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Alex

ROCKVILLE, MD, USA | Member Since 2005

123
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 493 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Bryan Burrough
    • Narrated By James Jenner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (73)

    Best-selling author Bryan Burrough reveals how four Texas oil tycoons transformed America. Rising from humble beginnings through hard work and shrewd dealings, they shifted the balance of power in American politics. While hobnobbing with movie stars and presidents, the Big Rich also created the legend of the swaggering Texas oilman with island hideaways and sprawling ranches.

    Andrew says: "Houston Oilman"
    "Fascinating Story, Well Researched, Good Reader"
    Overall

    I had heard of many of the people and happenings that were covered in this book. However, I didn't know the details and how the people fitted together. This book put things in perspective and made a fascinating overview. Highly recommended!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Candy Bombers

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Andrei Cherny
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    Acclaimed author Andrei Cherny tells the gripping saga of a rag-tag band of Americans - with limited resources and little hope for success - keeping West Berliners alive in the face of Soviet tyranny, winning the hearts and minds of former enemies, and giving the world a shining example of fundamental goodness.

    Alex says: "Wonderful Story, Well-Read"
    "Wonderful Story, Well-Read"
    Overall

    Some people would give it four instead of five stars. This might be due to the detailed descriptions of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering. However, for me, it is a wonderful, get-out-yer-hankies (in spots), well-read book. After I had a run of middlin' books from Audible, this is a grand slam home run!!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tom Zoellner
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (107)

    Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order---whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse.

    C. Schmidt says: "GREAT book, awful narration"
    "Fascinating History"
    Overall

    Great research makes this book hum! While some people might think the details are too much, I found it make the history that much better. You feel like you are there!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By William J. Bernstein
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (71)

    In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein tells the extraordinary story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. He transports listeners from ancient sailing ships that brought the silk trade from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the 16th.

    Mark says: "Very interesting and Germane to Today's World"
    "Five stars for text, Two stars for narration"
    Overall

    The book is very interesting. It adds a new dimension to history, making it very personal and believable. As for the narration, the reader is frequently so mechanical that it sounds like it could be computer speech. Very disappointing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anthony Walton
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    A world famous basketball player writing about the history of World War II may seem incongruous. But there is an order to these things; Abdul-Jabbar's high school mentor, Leonard Smith, was in the 761st Battalion, the first all-black tank battalion to see combat in World War II.

    Michael says: "The Greatest of the Greatest Generation"
    "Writing A, Narration C-"
    Overall

    Even though I have read a number of books on World War II, I thought this really added a lot to the story of tank soldiers and black soldiers.

    As for the narration, it was distracting and painful to hear so many mispronounced words and not obscure city names, but common words and frequently used historical words: straff for straf, personal mines for personnel mines, Ver-DUNE for Ver-done (Verdun), ambu-LANCE for ambulance, Ar-DEAN for Ar-den (Ardennes), Ba-vah-ria instead Ba-VARE-ia.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Map

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Johnson
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (197)

    This is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

    D. Littman says: "a entertaining polymath book"
    "Great Stuff!"
    Overall

    I was already familiar with most of the story, but I loved the detail and personalities. It is not for the squeamish since it deals with sewage systems and human waste, but if you can get over that it is wonderful. It is *not* incongruous to be talking about sociology and mapmaking since this a premier example of mapmaking for sociology and medical science. One of the best science books I have heard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Woods
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (146)

    Everything, well, almost everything, you know about American history is wrong because most textbooks and popular history books are written by left-wing academic historians who treat their biases as fact. But fear not; Professor Thomas Woods refutes the popular myths in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.

    Gary says: "Informative, thoughtful, eye opening and funny."
    "Way, waaay too slanted!!"
    Overall

    This guy is one of those who decide on a position and then cherry-pick, twist, turn, torture and chew the carpet with facts until it supports his position. I constantly read and listen to history books so I recognize the truth in much of what he says, but there is an underlying theme just below the surface that there is an evil, liberal elite working behind the scenes throughout the years to oppress the humble, righteous, Christian white Southerner. Being a white sixth generation Presbyterian Southerner with numerous ancestors in the civil war and a lifelong Republican until the present administration, I was embarassed by the extreme slant toward his point of view and away from anything that didn't fit his history. Embarassing waste of time! Lots of much better history out there. He talks about books *they* don't want you to read, HERE's one I wish I hadn't.

    32 of 66 people found this review helpful
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (249)

    In this groundbreaking work, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. It is a story that spans 13,000 years of human history, beginning when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Guns, Germs, and Steel is a world history that really is a history of all the world's peoples, a unified narrative of human life.

    Lorac says: "Badly Abridged"
    "The review mentioning New Guinea is wrong."
    Overall

    "Then he proceeds by asserting that the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea are genetically superior to whites. This self-contradiction is not rendered any less stupid by the fact that it's done without reference to any evidence beyond the mere hunch of the author."
    This reviewer says it is the "mere hunch" of the author. I disagree strongly. The author states it as a theory and gives several good reasons from his years of study. He does NOT say that they are inherently better than whites, but they are genetically superior because they have be more self-sufficient and the ones who are not self-sufficient die off much more quickly. If I had lived at another time, I may have been an invalid or died at an early age due to an accident with my poor eyesight and allergies. In this age, I am probably healthier than most. Not my favorite book, but certainly not bad.

    34 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • A Survey of the Middle Ages: c. 500 - c. 1270 A.D.

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Pruskin
    • Narrated By John Pruskin
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    In this audiobook, John Pruskin takes us from the fall of the Roman Empire to the cusp of the Italian Renaissance. You have a ringside seat as the remnants of the Roman Empire emerge from the tangled chaos of the barbarian conquests.

    Alex says: "Unbelievably Bad! Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!"
    "Unbelievably Bad! Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!"
    Overall

    The guy reads a sentence as if it was a lead in to a news story.
    And then the next one and the next one and the next one. It is as if he doesn't even understand what he is reading, but is simply reading the words in the same sing song voice over and over. And then, at the start of each new topic - about two minutes - they have this foghorn type sound for some ungodly reason. I wouldn't listen to this book for an hour if you gave me a years worth of Audible books much less the entire 10 or 11 hours of the book. Yeech. I feel like I need to hose out my ears after just 10 minutes.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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