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Michael

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 32
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  • 111
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  • A Brief History of France

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Cecil Jenkins
  • Narrated by: Tristan Bernays
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 68

When we think of France we often evoke images of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris, the chic beaches of St Tropez. Yet, as the largest country in Europe, it is a place of huge diversity. The idea of 'Frenchness' emerged from over 2,000 years of history and it is a riveting story from Roman conquest to the present day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • good narrative

  • By Michael on 04-19-16

good narrative

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

Reviewed: 04-19-16

The narrative is shifted heavily towards the description of post De Gaulle presidencies while ancient and mideval histories are breezed through at a speed. Nevertheless it is a review well written and well performed.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Exploring the Roots of Religion

  • By: John R. Hale, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John R. Hale
  • Length: 18 hrs and 20 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245

What impulse drove ancient cultures to create sites like Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the pyramids at Giza? Why are we so transfixed by their presence today? And what do they reveal about our ancestors-and humanity? The dynamic force of religious belief is responsible for some of the world's most popular and ancient locales.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Course

  • By karen on 08-07-16

misnomer

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

Reviewed: 03-27-16

This course of lectures should have been called An Archaeology of Religioun. It is a good review of archaeological discoveries on the last couple of centuries, which is accompanied by a brief overview of religions and creeds ftom all over the world. In that respect the course deserves every commendation. To claim that the roots of the religions have been explored the author has no right.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • World Order

  • By: Henry Kissinger
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Hormann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 759

Henry Kissinger has traveled the world, advised presidents, and been a close observer and participant in the central foreign policy events of our era. Now he offers his analysis of the twenty first century's ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More retrospective than future oriented

  • By Scott on 10-23-14

Illuminating!

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

Reviewed: 10-26-14

The book written not only by a maverick politician but by a historian as well. Wherever the reader is in his or her understanding of current events, the reader will find this book as a most thoughtful guide.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Enlightenment

  • Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
  • By: S. Frederick Starr
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 25 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a wonderful find!

  • By Julia on 11-10-13

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 10-16-14

A very thorough exploration of the history on the Central Asia, with step by step analysis of the events and meticulous description of life works of its giants. A very useful and thought provoking addition to the reading on the subject of Islam. I will be ordering a paper copy for future reference.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Spain

  • A Unique History
  • By: Stanley G. Payne
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 67

From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound. This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G. Payne draws on his half-century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present. Who were the first “Spaniards”? Is Spain a fully Western country? Was Spanish liberalism a failure? Examining Spain's unique role in the larger history of Western Europe, Payne reinterprets key aspects of the country's history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Academic Wonder

  • By Richard on 02-07-13

A good review

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

Reviewed: 10-15-14

Without going into details the book gives a nice overview of major stages in Spain development. An interested reader can look further for a more detailed description of the events. But from the standpoint of universal history this review is fair and balanced.

  • A Concise History of the Arabs

  • By: John McHugo
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

The key to understanding the Arab world today - and in the future - is unlocking its past. John McHugo takes the reader on a journey through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. He covers the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, the expansion of Islam, medieval and modern conflicts, the interaction with Western ideas, the struggle to escape foreign domination, the rise of Islamism, and the end of the era of dictators.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book !!!

  • By EHAB ASSAL on 10-21-17

Useful but...

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

Reviewed: 10-05-14

I enjoyed the opportunity tho review the history of the Arab. I would enjoy it more if the author haven't lost his cool and refrained from the emotional outbreaks when he approached modern history. Any history of the Arab world would lose its appeal with the first anti-Jewish remark just as the opposite is true.

As an alternative narrative of Muslim history I would recommend the excellent A Brief Guide to Islam by Paul Grieve also available from Audible.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief Guide to Islam

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Paul Grieve
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22

Exploring the beliefs, history and politics of the ordinary people of Muslim countries, Grieve cuts through the complexities as he examines all aspects of Islam. He also addresses the big issues: Can Islam support true democracy? Is true democracy what the West really wants for Muslim countries or are we merely seeking a cover of legitimacy for a policy of 'might is right'? Paul Grieve is an unbeliever - he is not a born-again Muslim, a proselytizer or a frustrated desert romantic. His aim is to inform.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fair and square

  • By Michael on 10-05-14

Fair and square

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

Reviewed: 10-05-14

It is unrealistic to expect someone to write a serious book on a subject without developing strong emotional ties to it. Moreover, those ties are likely to be of a positive nature. In the other words, the author who writes seriously about Muslims will sympathize with them, and it is only normal.

Current conflict between the Muslim and the Western worlds and between Muslims and Jews makes the topic particularly hot. One who removes the lid from the boiling pot must not be surprised when he sees boiling water, even gets a few hot drops on his skin.

I give five stars to the author, who, while loving Muslims, never sounds irritated, refrains from outwardly negative assessments and stays in this hot stream as cool as possible. I have not sensed a hint of antisemitic or anti-western inclinations when a proponent of the Muslim point of view would be expected to fall into some.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have understood Muslim cause a great deal more as a result of reading it without loosing a bit of my Western and Jewish sympathies.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful