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William

Fairhope, AL, United States | Member Since 2006

57
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 162 ratings
  • 283 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • Decision Points

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By George W. Bush
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1480)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (630)

    Decision Points is the extraordinary memoir of America's 43rd president. Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life.

    Dave says: "Not a bad choice"
    "A man who lead based on American values"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Everyone should read/listen to this book. This strikes me as an honest, forthright description of the issues, challenges and responses made by the Bush Administration to the fantastic challenges that the President faced. This is also a good analysis of how the government actually runs, makes decisions, and leads. Anyone can be elected President, but not everyone can lead this country. Bush tells you honestly how he saw the position and how he approached his challenges. This is an excellent work.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Clearly the descriptions concerning the decision making about the responses to 9/11 were fascinating since we lived though the events and they are so fresh in our minds.


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

    This is a nice listen.


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

    The description of how Bush was actually in charge of everything, and how he demanded that everyone threat the oval office with respect at all times.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this, Cheney's, and Rumsfeld's books and you will have a very clear view of how America makes decision, how the bureaucracy works, the extent and limitations of American power.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Ricks
    • Narrated By James Lurie
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.

    Scott says: "History not Politics"
    "The complexity of modern combat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fiasco?

    This book is very ambitious, trying to show the complexity of the problems facing America in Iraq from the beginning to the end (?) of the conflict and from the lowest private to the President. No book can capture it all, but in the age of unlimited television and press, and the familiarity we all have with our military adventures throughout the world, this book helps to flesh out just how complicated it all is, and how deadly it can be. I am not sure what the author's actual purpose was, but in my mind he bolstered George Washington's advice to the young nation as he was departing when he stated we should stay out of foreign intrigues and wars! His advice could not be more correct for us today.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The detail of description was outstanding. As a former soldier and staffer at the 4 star level and witnessing first hand American invasions and the aftermath, I can assure one and all these are very complex operations that would be hopeless failures with out the outstanding people from top to bottom of our military. Unfortunately, we need some military officers willing to fall on their swords to keep incompetent orders from being published and followed on occasion. We need a few Macarthur's out there.


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

    Excellent reading of the work.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I had not read a good description of the transition of forces and the battle for Fallujah. There were excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    As screwed up as this thing got, it is actually less screwed up than:
    1). The Revolutionary War, 2). The War of 1812; 3). The Civil War; 4). The Mexican American War; 5). The Vietnam War; and even WWII! War is hell! It never goes right, and once the dogs of war are unleashed, no one can predict with certainty the outcome. American's need to restrict the use of American forces to only those situations where clearly our National Security is at risk. As the Author has clearly shown, that was not the case in Iraq. Iraq was an experiment at culture change in the Mid East, only time will tell if it was successful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By M. Stanton Evans, Herbert Romerstein
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Most Americans have grown accustomed to accept the version of history that the Soviets were our noble allies and took the brunt of the casualties during World War II. But after decades of research by veteran journalist M. Stanton Evans and intelligence expert Herbert Romerstein, the truth has come to light and is now exposed in Stalin's Secret Agents. Evans and Romerstein focus on the role of secret Communist Alger Hiss at the crucial Yalta Conference of 1945, where vast U.S. concessions were made to Russia....

    William says: "Stalin actually ran our war policy!"
    "Stalin actually ran our war policy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Stalin's Secret Agents?

    The amazing research that produced this book is clear, well written, and well analyzed. It is astonishing.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry Dexter White, because he was one of the best agents Stalin had. He and his fellow agents were able to shape America WWII policy and helped Stalin use America to enlarge his Communist Empire!


    What about Alan Sklar’s performance did you like?

    good listen.


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

    When I realized that so many Russian agents had taken over policy positions in the American government and pushed us into a war that claimed 500 thousand American lives.


    Any additional comments?

    Every single American should read/listen to this book. This is truly and excellent academic study of a subject that will be shocking to all Americans: The Soviet Leader, Joe Stalin, actually was able to use his agents in the American government to shape our war policy to help him enlarge his empire. If made into a movie, no one would believe it, and it is all true.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (496)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (193)

    The Washington Post's former Baghdad bureau chief, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, takes us into the Green Zone, headquarters for the American occupation in Iraq. In this bubble separated from wartime realities, the task of reconstructing Iraq is in the hands of 20-somethings chosen for their Republican Party loyalty. They pursue irrelevant neoconservative solutions and pie-in-the-sky policies instead of rebuilding looted buildings and restoring electricity, angering the locals and fueling the insurgency.

