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Walter

San Diego, CA, USA

53
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 85 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "Partisan but Valuable"
    Overall

    I mostly agree with Al Gore's criticism of the Bush administration (and I am not a registered Democrat). That said, the book is distinctly partisan. Never do the Democrats come in for any meaningful criticism in the book, notwithstanding that there is much to critisize. They were not the innocent, uninformed bystanders they claimed to be on the Iraq war. The voted for the war because they thought it was politically expedient to do so. At one point Gore criticizes a Republican Congress for holding up Clinton's judicial nominees, but neglected to mention that the Democrats did the same thing to Bush. So, if neutral analysis is what you want, this may not be your book. But if you want to read (or listen to) a book that raises a number of fair concerns about the Bush administration, then I think you will find it worthwhile.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Hooman Majd
    • Narrated By Hooman Majd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (66)

    The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, journalist Hooman Majd is uniquely qualified to explain contemporary Iran's complex and misunderstood culture to Western listeners. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ provides an intimate look at a paradoxical country that is both deeply religious and highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet informed by a history of democratic and reformist traditions.

    Ryan says: "An informative tour, with some biases"
    "Good book that dodges some tougher questions"
    Overall

    This book does an excellent job of giving the reader the perspective of the average Iranian. Where it falls short is coming to grips with the downside of Iran's theocracy. It does not address Iran's support of terrorists at all, an astonishing omission. While it does discuss other negatives, it tends to downplay them. It discusses the fact that Iran closes opposition newspapers, but notes they often quickly reopen under other names. It makes it sound like it is no big deal. The author does not discuss the burden this obviously puts on a free press or that Iran jails journalists it does not like. The book is worth a read, it definitely humanizes Iran, an important contribution, but a more objective author would have taken Iran more to task for its suppression of human rights and support of terroism.

    24 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert Spencer, foreword by David Pryce-Jones
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    Going beyond the shallow distinction between a "true" peaceful Islam and the "hijacked" Islam of terrorist groups, Robert Spencer probes the Qur'an and other sacred documents, as well as Islamic traditions and history and the present-day situation of the Muslim world, to find out why the world's fastest-growing faith tends to arouse extremism.

    Mike says: "Know Thy Enemy & Thy Friend"
    "Fine Effort"
    Overall

    It was such a fascinating listen, I listened to parts of it twice. The author seems to walk us through Islam objectively. He draws on a large variety of resources. He does am amazing job of weaving them altogether. He does have an unmistakable pro-Christian bias (though he always acknowledges Christain wrong-doing). I came away concluding that Spencer likely gives a fair account of Islam. I certainly don't see any conflict between his account and what I read in the popular press, quite the contrary. What he does not go into in much depth or detail (though he covers it some) is how citizens of Islamic countries have suffered at western hands in the 20th century. If I was a Palestinian, I doubt I would be a big fan of the west. To the extent Spencer's book fairly represents Islam, there are important issues the west needs to address.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1940)
    Performance
    (933)
    Story
    (932)

    The New York Museum of Natural History receives their pilfered gem collection back, ground down to dust. Diogenes, the psychotic killer who stole them in Dance of Death, is throwing down the gauntlet to both the city and to his brother, FBI Agent Pendergast, who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison.

    V.A. says: "Not bad"
    "Very enjoyable"
    Overall

    I definitely recommend this book on tape. A few of the scenes are a little too drawn out and a crucial part of the ending is not very credible, but in the main it is a "page turner." The reader was terrific.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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