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Michael Willman

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • The Civil War in France

  • By: Karl Marx
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

In 1871, the Franco-Prussian War was raging. The workers of Paris, fed up with a government that had begun the hated war, and the exploitation, repression, and abuse of "their" government, took matters into their own hands. They instituted the Paris Commune - of, by, and for the workers. Observing these events through news reports of the time, one of the foremost thinkers of the 19th century, Karl Marx, made three speeches to the International Workmen's Association.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great historical record

  • By Michael Willman on 10-31-18

Great historical record

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

Reviewed: 10-31-18

If you're interested in working class history or this particular shrouded moment in history this is a great work. There are a few editing errors

  • Hitch-22

  • A Memoir
  • By: Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by: Christopher Hitchens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,796
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,428

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

  • By Laura on 08-23-10

Disgusting Trotskyist liberal garbage

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

Reviewed: 10-28-18

Still supports the false idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Like all trotskyists the author is a bourgeois posing as socialist. He's no less of a war monger than Bush and Cheney. He's no less of a capitalist than Obama and Clinton.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Young Stalin

  • By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

Young Stalin tells the story of an exceptional, charismatic, darkly turbulent young man born into obscurity, fancying himself a poet and a priest, and finally embracing revolutionary idealism as his Messianic mission in life. Equal parts scholar and terrorist, a mastermind of bank robberies, extortion, piracy, and murder, he was so impressive in his brutality that Lenin made him, along with Trotsky, his chief henchman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Good Read/Listen

  • By Jim on 02-20-11

The books a distortion of history

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

Most American scholarship of Stalin has been exposed as blatant lies. Some of the most infamous works have relied heavily on Nazi propaganda from WW2. It should be noted that the American rich funded Hitler. There would have been no fascism if the rich hadn't paid for it. After the war ended the United States preserved the fascist bureaucrats and intellectuals and brought them them home. The first head of NATO was a German fascist. All of this I say to make clear that the American class if political power and extensive wealth hated socialism and despised the Soviets from the start. If you really think that in a global empire like America there is no propaganda and the scholarship is objective then you're a fool. This book isn't as bad as many of the earlier ones. But it certainly isn't neutral. The book will not go four sentences without making some kind of snide comment. People recording the life of Hitler will praise him for pages. Biographers of Hitler can recount sections of his life without feeling the need to remind you constantly of his crimes. This book will not go four sentences without disparaging Stalin. Every positive quality even when young is an act of conniving. When Stalin is humble it is because he is being arrogant. Even his positive qualities are made to appear as their opposites. It loves to focus on what it calls "the terror" but it never mentions that why it was so terrible was because as soon as the Soviet Union came into existence it was invaded by the West. It was never not in a struggle over life and death. The book makes it seem like Stalin was a lunatic and Russia was on another planet. The Soviet during this period was defending its very existence from the capitalists. The book will site someone that the Red Army executed and make it seem like that person was just an innocent bystander, like they just grabbed someone off the bus and shot them. Tucked away within the condemnation of Stalin will be an admission of guilt written in such a way to minimize the fact. It will say something like, "for developing too close connections with foreign interests" at one point it bemoans Stalin for having overseen the execution of a person who the author admits was deeply affiliated with the German Nazis! This is not what neutrality looks like. It doesn't mention that during this time his country and all of the western allied nations are attempting to, in the words of Churchill, "kill the baby in the cradle." How can you possibly be considered neutral when you completely omit that during the so called "red terror" your country was doing everything in its power to see that the Soviet Union was killed in its cradle. How can you possibly be neutral while reporting the execution of agents of foreign conspiracy during a time of invasion as if they were innocent bystanders.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Leviathan

  • or The Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil
  • By: Thomas Hobbes
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 23 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 144

The leviathan is the vast unity of the State. But how are unity, peace, and security to be attained? Hobbes’ answer is sovereignty, but the resurgence of interest today in Leviathan is due less to its answers than its methods: Hobbes sees politics as a science capable of the same axiomatic approach as geometry.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • For PoliSci Graduate Students as a Readalong

  • By deborah on 01-14-12

Total trash

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

Reviewed: 05-17-17

Partially Hobbes re imagining of the social contract into this tangible historical moment justifying capitalism where we're inherited by the masters by virtue of an ancestral agreement and by virtue of our parents being property Ergo we're the property of those who owned them. If you ever wanted to understand what corrupting influence of the right to own property it's that people are always the property in question.

