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William

My book reviews, except for fiction, will mostly be about the information value of a book.

SAN DIEGO, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 66 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Eisenhower in War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jean Edward Smith
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (255)

    Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

    Keith Storrs says: "Great book to get to know Ike"
    "My favorite biography so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Eisenhower in War and Peace the most enjoyable?

    From this biography, we learn about Dwight Eisenhower the person, soldier and politician. We learn plenty practical ideas for being successful in our own personal and professional lives. Paul Hecht’s presentation is just excellent.


    What other book might you compare Eisenhower in War and Peace to and why?

    Richard Labunski’s James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights is, in my opinion, much like Jean Edward Smith’s Eisenhower biography. Like the Eisenhower biography, we learn about James Madison the person, politician, and statesman. I read this book, so I cannot comment on the narrator presentation.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There is no particular scene that stood out; the entire book stands out in my mind.


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

    The entire book moved me. Dwight Eisenhower is a person I wish I’d known personally.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Requiem for Battleship Yamato

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Yoshida Mitsuru, Richard Minear (translator)
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Requiem for Battleship Yamato is Yoshida Mitsuru's story of his own experience as a junior naval officer aboard the fabled Japanese battleship as it set out on a last, desperate sortie in April 1945. Yoshida was on the bridge during Yamato's fatal encounter with American airplanes, and his eloquent, moving account of that battle makes a singular contribution to the literature of the Pacific war. The book has long been considered a classic in both Japan and the United States.

    Austin says: "Brutally Honest Account of Institutional Idiocy"
    "More intimate perspective of the Japanese Sailor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Yoshida Mitsuru and Richard Minear (translator) and/or Graeme Malcolm?

    Probably not.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The way that Mr. Mitsuru describe each person and how they were dealing with the situation. Mr. Mitsuru created a visual image of each person that felt very complete.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration matched the pace of the story and enhanced the story. I think Mr. Malcolm's narration significantly enhanced Mr. Mitsuru's portrayal of the people and their plight.


    Was Requiem for Battleship Yamato worth the listening time?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Evan Thomas, Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Reese
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Six close friends shaped the role their country would play in the dangerous years following World War II. They were the original best and brightest, whose towering intellects, outsize personalities, and dramatic actions would bring order to the postwar chaos, and whose strong response to Soviet expansionism would leave a legacy that dominates American policy to this day. In April 1945, they converged to advise an untutored new president, Harry Truman.

    Jeffrey J Bachovchin says: "Disappointed: Couldn't Get Passed the Narrator"
    "A lot to cover in one book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes because I learned a lot. This book filled in some gaps in my knowledge the Wise Men.


    If you’ve listened to books by Evan Thomas and Walter Isaacson before, how does this one compare?

    No


    Did The Wise Men inspire you to do anything?

    It found the narration both annoying and humorous. I didn't realize I'd been pronouncing Staleen's name wrong all this time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Karen DeYoung
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Over the course of a lifetime of service to his country, Colin Powell became a national hero, a beacon of wise leadership, and, according to polls, "the most trusted man in America". From his humble origins as the son of Jamaican immigrants, to the highest levels of government in four administrations, he helped guide the nation through some of its most heart-wrenching hours.

    Rami says: "Nice, informative, entertaining"
    "Balanced biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Soldier in three words, what would they be?

    Balanced and informative


    What other book might you compare Soldier to and why?

    I can think of no book that is a fair comparison to this book.


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

    The narration was good.


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

    I wouldn't base a film on this book.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a well written and balanced biography. I recommend it to anyone interested in knowing more about Secretary Powell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Choices

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Narrated By Kathleen Chalfant, Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (331)

    Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed.

