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James

Albuquerque, NM, United States | Member Since 2011

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lars Brownworth
    • Narrated By Lars Brownworth
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (274)

    In AD 476 the Roman Empire fell - or rather, its western half did. Its eastern half, which would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire, would endure and often flourish for another 11 centuries. Though its capital would move to Constantinople, its citizens referred to themselves as Roman for the entire duration of the empire's existence.

    Joseph M. Dolan says: "Excellent Book about Little Known History"
    "Worth the Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Lost to the West again? Why?

    Yes. There is much detail to review.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lost to the West?

    The description of the fall of Constantinople and how the West was complicit in the destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire, the affects of which reverberate today.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It would be impossible because of its length, but i was constantly looking for opportunities to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    I visited Istanbul in 2008 and was blown away by the history and magnificence of the city. I now wish I had read this book before I went. It would have enhanced the experience. A must read for anyone who loves history and is unfamiliar with the Eastern Roman Empire.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jesus and the Gospels

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    For most of the last 2,000 years, questions about the figure of Jesus have begun with the Gospels, but the Gospels themselves raise puzzling questions about both Jesus and the religious movement within which these narratives were produced. Is it possible to shape a single picture from the various accounts of his life given us by these Gospels?

    James says: "Good Catholic Overview"
    "Good Catholic Overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second lecture series I listened to from Prof. Johnson. He is extremely well prepared and keeps the topics interesting. I clearly has no use for the search of the "Historical Jesus" and makes a pretty compelling case for why that search is futile and irrelevant. He assumes you have knowledge of the canonical gospels, which is nice if you are looking for a more advanced course.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Empire of the Summer Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By S. C. Gwynne
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1026)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (658)

    Few people realize that the Comanche Indians were the greatest warring tribe in American history. Their 40-year battle with settlers held up the development of the new nation. Empire of the Summer Moon tells of the rise and fall of this fierce, powerful, and proud tribe, and begins in 1836 with the kidnapping of a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower blue eyes named Cynthia Ann Parker.

    John says: "Quannah Parker"
    "A "Must Read" for SW History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A history book that weaves general history into the lives of two remarkable people; a woman kidnapped by the Comanche and the son she had with her Comanche husband. Unflinching in its portrayal of life on the West-Texas/NM Frontier from both the European and Indigenous prospective. Since Cain and Abel there have been clashes between the hunter/gathering and agrarian societies. This is the story of the conquest of the last hunter/gathering society in the North American continent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Diarmaid MacCulloch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (217)

    Once in a generation, a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read or heard - a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.

    Celia says: "Generally quite good"
    "Great Overview/Whisper Sync is helpful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a comprehensive overview of Christian history. I purchased the whisper-sync to be able to more easily access this book as a reference. Do you remember when, where and why the Chalcedon council took place? Or the 95 theses, or the orthodox views on transubstantiation? It's well researched and pretty thorough. Not a gripping read, but worth the investment if you are interested the history of the most influential religion of the West.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1891)
    Performance
    (1082)
    Story
    (1085)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson has a talent for guiding readers through the mysteries of outer space with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. This collection of his essays from Natural History magazine explores a myriad of cosmic topics. Tyson introduces us to the physics of black holes by explaining what would happen to our bodies if we fell into one; he also examines the needless friction between science and religion, and notes Earth's status as "an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos".

    Lind says: "Well written and well read"
    "Perfect palate cleanser"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    DeGrasse gives you blurbs that makes scientific ideas relatively easy to understand conceptually. If you're a physicist, I guessing it would be bore. But as a layman, I found it very informative and approachable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    DeGrasse's irreverence comes through, sometimes bordering on snarky.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is series of essay that are not necessary dependent upon each other. You can easily put it down and come back between other books, or listen for a half hour or so between other interests. My general interest is history and especially ancient history. This book is nice way to cleans the palate between other books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Basque History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Kurlansky
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (54)

    Inhabiting the small corner where France meets Spain, the Basque speak their own language, Euskera. Evidence of their culture showed up as early as 218 BC, and now, with a population of 2.4 million, their influence on our world has been all-pervasive. In this "delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation," listeners will be enthralled as Kurlansky delves into the roots of an intriguing population, and shows us why they continue.

    Perry says: "An eye opener that will break your heart"
    "Journalists are rarely good historians"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It is an interesting story, at times. I thought it would be a more scholarly work. My mistake. I should have investigated it more before purchasing. Some of my ancestors were Basque so I was looking forward to a detailed history of the people. Mostly what I got from the book is there is little known about origins of the Basque or their language. The work improves when it turns to the Spanish Civil War and the Marcos era. The description of Guernica was chilling.


    Did The Basque History of the World inspire you to do anything?

    Seek out more scholarly works on the Basque.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3226)
    Performance
    (2289)
    Story
    (2296)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "No One Should be Compared to Hitler"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best. Even though it was written several years ago, the history was well sourced.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Certainly not Hitler. The book exposed his human side, but did not attempt to humanize this mad man who caused tens of millions deaths and unspeakable suffering.


    Any additional comments?

    I was reluctant to listen to this book because I thought it would cause great anxiety, i.e, it would keep me up at night thinking about it. I am glad i took the plunge. The story has lessons for our time. We should not allow our public officials to abuse the truth. We should not attempt to demonize whole sections of human kind. History is full of great military victories at the expense of destroyed lives and cultures. But the Third Reich stands alone for its brutality. There is no sugar coating in this book or in the history of the Third Reich -- it was evil personified. To compare any modern leader to Hitler diminishes and trivializes the suffering caused by this man and betrays the speaker's utter ignorance of this history.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Elaine Pagels
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (170)

    Elaine Pagels explores the surprising history of the most controversial book of the Bible. In the waning days of the Roman Empire, militant Jews in Jerusalem had waged anall-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea, and their defeat resulted in the desecration of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. In the aftermath of that war, John of Patmos, a Jewish prophet and follower of Jesus, wrote the Book of Revelation, prophesying God’s judgment on the pagan empire that devastated and dominated his people.

    Diane says: "Revealing "Revelations""
    "Revelation de-mystified."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Revelations again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen again. There is so much information that requires reexamination of other sources. The author (one of my favorite biblical scholars) puts John's book into a historical context and demonstrates how the author drew upon the Hebrew Bible. i found myself wanting to study the Book of Daniel.


    Any additional comments?

    Only criticism is that later chapters that go into early Church history, It was a good brief overview for people not that familiar with such history. For myself, I had just read several books and listen to lectures on early Church history, Thus to me those chapters did not contain any new insights or information. But well worth the listen.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Simcha Jacobovici, James D. Tabor
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In 2010, using a specialized robotic camera, authors Tabor and Jacobovici, working with archaeologists, geologists, and forensic anthropologists, explored a previously unexcavated tomb in Jerusalem from around the time of Jesus. They made a remarkable discovery. The tomb contained several ossuaries, or bone boxes, two of which were carved with an iconic image and a Greek inscription. Taken together, the image and the inscription constitute the earliest archaeological evidence of faith in Jesus’ resurrection.

    CBlox says: "quite audacious"
    "Caveat Emptor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Jesus Discovery in three words, what would they be?

    Provocative, unabashed, incomplete


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Typical Tabor


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None stand out.


    Any additional comments?

    The authors reach a couple of conclusions without clear evidence, or without taking into account the contrary evidence. Overall, a very good book. I would not recommend to people who do not have an open mind about the origins of Yesuha or the Jesus movement.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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