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Frank

Busan, Korea (South) | Member Since 2010

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Conquests and Cultures: An International History

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (138)

    This book is the culmination of fifteen years of research and travels that have taken the author completely around the world twice. Its purpose has been to try to understand the role of cultural differences within nations and between nations, today and over the centuries of history, in shaping the economic and social fates of peoples and of whole civilizations.

    Mark says: "Time very well spent"
    "Conquests and Cultures"
    Overall

    This is the third and last volume in Thomas Sowell's "Cultures" trilogy ("Race and Culture" and "Migrations and Culture" precede it). It is every bit as cogent and well-argued as the first two books - indeed, as every book Sowell has written.

    I suggest reading (or listening to: the reader has a baritone similar to Sowell's, not quite James Earl Jones, but in that territory) the whole trilogy; when you've done that, I promise you Sowell's explanations of human cultural history will make sense to you on a gut level like (probably) no history you learned in school ever did.

    Sowell has an unsurpassed knack for explaning complex topics in simple, lucid terms; he doesn't obfuscate with jargon or rhetorical sleights-of-hand as do writers won't don't actually have a full grasp of their topics but want to appear smart. There is just no honest way to come away from reading (or listening to) this writer's books and not be convinced that he has mastered his topic and helped clarify your own understanding of it. This should be refreshing to anyone who's had to suffer through the likes of Michel Foucault and his ilk - people who write outrageously complicated nonsense about simple things. Sowell is the opposite of such writers: he writes clearly, lucidly and honestly about complex topics.

    Check him out.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Libertarianism: A Primer

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Boaz
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    David Boaz presents the essential guidebook to the libertarian perspective, detailing its roots, central tenets, solutions to contemporary policy dilemmas, and future in American politics. He confronts head-on the tough questions frequently posed to libertarians: What about inequality? Who protects the environment? What ties people together if they are essentially self-interested?

    Dennis says: "Clear, in-depth analysis"
    "Very good but not excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, Jeff Riggenbach is a heck of a reader, the kind of deep-voiced authoritative narrator that is now pretty much a throw-back to a bygone era. A great reading voice is no small thing; I've listened to great books that were poorly read - like Milton Friedman's "Money Mischief" - and a bad reading voice can easily ruin the experience. (I never finished "Money Mischief".)

    That said, this book does a very good job of explaining the libertarian viewpoint; however, it stops short of what true libertarians aim for. The author takes for granted that we need government for this and that and the other thing, without bothering to explain why. I'm always suspicious of books that make broad, sweeping claims about things that affect everyone's life while affecting the wink-and-nudge attitude that those claims somehow are self-evident - that it would be a waste of time to even think of defending them.

    For someone who really wants to understand true, unadulterated libertarianism, Murray N. Rothbard's "For a New Liberty" is a far superior book. Rothbard's book is clear, consistent, comprehensive and (yet) concise (event though it clocks in at over 15 hours). Rothbard argues against ANY government - if this sounds loopy to you, listen to his arguments. The man is brilliant. And that book is narrated by Jeff Riggenbach too.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Economics in One Lesson

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Henry Hazlitt
    • Narrated By Jeff Riggenbach
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (644)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (254)

    Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession.

    Kenrick says: "Truly an amazing work."
    "A must read for any adult"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book provides the basics for thinking clearly about economics, a subject that affects us all. In the current political climate such a primer is needed more than ever.Highly recommended - indeed, highly encouraged!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Race and Culture: A World View

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (39)

    In his book Race and Culture, Sowell asks the question: “What is it that allows certain groups to get ahead?” and the answer will undoubtedly create debates for years to come. The thesis of Race and Culture is that productive skills are the key to understanding the economic advancement of particular racial or ethnic groups, as well as countries and civilizations - and that the spread of those skills, whether through migration or conquest, explains much of the advancement of the human race.

    W. Sid Vogel says: "Some authors still have integrity and courage!"
    "Yet another brilliant book by Sowell"
    Overall

    Thomas Sowell's books are gems. His clear-thinking presentation and analysis are second to none. This book is aptly named (some of his other books aren't): it is truly a world view of enduring traits inherent to racial/ethnic groups. His debunking of politicians' and (so-called) intellectuals' posturing and self-serving demagoguery alone is worth the price of admission. To any intelligent and open-minded reader/listener, this will prove a refreshing and oh-so-satisfying bulwark against official p.c. b.s. Not all of Sowell's facts are quite straight: for one thing, although socially harmful French-Canadian separatists did in fact engage in terrorism, Pierre Trudeau most definitely did NOT come to power on a "French Power" platform sympathetic to the terrorists; Trudeau was in fact utterly opposed to special, affirmative-action-type treatment of French Canadians, and as Prime Minister he invoked the War Measures Act to ferret out those FLQ terrorists and bring them to justice (they are now teaching in universities, through no fault of Trudeau's). There are a couple of other such blunders (I counted 3 in all) but, regardless of those, Sowell's big-picture presentation is FAR better than any other writer's on this topic.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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