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Darwin8u

Mesa, AZ, United States
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  • The Coming Storm

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,859
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,395
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,354

Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 09-10-18

A Large Piece of 'The Fifth Risk'

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

This is good, but if you are a Michael Lewis fan just know it is already a part of 'The Fifth Risk'. I started listening and was like, "wait, I've read and reviewed this before.' If you have an extra credit, or the money, and you are a Lewis fan, just go buy the other book. Otherwise enjoy a cheap or free version here.

  • Tribe

  • On Homecoming and Belonging
  • By: Sebastian Junger
  • Narrated by: Sebastian Junger
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,851
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,999
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,961

Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians - but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most profound book on the subject

  • By joseph on 05-26-16

It was better when it was really bad.

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

"The economic and marketing forces of modern society have engineered an environment...that maximize[s] consumption at the long-term cost of well being."
- Brandon Hidaka, quoted in Sebastian Junger, Tribe

In a series of four essays that grew out of an article Junger wrote in 2015 for Vanity Fair called How PTSD Became A Problem Far Beyond The Battlefield, Junger explores how we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, the quest for meaning, and strategies for surviving the communal issues that the modern world thrusts on us.

I liked this book more than I expected to. I was hoping for a series of essays written by a writer I respect for his clarity of prose and thought. Sebastian Junger holds a special place in my heart. He reminds me a bit of my little brother. They are both great writers, have both written for Vanity Fair, share friends, an affinity for Native Americans/American Indians* (my little brother loves the Jicarilla Apache). In fact Junger actually wrote a blurb for Matt's new book: American Cipher. So, it was nice to see part of the last chapter of this book deal (a bit) with Bowe Bergdahl.

But more than seeing my little brother in this book (which I do; Matt is a combat vet with PTSD), it was nice seeing an author not just diagnose some of the ills of our nation (there are plenty), but actually explore interesting and relevant answers. There are few politicians that are doing this, so it is nice when I see writers take a stab at ideas to help heal and "thread back" the core aspects that might not have been extinguished from our nation, but are certainly (except in instances of disaster, war, or violence) hidden.

* I live in Arizona, roomed with a Navajo roomate my freshman year, have several Apache, Navajo, Métis, etc., friends. But I will be the first to tell you that I know so very little about so very much concerning these tribes that I am not going to claim to know if Junger gets things right, wrong, or insultingly wrong about some or all of his tribal information. Every year I try to learn more, become more exposed, and listen when I am corrected. What I can say, however, is I believe Junger's heart is directed in the right way and he is trying purposefully not to offend, but I'm always a bit nervous about claiming to know something I don't know.

  • On Power

  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Robert A. Caro
  • Length: 1 hr and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,229
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,999
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,989

From two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time National Book Award winner Robert A. Caro: a short, penetrating reflection on the evolution and workings of political power - for good and for ill.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could be called 'On Robert Caro'

  • By Anna on 09-04-17

Reflections on writing about Political Power

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

"The more that America understands about political power, the better informed our votes will be. And then, hopefully, the better our democracy should be."
- Robert Caro, On Power

This was produced as an hour and forty-three minute "Audible Original" looking at the major theme of Robert Caro's political biographries: power. There is no paperback or little hardback associated with this, it is only on Audible. So, if you are as craven a fan of Caro as I am, it doesn't really matter. You will get it however you need to get it. My kids know how much I love Caro. There is a joke at my home that nightly prayers involve praying to God to keep Caro alive to finish his 5-book series on LBJ. They are THAT good. I can't even name a popular biographer I would put in his class.

This small "talk" is really Caro talking about how he got his start in writing, journalism, and writing biography. He talks about how his interest in Robert Moses developed and how later his interest in LBJ. He is a fascinating talker (which makes sense because his narrative histories are amazing). He is a man who understand that a good story also requires amazing details, told well. Well, this is kinda a nice throwaway. I'm glad to read anthing Caro writes or listen to anything he says, but I'm still waiting...paitently...for Book 5.

