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World Affairs

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Joshua Kim

Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States Member Since 2005

mostly nonfiction listener

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  • "Pros and Cons of "Why Nations F..."

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    I read Why Nations Fail this month while traveling in South Korea. The book was much on my mind as I looked across the DMZ at North Korea on the 38th parallel. South Korea, a country of about 50 million people, enjoys a per capital PPP (purchasing power parity) GDP of around $32,000. (The U.S. is $48,000 by comparison - wealthier but also with a less equally distributed income). In North Korea, the GDP per capita (PPP) is $2,400 - an incredibly low numbers that still probably understates how desperately poor (and hungry) are the people of North Korea.

    Why should North Korea be so poor, and South Korea so rich?

    The two countries share common cultural roots, geography, and access to natural resources. This is the question Acemoglu and Robinson attempt to answer in Why Nations Fail. They look at examples such as North Korea, as well as other natural experiments of societies that share similar exogenous traits (resources, climate, etc.) - such as the twin Nogales's in Mexico and Arizona.

    Acemoglu and Robinson's explanation as to why some nations are poor and others rich has everything to do with the elites. Poor nations are poor because the people who run these countries have made their subjects destitute in service of enriching themselves.

    North Korea can best be understood as being run by a criminal family. Mexico is so much poorer than the U.S. because of its history of being run by elites whose main goal was to extract wealth, and who did not need to redistribute economic production as for most of its history the country lacked pluralistic institutions that could check the power of the rulers.

    This argument, that some countries are poor because the powerful keep them poor, stands in direct opposition to the arguments that Jared Diamond makes in Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond believes that the wealth distribution was largely pre-determined by immunity to disease (or lack thereof), access to domesticable livestock, and the raw materials and technologies to make advanced weapons.

    I am a huge fan of Diamond's writing, but Why Nations Fail has me thoroughly convinced that more deterministic view of development (as put forward by Diamond and others) is problematic. Why Nations Fail should definitely be on the syllabus in any economic history or development course, and on the bookshelf (physical or virtual) of anyone interested in global inequality, poverty, and why some nations are so much richer than others.

    Should you invest the time to read Why Nations Fail? The book is 544 pages, or almost 18 hours by audiobook (my reading choice). Acemoglu and Robinson would have benefited from a strong-willed editor, one who was willing to push them to provide less historical detail (the book has a ton from around the world across numerous societies), and more analysis of the implications of their arguments for countries like China and India.

    I came away from Why Nations Fail thinking that if the argument is correct then China's long-term economic prospects might not be as good as we assume, and India's may be better. But having spent time time in South Korea, which developed so rapidly at least partly under a repressive military regime, it is hard to square this conclusion with the recent facts of some of our fastest developing countries.

    Perhaps Acemoglu and Robinson next book will take outliers and implications, building on top of the theoretical foundations for development and inequality laid out in Why Nations Fail.


    More

    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (349)

    Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

    Ryan says: "Important themes, with blind spots"
  • "Best nonfiction book of 2011"

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    2011 was a great year for nonfiction, but no book comes close to The Quest for claiming top honors.

    Everything we do depends on energy. Every industry, including higher education, ultimately is possible due to energy. Without energy, we could not teach or do research, heat our classrooms and offices, or cool our data centers. If you walked to campus today (or worked at home) that is terrific, but most of us relied on gasoline to power our cars for our commute. Higher ed may not be like the airlines, where fuel is the largest expense (ours is labor), but we are no less dependent on energy to run our business than Southwest airlines.

    The past, present, and future of worldwide energy is a big topic, one that requires a big book. The Quest is 816 pages, none of which are wasted. This is an efficient book. Yergin manages to keep the narrative moving along without skimping on either the stories or the numbers.

    The Quest systematically examines every major source of energy, including oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, solar and wind. The origins, technology, sustainability, and personalities attached to each of these major energy sources is given a complete and balanced treatment.

