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Kirby

Member Since 2012

ratings
8
REVIEWS
3
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • Homage to Catalonia

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (75)

    In 1936, George Orwell went to Spain to report on the civil war and instead joined the P.O.U.M. militia to fight against the Fascists. In this now justly famous account of his experience, he describes both the bleak and the comic aspects of trench warfare on the Aragon front, the Barcelona uprising in May 1937, his nearly fatal wounding just two weeks later, and his escape from Barcelona into France after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed.

    Roger says: "Engaging insight into Orwell's political education"
    "Excellent book, marred by narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It goes without saying that an Orwell book comes recommended, and HOMAGE TO CATALONIA is indeed a fascinating account of the politics and lived experience of the Spanish Civil War. But the narration, while not the worst I have heard on audible, detracts from the overall experience. He fails to convey the irony and bemusement of the text, and as others have remarked, the accent doesn't sound right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Rashid Khalidi
    • Narrated By Ray Grover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    To understand the momentous events that have occurred in the Middle East over the last two decades—including two Gulf wars, the occupation of Iraq, and the rise of terrorism—we must understand the crucial interplay of cold war superpowers there from 1945 to 1990. Khalidi presents the compelling case that U.S. and Soviet intervention in the region deeply exacerbated civil wars and provoked the breakdown of fragile democracies, and continues to this day to shape global conflict in the Middle East.

    Kirby says: "May need to be updated"
    "May need to be updated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Strange to say a book of history concerning the Cold War would need updating, but it really shows that Sowing Crisis was written during the Bush years and prior to the Arab Spring. Many references to the 'present' no longer hold in 2013.

    Otherwise, the analysis and research is well worth considering, although very little will truly be new to anyone with a basic understanding of 20th century dynamics in the Middle East. This book will be more informative for the newcomer. I preferred Khalidi's other woks, particularly The Iron Cage.

    My biggest complaint with the audio book is that the narrator should have been coached on pronunciations for various Arab and Israeli names. Every time he says 'Nasser' or 'Begin' is cringe-worthy. Otherwise, a competent reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Obamians: The Struggle inside the White House to Redefine American Power

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By James Mann
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When Barack Obama took office, he brought with him a new group of foreign policy advisors intent on carving out a new global role for America in the wake of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq. Now the acclaimed author of Rise of the Vulcans offers a definitive, even-handed account of the messier realities they’ve faced in implementing their policies. In The Obamians, acclaimed author James Mann tells the compelling story of the administration’s struggle to enact a coherent and effective set of policies in a time of global turmoil.

    Joshua says: "An excellent book on Obama's foreign policy"
    "Decent history of Obama's first term foreign polic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The Obamians" is a Washington inside look at the people and politics shaping the foreign policy of Obama's first three years in office. It describes the evolution of the Democratic Party's foreign policy from the Vietnam War through the Clinton era up to Obama. This history is one of the best parts of the book. For people in the beltway, the names and bios will also be of interest, but I doubt that others will care for the play-by-plays. The narrator is also reasonably good--dry, perhaps, but effective at keeping listeners' interest. The greatest weakness of the audiobook is more structural: the fact that most of the actual reporting is for between 2-3 years of the Obama presidency--not a huge amount of time to collect details and observe patterns. On the whole, however, I would recommend this audiobook or the text version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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