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D. Littman

history buff

OH | Member Since 2003

1256
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 145 reviews
  • 582 ratings
  • 660 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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155

  • Kansas Evolution Hearings: Day 2 (5/6/05)

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs)
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    A subcommittee of the Kansas Board of Education holds hearings on whether the state's science curriculum should permit alternate theories to be taught alongside evolution. During the first three days of hearings, proponents of intelligent design present their views. They are represented by a retired lawyer, John Calvert, who heads the Intelligent Design Network of Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

    C says: "Thanks for this valuable service"
    "a second day of ranting"
    Overall

    OK, the first day was interesting both to hear the intellectual & scientific arguments, bankrupt arguments, put forth in their best possible light. And it was interesting to hear the utterly biased comments of the Kansas educational commission members, promoting their "religion-in-the-schools" view while at the same time vigorously protesting their secular orientation. But to hear a second day of it was a drag. Depressing. I couldn't even go on to the third day, which I also downloaded. I still would recommend, very highly, the audio transcript of the first day. But don't bother listening further unless you are already a partisan of the creationist view, and want to hear the arguments in their full glory.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (616)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Dennis says: "Dared to let the kids listen and they loved it..."
    "very entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared in three words, what would they be?

    endlessly stimulating & entertaining


    What does Steven Crossley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    While I have not read the hard-cover, it seemed like just the kind of lighthearted book I would like read to me, rather than having to read it.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable book of humor spiced with brushes by the protagonist with real events & famous leaders of the 20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redeployment

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Phil Klay
    • Narrated By Craig Klein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.

    D. Littman says: "Very moving book"
    "Very moving book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Redeployment again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to it again or, better yet, read the book on my Kindle.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent, multi-faceted, multi-character set of stories, all linked together from the Iraq war. Very well written & well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Alan Taylor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This searing story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake reveals the pivot in the nation’s path between the founding and civil war. Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as "freedom’s swift-winged angels." In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Drawn from new sources, Alan Taylor's riveting narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course.

    D. Littman says: "one of the best audiobooks I've read recently"
    "one of the best audiobooks I've read recently"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Terrific book, a micro-history of the Virginia Chesapeake region, slavery, and the War of 1812. The author does a very skillful job providing the context from the American points-of-view, the historical background for both the slavery elements and the War. Taylor then provides a fascinating, blow-by-blow narrative of the War of 1812 in the region, one you can understand very well because of the context he has already served up. I thought the book was going to be mostly about slave escapes, and it is, but without the background that portion would be adrift.

    I thought Bronson Pinchot's narrative approach was perfect for a history book. No need for a narrator or narration with different voices or with lots of up & down emphasis. This is a history, not a drama. I am going to seek out more of the books he's narrated for Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight Against Zionism as Racism

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Gil Troy
    • Narrated By Clinton Wade
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    On November 10, 1975, the General Assembly of United Nations passed Resolution 3379, which declared Zionism a form of racism. Afterward, a tall man with long, graying hair, horned-rim glasses, and a bowtie stood to speak. He pronounced his words with the rounded tones of a Harvard academic, but his voice shook with outrage: "The United States rises to declare, before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."

    D. Littman says: "promising subject, disappointing execution"
    "promising subject, disappointing execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was a very promising book. I am very interested in Moynihan, the time period (through which I lived), US-Israel relations, the United Nations. Perfect ingredients for an entertaining & intellectually-satisfying book. The book is well-written in the sense that the vignettes and anecdotes it contains are generally well-written (if a bit biased at times, or at least lacking the analytical breadth to understand the position of the "other side"). But the book seems disorganized, perhaps more so because it is an audiobook and not a hard-bound one. But I suspect both suffer from a weak outline and from the absence of a strong editorial hand. I enjoyed parts of the book as I went along, and I suppose it could be satisfying on those grounds alone. But I am sure there are better treatments of Moynihan (e.g., biographies) and I know there are better ones on US-Israel relations, the UN in the 1970s & 1980, dealing with the egomaniacal Kissinger and so forth. There are a couple of highly-rated Moynihan books on Amazon (Audible's parent), although not in audio form. I am going to try one of those next.I am sorry I could not give this book a stronger review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (345)

    Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

    Cynthia says: "Makes You Forget You Live in the 21st Century Good"
    "Good narrative, little analysis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is a terrific narrator, and does a good job relating the sweep of history and how her various characters fit into the sweep (and influence the sweep as well). With respect to Taft & Roosevelt, and especially the latter, there is not a lot of new information here, but it is the "how" of the narration that is new, the connecting of the dots between the two of them, and between them & the history of the US that is novel here.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It would be impossible and indeed undesirable to read this in just one sitting, it is a sprawling story, in the way Kearns Goodwin tells it. And it is better to take smaller bites over a longer period, to appreciate the story.