That's only a small piece of the book. Most of the book is the pain staking reinterpretation of Christianity into capitalist Jesus. Philosophy class won't talk about that though.

0 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Karl Marx

  • Das Kapital
  • By: David Ramsay Steele
  • Narrated by: Louis Rukeyser
  • Length: 2 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 123

In his monumental work, Das Kapital, Karl Marx (1818-1883) tried to show that capitalism was both inefficient and immoral. His key to explaining capitalism is his labor theory of value, which he developed from ideas of Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Should Rename As Das Kapital Cliffnotes Unabridged

  • By Jeff on 01-31-12

Not Das Kapital

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

Reviewed: 03-31-17

This is a capitalist interpretation and criticism of Das Kapital selling itself as the original

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dialogues of Plato

  • By: Plato
  • Narrated by: Pat Bottino
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 67

The Dialogues of Plato rank with the writings of Aristotle as the most important and influential philosophical works in Western thought. In them Plato cast his teacher Socrates as the central disputant in colloquies that brilliantly probe a vast spectrum of philosophical ideas and issues.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Sad face!

  • By p. on 07-24-12

Old

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

Reviewed: 03-17-17

Every turn of chapter starts back a little bit as if to refresh the listener who has had to dig out the next cassette. There's a lot of other things that date the piece. There's a little bit of audible breathing in the back ground. It's not annoying but it's there. Overall still good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Communist Manifesto

  • By: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
  • Narrated by: Joe Geoffrey
  • Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 117

Edited by Samuel H. Beer, with key selections from Capital and "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", this volume features an especially helpful introduction that serves as a guide to Marxist political and economic theory and to placing the specific writings in their contemporary setting. Included are a bibliography and list of important dates in the life of Karl Marx.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This is not the Communist Manifesto

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-14-16

Condescending introduction

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

Yeah the Communist manifesto is a great pamphlet. The instruction condescended it as a curious bit of history but completely irrelevant and wrong. Now at the end of Capitalism I hope my fellow readers might realize the introducer to be exemplary of a curious bit of history but irrelevant and wrong.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Means of Ascent

  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 22 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,195
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,197

Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "If You Do Everything, You'll Win"

  • By Abdur Abdul-Malik on 12-29-13

Incomplete

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

Reviewed: 03-01-17

uses many words to say little. trys to justify and humanize corruption. chp 2 lbj was honest until an was stolen from him then he became the biggest cheat. Became powerful from access to oil money. Two faced to liberal causes. Boasted about the bravery he would show in WW2 but then did everything to avoid it. LBJ was surprisingly a terrible person and the author works so hard to make him seem good. After the first part of the book it becomes more heavy with details so becomes more pleasurable to read but it isn't a full biography. It stops after lbj's Senate race.

  • Lolita

  • By: Vladimir Nabokov
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Irons
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,037

Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A masterpiece

  • By Erez on 05-29-08

Read like Crime&Punishment or Telltale Heart

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

This is deeply taboo and masterfully written, true to the Russian greats. The pedophilic narrator assumes guardianship of a minor and sexually abuses her for years before she finally escapes. He convinces himself of her complicity and ruins her childhood with his obsessive delusions. It neither justifies nor glamorizes pedophilia. As in Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, the author examines the human condition at its worst.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The American Experiment

  • By: James MacGregor Burns
  • Narrated by: Mark Ashby
  • Length: 88 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 116

James MacGregor Burns’s stunning trilogy of American history, spanning the birth of the Constitution to the final days of the Cold War. In these three volumes, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner James MacGregor Burns chronicles with depth and narrative panache the most significant cultural, economic, and political events of American history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • American History ABCs

  • By Michael on 06-16-15

The best nonpropaganda history of the United State

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

Reviewed: 01-19-17

Covers American politics from federalist and anti, wigs, and up. Foreign and domestic conflicts. And the evolution of parties, policy, and political thought

0 of 1 people found this review helpful