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Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages [Hardcover]

By Mary Ford-Grabowsky (Author)
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Item description for Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages by Mary Ford-Grabowsky...

He played in casinos around the world with a plan to make himself richer than anyone could possibly imagine -- but it would nearly cost him his life.

Semyon Dukach was known as the Darling of Las Vegas. A legend at age twenty-one, this cocky hotshot was the biggest high roller to appear in Sin City in decades, a mathematical genius with a system the casinos had never seen before and couldn't stop -- a system that has never been revealed until now; that has nothing to do with card counting, wasn't illegal, and was more powerful than anything that had been tried before.

Las Vegas. Atlantic City. Aruba. Barcelona. London. And the jewel of the gambling crown -- Monte Carlo.

Dukach and his fellow MIT students hit them all and made millions. They came in hard, with stacks of cash; big, seemingly insane bets; women hanging on their arms; and fake identities. Although they were taking classes and studying for exams during the week, over the weekends they stormed the blackjack tables only to be harassed, banned from casinos, threatened at gunpoint, and beaten in Vegas's notorious back rooms.

The stakes were high, the dangers very real, but the players were up to the challenges, consequences be damned. There was Semyon Dukach himself, bored with school and broke; Victor Cassius, the slick, brilliant MIT grad student who galvanized the team; Owen Keller, with stunning ability but a dark past that would catch up to him; and Allie Simpson, bright, clever, and a feast for the eyes.

In the classroom, they were geeks. On the casino floor, they were unstoppable.

Busting Vega$ is Dukach's unbelievably true story; a riveting account of monumental greed, excess, hubris, sex, love, violence, fear, and statistics that is high-stakes entertainment at its best.

Outline Review
Semyon Dukach couldn't believe how easy the money was. In one weekend, the MIT math genius and his team of geeks had made $200,000 playing the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. They hadn't cheated. Instead, they had discovered one of humanity's greatest holy grails: a system to beat the casino. They had rendered obsolete the old saying that the house always wins. Dukach and his friends made millions during the 1990s playing blackjack in the world's top casinos, right under the noses of pit bosses and security consultants who thought they had seen it all. Dukach's story is told in author Ben Mezrich's vividly narrated book Busting Vegas.

Mezrich, the author of previous bestsellers about MIT gamblers and a colorful Ivy League trader in Japan, tells how Dukach's crew used a system that Vegas had never seen before. Dukach, the son of Russian immigrants who grew up in the poorest neighborhoods of New Jersey and Houston, was determined to climb out of poverty and help his family. His system didn't involve the commonly used techniques of card counting. Posing as an arms dealer or dentist, Dukach deliberately sought out blackjack dealers with small hands or thin fingers who frequently didn't conceal the bottom card when they shuffled the cards. Dukach would often manage to get a glimpse at the bottom card. This was highly significant because it was the card the dealer would hand the player to cut the deck. Dukach had practiced a technique to insert the card in a precise spot in the deck and then make big bets when the card was dealt. Dukach and his team ended up barred from casinos, threatened at gunpoint, and beaten in Vegas's notorious back rooms. This is a riveting yarn. ---Alex Roslin

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.35" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.26 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 5, 2002
Publisher   HarperOne
ISBN  0062517023  
ISBN13  9780062517029  
UPC  099455024952  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mary Ford-Grabowsky

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mary Ford-Grabowsky is an award-winning writer, editor, and teacher with a specialty in the world's mystical traditions. Her publications include inspirational books, such as Prayers for All People and Sacred Poems and Prayers of Love, and many essays and scholarly articles. After receiving a master of divinity degree and a doctorate in theology and spirituality from Princeton Theological Seminary, she taught in the religious studies department of Regis College, later returning to Princeton to become editor of Fellowhsip in Prayer. In 1995 she moved to California at the invitation of the Episcopal theologian Matthew Fox to become vice president and academic dean of the Universtiy of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, where she today serves as a member of the adjunct faculty and board. Among honors she has received are an award from the ecumenical branch of the World Council of Churches for distinguished service in interfaith work. A translater who studed Spanish in Mexico and German, French, and Italian in Europe, she has been collecting and translating prayers for many years and is currently preparing a book of women's prayers for publication. She warmly invites readers of this book to send their favorite prayers to her at: P.O. Box 21267, Oakland, CA 94620-1267.

Mary Ford-Grabowsky currently resides in Boston.

Mary Ford-Grabowsky has published or released items in the following series...
  1. SkyLight Illuminations

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Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Women

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Reviews - What do customers think about Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Wisdom Through the Ages?

Sacred Voices: A Banquet of Women's Wisdom  Apr 2, 2002
Almost 175 women of all cultures and times, from a priestess of the goddess Inanna (2000 BCE) to contemporary storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estes, are chronicled in this volume. A brief biography of each woman introduces her words: poems, letters, dreams, polemics, stories, sayings, visions, journals, even a recipe.

The reader meets famous women like Hildegard of Bingen or Georgia O'Keeffe, and obscure or anonymous women: Bibi Hayat of Persia, Sarada Devi of India, and Bedouin, Pygmy and Hopi women. One of my favorite entries is this poem where the erotic meets the mystical, from someone I'd never heard of, Rabia Al-Adawiyya, Persian, 717-801:


O my Lord, stars are shining
And the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have shut their doors
And every lover is alone with his beloved.
Here I am alone with you.

Sacred Voices' entries bring us diversity of age, race, sexual orientation, historical period, geography, literary form, and spiritual perspective. It is a collection of the wisdom of old women, girls, mothers, artists, philosophers, mystics. We meet extravagant women, modest women--all passionate in their own ways, all truth-telling, all women of wisdom, all now, thanks to this book, part of our heritage.

The volume is encyclopedic but not intimidating, to be kept near at hand for inspiration, comfort, and challenge. Don't try to gulp it down in one swallow. I've been reading a few entries every day--what a treat!

Mary Ford-Grabowski has dug deep into the immense treasure of women's experiences and reflections. She deserves our thanks for bringing it to us in such a beautiful and useful volume.


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