LISTENER

Paul Stack

Charlotte, NC United States
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • Capitalism

  • A Very Short Introduction
  • By: James Fulcher
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21

Explaining the origins of capitalism, this Introduction raises the issue of whether capitalism indeed originated in Europe. Next it examines a distinctive stage in the development of capitalism that began in the 1980s in order to understand where we are now and the various stages that have evolved since.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent treatment

  • By David on 07-03-10

Very Confusing Presentation

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-10

I would describe myself as a capitalist. However, the author's definition of capitalism is not a textbook defintion. In the book, capitalism is described as a economic system whereby capital holders exploit workers. Just the use of "exploit" in a definiton was enough for me to realize the author is committed to being controversial. However, there is zero acknowledgment (that I could remember) of the author's philosophical assumptions.

So, I give the book credit for some good historical research (say 3-4 stars). But I would give the book low marks because the presentation/organization is difficult to understand (2 stars), and the presuppositions of the author range from subtle to unsupportable (1 star).

I'm glad I listened. Because of the author's research, I was challenged to reanalyze why I believe what I do. And, he advanced some of his non-capitalistic positions with excellent historical examples. However, for someone who was unfamiliar with economics and politics, I don't think this book would deliver enough objectivity to make it a reliable treatment.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Trillion Dollar Meltdown

  • Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash
  • By: Charles R. Morris
  • Narrated by: Nick Summers
  • Length: 5 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

The sub-prime mortgage crisis is only the beginning; a more profound economic and political restructuring is on its way. According to Charles R. Morris, the astronomical leverage at investment banks, with their hedge-fund and private-equity clients, virtually guarantees massive disruption in global markets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Illuminating

  • By Nelson Alexander on 06-20-08

Fast-moving Overview

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-15-09

If you are looking for a fast-moving overview of what brought about the near collapse of the financial industry in the fall of 2008, this audiobook will satisfy you.

Morris ties together government, big business, and the credit markets with hundreds of names of companies and individuals. He describes the new and highly leveraged financial instruments that were used (and found to be wanting).

Don't expect to pick-up everything in the first listen. Morris does a masterful job connecting dots, but there are a lot of dots. I've not come across a treatment like this that attempts to identify so many dots, much less connect them.

  • The Politics of Inequality

  • A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America
  • By: Michael J. Thompson
  • Narrated by: David Stampone
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4

Since the early days of the American republic, political thinkers have maintained that a grossly unequal division of property, wealth, and power would lead to the erosion of democratic life. Yet over the past thirty-five years, neoconservatives and neoliberals alike have redrawn the tenets of American liberalism. Nowhere is this more evident than in our current mainstream political discourse, in which the politics of economic inequality are rarely discussed.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • You will be surprised by the lack of examples

  • By Paul Stack on 09-07-09

You will be surprised by the lack of examples

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-09

The topic was (and still is) interesting to me. One of the reviewers in the book's promotional statement said that the book is "[A] sweeping intellectual history ... " There was only one Amazon reviewer, but that individual gave the book a 5-star review. So, based on those two endorsements, I bought it.

After listening to 5 of the 9 hours, I have been surprised that there were relatively few historical examples. Lots of "everybody back then" kind of statements, but very little content.

I would give the book four stars because of the value of the topic. But, I would give it one star (or zero stars) for the persuasiveness of the research. There simply has not been enough historical evidence provided in the first 5 hours to warrant someone calling it "sweeping intellectual history". Maybe there is more in the last 4 hours.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful