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Christopher

Florida | Member Since 2010

127
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 75 reviews
  • 171 ratings
  • 970 titles in library
  • 107 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
20

  • Anti-Americanism

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jean-Francois Revel
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (37)

    Angered by assaults on a nation he knows and admires, the distinguished French intellectual Jean-Francois Revel has come to America's defense in Anti-Americanism, a biting and erudite book that, paradoxically, given his country's especially vehement attack on the U.S., spent several weeks last year at the top of France's best seller list.

    Brett says: "Required listening"
    "Could have been more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's nice to actually hear from a European who isn't being an arrogant anti-American snob. Overall the book was pretty good -- I only wish it was heavier on substance. There is a lot of equating which shows how hypocritical (and in many cases fraudulent) Europe is when it criticizes America for this it does but I could have used more detail. I know quite a bit about post WWII European history and it seems the author could have hit a lot harder on some points. This however is a very good starting point for people looking to hear a friendly European voice and looking for some basic information on how we're viewed from their perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Allison
    • Narrated By Professor Robert J. Allison
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (55)

    The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures. While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

    James R. Ellis says: "New Perspectives and great insights"
    "Good overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I was looking for was something more along the lines of how your average citizen lived in the years before the revolution, like simple stuff - how did newspapers work, how did you buy groceries, all that sort of day to day stuff. Of course this is not that and it's not really covered here so I'm not deducting any points for that, I just wish someone did have a series on that since I think it would be interesting.

    Anyways, this lecture covers basically all the time before 1776. It started off a bit slow for my tastes, but as it goes along it gets better. I think Professor Allison does a good job of presenting various points of views and beliefs, in this day of political correctness that is refreshing.

    Overall I enjoyed this lecture, like all of The Teaching Company's courses this is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News: Shocking but Utterly True Facts

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cracked.com
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (135)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (129)

    You're going to wish you never got this audiobook. Some facts are too terrifying to teach in school. Unfortunately, Cracked.com is more than happy to fill you in. Think you're going to choose whether or not to buy this book? Scientists say your brain secretly makes all your decisions 10 seconds before you even know what they are.

    bookouri says: "just plain funny"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an entertaining audiobook, basically the same stuff you read on their site being read to you. The reader does a good job and I enjoyed the book, even if it did leave me dumber.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By A. J. Langguth
    • Narrated By Tom Perkins
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    With Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his "team of rivals" was left adrift. President Andrew Johnson, a former slave owner from Tennessee, was challenged by Northern Congressmen, Radical Republicans led by Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner, who wanted to punish the defeated South. When Johnson's policies placated the rebels at the expense of the freed black men, radicals in the House impeached him for trying to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

    Christopher says: "Mediocre"
    "Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There isn't much in terms of books about reconstruction on Audible and I was hoping that this might help fill that void, but this book is not that. The book mainly focuses on brief generic bios of people involved with government during and after the Civil War. If you've read a decent amount of Civil War history there is nothing to be learned here - but if you're a beginner that wants a simple overview of the war and the years after this, this will perhaps work but it will also be extremely incomplete. Also the book is written from a northern point of view. I think the author tries to be balanced, but the way he presents information isn't always done very well. Nothing outrageous or anything - just missing pieces of information here and there that could have been summed up in a sentence or two isn't there and changes the context of numerous pieces of information he provides - like General Lee applying for citizenship, the author leaves out why he did that.

    The reader does a good job with the material provided.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter Carlson
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    Albert Richardson and Junius Browne, two correspondents for the New York Tribune, were captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and spent 20 months in horrific Confederate prisons before escaping and making their way to Union territory. Their amazing, long-forgotten odyssey is one of the great escape stories in American history, packed with drama, courage, horrors and heroics, plus many moments of antic comedy.

    Christopher says: "Entertaining, but mostly proganda"
    "Entertaining, but mostly proganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First let me say that Peter Carlson wrote one of my 3 most favorite audiobooks ever in K Blows Top, if you liked this book you should LOVE that one.

    For this book I have mixed feelings. I've legit read well over 100 books on the Civil War at this point from every perspective. This book is certaining entertaining and it brings a point of view to events, but the problem is with the source material. Both "reporters" would in no way be considered reporters by todays standards, and thats with the joke of the media we have. Instead Junius and Albert were propaganda writers that every once in a while would sneak in some facts. When you read their material the only thing I take at face value (most of the time) is that they were at the location they said they were at on the day they said they were - beyond that you must take everything with a grain of salt.

    Also the book is incomplete on setting the stage for the events. I think the author does a decent job of trying to work in some facts so you can place the events in perspective, but the authors main job is to move the story along and stopping it to explain what something happen might have slowed everything down.

    For example one of the reasons that the southern prisons were in such bad shape was that in some locations there were inadequate food supplies - the author notes this but I'm not sure that point really comes across. While the south actually had more than enough food as a whole, the problem was the complete destruction of the transportation system in the south which left parts of the south with an overabundance of food and materials while other parts were legitimately starving. The second point that is underplayed in this book was Lincoln's desire to end the war was quickly as possible - and part of that was taking advantage of the manpower superiority that the north had over the south. Lincoln didn't want to resume the prisoner exchanges because while the north could easily handle the loss of troops he knew the south could not. By leaving huge number of troops as POWs in the south, the south had to use resources to care for them and guard them, in addition to all the southern troops that the north held as POWs, which further weakened the south. Some say this is heartless, but the idea was that overall the loss of life would be lower if the war ended sooner.

