Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.
It's a very general overview of history to illustrate some major economic terms and concepts as well as discuss how important economies of history were developed and maintained. It definitely overlaps with other history books I've read like The Silk Roads and that's a good thing. It just covers a broad time frame from colonialism to the computer age chapter by chapter. Interesting, but you may want to give up halfway through.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Let There Be Water illustrates how Israel can serve as a model for the United States and countries everywhere by showing how to blunt the worst of the coming water calamities. Even with 60 percent of its country made of desert, Israel has not only solved its water problem; it also has an abundance of water. Israel even supplies water to its neighbors - the Palestinians and the Kingdom of Jordan - every day.
Informative and repetitive so the reader can absorb the information of Israel's water history and current approach to water abundance. If you don't know anything about Israel's work in the area of water, you'll be fully enlightened. If you know something about it, you may learn more detail about their comprehensive approach, methodologies and technologies.
The narrator is easy to listen to not distracting. A book that I tried to get through quickly, but there were so many details I wanted to absorb, I took my time picking it up and putting it away, coming back to it over time. I wish the U.S and other wealthy nations could employ as many of Israel's methodologies as possible and we are slowly, but it will take a real crisis (versus an inconvenience) it seems of climate and economy before we build the system Israel has. It seems like Israel was proactive, but in a way in order to build a nation of wealth and to absorb the populations that were flooding into the area, Israel also had important incentive to build the water policies and network it has today. Even though the author presents Israel as being mostly forward thinking, I would argue it that there were some water visionaries of course, but the ideas became reality because of need. It's just human nature for most people to be reactive.
Moved by a particularly inspirational tweet one day, Ali Wentworth resolves to live by the pithy maxims she discovers in her feeds. What begins as a sort of self-help project quickly turns into something far grander - and increasingly funnier - as the tweets she once viewed with irony become filled with increasing metaphysical importance. And thus begins her "Unhappiness Project".
She's a great story teller and if you like her personality, you'll find her 24 stories told in 24 chapters entertaining, laugh out loud funny, thoughtful and endearing. Being a bit younger than the author "give or take a few decades", I realized by the end of the book that I should cherish my youth and attempt to age gracefully like Ali. I gave this 5 stars because I could listen to it again when I need something light, funny and upbeat.
As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?
The story was of a complicated and messy life for the main character and mostly everyone around her. It was challenging to go through some of the experiences with these characters. Money, religion and education seemed to help most find a semblance of happiness. Fulfillment in life was another matter.
I would read the story again and again for the cultural observations of life in Nigeria, to immigrant life in America and immigrant life in England. Things I recognized rang true which gave legitimacy to the cultural experiences I did not know. I wish her blog was real.
Another reviewer said they didn't care much for the nasally American accents. I agree they were horrible, but some American accents can be horrible and not at all beautiful. In this story the narrator makes all the Americans sound like they've just inhaled helium, so listeners just have to get used to a story being told from the perspective of a non-American.
What do Dunkin' Donuts, J. Crew, Toys "R" Us, and Burger King have in common? They are all currently or just recently were owned, operated, and controlled by private equity firms. The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything takes the listener behind the scenes of these firms: their famous billionaire founders, the overlapping stories of their creation and evolution, and the outsized ambitions that led a group of clever bankers from small shops into powerhouse titans of capital.
I started this book knowing most of the terms outlined in the beginning of the book, but I still benefited from hearing about the history of private equity from 1980s to 2010s, the conclusions from research studies done on the industry and profiles of the top firms. It provided information on the nuances of the industry that I found interesting and wove it into a mostly engaging story quite nicely.
Many reviews complained about the narration sounding robotic. I was almost put off by this and thought about resorting to buying the book hard/soft cover. Luckily, my need for instant gratification got the best of me. The narration is fine! If you're genuinely interested in the topic he's very easy to follow, his narration isn't bothersome at all.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Over the past three years, the notorious @GSElevator Twitter feed has offered a hilarious, shamelessly voyeuristic look into the real world of international finance. Hundreds of thousands followed the account, Goldman Sachs launched an internal investigation, and when the true identity of the man behind it all was revealed, it created a national media sensation - but that's only part of the story.
I found @GSelevator tweets hilarious and liked the premise behind how/why the author started the account. The book gives more details away about the frat life of investment banking. It's an entertaining collection of stories up until about halfway through when you find yourself saying alright I've heard enough! Information overload! These are all the stories from your buddy who drinks too much and winds up in comical, but mostly stupid situations. Yeah, it's pretty much what you expected. I just didn't expect to be so thrilled for the book to end. His one liners are great though..
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
In a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five years old and orphaned at 10, she quickly learns that the world expects nothing more from her than to die young, be it from drugs, alcohol, or just plain despair. But Nombeko has grander plans. She learns to read and write, and at just 15, using her cunning and fearlessness, she makes it out of Soweto with millions of smuggled diamonds in her possession. Then things take a turn for the worse....
