One of the best audiobooks I have listened to. May be a little slow at first, but this builds an entire history of the rise of islamic fundamentalism from the 1940s on. In particular, the final chapters track closely the rise of Al Quada and make for fascinating listening. The amount of research/interviews the author must have done is almost incomprehensible, as he brings the reader right into meetings/conversations that occurred in the most isolated countries in the world. A truly phenomenol comprehensive review, that keeps building and getting better throughout.
OK, I do not have an economics background, so the level of this discussion was perfect for me. I thought this was one of the most interesting and gripping books I have listened to. The narrator has a great voice which actually sounds a little like Greenspan.
but on to the content. Having been a casual, but not formal, student of economics since the Reagan years, it was great to relook at the last 25 years through the eyes of someone who played a key role in decisions made through the years. Furthermore, the economic insights were the insightful, considered, logical, and unemotional thoughts you might expect from Greenspan. As a non-economist but who has a great interest in human psychology and sociology, the level this book was written at was perfect. The interplay between psychology, economics, social structures, and politics is great great reading. i do not think this was targetted at people who are economics professors, and the book should not be criticized for this: it's targetted at the general readership.
sometimes you listen to books and you find that your mind has wandered for a few minutes and you have lost the train of thought. That never happened to me during this read. I found it rivetting.
I greatly enjoyed Albright's autobiography, so I was really looking forward to this book. I also enjoy it when author's read their own work, especially in a historical work such as this.
I liked the book overall, however, I find it lacking any coherent viewpoint or binding argument about what should be done about a great current political problem. Rather, it just seems to ramble from one point to another with a lot of commentary about how poorly the Bush administration is doing. By the time I got done, I did not think I had any significant now insight into this problem.
but this is a real breakthrough book on conditions in North Korea. Demick has done a terrific job of creating a gripping narrative, based upon her extensive interviews with the defectors, including transitions between stories - one person arrives, fresh out of the Yalu River border, at a house in China, sees a bowl of rice and meat just sitting there on the doorstep, thinks to herself, "That's more food than I've had at any meal back home in many years!", and then realizes it means there's a potentially fierce dog nearby ... fade to next story.
Karen White's audio narration is especially noteworthy - obvious that she made an extra effort to pronounce Korean words correctly.