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Robert

An retired entrepreneur and educator, who is having trouble staying retired.

Denver, NC United States | Member Since 2002

176
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 29 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Meltdown: A Look at Why the Economy Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Woods
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere. In Meltdown, best-selling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., unearths the real causes behind the collapse of housing values and the stock market---and it turns out the culprits reside more in Washington than on Wall Street.

    Daniel Squires says: "Read this book!"
    "Good things to think about but a little political"
    Overall

    This is probably a good primer on Austrian School Economics is you are not familiar with it. It falls into the trap, like most books with political messages, of being a bit sarcastic and dismissive towards the arguments of the other side. I try to read each viewpoint and for the opposing one I would recommend "The Great Crash of 1929" by Galbraith, which also tends toward sarcasm.

    I believe the best point of this book is to give us a lot of questions to think about before we spend the equivalent of a warehouse full of 100-dollar bills that we do not have. While it may be too late for this bailout/stimulus we better think long and hard about the questions raised in this book before we do it again. This is a good introduction to the school of economics dismissed as "supply side" by the popular press but it falls short as an in-depth look at the very serious issues we face. If you want to know more a good next step is Sowell's "Applied Economics".

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Meditations

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marcus Aurelius
    • Narrated By Duncan Steen
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (230)

    One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

    Guilherme says: "Stoic Wisdom at it's best"
    "A few Gems"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Meditations? What did you like least?

    There were a couple of thought provoking statements. Mostly just repeating the same theme over and over.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    both were slow


    Do you think Meditations needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Absolutely not. Perhaps a condensed version. If you take out the repetition think the book would be 25% of current length.


    Any additional comments?

    I will admit that this book was probably just too deep for me. I felt a little like I was listening to an Allen Greenspan congressional testimony. I kept thinking that there must be more than what I was understanding but if there was I could not find it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4039)
    Performance
    (2513)
    Story
    (2544)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Thought provoking while being a laugh a minuite."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Typical Pratchett even though it was only co written by him. For a book with two authors it is relatively seamless. I think the underlying message of the book (should it even have one) is that just because you are trying to do good does not necessarily mean you are. Of course you will be too busy chuckling to yourself to realize there is a point. You just have to love the two main characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (182)

    Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan's best-selling Paris 1919 is the story of six remarkable months that changed the world. At the close of WWI, between January and July of 1919, delegates from around the world converged on Paris under the auspices of peace. New countries were created, old empires were dissolved, and for six months, Paris was the center of the world.

    Larry says: "History repeats itself."
    "For History Buffs Only"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Depends on the friend. This is not a book for the average reader.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are not at least a little bit of a history nut this is not the book for you. It is an exhaustive history, (I mean that in both meanings of the word). I suspect that no matter how much history you know you will learn something new in reading this. That said this is not a book for the beginner, a reasonable knowledge of per WWI European geography is necessary to follow the discussions of what lands went to whom.

    One final note it is important to understand the the word "liberal" did not have the same meaning in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as it does today. At that point in time a liberal was one who believed in less government power and more individual rights and freedoms. The meaning is closer to what is considered libertarianism today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By Bill O'Reilly
    Overall
    (3736)
    Performance
    (3332)
    Story
    (3344)

    The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices are not appeased....

    Daniel says: "History Made Interesting"
    "History on the edge of your chair."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Killing Lincoln the most enjoyable?

    The presentation style.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The presentation was outstanding.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This made me very sad. The act of hate which Booth carried out caused so much suffering for the people of the south because those who replaced Lincoln were far less forgiving then he was.


    Any additional comments?

    If you or your children think history is dry and boring this is a great audio book to give them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Screwtape Letters

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (1928)
    Performance
    (1031)
    Story
    (1051)

    A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old Devil to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.

    Amazon Customer says: "So much truth, much of it scary."
    "Thought provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Screwtape Letters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top quarter


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a unique approach to the moral issues of life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final toast was a particularly thoughtful insight into our current society. And the evils innate in many of our current practices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The section where Screwtape describes how humans can be made to argue in such a way that they can take rightful indignation while offering to forgo something they do not really care if they got or not.


    Any additional comments?