Like Harry Potter expect a detailed, multi-faceted story line that will not disappoint. Expect to get emotionally involved with the characters rooting for the good guys to prevail. Expect adventure. And unlike Harry Potter expect the story to have some basis in reality and genuine political headlines.
I had to stop and rewind the story several times to make sure I got every word and I'm glad I did.
This is the first time I've read a book by this author and I'm now putting his previous book on my wish list.
Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures assimilating into that most secretive and elite tribe. After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place.
This book was exactly what I needed for a quick, summer vacation listen. She is not an anthropologist, but tells you in the end the extent of her anthropology background. The book opens on each story and topic as if it were a research paper, but it's not really like that at all so don't be afraid or disappointed. It's a book about a woman's life that feels like girl talk when you need a girlfriend who's willing to sit down and analyze your first world problems. Other reviews claim she's whiny, which concerned me because I didn't want to listen to a spineless wimp, but I found that the author's problems relatable and honest. Clearly, if you don't waste time relating to other people's feelings this book is not for you. If you dive into this book, though, you'll enjoy it like a good conversation with your girlfriends. Don't expect a life changing story or big, triumphant happy ending. Do expect some laughs, some sadness, some "screw her" moments, some interesting stories on other people's lives.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
An insider of both the Bush and Obama administrations offers an irrefutable indictment of the mishandling of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailouts and the extreme degree to which our government officials—from both parties—served the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the public. From his first day on the job as the special inspector general in charge of overseeing the distribution of the bailout money, Neil Barofsky found that the officials at the Treasury Department in charge of the bailouts were in thrall to the interests of the big banks.
This book is a great story if you know absolutely nothing about how Washington works. Barofsky takes the reader from the beginning where he was just a lawyer from the south district of NY investigating & prosecuting fraud and drug crimes. His boss who passed him up for one promotion was now recommending him for a job in Washington as an insider. Barofsky's entire perspective is the journey of a man who becomes a Washington insider by taking a job he never expected to get in a town and political climate he never fancied.
Chapter 1-2 are about how he came to be confirmed as an inspector general. He gives great anecdotes and quotes from people he came into contact with or people he worked with or from his own family members to paint a picture.
I'm currently on Chapter 3 where he now has the job, he recruited a talented buddy of his to be his partner although only one of them would get the risk and reward for any of their work done. He describes his office, his interaction with Henry "Hank" Paulson. How wet behind the ears he was in Washington even being naive at times. It's a great account for anyone taking a job in Washington where they're having to start an entire dept/operation (well funded operation) in Washington from the ground up. Human mistakes will be made.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
He says he loves you. So...why does he do that? You've asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men---and to change your life. In this groundbreaking book, a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men shows you how to improve, survive, or leave an abusive relationship.
I never give 5 stars for anything as I want to reserve it for books that are truly excellent. Why Does He Do That is one such book. I found myself asking this exact question and so the title of the book drew me in immediately. The author then eliminates the confused state you've found yourself in with every chapter that breaks down why your partner acts the way he does. If your partner or ex partner fits the description of the abusers in the book whether it's physical or non-physical abuse, then the book will explain why you have a partner who resembles Jekyll and Hyde.
I like how the book lays out a multitude of questions that women may find themselves asking and then answers each one of them as the book progresses. The author is experienced and understanding and it's actually off-putting to hear a man advocate for women's rights so fervently. It's not something you see a lot on society. And it's not about him being an extreme feminist, but him saying everyone has the right to be treated with love and respect and he combats the abuser's perspective resolutely by saying there is absolutely no excuse for their behavior and he describes what that behavior is.
The author gets into the details of what abuse is because you may not even know that it's happening as the victim or an onlooker. Things we brush off everyday because me telltale signs of abuse. The overall message of the book is that abusers do not change without external pressure to do so and that we need to educate and empower individuals to create a community where abuse is snuffed out as a value society does not tolerate. Because that's really the only way abuse is going to stop. It's a lofty, idealistic goal, but sometimes you have to be lofty, idealistic, educated and resolute in order to influence great change.
I recommend this book to anyone who just wants another perspective on their relationship. If it feels like something isn't right, you're not happy, you're partner is tears you down, takes things out on you, scares you, threatens you to the point where you feel like you're suffering or walking on egg shells, holding your tongue about things, always questioning how to keep him happy or stay on his good side...then you need to read this book. This may be one situation where thinking about yourself is an absolutely must and being nurturing and understanding is only going to destroy you from the inside out. After reading this, I just felt better not being confused anymore. It's sometimes difficult to explain to people what you're experiencing when you're not even sure. So if nothing else, this book was very healing for me. I'm absolutely sure this book can help other women, especially if they're in a situation that is life threatening or involves children. There's also sections for everyone involved with abusive situations which is why this is a must read! If you're a family member or friend or clergyman or counselor or judge or probation officer--there is something in here for everyone not just the victim. End the confusion and be empowered through knowledge. Five stars!!!!!
16 of 17 people found this review helpful