Kristi R.

Milwaukie, OR, United States
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  • helpful votes
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  • The Symphonies of Beethoven

  • By: Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
  • Length: 24 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 256

Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Truly the course materials MUST be made available.

  • By Christopher James on 09-23-14

"And his nine symphonies are among the greatest..

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-17

"And his nine symphonies are among the greatest achievements of the human spirit."
32 lectures | 45 minutes each

1-4 Beethoven and the Heroic Style

5-6 Symphony No.1- Beethoven as Classicist

7-8 Symphony No.2-Beethoven at the Edge

9-12 Symphony No.3- The New Path

13-16 Symphony No.4-Consolidation of the new Aesthetic

17-19 Symphony No.5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed

20-22 Symphony No.6-The Symphony as Program

23-24 Symphony No.7-The Symphony as Dance

25-27 Symphony No.8-Homage to Classicism

28-32 Symphony No.9-The Symphony as the World

This is one of my favorite courses yet from the Great Courses Company and especially Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have heard some of the music before such as the great 5th Symphony, but I can’t say I understood it at all.

This course helps you to understand what you are listening to and why it was written in this particular way. It also shows you how Beethoven took music from its beginnings and stretched it to its limits. The Professor felt that if Beethoven lived today, he would have loved Jazz music and even Rock and Roll. (Of course, he probably would have lost his hearing even quicker now.)

Of all the music I listened to in this course, I loved the 6th Symphony the best. It spoke to me of nature and the people and their relationship with the earth.

The Professor also fills us in on Beethoven’s private life. We learn who his “Immortal Beloved” was and his strange relationship with his brothers and sisters-in-law. He was a genius but also a very weird personality.

Along with these lectures comes a book written by Dr. Greenberg to help you listen to the complete symphonies by yourself. Now Amazon Prime has Leonard Bernstein’s collector’s edition of all of Beethoven’s Symphonies for Prime members.

I loved this course and highly recommend. I received this course as an anniversary pick from Audible. It was well worth any price.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • D DAY Through German Eyes

  • The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944
  • By: Holger Eckhertz
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,496
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,291
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,290

Almost all accounts of D-Day are told from the Allied perspective, with the emphasis on how German resistance was overcome on June 6, 1944. But what was it like to be a German soldier in the bunkers and gun emplacements of the Normandy coast, facing the onslaught of the mightiest seaborne invasion in history? What motivated the German defenders, what were their thought processes - and how did they fight from one strong point to another, among the dunes and fields, on that first cataclysmic day?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A work of fiction

  • By John Lindsey on 05-22-16

Good information on how German soldiers faced War.

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-14-16

This book is a series of interviews of German soldiers who experienced D-day. There is some graphic descriptions of deaths and maiming, including some tales of ruthless killings of prisoners and civilians.

This was my first pick on the new Prime reading with audible. I found it revealing and unbiased.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

  • By: Alexandre Dumas
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 46 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,050
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,173

Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A true Time-machine

  • By Ramon on 12-27-10

The entire story of the Count is told here!

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-22-16

“Fool that I am," said he,"that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to revenge myself".”

I have seen many movie versions of the book but never read the complete book. I never realized what I was missing. If you enjoy “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo this book is just as long and involved as it with as many delightful characters populating it.

This is the story of Edmund Dantes, sailor with a wonderful future until three men decide he is a pawn in their desires and allow him to be punished unjustly in order for them to get their hearts desires. As a prisoner in the Chateau d’If an island prison where no one escapes and everyone is held in solitary confinement. While there, he meets Abbe Feria who is tunneling an escape route. The old man, also a political prisoner, shows him a map of where his treasure is buried, before he dies. Edmund engineers an unusual escape after seven years of false captivity and begins to seek his revenge on those who wronged him.

So many subplots and characters are missing from the movie versions that it is impossible to list them all here. I will say my favorite characters were Valentine and Maximillian, the lovers that only death can tear them apart.

I loved this story and I loved the fact that Edmund Dantes plays many characters in this plot. I love that the characters grow and learn in this story and it becomes a wise parable of how life should be lived.

The audible version I listened to had John Lee narrating and was over 40 hours long, but I did feel that this version was worth the time because of the pleasure it gave me. I did look up the characters online because I did get confused on whom was who with so many. Other than that, this book stands alone and is true classic not to be missed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

  • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,468
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,311

What were the forces that thrust the British Empire to its extraordinary position of greatness and then just as powerfully drove it into decline? And why is nearly every nation on earth, in one way or another, the consequence of the British Empire?In these 36 lectures, Professor Allitt leads you through four centuries of British power, innovation, influence, and, ultimately, diminishment-four profound centuries that literally remade the world and bequeathed the complex global legacy that continues to shape your everyday life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Learn About Great Britain from a Great Briton!!!

