Teaching cultural history through great books seems obvious, but have never encountered it before this series. I enjoyed the switching of narrators. It gave it an organic feel, like they all had their particular interests and couldn't wait to tell you about them. Great detail and explanations about things I have heard about, but never really understood.
With all of the hub-bub surrounding the release of this book/audio book, I was sure that were nuggets of pure gold that would fall from the pages as the narrative developed.
However, no such bounty was to be had. Much of the book was spent making clear what good intentions Bush really had and that the political culture that has developed around this and other similar(read Clinton) administrations was really to blame for the infinite number of bad decisions made by the Bush administration.
The other main emphasis in the book, of course, was to explain in excruciatingly minute detail how good ole 'Scotty' was duped into making false statements over and over again to the American public.
After listening, rewinding several chapter and relistening I can confidently confirm that the following paragraph would have sufficed for the entire book...
"I liked Bush in Texas. I followed him to Washington. The bad system made Bush do bad things. People lied to me and made me look like a liar. I think they are bad. If we change the system we will have no more bad people."
That's pretty much it, no bombshells, no insider information. Just rationalizations for criminal behavior resulting in 4,000+ American deaths and absolution for evil doers in the White House.
Good Job Scotty, really took it to 'em...
This heart of this book is contained primarily in chapter two, where the details of such a prosecution are revealed. This chapter is worth listening to in order to see how a prosecutor would question the witness, George W. Bush.
However, the rest of the book, chapter one and three, while largely valid, is composed of the author's rants which undermine the impact of his thesus.
That is, if we are to believe that a prosecution of any citizen is a non-partisan attempt to seek justice, why would we trust a prosecutorial perspective that blatantly reveals such personal bias against the defendant.
It seems that there are two books here, one titled "The Cross Examination of George W. Bush" and "I Hate Bush and So Should You."
I have no love for Bush, but this is not the legalistic, academic approach that I anticipated when purchasing this audio book.
The Nine is written as a travelogue of the recent to not so recent history of this esteemed panel. It has many interesting facts and anecdotes concerning an 'inside baseball' perspective of the court. The average listener to this type of book however is probably more interested in a more academic approach to the subject. It is not that this title is not enjoyable, much to the contrary, I was quite engaged all the way through...It's just that when I got to the end I wasn't sure that I understood the court any better than I had before listening. What I was hoping for was how the cases were presented to the Justices and how they interpreted the Constitution in their findings. Fortunately Audible has actual Supreme Court hearings downloadable for free...This I found more informative, if a bit less entertaining.
Although the author admits to having little experience with applying to a 'corporate' position, her naivete regarding this pursuit becomes almost unbearable near the middle of the book.
Lost in the quagmire of coaching and image consultants, she seems to lose touch with the essence of what makes unemployment an interesting topic of study.
If you can hold on that long, her conclusions are interesting, yet do not contain the depth I would expect from an individual who makes her 'real' living from observation and interpretation.
Although Gore sits on the opposite side of the political spectrum, he has approached this critique from an objective and academic perspective. Both conservative and liberal will gain from pondering the points made here. Excellent use of the written/spoken word to awaken the populace from its slumber.
Very good treatment of the economic concepts that we often ponder but for which we have no definitive solutions. Using an inductive approach the author explains a simple model for defining scarcity and its effects and then applies it to a number of tangential yet relevant areas. Very mind expanding for the economically curious.
Although the author gives a great account of the life of Kant, there is very little dicussion of his theories. This audio book is great for beginners wanting a sketch of this philosopher's state of mind and peculiar behavior, but not for those seeking clarity regarding his contribution to modern philosophy.
I have read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance twice. Each time, I have gained insight from it's wisdom, applicable to my particular station in life at the time of reading.
However, in the audio version, I was able to visualize the author's words much more clearly than ever before. For example, the recurring vision of the author's son behind the glass door was somehow much more tangible in the audio version.
I recommend it to anyone serious enough about philosophy to 'sweat mental bullets' in order to understand a concept. Otherwise, I suggest sticking to reading/listening that is generally less challenging.
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