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Politics

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Ryan

Ryan Somerville, MA, United States Member Since 2005

Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

HELPFUL VOTES
1372
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REVIEWS
327
262
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FOLLOWING
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14
  • "An informative tour, with some biases"

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    Majd, an Iranian-born, American-raised journalist who returned the country of his birth several times during the last decade, is intent on providing a tour of modern Iran that cautions against any simplistic understanding of a multi-layered country and its people. Though the demonstrations of 2009 showed obvious discontent with the Islamic regime, that, according to Majd, shouldn???t be read as a sign of impending rebellion. Many Iranians, particularly the working class, are proud of their nation???s Islamic roots, and the system still enjoys a popular base of support.

    Majd also attempts to explain quirks of Iranian culture and attitude that often elude Westerners. He argues that there are strong traditions of rights (if not exactly ???freedoms???, in the liberal, secular Western sense) and self-effacing politeness (which means that Iranians are often far more reasonable and less extreme in person than they might be in a faceless crowd). Both these factors create a society, as he sees it, in which people act one way in public, but feel free to express themselves as they like in private, a realm that the regime is careful not to intrude too far into.

    Most of this understanding is revealed in pieces as Majd travels the country and meets Iranians from different walks of life, from cab drivers to politicians to mullahs to conservative religious families to liberal intellectuals to the chic Tehranian elite. We learn, for example, that some Iranians look with contempt on the low-class style and dubious diplomatic skills of their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while others admire him as a man from the streets who stands up to the West. Some question the need for religious strictures in public life (while being careful not to criticize Islam itself), while others find intense emotional outpouring in passion plays about the Shi'a saint, Hussein ibn Ali. They admire many things about the West, but distrust it for its past political interference. Like Americans, Iranians don???t always agree with each other, but they certainly do agree on being a people who can run their own affairs and have earned the right, through years of hardship and war, not to be told when to jump and how far by outsiders (a similarity in popular attitude to the US which, ironically, seems to fuel the ???nuclear energy??? head-butting with Washington). Generally, I found Majd to be skilled at turning his experiences into engaging, revealing anecdotes, though the larger narrative is a bit wandering.

    That said, I thought that the author had some obvious biases. While he???s not uncritical of the ruling regime, he???s certainly not highly critical of it, either, and seems optimistic that the government is moving in the right direction on its own. As one of his friends puts it late in the book, ???your breath is coming from a warm place???. Meaning, of course, that someone who enjoys the freedoms and privileges of America is hardly someone to put aside the criticisms of Iranian dissidents and dissenters. Then again, that line kind of proves Majd???s thesis: Iran is too complex of a country to be easily summed up by anyone -- including himself. Will an "Islamic democracy" movement, guided from within the system itself, really bear fruit? I can't say, but Majd makes it seem plausible.

    All in all, a good ???beginners guide??? to Iran, but perhaps not the guide to end one???s education with.

    More

    The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Hooman Majd
    • Narrated By Hooman Majd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (66)

    The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, journalist Hooman Majd is uniquely qualified to explain contemporary Iran's complex and misunderstood culture to Western listeners. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ provides an intimate look at a paradoxical country that is both deeply religious and highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet informed by a history of democratic and reformist traditions.

    Ryan says: "An informative tour, with some biases"
  • "Old school intellect for a new age"

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    Whether you agree with his views or not, Christopher Hitchens was part of a breed that seems to be dying off in our dumbed-down era: the public intellectual. His essays express a formidable mind and a dry, pugnacious wit. Picture some suffer-no-fools British professor holding forth with a scotch glass in hand and you have a sense of Hitchens's style. To be sure, his opinions could be controversial -- he was outspokenly anti-religious, admired Karl Marx, and detested totalitarianism and Islamic extremism so vehemently that he broke ranks with fellow liberals who weren’t so enthusiastic about George W. Bush’s wars -- but there was refreshingly clarity and lack of dissembling to them. You could take issue with Hitch’s conclusions, but you could be certain that he wasn’t going to bow to religious orthodoxy, political correctness, or cultural double-standards. Any opponent being intellectually lazy would hear about it.

