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Riverside, CA, USA | Member Since 2010

  • 104 reviews
  • 239 ratings
  • 409 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World, 3000 B.C. - 1603 A.D.

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Simon Schama
    • Narrated By Timothy West

    A History of Britain poses questions that have universal timeless resonance. What makes or breaks a nation? To whom do you give your allegiance and why? Where do the roots of your community lie - in your hearth and home, your village or city, your tribe, your faith? And, finally, what is Britain? Also, listen to A History of Britain, Volume 2.

    Dennis says: "Accessible to the lay-person."
    "An even handed treatment of British history"

    I enjoyed this volume a great deal, the book was arranged in chronological order, from Roman Empire right down to the post-colonial era, a great book for people who want a concise history of the United Kingdoms and the British Empire. It showed both the glorious side as well as the dark sides, also you may want to find the Documentry version produced by the BBC.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Dominic Green
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Three Empires on the Nile tells of the rise of the first modern Islamic state and its fateful encounter with the British Empire of Queen Victoria. Ever since the self-proclaimed Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi gathered an army in the Sudan and besieged and captured Khartoum under its British overlord Charles Gordon, the dream of a new caliphate has haunted modern Islamists. The 19th-century origins of it all were even more dramatic and strange than today's headlines.

    Sean O'Keefe says: "Astoundingly good"
    "An narrative that captured the spirit of an age"

    I like the narrative for the emotional framing rather than historical accuracy, emotional narrative makes a history very entertaining, so I'd suggest one to read this as a well researched historical novel than serious history, the book captured the spirit and inherent contradiction of British imperialism incredibly well. Loved it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson

    Basic Economics has been written with the thought that learning economics should be not only a relaxed experience but also an enjoyable one.

    Knitting Maniac says: "Insufferable narrator, clear and interesting book"
    "Polemnically sounds though unconvincing..."

    This is a classic, unadulterated economics for high school students and freshman and sophomore year undergraduates, it ceased to be convincing once it is read by anyone with advanced degree. It ignores the question of power, culture and technological advantages and differences some countries have over others and how those can be exploited for gain, still it is worth reading and thought provoking book.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Stephen Prothero

    The main aim of this course is to cultivate basic literacy in the principal religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. This course explores the origins of these religious traditions in Asia and their transplantation to the United States. The course focuses on three related issues: why religion matters, what the term "religion" means, and how Asian religions - especially Buddhism and Confucianism - wonderfully complicate that term.

    Chi-Hung says: "A scholarly presentation"
    "A scholarly presentation"

    The professor knows what he's talking about, this presentation is lucid and very objective, although I wish he could work on his Chinese Pronunciation, since this is a lecture, I can't blame the narrator, but still it is interesting.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Rosen
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener

    The emperor Justinian reunified Rome's fractured empire by defeating the Goths and Vandals. At his capital in Constantinople, he built the world's most beautiful building, married the most powerful empress, and wrote the empire's most enduring legal code, seemingly restoring Rome's fortunes for the next five hundred years. Then, in the summer of 542, he encountered a flea. The ensuing outbreak of bubonic plague killed 5,000 people a day in Constantinople and nearly killed Justinian himself.

    joan says: "More history than Disease"
    "Better than expected"

    Although I expected a boring narrative about the plague, this is a far better than expected execution to a fairly straight forward topic, instead of a narrowed down analysis to the plague of 540 ad, the book gave us the whole contextual narrative, the after effects, the long term impact and microorganic history. I am pleased with the execution; The author has managed to make the book interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Wise Bauer
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T'ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.

    Chi-Hung says: "Balanced"

    This book has a very balanced treatment to middle age by presenting political history of Western Europe, Americas, India, China, Japan, Byzantine, Islam and Turks, and because the focus is on political history, it's infinitely readable and interesting. We however get no social history, no great thinkers, no technology, no class analysis only time they were mentioned was if they have tangent with political narrative.

    Also the decision to end the book at First Crusade, (1096-1099) seem entirely arbitrary.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In The March of Folly, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning historian Barbara Tuchman tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments through the ages. Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government.

    peter says: "No stone left unturned"
    "interesting conception, uninteresting execution."

    I have to admit, Tuchman is one of my favourite historians and thus this book from her comes as a disappointment. The title suggested, a comprehensive history of folly committed by governments everywhere and of all times, but what we got is thematically divided episodes with superficial analysis on each theme. The theme was unequally distributed, one would think Renaissance papacy (a few hundred years in scope) would deserve more space than Vietnam War (20 years from French phase) but Vietnam War comprised one and half of the book, making Spanish conquest, War of Independent and Papal Monarchy de facto salad dressing.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James W. Loewen
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler

    This national best seller is an entertaining, informative, and sometimes shocking expose of the way history is taught to American students. Lies My Teacher Told Me won the American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship.

    Timothy says: "Of course he has an agenda. He wrote a book!"
    "Revisionist history at its best!"

    This is revisionist history at its best and will certainly enhance one's critical thinking, Americans are not necessarily more stupid than others, but when it comes to the world politics, one cannot but help shaking head, this book will hopefully be a wake up call to some people. If that's how history has been taught, no wonder they don't know anything! However the book will do well without the moralising tones of the last few chapters.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Anthony Pagden
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the tradition of Jared Diamond and Jacques Barzun, prize-winning historian Anthony Pagden presents a sweeping history of the long struggle between East and West, from the Greeks to the present day.

    The relationship between East and West has always been one of turmoil. In this historical tour de force, a renowned historian leads us from the world of classical antiquity, through the Dark Ages, to the Crusades, Europe's resurgence, and the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, which almost shattered Europe entirely. Pagden travels from Napoleon in Egypt to Europe's carving up of the finally moribund Ottomans - creating the modern Middle East along the way - and on to the present struggles in Iraq.

    Tad Davis says: "Great story, with a lot of unfamiliar names"

    This book took a disinterested look at two thousand conflict between east and west and contains vast amount of interesting information. But because the scope is quite big, so some details might be skipped, but overall, a good book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations - from Adventure to Revenge

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Cindy M. Meston, David M. Buss
    • Narrated By Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An unparalleled exploration of the mysteries underlying women's sexuality that rivals the culture-shifting Kinsey Report, from two of America's leading research psychologists.

    Jonathan says: "shattered my illusions"
    "Interesting enough"

    This is a fairly interesting book, and I have learned much about feminine psychology, but I find this book a little repetitive, one wonders if the book cannot be make shorter.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Bard of the Middle Ages: The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Michael Drout

    Through his writing, Chaucer's wit, charm, and eloquence give us a deeper understanding of not only the time in which he lived, but of how human emotion, frailty, and fortitude are the base elements of human existence. Despite social upheaval and the changing fortunes of his patrons and peers, Chaucer remained a favored subject during three distinct and contrasting reigns. His experiences provided Chaucer an appreciation for his good (and bad) fortune - and that of others - made evident in his writing.

    Chi-Hung says: "I learned more about history than language."
    "I learned more about history than language."

    Professor Drout is as entertaining in this course as ever, though I had wished to catch up on my middle english. However, the course was not about middle English, I am nonetheless happy about purchase.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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