An amazing book on the history of Venice. Perfect for anyone who wants to visit. I would love if he did this series for several European cities.
I would liked to have heard more about the history of the Jews in Venice because I think that was a little white washed.
The book is about one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world - the Basques.
The book discusses Basque language, cooking (including some recipes), culture, historically significant people, graffiti (3+4=1), sports (pelota), internal conflicts among the Basques themselves, the Spanish Civil War (the German bombing of Guernica), art, WWII, religion (Catholic versus secularism) and current issues. I didn't realize the Spanish government was so dictorial towards this culture.
The author is supportive of a Basque nation but that doesn't seem possible now. He almost justifies Basque violence by saying the Spanish government also engages in violence. The author thinks it is realistic for the Basques to follow their own laws but still be a part of Spain/France. That is not logical.
I gained so much knowledge and understanding of this culture. I wish I knew more about the people when I was in Spain so I could have been on the lookout for cultural references.
There is a question-answer session at the end of the audiobook. I would have liked to have heard how the Basque language sounded.
I'm really enjoying this book. I'm about 90% finished but the book is so enjoyable, I am not worried about my review changing.
Dershowitz discusses the cases that have influenced our law and politics. This book is especially interesting in light of the recent Supreme Court hearings on DOMA and same sex marriage. You don't have to be a lawyer to appreciate this book, but it does make it easier.
Dershowitz discusses cases including OJ, Mike Tyson, Klaus von Bulow, and Bush v. Gore. Keep in mind that he was personally involved in some of the cases so his opinions are different than the average person. I definitely got the feeling that he thinks OJ did it - big shocker, I know.
Keep in mind that he is very left wing so take his opinions with a grain of salt if you are not.
This is like listening to a fascinating law school lecture - and that's a good thing.
My only knowledge about Scientology was driving by their building in Los Angeles and seeing tabloid gossip.
I had NO idea what a crazy group this was.
The book takes you from the beginning of L Ron Hubbard's life to when he wrote science fiction, to when he decided to start a new "religion," to the rise of the "church," to Tom Cruise's marriage with Katie Holmes. (I wonder how the book would have addressed the breakup.) I didn't realize there was a Scientology group who rode the high seas and that there were different "bases" in the United States.
Although their beliefs aren't much different than any other religion, the group is friggin' scary. They hold church members "prisoner" if they do not follow certain standards and they chase down members who leave.
The book gives good examples of how normal people would get caught up in this craziness and crazy became normal.
Diseases can be so interesting. This book takes you on a trip back to Victorian London where people dumped crap in their basements, threw buckets of it out the window and let it sit around in open cesspools.
The story starts with a sick baby's soiled diapers and goes on to describe how Baby Lewis' waste infected water from the Broad Street Pump and killed an enormous amount of people in eight days. Dr. John Snow and the Rev. Henry Whitehead started on two separate paths to solve the mystery as to what was killing the population and ended up combining their efforts to produce a treatise on the dangers of contaminated water.
I loved the description of people who made their living collecting poo and how this process is good for society in general. The most boring part was when the author recited every question that was listed in the Board of Public Health questionnaire.
The last chapter is dedicated to what the cholera outbreak in London has to do with us now and for our future. That part is very scary.
The book is about the author's investigation into writing a Rolling Stone article (June 2010) on Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was in charge of the war in Afghanistan as well as the fallout after publication of the article.
Now that I have finished the book, I'm dying to read the RS article. The author never realized what a sh*tstorm the article would create - and it did.
The middle part of the book is a little boring but stick with it. The end where the sh*t hits the fan and the fallout at the White House is fantastic.
The story is also interesting knowing about Gen Petraeus' recent scandal in Florida.
The sad part about the book is that you realize we have no business in the war. We aren't winning, they don't want us there, they don't even want democracy and our soldiers are risking the lives for nothing. It's time to bring our troops home.
This book ended too soon. I loved learning the basic about how the body works. It was well organized by body part and made sense to a history major such as myself. There is a 73 page coursebook that comes as a PDF.
The author is funny in a dorky way and he had funny little jokes that he he enjoyed immensely.)
I would buy Part 2, 3, 4, etc or anything by this author.
The content of the book is very interesting - different ways a cadaver is used.
My only complaint is about the author's style. She must have low self esteem because she constantly crowbars comments and/or jokes to show how brave she is, how pushy she is to get interviews, how "sick" she is (yes, I get that you like dead bodies for the 100th time), how well she understands French (please - don't tell a joke in French if you don't translate it), etc. So anticipate a few eye rolls when you listen.
I loved the content but if you are sensitive to animal abuse, be careful. There are several times when animal experimentation is discussed in detail, with apparently little concern for the animals. The author even makes jokes about this subject which seems very crass. (I'm not sensitive about jokes but it's hard to listen to horrible abuse and then hear a joke after it.)
I wish the author had let the subject speak for itself and just give the information.
I have zero interest in cars but I like history, particularly modern history. This book made cars interesting. I liked the political intrigue and back story of a flawed dreamer who was behind the Yugo. I'm glad I bought this.
Part of my disappointment was that I thought this audiobook would cover Michelangelo (especially given the subtitle In Michelangelo's Shadow.) Maybe the emphasis is on "shadow" because the artist is mentioned only in passing. I am more interested in art, art history and pure history. I'm not an Italian literature (Dante) or movie buff, so much of the book was interesting but not exciting. If you know The Divine Comedy and have seen Room with a View, this book is definitely for you. I just don't know how you write a book about Italy without at least one chapter being about art.
This should be in non-fiction but not history, even if it is based on a true story. The characters are so typecast - villain, hero, victim. The only thing worse than the stock characters is the bad "German" accents and "pearls of wisdom" spoken by the father. This is so heavy on religion it becomes a joke. God makes a miracle by stopping a woman's asthma but doesn't do anything to help the 9+ million people in the Holocaust? The unspoken theme is that they were saved because they were Christian, unlike the Jews. This is definitely the Disney version of the war.
If you get this, you better be a heavy Christian that wants to be reminded of religion every 2 seconds.
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