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  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David M. Kennedy
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner

    Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This Pulitzer Prize–winning history tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities. The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s.

    Ray says: "Good summary of a pivotal time."
    "An FDR Tour de Force"

    No question, this book is very complete, and very long. But, for anyone who wants to study this period in history serious, I think it is a must read. What really comes through is the amount of experimentation that FDR tries to end the Depression, and how many times those results are mixed or worse. Still, it is difficult not to side with FDR's irrepressible enthusiasm, even though a honest evaluation may lead to the conclusion that now of the agencies he created had much effect on the overall state of the nation. One thing I especially liked about the book was the fairness displayed toward Herbert Hoover, inheriting the mess from the Coolidge years of laissez faire financial speculation.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Richard Thomas

    We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

    Anders says: "wait for the unabridged version"
    "Great expectations, but no withering heights."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, I think this is a historical must read because it covers such an important time in US history. But the book operates in the crucible of Lincoln's cloisters, perhaps too close to the subject for perspective. One can almost imagine DKG gathering string for this novel during her days in the Johnson Whitehouse. This novel almost seems refracted through her personal experience with the Presidency. Numerous coming and goings through back doors in the novel harken of a later time in the Johnson Whitehouse.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Team of Rivals?

    Seward's assassination attempt is the best uncovered lesser known history.

    What three words best describe Richard Thomas’s performance?

    Meaningful paced thorough

    What else would you have wanted to know about Doris Kearns Goodwin’s life?

    How her time in the White House colored her perceptions.

    Any additional comments?

    Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln is much better in pace and perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James Gleick
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Ge­nius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

    Ethan M. says: "Brilliant book, heroic reader, better in print?"
    "Making Information Interesting - A Job Well Done"
    If you could sum up The Information in three words, what would they be?

    Making Information Interesting

    What did you like best about this story?

    Gleick not only traces the history of information and communication through history, but he changes our way of looking at information. Information actually is how society orders everything.

    Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have listened to Shapiro before, but this might be his best performance yet. He is always conversational, accents and characterization are always realistic, and moderation of tone is masterful.

    If you could give The Information a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How we order our world.

    Any additional comments?

    In taking us on the journey on how computers learned to think like humans, we humans actually learn something about how we think ourselves. A triumph.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Kevin Foley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's mazes and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes and the stuff of nightmares.

    A User says: "A Great Classic Come to Life"
    "Great title, boring story"
    Would you try another book from Ray Bradbury and/or Kevin Foley?


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Modern Scholar Series. those have all been great, and have purchase quite a few.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Foley?

    Good range of voices.

    What character would you cut from Something Wicked This Way Comes?

    All the characters just seemed cardboard to prop up the gimmicks of time machines and houses of mirrors, etc.

    Any additional comments?

    I probably will stick to non-fiction or historical fiction from now on.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Six Months That Changed the World: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan

    The world will never see another peace conference like the one which took place in Paris in 1919. For six months, the world's major leaders - including Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States, David Lloyd George, prime minister of Great Britain, and Georges Clemenceau, prime minister of France - met to discuss the peace settlements which were to end World War One.

    Jon says: "Best Audible Title Yet"
    "History Without Equal"

    This is probably my favorite history lecture of all time. MacMillan condenses hundreds of hours of research into insightful paragraphs, and she reveals why much of the world, from Europe to Africa, to the Middle East, is the way it is today. I don't believe I have ever read a book so rich with insights in every paragraph. For those who have already purchased and read the book 1919 in hardback, I would view this book as a companion volume, not an audio version of the same book. The books are not the same, but rather the audio version expands upon the themes found in the 1919 book. This book creates a sort of infrastructure of European and Middle Eastern history, so current events can be more clearly interpreted. A must for any student of history. I can only hope the author chooses to lend her power of insight to other periods of history.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lindbergh vs. Roosevelt: The Rivalry That Divided America

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James P. Duffy
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Was aviation pioneer and popular American hero Charles A. Lindbergh a Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite? Or was he the target of a vicious personal vendetta by President Roosevelt? In Lindbergh vs. Roosevelt, author James Duffy tackles these questions head-on, by examining the conflicting personalities, aspirations, and actions of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Charles A. Lindbergh.

    Alan says: "Revisionist history"
    "Righting a wrong of history"

    I like books that right misconceptions or just outright fallacies of history. This is one of those books. The idea that Lindbergh was anti-semitic or a Nazi sympathizer is completely debunked, but also the author shows how a person simply expressing their opinion can be pilloried because they are in the way of a larger political agenda. The book gives great insight into the proxies FDR enlisted to discredited Lindbergh's non-interventionist views. The presentation of evidence was very thorough, especially Churchill and FDR's numerous attempts to sway American public opinion to intervene militarily. The reader comes away with the feeling that Lindbergh's views were more closely related to Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality than Woodrow Wilson's isolationism. For instance, the book outlines Lindbergh's frequent calls for a stronger national defense, especially in the area of air warfare. On other occasions, Lindbergh warns of a sneak attack in the Pacific by the Japanese. This book tells the truth, perhaps not the truth that we want to hear at times, but the truth fair or foul. Lindbergh's life of civic responsibility without compensation or political office is rightly explained for the first time.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sherwin B. Nuland
    • Narrated By Sherwin B. Nuland

    There is a vast literature on death and dying, but there are few reliable accounts of the ways in which we die. The intimate account of how various diseases take away life, offered in How We Die, is not meant to prompt horror or terror but to demythologize the process of dying, to help us rid ourselves of that fear of the terra incognita.

    Ruth says: "Required reading for those still breathing"
    "Good Account of the Facts"

    The author tells the story of death through case studies. The first two case studies deal with sudden death by myocardial infarction (heart attack) - one resulting in death, the other saved by CPR. There is a no sugar coating of the facts, just a very careful and illustrative accounting. My first two takeaways were improve my eating habits and to teach my kids CPR so that I may survive my "golden hour" if I have a heart attack. The author then dispels the "died of old age" myth and describes the the telltale, small signs of decline in aging. I think the factual approach is refreshing. I was unprepared for death of my father that died similar to his grandmother. I was unprepared for the death of my father-in-law that died like his very first patient. This book not only prepares you for these realities but also offers a cautionary signs to help you avoid an early end. This book is not the subject of the teen set perhaps. But anyone with parents over 50 would do well to read it or just be surprised by inevitable events later.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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