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Mitch

I am a documentary film producer from Los Angeles.

Buena Park, CA, United States

316
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 164 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
11

  • The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By William Bernstein
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    In the breakthrough spirit of Against the Gods, William Bernstein's The Birth of Plenty has the topical uniqueness and storytelling panache to literally create its own category and reader. Based upon the premise that mankind experienced virtually zero economic growth from the dawn of time until 1820, this provocative, big-picture book identifies the four conditions necessary for sustained economic progress.

    JOSHUA HELMAN, M.D. says: "Entertaining and Educational"
    "Brilliant and accesible"
    Overall

    The book that every politician and head of state should read. It should also be required reading for the third world countries dictators that bring their people to misery and poverty.
    This book is the story of how the west came across this magic formula that brought wealth, freedoms and human rights even to the most disadvantaged members of our society.
    The logic and arguments is irrefutable. The author’s genius is not in really uncovering new historical facts, but putting together a long sequence of causes and effects that seem to answer the million dollar question: How to run a society? (Or why the western model has prevailed)
    The book is full of concepts, filled with answers that I looked for, for a very long time. I wonder if anyone else tried such comprehensive explanation of the success of modern capitalism.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Broken Reed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Arthur Boyd
    • Narrated By Christopher Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    At the height of the Korean War, President Truman launched one of the most important intelligence-gathering operations in history. So valuable were the mission's findings about the North Korean-Soviet-Chinese alliance that it is no stretch to say they prevented World War III.

    Christopher says: "I'm not sure what to believe"
    "Good book, but it divagates a lot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish the author had a good editor. The story is rather amazing, providing that is all true, but the writer can not hold himself from going in pointless details that have nothing to do with the story.
    Finally I bought a book about war and espionage and in the middle of the action, I have to listen to a description of his mom in Texas and her cooking.... Many other pointless parentheses drove me up the wall...

    With the help of the skip forward button I finished it.
    Well worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Eric Schlosser
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (370)

    Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America's nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved - and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind.

    Ethan M. says: "A miracle that we escaped the Cold War alive...."
    "Eric gets lost in pontless details this time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this author a lot in some of his previous books, but now I simply lost my patience.

    About 20% of the book is relevant to the title, the rest is just fill up. As an example, he will describe for pages the make and color and the layout of the news van that came to report on the "incident" for pages and pages. Then he'll give you biographies of all lowly employees involved.... Those details have nothing to do with what happened...

    Most of the book is irrelevant like this. I guess some writers like to hear themselves talk forever....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bismarck: The Story of a Fighter

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Emil Ludwig, Eden Paul, Cedar Paul
    • Narrated By Ken Maxon
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Otto von Bismarck was more than a politician and a leader: He was the single driving force that turned the disparate states of Germany into one cohesive empire. He then went on to lead Germany and the rest of Europe into an age of political peace that lasted from 1871 until the outbreak of World War I. Under his influence, Germany thrived. Bismarck’s use of statesmanship to fight for the interests of his country was legendary. As one of the most influential and powerful individuals in his country’s history, Bismarck became a symbol of leadership and pride for German nationalists.

    Viviane says: "How badly the narration fits non-fiction"
    "Unbearable to hear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author follows no timeline or cause and effect progression of events. The whole book seems like a collection of unrelated sentences about Bismarck impossible to follow.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Nate Silver
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1215)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1016)

    Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger - all by the time he was 30. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.

    Grant says: "Hot"
    "You must have the patience for useless details"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While missing the point.
    This book is very hard to follow. It feels like there is not enough material and the author is blowing time and filling pages with useless details.

    I'd rather go for something by Michael Lewis or Malcom Gladwell

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold on to It for 100 Years

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bill Bonner, Will Bonner
    • Narrated By Brett Barry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (23)

    From trusted New York Times best-selling author Bill Bonner comes a radical new way to look at family money and a practical, actionable guide to getting and maintaining multigenerational wealth. Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold on to It for 100 Years is packed with useful information, interwoven with Bonner's stories about his own family's wealth philosophy and practices.

    Mitch says: "Well written, well researched"
    "Well written, well researched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The authors embark on a quest to answer a enormously complex question: How a family can achieve everlasting wealth, but more than that how can they pass the values and principles that will assure a sustainable structure for wealth preservation and creation.

