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Denyse

Hopewell, NJ, United States | Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Manning Marable
    • Narrated By G. Valmont Thomas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (165)

    Of the great figure in 20th-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age 39. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man.

    connie says: "invites further reading on Malcolm X"
    "Fiercely bold insightful witness of a great life"
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention to be better than the print version?

    Better is not the right word. Complementary. Mixed media is how I read now.I buy both the audio edition and the first edition hardcover of a book when both are available. I live with the book in my ear in the car and on my walks with my Cali early morning and late night. I curl up with the hardcover when I get back in the house for a bit of each day. Audio makes it possible for me to read more of the books I want to every day. If I did not understand a section the first time, it is a pleasure to be able to back up a chapter and hear it again.Marable has researched and interviewed and served up more of Malcolm X than I ever imagined. I became as tortured and trapped as he must have felt as the end of his life approached. I shared the joy of his broadening through his travels. The respect and honor of a head of state bestowed upon him -- I was proud and glad for him. I like the other lives Marable chronicles. Men with feet of clay were hard to see in that way, but truthful. The struggles in Cuba, in South America, in Africa, in China are well depicted alongside Malcolm's life. I could not put this book down until it was done. Highly recommend to anyone who grew up in these times and remember the shock of the several assasinations. It hurt as much as if it were your father, your brother, your son shot down in their youth. 39 years old.Please read this book. Listening is great reading.


    What other book might you compare Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention to and why?

    The Invisible Line, The Warmth of Other Suns, the original Malcolm X Haley version, The Coldest Winter. The New Jim Crow. I like to read history or non-fiction that reads like a novel.


    What does G. Valmont Thomas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration is engaging, full of inflection that highlight the big transitions and transformations in Malcolm's life. Well done. Returning to the audio is like returning to a the storytelling of a dear friend.


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

    The opening prologue was eye opening. I hadn't realized Malcolm X never had a chance to read the finished manuscript. I hadn't realized Haley had a point of view that may not have been shared by Malcolm. That there were chapters eliminated and others added to the manuscript was news.The brutal killing of Malcolm's father. The horror that was his mother's life. The sad marriage Betty and Malcolm had. Very moving portrayals.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Louis Gossett, Jr.
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (884)
    Performance
    (791)
    Story
    (794)

    In this riveting landmark autobiography, which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York; Washington, D.C.; and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and 12 years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Fran H. Willingham says: "I've waited for this a long time"
    "Imagine Being Free And Then Not in 1830s America"
    Overall
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    Would you listen to Twelve Years a Slave again? Why?

    I was fascinated by the evolving account of everything that transpired from kidnap into slavery to return to freedom, family and life. The reader takes the journey and endures the cruelty and despair. The day to day life of a slave is not one of sloth. It's one of industry and life preseverance. Louis Gosset, Jr's narration made it hard to put the book down.Highly, well-developed descriptive writing /oral history skill.

    I will certainly listen and read this book again and will recommend it highly to others.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Solomon Northrop -- he was inventive, courageous, and acted with considerable integrity and grace. He delivered his promise to be candid and only relate what he personally witnessed and experienced.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bass listening to Solomon's / Platt's story -- signalled the end of Solomon's suffering was near.


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

    First-hand Account of a Free Black Man's Kidnap and Journey Back From Slavery


    Any additional comments?

    The stories of the other slaves were equally interesting and touching. The Afterword describing Sue Ekin's historian's fascination with what was an out-of-print jewel, was important to include. I have ordered the print book for my library.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Adam Hochschild
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (171)

    In the late 1890s, Edmund Dene Morel, a young British shipping company agent, noticed something strange about the cargoes of his company's ships as they arrived from and departed for the Congo. Incoming ships were crammed with valuable ivory and rubber. Outbound ships carried little more than soldiers and firearms. Correctly concluding that only slave labor could account for these cargoes, Morel almost singlehandedly made this slave-labor regime the premier human rights story in the world.

    Edith says: "Fascinating"
    "Congo History Revealed"
    Overall
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    Where does King Leopold's Ghost rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best I've listened to this year. Hochschild filled in gaps in my knowledge of Colonial Africa and particularly the history of the exploitation of the Congo and its people.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The several historians, Black and White, who once they knew of the ostrocities, took great risks to get the truth before the world.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The several depictions of the cruelty to the Congo people and how they were forced to work the rubber.


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

    King Leopold's Ghosts works


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone who has an interest in understanding how the Congo was colonized, how the authentic history was withheld, and why the region remains exploited and troubled will find this a great read. It is a shame-filled story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Voices of Black America: Historical Recordings of Speeches, Poetry, Humor and Drama 1908-1947

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By William Shaman (editor)
    • Narrated By Booker T. Washington, Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and others
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    This unique collection, compiled especially for Naxos AudioBooks, features original recordings from 1908 to 1947 of Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Exposition Address", the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, the rarely heard humour of Charley Case, readings from "God's Trombones" by James Weldon Johnson, and much more.

    Denyse says: "Authentic Voices"
    "Authentic Voices"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Voices of Black America the most enjoyable?

    I've read the speeches, poetry, and stories many years ago and intermittently since college. When I saw this offering I wanted to hear the readings which were very well done. The content is as always my experience and history.


    Have you listened to any of Booker T. Washington and Langston Hughes ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I've not had the opportunity prior, so this was a special treat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me get still and reflect on how much has changed in America and yet how much is so much the same tragically.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this to anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with these great thinkers, writers, and speakers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    Uncle Tom is a high-minded, devoutly Christian black slave to a kind family, the Shelbys. But beset by financial difficulties, the Shelbys sell Tom to a slave trader. Young George Shelby promises to someday redeem him. The story relates Uncle Tom's trials, suffering, and religious fortitude.

    Sam Motes says: "The beginning of the end of slavery"
    "Uncle Tom Was Not An Uncle Tom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Uncle Tom's Cabin in three words, what would they be?

    In Team of Rivals I learned what a "game changer" Uncle Tom's Cabin was for the America. The book altered public opinion in favor of abolishment of slavery. Helped Lincoln advance his agenda. So much of the writing is charming and funny, yet historically and geographically researched. I can see how few who romanicized slavery could leave this book with those views. Uncle Tom was a man of principles and faith and courage in the face of a brutal institution and economic system.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fully developed characters and humor are noteworthy.


    What about Mirron Willis’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was great. Even Stowe's preachy sections were well delivered and narrated with the right emphasis.


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

    When Tom's kind slave master died unexpectedly in a bar fight -- I felt the pain of Tom's freedom being lost in the balance. Reminded me to do today what I intend to get done. Tomorrow is not promised.


    Any additional comments?

    Uncle Tom's Cabin is an important part of American literature and American history. I'm glad I was able to listen to this book. It's been on my list for years and now I know the story first hand and the characters. Simon LeGree was evil. Tom was an Ameican hero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (599)
    Story
    (595)

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "From Powerful to Powerless"
    "So It Was Johnson Who Passed Civil Rights"
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you listen to The Passage of Power again? Why?

    Yes. Was amazed by the Robert Kennedy and LBJ relationship. Learned to respect both. What an important chapter in our history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Taking the Johnson and Kennedy youth through the elections was powerful. To learn how the southern senators held Civil Rights hostage. That the senator from VA accomplished keeping the VA electorate to 17% of the eligible voting population. Comparisons to the 2012 voter suppression actions of the Republicans. Whole read was fascinating.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Fine job. Couldn't wait to hear the next chapter.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I enjoyed reading this history like a novel.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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