    Readers looking either for an indictment or defense of our carbon or renewable fuel sources will be disappointed, as Yergin is scrupulously even-handed and non-polemical. Energy turns out to be too important, and too complicated, to be reduced to simple narratives and slogans. Rather, Yergin manages to consider the role of energy in the environment as well as the economy, while making strong (and actionable) policy recommendations for a sustainable energy future.

    More

    The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Daniel Yergin
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (212)

    A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future.

    Joshua Kim says: "Best nonfiction book of 2011"
  • "Should Be on Your List"

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    This book is almost too perfectly aligned with my core beliefs that the story of the world is one of progress. The mental architecture that I place new learning is built around a narrative of progress. The story is one technology driven change towards lower mortality, lower fertility, better nutrition, and better health. My training in both demography and history has taught me to be weary of any talk of "better days or golden ages" - as I appreciate lower child mortality, the spread of democracy, and expanded access to education.

    So Ridley has written the book that conforms to almost all my prior beliefs - although he arrives at his conclusions by routes I probably wouldn't go. First, Ridley is clearly leans libertarian. He is suspicious of the role of government in promoting progress. I'd be interested in how he explains away government led policies that are responsible for so much of the progress we have enjoyed, everything from sewer projects to social security, civil rights legislation to medicare, medicaid, and the recent health care bill. I think Ridley does not give enough credit to the role of organized labor for contributing to spreading the benefits of capitalism to more people, nor does he seem to grasp the importance of government in supporting education at every level.

    His dismissal of global warming as a major concern will get lots of attention for being basically wrong-headed, and I'd agree that he oversells his case and therefore gets the actions that we should be taking basically wrong. (My take…worry less, invest prudently).

    I like that Ridley comes out as a fan of hydrocarbons and big oil (timely given the BP disaster), and his critique of ethanol is accurate and devastating. But he misses the importance of investing in alternative energy as an engine to insure innovation, seemingly blinded by the idea of a zero sum game of social investments (which is strange as he rails against zero sum thinking). I like a book where I agree with the conclusions but disagree with how the argument is derived. This tells me that the fundamental truth of the progress story is intact - and where we need to argue and debate is around the means rather than the ends.

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    The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (216)

    Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

    Darkcoffee says: "Delightful Case for Things Looking Up"
  1. Why Nations Fail: The Ori...
  2. The Quest: Energy, Securi...
  3. The Rational Optimist: Ho...
  4. .

A Peek at Jeff's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
54
 
Sonoma, Ca, United States 18 REVIEWS / 32 ratings Member Since 2012 1 Followers / Following 0
 
Jeff's greatest hits:
  • The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence

    "Africa: Land of Hope and Horror"

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    If you could sum up The Fate of Africa in three words, what would they be?

    Hope, dissapointment, horror


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fate of Africa?

    The Chapters on the events in Rwanda and how they were misconstrued internationally was informative and incredibly disturbing. The level of cooperation with the genocidaires displayed by Rwandan church leaders was disgusting... an affront to religion itself. On top of all that we sent the belligerents billions of dollars in aid money.


    What three words best describe Fleet Cooper’s performance?

    Professional but forced


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Learning about the religious and demographic makeup of Nikgeria and the former Sudan makes it much easier to understand the violent conficlt that has been ravaging those countries for years. In many African states, an ethnically and culturally diverse group of people were forced to coexist within borders drawn by European imperialists. These countries were simply time bombs waiting to go off.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great work of epic proportions. Meredith divides his history of the continent into periods beginning with the initial euphoria and hope of independence to the power plays of the Cold War era all the way up to the modern day. He focusses mostly on the personality of the leaders_Nkrumah, Haile Selasie, Nasser, Mobutu, Mugabe and Mandela to name just a few are covered extensively in the work. Meredith succeds in making The Fate of Africa into a story about human nature. The lesson that absolute power corrupts absolutely is one that many African states have learned the hard way. Because of this era/personality based approached (rather than a traditional geographical approach to history), I do think it can get confusing with all the jumping around from country to country, but one will eventually start to connect the dots and begin to see how events in one state led to changes in another. This is probably one of those books that would be easier to follow in print. One thing that helped me follow the events of the book was looking up most of these leaders online and connecting faces and maps with the story. The narrator must be commended for his comptency, Meredith's work is packed with words and phrases in various Romance languages as well as a plethora of difficult to pronounce African propper nouns. I would not have been able to even pronounce most of those words. However, I think most listeners will agree with me that many quotes in the books are read with a bit too much sarcasm. The narrator also ocassionaly slips into a lackluster imitation of an African accent when quoting African leaders. Unfortunately the prevalence of quotes in this book made this presentation annoying to listen to initially. However the story itself quickly sucked me in.

