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History > 21st Century

21st Century

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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

HELPFUL VOTES
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6
  • "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, published "The Deadly Choices at Memorial" in the New York Times on August 30, 2009. I read it on line, and, when I found an abandoned copy at a Starbucks, I read it again. It was a great article, and I wished for more details - why did the hospitals generators fail? - why didn't the hospital's emergency plan have procedures in place for a catastrophic failure? - why didn't the doctors who administered fatal injections wait for rescue that, in hindsight, was just hours away? That article won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting; and this lengthy book (576 pages on paper) answers those questions, and more.

    Fink has the rare gift of understanding how complex systems work and fail, and the ability to explain them in a lively, intriguing narrative that weaves history, culture, engineering, medicine, medical ethics and people and companies together into a compelling story. She doesn't draw conclusions: she gives the conclusions reached by the government; the American Medical Association; the people that survived Memorial and the family members of those who didn't; law enforcement; expert witnesses; criminal attorneys and civil attorneys; and ethicists.

    As a reader/listener, I reached my own conclusions about why Memorial failed as a physical building, and how and why Dr. Anna Pou, did what she did - she apparently euthanized patients, and was arrested for second degree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Dr. Pou or the two nurses that helped her, years after Katrina.

    Would I have made the same kind of decision in an analogous situation? It's easy to pass moral judgment sitting in my comfortable backyard, well rested, enjoying a Sunday croissant and strong, black coffee. I don't think I would have, especially as to patient Emmett Everett, Sr., but I really don't know.

    Fink's epilogue makes a strong recommendation: guidelines need to be in place for medical priorities when medical resources are short, and those decisions need to be made well before natural or man made mass casualty events happen, not in the middle of a catastrophe.

    The book was so well narrated, I realized I was up at 1 a.m., after repeatedly setting the Audible sleep timer, listening. I had to switch to a book I'd already heard so I could sleep.

    [If this helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (487)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
  • "The Fighting Season"

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    In Afghanistan, the fighting season starts in the spring and lasts until the winter snows freezes the land. The Taliban stages firefights, tries to assassinate its enemies, lays Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and sends suicide bombers to crowded marketplaces. US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates' fighting season started on December 18, 2006, with George W. Bush as his Commander-in-Chief, and ended, at Gates' firm insistence, with his long planned retirement from the cabinet of President Barack Obama on July 1, 2011.

    Bush 43 (as Gates referred to in his book, to distinguish him from his father, George H.W. Bush, Bush 41) was the 7th president Gates worked for. Bush 43 dragged Gates from his well loved job as president of Texas A&M, convincing Gates his duty to the country he loves was not finished. Gates was there for the wars in Iraq (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-present); the January 12, 2010 Haitian Earthquake relief effort; the July 2010 Pakistan floods; and the Arab Spring, which began December 18, 2010. These events, and so many others that occurred during his tenure were tumultuous and Gates had to carefully balance resources to succeed with demanding missions.

    Gates was also fighting other battles, particularly against a Congress that was, and remains, indifferent, muddled and sometimes hostile to military needs. Yes, it's great to fund all of those cargo planes that the Air Force didn't ask for and can't even find a place to put, but what the troops really needed in 2007 was Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs). Gates pushed that through, and they saved countless lives. And how about decent hospitals and care for wounded warriors? Canceling boondoggle projects and investing the money to help them heal should been something Congress leapt at, but Gates had to jump so many hurdles he could have qualified for an Olympic track team.

    Gates had a particular dislike for some people he dealt with on a regular basis. I think he would have been grateful if Nancy Pelosi retired and took a vow of silence. He is a firm supporter of Israel, but Benjamin Netanyahu really bugs the hell out of him. George Newbern, the narrator, conveys Gates' unwritten glee when Obama, apparently no fan either, left Netanyahu cooling his heels in the White House while Obama had dinner with his family. Afghan president Hamid Karzai was another issue. Gates didn't particularly like him, but he understood him better than anyone else in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

    Although Gates never had a winter break from his wars, he had strong allies, ardent supporters, and dedicated support from military and civilian Department of Defense employees. His relationship with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was remarkable. They did not always agree, but he admired and respected her statesmanship, and she changed his mind from time to time.

    Gates gratefully acknowledges the Washington Post for exposing deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital that he fought hard to start to fix. He also mentions many, many people, from enlisted soldiers to heads of state, that made what he did possible. "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was a "Yes, I was in charge, but hundreds of people were key and this is who they are and what they did" book, not an ego trip.