    Hitchens was also very well-read, which means that about a third of the essays here, which discuss books (or some literary topic), are likely to delight some readers, but bore others. I admit that, as much as I admired Hitchens’s deftness at making connections to books and authors beyond the ones under discussion, I labored through this portion of Arguably. Still, even if my knowledge of the classics is skimpy, I found some of the biographical discussion of different writers interesting. I’ll have to check out Nabokov and W. Somerset Maugham.

    However, my excitement picked up when the book got to the essays on history, culture, religion, and language. Hitchens knew how to poke apart a topic and get readers to look at it differently. Has Marx turned out to be right about capitalism, and did anyone ever really implement his ideas as he would have intended? Is the Kurdish region of Iraq a model for what the rest of that country might have been? Is Pakistan really America’s ally? What lessons do we really get from Harry Potter? His infamous Vanity Fair piece, “Why Women Aren’t Funny” is bound to rankle some readers, but many of them might not pick up on the real focus of his wit. And I had a good laugh during one of the latter essays, in which he examined the disingenuous use of the word “you” by advertisers and pamphleteers -- one of many moments when he got me to ponder something from an angle I hadn’t considered before. I even learned a few new words, such as “synecdoche”. (Yay, now I can see that Charlie Kaufman movie.)

    All in all, a fine sampling of the contemplations of a strong, piquant mind, and one that had a faculty for language that the English-speaking world is rapidly losing. In an attention-deficit age in which youtube, buzzfeed, and “news” channels too moronic to call by name are supplanting the art of public disquisition, Arguably reminds us of the pleasures of that art and (arguably) its importance.

    I forget what Hitchens actually sounded like, but audiobook narrator Simon Prebble is pretty effective at capturing the mannerisms I tended to imagine when reading some of these pieces in their original print form.

    More

    Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (506)

    The first new collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, Arguably offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell.

    David says: "Grab it"
  • "Military power unmoored from Consti..."

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    I've been a defense contractor for a couple years, and unfortunately, a lot in this book speaks to my experience. I see little real purpose to the project I'm working on, and little conviction among the military personnel we work with that the occupation of Afghanistan has achieved much good. I've also learned a lot about the capabilities of drone technology, and worry that its use by shadowy agencies is expanding unchecked. Where are we going and why?

    Maddow may be a darling of the liberal media, but much of what she has to say in this book will speak to readers in other camps, too, particularly libertarians. While her bias isn't too hidden, she thoughtfully refrains from overt side-taking or demonizing any leader. Rather, "Drift" sticks to its title and focuses on how US military power has become detached from its democratic citizen-soldier ideals and turned into something it was never intended to be: a tool of political convenience. Sweeping through the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st, she looks at how legal barriers to war have steadily been swept aside; turning it into a prerogative of the executive branch; at how the veil of secrecy has become a cloak of deniability for official incompetence; at how war-related duties have been outsourced to third parties with dubious interests and little accountability; and at how overseas conflicts now go on for years, scarcely affecting the lives of much of the civilian population.

    Younger readers, who have never known a world without a militarized CIA, remote-control assassinations, or invasions on flimsy pretexts, may appreciate the history lesson. We see how the sense of low national prestige during the Carter era led to a bold new narrative under Reagan -- and a bold new flouting of executive limitations, culminating in the embarrassing debacle of the Iran-Contra affair. We learn how more checks and balances eroded during the Gulf War under George Bush senior, who, in characteristic fashion, seemed peevish that Congress would make his job *difficult*. We see the rise through the ranks of unabashedly Machiavellian neo-cons, such as Dick Cheney. The book examines the horrifying misdeeds of private contractors during the Clinton years, and the expanding secret drone wars under Obama, operating under an absurd pretense at legality involving a bird-hunting area in Pakistan. As icing on the cake, Maddow adds a chapter reminding us of our decaying world-devastating nuclear arsenal, still prone to Strangelovian accidents and mishandling.

    I enjoyed Maddow’s dry sense of humor, her relish (in the audiobook) at quoting f-bombs from various military personnel, and her amusing characterization of Congress as constant evaders of being held responsible for meaningful (and potentially bad) decisions.

