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Michael

Naperville, IL, United States | Member Since 2005

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 83 ratings
  • 362 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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6

  • The Forgotten 500

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Gregory A. Freeman
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (227)

    Here is the astonishing, never-before-told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II: when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines. During a bombing campaign, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian villagers risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers, and for months the airmen lived in hiding, waiting for rescue.

    Ron says: "an amazing tale"
    "The greatest generation, again!"
    Overall

    Wow, this is another example of why this was the “greatest generation”. This book was non-stop action that script writers could only hope to come up with.

    Kudos to Patrice Lawlor in his narration. I also enjoyed him in another worthy read/listen, The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai. He is quickly becoming another of my favorite readers.

    This is the story of downed pilots in Yugoslavia and their life with the Yugoslav peasants as they helped to hide these airmen from the Germans. Simultaneously, the story of the internal struggle for power in Yugoslavia between Tito and Mihailovich was played out along with the Allies’ analysis of which of these two was their greatest ally. Even though Mihailovich was the one who was responsible for assisting in the rescue of these men, history shows that the Allies threw their support to the communist Tito—helping communism gain a foothold in Eastern Europe that would last more than 40 years.

    I was surprised to learn of the way the British (intentionally or not) sabotaged the American efforts to rescue their men. This information was jaw-dropping. In the end, Mihailovich was abandoned and not acknowledged by America for nearly 60 years.

    Ronald Reagan wrote of Mihailovich, “I wish that it could be said that the great hero was the last victim of confused and senseless policies of western governments in dealing with communism…Beyond doubt, both freedom and honor suffer when firm commitments become sacrificed to appeasing aggressors by abandoning friends." Words that still have meaning today.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Abigail Adams

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Woody Holton
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Abigail Adams offers a fresh perspective on the famous events of Adams's life, and along the way, Woody Holton, a renowned historian of the American Revolution, takes on numerous myths about the men and women of the founding era. But the book also demonstrates that domestic dramas---from unplanned pregnancies to untimely deaths---could be just as heartbreaking, significant, and inspiring as the actions of statesmen and soldiers.

    Michael says: "A Remarkable Woman"
    "A Remarkable Woman"
    Overall

    Fantastic book...especially if you've listened to John Adams like I did. I must comment once again on the remarkable and mellifluous voice of Cassandra Campbell. As soon as I noticed she was the reader I was sold. I highly recommend that you look for her when choosing a download.

    Anyway, Abigail Adams. What an amazing woman she was. This book presents the other side of the the John Adams story. How she coped and ran the family during his extended absenses as a career public servant.

    It was interesting to learn how archaic society's view of women was during that time and how she struggled for her own identity within those constraints.

    From the book, John Adams, and hearing about the love letters they wrote, I had the impression that life between the two was all lovey dovey but it really wasn't according to this. Additionally, the book details the sensitive perspective of the family trials and tribulations as they relate to family relationships. Again, from the John Adams book, I knew of the key personal tragedies but they were told from John's male perspective. Not that any of the events were less painful to him but they were written with less emotion that a female does (we're just wired different).

    I was most impressed with Abigail's financial savvy and contribution to the family's wealth through investing and her own business. This woman could do it all...and she did!

    Remarkable...a life well lived.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Slave Ship: A Human History

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Marcus Rediker
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    For more than three centuries, slave ships carried millions of people from the coasts of Africa across the Atlantic to the New World. Much is known of the slave trade and the American plantation complex, but little of the ships that made it all possible. In The Slave Ship, award-winning historian Marcus Rediker draws on 30 years of research in maritime archives to create an unprecedented history of these vessels and the human drama acted out on their rolling decks.

    Michael says: "So much misery"
    "So much misery"
    Overall

    Wow! What a book! Everything you wanted to know about slave ships, the business of slavery, & more.

    This book detailed the whole sordid story of slavery as a business machine and its mass production of human cargo as a commodity. The perspective of everyone connected to the slave ship is detailed. There are stories from the captains, the merchants, the crew members, and the slaves themselves—all with their unique viewpoints of their situations.

    Many slaves continually fought their captivity by choosing to commit suicide through starvation or by throwing themselves overboard. As suicide resulted in a loss of profits, actions were taken to ensure the health of their “product”. Netting was set up around the ship to prevent slaves from jumping off the ship and those refusing to eat were gruesomely force fed.

    Insurrection occurred on 1 in 10 ships and resulted in torture and murder of those responsible. Discipline as a deterrent was frequent aboard the slave ships. Man’s inhumanity toward man in these cases were stomach churning. The images of bodies (either dead, as suicide, or as a form of torture) being thrown overboard still haunts me. As the remoras attach themselves to the sharks, the sharks attach themselves to the slave ships and instantly devour anything that falls into the water. The thought of that form of death still gives me the chills.

    There was a quote in the book from William Wilberforce (an English social reformer and abolitionist) that sums it all up for me, “So much misery condensed in so little room is more than the human imagination has ever before conceived.”

    This was my first experience with this reader and I have to say I was very impressed. Many readers have the strangest inflections that always take some time to get used to. David Drummond’s reading of the book was clear, mellifluous and pleasant. Both the content and the narration make this a worthy listen.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Company

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (112)

    Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.

    Michael says: "Characters brought to life"
    "Characters brought to life"
    Overall

    There have been various comments about this reader…either love him or hate him. I happily align with the former.

    Since there are many other sources for a review of the book, I’ll comment only what makes this different, the reader. With so many characters in the story, I found different voices the reader used for each helpful and delightful in the reading of this very clever story.

    I rate William Dufris right along my other favorite reader, Scott Brick.

    Easy, fun listen.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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