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Walter

Conservative Catholic Curmudgeon

Wheaton, IL, United States | Member Since 2005

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 271 ratings
  • 906 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jason Vuic
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (283)

    Six months after its American introduction in 1985, the Yugo was a punch line; within a year, it was a staple of late-night comedy. By 2000, NPR's Car Talk declared it "the worst car of the millennium." And for most Americans that's where the story begins and ends. Hardly. The short, unhappy life of the car, the men who built it, the men who imported it, and the decade that embraced and discarded it is rollicking and astounding, and it is one of the greatest untold business-cum-morality tales of the 1980s.

    Roy says: "Flim Flam at its Best"
    "Auto Wreck"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fascinating in the much the same way that gawkers find the wreckage of an auto collision fascinating. You can't make this stuff up!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Will the Boat Sink the Water: The Life of China's Peasants

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    • Narrated By James Chen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    The Chinese Economic miracle is happening despite, not because of, China's 900 million peasants. They are missing from the portraits of booming Shanghai, or Beijing. Many of China's underclass live under a feudalistic system unchanged since the 15th century. Wu Chuntao and Chen Guidi undertook a three-year survey of what had happened to the peasants in one of the poorest provinces, Anhui, asking the question: have the peasants been betrayed by the revolution undertaken in their name by Mao and his successors?

    Delano says: "Essential"
    "The Elephant in the Living Room"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The untold story of China's destitute rural peasant majority. The part of China remains the unacknowledged elephant-in-the-living-room in too many discussions of the Chinese economy, which tend to focus exclusively on the urban industrial sector with which the West trades. This book helps to complete the picture of what is happening in China.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Civil War as a Theological Crisis

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark A. Noll
    • Narrated By Marc Cashman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Although Christian believers agreed with one another that the Bible was authoritative and that it should be interpreted through commonsense principles, there was rampant disagreement about what Scripture taught about slavery. Furthermore, most Americans continued to believe that God ruled over the affairs of people and nations, but they were radically divided in their interpretations of what God was doing in and through the war.

    Timothy says: "An important work"
    "Comprehensive and Exhaustive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A comprehensive and exhaustive review and analysis of theological views about slavery before and during the Civil War. Noll's findings are often surprising and immensely insightful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chechen Jihad: Al Qaeda's Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Yossef Bodansky
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    If you think the next terrorist attacks are coming from the Middle East, think again. One of the world's most respected experts on radical Islamism returns to alert Americans to the future course of Islamist extremism: the troubled regions of Chechnya.

    Daniel says: "hard to follow"
    "Highly relevant, a bit too detailed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A long and almost too detailed history and review of the background, development and activities of radical Islam in the Caucasus region. While the narrative can be tedious at points, the details have relevance beyond Chechnya or the Russian Federation, as this book shows how they are thoroughly intertwined with Islamist organizations and developments elsewhere. This book shows a largely unrecognized part of the background behind current conflicts and how they are tied to other events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Amy Chua
    • Narrated By Amy Chua
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (397)

    All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence.

    Diana - Audible says: "Surprisingly touching (and well-read)"
    "Entertaining Slice of the American Experience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is much misunderstood, as many have missed the self-parody and self-examination and have taken it to be some sort of child-rearing manual. Viewed in the correct light, it is an entertaining and engaging account of cultural adaptation and self-discovery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • China, Inc.

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ted C. Fishman
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    China today is visible everywhere: In the news, in the economic pressures battering America, in the workplace, and in every trip to the store. Provocative, timely, and essential, this dramatic account of China's growing dominance as an industrial super-power by journalist Ted C. Fishman explains how the profound shift in the global economic order has occurred, and why it already affects us all.

    Dave Larson says: "China status update"
    "Interesting, and often astonishing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Many interesting and often surprising details on recent developments in China; including the reasons why ending software piracy in China (even if it were remotely possible to do so) would be a disaster for Microsoft.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beijing Consensus: How China's Authoritarian Model Will Dominate the 21st Century

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Stefan Halper
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Beijing presents a clear and gathering threat to Washington, but not for the reasons you think. China's challenge to the West stems from its transformative brand of capitalism and an entirely different conception of the international community.

    Walter says: "Intriguing"
    "Intriguing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This disturbing review of China's growing role around the world explains, among other things, why China's rulers see maintenance of high economic growth as necessary for the survival of their regime and how this influences their relations with other nations (including rogue pariah regimes).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Reza Kahlili
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (214)

    A true story as exhilarating as a great spy thriller, as turbulent as today's headlines from the Middle East, A Time to Betray reveals what no other previous CIA operative's memoir possibly could: the inner workings of the notorious Revolutionary Guards of Iran, as witnessed by an Iranian man inside their ranks who spied for the American government.

    Walter says: "Absorbing throughout. Questionable at times."
    "Absorbing throughout. Questionable at times."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting and absorbing account. However, some of his accounts of unverifiable conversations seem a bit too convenient to the image of himself he is trying to present (e.g. confronting his friend about the morality of his role in the regime right before the friend gets killed).

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Fulton J. Sheen
    • Narrated By Greg Friedman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (47)

    This autobiography includes childhood and seminary reflections, as well as Sheen's views on media stardom, pastoral work, international travels, conversions, Vatican II, Mary, and more. Listeners can expect to hear many of this saintly and sage communicator's famous phrases and inspiring stories. Treasure in Clay illuminates why Bishop Sheen is now called "Servant of God", a step towards possible canonization in the Catholic Church.

    Walter says: "Must-Read for Modern Communicators"
    "Must-Read for Modern Communicators"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The details in this autobiography help explain why Billy Graham called Fulton Sheen the "greatest communicator of the twentieth century."

    Modern communicators should be interested in his explanation of the approach and strategy behind the messages in his television shows (primarily in sixth chapter, but also in the fifth).

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By David Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere---from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one---one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence. For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories.

    WriterGirl says: "Another debunker of conspiracy theories"
    "Conspiracy Debunking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Incisive conspiracy theory debunking from a left-wing perspective. Some of the content is targeted more toward the British public than the American public. The author tries a little too hard to make victims out of the Clintons.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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