    Many of the reviews on this book are either by Christians, who love it, or non Christians, who generally do not like it. I am a solid deist but a shaky Christian at best. This offers many insights to commonly miss-held perceptions (many of which I carry) about God.

    The other thing that surprised me was that some people found the book funny. There is no doubt that it took a great wit to write it but while there is much in it to make you think there is very little at was to me laugh out loud funny.

    If you do not see yourself somewhere in what Screwtape says about humans you are either not looking very hard at what he says or at yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • And Then the Roof Caved In: How Wall Street's Greed and Stupidity Brought Capitalism to Its Knees

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By David Faber
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (47)

    And Then the Roof Caved In lays bare the truth of the credit crisis, whose defining emotion at every turn has been greed, and whose defining failure is the complicity of the U.S. government in letting that greed rule the day. Written by CNBC's David Faber, this book painstakingly details the truth of what really happened with compelling characters who offer their first-hand accounts of what they did and why they did it.

    Jonnie says: "Best book explaining the recent economic collapse"
    "The Standard Media Line"
    Overall

    I have waited a while before writing the review. I will be more charitable because of the wait. This is the book you would expect from a reporter at MSNBC. It tows the standard media line on the financial crisis and never waivers. The regulators did not have enough power, wall street was greedy, everyone else was a victim. Why this happened now when the regulators have more power than ever and wall street is as greedy as ever is, of course not covered. None the less there is good and interesting information in this book. It has a lot of truth but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    For the other side read (listen to) Sowell’s book “The Housing boom & Bust”. Listen to them both and then make up your own mind.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Housing Boom and Bust

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (83)

    There was no single, dramatic event that set the current financial crisis off. A whole series of very questionable decisions by many people, in many places, over a period of years, built up the pressures that led to a sudden collapse of the housing market and of financial institutions that began to fall like dominoes as a result of investing in securities based on housing prices. This book is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story.

    Adolphe says: "Inciteful Non partisan blame"
    "Required reading enough blame for all"
    Overall

    With his usual clarity and abundance of data Sowell takes what happened apart to show you why we are in this mess. If you are unhappy with the standard media answer of "corporate greed" read this analysis. Anytime something like this happens and is blamed on greed of one group or another I always ask why is that group greedier now than in the past? Sowell lays out with backup data the time line of this mess and what was contributed by each of the players (republican, democrat, corporate and regulatory). If you believe more regulation will prevent this from happening again pay particular attention to the role of the regulators in this debacle. This is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the nature of our current economic times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9517)
    Performance
    (4058)
    Story
    (4067)

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
    "Some interesting thoughts to ponder"
    Overall

    This is a well-written book that brings up some important things to think about. Gladwell's conclusion that you need to be lucky as well smart and hardworking to be hugely successful is probably true. To get really far out on the bell curve you need for everything to go right, or wrong, depending on which side of the curve. Still it is dangerous to draw too many conclusions from extreme outliers, at least when dealing with a standard bell curve. If you are interested in what makes rich people rich read "The Millionaire Next Door", it deals with the more applicable part of the curve for most of us. Drawing conclusions from relatively few data points is always risky but Gladwell shows clearly the a small head start can get you far ahead.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Philosophy: Who Needs It

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (50)

    Who needs philosophy? Ayn Rand's answer: Everyone. This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Ayn Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy, but which one to have: a rational, conscious, and therefore practical one, or a contradictory, unidentified, and ultimately lethal one.

    Robert says: "Deep and provocative"
    "Deep and provocative"
    Overall

    This is not light listening. It is best on long trips, as it is difficult to follow some of the deeper arguments if you take it in 20-minute commute segments. It is a great book, actually a collection of essays, but like any philosophy it takes some thinking to follow. Though I cannot say I subscribe to Ms. Rand's views on all things the clearness of her arguments are difficult to refute. Ms. Rand is pretty rough on both the right and the left and points out the hypocrisy in both positions. If you are not willing to examine your political beliefs then stay away as they will be challenged. Finally it should be noted that most of these essays were made in the late 60s and early 70s. Ms. Rand promotes that America is great because of its beliefs, but that it is vulnerable because it does not understand the premises behind those beliefs. I suspect she would look at America today as an opportunity for greatness lost.

    26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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