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Andy

Westport, CT, United States | Member Since 2002

ratings
430
REVIEWS
323
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
247
HELPFUL VOTES
472

  • The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rich Cohen
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (33)

    When Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891, he was tall, gangly, and penniless. When he died in the grandest house in New Orleans 69 years later, he was among the richest, most powerful men in the world. In between, he worked as a fruit peddler, banana hauler, dockside hustler, and plantation owner. He battled and conquered the United Fruit Company, becoming a symbol of the best and worst of the United States: proof America is the land of opportunity, but also a classic example of the corporate pirate who treats foreign nations as the backdrop for his adventures.

    Susan says: "Fascinating history. A lot of questions"
    "the henry ford of bananas"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Entertaining story of how to use hustle, grit, corruption and your brain to build an analog business. Super narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Operation Shakespeare: The True Story of an Elite International Sting

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Shiffman
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Operation Shakespeare, investigative journalist John Shiffman traces a high-risk undercover operation launched by an elite undercover Homeland Security unit created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons - from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs.

    Katherine says: "Outstanding!!!"
    "under our noses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the core story here is about a sting operation related to arms sales, the author provides additional information about how US defense contractors frequently break American law by knowingly selling arms to the bad guys.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Made in America

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (236)

    In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land, explaining how a dusty hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up, as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question, and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

    Thomas S Kovacs says: "Bryson OK Roberts not so much"
    "just not the same when Billy doesn't narrate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chock full of the most amusing trivia about America. Sadly, after getting used to Bryson as narrator, change is tough.
    Not a knock on Will Roberts, who is a great narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look inside North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (108)

    As North Korea's State Poet Laureate, Jang Jin-sung led a charmed life. With food provisions (even as the country suffered through its great famine), a travel pass, access to strictly censored information, and audiences with Kim Jong-il himself, his life in Pyongyang seemed safe and secure. But this privileged existence was about to be shattered. When a strictly forbidden magazine he lent to a friend goes missing, Jang Jin-sung must flee for his life.

    David says: "Stop browsing and get this Book"
    "richly detailed account of getting out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A captivating and richly detailed recap of the authors escape from North Korea. Very interesting to hear exactly how it was done.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Geoff Williams
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Newspaper and magazine journalist Geoff Williams details this historic event and the colorful cast of characters involved, based on firsthand accounts of those who were there and interviews from many living descendants. C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race is a classic American story so astonishing and surreal that you have to hear it to believe it.

    Mr. says: "Good summer read"
    "rollicking story of a very long foot race"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Close up look at the hilarity as well as the blood, sweat and tears of this 1928 foot race across America. You'll get to know the many personalities in the race, including the runners and the promoter. A fun listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Blanding
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers - both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

    Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief - until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library.

    Charles M. Wyzanski says: "The value of maps--monetarily and otherwise"
    "with a little charm, you can rob almost anyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great recap of how Mr. Smiley navigated his way from scholarly research of old maps into stealing them, in an effort to support his lifestyle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Dan Barber
    • Narrated By Dan Barber
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (47)

    The Third Plate is chef Dan Barber’s extraordinary vision for a new future of American eating. After more than a decade spent investigating farming communities around the world in pursuit of singular flavor, Barber finally concluded that - for the sake of our food, our health, and the future of the land - America’s cuisine required a radical transformation.

    Michael says: "My New Favorite Book!!"
    "What we'll be eating in 2025"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good overview of what is next in the world of sustainable food. Also, a close look at how some very talented folks raise animals/grow food that tastes great, and improves the environment at the same time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Peter Andreas
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    America is a smuggler nation. Our long history of illicit imports has ranged from West Indies molasses and Dutch gunpowder in the 18th century, to British industrial technologies and African slaves in the 19th century, to French condoms and Canadian booze in the early 20th century, to Mexican workers and Colombian cocaine in the modern era. Contraband capitalism, it turns out, has been an integral part of American capitalism.

    Andy says: "smuggling is us"
    "smuggling is us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well paced survey of how smuggling played a role in the history and development of America. Learn about smuggling slaves, booze, drugs....you name it. Some interesting insights into the development of the modern drug trade. Also some factoids on what get's smuggled out of America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Jeremy Rifkin
    • Narrated By David Cochran Heath
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    In this provocative new book, Rifkin argues that the coming together of the Communication Internet with the fledgling Energy Internet and Logistics Internet in a seamless twenty-first-century intelligent infrastructure—the Internet of Things—is boosting productivity to the point where the marginal cost of producing many goods and services is nearly zero, making them essentially free.

    Hugh says: "Totally Provocative"
    "reasonable survey of an important trend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed listening to this book. Rifkin lays out a key trend that is evolving. He does however, push this "zero marginal" cost a little too much. By this I mean he infrequently reminds the reader of the high fixed costs required to operate at close to zero marginal cost.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Hiawatha Bray
    • Narrated By Jonathan Yen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    The story of the rise of modern navigation technology, from radio location to GPS—and the consequent decline of privacy. What does it mean to never get lost? You Are Here examines the rise of our technologically aided era of navigational omniscience—or how we came to know exactly where we are at all times. Filled with tales of scientists and astronauts, inventors and entrepreneurs, You Are Here tells the story of how humankind ingeniously solved one of its oldest and toughest problems—only to herald a new era in which it’s impossible to hide.

    Andy says: "where we are and where we are headed"
    "where we are and where we are headed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nice survey of how the internet of things has homed in on where we are and where we are likely to go next...whether physically or in our web surfing travels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Arianna Huffington
    • Narrated By Agapi Stassinopoulos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (118)

    In Thrive, Arianna Huffington has written a passionate call to arms, looking to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world. Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplaces, and our lives.

    D Scott says: "Pleasantly Surprised - HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Highly."
    "helpful step back, to rethink priorities"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What I loved about this book is that it was Ms. Huffington's own story. However, there was more than the scent of a sales pitch for the business she is building based on the Third Metric.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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