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Gerry

Amateur history buff

Marblehead | Member Since 2001

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 222 ratings
  • 958 titles in library
  • 67 purchased in 2014
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  • Top Brain, Bottom Brain: Surprising Insights Into How You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Stephen Kosslyn, G. Wayne Miller
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    For the past 50 years, popular culture has led us to believe in the left brain vs. right brain theory of personality types. It would be an illuminating theory if it did not have one major drawback: It is simply not supported by science. In contrast, the Top Brain, Bottom Brain theory is based on solid research that has stayed within the confines of labs all over the world—until now.

    Donald says: "Trite Brain, Banal Brain"
    "Well intentioned, terribly written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Top Brain, Bottom Brain?

    I was very interested in the topic and their hypothesis is interesting, but the prose is dreadful and dry. It lacked style, was not engaging, and was a chore from start to finish.


    What didn’t you like about Christopher Hurt’s performance?

    He did the best he could with the material.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Barry Strauss
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar: Each was a master of war. Each had to look beyond the battlefield to decide whom to fight and why; to know what victory was and when to end the war; to determine how to bring stability to the lands he conquered. Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar had to be not only generals but statesmen. And yet each was a battlefield commander, a strategist, a leader of men - in short, a warrior.

    Aaron says: "Heroes?"
    "Disappointing, fragmented and way too opinionated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone with little knowledge of the ancient world and who wasn't bothered by lack of scholarly rigor.


    What could Barry Strauss have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Held back on his opinions. I really don't think that we are in a position to judge whether Caesar, Alexander and Hannibal should have done this or should have done that. We can't say what was right and what was wrong. Who knows how things would have turned out if they had taken different actions? Compared with recent history are sources are few and very one-sided and it simply doesn't make sense to sit in judgement of them 2,000 years later.


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

    Can't say


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration


    Any additional comments?

    There are way better books on the ancient world. Lectures too. I recommend the Great Courses lecture set on Alexander and the Macedonian Empire available on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Charles H. Ferguson
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (97)

    Charles H. Ferguson, who electrified the world with his Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job, now explains how a predator elite took over the country, step by step, and he exposes the networks of academic, financial, and political influence, in all recent administrations, that prepared the predators' path to conquest. Over the last several decades, the United States has undergone one of the most radical social and economic transformations in its history.

    Jeremy says: "The Best Book on the Financial Collapse"
    "Well researched, thorough & damning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could give Predator Nation a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How greed has corrupted American politics & commerce, and is bringing us to ruin.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a well-researched, damning indictment of the elite of Wall Street and their funding of the corruption of the US political & academic systems. It lays bare the amoral, immoral and sometimes criminal behavior of individuals and institutions. If you have any interest in knowing what really impacts your daily life today and the future of your children tomorrow, then you should read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All the King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Saul David
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Saul David's comprehensive history, All the King's Men: The British Soldier from the Restoration to Waterloo, read by the actor Sean Barrett. "The British soldier," wrote a Prussian officer who served with Wellington, "is vigorous, well fed, by nature highly brave and intrepid, trained to the most vigorous discipline, and admirably well-armed...

    Gerry says: "Not quite what it's billing suggests"
    "Not quite what it's billing suggests"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about All the King's Men? What did you like least?

    This book purports to be a study of the British Army from the Restoration to Waterloo. In fact, its much more the summary of the British Army's major wars, campaigns and actions as told through 4 of its leading commanders than about the army itself. Certainly there are sections which cover the common soldier's life and lot, and the system for the purchase of commissions, but I expected and would have preferred a more thorough analysis of the army itself - how it was formed, led, fed, moved, and drilled.

    The book does provide a great overview from the point of view of wars and campaigns, but overall it felt like it tried to cover too much ground in too little time.


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

    Like most audio books, I think that this should be listened to at double speed, otherwise the narration is simply too slow.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No, absolutely not.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo - and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By James Donovan
    • Narrated By James Donovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (47)

    On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a group of roughly 200 Americans holed up in an abandoned mission just east of San Antonio, Texas. For nearly two weeks, the massive force lay siege to the makeshift fort, spraying its occupants with unremitting waves of musket and cannon fire. Then, on March 6th, at 5:30 A.M., the Mexican troops unleashed a final devastating assault: divided into four columns, they rushed into the Alamo and commenced a deadly hand-to-hand fight.

    Lynn says: "Blood and History Runs Off Every Page"
    "Well written & thorough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Blood of Heroes the most enjoyable?

    This is a comprehensive telling of the story of the Alamo including the background, build-up, fight and aftermath. Details of the fight are perhaps the most sparse but that's probably not surprising given the outcome. It's a little slow in places but overall I enjoyed the book.


    What other book might you compare The Blood of Heroes to and why?

    It's not as engaging as Donovan's previous book, A Terrible Glory, as the story does not move as quickly and this book also feels less even-handed in its treatment of both sides, despite the author's efforts.


    Any additional comments?

    As a narrator I don't think that Donovan does as good a job as some of the other narrators I have listened to and I think that a better narrator would have enhanced my enjoyment of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Murray
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (130)

    In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

    Brent says: "great insights to today's culture wars"
    "Not suitable for audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Coming Apart? What did you like least?

    This book has some interesting content but due to the large number of charts and accompanying statistics it makes it rather unsuitable as an audio book. If you want to try this I'd recommend reading the book or ebook.


    Was Coming Apart worth the listening time?

    No.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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