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Ted

ratings
9
REVIEWS
9
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
35

  • The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (399)
    Story
    (395)

    Earth evolves. From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national best-selling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere - of rocks and living matter - has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.

    Gary says: "Makes minerals interesting"
    "The "Greatest Story Ever Told" : -)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Story of Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "The Greatest Story Ever Told II"'


    Any additional comments?

    Good introduction to the newest ideas about geology." Newer" meaning the integrated view of Earth as both an organic and inorganic symbiotic system. How life created Earth and Earth created life. Versus the the older way of thinking about "rocks" being separated from
    "animals." Also gives sense of Deep Time and Earth as a dynamic, changing thing. We can no longer think that "the mountains are eternal." Quite the contrary.

    *Narration is good. But I wish that pace could be a little slower, with pauses after important points. Scientific subjects require processing time. This is one area where audio books are inferior to paper books. I don't know if there is an easy answer to the difference in format.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By David Bentley Hart
    • Narrated By Ralph Morocco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    In this provocative book one of the most brilliant scholars of religion today dismantles distorted religious "histories" offered up by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other contemporary critics of religion and advocates of atheism. David Bentley Hart provides a bold correction of the New Atheists’s misrepresentations of the Christian past, countering their polemics with a brilliant account of Christianity and its message of human charity as the most revolutionary movement in all of Western history.

    R. Tesla says: "Very indepth overview of Christian History"
    "A Conversion Experience."
    Overall
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    Story

    This book has done much to reset 50 years of misinformation that I have had about Christianity. Contrary to some reviewers, I think the editor was right to add "Atheist Delusions" onto the rest of the title. Having only the "Christian Revolution" part would have sounded like just another mundane book written for Christians. The author does make the case for why it was a revolution, but he also got into the fight against the people who use "The God Delusion" to make their point.
    And I'm glad he was a bit snarky at times. The pretensions of modernity need a take-down. And they got it in this book.

    I listened to this book three times. You simply can't get it once through. The narrator sounded robotic at first but his pace and enunciation were appropriate to the complexity of content.

    A gripe on audio book design: Why can't Audible make its chapters match the book chapters?
    This is a confusing UI issue that would be easy to fix.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Best and the Brightest

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David Halberstam
    • Narrated By David Clennon
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    Using portraits of America's flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country's recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling audiobook has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

    Jackie says: "Unabridged, please"
    "Three hours? More of a Podcast than a real book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A shame and disappointment that this great author was abridged to 3 hours. "Book" was more of a podcast than a book. Audible should not charge the regular price.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Max Hastings
    • Narrated By Stewart Cameron
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    With an introduction read by Max Hastings. A companion volume to his best-selling ‘Armageddon’, Max Hastings’ account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history. Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria.

    GEORGE says: "Great Book; Very Poor Presentation!!"
    "Great Book. Even for anti-British Americans."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Nemesis rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is at the top of WWII histories.


    Any additional comments?

    "Nemesis" is an example of why Max Hastings is the foremost WWII historian. In a CSPAN Book TV interview he said that "World War II was the greatest event in human history." Considering its far-reaching effects--continuing through our era-- he has a strong case for this statement.A strength of the book is its many stories of ordinary people. One gets details and a sense of realism that is better than histories just talking about generals and politicians. Hastings humanizes the story. These realities resonate with me, a combat veteran of Vietnam.

    I feel the criticisms of the narrator are wrong. Most Americans are intolerant of non-American English. This American thinks Stewart Cameron's British accent is quite easy to follow and clearly carries the story once you tune-in to the British cadence. It's really not that hard. Americans make a big deal out it. We should get used to the kind of English spoken by the majority of the English-speaking world. The author is, after all, British : -)Hastings has a British viewpoint, of course. But this is good for Americans. We tend to think we won the war single handedly.

    Hastings is judgmental about key figures all around. This is one of his strengths, what takes "Nemesis" beyond ordinary histories. He says that some British generals were glad when they heard that their Orde Wingate was killed--that he wouldn't be around to get more soldiers killed by goofy heroics. His criticisms of MacArthur seem to sting some American readers. But even American soldiers at the time didn't think highly of MacArthur. A friend of mine who fought his way onto several Pacific islands told me that GI's called him "Dugout Doug," for his propensity to be at photo-ops only after areas were secured.

    Hastings strong opinions on Japanese barbarity are another area that may offend current sensibilities. But all the old Pacific War vets I have known would agree that they were dealing with an enemy quite different than even the Nazis. One called the Japanese regime a death cult.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nina Teicholz
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (234)

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?