  • By Mike on 04-26-14

The sun never sets on the British empire!

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-12-16

“What should we suppose must naturally be the consequence of our carrying on a slave trade with Africa? With a country, vast in its extent, not utterly barbarous, but civilized in a very small degree? Does anyone suppose a slave trade would help their civilization?” William Wilberforce

1 The Sun Never Set

2 The Challenge to Spain in the New World

3 African Slavery and the West Indies

4 Imperial Beginnings in India

5 Clive and the Conquest of India

6 Wolfe and the Conquest of Canada

7 The Loss of the American Colonies

8 Exploring the Planet

9 Napoleon Challenges the Empire

10 The Other Side of the World

11 Abolition of the Slave Trade and Slavery

12 Early African Colonies

13 China and the Opium Wars

14 Britain—The Imperial Center

15 Ireland—The Tragic Relationship

16 India and the "Great Game"

17 Rebellion and Mutiny in India

18 How Canada Became a Nation

19 The Exploration and Settlement of Africa

20 Gold, Greed, and Geopolitics in Africa

21 The Empire in Literature

22 Economics and Theories of Empire

23 The British Empire Fights Imperial Germany

24 Versailles and Disillusionment

25 Ireland Divided

26 Cricket and the British Empire

27 British India between the World Wars

28 World War II—England Alone

29 World War II—The Pyrrhic Victory

30 Twilight of the Raj

31 Israel, Egypt, and the Suez Canal

32 The Decolonization of Africa

33 The White Dominions

34 Britain after the Empire

35 Colonial and Postcolonial Literature

36 Epitaph and Legacy

These 36 lectures and 140 page PDF tell the story of the British Empire from its very beginnings to its death knell. Professor Alitt does not sugar coat anything but tells us that Britain truly believed they were the masters of the earth and were the best to rule over it. He also tells us that the true reason of their domination was the love of money, which I think, is true of any conquerors. Deep down it is always about money. If it no longer pays than it is time to cut your losses.

I learned a great deal about British history that I never learned in high school. The British empire began with the colonies in America and ended with South Africa apartheid. At one time, the sun never set on the British Empire. The professor also says that the people of Great Britain are still better off today than they ever were before.
I learned about the Irish problem and home rule. I learned that Britain learned from their loss of the American colonies and never went to war again with any of their colonies but compromised. I learned that when the empire allowed the colonies to separate from them there usually was chaos and bloodshed as the various factions sought revenge and power over their perceived enemies.

The professor also taught us about the importance of cricket and the wealth of literature that came from the British Empire. From Rudyard Kipling “Gunga Din” to Alan Paton’s “Cry The Beloved Country.”

Anyone with a love of British history will enjoy these lectures. They also will be thirsty for more information and will continue to pursue this hunger with more books on the empire. I think that should be the goal of every teacher, to awaken that hunger for knowledge in his or her students.

  • William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

  • By: Peter Saccio, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Peter Saccio
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449

Shakespeare's plays - whether a comedy like A Midsummer Night's Dream, a history like Henry IV, or a tragedy like Hamlet - are treasure troves of insight into our very humanity. These 36 lectures introduce you to Shakespeare's major plays from each of these three genres and explain the achievement that makes him the leading playwright in Western civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle.."

  • By Kristi R. on 07-01-16

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle.."

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-01-16

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” Shylock in Merchant of Venice

