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Orson

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2015

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 92 ratings
  • 663 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2015
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  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson
    • Narrated By Marsha Mercant, Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (689)
    Performance
    (489)
    Story
    (490)

    Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.

    Andrew says: "Insightful study of human behavior"
    "Politics, not science"
    Overall

    The problem with a book about rationalization of mistakes is that everything depends on your judgment of what actions were mistakes, and what explanations are mere rationalizations. If one person believes he made the right choice, but the authors disagree, then they call his explanations "rationalizations," while if the authors agree, then of course it's not rationalization at all.

    The result is that it is the authors who are rationalizing their own biases, and the book is essentially worthless as anything but feel-good reassurance if your views happen to coincide exactly with the authors'.

    8 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee - the War They Fought, the Peace They Forged

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William C. Davis
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    They met in person only four times, yet these two men determined the outcome of the Civil War and cast competing styles for the reunited nation. Each the subject of innumerable biographies, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee have never before been paired as they are here. Exploring their personalities, their character, and their ethical, moral, political, and military worlds, William C. Davis finds surprising similarities between the two men.

    Lawrence A. says: "Read many books on Lee"
    "Plutarch looks at Grant and Lee ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Crucible of Command in three words, what would they be?

    Grant, Lee, Parallel


    What other book might you compare Crucible of Command to and why?

    Davis follows the approach of Plutarch's classic "Lives". While he skips a vast amount of biographical material, he does show important similarities and differences in the upbringing, training, early military experience, and eventual command styles and grasp of strategy and tactics of the two great Civil War commanders.


    What about Traber Burns’s performance did you like?

    Burns's reading was expressive, moved along at a good clip, and was always clear. History should always be read like this.


    Any additional comments?

    When you write about figures as prominent and often-written-about as Lee and Grant, you have to bring something new to the discussion, and Davis does exactly that. Of course, some will be outraged that Davis is not worshipful to Lee (the normal treatment) but instead measures his mistakes against Grant's, and shows ways in which Grant's command style was more effective than Lee's. Davis admires what is admirable about both men, and deals candidly with their flaws. An excellent addition to military history and to Civil War evaluation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Randy O. Frost, Gail Stekeete
    • Narrated By Joe Caron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (681)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (445)

    What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper thats ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house?

    JoAnn Marcon says: "Utterly fascinating"
    "Real science, leading to self-examination"
    Overall

    No, I don't live in a house where goat-paths thread among stacks of newspapers, magazines, and assorted junk. But even as I listened to Caron's excellent reading of this well-written book, I couldn't help but notice how many of the traits of the sufferers of extreme cases of hoarding I had, or could recognize in friends and family members - though never so out-of-control. The authors never overclaim - they are genuine scientists who remain cautious and skeptical of their own tentative conclusions. The result is a book that is both fascinating and reliable. It's a happy coincidence when first rate science is done by first rate writers.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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