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Kent

Fairfield, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 417 ratings
  • 427 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Spike Walker
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    A Malaysian cargo ship on its way from Seattle, Washington, to China ran aground off the coast of western Alaska's Aleutian Islands on December 8, 2004, during a brutal storm, leading to one of the most incredible Coast Guard rescue missions of all time. Two Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopters lifted off immediately from Air Station Kodiak during the driving storm, in an effort to rescue the ship's 18 crew members before it broke apart and sank in the freezing waters.

    Christine says: "Real Tough Guy Stuff"
    "An absolutely gripping true story…"
    Overall

    This is a gripping story of an actual maritime tragedy in the Bering Sea, during the worst possible environmental conditions. I watched the news surrounding this shipwreck happen at the time. It was a situation that had me glued to the reporting. This book fills in the details in a way that draws the reader in and ensures you know the human dimensions of the story. I’ve known two of the main characters in this story; they are accurately portrayed. You will recognize the Coast Guardsmen involved in this event as the real heroes that they are. I strongly recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Obama's Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Bob Woodward
    • Narrated By Boyd Gaines
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (453)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (141)

    Working behind the scenes for 18 months, Bob Woodward has written the most intimate and sweeping portrait of President Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan, and the worldwide fight against terrorism.

    Roy says: "Woodward Does a Service"
    "Distressed at where we are going..."
    Overall

    As one would expect from Woodward, Obama's Wars painted a generally positive picture of the president as he pursued his strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm left with an impression of the president as a man trying to find the solution to all the related problems and balance the contradictions. My thought is that he would like a solution that makes everyone happy. He likes a thorough study and will sacrifice time for precision. Obama has lots of faith in himself and making things happen in what could very well be an unreasonable amount of time. He is a good poker player and I’m not convinced he was not playing poker with his entire national security team. He keeps his cards close.

    The vast majority of the book involves the dynamics between the players in national security in Washington and team members in theater. The picture painted is of a dysfunctional national security team plagued by conflicting world views, broadly different experiences and loyalties, interpersonal rivalries, and competing agendas.

    The president alone crafted objectives on a time line driven by the election cycle. They can be achieved with lots of luck, but the time doesn't have room for Clausewitz's “fog” and “friction.” I'm betting that by now the time line has been wrecked. I think the president's political advisers will push him to exit sooner than later. Meanwhile, General Petraeus' hands are tied by time, resources, and a strategy that limits his use of what he know works.

    I can't imagine this administration using the word “victory” with regard to military entanglements (you won't see “counterinsurgency” either— It is perceived as taking too much time and resources). Instead what we will see are nuanced terms (new ones are best) crafted to keep the president's “base” and subsequently the electorate in the president's court. Messaging remains all important and “victory” may be perceived negatively by those wanting to give “peace a chance.”

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Bradley
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. Roosevelt's glamorous 21 year old daughter Alice served as mistress of the cruise, which included senators and congressmen. On this trip, Taft concluded secret agreements in Roosevelt's name.

    Kent says: "Over the Top - Why did I waste my time?"
    "Over the Top - Why did I waste my time?"
    Overall

    Bradley's sloppy so-called history is either revisionist history or cheap propaganda. It is page after page of deliberate truth bending, cherry-picked facts, inaccurate details, and out of context quotes. Its conclusions are not sustainable when contrasted to factual history. It was not worth my time and money.

    Bradley has an agenda that is dishonestly left out of the publisher's summary. Early in the book you hear about white "Aryan" racism setting the theme for Western Civilization. Those who want to believe could easily come away from his discussion believing that America was founded on white "Aryan" racist principles instead of those of Judeo-Christian tradition. He suggests the founding fathers were white "Aryan" racists who set in motion American westward expansion because it was the destiny of the master race. Bradley over-uses the term "Aryans" throughout. The passages on the "Aryan American Army"; and "Aryan Admiral Dewey" challenged me to find the intestinal fortitude to continue reading.

    This read like Bradley had a personal axe to grind with Theodore Roosevelt. He took every opportunity to be critical of Roosevelt. Negative information was frequently used without the context of relevant positive information. Professional historians don't succeed using the cherry picking methods used by Bradley. Those who have read much about Roosevelt will find this treatment grossly unbalanced.

    This book is a continuous political rant. The writing is more at home in an extreme leftist blog or a juvenile freshman essay, but it continues for hundreds of pages. Don't waste your time.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Terrorism on American Soil: Plots and Perpetrators from the Famous to the Forgotten

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Joseph T. McCann
    • Narrated By Joseph T. McCann
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led most American citizens to feel that we are no longer safe and secure in our communities. However, terrorism is not a new phenomenon in the United States. This book chronicles 37 such assaults on American soil from the end of the Civil War to the present day. Not only are the most infamous attacks discussed; events that are obscure and relatively unknown - but fascinating nonetheless - are detailed as well.

    Kent says: "Solid Information - Poor Audio"
    "Solid Information - Poor Audio"
    Overall

    I endured the poor sound to the end because the information presented was of such good quality. McCann brought together facts that I have been unable to find in one source. He presents good quality analysis that leads to clear understanding. I recommend the book for those with more than a casual interest in the subject. ...In spite of the audio.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ludwig Von Mises: Fountainhead of the Modern Microeconomics Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eamonn Butler
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (39)

    The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises is increasingly recognized as one of the most important originators of modern economic thought. This book studies his ideas in a clear and systematic way and pulls out from Mises's own writings the main themes of his work. Mises's central theme is an emphasis on microeconomics. All real economic decisions, he insists, are taken by particular people at particular times and places; the motivating forces, therefore, are personal and psychological.

    Kent says: "An economic giant for the rest of us..."
    "An economic giant for the rest of us..."
    Overall

    This book is a thoroughly outstanding explanation of the work of Ludwig von Mises. Butler takes Mises' complex work and translates it into a very readable presentation of ideas. It's a great complement to F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom." I recommend it to those who are interested in why the Obama administration's policies and stimulus efforts are slow to impact the recession and return us to prosperity. The basics laid out in this book give great insights into how we got into the current economic mess. Considering that, it also gives strong cues as to how to get us on the path to long term economic strength.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James MacGregor Burns
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    For decades, James MacGregor Burns has been one of the great masters of the study of power and leadership in America. Now he turns his eye to an institution of government that he believes has become more powerful---and more partisan---than the Founding Fathers ever intended: the Supreme Court. Much as we would like to believe that the Court remains aloof from ideological politics, Packing the Court reveals how often justices behave like politicians in robes.

    Kent says: "The Supreme Court Through the Eyes of the Far Left"
    "The Supreme Court Through the Eyes of the Far Left"
    Overall

    Burns' book is well researched and full of good information. However, it is tainted by an extremist perspective that essentially advocates for the emasculation of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution. It leaves out much. I wouldn't recommend for those who have not read other current works on the Constitution and the Constitutional Convention. Burns advocates that the Supreme Court is a power that works against the radical reengineering of the United States government. His extreme and offensive perspective convinced me that we need these voices from the bench. I'll vote against Burns' views any day.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Dinesh D'Souza
    • Narrated By Joseph Campanella
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Morgan says: "from first one"
    "Important book, but..."
    Overall

    D'Souza's book has an important message. However, the audio is awful. I'd recommend picking up a hard copy and reading it. Those who are interested in this subject may want to listen to "God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of Academic Freedom" by William F. Buckley. I found it as important and still relevant after fifty years in print.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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