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Frank

Needham, MA, USA | Member Since 2002

ratings
29
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
11

  • 1812

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Nevin
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The war of 1812 would either make America a global power sweeping all the way to the Pacific or break it into small pieces bound to mighty England. It was a second revolution of sorts to prove to the British that America had to be taken seriously. The principal players in this drama were James and Dolley Madison and Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Their courage and determination would shape America's destiny.

    Thomas says: "Couldn't stand the narrator"
    "Excellent Historical Fiction"
    Overall

    Nevin paints a enlightening picture of the politics and battles of the time that help me put events of today in better context--to think the U.S. was that close to dissolution! He takes great license in giving well-known historical characters distinctive personalities that entertain while at the same time providing a great history lesson. I finished this book feeling like I really knew 'Little Jimmy Madison', Ol' Hickory Andrew Jackson, and the ambitious soldier that was Winfield Scott.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sudhir Venkatesh
    • Narrated By Reg Rogers, Sudhir Venkatesh, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (222)

    The story of the young sociologist who studied a Chicago crack-dealing gang from the inside captured the world's attention when it was first described in Freakonomics. Gang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatest managed to gain entree into the gang, what he learned, and how his method revolutionized the academic establishment.

    DanO says: "Listen to this one first"
    "Interesting but a bit slow and lacks conclusions"
    Overall

    As an avid follower of the Freakonomics duo, I was anxious to read this book. I found the story was interesting and the characters compelling, but the story quickly devolved into a kind of "Lord of the Flies" tale--documenting how each person in the housing project used their arbitrary power over every other person they could. I found the ending rather abrupt and was left wanting to hear some sense of the sociological conclusions of the author. I got no sense that the author learned anything useful from the experience he so carefully describes in the book (beyond the economics of gang life already reported in Freakonomics). From a production standpoint, I think the author should have read the whole book, rather than just the last chapter and I think the musical interludes between chapters was bizarre.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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