    Gates has Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Degrees in History, and "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was written with a historian's eye for complex detail and accuracy. The differences between Bush 43 and Obama as president are stark. Gates got along better with Bush 43, whose previous military service - although limited - made him innately comfortable with the military mindset. Taking an oath to protect and defend your country, knowing that your oath may lead to your death, and then learning how to accomplish that duty in extensive military training fundamentally changes a person, in part, because you learn you must trust your noncommissioned and commissioned officers with your life. Obama is not a veteran, and inherently distrusts senior military officers. Both men are decisive and made decisions Gates didn't always agree with. Obama is analytical and deliberative, where Bush 43 shot from the hip and was too easily influenced by his advisors, including a hawkish Dick Cheney. Obama considers other opinions, but isn't unreasonably swayed by them - which, considering Joe Biden's unique way of seeing the world, is a good thing. Gates opposed Obama's decision to send Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but applauded both the courageous decision and its results, comparing it to some of the hardest and loneliest decisions made by Abraham Lincoln.

    Gates memoir isn't remotely introspective, but it is clear that by the time he was at the end of his service, he was about to lose it. He cared more personally for the troops than perhaps anyone in a similar position since Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Writing this memoir expressed the frustration and anguish he felt, but couldn't say, as SecDef.

    "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" is 600 pages long, and almost overwhelming in scope. Gates writing style, after 40 years in government, is dry. He jumps from topic to topic, but to be fair, Gates was always jumping from crises to crises. The audio narration was good at differentiating the change in topics. This is a book that I wouldn't have had time to read on text for a very long time, and I'm glad it was available on Audible.

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    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (813)
    Performance
    (726)
    Story
    (726)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • "Living History, Loving History"

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    When you live through history, the big picture - if you think of it at all - is elusive. There are parts of the illustrated history you can imagine but can't see because you're painted in another perspective. NPR, FoxNews, Slate, evangelical Christians, liberal pundits and conservative wonks add pieces to a puzzle scattered across a vast nation.

    I was part of the 48% in California who voted 'no' on Prop 8 - which means I supported marriage equality. I mourned for friends who'd married and had their civil rights taken from them. I listened to the live webcast of "8", with so many people Internet traffic slowed down even crashed in a few places. In June of 2013, I changed my Facebook picture and pretty soon, every Facebook friend I had looked the same: = Our avatars stayed that way until DOMA and Prop 8 were overturned.

    And talk about real excitement: SCOTUSBlog! No waiting for NPR's Nina Totenberg to come out of the Courthouse to explain the decisions. I posted SCOTUSBlog's report to FB, and the virtual celebration was on. Not that I didn't make it a special point to listen to Totenberg's reports later: no one explains the Supreme Court better.

    So, I was and am definitely a supporter of same sex marriage, but other than being one of more than 50 million? 100 million now? that support it, I really only had the most rudimentary idea of how it went from whispers to dreams to possibility to reality.

    I understood how and why United States v. Windsor (2013) 570 US 12 ended up in front of the US Supreme Court: that was a federal tax (IRS) question arising out of a federal law - the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    But Hollingsworth v Perry (2013) 133 S.Ct. 2652? Why wasn't that a California case? Did Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and later, Jerry Brown have the state constitutional authority to refuse to defend a proposition voted on by a majority of the voters, or even an affirmative obligation not to defend Prop 8? How were the Plaintiffs selected? And why now, not later when more people might have accepted the idea? And, just what was actor/director/civil rights activist Rob Reiner's part in this anyway? And why was there a trial, rather than a Motion for Summary Judgment?

    I already had a pretty good idea of why the conservative Theodore Olson and the liberal David Boies were working together: human rights are human rights, not 'isms'. And - especially for us 'Street Lawyers' (as John Grisham might call us), there's no more idealistic attorney than a constitutional law attorney. Unless, of course, it's the President.

    What fascinated me especially is learning how Olson and Boies worked together to map out a plan, from selecting resilient, optimistic Plaintiffs; identifying qualified experts; taking depositions; opening and closing statements; and establishing a strong record for appeal. Their system of constant balances and critical feedback in preparing questions and arguments - well - it was clearly invaluable and crucial to their preparation.

