I was interested in buying this book because I love asking questions and wanted to learn more about how to ask the right ones. Nothing new here. This book is not worth the credit. It's highly repetitive and is based on a very shallow interviews of executives of companies that are not necessarily even successful (the author himself says he interviewed the ones who their colleagues thought were successful, not the market). All of the information that this book contains could be laid down in a blog post. The narration is fine, but it doesn't help.
The book is a fascinating story of Asia development from the 1950s up until the present time. It describes both businesses and governments and then highlights the intricate connections (or power struggles) between them. It is well written and a pleasure to listen to and I learned a great deal. As an entrepreneur myself, I found the book encouraging.
I read reviews on Amazon before buying this book. Some of them said the author was certainly biased and advocated government intervention over free market. I found no such thing in this book. In fact, the author presented a lot of facts, history and biographies and left it to the reader to judge. If anything, I felt like he was slightly more pro-market in his conclusions, but maybe that's a wrong a impression. The author does a good job of presenting every opinion there was and cites both pro-market and pro-government advocates.
I think the author did an interesting job, but what I noticed is that he way too often refers to other's work that I already read about some other book (Invisible Gorilla, The Willpower Instinct). This made it slightly boring for me and it also made the books very dispersed on various subjects. Coupled with the fact that, as others said, he often refers to figures presented on the PDF, it made this book not a good match for an audio version. My final complaint is that I think it would be a great idea if the author stated right away in the beginning WHY his idea of two systems is so important and why should I finish reading this book.
The book is truly fascinating. Lot's of great facts about history, great storytelling and narration. Couldn't recommend more.
While I think this book could be interesting, and indeed I enjoyed some parts of it, I think the author fails to capture reader's attention with a clear line of events. He kind of like jumps from one epoch to another without explaining what does it all mean and how it correlates with his point of view. He also quotes a lot of sources which he then denounces, so especially while you are listening to the book, not reading it, it is hard to tell what the author actually thinks about the subject.
The overall problem with the book, I believe, is that an author is an anthropologist and he's trying to get into the field of economics. I don't mean just his reasoning, which might be flawed - this should be left for economists to judge - but the way he tells the story: he's elaborating on some of the historical/cultural things too much and you just can't see what he was trying to say in the first place. Probably the reason I couldn't really finish the book.
The narration is very good, although at some point I stumbled at a clearly "editorial" piece not supposed to be heard by the audience - the narrator was reading his remarks on the text. I guess you could call it a "bug". It was for a couple of minutes though.
It's a nice little book with good info about how to construct conversations. I wouldn't say it gives you a full framework, but maybe a bit of a framework that is useful enough to boost your conversational skills, as well as some specific techniques to do so.
One thing that I found useless is the part on online conversations/etiquette, those things are obvious. Maybe it's just me though, because it may have been targeted at the older generation who are not familiar with online communication very good.
Many reviewers were dissatisfied with the book and the authors, who, they say, are biased. True, they might be a bit biased, but wouldn't you be, if you spent your life studying the middle east? I think the authors did a great job of gathering facts and telling an interesting story. The biased paragraphs are easily identifiable and, in fact, especially when describing arab-israeli conflict, I believe the authors made an effort to be very careful and sound as unbiased as possible. If you find the carefully ingrained opinions offensive and a reason good enough to discredit the whole material, then maybe the problem is with you, not the book.
This book is history in the first place, not an opinionated essay. It also IS NOT about arab-israeli conflict only, it is about the history of the middle east. That said, whatever you political views are, reading this book would help you learn more interesting historical facts.
In short, it tries to answer the question of why European culture and not culture from other parts of the world is dominating the world today.
The book is fascinating, contains a lot of interesting facts and enlightens the reader with some of the great theories and explanations in linguistics, evolution, biology, anthropology and history. It may not be very detailed in answering certain questions, but it's a great starting point to investigate the subject you are interested in further. As other reviewers noted, it contains a boring part on botany which is really exhausting to listen to, but other than that it was interesting.
The narrator was not perfect, chewing some words. Also the quality of the recording is not perfect with some white noise, but after a while you stop noticing that.
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