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Douglas

College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Auburn, WA, United States | Member Since 2008

1459
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 301 reviews
  • 413 ratings
  • 847 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2015
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  • The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By V. S. Ramachandran
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (186)

    V. S. Ramachandran is at the forefront of his field - so much so that Richard Dawkins dubbed him the "Marco Polo of neuroscience". Now, in a major new work, Ramachandran sets his sights on the mystery of human uniqueness. Taking us to the frontiers of neurology, he reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach us about normal brain function and how it evolved.

    Michael says: "Great if you like understanding how brains work"
    "What a welcome addition to the Audible selection!"
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    At last, the great Indian neurologist Ramachandran comes to Audible! I have enjoyed his lectures on youtube for years, and it is great to see him in audible book form. The Tell-Tale Brain is in the same cannon as medical tales told by Sachs and Selzer, though Ramachandran does not quite have the literary turn of either of these two writers. He does present his material for both expert and layman (both will readily understand if proper attention is given the work), and there is humor and cultural references to move things along and make the material easier to relate to, though again, he doesn't quite have the nearly stand-up style of say a Pinker. Nonetheless, there is simply no one who can render the oddities and complexities of the brain and perception like the great Ramachandran, perhaps the best medical genius of our time, our Einstein of the neuron. This book is worth every bit you pay for it and more, and I certainly hope to see more works by this explorer of the mind and brain on Audible soon.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Rick Santorum
    • Narrated By Rick Santorum
    Overall
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    This audiobook addresses the current societal influences of the "Bigs" and relates the importance of the "Littles" in our communities in an incredibly interesting, conversational style. Packed with credibility and information and proven alternatives to our nation's problems, It Takes a Family is a must-listen for understanding and implementing the crucial elements of a successful society.

    Douglas says: "A Well-Written And Important..."
    "A Well-Written And Important..."
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    reminder of the vital need for traditional values in a culture drifting ever closer to moral relativism and suppression of traditional values... This book is about the reestablishment of the traditional family as the central element of American culture, but it is about a lot more than that: namely, the need for movement away from the Orwellean, 1984 reliance upon Big Brother government for the establishment of moral value and the common good. It is a call away from the morally relativistic "individualism" of postmodern America to the rugged individualism that put the burden of the common good and social stability upon "the people" rather than on a governing body that could then impose its own system of self-serving values upon the people. It is a call for a renewed sense of responsibility and a holding to the values that have made for a strong America in the past... And should you think there is not an active suppression of traditional values in this country, consider this: today, my wife was giving a taped interview for her workplace concerned with positive activity she was doing in the public sector. During the interview, she stated that she felt her public service was an expression of her Christian faith. At this point, the interviewer/camera person paused and turned to the person in charge of the project and asked sotto voice (but loud enough for my wife to hear): "can we use that?"--that is, "can she say that?" or, more rightly, "isn't anything having to do with traditional religion out of bounds outside of the musty walls of a church building?" Imagine such a question in regard to race, nationality or sexual orientation--the interviewer would have never worked again. But because religion is the current social kryptonite, he felt compelled to inquire as to whether or not its very mention should be censored. And totally without regard to whether or not my wife would be offended by such effrontery. Read this book while you are still allowed to do so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Immanuel Kant: The Giants of Philosophy

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By A. J. Mandt
    • Narrated By Charlton Heston
    Overall
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    (24)
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    Immanuel Kant's "transcendental" philosophy transcends the question of "what" we know to ask "how" we know it. Before Kant, philosophers had debated for centuries whether knowledge is derived from experience or reason. Kant says that both views are partly right and partly wrong, that they share the same error; both believe that the mind and the world, reason and nature, are separated from one another.

    Smelly Ian says: "Well worth the download!"
    "A Fine Introduction..."
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    to Kant and his line of reason. I have read Kant and can recommend this book as a good introduction to difficult work for someone who is less acquainted with philosophy. Kant is not at all easy, and reading this book first will make one familiar with the basic premises with which he will be dealing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Immanuel Kant, Thomas Kingsmill Abbott (translator)
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
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    Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, first published in 1785, lays out Kant's essential philosophy and defines the concepts and arguments that would shape his later work. Central to Kant's doctrine is the categorical imperative, which he defines as a mandate that human actions should always conform to a universal, unchanging standard of rational morality.

