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  • The Influence of Seapower Upon History

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Alfred T. Mahan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Reese

    In 1886, the U.S. had no navy to speak of. But it did have Alfred T. Mahan, a captain of the U.S. Navy who had spent much of his career observing the exemplary fleets of the British Empire. At age 46, Mahan was just 10 years short of retirement age when the newly formed Naval and War College at Newport, Rhode Island, asked him to lecture on naval history and tactics. Out of these lectures grew a book that would change the world. It's no exaggeration that The Influence of Seapower Upon History affected the outcome of both great world wars. When it was first published in 1890, prime ministers, kings, admirals, and chancellors eagerly studied its strategies, which England first employed to rule the seas. Likewise, all the major powers have used it to shape imperial policies.

    Emmett C. Peachey says: "Great book spoiled by reader"
    "good book, terrible narrator"

    While a great book, I could not stand the narrator. His sing-songy approach to the reading was very very distracting, so regrettably, I had to stop listening. Hope I?ll find the same title sans this narrator!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Norman Davies
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    If history really belongs to the victor, what happens when there's more than one side declaring victory? That's the conundrum Norman Davies unravels in his groundbreaking book No Simple Victory. Far from being a revisionist history, No Simple Victory instead offers a clear-eyed reappraisal, untangling and setting right the disparate claims made by America, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union in order to get at the startling truth.

    Nikoli Gogol says: "The Best Account of WWII in Europe"
    "Could be better"

    I am bothered by the number of mistakes in the book. Whether this is in the book or is from the narrator, I don't know. Couple of examples:
    1) when describing frigid Eastern front conditions, the narrator states that temperatures got down to 30 deg C (where's the 'minus'). One time, I'll forgive this but not multiple.
    2) After a lengthy discourse about the 1 Sep invasion of Poland, the narrator says that Hitler gave the order on 31 July for the invasion to begin the next day....
    I don't like sloppy books, this one is sloppy

    5 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By James Carroll
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This landmark, myth-shattering work chronicles the most powerful institution in America, the people who created it, and the pathologies it has spawned. Carroll proves a controversial thesis: The Pentagon has, since its founding, operated beyond the control of any force in government or society. It is the biggest, loosest cannon in American history, and no institution has changed this country more.

    Graham says: "A Great Book"
    "A Biased Account"

    It seemed to me that the author, an ex Vietnam war protester and failed priest, had long ago established his conclusions about the ‘disastrous rise’ of American power. He then looked for those facts that support these conclusions, ignoring all others. He portrays the Soviet Union as the good guy throughout the cold war and it was only the aggressive red-baiting American politicians and military leaders who were the real authors of this protracted struggle. If you’re looking for a balanced historical account of this topic, this is not the book for you.

    13 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Noam Chomsky
    • Narrated By Brian Jones, Noam Chomsky

    For more than half a century, the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing, as in the Cuban missile crisis, to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. Now the Bush administration is intensifying this process, driving us toward the final frontiers of imperial control, toward a choice between the prerogatives of power and a livable Earth.

    Jazz Listener says: "Great book, lousy reader"
    "surviving this book"

    This is probably the worst book I have ever read. Perhaps Mr. Chomsky has some good points to make but they are wrapped in such hype that it is hard to take at its face value. If this is more fuel for the radical left, he's probably hit his mark. But, if he's trying to influence the mainstream, he's not succeeded. I am only sorry that I spent money for this book, a portion of which will end up in his hands (enabling him to write more books!).

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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