  • Currency

  • Book Seven of The Baroque Cycle
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble, Neal Stephenson (introduction), Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 847
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 647
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 651

Daniel Waterhouse finds himself embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint (and closet alchemist) Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Imp of the Perverse Embodied in Brilliant Fiction

  • By Doug D. Eigsti on 10-28-14

Bringing it all together...

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

“For most of the day and night, time oppresses me. It is only when I am at work on the innards of a clock-or a lock-that time stops."
- Neal Stephenson, The Currency

Stephenson continues the last volume (The System of the World) of his Baroque trilogy with Book 7: "Currency". Like in Book 6, Solomon's Gold, "Currency" is primarily focused on Daniel Waterhouse trying to track down Jack Shaftoe (or Jack the Counterfeiter) who is making England's money financially dubious by messing with the Pyx (and hence putting ALL of England's currency at risk). Isaac Newton is helping Daniel Waterhouse track down Jack, both because as the Master of the Mint his reputation (and head) are at risk. But he is also motivated because as an alchemist he suspects that Jack Shaftoe has some of Solomon's gold. While all of this is going on Eliza is trying to help Princess Caroline survive the inevitable succession issues that will develop (including assassination attempts) once Queen Anne dies.

This has probably been the least "exciting" of the novels, but like any long work (eventually, the Baroque Cycle will clock in at about 2650 pages) there are bound to be parts of a work that float down the narrative current rather than quant down. Still, I did enjoy it.

  • The Confusion

  • Books Four & Five of The Baroque Cycle
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble, Katherine Kellgren, Kevin Pariseau, and others
  • Length: 34 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 913
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 920

In the year 1689, a cabal of Barbary galley slaves, including one “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe, devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune. A great adventure ensues that will place the intrepid band at odds with the mighty and the mad, with alchemists, Jesuits, great navies, pirate queens, and vengeful despots across vast oceans and around the globe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Confusion

  • By Mr on 11-07-10

Two Books Con-Fused

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

“When a thing such as wax, or gold, or silver, turns liquid from heat, we say that it has fused,” Eliza said to her son, “and when such liquids run together and mix, we say they are con-fused.”
- Neal Stephenson, The Confusion

Volume Two of Stephenson's massive Baroque Cycle consists of Books 4 and 5 (Part One, if it isn't obvious, consisted of Books 1-3). Since both books 4. Bonanza and5. Juncto are concurrent, Stephenson threads/interleaves the two books together (hence Con-Fusion).

This volume continues with the major characters: Daniel Waterhouse, Eliza, Bob Shaftoe, & Jack Shaftoe, along with a host of other fantastic characters both real (Newton, Leibniz, Louis IV, Pepys) and imagined. Like the previous volume, 'The Confusion' takes place during the end of the Nine Years' War (and the period shortly after) and explores the beginning of the Enlightenment, complete with politics, war, modern economics, science and the scientific method, currency, information technology, trade, religion and cryptography. Usually, when Newton or Leibniz are discoursing, Stephenson is waxing philosophic about atoms, thinking machines, or currency.

Fundamentally, these books are historical fiction for geeks. He pushes some people and events to the point of soft-SF/mysticism (I'm thinking of Enoch Root, a man who appears and disappears and acts as a catalyst for change throughout time). It wasn't perfect and there were some points where I was a turned-off by the jocular humor, but these were minor issues. It isn't close to high art, but it is a fascinating read.

  • The Day of Creation

  • By: J. G. Ballard
  • Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

On the arid, war-plagued terrain of central Africa, a manic doctor is consumed with visions of transforming the Sahara into a land of abundance. But Dr. Mallory’s obsession quickly spirals dangerously out of control.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sooner or later, everything turns into television

  • By Darwin8u on 11-27-18

Sooner or later, everything turns into television

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

“Sooner or later, everything turns into television.”
- J.G. Ballard, The Day of Creation

A hypnotic and dreamy parable or perhaps a freakish and hallucenegenic and moody allegory, 'The Day of Creation' drifts along with Ballard's beautiful (sometimes absurdly quirky) prose. I've read roughly eight of his novels or more and I've yet to be disappointed really in any of them.