    "Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality" (2014) by David Boies and Theodore Olson answers the procedural (how it got to the Courts it went to) and substantive (what law was used, and why). Absolutely fascinating. And - as someone who aced constitutional law in law school and has hundreds of hours of training in the same, and is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court - if I were doing law school again, I'd read "Redeeming the Dream" first and last.

    That being said - as a reader/listener Olson and Boies sounded like lawyers who'd swallowed Black's Law Dictionary and were slowly regurgitating it. That's a good thing for the US Supreme Court and law students, but not so good for folks who didn't find Cliff Sloan and David McKean's "The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall and the Battle for the Supreme Court" (2009) edge-of-your-seat fascinating. (That's the history of Marbury v. Madison (1803) 5 U.S. 137.)

    So, my recommendation if the paragraph above doesn't apply to you: start from Chapter 8 on Audible - 7 on paper, and listen to the rest after if you are so inclined. And get "8" on Audible, because it's just that d***ed good.

    I was so tempted - and so wanted - to give this book 5's across the board, because 'What a Great Story!' It's just not that well written or narrated - Rob Reiner, where are you?

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    Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Boies, Theodore B. Olson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United Statesissued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California's discriminatory Proposition 8, thereby reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson - who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore - joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day.

    R says: "More than it appears . . ."
  1. Five Days at Memorial: Li...
  2. Duty: Memoirs of a Secret...
  3. Redeeming the Dream: The ...
  4. .

A Peek at Michael Moore's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
283
 
Bay Area, CA USA 60 REVIEWS / 114 ratings Member Since 2005 87 Followers / Following 0
 
Michael Moore's greatest hits:
  • On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System

    "More Depth than "Too Big to Fail""

    Overall

    I read this book not long after "Too Big to Fail." It has the benefit of being a first-hand account by the senior government official in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis: we learn much more in this book of the background thinking and concerns of top Treasury and Fed officials who were trying to cope with the onset of financial panic and meltdown. Put another way, the book offers much clearer context and explanation of the policy thinking than did the Sorkin book. The book keys on personal conversations and meetings, which keeps it interesting. There are revealing sketches of Mr. Paulson's interactions with Congressional leaders and the President, which show how completely unprepared they all were for the scope and severity of the financial crash. The weakest part of the book is the Afterword in which Mr. Paulson lays out the policy reforms that are needed in order to avoid a like financial disaster in the future. Although a vitally important and urgent reform (and one Congress and the Administration to their shame have still not addressed 18 months after the 2008 meltdown), this part of the book reads like a bland press release from the Treasury Department.

    This book is well worth reading for a better understanding of the 2008 financial collapse. It is focused on the response to the financial meltdown at the highest levels of government and industry. It does not, however, provide particular insights into the irresponsible business practices that led to the crisis in the first place.

  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    "Explaining the Inexplicable"

    Overall

    How could the world's most advanced and enlightened economy allow an irresponsible, greedy and self-deluded congregation of Wall Street bankers to accumulate such gargantuan financial losses that the whole country was imperiled? For, as Churchill might have put it, never in the realm of economic activity have so many suffered so much at the hands of so irresponsible a group of bankers.

    Michael Lewis attempts to answer this question through the stories of the relatively few professional investors who took the time to dig into the subprime mortgage market and perform careful credit analysis of the loan quality underpinning the whole market. What they found was not surprising. It was a credit disaster waiting to happen. What is revealing is the reception they received from mainline Wall Street firms, their own investors, and the credit rating agencies. In nearly all cases their views were discounted ("it could never happen in the US housing market;" "subprime loan losses will not all happen at the same time") and they were dismissed as misfits. The Wall Street money machine, fueled by huge financial rewards, animal spirits and a "we know better" culture, simply moved on heedlessly to even greater risks and excess. Well worth the read, but I would start with David Faber's book ("Then the Roof Caved In") if you are new to the mortgage-backed security world of Wall Street.

  • Too Big to Fail

    "Well Worth a Read"

    Overall

    What distinguishes this book from others about the 2008 financial meltdown is the author's extraordinary access to the high-level government and industry players who were at the center of the drama. The writing style is easy to follow (once you have the names clearly in mind) and flows very well. The picture that emerges is a group of executives and officials trying to improvise remedies for a devastating and unprecedented financial collapse on the fly, under intense time pressures, and with no assurance they would be successful. In the circumstances we can be fortunate things did not go into complete meltdown. It is also abundantly clear that sensible financial reform is a must so that the country does not face a similar crisis in the future.

