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Daniel

Cleveland, OH, United States | Member Since 2003

ratings
63
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
57
HELPFUL VOTES
82

  • Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lynne Olson
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (571)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (328)

    Here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time.

    Susan says: "If we are together nothing is impossible"
    "good popular history, well read"
    Overall

    This book by Lynne Olson recovers some history that is not well-known to Americans, specifically the way in which a few key figures from the US, in the UK during the late-1930s & early-1940s, were instrumental in getting the US (rightfully) into rightfully into World War II. Contrary to the way in which we read this history today, this was a close-run thing, not obvious (especially during the ambassadorship of Joe Kennedy) to US leaders nor UK leaders that a true military collaboration would come to pass in the dark days of 1939 & 1940, when "England stood alone." It is well-worth getting this book if you are interested in the real history of this period or in WWII history.

    I have dinged it slightly, 4 stars rather than 5, because the latter half of the book contains familiar material if you are familiar with the period after the US buildup, or of the complicated relationship between FDR, Churchill, DeGaulle & Stalin. And because Lynne Olson's previous book, "Troublesome Young Men - The Rebels who brought Churchill to Power ..." was so much better, more focused, than this one. Hopefully Audible will try to get that book in audio too.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Sylvia Nasar
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd, Anne Twomey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    In a sweeping narrative, the author of the mega-bestseller A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the lives of every single person on the planet. It’s the epic story of the making of modern economics, and of how it rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material fate in its own hands rather than in Fate. Nasar’s account begins with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew observing and publishing the condition of the poor majority in mid nineteenth-century London, the richest and most glittering place in the world.

    Joshua Kim says: "A Beautiful Grand Pursuit"
    "great history book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Grand Pursuit again? Why?

    Yes, this book does an excellent job telling capsule life stories of the post 1850 economists (& some other social scientist), the key elements of their thought and, most importantly, the context in which they lived, and which helped to powerfully shape their thought and build the foundation of modern economics. You do not need to be an economics major or economist to appreciate this work.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The putting of economic thought into context, so that we can understand its roots when the idea of these individuals is cited (& more frequently, misappropriated) today.


    What about John Bedford Lloyd, and Anne Twomey’s performance did you like?

    Both narrators do a good job with the text.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Adventures in Economic Thought


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Amanda Foreman
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    Even before the first rumblings of secession shook the halls of Congress, British involvement in the coming schism was inevitable. Britain was dependent on the South for cotton, and in turn the Confederacy relied almost exclusively on Britain for guns, bullets, and ships. The Union sought to block any diplomacy between the two and consistently teetered on the brink of war with Britain. For four years the complex web of relationships between the countries led to defeats and victories both minute and history-making.

    Daniel says: "excellent narrative history"
    "excellent narrative history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, I know there are something like 50,000 books on the American Civil War and hence it is rare to the point of infinitesimal to find anything new being published. That is especially true now, as the 150th anniversary of the war is upon us. However, I think "A World On Fire" does succeed in bringing something new, or novel, to the Civil War literature. It is a focus on the English perspective. The perspective of politicians, financiers and the general public in the UK, and the perspective of Britons who participated first-hand in the war itself, on the Union side, Confederate side and in a few cases on both sides (not to mention some of the English journalists).

    The book does try to be a stand-alone piece, so it is not necessary to be an expert on the Civil War to put this english perspective in context. The author does that. So for those of use quite familiar with the history, there is redundancy in the work. But it is necessary to put the english views, events, the diplomacy in context without much thinking on the part of the reader.

    The book is very well written and read as well. Highly recommended.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Lawrence Malkin
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The true story of the greatest counterfeiting scheme in history and the men the Nazis called upon to help it succeed – a group of concentration-camp Jews. Only a fortnight after the start of World War II, at a meeting that has remained a secret for more than half a century, Nazi leaders and officials of the German Reichsbank approved an audacious plot to counterfeit millions of British pounds.

    Daniel says: "very interesting chapter in history"
    "very interesting chapter in history"
    Overall

    A very enjoyable book about a little-known chapter of WWII. The largest state-sponsored counterfeiting effort of the 20th century is well researched and well narrated. Readers with an interest in WWII and in financial history should find this quite interesting, as well as those inclined to learning more about the Holocaust.

    As a banker myself, with a significant interest in cash & financial crime, I thought the material in the book was invaluable.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Fire: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Shirley Hazzard
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    This mesmerizing, poetic novel won the 2003 National Book Award for fiction and has earned universal acclaim. Set against the beautiful but tragic landscape of post-World War II Asia, The Great Fire tells a sweeping tale of the search for new beginnings in a world ravaged by tragedy.

    Margarita says: "Always found something else to do"
    "A high-class romance novel"
    Overall

    The "Great Fire" is a high-class romance novel that contains a mixture of historical fiction, psychological portraiture, political commentary on WWII and its aftermath (particularly in east Asia, but also with some focus on England & Australia & New Zealand). It should appeal to those who enjoy traditional romance novels, but also to readers who prefer historical fiction & literature, with some romance thrown in to drive the action
    All of the principal characters might be considered as members of the walking wounded. Wounded by upbringing, wounded by war. All are seeking a way out of their wounds by helping others, in official capacities (bomb survey, postwar trials, nursing relatives) and in their personal lives. Out of this the central & surprisingly believable love story between decorated war veteran of 32, and an 18 year-old girl, much older than her years in some respects & an 18 year-old in others, emerges.
    The author has a hypnotic writing style that brings the reader into the frame ... understanding the motivations of the characters & their environment without much third-party explication. This is what gives the book so much power. You are drawn into the frame & truly want to know the outcomes for each of the characters in turn. One of those books where you hope to have a sequel, to see how things turned out but, in reality, it is better to let your own imagination work those turns without an author's assistance.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Human Factor

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Tim Piggot-Smith
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    A leak is traced to a small sub-section of SIS, sparking off the inevitable security checks, tensions, and suspicions. The sort of atmosphere, perhaps, where mistakes could be made? For Maurice Castle, dull, but brilliant with files, it is the end of the line anyway.

