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Jeffrey Casurella

Jeff

Marietta, GA | Member Since 2003

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 210 ratings
  • 622 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (927)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
    "Highly Recommend"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent book. The book describes life in Washington during the Civil War and reveals valuable insights and anecdotes of a different era in this "southern" city during a time of national crisis. Well-researched and well-written (the book won a Pulitzer Prize) the book was published around 1940. Its writing style reflects the time when it was written; slightly more formal than books hitting the market today. This book is now long forgotten by the public--unfortunately--but it left an indelible impression on me regarding a time long past during our nation's greatest challenge. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1920: The Year of Six Presidents

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Pietrusza
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (75)

    The presidential election of 1920 was among history's most dramatic. Six once-and-future presidents--Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt--jockeyed for the White House. With voters choosing between Wilson's League of Nations and Harding's front-porch isolationism, the 1920 election shaped modern America.

    D. Littman says: "A fascinating view into the US at the end of WWI"
    "Good, Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting premise -- that 6 past, present, and future presidents--were involved in the 1920 election. The author does a good job of painting the backdrop of the 1920 race. My rating, just 3 stars, actually should be 3.5 stars--to be fair.

    0 of 0 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
    (912)
    Performance
    (810)
    Story
    (808)

    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!"
    "Average at Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started with a bang, but ended in a whimper. I have read many histories and biographies; in fact, two of the best historical books I have ever read--"No Ordinary Time" and "Team of Rivals" were written by this author. This book is not of the same cloth. It is dull,unimaginative, and not worth the time. I cannot recommend this book. Still, I gave it 3 stars because of its obvious meticulous research. By the way, Edward Hermann, as always, is a fantastic narrator. So it was with his narration in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Second World War

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Antony Beevor
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (161)

    Over the past two decades, Antony Beevor has established himself as one of the world's premier historians of World War II. His multi-award winning books have included Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin 1945. Now, in his newest and most ambitious book, he turns his focus to one of the bloodiest and most tragic events of the twentieth century, The Second World War. Thrillingly written and brilliantly researched, Beevor's provocative account is destined to become the definitive work on World War II.

    DJM says: "It Fills in Gaps I Didn't Know Existed"
    "Excellent."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An excellent history of WWII. Very comprehensive with fresh insights. Recommend. I especially enjoyed the analysis regarding what Stalin thought of Roosevelt & Truman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (538)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (457)

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
    "Excellent history, great insight, good narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A thorough and balanced biography of Churchill from 1940-65. I thought this book--of the three book trilogy--was clearly the best. The author, unlike many others, does not necessarily fall in love with his subject, He is objective. All the while, Paul Reid painstakingly sets the stage of WWII itself. This provides a wonderful backdrop to Churchill's goings on. Hence, we essentially have WWII from Churchill's vantage point. For me, this is a refreshing way to read about WWII.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jerry Weintraub, Rich Cohen, George Clooney (foreword)
    • Narrated By Jerry Weintraub
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him - the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood - he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door.

    Ron says: "How could you not really like Jerry Weintraub??"
    "Interesting and Well Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead again? Why?

    This book is highly interesting and relevant. I was only disappointed that the book came to an end. I wish it had been lengthier.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think the stories, occasionally wrapped in life lessons, could not have been more interesting. If this book is not a bestseller, it should be.


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

    N/A


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

    It did make me laugh. And it did have touching moments.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must-read. I am usually a harsh critic, but I really really liked this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs)
    • By Thomas L. Friedman
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (969)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (235)

    Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy - both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

    Sean says: "Long, Flat, and Boring"
    "The sky is not falling"
    Overall

    I eagerly anticipated that this book would be as insightful as the author's most recent book, The World is Flat (which was a wonderful book). Unfortunately, my expectations were not met.

    The basic premise for Friedman's argument -- that America's current fossil-fuel infrastructure mandates drastic change because CO2 by-products cause "weather-weirding" or global warming -- is based on razor thin credible evidence. I realize that this is a controversial subject and that reasonable minds can differ; however, the author presents virtually no alternative viewpoints on whether global warming exists and whether it is man-made.

    I did appreciate some of Friedman's prescient political and social forecasting. I also liked some of the history of how we ended up where we are. Nevertheless, I think the debate over global warming is based on political faith and not on scientific fact.

    Despite all of this, I concur with Friedman's goal of changing our energy infrastructure NOT because of global warming, but because it will further our national interests of less dependency on foreign oil, reduce the influence of "oil dictators," and create a cleaner environment.

    This book is just "ok." It is not earth shattering, however, and I don't buy into its alarmist tones without a further factual basis.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (39)

    This New York Times best seller is the compelling chronicle of a nation during a time of incredible change. With detail and drama, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin expertly reveals the importance of the Roosevelt White House in the great destiny of the United States. Ultimately, she creates an intimate portrait of the Roosevelts, fusing their human vitality with the monumental scale of domestic and foreign affairs during the Second World War.

    Don says: "Well Researched"
    "Outstanding in every respect!"
    Overall

    This is a masterpiece. The history is excellent. The writing style is great. The narration is fantastic. Rarely do I give such high marks, but this book has it all. Even if you have no interest in history, you will still be interested in this book. A friend of mine, who I recommended this book, called me up nearly in tears after listening to the passage of FDR's death. In a word, "riveting."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Toobin
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (669)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (189)

    Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

    Stephen says: "Fascinating"
    "Underwhelming"
    Overall

    Although the book does have its interesting moments -- some factual, some gossipy -- it more reminded me of my law school days (now more than 25 years ago) of listening to a student "briefing a case" to the professor and class. That was uninteresting. What's more, the book makes an argument that a pervasive right wing conspiracy is afoot in the the selection of Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other cases of perceived judicial activism. That could be, but I felt the arguments as presented were either weak, unsupported, or did not add up. I thought Woodward's "The Brethren" was far better. This book was quite underwhelming.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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