    Rick Grant says: "A stunning work and performance"
    "Limitations of the American form of Government"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Imperial Life in the Emerald City to be better than the print version?

    I suppose so, it was every easy to listen to, and it is not necessarily a book I will need to refer back to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Imperial Life in the Emerald City?

    The author's descriptions of all the good people accepting the challenge and danger of trying to create a new, great society in Iraq with all their effort, and their ultimate failure.


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

    This is a good listen.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Why America can not actually win a war! Our system is the result of our history, and it can not really be exported in the short term, and we should not try.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great listing of many of the failures of American occupation policy in Iraq. There are very little proposed solutions to these myriad complex problems. The author writes from the level of a private who complains that the sergeants over him do know what they are doing, and the Captain in charge is an idiot, and the Colonel in command has no clue, and the General must be smoking dope and living in a brothel somewhere. Nevertheless, though it is obvious the author really wants to criticize the Republican Administration, and the senior leaders and their ambitious desire to actually make life better for the Iraqis, what he really does is show how the American form of post war occupation, developed generally from WW II Germany and Japan, really can not work. Our government is too big, to complex, to focus on the important things first, and that makes working and securing a post combat occupation almost impossible. We do not have good occupation doctrine and systems, and we probably do not have the ruthless political will needed to pacify and occupy any country and change its culture. Thus, we should not try. In the future, we need to defeat the enemy forces, find the most powerful guy in the country, put him in charge, and bribe him to not to attack us. Other than that, we need to let the locals run their own countries, and save us all a lot of heart ach.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Rick Atkinson
    • Narrated By Rick Atkinson
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    For soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division, the road to Baghdad began with a midnight flight out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in late February 2003. For Rick Atkinson, who would spend nearly two months covering the division for The Washington Post, the war in Iraq provided a unique opportunity to observe today's U.S. Army in combat.

    miyaker says: "Interesting, informative and balanced"
    "Great story by a great Military Historian"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to In the Company of Soldiers again? Why?

    No, once was enough


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I served in the Gulf War, and Atkins, an embedded reporter had the perspective of an Army brat, who had made a profession of military history. He was the right guy to be embedded with Gen. Patraeus and write this story about the 101st (Air Mobile) Infantry Division's drive into Iraq. If anyone wants to know what it was actually like, read this book.


    What does Rick Atkinson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This guy brings a wealth of historical analysis to which frames what he is seeing. Most writers do not have that gift to add to the telling of the tale.


    Any additional comments?

    My only negative, is that, like most people, he becomes a little too much of a hero worshiper of the Generals he observes. But, that is a normal human reaction when living in close quarters with great men under great stress, and watching them perform.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Race and Culture: A World View

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    In his book Race and Culture, Sowell asks the question: “What is it that allows certain groups to get ahead?” and the answer will undoubtedly create debates for years to come. The thesis of Race and Culture is that productive skills are the key to understanding the economic advancement of particular racial or ethnic groups, as well as countries and civilizations - and that the spread of those skills, whether through migration or conquest, explains much of the advancement of the human race.

    William says: "Some authors still have integrity and courage!"
    "Some authors still have integrity and courage!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Race and Culture the most enjoyable?

    Sowell is such a intellect. He takes an issue, breaks it down into its key parts, and then analyses the whole to understand what is the cause and effect of the processes he is examining. Sowell follows the evidence, and the facts, where ever they lead. He is courageous and is not afraid of being attacked by the PC brigades.


    What other book might you compare Race and Culture to and why?

    The "Protestant Ethic" by Max Weber is looking at society and culture and trying to describe why American culture is the way it is. Sowell also is looking at the world, and trying to understand why we find what we find the culture.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, this could be a one sitting book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By David G. Dalin, John F. Rothmann
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In the 1920s, Hajj Amin-al-Husseini was the political and spiritual leader of the Palestinian Arabs. A vicious anti-Semite, he led numerous pogroms against Jewish settlers. During World War II, al-Husseini allied himself and his people with Hitler: he lived in Germany, met with Hitler, encouraged "the final solution", and became close friends with Himmler and other Nazis.

