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Jacques Ray


Torrance, CA USA | Member Since 2005

  • 9 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 650 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2015

  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Toobin
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

    Stephen says: "Fascinating"
    "Pulp Jurisdiction"

    The Nine is written as a travelogue of the recent to not so recent history of this esteemed panel. It has many interesting facts and anecdotes concerning an 'inside baseball' perspective of the court. The average listener to this type of book however is probably more interested in a more academic approach to the subject. It is not that this title is not enjoyable, much to the contrary, I was quite engaged all the way through...It's just that when I got to the end I wasn't sure that I understood the court any better than I had before listening. What I was hoping for was how the cases were presented to the Justices and how they interpreted the Constitution in their findings. Fortunately Audible has actual Supreme Court hearings downloadable for free...This I found more informative, if a bit less entertaining.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Odyssey of the West I: A Classic Education through the Great Books: Hebrews and Greeks

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Timothy Shutt, Eric H. Cline, Kim J. Hartswick, and others
    • Narrated By uncredited

    The lectures address-in chronological sequence-a series of major works that have shaped the ongoing development of Western thought both in their own right and in cultural dialogue with other traditions. In the process, the course engages many of the most perennial and far-reaching questions that we face in our daily lives.

    Rand says: "Chapter Divisions ARE Present"
    "Happy Trails..."

    Teaching cultural history through great books seems obvious, but have never encountered it before this series. I enjoyed the switching of narrators. It gave it an organic feel, like they all had their particular interests and couldn't wait to tell you about them. Great detail and explanations about things I have heard about, but never really understood.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Scott McClellan
    • Narrated By Scott McClellan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Scott McClellan belonged to President Bush's select inner circle of trusted advisers during one of the most challenging, contentious periods of recent history. Over a period of more than seven years, he witnessed, day-to-day, exactly how the presidency veered off course, not only by its decision to topple Saddam Hussein, but by an embrace of confrontational politics in the face of an increasingly partisan Washington and a hostile media.

    Frank J. Regan says: "Something is Missing"

    With all of the hub-bub surrounding the release of this book/audio book, I was sure that were nuggets of pure gold that would fall from the pages as the narrative developed.

    However, no such bounty was to be had. Much of the book was spent making clear what good intentions Bush really had and that the political culture that has developed around this and other similar(read Clinton) administrations was really to blame for the infinite number of bad decisions made by the Bush administration.

    The other main emphasis in the book, of course, was to explain in excruciatingly minute detail how good ole 'Scotty' was duped into making false statements over and over again to the American public.

    After listening, rewinding several chapter and relistening I can confidently confirm that the following paragraph would have sufficed for the entire book...

    "I liked Bush in Texas. I followed him to Washington. The bad system made Bush do bad things. People lied to me and made me look like a liar. I think they are bad. If we change the system we will have no more bad people."

    That's pretty much it, no bombshells, no insider information. Just rationalizations for criminal behavior resulting in 4,000+ American deaths and absolution for evil doers in the White House.

    Good Job Scotty, really took it to 'em...

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Vincent Bugliosi
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman

    Best-selling author Vincent Bugliosi has written the most important and thought-provoking book of his prolific career. In a meticulously researched and clearly presented legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial for murder after he leaves his presidency, Bugliosi delivers a searing indictment of the president and his administration.

    Keith says: "Very disappointing"
    "Hung Jury"

    This heart of this book is contained primarily in chapter two, where the details of such a prosecution are revealed. This chapter is worth listening to in order to see how a prosecutor would question the witness, George W. Bush.

    However, the rest of the book, chapter one and three, while largely valid, is composed of the author's rants which undermine the impact of his thesus.

    That is, if we are to believe that a prosecution of any citizen is a non-partisan attempt to seek justice, why would we trust a prosecutorial perspective that blatantly reveals such personal bias against the defendant.

    It seems that there are two books here, one titled "The Cross Examination of George W. Bush" and "I Hate Bush and So Should You."

    I have no love for Bush, but this is not the legalistic, academic approach that I anticipated when purchasing this audio book.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Barbara Ehrenreich
    • Narrated By Anne Twomey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The best-selling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in Bait and Switch, she enters another hidden realm of the economy: the world of the white-collar unemployed.

    Peter says: "A terrible book - princess Barbara goes undercover"
    "Long Slog with Pleasant Ending"

    Although the author admits to having little experience with applying to a 'corporate' position, her naivete regarding this pursuit becomes almost unbearable near the middle of the book.
    Lost in the quagmire of coaching and image consultants, she seems to lose touch with the essence of what makes unemployment an interesting topic of study.
    If you can hold on that long, her conclusions are interesting, yet do not contain the depth I would expect from an individual who makes her 'real' living from observation and interpretation.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "Required Reading"

    Although Gore sits on the opposite side of the political spectrum, he has approached this critique from an objective and academic perspective. Both conservative and liberal will gain from pondering the points made here. Excellent use of the written/spoken word to awaken the populace from its slumber.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Undercover Economist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Author of the extremely popular "Dear Economist" column in Financial Times, Tim Harford reveals the economics behind everyday phenomena in this highly entertaining and informative book. Can a book about economics be fun to read? It can when Harford takes the reins, using his trademark wit to explain why it costs an arm and a leg to buy a cappuccino and why it's nearly impossible to purchase a decent used car.

    Paul Norwood says: "Everyone needs to know this."
    "Excellent Insight"

    Very good treatment of the economic concepts that we often ponder but for which we have no definitive solutions. Using an inductive approach the author explains a simple model for defining scarcity and its effects and then applies it to a number of tangential yet relevant areas. Very mind expanding for the economically curious.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Kant in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 20 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    Immanuel Kant taught and wrote prolifically about physical geography yet never traveled further than forty miles from his home in Kvnigsberg. How appropriate it is then that in his philosophy he should deny that all knowledge was derived from experience. He insisted that all experience must conform to knowledge. According to Kant, space and time are subjective; along with various "categories," they help us to see the phenomena of the world, though never its true reality.

    Jacques Ray says: "Kant lite"
    "Kant lite"

    Although the author gives a great account of the life of Kant, there is very little dicussion of his theories. This audio book is great for beginners wanting a sketch of this philosopher's state of mind and peculiar behavior, but not for those seeking clarity regarding his contribution to modern philosophy.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Robert M. Pirsig
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This thought-provoking journal of a man's quest for truth - and for himself - has touched and changed an entire generation, and is ready to reach out to a new one. At its heart, the story is all too simple: a man and his son take a motorcycle trip across America. But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self-discovery and renewal.

    CARL V PHILLIPS says: "definitive version, hasn't aged too badly"
    "Well worth the effort"

    I have read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance twice. Each time, I have gained insight from it's wisdom, applicable to my particular station in life at the time of reading.

    However, in the audio version, I was able to visualize the author's words much more clearly than ever before. For example, the recurring vision of the author's son behind the glass door was somehow much more tangible in the audio version.

    I recommend it to anyone serious enough about philosophy to 'sweat mental bullets' in order to understand a concept. Otherwise, I suggest sticking to reading/listening that is generally less challenging.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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