I would highly recommend this to anyone who has the patience to listen closely to a deeply layered analysis of Spanish history. I found the academic tone of the work to be highly stimulating. This is no rough sketch such as you might find in any lesser work; the author brings his long career as an historian and academician to bear on analyzing everything from economics to war to geography to politics in the shaping the Spain of today.
The discussion of the highly controversial dictator Franco was intensely interesting, as was having a better understanding of the root causes of the Civil War. But so was the entire story from the Visigoths to the Twenty-First Century.
I haven't listened him before, but he gave an incredible performance in spite of his understandably Anglicized enunciation of tons of Spanish words. Getting past those hiccups was a bit distracting, but not much.
The closing chapter, in which specific conclusions are drawn to illustrate what Spain is today and where it might be going, from the perspective of a very intelligent social scientist.
The lengthy introduction was tedious but probably necessary in order to establish the author's credibility. The rest of the work was so good that I've given it a couple of listens. Of course, just having traveled through Spain for the first time added to the correlative joy of hearing this. I highly recommend this unique outlook on the history of an amazing culture.
Irritating interjection of what is supposed to be humor at odd times. The subject matter is also poorly explained.
Change the tone
I love Audible and download 20 or more books per year, but this listen is not only unimpressive, it is disturbing.
Deep time explained.
The favorite character, of course, is the amazing self propagating molecular force of matter which by happenstance was in the right place at the right span of deep time. This deepened my understanding of life as a particular energy state of matter. No doubt it is ubiquitous throughout our endless universe.
I have not listened to him before, but even after going through this book twice I found his narrative style to be pleasing and non distractive.
The author breaks away now and then from in depth explanations of biochemistry to take the listener on various journeys. For example, the scientific trek to the Kamchatka Peninsula in search of the perfect thermal spring was particularly interesting.
I highly recommend this semi-technical work, which helped me to understand current research into how living matter may have self-organized over time.
Kept Me Awake
The author used a systematized approach, assembling the basics in an amazingly comprehensible way. Then, the lectures shifted to a more granular approach, focusing and refining. There is something here for all mindsets: the casual self-help seeker might benefit in a superficial way but those who are willing to put in some learning effort will reap a bigger harvest. The narration was spot-on perfect too.
Logic, intuition, smooth narration. It's obvious that this is a world-class academic lecturer who won't easily lose his audience's attention.
Finally helping me to understand the fine points of the sleep cycle and the anatomical brain structures involved. I was also stirred by the emphasis on the chronic dangers of sleep deprivation in our modern society
This is a work I'll come back to many times over in the future. With a few easy changes in my life, I've already been able to improve the quality and duration of my sleep.
Absolutely worth a few listens. The information density is well blended with an easygoing narrative style that engages the listener throughout the entire book.
Chapter eight: the Strategic Air Command years, with all the near misses that we somehow lived through.
Fluent vocal style, never distractive. This guy has it down cold.
No laughing matter this. More outcome information on the Fukushima disaster would be helpful.
It was an enlightening shift away from the mass media induced anti-nuclear coma we've all been stuck in for decades. I have always been hard pitched against nuclear energy and its uses against humanity, and I'm likely to stay that way.However, this book helps demystify some of the beliefs about the atomic age I've come to own as sort of a mindless religion. For me at least, this book has offered me a good start on basing my beliefs on evidence, not media hyperbole.
This deepened my knowledge of the oft- taboo subject of the opium poppy with its associated travails, successes against pain and sociological plunders across the ages. The author(s) weave a fascinating account of exactly how imbedded this uncommon flower and its byproducts have been in humanity's development, from Asia to Europe, and across the railroad-tracked plains of North America, then into our modern cities and ultimately into our legal system. The story seems to come to a halt in the 1970s, so in my view what is lacking is a chapter or two filling the audience in on developments into the 21st century.
Crisp, not-too-fast pace well-suited for listening in fast track mode when review was needed.
No- my emotions don't tend to run away when listening to historical, semi-scientific subject matters, though the book never ceased to be eminently entertaining.
Three cheers for an update to bring this landmark work up to the present year of 2014.
The tone and style is aimed at the appropriate audience: high school recruitment.
Let's seek some higher ground in a rewrite.
Sure did. I hit the fast forward button a lot during the many meaningless rants about Texas and religion.
I'm guessing there's a lot more to modern Seal warcraft than this shallow pitch.
Yes- but considering the tome is 27 plus hours cover to cover, I will reserve a second listen for a winter stay in Antarctica or a South Pacific solo sailing cruise of long duration.
The ingenious meld of philosophy,history and biological science.
He is gifted with a vocal tone and style that is neither boring nor overly stimulating. It's just right.
Challenging All Barriers You Took For Granted.
Not so much, sorry.
Dissertations on intestinal microflora.
Not really applicable
A little too much time spent on poo.
The descent into gross was acceptable, considering the taboos that were appropriately
breached. Being of medical mind, I would prefer more science.
McPhee's style can inject life into anything. He has a knack for digging into a subject, going granular about it, and coming out the other side of a topic with a perspective that fascinates.
The way he connects humanity with ground, the way he links history with the now.
Riverboat towboat scenes
Yes, but it's also worth doing a chapter at a time while commuting or trying to drift off to sleep at night.
It's cool that the author narrated it; he has solid narration skills, though the sound mixing team might have done a better job of redacting ongoing continuous clicks and pops that sound like dentures clacking. It takes some getting used to.
The best: A detailed portrayal of the latest global trends that may give us a chance to see a brighter future. Less than best: Unfortunately, the detail given was overly granular. Overall, this was a tedious listen, like trying to survey a landscape scene with a 400 power microscope.
A fast-forward listen helped.
Not at this time.
The narration was without flaw. There is no finer speaker in the world. Oddly though, I felt as if the pace and alliteration were dialed in for an audience using English as a second language.This may very well be the case. I remember the old Voice of America short wave broadcasts: slow, clear enunciation, perfect but very very slow. I listened to the book on double speed mode and found it tolerable.
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