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Mark K. Covey, Ph.D.

Member Since 2012

  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 371 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015

  • Conservatives Without Conscience

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By John W. Dean
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Dean's last New York Times best seller, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, offered the former White House insider's unique and telling perspective on George W. Bush's presidency. Once again, Dean employs his distinctive knowledge and understanding of Washington politics and process to examine the conservative movement's current inner circle of radical Republican leaders, from Capitol Hill to Pennsylvania Avenue to K Street and beyond.

    J. Stout says: "A Book Every American Should Read"
    "When Personality and Power Collide"

    Dean's thesis is that many of the Republicans currently in power are authoritarian personalities with a lust for power. The former concept needs some explanation; an authoritarian personality (Adorno, et. al. 1950) is one who is enamored with convention and the authority, questioning neither and relying on punitive controls during times of crisis. Authoritarians reject the unusual and believe that difficult times support the suspension of rights. They are especially susceptible to rigid thinking in their concern with appearing powerful.

    Dean pretty much gets it, spot on. He argues convincingly that Bush's great flaw is his personality characterized by a rigid world view and unthinking hubris leads him to impulsive decisions. More compelling than his analysis of Bush is his critique of Cheney's influence and how he would rather direct events from behind the scenes because this secrecy is instrumental in maintaining power. Such intellectual rigidity, sold to the public as necessities during a time of fear-sustaining national crisis, has lead the Cheney/Bush team to such intellectually bankrupt positions as threatening a veto of a defense appropriations measure because it carried McCain's anti-torture resolution, an action that would have denied the Defense Department without the funds needed for the war in Afghanistan. For Bush/Cheney, winning is more important that defending the laws of the United States, a conclusion well-supported by the 800 or so signing statements that collectively declare “We reserve the right to disregard legislative intent.”

    Rest assured, this is a frightening read for those who are concerned about the direction the United States' executive branch, aided by a complicit Congress, has gone the past six years. Dean's book should stir those on the left and right to wrest back their government from those for whom power is more critical than principle or conscience. Highly recommended.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Twain's Humor: A Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Thomas Becker

    A collection of 23 of Twain's funniest stories and essays, ranging from tongue in cheek to the fantastic.

    Ronald says: "Twain's Humor"
    "Shows a limit of the audio medium"

    There are a number of favorites in this collection, but I enjoyed them more when I read them. The narrator's efforts to act out the characters was often annoying and inexcusibly indecipherable. Equally inexcusible was the abrupt transitions between essays; without giving complete attention to the narration (difficult to do during a commute), I would find myself in the middle of a different essay, so this recording may be best for other listening, like that cross-country drive across those stretches that permit you to daydream safely.

    Still, it is Twain and you will find at least one tale, one story, one rant which will make you smile and take you back to earlier times in our frontier period or that time in your youth when you picked up your first Twain essay.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37)

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bernard Goldberg
    • Narrated By Bernard Goldberg

    Bernard Goldberg takes dead aim at the America Bashers (the cultural elites who look down their snobby noses at "ordinary" Americans and detest so much of what this country is about); the Hollywood Blowhards (incredibly ditzy celebrities who think they're smart just because they're famous); the TV Schlockmeisters (including the one whose show has been compared to a churning mass of maggots devouring rotten meat); the Intellectual Thugs, and many more.

    Marc says: "Some good points (really), kinda partisan."
    "Hypocritical, Superficial, Transparent"

    Goldberg promisses a balanced critique of the cultural elites. Unfortunately, all he delivers is an obvious tirade against 100 people who, in providing criticism of government, culture, and society have offended Goldberg's narrow sense of propriety. In so doing, Goldberg falls into the same traps he accuses of his targets-- political correctness (from a conservative interpretation in Goldberg's case), name-calling, character assassination, and just plain shallowness. Even his purported wit is mean-spirited as he betrays former colleagues to cash in on the "everything conservative is profitable" movement in America today. If one is looking for a solid critique of the left, this, sadly, is not it, because it has more in common with Rush than with Wm. F. or even George Will.
    Read this if you are entertained by "sticking it to the man." Everyone else who enjoys thinking can give it a pass.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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