    So with all that said I still rate the book 4-stars because it's a good and interesting read. The Adventures in the Confederacy is a good title since it is an adventure and it's written in an easy to read mostly lighthearted fashion. Again you have to do your best to try to figure out what is legit and what isn't, but still it provides a different point of view to events so there is something to be taken from that.

    The reader of this book does a very good and I would probably be more like a 4.5.

    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
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (141)

    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.

    Joseph Hayek says: "From a former tank commander"
    "Great read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read a ton of WWII books and now I've become interested in seeing the events from the opposing point of view, not in a 'hate America' way or a 'we're all bad' way, but just to see how people, soldiers and individuals lived on a day to day basis and how they saw events unravel. So with that said I found this book and gave it a listen and I must say it's excellent. The summary tells you everything you need to know so I won't bother to add to it, but this is certainly something I'll go back and listen to again at some point in the future.

    The reader does a very good job - but I could have done without the German accent he puts on. I'm not sure if it adds to it or not and eventually I got used to it, but without the accent it would have been easier to understand. Don't get me wrong, it's very well done and it might have added something to the book, but I personally would have preferred no accent (and it's a put-on accent, you can hear other examples done by the reader without it). Again this is a minor issue, but the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

    Overall this is a 5 star book which is a good thing since there is a very limited selection of books like this available on Audible. Certainly if the subject matter at all sounds interesting to you, buy it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Blake J. Harris
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (231)

    A mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video-game industry. In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video-game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But all that would change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a former Mattel executive who knew nothing about video games and everything about fighting uphill battles.

    Robert says: "If you love video games..."
    "Great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're at all interested in the subject I highly recommend the book, it's really that simple.

    This book is a great look into what was happening at Sega during the time that Genesis became the #1 console in the US - but that didn't happen right away, it took a few years. When I was a kid I read all the video game magazines and have a very clear memeber of what happened and when, but I still learned a ton from reading this book. For example I had no idea that Sega of America was so close to collapse in those early days. For me and my friends we all thought Sega was a mainstay, equal with Nintendo. However this book presents the story in a very different perspective.

    The book is a great listen, although it's long it moves at a good pace. Also the reader does a great job.

    Positives: Presents mostly the Sega side of the console war, shows how they came into power and the mistakes that cost it when they moved to the 32bit generation. Very entertaining and (mostly) a great history lesson. The writer is very talented in terms of being able to tell an interesting story, even if you didn't care about the subject you'd still probably enjoy the book due to the authors efforts.

    Negatives: The timelines near the beginning of the book seem to not always align with how I remember things - lots of stuff happened in a short time and sometimes the author presents minor things out of order, but then revisits it later to clear it up. If you don't know any better this probably works well and keeps the story moving. There are also some minor issues with the games, for example at one point the author states at the time of sponsoring an LPGA event that Sega didn't have any golf games, but they did as Arnold Palmer Golf was a launch title on the unit. Also when talking about Mode 7 on the SNES the author says it was the first game to use that ability, again that is not correct, F-Zero, a launch title for the SNES was the first to use Mode 7. Minor issues, but I'm surprised in such a well researched book those got past the editors. Also while the reader does a great job overall sometimes his male voices sound quite feminine. I understand the idea of using different voices as it helps you know when the book is quoting someone and helps you keep track of who speaking and it's a minor issue, but there were times that I thought it was a woman speaking only to find out it was a man. Again, a minor issue.

    One last negative. The author extensively "quotes" people in the book - however I have a very hard time believing most of these quotes are actual quotes and not just lines made-up to advance the story. While I'm sure the "quotes" are educated guesses based on interviews of the subjects there's just no way people would be able to clearly remember exactly what they said 20+ years ago on some many minor issues. Normally for history books I'd really ding any book that I felt was making up quotes, but here I think it's for the best since this isn't an in depth history book of a subject like a world war. Also since most, if not all, of the people in this book are very much alive, I'd assume the author did his due diligence and while the quotes may not be exact, I'd assume they're close enough.

    Anyways note that I gave the book 5 stars overall so don't dwell on the negatives. This is a great, entertaining book and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 1 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"
    "I'm not sure what to believe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Going into this book I had read some the reviews that had questioned the authenticity of the story, along with the rebuttals provided by Lt Col Boyd and his son. In my opinion the questions were stronger than the rebuttal but as my grand-father served in Korea and there isn't a ton out there on Audible about it and I've read just about everything else I decided I'd give it a try and see what I thought.

