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Davis

San Pedro, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

160
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 206 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • His Excellency: George Washington

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Joseph J. Ellis
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (412)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (108)

    Acclaimed author Joseph J. Ellis penned the National Book Award-winning American Sphinx and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Founding Brothers, a fixture on The New York Times best seller list for an entire year, and one of the most popular history books of all time. Now this master historian turns his attention to the most exalted American hero, Founding Father and first President George Washington.

    Gerard says: "Distracted By Narrator"
    "An excellent introduction"
    Overall

    I enjoyed His Excellency very much. It was a fine introduction to the life of GW. It was more analytical than narrative, which was to my liking. I came away with much more of an understanding of Washington than I had previously. Although the pacing of the reader was a little on the slow side, that did not bother me, and for material of this type, worked just fine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By John D. Gartner
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Search of Bill Clinton unravels the mystery at the heart of Clinton's complex nature and explains why so many people fall under his spell. Gartner tells the story we all thought we knew, from the fresh viewpoint of a psychologist, as he questions the well-crafted Clinton life story. Gartner, a therapist with expertise in treating individuals with hypomanic temperaments, saw in Clinton the energy, creativity, and charisma that leads a hypomanic individual to success as well as the problems with impulse control and judgment.

    Roy says: "Bill is Back"
    "A case of puppy love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book purports to be an objective psychological assessment of BIll Clinton. I had hoped choosing this book on Clinton would enable me to avoid the tenedency of more traditional biographies to either idolize or demonize Bill Clinton. In this I was sorely disappointed. Early in this book, the author discusses the concept of counter transference, the phenomenon whereby the therapist's own feelings toward the patient have an effect on the therapist. Unfortunately, the author clearly failed to be sufficiently on guard for this, as this book is in many ways a worshipful paean to Clinton. Indeed, the author is so enamored of Clinton as to compare him, in all seriousness, to such great figures as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi and even Jesus Christ. He also demonizes anyone who opposed or disagreed with Clinton, freely making judgments about the motives of people about whom he clearly knows next to nothing. Meawhile, he finds ways to excuse Clinton's obvious failings, all in the guise of "explaining" Clinton, apparently believing Clinton has never in his life acted from any but the purest motive.

    Along the way, the author does provide some interesting information and analysis pertaining to Clinton's childhood, his relationships with his mother, grandmother, Hillary, etc. Unfortunately, these insights are overwhelmed by the general tone of the book, the general idea of which seems to be that Clinton's biggest problem is/was the failure of the rest of the world to appreciate just how darned wonderful Clinton is. At times the tone of the book is so worshipful as to be laughable, and to sound much like a high school cheerleader gushing over the team quarterback.

    These defects, as well as the extreme political partisanship the book exhibits, seriously impair what could have been an interesting book. Also, the author's lack of objectivity undermines his crediblity when discussing some of Clinton's accomplishments, such as his contribution to the Irish peace process. People who idolize Bill Clinton will enjoy this book. Others will find it a hard slog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George H. W. Bush: The American President Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Timothy Naftali
    • Narrated By Patrick Frederic
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    George Bush was an uncomfortable leader, a distant patrician figure who spoke awkwardly and was long thought to lack "the vision thing". And yet, as Timothy Naftali argues, there was no person of his generation better prepared for the challenges facing the United States as the Cold War ended. Bush brilliantly shepherded Russian reformers through the liberalization of their socialist system and skillfully orchestrated the reunification of Germany.

    Davis says: "Conventional Liberal Wisdom"
    "Conventional Liberal Wisdom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a reasonably well written short biography of Bush 41 which is consistent with the approach of the other biographies in the Schlesinger series of which it is a part. But it is a political book, so politics cannot be ignored in this review. Although the author is obviously a liberal Democrat, for the most part he attempts to be fair to Bush personally. However, listeners should be forwarned that the entire book is written from a liberal point of view. Thus, for example, the"bad" Bush is the Bush of the "read my lips no new taxes" pledge and the "good" Bush is the Bush who broke that pledge. There are also many gratuitous slaps at Ronald Reagan. Thus, the book in some ways reads like an "analysis" one might read in the NY Times. Accordingly, liberals will have a more positive response than conservatives.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paterno

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Joe Posnanski
    • Narrated By Joe Mantegna
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Joe Posnanski's biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach's personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno's life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno's legendary career.

