This book can only be described as outstanding. Mr. Conard has been able to discuss the reasons for the 2008 financial crisis in a clear and concise manner as well as give concrete suggestions for what government policies should entail so that our economy can return to 'normal' post-recession growth rates. While I am a fiscal conservative and believer in the strength of the free market system and therefore bias to Mr. Conard's point of view, I feel that this book should be required reading for all, as even those who believe in more governement intervention in our economy will be forced to reflect on the points that Mr. Conard drives home. While some portions of the books may get a little overly technical for an non-financial person, I feel that anyone with an above average level of intelligence will be able to easily get through those sections and will then be able to understand how Mr. Conard comes to his conclusions. This is one of the most informative and enjoyable books that I have ever read and I congratulate Mr. Conard on his work.
I just finished another Roger Crowley book on Venice and it reminded me of how good 'Empires of the Sea' was as well. I love history and both books were exactly the right depth of factual detail interwoven with personal insights that make the listen as enjoyable as watching a your favorite movie. I could not give higher praise than I would give this book. If you have an interest in history I would almost guarantee that you would find this book a keeper.
I love history, but I have never read (or listened) to a book about the history of Venice. This book is really not about the city of Venice, but about the influence that Venice had on the period of history from approximately 1000 to 1600. It was like listening to a well thought out story. Honestly I could hardly stop listening, and when it was finished I felt like I had lost a friend. It was that good. Mr. Crowley also wrote a book 'Empires of the Sea' which is equally as good. I would recommend both books to those who love history and those who love a riveting story. I hope that Mr. Crowley rights many many more books as he has a unique knack for interwinding facts with insight of those who were alive at that time. Again, simply a wonderfully good book.
I had recently finished listening to 'Empires of the Sea' and '1453' and was absolutely fascinated by them both (with regard to learning more about the history of the eastern Mediterranean area), so I assumed that I would be love this book. What a massive disappointment. While I appreciate that the span of time covered by this topic precludes in-depth analysis of any specific event, the book was nothing but a series of conclusions based upon sparse facts which are overly dramatized by non-scholarly idioms. Also, the author is the narrator, and his ability to narrate is even poorer than his skill as a historian. I would advise anyone to skip listening (or reading) this book. It was awful.
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