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Santa Ana, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 2 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 280 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Amazon Customer says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
    "Want to understand President Obama? Read this book"

    Lincoln assembled the best people he could find to lead the nation in what was the most divisive period of our history. Lincoln found those people, strong and driven and patriotic, each with a vision of what this country could and should be in his rivals. Chase, Seward and all the others, each great on their own, were forged into a championship team by an ordinary man of extraordinary compassion and dedication to the founding principles of this Nation.

    President Lincoln has been referenced many times in the past years by President Obama, who used Lincoln's Bible at his inauguration in 2008 and most recently spoke of him in his acceptance speech of the nomination for President at the Democratic National Convention. For those on the left who may have difficulty understanding the apparent slowness and tepidness of Obama's policies and decisions, read this book to better understand him. For those on the right who may have difficulty believing that the invitations to engage and compromise and move this nation forward together are sincere and serious, read this book to better understand him.

    For the work and performance I will share one small anecdote. I've always been moved by the text of the Gettysburg Address but as told through the words of Doris Kearns Goodwin and the stellar voice of Suzanne Toren I felt I was there, on the battlefield, hearing it at its birth.

    18 of 42 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress.

    Ethan M. says: "A mostly successful and interesting history"
    "An informative grind"

    After hearing the author on the Conversations with History podcast I decided to pick up the book. The book is informative but so dry in places that the ah-hah moments were strategically placed oases. It took a pair of multi-week breaks to get through it. I don't regret it because I do think the book is one that the well read person should have under their belt but my goodness, it was hard to get through! I truly hope I am in the minority on this.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
    "Riveting, infuriating, gut-wrenching"

    A former history professor once said to me that historians have the disadvantage of hindsight and that since we know what actually happened we must strive to account for that when arriving at our conclusions. This book put that statement to the test for me as I listened. Wonderfully narrated, this intricate story depicting the rise of a fragile and hated group lays bare both the ferocity and ineptness of human beings as a species as we hear about the origins, assumptions and activities of what will be known as Al Qaeda. This book is highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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