Rachel Dewald

Surrey, UK
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 28
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  • The Panic Virus

  • A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear
  • By: Seth Mnookin
  • Narrated by: Dan John Miller
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179

The Panic Virus is a gripping scientific detective story about how grassroots radicals, snake-oil salesmen, and cynical journalists have perpetrated the biggest health-scare hoax of all time. It explores what happens when the media treats all viewpoints as equally valid, regardless of facts, from parents who are convinced that vaccines caused their children's autism to right-wing radicals who believe that climate change is a myth

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FINALLY!!! The truth about the vaccine scare

  • By tara on 06-18-13

Incredible thorough journey

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-22-11

This book was non-stop interesting and informative as Seth Mnookin demonstrates that the anti-vaccine movement is not a modern thing, but rather goes all the way back to even the Smallpox vaccine, which we now know was responsible for fully eradicating the Smallbox virus from the world. He doesn't pretend that vaccines have no risks, or that the government and health agencies didn't frequently underestimate the consequences of not fully explaining those risks to everyone. This caused backlashes resulting in lower immunity rates as younger populations forgot about how bad each illness was.

This was repeated time and time again with polio, mumps, measles and whoooping cough (pertussis).

The book goes all the way through the landmark Autism omnibus trial as he demonstrates just how utterly lacking the case was for the anti-vaccine side as they had to delay for more than a year to even find a set of doctors willing to testify to the theory of vaccine-caused Autism.

The narrator of this was very good and was never a distraction from the content.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Spycraft

  • The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda
  • By: Robert Wallace, Henry Robert Schelsinger
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 19 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 895
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 539

Now, in the first book ever written about this ultrasecretive department, the former director of OTS teams up with an internationally renowned intelligence historian to give listeners an unprecedented look at the devices and operations deemed "inappropriate for public disclosure" by the CIA just two years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique, informative history of the CIA

  • By Richard on 07-29-08

Interesting history of espionage technology

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-22-10

It always helps when the reader of the audio book (David Drummond in this case) is engaging, and this was definitely an example of that. It actually felt like he was the one who wrote it, it was so smooth.

The content is fascinating; exploring spy technology from the old OSS up through now. It was really cool to hear about how audio surveillance has changed over the years. Today we forgot just how much transistors and integrated circuits have truly shrunk things.

Another great aspect is the personal touch, the book is not just about the technology but the people in the OTS ("techs") who deploy (frequently at high risk) the surveillance or even defuse bombs.

Highly recommended!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Greatest Show on Earth

  • The Evidence for Evolution
  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,777
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759

The Greatest Show on Earth is a stunning counterattack on advocates of "Intelligent Design," explaining the evidence for evolution while exposing the absurdities of the creationist "argument". Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well read, well explained, scientific.

  • By Joseph on 10-28-09

Read and written with passion

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-09

Richard Dawkins never disappoints in the pure readability (or in this case, listenability) of his works. Through that readability, you're able to learn immense amounts because he's so good at presenting science and facts. Additionally, he will always point out when a particular theory or idea is not part of the current consensus (even his own ideas) or has not been otherwise proven in some way.

As will probably be pointed out in other reviews, it's doubtful that this book will really "convert" anyone to evolution. But in the same way that God Delusion was able to give the final nudge to those on the fence about religion, I suspect this book will have that same effect for those that perhaps still see Intelligent Design as somehow viable. Die-hard Creationists aren't going to read this and certainly won't accept the evidence he presents.

All in all, very very enjoyable and read wonderfully by Dawkins himself and his wife.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful