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David Greenberg

New York | Member Since 2008

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 194 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Robert Martin
    • Narrated By William Neenan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In How We Do It, primatologist Robert Martin draws on 40 years of research to locate the roots of everything from our sex cells to the way we care for newborns. He examines the procreative history of humans as well as that of our primate kin to reveal what's really natural when it comes to making and raising babies, and distinguish which behaviors we ought to continue - and which we should not. Although it's not realistic to raise our children like our ancestors did, Martin’s investigation reveals surprising consequences of - and suggests ways to improve upon - the way we do things now.

    David Greenberg says: "Dry, but appropriately so"
    "Dry, but appropriately so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to How We Do It again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The breadth and depth of exploring a complex subject.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


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

    Heavens no! There is too much to absorb.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love: Solving the Mystery of Attraction

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Allan Pease, Barbara Pease
    • Narrated By Chelsea Bruland, Jeff Prewett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    Will men and women ever see eye-to-eye about love and sex? How will relationships ever be rewarding if men only want to rush into bed and women want to rush to the altar? In this practical, witty and down-to-earth guide, couples experts Allan and Barbara Pease reveal the truth about how men and women can really get along. By translating science and cutting edge research into a powerful yet highly entertaining read, youll learn how to find true happiness and compatibility with the opposite sex.

    David Greenberg says: "Men and women -- always a mystery"
    "Men and women -- always a mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very entertaining and somewhat informative


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love?

    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.


    What does Chelsea Bruland and Jeff Prewett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Australian accents?


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Why Men Want Sex and Women Need Love?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4372)
    Performance
    (2884)
    Story
    (2908)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Most informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the better history books


    What did you like best about this story?

    The most interesting part for me was the development of the Mongols trading empire after the conquests.


    What about Jonathan Davis and Jack Weatherford ’s performance did you like?

    Very clear. At times it appeared to me to be inappropriately dramatic, but that is a small point.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (581)
    Performance
    (423)
    Story
    (414)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    David says: "A history of the world before the West mattered"
    "Excellent history of the Islamic world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Destiny Disrupted to be better than the print version?

    Yes and no. Yes, The narration is full of expression and information conveyed by the author.
    No: No maps.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Destiny Disrupted?

    The descriptions of the transition from Mohammed to the Abyysids. (sorry, cannot spell)


    Have you listened to any of Tamim Ansary’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


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

    Should not even be attempted. Too much information.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Storm of Steel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernst Jünger
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (149)

    This classic war memoir, first published in 1920, is based on the author's extensive diaries describing hard combat experienced on the Western Front during World War I. It has been greatly admired by people as diverse as Bertolt Brecht and Andre Gide, and from every part of the political spectrum. Hypnotic, thrilling, and magnificent, The Storm of Steel is perhaps the most fascinating description of modern warfare ever written.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "World War I from a German Viewpoint"
    "war, war, war"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I would listen to it again.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not but his reading was excellent. I could have done without the guns and explosion sounds between chapters. They were only irritating.


    Did The Storm of Steel inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Richard Burnip
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (254)

    From the best-selling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I.

    smarmer says: "Detailed review of 1882 to 1914"
    "One of the finest, most well-written history books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The War That Ended Peace again? Why?

    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.)


    What other book might you compare The War That Ended Peace to and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    N/A


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1039)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (914)

    Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

    C. Telfair says: "Wow! Patience Rewarded!"
    "T. Roosevelt and WH Taft: A hagiography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Bully Pulpit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle


    What other book might you compare The Bully Pulpit to and why?

    "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.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I cannot say.


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

    No. Too much information


    Any additional comments?

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Tom Segev
    • Narrated By James Boles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Going far beyond a military account, Segev re-creates the crisis in Israel before 1967, showing how economic recession, a full grasp of the Holocaust's horrors, and the dire threats made by neighbor states combined to produce a climate of apocalypse. He depicts the country's bravado after its victory and the mood revealed in a popular joke in which one soldier says to his friend, "Let's take over Cairo". The friend replies, "Then what shall we do in the afternoon?"

    Steve Yastrow says: "Awesome book, atrocious pronounciation"
    "uninspiring reading and quotidian content"
    Overall

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Rodney Stark
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    In God's Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression.

    Tad Davis says: "A lively and useful introduction"
    "Medieval spin"
    Overall

    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.

    10 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Upon This Rock: A History of the Papacy from Peter to John Paul II

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Thomas F. Madden
    • Narrated By Thomas F. Madden
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    In this compelling series of lectures, widely esteemed author and professor Thomas F. Madden illustrates how the papacy, the world's oldest institution, gave birth to the West. Since Jesus Christ instructed the foremost of his Apostles, Peter, that he would be the rock upon which Christ would build his church, the papacy has survived the rise and fall of empires while continuing to assert an undeniable influence on world events.

    Chi-Hung says: "A synthesis"
    "Not warts and all"
    Overall

    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.

    12 of 23 people found this review helpful

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