    James Bath says: "A Pivotal Thinker in the History of Mind"
    "The Heart Of Kant's Thinking..."
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    is contained in this short treatise on absolute rational moral value. Kant is one of the all-time great thinkers in the realm of philosophy and morality, and he should be read by everyone. A warning should go with this recommendation, I suppose. One cannot go in with an E.L. James/Stephanie Myers vocabulary and depth of understanding and expect to come away with much. It takes a familiarity with higher language and higher thought. There is no short-cut to excellence or to understanding it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Death of Conservatism

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sam Tanenhaus
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
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    (6)
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    Sam Tanenhaus's essay "Conservatism Is Dead" prompted intense discussion and debate when it was published in the New Republic in the first days of Barack Obama's presidency. Now Tanenhaus, a leading authority on modern politics, has expanded his argument into a sweeping history of the American conservative movement.

    Douglas says: "Intelligent Indictment..."
    "Intelligent Indictment..."
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    of the hidebound, ideologically-driven fundamentalism that has made for the wasteful and unproductive political stand-off in the American two party system over the last forty or so years. The book has flaws. For one, its title is far too apocalyptic, and the book itself acknowledges this tacitly, making suggestions for revitalizing the conservative party; and too, it underestimates the stagnation of the liberal party, which has come about for the same reason that the conservatives have become so steadily ossified, that is, the espousal of a hard party line, conformity over consensus. The book's highlights are its reflections on the political theories of Burke and Disraeli, too brilliant men who should be read by all, but are, alas, probably beyond the uninformed and unintelligent masses which have made for the unthinking, unreflective ideological systems we currently have in place. (I will suggest a modern-day Burke/Disraeli, and study him if you have the heart: the vastly undervalued Peter Hitchens, brother of vastly overvalued Chris Hitchens.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Hitchens
    • Narrated By Peter Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    (41)
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    Partly autobiographical, partly historical, The Rage Against God, written by Peter Hitchens, brother of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens, assails several of the favorite arguments of the anti-God battalions and makes the case against fashionable atheism.

    Michael says: "Not at All What I Expected"
    "Hitchens For God!...."
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    Peter, of course, not Chris. A marvelously intelligent and personal counter to his brother's screed against the Christian Faith, Peter Hitchen's Rage Against God is perhaps one of the best apologetics for Christianity for our modern age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Tom Parks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
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    (169)
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    What makes a great man great? Seven Men offers answers in the captivating stories of some of the greatest men who have ever lived. In this gallery of greatness, seven historical figures come to life as real people who experienced struggles and challenges that probably would have destroyed the resolve of most other men. What was their secret?

    Matt says: "Good or Great?"
    "I Had Already Read..."
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    Metaxas' fine books on Bonhoeffer (my personal hero) and William Wilberforce, two men who really need to be known by just everyone. This book includes mini-biographies of seven great men, including these two, men who sacrificed personal grandeur and power for the greater good. This book is like an hor dorvers tray which should whet your appetite for more on all of these seven figures in history. Certainly do read Metaxas' books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce. If you have not come across them before, you will wonder that you hadn't heard of such forceful figures in the history of the world. (The two or three reviews here that scream about RELIGION! as though it were social kriptonite illustrate the exact reason why our society needs to know about great men like those in this book--sacrificing oneself for a great cause, and forbid! a religious one--is now considered stupid and passe. That is a sad truth about what we have become.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Truth About Trust: How It Determines Success in Life, Love, Learning, and More

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By David DeSteno
    • Narrated By Tim Andres Pabon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
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    (7)
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    (7)

    What really drives success and failure? Can I trust you? It's the question that strikes at the heart of human existence. Whether we're talking about business partnerships, romantic relationships, child-parent bonds, or the brave new world of virtual interaction, trust, when correctly placed, is what makes our world spin and lives flourish. Renowned psychologist David DeSteno brings together the latest research from diverse fields, including psychology, economics, biology, and robotics, to create a compelling narrative about the forces that have shaped the human mind's propensities to trust.

