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William G. Stuart

Massachusetts, USA | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Coolidge

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Amity Shlaes
    • Narrated By Terence Aselford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923 to 1929, never rated highly in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Now Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s and its elusive president, showing that the mid-1920s was in fact a triumphant period that established our modern way of life: The nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus.

    Jean says: "Silent Cal"
    "Excellent Detailed Look @ an Underappreciated Prez"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Coolidge again? Why?

    This is a must-listen if you want to understand America in the era between 1870 and the early 1930s - rural New England agrarian life, college in that era, the simplicity of transportation, politics, the rise of labor unions, immigration controversy, back-room politicking, the growth of means of communication and flight and the pressures of the presidency. I listened intently - even increasing the speed slightly to absorb the material more quickly - and probably will relisten in a year or two to reinforce the information.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author is a master storyteller. She brings the reader into Coolidge's mind as he faces the challenges of a politician - state legislator, state senator, governor, VP and president - during the first three decades of the 20th century. We understand why he stood up against the striking Boston Police Department and the undercurrent of radicalism in union activity, we appreciate why he made the political moves that he made when he made them and we appreciate the challenges that he faced as president.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The memories that I'll retain most are the descriptions of the multiple meetings between President Coolidge and General Lord, as they pore over the budget, eliminating trivial items and finding less costly alternatives that save a million dollars here or $50,000 there. Coolidge respected the people's money and saw himself as its steward in a way that no modern politician of either party emulates. Today, politicians of both parties throw around a hundred billion dollars like it's money falling from heaven. Coolidge tossed quarters like they were manhole covers.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I appreciated the description of the strain that the presidency and personal losses (the Colonel, Calvin Jr.) placed on the Coolidge marraige, and how the President tried to repair it in the later stages of his term, when the strain was greatest. The strain appears to have repaired itself fairly quickly after the weight of the presidency - the President's obligations and time commitments, which prevented his participation in many activities, including John's graduations - were lifted and the couple returned to Northampton.


    Any additional comments?

    High school and college students rarely learn much history between the end of the War of Northern Aggression and the beginning of the Second World War. I'm making a conscious effort (aided largely by audible.com) to learn more about this era - from "The President is a Sick Man" to "The Destiny of the Republic" and "The President and the Assassin" - and soon "The Bully Pulpit" or "The River of Doubt." These biographies all deliver an excellent description of the United States during my great-great-grandfather's lifetime.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 24 Hours

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (142)

    24 Hours begins with the perfect family...on the perfect day...about to become trapped in the perfect crime.

    Will Jennings is a successful young doctor in Jackson, Mississippi, with his whole life ahead of him. He has a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, and a young daughter he loves beyond measure.

    Suzn F says: "Exciting Book, so well read"
    "Very different kidnapping plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I really enjoyed my first Iles book. Kidnapping plots generally follow a common script. This one was very different - kidnappers as businessmen, very dispassionate, we'll thought-out business plan. It had me guessing and reguessing what would happen next. My lone criticism: the plot was a a bit surreal toward the end - not totally unbelievable (like the end of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons with the most unlikely chopper pilot), but it stretched the limits of plausibility.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Delta Solution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Patrick Robinson
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (104)

    The Delta Solution is an action-packed novel pitting Navy SEAL Mack Bedford against the Somali pirates operating off the southerly reaches of the lawless East African republic on the Indian Ocean. For the past three years, these heavily armed tribal brigands have been capturing and holding for ransom massive cargo ships, and violently demanding millions of dollars for their return. Hero Mack Bedford is deployed to obliterate them in the middle of the Indian Ocean, at all costs, once and for all.

    G. House Sr. says: "Good story but needs editing, 33% too long"
    "Wow,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Delta Solution the most enjoyable?

    This book is excellent. The author really gets into the minds of pirates, their sponsors and their villages. Gives a great understanding of what might motivate these thieves on the high seas. Also, the activities on two continents merge nicely.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I couldn't put this book down. I knew from the beginning how it would end at a high level (common with most books), but this one unfolded differently from what I had imagined. This book kept me up @ night listening and accompanied me on several long walks as it kept my attention. Not once did I think that the author was filling a word quota or writing just to amuse himself. Every description and every incident fed into the plot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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