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bryan

Indianapolis, INDIANA, United States
  • 9
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • American Lion

  • Andrew Jackson in the White House
  • By: Jon Meacham
  • Narrated by: Richard McGonagle
  • Length: 17 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 837
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 661
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 653

Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson's election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unlikable Old Hickory

  • By John M on 01-05-09

Love to hate

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-15

This is a great story of a man full of contradictions. The story of his rise to general and then to the presidency of the United States is nearly American myth. This book focuses on the White House years and other reviewers have found fault with this limitation. Jackson is a complex figure and this is a great introduction to the many facets of the man and the men and women that surrounded him. Very little time is spent on his role in the war of 1812. This story includes some of the people who helped Jackson gain the presidency and also those who thought his 'monarchy' would bring down the United States. He expanded the powers of the presidency, fought to remove native peoples from their lands, kept the union together, survived assassination attempts and duels, facilitated the expansion and acquisition of more territory, and destroyed the bank of the United States, and this book shares all of this with a great narrator and an engaging story. Enjoy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Wicked War

  • Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
  • By: Amy S. Greenberg
  • Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 111

A Wicked War presents the definitive history of the 1846 war between the United States and Mexico - a conflict that turned America into a continental power. Amy Greenberg describes the battles between American and Mexican armies, but also delineates the political battles between Democrats and Whigs - the former led by the ruthless Polk, the latter by the charismatic Henry Clay and a young representative from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Greenberg brilliantly recounts this key chapter in the creation of the United States authority and narrative flair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The politics of the Mexican war

  • By Tad Davis on 12-08-12

Good story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-20-15

The story itself is fantastic. A lot of the other reviewer's had something to say about readers' accents. They are distracting, however this story is compelling nonetheless.

  • The Warmth of Other Suns

  • The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
  • By: Isabel Wilkerson
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles, Ken Burns (introduction)
  • Length: 22 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,051
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,596
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,585

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superior non-fiction

  • By Lila on 05-20-11

WOW! Thank you....

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-21-13

Absolutely amazing! Heartfelt, emotional, gripping.... This is a wonderful story that was a pleasure to listen to. The narrator, Robin Miles, does a great job transporting the listener and attaching them to the people and places in this book. I have read in other reviews negative comments on the pacing and repetition of phrases. It is absolutely true that the writer will use and reuse a small description say, of someone. I felt that really helped me place everything and jog my memory as to the situation at hand. It does not come off as lazy or unedited but, more conversational. There are a lot of people in these stories with the same names and those recycled descriptions help keep everything straight and helps gain a sense of the characters.
This is an emotional ride, be forewarned. At times I openly laughed, giggled, smiled proudly, cheered, and also got so angry, disappointed, saddened, fist clenchingly pissed off! Needless to say, it is a necessary and enjoyable listen.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Leviathan

  • The History of Whaling in America
  • By: Eric Jay Dolin
  • Narrated by: James Boles
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Here is the epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales. This absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • NOT JUST BLUBBER

  • By Jesse on 08-06-07

Thare she blows...!!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-21-13

I listened to this after Heart of the Sea, which I think is a prerequisite to this story. There is also a decent PBS documentary on the history of American whaling which seems to draw a lot from this book and interviews not only the author of this book, Eric Dolin, but also Nathaniel Philbrick and a few historians.
This book does have some flaws but they do not detract from this history. This is a broad view and a great starting point for non scholars to get an idea of American whaling. he gets some minute sailing facts incorrect and refers to Philbrick as a 'historian', he is not. He is a writer. However, I think that's being a little pedantic. I enjoyed this book and along with some other supplements, I learned a tremendous amount about American whaling and the history of the United States.

  • Across Atlantic Ice

  • The Origin of America's Clovis Culture
  • By: Bruce A. Bruce A. Bradley, Denis J. Stanford
  • Narrated by: Christopher Prince
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. The presence of these early New World people was established by distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Science in progress...

  • By bryan on 04-30-13

Science in progress...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-30-13

Science is a messy process. That being said, this is not just the story of the populating of the Americas, this is the story of science itself. This is a story of new ideas challenging the old, new evidence, and the search for a better understanding of the facts. Many of the chapters can get bogged down with excessive detail about flintknapping but it definitely adds to the understanding and evidence for much bigger points. The way the Americas were populated is obviously complex with many subtleties. This book does not declare and defend one position only, it shows more complexity and brings more understanding to this most interesting subject.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Outlaw Platoon

  • Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan
  • By: Sean Parnell, John Bruning
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,723
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,468
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,466

At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!

  • By Chris on 04-09-12

Heroes?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-08-13

Outlaw Platoon is a story of love, brotherhood, pain, suffering, tragedy, and loss. There is no 'upside', this is war. Before you vote to turn our American kids into American soldiers to send them to 'fight for our freedom' perhaps we should all read/listen to books like this.
It is a harrowing story at times, heart wrenchingly disgusting and tragic at others, but completely necessary to hear. I'm sure this is really just a glimpse into the life of a soldier in Afghanistan but one needs to begin somewhere. I would suggest right here. The only uplifting aspect of this story is the love these brothers in arms share and the sense of duty and honor these men and women posess. I walked away from this with a couple of haunting questions, "What the hell are we fighting for?" "What is winning and how do we do it?"

  • In the Heart of the Sea

  • The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
  • By: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,450
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,941
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,944

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819 the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, and disease and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, horrible audio

  • By Eric Leal on 02-06-15

UNBELIEVABLE!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-21-13

It is no wonder this received the National Book Award... This is, to put it as simply as possible, a MUST READ! You don't like history? No problem! You are not interested in whaling? No problem! This is a compelling relevant story of human nature, struggle, friendship, loss, pain, death, and whale oil. A true American story of EPIC proportions!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

  • By: Jack Weatherford
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,286
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,298

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, insightful, intriguing.

  • By Peter on 03-05-10

World's Greatest!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-21-13

Excellent, well written, and well read history of the Mongols. This a great starting point for an overall view of the great Kahn and of the Mongols in general. I was only familiar with the vague story of the rise and rule of Ghengis Kahn and this was a fantastic exploration! The accounts of some of the battles, the tactics, weapons, and strategies were endlessly fascinating and descriptive; full of emotion and even tension.
The flexibility of the Mongols to learn and apply knowledge and technology is hardly less than impressive. This fact and the relentless determination and perseverance of the Mongol people nearly guaranteed them success until they strayed too far from their own humble beginnings.
The Mongols affected nearly the entire world; if you did not realize this, this book is for YOU!

  • Mayflower

  • A Story of Courage, Community, and War
  • By: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,764
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,104

From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating book about a little-understood time

  • By John M on 02-04-07

Great History...!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-21-13

What a great listen! This a a well written account not only of the Puritans that ventured across the Atlantic in 1620 but of their encounter and relationship with the Native Indian people of New England and how these first relationships set the course for future events.
I've read some reviews chastising Philbrick for a misleading title but I could not disagree more. As he notes in the introduction Philbrick compares two key figures of the ongoing Puritan experiment, William Bradford and Benjamin Church. There is another group that needs to be represented in this history and that is of course, the Native Indians. Philbrick not only gives insights to their prior way of life but to the myriad of upcoming changes for these native people. There is much insight to the world view of these parties involved, their motivations, the courage and loss, and struggle that all people persevere to not only survive but to flourish.
I would highly recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in early American history or the early encounters of Europeans and the native populations of the Americas.