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Mark D. Jones

Huntsville, AL United States | Member Since 2013

  • 20 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • The Last Days of the Incas

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kim MacQuarrie
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1532, the 54-year-old Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro led a force of 167 men, including his four brothers, to the shores of Peru. Unbeknownst to the Spaniards, the Inca rulers of Peru had just fought a bloody civil war in which the emperor Atahualpa had defeated his brother, Huascar. Pizarro and his men soon clashed with Atahualpa and a huge force of Inca warriors at the Battle of Cajamarca.

    David says: "Quit while you are ahead"
    "Read in such a way as to put you to sleep"

    Norman Dietz sounds like he is on the brink of collapsing from exhaustion. I love history books but his reading of this one makes me feel sluggish.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Justin Pollard, Howard Reid
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Founded by Alexander the Great and built by self-styled Greek pharaohs, the city of Alexandria at its height dwarfed both Athens and Rome. It was the marvel of its age, legendary for its vast palaces, safe harbors, and magnificent lighthouse. But it was most famous for the astonishing intellectual efflorescence it fostered and the library it produced. If the European Renaissance was the "rebirth" of Western culture, then Alexandria, Egypt, was its birthplace.

    Jeffrey says: "A good listen"
    "What a sad and tragic tale."

    The story of Alexandria is far larger and richer than I had imagined. This book could have gone on for 22 hours and still not felt too long or too detailed. Well told, complete with the back stories and sidebars, the personalities and history.

    It is interesting to hear how even in 177AD was talking about how low brow (intellectually) Christianity was. How it seemed to seek out those least disposed to reasoning, something we see today with the Republican party and the religious "Right".

    If we could only learn from history, maybe we wouldn't have to destroy our country like the Romans and Christians destroyed Alexandria.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold War: A New History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Lewis Gaddis
    • Narrated By Jay Gregory, Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Drawing on new and often startling information from newly opened Soviet, Eastern European, and Chinese archives, this thrilling account explores the strategic dynamics that drove the Cold War, provides illuminating portraits of its major personalities, and offers much fresh insight into its most crucial events. Riveting, revelatory, and wise, it tells a story whose lessons it is vitally necessary to understand as America once more faces an implacable ideological enemy.

    Cordell eddings says: "WOW"
    "Very enlightening"

    There were large parts I already knew, but this connected some of the dots with the why some of those things happened (or at least plausible reasons they happened).

    Organization of the work was good as well, clustered around concepts rather than just chronological accounting.

    The inability to create logical paragraphs while giving reviews is really a PITA.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Amy Dockser Marcus
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Searching for the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict, historians for years focused on the British Mandate period (1920-1948). Amy Dockser Marcus, however, demonstrates that the bloody struggle for power actually started much earlier, when Jerusalem was still part of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism laid the groundwork for the battles that would continue to rage nearly a century later.

    Matthew says: "Disapointing and spotty natation"
    "Very nicely done, and nicely delivered"

    It certainly filled in some gaps that I had in the history of that time period. The narrative is very well written, and the reader is quite good.
    It is sad to think that the current mid-east crisis is now nearly 100 years old, and while she may be off by a year or two in either direction, the turning point in the incident seemed to be when both sides decided that to negotiate some kind of peace was not in their best interest. That that one point in the whole history, deciding they had nothing to talk to each other about could lead to so many deaths and so much suffering sort of points out the Buddhist belief that attachment leads to suffering. Both groups feel some kind of attachment to that particular land, and both groups now thoroughly hate each other.
    This would be a good lesson for others to hear and learn from. That avoiding the painful issues when they are new is not always a good thing to do.
    -----------------------I would like to add that the inability of Audible to have a decent review system is very disappointing, considering the parent company (Amazon) was one of the early leaders in web sales, and makes you wonder at the ineptitude of the current management.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Humboldt's Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Latin American Journey That Changed the Way We See the World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Gerard Helferich
    • Narrated By Ray Childs

    The thrilling story of the charismatic explorer who Simon Bolivar called "the true discoverer of South America" and the daring expedition that altered the course of science. From 1799 to 1804 German naturalist and adventurer Alexander von Humboldt conducted the first extensive scientific exploration of Latin America.

    Mark D. Jones says: "Excellent book about someone I knew nothing about"
    "Excellent book about someone I knew nothing about"

    Humboldt to me was a someone I had never heard of. Now, I am amazed at the things this man accomplished in his life. How much richer the whole world would be if we had more men like this.

    Things like: Humboldt Current, Humboldt's Penguin now have new meaning, knowing the man behind them.

    The book is nicely narrated as well.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen Kinzer
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard

    In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its protection.

    amazonman says: "Fascinating & Insightful View of US/ Iran History"
    "Should be mandatory reading for all kids in school"

    We should know the dark history of our Nation every bit as thoroughly as we know about its success. What a terrible thing we did in the days of the Red Scare.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By David Kirkpatrick
    • Narrated By David Kirkpatrick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In little more than half a decade, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects, even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.

    Kenneth says: "Great history, poor analysis. TERRIBLE recording."
    "Interesting tale, very well read"

    While I am still not sold on the ethics of Mark Zuckerberg, the story is entertaining, enlightening, and well delivered. It gives some nice insight as to why some things happened the way they did, how they unfolded, and some rationale behind some of the events.

    This is in many ways the inside story of facebook, told not by the challengers but by the victors in the struggle. It is very pro Zuckerberg and pro Facebook. I'm not sure which story is the most truthful, I'm sure people like Saverin have a bit of truth on their side too, but it is still a story I recommend listening to.

    Quite enjoyable, both in content and presentation.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Pellegrino
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey

    Last Train from Hiroshima offers listeners a stunning "you are there" time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino's scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb's survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written. At the narrative's core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand---the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American fliers in the air.

    Daniel says: "Awsome"
    "A very extraordinary book"

    The book starts out telling you that it's not about deciding whether dropping the bomb was right or wrong it's merely telling the story of those who experienced it.

    It does a very good job of holding true to that statement.

    Some portions of the story are very moving and emotional, and others were just outright fascinating. Well worth the time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Way Station

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Clifford D. Simak
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer

    In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

    Noe says: "A very special novel that will inspire you."
    "Very good listen"

    The premise is a little far fetched, (not surprising based on the 1964 writing date), but the ideas in the story were good and the thought provoking nature of some parts excellent (No wonder it won the Hugo)

    My son liked it too, he's 10, and demanded I get all the other Simak books.

    Narration was very well done.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Proust Was a Neuroscientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.

    Mark D. Jones says: "Excellent Book"
    "Excellent Book"

    Not sure what the others are griping about in regards to the narrator.

    The book is completely fascinating, connecting some dots that I had already thought about. Amazing how it dovetails nicely with the book "On Intelligence". If you are fascinated by the mind, by how we think and perceive then this is definitely a book you want to listen to.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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