99 on its back cover and I guess Romie might have got it from one of his foreign customers.

I'd listed this paperback at Yahoo! Auctions Singapore and it took me slightly more than a year before I'd succeeded in selling it to a bidder last September.

Collector's Guide to Militaria, Hardback, Nice Used

Johnson, Derek E., Collector's Guide to Militaria, London: William Luscombe Publisher Ltd, 1976, pp144, inc 64 black & white photographs. Large print. Clean & neat pages. Nice front & back covers. Nice dust jacket. Nice used.

In the cool afternoon of September 18, I'd dropped into Romie's used (second-hand) bookshop downtown and was lucky to find this out-of-print hardcover book. This is a great book written about militaria and so I'd thought I post it for display here for your viewing pleasure. I guess I'll need to spend some time reading this book.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Best Bookshop Downtown Singapore

14 Scotts Road,
Far East Plaza,
Singapore 228213.

Sole Proprietor: Romie (left).

Telephone Numbers: 67328773 and 93852696.

Check out my friend's bookshop selling mostly second-hand (used) books like Fiction (Novels), Non-Fiction (Self-Help, Inspirational, Motivational, Business, Fashion, General), Children's Books, Comics, and Imported Magazines.

Best bookshop downtown selling and renting used books. No regrets walking into Romie's bookshop 'coz I've been buying used books and magazines from Romie since 1991. This is the man who has been selling books since the good old school days at Bras Basah Road. He will gladly answer all your questions about books. Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Expedition Whydah read by Barry Clifford

Barry Clifford with Paul Perry, Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World's First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her, New York: Harper Audio, 1999, Audiobook, 2 audiocassettes, 3 hours.

This audiobook, read by Barry Clifford, was bought from a large bookstore at Orchard Road in 2002. It serves as a complement to the hardback of the same title that I'd bought from Romie in the same year. Nowadays, Romie sells a few used audiobooks in cassettes and audio CDs.

In the early 1990s, I'd bought several new audiobooks in the form of cassettes and they're still very playable and their sound quality hasn't deteriorated much. It's fun listening to them once in a while.

Expedition Whydah

Barry Clifford with Paul Perry, Expedition Whydah: The Story of the World's First Excavation of a Pirate Treasure Ship and the Man Who Found Her, First Edition, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999, pp312 (inc. illustrations).

The title of this hardback says it all. The back of its cover says about "A captivating account of the golden age of piracy, the search for sunken treasure, and the business of underwater exploration."

This book was as good as new, with a nice and neat dust-jacket, when I'd bought it from Romie in 2002.

The Sunken Ship called Whydah

Barry Clifford with Peter Turchi, The Pirate Prince: Discovering the Priceless Treasures of the Sunken Ship Whydah, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993, pp222 (text) and pp16 (b/w & color photos).

This hardback with a colorful dust-jacket was as good as new when I'd bought it from Romie sometime in 2001. The story was written by Barry Clifford who discovered a fabulous US$400 million pirate treasure from the sunken ship Whydah, which archaeologists say is the only pirate ship ever identified and salvaged.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Book with a Different Dust-jacket

Wilkins, Harold T, Hunting Hidden Treasures, First Edition w/Illustrations, New York: E P Dutton & Co, 1929, pp255.

This is one nice and neat used book that I'd bought some 10 years ago. It has a wrong dust-jacket entitled Coronado's Children: Lost Mines and Buried Treasures of the Southwest, but I ain't complaining 'coz that dust-jacket fits well with the book. Both titles have buried or hidden treasures written, and you can't come closer than that.

Trading In Gold, Hardback, Rare Book

Sarnoff, Paul, Trading In Gold, Cambridge: Woodhead-Faulkner, 1980, pp128.

Bought in 1981 from MPH Bookstore at Stamford Road, this is an interesting book with some technical stuff about gold futures trading. However, it has two chapters talking about investing in physical gold bullion bars and coins.

For your information, I'd bought a nice used hardback of the same title from Romie sometime in the mid-1990s when he was then running Sultana Bookstore at Selegie Road. I'd sold that used copy to a bidder at Yahoo! Auctions Singapore about a year ago.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Lost Spanish Treasure Fleet

Kip Wagner and L B Taylor, Jr, Pieces of Eight: Recovering the Riches of a Lost Spanish Treasure Fleet, London: Longmans, 1967, pp221 (text) and pp22 (diagrams & photos).

This is a great hardback that comes with a nice and neat dust-jacket that I'd bought from Romie in 1992. It took me about three days to read it and some two years later, I was able to find a new Kapco mylar dust-jacket wrapper from another bookshop downtown to wrap and protect the dust-jacket.

In this book, Kip Wagner narrated to L B Taylor, Jr "this true story of a treasure hunt that has yielded millions [of dollars]. Over 250 years ago a Spanish treasure armada was wrecked on the Florida reefs, and ten richly laden vessels were sunk." This is a story whereby every armchair adventurer (like me) will find fascinating and exciting.

The Amazing True Story of the Beatles' Early Years

Allan Williams and William Marshall, The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away, London: Coronet Edition, 1976, pp240 (text) and pp8 (b/w photos). Sold!

This interesting paperback might well be the very first book that I'd bought from Romie way back in 1991 when he was running Sultana Bookstore at Selegie Road. A few years later, I'd noticed another similar paperback like this and bought it from Romie, but I'd sold it to a bidder at Yahoo! Auctions Singapore in 2004.

The back cover of this paperback reveals that "Allan Williams managed the Beatles when you could have hired them for £10 a night. He dropped them when they were on the brink of becoming the biggest thing show business has ever seen. Here is the unabridged story of those amazing early years in Liverpool, Hamburg and London: the disasters, the laughs, the girls, the fights, and above all, the sweat and work that ended up producing some of the greatest music of all time."

Books Galore

14 Scotts Road, #05-107 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213.
Sole Proprietor: Romie (see photo above).
Telephone Numbers: 67328773 and 93852696.

Check out my friend's bookshop selling mostly used (second-hand) books -- Fiction (Novels), Non-Fiction (Self-Help, Inspirational, Motivational, Business, Fashion, General), Children's Books, Comics, and Imported Magazines.

Best bookshop downtown selling and renting used books. No regrets walking into Romie's bookshop 'coz I've been buying used books and magazines from Romie since 1991. This is the man who has been selling books since the good old school days at Bras Basah Road. He will gladly answer all your questions about books.