1 Shakespeare Then and Now

2 The Nature of Shakespeare's Plays

3 Twelfth Night—Shakespearean Comedy

4 Twelfth Night—Malvolio in Love

5 The Taming of the Shrew—Getting Married in the 1590s

6 The Taming of the Shrew—Farce and Romance

7 The Merchant of Venice—Courting the Heiress

8 The Merchant of Venice—Shylock

9 Measure for Measure—Sex in Society

10 Measure for Measure—Justice and Comedy

11 Richard III—Shakespearean History

12 Richard III—The Villain's Career

13 Richard II—The Theory of Kingship

14 Richard II—The Fall of the King

15 Henry IV—All the King's Men

16 Henry IV—The Life of Falstaff

17 Henry V—The Death of Falstaff

18 Henry V—The King Victorious

19 Romeo and Juliet—Shakespearean Tragedy

20 Romeo and Juliet—Public Violence and Private Bliss

21 Troilus and Cressida—Ancient Epic in a New Mode

22 Troilus and Cressida—Heroic Aspirations

23 Julius Caesar—The Matter of Rome

24 Julius Caesar—Heroes of History

25 Hamlet—The Abundance of the Play

26 Hamlet—The Causes of Tragedy

27 Hamlet—The Protestant Hero

28 Othello—The Design of the Tragedy

29 Othello—“O Villainy!”

30 Othello—“The Noble Moor”

31 King Lear—“This Is the Worst”

32 King Lear—Wisdom Through Suffering

33 King Lear—“Then We Go On”

34 Macbeth—“Fair Is Foul”

35 Macbeth—Musing on Murder

36 Macbeth—“Enter Two Murderers”

I love Shakespeare. At the age of 9 I had read all of his plays by acting them out with my sisters because we had a complete set of his plays. That is what you did when you didn’t have hundreds of television channels or computers and it was raining outside. I am not a Shakespearean expert but more of an aficionado. When this Great Course came up on my Audible membership, I just had to get it.

The Course is a series of 36 half hour lectures by Prof. Peter Saccio Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. It is not merely a reading and dissecting each play, but more of an overview of the themes of Shakespeare’s plays and what we should learn from them.

I especially loved when the Professor pooh-poohed those ideas that Shakespeare didn’t write his own works as class bias and prejudice. I also enjoyed the modern takes on plays like “Taming of the Shrew” and “Merchant of Venice”.

I know that this course has set more goals for me in retirement. I would like to see all of Shakespeare’s plays either live or on dvd/video. I have already seen the version of “Richard II” on Amazon Prime this month.

This is what a great teacher will do for you. Challenge you to further your research and enjoyment by pursuing experiences that will continue your brain’s capacities.

Thank you Professor Peter Saccio for inspiring me.

53 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Biology: The Science of Life

  • By: Stephen Nowicki, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Stephen Nowicki
  • Length: 36 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 735

One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great for starters to biology

  • By Eran on 07-11-13

Great Overview of Biology the Science of Life!

5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-22-16

“A great and growing volume of facts about life as it goes on about us
and within us becomes available for practical application … [But] this
new material is still imperfectly accessible to ordinary busy people.” H.G. Wells in The Science of Life.

1 The Scope of "Life"

2 More on the Origin of Life

3 The Organism and the Cell

4 Proteins—How Things Get Done in the Cell

5 Which Molecule Holds the Code?

6 The Double Helix

7 The Nuts and Bolts of Replicating DNA

8 The Central Dogma

9 The Genetic Code

10 From DNA to RNA

11 From RNA to Protein

12 When Mistakes Happen

13 Dividing DNA Between Dividing Cells

14 Mendel and His Pea Plants

15 How Sex Leads to Variation

16 Genes and Chromosomes

17 Charles Darwin and "The Origin of Species"

18 Natural Selection in Action

19 Reconciling Darwin and Mendel

20 Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change

21 What Are Species and How Do New Ones Arise?
22 More on the Origin of New Species

23 Reconstructing Evolution

24 The History of Life, Revisited

25 From Cells to Organisms

26 Control of Gene Expression I

27 Control of Gene Expression II

28 Getting Proteins to the Right Place

29 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

30 How Cells Talk—Signals and Receptors

31 How Cells Talk—Ways That Cells Respond

32 From One Cell to Many in an Organism

33 Patterns of Early Development

34 Determination and Differentiation

35 Induction and Pattern Formation

36 Genes and Development

37 Homeostasis

38 Hormones in Animals

39 What is Special about Neurons?

40 Action Potentials and Synapses

41 Synaptic Integration and Memory

42 Sensory Function

43 How Muscles Work

44 The Innate Immune System

45 The Acquired Immune System

46 Form and Function in Plants I

47 Form and Function in Plants II

48 Behavior as an Adaptive Trait

49 Energy and Resources in Living Systems

50 How Energy is Harnessed by Cells

51 Enzymes—Making Chemistry Work in Cells

52 Cellular Currencies of Energy

53 Making ATP—Glycolysis

54 Making ATP—Cellular Respiration

55 Making ATP—The Chemiosmotic Theory

56 Capturing Energy from Sunlight

57 The Reactions of Photosynthesis

58 Resources and Life Histories

59 The Structure of Populations

60 Population Growth

61 What Limits Population Growth?

62 Costs and Benefits of Behavior

63 Altruism and Mate Selection

64 Ecological Interactions Among Species

65 Predators and Competitors

66 Competition and the Ecological Niche

67 Energy in Ecosystems

68 Nutrients in Ecosystems

69 How Predictable Are Ecological Communities?

70 Biogeography

71 Human Population Growth

72 The Human Asteroid

Professor Nowicki of Duke University starts out his first lecture with this quote from 75 years ago. He wants to make Biology more accessible to ordinary people also and that is what this course is. I have to be honest and say this was the toughest course I have taken yet in the Great Courses I own. There are a total of 72 thirty-minute lectures and a 460-page book that also comes with the course to get through. I probably retained about a third of what the Professor was teaching and will definitely listen to this again and again until I can absorb it all.