    The book might have been longer, and certainly skims over some prime material, such as the George W. Bush administration and its response to 9/11. Then again, so much attention has been paid to that in recent years, it’s probably valuable that Maddow takes the spotlight *off* Bush, and highlights the steady disconnect between military power and the public under other presidents. Lest Democrats don’t think their guy or gal can be culpable, too.

    Well worth a read, if you’re an American who believes that the government ought to make its case to the public *before* bombing someone, and that those officials in charge of implementing the plan ought to be held accountable for it. If you’re not, Drift might wake you up to why it matters.

    More

    Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (1304)
    Story
    (1296)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
  1. The Ayatollah Begs to Dif...
  2. Arguably: Essays by Chris...
  3. Drift: The Unmooring of A...
  4. .

A Peek at Benjamin's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
120
 
Silver Spring, MD, United States 43 REVIEWS / 47 ratings Member Since 2010 17 Followers / Following 3
 
Benjamin's greatest hits:
  • The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future

    "Probably Better on Paper"

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    Books like this one, presumably with charts and tables, are probably better with another medium. However, if you are going to listen to it as I did, it still does a pretty good job. Economic principles are pretty clearly explained, though if it is your first introduction to economics, you will probably want to look a few things up (moral hazard, market failures etc.), but he does't bury you in a mountain of technical language.

    As Stiglitz disclaims early, this is not a work for peer review. It is for popular consumption so if you are looking for some deep explanation as to how he arrived at his claims, you'll be left wanting.

    I am usually frustrated with books that prescribe solutions that we "merely lack the political will," to accomplish. It seems like activist thumb-twiddling. Every book of this type seems to have a portion like that. This one is no exception. I find the repetition of this trope frustrating.

  • A Concise History of the Middle East, Ninth Edition

    "Does what is Advertised"

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    This book is indeed what it says it is. A concise history. It doesn't dwell on any one period or or issue in the Middle East overlong. It weights two particular historical issues a bit more strongly than some others, the life of the prophet Mohammed and the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is appropriate as those two items are manifestly crucial.

    The history is laid out in fairly plain, mostly chronological, format. The authors provide very little commentary and are mostly uncontroversial. Though, with some of the subject matter, controversy is inherent in the history.

    I don't know that I would recommend this as an audio book, however. Weiner does a fine job reciting the text. He speaks clearly, manages most pronunciations. But every situation where he says "Reference map one." I am forced to conclude that it is probably better to get this book in text form. Also, actually seeing the different names referenced would probably be better for recall. In addition, if you wanted to casually flip back a few pages and reference a particular figure's role on a different era, or subject, you could do that better with pages than with digital scrolling.

Dean

Dean 01-04-11 Member Since 2009

a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

HELPFUL VOTES
94
ratings
REVIEWS
334
84
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
3
0
  • "A basic memoir, more personal than ..."

    9 of 10 helpful votes

    An interesting memoir. GW reviews what he considers the major points of his presidency, and why he made the decisions he did, who was involved, and in hindsight how good or bad he did. No, he does not think he was perfect, nor does he think he got everything wrong. Some of the personal high points he reviews not many would have even realized existed.

    A really interesting personal review of himself...but then I guess that is what a memoir is all about. I do wish it was read by the author though.

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    Decision Points

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By George W. Bush
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1528)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (676)

    Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America's 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life.

    Dave says: "Not a bad choice"

What's Trending in Politics:

  • 4.8 (101 ratings)
    Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert A. Caro Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (90)

    Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: ""If You Do Everything, You'll Win""
  • 4.8 (33 ratings)
    Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me (






UNABRIDGED) by Geert Wilders Narrated by Lou Lander

    Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Geert Wilders
    • Narrated By Lou Lander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    Geert Wilders is a hunted man. He lives in a heavily protected safe house that is bombproof and bulletproof. Why? Because Geert Wilders is marked for death by Islamic extremists. In his new book, Marked for Death, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders tells his never-before-published story about the jihad being waged against him—and the West.

    William says: "Outstanding! Every American should read this!"
  • 4.8 (11 ratings)
    Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Kozol Narrated by Keythe Farley

    Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kozol
    • Narrated By Keythe Farley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and Her Children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood. For nearly 50 years Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation.

