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Garry

Aiea, HI, USA

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 65 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2015
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  • How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    The hijackers who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, thought they were fighting a cosmic war. According to award-winning writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan, by infusing the United States War on Terror with the same kind of religiously polarizing rhetoric and Manichean worldview, it is also fighting a cosmic war, a war that can't be won.

    Sangho says: "Good read but could have been better"
    "Unrealistic"
    Overall

    This book offers a comprehensive and probably accurate analysis of the reasons for jihad terrorism. Bravo for his comments on the history of messy American foreign policy in the Middle-East (not to mention the rest of the world). And bravo for his revelations about the inter-sect conflicts rampant in the Muslim world (is the Christian world in much better shape?). The author, however, is quite naive about what might be the answer to overcoming the jihad problem. I certainly don't have the answer, but neither does he.

    With good cause, he sings the brown-man-blues about his encounters with American "crusaders" in Cairo and whines about being equally put upon by common Arabs there who spot him (an Iranian raised in the US) as an "other". He further blames violent jihadism on the thought that a second-generation, immigrant, German citizen will never be ethnically "German". Until, many generations hence, when the world's population is boringly homogeneous we might as well accept our built-in distrust of "others". That characteristic evolved in humans too many years ago to expect it to be overcome by a few conversations over tea and a few choruses of "Kumbaya". "Can't we all just get along?"

    While not even recognizing how foul his American countrymen see it, Aslan mentions that he knows Iranians in Tehran who will chant "Death to America" in the public square and then secretively beg him for help in getting a US visa. Is it any wonder a lot of Americans perceive the Muslim mind as having a completely different idea of what is factual and what isn't? If "words matter" for Aslan's vacillating hero, President Obama, they also matter for the Muslims of the world.

    There is a lot to be learned from this book, but it misses the mark on what a reader could realistically do about settling the world's major dilemma.

    13 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jane Dunn
    • Narrated By Donada Peters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality), and divinely ordained kingship.

    Catharina says: "Fantastic book"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall

    I became interested in the life and times of Elizabeth I as a result of interest in the 1588 English defeat of the Spanish Armada and watching the two recent, excellent movies on the life of this amazing queen. This audio book on the lives of the rival cousins, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, was truly an outstanding listen. I feel that I came to know these two women well. My appetite to know more about their story, especially Elizabeth's later years, is doubled. One can only conclude that Elizabeth I was an amazing woman, in spite of her superstitions and belief in supernatural foolishness.

    As an atheist, I found it especially remarkable to note how much adversity and disaster, personal and societal, was generated over religion during Elizabeth's reign. It seems humanity hasn't learned much since the 16th Century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Way: A Story of the First People

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    One of our most influential anthropologists reevaluates her long and illustrious career by returning to her roots – and the roots of life as we know it. When Elizabeth Marshall Thomas first arrived in Africa to live among the Kalahari bushmen, she was 19, and these last surviving hunter-gatherers were living as humans had for 15,000 centuries. After a lifetime of interest in the bushmen, Thomas has come to see that their lifestyle reveals great, hidden truths about human evolution.

    Victor Akel says: "Interesting first hand experience"
    "Wonderful!!"
    Overall

    Although I have not read the text version, I imagine that listening to the author narrate this book adds to the flavor and beauty of this description of the lives of African Kalahari people in their indigenous state and their 21st Century status. The author/narrator is able to give authenticity to her prose by adding the click sounds to the words and names from her subjects' language that she includes in the narration. I simply enjoyed and learned from every sentence Ms. Marshall-Thomas generated, especially her description of her day spent foraging for food with the women of the group she studied.

    At all levels this book is excellent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Brian Greene
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (1223)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (368)

    Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past?

    Martin says: "Space and Time for the Common Man"
    "Understand it all"
    Overall

    I've only listened to the first unit of this book, but have already some as close to understandng what Einstein and his comtemporary scientists accomplished as I ever have in spite of years of reading and pondering. An excellent book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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