What I really loved about this book was the in depth study of how life begins, what each part of a living being does and how it is determined. My other favorite parts were about Mendel and his Peas that he studied and how they differ from Darwin and his Evolutionary theory.

I also was fascinated by the Professor talking about how many Humans the Earth can sustain and what is the next step when we finally reach that threshold. I am retired and have tried to keep my brain active by learning something new every day and this course really helped to stretch my mind.

I highly recommend this course to anyone who loves science and Biology especially as this is a great overview of the subject. I certainly was entranced by everything the Professor taught.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Great Catherine

  • The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
  • By: Carolly Erickson
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 353
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 324

Prize-winning historian and biographer, Carolly Erickson has created an eminently readable biography that recognizes the humanity of Great Catherine—Empress of Russia—with her majesty and immense capability. Dispelling some of the myths surrounding her voracious sexual appetite, the biographer portrays Catherine as a lonely woman far ahead of her time—achieving greatness in an era when women were executed on a husband’s whim.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a woman. Sad to reach the end. Well read.

  • By Cheryl on 04-01-13

I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.

5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-20-16

“You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.”

I recently watched the “Young Catherine” movie with Julia Ormond and was intrigued to learn more about this enigmatic ruler. She came from a very small country where her father was a military man and her mother a minor noble. She was not beautiful but was definitely intelligent and willful.

The story of her life from nobody to Empress of Russia is interesting and I found it extremely moving. Her early years in Russia were stressful because when she married the Grand Duke Peter, she discovered he was very likely mentally ill and unstable. She knew she would eventually have to make a decision on Peter but for the most part put up with his eccentricities. There were many times in her life she had to defend her actions to the Empress Elizabeth, who must have known that this young woman was the savior of the Russian people.

Catherine was a very sexual person married to an unsexual man. She began taking lovers early on and was always happier with a man at her side. She was a very modern woman.

I enjoyed the life of this very complicated woman. She was at times very reasonable and reassuring to her people and other times very dictatorial and shrill. She tried to institute many laws to help codify the rules but met with various problems from the wealthy class.

I enjoyed this story and look forward to more works from this author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights

  • By: John E. Finn, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John E. Finn
  • Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160

The civil liberties and constitutional rights possessed by our nation's citizens-not only in theory, but in the courtroom, where the state can be forced to honor those liberties-are a uniquely American invention.And when we were taught history and learned about the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, we were always made aware of that uniqueness, of the extraordinary experiment that gave to every citizen of this new nation a gift possessed by no others.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great overview of the Bill of Rights per the Law.

  • By Kristi R. on 10-05-15

Great overview of the Bill of Rights per the Law.

5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-15

36 Lectures

1 What Are Civil Liberties?

2 The Bill of Rights—An Overview

3 Two Types of Liberty—Positive and Negative

4 The Court and Constitutional Interpretation

5 Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review

6 Private Property and the Founding

7 Lochner v. New York and Economic Due Process

8 The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment

9 Fundamental Rights—Privacy and Personhood

10 Privacy—Early Cases

11 Roe v. Wade and Reproductive Autonomy

12 Privacy and Autonomy—From Roe to Casey

13 Other Privacy Interests—Family

14 Other Privacy Interests—Sexuality

15 Same-Sex Marriages and the Constitution

16 The Right to Die and the Constitution

17 Cruel and Unusual? The Death Penalty

18 The First Amendment—An Overview

19 Internal Security and the First Amendment

20 Symbolic Speech and Expressive Conduct

21 Indecency and Obscenity

22 Hate Speech and Fighting Words

23 The Right to Silence

24 Why Is Freedom of Religion So Complex?

25 School Prayer and the Establishment Clause

26 Religion—Strict Separation or Accommodation?

27 The Free Exercise Clause—Acting on Beliefs

28 Free Exercisee and “the Peyote Case”

29 Two Religion Clauses—One Definition?

30 Slavery and Dred Scott to Equal Protection

31 Brown v. Board of Education

32 Equality and Affirmative Action

33 Equality and Gender Discrimination

34 Gender Discrimination as Semi-Suspect

35 The Future of Equal Protection?

36 Citizens and Civil Liberties

I enjoyed these lectures on the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties. I have an idea that this course was designed for pre-law or law school classes as it does go in great depth on certain cases and issues.