  • 4.4 (1897 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
    (1897)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (756)

    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!"
  •  
  • 4.6 (1431 ratings)
    Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (






UNABRIDGED) by Rachel Maddow Narrated by Rachel Maddow

    Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (1304)
    Story
    (1296)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
  • 4.4 (958 ratings)
    Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark R. Levin Narrated by Adam Grupper

    Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Mark R. Levin
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (958)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (280)

    Conservative talk radio's fastest-growing superstar is also a New York Times best-selling phenomenon: the author of the groundbreaking critique of the Supreme Court, Men in Black, and the deeply personal dog lover's memoir Rescuing Sprite, Mark R. Levin now delivers the book that characterizes both his devotion to his more than 5 million listeners and his love of our country and the legacy of our Founding Fathers.

    Roy says: "Shifted My Point of View"
  • 4.5 (838 ratings)
    Letter to a Christian Nation (






UNABRIDGED) by Sam Harris Narrated by Jordan Bridges

    Letter to a Christian Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 56 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Jordan Bridges
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (838)
    Performance
    (309)
    Story
    (312)

    "Forty-four percent of the American population is convinced that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead sometime in the next 50 years," writes Sam Harris. "Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this...should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency."

    Stanley says: "the examined life"
  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (






UNABRIDGED) by Glenn Greenwald Narrated by L. J. Ganser

    No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Glenn Greenwald
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

    Justin says: "powerful"
  • One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future (






UNABRIDGED) by Ben Carson, MD, Candy Carson Narrated by Prentice Onayemi

    One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben Carson, MD, Candy Carson
    • Narrated By Prentice Onayemi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (120)

    In February 2013 I gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Standing a few feet from President Obama, I warned my fellow citizens of the dangers facing our country and called for a return to the principles that made America great. Many Americans heard and responded, but our nation’s decline has continued. Today the danger is greater than ever before, and I have never shared a more urgent message than I do now.

    Michelle Love says: "Please lead our nation from the brink of..."
  • America: Imagine a World Without Her (






UNABRIDGED) by Dinesh D'Souza Narrated by Walter Dixon

    America: Imagine a World Without Her

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dinesh D'Souza
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (171)

    Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder? Or is America still the hope of the world? New York Times best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise.

    Kindle Customer says: "We can think for ourselves"
  • The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea (






UNABRIDGED) by Paul Ryan Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Paul Ryan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Beginning with a careful analysis of the 2012 election - including a look at the challenge the GOP had in reaching a majority of voters and the prevalence of identity politics - Ryan examines the state of the Republican party and dissects its challenges the country to certain ruin. Culminating in a plan for the future, The Way Forward argues that the Republican Party is and must remain a conservative party, emphasizing going forward.

    Frank says: "GREAT BOOK with a GREAT VISION for America"
  •  
  • Caesar: Life of a Colossus (






UNABRIDGED) by Adrian Goldsworthy Narrated by Derek Perkins

    Caesar: Life of a Colossus

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Adrian Goldsworthy
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of Julius Caesar's life, Adrian Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor's accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realizes the full complexity of Caesar's character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some 2,000 years later.

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (






UNABRIDGED) by Michelle Alexander Narrated by Karen Chilton

    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michelle Alexander
    • Narrated By Karen Chilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (304)

    In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.

    Jeremy says: "An essential read. A horrifying reality."
  • Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Krauthammer Narrated by Charles Krauthammer, George Newbern

    Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Charles Krauthammer
    • Narrated By Charles Krauthammer, George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (457)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (401)

    A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer's intelligence, erudition, and wit are collected in one volume.

    Alan says: "Charles K, author and narrator ..... enuf said"
  • Within Arm's Length: A Secret Service Agent's Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Emmett Narrated by Kevin Foley

    Within Arm's Length: A Secret Service Agent's Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dan Emmett
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Dan Emmett was just eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events surrounding the president's death shaped the course of young Emmett's life as he set a goal of becoming a U.S. Secret Service agent-one of a special group of people willing to trade their lives for that of the president, if necessary. Within Arm's Length is a revealing and compelling inside look at the Secret Service and the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD).

  •  
  • Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed (






UNABRIDGED) by Jason L. Riley Narrated by J. D. Jackson

    Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jason L. Riley
    • Narrated By J. D. Jackson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries? In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason L. Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist.