    Any additional comments?

    A strength of this book and indeed of all of this author's books, is her strength as a narrator. A weakness is the absence of analysis. And, often, along with that lack, the portrayal of the protagonists with a substantial deemphasis of their flaws. Not so much their flaws as people but the flaws of their policies.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By James Goodale
    • Narrated By Kevin Free
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    On June 13, 1971, the New York Times published on its front page a series of confidential documents outlining U.S. government policy on the war in Vietnam. These documents had been secretly leaked from the Department of Defense to reporters at the New York Times. There followed a period of intense debate, carried out in the board rooms of the newspaper, the offices of its legal counsel, and ultimately the courts of the nation...

    D. Littman says: "terrific, hard-hitting legal history"
    "terrific, hard-hitting legal history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fighting for the Press?

    The narrative is a personal one. Goodale essentially testifies to his own role, very personally (lots of "I's", which took a bit of getting used to), which is what drives the story and makes it exciting. Due to the approach, the reader gets a mixture of personal, political, and legal history, along with a grounding in real drama (not TV drama) that can take place in legal cases. Readers will come away with a good understanding of the importance of the Pentagon Papers, the Pentagon Paper case, and the first amendment to the US constitution. And can go elsewhere if a deeper understanding is desired on any of these aspects of the case.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice - the 200th Anniversary Audio Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (32)

    Jane Austen's most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, is brought to sparkling life in this new unabridged recording by AudioFile earphones award winning narrator Alison Larkin. A witty and always original voice, Alison Larkin is the perfect vessel to bring Jane Austen's classically satirical second novel to a new audience. This fresh and hugely entertaining listen from 'the English American' joined with Austen's deft satire, results in pure, boundless FUN.

    Michael says: "Jane Austen as she was meant to be heard!"
    "a great classic, refreshingly narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Pride and Prejudice - the 200th Anniversary Audio Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Austen with an outstanding narrator


    What about Alison Larkin’s performance did you like?

    Alison Larkin is a terrific narrator, she speaks with verve and drive, and she does a great job moving from one voice to another, and from narration to a character's voice, so that the book can be easily followed without thinking about which character is speaking.


    Any additional comments?

    Pride & Prejudice should, of course, be read by everyone. It is a great story, one that could occur today, in some sense, with some of the environs shifted. But you can also live it as a reader of a circa-1790s aristocracy story, listen to the narrative & with a bit of imagination, stretch yourself into a horse & buggy context of England in the period.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1034)
    Performance
    (930)
    Story
    (922)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Tad Davis says: "Vivid and well-researched"
    "excellent, thought-provoking book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Zealot?

    It is written novelistically, but with plenty of reference material interspersed with the story to lend credence to the arguments. Very thought-provoking. I am sure there are other interpretations besides this one, but the author makes his interpretation(s) quite convincing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, this would have been a book I could have listened to in one sitting. However, it is so packed with ideas, it does merit stopping once in awhile to let the ideas sink in.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Paul Rosenzweig
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    Cyberspace is the 21st century’s greatest engine of change. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more.

    Lynn C. Edwards says: "Wow, this course was an eye opener!"
    "outstanding lecture series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare?

    The lecture series provided a great overview, for the non-expert, of the most current issues in information- & cyber-security, in a highly intelligible & engaging manner. Even if you are moderately literate on this subject, from trade press reading & from the security policies of your corporate home, you will learn a lot from this series.


    What does Professor Paul Rosenzweig bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well, this is not a book, just a lecture series. I understand that the author has written some books on the same topic & I plan to look them up and get one if it doesn't look too technical.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Thomas Healy
    • Narrated By Danny Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    Free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one's political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

    Jean says: "How a 78 year old man can learn & change his mind"
    "a great work of legal scholarship & biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Great Dissent?

    A beautifully written & narrated audiobook that provides the intellectual basis for the concept of free speech in the United States while, at the same time, weaving in the times (WWI in particular), the life & times of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the legal setting of the free speech cases and the Supreme Court itself. I was rivetted throughout and sorry when it was over. I have already purchased the book for a couple of my non-audiobook family members.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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