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Timothy

Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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Explaining Hitler audiobook cover art

Excellent Overvies of Hitler Theories

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-19-06

I listened to this book on cassettes many years ago, but I liked it so much I bought it on Audible to listen to it again.

Ron Rosenbaum does an excellent job presenting and sorting through all the theories of what made Hitler and the Nazis what they became. For anyone interested in seeing what hypotheses historians have put forward about Hitler, this is a must read.

I highly recommend this book.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

The Making of Modern Economics audiobook cover art

Worth the read despite strong bias

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-15-05

Although this book gives a very detailed potrait of the history of economics and the story of major economists, I find the author's idiosyncratic style a bit disorienting. Skousen maintains a very free-market perspective in his narrative, judging economists by their adherence to Smith's free market principles. The book also repeats facts and other information, leading me to believe that the book is at least partly a compliation of Skousen's previously written materials. I am not sure why we need to know that David Ricardo's teeth fell out while Skousen spends less time on the development of Ricardo's theories. The suggested musical selections are a bit strange, but they don't detract from the book.
Overall, I would suggest that you read the boook if you are interesteed in the story of economics, but be aware of Skousen's biases. Hopefully, Audible will release Heilbroner's The Wordly Philosophers to offer the other side's perspective.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

Freakonomics audiobook cover art

Fascinating book, despite the title.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-19-05

This book is a great intrduction to modern microeconomic ananlytical thinking. Despite the title and the (self-?) aggrandizement of a smart economist, the book offers a collection of windows into the often murky working of modern-day academic economics. I would not take the conclusions about crime or parenting or cheating as the final chapter in the analysis of those topics. That is not what this book is about. The heart of this book is how the authors strip out pedantic writing and academic jargon to lay bare the thought processes of a mainstream (despite the claims of the book) economist.

Take care before you read it. If you can not take an objective look at some difficult issues and question your own beliefs and unproven presumptions, this book is not for you. If you held your knee-jerk condemnation of Larry Summers' comments on women in science until you could form your own opinion from the actual text of his speech, then this book is for you.

Besides these deeper points, the book is also informative, challenging, entertaining and well-written. Read it!

197 of 209 people found this review helpful

Irrational Exuberance audiobook cover art

Very academic, but thorough and informative

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-04

This audiobook is not for the faint of heart!

This is an academic overiew of behavioral finance. Not as thorough as a textbook, but it has the same flavor. With the acadmic perspective without the thoroughnes of an academic text, it reads like a litnay of hypothesis about the 'irrationality' of the stock market interspersed with anecdotal statistics and historical examples.

The book has a very one-sided view of the central controversy in the economics of Finance, which is the rationlity of the financial markets. His strong endorsement of behavorial finance and emphatic rejection of Efficient Market Theory detract from the power of some of the hypothesis he puts forward.

Because it is abridged, I cannot say if the book lost much in the abridgement. Being read by the author (a Yale economics professor), I would hope that this version keeps the essence of the unabridged text.

If you can survive what seems, at times, an interminable academic lecture, this book does offer lots of facts and insights useful to understanding how the financial markets funtion.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Adventure Capitalist audiobook cover art

Interesing travel book with superficial insights.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-18-04

This book weaves back and forth between two halves. The first is an interesting series of adventures the author has while driving the world. The second half is full of half-baked, superficial historical, economic and financial insights. If you can withstand the barrage of neo-libertarian 'insights' and are not offended by someone who sees the world through green-tinted lenses, I recommend this book.

The narrator, however, is horrible with ridiculous foreign accents and an inability to pronounce foreign words and names, such as the name of London's Thames river.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

Starship Troopers audiobook cover art

More pop political philosophy than a novel.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-07-03

Although infinitely better than the horrid movie based on this novel, Starship Troopers is not much more than a thinly disguised outlet for Heinlein's conservative political philosophies. There are long and, at times, boring descirptions of military training and combat set in the future, but this plot douse not have much depth nor does it stray from the archetypal military coming-of-age story. The futuristic weapons and alien enemies are a minor side note to the other two themes (military coming-of-age and Heinlein's politics), so the only reason for it to be set in the future seems only as a way to illustrate how Heinlein would like to see society run.

The narration is good and the writing itself isn't bad, though a bit dated, so I won't recommend against Starship Trooper. I just don't recommend it.

1 of 17 people found this review helpful

The Truth audiobook cover art

Good choice!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-03

Though Birggs is not Nigel Planer, he does a fine job of bringing Ankh-Morpork and its colorful inhabitants to life. I was very wary when I bought this book about the fact tha Planer wasn't the narraotr, but I am glad to say that I heartily enjoyed listening to The Truth.

As you can read in the blurb about this book, this novel traces the start of Ankh-Morpork's first newspaper and yet another plot against the Patrician. I am amazed by Pratchett's ability to bring fresh ideas an humor to his novels, never mind his ability to allude to and parofy the world around us. This is a definite read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Feet of Clay audiobook cover art

Another fine novel about the Night Watch.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-03

My favorite stream of the Discworld series is definitely the tales of the Night Watch. This is yet another great tale with all of the Night Watch characters you have come to expect and more. I love how Pratchett deconstructs our culture and history through these characters and Pratchett has done it again!

As always, Nigel Planer has done a great job bringing the Discworld to life.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Don't Know Much About History audiobook cover art

A good refresher of High School American History

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-26-03

Although closed-minded conservatives will dislike this book, I found it be a mainstream history book that reviews and updates my high school American history course (from fifteen years ago). Not terribly in depth, but it does a decent job of reviewing the more important milestones in US history. For my taste, there was too much focus on the details of war and the major crisis of US history and not enough on the economic, social and political trends that don't grab headlines, but are essential to why the US is where it is today.

The readers do a decent job and the Q&A format does get a bit tiresome after a while.

So, unless you are real US history buff or a fanatically blind conservative, read it.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Foucault's Pendulum audiobook cover art

Great book, great reader, but abridged . . .

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-16-03

I really enjoyed this book. Not only is Eco a master of language and story-telling, he is a master of suspense as well. I spent the entire time I listened to this book on the edge of my proverbial seat.
Tim Curry, the actor from Clue, does an amazing job reading the book. Bot only does he handle the different languages, but he conveys the mood and tempo of the book while remaining intelligible.
In the end, however, I spent much of the book wondering what I was missing. I dislike abridged works for that feeling. In this version's favor, the story line maintained its cohesiveness, as far as I could tell, unlike most of the other abridgemens I have read.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful