I just finished reading this book. I recommend it to anyone who wonders how corporations influence the media. What I took away from the book is the following:
The fourth part of checks and balances in this country is a free press. It is enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and is an integral part of informed voting and participation in our democracy. The public is entitled to receive information, despite making angry those who don't wish certain information to be known. Oftentimes, it is precisely that hidden information that MUST be known. The corporatization, trivialization, politicization of the press is a serious national problem that continues to grow worse. The problem is that the public is becoming more and more desensitized to the sensationalistic corporate "news" being aired today.
Lots more than that, but you'll have to listen for yourself.
A most excellent book.
My son was assigned this book for school, starting this week. I went ahead and listened beforehand and found myself sucked into a book that neither of us would normally listen to. He normally listens to books like Harry Potter, the Percy Jackson series, and books by Jonathan Stroud. I usually listen to science fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction. While the main character in this book learns many life lessons (her friend Phoebe reminds me of a friend I had when I was a girl), I found myself nodding my head about the manner that she learns them. It's a very interesting way in which the author is able to grasp the social influences in this age group. The scenes with the English teacher made me smile when the kids completely missed the point of the exercise, though I admit that the teacher went a bit overboard and was not careful in choosing the passages he read. I won't give away the end, but as an adult I could see it coming after only the first quarter of the book. I don't think my son will see it coming.
This started out as one of those books that would put me to sleep. It seemed like nothing was ever going to happen. After starting and stopping a few times I went to read the reviews and see what folks had to say. What I found was that the book does, indeed, pick up at some point. So I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did! While the story's current time is 2005, the flashbacks to 1905-1913 and 1975 make you forget that these characters are are gone. The author does a great job at breathing life into them as their descendant in 2005 uncovers their story. Because these events have already happened, there is a pervasive sense of futility against a larger power, an inevitable sense of fate -- no matter how much it is struggled against. It's like watching a historically-based film where you forget how it ends because you've fallen in love with the characters. I especially liked how Fairy Tales were worked into the story and how they were developed by the Authoress and their relevance in her life. I didn't really understand or appreciate it until about half way through, but when I finally caught on... wow! Great! I also really enjoyed the way the storyline developed -- the interplay between past and present. Whenever you got an inkling for the truth, the timeline would shift and it would play out in front of you. Great story!! Definitely worth trudging through those first couple of hours! Thank you Kate!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only does he give good advice on how to achieve a breakout, but he also provides examples of scientific research and other methods to educate the listener and help them envision one so that it doesn't sound like hokus-pokus. In response to the reviewers who didn't like the mixing of religion and science, it isn't often you hear a scientist come to the conclusion "there must be something else at work here beside physiology." I thought it was an interesting addition, but it wasn't a central part of the audiobook. The first two reviewers would do well by looking into string theory. There was a great 3-part program on NOVA called "The Elegant Universe". String theory is still just that: a theory. However, doers understand that everything starts out this way. Critics sit back and wait... now that I think of it, they probably have no need for a breakout. ;-)
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