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P. Smith


wyoming | Member Since 2013

  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 28 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014

  • The Skeptic's Guide to American History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark A. Stoler

    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."
    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?


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?


    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
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Daniel C. Dennett
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell

    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."
    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

    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"
    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?


    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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