This book should be required reading (listening) for all Americans of all political persuasions. It is at the top of my list of nonfiction books read or listened to in 2011. Lessig's reading is passionate. His arguments and examples are convincing. You do not have to agree with every argument to be convinced of the basic conclusion of the book--that our government has been corrupted and stolen from the people by large corporate financial interests. Listen to the book and then join and become active in Rootstrikers or one of the several other organizations he lists.
I think it is easier to listen but the print or Kindle (which I have) version helps with tables, charts, and statistics provided in the text. In order to recall it later I find that it helps to read as well as hear that type of material. Also, the book contained detailed footnotes and references. By having the print version, I was able to look up reference materials and read it myself.
This is nonfiction but there is nonetheless a story line tracing the development of inequality over the 20th Century. The most important message is that inequality hurts everyone including those at the top and that a certain amount of income and wealth leveling is good for everyone.
I agree with most of the other reviewers that Ken was not the best choice for narrator. He seems to read words rather than sentences, and often emphasizes the wrong words. In some cases I had to restate the sentences in my head before they made sense. Pronunciation is generally good but he sometimes skips articles, like "a" and "the" when he comes to a word that is going to be difficult. This distracts from an otherwise excellent book. Nonetheless, I think it was well worth my time in spite of the reader. I was gratified to discover that the book is about much more than China. Moyo sets each resource in its international context before telling us how China is reacting. The book evidently has many charts and graphs and it would have been nice to have those available while I listened, andI think I am going to buy the print version so that I can go back and look at the graphics. I will put it next to Gilding's, The Great Disruption, another book worth listening to.
The great Grover Gardner would have been better.
In this book, Pagels puts Revelations in its historical context and shows how it lies in the tradition of Jewish prophetic/apocalyptic literature and how it may be related to gnostic-Christian literature. She described, correctly in my opinion, how it was really a rather close thing that the book came to be included in the New Testament--still being debated in the 3rd and 4th centuries, as the canon was solidified. Pagel's book is required reading for anyone who thinks the New Testament and particularly the book of Revelations was simply dropped out of the sky by God one day. She devotes a good deal of space in the book to Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria. Was he a saint, a villain, or both? Fascinating account--how he co-opted the monasteries, how his Life of Anthony, the book that so influenced later Christians, is likely rather pure fiction to promote Church control of monasteries. Athanasius was responsible for suppressing gnostic writings (and, of course, Arius) and may have been the ultimate cause of the gnostic books being hidden at Nag Hammadi. Since this was the time of Emperor Constantine, Athanasius had to reinterpret the beast in Revelations to refer to Christian heretics rather than its rather obvious original 1st century reference to the Roman Empire. This is but one example, as she points out, of the continuing reinterpretation of the symbolism in this book over subsequent centuries to explain present calamities or to predict future ones. Lots more to the book than I can cover here. I thoroughly enjoyed the it. I also liked the reader--strong female voice for a strong writer.
I found myself skipping over chapters in this book. Its not that I think that Heinberg is completely wrong but that many of the topics of the essays that make up the chapters are rehashes of ideas that Heinberg himself and others have written about while other chapters seem to be tangential to the theme of the book's title. If you are new to the idea of peak oil or more generally the depletion of environmental capital then this might be a good book for you, but I suggest two others below that are better to start. Be warned that some of the essays, such as Chapter 10's A Letter from the Future, suggest a completely collapsed future world, a la Kunstler's The Long Emergency. If you agree with such simplistic thinking you will like that Chapter, but you may find yourself asking whether running out of resources might lead to more complex outcomes. In this context, I want to plug a much better read, the Great Disruption by Paul Gilding, also available from Audible. If you want to be educated about depletion, that is the book to read, with its references to studies (such as those of the Global Footprint Network and the follow-up analyses of Limits to Growth). Gilding is able to be optimistic and to end the book with suggestions for what we can do now. If you want to read Heinberg, I suggest his The End of Growth, also available from Audible. A focused book rather than rambling essays.
This is a followup to Haldeman's earlier books: Marsbound and Starbound. However, there is no resolution to the dilemma set up in the earlier books. The description of the book here at Audible hinted that there would be a solution but we are left hanging. Carmen does not "find a way to reclaim the future that has been stolen from humankind." Perhaps Haldeman is writing a fourth book. Hope so. His writing and ideas are superior as always. Good reader also.
Practically everything in this book was a revelation to me. Rhode's presentation of Hedy's life and personality was wonderful. The book is about equally a biography of Hedy and George Antheil. Learned later about the recent revival of his music which is very interesting. Bernadette's reading is also very good.
I had read some of these many years ago. I never really liked the way the Dick developed his characters but his ideas--his IDEAS--were and are amazing. That is why so many movies have been made of these stories, sometimes changing the story lines significantly (as in Minority Report) but retaining the central ideas. So, I think the book is a good listen for that reason, plus Dullea does a good job.
The reader is good but the book has a depressing and cynical ending. I have read most of Scalzi's other works and several have been excellent--wonderful characters, funny and sometime hilarious dialog, good story development and good endings for those of us that like morality tales. Not so this book. Some good ideas but a disappointing story. However, I realize that some readers/listeners might like the book. Just be prepared for a black black conclusion.
Robert Reich present a clear, concise and logical explanation of what has happened in our society and economy in recent years, some of the causes and what we need to do. His presentation of income inequality in U.S. society and its consequences are particularly enlightening and echo the analyses of many other economists, sociologists and political scientists writing today. After listening to this book, if you want more in depth analysis, you might read (not on Audible) the books Spirit Level by Wilkinson and Pickett (Reich wrote an introduction) or Poverty and Income Distribution by Wolff--there are also many others. But Reich makes the case succinctly. Definitely worth a listen.
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