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John N. Berg

buddhapop

Portland, Oregon | Member Since 2013

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 24 ratings
  • 89 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • George Washington: The Founding Father (Eminent Lives)

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    By far the most important figure in the history of the United States, George Washington liberated the 13 colonies from the superior forces of the British Empire against all military odds, and presided over the production and ratification of a constitution that (suitably amended) has lasted for more than 200 years. Yet today, Washington remains a distant figure to many Americans, a failing that acclaimed author Paul Johnson sets out to rectify with this brilliantly vivid, sharply etched portrait.

    John N. Berg says: "ENJOYABLE AND INFORMATIONAL"
    "ENJOYABLE AND INFORMATIONAL"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved learning about the father of our country and, as always, Paul Johnson makes history entertaining and approachable. When you finish this book you'll appreciate what a great man Washington was and how fortunate America was to have his leadership. For the amateur historian there was just enough detail to understand his life and times.

    I found the narrator a bit irritating to listen to. He seemed to read every single sentence the exact same way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2002)
    Performance
    (1744)
    Story
    (1743)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "Great Story/Great History."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, I think all Americans should be proud that our nation created a man like Garfield. The story of his life is one of virtue (except for one occasion) and hard work. Even if he served as president for a short time, he was an amazing man.

    This book does a great job of telling Garfield's story, the story of his times and the medicine at the time in an entertaining and very interesting way.

    I recommend this book highly and the narrator did an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (517)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "A Heartbreaking, Fascinating and Riveting History"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Great War can be hard to understand because the world was so different just 100 years ago. This war seemed so unnecessary. Millions of lives lost and yet it is still hard to understand the purpose of so much carnage. This book will leave the amateur historian with a much better understanding of events.

    The author does a great job with his various background segments. More than just a history of what led up to the war and the war itself, this book gives the reader an idea of what Europe in 1914 was like, information on the main players and events.

    This book doesn't get too bogged down in the minor details of each battle, but instead talks about the overall strategy of the combatants and how the battles played out. He also does an excellent job of bringing many of the main characters to life.

    It changed and enriched my view on the war. I think Germany is less responsible for the outbreak of the war than previously thought - there's plenty of blame to go around - and was much to harshly treated at its end.

    The narrator was a bit of a slow reader so I played him at 1.5 speed on my Kindle Fire. That seemed to work just fine.

    I highly recommend this book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Socrates: A Man for Our Times

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Johnson
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Acclaimed historian and best-selling author Paul Johnson’s books have been translated into dozens of languages. In Socrates: A Man for Our Times, Johnson draws from little-known resources to construct a fascinating account of one of history’s greatest thinkers. Socrates transcended class limitations in Athens during the fifth century B.C. to develop ideas that still shape the way we think about the human body and soul, including the workings of the human mind.

    Megan Hewins says: "Plat-Soc-Paul"
    "Great Story About a Great Man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We all know the name Socrates, but often time we think philosophers are insufferable know-it-alls. Socrates was not. Although this book only generally touches upon his philosophy it does a great job in describing what sort of man Socrates was and the times he lived in. The author does a great job in making the information accessible and interesting and the narrator was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6932)
    Performance
    (2740)
    Story
    (2747)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "Full of Fun Facts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This really was an entertaining and educational 17 hours. The book covers everything from the creation of the planet and life to the extinction of the dodo. The writing has a certain sense of humor to it which makes what could be a dry topic entertaining. Ultimately you'll be amazed that life, let alone human life, is here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Blaine Harden
    • Narrated By Blaine Harden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (487)

    North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped - but Shin Dong-hyuk did.

    Amanda says: "Worthwhile, but difficult on many levels."
    "Fascinating and Horrifying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't stop listening to this story. Its horrible to imagine that between 150,000 and 200,000 people are currently living in North Korean prison camps today. That the prisoners were physically abused is horrible, but what they go through emotionally is even more astounding. I have several friends who have read or listened to this book and without an exception we all found it fascinating. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Elijah Wood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2521)
    Performance
    (1999)
    Story
    (1986)

    A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.

    James says: "Worthy "signature" premiere"
    "Awesome Performance of a Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elijah Wood makes this story come to life - what an amazing narrator!! The best part of the book is the relationship between Huck and Jim. Once Huck and Jim set out on the raft the story really becomes entertaining and endearing. For the listener its interesting to see the attitudes towards, race, slavery, child abuse, religion while being entertained by the adventures. To me, the part that was less entertaining was when Tom Sawyer gets involved in helping Jim escape. Anyway, I highly recommend this entertaining classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman's Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Deborah Laake
    • Narrated By Meredith MacRae
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Secret Ceremonies is the story of the awakening of Deborah Laake. A devout Mormon, she attended Brigham Young University, received good grades, was popular - but most of all, she found the One, the man who declared that his claim to her was a matter of divine revelation. Thus, while still in her teens she was married in the sacred chambers of a Mormon temple. From there her life began to disintegrate.

    John N. Berg says: "Short and Entertaining"
    "Short and Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first part of the book covers the authors life dealing with her Mormon beliefs. That part was interesting and insightful into the Mormon beliefs and religion. As the book continues I realized that the author, although likeable, is really troubled beyond her religion. It was an entertaining listen in a soap opera way, but not the sort of book that I would generally read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Revolution: A History of the English Speaking Peoples, Volume III

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (101)

    This is the third volume in Churchill's famous account. During the long period of 1688 to 1815, three revolutions took place, and all led to war between the British and the French.

    Lois says: "Historical Overview of Britain"
    "Good straight forward history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Age of Revolution the most enjoyable?

    The narrator is clear and the history is told in an easily understood, straightforward manner. Often times an historian gets sidetracked, but not Churchill. Also, its fascinating to hear the history of the American Revolutionary War from the English perspective


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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