    I have been struggling with those questions a lot, and I have not found too many writings on the subject matter. I guess we live in the age of "right here, right now" where instant gratification precedes any sense of heritage or legacy.
    It is very refreshing to find like-minded thinkers that contemplate a bigger sense of ourselves. I think that multigenerational wisdom has been essential to our evolution as specie. Imagine each one of us trying to re-invent plowing or animal raising... Where would we be?
    However today, grandparents embark on cruises, parents work long hours, and the guidance of the youth is left to the TV set.
    I have a lot of respect for the authors candor and their frankness in recognizing that they don’t have all the answers. At times they even expose their disagreement on certain principles.
    Weather you’ll agree with the book or not, the material is guaranteed to make you think, therefore I recommend it wholeheartedly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • America's Great Depression

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Murray N. Rothbard
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (37)

    The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which was generated by government intervention in the economy. Had this book appeared in the 1940s, it might have spared the world much grief. Even so, its appearance in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject.

    Damon says: "required reading- hard to capture over audio"
    "Unbearable repetitious, dry economic theory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I pride myself as a economic theory geek, but this was beyond anyone's ability to digest. The first two chapters simply dont contain any events, characters or real life facts. Instead, a robotic voice tells you the relationship between the savings curb and the investment curb in a deflationary environment. Then a lot of these dry axioms are repeated in different words 2-3 times, as if the author is struggling to fill up time.
    All these theories are presented as gospel, no point and counterpoint, and there are no real life examples of how they apply.

    About one third in the book, you start getting characters, presidents from the 30ties and other officials. The same theories start repeating, but now there are some events and people put them in practice.

    A very strange book, I just could not bear it...

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Liaquat Ahamed
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (268)

    It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of the economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades.

    Toru says: "interesting insight into interwar period!"
    "Finally a complete, impartial investigation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The 20ties and the 30ties were often avoided by historians. Finally I found an author that really reveals the misguided policies of the "Peace of Versailles". Polices that lead to the great depression and the second world war... A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles P. Pierce
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (146)

    The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    Vargas says: "You Get What You Paid For"
    "A bunch of unfocused, pointless text"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Be warned, this is not about the stupidity of America, but about converting you in an extreme secular, atheist. Everyone that is not that is an idiot according to the author. Even the believers in the "intelligent design" theory are dumb. For him evolution is a perfect theory that has no holes and no questions un-answered. The fact that 95% of the people believe in divinity is compared with a survey on gravity. " If 95% of us would vote that there is no gravity would that make it so?" he asks. Therefore there is no creation and you're stupid if you're not an atheist.

    Next chapters go totally la-la discussing John Adams and his misdeeds but never connecting his actions with the "Idiot America" as if he forgot completely what his book was about. He makes no other point either, so you feel that after he called creationists idiots, he just had to fill the manuscript with random talk in order to finish the book.

    Here my patience ran out. Life is to short to put up with this.
    I cant believe he got published...

    6 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar, Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Adam Fergusson
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    When Money Dies is the classic history of what happens when a nations currency depreciates beyond recovery. In 1923, with its currency effectively worthless (the exchange rate in December of that year was one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000 marks), the German republic was all but reduced to a barter economy. Expensive cigars, artworks, and jewels were routinely exchanged for staples such as bread; a cinema ticket could be bought for a lump of coal; and a bottle of paraffin for a silk shirt....

    John says: "Disappointed"
    "Useless details, missing the big points"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The subject matter is fascinating and very little covered by history books. It is obviously very touchy for an English author since it might point to the unfairness of the Versailles treaty.
    So this author is endlessly beating around the bush by telling you the price of eggs, train tickets and other data that makes your head spin but he's not developing enough the big picture.

    So yes, there was inflation in the 1920s but how did they get there? Why did the Kaiser abdicate? Who took power? What was the mechanisms of tax collection and why did they collapse?
    The treaty of Versailles and the subsequent adjustments to the war reparation are mentioned in very few sentences, but very under developed...

    So if you want to know how much was an egg in Berlin during 1920, 1921, 1922... etc go ahead and get this book.
    The author is incredibly proud of this data and he assumes you know all the other details of the Weimar Germany.
    Well, I didn't so I expected a lot more...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Dov Seidman, Dov Seidman (preface), Dov Seidman (prologue)
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    The flood of information, unprecedented transparency, increasing interconnectedness - and our global interdependence - are dramatically reshaping today's world, the world of business, and our lives. We are in the Era of Behavior and the rules of the game have fundamentally changed. It is no longer what you do that matters most and sets you apart from others, but how you do what you do.

    Mitch Cowart says: "MOST IMPORTANT BOOK I'VE READ ALL YEAR - MAYBE EVR"
    "Theory from someone with little practical sense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you really like business leadership books, try Jack Welsh, Bill Gates and Lee Iacoca. At least you know they actually ran a successful organization in their life.
    This author is another wannabe management "guru" with no credits to his name other then his "philosophical studies"...
    They are a dime a dozen these days. I guess it is a lot easier to teach than to do...
    However there are a few worthy thought throughout the book, if you can take the pointless chatter in between them, then go ahead, give it a try.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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