The book is slippery. It isn't really plot driven (I guess all river novels have some direction and plot to them). Think of some strange combination of Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', Twain's 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', the 'African Queen', Burton's 'The Source of the Nile', etc., all mixed with a flavor of Greek myth. Dr. Mallory floats upstream with his girl Friday, his nubile Jim (Noon) to discover the source of the river Mallory "created". The further up the river he floats, the crazier and sicker everybody becomes. The novel bloats and floats on a lot of the fluvial space Ballard loves: environmental extremism, political absurdity, war, madness, nightmares, violence, sex, and technology.

If you are new to Ballard, I might not recommend you start with this one. Ballard is like raw oysters, pickled beets or artichoke hearts: he's slippery, earthy, and an aquired taste. So, start with something a bit more mainstream. But if you are into funky contemporary literature and are willing to drift, float, and eddy around a bit while drunk or high -- this novel might just be exactly what you weren't looking for but might want anyway.

  • A Higher Loyalty

  • Truth, Lies, and Leadership
  • By: James Comey
  • Narrated by: James Comey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22,141
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,213
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20,119

In his audiobook, A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of powe, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Than Trump: All Comey's Life/Working Years--

  • By Gillian on 04-17-18

The Arrogance and Naïvety of Righteous Men

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

I can't help liking Comey, but I also liked (the person) Neville Chamberlain. Both men allowed virtue to become a vice, however, and ended up as slightly absurd Greek characters in the tragedies of their day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The History of Rome, Volume 4, Books 26-32

  • By: Titus Livy, William Masfen Roberts (translator)
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

In this volume, Hannibal and Carthage are finally worn down by the grim determination of the Roman people, and their army is destroyed at Zama by Publius Scipio. And hardly is this over before the vengeful Romans cast their eyes eastward to Philip of Macedon, who had made the fatal error of backing the Carthaginians.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What is most glorious is also the safest...

  • By Darwin8u on 11-27-18

What is most glorious is also the safest...

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

"What is most glorious is also the safest: to place our hopes in valour."
- Livy, History of Rome, XXXIV, xiv

BOOK 26 (The Fate of Capua) & BOOK 27 (Scipio in Spain)

Livy's History of Rome books 26 through 27 (211-207 BC). These books detail Hannibal coming up to the bank of the Anio in Rome, the fall of Capua (taken by Quintus Fulvius and Appius Claudius), Publius Scipio's storming of New Carthage at age 24, the reckless death of Marcellus in an ambush. In Spain Scipio fights with Hasdrubal and Hamilcar. Hasdrubal leaves Spain as things in Spain. After crossing the Alps, 56,000 of Hasdrubal's troops are killed at the Battle of the Metaurus. The Battle of Metaurus is for the Carthaginian as big a defeat as the earlier Battle at Cannae was for the Romans.

It is fascinating to read Livy. Obviously, there is a bit of a bias against Hannibal and the Carthaginians built into Livy. However, Livy does a good job of being mostly fair when discussing Hannibal and his generals and the Roman generals. Many of Hannibal's failures seem to stem from Hannibal's occasionally and costly political mistakes, and the fortunes of war. He was never a great 'hearts and minds" general like Publius Scipio, aka Scipio Africanus, aka Scipio the Great.

One of the great things (and I understand we are talking about war and not a sport) about the Second Punic War is how damn dramatic it is. There are great players: Hannibal, Hasdrubal & Mago; Scipio Africanus, Marcellus, & Fabius. It has so many ebbs, flows, dramas, and stunning turn-arounds there is a reason why people still read, write, and talk about it. Livy is best here when he is describing battles and delivering speeches from generals before a battle.

Books 28-30 of Livy's History of Rome details the 2nd Punic War, specifically in Spain and Africa.

