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Michael

"Sapere Aude" Kant

MILAN, TN, United States

ratings
7
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Sandakan: The Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Paul Ham
    • Narrated By Robert Meldrum
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    This is the story of the three-year ordeal of the Sandakan prisoners of war - a barely known episode of unimaginable horror. After the fall of Singapore in February 1942, the Japanese conquerors transferred 2700 British and Australian prisoners to a jungle camp some eight miles inland of Sandakan, on the east coast of North Borneo. For decades after the Second World War, the Australian and British governments would refuse to divulge what happened here, for fear of traumatising the families of the victims.

    jason says: "The japanese's shamefull past!"
    "A sad story about the spirit of Australians"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Sandakan the most enjoyable?

    What made this story "enjoyable" was learning about the sacrifice the Australians endured for their country and the allied, pacific war effort.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sandakan?

    The final death toll!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Very moving. I had to control my anger about a people long gone and not shift it to their descendants.


    Any additional comments?

    Paul Ham is a very knowledgable author and his stories are engrossing and necessary. I have read the majority of his books and each one makes me appreciate the "digger" more and more. I served with the Aussies in Afghanistan. Truly remarkable soldiers!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (58)

    For 18 years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the "national interest" - or even their subjects - unless they have to. This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction.

    Charles says: "Expand the coalition"
    "Think you understand politics, think again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Dictator's Handbook the most enjoyable?

    I was angry about the premise because I didn't want to believe it. However, the more I read and the more independent research I did the more I came to believe. That is what is enjoyable about this book, it's a paradigm shift in political human nature!


    What other book might you compare The Dictator's Handbook to and why?

    I would compare this to, and recommend reading of, "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty" They should be companion readings to understand global politics and economics.


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

    This is my first audio book read by Johnny Heller. His hushed, raspy voice was disconcerting at first, but I can't imagine a better performer for the info now. No false accents, or grandiose announcing, just well read hard truths.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not only was this a book to listen to in one setting, but one of the few I know I will listen to again. What it has to tell is vitally important to anyone who votes and controls policy.


    Any additional comments?

    This should be read in High School so that when those students reach voting age, they won't vote with their heads in the sand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tony Horwitz
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz makes an unsettling discovery. A history buff since early childhood, expensively educated at university - a history major, no less! - he's reached middle age with a third-grader's grasp of early America. In fact, he's mislaid more than a century of American history, the period separating Columbus' landing in 1492 from the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between?

    Blake says: "Funny, informative, insightful, entertaining."
    "An Odyssey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Voyage Long and Strange the most enjoyable?

    Mr. Mayer did a wonderful job of conveying the story as though he where giving a fireside chat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that the author actually tracked down people and places that descended from the story of America and made the whole affair more human than history.


    Have you listened to any of John H. Mayer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, it's a story of us, not necessarily about us. He shows that memories can be quite long, i.e., the story of the oldest city in America. The present inhabitants are still arguing over it.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent addition to anybody's American History reading list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Washington: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1742)
    Performance
    (1214)
    Story
    (1211)

    In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

    ButterLegume says: "A sad day when my book was done!"
    "The real man"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Washington: A Life the most enjoyable?

    Mr. Chernow removed Washington from the pedestal history placed him upon, but didn't lessen his character, accomplishments, or appeal. Indeed, I respect and admire Washington more after this examination. A person's deeds are more the laudable when you know the shortcomings they overcame to achieve them.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Marquis de Lafayette. He really adored Washington and was a man of conviction who tragically suffered for it.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Brick is a phenomenal storyteller! When he recites Washington's letters, he fully animates and fleshes out the great man to the extent you feel you can see him.


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

    Sheepishly, tears came to my eyes from the recount of Washington's death. Though I certainly knew it was coming, Chernow's description, and the way Brick presented it, was very touching.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hiroshima Nagasaki

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Paul Ham
    • Narrated By Robert Meldrum
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than 100,000 instantly, mostly women, children, and the elderly. Many hundreds of thousands more succumbed to their horrific injuries later, or slowly perished of radiation-related sickness. Yet the bombs were "our least abhorrent choice", American leaders claimed at the time - and still today most people believe they ended the Pacific War and saved millions of American and Japanese lives. Ham challenges this view, arguing that the bombings, when Japan was on its knees, were the culmination of a strategic Allied air war on enemy civilians that began in Germany.

    Luis says: "Amazingly detailed and balanced account."
    "Honest and balanced account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Hiroshima Nagasaki?

    Paul Ham presents a honest and balanced account of the atomic bombings. Ham shows that no decisions, whether horrific or insignificant, can be pigeon holed as either a black or white finality by later day armchair historians. Ham presents the cacophony of voices that spoke for and against the use of atomic weapons and gives flesh to a few of the Japanese who survived the attack. I thoroughly enjoyed that Ham presented all sides, facts, opinions, and innuendoes and did not lead the reader, but allowed you to come to your own conclusions about this time in our history.
    I learned more about the Manhattan Project and the results of its work than any other source I have yet read. "Hiroshima Nagasaki" reads like a historic novel where I sometimes forget I already know the ending.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hiroshima Nagasaki?

    It was very illuminating to learn about the real reasons for Japan's surrender.


    Which character – as performed by Robert Meldrum – was your favorite?

    I thought Mr. Meldrum portrayed all characters very well, but I enjoyed his rendition of Roosevelt the most.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Another Day of Infamy


    1 of 1 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
    (647)
    Performance
    (583)
    Story
    (576)

    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"
    "The balance sheet of WWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A World Undone the most enjoyable?

    This history of WWI is unique in that it hopes to explain the cost and causes of the war, economically, politically, militarily, and humanistically. This is not a "Sandhurst" study of the war, but what were it's multi-faceted causes and costs. This book is very academic and analytical but not boring due to it being so well narrated and so interestingly outlined. Many histories of WWI start with the assassination in Serbia and then progress through it's major battles. That information is necessary to analyze the warfare, but you are still left with the more important and nagging questions of why the war happened. This book goes a long way answering those questions. Every aspect is meticulously researched and explained as G.J. Meyer's reverse-engineers the design of this war leaving the reader with a comprehensive blueprint of its construction.


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

    I have listened to other Robin Sachs's performances and enjoyed this one all the more due to that fact. His reading style is methodical and calculated and does not over pronounce names and places.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was most moved by the economic value of death and the poetry the war inspired.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Timothy Snyder
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (230)

    Americans think of World War II as “The Good War”, a moment when the forces of good resoundingly triumphed over evil. Yet the war was not decided by D-day. It was decided in the East, by the Red Army and Joseph Stalin. While conventional wisdom locates the horrors of World War II in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps, the reality is even grimmer. In 13 years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed 13 million people in the lands between Germany and Russia.

    Joseph says: "Stuck between mad men"
    "Sombering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The Author tames the hubris with the humanity by showing that Hitler and Stalin were two sides of the same murderous coin and their victims deserved to be heard and acknowledged. Many of the books about the events leading up to WWII give mention to the cruelty of these two despots, but they do not drag into the depths of the mud and despair that millions of people suffered due to their ethnicity or religious affiliation. This book is depressing, but necessarily so. We need to remember that the tragedy of any war is the loss of innocent and non combative lives.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Cosham's tone and inflection were perfect. He made the story "enjoyable" by being able to give the necessary levity to the subject matter.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I sat in my car in the parking lot at work not wanting to stop listening.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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