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Stan

Hendersonville, NC, United States | Member Since 2002

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 128 ratings
  • 349 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Eisenhower in War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jean Edward Smith
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (312)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (261)

    Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

    Keith Storrs says: "Great book to get to know Ike"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There are little biographies that are just an accumulation of anecdotes and then there are serious biographies. This is a serious biography, and unfortunately, the worst I have read.

    In military endeavors things often go wrong and the author was very quick to say it was Eisenhower's fault. That's okay. The top guy can get the blame. But when things went right, the author frequently said Ike was just lucky. Sorry, that's not fair.

    In the early pages of the book, long before Ike was President the author spoke about what wonderful social change came from Eisenhower's Supreme Court appointments. Conservatives and moderates might not agree. Coming so early in the book it seems like this was the author's bias...or worse yet, the author's activism.

    Once the biography reached Ike's presidency, Smith's strong left-wing feelings were much to prevalent. He referred to conservatives in the Republican Party as "crack-pots" and as "the calcified wing" of the party. Smith's prejudice was so strong that when I finished I was not sure how much I could believe of what I had just read.

    Too bad.


    Has Eisenhower in War and Peace turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By T. J. Stiles
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (181)

    In The First Tycoon, Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models.

    john says: "Great! If you can get through it..."
    "Balanced biography"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    The author was fair with Vanderbilt. Many historians castigate all 19th century businessmen as villains and certainly some were. But Vanderbilt, like Rockefeller, did not make his money with stock manipulations, he made it with good management. He had his faults and the author points them out, but he also had his virtues. A good read


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C.S. Lewis

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Devin Brown
    • Narrated By Jon Gauger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A Life Observed tells the inspiring story of Lewis' spiritual journey from cynical atheist to joyous Christian. Drawing on Lewis' autobiographical works, books by those who knew him personally, and his apologetic and fictional writing, this spiritual biography brings the beloved author’s story to life while shedding light on his best-known works.

    Stan says: "A valuable addition to books on Lewis"
    "A valuable addition to books on Lewis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Life Observed again? Why?

    Yes. In a meaty biography you never get everything in one reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the heavy emphasis on Lewis' books.


    What about Jon Gauger’s performance did you like?

    Excellent. He was an able reader who did not distract the listener from the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I never do that.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a "spiritual biography" but of value to Christians and nonchristians alike. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hard Way

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1661)
    Performance
    (1037)
    Story
    (1034)

    Jack Reacher was alone, the way he liked it, soaking up the hot, electric New York City night, watching a man cross the street to a parked Mercedes and drive it away. The car contained one million dollars in ransom money. And Edward Lane, the man who paid it, will pay even more to get his family back. Lane runs a highly illegal soldiers-for-hire operation.

    Ed says: "Picks up at the conclusion"
    "Narration Reveals Secret"
    Overall

    Good Reacher story and solid narration except for one major complaint. There is one moment near the beginning where the narrator uses a voice for a possible antagonist in a cut scene that gives away a major mystery. Also, British accents are not Dick Hill's forte. Not the best Reacher book but still very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Lecture

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
    • Narrated By Erik Singer, Randy Pausch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2269)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (709)

    When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave - "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" - wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have... and you may find one day that you have less than you think").

    K. Giavelli says: "How to Live"
    "sorry - but I dont see the big deal"
    Overall

    This is an advice book. Like thousands of other advice books it has good advice. That the author is about to die produces a warm sentiment. That he is self-patronizing is off-putting.

    5 of 22 people found this review helpful

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