    John says: "Sobering"
    "Posnanski proves he is up to a very difficult task"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well written, interesting, and even entertaining biography about a complex and difficult subject. Joe Posnanksi clearly did a great deal of excellent research and made great use of his access to Joe Paterno, his family and his associates. By the time the book was over, I felt I had a real sense for this man, his impact on others, his strenths, weaknesses, warts and all. The discussion of the Sandusky situation is the most honest and straight forward I have seen anywhere. Posnanski provides facts and analysis, and leaves opinion to the listener. Finally, Joe Mantegna's reading is absolutely masterful, which will not be surprise to those who have seen him act.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jonathan W. Jordan
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (113)

    Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, General George S. Patton, and General Omar N. Bradley engineered the Allied conquest that shattered Hitler’s hold over Europe. But they also shared an intricate web of relationships going back decades. In the cauldron of World War II, they found their prewar friendships complicated by shifting allegiances, jealousy, insecurity, patriotism, and ambition.

    aaron says: "The best tri-hero book in years!!"
    "Insightful and Enlightening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a terrific book. It does a superb job of tracking the efforts and relationships among Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley throughout WW II as well as covering the before and after. It also does a fine job of showing how their personalities, beliefs and positions affected their relationships. It is fair to all three of the major protagaonists. Even when they are at odds with one another, you understand where each of them is coming from. I knew virtually no military history before listening and found some of that a little hard to follow, but that did not impair my enjoyment or abilty to follow what the book is really telling us about these three intriguing military leaders. It is well written and well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • U Is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sue Grafton
    • Narrated By Judy Kaye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1346)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (395)

    It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's 38th birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is 27, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared, and a recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories.

    BSquared67 says: "A brilliant departure from the familiar"
    "In some ways a departure, but in top form"
    Overall

    Grafton tries some different things here. There are multiple characters and different time periods. So there is less "mystery" here for the reader, who sometimes knows things Kinsey does not. Nevertheless, I found the different story lines interesting and was just as interested in how things would turn out as I usually am in "who dunnit." There are also some very interesting developments in the story of Kinsey's past and her relationship with her family. I could have lived without some of the sex scenes, which are more detailed than necessary, but there is not alot of that so it is not a serious problem.

    Finally, a word about the narrator. Judy Kaye is absolutely outstanding. She is pitch perfect with the tone and does a beautiful job handling conversations with different characters so you can tell who is talking without her concocting lots of different voices. I have become more and more of a fan of hers as I have listened to several of the alphabet series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James L. Swanson
    • Narrated By Richard Thomas
    Overall
    (985)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (323)

    The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history, the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild 12-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

    Elizabeth says: "Fascinating!"
    "Gripping History."
    Overall

    This is a fascinating, well told story, with all kinds of intruiging details that most history books ignore. The drama is so well told that it draws you in, even though you know the ending. Richard Thomas does a stellar job narrating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    Designed for non-scientists, Six Easy Pieces is an unparalleled introduction to the world of physics by one of the greatest teachers of all time.

    Matt says: "Unintelligible"
    "Hard to follow"
    Overall

    The sound quality of the first lecture was horrendous. The others are fine. However, Feynman regularly refers to visual aids (you can even hear the chalk against the chalk board on occasion), and without the benefit of those aids I found his lectures hard to follow. I think others without any physics training will also find them hard to follow.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Jefferson

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Joyce Appleby
    • Narrated By Ira Calffey
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Jefferson described his election to the presidency as a second American Revolution. Historian Joyce Appleby, rigorously explores this claim. She argues that he did, in fact, transform the political landscape of the US by limiting the power of the government and eradicating the elitist practices inherited from the colonial era. His struggle to transfer influence from the upper class to the common citizen while limiting the power of the American government created a powerful vision of liberty and democracy.

    reggie p says: "Good introduction to Jefferson"
    "Essays, not a biography"
    Overall

    This book is more akin to a series of essays about the Jefferson presidency than to a biography. Evaluated on that level, the book is interesting. Although I found the sporadic pots shots at Federalists in general and John Adams in particular annoying, the essays do provide an interesting commentary on the Jefferson presidency. What they lack, however, is much insight into Jefferson's character.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • John Adams

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1939)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (894)

    McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

    Davis says: "An outstanding biography"
    "An outstanding biography"
    Overall

    David McCullogh's biography of John Adams is an outstanding book about an outstanding man. This is one of the finest biographies I have read or listened to. By the end of the book I felt like I knew John Adams - both his outstanding strengths and his human frailties. I came away with a far better appreciation for Adams and his role in the birth of America than I had previously. The book also provides fascinating glimpses into the other strong personalities of the time, including Hamilton, Franklin and Washington, but most especially Jefferson. It is written beautifully and is so enjoyable to listen to that I was a bit sad when it ended. I strongly recommend this great work.

    145 of 148 people found this review helpful

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