This book is very dated, for one thing. The author also exhibits some annoying biases throughout the book, for example repeatedly referring "the transport mafia", which is never really defined, but presumed to be some powerful and shadowy entities who support whichever side will keep the roads open for trade. As I see it, that's just basic economics at work, nothing insidious about it. "Afghanistan" by Stephen Tanner provided better history about the Taliban, and about Afghanistan, without the annoying bias. "Destiny Disrupted" by Tamim Ansary was also more informative and much better written than this book.
Yes. Gives a pretty detailed account of the sequence of events. I am actually a gulf war vet according to Congress' definition (no direct combat for me though), but I learned a lot of things I hadn't known about it from this book.
One sub-plot has sort of already been done with "Jarhead", but there are a lot of other things that could probably be turned into a movie. And it would probably be a pretty decent film if they did the whole thing.
One annoying thing is the author's unconcealed political grandstanding at various points. The book would have been a lot better if he could have restrained himself on that point.
Bought this based on his reputation as an expert; had never before read any of his books or articles. After listening to this I do not consider him worthy of his reputation. This is a so-called "security expert" who admittedly operates an open wifi network at his home, and who disparages 2-factor authentication as a waste of time because (paraphrasing) if you use it criminals will just find another way to break into your system. It seems Mr. Schneier is not so much a security expert as an advocate for new, unenforceable laws that will somehow give you control over any and all information pertaining to you (seriously). He is a big fan of using the law to force liability on various entities rather than actual security, as that word is understood by the rest of us. Mixed in with his advocacy for ridiculous, unenforceable and therefore ineffective new legislation are a couple observations like, security has economic implications. Duh. Definitely do not waste your money or time with this book.
Have it written by someone with some expertise in security. The narration was ok I guess, but the reader pronounces (and mispronounces) some of the words very robotically.
I expected to learn a lot, but this book is not really geared for engineering and science types. More discussion about vomit and astronaut toilet activities than I expected or wanted.
A lot of the vomit and 'ejecta' talk.
Should really be called "Gross Astronaut Trivia for Non-Scientists".
I actually enjoyed this book, since I am very much in agreement with Mr. Stossel on most things. I recommend it for those with a small-government mentality if they want to listen to something they already agree with, but I don't have any illusions that it will be particularly persuasive to anyone else.
It's not a science work, it's a political one. Humans are evil and destroying the planet, we must act quickly to reverse the damage we're causing to our planet, yadda yadda yadda. If you like Al Gore's horse dung book
After buying this book based solely on the editor's review, I have learned a lesson. Specifically, I wish I'd read the prologue too, which I will do in the future. In addition, I will hesitate to buy any more books without reader reviews.I thought this would be an interesting book about evolution and our genetic similarity to chimps. Don't be fooled, that's not really the subject.
The reader was good, no complaints about the presentation, just the content.
Shouldn't be in the science category at all. If there were a Junk Science category however, it would fit right in.
I read Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics before this one, and it is a good follow up. It does repeat a lot of the same themes covered in BE but with more focus on the long-run effects of policies that may appear to pay off in the short run. He also does diverge somewhat towards the end in his discussion about immigration, but it's still good analysis even if he sort of goes off on a tangent. Sowell is a master teacher, able to explain economics without charts and graphs and be understood.
Robertson Dean was the perfect choice as narrator for this book. The author does a good job of informing about echelon, but due to the secretive nature of it there's just not all that much red meat in the book. Still, I found it interesting and worth reading. A book on this topic could easily have turned out to be a kooky conspiracy theory trash-can liner, but it's not.
The content and narration of this book are both excellent. Author does a superb job of telling a story and educating the listener about history from a different point of view. I was a little apprehensive at first that it might be just a smear of the west in general and the U.S. in particular, but that was not the case at all. A very worthwhile listen.
The author did a decent job of holding my interest with the content of the book. Be aware that the book is basically a collection of trivia, related (sometimes tenuously) to various rooms in the home. So if you like historical trivia you'll probably like this. For content, I would have probably gone to 4 stars but the author's narration didn't work that well for me. He read a little bit fast at times and does not always enunciate very clearly, so I suspect some people might have to rewind this one a lot. Also, his accent and voice are of the sort people are apt to either love or hate. So listen to the preview first.
If you like lame conspiracy theories, read this. If you're looking for the most basic facts to support the author's vague implications, or anything resembling arguments backed up by evidence, sorry. I didn't get very far into this one before I had to turn it off. The narrator does a good job of making everything sound ominous, though, so kudos to him for his dramatic intonation.
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