As for the book itself, I concur with what others have said: a very detailed, compelling, and for the most part well-written account of the boundaries of science (as opposed to pseudoscience and emerging knowledge) with excellent accounts of specific topics like evolution vs intelligent design, various pseudo-scientific claims, etc. The author can be a bit dry or overly-lengthy in places, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Pigliucci does not pull his punches in defence of the scientific consensus on evolution, climate change, etc., which may come off as closed-minded for those who disagree with his stances.
As for the narrator... I'm afraid that you'll find a lot better ones on Audible, but for me it wasn't a consistent distraction. Notable mistakes include once saying "physics" rather than "psychics" in Ch. 2, which was actually funny in the context, and mispronouncing the name of well-known figure Noam Chomsky as "Noah Chumsky". It seems like someone should have caught those, but then I don't know much about the editing process that goes into these audiobooks.
With that qualification, highly recommended.
I'm a great fan of Shermer and his various works, having read his SciAm column for years, and this is no exception. Evolution vs. Intelligent Design is a natural and suitable part of his overall gospel of skepticism. My complaint with this book (like the reviewer "A" above) is not the content as such, but rather the abridgement. I think most people who are interested in this sort of thing are hungry for length and detail, and would gladly have paid attention for the full-length recording.
I don't regret the purchase by any means, but I would certainly prefer a reading of the full text.
Those who are already interested in the history of the Eastern Bloc will find this rich with satisfactory detail. Others new to the subject will appreciate the wide variety of areas covered, and the focus on the individuals, not only the overall movements and ideologies involved. The narrative moves back and forth between the USSR, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Afghanistan, and Czechoslovakia, so it's necessary to pay attention or one might get lost; but overall I think that is a virtue.
As for production, I have no complaints. The narration was clear, no pronunciation mistakes with tricky Slavic words, and so it faded to the background, allowing one to focus on the book.
As a recording of the Communist Manifesto, this is excellent, if overpriced. The narrator did a fine job. However, the "Other Writings" are a somewhat esoteric selection of Marx's lesser-known articles and essays. Of some interest to the more dedicated Marx students, but of little use as a general introduction to his thinking. It would have been better to bundle the Manifesto with the introductory "Wage Labour and Capital", selections from "The 18th Brumaire", "Capital", etc.
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