Fairbanks, AK, United States | Member Since 2012
This book was surprisingly good, with a great mix of action, information, and perspective. The narration, too, was clear and kept my interest.
I have listened to quite a few military books, and many of them are from former Navy Seals or various Special Forces Operators. But Delta Force is a unit that you don't hear much about. This book basically provides information into the formation of this unit, its purposes, and some of the missions that Haney undertook while serving in the counter-terrorism unit. And I realize that that description makes the book sound mundane and generic, but it was incredibly interesting and entertaining.
My favorite thing about the book was actually Haney's perspective on world events, terrorism, and the United States Military. He's a very smart man, very articulate, and obviously has seen some crazy things. In my opinion, men with honor and valor like Haney are true heros.
If you enjoy books such as Lone Survivor, No Easy Day, or The Red Circle, you'll love Inside Delta Force.
A Higher Call is one of those inspiring stories that makes you want to be a better person. World War II brought about some of the most unthinkable actions of pure evil mankind has ever seen - and yet amongst such atrocities, decency and valor and good will still shone through in the actions of men from both sides of the war. This is one of those stories.
This book brought tears to my eyes. And for a man's man who stinks at showing emotion like me - that's saying something. Phenomenal book.
Shortly after the incidents of Dec. 7 1941, the United States unleashed its fleet of what was at the time an unproven and (in comparison to Germany's U-Boats) relatively novice submarines. These brave men participated in a "learn as you go" strategy during the early months of the war, dealing with design and structural failures in their subs, torpedo's that ran amok (and often back at their own boats), and a brutal enemy determined to rule the Pacific.
What this story is really about is the trials and errors, the unfortunate lethal consequences of learning as you go, and the uncanny courage and bravery of crews from three famous submarines of WWII: Silversides, Drum, and Tang.
The facts are the facts, but the author does a great job of bringing personal accounts and emotion into the story. As it follows the plights of these three subs, the listener not only gains a certain affection for their crews, but also an appreciation and respect for the bravery and sheer determination these men displayed on a daily basis. Imagine being stuck 250ft below the surface of the Pacific ocean in a disabled submarine, while your captors circle above, as you slowly run out of oxygen in the darkness. What would you do?
I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you're just looking for a good story or a lesson in history. Many of the details in this book are very hard to come by and James Scott brought them together masterfully.
There are a lot of reviews about this book, most of them are positive and most of them are focused on how Ken Follett can tell a fictional story while teaching his readers factual parts of history. And I think most of these reviews are accurate. The listener will enjoy a very well told story and learn about the causes and circumstances that led to WWI.
I think my favorite thing about The Fall of Giants is how the listener gains a sense of camaraderie with the characters and their feelings. The story helped me see that most of the victims of wars, especially in some of the more aggressive nations, are everyday citizens. Follett does a great job helping you realize that people are people, each with complex emotions and feelings. Just like every German in WWII wasn't a Nazi-loving fascist, we can now realize that every Afghani is also not a Taliban-loving terrorist. It just makes you appreciate humanity for what it is - at least thats how I felt.
Another thing I want to point out is that Follett obviously touts the principles of socialism and more liberal ideologies throughout his novels. This isn't so much of a complaint as it is a recognition of his bias. Nonetheless it was a phenomenal novel and I highly recommend all 31 hours of it.
I think the thing that distinguishes this account from others is how gritty and raw the narrative is, spoken by a man who experienced some pretty nasty things in WWII. It gives the details that most historical accounts leave out - the horrors of war, the feelings of one who has gone through horrendous circumstances - and lived to see it through.
I know that E.B. Sledge wrote this narrative years ago, and at the time it was groundbreaking. Modern war memoirs are much more common, but Sledge broke a mold and told the story just as he saw it. It was a phenomenal book and I highly recommend it to any history buff interested in the Pacific front of WWII.
I got turned onto this book after listening to Demon Under the Microscope, Hager's other popular work. The two books are very similar, although I must say I enjoyed the Alchemy of Air more. It details the interesting lives of Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, both of whom played a large part in the reason why you and I lead healthy lives here on earth.
The ability to fix nitrogen has presented humans with an interesting paradox. On one hand, nitrogen is naturally limiting in most environments, and this essential element can help humans produce crops in quantities and in smaller areas than ever before. On the other hand, it can also be used to create bombs and is essential for any military.
Hager tells this story in a fascinating way, including many stories that are interwoven and tied together, making the narrative sound like a fictional story.
Its a fascinating book - you won't be disappointed!
Pacific Crucible is a wonderful blend of history and personal accounts. Although the book is obviously factual, it provides the types of interesting details into certain people's lives that made it feel like a story.
Do realize, however, that the book details Pearl Harbor through Midway Island only, and does not go further into the Pacific conflict. That should not stop you though. The book provides great detail into the main battles, and main commanders of the Pacific front during this time of the war.
I have listened to quite a few books on this period, and have quickly become a fan of Toll and his works. I highly recommend this book.
This book made me relearn what I thought I knew about George A. Custer. As a product of American schools, my schooling on this subject lasted all of 10 minutes and left me thinking that Custer was a lackadaisical general that picked the wrong fight. But there is so much more to this story, and A Terrible Glory sets the record straight.
If you have any interest in the brutally true story of the American west, you will love this account. It not only documents the Bighorn's major players, it also details many of the unfortunate actions and lies taken agains the Indian nations. It reveals the actions of Custer and his officers, and even details the subsequent military coverup.
I am torn regarding my feelings about this period. Not only did the United States break treaties with the Indians and outright lie to them on many occasions, the Indians were essentially faced with the decision to give up their cultural ways of life and succumb to the "ways of the white man", or face the wrath of being considered hostile and enemies of the United States. In essence, the US endorsed genocide and Custer's army helped carry that out. But part of me couldn't help but feel sympathy for their plights and the times they found themselves in.
Regardless, this book will help you frame your own perspective and keep you entertained and interested throughout.
George Orwell's "1984" could easily pass for a recent history of North Korea.
One often hears about North Korea and the incessant demands its fiery leaders make upon the rest of the world, but rarely do we get to glimpse inside the lives of those who suffer under their iron fist. "Nothing to Envy" provides us just that.
I expected the book to be different, but it was just right. It follows the lives of a few North Korean citizens, and provides insight into their struggles and daily lives. Many of these people eventually fled to South Korea, and the difference in the present and former lives is striking!
I highly recommend this book to anyone, not only will it give you a sense of appreciation for all of the freedoms you enjoy, but it will also provide a sad look into the lives of those who do not have those freedoms. It is a great mix of story and fact that anyone will appreciate.
This book is a perfect blend of story telling and research that deals with a very dark and atrocious period of WWII. The authors tell the whole story - not only from the American point of view, but also from the perspective of Japanese soldiers and Generals. It is important to recognize that there were victims on BOTH sides - and such is the tragedy of war. This is one of my favorite books, both in terms of the authors who masterfully told this tragic story, but also due to its narration. Great listen!
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