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Wake Forest, NC, USA | Member Since 2007

  • 5 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 451 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015

  • At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By George Tenet
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the whirlwind of accusations and recriminations that has attended the post 9/11 world, one man's vital testimony has been conspicuously absent. Candid and compelling, At the Center of the Storm is George Tenet's memoir of his life at the CIA - a revelatory look at the inner workings of America's top intelligence agency and its dealings with national leaders at home and abroad.

    Karen says: "Brilliant!"
    "Readable, but misses the point"

    After reading Tim Weiner's excellent "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA", I was eager to hear the CIA story from an insider's perspective. Unfortunately, Mr. Tenet spends most of the book defending CIA employees' dedication, commitment and patriotism instead of giving close examination to their oft-repeated failure to identify threats to this nation and its people. The CIA's reduction in budget and manpower in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union was more related to a realization by the nation's leaders that even with huge multi-billion dollar appropriations, it was ineffective and hide-bound. It's not at all clear that even with better funding, CIA would have predicted any better than it did the rise of Islamic terrorism and the 9/11 attack. the Agency was, after all, a huge and secret bureaucracy more interested in protecting its own personnel and in its own survival, than in fulfilling its mission. We can only hope that this is not still so.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roy Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield

    In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.

    Karen says: "Best of British Political Soap Opera"
    "Long, and dull"

    My impression is that this book was written and narrated by British men for a British audience. Its overly prosaic style mirrors the Edwardian speech used by Churchill himself 100 years ago, but is no longer captivating, if it ever was. It reveals far more detail than this reader, at least, cared to know about Mr. Churchill's early life, ambitions and political manipulations. I gave up before completing even the first (of six) Audible sections. Sad to say, I will have to find a better book than this to satisfy my desire to learn more about one of the 20th Century's greatest figures.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

    • ABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Ricks
    • Narrated By James Lurie

    The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.

    Scott says: "History not Politics"
    "Good idea, gone bad."

    The message of this book isn't anti-war, or even anti-Iraqi war; rather, it is about how the U.S. has failed to develop and carry out a strategic plan for success there. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz bear the primary responsibility, whose plan for the war assumed U.S. forces would be hailed as liberators and didn't provide for the insurgency that developed following the invasion. This book is well documented; it is a condemnation not the of the original idea of overthrowing Hussein, but of the colossal blunders that put us in the situation in which we now find ourselves. This is a "must read."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory of Running

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ron McLarty
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.

    Neal says: "Funny and Fascinating, A Wonderful Book"

    This book never "took off" - each chapter continued its aimless predecessors. At the end, I felt only relief that it was over.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By George Crile
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

    Chuck says: "Best Non-Fiction Book - Extremely Compelling!!!"
    "Unbelievable - but true!"

    If the story line were in a novel, it would too farfetched to believe. But this is non-fiction -- the story of how a very few mavericks engineered a massive and largely covert aid program that influenced world history. This book is well worth the (rather long) read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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