  • Taliban: Islam, Oil, and the Great New Game in Central Asia

    "If We'd Only Listened!"

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    Would you listen to Taliban again? Why?

    Taliban is definetely an audiobook that demands at least two listens. Its easy to get lost with all the places people and events that are discussed in this work. I almost felt like I needed a detailed map of Central Asia in my hand to grasp what the author was trying to convey.


    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    Is this really Wanda McCaddon? Why does she sound exactly like Nadia May? Anyway, whoever the narrator was she did a fantastic job. She has obviously spent a considerable amount of time learning how to correctly pronounce Arabic and Turkik propper nouns. Her professional and journalistic tone also added much to this presentation. My only complaint was that she tended to brutalize pronunciation of the few Chinese place names mentioned in this book, a very minor flaw.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was published in the year before 9/11, so its already quite dated considering everything that's transpired in the Middle East and Central Asia since then. That being said Mr Rashid's warnings about the coming era of international terrorism as a consequence of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan seem almost prophetic. Looking back, if we hadn't been so concerned with keeping Iran and Russia in check at all costs, and had instead taken good care of the people that WON THE COLD WAR FOR US the Taliban probably wouldn't have been able to come to power and Osama Bin Laden and others like him wouldn't have had a haven to run to.

    It was really intersting to learn about the humble beginnings of the movement as well has how Taliban doctrine differes from other Islamic sects. The detailed history of Central Asia was also informative. It seems cruelly ironic that a group of Afghans born, raised and imbued with radical Islam in Pakistan, would return to conquer and rule their ancestrial homeland, a place they didn't really understand.

    The apendix at the end which included original translations of Taliban decrees was a priceless resource. The original interviews and with players on all sides of the pre-2001 Afghanistan conflict also provided great insight. This is definetely a book with years of field experience behind it and is an excellent tool to understanding area polics even today.

Anne

Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 09-17-13 Member Since 2011

Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

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  • "Should be Required Reading"

    3 of 4 helpful votes

    Unquestionably a book which should be read and discussed by those who are involved in emergency preparedness programs as well as the general public. Well researched, well documented description of conditions at an aging but vital hospital in New Orleans during Katrina as well as historical and subsequent developments and the players involved.


    More

    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
    (588)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (523)

    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"

What's Trending in World Affairs:

  • 4.8 (23 ratings)
    Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Explosion Aboard the Deepwater Horizon (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Shroder, John Konrad Narrated by Sean Pratt

    Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Explosion Aboard the Deepwater Horizon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Shroder, John Konrad
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
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    (23)
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    (15)
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    (15)

    In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling - largely ignored or misunderstood to that point - exploded in the American consciousness in the worst way possible. Fire on the Horizon, written by veteran oil rig captain John Konrad and longtime Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, recounts in vivid detail the life of the rig itself, from its construction to its improbable journey in the year 2000 to its end.

    Shep says: "An incredibly well-told story"
  • 4.4 (1592 ratings)
    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (






UNABRIDGED) by Barbara Demick Narrated by Karen White

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
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    (1592)
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    (1003)
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    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
  • 4.3 (1246 ratings)
    Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric L. Haney Narrated by Robertson Dean

    Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Eric L. Haney
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1246)
    Performance
    (1055)
    Story
    (1066)

    Delta Force—the US Army’s most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won’t hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us behind the veil of secrecy and into the action to reveal the never-before-told story of First Special Forces Operational Detachment-D (Delta Force).