BOOK 28 sees Scipio's lieutenant, Silanus, successful against the Carthaginians in Spain in the 14th year of the war. Scipio ventures into Africa to form a treaty with Syphax, King of the Massylians. During the siege of Gisia, the citizens end up killing their own wives and children (and gold) and then threw themselves on the pyre. Scipio gets sick, some of his army mutinies, and he quells it. Scipio also makes friends with Masinissa, King of the Numidians. Scipio returns to Rome and is elected Consul. He is given Africa (despite Quintus Fabius Maximus' opposition). Mago, son of Hamilcar, crosses to Italy.

BOOK 29 sees Gaius Laelius sent on a raiding party by Scipio into Africa and he returns with an immense booty. Scipio crosses from Syracuse into the Bruttian territory (tip of the Roman toe) and puts Hannibal to flight. The Locrians send envoys to Rome to complain about Pleminius carrying away money from the temple of Prosperpina (as well as outraging their wives and children). Scipio is also accused in the Senate. Scipio is cleared, and with the permission of the Senate, crosses into Africa. Syphax, meanwhile, has married the daughter of Hasdrubal, making the previous treaty with Scipio a bit precarious. Masinissa, however, joins Scipio in Africa, and early in the campaign slays Hanno, son of Mamilcar. Scipio faces off with Hasdrubal and Syphax, and is forced to raise the siege of Utica.

BOOK 30, Scipio defeats the Carthaginians (Syphax and Hasdrubal) in a number of battles with the help of Masinissa. He assaults two Carthaginian camps and wipes them out with fire. He captures Syphax, Masinissa marries Syphax's wife to protect her from Rome. Scipio has to deal with the difficulties that arise from one of his allies marrying one of his enemies wives. Hannibal is asked to return to Carthage to defend his home. He tries to negotiate from a place of strength, but after negotiations falter, Hannibal is defeated in battle by Scipio. Scipio eventually negotiates a peace with the Carthaginians, despite their Senate's slipperiness. Mago dies. Masinissa regains his kingdom (and loses his new wife). Scipio returns triumphantly to Rome and is given the name Africanus.

BOOK 31 sees the renewal of Romes war against King Philip of Macedonia. Athens asks Rome to help as they are being attacked by King Philip. Consul Publius Sulpicius leads his army to Macedonia and fights successfully against Philip in several cavalry battles. The people of Abydus kill themselves rather than surrender. Lucius Furius, the praetor, defeats in battle the Insubrian Gauls. Hamilcar the Carthaginian (not Hannibal's father) and 35k men are killed during the campaign.

BOOK 32 sees many prodigies. Titus Quincitius Flaminiunus fights successfully against Philip in the passes of Epirus (pushing Philip back to his kingdom). His brother Lucius Quinctius Flamininus Euboea helps fight Macedonia along the sea coast. A conspiracy of slaves is crushed. Cornelius Cethegus routs the Insubrian Gauls in battle. A treaty is signed with Sparta and their tyrant Nabis.

***

Having grown up with an older brother who idolized Hannibal, it is hard to see his star fade as it is replaced by Scipio. But after harassing Rome on their own land for 17+ years, there is a solid reason Hannibal belongs in the history books. He was brilliant, bold, and seemed to always see the coin of battle flip in his favor...until the coin stopped spinning his way. It seemed Hannibal was defeated as much by his own people and a couple key mistakes (stemming from pride) as he was by just fate. Hannibal eventually lost in Africa, but I'm sure one could make an argument that he was almost never out generaled. That said, he WAS eventually defeated by Rome's great general Scipio. Young, bold, and brash, Scipio had both the skill and the luck needed to eventually defeat Hannibal and humble Carthage.

  • The History of Rome, Volume 6: Books 40 - 45

  • By: Titus Livy
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

Livy's splendid adventure of Rome's rise to dominance comes to a close in this concluding volume of his magnificent history. Sadly, the work abruptly halts near the completion of book 45, which concerns events in Greece in the year 168 BC. The missing portions, numbering 107 books, have never been found. The original text of this monumental history, which came to 142 books when he completed it, carried the story to 9 BC.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ...an inexperienced commonalty always

  • By Darwin8u on 11-27-18

...an inexperienced commonalty always

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

"There is no state which will not have not only wicked citizens at cergain times but an inexperienced commonalty always." - Livy, History of Rome, XLV, xxiii

BOOK 40 sees Philip, king of Macedonia, struggle with the paranoia of a king with two ambitious sons, hemmed in by Rome, and bucking against the contraints of Roman power. Book 4o begins with King Philip ordering the kids of the nobles he had in prison be put to death (sounds a bit New Testament to me).