    Prairie says: "An Excellent book on Modern History"
    "Transparent and Self-Serving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book confirmed what I suspected about Secretary Clinton: Very Smart, Very Articulate, Very Capable, but never quite able to rise above her own self-interest. I think everyone should read this book to learn about Secretary Clinton’s time in office, and to contrast her account of the events that took place with the historical record. Whether you plan to vote for or against Secretary Clinton for President, this book is a must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donovan: America’s Master Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Dunlop, William Stephenson (foreward)
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The fascinating biography of the man who laid the foundation for the CIA. One of the most celebrated and highly decorated heroes of World War I, a noted trial lawyer, presidential adviser and emissary, and chief of America’s Office of Strategic Services during World War II, William J. Donovan was a legendary figure. Donovan, originally published in 1982, penetrates the cloak of secrecy surrounding this remarkable man. The result is the definitive biography that Donovan himself had always expected Dunlop would write.

    Jean says: "Fascinating Biography"
    "Wild Bill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an excellent biography of Bill Donovan. Eric Martin's narration was splendid. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel like I have a much better understanding of Bill Donovan’s role the creation of our intelligence service.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George F. Kennan: An American Life

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By John Lewis Gaddis
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hilgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    Drawing on extensive interviews with George Kennan and exclusive access to his archives, an eminent scholar of the Cold War delivers a revelatory biography of its troubled mastermind. This is a landmark work of history and biography that reveals the vast influence and rich inner landscape of a life that both mirrored and shaped the century it spanned.

    Amazon Customer says: "Kennan: a man who needs to be studied"
    "We need the benefit of George Kennan's wisdom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had known nothing about George Kennan before I read this book. I feel much more informed of Mr. Kennan the person, diplomat, policy adviser and teacher. George Kennan by John Lewis Gaddis is a very well written book that all should read for knowledge, and because it is relevant to the challenges we are facing today with the Russian relationship. I hope that some folks at State and the White House are dusting off copies of the Long Telegram, the Foreign Policy article by X, and the report by Task Force A of the Solarium project.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By David Eisenhower, Julie Nixon Eisenhower
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    After President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office in 1961, he retired to a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Living next door was his teenage grandson, David; they would be neighbors for the rest of the decade. Based on personal stories, letters, diaries, and the reminiscences of Eisenhower’s closest friends, Going Home to Glory is both an intimate chronicle of the elder statesman’s final years and a coming of age story.

    Ken says: "Wow - Living History - Right Before Our Eyes"
    "Gives you a more complete understanding of Ike"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For the reader that is new to Dwight Eisenhower, I suggest reading Going Home to Glory before reading any other Dwight Eisenhower biographies or memoirs. The knowledge learned from this book will make other biographies, and Dwight Eisenhower’s own memoirs, richer. In addition to providing insight to Dwight Eisenhower the person, Going Home to Glory is a well written account of the poignant relationship between grandfather and grandson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paula Broadwell, Vernon Loeb
    • Narrated By James Lurie
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (39)

    General David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. In All In, military expert Paul Broadwell examines Petraeus's career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.

    Jean says: "The scholar general"
    "Average"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not find this book very interesting and don't feel I learnt much about General Petraeus.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Frederick Kempe
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    A former Wall Street Journal editor and the current president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe draws on recently released documents and personal interviews to re-create the powder keg that was 1961 Berlin. In Cold War Berlin, the United States and the Soviet Union stand nose to nose, with the possibility of nuclear war just one misstep away.

    theenglishmajor says: "I am scared in retrospect"
    "Practical information we can use today"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Berlin 1961 to be better than the print version?

    They are both good.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Berlin 1961?

    Everything was memorable.


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

    Yes. This compares well with his other performances. I wish Paul Hecht could read all books.


    If you could rename Berlin 1961, what would you call it?

    I wouldn't rename this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1003)
    Performance
    (891)
    Story
    (890)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
    "Excellent and informative book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War?

    That I know much more than I did before reading Duty.


    What other book might you compare Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War to and why?

    I'm reading Crusade in Europe and I think that book is analogous.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No favorite scene. I just don't think this way when reading historical works.


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

    Robert Gates concern that his judgment was impaired by his deep concern for the welfare of our troops.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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