    Darwin8u says: "Informative & Entertaining Memoir >|< Myth"
  • 4.4 (1181 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
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    (470)
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    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..."
  •  
  • 4.4 (589 ratings)
    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (






ABRIDGED) by Naomi Klein Narrated by Jennifer Wiltsie

    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Naomi Klein
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (174)

    In her ground-breaking reporting, Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism". Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment": losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.

    Nika says: "You can't be neutral..."
  • 4.4 (581 ratings)
    Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (






UNABRIDGED) by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

    Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    Overall
    (581)
    Performance
    (338)
    Story
    (334)

    An old Chinese proverb says "Women hold up half the sky." Then why do the women of Africa and Asia persistently suffer human rights abuses? Continuing their focus on humanitarian issues, journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take us to Africa and Asia, where many women live in profoundly dire circumstances.

    Nancy says: "This unabridged book is abridged"
  • 4.6 (571 ratings)
    Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan (






UNABRIDGED) by Sean Parnell, John Bruning Narrated by Ray Porter

    Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Sean Parnell, John Bruning
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (571)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (513)

    At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.

    Chris says: "Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!"
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Preston Narrated by Richard M. Davidson

    The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (339)
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    (344)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
  • 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
    (588)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (523)

    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"
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (






UNABRIDGED) by Katherine Boo Narrated by Sunil Malhotra

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Katherine Boo
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (651)
    Performance
    (556)
    Story
    (565)

    Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.

    Dr. says: "An Antidote for Shantaram"
  • Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric Schlosser Narrated by Scott Brick

    Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Eric Schlosser
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (358)

    Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved - and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.

    Ethan M. says: "A miracle that we escaped the Cold War alive...."
  •  
  • Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices (






UNABRIDGED) by Mosab Hassan Yousef Narrated by Mosab Hassan Yousef

    Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Mosab Hassan Yousef
    • Narrated By Mosab Hassan Yousef
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status...and power. But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader.

    Pamela says: "Absolutely riveting!!!"
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (






UNABRIDGED) by Blaine Harden Narrated by Blaine Harden

    Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (531)
    Performance
    (467)
    Story
    (473)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
  • Confessions of an Economic Hitman (






UNABRIDGED) by John Perkins Narrated by Brian Emerson

    Confessions of an Economic Hitman

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John Perkins
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1971)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (538)

    "Economic hit men," John Perkins writes, "are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder."

    Robert P. says: "Excellent Story for people have traveled"
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (






UNABRIDGED) by Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson Narrated by Dan Woren

    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (349)

    Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

    Ryan says: "Important themes, with blind spots"
  •  
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (






UNABRIDGED) by Barbara Demick Narrated by Karen White

    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Barbara Demick
    • Narrated By Karen White
    Overall
    (1592)
    Performance
    (1003)
    Story
    (1008)

    Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years - a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung and the unchallenged rise to power of his son, Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Taking us into a landscape never before seen, Demick brings to life what it means to be an average Korean citizen, living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

    Gohar says: "The man who wants to be GOD"
  • Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Senor, Saul Singer Narrated by Sean Pratt

    Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dan Senor, Saul Singer
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (224)

    Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?

    morton says: "A Remarkable Audio!"
  • Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Paul Rosenzweig

    Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Paul Rosenzweig
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (133)

    Cyberspace is the 21st century’s greatest engine of change. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more.

    Lynn C. Edwards says: "Wow, this course was an eye opener!"
  • Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude to War - Updated and Revised (






UNABRIDGED) by John Hagee Narrated by Eric Martin

    Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude to War - Updated and Revised

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Hagee
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Could WWIII be around the corner? Dr. John Hagee predicts a world-changing nuclear showdown is imminent in the Middle East - one that will jump-start Armageddon. Jerusalem Countdown unveils the reasons radical Islam and Israel cannot dwell peaceably together. Dr. Hagee identifies the key players in the upcoming conflict, explains the roles Russia, China, Europe and America will play, and unveils God's apparent plan for His people in the coming crisis. Audiobook narrated by Eric Martin.

