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R. M. Lucas

Indiana, USA

ratings
56
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • John Dewey & the High Tide of American Liberalism

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Alan Ryan
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his 93rd year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his 80s.

    R. M. Lucas says: "Fine biography"
    "Fine biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very well-written biography that works nicely as an audiobook for those who take some interest in Dewey. Robert Westbrook's biography, John Dewey and American Democracy, is probably more authoritative, but Ryan's book moves along more briskly, is reasonably comprehensive, and is pleasing to listen to. Ryan is British, and it's interesting to hear Dewey discussed in relation to developments in the UK, Bertrand Russell, Karl Marx, and European thinkers on social democracy. I'm listening to it at the same time as Jonathan Sperber's book on Marx, and although the biographical strategies are very different, the contrast between the two men's lives and thoughts are illuminating.

    Summerer's voice is pleasant and his narration is generally unobtrusive, but I can' figure out why no audiobook narrators (or editors) can figure out how to pronounce names like Weber and Foucault. It's jarring. There are a couple of editing errors, like pauses or repetitions, that should be taken care of, but it's not a huge problem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12826)
    Performance
    (5189)
    Story
    (5229)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    CynNC says: "Captivating"
    "Can't wait for it to end"
    Overall

    The villains are basically Disney cartoon characters. The characters like vaguely like 1980s yuppies, using slightly archaic but still anachronistic language. On rare occasions where they express foreign and potentially intriguing ideas, like celibacy or a fear of hell, Follett doesn't have anything interesting for them to say.

    There are a few nice plot points, but most every development is telegraphed far in advance. The writing is heavy-handed and makes everything too obvious. There is a warmth to the writing, and several likable characters, and I got about 20 hours in before I realized how bad it was. Now I've got only 4 hours to go.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful

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