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Lexington, KY, United States | Member Since 2013

  • 4 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 143 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

    Andy says: "we may not be the most stupid kids on the planet"
    "Entertaining story, but too simplistic"

    Michael Lewis describes the financial crisis in different countries. The book is full of interesting anecdotes and highly entertaining. His main thesis is that you can see a people’s character when they are in a dark room full of money. This line is too simplistic. The author does not know well the culture of most of the countries he visited or speaks their language, and much of the description is thus superficial. I say this as a German who lived 1/3 of his life in the USA. For example, the better performance of Germany in the current crisis is not so much caused by the alleged ‘anal fixation or holocaust-guilt ‘of the German people, but by a political system that is less dependent on campaign donations from banks and can therefore control the financial sector a little bit better than the US or Greece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Hans von Luck, Stephen E. Ambrose (introduction)
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A stunning look at World War II from the other side.... From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front - von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers. Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman.

    Jean says: "Eminently Readable"
    "interesting personal story"

    Hans von Luck was a career soldier who fought in France, Africa and Russia during WWII. He gives his very personal account. It is clear that he was not a Nazi, more like a conservative, very traditional german officer who felt bound by his oath to follow his orders and fight to the end. An interesting aspect of the book is his relationship and clear admiration for Erwin Rommel, who was his superior officer in Africa and France.

    He describes only his personal viewpoint, and not the 'big political picture', which appears to be very honest. From his account, the superb tactical and technical training of german officers, as well as the leading (in civilian words: management) of their enlisted men was the main contributor to early war success and the resilience in the later stages of the war.
    I heard one of my grand-uncles who hold the same rank in WWII speaking through his narrative, especially on how to treat subordinates and POWs.

    A drawback of the book is the narrator who has a strong french accent. Some of the german phrases are hardly understandable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Malcom Potts, Thomas Hayden
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Human beings have been battling one another since time immemorial. But why war and terrorism? Why are men almost always the killers, and why are war and sex so inextricably linked? Why do we kill members of our own species intentionally, when few other animals do so?

    Craig C. says: "New Perspective"
    "very convincing and thought-provoking hypothesis"

    The main hypothesis of the book is that humans evolved by selecting males that killed most successfully non-related humans from other groups ("outgroups"), while at the same time were most supportive and emphatic towards members of their own group ("ingroup"), which gave them a reproductive advantage.

    This theory is well documented by hard data from biology, archeology, sociology and gives a concise picture of human behavior, which is applied to recent political events, such as the response to 9/11.

    The authors promote the idea that empowering woman by allowing them to control the number of their children through access of contraceptives is the most effective way of war prevention.
    Although their theory cannot be fully proven like models in physics or molecular biology, it is worth considering, as it explains so many aspects of human behavior.
    One aspect that could have been investigated in more detail is "paternity fraud", where a woman gives a man the false impression that he is the father of her child. Several studies estimate this number to be around 10% (but there are studies with a higher and lower rate). This suggests that woman developed a strategy to escape strict male dominance and genetic traits underpinning this 'cheating' strategy will be in our current gene pool. Thus even if contraception reduces the number of humans on earth and their fight for resources, this world might not be as peaceful as the authors hope.

    This book was very well written and narrated, enjoyed listening/reading to it and fully recommend it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Professor of Secrets: Mystery, Medicine, and Alchemy in Renaissance Italy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By William Eamon
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    this exciting story illuminates the captivating world of the late Renaissance - in this case its plagues, remedies, and alchemy - through the life of Leonardo Fioravanti, a brilliant, remarkably forward-thinking, and utterly unconventional doctor. Fioravanti's marvelous cures and talent for self-aggrandizement earned him the adoration of the people, the scorn of the medical establishment, and a reputation as one of the age's most colorful, combative figures.

    Stefan says: "very informative and well researched"
    "very informative and well researched"

    This book gives a very good overview of the development of medicine during the transition from the middle ages to renaissance. Since it follows one person, it gives lots of colorful details that are easy to follow. I found parallels between renaissance medical establishment and today's medical practice very interesting.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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