Member Since 2010
Perfectly edited, compiled, and nicely read, Science News provides excellent journalist summaries of major and sometimes minor breakthroughs in the sciences. Appropriately, the editors of this series do not editorialize nor do they pass judgment on the stories themselves. Therefore, the hard facts of geology and mathematics are presented right alongside the latest speculations of evolutionary psychology. As a college professor with degrees in both social and natural sciences, teaching in a natural science department, I appreciate and heartily recommend this to anybody with a more than casual interest in research and technology.
Gaiman takes an essentially absurd premise, that the old gods of the old world have found their way to the new and are literally dying for a revival movement, and makes you WANT to believe it, by presenting his story from the perspective of a not-entirely sympathetic but nonetheless loveable protagonist - Shadow. Shadow has become Odin's Administrative Assistant, and has become engaged in an elaborate con-game designed to wrest power from the new gods (TV, Money, Town, World, etc), and suffered personal tragedies that make this work seem palatable in comparison with returning to his day-to-day life. As the conflict builds, Shadow becomes aware that his own choices may indeed affect its resolution in ways that he is not certain he can control.
Gaiman's writing is beautifullay paced, clean, and interesting. The book embeds several stories within itself, each as engaging as the overall plot. The characters are not only archtetypical, but believable and enchanting.
The Audible version is very well performed, with the narrator giving each character their own consistent voiced personality.
This is a great piece of post-modern fantasy, and the Audible version is well worth getting.
The reader unfortunately matches the somber, dry and somewhat tedious and encyclopedic approach to the subject developed by the author. Nevertheless, the interesting and important subject and the scholarship of the author make the book worth listening to, at least until a better introduction to the subject comes along.
Jeff Riggenbach does a very nice reading of this encyclopedic history of libertarian thought and the struggle for liberty written by Jim Powell. If you are a libertarian, you will likely enjoy this book, as I did, though the brevity of some of the biographical sketches might leave you wishing for more. Powell also follows the biographical convention of adding details about each subject's family life and upbringing - which is, in my opinion, a convention this book could have done without. The passages focusing on these issues stick out like sore thumbs, especially when they are in no clear way connected to the behavior of the subject. Also, the book is written from an obviously partisan perspective on libertarianism, and though it is clear that the author wanted to present solely positive contributions, his ideological decision to gloss over Ronald Reagan's enormous credibility and ethics problems while leaving out important contributions to liberty from the other side of the political fence (i.e. Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Malcolm X, John Brown) because their methods did not fit within the particular agenda espoused by this author are a little problematic. Still, the book is a very good introduction to libertarian social thought, and should be read by anybody who believes they know what being an American patriot really means.
This is a well written, detailed, and appreciative account of one of America's most underestimated founding fathers. If any criticism can be made, it is that Chernow is not fair to Hamilton's detractors. However, the author is up-front about his biases and, through his very open style, has written one of the most compelling and entertaining biographies I have read.
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