Audio edition is excellent
Neil Barofsky. He exemplifies not a hero or an ideal, but the kind of person needed in government: someone honest who thinks of the people the government is supposed to serve.
Yes, I was disgusted by the Treasury's attitude
A valuable addition to the literature around 2008 and an important testimony.
For someone interested in World War I and the period before, it is very interesting to have a more detailed and vivid picture of these three sovereigns, two of whom played a very significant role in the course of events. Seeing them closer up makes that war all the more dismaying. Neither Nicholas nor Wilhelm were evil like the great dictators of the 20th century, but they were weak and incompetent rulers, yet their foibles and decisions (or non-decisions) were instrumental in creating hell for tens of millions of people. Many factors conspired toward war, but these two could have kept it from taking place.
Princess Victoria (Vicky) mother of Wilhelm II; her tragedy is losing her intelligent and liberal-minded husband Wilhelm I who died young, leaving the capricious Wilhelm II as emperor of Germany, to the infinite misfortune of Germany and the rest of the world.
Rosalyn Landor is exceptionally good.
The wealth of information on various aspects of life in the period preceding World War I
Dreyfus' rehabilitation. The assassination of Jean Jaurès.
I have listened to many, and she is an excellent reader. She apparently knows French and pronounces most names correctly, but unfortunately leaves out the "s" at the end of one of the main figures in the book, Jaurès. It is tricky to know when the final "s" in French names is silent or pronounced, and before the age of internet it is not so easy to look up, so she should not be taken to task; I mention this only so that other readers should not be led astray in their own pronunciation of this name. Readers today, however, have little excuse to mispronounce foreign names as the correct pronunciation is easily found on the internet.
Parts of it (for me, some of the details of English political life) can seem a bit long, but the book is well worth one's patience.
This book is of particular interest to those who are interested in history not only for facts and stories but for an understanding of how things came to pass, not only on the primary level of events but also on the levels of how these are interpreted, transformed and transmitted. It is a very rich work that gives insights into historiography as well as history. I came away feeling enriched in many ways.
The discussion of the Arabic occupation and how it has been seen at different times is alone worth the price of the book to me. I had a rosy vision of a tolerant and cultivated Islamic state that contrasted with the rough and bigoted Christians; this book not only sets the record straight but also explains where this idealized vision comes from.
Do not pass up this book because of negative reviews, though these are right in saying that it is not written for those who want a easy account of the personages and events of Spanish history. The reader is also good, and though he reads foreign words with a pronounced American accent, he does not MISpronounce Spanish words as some reviews suggest (the incomprehensible words they allude to are probably Latin or French). Spanish words are all comprehensible, though the rare French words are seriously mispronounced.
The book is quite dense and not a "easy listen". Negative reviewers are not wrong to bring this up, but I am extremely grateful for having listened to it. It gives a wonderful overview of Spanish history with invaluable insights, but it is not a "concise history of Spain" and needs to be complemented by other books if you know little about Spanish and European history.
The author's account of his academic career is both interesting and meaningful in the context of an important subject central to the book: historiography. I CAN understand how a casual listener might be put off by this book, and I would not recommend it to everyone. But to those with a somewhat deeper interest in history, it is a real find.
Not only are the case stories moving, but illuminating because Dr.Perry explains the underlying causes in the light of what we have only recently begun to understand about the brain. By doing this, he extends the meaning of his therapeutic work way beyond the individual cases, indeed to every one of us as well as to all of human society and history. In the final chapter, he makes some extremely insightful and pertinent comments on life and society today.
Each story is compelling, but in addition, there is a cumulative progression and a deepening sense of meaning.
He speaks clearly and warmly, with just the right tone.
Yes, though there is too much to absorb for one sitting.
The book's content and significance exceed what I had expected from the catchy title that made me think of 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', which though also interesting is not nearly as moving and rich in significance as this one. I recommend this book to everyone without reservation; in fact, I urge you to listen to it, whoever you are. It is one of most stimulating, both intellectually and personally, that I have ever listened to or read. Truly a six-star book.I have read numerous books on psychology, psychiatry, and child development, and among my most rewarding life experiences are ten years of a composite therapy; yet this book has put all into a new perspective.
