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P. Smith

ps

wyoming | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 34 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Skeptic's Guide to American History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark A. Stoler
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (205)

    To take a skeptical approach to American history is not to dabble in imaginative conspiracy theories; rather, it's to reframe your understanding of this great nation's past and actually strengthen your appreciation for what makes American history such a fascinating chapter in the larger story of Western civilization. And in this bold 24-lecture series, you can do just that.

    J. E. JORDAN says: "Let Go of the Grade-School Storybook History"
    "Not much of a skeptic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone whose only exposure to history is what they 'learned' in public schools. For those with no additional exposure to history this would be an ok starting point, but his skepticism is borderline at best.


    Has The Skeptic's Guide to American History turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Skeptic's Guide to American History?

    The idiotic explanation of the Great Depression


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book puerile at best. Professor Stoler has either never heard of, or is deliberately avoiding discussion of some of the most important aspects of American History to wit:
    1. the role of the bankers and establishment politicians in destroying the anti-federalist papers, and forcing votes, including kidnapping representatives to obtain a quorum for votes during the constitutional ratification process
    2. The extensive correspondence between Robt. E. Lee and Lord Acton concerning the need to rein in the US federal government and the dire consequences for the world if this was not done (how prescient of them!)
    3. Anything other than warmed over Keynsian-light economics regarding the Great Depression e.g. Murray Rothbard's tome on that subject, or anything by Von Mises or Von Hayek.
    4, the recently declassified documents showing that Roosevelt ordered a course that would force the Japanese to attack including firing all the commanders the month before Pearl Harbor because they objected to their forces being, 'sitting ducks.'

    No, this is not a skeptic's history. This is a slight alteration of the standard government issued history.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Consciousness and the Social Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Michael S. A. Graziano
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all. In Graziano's theory, the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attributes it to oneself. Damage that machinery and you disrupt your own awareness. Graziano discusses the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory.

    Douglas says: "Cutting edge..."
    "Gonna make you think hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Consciousness and the Social Brain in three words, what would they be?

    thought provoking stuff.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How he weaves personal anecdotes with complex scientific theories and facts to make the book much more readable.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sean Runnette?

    Did not care for his inflection. I think just personal preference.


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

    the chapter on spirituality.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to this book three times now. This is brilliant stuff, and has made me rethink some of my long held beliefs.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice: A Jesse Stone Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michael Brandman, Robert B. Parker (creator)
    • Narrated By James Naughton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (100)

    Autumn in Paradise, Massachusetts, is usually an idyllic time - but not this year. A Hollywood movie company has come to town, and brought with it a huge cast, crew, and a troubled star. Marisol Hinton is very beautiful, reasonably talented, and scared out of her wits that her estranged husband's jealousy might take a dangerous turn. When she becomes the subject of a death threat, Jesse and the rest of the Paradise police department go on high alert.

    Barbara says: "Jesse's in good hands"
    "formula schlock: boring!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Michael Brandman and Robert B. Parker (creator) and/or James Naughton?

    no


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    non fiction


    What about James Naughton’s performance did you like?

    He is a good reader. Good pace, Good inflection


    What character would you cut from Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice?

    the "formula" parents of the "formula" troubled girl


    Any additional comments?

    Tom Selleck makes the movies enjoyable. This book is so bad compared to say the Travis McGee, or Nero Wolfe stories as to hardly be called literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Daniel C. Dennett
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (80)

    In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.

    Gary says: "Sky Hooks need not apply."
    "Evolution in human terms."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Darwin's Dangerous Idea?

    How thoroughly and logically he explained every postulate


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Darwin's Dangerous Idea?

    Sorry, No "aha" moments, just many, many ideas well explained.


    What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I rarely read books, I listen while traveling in my work, and while exercising, or hiking.


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

    "Elementary my dear Watson"


    Any additional comments?

    A very thoughtful book I will definitely be listening to this again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2856)
    Performance
    (1585)
    Story
    (1581)

    In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

    ben capozzi says: "...Though Hitchens Is!"
    "Uplifting and honest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up God Is Not Great in three words, what would they be?

    Masterpiece for the secular mind. Thorough documentation throughout. The complete dissection of the various arguments for the existence of God is wonderful. Told in an uplifting manner, with a British humorous twist. If you are on the fence re religion, it will give you much to think about. If you are a committed secularist, it will give you much ammunition. If you are a religious devotee, it will either drive you crazy or open your mind.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of God Is Not Great?

    "You will feel better, I guarantee, once you let go of the doctrinaire and allow your chainless mind to do its own thinking."


    Did Christopher Hitchens do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    With his British accent, and significant modulation in speed and volume, some parts were a little hard to understand in a car. Best listened to with headphones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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