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Aaron E. Michel

Member Since 2009

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 236 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    In this devastating critique of the mindset behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years, Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes, but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in education, crime, family disintegration, and more.

    Steve says: "Listen to Thomas Sowell and your brain will grow"
    "Right wing authoritarian whines"
    Overall

    I was drawn to the overall theme with which I agree. What I find in the text is a high degree of submission to established, legitimate authorities in the author's social group (right wing socialism), high levels of aggression on behalf of those authorities, and a high level of conventionalism. Thomas, please see Professor Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians. I guess I'll have to make due with Hayek's Road to Serfdom and Murray Rothbard's Great Depression. Sowell takes on too much to bore down into the details to understand how unfair and distorted his analysis is.

    4 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.

    Scott says: "A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis"
    "Left Wing Socialis Will Love It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book is the left wing version of what I was saying in my review of The Amateur. Rather than taking a long hard look at substantive issues facing our community, its main contribution is to make ad hominem attacks on the Republican Party. The book provides good source information for an academic study of left wing authoritarianism using the methods and procedures developed by Professor Altemeyer in his book The Authoritarians about right wing authoritarianism to develop questions that measure the degree of excess submission to left wing authorities, the degree of excess in aggressiveness on behalf of those authorities, and the degree of excess in conventionalism.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein again?

    no


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    good delivery by the reader


    What character would you cut from It's Even Worse Than It Looks?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    no

    9 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Edward Klein
    • Narrated By John McLain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (658)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (585)

    It’s amateur hour at the White House. So says New York Times best-selling author Edward Klein in his political exposé The Amateur. Tapping into the public’s growing sentiment that President Obama is in over his head, The Amateur argues that Obama’s toxic combination of incompetence and arrogance has run our nation and his presidency off the rails.

    Michael says: "Obama Fans Aren't Going to Like This Book!"
    "Right Wing Socialists Will Love It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Right Wing Socialists


    Would you ever listen to anything by Edward Klein again?

    no


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Some interesting information about personalities and White House intrigue.


    Any additional comments?

    This book confirms what I have said about the two parties that control our government. They can???t debate the policies so they focus on ad hominem attacks and petty grips. If you want reinforcement of closed minded ring wing socialist ranting, read The Amateur. If you want a summation of the Obama Administration???s failed policy choices and their impact on important issues such as health care and the financial/monetary system, read Ron Suskind???s book Confidence Men.

    9 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1428)
    Performance
    (1301)
    Story
    (1293)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Powerful Story by Powerful Woman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Drift the most enjoyable?

    Strong, quick delivery by Ms. Maddow.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The tight fit between the historical information and current issue facing the country.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The lost nukes.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Countess of Carnarvon
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (243)

    Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS series, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.

    connie says: "the lowdown on Downton times"
    "From Rothschild to King Tut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the book and probably never would since it is hard to find time to read and easy to find time to listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey?

    The wounded soldier being cared for at the castle was asked by the butler which paper he wanted to read first.


    What about Wanda McCaddon???s performance did you like?

    The reader had the perfect voice and pace for this story.


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

    It almost made me cry towards the end when the Earl died.


    Any additional comments?

    It raises the question about where all that money from Rothchild came from and where did he keep it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (374)

    America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, analyze those challenges - globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption - and spell out what we need to do now to rediscover America and rise to this moment.

    Soudant says: "We have met the enemy and it is us.... Pogo"
    "More Government"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum and/or Jason Culp?

    No


    What could Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    They might try reading up on economic history from all authoritative sources and not just those that reinforce their own world view.


    What three words best describe Jason Culp???s performance?

    Good voice and pace of reading the book. Good changes of voice for quotes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Friedman and Mandelbaum advocate the status quo plus further intrusion of government into the factors of production. Rather than a lady justice wearing a blind as she weighs the disputes involving the individual rights of the owners of land, labor, and capital, they see her as a partner telling the individuals what to do with their land, labor, and capital. Of course the budget for dispute resolution pales to the budget for government controlled production. The historical references are inaccurate and omit any examples of the private sector doing better at wealth creation than government ???partnerships.???

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (111)

    Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing - and recovering -their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different" - claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. This book proves that premise wrong.

    D. Littman says: "necessary piece to understand the current crisis"
    "Adam Smith Their Not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about This Time Is Different? What did you like least?

    The most valuable part of the book was the data. The least valuable was the analysis.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Put more thought into the analysis.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Pratt???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did This Time Is Different inspire you to do anything?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst's Fight to Save the Big Banks from Themselves

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mike Mayo
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (36)

    An insider points out the holes that still exist on Wall Street and in the banking system. Exile on Wall Street is a gripping read for anyone with an interest in business and finance, U.S. capitalism, the future of banking, and the root causes of the financial meltdown.

    PHIL says: "Self-absorbed, self-indulgent"
    "Wall Street Analyst Tells It All"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Exile on Wall Street the most enjoyable?

    The insider view of individual companies and executives, how they engaged in self-destructive behavior, and excellent communication skills of Mr. Mayo make this book enjoyable listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The bank analyst's viewpoint.


    What does Dennis Holland bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    He has an engaging voice that captures and conveys the story's energy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a short listen.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Robert Whitaker
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States tripled over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nations children. What is going on?

    Strachan says: "Good Science, Great Journalism"
    "Eye opener"
    Overall

    The state of psychotropic drug therapy is well documented in the book with macroscopic and microscopic details. The history of medical developments from science based development of drugs for known problems like infections to experimentation with drugs based on effects on behavior is well told. The story of greed by doctors and academic leaders is sadly similar to what we have witnessed in other areas of our community. Hopefully the incentives will change.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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