The majority of the speeches favor a traditional or conservative political perspective. Some of the writings didn't lend themselves to the audio format (the Articles of Confederation, in particular). I really enjoyed the later part of the book. I was struck by how long the academic trend has been anti-American. Such a deep seated philosphy will take a long time to counter.
Socrates in the city is a great concept. Bring in excellent minds on the topics of their excellence and let them expose you to ideas you may not even have thought about. And certainly not at the intellectual level presented.
There were plenty of doctorates present in fields that vary widely. Yet all considered themselves Christians addressing people who were giving them a fair hearing. And many in the audience disagreed with the speakers and made this clear in the question and answer session. The original speech and the Q&A each lasted about 35-40 minutes so there is enough time to make a case and to stand up to disagreements. Without being disagreeable.
The introductions got a little long and it is not as easy to skim over an audiobook as it is a paper book. But I plan to listen again to increase my knowledge in the various topics presented.
Despite the fact that Lewis originally wrote these essays during World War II, he is able to connect with this reader. The book is understated and he often encourages readers to skip sections they don't find relevant or where they disagree with his approach. Very refreshing compared to modern writers who can't imagine that anyone would disagree with anything they said.
There is plenty to agree and disagree with in the writings. But you come away with the feeling that you have grappled with Lewis' arguments. This leads to a testing of my own ideas against a first class mind. And all the while, he is being so reasonable that you give his arguments the weight they deserve.
I try to listen to the book annually. It helps me to see where I have drifted from prior thoughts (for good or ill) and to see if I like the direction I am going.
Thank you, Mr. Lewis.
I am so glad that Mr. Steyn decided to narrate the book. He brought such an energy to the reading. Yet, his tone was moderate even though his words were radical. It was clear that he believes these words. This is one reason I found the book compelling.
The humor and phraseology of the book was wonderful. I don't know if he coined many of the terms he used, but it brought me many laughs. I will need to listen again just for humor.
The book reminded me what a dangerous place we are in regarding freedom of speech. We are on the cusp of progressive tyranny. Good luck if you want to use your our terms. Progressives will deem them out of bounds. And regulate and sue to keep opposing ideas and terms out of the public square.
The book focuses on several major problems facing us. The first is budgetary. The president commended himself on reducing the budget deficit in 2014. But the deficit was still $.5 trillion. In a year with the highest GDP growth since the housing collapse. If we can't eliminate the deficit in a robust year, what hope is there for when things aren't so rosey?
The second problem is our university system. There is no place in America where there is less freedom of speech than the typical college or university campus. Why do you think the president is proposing free community college? A full employment act for progressive "teachers" (indoctrinators) and more young heads to fill with progressive nonsense.
Keep writing, Mark, and I will keep listening.
I wonder why I think about anything I do if my actions are based on triggers that I cannot control.
There is a lot of interesting information in the book. The part where the ability of the brain that controls activities was new to me. Brain imaging and the like. I can see where this would help physicians in treatment of patients. But developing positive habits is more difficult than the author would lead you to believe. Emotions often interfere with the best laid habits. When I am chasing a tennis ball, my habits would result in hitting a controlled shot on the run. But my emotions make me want to smack the ball. And the occaisonal success just makes me want to do it more.
I found the section on Target most fascinating and troubling. Fascinating because consumers can be so predictable that computer programs can identify patterns that are quite accruate. And troubling because the result is that when I log into Amazon, I am offered products based on what I have bought before. I am like the father whose daughter received a Target ad for pregnancy products. I don't want someone else to know what I want before I know it myself.
We often forget what had to happen in the past to make our life what it is today. I have been interested in the life story of William Wilberforce because he was a man greatly admired by Charles Colson. In fact, Colson's organization, Prison Fellowship, gives an annual award to the person that most exemplifies William Wilberforce. I am a great admirer of Charles Colson.
William Wilberforce grew up in a family where religious practice was not a focal point. When he converted to Methodism, it was a great scandal and his family did all they could to wean him from this belief. Despite some ups and downs, William remained a Methodist all his life. In that day, to be a Methodist was to be outside the mainstream where religion was in words but not in deeds.
William was a key political player and was a life long friend of William Pitt who was a political leader of England for quite a long season. Despite their differences on slavery, they remained friends. This is to both of their credit. William's life mission was the ending of the slave trade and the horrors that this visited on Africans (and on all who were so engaged, such as John Newton of Amazing Grace fame who was a mentor of Wilberforce). Despite several near misses on passing legislation to end the slave trade, it took over thirty years to finally make it happen.
I found the book to be full of information that I didn't know and plan to listen again after a season to pick up additional insights. My compliments on a great listen.
I have listened to a number of entries of this series and am a fan. It was good to go back to the beginning to remember how it all began. Particularly, I remembered how JP got his lawyer, his partner Ron and all his money. This initial book is heavier on sexuality and language than the later books. In my opinion, that is too bad for this book but good for future books.
Having listened to other books in this series, Gene Engeny is JP Beaumont to me and his is the voice of an old friend.
I liked witnessing the process a police detective follows when searching for a murderer. And how office politics often get in the way and impede progress. Book detectives don't have to finish as quickly as TV detectives so you get to observe the many dead ends that are traced out before the story opens before you.
I was surprised that a hardened detective could fall in love so quickly while setting aside his lifetimes detecting habits. But I guess that beauty can turn a head and blind an eye.
This book made my treadmill sessions go a little faster and I aprreciated that.
There is growing dissent to the standard naturalistic view of the beginnings of the universe. Einstein's theory of general relativity has led to general belief in the big bang theory. This results in the earth having a beginning.
The author uses his standard practice of speaking with various experts in various fields whose research leads them to believe that our world could only have come into existence as a result of an intelligent designer.
The interviews give the listener basic information and the ability to look further into those interviewed for more information in a particular discipline.
As I listened, I wanted to tell Lincoln to be smarter. He seemed to have a death wish. He traveled unprotected into war zones to get a first hand view of the battle. He shared the information that he was going to the theatre well in advance of the showing.
The conspirators were vividly portrayed. The night of Lincoln's death was told almost in slow motion. Lincoln was dying the the conspirators were scattering to the wind.
The story of John Wilkes Booth was riveting.
Despite the book's length, it always kept my interest. This could be because this is my first book on Bonhoeffor and my knowledge of things German and this time era was minimal.
I liked the discussion of the family and how the events affected these people over time. I was interested in how Bonhoeffer interacted with all the major Christian thinkers of his era. I liked how they disagreed without becoming enemies. I was impressed by Bonhoeffer's loyalty to Germany. It was facinating to see how he "touched" such a great diversity of the people of his era.
I am better for having seen this time period through Bonhoeffer's eyes.
This was my first JD Robb book. I was hoping for better. The future is a cold place despite an abundance of new technological gadgets. There are friendships but no real community. The families mentioned don't share lives. Personal autonomy is the ultimate good.
The story line is no better. The reader isn't brought along as the crime is being solved. And when the perpetrator is finally revealed, his/her (don't want to give away the ending) political pespective is exactly opposite of the good detective.
The characters use ugly language often. And the girls always beat up the boys.
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