    Ted says: "Great book. Challenges your belief system."
    "Great book. Challenges your belief system."
    Overall
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    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to a friend because it addresses "numero uno" : health.


    What does Erin Bennett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is one of the best narrators I have heard. I have heard the author speak in a podcast and Bennett brings her persona into the story. In this way she is like a good actor.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those books that changed long-held beliefs and reset my worldview. Every few years I run across one. The last time was "Power to Save the World: the Truth about Nuclear Energy" by Gwyneth Cravens. It overthrew decades of received wisdom--what I thought I "knew."
    "Big Fat Surprise" does the same thing for the energy source used in our bodies.

    This book, like the other, doesn't just make assertions. Seemingly paradoxical ideas are backed up with a lot of convincing history and evidence. Along the way you will learn some nutrition science. And some science history-- including the political corruption of science. If you are disposed to have popular orthodoxies challenged and overturned this is a great book. The kind of book one reads several times.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles P. Pierce
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (160)

    The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

    Vargas says: "You Get What You Paid For"
    "Agreed with premise. But tedious writing."
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    I agreed with the author's points. But, the organization, the structure, was a disappointment. The author got lost in too many tedious historical stories from the 19th century. Of the last ten audio books I have done, this is the dullest. And most of my books are about history or politics.

    The book could have been more tightly built around more contemporary examples of idiocy in American life. At least it could have started in the 1920's, an era more relevant to us. There is plenty of idiocy material to work with in the last 90 years : -)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Eri Hotta
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    When Japan attacked the United States in 1941, argues Eri Hotta, its leaders, in large part, understood they were entering a conflict they were bound to lose. Availing herself of rarely consulted material, Hotta poses essential questions overlooked by historians in the seventy years since: Why did these men - military men, civilian politicians, diplomats, the emperor - put their country and its citizens in harm's way? Why did they make a decision that was doomed from the start?

    Jean says: "Japanese viewpoint"
    "A new perspective on WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The different aspect of this book was its view of how the Japanese side got into the Pacific War.
    Thus 36 million people--50% of WWII deaths--lost their lives.

    It is also highly relevant to today. We still have stupid and delusional leaders--and followers--who continue the same disastrous militarism.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A History of 1945

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ian Buruma
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the greatdrama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and anew, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come across Asia and all of continental Europe. It was the greatest global powervacuum in history, and out of the often vicious power struggles thatensued emerged the modern world as we know it.

    Mary says: "Great historical overview"
    "Memorable Book."
    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    This book covers an under-reported area of the WWII era. I think it will help younger people realize why that pivotal time still shapes the world they inhabit today. World War II is no longer part of the collective memory of the majority. I was born in 1945 so even as a kid I heard the people in my life talking about it. But to younger people WWII seems as distant as the Civil War-- it is hard for them to relate to.

    I have a large WWII library, yet Year Zero filled in a lot of blanks in my understanding of events. I only had some generalities on how awful things were after the "peace." Year Zero was very enlightening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    In this Pulitzer Prize - winning biography, Barbara Tuchman explores American relations with China through the experiences of one of our men on the ground. In the cantankerous but level-headed "Vinegar Joe", Tuchman found a subject who allowed her to perform, in the words of the National Review, "one of the historian's most envied magic acts: conjoining a fine biography of a man with a fascinating epic story."

    Charlotte says: "A period that directly affected our world today"
    "Excellent Long-form Nonfiction."
    Overall
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    Would you listen to Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 again? Why?

    Yes. But one has to be a real WWII history geek. This 600 page book was written foran earlier generation of readers who were in a culture of long-form reading. So actuallythe audible format is a lot better for the way we all are now. But it is especially betterfor those under 40.I had a special interest, as one who is doing research on a family member who servedon Stilwell's staff in China-Burma-India. The book cast a lot of light on the artifacts anddocuments I am going through. I could read articles in the CBI Roundup papers withsome knowledge of the who/what/where/whens.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Tuchman was a great writer from the old school of historians. I think that being awoman made her have a different viewpoint on the personalities. Military history ismostly written by men. Her views and opinions had that feminine insight. At thesame time she maintained a balanced tone, often stating the opinions and judgmentsof people with different perspectives.You also learn a lot about the Chinese history and worldview. In this regard the book is not "old" history, but is highly relevant to the China we deal with today.The book also gives you a good picture of life in the U.S. Army of the '20s and '30s.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Wherever Stilwell was POed about events, Tuchman and the narrator really give you a feel for the man, really bring him to life. Because of Tuchman's writing and the excellent narration of Pam Ward I felt like I got to know the man. He came to life through their
    talents.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book for WWII enthusiasts. Not a quick read. Even in Audible format, get ready for a long involved journey.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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