Yes. This book is filled to the brim with information, and information that is backed up by citations in the scientific literature and historical facts.
The breadth and depth of exploring a complex subject.
Heavens no! There is too much to absorb.
The narration is flat and a bit annoying but not inappropriate. It is not too fast and given the speed with which the information comes at one, not fast is appropriate. The author of the book sticks pretty closely to observable, testable biological facts. He does not venture much into the "software" of human sexuality and that is not his purpose. But it does leave one feeling that a big chunk is missing. There are, however, other books that try to fill that gap.
Very entertaining and somewhat informative
It was repetitive enough that the same memorable moments occurred again and again.
Particularly good parts concerned the presentations of lists of behaviors and attitudes. These were very well presented.
The audiobook is highly entertaining and has some very good information. I also found it repetitive. It also has a certain amount of questionable information, but most concerning scientific issues that are unproven but presented as fact. That does not particularly take away for the good parts.
One of the better history books
The most interesting part for me was the development of the Mongols trading empire after the conquests.
Very clear. At times it appeared to me to be inappropriately dramatic, but that is a small point.
Yes and no. Yes, The narration is full of expression and information conveyed by the author.
No: No maps.
The descriptions of the transition from Mohammed to the Abyysids. (sorry, cannot spell)
Should not even be attempted. Too much information.
It is presented as a history of the world from the Islamic view and it does a great job.
There are some, not exactly inaccuracies, but misplaced emphases but nothing that detracts from the information. Just recall that it is being told from the Islamic point of view but without ideology and pretty objectively.
Yes. I would listen to it again.
The clear description of the quotidian aspects of life in the German trenches was enlightening. Problem was, it went on and on in the same vein. Without intending to criticize the author, the message of the book appears to be that soldierly bravery is the true measure of both a man and a country. The implication at the end that Germans may again have the opportunity to show "what they are made of" to me shows that he is unreflective and did not really see outside the trenches. They were his world.
Contrast this with "All Quiet on the Western Front", which the Nazis rightly considered and antiwar book. This leans to a pro-war book.
However, that is NOT a reason not to read it.
I have not but his reading was excellent. I could have done without the guns and explosion sounds between chapters. They were only irritating.
Yes. There is so much information and it is so well presented that I undoubtedly will listen to it again. (Actually, I will read it since I also bought the hardcopy.)
I would compare it favorably to August 1914. Both concern WW1 and both are by excellent writers. This one is much broader and has more of a philosophic and historic goal. August 1914 is more simply narrative, it tells what happened. This tries to get at why it happened.
It impressed on me again (as though I am not reminded of it every single day listening to and reading the news) that our leaders are human -- and sometimes leave their humanity behind and become insane or simply stupid.
One thing I especially appreciated about this book as an audio book was that the author is constantly reminding the lister of who any given person is and where they fit into the story. This is good for reading but for an audio book, in which one cannot easily flip back 10 pages, it is essential. When Bethman-Hollweg shows up, the author reminds you that he was the Chancellor of Germany. I found this enormously helpful. (In contrast, the book Heretic Queen has just as many characters but one was almost never reminded who they were after their first appearance.)This was simply a wonderful history book, informative and very, very thoughtful.
In the middle
"The war that ended peace". Both are histories of the early 20th century, both focus on just a few characters, and both assemble an array of facts into the fabric of a story.
I cannot say.
No. Too much information
I found this book highly informative and certainly well written and throughly researched. However, to listen to this book, you would think both TR and WHT are saints. The darker side of both of them are not hidden but, almost adhering to the adage, "Speak no ill of the dead," their failings are mostly overlooked. This is too bad because those failings are bound up with all problems of administration in the United States. It would have been much more interesting if they were at least discussed and not just implied. You might think that TR got along with everyone and that everyone who knew him personally liked him. WHT you might think was absolutely the nicest man in the world. One of the central questions of the book, why did the falling out between them take place, is never adequately answered, yet the book starts out with that very question. Was TR simply jealous about WHT occupying the White House? Did WHT betray the Progressive cause? Somehow, I did not find these questions adequately answered.
Nonetheless, unless one is an expert on the era, this book is well worth the read (or listen).
I found two problems. First, the details of people' feelings and movements, the exact contents of newspaper articles, the in-depth opinions about the most the most inconsequential of aspects of daily life related in the most excruciating detail, left me exasperated and bored to the extreme. Second was an almost computer-voice style of reading, without inflection or emotion that only added to the problems in relating the content. I was also annoyed by the mispronunciations of the Hebrew (eg. ha-GAN-a instead of ha-ga-NA). This book may be fine for those who hunger for the quotidian details of everyday Israeli life in 1967 but the forest gets lost in the trees.
I will not say this book is uninformative. It is, overall, a useful summary of SOME events leading to the Crusades and a description of battles, timetable, etc.
But the author's main purpose seem to be to counter some idiotic statements and actions by some in the west "apologizing" for the Crusades or saying that there was no "justification" for them -- as though the Crusades could be apologized for or needed justifications. The trouble is that, in the process of countering this foolishness, the author engages in what can only be called "spin" -- presenting questionable statements, half-truths or opinions for fact.
For example, in trying to say that the Islamic world did not support new learning because what learning there was was being done by the peoples the Moslems conquered. But the fact is that such learning WAS occurring, unlike in the West. The author says that the European Dark Ages were really not so dark because the invention of the plough, cross-bow, and other technical developments took. A discussion of the advantages of the plough includes more grain, thus more food, thus a larger and healthier population. He does not mention the global warming that occurred during this time that probably played greater role in increased food. He discusses massacres of monks (Byzantine) and pilgrims by Moslems but doesnt discuss, for example, the reported massacre of 2000 Muslim prisoners by Richard the Lionhearted or the killings of Europeans by the Byzantines in Constantinople in 1182.
There are many other discussable or equivocal statements, from the importance and use of crossbows to the killings of Jews by the Crusaders (which to me sounds minimized by the author when they were a horrible occurrance) at the starts of the Crusades. This has to be counted as "spin".
A perhaps useful book to start discussion, but not one to be taken as accurate in its particulars.
This series of lectures has much to recommend it. The lectures are clear and informative. The discussions of the theology is clearly presented.
The lectures are very pro-pontiff. All actions of the popes are presented as either political ("He did this because policy demanded it") or as necessity. The morally reprehensible things done by the popes is glossed-over or not presented. We can perhaps understand that, for example, Pius V's encouraging English Catholics to revolt against Elizabeth or his encouragement of the persecution of the Hugenots is not presented but this kind of omission over 2000 years then makes assertions about the pristine behavior of Pius XII during World War II less credible.
Despite that, the lectures are informative and for those wanting to get an overview, they are useful and well-presented. Just bear in mind that it is a one-sided view.
Report Inappropriate Content