    Douglas says: "A Fairly Good Book On Trust..."
    "A Fairly Good Book On Trust..."
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    for someone who has read nothing on the topic. For anyone familiar with work on trust and morality by writers like Pinker, Wright, and Trivers, you are going to find a lot of familiar road: the Prisoner's Dilemma, computer simulations of moral behavior, the Tit for Tat model of moral behavior. With this book, as with those by the neo-Darwinians, one does get a little tired of the "evolutionary" idea that morality is always on shifting sands, depending on the moment, and that people are always subconsciously, or consciously gauging what they can get away with and only acting morally when there is a chance of getting caught--discounting the very idea that someone could have hard-held moral principles outside of the wager on whether or not he would ever be found out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Louann Brizendine
    • Narrated By Kimberly Farr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (246)
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    (109)
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    From the author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Female Brain, here is the eagerly awaited follow-up book that demystifies the puzzling male brain.
     
    Dr. Louann Brizendine, the founder of the first clinic in the country to study gender differences in brain, behavior, and hormones, turns her attention to the male brain, showing how, through every phase of life, the "male reality" is fundamentally different from the female one. Exploring the latest breakthroughs in male psychology and neurology with her trademark accessibility and candor, she reveals that the male brain:

         *is a lean, mean, problem-solving machine. Faced with a personal problem, a man will use his analytical brain structures, not his emotional ones, to find a solution. 

         *thrives under competition, instinctively plays rough and is obsessed with rank and hierarchy. 

         *has an area for sexual pursuit that is 2.5 times larger than the female brain, consuming him with sexual fantasies about female body parts.

         *experiences such a massive increase in testosterone at puberty that he perceive others' faces to be more aggressive.


    The Male Brain finally overturns the stereotypes. Impeccably researched and at the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, this is a book that every man, and especially every woman bedeviled by a man, will need to own.

    Praise for The Female Brain:
    "Louann Brizendine has done a great favor for every man who wants to understand the puzzling women in his life. A breezy and enlightening guide to women and a must-read for men."
    —Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
     
         
     
     


    From the Hardcover edition.

    Daren says: "Facts mixed with interpretation"
    "I Read This On The Heels..."
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    of Brizendene's book on the female brain. Both books do a great job of exploring how hormones and brain structures tend boys and girls in different directions. These are science books and not just venus-mars pop stuff, but they are written to be understood by the layman. Read them together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Female Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Louann Brizendine
    • Narrated By Louann Brizendine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
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    (173)
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    Why are women more verbal than men? Why do women remember details of fights that men can't remember at all? Why do women tend to form deeper bonds with their female friends than men do with their male counterparts? These and other questions have stumped both sexes throughout the ages. Now, pioneering neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think and what they value.

    Michael Dillman says: "Great material :^D -- Agonizing orator >:^("
    "For Many Decades..."
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    Feminism and Marxism preached that there was no such thing as human nature or difference in the genders outside of what the environment determined. Recent brain science has proven that to be incorrect. Brizendine's book is a thorough and scientific explanation of how hormones and brain structures incline a human to have those wonderful and sometimes confounding traits we call "feminine."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jonathan Wells
    • Narrated By Barry Campbell
    Overall
    (41)
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    Everything you were taught about evolution is wrong. In this shocking book, Berkeley-educated doctor of biology Jonathan Wells lets you in on scientific discoveries you won't learn about from college and high-school textbooks - and reveals a dirty little secret known only to some of his fellow biologists.

    Douglas says: "The Desperate Attempts..."
    "The Desperate Attempts..."
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    by many to vote down positive reviews of books like this tells the tale: Darwin and his theory are on the way out, disproved by modern biology, but Dawkins and his band of followers are going down only in an ideological shoot out, the truth notwithstanding. Read this along with the works of Michael Behe and Philip Johnson's Darwin On Trial.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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