    The book is mainly useful for understanding the course of events, policy decisions, and mergers that occurred once the scope of the financial meltdown became apparent at the highest levels of the government. It is less useful as a source for understanding the background and business practices that led to the enormous build-up of irresponsible investments in subprime mortgages and their derivatives that were the prime cause of the crisis. For that background, I would suggest Gillian Tett's book (Fool's Gold); A Colossal Failure of Common Sense (dealing with the Lehman collapse); and articles by Michael Lewis.

  • Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America

    "The Melodrama Behind the Scenes"

    Overall

    Interesting and worthwhile story of the top executives at Merrill and BofA during the tumult of 2007 and 2008. It reads like a melodrama, with detailed descriptions of rivalries, bad feelings, insensitive and arrogant behavior, and corporate cliques???in short, a gossip???s delight as well as useful background on how critical high-level corporate decisions were made during that period.

    One of the more interesting episodes discussed was Ken Lewis???s attempt in December 2008 to seek additional US government assistance to BofA for the Merrill transaction, using the threat of invoking the ???material adverse change??? clause in BofA???s merger agreement with Merrill. He ran into a Treasury Secretary and Fed Chairman who were ready and fully capable of calling his bluff. Lewis was sternly rebuffed with the admonition that such a step would call BofA???s judgment into such serious question that the banking authorities would likely remove its top management and Board.

    With its focus on personalities, this book makes only cursory references to the underlying causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. As I have mentioned in other reviews, if you are looking for books that explain the underlying causes in detail I recommend David Faber's book (And Then the Roof Caved In) followed by Michael Lewis's book (The Big Short)..

Bookworm

Bookworm New York, NY 12-20-12
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  • "Bring our Troops Home"

    3 of 4 helpful votes

    The book is about the author's investigation into writing a Rolling Stone article (June 2010) on Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was in charge of the war in Afghanistan as well as the fallout after publication of the article.

    Now that I have finished the book, I'm dying to read the RS article. The author never realized what a sh*tstorm the article would create - and it did.


    The middle part of the book is a little boring but stick with it. The end where the sh*t hits the fan and the fallout at the White House is fantastic.

    The story is also interesting knowing about Gen Petraeus' recent scandal in Florida.

    The sad part about the book is that you realize we have no business in the war. We aren't winning, they don't want us there, they don't even want democracy and our soldiers are risking the lives for nothing. It's time to bring our troops home.

    More

    The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael Hastings
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    An explosive, behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that lifts the curtain of the world stage to reveal the devastating greed, waste, and failure surrounding this unwinnable war.

    Professor says: "VERY INTERESTING STORY"

What's Trending in 21st Century:

  • 4.5 (4255 ratings)
    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Lewis Narrated by Jesse Boggs

    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4255)
    Performance
    (1739)
    Story
    (1758)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jay says: "Informative and Engaging"
  • 4.3 (3401 ratings)
    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer Narrated by Holter Graham

    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3401)
    Performance
    (3044)
    Story
    (3073)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • 4.4 (1884 ratings)
    Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (






UNABRIDGED) by John Heilemann, Mark Halperin Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris

    Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1884)
    Performance
    (744)
    Story
    (745)

    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
  • 4.4 (1158 ratings)
    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Wright Narrated by Alan Sklar

    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1158)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (449)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
  •  
  • 4.3 (394 ratings)
    The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (






UNABRIDGED) by Jake Tapper Narrated by Rob Shapiro

    The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jake Tapper
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (351)

    At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp.

    Jason says: "A must read!"
  • 4.3 (305 ratings)
    Generation Kill (






UNABRIDGED) by Evan Wright Narrated by Patrick Lawlor

    Generation Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Wright
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (146)

    They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

    James says: "Interesting and well paced, though poorly narrated"
  • 4.3 (291 ratings)
    The Greatest Trade Ever: How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History (






UNABRIDGED) by Gregory Zuckerman Narrated by Marc Cashman

    The Greatest Trade Ever: How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregory Zuckerman
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (82)

    In 2006, hedge fund manager John Paulson realized something few others suspected--that the housing market and the value of subprime mortgages were grossly inflated and headed for a major fall. Paulson's background was in mergers and acquisitions, however, and he knew little about real estate or how to wager against housing. He had spent a career as an also-ran on Wall Street. But Paulson was convinced this was his chance to make his mark. He just wasn't sure how to do it....

