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  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

    Carolyn says: "Strawmen and Ad Hominems"
    "A scientific veil over popular culture."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The book contains some interesting information and is well written, but it is primarily just another response to cultural trends. The authors are unendingly critical of earlier scientists, participants in the "standard model", because they were so dominated by their Victorian culture. They then proceed to reinterpret everything through the dark glass of their own culture. Obviously, the book is far more supportive of open sexual relations, women's sexuality and a host of currently popular notions. I am not critical of their opinions, but the thin guise of scientific credibility is disappointing. As with all anthrepological work, it is riddled with unverifiable supposition and assumptions, presented without caveats. There is a fair amount of work cited, but no consideration for the credibility or motivation behind the cited work and no contrary studies are considered. A great deal of time is spent on the genetic and biological driving forces behind sex, but the issues they are contending with are equally, if not more, driven by culture, which is just as real and just as valid. If you are looking for a justification for a choice of lifestyle, this book will offer you any excuse you need, but if you are looking for objective science and understanding, keep looking. It is not to be found here.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    David says: "A history of the world before the West mattered"
    "Not as Muslums see, but as they want to be seen."
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    A different view point, an offer to "....see ourselves as others see us."

    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    No more, no less.

    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Yes, as seeing through different eyes.

    Do you have any additional comments?

    From my own lifetime experience, I am quite familiar with how outsiders can misunderstand and distort religious history, so for me this was in inviting topic. I was pleased to add to my readings on Islam, and anxious to hear an inside view of Islamic history, but the title is not correct. It is not history as seen through Islamic eyes, but history as Islam would like to be seen. There is a lot of history that is held with pride within Islam, but is not mentioned heavily smoothed over for outside consumption. I know it is rare to find honest history, but I am disappointed when it becomes so overtly altered for the sake of propaganda. Just the same, it is a view that should be understood and I enjoyed the new perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James W. Loewen
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler

    This national best seller is an entertaining, informative, and sometimes shocking expose of the way history is taught to American students. Lies My Teacher Told Me won the American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship.

    Timothy says: "Of course he has an agenda. He wrote a book!"
    "Not objective, just very negative"
    What disappointed you about Lies My Teacher Told Me?

    The author is right in that history is not taught well in schools and is often viewed through rose colored glasses, for the sake of publishing success. I am a teacher and I can tell you that his condemnation of text book publishing is right on the mark. I also agree that today's students are turned off by history classes, BUT an entirely negative view of history, designed to condemn by modern standards and transfer untold guilt to current generations is not going to do anything to excite students. This books drips with self loathing and bias. The language is anything but objective. Somehow the author has lost touch with what history is all about and come to the belief that slapping a student across the face (figuratively) will make history lovers out of them. It doesn't work. If you are interested in history, I'd advise you to go find and interesting, objective author instead of wasting your time on this book. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Massimo Pigliucci
    • Narrated By Jay Russell

    Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and - borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham - the nonsense on stilts.

    thunder road says: "Thought provoking and relevant"
    "Uninformative and dogmatic, not wroth the time."

    Every aspect of culture has is orthodoxies, religious, political, economic, artistic and even scientific. Inherent in each orthodoxy are their articles of faith, dogmas, adherents, defenders, evangelists and prophets. There is no fault with any of these, but they must be understood for what they are. Massimo Pigliucci is, without question, a minister of scientific orthodoxy, and as such uses the tools and methods of his avocation. He must be read with this understanding. The first line of defense for orthodoxy is consensus, which he sites repeatedly, ignoring the basic understanding that consensus has never established fact. Instead of discussing questions rationally on their merits, he falls back on insults and demeaning language while attacking the motives and personalities of those who disagree with him, questioning their right to speak outside of their credentialed areas of expertise while repeatedly doing so himself.
    As an engineer and physics instructor of 40 years, I have accumulated many questions on the positions commonly held in the scientific community, none of which were addressed seriously in this book. If you are looking for an emotional pep talk to sustain you in your commonly held opinions, this is your book, but if you are looking for an objective, rational discussion, look elsewhere. This is least informative and least credible book I have ever read on these topics.

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Message of the Aramaic Jesus

    • Abridged/Unabridged (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Neil Douglas-Klotz

    If you could travel back to the world of ancient Palestine and hear Jesus teach in his own native tongue, what would you learn? Join Neil Douglas-Klotz, the brilliant translator and best selling author of Prayers of the Cosmos, as he delves into early New Testament scriptures written in Aramaic - the original language of Jesus and his followers. Overlooked for centuries by all but a small minority of the world's Christians, these sacred texts rejuvenate the teachings of Jesus with an original subtlety and richness of meaning found in no other translation. Douglas-Klotz draws us deeply into these passages of the Gospels - including the Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer - and then adds to his passionate scholarship by teaching us a series of body-centered meditations for interpreting and reflecting on these sacred words in much the same way as the early Christians did. What lies hidden within these scriptures may surprise many: a visionary Christ who transcends the narrow and the dogmatic to offer us a grand cosmology based on the earthy wisdom of an ancient desert people.

    Marie-Elizabeth Finamore says: "great workshop"
    "The Hidden Gospel"

    This book is more about chanting and mysticism than objective information. There is a bit of interesting insite into translations, but the vast majority is limited to new versions of old Christian mysticism. I did not regard it as a good use of my time.

    16 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged , Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt

    Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus, which launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who have never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

    Brett says: "Visionary, Astounding, Life Changing....."
    "Atlas Shrugged an American must read."

    This book should be a required reading for every economics class. In an interesting, if long, story, the value of individual effort is demonstrated as is the degrading swing towards social liberalism. You will believe.

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • The Mystical Kabbalah

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Rabbi David A. Cooper
    • Narrated By Rabbi David A. Cooper

    Kabbalah, it is said, was brought down from heaven by angels. The great mystics of Judaism originally passed its teachings by word of mouth only, believing that the secrets of the kabbalah transcended the written word.

    Robert says: "Understandable and Intuitive"
    "The Mystical Kabbalah"

    I had hoped for information on the history and philosophy of the Kabbalah but this was more of a lecture on new age mysticism from a Jewish background. It is not very informative unless you are looking for another form of meditation.

    16 of 28 people found this review helpful

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