    William says: "Powerful description of Hitler's Evil Mufti"
    "Powerful description of Hitler's Evil Mufti"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Icon of Evil the most enjoyable?

    Powerful. Who knew that Hitler made a pact with the Muslim Brotherhood to exterminate the Jews in the middle east to get the support of the Islamic leaders in the region? I certainly did not know this piece of history. Hitler's plans were not fulfilled because the Allies pushed his forces out of North Africa. However, he did use his Mufti to recruit Muslim SS units in the Balkans to track down and exterminate Jews in the region.


    What other book might you compare Icon of Evil to and why?

    God's Battalions is similar, since it provides some of the history behind the current conflict in the mid-East.


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

    This was a good listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, it was fascinating.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Kahane
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    The vast right wing conspiracy has found its General Patton, and his name is David Kahane. Kahane's pseudonymous, satiric column for National Review Online, lampooning the Left via his Hollywood-radical persona - Stephen Colbert's liberal doppelganger - is must-listening for political aficionados of all stripes. Now, from the inside, Kahane proudly exposes the secret and not-so-secret winning strategies (and vulnerabilities) of the Left.

    William says: "Excellent description of the political battlefield"
    "Excellent description of the political battlefield"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Rules for Radical Conservatives the most enjoyable?

    I really had never heard anything like this before. This man analyzed the parts of the political debate and how the left has succeeded in mastering the process. The right has simply showed up to the game and thought since they obviously had the best ideas they would win. The author shows that having the right ideas is not enough since most of the people who vote can not articulate a rational reason for their choice. Something else motivates them to vote, and the author shows us some of the tactics that need to be used.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    You could listen to this book in a sitting, I listened to it on the road in my truck.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Karl Rove
    • Narrated By Karl Rove
    Overall
    (245)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    From the moment he set foot on it, Karl Rove has rocked Americas political stage. He ran the national College Republicans at 22, and turned a Texas dominated by Democrats into a bastion for Republicans. He launched George W. Bush to national renown by unseating a popular Democratic governor, and then orchestrated a GOP White House win at a time when voters had little reason to throw out the incumbent party.

    Deborah T. says: "Wow! Karl Can Read & Write"
    "People make things work!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Courage and Consequence?

    It was fascinating how Rove described the election process. He really gave us an insight into the process that gets people elected in this country in the modern era.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Everyone called Rove the evil genius that got Bush the bumpkin elected, but Rove shows how he supported the President, and how Bush was always the leader. Rove was a key player, but he humbly shows how he was a part of the team, not the leader who lead the team to success. Leadership was Bush, Rove was an important staff aid to Bush.


    What about Karl Rove’s performance did you like?

    Great book, and we should all thank Rove for his candid description of his duties, responsibilities, successes and failures.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, not possible.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book, Cheney's, Bush's,and Rumsfeld's books and you will totally understand the Bush administration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Known and Unknown

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Donald Rumsfeld
    • Narrated By Donald Rumsfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (175)

    With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Donald Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history.

    Brooks says: "Inside view of five decades in politics"
    "Fascinating, arrogant, educational!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Known and Unknown in three words, what would they be?

    This is how big decisions are made.


    What other book might you compare Known and Unknown to and why?

    Decision Points by George Bush.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved Rumsfeld's description of his time as the Chief of staff in the White House. This is an unobserved position by the public, but it is the most important position in the US Government.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to the book and understand our decisions to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Understand how government actually works. Listen to this book and Cheney's and you will have a clear understanding of the bureaucratic decision making process in the White House.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Problem of Pain

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (129)

    For centuries Christians have been tormented by one question above all, "If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?"

    David says: "An Extraordinary Little Book"
    "Everyone experiences pain; understand why."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Problem of Pain in three words, what would they be?

    A genius at work. Listen to this work, but keep a tissue close.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The loss of a beloved and the struggle of a Christian to understand "why life is so hard".


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Pain's purpose.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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