    In the beginning of the book the author explains that it's been a very long time since this event occurred and as such he can't recall the exact dialog that took place all the time. This is very reasonable, however I personally don't like the way they addressed this issue providing the various characters with basically movie lines. The entire book in fact reads like a movie - in some cases that is good, in this case it is not since it reads like a 60s WWII flick you've seen 100 times with predictable characters saying lines you would have sworn you've heard before. I would have left out the dialog all together if it was in doubt and just stuck as much as possible on what was going on from a factual standpoint. The dialog really really took me out of it and made it feel like I was reading a novel - and again not in a good way, in a this is completely fake way.

    So if you give a pass on the dialog is the story believable? I just don't know. I certainly do not want to call a retired Lt Col a lair but there are so many things in the story that don't make sense and nothing is verifiable. I don't know what can be done to prove anything but without a shred of evidence and movie script characters it's so very difficult to just assume everything is on the up and up. It very well may be, and I truly hope it is - however my gut feeling from reading everything I can get my hands on about Korea and WWII this story just doesn't jive with what I know.

    If you have an interest in the subject my only advise would be to listen to it and make up your own mind.

    As for the reader he did a very good job, everything was well paced, he used different voices to help you keep track of who was talking and as far as I know I didn't hear any obvious mistakes. Well done. If I could give 4 1/2 stars I would, but it's a bit closer to 4 stars than 5 so I'll leave it at 4.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937 - 1945

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Rana Mitter
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (45)

    For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China two full years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.

    Rhea says: "The ill fated chang kai-shek"
    "Bland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The concept of this book is interesting - I've read well over a hundred WWII books and I love learning about events from the opposing point of view. A great example of this is Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy - it tells the story leading up to Pearl Harbor from the Japanese point of view - it's well written, extremely interesting and tells a story without inserting opinion.

    On the other side you have this book. It's not written very well, it's written from a stand point that all white people are bad and the book is quite contradictory. For example the book constantly complains about how the "white" powers won't assist the Chinese as much as they would like, while also mentioning how corrupt and inept the Chinese leadership is (which is the reason given by the "white" powers on why they won't give more assistance).

    Also the author clearly is a socialist and goes out of their way to excuse the actions of the communists whenever possible.

    So that's the down side.

    The good side is that the book covers a lot of new ground and while I would triple check any facts given out in the book at least you're learning new stuff, even if it's only in general terms. For that reason I'll give the book 3 stars. If the subject matter had been approached by someone with less of a bias and was more historical and less opinionated it could be a four star book, and if it was written better it could be a five start book.

    The reader does an acceptable job - nothing special but nothing bad.

    Overall the book is worth getting if you're interested in the time period as there are extremely limited options available on Audible. However know what you're getting isn't a great book or even a good book - but it will have to do until a good or great book comes along.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eri Hotta
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (71)

    When Japan attacked the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a conflict they were bound to lose. Availing herself of rarely consulted material, Hotta poses essential questions overlooked by historians in the seventy years since: Why did these men - military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor - put their country and its citizens in harm's way? Why did they make a decision that was doomed from the start?

    Jean says: "Japanese viewpoint"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very well written interesting read on the series of events that lead to WWII from the Japanese perspective. Certainly an incomplete history but I already know the American / western side so that's what made this such a good read.

    The author goes out of their way to make note that when you try to explain history from a certain side of an event it can come of as being an apologist for that side. I was worried this would mean we'd get some politically correct "history" in an effort to blame the US for everything. Happily that is not the case here, while the US, like all countries, makes mistakes I felt everything was handled extremely fairly and the author did a great job of just laying out events as the Japanese seen them - which is exactly what I was looking for. In retrospect I don't think the authors note was needed as this book in no way came off as being apologetic, at least not in my opinion.

    The reader does a good job, nothing fancy but is easy to listen to and didn't make any obvious mistakes - at least as far as I know.

    Overall if you're interested in learning the Japanese perspective of the events leading to Pearl Harbor, this is an excellent read. I've read (listened) to well over 100 books about WWII on Audible and this is right up there with the best of them since it covered ground rarely covered and seemed to be very well researched and the story remained interesting throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A History of 1945

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ian Buruma
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the greatdrama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and anew, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come across Asia and all of continental Europe. It was the greatest global powervacuum in history, and out of the often vicious power struggles thatensued emerged the modern world as we know it.

    Mary says: "Great historical overview"
    "An interesting read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always been interested by what happened just after after WWII, WWI, and the Civil War ended. How do you go from wartime to peace, how is it to live day to day. I grab whatever books are available on Audible for the subject so this book interested me in that regard.

    So how does the book do? Well it's hit and miss. This is by no means a serious historical read, while it covers a lot of ground it doesn't cover anything in-depth. Also it was funny to me that near the end of the book the author uses the phrase "American smugness" since from the beginning of the book I was thinking that this book heavily suffers from typical European smugness. NOTE - it's not anti-American by any means, it's just that smarmy European attitude. So if you can deal with that, and it's by no means the worst I've ever heard, there is a lot of interesting information to be found.

    The reader does a good job, it's mostly a straight read but the reader has good pacing and timing, very professional. Also he'll throw in a few different voices to help you along - so if it's an American speaking he'll do his American accent, etc. This can help you keep track of who he's quoting so it's welcomed.

    Overall you're getting what the description of the book claims, if that sounds interesting to you, you should enjoy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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