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John Aylmer

Yakima, Washington United States | Member Since 2005

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 62 ratings
  • 662 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1312)
    Performance
    (734)
    Story
    (745)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "Death by Dust"
    Overall

    The Grapes of Wrath seemed like a hard time, but this story is much, much worse. It's hard to imagine how people could remain living in a place where the elements were so unkind to them. It is a great lesson about Mother Earth's payback when we misuse her bounty.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nick Taylor
    • Narrated By James Boles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    When President Roosevelt took the oath of office in March 1933, he was facing a devastated nation. Four years into the Great Depression, a staggering 13 million American workers were jobless and many millions more of their family members were equally in need. Desperation ruled the land. In 1935, after a variety of temporary relief measures, a permanent nationwide jobs program was created.

    Helen says: "The true spirit of America."
    "A Great Exposure to the New Deal"
    Overall

    This book is a marvelous history of an agency that helped to transform the United States during a period of monumental misery. American Made tells the story of the WPA and how it put impoverished and unemployed men and women to work building and updating America's infrastructure during the Great Depression. The book describes an agency that personifies the positive outlook of Franklin Roosevelt and his trusted associate, Harry Hopkins. The WPA embodied their preference for work, craftsmanship, skill, ability, and creativity rather than providing unnecessar "make work" projects or the do nothing "dole".

    This history clarifies the evolution of the WPA from an emergency agency designed to provide incomes for the unemployed in the bleak winter months of 1933 through its termination in 1942 in the full employment environment of World War II. Nick Taylor catches the unique flavor of the agency and provides an excellent account of the Writers Project, the Theater Project, and the Artist Project. Taylor captures the rationale for assisting out of work authors, actors, and artists in a time of economic catastrophe and he carefully details their accomplishments. He also underscores the monumental lasting accomplishments of unskilled and semi-skilled employees of the WPA.

    This book is worth a full and complete listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • America, 1908: The Making of a Modern Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jim Rasenberger
    • Narrated By James Jenner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The dawn of flight, the race to the pole, the invention of the Model T....Renowned historian Jim Rasenberger turns his keen eye on America at the dawn of the 20th century - a time when innovation seemed to know no bounds.

    D. Littman says: "excellent audiobook"
    "Look for a better American History"
    Overall

    I found this brief history to be pedantic and fundamentally unsatisfactory. I was looking for an American history which could relate the flights of Wilbur and Orville Wright; the journey of the Great White Fleet, the life of J.P. Morgan and the development of the Progressive movement to issues of America in the 21st Century. Unfortunately, I did not find this in this history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Fine Balance

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Rohinton Mistry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (281)

    In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals.

    Karen P. Smith says: "Praise for the Narrator as much as the Writer"
    "Modern India"
    Overall

    The story reveals the contrast between the haves and have-nots. Sometimes humorous, it deals with the intractability of one's own fate.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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