  • The Saddest Girl in the World (






UNABRIDGED) by Cathy Glass Narrated by Denica Fairman

    The Saddest Girl in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Cathy Glass
    • Narrated By Denica Fairman
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    The Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged 10, having been abused, victimised, and rejected by her family. Donna has been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy's. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn, and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down.

  • True Courage: A Trilogy of True-Life Survival of POWs from Vietnam, World War II, and Cambodia (






UNABRIDGED) by Made for Success, Gerald Coffee, Kelly Estes, Būn Yom Narrated by Gerald Coffee, Dan McGowan, Bill Chandler

    True Courage: A Trilogy of True-Life Survival of POWs from Vietnam, World War II, and Cambodia

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Made for Success, Gerald Coffee, Kelly Estes, and others
    • Narrated By Gerald Coffee, Dan McGowan, Bill Chandler
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
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    Full of action-packed experiences from world conflicts, this collection of war stories - some true, some not - tells tales of POWs surviving in Vietnam, World War II, and Cambodia. These stories of grit and strength put you in the middle of the action and will leave you with a respect for true war heroes. Beyond Survival is a journey into the invincible human spirit that unites heart and mind in a compelling and unforgettable experience.

  • Miracles: C. S. Lewis Signature Classic (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    Miracles: C. S. Lewis Signature Classic

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this.'This is the key statement of Miracles, in which C. S. Lewis shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the unique personal involvement of God in his creation.

  • The Abolition of Man (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Douglas Gresham

    The Abolition of Man

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 36 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Douglas Gresham
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    C S Lewis's philosophical defence of Natural Law (absolute morality) - without which human beings are reduced to less than fully human, and are, thus ‘abolished'. CS Lewis argues that objective value actually exists and that to believe otherwise is to create nonsense. Human beings appreciate values such as beauty and goodness because such things are part of reality - but if absolute morality is denied there will not be any progress for mankind as the things that matter most will be explained away.

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  • Planet Carnivore: Why Cheap Meat Costs the Earth (and How to Pay the Bill) (






UNABRIDGED) by Alex Renton Narrated by Matthew Waterson

    Planet Carnivore: Why Cheap Meat Costs the Earth (and How to Pay the Bill)

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Alex Renton
    • Narrated By Matthew Waterson
    Overall
    (0)
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    There are 59 billion animals alive at any one time, farmed for their meat. The world’s domestic cattle weigh 16 times as much as all the wild animals on the planet put together. Sixty percent of the globe’s agricultural land is used for beef production, from growing grain to raising cows.Since the early 20th century, industrial farming and global capitalism have worked hand-in-hand to provide meat at an ever-cheaper price. And our appetites, so tempted, have led us to consume more and more animals.

  • The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security (






UNABRIDGED) by Ann Hagedorn Narrated by Laural Merlington

    The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ann Hagedorn
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    The urgent truth about the privatization of America’s national security that exposes where this industry came from, how it operates, where it's heading—and why we should be concerned. Thirty years ago there were no private military and security companies (PMSCs); there were only mercenaries. Now the PMSCs are a bona-fide industry, an indispensable part of American foreign and military policy.

  • Firestorm: Surviving the Tasmanian Bushfire (






UNABRIDGED) by Jon Henley Narrated by Cat Gould

    Firestorm: Surviving the Tasmanian Bushfire

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 48 mins)
    • By Jon Henley
    • Narrated By Cat Gould
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    The photographs stop you in your tracks. Five children and their grandmother sheltering under an old wooden jetty as the air around them burns a fierce orange. Seen around the world, these were the images from the heart of the inferno that showed the Tasmanian township of Dunalley fighting for survival. On the morning of 4 January 2013, the people of Dunalley had watched with caution as a bush fire burned slowly on top of the hill. It was not an unusual occurrence - fires are a part of Australian life - and Dunalley had never been troubled before.

  • 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)
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    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.