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Karri Smith

  • 2 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 209 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014

  • The Assault on Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Al Gore
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the public sphere's degradation to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste.

    Walter says: "Partisan but Valuable"
    "Saving Our Democracy"

    Mr Gore presents well documented evidence that, under the administration of George W Bush, our democracy is in jeopardy of losing its most fundamental entitlements. These entitlements include the expectation of privacy and the rule of law and the assumption that Congress will have oversight of Presidential power and conduct reasoned debate within their representative positions.

    While sometimes wordy and repetitive-tho I found the repetition helpful-Mr Gore makes a persuasive argument for why Americans have placidly gone along with the status quo. The more I listened, the more I found myself outraged by the deferral of the public interest to cronyism and self-interest. Politically motivated appointments, intimidation of scientists and their research which contradicts official party line and political self-interest, intentional ignorance of critical security data in favor of the visions of ideologues, the use of demagoguery and fear to manipulate public opinion and intimidate opposition - all of these examples point to a corrupt and inept administration ready to water down our democracy, empower the executive and silence opposition.

    Mr Gore ably points out that our nation is in dire need of Reason. Fear has immobilized the general public, which is engaged in a mass inertia, self-victimized by the lies that have promulgated anxiety and misinformation. Ordinary citizens, who lack the means of mass advertising and it’s coercive properties, have very little influence these days on the course of events.

    Mr Gore sets his hopes for the future on the democratizing promise of the Internet and it’s many products (blogging, Wiki’s and its current state of “net neutrality”) vis-a-vis economic and social equality.

    I encourage this listen as a powerful indictment of, and solution for, public apathy and a source of motivation to anyone who feels helpless against the power-mongers and “deciders” of the nation.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Patrick Tull

    This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, Royal Navy, and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the road of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

    Frank says: "Choice of Narrators"
    "Pick the Tull version"

    Narrarator Tull does an excellent job of representing the stoic Steven Maturin and ebullient, politically incorrect Jack Aubrey. I'd never read these books, but was enthralled by Tull's narration, capturing the period beautifully. When I went on to the second book, I mistakenly downloaded the verison by narrator Simon Vance and was immediately let down. Maturin had changed from an intelligent, thoughtful Irishman to a simpering Brit. The charisma between himself and Jack A was utterly and disappointingly gone! These are great books, but I wholly recommend the narration by Tull over Vance.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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