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C. Perelli-Minetti

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 56
  • ratings
  • Dream Hoarders

  • How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It
  • By: Richard V. Reeves
  • Narrated by: Richard V. Reeves
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is not just an economic divide but a fracturing of American society along class lines. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Don’t feel that privileged

  • By jeffrey a dabe on 01-04-18

Half right, Half exasperating, Ultimately Naive

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

I suspect much of the appeal of this book for what he calls ‘upper middle class’ listeners is Reeves’ almost RP accent - which conjures up evening spent watching Downton Abbey and the Crown. Well done, Richard.

Having the advantage of seeing American society as an upper middle class quasi-outsider - no educate Brit can ever be a true outsider in this land of adoration of most things perceived as British - Reeves is perceptive in describing what our upper middle class is in the process of becoming. He strikes me as profoundly naive, however, in conflating the earned privileges of the upper middle class with the still legally enforced privileges of the British aristocracy, even in its broader form that includes their non titled children and relations. We have no equivalent of the squirearchy or the monarchy, however much some would to have it in substance (though, of course, not form). He might well be on firmer ground if he saw (he may well, the book does not make the point) our growing bureaucracy based in Washington as something akin to the permanent Establishment of the British civil service. (Much of which, it should be noted, has worked assiduously over the past 50 years to thwart the policies of Tory prime ministers from Harold Macmillan to Margaret Thatcher and down to the present day. But I digress.

Where Reeves is exasperating are in his naive assumptions that his position is the morally superior, that all forms of inequality are ultimately inherently wrong, and in his almost touching commitment to a Jacobin, almost Marxian, notion of the perfectibility of human nature. For virtually all of his prescriptions for change are based on the notion that human beings will ignore what they perceive (accurately, he admits ) as their broader self-interest (i.e., including children and descendants) in order to support policies designed to ensure more (though not total) equality of result.

Moreover, perhaps because of ignorance of American history, Reeves seems to fail to understand that almost all of the things he cites, such as zoning, tax breaks for housing, standardized testing, etc. were originally progressive reforms intended in many cases to increase opportunity. He seems to have missed the lectures on the law of unintended consequences.

Again, it goes to his naivete, but perhaps Reeves' fundamental error is in seeing all of these barriers as intentionally created for the purpose of keeping the masses down.

That said, I think the book is useful for the honesty and clarity of the diagnosis. I’d love to give it a split rating: 5 stars for observation and exposition of his diagnosis, and 0-1 stars for moral preening and prescription.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Willie Lynch Letter and the Making of a Slave

  • By: Willie Lynch
  • Narrated by: Ronald Eastwood
  • Length: 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251

The Willie Lynch Letter and the Making of a Slave is a study of slave making. It describes the rationale and the results of Anglo Saxon's ideas and methods of insuring the master/slave relationship. The infamous Willie Lynch letter gives both African and Caucasian students and teachers some insight, concerning the brutal and inhumane psychology behind the African slave trade.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sancofa

  • By colin on 10-25-15

Anachronistic hoax avoid

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

Clearly a modern hoax. The language is anachronistic and refers to people who lived more than a century later. Worst book ever.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • White Trash

  • The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
  • By: Nancy Isenberg
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 15 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,788
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,476

In White Trash, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America's supposedly class-free society. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early 19th century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ's Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 400 Year Head Start Squandered

  • By Virgil on 10-11-16

Interesting material marred by snarky reading

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

What disappointed you about White Trash?

I don't know whether it's the author's writing or the narrator's tone, but the sefl-righeousness just oozes from this tome. It's an interesting topic, but one that needs to be approached from the historical context. The author seems to be judging the past by the standards of 21st century leftist academia. Very much takes away from the value of the book.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Day of Wrath

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 768
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 713

Bob Petersen arrives with his daughter at the middle school in Maine where he teaches, expecting another regular day but worried about what recent ominous news reports might portend. Suddenly his school - along with many others across the United States - is under attack. Gunmen burst in, slaughtering children and adults alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh My Goodness...

  • By Jan on 01-19-15

Scary but important

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

Reviewed: 06-11-15

Every American should listen to or read this short book. The threat is quite real.

  • A Cry of Honor

  • The Sorcerer's Ring, Book 4
  • By: Morgan Rice
  • Narrated by: Wayne Farrell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Godfrey has been poisoned by his brother by a very rare and potent poison, and his fate lies in Gwendolyn's hands, as she does whatever she can to save her brother from death. Gareth has fallen deeper into a state of paranoia and discontent, hiring his own tribe of savages as a personal fighting force and giving them Silver Hall - ousting The Silver and causing a rift in King's Court that threatens to blow up into a civil war. He also schemes to have the fierce Nevaruns take Gwendolyn away, selling her off in marriage without her consent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great read!

  • By Compute on 02-06-15

Just not believable

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

Reviewed: 05-05-15

Any additional comments?

I like fantasy, and I realize many authors don't have a clue about battle and warriors, but in this one, the characters are always rushing around, almost pell-mell in many cases, always ordering people about in imperious ways, demanding this and that, threatening others, etc. I rather liked the previous installment in the series, but this just became impossible to listen to because it was so lacking any realism in the characters' actions that suspending disbelief for the fantasy wasn't worth the effort.