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harsh critic

  • 27
  • reviews
  • 87
  • helpful votes
  • 35
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  • World Order

  • By: Henry Kissinger
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Hormann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 883
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 775
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 771

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

My favorite book of the year

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I set a goal to read two books a month this year. It’s October. This is my favorite. A dense but necessary summary of world geopolitical history ending with an exploration of new media and its effect on affairs of state. I learned a lot of facts. I was challenged by new words & phrases. I had to rewind and re-listen many times. But it’s a book I’ll buy in print so I can have an underlined reference for future discussions. MUST READ.

  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu

  • Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
  • By: Mark Adams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 887
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807

Writer for the New York Times and GQ, Mark Adams is also the acclaimed author of Mr. America. In this fascinating travelogue, Adams follows in the controversial footsteps of Hiram Bingham III, who’s been both lionized and vilified for his discovery of the famed Lost City in 1911—but which reputation is justified?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good book for history enthusiasts

  • By Elizabeth on 08-26-12

Don’t read before going to MP. Or do. It’s your spirit walk

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

Reviewed: 08-18-18

Wonderfully researched. Humorous. Relatable. Awful accents. Just read in whatever your mother accent is.

Recommend not reading before doing the Inca Trail. While you’ll learn things you maybe wish you had known before your journey, you will also be unable to approach the ancient natural, archaeological, historical & spiritual journey with a clean mind. Plenty of “packing list guides” exist to get you ready.

That said, I totally agree his best piece of advice about planning a trip—don’t fly all the way to Perú and rush the Inca Trail. The less popular 5 day, 4 night hike is absolutely the best travel decision I made about Perú.

  • The Soul of America

  • The Battle for Our Better Angels
  • By: Jon Meacham
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders, Jon Meacham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,962
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,950

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and LBJ, and illuminating the courage of influential citizen activists and civil rights pioneers, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. Each of these dramatic hours have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear - a struggle that continues even now.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thanks! I needed this!

  • By Helen on 05-29-18

A lot of quotes, still worth the read

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

In the beginning this book seemed more like a whole bunch of quotes rather than a crafted storyline peppered w a few supporting quotes. A few chapters in though the author really finds his own voice, using quotes as support for his points. Another engaging read explaining the very clear fact 2018 politics may not be exact copies other the politics of earlier years but they are exquisitely painted replicas. This point gives me hope & helps me understand my nation & the leaders that have gotten us here & will take us into tomorrow. May I be in that number.

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,158
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,232

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Fantastic performance & extras!

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

Captivating story & beautiful prose. The extras after the book like the Atwood essay & the fictional future academic discussion on the book are really eye opening. Devoured in a long weekend. Thank you, Margaret, for such a wonderful look into the mind of a heroine during a time of societal madness.

  • A Diary from Dixie

  • By: Mary Chesnut
  • Narrated by: Mary Baker
  • Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

This is the original diary of the wife of Confederate General James Chesnut, Jr., who was an aide to President Jefferson Davis. It is a fascinating narrative of all the years of the American Civil War. It focuses on the daily lives and hardships of all who suffered through the war, from ordinary people to the Confederacy's generals and political elite. Mary Chesnut's prose has lost none of its provocative bite through the ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Must read—unique view of Antebellum, bellum & post bellum Southern life

  • By harsh critic on 05-31-18

Must read—unique view of Antebellum, bellum & post bellum Southern life

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

A students of the Civil War, I highly recommend this book. Nowhere else is captured the trials, sentiments, & intimate insight to Southern life in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The annotations wrt the prominent military & government figures as well as battles is masterfully woven into the diary.

No other Civil War account covers the ground that this one does.

What’s missing? More perspectives of the poor black & white people during this time. Mary Chestnut was the wife of a senator and confederate officer which must be remembered as she gives her thoughts & assessments of the time. Even so, this is a must read if you endeavor to understand the American Civil War & its aftermath which is still felt today in the groundwater of the nation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mission to Paris

  • By: Alan Furst
  • Narrated by: Daniel Gerroll
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 367

At the center of the intrigue is Hollywood star, Frederic Stahl. September 1938. On the eve of the Munich Appeasement, Stahl arrives in Paris, on loan from Warner Brothers to star in a French film. He quickly becomes entangled in the shifting political currents of pre-war Paris - French fascists, German Nazis, and his Hollywood publicists all have their fates tied to him. But members of the clandestine spy world of Paris have a deeper interest in Stahl, sensing a potential asset in a handsome, internationally renowned actor.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Cary Grant Goes to Paris

  • By Darwin8u on 06-18-12

A yummy taste of pre-WWII Europe

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

Nice story, perhaps too many characters but fine. Lovely mix of spy work & French romance. One large critique is of the “automatic pistol.” That is not a thing. Made me question other things in the book the author seemed to know about.

  • Radical Inclusion

  • What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership
  • By: Martin Dempsey, Ori Brafman
  • Narrated by: Alex Hyde-White
  • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

Forty-one-year Army veteran General (Ret.) Martin Dempsey and 41-year-old UC Berkeley associate professor Ori Brafman have been friends for almost 10 years. Though they have almost nothing in common, their collaboration has produced a powerful message. Their new book, Radical Inclusion, examines today’s leadership landscape and describes the change it demands of leaders. The nature of power is changing and should not be measured by degree of control alone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great team.

  • By Jordan Morris on 09-02-18

So nice I read it twice!!!

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

If you want to build a successful team, family, friendship, pick up this book ASAP!

  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

  • A Novel
  • By: Fannie Flagg
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,371
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,369

Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Here is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Curious What was Left Out of the Movie

  • By Scott on 04-21-12

Wayyyyyy better than the movie

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

You’ll feel wholly Christened into the culture of the early 1900s American South when reading this. Wonderful performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Conscience of a Conservative

  • A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle
  • By: Jeff Flake
  • Narrated by: Milton Jeffers, Jeff Flake - preface
  • Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294

In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the anomalous Trump presidency. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Liberal Gives Flake 5 Stars

  • By TLN on 08-04-17

Conservative without the crazy

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

Reviewed: 01-21-18

Tired of hyper-partisan politics & ready for bi-partisan governance? Read this. It will give background & solace.

  • Republican Like Me

  • How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right
  • By: Ken Stern
  • Narrated by: Ken Stern
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 142

Ken Stern watched the increasing polarization of our country with growing concern. As a longtime partisan Democrat himself, he felt forced to acknowledge that his own views were too parochial, too absent of any exposure to the "other side". In fact, his urban neighborhood is so liberal, he couldn't find a single Republican - even by asking around. So, for one year, he crossed the aisle to spend time listening, talking, and praying with Republicans of all stripes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth a listen or read.

  • By R. T. Pirtle on 10-28-17

A book for all left, right, middle & non-American

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

Wonderful review of virtually every subject discussed in modern politics. For my American and foreign friends and family alike, this book gives background of why we so feverishly debate the way we do & how we could do it better.