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Test of Courage: The Michel Thomas Story

de Christopher Robbins

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"The story of Michel Thomas reads like a thriller in which adventure and heartbreak combine to produce a unique form of wisdom. Boldly escaping Vienna after the Anschluss, having refused to make accommodations for being Jewish, he arrived stateless in France one week before Kristallnacht. But rather than let this most precarious of positions defeat him, Thomas began to fight what was to become a fantastic and ultimately heroic personal war against the forces of barbarism that engulfed his world." "Christopher Robbins has dug deep to explore and substantiate the details of the Michel Thomas story. He has authenticated every episode through camp records, Vichy documents, Resistance papers and U.S. Army reports as well as with hundreds of hours of interviews with the man himself. Today, Michel Thomas teaches languages to inner-city kids, movie stars and heads of industry, succeeding in a matter of days even with people who consider themselves hopeless as linguists. To those who have been taught by him, he seems to have a magical gift for unlocking the secret powers of the mind."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (mais)
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Exibindo 3 de 3
I've used some of Michel Thomas' language materials and when I looked up the library website to get more, I found this biography, so I requested it. The "Test of Courage" is about mostly about his life during World War II and right after it, but there's a lot of background material to that too. I enjoyed the last part about his trying his language program with the disadvantaged to the elite. ( )
  eliorajoy | Jan 1, 2015 |
Thomas, Michel, 1914-/Jews > Persecutions > France/France > History > German occupation,/1940-1945/Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) > France/Anti-Nazi movement > France/Military government > Germany
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
The popular concept of the modern intellectual is the bipolar opposite of the popular concept of the modern soldier. Most, in our culture, accept this as Truth and hardly find it a point of reflection. One need not go to far back in time however, to see how the concept of the Renaissance man as artist, intellectual, and citizen soldier has only recently been smothered and killed off. Many today believe that there is nothing worth defending, that violence--no matter what--is not justified. Michel's life is a rage against those people. Michel's life has been spent between obtaining prestigious degrees, creating revolutionary teaching techniques, fighting the Gestapo, and hunting Nazis. A Jew who escaped from a concentration camp and joined the French Resistance, his entire family was slaughtered by Nazi Germany. His greatest pain comes from the fact that for years the world stood idly by as millions of Jews were sent to their deaths. Michel's life is a beacon in an ethically and morally baron landscape. Like the author, I should note that my opinion of this man is not biased, as I am not a Jew. But also like the author, I'd like to quote the Russian poet who said, "I am not a Jew, but in the presence of anti-Semites, I am Jewish."
I give the book 4 stars because the organization of the book is sometimes awkward and I found that the percent narration to quotation was too far weighted towards the narration side. These points should not, however, distract the reader too much as this is simply a great story. ( )
  thethinslice | Nov 12, 2005 |
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"The story of Michel Thomas reads like a thriller in which adventure and heartbreak combine to produce a unique form of wisdom. Boldly escaping Vienna after the Anschluss, having refused to make accommodations for being Jewish, he arrived stateless in France one week before Kristallnacht. But rather than let this most precarious of positions defeat him, Thomas began to fight what was to become a fantastic and ultimately heroic personal war against the forces of barbarism that engulfed his world." "Christopher Robbins has dug deep to explore and substantiate the details of the Michel Thomas story. He has authenticated every episode through camp records, Vichy documents, Resistance papers and U.S. Army reports as well as with hundreds of hours of interviews with the man himself. Today, Michel Thomas teaches languages to inner-city kids, movie stars and heads of industry, succeeding in a matter of days even with people who consider themselves hopeless as linguists. To those who have been taught by him, he seems to have a magical gift for unlocking the secret powers of the mind."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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