Perhaps, to refresh my memory.
John Tolland 'Rising Sun'; Max Hastings: 'Retribution'
This book provides valuable insight into the seemingly irrational way the Japanese behaved during World War II. For a non-Japanese, it is truly mind-boggling to learn how inefficient decision-making was in the Japanese government, and how this disastrous inefficiency was ingrained in Japanese culture and even language. It incidentally sheds much light on Japanese behavior today in various situations both political and personal.
Probably not, as much of it is ghastly: once one is familiar with the contents, it seems a bit pointless to go through the horrors a second time.
Excellent. However, Japanese names are often not pronounced correctly, but this is not a major problem.
Yes, it distressed me to learn about so many men behaving so horribly.
One of the essential moral issues anyone living after 1945 has to face is how masses of people could behave so brutishly, and in in the name of some ideal. The barbarism shown by German, Japanese and Russian military during World War II was not the wayward behavior of a few psychopaths or deviants but a systematic descent into almost unthinkable evil on the part of huge numbers of people deliberately incited by a few, and this in the name of some ideology. In each of these three cases, it came about in a unique way, and it is important and interesting to understand the particular elements at play. And in each instance, it is the perpetrators that are themselves the primary victims — the Japanese even more directly than others, since Japanese recruits were deliberatly brutalized (beaten and humiliated) to take away their humanity and turn them into instruments of brutality.
I take this occasion to recommend the most enlightening book I know on the problem of evil : Barbara Oakley's 2007 book 'Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend'
Informative, stimulating, important subject
I learned a lot about a part of the world that is much more important than I had imagined. I recommend it to anyone interested in what is going on in the world today.
Among the very best
No, but this one is terrific.
This book is a fantastic exposé of North Korea, a country that embodies Orwell's 1984 in a way that is terrifying and so extreme as to seem "unbelievable". This book conveys the sense of what it is to live under such a regime, and is extraordinarily informative in its vivid presentation. It is also a wonderful depiction of deep personal experience and could stand as a literary work of fiction, which alas it is not. And it is as exciting as any mystery or spy novel I've ever read. I simply could not put it down.
In part. To refresh my memory.
It focus on a very important aspect of what is surely one of the most horrific and therefore must-confront phenomenon in history: the Nazi attempt at world-domination and genocide. Women form half the population, and to understand their role in this is essential.According to Robert & Ruth Kempner's study "Women in Nazi Germany", cited by the author, German women were fanatical supporters who had been integrated into all aspects of the government..." They estimated 7 million indoctrinated, and that 600,000 were still dangerous at the end of the war because they were politically active and indoctrinators. But despite the alarming data they compiled, "crimal investigators and denazification courts ...concluded that women in the white-collar state machinery were not threats to postwar German society."
The author writes: "at least half a million women witnessed and contributed to the operations and terror of a genocidal war in the eastern territories. The Nazi regime mobilized a generation of young females revolutionaries who were conditioned to accept violence, to incite it, and to commit it, in defense of or as an assertion of Germany's superiority."
I would recommend buying the Kindle (or a paper) version to supplement the audiobook, as there are copious notes that are often of interest. These notes take up 40% of the Kindle edition and contain a plethora of references. The book is also useful for a better understanding of foreign names, often difficult to seize by ear even when correctly pronounced.
No. She reads well, and on the whole pronounces German words correctly.
Annette Schücking frustrating attempts to get courts to pursue war criminals.
When a German woman is executed for giving food and succor to Jewish victims.
The one reservation I have is that the author does not take into account recent research on psychopaths. Modern equipment allows an objective definition of psychopath as someone whose brain does not respond to certain types of stimuli and therefore is physiologically incapable of feelings that are the emotional underpinnings of morality. This research, unavailable to Nürnberg judges and to earlier historians and psychologists, must surely change the way we look at perpetrators of atrocities and our approach to society and moral order in general.
Yes, but with a warning that it is terribly repetitive. Other reviewers have pointed this out, but until I listened myself, I did not believe it could be that bad. The content however is of such great interest that I recommend it nonetheless.
Reveals many things that are important to know.
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