The sibling rivalry between Perseus and Demetrius culminates in Perseus accusing Demetrius on a false charge of parricide (among others) and an attempt to seize the throne. Demetrius, was done in by both his paranoid father, his unkind brother, and good relationship to the Roman people.

Philip, old and overcome by grief (I guess that happens to people when the kill theirj "good" kid), because he killed Demetrius plans for the punishment of Perseus and desires for his friend Antigonus to succeed to the Macedonian throne, but he dies too soon and Perseus becomes the new king of Macedonia.

BOOK 41 sees the fire in temple of Vesta going out. Livy LOVES auspices, omens, portents, and signs. Rome fights and subdues a bunch of people (the Celtiberians, Ligurians, Histrians, Sardinians, [and in Spain] the Vaccaei and Lusitanians).

In Macedonian King Perseus, son of Philip, sends an embassy to the Carthaginians and making diplomatic overtures to the other states of Greece.

BOOK 42 sees Q. Fulvius Flaccus stripping the temple of Juno Lacinia of its marble tiles, in order to roof a temple which he was dedicating. The senate orders the tiles to be taken back (but nobody knows how to put them back on, so they just leave them in the temple). Eumenes, king of Asia, complains about Perseus. Rome declares war against Perseus and Macedonia. P. Licinius Crassus, the new consul, is placed in command. He goes to Macedonia and fights with Perseus in Thessaly. Envoys from Rome are to request the allied states and kings remain loyal, the Rhodians waver. Book 42 details the campaigns against the Corsicans and Ligurians (think Genoa).

One thing I love (in this book and others) is how fixated Livy is with auspices, portents, three-legged cows, and the drowning of hermaphrodite babies. I think part of it goes back to understanding Livy was writing from a period in Roman History where Rome was starting to become fairly superficial with its practice of religous rites and was trying to encourage his modern readers to take some of the sacred (temples, gods, rites) more serious.

BOOK 43 sees several praetors condemned for administering their provinces with greed and cruelty. P. Licinius Crassus the proconsul plunders numerous cities in Greece. The commanders of Roman fleets pluder many allied cities. Book 43 sees King Perseus winning several victories in Thrace (Dardanians and of Illyricum). Spain revolts, but the revolt goes nowhere after Olonicus is killed. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was chosen chief of the Senate by the censors. This book has a few missing parts.

BOOK 44 sees Q. Macius Philippus and his armies entering Macedonia through difficult passes, seizing a number of cities. The Rhodians send an envoy to Rome threatening to help Perseus unless the Romans establish peace Macedonia. This doesn't go well in Rome. L. Aemilius Paulus, consul for the second time, is put in charge of the campaign in Macedonia. Paulus prays before an assembly that any disaster threatening the Roman People be turned against his own household. After setting out for Macedonia, he conquers Perseus and brings all Macedonia under control. This book has a few missing parts.

BOOK 45 sees Perseus captured by A. Paulus in Samothrace. Antiochus, king of Syria beseiges Egypt (Ptolemy and Cleopatra*). Envoys sent to Rome's Senate. Senate requires Antiochus to pull out of Egypt. Rhodes' envoys supplicate themselves to Rome and are sent aways as neither allies or enemies. A. Paulus celebrates his triumph (his own soliders complain about not having enough booty). S. Sulpicius Galba speaks against the soldiers. Paulus' two sons die. This book has a few missing parts.

The last of the Livy. The remaining books: 46-142 have been lost. It really is sad to think that we only have about ~35 books of Livy. They are really amazing. His prose is clear. His speeches are amazing. And while he isn't a perfect historian (his dates sometimes conflict) he did organize Roman history in an expansive and rational way. I would have REALLY enjoyed reading about his take on the Fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire. His last book (142) supposedly ends his history with the death of Druses.