I do not remember a case on the second amendment at all. What I liked about these classes was learning how the Supreme Court works and what their job is. They are required to interpret the Constitution and whenever they step outside of those boundaries they are called “Lochnering” after a famous case in lecture 7. The justices in this case seemed to make up the law as they went along and did not use the Constitution as the basis of the judgement.

Another portion that struck me was the duality of the Freedom of Religion laws. The first is that no establishment of a religion is allowed and the second is that people are allowed to believe in their own religions. Obviously, if your religion believed that killing your neighbors would have you attain heaven, that would have to be restricted. Most of the cases dealt with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.

The next lectures had to do with slavery and civil rights. The professor explained the Dred Scott decision differently than I had ever learned before. Basically, since a black man in those days was considered property, the Court treated Dred Scott as stolen goods.
That goes way back to the compromise in Founding the Constitution. Thank goodness our Constitution is fluid enough that we can do away with bad laws without destroying our government.

These lectures were produced before the Gay Marriage decision but he does touch on what was happening at the time he taught. Women’s rights are also touched on as well as Roe vs. Wade. The reason we are still fighting over Roe vs. Wade is that per the professor it was a badly written ruling.

These lectures last around 30 minutes and I believe it was well worth my time.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 49,266
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 44,641
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 44,571

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15 war we find out who we are.

5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-15

“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine,: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."

I am late in getting to this book but so happy that I found it. This is the story of the women of France who lived under the Germans for so long and tried to maintain their humanity. The story is about two sisters in particular, Vienne the older sister who is married with a daughter. Antoine, her husband is sent to war and she must survive on her own for the first time in her life. She is the good daughter, always doing what she is told and never making waves. Her sister Isabelle is the rebellious one, running away all the time, getting kicked out of various schools and not afraid to speak her mind. In this time, that could get her killed.

This book is powerful and moving. I stayed up late last night listening to it and cried for the last hour and a half of the book. My husband thought I had caught a cold with all the nose blowing I was doing. The author really knows how to tell a story.

The hell these women went through keeping the home fires burning is a cautious tale of war and why we need to avoid them. The characters were well drawn and so very human.

I highly recommend The Nightingale and look forward to the movie. Bring tissues!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Must History Repeat the Great Conflicts of This Century?

  • By: Joseph S. Nye Jr., The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Joseph S. Nye Jr.
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

Twice in the first half of the last century, the great powers engaged in wars that killed nearly 70 million people, with the aftermath of each shaking the international political system, changing the maps of the world, and setting the scene for the next great conflict. And for most of the past 50 years, the Cold War dominated international politics. Is this the history we are condemned to repeat? This series of eight lectures about international politics will hone your ability to approach that question with knowledge and insight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • “Beware of historians with bad analogies.”

  • By Kristi R. on 09-29-15

“Beware of historians with bad analogies.”

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-15

1 Continuity and Change in World Politics

2 What Is an International System?

3 The Balance of Power and Its Problems

4 The Origins of the First World War

5 The Problems and Promise of Collective Security

6 The Origins of the Second World War

7 The Origins of the Cold War

8 Alternatives to the Present International System

This course was first released in 1991 so it was before the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of terrorism in the world, but I found it very enlightening and still relevant for today. I wish President Bush and his cabinet had listened to this course before plunging us in another war with Iraq, but what is happened.

Professor Nye gives a promising scenario for the future of the world and the United States in these lectures. The first three (around 45 minutes in length) lectures explain International politics and systems and how important the Balance of Power is.

The next three explain the origins of the World Wars and the different scenarios that could have happened instead of global conflicts. I have always thought that they were inevitable but through his perspective, I can see how things could have been different.

The seventh chapter takes on the Cold War and how it happened and if it was necessary. I found it fascinating.

My favorite lecture was his last on what the future may hold for us as a nation and the world at large. While he didn’t take on China or terrorism directly, he did show the way to a peaceful future in a global economy. If the world relies on each country for its economic base, than why would we want to fight? If we use democracy as a helpful tool for the poorer nations of the world, it is less likely that democracies fight each other.

This audible edition came with a pdf file with course notes which was very helpful.

I loved these lectures and it helped me understand why the world is so screwed up, but it also showed me why history doesn’t have to repeat itself.

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