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David Stewart

dsjl

Ocala, FL United States | Member Since 2001

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 304 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (61)

    Beginning with May 29, 1919, when photographs of the solar eclipse confirmed the truth of Einstein's theory of relativity, Johnson goes on to describe Freudianism, the establishment of the first Marxist state, the chaos of "Old Europe", the Arcadian 20s, and the new forces in China and Japan. Also discussed are Karl Marx, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt, Gandhi, Castro, Kennedy, Nixon, the '29 crash, the Great Depression, Roosevelt's New Deal, and the massive conflict of World War II.

    Mark says: "Relevant History"
    "Excellent book, flawed recording performance"
    Overall

    Johnson's work is excellent. It is wide ranging, fair and understanding. (Despite an earlier reviewer's statement that this is history according to Ayn Rand and that all Republicans are praised, etc.--well, those claims are outright false. He presents fairly, without bias. It's history, not campaigning.)
    The recording performance by Nadia May, however, is not so excellent. She has a particular manner of speaking, with her thick British accent, which causes her to swallow syllables repeatedly--the volume drops to inaudibility after a stressed word, or a word gets shortened to a length that makes it near impossible to hear. If the syllable is a whole word, you will lose the whole word. Sometimes it's as many as three words rushed through with a drop in volume and a clipping of the word or words, and the sense is gone. These things happen again and again in the recording, and I'm actually surprised her producer didn't notice it (unless, perhaps, he or she speaks English in the same way). Also, the bad accents for quotations---Russian, French, German, Slav (but oddly, no attempt to quote Americans with an American accent--I wonder why?)---are kind of funny. However, they do serve the purpose of letting the listener know when a quotation has begun and ended.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Timothy Ferris
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In his most important book to date, award-winning author Timothy Ferris — “the best popular science writer in the English language today” (Christian Science Monitor) — makes a passionate case for science as the inspiration behind the rise of liberalism and democracy.

    Dan says: "Interesting history, but fails to make his case"
    "A very interesting book. An odd performance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An interesting book. The performance left a lot to be desired. The narrator reads the book as though it's a pop-psychology self-help book. And he is unfamiliar with some of what he's reading: Within the first chapter, there were three mispronounced words. ("Zoroastrianism," "probabilistic," and the first one which I don't recall because I didn't think it would keep happening.)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Harriman
    • Narrated By Erik Singer
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Beginning with a detailed discussion of the role of mathematics and experimentation in validating generalizations in physics-looking closely at the reasoning of scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Lavoisier, and Maxwell-Harriman skillfully argues that the inductive method used in philosophy is in principle indistinguishable from the method used in physics.

    David says: "Wonderful journey through scientific history"
    "Fascinating, profound philosophical work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Logical Leap again? Why?

    This book is a profound exploration of one of philosophy's most challenging problems: The epistemological problem of inductive logic, and the establishment of truths about the material world. Harriman shows, using intensive explorations of the experimental science of Galileo, Newton, Watterston, and other scientists, how scientific laws and theories can be proven. I have listened to it three times, learning new things each time, and deepening my understanding of both the matter of the book, science itself, and logic.


    Have you listened to any of Erik Singer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator does a fantastic job. His pace is perfect, and his inflection is natural. He doesn't seem to be reading.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Healthy at 100

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Robbins
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    Why do some people age in failing health and sadness, while others grow old with vitality and joy? In this revolutionary audiobook, best-selling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span.

    B. Humphrey says: "Informative and hopeful"
    "Faulty file"
    Overall

    The Format 4 file is corrupted and does not play beyond about 53 minutes into the first chapter.

    5 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leonard Peikoff
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    Overall
    (240)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (104)

    This brilliantly conceived book is based on a lecture course given by Dr. Leonard Peikoff in 1976 entitled, "The Philosophy of Objectivism". The lectures were attended by Ayn Rand, who helped prepare them and who also joined Peikoff in answering questions.

    L. Hattery says: "The very best overview of Objectivism"
    "Electric reasoning"
    Overall

    I read the book three years ago. Now, listening to it has made an even stronger impression on me. Contrary to another review, I found it easier to follow the arguments by listening, even "on the go." Peikoff's arguments are tight and insightful. What is most impressive is how far the book goes in integration of the branches of philosophy and the truths within them. If you have ever read much 20th century philosophy, you may be familiar with the arbitrariness, the groundlessness, of virtually every piece of work done in the field. And you'll also find Peikoff's philosophy here alien from what you've experienced. Yet it is this work that starts with reality and proceeds to solve the problems that the mess of 20th Century philosophy has found intractable.

    My only qualms are the narrator's frequent mispronunciations. Most irritating is her mispronuncation of "processes" as "prah-cess-eez." There's no "eez," however many people butcher the word; that pluralization is used for Latin-based words whose singular ends in "is," e.g., "basis," "thesis." The purpose is to eliminate a messy buzz at the end of plurals ("baseses"? Like that?), so the "is" becomes "es" and is pronounced "eez." And oddly, about 40% through the book, she suddenly begins pronouncing it correctly--but not consistently. Another is her mispronunciation of "Aristotelian."

    Other than those qualms, I like the narrator.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Wealth of Nations

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Adam Smith
    • Narrated By Michael Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    This classic statement of economic liberalism or the policy of laissez-faire was first published in 1776. It is an engrossing analysis of the economic facts of life. Several fundamental principles, many of which are now referred to as axioms, were introduced in this work, the division of labor, supply-and-demand, and free market capitalism being among the most obvious.

    Peter says: "Worth the effort"
    "The footnotes ruined it."
    Overall

    Smith's book is of a piece. This audio book is impossible to follow, because the narrator reads the scholarly apparatus right in the stream of the book. So you'll have a paragraph of Smith, and then two paragraphs of footnotes from the editor, then Smith for a couple paragraphs, then another footnote... it makes it impossible to follow the development of Smith's argument. Audible seriously needs to get another version of this book.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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