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John

ASHBURN, VA, United States | Member Since 2013

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 85 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • The Balkans [Modern Library Chronicles]

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mark Mazower
    • Narrated By Robert O'Keefe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In this fascinating work, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History Mark Mazower uncovers the history of the Balkans with detail and clarity. He explores the reasons for current conflicts and examines the Balkans as a religious, cultural, and economic melting pot for Europe and Asia. Through Robert O'Keefe's articulate narration, listeners will be absorbed by this rich world.

    David says: "Thorough History..."
    "Good Cure for Insomnia"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Other professional historians might appreciate this book.


    What could Mark Mazower have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    If the book meandered less, and was less soporific, it might have been more enjoyable.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If the performance could have kept me awake in spite of the poor material, it might have been better.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Balkans [Modern Library Chronicles]?

    I would have shortened the sentences, and tried to bring some thematic coherence to the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The author's meandering and soporific prose, and the narrator's soothing performance, managed to make Balkan history actually boring - a remarkable achievement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Housing Boom and Bust

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (84)

    There was no single, dramatic event that set the current financial crisis off. A whole series of very questionable decisions by many people, in many places, over a period of years, built up the pressures that led to a sudden collapse of the housing market and of financial institutions that began to fall like dominoes as a result of investing in securities based on housing prices. This book is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story.

    Adolphe says: "Inciteful Non partisan blame"
    "Beware: This is a polemic, not an objective study"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not having heard of Thomas Sowell, I chose this book hoping for an objective analysis of the housing boom and bust. I wanted to learn more about what happened. Instead, it became clear at the outset that Sowell was emphasizing the facts that best would support his libertarian opinions.


    What could Thomas Sowell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Change the title to make it clear this was a polemic, not an objective analysis.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Narrator was excellent - wonderfully clear, baritone voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was clearly well researched, and the author's points were well documented. Unfortunately, all the facts were selected to support the author's opinions, not to provide a total picture.


    Any additional comments?

    From what I have read elsewhere, the crisis was caused by a combination of misguided government incentives (maybe 25%) and wild, unregulated greed on the part of financial institutions (maybe 75%). Sowell would have us believe the ratio is more like 95% to 5%. This is just not believable, and it leads us to the dangerously false conclusion that we need less bank regulation, not more. It makes you wonder if Sowell has a side business as a banking consultant.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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