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Walter

Tokyo, Japan | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 44 ratings
  • 170 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Victor Sebestyen
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    For more than 40 years, communism held eight European nations in its iron fist. Yet by the end of 1989, all of these nations had thrown off communism, declared independence, and embarked on the road to democracy.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Unsurpassed"
    "The puzzle fits together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Revolution 1989?

    For somebody who wants to know why the Berlin fell


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (371)

    Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

    Ryan says: "Important themes, with blind spots"
    "Great ideas, but stops short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was great in collecting examples throughout history that extractive political and economic institutions cause nations to fail. In some sense, it should be obvious. It's what libertarians have been saying for hundreds of years. The book gives examples after examples of how this has played out in history. However, the book stops short. Why are high taxes not an extractive political structure? Yes, you can have high taxes in a democratic society where the 80% take money by taxing the wealthier 20%. Why is that not an extractive poiltical structure? France is democratic and has just elected a president suggesting a 75% tax on the wealthy. French government spending is over 50% of GDP. Why do the authors attack China for having extractive economic and political institutions? Much of Europe is taxing like it is going out of style. Yes free markets always help. Free societies with clear property rights will do better. This is obvious. But why do the authors somehow stop short of questioning the big government tax and spend culture of much of the developed world? If somebody takes away 75% of your earnings, that's pretty extractive.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Andrew Scott Cooper
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (90)

    Struggling with a recession... European nations at risk of defaulting on their loans... A possible global financial crisis. It happened before, in the 1970s. The Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, this is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.

    Lynn says: "Surprising, Sad, Sacry"
    "Great story, but ignores the economic side"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Oil Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Oil Kings is definitely a worthwhile read. I would recommend it to anybody interested to know what happened in the 1970s oil shock. The author has a deep understanding of the internal politics that drove the US-Iran relationship during that era and for that this book is absolutely wonderful. The one gripe I have with the book is that it oversimplifies the price setting mechanism for oil. If the author could have done more work on the supply demand and long term supply shortages that had developed over time, the book would have been more credible as a complete explanation of the oil story of the era. However, this is more of a story about the Kings and less about Oil. It's great for what it is, but could have been a great book with a little more balance about how oil prices actually come about. Even during the oil shock, politicians can only raise the price if the market warrants it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David Einhorn
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    At its most basic level, Allied Capital is the story of Wall Street at its worst. But the story is much bigger than one little-known company. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is an important call for effective law enforcement, free speech, and fair play.

    James Klein says: "where's the epilogue?"
    "One of the best finance books in a long time!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Fooling Some of the People All of the Time the most enjoyable?

    This was an incredibly enjoyable book on all levels. You just have to admire the tenacity and intellect of Einhorn. It would have been the easy way out to cover the short on Allied and let it go, but he stuck with it as he had strong conviction. The amount of detail in his research is astounding. You have to hand it to Einhorn: he deserved to come out victorious in the end. He just did his homework better than anybody else.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 1776

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4657)
    Performance
    (1845)
    Story
    (1853)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you ever thought history was boring, David McCullough’s performance of his fascinating book will change your mind. In this stirring audiobook, McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence, when the whole American cause was riding on their success.

    Mark says: "Front Seat on History"
    "A great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    1776 tells of the ups and downs in Washington's command portraying him as a person with real human frailties. But this book is not a critique of Washington. Far from it. Despite all his imperfections, one cannot but come away with great admiration for Washington realizing all the stresses he must have gone through and how he kept up the morale of his men despite overwhelming odds. The book makes the reader think about how Washington must have felt and how his unwavering belief in his cause and his strong moral character kept the army together. 1776 was a tough year for America and it's amazing that Continental Army pulled it out. Highly recommended! I could not put it down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The History of Money

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (154)

    From primitive man's cowrie shells to the electronic cash card, from the markets of Timbuktu to the New York Stock Exchange, The History of Money explores how money and the myriad forms of exchange have affected humanity, and how they will continue to shape all aspects of our lives--economic, political, and personal.

    PHIL says: "Wide, deep, thoughtful, colorful"
    "A refreshing perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The History of Money?

    An anthropologist's view on money was very refreshing. We always think of money from the economist's perspective which can at times be a little dry. The author gives just the right mix of interesting tid bits on money and a constant theme to tie the book together...that while money has greatly advanced society, history repeats over and over the folly of too much money creation.


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

    The book was well read so that it is easy to follow even at 3 times speed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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