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Ronald Brown


Florham Park, NJ USA | Member Since 2000

  • 3 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014

  • The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Toobin
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the moment John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, blundered through the Oath of Office at Barack Obama's inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been confrontational. Both men are young, brilliant, charismatic, charming, determined to change the course of the nation - and completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue. One is radical; one essentially conservative. The surprise is that Obama is the conservative.

    Jean says: "A look at the Supreme Court"
    "Good Look at the Supreme Court during the Obama"
    If you could sum up The Oath in three words, what would they be?

    Insight into SCOTUS

    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book's insights into the operation of the Supreme Court and the relationship between the Court and the Executive Branch. The book covers a lot of ground. It gives a bio for each of the current justices. It also covers important cases that have come up during the Obama administration. Further it provides background on case history to explain the history that led to the present day cases. I had never completely understood how the commerce clause in the constitution allowed for so much federal regulation, but this book explains the case that set that precedent where a farmer growing wheat for just his own use was under the jurisdiction of federal farming regulation since the wheat market was an interstate market even though he was not participating in interstate commerce himself. Of course a good portion of the book focuses on the court's decision about Obamacare. The book also explains how the court is in many ways more radical in its shift to being more conservative. The court is the least covered of the 3 branches of government and I found this book really valuable in understanding it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Cheryl Strayed
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At 22, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

    Marci says: "I Miss Her"
    "Good Memoir"
    What did you love best about Wild?

    Good mix of philosophical reflection on her life (her mother's recent death, her failed marriage, etc) and day-to-day struggle of attempting a hike she is ill-prepared for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Benn Steil
    • Narrated By Philip Rose

    When turmoil strikes world monetary and financial markets, leaders invariably call for "a new Bretton Woods" to prevent catastrophic economic disorder and defuse political conflict. The name of the remote New Hampshire town where representatives of 44 nations gathered in July 1944, in the midst of the century's second great war, has become shorthand for enlightened globalization.

    James says: "Fascinating!"
    "Can't see the Forest for the Trees"
    What would have made The Battle of Bretton Woods better?

    More focus on big picture - less on details.

    Any additional comments?

    This book provides a lot of details on the Bretton Woods conference. In particular it focuses on the two main players: Harry Dexter White of the US and John Maynard Keynes of England. Much time is spent on whether White was a communist. There are memo-by-memo recountings of the formulations of US and British positions. I am sure the work is extremely well researched, but just too much detail on the events for me.

    I was more interested in the impact of the conference and how the two creations from the conference (IMF, Word Bank) function. How do currency exchanges work was a more interesting question than whether White was a communist.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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