I don't get too carried away with regrets, but it really does feel like discovering that Shakespeare wrote 140 plays and we only have 36 extant. Imagine another 104 Shakespeare plays!!!

* These are not the Egyptian Kings you are thinking of. (Like Scipio, Cato, etc., Cleopatra and Ptolemy are family names that appear again and again).

  • The History of Rome, Volume 2: Books 6 - 10

  • By: Titus Livy
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Livy continues his magnificent epic, with Rome in complete ruin after the Gallic invasion and sack of the city in 310 B.C. Led by Camillus, one of Rome's great heroic patricians, the city regains her self-confidence and once more becomes the leader of the Latin people. Painstakingly rebuilding alliances, forging friendships, cementing relations among her own people, and fighting endless wars, Rome soon becomes the dominant power among the fractious Italic tribes on the Latin plain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Titus Livius Patavinus comes alive!!!!

  • By Epaminondas on 05-30-15

Oratory was invented for doubtful matters

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

Reviewed: 11-27-18

Book 6 (Roman Campaigns) & Book 7 (Roman Expansion)

Books 6 and 7 of Livy's History of Rome (403-342 BC). One of my favorite characters in the book is Marcus Furius Camillus, one of Rome's great, early generals. He was given at his death the title of Second Founder of Rome after he helped to defend a sacked Rome against the Senoni chieftain Brennus and his gallic warriors.

Some men are generals. Some are statesmen. Others just seem to have it all. Camellus is one of those men who seem destined to lead, protect, and inspire. These three books are filled with battles, wars, and manly, martial speeches. I think one of the best parts of these early Roman histories of Livy are his speeches. Obviously, he is embellishing things and probably making a great deal up, but still -- this is damn good stuff.

Here are some of his best lines:

"Soldiers, what means this gloom and this unwonted reluctance? Are you strangers to the enemy, or to me, or to yourselves? The enemy -- what else are they but inexhaustible material for you to fashion into glorious deeds of valor? " (Book VI, vii 3).

"...a young soldier rebuked them, so the story runs, for questioning whether any blessing were more Roman than arms and valor." (Book VII, vi 3).

***

Book 8 (Revolt of the Latins) & Book 9 (Roman Expansion) & Book 10 (Battle of Aquilonia)

The second half of this section contains Livy's History of Rome covers books 8 through 10 (341-292BC). It also contains the summaries for the some of Livy's missing books (11 - 20).

This volume deals with various revolts among those groups Rome has treaties with (Latins, Companians, Privernates, Samnites, Apulians, Etruscans, Umbrians, Marsi, the Paeligni, Aequi, etc.). This is a period of quick Roman growth. They are starting to feel their imperial oats.

My favorite part of this volume deals with the leadership and generalship of men such as Titus Manlius, Quintus Fabius, Appius Claudius. This period parallels the period of Alexander the Great in the East.

Here are some of his best lines:

"...an aspect more august than a man's, as though sent from heaven to expiate all anger of the gods, and to turn aside destruction from his people and bring it on their adversaries. Thus every terror and dread attended him..." (Book VIII, ix.9)

"You shall find few in the saddle, few sword in hand; while they are loading themselves and their horses with spoils, cut them down unarmed and make it a bloody booty for them." (Book VIII, xxxviii.15)

"...and their generals had taught them that a soldier should be rough to look on, not adorned with gold and silver but putting his trust in iron and in courage : indeed those other things were more truly spoil than arms, shinning bright before a battle, but losing their beauty in the midst of blood and wounds; manhood they said, was the adornment of a solder; all those other things went with the victory, and a rich enemy was the prize of the victor, however poor." (Book IX, xl.4-6)

"In truth the matter is simply, Quirites, that we must always be first denied, and yet have our way in the end. A struggle is all that the patricians ask: they care not what may be the outcome of the struggle." (Book X, viii.11-12)