First off, if I could give 6 stars for Ray Porter's performance I would. He is by far my favorite narrator - his reading of "Ghost in the Wires" was also excellent.
So, is this book a lefty attack on Wall Street and the Well-To-Do and a bleeding heart account of how the Poor are mistreated in this country? You bet yer hind-quarters it is!
But it is NOT just a rehash of political rhetoric and talking points. I found it to be a very valuable juxtaposing of two irreconcilable realities.
The lack of criminal prosecutions for white-collar crimes versus the over prosecution of harmless and sometimes unheard of crimes (holding up pedestrian traffic anyone?).
A purely political book would not call out the Clinton and Obama administrations for poor policy decisions and hyper-politically-sensistive decision making.
A purely political book would not examine arguments from the opposing perspective - perhaps not to the same degree, but counterpoints are raised and generally fairly addressed.
But even if you were to surgically remove the anecdotes that favor the author's positions. Even if you were to toss out the grey areas that are open to debate.
Even then you cannot read/listen to this book and not have to acknowledge that the divide exists, that it is growing, and that to fair minded people it is just plain wrong.
Reading this book was my first introduction to Alan Mullaly and what went on with Ford before and after the financial crisis.
Certainly it is an interesting story, well told and Alan Mullaly comes across as a business genius and a leader I wish I could have had during my time in corporate America.
My reservations are that the book also reads like a long and rosy telling of "The Ford Story", in the same sense that Ford tries to tell "The Ford Story" in its advertising. It is a one-sided, effusive and unabashedly fawning account of Mullaly and Ford in general.
The author begins the book with an explanation of how he went to the Ford Executive Leadership, including Mullaly explaining that the a book should be written about "Ford's comeback" and how it would be a "positive story". An investigative journalist should not assure his subjects that the book he is writing will be positive, it removes any opportunity for balance - and in balance is found truth.
I certainly appreciate the fact that Ford saved itself rather than accept the Detroit bailout and I can see that Mullaly is an exceptional leader, but I want to read truth, not just advertising. And I felt uneasy during much of this book that I was being asked to trust Ford's own perception of itself.
I've been a huge fan of Louis Theroux for many years, and to me Jon Ronson's book strikes the same tone as one of Louis' shows.
By building a rapport with people who have very extreme beliefs and opinions, they are humanized. One can even empathize to a degree. This is a much more productive policy than simply demonizing or disregarding them.
In most extremists there is a grain of something real that should be considered and built in to our own thinking. However, that is not to overlook the fact that many of these people are essentially delusional and even dangerous.
That is the most important aspect of Jon's book and Louis' shows - whilst opening our minds to empathize and relate, they also illuminate where the reasonable become unreasonable and the understandable become outrageous. And best of all this demarkation is often hilarious and self-evident when exposed by a reasonable person repeating the ludicrous words back to the ludicrous people who just spoke them.
It is genius and a service to the world in my opinion.
I am sure that Jon's book would have lost much of the humor and nuance had it been read by another narrator, so well done Jon.
I enjoy Michael Lewis books. They are a lot of fun to listen to, but I think he has a tendency to exaggerate and use some artistic license in his accounts.
This is my third book of his and now that I'm familiar with his schtick I listened more for amusement than factual accounts.
The book takes us to each of the collapsed/collapsing economies around the world and astounds us with the incredible greed, stupidity and chutzpa of those involved.
Pinch of salt, but the essence is right and if you're like me you'll be well entertained
A very illuminating insight in to the experience of a child on the Autism Spectrum.
Ray Porter is my favorite Audible narrator.
This is a good balance of Einstein's biography and conceptual explanations of some of the big ideas in Physics from Newton up to and including the present.
I liked that Kaku attempted to demonstrated the value of Einstein's often overlooked and failed attempts at a unified theory.
Enjoyed this book.
I really enjoy books about IT entrepreneurship and this was an enjoyable read.
I was hoping for more insight on the technical accomplishments of the early team, but it seems the author does not have a technical background. For example the term Operation System was used instead of Operating System (nerdy ouch!). But putting that aside there were almost no details on the technologies used, their innovations or how their outage problems were solved.
There was a lot more detail on the conniving and malevolent shenanigans of the co-founders as they attempted to wrest control of Twitter from each others' hands.
It seems to me that Twitter was successful despite the fairly inadequate leadership and the apparent lack of vision from any of the co-founders. The kernel of the idea by Jack Dorsey was as far as their "genius" extended. It seemed like the user-base of Twitter knew better than the folks who created it on how best it should be used.
Well worth a listen, especially if you have an interest in boardroom power games.
Ray Porter is my favorite narrator and his reading can make an average book feel great. I think this might be why this book gets such good reviews. Either that, or die-hard Nintendo fans love hearing lists of the gazillions of variations on all the Mario games.
What I got from this book was that Nintendo found a formula that worked and were careful to not change things too much and milk that baby for all they could get out of it.
Don't get me wrong - I like Nintendo. I like that their devices and games are usually high quality, family friendly and I especially liked the Wii with its introduction of less sedentary gaming.
But after the first hour the book, it became less of a personal story and entrepreneurial success story and more like a high level chronology of a corporation's product rollouts.
Still, Ray Porter can make the ingredients list on a packet of peach rings sound enthralling :-)
Firstly, pitch perfect narration by Robert Fass.
As for the book itself, perhaps not as exciting as "Game Change", but only because the 2012 election was in itself less exciting. Rather than an explosive new candidate in a no-incumbent election (2008), this book is about the re-election of a struggling president vs. the election of a previously failed presidential candidate we were all pretty familiar with.
That said, the writing is thoroughly engaging and I devoured it!
It probably helps that I followed both elections fairly closely. Getting the inside perspective on moments that from the outside seemed unbelievable, had me rolling around in hysterics - think Clint Eastwood and the chair - hilarious!
One gripe was the cheesy overuse of the title (and tagline) Double Down, but just being picky.
This book was written from the perspective of laying out all possible evidence from Oppenheimer's earliest days to his final ones to answer the questions regarding his associations with Communism. Obviously this issue would eventually become what he was famous for and it needed to be addressed, but every aspect of his life, even the production of the A-bomb was seen through this lens - who he met with, what he is recorded to have said to this person, what the FBI were investigating etc.
I was hoping the book would include a narrative of his life, perhaps an exciting one. A narrative that perhaps would include the inside story of the manhattan project or other scientific discoveries.
But it was a rather dry, but seemingly thoroughly researched book that addressed only readers who wanted to know that answer to the questions of his political motivations and associations. Again, whilst an important part of a biography of the man, it should only have been part, rather than the hole focus.
First off, the book is quite a bit different from the Netflix show. It is much less sexual and less comedic (although there are funny bits).
It was well written and engaging and it was a worthwhile inside look at life in a Federal women's prison.
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