    David says: "Better Books Now Available"
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert M. Gates Narrated by George Newbern, Robert M. Gates

    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (813)
    Performance
    (726)
    Story
    (726)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer Narrated by Holter Graham

    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3401)
    Performance
    (3044)
    Story
    (3073)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Lewis Narrated by Jesse Boggs

    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4255)
    Performance
    (1739)
    Story
    (1758)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jay says: "Informative and Engaging"
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (






UNABRIDGED) by Evan Osnos Narrated by Evan Osnos

    Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Evan Osnos
    • Narrated By Evan Osnos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    Sam says: "Important stories from contemporary China."
  •  
  • American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant (






UNABRIDGED) by Ann Scott Tyson Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell

    American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ann Scott Tyson
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

    Hunter says: "THE TRUE ARMY OF ONE!!!"THE SPARTAN""
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (






UNABRIDGED) by Sheri Fink Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (483)
    Story
    (487)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
  • The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Salim Yaqub

    The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Salim Yaqub
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    At the dawn of World War I, the United States was only a rising power. Our reputation was relatively benign among Middle Easterners, who saw no imperial ambitions in our presence and were grateful for the educational and philanthropic services Americans provided. Yet by September 11, 2001, everything had changed. The United States had now become the unquestioned target of those bent on attacking the West for its perceived offenses against Islam. How and why did this transformation come about?

    Saud says: "Detailed, unbiased, clearly explains the mess"
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Wright Narrated by Alan Sklar

    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1158)
    Performance
    (451)
    Story
    (449)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
  •  
  • Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution (






UNABRIDGED) by Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz Narrated by Holter Graham

    Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

    Jean says: "An unbias view of the Court"
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric Blehm Narrated by P.J. Ochlan

    The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eric Blehm
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (172)

    The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy - and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate, for the first time, a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice.

    Charles says: "The only thing worth dying for."
  • The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Kent Narrated by Dan Woren

    The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Steven Kent
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.

    Orion Burdick says: "Focuses on the industry more than the games"
  • America the Vulnerable: New Technology and the Next Threat to National Security (






UNABRIDGED) by Joel Brenner Narrated by Lloyd James

    America the Vulnerable: New Technology and the Next Threat to National Security

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Joel Brenner
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    A former top-level National Security Agency insider goes behind the headlines to explore America's next great battleground: digital security. An urgent wake-up call that identifies our foes; unveils their methods; and charts the dire consequences for government, business, and individuals.

    Yachtmaster says: "Every American Should Read This Book"
  • WAR: Visionary Tales of Human Conflict from the Middle East (






UNABRIDGED) by Rory Patrick Allen Narrated by Commodore James

    WAR: Visionary Tales of Human Conflict from the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Rory Patrick Allen
    • Narrated By Commodore James
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    I have lived in the Middle East for 25 years now, and the constant undercurrent of these conflicts is ever present.

  • Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today (






UNABRIDGED) by Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus Narrated by Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford

    Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines. In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter.

  • Dear Leader (






UNABRIDGED) by Jang Jin-Sung Narrated by Daniel York

    Dear Leader

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-Sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Dear Leader contains astonishing new insights about North Korea which could only be revealed by someone working high up in the regime. It is also the gripping story of how a member of the inner circle of this enigmatic country became its most courageous, outspoken critic. Jang Jin-sung held one of the most senior ranks in North Korea's propaganda machine, helping tighten the regime's grip over its people.

  • Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (






UNABRIDGED) by David Boies, Theodore B. Olson Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

    Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Boies, Theodore B. Olson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United Statesissued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California's discriminatory Proposition 8, thereby reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson - who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore - joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day.

    R says: "More than it appears . . ."
  •  
  • Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution (






UNABRIDGED) by Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz Narrated by Holter Graham

    Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

    Jean says: "An unbias view of the Court"
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (






UNABRIDGED) by Evan Osnos Narrated by Evan Osnos

    Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Evan Osnos
    • Narrated By Evan Osnos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    Sam says: "Important stories from contemporary China."
  • Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Rashke Narrated by Ken Kliban

    Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Richard Rashke
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    John “Iwan” Demjanjuk was at the center of one of history’s most complex war crimes trials. But why did it take almost sixty years for the United States to bring him to justice as a Nazi collaborator? The answer lies in the annals of the Cold War, when fear and paranoia drove American politicians and the U.S. military to recruit “useful” Nazi war criminals to work for the United States in Europe as spies and saboteurs, and to slip them into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy.

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