Have you ever disagreed with a liberal? If you have, and have wondered why they don't listen, don't respond to your questions, or simply refuse to give you eye-contact, you must listen to this book to understand why.
Paul Krugman's book shouldn't be called "Conscience of a Liberal" it should be called "Why Movement Conservatives are Nasty People".
I teach economics and this review will not attempt to dispute any of Krugman's unscientific conclusions. Krugman the philosopher - not the economist - wrote this book. He recites some magazine article that someone wrote decades ago and then tells us what that writer meant, and how "code-words" were used to communicate devious messages. Sorry, I didn't get my de-coder ring that year so I didn't get those messages. And, of course, anyone remotely attached to that person is stereotyped as a nasty Movement Conservative.
For example, a decade or so ago some religious figure said something about a "Christian" government. That obviously means all Christians want a Christian Theocracy. How ridiculous. Another example is Krugman's assertion that the U.S.A. does not reward hard work nor does it offer equal opportunity. How does he justify this conclusion? He found that in 1988 eight graders were given a math test. Those who scored in the top quartile in math somehow didn't do as well as those whose parents were in the top quartile of income. Wow, that's certainly conclusive. Tell that to Warren Buffett, or just about any baseball, basketball, or football player, entertainer, or small business owner.
If you met a liberal and he/she thinks you're not a walking, talking clone of Paul Krugman, he/she will immediately stereotype you as a nasty person who isn't worthy of attention. Sorry, that's what I got out of this book.
MacDonald's stories are complex yet rather easy to follow and very entertaining. The author has that rare talent for lulling the reader into thinking the story is over but then springs a real shocker at the end.
Aside from a terrific and entertaining plot, MacDonald inserts his own philosophy about people that brings life and vitality to the story. And even though the books were written in the 1960s, his world views seem very contemporary.
Robert Petkoff could read the dictionary and make it sound exciting. When he changes voices to reflect the many and varied characters you think that there must be more than just Petkoff speaking. And, unlike some narrators, Robert doesn't sound like he's reading. Travis McGee becomes real, the characters become real, and the story becomes real. And all the while someone is telling this crasy story.
About 30 minutes into this book we hear the main character sexually exploiting a teenage girl in the most despicable, depraved and unspeakable way. If I were this girl’s father I would shot the kneecaps off of this guy, wait as he suffers, then drive a dull wooden stake into his heart. Sorry, I didn’t bother with rest of the book. I turned it off and deleted it from my computer. I then washed my hands. Call me a prude, I don't care. I'll listen to something that's truely entertaining.
An atheist suggested the book to debunk God. I found it made a better case for Intelligent Design. First, he summed up the origin of life as a billion to one chance with the emergence of the ameba. After that, Natural Selection took over and the rest was evolutioning history. What is Natural Selection? It is the tendency of simple life forms to evolve into more complex life forms. That is how the lowly ameba became a tiger, a tiger a chimpanzee, and a chimpanzee a man. Somewhere, too, that same ameba became a plant, then a tree, and then a tomato. How this happened despite the laws of physics, and biology is not mentioned. Second, Dawkins tells us the opinions of past and recent politicians, scientists, philosophers, comedians, etc., about their views of God. Dawkins needs to ask him self, so what? If God exists does it matter what mortals think? Third, Dawkins explains how cultural heritage is passed on from generation to generation through what he calls memes. Unlike genes that are found in our DNA, memes have no physical properties; they are like mental extensions that give us uniquely human traits such as our emotions, our intelligence, our skills, and our beliefs. Things that separate us from our animal ancestors. Does Dawkins mention how one generation teaches future generations? Finally, Dawkins makes a startling revelation about Quantum Mechanics. He tells us that QM is so complex and confusing that we mortals can neither understand it nor even comprehend how it operates in the cosmos. But it works! And yet we are supposed to believe it came about by random chance. Or maybe, the physical world has the same Natural Selection process: simple matter become complex matter and also initiates physical laws. Sounds more like Intelligent Design.
Was Wiker's book preachy? Yes, if you're ideology is one of pseudo-science, and you want the world to think your personal deviant cravings are normal. Wiker's book is an incredible expose of some of the most famous personalities in history who, through their pseudo-scientific research, helped shape and influence hordes of na?ve followers into not only believing their false ideas but also empowering these same followers into perpetrating unspeakable horrors on innocent members of humanity. I think his book should be included in high school English literature classes. I highly recommend it to people of all faiths; even the atheist whose religious faith is based on no God.
Rick Reilly’s Shanks for Nothing is a fast paced, uproariously funny masterpiece that will crack the staunchest funny bone. And Stephen Hoye is the perfect narrator to bring the main characters to life (Stick, Two-Down, Dom, Resource, Blind Bob, Hoover, the Stain, and the rest of the “chops”) as they plot to keep the snobby Mayflower from taking over their precious but dilapidated Ponky municipal golf course.
The meandering vignettes that steer the chops through high stakes golf bets with Mob gamblers, a prison golf course where inmate Resource Jones plans and executes the perfect escape, only to be foiled by his own golf passions, and the overseas trip to qualify for the British Open where Stick meets Sponge, and the Royal and Ancient aristocrats.
If Bill Murray ever read this book he would undoubtedly make it into a movie. Murray would be great at playing Stick’s caddy.
Another reviewer said that Hakim's history series (10 books) are for kids. True, but her books are also for adults who are not Ph.D. historians - that means just about everyone.
A great read - a great listen. Hakim has a way of making the various periods of history come alive like the best soap operas on TV. Tantalizing looks are the warts and all of the historical figures that shaped our past. Highly recommend Hakim for "kids" of all ages.
Peter Beinart makes a persuasive case for getting today's liberals in touch with the realities of the world, namely that global terrorism is the real enemy of our liberty, not George W. Bush.
Nonetheless, Beinart just can't help himself but make Bush the "evil" one throughout most of his discourse.
But the most revealing passage of Beinart's research is found on page 187:
"...the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation asked self-described liberals and conservatives to rate their top two foreign policy goals. Conservatives were 26 points more likely to mention denying nuclear weapons to hostile groups or nations, and 24 points more likely to mention capturing Osma bin Laden. In fact, while conservatives, and Americans in general, cited destroying Al Qaeda as their highest priority overall, for liberals, it was tied for tenth."
By Beinart's own research, liberals are out of touch with what the American people are worried about. I applaud Beinart's efforts to get liberals to address this vital issue but I doubt he'll have much success because even he can't seem to avoid making Bush his real target.
I would recommend the book, however, as Beinart does make a compelling case for liberals to wake up to this reality if they ever want to win a national election again.
A previous reviewer was critical of this book because of its abridgement. I can only say that I appreciate the abridging process because I don't like 10 hour length books.
That said, the complicated story probably could have used more explaination and background for the first time listener to a Lincoln Rhyme book. But because I have read - not listened too - previous Rhyme books, I didn't need the background. But the plot twists were quite abrupt and could have used a few more seques.
Still, I rated the book high because the narrator did such an outstanding job. I've listened to quite a few books and heard a wide variety of narrators and I rate Joe Mantegna and Judy Kate the highest. But listening to Adam Grupper is like listening to an old fashioned radio show with each character being read by an actor or actress. He's really amazing and he breathed such life and vitality into the story that just listening to him was a treat.
The story is complicated and, yes, the plot twists were abrupt but the narration alone makes this Deaver tale a wonderful piece of entertainment. I highly recommend The Vanished Man.
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