    Darryl says: "Excellent Author"
    "a powerful post WWII novel"
    Overall

    Graham Greene is without a doubt the master of depicting alienated man of the 20th century, searching for meaning in a modern, often confused environment. In The Human Factor, Greene puts his craft to work on Maurice Castle, an ex-diplomat now working as an Africa-specialist in a home department of British intelligence. Greene mixes together bits of reality (e.g., Kim Philby, South African apartheid, working in an office environment with parochial office politics) with a mystery story about Maurice?s past and a political puzzle about spying. Although the plot has definite shades of the 1960s and the Cold War, it does not seem dated. It has numerous parallels to our world of today.

    As in other engrossing works like The Comedians, The Power & the Glory and The Honorary Consul, Greene?s protagonist does not quite succeed in ridding himself of anomie or finding some higher sense of meaning in life. Which is the way life is.

    Since Greene was a sometime screenwriter as well as a well-schooled novelist, this book is perfectly suited to the audio medium. The narrator is terrific, with a mellifluous voice and an ability to adopt varying accents to differentiate the various characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Washington Goes to the Moon: A Documentary About Apollo 11

    • NONE (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Richard Paul
    • Narrated By Richard Paul
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Washington Goes to the Moon examines the behind-the-scenes public policy stories leading up to Apollo 11's flight to the moon. These stories, (about NASA management, White House budget politics, and Congressional oversight) had as much to do with Apollo 11 reaching the moon as the Saturn 5 rocket, but they have never been told.

    Daniel says: "Very enjoyable"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall

    This is a light review of the politics of space in the 1960s, with a focus on the moon objective. It brings out some of the internal controversy & political jockeying, the kind of stuff you'd expect but which isn't foremost in your mind (unless you are a perpetual cynic) when you think about space exploration. It focuses particularly on the conflict between budgeteers & the policymakers during the Johnson Administration. This is a very good "between books" piece, kind of like having a bit of sherbert to clean your palette between courses of a meal in a french restaurant.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Kurt Eichenwald
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Say the name 'Enron' and most people believe they've heard all about the story that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever. But in the hands of Kurt Eichenwald, the players we think we know and the business practices we think have been exposed are transformed into entirely new, and entirely gripping, material. Conspiracy of Fools is an all-true financial and political thriller of cinematic proportions.

    ltlrags says: "More fiction-like than a novel"
    "Outstanding book of business"
    Overall

    This book tells the human/business story of the Enron debacle with an amazingly detailed eye to what happened, the perspectives of the principals & the outsiders, the forces that brought about the investment strategy that Enron adopted and how that unwound a [possibly] once great organization. I found the first hour or two alittle tough going, because it is the author's intent to tell the story through the voices of the participants, rather than rendering analytical comments of his own, along the way. The "real" story of Enron, the why's and the how's and the lesson's, could be told in a much shorter book. An analytical book. But that book won't be 1/4 as interesting as this one (although it is a book I plan to look for since I want to see that side). I find it amazing that the builders of the Enron business, Ken Lay in particular, simply sat back & ignored what was going on in his "real" business, making bad investments & uncoordinated investments all over the place, and in the "fictitious" business, which constitutes the accounting shenanigans in which Andy Fastow & his cronies could flourish. Other leaders of the organization, notably Skilling & the company's Board of Directors, were also notably asleep at the switch, altogether asleep. At least this is the interpretation of the author that comes through. Other than that first hour or two, when I was tempted to stop listing, this book moves forward with tremendous drive & interest. Highly recommended. You might also move on to the author's previous work on ADM (I read that as a book ... I don't know if it is available in audio form).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Azar Nafisi
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (143)

    For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families; others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail.

    Jayne says: "A wonderful story"
    "A wonderful book"
    Overall

    This audiobook is a wonderful piece of literature. It combines biography, history, literary criticism, social criticism/analysis all into a single package. Some listeners may find the movement from one topic to another alittle disconcerting. I did not. It seems to drive the book, & helps avoid getting bogged down in a single line-of-argument. The reader is also excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson
    • Narrated By Dennis McKee
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (23)

    Crystal Fire is a tale of the human factors in technology; the pride and jealousies coupled with scientific and economic aspiration that led to the creation of modern microelectronics and ignited the greatest technological explosion in history.

    Ziloni says: "Interesting and not light on the science either!"
    "A very good book on the history of technology"
    Overall

    This book pulled out of the dustbin a critical piece of technological history that ultimately changed all of our lives in the IIH of the 20th century. The transistor. Not a physicist or scientist myself, I did find some passages to be heavy-going, realizing that I was not comprehending 100% of the technical information being imparted. But that seemed a small price to pay to find out the story itself, the personalities, the business aspects, and at least some % of the technical aspects. The reader is not the best ... a bit too much monotone for my taste. But OK.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Atonement

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    "Masterfully crafted." (Publishers Weekly)
    "An instantly addictive story line...
    polished and entrancing."
    (Booklist)
    "It is rare for a critic to feel justified in using the word 'masterpiece,' but Atonement deserves it." (The Economist)

    Kristin says: "Beautifully Written"
    "A wonderful book"
    Overall

    Ian McEwen is one of the great stylists of our time. This book brings you into the characters psyche's, makes you feel you know them, is beautifully written & a mystery story to boot. I thought it was well narrated too, very moving, very effective when heard out loud. The only gripe: I predicted the end well before the end. Not a surprise at all.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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