  • We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency (






UNABRIDGED) by Parmy Olson Narrated by Abby Craden

    We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Parmy Olson
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    Overall
    (359)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (319)

    In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers.

    Adam K says: "Awesome book. Felt like a hacker fiction novel!"
  • The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert A. Caro Narrated by Grover Gardner

    The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (145)

    This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.

    David C. Daggett says: "The Best of all Biographies"
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Haidt Narrated by Jonathan Haidt

    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By Jonathan Haidt
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (470)

    In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

    Douglas says: "A Brilliant And Insightful Book!"
  • Within Arm's Length: A Secret Service Agent's Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Emmett Narrated by Kevin Foley

    Within Arm's Length: A Secret Service Agent's Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Dan Emmett
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Dan Emmett was just eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events surrounding the president's death shaped the course of young Emmett's life as he set a goal of becoming a U.S. Secret Service agent-one of a special group of people willing to trade their lives for that of the president, if necessary. Within Arm's Length is a revealing and compelling inside look at the Secret Service and the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD).

  • Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert E. Mutch Narrated by Fleet Cooper

    Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Robert E. Mutch
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Buying the Vote analyzes the rise and decline of campaign finance reform by tracking the evolution of both the ways in which presidential campaigns have been funded since the late nineteenth century. Through close examinations of major Supreme Court decisions, Mutch shows how the Court has fashioned a new and profoundly inegalitarian definition of American democracy.

  • The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonetta Barras Narrated by Ronald Clarkson

    The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jonetta Barras
    • Narrated By Ronald Clarkson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A gripping, informative, and balanced assessment of a commanding and perplexing American politician - the first by a black journalist.

  • More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues (






UNABRIDGED) by Joel Best Narrated by Kaleo Griffith

    More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Joel Best
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    More Damned Lies and Statistics encourages all of us to think in a more sophisticated and skeptical manner about how statistics are used to promote causes, create fear, and advance particular points of view. Best identifies different sorts of numbers that shape how we think about public issues: missing numbers are relevant but overlooked; confusing numbers bewilder when they should inform; scary numbers play to our fears about the present and the future.

  •  
  • Agenda 21, an Analysis: The UN Global Program for Sustainable Development (






UNABRIDGED) by Julian Chitta Narrated by Ruth Golding

    Agenda 21, an Analysis: The UN Global Program for Sustainable Development

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Julian Chitta
    • Narrated By Ruth Golding
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This is a short but comprehensive analysis of the UN's controversial program established in 1992 as a "sustainable development plan" for the entire world, for the 21st century. Its main points are coincidental to the "Communist Manifesto", issued by Karl Marx in 1848. It includes the abolition of all private property, banning inheritances, reducing the population, and the transfer of all resources into the hands of UN bureaucrats.

  • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State (






UNABRIDGED) by Glenn Greenwald Narrated by L. J. Ganser

    No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Glenn Greenwald
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

    Justin says: "powerful"
  • Libya: Murder in Benghazi and the Fall of Gaddafi (






UNABRIDGED) by Martin Chulov, Luke Harding Narrated by Philip Rose

    Libya: Murder in Benghazi and the Fall of Gaddafi

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Martin Chulov, Luke Harding
    • Narrated By Philip Rose
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The end for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi when it came, after 42 years of dictatorial power, was ignominious and violent. After months of bloody fighting, the Libyan revolutionary forces had driven their former leader from Tripoli before capturing him in a drainpipe in the city of Sirte. The gory images captured on the mobile phones of the victors were reproduced on newspaper front pages around the world, marking the end of a cruel regime. In the capital, ordinary Libyans explored the once forbidden compound that housed Gaddafi and his family.

  • The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea (






UNABRIDGED) by Paul Ryan Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Paul Ryan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Beginning with a careful analysis of the 2012 election - including a look at the challenge the GOP had in reaching a majority of voters and the prevalence of identity politics - Ryan examines the state of the Republican party and dissects its challenges the country to certain ruin. Culminating in a plan for the future, The Way Forward argues that the Republican Party is and must remain a conservative party, emphasizing going forward.

    Frank says: "GREAT BOOK with a GREAT VISION for America"