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Paul

Danville, CA, USA | Member Since 2005

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 366 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • History of the World, Updated

    • UNABRIDGED (54 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By J.M. Roberts
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (145)

    In the History of the World, Updated, J. M. Roberts has revised his monumental previous work, History of the World, taking into account the great range of discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of text have been rewritten, addressing events as recent as the relationship between the Arab and Western worlds in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

    Alan Rither says: "Comprehensive world history"
    "informative but unnecessarily long"
    Overall

    I've listened through the entire book, and I've definitely learned quite a lot from it. However, there's been a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that the book could have been just as good at about half the length. The author alternates between historical narrative (useful) and long editorial segments that ultimately don't provide much information (not so useful). Dr. Roberts appears to have a significant interest in cultural/societal trends throughout history, but commentaries on these subjects unfortunately suffer from a flair towards wordy expositions that don't offer much substance. Also, for better or for worse, the book is decidedly Eurocentric (and especially Anglocentric), which may be understandable given Dr. Roberts' background. For example, more is discussed of the British occupation of India, as of the entire history of modern Latin America.

    Overall, it is worth listening to in order to achieve a greater understanding of the flow of history and the complex interactions between civilizations over time. But I almost wish I had instead chosen an abridged version. (I have the book form of his "A short history of the world", which is much more succinct, although it leaves out much of the historical narrative and leaves in too much of the editorial commentaries.)

    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By James D. Hornfischer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge.

    Anthony says: "Outstanding"
    "An amazing narrative"
    Overall

    The mind-boggling heroism displayed by the sailors in this battle is amazing. The story is very well-told and is very hard to put down (or to stop listening to). Almost as interesting is how the magnitude of the loss of life may have been totally avoidable, and the aftermath of this realization among senior Navy staff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Bravest Man: The Story of Richard O'Kane & U.S. Submariners in the Pacific War

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Tuohy
    • Narrated By E.H. Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (66)

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist William Tuohy follows Richard O'Kane, America's undersea ace of aces, and a few fearless submariners, during the U.S. submarine war in the Pacific. This grueling battle saw 10 million tons of Japanese shipping sunk by U.S. submarines, but the cost to the U.S. Navy was one in five of its boats, the highest casualty rate of the U.S. armed services.

    Sheryl Baumgart says: "good book"
    "Detailed portrayal of submarine service in WWII"
    Overall

    This audiobook was an in-depth and fast-paced telling of the role of US submarines in the Pacific during WWII. The aggressiveness and bravery of the men on these vessels was captured well, and Dick O'Kane's exemplary behavior is amazing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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